Dr. Magda Havas: “Cherry Picking and Black Swans”

Dr. Magda Havas presents this short video to illustrate the difference between “cherry picking” science and falsification or finding the “black swan”. She writes, “Some scientists are criticized for cherry picking their studies when in fact they are falsifying a hypothesis. Falsification, a concept coined by Sir Karl Popper (philosopher of science), is one of the methods that differentiates science from other forms of acquiring knowledge.”

Does the FCC Plan to Rubber Stamp Outdated Cell Phone Radiation Standards?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a formal review of the U.S. cell phone radiation standards according to a Bloomberg news report: FCC. Wireless Devices and Health Concerns.

An FCC spokesperson emailed a statement to a Bloomberg reporter that is truly alarming. Her message suggests that the FCC has already decided that the current standards are fine, and will conduct a review to rubber stamp the 1996 FCC guidelines:

“Tammy Sun, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an e-mailed statement. The notice won’t propose rules, Sun said.

‘Our action today is a routine review of our standards,’ Sun said. ‘We are confident that, as set, the emissions guidelines for devices pose no risks to consumers.'”

The Bloomberg article cites a major review of the literature conducted by our research center in which we found an association between mobile phone use and increased brain tumor risk especially after 10 years of cell phone use:

“There is possible evidence linking mobile-phone use to an increased risk of tumors, according to a study of scientific studies and articles that was published in 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

The research we reviewed and subsequent research strongly suggest that the current standards for cell phone radiation are not adequate to protect us from health risks associated with exposure to cell phone radiation. A year ago, a 31-member group of experts convened by the World Health Organization agreed with our conclusions and classified cell phone radiation a “possible carcinogen.”

The FCC standards were established in 1996 at a time when few adults used cell phones. Today, children and most adults are exposed to far more cell phone radiation than the FCC-approved test models are subjected to when new cell phones are certified. Moreover, the test assumes that cell phones can harm us only by heating tissue. This is not true as there are numerous studies that demonstrate non-thermal effects from cell phone radiation including increased glucose metabolism in the brain, generation of heat shock proteins, free radicals, and double-strand DNA breaks; penetration of the blood-brain barrier, damage to sperm and increased male infertility.

The FCC admits on its web site* that “there is no federally developed national standard for safe levels of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy.” “The FCC’s guidelines and rules regarding RF exposure are based upon standards developed by IEEE and NCRP and input from other federal agencies.”

I have grave concerns if the FCC continues to rely on industry-funded expert groups because our research found that industry-funded epidemiologic research was generally of lower quality and biased against finding harmful effects. Dr. Henry Lai at the University of Washington has come to a similar conclusion in his analysis of the toxicology research.

In my opinion, it is premature to adopt new safety standards because we need more research that is independent of the wireless industry’s influence. The Federal government needs to sponsor a major research initiative on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation. Martin Blank and Reba Goodman from Columbia University recently published a paper in the journal, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, calling for the development of a biologically-based measure of electromagnetic radiation (abstract below).

In the interim, to protect cell phone users we must adopt and disseminate precautionary health warnings that promote safer cell phone use. Although The FCC web site provides some simple steps to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, it “does not endorse the need for these practices.” A dozen nations and the city of San Francisco have issued precautionary warnings about cell phone use to its citizens. It is time for our Federal government to do so.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director Center for Family and Community Health
The UC Berkeley Prevention Research Center
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
 http://cfch.berkeley.edu
 

Top public health official report: Smart Meters DO pose a health risk!

Santa Cruz County, CA Board of Supervisors directed its public health officer to prepare an analysis of the research on the health effects of Smart Meters in December 2011. Poki Stewart Namkung, M.D. M.P.H., prepared this report: Health Risks Associated With SmartMeters which recognizes:

  • Smart Meters transmit pulsed radiation (RF)  24/7
  • There are evidence-based health risks of RF
  • RF exposure can be cumulative and additive
  • The massive increase in RF public exposures since the mid-1990’s
  • The controversy between independent and industry science, including lack of funding for independent research
  • Evidence to support an Electrical Sensitivity (EHS) diagnosis
  • The public health issue is that Smart Meters are involuntary RF exposures
  • FCC thermal guidelines are irrelevant for non-thermal public exposures.
  • The lack of relevant safety standards for chronic pulsed RF

The report summary calls for more government vigilance towards involuntary RF public exposures because, “…governmental agencies are the only defense against such involuntary exposure.”

The report also provides examples of strategies to reduce RF including minimize cell and cordless phone use, use speakerphone when possible, use wired internet connections, avoid setting a laptop on your lap, and more.

Excerpts:  “The public health issue of concern in regard to SmartMeters is the involuntary exposure of individuals and households to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.”

“There are numerous situations in which the distance between the SmartMeters and humans is less than three feet on an ongoing basis, e.g. a SmartMeter mounted on the external wall to a bedroom with the bed placed adjacent to that mounting next to the internal wall. ”

“…SmartMeters emit frequencies almost continuously, day and night, seven days a week.”

