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Internet, social media use and device ownership plateaues in U.S.
USA Created: 1 Oct 2018
The use of digital technology has had a long stretch of rapid growth in the United States, but the share of Americans who go online, use social media or own key devices has remained stable the past two years, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data.

The shares of U.S. adults who say they use the internet, use social media, own a smartphone or own a tablet computer are all nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016. The share who say they have broadband internet service at home currently stands at 65% – nearly identical to the 67% who said this in a survey conducted in summer 2015. And when it comes to desktop or laptop ownership, there has actually been a small dip in the overall numbers over the last two years – from 78% in 2016 to 73% today.

A contributing factor behind this slowing growth is that parts of the population have reached near-saturation levels of adoption of some technologies. Put simply, in some instances there just aren’t many non-users left. For example, nine-in-ten or more adults younger than 50 say they go online or own a smartphone. And a similar share of those in higher-income households have laptops or desktops.

Still, there are noteworthy numbers of non-users of various technologies. Surveys conducted by the Center over the years highlight how these non-adopters of various technologies often face substantial and multifaceted barriers.

In some cases, Americans who would like to take advantage of new technologies are simply unable to do so because of financial restrictions. In a 2015 survey, 43% of non-broadband adopters cited cost (either the cost of a computer, or the cost of the broadband subscription itself) as the primary reason they did not have broadband service at home. For other Americans, technology adoption may differ by where they live. A survey conducted earlier this year found that roughly six-in-ten Americans living in rural areas say that access to high speed internet is a problem in their local community. That compares with 43% of those in urban areas and 36% living in suburbs.

In other instances, non-users say they do not see the value of learning how to use new technologies. In a 2013 survey, the Center found that 34% of non-internet users did not go online because they had no interest in doing so, or did not think the internet was relevant to their lives.

In addition, certain groups of Americans – most notably, older adults – face their own unique challenges when it comes to using and adopting new technologies. In a 2015 survey, 34% of internet users ages 65 and older said they had little to no confidence in their ability to use electronic devices to perform online tasks, while 48% of older adults said the statement, “When I get a new electronic device, I usually need someone else to set it up or show me how to use it” describes them very well. And a substantial share of seniors reports they have chronic health condition, disability or other type of physical limitation that might prevent them from fully utilizing a variety of devices.

While many long-standing measures of technology adoption have steadied the past two years, the ways that people get connected and use digital platforms are constantly shifting and evolving. For instance, Pew Research Center surveys have shown that the number of people who are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone but do not have traditional home broadband service – has grown from 12% in 2016 to 20% this year.

And although the shares of Americans who use certain social media platforms have changed little in recent years, that has not been true with every site. The percent of adults using Instagram, for example, has grown from 28% in 2016 to 35% this year. And looking beyond the adult population, the social media environment of today’s teenagers looks remarkably different than it did just a few years prior.

Meanwhile, new connected devices continue to emerge. Consumer surveys show that the use of smart TVs and wearable devices has grown in recent years. Nearly half of Americans (46%) use digital voice assistants on smartphones or devices like Amazon Echo, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. A host of items collectively called “the Internet of Things” – ranging from household thermostats and security systems to “smart city” transportation systems – are also coming on the market.

Ultimately, the method for tracking certain adoption metrics may need to change. A canvassing of experts by the Center suggested that it might make sense in the near future to stop asking people if they “use the internet” because it will be so ubiquitous. Those experts predicted that the internet would become “like electricity” – almost invisible to users, yet more deeply embedded in their lives.
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Source: Pew Research, Paul Hitlin, 28 Sep 2018

ICNIRP Finds NTP & Ramazzini RF–Animal Studies Unconvincing
USA Created: 24 Sep 2018
The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has determined that the two recent animal studies pointing to a cancer risk from cell phone radiation are not convincing and should not be used to revise current exposure standards.

Related news:
Aug 2018, USA: Former ICNIRP commission member: NTP shows clear RF cancer risk, guidelines obsolete

In a “note” published today, the 12-member group states that the studies by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the Ramazzini Institute “do not provide a consistent, reliable and generalizable body of evidence.” “Both studies have inconsistencies and limitations that affect the usefulness of their results for setting exposure guidelines,” according to ICNIRP.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
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Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin PhD, 04 Sep 2018

Sperm Count Zero
USA Created: 12 Sep 2018
A strange thing has happened to men over the past few decades: We’ve become increasingly infertile, so much so that within a generation we may lose the ability to reproduce entirely. What’s causing this mysterious drop in sperm counts—and is there any way to reverse it before it’s too late?

Men are doomed. Everybody knows this. We're obviously all doomed, the women too, everybody in general, just a waiting game until one or another of the stupid things our stupid species is up to finally gets us. But as it turns out, no surprise: men first. Second instance of no surprise: We're going to take the women down with us.

There has always been evidence that men, throughout life, are at higher risk of early death—from the beginning, a higher male incidence of Death by Mastodon Stomping, a higher incidence of Spiked Club to the Brainpan, a statistically significant disparity between how many men and how many women die of Accidentally Shooting Themselves in the Face or Getting Really Fat and Having a Heart Attack. The male of the species dies younger than the female—about five years on average. Divide a population into groups by birth year, and by the time each cohort reaches 85, there are two women left for every man alive. In fact, the male wins every age class: Baby boys die more often than baby girls; little boys die more often than little girls; teenage boys; young men; middle-aged men. Death champions across the board.

Now it seems that early death isn't enough for us—we're on track instead to void the species entirely. Last summer a group of researchers from Hebrew University and Mount Sinai medical school published a study showing that sperm counts in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have fallen by more than 50 percent over the past four decades. (They judged data from the rest of the world to be insufficient to draw conclusions from, but there are studies suggesting that the trend could be worldwide.) That is to say: We are producing half the sperm our grandfathers did. We are half as fertile.

