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Saturday, August 09, 2008

What? Me Worry?

I guess I am happy not the have the Alfred E. Neuman approach to life. Maybe, though, I need more of the Bobby Ferrin approach, at least his has a 'beat'.

In the interim, perhaps you'd like to peruse some data regarding the hazards of EMF from all your wireless and cordless devices.

It is for you to decide.
Radiation Research
Article: pp. 224–234 | Abstract | PDF (394K)

Terahertz Radiation Increases Genomic Instability in Human Lymphocytes
Avital Korenstein-Ilana, Alexander Barbula, Pini Hasina, Alon Eliranb, Avraham Goverb, and Rafi Korensteina

a. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, b. Department of Electrical Engineering – Physical Electronics, Faculty of Engineering, Tel-Aviv University, 69978 Tel-Aviv, Israel

Korenstein-Ilan, A., Barbul, A., Hasin, P., Eliran, A., Gover, A. and Korenstein, R. Terahertz Radiation Increases Genomic Instability in Human Lymphocytes. Radiat. Res. 170, 224–234 (2008).

Terahertz radiation is increasingly being applied in new and evolving technologies applied in areas such as homeland security and medical imaging. Thus a timely assessment of the potential hazards and health effects of occupational and general population exposure to THz radiation is required. We applied continuous-wave (CW) 0.1 THz radiation (0.031 mW/ cm2) to dividing lymphocytes for 1, 2 and 24 h and examined the changes in chromosome number of chromosomes 1, 10, 11 and 17 and changes in the replication timing of their centromeres using interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Chromosomes 11 and 17 were most vulnerable (about 30% increase in aneuploidy after 2 and 24 h of exposure), while chromosomes 1 and 10 were not affected. We observed changes in the asynchronous mode of replication of centromeres 11, 17 and 1 (by 40%) after 2 h of exposure and of all four centromeres after 24 h of exposure (by 50%). It is speculated that these effects are caused by radiation-induced low-frequency collective vibrational modes of proteins and DNA. Our results demonstrate that exposure of lymphocytes in vitro to a low power density of 0.1 THz radiation induces genomic instability. These findings, if verified, may suggest that such exposure may result in an increased risk of cancer.

Received: January 3, 2007; Accepted: March 12, 2008
DOI: 10.1667/RR0944.1

New cellphone health litigation surfaces in California court
Jeffrey Silva
Story posted: August 5, 2008 - 1:50 pm EDT
A new health lawsuit has surfaced in California against T-Mobile USA Inc., Motorola Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America Inc., the complaint coming after a relative lull in litigation against the wireless industry and amid a resurgence of concern over whether mobile phones pose a hazard to throngs of consumers here and abroad.

The lawsuit, filed by Michael R. Bennett and transferred from state court to federal court last week, states that a Samsung handset serviced by T-Mobile USA was used on a daily basis between August 2003 and December 2005 for work and personal use by Bennett. The Motorola phone, according to the complaint, was operated in similar fashion by Bennett between December 2005 and April 2006.

“On April 28, 2006, plaintiff suffered a sudden hearing loss in his right ear, vertigo, loss of equilibrium, and other personal injuries related thereto, and has continued to suffer the same injuries from said date through and including the present date,” stated the lawsuit. “Upon plaintiff’s information and belief, plaintiff’s injuries were caused by electromagnetic radiation emanating from the Samsung cellphone and from the Motorola cellphone during plaintiff’s use thereof, resulting from improper and unsafe design, manufacturing and production of the Samsung cellphone by defendant Samsung and of the Motorola cellphone by defendant Motorola, and by said defendants’ respective failure to adequately warn of such dangers.”

“Motorola takes the safety of its products and its customers very seriously. Motorola regularly reviews all aspects of product design, operation and performance to ensure that its products are safe. We do not know the specifics of the allegations in this complaint, and obviously have not yet had an opportunity to review and investigate them. Therefore, Motorola cannot comment further about the complaint at this time,” Motorola said in a statement. “More generally, we can say that expert scientific panels and health agencies around the world have consistently confirmed the safety of the RF technology used in mobile phones.”

T-Mobile USA and Samsung did not immediately respond to e-mails requesting comment.

