Congress may consider bill requiring cancer warning on cellphones

10 07 2010

Kucinich to introduce bill for cell phone radiation research, warning label

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) said Wednesday that he will introduce a bill for a federal research program on the affects of cellphone radiation on users. The bill will also call for a warning label for mobile phones, as a growing body of research around the world indicate potential links between long-term use and cancer.

The bill comes after The Post’s report Tuesday outlining the growing controversy over cellphones and health. The story looks into the lobbying effort against bills across the country that would require warning and radiation data labels for cellphone retailers and San Francisco’s move as the first place in the nation to require retailers to disclose radiation levels of the phones they sell.

“Some studies find links. Some don’t. But studies funded by the telecommunications industry are significantly less likely to find a link between cellphones and health effects. We need a first-class research program to give us answers,” Kucinich said in a statement. “Until we know for sure, a labeling law will ensure that cellphone users can decide for themselves the level of risk that they will accept”

Kucinich, who held a hearing on the topic in 2008, said much of the current research on cellphone radiation is being done outside the United States. Federal regulations on how much radiation devices can emit – such as the Specific Absorption Rate set by the Federal Communications Commission – are outdated.

His bill will call for a fresh look at regulatory standards on how much radiation a cellphone can emit. The FCC’s guidelines for SAR, an absorption limit set at 1.6 watts per kilogram of tissue, were determined in 1997 and were designed around testing for a male adult model. Those standards, according to some epidemiologists, do not take into account other affects of radiation on tissue and do not take into account the fastest-growing segment of cellphone users: children.

Kucinich cited the 13-nation Interphone study (the U.S. did not participate) that found that while there is no conclusive link that long-term cellphone users were more prone to cancer, the heaviest users could be more vulnerable.

“Consumers have a right to know whether they are buying the phone with the lowest – or the highest – level of exposure to cellphone radiation. They also deserve to have up-to-date standards, which are now decades old,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich said in an interview that he will introduce his bill when Congress resumes session in two weeks. He said he has several co-sponsors.

“There is a high degree of interest in this among my colleagues,” he said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Cecilia Kang | June 30, 2010; 2:36 PM ET

Congress may consider bill requiring cancer warning on cellphones..


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San Francisco could be first city in US to mandate posting of cell phone emission levels

10 07 2010

Supes back posting of cell phone emission levels

San Francisco moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first city in the nation to require that retailers post in their stores notices on the level of radiation emitted by the cell phones they offer.

The Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to give preliminary approval to the proposal. Final approval is expected next week. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd was the lone vote in opposition. Mayor Gavin Newsom, an early proponent of the legislation, plans to sign it into law when it reaches his desk.

Cast by backers as a pro-consumer measure, the ordinance would not ban the sale of certain cell phones but would require retailers to provide the “specific absorption rate” – a measurement of radiation registered with the Federal Communications Commission – next to phones displayed in their shops. Consumers also would be notified about where they can get more educational materials.

“This is about helping people make informed choices,” said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, chief sponsor of the legislation.

But a trade group for the cell phone industry said the law could lead to confusion.

“Rather than inform, the ordinance will potentially mislead consumers with point-of-sale requirements suggesting that some phones are ‘safer’ than others, based on radio frequency emissions,” John Walls, vice president of public affairs for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, said after the vote. “In fact, all phones sold legally in the U.S. must comply with the Federal Communication Commission’s safety standards for (radio frequency) emissions.”

The FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radiation. The measurement shows the amount of radio frequency energy people absorb in their bodies when talking on a cell phone.

The potential long-term health impacts of cell phone use, particularly on the brain, is still a matter of scientific debate.

A similar right-to-know measure, carried by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, died in the Legislature this year amid heavy lobbying by the cell phone industry.

Small business advocates in San Francisco also lobbied against the local labeling law, saying they didn’t have an appetite for more government mandates, particularly in this tough economic climate.

“This is not about discouraging people from using their cell phones,” said Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker. “This is a modest and commonsense measure to provide greater transparency and information to consumers.”

The posting requirements would be phased in, beginning in February. Violators would face fines of up to $300. City officials still need to educate retailers and figure out how the law would be enforced, when and if it is finally adopted. Hundreds of stores in San Francisco sell cell phones.

Renee Sharp, director of the California office of the Environmental Working Group, a national nonprofit research and advocacy group, lauded San Francisco for its “leadership in protecting the public’s health and right to know, and we hope it’s the beginning of a movement that won’t stop until everybody shopping for a phone has easy access to this information.”

E-mail Rachel Gordon at rgordon@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page A – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Supes back posting of cell phone emission levels.





