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Judge Rules California Health Dept. Must Release Papers Discussing Risk Of Cellphone Use
USA Created: 28 Feb 2017
California could have to hand over some documents on cellphone use it tried to keep under wraps.

On Friday, a Superior Court judge ruled the state must release papers discussing the possible risks of long-term cellphone use.

The documents were written by the state’s Environmental Health Investigations branch and are believed to contain cellphone radiation warnings and recommendations for public use.

But the state refused to hand them over when requested by a director at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.

So Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., sued the state under the California Public Records Act.

Moskowitz, Director at the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health explained to KPIX 5 the reason he sued. “I would like this document to see the light of day because it will inform the public that there is concern within the California Department of Public Health that cellphone radiation is a risk, and it will provide them with some information about how to reduce those risks.”

When asked why he thinks the state is trying to suppress this document, he said, “They claim that this would lead to chaos and confusion among the public, I suspect that they were afraid of the reaction from the telecommunications industry should they publish this document. In fact, they even argued that in their brief.”

In a tentative ruling Friday, a judge found the documents are, in fact, public record and the public should have a right to see it.

The judge stated that there is significant public interest in DPH’s investigation into risks associated with cellular phone use and advising the public as to those risks.

Moskowitz cites new research that finds a significant relationship between cellphone use of 10 or more years and increased brain tumor risk.

The Department of Public Health would not comment on the ruling or if it intends to release the documents. Lawyers note they could appeal.

The FCC says there is no evidence of a “definite link between wireless devices and cancer or other illnesses.”

But, Moskowitz, who believes cellphones do pose health risks and urges users to limit their contact with them, hopes the ruling will at least help call attention to the issue.
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Source: CBS Local San Fransisco, Julie Watts, 24 Feb 2017

First State in the Nation: Maryland State Advisory Council Recommends Reducing School WiFi
USA Created: 28 Feb 2017
After reviewing new and growing evidence on health risks of wireless radiation, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC) issued a Report advising the Department of Education to recommend local school districts reduce classroom wireless radiation exposures by providing wired—rather than wireless—internet connections. CEHPAC’s health experts include Governor appointed pediatricians, Maryland State House/Senate appointees and representatives of the Department of Education and Department of Health. The Council cited the recent US National Toxicology Program (NTP) findings of increased rates of rare malignant cancers in animals, as well as children’s unique vulnerability to the radiation. While several countries, such as France, Israel and Cyprus, already have such protective measures in place, this action to issue recommendations to reduce classroom wireless exposures is the first by an expert state body in the United States.

The Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council recommends:

1. “The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems consider using wired devices,” “WiFi can be turned off” and instead “a wired local area network (LAN) can provide a reliable and secure form of networking…without any microwave electromagnetic field exposure.”

2. New construction and renovations: “If a new classroom is to be built, or electrical work is to be carried out in an existing classroom, network cables can be added at the same time, providing wired (not wireless) network access with minimal extra cost and time.”

3. The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems use strategies to minimize exposures: “Have children place devices on desks to serve as barrier between the device and children’s bodies; Locate laptops in the classroom in a way that keeps pupil heads as far away from the laptop screens (where the antennas are) as practicable; Consider using screens designed to reduce eyestrain; Consider using a switch to shut down the router when it is not in use”.

4. “The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should provide suggestions to the public on ways to reduce exposure: Sit away from WiFi routers, especially when people are using it to access the internet. Turn off the wireless on your laptop when you are not using it. Turn off WiFi on smartphones and tablets when not surfing the web. Switch tablets to airplane mode to play games or watch videos stored on the device.”

5. “The General Assembly should consider funding education and research on electromagnetic radiation and health as schools add WiFi to classrooms.”

6. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should “ask the United States Department of Health and Human Services to formally petition the FCC to revisit the exposure limit to ensure it is protective of children’s health and that it relies on current science.”

7. The Report should be shared with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Communications Commission, Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland General Assembly

“While this report focused on WiFi radiation in schools, there are additional concerns about mobile phones and cell phone towers. CEHPAC plans to take a look at these broader issues over the next year,” the Report states.

