Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cancer Mortality near Air Force Bases / Wi Fi male fertility / EMF breast cancer / EHS Warning / phone masts / Consumers wary of smart meters

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

27 July 2010

Cancer Mortality  near Air Force Bases.

Lester, J.R. and D.F. Moore.  1982.  Cancer Mortality and Air Force Bases.  Journal of Bioelectricity 1(1): 72-82.


Nationally, counties with an Air Force Base were found to have significantly higher incidences of cancer mortality during 1950-1969 compared to counties without an Air Force Base.


This study is based on 92 active Air Force bases that were in operation during 1950-1969 in the United States. The authors hypothesize that the chronic low intensity microwave exposure to peak pulse patterns, characteristic of radar, could influence immunocompetence and account for the high cancer mortality near air bases. They cite a 1979 study by Meecham and Shaw that documents a 20% higher mortality rate for residents within 2 to 3 miles of the Los Angeles International Airport compared to a neighborhood 8 to 9 miles away.  In addition to cancers a higher incidence of birth defects and nervous breakdowns, among residents who live near airports, was reported in Japan and Great Britain.


This study brings to mind, PAVE PAWS, the US Air Force Radar Base that was installed in 1979 and was the focus of several cancer cluster studies in Cape Code, including an elevated rate of Ewing's Sarcoma (a malignant tumor often found in bone with a peak occurrence between 10 and 20 years of age).  According to the National Academies' National Research Council report in 2005 and the Massachusetts Department of Health report in 2007 the radiation was unlikely to have played a primary role in the incidence of the various cancers and health effects.

However, based on Air Force measurements outside the security fence, values for average and maximum power density  (attachment 4) are well above the Russian guidelines of 10 microW/cm2 with "corrected average" values ranging from 10 to 230 microW/cm2.

continued at . . . www.magdahavas.com


Wi-Fi radiation may affect male fertility


By Igor I. Solar.

Buenos Aires - Argentine researchers have found that radiation emitted by an Internet-connected computer resting on the user's legs may affect male fertility by reducing sperm motility and fragmenting DNA.

The research, first in the world on the subject, was carried out by experts from Nascentis, a reproductive medicine center located in Córdoba, Argentina. The results of the study will be presented at the 66 Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) taking place in October in Denver, USA.

The researchers (led by Conrado Avendaño, a biochemist specializing in andrology, in collaboration with Ariela Mata, reproductive biology specialist and César Sánchez Sarmiento, director of the medical center, among others) demonstrated that the motility of spermatozoa is impaired when these cells are exposed to the radiation from laptops, according to a report published in the Córdoba newspaper "La Voz" (in Spanish).

For this study, the researchers evaluated semen samples from healthy donors with no history of recent illnesses. Each sample was divided into two equal fractions, which were placed in separate temperature-controlled rooms. One of the sub-samples was incubated under a laptop connected to the Internet, to replicate the conditions that occur when a man places the computer on his lap.

"After four hours of incubation of sperm under the two different conditions, we found that in the sample exposed to the laptop, a large percentage of the sperm cells were affected,"

said Dr. Avendaño to "La Voz". The investigator concludes that their study shows that exposure of sperm to the radiation from the device did not kill the sperm cells, but affected their motility. Further, by evaluating the sperm cells' DNA integrity, they found that there was a significant difference between both sub-samples:

"The fraction exposed to radiation had a significant increase in sperm cells with fragmented (broken) DNA,"said Avendaño.

The findings are important because previous studies on reproductive medicine have shown that some of the problems in fertilization and embryonic development are caused by damage in the DNA molecules of the sperm.

While agreeing that further research on the matter is required, the researchers advise men to avoid holding laptop computers on the legs, "especially if they are connected to Internet through Wi-Fi."

This research brings new knowledge on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on human health. EMF levels from Wi-Fi devices are much lower than those emitted by mobile phones, and there is less public concern on potential health issues for wireless LAN devices. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) claims that if a person spends one year in a Wi-Fi hot-spot, they will receive a dose of radio waves equivalent to a 20-minute call on a mobile phone.

Often wireless access points are in close proximity to humans, but the drop off in the already low power over distance is fast, following the inverse-square law (*). Nonetheless, the results of this study suggest that when a laptop is operated for long periods, the close proximity to the source of the EMF may affect a male user sensitive reproductive cells causing damage to DNA and reducing sperm cell motility.

(*) The radiation passing through any unit area is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source.



Household appliances linked to breast cancer


A study led by researchers in Israel suggests that exposure to household low-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) may increase risk of breast cancer and other mammary tumors.

The study reported in the May-June 2005 issue of In Vivo was based on 1290 clinical case-records of women aged 60 and older over a 26-year period who visited the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Israel.

Participants were included in two groups, one group (group 1) of women with mammary tumors such as breast cancer followed up between 1978 and 1990 who rarely used EMF-generating appliances.

Another group of women (group 2) were followed between 1991 and 2003 who extensively used personal computers (more than 3 hours a day), cell phones, TV, air conditioners and other household electrical
appliances that generate EMF.

Researchers examined reports on 200,527 biopsy and surgery samples and mammary tumors were found in 2824 women or 1.4 percent of the women in the study. Nearly half of the cases were elderly women.

The most common tumor was epithelial neoplasms. 585 elderly women in group 1 and 705 women in group 2 were diagnosed with mammary tumors.

In group 1, 19.5 percent of elderly women with mammary tumors were regularly exposed to EMF (mostly using computers) for more than 3 hours a day, compared to 51.1 percent in group 2.

The researchers found there was a significant effect of EMF on the formation of all epithelial mammary tumors in Group 2, particularly in those with invasive ductal carcinoma - breast cancer that is the most
common form of cancer in elderly women.

