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Danger on the Air Waves

news@nhne.org

By: Geoffrey Lean

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Is The Wi-Fi Revolution A Health Time Bomb? Date: 4/23/2007 1:59:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time From: news@nhne.org Reply-to: nhnenews-owner@yahoogroups.com To: nhnenews@yahoogroups.com Sent from the Internet (Details)

Being “wired-up” used to be shorthand for being at the cutting edge, connected to all that is cool. No longer. Wireless is now the only thing to be.

Go into a Starbucks, a hotel bar or an airport departure lounge and you are bound to see people tapping away at their laptops, invisibly connected to the internet. Visit friends, and you are likely to be shown their newly installed system.

Lecture at a university and you’ll find the students in your audience tapping away, checking your assertions on the world wide web almost as soon as you make them. And now the technology is spreading like a Wi-Fi wildfire throughout Britain’s primary and secondary schools.

The technological explosion is even bigger than the mobile phone explosion that preceded it. And, as with mobiles, it is being followed by fears about its effect on health — particularly the health of children. Recent research, which suggests that the worst fears about mobiles are proving to be justified, only heightens concern about the electronic soup in which we are increasingly spending our lives.

Now, as we report today, Sir William Stewart, the man who has issued the most authoritative British warnings about the hazards of mobiles, is becoming worried about the spread of Wi-Fi. The chairman of the Health Protection Agency — and a former chief scientific adviser to the Government — is privately pressing for an official investigation of the risks it may pose.

Health concerns show no sign of slowing the wireless expansion. One in five of all adult Britons now own a wireless-enabled laptop. There are 35,000 public hotspots where they can use them, usually at a price.

In the past 18 months 1.6 million Wi-Fi terminals have been sold in Britain for use in homes, offices and a host of other buildings. By some estimates, half of all primary schools and four fifths of all secondary schools have installed them.

Whole cities are going wireless. First up is the genteel, almost bucolic, burgh of Norwich, which has installed a network covering almost the whole of its centre, spanning a 4km radius from City Hall. It takes in key sites further away, including the University of East Anglia and a local hospital, and will be expanded to take in rural parts of the south of the county.

More than 200 small aerials were attached to lamp posts to create the network, which anyone can use free for an hour. There is nothing to stop the 1,000 people who use it each day logging off when their time is up, and logging on again for another costless session.

“We wanted to see if something like this could be done,” says Anne Carey, the network’s project manager. “People are using it and finding it helpful. It is, I think, currently the largest network of its kind.”

Not for much longer. Brighton plans to launch a city-wide network next year, and Manchester is planning one covering over 400 square miles, providing free access to 2.2 million people.

So far only a few, faint warnings have been raised, mainly by people who are so sensitised to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobiles, their masts and Wi-Fi that they become ill in its presence. The World Health Organisation estimates that up to three out of every hundred people are “electrosensitive” to some extent. But scientists and doctors — and some European governments — are adding their voices to the alarm as it becomes clear that the almost universal use of mobile phones may be storing up medical catastrophe for the future.

A recent authoritative Finnish study has found that people who have used mobiles for more than ten years are 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side of the head as they hold their handset; Swedish research suggests that the risk is almost four times as great. And further research from Sweden claims that the radiation kills off brain cells, which could lead to today’s younger generation going senile in their forties and fifties.

Professor Lawrie Challis, who heads the Government’s official mobile safety research, this year said that the mobile could turn out to be “the cigarette of the 21st century”.

There has been less concern about masts, as they emit very much less radiation than mobile phones. But people living — or attending schools — near them are consistently exposed and studies reveal a worrying incidence of symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and memory problems. There is also some suggestion that there may be an increase in cancers and heart disease.

