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|Turin could slash Wi-Fi over 'radiation' concerns|
|Italy||Created: 25 Jul 2016|
The plans were outlined last week as the city's new new Five Star Movement (M5S) mayor, Chiara Appendino, presented her council's five-year political plan.
“We're aware that we need to consider electromagnetic radiation when we speak about pollution,” reads page 23 of the council's programme.
“We would like to take all precautions necessary and ask all public structures to work to reduce the volume of emissions and while guaranteeing connectivity for citizens.”
Details of the plans emerge just days after Appendino hit headlines for her proposals to reduce citizens meat consumption over he next five years, by teaching the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet in Turin's schools.
As news of the councils ambitions circulated, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi couldn't resist the opportunity to mock the M5S over the plans, in a bid to land a blow against his party's main rival at the polls.
“While certain people are out there insisting Wi-Fi is harmful, our government has been busy striking deals with Amazon, Apple and Cisco,” Renzi told reporters on Friday evening, after meeting with Amazon chief Jeff Bezos to discuss a new €150 million Amazon hub in Lazio.
In the wake of criticism, Appendino took to Twitter to defend herself, saying at no point did the council's plans state Wi-Fi emissions were 'harmful'.
While she hopes to get rid of 'superfluous' emissions, Appendino highlighted that the council's plans also promise to 'ensure high speed-broadband was available throughout the city.'
In spite of Renzi mocking the new mayor's proposals, Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that Turin's previous council – which was run by his Democratic Party – had tabelled an identical plan at a city hall meeting just six months previously.
Although Turin's new proposals may seem severe, one Piedmont mayor went even further last year, when he banned Wi-Fi in his town's schools.
Livio Tola, The MS5 mayor of Borgofranco d'Ivrea, 51 kilometres outside Turin, controverisally told the town's high school and elementary school to replace their wireless connections with old fashioned plug-in cables.
The decision came after Tola read a report which said electromagnetic radiation produced by modems was especially harmful to children and adolescents.
There is currently no scientific evidence confirming that the radiation produced by routers is actually harmful to humans. However, The World Health Organization has recognized the "anxiety and speculation" surrounding electromagnetic field exposure.
The possible effects are still being investigated, but some studies have suggested that electromagnetic radiation given off by wireless routers can affect the development of cells in young children.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: The Local Italy, 25 Jul 2016|
|Our poor sleeping habits are filling our brains with neurotoxins|
|USA||Created: 25 Jul 2016|
We’ve known for some time that sleep is important for the restoration and strengthening specific functions in the brain linked to memory, regulating emotions, decision-making, and even creativity. But scientists are now discovering the processes through which sleep also cleans the brain like a plumbing system, in the process changing its cellular structure.
This research has led to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the brain’s internal workings—and is one more reminder of why it’s so essential that humans make sure they get the proper amount of sleep.
Previously, scientists thought the brain only cleaned itself by trickling toxins through brain tissues, but researchers now believe wastes are forcefully pushed through the brain at a much faster and higher pace, according to Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicin at the University of Rochester Medical Center School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Nedergaard dubbed this liquid cleaning system “the glymphatic system,” derived from the lymph system, which filters toxic waste products out of the body. The waste products that are filtered through the brain prevent neurological illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Nedergaard’s research was followed up by a 2013 study which found “hidden caves” open up in the brain while we sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to flush neurotoxins through the spinal column in copious amounts.
Basically, the cerebrospinal fluid sits around your brain and spinal cord and “every six to eight hour period, filters through the brain while you’re asleep,” Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at MIT specializing in sleep and the brain, told Quartz. “The whole process takes six to eight hours.”
Much more important than your average cleaning system, this process clears neurotoxins out of your brain, specifically one called beta-amyloid, which has been found in clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. When this system can’t function properly due to lack of sleep, harmful remnants, like beta-amyloid, are allowed to build up.
A 2015 study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience was one of the first to look at humans rather than animal subjects when examining how sleep can fight against memory impairment. As it turns out, beta-amyloid also works to prevent your body from getting the rest it needs, creating something of a vicious cycle for the chronically sleep-deprived.
