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|Strålningen en risk för nyfödda|
|Norway||Created: 22 May 2013|
Upprepade resultat från forskningen visar att mobilstrålning har en negativ påverkan, både på hjärtat hos nyfödda och ofödda. Det skriver Mona Nilsson, vice ordförande, Strålskyddsstiftelsen.
I veckan kunde vi läsa om att oväntat stort antal nyfödda spädbarn hade drabbats av livshotande kollaps eller livlöshetsattack under sitt första levnadsdygn. I flera fall hade kollapsen inträffat då mamman använde en smarttelefon.
Vi är inte förvånade över de fakta som nu framkommer enligt denna undersökning från Karolinska Institutet. En mobiltelefon eller smartmobil sänder ut mycket höga nivåer av mikrovågsstrålning, som visats påverka bland annat hjärtat hos nyfödda och foster på ett negativt sätt.
De nya smartmobilerna riskerar dessutom att utsätta ett spädbarn som ligger i mammans famn mycket mer än traditionella mobiler eftersom de har antennen nedåt. Det leder till att barnet kommer väldigt nära mobilens antenn där den allra starkaste strålningen finns. Ett nyfött spädbarns skallben är dessutom mycket mjukt och skallbenet inte fullt utvecklat. De absorberar därför mycket mer strålning jämfört med en vuxen.
Det är alltså mycket mer sannolikt att det är mikrovågsstrålningen från smartmobilen som har samband med de inträffade kollapserna, snarare än att mobilen stulit mammans uppmärksamhet vilket diskuterats.
Upprepade resultat från forskningen visar att mobilstrålning har en negativ påverkan, både på hjärtat hos nyfödda och ofödda. I djurförsök har försämrad överlevnad visats och spermier som utsätts för mobilstrålning kan få skadat DNA.
Forskare har observerat att såväl nyfödda spädbarns som ofödda fosters hjärtan påverkades negativt efter att mamman talat i mobilen i bara tio minuter. Hjärtat slog snabbare, samtidigt som den mängd blod som pumpades ut minskade. Effekterna var störst ju yngre fostret var. Forskarnas slutsats var att gravida och nyförlösta kvinnor inte bör använda mobiltelefon. Det här är en respons på den stresseffekt som strålningen orsaka och som kan vara skadlig, till och med livshotande i extrema fall. Om hjärtat pumpar för snabbt under en längre tidsperiod så förändras balansen mellan syre och koldioxid i blodets hemoglobin. Hjärtarytmin kan även leda till att blodet pumpas ut mindre effektivt.
Andra undersökningar de senaste åren har visat att foster och små barn kan skadas även på andra sätt av mammans mobil. Möss som exponerades under fostertiden i musmammans mage fick bestående skador på hjärnan som vuxna som yttrade sig i beteendestörningar och sämre minne. Barn till mammor som använde mobilen mycket under graviditeten löper ökad risk för att utveckla migrän och beteendestörningar enligt en stor dansk undersökning.
Effekterna är så väl beskrivna och visade att många andra länder och internationella organisationer nu avråder gravida och små barn från att använda mobilen. Redan 2003 började den ryska nationella expertgruppen RCNIRP avråda gravida kvinnor och barn och ungdomar under 18 år från att använda mobilen på grund av allvarliga långsiktiga risker för neurologiska skador.
Det är snart bara i Sverige, där mobilindustrin anses vara så viktig för landets ekonomi, som ingen information ges till föräldrar och gravida om strålningsriskerna för de små. Därför har vi startat Strålskyddsstiftelsen som informerar sakligt om de många riskerna med strålningen från den trådlösa tekniken. Det är mycket brådskande att få ut budskapet till gravida kvinnor, nyblivna mammor och småbarnföräldrar om att inte bara smartmobilens men även surfplattans och det trådlösa datanätverkets mikrovågsstrålning innebär mycket allvarliga hälsorisker samt att de som är allra känsligast är som vanligt de allra minsta.
MONA NILSSON vice ordförande, Strålskyddsstiftelsen
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: NT.se, Mona Nilsson / Strålskyddsstiftelsen, 22 May 2013|
|A not-so-silent killer?|
|United Kingdom||Created: 22 May 2013|
REPORT: To some scientists, they're deadlier than cigarettes; to others they're (mostly) harmless. Will we ever know the truth about mobile phones?
Julia Llewellyn Smith finds out
In 1996, Neil Whitfield, a sales manager from Wigan,was given his first mobile phone by his company. "It was introduced as a nice, cuddly friend. It had all of your mates' contact details on it.It was always in your pocket or pressed against your ear," he says.
However, within a short space of time Whitfield, a father of six who was then in his late thirties, started suffering terrible headaches. "Then my hearing deteriorated and I kept forgetting things, which was not like me." A scan revealed he had an acoustic neuroma - a rare brain tumour that grows on a nerve in the brain near the ear. Without surgery, he was told, he had five years to live.
"The specialist asked if I used a mobile a lot. When I said yes, he replied: Mobiles will be the smoking gun of the 21st century.' He sowed a seed in my mind." Whitfield, now 56, is one of a growing and vociferous group of people who are convinced that 'mobile phones are killing us. A phone, they point out, along with cordless phones and Wi-Fi, works in the same way as a miniature microwave, emitting electromagnetic radiation.
Admittedly, this radiation is at too low a frequency to heat human tissue, but there's a large amount of evidence that it could affect the protective barrier between the brain and blood, allowing toxins to enter.
There is also evidence that mobiles could be damaging our immune systems, reducing sperm motility and causing tumours, Alzheimer's, strokes and autism.
It's not just individuals like Whitfield who believe this, but a number of eminent scientists and physicians.
Two years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cance (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organisation, published a report, reclassifying radiation from mobiles from category 3, with "no conclusive evidence" of causing cancer, to category 2b - a ''possible human carcinogen" - along with diesel exhaust, chloroform, jet fuel, lead and DDT.
In October, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that a businessman's brain tumour was caused by his use of a mobile for five or six hours a day for 12 years, paving the way for a potential host of legal actions from employees against employers.
Yet bodies like Cancer Research UK assure me not to worry. "We think it's incredibly unlikely there's any link between phones and cancer, with the slight caveat it's a relatively new technology so we can't be sure of any longterm effects," says Sarah Williams, senior health information and evidence officer.
To the layperson, the science behind all of this is mindnumbingly complex. For virtually every assertion of risk, there's another asserting no risk.
"None of the research has been conclusive. When we do a meta-analysis of it all there's no clear effect in either direction. The studies that show phones don't cause cancer are balanced out by studies that show they do," says Williams.
The anti-mobile lobby disagree. They cite the "precautionary principle" - a statutory requirement in EU law that basically can be translated as: "new technology is guilty until proven innocent". Until more research is done and phones have been in general use longer, they say it's better to be safe than sorry.
