a BAZARRE article that appeared in the Journal of Risk Research (5,pp 351-369,
2002) two Motoriola consultants Drs. Belzano and Sheppard warned that unless
the precautionary principle is "reformulated"for the telecommunications
industry it will lead to the end of Western civilization. (See Microwave
News article reproduced below).
of writing is dangerous and reminds me of a recent book by a US writer
on future 'fourth generational warfare'. The boys at Al Quada somehow
got wind of it and have since incorporated some of the suggested tactics
in their war against the Western Infidels.
reads Belzano and Sheppard's article will we see Al Quada take up the
precautionary principle as one of their weapons to bring down the hated
Saddam's secret labs have already formulated a powdered form of precautionary
principle that can be delivered by crop dusters or scud missiles.
Belzano and Sheppard's line of thinking should anyone who supports the
precautionary principle be rounded up as a suspected terriorist and be
given an indefinite stay at Guantanimo Bay?
they submitted their article to the Journal of Risk Research when the
Journal of Paranoid Delusions would have been a far better place for this
kind of stuff.
News, Nov/Dec, 2002, page 17)
Decline and Fall of Modern Society... Two longtime members of the RF community
have written a scathing attack on the precautionary principle, predicting
that unless reformulated it will lead to nothing less than the end of
Western civilization. Drs. Q. Balzano and Asher Sheppard characterize
the precautionary principle as "illogical, irrational and rife with
arbitrariness" and describe its application by the U.K. panel on
mobile phones chaired by Sir William Stewart as an "egregious"
example of how policy decisions can go awry "in a storm sea of choices."
Balzano and Sheppard, who are both consultants to Motorola, are especially
distressed that the Stewart committee advised that children should be
discouraged from using cell phones. "Because the [panel] misunderstood
key scientific knowledge and lacked definitive research data on outstanding
questions, fears of unknown risks were amplified unrealistically to generate
speculations about the health of children." they write. Balzano and
Sheppard call the application of ALARA-like rules to RF exposures from
wireless technology an "absurbity," and argue that "ALARA
is likely to fan public fears without demonstrable effects on disease
risks." ( ALARA stands for "as low as reasonably achievable.")
Instead, they favor the creation of "scientific fire bregades"
that would respond to public concerns under the guidence of government
science agencies and funded by the involved industry. They site with approval
the example of the cooperative agreement, or CRADA, between the CTIA and
FDA to investigate mobile phone health effects (see MWN, N/D99 and M/J01).
Balzano and Sheppard conclude their argument, which appears in the Journal
of Risk Research (5,pp.351-369, 2002), with this dire warning:
current efforts lead to its successful reformulation, the precautionary
principle could institutionalize excessive caution and thus deepen rather
than alleviate alarm from the doom-laden hypothetical risks called 'perceived
threats.' The resulting suppression on innovation and technical progress
would inevitably have disastrous effects on society, leaving it susceptible
to the decay that over time turns great civilizations into antique ruins."
would be a good idea to remind people on your mail list to register any
health effects they may be experiencing for cellphones, towers or antenna's.
This information will be important in the future.Registering can be done
online. egards Robert
from Robert Riedlinger
As you can see from below ranka has now given me permission to share her
case history. Is there anyway we can stop what lies ahead for her in the
psychiatric facility in Romania (where she is now living)? It it truly
tragic that her doctors won't believe her. I've only got a minute left
at this computer but I'm going to return to the library (I'm still in
Belfast)later this afternoon and will clean up and paste for you into
one email my correspondence with Ranka, so that her history profile reads
fairly clearly. Then will send it to you this eve. Hope you will post
it because some doctors (and scientists) might volunteer to get in contact
with her medical doctors and avert what horrendously inappropriate treatment
is awaiting her. And to think that her entire life is being destroyed
To: "Imelda O'Connor"
Subject: Re: seasons greetings etc.
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 17:02:11 +0100
I am going back to the hospital the day after tomorrow and it makes me
sick in my stomach. What a waste of life! Also, I am afraid of EM because
last year in the hospital I woke up on the 31st with EM of medium strength
and it lasted 2 months or so with decreasing intensity. I talked to one
doctor about it and he advised me not to tell the others or I would get
my information although I don't know how it can help. I will miss contact
with you but I hope to come out again in about 3 weeks and to have a letter
waiting for me.
From: "Imelda O'Connor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 7:04 PM
Subject: Re: seasons greetings etc.
I've just picked up your two messages. Plese let me forward them to people
in Germany I know who have been targeted with EMR. Try to get back to
me soonest. LOTS have been "framed" in this way. So have I.
I have electronic type tick ticking on and off in my righte earlope area
and get brain seizures when frequencies are revved up. Please allow me
to share what you have written to me. I can get you excellent support
from the best.