Wireless Mind, Gullible Mind – The EMF Trojan Horse

9 09 2009

Wireless Mind, Gullible Mind – The EMF Trojan Horse

By CHELLIS GLENDINNING

eco ne credite,  Teuri,
quidquid id est,  timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
–Virgil,  Aeneid

I have been contemplating the infamous Trojan Horse whose deus-ex-machina arrival at the edge of Troy stirred wonder among the gullible citizens,  only to lure them to their demise.

I think such thoughts because another mighty horse has been steered into our midst,  and like Trojans we have thrown open the gates to welcome it in.

I am referring to the onslaught of wireless technologies in the form of microwave towers,  satellites showering the planet with radiation,  Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) ports,  Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) antennas — plus all the gadgets they make possible:  cordless phones,  pagers,  Blackberries,  roving laptops,  wireless water meters,  satellite TV and radio,  in-flight internet.  I am referring as well to the electromagnetic weapons,  radiation-emitting stations,  surveillance instruments,  and crowd-control devices military and law enforcement deploy.

These sources of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation,  or radiofrequency,  present a frightening specter.  Some 3,000-plus medical,  biological,  and epidemiological studies have demonstrated links between exposure and deterioration of the blood-brain barrier that blocks viruses and bacteria,  DNA damage,  leukemia,  nervous system disorders,  immune deficiency,  heart arrhythmias and coronaries,  insomnia,  anxiety,  depression,  memory loss,  dizziness,  deafness,  brain tumors,  etc.

And who is poised to slam the gates on this interloper?   Not many.  Somehow a population with DDT,  Love Canal,  the Dalkon Shield Intrauterine Device,  asbestos,  Three Mile Island,  and Agent Orange under its belt is mustering up the same old psychological defenses it used to not learn from those debacles.

I made “somehow” my business during the 1980s anti-nuclear movement;  I studied the psyche’s means of blotting out concern for weapons build-up.  I went on to research the challenges endured by survivors of health-threatening technologies and the public’s means of dismissing their suffering.

Truth is,  we’re not looking at a horse of a very different color today.  Those same methods the psyche used to numb against the arms race and deny the existence of asbestos workers and DES daughters are here again.

GULLIBLE MIND

Social philosopher Lewis Mumford’s concept of “mad rationality” comes to mind.  And renegade Freudian R.D. Laing’s assertion that our “socially shared hallucinations,  our collusive madness is what we call sanity.”  Too,  psychoanalyst Eric Fromm’s observation:  “That millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make those people sane.”

Let’s consider repression:  blanking out the facts and one’s feelings about the facts.  As psychologist Daniel Goleman puts it:  “One forgets,  then forgets one has forgotten.”  In this case the forgetting is made more likely because,  like radiation from nuclear technologies,  electromagnetic radiation is invisible.  And indeed,  upon hearing of links between radiofrequency and disease,  some people sputter “Uh,”  spin around in a fog,  and flee.  Telecommunications corporations rely on repression when touting their happy-talk-keep-talkin’ claims.  “Satellite dishes receive radiation perfectly.  There’s no spillover,”  announce public-relations departments,  while consumers stampede to their local satellite-TV outlets with nary a “Hello?”

Denial is like repression but carries an edge of active manipulation.  When we repress,  we erase the whole enchilada;  when we deny,  we rearrange the facts to make reality more palatable.  Needless to say,  the industry is the #1 perpetrator of this psychic defense.  But the public isn’t bad at it either.  After four decades of bio-radiological research,  Dr. Robert O. Becker gave his wrap-up in 2000:  “I have no doubt in my mind that at the present time the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.”  Environmental scientist Dr. Neil Cherry predicts that every human will develop not one,  but many cancers.   A New Mexico journalist with autoimmune disease,  whose husband contracted cancer after they installed satellite internet-TV,  responded with:  “It’s just another thing in an already polluted world.”

Selective attention is a sub-category of denial:  letting in some facts but not others.  Like the artist who insists that cell phones are dangerous,  but cell towers are not.  And the sign-maker who busted his ass to contribute banners to fight the T-Mobile tower a half mile from his home – and then installed WiFi in the house.

With personal disconnection we may admit a problem but proclaim that,  because of this or that,  it has no personal impact.  Emblematic is a chat I had with a non-profit administrator whose neighborhood in San Francisco was one of the first WiFi “hot spots” in the U.S.  His wife had developed strange health problems while living there — which disappeared every summer when she went to Vermont.  To him,  though,  yoga and vitamins would provide protection.

Rationalization is the mind’s alibi. “But,  but,  but,  but….”  But I need my iPhone to report I’m noshing an energy bar at ticketing/buckled in to seat 23A/waiting at baggage claim/hailing a cab/knocking on your front door.  But here in Austin I can’t get my favorite Boston radio station.  But I have to check my email every ten minutes.  But my girlfriends are on their phones six hours a day,  I only use mine for four!

