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Opposition grows to proposed Telecom cell tower
New Zealand Created: 8 May 2008
Members of the Atawhai community in Nelson are preparing to fight Telecom over its intended erection of a cell phone tower. They have started a national petition to block the move, which they intend to present to Parliament in the next month.

Telecom intends to erect a 22-metre high cell phone tower, on a designated site, directly adjacent to Atawhai Playcentre. This is an early childhood education centre catering for preschool children (new born to age six). The location is also of serious concern to Atawhai Brightsparks Preschool another early childcare facility located in very close proximity. In addition school children congregate at the bus stop outside the telephone exchange and there are hundreds of dwellings in the vicinity.

Parents and members of the Atawhai community are concerned about the effect the cell phone tower will have on the future viability of the Playcentre and Brightsparks. Playcentre President, Sarah Allen comments “We are aware that there have been numerous studies of the effects and health risks of cell phone towers. While some contend there are no health risks, other reports state the opposite. Regardless of the actual risk, which still appears to be up for debate, we believe that the perceived health risk will have an impact on the Playcentre and preschool. A number of families have already stated their intention to remove children should the cell phone tower go ahead.”

The action group contends that Telecom is ignoring its own Community Commitments that clearly state “our first choice is to avoid locating mobile phone sites next to educational centres in recognition of local communities’ preferences” and “we are committed to effective and timely dialogue with the community. We actively listen to issues raised and work to address concerns."

Mrs Allen is very excited at the level of support the campaign is already receiving. “We did a local mail drop to inform residents and within hours started receiving offers of help. Amazingly we have also been contacted by people overseas who have been in similar situations and they too want to help. People are not happy about this.”

The proposed site at Corder Park is a gateway to Nelson located along side the Haven Reserve and an open recreational zone on state highway 6, the only route into the City from North.

For more information please visit http://www.banthetower.co.nz
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Scoop.co.nz, 07 May 2008

A plea for help from New Zealand, is there anyone who can give really good advice that WORKS??
New Zealand Created: 19 Apr 2008
Telecom is intending to construct a mobile phone tower next to our Playcentre (play school), which I attend with my three wee daughters
(6mths, 2 yrs and 4yrs old). A group of us has got together to stop this happening and would appreciate any information, tactic etc you might have.
We have started a website: www.banthetower.co.nz which has more information.

Many thanks
Sarah Allen
President Atawhai Playcentre
E-mail: contact from website: http://mail.ulmb.com/qcDi7Pw3/
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir. Mast-Victims.org

Anger over mast installation
New Zealand Created: 24 Mar 2008
A cellphone mast has recently appeared beside State Highway 1 on Timaru's Craigie Avenue and local residents are unhappy that they had no opportunity to comment before it was erected.

A number of residents on and near Craigie Avenue are seething over being kept in the dark over the installation of a Vodafone cellphone site in their midst but the Timaru District Council is making no apology for following due process.

A few weeks ago the 10-metre-plus pole and equipment cabinet were erected on the median strip parallel to Anzac Square. There was no public consultation because that was not a condition required by the resource consent.

The telecommunications facility is designed to meet increased demand for 3G Broadband in the area.

But neighbours and a local school believe they should have been notified.

The potential effects of electromagnetic energy (EME) emission levels are a point of contention. Some researchers claim health issues associated with these may not become apparent for decades.

In Vodafone's application for resource consent, it stated that EME levels produced by microwave transmitters were very low power, at about one watt, and operated within New Zealand's public exposure standard.

This information did not placate Rose Street resident Maureen Ancell, who said she couldn't understand why the cell site was placed in a residential zone near a sports field, a swimming pool and schools.

"We are on the edge of an industrial zone. They could put it there."

A spokesperson for Sacred Heart Primary School on Heaton Street asked: "How are we supposed to know about it? We should have been notified."

Vodafone responded that it had followed due process set out by the Timaru District Council. Because the cell site did not qualify under the district plan, the telecommunications company had to apply for resource consent designed to manage and consider environmental issues associated with the project.

Vodafone external communications manager Paul Brislen said the company worked within the guidelines of each city's council. He said if people were worried about health issues they could look on the Vodafone website and put their mind at ease.

