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|Sony to slash smartphone workforce 50% by 2020|
|Japan||Created: 30 Mar 2019|
TOKYO -- Sony is cutting up to half its smartphone workforce as sales shrink in the face of stiff global competition.
The job cuts come as the global smartphone industry suffers one of the severest downturns of recent years. Worldwide shipments are expected to decline for the third straight year in 2019 to about 1.3 billion units, according to U.S. research company IDC.
Sony's share of the smartphone market has fallen sharply in recent years -- from more than 3% in 2010, according to the research portal Statistica -- to less than 1% currently. It has struggled to compete against leaders Apple, Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies, all of which are racing to develop new 5G devices.
The decision to scale back its smartphone workforce, which could see up to 2,000 of the total 4,000 jobs cut by March 2020, is part of a move to reduce fixed costs in the business, and also includes procurement reform.
Some of the Japanese employees affected by the decision will be transferred to other divisions, but the company will offer voluntary retirement in its Europe and China operations.
Sony will limit smartphone sales in Southeast Asia and other areas to focus on Europe and East Asia.
The company's smartphone sales for fiscal 2018 are projected to come in at a dismal 6.5 million units, half the previous year's figure and just one-sixth that of five years ago.
In fiscal 2014, Sony pulled 1,000 employees from its smartphone operations, but sales have plunged faster than expected, necessitating a further round of cuts.
Sony's smartphone business generates annual revenue of about 500 billion yen, but is expected to post an operating loss for the third straight year through fiscal 2019. By halving operating expenses from fiscal 2017, the company hopes the business will turn a profit by fiscal 2020.
Sony has restructured before, selling off its personal computer unit and paring costs at its TV business. Now, its smartphone business remains the only loss-making unit.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Nikkei, Akihide Anzai and Wataru Suzuki, 29 Mar 2019|
|From moms to medical doctors, burnout is everywhere these days|
|USA||Created: 30 Mar 2019|
A common ailment is going around, and you probably know someone plagued by it. Caused in part by social media, the 24-hour news cycle and the pressure to check work email outside of office hours, it could hit you, too — especially if you don’t know how to nip it in the bud.
Burnout is everywhere.
Books are being published about it, high-powered medical groups are raising alarms and ordinary people are feeling it. A recent report from Harvard and Massachusetts medical organizations declared physician burnout a public health crisis. It pointed out the problem not only harms doctors but also patients.
“Burnout is associated with increasing medical errors,” the paper said.
Ninety-five percent of human resource leaders say burnout is sabotaging workplace retention, often because of overly heavy workloads, one survey found. Poor management contributes to the burnout epidemic.
“Organizations typically reward employees who are putting in longer hours and replace workers who aren’t taking on an increased workload, which is a systematic problem that causes burnout in the first place,” says Dan Schawbel, research director of Future Workplace, the firm that conducted the survey along with Kronos.
"Mommy Burnout," a book published last year by psychologist Sheryl Ziegler, resonated with women who had run themselves into the ground trying to be super mom (and dads made it clear they were burned out, too).
A new book, “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle,” by sisters Emily Nagoski (a health educator) and Amelia Nagoski (a choral conductor who was hospitalized for burnout) aims to help women, in particular, live a more balanced life.
Burnout is a term easily tossed around, the way somebody might claim to be starving when they’re simply hungry, or freezing when cold. That’s harmless if a person is describing a tired day or week. But somebody who is actually burned out should be prepared to take serious action because it’s a condition that needs attention.
Amelia Nagoski was juggling the demands of a doctoral program when she experienced such severe abdominal pain she was hospitalized. Doctors concluded it was “just stress” and told her to relax. Turns out, she had stress-induced inflammation from burnout.
Ziegler defines burnout as “chronic stress gone awry.” The big three symptoms are emotional exhaustion, cynicism and feeling ineffective, according to the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a survey designed to measure employee burnout in the workforce. Other symptoms can include frequent colds or sicknesses, insomnia and a tendency to alleviate stress in unhealthy ways, such as with too much alcohol or online shopping.
Part of the difficulty of pinpointing true burnout may be because burnout is a nonmedical term — at least in the United States. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t list it as an illness. But other countries including France, Denmark and Sweden, do recognize burnout syndrome and consider it to be a legitimate reason to take a sick day from work.
“Everybody intuitively recognizes what burnout feels like in their bodies and their feelings and their thoughts,” Emily Nagoski says. “It’s like art: You know it when you see it.”
Even without an official diagnosis — or agreed upon definition — American researchers have studied burnout for decades. Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger popularized the term in the 1970s, basing it on his work with drug addicts where he witnessed their veins burn out from needle injections and their cigarettes burn down. Soon after, psychologist Christina Maslach developed the MBI.
Burnout is caused by chronic stress, not stressors, the Nagoskis say in their book. It’s important to differentiate the two. Stressors are external: to-do lists, financial problems or anxiety about the future. Stress, on the other hand, “is the neurological and physiological shift that happens in your body when you encounter [stressors],” the Nagoskis write.
To fix burnout, people need to address the stress itself. They must allow their body to complete its stress response cycle. Instead, people tend to focus on stressors. “They assume their stress will go away if they’re on top of things, if they’re accomplishing things and constantly checking things off their to-do list,” Emily Nagoski says.
