Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dr. Carlo Rapid Responds in British Medical Journal

The position being taken by Goldacre in his commentary that provocation studies are definitive in assessing electromagnetic radiation (EMR) health risks is simply incorrect. Current information on the pathological mechanism involved in EMR-related disease makes clear that laboratory constructs that do not have close approximation to real-world exposures are of little value in assessing these risks.

For the past five years, through our Safe Wireless Initiative project, we have operated the only post-market surveillance database in the world systematically collecting symptom information from thousands of patients suffering from the effects of various types of EMR exposure. In addition, we coordinate a network of clinicians who regularly share information about their experiences treating patients with these conditions, another important and unique resource. Thus, we do not rely solely on self-reported information but have corroboration from treating doctors. It is noteworthy that our post-market surveillance registry will open in the UK soon. This is an important public health step because in the UK, there are no reliable data on the incidence and prevalence of EMR- related conditions. With no real data, speculations are all the more misinformed.

We regularly share summary information from our registry database in various fora around the world, including a February 2007 presentation at the House of Commons, for the benefit of clinicians and patients alike. Goldacre seems to be relying only on one type of data in his assessment, while ignoring clinical realities.

Overall, our post-market surveillance data show patterns that suggest an emerging medical and public health problem.

There are symptom and pathology similarities among patients suffering from electro-hypersensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivities, alcohol- related disease as well as neuro-behavioral and learning disorders. We are now referring to the symptom constellations as Membrane Sensitivity Syndrome (MSS) and the increase in reports of symptoms consistent with MSS associated by patients with various EMR exposures has dramatically increased over the past 24 months.

It is noteworthy that concurrently in the past 24 months, the penetration of mobile phones has tripled globally, from one billion to three billion. WiFi has reached the highest penetration in history. Satellite radio is not far behind. All of these technologies rely on information-carrying radio waves, the trigger for non-thermal adverse biological responses and the cascade toward MSS.

In a majority of MSS cases, when EMR is removed from the patient抯 environment, their acute symptoms subside. This is an important observation and indeed represents one of the Koch-Henle postulates for causation: If when the exposure is removed, the effect is diminished, there is evidence for cause and effect.

Pathology and experimental findings support a mechanistic underpinning: an environmentally induced genetic change that renders daughter cells to carry membrane sensitivity characteristics with most symptoms directly or indirectly the result of consequent disrupt of intercellular communication.

Therapeutic intervention regimens designed around known EMR mechanisms of harm have positively shown varying degrees of clinical symptom amelioration, another support for the causal hypothesis, but more importantly, a ray of hope for those afflicted and debilitated by these conditions.

It is a fact that every serious public health problem man has faced has first been identified through clinical observations, the historically confirmed first line of evidence for preventing epidemic spread of disease. It is a disservice to clinicians and patients when uninformed speculation serves to lessen the acuity with which important early signs that can alleviate suffering are seen and heeded.

Dr. George L. Carlo Science and Public Policy Institute 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW -- 7th Floor Washington, D.C. 20004 202-756-7744

Competing interests: None declared

Irish Politician - Brian Wilson - Refuses to Own Cell Phone

Perhaps Brian knows something that most people don't: "Cell Phones are dangerous and they are destroying the environment."



Brian Wilson refuses to carry a mobile phone on environmental grounds. If he had one, he might have been tempted to switch it off by now, writes Liam Clarke. As Northern Ireland's only Green MLA [Member of the Legislative assembly], the former politics lecturer has stolen a march on Sinn Fein. He is now the only member of the Stormont assembly whose party is also in government in the south. Last week he was dodging media opportunities as he assessed the possibilities ahead. "It is an interesting situation," he agreed. Might this unique position tempt him into becoming more accessible? "I don't carry a mobile. I have complained about masts. But now the other Green people are all complaining that I don't have one," Wilson said. A former civil servant, he cut his political teeth in the cross-community Alliance Party, of which his wife Anne is still a member. He has been on North Down borough council since 1981, first for Alliance, then as an independent, before joining the Greens in 2005 and topping the poll in the council elections of that year. In the Stormont elections last March, he more than doubled the Green vote and unseated Robert McCartney, an anti-agreement [Good Friday/Belfast Agreement 1998] unionist. Nobody remarked on the fact that the Northern Ireland Greens were part of the Irish Green party with full voting rights and two members on its 15-strong executive. Now this relationship will come into closer focus. Trevor Sargent, the former Green leader, recently discussed policy with Wilson. Last Wednesday, Northern Ireland Greens travelled to Dublin to vote unanimously at the Mansion House conference in favour of coalition with Fianna Fail. Peter Doran, a Northern representative on the Green party executive, said: "We were very keen on government so we can actually move to delivery of our policies." These include making Ireland GM-free--and using this as a unique selling point for Irish produce--and spreading organic farming across the whole island. The Greens see a role for Northern Ireland's declining engineering industry in making turbines for renewable energy production. "Pollution, climate change and protection of the environment know no political borders, and neither do we," said Wilson.



