|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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Research Council. Scientific frontiers in developmental toxicology and
risk assessment. National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2000.
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.
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,
D. Development of atopy and asthma: candidate environmental influences
and important periods of exposure. Environ Health Perspect 108(suppl
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.
K, Li X. Cancer risks in second-generation immigrants to Sweden. Int
J Cancer 99:229-237, 2002.
T, Stein J, Reich F, Valenti M. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child
Development. Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, 2000.
Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1996. Bethesda MD: National Cancer Institute.
- The Pew
Environmental Health Commission. http://
L. International trends in rates of hypospadias and cryptorchidism.
Environ Health Perspect 107(4):297-302, 1999.
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://
P, Mooney H, Lubchenco J, Melillo J. Human domination of earth's ecosystems.
Science 277:494- 499, 1997.
Support: The Environment and Human Health. Ed: McCally M. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 2002.
Defense Fund. Toxic ignorance: the continuing absence of basic health
testing for top- selling chemicals in the U.S.. 1997.
for Disease Control and Prevention. National report on exposure to environmental
chemicals. 2001. www.cdc.gov
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
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
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
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.
a political website based in Silicon Valley, recently raised $400,000
through 10,000 or more individual donations to remake the 1960s "Daisy"
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