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02/07/2002 - Old RF News

The New Scientist (29.06.02) carried a thinly disguised advertorial about magnetic wood that can block mobile phone signals. The wood, containing nickel-zinc ferrite, absorbs microwave radio signals, making it impossible to use a mobile phone in any room lined with it, without resorting to illegal signal jammers. Hideo Oka, who developed the product in Japan, hopes that it will soon be possible to buy the novel wood panelling by the metre at your local hardware store. He hopes to be able to use recycled magnetic materials and waste wood. He expects these panels to help in the rollout of Bluetooth technology, now that it is hoped that many homes will be fitted with wireless computing networks, which can interfere with each other. Whilst a this new composite wood is good idea, there are other materials that are offer more effective radiowave signal reduction possibilities. None of these were mentioned or referred to. As an advert it will please Oka. As an article about materials to block mobile phone signals, it was too one-sided to give a considered over view. We expect better of New Scientist's reporting of "Frontier Developments".

There is an EXCELLENT report comparing the RF shielding capabilities of 88 materials (yes, 88!) available from 24 mainly German manufacturers and distributors that gives graphs of the attenuation characteristics from 200 MHz to 10 GHz. This printed report of work carried out at a German University costs 15 Euros within Europe and may be obtained by sending a 15 Euro banknote to one of the authors, Dr-Ing.Dietrich Moldan, Am Henkelsee 13, D-97346 Iphofen, Germany.

A recent memorandum from the Chief Fire Officer for Somerset to Somerset County Councillors (20th May 2002) about TETRA concludes:

"It is clear that the events of September 11th and subsequently policy decisions by the government has undermined the commendable partnership work of the SW fire brigades. The decisions will result in significant delay which will bring with it problems over the continued viability of our current system. We may be forced, through financial disincentives to adopt a provider (TETRA) who would not be our first choice. On the positive side, if the County Council adopts the national procurement (TETRA), we have been verbally assured that it will be fully funded by central government." So, the Fire Brigade can choose TETRA, not their first choice for a number of reasons (uncertainty about health effects from using the handsets, which being underpowered, because of the uncertainty, are proving unreliable in the field), and the Government will pay.

If they choose another system which they prefer, they will have to pay for it themselves. Hobson's choice!!

The European Commission has called for EU member states to be more flexible over the deployment of next-generation mobile phone networks, although licensing terms should not be changed. British operators paid large amounts to operate UMTS licenses and have reported major financial problems because of the licenses and deployment costs. The European Commission gave its support to the proposition that operators be allowed to share UMTS network infrastructure, a point on which some member states disagree. The European Union's executive body also backed the idea that licenses that have not yet been allocated be treated as normal assets, which would allow operators to eventually sell them. This would not apply to existing licences. It said that the conditions for allocating licenses should not be changed in order to ensure "favourable security for long-term investments."

After a long-running protest campaign about the adverse health effects on local residents, a community in Bavaria has managed to force the US-run "Radio Liberty" to remove its five broadcasting towers in 2005. The 300 metre tall structures form the US govt-sponsored station which transmits programmes to eastern Europe and central Asia. To transmit the programmes that distance, the towers have to put out up to a million watts. Over the past fifty years people have moved to the community around the village of Valley, southeast of Munich, to get out of the city and find some peace and quiet amid picturesque surroundings. Nearly one in two of them now has cancer which Valley residents believe is due to the electromagnetic radiation from the transmitters. For decades, locals have been complaining of headaches, insomnia, constant ringing in the ears and heart palpitations. But it was the area's high cancer rate that decided the local residents to take action.
In addition to health problems, the high levels of electromagnetic radiation put out by Radio Liberty has meant that telephones and even kitchen sinks have become unwanted receivers, broadcasting out programmes in Russian and Farsi. The local church had to trade in its electronic organ for a mechanical one, since the constant "electronic smog" interfered with the first organ's circuits.
After complaining to local authorities for some six years with no results, the citizens of Valley turned to the USA. Last year they complained to the Federal District Court in Washington DC and petitioned for the transmitter to be removed from the area. This action persuaded the German parliament to look into the issue, and it has agreed to Valley's demands saying it will not renew the 50-year-old transmitter's lease when it expires in 2005.
Radio Liberty is seen to be playing a vital part in America's fight against terrorism, and Germany's foreign ministry is reluctant to remove it, because of its close ties with the US. As a result, it has stepped in and said before removing the towers, it wants to see studies 'proving' that the electromagnetic emissions are harming health. Those could be hard to come by, since the scientific community is in dispute over whether such radiation has detrimental health effects.
Conservative estimates have suggested that it may be at least 10 years before consensus is nearer. The courts then will have a field day in deciding 'new' legal proofs (not scientific ones, they admit they are in no position to decide the science, but as the big companies can hire the scientists who agree with their viewpoint (possibly as a result of research paid for by the companies) and local communities have no such resources to hire independent scientists (who are thin on the ground - see news item on Journals and papers in the Power section)), without legal precedents. Meanwhile the local residents are frustrated as their health deteriorates - living proof that seems to be ignored.
How will the German government decide?
At the moment, the community of Valley are optimistic that the transmitter towers will be moved. They are even offering to pay for the removal themselves.