The fear of how much absorption of EME was too much has led one mother to think twice about buying a house near the transmitter.

The company sought and gained land use consent for a discretionary activity, an activity that requires a resource consent application and is assessed against relevant objectives. The conditions imposed included that the cell site be located 10m from a significant tree on the strip. Any visual effects were considered to be no more than minor, with the pole painted a jumbo grey to blend in with lampposts in the area.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, questioned whether the council had worked within its own district plan. He believed it should not have been processed as a discretionary activity because EME were hazardous, therefore the public should have been notified.

Timaru District Council district planner Andrew Hammond said the tower fitted within the criteria required for discretionary activity.

The council anticipated no persons would be affected.

Vodafone said they adopted best contemporary engineering practice so there was little opportunity for the public to be in areas where they might be exposed to EME levels in excess of the safety limits.

Grandmother Adele Lines said it was wrong not to inform residents of the transmitter but along with Mrs Ancell was resigned to the fact that the telecommunications facility was there to stay.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Timaru Herald, 24 Mar 2008

Walkout fear over phone mast
New Zealand Created: 28 Feb 2008
Leaders of a Nelson playcentre, upset over plans to build a 22m-high cellphone tower metres from where dozens of preschoolers play, fear parents will pull their children out.

Telecom is set to build a cellphone mast at its Atawhai exchange site at Atawhai Crescent in June.

The exchange is next to the playcentre, which cares for up to 70 children, from newborns to six-year-olds.

Playcentre president Sarah Allen, who has three children there, said the centre only became aware of the plan about 10 days ago, after another neighbour had seen people working at the Telecom site and asked them what was going on.

The neighbour then informed the playcentre.

"We were all pretty shocked about it, being the nearest neighbour and not telling us."

Centre vice-president Heather Arnold said they were concerned about the possible health effects on growing children, and the long-term viability of the playcentre.

Scientific research internationally is divided on whether there are health dangers from radio frequency waves from cellphone masts.

"Why would you send your children here when you've got other playcentres to send kids to?" Mrs Arnold said.

"(The mast) should be away from where people are living, playing and developing."

Mrs Allen said two families had already indicated that if the mast was built they would remove their children from the playcentre.

Both women expressed surprise when they found out Telecom did not legally have to inform them of its intentions.

Mrs Arnold said it would have been "neighbourly" to inform the playcentre as early as possible.

Centre organisers only received information about the plan once they approached the Nelson City Council and Telecom with their concerns.

The centre would be starting a petition to stop the work, and would consider shifting to another location if too many of the children were removed.

Telecom spokesman Ian Bonnar said cellphone masts were not dangerous to people's health.

"All Telecom mobile phone sites comply fully with the New Zealand Standard for radio signal power levels.

"Sites like the one being built at Atawhai are low-powered and they operate well within the level set by the New Zealand Standard."

As the mast is planned for a site zoned for telecommunications equipment in the council plan, no formal consent was required, but Telecom submitted its plans to the council anyway. The council made no recommendations.

Mr Bonnar said Telecom usually consulted with neighbours after speaking to the council, but did so earlier on this occasion, when the playcentre approached it.

"We are doing everything we can to help them, we have taken several steps to engage and provide them with information."

The mast was being installed to increase mobile phone capacity and the site was deemed most appropriate.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Nelson Mail, 28 Feb 2008

Greens accuse Government of relaxing cellphone tower rules
New Zealand Created: 25 Jan 2008
The Green Party has accused the government of allowing celular and wireless technology to be installed on almost any power pole in the country.

A party spokesperson, the MP Sue Kedgley, says there will be no restrictions on the equipment, which could be placed outside homes, schools and childhood centres.

But the Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, says the claims are incorrect, and a mock power pole set up by the Greens would exceed the allowable threshold set out in the proposed regulations.

He says aim is to make the different rules set down by District and City Councils around the country consistent.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Radio New Zealand, 25 Jan 2008

sICkNIRP falling: Pylons major health hazard inquiry told
New Zealand Created: 21 Aug 2007
Living near high-voltage power lines increases the risk of childhood leukaemia, miscarriage and other ill health, a medical expert has told a board of inquiry.