To: "Imelda O'Connor" <email@example.com>
Subject: seasons greetings etc.
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 16:41:10 +0100
I am still learning to use this computer and am not sure if my message
went through. My new e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org My first exposure
to EM was in England and later in America, Croatia,Kenya and Switzerland.
I believe that certain people at the BBC had something to do with it,
however schizophrenic it sounds. Something I heard voices and sometimes
not. I also heard voices regarding my work at the BBC and my boyfriend
there without the EM. For example, in Kenya, when I entered my room, that
same moment I felt EM. That was the strongest one I felt and the whole
night I walked around the reception desk in pain. It hurt less when I
walked. The next morning they took me to hospital. You may also be interested
that in late seventies I developed bad allergies to foods and scents.
best wishes for the New Year. Unfortunately, I cannot take my computer
to the hospital.
On US TV
on December 27th a special one-hour episode of "NOW with Bill Moyers"
was entitled "Kids and Chemicals: A Special Report on the Scientific
Searchfor Answers about how Environmental Toxins Affect America's Children"
I hope to
have the transcript available in the near future. Following is the press
release for the program.
ARE WE MAKING
OUR CHILDREN SICK?
KIDS AND CHEMICALS
A SPECIAL REPORT ON NOW WITH BILL MOYERS TRACKS THE SCIENTIFIC SEARCH
FOR ANSWERS ABOUT HOW ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS AFFECT AMERICA'S CHILDREN
Friday, December 27, 2002 9PM(ET) on PBS (check local listings)
It is a
medical mystery marked "urgent." Across America growing numbers
of children are suffering from asthma, childhood cancers like leukemia,
as well as learning and behavioral disabilities. Scientists are searching
for clues to the causes of these illnesses, and a growing body of research
suggests that everyday environmental toxins - what kids eat, drink, and
breathe - may put them at risk. Equipped with new technology and more
sophisticated analysis, these scientists are asking compelling questions
about the health risks to children growing up exposed to an ever-increasing
number of untested chemicals in our environment.
Chemicals, a special edition of NOW with Bill Moyers to be broadcast on
PBS, Friday, December 27 at 9 p.m. (ET), features medical investigators
and health officials engaged in the latest research on links between childhood
illness and environmental contamination. The program looks at families
around the country who are coping with the consequences to their children
of potentially toxic exposures.
disturbing increases in childhood illness in America cannot be ignored,"
says Bill Moyers. "How does the exposure affect children's health?
The new research is studying how chemicals enter the human body, and posing
questions that they could never ask before: Do chemicals affect children,
babies and unborn fetuses more than adults? What factors increase toxicity,
and how can we protect children from harm?"
Chemicals' producers Gail Ablow and Greg Henry go to Fallon, Nevada, a
small desert town that has had 16 recorded cases of childhood leukemia
in just five years. Alarmed, Dr. Mary Guinan, who was one of Nevada's
top health officials, called in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
to investigate the potential links between this childhood cancer and the
environment. Could toxic substances in water, food, air, schools, homes
or the ground in Fallon be responsible for this "cancer cluster"?
If so, which chemicals? Without clear evidence of a specific cause, everything
- from jet fuel emissions to pesticides to naturally occurring arsenic
in the water - is suspect.
and his team learn in Fallon, research on cancer clusters once focused
mainly on gathering environmental samples because investigators simply
didn't have tools sensitive enough to measure which toxins had been absorbed
into people. Dr. Richard Jackson, the director of the National Center
for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
explains how his laboratories are using the latest instruments. His research
scientists are using sophisticated blood and urine analysis to test for
minute traces of toxins in the bodies of the sick children and their families
is part of a larger movement in children's environmental health unfolding
nationwide. Dr. Phillip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
in New York City works with scientists around the country to understand
how kids are affected by exposure to chemicals. "Of the 3000 high
production volume chemicals in use in this country today, only 43% have
been even minimally tested," he tells Moyers. Only about 10% have
been thoroughly tested to examine their potential effects on children's
health and development."
with Landrigan, Moyers learns that children are potentially more vulnerable
to chemicals than adults. "First of all, they're more heavily exposed
pound for pound," says Landrigan. "They eat more food, they
drink more water, they breathe more air. Then, of course, kids play on
the ground. They live low, they put their hands in their mouth and so
they transfer more toxic chemicals into their body than we do."
to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Moyers' crew meets Dr. Linda
Sheldon of the Environmental Protection Agency's National Exposure Research
Lab. Sheldon demonstrates how her team of scientists is gathering evidence
of exposure to everyday chemicals in nursery schools, homes and daycare
In New York
City, a groundbreaking study led by Dr. Frederica Perera at Columbia University's
Mailman School of Public Health, follows more than 500 expectant mothers.
