Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

19 October 2016

AirPods: Clear Sound, Sleek Styling, and Microwave Radiation

Clear Sound, Sleek Styling, and Microwave Radiation
by Katia Savchuk, alumni.berkeley.edu
18 October 2016

The release of AirPods, those sleek wireless earbuds from Apple, is again spurring debate over the safety of radiation-emitting devices—including cell phones, WiFi routers, and wireless headsets. While U.S. regulatory agencies and some scientists believe the risk from these devices is either low or unproven, there are experts, including a UC Berkeley public health researcher, concerned about their safety.

Joel Moskowitz, who directs the Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health, warns that radiation from the Bluetooth technology in the AirPods (and other headsets) poses health risks.

More than a dozen studies have shown that low-intensity microwave radiation similar to that emitted by Bluetooth can open up the blood-brain barrier, a layer of cells that block pathogens and toxins in the body from reaching the brain. That could lead to conditions such as autism, dementia, and brain cancer, Moskowitz says.

18 October 2016

Ending a Century of Ecocide and Genocide, Seeding Earth Democracy

"More accumulation of wealth through corporations,"
writes Shiva, "will lead to the extermination of most 
people, as their lands and livelihoods, their resources and
democracies, are grabbed for profits and control."
(Photo: Pixabay/CC0)
"Crimes against nature are connected to crimes against humanity."

Ending a Century of Ecocide and Genocide, Seeding Earth Democracy
by Vandana Shiva, Common Dreams,
12 October 2016

Putting Monsanto on trial is only the beginning of what the world's people must do to regain control of their food systems

For more than a century, a poison cartel has experimented with and developed chemicals to kill people, first in Hitler's concentration camps and the war, later by selling these chemicals as inputs for industrial agriculture.

In a little over half a century, small farmers have been uprooted everywhere, by design, further expanding the toxic fields of the industrial agriculture.

In India, a country of small farmers, the assault of the poison cartel has driven millions off the land and pushed 300,000 farmers to suicide due to debt for costly seeds and chemicals. The GMO seeds have failed to control pests and weeds. Instead they are creating super-pests and super-weeds, trapping farmers deeper in debt.

17 October 2016

Passengers Who Bring Fire-Prone Samsung Phones on Planes Face Fines

The FAA says Samsung Note 7 phones won't be allowed
aboard passenger or cargo aircraft, even if they've been
shut off.
Passengers who bring fire-prone Samsung phones on planes face fines
by Mary Schlangenstein and Alan Levin, Bloomberg, 17 October 2016

Passengers who try to carry Samsung Electronics Note 7 smartphones on flights will have them confiscated and may face fines under an emergency federal order that significantly expands restrictions on the devices, which have been linked to almost 100 incidents of overheating and fires.

The devices won’t be allowed aboard passenger or cargo aircraft even if they’ve been shut off, the Federal Aviation Administration announced. About 1.9 million Note 7s have been sold in the United States.

Switzerland: Is Time Up for Nuclear Power?

The initiative demands the end of nuclear energy
production in Switzerland by 2029.  (Reuters)
Is time up for nuclear power in Switzerland?
by Luigi Jorio, swissinfo.ch, 13 October 2016

Banning construction of nuclear power plants and limiting to 45 years the use of existing ones: that’s what a people’s initiative from the Green Party, to be voted on in November, proposes. It has not been endorsed by the cabinet or by parliament.

On March 11, 2011, dramatic footage from Japan showed the destruction caused by an earthquake and tsunami. The coastal nuclear power plant at Fukushima sustained severe damage. There was worldwide concern, and a few weeks later the Swiss government announced its historic decision that “existing nuclear power plants [in Switzerland] should be decommissioned at the end of their safe operational lifespan and not be replaced by new nuclear power plants”.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Re-Think Pink

Re-Think Pink
by Meg Sears, PhD, Chair and Science Advisor, 
Prevent Cancer Now, thevalleyvoice.ca, 16 October 2016

Is breast cancer really avoidable?

October's pink "Breast Cancer Awareness" ribbons raise attention for the disease and extract millions of dollars from Canadians' pockets, but do not prevent cancer.

Companies associate their products with breast cancer awareness, while increasing their profit margins and elevating their corporate image. Before buying in, we should ask:

1. Who gets the money, and what do they do with it?
2. How much (if any) money goes to research, to prevent or to treat breast cancer?
3. Is this "pink-washing"? Does this company make products that may contribute to breast cancer, perhaps with ingredients that interfere with hormones? What is the company doing to ensure that their products, supply chain and corporate practices embrace least-toxic approaches and do not add to the disease?