Official advice from the NHS is to limit our mobile usage if we want to avoid exposure to radio waves. Children in particular should only use them in emergencies, because if there is any risk, their thinner skulls and developing brains would make them much more vulnerable to potential damage.
Other countries have taken this a step further. France has banned all mobile phone advertising aimed at under 12s, while legislation is being introduced to make it compulsory to sell all phones with earphones. Canada and Russia have also advised caution and the Israeli government is considering printing health warnings on phones, as on cigarette packets. Meanwhile, several countries are implementing or considering a total ban of Wi-Fi in schools;
So what is the truth of the matter? Are mobiles really dangerous? There is no question that some of those sounding the alarm belong to that subset of humanity who see conspiracies everywhere they look. But, investigating the subject, it became clear to me that the arguments against phones are not all the products of paranoid minds. Far from it. The fact is, considering how widespread phones are (more than 5.3 billion mobiles are in use out of a global population of 7billion) anything that proved they were dangerous would be a highly inconvenient truth. "Mobile phones is an issue we all bury our heads in the sand about," confirms Denis Henshaw, professor of physics and head of the Human Radiation Effects group at Bristol University. "The first mobile phone technology was rolled out without really any consideration for the long-term effects, just like asbestos and smoking.The government rakes in billions from the technology, in, taxes from the mobile phone companies and licensing of the networks. The new generation really doesn't want to know about any potential ill effects."
Think of the tobacco companies - says the anti-phone lobby - who concealed the dangers of smoking and the addictiveness of nicotine and supported their position with numerous deceptive studies. Or asbestos producers who hid evidence that the mineral was dangerous even though tens of thousands of workers were dying from exposure.
Mobiles are a multi-trillion-dollar industry, even bigger than pharmaceuticals; and with a sizeable lobbying arm. Nearly every study that's proven mobiles to be safe has been funded by the industry, though scientists involved in such studies point out funds are usually distributed by neutral bodies, so they have no way of knowing the source.
Scientists who've discovered displeasing evidence have spoken about threats being issued to remove funding and pressure put on employers to sack them. But, at the same time, scientists accused of being in cahoots with big business are indignant. Anthony Swerdlow, professor of epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research, headed last year's International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) report into mobile safety, concluding there was "no clear evidence" mobiles threatened public health.
Online, I find all sorts of attacks ranging from accusations that Swerdlow has shares in the mobile industry (he has a few shares in BT) and doesn't own a mobile (he does). "Where scientists do have a great deal of self-interest is in getting the answers right as far as possible," he says. "Our long-term careers depend not on money from the phone industry but on having a reputation and track record for doing good science and making
sound scientific judgments. If scientists conduct poor studies or make biased judgments,they harm their reputations and damage their careers."
While researching this article, word reached me - from impartial sources - of reputable scientists whose research had led them to banning their children from using mobiles and a neurologist who refused to sleep with her phone charging in the bedroom because she was convinced the electromagnetic fields emitted by mobiles were responsible for the rising number of strokes she was seeing. But they didn't respond to my emails or calls.
Are they reluctant to express their doubts publicly because they rely on the industry to provide them with data, or because - without hard evidence to support them they don't want to be dubbed crackpot?
The crux of the debate hangs on whether this radiation can damage cells. The pro-mobile lobby stress that ionic radiation is associated with cancer because it can break biochemical bonds in the body. A mobile's electromagnetic radiation, on the other hand, has too low frequencies and too weak a signal to be able to heat human tissue and damage DNA molecules.
But many disagree. In 1975, before mobiles were invented, US neuroscientist Allan Frey surprised the scient ific community with a paper describing his work on the blood-brain barrier, the vital protective layer between the brain and our blood supply. The barrier is so protective that normally when blue dye is injected into animals or humans, the body turns blue while the brain remains its natural, grey colour.
But in Frey's experiments, microwaves pulsed at certain modulations sent dye leaking into rats' brains within minutes. Rats have very similar brains to humans.This would mean that the brain's environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in all kinds of dangerous ways and exposed to toxins. Subsequent research has expanded and compounded this work.
"People say there's no plausible biological hypothesis for how electromagnetic radiation can damage cells - well speak for yourself," says
Prof Henshaw, who is an adviser to Mobilewise, a group that issues safety guidance to children.
"Research is moving so fast, I receive five to 10 papers a day on the effects of radiofrequency. We don't know everything,"
Prof Henshaw does not agree that primary DNA damage is needed to cause cancer. He cites research into magnetite crystals, that are found in the human brain. Electromagnetic radiation is shown to physically vibrate these particles and there's speculation this could make cells think they're under attack.
"They'll find it stressful and this could affect the mechanism and we know that some cancers are caused by mechanics," he says.
There is also a growing school of thought that mobiles can make us more vulnerable to disease. Experiments on birds'cryptochrome, a molecule in their eyes used for navigation, have shown it can be disturbed by the use of radio frequencies, far below those of mobile frequencies. These ryptochromes, also found in humans, help us detect light and therefore have a vital effect on our secretion of melatonin, the hormone that plays an important role in bolstering the immune system.
An increasing number of people are claiming to be "electrosensitive", allergic to the electromagnetic fields that power mobiles, to the point where they've had to quit their jobs or move house, because of the ill effects.
"Over the past three or four years, I've seen a dozen or so patients who've had problems because of electromagnetic fields, from those suffering occasional headaches to those left quite severely disabled," says Dr Andrew Tresidder, a GP in Chard, Somerset. "When I advise them to switch off their Wi- Fi routers' and cordless phones at night, it often appears to alleviate their symptoms." Many official bodies, including the Health Protection Agency, dismiss electrosensitivity as a psychological phenomenon.
"They haven't seen the patients I've seen. " says Dr Tresidder. "Whenever there's anything that disrupts conventional thinking, there's rearguard action trying to dismiss and rubbish any study. I think technology's wonderful and we can't escape. it, but I also think in five years' time if we don't pay attention to the evidence, we could be facing a public health disaster." Cancer Registry statistics for the past decade show that the number of brain tumours has remained fairly static - the period in which mobile phone uptake has been greatest. But this, the doubters argue, is insufficient reassurance as brain tumours have a long latency period of up to 40 years.
Although the phone industry strenuously denies its products have any links to cancer, it covers its back, using tiny print to counsel holding the phone at least 15mm from the body. BlackBerry's instructions advise a distance of 25mm and keeping phones away from pregnant abdomens or the abdomens of teenagers.
I still can't contemplate abandoning my phone. But I have dusted off the Bluetooth earpiece I've never used and persuaded my reluctant husband not to leave his phone charging in the bedroom. I'm considering buying a shield, placed in the ear, that is supposed to deflect radiation, but I can find no studies to prove such gadgets actually work.