Referring to the fact that US wireless public exposure limits were set in 1996, without testing for long term safety, the CEHPAC Council Report also stated that “decades-old standards need updating in light of new science.” Such statements are in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has also called for a regulatory review and states that children’s brains are less mature and can absorb proportionately twice the wireless radiation as an adult because of children’s thinner skulls that contain more fluid.

“If you plan to watch a movie on your device, download it first, then switch to airplane mode while you watch in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure,” recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In response to the 2016 NTP study findings of a cancer link, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Reports, Obstetricians and several Medical Associations have issued recommendations to reduce cell phone and wireless exposures to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also called on the United States government to strengthen wireless exposure regulations to protect children and pregnant women.

“Our children’s healthy future rests on the responsible actions of today,” stated Theodora Scarato MSW, of Environmental Health Trust, who brought the issue to the Council in Spring of 2014. “21st century learning should include 21st century science,” Scarato points out about research showing wireless alters brain development in addition to cancer. “Corded non-wireless connections in school are an important part of a safe and healthy school environment, respecting not only our children but also the teachers and staff.”

The Council heard testimony from health organizations and from parents who reside in multiple counties in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Howard County. The Council also received hundreds of pages of expert scientific material and comments prior to the final Report, which the Council has posted on their website.

“Parents have a right to know if there is an environmental hazard in the classroom and actions that can be taken to reduce exposure. The stakes are so high for our children, yet we are way behind what has been happening around the world. Over 20 countries have taken steps and in some cases passed legislation to protect their youngest and most vulnerable citizens and it is time we do the same for ours,” stated Montgomery County parent Laura Simon, pointing to countries like France, Cyprus and Israel.

Scarato described the process of how she brought the health issue of children’s exposures to wireless in schools to Maryland State agencies almost three years ago, by first writing letters of concern about the school radiation exposures. “I was shocked to learn no government health agency had reviewed the issue from a health and safety standpoint considering how fast WiFi was being installed in schools across the State.” Dr. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, initially responded to Scarato’s concern, “It is fair to say there are legitimate questions about the long-term health implications of microwave radiation” and that the Department of Health “would be interested in the advice and counsel of groups such as the Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council.”

Scarato pointed out that the Education Department representative on the Council voted in favor of the CEHPAC recommendations to reduce wireless exposures.” The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) also had responded to Scarato’s initial concerns by referring her to CEHPAC which “exists for the purpose of identifying environmental hazards that may affect children’s health and recommending solutions to those hazards.”

In 2017, Maryland lawmakers will consider a bill to to create uniform screen safety guidelines for public schools “to protect children from the documented health hazards posed by daily use of digital devices.” Medical researchers are pointing to an array of psychological, emotional, and physiological psychological, emotional, and she see a logical health issues screens pose to children at the same time that schools are integrating wireless networks and one to one device initiatives into classrooms. In response to these health concerns, many schools worldwide are replacing wireless systems with wired systems, limiting time children spend on screens and developing policy to address health concerns posed by school wireless networks.

Wii Radiation in Schools in Maryland Final Report of the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council
http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/MD_CEHPAC_SchoolWiFi_022017_final.pdf

Letters from Physicians CEHPAC’s Public Comments
http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/Doctor%20Letters%20on%20Wi-Fi%20In%20School%20%20Full%20Compilation%20.pdf

Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council Website
http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/26excom/html/08childe.html

Local/State/National and International Policy action on Wireless and Children
http://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/International-Policy-Precautionary-Actions-on-Wireless-Radiation.pdf

American Academy of Pediatrics
Letter to FCC and FDA Commissioners
Letter to US Representative Dennis Kucinich in Support of the Cell Phone Right to Know Act
The AAP responds to study showing link between cell phone radiation, tumors in rats May 27, 2016
American Academy of Pediatrics Website: Healthy Children.org Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know

Testimony to the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2TxgdaZ0lgCbxVEVe30_BOe1v1Klu1w0
Testimony to Maryland State Board of Education https://youtu.be/XGhhtuvnqCs
Testimony of a High Schooler in Montgomery County about this issue to the State Board of Education https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnRGRnboXBg
Click here to view the source article.
Source: SAT Press Releases, 27 Feb 2017

Long-term cell phone use increases brain tumor risk: two new meta-analyses
USA Created: 23 Feb 2017
During the second week of February, two meta-analyses that examined the research on the risk of cell phone use and brain tumor risk were published in peer-reviewed journals. Both papers reported a statistically significant relationship between cell phone use of ten or more years and increased brain tumor risk.