However, the Ministry of Health and Transpower are comfortable with existing standards and are pushing for "no change" to Government policy.

Auckland urologist Dr Robin Smart presented documented evidence from around the world about ill health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) from power lines to a public hearing in Hamilton. On the back of 83 epidemiological studies he appealed for a tightening of current regulations by a factor of 300.

Such a move would have wide-ranging ramifications, the biggest of which could be the scuttling of Transpower's controversial 400KV pylon project on the grounds that it would be uneconomic.

Opponents say the current 65m-wide easement proposed by Transpower is too narrow to ensure the safety of public health. They believe the corridor across 190km of Waikato farmland should instead be expanded to 600m.

Dr Smart, speaking on behalf of anti-pylon lobby group New Era Energy, said the New Zealand standard regulating electric and magnetic field exposure to 100 microtesla was "a joke". He believed exposure should be limited to 0.3 microtesla.

The Ministry of Health and Transpower, along with the Government, were using a standard that was so high that in effect there was no limit on human exposure to power lines, Dr Smart said.

The Government and Transpower were relying on outdated standards, first outlined in 1997 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

That standard had been applied poorly by Government decision-makers, he said.

It was originally drafted as a guideline for schools and homes for "short-term immediate health effects such as stimulation of nerves and muscles, shocks and burns ... during exposure to electric and magnetic fields".

But the commission "covered itself" by adding a cautionary note: "These guidelines are not intended to be a complete system to protect the public."

In his submission presented yesterday Dr Smart said the commission's recommendation was "clearly reckless".

"Indeed it is impossible to imagine any human living permanently in a place where there is constantly 100 microtesla.

"It has never been done and is totally unproven as a standard."

International studies of the effects of electricity line exposure were cited by Dr Smart, which showed increased rates of child leukaemia, miscarriage, motorneurone disease, headache, suicide and depression.

A 1997 New Zealand study by Ivan Beale of Auckland University was also quoted, in which 540 Aucklanders living in homes near high voltage lines were studied against a control group.

Exposure to magnetic fields ranged from 0.67 microtesla to 19 microtesla. There were significant differences between the groups in two of ten parameters, relating to memory and self esteem or depression.

Women, in particular, had five times the expected rate of poor self esteem and depression, thought to be due to the longer time they spent in homes compared to men.

Another Auckland doctor, Laura Bennet, also presented her submission yesterday.

A fetal and neonatal physiologist with a doctorate in paediatric medicine, came to yesterday's meeting as a resident of Clevedon, where towers for the 400KV lines are proposed.

She said the World Health Organisation endorsed a "precautionary approach" principle to the issue of EMFs. WHO placed most emphasis on guidelines to protect vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, unborn babies, and children.

"The precautionary approach says we design these lines to take account of present and future health risks, including those where the science is still being investigated, at whatever cost is appropriate to mitigate these risks."

On the other hand, the "prudent avoidance" approach, favoured by Transpower, determined that if something could be done to reduce impacts at little or no cost, effects could be mitigated.

But there was no obligation or regulatory constraint. "This is why we continue to see houses built close to or under power lines," Dr Bennet said.

The National Radiation Laboratory, for the Ministry of Health, said in its submission it supported a Ministry of Environment's evaluation on the topic.

The evaluation said electric and magnetic issues were often raised as a health concern by the public when a development or upgrade to the electricity transmission network wasproposed.

The international guidelines were "well established and widely recognised", and provided a basis that gave confidence to the public. It also ensured decision-making was consistent and based on recognised science.

Transpower said any new policy should not be arbitrarily lower than the ICNIRP guidelines, and should be reflected only as a guideline and "not a mandatory standard".

Hundreds of South Auckland households are exposed to electricity transmission lines, with scores of homes built directly beneath them.

While the inquiry's major aim is to eliminate the need for Transpower to gain resource consents for minor activities on its grid, another is to review policy over what are acceptable levels of electric and magnetic fields.

Earlier this month Energy Minister David Parker said a "possible" outcome was the setting of an environmental standard on exposure levels. by Simon O'Rourke Living near high-voltage power lines increases the risk of childhood leukaemia, miscarriage and other ill health, a medical expert has told a board of inquiry.

