Tag Archives: Angela Flynn

Should you be snuggling with your cellphone?

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Thank you Angela Flynn for bringing this NY Times article to our attention.

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Should You Be Snuggling With Your Cellphone?

By RANDALL STROSS

WARNING: Holding a cellphone against your ear may be hazardous to your health. So may stuffing it in a pocket against your body.

I’m paraphrasing here. But the legal departments of cellphone manufacturers slip a warning about holding the phone against your head or body into the fine print of the little slip that you toss aside when unpacking your phone. Apple, for example, doesn’t want iPhones to come closer than 5/8 of an inch; Research In Motion, BlackBerry’s manufacturer, is still more cautious: keep a distance of about an inch.

The warnings may be missed by an awful lot of customers. The United States has 292 million wireless numbers in use, approaching one for every adult and child, according to C.T.I.A.-The Wireless Association, the cellphone industry’s primary trade group. It says that as of June, about a quarter of domestic households were wireless-only.

If health issues arise from ordinary use of this hardware, it would affect not just many customers but also a huge industry. Our voice calls — we chat on our cellphones 2.26 trillion minutes annually, according to the C.T.I.A. — generate $109 billion for the wireless carriers.

The cellphone instructions-cum-warnings were brought to my attention by Devra Davis, an epidemiologist who has worked for the University of Pittsburgh and has published a book about cellphone radiation, “Disconnect.” I had assumed that radiation specialists had long ago established that worries about low-energy radiation were unfounded. Her book, however, surveys the scientific investigations and concludes that the question is not yet settled.

Brain cancer is a concern that Ms. Davis takes up. Over all, there has not been a general increase in its incidence since cellphones arrived. But the average masks an increase in brain cancer in the 20-to-29 age group and a drop for the older population.

“Most cancers have multiple causes,” she says, but she points to laboratory research that suggests mechanisms by which low-energy radiation could damage cells in ways that could possibly lead to cancer.

Children are more vulnerable to radiation than adults, Ms. Davis and other scientists point out. Radiation that penetrates only two inches into the brain of an adult will reach much deeper into the brains of children because their skulls are thinner and their brains contain more absorptive fluid. No field studies have been completed to date on cellphone radiation and children, she says.

Henry Lai, a research professor in the bioengineering department at the University of Washington, began laboratory radiation studies in 1980 and found that rats exposed to radiofrequency radiation had damaged brain DNA. He maintains a database that holds 400 scientific papers on possible biological effects of radiation from wireless communication. He found that 28 percent of studies with cellphone industry funding showed some sort of effect, while 67 percent of studies without such funding did so. “That’s not trivial,” he said.

The unit of measurement for radiofrequency exposure is called the specific absorption rate, or SAR. The Federal Communications Commission mandates that the SAR produced by phones be no more than 1.6 watts per kilogram. One study listed by Mr. Lai found effects like loss of memory in rats exposed to SAR values in the range of 0.0006 to 0.06 watts per kilogram. “I did not expect to see effects at low levels,” he said.

The city of San Francisco passed an ordinance this year that requires cellphone retailers to post SARs prominently. This angered the C.T.I.A., which announced that it would no longer schedule trade shows in the city.

The association maintains that all F.C.C.-approved phones are perfectly safe. John Walls, the association’s vice president for public affairs, said: “What science tells us is, ‘If the sign on the highway says safe clearance is 12 feet,’ it doesn’t matter if your vehicle is 4 feet, 6 feet or 10 feet tall; you’re going to pass through safely. The same theory applies to SAR values and wireless devices.”

The association has set up a separate Web site, cellphonehealthfacts.com. Four attractive young people are seen on the home page, each with a cellphone pressed against the ear — and all four are beaming as they listen. By this visual evidence, cellphone use seems to be correlated with elation, not cancer.

The largest study of cellphone use and brain cancer has been the Interphone International Case-Control Study, in which researchers in 13 developed countries (but not the United States) participated. It interviewed brain cancer patients, 30 to 59 years old, from 2000 to 2004, then cobbled together a control group of people who had not regularly used a cellphone.

