Reduce radiation risk from wi-fi, cell phones, and ipads

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) published  a Fact Sheet on how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation devices.

This video by Wifi in Schools Australia reviews ARPANSA’s advice, explains SAR values, tests iPads vs. iPhones, and tells how to reduce exposure from mobile and other wireless devices.

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.”

Chemicals in electronics can harm kids

babyw_phoneUniversity of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine researchers presented a new study that shows that flame retardants used in everyday products including electronic devices is associated with hyperactivity and lower intelligence in early childhood.

At issue are substances called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs.  They’ve been widely used as flame retardants.

Aimin Chen, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of environmental health, was the lead author of a study presented recently at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“PBDEs are everywhere,” Chen says of the chemicals used in such products as baby strollers, carpeting and electronics. “In the United States, almost everyone has detectable levels of PBDEs in their serum.”

While some manufacturers have voluntarily phased out PBDEs in the past decade and additional phase-outs are scheduled this year and beyond, Chen says, the problem won’t simply go away.

“These chemicals stay in the environment for long periods of time” he adds. “They get into the food chain, and babies get exposure from their mothers during pregnancy. Breast milk also contains PBDEs.

“In animal studies, PBDEs can disrupt thyroid hormone and cause hyperactivity and learning problems,” says Chen. “Our study adds to several other human studies to highlight the need to reduce exposure to PBDEs in pregnant women.”

Chen and his colleagues at UC collected blood samples from 309 pregnant women enrolled in a study at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to measure PBDE levels. They also performed intelligence and behavior tests on the women’s children annually until they were 5 years old.

Link to the study abstract.

Family with young children forced to live in the cold and without power for refusing a LADWP Smart Meter

LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has terminated electricity to the family of a middle school teacher, her husband, and their six children for refusing to have a smart meter on their home, which they say caused their family serious health problems.

In July 2012, LADWP installed a Smart Meter on Derek and Anura Lawson’s home without notice or consent.  Their house was part of a smart meter pilot program. Other houses in the neighborhood still have their analog meters.

That same month their four youngest children started to have serious health problems. The mother, Anura Lawson writes they had fevers “out of nowhere”, “as high as 105”, and they “began to have problems controlling their bodily fluids, our five year old began peeing and pooping herself, our four year began to display the same problems…” The mother also struggled with migraines, insomnia, concentration problems and other health symptoms.

The family requested LADWP restore the analog meter.  LADWP then gave them what they said was an analog meter, but the health symptoms persisted.  The family objected.  According to Anura, LADWP ridiculed them.  She says, “When I called customer service, “Jennifer” laughed at me, telling me they would not remove the meter.”

When an agent of LADWP met with the family he said, “This isn’t one of those ‘SmartMeters’ that have been making all those people sick.  These are RF meters. Totally different.”  He talked about how safe radio was and that it had been used for years.  Meanwhile the children’s health problems persisted.

Clearly something had to be done.

In January 2013, after repeated, unfulfilled requests to LADWP for help, the family restored a true analog meter obtained from Jerry Day.   The mother wrote that after the analog meter was restored the children’s symptoms “diminished greatly, they no longer get high fevers, or suffer from loss of their bodily function.”

Two weeks later, LADWP disconnected their electricity.  Anura saw the workers scale a neighbor’s wall, climb the power pole in their backyard and literally cut the wire to their home.   Since February 11th the Lawsons have been living without electricity, without heat, without use of their appliances and without lights.

Joshua Hart, director of Stop Smart Meters! says, “Pilot programs are supposed to be a test to see how a new system operates.  When problems crop up, you don’t punish customers for reporting them- you fix the problem.”

The family has been using candles and battery powered lanterns to see at night.  They are cooking on a camping stove outdoors, and keeping their food cold in ice chests. The family says the incident has been extremely stressful.

This incident echoes other bullying incidents around the country, where people have been cut off after having had their smart meters removed due to health issues.

Sandi Maurer, director of the EMF Safety Network states, “Federal law states customers should be offered smart meters, not be forced to have them on their homes.  LADWP is exceeding its authority by mandating these devices.”

Jerry Day, a video producer on the forefront of empowering customers to stand up for their constitutional rights states, “This is inexcusable.  This is not responsible power company management. This is senseless abuse of utility customers.”

We agree. The Lawsons need their power switched on and an analog utility meter restored on their home.  NOW.