As Matthew Walker, one of the neuroscientists who authored the study, wrote: “The more beta-amyloid you have in certain parts of your brain, the less deep sleep you get and, consequently, the worse your memory. Additionally, the less deep sleep you have, the less effective you are at clearing out this bad protein.”
CEOs have long bragged of their ability to only sleep four to five hours a night, but Swart says this bravado misses the point As a result of these findings, Swart said she’s been “even more careful about [her] sleep.” In fact, as part of Swart’s Neuroscience For Leadership class at MIT in April, she discussed the serious health consequences that come from neglecting shut-eye. Swart, who is also a leadership coach, has been instructing executives to sleep for years. She promotes techniques related to diet and exercise, and warns that sleeping next to your smartphone—the one that emits 3G and 4G signals all night—affects your brain patterns, restructuring your brain cells and likely preventing you from allowing your brain to clean out waste material properly.
Research published in 2007 has already found that the electrical radiation emitted from smart devices is picked up by electrodes inside our brains. Scientists are still trying to figure out just how much damage the electromagnetic signals emitted from WiFi equipment can actually do to the human brain. But by potentially preventing our brains from flushing beta-amyloid—just by being in close proximity—it’s clear these devices already have the potential for serious damage.
Ultimately, how much sleep you think you need has little to do with it. CEOs have long bragged of their ability to only sleep four to five hours a night, but Swart says this bravado misses the point: even if you don’t feel sleepy, your brain needs those six to eight hours to cleanse itself every day. (Then there’s the multitude of research that shows a rested and resilient brain performs better, is better able to regulate emotions and think creatively.)
If having enough time to sleep is a challenge for you, Swart suggests naps. Taking even 20 minutes of shut-eye is comparable to “literally plugging in your phone battery,” says Swart, similar to a power boost. For 30 minutes of downtime, your brain will experience improved learning and memory. For those fortunate enough to snag 60 to 90 minutes of rest, “new connections can form which can unleash creativity in the brain.”
“And that’s why Google has nap pods,” Swart explained.
Aug 2015, USA: CDC: Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic
Dec 2014, India: Mobile usage and sleep patterns among medical students
Aug 2010, Sweden: Neighbor to a 3G basestation: "I just couldn't sleep properly"
Feb 2009, Sweden: Sleeping problems correlate with mobile-phone usage
Jan 2009, USA: Use of sleep aids by young U.S. adults soars: study
Jun 2008, Sweden: Excessive Mobile Phone Use Affects Sleep In Teens, Study Finds
Mar 2008, USA: Trouble Sleeping At Night Could Be Cell Phone's Fault
Nov 2007, Sweden: GSM radiation causes headaches and ruins sleep
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: QZ, Vivian Giang, 10 Jun 2015|
|Snowden Designs a Device to Warn if Your iPhone’s Radios Are Transmitting/Snitching|
|Russia||Created: 22 Jul 2016|
When Edward Snowden met with reporters in a Hong Kong hotel room to spill the NSA’s secrets, he famously asked them put their phones in the fridge to block any radio signals that might be used to silently activate the devices’ microphones or cameras. So it’s fitting that three years later, he’s returned to that smartphone radio surveillance problem. Now Snowden’s attempting to build a solution that’s far more compact than a hotel mini-bar.
On Thursday at the MIT Media Lab, Snowden and well-known hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang plan to present designs for a case-like device that wires into your iPhone’s guts to monitor the electrical signals sent to its internal antennas. The aim of that add-on, Huang and Snowden say, is to offer a constant check on whether your phone’s radios are transmitting. They say it’s an infinitely more trustworthy method of knowing your phone’s radios are off than “airplane mode,” which people have shown can be hacked and spoofed. Snowden and Huang are hoping to offer strong privacy guarantees to smartphone owners who need to shield their phones from government-funded adversaries with advanced hacking and surveillance capabilities—particularly reporters trying to carry their devices into hostile foreign countries without constantly revealing their locations.
“One good journalist in the right place at the right time can change history,” Snowden told the MIT Media Lab crowd via video stream. “This makes them a target, and increasingly tools of their trade are being used against them.”
*SNIP* read the entire article at the source link below...