Media suppression of troubling cell phone research

And it is much much worse in Japan. They don't touch the topic - at all.

When Bad News Is No News

European papers are reporting some troubling research about cell phones that American [and Australian] papers aren't.

By Michael Miner

June 15, 2007

THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM Review plays darts every issue with unworthy journalists, but its Darts & Laurels feature for May and June threw one at the entire "U.S. news media." Launching a dubious metaphor, CJR took the American media to task "for failing to pick up a long-distance signal."

The item explained that when major papers in Britain, Germany, Canada, Israel, and other countries "recently rang, sometimes on page one, with the findings of a five-country study that showed a statistically significant increase in a certain type of brain tumor among people who had used cell phones for ten years or more, one might have expected the American press to at least record the message." But it didn't, said CJR, even though "the telecom industry here keeps hoping that the FCC and the federal health agencies will raise the levels of cell-phone radiation currently allowed.

"Memo to journalists: call waiting."

Cell-phone radiation is non-ionizing, which means it produces heat but, at least in theory, doesn't threaten biological organisms at the atomic level. The idea that noniodizing radiation is a menace regardless goes back at least as far as the 1977 book The Zapping of America: Microwaves, Their Deadly Risk, and the Coverup, by New Yorker writer Paul Brodeur.

"There is a vast conspiracy among the press, especially newspapers, not to write about the biological studies, especially the epidemiological studies done in Europe," Brodeur told me this week. Like other vast conspiracies, this one shows every sign of being able to live on indefinitely, never confirmed beyond doubt or discredited to everyone's satisfaction. That a long period of latency precedes whatever damage cell phones might do only hardens both sides' convictions.

CJR singled out two publications for praise: the Florida Sun-Sentinel, for reporting the study, which was published in January by the International Journal of Cancer, and Microwave News, a newsletter that provided a "comprehensive, comprehensible account of the controversial findings." Brodeur tells me its editor, Louis Slesin, got his start by studying the Zapping files and is now "the authority on microwave radiation."

When I looked online for the story CJR told me wasn't there — well, it wasn't there. On the ABC News site I found an AP story with the headline "Study Disputes Cell Phone-Cancer Link: Large Study From Denmark Offers the Latest Reassurance That Cell Phones Don't Trigger Cancer." carried a staff-written story citing the same Danish study and headlined "Once Again, No Cell Phone-Cancer Link Found." The PC Magazine Web site carried a Reuters story based on a British survey under the headline "Study Minimizes Cancer Risk From Cell Phones."

And the very day I conducted my search, May 29, touted a story by MSNBC science editor Alan Boyle on the possible link between cell-phone radiation and low sperm count and played it for laughs: "There's no known connection between cell phone radiation and health risks, but thankfully there's silver-threaded underwear for those who are concerned."

Ho ho. Slesin was so concerned that the American press wasn't telling the public something it needed to know that he wrote and shopped around an op-ed sounding the alarm. It began, "Two billion people now use cell phones, many for hours on end. But are they safe? Could putting a small microwave transmitter next to your brain lead to cancer or a neurological disease?"

He couldn't be sure, "but some of the early returns are disquieting." Citing studies that other reporters took comfort in, Slesin said they "point to a problem over the long term. These studies show that using a cell phone for more than ten years leads to higher rates of two different kinds of tumors: gliomas, a type of brain tumor, and acoustic neuromas, a tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. In each case, the tumors were more likely to be on the side of the head closest to the phone."

"To be sure, these are still preliminary findings," Slesin acknowledged, but he didn't think it made sense to ignore them. In his view skeptics who assert that "the worst microwaves can do is heat you up, and even then only at power levels much higher than you could ever get from a cell phone" not only "abound" but dominate the debate in this country. "The heating-only advocates, many of whom have links to industry, are in control even though laboratory research has shown that microwave radiation can damage DNA, upset sleep patterns, alter cognitive function, increase the flow of chemicals through the blood-brain barrier and bring on headaches."

Here in the U.S., Slesin wrote, no epidemiological studies are being made of cell-phone radiation, the American Cancer Society has called the idea of cancer risk a "myth," and Consumer Reports published a long recent report on cell phones that didn't even take up the question of radiation. But "it's a completely different story in Europe."