IMPORTANT FOLLOW UP!  Anura Lawson took this issue to the Los Angeles City Council meeting and their power was restored that same day.

In extreme contrast to this situation, Liz Barris of the People’s Initiative Foundation today reports LADWP has removed a smart meter from a property in Hollywood Hills Ca. She says it took two weeks of wrangling with them until a senior manager Vincent Zabukovec 213-367-2725 agreed to the switch.  Here’s her video of the meter swap.

Article written by Sandi Maurer, EMF Safety Network and Joshua Hart, Stop Smart Meters!

PG&E doesn’t care, a kid’s perspective on Smart Meters


Anna Maurer is ten years old. She lives in Sebastopol California. The City of Sebastopol has asked PG&E for a moratorium on Smart Meters twice.  Recently PG&E began installing Smart Meters in Sebastopol near Anna’s neighborhood and school, despite the city’s request.

Smart Meters transmit radio waves, aka RF radiation, (thousands of pulses a day), which the IARC, an arm of the World Health Organization classifies as a 2b (possible) carcinogen, same as DDT and lead.

Anna and her mom have both suffered headaches when near Smart Meters.  Many people have reported health complaints since Smart Meters have been installed, on their homes or in the neighborhoods. Sleep problems, headaches, ringing in the ears, heart problems and more are reported.

Anna’s mom is Sandi Maurer (EMF Safety Network director) who has been working hard to stop Smart Meters. There is a pending proceeding at the CPUC that might allow communities like Sebastopol to be Smart Meter free, but PG&E doesn’t care. They continue to deploy these toxic meters, because they can.

Anna wrote this speech and made this video because she does not want to have to move.

 “I want to protect my town but PG&E doesn’t care.  They don’t care that people could get sick from what they are putting on our homes.”

Here’s her short speech:
“My name is Anna Maurer.  I am ten years old.  I like where I live, I have good friends, a nice house, and I live close to my school.  If my neighborhood gets Smart Meters I will have to move. I don’t want to move because I have the perfect place to live for me.  If I don’t move I will get headaches, and my mom will suffer, as will I.  Smart Meters have made bad things happen for me and my family.  I don’t want to have Smart Meters on my house, in my neighborhood, or in my town.  I don’t think it is right to force people to have a Smart Meter on their home, or pay more not to have one. There could be people like me who are sensitive to Smart Meters and don’t know.  I want to protect my town but PG&E doesn’t care.  They don’t care that people could get sick from what they are putting on our homes.”

When she was 8 years old she talked about how just walking by a Smart Meter gave her flash headaches. See video below.

Prenatal EMF Exposures Can Lead to Childhood Obesity

Posted by Dr. Louis Slesin:

De-Kun Li, an epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, has a new paper out showing that EMF exposures in the womb are linked to an increased risk of childhood obesity.

“Maternal exposure to high [magnetic fields] during pregnancy may be a new and previously unknown factor contributing to the world-wide epidemic of childhood obesity/overweight,” Li writes in a paper posted today by Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed, open access journal owned by the group that publishes Nature.

Read the full story at: http://microwavenews.com/news-center/emf-exposures-womb-can-lead-childhood-obesity

New report calls for protecting children and expecting mothers from cell phone radiation

Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI) released a cell phone environmental report calling for tougher standards to regulate cellular technologies—especially for children and pregnant women.

EHHI reviewed hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that examined the potential health threats associated with cellular device use, along with the regulatory standards that have been adopted by the U.S. and other nations.

John Wargo, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Risk and Policy at Yale University and lead author of the report, said, “The scientific evidence is sufficiently robust showing that cellular devices pose significant health risks to children and pregnant women. The weight of the evidence supports stronger precautionary regulation by the federal government. The cellular industry should take immediate steps to reduce emission of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from phones and avoid marketing their products to children.”

EHHI President Nancy Alderman said, “Children between the ages of 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day—nearly half their hours while awake—on smart phones, computers, televisions or other electronic devices. Exposures to electromagnetic radiation are increasing most rapidly among the youngest in our society, as service providers focus their advertising on children and educational markets.”

