[NetBehaviour] FW: Interesting article sent wirelessly.

Helen Varley Jamieson helen at creative-catalyst.com
Sat Feb 4 23:47:41 CET 2006

this is interesting ... and depressing ... having 
only just in the last month succumbed to getting 
my  own mobile phone, i now don't know whether to 
throw it away or just rot with everyone else. 
given that most teenagers i know have at least 
one phone if not 3, i guess the problem will 
solve itself in about 20 years when everyone 
develops alzheimers. & then we won't have to work 
out what to do about the environmental 
destruction of the planet ...

i can feel a headache coming on just thinking about it ...
h : (

>The Largest Biological Experiment Ever
>by Arthur Firstenberg
>In 2002, Gro Harlem Brundtland, then head of the World Health
>Organization, told a Norwegian journalist that cell phones were banned
>from her office in Geneva because she personally becomes ill if a cell
>phone is brought within about four meters (13 feet) of her. Mrs.
>Brundtland is a medical doctor and former Prime Minister of Norway.
>This sensational news, published March 9, 2002 in Dagbladet, was
>ignored by every other newspaper in the world. The following week
>Michael Repacholi, her subordinate in charge of the International EMF
>(electromagnetic field) Project, responded with a public statement
>belittling his boss's concerns. Five months later, for reasons that
>many suspect were related to these circumstances, Mrs. Brundtland
>announced she would step down from her leadership post at the WHO after
>just one term.
>Nothing could better illustrate our collective schizophrenia when it
>comes to thinking about electromagnetic radiation. We respond to those
>who are worried about its dangers Ð hence the International EMF Project
>Ð but we ignore and marginalize those, like Mrs. Brundtland, who have
>already succumbed to its effects.
>As a consultant on the health effects of wireless technology, I receive
>calls that can be broadly divided into two main groups: those from
>people who are merely worried, whom I will call A, and those from
>people who are already sick, whom I will call B. I sometimes wish I
>could arrange a large conference call and have the two groups talk to
>each other Ð there needs to be more mutual understanding so that we are
>all trying to solve the same problems. Caller A, worried, commonly asks
>what kind of shield to buy for his cell phone or what kind of headset
>to wear with it. Sometimes he wants to know what is a safe distance to
>live from a cell tower. Caller B, sick, wants to know what kind of
>shielding to put on her house, what kind of medical treatment to get,
>or, increasingly often, what part of the country she could move to to
>escape the radiation to save her life.
>The following is designed as a sort of a primer: first, to help
>everybody get more or less on the same page, and second, to clear up
>some of the confusions so that we can make rational decisions toward a
>healthier world.
>The most basic fact about cell phones and cell towers is that they emit
>microwave radiation; so do Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) antennas, wireless
>computers, cordless (portable) phones and their base units, and all
>other wireless devices. If it's a communication device and it's not
>attached to the wall by a wire, it's emitting radiation. Most Wi-Fi
>systems and some cordless phones operate at the exact same frequency as
>a microwave oven, while other devices use a different frequency. Wi-Fi
>is always on and always radiating. The base units of most cordless
>phones are always radiating, even when no one is using the phone. A
>cell phone that is on but not in use is also radiating. And, needless
>to say, cell towers are always radiating.
>Why is this a problem, you might ask? Scientists usually divide the
>electromagnetic spectrum into "ionizing" and "non-ionizing." Ionizing
>radiation, which includes x-rays and atomic radiation, causes cancer.
>Non-ionizing radiation, which includes microwave radiation, is supposed
>to be safe. This distinction always reminded me of the propaganda in
>George Orwell's Animal Farm: "Four legs good, two legs bad."
>"Non-ionizing good, ionizing bad" is as little to be trusted.
>An astronomer once quipped that if Neil Armstrong had taken a cell
>phone to the Moon in 1969, it would have appeared to be the third most
>powerful source of microwave radiation in the universe, next only to
>the Sun and the Milky Way. He was right. Life evolved with negligible
>levels of microwave radiation. An increasing number of scientists
>speculate that our own cells, in fact, use the microwave spectrum to
>communicate with one another, like children whispering in the dark, and
>that cell phones, like jackhammers, interfere with their signaling. In
>any case, it is a fact that we are all being bombarded, day in and day
>out, whether we use a cell phone or not, by an amount of microwave
>radiation that is some ten million times as strong as the average
>natural background. And it is also a fact that most of this radiation
>is due to technology that has been developed since the 1970s.