The Hebrew University/Mount Sinai paper was a meta-analysis by a team of epidemiologists, clinicians, and researchers that culled data from 185 studies, which examined semen from almost 43,000 men. It showed that the human race is apparently on a trend line toward becoming unable to reproduce itself. Sperm counts went from 99 million sperm per milliliter of semen in 1973 to 47 million per milliliter in 2011, and the decline has been accelerating. Would 40 more years—or fewer—bring us all the way to zero?

I called Shanna H. Swan, a reproductive epidemiologist at Mount Sinai and one of the lead authors of the study, to ask if there was any good news hiding behind those brutal numbers. Were we really at risk of extinction? She failed to comfort me. “The What Does It Mean question means extrapolating beyond your data,” Swan said, “which is always a tricky thing. But you can ask, ‘What does it take? When is a species in danger? When is a species threatened?’ And we are definitely on that path.” That path, in its darkest reaches, leads to no more naturally conceived babies and potentially to no babies at all—and the final generation of Homo sapiens will roam the earth knowing they will be the last of their kind.

If we are half as fertile as the generation before us, why haven't we noticed? One answer is that there is a lot of redundancy built into reproduction: You don't need 200 million sperm to fertilize an egg, but that's how many the average man might devote to the job. Most men can still conceive a child naturally with a depressed sperm count, and those who can't have a booming fertility-treatment industry ready to help them. And though lower sperm counts probably have led to a small decrease in the number of children being conceived, that decline has been masked by sociological changes driving birth rates down even faster: People in the developed world are choosing to have fewer children, and they are having them later.

The problem has been debated among fertility scientists for decades now—studies suggesting that sperm counts are declining have been appearing since the '70s—but until Swan and her colleagues' meta-analysis, the results have always been judged incomplete or preliminary. Swan herself had conducted smaller studies on declining sperm counts, but in 2015 she decided it was time for a definitive answer. She teamed up with Hagai Levine, an Israeli epidemiologist, and Niels Jørgensen, a Danish endocrinologist, and along with five others, they set about performing a systematic review and meta-regression analysis—that is, a kind of statistical synthesis of the data. “Hagai is a very good scientist, and he also used to be the head of epidemiology for the Israeli armed forces,” Swan told me. “So he's very good at organizing.” They spent a year working with the data.

The results, when they came in, were clear. Not only were sperm counts per milliliter of semen down by more than 50 percent since 1973, but total sperm counts were down by almost 60 percent: We are producing less semen, and that semen has fewer sperm cells in it. This time around, even scientists who had been skeptical of past analyses had to admit that the study was all but unassailable. Jørgensen, in Copenhagen, told me that when he saw the results, he'd said aloud, “No, it cannot be true.” He had expected to see a past decline and then a leveling off. But he couldn't argue when the team ran the numbers again and again. The downward slope was unwavering.

Almost all the scientists I talked to stressed that not only were low sperm counts alarming for what they said about the reproductive future of the species—they were also a warning of a much larger set of health problems facing men. In this view, sperm production is a canary in the coal mine of male bodies: We know, for instance, that men with poor semen quality have a higher mortality rate and are more likely to have diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease than fertile men.

Testosterone levels have also dropped precipitously, with effects beginning in utero and extending into adulthood. One of the most significant markers of an organism's sex is something called anogenital distance (AGD)—the measurement between the anus and the genitals. Male AGD is typically twice the length of female, a much more dramatic difference than height or weight or musculature. Lower testosterone leads to a shorter AGD, and a measurement lower than the median correlates to a man being seven times as likely to be subfertile and gives him a greater likelihood of having undescended testicles, testicular tumors, and a smaller penis. “What you are seeing in a number of systems, other developmental systems, is that the sex differences are shrinking,” Swan told me. Men are producing less sperm. They're also becoming less male.

I assumed that the next thing Swan was going to tell me was that these changes were all a mystery to scientists. If only we could figure out what was causing the drop in sperm counts, I imagined, we could solve all the attendant health problems at once. But it turns out that it's not a mystery: We know what the culprit is. And it's hiding in plain sight.

The sixth floor of the Rigshospitalet, a hospital and research institution in Copenhagen, houses the Department of Growth and Reproduction. The babies are all a few floors downstairs—on six, the unit is populated not with new parents but with doctors and researchers hunched over mass spectrometers and gel imagers and the like. I was there to meet Niels E. Skakkebæk, an 82-year-old pediatric endocrinologist, who founded the department in 1990. After walking me through the lab, he showed me to his office, a cramped, closet-like space—modest for someone who is a giant in his field. Male fertility and male reproductive health, Skakkebæk told me, are in full-blown crisis. “Here in Denmark, there is an epidemic of infertility,” he said. “More than 20 percent of Danish men do not father children.”

Skakkebæk first suspected something was going wrong in the late '70s, when he treated an infertile patient with an abnormality in the cells of the testes that he had never seen before. When he treated a second man with the same abnormality a few years later, he began to investigate a connection. What he found was a new form of precursor cells for testicular cancer, a once rare disease whose incidence had doubled. Moreover, these precursor cells had begun developing before the patient was even born. “He had the insight that testicular cancer, which is a cancer of young men, is something that is actually originated in utero,” Swan told me. And if these testes had somehow been misdeveloping in utero, Skakkebæk asked himself, what else was happening to these babies before they were born?

Eventually, Skakkebæk linked several other previously rare symptoms for a condition he called testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS), a collection of male reproductive problems that include hypospadias (an abnormal location for the end of the urethra), cryptorchidism (an undescended testicle), poor semen quality, and testicular cancer. What Skakkebæk proposed with TDS is that these disorders can have a common fetal origin, a disruption in the development of the male fetus in the womb.

