The Canadian initiative to stop Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution
3 January 2014
Objectives: We performed a re-analysis of the data from Navarro et al (2003) in which health symptoms related to microwave exposure from mobile phone base stations (BSs) were explored, including data obtained in a retrospective inquiry about fear of exposure from BSs.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: La Ñora (Murcia), Spain.
Participants: Participants with known illness in 2003 were subsequently disregarded: 88 participants instead of 101 (in 2003) were analysed. Since weather circumstances can influence exposure, we restricted data to measurements made under similar weather conditions.
Outcomes and methods: A statistical method indifferent to the assumption of normality was employed: namely, binary logistic regression for modelling a binary response (eg, suffering fatigue (1) or not (0)), and so exposure was introduced as a predictor variable. This analysis was carried out on a regular basis and bootstrapping (95% percentile method) was used to provide more accurate CIs.
Results: The symptoms most related to exposure were lack of appetite (OR=1.58, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.03); lack of concentration (OR=1.54, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.89); irritability (OR=1.51, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.85); and trouble sleeping (OR=1.49, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.84). Changes in 2 log likelihood showed similar results. Concerns about the BSs were strongly related with trouble sleeping (OR =3.12, 95% CI 1.10 to 8.86). The exposure variable remained statistically significant in the multivariate analysis. The bootstrapped values were similar to asymptotic CIs.
Conclusions: This study confirms our preliminary results. We observed that the incidence of most of the symptoms was related to exposure levels independently of the demographic variables and some possible risk factors. Concerns about adverse effects from exposure, despite being strongly related with sleep disturbances, do not influence the direct association between exposure and sleep.
Cell Phone Radiation Safety in 2013: The Year in Review
For a summary of what I consider the 13 most significant developments regarding wireless radiation see my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website. Also listed are my eleven most popular news releases and nine most popular posts from 2013. The news releases received about 60,000 page views, and the website received about 40,000 page views from visitors in more than 100 countries attesting to the worldwide concern about wireless radiation safety.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Date: Monday, December 30, 2013
Subject: Wifi In schools - OPEN RESPONSE and URGENT OIA in response to statements in today's Dom Post
I note with extreme concern your comments in response to the actions of To Horo school and parents such as Mr Wyman, as reported in today's Dominion Post: "Ministry of Education deputy secretary Andrew Hampton said: "We know this issue has caused concern in the Te Horo community, but without any new research evidence we don't see any need to review the wider use of wi-fi in schools at this time."
The ministry would continue to work with the Ministry of Health to monitor any new research as it came to light, he said."
Your comments create the misleading impression that the NZ Ministry of Health has up to date advice on the long term heath risks presented by wifi and other sources of RF EMR.
This impression is NOT correct as can be seen from the response below by Don Mackie of the ministry of Health to my recent OIA request on this issue.
1 The only relevant NZ guidelines for RF emissions (NZS2772:1 1999) protects only against the immediate "heating" type effects of RF EMR ie death, burns and electric shocks. It provides no protection against longer term and/or biological effects including effects on mental health, or carcinogenic effect. Further it provides no protection for people with pacemakers and no protection for electosensitives. Nobody knows if it provides adequate protection for pregnant women or foetuses.
This standard was written with significant input from vested interests with only one community representative (Dr Beale-whose views were rejected).
2 In November 2009 the Local Government and Environment Committee (in response to the petition of Sarah Allan and 3100 others) recommended a review of NZS2772:1 1999 and of the composition of the NZ Interagency Advisory Committee on the Health Effects of Non-Ionising Radiation.
3 This recommendation was inconvenient for the government and was rejected by then Minister for the Environment Nick Smith several months later. Some of NZ's most qualified and competent experts (including Dr Mary Redmayne) have to date been excluded from the Interagency Advisory Committee.
4 In May 2011 the WHO and IARC reclassified RF EMR as a class 2B carcinogen.
5 Despite this, and considerable international research which shows a multitude of biological effects from RF EMR (including effects of cell membranes, DNA, hormones, and in some cases also therapeutic effects) the NZ advisory committee has failed to provide any comprehensive updated advice to the NZ government since 2004.
6 Since November 2009 the NZ public has been compulsorily exposed to new sources of RF EMR which meet NZS2771:1999 without even any consultation or acknowledgement about the serious gaps in information and resulting risks to public and environmental health. This is due to the national Environmental Standard for Telecommunications Facilities 2009.
7 Internationally a much more precautionary approach is adopted by most stated including Russia, Austria, Israel and India. Courts are starting to recognise harm caused by EMR including in Italy and France.