The ongoing row about putting mobile phone masts on churches has been stepped up.
We all know that church's are strapped for cash, to keep their building structures in a state of good repair. The Church of England authorities have decided to back the idea by entering into an agreement with  Quintel S4, which will install equipment, pay rent to churches on a nationally agreed scale - which could be up to £10,000 a year per mast - and then rent the masts out to telecom companies. Five networks are seeking locations for masts to provide the forthcoming 3G services for mobile phones.
The Church insists the decision on whether to accept masts must lie with individual vicars but the deal sends a clear sign to parishes that the hierarchy approves in principle. Of its 16,000 properties, 5,000 churches have already expressed an interest in signing up for the masts and 200 local deals have already been agreed. It must be a very tempting offer, especially in relatively poor parishes. A Church of England spokesperson said: "All the church will do centrally is provide advice on
how to go about making the decision, such as on environmental, health and conservation grounds. We don't tell them it's bad or good. But if they do want one then we can tell them that that there's a company which has said it will work within the guidelines we have set."

The Diocese of London has already warned clergy at its 480 churches to exercise "great caution" over such deals because, it said, "the jury is still out on whether there is any harm from mobile phone masts". It is also aware of the deal alienating a lot of their already dwindling congregation.
Individual churches such as St Mary's in West Hampstead have accepted offers from operators worth several thousand pounds a year. St Barnabas in Beckenham faced a large protest from locals who discovered it was considering allowing Hutchison 3G to put a transmitter inside a cross on its
roof. John Hunt, of campaign group Mast Action UK, said: "The Church's deal with Quintel will tear churches apart as they have to choose between the carrot of regular easy money and the divisiveness the masts will cause within their communities." Mr Hunt added that there was "no absolute guarantee that churches would not become liable for damages should mobile phones and masts subsequently be proven to be hazardous to health".

Planning rows over new telephone masts are seriously delaying mobile phone companies' introduction of the next-generation "3G" services. Hutchison 3G, the only one of the five companies with a 3G licence that does not already have a mobile phone network, admitted it was delaying the launch of its service by two months, from September to November. The five licence operators between them have to erect between 20,000 and 30,000 new masts in the next few months, as 50,000 masts may be needed for the entire network and there are only (!) 24,000 installed as yet. The telephone companies are reluctant to discuss the problem, for fears of hurting their rocky share prices.
In some cases, the attempts to install new masts actually works against the companies. When new applications are made, old installations, the rental fees payable and length of the contract, can cause local opposition, as a result of which all existing operators are removed when contracts are due for renewal, rather than new equipment being given the OK.
To the phone companies, offering a 3G service is essential to survival. The "next-generation" service would be able to transmit video and music clips, offer location information correct to a couple of metres, and be "always-on" for internet and email use. When the five operators between them paid £22.5 billion for their 3G licences, the internet boom made them seem like a guarantee of untold riches. But with the furore over 3G masts likely to rumble on, that prediction looks a long way off.

