News for Bahrain

Why are people still in denial about radiation?
Bahrain Created: 21 Nov 2012
This is a response to "Alarming Facts" (GDN, November 16), and the interesting observations on the obvious increase of health issues due to electromagnetic field radiation from modern technologies.

The World Health Organisation is not the only entity confirming that health effects do exist from electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Before then, the Bio-Initiative Report was conducted by a group of researchers documenting 2,000 studies of biological effects of low frequency and radio frequency radiation, and calling for more realistic human exposure guidelines.

Dr Zory Glaser who worked in the US Navy, cited similar proof when asked to review literature on harmful EMF effects. The Naval Medical Research Institute made sure to keep his paper in the dark since 1972, until it was recently demanded to become transparent. Why were his papers hidden? Money. His proof would have stopped industries from helping economic growth. Hiding alarming facts while gambling over health was the better option.

It is clear. So why are people still in denial? One group is convinced that industries are making money out of our stupidity. Another group calls that extremist thinking citing from a majority of scientific studies. It seems that opposing sides of the EMF radiation debate has been playing ping-pong for quite a while without knowing the rules.

The fact is that the majority of studies that claim no biological effects from EMF radiation are funded by industries, especially cellphone industries. (Henry Lai, University of Washington). Apparently, money can buy facts and beliefs.

I suggest you visit Dr Magda Havas's website (, who has been doing research on the biological effects of EMF pollution since the 1990s.

Dr Havas works with diabetics, people who have multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and has also done studies on buildings polluted with electromagnetic radiation, especially schools. She wrote an article, titled "Cherry Picking & Black Swans", that pinpoints why many people's denial over the effects of EMF radiation on health continues because scientific proof is being wrongly interpreted by the public, with results that are selectively communicated by the scientist.

She basically says that when testing the statement that microwave radiation is safe, we should not focus on the major studies that show no effect. This would be the same as, for example, counting white swans and claiming that they are all white. And it means that you are being selective according to your preference.

To really find out whether microwave radiation is safe or not, we should simply look at studies that document harm. (i.e. by trying to sight black swans, and if you don't find any, only then can you reasonably prove that all swans are white.) This is what was done in the Bio-Initiative Report.

The Bio-initiative Report was a response to the mantra that "We have no convincing conclusive consistent evidence that electromagnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation are harmful below current guidelines". Therefore, it is not selecting only bad news. Instead, it uses the scientific method called "falsification" to prove that the statement that "electromagnetic fields below existing guidelines are safe" is worth reconsidering.

This simple fact is part of reality, and we should not ignore it. Whether you are a scientist or not, use your common sense. Let reality speak for itself.

"As of 1997, there have been dozens of scientific and medical organisations from around the world, that appealed that current outdated EMF guidelines be updated to protect public health. What are thousands of doctors and scientists worldwide trying to tell us? Houston we have a problem!"

Beisan Al Shafei
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Source: Gulf Daily News, Beisan Al Shafei, 21 Nov 2012

Sitting down for their rights
Bahrain Created: 30 Dec 2009
A VIGILANTE Bahraini family yesterday physically stopped a mobile telecoms mast being erected near their home - by sitting on it.

Briton Irene Ramsey, her Bahraini husband Mansoor Al A'ali and their son Falah sat on the main frame of the mast and refused to move, stopping workmen from hoisting it into place with a crane.

Ms Ramsey, of Hamad Town, said the mast first appeared at their next-door neighbour's house before the National Day holiday last week.

"The work started about 10 days ago but at that time we had it stopped," she explained.

"I didn't see anything else happening over the holidays and there was nothing earlier this week but today, they came back and were trying to put up the mast.

"I went outside and sat on the frame and told them that I wasn't moving.

"They already had the clips of the crane in place at that stage and they said it didn't matter what I did because they were just following instructions to do the job.

"The workers were actually apologetic but it's not their fault, they are just doing what they were told and they didn't want to lose their jobs."


The land on which the mast was due to be erected is owned by an Arab whom Ms Ramsey claims is refusing to co-operate, or even come out of his house to talk to them.

"I met him at the police station last week when we went to make the complaint and he asked me 'Why are you doing this?'," she said.

"I told him I am doing this for the health of my children and his children and that doesn't have a price.

"He is now staying inside the house and won't speak to us about it anymore."

Ms Ramsey headed for the courts yesterday morning, on the advice of the police, in an attempt to halt any further work at the site, with Falah taking her perch on the mast.

She was told she could not register an official complaint because the property was in her husband's name - but shortly after she got home, the mast was removed.

"They just loaded everything back up onto the lorry and moved off," said Ms Ramsey.

