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06/05/2002 - Old EMF News

24th April 2002-04-26

Under cross-examination at an electricity high voltage powerline Wayleave hearing near Northampton, Dr John Swanson (of National Grid and the Electricity Association) admitted, for the first time, that "there was an increased danger of death from leukaemia if a child lived near an electricity powerline where the EMF level was over 0.4 microtesla".

BBC R4 "Costing the Earth" programme (about miscarriage and EMFs, with the leukaemia link also mentioned, will be posted to you tomorrow (both Denis Henshaw and Alasdair Philips are featured).

Miguel Muntané has been promoting the "new mobile phone to protect human health against microwave radiation" This new mobile phone maintains all the features of conventional mobile phones, but communicates by means of optical infrared sensor, which links directly to the fixed infrared sensors placed inside and outside. They are connected by cable to the COLLECTIVE MICROWAVE EMITTER-RECEPTOR-ANTENNA placed safely on the top of buildings and transport. The COLLECTIVE EMITTER placed on top of buildings can work with lower "power" than "one present mobile phone". It is connected directly by microwave with the base stations that can be placed kilometres away from population and also working with minimal emitter power.

Bluetooth - the greatest thing since sliced bread, an insidious danger, or as interesting as a lead balloon?

I guess it depends on your viewpoint, as to whether you're trying to sell the products, concerned about the potential health effects of microwave radiation, or wondering why you might want your fridge to talk to the supermarket?

Bluetooth is designed to offer a low-speed, short-distance wireless communications capability with low-cost, low-power requirements and simplicity of use.
· Use 1 - could allow visitors to a public space such as a convention centre to maintain Internet or LAN access throughout the building without wires.
·Use 2 - Philips researchers also demonstrated Context-Aware Messaging Platform (CAMP),which could be used in airports or shopping malls to send information to users based on their identity, location or activities. As an example, Senior Scientist David Walker said travellers could arrive at an airport, log in to the Bluetooth network, and immediately receive their personal flight information.
·Use 3 - was a hands-free in-car idea, but with the current research showing it is safer to drive over the drink-drive limit than to use any sort of phone (including hands-free) by the driver of a car, this seems unlikely to take off.
·Use 4 - Roving Networks demonstrated a home Bluetooth network with a simple application for turning devices such as lights and an electric train on and off.
·A variation on Use 4 - Toshiba has combined Bluetooth and the networked home appliance idea and unveiled a line of networked home appliances, including a washing machine, refrigerator, and microwave oven, along with a home terminal and access point that all connect using Bluetooth wireless technology. The terminal also allows for Internet access. So it is possible to download services for the home appliances. For example, a customized washing program can be updated to the washing machine or a cooking recipe can be installed in the microwave. For some reason, users seem to be sceptical about the usefulness of these ideas, saying "you need to walk up to the microwave and put food in it when cooking anyway, why you couldn't just use the buttons on the microwave at that point?"
·Use 5 - Roving is also working on sensors that can monitor conditions such as heat and vibration in a manufacturing facility.
In April 2002 at Bluetooth Expo in Japan
·Use 6 - "The main benefit at the moment is when these home appliances break down," Toshiba spokesman Hirahara explains. "They can send out information about what is wrong with them, so that our customer service can respond to it sooner and with more accuracy than receiving a phone call from the owner."
·Use 7 - Home security related products such as an entrance door that has a sensor that can wirelessly send out a warning and monitoring function.
·Use 8 - For those who do not think that they radiate their heads sufficiently with microwaves, Tokyo audio-electronics maker Kenwood, is producing Bluetooth-embedded headphones. Bluetooth transmits only digital data, unlike the analog signals carried along wires to conventional headphones.
·Use 9 - Bluetooth is designed primarily for wireless data transmission over distances of about 30 feet. It is intended for "personal area networks" that wirelessly link devices that a user carries or keeps on a desk or in a cubicle. It is likely that it would be used in offices and in school classrooms, etc. For workers, or children, working for extended amounts of time within the 30 feet area, their microwave exposure is likely to be concerningly high. This is similar to the wLAN systems already in use which give off high levels of RF radiation.