However, the Ministry of Health and Transpower are comfortable with existing standards and are pushing for "no change" to Government policy.

Auckland urologist Dr Robin Smart presented documented evidence from around the world about ill health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) from power lines to a public hearing in Hamilton. On the back of 83 epidemiological studies he appealed for a tightening of current regulations by a factor of 300.

Such a move would have wide-ranging ramifications, the biggest of which could be the scuttling of Transpower's controversial 400KV pylon project on the grounds that it would be uneconomic.

Opponents say the current 65m-wide easement proposed by Transpower is too narrow to ensure the safety of public health. They believe the corridor across 190km of Waikato farmland should instead be expanded to 600m.

Dr Smart, speaking on behalf of anti-pylon lobby group New Era Energy, said the New Zealand standard regulating electric and magnetic field exposure to 100 microtesla was "a joke". He believed exposure should be limited to 0.3 microtesla.

The Ministry of Health and Transpower, along with the Government, were using a standard that was so high that in effect there was no limit on human exposure to power lines, Dr Smart said.

The Government and Transpower were relying on outdated standards, first outlined in 1997 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

That standard had been applied poorly by Government decision-makers, he said.

It was originally drafted as a guideline for schools and homes for "short-term immediate health effects such as stimulation of nerves and muscles, shocks and burns ... during exposure to electric and magnetic fields".

But the commission "covered itself" by adding a cautionary note: "These guidelines are not intended to be a complete system to protect the public."

In his submission presented yesterday Dr Smart said the commission's recommendation was "clearly reckless".

"Indeed it is impossible to imagine any human living permanently in a place where there is constantly 100 microtesla.

"It has never been done and is totally unproven as a standard."

International studies of the effects of electricity line exposure were cited by Dr Smart, which showed increased rates of child leukaemia, miscarriage, motorneurone disease, headache, suicide and depression.

A 1997 New Zealand study by Ivan Beale of Auckland University was also quoted, in which 540 Aucklanders living in homes near high voltage lines were studied against a control group.

Exposure to magnetic fields ranged from 0.67 microtesla to 19 microtesla. There were significant differences between the groups in two of ten parameters, relating to memory and self esteem or depression.

Women, in particular, had five times the expected rate of poor self esteem and depression, thought to be due to the longer time they spent in homes compared to men.

Another Auckland doctor, Laura Bennet, also presented her submission yesterday.

A fetal and neonatal physiologist with a doctorate in paediatric medicine, came to yesterday's meeting as a resident of Clevedon, where towers for the 400KV lines are proposed.

She said the World Health Organisation endorsed a "precautionary approach" principle to the issue of EMFs. WHO placed most emphasis on guidelines to protect vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, unborn babies, and children.

"The precautionary approach says we design these lines to take account of present and future health risks, including those where the science is still being investigated, at whatever cost is appropriate to mitigate these risks."

On the other hand, the "prudent avoidance" approach, favoured by Transpower, determined that if something could be done to reduce impacts at little or no cost, effects could be mitigated.

But there was no obligation or regulatory constraint. "This is why we continue to see houses built close to or under power lines," Dr Bennet said.

The National Radiation Laboratory, for the Ministry of Health, said in its submission it supported a Ministry of Environment's evaluation on the topic.

The evaluation said electric and magnetic issues were often raised as a health concern by the public when a development or upgrade to the electricity transmission network wasproposed.

The international guidelines were "well established and widely recognised", and provided a basis that gave confidence to the public. It also ensured decision-making was consistent and based on recognised science.

Transpower said any new policy should not be arbitrarily lower than the ICNIRP guidelines, and should be reflected only as a guideline and "not a mandatory standard".

Hundreds of South Auckland households are exposed to electricity transmission lines, with scores of homes built directly beneath them.

While the inquiry's major aim is to eliminate the need for Transpower to gain resource consents for minor activities on its grid, another is to review policy over what are acceptable levels of electric and magnetic fields.

Earlier this month Energy Minister David Parker said a "possible" outcome was the setting of an environmental standard on exposure levels.