The study concluded that using a cellphone seemed to decrease the risk of brain tumors, which the authors acknowledged was “implausible” and a product of the study’s methodological shortcomings.

The authors included some disturbing data in an appendix available only online. These showed that subjects who used a cellphone 10 or more years doubled the risk of developing brain gliomas, a type of tumor.

The 737 minutes that we talk on cellphones monthly, on average, according to the C.T.I.A., makes today’s typical user indistinguishable from the heavy user of 10 years ago. Ms. Davis recommends keeping a phone out of close proximity to the head or body, by using wired headsets or the phone’s speaker. Children should text rather than call, she said, and pregnant women should keep phones away from the abdomen.
The F.C.C. concurs about the best way to avoid exposure. It is not by choosing a phone with a marginally lower SAR, it says, but rather by holding the cellphone “away from the head or body.”

It’s advice that I find hard to put into practice myself. The comforting sight of everyone around me with phones pressed against their ears, just like me, makes the risk seem abstract.

But Ms. Davis, citing unsettling findings from research in Israel, France, Sweden and Finland, said, “I do think I’m looking at an epidemic in slow motion.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/business/14digi.html?src=me&ref=homepage

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Second Maine Town Imposes Moratorium on Smart Meters

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http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineHeadlineNews/tabid/968/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3479/ItemId/
14130/Default.aspx
Information provided by Angela Flynn

Second Maine Town Imposes Moratorium on Smart Meters
11/09/2010 11:41 AM ET
The Cape Elizabeth town council voted last night to impose a 90-day
moratorium on the installation of the wireless devices, which are aimed at
saving energy and money.
The town of Cape Elizabeth has become the second in Maine to put the brakes on the
installation of so-called smart meters. The Cape’s town council voted last night to
impose a 90-day moratorium on installing the meters. The vote was 6 to 0, with 1 abstention.

Cape Elizabeth follows in the footsteps of the nearby town of Scarborough, which
imposed a similar moratorium last month. CMP has begun installing the wireless devices
in the greater Portland area, with the help of a federal stimulus grant. The project is aimed
at saving energy and money.

But some have raised concerns about the meters, saying they emit radiation and
radio waves that could be harmful to health. Others worry that the information they
transmit from private homes could be compromised.

In a report submitted yesterday to the PUC, Maine Center for Disease Control Director
Dr. Dora Anne Mills says smart meters emit non-ionizing radiation, and at a lower
level than a typical mobile phone.  To view the report, click here.

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Current RF study at NIEHS

First and foremost, thank you Angela Flynn for keeping your thumb on the pulse and educating us further with the facts.

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Below is the link for the information on the current RF study at NIEHS.

I want to point out a few flaws of the study –

The exposure parameters being used in these studies will place the subjects in RF chambers.  In my non professional opinion, this will tell more about our ambient RF exposure than it will about holding RF devices to our heads, which is what the Reps and aides on the Hill thought the study was about when I met with them earlier this year.

The rats and mice will only have ten hours of exposure a day and this does not reflect the 24/7 exposure that many of us find ourselves experiencing.

The study is using  900 megahertz and 1900 megahertz while WiFi and 4G smart phone systems operate at 2.5 gigahertz and higher.

These flaws will probably lead to the same old criticism from industry – that the study exposures are not comparable to our exposures to RF and therefore any results from the study will not be valid.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/cellphones/index.cfm

From the transcripts available at the above link:

The studies at the National Toxicology Program have in fact started. Our studies are designed specifically to mimic the human exposure scenario. The NTP studies are looking at exposures for 10 hours a day. There’s heavy cell phone users that may approach the 10 hour mark – that may be excessive, but it allows us to fully investigate whether or not there is an effect of cell phone frequency radiation.

Our studies are designed to look at the frequencies that are currenly in use in the United States centering around 900 megahertz and 1900 megahertz, as well as the two modulations that are currently in use in the US, which are CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM ( Global System for Mobile communications).