So what was causing this disruption? To say there is only a single answer might be an overstatement—stress, smoking, and obesity, for example, all depress sperm counts—but there are fewer and fewer critics of the following theory: The industrial revolution happened. And the oil industry happened. And 20th-century chemistry happened. In short, humans started ingesting a whole host of compounds that affected our hormones—including, most crucially, estrogen and testosterone.

The scientists I talked to were less cautious about embracing this explanation than I expected. Down the hall from Skakkebæk's office, I met Anna-Maria Andersson, a biologist whose research has focused on declining testosterone levels. “There has been a chemical revolution going on starting from the beginning of the 19th century, maybe even a bit before,” she told me, “and upwards and exploding after the Second World War, when hundreds of new chemicals came onto the market within a very short time frame.” Suddenly a vast array of chemicals were entering our bloodstream, ones that no human body had ever had to deal with. The chemical revolution gave us some wonderful things: new medicines, new food sources, faster and cheaper mass production of all sorts of necessary products. It also gave us, Andersson pointed out, a living experiment on the human body with absolutely no forethought to the result.

When a chemical affects your hormones, it's called an endocrine disruptor. And it turns out that many of the compounds used to make plastic soft and flexible (like phthalates) or to make them harder and stronger (like Bisphenol A, or BPA) are consummate endocrine disruptors. Phthalates and BPA, for example, mimic estrogen in the bloodstream. If you're a man with a lot of phthalates in his system, you'll produce less testosterone and fewer sperm. If exposed to phthalates in utero, a male fetus's reproductive system itself will be altered: He will develop to be less male.

Women with raised levels of phthalates in their urine during pregnancy were significantly more likely to have sons with shorter anogenital distance as well as shorter penis length and smaller testes. “When the [fetus's] testicles start making testosterone, which is about week eight of pregnancy, they make a little less,” Swan said. “That's the nub of this whole story. So phthalates decrease testosterone. The testicles then do not produce proper testosterone, and the anogenital distance is shorter.”

The problem is that these chemicals are everywhere. BPA can be found in water bottles and food containers and sales receipts. Phthalates are even more common: They are in the coatings of pills and nutritional supplements; they're used in gelling agents, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, and suspending agents. Not to mention medical devices, detergents and packaging, paint and modeling clay, pharmaceuticals and textiles and sex toys and nail polish and liquid soap and hair spray. They are used in tubing that processes food, so you'll find them in milk, yogurt, sauces, soups, and even, in small amounts, in eggs, fruits, vegetables, pasta, noodles, rice, and water. The CDC determined that just about everyone in the United States has measurable levels of phthalates in his or her body—they're unavoidable.

What's more, there is evidence that the effect of these endocrine disruptors increases over generations, due to something called epigenetic inheritance. Normally, acquired traits—like, say, a sperm count lowered by obesity—aren't passed down from father to son. But some chemicals, including phthalates and BPA, can change the way genes are expressed without altering the underlying genetic code, and that change is inheritable. Your father passes along his low sperm count to you, and your sperm count goes even lower after you're exposed to endocrine disruptors. That's part of the reason there's been no leveling off even after 40 years of declining sperm counts—the baseline keeps dropping.

With all due respect to Dr. Swan and the problems of extrapolating beyond one's data, I wanted to get back to What It All Means. The answer, I thought, might be found at the 13th International Symposium on Spermatology, which took place in May, on Lidingö, a small island in the inner Stockholm archipelago. A hundred spermatologists in one place: You'd think (incorrectly) that the jokes would be good. Skakkebæk had told me I'd be able to find some dissenters to the conclusions of Swan's meta-analysis there, but what I witnessed instead was the final vanquishing of the few remaining doubters.

At the welcome dinner (reindeer and rooster), I met Hagai Levine, the Israeli co-author of the Hebrew University/Mount Sinai meta-analysis. Levine, who is 40, told me we had reasons to worry. “I'm saying that we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” he said. “And that is the possibility that we will become extinct. That's a possibility we must seriously consider. I'm not saying it's going to happen. I'm not saying it's likely to happen. I'm not saying that's the prediction. I'm just saying we should be prepared for such a possibility. That's all. And we are not.”

His session the next morning—“Are Spermatozoa at the Verge of Extinction?”—would be the defining event of the conference: It cast a shadow over all the other talks. At a panel discussion that followed his presentation, Levine continued his argument for addressing the causes of the crisis, saying, “My default, if I don't know, is that it is up to the manufacturers of chemicals to prove that their chemicals are safe. But I don't feel like I need any more evidence to take action with chemicals already known to disrupt the endocrine system.”

The organizer of the symposium, Lars Björndahl, a Swedish spermatologist who had presented earlier in the morning, urged caution. “I have great respect for epidemiological studies, but we should remember that mathematical correlations don't prove that there is a causative relation,” he said. Questions from the audience—often taking the form of statements—were much along the same lines: Be careful of a bias toward the assumption that all these things are connected. Levine nodded with only a hint of chagrin, like a patient professor waiting hopefully for his students to catch up.

David Mortimer, who runs a company that designs and establishes assisted-conception laboratories, was one of the only members of the audience willing to question Levine's study itself. He pointed out that methods for measuring sperm had changed dramatically over the time period of the study and that the old studies were profoundly unreliable.

Levine was ready with an answer. “So that's one of the reasons we also conducted a sensitivity analysis,” he said from the stage, “with studies with sample collection only after 1995—and the slope was even steeper. So that could not explain the decline we see after 1995.”

“I've never said there was no decline in sperm counts,” Mortimer said, a bit defensively. Levine, who had been so gracious and engaged with his critics, began to look a little tired. He rallied, though, when the group agreed to put out a joint statement about the crisis. The chairs of the symposium called on the world to acknowledge that male reproductive health was essential for the survival of the species, that its decline was alarming and should be studied, and that at present it was being neglected in funding and attention.

