Saturday, December 13, 2014

Louis Slesin on the current industry spin over powerline safety

Louis Slesin on the current industry spin over powerline safety

Excerpt from Microwave News:

No Cancer Risk from Power Lines, Says the New York Times
Big Score for Industry Scientists

December 1, 2014

Last updated

December 12, 2014

Still worried about power lines and cancer? That’s so retro, says the New York Times. You’re just stuck in the 1980’s. 

This is what the “newspaper of record” wants you to know about the risk of childhood leukemia from power lines: A “fairly broad consensus among researchers holds that no significant threat to public health has materialized.”
The full message is told in a new 7+ minute video, produced by the Times’ RetroReport, which boasts a staff of 13 journalists and 10 contributors, led by Kyra Darnton. The video even credits a fact checker. What’s missing is the common sense to do some digging when reporting on a controversial issue.

If Darnton’s crew had done its homework, they would have realized that their view is based on two industry-friendly researchers, David Savitz and John Moulder. Savitz, now VP for research at Brown University, has come a long way since he first reported that power lines are linked to childhood leukemia back in 1986. Power line EMFs have been very, very good for Savitz’s career. He parlayed that study into a multimillion contract from the electric power industry to study cancer risks among electric utility workers. He found a link to brain tumors. A couple of years later, he paid the industry back by renouncing his own work and that of many others. Now he’s done it again with his original power line study in the new Times video.


Read the post here.

‘Safe use of technology – Your guide’ a new video by WiFi in Schools Australia (WISA)

‘Safe use of technology – Your guide’ a new video by WiFi in Schools Australia (WISA)


A notice from WiFi in Schools Australia (WISA):

‘Safe use of technology – Your guide’ a new video by WiFi in Schools Australia (WISA) published 12 December 2014 

The video raises awareness on the new recommendations from the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) for the safe use of wireless radiation emitting devices. Since these recommendations have not yet been made publicly available to students and parents, WISA have produced this short informative video on DETE’s publications.

DETE’s ICT Policy now puts the responsibility of ensuring the safe use of wireless devices (tablets, laptops etc) onto principals, who in turn, have to ensure that parents and students acknowledge the correct usage according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. 

Parents from WISA raised wireless radiation safety concerns with DETE continually over the last two years – urging DETE to seriously consider the potential long-term health risks to children, future legal ramifications, and the need to reduce unnecessary exposure. As a minimum precautionary measure, parents from WISA have been calling for DETE to educate students and staff on the safe use of WiFi enabled devices and to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

In passing the responsibility onto parents and students, DETE is covering their legal liability for student use of wireless devices. Their installation of wireless access points may meet current standards for individual devices based on the current thermal based standard. However, who is going to be held responsible for ignoring the impact of multiple devices (30+ laptops and tablets in a classroom + mobile phones + WiFi access points) and the cumulative effect of simultaneous use of all these devices over the duration of a student’s school life?

The Australian standards that are being applied to classrooms were developed for individual Radio Frequency (wireless radiation emitting) devices. More importantly, these standards are based solely on short-term heating of body tissue. They do not take into account any biological effects that may occur from prolonged or cumulative low-level wireless radiation exposure.


Read the post here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Conflicts of Interest in Coverage of a Health Issue by the New York Times

Conflicts of Interest in Coverage of a Health Issue by the New York Times

Paul Brodeur, Huffington Post, Dec 12, 2014 

In recent days, employees of The New York Times have posted no fewer than three pieces on the newspaper's website, asserting that the risk of harm from the electromagnetic fields (EMF) given off by power lines is negligible, and that fears of it are unfounded. Among the postings is a seven-minute video produced by Kyra Darnton for Retro Report, entitled "Long After an 80's Scare, Suspicion of Power Lines Prevails." An accompanying article with the same title has been posted by a reporter for Retro Report named Clyde Haberman, and a third piece entitled "A Fresh Look at Power Lines, Cancer and the Dread-to-Risk Ratio" has been put up by a reporter for the newspaper named Andrew C. Revkin.
The video produced by Darnton and some colleagues at Retro Report relies preponderantly on the testimony of two researchers -- David Savitz, who is vice-president for research at Brown University, and John Moulder, director of radiation biology at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Early in his career, Savitz conducted studies showing that children living in homes near power lines were developing leukemia twice as often as children who did not live in such homes. Later, he received a five-million-dollar contract from the Electric Power Research Institute -- an organization financed by the electric utility industry -- to study the risk of cancer among electric utility workers. Savitz found an increased risk of brain tumors in these workers, but he subsequently renounced this finding and challenged similar findings on the part of other researchers. He also renounced his finding of increased leukemia in children exposed to power-line electromagnetic fields, and challenged similar findings by other researchers. In Darnton's video, he declares, "it's quite questionable whether these fields cause leukemia at all."