Wi-Fi systems essentially take small versions of these masts into the home and classroom — they emit much the same kind of radiation. Though virtually no research has been carried out, campaigners and some scientists expect them to have similar ill-effects. They say that we are all now living in a soup of electromagnetic radiation one billion times stronger than the natural fields in which living cells have developed over the last 3.8 billion years. This, they add, is bound to cause trouble

Prof Leif Salford, of Lund University — who showed that the radiation kills off brain cells — is also deeply worried about wi-fi’s addition to “electronic smog”.

There is particular concern about children partly because they are more vulnerable — as their skulls are thinner and their nervous systems are still developing — and because they will be exposed to more of the radiation during their lives.

The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of Wi-Fi in schools. The authorities of the province of Salzburg has already advised schools not to install it, and is now considering a ban. Dr Gerd Oberfeld, Salzburg’s head of environmental health and medicine, says that the Wi-Fi is “dangerous” to sensitive people and that “the number of people and the danger are both growing”.

In Britain, Stowe School removed Wi-Fi from part of its premises after a classics master, Michael Bevington — who had taught there for 28 years — developed headaches and nausea as soon as it was installed.

Ian Gibson, the MP for the newly wireless city Norwich is calling for an official inquiry into the risks of Wi-Fi. The Professional Association of Teachers is to write to Education Secretary Alan Johnson this week to call for one.

Philip Parkin, the general secretary of the union, says; “I am concerned that so many wireless networks are being installed in schools and colleges without any understanding of the possible long-term consequences.

“The proliferation of wireless networks could be having serious implications for the health of some staff and pupils without the cause being recognised.”

But, he added, there are huge commercial pressures” which may be why there has not yet been “any significant action”.

Guidelines that were ignored

The first Stewart Report, published in May 2000, produced a series of sensible recommendations. They included: discouraging children from using mobiles, and stopping the industry from promoting them to the young; publicising the radiation levels of different handsets so that customers could choose the lowest; making the erection of phone masts subject to democratic control through the planning system; and stopping the building of masts where the radiation “beam of greatest intensity” fell on schools, unless the school and parents agreed.

The Government accepted most of these recommendations, but then, as ‘The Independent on Sunday’ has repeatedly pointed out, failed to implement them. Probably, it has lost any chance to curb the use of mobiles by children and teenagers. Since the first report, mobile use by the young has doubled.

Cancer Study Ordered into Mobile Phones

The London Times

Saturday, January 20, 2007

BRITAIN Honours London bombsPolitics

The Times January 20, 2007

Cancer study ordered into mobile phones Philip Webster, Helen Rumbelow and Alice Miles

Government expert warns of ‘hint of a link’ 200,000 join research into long-term users

A mass study of the long-term impact of mobile phones is to be undertaken amid fears that people who have used them for more than ten years are at greater risk from brain cancer.

More than 200,000 volunteers, including long-term users, are to be monitored for at least five years to plot mobile phone use against any serious diseases they develop, including cancer and Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases.

Professor Lawrie Challis, who is in the final stages of negotiation with the Department of Health and the mobile phone industry for the £3 million that he needs to fund the study, told The Times that research has shown that mobiles are very safe in the short term but that there is a hint of something for people using them longer.

In an interview, Professor Challis, a world expert on mobile phone radiation, and chairman of the government-funded mobile telecommunications health research programme, emphasised that the hint was just that. One European study has found a slight association and using a mobile for more than ten years. The few long-term users developed more acoustic neuroma brain tumours which were found close to the ear used for phoning.

But, because of the tiny numbers involved, it could be by chance, he said. Asked whether the mobile phone could turn out to be the cigarette of the 21st century in terms of the damage it could inflict, he replied: Absolutely.

He said that the study was necessary because all the important breakthroughs in what caused cancers had shown that the effects often took more than ten years to show. You find absolutely nothing for ten years and then after that it starts to grow dramatically. It goes up ten times. You look at what happened after the atomic bombs at Nagasaki, Hiroshima. You find again a long delay, nothing for ten years. The same for asbestos.

He made plain that he was not put off because many existing studies had shown no dangers. The fact that you dont see anything in ten years is also more or less what you would expect if there is something happening, he said.