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: WIRED, Andy Greenberg, 21 Jul 2016|
|Student measuring Radiation in Brussels city centre arrested in massive security alert|
|Belgium||Created: 22 Jul 2016|
Massive security alert in Brussels is revealed to be a false alarm after it emerges suspected suicide bomber with wires hanging from his coat is actually a student measuring radiation.
Police in Belgium held a man at gunpoint after he was acting suspiciously
He was also wearing a winter coat that reportedly had wires coming from it
Man was cornered by officers and surrounding shops were evacuated
It has since emerged the man was a student studying radiation in the city
Local media reports he will face charges to recover costs for the operation
A massive security alert in Brussels turned out to be a false alarm after it emerged the man police suspected of being a suicide bomber was actually a student measuring radiation.
The Belgian capital was on lock-down this afternoon while police cornered the man at gunpoint after he was reportedly spotted wearing a heavy winter coat with wires protruding from it.
A huge operation was launched near Place de la Monnaie in the centre of the city after the man was seen acting suspiciously.
After the mix-up, the man was arrested and could be faced with the policing costs.
He drew the attention of a security guard for wearing the winter coat which was said to have had cables hanging from it with the temperature hitting 32C in Brussels.
A spokesman for the city's police force Christian de Coninck told Levif the man was actually studying the waves and radiation in the city.
He added: 'As the person was very passive and very suspect during the operation, the police zone decided to bring civil actions to recover the costs incurred in the operation.'
The individual was arrested by special units and taken to the police for interviewing.
Pictures from the scene had shown two armed police officers pointing their guns at the man while he placed his hands on his head.
A bomb disposal robot was also understood to have moved in close to the scene.
A Brussels police spokeswoman confirmed at the time that the situation was under control but that the man had not yet being arrested.
The man had not made any threats and is speaking to officers.
Christian De Coninck of Brussels Police told local TV: 'We got a call about someone acting suspiciously. Someone with a heavy winter coat - in these temperatures it's very suspicious.
'And there were wires coming out of the coat too.
Ã‚Â´We didn't take any risks. The person was stopped and kept at a distance. We are now waiting for more information from the bomb disposal unit which is at the scene now and then we'll know more.'
Shops nearby were evacuated and several streets were closed as a security cordon was set up.
Brussels is already on high alert and the streets of the city are packed as Belgium prepares to celebrate its national day tomorrow
The incident comes just months after an attack at Brussels airport and on the city's metro in which 32 people were killed and dozens more injured.
The attacks caused shockwaves in a Belgium already on edge after it emerged that many of the ISIS jihadis involved in the November Paris onslaught which killed 130 people had grown up together in Brussels.
Meanwhile Belgium is the main source per head of population of jihadi recruits going from the European Union to fight with ISIS in Syria, causing deep concern that they will return home battle-hardened and even more radicalised.
See video at link:
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Daily Mail, Jennifer Newton and Gareth Davies, 20 Jul 2016|
|Stephen Cleary (1936-2016) An Insider Unafraid To Challenge the Microwave Orthodoxy|
|USA||Created: 21 Jul 2016|
Steve Cleary, who died last month, spent his entire professional career as a radiation biophysicist investigating microwave health effects. He was a remarkable scientist who played it straight, but who got tripped up in the politics surrounding health studies on cell phone radiation some 20 years ago.
Cleary had first-hand experience with those who sought to suppress microwave research and who defended arbitrary exposure standards. He called them the "microwave mafia."
I first met Cleary in 1979 and we stayed in touch over the years. I've a written a personal reminiscence. Take a look and you will see shadows of what goes on today. One of those responsible for the roadblocks standing in Cleary's way back then is now the chairman of the FCC.
Read about Steve Cleary's life here:
Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin PhD, 15 Jul 2016|
|Software flaw puts mobile phones and networks at risk of complete takeover|
|USA||Created: 21 Jul 2016|
A newly disclosed vulnerability could allow attackers to seize control of mobile phones and key parts of the world's telecommunications infrastructure and make it possible to eavesdrop or disrupt entire networks, security experts warned Tuesday.