Mortimer came around and ended up signing the statement. When I caught up with him later, he wasn't nearly as dismissive of the study's conclusions as I expected. He agreed there was little question that sperm counts were dropping, and he even embraced some of the direst predictions of scientists like Levine. “The epigenetics are the scary bit,” he told me, “because what we're doing now affects the future of the human race.” When even the skeptics are scared, it's probably time to pay attention.

Can anything be done? Over the past 20 years, there have been occasional attempts to limit the number of endocrine disruptors in circulation, but inevitably the fixes are insubstantial: one chemical removed in favor of another, which eventually turns out to have its own dangers. That was the case with BPA, which was partly replaced by Bisphenol S, which might be even worse for you. The chemical industry, unsurprisingly, has been resistant to the notion that the billions of dollars of revenue these products represent might also represent terrible damage to the human body, and have often followed the model of Big Tobacco and Big Oil—fighting regulation with lobbyists and funding their own studies that suggest their products are harmless. The website for the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade association, has a page dedicated to phthalates that mostly consists of calling Shanna Swan's research “controversial” and asserting that her “use of methodologies that have not been validated and unconventional data analysis have been criticized by the scientific community.” (Cited critics of Swan include Elizabeth Whelan, now deceased, an epidemiologist famous for fighting the regulation of chemicals from her position as president of the American Council on Science and Health, which has received funding from Chevron, DuPont, and other companies in the plastic business.)

Assuming that we're unable to wean ourselves off plastics and other marvels of modern science, we may be stuck innovating our way out of this mess. How long we're able to outrun the drop in sperm count may depend, finally, on how good we get at IVF and other fertility treatments. When I spoke with Marc Goldstein, a urologist and surgeon at Weill Cornell medical center in New York City, he said that while there was “no question I've seen a big increase in men with male-factor infertility,” he wasn't worried for the future of the species. Assisted reproduction would keep the babies coming, no matter how sickly men's sperm become.

It's true that fertility treatments have already given men with extremely low sperm counts the chance to be fathers. Indeed, by looking at their cases, we can glimpse what our low-sperm-count future might look like. We know that it will be arduous to conceive, and expensive—so expensive that having children may no longer be an option available to all couples. A fertility-treatment-dependent future is also unlikely to produce a birth rate anywhere near current levels.

Not long ago, I spoke with Chris Wohl, a research materials/surface engineer at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia, who spent six years trying to conceive a child. Both he and his wife had fertility problems: Wohl's sperm count was under 2 million per milliliter—the average count we'd expect to reach, at the current rate, by 2034. “We started in the normal way of trying to have kids,” he said, “and after a few years, we said, ‘Okay, let's talk to some folks.’ ” They went through several rounds of intrauterine insemination. “And then after that sixth time, we said, ‘This isn't working. We need to kind of up our technology game.’ So we went to a reproductive endocrinologist and went through several rounds of IVF. And then when that failed, we were going to look into adoption. That's when somebody came forward and said that they would be a surrogate for us.” Finally, with the surrogate, the process worked. He and his wife now have a healthy, strong-willed 4-year-old girl.

So perhaps that's the solution: As long as we hover somewhere above Sperm Count Zero, and with an assist from modern medicine, we have a shot. Men will continue to be essential to the survival of the species. The problem with innovation, though, is that it never stops. A new technology known as IVG—in vitro gametogenesis—is showing early promise at turning embryonic stem cells into sperm. In 2016, Japanese scientists created baby mice by fertilizing normal mouse eggs with sperm created via IVG. The stem cells in question were taken from female mice. There was no need for any males.
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Source: GQ Magazine, Daniel Noah Halpern 04 Sep 2018

Bay Area city blocks 5G deployments over cancer concerns
USA Created: 11 Sep 2018
The Bay Area may be the center of the global technology industry, but that hasn’t stopped one wealthy enclave from protecting itself from the future.

The city council of Mill Valley, a small town located just a few miles north of San Francisco, voted unanimously late last week to effectively block deployments of small-cell 5G wireless towers in the city’s residential areas.

Through an urgency ordinance, which allows the city council to immediately enact regulations that affect the health and safety of the community, the restrictions and prohibitions will be put into force immediately for all future applications to site 5G telecommunications equipment in the city. Applications for commercial districts are permitted under the passed ordinance.

The ordinance was driven by community concerns over the health effects of 5G wireless antennas. According to the city, it received 145 pieces of correspondence from citizens voicing opposition to the technology, compared to just five letters in support of it — a ratio of 29 to 1. While that may not sound like much, the city’s population is roughly 14,000, indicating that about 1% of the population had voiced an opinion on the matter.

Blocks on 5G deployments are nothing new for Marin County, where other cities including San Anselmo and Ross have passed similar ordinances designed to thwart 5G expansion efforts over health concerns.

These restrictions on small cell site deployments could complicate 5G’s upcoming nationwide rollout. While 5G standards have yet to be standardized, one model that has broad traction in the telecommunications industry is to use so-called “small cell” antennas to increase bandwidth and connection quality while reducing infrastructure and power costs. Smaller antennas are easier to install and will be loss obtrusive, reducing the concerns of urban preservationists to unsightly tower masts that have long plagued the deployment of 4G antennas in communities across the United States.

Perhaps most importantly, these small cells emit less radiation, since they are not designed to provide as wide of coverage as traditional cell sites. The telecom industry has long vociferously denied a link between antennas and health outcomes, although California’s Department of Public Health has issued warnings about potential health effects of personal cell phone antennas. Reduced radiation emissions from 5G antennas compared to 4G antennas would presumably further reduce any health effects of this technology.

