* Brief report on COST 281 workshop of May 15-16, Dublin - Re: Seeking Advice from Berkeley - Two groups of biological effects of the EM - Another court case helping residents - False information about Amnesty International's campaign on Amina Lawal (20/5/03)

Brief report on COST 281 workshop of May 15-16, Dublin

Hi Klaus: Well, I was there--that is at the COST 281 workshop. The
report below doesn't aspire to being a scientific one as I'm not an
initiate of that discipline, but I'll do my best to give a small idea of
what transpired at this meeting-of-like-minds on "Mobile Phone Base
Stations and Health" in Dublin last week. The COST 281 timetable and
titles of all presentations are posted online. So are the abstracts, but I failed in
my attempt to open them this morning.

On getting to the workshop, I immediately inserted EHS in bold type on
my name tag to ensure that my identity and purpose there was clear. Was
happy to meet up with such supportive others as Louis Slesin of Microwave
News and medical biochemist, Sianette Kwee. They can give a scientific
expert insider's report that is beyond my scope.

The sessions I was particularly interested in were the Friday morning

The first presentation "Neuropsychiatric and psychological effects of
exposure to electromagnetic fields" was made by Dr. Johan M. Havenaar,
M.D., Ph.D. (Psychiatry) Utrecht, The Netherlands.

In his published abstract, Dr. Havenaar noted the importance of
distinguishing between direct and indirect bio-effects of
electromagnetic fields. Direct effects, he said, are those which show a
clear "biological impact of the exposure on the living organisms" while
indirect effects arise from "the individual or societal response to the exposure."

Indirect effects can include for instance the increased risks of
accidents from driving while using mobile phones, or stress deriving
from psychological factors such as fatigue or monotony of work performed.

He wrote that in his upcoming presentation he would focus on the
"psychological effects of EMF" and "on the putative syndrome of
'electrical hypersensitivity'."

While in his abstract Dr. Havenaar allowed for the possibility that the
obvious therapeutic results arising from application of "a large number
of variable, such as frequency, strength and location for the exposure .
. ." would appear to somewhat substantiate a physical basis for "the
controversial syndrome of 'electrical hypersensitivity'", in his oral
presentation at the COST 281 meeting he did not allude further to this
substantiation. In both his abstract and presentation, Dr. Havenaar
addressed the important part certain frequencies (or "frequency
windows") play in initiating particular biological responses, the
effects of EMF on the nervous system and the therapeutic effects of
"transcranial magnetic stimulation to the brain" for curing a wide
variety of disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

EHS, he said, came to light with the introduction of VDU's and initially
the primary symptom was skin rashes. Later, headaches were reported. He
noted that two thirds of EHS symptoms seem to overlap with MCS (multiple
chemical sensitivity). In his abstract, he observed relevancies between
the EHS syndrome and a number of other syndromes deriving from exposure
to "ionising radiation, toxic chemicals, chemical or biological weapons . . .."

His closing remarks both in his abstract and presentation were directed
at the psychological basis for people claiming adverse effects to EMF
exposure. He used the word "nocebo" (in contradistinction to its
soothing apposite: placebo) to explain the "non-specific complaints
under conditions of sham exposure" that people can experience. This
"nocebo" effect, he stated in his abstract, has been observed in studies
not connected with EMF exposure, and points up the essential part
"information and other context variables" play in tempering the "nocebo"

He concluded his presentation by pointing out that the adverse
bioeffects some people insist they experience from exposure to EMFs may
be psychological reactions (indirect effects) rather than biological
reactions (direct effects). Among the relationships he pinpointed
between MUPS (medically unexplained physical symptoms) and EMF were
these: stress (psychological), tendencies to copycat other people's
reactions and the "nocebo" effect.

Dr Havenaar's favoured interpretation of people's professed adverse
bioeffects to EMFs as having a psychological rather than a biological
basis is evidenced in the final sentence of his abstract: "The relevance
of these findings [the "nocebo" and other indirect effects] will be
discussed in the light of the need for public information about the
potential health hazard associated with the exposure to EMFs".

And a major implication in this statement--that what people really need
to overcome their psychologically induced bio-effects (MUPS, et al) is
knowledge of/to be educated to the "true" facts about how safe EMF
exposure really is--was repeated by a number of the subsequent speakers
Some later presenters made a point of noting that the telecommunications
companies were negligent in not informing the public about the "true
facts" of EMFs and thus putting its--the public's--mind at rest as to
the remote likelihood of any adverse bio-effects.