>As far as cell phones themselves are concerned, if you put one up to
>your head you are damaging your brain in a number of different ways.
>First, think of a microwave oven. A cell phone, like a microwave oven
>and unlike a hot shower, heats you from the inside out, not from the
>outside in. And there are no sensory nerve endings in the brain to warn
>you of a rise in temperature because we did not evolve with microwave
>radiation, and this never happens in nature. Worse, the structure of
>the head and brain is so complex and non-uniform that "hot spots" are
>produced, where heating can be tens or hundreds of times what it is
>nearby. Hot spots can occur both close to the surface of the skull and
>deep within the brain, and also on a molecular level.
>Cell phones are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, and
>you can find, in the packaging of most new phones, a number called the
>Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR, which is supposed to indicate the
>rate at which energy is absorbed by the brain from that particular
>model. One problem, however, is the arbitrary assumption, upon which
>the FCC's regulations are based, that the brain can safely dissipate
>added heat at a rate of up to 1 degree C per hour. Compounding this is
>the scandalous procedure used to demonstrate compliance with these
>limits and give each cell phone its SAR rating. The standard way to
>measure SAR is on a "phantom" consisting, incredibly, of a homogenous
>fluid encased in Plexiglas in the shape of a head. Presto, no hot
>spots! But in reality, people who use cell phones for hours per day are
>chronically heating places in their brain. The FCC's safety standard,
>by the way, was developed by electrical engineers, not doctors.
>The Blood-Brain Barrier
>The second effect that I want to focus on, which has been proven in the
>laboratory, should by itself have been enough to shut down this
>industry and should be enough to scare away anyone from ever using a
>cell phone again. I call it the "smoking gun" of cell phone
>experiments. Like most biological effects of microwave radiation, this
>has nothing to do with heating.
>The brain is protected by tight junctions between adjacent cells of
>capillary walls, the so-called blood-brain barrier, which, like a
>border patrol, lets nutrients pass through from the blood to the brain,
>but keeps toxic substances out. Since 1988, researchers in the
>laboratory of a Swedish neurosurgeon, Leif Salford, have been running
>variations on this simple experiment: they expose young laboratory rats
>to either a cell phone or other source of microwave radiation, and
>later they sacrifice the animals and look for albumin in their brain
>tissue. Albumin is a protein that is a normal component of blood but
>that does not normally cross the blood-brain barrier. The presence of
>albumin in brain tissue is always a sign that blood vessels have been
>damaged and that the brain has lost some of its protection.
>Here is what these researchers have found, consistently for 18 years:
>Microwave radiation, at doses equal to a cell phone's emissions, causes
>albumin to be found in brain tissue. A one-time exposure to an ordinary
>cell phone for just two minutes causes albumin to leak into the brain.
>In one set of experiments, reducing the exposure level by a factor of
>1,000 actually increased the damage to the blood-brain barrier, showing
>that this is not a dose-response effect and that reducing the power
>will not make wireless technology safer. And finally, in research
>published in June 2003, a single two-hour exposure to a cell phone,
>just once during its lifetime, permanently damaged the blood-brain
>barrier and, on autopsy 50 days later, was found to have damaged or
>destroyed up to 2 percent of an animal's brain cells, including cells
>in areas of the brain concerned with learning, memory and movement.1
>Reducing the exposure level by a factor of 10 or 100, thereby
>duplicating the effect of wearing a headset, moving a cell phone
>further from your body, or standing next to somebody else's phone, did
>not appreciably change the results! Even at the lowest exposure, half
>the animals had a moderate to high number of damaged neurons.
>The implications for us? Two minutes on a cell phone disrupts the
>blood-brain barrier, two hours on a cell phone causes permanent brain
>damage, and secondhand radiation may be almost as bad. The blood-brain
>barrier is the same in a rat and a human being.
>These results caused enough of a commotion in Europe that in November
>2003 a conference was held, sponsored by the European Union, titled
>"The Blood-Brain Barrier Ð Can It Be Influenced by RF [radio
>frequency]-Field Interactions?" as if to reassure the public: "See, we
>are doing something about this." But, predictably, nothing was done
>about it, as nothing has been done about it for 30 years.
>America's Allan Frey, during the 1970s, was the first of many to
>demonstrate that low-level microwave radiation damages the blood-brain
>barrier.2 Similar mechanisms protect the eye (the blood-vitreous
>barrier) and the fetus (the placental barrier), and the work of Frey
>and others indicates that microwave radiation damages those barriers
>also.3 The implication:
>No pregnant woman should ever be using a cell phone.
