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Have an iPhone 6? Make sure you hold it this far away from your body
USA Created: 13 Oct 2014
Or in other words: if you even touch your iPhone, you're screwed legally, should you suffer health damage due to iPhone use, because the safety guide says to keep a minimum distance of 5mm between iPhone and your body (your entire body!). [comment by editor].

Cell phone radiation isn’t anything new, and while the National Cancer Institute (NCI) indicates current studies have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck, cell phone technology and how people use cell phones is rapidly evolving–and so might be the risk.

“Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held,” states NCI. “The amount of radiofrequency energy a cell phone user is exposed to depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s distance from cell phone towers.”

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) refers to the rate at which the body absorbs radio frequency (RF) exposure. Radio frequency energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation, and though the only known biological effect of radio frequency energy is heating (such as in microwave ovens), studies have shown people who used a cell phone for 50 minutes experienced brain tissues on the same side of the head as the phone’s antenna metabolizing more glucose than did tissues on the opposite side of the brain. Whether or not this change has any health implications is unknown, but man countries have nonetheless placed regulations on the SAR limit considered acceptable for mobile devices.

In the United States, the SAR limit is set to 1.6 watts per kilogram.

For both Apple iPhone 6 models, the SAR level for the head is 1.18. When using a body-worn accessory to keep the phone five millimeters from the body, the SAR level is 1.18 for the iPhone 6 and 1.19 for the iPhone 6 Plus, according to data on Apple’s website.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D, from the University of California, Berkley, indicates, “Like most cell phones, both new iPhone models have several transmitters that can simultaneously emit microwave radiation, which includes cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth radiation. When all these transmitters are turned on, the SAR value is 1.58 for the iPhone 6 and 1.59 for the iPhone 6 Plus. These levels are very close to the legal limit which is 1.60. To reduce exposure to microwave radiation, turn off any transmitters not in use.”

"To minimize exposure risks, people using the iPhone 6 models should maintain a minimum separation distance between the phones and the body of approximately two-tenths of an inch (i.e., 5 millimeters)."

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assumes that consumers will carry their cell phones in a manufacturer-approved holder that keeps the phone a minimum distance from the body,” notes Moskowitz. “However, people do not reliably keep their phone away from their body in a cell phone holder.

For the SAR test, the FCC allows the manufacturer to choose the separation distance between the cell phone and the test model as long as consumers are informed about the minimum distance tested. Few consumers are aware of the manufacturer’s recommended minimum body separation from their cell phone because this information is often difficult to find. Thus, most consumers are in the dark about precautions they can take to keep their exposure to microwave radiation below the legal limit.”

Moskowitz points out that health views on cell phone risk are mixed; in 2011, the World Health Organization declared radio frequency radiation possibly carcinogenic in humans, and hundreds of laboratory studies with animals and cell samples have found deleterious biologic effects from short-term exposure to low intensity cell phone radiation, including development of stress proteins, micronuclei, free radicals, DNA breakage, and sperm damage.

NCI, indicates, however, that there are a number of reasons findings on cell phone hazards are inconsistent, including inaccurate reporting, recall bias, participation bias, and evolving technology.

“Older studies evaluated radionfrequency energy exposure from analog cell phones,” states NCI. “However, most cell phones today use digital technology, which operates at a different frequency and a lower power level than analog phones. Digital cell phones have been in use for more than a decade in the United States, and cellular technology continues to change. Texting, for example, has become a popular way of using a cell phone to communicate that does not require bringing the phone close to the head. Furthermore, the use of hands-free technology, such as wired and wireless headsets, is increasing and may decrease radio frequency energy exposure to the head and brain.”

Cancer-causing or not, the fact remains that Apple’s iPhone 6 numbers are high enough to warrant user awareness. While it may not always be possible to keep a phone at least 5 millimeters from the body, users are advised to limit close-contact use when possible, utilizing texting and speaker phone utilities whenever possible.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: VOXXI, Hope Gillette, 10 oct 2014

The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things
USA Created: 11 Oct 2014
The Internet Of Things is coming - Rejoice! - Mostly. It will open our collective eyes to petabytes of real-time data, which we will turn into new insights and efficiencies. It will doubtless save lives. Oh, yes: and it will subtly redefine ownership as we know it. You will no longer own many of the most expensive and sophisticated items you possess. You may think you own them. But you’ll be wrong.