Luton Mast Action
In Stopsley emissions from a T-Mobile phone mast have been recorded in a school cafeteria where children sit and eat their dinners exceeding 4 volts per metre. The cafeteria is located at least 100 metres away.
In the brochures circulated amongst the local residents prior to commissioning, the proposed emitted levels were stated as being far less than what is regularly observed on a COM monitor.

According to the FEI code of best practice, published in August 2001, telecommunications companies are supposed to:- provide "specific staff resources to respond to complaints and enquiries about radio base stations", and to develop "clear standards and procedures to deliver significantly improved consultation with local communities."
Ever tried to get information from mobile phone companies?  It seems that the "clear standards and procedures" means 'glossy brochures, repeating company policy' and "consultation with local communities" and "resources to respond to enquiries about radio base stations" means sending out these brochures when a member of the public enquires, but not addressing the enquiry itself.
"We have tried to obtain info from both BT and Orange on several occasions. The reply is always a duplicate copy of their glossy brochure and a standard letter which does not even try to address any individual questions".
" …having a WHO factsheet sent to me twice (Vodafone), no matter what my letters asked for was just to depressing to waste anymore stamps". "This has ended in me deciding to give up"
"At a council planning meeting Orange were asked why they had not consulted with the local school on the proposed mast. They replied that there was no need because the original application pre dated the obligation to comply with 10 commitments and PPG8."
"Orange are evidently not interested in listening to residents' concerns, are arrogant, seem to want to look for any way they can to circumvent real concerns and are definitely not customer oriented."

"Applications have been made by various operators including Hutchison 3G where the operator has said that they did not need to consult a nursery or a school boarding facility as neither of these are technically schools - where is the spirit of consultation in all this?"
If you have any queries about the operation of the mobile phone operators' commitments, you could contact the Federation of the Electronics Industry at: Russell Square House, 10 - 12 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EE Tel: 020 7331 2015  or email  the FEI Mobile Phone Advisory Group Director Michael Dolan:  mdolan@fei.org.uk   Is all this meant to dispirit communities so much that they give up the fight? …. Think on, operators……

There are two invitation only meetings about these issues in London on Wednesday 17th July. There is a Stakeholder Round Table Meeting staring in the morning to which Mast Action UK and Powerwatch are invited, and then an All Party Parliamentary Group meeting staring at 4pm in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster, entitled "The Ten Commitments: All talk no action?"

You are formally invited to the next meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Mobile Group. The group was established to look at issues affecting the mobile sector. The meeting will discuss the mobile operators' ten best practice commitments relating to the development of base stations.

Remember Planning Policy Guidance 8 (PPG8) and Paragraph 100 in the Annex stating "Mobile phone operators already keep their RF power outputs to the lowest possible levels commensurate with effective service provision"?
This is patently untrue, as readings near Orange masts especially, but increasingly T-Mobile masts are operating at unecessarily high levels and the Health and Safety Executive (who are responsible for ensuring that operators conform to this underlying assumption upon which other parts of PPG8 are based) are refusing to accept responsibility not only for answering public enquiries, but for monitoring, and even putting up warning signs next to masts that exceed ICNIRP!
Sally Keeble, MP, the Minister for Health and Safety, still states that if it doesn't actually cook us we're okay (to summarise)!!!!
A prominent mast campaigner says "There are pavements in Chorleywood, Rickmansworth and Watford, in Hertfordshire that measure 6.5 volts per metre on a COM Monitor - that is like standing a metre away from a microwave oven when it is cooking".

The Welsh Assembly Government's Planning Division are proposing to revise their Technical Advice Note (Wales) 19, 'Telecommunications'. In it, they are apparently intending to make it clear that it is not their responsibility if pre-rollout programmes are not entered into by telecommunications companies. They state is up to the Operators to stick to the commitment agreed with the Federation of the Electronics Industry (FEI) in August 2001. However, (and comfortingly!) the Welsh Assembly Government "strongly encourages operators and local planning authorities to carry out annual discussions based on the annual roll out plans for each authority's area (public access to these plans is subject to commercial confidentiality issues, of course- Powerwatch comment) and other information. Pre-application discussion should also be carried out between operators and authorities, with the operators also involving other organisations such as residential groups and community councils".