“… exposure is additive and consumers may have already increased their exposures to radiofrequency radiation in the home through the voluntary use of wireless devices …It would be impossible to know how close a consumer might be to their limit, making uncertainty with the installation of a mandatory SmartMeter. ”

“… all available, peer-reviewed, scientific research data can be extrapolated to apply to SmartMeters, taking into consideration the magnitude and the intensity of the exposure.”

“Since the mid-1990’s the use of cellular and wireless devices has increased exponentially exposing the public to massively increased levels of RF.”

” It must be noted that there is little basic science funding for this type of research and it is largely funded by industry.”

“…most research carried out by independent non-government or non-industry affiliated researchers suggests potentially serious effects from many non-ionizing radiation exposures, research funded by industry and some governments seems to cast doubt on the potential for harm.”

“Despite this controversy, evidence is accumulating on the results of exposure to RF at non-thermal levels including increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier in the head (Eberhardt, 2008), harmful effects on sperm, double strand breaks in DNA which could lead to cancer genesis (Phillips, 2011), stress gene activation indicating an exposure to a toxin (Blank, 2011), and alterations in brain glucose metabolism (Volkow, 2011). ”

“Currently, research has demonstrated objective evidence to support the EHS diagnosis…”

“Meeting the current FCC guidelines only assures that one should not have heat damage from SmartMeter exposure. It says nothing about safety from the risk of many chronic diseases that the public is most concerned about such as cancer, miscarriage, birth defects, semen quality, autoimmune diseases, etc. Therefore, when it comes to nonthermal effects of RF, FCC guidelines are irrelevant and cannot be used for any claims of SmartMeter safety unless heat damage is involved (Li, 2011). ”

“There are no current, relevant public safety standards for pulsed RF involving chronic exposure of the public, nor of sensitive populations, nor of people with metal and medical implants that can be affected both by localized heating and by electromagnetic interference (EMI) for medical wireless implanted devices.”

“Many other countries have significantly lower RF/MW exposure standards ranging from 0.001 to 50 ~W/cm2 as compared with the US guideline of 200-1 000 ~W/cm2”

“In summary, there is no scientific data to determine if there is a safe RF exposure level regarding its non-thermal effects.”

This is an excellent report and a must read for all public policy decision makers, and especially utility regulators.  Many thanks to Dr. Stewart Namkung, the Santa Cruz Supervisors and to the EMF educators in their area!  Please circulate!

EMF Safety Network files lawsuit against Sebastopol 4G cell tower

On January 11, the EMF Safety Network filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against the City of Sebastopol, Verizon, and Crown Castle alleging the City’s decision to approve a 4G cell tower expansion was in violation of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  According to the Sebastopol attorney, the city has a “hold harmless” clause in their contract with Verizon which requires Verizon to pay for all litigation costs related to the cell tower.

Sebastopol is located adjacent to an internationally recognized wetlands preserve, the Laguna De Santa Rosa.  The City filed a CEQA exemption for the project stating there would be “negligible or no expansion of use”, calling it a “minor alteration.”  EMF Safety Network lawyer Rose Zoia argued their exemption claims were false.  The addition of 3 and 4 G panels to the cell tower will add significant radio frequency (RF) exposure to the downtown area and extend nine miles into the Laguna.

Sebastopol’s Telecommunications Ordinance states, “ No telecommunications facility shall be sited such that its presence threatens the health and safety of migratory birds.”

An environmental study by A. Balmori, Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife. states,

“Electromagnetic radiation is a form of environmental pollution which may hurt wildlife.”

“Phone masts located in their living areas are irradiating continuously some species that could suffer long-term effects, like reduction of their natural defenses, deterioration of their health, problems in reproduction and reduction of their useful territory through habitat deterioration.  Electromagnetic radiation can exert an aversive behavioral response in rats, bats and birds such as sparrows. Therefore microwave and radiofrequency pollution constitutes a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants living near phone masts.”

A second study, Bioassay for assessing cell stress in the vicinity of radio-frequency irradiating antennas. assesses cell stress in water plants from RF. Conclusion excerpt: “The present work makes a unique biological connection between exposure to RF-EMF and real biological stress in living cells.”

Verizon reps swagger into town with their cookie cutter safety data, and hired guns making broad claims of FCC safety.  Cities are caught in a legal trap between mega-rich wireless industry, educated residents armed with evidence of environmental harm and the city’s local ordinances which call for protecting the public and environmental health.  The 1996  Telecommunications Act makes it illegal to deny a cell tower based on health impacts!

The Sebastopol City Council voted 2-2 to deny the cell tower expansion, however because it was a tie, the original planning commission decision to approve the 4G network was upheld.  Faced with the cost of a lawsuit from Verizon for denying the tower- or a lawsuit from local citizens which Verizon has to pay, the vote was likely  financially driven.

Your help is needed – Please donate toward this lawsuit.

