* Base Station Radiation Maps for the City of Ottawa, Canada - Changing Patterns of Disease: Human Health and the Environment - Internet Stokes Anti-War Movement - Big Brother is No Longer a Fiction, ACLU Warns in New Report (28/1/03)
Base Station Radiation Maps for the City of Ottawa, Canada


This series of maps show the pattern of power density in relation to the Safety Code 6 limits for selected areas of Ottawa. The data was acquired from a newly developed system which is capable of reading both power density from the base station and position information from GPS satellites, simultaneously.

Base stations are used to link cellular phone conversations from cell phone to cell phone or to a central office (to reach a land line). They are composed of several channels, which have individual transmitters emitting radiofrequency signals in various patterns. In the city, they only cover a short range and must be located near the areas of demand.

In Canada, Safety Code 6 specifies power density limits of 6 Watts per square meter for the analog band (824-894 MHz) and 10 Watts per square meter for PCS (digital)(1850-1975 MHz).

In response to the controversy and public concerns over the siting of cell phone towers, such as has happened in the City of Toronto, a need has arisen for mapping the power density levels from these towers in areas of concern.

Here are some selected areas in the city of Ottawa which have been surveyed and power density maps produced. In all cases the equipment has been mounted on the roof of a vehicle and measurements taken while driving the streets. Thus all power densities were measured approximately at head height.

Informant: Don Maisch message from Stewart Fist

Changing Patterns of Disease: Human Health and the Environment

Ted Schettler, MD, MPH

For most of us, genetic inheritance plays a limited role in determining our health. More important is where and how we live, work, and play-the quality of what we drink, eat, and breathe. From the time of conception, throughout development, and into early and late adulthood, environmental factors either directly impact biological tissues or influence gene expression and shape subsequent disease risks.

Although links between exposures to environmental contaminants and health impacts have been known for centuries, recent research documents an expanding list of previously unrecognized effects after fetal or infant exposures.(1) The developing fetus and child are particularly vulnerable to toxic insults. During this time cells are rapidly dividing, and growth is dramatic. Various events, including development of the brain and endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems, are uniquely susceptible to disruption that is often permanent. To compound the problem, pound for pound, children are often disproportionately exposed to toxic environmental agents because of the way they breathe, eat, drink, and play. Moreover, immature detoxification pathways in children frequently result in increased impacts of toxic exposures when compared to adults.

Small exposures to substances like lead, mercury, or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have no discernible impact on adults, can permanently damage the developing brain of a child, if the exposure occurs during a window of vulnerability. Early exposures to dioxin or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemicals from industrial activities that bioaccumulate in dietary fat, damage the developing immune system, making the child more prone to infections.(2) Risks of asthma and high blood pressure are increased by early environmental exposures.(3,4) Recent research from Sweden concludes not only that environmental factors play a more important role than genetic inheritance in the origin of most cancers, but also that cancer risk is largely established during the first 20 years of life.(5,6)

Technological developments have dramatically reduced mortality resulting from many diseases. In many instances, however, disease incidence is increasing, although for some conditions without standardized tracking mechanisms, trends are difficult to determine accurately. The burden from current patterns of disease and disability is enormous and extracts a terrible toll from individuals, families, and communities. Nearly 12 million children in the U.S (17 percent) suffer from one or more developmental disabilities, including deafness, blindness, epilepsy, speech defects, cerebral palsy, delays in growth and development, behavioral problems, or learning disabilities.(7) Learning disabilities alone affect 5 to 10 percent of children in public schools, and these numbers appear to be increasing.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder conservatively affects 3 to 6 percent of all school children, and the numbers may be considerably higher. The incidence of autism seems to be increasing, though much of this apparent increase may be due to increased reporting. The age- adjusted incidence of melanoma, lung (female), prostate, liver, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, testis, thyroid, kidney, breast, brain, esophagus, and bladder cancers has steadily increased over the past 25 years.(8) Some birth defects, including disorders of the male reproductive system and some forms of congenital heart disease, are increasingly common.(9,10) Sperm counts and fertility are in decline in some areas of the U.S. and other parts of the world.(11) Asthma is more common and more severe than ever before.(12) Genetic factors explain far less than half of the population variance for most of these conditions. Although smoking and sun exposure are well- recognized risk factors for some conditions, improved understanding of development of the brain and the immune, reproductive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems leads to the conclusion that other environmental factors play a major role in determining current patterns of disease.

