This is a backup of the savedereel.com website for posterity.

EMR AND RFR updated news from around the world April 2011 to July 2012

TELECOMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATION – proposed changes brought by MP Andrew Wilkie

The Government listens to the carriers – not the public as evident in the Telecommunications Inquiry brought by MP Andrew Wilkie in March 2012.  Legislation in 12 amendments proposed by Mr Wilkie in September 2011 which sought to ensure that communities are better consulted about the location of mobile phone base stations were all rejected by the ‘Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications’, including one amendment that disallowed the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) from having regard to the commercial interests of carriers when deciding whether a facility is important to the network.  The Committee noted the considerable community concern about radiation exposure from towers, but conveniently considered these important matters were ‘out of their scope’.  The report said ‘this Committee was not established to, and does not seek to, make findings regarding EME/EMR levels’.  However, the committee did consider the increased cost to the telecommunications industry that would result from the adoption of Mr Wilkie’s amendments – costs that could be around $2.2 billion.  The mobile telecommunications industry contributed $17.4 billion to the Australian economy in 2008 to 2010, and it will contribute over $80 billion and generate an additional 70,000 jobs over the next ten years if the current proliferation of towers and digital technology continues as planned.

There were 77 submissions to the Inquiry mostly from the public but the public were not allowed to participate in the so-called ‘Public Hearing’ conducted by the Committee on 17th February 2012.  Instead, the Committee heard from the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association and the Communications Alliance – both these represented the telecommunications industry, and from the government.

THE GREENS’ TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER BILL 2011  –  Senator Bob Brown

Two months after the Wilkie bill was rejected by the Committee, the Green’s telecommunications bill met the same fate.  The bill was introduced into the Senate by Senator Bob Brown.  It aimed to increase consultation requirements on carriers and required the government department called ARPANSA to review its radiofrequency radiation standards every five years.  In May 2012, the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee issued its report on the bill saying:

‘The committee acknowledges the potential costs and unintended consequences associated with the bill.  It is the committee’s view that these costs and unintended consequences suggest the bill is impractical and would not effectively resolve the concerns it is seeking to address’.  ‘On that basis, the committee recommends that the bill not be passed’.  Senator Bob Brown said the current telecommunications regulations are inadequate. ‘The Australian Greens share the concerns of many in the community that the current consultation provisions are inadequate and that communities should have a right to be more involved in the location of mobile phone towers and engaged in the decision making process, and that the legislation should provide for this’

The Greens bill in the Senate clearly showed the telecommunications industry is self regulated and that they control the entire process along with government departments called ACMA and ARPANSA – they do as they want without any repercussions.  The public have no ability to be able to bring change or to protect themselves from this prolific carcinogen.

Only 21 out of the 18,000 towers around Australia have been tested for compliance.  New towers being erected are only given estimates of exposure in percentages of the maximum allowable level of 300GHz and not as an actual figure. Neither has it been checked or measured by an independent source after the tower erection.  A third of the countries (9 out of 27) have substantially lower exposure levels than Australia, but none of our government department watchdogs of microwave radiation pulsed from towers have done anything to reduce this country’s level.  They have ignored this information.  While the money from the telecommunications industry continues flooding in, the government continues to ignore the health problems.  This inquiry clearly shows that the Telecommunications Industry is self regulated and that they place towers wherever they please without the public having the ability to save themselves from this high frequency microwave radiation being pulsed out at them causing adverse health effects, then disease, often followed by death as the final result.  Transcript of Senate Inquiry can be found at: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlinfo/search/display/display.w3p:query=Id:%22committees/commsen/94b2ce9a-68d1-42f7-a0b1-0528fba43783/0001%22

Australia’s Phone Tower Code

The Board of the Communications Alliance approved a revised Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry code on 08.12.11.  This code governs the behaviour of carriers and their agents in siting and operating base stations, consulting with councils and communities.  The revised code has some slight advantages over the previous versions of the code such as providing longer consultation periods for councils and communities.  However, it does not ensure that carriers will respect communities’ wishes not to have the base stations, so eventually the carriers will still to do as they please unless they are met with vigorous public and council opposition.  The Code will be enforceable under the Telecommunications Act and regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), effective from 01.07.12.

TELECOMMUNICATION INDUSTRY HEALTH PROBLEM KNOWLEDGE SINCE 1990’S

A secret industry report compiled in the year 2000 by a German Mobile Telecommunications company named T-Mobil in Germany (similar to Telstra in Australia) found profound and proven adverse health effects were proven and at levels of exposure far below this country’s allowable limit of 300GHz.  That report was kept secret until T-Mobil employee whistle blower managed to flee and gave it to the British group HESSE who published it in 2006. The report sited evidence linking exposure by mobile telecommunications systems to increased risk of cancer, DNA damage, chromosome aberrations, changes to enzymes, changes in brain, interruption of cell cycle and cellular communication, debilitation of the immune system and changes to the central nervous system.

“A multitude of studies found the type of damage from high frequency electromagnetic fields which is important for cancer initiation and cancer promotion” said the author. 
T-Mobil’s report found that these effects from mobile telecommunications were proven and for levels of radiation far below those currently permitted by International Standards. 

Telstra  -  ‘Bad for Business’

Telstra has admitted that a link between electromagnetic radiation and health problems could ‘negatively affect’ its business.  In its 2004 Annual Report, Innovation Everywhere, Telstra states:-

“While to date we have been able to obtain limited insurance against these risks, the preparedness of insurers to give this type of insurance cover is reducing and even this limited insurance cover may not continue to be economically viable.  There is a risk therefore that an actual or perceived health risk associated with mobile telecommunications equipment and facilities could:
(a)   lead to litigation against us
(b)   adversely affect us by reducing the number or the growth rate of mobile telecommunications
       services or lowering usage per customer
(c)   precipitate the imposition  of more onerous applicable legal requirements which are more difficult
       or costly to comply with, or
(d)   hinder us in installing new mobile telecommunications equipment and facilities.
Any of these, or a combination of more than one could have a negative effect on our results or financial position.”

John Patterson is one of Australia’s leading radiation experts

A telecommunications engineer who has been at the forefront of technology for more than 30 years.  John has worked with every communications technology there is and completed 54 engineering courses to keep up to date. He was the problem solver for other radiation experts in his field.

He was sacked instantly when he revealed his devastating health findings in 1997 in an Occupational Health and Safety report that stated:-
 the measurement’ of radiation was a “dangerous occurrence”. 

This is the highest rated danger on the Occupational Health and Safety scale and meant that by law the installation should have been shut down immediately.  Other staff members who found out about this radiation measurement were also sacked without warning. 

John said that digital mobile phone technology uses a combination of frequencies that he was taught were too dangerous to be used together.  He said it was only designed to create new channels for interstate communications and for undersea cables, but not to be spewed out at the public. John says digital radiation from mobile phones and base stations will cause a complete collapse’ in humans.

As early as 1978 John was trained by the Overseas Telecommunications Commission in ‘radiation awareness’ and they advised him to keep a diary of his experiences with the cutting edge radiation emitting technology with which he worked.  At that stage, no one knew what the effects would be.

All too soon John was to find out.  As his career progressed, John became a very sick man.  ‘The more I was exposed to, the sicker I became’, he said.  The crunch came after tow mobile phone base stations were installed – one on either side of his workplace.  By that stage, John was having regular heart attacks which continued for four years.  In his impeccably-maintained diaries, John detailed the health effects that he observed in himself and other workers, many of whom later died.  ‘Telecom had a very high number of suicides’, he said.  The symptoms he observed, in order of occurrence, included:

(John saw at least 1,000 workers with similar skin problems).

The concern for John is that the symptoms he once saw only in exposed workers, he is now seeing in members of the public – including very young children.

John’s demolition of the six mobile phone base stations in 2007

After being dismissed by Telstra for exposing the truth in his OH&S report, John proceeded down the legislative channels that were available to him.  He then contacted Standards Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), the Local Government Association, Federal Parliament and finally the military.  None of these agencies provided any support, though some authorities confirmed that John’s measurements and his conclusion were both correct.  Finally a parliamentary committee concluded that John should deal with the problem in his local area.  So he did.  On 14th July 2007, John appropriated a former British army tank and destroyed six mobile phone base station infrastructures around the Mt Druitt area of Sydney, before his vehicle stalled at the site of the seventh base station and he surrendered to police.  He spent 20 months in jail. Why did he do it?  According to John, mobile phones and their base stations pose a devastating risk to human life, to nature and to the planet that supports it.

As you would imagine, John does not use a mobile phone – nor do people who have spent time with him.  However, he does own an impressive array of technical equipment with which he is able to measure the effects of this and similar technologies.  This puts him in a strong position to offer independent technical advice that very few others can. 

