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Tasmanian council rejects telco tower
Australia Created: 13 Jun 2017
Kingborough Council will not be giving consent to Optus Mobile Pty Ltd to lodge a development application for a proposed telecommunications tower at Sherburd Oval in Blackmans Bay, after seeking legal advice.

The General Manager, Gary Arnold sought legal advice regarding the status of the proposed tower as a low impact facility. The advice received stated that a replacement tower would require a development application to be lodged. Mr Arnold informed Council last night that as council delegate he was not prepared to authorise landowner consent for a development application to be submitted.

The Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Steve Wass said that Council was pleased to provide closure on this matter. “There has been strong community support for the location of this proposed tower to be rejected,” he said. “My fellow councillors and I have been listening to the concerns from our community and fully support the General Manager in this decision.”
ENDS

For more information please contact
Sarah Wilcox, Media & Communications Officer for
Kingborough Council on 0428 033085 or 6211 8265.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EMFacts, Don Maisch PhD, 12 Jun 2017

Jody, EHS, forced from her home by microwave tower, help her fund a safe-haven
Australia Created: 14 Feb 2017
A microwave tower, stationed 300 meters from my home has caused me to be homeless.

I suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS). The radiation from the tower effects every part of my body causing unrelenting pain and suffering.

The only option I have is to raise money to purchase non-radiated land, to relocate.

Please help me establish a healthy home.

You can help Jody via her GoFundMe campaign, via this link:
https://www.gofundme.com/2gs8s8tk
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Jody Watkins, 22 Sep 2016

Off with their heads! Return to Dark Ages as Maryanne Demasi & Catalyst crew axed for offending King Wireless!
Australia Created: 3 Nov 2016
It's the end of an era at the ABC, after the national broadcaster axed the Catalyst program today.

It was part of a tradition that went back into the last century and the program Towards 2000.

All the familiar faces on the Catalyst, along with their producers, were told today that they were redundant.

Management says it'll replace the weekly half hour science magazine with seventeen one-hour documentaries a year to be presented by leading scientists.

There's already anger about the move.

However, two programs in recent years - one about statins and one about wifi - have come under heavy fire, including from the ABC's own media watch, as alarmist, unprofessional and unbalanced.

Simon Chapman is Emeritus Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

He spoke to PM about those two programs. (listen to interview via source link).

Related news:
Feb 2016, Australia: CATALYST journalist responds to criticism of WI-FI investigation
Feb 2016, Australia: ICNIRP's downunder-delegate goes bonkers over CATALYST TV investigation into WI-FI
Feb 2016, Australia: Wi-Fried? Prime-time TV show examines Wi-Fi health risks
Click here to view the source article.
Source: ABC, Mark Colvin, 03 Nov 2016

The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function
Australia Created: 10 Sep 2016
Abstract: Mobile phone usage has become an integral part of our lives - However, the effects of the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by these devices on biological systems and specifically the reproductive systems are currently under active debate.

A fundamental hindrance to the current debate is that there is no clear mechanism of how such non-ionising radiation influences biological systems. Therefore, we explored the documented impacts of RF-EMR on the male reproductive system and considered any common observations that could provide insights on a potential mechanism.

Among a total of 27 studies investigating the effects of RF-EMR on the male reproductive system, negative consequences of exposure were reported in 21. Within these 21 studies, 11 of the 15 that investigated sperm motility reported significant declines, 7 of 7 that measured the production of reactive oxygen species documented elevated levels and 4 of 5 studies that probed for DNA damage highlighted increased damage, due to RF-EMR exposure. Associated with this, RF-EMR treatment reduced antioxidant levels in 6 of 6 studies that studied this phenomenon, while consequences of RF-EMR were successfully ameliorated with the supplementation of antioxidants in all 3 studies that carried out these experiments.

In light of this, we envisage a two-step mechanism whereby RF-EMR is able to induce mitochondrial dysfunction leading to elevated ROS production. A continued focus on research which aims to shed light on the biological effects of RF-EMR will allow us to test and assess this proposed mechanism in a variety of cell types.

Related news:
Jul 2015, Ukraine: 93 of 100 studies confirm Oxidative Stress from RF-radiation: review
Click here to view the source article.
Source: PubMed, Houston B. et al., 06 Sep 2016

Cyclist gets 3rd degree burns as iPhone explodes in back pocket and melts into skin
Australia Created: 2 Aug 2016
A Sydney man has received third-degree burns after bumping his iPhone in a very minor fall.