With projection we split the content of our minds into “Save” and “Delete”– and throw what we deem unacceptable onto persons and objects outside ourselves.  Come hell or high water,  the telecommunications industry is muscling its $1-trillion way toward  planetary dominion;  in the face of such might,  vulnerability before the toxic emissions demands an outlet,  lest we face our fear of confrontation.  One ready target is the already fallen:  the electro-sensitive.  Like atomic vets and Three Mile Island residents before them,  they have become recipients of disdain and discrimination,  called “crazy,”    given zero support,  and pushed to the margins where,  often homeless,  they live in their cars.

Resignation is the roll-over-play-dead defense.  “Ah well.”

COULD UNEXPECTED LIBERATION OF THE MIND BE FAR BEHIND?

Meanwhile – as both Democrats and Republicans throw open the gates for the industry’s plot to build a national “Smart Grid” that will leave no inch of North America unWiMAXed – Virgil’s 2000-year-old warning becomes timely:  “Whatever it is,  I fear the Greeks,  even bringing gifts.”

Ever since the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 welcomed W.T.O-inspired deregulation and F.C.C.- bolstered corporate protections,  a group of scientists and  citizens has been active,  working through such groups as EMR Network,  EMR Policy Network,  and Council on Wireless Technology Impacts.  Microwave News has consistently provided information and updates.

At the same time illnesses that had been relatively unusual have become normal.  Diabetes,  asthma,  testicular cancer,  brain tumors,  malignant melanoma,  immune deficiency,  chronic fatigue,  childhood cancers,  sleep dysfunction,  autism,  multiple sclerosis,  hypothyroidism,  anxiety disorders,  epilepsy,  strokes,  heart attacks.

As a mental health professional,  I am well aware that the psyche has the wherewithal to grip its defenses ‘til knuckle-white death.  And yet,  in my lifetime,  I have also witnessed miraculous and unexpected liberations of the mind.

Chellis Glendinning, Ph.D.,  LPCC,  is a psychotherapist.  Her books include When Technology Wounds (1990) and the forthcoming Luddite.com: A Personal History of Technology.  She is a descendant of Alexander Graham Bell.

Notes

WIRELESS 101

When the microwave oven was first unveiled,  consumers were told to jump back after turning it on.  The radiation in a microwave oven is the same as what comes off a cell tower or an iPhone.  The only difference:  the industry decided not to warn you anymore.

A significant increase in cancer,  particularly breast and brain,  occurs within ¾ mile of a cell tower.

When not being used but still turned on,  cell phones draw down radiofrequency waves.  Men who wear cell phones on their belts can get testicular cancer.

If you can walk around talking on your phone,  it is cordless – read: wireless — and has the same impact as a cell phone.  Worse,  the base station is your own private,  in-house,   24/7 cell tower.

The more data transmitted,  the more radiation is required.  Ergo:  WiFi,  which can send written data and photos,  is more toxic than simple cell-phone messages.  WiMAX,  which can handle movies,  videos,  and huge transfers of written material,  is more dangerous than WiFi.

WiFi extends 300 feet from its port.  When you turn it on in your house,  you contaminate your neighbors.

Hybrid cars infuse drivers and passengers with electromagnetic radiation.

Compact fluorescent lights can trigger migraine headaches,  dizziness,  and epileptic seizures.

Laboratory animals implanted with ID chips display an increase in malignant tumors,  with the cancer often wrapped around the implant.  This is the same device sold in pet stores to keep track of your beloved animal-people.

Radiofrequency from towers causes forest die-off,  bird deaths,  and cancer in farm animals.

Some people can feel electromagnetic radiation – between 4% and 30%.  They get heart palpitations,  dizziness,  brain fog,  visual light flashes,  and ringing in the ears.  Many people don’t feel anything.  And some do,  but have no idea why they feel ill.

The more radiation you are exposed to,  the more likely you are to develop sensitivity.

Scientists are exploring a causal relationship between the proliferation of wireless technologies and global warming — which stands to reason when you think about how hot a microwave oven gets.

A BRIEF HISTORY  OF RESISTANCE

May 2000.  Pioneering a legal concept called “electromagnetic trespass,”  a Spanish court orders Iberdrola S.A. to remove its transformer from an apartment building and pay for residents’ medical bills.

July 2001.  In Cyprus a peaceful demonstration against Britain’s planned military communications towers turns into a riot after police open fire.  Protestors ransack a police station and demand the release of their prime minister who had been doing civil disobedience atop a 160-foot mast.

September 2002.  Scientists meet at the International Conference State of the Research in Electromagnetic Fields in Catania,  Italy,  and issue a declaration warning against electromagnetic exposure.