John has identified a number of problems with Australia’s radiation protection standards:-

‘The old Australia / New Zealand Standard C95.1 stated that there should be only one pulse every ten minutes’.  However, this was removed in the subsequent standard (AS2772.1) and there is no current restriction on the number of pulses to which a person can be exposed.  In one office, John measured 33,400 pulses per second! This is over 20 million times the number of pulses considered ‘safe’ in the old standard!  Current international standards are based on heat, which John considers to be an inappropriate basis for addressing health effects.  ‘We should measure the relationship of the electromagnetic field to the bio-electric field’, he says.  John was interviewed by Laura Sparks on Channel 7’s Today / Tonight TV program on 12th March 2012 when he spoke of the dangers of microwave radiation pulsed out at the public from towers, and suggested the approximate length of time one has living in its’ path due to disease.

Sir William Stewart, Chairman of Mobile phones and health: ‘A report from an independent expert group on mobile phones’. (The Stewart Report 11th May, 2000:  www.iegmp.org.uk/report/text/.htm)
It says:  The need for additional impartial scientific research appears warranted to address such concerns for everyone’s benefit and that of the planet.
(www.scribd.com/doc/27837731/Power-Density-Radio-Frequency-Non-Ionizing-Radiation)

Book to read by Professor Devra Davis titled ‘Disconnect – The Truth about mobile phone
radiation, what the industry has done to hide it, and how to protect your family’ - 
Published by Scribe, Melbourne, 2010

ELECTROMAGNETIC HYPERSENSITIVITY (EHS) is increasing rapidly.

The Council of Europe has called for strong precautions to protect the public from electromagnetic radiation, including new exposure limits and measures to limit children’s exposure.  The Resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27th May 2011.  The prestigious European body represents 47 member nations.  It does not impose policy on member governments, but is highly influential in the development of policy.  The Resolution that electromagnetic radiation is ‘one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences’ and that people are exposed to radiation from mobile phones, wireless networks and  approximately 1.5 million base stations.  Electromagnetic signals from electrical or communications technology appear to have more or less potentially harmful, non-thermal biological effects on plants, insects and animals as well as the human body even when exposed to levels that are below the official threshold values’, the Resolution states.  It also recommends the use of wired – rather than wireless radiation connections in classrooms and strict regulation of mobile phone use by children in schools.  It also proposes information programs aimed at educating teachers, parents and children about the ‘specific risks of early, ill-considered and prolonged use of mobiles and other devices emitting microwaves’.  To reduce the exposure of communities, it advocates keeping high voltage powerlines away from homes and allowing communities to have a say in the siting of base stations.  The Resolution asks member states to consider the adequacy of the standards set by the International Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  It suggests that these ‘have serious limitations’ and that the ALARA (as low as reasonably possible) principal be employed instead.  The Resolution recognizes that some people suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and recommends that governments introduce measures to protect them, including the creation of radiation-free zones.  Further recommendations include a need to fund independent research and to protect scientists who sound early warnings of risk from EMR.  In his report on the committee’s deliberation of 6th May 2011, Mr Jean Huss said, ‘there are sufficient signs or levels of scientific evidence of harmful biological effects to invoke the application of the precautionary principle of effective, urgent preventative measures’.  His report called into question the adequacy of existing international standards.  ‘It is most curious that the applicable official threshold values were drawn up and proposed to international political institutions by the INCIRP by an NGO whose origin and structure are none too clear and which is furthermore suspected of having rather close links with the industries who expansion is shaped by recommendations for maximum threshold values’.

It also stated that standards protect only against short-term heating effects of radiation and are orders of magnitude too high.  They permit exposure from GSM mobile phone technology of 41/42 volts per meter (V/m), but the report recommends limits of no more than 0.6 V/m indoors, to be reduced to 0.2 V/m in the future.  Mr Huss wrote, ‘there is evidence of harmful effects of radiation at levels well below international standards’.  ‘Serious scientific and medical studies revealing biological effects of a pathological nature have existed since the 1930’s concerning radio frequencies and microwaves from radar installations.  Mr Huss referred to the 2004 REFLEX report which found evidence of harmful genetic effects such as chromosome damage, DNA breaks, changes to gene expression and the release of stress proteins.  The 2010 Interphone study found evidence that long term mobile phone use increases the risk fro brain tumors.  The Resolution of the European Council is available at:  (http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link=/Documents/AdoptedText/tall/ERES1815.htm)

The Finance Court of Cologne in Germany has affirmed the right of a woman to claim medical and shielding costs for addressing her electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).  The court accepted a medical certificate about the woman’s condition and a report from a building biologist about the high levels of radiofrequency radiation in her apartment and awarded her costs.

A group of Spanish lawyers, medical professionals and community representatives met with delegates from the Health and Environment Department of the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2011.  Its aim was to request that the WHO recognize EHS and multiple chemical sensitivity in the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (the ICD), which will shortly be updated.  At present the Spanish association ASQUIFYDE is preparing a submission to the WHO on this issue.  Submissions are also being prepared in other countries.

Dr. David McCarry and US colleagues say electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is real according to a study soon to be published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.
(McCarry, D et al, Int J Neuroscience, 2011).

In Canada, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association released a position paper on the risks of wireless radiation in the workplace saying wireless radiation is a possible health risk and should not be used in schools or workplaces.  It says ’Wide spread use of, or exposure to wireless communications devices and WiFi technology in Ontario schools, can be positioned as a potential workplace hazard’.  Health Canada and other international authorities recommended precautions to reduce children’s exposure to radio frequency radiation from mobile phones.  The OECTA paper says, ‘Radiofrequency radiation is emitted by WiFi technology in schools’.  ‘Implementation of WiFi Technology in schools will produce unprecedented exposure to microwave radiation’.  The OECTA Committee also expressed concerns about the adequacy of the Canadian Radiation Protection Standards known as Safety Code 6(SC6).  The SC6 guideline is based on a very short term (6 minute average) exposure in an adult male.  It does not take into consideration longer term exposure or effects on smaller individuals and young children.  SC6 considers only thermal (heat based) tissue effects and does not consider other biological effects of the radiation to access safety.  It points out that other countries have lower limits.  Among ‘other biological effects’ referred to by the committee are the symptoms of electromagnetic sensitivity (EHS).  It says, ‘there are reports of a number of immediate biological effects that are experienced with exposure, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, weakness, pressure in the head, and a racing or fluttering heart (tachycardia)’.  The committee says ‘there is a need to accommodate environmental sensitivities which currently affect over one million people’.  Environmental sensitivities are classified as a disability by the Canadian Human Rights code which requires workplaces to accommodate sufferers. 

The Committee’s recommendations include: 
(a)  Wired rather than wireless radiation technologies should be used.
(b)  New buildings should be wired for internet connects to avoid the use of wireless radiation. 
The report called ‘A position regarding the use of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation, including WiFi in the workplace’ is available to members from the OECTA website at http://www.oecta.on.ca

MP Mikel Arona put forward a motion to the Basque Parliament urging the Parliament to request that the World Health Organization include on its International Classification of Diseases the condition of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). (http://www.elcorreo.com/alava/v/20110724/pvasco-espana/enfermos-cronicos-segun-parliamento-20110724.html)

In Belgium, three members of parliament from the Greens Party introduced a resolution on EHS to the House of Representatives on 20th July 2011.  The Resolution called on the Federal Government to implement the following measures:

In Spain, a Madrid Court has officially recognized the condition of E-stress (EHS) which was published in the September 2011 Medico/legal journal.  The court ruled that a college professor with chronic fatigue and environmental and electromagnetic hypersensitivity was disabled and granted him a disability allowance equivalent to his salary.
(Grupo Medico Legal, Hypersensitivity to the waves produced by mobile phone radiation becomes a new cause of permanent disability’, News of Forensic Medicine and Law, News of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Disability News, September 2011)
(http://www.noticiasmedicas.es/medicina/noticias/10451/1/La-hipersensibilidad-a-las-ondas-que-producen-los-telefonos-moviles-seconvierte-en-una-nueva-causa-de-incapacidad-permanente/Page1.hml)

A PhD thesis, was completed by Eva Rut-Lindberg in Sweden on designing buildings for people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity.  It contains information about homes that are free of electricity and can be shielded against RF radiation.  It also contains a survey on facilities available for people with EHS in different local government areas.  (http://kth.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:455407).

In Germany, the State Government of Baden-Württemberg introduced a raft of new measures in 2011 on wireless wifi technologies.  These included:

A German district judge has spoken publicly about her electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).  Barbara “Domberger, who worked at the local court in Augsburg, has had to leave her home and move to a secluded, low radiation area in the Wehra Valley.  She believes that her condition is not psychosomatic (the industry and governments often try to claim this).  Ms Domberger is the Chair of the Munich Society for people with Electrosensitivity and mobile phone damage.  (Badische Zeitung, 07.02.12).

