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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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: firstname.lastname@example.org Is all this meant to
dispirit communities so much that they give up the fight?
. Think on,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Parents grieve for student who died from a brain tumour.
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 childrens 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
colleges 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
Abridged. Western Gazette today (13 June 2002). By Simon Garnett Front page