Restrictions like Mill Valley’s will make it nearly impossible to deploy 5G in a timely manner. As one industry representative told me in an interview a few months ago, “It takes 18 months to get the permit to deploy, and 2 hours to install.” Multiplied by the hundreds of sites required to cover a reasonably-sized urban neighborhood, and the 5G rollout goes beyond daunting to well-near impossible.

While health concerns have bubbled in various municipalities, those concerns are not shared globally. China, through companies like Huawei, is investing billions of dollars to design and build 5G infrastructure, in hopes of stealing the industry crown from the United States, which is the market leader in 4G technologies.

Those competitive concerns have increasingly been a priority at the FCC, where chairman Ajit Pai and his fellow Republican commissioners have pushed hard to overcome local concerns around health and historical preservation. The commission voted earlier this year on new siting rules that would accelerate 5G adoption.

Mill Valley’s ordinance is designed to frustrate those efforts, while remaining within the letter of federal law, which preempts local ordinances. Mill Valley’s mayor has said that the city will look to create a final ordinance over the next year.
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Source: TechCrunch, Danny Crichton, 11 Sept 2018

Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers
USA Created: 3 Sep 2018
Doctors and scientists say microwave strikes may have caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and family members.

During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control.

More recently, the American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological warfare.

Now, doctors and scientists say such unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington.

The medical team that examined 21 affected diplomats from Cuba made no mention of microwaves in its detailed report published in JAMA in March. But Douglas H. Smith, the study’s lead author and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview that microwaves were now considered a main suspect and that the team was increasingly sure the diplomats had suffered brain injury.

“Everybody was relatively skeptical at first,” he said, “and everyone now agrees there’s something there.” Dr. Smith remarked that the diplomats and doctors jokingly refer to the trauma as the immaculate concussion.

Strikes with microwaves, some experts now argue, more plausibly explain reports of painful sounds, ills and traumas than do other possible culprits — sonic attacks, viral infections and contagious anxiety.

In particular, a growing number of analysts cite an eerie phenomenon known as the Frey effect, named after Allan H. Frey, an American scientist. Long ago, he found that microwaves can trick the brain into perceiving what seem to be ordinary sounds.

The false sensations, the experts say, may account for a defining symptom of the diplomatic incidents — the perception of loud noises, including ringing, buzzing and grinding. Initially, experts cited those symptoms as evidence of stealthy attacks with sonic weapons.

Members of Jason, a secretive group of elite scientists that helps the federal government assess new threats to national security, say it has been scrutinizing the diplomatic mystery this summer and weighing possible explanations, including microwaves.

Asked about the microwave theory of the case, the State Department said the investigation had yet to identify the cause or source of the attacks. And the F.B.I. declined to comment on the status of the investigation or any theories.

The microwave idea teems with unanswered questions. Who fired the beams? The Russian government? The Cuban government? A rogue Cuban faction sympathetic to Moscow? And, if so, where did the attackers get the unconventional arms?

At his home outside Washington, Mr. Frey, the scientist who uncovered the neural phenomenon, said federal investigators have questioned him on the diplomatic riddle and that microwave radiation is considered a possible cause.

Mr. Frey, now 83, has traveled widely and long served as a contractor and a consultant to a number of federal agencies. He speculated that Cubans aligned with Russia, the nation’s longtime ally, might have launched microwave strikes in attempts to undermine developing ties between Cuba and the United States.

“It’s a possibility,” he said at his kitchen table. “In dictatorships, you often have factions that think nothing of going against the general policy if it suits their needs. I think that’s a perfectly viable explanation.”

Developing a new class of weapons

Microwaves are ubiquitous in modern life. The short radio waves power radars, cook foods, relay messages and link cellphones to antenna towers. They’re a form of electromagnetic radiation on the same spectrum as light and X-rays, only at the opposite end.

While radio broadcasting can employ waves a mile or more in length, microwaves range in size from roughly a foot to a tiny fraction of an inch. They’re seen as harmless in such everyday uses as microwaving foods. But their diminutive size also enables tight focusing, as when dish antennas turn disorganized rays into concentrated beams.

The dimensions of the human head, scientists say, make it a fairly good antenna for picking up microwave signals.

Mr. Frey, a biologist, said he stumbled on the acoustic effect in 1960 while working for General Electric’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. A man who measured radar signals at a nearby G.E. facility came up to him at a meeting and confided that he could hear the beam’s pulses — zip, zip, zip.

Intrigued, Mr. Frey traveled to the man’s workplace in Syracuse and positioned himself in a radar beam. “Lo,” he recalled, “I could hear it, too.”

Mr. Frey’s resulting papers — reporting that even deaf people could hear the false sounds — founded a new field of study on radiation’s neural impacts. Mr. Frey’s first paper, in 1961, reported that power densities 160 times lower than “the standard maximum safe level for continuous exposure” could induce the sonic delusions.

His second paper, in 1962, pinpointed the brain’s receptor site as the temporal lobes, which extend beneath the temples. Each lobe bears a small region — the auditory cortex — that processes nerve signals from the outer and inner ears.

Investigators raced to confirm and extend Mr. Frey’s findings. At first they named the phenomenon after him, but eventually called it the microwave auditory effect and, in time, more generally, radio-frequency hearing.

The Soviets took notice. Not long after his initial discoveries, Mr. Frey said, he was invited by the Soviet Academy of Sciences to visit and lecture. Toward the end, in a surprise, he was taken outside Moscow to a military base surrounded by armed guards and barbed-wire fences.

“They had me visiting the various labs and discussing the problems,” including the neural impacts of microwaves, Mr. Frey recalled. “I got an inside look at their classified program.”