That’s a lesson Paula Davis-Laack learned the hard way.
Davis-Laack practiced commercial real estate law before the Great Recession of the late 2000s. The fast-paced environment gave her a constant adrenaline high as she closed deals and kept so busy that she barely left time to grab a handful of peanuts for lunch. Her frequent headaches, stomach aches and colds threatened to drag her down, but no doctor could give her a diagnosis.
One day, drafting a document in her office, she says she felt like she couldn’t breathe. She bolted out of her chair and raced to a nearby health clinic. “Help me!” she gasped. She was having a panic attack. After two more medical crises landed her in the emergency room, she feared a mental or physical collapse if she kept going. She decided to walk away from the law.
“It was like a 50,000-pound weight lifted off my shoulders,” she says.
Still unsure of what was wrong, she poked around the Internet doing research of her own when she came across information on burnout. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is exactly what happened to me!’ ”
Davis-Laack traces the beginning of her burnout back to her teenage years.
“There were a lot of messages to be a high achiever,” she says. “Those check-the-box matrix measurements were important to me. I internalized them.”
The messages took an even stronger hold once she started working.
She returned to graduate school to study well-being, the effects of stress and their effect on the workplace. In 2013, she opened the Davis Laack Stress & Resilience Institute in Wisconsin. She now teaches workshops on burnout.
For those who suspect they might be on the road to burnout, there are practical tools to mitigate it. Among others: physical exercise, sleep and positive social connection (the real kind, not the Facebook kind). The importance of balance and self-care to prevent burnout likely isn’t surprising to most.
“There’s nothing fancy about what it would take to turn things around,” says Ziegler, the “Mommy Burnout” author. “But it’s a huge shift in the cultural mind-set. That’s the challenge.”
Plus, fixing burnout can feel like adding more stressors. An employee who takes a lunch break in a park (time in nature reduces stress) might feel pressured to stay late at the end of the day. A yoga class or walk is another item to squeeze into the calendar. A mom can’t quit her parenting job. To address time-management issues, the Nagoskis provide work sheets in their book to help readers reprioritize activities. Ziegler suggests setting boundaries with social media. Use the Internet for help, such as ordering groceries, but limit scrolling to 10 minutes a day. Also, it’s okay to remove activities from the calendar (or quit them completely) so you can exercise.
Gender might play a role in burnout, too.
Researchers from the University of Montreal questioned 2,026 people, half women, in 63 different workplaces. Their work, published in the Annals of Work Exposure and Health, found that women reported higher levels of burnout.
One reason was because women have more work-and-family conflicts. The women’s rights movement was “supposed to give women choices,” Ziegler says. “Sounds awesome, but it became you need to do it all. You need to run your house and be the perfect wife and mom and work. The stress on women got higher.”
Other studies have shown that rates of burnout are more or less equal among genders, although males and females experience it differently. A study published in BMC Public Health showed that female physicians are susceptible to burnout from emotional exhaustion while male physicians to burnout because of cynicism.
Steven Manning remembers the night he realized he had become pessimistic about practicing medicine. One Wednesday at his family care practice in Williamston, N.C., he worked on electronic medical records well past 9 p.m. His wife and kids waited for him at home. He had seen about 30 patients that day but felt he hadn’t given a single one the highest level of care because the appointment times were too short. Yet the hospital and insurance companies kept pressuring him to see more patients a day, not fewer.
“I began to think, ‘I’m burned out. How did I get to this point? I don’t enjoy coming into work.’ ” It wasn’t too late to make a change. Within a year, Manning started a direct primary care practice, a model where patients pay a membership fee, negating the need for insurance billing. Without mounds of paperwork, he had time to do what he truly wanted: help patients.
“It brought back the joy of medicine I felt I was missing,” he says. “Before, I barely had time to address my patients’ diabetes, hypertension and heart failure, let alone spend time taking a mental and spiritual inventory.”
Now, he talks with patients about depression, anxiety and stress and notices many patients are burned out, especially mothers of young kids.
Lawyer and mom Anna Swain knows the feeling.
She poured her heart and soul into fixing the troubled lives of criminals who had messed up with drugs and violence only to wind up devastated when her hard work seemed pointless.
“I’d call my mom every day on my way home from the office crying,” she says. “I was either sad over a client who was having her third meth-addicted baby or crying over a shockingly rude email by opposing counsel.” When she added motherhood to the mix, her feelings of failure increased. “I didn’t know what I was doing. Nobody does with a first child.”
Burned out on “doing the next thing I was supposed to do to be a good girl and get ahead,” she knew she needed downtime, but she was afraid to take a step back from the hamster wheel. “Boredom goes against everything we’re told to do to succeed, achieve and be proactive,” Swain says. “Even when I clean the house, I think, ‘Well, I should take the opportunity to listen to a podcast. Maybe I can grow as a person.’ Honestly, I’d grow more if I chose to be in silence and let my mind wander.”
She tried it. Rocking her baby to sleep, she wanted to watch the TV series “Game of Thrones” or scroll through her phone. But she couldn’t. One wrong move — or the glow of a screen — would wake her baby up. At first, Swain felt angry and resentful at the lack of distractions, but the stillness gave her an opportunity to daydream. That opened the door to creativity.
