Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ahlbom & Feychting conflict of interest

Ahlbom & Feychting conflict of interest

"A. Ahlbom and M. Feychting are coinvestigators for the COSMOS study of mobile phone use and health, the Swedish part of which is funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, AFA Insurance, and VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems. VINNOVA received funds for this purpose from TellaSonera, Ericsson AB, and Telenor. Industry funding was given under agreements that the studies be given complete scientific independence. A. Ahlbom and M. Feychting are, or have been, members of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, an independent body setting guidelines for nonionizing radiation protection. They also serve as advisers to a number of public advisory and research steering groups concerning the potential health effects of exposure to nonionizing radiation. None of the authors has had assignments for the telecom industry. The authors reported no other financial interests related to this research."
Nyteknik article:
Google translation of Ny technik article: Maria Feychting, professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, KI, was recently Vice President of the Commission ICNIRP, International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection, which sets limits on cell phone radiation and other electromagnetic fields.
While she partially funded his research into health and mobile phones via the telecom industry, which she openly recognizes in his jävsdeklaration to ICNIRP. TeliaSonera, Ericsson and Telenor contributes 50 percent of the cost for the Swedish part of the research project Cosmos (with over 50 000 mobile subscribers), now about 7 million.
Maria Feychting sees no conflict in leading Icnirps activities while she receives industry funding.
- I do not think there is a problem because funds channeled through third parties acting firewall between our researchers and industry, ensuring our independence, she says.
But Ny Teknik's audit shows that the industry and scientists first discuss together about the funding and then turn to Vinnova and request authority to act an intermediary.
Vinnova officer Pontus von Bahr stated that the parties came to the former Director-General Per Eriksson with the arrangement.
In this context, established a so-called Firewall Agreement 2007, which will protect researchers from "undue influence" of mobile stakeholders.
According to Christer Törnevik, research area manager at Ericsson, Ericsson began and scientists to meet 2005th
- Before the contract was written with Vinnova, we asked, however, some quality-related issues, and suggested that certain quality criteria should be included in the contract. It is normal to have the opportunity to give our input and comments on the design of studies, he said.
Ericsson has proposed inter alia an international reference and the number of survey persons would be at least 25 000, he says.
Vinnova's insight into the informal contacts that occurred when the firewall agreement in force has been very limited.Despite the wording of the agreement that it will "ensure that all links" between companies and researchers "are transparent" do not ask Vinnova any specific reports of meetings. Researchers have mentioned relations with industry in the progress reports to the Vinnova. There is however no information on meeting dates, agenda and participants. The Authority's list of the file are no records of such meetings.
People from Ericsson Research have sometimes met with KI scientists since Cosmos project commenced in 2007.These meetings have been continued funding and technical information, says Christer Törnevik
According to Maria Feychting, she has participated in meetings with the companies in 2006, 2009 and 2011, which among other things, been the companies' interests to contribute funds.
Firewall deal was until 2009. After signing a contract extension for 2010. Since the agreement has ended.
Now scientists boxes again funding from industry.
The project manager for Cosmos, Anders Ahlbom, professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet, sent October 6, 2011 an email directly to Ericsson: one eleven-page application with project and budget plan for 2012 to 2014. He writes in the email that funding requires a firewall agreement "preferably by Vinnova."
The researchers' request for funding will, according to Anders Ahlbom, later sent to Vinnova.
- I can only say that this is normal. We have a first discussion on the study itself, I see nothing strange about it, says Christer Törnevik.
Tommy Ljunggren, head of systems development in mobile, TeliaSonera, says, however:
- It's a bit strange, I do not know why but we have received an application to us directly and not through Vinnova, he says.The Company reserves its position until it receives an application from Vinnova.
Anders Ahlbom:
- It may seem conspiratorial and wonder that we have informal contacts with industry, but we are totally independent.My understanding is that the telecom industry to contribute funding.
KI researchers Anders Ahlbom, above, and Maria Feychting, right, drives the Swedish part of the mobile research Cosmos. Anders Ahlbom's integrity as a scientist was questioned last year by a working group of the UN's cancer research agency IARC. Maria Feychting alone in Icnirps Commissioners about getting research funds from the telecom industry. Other ICNIRP members have little or no industry connections.
(An earlier version of this article, data on the meetings with industry briefly been mentioned in the progress reports to the Vinnova.)