Savitz has every right to renounce his work on electromagnetic fields, and to challenge the validity of studies conducted by other researchers, but is it good journalistic practice for Darnton and her colleagues at The Times to omit any mention of the fact that he has received heavy financing from the electric utility industry?

John Moulder, who, like Savitz, also plays a leading role in Darnton's video, tells its viewers that the "Current state of the science says power lines cannot be a major public health hazard." 

Moulder has every right to express such an opinion, but is it good journalistic practice for Darnton and her colleagues to omit any mention of the fact that he has testified repeatedly as a paid consultant for the electric utility industry that electromagnetic fields given off by power lines do not pose any health risk?

As for Moulder's assessment of the current state of scientific research regarding the power-line health hazard, how in the name of any claim to objectivity could Darnton and her colleagues omit mention of a report issued by a panel of scientists convened by the prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in Lyon, France, whose twenty-five members reviewed the findings of dozens of studies of childhood leukemia victims and the proximity of where they lived to power lines, and concluded unanimously that power-frequency magnetic fields are "possibly carcinogenic to humans"? (Among the members of the panel were representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Radiological Protection Board, the Yale University Medical School, and the World Health Organization.) 
The answer to this question is that Darnton and her colleagues did not try to find out if there was any evidence to cast doubt upon the conclusion that exonerates power-line electromagnetic fields of posing any health risk. If they had seen fit to contact me -- the author of half a dozen articles about the EMF hazard in The New Yorker -- or Louis Slesin, the editor and publisher of Microwave News -- a meticulously researched newsletter that has carried information about the health hazards posed by EMFs and microwave radiation for more than thirty years -- they could easily have learned about the conflicts of interest that may well taint the views of Savitz and Moulder, as well as about the unanimous findings of the IARC report.

(Disclosure: I appear in Darnton's video giving a three-second answer to a question asked by Tex Koppel during a Nightline program about EMFs that aired back in the early 1990s. Both Louis Slesin and I have written letters to Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor of The Times, pointing out the conflicts of interest on the part of Savitz and Moulder, and the necessity of acknowledging such conflicts when reporting on public health issues.)
This is not the only time that The New York Times has failed to inform its readers adequately about the existence of a major public health risk. During a twenty-year period between the 1960s and 1980s, I wrote a number of articles for The New Yorker about the massive health hazard posed by exposure to asbestos, as well as the extensive toxic tort litigation being brought in jurisdictions around the nation by sick and dying asbestos workers and the families of dead workers against asbestos manufacturers, who had concealed the hazard for half a century -- in some cases, neglecting to inform their workers when X-ray examinations revealed that they had developed fatal lung disease. During that whole period, The Times carried articles about the asbestos problem on its business pages, and often referred to asbestos as an "alleged carcinogen," thus conferring legal rights upon a mineral that had killed or disabled tens of thousands of American workers, and been shown to be the most important industrial cause of cancer in the world. Moreover, The Times invariably "balanced" the findings of researchers whose studies had demonstrated that asbestos was carcinogenic with denials issued by researchers financed by the asbestos industry. 

Only when the nation's largest asbestos company, Johns-Manville, filed for bankruptcy on August 26, 1982 -- an event brought about because juries around the nation had found the company guilty of outrageous and reckless misconduct, and levied millions of dollars in punitive damages against it -- did the story find its way to the front page of The Times.
A day later, an editorial writer for the newspaper proved to be so ignorant of the fifty-year cover-up of asbestos disease by the nation's asbestos manufacturers that he compared the human agony they had visited upon their workers with the fiscal uncertainty besetting them. "Asbestos is a tragedy," he wrote, "most of all for the victims and their families but also for companies, which are being made to pay the price for decisions made long ago."