Gareth Clear, 36, was riding his mountain bike alone through Manly Dam on Sunday afternoon with his phone in his back pocket when his foot missed the pedal as he was beginning to move.

The resulting fall was tiny, and Mr Clear only received a few small grazes.

Moments later, after he got back up, he noticed smoke pouring from his rear and felt a searing sensation on the right side of his buttocks.

'I suddenly saw this incredible plume of smoke,' he said.

'And there was a searing pain that went along with it - as though someone had pushed a huge block of ice against my leg.

'It was pretty freaking painful.'

When Mr Clear turned around, he saw his thick biking shorts and the Skins he was wearing underneath were melting.

'The phone was stuck to my leg having melted through both my shorts and my Skins,' he said,

'It had to have been more than 100 degrees.'

As he tried desperately to remove the melting pants and the exploded phone, he burned his fingers, and instead used his fist to punch the phone off his burning skin.

The phone dislodged with a huge metallic bang before falling on the ground where smoke continued to pour out.

Mr Clear was alone at the time, with nobody around to help.

'I was on my own, writhing on the ground in agony,' he said.

However, knowing that the exploded, bent phone could do more damage to someone else if he left it, he waited for the device to cool so he could take it back with him as he walked back to Manly, alone.

'I basically sat there for about 20 minutes because I wanted to take the phone with me,' he said.

'I used two bits of wood to pick the phone up, and by the time I walked back to Manly with the phone and my bike - so probably another 30 minutes - it had finally cooled down.'

Mr Clear's burns were so bad that he was sent to the Royal North Shore burns unit for a skin graft, and will now spend the next six days attached to a machine which sits inside the graft, vacuuming out the dead, charred skin and encouraging healthy skin to grow in its place.

He said his initial concern was that the lithium from the exploded phone had tainted his blood.

'I thought I'd been poisoned,' he said.

'When I got to hospital though, that was the least of my concerns. They told me I'd lost three layers of skin.

'I said 'oh. Okay. Guess we'd better do something about that then.'

The accident has not deterred him from getting back on his bike, he says, but he'll never carry his iPhone with him again.

He wants his accident to be an eye opener to other active people who carry their phones with them.

'It's a tragedy waiting to happen,' he said.

'A mini bomb.

'Every iPhone is the same - if it happens to one, it will happen to another one. I was just lucky I was wearing pretty thick clothing and it was on my lower body.

'It could hurt someone else much more than it did me.'

Apple has contacted Mr Clear to say they are looking into the issue but have not provided any further comment.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Daily Mail Australia, Hannah Moore, 01 Aug 2016

Opinion piece: A response to the Demasi ABC Catalyst situation
Australia Created: 28 Jul 2016
I am shocked with the way Dr Maryanne Demasi of Catalyst programme “Wi-Fried” has been treated - I am a researcher who has been working in the field of radiofrequencies and health for some years. My PhD thesis was titled Wireless phone use by young New Zealanders: Health and policy implications. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Monash University. I have many papers in the peer reviewed literature.
The programme explored extremely important questions regarding health and safety and was, I believe, presented in a balanced way, as discussed below. While some of those interviewed were clearly extremely concerned, most of their comments were well handled. For instance, after Dr Davis showed an illustration of how far radiofrequencies can penetrate a child’s head, Dr Demasi reasonably enough showed surprise and asked, “Now, do we know that this translates into health effects for the child?” Dr Davis said, “No, we don’t ….”. Dr Demasi followed the response by explaining, accurately, that radiation exposure drops off exponentially with distance, distance matters. One comment from an interviewee I take issue with is Frank Clegg’s claim that the Standard in some countries is 100 times safer. The power density limit is indeed 100 times lower, but this does not necessarily translate into 100 times safer.

The programme also provided comment from ARPANSA, often to follow up a comment by another interviewee. Examples are after Dr Armstrong’s comment on the IARC 2B decision; after Dr Davis’ comment of radiofrequency exposure on sperm; and after Frank Clegg’s comment on international Standards; and both before and after talking to Drs Davis and Teo about brain cancer associations.

This is responsible reporting. Let’s look more closely at ARPANSA’S line.
Dr Karapidis said, “We’ve been doing research in this area for a very long time, and our assessment of the evidence suggests that although some studies do show effects, there is no established evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency radiation from tablets and phones and Wi-Fi and what-have-you, causes health effects” (my emphases). Just a note: Dr Karapidis does not seem to have personally done relevant research resulting in published any papers in the academic literature.
To be understood by a general audience, Dr Karipidis’ statement needs to be read with background knowledge of what ARPANSA means by “health effects” and “established evidence”.