Announcing the new study, he said: Because there is a hint and because the professional epidemiologists who I trust and who do this all the time feel there is a chance that this could be real, they cant rule out the possibility. And because we all know that most cancers dont show up for more than ten years, I think you have to carry on. Its essential we carry on.

Otherwise what are we going to do? If in ten or fifteen years time people start getting trouble it wont show up until its a really big effect.

The move was welcomed by the Conservatives. Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, said: Its not scare-mongering to ask these questions for future generations. At the moment there is little evidence to suggest that use of mobile phones has any impact on health, but it is vital that there is continuing research to establish if long-term use is a danger.

Professor Challis is planning a separate study monitoring the impact of mobile phone use on children. He disagreed with the claim of some scientists that there was no cause to believe mobiles affected them differently from adults.

We all know that if youre exposed to sunlight as a kid you are much more likely to get skin cancer than if youre exposed as an adult.

He insisted that there was nothing irresponsibly alarmist about his message. Even if a risk were found, people would not have to stop using phones, but perhaps reduce their use.I do it because I think its worthwhile, he said.

Cell Makers Eye Device as Radiation Protection

New York Post By: Bill Hoffmann

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

The worlds big three cell-phone makers quietly have been working on protective devices to reduce the amount of radiation absorbed by the brain, newly discovered patents suggest. The cell-phone industry has continually insisted there is no proven link between cell phones and health problems.

But patents reviewed by the BBC suggest Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola believe otherwise. Two Nokia patent applications filed in 1995 and 1998, admit that, in the “worst case,” it is absolute scientific proof of radiation problems, the “uncertainty” of the matter is affecting the “speed of growth” of the cell-phone market.

“The strong suggestion is that they were aware of possible problems,” said Simon Best, editor of Europe’s Electromagnetic Hazard and Therapy Magazine.

Best believes the firms are preparing for a doomsday scenario in case they are forced to include protective devices with every new mobile phone. The patent documents were uncovered as the big three face multimillion-dollar legal actions by people claiming their health has been damaged.

Children at risk from Electronic Smog

The Independent

By: Geoffrey Lean

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Britain’s top health protection watchdog is pressing for a formal investigation into the hazards of using wireless communication networks in schools amid mounting concern that they may be damaging children’s health, ‘The Independent on Sunday’ can reveal.

Sir William Stewart, the chairman of the Health Protection Agency, wants pupils to be monitored for ill effects from the networks – known as Wi-Fi – which emit radiation and are being installed in classrooms across the nation.

Sir William – who is a former chief scientific adviser to the Government, and has chaired two official inquiries into the hazards of mobile phones – is adding his weight to growing pressure for a similar examination of Wi-Fi, which some scientists fear could cause cancer and premature senility.

Wi-Fi — described by the Department of Education and Skills as a “magical” system that means computers do not have to be connected to telephone lines – is rapidly being taken up inschools, with estimates that more than half of primary schools – and four-fifths of secondary schools — have installed it.

But several European provincial governments have already taken action to ban, or limit, its use in the classroom, and Stowe School has partially removed it after a teacher became ill.

This week the Professional Association of Teachers, which represents 35,000 staff across the country, will write to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education, to demand an official inquiry. Virtually no studies have been carried out into Wi-Fi’s effects on pupils, but it gives off radiation similar to emissions from mobile phones and phone masts.

Recent research has linked radiation from mobiles to cancer and to brain damage. And many studies have found disturbing symptoms in people near masts.

Professor Olle Johansson, of Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institute, who is deeply concerned about the spread of Wi-Fi, says there are “thousands” of articles in scientific literature demonstrating “adverse health effects”. He adds: “Do we not know enough already to say, ‘Stop!’?”

For the past 16 months, the provincial government of Salzburg in Austria has been advising schools not to install Wi-Fi, and is considering a ban. Dr Gerd Oberfeld, its head of environmental health and medicine, calls the technology “dangerous”.

