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Samsung: Empire of Shame
South Korea Created: 13 Apr 2014
Just inside his single-story home, built of concrete blocks and coated in turquoise paint, Hwang Sang-ki, a 58-year-old Korean taxi driver, sits on a floor mat. He’s clasping a small handbag, once bright white and now dull after years on a shelf. He pulls out a snapshot of 13 smiling young women, all co-workers at Samsung Electronics (005930:KS), off-duty and posing in three rows, each embracing or leaning into the other. The leaves of a tree behind them are turning golden in the autumn chill.

“Here,” says Hwang, pointing to two women in the center of the group. Both had the same job at the same semiconductor factory, on the same line, standing side by side at the same workstation, dipping computer chips into the same vat of chemicals. Both got a particularly aggressive form of the blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. One was his daughter, Yu-mi. In South Korea, only about 3 out of every 100,000 people die of leukemia. “They worked together, and they died,” says Hwang. The snapshot is among a few private memories Hwang keeps of his late daughter.

The story of the two women, and dozens of Samsung workers with leukemia and other rare cancers, is now a very public one in South Korea. In February and March, Koreans could see two movies depicting the seven-year battle led by the Hwangs and other families against Korea’s biggest and most influential corporation.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cam Simpson, 10 Apr 2014

New studies show health risks from wireless tech
Lebanon Created: 13 Apr 2014
The BioInitiative Working Group says evidence for health risk from wireless tech is growing stronger and warrants immediate action.
The Group released a mid-year update covering new science studies from 2012 to 2014.
New studies intensify medical concerns about malignant brain tumors from cell phone use.
" There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones," says Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD at Orebro University, Sweden, according to studies released in 2012 and 2013. " Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a known human carcinogen.The existing FCC/IEEE and ICNIRP public safety limits are not adequate to protect public health."

The BioInitiative reports nervous system effects in 68% of studies on radiofrequency radiation (144 of 211 studies) in 2014. This has increased from 63% in 2012 (93 of 150 studies) in 2012. Studies of extremely-low frequency radiation are reported to cause nervous system effects in 90% of the 105 studies available in 2014. Genetic effects (damage to DNA) from radiofrequency radiation is reported in 65% (74 of 114 studies); and 83% (49 of 59 studies) of extremely-low frequency studies.

Mobile wireless devices like phones and tablets are big sources of unnecessary biological stress to the mind and body that can chip away at resilience over time. The Report warns against wireless in schools. Schools should provide internet access without Wi-FI.

"It is essentially an unregulated experiment on childrens’ health and learning. Microwave from wireless tech disrupts thinking - what could be worse for learning?Technology can be used more safely with wired devices that do not produce these biologically-disruptive levels of microwave radiation," said Cindy Sage, Co-Editor of the BioInitiative Report.

Federal programs like ConnectED and E-Rate are calling for wireless classrooms while ignoring the health evidence. Hyperactivity, concentration problems, anxiety, irritability, disorientation, distracted behavior, sleep disorders, and headaches are reported in clinical studies.

Government reviews on health impacts of wireless radiofrequency radiation from the European Union and Australia continue to be inconclusive largely because they require certainty before issuing warnings. The FCC review of health impacts from wireless technologies is still underway, but has not affected the federal push for wireless classrooms.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Sylvie/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Bees can sense the electric fields generated by flowers
USA Created: 12 Apr 2014
Previous Picture of the Day articles discuss aspects of biology that rely on electricity - Whether it is the transportation of nutrients and electrolytic compound in and out of cells, or the motive action of bacterial flagella, electric charge exchange is a necessary component for life to exist.

Last year, scientists from the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences announced an important discovery: bees, specifically bumble bees, carry a positive electric charge that they use to sense negative electric fields surrounding flowers. According to Professor Daniel Robert: “The co-evolution between flowers and bees has a long and beneficial history, so perhaps it’s not entirely surprising that we are still discovering today how remarkably sophisticated their communication is.”