The overall consensus among the presenters, it seemed to me, was as
follows: it was due to a shoddy P.R. (public relations)job on
disseminating correct information--and properly simplified at that for
consumers with zero-to-minimal scientific knowledge--on health issues
related to RF/MWs and EMF generally, plus an off-putting arrogance on
telecommunication companies part to muscle in on people's private
property, neighbourhoods and way of life without seeking prior
permission and so on, that caused all the hullabaloo and copycat
delusional symptoms of malaise this-and-that among the public from
exposure to radiative emissions of cellphones, masts, etc., in the first
place. Once the public would be well and properly informed about risk
perception factors--that is how safe EMF exposure was in reality--then
the whole fuss about purported adverse symptoms would die down and
everyone could get on with enjoying their cellphoned lived and profits.

(I noted in a Google search of Dr. J.M. Havenaar's publications, that in
the abstract of his co-authored paper "Illness Behaviour and Perception
of Risk Among Victims of the Chernobyl Disaster" presented at the
Society for Risk Analysis 1998 General Meeting, his conclusions were
"Although there were trends for some disorders to be more prevalent in
the exposed region, none of these could be directly attributed to
exposure to ionizing radiation. The results of this study suggest that
the Chernobly disaster had a significant long-term impact on
psychological well-being, health-related quality of life, and illness
behaviour in the exposed population." (Environmental Health
Perspective 105, Supplement 6: 1533-1537 (1997)

"Exposure to EMF from base station antennas: subjective symptoms and
cognitive functions in 'sensitive' subjects--study setup" by Dr. Eric
van Rongen, Health Council of the Netherlands.

During his presentation, Dr. van Rongen gave greater detail regards the
setup of the study to assess causal relationships between EMF exposure
and subjectively reported symptoms. It started in September 2002, he
said, and the first report is due in July 2003. The final report will be
in September 2003. He mentioned problems recruiting "sensitives" for the
study. Some potential participants, for instance, were apprehensive
because it could trigger/aggravate their proclaimed adverse effects. Dr.
van Rongen noted that recruits who suffered from brain injury and/or
epilepsy would not be accepted for the investigation.

[my comment: so, wouldn't that eliminate a substantial number on this
list who claim their brains are adversely impacted/injured as manifested
in the headaches, sleeplessness, memory impairments, etc., they suffer

(During the short Q+A interval following his talk, I was given the
opportunity to comment on the brain injured plus epileptics being
excluded from the study. I said that the very fact that epileptics were
excluded highlighted the assumption that EMF exposure would dangerously
interfere with the brain's electrical circuits of epileptics. I then
noted that I suffer in recent years from a condition similar to
epilepsy--brain seizures/electrical short-circuiting of my brain--and
that these occur as I am dropping off to sleep following my exposure to
excessive (that is for my tolerance level) EMF radiation. The fact that
epileptics are excluded from the tests points up clearly the
acknowledgment by the designers of the study that such people's
bio-electrical functions are especially sensitive to externally applied
stimulation from EMF sources. I added that two of my symptoms--numbness
and brain seizures--have obviously a biological basis and can not be
conveniently interpreted as "indirect effects" (as defined by Dr.
Havenaar) and that I would be willing to be tested to prove that my EHS
condition has a biological rather than a psychological basis. I wished
later that I had asked Dr. van Rongen there and then would I be refused
participation in his tests because I get brain seizures? If so, that
would seem to prove I would be excluded because it is already accepted
by specialists in this area that exposing me to strong levels of EMF
would probably trigger brain seizures!)

A few comments regards later presenters in the RISK PERCEPTION category.

Dr Peter Wiedermann, Germany, ("Mobile fears? - Risk perceptions
regarding RF EMF") called attention in his abstract to an earlier
expert's evaluation (Slovic 1992) which reads: "The roots of the issues
[that is citizens fear of masts plus mobile phones health impact] are
seen in the intuitive risk perceptions of lay people that differs from
experts' assessment of risk." He notes that public risk perception
surveys conducted over recent years demonstrate that "the public does
not worry too much about these risks" but it's the mass media that has
blown up this issue.