Yesterday's incident is the latest twist in a campaign against telecom firms putting up such masts in residential neighbourhoods.

Last month, angry protesters set up camp outside Hamad Town MP Jawad Fairooz's house for several days, after a similar mast was erected on his property.

The GDN reported at the end of September that municipal councils were planning to dismantle all mobile phone masts that had been put up without their permission.

However, they backed down after the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) agreed to come up with new procedures for erecting masts and aerials on rooftops in three months.

The TRA and municipal bodies will then review existing sites without permits before informing operators to remove structures that do not comply with the new rules.

Councillors have claimed telecom companies are paying up to BD1,000 a month to erect mobile phone masts on people's roofs without permission. Bahrain's 2002 Telecommunications Law states telecom companies can construct installations on private property if an agreement is reached with building owners. However, the Building Regulation Law of 1977 states that landowners require municipality consent to modify any building. It was unclear which telecoms company was responsible for the mast.
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Source: Gulf Daily News, tom hanratty, 25 Dec 2009

Letter: Why does Bahrain need so many mobile masts?
Bahrain Created: 19 Nov 2009
Why does such a small island as Bahrain need SO MANY mobile phone masts? They seem to be going up everywhere! We have just had a very large mast erected literally just a few feet away from our apartment.

We are now relocating to a property that is hopefully away from any mobile phone masts!

Our landlord has been convinced by the Bahrain government that these masts are totally harmless!

Is this what the Bahraini government is saying to all the local people?

Do they not care that if you live within 400 metres of a mobile phone mast you can suffer from any, some or all of the following: heart palpitations, headaches, nose bleeding, sleep disorders, itchy and burning skin, depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, motor neurone disease, CANCER, leukaemia and brain tumours!

In Germany, it was proven that patients, who had lived within 400 metres of a mast for 10 years were much more likely to get cancer than those living further away. Patients fell ill with cancer nearly eight years younger.

Other studies have shown the same kind of pattern.

Across Europe, mobile phone masts are banned from being erected in residential areas! Come on Bahrain, there is a huge area towards the southern end of the island, so why not put them there?

Some of these masts have apparently been erected illegally, but nothing is done about this when residents complain to the authorities.

If this continues, the brains of the people of Bahrain will literally 'fry'! M H
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Source: Gulf Daily News, M.H, 19 Nov 2009

Residents demand removal of towers
Bahrain Created: 17 Nov 2009
MORE than 100 Janabiya residents have signed a petition, demanding the removal of mobile phone masts in their area that they claim are harmful to health. It has now been submitted to the Northern Municipal Council chairman Yousif Al Boori and the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The petition was first launched in September when new masts were set up near residents' homes and a girls' school, allegedly "under the cover of darkness" during the public holidays of Eid Al Fitr and the following weekend.

"Scientists in Europe, the US and around the world have conducted countless studies that have established links between low-energy electromagnetic field exposure such as that emitted from a mobile phone mast and adverse health effects," residents claim in their petition.

"These include leukaemia, brain tumours, genotoxic and neurological effects, neurodegenerative disease, allergic and inflammatory responses, breast cancer, miscarriage and various cardiovascular effects among others.

"All these occur at much lower exposures than the internationally advocated exposure threshold.

"We call on you to adhere to the precautionary principle and ensure the placing of these masts away from residential neighbourhoods, schools and hospitals.

"The health of an entire country is at stake, including yours and your children's." Hussam Qassim, who is one of those spearheading the petition, said he was not against all mobile phone masts - just those in residential areas.

"I myself have children and fear for their health because these mobile phone masts are set up very close to schools and residential areas," he said.

"We are not against these masts as long as they are set up far away from us." However, TRA communications and consumer affairs director Basil Al Arrayedh denied any link between the masts and the illnesses claimed by residents.

"All the studies that have been conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) did not find a link between the phone masts and the diseases," he said.

"The WHO spent around $400 million (BD151.3m) on these studies and none claims that there was a link to these diseases." He said that the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and the WHO had carried out many studies over the past 30 years, which had not found any link between the diseases and mobile phone masts.

"The more the mobile phone masts are the less energy they and mobiles emit," said Mr Al Arrayedh.

However, Northern Municipal Mr Al Boori said he was backing the residents' demands.

"The matter had become worse and these mobile phone masts are being set up randomly," he said.

"Nowadays the complaints and the petitions are increasing because of the increase in the number of mobile phone masts in residential areas." However, he said health fears were not the only concern.

"These generators are very loud and are working day and night. This is another reason why residents are getting upset," he said.

Mr Al Boori revealed the council had sent a list of alleged violations by phone companies to the Public Prosecution.
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Source: Gulf Daily News, 15 nov 2009

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