Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spent Fuel Rods Drive Growing Fear Over Plant in Japan

Spent Fuel Rods Drive Growing Fear Over Plant in Japan

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News
Reporters and Tepco workers at Reactor No. 4 at Fukushima Daiichi, which the environment and nuclear minister visited Saturday.
TOKYO — What passes for normal at the Fukushima Daiichi plant today would have caused shudders among even the most sanguine of experts before an earthquake and tsunami set off the world’s second most serious nuclear crisis after Chernobyl.

Fourteen months after the accident, a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive cesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged reactor building, covered only with plastic.

The public’s fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe, now that the three nuclear reactors that suffered meltdowns are in a more stable state, and as frequent quakes continue to rattle the region.

The worries picked up new traction in recent days after the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said it had found a slight bulge in one of the walls of the reactor building, stoking fears over the building’s safety.

To try to quell such worries, the government sent the environment and nuclear minister to the plant on Saturday, where he climbed a makeshift staircase in protective garb to look at the structure supporting the pool, which he said appeared sound. The minister, Goshi Hosono, added that although the government accepted Tepco’s assurances that reinforcement work had shored up the building, it ordered the company to conduct further studies because of the bulge.

Some outside experts have also worked to allay fears, saying that the fuel in the pool is now so old that it cannot generate enough heat to start the kind of accident that would allow radioactive material to escape.

But many Japanese scoff at those assurances and point out that even if the building is strong enough, which they question, the jury-rigged cooling system for the pool has already malfunctioned several times, including a 24-hour failure in April. Had the outages continued, they would have left the rods at risk of dangerous overheating. Government critics are especially concerned, since Tepco has said the soonest it could begin emptying the pool is late 2013, dashing hopes for earlier action.

“The No. 4 reactor is visibly damaged and in a fragile state, down to the floor that holds the spent fuel pool,” said Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute and one of the experts raising concerns. “Any radioactive release could be huge and go directly into the environment.”

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, expressed similar concerns during a trip to Japan last month.

The fears over the pool at Reactor No. 4 are helping to undermine assurances by Tepco and the Japanese government that the Fukushima plant has been stabilized, and are highlighting how complicated the cleanup of the site, expected to take decades, will be. The concerns are also raising questions about whether Japan’s all-out effort to convince its citizens that nuclear power is safe kept the authorities from exploring other — and some say safer — options for storing used fuel rods.

“It was taboo to raise questions about the spent fuel that was piling up,” said Hideo Kimura, who worked as a nuclear fuel engineer at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in the 1990s. “But it was clear that there was nowhere for the spent fuel to go.”

The worst-case situations for Reactor No. 4 would be for the pool to run dry if there is another problem with the cooling system and the rods catch fire, releasing enormous amounts of radioactive material, or for fission to restart if the metal panels that separate the rods are knocked over in a quake. That would be especially bad because the pool, unlike reactors, lacks containment vessels to hold in radioactive materials. (Even the roof that used to exist would be no match if the rods caught fire, for instance.)

There is considerable disagreement among scientists over whether such catastrophes are possible. But some argue that whether the chances are small or large, changes should be made quickly because of the magnitude of the potential calamity. 

Senator Wyden, whose state could lie in the path of any new radioactive plumes and who has studied nuclear waste issues, is among those pushing for faster action. After his recent visit to the ravaged plant, he said the pool at No. 4 poses “an extraordinary and continuing risk” and the retrieval of spent fuel “should be a priority, given the possibility of further earthquakes.”

Attention has focused on No. 4’s spent fuel pool because of the large number of assemblies filled with rods that are stored at that reactor building. Three other reactor buildings at the site are also badly damaged, but their pools hold fewer used assemblies.
According to Tepco, the pool at the No. 4 reactor, which was not operating at the time of the accident, holds 1,331 spent fuel assemblies, which each contain dozens of rods. Several thousand rods were removed from the core just three months before so the vessel could be inspected. Those rods, which were not fully used up, could more easily support chain reactions than the fully spent fuel.

While Mr. Koide and others warn that Tepco must move more quickly to transfer the fuel rods to a safer location, such transfers have been greatly complicated by the nuclear accident. Ordinarily the rods are lifted by giant cranes, but at Fukushima those cranes collapsed during the series of disasters that started with the earthquake and included explosions that destroyed portions of several reactor buildings.