“I started creating little poems and rhymes in my head. I felt exhilarated,” she says. Eventually, Swain wrote a children’s book. “I felt a sense of purpose again,” she says.
The Nagoskis agree that daydreaming during low-demand tasks, having a creative outlet and engaging with something larger are three more keys to preventing burnout. They suggest writing your own obituary to find out what is meaningful to you.
“It sounds dark,” Amelia Nagoski says. “But it makes you think about who you are and what’s important to you.”
Making space in our lives so we’re not so hurried and harried isn’t easy, especially in a culture that shames slow living, Amelia Nagoski says. Preventing burnout requires hard decisions. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours. To rest — whether with a walk, an extra hour of sleep or a talk with a friend — means something else drops off the schedule.
At first, you might panic that you’re not “accomplishing” something. But before long, you may notice you’ve moved farther away from a breaking point. Your downward spiral will change directions.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Washington Post, Jenny Rough, 30 Mar 2019|
|Proposed bills in Oregon legislature would fund research of radiation risk from electronics|
|USA||Created: 29 Mar 2019|
Oregon lawmakers are considering requiring state officials to study if there is a risk of radiation from electronics, particularly in classrooms.
Legislators have introduced several different bills addressing wireless technology and safety.
One requires the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Education to study the effects of long-term exposure to microwave radiation in classrooms. That includes from Wi-Fi routers, laptops and smart boards.
“These technologies are so new to us and it is our fiduciary responsibility to make sure that we at least look at the research,” said Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson.
Another bill would require caution labels on devices that emit radiations. A third would limit classroom screen time.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: KPIC, KATU News, 28 Mar 2019|
|Proposed bill removes Telecom liability for health damage|
|USA||Created: 28 Mar 2019|
Radiofrequency Radiation Site Safety Information Act of 2018.
At the bottom of bill H. R. 7236 there is a section removing liability for radiation damages from Telecoms and their employees:
“(e) Limitation of liability.—A person described in subsection (b)(1) with respect to a covered facility shall not be liable in any civil action for an injury alleged to have been caused by radiofrequency radiation emissions of such facility, if such person is in compliance with the information sharing requirement under subsection (c) with respect to such facility during the period that—
“(A) in the case of an injury that is alleged to have occurred on or after the day that is 180 days after the date on which the database is established under subsection (a), on the date on which the injury is alleged to have occurred; or
“(B) in the case of an injury that is alleged to have occurred before the day described in subparagraph (A), on such day;
“(2) ends on the date on which there is a final disposition, from which no appeal may be taken, in such civil action; and
“(3) excludes any time when such information sharing requirement does not apply to such person.
“(f) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) COVERED FACILITY.—The term ‘covered facility’ means a facility, operation, or transmitter that—
“(A) is subject to the radiofrequency radiation exposure limits set forth in section 1.1310 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations; and
“(B) is in a fixed location.
“(2) FIXED LOCATION.—The term ‘fixed location’ means, with respect to a facility, operation, or transmitter, that such facility, operation, or transmitter is physically secured at one location and is not able to be easily moved to another location.”.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Congress.gov, 12 Okt 2018|
|Cell Tower to be Removed After 4th Ripon Student Diagnosed with Cancer|
|USA||Created: 28 Mar 2019|
After 4 students and 3 teachers were diagnosed with cancer within a 3-year period, Sprint has finally agreed to remove a cell tower at a Ripon, California school. While it is exceedingly difficult to identify the cause of a cancer cluster, parents and students in the San Joaquin County school are convinced there is one and it is caused by the campus cell tower. They are not only protesting but several have abandoned the small school which now features 4 rare cancers in students -2 brain tumors, one kidney cancer and one liver cancer. Investigations of not only cell tower radiation but also water quality have been initiated. After 200 parents stormed the school board meeting, school officials were prompted to ask for the cell tower to be removed at the K-8 school. Sprint has agreed to do so.
Parents Opposed the Cell Tower Before it was Placed
The cell tower was placed at Weston Elementary School 10 years ago and a group of parents opposed the cell tower construction before it was erected, citing health concerns. According to news reports, they have another 15 years left on the 25-year lease with a rental fee of about $2,000 per month paid to the school. A Go Petition to have the cell tower removed was initiated in 2017 after 2 children in the school developed cancer.
Radiofrequency Levels Are Within FCC Guidelines
Officials have maintained that the radiofrequency radiation levels were below the federal standard when measured and they are in compliance. Questions remain about the safety of cell towers, as well as the current standards, which many experts state are not protective of human or environmental health. Current FCC regulations for human exposure are based on heating of tissues and short term exposures, not harmful biological effects demonstrated at much lower levels in the scientific literature.
Even though the cause of any particular cancer may never be determined is there scientific evidence that removing the cell tower and taking this precautionary approach is warranted?
Is Cell Tower Radiation Toxic?
