19 October 2007
This very well researched paper takes a look at the public health trends in 2007 and their possible links to EMR exposure. The paper has a strong focus on Australia and is well referenced. The paper makes reference to many studies that have demonstrated strong links between electromagnetic radiation exposure and adverse health effects. Cancer clusters and phone masts are discussed in some detail.
An overview of public health trends in 2007
Whilst the increase in certain illnesses has been steady for about four decades – most figures a
To what extent do these trends reflect the research into adverse effects on health of Electromagnetic Radiation? A Discussion Paper
re indicating that for the last 15 years we have seen, worldwide, a marked increase in illnesses such as cancers, cardiac illness, obesity, diabetes, asthma, allergies in children, short term memory problems and sleeplessness, to name but a few.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare announced in 2007 that the five leading causes of non-fatal illness in Australia were diabetes, ischemic heart disease, dementia, asthma, anxiety and depression. As 90% diabetes is related to weight gain this could be included as a sixth.
Billions of dollars per year go towards ‘keep fit’ campaigns and research into cures – but we need to start addressing causes.
Factors such as population growth and the ageing population need to be considered, as do environmental chemicals, food additives and hormones. However there would need to be something new for such a marked spike to occur.
There is, in fact, only one significant new factor: the sudden explosion in wireless communications technology, which began in Australia approximately 15 years ago – earlier in the US.
For decades now, the medical fraternity has been greatly concerned by the huge incidence of literally un-explained cancers in our population and the finger is pointing to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) as the likely culprit – or at least a major contributor. Radio and TV have been broadcasting in the radiofrequency range since the 1950s, but microwave radiation as emitted by communications infrastructure is relatively new, with millions of antennas and satellites irradiating the global population 24 hours a day, 52 weeks a year since the early 90s.
This is not new: electromagnetic fields (wiring, appliances) and electromagnetic radiation have been a fact of life for many decades now – it is only in recent times however that the load has increased to a point where the effects on human health are becoming a major issue.
Most people don’t think about this fact, they somehow think that these frequencies that are being sent all around the planet, somehow magically find their way to our phones, TVs and radios without even touching us. But the human body has its own delicate and sensitive electrical system, which is easily affected by the many electromagnetic frequencies we are surrounded by and which penetrate our bodies daily.
This report aims to show the correlation between current health trends and the research into adverse health effects of W1EMR. Whilst not all research shows the same results – it is worth noting that the numerous positive studies appear to be reflected in the steep rise in certain health problems. Additionally it largely addresses the health issues as listed as they relate to the research into RF/MW rather than electromagnetic fields as they relate to powerlines, substations and domestic wiring.. However it is worth noting that these fields also have been shown to produce similar conditions.
A group of scientists and doctors in Freiburger, Germany, presented evidence at a conference in 2002 of “a dramatic rise in severe and chronic diseases among our patients” exposed to RF/MW. These included extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes in increasingly younger people, degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy, leukaemia and brain tumours. They also found a rise in headaches, sleeplessness, tinnitus and other ailments that were able to be correlated with the onset of exposure to communications microwaves.
Communications frequencies use so-called non-thermal levels of radiation – i.e. they do not directly heat living tissue in the same way a microwave oven does. Well-known scientist and author Robert Becker said in 1985, “…when non-thermal dangers were originally documented in America, military and industrial spokespeople refused to acknowledge them, lying to Congress and the public. Many scientists who naturally wanted to continue working went along with the charade.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that, at the present time, the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.”
Dr Robert O. Becker, Nobel Prize nominee1
Dr. G. J. Hyland of theUniversity of Warwick, UK, calls the human body “an electrochemical instrument of exquisite sensitivity,” noting that, like a radio, it can be interfered with by incoming radiation. Therefore it is misguided to think that electromagnetic radiation would not be having a negative effect on public health, and there is plenty of scientific research to show that this is the case. One scientist in particular led the charge a decade ago, trying to warn us of the dangers.
As far back as 1994 Australia’s CSIRO did a 150 page literature review on the status of health effects from EMR. The report’s author, Dr Stan Barnett, said: “whilst researching the scientific database in preparation for this report it has become evident that subtle changes in cell structure and biochemistry have been frequently reported at exposure levels where gross thermal change could not be attributed as a cause.”2
From 1996 until he died in 2003, New Zealand physicist and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) meta-analyst, Dr Neil Cherry, studied over 600 researchers worldwide. He found that EMR caused DNA breakages, chromosome aberrations, increased oncogene activity in cells, altered brain activity, altered blood pressure and increased brain cancer at very low levels – much lower than those allowed by the Australian standard. He also found that it impacts on the pineal gland in the brain, resulting in a reduction of melatonin – a vital part of many of the body’s biochemical systems, including the mediation of many hormone functions (including the control of weight) and a
major scavenger of damaging free radicals.”3
These findings – in direct conflict with the interests of the multi-billion dollar telecommunications industry – have not only been replicated many times since, but have proved to be prophetic: cancer, leukaemia, cardiac disease, diabetes, sleep disturbances, dementia, weight gain or loss, weakened immune system, asthma, allergies, arthritis, nausea, memory and concentration problems, neurological conditions, and depression to name but a few – all on a sharp rise.
He was surprised to find how much published research there is to show that – across the entire EMR spectrum – damage”2 was done to cellular DNA, rendering it genotoxic and therefore likely to be implicated in the formation of tumours and other illnesses.