Tepco has said it will need to build a separate structure next to Reactor No. 4 to support a new crane.
The presence of so many spent fuel rods at Fukushima Daiichi highlights a quandary facing the global nuclear industry: how to safely store — and eventually recycle or dispose of — spent nuclear fuel, which stays radioactive for tens of thousands of years.
In the 1960s and 1970s, recycling for reuse in plants seemed the most promising option to countries with civilian nuclear power programs. And as Japan expanded its collection of nuclear reactors, local communities were told not to worry about the spent fuel, which would be recycled.

The idea of recycling fell out of favor in some countries, including the United States, which dropped the idea because it is a potential path to nuclear weapons. Japan stuck to its nuclear fuel cycle goal, however, despite leaks and delays at a vast reprocessing plant in the north, leading utilities to store a growing stockpile of spent fuel.

As early as the 1980s, researchers, including those at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, started warning of the risks of storing growing amounts of nuclear fuel in pools. The United States has since concluded that densely packed pools are safe enough, but Tepco says that it never even specifically studied the risks posed by the pools.
“Japan did not want to admit that the nuclear fuel cycle might be a failed policy, and did not think seriously about a safer, more permanent way to store spent fuel,” said Tadahiro Katsuta, an associate professor of nuclear science at Tokyo’s Meiji University.
The capacity problem was particularly pronounced at Fukushima Daiichi, which is among Japan’s oldest plants and where the oldest fuel assemblies have been stored in pools since 1973.

Eventually, the plant built an extra fuel rod pool, despite suspicions among residents that increasing capacity at the plant would mean the rods would be stored at the site far longer than promised. (They were right.)

Tepco also wanted to transfer some of the rods to sealed casks, but the community was convinced that it was a stalling tactic, and the company loaded only a limited number of casks there.

The casks, as it turns out, were the better choice. They survived the disaster unscathed.       

Students Having Heart Attacks from WiFi

If your child (or you!) has been getting unexplained headaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart palpitations, nausea or dizziness, then it’s a really good idea for you to take a look at your cell phone and WiFi exposure as a possible cause. This email sent out by a woman working tirelessly to get her school to hardwire their computers is a very powerful testimony and may do more to make people aware of the ill health effects of this technology than all the scientific info I’ve been posting here:

My experience is different than most parents.

Last month my internet provider died of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma at 48 leaving behind 4 young kids.  He used his cellular phone much more than 30 minutes a day and used wifi routers at his office and at home as well.

A few weeks ago singer Adam Yauch died of Parotid Salivary Gland cancer at 47.  He also used a cellular phone heavily for more than 20 years.

It’s possible that both deaths were preventable.

My neighbour’s partner used a brick phone in the 80’s and last year underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour with his kids being just 9 and 12 years of age.

I have a friend who is a chef and another who has a 16 year old daughter. Both live with wifi routers and use wifi enabled laptops and use their cellular phones more than 30 minutes a day and sleep with their cell phones on their night table.  Both women stopped menstruating for seven to ten months until they reduced their wireless usage.

My friend’s son has heart palpitations at the age of 12 and needs a heart monitor and his school has several commercial grade multiple antenna wifi routers.  When he is at home, his heart has a regular rhythm.

My naturopath’s daughter sat under a commercial grade multiple antenna wifi router at school for a year and became dizzy, nauseas, anxious, had ringing ears, headaches, and was light headed – which are all classic symptoms of over exposure to microwave radiation – that they had to home school her and ultimately move to a remote location away from multiple forms of microwave radiofrequency radiation.

The Toronto school board now has defibrillators in every high school because of the risk of heart attack for students.

Is it just me or does it seem extremely odd that teenagers are having heart attacks regularly?

I question everything.

These deaths and illnesses make me wonder what are we actually allowing when we say yes to a class 2b carcinogen that can’t be touched, seen, heard, smelled or tasted in our children’s schools?

I implore you to consider maintaining the current wired internet access at one school of each level in each district as you reflect on: “Who is liable when children start getting over exposed from microwave wireless radiation – a class 2b carcinogen?”

The schools are taking that liability away from wifi manufacturers.

Do all schools have the liability insurance to cover the illnesses that will happen in the coming years or even in 10, 20, or 30 years?

Why won’t insurance companies cover wifi manufacturers?

With the best actuarial studies – it is due “to the incalculable risk to human health.”

