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

EMF Studies

19 January 2012

Unexplained Increases in Brain Cancer - UPDATED

This article from November 2011 comes from the German electromagnetic advocacy site,  Bürgerwelle, which publishes the latest EMF news in English.  

New cases of brain tumors have continued to grow throughout the past three decades in some Scandinavian countries with longer term heavier cellphone use, according to analyses conducted by Environmental Health Trust scientists based on data provided by the national cancer registries of Finland and Norway to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In Norway, brain tumor incidence rose in men and women about 1.7 and 2.8 percent each year for the past decade, with women who use cellphones more having higher rates than men. Similar, but smaller increases were evident in Norway. Death rates have dropped reflecting improvements in treatment and early detection, but incidence has increased over the past decade for both men and women.(read more) Cell Phones: Myth or Fact?

UPDATE:  "Brain Tumor Pandemic" Predicted:  A new analysis published by Örjan Hallberg in Sweden and L. Lloyd Morgan in the United States on 20 December 2011 in the journal, Neurology and Neurophysiology, projects a very large increase in brain cancer incidence resulting from widespread mobile phone use, beginning in about 15 years.  L. Lloyd Morgan says, "Unless mobile phone usage behavior patterns significantly change, we can reasonably expect a pandemic of brain tumors... Governments, as well as parents, physicians, schools and all citizens, would be well advised to educate all persons under their care or influence about the need to curtail the use of mobile phones and other radiation-emitting consumer devices."

View this recent excellent newsclip from Euronews on safer cell phone use.

Mobile Phone and Tower Alert: Delhi, India

 “The Delhi government plans to make it mandatory for all mobile phones sold in the national capital to prominently display the level of radiation emitted by different brands of mobile phones.”  This decision was taken by a meeting in January 2012 of health experts who also recommended rules for restrictions on the 5,000 mobile phone towers in Delhi.  Most of these towers are legal, however, hundreds of them were erected without approval of the authorities.  The towers are causing noise, air pollution from the use of generators for power backup, and are said to be a “constant health hazard” due to the high levels of radiation they allegedly emit.  One senior official at the meeting commented that “basic market economy could impede implementation of ‘strict’ guidelines for mobile phone use” and installation of mobile towers.  Another reason may be the emission levels from the towers which are “much lower than international safety standards”.

View this recent newsclip from India on mobile phones and towers, posted on "In These New Times" on 15 January 2012.

Toxic Pesticides: Syngenta's Paraquat and Atrazine

“The campaign ‘Stop Paraquat’, conducted by non-governmental organizations, trade unions and scientists around the world, calls to end the production and ban the use of this highly toxic harmful herbicide”, manufactured and distributed by the Swiss company Syngenta.  Although banned in Switzerland since 31 December 1989 and in the European Union since 2007, this toxic herbicide is still being marketed by Syngenta to over 100 countries, usually under the brand name “Gramoxone”.  It is regularly used on banana, coffee, palm oil, rubber, fruit, and pineapple plantations and also on maize and rice fields.

Acute health effects of paraquat include eye injury, nosebleed, skin irritation and burns, nausea, vomiting, pain, breathing difficulties.  Exposure to very low doses over a longer period of time produces chronic health problems such as damage to the lungs, nervous system or brain, and may also cause potential birth defects and increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

This request comes from the Berne Declaration and Permanent People's Tribunal:  Vote for Syngenta as the Worst Company - just click on "VOTE NOW" in the attached link.

18 January 2012

"Smart" Baby Wi-Fi Scale?

We are hearing more and more about applications for wireless gadgets - shopping, medicine, education ...  Here is another:  weighing babies on a Wi-Fi Body Scale, plus "as an added bonus" making it easier to "bombard Facebook and Twitter news feeds with baby updates."  Here is yet another way to expose these poor defenseless creatures to harmful electromagnetic radiation, just to appease our insatiable appetite for the latest wireless gadgets which, ten, five, even one year ago, we could easily have lived without.  (Thank you to WEEP News for sending the following 8 January 2012 article by Scott Schaen on ChipChick.com describing this gadget.):

"Withings Smart Baby WiFi Scale Will Annoy Facebook Friends"

"Withings, a company that lives by their mantra “Smarter Devices, Healthier Lifestyles,” has just announced their internet connected Baby and Toddler Scale. The Smart Baby Scale uses bluetooth, WiFi, and even the new low energy Bluetooth Smart to connect to your computer, iOS device, and the cloud to monitor and track your child’s growth.