One of the problems seems to be that the various operators developing Bluetooth systems are acting independently, and they are not currently all compatible with each other.

Safer drunk when driving than on the phone!

Direct Line Insurance commissioned a study comparing drivers when they were legally drunk to these same drivers while using hand-held and hands-free mobile phones. The results released in March 2002 year showed that the driver of a car using a phone whilst driving was more dangerous than being over the legal drink-drive limit. Drivers' reaction times were, on average, 30% slower when talking on a hand-held mobile phone compared to being drunk and nearly 50% slower than under normal driving conditions. Speed control, following distance, and reaction times were significantly affected. On average it took hand-held mobile phone users half a second longer to react than normal. At 70 mph, this is equivalent to travelling an additional 46 feet (14m) before reacting to a hazard on the road. Participants in the study stated that they found it easier to drive drunk than when using a mobile phone. When using a phone drivers missed more road warning signs than when drunk.

In 2000, more than 520 people lost their lives as a result of accidents involving drunk drivers. Most of us have been involved in near-misses (if we were lucky, they were misses) with people using a mobile phone whilst driving, especially round large, busy roundabouts.
How many people are being killed on the raods each year as a result of drivers talking on (any type of) mobile phone?

This URGENTLY needs new legislation to make it illegal to use (any type of) mobile phone while driving. Direct Line Insurance are supporting the need for new legislation calling for a total ban on the use of hand-held mobiles while driving. Janet Anderson MP is introducing a bill making it an offence to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving. The second reading of her bill took place on 12th April 2002.

The London Borough of Harrow sent out 419 questionnaires to Local Authorities. Of the 158 respondents, 98% said proposals produce strong public reaction; 95% thought telecoms equipment is an important planning issue; 84% thought the planning regime does not deal adequately with community concerns; 77% thought current legislation is unsatisfactory; and 73% thought telecoms is an important health issue. 84% supported the idea of a Local Authority Telecoms Network to act as a Local Authority Lobbying Group; to identify research needs and to commission projects; to liaise with technical and scientific bodies and to liaise with interest groups

Insurance and Base Stations

Powerwatch has long promoted the excellent publication "EMF-a phantom risk",1996, by Swiss Re (=Swiss Reinsurance Company) as one of the landmark documents in assessing the risks of EMF exposure on the general population, and its potential consequences to the insurance industry. This publication may still be available on Swiss Re's homepage. According to Eva Marsalek, as a result of this study, in 1997, some Austrian Insurance companies refused to insure health risks related, directly and indirectly, to EMF. Frankonia, in Germany, excludes health risks and we believe that Lloyds also refuses to cover. The mobile-phone companies sometimes state that the insurers refuse to cover because there is deemed to be such a small risk. But this is not the case. She recommends that you read the study of Swiss Re and remember the statement of the Austrian Insurance Companies. She concludes; "So you have the same situation for NIR/EMF's as for ionising radiation/nuclear power plants: the risks are carried by the public while the benefits are privatised in international companies". Her comments were made following the story from Ireland in April 2002, about the validity of insurance cover for mobile phone masts erected on Garda stations as a result of a 1997 deal between Esat and the Gardai. Green Party leader Trevor Sargent said "It is very likely that in the foreseeable future complaints such as a brain tumours will be blamed on masts, and I am concerned that there is not clearly defined documentation regarding liability,". The Department of Justice and Law Reform has confirmed that "the contract with Esat Digifone in relation to the use of Garda sites requires them to indemnify the state against all costs or claims which might arise from the use of these sites by Esat Digifone". Despite confidentiality issues, details of a certificate of insurance were released. At present no-one seems able to trace the insurance company involved.

The following is very useful information extracted from a document by CfPS (Campaign for Planning Sanity), see Resources.