PHONE: (415) 554-4662

On eve of key Ninth Circuit hearing, GAO raises questions about cell phone

Oral arguments in wireless industry challenge to City Cell Phone Ordinance:
Thursday at 9 a.m., 9th Circuit Courthouse, 95 7th Street

SAN FRANCISCO (July 26, 2012) -- On the eve of a key federal appeals court
hearing in the mobile phone lobby's legal challenge to San Francisco's cell
phone consumer information ordinance, the U.S. Government Accountability
Office today released a report expressing concern that the Federal
Communications Commission has failed to keep up with scientific developments
on the possible link between cell phone radiation and cancer. The report by
the GAO -- the independent, nonpartisan auditing agency that works for
Congress -- was commissioned a year ago to review FCC standards after a
panel of 31 leading scientists from the World Health Organization concluded
that the radiofrequency energy exposure from cell phones is "possibly
carcinogenic." The report is titled, "Exposure and Testing Requirements for
Mobile Phones Should be Reassessed."

City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office is defending San Francisco's cell
phone ordinance in an oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom One of the James R.
Browning Courthouse, at 95 7th Street in San Francisco. The hearing is open
to the public. Deputy City Attorney Vince Chhabria will be available to the
news media following the hearing to answer questions.

San Francisco's ordinance, first adopted in July 2010, directed the San
Francisco Department of the Environment to develop disclosure materials to
inform consumers about possible health risks associated with cell phones,
and actions users could take to minimize their exposure to the devices'
radiofrequency energy emissions. These materials, which cell phone
retailers must provide to people who are purchasing phones, advise consumers
that the World Health Organization has classified cell phone radiation as a
possible carcinogen, and that although studies are ongoing to assess this
issue, simple precautionary measures can be taken to reduce exposure, such
as maintaining a distance between the cell phone and the body. CTIA sued
the City in federal court on the theory that the ordinance violates the
wireless industry's First Amendment rights and is preempted by federal law.
The district court rejected most of CTIA's arguments, but enforcement of the
ordinance is on hold pending appeal.

"The GAO report supports what San Francisco's policymakers concluded two
years ago: we need to stay on top of this issue, because alarming new
information is coming in about cell phone radiation, and in the meantime
consumers should be informed about simple measures they can take to reduce
exposure if this concerns them," Herrera said. "But that common sense
principle is under attack by the cell phone industry. Incredibly, the cell
phone lobby is arguing that they have a First Amendment right to keep their
own customers in the dark until there is absolute scientific proof that
their products are dangerous to human health."

The World Health Organization made the following statement when it concluded
in 2011 that cell phone radiation is a possible carcinogen in 2011: "Given
the potential consequences for public health of this classification and
findings, it is important that additional research be conducted into the
long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such
information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure
such as hands-free devices or texting." WHO's press release is available

The following are some excerpts from the GAO report released today:

"Though mobile phones operate at power levels well below the level at which
this thermal effect occurs, the question of whether long-term exposure to RF
energy emitted from mobile phones can cause other types of adverse health
effects, such as cancer, has been the subject of research and debate." (P.

"Also, epidemiological studies to date have been limited in their ability to
provide information about possible effects of long-term RF energy exposure
because the prevalence of long-term mobile phone use is still relatively
limited and some tumors, including some cancerous tumors, do not develop
until many years after exposure." (PP. 9-10)

"FCC's current RF energy exposure limit for mobile phones, established in
1996, may not reflect the latest evidence on the thermal effects of RF
energy exposure and may impose additional costs on manufacturers and
limitations on mobile phone design. FCC regulates RF energy emitted from
mobile phones and relies on federal health and safety agencies to help
determine the appropriate RF energy exposure limit. However, FCC has not
formally asked FDA or EPA for their assessment of the limit since 1996,
during which time there have been significant improvements in RF energy
research and therefore a better understanding of the thermal effects of RF
energy exposure. This evidence has led to a new RF energy exposure limit
recommendation from international organizations. Additionally, maintaining
the current U.S. limit may result in additional costs for manufacturers and
impact phone design in a way that could limit performance and functionality.
Reassessing its current RF energy exposure limit would ensure that FCC's
limit protects the public from exposure to RF energy while allowing industry
to provide telecommunications services in the most efficient and practical
manner possible." (P. 27)

The full text of the GAO's report is available here:

The case is: CTIA-The Wireless Association(r) v. City and County of San
Francisco, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Nos. 11-17707 and

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Had a cell phone in my pocket while pregnant.