They say “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” but even if you physically and legally own a Smart Thing, you won’t actually control it. Ownership will become a three-legged stool; who physically owns a thing; who legally owns it; …and who has the ultimate power to command it. Who, in short, has root [is the superuser, ed.]

This is not a hypothetical situation. Your phone probably has three separate computers in it (processor, baseband processor, and SIM card) and you almost certainly don’t have root on any of them, which is why some people refer to phones as “tracking devices which make phone calls.” The New York Times recently ran a story about cars being prevented from starting because payments were days late. (And as CityLab points out: “Losing transportation could mean losing everything.”) Consider also the recent discovery that Belkin routers apparently had to connect to Belkin’s servers before they would connect to the rest of the Internet.

As The Atlantic puts it:

the smarter one’s things, the greater the possibility that they’ll be conscripted into schemes you never would have imagined and might not like.

The fundamental issue here is that the Internet of Things will not have a standard set of open APIs for consumers. (Well, there’s ThingSpeak, but it’s not exactly widely supported.) You can’t get your Tesla to dump all of its data to a server you specify. While Nest has a public API, they maintain gatekeeper control over it. (You may think: “Of course!” — but imagine being told that you can’t use Safari to access any Google services without Apple’s explicit consent and approval.) When you buy a Smart Thing, you get locked into its software ecosystem, which is controlled by its manufacturer, whether you like it or not.

Techno-utopians like to argue that open systems always win, but that simply isn’t true, as the mobile era has shown. Android is more open than iOS, but for most intents and purposes, both are walled gardens.

So are we doomed to a future of fifth-column Smart Things that we don’t really own, talking behind our backs to an array of siloed Stacks?

…Maybe. But not necessarily.

For one thing, I suspect that at some point, after the first wave of the Internet of Things, open APIs and root access will become a selling point. Either enough customers (especially business customers) will want them badly enough, or smart hardware will become enough of a commodity that startups will start selling “repluggable” Smart Things, which buyers can root and configure to speak to the server(s) of their choice.

More interesting to me, though, is the possibility of a decentralized Internet of Things; smart things which don’t communicate with any central server, but rather with a peer-to-peer, perhaps blockchain-based network. Consider the way FireChat is being used in Hong Kong, so that protestors can communicate despite the authorities’ control of the mobile networks. You don’t always actually need a central server, especially if you have a distributed-consensus algorithm — like a blockchain — for longer-term data storage and algorithmic coordination.

I concede this is a handwavey vaporware notion, but, well, I believe it’s an important handwavey vaporware notion. Similarly, a la Overstock or Reddit:

As someone who often argues that capitalism needs to evolve as technology remakes our societies and economies, I’m not necessarily opposed to a subtle redefinition of “ownership.” But I don’t want it to come to mean “transferring de facto control over every interesting thing in my possession to distant corporations.” Bring on an open, decentralized Internet Of Things, eventually. The Stacks control quite enough already.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: TechCrunch, Jon Evans, 11 Oct 2014

Support Prof. Johansson. URGENT! Petition below! Please assist!
Sweden Created: 11 Oct 2014
Nine days ago news of a second plan to reduce the space allocated to Asst. Prof. Olle Johansson, by the administration at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
Two years ago Prof. Johansson was forced to destroy 12 wire cage trolleys of research and equipment when his and his work were down-sized. This second attempt to down-size, yet again is being spearheaded by Åsa Garmager, Head of Administration.
These changes may be related to the appointment of a No. Two pro-business administrator:“Alexander von Gabain’s long-term experience and international reputation in academia, biotech industry and institutions facilitating innovation are prone to bolster the “knowledge triangle” that encompasses research, education and business, with the entrepreneur in the driver’s seat.”
Commenting on the proposed changes at the Karolinska Institute, Dr. George Carlo of the Science and Public Policy Institute in Washington D.C., said, "I have had the illuminating pleasure of collaborating with Professor Johansson over many years. His science is impeccable, his sense of right and wrong extremely keen, and his willingness to stand up publicly for what he believes is far beyond admirable. I can only imagine the value he brings to students and researchers who he has mentored over the years. He has been and continues to be a credit to the Karolinska Institute and to all of us who are fortunate enough to stand beside him in work. I don't know the internal politics of what is going on at the Karolinska Institute, but knowing the man as I do, something is certainly fishy."