Vodafone Group PLC said (c.19th June 2002) it has been named in four personal injury cases in the US, which allege mobile phone use has caused brain cancer among other injuries. Vodafone will be vigorously defending these cases. "These actions are at an early stage and no accurate qualification of any losses which may arise out of the claims can therefore be made at the date of the report," Vodafone said. They will not welcome the results from the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, that found in laboratory tests that human cells exposed to radiation levels consistent with mobile phone use for one hour showed changes to protein chemistry that could lead to brain cancer or cause tissue damage.

Is Your BlueTooth Ringing? Bionic cell phones.
A new design for a tooth implant that receives digital signals from radios and mobile phones will be on display at the Science Museum in London beginning Friday. The exhibit was designed by Jimmy Loizeau and James Auger, research associates from MIT Media Lab Europe, as a collaboration between the Science Museum and the Royal College of Art.
A micro-vibration device and a wireless receiver can be implanted into a natural tooth during routine, inexpensive dental surgery. Your head is the receiver, your jaw the antenna. Insomniacs can listen to the world service without disturbing their sleeping partner, you can follow work colleagues' deals whilst on holiday, students can listen to music in particularly boring lessons. In fact, having more than one tuneful tooth implanted creates a "surround sound" effect, your own private rave.
Sounds are transferred from the tooth into the inner ear by bone resonance (digital signals being converted into audio). And for those who might be worried about a buzzing mouth, sound reception is assured to be totally discreet. "The vibrations are on a molecular level, so the user only experiences pure sound streaming into their consciousness," Loizeau says. We are assured by them that health issues are minimal, only about the same as the issues raised by the use of mobile phones. Well, that's a relief!
Auger says it is a chosen 'Darwinian advantage.' Surpassing the Jones's or what? Briefly, at least, until Alzheimer's or a brain (or jaw) cancer gets you.

We have many instances of people, who without the aid of such an implanted device are 'hearing' broadcasts from mobile phone masts.

The signals can clearly be transferred to the brain through bone resonance, as this technology shows. And they said it was all in the mind ….. May the force always be with you!

A school psychologist in Chicago is very concerned about the spread of networked computer systems springing up in educational establishments. In her school, (kindergarten-5) there are three wireless labs (42 wireless notebooks)---they are AirPort systems by Apple transmitting pulsed 2.45 GHz waves up to 150 feet in all directions.
Physicist Bill Curry has detailed the exposures and risks presented by such systems. His estimate of children sitting 18 inches away from the screen-embedded antennas is a serious overestimate, according to the psychologist, who has seen 9 year olds often sitting half that distance (quadrupling the exposure), and one resting his chin on the keyboard as he read the screen. She is very concerned about these children, and is afraid to see what the 6 year olds are doing.
Neither teachers nor parents appear to have considered the potential health risks to their children. (Nor the fact that computer use is strongly associated with electrical hypersensitivity, a chronic, debilitating condition.) Neither do they seem to realize that the system is emitting RF radiation when it is turned on and charging, even when the computers are not in use. Apple itself recommends in its literature that no one should go closer than 8 inches of the base station (which looks like a cute little space ship), but no one seems to know that either. Of course, in some schools, permanent base stations are transmitting all day every day from central locations throughout.
A Chicago district is about to file a lawsuit against their school governing body for exposing children to this radiation in their school classrooms.

Cellular Tower concerns from Israel

Many Bnei Brak residents claim that they are very worried about the possible environmental effects of mobile phone antennas. They demand that no cellular communication tower be constructed in residential areas, due to concerns over potential health hazards. The city will commission professional reports from additional sources, according to Bnei Brak Mayor Rabbi Mordechai Karelitz "This is in order to satisfy the concerns of the public who, on the one hand, want excellent reception for their cellular phones, and on the other, want to be completely reassured about the likelihood of radiation emanating from these antennas" Unlike other Western countries, Israel requires a permit certifying acceptable (acceptable to whom? - Powerwatch comment) levels of radiation emissions for every single communication installation. As part of a planning application, the operator must submit a report detailing potential risks. Factors such as the location of the installation, its possible effects on the environment, engineering needs, technical details, equipment, location of other antennas in the area, antenna interactions and other aspects of each site are assessed before a permit is issued.


