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|'Bad Luck' Cannot Explain More Cancers in Young Adults and Teens|
|USA||Created: 14 Aug 2018|
Is it just bad luck that a young man who has been using his phone for hours a day since age 8 is diagnosed with deadly brain cancer at age 23?. Or that a 21-year old young woman suddenly develops multiple breast cancers directly under the antennas of the phone she had stored in her bra? Or that a 24-year-old develops rectal cancer close to his blue-jeans back pocket now stamped with his phone’s faded outline?
Reflecting growing scientific indications of damage from microwave-radiating cell phones, bills before the Massachusetts legislature could reduce the contribution that cell phone radiation to these unexplained cancers in young adults. Educating about why and how to reduce phone radiation exposures has become a critical public health concern around the world. In advanced countries like Israel, France, and Belgium, phones must be sold with headsets and information about keeping phones away from the brain and body.
What’s driving the push to reduce phone radiation exposures? The World Health Organization reports a global increase of 13% in childhood cancer incidence. In the United Kingdom, rates of the same type of malignant brain cancer increased in regular cell phone users have risen while those of other forms of brain cancer have dropped. United States rates of malignant brain tumours have now surpassed leukemia as the top cause of cancer deaths in adolescents and young adults. Growing numbers of neurosurgeons believe that part of the explanation for this surge in gliomas lies in our love affair with phones. We have to ask whether they are right: does the unprecedented use of cellphones underlie these perplexing increases?
Whether climate change or pesticide-laden foods, the role of government of late seems to be to insist on proof that damage has already occurred before taking steps to reduce exposures. This turns on its head the basic public health concept: tis far better to prevent harm than to seek to repair it. If successful, Massachusetts is poised to join Connecticut, Maryland, and California as states that officially encourage reducing microwave-radiation exposures from phones by making a standard practice of using speaker-phones and headsets, putting phones in airplane mode when in a pocket, and other precautions to distance the device from our bodies.
This precautionary advice has not flowed simply from public health experts but has often emerged after protracted bureaucratic meanderings. Thus, with the strategic prompt of a lawsuit from the University of California, the Public Health Department of the State of California released precisely that same advice to reduce microwave radiation from cell phones in 2017. In spite of increasing numbers of scientific studies, the cell phone industry has long tried to keep the health hazards of this technology a secret--even going so far as to belittle the World Health Organization in the process. But all that is changing.
The National Toxicology Program issued a final report of its $25 million study that exposed rats to low levels of radiation for two years. Exposed animals developed DNA damage and significantly more highly aggressive heart and brain cancers, specifically schwannoma of the heart and gliomas in the brain – the same types of tumors increasing in young Americans. The distinguished scientists leading the study were so surprised and concerned about these findings, they felt obligated to inform regulatory agencies about this serious public health risk. During an unprecedented peer review of the findings, an independently convened group of industry and academic scientists concluded the study showed “clear evidence of cancer.”
The real-world implications are quite simple: If you walk around with a cell phone in your pocket, tuck your phone in your bra, rest it on your lap as you listen to music or against your forehead and eyes as you watch virtual reality, your body could be absorbing 300-400% more radiation than current 20-year old regulatory limits allow. In fact, tests from the French government, released after prodding by Phonegate Alert, revealed that 9 out of 10 phones--including iPhone 5 and 250 other types-- exceeded current limits by between 2 to 5 fold.
To reduce the growing burden of cancer on young Americans, we need to ensure that the Right to Know trumps the Right to Profit. Massachusetts State Senator Julian Cyr is advancing this basic right and asks that outdated cell phone test systems and official exposure standards be modernized before any more "bad luck" befalls our younger generation. Let this important revolution in public health begin.
Devra Lee Davis is an award-winning scientist and writer, Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University and Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey, and President of Environmental Health Trust. www.ehtrust.org
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Thrive Global, Devra Lee Davis, 17 Jul 2018|
|Early literacy: Good in principle, perilous in execution|
|USA||Created: 27 Jul 2018|
Yet another clear indication of educator/official unawareness of the extreme health threat of wireless technology has appeared. This time, it’s the “Early Literacy Innovation Zone” (Leominster Champion, May 24) which intends to harness wireless tech to erase the vocabulary disparity between low-income children and their more affluent peers, from birth to third grade.
In the April 26 Champion was a piece titled “Leominster schools get grant for technology improvement,” conveying the rosily delivered message that a Massachusetts grant will enable schools to upgrade tech services, including wireless (Wi-Fi). The ultimate goal, said School Superintendent Paula Deacon, is that one day, the district would “have enough connected devices (in story context, Chromebooks and iPads) for each student in Leominster, starting at the high school.”
Ms. Deacon, please be careful what you wish for.
The literacy disparity is “compounded by the fact that 61 percent of low-income children don’t have any books in their homes.” But is the plan to provide actual books to these folks? Not on your life. It is to provide “equitable access to educational resources by leveraging the cell phones and tablets that parents already own to create an effective distribution system of comprehensive educational apps.”
The claim is that this system will improve brain development, which is 90 percent complete by 5 years old. Leaving the controversial question of the benefits of technology in K-12 education aside, this program threatens serious damage to the physical brains of children exposed to wireless frequencies.
Specifically, radiation exposure breaks down the blood-brain barrier. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of serious health effects being inflicted on kids (and all of us) through society’s oblivious obsession with wireless tech and all its gadgets. The young, from birth to around 20 years, are much more susceptible to health effects.