When parents start sending in their Notices of Liability to school administrators, school trustees and school district officials, will schools start treating Microwave Wireless Radiation as the class 2b carcinogen it is and protect all children with the precautionary principle and maintain current wired internet access and think: Safety over Convenience?

Microwave Wireless Radiation ultimately affects everyone.

-Susan McFee

Langley Fine Arts School PAC SD #35″

My own kids are so concerned about this that they set up their own website to educate other kids, they called it:

If you’re a parent, go to their site and download their free Action Pack. I also have numerous posts on this site going into detail about the health effects of microwave radiation from WiFi computers, cell phones, iPads, Wii, X-box, etc. Just type “WiFi Radiation” into my SEARCH box on this site and it will pull all my posts up for you.
Charlie Teo is one of the few neurosurgeon’s who is willing to stand up and say anything about cell phones causing brain tumours, so definitely check him out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Schools Should Remain Hard-Wired!

Dear School Administrators, Principals, Teachers and Parents,

Having recently listened to a disturbing school sales pitch to parents, by an educator who wanted to introduce IPADs to the school,
it was truly alarming to discover that the dangers of exposing children to pulsed microwave radiation especially as they
are developing, had not been investigated or considered. This appears to be the case in some private and government schools across the country.

We took a measurement at this same school that had installed a powerful WIFI network and noted levels and high pulse rates
that children should never be exposed to. Service providers will say it is safe – they want to sell their products and systems.

The parents had not been informed of this “military strength” installment (as described by the principal) nor of the boosters placed around the school.

Educators need to be 100% sure they are not endangering their pupils for the sake of fads, egos or trends and be prepared to take full
responsibility for their decisions.

The levels and effects when 40-50 children are wirelessly operating IPADs simultaneously in one classroomare to be taken very seriously.

Wireless networks, routers and boosters should have no place in areas where our children spend most of their day.

Education is not limited by safer hardwired computers to ADSL.

Two new studies have found that electromagnetic fields from Wi-Fi transmitters can alter electrical brain activity and
decrease a measure of attention in young adults when performing a memory task. These are the first reports to look at the
effects of Wi-Fi specific on brain function although other studies have shown for years the effects of EMFs on brain function
and the biological impacts including autism, loss of fertility, diabetes, heart conditions and cancer. ADD has appeared and increased dramatically.
The attractiveness of Wi-Fi as a learning tool in schools is significantly decreased if it could be damaging the cognitive abilities
and brain development of pupils in addition to their general wellbeing. 

Another study in 2010 demonstrated that a laptop in Wi-Fi mode may result in decreased male fertility. The study showed  decreased sperm motility and increase of DNA fragmentation.
( Published in Fertility and Sterility – Sept 2010)

It should also be noted that there has been no organisation in the world that has been prepared to declare a safe level of exposure for children.

Attached also find witness statements in a legal case against a school to stop a child being exposed to WIFI, where scientific evidence was presented on

behalf of the family by top scientists.

An open letter is also attached by Dr Magda Havas an advisor to our foundation and many across the world.

An excellent visual presentation has been prepared by Dr Havas on the dangers of WIFI in schools. Viewing is highly recommended.

WIFI has been removed from all schools in Switzerland, many in France, England and Canada. Germany has prohibited Wi-Fi in their public schools.
Switzerland has rolled out optic fibre into all its schools with broadband on the condition that no WIFI/WLAN is retained.

WIFI has also been removed from all public libraries in Paris and some French towns have removed it completely.

A town in Spain has removed all Wi-Fi and cell masts.

The Austrian Medical Association has recommended that all schools stay hardwired.

San Francisco decided not to WIFI their city after researching the scientific documentation.

Germany has advised its citizens to not use WIFI. WIFI is banned from the public schools.

On May 31st, 2011, the World Health Organization classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as a possible human carcinogen.
It applies to ALL forms of radio frequency radiation as stated by Dr. Jonathan Samet (University of California) in this short video.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended the following in 2011 – ( the full document is attached )
8.3. concerning the protection of children:
8.3.1. develop within different ministries (education, environment and health) targeted information campaigns aimed at teachers, parents and children to alert them to the specific risks of early, ill-considered and prolonged use of mobiles and other devices emitting microwaves;
8.3.2. for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises;

Swisscom revealed the true DANGER of WiFi in a patent application. Swisscom is the leading telecom provider in Switzerland and it devised a way to reduce the microwave radiation from WiFi (also known as WLAN or wireless local area network). In its patent application, Swisscom clearly states the elevated risk of cancer and genetic damage  from the constant low level microwave/RF exposure from WiFi.  Please note this was in 2004.

