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31/01/2002 - Various EMF News stories

21 Jan 2002 - personal communication

A prototype instrument, designed by Alasdair Philips, due to be made publicly available later this year, was tested in Scotland this month. It identifies areas of high 'pulsing' from microwave sources, using an auditory signal. One of the people experimenting with the instrument was able to demonstrate how the body absorbs and screens EMFs by placing her body in between the sources (including 15 of them on three roofs right outside her 8th floor room at a hotel) whilst her colleague walked about with the new prototype device. The row was terrific! Many hotspots were found in the towns and cities measured, including Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

21 Jan 2002 Proposal to underground electricity cables in NSW Australia

The NSW government is proposing to underground electricity cables, whilst this has been greeted with approval in principle, concern is being expressed about whether building will be allowed too close to the buried cables. Further safeguards may be requested.

17 Jan 2002 Dr. Neil Cherry ill

Dr Neil Cherry (a top researcher and activist on EMF and microwave adverse health issues) has sadly been diagnosed with motor neurone disease a very serious disease. Dr Cherry said there was no medical treatment for his disease but large doses of "love, joy and pleasure" could possibly slow the onset."

12 Jan 2002 - Phone masts start child cancer scare

Four children, aged between five and 10, at the Garcia Quintana primary school in Valladolid, central Spain, have been diagnosed with cancer, 3 with leukaemia and 1 with Hodgkin's disease. These have been linked to 36 mobile phone transmitters on a building 50 metres away.

A local court backed a parental demand to switch off and dismantle the transmitters. Luis Martin, a doctor and parent, said: "In 32 years there had never been a case of cancer at the school but since they installed the antennas in 2000 four children have fallen seriously ill". Juan Represa, a government adviser, said: "If the antennas were the cause then, taking into account the number across Spain, we would have hundreds of thousands of cases of cancer." Other chemicals may have caused the illnesses, he added.

Yesterday the regional authorities began a study of possible causes, but they admit that they may never find out why the four children, and two more who live in nearby buildings, fell ill. The parents point to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which has finally shown a link between child cancer and the electromagnetic fields produced by power lines.

January 2002 Cape Cod PAVE PAWS

The Air Force are funding another study, though not an independent one, of the PAVE PAWS facility (the East Coast radar site that can provide early warning of ballistic missile launches), even though they have $10 million worth of studies that say the facility is safe. This is in response to the community's concerns about the high rate of certain cancers(including childhood leukaemia and central nervous system tumours), birth defects and diseases like lupus, which they believe may be caused by the radar that scans the sky for missiles, and tracks satellites and space junk. "The fact that the medical problem worsens with time of residence in the area, strongly supports the concept that there is an environmental agent causing, or at least potentially causing, the diseases under study" says San Antonio's Dr. Richard Albanese, a military researcher, who helped Vietnam veterans in the investigation of Agent Orange.

Some residents are particularly interested in a "time domain" study which measures the " fronts " of the waves and whether they are steep and follow each other rapidly. Some scientists believe that the effects of the phased array radar go beyond thermal, or heating, effects. Studies show that the facility is not heating cells, but some people are concerned that the successive wave fronts are, in a way, shaking cells and causing damage. The Electromagnetic Health and Safety report was designed with PAVE PAWS in mind and sets a risk level. "At this time we surely feel that one volt per meter per nanosecond and faster pulses surely pose a biological and medical threat," Albanese wrote. Whether PAVE PAWS has pulses in that category is unclear. As this report is classified, it won't be allowed in the environmental impact statement.

Albanese had hoped that the team would take measurements further down the Cape, because the wave front arrival rate increases as it moves further out. Initially the team will do a small test using eight sights on Upper Cape Cod, close to the facility, because the wave is easier to map. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been brought in by the Air Force to conduct a literature review of existing studies. Many of the panel do not have clearance to see all the material. Albanese said there are at least 14 non-classified articles, from several researchers, that back up the premise that PAVE PAWS is not safe.

10 Jan 2002 Kitchen appliances linked to miscarriage

Strong magnetic fields produced by trains and household appliances increase the risk of miscarriage by up to three times, according to a new study. Dr De-Kun Li, of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute at Oakland, California studied women in the first trimester of pregnancy and their exposure to magnetic fields. He found that pregnant women exposed to peak radiation levels greater than 1.6 microteslas - 100 times less than permitted by NRPB guidelines - were nearly twice as likely to miscarry.

The highest peaks carried a higher risk level than this. Radiation within 70ft of a 400,000 volt pylon as used by the National Grid is eight microteslas. Dr Li speculated that high levels of radiation might cause miscarriages by subtly disrupting cell-to-cell communication, supporting other scientists' views that significant changes occur at much lower levels than those at which heating effects can be detected. The team measured peak radiation levels rather than time weighted averages which are the ones usually used. Many scientists have argued that these averages eliminate the variation in field levels which is the factor that is significant with respect to biological effects. The findings held true after allowing for 30 potentially confounding factors. A National Radiological Protection Board spokesman said "If true, there would have to be precautionary advice to pregnant women".