16 October 2016

As Cyberthreats Multiply, Hackers Now Target Medical Devices

Getty Images
As cyberthreats multiply, hackers now target medical devices
by Trent Gillies | @trentCNBC, cnbc,com, 
15 October 2016

Hackers can invade your bank account and steal your identity. So is there also a cyber threat to your health?

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson notified 114,000 diabetic patients that a hacker could exploit one of its insulin pumps. The J&J Animas OneTouch Ping could be attacked, disabling the device or altering the dosage.

J&J said the risk is extremely low, but suggested ways users could mitigate that risk. Could other medical devices, like infusion pumps and pacemakers, vulnerable to a malicious hacker?

"There is no [impervious] device," Kevin Fu told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview, "pretty much every device that has a computer in it is breakable. "

Autism Speaks No Longer Seeking Cure

Autism Speaks has a new mission statement, which 
includes a noticeably different tone and no mention of
finding a cure for the developmental disorder.
(Autism Speaks/Flickr)
Autism Speaks No Longer Seeking Cure
by Michelle Diament, disabilityscoop.com, 
14 October 2016

For the first time, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization has revamped its agenda and one notable objective is no more.

Autism Speaks’ board of directors voted in late September to modify the organization’s mission statement, marking the first such change since the nonprofit was established in 2005.

The new iteration is shorter and strikes a markedly different tone. Gone are terms like “struggle,” “hardship” and “crisis.” Also absent is any mention of seeking a cure for the developmental disorder.

“Our mission statement was updated to reflect the evolving strategic direction of Autism Speaks and current needs in the autism community,” C.J. Volpe, the group’s spokesman, tells Disability Scoop.

Key Cell Phone Radiation Research Studies

[We cannot keep up with the large number of studies being published on cell phone radiation research. Here is a list of key studies provided by saferemr.com (Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.Director, Center for Family & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.]

Key Cell Phone Radiation Research Studies
saferemr.com, 12 October 2016

Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list as I have focused on more recent papers and tried to be parsimonious. I will update this list periodically.

For additional research studies, see my post, "Should Cellphones Have Warning Labels? (Wall Street Journal)."

Tumor risk review papers

• Myung et al (2009) Mobile phone use & risk of tumors: a meta-analysis. http://1.usa.gov/12wBOmd
• Khurana et al (2009) Cell phones & brain tumors: a review including long-term epi data. http://1.usa.gov/1jel7s0

Too Much Screen Time Damaging Young Eyes, Say Doctors

“I think parents should start pushing their children and themselves to have a better lifestyle.  When we were small, we used to go out; we didn’t have a lot of access to TVs or smartphones. You can teach your child how to play sports or how to play an instrument. There are lots of other things one can do,” says one doctor.

Oman health: Too much screen time damaging young eyes, say doctors

by Gautam Viswanathan, Gautam@timesofoman.com, 3 October 2016

Muscat: Children as young as two are now being asked to wear spectacles, owing to the considerable time they are spending looking at smartphones and laptops.

Dr. Entisar Mohamed from the Royal Oman Hospital said, “These days, I’ve seen kids as young as four wearing glasses. I’ve even seen children that are two years old wearing them.”

“The light reflection, concentration and radiation from gadgets, exhausts their eyes,” she explained.

Wearable Health Monitors Not Always Reliable, Study Shows

"More than one in 5 Americans owns a wearable device like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, according to Forrester Research, Inc., though half stop using the device within six months of purchase."

Wearable health monitors not always reliable, study shows

by Karen Weintraub, Special for USA TODAY, 
12 October 2016

Wearable devices may provide interesting information, but the heart-rate data is unreliable and raises doubts about usefulness, a new study shows.

The new study, by cardiac experts at the Cleveland Clinic, examined four popular devices and found that their heart rate monitors are wrong 10%-20% of the time.

That may not matter much for the weekend warriors who just want to check on whether their fitness is improving. But a snapshot heart rate, even if accurate, won’t tell them much.

“On a day-to-day basis for an apparently healthy person, knowing your heart-rate does not provide any benefit,” said Marc Gillinov, a cardiac surgeon and one of the authors of the new paper, published in JAMA Cardiology.

“They’re selling millions and millions of these devices and so far we haven’t demonstrated a general benefit to them.”