Line worries

* The Board of Inquiry could recommend new standards to safeguard public exposure to transmission lines.Some scientists and doctors say no workplaces, schools or homes should be exposed to more than 0.3 microtesla.

* Levels above this show a correlation to cancer and other illnesses.

* Transpower and the Ministry of Health are comfortable with current international guidelines that say 100 microtesla is acceptable.

* Some Aucklanders living beneath pylons are exposed to levels of between 0.67 and 19 microtesla.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: New Zealand Herald, Simon O'Rourke, 21 Aug 2007

Concern mounting over cell tower
New Zealand Created: 28 Jun 2007
A group of Clark Street residents is worried a new cellphone tower in their neighbourhood could cause health problems and lower property values.
The tower is a permitted activity on industrial land on Alford Forest Road, but residents say the least Telecom could have done is told them it was coming.
Group spokeswoman Melissa Shimmin said the 25-metre tower had three panel antennae and Telecom had said it would be powered up this week.
The tower is to improve cellphone reception for north-west Ashburton.
Another three-panel antenna could be fixed to the tubular mast at a later date.
Radio frequency (RF) fields, or radio waves, that come from cellphone towers make up an electromagnetic wave, or radiation, which is the radio signal. It is quite different from the ionising radiation from x-rays and radioactive materials.
Mrs Shimmin said residents met about a month ago after they became aware the tower was under construction on land leased from Rooney Earthmoving. The tower is some 10 metres from the business of Peter May canvas specialists and less than 50 metres from the Shimmin household.
Mr May said he also knew nothing about the tower until it was under construction. He was concerned at the lack of consultation and had also been researching the suggested health problems bought on by cellphone towers.
Mrs Shimmin said headaches and chronic fatigue were sometimes reported by people living close to towers. Residents were united in their opposition to it.
“You hear all sorts of stories about health issues and property values. We are not happy at the way it has been done.”
The tower is allowed for under Ashburton District Council planning rules and the local authority issued Telecom a certificate of compliance approving construction. Mrs Shimmin said Telecom had defended the tower’s safety but residents were still worried. They wanted up-to-date information about research on the subject.
Telecom spokeswoman Sarah Berry said all Telecom mobile phone sites complied fully with the New Zealand standard for radio signal power levels. The Alford Forest Road site was low-powered and would operate well within the level set by the standard.
“There have been a number of scientific studies and surveys over the years regarding mobile phone sites. To date, there has been no credible or substantiated scientific evidence that RF exposures from sites operating within ICNIRP exposure limits cause any adverse human health effects.”
She said a number of studies had been carried out in New Zealand and globally to investigate the potential impact of towers on property values.
“All consistently showed there are no significant effects on the value of properties.”
She said Telecom was committed to working with the community and would respond to any queries raised.
“We build a lot of sites every year and we do enter into community consultation if we think there is a need to do so. In this particular instance, we believed that the finished site would not create a significant impact on the area.”
Telecom is also planning another cellphone tower in Tinwald.
People wanting to contact Telecom about this can call toll-free - 0800 117 470.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Ashburton Guardian, Linda Clarke, 27 Jun 2007

Schools to be tested for Wi-Fi radiation levels
New Zealand Created: 23 May 2007
Some New Zealand classrooms are to undergo radiation testing in light of a British study which found wireless technology boosted emissions to dangerous levels.

The technology, known as Wi-Fi, works in an area known as a "hot spot" by using a signal from an access point and is widely used in schools.

Only limited local studies have been done on radiation levels in classrooms. They showed extremely low exposures of radiation from Wi-Fi.

The British study found emissions in a classroom there three times higher than those from a mobile phone mast.

Britain's Health Protection Agency has called for an urgent review of the health risks from wireless internet networks in schools.

Agency chairman Sir William Stewart previously recommended that mobile phone masts not be sited near schools without consultation with parents and head teachers because children were more vulnerable than adults to radio frequency radiation emissions.

In New Zealand, the National Radiation Laboratory will investigate radiation levels in classrooms in Christchurch schools.

Senior science adviser Martin Gledhill told the New Zealand Herald he saw no need to extend his study to private homes, as he would not expect to gain information any different from that found in schools.