Had a cell phone in my pocket while pregnant.

Had a cell phone in my pocket while pregnant....
Michelle Scholz5:34pm Aug 8
Had a cell phone in my pocket while pregnant. We miss you Skyler. 4/29/04-9/21/08

Light-Radio poles in Vancouver

Light-Radio poles in Vancouver 

From : Andrew Michrowski 
Aug. 7 2012
These poles are very close to the general population; their application previews a 6 fold + increase in usage of wireless within a few years, and perhaps much more than 10-fold exposure of "background" radiation, with very dire effects on infrastructure corrosion within a decade - usually managed by municipalities, such as bridges, waterworks  (including water hydrants, sewage covers, drains), possible electric transmission facilities (street wiring, street lighting).
The Portfolio White Paper does not discuss the expected electromagnetic field levels (including maximums) (information which must be provided to at least the decision-makers, if not also the citizens) - and no consideration is given to frequent wet soil conditions in Fraser Valley, which will at the same time amplify other lower frequency / higher power via these poles up 10-fold from whatever the LightRadio system might broadcast.  We must never forget the accumulative effects of exposure to the wide range of microwave emissions from such setups to plant, animal and human life. Also, the economics must make sense not only to the servers, but also to taxpayers; public health, fertility of living systems, well-being must not bartered away.
Please use the attached info kit on wireless technology issues - especially for implications of various emission levels and court-ordered findings and jurisprudence. I strongly suggest that the city consider legal advise from environmental lawyers - and we are prepared to suggest some.
Yours sincerely,
Andrew Michrowski
On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:08 PM, Jim Waugh <> wrote:
Hello Andrew,
I hope that you are enjoying the summer weather.

The City of Vancouver has announced it is investigating a new utility technology to group street lighting, Wi-Fi, telecom, electric vehicle recharging and other services into a single utility pole. The news release is The technology is called lightRadio developed by Alcatel-Lucent and Bells Labs. I’m sure you’re aware of it. For your convenience the white paper is here at

I have been asked by a municipal councillor in West Vancouver to comment on the technology with regards to wireless exposure levels and other safety concerns. This is new to me and I would appreciate any comments you can make or information that you might have. Thank you.

Jim Waugh
Author & publisher of: "Living Safely with Electromagnetic Radiation"
Consulting in: electromagnetic inspections, mitigation, shielding and low-EMF design

Another take on the GAO report from Microwave News

Another take on the GAO report from Microwave News

From Louis Slesin, Microwave News:
 The GAO report on the FCC’s limits for radiation exposures from cell phones came out today. 
Some consumer groups are welcoming the report,but it may well lead to a loosening of the current
FCC standard, which is the strictest in the world.

Read our latest short item at:


Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Phone: +1 (212) 517-2800; Fax: +1 (212) 734-0316
Internet: />
Mail: 155 East 77th Street, Suite 3D
New York, NY 10075, U.S.A.

Read the full story here.



The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking comment on their proposal for upgrading smart meters.  Their proposal,  in spite of particularly identifying customers as people they wish to hear from, does not address safety concerns either with the switch-mode power supplies or public health concerns related to the chronic radiofrequency radiation exposure that the various transmitting meters cause.  These issues are ignored entirely.  They should not be.

They seem to be trying to address security concerns.  I would encourage experts in the area of computer security to comment on whether these concerns are adequately addressed.  My feeling is that they are probably not, but others with greater knowledge and experience in that area should read their draft and comment.  If, in your opinion, they are not adequately addressed, it would be reasonable to ask for a moratorium on the smart meter program while security issues are addressed.  