To the limited degree that health care providers address environmental factors at all, most focus nearly all of their attention on personal behaviors, like smoking, substance abuse, or use of sunscreens. These are more easily addressed by individuals than more complex problems like air and water pollution, hazardous waste sites, agricultural systems that inevitably result in farmworker pesticide exposures, and mercury contamination of dietary fish. Global environmental conditions, however, are changing, along with the changing pattern of disease and disability, and our increasing understanding of the importance of environmental factors in determining the health of individuals and populations places a new and special responsibility on the medical profession.

Consider that:(13,14)

Over 6 billion people inhabit the planet, and reasonable mid-level estimates predict 9 to 10 billion by mid-century. Two-and-a-half more "earths" would be needed to support today's population if everyone were to use as many resources as Americans do on a per capita basis.

The release of ozone-depleting chemicals used for industrial and agricultural purposes has depleted the stratospheric ozone layer and is likely a major contributor to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma.

Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30 percent in the last 150 years. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Hazardous air pollution, in general, is the norm in most parts of the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

Humans are responsible for more atmospheric nitrogen fixation than all other sources combined. Nitrates contaminate groundwater, surface water, and air at toxic concentrations.

Humans are responsible for most of the mercury deposition on the surface of the earth. Mercury makes its way into the food chain, wher it bioconcentrates. In most states, freshwater and marine fish are sufficiently contaminated with mercury to require warnings to women of reproductive age to limit consumption because of risks to fetal brain development.

Large numbers of plant and animal species have been driven to extinction, and most marine fisheries are severely depleted. More than half the world's coral reefs are threatened by human activities.

In addition to naturally occurring products like lead and mercury that are mined from the earth, novel synthetic industrial chemicals contaminate the world's ecosystems, its human and non-human inhabitants, their breast milk and egg yolk, ovarian follicles, amniotic fluid, and meconium. The toxicity of most is little known.

Of the approximately 85,000 chemicals on the federal inventory, nearly 3,000 are produced in excess of 1 million pounds annually. For these high-production volume (HPV) chemicals, toxicity data are surprisingly sparse. Even basic toxicity testing results are not publicly available for 75 percent of them.(15) In the U.S., according to the 2000 Toxics Release Inventory, over 6.2 billion pounds of the listed toxic chemicals, including 2 billion pounds of known or suspected neurotoxicants, were released into the environment by major emitters required by federal law to file reports. Emissions from small industries and neighborhood shops are unquantified. The extent of exposure from these releases and from the use of various consumer products that contain them is also largely unknown, but population-based surveys give an indication of the ubiquity of exposures.(16)

As the industrial revolution has continued to unfold over the last century, humans have fundamentally altered the local and global environment. We see signals and changing patterns in the development of children and subsequent occurrence and distribution of disease that deserve serious attention. The medical community is challenged to widen its scope of responsibility to embrace a more ecological assessment and response to the emerging pattern of disease and disability.

Early in their training, health care providers are taught to inquire into the family and social history of their patients or clients. This is not enough. Specific knowledge of the home, community, workplace, and school environment is essential for identifying risks and mapping preventive strategies. Medical education needs to incorporate into the curriculum new understanding of the role of the environment in the development of disease and disability. Health clinicians can also play important roles in policy debates at the community, state, or national level. The division between medical practice and public health practice that began in the early 20th century has not narrowed nearly enough. Health care providers can become strong advocates for clear air and water, for communities free of hazardous waste sites, and schools free of toxic chemicals and mold.