It is inappropriate, unlawful, unsafe, and potentially criminal, for bureaucrats to make misleading public statements to try to create the impression that NZ standards are adequate when clearly they are not. You are a public servant, employed by the public of New Zealand to represent their interests and your duty is to the public, not by your Minister or the State Services commission.
Please provide by immediate reply all correspondence which led to your press release and/or reported comments in the Dominion Post including any advice you obtained from any government agency which was relevant to this response. I note your obligation under section 15 of the OIA to provide this requested information "as soon as reasonably practicable". Bearing in mind your comments have been published i must assume that the advice you received is also immediately on hand and can be forwarded forthwith.
Sue Grey, LLB(Hons), BSc (Microbiology and Biochemistry), RSHDipPHI and concerned mother of three
She said more and more students and teachers are connecting to the wireless network with almost 2,000 devices on average, up from 1,100 last year.
"Most students and staff have up to three devices on our network an iPhone, smartphone, iPad tablet or laptops," she said, noting that puts increased pressure on the network's capacity.
West Vancouver unanimously denies Rogers cell towersMany speakers compared today's proliferation of radiation with yesterday's acceptance of tobacco and DDT.
"It seems to me the people who claim that something is perfectly safe are the ones who stand to make a lot of money," said Bill Richards, a Simon Fraser University professor of molecular biology and biochemistry who opposed the project.
SaskTel to expand (safe) infiNet network in Prince Albert
SaskTel to expand infiNet network in Prince Albert - Telecompaper
N.S.A. calls iPhones users "zombies"
However, ECU Security Research Institute director Professor Craig Valli says because the smart grid system relies on inherently insecure wireless networks to transmit information through parts of the system, there are significant vulnerabilities for determined cyber criminals to attack.
"There's a lot of economic benefit to this but the security around it sucks," he says.
"A lot of it is poor implementation, there's an unwillingness to put in a lot of the available controls
You can download all four reports at this link: http://thechemicaledge.com/downloadable-reports/
Conflicts of interests at the Royal Society Review Expert Panel:
Are Canadians being kept in the dark?
By Iris Atzmon
Chronic long term exposure to low intensity (non thermal) radiation emitted by wireless technologies is not taken into consideration in the Canadian safety standard Safety Code 6, only high intensity acute effects (thermal effects).
The Canadian authorities have not taken the responsibility for possible long term health consequences from prolonged public exposure to low levels of radiofrequency (RF) radiation, claiming that such effects do not exist. This position enabled the industry to continue selling and spreading more and more wireless technologies into the environment and for personal use. The question remains: is the public protected?
According to Michael Neal, the scientific director of ONE fertility in Burlington, Ontario, and a member of the Reproductive Biology Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, "the diagnosis of 'male factor' is becoming more common among one in six infertile couples in Canada.
As a result, there is now a greater focus on the male. The observed changes in sperm production have occurred
too quickly to be attributed to genetics", but it is probably related to the combination of lifestyle and environmental changes, according to him.
In contrast to all other authoritative reviews so far, the authors of the BCCDC report recognize the non thermal effect from non ionizing radiation, and they even related to mechanism: "apart from the known thermal effects of RF, oxidative stress due to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) or decreased antioxidants is a plausible explanation for non thermal effects of RF on sperm cells".
Oxidative stress - a plausible explanation for non thermal effects of radiofrequency radiation on sperm cells, according to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.
The BCCDC report made a statement that flies in the face of the formal position held by governmental health authorities and safety standards organizations worldwide. According to the general position, dominated by physics and engineering professions: unlike ionizing radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays, non ionizing radiation cannot break chemical bonds nor cause ionization in the human body to cause mutation in the DNA. Therefore, they concluded, cell phones radiation cannot cause cancer. However, in the BCCDC report it is stated that
"although RF [radiofrequency radiation] does not appear to have sufficient energy to damage DNA directly (as ionizing radiation may), other mechanisms of damage to DNA may be involved such as through ROS and oxidative stress, as well as up-regulation on gene expression and protein formation, including heat shock and adhesion proteins". The BCCDC has dropped a bomb in terms of formal recognition of non thermal effects from cell phone radiation. The findings on mobile phone and fertility mean that Canadian men's fertility has been put at risk in the last decade, during the proliferation of mobile phones technology. It was the first time when a formal health regulatory body found or admitted in scientific consistency regarding a harmful effect from radiofrequency radiation.
According to a press release of Citizens for Safe Technology, the BCCDC review authors noted that "oxidative stress seems one of the more plausible mechanisms of RF-induced sperm damage. Mechanisms by which oxidative stress is caused by increased ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) and decreased antioxidant have been shown to exist in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's."
Will these findings be considered in the safety standards any time soon?