Dr Li's study is published in the journal Epidemiology, 2002, Vol.13;1;pp.9-20
See also G. Lee et al., Epidemiology, 2002, Vol.13;1;pp.21-31

04 Jan 2002 Wisconsin Farmers Sue Power Companies Over Electrical Pollution

Seven farmers in Clark and Marathon Counties have commenced lawsuits alleging electrical pollution against Northern States Power Company and Clark Electric Cooperative. The farmers are alleging that despite repeated requests, both electrical providers are causing damage to their dairy operations. The farmers retained the services of an industrial electrician in 1998 and 1999 and have for the most part continued to monitor the electrical current on their farms, particularly the areas in and around the barns where the livestock are maintained.

The farmers allege that electrical current from powerlines has caused significant damage to the herds resulting in lost milk production, aborted calves, and various other physical ailments, all documented by veterinary care. Most if not all of the farms had previously been top producers in both Marathon and Clark Counties. Both lawsuits have been filed in Marathon County, because of fears that they would not get a fair trial in Clark County.

3 Jan 2002 A new study shows sleep disruption due to EMF exposure in people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sleep impairment with night time exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields was observed in an Australian pilot study of 49 people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Out of the 49, 11 had night time exposures over 0.2 microtesla and 7 exposures over 0.4 microtesla. The results are to be published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM).

These findings support the general study by Akerstedt et al., Journal of Sleep Research (1999) Vol 8, pp.77-81, who carried out a study of 18 healthy subjects, comparing sleep with and without exposure to a 50 Hz 1 microtesla magnetic field. We found that the EMF condition was associated with reduced:

  • Total sleep time (TST)
  • Sleep efficiency
  • Stages 3 + 4 slow wave sleep (SWS)
  • Slow wave activity (SWA)

Circulating melatonin, growth hormone, prolactin, testosterone or cortisol were not affected. The results suggest that commonly occurring low frequency electromagnetic fields may interfere with sleep.

03 Jan 2002 Funds for Health Tracking

The American Congress agreed in late December, 2001 to provide almost $30 million in 2002 for health tracking. This year's funding is a downpayment on the $ 275 million needed to support nationwide tracking and monitoring of diseases. It may be the way to track the effects of mobile phones on children's health.

01 Jan 2002 - The Ecologist

An article in the Ecologist levels accusations at the Government of putting market forces before the health of the young. £22.5 billion is rather more than 30 pieces of silver, but is the price justified when research is showing that mobile phones are exposing the young to levels of microwave radiation that may seriously damage their developing brains and nervous systems? Dr Gerard Hyland, a leading expert in describing the potential health problems that our young people may have to face, is quoted as saying that scientific voices which put forward contrary views are 'at worst silenced, at best studiously ignored.' The media have focused on findings of 'no effects' instead of a balance of the scientific research showing those which have effects and those which don't. He argues that existing safety guidelines relating to mobile phone masts are completely inadequate, since they focus only on the thermal effects of exposure to electro-magnetic fields. People living in the vicinity of mobile phone masts literally have 'nowhere to hide'. In addition, given the short time for which humans have been exposed to it, we have 'no evolutionary immunity against any adverse effects'.

The fact that the following effects have not been studied in laboratory conditions or as part of a research study as yet; headaches, sleep disruption, impairment of short-term memory, nosebleeds and, more seriously, an increase in the frequency of seizures in some children already suffering from epilepsy, does not constitute grounds for dismissing them out of hand. A recently re-analysed analysis of the Lilienfeld report on the Moscow US Embassy irradiation during the 'cold' war shows that long-term (involuntary) exposure to microwave radiation of intensities in between that of an active phone and that of living near a base-station does causes serious illness, such as leukaemia and lymphoma, in certain exposed people.

According to Hyland: 'If the same level of uncertainty and debate as currently surrounds the safety of human exposure to GSM radiation obtained in the case of a new drug or foodstuff they would most certainly never be licenced.' In Russia, biological sensitivity of living organisms to ultra-low intensity microwave radiation was first discovered over 30 years ago, so their exposure guidelines are approximately 100 times more stringent than those of the UK. If you were the UK government, what would you do?

X-rays of the heads of the whales that died showed bleeding around the inner ears, trauma to the auditory system and parts of the brain and throat sensitive to intense pressures. "There's no question that these tactical mid-range sonars were the sound source that caused the trauma," said Roger Gentry, who heads the acoustical research team for the National Marine Fisheries Service, an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report's conclusions mark the first time that underwater noise other than from an explosion has been shown to cause fatal trauma in marine mammals. The Navy is expected to get federal permission to conduct tests of a low-frequency (100 to 500 cycles per second) sonar system early next year -- permission that environmental groups have promised to fight.