21st June 2002
Judge Catherine Blake in Baltimore, America, is to rule on a case where Christopher Newman has been suing a mobile phone company for causing his brain tumour. She is to base her judgement on the results of a single paper produced by Lennart Hardell of Sweden on the effects of mobile and cordless phones on the development of brain tumours.
She has been asked to rule upon the admissibility of certain evidence -- and the question of scientific "peer review" or publication has been raised. The conclusions drawn from two widely cited papers by Muscat & Inskip, touted as 'no problems' papers, were amended later by the authors, that the time scales were too short to make definitive statements about potential health effects; that latency periods for slow-growing tumours had to be allowed for. Lennart Hardell's work, taking a slightly longer time scale into account was beginning to show concerning trends of increased risk of brain tumour development with increasing years of mobile phone (and cordless phone) use. Not only will her decision determine whether the case becomes the first to go to trial, but it likely will set a precedent for the nine or so cancer lawsuits pending against the mobile-phone industry. A ruling against Newman would essentially doom the lawsuit and others like it.

Dr. Robert Kane, author of Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette and former insider in the telecom industry, comments that the question raised with the judge over the credibility of 'peer reviewed papers only' is a phony issue. It has nothing to do with "science." It has to do with a system of 'science reporting' which is heavily biased against scientific advances that may challenge certain vested interests. A system, in other words, that looks the other way as challenges to the 'establishment' journals are not reported on an equal basis with the coverage that is given to the 'circle the wagons' defenders of the status quo. Science seems to be more concerned with defending the notion that we already know 'all there is to know'. Perhaps this flaw in the character of science today has something to do with 'defending the sources of funding?'

Is it a coincidence that Robert Kane's book has been withdrawn from amazon.de and they say that their wholesaler (Barnes & Noble) has eliminated his book suddenly from their databases?

Latest international advice to youngsters on mobile phone use
The French Government have recently reminded parents that, on a precautionary basis, they should tell their children to limit the use of mobile phones, and that when using an earpiece pregnant women should keep the phone away from their developing baby and teenage boys should keep it away from their testicles. (March 2002).
Bangladesh is preparing to ban mobile phones for children under 16 to protect them from exposure to radiation that could damage their brains. Experts are preparing regulations to stop companies from selling mobile phones to children. Mobile phone companies have lashed out at the proposal, saying there is no scientific basis for the measure. (June 2002)
Thailand's interior minister, Purachai Piemsomboon, is considering banning the use of cellphones by teenagers. He said that if teenagers continued to ignore the warnings about mobile phones emitting radiation harmful to brain cells and nerves, a law might become necessary to prevent them from using cellphones. (May 2002)
The UK Government's position continues to be that young people under the age of 16 should ONLY use a mobile phone in an emergency and should not use one in other circumstances. It is estimated 90% of 11-15 year-olds in the UK have their own mobile phone!

19th June 2002,  Mobile Phones blood-brain barrier damage fears confirmed
A major study into the safety of mobile phones has concluded that they may affect the health of people who use them.
New research carried out by scientists in Finland suggests radiation from mobile phones causes changes in the brain.
At lass scientists are looking at at the effects of mobile phone radiation real human brain cells. It was also announced that new studies involving real people with brain tumours and their past mobile phone use weresoon  to be started.

Professor Darius Leszcynski's two-year study concluded that even low-level emissions from handsets are damaging. Scientists from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority found that exposing human cells to mobile phone radiation damaged the blood-brain barrier - a safety barrier in the body that stops harmful substances in blood from entering the brain. They discovered that the exposure caused the cells in blood vessel walls to shrink which enabled toxic molecules to pass into brain tissue. This could be relavant to brain tumours and dementias, etc.