Since then other scientists have turned up further studies showing similar results. A study published in August 2007 indicates that mobile phone radiation causes cancer in mice”4 , and another one – published in August 2007 in New Scientist by scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel – finds that after only 5 minutes of exposure to radiation one tenth of the power of a mobile phone, rat and human cell chemicals undergo changes.
Marshall and Wetherall found an exponential increase in the USA of autism, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Alzheimer’s since 1984, the year the first commercial cell phone networks started to spread across the USA. These rates increased even further with the switchover from analog (1G) to digital (2G) in the early 1990s.”5
In 2005 researchers in China found that relatively low-level RF radiation can lead to DNA breaks6, and in 2004 the REFLEX project, which summarised the work of 12 research groups in seven European countries, reported that RF radiation could increase the number of DNA breaks in exposed cells, as well as activate a stress response – the production of heat-shock proteins. The manager of the project, Franz Adlkofer, said: “…available scientific evidence of such critical events demonstrates the need for intensifying research – precautionary measures seem to be warranted.”7
Dr Peter French found that mobile phone radiation switched on heat shock proteins:
“In plain English, the point is that it has been demonstrated by several researchers that increasing the amount of heat shock proteins in cells results in the increased potential for developing tumours, increased stimulation of metastasis or spread of cancers, the direct development of cancer, de novo, and the decreased effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs.” Dr Peter French”8
Cherry also found that microwaves can open the blood brain barrier allowing damaging chemicals, viruses and bacteria into the brain which could cause problems such as dementia and brain tumours.”9
His findings continue to be verified by many independent scientists and doctors around the world, many of whom are signatories to large scale resolutions such as the Benevento Resolution in 2006 and Salzburg Resolution in 2000, announcing their acknowledgement of a connection between adverse health effects and exposure to microwave radiation. As a result, Salzburg has now lowered its exposure levels.
In February 2007 Swedish scientists announced in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention that they had observed a connection between the health of the population and population density, suggesting that the two factors having the strongest correlation with decreased health quality were the estimated average power output from mobile phones…and the reported coverage from the global system for mobile communication base stations in each country.”10
This has been confirmed by German company ECOLOG’s report, commissioned by telecommunications company T-Mobil in 2000. The results of this research – leaked to British group HESE in 2006 – have just been translated into English. It found that cancer, DNA damage, chromosome aberrations, changes to enzymes, changes in the brain, interruption of cell cycle and cellular communication, debilitation of the immune system and changes to the central nervous system.
Around a dozen studies were found in 2006 and 2007 demonstrating similar results, including one that found the signal from a mobile phone affecting genes and neurons in both ‘on’ and ‘off’ modes”11 and another found “some evidence of”3 nervous system structural damage after the EMR exposure.”12
“Is it really wise and safe to subject ourselves to whole-body irradiation, all around the clock and wherever we are, with the same mobile radiation which laboratory studies have shown to cause serious injuries and effects?” Olle Johansson, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden”13
The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in America found that 30 per cent of the population are more susceptible to environmental pollutants than the rest of the population; they can be seen as the canaries in the mine.”14
Diabetes and Obesity
A staggering one billion of the world’s population of 6.45 billion is overweight, warned the World Health Organisation in 2005. And rates of overweight and obesity are rising dramatically in poorer countries, not just wealthy nations.
In the US in 1991 no state had obsesity rates above 20 per cent. By 2000 28 states had obesity rates less than 20 per cent, and in 2005 only four states had prevalence rates of less than 20 per cent, according to data collected by America’s Centre for Diease Control in 2005.
According to a trial by the George Institute for International Health over six years to 2007, diabetes is emerging as one of the greatest threats to the health of populations worldwide. More than 600,000 Australians are affected by this condition.
And in Australia, 93,000 West Australian children aged between 5 and 15 are estimated to be overweight or obese, putting them at risk of not just heart disease as they get older but also the crippling bone disease arthritis, reported a West Australian Health Department survey in June 2007.
The Auditor General reported in 2007 that these conditions just keep on rising. An estimated 90 per cent of new diabetes cases are attributed to weight gain, which according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics is now 52 per cent of all Australians. Since the 1980s the amount of overweight and obese Australian children has more than doubled. It is estimated that at least 60% of Australians aged 18 years and over will be overweight or obese by 2010. Diabetes has risen 77 per cent in Victoria since 2001. The following diagram indicates the sudden rise in obesity from about 1994.
In July 2007 obesity researchers at the Garvan Institute in Sydney reported that a pain-killing chemical produced by the brain may be causing the body to “pile on fat”. Researchers have found that chemicals in the brain are influenced by EMR.
• Magda Havas, Environmental Science Professor at Trent University in Canada, found in 2006 that blood sugar levels in diabetes rise and fall with an electrical environment.”14
• Researchers in Japan have been able to induce obesity in rats by producing microwave-induced lesions to an area of hypothalamus. They noted a drop in hypothalamic norepinephrine and dopamine and a decrease in adrenal epinephrine – a potential cause of obesity.”15
Scientists have also found that dysfunctional mitochondria will interfere with the cellular energy production and can be linked to fatigue – and possibly obesity”16
“Dr Russell Reiter’s book on melatonin lists several illnesses that result from reduced melatonin. The first is arthritis, then diabetes, cancer…” Dr Neil Cherry”17.
By 2006 there were an estimated 106,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia, a 34 per cent increase over the past decade. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) says the number of cancers being diagnosed each year is growing faster than the overall population.”18
In September 2007 David Whiteman, senior research fellow at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research announced that a rapid rise in oesophagus cancer is linked to obesity. It’s a real increase in cancer which you just don’t see in epidemiological lifetimes,” he said. “It’s unprecedented to see a cancer come up so quickly”.
