Sunday, 27 February 2011

Wireless Radiation: The Hidden Hazard

As we revel in the marvels of our hi-tech, wireless world, are we muffling the growing voices warning us of health and environmental dangers lurking behind these technological wonders. What scientists are finding should make us take pause before we continue to march headlong into a wireless future.
Wireless radiation is one of the most underrated and misunderstood health hazards on the planet today, in part because of its invisibility, in part its complexity, in part the indifference of medicine to its powerful effect, but also because media, our source of news, is now a wireless industry.
Humans have always been surrounded by an electromagnetic world, but this has been manipulated and intensified to almost "a trillion times greater than experienced by our ancestors 150 years ago." 
The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is made up of millions of frequencies and frequency bands. RF(radio frequency) and MW(microwave) frequencies is only one part of them, however, they comprise the most important band in our wireless communication network. Wireless products also employ the ELF band (extremely low frequency) of the EM spectrum to generate their signal. This is important because many studies demonstrate how utilizing this band of frequencies can disturb various mind/body connections. 
Products that utilize the electromagnetic RF/MW frequency bands are those that make up the presumed technological necessities of our modern world; everything from radio, TV transmitters, radar, cellular technologies such cell phones and towers, cordless phones, wi-fi, and now wi-max and smart meters. In only a short span of ten years we have become dependent on the conveniences these products bring. However, these conveniences may have a downside risk, an issue rarely discussed in media and public circles. We are covering our planet in a haze of electrosmog from a host of wireless radiation devices, that is increasingly showing its effect not only on human populations, but plants, animals and even the climate. We are emerging into a world where of biology and physics are codependent--a world to which our institutions, scientists and the public agencies have too long turned a blind eye.

Disturbing the Earth's Natural ElectroMagnetic Blanket
Although EM waves of different frequencies and magnitude exist in our planetary environment, most manmade EM waves are significantly stronger than those encountered in nature. The earth has evolved in the virtual absence of natural RF/microwave radiation, and "it is possible that its environmental absence has been exploited by nature to ensure that regulation of our body's natural processes are protected from external deleterious electromagnetic interference." That may be why the regulation of our muscular activity and cellular division processes actually naturally oscillate at the RF/MW bandwidth frequencies, because natural background radiation has, in the past, been too small to interfere. 
Besides the body using microwave frequencies to support various biological functions, the brain is tuned into another set of natural background frequencies. These are Schumann Resonance (SR) frequenicies from 0 to 50 hertz. Instead of being in the RF/MW frequency band, they reside in the ELF frequency band. SR frequencies reside between the earth's surface and the ionsphere. The daily cycles and emotional functions of our lives are guided by SR frequencies. Everything from our sleep/ wake cycles to creative and cognitive tasks, relaxation to states of anxiety are activated by this band of frequencies. 
Recently a few scientists have observed we may be altering this band of frequencies. Where once the strongest or base frequency was about 7.8 hertz, inside the "alpha" band, it is now rising to about 11 hertz, close to the "beta" band. This is important because 7.8 hertz is the center of the brain's alpha wave (7 to 12 hertz) activity where the mind generates its greatest capacity for creativity, mental coordination, calmness, inner awareness, and learning. If the base SR wave continues to rise, it will cross the threshold into beta activity, which is--at some levels is associated with alertness and anxiousness, but at other levels with a lack of focussed attention. 
Scientist critical of the wireless industry's indiscriminate growth have long known how man-made RF/MW frequency signals can interfere with the body. The process is called "frequency coupling" or resonance. The theory concludes, "When a material (the body) is activated by interaction with another source of energy (RF/MW signal) at the same resonant frequency, a more powerful and intensive response occurs. If energy is pulse-modulated... a significant change can be created in the codes of the human body." 
Such changes can possibly result in a cascade of other biological changes. It is for these reasons when wireless industry makes claims that wireless installations will be "low powered," hence the electromagnetic radiation emitted will be too weak to cause harm, the public needs to wary of such conclusions.
A French satellite mission recently examined whether the vast array of high-voltage electromagnetic transmission facitlities on earth may actually be having an effect on our climate. What they have discovered so far should make all global warming theorist take notice. The satellite data has revealed much higher electrical disturbances and increased temperatures high above, and directly in line with the areas of the earth where many high powered transmission facilities are located. The scientists speculate that these high electrical disturbances and higher temperatures in the vicinity of the transmitters may be contributing to rising lightning activity and great tropical storms on earth, all important indicators of a warming earth. 