These women are wearing air quality monitors in backpacks to trap the
environmental toxins they breathe. As their children are born and as they
grow, Dr. Perera and her team will look for links between the chemicals
that the mothers were exposed to while their babies were developing in
the womb and asthma, cancer risk, and learning disabilities.
Steingraber, a biologist at Cornell University, joins Dr. Landrigan in
asserting that exposure during pregnancy doesn't, by itself, mean a child
will get ill. What matters is the intensity of the exposure and when it
occurs during fetal development. A chemical exposure occurring early in
pregnancy might cause a miscarriage, argue the researchers. If it occurs
later on, it might cause physical birth defects. Later still, it might
damage brain cells. Scientists are trying to precisely identify these
"windows of vulnerability." Says Dr. Steingraber: "Maybe
certain problems that we understand . . . as attention deficit disorders,
hyperactivity, the inability to pay attention, aggressive and violent
behaviors, might have their origins during those windows of vulnerability
during pregnancy and these questions are just being asked. Data is just
beginning to come in."
team at Columbia is also studying the way that chemicals can actually
bind to human DNA in the womb and form an "adduct." Work by
Dr. Perera has shown that the greater the number of adducts, the greater
the risk for cancer. "And that's the missing link in all of this,"
says Dr. Steingraber. "That's the link we're beginning to fill in."
the current studies in a public health policy context, Moyers revisits
the firestorm over lead research, recalling the revolutionary work of
Dr. Herbert Needleman, who correlated low-level lead exposure to lower
IQ's in children, in 1979. Twelve years later, Needleman's work was attacked
by the lead industry as it tried to protect its economic stake in lead
products. Ultimately, the validity of Dr. Needleman's work was fully vindicated,
and new public policy required unleaded gasoline and restrictions on lead
paint. And many scientists believe that, as a result, children's IQ scores
have risen, on average, three points. Yet, as Moyers points out, lead
remains the number one environmental threat to children's health; many
old houses and even many school buildings are still testing positive for
Missouri, lead contamination is a very current issue. The community has
been up in arms about the astonishingly high levels of lead to which their
families have been exposed because the town's primary industry, the Doe
Run lead smelter, failed to comply with EPA standards. "Doe Run played
a really good game," Robyn Warden, a mother, tells Moyers. "They
told people everything was under control and we were safe. And people
weren't educated enough to know any different. It took people actually
investigating lead to figure out that we were being lied to."
knows the importance of informed parenting. Even in a seemingly pristine
environment in rural New York, she knows there are possibilities of risk.
"Just because there are no smokestacks visible around us, just because
you live a long way from the source of these chemicals, doesn't mean that
nature won't bring them to you in some way," she says. A mother who
breastfeeds her infant son, Dr. Steingraber also realizes that she passes
toxins directly to her baby every time she nurses.
woman has uncontaminated breast milk on this planet," she states.
Dr. Steingraber tries to reduce her children's exposure at home by using
non-toxic products. "But we can't shop our way out of our current
situation," she warns. "We still need to take action. It's time
that our public policy takes action to get our kids out of harm's way."
unknown answers to many questions. Moyers reports on a proposed new project
called "The National Children's Study," which will track 100,000
children from the womb to age 18 if it receives full funding from Congress.
This long-term study may provide the definitive answers necessary for
new regulations and laws protecting children from exposure to toxins.
"Without conclusive science," Moyers says, "it is a constant
fight to protect children's health."
more about how scientists are studying environmental toxins and join the
ongoing discussion about the critical issues covered in NOW online at:
Chemicals was produced by Gail Ablow and co-produced by Gregory Henry.
Editor: Howard Sharp.
Associate Producer: Karla Murthy.
Executive Producer: Felice Firestone.
Executive Producer: John Siceloff; Senior Producer: Peter Bull;
Executives-in-charge: Judith Davidson Moyers and Judy Doctoroff O'Neill;
Executive Editors: Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers;
Supervising Producer: Sally Roy.
Bill Moyers is funded by PBS, the Kohlberg Foundation, Inc. and The John
D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding for this
program is provided by The Herb Alpert Foundation and The Bernard and
Audre Rapoport Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of
America Life Insurance Company.
is a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. for PBS, with contributions
from NPR News. NOW is a national presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York.