Asbestos proved to be a powerful carcinogen that inflicted cancer and other disease upon workers who inhaled its fibers in occupational settings. It also posed a health hazard for people in the general population, who were exposed to asbestos insulation that had been sprayed as fireproofing on the girders of buildings -- a practiced now banned nationwide. Studies of power-frequency electromagnetic fields show them to be are a far weaker carcinogen than asbestos, but also demonstrate that they pose a cancer hazard for telephone linemen, electric utility workers, and workers exposed to EMF emanating from electrically powered equipment and machinery. As for children and people in the general population, a glance along any street in the United States should be sufficient to show that power-line EMFs are ubiquitous in the environment, and to serve as a warning that their potential to cause widespread harm should not be ignored or denied.

One might have hoped that The Times had learned by now to inform its readers about conflicts of interest that could skew the accuracy of its reports on matters relating to the public health. However, judging from Darnton's video and the pieces by Haberman and Revkin, who have rubber stamped its flawed conclusions, one would have been mistaken to do so.

One might hope that in the future The Times will inform its readers regarding conflicts of interest in people it presents as reliable sources, so readers may make better-informed decisions about the information being transmitted to them.

Don't bet on it.
I sent the following message to the Public Editor of the New York Times on December 3rd.  I'm still waiting for a reply.

From: Joel MOSKOWITZ <>
Date: Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Long After an ’80s Scare, Suspicion of Power Lines Prevails
To: Margaret Sullivan <>
Dear Ms. Sullivan,
After viewing the Times Retro Report, "Long After an ’80s Scare, Suspicion of Power Lines Prevails," I feel compelled to write you as I believe this report is biased to minimize health concerns.

In 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization declared that extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR), the type of EMR employed in power line transmissions, is "possibly carcinogenic to humans" after experts conducted a comprehensive review of the research. The IARC is widely considered the "gold standard" for assessing carcinogenicity of chemical and physical agents.

Since 2002, considerably more research has found evidence that ELF EMR is harmful. In September, Dr. Henry Lai, editor of the journal, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, sent me a collection of recent studies on ELF EMR.  Of the 311 studies he abstracted from the scientific literature, fully 273 (88%) reported significant bioeffects from exposure to ELF EMR. These bioeffects included free radical creation, genetic damage, and neurologic disorders. 

Hence, the following statement made by Dr. Moulder in the Retro Report is patently false:
"In 20 years of looking, no one has found a way that power line fields can do anything at all to cells or animals. Unless it can do something, there's no way it can cause cancer." (5:05 - 5:20)
I suggest you read the commentary that Dr. Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, prepared as two scientists interviewed for the Retro Report have conflicts of interest.
The Times should publish a retraction that corrects the misinformation conveyed in this report.

The Times' overall coverage of EMR health effects research has been poor. For example, Dr. Lennart Hardell published a major study in November on brain cancer risk associated with cell phone use. The study provided the first long-term data on cell phone use (more than 25 years). Reuters covered this study as well as more than 260 news web sites in 46 countries in 17 languages.  Why did the Times fail to report on this study?

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

'Cellphones fry young brains'

'Cellphones fry young brains'

Tanya Farber | 11 December, 2014 00:39
File photo
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) has issued a stern warning: giving children cellphones and other wireless technology devices carries enormous risks.

