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22 April 2013

9th National Congress on Electrosmog, Bern, 20 April 2013: (Pre-Congress) Abstracts of the Five Presentations

About 170 participants from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands were able to discuss the latest findings in electromagnetic pollution caused by mobile, wireless and high-voltage lines at the 9th National Congress on Electrosmog, held in Bern on 20 April 2013.

The Congress organizer, Gigahertz, is the largest and most active organization in Switzerland in the field of electro-education. It provides advice to interested persons in the area of mobile communications, wireless, power lines, etc. Every day, telephone and Email inquiries are answered by its professional Center for Non-ionizing radiation. The Center is also available for requests from the press on the phone number 031 731 04 31 at any time.

Following are the abstracts of the five presentations in English. The texts are those which appeared before the Congress on the site of Gigaherz. Abstracts of the presentations are also available here in German: see http://www.gigaherz.ch/1848.  More reports about the Congress will soon be posted on the Gigaherz site. Conference proceedings and a DVD will also be made available.

Speakers answering questions from the audience: from left to right:  Professor Angelo Levis, Dr. Daniel Favre,
Dr. Lennart Hardell, Dr. Dode Adilza (with interpreter for Portuguese), and Hans-U. Jakob from Gigaherz.ch

Dr. Adilza Condessa Dode, PhD, MSc, is professor of Electromagnetic Pollution Control at the Minas Methodist University Center Izabela Hendrix in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. She is Security Engineer in the Municipal Health Department at Municipal Government of Belo Horizonte. She is also Director of the “MRE Engenharia” (Electromagnetic Radiations Measurement-Engineering). www.mreengenharia.com.br 

Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephony base stations in Belo Horizonte, Brazil 

One of the greatest environmental problems of the twenty-first century is pollution caused by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of radiofrequencies (RF) generated by the telecommunication system. The purpose of this research was to verify the existence of spatial correlation between base stations (BS) clusters and cases of deaths by neoplasia in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, from 1996 to 2006 and to measure the human exposure levels to EMF where there is major concentration of cellular telephone transmitter antennas. 

Through an ecological-epidemiological approach, using georeferencing, a descriptive spatial analysis of the BSs and the cases of death by neoplasia identified in the municipality was performed. The database employed in the survey was composed of three data banks: 1. death by neoplasia documented by the Health Municipal Department; 2. BSs documented in ANATEL (Brazil’s ‘Telecommunications National Agency’); and 3. census and demographic city population data obtained from official archives provided by IBGE (‘Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics’). 

The results show that approximately 856 BSs were installed through December 2006. Most (39.60%) of the BSs were located in the “Centro-Sul” (‘Central-Southern’) region of the municipality. Between 1996 and 2006, 7191 deaths by neoplasia occurred and within an area of 500 m from the BS, the mortality rate was 34.76 per 10.000 inhabitants. Outside of this area, a decrease in the number of deaths by neoplasia occurred. The greatest accumulated incidence was 5.83 per 1000 in the Central-Southern region and the lowest incidence was 2.05 per 1000 in the „Barreiro“ region. During the environmental monitoring, the largest accumulated electric field measured was 12.4 V/m and the smallest was 0.4 V/m. The largest density power was 40.78 μW/cm², and the smallest was 0.04 μW/cm². 

Dr Lennart Hardell is professor in oncology and cancer epidemiology at the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. Most of his research has been on risk factors for cancer such as exposure to pesticides and persistent organic pollutants. During recent years he and his co-workers have studied use of cellular and cordless telephones and the risk for brain tumours. He works also as a consultant at the Department of Oncology at the hospital. lennart.hardell@orebroll.se 

Use of mobile phones and cordless phones is associated with increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO evaluation of the carcinogenic effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on humans took place during a 24 – 31 May 2011 meeting at Lyon in France. The Working Group consisted of 30 scientists and categorised the RF-EMFs from mobile phones, and from other devices that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields, as Group 2B, i.e. a ‘possible’, human carcinogen. The decision on mobile phones was based mainly on the Hardell group of studies from Sweden and the IARC Interphone study. 

An overview of current epidemiological evidence for an increased risk for brain tumours including a meta-analysis of the Hardell group and Interphone results for mobile phone use will be presented. Results for cordless phones are lacking in Interphone. Regarding mobile phone use the meta-analysis gave for glioma and acoustic neuroma a statistically significant increased risk in contrast to the results for meningioma. Also use of cordless phones increased the risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma in the Hardell group studies. Results from an on-going new study on brain tumours will also be presented. Some studies show increasing incidence of brain tumours whereas other studies do not. 