>Dr. Salford is quite outspoken about his work. He has called the use of
>cell phones "the largest human biological experiment ever." And he has
>publicly warned that a whole generation of cell-phone-using teenagers
>may suffer from mental deficits or Alzheimer's disease by the time they
>reach middle age.
>Radio-Wave Sickness
>Unfortunately, cell phone users are not the only ones being injured,
>nor should we be worried only about the brain. The following brief
>summary is distilled from a vast scientific literature on the effects
>of radio waves (a larger spectrum which includes microwaves), together
>with the experiences of scientists and doctors all over the world with
>whom I am in contact.
>Organs that have been shown to be especially susceptible to radio waves
>include the lungs, nervous system, heart, eyes, testes and thyroid
>gland. Diseases that have increased remarkably in the last couple of
>decades, and that there is good reason to connect with the massive
>increase in radiation in our environment, include asthma, sleep
>disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder, autism,
>multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia,
>chronic fatigue syndrome, cataracts, hypothyroidism, diabetes,
>malignant melanoma, testicular cancer, and heart attacks and strokes in
>young people. Radiation from microwave towers has also been associated
>with forest die-off, reproductive failure and population decline in
>many species of birds, and ill health and birth deformities in farm
>animals. The literature showing biological effects of microwave
>radiation is truly enormous, running to tens of thousands of documents,
>and I am amazed that industry spokespersons are getting away with
>saying that wireless technology has been proved safe or Ð just as
>ridiculous Ð that there is no evidence of harm.
>I have omitted one disease from the above list: the illness that Caller
>B has, and that I have. A short history is in order here. In the 1950s
>and 1960s workers who built, tested and repaired radar equipment came
>down with this disease in large numbers. So did operators of industrial
>microwave heaters and sealers. The Soviets named it, appropriately,
>radio wave sickness, and studied it extensively. In the West its
>existence was denied totally, but workers came down with it anyway.
>Witness congressional hearings held in 1981, chaired by then
>Representative Al Gore, on the health effects of radio-frequency
>heaters and sealers, another episode in "See, we are doing something
>about this," while nothing is done.
>Today, with the mass proliferation of radio towers and personal
>transmitters, the disease has spread like a plague into the general
>population. Estimates of its prevalence range up to one-third of the
>population, but it is rarely recognized for what it is until it has so
>disabled a person that he or she can no longer participate in society.
>You may recognize some of its common symptoms: insomnia, dizziness,
>nausea, headaches, fatigue, memory loss, inability to concentrate,
>depression, chest discomfort, ringing in the ears. Patients may also
>develop medical problems such as chronic respiratory infections, heart
>arrhythmias, sudden fluctuations in blood pressure, uncontrolled blood
>sugar, dehydration, and even seizures and internal bleeding.
>What makes this disease so difficult to accept, and even more difficult
>to cope with, is that no treatment is likely to succeed unless one can
>also avoid exposure to its cause Ð and its cause is now everywhere. A
>1998 survey by the California Department of Health Services indicated
>that at that time 120,000 Californians Ð and by implication 1 million
>Americans Ð were unable to work due to electromagnetic pollution.4 The
>ranks of these so-called electrically sensitive are swelling in almost
>every country in the world, marginalized, stigmatized and ignored. With
>the level of radiation everywhere today, they almost never recover and
>sometimes take their own lives.
>"They are acting as a warning for all of us," says Dr. Olle Johansson
>of people with this illness. "It could be a major mistake to subject
>the entire world's population to whole-body irradiation, 24 hours a
>day." A neuroscientist at the famous Karolinska Institute in Stockholm,
>Dr. Johansson heads a research team that is documenting a significant
>and permanent worsening of the public health that began precisely when
>the second-generation, 1800 MHz cell phones were introduced into Sweden
>in late l997.5,6 After a decade-long decline, the number of Swedish
>workers on sick leave began to rise in late 1997 and more than doubled
>during the next five years. During the same period of time, sales of
>antidepressant drugs also doubled. The number of traffic accidents,
>after declining for years, began to climb again in 1997. The number of
>deaths from Alzheimer's disease, after declining for several years,
>rose sharply in 1999 and had nearly doubled by 2001. This two-year
>delay is understandable when one considers that Alzheimer's disease
>requires some time to develop.