     Below are excerpts from page one and page two. The full application is at the bottom of the page.

     "The influence of electrosmog on the human body is a known problem. The health risk from mobile radio transmitters (WiFi base stations) handys and DECT telephones has been an explosive subject among the general public...To meet the concerns of science from the legislative side, the permissible limit values have thus been lowered several times (in Switzerland) and technology has been increasingly focused on this problem. The risk of damage to health through electrosmog has also become better understood as a result of more recent and improved studies. When, for example, human blood cells are irradiated with electromagnetic fields, clear damage to hereditary material has been demonstrated and there have been indications of an increased cancer risk (Mashevich M., Folkman D. , Kesar A., Barbul A. , Korenstein R. , Jerby E. , Avivi L., Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel, "Exposure of human peripheral blood lymphocytes to electromagnetic fields associated with cellular phones leads to chromosomal instability," Bioelectromagnetics, 2003 Feb. , 24 (2): 82-90).
     "Control experiments (without microwave/RF radiation) carried out in the temperature range of 34.5 to 38.5 °C showed that elevated temperature is not associated with either the genetic or epigenetic alterations…These findings indicate that the genotoxic effect of electromagnetic radiation is elicited via a non-thermal pathway. Moreover aneuploidy is to be considered as a known phenomenon in the increase of cancer risk."
        "Thus it has been possible to show that mobile radio radiation can cause damage   to genetic material, in particular in human white blood cells, whereby both the DNA   itself is damaged and the number of chromosomes changed. This mutation can  consequently lead to increased cancer risk. In particular, it could also be shown that this destruction is not dependent upon temperature increases, i.e. is non-thermal."
     From page 5, section 25:

     "Despite increasingly strict national (Swiss) guidelines with respect to legally  specified limits, the impact of electrosmog in WLANs on the human body can be considerable. Moreover it is to be expected that this impact will continue to increase  in the future for many people...First, more and more applications require additional, usually higher-energy frequency bands in order to be able to meet the growing need with respect to transmission rate."
     From page 6, sections 5-15:

     "There has been a lot of effort put into providing evidence for the detrimental effects of electrosmog and setting corresponding limits. Limits and guidelines alone will not suffice, however, to further contain the electrosmog in WLANs since the development in WLANs runs in exactly the opposite direction, as mentioned above. WLANs even represent zones in which people usually spend  longer periods of time (place of work, Internet, network games, etc. ) and are therefore to be considered as particularly problematic with respect to radiation impact…This means that even when the WLAN is not being used at all, an underlying stress from electromagnetic radiation remains for persons in the Basic Service Area of an access point of the WLAN. For example, in the case of WLANs at places of employment, such as offices, etc., there exists therefore permanent stress from electrosmog from the WLAN on the employees of the company or organization."

     The entire Swisscom international patent application can be viewed click here   

APPLE has received complaints about the effects of IPADS on adults – a forum was created.
·         “Wow. I'm so relieved to find this thread...thankfully Apple has allowed this discussion in their forums. I've been using my new iPad for about a week and I blacked out DRIVING and had to pull over after using the iPad 2 shortly before leaving the house. Scary stuff. I got weird headaches I've never had before and felt really ill. At first I thought it was the flu and went to the doc, who found no fever or other signs of a virus, but did some tests anyway. I got such vertigo from watching a video and doing flashcards I couldn't believe it...and I love this magical thing. But there is NO WAY I'm keeping it. Frightening.”

Some SA schools have done their homework and decided to remain hardwired and have wired computer stations rather than risking their pupils wellbeing.
Congratulations to them.

Cell masts

Cell masts on school grounds are also prohibited in other parts of the world. In fact Taiwan removed 1500 masts from or near their schools in 2007.

Cell masts are not permitted at schools in France, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Finland and some parts in the USA.

We recently conducted a health survey for a school with a mast. It very clearly showed a trend that the longer the children had been at the school the more their
symptoms increased. Once again if the school had done their research first, they would not be in the situation they are now. Is that small amount of monthly rental
and a few free cell phones for the teachers worth the risk on the children ?

Cell phones

Cell phones have no place in the classroom and are disruptive in addition to the possible health impacts.