It is concluded that one should be careful using incidence data to dismiss results in analytical epidemiology. The IARC carcinogenic classification does not seem to have had any significant impact on governments’ perceptions of their responsibilities to protect public health from this widespread source of radiation. 

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden 

Professor A. Levis, oncologist and professor of Environmental Mutagenesis at the University of Padua (Italy) and member of the National Toxicology (1977-1985) and National Oncology (2008-2010) Commissions. He is also a founder and former president of the Association for the Prevention and Fight against Electrosmog, known as APPLE. www.applelettrosmog.it 

The Italian Supreme Court recognized that mobile phone use may induce head tumours 

During 2010-2011 we carried out a close examination of the protocols and results of epidemiological studies on head tumour risks for mobile phone (MP) users, and for each study we identified the elements necessary for evaluating its reliability. We also performed new meta-analyses of the literature data limited to subjects with MP latency time compatible with the progression of the examined tumours, and with analysis of the laterality of tumour localization corresponding to the laterality of MP use. 

Blind protocols, free from errors, bias and financial conditioning factors reveal a cause-effect relationship between MP use or latency and statistically significant increases (up to a doubling) of ipsilateral head tumour risk, with biological plausibility. Non-blind protocols, which instead are affected by errors, bias and financial conditioning factors, give systematic underestimate of such risks (up to an apparent, implausible protecting effect). 

Recently the Italian Supreme Court - Labour Section - Sentence (n.17438: 3-12.10.2012) recognized for the first time - with the support of the above results given by the plaintiff consultants, the neurosurgeon Dr. G. Grasso and myself - the association between professional MP use and the development of a trigeminal nerve neurinoma, leading to the compensation for the suffering of an 80% physical impairment. 

Dr. phil. nat. Daniel Favre is a biologist and beekeeper consultant and vice president of the ARA (Association Romande Alerte aux ondes électromagnétiques). He has worked as a molecular biologist with the hepatitis B and C viruses, and found a method that makes it possible to infect cell cultures with these viruses in vitro. In the last five years he has devoted himself to the bees and conducted independent studies to investigate the effect of electromagnetic radiation on the behaviour of bees.   www.alerte.ch 

Influence of electromagnetic waves on the behaviour of honeybees 

In recent years, reports of a global loss of honey bees have risen owing to increased colony collapse disorder (CCD), which results in the extreme and sudden break down of colonies with no previous evidence of disease or parasitic infestation. CCD has serious implications for the production of many fruits and vegetables, which rely on insect pollination. Mites, pesticides, reduced immunity, bacterial and viral infections, genetically modified agricultural products and farming practices are suspected of playing a role in the disappearance of entire colonies. 

According to reports in scientific journals and the media at large it is possible that mobile phones may also be contributing to this threat, since bees have difficulty in finding home when base stations for cordless phones are installed near colonies. Microwaves could therefore be partially responsible for the CCD syndrome. 

The potential effects of the electromagnetic fields of conventional mobile phones for honeybees were consequently tested. Case studies showed that bees felt disturbed by the signals of actively communicating mobile phones when users were encouraged to send beeps. These observations suggest that the bees are sensitive to pulsed electromagnetic fields. Above all, loss of bee colonies is observed in those parts of the world (North America, Europe, Australia, South Brazil, Taiwan and Japan) where mobile phone use is widespread. This raises the question of whether the relationship between CCD and an intensive use of mobile phones can still be regarded as pure speculation (DOI: 10.1007/s13592-011-0016-x). 

Hans-U. Jakob is a retired electrical engineer and chairman of gigaherz.ch. He has been managing the Non-Ionizing Radiation Center of gigaherz.ch for the past 10 years. For 23 years Hans-U. Jacob headed a private engineering firm, thus acquiring extensive experience in emergency power supply systems for hospitals, ice rinks, fuel storage tanks and public water supply systems. Accomplishing his assignments he often had to coordinate these systems with the power grid. www.gigaherz.ch 

1000km of new high-voltage lines in Switzerland

Effects on our health and our landscape and the opportunities for laying these new lines underground. 

Why do we need high voltage grids? What type of magnetic fields do power lines generate? How far do these magnetic fields extend and under what circumstances? And what is their potentiality to affect the health of human beings? 

Plans are underway for 1,000 km of new high-voltage power lines in Switzerland, partly due to the ageing of the existing grid and partly to ensure the necessary energy transition. In order to protect the health of humans and animals and to preserve Switzerland‘s beautiful landscapes and historical heritage sites new power lines should be laid underground. The current methods of subterraneous installation are described and it is shown by how much they reduce magnetic fields. We will also show how power companies fight subterraneous installations employing every possible means to protect their profits. In two cases, Switzerland‘s High Court has already upheld two plaintiffs‘ demands for subterranean lines. These court cases are also highlighted. 

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