October 2002.  German doctors issue the Freiburger Appeal proclaiming the relationship between microwave exposure and disease.  Thousands of doctors worldwide sign on.

February 2003.  After the biggest-ever protest meeting of a village in northern New Mexico,  the local school board cancels an already-signed contract to erect cell towers on its schools.

March 2003.  The Catholic Church in Italy calls for cell-phone antennas to be removed from bell towers,  branding them dangerous to human health and spiritually “out of keeping.

November 2003.  In England and Ireland citizens bulldoze down cell towers –- as many as eight each week.

February 2006.  Ontario University in Canada bans WiFi from campus.

February 2006.  An international congress of scientists in Italy issues the Benevento Resolution,  warning against exposure to electromagnetic radiation and calling for wireless-free zones and wise siting of antennas.

2006.  The Chamber of Doctors in Vienna,  Austria,  issues posters for clinics and doctors’ offices warning patients against cell-phone use.

June 2007.  In Spain citizens hold International Day Against Electromagnetic Pollution to publicize the medical effects of high-voltage power lines,  electric-power substations,  mobile-telephone antennas,  radio lines,  WiFi,  and WiMAX.

September 2007.  Germany’s Environmental Ministry and Federal Office for Radiation Protection issues an unprecedented national warning to citizens:  avoid exposure to radiation emanating from WiFi and WiMAX ports in cafés,  schools,  and public “hot spots.”

September 2007.  The European Environmental Agency demands immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from WiFi,  WiMAX,  mobile phones,  and antennas.

October 2007.  Protestors in a Druze village in Israel rip down a mobile phone mast.  Police open fire on them;  they fight back throwing stones and metal bars.

December 2007.  After only five months of the new WiFi system in Paris’ libraries,  the union wins a moratorium due to the health effects  among librarians.

January 2008.  Thousands of Chinese demonstrators take to the streets to protest the extension of a magnetic levitation train through Shanghai.

February 2008.  Cell-phone antennas in Tudela,  Spain,  are removed when damage to citizens’ health is revealed.

March 2008.  The Sebastopol City Council in California breaks its contract to install citywide WiFi.

April 2008.  The National Library of France dismantles its entire WiFi system.

September 2008.  The Linn-Wilsonville School Board in Portland,  Oregon,  unplugs its cell towers and cancels leases for WiMAX.

http://www.counterpunch.com/glendinning10122008.html





Cellphone radiation levels vary widely, watchdog report says

9 09 2009
Cellphone radiation levels vary widely, watchdog report says
By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY
Some cellphones emit several times more radiation than others, the Environmental Working Group found in one of the most exhaustive studies of its kind.

The government watchdog group on Wednesday releases a list ranking cellphones in terms of radiation. The free listing of more than 1,000 devices can be viewed at www.ewg.org.

Concerns about radiation and cellphones have swirled for years. Scientific evidence to date has not been able to make a hard link between cancer and cellphones. But recent studies “are showing increased risk for brain and mouth tumors for people who have used cellphones for at least 10 years,” says Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research at the Washington-based group.

CTIA, the wireless industry lobbying association, disagrees. In a statement it noted that “scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose” a health hazard.

That’s why the American Cancer Society, World Health Organization and Food and Drug Administration, among others, “all have concurred that wireless devices are not a public health risk,” the CTIA statement says.

Houlihan acknowledges that “the verdict is still out” on whether cellphones can be linked directly to cancer.

“But there’s enough concern that the governments of six countries” — including France, Germany and Israel — “have issued limits of usage of cellphones, particularly for children.”

Houlihan says her group is “advising people to choose a phone that falls on the lower end of the (radiation) spectrum” to minimize potential health problems. The Samsung Impression has the lowest: 0.35 watts per kilogram, a measure of how much radiation is absorbed into the brain when the phone is held to the ear.

The highest: T-Mobile‘s MyTouch 3G, Motorola Moto VU204 and Kyocera Jax S1300, all at 1.55 W/kg.

The Apple iPhone, sold exclusively by AT&T in the USA, is in the middle of the pack at 1.19 W/kg.

The Federal Communications Commission, which sets standards for cellphone radiation, requires that all devices be rated at 1.6 W/kg or lower.

The Environmental Working Group says the FCC‘s standard is outmoded, noting that it was established 17 years ago, when cellphones and wireless usage patterns were much different. The group wants the government to take a “fresh look” at radiation standards.

The FCC currently doesn’t require handset makers to divulge radiation levels. As a result, radiation rankings for dozens of devices, including the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 and Motorola KRZR, aren’t on the group’s list.

SOURCE: USA Today

Cellphone radiation levels vary widely, watchdog report says