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

17 November 2015

Risks, regulations and liability around exposing other people to wireless technology EMF radiation – Part 1: Presentation by Dr. Priyanka Bandara

Cancer cells associated to
RF-EMR exposure
Risks, regulations and liability around exposing other people to wireless technology EMF radiation – Part 1

Dr Priyanka Bandara – Health researcher/educator, former academic clinical researcher/molecular biologist, Advisor to Environmental Health Trust USA and Doctors for safer Schools

Biological and Health Effects of EMR with a summary of some key findings

Dr Priyanka Bandara spoke about the biological effects of ‘low-level’ microwaves. She commented that the Russians were the pioneers when it comes to documenting the biological effects of this type of radiation. When considering the bioeffect we must realise that we ourselves are bioelectrical beings in which the cells have delicate electrical functions. Also the brain has much electrical activity, so it is logical to expect that the exposure to electricity or radiation from outside sources can have an effect on these. Our cells have to do 1000s of chemical reactions and it is evident that these processes are affected by EMR.

Non-thermal biological effects of RF-EMR confirmed in cell culture studies (in vitro), Animal studies (in vivo) and populations studies (epidemiology)
Genotoxic effects (DNA damage)
Cell membrane damage
Oxidative Stress
Immune dysfunction
Sperm damage
Neuro-behavioural effects
Hormonal and metabolic disruption
Cancer promotion

Dr Bandara commented that there were now over 100 peer-reviewed studies showing DNA damage from RF-EMR exposure and we can no longer ignore that cells are affected by non-ionising radiation.

Elisabeth Diem et al, demonstrated in her research called ‘Non-thermal DNA breakage by mobile-phone radiation (1800 MHz) in human fibroblasts and in transformed GFSH-R17 rat granulosa cells in vitro’ that cells exposed to radio frequency radiation produced very comparable effects on the cell as cells exposed to gamma radiation.

Dr Bandare stressed upon the audience the evidence in available research showing that RF-EMR can cause:
- damages cell membranes,
- disrupts voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC)
- disrupt the blood brian barrier
- damage human sperm
- Low fertility
- Increased risk of genetic defects in future generations
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
- increased risk of testicular cancer
- affect foetal and early childhood development
- alter brian development and behaviour
- neurological symptoms
- increase brain cancer risk (+100%) when using a mobile phone >10 years

Behavioral problems caused by radiation exposure

When it comes to behavioural problems, Dr Bandare brought the attention to a study done by Divan et al, showing Pre- and Post natal exposure to cell phones was associated with higher risk of behavioural problems and hyperactivity in children (full report). This was a study done involving over 13,000 mothers and children! Also another study by Aldad TS et al showed that Pre- and post natal exposure to cell phones caused structural and functional deficits in the brain of mice, and brought on ADHD like behavior, which is needless to say interesting when our society is finding a massive increase in the amount of children and families battling this issue. Also military reports of health effects that soldiers experienced were of interest (page 20, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards: A Review, US Air Force Materiel Command, New York, 1994), but the comment was made that the levels experienced by these soldiers can now typically be found in wirelessly enabled environments.

“Some of the health disturbance disappears immediately…”

Data from the Bamberg Doctors’ Report in 2005, which was signed by 175 GPs, investigated 356 patients and reported on the symptom experienced by those with exposure to RF radiation in their homes. It reported that the list of symptoms was extensive even at, what was considered, very low levels (<10µW/m2). Symptoms reported were:

“Sleep disturbances, tiredness, disturbance in concentration, forgetfulness, problem with finding words, depressive mood, ear noises, sudden loss of hearing, hearing loss, giddiness, nose bleeds, visual disturbances, frequent infections, sinusitis, joint and limb pains, nerve and soft tissue pains, feeling of numbness, heart rhythm disturbances, increased blood pressure episodes, hormonal disturbances, night-time sweats, nausea.” and it commented that “It is no way only a subjective sensitivity disturbance. Disturbances of rhythm, hearing problems, sudden deafness, hearing loss, loss of vision, increased blood pressure, hormonal disturbances, concentration impairments, and others can be proved using scientific objective measures.“

It was also important to realise that it also indicated that symptoms disappeared immediately when the sources of the radiation were removed or radiation shielding was applied.
Increased cases of cancer near Radio/TV and Mobile phone transmitters (phone towers)

Dr Priyanka Bandara then elaborated on the research available in regards to transmitter towers (Radio, TV and cell phone towers) and their link to increase cases of cancer. There are many studies that confirm this, here are some:

CountryRF-EMR research findings
USAIncreased childhood cancer near radio/TV tower San Francisco – Full Report
Increased childhood leukaemia in Hawaii (Maskarinec, G., Cooper, J. 1993)
UKIncreased cancer near radio/TV towers
“The risk of adult leukemia within 2 km was 1.83”
Oxford Journals
AustraliaDecreased Survival for Childhood Leukemia in Proximity to Television Towers
Bruce Hocking & Ian Gordon
“The 5-yr survival in the inner ring (4km radius) of municipalities was 55%, and in the outer ring (4-12km radius) was 71% (i.e., subjects in the inner ring were 23% less likely to survive than those in the outer ring); at 10 yr, survival in the inner and outer rings was 33% and 62%, respectively.”
Read abstract
SwedenMelanoma Incidence and Frequency Modulation (FM) Broadcasting
Örjan Hallberg & Olle Johansson
“A correlation between melanoma incidence and the number of locally receivable FM transmitters was found. The authors concluded that melanoma is associated with exposure to FM broadcasting.”
Read abstract
GermanyIncreased cancer within 400m of MBS (Eger et al., Umwelt Medizin Gesellschaft 2004)
KoreaRadio-Frequency Radiation Exposure from AM Radio Transmitters and Childhood Leukemia and Brain Cancer
Mina Ha, Hyoungjune Im, Mihye Lee, Hyun Joo Kim, Byung-Chan Kim, Yoon-Myoung Gimm and Jeong-Ki Pack
“A total of 1,928 leukemia patients, 956 brain cancer patients, and 3,082 controls were analyzed. … The odds ratio for all types of leukemia was 2.15 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00, 4.67) among children who resided within 2 km of the nearest AM radio transmitter as compared with those resided more than 20 km from it.”
Read Abstract
BrazilMortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil
Adilza C. Dode et al
“Base Station (BS) clusters and deaths by neoplasia in the Belo Horizonte municipality have been identified. The mortality rate has been higher for the residents within an area of 500 m from the BS.” (Base Station means transmitter tower)
Read Abstract

Wireless communication radiation exposure, like Wi-Fi, can promote cancer

Not only are there many studies linking radiation exposure to possibly causing cancer, but there are also studies linking the exposure to RF-EMR to the promotion of cancer. A US study found low level exposure over 2 years to a frequency of 2.45Ghz (WiFi) caused 4 times more cancers in rates that were exposed to it. There immune system, hormonal function and metabolism were also affected. (Chou, CK., et al, Bioelectromagnetics, 1992)

The situation gets particularly alarming with studies also highlighting that thetumor promotion was worse at lower levels of exposure vs high levels of exposure. Meaning increasing you distance for from the sources of radiation a little might not be a good thing.

It is also clear that more developed areas of the world have far higher cancer rates than under developed countries.

3 to 5% of the world population expected to be Electrohypersensitive (EHS)

More and more people are experiencing symptoms when exposed to radiation and the severity can vary greatly. For those worst effected, their symptoms and experiences are nothing short of horrific. Dr Bandare brought the attention to some high profile individuals who fall into this catagory:

- Dr. Gro Bruntland, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) 1998 – 2003
- Dr. Alexander McDonald (CSIRO Melbourne) – Australia’s first worker compensation case – 2013
- Dr. Maree-Therese Gibson (Principle – Tangara Girls’ School)
- Prof. James McCaughan (Dept. Physics, University of Sydney)

Legal battles have been fought on the subject of Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) of which some recent ones are the case of Marine Richard in France who had the courts recognise her EHS as a disability which enable her to receive disability payments. Then there is the case of parents in the US suing the school over the allergic reactions experienced by their son when exposure to the school’s WiFi system.

It was mentioned by Dr Bandare that;
- the WHO does recognise electrohypersensivity (EHS) but has no established diagnosis for it.
- It is compensated for in Sweden as being a functional impairment
- most studies on the subject are poorly conducted
- the Austrian Medical Association has developed diagnosis guidelines for it
- as well as more recently, the diagnosis criteria from France (Prof. Dominique Belpomme, MD, PhD)

EHS symptoms can be considered similar to Acute Radiation Syndrome, about which the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention states the following:

Symptoms of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS)

- Symptoms of ARS may include nausea, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea. These symptoms start within minutes to days after the exposure, can last for minutes up to several days, and may come and go. If you have these symptoms after a radiation emergency, seek medical attention as soon as emergency officials determine it is safe to do so.
- After the initial symptoms, a person usually looks and feels healthy for a period of time, after which he or she will become sick again with variable symptoms and severity that vary depending on the radiation dose that he or she received. These symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly even seizures and coma. This seriously ill stage may last from a few hours up to several months.
- People who receive a high radiation dose also can have skin damage. This damage can start to show within a few hours after exposure or it may be delayed for several days. It can include swelling, itching, and redness of the skin (like a bad sunburn) or may be more severe and include blisters or ulcers.
- The skin may heal for a short time, followed by the return of swelling, itching, and redness days or weeks later. Complete healing of the skin may take from several weeks up to a few years.
- The time for skin to heal depends on the radiation dose the person’s skin received. People who receive a high radiation dose to all or part of the body also may experience temporary hair loss. It may take several weeks for the hair to grow back.

Source: US Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr Priyanka Bandara ended by praising the work of Dr Alice Steward (1906-2002) who highlighted that X-rays on pregnant women increased likelihood of cancer which was ridiculed by established medicine at the time. It took another 30 years for this to be recognised.


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