Educating people about the dangers of EMR

Hi Andrew

Is this video any help in educating people about the dangers of EMR?

[Animation of the Inner Life of a Cell]



Thanks Martin,

It's a great video and shows in graphic detail what really goes on inside cells. In a sense, it's quite scary with what looks like monster robots clambering around. However, most of what they do depends on electrostatic attractions between molecules and we upset these at our peril.

By the way, did you see my response to the PC World article on WiFi and tree damage. It is on my Facebook wall, but surprise surprise PC World did not post it. I will paste it in below. It may be useful since it is a brief summary of what I believe are the main mechanisms underlying tree damage by by mobile telecommunications. Please feel free to use it as you see fit.

Best wishes

P.S. I have just come back from walking the dogs in a local park with a large Vodafone tower in the corner. Many trees are dead or dying and others have not dropped their leaves this year; they are brown and dead but still firmly attached. This is a sign that their "body clocks" have been disrupted since leaf fall is normally an active response to short days. Since their immune systems are also controlled by their body clocks, the outlook is not good for them either.

Andrew Goldsworthy

Many people make the mistake that the only way non-ionising radiation from Wi-Fi and mobile phones can damage living cells is due to its heating effect. If this were true, everything would be fine, but sadly it is not.

Most of the damage is done by a direct electrical effect on cell membranes, which can occur at signal... strengths that are thousands of times lower. The bulk of the damage is done, not by the microwaves themselves but by the sudden stops and starts of the signal when it is modulated to carry the digital information.

This jerks free some of the calcium ions that normally stabilise cell membranes so that they leak. Leaky membranes can give all sorts of unwanted biological effects, both on animals and plants. See http://tinyurl.com/34gvn29

Another effect is on the pigment cryptochrome, which occurs in both animals and plants as part of the biological clocks that control our natural body rhythms. Cryptochrome works by flipping an electron back and forth between two parts of the molecule causing the temporary generation of free radicals, which makes it extremely sensitive to magnetic fields and radio waves.

Some animals such as birds and insects have tweaked it to be sensitive to the direction of the earth's magnetic field for navigation, but for most of us, it's just part of our internal clocks. For example, living near a cell tower can disrupt our sleep patterns, making it harder to sleep at night and feel more tired during the day (don't sleep next to a Wi-Fi router or DECT base station either).

Plants too have rhythms that control, amongst other things, their immune systems. If these rhythms were to be disrupted by radio waves, at no time could the immune system function it maximum efficiency and the plant would become more susceptible to disease.

Plants also use their biological clocks to measure the length of the day to control photoperiodic responses such the time of flowering and the dropping of leaves in the fall. One thing you can look out for this winter is to see how many trees around WiFi antennas and cell towers have not dropped their leaves this year.

Andrew Goldsworthy
Lecturer in Biology (retired)
Imperial College London

Informant: Martin Weatherall


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