ARPANSA has a very specific meaning for “health effect” which can be quite misleading, and undeservingly reassuring, if you are not aware of it: “an adverse health effect results in detectable impairment of the health of the exposed individual or of his or her offspring. A biological effect on the other hand may or may not result in an adverse health effect.” (ARPANSA, RPS3, 2002).

It is noteable that Dr Karipidis agreed that research does show “effects”. The studies showing effects is actually an extensive body of literature. Just two of many demonstrated and re-demonstrated effects include sperm damage and increased production of free radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species which can lead to oxidative stress and there on to inflammation and a variety of diseases). Oxidative stress is what people take fish oil to counter.

Effects such as sperm damage have been demonstrated from mobile phone emissions as well as from WiFi, although there is less literature specifically examining this source. For instance, at least one WiFi study (and many phone studies) found sperm did not move properly after exposure and DNA was broken. This could and should be regarded as a health effect using ARPANSA’s definition but has not been acknowledged as such by them or other bodies such as WHO. These are not regarded by the regulators as “established evidence”.

Inflammatory effects have been reported from radiofrequency exposure in a variety of situations. Just this year, research from three research groups has found inflammation or inflammatory markers after exposure in the liver of rats, and the eyes and salivary glands in people.

The general public (the ABC’s viewing audience) would I suspect consider increased free radicals leading to inflammation, and damage to their sperm, as health effects (and these are just two examples of many). ARPANSA does not.
What I suspect many members of the public, industry and regulators don’t like is that they don’t want to hear that their mobile phone and other devices may affect them adversely, so they shoot the messenger. The point is that safety (in terms of a wide variety of health outcomes) is by no means sure, and many biological effects which could lead to disease have been repeatedly demonstrated.

An important point in terms of the findings of breaching the broadcasting standards is the concept of consensus; in this field, consensus depends on whose conclusions you are referring to. The “scientific” consensus among Government and industry is that there is “no established evidence” – hardly reassuring when they are the ones who decide whether and when it’s established! However, if you were to ask all independent scientists internationally researching in this field I believe you would find a majority who are concerned by the existing evidence, and a great many who are convinced that problems exist.

The documentary may have been regarded as more challenging if radiofrequency radiation had been referred to as microwave radiation, even though this is a more specific and accurate name for most emissions from everyday transmitting devices. But it did not take this route.

The public knows very little about how the technology they use regularly works or may affect them. Most know very little about how to minimise their exposure without giving up using it. The Catalyst programme went a little way towards helping this situation. We need people like, and including, Dr Demasi bringing such well-researched documentaries on challenging issues to our attention. In my opinion, the points above invalidate the breach claims upheld in the ABC review committee report.

Mary Redmayne

Related news:
Feb 2016, Australia: ICNIRP's downunder-delegate goes bonkers over CATALYST TV investigation into WI-FI
Feb 2016, Australia: Wi-Fried? Prime-time TV show examines Wi-Fi health risks
Feb 2016, United Kingdom: The UK’s Science Media Centre model of science communication: An uncensored history
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EMFacts, Mary Redmayne PhD, 28 Jul 2016

Joel Moskowitz comments on Simon Chapman’s mobile phone 'all-clear' study
Australia Created: 14 May 2016
Joel’s comments, 14 May 2016: This study seems designed to serve as propaganda for the public debate about whether cell phone radiation is a cancer risk factor. The study’s lead author, Simon Chapman, published an opinion piece online (see below) in which he accused Devra Davis of being an “alarmist” for her position in this debate.

Yesterday, Medscape, a website that “offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web’s most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools,” published a story about the study. The article cited Simon Chapman and John Boice, Jr. who supported the study’s conclusions, and Lennart Hardell who raised concerns. Since I have concerns about the study and do not believe the Medscape article was balanced, I sent Medscape my comments. See the Medscape article which appears below along with my comments in red (BOLD in this posting).

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EMFacts, Don Maisch / Joel Moskowitz, 14 May 2016

Telstra sends out radiation exposure message
Australia Created: 27 Feb 2016
Telstra’s 16,9 million mobile customers have been sent tips about how to reduce electromagnetic exposure, just a week after a controversial Catalyst program explored the issue.

Telstra sent out the message to its customers this morning, providing a link for tips on the issue, which was brought into the spotlight last week following the ABC program.

The link quotes World Health Organisation advice on the issue.