Sir William — who takes a stronger position on the issue than his agency — was not available for comment yesterday, but two members of an expert group that he chairs on the hazards of radiation spoke of his concern.

Mike Bell, chairman of the Electromagnetic Radiation Research Trust, says that he has been “very supportive of having Wi-Fi examined and doing something about it”. And Alasdair Philips, director of Powerwatch, an information service, said that he was pressing for monitoring of the health of pupils exposed to Wi-Fi.

Labour MP Ian Gibson, who was interviewed with Sir William for a forthcoming television programme, last week said that he backed proposals for an inquiry.

Are Mobile Phones Wiping Out Bees?

By: Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross

Monday, April 16, 2007

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious ‘colony collapse’ of bees By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross Published: 15 April 2007 It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world’s harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world – the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon – which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe – was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees’ navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive’s inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London’s biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: “There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK.”

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.

German research has long shown that bees’ behaviour changes near power lines.

Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a “hint” to a possible cause.

Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: “I am convinced the possibility is real.”

Evidence of dangers to people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof is still lacking, largely because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer, take decades to show up.

Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.

Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today’s teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.

Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically, doctors have identified the condition of “text thumb”, a form of RSI from constant texting.

Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official inquiries, warned that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a series of safety recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.

Mobile Phones Boost Brain Tumor Risk By Up To 270%

International Journal of Cancer

By: M.T. Whitney

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Using a cell phone regularly  even a modern one  raises the risk of developing a brain tumor for many users, a new Finnish study published online in the International Journal of Cancer. The study, done by a collection of researchers from many universities and led by Anna Lahkola of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, found firm corollary evidence that using a cell phone causes the risk of getting a brain tumor called a glioma to rise by 40 to 270 percent on the side of the head preferred for using the phone. Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | bottom line

What you need to know – Conventional View ” The study compared 1,521 cellular phone users who received a glioma to 3,301 control participants without tumors. ” For people who have used a modern cellular phone for more than 2000 hours in their lifetime, the risk of getting a brain tumor rose by 270 percent.

” The study is considered the second that firmly correlates cell phone usage with an increased risk of developing certain brain tumors.

” The risk was highest among people under the age of 20.

” Older-style analog cell phones already have been shown as a source of brain tumors, but even with the development of digital cellular phones, the risk is still there.

” According to a scientist associated with the web site foodconsumer.org, the study results should not make readers assume that ten years of cell phone use will correlate to an immediate tumor, but that the tumor will show up later than that.

What you need to know – Alternative View ” Mobile phone manufacturers have tried to suppress the dangers of mobile phones by funding their own distorted research that concludes the phones are perfectly safe. ” All people — but children and teens especially — should be warned against using mobile phones due to the increased risk of brain tumors.

Mobiles Linked to Tumours

The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

By: Bellinda Kontominas

Friday, January 26, 2007

January 26, 2007

LONG TERM mobile phone users are more likely to develop a particular type of brain tumour on the side of the head where they hold their handsets, research suggests.

The study, to be published later this year in the International Journal of Cancer, found that those who regularly used mobiles for longer than 10 years were almost 40 per cent more likely to develop nervous system tumours, called gliomas, near where they hold their phones.

It is the second study to suggest the increased risk of a specific type of brain tumour because of mobile phone emissions.

A number of other studies have found no increased health risks associated with mobile use.

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland compared the mobile phone use of 1521 people with gliomas with that of 3301 people without them. Gliomas develop in glial cells – tissue that provides energy, nutrients and other support for nerve cells in the brain.

Before separating out long-term users or looking at the different risks of developing tumours on the side where users held the phone, the scientists found no link between mobile use and gliomas.

But when they focused only on those who had used a mobile for 10 years or more they found that they were 39 per cent more likely than those in the general population to develop a glioma on the side of their head where they held their handset.

The chief executive of the Cancer Council of Australia, Professor Ian Olver, said the study was not conclusive as it had only found the link when it looked at a much smaller sample.

