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|WHO conference impressions in Melbourne 17 November 2005. Resume!|
|Australia||Created: 16 Jan 2006|
WHO conference impressions in Melbourne 17 November 2005.
I attended the WHO regional workshop on RF, health effects and policy options, at Swinburne University Melbourne 17th November, and make a report.
Unfortunately I missed the opening address of Dr. Michael Repacholi, and arrived to about 120 people during the presentation of Dr. Emilie van Deventer on sensitive subpopulations to RF. Dr. van Deventer stated that there was need to do further work on the topic of electrosensitivity (she called it electrical hypersensitivity), and indicated that it seemed to be a problem to address. She also addressed the issues of possible vulnerability of children to EMF’s.
I think around this time an audience member raised the difficulties presented with running provocation studies with electrosensitivity it is very hard getting recruits. Electrosensitives will need to also make themselves available for carefully conducted studies by ethical investigators, such as ten WLANSs, DECT phones, silent computers etc running under a bed to get anything done. This is very difficult for people with some conditions like tinnitus, which can be degenerative. The audience member also stated that the electrosensitives may be accused of having psychological problems. It was also noted that it is difficult to keep up with the pace of the rollout of technologies, a continual problem with research.
The ARPANSA rep to the WHO gave a summary of current developments in wireless, such as wireless USB, among other subjects.
After the end of his presentation, an audience member asked whether the Mobile Carriers Forum would contribute to any future ARPANSA presentations,
which was denied.
He had covered microcells and picocells, so I asked him: With respect to microcells and picocells and macrocells, Australia has a large rural and regional
area and we intend to probably service it with macrocells. Currently at the town of Crest in the south of France, there is a macrocell, and the death rate in its vicinity in August was 18 times higher than the surrounding population. Also there is a report of about 20 cancers near a tower in Sevilla in
Spain. Does the WHO or ARPANSA have any plans to send teams into those places to collect data and get to the bottom of this ?.
No. the WHO does not enter other countries.
The ACRBR presented some of their scientific data, including some promising theoretical work on the action of radiation on protein molecules by a resonance mechanism. They have also set up a small study into electrosensitivity. It will not be complete until 2007.
Dr Veyret from France presented initially an overview of European research. He said that there are many highly experienced teams in Italy, where he is on sabbatical, compared to other countries. They have recently lost their funding. An industry rep in the audience asked how much money had been spent on research 9 10 million euros per anum for some years.
Around this time what appeared to be an industry rep said at an EMR health conference possibly we should ignore the EMR health issue because we could have the whole world connected and speaking English.
After a break, Lindsay Martin, manager in EMR section at ARPANSA presented and stated it was clear tha there was concern and anger in some sections of
the community, and showed an openness to discussing the subject with the public. He asked for suggestions on courses of action and showed some moves to more involved in properly assessing the situation and engaging the public. This accompanied a change in the tone of the proceedings, and more discussion from the audience. Presenters were mentioning discoveries of effects.
Dr Veyret again presented, on the subject ‘Are mobile phones or their base stations dangerous’. Early on he stated that there was no apparent danger from base stations. I couldn’t help but laugh and my neighbour moved chairs.
In his presentation on animal studies etc, he gave some ground on proven effects, and I believe it was he who noted that sleep studies were settling towards showing disturbed sleep issues, as well as some other factor that I forget. He handballed real world epidemiology, the most obvious issue, onto the next speaker, as had the ARPANSA/ WHO rep. He did note the possible interaction of chemicals with EMF’s, and highlighted the difficulties in the research.
He had stated that there was no evidence of genotoxic damage. I queried that there were 2 or 3 studies recently showing sperm damage, which was not
outright DNA damage but interference. He denied this.
A Swedish professor who had been lumbered with the job of explaining cancer outbreaks got up. He presented a carefully balanced analysis of brain tumour data from multiple sources, admitting that some sources were now leading towards indicating there may be a risk, but the data was really muddied and too hard to draw firm conclusions at this stage. Large cancer outbreaks were not discussed and questions were asked about which side of the head the tumours were appearing compared to the phone.
Professor Laurie Challis presented some mathematical models showing interactions of EMR with tissue when pulsed. He stated that while nothing was concrete, it was noted that very large peak radiation doses could occur at some conditions such as cell membranes or sharp points, but only in certain frequency ranges.
