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Electro Hypersensitivity

The Venice Resolution of June 2008 by the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) states that non-ionizing radiation protection standards recommended by international standards organizations and supported by the World Health Organization are inadequate. ICEMS also goes on to say:

We recognize the growing public health problem known as electro hypersensitivity; that this adverse health condition can be quite disabling; and, that this condition requires further urgent investigation and recognition. We strongly advise limited use of cell phones, and other similar devices, by young children and teenagers, and we call upon governments to apply the Precautionary Principle as an interim measure while more biologically relevant standards are developed to protect against, not only the absorption of electromagnetic energy by the head, but also adverse effects of the signals on biochemistry, physiology and electrical biorhythms.

The BioInitiative Report discusses public health concerns and scientific evidence that risks associated from the use of cell phones and other wireless devices pose greater health risks, especially since over 4 billion people now use cell phones and they, along with others, are rapidly abandoning the use of traditional landline telephones. Then, the Freiburger Appeal believes that the rise in numerous health threats is no coincidence.

Now reading the Venice Resolution and the BioInitiative Report, there's mounting evidence that exposing ourselves to low levels of electromagnetic radiation isn't good for us. It's not conclusive evidence but several years ago, the cell industry shook off the allegations. Nearly 30 years ago, similar concerns were voiced about RF (radio frequency) and EMR (electromagnetic radiation) and those concerns were laughed off. Today, folks aren't laughing and the issues aren't being readily dismissed.

More importantly the scientific research shows that "standards" as we know them technically, are great for machines and wares but not good enough for man. Advancing biologically-based exposure standards that serve the best interests to protect public health are likely to be those new "standards" to unfold sometime in the near future and they won't be written solely by technology committees.

As research continues, evidence is compiled and realizations erupt that we are over exposed to too much EMR, then it could possibly mean change. It will be interesting to hear the arguments and whether or not they are science or technology based, and if they are principally designed around costs or health concerns.

I asked a Doctor of a general practice: Do you believe the low level radiation from cell phones is an issue?

Yes. The incidence of tumors (neurological) as well as Alzheimer's is going up. Ethically you cannot do a study on this--if we think EMR is a problem then morally we need to minimize the risk to our society. Is there a way to measure the EMR that is cheap and easy? That's where we should start. It's like measuring what is in the drinking water. Identify the bad stuff then figure a way to get rid of it--not a safe level--because we already know it's bad. The problem with the DNA studies is there are studies showing DNA damage and there are studies showing the DNA is left intact, but there are no equivalent studies which are being done, in other words the studies individually are not comparable. Again that doesn't mean ELF(extremely low frequency) or EMR does not cause a problem with our DNA, actually enough studies have been done to show that it does hurt us. But it doesn't look like this problem is on anyone's agenda. It would have to be presented to someone who could see a profit somehow down the road, otherwise no one will do the right thing. Results of DNA testing vary depending on the age of the animal, the cell type being used, and it looks like free-radicals play a role in this. So an old rat is not going to show the same effect as a young rat or even a pregnant rat. The older the organism the slower the DNA uncoils and lends itself to breakage. Young cells turn over quickly uncoiling their DNA thereby leaving itself open to breakage or mutations. Any fast growing cell will be more affected like in tumor cells--the DNA is turning over quickly and that's why chemo works best on very aggressive cancers--we get at their DNA better and quicker. So if you are a researcher who wants to keep the cell phone companies in business you use the old rats or cells that don't turn over DNA quickly.

Interesting sidebar to this is that Nokia recently developed a prototype cell phone that recharges itself by harvesting about 5 milliwatts from the air with a long-term goal of getting 50 milliwatts from the same energy that could be exposing us to health risks. Science and technology it seems need to have a meeting of the minds and the higher standard is: adverse risk to health must be designed out of the technology. What this means is more influence from caretakers and a rational approach to technology. Thinking about what we use daily and expose ourselves to, it's hard to imagine living without what we've come to depend upon in our business and personal lives. Maybe we've gone too far exploiting technology to the tune of hurting ourselves and increasing health risks to our kids and future generations. There's a large gap in what we know and don't understand about ELF/EMR and this includes funding on the right research. It's not a popular message but neither was the Surgeon General's warning about smoking.


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