At the request of Health
The importance of being independent
Everyone seems to agree on one thing: the Royal Society Review Expert Panel should be independent:
In a letter from 12 April 2013, Geoffrey Flynn, Chair, Committee of Expert Panels, Royal Society of Canada, wrote: "I am convinced that with respect to the mandate imposed by Health Canada that all of the members of the panel will approach the review in an unbiased fashion irrespective of any previous or current associations with the cellular phone industry or the EMF industry in general".
A statement from Health
The Panel's assessment will include a review of recent authoritative literature reviews as well as an assessment of recent scientific findings not included in the former. The input will be weighted and inform the Panel's assessment of proposed limits outlined in the revised Code."
In the Royal Society's guidelines of expert panel selection, it is stated: "we are trying to assemble a panel that is free of direct conflicts of interest" (page 14).
Yolande Grisé President, The Royal Society of
In a letter (3/5/13) from Consumer & Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau (CCRPB) to Sharon Noble from Citizens for Safe Technology it was written: "To clarify; the definition of an expert is considered to be a person who has special skill, training and/or knowledge in a particular field. For the purpose of review of Safety Code 6 (independent expert); an independent expert is considered to be a person who has special skill, training and/or knowledge in a particular field who is appointed by an independent self-governing body (such as the Royal Society of Canada)."
In a correspondence of Health
Results of the Expert panel process will be made public.....Health Canada committed to establishing a formal process for the independent assessment of the scientific literature in support of reviewing and updating Safety
Code 6" .."The appointment of an Expert Panel has been selected as the mean for obtaining independent expert assessment of the review of Safety code 6."
In a letter (30/5/13) from Dr. Geoffrey Flynn (Chair, Expert Panel Committee The Royal Society of Canada)
to Sharon Noble he wrote: "I believe that your major concern, with a perceived conflict of interest of some of the members and a lack of relevant expertise of others, is unfounded .Further, as described on the RSC website, our reports undergo rigorous review by independent experts, supervised by a peer review monitor, before release."
In Reality: Conflicts of interest at the Royal Society Review Expert Panel
In contrast to the beautiful statements on the importance of being independent, there are conflicts of interests in the chosen Royal Society Review Expert Panel. Prof' Dan Krewski's, who was originally chosen to be the chair of the Royal Society Review Panel 2013, has conflict of interests that was first exposed in Marketplace TV investigative program (25/11/03): Prof' Krewski, who is at the McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment at the University of Ottawa, was chosen to be one of Canada's lead scientists for the Interphone study, coordinated by the International Agency for Cancer Research IARC (IARC), the largest study ever done on cell phone cancer risk. The program found, that prof' Krewski had about a million dollars to fund his part of the research, most of it came from the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association (CWTA), the cellphone industry lobby group. Marketplace's research found that the CWTA and its members invested $1 million to help establish the R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment at the
In an article that was published in The Star newspaper (2/8/08), Krewski said in reply to the suggestion of a conflict on the Canadian arm of the Interphone study or at the university (because of CWTA funding) that "that's the way science works. The moment you mention CWTA, people start assuming they are calling the shots and that's not true. We have the tightest firewall you could imagine."
Newer information (6/8/13) was revealed by the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association (CMAJ):
Daniel Krewski had been hired to work for Industry
Krewski resigned from the Royal Society's review panel shortly after the information about his contract with the industry was exposed in public.
Kid with cell phone. Is children's safety being neglected by the authorities?
More conflicts at the Royal Society Review Expert Panel
Professor John Moulder, director of radiation biology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in
An article about Moulder's conflict of interest was published in CMAJ. The group Canadians For Safe Technology (C4ST) said that John Moulder has close industry ties and should be removed. "Mr. Moulder is an American industry consultant. He has no place influencing Canada's safety review" said Frank Clegg, Chairman of C4ST,
and a Canadian technology leader, who was President of Microsoft Canada for 14 years.
According to the website safeinschool.org, Dr. Ken Foster, another panelist, a biomedical engineer, "was hired in 2007 by the WiFi Alliance (companies that manufacture and sell WiFi products) to conduct a study to show that WiFi is 'safe'. His study focused on background radiation and averaged out exposure levels, resulting in extremely low and 'safe figures'. His study has been utilized by WiFi promoters as evidence that WiFi is safe for school children. According to MWN (14/4/11), Ken Foster "argued, back in 1987, that it was time to stop microwave health research" .
Richard Findlay, another panelist, has a company EMFcomp, that according to his website "can address the needs of companies and organizations who want to assess compliance with the current ICNIRP, IEEE guidelines", which means he will not question the thermal dogma while the BCCDC has already moved a step forward admitting in non thermal effect. He is computational physicist, not the medical/ biological expertise that is needed for examining health effects from non ionizing radiation.