Cell towers as well as Wi-Fi create continuous emissions of pulsed microwave radiation. Microwave ovens which use similar radiofrequencies at higher power cook by heat, however, at lower power adverse biological effects have been demonstrated in scientific studies without heating or burning the tissue. One mechanism of toxicity that has been clearly shown is oxidative damage in 93 of 100 studies (Yakymenko 2016) . Wireless radiation passes through and is absorbed in the body and organs and thus can potentially cause broad harm to cellular structures and internal organs. Damage from RFR is cumulative as it is with ionizing radiation and other toxic exposures. It is also non-linear in its effects due to individual variation in genetics, nutrition and health.
Cell Towers and Cancer
In 2011 IARC listed radiofrequency radiation (RFR) as a possible carcinogen. Scientists have argued that considering the current level of published research on brain tumors and radio frequency radiation that RFR should be listed as a Class 1 Known Carcinogen. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Study on Cancer and Cell Phones announced their findings in 2018, after 10 years of research on RFR, and showed DNA damage (a precursor to cancer) and clear evidence of carcinogenicity of wireless radiation emissions. They demonstrated in carefully conducted studies a significant increase in tumors of internal organs including the heart, brain and adrenal medulla (which sits just above the kidney). Another worrisome finding from the NTP was the development of aging of the heart in the exposed cohort.
Distance from Cell Towers and Cancer Rates
A study by Wolf and Wolf (2004) showed a significant increase in cancer in those living within 350 feet of a cell tower. Eger (2004) found an increase in new cancer cases within a 10-year period if residents lived within 400 meters of a cell tower. They also found that within 5 years of operation of the transmitting base station the relative risk of cancer development tripled in residents near the cell tower compared to resident living outside the area. Dode (2011) performed a 10-year study (1996-2006) examining the distance from cell towers and cancer clusters. He and his colleagues found a significant increase in cancers in those living within 500 meters of the cell tower. They noted, “The largest density power was 40.78 μW/cm2, and the smallest was 0.04 μW/cm2.” The current guidelines are about 1000 μW/cm2.
They conclude “Measured values stay below Brazilian Federal Law limits that are the same of ICNIRP. The human exposure pattern guidelines are inadequate. More restrictive limits must be adopted urgently.”
Cell Towers, Illness and Cognitive Decline in Students
Cancer is not the only worry with cell towers. The majority of studies on cell towers internationally have shown adverse effects with cell towers in close proximity to residencies and schools. Findings include symptoms of dizziness, headaches, nausea, memory loss, and fatigue in those living within about 400 feet of a cell tower. These are symptoms of “microwave illness” reported by NASA in servicemen working on radar systems. A recent study conducted over 2 years looking at the effects of cell towers near two schools by Meo (2018) demonstrated cognitive dysfunction in students closest to the higher power cell tower.
Cell Towers and Blood Cell Abnormalities
There is also a recent study showing blood abnormalities in those living nearest to cell towers (Zothansiama 2017). DNA and lipid abnormalities were seen along with reduction in internal antioxidants which provide protection from pollutants.
Cell Towers, Wi Fi, Laptops and Cell Phones All Emit RFR
Cell towers are not the only source of potentially harmful radiofrequency radiation in schools. Most schools today have converted from the original wired classrooms to wireless with the use of wireless white boards, wireless computers and with assignments on the cell phones. Wi Fi routers and wireless electronics in the classroom bring this radiation in much closer proximity to students and levels can be higher than near cell towers. The increase in RF exposure in children is a huge concern with cell towers adding to RF cumulative exposures. Schools in Germany, Austria and France as well as many private schools in the U.S. have gone back to hardwired connections for health reasons and to reduce exposure.
Cell Towers Banned in the Los Angeles Unified School District and Removed in Chatsworth
The Los Angeles City Board of Education banned cell towers on schools in 2000, citing health and safety concerns of the students. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD Resolution states:
Whereas, Recent studies suggest there is evidence that radio-frequency radiation may produce “health effects” at “very low field” intensities;
Whereas, The scientific community and most health officials agree that more research is needed to provide a definitive answer as to the effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic and radio- frequency radiation on our health and recommend the prudent avoidance of equipment which generates non-ionizing radiation; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, further, That the Board of Education oppose the future placement of cellular telecommunications towers on or immediately adjacent to school property currently owned by the District until appropriate regulatory standards are adopted.
In Chatsworth, on Human Rights Day, parents protested the reinstallation of a cell tower on their local school and occupied the field until the mast was removed. Angry parents took a stand and were ready to camp out on the cell tower site. The school governing board and principal were contacted and according to the report some were not aware of the reinstallation. Parents watched and waited as heavy machinery slowly lowered the mast and drove it away.
Cell Towers and the Telecommunications Act
Cell towers are regulated by the 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA). Schools may ban cell towers however municipalities may not according to the TCA. The law states that a cell tower cannot be denied on the basis of health in Section 704 as follows, “`(iv) No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.”
