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

26 February 2012

Mobile Phone Antennas Blamed for Presence of Cataracts in Calves

The following is a translation from French of an article which appeared on the site of the Swiss "Agence d'information agricole romande" on 22 February 2012 about a recent study by the University of Zürich Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.  Mobile phone technology is also potentially harmful to animals. 

Blindness at birth in calves could be linked to the presence of mobile phone antennas.  This is what the umbrella association Electrosmog Suisse asserts, based on partial results from a study by the University of Zürich.  Since 2005, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has been looking at "nuclear" cataracts (affecting the lens nucleus) in newborn calves raised near mobile phone antennas.  Among the farms observed, the Association mentioned a farm in canton Zürich where cases of cataracts increased after installation of an antenna and disappeared once the antenna was dismantled.  The anti-electrosmog association calls on the authorities to respond and not  “await dissipation of the latest scientific doubts in order to take preventive measures.”  The Director of the faculty research project, Bernhard Spiess, confirms the “striking temporal correlation” between installation of the antenna and appearance of the cases of cataracts.  According to him, it is however impossible to prove for now a link between cause and effect.

20 February 2012

Mesothelioma - A Personal Testimony

The recent conviction of two directors of the asbestos company Eternit by a court in Turin has a great deal of personal meaning.

My companion, Adon, died on 1 April 2009 from mesothelioma (cancer of the pleura) caused by exposure to asbestos.  He believed he had been exposed to the substance nearly 40 years ago while working in a factory in Belgium.  He was diagnosed with the disease in July 2008, after two months of investigations, including invasive procedures.  Shortness of breath while climbing stairs led him to consult his generalist in May who mentioned a possible diagnosis of mesothelioma.  

At the time of the definitive diagnosis, we felt we could not get through this on our own.  We needed friends, family, sound advice, support, and especially the opportunity to share experiences.  We were met with a culture of silence from medical personnel and the Swiss Cancer League.  No one could or would put us in touch with others, including family members of persons diagnosed with mesothelioma.  By the time I started sharing my thoughts on the Internet cancer forum, Adon was within days of dying.  Just a few persons helped us:  the compassionate surgical team;  the palliative care nurse at the Cancer League;  and a lady in the United States whose husband Steve had been diagnosed with the same cancer several months after Adon’s diagnosis;  he died in July 2009 after complications from radiotherapy.  Steve’s father had been exposed to asbestos in a factory in England.  Each evening, he would return home with his clothes covered in dust.  Both his son, Steve, and his wife were diagnosed with mesothelioma around the same time, nearly 40 years later.