Further support for Johansson came from Dr. Dimitris Panagopoulos, at Demokritos, In Greece. His original support from 2012 as well as his recent latest demand to protect Johansson are attached.

The following three individuals are directly responsible for Prof. Johansson’s situation:

Sandra Ceccatelli, Department Chair,
Phone: 08-524 875 76
Fax: 08-33 03 56
E-mail: Sandra.Ceccatelli@ki.se

Åsa Garmager, Head of Administration,
Phone: 08-524 878 55
Organizational unit: Department of Neuroscience (Neuro), C4
E-mail: asa.garmager@ki.se

Christina Ingvarsson, HR administrator,
Phone: 08-524 878 80
Organizational unit: Department of Neuroscience (Neuro), C4
E-mail: Christina.Ingvarsson@ki.se

It is our responsibility to support Prof. Johansson as one of the pioneering voices who continue the struggle to protect humanity in the face of an industry with tremendous resources and power.

Please contact the Karolinska and register your concerns.

Kind regards,

John Weigel

From Professor Olle Johansen:
I have recently received quite a few letters, telephone calls, and e-mails about a recent rumour, around my person, on the Internet.
Unfortunately, the rumour is correct. I have been asked by my department to once more downsize the remaining space I have, due to my lack of funding to cover the space rent. It will, of course, hamper me even more.
The loser is, however, not I, but people in need of support and answers; concerned parents worrying about the ever increasing amounts of EMFs in schools and daycare centers; cancer victims; persons with the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity and their relatives; and so forth.

People have already engaged in very generous and kind ways, for which I am deeply indebted. Among the letters sent to my administration and telephone calls made to the very same, I can draw your attention to a recent petition:


..as well as give you one example of a letter to my administration (this one written by John Weigel in Ireland):
When I go, promise me to never give up!!
With my very best regards
Yours sincerely

(Olle Johansson
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Prof. Olle Johansen/John Weigel/ Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Olle Johansson lecture: Health effects of electromagnetic fields
Denmark Created: 9 Oct 2014
Olle Johansson at the Open Mind Conference 2014, Copenhagen.

Watch the video of the lecture here:

"Health effects of electromagnetic fields" Olle Johansson is associate professor at the Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

He is a leading authority in the field of EMF radiation and health effects. He has also been a professor in basic and clinical neuroscience at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

He has published more than 650 original articles, reviews, book chapters and conference reports within the field of basic and applied neuroscience, dermatoscience and health effects of electromagnetic fields.

His studies have been widely recognised in the media, including newspapers, radio and TV, as well as on the Internet, both nationally and internationally. He has on-going international scientific collaborations with e.g. Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Serbia, Germany, the UK and the USA.

Olle Johansson’s presentation covers the historic background of electricity and electromagnetic fields, how suspicions arose early on concerning fields and signals producing negative health effects and how this led to today's global public discussion about the subject. It will also touch upon the functional impairment electro hypersensitivity.

The lecture will go into depth about the scientific research results regarding the health effects of electromagnetic fields and the urgent need for independent research projects that need to be initiated to ensure our public health.

These projects should be entirely independent of all types of commercial interests as public health cannot have a price-tag. This is the responsibility of the democratically elected body of every country.

The body of evidence on EMF requires a new approach to protection of public health; the growth and development of the fetus, and of children; and argues for strong preventative actions. These conclusions are built upon prior scientific and public health reports documenting the following:

1) Low-intensity (non-thermal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards.

2) ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC public safety limits are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures.

3) New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide. 4) It is not in the public interest to wait.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Open Mind Conference 2014, Prof. Olle Johanssen, 05 Oct 2014

WHO fact sheet on RF-EMF
Sweden Created: 9 Oct 2014
The carcinogenic effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on humans was evaluated at a meeting during 24 – 31 May 2011 at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO in Lyon, France. The Working Group categorised RF-EMF from mobile phones, and from other devices that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields, as a Group 2B, i.e. a ‘possible’, human carcinogen. IARC is a cancer organisation at WHO.