Since plants are anchored in the ground, they acquire negative charge—they are “grounded”. Bumble bees, on the other hand, beat their wings about 200 times per second, on average, causing a positive charge to build-up on their bodies. This happens because friction with air molecules reduces their negative charge, in the same way that walking across a nylon carpet reduces the negative charge on a human body, resulting in a spark when a grounded metal object is touched. Sparks are not generated between bees and flowers, but the researchers think that fine hairs on a bumble bee’s body “stand up” when it approaches the electric field of a flower.

Somehow, the electrostatic force between bee and flower improves a bee’s memory. It is better able to distinguish over time those flowers that will provide it with the greatest payoff. When the electric fields are reduced in flowers, bumble bees are not as good at determining which flowers to visit.

Bumble bees use many senses to detect flowers that are ripe with pollen and nectar. They are sensitive to ultraviolet light, which is emitted most strongly when a flower is ready for pollination. They can also sense a flower’s fragrance. However, those signals are the primary attractors. What tells a bee that a particular flower will continue to provide nectar? How does it know if other bees have depleted the supply?

Robert and his colleagues discovered that when a bumble bee lands on a flower, there is a mutual charge exchange. A flower’s electric field is reduced by a small amount with each contact. The weaker the electric field, the more bees have landed, so an individual bee might be sensing the difference in potential, thereby knowing how many bees have visited a particular flower. A reduced electric field means that the reward will not be as great, so it does not waste energy trying to feed on flowers with less nectar.

Since flowers are not good electrical conductors, charges accumulate slowly in their structures, possibly in accordance with the replenishment of their nectar supplies. Therefore, a bee “sees” the recharge process, and understands when it is time to revisit a flower.

Perhaps electric charge exchange is going on between plants and other animals, as well—even human beings. It is becoming more obvious to nutritionists that a largely plant-based diet is far healthier for human consumption than meat, dairy and grains. It could be that eating the negatively charged plants helps to reduce the overall positive charge that human beings accumulate because of exposure to air pollution, or positive electric fields from computers and other electronic equipment.

One of the presentations at the Electric Universe conference in 2013 was by Dr. James Oschman. In it, he advised that human beings ought to be more connected to the ground because Earth is connected to the ionosphere. Lightning strikes distribute negative charge into the ground, and walking barefoot helps reduce the positive charge in the body. Eating negatively charged green plants might also be beneficial in the same way. Wheat gluten, on the other hand, is positively charged, so may not be as advantageous to human nutrition.

The Electric Universe is omnipresent. From deep space to atomic interactions, everything is electrical in nature. Galaxies transact with their neighbors along Birkeland current filaments that could be billions of light-years long. The cells in our bodies carry electric charges more powerful than a lightning stroke. It is not surprising that new discoveries reveal new ways that electricity governs the world.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Thunderbolts Project, Stephen Smith, 04 Apr 2014

New Studies Show Health Risks from Wireless Tech: Warnings from the BioInitiative Working Group
USA Created: 12 Apr 2014
The BioInitiative Working Group says evidence for health risk from wireless tech is growing stronger and warrants immediate action. The Group released a mid-year update covering new science studies from 2012 to 2014.

New studies intensify medical concerns about malignant brain tumors from cell phone use. “There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones,” says Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD at Orebro University, Sweden, according to studies released in 2012 and 2013. “Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a known human carcinogen. The existing FCC/IEEE and ICNIRP public safety limits are not adequate to protect public health.”

The BioInitiative reports nervous system effects in 68% of studies on radiofrequency radiation (144 of 211 studies) in 2014. This has increased from 63% in 2012 (93 of 150 studies) in 2012. Studies of extremely-low frequency radiation are reported to cause nervous system effects in 90% of the 105 studies available in 2014. Genetic effects (damage to DNA) from radiofrequency radiation is reported in 65% (74 of 114 studies); and 83% (49 of 59 studies) of extremely-low frequency studies.

Mobile wireless devices like phones and tablets are big sources of unnecessary biological stress to the mind and body that can chip away at resilience over time. The Report warns against wireless in schools. Schools should provide internet access without Wi-FI.