What the Health Studies Tell Us
The RF/MW health studies are revealing the price we are paying in good health and well being by our massive manipulation of the global electromagnetic spectrum..
Scientist have long observed how manmade EM-RF radiation alters biological processes. Scientific studies have shown that wireless radiation affects everything from cellular functions, to general well being, to more critical end-point diseases.
Many studies have shown how populations within a certain vicinity to various RF/MW transmitters have experienced an increase in illness symptoms and direct loss of general health. Symptoms reported and observed showed greater sleep disturbances, increased fatigue, more depression, greater blood pressure problems, hearing impairment, greater nervousness, dizziness, decline in concentration, ringing of the ears, reduced learning abilities, attention deficits, and reduced motor skills. 
Two studies examining solely the influence of cell tower exposures showed illness symptoms were more prevalent 100 meters or less from the tower, and found women experienced more of these symptoms than men. 
Two animal studies of cattle residing near high-powered wireless transmission facilities showed higher micronuclei counts and reduced melatonin levels. Micronuclei are indicators of compromised immune factors and precursors to cancer. 
Several plant studies have shown abnormalities in plant growth, from incremental reduction in tree ring growth to shorter life spans. 
Three large overseas population studies examining the effects of TV tower RF radiaiton on certain types of luekemia incidence found an increased risk for those residing within 3.5 kilometers from the transmitters. 
A multitude of laboratory studies have revealed how cell phone RF radiation impacts and penetrates cellular growth and division processes, which could ultimately be linked with more acute and chronic diseases. The studies have shown DNA damage, increased micronuclei formation, activation of stress proteins, and disruption in calcium exchange processes. EM -RF frequencies has also revealed breaks in the blood/brain barrier, a barrier which keeps toxins from entering the brain. Breaking the blood/brain barrier could contribute to an increase in the development of Alzheimer and other neurological diseases. Cell phone usuage has also been observed to increase blood pressure. 
Three large human studies in Europe over the last five years reported increases of 20% to 80% in brain tumors for those people using cell and cordless phones longer than ten years, and almost four times greater for those using wireless phones over 15 years. Two studies showed an increase in a particular deadly form of brain cancer, glioma. 
Several live controlled studies discovered how RF cell phone frequencies damage male sperm in mice and humans, cause cardiac changes, and increase allergic reactions to common air pollens. One of the sperm studies revealed damage to the mitochondrial genome. 
Studies assessing the health of workers in occupations with high electromagnetic fields, such as radio broadcast workers, radar workers, and electrical workers, revealed a distinct higher incidence of certain illnesses. Observed were greater risk for Parkinson, Alzheimers, MS among those workers, as well reduced sperm counts and significant higher blood pressure incidence. 
Although the public is not exposed to such high fields on a daily bases, it is plausible that sensitive and more vulnerable sectors of our population could become afflicted by the same illnesses and symptoms at lower but still potent intensities of electromagnetic fields.

Why Are We Not Being Protected?
We are not immune to the tampering of the earth's electromagnetic spectrum without a corresponding effect on our health. One may ask with all this evidence of harm, why wireless products and transmitters have been allowed to flourish with so little oversight and warning. What we have witnessed in the last ten years is a total accretion of power by the telecommunicatons giants and the military over the federal regulatory and RF research programs of this country. Through death by a thousand cuts, a once robust federally funded, peer reviewed EM radiation health research program has been almost totally dismantled.
In its place is a team of Telecom/military heavyweights ready to unleash a force of PR professionals and scientific experts in order to silence, discredit and prove to the contrary any independent research reporting the harmful effects of wireless technology. 
The situation has become so egregious that it prompted an independent researcher from UW to examine the funding sources of over 200 RF/MW studies. His findings revealed a 50/50 split between RF/MW studies indicating harm and no harm. However closer scrutiny indicated that 75% showing no harm were funded and influenced by industry and military. The near reverse held true for the 50% which were independent or publicly financed. Over 75% of those indicated harmful effects from RF/MW radiation.
With the wireless telecom companies controIling media and news sources, is it any wonder the consumer/citizen is in the dark and confused as to the truth of this technology's powerful effect on health?
The situation becomes increasingly deleterious in the wake of all the new wireless products flooding the market. Although health hazards of cell phone frequencies have been extensively investigated, a lot of unanswered questions still remain on a host of older and newer wireless frequencies & technologies, such as wifi, wi-max; various transmitting facilities, cell antennas and towers, and new TV digital broadcast frequencies. The need for research free of industry/military influence has become increasingly imperative.
While Europe and other overseas nations have fared better against the influence of these giants, they too are beginning to feel the effects these forces on their health regulatory and research programs. The rising concern has prompted a team of Swiss preventive medicine physicians to issue the following statement in a recently published paper reviewing findings from 59 studies on the health effects of cell phone use based on funding sources. The finding was that "studies exclusively funded by industry were indeed substantially less likely to report statistically significant effects on a range of end points that may be relevant to health.... The interpretation of results from studies of health effects of radio frequency radiation should take sponsorship into account" 

What Can we as Citizens Do to Protect Ourselves?
Industry influence is one of the main concerns that scientists signing the Benevento Resolution want to address. Drafted in Italy in 2006 by 31 prominent scientists, the resolution advocates practicing precaution in the absence of certainty. Specific recommendations include "promoting alternatives to wireless technologies, limiting cellphone use by young children, and designating wireless-free zones in cities and public buildings." 
The Resolution also recommends the "use of computer mapping technologies to inform public of possible wireless exposures," and proposes that any "new wireless access system [e.g. Wi-Fi, WIMAX, broadband over cable or power-line or equivalent technologies] should require public review of potential EMF health effects." 
Additional public action should take into account the gaps in our present knowledge and inequities of federal law. Important priorities should redress the industry bias present in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and resume a strong publicly funded, peer reviewed RF health research program. On the same line local bodies should strongly consider initiating a regional RF health research program of their own, and implementing a major source-monitoring program of RF/MW emissions, rather than leaving that privilege to the wireless industry.
"We don't have to wait on governments to protect us. We can take steps now to minimize our exposure to EMFs and RF radiation At the same time, we can begin to ask ourselves as individuals and societies whether new technological innovations truly make life better in meaningful ways.... Thoughtful choices... can help us find our way through the electronic smog to a future in which technology serves us well without compromising our health. And public concern is a powerful force for change." 

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