"Their skulls and brains are still developing and the radiation from cellphones practically 'cooks' their brains," said Professor Michael Herbst, head of health at Cansa.
A child's brain is cased in a thinner skull and absorbs more radiation than that of an adult.
Dr Devra Davis, president of Environmental Health Trust, a group of global epidemiologists, said: "Retailers are going all out to make devices affordable, and parents are clamouring to buy them. But the standards are based on old models and old assumptions about how we use them."
Studies in Europe found the bone marrow of a child's head absorbs 10 times more radiation than that of an adult, while the brain tissue absorbs twice as much.
"These warnings from [the health trust] are supported by Cansa," says Herbst, "The South African public is totally involved with technology but do not seem to be aware of the inherent dangers."
iPads, for example, contain radiating antennae that should not be held directly on the body, but children's arms are not long enough to create the distance. Babies play with cellphones, and mothers speak on the devices while breastfeeding.
Because of the lag between exposure and disease, said Herbst and Davis, the risks are not taken seriously enough.
"We may definitely see an increase in the incidence of brain disease in the future," said Herbst.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Europäische Expertengruppe der EUROPAEM erarbeitet EMF-Guideline

Europäische Expertengruppe der EUROPAEM erarbeitet EMF-Guideline

Europäische Expertengruppe der EUROPAEM erarbeitet EMF-Guideline

Derzeit in Vorbereitung ist eine neue EMF-Guideline, die von einer europäischen Expertengruppe der EUROPAEM entwickelt wird. Sie erscheint im nächsten Jahr. Sie informiert über Konzepte für Diagnose und Behandlung von Gesundheitsproblemen in Bezug auf Elektromagnetische Felder (EMF) und Strategien der Prävention.
General information about the guideline
EUROPAEM – European Academy of Environmental Medicine – considers its duty and its mission to provide members of the medical profession with a compilation of the current state of the scientific and empirical knowledge as well as the political debate from a medical perspective and with specific recommendations for action in this guideline. Due to the rapid development of various technologies, the recommendations need to be adapted on an ongoing basis. We invite all colleagues to address feedback, suggestions, comments and additions to EUROPAEM
Intention and core content of the Guideline: Concepts for diagnosing and treating electromagnetic filed (EMF)-related health problems to improve/ restore individual health and strategies for prevention.
Addressee of the Guideline: Medical doctors and dental doctors of all disciplines in Europe.
Dissemination and implementation: Publications on the Internet
Evaluation: Within the next three years.
There is no conflict of interest among the authors of the guideline.
Members of the EUROPAEM EMF Working Group: 
Belyaev I.,  DrSc, Head, Laboratory of Radiobiology, Cancer Research Institute, Slovak Academy of Science, Slovak Republic; Prof., Department of Ecological and Medical Problems, Prokhorov General Physics Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
Dean A., MD, Board certified in Environmental Medicine, Internal Medicine and Holistic Medicine, President of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), USA
Eger H., MD, General Practitioner, Medical Quality Group, Germany
Huber E., MD, Urologist, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Medicine of the Austrian Medical Association, Austria
Hubmann G., MD, General Practitioner, MEDICUS Therapy Center for Holistic Medicine, Vienna, Austria
Jandrisovits R., MD, General Practitioner, Secretary for Environmental Medicine of the Medical Association of Burgenland, Austria
Kern M., MD, Specialist for Psychosomatic Medicine, Board of Directors Kompetenzinitiative e,V., Germany
Kühn T., MD, General Practitioner, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Medicine of the Medical Association of Upper Austria, Austria
Kundi M., Prof., Head of the Institute of Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Johansson O., Assoc. prof., Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Lercher P., MD, Specialist for Sports Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Secretary for Environmental Medicine of the Medical Association of Vienna, Austria
Mosgöller W., MD, prof., Institute for Cancer Research, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Moshammer H., MD, Specialist for Hygiene and Microbiology, Institute of Environmental Health, Medical University Vienna, Austria
Müller K., MD, Specialist for Dermatology, Occupational Dermatology, Environmental Medicine, Chairman EUROPAEM, Germany
Oberfeld G., MD, Public Health Department, Government of Land Salzburg, Austria
Ohnsorge P., MD, Specialist for Otorhinolaryngology, Managing Chairman EUROPAEM, Germany
Pelzmann P., Graduate Engineer, HTL Danube City, Vienna, Department of electronics and computer science engineering, Austria
Scheingraber C., Dr. Dentist, Specialist for electric, magnetic and electromagnetic pollution, Germany
Semadeni C., Med pract., Working Group Electromagnetic Fields and Health AefU Switzerland (Doctors for the Environment), Switzerland
Steiner E., MD, Working Group Electromagnetic Fields and Health AefU Switzerland (Doctors for the Environment), Switzerland
Thill R., MD, General Practitioner, Chairman of Luxembourgisch Association for Environmental Medicine (ALMEN), Board of Directors EUROPAEM, Luxembourg

