OVER five billion people use cell phones today. We are immersed in a sea of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by electrical and wireless devices in our homes, offices, schools, cars, restaurants – just about everywhere.
In Pegeia, as elsewhere in Cyprus, more and more cell phone antennas are popping up in neighbourhoods. Along with this mushrooming of antennas, public reaction is starting to grow too. The recent furore over the new antennas installed in the occupied north, near the British Bases in Dhekelia, has missed the point. Aside from flexing its muscles as an occupying power, Turkey is doing what happens in every community, as industry and government dismiss concerns about a lack of research on long-term exposure and the laxity of regulations.
There are dangers over possible health effects of this massive human experiment, without due care for the precautionary principle, which has been adopted in Europe. This principle calls for care when there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove public safety. The example of inadequate regulation of cell phones is not the first time the public has been subjected to a biological experiment without informed consent.
To understand how “electrosmog” has developed, there is a revealing study, published by the Canadian Government’s National Research Council last November*. This 26-page, peer-reviewed scientific report details concerns for public safety and suggests that we don’t know how much exposure people experience and that current regulations are inadequate. The “gold standards” of scientific research, replication and control groups, have been conveniently ignored. Background levels of electropollution have increased by many thousands of times in the last decade, making exposure to long-term, low-level radiofrequency radiation (RFR) difficult to quantify. Basically, as we’re all immersed in constant EMF pollution, there is no longer a control group to study!
Moreover, original studies from the 1950s, on which current legislation is based, were never replicated and industrial/military interests dominated that research. These standards, incredibly, are based on the “thermal effect”, i.e., RFR’s ability to heat tissue. This ignores non-thermal effects and long-term exposure from multiple sources. The current standards for Europe -International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection or ICNIRP – date back to 1998 and are based on whole-body exposure over very short durations (minutes) and not on long-term, low-level exposures such as affect people on a daily basis. These standards do not take into account that children are more susceptible to damage from cell phone radiation as it penetrates deeper into their skulls and their brains absorb far more energy than those of an adult.
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