“It is essentially an unregulated experiment on childrens’ health and learning. Microwave from wireless tech disrupts thinking – what could be worse for learning? Technology can be used more safely with wired devices that do not produce these biologically-disruptive levels of microwave radiation,” said Cindy Sage, Co-Editor of the BioInitiative Report.

Federal programs like ConnectED and E-Rate are calling for wireless classrooms while ignoring the health evidence. Hyperactivity, concentration problems, anxiety, irritability, disorientation, distracted behavior, sleep disorders, and headaches are reported in clinical studies.

Government reviews on health impacts of wireless radiofrequency radiation from the European Union and Australia continue to be inconclusive largely because they require certainty before issuing warnings. The FCC review of health impacts from wireless technologies is still underway, but has not affected the federal push for wireless classrooms.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Fort Mill Times, via press release, 11 Apr 2014

HOW DARE THEY!
United Kingdom Created: 11 Apr 2014
A FORMBY campaigner who recovered from breast cancer which she believed was linked to radiation from phone masts, has hit out at plans to make the village centre fully Wi–Fi enabled.

Plans have been introduced to install WirelessInternet (Wi–Fi) transmitters in Chapel Lane.
The transmitters will serve the whole of the village area with the full installation expected to be completed some time in June.
There are currently at least twenty different ‘free Wi–Fi hotspots’ in the village but under plans announced by the parish council, that number would dramatically shoot up and offer free Wi–Fi for everyone who visits the village.

However, Formby resident and ardent anti–radiation campaigner Eileen O’Connor is determined to do all she can to make people aware of the dangers she claims Wi–Fi poses. Eileen, founder and director of the UK Electromagnetic Radiation Research Trust, is invited to talk at scientific conferences across the world and has just returned from Athens where she gave a speech at the European Commission’s special workshop on electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and potential dangers.
Her message is that mobile phones and Wi–Fi hotspots are two of the leading EMF emitters and she slammed plans to make Formby a Wi–Fi hotspot. Eileen responded to the proposals by saying:

“How dare they!” She told the Champion: “Wi–Fi uses the same technology as phone antenna. Many parents and residents would object to a phone mast near their homes or children’s schools but may not be aware that Wi–fi is using the same technology.
“I am not aware of any research stating that Wi–Fi radiation is safe and I regularly call for independently funded research to demonstrate its safety.

“We are being forced to live and work next to these emitters twenty four hours a day and it is absolutely terrible that anyone would want to subject the general public to those emissions.” Formby Parish Council is leading the campaign to ‘bring Formby village into the 21st century’ backed by business owners and Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson. However, Mr Esterson has also been pictured supporting the anti–radiation group when they handed in a petition to Number 10 expressing the group’s concerns.
A spokesperson from Formby Parish Council commented: “We will comment formally on the concerns of the person who has raised this point, in due course. “In the meantime you will be aware that we have taken a great deal of care and time on how this might work.
“But if it is as serious as your campaigner suggests then hotspots in coffee bars, train stations, hospitals and other public places, and indeed our own homes would have to be restricted.
“Our aim with this project is to offer a way of helping the economy of our business community, taking into account the various issues that might arise, such as security, cost and safety.
“I would repeat my observation that if there was a problem, then the NHS would not allow the very same contractor to provide Wi–Fi in most hospitals, and the coffee bars would not be allowed to either. We would be happy to meet the person concerned if that would help the issue.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Formby Champion, Holly Rummens, 09 Apr 2014

Digital Bracelet Company May End Up In Court After Rash Reports
USA Created: 11 Apr 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — They thought they were buying a popular gadget to give them a better handle on their health. Instead, thousands of people ended up with a bad rash.
The Fitbit Force is a digital bracelet that measures your physical activity and sleep patterns, but it left some consumers with scars.
Now the company may end up in court.
“I just want to know what chemical entered my system to cause this kind of reaction,” said Sue Megrund, who bought her Fitbit Force in January.
Advertised as a way to track your daily activity, the Fitbit Force, which costs $130, took Megrund days to find.
Once she tracked one down, She was impressed by all she could see.
“How many steps you’ve taken, how many miles you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned,” she said.
But a month after wearing it on her wrists, she had no choice but to track something else.