France has launched a study on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in February 2012.  The multicentre will evaluate sensitivity, and quality of life of people who are affected by EMR and will last for 44 months.  The study will involve medical assessment, monitoring of symptoms of a 12 month period, and measurements of patient’s electromagnetic exposure over a week.  People with EHS who would like to volunteer for the study can do so by contacting one of the country’s 24 clinics of occupational and environmental pathology. (http://www.radiofrequencies.gouv.fr/spip.php?article102)

The European Parliament has called for the recognition of electromagnetic hypersensitivity in a declaration issued on 12th March 2012.  The Parliament recommended that member states include this in their register of classified diseases and that the World Health Organization include this condition in its forthcoming revision of the International Statistical Classification of Disease.  It also advises member states to ‘apply the precautionary principle strictly, with effective health and environmental measures, in order to immediately protect those affected, whose number is growing exponentially’. (Written Declaration, 12.03.12)

EHS is also a major health concern in Japan.  A study performed by Dr Yasuko Kato from the VOC-EMF Measurers Research Association and Dr. Olle Johansson from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden which was published in the May issue of the journal ‘Pathophysiology’ found that over 90% of the participants had severe health reactions.  The technologies that respondents considered to have triggered the onset of their symptoms were primarily base stations, followed by personal wireless computers, mobile phones and so on.  The study showed that EHS had a considerable impact on sufferer’s lives.  More than half had lost their jobs as a result of their condition and most had incurred expenses in seeking treatment and remediation of the radiation fields in their homes.  More than 75% of sufferers had trouble using public transport or were unable to use it at all.  The Authors concluded that ‘Their functional impairment thus acts as an actual barrier that disturbs their social participation and well-being’
(Kato, Y and Johansson, O, ‘Reported functional impairments of electrohypersensitive Japanese: Pathophysiology 27 March, 2012).

EHS sufferer, medical doctor Federica Lamech from Ormond in Victoria now suffers from microwave radiation exposure from telecommunications towers, wireless, wifi and smart meters.  Although she does not have a smart meter on her house, she is badly affected by other smart meters in her street and elsewhere.  Her symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain, lethargy, dizziness, fainting, and insomnia which are all symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity.  Dr Lamech is no longer able to work at her Aspendale Gardens practice or care for her family.  (Herald Sun 09.04.12).

The Swedish Parliament announced on 14th June 2012 its intention to introduce a bill to prevent discrimination on the basis of accessibility.  This has major implications for people who are unable to access resources in exposed areas due to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) caused from radiation exposure. (http://www.riksdagen.se/sv/Dokument-Lagar/Utskottens-dokument/Betankanden/Arenden/201112/AU11/)

A hospital in Toronto, Canada is encouraging its staff to recognize the condition of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).  In a statement released on 18th June 2012, the hospital said that symptoms include disrupted sleep, headaches, nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, memory problems and skin rashes’.  We need to create more awareness about this condition, said Dr. Rina Bray, Medical Director of the Environmental Health Clinic.  The hospital is conducting workshops on EHS for doctors. 
(Canada New Wire 18.06.12).

Doctor Andrew Tresidder, a UK doctor has acknowledged the existence of EHS in his patients because he, too, now suffers from the condition.  He first noticed uncomfortable effects from EMR when he used a colour cathode ray computer.  The symptoms disappeared when he replaced it with a flat-screen monitor.  He next experienced effects when he used a mobile phone for the first time. 
‘I developed a marked headache and slurred speech within seconds’, he said.  He now assists patients with this condition and has observed symptoms disappear once exposures are reduced.
(http://electromagneticman.co.uk/case-studies/your-stories/43-electrosensitivity-a-personal-story-dr-andrew-tresidder-mmbs-mrcgp)

The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) published a resolution on 11th April 2011.  The statement is one of a series of resolutions released by the 36 member committee of scientists and follows an evaluation of international research on mobile phone radiation.  They state that mobile phones are a source of harmful radiation and existing standards do not provide protection.  The author says, ‘for the first time in human evolution, the brain is daily exposed to modulated EMF at all developmental stages’.  “There has been a dramatic increase in disorders – especially among young people that may be related to mobile phone radiation.  They include disorders of the central nervous system, epilepsy, mental retardation, blood disorders and disorder of the immune system.  The RNCNIRP scientists say The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) used for declaration of a mobile phone’s radiation cannot be viewed as sufficiently scientifically grounded.  It does not guarantee protection of health from radiation. 
Electromagnetic fields from Mobile Phones: ‘Health Effects on Children and Teenagers’, Resolution of the Russian National Committee on NonIonizing Radiation Protection, April 2011, Moscow.

The 34th Annual Meeting of Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) was held mid June 2012 in Brisbane.  Some scientists were able to present some of their findings.  The meeting was sponsored by The Electricity Networks Association, Mobile Manufacturers Forum, GSM Association, Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, Telstra and others.

(http://www.bems.org/node/4208/about).

INTERPHONE 13 COUNTRY MOBILE PHONE STUDY

E. Cardis, who led the Interphone study has reanalyzed data from several countries which participated in the Interphone Study and found that people who had used mobile phones for ten years or more had nearly three times the risk of developing tumors in the most exposed parts of the brain.  Increases were greater for gliomas than meningiomas.  (Cardis, E et al, Occup Environ Med, June 9, 2011).

The second arm of the Interphone brain tumour studies published I n October 2011 shows an increased rate of acoustic neuromas for high volume phone users.  They had high risks of developing acoustic neuromas on the side of the head used for calls.The study comprised an assessment of 1105 patients with acoustic neuroma (also known as vestibular schwannoma) and over 2,000 controls from 13 countries.  Acoustic neuromas occur in the cranial nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain stem.  This is an area that absorbs high levels of radiofrequency radiation during mobile phone calls. The Interphone authors admit, ‘the interval between introduction of mobile phones and occurrence of the tumour might have been too short to observe an effect’.  They included people who used the phones for just 30 minutes a day as their highest phone users, so the 40% more gliomas and 15% more meningiomas that they found in this group is well underestimated.  A separate analysis of the results found that highest users had 80% more gliomas.

These are often slowly growing tumours which may take up to several decades to become apparent.  The results of the Interphone studies on the link between mobile phone use and gliomas and meningiomas were published in May 2010.  (Interphone Study Group, ‘Acoustic neuromas risk in relation to mobile telephone use: Results of the INTERPHONE international case-control study, Cancer Epidemiology 35(5):453-64, 2011).

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION – (WHO)

The announcement by the WHO’s IARC on 31st May 2011 that radiofrequency radiation (from base stations to mobile phones and wireless devices) is now classified as a 2B carcinogen ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ as sent rippling effects across the world.  The mobile phone industry has been quick to down play the IARC decision.

The International Commission on On-Ionizing Radiation Protection has also been keen to downplay the IARC decision.  On 1st July it published a paper saying ‘the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumors in adults’.  The chief author of this was Anthony Swerdlow, who holds shares in several telecommunications companies.

Also on 1st July 2011, the Lancet Oncology Journal’s panel of 30 scientists clarified their position in a published article in ‘The Lancet’ saying:

‘Radiofrequency radiation from mobiles ‘couple with the body, resulting in induced electric and magnetic fields and associated currents inside tissues’, the scientists write. ‘Holding a mobile phone to the ear to make a voice call can result in high specific RF energy absorption-rate (SAR) values in the brain, depending on the design and position of the phone and its antenna in relation to the head, how the phone is held, the anatomy of the head, and the quality of the link between the base station and the phone’. 

The amount of radiation absorbed by children is ‘up to ten times higher’ in children than adults. (The Lancet Oncology, 12(7):624-626, July 2011)
(http://www.ewg.org/release/swiss-cell-phone-findings-troubling-children-s-health)

ENA Scientific Workshop 

Dr. Robert Baan, who is a biochemist and senior scientist from the monograph program of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (which is a working group of the WHO) spoke at the ENA Scientific Workshop.  He explained the process by which the IARC arrived at the classification in May 2011 which the WHO announced.  Dr. Baan was critical of people who compare RF radiation to other 2B carcinogens such as coffee.  He said, ‘It’s not really honest to make the comparison’. ‘That’s ridiculising the seriousness of this work’. 

Dr. Vitas Andersen presented the design for a study on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), which has not yet been funded.  (It is not difficult to realize why!) 

Dr. Anderson said, ‘EHS’ is arguably the most widespread and debilitating adverse health outcome associated with EMF’.  He explained that it had not received much government research interest.  Dr. Anderson said, ‘It’s an important health issue and deserves more attention’.

The World Health Organization held a crisis meeting early in November 2011 to address the serious difficulties the organization is facing.  Its problems were highlighted in a report by Director-General Margaret Chan, which recommended several hundred proposals for change.  The repot revealed that it has a close relationship with pharmaceutical-vaccine companies and industries.  The WHO is also in serious financial difficulties and has terminated 300 employees.  (The SvD Hyheter, 07.11.11)

Lawyer Mats Dămvik and EMR researcher Assoc Prof Olle Johansson, wrote in the ‘Review on Environmental Health’, that ‘decision makers are being misled by inaccurate risk assessments’.  They say that the organizations responsible for this approach to risk assessment are the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR).  They develop policies that influence administrators around the world.  However, the information from these organizations is in the hands of just a few individuals.  ‘These people are highly exposed to efforts by industry lobbyists, and their links with industry have often be criticized’, they say. The authors urge governments and decision makers not to be influenced by the inappropriate advice of the WHO and SCENIHR who they say, ‘are designing their risk assessments in such a way that the precautionary principle cannot be used for its intended purpose’.  (Dămvik, M and Johansson, O, ‘Review on Environmental Health 25(4), 325-33, 2010).