Neil Whitfield's operation on his neuroma was successful, but he was left deaf in his left ear and still gets headaches and facial twitches. He left his job, which relied on mobile use, and now refuses to use a mobile. "Now, when I haven't a number to give people they think I'm trying to avoid them, or I'm silly, a crank. They think: 'That will never happen to me'. But when you have had a brain operation like me, you err on the side of caution. In my opinion. if phones were a food, they'd long have been taken off the shelves and sent back to the lab for further investigations."
Headsets and radiation shields are popular with mobile phone users wary of potential dangers, while official NHS advice suggests that children under 12 should only use mobiles sparingly
'I thinktechnology´s wonderful. but I also think we Ccould be facing a public health disaster´
Julia Llewellyn Smith for Telegraph.co.uk/Seven magasin
So Sorry: But, No link to Original Report/article.
|Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.|
|War-Gaming Cell Phone Science Protects Neither Brains Nor Private Parts|
|USA||Created: 21 May 2013|
In science news as in life, timing is everything. As soon as the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer expert review declaring cell phone radiation a "possible human carcinogen" -- just like lead, DDT, and jet fuel -- was drafted in 2011, the global multi-trillion dollar cell phone industry set up a quarter of a billion dollar defense fund to produce and promote science that would discredit the WHO. Whenever a report pops up questioning cell phone safety, a contrary report stands ready in the wings to cast doubt about its legitimacy.
Case in point. The WHO published detailed documentation for its year-long 2011 expert review last month. Extending this work, Santosh Kesari, chief of neuro-oncology at the University of California, San Diego, two of Canada's top physician-epidemiologists, Antony B. Miller and Colin Soskolne, and I have just published a technical report concluding that more recent studies indicate that cell phone radiation constitutes a "probable human carcinogen."
Now, let's look at what's being presented as "new science" from Taiwan and Sweden -- packaged for headline writers as proving that because there is no increase in brain cancer at this time, cell phones can be used with impunity. In fact, the effort to promote these skeptical reports is part of a longstanding practice of this industry that sees science as nothing but a matter of public relations. When first reports that cell phone radiation could damage DNA emerged from the laboratory of Henry Lai and N.P. Singh, a memo written by Motorola to their media advisors in 1994 announced the clear strategy that remains alive and well: war-game the science.
Of course, the public remains confused.
Despite its press hype, the poorly-worded Taiwanese report is being hyped to the media now because the WHO IARC publication has "reignited" interest in the health impacts of cell phones. A phantom that only exists as an online abstract that emerged April 14 through the scientific literature search engine PubMed, the full report can not be found on that journal's website as an epublication ahead of print. Entitled, "The incidence rate and mortality of malignant brain tumors after 10 years of intensive cell phone use in Taiwan," no information is provided about whether this study considered microwave radiation exposures to cordless phones or other wireless devices besides cell phones, which can provide two-thirds of all microwave radiation exposure daily. The online abstract ends with some highly unscientific language that sounds as though it was crafted for the PR section of Foxconn -- the Taiwanese producer of phones for Apple, Motorola, and Sony:
"In conclusion, we do not detect any correlation between the morbidity/mortality of malignant brain tumors and cell phone use in Taiwan. We thus urge international agencies to publish only confirmatory reports with more applicable conclusions in public. This will help spare the public from unnecessary worries."
Available as a full document, the online report of the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SRPA) provides a more substantial review of both laboratory and human studies but is hardly the reassuring declaration of safety the headlines imply. The report notes growing experimental evidence that cell phone radiation alters chemical responses of the brain and brain waves and also noted that one highly-sensitive individual could perceive electrical fields. Regarding the absence of a general increase in brain cancer at this time, the report cautions that vigilance is appropriate in light of these other indications and the long latency of brain cancer.
One of those mocking cell phone dangers in Fortune magazine in March is Geoffrey Kabat, a scientist with no research or publications on the topic. He ignores two important facts: After exposure to a cancer-causing agent, brain cancer can take between 40 to 50 years to occur in the general population, and no environmental cancer-causing agent including tobacco produces a population-wide impact within a decade. As a former government leader of the U.S. effort to produce a safe cigarette, Kabat does have an impressive resume. As recently as 2002, the tobacco industry funded his work that regularly found no harm from passive smoke.
Another who's consistently skeptical about brain cancer ties to cell phones is Anders Ahlbom, M.D., the former chairman of the SRPA expert group. Because he did not disclose his business ties to a telecom lobbying firm headed by his brother Gunnar, Ahlbom resigned from his Swedish post and was asked to withdraw from the IARC review group in 2011.
In fact, brain cancer is hardly the only health matter of concern when it comes to cell phones and other devices. While important studies are carried out, we need to protect children from wireless routers, baby monitors, and numerous other sources of microwave radiation that can affect the brains and bodies of infants and toddlers, and we need to protect young men and women who wish to become parents of healthy children.
Scientists and policy makers in tech-savvy nations like Israel and Finland are taking steps to protect the young brain and reproductive organs. Yet in the states, the iPhone plastic baby rattle case protects the phone's glass screen from cracking when dropped or nibbled on by teething inquisitive babies but does not protect the infant's young brain and rapidly growing body from the phone's pulsed digital microwave radiation. The WHO report notes that the bone marrow of a child's head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that children need more real face time than screen time, more laps than apps, and has written the FCC urging that fine print warnings that come with all smartphones to not keep phones in the pocket and avoid contact with the pregnant abdomen or those of teenagers should become standard medical advice.
War games can make for fun when confined to computer screens, but when carried out on science, this places our health and that of our children and grandchildren at risk.
For more information download and share our one page, two-sided doctors' pamphlet about the need to practice safe phone, written by Charlie Teo, one of the world's top neurosurgeons, and other experts in the field
See Dr. Davis at the Institute for Functional Medicine National Conference in Houston, Texas May 28 - June1, 2013
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Huffington Post, Devra Davis, Ph.D., 21 May 2013|
|Regjeringen: Mobilstråling verken skader eller plager deg|
|Norway||Created: 21 May 2013|
Gro Harlem Brundtland og mellom 75000 og en halv million nordmenn hevder å være el-overfølsomme - Nå konkluderer helseminister Jonas Gahr Støre med at deres plager ikke skyldes stråling.
I november 2009 nedsatte regjeringen et ekspertutvalg for å vurdere om elektromagnetisk stråling fra mobiltelefoner, trådløse nettverk og mobilmaster er skadelig eller kan gi helseplager. I september i fjor la utvalget fram sin rapport for regjeringen. Hovedkonklusjon: Det er samlet sett ikke belegg i forskningen for å si at mobil- og liknende stråling er helseskadelig. Regjeringen mottok umiddelbart en motrapport fra Foreningen for el-overfølsomme (FELO). Den hevdet ekspertrapporten var full av feil. Siden har det vært stille fra regjeringen.
Men nå går helse- og omsorgsdepartementets politiske ledelse ut i Aftenbladet med sine hovedkonklusjoner:
Elektromagnetiske felt fra mobilstråling, trådløse nettverk og mobilmaster fører ikke til helseskader.