The bug resides in a code library used in a wide range of telecommunication products, including radios in cell towers, routers, and switches, as well as the baseband chips in individual phones. Although exploiting the heap overflow vulnerability would require great skill and resources, attackers who managed to succeed would have the ability to execute malicious code on virtually all of those devices. The code library was developed by Pennsylvania-based Objective Systems and is used to implement a telephony standard known as ASN.1, short for Abstract Syntax Notation One.
"The vulnerability could be triggered remotely without any authentication in scenarios where the vulnerable code receives and processes ASN.1 encoded data from untrusted sources," researchers who discovered the flaw wrote in an advisory published Monday evening. "These may include communications between mobile devices and telecommunication network infrastructure nodes, communications between nodes in a carrier's network or across carrier boundaries, or communication between mutually untrusted endpoints in a data network."
Security expert HD Moore, who is principal at a firm called Special Circumstances, described the flaw as a "big deal" because of the breadth of gear that are at risk of complete takeover.
"The baseband vulnerabilities are currently biggest concern for consumers, as successful exploitation can compromise the entire device, even when security hardening and encryption is in place," he wrote in an e-mail. "These issues can be exploited by someone with access to the mobile network and may also be exposed to an attacker operating a malicious cell network, using products like the Stingray or open source software like OsmocomBB."
The library flaw also has the potential to put carrier equipment at risk if attackers figured out how to modify carrier traffic in a way that was able to exploit the vulnerability and execute malicious code. Moore went on to say the threat posed to carriers is probably smaller given the challenges of testing an exploit on the specific equipment used by a targeted carrier and the difficulty of funneling attack code into the vulnerable parts of its network.
"A carrier-side attack would require a lot more effort and funding than targeting the mobile phone basebands," he said. "For specific attack scenarios, carriers may be able to block the traffic from reaching the vulnerable components, similar to how SMS filtering is done today."
Dan Guido, an expert in cellular phone security and the CEO of a firm called Trail of Bits, agreed that the vulnerability will be hard to exploit. But Moore also described ASN.1 as the "backbone" of today's mobile telephone system. Even in the absence of working code-execution capabilities, attackers could use exploits to trigger denial-of-service outages that could interrupt key parts of a network or knock them out altogether.
Right now, only gear from hardware manufacturer Qualcomm is known to be affected, according to this advisory from the Department of Homeland Security-backed CERT. Researchers are still working to determine if a long list of other manufacturers—including AT&T, BAE Systems, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, and Ericsson—are similarly affected. For the moment, there's little end users can do to insulate themselves from the threat other than to monitor advisories from device makers and carriers.
Objective Systems has released a "hotfix" that corrects the flaw, but both Guido and Moore said the difficulty of patching billions of pieces of hardware, many scattered in remote places throughout the world, meant the vulnerability is likely to remain unfixed for the indefinite future.
"This kind of infrastructure just does not get patches," Guido said. "So [the vulnerability] is a stationary target that others can develop against. It's easy to set goals towards it."
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: ARS Technica, Dan Goodin, 20 Jul 2016|
|Increasing incidence of thyroid cancer in the Nordic countries with main focus on Swedish data|
|Sweden||Created: 14 Jul 2016|
Abstract - Background: Radiofrequency radiation in the frequency range 30 kHz–300 GHz was evaluated to be Group 2B, i.e. ‘possibly’ carcinogenic to humans, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO in May 2011. Among the evaluated devices were mobile and cordless phones, since they emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). In addition to the brain, another organ, the thyroid gland, also receives high exposure. The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing in many countries, especially the papillary type that is the most radiosensitive type.
We used the Swedish Cancer Register to study the incidence of thyroid cancer during 1970–2013 using joinpoint regression analysis.
In women, the incidence increased statistically significantly during the whole study period; average annual percentage change (AAPC) +1.19 % (95 % confidence interval (CI) +0.56, +1.83 %). Two joinpoints were detected, 1979 and 2001, with a high increase of the incidence during the last period 2001–2013 with an annual percentage change (APC) of +5.34 % (95 % CI +3.93, +6.77 %). AAPC for all men during 1970–2013 was +0.77 % (95 % CI −0.03, +1.58 %). One joinpoint was detected in 2005 with a statistically significant increase in incidence during 2005–2013; APC +7.56 % (95 % CI +3.34, +11.96 %). Based on NORDCAN data, there was a statistically significant increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer in the Nordic countries during the same time period. In both women and men a joinpoint was detected in 2006. The incidence increased during 2006–2013 in women; APC +6.16 % (95 % CI +3.94, +8.42 %) and in men; APC +6.84 % (95 % CI +3.69, +10.08 %), thus showing similar results as the Swedish Cancer Register. Analyses based on data from the Cancer Register showed that the increasing trend in Sweden was mainly caused by thyroid cancer of the papillary type.