The authors of the first paper conclude that, "These results are in concordance with the conclusion of the expert panel for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that cell phones are possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B)." The authors of the second paper call for the adoption of precautionary measures to reduce the adverse effects of cell phone use.

The first paper was published in the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, and the second paper was published in the medical journal, Neurological Sciences.


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The first study conducted by scientists at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, in Łódź, Poland, examined the research on mobile phone use and the risk of brain tumors and salivary gland tumors. The study found a significant relationship between mobile phone use and the risk of an intracranial tumor on the same side of the head where the phone was placed during calls. The study also reported a significant relationship between mobile phone use of 10 or more years and intracranial tumor risk.

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Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors
- A meta-analysis

Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, Szymczak W. Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors - A meta-analysis. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2017 Feb 21;30(1):27-43. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00802. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Abstract

Results of epidemiological studies on the association between use of mobile phone and brain cancer are ambiguous, as well as the results of 5 meta-analysis studies published to date. Since the last meta-analysis (2009), new case-control studies have been published, which theoretically could affect the conclusions on this relationship. Therefore, we decided to perform a new meta-analysis. We conducted a systematic review of multiple electronic data bases for relevant publications. The inclusion criteria were: original papers, case-control studies, published till the end of March 2014, measures of association (point estimates as odds ratio and confidence interval of the effect measured), data on individual exposure. Twenty four studies (26 846 cases, 50 013 controls) were included into the meta-analysis. A significantly higher risk of an intracranial tumor (all types) was noted for the period of mobile phone use over 10 years (odds ratio (OR) = 1.324, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.028-1.704), and for the ipsilateral location (OR = 1.249, 95% CI: 1.022-1.526). The results support the hypothesis that long-term use of mobile phone increases risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure. Further studies are needed to confirm this relationship.

Excerpts

The results obtained in the random effects model indicated that there was a significant relationship between mobile phone use for longer than 10 years and the risk of intracranial tumors (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.07–1.98).

Because OR is significantly greater than 1 (OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.04–1.52), we can conclude that there is a significant relationship between the time from the first regular use of mobile phone of 10 years or more and the risk of intracranial tumors.

Since OR is greater than 1 (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.06–1.57), there is a significant relationship between ipsilateral use of mobile phone and the risk of intracranial tumor.

We found a significant relationship between:
–– all intracranial tumors and all phone types; ipsilateral exposure;
–– all intracranial tumors and all phone types, when the time of mobile phone use was not shorter than 10 years;
–– all intracranial tumors and all phone types when the time from the first regular use of mobile phone was 10 years or more.

We are not able to compare our results with reference to different kinds of intracranial tumors (glioma, meningioma, acoustic neuroma) in relation to time of using mobile phones. A reliable analysis was not feasible because, in our opinion, the number of original works is too small.

Conclusions
Our results support the hypothesis that long-term (over 10 years) use of mobile phones increases the risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure. The same conclusions are valid for the work by Davis et al. (2013) [45], who reviewed papers on the association between the use of wireless (mobile and cordless) phones and intracranial tumors. Those authors stress that the risk of tumors in people who have used the phone for periods longer than 10 years is significantly elevated. In people who had started using the phone on a regular basis before they were 20 years old, the risk of ipsilateral glioma was found to be fourfold higher. Hardell et al. (2013) [46] stress the significance of the “lifetime exposure dose.” For an exposure of ≥ 1640 h, the risk of ipsilateral acoustic neuroma is 2.55 (95% CI: 1.5–4.4).

These results are in concordance with the conclusion of the expert panel for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that cell phones are possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B) [47]. More research is needed to confirm that electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are carcinogenic to humans.