Moscow was so intrigued by the prospect of mind control that it adopted a special terminology for the overall class of envisioned arms, calling them psychophysical and psychotronic.

Soviet research on microwaves for “internal sound perception,” the Defense Intelligence Agency warned in 1976, showed great promise for “disrupting the behavior patterns of military or diplomatic personnel.”

Furtively, globally, the threat grew.

The National Security Agency gave Mark S. Zaid, a Washington lawyer who routinely gets security clearances to discuss classified matters, a statement on how a foreign power built a weapon “designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system.”

Mr. Zaid said a N.S.A. client of his who traveled there watched in disbelief as his nervous system later unraveled, starting with control of his fingers.

Washington, too, foresaw new kinds of arms.

In Albuquerque, N.M., Air Force scientists sought to beam comprehensible speech into the heads of adversaries. Their novel approach won a patent in 2002, and an update in 2003. Both were assigned to the Air Force secretary, helping limit the idea’s dissemination.

The lead inventor said the research team had “experimentally demonstrated” that the “signal is intelligible.” As for the invention’s uses, an Air Force disclosure form listed the first application as “Psychological Warfare.”

The Navy sought to paralyze. The Frey effect was to induce sounds powerful enough to cause painful discomfort and, if needed, leave targets unable to move. The weapon, the Navy noted, would have a “low probability of fatalities or permanent injuries.”

In a twist, the 2003 contract was awarded to microwave experts who had emigrated to the United States from Russia and Ukraine.

It is unknown if Washington deploys such arms. But the Pentagon built a related weapon known as the Active Denial System, hailing it in a video. It fires an invisible beam meant to deter mobs and attackers with fiery sensations.

Russia, China and many European states are seen as having the know-how to make basic microwave weapons that can debilitate, sow noise or even kill. Advanced powers, experts say, might accomplish more nuanced aims such as beaming spoken words into people’s heads. Only intelligence agencies know which nations actually possess and use such unfamiliar arms.

The basic weapon might look like a satellite dish. In theory, such a device might be hand-held or mounted in a van, car, boat or helicopter. Microwave arms are seen as typically working over relatively short distances — across the length of a few rooms or blocks. High-powered ones might be able to fire beams across several football fields, or even for several miles.

The episode in Cuba
The Soviet collapse in 1991 cut Russia’s main ties to Cuba, a longtime ally just 90 miles from the United States. The shaky economy forced Moscow to stop providing Havana with large amounts of oil and other aid.

Vladimir Putin, as Russia’s president and prime minister, sought to recover the economic, political and strategic clout that the Soviets had lost. In December 2000, months after the start of his first presidential term, Mr. Putin flew to the island nation. It was the first visit by a Soviet or Russian leader since the Cold War.

He also sought to resurrect Soviet work on psychoactive arms. In 2012, he declared that Russia would pursue “new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals,” including psychophysical weapons.

In July 2014, Mr. Putin again visited Cuba. This time he brought a gift — the cancellation of some $30 billion in Cuban debt. The two nations signed a dozen accords.

A Russian spy ship, Viktor Leonov, docked in Havana on the eve of the beginning of reconciliation talks between Cuba and the United States in early 2015, and did so again in subsequent years. Moscow and Havana grew so close that in late 2016, the two nations signed a sweeping pact on defense and technology cooperation.

As a candidate, Donald Trump faulted the Obama administration’s normalization policy as “a very weak agreement” and threatened to scrap it on reaching the White House. Weeks after he won the election, in late November 2016, the American embassy in Havana found itself battling a mysterious crisis.

Diplomats and their families recounted high-pitched sounds in homes and hotel rooms at times intense enough to incapacitate. Long-term, the symptoms included nausea, crushing headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sleep problems and hearing loss.

The State Department filed diplomatic protests, and the Cuban government denied involvement. In May, the F.B.I. opened an investigation and its agents began visiting Havana a half year after the incidents began. The last major one hit that summer, in August, giving the agents relatively little time to gather clues.

In September 2017, the Trump administration warned travelers away from Cuba and ordered home roughly half the diplomatic personnel.

Rex W. Tillerson, who was then the secretary of state, said the embassy’s staff had been targeted deliberately. But he refrained from blaming Cuba, and federal officials held out the possibility that a third party may have been responsible.

In early October, President Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats, producing a chill between the nations. Administration critics said the White House was using the health issue as a pretext to end President Barack Obama’s reconciliation policy.

The day after the expulsions, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a closed, top secret hearing on the Cuba situation. Three State Department officials testified, as did an unnamed senior official of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Hypothesis

Early this year, in January, the spooky impact of microwaves on the human brain never came up during an open Senate hearing on the Cuba crisis.

But in a scientific paper that same month, James C. Lin of the University of Illinois, a leading investigator of the Frey effect, described the diplomatic ills as plausibly arising from microwave beams. Dr. Lin is the editor-in-chief of Bio Electro Magnetics, a peer-reviewed journal that explores the effects of radio waves and electromagnetic fields on living things.

In his paper, he said high-intensity beams of microwaves could have caused the diplomats to experience not just loud noises but nausea, headaches and vertigo, as well as possible brain-tissue injury. The beams, he added, could be fired covertly, hitting “only the intended target.”

In February, ProPublica in a lengthy investigation mentioned that federal investigators were weighing the microwave theory. Separately, it told of an intriguing find. The wife of a member of the embassy staff, it reported, had looked outside her home after hearing the disturbing sounds and seen a van speeding away.

A dish antenna could fit easily into a small van.

The medical team that studied the Cuba diplomats ascribed the symptoms in the March JAMA study to “an unknown energy source” that was highly directional. Some personnel, it noted, had covered their ears and heads but experienced no sound reduction. The team said the diplomats appeared to have developed signs of concussion without having received any blows to the head.