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radiofrequency radiation as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ on 31st May 2011. The World Health Organization’s working group was previously strongly influenced by people who had a vested interest in the Telecommunications Industry, otherwise this 2011 announcement would most probably have happened years ago which in turn would have saved massive amounts of human suffering. The WHO has now finally issued a public warning that microwave radiation may cause adverse health effects in humans and classified it as a 2B carcinogen.

Professor Anders Ahlbom, an influential IARC working group member, is also a director of a consulting firm that works for the telecommunications industry.  Anders Ahlbom and his brother Gunnar are founders of a consultancy which lobbies on behalf of the telecommunications industry. Not surprisingly, Ahlbom’s study papers that he had published in recent years all failed to find evidence of a health risk from RF exposure.  Since his ‘conflict of interest’ has now been exposed by Swedish journalist Mona Nilsson, the IARC dismissed him from the working group committee, but the damage he has done over many years still remains.  The Swedish Radiation Authority then found that his ‘conflict of interest’ prejudiced Ahlbom’s involvement on the country’s Radiation Safety Scientific Council so he has resigned.  Ahlbom has been a leading figure in the EMF scientific community.  He chaired various expert investigations in Sweden from 2003 – 2011, led the European Commission committee which developed the SCENIHR Report and was a member of the International Committee for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) which sets guidelines for radiation exposure.
(http://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/Om-mydigheten/Aktuellt/Nyheter/Myndigheten-accepterar-Anders-Ahlboms-begaran-om-att-blientledigad-som-ordforande-i-vetenskapligt-rad/)

The IARC had also invited other telecommunications industry representatives to attend their deliberation meetings. 
Alex Swinkels, of the International Electro-Magnetic Fields Alliance, said ‘The presence of people such as Joe Elder, representing the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (previously a long term Motorola employee); Jack Rowley, representing the GSM Association (a previously long term Telstra employee); and Mays Swicord representing the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (previously a long-term Motorola employee), create an environment of scientific intimidation and suppression through the presence of these influential corporate interests’. The IARC classification calls in to question the adequacy of those standards which were designed to protect only against short term heating effects of radiation and not the long term effects.  A report detailing the IARC decision was published in the 1st July 2011 issue of ‘The Lancet Oncology Journal’ (a highly regarded world renowned British medical journal) - The Lancet Oncology, 12(7):624-626, July 2011. 

The WHO’s senior radiation adviser in Europe, Dr. Keith Baverstock, said that “science has been perverted for political ends by Government agencies which instead should be protecting public health”, and that the “National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), which should be an independent body, was complicit”.  The radiation risk was underplayed to avoid compensation payouts.  Politics aided and abetted by some in the scientific community has ‘poisoned the well’ which sustains democratic decision making, he told a conference on radiation in Edinburgh – 4th July 2004.  He accused the NRPB of “misusing science”.  (Refer to: Secret Ties – Spin of the Antipodes Oct 2010).

Dr Neil Cherry said: ‘I am astounded at the high degree of self-regulation in Australia.  Industry and users of the technology are in the majority on the standards committee’This is one of the reasons why we have no standards that protect us from telecommunications radiation exposure in Australia. The public cannot rely on any of the industry and government propaganda information that is levied on Australians as being truthful or protective of our health, or in our ‘best interests’.

Dr. Robert O. Becker, M.D. twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for his research. 2008.
“I have no doubt in my mind that at the present time, the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.  I consider that to be far greater on a global scale, than ‘warming’, and the increase in chemical elements in the environment”. 

Dr. John Holt, a leading Australian cancer specialist and founder of the Radiowave Therapy Research Institute has found that EMR creates damage by acting on the body’s system for metabolizing food and producing energy.  Anaerobic activity occurs in diseases such as cancer and diabetes which have both increased dramatically in recent years.  Dr. Holt found that people exposed to EMR from electrical and communications technology have high rates of diabetes and said:
“A world of incurable diabetics is a horrific future”.  2008.

Dr. David Carpenter from the University of Albany stated in 2008, ‘The evidence for adverse health effects from RF microwave radiation is currently very strong and growing stronger with each new study’.  He is only one of hundreds in his field who have given similar statements of warnings.

Volter Hertenstein, MP of Bavarian Parliament said, ‘The electromagnetic field is the perfect secret agent:  you cannot see it, you cannot smell it, you cannot hear it, and its effects are slow but relentless’.

AUSTRALIAN RADIATION PROTECTION & NUCLEAR SAFETY AGENCY – (ARPANSA)

After the WHO’s announcement on 31st May 2011 that radiofrequency radiation is now classified as a 2B carcinogen, ARPANSA responded to this similar to sitting on the fence being very careful not to fall off either side.  Their statement released on 3rd June 2011 said: ‘ARPANSA welcomes the report and considers that the classification by IARC corresponds to the current ARPANSA advice, including its advice on practical ways in which people can reduce their exposure to the electromagnetic fields produced by wireless telephones’. 

However, ARPANSA’s mobile phone fact sheet shows that they are definitely still on the side of no-health risks from mobile phone radiation, as they say: ‘There is no clear evidence in the existing scientific literature that the use of mobile telephones poses a long-term public health hazard (although the possibility of a small risk cannot be ruled out)’, it says.
Media release 03.06.11  (http://www.arpansa.gov.au/news/MediaReleases/mrl.030611.cfm)
(Mobile Telephones and health effects – http://www.ARPANSA.gov.au/mobilephones/index.cfm)

The government’s radiation authority has finally revealed the fate of the long-awaited ELF standard, which has been in ‘supposed’ developments for the last ten years (from when they increased the allowable exposure level up 4½ times).  At the Bio-electromagnetics meeting in Brisbane in June 2012 ARPANSA’s Dr. Lindsay Martin announced that the document is now only to be a guideline rather than a legally enforceable standard.  Dr. Martin said that for the document to be accepted nationally across all states, it would need to demonstrate a cost benefit, however ARPANSA has not been able to achieve this.  The document has been amended by ARPANSA and once again ‘harmonised’ with the ICNIRP standards of 2010.    In 2011 Dr Martin told EMR and Health, ‘the changes to ARPANSA’s structure are intended to improve the way we are able to carry out our role in protecting the Australian population and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.  This is to be achieved, in part, through a better identification of the links between the desired health outcomes and the tasks ARPANSA undertakes’.
Nothing has changed – they are still just ‘monitoring’!

Australia’s formation of our current regulation standards history  –  ARPANSA

Quote from the book ‘The Force’ by Lyn McLean, EMR Australia P/L,  pages 77 and 78.
The development of Australia’s current radiation protection standard illustrates this near-sightedness.  In 1996, the interim Australian standard (known as AS2772.1) allowed the public to be exposed to 2 watts per kilogram from mobile phones (and 200 microwatts per square centimeter for phone antennas).  However, many third-generation (3G) mobile phones would not comply, and rather than limit the availability of the phones the Australian and New Zealand governments set about changing the standard.  The committee responsible for this project was a joint Australian and New Zealand committee called TE7, under the auspices of Standards Association of Australia, the body responsible for most standards set in the country.  After numerous meetings both in Australia and New Zealand, the final draft of the standard was prepared.  It allowed people to be exposed to more than twice as much radiation from GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phones and four and a half times as much radiation from the newer, higher frequency 3G phones.  If approved, there would be no reason to restrict the lucrative rollout of the new technology.  As the TE7 committee members cast their vote, it soon became apparent that there were not enough in favour of the draft for it to be approved.  If you imagine that the failed standard was relegated to the bureaucratic junk pile and forgotten, you are wrong.  The committee was forcibly split in two, and the New Zealand members were asked to vote again.  After one member of the group changed his vote, the document was approved and became the New Zealand standard.  However, Australia was still without an updated standard and those lucrative 3G dollars.  The standoff was resolved when the project was withdrawn from Standards Australia and given to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), which also has the regulatory authority to make standards.  A new committee was set up, and the starting point for the committee was – surprise, surprise – the failed TE7 standard.  After more years, more meetings, and more quoting of scientific studies, the new standard was ready to be approved.  By an amazing coincidence, its limits allowed public exposure at the frequencies used by 3G technology and were closer to the levels in the ICNIRP guidelines.  Just as the committee members were wondering when they would be asked to cast their votes, it became apparent that there was to be no voting for this new standard.  The document was adopted by ARPANSA’s Radiation Health Committee and became enforceable.  Success!  The standard was safely ‘harmonised’ with the WHO and the future of 3G technology in Australia was assured.

‘The old Australia / New Zealand Standard C95.1 stated that there should be only one pulse every ten minutes’.  However, this was removed in the subsequent standard (AS2772.1) and there is no current restriction on the number of pulses to which a person can be exposed. 