Dr. Louise Lemyre, another chosen panelist, is not an expert of non ionizing radiation, but an expert of psychology. She is a fellow of the
Dr. Brian Christie, another chosen panelist, is not an expert of non ionizing radiation.
Royal Society Review of Safety Code 6: "Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunications Devices"
Documents accessed through the freedom of information act, revealed this position of Health
In a message from Geoff Flynn, Chair, Committee on Expert Panels Royal Society of Canada, it was written:
"Update to Panel Composition
Effective July 5, 2013, Professor Daniel Krewski has voluntarily stepped down from the Expert Panel. The Oversight Committee has undertaken to identify a new Chair of the Expert Panel.
Re: Federal Wi-Fi panel criticized for undisclosed conflict
In a newsletter published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on June 18, 2013, the editor of CMAJ asserts an undisclosed conflict of interest within Expert Panel on Review of Safety Code 6: Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunications Devices, and that the Society is reviewing its selection of the panel chair. The Royal Society of Canada's response to these allegations, which has been submitted for publication as a letter to the editor in CMAJ, is reproduced below.
The above newsletter reports that the Royal Society of Canada is reviewing its selection of the chair of its Expert Panel on Review of Safety Code 6: Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunications Devices, based on alleged non-disclosure of a possible conflict of interest by the chair, and possibly by other panel members. The activities of all panel members were discussed at the initial panel meeting, in accordance with the requirements of the Society's Committee on Expert Panels. At that time, none of the activities of the panel were determined to present conflicts that would compromise the ability of the panel to complete its work in objectively evaluating the scientific data on potential health effects of radiofrequency fields.
The newsletter incorrectly reports that I said that the Society is reconsidering its selection of the panel chair, and that consulting activities by panel members were not disclosed during the conflict of interest discussion. What I said was that I would refer these issues to the oversight committee for review. I have since determined that the record of the conflict of interest discussion confirms that consulting work done by panel members for federal government agencies was in fact disclosed. Although not tabled, the Industry
To ensure that the views of interested parties on the state of the science regarding radiofrequency fields and health are considered by the panel, a public consultation session with the panel will be held during the course of the panel's deliberations. These views will be given full consideration as the panel develops its report, and determines whether or not the guidelines on exposure to radiofrequency fields in the most recent update to Safety Code 6 are consistent with current scientific evidence.
Chair, Committee on Expert Panels
Royal Society of
The panel chair has also submitted a letter to the editor of CMAJ regarding incorrect statements about research funding received by Canadian academic investigators involved in international epidemiological research on the association between cellular telephone use and brain cancer risk. This letter is reproduced on the
The Royal Society of Canada regrets the misimpressions created by the CMAJ newsletter, which was written by a freelance journalist, Mr. Paul Webster, who interviewed both the Chair of the Royal Society of Canada Committee on Expert Panels and the Chair of the Expert Panel on Review of Safety Code 6.
Because of the misperceptions and controversy created by this newsletter, the panel chair has voluntarily elected to step down from the panel effective July 5, 2013. In order to avoid further occurrences of this type, the Royal Society will not comment further on the work of the Expert Panel on Safety Code 6 until the panel's final report has been completed, peer-reviewed, and submitted to Health Canada, the sponsor of this report."
Sharon Noble (Citizens for Safe Technology organization) wrote to Mr. Flynn on behalf
of the Canadian public:
"Dear Mr. Flynn,
On behalf of the Canadian public, I am shocked and ashamed at your statement regarding Dr. Krewski's conflict
of interest. Your defense of his actions, his bias, and initial appointment of him as Chair of the Expert Panel has resulted in a loss of credibility for the Royal Society. Even worse than the denial of this conflict and accusation of "misimpressions" by the Canadian Medical Association Journal is your refusal to consider further comments about the panel or the process until the report is final.
Sorry, Mr. Flynn, we are not ready to say that this controversy is over.
6 is appropriate, adequate and that no changes are needed. It has told you who to consider for the panel and which studies to review and to not tell anyone what the process or criteria is.
We, the public who are directly affected by the outcome of this review, are not going to take this any longer. Previous reviews have been held in secret, with no public input and no explanation about the results. They were done by many of the same people you selected for the current panel, and the final stance of each one was insupportable by sound, independent science.