We postulate that the whole increase cannot be attributed to better diagnostic procedures. Increasing exposure to ionizing radiation, e.g. medical computed tomography (CT) scans, and to RF-EMF (non-ionizing radiation) should be further studied. The design of our study does not permit conclusions regarding causality.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: BMC Cancer, Michael Carlberg / Lena Hedendahl / Mikko Ahonen / Tarmo Koppel / Lennart Hardell, 07 Jul 2016|
|France's National Health Agency Calls for Reducing Children's Wireless Exposures|
|France||Created: 12 Jul 2016|
On July 8, the French National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment and Labour (ANSES) published a new scientific report "Radiofrequency Exposure and the Health of Children". Concluding that children are more vulnerable to radio frequency (RF) wireless exposures, the French report recommends immediately reducing exposures to wireless radiation from all wireless devices for young children. Acknowledging the inadequacies of current outdated RF regulations, ANSES recommends strengthening RF exposure limits with child protective safety margins and developing more sophisticated premarket test methods to fully assess human exposures to RF radiation from wireless devices. The new report has made headlines across the country.
"Unlike previous generations, children are exposed today to multiple RF sources at a young age", even during prenatal development, according to this latest French government advisory. Le Monde France quotes Olivier Merkel, coordinator of the report: "Children are not miniature adults...because of their smaller size, their anatomical and morphological characteristics and the characteristics of some of their tissues, they are more exposed. In particular, the peripheral areas of their brains are more vulnerable than adults to RF."
This French national report affirms recent EHT publications showing greater absorption and vulnerability of the young to cell phone radiation. IEEE/Access: Dosimetric Simulations of Brain Absorption of Mobile Phone Radiation: the relationship between psSAR and age. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7335557
The government agency recommends to "reconsider the regulatory exposure limits" to ensure "sufficiently large safety margins" to protect the health of young children:
All wireless devices, including tablets, cordless phones, remote controlled toys, wireless toys, baby monitors and surveillance bracelets, should be subjected to the same regulatory obligations as cell phones.
Compliance with regulatory exposure limits should be insured for the ways that devices are customarily used, such as positioned in contact with the body.
Exposure limits for radiofrequency electromagnetic fields should be tightened to ensure sufficiently large safety margins to protect the health and safety of the general population, particularly the health and safety of children.
Reliance on the specific absorption rate (SAR) to set human exposure limits should be re-evaluated and replaced through the development of an indicator to assess real exposures for mobile phone users that applies to various conditions: signal type, good or bad reception, mode of use (call, data loading, etc.), location device is used on the body.
ANSES reiterated its recommendation, as previously stated, to reduce exposure to children: minimize use and prefer a hands-free kit.
"For several decades, my research and that of many others has shown that children and smaller adults will absorb relatively more radiation from mobile devices. Unfortunately, proper research on long term use has not been done to determine the full health impacts on children. I am one of many researchers who strongly recommend strengthening current regulations to protect children," stated EHT advisor Om Gandhi of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, who has published multiple research studies indicating that children absorb radiation deeper into their brains than adults.
"Coming on the heels of the U.S. government study showing increased risks of rare tumors of the brain and heart tied with wireless radiation in rats, this new French government report provides a welcome reminder of the importance of protecting young brains and bodies. The absence of proof of harm in our children at this time should not be confused with evidence of safety," added Devra Davis PhD MPH, FACE, Visiting Professor of Medicine, The Hebrew University and President of Environmental Health Trust. "We cannot afford to treat the young as subjects in an experiment for which we will soon have no unexposed control group," she added.