Only a handful of health-related lawsuits filed against the wireless providers, manufacturers and others over the past decade are still active, with industry prevailing in one case after another. Health litigation to date has been as much — if not more in some instances — about jurisdiction as about the science itself.

Health officials here and overseas say research to date indicates mobile phones do not pose a health threat to users, which number more than 3 billion worldwide, but they support further scientific investigation in light of studies that have shown adverse biological effects from low-level radiation. Some European officials have recommended limiting cellphone use by children as a precautionary measure. Most wireless health research is being conducted overseas, with results of the 13-nation Interphone study possibly due out before year’s end.

The Federal Communications Commission’s human exposure guidelines for radio-frequency radiation emitted by mobile phones and transmitters have withstood legal challenges in recent years, though controversy continues to swirl regarding coming changes that critics claim will weaken the RF standard. It is the Food and Drug Administration, however, that actually has legal oversight over the safety of cellphones.

The director of a prestigious cancer research center in Pittsburgh recently urged colleagues to limit their use of mobile phones because of potential health risks. Dr. Ronald Herberman’s warning, as well as recent attention given to mobile phones and health on CNN’s Larry King Live, have reignited a fierce debate that had otherwise calmed down. Indeed, sparks have been flying as result of an Aug. 3 opinion challenging Herberman in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette and a subsequent article in today’s paper on the kerfuffle.

Eight years ago this month an $800 million brain-cancer lawsuit was brought in Maryland state court against Motorola and others. The lawsuit was removed to federal court and ultimately thrown out for lack of scientific evidence by U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake in September 2002.
Entire contents © 2008 Crain Communications, Inc.

Danger looms, warns top US scientist
10:47am Thursday 7th August 2008

CAMPAIGNERS calling for the demolition of the High Acres tower have won support from a leading American scientist.

Dr George Carlo is a globally recognised expert on the effects of radiation from mobile phone masts who advises the World Health Organisation and US Congress.

The researcher, lawyer and author has pledged his support to residents in High Acres who say radio waves from phone masts on the massive disused water tower may be putting lives at risk.

Dr Carlo said: “The scientific facts are clear that danger looms for users of wireless devices, those who live in the vicinity of wireless infrastructure and the general public.”

He told the High Acres campaigners: “It is a mistake to subject the residents of your community to the dangers attendant to the provision of wireless service that goes far beyond your community usage or need.”

Dr Carlo is set to meet members of the The High Acres Base Station Mast Action Group during a visit to London for an international conference on health and mobile technology in September.

Mast campaigner Wendy Baggott believes Dr Carlo’s support is a big boost for the drive to demolish the tower.

Mrs Baggott said: “This really is wonderful news, we are honoured and privileged to receive an offer of help to our community from Dr Carlo.”

Another big name to back the campaign is Alasdair Philips, director of Powerwatch, an independent pressure group which has been researching wireless radiation for 20 years.

Alasdair Philips said: “In my opinion, it is inexcusable that the Health Protection Agency are keeping the lid on this vital debate by continuing to say that mobile phones and masts are completely safe, when it is clear to many of us who study the scientific reports that we should be far more precautionary in our use of this technology.

“I have good reason to believe that they are doing this because the Government is currently earning about £20bn per year in tax revenue from mobile communications and they see short-term income as more important than long-term health of the population.

“This happened before in the 1950s regarding the hazards of smoking. It is happening again now.”

The Cell Tolls for Thee
The truth about the cell-phone–cancer link and what it means for you and your kids

When Vini Khurana, PhD, an Australian (and Mayo Clinic–trained) neurosurgeon, announced that the link between cell-phone use and cancer was irrefutable--the result of his analysis of more than 100 studies--it set off alarm bells around the world. Use a cell phone, he said, and you increase your risk of developing a malignant brain tumor by two to four times. Until recently, the majority of research indicated little or no link between cell phones and cancer (the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society maintain that cell phones pose no threat), but several new long-term studies have cast doubt about their safety. Given that cell phones and PDAs serve as lifelines for so many people--24 percent of 10- and 11-year-olds carry them--it raises urgent questions. To find out what precautions you should take when using your cell phone, we dialed the nation's leading experts.
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