Canadian Health Authority warns about cell phone/ fertility risks

Screen shot 2013-08-01 at 7.31.12 AMThe BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC)  recommends that men keep cell phones out of their pants pocket and limit mobile phone use.  The report confirms that there is consistent evidence that exposure to testes is associated with reduced sperm count, motility, concentration and altered cell structure.

In its report, Radiofrequency Toolkit for Environmental Health Practitioners,  the BC CDC states that “the epidemiological studies of men assessed for infertility were consistent in demonstrating decreased sperm motility associated with increased use of mobile phones”.

In the need to understand how harm is caused by exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RF), the review panel noted that “oxidative stress seems one of the more plausible mechanisms of RF-induced sperm damage.”

While the BC CDC report downplays scientific connections between wireless and health, for example cell phones and head tumors, they do offer strategies for “minimizing personal exposure to RF”, including “replacing wireless RF devices, such as phones with hard wired”.

Radiation Research Trust launched a campaign to warn about cell phone fertility risks: Save the Male- Your Future is in Your Hands.  They write, “Research has shown a consistent link between mobile phone exposure and adverse health effects on male fertility and sperm viability.”

Italian Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can Cause Cancer

“A landmark court case has ruled there is a link between using a mobile phone and brain tumours, paving the way for a flood of legal actions.” UK Telegraph, Oct 19, 2012

Contrary to the denial of many heath agencies in the U.S. and in some other countries, the Italian Supreme Court has recognized a “causal” link between heavy mobile phone use and brain tumor risk in a worker’s compensation case.

According to a UK news source, Innocente Marcolini, 60, an Italian businessman, fell ill after using a handset at work for up to six hours every day for 12 years.  He now will be financially compensated.

Mr Marcolini said: “This is significant for very many people. I wanted this problem to become public because many people still do not know the risks. I was on the phone, usually the mobile, for at least five or six hours every day at work. I wanted it recognised that there was a link between my illness and the use of mobile and cordless phones…Parents need to know their children are at risk of this illness.”

The Italian courts dismissed research co-financed by the mobile phone industry due to concerns about conflict of interest. Instead, the courts relied on independent research conducted by Lennart Hardell and his colleagues in Sweden which showed consistent evidence of increased brain tumor risk associated with long term mobile phone use.

Last year, the Hardell research was heavily relied upon by 31 experts convened by the World Health Organization who classified radiofrequency energy, including cell phone radiation, as “possibly carcinogenic” in humans.

The evidence of harm from cell phone radiation has been increasing so it is only a matter of time before lawsuits filed in U.S. courts by cell phone radiation victims will be successful. The Insurance industry will not provide product liability insurance due to concerns that juries will find that the Telecom industry has behaved much like the Tobacco and Asbestos industries. So the Telecom industry could be faced with paying huge damages to individuals and governments.

Although 12 nations and the European Union have issued precautionary health warnings regarding mobile phone use, the U.S. has been in denial. The Telecom industry has blocked numerous attempts to pass cell phone warning legislation at the Federal, state, and city level. The industry even refused to support a bill in the California legislature by Senator Mark Leno that would simply remind consumers to read the safety information that is currently printed in their cell phone user manuals.

Only one city has been able to overcome intense lobbying by the Telecom industry. San Francisco adopted cell phone “right to know” legislation two years ago, but the Telecom industry (i.e., CTIA-The Wireless Association) blocked implementation of this law by filing a lawsuit claiming that the court-approved fact sheet violates the industry’s First Amendment rights. The CTIA also moved its annual conference from San Francisco to punish the city.

Since there are now more than 330 million cell phone subscribers in the U.S., an annual fee of 50 cents on each cell phone would generate sufficient resources to fund high quality, independent research that could promote safer technology development and fund a community education program about safer cell phone use.

For more information on the Italian Supreme Court ruling see:
Mobile phones can cause brain tumours, court rules.

Thanks to Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley for the press release on this issue. 

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
 

Cell Phones and Breasts- A Bad Connection

Environmental Health Trust circulated this video today to warn women about the serious health risk of tucking their cell phones into their bras.  They state, “Growing numbers of young women in this fast-paced connected society keep their phones in their bras, hijabs (headscarves), or pockets–unaware of manufacturers’ hidden warnings.”  The iphone manual states to keep the phone 5/8″ away from the body.  Stay tuned for Dr. Devra Davis’ film “Disconnect”.

In 2009, the Breast Cancer Fund issued policy and research recommendations (State-of-the-Evidence-2008) to reduce exposure to radiation. They write:

“Decades of research indicate that exposure to EMF is associated with many adverse health effects including breast cancer (in both men and women) and other cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and impaired immune function. Existing public exposure standards for EMF are inadequate to protect public health because they are based on a short-term (30-minute) thermal effect.”

The Breast Cancer Fund Federal Policy Recommendations:

  • Based on the scientific evidence set forth in The Bioinitiative Report and a growing body of additional research, exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation should be set at the federal level for:
  • Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF), including power lines, appliances, interior electric wiring an other devices; and
  • Long term and cumulative radiofrequency (RF) radiation from outdoor pulsed sources including cell phone antennas, radar, TV and FM broadcast antennas and wireless internet antennas, and from indoor sources including cell phones, wireless internet equipment and radiation that permeates buildings from outdoor sources.
  • With the setting of federal limits for non-ionizing radiation, special protections should be required for homes, schools and places where children spend large amounts of time.”

Dr. Slesin: Cell phone study safety claims: “bias run amuck”

From Dr. Louis Slesin,

The latest analysis of the tumor risks among cell phone users in Denmark and the accompanying editorial brings to mind the old saying: “Trust your mother, but cut the cards.”

Be warned: Before you believe what you are told by the Danish Cancer Society or the Karolinska Institute or what you read in the British Medical Journal, check out the facts for yourself.