This process must be transparent if it is to have any credibility at all. We have a right to know why the panel members were chosen, by whom, and what studies are being reviewed. Mr. Flynn, if you cannot provide the information, you must resign your position as Chair of the Committee on Expert Panels. If you are being so controlled by Health
Sharon Noble from Citizens for Safe Technology: "We are not ready to say that this controversy is over"
Royal Society Review Expert Panel's New Chair
During the preparation of this article, the composition of the Royal Society Review Expert Panel was changed, according to the website of the Royal Society: instead of prof' Daniel Krewski, The new Chair of the Panel is Dr. Paul Demers, Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and Clinical Professor with the University of British Columbia. Additionally, Dr. Bryan Kolb, FRSC, a neuroscientist from the
Dr. Demers was interviewed about occupational agents in the workplace that are known to cause cancer.
He said: "There are about 60 substances or exposures, that are known to cause cancer or for which there is at least a lot of evidence. Among the risk factors he included "different types of radiation, including both ionizing and non ionizing radiation".
Dr. Paul Demers, chair of the expert panel reviewing Safety Code 6:
non ionizing radiation is cancer risk factor
Sources for this article include:
Links to BCCDC report:
Press release of Citizens for safe Technology about the BCCDC report
Sperm counts are declining, Michael Neal http://www.iaac.ca/en/623-691-down-for-the-count-why-sperm-counts-are-declining-by-michael-neal-summer-2011
Royal Society Review Expert Panel
The importance of being independent
Royal Society's guidelines of expert panel selection
In Reality: Conflicts of interest at the Royal Society Review Expert Panel:
Marketplace program about Dan Krewski's conflict of interest:
linked to cellphone lobbyists 2/8/08 Ottawa
Original link (meanwhile changed)
Chair of Wi-Fi safety panel steps down. CMAJ September 3, 2013 185:E573. Original link (changed):
Prof' Dan Krewski's contract with the industry:
The Star about Krewski's conflict of interest
More conflicts at the Royal Society Review Expert Panel
Second Wi-Fi panel member's conflicts are problematic. CMAJ September 17, 2013 185:E605
Conflict of Interest shakes
's Review of Wireless and Cell Phone Safety http://finance.yahoo.com/news/conflict-interest-shakes-canadas-review-100000926.html Canada
Microwave News about John Moulder's conflict of interest
Sources on Ken Foster conflict of interest:
Website of Richard Findlay's company
Royal Society Review Expert Panel's New Chair
Royal Society Review Expert Panel's New Chair
Video: Dr. Paul Demers discusses occupational cancer
Expert Panel Reviewing Safety Code 6: Update: A new chair, as well as two new members have been confirmed for the expert panel reviewing Safety Code 6.
Study by Dr. Paul Demers:
Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and breast cancer in men. Am J Epidemiol. 1991 Aug 15;134(4):340-7
Data from a population-based case-control study of breast cancer in men were used to examine the hypothesis that occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields increases the risk of breast cancer. Incident cases (n = 227) diagnosed between 1983 and 1987 were obtained from 10 population-based cancer registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the National Cancer Institute. Controls (n = 300) were selected by random digit dialing and from Medicare eligibility lists. Exposure status, defined as ever having been employed in a job which has been classified as involving potential exposure to electromagnetic fields, was assigned without knowledge of case/control status. An elevated risk was found for any job with exposure (odds ratio (OR) = 1.8, 95 percent confidence interval (CI) 1.0-3.7), and risk was highest among electricians, telephone linemen, and electric power workers (OR = 6.0, 95 percent CI 1.7-21) and radio and communications workers (OR = 2.9, 95 percent CI 0.8-10). Risk did not vary with duration of exposed employment. The risk was highest among subjects who were first employed in jobs withexposure before the age of 30 years and who were initially exposed at least 30 years prior to diagnosis. These results lend support to the theory that electromagnetic fields may be related to breast cancer in men. The hypothesis warrants evaluation in women.
Microwave News about Dr. Paul Demers' study:
Male Breast Cancer Again Tied to Occupational EMF Exposures,
Support for the Johns
For further information:
Canadians for Safe Technology about Royal Society Review Expert Panel
Dr. Magda Havas about Royal Society Review Expert Panel
Dr. Paul Demers is leading a cross-Canada team of scientists, epidemiologists and health economists to try to find out how many cancer deaths and new cancer cases can be attributed to workplace factors, and the economic impact. The study examines the impact of workplace exposure to 44 known or suspected carcinogens and their links to 27 types of cancer.
Dr. Joel M. Moskowitz Director, Center for Family and
a San Francisco PBS radio station three years ago. According to Dr Moskowitz, prof' Krewski avoided addressing his criticism of the study even after the moderator asked him to. Cell Phone Safety, KQED Forum, June 14, 2010
John Moulder - "New concerns over cell phone radiation"
Conflict of interest influences EMF science