"Our published research on cell phones but also tablets and laptops indicates that equivalent exposures to radio frequency results in different doses to specific tissues in children compared with adults. The wireless device certification process should be complemented with a computer simulation process using anatomically based models of different ages," stated Professors Claudio Fernandez and Alvaro de Salles, EHT Advisors from from the Electrical Engineering Departments of the Federal Institute and University of Rio Grande do Sul, IFRS and UFRGS, Brazil.
France previously enacted highly protective laws in regards to radiofrequency exposures. Wi-Fi is banned in kindergarten and OFF is the default setting in elementary schools (unless if specific classroom instruction requires it during certain time periods). French national law also addresses cell tower emissions compliance and labels Wi-Fi transmitters in public spaces. French cell phone legislation bans cell phones for young children, mandates SAR labeling, and requires that all cell phones are sold with headsets. This new report calls for tightening regulations even further in light of findings that children experiences serious learning and other problems tied with wireless exposures. Over twenty countries and governments have enacted various protective policies to reduce radiofrequency exposure to children.
ANSES also called for more research evaluating the health and psychosocial impact (academic learning, social and family relationships, etc.) in children, related to the use of mobile communication technologies, particularly because of addictive phenomena, disorders in circadian rhythms, etc. The Agency advises parents "to minimize their children's mobile phone use, avoid nighttime communications and reduce the frequency and duration of calls".
ANSES Press Release
Le Monde France: Warning about the dangers of radio frequencies for children
Mobile phones, digital devices may harm your kid's attention span, report http://en.rfi.fr/environment/20160708-mobile-phones-digital-devices-may-harm-your-kids-attention-span-report
CNET And radiofrequency waves: caution with children, said ANSES
List of New Report Headlines on the ANSES Report.
IEEE/Access: Dosimetric Simulations of Brain Absorption of Mobile Phone Radiation: the relationship between psSAR and age. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7335557
Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation From Mobile Phones Than Adults
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) in the head of Tablet users
International policy and advisory response regarding children's exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF)
Exposure limits: the underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children
List of International Policy on Children and Radiofrequency Fields
About Environmental Health Trust
EHT is a virtual think tank conducting cutting-edge research on environmental health risks with some of the world's top researchers. EHT educates individuals, health professionals and communities about policy changes needed to reduce those risks. Currently, EHT is addressing health concerns about cell phones and wireless and recommends reducing exposure to reduce risk. The Environmental Health Trust maintains a regularly updated database of worldwide precautionary policies: more than a dozen countries recommend reducing wireless exposure to children.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: EHTrust / SBWire, Environmental Health Trust, 11 Jul 2016|
|AB2395 - California Landline Killing Bill Stopped with Your Help!|
|USA||Created: 10 Jul 2016|
In May, a large and diverse coalition of people and organizations in California came together to defeat AB 2395, a bill sponsored by AT&T that would have allowed the telecom giant to dissolve landline systems in the state at will, starting Jan 1st, 2020.
The bill was held in the Appropriations Committee, after a barrage of landline calls to the capitol, sustained pressure from organized labor groups including the unions, seniors, rural counties as well as physicians who warned of serious public health costs and emergency response problems.
A few weeks later, an outraged public weighed in again on AB2788, a bill that would have destroyed local governments ability to regulate cell towers and other wireless devices. The threat to our landline systems remains a serious one, as telecom companies attempt to dismantle landlines around the country, and force 5G everywhere. People have a right to safe, reliable infrastructure and this is being eroded. Read what Verizon has been doing to elderly residents of this NYC neighborhood!
We must remain vigilant, and if you care about this issue, get involved with the Coalition to Save Landline Telephones.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Stop Smart Meters! Bulletin, via email, 10 Jul 2016|
|Science says wi-fi allergies are fake—but people are still sick|
|United Kingdom||Created: 4 Jul 2016|
Nearly a year to the day 15-year-old Jenny Fry took her own life, her mother, Debra, brought tulips and a sunflower to lay at her grave.
“In the early days, I came every day,” Fry, a dental nurse, says over the phone from her home in Oxfordshire, England, before she left with her husband, Charles, for the cemetery. “Then it went to every other day. Generally, now it’s every three days; five days at the most.”