The truth behind Government lies about wireless (for only one example) can be difficult for some to accept, because the level of ruthlessness behind it all is itself hard to believe. The policies of Government are a response, not of the politicians and officials themselves, but rather of the powers that be, the permanent establishment that orchestrates and controls what is sometimes called the Deep State. The puppets of power, in other words, that operate and coerce Government.
Despite “Industry-Government” denial, there is solid scientific evidence of serious chronic health consequences from pulsed (information carrying) microwave radiation (ICMR), including DNA damage and possibly inhibited DNA repair, sperm damage, miscarriage, endocrine disruption, dysfunction of cell-membrane transport channels, autism, physiological and biochemical changes in the brain (demonstrated by EEG), oxidative stress, altered metabolism, ADHD-like pathology, and cancer. Not to mention eventual destruction of the ecosystem and termination of human reproduction.
Why don’t officials and educators know this? Could be because in their lives and education, they got programmed to become system believers, to follow authority unquestioningly, instead of doing some serious homework. The latter would consist in part of seeking out the science and the many warnings that contravene official pronouncements, such as the egregious lie that wireless systems are safe — even for kids. And the other big official lie, that the scientific literature shows no evidence of harm, as long as exposure guidelines are met.
Whereas, there is a report collating and summarizing 4,000 published, peer-reviewed studies (about 16-20 percent of the number estimated to exist) on various deleterious bio-effects of low-power ICMR: www.bioinitiative.org.
For a story about one educator who did his homework, readers are invited to search and read “Finnish Education Professor’s Warning: Wireless Technology in Schools May Lead to a Global Epidemic of Brain Damages.” And in an article titled “Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful?” except for equipment in a biology lab, technology isn’t even mentioned.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Leominster Champion, Peter Tocci, 26 Jul 2018|
|Congressman DeSaulnier Introduces Bill to Hold Companies Accountable for their Public Health Impacts|
|USA||Created: 26 Jul 2018|
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduced the National Public Health Act (H.R. 6481) to hold corporations accountable for actions that hurt public health.
“From tobacco companies to gun manufacturers, corporations across the country profit off of products that can cause sickness, disease, and even death – but they are free from consequences. Meanwhile, the American public suffers. We do not own this world, we are only caretakers of it for the next generation. By holding free riding companies accountable, we can create a healthier, more stable, and more prosperous nation,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.
The National Public Health Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with the National Academy of Medicine to establish and continuously update a list of public health crises. In addition, the Secretary of HHS would be required to develop a list of products that contribute to these public health crises. Any company that manufactures these products would then be required to develop and implement a plan to mitigate any public health impacts of the covered product. This bill is a follow-up to a bill DeSaulnier introduced in the California State Senate (SB747).
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, 24 Jul 2018|
|Do Cellphones Cause Cancer? Government Study Reveals 'Stunningly Important' Findings|
|USA||Created: 20 Jul 2018|
Tiffany Frantz got her first cellphone when she was 16.
She loved that flip phone. Every morning, on her way out the door, she’d slip it into the left cup of her bra. When she was 21, while watching television one night with her parents in their Lancaster, Pennsylvania, living room, she felt a lump the size of a pea in her left breast, just beneath her phone. Tests later showed four cancerous tumors. “How in the world did this happen?” her mother asked.
Dr. John West believes he knows. In 2013, the Southern California breast cancer surgeon and five other doctors wrote in the journal Case Reports in Medicine about Frantz’s tumors and those of three other young women. Each of them regularly carried a cellphone in her bra. “I am absolutely convinced,” West tells Newsweek, “that there is a relationship between exposure to cellphones and breast cancer in young women who are frequent users.”
West has no proof, however. His evidence is anecdotal—and though anecdotes can spur a hypothesis, they can’t prove one. For years, scientists have looked for a link between cancer and cellphone use that holds up to scientific rigor, and they’ve come up short. That’s why when West told his theory to a gathering of about 60 breast cancer specialists, they dismissed the connection as mere coincidence. “I’m hoping that someday people will say, ‘Well, we laughed at him, and now he’s vindicated,’” he says.
Just because West can’t prove he’s right doesn’t mean he’s wrong. After some studies suggested an increased risk of one type of brain cancer, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded in 2011 that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic” and recommended keeping “a close watch for a link between cellphones and cancer risk.” But without conclusive evidence of harm, regulators have held back.
Meanwhile, cellphone use has exploded. In 1986, 681,000 Americans had a cellphone. In 2016, there were 396 million subscriptions to cellphones in the U.S.—more than one for every adult and child. Teenagers, whose developing bodies and brains put them at the most risk, are the most eager adopters. According to a Pew Research Center survey earlier this year, 95 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds said they had access to a smartphone, a 22 percent jump from 2012. A generation has grown up with cellphones—teething on them as toddlers, carrying them through middle school in their jean pockets and even sleeping with them under their pillows. All told, 5 billion people around the world now use a cellphone.
In a few decades, we might know for sure whether or not cellphones cause cancer. In the meantime, we are basically running a large, uncontrolled experiment on ourselves.
A Worrying Drumbeat
Scientists have clung to one reassuring point: According to everything we know about physics and biology, cellphones should not cause cancer. The radio waves they emit are “nonionizing,” meaning they don’t damage our DNA the way ultraviolet light from the sun or X-rays do. They emit similar radiation to microwave ovens but not nearly at the level of strength required to warm leftover pasta—or cook brain cells. (In the early days, research focused on the potential of cellphone radiation to heat tissues of the body, and safety regulations were developed to respond to this concern.) But there is no known mechanism by which radiation emanating from a phone would interact with brain or breast cells to cause cancer.