A fact sheet from WHO issued in June 2011 shortly after the IARC decision stated that ‘To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use’, and furthermore that ‘Tissue heating is the principal mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency energy and the human body’. It is unclear who wrote this fact sheet, but it is well known that WHO has not acknowledge a carcinogenic effect from RF-EMF in contrast to IARC.

*SNIP* read the rest of the article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Lennart Hardell's blog, 09 Oct 2014

WHO draft of EHC for RF is late and incomplete – consultation is futile, at this time
Finland Created: 7 Oct 2014
The very, very long awaited WHO Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on Radio-Frequency Fields (EHC-RF) is finally, but only partly, available. The process of making the EHC-RF is disappointingly slow and disappointingly secretive and disappointingly incomplete.

The EHC-RF text published in end of September is clearly incomplete. There are available only chapters #2 through #12. The very important chapters: #1 (Summary and recommendations for further study), #13 (Health risk assessment) and #14 (Protective measures) are missing from the draft that WHO provided for the “consultation”.

*SNIP* ..read the entire article via the source link below.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BlogBRHP, Dariusz Leszczynski, 06 Oct 2014

Cellphone Boom Spurs Antenna-Safety Worries
USA Created: 7 Oct 2014
Cellphone Boom Spurs Antenna-Safety Worries.
Many Sites Violate Rules Aimed at Protecting Workers From Excessive Radio-Frequency Radiation
The antennas fueling the nation’s cellphone boom are challenging federal safety rules that were put in place when signals largely radiated from remote towers off-limits to the public.
Now, antennas are in more than 300,000 locations—rooftops, parks, stadiums—nearly double the number of 10 years ago, according to the industry trade group CTIA.

Federal rules require carriers to use barricades, signs and training to protect people from excessive radio-frequency radiation, the waves of electric and magnetic power that carry signals. The power isn’t considered harmful by the time it reaches the street, but it can be a risk for workers and residents standing directly in front of an antenna.

One in 10 sites violates the rules, according to six engineers who examined more than 5,000 sites during safety audits for carriers and local municipalities, underscoring a safety lapse in the network that makes cellphones hum, at a time when the health effects of antennas are being debated world-wide.

The FCC has issued just two citations to cell carriers since adopting the rules in 1996. The FCC says it lacks resources to monitor each antenna.

“It’s like having a speed limit and no police,” said Marvin Wessel, an engineer who has audited more than 3,000 sites and found one in 10 out of compliance.

On a sweltering June day in Phoenix, Mr. Wessel strolled through a residential area near Echo Canyon Park and spotted lawn chairs near a T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS +0.86% cellular antenna painted brown to match a fence. His monitor showed emissions well above safety limits.

After being alerted by The Wall Street Journal, T-Mobile added warning signs and roped off a patch in front of the antenna with a chain. “The safety of the public, our customers and our employees is a responsibility that all of us here at T-Mobile take very seriously,” said a T-Mobile spokeswoman.

At very high levels, radio-frequency radiation can cook human tissue, the FCC said, potentially causing cataracts and temporary sterility and other health issues.

To buffer people from these “thermal” effects, the FCC set two limits for how much RF people can absorb—one for the general public, and an “occupational” limit five times higher for people trained to work near antennas. The higher level is still 10 times below the thermal level.

Carriers have to restrict access near antennas that are above the limits. Workers and others who venture into hot zones—generally up to 20 feet in front of an antenna—must be trained and have RF monitors.

Most cellular antennas aren’t strong enough to cause thermal problems, engineers say, and carriers are installing some smaller antennas with lower power levels. But some are being made stronger to meet demand for high-speed Internet access, high-definition video and other services. A German study in 2013 found higher emissions from 4G antennas.

“The more bandwidth, the hotter they will be,” said Mr. Wessel, who expects some to exceed the thermal level within a year.

Richard Tell, a Nevada engineer, also expects some emissions to rise. At more than 1,000 sites nationally, he found roughly one in 10 out of compliance, similar to Mr. Wessel’s conclusion. Some are hidden or disguised for aesthetic reasons.