The public supports a large medical-industrial complex, but that support is not limitless. It is time for the medical community to re-examine its priorities and social contract with the public, and to integrate fully and creatively into routine medical care what we know about the causes of the changing pattern of diseases and disabilities.(17)

Dr. Schettler is on the medical staff of Boston Medical Center and has a clinical practice at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. He is science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. Dr. Schettler is co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment, which examines reproductive and developmental health effects of exposure to a variety of environmental toxicants. He is also co-author of In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, which discusses the impact of environmental exposures on neurological development in children.


  • National Research Council. Scientific frontiers in developmental toxicology and risk assessment. National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2000.
  • Weisglas-Kuperus N, Patandin S, Berbers G, et al. Immunologic effects of background exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins in Dutch preschool children. Environ Health Perspect 108(12):1203-1207, 2000.
  • Sorensen N, Murata K, Budtz-Jorgensen E, et al. Prenatal methylmercury exposure as a cardiovascular risk factor at seven years of age. Epidemiol 10(4):370-375, 1999.
  • Peden D. Development of atopy and asthma: candidate environmental influences and important periods of exposure. Environ Health Perspect 108(suppl 3):475-482, 2000.
  • Czene K, Lichtenstein P, Hemminki K. Environmental and heritable causes of cancer among 9.6 million individuals in the Swedish family-cancer database. Int J Cancer 99:260-266, 2002.
  • Hemminki K, Li X. Cancer risks in second-generation immigrants to Sweden. Int J Cancer 99:229-237, 2002.
  • Schettler T, Stein J, Reich F, Valenti M. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development. Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, 2000. www.igc.org/psr
  • SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1996. Bethesda MD: National Cancer Institute.
  • The Pew Environmental Health Commission. http:// pewenvirohealth.jhspu.edu
  • Paulozi L. International trends in rates of hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Environ Health Perspect 107(4):297-302, 1999.
  • Swan S, Elkin E, Fenster L. Have sperm densities declined? A reanalysis of global trend data. Environ Health Perspect 105:1228-1232, 1997.
  • The Pew Environmental Health Commission. http:// pewenvirohealth.jhspu.edu
  • Vitousek P, Mooney H, Lubchenco J, Melillo J. Human domination of earth's ecosystems. Science 277:494- 499, 1997.
  • Life Support: The Environment and Human Health. Ed: McCally M. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.
  • Environmental Defense Fund. Toxic ignorance: the continuing absence of basic health testing for top- selling chemicals in the U.S.. 1997.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National report on exposure to environmental chemicals. 2001. www.cdc.gov
  • Lubchenco J. Entering the century of the environment: a new social contract for science. Science 279:491- 497, 1998.

From: RACHEL'S ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH NEWS #759 http://www.rachel.org and
Don Maisch

Published on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 by Wired News
Internet Stokes Anti-War Movement
by Leander Kahney

This weekend's anti-war protests were the first mass demonstrations in memory to occur before a conflict, a testimony to the organizing power of the Internet, observers say.

While the Vietnam-era anti-war movement took years to gather momentum, hundreds of thousands of protestors turned out in dozens of U.S. cities on Saturday to protest a possible war in Iraq.

The two biggest gatherings took place in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Estimates of the turnout are contentious -- authorities cited 100,000 for both cities, while organizers say crowds topped 850,000 -- but it's probably safe to say the marches were the biggest since the anti-Vietnam War protests of the 1960s.

The rallies attracted a broad spectrum of protestors, from campus firebrands to elderly Republicans. Many religious groups were involved ("Who Would Jesus Bomb?" read one banner), as well as trade unions, a wide range of political groups and a lot of ordinary citizens.

The disparity of protestors is a sign the anti-war movement has gone mainstream, observers said, and it's thanks not to the media, but to hundreds of anti-war websites and mailing lists.

"Never before in human history has an anti-war movement grown so fast and spread so quickly," wrote historian and columnist Ruth Rosen in the San Francisco Chronicle (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/01/13/ED102303.DTL). "It is even more remarkable because the war has yet to begin. Publicized throughout cyberspace, the anti-war movement has left behind its sectarian roots and entered mainstream culture."

Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, also believes the Internet played a defining role in bringing the movement together.

"The last time the U.S. contemplated war -- 1991 -- the Internet was still an isolated phenomenon, confined to a relatively small population of enthusiasts," he wrote in an e-mail. "Now, not only are most of the citizens online, but online activism has had years to mature and perfect its techniques."

"Saturday's rallies were unique in the long history of anti-war activism in the U.S. in that, to my knowledge, never before have hundreds of thousands of people protested a possible war," wrote Peter Rothberg, who is associate publisher of The Nation and maintains the ActNow weblog, in an e-mail.

However, Rothberg said people took to the streets not because of the Internet per se, but because of their shared opposition to a pre-emptive, unilateral strike against Iraq.

"There's no question that the Internet has provided a terrific new tool for organizers who are growing increasingly adept at employing the medium to best advantage," he wrote. "I hesitate to give all or even preponderant credit to the medium, though. I think the message, and the very real fact that lots of folks oppose an invasion of Iraq, are what got people out on the streets."

Nonetheless, protest organizers said the Net played a key role in disseminating the anti-war message, motivating and mobilizing people, and efficiently communicating details like travel plans.

"The Internet played a very significant role," said Sarah Sloan, an organizer with International ANSWER, the group that planned the rallies. "It made a major difference in getting our message out there, especially because the mainstream media isn't covering the anti-war movement."

Sloan said for many people, joining the movement was as simple as typing "anti-war" into Google and being directed to hundreds of anti-war websites.

The United for Peace website (http://unitedforpeace.org ), for example, one of the anti-war movement's major clearing houses, includes news, contacts, background information, fliers, printable posters, contacts for scores of local activist groups and comprehensive travel arrangements to the protests from 300 different U.S. cities.

"Without that resource, it's hard to find out how to get involved," Sloan said.

Sloan said the Internet also allowed the Sunday protests to go international. Protestors in 32 countries held street demonstrations. "There's no way the event would have been international without the Internet," she said.

Of the hundreds of different groups involved, almost all have websites and e-mail lists. As well as inspiring, organizing and mobilizing people, the Internet gives protestors the sense they are part of a larger movement.

"Before the Internet, people felt blacked out by the media, because it doesn't represent their views," said Andrea Buffa, a spokeswoman for United for Peace. "Now, because of the Net, they feel like they're part of a movement. They're no longer isolated. It helps mobilize people, gets them to move."

United For Peace is organizing an Oil and War (http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=602 ) protest action on Feb. 4 at local gas stations around the United States. Activists are encouraged to print out the Web page and hand out copies at the pumps. "There's no way we could get that information out all over the country without e-mail and the website," said Buffa.

The range of online anti-war resources is big and growing. MoveOn.org (http://www.moveon.org/), a political website based in Silicon Valley, recently raised $400,000 through 10,000 or more individual donations to remake the 1960s "Daisy" anti-nuclear-war ad.

MoveOn has proven adept at fundraising and lobbying politicians, and has built a mailing list 600,000 strong.

A good example of the Internet's power to reach many people is the Protest Posters website (http://www.protestposters.org/ ). Thrown up late last week, the site attracted 2,400 visitors and 1,155 poster downloads by the weekend on the strength of a few e-mails and links from other websites.

"I saw some of the posters at the San Francisco march," said Frank Leahy, who helped create the site. "I thought that was pretty cool. Word gets around fast."

© Copyright 2003, Lycos, Inc.

Big Brother is No Longer a Fiction, ACLU Warns in New Report

The United States has now reached the point where a total "surveillance society" has become a realistic possibility, the ACLU warned in a new report.

"Many people still do not grasp that Big Brother surveillance is no longer the stuff of books and movies," said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program.

The ACLU report, "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society," is an attempt to step back from the daily march of stories about new surveillance programs and technologies and survey the bigger picture. The report itself has generated enormous media coverage and editorial support from around the country.


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