Breast cancer is diagnosed in more than 175000 women in the United States and the disease kills about 50,000 annually, according to the National Cancer Institute.
David Liu



Electromagnetic Sensitivity warning for DCC

July 26, 2010 - 6:45pm

An opponent of widespread cellular and wifi-internet coverage today voiced his concerns to the Dunedin City Council.

Electromagnetic Sensitivity is said to cause symptoms similar to a hangover, along with more serious health complications and the City Council was today warned that providing wireless internet to the Octagon may in fact be putting people into the wireless firing line.

See the video at -



U.K. News

Restore people's and council's right to turn down phone masts on ...

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology . ...


Robert R


(Note - re the story yesterday's from Victoria, Australia about smart meters) -  

"a government official there told me the newspaper had got it wrong and there had never been a moratorium on the meters themselves, but only on the time-of-use tariff".

However, an example of the plan being shelved for economic reasons is Maryland:


Nationwide Consumers wary of smart meters

Written by CA Political News on July 26, 2010

By Joey Peters, Special to Stateline, 7/23/10 


When President Obama signed his economic stimulus bill into law last year, he singled out for praise funding for installing advanced electric meters. It was part of $3.5 billion set aside for so-called smart grid improvements. This investment will place smart meters in homes to make our energy bills lower, make outages less likely and make it easier to use clean energy, Obama said.

There’s universal agreement that new high-tech meters to replace dials that spin in circles can help do all of the things Obama said they would. Smart meters can be used to send consumers price signals so as to encourage them to use less energy when it is most expensive. They also can let utilities reap new efficiencies by automating meter reading and quickly identifying power outages. But implementation of the idea has been controversial. Increasingly, consumers are calling on state regulators to move cautiously on smart meters, citing complaints in some states that the meters are raising electric bills rather than lowering them.

The latest evidence of a backlash comes from Maryland. Last month, the states public service commission rejected an $835 million smart-meter installation plan put forward by the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, or BGE. The commissions order professed enthusiasm for the long-run potential of smart meters, but said BGE was asking ratepayers to take significant financial and technological risks and adapt to categorical changes in rate design, all in exchange for savings that are largely indirect, highly contingent and a long way off.

Consumer groups were relieved by the decision. We don't reject the technology, says Tiffany Lundquist, a spokeswoman for AARP Maryland, which testified against the plan. Apart from $136 million of federal stimulus money, BGE proposed to have ratepayers fund the installations using a smart grid charge on customers bills. The entire cost shouldn't be borne by the consumer, Lundquist says There has to be a balance between the customer and the utility itself.

BGE submitted a new plan immediately after the rejection, keeping a looming July 30 deadline in mind as a last-chance grab for the stimulus money. This time, BGE pushed back the date when customers would begin paying for the meters and dropped a mandatory time-based pricing requirement that would have allowed it to charge different rates at different times.

The Maryland Public Service Commission doesn't plan to hold hearings on the revised proposal until August, a timeline that may put the federal money at risk. A $136 million discount on an $835 million ratepayer investment cannot dictate the outcome here, the commission said of the stimulus funds.

In California, some 6 million of the new high-tech meters already are in use.

States across the country, including Maryland, have been experimenting with smart meters on a pilot basis for the past several years. But only recently have regulators begun allowing utilities to roll them out in force. Ohio and Oklahoma recently approved smart meters, to go along with large concentrations of them in California, Colorado and Texas. In California alone, some 6 million homes are equipped with smart meters.

Along with the new technology have come consumer complaints. Individual and class action lawsuits have been filed against utilities in California and Texas, claiming that the meters aren't reliable and have only produced mounting utility bills for customers. In California, the state Public Utilities Commission launched an investigation into the Pacific Gas & Electric Company after consumers in Bakersfield said that their utility bills shot up around the same time PG&E installed smart meters there.

PG&E, which supplies much of Northern California with natural gas and electricity, has denied any problems with the meters. But Mark Toney, executive director of The Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy group in San Francisco, says his office receives 20 to 30 complaints about smart meters each week, most of them citing utility bills mysteriously going up.

In April, a state Senate hearing drove PG&E to release records showing that that there were indeed some problems associated with smart meters but that getting accurate readings wasn’t one of them. There were some problems with faulty installations, failure to preserve customer usage information and trouble sending usage data back to the utility. But the company found only eight meters measuring energy use incorrectly.

In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that smart meters actually are more accurate than older meters, says Katherine Hamilton, the president of GridWise Alliance, a coalition of technology companies and utilities. Analog meters degrade and slow down over time, she says. Immediately, when you put in a digital meter, the reading will become more accurate.

That may explain why some consumers are seeing higher bills, Hamilton says. She suggests that the real problem with smart meters may be that consumers have false expectations that they will save money just from having new meters installed. A meter in the wall doesn't save money itself, she says. It isn't smart unless the consumer is actively engaged in it.

New meters are not enough

That message is reinforced by a recent study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which says that meter initiatives alone aren't enough to save energy. It concluded that households could cut their electricity consumption by 12 percent and save at least $35 billion over the next 20 years if utilities use them to give consumers more information about how they're consuming power in ways that will motivate them to cut back.

One of the reasons AARP Maryland didn't support BGEs first proposal was because the meters didn't come with an in-home display unit that would give up-to-date information on energy consumption.

Instead, consumers would have to buy that extra piece of equipment. The only alternative would lie in checking the information online, which couldn't be posted until the next day.

Hamilton says the key to success it to make consumers a part of the process. GridWise Alliance is attempting to do that with focus groups designed to educate consumers about the technology and listen to their feedback. Its difficult to do, because its not a straightforward project, she says. If you don't know how your consumers will respond, its kind of a risk for the utility companies.

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