The Collaborative for High Performing Schools
The Collaborative for High Performing Schools developed criteria and policies for schools to improve student performance through improved building design. This includes Best Practices for Low EMF which was adopted in 2014. This well researched and well written policy includes recommendations to reduce wireless radiofrequency radiation in schools as follows:
Provide wired Local Area Networks (LAN) throughout the school
Disable wireless transmitters on all Wi Fi enabled devices
Laptops and notebooks have ethernet port and switch to disable wireless
Keep computers and tablets away from the body
Hardwire all phones
Prohibit cell phones and other personal wireless devices in the classroom
Prohibit cell phone towers and base stations on school buildings or property
Run conduits for future fiberoptic connections
California Brain Tumor Association Agrees with Cell Tower Removal
Ellie Marks, Founder and Executive Director of the California Brain Tumor Association, agrees with the decision to move the cell tower away from the school. She states, “Our reading of the situation is that science has established enough proof of harm that regulations should be updated now and appropriate warnings issued. The “jury” actually is back and it has given its guilty verdict.” She feels the tower “should be turned off for now even before it is moved, to protect the students, teachers, staff and administrators.” Adding a ban on further cell towers within the school district, as the LAUSD has done, seems prudent as well.
PST Cell Towers Health Effects Scientific Literature- https://mdsafetech.org/cell-tower-health-effects/
PST Cellular Mechanisms of RFR Oxidation- https://mdsafetech.org/cellular-mechanisms-oxidation/
PST Cancer and Radiofrequency Radiation– https://mdsafetech.org/cancer/
PST NTP Study on Cell Phones and Cancer- https://mdsafetech.org/ntp-study-2016/
PST Wi Fi in Schools- https://mdsafetech.org/wi-fi-in-schools-2/
PST Military and Government Reports- https://mdsafetech.org/science/military-studies-and-compendiums/
Safer EMR Cell Tower Health Effects- https://www.saferemr.com/2015/04/cell-tower-health-effects.html
Environmental Health Trust Wi-Fi in Schools, Health Risks and Solutions. https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-phoneswireless/wifi-in-schools/
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Physicians for Safe Technology, 25 Mar 2019|
|Oregon bill targets potential health risks of electronics|
|USA||Created: 26 Mar 2019|
A bill introduced in the Oregon Senate would require the Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to review studies on the potential health risks of exposure to radiation from electronic devices in classrooms.
SB 283 focuses on microwave radiation emitted from electronic devices like Wi-Fi routers, computers and cellphones.
The bill calls for the Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to review scientific studies about the effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and create a strategic plan for safety based on their research. It would also require schools to “prepare a statement that discloses the potential health risks of wireless network technology” and distribute them in public and private elementary and secondary schools in the state.
But what exactly is radiofrequency radiation from electronics?
Davison Soper, a physics professor at the University of Oregon, explained that it sounds scarier than it is. “Radiation is an unfortunate word,” he said.
According to the FDA, the electromagnetic spectrum is a measurement of waves of energy and how they move. The American Cancer Society’s website says High-energy radiation is radiation that can damage DNA and cause cancer and is called “ionizing radiation.” X-rays and gamma rays are examples of ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation is not powerful enough to affect DNA. Visible light is a form of non-ionizing radiation.
The radiation in question is radiofrequency radiation, which is a non-ionizing form of radiation. It occurs naturally in space and on Earth and through man-made sources like TV, cell phone signals and Wi-Fi signals. It’s also used to heat food in microwave ovens.
Soper said because RF radiation waves cannot affect DNA and can only cause cells to vibrate or heat up, it is unclear how they could cause cancer. He noted the amount of radiation from electronic devices is highest when holding a cellphone to your head. The radiation is much greater when a cellphone is broadcasting a signal — like during a call — and because it cannot travel far, radiation is reduced greatly by talking on speakerphone or using a hands-free device.
The National Toxicology Program released a study in November of 2018 that showed a link between RF radiation and cancer.
However, the study exposed rats and mice to much higher levels of RF radiation than humans would experience, and the results were still mixed. Only male rats had an increase in cancerous tumors, and their lifespans were actually longer than rats that had not been exposed.
The American Cancer Society’s website refers to this study and states, “Some aspects of this study make it hard to know what these results might mean for people, but the results add evidence to the idea that RF radiation might potentially impact human health.”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists RF radiation — next to aloe extract and pickled vegetables — as “possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans.” The American Cancer Society’s website is also inconclusive on the possible link between cellphones and cancer, saying, “Although some studies have shown a possible link, many others have not.”
See complete story in Monday's Observer
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: La Grande Observer, Francisca Benitez, 25 Mar 2019|
|Cellphone mast removed from Chatsworth school|
|South Africa||Created: 22 Mar 2019|
Durban - A six month battle between residents of Arena Park residents and Crestview Primary School to remove a cell phone mast has come to an end.
On Thursday, the cell phone mast that was erected on the Chatsworth school premises was removed.
Selvan Moodley, Arena Park Civic Association spokesperson, said they had been fighting tooth and nail with the principal of the school and the school governing body(SGB) to have the cellphone mast removed.