Mobile Phone Tower Cancer Clusters
1. In 2002 Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith called for an urgent government probe into the link between mobile phone masts and cancer after it emerged that people living in five of the seven homes surrounding Forest House in Carnarvon Road, South Woodford, which has 16 masts on its roof, have contracted cancer.”19
The… incidence of leukaemia near the South Woodford mast is far higher than would be expected normally, according to the statistics. There was a significant decline in the incidence of all cancers the further residents lived away from the mast.
2. In April 2007 The Sunday Times reported that seven clusters of cancer and other serious illnesses have been discovered around mobile phone towers in the UK, raising concerns over the technology’s potential impact on health there.
3. In 2003 Telecom giant Orange has suspended operations at a school phone
mast site in Paris after eight cases of cancer were confirmed among children in the district.
4. Near Cardiff in Wales at least eight residents in the parish of St Georges and St Brides have died of cancer in the past five years. In every one of the 10 houses on a residential street close to the
Sandy Heath transmitter in Bedfordshire, there has been a cancer death.”20
In 2006 17 people around a mobile phone tower in Norfolk County in the US reported symptoms of microwave sickness – including headaches, fatigue, nausea and dizziness since the installation of the tower. The tower is to be removed.”21
An industry funded study found in 1997 that of the exposed mice, 43% developed cancer, compared to 22% in the control group.22 This was regarded by biomedical scientists around the world as highly significant. “…it may indicate that in individuals genetically predisposed to certain forms of cancer, the long-term intermittent exposure to RF such as those used by mobile phones may be an important stimulus in the induction of malignancy.” Peter French, Principal Scientific Officer, Centre for Immunology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.”23
In the UK in 1999, analysis conducted for The Sunday Times by Professor Gordon Stewart, one of Britain’s leading epidemiologists, shows there may be a significant increase in the risk of cancers, including leukaemia, associated with mobile phone masts.
The study revealed an increased incidence of cancer within up to 7km of masts. Subsequent inquiries have unearthed possible clusters in London, Bedfordshire, south Wales and the Midlands.
People in one area near the mast were found to be 33 per cent more likely to suffer from cancer.
“Public health surveys of people living in the vicinity of cell site (mobile phone) base stations should be being carried out now, and continue progressively over the next two decades. This is because effects such as …cardiac disruption, sleep disturbance, reduced immune system competence, cancers and leukaemia are probable.” Dr Neil Cherry”24
“When you turn on the body’s defence mechanism against disease, which the non-ionising radiation does, and you keep turning it on every day, you down-regulate it and it no longer turns on.”
Prof Ted Litovitz, 199925
Studies of the sites show high incidences of cancer, brain haemorrhages and high blood pressure within a radius of 400 yards of mobile phone towers.
One of the studies, in Warwickshire, showed a cluster of 31 cancers around a single street. A quarter of the 30 staff at a special school within sight of the 90ft high mast have developed tumours since 2000, while another quarter have suffered significant health problems.
The tower was pulled down by the mobile phone company after the presentation of the evidence by local protesters. While rejecting any links to ill-health, the comapny admitted the decision was “clearly rare and unusual”.
• A health survey carried out in La Ñora, Murcia, Spain in 2004 around two GSM mobile phone towers showed “statistically significant positive exposure-response associations between the E-field and fatigue, irritability, headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeping disorder, depressive tendency, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentration, loss of memory, visual disorder, dizziness and cardiovascular problems.”26 According to the Mast Sanity group in the UK 47 cancer clusters have been reported around schools in Spain.
• A study instigated by the President of the Federal Agency for Radiation Protection in Germany from 1999 until 2004 found that after five years operation of the mobile phone tower, the relative risk of getting cancer had trebled for the residents of the area in the proximity of the tower compared to the residents outside the area.”27
• Two studies carried out in 2004 epidemiological studies around transmitters in Israel over many years. Their conclusion was a threefold increase of cancers within a 400 m radius of transmitters, for breast cancer a tenfold increase was found. As a result, two lawsuits were filed for 33 people who lived close to phone towers and consequently contracted cancer and leukaemia in that year. “28
• In 2006 an Egyptian study found that “Inhabitants living near mobile phone base stations are at risk of developing neuropsychiatric problems and changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions – either by facilitation or inhibition”.29
• In France researchers found that people living within 300 m of a base station suffered from tiredness, headaches, sleep disruption, and within 100 m irritability, depression, loss of memory, dizziness, and loss of libido.30
The Nobel Prize winning Irish Doctors Association in 2005 listed 70 research papers showing the dangers from low level microwaves. Dr. Santini listed 20 similar studies, the EM. Radiation Research Trust listed 9 studies, Dr. Blackwell listed 6 similar studies in his report, and finally, four international universities completed the Spanish Study which verified all of the known illnesses.
Dr John Walker, a doctor from Sutton Coldfield, compiled three cancer cluster studies around mobile phone towers from Devon, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands. He was convinced they showed a potential link between the angle of the beam of radiation emitted from the masts’ antennae and illnesses discovered in local populations.”31
Dr Sutton first noticed a high number of specific cancers in the early 1990s. Out of 18 houses in one street eight – ten people were diagnosed with one form of cancer. He said the odds of three such clusters occurring were one in a billion.”32
The epidemiological figures show that, within 1.4 miles of the Sutton Coldfiled mast, the number of adult leukaemia cases was nearly double what would normally be expected.