'Small Antennas' And 'De Minimus' Installations

Section 55 of the T&CP Act 1990, 'Meaning of Development' sub section 2
The following operations or uses of land shall not be taken for the purposes of this Act to involve development of the land-
the carrying out for the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of any building, of works which do not materially affect the external appearance of the building, when seen in its entirety.

1. What constitutes small antennas is set out in Part 24 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) Order 2001. For antennas which are 'small' according to GPDO Part 24 4A then NO permission whatsoever is required, although the operator still has to give 28 days notice of installation under Planning Policy Guidance Note 8 'Telecommunications' Appendix para 44 and the Telecommunication Code Systems Operators Licences. A 'small antenna' means an antenna which-

i)is for use in connection with a telephone system operating on a point to fixed multi-point basis;
ii)does not exceed 50 centimetres in any linear measurement; and
iii)does not, in two-dimensional profile, have an area exceeding 1,591 square centimetres
excluding any feed element, reinforcing rim mounting and brackets;

A small antenna can be installed on any building or structure, but not on an existing mast, thus they could be fitted in theory to every lamp post in a street, with no permission, to every building in a town, with no permission (two on larger commercial buildings), every pylon, water tower, flood light and so forth.

2. Those works that are purely de minimis, can be pointed to as not being development within the meaning set out in Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and which do not materially affect the external appearance of the building, or structure. In legal terms the literal meaning of the full expression de minimis no curat lex is "The law takes no account of very trifling matters". What is a 'trifling matter?' The following are potential additions;-

Additional dishes and antennae added to a base station. Adding of larger head gear (frame for holding antennae and dishes), larger dishes and larger antennae (not all on the same mast). Installing larger equipment cabins. Installation of small antennae and dishes disguised as normal building and street furniture, such as street lights and burglar alarms. Installation inside buildings of antennae and dishes under false ceilings, as imitation smoke detectors and other interior fittings.

We should keep clearly in mind that the small antenna criteria would outweigh de minimis. In other words, if in the normal course of events some form of work/installation to an existing building took place which was true de minimis then permission would not be required. However if that same work/installation was a telecommunications antenna which exceeded the small antenna criteria then it would not be de minimis but either a permitted development, or a full development (depending on the criteria of the installation).

'De minimis' criteria also apply to the insides of buildings, though it is interesting that the guidance and regulations all refer to exteriors. Therefore arguably hundreds of installations could be placed inside shopping malls, office blocks, stations and so forth with no permission. Normally these are of Picocells emitting only a few watts, but they could also include Microcells, which can radiate high levels. Typically each phone operator (and now TETRA) will have a network of these cells in every public building, the latest ones having them built into the design. Added together this could mean that every avenue of a shopping mall could have 6 to 10 Picocell installations, all hidden from view.

There has to be a distinction here between those additions that are small antennas and therefore require notification, and those that are not and require no notification. The sites that have already got installations could and do get de minimis installations or extensions of existing masts without notifying the LPA. Those that come under small antennas would include all antennas on new sites that fit the definition in Part 24 A4.

Operators are using the threat of de minimis to bully local authorities into submission. They are erecting antennas that do not come within the special conditions. You should challenge any installation that fails to come within the remit of a 'small antenna' that is on a building or structure, or is on a mast, even a roof based mast, that has been especially provided for that antenna. The installation if outside the remit would be unlawful and therefore the property officer of the LPA is the enforcement officer who should take action, albeit that the LPA do have a discretion whether to take enforcement action or not.

CfPS suggest that if the Local Planning Authority refuse to take enforcement action, then first go to the media, then look to judicial review of the decision not to take enforcement action. More advice on that procedure is available on our judicial review forum.