O. Johansson’s visit to EESC Meeting “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity”, Brussels Nov 4, 2014

O. Johansson’s visit to EESC Meeting “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity”, Brussels Nov 4, 2014

O. Johansson’s visit to EESC Meeting “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity”, Brussels Nov 4, 2014

Olle Johansson (associate professor The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm) reports from his visit to a EESC meeting “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity”, Brussels Nov 4, 2014. Some statements:
To me it is very clear that the EHS community worldwide now must act in unison, this is definitely a golden opportunity for change […]
The EHS community MUST make up their mind if they are to be regarded as a disease with a psychiatric and/or medical diagnosis, thus to be treated as patients with behavioural therapy, (psycho)pharmaca and/or corrective (psycho)surgery OR if they shall be regarded as having a functional impairment, thus having their home, work and general life environment ‘treated’ by technical/practical measures o make it completely accessible.
The EHS community MUST – to be viewed as in unison – agree on the term to describe/label them. Personally, based on the above, I would go for ‘the functional impairment electro-hypersensitivity’, nothing else […]
Just remember: Treating members of the community equally is not something that should be done as a favour; nor is it something that any parliament or government should politely request other inhabitants to provide others with. Equality is not something to be done ‘out of the goodness of one’s heart’. It is something one does because it is expected of every citizen, because inaccessibility and discrimination are prohibited by law. Thus, it is not alright to deliberately make EHS persons’ symptoms worse.
The electrically hypersensitive must therefore, in every situation and by all available means, demand respect, representation and power. They shall very clearly reject all approaches which reflect a mentality of ‘feeling pity fpr them’ or ‘caring for them’. Inaccessibility is not a personal problem. It is a problem for society. Inaccessibility is not about attitudes. It is about discrimination. And discriminatory actions and conduct shall not be dealt with by well-meaning talk about treatment. Discrimination is already illegal![…]
I say, there must be an end to nonchalance, lack of consideration, indifference and lack of respect on the part of society. Never accept discriminatory treatment or an insulting special treatment. Stand up for other’s rights and in this way you’ll stand up for our own future! […]
Remember we all must adhere to and follow all the handicap laws and regulations. To do the opposite is a serious violation and should immediately be reported/filed as an official legal complaint to your local authorities, parliament, government, the EU and the UN […]
The medical symptoms of the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity are already classified as an occupationally-related symptom-based diagnosis (code ICD-10) by the Nordic Council of Ministers since 2000 … In effect this means that anyone in need for symptom-relieving medicnes shall have them, just as a person with a movement disorder shall have e.g. painkillers for His/Her backpain He/She has got due to spending their days in a wheelchair. This does not take anything from the impairment; the complete accessability principle is still 100% in action.
O. Johansson’s Letter  >>>

The developmental effects of extremely low frequency electric fields on visual and somatosensory evoked potentials in adult rats

The developmental effects of extremely low frequency electric fields on visual and somatosensory evoked potentials in adult rats

Deniz Kantar Gok, Deniz Akpinar, Enis Hidisoglu, Sukru Ozen, Aysel Agar, Piraye Yargicoglu. The developmental effects of extremely low frequency electric fields on visual and somatosensory evoked potentials in adult rats. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. 

Posted online December 11, 2014. doi: 10.3109/15368378.2014.987923.


The purpose of our study was to investigate the developmental effects of extremely low frequency electric fields (ELF-EFs) on visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) and to examine the relationship between lipid peroxidation and changes of these potentials. In this context, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels were determined as an indicator of lipid peroxidation. 

Wistar albino female rats were divided into four groups; Control (C), gestational (prenatal) exposure (Pr), gestational+ postnatal exposure (PP) and postnatal exposure (Po) groups. Pregnant rats of Pr and PP groups were exposed to 50 Hz electric field (EF) (12 kV/m; 1 h/day), while those of C and Po groups were placed in an inactive system during pregnancy. Following parturition, rats of PP and Po groups were exposed to ELF-EFs whereas rats of C and Pr groups were kept under the same experimental conditions without being exposed to any EF during 68 days. On postnatal day 90, rats were prepared for VEP and SEP recordings. 