• A study published in 2007 by Mina Ha of Dankook University in South Korea found that “children living within 2km of an AM transmitter had more than twice the risk of developing leukaemia, compared to those living more than 20km away.” 33
• Communities living near the Vatican radio transmitter north of Rome have reported high rates of cancer – with twice the usual rate of childhood leukaemia within sic kilometres of the radio station. The incidence of both decreased with distance from the antennas.”34
• In 2000 Australian Dr Bruce Hocking presented the findings of a health study in a 4km zone surrounding Sydney TV towers. He found that children living within a 4km radius of television towers had a 60% higher incidence of leukaemia than children who lived further from the towers and there was a far greater risk of dying from the disease. Dr Hocking also found a slightly increased rate of adult cancer in the study area than beyond it.”35
“…Over 20 studies show that both through reducing melatonin and through enhancing free radical activity, EMR is genotoxic, damaging the DNA and chromosomes, enhancing oncogene expression and transforming cells to neoplastic cells and causing cancer in exposed populations.”
Dr Neil Cherry”36
According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed new cancer in women in 2001, with prostate cancer in men the most common. “37
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Cancer Monitoring Unit said that the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has more than doubled in the past 20 years – increasing from 5,318 women in 1983 to 12,027 women in 2002.”38
In America, the Federal Centre for Disease Control in the US has said that cancer is the leading cause of premature loss of life among American women – and that breast cancer was the leader in that category.
According to the Breast Cancer Fund’s “State of the Evidence” report, approximately half of all breast cancers are caused by environmental factors, including radiation. “39
This is directly connected to the role of Melatonin in the body, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. For example, adding melatonin to cancer cells in a laboratory dish will cause them to stop growing. Placing the same dish in an electromagnetic field will cause the cells to start growing again. Research has also shown that night shift work may increase the risk of breast cancer by lowering melatonin levels. At least three studies suggest a link between night-shift work and increased risk of breast cancer.
In Brisbane, Queensland, from 1995 until 2006 14 women working night shift for ABC TV in the same room contracted breast cancer. On 13th July 2007 it was reported that a 15th woman working in the same room had also been diagnosed with breast cancer.
And also in July 2007 a Sydney hospital announced it was investigating a possible cancer cluster after five female staff members were diagnosed with breast cancer within six years. Management at Concord Hospital, in Sydney’s west revealed it launched a preliminary investigation in May concerning cancer patterns among staff. Five female workers were diagnosed with the disease between 2001 and 2006.
“These are sufficient to classify a causal relationship between EMR and breast cancer, with melatonin reduction as the biological mechanism.” Dr Neil Cherry”40
In 2003 Norwegian researchers reported an increased risk of beast cancer among female telegraph operators exposed to RF/EMF. Premenopausal women showed an increased risk of oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours. Premenopausal women appear to be at higher risk than postmenopausal women.
A drop in melatonin levels has also been connected with increases in breast cancer”41
Another Norwegian study also showed a 60 percent increase in breast cancer risk in women of all ages living near high voltage power lines.”42
Cleary, S., et al, 1990, Glioma Proliferation Modulated in Vitro by Isothermal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure, Radiation Research, Vol. 121, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 38-45
Male Breast Cancer and Male Breasts
Although breast cancer is rare in men, numerous studies point to a connection between EMR exposure and male breast cancer. A recent literature review on male breast cancer also identifies exposure to EMR as a risk factor.”43
In 2001 there cases of male beast cancer showed up in the same office. A law suit was filed – the attorney arguing that the cnacers were caused, at least in part, by an electrical vault that was next to the basement office where the men worked. He said that the odds of this happening were a trillion to one.
Another very ercent phenomena is the appearance of male breasts. The Sunday Age reported in July 2007 that breast reduction operations on men have sky-rocketed, with approximately a 22 per cent rise over the past 12 months. Whilst hormone residues that get into the waterways are the first thing the mind goes to – one must remember that these have been around for a few decades and cannot in this instance be implicated.
Pollan M, et al, Breast cancer, occupation, and exposure to electromagnetic fields among Swedish men. Am J Ind Med 2001, 39 (3): 276-85
Demers, et al 1991, Occupational Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields and Breast Cancer in Men, American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 134, No. 4: 340-347
Brain cancer is specifically associated with mobile and cordless phone use rather than towers.
Whilst this report is focusing on trends for the past 15 years, it is interesting to note that brain cancer rates were already climbing in the United States among people under the age of 45 by 1990, according to a study published in The American Journal of Industrial Medicine.”44
These findings are the first to report a statistically significant increase in new cases of brain tumours among younger people. Dr. Devra Lee Davis, from the University of Washington noted that other researchers had implicated electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones as a possible cause of brain tumours.”45
Professor Jillian Birch of Manchester University said in 2001 that cancers such as brain tumours and leukaemia are on a sharp rise in children – and that modern living could be to blame. “46
The number of brain tumour cases in the US and Europe has increased by up to 40% in the past 20 years, according to data released at a medical conference in Italy in 2003.”47
The incidence rate for brain tumours is increasing among people of all ages, but males between 20 and 40 years old are the most affected, according to Dr. Alba Brandes, an oncologist at the Azienda-Ospedale in Padua. “The latest epidemiological studies indicate that white collar workers–intellectuals and professionals–are among the most affected,” he said. “The reason is still unknown, though environmental causes such as cellular phones, computers and exposure to electromagnetic fields cannot be ruled out”.