But speaking to BBC News Online, Professor Leszcynski said: "The blood-brain barrier has also been shown to be affected by radiation in animal studies. There is a lot of uncertainty about whether this happens in humans. We have shown some biological effects." He said these changes could have a serious impact on a person's health if they were found to happen in humans rather than just isolated human brain cells in the laboratory..
"If it did happen it could lead to disturbances, such as headaches, feeling tired or problems with sleeping. A study by a Swedish research group even
suggested it could lead to Alzheimer's disease."
However, he added: "It is important to remember that our study has been done in the laboratory where we can detect even the smallest changes. We cannot say whether it happens in humans. We need further study looking at real people to see if the blood-brain barrier is affected. What is happening in human brain is absolute enigma we don't know at all."

Prof Leszcynski also claimed that mobile phones were still safe to use. How he reconciles this with his new work is rather puzzling.
"At the moment, there is no scientific support for introducing any sort of limitation either on use of mobile phones or setting new safety limits."
"There is no need because we don't have any science to support it. All the guidelines in place at the moment are fine." He said.
Prof Leszcynski will present his findings at the BEMS annual conference in Quebec, Canada, next week.

In the latest (May / June) edition of Microwave News, it was reported that China (the Chinese Ministry of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency), with over 166 million mobile phone users, is considering adopting 1W/Kg SAR limit for mobile phones. This would be the strictest SAR phone standard in the world. They are meeting opposition from industry, who see this as a limitation on trade expansion. Representatives of Chinese government agencies will visit Europe and the USA on fact-finding missions before a final decision is made.
The Chinese health ministry has long had one of the world's strictest standards for exposures to microwave radiation for both public and workers.
Chiang, a member of the Joint Working Group, wrote that the ICNIRP limits "are based on short-term, immediate health effects", but that "there is a body of literature which suggests that biological effects can be shown at levels of radiation which do not produce heating or stimulation."

The London Borough of Harrow carried out a survey of ALL Local Planning Authorities in England, as a result of which a Local Authority Telecoms Network Conference was held in June to consider if it would be appropriate to set up a Local Authority Network. The objectives would be to share information on telecoms and associated issues, to act as a lobby group to influence Central Government legislation and guidance, to consider commissioning research and information- gathering projects, and to liaise with other technical & interested groups. The general view seemed to be that existing Government advice was inadequate as was guidance on dealing with public fear and perceived health risks. Community concerns have not been alleviated by PPG8. There seemed to be support for the network in principle, and although suggestions were made in terms of its organisation, resourcing and funding, these were not resolved !!

Professor Lawrie Challis, vice-chairman of the Stewart Committee is to speak at a Devon seminar on mobile phone masts at the Tiverton Hotel, on 5 July 2002 between 9.30am and 4.30pm. It has been organised after the Express & Echo highlighted the concerns about the number of cancers suffered by residents living near to a mast in Crediton. Other speakers will include top-level scientists, representatives of Devon & Cornwall Police, legal experts and telecommunications industry representatives, including 3G and TETRA. A number of spaces are still available @ £10 for members of the public who will have opportunities to ask questions. For further information call Mike Shaw on 01884 234229 by July 1.

The High Court rules that Health is a material planning consideration
Mr Justice Hooper has confirmed in an order granting leave for judicial review that health is a material consideration that must be taken into account when making decision on telecommunication installations. The case has profound significance for every local authority in the country as it clearly makes the point that not only is health a material planning consideration, but that members of the public should expect that decision makers give reasons for their decisions.
Mr Justice Hooper said that he felt that residents were entitled to a decision which explained why it was considered appropriate for a mast to be built so close to a school, in view of the Stewart Report.
The Judge then went on to recommend to the local authority that they should not oppose the application.
This decision follows on from the decision of Mr Justice Ouseley in R v Stockport MBC exparte Smith, who granted leave for judicial review where health was not taken into account.
There are, therefore, now two cases that clearly demonstrate that health MUST be taken into account, to decide an application otherwise is unlawful.
CfPS (Campaign for Planning Sanity) Chair Chris Maile said "This judgement is significant and will fundamentally alter the manner in which phone mast applications are considered. And further that planning authorities MUST take into account the findings of the Stewart report. And that they must give detailed reasons for their decision, in order that residents can best understand the reasons for approving the application."
Not taking into account health considerations is now unlawful.
The matter was later put back to the planning committee, who refused the application on, amongst other grounds, the concerns of residents of adverse health. The decision is now on appeal to the planning inspector, and a public inquiry is expected later in the year.