'Stroud TETRA inquiry'

mmO2 won an appeal against the rejection of a TETRA mast application in Stroud. The inspector concluded that health was a material consideration, and that it was right to take it into account, although he concluded that in this instance there was insufficient evidence presented to the inquiry to warrant refusal on health grounds. There is considerable evidence that the TETRA handsets do have effects that may affect health, especially interference with medical equipment, including pacemakers, hearing aids and life support systems such as those used by medical personnel in road traffic accidents. Police officers who used the sets in Lancashire are reporting ill-health symptoms; and Manchester police refused to use the sets as they were too underpowered to be reliable. It is unclear what health effects are being reported from those who live near operational TETRA base stations. No research has been done on the masts; very little has been done on the handsets. What makes the issue so complex is that different organisations can reach very different conclusions from the same data. Risk assessment is a bit like that. We discuss this extensively in the chapter on The Precautionary Principle in our CD/book Mobile Phones and Masts, the Health Risks. If there is a problem, are the operators insured? See previous news item

Mobiles "cleared" of ear cancer link

Dr J Muscat in Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. You may have read or heard on the news on 23rd April, biased stories about this study. It is yet another example of misrepresented research to 'clear' mobile phones of the very risks they are being found increasingly to carry. Dr Joshua Muscat at the New York University Medical Centre, investigated mobile phone use in 90 patients with a tumour of the inner ear, an acoustic neuroma. There are no established environmental causes of acoustic neuroma - but there had been concern that hand-held cellular phone users were at increased risk. The researchers found no link between increased mobile phone use and this type of cancer. However, their study only focused on short-term mobile phone use. Lennart Hardell in Sweden had found positive correlations between phone use (mobile and cordless) and tumours in people who had used them for 5 years or more. Most tumours are relatively slow growing and whether RF radiation is causative or promotional, short-term studies are not going to show anything of significance. Perhaps, if Muscat repeats the study after another five years, he will be telling a different story. He did say "A slightly elevated risk was found for subjects with three or more years of cell phone use, but these subjects were also infrequent users". He also said "No association was observed with cumulative use, and we found no evidence of a trend in the odds of risk with increasing levels of exposure." What Powerwatch has found from anecdotal evidence is that those people who may have adverse effects from phone usage deliberately reduce their overall exposure time by keeping calls short. It may be that these people are the susceptible ones and no link will therefore be found with heavy use as they are self-monitoring. Muscat recommended that research should be undertaken on the long-term effects of radiation from mobile phones and more particularly mobile phone masts.

This latest Muscat study comes to opposite conclusions to his previous study and to a major new Sewedish study due to be published soon that conldes that there is a STRONG use-response link between mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma.

Sound familiar?

The Swiss and Australian Governments having noted that road accident fatalities are doubled in going from 15 to 30 miles per hour have set strict speed limits for traffic in both countries.
The UK NRPB* are reported to have said that there is no evidence of a causal link between traffic speed and road fatalities and have said they see no need for a reduction in their recommended limit of 120,000 miles per hour, stating that in practice few people travel at these speeds. They might however, be persuaded by Government to reduce their limit to that set by the International Commission on Non-Invasive Road Protection (ICNIRP) of 7,500 miles per hour.
* N.B. "National Radiological Protection Board" is an anagram for "Political Co-ordinator on Ignorable Data"

19 March 2002

>Power-frequency EMF levels in Royal Women's Hospital

The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday attempted to reassure parents there was no risk to children despite the very high levels of electromagnetic radiation that had been found in the area of the hospital's day-care centre where children sleep. Hospital general manager Dale Fisher said there was no cause for alarm. "The test showed that the playroom area recorded less than 1 microtesla, the sleeping room less than 30 microtesla and the rest of the centre recorded less than 25 microtesla," she said. The fields are caused by a substation directly below the ground floor day-care facility, which is used regularly by 16 children aged 10 months to four years. The high levels in the children's sleeping areas have prompted cots to be moved to an area of lower radiation.
A New Zealand study (Dockerty et al.) and a Canadian study (Green et al.) both found substantially increased risk of childhood leukaemia for children sleeping in fields as low as 1.4 microtesla. Although 'sleeping' in these studies would have been longer than the short periods of sleep at a day-care centre, the fields are enormous by comparison.
According to Neil Cherry, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health, at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and an acknowledged expert in the field of EMFs and health effects, the hospital should be told how dangerous their environment is and get it cleaned up as quickly as possible.
The Department of Human Services said the level found at the hospital could be compared with levels found 15 centimetres from household appliances such as a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner. This may be true, but how many children sleep next to a working hair dryer or vacuum cleaner for extended periods of time?