The latencies of VEP components in all experimental groups were significantly prolonged versus C group. For SEPs, all components of PP group, P2, N2 components of Pr group and P1, P2, N2 components of Po group were delayed versus C group. As brain TBARS levels were significantly increased in Pr and Po groups, retina TBARS levels were significantly elevated in all experimental groups versus C group.

In conclusion, alterations seen in evoked potentials, at least partly, could be explained by lipid peroxidation in the retina and brain.


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

Australian smart meter health impact paper now published

Australian smart meter health impact paper now published

This paper was published in the November/ December 2014 issue of the Journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and strengthens the urgent need for independent research on the health impacts (such as sleep disruption) from smart meter emissions.

From PubMed online

Altern Ther Health Med. 2014 Nov;20(6):28-39.
Self-reporting of symptom development from exposure to radiofrequency fields of wireless smart meters in victoria, australia: a case series.

Lamech F.


Context • In 2006, the government in the state of Victoria, Australia, mandated the rollout of smart meters in Victoria, which effectively removed a whole population’s ability to avoid exposure to human-made high-frequency nonionizing radiation. This issue appears to constitute an unprecedented public health challenge for Victoria. By August 2013, 142 people had reported adverse health effects from wireless smart meters by submitting information on an Australian public Web site using its health and legal registers. 

Objective • The study evaluated the information in the registers to determine the types of symptoms that Victorian residents were developing from exposure to wireless smart meters. 

Design • In this case series, the registers’ managers eliminated those cases that did not clearly identify the people providing information by name, surname, postal address, and/or e-mail to make sure that they were genuine registrants. Then they obtained consent from participants to have their deidentified data used to compile the data for the case series. The author later removed any individual from outside of Victoria. 

Participants • The study included 92 residents of Victoria, Australia. 

Outcome Measures • The author used her medical experience and judgment to group symptoms into clinically relevant clusters (eg, pain in the head was grouped with headache, tinnitus was grouped with ringing in the ears). The author stayed quite close to the wording used in the original entries.


Read the post here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Town Where High Tech Meets a 1950s Lifestyle

The Town Where High Tech Meets a 1950s Lifestyle

Dec 08, 2014 | 3-part series
Video by  The Atlantic

Life in Green Bank, West Virginia, is far from ordinary. The small town sits inside a "national radio quiet zone" that houses one of the largest radio telescopes in the world. To ensure that astronomers work without interference, residents cannot use any product that transmits wireless signals within a ten-mile radius of the telescope. In other words: no microwave ovens, no cell phones, and no Wi-Fi.  "Just about anything that uses electricity could potentially cause interference to our telescopes," says Jonah Bauserman, a technician for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

This documentary was produced for American Futures, an ongoing reporting project from James Fallows, Deborah Fallows, and John Tierney. Previously, the series profiled Pittsburgh's bike scene and an arts community in Columbus.

Author: The Editors

"Magnesium: Nature's Physiologic Calcium Blocker". American Heart Journal

"Magnesium: Nature's Physiologic Calcium Blocker". American Heart Journal

Ionic calcium is antagonized by magnesium ions in the nervous system. Because of this, bioavailable supplements of magnesium, possibly including magnesium chloridemagnesium lactate, and magnesium aspartatemay increase or enhance the effects of calcium channel blockade.[21]

 Iseri LT, French JH (1984). "Magnesium: Nature's Physiologic Calcium Blocker". American Heart Journal 108 (1): 188–193. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(84)90572-6PMID 6375330

Magnesium ions (Mg2+) bind to the C-terminal EF-hand to inhibit CaV1.2 channels, thereby reducing Ca2+ influx to maintain the intracellular Ca2+ at low levels77. Supplement of Mg2+ during global ischemia resulted in myocardial protection and improved functional recovery78. These evidences suggest that calcineurin serves as a key modulator of Ca2+-dependent pathways via regulation of CaV1.2 activities and in turn mediates the pathological electrical remodelling in cardiac hypertrophy.