While any dangers of short-term use had been all but disproved, there might still be effects of long-term use, he said. “The best that I can say about this study is that it warrants a bigger study on the effects of mobile phones on long-term users.”

Men Who Use Mobile Phones Face Increased Risk Of Infertility

London Daily mail

By: Jenny Hope

Monday, October 23, 2006

Men who use mobile phones could be risking their fertility, warn researchers.

A new study shows a worrying link between poor sperm and the number of hours a day that a man uses his mobile phone.

Those who made calls on a mobile phone for more than four hours a day had the worst sperm counts and the poorest quality sperm, according to results released yest at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans.

Doctors believe the damage could be caused by the electromagnetic radiation emitted by handsets or the heat they generate.

The findings suggest millions of men may encounter difficulties in fathering a child due to the widespread use of mobile phones and offers another possible explanation for plummeting fertility levels among British males.

Sperm counts among British men have fallen by 29 per cent over the past decade, a drop which has also been blamed on increasing obesity, smoking, stress, pollution and ‘gender-bending’ chemicals which disrupt the hormone system.

The latest study backs up previous research which indicated a link between mobile phone use and sperm quality, but it is the biggest and best designed to date.

US researchers in Cleveland and New Orleans, and doctors in Mumbai, India, looked at more than 360 men undergoing checks at a fertility clinic who were classified into three groups according to their sperm count.

Men who used a mobile for more than four hours a day had a 25 per cent lower sperm count than men who never used a mobile.

The men with highest usage also had greater problems with sperm quality, with the swimming ability of sperm – a crucial factor in conception – down by a third.

They had a 50 per cent drop in the number of properly formed sperm, with just one-fifth looking normal under a microscope.

Professor Ashok Agarwal, director of the Reproductive Research Centre at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, who led the study, said “Almost a billion people are using cell phones around the world and the number is growing in many countries at 20 to 30 per cent a year.

“In another five years the number is going to double. People use mobile phones without thinking twice what the consequences may be.

“It is just like using a toothbrush but mobiles could be having a devastating effect on fertility. It still has to be proved but it could have a huge impact because mobiles are so much part of our lives.”

Altogether 361 men in the study were divided into four groups, with 40 never using a mobile, 107 men using them for less than two hours a day, 100 men using them for two-four hours daily and 114 making calls for four or more hours a day.

The main finding was that on four measures of sperm potency – count, motility, viability and morphology, or appearance – there were significant differences between the groups.

The greater the use of mobile phones, the greater the reduction in each measure. Prof Agarwal said “This was very clear and very significant. Many in the lowest group for sperm count would be below normal as defined by the World Health Organisation.”

The WHO says a normal sperm count is above 20 million per millilitre of seminal fluid. “There was a significant decrease in the most important measures of sperm health with cell phone use and that should definitely be reflected in a decrease in fertility” he said.

Motility measures the swimming ability of sperm, viability measures whether non-swimming sperm are still alive while morphology is the appearance compared to the norm.

Although the men were seeking fertility treatment at a clinic in Mumbai, not all would have had a problem – it could be their partners, he added.

Prof Agarwal said the most likely mechanism was damage to sperm-making cells in the testes caused by electromagnetic radiation or heat, although a fall in hormone production could also affect sperm motility and sperm DNA.

He said: “These cells in the testes have been shown to be susceptible to electromagnetic waves in previous research in animals.

“Somehow electromagnetic waves may be causing direct damage to these cells and that perhaps causes a decrease in sperm production.”

Mobiles may also increase temperature in the groin, if a man was wearing it on a belt or carrying it around in a pocket.

Prof Agarwal said it was too early to advise men trying to start a family about whether they should limit their mobile phone use. He said “We still have a long way to go to prove this but we have just had another study approved.”

More than 40 million people in Britain are thought to use mobile phones. Alasdair Philips, director of the consumer pressure group Powerwatch said “It’s a plausible link between the amount of time spent using a mobile phone and a possible effect on male fertility.