18th March 2002

    A Queensland judge made a ruling that electromagnetic fields from a proposed substation next to a predominantly residential area, should not exceed 0.4 microtesla. Energex, the supply company were open to discussion, and were helpful in reaching the accepted resolution.
    The judge said that the issues relating to the placement of the substation are significantly different from those that may have existed in the past, as research now available accepts that a possible risk to the surrounding community may exist. Not only were the magnetic field levels in around the substation to be taken into account, but recognition of the fields from the infeed and distribution cables had to be limited, by undergrounding, and monitoring, to ensure compliance with the 0.4 microtesla maximum allowed magnetic flux density.
    Roger Lamb, an electrical engineer, who sat in for the five day hearing, said it would hopefully provide a model for the resolution of similar situations in the future, without the need to resort to the planning court.
    What is important is that the judge opted for precaution on the basis of the Doll Report and Energex's evidence (slanted to dismiss the concerns). He responded to the uncertain possibility of a health hazard which the Company's expert witnesses couldn't deny. The judge said "The supply of electricity must not only be reliable, it must be as safe as it reasonably can be".

TAMOXIFEN SHOWN TO PREVENT BREAST CANCER, (unless you live near pylons!) Tamoxifen, a drug used successfully for years to treat breast cancer, can also prevent the disease in healthy women who have a high risk of developing it, cancer experts said. Reuters Health Information 2002
Remember, though, that Tamoxifen does not work in fields higher than 1.6 microtesla. So, if you live very close to, or under, high-voltage lines, it may not be wise to rely on its preventative action.

Orange Go Green

News has been leaked that Orange, the giant mobile phone company, will be producing a "green" environmentally friendly mast that combines wind turbine technology and 3G antenna.

The 40 metre high wind turbines will self-generate enough power for the base station's requirements and could even put something back into the National Grid said an industry source. It is understood that scientists have solved the noise issue from the 15m turbine blades with state of the art bearing-technology originally designed for the American military in the Gulf.

It is understood that UK planning legislation will be changed in the Government's Green Planning paper to permit "eco-friendly" masts without the 'increasingly tiresome' Permitted Development rules.

A Mast Action UK (an organisation campaigning against inappropriate sighting of mobile phone masts) spokesperson said "We understand that 25% reductions in Council Tax are being recommended to all those who live within 500 metres of the turbi-mast."

25th March 2002

Following the findings of Dr De-Kun Li, (published in the January 2002 issue of Epidemiology: De-Kun Li et al, 13; 9-20 and Lee et al, 13; 21-31), which we mentioned in the last report at the end of February, Sir Richard Doll, on the NRPB website, said 'there was nothing in it'. Professors Denis Henshaw and Mike O'Carroll challenged this assertion, pointing out inaccuracies and faults in his conclusion. Sir Richard decided that it was necessary to change his statement in view of the challenges which he upheld.

22nd March 2002

Direct Line Insurance in the UK commissioned a study using driving simulators comparing drivers when they were legally drunk to the same drivers while using hand-held and hands-free mobile phones. Both phone uses showed greater driver impairment than being drunk. Drivers' reaction times were, on average, 30% slower when talking on a hand-held mobile phone compared to being drunk and nearly 50% slower than under normal driving conditions. Four out of ten drivers - equivalent to around 10 million UK motorists - admit to using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

This is the first study to study alcohol-impaired drivers with their own reaction times, etc., while using mobile phones. Direct Line is hoping its findings will lend support to MP's calls for a total ban on the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving. It is not currently a specific offence to use a mobile phone while driving, but drivers can be prosecuted for "careless driving" or "dangerous driving" under existing legislation, carrying penalties of fines, imprisonment, license endorsements or disqualification from driving.