There’s been a lot of leg work leading up to the exposure studies. We’ve pulled together some of the world’s experts on radio frequency radiation. We’ve specially designed chambers to expose the animals in. Engineers from NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology , have come in to validate the chambers. So, we have third-party validation of the exposures. Additionally, there was a lot of architectural construction that needed to be done at the lab – these chambers are rather large. And they had to be shipped from where they were constructed and designed in Switzerland to our laboratory in Chicago, Illinois.

We estimate that we should have final results from these studies in 2014. We’ll have some interim data available towards the end of 2010/beginning of 2011. .

~ Angela

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Could Wireless Antennas Be the Next Asbestos?


September 14, 2010

Read the entire article by Gloria Vogel in the September 13, 2010 issue of Business Insurance.

www.businessinsurance.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20100912%2FISSUE0401%2F309129980

Ms. Vogel is the managing director of New York-based Vogel Capital Management.  She begins her analysis stating:

. . . an issue that mimics asbestos and is being ignored by insurers could soon hit their pocketbooks. Simply stated, everyone’s favorite form of wireless communication and commerce depends on radio frequency-producing base station antennas, which emit radio waves and microwaves that can harm humans.

Few insurance claims have been filed to date; but in all respects, RF radiation closely tracks with the early development of asbestos claims.

She continues:

Based upon data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, it is estimated that as many as 250,000 workers a year are compelled to work in close proximity and in front of RF transmitting antennas. When combined with the 15 years this issue has been in existence, the pool of potential claimants could be staggering.

Ms. Vogel clearly delineates the breadth of the issue in her definition of “the wireless ecosystem:”

The wireless ecosystem should not be confused with the much smaller commercial telecom industry. The wireless ecosystem encompasses all FCC licensees (federal, state, local and commercial), site owners, property managers, contractors, third-party workers, the utility industry, hospitals, schools and universities, church organizations, banks/financial institutions, and the insurance industry. It involves every person or entity that may be physically or financially harmed by RF radiation.

Ms. Vogel explains how workers’ antenna exposure differs from cellphone exposure and references the legal precedent from Alaska  that awarded total disability to a worker whose antenna exposure only slightly exceeded the FCC RF radiation safety limit:

The significance of this topic is overlooked by insurers because of confusion between the harmful effects of cell phones and the damage caused by wireless antennas. Because there is no proven link yet established between cell phones and cancer, insurers see little exposure from this risk.

However, there is a marked difference between radiation exposure from cell phones and exposure from wireless antenna systems: The antennas are hundreds of times more powerful. More importantly, there already is peer-reviewed science from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers linking RF radiation exposure to cognitive injuries.

In addition, legal precedent has been established for such claims in AT&T Alascom and Ward North America Inc. vs. John Orchitt; State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Workers’ Compensation. The July 2007 ruling affirmed a 100% disability award to a worker exposed to RF radiation that only slightly exceeded the FCC human exposure limits.

By doing so, the Alaska Supreme Court established a legal precedent that recognizes the causal link between an RF radiation exposure and cognitive or psychological injuries including reduced brain function, memory loss, sleep disorders, mood disorders and depression.

Ms. Vogel concludes by encouraging the insurance industry to be proactive about worker RF radiation safety and push for a solution from the private sector rather than to wait for government to act:

The insurance industry tends to look backwards at historical claims to project future losses. In cases of emerging risk such as the issue of third-party worker overexposure to RF radiation, it would be far better for the industry to be anticipatory rather than reactive, as claims could develop quickly. It would be in the industry’s best interests to pre-empt the plaintiffs’ bar on this issue and secure a safe workplace for those third-party workers.

P.O. Box 117 | Marshfield, VT 05658 US

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Trade group sues to stop SF from posting cell phone radiation emissions

This is huge; thank you Angela Flynn for bring to our attention.

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Mayor Gavin Newsom’s idea to require stores to post how much radio frequency energy is emitted by cell phones hit a legal snag today.

The industry trade group CTIA — The Wireless Association filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

The ordinance, “misleads consumers by creating the false impression that the FCC’s standards are insufficient and that some phones are ‘safer’ than others,” the group said in a press release.

The FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radiation, which are calculated in terms of a unit called the Specific Absorption Rate that signifies the amount of radio frequency energy a person absorbs into his or her body and brain when talking on a cell phone.

Newsom expected his legislation would be challenged and told the Insider’s Heather Knight in December that “If we prevail, and I believe we will prevail, other cities will follow suit.”

The FCC requires that cell phone manufacturers ensure their phones are at or below a SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram of body tissue to be legally sold in this country. Some phones emit as little as 0.2 watts per kilogram.

The ordinance, which was passed by the Board of Supervisors, would make San Francisco the first city in the nation to require cell phone retailers to display the SAR level next to each phone. Retailers would also have to provide information about what SAR values mean.

UPDATE: Newsom said in a statement that he’s “disappointed” with the legal challenge. “This law is not an attack on the wireless industry or their products…This is a modest, common sense measure which merely takes information already made available by these companies and makes it more accessible and easier to find by the point-of-sale consumer.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?entry_id=68570&tsp=1#ixzz0uYVNTaTY

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French Senate Bill for the Environment – ban cell phones

She did it again, we are grateful to Angela Flynn for finding this valuable Report…. CSea

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I have finally tracked down the French action on cell phones and antennas.  Here it is:

The French Senate bans cell phones in schools, advertising to children under 14 and many other precautionary health actions on cell towers.

French  Senate Article 72 (Articles L. 32-1, 34-9 and L. L. 34-9-1 of the Code of Posts and Telecommunications electronic articles L. 5231-3 and L. 5231-4 [new] Code of Public Health and Article 17a [new] law of 15 June 1906 on the distributions of energy) – Regulatory Guidance on electromagnetic waves

http://www.senat.fr/rap/l08-552-1/l08-552-1102.html

Here is the google translation – http://tinyurl.com/2azgmmm

Some highlights:

Afsset – French Agency for Health Safety Environment and Labor

10/15/2009

CE Article

Everyone has the right to health and protection against the harmful effects of electromagnetic waves.

CE It is revealed that “the Court of Appeal of Versailles, by a decree of February 4, 2009, upheld the conviction of a mobile operator to dismantle an antenna relay, whereas it caused an abnormal disturbance Neighborhood.  Since that case, the judgments in this direction is growing.  These decisions reveal the growing concern of many of our fellow citizens for their health and that of their children.”

CE Article 9 Any decision on the establishment, alteration or maintenance of a facility used in radio telecommunications networks must be displayed clearly and visibly in the public areas of the building affected by the work.

Decisions on the siting radio used in telecommunications networks in condominiums must be taken unanimously by the owners.

Decisions on the siting radio used in telecommunications in low-rent housing should be a consultation of residents.

The lack of consultation in void the lease between the owner or owners of the building and the network operator.

CE Article 11 Bans advertising of mobile phones for children to children under 14.

CE Article 16 The installation of Wi-Max and LTE (long term evolution) are suspended for a period of 5 years from the enactment of this Act.  Where possible, the terminal facilities Wi-Max and LTE are replaced by an existing wired broadband.  In all other cases, prior approval of the Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and Environment will be required.

Amendment Prohibits the use of mobile phones in kindergartens, primary schools and colleges.

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Angela Flynn
Wireless Radiation Alert Network
WRAN
301-229-0282
FAX 301-229-4752

CELL TOWERS AND WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS – LIVING WITH RADIOFREQUENCY RADIATION
http://www.scribd. com/doc/24352550 /Cell-Tower- Rpt

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FCC Wireless Devices and Health Concerns

On November 5, 2009, the FCC released their Consumer Facts on “Wireless Devices and Health Concerns” (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/mobilephone.html)

In this document, under “Recent Developments” the FCC recommends precaution for the use of cell phones as listed below. It is clear that the September 2009 Senate Hearings had an influence.  Unfortunately this received no publicity that I am aware of and it should be front page news across the country.