“On February 20, when I woke up, the rash was on both my wrists,” Megrund said.
It was red scabby rash, and a similar one also broke out on Angie Gabrelcik’s wrists.
Working as a nurse, Gabrelcik said she saw at least 30 patients in her clinic wanting treatment for the very same thing.
“It was just kind of surprising how many people were affected, so something wasn’t right,” Gabrelcik said.
Fitbit sold the Force beginning in October. Some consumers started to complain of a rash just weeks later. The company blamed it on an allergic reaction to nickel.
Thousands of complaints poured in until mid-March when the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall and Fitbit stopped selling the Force altogether.
The company now says 1.7 percent of Force users broke out and did so because of an allergic contact dermatitis. It could stem from the stainless steel, materials in the strap, or adhesives used in its assembly.
“I think they’ve been taking a really long time to figure this out,” Megrund said.
More than a month later, she still has scars.
Fitbit is still selling three other products and says it’s “working on its next generation tracker right now.”
“I’d want to know that they did better research for this next product I guess,” Gabrelcik said.
However, both Gabrelcik and Megrund say they’ll walk away from whatever comes next.
“It’s not worth the risk of the damage it could cause people,” Megrund said.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Fitbit in California. It asks the company to contact every Force owner and arrange a refund for the product along with tax and shipping fees. Fitbit says it’s already done that.

For immediate concerns or more information on how to receive a full refund/exchange for a new product, users can visit www.fitbit.com/forcesupport or call 888-656-6381.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/04/08/digital-bracelet-company-may-end-up-in-court-after-rash-reports/
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir

500 million citizens are relying on SCENIHR: Is Science Being Hidden from the Public?
United Kingdom Created: 9 Apr 2014
The European Commission in collaboration with the Greek Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) under the auspices of the EU Council Greek Presidency organised a major workshop in Athens on EMF electromagnetic fields and health effects with a focus on public awareness, conciliating scientific findings and uncertainties in policy making. The event took place on 27th & 28 March 2014 at Cotsen Hall, Athens, Greece and included presenters from various parties from the European Commission, WHO, public authorities,
industry, operators, environmental and consumer associations and academia.

The goal of the conference was to reach a common approach for the future in order to respond to public concerns about electromagnetic fields, to enhance information dissemination and discuss new studies and scientific evidence in relation to EMF, and to identify knowledge gaps needed for sound policy making. In this context, the new SCENIHR draft opinion on EMF and potential health effects was presented.

SCENIHR, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, has been charged with providing reports for the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament which may be relied upon by all participating governments.
Eileen O’Connor was invited as a representative for the UK Radiation Research Trust charity and was joined by Sissel Halmøy
representing International EMF Alliance.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
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Source: Radiation Research Trust, Eileen O'Connor, 09 Apr 2014

HTC posts bigger than expected Q1 loss on poor flagship phone sales
Taiwan Created: 9 Apr 2014
The Taiwanese phone maker reported worse results than analysts expected after losing ground to competitors and rivals.

HTC has reported a bigger-than-expected loss for its fiscal first quarter as it continues to struggle against its major rivals in the smartphone space.

The company reported a loss of about $62 million, compared to an $85 million profit in the same quarter a year ago, despite its flagship smartphone line being critically acclaimed by reviewers.

Analysts were expecting a loss of $52 million.

HTC said it generated $1.09 billion in revenue for the January-March quarter, a decline of 22 percent in the year-ago quarter.

The company, which was once third-place behind Apple and Samsung, now has two percent of the global smartphone share, down from more than 11 percent in 2011.

In efforts to stem the financial bleeding, HTC's chief executive Peter Chou offloaded more of his responsibility with the company's chairwoman and co-founder, Cher Wang, late last year.

