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13 September 2015

Environmental Illness Network Minnesota on Electromagnetic Field Radiation

Environmental Illness Network Minnesota  has an excellent newsletter on EMF, "The Weekly Buzz on EMF Radiation", a weekly roundup of news and opinions about EMF radiation and its environmental health implications.  To sign up for and view the EMF newsletter, click here.

Electromagnetic Field Radiation (EMF)

Common sources of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation exposures include: WiFi routers, cell phones, smart meters, cell phone towers, and baby monitors. Some devices emit radiation more frequently, and at higher levels, than others do.

On the one hand, these wireless technologies are convenient for many people and highly profitable for certain industries; and on the other hand they are harming people's health and can be torturous and/or disabling for those who are extremely sensitive to EMF.

For those who are not aware of when they are being harmed by EMF, it is sometimes hard to conceptualize how radiation from something as seemingly innocuous as a smart meter can be harmful.

Please check out some of the videos in the above EMF playlist so you can: see for yourself real people who have been harmed by EMF radiation, learn directly from scientists and doctors (who have been studying EMF radiation) how severely harmful they believe EMF radiation is, see people recording how high the radiation levels near some of these technologies actually are, and learn about some of the ways a growing number of people around the world are trying to protect themselves from health harmful radiation exposures.

Research, Research, Research

A helpful resource for finding EMF scientific research is the BioInitiative Report, which was assembled by a group of scientists and doctors from around the world who are extremely concerned about the health harm being caused by EMF radiation. You can also check out some of the articles, studies, and other links that have been bookmarked under the following tags:

Cell Phones
Smart Meters
Smart Grid
Minnesota EMF
Minnesota Smart Meters
Minnesota Smart Grid

EMF Exposure May Harm People in a Variety of Ways

Some of the health conditions that may be linked to, or worsened by, EMF exposure include:
Brain Cancer
Breast Cancer
Lower Sperm Levels

Children and fetuses are believed to be especially sensitive to the effects of EMF. There arechilling images that show how cell phones affect children's brains. The American Academy of Pediatricians is so concerned about children being harmed by EMF radiation that it has endorsed cell phone safety legislation.

Animals and plants may be affected by EMF as well.

Some Countries Provide More Protection from EMF Radiation than Do Others

Some countries have significantly more health protective EMF regulations than others do. Many informed (non-industry paid) scientists believe that the United States' EMF regulations are out-of-touch with current science, and insufficient to protect human health.

There is some indication that the FCC may finally make some changes with respect to regulating radiation from cell phones, but concerns have been raised about whether new standards will be based on science and human rights; or based on what is profitable for big businesses.

In 2012, the European Parliament, because it is concerned about the human rights of disabled people, urged its Member States to immediate help those with severe EMF sensitivities:

B. Whereas multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) patients are vulnerable to environmental pollution and electrohypersensitivity (EHS) patients to electromagnetic radiation, both involving serious risks in several areas over which they have no influence, such as the air they breathe and exposure to EM radiation;

1. Recommends that Member States that have not yet done so include MCS and EHS in their own ICDs and in their ILO-based Lists of Occupational Diseases; suggests that the WHO Assembly include MCS and EHS in its upcoming ICD-11;

2. Urges Member State governments to apply existing rules on EM radiation and exposure to harmful substances and to apply the precautionary principle strictly, with effective health and environmental measures, in order to immediately protect those affected, whose number is growing exponentially.

Industries "Game" EMF "Science" to Increase Profits

Unfortunately, thus far, deep-pocketed industries have been very successful in preventing Americans from being protected from health hazardous EMF radiation-emitting products. James F. Tracy, in the article "Looming Health Crisis: Wireless Technology and the Toxification of America," reported:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ceased studying the health effects of radiofrequency radiation when the Senate Appropriations Committee cut the department’s funding and forbade it from further research into the area.[5] Thereafter RF limits were codified as mere “guidelines” based on the EPA’s tentative findings and are to this day administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). ...

The FCC’s authority to impose this standard was further reinforced with the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that included a provision lobbied for by the telecom industry preventing state and local governments from evaluating potential environmental and health effects when locating cell towers “so long as ‘such facilities comply with the FCC’s regulations concerning such emissions.’”

In March 2005, the University of Washington Alumni Magazine reported on how industry money is skewing EMF radiation "science." At that time, there had been about 200 studies conducted on the biological effects of cell phone radiation. The article reported:

If you put all the ones that say there is a biological effect on one side and those that say there is no effect on the other, you'd have two piles roughly equal in size. The research splits about 50-50.