Still, the typical phone user’s level of exposure troubles health officials. Cellphone transmitters have to be strong enough to reach a cellphone tower as far away as 22 miles, which means the intensity of the signal at point-blank range is high. Holding a cellphone next to your ear increases the intensity of the radiation by 10,000 times, compared with holding it 6 inches away. Most of us are like Frantz: We press our phones against our ears, close to our brain tissue. For hours every day, we tuck them into our waistbands and pockets, near our reproductive and digestive organs.
Studies linking cancer and cellphone use have been inconclusive, at least in part because of the challenges of conducting research. Cancers tend to develop slowly, and cellphones have been used for barely a generation. It’s possible that effects simply haven’t shown up yet. And to come to a definitive conclusion, scientists would have to look at a large population and isolate cellphones as a cause for cancers, which is exceedingly difficult.
The U.S. telecommunications industry has not made cellphone usage data available to researchers, which would help in doing population studies. A spokesperson for the CTIA, a wireless telephone industry group, declined to answer specific questions but offered a general statement: “The scientific evidence shows no known health risk to humans due to the [radio-frequency] energy emitted by cellphones.” The spokesperson also cited U.S. brain tumor statistics, which show “that since the introduction of cellphones in the mid-1980s, the rate of brain tumors in the United States has decreased.” That’s accurate—but the trend hides tumor-rate increases in areas near where people hold their cellphones to talk—namely, in the frontal and temporal lobes and the cerebellum. A 2012 study in the journal World Neurosurgery showed increases in a particularly deadly type of cancer in those areas between 1992 and 2006 in California, despite a decline in other parts of the brain. In one part, it increased by nearly 12 percent a year.
A 2014 French study, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looked at 447 people who had developed brain tumors, both benign and malignant, and compared them to a control group. Overall, the study found no association between brain tumors and cellphones. It did show that heavy users—those who used the phones for 896 hours or more in their entire lives—were more likely to develop tumors. But only 37 people fell into this category, which is too small a sample size to establish a link. And like many studies of links between disease and behavior, the French research relied on surveys in which test subjects were asked to remember how much time they spent on their phones, which can be unreliable.
A group of toxicologists took a different tack. They sidestepped the task of determining whether cellphones cause cancer and addressed a much simpler question: Is it possible that cellphone-like radiation could produce a cancerous tumor?
Rats Take a Bath in Radio Waves
In a concrete basement in Chicago, researchers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, exposed more than 3,000 rats and mice to the same kind of radio-frequency radiation that cellphones emit. The study, which cost $25 million, was designed to test the plausibility that cellphone radiation could induce tumors in animals—to find out if there was some mechanism by which supposedly harmless radio waves could interact with cells.
The scientists decided to expose the rodents to radiation for more time than a typical user would be on a cellphone. They gave the rodents 10-minute blasts of radiation, followed by 10 minutes of rest, for nine hours a day. The rodents also got higher-intensity radiation than most cellphone users would get. The lowest dosage corresponded roughly to the maximum amount a cellphone user would encounter—1.5 watts per kilogram. The maximum allowed for cellphone users by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is 1.6 watts per kilogram, which occurs only when a phone is struggling to establish a connection with a cellphone tower. “Energy levels of emissions during a typical call are much lower than this highest permitted level,” said John Bucher, a senior scientist at the NTP, at a press conference earlier this year.
The researchers also exposed the animals to much higher dosages. Rats got as much as 6 watts per kilogram, and mice topped out at 10 watts per kilogram. To make matters worse for the rodents, the radiation was administered to their entire bodies, exposing all their organs—brains, hearts, livers, digestive tracks—to high levels of radiation. The radiation given to the rodents was so powerful, their body temperatures had to be monitored with microchips implanted under their skin to make sure they weren’t being heated like popcorn in a microwave. Even at the highest levels, temperatures never rose more than 1 degree Celsius, so the scientists could rule out heating as a cause of any damage from radio waves.
The radiation had a significant effect. After bombarding the rodents with radio waves for two years, from 2014 to 2016, the scientists evaluated their health and compared groups that got high exposures of radio waves with control groups that got none. Male rats exposed to radiation developed 6 percent more tumors than those in the control group that received no radiation. (Females, for reasons that aren’t clear, showed no such effect.) What’s more, the rate at which the rats developed tumors increased with the intensity of the exposure. The rats that got 1.5 watts per kilowatt hour developed four tumors, but those that got 6 watts per kilowatt hour got 11. That the occurrence of tumors increases with dosage suggests that the radiation is a significant factor.
Bucher cautions that the results cannot be extrapolated to humans who use cellphones. But it shows that something happens to animal cells when they are bombarded for a long time with strong radio waves. The study, Bucher tells Newsweek, “established that there could be effects of radio-frequency radiation that are potentially relevant for human health risks.”
One of the puzzling, and potentially worrying, twists in the results concerns the type of cells that were affected. Tumors appeared in Schwann cells, which surround nerve cells. The particular Schwann cells that showed tumors in the rat study were located in the rodents’ hearts. But Schwann cells exist throughout the body—in the head, in the breast, in the reproductive organs, in many areas that tend to get heavy exposure to cellphone radiation.
The discovery was especially concerning because prior epidemiological studies have shown that heavy cellphone users were more likely to develop rare brain tumors in the same kind of cells. In March, Italian researchers published another study, in the journal Environmental Research, with strikingly similar results. Scientists at the Ramazzini Institute also bombarded rats, 2,448 of them, with radio-frequency radiation for 19 hours a day over their lifetimes. Like the Chicago basement rats, the Italian male rats exposed to the highest exposure of radio-frequency radiation were significantly more likely to develop tumors in Schwann cells in their hearts.