“I’ve been on rooftops looking for antennas and couldn’t find them because they were hidden in fake concrete blocks that were really foam,” he said.

Daniel Ranahan, a Lowell, Mass., roofer, said antennas are slowing jobs. “There’s no mechanism for the worker to know what buildings are safe,” he said.

Peter Chaney, the director of safety and health for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, which represents companies with more than 270,000 workers, in August asked the FCC to create a database of cellular antennas.

One company, RF Check, in San Diego, has designed a protocol but requires collaboration from carriers and funding from phone customers.

Mr. Chaney is developing a training video and brochure on RF safety to distribute to the association’s members next year.

“We want workers to know that the antennas are there and that there may be a potential hazard,” he said. “I’m concerned about the chronic effect of this. If guys have 30-year careers and they’re exposed to these things on a regular basis—is there any long-term effect?”

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health began studying that question after the World Health Organization in 2011 categorized RF radiation as a possible carcinogen, based on research by over 30 scientists, said Gregory Lotz, the top RF expert for Niosh. And the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health is exploring lower-level RF exposure.

An FCC guideline written after the rules were adopted notes studies showing “relatively low levels” of RF radiation can cause “certain changes in the immune system, neurological effects, behavioral effects,” and other health issues, including cancer. “Results to date have been inconclusive,” however, the agency said in a guide to radio-frequency radiation, and need to be studied further.

Among those concerned is Gilbert Amelio, a scientist who was chief executive of Apple Inc. and National Semiconductor and a board member of AT&T Inc. T +0.17% He believes industry leaders will “take whatever steps may be necessary to prevent harm to workers or others who may have good reason to be close to these sites.”

Jimmy Crespo complained to federal labor regulators in 2011 that he became disabled with cognitive issues after working more than 300 times on heating and cooling systems for antennas for Johnson Controls Inc., JCI -0.22% a Sprint Corp. S -4.00% contractor.
“I had no training, no monitoring devices and no warning from my employer,” Mr. Crespo said.

Regulators asked Johnson to ensure the rules were being followed. Johnson said it no longer had the contract, and Sprint said the systems were a safe distance from antennas.

“Employees were not working in an area where radio frequencies would pose a hazard,” a Johnson spokesman said.

Sprint said annual checks show all sites are compliant.

AT&T said it places “the utmost importance on the safety of workers and the public from RF emissions and we have a rigorous safety program in place to minimize exposure to RF emissions.”

The FCC in April signed a consent decree with Verizon Communications Inc. VZ +0.74% to settle RF violations in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, involving an unlocked rooftop and a missing sign. Verizon agreed to pay $50,000 and to train employees and contractors, and check other sites.

The carrier has told regulators that property owners complicate compliance.

“In New York City, condominium tenants became upset and concerned with RF notification signs we placed on a terrace access point,” Tamara Preiss, Verizon’s vice president of federal regulatory affairs, wrote to the FCC in February. Ms. Preiss said the signs were removed after the tenants hired a lawyer.

Insurers are becoming concerned. “The risk is often transferred to ‘unsuspecting’ property owners,” Roger Egan, executive chairman of Risk Strategies Co., told the FCC.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. HIG -0.83% and A.M. Best Co., the insurance-rating agency, have flagged RF as an emerging risk. Swiss Re SREN.VX -0.33% wrote in a 2013 report that if RF radiation is linked to health problems it “could ultimately lead to large losses.”

Ianthe Jeanne Dugan and Ryan Knutson
The Wall Street Journal
Click here to view the source article.
Source: HM/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Internet of Things is '70 percent hackable'
USA Created: 2 Oct 2014
The Internet of Things is promising a heady future of connected homes and connected businesses but hackers are currently threatening the outcome, according to a new study from multinational tech firm Hewlett-Packard.

The study looked at 10 kinds of Internet of Things gadgets, such as smart TVs, webcams and thermostats, and found 70% of all Internet of Things devices are hackable.

It found there was average of 25 different vulnerable points in each device, meaning 250 vulnerabilities across just 10 devices. That's a lot of legroom for hackers to move, and may point to a potential future in which people's entire homes can be hacked.

The problems involved things like password strength, encryption software and a general lack of security checks for using the devices.