The safer use of cell phones needs to be taught to childrenThey should be made aware not to carry them on, on their bodies such as in pockets or bras.

Even smart phone manufacturers have clear warnings in the manuals as legal protection i.e. BlackBerry – page 23 advises one to keep the phone 0.98 from the head or body when on and to keep it away
from the abdomen of pregnant woman and the lower abdomen of children. Other countries are insisting on SAR levels and warnings to be posted on the boxes and point of sale.

The impact on fertility is being noted strongly in studies.

Russia recommends that U18s and pregnant women should not use cell phones. ( Please see Russian National Committee on non-ionising Radiation Protection )
Health Canada has advised a cautionary for U18s
UK recommends no U16s
France has banned the sale of phones to U14s and in all primary schools.

A private school in Cape Town has ensured they have public telephone boxes and encourage the use of telephone cards instead of cell phones at school.

The pregnant teacher also needs to be considered and the exposure and impact on the foetus, which have been noted in studies.

Medical research can be found on :
We trust you will be one of those special schools who have researched the dangers and potential risk to your children.

Protect your children – they are our future.

Kind regards

Tracey-Lee Dorny   Advocate Vicky Benjamin.
Chairman                      Legal

Description: Description: Description: EMRF SIG

Dead in the Water

From Microwave News:

Dead in the Water

May 18, 2012

We haven’t posted many new items recently because we’ve been too busy fixing up the new Web site. In the process, we’ve been rereading many of our old stories. Last night, we came across an item from five years ago under the title “Cell Specific Responses to RF.” It highlighted some new research from Finland, which found that cell phone radiation affected the activity of ODC, a biologically important enzyme, in primary, but not secondary, cell lines.


The articles continues at:
Read the full story here.

Prof' Annie Sasco: Silenced after London conference

Prof' Annie Sasco: Silenced after London conference

Dear All:

I was informed by John Weigel and it was confimed by prof' Annie Sasco - that when she returned to France from the UK and Ireland (where she lectured to Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA)) - she was informed that she cannot continue her teaching work at Segalen Bordeaux II University. It could be related to the fact that Prof' Sasco, who has 3 degrees from Harvard and worked in IARC for 22 years,  spoke up in the conference very clearly about reasons for cancer and about conflicts of interests, and this conference was watched  livestream on the internet internationally. It is interesting to note, that the British Health Protection Agency initiated the possibility to watch the following ICNIRP conference in livestream, too.

Yesterday Annie Sasco was already on a plane to Africa where she's going to teach.
There is still access to her lecture at the link (and to other lectures as well by demand).
Her lecture is in session number 12.

You might be interested in her comments on conflicts of interests in the panel discussion which is also still available at the end of the same session, and in her comments in the discussion at the end of session 6, where she commented on the study on aspartam causing cancer in animals- by Dr. Morando Soffritti MD and spoke up on the similarity between cancer findings in animals and humans - that animals predict very well cancer in humans based on her IARC experience.

Thanks and best regards to David O Carpenter

Thanks and best regards to David O

Hi Magda, Andrew

I'm organizing a day conference on EMFs in Montreal with, the
Quebec Association to Fight Air Pollution which I convinced to deal with EMFs
(Francois Therrien is their EMF man but he is taking a break because of pressure
- computer stolen twice, risks losing his teaching job)....

...Dr Carpenter was in Montreal the last three days, two of them at the Energy Board for
AQLPA on the smart issue, and gave a great talk yesterday.

A wonderful man. Unfortunately, he didn't drink enough water and collapsed in the heat before the end of his talk.

Didn't pass out, it was a pressure drop. Went to hospital and blood wasn't moving well from one side of his heart to another, but he's fine and will be driven home today.

Thanks and very best regards,


André Fauteux, éditeur

Magazine La Maison du 21e siècle

Tél./Téléc. : 450 228-1555

Numéro d'essai gratuit :

Wireless Interference: The Health Risks of RF-EMFs

Wireless Interference: The Health Risks of RF-EMFs

May/June 2012

By Christopher Ketcham, from “Earth Island Journal”

"We now live in a wireless-saturated normality that has never existed in the history of the human race, and the effects of EMFs on human beings are largely untested."


In January 1990, a cell tower goes up 800 feet from Alison Rall’s dairy farm in Mansfield, Ohio. By fall, the cattle herd that pastures near the tower is sick, and Rall’s three young children begin suffering bizarre skin rashes, raised red “hot spots.” The kids are hit with waves of hyperactivity. The girls lose hair. Rall, when she becomes pregnant with a fourth child, can’t gain weight.