This year the Swiss Federal Agency for Environment issued a report that said: “it has to be generally regarded as possible that intensive long-term use of mobile telephones could to an increased risk of brain tumours.”48
In Melbourne in 2006 seven people at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) developed brain tumours two floors underneath transmitting antennas. They had been working there for ten years.
• In January 2007 the International Journal of Cancer published a study that found a higher incidence of brain tumours on the same side of the head the phone was used after ten or more years of exposure,”49 and also in 2007 a meta-analysis by Swedish researcher Hardell published on the Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine website also found that the long term risk of such tumours was two-and-a-half times higher than would normally be expected.”50
• In 2006 Hardell also found that “for all studied phone types an increased risk for brain tumours, mainly acoustic neuroma and malignant brain tumours.”51
• In 2003 another Swedish by Leif Salford found mobile-phone exposure caused brain damage in lab rats. Researchers found damage to neurons in rat brains exposed to radiation from mobile phones, saying radiation from GSM mobile phones, which are prevalent around the world, was associated with leakage in the blood-brain barrier.”52
• In Qatar, a developing country, scientists found a slight rise in brain tumours between 2004 and 2005.”53
• In Finland researchers showed that using a mobile phone decreased blood flow in the brain.”54
• An Italian study found that mobile phones temporarily excite the neurons in the part of the brain closest to the phone.”55
The Interphone project – a multi-national series of epidemiological studies conducted by Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority – tested whether using mobile phones increases the risk of various cancers in the head and neck found that “people who use mobile phones for more than ten years have nearly 40 per cent chance of developing brain tumours on the side of the head against which they hold their phones”.56
The project comprised national studies from 13 different countries, which were coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The German team reported a 2.2-fold increase in the incidence of gliomas amongst those who had used a mobile phone for at least ten years.57 Teams from Denmark, Sweden and the UK have already reported their results, which some observers interpret as indicating a long term risk.
In 2007 officials in Belgium and Germany called for a ban on mobile phone use by children under 16, due to the ongoing evidence of harm. Some doctors in Vienna are displaying warning notices in their surgeries.”58
Many researchers have also found that mobile phone users reported symptoms of burning or a dull ache in temporal, occipital or auricular areas, headache, concentration problems, discomfort, memory loss, burning skin, tingling and tightness.”59,60, 61
“Over 40 studies [show] that cell phone frequencies [mirror] the biological and epidemiological studies for EMR over the past four decades. This includes…increased brain cancer. I predict a significant increase in brain tumours in younger groups than normal from the use of mobiles.”62
Symptoms of reduced immune system competence, cardiac problems, especially of the arrhythmic type and cancers, especially brain tumour and leukaemia are probable.”“63
Dr Neil Cherry
Prostate and Testicular Cancer
An Australian Institute for health and Welfare report shows that rates of prostate cancer have risen 42% in the past five years, pushing up the number of prostate cancer cases by 50% to an estimated 18,700 in 2006.”64
“In 2003 prostate cancer was named by the AIHW as one of the most common cancers in Australia. There is a large and coherent body of evidence of biological mechanisms that support the conclusion of a plausible, logical and causal relationship between EMR exposure and cancer, cardiac, neurological and reproductive health effects.” Dr Neil Cherry”65
And figures from Europe show a dramatic rise in the incidence of prostate cancer from 1993 and then 1999.
Heart Disease, Strokes, High Blood Pressure
Globally, high blood pressure was one of the top three leading modifiable risk factors of disease in 2005, along with tobacco and alcohol. New research has now shown that high blood pressure now causes up to 66% of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke in the Asia-Pacific Region, according to The George Institute for International Health.”66
Heart disease, heart attacks, heart irregularities, strokes and high blood pressure are all rising sharply.
In Australia, the Baker Heart Research Institute’s Professor Simon Stewart in June 2007 sent medical staff into shopping centres around the country to measure the blood pressure of 15,000 Australians. The preliminary findings were that 42 per cent of Australians now have high blood pressure – up from 35 per cent in 2000. Full results of the study are expected later in the year.
In the US, almost a third of all adults suffer from high blood pressure, a dramatic rise over the past decade. A recent report in the Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association indicates some 65 million adults were diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2004, versus 50 million 10 years ago. (New York Times, June 2004).
Also in 2004 a health survey from 1988 to 2000 by the US Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association said they were struggling to control the growing rate of childhood obesity in the United States, with children and adolescents’ blood pressure levels climbing sharply.
A survey done by the British Heart Foundation for the UK’s National Health Service in 2002 claimed the number of people living with heart failure has risen by 15 per cent.”67
A mechanism for this was proposed by Professor Russell Reiter, one of the world’s leading researchers on melatonin, who summarises its role as being vital for healthy sleep, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, and therefore the incidence of strokes. “68
High blood pressure was also found amongst those living around phone towers in the UK69
“There is a large and coherent body of evidence of biological mechanisms that support the conclusion of a plausible, logical and causal relationship between EMR exposure and cancer, cardiac, neurological and reproductive health effects.” Dr Neil Cherry”71
Asthma and Allergies
A report in July 2007 published in the Medical Journal of Australia claimed that young children are being admitted into hospital with severe food allergies at five times the rate of a decade ago. The report’s author, Professor Raymond Mullins who also works as a practitioner in Canberra, noted a 12-fold increase in childhood allergies in the last couple of years.”72
By 2001 there had been a 25 per cent rise in asthma in Sydney, with an increase in the death rate by 5 per cent.