De elektromagnetiske feltene er heller ikke årsak til helseplager, eller såkalt el-overfølsomhet,
Hovedkonklusjonene er identiske med konklusjonene fra ekspertgruppa ledet av Nasjonalt folkehelseinstitutt.
- Regjeringen har besluttet å legge ekspertgruppas rapport til grunn for norsk forvaltning på området, etter at både deres rapport og motrapporten fra FELO er blitt vurdert, sier Nina Tangnæs Grønvold, statssekretær i Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet, til Aftenbladet.
I FELOs motrapport ble ekspertgruppas rapport karakterisert som upresis, selektiv, feilaktig og direkte villedende. FELO hadde vært observatør i Folkehelseinstituttets gruppe på 16 fagfolk og forskere.
- Vi oversendte motrapporten til Folkehelseinstituttet for en faglig vurdering. Instituttet konkluderte med at det som framkommer i motrapporten ikke gir grunn til å endre konklusjonene i ekspertrapporten, sier Tangnæs Grønvold.
Statssekretæren understreker at regjeringen har ønsket en kunnskapsbasert gjennomgang av helseeffektene av svake høyfrekvente elektromagnetiske felt. Det var derfor Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet og Samferdselsdepartementet i november 2009 oppnevnte en gruppe på 16 fagpersoner fra Norge og Sverige til å gjennomgå forskningen på feltet. Regjeringen ville sikre at myndighetenes forvaltning på området er oppdatert.
Kritikere ble nedstemt
Regjeringen mener ekspertrapporten gir «et godt grunnlag for videre forvaltning på dette området». Ekspertgruppa tilrår ingen spesielle tiltak for å redusere eksponeringen, for eksempel ved å endre grenseverdiene eller iverksette spesielle strategier for forsiktighet.
Det betyr at regjeringen ikke vil endre dagens forvaltning.
Den mener dagens strålevernsforskrift er god nok, og at understreker at grenseverdiene har en sikkerhetsmargin som gjør at du ikke trenger å bekymre deg for mulig helseskade- eller plager.
«I Norge anvender vi i tillegg det generelle strålevernprinsippet om å holde alle mulig eksponering så lav som praktisk mulig, selv om nivåene i utgangspunktet ligger godt under grenseverdiene» skriver regjeringen i revidert nasjonalbudsjett, om ble fremlagt 7. mai. Der har regjeringen ubemerket og i korthet framlagt sin oppdaterte politikk på feltet for Stortinget.
- Ekspertgruppa anbefaler også at norske forskningsmiljøer bidrar med forskning og følger med i internasjonal forskning om mulige helseeffekter av EMF-eksponering over tid. de bør også følge med på utviklingen av kreftforekomst i kreftregistrene. Dette er anbefalinger som myndighetene vil følge, understreker statssekretær Tangnæs Grønvold.
Gro ble mobil-plaget
Det var i 2002 at daværende leder av Verdens helseorganisasjon, Gro Harlem Brundtland, gikk offentlig ut og fortalte at hun fikk hodepine av mobilstråling. Hun forsøkte å styre mest mulig unna både mobiltelefoner og områder med trådløse nettverk, sa hun. Jonas Gahr Støre var hennes høyre hånd i WHO i 1998-2000. Som helse- og omsorgsminister i 2013 er hans konklusjon at denne typen stråling ikke er helseskadelig eller årsak til helseplager.
Samtidig tilsier norsk og internasjonal forskning at 1,5 til 10 prosent av befolkningen, altså 75.000 til en halv million nordmenn, mener seg plaget av elektromagnetisk stråling. Jevnlig skriver mediene om offentlige virksomheter, bedrifter og privatpersoner som går radikalt til verks for å skjerme barn og voksne mot stråling fra mobiltelefoner, trådløse nettverk eller mobilmaster. Ett typisk tiltak er å erstatte trådløst med kablet nett.
- Er regjeringens beskjed til skoler og andre som vurderer for eksempel å kable nettverkene, at dette er unødvendig?
- Vi legger til grunn et føre var-prinsipp. Vi sier det er viktig å plassere basestasjoner slik at strålingen ikke skal være større enn nødvendig for å oppnå formålet. Når vi legger til grunn av det ikke er påvist helseskadelige effekter av stråling, skal samfunnet likevel veie en føre var-holdning opp mot teknologibehovet.
- Ved nyetablering av nett, bør operatør velge antenneplasseringer som imøtekommer det generelle prinsippet om at «enhver eksponering ikke bør være høyere enn at tilsiktet nytte oppnås».
- Det er også viktig å være klar over at strålingen vi eksponeres for fra våre mobiltelefoner, er langt større enn fra basestasjonene. Det betyr at det bør oppnås god dekning for mobiltelefoner, fordi det vil gi lavest mulig eksponering for den som snakker i egen mobiltelefon.
- Dersom det ikke medfører vesentlige ulemper og kostnader, bør det velges en plassering blant alternativene som gir de laveste eksponeringsnivåene i områder der folk har langvarig opphold, legger statsekretæren til.
Informerer det offentlige
Flere borettslag har kjempet mot anlegging av basestasjoner for mobil eller nødnettet Tetra på sine bygninger. Regjeringen mener ekspertrapporten er «en god støtte» til kommuner, private grunneiere, borettslag og andre som vurderer å gi telekomselskapene tilgang til bygg og grunn, men «som har vært skeptiske til stråling fra slike anlegg».
- Om kort tid vil vi sende et brev til kommuner, etater og andre om regjeringens vurdering, sier Tangnæs Grønvold.
Det skal deretter utarbeides informasjonsmateriell tilpasset ulike målgrupper. Materiellet vil utarbeides av instanser som Helsedirektoratet, Statens strålevern og Post- og teletilsynet.
- Prisverdig engasjement
Interesseorganisasjoner som Folkets strålevern er blitt kritisert av myndighetene for å medvirke til å skape ubegrunnet strålefrykt i befolkningen. Også Gro Harlem Brundtland er blitt kritisert for dette, av fagfolk i Norge og internasjonalt. Over hele landet finnes det aktører som måler stråling i folks hjem og foreslår tiltak. På spørsmål om regjeringen mener denne virksomheten er kritikkverdig, svarer statssekretær Grønvold:
- Generelt vil jeg oppfordre folk til å legge vekt på den brede kunnskapsoppdateringen vi nå har foretatt på feltet. Samtidig er det viktig og prisverdig at befolkningen og organisasjoner engasjerer seg i samfunnsutviklingen, stiller spørsmål, gjør egne undersøkelser og bidrar til å skape samfunnsdebatt.
- Ta bekymring på alvor
Også i revidert nasjonalbudsjett forsøker regjeringen å medvirke til en forsonende tone overfor de som opplever seg el-overfølsomme.