A panel of academics and pharmaceutical industry experts reviewed the findings of the NTP study and in March concluded that, in the case of male rats, it showed “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity.” Dr. De-Kun Li, a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, described the preliminary NTP findings as “stunningly important.” And Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, called them a “game changer.”
The program results, issued in preliminary form earlier this year, set off a flurry of calls from public health advocates for the WHO to upgrade its classification of cellphone radiation from “possibly” to “probably” carcinogenic. But, as Brawley tells Newsweek, “it still leaves us with some huge holes.” Why, for example, were male rats more likely to get tumors than female rats? And why did rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation generally live longer than unexposed rats? Most important, if cellphone radiation causes cancer, how does it do it?
“These studies should have been done before more than 90 percent of Americans, including children, started using radio-frequency-based technologies and devices day in and day out,” said Olga Naidenko, a senior science adviser with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C.
From a regulatory perspective, it’s too early to know what steps to take to protect the public from harm, says Bucher. He now believes there is a mechanism by which cellphone radiation could cause cancer. Until he identifies the mechanism, though, he can’t offer advice about how to engineer phones to prevent the problem. He is working on additional studies he hopes will offer clues by next year.
Dr. Gabriel Zada, a neurosurgeon and professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, is developing pilot experiments to test possible mechanisms by which cellphone emissions could turn normal but susceptible cells into cancerous ones. In one, he installed a working smartphone inside a box shielded from radiation. A glass bottle containing human brain tumor cells sits next to the phone. The rig is one in a series Zada plans to build to control the effect of radio-frequency emissions on different cell types.
While Zada and Bucher work on the next phase of study into the health effects of cellphone radiation, public health advocates continue to await final results and recommendations from the NTP study. They are scheduled to be released this fall, nearly two decades after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned the research.
In a 2012 report to Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office called for a reassessment of exposure and testing requirements for mobile phones to reflect current use, the latest research and international safety recommendations. The report prompted the FCC to open a formal inquiry into the need to re-examine exposure limits, which it last did in 1996, long before Apple introduced the iPhone. As of 2016, the agency had collected about 900 comments on the question, but it has so far taken no action.
Current cellphone safety regulations are based on a premise that is now arguably false: that cellphone radiation can cause harm only by heating tissue. The FDA, however, has no plans to strengthen the regulations. It has “confidence that the current safety limits for cellphone radiation remain acceptable for protecting public health,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement issued after the NTP’s results were released. “We have not found sufficient evidence that there are adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radio-frequency energy exposure limits.”
Many other nations have stricter safety rules than the U.S. Since the WHO warning in 2011, at least eight countries—including France, Germany, Switzerland, India and Israel—have issued guidelines intended to reduce consumers’ exposure to radiation. Belgium, France and Israel banned the sale of cellphones designed for children, and others have forbidden advertising aimed at children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urged the FCC and the FDA to reassess standards for cellphones and wireless products in 2013. “Children are not little adults and are disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cellphone radiation,” wrote Dr. Thomas McInerny, then president of the academy. The group now urges parents to limit their children’s and teenagers’ cellphone use and warns: “Cellphone manufacturers can’t guarantee that the amount of radiation you’re absorbing will be at a safe level.”
In the absence of revised regulations and standards, I called Brawley on his cellphone to see if he had any advice. “Wear an earpiece,” he said. As he spoke those words, he was holding his cellphone to his head.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Newsweek, Ronnie Cohen, 19 Jul 2018|
|Supreme Court decision spells danger for Berkeley cell phone radiation law|
|USA||Created: 5 Jul 2018|
Justices tell a lower court to reconsider upholding an ordinance that required retailers to warn customers about wireless radiation exposure.
The US Supreme Court stepped into the long-running debate over wireless and health on Thursday when it vacated a Berkeley, California, law requiring retailers to warn customers about possible wireless radiation exposure.
Berkeley's "Right to Know" ordinance, which went into effect in 2016 after years of discussion, mandated that anyone buying a cell phone in the city receive a notice advising them that by carrying a phone in a pocket or bra, they could be exposed to radio frequency emissions that exceed FCC guidelines for maximum exposure.
Soon after it was implemented, CTIA, the wireless industry's lobbying arm in Washington, sued to block the law, arguing that it violated the freedom of speech of retailers since it required them to post "inflammatory" messages. But in April 2017, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ordinance saying it was in the public interest and based on FCC information.
As part of Thursday's decision, the Supreme Court returned the case to the lower court for further review based on its 5-4 decision earlier this week in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. In that case, the majority of the justices ruled that the state of California violated the free speech rights of religiously-sponsored antiabortion clinics by requiring them to inform pregnant woman of all available options of medical reproductive care, including those they morally opposed.
In an emailed statement, CTIA said it's pleased with the decision. "We will continue to assert our position that the First Amendment prohibits state and local governments from forcing retailers to convey the government's message, particularly where that message is misleading, contrary to science, and contrary to the retailers' own views."
Also in an emailed statement, Matthai K. Chakko, Berkeley's communications director, said the city does not think the Court's decision will affect the ordinance. Chakko cited language in the Becerra decision, which said the Court does not question "the legality of health and safety warnings long considered permissible, or purely factual and uncontroversial disclosures about commercial products."
First published June 28 at 6:22 p.m. PT.
Update on June 29 at 9:08 a.m. PT: Adds comment from CTIA.