Dr. Hugh Taylor, coauthor of the report, summarized his concerns regarding neurological effects from cell phone radiation. “The human brain is especially susceptible to numerous environmental insults that can produce irreversible damage during critical periods of nervous system development between conception and full maturity.  A number of peer-reviewed studies reported changes in the nervous systems of rats, mice and humans following exposure to cell phone radiation. These include diminished learning, diminished reaction time, decreased motor function, reduced memory accuracy, hyperactivity and diminished cognition.”

Taylor explained differences in exposure between children and adults, “The thinner skulls of young children permit cell phone radiation to penetrate brain tissues more deeply than occurs in adults. Devices stored in pants pockets while in standby mode can expose rapidly developing reproductive organs to radiofrequency energy. Storage in shirt pockets will increase exposure to breast tissues. Children’s and fetuses’ rapidly developing nervous systems, more rapid rates of cell division, longer potential lifetime exposure, and longer average use per day all heighten their risks of adverse health effects.”

Wargo cautioned, “Cell phones have enjoyed exceptional freedom from government oversight and control to protect against health and environmental hazards before cell phone devices are marketed. There are no enforceable standards to limit human exposure to cell phone radiation. While the U.S. does not require any regulations to restrict advertising or warnings against use of cellular devices by pregnant women or children, many other nations do.”

Nancy Alderman, president of EHHI, summarized the group’s recommendations. “The government must take greater responsibility for testing cellular technologies before they are marketed to assure their safety, their proper disposal and to educate the public about safe patterns of use.”

Full text EHHI of press release

Maternal Exposure to Magnetic Fields During Pregnancy in Relation to the Risk of Asthma in Offspring

The conclusions of the Li et al paper support an association between a mother’s magnetic field (MF) exposure during pregnancy and asthma in children born to those mothers. Here are some of the conclusions of the study.

“Our findings provide new epidemiological evidence that high maternal MF levels in pregnancy may increase the risk of asthma in offspring.” Children born to mothers who had a median daily MF exposure during pregnancy between 0.3 milligauss (mG) and 2 mG had a 74% increased risk of asthma.  Children born to mothers who had a median daily EMF exposure during pregnancy over a 2 mG EMF had a 3.5-fold increased risk (a 350% increased risk) of asthma.

This study shows a statistically significant increased risk for asthma.  Every 1 mG increase of maternal EMF level was associated with a 15% increased risk of asthma in the child. 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04- 1.27).  A dose-response is shown for increasing maternal MF during pregnancy and asthma in the off-spring.

Comments

This study is one more that underscores the importance of limiting exposures to elevated magnetic field (EMF) during pregnancy.   There are so many studies that now document EMF exposures (using the all-inclusive EMF to cover both ELF-EMF and RF) to be potentially neurotoxic and genotoxic, we should actively be limiting indiscriminate and persistent exposure of families and their children to avoidable EMF.

Li et al previously published a study linking miscarriage to intermittent ELF-EMF exposures of 16 mG.  A few years ago, Divan et al reported that maternal use of a cell phone during pregnancy was associated with increased risk of behavioral and learning problems in children of these mothers by the time the child was in primary school. Whether it is the ELF-EMF component, or the RF component of cell phone exposures isn’t known (it may be one or both). Whether it is a function of the exposure level on the fetus in-utero, or something about the mothers’ immune status as affected by the cell phone emissions is not known either. Johansson has published extensively on EMF/RF effects on the immune system.

Sage and Johansson published a paper in Bioelectromagnetics showing that cell phones and PDAs can produce excessively high ELF-EMF exposures when worn in the ON mode (on a belt, in a pocket, close to the body). These exposures were on the order of tens to hundreds of milligauss.  Since the study did not discriminate between magnetic field exposure (EMF) and the possible presence of ‘dirty electricity’, (which Sam Milham and Magda Havas have reported to be associated with asthma in children), dirty electricity’ may be an important but unmeasured factor here. Future studies really need to address the ‘dirty electricity’ component of EMF.

Both ELF-EMF and RF are now classified as possible human carcinogens by the WHO IARC.

People need better information on EMF and health risks, so they can make educated choices about limiting exposures, if they wish to.  People also need better informed decision-makers when it comes to new technologies that emit ELF and RF on a persistent and repetitive basis, so entire communities are not exposed to involuntary EMF exposures in daily life. There is more than sufficient evidence now to actively review where such exposures come from, what the alternatives are, and commonsense ways to improve the living environment (homes, schools, offices, healthcare facilities, etc) by making more informed choices.

Cindy Sage

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