San Francisco recommends cell phone precautions

The City and County of San Francisco announced the nations first cell phone ordinance.

Recommendations from the city include:

• Limiting cell phone use by children: Developing brains and thinner skulls lead to higher absorption in children.

• Using a headset, speakerphone or text instead: Exposure decreases rapidly with increasing distance from the phone.

• Using belt clips and purses to keep distance between your phone and body: Do not carry on your body to at least meet the distance specified in your phone’s user manual

• Avoiding cell phones in areas with weak signals (elevators, on transit, etc.) Using a cell phone in areas of good reception decreases exposure by allowing the phone to transmit at reduced power.

• Reducing the number and length of calls: Turn off your cell phone when not in use.

The materials required under the ordinance include a factsheet, poster and stickers.

For more information Environmental Health Trust.

Wireless microwaves made visible

From a San Francisco Bay Area, California KTVU news special report:

Health and science editor John Fowler investigated wireless health risks stating “the amount of microwave radiation these devices emit is so high- it’s illegal in many countries”.

Dr. Magda Havas, Canadian professor and environmental researcher, measures a family’s home with a microwave sound detector.  Using the sound detector she exposes the microwaves emitted by a cell phone, baby monitor, wi-fi router and a cordless phone.  Health risks mentioned in the video report included “mood disorders, chronic fatigue and even cancer”.

A doubting UC Berkeley physicist, Dr. Richard Muller claims microwaves don’t have enough energy to disrupt “even a molecule”.

Libby Kelley (Electromagnetic Safety Alliance) says, “It’s a crime in progress”…”We need to take action as a nation to protect health.”

Dr. Muller counters that people have always sought something to blame their ills, and “back in the 1600’s it was witches”.

It seems Dr. Muller has not heard about the World Health Organization classification of wireless as a potential carcinogen, or about the recent study by the National Institutes of Health which found cell phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism.

Big thanks to KTVU and to editor John Fowler, for this special report! http://www.ktvu.com/video/29335616/index.html

Autism and prenatal ultrasound: Coincidence or Connection?

By: Nancy Evans, BS, Health Science Consultant

Autism was once a rare diagnosis. Today it affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys.
Ultrasound was once a rare medical procedure, reserved for high-risk pregnancies. Today ultrasound is routine in almost all pregnancies in developed countries.
· More scans are done in each pregnancy than ever before.
· The intensity of exposure is nearly 8 times higher than in 1993 and the medical professionals who operate the equipment may not be adequately trained on the newer machines.
· There is a wealth of scientific evidence from international experts suggesting a need for caution in the use of prenatal ultrasound. Highlights are summarized in the enclosed document.

But most disturbing is the fact that ultrasound is also being performed by non-medical personnel in shopping malls across America. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of these facilities, aggressively marketing “keepsake” sonograms to expectant parents as an early bonding experience with their unborn baby. FDA has warned against use of these facilities but it is clear that most parents haven’t heard or have chosen to ignore the warnings.

In 2009, Connecticut became the first state to ban these keepsake ultrasound boutiques. But in most states, these facilities are very profitable franchises that may be doing irreparable harm to babies and families.

Read the Report: Autism was once a rare diagnosis

7/13/2011 update: Could Prenatal Ultrasounds Contribute To Cases Of Autism?

Buyer Beware, RF Appliance Warning

Dear Friends,

This is a personal story.  We just purchased a new Bosch washer and dryer – for delivery next week.
Sam Milham [author, MD,MPH, “Dirty Electricity”] happened to call this morning and said the following:

“I’ve just tested a home with an oven and dishwasher that had continuously radiating RF from internal power transmitters”.  He could verify the RF signal was continuous, and only stopped when he threw the circuit breakers for those appliances (turned off the electricity to them).  He could say with certainty the RF signal came from the appliances, because the signal was strongest at the appliance and attenuated with distance.

We have been told that these power transmitters will – in the future – be placed on appliances to monitor and report their energy usage to a wireless smart meter. Further, they should only be giving off RF pulses (the signal) very infrequently.

According to Richard Tell, an electrical engineer formerly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — in a 2008 report on Smart Grids for Hydro One Networks, Inc./Toronto — antennas on appliances may transmit at a density of .18watts, each at ballpark 4.5 seconds per hour.

Well, these appliance power transmitters are, in at least some cases, transmitting CONTINUOUSLY.  This puts them into a category more like wireless routers and WI-FI.  No one is going to tolerate 12-15 such power transmitters inside their homes that radiate
full time.  These are appliances you come into close contact with while you cook and move around your kitchen.  Multiple, continuously transmitting RF sources are absolutely unacceptable to people with EHS and some ADA people with medical implants.

Bosch customer service confirmed that both the washer and dryer we have on order contain power transmitters.  They cannot be ‘deactivated’. We cancelled our order this morning.

[Cindy Sage, MA is the Science and Public Policy Advisor for the EMF Safety Network, Co-Editor Bioinitiative Report http://www.sageassociates.net/]