Another report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2005 found that asthma is the most common chronic disease among children up to the age of 14.”73
The National Jewish Medical and Research Centre in Denver reported that after re-unification, West Germans were found to be far more allergic than their eastern counterparts, even though industrial pollution was so much higher. Many researchers and scientists were – and still are – puzzled by this fact, but what they failed to examine is the fact that East Germany had much stricter regulations regarding ambient radiation levels than West Germany. Since East Germany adopted West Germany’s standards, allergies in former East Germany have since reached par with the levels of former West Germany.
In 1997 microbiologist Dr Peter French of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney was conducting experiments on mast cells. What he discovered was that the production of histamine – the chemical responsible for allergic reactions – and which is involved in bronchial spasm, is nearly doubled after exposure to mobile phone frequencies. He speculated that this could result in an increase in illnesses such as asthma and allergies in the years to come.”74
• Low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFs) have been shown to increase the number of mast cells in the body.”75
• Microwaves have also been found to increase immunoglobulin antibodies in the body which are responsible for triggering an allergic reaction to a particular substance or protein.”76
Dr. John Holt … pointed out that mobile phone frequencies double the amount of histamines and thus cause asthma and allergies.
Someone develops Alzheimer’s every 72 seconds, according to America’s 2007 Alzheimer’s Association report. lzheimer’s Association today reports that in 2007 there are now more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is a 10 percent increase from the previous prevalence nationwide estimate of 4.5 million.
15 years ago Alzheimer’s disease was considered a rare condition – what has happened in the interim?
The American Diabetes Association has also warned that today’s mushrooming diabetes epidemic will become tomorrow’s Alzheimer’s epidemic in an address to the Association’s 67th Annual Scientific Sessions, held June 2007 in Chicago.
And in the UK, experts from the Alzheimer’s Society have predicted this year that rising rates of obesity will lead to dramatic increases in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol all increase the risk of dementia because they can lead to damage of the blood vessels in the brain, which in turn leads to the death of brain cells.”78
In Australia, $1,000,000 per year is spent on Alzheimer’s disease. Whilst this is also a picture of the ageing population – there is nevertheless no real reason for this to result in such a high rate of dementia.
In June 2007 neurologist Sudha Seshadri of Boston University found that diabetes speeds — and may even cause — Alzheimer’s disease. The central problem in diabetes is the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar through the hormone insulin.”79
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation has been shown to effect an abnormal drop in the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.”80
A drop in the levels of this neurotransmitter has been linked to a number of neurological and neuromuscular disorders – including Alzheimer’s disease.
Several studies demonstrated the permeability of the blood brain barrier by Salford and his colleagues”81,82, and in 2003 another study showed that mobile phones damage key brain cells and could trigger the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. They found that radiation from mobile phone handsets damages areas of the brain associated with learning, memory and movement. “We have good reason to believe that what happens in rat’s brains also happens in humans”, he said.”83
“Melatonin plays a vital free radical scavenging role in the brain where, because it is high in iron, has a high production rate of hydroxyl radicals (OH·). Free radical damage is now known to play a formative role in most brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.” Dr Neil Cherry.
“EM fields alter the levels of protective proteins…. these protective proteins are related to Alzheimer’s and that a reduction in protective proteins means a greater probability of Alzheimer’s. This is a theory which we have not tested, but there is data out there that appears to relate the incidence of Alzheimer’s to exposure to electromagnetic fields.” Professor Ted Litovitz
Depression and Anxiety
The number of young people battling depression has doubled in 12 years, according to a report in 2002 from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in the UK.
Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety can be attributed to a variety of variables such as drug and alcohol abuse, stress and poor diet. However I mention them in this context as they are also implicated buy the research into EMR.
It should be noted that a substantial body of research showing this outcome has been done on the effects of EM fields from powerlines and other non-radiant sources such as sub-stations, domestic wiring etc rather than RF/MW.
A report by the US government shows a sudden sharp rise in youth suicide rate. The year 2003 to 2004 shows a sudden 18 per cent rise for suicides among the under 20s, from 1,737 to 1,985. The rise is largely driven by increases in deaths among older teenagers. This apparently is a sudden reversal in a trend that has shown a steady decline in the 10 years before that.
Depression rates have been growing continuously every year. More and more people are affected by this disease, and people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with certain conditions of life at times.
Microwave exposure has been shown to cause a decrease of 5-HT in the blood. 5-HT is a precursor to the production of the brain hormone serotonin. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to anxiety and depression. An increase in anxiety and depression can in turn be linked to an increase in the number of suicides.”85
Changes in the levels of the brain hormone, dopamine, have been shown to be connected with microwave radiation and other EMF exposure86 A drop in dopamine levels has also been linked with depression”87
• Dr Cherry found that melatonin reduction, clinical depression and suicide are all significantly and/or dose response related to EMR exposure”88. Along with sleep disruption and brain tumour, this constitutes a very strong and coherent set of data supporting a causal relationship between ELF to RF/MW exposure, including mobile phone usage, and neurological illness.
• In 2006 Melbourne University researcher Michael Berk discovered that the incidence of geomagnetic storms caused by solar flares influenced the suicide rate, saying that this could possibly indicate that other sources of electromagnetism could cause depression, including artificial sources.”89
• The 2004 Spanish study around the mobile phone tower in Murcia found that depressive tendencies were among the symptoms experienced.”90
There are many causes of sleeplessness – but there is little doubt that sleep problems are on the rise.