Please forward this to interested parties and congratulations to those who participated at the Senate Hearing on Cell Phones last September. See http://YouTube.com/cseaperkins for full video.

-magda

Wireless Devices and Health Concerns FCC
Consumer Facts

Current Exposure Limits

Since 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has required that all wireless communications devices sold in the United States meet minimum guidelines for safe human exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy. The FCC relies on the expertise of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal health, safety and environmental agencies to help determine safe levels for human exposure to RF energy.

In adopting its guidelines for RF exposure, the FCC considered opinions from these agencies as well as limits recommended by two non-profit, expert organizations, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP).

The FCC’s guidelines specify exposure limits for hand-held wireless devices in terms of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is a measure of the rate that RF energy is absorbed by the body. For exposure to RF energy from wireless devices, the allowable FCC SAR limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg), as averaged over one gram of tissue.

The FCC approves all wireless devices sold in the US. If the FCC determines that exposure from an approved wireless device exceeds its guidelines, it can withdraw its approval. In addition, if the FDA determines that RF exposure from a device is hazardous, it can require the manufacturer of the device to notify users of the health hazard and to repair, replace, or recall the device.

Several US government agencies and international organizations work cooperatively to monitor the health effects of RF exposure. According to the FDA, to date the weight of scientific evidence has not linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any health problems.


Recent Developments

Recent reports by some health and safety interest groups have suggested that wireless device use can be linked to cancer and other illnesses. These questions have become more pressing as more and younger people are using the devices, and for longer periods of time. No scientific evidence currently establishes a definite link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses, but almost all parties debating the risks of using wireless devices agree that more and longer-term studies are needed. After listening to several expert witnesses, a United States Senate committee recently came to this same conclusion.

What You Can Do

Even though no scientific evidence currently establishes a definite link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses, some parties recommend taking the precautions listed below. When considering these precautions, remember that your wireless device only emits RF energy when you are using it and that the closer the device is to you, the more energy you will absorb. Also, some parties assert that any potential health risks are probably greater for children than for adults. Finally, some experts think that low frequency magnetic fields rather than RF energy measured by the SAR possibly are responsible for any potential risk associated with wireless devices. The precautions are:

  • Use an earpiece or headset. While wired earpieces may conduct some energy to the head and wireless earpieces also emit a small amount of RF energy, both wired and wireless earpieces remove the greatest source of RF energy from proximity to the head and thus can greatly reduce total exposure to the head. Avoid continually wearing a wireless earpiece when not in use.
  • If possible, keep wireless devices away from your body when they are on, mainly by not attaching them to belts or carrying them in pockets.
  • Use the cell phone speaker to reduce exposure to the head.
  • Consider texting rather than talking, but don’t text while you are driving.
  • Buy a wireless device with lower SAR. The FCC does not require manufacturers to disclose the RF exposure from their devices. Many manufacturers, however, voluntarily provide SAR  values. You can find links to manufacturer Web sites providing these SAR values on the FCC’s Web site at www.fcc.gov/cgb/sar. Note that the variation in SAR from one mobile device to the next is relatively small compared to the reduction that can be achieved by using an earpiece or headset.

Other Risks

Some studies have shown that wireless devices might interfere with implanted cardiac pacemakers if used within eight inches of the pacemaker. Pacemaker users may want to avoid placing or using a wireless device this close to their pacemaker.

For More Information

For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Web site at www.fcc.gov/cgb, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by e-mailing fccinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554.

For this or any other consumer publication in an accessible format (electronic ASCII text, Braille, large print, or audio) please write or call us at the address or phone number below, or send an e-mail to FCC504@fcc.gov.

To receive information on this and other FCC consumer topics through the Commission’s electronic subscriber service, visit www.fcc.gov/cgb/contacts/.

This document is for consumer education purposes only and is not intended to affect any proceedings or cases involving this subject matter or related issues.

Federal Communications Commission · Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau · 445 12th St. S.W. ·Washington, DC 20554
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)  · TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)  · Fax: 1-866-418-0232 · www.fcc.gov/cgb/

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