19th March 2002

The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, tried to assure parents there was no risk to children after moderate levels of electromagnetic radiation were found in the area of the hospital's day-care centre where children sleep. "The test showed that the playroom area recorded less than 10 milliGauss (1 microtesla), the sleeping room less than 300 milliGauss (30 microtesla) and the rest of the centre recorded less than 250 milliGauss (25 microtesla)," Dale Fisher, the Hospital General Manager, and the mother of one of the children attending the centre, said. The electromagnetic radiation comes from an electrical substation in the hospital's basement, directly below the day-care centre, which is used by 16 children aged 10 months to four years, regularly, and occasionally by other children. The high levels in the children's sleeping areas prompted cots to be moved to an area of lower radiation.

These readings are very high compared to two recent childhood leukaemia studies which showed that for children sleeping in 1.4mG the OR of developing leukaemia was 4.5 (Green et al. 1999), and for 2mG or more rocketed to 12.0 (Dockerty et al. 1998). In Sweden the Government announced that it would act on the presumption that exposure to power frequency electromagnetic fields is a cancer risk, prudent avoidance means that no new children's facilities are to be built in areas where ambient fields exceed 2-3mG.

Neil Cherry, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health, Lincoln University, New Zealand, says "there is strong evidence that the ELF fields are genotoxic in over 15 studies, at levels that neither involve heat nor shocks. The hospital should be told how dangerous their environment is and get it cleaned up as quickly as possible".

18th March 2002

A Queensland judge made a ruling that electromagnetic fields from a proposed substation next to a predominantly residential area, should not exceed 4 milligauss (0.4 microtesla). Energex, the supply company were open to discussion, and were helpful in reaching the accepted resolution.

He said that the issues relating to the establishment of the substation are significantly different from those that may have existed in the past, as the body of evidence now available accepts that a possible and credible risk to the surrounding community may exist. Not only were the magnetic field levels in the perimeter of the substation to be taken into account, but recognition of the fields from the infeed and distribution cables had to be limited, by undergrounding, and monitored, to ensure compliance with the 4 milligauss maximum allowed magnetic flux density.

Roger Lamb, an electrical engineer, who sat in for the five day hearing, said it would hopefully provide a model for the resolution of similar situations in the future, without the need to resort to the planning court.

What is important is that the judge opted for precaution on the basis of the Doll Report and the Energex's evidence (slanted to dismiss the concerns). He responded to the uncertain possibility of a health hazard which the Company's expert witnesses couldn't deny. The judge said "The supply of electricity must not only be reliable, it must be as safe as it reasonably can be".

WHO Director-General gets headaches from mobile phones

In the 9th March 2002 edition of the Norwegian paper "Dagbladet", it was reported that the WHO Director-General and former Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, gets headaches every time she's near a mobile phone.

"In the beginning the area around my ear got warm. But the pain got worse, becoming stronger and I got headaches every time I used a mobile phone," Gro says. She thought she could avoid the pain by reducing the time she spent on the phone, but it didn't help. The headache she gets from the radiation goes away within half an hour to an hour after her exposure stops.

She gets an instant reaction if she touches a DECT phone, which give off as much microwave radiation as a mobile phone.

Gro Harlem Brundtland says "I think we have reason to be cautious, and not use mobile phones more than necessary. And the younger you are, the more reason to take this seriously. I think you should follow the precautionary principle".

March 2002

Professor Mike O'Carroll of REVOLT reported that Hans Karow of British Columbia, Canada, is challenging the proposed power line there on human rights law. He has written to the Attorney General claiming that the intrusion of EMFs is a physical attack and an assault, that it requires an Informed Consent Agreement under Canadian law and that residents are having to endure an "unavoidable trespass" since they can't avoid the EMFs.