She sighs. She sounds drained, unsurprising for a mother still coming to terms with the loss of her middle child. But her exhaustion is not just because of grief. In the year since her family lost their daughter, Fry has devoted her life to battling what she says was the direct cause of Jenny’s death: the onward march of technology. In doing so, she’s thrust herself into a deeply polarized scientific debate over how best to define an illness on the frontier of science today.
For over two and a half years, Jenny had been feeling ill, complaining of headaches and exhaustion. She couldn’t concentrate at school and couldn’t sleep at night. Her parents tried a host of solutions to alleviate the problem: They bought a new mattress and thicker curtains to help her sleep; they took her to an orthodontist to see if the headaches were caused by an overbite. “I did all the things you would do in my professional capacity,” Debra says, “going through things like a detective to see what caused this or that, and ruling out options.”
In May 2015, Jenny came down the stairs pinching her nose. She found her mother and told her that her nose had started bleeding while she was doing her homework. “She said, ‘I can’t stop it,’” recalls Debra. “‘I haven’t picked my nose; I haven’t banged it,’ she told me. ‘I haven’t had this before, Mum.’” Debra stanched her daughter’s bleeding, then took to Google in search of an answer.
She became convinced Jenny suffered from a little-known and highly disputed medical condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). The disease is purported to be a weakness to the electromagnetic waves produced by Wi-Fi routers and cellphone towers. People who believe this say modern society is bombarding us with damaging waves, causing myriad symptoms, from headaches and nausea to nosebleeds and sleep problems.
Debra tore out the Wi-Fi in her family home, replacing it with wired Ethernet connections, and pleaded with Jenny’s school to do the same. But it didn’t: The headmaster did his own research and came to a different conclusion, pointing to studies that showed there was no link between Wi-Fi signals and illness. Jenny continued to suffer, returning home from school with splitting headaches that would dissipate at home. On a June day in 2015, she killed herself.
At an inquest into her daughter’s death, Debra told the coroner, “I believe that wi-fi killed my daughter.”
For the better part of a decade, two diametrically opposed sides—one that claims there is no scientific link between exposure to Wi-Fi signals and illness and another that says people suffer daily because of it—have battled on websites, in newspapers and in scientific journals. James Rubin of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, doesn’t dispute that EHS sufferers are ill. “They have physical symptoms; the quality of life they have can be appalling sometimes; they’re in desperate need of help,” he says. But his surveys of the science led him to believe exposure to electromagnetic rays is not to blame.
Others, including some professionals, disagree. “Ten years ago, I thought this was hokum,” says Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany in New York. “People have symptoms they want to blame on something, so they come to electromagnetic fields as the source.” But that changed with the sheer number of people who came calling at his door, claiming their lives had been irreparably changed by electromagnetic fields. He’s now switched sides: He has a sympathetic ear and is banging the drum for those affected. EHS is real, Carpenter says, and it’s a problem. “The question in my mind is: How does one—in a rigorous scientific fashion—go about getting information that would be convincing to a skeptical scientific community?”
There have been many attempts. A battery of tests, carried out by researchers in fields ranging from psychology to oncology, have been conducted in the past 30 years to prove EHS is caused by direct exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Typically, the tests involve exposing subjects to electromagnetic signals for a short period and measuring their reaction; then doing the same with a placebo. The results are mixed, but mostly the tests find that subjects can’t distinguish between real and fake signals.
(Proponents of EHS take issue with these efforts: Carpenter says such studies “are done in half-assed fashion.” Testing 15-minute exposures to electromagnetic fields, he argues, is a poor way to disprove what are in his belief the debilitating effects of prolonged daily exposure to wi-fi.)
In 2004, Dr. Lena Hillert of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden presented a seminal World Health Organization report arguing there was no proof EHS existed in the form its sufferers claim. Twelve years on, she says, there’s still no scientific evidence for it. “You can never prove that something does not exist,” says Hillert, “but if you fail time after time to prove that something does exist, you do kind of say, ‘Enough is enough. If we don’t have any new ideas or approaches, we should accept that we can’t find support for this hypothesis.’” Hillert says that the best current research supports the hypothesis that EHS is basically due to the “nocebo effect”—where the expectation that something will make you ill becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most of the scientific community agrees.