Update on June 29 at 11:45 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Berkeley.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: CNET, Kent German, 28 Jun 2018|
|War gaming the science on cell phones and health risks: A conversation with journalist Mark Dowie|
|USA||Created: 5 Jul 2018|
We’ve been documenting the development of wireless microwave devices and the independent science on its effects for the past 20 years. So we were delighted by a recent confluence of events: the release of the National Toxicology Program peer-reviewed study and the publication of an article in The Nation, “How Big Wireless Convinced Us Our Cell Phones Are Safe,” focused on how industry war-gamed the science.
Soon after, a major study was released in Italy that replicated the results of the National Toxicology Project study. Both found that the same rare cancers appeared in animal subjects exposed to both high and low levels of radio frequency-modulated electromagnetic field radiation.
We couldn’t resist interviewing Inverness resident Mark Dowie about all of it. Mark is a celebrated investigative reporter and historian, the author of many books, the winner of at least 19 journalism awards, a former publisher and editor of Mother Jones Magazine and the co-author with Mark Hertsgaard of the recent Nation article. Here is our conversation.
Jim: How did you decide to write this story?
Mark: [Mark] Hertsgaard, who’s the investigative editor of The Nation, asked me to do a big story on cell phones. I looked at the literature and found that cell phones have been beaten to death. It’s a shop-worn story, impossible to advance.
So I said, “I think the story is how industry has been war gaming science”—‘war gaming’ is their term, not mine—and gave him the history going back to military research that was done on microwaves during the Cold War, then up to the present, and how so much of it has been suppressed, classified, hidden and distorted by wireless defenders who tore pages from the playbooks of the tobacco and fossil fuel industries, then used the same P.R. firms, the same law firms. All to do the same thing: manufacture doubt about the harmfulness of this technology. Hertsgaard said, “Okay. Let’s go with that.”
Jim: Did you find anything surprising that you didn’t expect?
Mark: Of course. Whenever you do a story like this, you’re bound to discover amazing things that were never exposed before, meet amazing people. But what really stood out to me was the lack of imagination in this industry. They literally did exactly what cigarette manufacturers did for 50 years, even hired the same people who had tried to make tobacco look safe, tried to make P.C.B.s look safe, tried to make all sorts of horrible things look safe. The very same people who had failed to make tobacco look safe were hired to make wireless look safe. That’s surprising to me. Get some imagination, guys. When people do that, I’m tempted to quote Sun Tzu from “The Art of War.” There’s only one sentence you need to remember from that book: “Don’t ever do the same thing the same way twice and you’ll win the war.”
Anybody who’s written intelligently about conflict repeats that adage—do things a little bit differently every time and you’ll win. It’s about the art of surprise. How can you surprise anyone when you go back to the same lawyers and flacks, who will just pull up same tired tactics?
Mary Beth: Folks in West Marin have been hyperaware of these issues since the growth of cell towers starting in the late 1990s. What should our area be aware of, in terms of the evidence and the science that you’ve uncovered?
Mark: I think we should feel blessed to live where we live. I don’t know whether you’ve ever done any of those searches, which you can do just with antennasearch.com. I did this once in downtown San Francisco, and found the location was being zapped by seven big towers. What have we got here? One up on Mount Vision with a very weak signal. That’s AT&T’s. Then we have Verizon over on Mount Barnaby. That’s pretty much it, where I am in Inverness. You?
Mary Beth: We have two towers at the Bolinas fire station, but we have 27 antennas scattered within four miles of our zip code.
Mark: Well, Bo is being zapped. You’re a laboratory.
Mary Beth: Did you look carefully at the results of the recent National Toxicology Program study?
Mark: Yes, I did. In fact, it was peer reviewed and announced while we were doing the story. It was a clear sign that telling and revealing science was beginning to pile up against the wireless industry.
Mary Beth: By that you mean?
Mark: Evidence. Evidence is accumulating. Five years from now, I might very well be sitting right here telling you, “Yes, non-ionizing radiation is a carcinogen.” But right now, I think that the most compelling fact is that a long-term heavy dose of pulsated non-ionizing radiation can break DNA strands, which is a precursor of cancer. And look, DNA is everywhere. It’s not just in humans. It’s in every living thing. Radiation is affecting the grass on your lawn. It’s affecting the bees, birds and trees.
Maybe this year, but certainly next year, the World Health Organization and its International Agency for Research on Cancer are going to reconsider their classification of cell phone radiation. They recently increased its classification from a 3 (“not classifiable”) to 2B—“possibly carcinogenic.” There are scientists at WHO who want to push it immediately to 2A—“a probable carcinogen.”
Jim: What about this onslaught that’s being conducted by the industry to foist 5G on cities and rural areas?
Mary Beth: Do you think that we’ll have to worry out here in West Marin about 5G, the soon-to-be-rolled-out fifth generation of wireless technology?
Mark: Not immediately. 5G is going to be the heart of so-called smart cities, smart cars, smart transportation, smart everything. That’s going to be concentrated in urban areas. Of course, one goal of the wireless industry is to overcome the so-called “digital divide,” which means people in the country aren’t getting the wonders of wireless that people in the cities are getting. There will be more wireless technology brought into the rural areas of the world, yes. But I still don’t think it’ll ever get to the point where it is in cities, where you’ve got the entire city driving itself on smart devices, and seven towers zapping one location at once. We focus on cell phones because we carry them around. Smart phones are everywhere, but just one of thousands and thousands of devices in the so-called “Internet of Things,” the collective product that will be served by 5G.
Mary Beth: How serious a health hazard do you think 5G could become?
Mark: I don’t think wireless will ever be a big, bad carcinogen like tobacco, where you can’t live a long life if you use it. I think it’s going to affect a small number of humans, the “power users” and screen-addicted children who are exposed all day. But the numbers are deceiving. Right now, there are a billion people in the world smoking tobacco. We know from long-term epidemiology that about 5 percent of them will get cancer every year. And about 1 percent of those people will die. That’s about eight million people in the world dying every year as a consequence of smoking—one half of 1 percent of all smokers, right?