"A new SGB was elected in March and from there on we took them on. We gathered petitions and objections to the project. The community owns the school and not the principal. He had not consulted with anyone when he signed off on the deal to erect the mast. They walk all over the community but this time we stood together. The eThekwini municipality also failed us. We had several meetings and through this tiring process triumphed. Together we can make Chatsworth better if we all stand together,"
Tracey-Lee Dorny, the chairwoman of the Electromagnetic Radiation Research Foundation of SA, told Independent Media that there are thousands of papers showing possible links to cancer, and now increasing incidents of attention-deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s and diabetes from cellphone radiation and health effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by cellular base stations.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: IOL, ZAINUL DAWOOD, 22 Mar 2019|
|ICNIRP Chairman, Eric van Rongen, clarifies issues from ‘The Telegraph’ interview|
|Finland||Created: 20 Mar 2019|
On March 3rd and 9th, 2019, British ‘The Telegraph’ has published two articles by Margi Murphy, US Technology Reporter, San Francisco, titled: Do smartphones cause cancer? World Health Organisation to assess brain tumour link and Mobile safety standards relaxed ahead of 5G networks.
Writing this article Margi Murphy interviewed Chairman of the ICNIRP, Dr. Eric van Rongen. After reading the articles I have sent few questions to Dr. van Rongen, and he graciously provided responses that further clarify his opinions published by ‘The Telegraph’.
Both, my questions and Dr. van Rongen answers are unedited, copied directly from our e-mail exchange.
Mar 2019, United Kingdom: Do smartphones cause cancer? World Health Organisation to assess brain tumour link
On relaxing recommended safety limits
Leszczynski: As I understood from your comments for The Telegraph, ICNIRP plans to relax limits for cell towers. If indeed it will happen, please, kindly advise when and what is the specific science basis for it. I understand the technology part where the relaxed limits make it easier to locate cell towers in very close proximity to where people live, but what is the scientific rationale that is used to justify the lack of the health hazard?
van Rongen: As you know, ICNIRP is currently working on the revision of the RF guidelines and we hope to publish them in the course of the year. We will discuss them with the Commission during our Spring meeting early April, and I hope we can finalize them. So the information below is currently only preliminary.
In the GHz frequency range, there will likely be some changes. The relaxation I was talking about in the interview with the Telegraph is not exactly the factor 2 as it might seem from the article. I forgot to mention that we changed the exposure parameter in that frequency range. In the old (current) guidelines it is the incident power density, i.e. the amount of energy that falls upon the body, so a factor external from the body. In the new guidelines it is the absorbed power density, i.e. the amount of energy absorbed in the body; that is not equal to the incident power density, since part of that will be reflected and thus not enter the body. From a biological perspective of course only the power density inside the body is of relevance, hence the change. In addition, we also changed the area over with the power density is to be measured from 20 cm2 to 4 cm2 (up to 30 GHz, and to 1 cm2 >30 GHz) and the averaging time to 6 min (while in the 1998 guidelines these were time-dependent). Overall, there is possibly some relaxation, but that depends on how much of the power density gets reflected, which in its turn depends on the frequency and on the surface upon which the power density falls. Any relaxation will be between none and a factor of 2, I suppose. In any case, the goal was not to change the limits in order to get relaxation, the goal was to provide a better biological rationale and dosimetric background to the limits. And these are described in detail.
I regret that I was not accurate enough in providing information to ‘The Telegraph’.
On selection of scientific studies for the review of scientific evidence
Leszczynski: From your interview it also appeared as if ICNIRP and WHO would be in the process of selecting studies that will be used for evaluation of health risk by ICNIRP (?) and by WHO (?). Is it indeed so that there will be pre-selection of studies that are considered as “suitable” and the rest will be simply thrown out? This is risky, in my opinion, as such action may be considered as excluding “inconvenient” research. I am certain that it will be the interpretation of activists, no matter what explanation/justification ICNIRP and WHO will provide.
van Rongen: For the WHO review we have drafted exclusion criteria based on the quality of the studies, e.g. lack of a sham-exposed group in experimental studies, or lack of information on the exposure or exposure level. Studies of insufficient quality will not be included in the analysis (which will, by the way, be done by a WHO Task Group, and not by the Core Group that is preparing the review). There is no ‘inconvenient’ research. All studies of sufficient scientific quality are included, no matter what the topic. The WHO review is as objective and transparent as possible; the exclusion criteria will of course also be published as part of the review. The same is the case for ICNIRP. We use the 2014 public draft of the WHO review, the 2015 SCENHIR review, more recent SSM reports and even more recent studies not included in any of these as basis for our own review of the science. That is described in an appendix to the guidelines. In the guidelines, a concise description and rationale is provided of the biological basis of the proposed exposure limits and the choices made.
On the lack of pre-market testing for health hazard – safety recommendations based solely on assumption, not on actual test results
Leszczynski: you were quoted in ‘The Telegraph’ article as saying (emphasis added DL):
“…“It is not set up as a public health experiment but of course you can consider it as such. It will be necessary to gain more information about the exposure and any health problems that might come from an effect of that exposure,” however, he added, “this is not any different to monitoring prescription drugs that we rely on”…”
This statement is completely incorrect. Any and all medicines are extensively tested for their effects on humans, as well as on animals and in vitro cells. Fact that the use of medicines is being followed up after they are put on market is just a logical follow-up to pre-market testing.
However, cell phones and any other wireless devices are sold on assumption that low power will not cause health effects. This was in 70’s and 80’s when 1G phones were marketed… but over time research has shown that there is possible hazard and radiation, the “harmless low-power”, was classified as possible human carcinogen.