Desperate to understand what is happening to her family and her farm, she contacts an Environmental Protection Agency scientist named Carl Blackman. He’s an expert on the biological effects of radiation from electromagnetic fields (EMFs)—the kind of radiofrequency EMFs (RF-EMFs) by which all wireless technology operates, including not just cell towers and cell phones but also wi-fi hubs and wi-fi-capable computers, “smart” utility meters, and even cordless home phones. “With my government cap on, I’m supposed to tell you you’re perfectly safe,” Blackman tells her. “With my civilian cap on, I have to tell you to consider leaving.”

When Rall contacts the cell phone company that operates the tower, she is told there is “no possibility whatsoever” that the tower is the source of her ills. But within weeks of abandoning the farm, the children recovered their health, and so did the herd.
We all live in range of cell towers now, and we are all wireless operators. As of October 2010 there were 5.2 billion cell phones operating on the planet. “Penetration,” in the marketing-speak of the companies, often tops 100 percent in many countries, meaning there is more than one connection per person.

I don’t have an Internet connection at my home in Brooklyn, and, like a dinosaur, I still keep a landline. Yet even though I have, in a fashion, opted out, I’m bathed in the radiation from cell phone panels on the parking garage next door. The waves are everywhere. We now live in a wireless-saturated normality that has never existed in the history of the human race, and the effects of EMFs on human beings are largely untested.
In May 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a statement that the electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones would henceforth be classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The IARC decision followed multiple warnings, mostly from European regulators, about the possible health risks of RF-EMFs. In September 2007, the EU’s European Environment Agency suggested that widespread radiofrequency radiation “could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol.” Double-strand breaks in DNA—one of the undisputed causes of cancer—have been reported in tests with animal cells. Neuroscientists at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia discovered a “power boost” in brain waves when humans were exposed to cell phone radiofrequencies. The brain, one of the lead researchers speculated, was “concentrating to overcome the electrical interference.”

Yet the major public health watchdogs, in the United States and worldwide, have dismissed concerns. The American Cancer Society reports that “most studies published so far have not found a link between cell phone use and the development of tumors.” The cell phone industry’s lobbying organization assures the public that cell phone radiation is safe.

But according to a survey by Henry Lai of the University of Washington, although only 28 percent of studies funded by the wireless industry showed some type of biological effect from cell phone radiation, 67 percent of independently funded studies showed a bioeffect.

Despite the conflicting results, it is clear that some people are getting sick when they are heavily exposed to the new radiofrequencies. And we are not listening to their complaints.

Take the story of Michele Hertz. When a local utility company installed a wireless “smart” meter on her house in upstate New York in 2009, Hertz experienced “incredible memory loss,” and, at the age of 51, feared she had Alzheimer’s.

On a hunch, she told Con Edison of New York to remove the wireless meter. Within days, the worst symptoms disappeared. But her exposure to the meters has supersensitized Hertz to all kinds of other EMF sources. “Life,” she says, “has dramatically changed.”
In recent years, I’ve gotten to know dozens of “electrosensitives” like Hertz. To be sure, they constitute a tortured minority, often misunderstood and isolated. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, I met a woman who had taken to wearing an aluminum foil hat to kill wireless signals. I met a former world record marathoner who had lived at a house ringed by mountains that she said protected the place from cell frequencies. I met people who said they no longer wanted to live because of their condition.

The government of Sweden reports that the disorder known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity, or EHS, afflicts an estimated 3 percent of the population. Even the former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, has acknowledged that she suffers “strong discomfort” when she is exposed to cell phones.

Yet the World Health Organization reports that “there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure.” A study conducted in 2006 at the Mobile Phone Research Unit at King’s College in London came to a similar conclusion.

“The scientific data so far just doesn’t help the electrosensitives,” says Louis Slesin, editor and publisher of Microwave News, a newsletter and website that cover the potential effects of RF-EMFs. “There is electrical signaling going on in your body all the time, and the idea that external electromagnetic fields can’t affect us just doesn’t make sense.”

Maria Gonzalez, a nurse who lives in Queens, New York, took me to her daughter’s school to see the cell phone masts, which were built in 2005. The operator of the masts, Sprint Nextel, had built a wall of fake brick to hide them from view, but Gonzalez was skeptical. When she read a report published in 2002 about children in Spain who developed leukemia shortly after a cell phone tower was erected next to their school, she went into a quiet panic.