Open Access Paper: http://bit.ly/2m8Amwt

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Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumors: a systematic review

The results of a newly published review and meta-analysis of the research on cell phone use and brain tumor risk found that long-term or heavy cell phone use was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of brain tumors.

Overall, the study found that long-term or heavy cell phone use was associated with a 33% increased risk of a brain tumor.

The risk of a brain tumor for long-term cell phone use varied depending upon the quality of the research study with higher quality studies tending to yield greater risk estimates (see Table below). For the five highest quality studies, the estimates ranged from a 21% increased risk to 2.6 times the risk of a non-cellphone user. For five lower quality studies. the estimates ranged from a 47% reduced risk to 5.1 times the risk of a non-cellphone user.

Based upon the results of this review, the authors recommend that precautionary measures be taken to reduce the adverse effects of cell phone use.

In this study, long-term cell phone use was defined as ten or more years. The highest quality studies scored 7 or 8 on a 10-point scale, and the lower quality studies scored 5 or 6.

This paper was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Neurological Sciences.

The first author of this paper, Dr. Manya Prasad is in the Department of Community Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak. India. His colleagues are in the Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India.


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Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes

Prasad M, Kathuria P, Nair P, Kumar A, Prasad K. Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes. Neurological Sciences. 2017 Feb 17. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2850-8.

Abstract

Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiations that are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Evidence for increased risk for brain tumours accumulated in parallel by epidemiologic investigations remains controversial. This paper aims to investigate whether methodological quality of studies and source of funding can explain the variation in results.

PubMed and Cochrane CENTRAL searches were conducted from 1966 to December 2016, which was supplemented with relevant articles identified in the references. Twenty-two case control studies were included for systematic review.

Meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies showed practically no increase in risk of brain tumour [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92-1.14)]. However, for mobile phone use of 10 years or longer (or 1,640 or more hours in lifetime), the overall result of the meta-analysis showed a significant 1.33 times increase in risk. The summary estimate of government funded as well as phone industry funded studies showed 1.07 times increase in odds which was not significant, while mixed funded studies did not show any increase in risk of brain tumour. Meta-regression analysis indicated that the association was significantly associated with methodological study quality (p < 0.019, 95% CI 0.009-0.09). Relationship between source of funding and log OR for each study was not statistically significant (p < 0.32, 95% CI 0.036-0.010).

We found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (10 or more years). Studies with higher quality showed a trend towards high risk of brain tumour, while lower quality showed a trend towards lower risk/protection.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28213724

Excerpts

In the 22 case–control studies, a total of 48,452 participants (17,321 patient cases and 31,131 controls) were identified, with the mean age of 46.65 years (range 18–90 years). Data for ipsilateral use and temporal lobe location could not be retrieved from the papers. However, data for long-term use of mobile phones (10 or more years) were extracted from 12 studies out of 22 studies (Tables 1, 2).

Data from 14 case control studies were included in the meta-analysis. We identified a total of 30,421 participants (12,426 cases and 19,334 controls). In Fig. 2, the study with quality sum of 8 shows that there is 1.64 times increase in odds of having brain tumour with mobile phone use. In the hierarchical meta-analysis of studies with progressively lower quality scores of 7, 6, and 5, the odds ratio progressively decreased to 1.08, 0.98, and 0.81, respectively. Therefore, the overall result [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92–1.14)] shows a statistically insignificant increase in odds of risk of brain tumour.

In Fig. 3, the study with quality sum of eight shows that there is 2.58 times increase in odds of having brain tumour with mobile phone use of more than 10 years duration. In the meta-analysis, studies with progressively lower quality score of 7 and 6 show a progressively lower risk of brain tumour with odds ratio 1.44 and 1.13, respectively. However, the overall result of the meta-analysis shows a significant 1.33 times increase in odds of having risk of brain tumours with mobile phone use.