If you take that low cancer death rate from tobacco and transplant it to cell phones, with its universe of six billion users, you get a significant number. Again, a very low rate—half of 1 percent. But crunch that number. It produces a huge number of cancers, 30 million worldwide, every year—about eight times the current global rate of new cancers. And that’s just from cell phones. Wireless radiation is almost everywhere, and it’s invisible, silent and odorless. You can’t escape it, as you can from second-hand smoke. We’re being zapped, unknowingly wherever we are, along with every other living organism on the planet.
Mary Beth: I’m sure you came across the fact that there are very small windows of exposure that have huge effects, right?
Mark: Say more.
Mary Beth: Harm from radio frequency-modulated electromagnetic fields isn’t only dose-dependent; it is also cumulative. Studies show there are some small windows of exposure, very tiny amounts that, because they are so similar to a bodily function frequency, really cause problems, especially with chronic exposure.
Mark: Yeah, that’s probably true. And it’s wave pulsation, not the waves themselves, which are virtually harmless, that appear to damage DNA and sperm, while compromising the blood-brain barrier.
Mary Beth: Who regulates the wireless industry?
Mark: The F.C.C., but they’re essentially powerless. They can set the standard absorption rates for cell phones and other radiation emitting devices, but they can’t spank anyone for exceeding the standard. They have no police power. The F.D.A. does and so does the E.P.A., but not over wireless products. That was taken from them by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a creation of Al Gore and to my mind the original sin against wireless regulation. The bill took all wireless regulatory power away from the F.D.A., C.D.C. and E.P.A. The E.P.A. can still shut down a factory if it’s causing a public health problem, but not if the origin is wireless. And the F.C.C. can’t shut down anything that is emitting dangerous levels of non-ionizing radiation. They can take a license from a broadcaster if someone says “shit” on the air, but they can’t take anything away from anybody who’s pumping excess radiation into the environment. Thank you Al Gore.
Mary Beth: Do you have advice for wireless device users?
Mark: Sure, I direct them to the fine print on their own phone, which few people have ever seen. It’s a vague, difficult-to-find, arcane warning, in very small print, about the standard absorption rate of the radiation from their device. Then I ask them: “You have children? You see your child sitting on the couch with their device over their lap? Yank it out of their hands. They’re zapping their reproductive organs.” Many studies show that sperm and ovaries can be permanently damaged by non-ionizing radiation. That might not lead to death, but it could create serious birth defects in their children. And Mary Beth, don’t carry your cell phone in your bra.
Mary Beth: (laughing) Of course not.
Mark: A lot of women do that. I have to tell you that I wrote a very cynical conclusion to this article that I expected The Nation wouldn’t run. I was right, they didn’t. But I just had to predict somewhere that if the suspected hazards of wireless radiation turn out to be real, and we keep “progressing” from one generation of wireless technology to another, and never stop to consider the possible consequences, 500 years from now only a very few, very rare humans who are not sensitive to E.M.F./R.F. radiation will have survived. The more important point that did stay in the article is that the objective we are all pursuing here, as activists and journalists, is informed consent. Like participants in a clinical trial, a community cannot give consent to new installations of anything until it is informed. That’s your job, and you’re doing it well. But it should also be the responsibility of industry, local government, elected representatives and the public utilities that are allowing their infrastructure to host radiation-emitting technology. And they are all either withholding what they know, outright lying about it or simply ignoring sound science and public health on their way to the bank. And, of course, informing consent should also be the responsibility of media, which is why I took on this assignment, with the intention of focusing on an industry that, by war gaming science and deliberately manufacturing doubt, may be creating a serious public health problem.
Jim Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan are co-directors of Ecological Options Network, or EON. They live in Bolinas.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Point Reyes Light, Mary Beth Brangan & Jim Heddle, 28 Jun 2018|
|Generation Zapped DVD launch on Facebook Live w. George Carlo|
|USA||Created: 4 Jul 2018|
This coming Thursday (July 5th) at 11:00 am PST and 2:00 pm EDT, I am doing a Facebook Live piece as part of the launch of the Generation Zapped DVD. My focus will be the World Health Organization's designation of "Gaming Disorder" and related "Digital Addiction" as a mental illness in the most recently updated International Classification of Diseases. Maybe you can help spread the word.
As I am not well-versed in social media, here is the link pathway that gets to the Generation Zapped website. When you click on it, a Generation Zapped icon opens up. When you click on that Generation Zapped icon, you end up in the place where the broadcast is posted. My understanding is that there is a way to share it in Facebook so other people get the notice.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: André Fauteux, via email, 04 Jul 2018|
|Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile stop sharing real-time cell phone location data|
|USA||Created: 28 Jun 2018|
The scandal erupted after one company claimed to be able to track any cell phone in the US "within seconds".
A senator has strongly criticized three of the US' largest cell carriers that have not promised to stop selling their customers' real-time location data to third party companies.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) welcomed Verizon's move to end its agreements with data aggregators, including LocationSmart, which sold location data to a prison tech company that claimed to be able to track any cell phone in the US "within seconds."
But the senator rebuked AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint for continuing the practice.
"Verizon did the responsible thing and promptly announced it was cutting these companies off," said Wyden in a statement Tuesday, following an investigation by his office.
"In contrast, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint seem content to continuing to sell their customers' private information to these shady middle men, Americans' privacy be damned," he said.
Following Wyden's statement, AT&T said it was also cutting off access to third-parties.