“The eyes, breasts and testicles are the areas of the body most likely to absorb the energy and many men carry their mobiles attached to their belt.”

Sending text messages uses less power than talking but it can be a more intense emission of radiation, especially on trains, he said.

The Child Scrambler

Ralph Moss/Cancer decisions

Monday, October 16, 2006

Scientists have discovered that a call lasting just two minutes can alter the natural electrical activity of a child’s brain for up to an hour afterwards.

What a mobile can do to a youngster’s brain in 2 mins

THESE are the first images that show the shocking effect that using a mobile phone has on a child’s brain.

Scientists have discovered that a call lasting just two minutes can alter the natural electrical activity of a child’s brain for up to an hour afterwards.

And they also found for the first time how radio waves from mobile phones penetrate deep into the brain and not just around the ear.

The study by Spanish scientists has prompted leading medical experts to question whether it is safe for children to use mobile phones at all.

Doctors fear that disturbed brain activity in children could lead to psychiatric and behavioural problems or impair learning ability.

It was the first time that human guinea pigs were used to measure the effects of mobile phone radiation on children. The tests were carried out on an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl called Jennifer.

Using a CATEEN scanner, linked to a machine measuring brain wave activity, researchers were able to create the images above.

The yellow coloured part of the scan on the right shows how radiation spreads through the centre of the brain and out to the ear on the other side of the skull. The scans found that disturbed brain wave activity lasted for up to an hour after the phone call ended.

Dr Gerald Hyland — a Government adviser on mobiles — says he finds the results “extremely disturbing”.

“It makes one wonder whether children, whose brains are still developing, should be using mobile phones,” he adds.

“The results show that children’s brains are affected for long periods even after very short-term use.

“Their brain wave patterns are abnormal and stay like that for a long period.

“This could affect their mood and ability to learn in the classroom if they have been using a phone during break time, for instance.

“We don’t know all the answers yet, but the alteration in brain waves could lead to things like a lack of concentration, memory loss, inability to learn and aggressive behaviour.”

Previously it had been thought that interference with brain waves and brain chemistry stopped when a call ended.

The results of the study by the Spanish Neuro Diagnostic Research Institute in Marbella coincide with a new survey that shows 87 per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds own mobile phones and 40 per cent of them spend 15 minutes or more talking each day on them. And disturbingly, 70 per cent said they would not change the use of their phone even if advised to by the Government.

Dr Hyland plans to publish the latest findings in medical journal The Lancet next year.

He said: “This information shows there really isn’t a safe amount of mobile phone use. We don’t know what lasting damage is being done by this exposure.

“If I were a parent I would now be extremely wary about allowing my children to use a mobile even for a very short period. My advice would be to avoid mobiles.”

Dr Michael Klieeisen, who conducted the study, said: “We were able to see in minute detail what was going on in the brain.

“We never expected to see this continuing activity in the brain.

“We are worried that delicate balances that exist — such as the immunity to infection and disease — could be altered by interference with chemical balances in the brain.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “In children mobile phone use should be restricted to very short periods of time.”