>Uncontrolled Proliferation
>If cell phones and cell towers are really deadly, have the radio and TV
>towers that we have been living with for a century been safe? In 2002
>Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson coauthored a paper titled "Cancer
>Trends During the 20th Century," which examined one aspect of that
>question.7 They found, in the United States, Sweden and dozens of other
>countries, that mortality rates for skin melanoma and for bladder,
>prostate, colon, breast and lung cancers closely paralleled the degree
>of public exposure to radio waves during the past hundred years. When
>radio broadcasting increased in a given location, so did those forms of
>cancer; when it decreased, so did those forms of cancer. And, a
>sensational finding: country by country Ð and county by county in
>Sweden Ð they found, statistically, that exposure to radio waves
>appears to be as big a factor in causing lung cancer as cigarette
>Which brings me to address a widespread misconception. The biggest
>difference between the cell towers of today and the radio towers of the
>past is not their safety, but their numbers. The number of ordinary
>radio stations in the United States today is still less than 14,000.
>But cell towers and Wi-Fi towers number in the hundreds of thousands,
>and cell phones, wireless computers, cordless telephones and two-way
>radios number in the hundreds of millions. Radar facilities and
>emergency communication networks are also proliferating out of control.
>Since 1978, when the Environmental Protection Agency last surveyed the
>radio frequency environment in the United States, the average urban
>dweller's exposure to radio waves has increased 1,000-fold, most of
>this increase occurring in just the last nine years.8 In the same
>period of time, radio pollution has spread from the cities to rest like
>a ubiquitous fog over the entire planet.
>The vast human consequences of all this are being ignored. Since the
>late 1990s a whole new class of environmental refugees has been created
>right here in the United States. We have more and more people, sick,
>dying, seeking relief from our suffering, leaving our homes and our
>livelihoods, living in cars, trailers and tents in remote places.
>Unlike victims of hurricanes and earthquakes, we are not the subject of
>any relief efforts. No one is donating money to help us, to buy us a
>protected refuge; no one is volunteering to forego their cell phones,
>their wireless computers and their cordless phones so that we can once
>more be their neighbors and live among them.
>The worried and the sick have not yet opened their hearts to each
>other, but they are asking questions. To answer caller A: No shield or
>headset will protect you from your cell or portable phone. There is no
>safe distance from a cell tower. If your cell phone or your wireless
>computer works where you live, you are being irradiated 24 hours a day.
>To caller B: To effectively shield a house is difficult and rarely
>successful. There are only a few doctors in the United States
>attempting to treat radio wave sickness, and their success rate is poor
>Ð because there are few places left on Earth where one can go to escape
>this radiation and recover.
>Yes, radiation comes down from satellites, too; they are part of the
>problem, not the solution. There is simply no way to make wireless
>technology safe.
>Our society has become both socially and economically dependent, in
>just one short decade, upon a technology that is doing tremendous
>damage to the fabric of our world. The more entrenched we let ourselves
>become in it, the more difficult it will become to change our course.
>The time to extricate ourselves, both individually and collectively Ð
>difficult though it is already is Ð is now.
>1. Leif G. Salford et al., "Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain After
>Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones," Environmental Health
>Perspectives 111, no. 7 (2003): 881883.
>2. Allan H. Frey, Sondra R. Feld and Barbara Frey, "Neural Function and
>Behavior," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 247 (1975):
>3. Allan H. Frey, "Evolution and Results
>of Biological Research with Low-Intensity Nonionizing Radiation," in
>Modern Bioelectricity, ed. Andrew A. Marino (New York: Dekker, 1988),
>785837, at 809810.
>4. California EMF Program, The Risk Evaluation: An Evaluation of the
>Possible Risks From Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFs) >From Power
>Lines, Internal Wiring, Electrical Occupations and Appliances (2002),
>app. 3.
>5. Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson, "1997 Ð A Curious Year in
>Sweden," European Journal of Cancer Prevention 13, no. 6 (2004):
>6. Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson, "Does GSM 1800 MHz Affect the
>Public Health in Sweden?" in Proceedings of the 3rd International
>Workshop "Biological Effects of EMFs," Kos, Greece, October 4-8, 2004,
>7. Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson, "Cancer Trends During the 20th
>Journal of Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine
>21, no. 1 (2002): 38.
>8. David E. Janes Jr., "Radiofrequency Environments in the United
>States," in 15th IEEE Conference on Communication, Boston, MA, June
>1014, 1979, vol. 2, 31.4.131.4.5.
>NetBehaviour mailing list
>NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org


helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst
helen at creative-catalyst.com

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