«Det er viktig å ta folks bekymring på alvor, men forvaltningen bør ikke gjøre tiltak for å redusere elektromagnetiske felt uten at det er vitenskapelig grunnlag for at den aktuelle eksponeringen kan være helseskadelig. Pasienter med helseplager tilskrevet elektromagnetiske felt har reelle plager, og skal møtes med respekt og adekvat medisinsk behandling i helsetjenesten,» skriver regjeringen.
- Helsedirektoratet bør sørge for at det utarbeidets informasjon særlig tilrettelagt for helsetjenesten og for de som opplever å være rammet av slike problemer, tilføyer Tangnæs Grønvold.
- Helsevesenet får nå beskjed om at mobilstråling ikke forårsaker helseplager. Samtidig skal de behandle påståtte mobilstråleofre med respekt. Kan dette bli en vanskelig balansegang?
- Det er utført et stort antall vitenskapelige studier som gir holdepunkter for at elektromagnetisk stråling ikke er årsak til de symptomer og helseplager som el-overfølsomme opplever. Men reelle helseplager må tas alvorlig, og pasienter med slike plager skal tas hånd om av helsetjenesten. Ekspertgruppa mener at helsevesenets og helseforvaltningens kompetanse på området er lav, og at det er behov for miljømedisinsk kompetanse ved for eksempel de regionale arbeids- og miljømedisinske avdelingene med ansvar for å spre kunnskap og veilede helsetjenesten. Helsedirektoratet vil få i oppdrag å vurdere hvordan ekspertgruppas anbefalinger skal følges opp, og dette spørsmålet er blant de som bør vurderes, sier Tangnæs Grønvold.
WHO-byrå: Mulig kreftfare
Det internasjonale kreftforskningsbyrået (IARC) i Verdens helseorganisasjon har nylig kategorisert mobilstråling som «mulig kreftfremkallende».
- Hvordan kan regjeringen love at strålingen ikke er farlig?
- Forskningslitteraturen som er gjennomgått av ekspertgruppa, sier at det samlet ikke er belegg for å si at stråling gir helseskader ved alminnelig eksponering i dagliglivet. Derfor legger vi dette til grunn inntil videre.
Ekspertgruppa anbefaler også at norske forskningsmiljøer bidrar med forskning og følger med i internasjonal forskning om mulige helseeffekter av EMF-eksponering over tid, samt følger med på utviklingen av kreftforekomst i kreftregistrene. Dette er anbefalinger som myndighetene vil følge, understreker Tangnæs Grønvold.
Regjeringen har blitt kritisert for å ha nedsatt ei gruppe dominert av eksperter som i årevis har konkludert at stråling er ufarlig og at el-overfølsomhet ikke finnes.
- Gruppa er altså skjevt sammensatt av forutinntatte fagfolk, hevder de?
- Jeg legger til grunn at ekspertgruppa på 16 personer, der også Foreningen for el-overfølsomme var observatør, er bredt sammensatt. Det viktigste er at disse fagfolkene har vurdert all relevant forskning på feltet, også de momenter som er spilt inn fra FELO og andre, sier statssekretær Ninas Tangnæs Grønvold.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Aftenbladet, Thomas Ergo, 18 May 2013|
|Experiments with cress seeds in 9th Class attracts international attention|
|Denmark||Created: 20 May 2013|
News From Denmark:
Experiments with cress seeds in 9th Class attracts international attention
Foreign researchers are extremely excited for a biology project from five 9th class girls.
Take 400 Cress seeds and group them into 12 bins. Then place six trays in two rooms at the same temperature. Give the same amount of water and sun over 12 days, and remember to finish exposing one of the rooms mobile radiation.
It is a recipe for a biology test so brilliantly that it has attracted international attention among acknowledged biologists and radiation experts. Behind the experiment are five girls from 9b in Hjallerup School in North Jutland, and it all started with that they found it difficult to concentrate per during school classes:
- We all think we have experienced difficulty concentrating in school, if we had slept with the phone next to our head, and we sometimes also experienced difficulty sleeping, explains Lea Nielsen, who is one of the five aspiring researchers.
The school was not equipped to test the effect of mobile phone radiation on them, but it was enough in fact very well. Therefore, the girls had to find an alternative. And the answer was cress seeds.
Six trays seeds were put into a room without radiation, and six trays were put into another room next to two wireless routers which broadcast about the same strength of radiation as an ordinary mobile phone.
Then it all that was left was to wait 12 days, observe, measure, weigh and take pictures along the way. And the result spoke this clear language: cress seeds next to the router had not grown, and some of them were even mutated or dead.
- It is truly frightening that there is so much influence, so we were very shocked by the result, says Lea Nielsen.
The experiment secured the girls the finals in the competition "Young Scientists", but it was only the beginning. Renowned scientists from England, Holland and Sweden have since shown great interest in the girls' project so far.
The renowned professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Olle Johansson, is one of the impressed researchers. He will now repeat the experiment with a Belgian research colleague, Professor Marie-Claire Cammaert at the Université libre de Bruxelles, for the trial is, according to him, absolutely brilliant:
- The girls are within the scope of their knowledge and skills implemented and developed a very elegant job. The wealth of detail and accuracy is exemplary, choosing the right cress is very intelligent, and I could go on, he says.
He is not slow to send them an invitation on the road:
- I sincerely hope that they spend their future professional life to researching, because I definitely think they have a natural aptitude for it. Personally, I would love to see the people in my team!
No mobile by the bed
The five girls from northern Jutland has not yet decided their future careers. They are still very caught over all the sudden attention.
But there have also been other consequences of the cress trial.
- None of us sleep with the phone next to the bed more. Either we place it far away, or it is placed in another room. And the computer is always off, says Lea Nielsen
“ DR.dk is the website of the Danish National Radio and the most read news website in Denmark.This could become a game-changer in raising awareness of harmful biological effects of Wi-Fi and the news comes at a time when schoolchildren are being forcibly exposed to Wi-Fi radiation in school and policymakers are in denial about the possible harm.
The article (in Danish) is here:
http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Indland/2013/05/16/131324.htm (shortcut link to english google-translated version: http://googl/kFdeF)
The girls will be on Danish television tonight 160513 at 21:55 - 22:30 on channel DR2 in a news-in-review programme called "Dårligt nyt" ("Bad News") and should be streamable from this page: http://www.dr.dk/TV/live/dr2
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.|
|Turning Off IPhone Critical to Pilots Citing Interference. iPhones on Planes Blamed for Navigation Disruption|
|USA||Created: 18 May 2013|
The regional airliner was climbing past 9,000 feet when its compasses went haywire, leading pilots several miles off course until a flight attendant persuaded a passenger in row 9 to switch off an Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone.
“The timing of the cellphone being turned off coincided with the moment where our heading problem was solved,” the unidentified co-pilot told NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System about the 2011 incident. The plane landed safely.
Public figures from U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill to actor Alec Baldwin have bristled at what they say are excessive rules restricting use of tablets, smartphones, laptops and other devices during flights.