Cell Phones! Invisible Hazards Of The Wireless Age

Common ground magazine

By: Amanda Brown

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 2006

Cell phones Invisible hazards of the wireless age

Few people would be surprised to hear that cell phones are unhealthy. But how many of us actually know the degree of damage they cause, the extent of the cover-up by the industry, or that there is a viable solution? Dr. George Carlo, a mobile phone industry whistleblower, recently presented a talk in Vancouver about how electropollution from wireless technology can cause brain damage, cancer and an array of mental illnesses. I checked his facts against recent, peer-reviewed scientific papers and the results were startling. Dr. Carlo explained why the industrys user manuals dont warn of these health hazards: currently, there are pending class action lawsuits against them, which threaten to expose the entire industry, similar to the cases brought against Big Tobacco, and the asbestos and silicone breast implant industries. But what really shone brightly in Dr. Carlos message were his realistic solutions. One option is to have fibre-optic cables running underground to our curbs to shorten the distance and power necessary for the wireless signals. According to Dr. Carlo, this option requires an ongoing search for the diamond politician or activist who will take the lead. Its important to get the facts straight. Dr. Carlo, a scientist hired by the cell phone industry in the 90s, now believes cell phones are the greatest health hazard of our time. In his view, there is no question that mobile phones cause terrible health consequences. It seemed prudent to independently check the recent, peer-reviewed scientific literature to see if his mid-1990s results are supported today. A quick search revealed five excellent studies from 2006 that provide strong evidence of serious problems from electromagnetic signals from cell phones. In contrast, several review studies that pooled results from 10 to 20 other studies suggested the evidence isnt conclusive either way. However, these reviews may have been diluted by the inclusion of some studies with ties to telecommunication industry funders. One author cited in these studies is affiliated with on Australian institute that has an FAQ web page full of suspicious PR (see www.acrbr.org.au/FAQ.htm). The website states this group of scientists has agreed, by committee, on the science they want to do: essentially, that which shows cell phones are harmless, and they will focus their research accordingly. Very revealing PR. Dr. Carlo also found that among more than 300 studies completed over the past six years, those funded by the industry are more than six times more likely to find nothing wrong than studies that are funded independently. Dr. Carlo explained in detail his theory of how cell phones cause brain damage. It begins with the wave. The signals use carrier waves of around 1,900 megahertz (MHz), which are so high in frequency that they pass right through us, and our houses, unnoticed. But harmful information-carrying waves are packed into the carrier waves. These information waves, which carry signals that can be decoded by our computers and mobile phones, are low-frequency waves in the range of one hertz (Hz). Thats slow. So slow that our cells can feel them as an aggravating, physical jolt at their surfaces. Within 30 seconds or so of bombardment, our cells temporarily shut down their surface transport and intercellular communication functions, to resist further damage from threatening invaders. Normally, small threats to cells cause them to send out chemical signals to neighbouring cells that tell them to protect themselves from invaders, and they signal for help from our immune systems T-cells. But bombardment from mobile phone waves causes whole areas of cells and tissues to shut down their surfaces, stopping the active transport of good and bad stuff in and out of the cell, without time to signal a warning to other cells. Further, the shut down of gap junction communication pathways compromises tissue and organ functions, including the immune system. Free radicals build up inside the cells so they eventually die and spill toxins and fragmented DNA into the space between cells. There, micronuclei form as a result of membranes becoming organized around broken bits of DNA. These micronuclei wreak havoc, disrupting cell function and allowing cancers to form. That is how, as Dr. Carlo explains, both benign and malignant tumours are caused by wireless signals. He suggests a similar process occurs at the blood-brain barrier that protects our delicate neurons and their tiny sophisticated chemical signals from contaminants in our blood. Once cells in the barrier are shut down by mobile phone waves, all kinds of big, toxic molecules enter our neural spaces where they can cause many problems, among them autism spectrum disorders, which include some types of anxiety attacks, hyperactivity, ADD, problems with focussing, mild and severe autism, hyper-irritability and others. Based on levels of adult cell phone use in the 90s, Dr. Carlo predicts 40,000 to 50,000 new cases of brain and eye cancer caused by mobile phones each year worldwide. By 2010, he estimates the number to be near a half million cases. Given that Dr. Carlos prediction derives from conditions in the 90s  average use of 500 to 1,000 minutes per month, with little or no wireless background signal  the numbers are bound to be higher. Increasingly, we are blasted by wireless signals all