The European Difference
In an article for GQ Gentlemen’s Quarterly (Feb. 2010), Christopher Ketcham writes, “The concern about Wi-Fi is being taken seriously in Europe. In April 2008, the national library of France, citing possible ‘genotoxic effects,’ announced it would shut down its Wi-Fi system, and the staff of the storied Library of Sainte-Genevieve in Paris followed up with a petition demanding the disconnection of Wi-Fi antennas and their replacement by wired connections. Several European governments are already moving to prohibit Wi-Fi in government buildings and on campuses, and the Austrian Medical Association is lobbying for a ban of all Wi-Fi systems in schools, citing the danger to children’s thinner skulls and developing nervous systems.” The Austrian city of Saltzburg removed Wi-Fi from its schools in 2007. Ketcham reports that in Spain, Ireland and Israel, sabotage and attacks on cell phone transmission towers have become “a regular occurrence.”
In June 2009, the Parliament of Liechtenstein ordered cell phone companies to limit EMR power density levels to those recommended by the BioInitiative Report. According to the Victoria-based Citizens Against Un-Safe Emissions website (www.causetm.ca), when the cell phone companies threatened to leave the country, “Parliament countered by saying that if they did, the government would take over their operations and lease them to complying companies.”
In a recent paper entitled “A Tale of Two Countries,” Dr. Magda Havas notes that Switzerland is now providing free fibre optic connections to schools through the Swiss government’s telecommunication provider, Swisscom. The Swiss guidelines for microwave radiation exposure to the public are 100 times more stringent than Canada’s. China’s are thousands of times more stringent.
GQ’s Christopher Ketcham memorably states: “The only honest way to think of our cell phones is that they are tiny, low-power microwave ovens, without walls, that we hold against the sides of our heads.” More than 22 million Canadians have cell phones, in what is now a $17 billion industry in Canada.
Warnings for children
According to Dr. Havas’ research, health officials in various countries have issued warnings for children to limit their use of cell phones: United Kingdom (2000), Germany (2007), France (2008), Russia (2008), India (2008), Toronto Public Health (2008), Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (2008), Belgium (2008), Israel (2008), Japan (2008), Finland (2008), South Korea (2009), and the US Federal Communication Commission (2009). Following the release of the Interphone Study (see page 9), the European Union is funding a new study to investigate the risk of brain tumours among children and teens using cell phones.
New research has revealed that the use of cell phones within a metal enclosure (car, train, subway, streetcar, bus) increases radiation exponentially, not only because of metal’s properties, but because the phone sporadically powers-up in a moving vehicle to reach each new transmitter en route.
On Nov. 22, a packed hall at the University of Toronto heard Dr. Havas and Dr. Devra Davis address wireless issues. Canada’s guidelines on microwave radiation “are among the worst in the world,” Havas told the crowd, and she predicted that by 2017, some “50 percent” of the population of Canada will have developed electrical sensitivity, “which is escalating.”
Dr. Devra Davis is the author of the newly released book Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done To Hide It, and How To Protect Your Family (Dutton, 2010). Davis reminded the audience that “We are up against a multi-billion-dollar industry,” which has “fostered confusion” about the issues. “Science is used as a form of public-relations,” she said, resulting in “doubt creation.” Her book explores a number of instances in which important microwave/health research has been stopped, distorted, or suppressed. She includes chilling scientific reports about EMR causing broken strands of DNA and breaching of the blood-brain barrier, which would allow the body’s stored toxins to enter the brain. “It’s not the power that’s the issue, it’s the pulsed signal,” she said.
Davis informed the crowd that scientists in 1996, in coming up with ways to estimate exposures from cell phones, invented SAM, or “Standard Anthropomorphic Man” – weighing in at 200 pounds, standing 6 feet two inches tall, with an ll-pound head, and making only six-minute phone calls. SAM is the measure by which cell phone safety is still determined, said Davis. Meanwhile, “We are in the midst of an unprecedented biological experiment.” Holding up her entwined fingers, Dr. Davis said, “Industry Canada, Health Canada, and [the wireless] industry are like this.”
On Dec. 6, Vancouver’s Wavefront technology hothouse – a joint venture by government and industry housed at UBC – received $11.6 million in federal money from Industry Minister Tony Clement to make BC “the centre of excellence” for Canadian wireless research and development. The goal of the funding is to spawn 150 new wireless companies and “take wireless innovation and commercialization to the next level.”
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