While there was lively discussion and debate from both industry and non- industry sides, it does appear that there may be some degree of conciliation from some quarters of the WHO concerning previous shortcomings of the WHO process.
Finally in question time at the end, an industry rep asked why dont we shut all research down now, its an expensive waste of time, there is no harm and its just giving people ideas. The panel disagreed. I had the last question. Regarding epidemiology: We have two studies showing a weak to moderated association of various EMFs with Alzheimer’s. Also we now have the paper "1997 a curious year in Sweden" (Olle Johansen) (one of the panel sunk down in his chair pretty upset, this study is not conclusive) claiming to show a ‘drastic’ was their word rise in the rate of Alzheimer’s since 1997 in Sweden when a second band of mobile phones and other digital broadcasts was introduced. While figures have not been provided, although several illness variables are shown to be related to mobile phone output levels in various counties in Sweden, does the WHO have any plans to conduct any epidemiology on Alzheimers ?. The Swedish professor had never heard of the Swedish study from his own Swedish institute, and suggested a 10 year cohort investigation. The convenor suggested that it must have been one of those lesser quality studies and there was unanimous laughter, and we finished the day with applause.
I didn’t attend the second day. It is foreseeable that if interested public parties attend these meetings in different parts of the world, without getting to out
of hand, the calibre of scientific enquiry from the WHO may rise soon- some statements that had previously come out do border on scientific fraud. If electrosensitives want to play, they will have to become actively involved in study design and formalising things.
A press report associated with Michael Repacholi, "TV poses more risk than mobile phone", which whitewashes the contents of Thursday’s debate has appeared, containing the statements ‘People are generally scared by new technology … but after $250 million in research over ten years we still haven't found any (reason for health concerns). The purpose of this is to tell people what the real situation is, what the science is saying … It’s no use perpetuating
a myth.’ This statement as reported is false and misleading and deceptive, and is designed to create a poisonous situation. There is a chance that mobile phone tower morbidity studies and reports represent isolated occurrences of a tower interacting with an uncommon secondary factor. Sorting the electromagnetic factors from the medical ones is a very difficult task, and some misattributions to radiation have probably occurred. However, elsewhere the deaths and illness in Crest have been referred to as ‘psychological’ problems. Some of this behaviour by operators at some outbreak sites worldwide is approaching manslaughter and madness. If continued propaganda is distributed by the head of the WHO EMF project, Dr Michael Repacholi, the WHO should be forced to sack him and replace him with a scientist.
Telstra, Australia's telecommunications leader with many representatives at the conference, has just announced last week it intends to run the whole country on 3G, and become the leader in wireless internet in an ABC television interview on Sunday 20th November.
The WHO EMF project has been publicly riddled with controversy over its funding and leadership.
If the WHO wants to launch a tsunami disaster relief project, they need a mobile insertion squad. If you want to scramble power and resources to the far
corners of the earth, you need technology.
This technology also increases globalisation and assists medical research, which assists the WHO’s mission.
But what if this technology drives individuals senile and homeless ?.
The WHO EMF Project is fundamentally conflicted between the desire to help the whole, and duty to protect the individual. Big business has taken advantage of this to stymie the EMF project. The only solution to this conflict is aggressive, fearless science.
The media with the telecommunications revolution is one of the biggest stakeholders in this. In effect, it appears the media channels have placed a ban on reporting these deaths, diseases and electrorefugees.
The media has not helped, and will probably not help.
They are fundamentally conflicted.
determine whether we are over-reacting to EMR.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Impact of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation on DNA integrity in the male germline.|
|Australia||Created: 4 Jan 2006|
Impact of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation on DNA integrity in the male germline.
Concern has arisen over human exposures to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RFEMR), including a recent report indicating that regular mobile
phone use can negatively impact upon human semen quality.
These effects would be particularly serious if the biological effects of RFEMR included the induction of DNA damage in male germ cells.
In this study, mice were exposed to 900 MHz RFEMR at a specific absorption rate of approximately 90 mW/kg inside a waveguide for 7 days at 12 h per day. Following exposure, DNA damage to caudal epididymal spermatozoa was assessed by quantitative PCR (QPCR) as well as alkaline and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
The treated mice were overtly normal and all assessment criteria, including sperm number, morphology and vitality were not significantly affected.
Gel electrophoresis revealed no gross evidence of increased single- or double-DNA strand breakage in spermatozoa taken from treated animals.