In increasingly sophisticated economies in the West could lead to the creation of “zombie nations”, reported the UK Telegraph in June 2007. Symptoms of deprivation range from weight gain to irritability, hallucinations and depression, Professor Russell Foster, of Oxford University, told the Cheltenham Science Festival.
A recent study of 2000 women by Britain’s National Sleep Foundation found that 70 per cent of the women experienced regular ongoing sleep problems, with men only 52 per cent.
And in the US in 2006 42 million people (one in five) took medication to help them sleep – up 60 per cent since 2000.
A study conducted around the Schwarzenburg radio and TV tower in Switzerland in the mid 1990s showed that the local population suffered from insomnia and other neurological problems such as nervousness, weakness, tiredness, restlessness and aching limbs,91whilst the tower was operating, but resumed normal sleeping patterns when it was switched off. Cherry explained that this was due to reduced melatonin levels caused by exposure to the signal.
• Hutter et al92 found that people living near mobile phone towers suffered from headaches, tiredness, sleep disturbance, loss of memory, dizziness, and difficulty in concentrating.
“… They were sampling melatonin before and after the tower was permanently turned off and they found a significant rise in melatonin after the tower was turned off. They found a dose response increase in sleep disturbance. When the tower was turned off experimentally, the sleep quality improved and melatonin rose in animals.” Dr Neil Cherry”93
• In Oberlaindern in Germany in 2003 a radio tower was closed down due to complaints from the locals, who complained the signal was keeping them awake. 94
• In addition, resting EEG patterns have shown a shortening of REM sleep and a strengthening of alpha waves. In 1996, researchers K. Mann and J. Röschke in
Neuropsychobiology, pointed out that “REM sleep plays a special physiological role for information processing in the brain” 95
• Recent studies from Spain, France and the UK around the mobile phone towers in found that sleep problems were among the symptoms experienced.
More children are suffering from arthritis than ever before. Unpublished data released in June, 2007 from a study conducted jointly by the American College of Rheumatology and the American Academy of Paediatrics at the behest of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention states that nearly 300,000 children in the United States have significant arthritis.
The Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre in Toronto states that this number is “probably an underestimate” since it only takes into account those children who have actually been diagnosed with arthritis.
An Australian study confirms that the rate of childhood arthritis is four to six times higher than rates typically quoted.
Data released in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that there was a jump of 46 per cent in arthritis cases from 1990 to 1995.
“There is a clear indication of a dramatic growth in the prevalence of arthritis in people aged 24 and over”. Dr Kenneth Muirden of the Arthritis Foundation of Australia,
As mentioned in the section on obesity, being overweight is putting people at risk of not just heart disease as they get older but also the crippling bone disease arthritis.
“Multiple observations of melatonin reduction in EMR-exposed populations mean that EMR exposure increases the incidence of arthritis, diabetes, cancer, reproductive, neurological and cardiac disease and or death, as identified by Reiter and Robinson.” Dr Neil Cherry”96
Memory Loss and Concentration
This is a common experience – it hardly needs to be said that we all experience memory loss, no matter how old we are. Scientists have found on numerous occasions that mobile phones may cause long-term memory loss.
In 2000 Dr. Henry Lai, a research professor in bioengineering at the University of Washington, has linked long-term memory loss and diminished navigating skills in rats with the microwaves emitted by mobile phones.
“This is the first study that shows that radio frequencies can affect long-term memory functions in rats,” Lai said. Previous studies have focused mainly on short-term memory.
Lai placed 100 rats in a large tank of water and taught them to swim to a platform in the middle of the tank. After swimming to the platform six times, the rats were easily able to find their way to it.
Next, half of the rats were exposed to microwaves similar to those emitted by mobile phones. All of the exposed rats forgot the way. The unexposed rats, once again, had no problem swimming to the platform.
“Then we took the platform away,” Lai said. “The normal rats went to the location, but the irradiated rats, on the other hand, swam around randomly, and did not approach the former location of the platform.”97
• In 2006 researchers in Israel found an effect from mobile phone base station radiation on cognitive function. They exposed 36 volunteers ot the station such that the right or the left side of the brain was exposed. At the same time, subjects performed tests t activate either the left or right side of the brain. They showed that exposure to the left side of the brain slowed responses in there of the four tasks.”98
• Also in 2006 in China a research team exposed rats to a GSM mobile phone signal for 15 minutes a day for eight days. Results showed that exposure reduced synaptic activity and the numbers of excitory synapses in the experioment.”99
• In Greece in 2006 it was shown that phone radiation affects cognitive functions in humans.”100
• Another study on cerebral blood flow was conducted where it was observed by the researchers that 16 volunteers experienced a short-term decrease in cerebral blood flow”101
• Recent studies from Spain, France and the UK around mobile phone towers found that memory and concentration were affected by exposure.
Male fertility has been declining for over 20 years. Whilst oestrogenic chemicals are clearly a factor here, many studies have indicted that EMR is also a likely variable.
A cancer specialist from West Australia, Dr John Holt, had this to say in 1996 in private correspondence on the issue pf communications frequencies: “Within 100 years all men and male animals will be sterile. I believe the current level of EMR is responsible [in part] for male infertility round the world, and this will solve the problem of human beings and their idiocy forever.”
• An American study from the Reproductive Centre in Cleveland in 2006 shows that men who used a mobile phone had a 25 per cent lower sperm count than men who never used a mobile. Sperm counts in the US have plummeted 29 per cent, attributed by the study’s authors to mobile phone emissions.”103
• In 1997 Magras & Xenos placed mice at various locations in
relation to an RF tower in Greece in order to monitor their fertility over several generations. The ‘low’ exposure group became infertile after five generations, and the ‘high’ exposure group after three generations.”104
• Dr George Carlo of the US showed that the cumulative DNA damage caused by RF exposure is carried forward to future generations.