A testing protocol, which this is, should include testing for problems with the switch-mode power supplies so experts able to comment on that are encouraged to file comments.

Consumers are encouraged to file comments asking that a standards and testing protocol address the issues of concern to them, such as testing to ensure that the switch mode power supply is not putting high frequency signals on their wiring, that the smart meters not be transmitting meters, that appropriate security protocols be in place to ensure that data is not hackable and is not for sale, and that consumer privacy is fully protected.  Those who have experienced health problems, please include a brief synopsis (remember these are public comments) and ask for a moratorium on the smart meter program for water, gas, and electrical services while safety problems are addressed.  You may want to include a couple of references. 

Comments can be filed by mail or email.  To file by email send comments to:

Electronic comments should be sent to: Michaela Iorga at, with a Subject line: NISTIR 7823  

See below for additional instructions and for a link to the draft document.

Thank you, Catherine


Notice And Request For Comments.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks comments on Draft NISTIR 7823, Advanced Metering Infrastructure Smart Meter Upgradeability Test Framework (Draft NISTIR 7823). This draft document provides an example test framework and conformance test requirements for the firmware upgradeability process for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Smart Meters. The target audience for Draft NISTIR 7823 includes numerous stakeholders in the Smart Grid space, particularly customers, Smart Meter manufacturers, certifying bodies, test labs, and standards development organizations.Show citation boxShow citation box


DATES:Back to Top

Comments must be received by August 9, 2012.Show citation boxShow citation box


Written comments concerning the document may be sent to: Information Technology Laboratory, ATTN: Michaela Iorga, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930.Show citation boxShow citation box
Electronic comments should be sent to: Michaela Iorga at, with a Subject line: NISTIR 7823 CommentsShow citation boxShow citation box
Draft NISTIR 7823, Advanced Metering Infrastructure Smart Meter Upgradeability Test Framework, is available electronically from the NIST Web site at: citation boxShow citation box


Michaela Iorga, (301) 975-8431, email:, or Nelson Hastings, (301) 975-5237, email:, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930.Show citation boxShow citation box


NIST publishes this notice to solicit comments on Draft NISTIR 7823,Advanced Metering Infrastructure Smart Meter Upgradeability Test Framework (Draft NISTIR 7823). This draft document proposes an example test framework and conformance test requirements for the firmware upgradeability process for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Smart Meters. The conformance test requirements in the Draft NISTIR 7823 are derived from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Requirements for Smart Meter Upgradeability standard, which defines requirements for Smart Meter firmware upgradeability in the context of an AMI system for industry stakeholders such as regulators, utilities, and vendors. Draft NISTIR 7823 identifies test procedures that the vendors and testers can voluntarily use to demonstrate a system's conformance with the NEMA standard. The testing procedures identified as “Required Vendor Information” apply to vendors, and the procedures identified as “Required Test Procedures” apply to testers.Show citation boxShow citation box
Draft NISTIR 7823 includes a description of conformance tests that apply to Smart Meters and Upgrade Management System (UMS). The conformance tests applicable to Smart Meters are described in the following sections: Section 2, the Mandatory Functional Requirements, Section 3, the Conditional Functional Requirements, Section 4, the Optional Functional Requirements, and Section 5, the Non-testable Functional Requirements. The conformance tests applicable to UMS are described in Section 6.Show citation boxShow citation box
The test framework identified in the Draft NISTIR 7823 is intended to provide objectivity and repeatability in the testing process, and to ensure that a consistent method is used to assess conformance with the NEMA Requirements for Smart Meter Upgradeability. The NEMA specification does not address specific details on the interfaces, commands, or protocols needed to achieve a firmware upgrade, nor does it specify how the functional and security requirements contained in the specification are to be implemented.Show citation boxShow citation box
Draft NISTIR 7823 provides a high-level overview of the test procedures, in addition to providing more detailed steps for conducting the test, reviewing test results, and producing records to assess and report on results of the test.Show citation boxShow citation box
Comments are requested on the test framework, conformance test requirements, and test procedures described in the document.Show citation boxShow citation box
Dated: July 2, 2012.
Willie E. May,
Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-16727 Filed 7-9-12; 8:45 am]