"That, in and of itself, is alarming," [Henry] Lai says. But it's not the whole story. If you divide up the same 200 studies by who sponsored the research, the numbers change.

"When you look at the non-industry sponsored research, it's about three to one-three out of every four papers shows an effect," Lai says. "Then, if you look at the industry-funded research, it's almost opposite-only one out of every four papers shows an effect."

The problem, he adds, is that there is no longer funding available in the United States that isn't attached to the industry. Lai, for one, refuses to take any more industry money.

"There are too many strings attached," he maintains. "Everyone uses the analogy of the tobacco industry and what happened there. It's like letting the fox watch the henhouse." While the FDA administers cell phone radiation studies, the money comes from the industry, he adds.

It has been suggested that the results of one of the largest studies on cell phone radiation risks, the Interphone Study, was manipulated to promote telecom industry financial interests.

And now the FCC (the U.S. agency responsible for regulating the cell phone industry) is being led by Tom Wheeler, a telecom industry lobbyist who has been accused of suppressing EMF health risk information.

Human Rights Are at Stake

Of particular concern for those who care about human rights are the growing number of places where utility corporations seeking higher profits (by firing human meter readers and replacing them with radiation-emitting smart meters) are not only being allowed to forcibly install radiation-emitting smart meters on peoples' private homes, but some corporations are also being assisted by police officers in these health harmful coercive activities. In some communities where the local governments are supporting smart meter installation in a strong-armed manner, concerns about regulators having conflicts of interest have been raised. Smart meters have also been reported to emit so much radiation that they have negatively affected the health of neighbors, as well as residents, of the homes to which they are attached. This may make it impossible for many individuals to "opt-out" of having their human rights violated without the assistance of their entire community. Fortunately, there are some local governments that are stepping up and actually protecting their residents' health.

"Smart Meters" Are Not Smart

Well-informed (non-industry linked) observers say the PR about many of the supposed benefits of smart meters (other than them helping corporations profit from firing employeesand from selling consumers' private data) is highly misleading. Ironically, smart meters are being funded, in part, by taxpayer dollars intended to help stimulate job growth! Besides not living up to much of their hype and harming health, smart meters are said to create a national security risk, violate Americans' core privacy rights (which were supposed to have been protected by the Constitution), and waste taxpayers' money that could have been spent onwiser, safer, and more sustainable technology. One major U.S. utility has admitted that "there is no rational basis for this technology choice."

Decrease Your EMF Exposure

Since most Americans are getting insufficient protection from EMF radiation exposure, here are a few things that you can do on your own to help reduce your exposure to radiation:
- Check out the list of "10 Things You Can Do to Reduce the Cancer Risk from Cell Phones."
- Check out AntennaSearch.com to find out where cell phone towers are located so you can try to avoid spending significant amounts of time close to them.
- Before you get your next cell phone, check out CNET's list of lowest radiation-emitting phones.
- Go back to using wired internet connections. Preferably keep your wireless router turned off all of the time, but at least keep it turned off when you are not using it.
- Opt out, if you can, of having smart meters installed on your home.

If you would like help decreasing radiation levels in your home, there are inspectors and consultants you can find to do EMF testing and provide advice about how to minimize exposures. For do-it-yourselfers, there are places (like LessEMF.com) where you can buy EMF testing equipment.

Keep Up with EMF News

The Weekly Buzz on EMF Radiation provides a weekly round-up of EMF news and opinions.

If you are on Pinterest, you can follow our "Everyday Radiation" board to get EMF news.

If you are concerned about the new EMF radiation emitting meters that Xcel Energy is installing on homes around the Twin Cities, consider joining our community and our community discussion about the meters.

Members of Environmental Illness Network Minnesota can also join or start discussions about other EMF-related concerns in the EMF Discussion area or in the Minnesota Concerns Discussion area on this website.

You can also find resources and information about Minnesota EMF issues on the Safe Technology Minnesota website. Safe Technology Minnesota is a non-profit with a mission to "educate the public about the health and environmental dangers of EMF (Electromagnetic Field) pollution and to enable individuals to protect themselves from detrimental technologies while advocating for the use of safer ones."

Note: Environmental Illness Network Minnesota does not necessarily agree with all of the information and opinions included in the above videos and linked sources, nor does it endorse any products, services, approaches, or organizations discussed therein. The videos and links are merely included for informational purposes. Please share your opinions about the information you found through this page in the comment area below.

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