The Australian public do not have adequate standards that protect them from radiation exposure.

Question:  Why does ARPANSA continue to ignore the overwhelming amounts of scientific and other evidence mounting up around them of the adverse health effects from this microwave radiation? 

Is it because the telecommunications industry contributed 17.4 billion dollars to the economy between 2008 and 2010, and is expected to receive 80 billion dollars over the next ten years with an additional 70,000 jobs created?  That appears to be a very powerful incentive to ignore all the evidence and continue to make baseless statements like there is no scientific evidence to suggest adverse health effects from this technology, as does Mr Chris Althaus, the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association.  Both of these are looking like fools to many people considering the overwhelming evidence to the contrary now readily accessible and available. Money Talks - and controls many people and organisations.

The Australian Government is set to receive between 3 and 4 billion dollars for the renewal of telecommunication’s carriers’ radiofrequency spectrum licences which are soon to expire, with payments due from June 2013.  This money is anticipated to help return the budget to a surplus. That is a good reason why they maintain their statements to the public that radiation from mobile phones and base stations is safe.  The previous licence fees of 12 to 14 years ago netted the government a total of around $2 billion.  If companies fail to renew the spectrum they currently hold, then it will be auctioned.  Additional radiofrequency spectrum in the 700MHz band is due to be auctioned at the end of this year and could net the government an additional $4 billion.
(Australian 02.01.12; and Australian Financial Review 10.02.12).

Authorities are loath to admit the health risks of mobile communications radiation despite the plethora of evidence of harm.  Why?  A February 2012 press release by the European Commission states in the document that wireless communications supports 3.5 million jobs and generates about 130 billion euros each year in economic activity in Europe.  That is a powerful incentive for governments to turn a blind eye to the unfolding health catastrophe.
(European Commission - Press Release, ‘Digital Agenda’, 15.02.12)

The Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research (ACRBR) headed by Prof. Rodney Croft from Wollongong University, NSW closed on 10th June 2011 as it could no longer secure funding.  “It is with regret that the Director of the Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research has to announce that we have not been able to secure funding to continue operation of ACRBR”.  The centre had been funded from 2004 to 2009 by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).  Among the project partners at the centre was telecommunications company Telstra. (http://acrbr.org.au)
Dr. Rodney Croft was elected as representative of the International Commission of Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) for 2012 to 2016.  The Commission establishes guidance standards for the World Health Organization. (http://www.icnirp.del)

The NHMRC announced in August 2012, two and a half million dollars funding for a five year research program to study the effects of radiofrequency radiation.  The small grant was made to fund the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research from 2012 to 2017.  This came after Prof. Rodney Croft, the Director of Australia’s former EMR research centre spoke recently of the lack of research funding which forced his research facilities to close.  Prof. Croft told EMR and Health that the administration of the new centre will be at arm’s length from industry.  ‘The new centre has many of the old people involved, although there is now an advisory board that is completely independent and industry expertise is only represented in terms of associate investigators’.  The ten chief investigators will include Prof. Croft, Dr. Andrew Wood (who formerly chaired the ELF standards working group) and Prof. Mark Elwood (epidemiologist).  A team of Associate Investigators will include Australian and international scientists. The new research program will be conducted at a number of tertiary institutions including Wollongong University, Swinburne University of Technology, IMVS Pathology, RMIT University and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.  The NHMRC grant for the research centre is funded by a one million dollar levy paid by radio communications license holders each year.  (http://nhmrc.gov.au/grants/outcomes-funding-rounds/nhmrc-funded-research-effects-electromagnetic-energy).
This sounds more promising than previously when research was heavily influenced by the telecommunications’ industry but only time will tell if it can be independent and not be influenced.

Whistleblowers pay the price for honesty and lose funding:

The world’s leading researcher on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) has suffered another set back to his work at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.  Assoc. Professor Olle Johansson has been studying the effects of everyday levels of EMR on the skin since the early 1990’s.  He has published numerous studies indicating adverse effects from EMR and has spoken widely of his concerns about the health effects of exposure at international conferences and to the media.  For some years now, his research funding and laboratory facilities have been dwindling.  On 18th June 2011 he wrote, ‘I am out in the cold.  I will get much smaller premises, only office space – no labs’. (correspondence 18.06.11).

The Alliance for Irish Radiation Protection has called for independent research into the adverse health effects of EMR.  “We assert that there are dangers attached to the use of this technology’, say representatives in a statement issued in March 2011.  The signatories refer to three researchers (Doctors Olle Johansson, Annie Sasco and Dimitris Panagopoulos) who have lost research facilities since testifying about the risks of EMR to the Canadian Parliament last year.
(http://www.sdribd.com/doc/51522394/The-Dublin-Declaration-on-Reserach-into-Health-Effects-of-Non-Ionising-Electromagnetic-Fields).

RESEARCH BY INDEPENDENT SCIENTISTS – 2011 to 2012

(1)   people who had used a mobile phone for more than 10 years had over ten times the risk of epithelial parotid gland cancers and over 20 times the risk of mucoepidermoid cancers.
(2)   people who used phones for more than 2.5 hours a day had 16 times the risk of epithelial parotid gland malignances and over 31 times the risk of mucoepidermoid cancers.
(Duan Y, Zhang HZ, Bu RF, ‘Correlation between cellular phone use and epithelial parotid gland malignances’, Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. April 5, 2011.)

           ‘Our results suggested that long-term internet addiction would result in brain structural  
alterations, which contributed to chronic dysfunction in subjects with IAD’, they said.
(Yuan K, Qin W, Wang G, Zeng F, Zhao L, et al ‘Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents
with Internet Addition Disorder’, PLoS  ONE  6(6): e20708.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020708,
June 3, 2011).

(1)   De-Kun Li et al. ‘Maternal Exposure to Magnetic Fields During Pregnancy in Relation to the
        Risk of Asthma in Offspring’, published online August 1, 2011 Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med
        doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.135
(2)   Beale, IL, et al, Bioelectromagnetics 1997;18(8):584-94
(3)   Donnellan, M et al, Cell Biol Int. 1997 Jul;21(7):427-39
(4)   Gangi S and Johansson O, Med Hypotheses 2000 Apr;54(4):663-71.
      (http://www.health-care-information.org/diseases/asthma/statistics.html).

OVERSEAS COUNTRIES TAKE ACTION

The UK Department of Health issued a precautionary recommendation for mobile phone use published on 11th February 2011.  It mentioned potential risks for long term phone users and advised against children’s use of mobile phone.  The leaflet stated that ‘the body and nervous system are still developing into the teenage years; and ‘the UK Chief Medical Officers advise that children and young people under 16 should be encouraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only, and to keep calls short. (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH 124897)
Sweden’s new high-speed train network is disrupted in proximity to 4G mobile phone base stations.  The $2 billion Botniabanan rail system that services northern Sweden was offic8ally launched in 2010.  The signals from the base stations interfere with the electronic management (the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).  ERTMS management has called for 4G base stations to be located away from railway lines. (Epach Times 10.03.11).

Taiwan’s Education Ministry is considering a ban on mobile phones in schools based on concerns about the health effects of the radiation they emit.  (Taiway News Channel 03.06.11).

Health Canada updated its website in October 2011 with stronger advice about the use of mobile phones and how to limit a person’s radiofrequency exposure to the devices. 
(http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2011/2011_131-eng.php)

The American Association for Cell Phone Safety said, ‘The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) safety standard for cell phones, cell towers and other wireless radiation-emitting devices and infrastructure are outdated, behind on the science and need to be revised to incorporate both non-thermal effects and independent studies’.
(USA -letter to FCC, 20.06.11) (Environmental Health Working Group, 28.07.11)

The Israeli Ministry of Education issued a resolution aimed at reducing students’ exposure to the radiation mobile phones emit.   It bans students using mobile phones in class and only allows them to make calls from certain locations in the school.  Schools are to teach students the risks and ways to use mobile phones, whereby reducing exposure. 2011.

In Germany, the Office of Radiation Protection has developed an interdisciplinary research project to identify the causes of childhood leukemia which has been associated with ELF exposure. 
(Ziegelberger, G et al, Prog Biophys Mol Biol Sept 19, 2011).

Schools remove WiFi wireless systems:  In September 2011 the Perry River Academy in Collingwood became the first school in Ontario to make the change.  Then in October 2011 the Wayside Academy followed its lead.  Their wireless computer systems were removed and replaced with corded connections due to concerns about adverse health implications of wireless radiofrequency radiation emissions
(CTV News, 08.09.11;  Digital journal.com 11.10.11).

In India, an expert group has recommended legislation to protect wildlife from the radiation from mobile phone base stations.  The group, established by the Environmental and Forest Ministry, reviewed research on the effects of radiofrequency radiation on biological systems.  It was chaired by Dr. Asad Rahmani of the Bombay National History Society and included professors from a number of universities and institutes.  According to the Tehelka newspaper, the group’s report stated that radiofrequency radiation could impact on humans, animals and plants near base stations and may be a cause for the decline of some animal populations.  It suggested a number of areas for research and the removal of base stations from wildlife sites.  (Tehelka 12.10.11).