More than a decade of pilot reports and scientific studies tell a different story. Government and airline reporting systems have logged dozens of cases in which passenger electronics were suspected of interfering with navigation, radios and other aviation equipment.
The FAA in January appointed an advisory committee from the airline and technology industries to recommend whether or how to broaden electronics use in planes. The agency will consider the committee’s recommendations, which are expected in July, it said in a statement.
Laboratory tests have shown some devices broadcast radio waves powerful enough to interfere with airline equipment, according to NASA, aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. (BA) and the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Even Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), which argued for relaxed rules, told the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration its pilots and mechanics reported 27 suspected incidents of passenger electronics causing aircraft malfunctions from 2010 to 2012. Atlanta-based Delta said it couldn’t verify there was interference in any of those cases.
The airline industry has been divided. Delta said in its filing that it welcomes more electronics use because that’s what its passengers wanted. United Continental Holdings Inc. said it preferred no changes because they’d be difficult for flight attendants to enforce.
CTIA-The Wireless Association, a Washington trade group representing mobile companies, andAmazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the Seattle online retailer that sells the Kindle e-reader, urged the U.S. FAA last year to allow wider use of devices. Personal electronics don’t cause interference, CTIA said in a blog post last year.
Passengers’ use of technology and wireless services “is growing by leaps and bounds” and should be expanded as long as it is safe, the Consumer Electronics Association, an Arlington, Virginia-based trade group, said in its filing to the FAA last year.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski agreed in a Dec. 6 letter to the FAA.
Broader use of on-board electronics would help providers of approved aircraft Wi-Fi services by letting passengers use them longer. Gogo Inc. (GOGO), based in Itasca, Illinois, says it has 82 percent of that market in North America, and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) on May 9 won permission from the FCC to proceed with a planned air-to-ground broadband service for Wi-Fi equipped planes.
The FAA prohibits use of electronics while a plane is below 10,000 feet, with the exception of portable recording devices, hearing aids, heart pacemakers and electric shavers.
Once a flight gets above that altitude, devices can be used in “airplane mode,” which blocks their ability to broadcast radio signals, according to the FAA. There’s an exception for devices that aircraft manufacturers or an airline demonstrates are safe, such as laptops that connect to approved Wi-Fi networks.
The potential risks from personal electronic devices are increasing as the U.S. aviation system transitions to satellite-based navigation, according to the FAA. In order to improve efficiency, planes will fly closer together using GPS technology.
As a result, interference from electronics “cannot be tolerated,” the agency said last year.
While sticking with its prohibitions on use during some phases of flight, the FAA starting in 2010 issued guidelines allowing broader use of personal electronics. Following techniques suggested by RTCA Inc., a Washington-based non-profit that advises the FAA on technology, airlines have been able to install Wi-Fi networks allowing passengers to browse the Web in flight.
Four in 10 airline passengers surveyed in December by groups including the CEA said they want to be able to use electronic devices in all phases of flight. Thirty percent of passengers in that same study said they’d accidentally left on a device during a flight.
McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, has called for lifting restrictions on non-phone devices such as the Kindle if passengers keep them in airplane mode, Drew Pusateri, her spokesman, said in an interview.
The existing rules are “ridiculous,” she said in an interview.
“I was aware from the research that’s been done that there has never been an incident of a plane having problems because of someone having a device on in the cabin,” she said.
The dangers from radio waves interfering with electronic equipment has been known for decades. A fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in 1967 killed 134 people, when a rocket on a fighter jet accidentally fired after a radar beam triggered an electronic malfunction, according to a 1995 NASA review.
Restrictions on U.S. commercial aircraft began in 1966 after research found some portable radios interfered with navigation equipment, according to the FAA’s request last year for comments on whether it should change existing rules.
In one 2004 test, a now-discontinued Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)wireless phone model’s signal was powerful enough to blot out global-positioning satellites, according to NASA. The device, which met all government standards, was tested because a corporate flight department had discovered the phone rendered a plane’s three GPS receivers useless, NASA’s researchers reported.
While incidents haven’t led to any commercial accidents and and are difficult to recreate afterward, they continue to pile up. A log kept by the Montreal-based International Air Transport Association airline trade group recorded 75 cases of suspected interference from 2003 to 2009, Perry Flint, a spokesman for the group, said in an interview.
Peter Bernard Ladkin, a professor of computer networks at the University of Bielefeld inGermany, compiled similar accounts from pilots in Europe, he said in an interview.
“These are serious, conscientious pilots,” Ladkin said. “They know what they’re doing. They don’t subscribe to theories about ghosts or something.”
Damaged devices have transmitted on frequencies they weren’t designed for, according to David Carson, an associate technical fellow at Boeing who has participated in industry evaluations of electronics.
If those radio waves reach an antenna used for navigation, communication or some other purpose, it may distort the signal it’s supposed to receive.
Inflight Wi-Fi systems are safe in part because devices connect to them at low power levels, according to Carson, who was co-chairman of an RTCA panel that produced testing standards.
Devices searching for a faraway connection, such as a mobile phone trying to connect to a ground network in flight, send out more powerful radio waves, he said.
Airlines such as Delta and Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) have used the FAA guidelines to allow their pilots to carry Apple iPads to replace paper charts and manuals. McCaskill and others have used that as an example of why passengers should be allowed to use tablet computers during landing and takeoff.
One difference is that airlines don’t purchase tablet models that use connections through wireless phone networks. Similar devices used by passengers haven’t been tested for safety in the passenger compartment, Carson said. Plus, there’s no guarantee passengers will put the devices into airplane mode or the devices haven’t been damaged, he said.
“Something a passenger brings in, you don’t know if it fell in a mud puddle or they put a bigger battery in,” he said.
The RTCA group recommended against allowing passengers to use devices during taxi, landing and takeoff, Carson said.
The Association of Flight Attendants, the U.S.’s largest union for those workers, told the FAA last year that electronic devices should be stowed during those critical phases of flight, just as bags and purses must be.
Any decision should be based on science, not on politics or passengers’ desires to stay connected, John Cox, a former airline pilot who is chief executive officer of the Washington-based consulting firm, Safety Operating Systems, said in an interview.
“The question is: Do we want to do aviation safety based on lack of testing and certification standards?” Cox said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Levin in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Alan Levin - May 16, 2013 1:23 AM GMT+0900
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: EMR Refugee/Agnes Ingvarsdottir|
|Stroud MP to attend meeting about radiation from mobile phone masts|
|United Kingdom||Created: 17 May 2013|
MP Neil Carmichael will attend a meeting to discuss concerns about microwave radiation.
In March, Cambridge University scientist Roger Coghill, co-founder of Powerwatch, spoke to a packed audience at the Old Town Hall in the Shambles, Stroud, claiming that some new technologies can harm health.
Now a follow-up meeting has been arranged on Friday at 7.30pm at the same venue.