In May, reports emerged that American diplomats in China had suffered similar traumas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the medical details of the two groups "very similar” and “entirely consistent" with one another. By late June, the State Department had evacuated at least 11 Americans from China.

To date, the most detailed medical case for microwave strikes has been made by Beatrice A. Golomb, a medical doctor and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. In a forthcoming paper to be published in October in Neural Computation, a peer-reviewed journal of the MIT Press, she lays out potential medical evidence for Cuban microwave strikes.

She compared the symptoms of the diplomats in Cuba to those reported for individuals said to be suffering from radio-frequency sickness. The health responses of the two groups, Dr. Golomb wrote, “conform closely.”

In closing, she argued that “numerous highly specific features” of the diplomatic incidents “fit the hypothesis” of a microwave attack, including the Frey-type production of disturbing sounds.

Scientists still disagree over what hit the diplomats. Last month, JAMA ran four letters critical of the March study, some faulting the report for ruling out mass hysteria.

But Mr. Zaid, the Washington lawyer, who represents eight of the diplomats and family members, said microwave attacks may have injured his clients.

“It’s sort of naïve to think this just started now,” he said. Globally, he added, covert strikes with the potent beams appear to have been going on for decades.

Francisco Palmieri, a State Department official, was asked during the open Senate hearing if “attacks against U.S. personnel in Cuba” had been raised with Moscow.

“That is a very good question,” Mr. Palmieri replied. But addressing it, he added, would require “a classified setting.”

For his part, Mr. Frey says he doubts the case will be solved anytime soon. The novelty of the crisis, its sporadic nature and the foreign setting made it hard for federal investigators to gather clues and draw conclusions, he said, much less file charges.

“Based on what I know,” he remarked, “it will remain a mystery.”
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Source: New York Times, William J. Broad, 01 Sep 2018

Former ICNIRP commission member: NTP shows clear RF cancer risk, guidelines obsolete
USA Created: 29 Aug 2018
In a new paper, “Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk” published in the journal IEEE Microwave Magazine, Dr James C Lin states that the results of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) cell phone radiation study suggest that current radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines are inadequate to protect human health (1). Furthermore, the paper recommends that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) re-assess the research and consider upgrading the classification of RF radiation from "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B) to probably carcinogenic (i.e., Group 2A).

Although Dr. Lin raises some criticisms of the NTP study in this and an earlier paper (1, 2), he recognizes the importance of this research to the field and the implications of the study findings for public health (2).

He praised the FDA and the NTP for the initiation and conduct of the study and emphasized the need for the “U.S. government to step in and conduct such research programs and not leave the matter entirely to the cell-phone industry” due to his concern that “The wireless industry has had nearly free reign to develop and distribute cellular mobile phones and related RF devices as they see fit.”

Dr. Lin was one of fourteen experts convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to review the National Toxicology Program’s cell phone radiation study in March of this year. He is a professor of electrical engineering, bioengineering, physiology, and biophysics at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His publications include ten books, hundreds of papers and book chapters, and he has made hundreds of presentations at professional conferences. He has served on the editorial board of fifteen professional journals and has received numerous awards and honors throughout his distinguished career.

Following are key passages from Dr. Lin’s paper (1):

“On 28 March 2018, following a thorough review of the draft NTP reports, pathologists and toxicologists on the peer-review panel concluded that, among other observations, there was statistically significant and “clear evidence” that both GSM- and CDMA-modulated RF radiation had led to the development of malignant schwannoma (a rare form of tumor) in the heart of male rats (of the Harlan-Sprague-Dawley strain). Further, there was “equivocal evidence” for the same schwannoma risk among female rats.

The panel also noted that there were unusual patterns of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in both RF-exposed male and female rats when compared with concurrent control animals. In addition, based on statistical significance, the panel concluded that the pathology findings showed indications of “some evidence” for RF-dependent carcinogenic activity in the brain of male rats, specifically glioma. However, the findings for female rats were deemed as providing only “equivocal evidence” for malignant gliomas when compared with concurrent controls.” (pp. 16-17)


“The NTP cell-phone RF exposure study is, by far, the largest study of its kind [5]. It was expensive and time consuming, and there may even have been better ways to perform the study. Nevertheless, it highlights that prolonged exposure to RF radiation at, or a little above, currently existing RF exposure regulation levels could lead to tumor development. The current RF exposure guidelines of 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg are promulgated with a reduction factor of 50 as a safety margin for the general public and to provide protection against presumed hazardous biological effects in humans [5], [6]. The finding that RF exposure could lead to dose-dependent cancer development at levels that are the same or three times above current exposure guidelines is significant.

This implies that the safety margin may be no more than a factor of three. In fact, one recommendation (IEEE C95.1-2005) has a set of guidelines under controlled environments that allows local SARs of the brain and heart to be as much as 10 W/kg [7]. An SAR of 10 W/kg is considerably higher than the 1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 W/kg used in the NTP study.” “Because all tissue and organs were similarly exposed and had comparable SARs, it is important for the NTP team to perform a statistical comparison of total primary malignancies in all tissue and organs observed in RF-exposed and concurrent control rats before issuing its final report. Given that hyperplasia (the enlargement of tissue or organs caused by an increased rate of cell growth in the initial stage of cancer development) often leads to neoplasm, the statistical analysis should also include findings of hyperplasia.” (p. 18)


“The FDA should be applauded for initiating and the NIEHS/NTP praised for having sponsored the research and conducted the cell-phone RF radiation studies. It’s important for the U.S. government to step in and conduct such research programs and not leave the matter entirely to the cell-phone industry. The wireless industry has had nearly free reign to develop and distribute cellular mobile phones and related RF devices as they see fit. The completion of this NTP study should not signify the end of the U.S. government’s role in supporting RF biological effects research because we continue to be exposed to more RF radiation every day [8], [9].” (p. 20)