Stratified meta-analysis according to sources of funding shows a consistent increase in risk of brain tumour with mobile phone use of more than 10 years. While summary estimate of government funded studies shows 1.64 times increase in odds (Supplementary Figure IV), mixed funded studies show 1.05 times increase in odds of risk of brain tumours, but the results were not statistically significant (Supplementary Figure V). The data for more than 10 years of use were not available for phone industry funded studies.

The meta-analysis of case–control studies found that there is a significant positive correlation between study quality and risk of brain tumour associated with use of mobile phones. Higher quality studies show a statistically significant association between mobile phone use and risk of brain tumour, but adding poor quality studies leads to loss of significance. We found that Government funded studies were generally of higher methodological quality than phone industry funded or mixed funded.

However, one qualitatively similar finding in both government funded as well as mixed funded studies is that long-term use (10 or more years or 1640 or more hours of lifetime cellphone use) is associated with increased risk of brain tumour.

Conclusion

In our review of the literature and meta-analysis of case–control studies, we found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (greater than 10 years). We also found a significantly positive correlation between study quality and outcome in the form of risk of brain tumour associated with use of mobile phones. Higher quality studies show a statistically significant association between mobile phone use and risk of brain tumour. Even the source of funding was found to affect the quality of results produced by the studies. As mobile phone use certainly continues, our findings are pertinent to warrant application of precautionary measures aimed at reducing its adverse effects. Furthermore, well-designed studies embedded with prospective cohorts are required to provide a higher level of evidence.
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Source: SaferEMR blog, Joel M. Moskowitz Ph.D., 22 Feb 2017

U.S, Army research agency DARPA To Explore Cell-to-Cell Communications
USA Created: 16 Feb 2017
Investigating “Natural Antennas” Exchanging Messages - The Pentagon wants to know more about how cells use electromagnetic radiation to talk to each other.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA or ARPA, is embarking on a new program, called RadioBio, to determine whether cells are able to exchange information with EM signals and, if so, what the cells are saying and how they do it.

The new RadioBio project brings back memories of another DARPA effort from 50 years ago: Project Pandora.

Read more about RadioBio here:
http://microwavenews.com/news-center/darpa-radiobio

Louis Slesin, PhD
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Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin PhD, 16 Feb 2017

Remove the smartphone and you'll regain the child - says psychologist
USA Created: 11 Feb 2017
I am completely, one hundred percent opposed to children, including teenagers still living at home, being in possession of smartphones. No parent has ever been able to give me a logical reason why a minor should enjoy such a privilege, if enjoy is even the proper word.

The most common rationale given is "I want my child to be able to get in touch with me and vice versa." If that is your best defense, purchase a basic cellphone from a box store and give it to your child on selective occasions. I'm referring to the sort of cellphone you possessed, as an adult, ten years ago; to wit, one that will not connect to the internet, does not have a built-in camera, and is not text-friendly.

The evidence is mounting that for whatever reasons most likely having to do with brain development during said years, smartphones are literally addictive to children and teenagers. Adults are able to keep their smartphones in their pockets unless some necessity arises. Human beings who are not yet adults seem unable, by and large, to do so. The exception to the child/teen whose attention is disproportionately captured by a smartphone's screen is rare.

"But John, that is how teenagers communicate with one another" is a common parental defense to which I respond, "Yes, and that is why their face-to-face communication skills are generally poor to awful." Their eye contact is notoriously bad and when, in a face-to-face encounter, they begin feeling uncomfortable (which is often), what do they do? Right! They pull out their smartphone and begin looking at it while you are talking to them! I conclude that these devices interfere with the development of proper social skills. There is a reason why employers are increasingly identifying the social and conversational skills of job applicants as more important than college grades.

I recently spent some time with two parents and their teenage child who had a habit of taking out his cellphone and looking at it while conversation was taking place. His parents told him to put the cellphone away at least five times in 15 minutes. They were obviously exasperated. They are intelligent people but living proof that common sense and intelligence do not go hand-in-hand.