"We will be ending our work with aggregators for these services as soon as practical in a way that preserves important, potential lifesaving services like emergency roadside assistance," said a spokesperson.
Sprint said later Tuesday that the company is "beginning the process of terminating its current contracts with data aggregators to whom we provide location data."
"This will take some time in order to unwind services to consumers, such as roadside assistance and fraud prevention services," the company said, but did not provide a specific timeline.
Hours later, T-Mobile chief executive John Legere tweeted his company's commitment to "not sell customer location data to shady middlemen."
Letters from the four cell giants were published Tuesday after Wyden demanded last month to know why millions of Americans' real-time location data was being shared with so-called aggregators, which manage data requests for customer data across the carriers.
The phone giants say it's "common" to share data, such as when motorists are stranded or as part of workforce and fleet tracking, but said that customer data should have more tightly controlled.
The carriers partnered with LocationSmart, which claimed it had "direct connections" to the cell giants' cache of location data. Aggregators could then share location data with their own customers.
But the carriers found that one of LocationSmart's customers, 3Cinteractive, shared location data with another company, Securus, a prison technology company, which used the data in violation of the carriers' policies.
Aggregators must obtain consent from the customer before their location data can be used, such as by sending a one-time text message or allowing a user to hit a button in an app. But The New York Times found that police and correctional officers could track anyone's location without their consent, because Securus turned over the data without verifying that a warrant had been obtained.
The phone giants said they took "prompt steps to protect customer data and shut down" location data access to 3Cinteractive and Securus.
A spokesperson for 3Cinteractive did not respond to a request for comment.
LocationSmart said in a statement Tuesday that it was reviewing the letters from the carriers, and denied that it buys and sells location data. "The company does not warehouse or track a mobile user's historic identity and location information," said the company.
But the phone giants remained vague on exactly how the companies obtained customers' consent to provide data to LocationSmart in the first place.
ZDNet previously asked how each carrier obtains consent from their customers, but none offered concrete answers.
Customers, unable to opt out of the phone giants' privacy policies, may be locked in to sharing their location data with aggregators.
"I don't believe that there is anything consumers can do to opt-out of having their location data shared with third-parties like LocationSmart," said Stephanie Lacambra, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an email.
LocationSmart was later forced to pull part of its website offline after a vulnerability allowed a security researcher to obtain real-time location data without obtaining consent from the user.
Robert Xiao said that the company had "no security oversight" before the site served location data.
LocationSmart said that "did not result in any customer information being obtained without their permission" beyond the researcher's queries.
The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the website flaw.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: ZDNet, Zack Whittaker, 19 Jun 2018|
|Victory! Supreme Court Says Fourth Amendment Applies to Cell Phone Tracking|
|USA||Created: 23 Jun 2018|
The Supreme Court handed down a landmark opinion today in Carpenter v United States, ruling 5-4 that the Fourth Amendment protects cell phone location information. In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court recognized that location information, collected by cell providers like Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon, creates a “detailed chronicle of a person’s physical presence compiled every day, every moment over years.” As a result, police must now get a warrant before obtaining this data.
This is a major victory. Cell phones are essential to modern life, but the way that cell phones operate—by constantly connecting to cell towers to exchange data—makes it possible for cell providers to collect information on everywhere that each phone—and by extension, each phone’s owner—has been for years in the past. As the Court noted, not only does access to this kind of information allow the government to achieve “near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user,” but, because phone companies collect it for every device, the “police need not even know in advance whether they want to follow a particular individual, or when.”
For years, the government has argued that the sensitive nature of this data doesn’t matter; the mere fact that it’s collected by phone companies makes it automatically devoid of constitutional protection.
This argument is based on an outdated legal principle called the “Third Party Doctrine,” which was developed by the Supreme Court in two main cases from the 1970s involving records of phone calls and bank transactions. Courts around the country had long been deeply divided on whether the Third Party Doctrine should apply to cell phone location information or whether the invasiveness of the tracking it enables should require a more privacy-protective rule.
EFF has been involved in almost all of the significant past cases, and in Carpenter, EFF filed briefs both encouraging the court to take the case and urging it to reject the Third Party Doctrine. We noted that cell phone usage has exploded in the last 30 years, and with it, the technologies to locate users have gotten and continue to get ever more precise.
Thankfully, in Carpenter, Justice Roberts rejected the government’s reliance on the Third Party Doctrine, writing that there is a “world of difference between the limited types of personal information addressed in” prior Supreme Court cases and “the exhaustive chronicle of location information casually collected by wireless carriers today.” The Court also explained that cell phone location information “is not truly ‘shared’ as one normally understands the term,” particularly because a phone “logs a cell-site record by dint of its operation, without any affirmative act on the part of the user beyond powering up.”
We were pleased that the Court cited our amicus brief in its opinion and agreed with many of the points we raised. In particular, Justice Roberts noted that because cell phones generate a record of location information all the time and “because location information is continually logged for all of the 400 million devices in the United States—not just those belonging to persons who might happen to come under investigation—this newfound tracking capacity runs against everyone.” What’s more, cell phone tracking enables the government to compile an “exhaustive chronicle of location information” so that “unlike the nosy neighbor who keeps an eye on comings and goings, [phone carriers] are ever alert, and their memory is nearly infallible.”
As we pointed out, this means that the government can engage in long-term monitoring. In Carpenter, for example, the government obtained 127 days of the defendant’s cell phone records from MetroPCS—without a warrant—to try to place him at the locations of several armed robberies around Detroit. Other cases have involved even longer periods of time. In a footnote, the Supreme Court declined to reach the question of whether very short periods of tracking, less than the 7 days used at trial in Carpenter, might not be covered by the Fourth Amendment. We think the right rule is to require a warrant for any cell phone tracking, but that will have to wait for another day.