Radiation had been linked to heat stress and discomfort, similar to "an extremely mild form of what you get in a microwave oven".

A suggested link between long-term exposure to radiation and cancer had not been proven.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Stuff.co.nz, 23 May 2007

Prof.Olle Johansson: "thousands" of articles in scientific literature demonstrate "adverse health effects" from Wi-Fi.
New Zealand Created: 24 Apr 2007
Professor Olle Johansson, of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, who is concerned about the spread of Wi-Fi, says "thousands" of articles in scientific literature demonstrate "adverse health effects" from Wi-Fi.
Concern about Wi-Fi health danger spreads to NZ from British schools
A British furore over wireless internet technology - Wi-Fi - use in schools is raising similar concerns here.

Britain's top health-protection watchdog wants the network, which emits radiation, to be full investigated because of the concern for students' health.

Wi-Fi - described by the British Department of Education and Skills as a "magical" system that means computers do not have to be connected to telephone
lines - is being taken up rapidly in schools there, with estimates that more than half of primary schools - and four-fifths of secondary schools - have
installed it.

But some scientists have expressed fears it could cause cancer and premature senility.

Internet safety watchdog NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker said last night that many primary and secondary schools here used Wi-Fi and the present thinking was that the technology was safe.

"That's our understanding and that's the understanding of New Zealand schools.

"Obviously, if that's not the case that's going to be pretty alarming. It would be of great concern to schools because they have really adopted the
technology and many schools have extensive wireless networks."

The cost of wireless transmitters was low.
"Most laptops now come with the capability to receive wireless signals built in. It's a technology that is saturating the education and commercial markets."

Mr Cocker did not have an exact number of schools using the technology but said most larger schools would have some sort of wireless capability.

"If there's any indication that it has any negative effects then we would encourage a more thorough study.
We will definitely be interested to know what happens in the UK. If it is damaging to children's health then it is alarming."

Several European provincial governments have already taken action to ban, or limit, Wi-Fi use in the classroom.

This week, the British Professional Association of Teachers is to demand an official Government inquiry.

Virtually no studies have been done on Wi-Fi's effects on pupils, but it gives off radiation similar to emissions from mobile phones and phone masts.

Recent research has linked radiation from mobiles to cancer and brain damage. And many studies have found disturbing symptoms in people near masts.

Professor Olle Johansson, of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, who is concerned about the spread of Wi-Fi, says "thousands" of articles in scientific literature demonstrate "adverse health effects" from Wi-Fi.

"Do we not know enough already to say, 'stop'?"
For the past 16 months, the provincial government of Salzburg in Austria has been advising schools not to install Wi-Fi, and is considering a ban.
Click here to view the source article.

EMR Reduces Melatonin in Animals and People
New Zealand Created: 29 Jul 2005
EMR Reduces Melatonin in Animals and People

The Pineal Gland:

The pineal gland, a pea-sized organ near the centre of the brain, converts serotonin into melatonin.
This has a strong diurnal (daily) pattern, with high melatonin output at night and low melatonin output during the day.
Alternatively, serotonin dominates the day and is lower at night.
The Melatonin/Serotonin cycle is a primary physiological driver of the daily metabolic, awake/sleep cycle.
Melatonin is a vital part of many of the bodies biochemical systems, including sleep and learning and is free radical scavenging in all cells and hence is a potent antioxidant with anti-aging and anti-cancer properties.
It helps to protect embryonic fetuses.
Melatonin mediates many hormone functions, assists in maintaining immune system health and virus protection.
See Figure 1 (at foot of page):

The light-driven daily cycle is primarily controlled by signals from the retina of the eyes that mediate the pineal function though a flow of chemical messengers. Signal messengers from the retina arrive at the receptors on the surface of the pinealocytes.
Through regulation of the cyclic AMP (cAMP) pathway, the serotonin/melatonin transformation is controlled.
A key element of the cAMP pathway is calcium ions. Substances that can alter cellular calcium ions act at many levels involving many cell receptors and cellular processes. Calcium ion efflux from the pinealocytes has the effect of reducing melatonin through reducing the cAMP,