On the positive side, I've recently spoken with a handful of parents who have taken their kids' smartphones away for good. They have all testified to the sort of reaction typical of withdrawal from an addiction: tantrums, even rages, mood swings, and near-manic obsession. It takes two weeks, at least, for the addiction to run its course at which time, according to said parents, their children's moods greatly improve ("He's actually begun to seem like a happy kid again!"), they begin engaging in family conversation and family activities, demonstrate renewed sensitivity to other people's feelings, and seem generally more relaxed. As yet, no parent has reported a downside.

One teenage boy eventually thanked his parents, telling them he felt a whole lot better without a smartphone. Yes, a normal childhood is a wonderful thing. Every child's right, in fact.

Where's your common sense these days?

John Rosemond is a family psychologist.
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Source: New Jersey Herald, John Rosemond, 09 Feb 2017

PG&E to defy Fairfax wireless meter ban
USA Created: 10 Feb 2017
A power struggle is shaping up between Fairfax and Pacific Gas and Electric Co, which announced it will resume installing so-called “smart” meters despite a renewed ban imposed by the Town Council.

PG&E has decided to resume installation beginning with 16 customers it says have expressed an interest in getting the meters.

Deanna Contreras, a PG&E spokeswoman, said PG&E sent the customers a letter giving them 30 days notice of its intentions, which they should have received in mid-January.

“We want our customers to know they have a choice; they can opt out,” Contreras said.

She said the first installations should begin within the next couple of weeks.

“This is the just the first wave,” Contreras said.

The new meters are electronic monitoring devices that continuously measure the electricity and natural gas use at households and businesses and relay data to the utility. The goal is to enable power companies to better understand patterns of power consumption throughout the day so they can adjust power generation accordingly.

Critics have raised questions about health risks from the wireless meters and other concerns, such as the potential for invasion of privacy from the hacking of the wireless component of the system.

The Town Council is not acquiescing to PG&E’s plans. On Wednesday, the council voted unanimously to renew its ban on wireless meters, which was scheduled to expire in March, for another three years. The council also authorized Councilwoman Barbara Coler to write a letter to PG&E CEO Anthony Earley.

“The purpose of the letter is to tell PG&E that, No. 1, our moratorium still remains in effect,” Coler said. “By violating our moratorium, they’re potentially subject to code enforcement.”

PG&E halted installation of the wireless meters in Fairfax and Sebastopol after both municipalities passed ordinances prohibiting them. Fairfax passed its ordinance in 2010. Sebastopol adopted its ban in 2013.

PG&E intends to replace all analog meters in Fairfax and Sebastopol with wireless meters, unless customers officially opt-out.

Contreras said over the next two years, PG&E will seek to convert 6,680 analog meters belonging to some 3,550 customers in Fairfax. Each customer will receive a pre-installation letter 30 days ahead of when their change is expected to occur.

PG&E installed approximately 426 wireless meters in Fairfax for some 210 customers before it responded to pressure to stop. Currently, 218 customers in Fairfax have chosen to participate in the wireless meter opt-out program.

Most customers who opted out will be required to pay a one-time $75 fee and an ongoing monthly charge of $10. Low-income customers pay an initial fee of $10 and a monthly charge of $5.

Coler said a townwide ban is necessary because even if some residents want wireless meters there could be a potential health effect for their neighbors. Some people have attributed migraines, nausea and other health issues to exposure to wireless meters.

In 2011, when the debate over smart meters was raging, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, whose district includes Marin, sought expert advice on the health issue. The California Council on Science and Technology concluded that federal safety standards governing wireless meters are adequate to protect the public from the known effects of radio frequency waves, but added that there had been insufficient research to determine if other health effects exist.

In a statement announcing its intention to resume wireless meter installations in Fairfax and Sebastopol, PG&E said the reason it is acting now is that all appeals and litigation over the matter have been denied.

Coler said that is untrue. She said a request for a rehearing on wireless meters is still pending with the California Public Utilities Commission, and said she will stress that fact in her letter to PG&E.

“By just going ahead with their program, they’re basically rendering something mute that hasn’t been decided by the CPUC,” Coler said. “I hope PG&E takes a pause and realizes we do mean business.”

Sandra Maurer of Sebastopol, director of the EMF Safety Network, which has a rehearing request pending at the CPUC, said, “We did not get a fair hearing. There were many ex parte violations and back-door dealings with PG&E.”