It will be a chance to discuss health fears over microwave radiation from mobile phone masts, smart meters and cordless telephones. Organisers say there are nine masts in Stroud and a growing number of public wifi hotspots.
The meeting will discuss:
* Protecting homes and using technology safely ie home plugs instead of wifi.
* Protecting health - nutrition, remedies, clothing etc.
* Protecting children from wifi in schools and helping them to use mobile phones wisely.
* The impact on the environment, bees and food.
* Campaigning to lower mobile mast radiation to align with EU regulations Healthy House from Ruscombe will be represented to answer questions on personal and home protection.
Call Janet Westgarth on 01453 752751 for further information.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Stroud News and Journal, SNJ Reporter, 17 May 2013|
|Forsøg med karse i 9. klasse vækker international opsigt|
|Denmark||Created: 16 May 2013|
Udenlandske forskere er ovenud begejstrede for et biologiprojekt fra fem 9 klasses-piger.
Tag 400 Karsefrø og fordel dem i 12 bakker. Derefter placeres seks bakker i to rum med samme temperatur. Giv bakkerne samme mængde vand og sol over 12 dage, og husk så lige til slut at udsætte halvdelen af dem for mobilstråling.
Det er opskriften på et biologiforsøg så genialt, at det har vakt international opsigt blandt anerkendte biologer og strålingseksperter. Bag forsøget står fem piger fra 9.b på Hjallerup Skole i Nordjylland, og det hele startede med at de havde svært ved at koncentrere sig i timen:
- Vi synes alle sammen, vi havde oplevet at have koncentrationsproblemer i skolen, hvis vi havde sovet med mobilen ved siden af hovedet, og nogle gange også oplevet at have svært ved at sove, forklarer Lea Nielsen, der er en af de fem forskerspirer.
Skolen havde ikke udstyret til at teste virkningen af mobilstråling på dem selv, men det var nok i virkeligheden meget godt. Derfor måtte pigerne finde et alternativ. Og svaret blev karsefrø.
Seks bakker frø blev sat ind i et rum uden stråling, og seks bakker blev sat ind i et andet rum ved siden af to routere. Sådan en udsender cirka samme type stråle som en helt almindelig mobil.
Så var det ellers bare at vente 12 dage, observere, måle, veje og tage billeder undervejs. Og resultatet talte sit tydelig sprog: Karsefrøene ved siden af routeren var slet ikke vokset, og nogle af dem var endda muterede eller døde.
- Det er virkelig skræmmende, at der er så stor påvirkning, så vi blev også selv meget mærket af resultatet, fortæller Lea Nielsen.
Forsøget sikrede pigerne en finaleplads i konkurrencen "Unge Forskere", men det var kun begyndelsen. Anerkendte forskere fra både England, Holland og Sverige har sidenhen udvist stor interesse for pigernes projekt indtil videre.
Den anerkendte professor ved Karolinska Instituttet i Stockholm, Olle Johanson, er en af de imponerede forskere. Han vil nu gentage forsøget med en belgisk forskningskollega, professor Marie-Claire Cammaert ved Université libre de Bruxelles, for forsøget er ifølge ham helt genialt:
- Pigerne har indenfor rammerne af deres viden og kunnen gennemført og udarbejdet et meget elegant stykke arbejde. Det væld af detaljer og nøjagtighed er eksemplarisk, valget af den rigtige karse er meget intelligent, og jeg kunne blive ved, siger han.
Han er heller ikke sen til at sende dem en opfordring med på vejen:
- Jeg håber inderligt, at de bruger deres fremtidige arbejdsliv til at forske, for jeg synes helt sikkert, de har et naturligt anlæg for det. Personligt ville jeg elske at se de mennesker i mit team!
Ingen mobil ved sengen
De fem piger fra Nordjylland har dog endnu ikke besluttet sig for deres fremtidige karrierer. De er stadig meget overrumplede over al den pludselige opmærksomhed.
- Det har givet sådan en konstant summen for maven. Jeg kan stadig slet ikke forstå det, siger Lea Nielsen.
Og Mathilde Nielsen byder ind:
- Det er helt vildt overvældende og spændende. Det er jo ikke noget, man lige oplever hver dag.
Men der har også været andre konsekvenser ved karseforsøget, der har helt lavpraktisk karakter.
- Ingen af os sover med mobilen ved siden af sengen mere. Enten bliver den lagt langt væk, eller også bliver den lagt i et andet rum. Og computeren bliver altid slukket, siger Lea Nielsen.
May 2013, Denmark: Elevforsøg om mobilstråling vækker udenlandsk interesse
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: DR.dk, Mathias Bohn, 16 May 2013|
|Elevforsøg om mobilstråling vækker udenlandsk interesse|
|Denmark||Created: 16 May 2013|
HJALLERUP: De går kun i 9 klasse, de fem piger, der for nylig blev nummer fem i en landsdækkende forskningskonkurrence for skoleelever.
Alligevel er flere forskere og eksperter i udlandet interesserede i de resultater, som de fik ud af det biologiforsøg om mobilstråling, som de deltog med. Det skriver NORDJYSKE Stiftstidende.
- Pigerne har anvendt en meget elegant model i deres forsøg med planter. Det er meget imponerende, siger professor ved Karolinska Instituttet i Stockholm Olle Johanson, der er blandt de tre forskere, der har bedt om lov til at se nærmere på det.
I selve eksperimentet har pigerne undersøgt, om strålingsaktivitet fra trådløse apparater betyder noget for karsefrøs evne til vokse sig store. Og det gør det ifølge pigernes resultater. De er nu selv begyndt at tage deres forholdsregler.
- I stedet for at lægge min telefon på natbordet, så lægger jeg den helt ned i den anden ende af værelset eller helt uden for rummet, siger Rikke Holmberg til NORDJYSKE.
De fem piger i 9.b håber, at deres forsøg kan inspirere nogle af de interesserede forskere til for alvor at undersøge problemstillingen.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Nordjyske, Klaus Birkedal Videbæk, 16 May 2013|
|So, this is US! The Old Ones! SO, How Do You Explain the Young Ones (16 to 35) who suffer the same??|
|United Kingdom||Created: 16 May 2013|
First of all please look at what the scientists have just said aboutDimentia in our "Our Young Ones"
May 2013, USA: Brain Diseases Affecting More People and Starting Earlier Than Ever BeforeDementia deaths more than double in a decade
** After that look at what "Old Ones" we have to face:
The proportion of people dying of dementia has more than doubled in a decade, official figures show, and by 2021 one in eight of all deaths could be due to the brain disease.
Every tenth woman in England and Wales now dies of dementia (10.3 per cent), according to mortality figures for 2011 from the Office for National Statistics, up from 4.3 per cent in 2001.
In men, the proportion of deaths from dementia has risen from 2.0 to 5.2 per cent over the course of the decade.