In France, the City of Paris has taken a strong stand against mobile phone base stations. The city’s mayor stated in October 2011 that no new facilities would be constructed.  This decision follows the expiration of the city’s 2003 agreement with telecommunications companies which was to construct antennas keeping emissions well below international standards at 2 volts per meter averaged over 24 hours.  The City is also considering ordering the removal of some existing facilities.  Smart Planet 19.10.11,  French newspaper LeMonde)

In Bahrain, the Ministry of Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs has implemented a decision to temporarily ban the construction of new mobile phone base stations.  The ban on base stations will remain pending an investigation into the adverse health effects of the technology. 
(Gulf News 19.10.11).

The City of San Francisco in the US introduced legislation on 25.10.11 signed by Mayor Edwin Lee requiring all mobile phone retailers to display a fact sheet and poster with information about how to reduce exposure to radiofrequency radiation.  The Board of Supervisors say that this ordinance is in line with San Francisco’s ‘precautionary approach’.  It will be written by the City’s Department of Environment and prominently displayed in the store near point of sale and to be given to each mobile phone purchaser.  Retailers must also display the information with the phones for sale.  The city conducted an education campaign in October to provide retailers with information about the ordinance. Violations of these regulations will incur fines of up to $500. 
(http://www.sfenvironment.org/our_programs/interests.html?ssi =2&ti=3&ii=250)  

In the UK, a charity called ‘Mobile Wise’ has called for action to protect children from the harmful effects of mobile phone radiation.  Their report called ‘Mobile Phone Health Risks: the case for action to protect children’, was released in November 2011, where the organisation identified over 200 scientific studies which provide evidence that mobile phone radiation is harmful.  It called on the UK government and industry to provide suitable warnings and education about the devices to reduce exposure.  <http://www.mobilewise.org/facts/report-mobile-phone-health-risks-the-case-for-action-to-protect-children>

In Brussels, a protest of seven organizations from four countries gathered outside the European Union conference on EMF and Health on 16th November 2011 to convey their concerns about electrosmog.   They were supported by medical practitioners, scientist and many European groups.  The protestors presented five demands to be applied throughout Europe:

The US City of Santa Monica is urging the country’s federal government to take action to revise the country’s radiation standards and warning labels on mobile phones at point of sale.
(Press release, American Association for Cellular Safety, 2011).

The Indian government is planning to introduce initiatives to reduce public exposure to electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and towers.  At a meeting held in January 2012, scientists and government officials agreed to various measures such as:

Another Canadian school has removed its wireless radiation computer network following concerns about the health effects of radiofrequency radiation.  The private school, Aurora Montessori with 350 students has replaced its wireless computer connections with wired connections. 
(Canada News Wire, Press Release, 19.01.12).

The Canadian City Council of Mississauga has appealed to the Country’s radiation authority for a six month moratorium on the installation of mobile phone base stations in the city and asked that Industry Canada engage with carriers to design ‘less invasive technology’.  (Mississauga.com, 19.01.12).

The Israeli government is to establish a centre for science and education on electromagnetic radiation.  In January 2012 the Ministry of Science and Technology constituted a committee to oversee the project which is expected to be put in place in 2012.  The purpose is to provide information to the public, particularly regarding ways to reduce exposure, and to conduct relevant research.  The centre will be funded by the Science and Environmental Ministries, initially for a period of three years. 
(Jerusalem Post, 24.01.12)

In South Africa the Board of the Eldorado Park Senior Secondary School in Johannesburg made the decision to refuse a tower after teachers threatened to walk out if construction went ahead.  Board Chairman, Lionel Billings, told the South African press that he did not want to put staff and students at risk with radiation from the facility.  (Iol, 13.02.12).

The Israeli Government has introduced a bill requiring warning labels on all mobile phones sold in the country.  The labels read Warning – the Health Ministry cautions that heavy use and carrying the device next to the body may increase the risk of cancer, especially among children’.  The legislation also bans the advertising of mobile phones to children. (Haaretz, 01.03.12). 
However, the bill did not eventually pass all three levels required to become legislation.

Swiss doctors have called on their government to implement precautions to protect people from wireless radiation.  The Physicians for the Environment (MfE) have written to the Federal Assembly requesting that the country’s radiation limits are reduced ten fold.  ‘From the medical point of view, it is urgent to apply the precautionary principle for mobile telephony, wifi, powerlines, etc.’ said the organisation’s President, Dr. Peter Kalin.  (Media release 20.03.12). (http://www.mieuxprevenir.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/switzerland-waves-from-wireless.html)

Also in Switzerland, a court has endorsed a 2005 plan to regulate the location of mobile base stations in Urtenen-Schönbühl.  Telecommunications companies are to locate the towers in non-residential areas away from residential and protected areas. (AWP, 05.04.12)

Britain’s school inspection authority, Ofsted, is waging a war against the use of mobile phones in schools.  Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw will penalize teachers for allowing their use. 
(Mail Online, 09.05.12)

The Austrian Medical Association adopted a paper called: ‘Guidelines of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF – related health problems and illnesses (EMF syndrome)’.  Among its recommendations to reduce people’s exposure (where they can) is: Disconnecting the power supply of all DECT cordless phones and all WLAN access points and WLAN and LAN routers to reduce microwave radiation (wifi and wireless) exposure.   (http://www.aerztekammer.at/documents/10618/976981/EMF-Guidelines.pdf)

In the US, Standards for radiofrequency radiation exposure are to be reviewed.  On 15th June 2012, Bloomberg announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US will review its standards which have not been updated since 1996 – before the widespread use of digital microwave radiation technology came in.

The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RussCNIRP) released a statement on 19th June 2012 warning against the use of wi-fi networks in schools and kindergartens.  It said:  Electromagnetic radiation from wi-fi creates an additional burden for the child brain, whose body is in a state of development and the formation of mental activity.  It further recommended the useage of wired networks in schools and educational institutions, rather than a network using wireless radiation broadband systems, including wifi.  A copy of the signed statement can be found at: http://international-emf-alliance.org/index.php/publications/news). Or on You Tube as a video www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CemiJ-ylA4+feature=youtube.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on 24th July 2012 recommending the update of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits.  The advice from several key organizations in the US said the ‘FCC should formally reassess and, if appropriate, change its current RF energy exposure limit and mobile phone testing requirements related to likely usage configurations, particularly when phones are held against the body’.  The GAO report concluded that the US standards were established in 1996, based on information from international organizations.  It said, ‘These international organizations have updated their exposure limit recommendation in recent years, based on new research, and this new limit has been widely adopted by other countries, including countries in the European Union’.  Dr Robert Block from the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote to the FCC on 12th July 2012 after their review of the standards, calling for an inquiry into radiation standards for mobile phones and wireless devices.

India’s radiation exposure limits have been reduced tenfold from 01.09.12.  The new limits of 0.92 watts per square meter replace previous limits of 9.2 watts per square meter.  The changes were recommended by an inter-ministerial committee which reviewed the risks of radiofrequency radiation.  The Telecommunications Department is currently considering reducing SAR levels. 
(The Economic Times, 18.07.12.)

Parliamentarians in Swaziland are considering ways in which to protect against the harmful effects of radiofrequency.  When interviewed, several MPs expressed a will to lobby for stricter guidelines and of putting health before development.  (Times of Swaziland 29.07.12.)

The City of San Francisco has suggested a list of precautions for reducing public exposure to mobile phone radiation.  Its website says: ‘If you are concerned about potential health effects from cell phone RF Energy, the City of San Francisco recommends precautions:……’
(http://sfenvironment.org/article/using-cell-phones-safely/reduce-exposure-to-cell-phone-radiation).

The Indian Ministry of the Environment recommended precautions to prevent adverse effects from mobile phone tower radiation, according to ‘The Hindu’ newspaper.  The Ministry commissioned a report which concluded that the radiation can ‘interfere’ with the body.  The Ministry has advised that new phone towers are not to be installed within one kilometre of existing towers to avoid increasing exposures.  It also called for precautions when locating towers near flight paths of birds, zoos, or protected wildlife areas.  (The Hindu, 11.08.12.)

Germany’s Minister for the Environment has plans for a range of initiatives to be introduced for a precautionary approach to electromagnetic radiation.  Among them is a proposal ‘to improve protection against electromagnetic fields’.  (Spiegel Online, 16.08.12.)

ACTION TAKEN IN AUSTRALIA

Telecommunications radiation towers were rejected: 

(1)  In September 2011 Manningham Council in Victoria voted against a lease for a Vodafone tower on Warrandyte football oval.  Their decision followed two years of campaigning by hundreds of local residents, including a protest in which approximately 600 residents formed a message ‘NO’ on the local football oval directed at the proposed Vodaphone tower.  This was shown from the air on national TV.  In making its decision, the Council took into account the strong community opposition to the tower.  The Council Report said, ‘the views of the community are overwhelmingly in their support for a proposal to reject the grant of a lease’.