See Figure 2 (at foot of page):

EMR alters calcium ion homeostasis:

Electromagnetic radiation across the spectrum alters calcium ion homeostasis in cells.
The primary factor is the ELF modulation of the signal, Bawin and Adey (1976), Adey (1980).
This occurs in a complex set of exposure windows. The efflux and influx for calcium ions also varies with ambient temperature, geomagnetic field strength and orientation, and signal intensity, Blackman et al. (1988, 1989, 1991).
Blackman (1990) concludes that this is an established biological mechanism. Blackman et al. (1991) showed that Ca2+ efflux occurred for tissue temperatures of 36 degrees C and 37 degrees C and not at 35 degrees C and 38 degrees C.
They comment that these could be very good reasons why experimental outcomes have been difficult to confirm in some laboratories.
This shows why high SAR exposures do not produce altered calcium ions because the rise in tissue temperature takes the tissue outside the homeostatic thermal range within which calcium ion efflux/influx occurs to regulate normal cell behaviour.

The calcium ion efflux research demonstrates one of the fundamental principles of EMR research.
Under given specific conditions the calcium ion efflux (positive or negative) does occur at some combination of exposure conditions, but not at a nearby slightly different set of conditions. This is because of the "window" non-linear nature of the effect with respect to modulation frequency and intensity in particular. Also, one set of conditions that produce a significant effect in one laboratory does not produce any observed effect in another laboratory because it has a different geomagnetic field. On the other hand, in real world situations workers or residents are continually passing through effective and non-effective windows of exposure.

There are great difficulties of detecting melatonin reduction in people because of the large intra-personal differences from day to day, and the very large inter-personal differences.
Despite this, on average there is a dominance of exposure conditions that do cause calcium ion efflux and reduced melatonin, so that it is observed to differ in most monitored populations in the real world.

EMR Reduces Melatonin in Animals:

Light-at-night and electromagnetic radiation, are proven to reduce melatonin and hence pose significant adverse health effects.
The evidence for EMR is summarized here.
Rosen, Barber and Lyle (1998) state that seven different laboratories have reported suppression of nighttime rise in pineal melatonin production in laboratory animals.
They show that a 50 m T, 60 Hz field with a 0.06 m T DC field, over 10 experiments, averages a 46% reduction in melatonin production from pinealocytes.
Yaga et al. (1993) showed that rat pineal response to ELF pulsed magnetic fields varied significantly during the light- dark-cycle.
They found that the rate-limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis, N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity showed that magnetic field exposure significantly suppressed NAT during the mid- to late dark phase.

Stark et al. (1997) observed a significant increase in salival melatonin in a group of 5 cows when the short-wave radio transmitter at Schwarzenberg, Switzerland, was turned off for three days, compared to 5 cows that had much lower RF exposure.
Hence there are now at least ten independent observations of melatonin reduction in animals from ELF and RF exposure.

EMR Reduces Melatonin in People:

Fifteen studies from show that ELF and RF/MW exposure reduces melatonin in people and a serotonin enhancement.
Evidence that EMR reduced melatonin in human beings commenced with Wang (1989) who found that workers who were more highly exposed to RF/MW had a dose-response increase in serotonin, and hence indicates a reduction in melatonin.
Thirteen studies have observed significant EMR associated melatonin reduction in humans.

They involve a wide range of exposure situations, including 50/60 Hz fields:
Wilson et al. (1990), Graham et al. (1994), Davis (1997) [in a dose response manner], Wood et al. (1998), Karasek et al. 1998), and Burch et al. (1997, 1998, 1999a, 2000), Jutilainen et al. (2000) and Graham et al. (2000);
16.7 Hz fields, Pfluger et al. (1996), VDTs Arnetz et al. (1996), a combination of 60 Hz fields and cell phone use, Burch et al. (1997), and a combination of occupational 60Hz exposure and increased geomagnetic activity around 30nT, Burch et al. (1999b).

The Davis (1997) study involved residential exposures and observed nocturnal reductions in melatonin metabolite, 6-OHMS.
The author states that while the effect was small it occurred at milligauss levels and followed a dose-response trend.
The effect was strongest among women who were on medication that also reduces melatonin.
They showed a significant dose-response trend, with a 2- , 3- and 4-fold increase in magnetic field resulting in 8%, 12 % and 15 % reductions in melatonin, respectively.