The op-ed wasn't published. Slesin says the New York Times and Boston Globe both turned it down.

When I asked Brodeur to explain what he meant by a "vast conspiracy," he took a verbal step back, as if to distance himself from the lunatic fringe. "What there is is self-censorship," he replied. "The reason is, as always, money. You follow the money trail and the newspapers have a vested interest in the big telecommunications companies. It's an enormously powerful industry and it has managed to convince a lot of people there is absolutely no harm." Slesin said something similar in his op-ed: he claimed the "wireless industry has a stranglehold on the health debate" and "Motorola and Nokia, the two largest phone manufacturers, dismiss all claims of a possible hazard."

When I looked harder I began to find studies that backed Slesin up. For instance, "Tumour risk associated with use of cellular telephones or cordless desktop telephones" appeared in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology in October 2006. And in January of that year, "Cellular Phones, Cordless Phones, and the Risks of Glioma and Meningioma" ran in the American Journal of Epidemiology, where it was reported that "among long-term cellular phone users [ten years or more] a twofold risk of glioma was observed."

But I also discovered a mainstream newspaper article neither CJR nor Slesin had given credit to. It ran February 18 in the Chicago Tribune and was written by Mike Hughlett, a financial writer who covers Motorola. Hughlett says he wrote about the debate because he considered it part of his beat. "I'd read for years about it," he says. "I wondered, is it a dead issue? I researched and it didn't seem to be a dead issue — on the other hand, there was nothing you could prove. My story was more about science than business, the limits of science."

Hughlett reported that most epidemiological studies done in Europe haven't found a statistical link between tumors and cell-phone usage — but not all. "The problem," Hughlett wrote, "in addition to the conflicting lab results: lack of an accepted scientific theory" of how cell-phone radiation could cause harm.

Hughlett talked off and on with Slesin for months, and the article labeled him either "a pot-stirring independent voice, or an advocate of the view that radiation risks are being soft-peddled — depending on who's describing him." Those are pretty friendly characterizations, and not even mutually exclusive. Slesin is willing to answer to either one.

Yet when Slesin accused the media of negligence he didn't cite Hughlett as an exception. "Here's why he dropped off my radar screen," Slesin e-mailed me. "I guess I never considered his piece as covering the tumor findings. He does mention them, but not as spot news, the way the Sun-Sentinel did. It's more one item in an 'On the one hand . . . and on the other hand' piece. . . . But he did mention the tumor findings, which is more than most everyone else in the U.S. did."

Gloria Cooper, who writes Darts & Laurels for CJR, didn't know about Hughlett's story until I told her, and then she was embarrassed. "We did the best search we could possibly do," she said, wondering aloud if she should run a correction. She asked what Hughlett had said to me about her CJR item, but the obliviousness was mutual. Hughlett hadn't known it existed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

ABC News: Beekeeper Gear Keeps Woman Safe From Radiation

''I think I have seen more patients in the last two years with EHS than I saw in the previous 10. The reason for this is probably that we are getting more and more exposed because of electromagnetic radiation," Dowson said. "We are becoming a WiFi world.''

Dacre won't let EHS stop her. She is now using what she calls her "disability" to raise awareness and prove that electromagnetic radiation is really a serious health issue.

EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation) Affects Us All - The Effect on the Immune System

Most people mistakenly believe that - when someone tells them that they are affected by EMR - that they themselves (for some supernatural reason) are not affected by this technology. Just because someone does not harbor the severe symptoms of Electrosensitivity of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome does not mean that they are indeed not affected. People who suffer from unexplained fatigue, brain fog, memory problems, learning disabilities, concentration problems, depression, anxiety attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, insomnia, allergies, and cancers - to name a few - are more than likely affected by the growing ambient level of microwave radiation and other EMR in our environment. The only mistake here is that one (and more than likely, one's doctor) has misattributed their symptoms. To believe that oneself is indeed not affected by this technology is indeed a major and dangerous fallacy.


Electromagnetic frequencies and their effects upon the immune system


It may come as a surprise to most people, but living in an electrical grid (a house in which every wall is wired with manmade AC electricity) is a major component of most forms of environmental illness. People who are diagnosed with different forms of environmental illness, such as Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, lupus, multiple sclerosis, even cancer and AIDS, all exhibit one characteristic in common: a collapsed immune system. In part, this dysfunction of the immune system can be attributed to chronic stress from EMFs generated by our AC (alternating current) electrical system and by our microwave communication system. Once this chronic stress is removed, healing and the regeneration of the immune system can occur.

"The condition known as electrosensitivity, a heightened reaction to electrical energy, will be recognized as a physical impairment.