However, a detailed analysis of DNA integrity using QPCR revealed statistically significant damage to both the mitochondrial genome (p < 0.05) and the
nuclear beta-globin locus (p < 0.01).
This study suggests that while RFEMR does not have a dramatic impact on male germ cell development, a significant genotoxic effect on epididymal
spermatozoa is evident and deserves further investigation.
Aitken RJ, Bennetts LE, Sawyer D, Wiklendt AM, King BV.
ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development, Discipline of Biological Sciences, and Hunter Medical Research Institute,
Newcastle, NSW, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Aitken RJ, Bennetts LE, Sawyer D, Wiklendt AM, King BV.|
|Three years to see if mobiles hurt kids|
|Australia||Created: 22 Nov 2005|
Three years to see if mobiles hurt kids
A world-first study will begin in Australia this week to find out if mobile phones are damaging the health of children.
The study of 12- and 13-year-olds will measure if mobile-phone use affects factors such as hearing, memory, sleep and ability to concentrate.
It follows recommendations by the World Health Organisation that more research be urgently done on whether children's central nervous systems
are more vulnerable than adults' to the effects of electromagnetic radiation.
Australian children have one of the highest rates of mobile-phone ownership in the world - almost half of those aged 13 to 15 and a third of those
aged 10 to 13 own one.
The National Health and Medical Research Centre study, which will follow 300 Melbourne children over three years, is being conducted by the
Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research.
The children will have their cognitive functions, hearing and blood pressure tested at regular intervals, ACRBR executive director Dr Rodney Croft
said. "These are areas that are likely to be affected, if there are any effects," he said.
Several studies have shown EMR exposure causes no harm to the physical development of children over age two or a higher likelihood of cancer.
Dr Croft said the research was a response to community concerns about children and mobile phones.
"What we are working on is the precautionary principle," he said.
WHO radiation program coordinator Dr Mike Repacholi, who was in Australia last week as part of a workshop on EMR and health effects at
Melbourne's Swinburne University, said filling the gaps in research was a high priority because of the increasing number of children using
"Children as young as five are using mobile phones," Dr Repacholi said.
"Yet international standards on exposure [to EMR] are the same for children and adults."
He said children absorbed more radiation because of their smaller heads and thinner skulls.
This could possibly cause behaviour, learning and concentration problems.
"So the net result is that children do receive higher exposures," he said. "We could see some subtle effects on the central nervous system."
In January, the British Government's chief adviser on mobile phones, Sir William Stewart, said children aged three to eight should not use mobiles
and older children should strictly limit their use until more research had been done.
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association spokesman Randal Markey said new research was welcome but more than 400 studies on
mobile phones had already shown no health consequences, either for adults or children.
Mr Markey said advice from the WHO, the Health Council of the Netherlands and the US Food and Drug Administration was that limiting the use
of mobile phones by children was unnecessary.
"The present information does not support that mobile phones for children should be limited," he said.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: November 20, 2005|
|Direct Action and cell phone towers: The cell phone industry is getting desperate|
|Australia||Created: 20 Nov 2005|
The cell phone industry is getting desperate
Though you will not hear about it on TV or the newspapers, ‘Direct Action’ is a tactic increasingly now being used against the Telcos in many nations by communities fed up with being treated with a level of corporate arrogance at total odds with fundamental principles of democracy. Note what Repacholi says below about public opposition in Spain. I get the distinct impression that the Telcos are worried.
When community rights are sacrificed in the call for total exemptions from local planning what are communities to do? One option has been to resort to the use of bolt cutters, or in one drastic case in Northern Ireland, AK-47s and balaclavas - and you didn’t hear of that one as well.
Although the only solution to this unfortunate situation is to end the exemptions now enjoyed by the Telcos and let local authorities and communities have the final say in where antennas should be sited, the industry has predictably called out its Top Gun, Michael Repacholi to issue more of his PR spin doctor expert statements to try to deflect the heat, as seen in the below AAP release.
Now the mighty Repacholi launches us into an Alice in Wonderland fantasy world where if there is a danger it would be from our TV’s and radios and not from mobile phones and base stations! But very revealing he adds the qualifier: “at least for adults” and further on: “where more science is needed to rule out concerns”(for children).