14th June
The sad story printed in the Western Gazette on 13th June (see below) about the teenager who died of a brain tumour, raises questions about the environmentally hazardous world we now live in.
Samantha, a hairdressing student, and her parents were convinced that it was her intensive and extensive mobile phone use which was responsible for her brain tumour. The fact that the tumour was in the place where the main emissions from her phone would have radiated her brain, makes the argument a persuasive one. It is likely that the RF exposure she was subject to played an important part in the growth, if not in the initiation of the tumour.
The cause of cancer is rarely simple, one sole cause rarely leads to the outcome. If it were that simple, there would be a large number of teenagers, who use their phones with as much eagerness as did Samantha, who would be suffering from brain tumours, and this isn't so.
Most cancers have a multi-stage process. Each individual carries a different genetic history, and then is exposed to different environmental exposures, and chooses to lead a unique lifestyle. There may be a genetic tendency, there may be exposure to ionising radiation, there may be illnesses, there may be chemical exposures, an inadequate or poor diet, there may be spontaneous DNA mutation, there may be exposure to electromagnetic radiation (from our use of power, or telecommunications).
It seems that some combinations can lead to tragic consequences in one person, and can be shrugged off by immune system repair mechanisms in another. The more our immune systems are compromised by our lifestyle, the more we are likely (though not certain) to reap the consequences in adverse health reactions.
Chemicals used in hairdressing have been associated in the past with an increased risk of developing cancers. The chemicals have changed, eliminating the more hazardous ones. However, it is difficult to keep pace with the changing chemical exposures we are subject to. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in America, currently recognises more than four million chemical compounds. More than 60,000 of these are produced commercially, with three new compounds introduced each day - the vast majority were not found in the natural environment of people living on Earth. In 1992, an EPA study revealed that of 7,000 Americans chosen at random, 71 percent had toxic chemical residues in their urine.
In the same way as not all heavy mobile phone using teenagers get brain tumours, not all hairdressers get cancer. Life is never that simple, or we would avoid the obvious contaminants - possibly.
However, people still smoke, they still drink-drive, they eat barbecued meat (associated with cancer), they don't consume 5 portions of fruit and / or vegetables a day (associated with a reduction in cancer risk). We have to weigh up the risks we are exposed to and make our choices.
It is a tragedy that Samantha is no longer able to make the risk assessments we have to make daily in the course of living. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to her family.

13th June 2002:   “Mobile Phone killed our daughter”
– Parents grieve for student who died from a brain tumour.

The grieving parents of a student who died of a brain tumour have blamed her tragic death on radiation from her mobile phone. “The phone had an antenna and where she held it to her head was where the tumour appeared. It is extremely rare for someone as young as Samantha to get a brain tumour. It is most common in men over 65” Said Mrs Miller, 38 of Yeovil.
Samantha Miller, aged 17 has died after a 15 month battle against the cancer. Samantha was diagnosed with the tumour – a glioblastoma multiforme- after complaining of severe headaches. In March last year surgeons at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, operated on the tumour. This was followed by a course of radiotherapy but this January it returned. She died at Littlebridge House – a children’s hospice in Fremington, Devon.
The Strode College (Street, Somerset, UK) student was studying hairdressing and had been an extremely popular member of the course said Barbara Millard, deputy head of the college’s hair, beauty and complementary therapy team. Samanth's parents Bill and Janet, of Marl Close, Yeovil, said they wanted to publicly thank everyone who had supported their daughter and their family through such a traumatic time.
Mr and Mrs Miller plan to lay Samantha to rest in Yeovil Cemetery on what would have been her 18th birthday on Wednesday. Mrs Miller said: "Samantha was a very popular and bubbly girl, I could not believe how many friends she had. She was always on the phone to them. We think that is what caused the tumour in the first place. Samantha also thought this.”
  Abridged. Western Gazette today (13 June 2002). By Simon Garnett Front page Mendip Edition.