Director of Communications
Links (from Omega):
from Don Maisch (excerpt):
YEAR OF PRECAUTIONARY ACTION
begin our review of 2002, a year dominated by war and preparations for
war (a subject to which we will return). But first let's look at some
positive developments of 2002.
of precautionary action really took off during 2002. The groundwork was
laid in 1998 by the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN) which
has worked since then to embed the principle in everyone's thinking. See
RACHEL'S #586 and http://www.sehn.org.
it became apparent that SEHN's work has paid huge dividends. The precautionary
principle is catching on. The principle is simple enough: when there is
reasonable suspicion that harm is occuring or about to occur, we all have
a duty to take action to prevent harm even if some cause-and-effect relationships
have not been proven to a scientific certainty.
approach stands in stark contrast to "business as usual" which
dominates our culture and which says, "Do whatever you want until
someone can line up the dead bodies and prove that harm is occurring."
The precautionary principle is best summed up as "better safe than
sorry." As simple as it may seem, precautionary action represents
a completely different approach to the protection of human and environmental
collaborations or campaigns based on precautionary action developed during
is CHE, the Collaborative on Health and Environment, created by Michael
Lerner and his colleagues at Commonweal in Bolinas, California. The second
is the Environmental Health Campaign developed by Lois Gibbs and her colleagues
at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice in Falls Church, Va.
CHE - Collaborative
on Health and Environment
9 months, CHE has grown to include more than 350 organizations and individuals
committed to improving environment and health through precautionary action.
The only thing CHE members hold in common is a consensus statement, printed
below. Membership in CHE is free and without obligation.
web site is being developed now. Soon it will contain peer-reviewed statements
(and scientific documentation) indicating links between environmental
deterioration and asthma, brain cancer, breast cancer, childhood leukemia,
endometriosis, infertility, learning and behavior disorders, prostate
cancer, and testicular cancer, among others. To see the work in progress,
go to the CHE web site (http://www.cheforhealth.org)
and look in the "Science" section at the bottom of the first
page. The preliminary work is impressive. Here is the CHE consensus statement.
If you agree with it, why not join CHE?
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, c/o Commonweal, P.O.
Box 316, Bolinas, CA 94924. Email: email@example.com
for Environmental Health
centers on a platform statement that was developed during 2002 with the
participation of 80 leaders from grass-roots and national environmental
groups. Here is the most recent version of the platform:
Blueprint Ensuring our Safety And Future Economy
In the 21st
century, we envision a world where our food, water, air and land are clean
and safe, and our children grow up healthy and thrive. We can make this
world a reality. The tools we bring to this work are prevention, safety,
responsibility and democracy. Precautionary action is preventive medicine
for our environment and health. We support this approach because it makes
more sense to:
pollution instead of spending millions of dollars to clean up the mess;
our children, and avoid illness and suffering, rather than asking how
much damage from chemical exposure is acceptable;
** Use renewable,
sustainable technologies instead of depleting our resources; and
responsible parties restore damage, such as permanently cleaning up drinking
water poisoned by toxic dumps, instead of burdening communities with health
threats and expensive, short-term treatments.
a "better safe than sorry" approach motivated by caution and
prevention. We endorse the common-sense approach outlined in the Blueprint's
four principles listed below.
Warnings: Government and industry have a duty to prevent harm, when there
is credible evidence that harm is occurring or is likely to occur -- even
when the exact nature and full magnitude of the harm is not yet proven.
First: Industry and government have a responsibility to thoroughly study
the potential for harm from a new chemical or technology before it is
used -- rather than assume it is harmless until proven otherwise. We need
to ensure it is safe now, instead of being sorry later. Research to investigate
the impacts on workers and the public should be confirmed by independent
Democracy: Precautionary decisions place the highest priority on protecting
health and the environment, and help develop cleaner technologies and
industries. Government and industry decisions should be based on meaningful
citizen input and mutual respect (or the golden rule), with the highest
regard for those whose health may be affected rather than those with financial
interests. Independent science should inform public policy, and give the
public information to make decisions about threats and guarantee effective
safeguards and enforcement.
Safest Solution: Decision-making by government, industry and individuals
must evaluate alternatives, and require use of the safest, technically
feasible solution. We support innovation and promotion of technologies
and solutions that create a healthy environment and economy.
the precautionary approach to protect our health, environment and economy
for ourselves and for future generations. [End of platform statement.]
Health Campaign will unfold over the next two years. The immediate goal
is to have groups and individuals sign on to the platform and then, if
they choose to, participate in the campaign.
on to the platform, or to get more information about the campaign, contact
Anne Rabe (firstname.lastname@example.org), or:
Environmental Health Campaign, Center for Health, Environment and Justice,
P.O. Box 6806, Falls Church, Virginia 22040; phone: 703-237-2249;
RACHEL'S ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH NEWS #756
---November 14, 2002---
HEADLINES: THE YEAR OF PRECAUTIONARY ACTION
Environmental Research Foundation
P.O. Box 160, New Brunswick, N.J. 08903
Fax (732) 791-4603; E-mail: email@example.com
All back issues are on the web at: http://www.rachel.org