That’s why there are no good data on how many people could be affected by EHS. Though provocation studies continue, EHS censuses stopped in the mid-2000s, before wi-fi became ubiquitous. One estimate presented at a European Economic and Social Committee public hearing in 2014 (not peer-reviewed) suggests that around 5 percent of all Europeans are susceptible. More rigorous (but significantly older) surveys cite similar figures: 3.2 percent of Californians, 9 percent of Germans and 5 percent of the Swiss population complained of symptoms believed to be caused by EHS.
Those numbers might be why the illness is recognized by government officials in some countries. Last year, a judge in Toulouse, France, awarded a woman a disability grant of about $900 a month after she claimed she was allergic to Wi-Fi and therefore could not work. In 2013, an Australian scientist won a workers’ compensation appeal for EHS. The Swedish government classifies EHS as a functional impairment, granting compensation for its effects while not making any official judgment on the cause of EHS symptoms. In Austria, there are formal guidelines on how to diagnose and treat illnesses caused by electromagnetic sensitivity.
Fleeing Modern Society
Nevertheless, for those who think controls on Wi-Fi routers are the only answer to the spread of EHS, the web of wireless internet being spun across the globe is worrying. It’s impossible to walk through the commercial district of any developed city in the world without your phone pinging up offers to connect to Wi-Fi routers. Wi-Fi is so widespread—it’s often free, in stores, restaurants, bars, buses and cafÃ©s—that it has nearly reached the status of a public utility. For most of the world’s population, that’s a boon: instant connectivity, often free at the point of access, to nearly all of civilization’s information (and pornography) on demand.
But people who believe Wi-Fi is a public health threat find this an intolerable, a creeping, permanently present menace. As the result of her tragedy, Debra Fry has made connections with a number of activist groups, including Electrosensitivity U.K., trying to slow the spread of Wi-Fi; some focus specifically on countering the rollout of Wi-Fi in schools. “This could be the biggest mistake we’ve ever, ever made,” she says.
Some of those stricken with EHS end up fleeing modern society. The day before I spoke to Carpenter, he had been visited at his office by an attorney who thought she suffered from a form of EHS. Dafna Tachover, who runs an advocacy group for those suffering from the aftermath of EHS, used to work and live in New York City but moved to the Catskill Mountains, 150 miles outside the city. It’s the only way to escape, she says, having tried different ways to shield herself from the radiation for several years, including sleeping in her car. “I understood if I wanted to get better,” she says, “my only strategy was to avoid it.”
She’s far from alone—as more EHS sufferers decide to leave the Wi-Fi world, communities are cropping up out in the country. There is an independently run “EHS refuge zone” in DrÃ´me, France, nestled deep inside a nature reserve, where electromagnetic radiation emitters are banned, keeping background levels down to 1 or 2 microwatts per square meter. Green Bank, West Virginia, has become an adopted home for some EHS sufferers because of its location in the National Radio Quiet Zone, where all kinds of radio signals are banned to prevent interference with the nearby National Radio Astronomy Observatory. An EHS sufferer in South Africa runs an EHS-friendly farm, with accommodations, in the Western Cape. A smattering of similar communities and communes dot the globe.
Carpenter says that EHS today is in the same position as illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and Gulf War sickness were before being accepted by science. “For none of those diseases do you have a blood test that will allow you to diagnose definitively what is wrong. In the meanwhile, the people who have this syndrome are really abused by society,” he says. “Are we going to accommodate people that have this rather unusual syndrome, or is it just up to them to find a remote place they can survive without being ill all the time?”
Rubin, who does not think that EHS is real, agrees. “We’ve spent an awful lot of time and money testing whether electromagnetic fields cause symptoms. And what we haven’t done is work out how we can treat these patients,” he says.
EHS sufferers often say that if only everyone could see Wi-Fi, pulsing and throbbing across boulevards and down highways, zipping out of storefronts and around corners, they’d understand. Fry carries a meter that measures the strength of such signals. It’s small and inconspicuous, and people often mistake it for a cellphone. “In the average busy McDonald’s or CaffÃ© Nero,” she says, “if everybody is on their laptops and mobile devices, my meter goes off the scale.”
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|Source: Newsweek, Chris Stokel-Walker, 26 Jun 2016|
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