Earlier this month, the company launched the latest iteration of its flagship phone, the revamped HTC One (M8), which it hopes will resonate with its customer base away from Apple and Samsung.

ZDNet's sister-site CNET gave the smartphone a 4 out of 5 rating — one of the highest ever given for a device — describing it as a "truly great phone all on its own — one worthy of anyone's investment."

Any successes the new flagship phone has will be reported in the company's fiscal second quarter earnings, expected in early May.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: ZDNet, Zack Whittaker, 07 Apr 2014

Association between mobile phone use and semen quality: a systemic review and meta-analysis
China Created: 8 Apr 2014
Summary: Possible hazardous health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiations emitted from mobile phone on the reproductive system have raised public concern in recent years.

This systemic review and meta-analysis was prepared following standard procedures of the Cochrane Collaboration and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement and checklist.

Relevant studies published up to May 2013 were identified from five major international and Chinese literature databases: Medline/PubMed, EMBASE, CNKI, the VIP database and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in the Cochrane Library. Eighteen studies with 3947 men and 186 rats were included in the systemic review, of which 12 studies (four human studies, four in vitro studies and four animal studies) with 1533 men and 97 rats were used in the meta-analyses.

Systemic review showed that results of most of the human studies and in vitro laboratory studies indicated mobile phone use or radiofrequency exposure had negative effects on the various semen parameters studied.

However, meta-analysis indicated that mobile phone use had no adverse effects on semen parameters in human studies. In the in vitro studies, meta-analysis indicated that radiofrequency radiation had detrimental effect on sperm motility and viability in vitro [pooled mean difference (MDs) (95% CI): −4.11 (−8.08, −0.13), −3.82 (−7.00, −0.65) for sperm motility and viability respectively]. As for animal studies, radiofrequency exposure had harmful effects on sperm concentration and motility [pooled MDs (95% CI): −8.75 (−17.37, −0.12), −17.72 (−32.79, −2.65) for sperm concentration and motility respectively].

Evidence from current studies suggests potential harmful effects of mobile phone use on semen parameters.

A further multicentred and standardized study is needed to assess the risk of mobile phone use on the reproductive system.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Wiley Online Library / Andrology, Liu K. et al, 03 Apr 2014

The risk of subjective symptoms in mobile phone users in Poland - An epidemiological study
Poland Created: 8 Apr 2014
OBJECTIVES: To assess the type and incidence of subjective symptoms related to the use of mobile phones in Polish users.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
The study was conducted in 2005 using a questionnaire survey. Although it has been quite a long time, up to now, no such data have been published for Poland. The questionnaire consisted of 53 questions concerning sex, age, education, general health, characteristics of a mobile phone (hand-held, loud-speaking unit) as well as the habits associated with its use (frequency and duration of calls, text messages, etc.) and complaints associated with using a mobile phone.

RESULTS:
As many as 1800 questionnaires were sent. The response was obtained from 587 subjects aged 32.6±11.3 (48.9% women, 51.1% men); the age did not differ significantly between men and women. The subjects owned a cell phone for an average of 3 years. Majority of the respondents used the phone intensively, i.e. daily (74%) or almost daily (20%). Headaches were reported significantly more often by the people who talked frequently and long in comparison with other users (63.2% of the subjects, p = 0.0029), just like the symptoms of fatigue (45%, p = 0.013). Also, the feeling of warmth around the ear and directly to the auricle was reported significantly more frequently by the intensive mobile phone users, compared with other mobile phone users (47.3%, p = 0.00004 vs. 44.6%, p = 0.00063, respectively). Most symptoms appeared during or immediately after a call and disappeared within 2 h after the call. Continuous headache, persisting for longer than 6 h since the end of a call, was reported by 26% of the subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:
Our results show that the mobile phone users may experience subjective symptoms, the intensity of which depends on the intensity of use of mobile phones.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: PubMed / Int J Occup Med Environ Health, Szyjkowska A et al, 01 Apr 2014

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