Babies Under the Age of One Recruited for Vaccine Trials

This is a rather troubling news story about the recruitment of babies by a pharmaceutical company for vaccine trials.  In 2007 and 2008, GlaxoSmithKline recruited 15,000 babies under the age of one in Argentina for trials for Synflorix, a bacterial pneumonia and meningitis vaccine.  The 28-page consent form was signed by parents who were illiterate or by individuals who did not have legal custody of the babies.  Parents who took their children to hospital were pressured into signing by doctors.  When babies suffered reactions to the vaccine, doctors conducting the trials did not address the concerns of parents.  Fourteen babies died during the trials.  None of the deaths were caused by the vaccine according to the investigation which followed.

The Argentine health authorities fined GlaxcoSmithKline and two doctors some $240,000, which is an insignificant sum for a pharmaceutical company to pay in damages.  (Click here for the article in full which appeared on Care2 on 8 January 2012 and read this recent comprehensive article from Dr. Mercola about testing dangerous drugs and vaccines on children.

17 January 2012

News from Geneva: University Study Reveals Potential Link Between Use of Deodorants Containing Aluminum Salts and Breast Cancer

 On 6 January 2012, two researchers at the University of Geneva, Honorary Professor Stefano Mandriota and Professor André-Pascal Sappino, published a study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology which demonstrates the toxicity to human breast cells of aluminum salts which are found in 9 out of 10 deodorants.  “In premenopausal women, mammary glands are more active and thus more sensitive to external agents,” states Prof. Sappino.  Tests revealed that aluminum salts in amounts from 1,500 to 100,000 times less than contained in deodorants were found to be toxic to human breast cells.  These cells proliferated when in contact with the aluminum salts which could lead to formation of tumors.  The salts induced this effect only on breast cells.  They were inoffensive to other types of cells. 

Breast cancer has been on the rise over the last 40 years.  The French-speaking part of Switzerland, which includes Geneva, has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world.  Over the last 10 years (2000 – 2008) there has been an epidemic of breast cancer in young women less than 40 years old.  In 2005, the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health (OFSP) had taken the position that there is no scientific evidence of a link between deodorants containing aluminum salts and breast cancer.  The results of the 2012 study have not changed the OFSP’s position.  “Scientific epidemiological studies have not proven the link between use of deodorants containing aluminum and increased risk of breast cancer;  this has been confirmed  by numerous scientific studies.” No precautionary measures are envisaged.

by Meris Michaels
(Reference:  article by Anne-Muriel Brouet, Tribune de Genève, 12 January 2012.)

14 January 2012

European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI)

Following is a résumé of an interview about the newly-established European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI) with Professor Dominique Belpomme, President of ARTAC (Association for Research and Treatments against Cancer) and of ECERI with Actu-Environnement from October 2011 (full text in French).

The European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI) was established in Brussels, Belgium, on May 18, 2011.  The scientific and administrative councils of ECERI comprise representatives from different European Union Member States.  Its statutes are comparable to those of ARTAC’s:  a research center without walls, a federative institute in the form of a network.    ARTAC is dedicated to researching the link between cancer and the environment.  Its philosophy is to create a network of research centers which are the best in their specialty.  It works with units of INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) and the CNRS (Centre national de recherche scientifique) and with other research groups from all over Europe and the United States.

08 January 2012

"Cellphones Replace Smokes as the Addiction of Choice"

This article is a humorous but very true portrait of the comparison of cellphones to cigarettes. 

Cellphones Replace Smokes as the Addiction of Choice
by Josh Freed, Montréal Gazette, 7 January 2012

I was in a movie theatre last week when that new warning cartoon came on urging us not to talk or text. Suddenly I remembered those old no-smoking signs they had outside theatres decades ago - and I realized the transformation is complete.

The cellphone has become the cigarette.

Everywhere you look, people hold phones instead of cigarettes up to their mouths - exhaling words instead of smoke. Meanwhile, the anti-cell lobby is becoming as visible as the anti-smoking one.

How else does the cellphone resemble the cigarette?

- First, cigarettes were an ideal way for fidgety people to do something with their hands, whether they were rolling, lighting, twirling, tapping or dragging on them.

But the cellphone has just as many rituals to keep fidgeters busy. You check your messages, organize your mail, then reorganize it - along with texting, Skyping, surfing, checking the weather for the 42nd time, or just fondling the keys.