In early 2015, some 65,000 emails released by the CPUC showed that former CPUC President Michael Peevey, who retired in 2014, communicated with PG&E managers improperly on a range of issues. Maurer said wireless meters was one of the issues.

“I researched them,” Maurer said. “I wrote a paper on it.”

On July 2, 2010, Brian Cherry, then vice president of regulatory affairs for PG&E, wrote in an email that Peevey was grumbling about efforts to delay wireless meter implementation. Cherry wrote, “(Peevey) implied that this wasn’t going to happen and that by the time the Commission got around to acting on it, we would have installed all of our meters.”

In a Sept. 3, 2010, email, Peevey wrote to Cherry, “If it were my decision I would let anyone who wants to keep their old meter keep it, if they claim they suffer from EMF and/or related electronic-related illnesses and they can produce a doctor’s letter saying so (or expressing concern about the likelihood of suffering same). I would institute such a policy quietly and solely on an individual basis. There really are people who feel pain, etc., related to EMF, etc., and rather than have them becoming hysterical, etc., I would quietly leave them alone.”

Sebastopol’s city council, however, appears unconcerned about the prospect of wireless meter installation resuming there.

“There has been no discussion by the council whatsoever,” Sebastopol City Manager Larry McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said he suspended enforcement of Sebastopol’s wireless meter ban within days of its enactment after PG&E threatened to sue the city, and the city received a chastising letter from the CPUC.

McLaughlin said the CPUC didn’t threaten to take action, “but it was kind of implicit that we had exceeded our jurisdiction in their opinion,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said PG&E threatened to sue after a Sebastopol resident called police when a PG&E contractor attempted to install a smart meter in their home.

“PG&E said they were concerned about subjecting their contractors and employees to such confrontations,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said he and Sebastopol’s police chief met with PG&E representatives at that time. Sebastopol decided to suspend enforcement of its ban on wireless meters, and PG&E agreed to suspend installation of residential wireless meters in Sebastopol for an indefinite period of time.

McLaughlin said a small group of residents has requested that the council begin enforcing its ban, but McLaughlin, who opposed the ban from the first, said, “I don’t believe it is any more legal now than it was when it was adopted.”

Contreras said PG&E has completed its installation of wireless meters throughout Marin. So far, about 3 percent of PG&E’s residential customers in Marin, some 3,840 homes have chosen to pay extra to keep their analog meters, Contreras said. She said that throughout PG&E’s service territory, 54,000 customers have opted out of wireless meter installation.
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Source: Marin Independent Journal, Richard Halstead, 05 Feb 2017

Chronic sleep deprivation suppresses immune system
USA Created: 31 Jan 2017
Many people report getting sick when they don’t get enough sleep - A new study helps explain why.

Researchers took blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins with different sleep patterns and discovered that the twin with shorter sleep duration had a depressed immune system, compared with his or her sibling. The findings were published Jan. 25 in the journal Sleep.

“What we show is that the immune system functions best when it gets enough sleep. Seven or more hours of sleep is recommended for optimal health,” said lead author Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center at Harborview Medical Center.

A unique feature of this study was to employ identical twins in order to control for the large genetic determinant to humans’ sleep duration. Researchers say genetics account for 31 to 55 percent of sleep duration and behavior and environment account for the remainder.

Dr. Sina Gharib, director of UW Medicine’s Computational Medicine Core at the Center for Lung Biology, and the paper’s senior author, explained that a lot of existing data shows that curtailing sleep — for a limited time in the laboratory setting — can increase inflammatory markers and activate immune cells. Little is known, though, about the effects of longstanding short sleep duration under natural conditions. This study employed “real world” conditions, he said, and showed for the first time that chronic short sleep shuts down programs involved in immune response of circulating white blood cells.

“The results are consistent with studies that show when sleep deprived people are given a vaccine, there is a lower antibody response and if you expose sleep deprived people to a rhinovirus they are more likely to get the virus,” Watson said. “This study provides further evidence of sleep to overall health and well-being particularly to immune health.