Sprint-Nextel was unsympathetic when she telephoned the company to express her concerns. A year later, Gonzalez sued the U.S. government, charging that the Federal Communications Commission had failed to fully evaluate the risks from cell phone frequencies. The suit was thrown out. The judge concluded that if regulators said the radiation was safe, it was safe. The message, as Gonzalez puts it, was that she was “crazy . . . and making a big to-do about nothing.”

I’d venture, rather, that she was applying a commonsense principle in environmental science: the precautionary principle, which states that when something cannot be proven with certainty to be safe, then it should be assumed to be harmful. In a society thrilled with the magic of digital wireless, we have junked this principle. Because of our thoughtlessness, we have not demanded to know the full consequences of this technology. Perhaps the gadgets are slowly killing us—we do not know. What we do know, without a doubt, is that the electromagnetic fields are all around us, and that to live in modern civilization implies always and everywhere that we cannot escape their touch.

Christopher Ketcham has written for Harper’s, The Nation, Salon, Mother Jones, National Geographic, and many other periodicals and websites.Excerpted from Earth Island Journal (Winter 2012), a quarterly that publishes investigative journalism and thought-provoking essays on environmental matters.

Lawsuit threat to Education ministry over Wi-Fi

The Israeli ministry of education is facing a lawsuit threat from Lawyer Dafna Tachover,  who wrote this letter in response to the position document written by the inter-ministerial committee of the env., health and education ministries. Among the rest, Tachover demands a response in writing about conflicts of interests of Prof. Sigal Sadezky.

Electromagnetic intolerance elucidated

Electromagnetic intolerance elucidated

By André Fauteux, Editor

© AP Photo / Jason DeCrow

In 2002, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland told journalists that microwaves emitted by cellphones made her sick, even if the phone only turned on and hidden in a pocket or purse located up to four meters away. Nonetheless, the World Health Organization stated in 2005 that electrosensitivity symptoms may be of psychosomatic origin, a claim French oncologist Dominique Belpomme says is refuted recent discoveries. 

French researchers recently demonstrated that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) substantially alter the physiology of the blood and brain of electrosensitive people and that the impact on these biological markers increases and decreases according to the intensity of EMF exposure."We know with certainty that electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not psychosomatic", Dr Dominique Belpomme stated in a [November 2010] telephone interview. "EMFs provoke major effects in the brain. The most important of these is the opening of the blood-brain barrier. This allows mercury, organochlorines and other pollutants to enter in the brain, where they cause various neurodegenerative diseases."

20 new patients per week A professor of oncology at Paris-Descartes University, Dr. Belpomme is President of the French Association for Research in Therapeutics Against Cancer (, which has shifted in the prevention from 2004. Since May 2008, his team has studied what he coined the Electromagnetic Intolerance Syndrome (SICEM in French)"I have 450 patients and see up to 20 new cases every week, including children who have headaches, impaired memory, concentration or language. We have the largest European cohort of electrosensitive patients. This is a major public health concern."The SICEM is an extreme reaction to low-level exposure to 50/60 Hz electric and magnetic fields emitted by electrical cables and devices as well as radio frequencies (10 MHz to 300 GHz including microwave) from wireless devices and antennas. 

''In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity
 (EHS) is an officially fully recognized functional impairment (i.e., it is not regarded as a disease, thus no diagnosis exists), explains Swedish dermatologist and EHS expert Olle Johannson. Thus, the first step for a person in Sweden with a functional impairment is to contact the municipality’s special civil servant for disability issues, as well as the various handicap organizations and authorities, to achieve accessibility measures of various types with the sole aim to have an equal life in a society based on equality according to the The UN Convention on Human Rights for Persons with Functional Impairments,''

People with EHS are often incorrectly referred in psychiatry while many experts such as Belpomme say the first treatment they require is reducing or eliminating their exposure to EMFS. Their symptoms (neurological, cardiovascular, dermatological, muscular, etc.) are sometimes so serious that they must shield themselves with special clothing, curtains as well as grounded paints and vapor barriers. Othersmove into forests, caves or other remote locations if they are unable to find a low-EMF environment where their symptoms can recede or disappear. 