“A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk.

“To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use."

“The WHO also notes that further study into the long term use of mobile phones and cancer, and the effect of mobile phone use on young people should be undertaken.”

Telstra has been contacted over the timing of the message.

Last week Catalyst aired its “Wi-Fried” program which explored “the latest research and advice about the safety of our modern wireless devices”.

The day after it aired leading scientists accused the program of broadcasting incorrect research and using scare tactics.

Related news:
Feb 2016, Australia: Wi-Fried? Prime-time TV show examines Wi-Fi health risks
Jul 2014, Australia: Telstra warning customers to avoid electromagnetic energy
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Yahoo News Australia, Nick Sas, 24 Feb 2016

CATALYST journalist responds to criticism of WI-FI investigation
Australia Created: 19 Feb 2016
The claims that our program "should never have aired" should not sit well with the public - At best, it's an over-reaction. At worst, it's a form of censorship.

Sometimes in science asking questions provides you with answers that may be unsettling. Not because they are conclusive, but because they are inconclusive. It's the duty of scientists and science reporters to encourage critical thinking on issues that are still up for debate.

Several other counties around the world have more stringent radio frequency safety thresholds than Australia. Italy, China, Switzerland and Russia have wireless safety limits, which are a hundred times more stringent than our own. In France, they restrict advertising of mobile phones to children. They have also banned Wi-Fi in nurseries and day care centres.

So I decided to investigate. Why are some countries making these changes and not Australia? To say that this is a fringe view is not sustainable.

Wireless technology is relatively new and the science in this area is not as settled as is often claimed. Especially in relation to children. That is why a study is currently underway, involving over 14 countries, which is assessing whether the use of mobile phones at an early age increases the rates of early onset brain tumours in 1000 young people. The results will be released this year.

To be clear, we never stated that Wi-Fi definitively causes cancer, as has been incorrectly asserted. While there are associations or links between heavy mobile phone use and glioma (malignant brain tumours), we did not suggest direct causation.

People have been aware of a purported link between mobile phones and brain cancer for some time now. The easy argument is that mobile phones have been around since 1988 and there's been no tidal wave of tumours, so 'case closed'. But not enough people had mobile phones in 1988 to make any assessment on population risk. The explosion of wireless technology, smartphones and Wi-Fi has only occurred in the past 10 years. Given that brain cancers are rare, it's unlikely there would be sufficient numbers to detect an increase in their incidence in the general population (trend data).

But if you look at specific groups with brain tumours, and compare them to people who don't have brain tumours, studies show 4-8 times more glioma detected in people who began to use a cell phone before 20 years of age.

We cited the Bioinitiative Report, which outlines hundreds of peer-reviewed papers by independent scientists, detailing studies on how cell biology can be disrupted by exposure to radiation from wireless devices. Even though ARPANSA, our safety agency, says there's no established scientific evidence that the use of mobile phones or Wi-Fi devices cause any health effects, we cited the major case-controlled studies (Interphone, Hardell and CERENAT), which demonstrate a link between heavy mobile phone use and glioma (malignant brain tumours).

Are these studies perfect? No, but they are the best we currently have and they have been replicated three times, which is important from a scientific perspective.

This is not a completely polarised debate among scientists. There is consensus that parents should limit their children's use of mobile phones, a statement made by ARPANSA in the program.

As an investigative journalist, I am used to taking some heat from critics. It's part of the job. Catalyst is no stranger to controversy. As investigators, we have studied emerging scientific debates at home and abroad, and brought them into Australian living rooms. What was perceived as controversial a few years ago, like discussions on dietary sugar or the over-prescription of cholesterol-lowering medications called statins, is now widely debated overseas by mainstream media outlets.

We always knew Dr Davis was a dissenting voice in this debate. But that's never a reason not to interview someone, especially as she is extremely well credentialed.

We also invited two high profile critics of Davis onto the program to dispute her claims: Professor Simon Chapman and Professor Bernard Stewart, but they both declined. Perplexingly, they have since launched a passionate rebuttal of Davis in print media, something they could have done within the program itself.

It's surprising that Dr Davis provoked such a visceral response online. Dr Davis has previously appeared on most other networks and papers in Australia without attracting the same hysteria that occurred on Twitter. But science isn't settled in 140 characters. And Twitter is renowned for being more of a lynch mob than a considered jury. The online backlash was irrelevant to the more important scientific debate.