As for IARC, there seems to be an internal dispute going on as to whether it should take seriously its own panel’s decision to designate cell phone radiation as a possible cancer agent. It’s not clear what side IARC Director Chris Wild is on.

Read our in-depth report on the latest example of bias run amuck on cell phones and tumors: http://www.microwavenews.com/DanishCohort.html

How radiation emissions of cell phone, microwave compare to ‘Smart’Meter


Amy O’Hair measures the radiation emitted by a cell phone, a microwave oven and two ‘Smart’ Meters in use. The results? The radiation pulses from the meters were stronger than both the microwave and the cell phone.

Here’s what PG&E claimed:
In response to the EMF Safety Network request for safety hearings, PG&E stated (p.2-4),

” Exposure to radio frequency energy from SmartMeter™ technology isconsiderably less than the exposure from other radio devices in widespread use.”

PG&E then listed many sources including cell phones, cordless phones, microwave ovens as examples of other radio devices in widespread use. Following this list they claim,

“These devices often involve more frequent radio transmission, emit radio frequency energy for longer periods of time and operate in closer proximity to humans, than PG&E SmartMeter™ devices.”

You can turn off the cell phone, and choose whether or not to use a microwave oven, but the meter is on all the time. Even if you turn off the power to your home, the meter will still be on. Thanks again Amy for this illustration.

WHO’s Statement is a Game Changer

By Joshua Hart, Director StopSmartMeters.Org
June 2nd 2011

 

Make no mistake.   The decision by the World Health Organization on Tuesday to classify non-ionizing radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is an absolute game changer for our movement. This seemingly cautious statement by the world’s pre-eminent health organization should ring loud alarm bells around the world.  Despite backroom industry influence and widespread conservatism, the slow-to-react beast was finally forced to act- as the walls of wireless damage closed in.

Wireless technology is something most of us have taken for granted for quite a while now.  Someone said the other day, “I don’t even remember when they introduced cell phones.  All of a sudden everyone was just using them.”  Therein lies the crux.  We just took the phone we were handed.  We didn’t ask questions.  We trusted that any authority that would allow this product to be sold would not do so without reasonable assurances of safety.  It is now clear that that misplaced trust has been betrayed, and people are dying because of it.

The truth is that our government allowed (even promoted) a technology whose effects on biological living systems we really knew very little about. There’s capitalism for you.  Life really isn’t that important.  It’s all about the money.  You are expendable. So- apparently- is the planet.

The WHO’s decision, and the large number of studies that led to it are suddenly opening up a whole new set of questions about how we use wireless- questions that people wouldn’t have dared to whisper- even last week.

For example:

1)  Shouldn’t  there be laws against someone else’s wi-fi entering your home?  Your neighbor would not be allowed to douse your living room with chloroform (now in the same ‘possibly carcinogenic’ category as EMF radiation).  Why should they be able to inflict wi-fi on you- particularly if it prevents you from carrying out basic life activities- like- er- sleeping?

2)  Shouldn’t public buildings such as libraries and public transportation ban wireless emitting devices such as wi-fi routers, cell phones and iPads?  A bus full of 100 people on their cell phones- with all their signals bouncing around the metal chassis- is like being forced to sit inside a microwave oven.  We are entitled to accessible transportation and public services, without being exposed to a carcinogen.  Wireless makes these services inaccessible to the growing number of electrosensitive individuals.  There’s definitely a lawsuit here if officials fail to do their job.

3) Isn’t it now just as morally acceptable to ask someone to turn off their cell phone in a public place as asking them to extinguish that cigarette?

We wouldn’t be surprised to see regulations coming forward over the next few years restricting cell phone use in the same way that smoking has been further and further marginalized, from sections in restaurants to banned inside even bars, to prohibitions around doorways, and now bans in entire neighborhoods.

So where does all this leave the “smart” meter rollout?  PG&E and other utilities have pointed to the World Health Organization to reassure its customers of the safety of RF radiation.  Now that the WHO has declared that such radiation is ‘possibly carcinogenic’ and independent analyses have pegged “smart” meter radiation at 100x the exposure of a cell phone, the wireless mesh network is looking more and more like a dangerous mistake.  The utilities that launched this program without even consulting us- arrogantly refusing  to consider the human or environmental health impacts- should be the ones to pick up the pieces and pay the tab for this debacle.  Not the ratepayers.  Not the victims who are living like animals running from this vicious technology; living in their cars or in the woods.

The East Bay Express reports PG&E’s words a year ago:

“The federal government and the international health community, including the World Health Organization,” PG&E said at the time, “have deemed the low-level radio frequency on which PG&E’s SmartMeters rely to be completely safe.”

But not anymore.

David Baker, Energy reporter for the SF Chronicle wrote:

‘Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings, it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones,’ said Christopher Wild, the WHO’s director. ‘Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting.’

That’s similar to the arguments made by many California city councils that have called for a SmartMeter moratorium. If the science isn’t settled, they argue, shouldn’t we stop installing the meters until it is?

They now have more ammunition to press their case.”

To many of us who have experienced firsthand the health damage caused by wireless, the WHO declaration is just one more brick in the wall of evidence that this technology hurts people.  But to most people, this is a huge wake up call that has received widespread coverage in the mainstream media- as if this is a new thing.  Just like gradual acceptance of climate change over the past couple of decades, governments, industry and institutions will brush aside the critics, pretending they are now the ones to protect you from the dangers and that they have the situation under control.  They will promote new devices to shield your skull from radiation- the light cigarettes and electric cars of the wireless world.  But in the end we know what we need to do.  We just need to quit the addiction.  We need to re-wire.  And our lives will be better for it.

http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/06/02/whos-statement-is-a-game-changer/