HP said in a statement: “Late last year, we were hearing a lot about Internet of Things, and a bit about IoT security, but had not seen anything that focused on the complete picture of IoT security, i.e. all the various surface areas that represent the IoT ecosystem. So, we decided to start the OWASP Internet of Things Top 10 Project, which aims to educate on the main facets of Internet of Things Security that people should be concerned with.

“Then earlier this year, we decided to use that project as a baseline for testing the top 10 IoT devices being used today. We bought them, shipped them to Craig Smith's home lab, and beat up on them for around three weeks.”

The biggest areas of wekness were:

Privacy concerns
Insufficient authorization
Lack of transport encryption
Insecure web interface
Inadequate software protection

That's not all. According to a recent Pew report, almost everything will be connected by the Internet of Things in the next twenty years or so, meaning locking down these devices and putting a focus on security should be a priority for both homes and businesses.

"As the number of connected IoT devices constantly increases, security concerns are also exponentially multiplied," the Pew report states.

"A couple of security concerns on a single device such as a mobile phone can quickly turn to 50 or 60 concerns when considering multiple IoT devices in an interconnected home or business. In light of the importance of what IoT devices have access to, it’s important to understand their security risk."

Tech news source Re/Code says the problem lies in the fact each of the devices are essentially tiny computers, and “the people building them aren’t going to the effort to secure them the way they would a more traditional computer.”

“As we connect the washing machine, as we connect the refrigerator; as your car now talks to Facebook, are we ready for this kind of interaction? Is the security in place?”

"A world of interconnected “smart” devices is here, albeit in the early stages," the report concludes.

"By 2020, Gartner predicts, the Internet of Things will be made up of 26 billion “units”. Fortunately, there’s still time to secure devices before consumers are at risk."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: ITWire, David Swan, 04 Aug 2014

Berkeley drafts cell phone health warnings
USA Created: 29 Sep 2014
Do you hold your cell phone against your ear? Your user manual probably warns against it.

Bret Bocook knew how to use a cell phone. So he didn’t bother to look at the instruction manual until five years ago – after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“I consider myself a very informed person,” he said. “And I still was not aware of the fact that I was effectively smoking three or four packs of cigarettes a day when I was using my cell phone for 20 years, as far as cancer risk.”

Bocook spoke at a San Francisco news conference a year after he collapsed in the shower because a brain tumor the size of a baseball had stopped his heart.

This month, the 50-year-old Palo Alto lawyer and father of three young children was diagnosed with a second brain tumor.

He blames the cell phones that he pressed against his ear for hours a day for decades. And he believes the warnings buried in tiny type in printed user manuals and behind layers of menus on smart phones should be posted on stickers right on the devices, or at least on their packaging.

On Oct. 28, the Berkeley City Council will consider legislation that could make it the first U.S. city to require retailers to warn consumers that radiation from cell phones may be hazardous to their health.

Mounting evidence suggests that mobile phone use could increase the risk of brain tumors, breast cancer, and male infertility.

Bocook no longer holds his phone against his head. Instead, he texts, uses the speaker, and limits the amount of time he uses his mobile phone.

“These are all basic precautions that if I would have been told about over the last 20 years, I wouldn’t have found myself with a brain tumor and put my life in jeopardy,” he said.

Is it safe?

Cell phone user manuals advise a range of precautions. The iPhone 5 manual, for example, recommends talking hands-free and carrying the phone at least 10 millimeters – nearly half an inch – away from your body.

If your cell phone’s in your pocket, it’s too close, according to Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“There's a fairly consistent picture that cell phone exposure damages sperm,” Glantz says.

He details evidence of reproductive harm from cell phones in his textbook, Primer of Biostatistics.

“When I'm teaching, I tell my students a cell phone isn't good enough to use as contraception, but if you want to have kids, I wouldn't leave it turned on in my pocket,” he says.

Women should think about where they carry their phones too, according to Bay Area breast surgeon Dr. Lisa Bailey.

Speaking at an Environmental Health Trust program in San Francisco in April, Bailey said she had seen “some very unusual breast cancers,” in women who carried their cell phones in their bras, including two breast cancer cases in 21-year-old women, which she called “a highly unusual age for women to develop breast cancer.”

