Sleep Research Zurich - Residents block 'ugly' phone mast - Re: Dr. Cyril
Smith's paper (11/12/02)
Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens'
Sleep Research Zurich
Previous and Current Research
Signal analysis of the EEG. Mathematical modeling of sleep processes and
circadian rhythms. Topographic analysis of the EEG. Effects of pulsed
electromagnetic fields of type GSM on sleep and sleep EEG. Sleep and regional
cerebral blood flow assessed by PET (collaborative project with Clinic
of Nuclear Medicine). Sleep and EEG analysis in parkinsonian and pain
patients before and after stereotactic neurosurgery (collaborative project
with the Clinic of Neurosurgery), and in stroke patients (collaborative
project with Clinic of Neurology, University of Bern). Effects of rapid
transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on EEG topography during waking
and subsequent sleep (collaborative project with Psychiatric Neuroimaging
Group, University of Bern).
highest power in low delta range (< 2 Hz) during slow wave sleep alpha
activity (10 Hz) during slow wave sleep and waking (at 7 h) spindle frequency
activity (14 Hz) in nonREM sleep
Search for local and use-dependent features of sleep. More emphasis on
1. Achermann P., Borbély A.A.: (1998) Coherence analysis of the human
sleep electroencephalogram. Neurosci., 85: 1195-1208.
2. Achermann P., Kunz H.: (1999) Modeling circadian rhythm generation
in the suprachiasmatic nucleus with locally coupled self- sustained oscillators:
phase shifts and phase response curves. J. Biol. Rhythms, 14: 460-468.
3. Roth C., Jeanmonod D., Magnin M., Morel A., Achermann P.: (2000) Effects
of medial thalamotomy and pallido-thalamic tractotomy on sleep and waking
EEG in pain and parkinsonian patients. Clin. Neurophysiol. (in press).
Residents block 'ugly'
Friday, 6 December, 2002, 14:17 GMT
Local people feared a mast would spoil their view
Planners have blocked a proposed phone mast because residents of a picturesque
village feared it would be too ugly.
Council officers wanted to give the 50ft structure the go-ahead.
But public pressure forced them to scrap the plan after more than 300
people signed a petition against it and dozens sent letters of complaint.
Residents of Upper Clatford near Andover - one of Hampshire's most sought-after
locations - also had concerns over the possible health risks of living
near a mast.
Opponents have warned of a possible cancer risk from long-term exposure
to radiation emitted by the masts.
But phone operators say no link has ever been proved.
A recent study of phone masts near 100 schools found them all well below
international maximum recommended exposure guidelines.
Councillor Tony Jackson, chairman of the Test Valley Borough Council's
planning committee said: "The mast was rejected on visual amenity
grounds and because of the perceived health risk felt by local people."
Informant: Robert Riedlinger
Re: Dr. Cyril Smith's paper
Dear Klaus et al,
With regard to Dr. Cyril Smith's paper commenting on the Dolk studies
of FM/TV transmitters in the UK, please note the following clarification.
The Dolk studies employed no measurement of power density, but rather
rely on distance as a predictor of it. As anyone who has looked at radial
power density graphs knows, even the most simplified of reasonable calculation
methods produce a complex, rather wildly fluctuating density going out
from the transmitter base. Topographical characteristics as well as trees
and human structures in the way of the radiation further complicate power
density. Minimal radiation, though some ELF, appears near the base.
Dr. Neil Cherry PhD has pointed out in commenting on the Dolk studies
that there should be fewer biological effects nearest the base, greater
effects as one approaches the points at which the main beam touches earth
or structures, and fewer effects again out beyond the main beam. That
is exactly what Dolk et al found. Presuming that all organisms responded
the same way at the same power density levels, effects would fluctuate,
moreover, as wildly as levels do. Adding the further complexities of varied
outcomes, enormous differences between and within species, especially
human susceptibility, and then the sensitization phenomenon, where decreasing
levels of agent produce increasing reactions, we should generally expect
to see surrounding transmitting towers considerably affected persons and
animals near the main beam, and many lesser affected persons and animals
before and beyond it. The least affected groups should be furthest from
the tower. This is not only what Dolk found, what Cherry more precisely
identified in Dolk, and what has been observed internationally near transmitting
towers, but also the finding of a large body of related toxicology, where
power density levels are known, and cause-and-effect relationships established.
It is therefore necessary to speculate from the Dolk studies neither about
power density windows nor frequency windows; though these possibilities
certainly should be explored in the lab and in epidemiology.
Finally, Dr. Smith's postscript statement, "...[B]laming the leukaemias
on power levels does keep the paradigm within 'classical physics' where
there can be no effects" is imprecise and unfounded. Power
levels at the source are not relevant as are power density levels in the
environment, or atmosphere, around the exposed organisms. "Classical
physics", whatever may be meant by the term, has, unfortunately,
little relevance to biological mechanisms. Physicists do not hold expertise
in public health science matters. Dr. Smith would further have us believe
that a negative can be and has been proven. As Dr. Amar Bose, PhD, Professor
of Electrical Engineering at MIT says, "Never say never." Regardless,
the extant epidemiology and toxicology, however much more we would like
of it, is already voluminous. It shows that effects can and
do take place at the nanowatt/cm2-vicinity power density levels of the
Dolk studies, especially where exposure duration - the most important
variable, which Dr. Smith did not mention at all - is maximal.
Susan Clarke, MMOC