(2)  Also in September 2011 public opposition forced Telstra to withdraw plans for two mobile phone antennas.  The first was in Tinderbox, in Queensland which was to be a 34.5meter tower on private land.   After the receipt of 200 letters of objection, the carrier announced it would look for an alternative site. 

(3) Another Telstra site to be abandoned was at Sandy Bay in Tasmania. Following opposition from the Sandy Bay Community Action Group, Telstra agreed not to construct a base station at Woolworth’s supermarket, and Woolworths announced it would not support a tower at the site.

(4)  Another Telstra tower application rejected was for a 30 meter telecommunications tower in Currumbin Valley on the Gold Coast.  The local community formed a committee to address the proposal and submitted over 200 objections.  The committee conducted research and commissioned experts to address the proposal.  The Gold Coast Council eventually rejected Telstra’s tower application.

LEGAL ACTION TAKEN:

Italian court ruling:  The Vatican is to compensate nearby residents for health problems allegedly caused by its radio transmissions.  After a decade long legal battle, Italy’s Supreme Court confirmed that compensation must be paid to residents of Cesano after it was found that children in the town had six times the rate of leukaemia of children elsewhere.  The Vatican transmissions complied with international standards, but they exceeded the precautionary limits in Italy.   (Independent UK 01.03.11).

EMF Safety Network, a community organisation in the US has taken legal action to prevent the expansion of the 4G (fourth generation) phone tower network.  It has lodged a suit against the City of Sebastopol and telecommunications carriers, claiming that the planned towers threatened the Laguna De Santa Rosa wetlands.  It is still illegal to oppose the technology on health grounds in the US. (http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=6854)

In Oregan, USA, the family of a student from Portland Public School is taking legal action against the school for installing a wireless computer network.  The family claims the school’s action breaches legislation and prevents them from ensuring a safe environment for their child.  Information on the case is at: www.wirelesswatchblog.org.

The High Court of India has asked the Delhi government to explain how it will reduce public radiation exposure.  This follows a case in which a widow and her 15 year old daughter claimed compensation for health problems (cancer and renal failure) developed following the installation of a mobile phone antenna on the roof of their apartment.  They are demanding its removal.  (Times of India, 28.07.12)

Radiation levels on aircraft are set to soar following the introduction of wireless devices on aircraft.  Passengers and crew will receive additional microwave radiation from mobile phones, wireless laptops and other electronic devices.  All regular plane travellers will be exposed to radiation levels across the spectrum from the moment they arrive at the airport.  Inside the terminal you are exposed to radiofrequency radiation from wireless networks - wherever you can connect remotely to the internet, the radiation can connect with you.  When you pass through airport security, you are exposed to high-frequency microwave radiation or X-rays.  During the flight you are exposed to naturally-occurring cosmic radiation and low frequency electromagnetic fields – like those from powerlines – from the wiring of the plane.  However, radiation levels will increase dramatically as airlines move to allow wireless technology aboard planes.  This follows changes to the legislation by the Australian Communications and Medial Authority (ACMA) in 2010 that ended the ban on the use of mobile phones during flights.  Each plane will be like a miniature mobile phone network or wireless hotspot, complete with its own radiating transmitter.  Passengers will be exposed whether or not they use the devices and irrespective of their vulnerability or sensitivity.

WILLFUL BLINDNESS
‘Willful Blindness’, says Margaret Hefferman, ‘is the failure of society to recognise obvious risks and to reject obvious truths even though they might be staring us in the face’.  She cites dozens of example from individuals unwilling to recognize that their partner is unfaithful, or even worse – to organizations that fail to recognize working conditions that were dangerous and which eventually killed workers.  Another example was the sinking of HMS Victoria that killed 358 British sailors in 2004.  It occurred because Vice Admiral Tryron ordered manoeuvers that even his subordinates recognised as ‘doomed’. 

Why is it that after three decades of research showing that living near high voltage powerlines increases the risk of leukaemia - that people continue to do so?  Why, when long-term mobile phone use has been found to increase the risk of some types of brain tumours, do people continue to hold these devices against their heads and buy them for their children?  Why, when radiofrequency radiation has been classified as a class 2B carcinogen, do education authorities continue to create wireless hotspots in schools?  The answer may be in a perverse attribute of human nature that author Margaret Hefferman calls ‘willful blindness’. 

Why do individuals literally turn a blind eye to unpleasant truths?  Hefferman says it’s because we are attracted to things that are like us – that are familiar and comfortable.  We don’t want to accept information that threatens the things we like, including our view of the world.  Hefferman says that when our brains are confronted with information that they don’t like, they experience a kind of neutronal distress.  The brain will look for ways to counteract the distress, even if it results in faulty reasoning, and rewards this with ‘feel good’ hormones.  There’s a chemical incentive for us to keep doing what we like doing, irrespective of whether it’s good for us. It’s not just individuals who are inclined to ‘willful blindness’. 

Hefferman cites a series of accidents in BP plants in Texas culminating in the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, that killed and injured workers and spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico for three months.  According to Hefferman, it occurred because BP officials in London headquarters were blind to problems on the ground in Texas. 

Similarly a company that owned an asbestos mine, WR Grace, ignored and covered up risks of asbestos resulting in the deaths of many workers and the company’s eventual dissolution. This company wilful blindness is because they attract people that are aligned – or willing to become aligned- with the organizational culture, irrespective of how ethical or truthful it might be.  ‘Institutional power is a particularly seductive form of social support’, says Hefferman.  ‘After all, if you are in a position of tremendous institutional or political power, then not only are you hugely confirmed by the colleagues who share your beliefs, but questioning them would threaten everything:  your job, position, reputation, future career’. 

Nowhere is that more obvious than in the case of scientists who have spoken publicly about the risks of electromagnetic radiation.  There are those, like Dr. Robert Becker and Assoc. Professor Olle Johansson, who have lost funding for scientific research and those, like Gerard Hyland, who have been publicly demeaned.  Speaking the truth – even with scientific evidence to support it – can be costly.

Hefferman cites an example of wilful blindness that has close parallels with the current story of electromagnetic radiation.   During the 1950’s Dr. Alice Stewart undertook to investigate the causes of childhood leukaemia.  With barely any funding, she interviewed the mothers of 500 children who had died of leukaemia, 500 who had died from other forms of cancer and 1000 controls, asking about a wide range of exposures.  Her results showed, to her surprise, that mothers who had had obstetric x-rays had twice the chance of having a child with cancer by the age of ten.  She published her results in 1956. 

Did the medical profession stop the practice of obstetric x-rays?  Did the relevant authorities respond by protecting pregnant women?  Did the scientific community adjust its perception that low doses of ionizing radiation were safe?  No! – Instead, Stewart’s research was attacked and doctors continued x-raying pregnant women till the 1980’s in the US and even longer in the UK.  Eventually the tide turned when Sir Richard Doll recanted his earlier denouncement of Stewart’s findings and in 1997 admitted that foetal x-rays were indeed harmful.

Willful blindness may be a characteristic of human nature and its institutions, but it is in the best interest of neither.  Failure to recognize early risks increases the price that will be extracted when those risks mount into full-scaled disaster.  History is replete with examples.

On the positive side of the coin, Hefferman says that society has always had its individuals who recognize the risks and are prepared to speak up about them – irrespective of the personal cost.  Our challenge is to listen to them.  She says, we need to be wiling to look for and respect the truth, irrespective of our prejudices, irrespective of the economic imperative of how much we like the lie. 

Whether it’s EMR and RFR or any other risk, our institutions can only perpetuate the deceit of risk if we continue to believe them.  The choice is ours!
Reference:  Margaret Hefferman, ‘Willful Blindness – why we ignore the obvious at our peril’, Simon & Schuster, 2011.

WIRELESS MICROWAVE RADIATION SMART METERS

The introduction of smart meters pulsing microwave radiation from towers has dramatically accelerated the process of public awareness with thousands of Victorians now aware of what this radiation does to them through their suffering whether the smart meter is on their own house or from a neighbours house.
Many smart meters installed more recently are not being turned on to operate with microwave radiation as yet, due to so many people becoming sick.  The power companies are leaving them turned off until the end of 2013 or until the smart meter installation has been completed.  Then the full extent of smart meter radiation suffering will be exposed.