Dr. Belpomme's team has developed a diagnostic method based on blood tests and a special brain scan (pulsed Doppler echography) to visualize blood flow. "These patients clearly have vascular disorders in the brain, said the oncologist. In addition, our biological tests show that 30% of them have high levels of histamine, 50% have too much stress proteins, most have low levels of melatonin (an potent anti-cancer hormone), and 30% have levels of antibodies and proteins that are tell-tale signs of thermal shock and brain damage.He adds that half of his patients suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and that MCS and EHS share the same brain abnormalities.

The oncologist explained that there are three distinct levels of sensitivity to pollutants. First, there is intolerance, caused by polymorphism. "This means that we are all different. For example, 30% of the population is most at risk of developing cancer."Second, there is the susceptibility factor demonstrated by Swedish oncologist Lennart Hardell who studied 16 families who were electrosensitive because of shared genetic factors. There are also active susceptibility factors, "such as dental amalgam that behave like antennas capturing airwaves'', explains Belpomme. 

Finally, electromagnetic hypersensitivity appears in two stages. "The first phase is induced by exposure to a specific EMF frequency, either an acute or chronic exposure, such as talking on a cell phone 20 minutes every day. The first signs of hypersensitivity are pain and a heat sensation in the ear. In the second phase, the disease sets in. That's when you become intolerant at all frequencies."

Experienced researchersARTAC's scientific council is chaired by virologist Luc Montagnier, 2008 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in medicine as co-discoverer of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) believed to cause AIDS. And its research coordinator is doctor of nutrition Philippe Irigaray, one of five international experts recently appointed by Quebec's Health Research Fund to select the most promising research projects in environmental cancer prevention. Dr Irigaray stresses that the human brain contains magnetosomes, iron oxides that behave like magnets. Electrosensitivity may depend on their quantity, which varies from one individual to another. 

ARTAC researchers are currently preparing five scientific papers on electrosensitivity. "It takes a lot of time, said Dr Belpomme. They will published in a year or two. But action is needed immediately to reduce people's overexposure to EMFs.''In France, an estimated 5% of the population is already electrosensitive, and the proportion is constantly increasing with the ever growing popularity of wireless technologies. "Studies show that 10 to 50% of the population may become very intolerant to EMFs over the next 25 to 50 years, Dr Belpomme said. I have two cases of multiple sclerosis triggered after prolonged use of a cell phone, three cases of breast cancer - two recurrences after exposure to EMFs and one case related to the use of computers - and anecdotal evidence also for autism and Alzheimer's disease whose risk is much higher than for cancer. Causal links with electromagnetic fields are highly possible."Dr Belpomme said he has relieved some EHS patients by administering medication to tone-up the nervous system and antihistamines to close the blood-brain barrier.

No causal link, says WHO
In 2005, the World Health Organization published Fact Sheet No 296 entitled Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. It stated : ''Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure... The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity... Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem.

Physicians: Treatment of affected individuals should focus on the health symptoms and the clinical picture, and not on the person's perceived need for reducing or eliminating EMF in the workplace or home. This requires:
  • a medical evaluation to identify and treat any specific conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms,
  • a psychological evaluation to identify alternative psychiatric/psychological conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms,
  • an assessment of the workplace and home for factors that might contribute to the presented symptoms. These could include indoor air pollution, excessive noise, poor lighting (flickering light) or ergonomic factors. A reduction of stress and other improvements in the work situation might be appropriate.''
Bull, said Dr. Dominique Belpomme. "This setback is of a political nature that has nothing to do with science. WHO will be forced to revise its decision in the coming months. It is a societal denial that does not take account of current knowledge which is constantly evolving. [read Microwave News's coverage of conflicts of interest at WHO]
The oncologist argues the causal link between exposure to magnetic fields and leukemia is no longer in doubt. "When we increase the dose, it increases the rate of leukemia. Dozens of laboratory toxicological studies have demonstrated this most clearly, in vitro as well as in animals."For her part, Ontario researcher Magda Havas of Trent University said EHS studies with negative results have major biases. "The researchers assumed that reactions to EMFs are immediate, while there is often a delay between exposure and response. People are not switches that can be turned on and off. These studies incorrectly insinuate that if you can not feel anything, it can't harm you. We know very well that we can't detect the taste of arsenic, lead, DDT nor asbestos, but they are all toxic."
Further reading:

The problem of conflict of interest & commercial influence in WHO agencies and the need for public interest representation

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