The same seems to be happening with 5G devices. When I asked at BioEM in Hangzhou whether any health research is being conducted on 5G radiation emitting devices, Joe Wiart stated simply that these devices emit low power so… again no problem. Time will show what research on 5G will reveal in coming years…
van Rongen: I disagree with you. Mobile telecommunication systems are brought on the market with the assumption, based on available knowledge at the time of introduction, that they are safe. If they have not been tested specifically, this inference is made from general knowledge of effects of exposure to EMF. However, also in this case, post-market surveillance is useful to perform (by the way, you might consider the relevant case-control studies such as Interphone –that are by design retrospective- as some sort of pms). The classification of RF as a possible human carcinogen does not change anything in this, but indeed provides even more reason for doing these sort of studies. I think it is not correct if one considers the monitoring of possible health effects resulting from exposure to RF EMF from mobile telecommunication systems as a human health experiment. It is not an experiment, since it was never the intention to expose people and see what happens. The exposure is a by-product of the system, which, as I explained, was considered to be safe at the time of introduction, for which the monitoring of any effects is a useful (and indeed necessary) thing to do.
On the dismissal of inadequate evidence with another, inadequate, evidence
Leszczynski: ICNIRP and WHO seem to criticize case-control studies showing increased risk of developing glioma, by saying that the design and execution had flaws and, therefore result is unreliable. However, to dismiss these case-control studies, ICNIRP and WHO use other inadequate studies, as e.g. Danish Cohort or trend-studies. So, dismissal of inadequate evidence with another inadequate evidence? What is logical justification?
van Rongen: We do not generally dismiss case-control studies. Unfortunately there is no ‘perfect’ study, so there will always be some criticism or comment to any study of whatever type, case-control or cohort.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Telegraph, Margi Murphy, 15 Mar 2019|
|Do smartphones cause cancer? World Health Organisation to assess brain tumour link|
|United Kingdom||Created: 20 Mar 2019|
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is reviewing whether smartphones might increase the risk of cancer, the Telegraph understands.
The UN health body is conducting a review of the latest scientific studies in an attempt to put to bed an ongoing row among scientists about the link between brain tumours and increased use of mobile phones.
Despite their widespread use researchers have for decades disagreed about the extent to which mobile phone signals constitute a health risk. The last report of its kind was released by WHO in 2011. It graded high radiofrequency, the energy emitted from wireless devices like phones, WiFi routers and phone masts, as a “possible carcinogen".
Since then, several new pieces of research have been published including a 10-year US study commissioned by the US Food and Drugs Administration, which showed clear evidence of cancer in male rats and some in female rats when exposed to the kinds of radiation emitted from 2G and 3G phones. It was thrown out by the FDA upon its release in November last year because the animals were exposed to the highest possible radiation a human might experience from their phone for prolonged amounts of time, something the organisation said was unlikely to happen in real life.
A deadline for the review has not been set but Dr Eric Van Rongen, chair of the organisation that is tasked with setting the limit at which phones can emit radiofrequency, ICNIRP and a member of the WHO, said that his peers were currently looking "at all the high quality papers ever published" with the review expected "next year".
Industry-wide guidelines limiting how much radiation phones can generate have been in place since 1999 following concerns about the emission of radiowaves from phones, which are absorbed by about 1-2cm into the body.
Evidence suggests that those using smartphones infrequently are unlikely to have a risk of cancer and experts point to the fact that brain tumours have not become epidemic despite the increased use of the technology. But Joachim Schüz, head of radiation at the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer said there were questions over “heavy users” who are on their phone for several hours a day with some studies suggesting an increased risk in brain tumours.
“We have some uncertainty with very heavy use of mobile phones, but that definition is not very easy to make,” Mr Schüz said. “On the one hand, people use their phone much more often nowadays because it is cheaper but they use it in different ways, like holding it in their hand rather than by their head or they leave it in their pocket.”
Phone makers including Samsung, Apple and Google warn users to hold the phone at least 5 or 10mm away from their head and body, and avoid using a metal case to ensure the radiation adheres to current guidelines. Those who use their phone for several hours a day could consider using headphones or a hands-free device, Mr Schüz said.
Official NHS advice says that those concerned should ensure children, deemed a higher risk factor because they absorb more energy, “should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep all calls short” and “only use your phone when your reception is strong”. Phones emit more radio waves in areas with poor reception because it uses more energy to try and find a connection. It says the biggest health risk of phones is using them while driving.
Other countries have been cautious with an Italian court forcing the government to fund a public awareness campaign over potential risks to health this summer. France has ruled that phone manufacturers must display the radio wave absorption rate (SAR) and test handsets to make sure they comply. Last year it found eight models on the market which did not. Berkeley, California, alerts customers that phones might pose a health risk owing to the radiation they emit.
Alarmed by a body of conflicting evidence over the past decade, scientists have called for further studies to be conducted into the potential impacts. The advent of fifth generation wireless, of 5G, has sparked further debate over the impacts it could have on the population because the networks will require higher frequencies and more phone masts.
Simon Mann, head of radiation dosimetry at Public Health England said: “It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing telecommunications network or in a new area; however, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequences for public health.”
Dr Rongen of ICNIRP, the organisation which is tasked with setting the limit at which phones can emit radiofrequency that it would be “very difficult to predict” if there are any potential health hazards associated with the new network.