A report by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), states that increasing numbers of British people are suffering from this syndrome. While the total figure is not known, thousands are believed to be affected to some extent."

Since the 1940s there have been many articles and studies about EMF's and their relationship to environmental illness. Environmental illness has become a catch all phrase for chronic exposure to a mixture of environmental factors. The unspecific symptoms often times are considered stress-related problems and no treatment is offered because there is no visible biological mechanism. Many doctors at this point recommend tranquilizers, sleeping pills or a psychiatrist.

"The HPA has now reviewed all scientific literature on electrosensitivity and concluded that it is a real syndrome. The condition had previously been dismissed as psychological." Sarah-Kate Templeton, Medical Correspondent

The connection between manmade EMF exposure and chronic or unending flight or fight responses has been documented in study after study. See Blake Levitt's book, Electromagnetic Fields for a summary of the scientific research. People who have been overexposed to EMF's as children or have genetically weaker systems often suffer from chronic fatigue, trouble thinking clearly and a reduction in the body's ability to fight infection.

With today's emerging awareness of the dangers of EMF exposure on human health we are seeing more and more research. A new condition has been labeled, called Electro sensitivity or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. In October, 2004 the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored a conference on EMF's and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. While authorities do not necessarily agree on the most common symptoms, Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity consists of headaches, fatigue, stress, sleep disorders, skin conditions such as burning sensations, rashes and pain, tinnitus and other audible noises, to name a few of the symptoms.

Reducing the chronic stress on the body is vital to healing.

Radio Frequency - RF Radiation from Cell Phone and Microwave Towers

RF radiation is wide spread. It travels easily through air and is emitted from all wireless communication devices cell phone transmission towers, cell phones and cordless phones. It is the same energy waves that cook food in microwave ovens.

Cell phones and radio transmission towers constantly transmit high frequency waves. The towers emit invisible waves of 800 MHz to 2.5 GHz and vary in intensity throughout the day. We cannot see, feel or hear the waves yet they continuously surround us. These waves are called microwaves.

Microwaves are unnatural and have a very short wavelength. Because of this they create a biological risk for all of us. Exposure to high levels of microwaves can alter cell reproduction. Since our children are at the stage of rapid cell growth, the effects on them are especially concerning.

The powerful cell phone companies have promoted cell phones as being a safe means of communication. This is a topic of great controversy. A number of unbiased scientists and doctors are finding more and more evidence to contradict this statement.

Public awareness of this issue in European countries is immense. They have been aware of this problem for many years and take it seriously. Their politicians, citizens, doctors and hospitals are taking precautionary measures to reduce exposure to microwave radiation. We need to do the same in North America.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Probably the most informative and comprehensive book I have read on the subject of EMR has been B. Blake Levitt's book, Electromagnetic Fields published in 1995, twelve years ago.

Chapter 10, Twentieth Century Maladies, draws strong connections of EMR to a number of Immune System Disorders: Electromagnetic Sensitivity Syndrome; Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome; Gulf War Syndrome, The Military, and Electromagnetic Pulse; AIDS; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Alzheimer's Disease; and Cancer (brain cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, and breast cancer). (Autism, ADHD, and other learning disabilities are covered in the chapter on Pregnancy, Children, and Electromagnetic Fields.) In this passage, I will quote the section on CFIDS, of which I personally experienced (or suffered from) and also recovered from - in spite of the fact that the CDC says there is "no cure."

Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a baffling disorder first reported around 1982 after some one hundred cases became known in the Lake Tahoe region of California. Although no one has an exact count, approximately 2 million people may now fit the Center for Disease Control strict criteria for clinical classification and be affected by the disease. In England, it is called myalgic encephalomyelitis; in Japan, low natural killer cell syndrome. In the United States, it has been called Epstein-Barr virus and chronic mononucleosis - and it also goes by the cavalier epithet of "yuppie flu." Similar syndromes may go back hundreds of years.

No one knows whether CFS is caused by a new agent or an old one manifesting in a new way, but one thing has become abundantly clear to clinicians around the world: CFS is not a garden-variety absence of energy or pep that is causing previously healthy, happy people to take to their beds for as much as two years. Sufferers from CFS report the sudden onset of mild flu-like symptoms, which never quite seem to go away but develop instead into a multi-system disorder of differing severity. Its hallmark symptoms is a debilitating fatigue beyond anything the person had heretofore experienced. People with CFS typically say that one day they felt fine and the next day they could hardly pick up their toothbrushes, so profound was the fatigue and muscle weakness. They add that it is not at all like a normal flu, in which the immune system slugs it out with a viral agent for a few days, producing a high fever and the like, after which the sufferer feels drained but better. They describe CFS as more like entering the twilight zone.