In California, householders are to have a choice about whether or not they wish to have a smart meter installed on their home.  This followed a strong lobby against the meters, which emit radiofrequency radiation.  The California Public Utilities Commission has instructed utility company PG&E to devise alternative options for customers. (Mercury News 10.03.11)

EMC Technologies prepared a report for the Victorian Government which was published in October 2011.  The report on ‘smart meters’ was called ‘AMI Meter Electromagnetic Field Survey’.  It reported on difference types of smart meters now being installed by electrical authorities in Victoria.  The consultants averaged the readings over a 6 minute period (yes, only six minutes) to compare them to the Australian Standard.  EMC’s conclusion was that the emissions from the smart meters complied with the Australian Standard.  However, this was never in doubt as the government department called ARPANSA’s standards were initially set extremely high (thousands of times higher than required to protect public health).  In this smart meter report ARPANSA makes reference to the EMC Technology report commissioned by the Victorian Government’s DPI as being independent.  If EMC Technologies did not produce a report that coincided and harmonised with ARPANSA’s views, then there would be no point in preparing it, or making it public.
A spokesman for ARPANSA said, ‘ARPANSA has noted the independent EMC Technology report commissioned by the Victorian DPI on smart meters.  It is consistent with ARPANSA’s understanding that exposures from smart meters are very low, both in comparison with public exposure standards and with exposure produced by devices such as mobile phone handsets’.  ARPANSA understands that some people have reported symptoms which they attribute to exposure from smart meters.  There is no scientific evidence to suggest why this should be the case, however ARPANSA will continue to ‘monitor’ the latest research and information’. 

ARPANSA has been stating that they are ‘monitoring’ for over ten years now, but do nothing to protect human health.  I put it to ARPANSA what is the ‘latest research and information; that they state they are still ‘monitoring’?  I request details of this information made available to me. Many Victorian’s have now been forced from their homes due to radiofrequency radiation emitted from smart meters.

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz requested in December 2011 information on the effects of ‘smart meters’.  Accordingly, Dr Poki Stewart Namkung provided the Board with a report called ‘Health Risks Associated with Smart Meters’ on 13th January 2012.

It said, ‘The public health issue of concern in regard to Smart Meters is the involuntary exposure of individuals and households to electromagnetic field radiation (EMF)’.  There is evidence of risk from radiofrequency radiation such as they emit.  Evidence is accumulating on the results of exposure to RF radiation at non-thermal levels including increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier in the head, harmful effects in sperm, double strand breaks in DNA which could lead to cancer genesis, stress gene activation indicating an exposure to a toxin, and alterations in brain glucose metabolism’.

The report also referred to a connection between long-term mobile phone use and brain cancers and the condition of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). 

According to the report, ‘US standards do not protect public health because they address only thermal effects of exposure and not chronic diseases such as cancer, reproductive problems and autoimmune problems.  Therefore, when it comes to non-thermal effects of RF radiation, FCC guidelines are irrelevant and cannot be used for any claims of Smart Meter safety unless heat damage is involved’.

The report concluded by stating, ‘Government agencies for protecting public health and safety should be much more vigilant towards involuntary environmental exposures because governmental agencies are the only defence against such involuntary exposure’.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for a moratorium on the installation of ‘smart meters’ in homes and schools in a letter to the Public Utilities Commission of California on 19th January 2012.  In its letter, the Academy called for:

It stated:  As representatives of physician specialists in the field of environmental medicine, we have an obligation to urge precaution when sufficient scientific and medical evidence suggests health risks which can potentially affect large populations.  The literature raises serious concern regarding the levels of radio frequency (RF – 3KHz – 300GHz) or extremely low frequency (ELF – 300Hz) exposures produced by ‘smart meters’ to warrant an immediate and complete moratorium on their use and deployment until further study can be performed.  The board of the American Board of Environmental Medicine wishes to point out that existing FCC guidelines for RF safety that have been used to justify installation of ‘smart meters’ only look at thermal tissue damage and are obsolete, since many modern studies show metabolic and genomic damage from RF and ELF exposures below the level of intensity which heats tissues.  The FCC guidelines are therefore inadequate for use in establishing public health standards.   More modern literature shows medically and biologically significant effects of RF and ELF at lower energy densities.  These effects accumulate over time, which is an important consideration given the chronic nature of exposure from ‘smart meters’.  The current medical literature raises credible questions about genetic and cellular effects, hormonal effects, male fertility, blood/brain barrier damage and increased risk of certain types of cancers from RF or ELF levels similar to those emitted from ‘smart meters’.  Children are placed at particular risk for altered brain development, and impaired learning and behaviour.  Further, EMF/RF adds synergistic effect to the damage observed from a range of toxic chemicals.  Given the widespread, chronic, and essentially inescapable ELF/RF exposure of everyone living near a ‘smart meter’, the Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine finds it unacceptable from a public health standpoint to implement this technology until these serious medical concerns are resolved.  We consider a moratorium on installation of wireless ‘smart meters’ to be an issue of the highest importance.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine statement, 19th January, 2012
(http://aaemonline.org/images/CaliforniaPublicUtilitiesCommission.pdf)
American Academy of Environmental Medicine, 650SE Central .STE296. www.aaemonline.org
Wichita, KS67206 Tel: (316) 684-5500 Fax: (316) 684-5709, from Cindy Sage, Sage Associates.

Smart Meter privacy and safety concerns

Smart Meters microwave radiation technologies enables utility companies to gather and store information about every day personal habits and times when the home is unattended.  A utility spokesman from energy company Jemena, appeared on Channel 7’s Today /Tonight TV program on 02.07.12 and admitted his company stores 17,500 pieces of data (made accessible by the wireless radiation smart meter) per three month billing period on every household’s daily activities. That equates to data recorded approx. every 7.57 minutes.  This data information can be accessed by the utility company when they wish for whatever reason including sharing it with other organisations and people.  This was demonstrated at a recent German computing conference, by people hacking into their data. 
(SC Magazine, ‘Hackers rewrite smart meter power bill’, 09.01.12).

There is evidence that smart meters increase the cost of electricity.  This can be due to faulty technology which can produce inflated bills. (This is Money, 27.01.12)

The California Public Utilities Commission voted on 3rd February 2012 to allow people to opt out of the ‘smart meter’ program.  This followed strong public lobbying against the wireless smart meters.
(http://aaemonline.org/images/CaliforniaPublicUtilitiesCommission.pdf)

UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry is reported to have said that residents in the UK will not be obliged to have a wireless smart meter fitted.  (UK Telegraph 03.02.12).

Smart meter anger in Frankston’ by Alecia Pinner of the Frankston Weekly - 19th June 2012
A SMART meter protest group has been formed following a packed public meeting in Frankston, Victoria.
Organisers were only expecting about 30 people to attend the meeting at the Frankston Mechanics Institute Hall, but 130 turned up to voice concerns over the state government’s smart meter roll out.

Some residents of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula believe the devices are causing poor health including headaches and ringing in the ears, with a few sleeping in vehicles, tents and workplaces to avoid symptoms.

Frankston councilor Glenn Aitken, who has thrown his support behind protestors, said those at the meeting came from as far away as Cockatoo, Monbulk and Elsternwick.  “I’ve dealt with people issues for long nough to know that 99 per cent of the time there is a real reason for it.  These people are genuinely not well,” he said.

An action group was started and Cr Aitken shared a letter which he is encouraging concerned people to send to the government and installers.  The letter formally withdraws consent for the installation of meters and states that any health and financial losses are the responsibility of parties involved in their installation.  Protesters will write to the state government asking that the roll out be discontinued or made optional and that meters are removed from the homes of those who believe they are ill as a result.  Cr. Aitken confirmed he would raise a similar item at Frankston Council and push for a Victorian class action.

Smart Meter Victory in Oakland County, Michigan – 21st June 2012
Commissioners Support Smart Meter Refusal.  On a unanimous consent vote, the 25 member Oakland County, Michigan, Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that supports the right of every utility customer to be able to opt-out of a ‘smart’ electric meter without cost or penalty. The resolution […]
Comment on:-   michiganstopsmartmeters

Mount Alexander Shire Council in Victoria passed a motion in August 2012, to investigate health problems associated with smart meters due to public concerns and, based on the outcome, to take appropriate action.  This Notice of Motion is to be put forward at the next Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Meeting on 20th September 2012. 

Smart water meters:  In the continuing heated battle over smart electrical meters, there is now smart water technology rearing its’ ugly head.  The Texas Water Development Board is rolling out wireless meters to monitor water consumption.  Seventeen thousand meters are being installed in Arlington and over 3.5 million of the meters have already been installed in Texas.  (Texas Tribune 04.08.12.)

Books and reference material on EMR and RFR from the Auchmuty Library of Newcastle University, NSW in 1998

Scientific Research from 1980 to 2011

References:

Health and Environmental Effects of Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation  -  by Mark Longwood
How Exposure to Base-Station Radiation can Adversely Affect Humans - by G.J. Hyland
Physics and Biology of Mobile Telephony  -  by G.J. Hyland
‘The Force’ – Living Safely in a world of electromagnetic pollution (2009) -  book by Lyn McLean
‘Disconnect’ – The truth about mobile phone radiation, what the industry has done to hide it, and how to protect your family (2010) – book by Devra Davis
BioInitiative Report of August 2007
www.aaemonline.org
www.stopsmartmeters.com.au
www.emraustralia.com.au
www.stop-radiation.com
www.radmeters.com
www.yshield.com.au
www.ironshield.com
www.yshield.eu