The fifteenth human melatonin reduction study is from RF exposure as reported during the shutting down process of the Schwarzenburg shortwave radio tower, Professor Theo Abelin (seminar and pers.comm.).
Urinary melatonin levels were monitored prior to and following the closing down of the Schwarzenburg short wave radio transmitter.
This showed a significant rise in melatonin after the signal was turned off.

Hence it is established from multiple, independent studies, that EMR from ELF to RF/MW reduces melatonin in animals and human beings.

Confirmation of the electromagnetic sensitivity of the human pineal comes from therapeutic uses of picoTesla ELF fields in the successful treatment of a range of neurological diseases, Sandyk (1993, 1994), Sandyk and Derpapas (1993) and Sandyk and Iacono (1993).
These studies specifically involve Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
The authors identify the magneto-sensitivity of the pineal gland and the role of melatonin as the biological mechanism for this therapy.

The Health Implications of Reduced Melatonin:

Melatonin has many biological effects.
The melatonin receptor regulates several second messengers: cAMP, cGMP, diacylglycerol, inositol trisphosphate, arachidonic acid, and intracellular Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca2+]j). In many cases, its effect is inhibitory and requires previous activation of the cell by a stimulatory agent.
Melatonin inhibits cAMP accumulation in most of the cells examined, but the indole effects on other messengers have been often observed only in one type of the cells or tissue, until now.
Melatonin also regulates the transcription factors, namely, phosphorylation of cAMP-responsive element binding protein and expression of c-Fos. Molecular mechanisms of the melatonin effects are not clear but may involve at least two parallel transduction pathways, one inhibiting adenylyl cyclase and the other regulating phosphohpide metabolism and [Ca 2+]j, Vaneeck (1998).

Professor Russell Reiter, one of the world's leading medical researchers into the effects of melatonin, summarizes melatonin’s roles, Reiter and Robinson (1995), as being:

• Vital for healthy sleep, including lowering the body temperature, and assisting in maintaining health sleep states.
• Reduces cholesterol, with consequent reductions is risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
• Reduces blood pressure and the tendency for blood clots, and hence reduces the risk of strokes.
• Scavenger of free radicals.
This, along with the above factors, reduces the risk of heart attack, cancer, viral replication.
Melatonin plays a vital free radical scavenging role in the brain where, because it is high in iron, has a high production rate of hydroxyl radicals (OH•). Free radical damage is now known to play a formative role in most brain disorders, including Alzheimer’ disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
While the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) denies access to most free radical scavengers, melatonin has free access.

• Enhances the effectiveness of the immune system. Specifically enhancing the T-cells, i.e. the T-helper cells and the T-killer cells. T-helper cells have a receptor for melatonin. When melatonin is received a cascade of events is set in motion including stimulation of Interleukin-4 (IL-4) which then stimulates natural killer cells (NK), B-cells, IgA, phagocytes and T-Cytotoxic cells.
The NK cells specialize in attacking cancer cells and virus infected cells.

In Professor Reiter’s book, published in 1995, he describes the evidence that EMR/EMF does reduce melatonin as a “Smoking Gun” level of proof.
That is, there is considerable scientific evidence but at that time it wasn’t sufficient for scientific proof.
By considering more recent information, and the extensive results of biometeorological research, and linking the melatonin research to the calcium ion research, the level of proof can be seen as causal.
The multiple observations of melatonin reduction in EMR exposed populations means that EMR exposure increases the incidence of all of the conditions identified by Reiter and Robinson above, including impaired immune system, diseases from infections and viruses, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, reproductive, neurological and cardiac disease and/or death.
Epidemiological evidence of exposed workers and residential populations confirms all of these, except arthritis, have been identified to occur in EMR exposed human populations.

Neil.Cherry@ecan.govt.nz
Environmental Management and Design Division
P.O. Box 84. Lincoln University. Canterbury, New Zealand
26th July 2000

References:

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Source: Neil.Cherry@ecan.govt.nz

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