Magnesium as a calcium channel blocker 
  • Calcium flooding into a blood vessel endothelial cell, will trigger off a signalling cascade that will lead to increased vascular tone (increased blood pressure)174.
  • With low intakes or magnesium or insulin resistance or both, extracellular (blood) and intracellular levels of magnesium will be compromised (see below).
  • Suboptimally low extracellular levels of magnesium will allow the calcium channels to stay open allowing an influx of calcium into cells. Having an optimal level of magnesium, allows this mineral to act as a calcium channel blocker.

Low magnesium levels and endothelial cell damage 
  • As mentioned above, suboptimal intakes of magnesium will result in unopposed influx of calcium leading to increasing intracellular calcium levels.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

NYSUT hosts WiFi risks webinar (Powerwatch Breaking News: 10/12/2014)

NYSUT hosts WiFi risks webinar

The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union hosted a webinar on Tuesday the 9th of December entitled "Risks of wireless technologies and how to protect children and staff in schools", featuring an excellent presentation by Dr Magda Havas of Trent University in Canada. The talk covered the basic background of where radio frequency electromagnetic fields fit in the electromagnetic spectrum and the increase in public exposure over the past 10-15 years. It discussed the number of adverse health effects that are associated with RF exposure, including increased incidence in brain tumours, increased foetal risk, decreased fertility and a wide array of other non-fatal effects such as memory loss, depression and sleeping disorders, with scientific references for each.

Click here for the full news story

Powerwatch Breaking News: 10/12/2014

ICNIRP Vice-Chair claims that brain cancer risk from mobile phone use is unlikely

ICNIRP Vice-Chair claims that brain cancer risk from mobile phone use is unlikely

My comments:

Dr. Maria Feychting, Vice-Chair of ICNIRP, recently claimed that mobile phone use is unlikely to cause brain cancer because we would have seen signs of increased rates of brain cancer by now (see the 12/9/14 GSMA article below and Dr. Feychting's 11/11/14 presentation,  

She ignores the fact that we have seen increases in brain cancer rates within specific population subgroups or for certain types of tumors in at least five nations. See the evidence I compiled from the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway, and Finland, for a webinar I conducted for cancer prevention staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (slides 26 - 31):

"Mobile Phone Use and Cancer Risk: Research on a Group 2B Carcinogen" Joel Moskowitz, Webinar for CDC Workgroup on Cancer Prevention (Oct 29, 2014)
Audio: or

Dr. Leszczynski In his 12/5/14 blog, "Epidemiology: ICNIRP hijacked WHO EMF Project," discussed the problems with "ICNIRP thinking" regarding the cancer risk of exposure to radio frequency radiation. He mentions Dr. Feychting's role in preparing the cancer chapter for the upcoming WHO Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) Review. Many nations have adopted exposure guidelines or non-binding recommendations more rigorous than ICNIRP's outmoded guidelines which are based only on thermal risks.

As Dr. Leszczynski has pointed out in various lectures and blogs, the wireless industry has co-opted ICNIRP and the WHO EMF Project. Unless these conflicts of interest are eliminated and researchers who are not funded by industry are appointed to conduct the WHO EHC review, the IARC's RF expert working group's classification of RF as a Group 2B carcinogen will be dismissed. [Since 2011 when the IARC classified RF as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B), there have been two review papers published calling for re-classification to "probably carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2A), and one review paper calling for re-classification to "carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).]  More importantly, the long-awaited WHO EHC review will be a sham, and global public health will continue to be put at risk from our ever-increasing exposure to electrosmog. 


Recent epidemiology does not support link between mobile phone use and brain cancer

GSM Association, December 9, 2014
Mobile phone use is unlikely to cause brain cancer because we would have seen signs of increased rates by now said Dr Maria Feychting, Vice Chairman of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), at a recent workshop on safety standards in held Australia.

“By now we would have seen an increase in the incidence of brain tumours – which we do not see,” Dr Feychting said during the workshop held in Wollongong, Australia, 11 November 2014.

Dr Feychting explained additional evidence had now emerged which put the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC)classification of  radio frequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, in doubt.