“It is not set up as a public health experiment but of course you can consider it as such. It will be necessary to gain more information about the exposure and any health problems that might come from an effect of that exposure,” however, he added, “this is not any different to monitoring prescription drugs that we rely on”.
ICNIRP plans to relax the emissions limits ahead of 5G, which will grant telecommunication companies more leeway when designing the phone masts needed to provide coverage across the UK, US and Europe.
Researchers have long disagreed over the effects of mobile signals In the late Nineties, studies by Sweden, Japan and other countries found higher risk of brain tumours in heavy users. However, scientists have not noticed increased rates of cancer in countries where smartphones have become ubiquitous.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Telegraph, Margi Murphy, 03 Mar 2019|
|Earth Matters: A lesson in wireless radiation|
|USA||Created: 20 Mar 2019|
For many of us, the word “radiation” conjures up images of nuclear power plants, medical X-rays or even the iconic yellow-and-black warning signs that identified air-raid shelters back in the 1960s. It’s a scary word – one that we’ve all been taught means inherent danger.
And so it’s somewhat surprising that we are so accepting of radiation when it comes to the wireless devices that permeate our modern lives.
All of our mobile phones emit some level of radiation (radio frequency microwave radiation), as do wireless utility meters, wireless baby monitors, tablets, laptops and, of course, the ubiquitous wireless routers and antennas that send and receive the signals that tether us to the digital world.
For more than three decades, our government agencies have maintained that the radiation from all these wireless devices is completely harmless. It’s non-ionizing radiation, they say, incapable of having any effect on us other than a potential thermal effect – the burning of our skin if we get too close to a powerful antenna.
In fact, our current federal human exposure guidelines, established in 1996, are based on research conducted in the 1980s on such thermal effects. They are not at all relevant to today’s near-constant exposures in our homes, our schools, places of business and all means of transportation, nor do they recognize the robust and growing body of research on wireless radiation.
Back in the 1960s, the U.S. and Russia were both conducting extensive experiments on the health impacts of wireless microwave radiation on military personnel, and what they found (and documented) was worrisome. These studies, some classified until just recently, were among the first to show neurological and cognitive harm.
More than 50 years later, we have thousands of independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies documenting biological harm from exposure to RF microwave radiation, even at levels far below those long-outdated government standards.
One example is a recent 10-year, $30-million-dollar study by the National Toxicology Program of our National Institutes of Health that corroborated what hundreds of other studies have shown: clear evidence that long-term exposure to wireless radiation increases the risk of several cancers, particularly malignancies of the heart, brain and adrenal gland.
Unless you are looking for it, this information has been well hidden from the American public. And so, we have experienced the unprecedented growth of the telecoms, including the expansion of wireless technology into schools, where even our very youngest children are being exposed for hours and hours to RF microwave radiation in their classrooms every day.
This is a very, very inconvenient situation for educators and parents alike.
Over the past decade, the tech industry has been very generous in helping to equip American classrooms with routers, laptops, tablets and software, all dependent on wireless technology. It’s been a national effort, making sure our kids have the tools and skills they need to compete in the world.
There is nothing wrong with technology in schools. The internet offers students a vast resource of potential enrichment and learning.
Software programs can reinforce concepts, test skills and provide valuable feedback to teachers about a student’s progress. And besides, many modern businesses depend on technology to function, and their future employees need to understand how to make that technology work.
But what is the long-term impact for a student sitting in a classroom with a powerful router and twenty-five tablets or laptops all transmitting and receiving data (and emitting radiation) several hours each day?
One thing we know from the research: most children are unlikely to suffer immediate symptoms of exposure, although some will experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion or “mental fog.”
But the fact that children in school classrooms are not exhibiting overt signs of serious illness should not be interpreted as a sign that everything is OK. More serious long-term illness can take years to manifest itself, by which time the child has long since left the classroom where the problem may have had its origins.
The alarming fact is that our school classrooms are some of the “hottest” hot spots for wireless radiation and we need to make some adjustments in our approach to technology in the educational setting.
Ethernet connections, which used to be the way computers in school classrooms were connected, are generally faster, more secure, and while perhaps not as convenient as wireless tablets and laptops, come with no health risks whatsoever.
We need to re-wire our classrooms, and I am not alone when it comes to this conclusion – the teachers union in New York, NYSUT, created a resolution in 2017 on the hazards of wireless radiation emission, promoting hard wired computers and a long list of best practices to reduce exposures.
It’s hard, really hard, to step back from this technology. It’s fun, it’s trendy, kids and parents love it.
Perhaps it’s because people don’t know that their devices are emitting harmful radiation? Like DDT, asbestos, tobacco, hormone replacement therapy and Vioxx, the science does eventually catch up!
We have a huge responsibility to our children and everyone else’s children, to do what we can to protect them from harm of all kinds, including RF microwave radiation in school classrooms. And right now, some parents in our local schools are struggling with whether to allow their kids to continue going to school and who never imagined that they would be considering homeschooling as an option.
The wireless classroom probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that we know its potential impact on our children’s health, it’s time to find the safest way to bring technology into our classrooms.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: The Island Now, 19 Mar 2019|
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