Concerns about the possible health dangers of cell phones prompted Berkeley City Council members to call for warning labels on cell phones. Councilman Kriss Worthington says the proposal is quite simple.

“This is consumer information that people can get if they work hard to find it,” he said. “So why not make it easy for them to find it?”

The cell phone industry claims there is no need for warning labels, and an industry group is poised to file a lawsuit.

When San Francisco passed cell phone warning legislation a few years ago, CTIA – The Wireless Association sued. The group alleged that the ordinance violated its free-speech rights. The city lost a round in court, and fearing a prolonged legal battle, revoked the law.

Do customers care?

At a Sprint store on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, concern about cell phone radiation seems to be the last thing on the minds of customers like Calvin Womble, a marketing consultant from El Cerrito.

He says he doesn’t know much about the issue.

“I have read that cell phones, because of the frequencies, can cause brain damage and other things,” he says. “I don't know because I haven't read any data about it that shows conclusively this has happened.”

Cell phones emit radio frequency, RF, energy. That’s radiation. If Berkeley enacts the proposed law, warnings about the possible dangers of RF emissions could confront customers when they shop at retail outlets.

A CTIA spokeswoman declined to comment on Berkeley’s proposal. But the association did send a letter to the mayor and the city attorney.

It says, “Leading national and international health and safety organizations have concluded that there are no known health risks associated with the use of wireless devices.”

But in 2011, a World Health Organization panel of 31 scientists from 14 countries classified wireless phones as “possibly carcinogenic.”

Joel Moskowitz directs the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. An examination of the overall body of the scientific literature, he said, shows no association between cell phone radiation and brain cancer.

“But, if you partition the studies based on the quality of the research or the funding source,” he told the Berkeley City Council, “you see distinctly different patterns.

“There is clear evidence of increased tumor risk – brain tumor risk, parotid gland tumor risk – particularly for people who have used cell phones for 10 or more years, especially on the side of the head on which they use the cell phone.”

The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, adopted current cell phone radiation standards in 1996. At that time, an estimated 44 million American adults owned a cell phone.

Today, there are 327 million cell phone subscriptions in the U.S. – more than one for every man, woman and child.

Now the FCC is reassessing safe radiation exposure limits. Those pushing for precautionary warnings don’t expect much, however.

President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler chairman of the FCC last year. Before that, Wheeler spent 12 years as president and CEO of the Wireless Association, the same group that sued San Francisco and appears ready to sue Berkeley.

Back at the Sprint store, sales representative Krizia Daniels predicts her customers would disregard warning signs.

“I think it's a good idea, but at the same time, people are just going to ignore the warning labels,” she says. “At the end of the day, it's a phone, and they want the newest and bestest phone, no matter what the cost is.”

“So it's like, okay, I know that cell phones cause radiation and cancer and that you die, but I want this new phone now. So what?”

For tips on smart cell phone use, see the Environmental Working Group’s tips on smart cell phone use.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: KALW local public radio, Ronnie Cohen, 24 Sep 2014

EASA allows electronic devices to remain On and Connected throughout the flight
Germany Created: 28 Sep 2014
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allows European airlines to permit use of mobile phones following the aircraft landing.

Airlines can also allow the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) throughout the flight, after a safety assessment process. As a result, passengers will be able to use their PEDs just like in any other mode of transport: throughout the trip.

The new guidance allows airlines to permit PEDs to stay switched on, without the need to be in ‘Airplane Mode’. This is the latest regulatory step towards enabling the ability to offer ‘gate-to-gate’ telecommunication or WiFi services.

PEDs include any kind of electronic device brought on board the aircraft by a passenger such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-reader, MP3 player, etc.

It is up to each airline to decide to allow the use of PEDs. In order to do this, the airline will have to go through an assessment process, ensuring aircraft systems are not affected in any way by the transmission signals from the PEDs. For this reason, there may be differences among airlines whether and when PEDs can be used.

Passengers must at all times follow the airline crew instructions. Safety always comes first onboard of an aircraft.

This measure follows the initial action from EASA in December 2013, toward permitting the use of PEDs through almost all stages of flight, when the ‘Airplane Mode’ not transmitting was allowed.

Further details can be found at http://easa.europa.eu/ped.
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Source: EASA, 26 Sep 2014

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