There are now several brain tumour incidence studies with longer follow-up periods since the IARC working group evaluated the scientific evidence in 2011, Dr Feychting said during her presentation (pdf).

We now have information up until 2012 on the rate of glioma – the most common type of brain tumour – in Sweden and the incidence in men in the age groups most likely to use a mobile phone had not changed significantly, she said.

“These incidence studies were not available by the IARC working group – but now we have more data,” Dr Feychting said.

Although she also acknowledged that a link could not be completely ruled out.
“We can’t say for sure that in ten years that there won’t be an increase, because we just don’t know,” Dr Feychting said.

Also the stable trends in brain cancer rates do not support the results of some population studies that indicate a possible link with long term mobile phone use, she said.

“The latest incidence trend studies do not support a causal interpretation of results from some epidemiological case-control studies,” Dr Feychting concluded.

The presentation of all of the speakers at the joint workshop with Australian health authorities on radio frequency health effects and standards are now available online (under the program tab).

Also at the workshop, World Health Organization’s (WHO) radiation programme team leader Dr Emilie van Deventer announced (pdf) the group of experts who will review the overall risk assessment of all health outcomes of RF exposures from industrial and telecommunications applications, including mobile communication technologies, was now expected to meet in late 2015.

This will most likely delay the publication of the Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) review, or ‘monograph’ as it is often called, until sometime in 2016.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

European Union and Eletromagnetic Hypersensitivity : a New Turn ?

European Union and Eletromagnetic Hypersensitivity : a New Turn ?
Dear StakeHolders and Cofighters,

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) following a public hearing on november 4th has published the "Preliminary Draft Opinion" on Electomagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) which you'll find attached. It's been inspired by a letter from several  EHS NGOs such as Electrosensibles por el Derecho a la Salud, Une Terre pour les EHS, FELO (Norway), SOS EHS (Spain), AMICA (Italy), Associazione Italiana Elettrosensibiliti (Italy), Electrosensitivity in Ireland (Ireland), Vågbrytaren (Sweden) and many others which are co-signatories.
The "Preliminary Draft Opinion" also owes a lot to november 4th public speakers on "our side":
Dr Isaac Jamieson of Biosustainable Design (UK), Prof. Olle Johansson (Department of Neuroscience Karolinska Institute) and Marc Cendrier scientific information for Robin des Toits (Fr). The EHS letter was brought to the Comittee by Robin des Toits. 

The European Economic and Social Committee  (depending on the European Commission) has proposed to lessen current safety guidelines and legislative changes; a little revolution even though it's only an advice !

The current safety guidelines should be modified in order to actually preserve and protect human health and environnement : the ALARA principle, as suggested by the Council of Europe, whereby the thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation are kept As Low As Reasonably Achievable. This is a variant of the precautionary principle, which makes it possible to adopt effective preventive measures and to review current limits without having to wait for total scientific and technical consensus, which is important for the most vulnerable groups.   

The precautionnary principle is a must in a context where people - children included - are more and more exposed to wireless technologies and after WHO has classified radiofrequencies as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Altenative efficient technologies in telecommunications should be developped in order to protect environment and human health but with fewer negative health effets.

Particular attention should be paid to "electrosensitive" persons suffering from an EMF intolerance syndrome and specific measures should be introduced to protect them, such as recognition of the illness of electromagnetic hypersensitivity as an EMF intolerance syndrome. Establishing and labelling entailing electromagnetic risks which can cause  electomagnetic hypersensitivity.
EESC advocate EMF free zones 'white zones' which would include housing, health centers, libraries etc. devoid of electromagnetic pollution.   

Awareness-raising campaign on long-term vulnerability to electromagnetical fields explaining potential negative long-term biological risks for environment, human health with specific reference to children and teenagers.

DECT (cordless phones), wifi are included in electromagnetic pollution.   

Let's hope this will lead to actual actions and public policies to protect human health from wireless technologies associated health hazards and - at long last - to a decent treatment and awareness of EHS !

Spokesman for Robin des Toits

Correspondance : 33 rue d'Amsterdam 75008 Paris
Tel. : 33 1 47 00 96 33