“Reduced melatonin leads to increased DNA strand breaks and chromosome aberrations. These in turn lead to cancer and reproductive effects.” Dr Neil Cherry.
“It is clear from my reading of the scientific literature and experiments which I have conducted that there is the strong possibility that biological effects may be induced by long-term exposure to low levels of microwaves and radiofrequency fields.” Dr Peter French, 1997
Many of the health trends described here are related to each other – eg the link between obesity, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. This is also reflected in research carried out by Cherry and others.
However to look only at trying to reverse such health trends is like trying to rid the bathroom floor of water without first looking to see where the water is coming from, and turning off the tap.
Dr. George Carlo, who used to run a multi-million dollar research program for the mobile phone industry before going public regarding the dangers posed by mobiles, uses the analogy of putting a frog in water. If you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out. However, if you put a frog in cold water and gradually heat the water, you can cook the frog because the frog’s body will adjust to the slight changes in temperature and it will not notice it is being cooked. Well, the same thing might be happening to an unsuspecting public.
It has taken 50 years to finally take seriously the threat of global warming. David Suzuki said in the 1970s that we only had 40 years left if development continued at the same pace. He was right – but governments did not act, and now we are paying the price. It has been same with tobacco.
Whilst not proposing that the wireless world should be switched off tomorrow, I believe that we must heed independent scientists on the dangers of non-thermal radiation before populations are further damaged. There are problems in this area of research due to the volatile and invisible nature of what is being examined – however this is no excuse to bury our heads in the sand.
A study reported on 16th July 2007 stated that people are so dependent upon their mobiles that they could not in any way envisage having to live without them. This, though, is an illusion, for there was no demand for this technology prior to its creation – except by the companies that stood to make a profit.
“… The early studies show that oscillating signals interfere with the brain very significantly and can change the EEG and can change the calcium ions, and these change reaction times. This is a classical physics approach of resonant absorption. If a system can oscillate and an oscillating signal comes in, it can resonantly be absorbed. It is what an aerial does, it is what a cell phone does, it is what is used in telecommunications … It has been demonstrated in many laboratories that it actually does occur.” Dr Neil Cherry”105
“… I have found more than 30 studies showing chromosome damage in people exposed to radiofrequency microwave radiation. This is far more than we have for benzine, which is a carcinogen.” Dr Neil Cherry”106
Groups in the UK and Europe have suggested that lowering the exposure limits or using more fibre optic cabling and by siting antennas away from residential areas and schools.
It is extraordinary that in Australia telecommunications carriers can still install antennas on rooves of shops, churches, schools and other public buildings without permission from owners, local councils, or those nearby, in spite of regular protests.
This technology has been rolled out the world over without any prior warning or any recourse to protest.
There were no regulations for the testing of the emissions, in spite of the known dangers. Communities were caught by surprise, with no time to gather information about this new pollutant.
Nevertheless in Europe and the US wireless-free zones are now being created, along with materials and buildings as a shield against EMR. For example, a building now exists in Budapest with the sole aim of shielding its occupants from antennas, and in Canada Officials from the Slocan Valley Economic development Commission are claiming that keeping the valley mobile-free will draw in tourists and new residents”107
Though millions are now dependent on mobiles, email, Wi Fi, Bluetooth, baby monitors, GPS and wireless internet access, we can work to make the technology safer.
“The problems are going to increase unless a determined effort is made to only install sites that produce extremely low mean residential exposures – somewhat less than 0.01uW/cm2.”
Dr Neil Cherry, 2001.
The human race has evolved against a background of very low level natural radiation – about 8Hz. The current artificial radiation is now billions of times higher than when our grandparents lived
“This pulsing is in the frequency range of our brain waves and can cause them to speed up or slow down, changing our level of consciousness, as has been demonstrated by electroencephalograms” (EEG).”108
If the effects showing up now after only 15 years are anything to go by – and if levels continue to increase as they are bound to do with the further development of wireless technology – what sort of effects on the human being can we expect in future years?“
Research is beginning to indicate that there may be no safe threshold for these exposures, just like for x-rays….and if that’s the case, we are in trouble because non-ionising radiation is everywhere and growing exponentially.”109
In view of current data, it is not hard to envisage worldwide, irreversible damage on all levels – including those of a more subtle nature as indicated by the Egyptian study – if the issue is not taken more seriously by governments.
There are also indications that RF/MW radiation may be contributing to global warming through the atmospheric agitation of hydrogen molecules in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere,”110 and scientists have also found that the increase in illness due to bacterial growth is a result of exposure to ambient radiation”111.
I have only presented the studies indicating adverse health effects from EMR that relate to publicised health trends – leaving out many of the problems that have been documented – either anecdotally or as epidemiological evidence – such as Electrosensitivity, hearing loss, ADHD, violence and epilepsy.
“More evidence has accumulated suggesting that there are adverse health effects from occupational and public exposures to electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields, or EMF, at current exposure levels. What is needed, but not yet realised, is a comprehensive, independent and transparent examination of the evidence pointing to this emerging, potential public health issue.”
The Benevento Resolution, 2006.
That the Telecommunications Act is amended in accordance with the Precautionary Principle – i.e. that antennas should not be erected in residential areas or in the vicinity of schools and child care centres.
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