“Malignant schwannoma in rat hearts were the most salient findings from the NTP RF bioassay. Acoustic schwannomas in human brains and malignant schwannomas in rat hearts were independently observed from two different body tissues in humans and rats. There could actually be a link between Schwann cells that wrap around both nerve tissues in the heart and along the auditory nervous system.” (p. 22)


“Because all tissue and organs were similarly exposed and had comparable SARs, it is important for the NTP team to perform a statistical comparison of total primary malignancies in all tissue and organs observed in RF-exposed and concurrent control rats before issuing its final report. Given that hyperplasia (the enlargement of tissue or organs caused by an increased rate of cell growth in the initial stage of cancer development) often leads to neoplasm, the statistical analysis should also include findings of hyperplasia.” (p. 22)

[Note: I provided similar suggestions for analysis of the data in my critique of the NTP study. (3)]


“Now that the NTP review panel has concluded there is clear evidence of carcinogenicity from long-term RF exposure in rats, is it conceivable that the IARC would upgrade its epidemiology-based classification of RF exposure to the next level of carcinogenicity to humans?
As noted earlier, the existing RF exposure guidelines of 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg are promulgated with a reduction factor of 50, as a safety margin for the general public. The finding that long-term RF exposure could lead to cancer development in rats at levels that are the same as or no greater than a factor of three above these exposure guidelines is significant.

While complacencies abound for short-term exposure guidelines in terms of providing safety protection, an outstanding question persists concerning the adequacy of these guidelines for safe, long-term exposure to RF radiation at or below 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg. Perhaps the time has come to judiciously reassess, revise, and update these guidelines." (pp. 22-23)


References

(1) Lin JC. Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk. IEEE Microwave Magazine. 19(6):16-24. Sep/Oct 2018. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2018.2844058. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8425056/

(2) Lin JC. The NTP cell phone RF radiation health effects project. IEEE Microwave Magazine. 18(1): 15-17. Jan/Feb 2017. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2016.2616239. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7779288/

(3) Moskowitz JM. Comments about the NTP cell phone radiation studies. School of Public Health, UC Berkeley. Submitted to the National Toxicology Program, Mar 12, 2018. http://bit.ly/NTPcommentsJMM180312
Click here to view the source article.
Source: SaferEMR, Joel M. Moskowitz, 28 Aug 2018

A majority of U.S. teens are taking steps to limit smartphone and social media use
USA Created: 29 Aug 2018
It’s not just parents who are worrying about their children’s device usage. According to a new study released by Pew Research Center this week, U.S. teens are now taking steps to limit themselves from overuse of their phone and its addictive apps, like social media. A majority, 54% of teens, said they spend too much time on their phone, and nearly that many – 52% – said they are trying to limit their phone use in various ways.

In addition, 57% say they’re trying to limit social media usage and 58% are trying to limit video games.

The fact that older children haven’t gotten a good handle on balanced smartphone usage points to a failure on both parents’ parts and the responsibilities of technology companies to address the addictive nature of our devices.

For years, instead of encouraging more moderate use of smartphones, as the tools they’re meant to be, app makers took full advantage of smartphones’ always-on nature to continually send streams of interruptive notifications that pushed users to constantly check in. Tech companies even leveraged psychological tricks to reward us each time we launched their app, with dopamine hits that keep users engaged.

Device makers loved this addiction because they financially benefited from app sales and in-app purchases, in addition to device sales. So they built ever more tools to give apps access to users’ attention, instead of lessening it.

For addicted teens, parents were of little help as they themselves were often victims of this system, too.

Today, tech companies are finally waking up to the problem. Google and Apple have now both built in screen time monitoring and control tools into their mobile operating systems, and even dopamine drug dealers like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have begun to add screen time reminders and other “time well spent” features.

But these tools have come too late to prevent U.S. children from developing bad habits with potentially harmful side effects.

Pew says that 72% of teens are reaching for their phones as soon as they wake up; four-in-ten feel anxious without their phone; 56% report that not have their phone with them can make them feel lonely, upset or anxious; 51% feel their parents are distracted by phones during conversations (72% of parents say this is true, too, when trying to talk to teens); and 31% say phones distract them in class.

The problems are compounded by the fact that smartphones aren’t a luxury any longer – they’re in the hands of nearly all U.S. teens, 45% of whom are almost constantly online.

The only good news is that today’s teens seem to be more aware of the problem, even if their parents failed to teach balanced use of devices in their own home.

Nine-in-ten teens believe that spending too much time online is a problem, and 60% say it’s a major problem. 41% say they spend too much time on social media.

In addition, some parents are starting to take aim at the problem, as well, with 57% reporting they’ve set some screen time restrictions for their teens.

Today’s internet can be a toxic place, and not one where people should spend large amounts of time.

Social networking one the top activities taking place on smartphones, reports show.

But many of these networks were built by young men who couldn’t conceive of all the ways things could go wrong. They failed to build in robust controls from day one to prevent things like bullying, harassment, threats, misinformation, and other issues.

Instead, these protections have been added on after the fact – after the problems became severe. And, some could argue, that was too late. Social media is something that’s now associated with online abuse and disinformation, with comment thread fights and trolling, and with consequences that range from teen suicides to genocide.

If we are unable to give up our smartphones and social media for the benefits they do offer, at the very least we should be monitoring and moderating our use of them at this point.

Thankfully, as this study shows, there’s growing awareness of this among younger users, and maybe, some of them will even do something about it in the future – when they’re the bosses, the parents, and the engineers, they can craft new work/life policies, make new house rules, and write better code.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: TechCrunch, Sarah Perez, 24 Aug 2018

'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
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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.
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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).
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Source: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, 24 Jul 2018

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