8th March 2002

Association Of Health Problems with 50-hz Magnetic Fields in Human Adults Living Near Power Transmission Lines - Ivan L. Beale, PhD, Neil. E. Pearce, PhD, Roger J. Booth, PhD, Sandra A. Heriot, PhD - Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine Vol 20 No 2 August 2001:9-12,15,30

This study looked for evidence of an association between environmental power-frequency magnetic field exposure in people's homes and immune-related illnesses in humans. 560 adults living near extra-high-voltage transmission lines completed questionnaires about their health and demographic characteristics. Five of the eight health variables showed a linear dose-response relationship with exposure. Significantly elevated odds ratios were obtained at higher exposure levels both for asthma and for combined chronic illnesses. The results are consistent with a possible adverse effect of environmental magnetic field exposure on immune-related and other illnesses.

2 March 2002

The death of medical science in Spain (from Klaus Rudolph)

Serious sanctions could be imposed on Dr. Claudio Gómez Perretta if he continues his research into adverse health effects from cellular phone masts. La Fe hospital, the only research centre in Valencia has decided to discontinue his research into the effects of EMF on human health.

28th February - WASHINGTON - Reuters

Nuclear weapons test fallout caused 15,000 U.S. deaths

No U.S. Resident Born After 1951 Escaped Exposure, according to Government study. At least 15,000 cancer deaths and a further 20,000 nonfatal cancers in the United States were probably caused by radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear weapons tests worldwide.

USA Today said the study showed far more fallout than previously known reached the United States from nuclear tests done in the former Soviet Union and on several Pacific Islands by the United States and Britain. The estimates on radiation dispersal were based on complex computer analyses of weather patterns, population trends and other data that can gauge public exposure to fallout from aboveground nuclear tests, the paper said.

Child Leukaemia Treatment in Iraq

Most of the chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of cancers and leukaemia are nitrogen mustard based drugs, which are considered, by the US and UK governments, as dual use substances and are under strict export control.

Several years ago the GOI wanted to import 100 vials of Mustian, for cancer treatment, from BOOTS in the UK. The UK government did not give the necessary export license because mustard hydrochloride was a banned material. It is worth noting that each vial contained 10 milligram of mustered hydrochloride i.e. the whole order was for ONE GRAM and only one gram. They know that UNSCOM have destroyed more than 80 tons of mustard gas in Iraq yet they consider that ONE gram is a threat to world security. This is one reason why leukaemia drugs are in short supply.

Because of sanctions, it can take more than 6 months for the UN 661 committee to process a request for the drug. The time taken is unpredictable and therefore makes planning almost impossible, leading to avoidable shortages.

North Devon Journal 15th Feb 2002

We went down to Crediton, in Devon, to look into the circumstances of a 5-year-old girl who had been diagnosed with Leukaemia when she was 3, whose bedroom was in the direct line of sight of a mobile phone mast. The filed levels in her bedroom were high. She had been living in these fields all her life. A neighbour died of leukaemia, and two more have been diagnosed, in a straight line from the mast to the valley below.

We have been supporting the local community in campaigning for the mast to be moved down the ridge, further away from the houses. We have also helped with suggestions about screening her bedroom and the fields are now very low indeed.

7th February 2002 - Guardian

A scandal has recently broken revealing that doctors take large sums of money from drug companies for scientific papers, published in their names, endorsing new medicines, which have been ghostwritten by the companies. Some of the doctors named as authors may not have even seen the raw data, and they depend on the interpretation made by the drug company employees.

Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet and 11 other journals are denouncing the drug companies for imposing restrictions on the data to which scientists are given access in the clinical trials the companies fund. Some their own.

The doctors sometimes give talks based on such papers to an audience of other doctors at drug company-sponsored symposia, receiving substantial sums of money. Apparently, British psychiatrists are being paid around £1,400 a time for symposium talks, plus airfares and hotel accommodation.

What is unclear is whether the psychiatrists really believe in what is put in the papers or they are saying it because they or their department is getting some financial reward.

Due to the decline of state funding for research, scientists in all areas of medicine are at risk of becoming more dependent on pharmaceutical companies to fund or commission their work, placing in jeopardy their objectivity. This gives the industry unprecedented control over data and ends with research papers increasingly being drafted by company employees or commercial agencies.