A ‘Freudian slip’? Note Reppy doesn’t call for research to determine if there is a health hazard but simply to “rule out concerns”. That is the goal of “science” in Reppy’s fantasy world. So if you are a researcher wanting funding from the industry to conduct research you know what the criteria is right up front. Research that will rule out concerns - that’s where the real money is.
Who does Repacholi think will believe this crap?
Sunday November 20th 2005, 12:39 pm
TV poses more risk than mobile phone
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there’s been a global over-reaction to modern mobile communications technology and its possible threat of health risk.
Coordinator of the WHO’s Radiation and Environmental Health Unit, Dr Mike Repacholi, says televisions and radios pose more of a health risk than mobile phones
or mobile phone base stations - at least for adults.
He says, however, more study is needed to determine whether there is a risk for children and their developing nervous systems.
“The signals from (mobile phone) base stations are generally less than for the TV and radio, which we’ve all been subjected to for 50 to 60 years,”
Dr Repacholi said.
“People are generally scared by new technology … but after $250 million in research over ten years we still haven’t found any (reason for health concerns).”
But, Dr Repacholi says there is one area where more science is needed to rule out concerns. That is, the effect today’s rising levels of electromagnetic transmissions might have on children.
“Kids are going to be exposed to these fields for much longer now, children as young as five have got mobile phones,” Dr Repacholi said.
“We don’t think they have any extra sensitivity but we do need to do the studies.”
He said it was particularly relevant as wireless internet was rolled out across schools in the western world.
Generally, Dr Repacholi said, wireless internet resulted in less electromagnetic transmissions than mobile phones and, therefore, less than television and radio.
“They are also of no health concern,” he said.
Dr Repacholi was in Melbourne this week for a two-day WHO and Australian Centre for RF Bioeffects Research (ACRBR) regional workshop, which also included researchers and scientists from Thailand to New Zealand.
The workshop discussed the latest scientfic findings relating to radio frequency fields.
He said efforts would continue to dispel myths surrounding the technology.
The suspicion of electromagnetic transmissions - along with claims of related ill health including rashes, headaches and sleeplessness - remained a problem globally, he said.
Public outcry over mobile phone base stations in Spain had led to 300 being dismantled by the government, while there were more than 1,000 related cases before that country’s courts, he said.
“The only people who win out of that is the lawyers,” Dr Repacholi said.
“The purpose of this is to tell people what the real situation is, what the science is saying … It’s no use perpetuating a myth.”
Saturday Nov 19 06:43 AEST
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Dob Maisch|
|Mobile phones can affect sleeping brains - but what's it mean?|
|Australia||Created: 2 Nov 2005|
Mobile phones can affect sleeping brains - but what's it mean?
Mobile phone use can affect a person's brainwaves even when the handset is switched off and the user is asleep, Australian research suggests, admitting they don't know what that means.
Neuroscientist Sarah Loughran studied the brainwave patterns of 50 people in the first half hour of sleep after they had been exposed to 30 minutes of mobile phone radiation.
In what is believed to be the world's largest study into mobile phone use and sleep quality, she compared those results with the brainwaves of the same people without exposure to mobile phone radiation before bed-time.
"The results show that there was an increase in brainwave activity in the first part of sleep, non Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, following mobile phone exposure," said Ms Loughran, a PhD student at Swinburne University's Brain Sciences Institute in Melbourne.
"It was an increase in what's known as alpha brainwave activity and, at this stage, we're not entirely sure what that means.
"Any adverse health consequences or effects this might have, we're not sure."
Nevertheless, Ms Loughran said getting a good night's sleep did not appear to be affected by the mobile phone radiation.
"We didn't find any changes in the amount of time it takes to get to sleep or the total time they slept," she said.
"It didn't appear to be affecting the overall quality of the person's sleep."
The participants in the study were exposed to a standard mobile phone mounted on the right side of their heads for 30 minutes before sleep.
The phone was set up to transmit without them having to talk.
On another night, the phone was mounted in the same way but it was not actually turned on.
In what is called a double blind, crossover study, neither the study participants nor the researchers were aware of which nights the mobile phone was active and when it was not.
Ms Loughran said the most interesting finding was that the effect of mobile phone radiation on brainwaves was noticeable even 30 to 40 minutes after the handset had been turned off.
Her study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council as part of a larger investigation of mobile phone exposure in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bio-effects Research.
Other research is looking at the effects of mobile phone exposure on reaction times and working memory.
October 12, 2005 - 4:27PM
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Kalle Hallberg|
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