The researchers, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control, said that over the past century people in the United States are sleeping an estimated 1.5 to two hours less, and about one-third of the working population sleeps less than six hours per night.

“Modern society, with its control of light, omnipresent technology and countless competing interests for time, along with the zeitgeist de-emphasizing sleep’s importance, has resulted in the widespread deprioritization of sleep,” they wrote.

Source: University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Research Reference:

SA Gharib, MD et al. Transcriptional Signatures of Sleep Duration Discordance in Monozygotic Twins. Sleep, January 2017 DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsw019
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Source: Science Bulletin, University of Washington, 27 Jan 2017

This Former Techie Owes His Fortune to Electronic Devices. Now He Thinks They're Dangerous
USA Created: 31 Jan 2017
Silicon Valley isn't the best place to be hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields.

Peter Sullivan and I are driving around Palo Alto, California, in his black Tesla Roadster when the clicking begins. The $2,500 German-made instrument resting in my lap is picking up electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from a nearby cell tower. As we follow a procession of BMWs and Priuses into the parking lot of Henry M. Gunn High School, the clicking crescendos into a roar of static. "I can feel it right here," Sullivan says, wincing as he massages his forehead. The last time he visited the tower, he tells me, it took him three days to recover.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
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Source: Mother Jones, Josh Harkinson, 28 Jan 2017

Urge Senators to Vote NO on Mobile Now Act
USA Created: 30 Jan 2017
To Citizens Concerned about Public Health, Insects and Other Wildlife, Energy Issues, Local Authority Over Telecom Infrastructure and Cybersecurity:.

If a telecom corporation wants to install a cellular antenna array or cell tower on private or public property, the 1996 Telecommunications Act requires it to get a permit from the municipality in question. According to Section 704 of the Telecom Act, neither environmental nor health concerns may interfere with the municipality’s decision.

The Mobile Now Act (S.19) would update the Telecom Act. Effectively, it would exempt corporations from getting a permit to install telecom infrastructure, including 4G/5G distributed antenna systems (DAS) and “micro cells” or “small cells” on public right-of-ways including light and utility poles.

DAS supports city-wide Wi-Fi.

5G supports the Internet of Things (machine-to-machine communication). 5G will operate primarily with tiny millimeter wave frequencies. To function well, we might need one 5G antenna every ?12 households. The few tests conducted on millimeter waves show that they disturb the skin, eyes and insects. The Air Force’s Radio Frequency Radiation Dosimetry Handbook, 5th Edition, Chapter 8, “Responses to RF Overexposure by Marvin C. Ziskin, MD reports that studies about millimeter wave exposures such as 94GHz primarily affect the eyes and skin.

The Mobile Now Act passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee last week. It is now headed to the full Senate for a vote, probably in the next week or two, possibly Monday, January 30th.

Here are directions for contacting your senators (by phone and by email):

http://www.electronicsilentspring.com/senate-no-mobile-now/

http://whatis5g.info/index.php/2017/01/26/immediate-action-contact-all-us-senators-concerning-the-stop-mobile-now-act-and-the-digit-act/

Thanks to Everyone for doing our best with this!

Calling your two senators’ offices and emailing them might take 15 minutes.

Katie Singer
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Source: Electronic Silent Spring, Katie Singer, 29 Jan 2017

Judge in Berkeley cellphone-warning case has Conflict-of-Interest
USA Created: 14 Jan 2017
The long battle over cell phone consumer labels, with a hidden twist of legal super heroes and questions about a Ninth Circuit Court judge’s failure to recuse herself.

A battle over free speech in Berkeley, California has pitted the city of Berkeley against the mighty telecommunications trade group, CTIA – The Wireless Association. Berkeley stands on the First Amendment argument they have a right to inform consumers of certain precautions the FCC already requires in the back of cell phone user’s manuals.

A verdict is expected shortly from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and proponents of Berkeley’s Right to Know consumer notices are growing increasingly concerned about Judge Michelle T. Friedland’s circuitous connection to the CTIA.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BRHP Blog, Susan Foster, 14 Jan 2017

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