Perhaps the most significant part of today’s ruling for the future is its explicit recognition that individuals can maintain an expectation of privacy in information that they provide to third parties. The Court termed that a “rare” case, but it’s clear that other invasive surveillance technologies, particularly those than can track individuals through physical space, are now ripe for challenge in light of Carpenter. Expect to see much more litigation on this subject from EFF and our friends.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Andrew Crocker & Jennifer Lynch, 22 Jun 2018|
|Obituary: Leading EMF expert Dr. Martin Blank, Ph.D|
|USA||Created: 18 Jun 2018|
Dr Martin Blank, PhD, who made many lasting contributions to the scientific community, has passed away of natural causes at the age of 85. As a leading expert on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation, Dr. Blank was a strong advocate for the use of science to create a better and healthier world.
Throughout his lengthy career, Dr. Blank published over 200 papers and reviews, authored numerous books, held appointments at 11 leading universities around the world and the US Office of Naval Research. He also organized and led many meetings, including two World Congresses on Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine, and he started the Gordon Research Conferences on Bioelectrochemistry. He has been Chairman of the Organic and Biological Division of the Electrochemical Society, President of the Bioelectrochemical Society, President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and has been on editorial boards of Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, Electromagnetic Medicine and Biology. In 2014 his book, “Overpowered” (7 Stories Press), which summarized his findings regarding the potential dangers of electromagnetic radiation, was published.
Through his work, Dr. Blank established himself as one of the strongest voices globally in the quest to better understand and regulate the health effects of electromagnetic fields.
Breaking new boundaries
Dr. Blank was born in New York in 1933 as the child of immigrants, Leon and Rebecca. English was the third of five languages in which he became fluent.
An early interest in science led him to be accepted to the Bronx High School of Science, after which he proceeded to complete two PhDs: one in physical chemistry from Columbia University, and a second in colloid science – an interdisciplinary field involving chemistry, physics, and nanoscience – from Cambridge University.
In his early career, he studied the biological membranes that encase living cells and the effects of electric fields on such membranes. In 1987 he read a paper by Dr. Reba Goodman, a colleague at Columbia University, that suggested everyday EMFs like power lines and electrical appliances had an effect on living cells. At that time, only ionizing forms of radiation like X-rays were acknowledged as harmful to humans.
Intrigued, Dr. Blank approached Dr. Goodman about her findings and initiated what was to become a long and fruitful scientific partnership. Though their research contradicted the accepted paradigm of the day, they continued to push boundaries, demonstrating observable, repeatable health effects of EMF on living cells.
Their results were published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and were subsequently confirmed by other independent scientists around the world.
Acting with conviction
Dr. Blank’s research into EMFs repeatedly showed that non-ionizing radiation does affect human cells. He believed that it would be in our best interest to take stronger precautions, as a way of securing a healthier future, and that there would be nothing to lose by taking such action.
“You take a certain amount of precaution as a result of a risk that has been identified,” Dr. Blank said at the 1st public forum in the U.S. on EMF effects on Children, Fetuses, and Fertility in 2013. “The risk can turn out to be a false alarm, in which case you haven’t lost anything really; what you’ve done is prevented damage that might have occurred might it have been so.”
He wrote letters to schools, companies, and government bodies – ardent letters laying out solid research-backed reasons why they should take precautions around EMFs; not chiding them for their practices but giving them helpful council on what they could be doing to better protect the community.
In 2015 he led a publicized appeal to the United Nations and World Health Organization, calling for greater attention to the health risks of EMFs. 190 scientists from around the world took part in the appeal, unified in their beliefs that the scientific research around electromagnetic radiation was not only compelling but urgent.
In conjunction with his conviction and willingness to act, Dr. Blank was also acutely and realistically aware of the world we’ve built for ourselves and of the advantages of technology. He didn’t seek to eradicate wireless devices or take steps backward, but rather to find a healthy balance between technological progress and human health.
“My message… is not to abandon gadgets—like most people I too love and utilize EMF- generating gadgets,” he wrote in his 2014 book, Overpowered. “Instead, I want you to realize that EMF poses a real risk to living creatures and that industrial and product safety standards must and can be reconsidered.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Blank held many leadership roles — including terms as President of the Bioelectrochemical Society, and Chairman of the Organic and Biological Division of the Electrochemical Society — gave hundreds of speeches and lectures, edited various journals, and sat on the organizing committees of numerous conferences and world congresses.
Dr. Blank also had a knack for translating complex scientific concepts into a language anyone can understand. His rigorous research reports generally served the scientific community and his 2014 book Overpowered (7 Stories Press) offered all readers, inaccessible and captivating prose, the information they needed to better protect their health.
In this way, his work has had a broad impact, reaching the general public as well as his many pupils, colleagues, and the scientific community.
He will be remembered as someone who fought against the private, profit-driven efforts of industries to obscure information from the public; and as someone who welcomed genuine discussion and criticism as catalysts for true scientific progress.
The goal of Dr. Blank’s work was not to generate fear or cause alarm but to use rigorous and objective research to get closer to the truth. And, ultimately, to use this truth to secure ourselves, and future generations, a healthier future.
Dr. Blank is survived by his wife, Marion, sons, Jonathan and Ari, daughter, Donna, and his siblings Esther and Efrom.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations shall be made to the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance https://emsafetyalliance.org/, for which Dr. Blank was an advisor.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: EMF Safety Alliance, 13 Jun 2018|
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