Other symptoms, which can come and go for months or years, include low-grade fevers, sore throats, tender or swollen lymph nodes, heart irregularities, an inability to concentrate, mental disorientation, a range of neurological symptoms that can even mimic psychosis, visual and sleep disturbances, abnormal weight changes (either too much or too little), profound muscle pain, and weakness, as well as a return of debilitating fatigue within 24 hours after minimal exercise that in the past was easily tolerated. Depression often accompanies CFS, but in most studies it has been found to result from, rather than precede, the disorder. Environmental illness or a host of allergies and chemical sensitivities often develop within the first year of onset, including in some cases sensitivity to electromagnetic fields.

There are several theories about CFS, the most likely being that it is caused by a retrovirus (a single strand of RNA that must trick the nucleus of a cell into incorporating it into its normal DNA manufacture), which infects the immune system's B cells not unlike th way the AIDS retrovirus infects the T cells. Some think the virus lives mainly in the brain tissue, thereby eluding most tests. Ohters think it is a deep viral infection of the liver, which along with the thymus gland is the seat of the body's immune system.

Although the agent or agents have not yet to be identified, [it's been over twenty years now], researchers know several things about the syndrome. Something causes the immune system of CFS patients to chronically underreact and then severely overreact. Often it seems as if the immune systems of those with CFS is on constant alert. But no one knows whether this occurs before of after CFS sets in. Some viruses in the herpes family have been found at abnormally high elevations in those with CFS, including Epstein-Barr Virus ( a majority of the population has been exposed to this virus and will test positive for it by the adult years). But it is not known whether these abnormal elevations are primary infections or are a manifestation of normally quiescent infections kept in check by a previously healthy immune system that goes haywire when an immune dysfunction sets in. Most researchers suspect the latter, since the Epstein-Barr virus has been around for a long time. It is also widely felt among clinicians who have treated CFS patients that the allergies they develop are not typical ones, but are based in some neurological or immune-system problem.

Unfortunately, some cancers associated with the Epstein-Barr virus are beginning to turn up in the CFS population. Cancers of the pharynx and the back of the nose (called nasaopharyngeal carcinoma), cancer of the salivary glands, thymic carcinoma (a deadly cancer of the thymus gland), and primary intracerebral lymphoma (an immune system cancer of the brain) are being found in higher than expected numbers. The Epstein-Barr Virus has a predilection for the immune system's B cells, and B-cell carcinomas, a kind of lymphoma, are also turning up. B-cell carcinomas differ from other lymphomas such as Hodgkin's in that they have a strong tendency to infect the central nervous system.

Are there connections between CFS and electromagnetic fields? It is likely that EMFs are a co-factor in the disease process, if not the outright initiator. CFS is widespread in the electronics industry in California's Silicon Valley and along Boston's Route 128 corridor. It affects woman far more often than men. (Among the highest number of sufferers are computer operators, who typically are women sitting for hours in fields that directly impact on the thymus gland, located near the thyroid in the lower neck behind the sternum.) More than a hundred Silicon Valley employees have filed lawsuits against their companies for the condition alone. Many other companies grant sick leave for employees diagnosed with CFS, and the Veterans Administration grants disability pay for afflicted veterans.

Whether CFS will in time be definitely linked with electromagnetic fields remains to be seen, but it bears striking similarities to electromagnetic sensitivity syndrome. And many observations regarding EMFs and the human anatomy appear to have the same imprints as CFS. Given the research on electromagnetic fields and the immune system activation followed by long-term suppression, and extrapolation to CFS is not out of line. Also, consider the findings on EMFs and the nighttime melatonin suppression, and relate them to the common paradox in CFS patients that, despite their overwhelming tiredness, they are characteristically unable to sleep between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. A link is suggested. EMFs are associated with a range of hormonal/neurological effects and central nervous system problems. Plus the research indicating EMFs as co-factors in human disease states as well as viral mutations cannot be ignored.
(Levitt 1995 pp 187-190)

For those intersted In two other papers I wrote, I also draw further connections between CFIDS and EMR:



Isle of Man Removes Phone Masts

Ban for Manx mobile phone masts

Manx Telecom has been banned from putting up mobile phone masts in any property owned by the Public Works Committee on the island. The firm may also be asked to remove small mobile phone transmitters from a number of street lights in Douglas. The Public Works Committee is recommending they should be taken down, because of health concerns. It says although there is no proof of any risk, it is worried about the radiation given off by the equipment. Chairman of the committee Ritchie McNicholl said: "The health of the public is too important to take any chances."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/08 15:00:08 GMT