Should these rises be sustained, it will mean that by 2021 about 12 per cent of all deaths will be attributed to dementia.
Experts said the figures were a “scary” reminder of the scale of the dementia timebomb facing Britain.
At the moment some 800,000 people in Britain are living with dementia, including about 500,000 from the most common type, Alzheimer’s. Less than half (43 per cent) have received a formal diagnosis. One million are expected to have dementia by 2021.
Professor Clive Ballard, head of research at The Alzheimer’s Society, said the increase in deaths attributed to dementia was due both Britain's ageing population and to a greater understanding that the disease did actually kill people.
He said: “Dementia is getting more common, because people are living longer.
“There’s an exponential increase in dementia with age. One in 20 people at 65 have it, but that increases to one in five at 80, one in three at 90 and one in two at 95.
“So once you get more and more people living beyond 80, you will get more people dying from dementia.”
He also said doctors were now far more likely to record dementia as the underlying cause of death, due to a better understanding of it.
He explained: “In very severe Alzheimer’s, people get bed-bound, can’t clear their chests properly and become very vulnerable to infections like pneumonia.
“Whereas 10 years ago a doctors might have put ‘pneumonia’ as the cause of death on the death certificate of someone with dementia, now they are more likely to put ‘pneumonia and dementia’.”
People with Alzheimer's were also "much more prone" to strokes because the amyloid proteins associated with the disease in the brain also tended to block blood vessels.
Just as doctors had realised for years that people with end-stage cancer were really killed by the disease, rather than the final trigger such as an infection or a heart attack, so they were now accepting a similar thing happened in those with dementia.
Given that one in three 65-year-olds will develop dementia during the rest of their lives, Prof Ballard thought predictions that one in eight could be dying of the disease by 2021 might prove on the low side.
“If we assume that half of those with dementia will die of it, that suggests a sixth of all deaths could be due to the disease,” he said.
“The proportion of the increase is quite scary, and that’s why we need to have a plan now, rather than burying our heads in the sand.
“We are moving in the right direction but we have to have more support for research and for managing people with it.”
He warned that 85 per cent of people in care homes were now thought to have dementia, up from 20 per cent in 1980, and given the upward trend almost everybody in a care home would soon have it.
“What we are going to see soon is that care homes are going to be completely full of people with dementia,” he said.
“That will probably happen in the next decade. When that happens the current system is going to break.
“Then we will either have to start managing people with more severe dementia in their own homes or there will have to be more care home provision.”
For years dementia has been a 'Cinderella' condition but that now seems to be changing.
In March, David Cameron declared that tackling the "national crisis" posed by the disease was one of his personal priorities, and said it was a "scandal" that the country had not done more to address it.
He announced that research funding would more than double by 2015, compared to 2010, but has been criticised for failing to address the immediate problems faced by those already with it.
Earlier this week he said the Government was backing a UK-developed 15-minute test for dementia, to help drive up diagnosis rates.
Jerem Hunt, the Health Secretary, said: "We want to make Britain a beacon for dementia care, concentrating on early diagnosis and preventative measures which will help those patients most at risk.
The Young Ones: Brain Diseases Affecting More People and Starting Earlier Than Ever Before
"The earlier the disease is diagnosed the earlier treatment, care and support can be given which can help a person with dementia live well for longer."
May 2013, USA: Brain Diseases Affecting More People and Starting Earlier Than Ever Before
And then the Old Ones!
Dementia diagnosis rates: 'Shockingly low'
By Adam Brimelow
The NHS in England has been told to push for a rapid rise in dementia diagnosis rates, so that by 2015, two out of three cases are identified.
Currently fewer than half of people with dementia have a diagnosis.
A senior adviser on public health says dementia cases could be halved if more were done on prevention.
He wants wide-scale mental agility testing to identify people at risk, but critics say that would cause unnecessary fear and anxiety.
The government says the overall dementia diagnosis rate in England - about 45% - is "shockingly low". The issue was raised as a priority a year ago in the prime minister's "challenge on dementia".
This set out a programme to improve care, promote public support and understanding of dementia, and encourage research.
Now, in a progress report, NHS England says diagnosis rates should rise by more than 20% over the next two years, so two out of three cases are detected.
This would bring overall diagnosis rates in England into line with those in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Focus on prevention
The announcement coincides with a call for a greater emphasis on dementia prevention from Dr Charles Alessi. He is chairman of the National Association of Primary Care and an adviser for Public Health England.
It is estimated that 670,000 people in England have dementia. That figure is expected to double in the next 30 years. But Dr Alessi says the number of cases could be halved by focussing on the risks for vascular dementia - caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.
Continue reading the main story
This condition - which we thought was hopeless, and all we could offer was more dignity and respect and more treatment which is very important - can also be delayed. That is amazing”
Dr Charles Alessi Advisor: Public Health England
He says a simple mental agility assessment should become part of the range of tests routinely provided in the NHS Health Check after people reach 40. He argues the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCa) could even be used online to allow people to make their own assessment.
As well as checking for memory this test looks at "executive function" - the ability to do everyday activities such as organising, planning and making decisions. Dr Alessi says it provides a good indicator of early cognitive impairment.
He says people who know they are at risk of vascular dementia can act to help delay or even prevent symptoms if they eat well, take exercise and don't smoke. He emphasises the importance of controlling blood pressure and diabetes - also risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.
"This condition - which we thought was hopeless, and all we could offer was more dignity and respect and more treatment which is very important - can also be delayed. That is amazing. We can influence this so I think we should."
The National Clinical Director for Dementia in England, Prof Alistair Burns, says the MoCa test could be an important component in identifying risk of vascular dementia, but he says by itself it is just a "snapshot", and a lot of other factors should be brought to bear in arriving at a diagnosis.
"It's not just one thing. It's looking at the history of the person, it's looking at how they are doing in general, it's looking at the medical history, at brain scans, and that test of cognition, of executive function."
However he says the message about the possibility of prevention is important.
Dr Chris Fox, an expert in old age psychiatry at the University of East Anglia, says he is very concerned at the idea of people being encouraged to carry out their own cognitive assessments. He says the idea is not supported by the evidence.
"My biggest concern is the impact on patients, creating unnecessary anxiety. I'm also very concerned about the pressure it puts on health and social care with resources being pulled around. We need to spend our health budget in an evidence-based way even more than we used to."
He says investing in research about the early stages of dementia my be a "more fruitful" use of funding.
Jeremy Hunt MP: "We are not advocating screening"
The prime minister has announced the UK will use its presidency of the G8 group of leading industrialised countries to a encourage new international approach on dementia research. This will include a summit, to be held in London in September, which will bring together health and science ministers and leading dementia experts.
In a statement Mr Cameron said he wanted to get the "brightest minds" working together on this:
"I've said before that we need an all-out fight-back against dementia that cuts across society. Now we need to cut across borders and spearhead an international approach that could really make a difference."
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|Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.|
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