day long, both at home and at work. In certain closed spaces, such as cars or buses, the signals are intensely amplified as they bounce around, trapped. Data, so far, suggest there is no safe level, only a probable safe duration of exposure. Our cells may not be damaged until after about 30 seconds of bombardment from wireless phone signals. Dr. Carlo also suggests our cells can be imprinted so they remember the disruption and pass it down to future cells. This may be why some people seem to have heightened sensitivity, experienced as sudden unexplained anxiety when walking past a wireless hotspot. While peer-reviewed studies have not yet been done to directly address this claim, most of us have experienced the effects of an information-carrying signal that disrupts sensitive objects around us, like the car stereo. Although additional research is required, our instincts are probably right; these signals have an effect and it is unnerving. So why dont our cell phones and wireless cards come with a Use at your own risk label and a warning that there is evidence they may be harmful? The crux of the problem is historical. Mobile phones were exempted from pre-market safety testing in the 80s because they were presented as merely low-powered devices, taking the onus off the industry to prove their safety. This was a problem for advocates and opponents alike. Industry found it necessary to prove they were safe to defend against claims such as the cell phone related brain cancer death of Deborah Reynard in 1993. Reynards cancer was unusual, growing from the outside to the inside of her head, at the precise location of her mobile phone antenna. Following that case, the industry began to fund its own researchers to study the health effects of cell phones, but it struck a deal with the regulating bodies that stipulated they would only research the damaging effects of cell phones as long as they could remain unregulated until all the research was done. Thats when the industry hired Dr. Carlo. Even before Dr. Carlos groups research was published, the industry began to file for patents on devices to make them safe, but these depended on proof that cell phones posed a danger. It was a classic Catch-22, leading to a cascade of hypocritical acts by the industry as it sought safer technologies, while at the same time printing users manuals stating that cell phones were not harmful. The industry was obviously aware that Dr. Carlo was a threat; since his findings, he has been threatened, physically attacked, defamed and his house mysteriously burned down. By 1998, his groups research showed that the nearfield electromagnetic plume of seven or eight inches around the antenna of the cell phone caused leakage in the blood brain barrier, as well as rare neural-epithelial cancers and double to triple the risk of benign and malignant brain tumours. Then theres the story of Milt Bowling, Canadas most outspoken mobile phone critic and head of the Electromagnetic Radiation Task Force (ERTFC). In the 90s, Bowling was catapulted into an all-consuming battle with the industry when it attempted to erect a cell tower on the roof of his sons school. It became outrageous when one company implanted a mobile phone transmitter inside a church cross and donated it to the church across from the school. Bowlings story appeared on the Fifth Estate in 1997 and made waves around the world. His chief concern now is that our safety regulations are ridiculously outdated, only requiring limits for radiation high enough to heat body tissue by one degree celsius within six minutes. He says this is like saying if it doesnt cook you, theres no problem. Clearly, science shows problems prior to the tissue heating. Given the threat of public opposition roused by activists such as Dr. Carlo, and Bowling here in Vancouver, why dont our governments establish more restrictions? Vested interests are a huge problem. Governments know they can only charge a tiny fee for licensing alternatives, such as fibre-optics, whereas they can charge a fortune for wireless bandwiths, totalling several billion dollars in the US. So governments have taken the path-most-paying. As an example, to pay for initial, expensive, wireless infrastructure (towers), industry made agreements with regulators (e.g. the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC in the US) that the big companies could pay 10 percent down and leave the cell phone users to pay off the remainder. This may be the reason for the aggressive marketing of mobile phone plans to teens; theres a big debt to pay off. The industrys need to cover-up the hazards of wireless technology has been fuelled not only by fear of lost profits, but also by fear of bankruptcy. Insurance companies gradually withdrew all coverage for claims relating to health problems from cell phones following the first studies showing they were dangerous. Today, there are seven pending class action suits against the mobile phone industry; one successful lawsuit alone could bankrupt a company by setting a precedent for other pending lawsuits. It took just one such lawsuit each to bring down the silicone breast implant and asbestos industries. A more frightening side of all of this is that the cell/wireless industries represent such an enormous portion of the stock market. If they caved in suddenly, the ripples could be catastrophic. We all need to be sensible. Expose the truth, plan for changes and move swiftly and intelligently towards a better, less wireless world.

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