Catalyst was accused of scaremongering. It's an overused term. It's routinely used in politics to dismiss opposition policies. Reporting on terrorist threats, the Zika virus and crime sprees could also be argued to cause anxiety among the general population. But it's a price we're all willing to pay for free and diverse speech.

As one viewer wrote, "Shutting down discussion and the flow of information on the basis it might frighten people is 'nanny state-ism' and censorship gone mad and could potentially perpetuate more of the cigarette and drug disasters of the past".

So were we 'scaremongering'? Well, Davis herself stated that no-one should stop using their wireless devices but be more measured in how they're used. She stressed that "distance is your friend" a concept that is echoed in the RF warnings within the phones themselves. She also suggested people reconsider whether they should have their router in the bedroom. This is hardly sensationalist stuff.

The great thing about science is that new discoveries are constantly made and orthodoxies change. Sometimes so-called "fringe" views move into the mainstream, forcing governments to change policies to prevent public harm. This has happened many times. Think back to thalidomide, asbestos, tobacco. We are not suggesting this will necessarily happen in the case of wireless technology, but it's also not scientific to claim the door has been slammed shut on this discussion.

Both side of the debate received airtime and the conclusion of the program showed that in the face of uncertainty, people might want to be more cautious about how they use the technology.

After all that has happened, my concern is that the ability to have this conversation might be curtailed.

Related news:
Feb 2016, Australia: Wi-Fried? Prime-time TV show examines Wi-Fi health risks
Feb 2016, Australia: ICNIRP's downunder-delegate goes bonkers over CATALYST TV investigation into WI-FI
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Huffington Post Australia, Dr. Maryanne Demasi, 19 Feb 2016

ICNIRP's downunder-delegate goes bonkers over CATALYST TV investigation into WI-FI
Australia Created: 18 Feb 2016
Australian health researchers have condemned ABC science show Catalyst for “scaremongering” on alleged links between wi-fi and mobile signals and cancer.

Catalyst aired its report entitled Wi-Fried on February 16, quoting extensively Dr Devra Davis, a US epidemiologist and author of a book on “the truth about mobile phone radiation”.

Related news:
Feb 2016, Australia: Wi-Fried? Prime-time TV show examines Wi-Fi health risks

Dr Davis said that exposing the human body “to mobile phone radiation for thousands of minutes a month, for hundreds of hours over a lifetime, [is] going to have a biological effect on you.”

She also said that “every single well-designed study ever conducted finds an increased risk of brain cancer with the heaviest users” of mobile phones, but that this did not show up in cancer incidence numbers because it typically took decades for cancer to develop after exposure to radiation.

“There is no cause of cancer in the environment that shows up in the general population in ten years,” Dr Davis said.

“Of course we don't see any increase in brain cancer now. There's none expected.”

But those arguments were rubbished by prominent health researchers and academics.

Professor Rodney Croft, who directs the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia’s Centre for Research Excellence in Electromagnetic Energy [and who's also on ICNIRP's main commission, ed.], said that views about wi-fi being harmful “are not supported by science and should be taken merely as the personal views of some fringe scientists”.

“In fact, the scientific consensus is strong, and is that there is no substantiated evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency emissions encountered by mobile telecommunications can cause any harm,” Croft told The Conversation.

Croft was particularly critical of the attempt to elicit a safety guarantee from the science community, which was used to cast doubt on the prevailing science.

“Of course it is impossible for science to demonstrate that anything is absolutely safe, and so regardless of whether we’re talking about wi-fi or orange juice, science cannot demonstrate absolute safety,” he told the Australian Science Media Centre.

UNSW cancer biologist Dr Darren Saunders argued it was reports such as that aired by Catalyst that had “very real public health effects”, rather than wireless signals.

He said there was a “lack of any demonstrable increase in brain cancer incidence over time” as well as an “absence of a plausible biological mechanism for how [mobile] radiation can cause cancer.”

Dr Geza Benke, a senior research fellow in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, disputed the assertion that cancers would take many more decades to materialise.

Dr Benke said solid tumours had “a much shorter minimum latency”, meaning that “we should be seeing increased rates [of cancer] now if there was an association [between cancer and wi-fi radiation].”

ARPANSA also took to its website to reiterate guidance that associations between mobile phones and cancer rates were “weak” and “not substantiated by the bulk of scientific evidence”.

People that believe they suffer health conditions as a result of wireless signals generally group themselves under a condition called idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF).

Previous investigations of the condition have highlighted the difficulty in tying ailments that people suffer directly to their exposure to radiofrequencies.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Information Age, 18 Feb 2016

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