Professor Ray Kemp, U.K. ("Risk communication as a means of anticipating
and responding to pre and post telecoms stressors") explained how
people's response to the possibility of adverse health effects shares
characteristics with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The very
idea of proposals for a mast being erected in their neighbourhood can
trigger PTSD. This form of stress, he said, can be reduced by dialogue
and "increased transparency" between the telecommunications company and
the residents. Professor Kemp alluded in particular to observations in
the "Stewart Report" on how the stress activated by perceived
possibility of adverse bio-effects from cellphones and masts could in
turn activate real ill health.

Dr. Vecchia, Italy, ("The communication of risks from electromagnetic
fields") addressed the need for improved communication between
telecommunication networks and people. He said that the scientific
language of what exactly is involved needs simplification for
non-scientific consumers of this source. He mentioned a number of ways
by which people's perception of risk can be inadvertently increased:
even promoting research into possible adverse bio-effects can increase
the public's awareness of a risk factor.

The last presentation of the entire COST 281 Dublin May Workshop
("Public concerns of possible health risks from exposure to GSM mobile
phone base stations in Poland--a 5-year experience") was the one that
was most dismissive of citizens' concerns regards adverse bioeffects.
The researchers from the Department of Microwave Safety, Military
Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, found that their targeted
public's concern about health issues were confused (concerns about the
type of bioeffects most feared kept shifting over time), were based on
inaccurate information, arose from other factors such as aversion to
nearby masts or local leaders seeking approval by hoisting an antimast
agenda, etc.


Later during the final discussion session I got an opportunity to remind
the assembly that the director-general of WHO, Dr. Gro Bruntland, is an
acknowledged EHS who gets headaches when cellphones are activated near
her and that an English translation of her 2002 interview is posted
online. I got the month wrong (February 2002 instead of March 2002), but
I think they have the intelligence to sort that date out! In response, a
female attendee (a psychologist, I think) said that Dr. Bruntland's
professional abilities and her purported responses to cellphones are two
separate issues and that her--Dr. Bruntland--response to cellphones
could be psychological as she has not been objectively tested.

And so it finished and we all went home or wherever.

A final wee comment: I must say that the chairperson/facilitator (unsure
which of these) Dr Tom McManus, Department of Public Enterprise, Dublin,
was most gracious in giving me a chance to have my say on three
occasions during the Q+A intervals and the substantial lunches on both
days were a nice upgrade from my usual grabbed sandwitches.

Best, Imelda, Cork, Ireland

Re: Seeking Advice from Berkeley

As you conclude, you (the Berkeley community) need expertise presented
in the public health science realm, not (just) engineering.

That is what I was asked to provide your community from the beginning. I
did provide the initial portion of it in the form of the (very long!)
legal brief on public health science matters, submitted months ago to
the City. I was not paid for this, though I worked straight three days and
two nights on it. All the "pay" I required - which was agreed upon - was
to be brought there present on it, in order to make it clear to the
public and to officials, to present any & all remaining evidence
(including videotapes, transparencies illustrating these matters
graphically, meter measurements, and the full published studies), to
answer any questions or doubts, and finally, in order to rebut any & all
industry fallacies.

A brief alone is but a set of papers with black scrawlings upon, until it
is explained to public officials and the public in an understandable way.
It needs personal presentation to bring it to life and to persuade
decisionmakers that this WCF application may be a matter of life or death.

I will be in CA in June. Please let me know whether you will wish to use
my public health science expertise.

All the best,
Susan Clarke

Two groups of biological effects of the EM


I did receive your message, thank you very much. I am folloving your
message with the great interest and the pleasure. I did see also message
of the Mrs. K. S. I want to give some information about the matter which
she wanted help if she like to receive my proffessional opinion.

I did read article on your web page about harmfull biological effects of
the EM. But I wonder, you never did mention technical law (CE) about
harmfull biological effects of the EM. Because allready these harmfull
biological effects well known officially and therefore nobody can refuse them.

Biological effects of the EM, we can classificate in two groups:

1) Benifitical biological effects of the EM, which they used for the
medical treatment,

2) Harmfull biological effects of the EM, which they allready mentioned
in the technical law (CE) (CEI 111-1, Page:15-16, October 87). According
to the my personal opinion, it is sufficient to publish copy of the
technical law (CE) which was mentioned above. You can verify this
refence (CE) from the library.

I thing first of all, it is necessary to diagnose exactly what is the
problem of the patient. If she had harmfull biological effects of the
EM, then may be possible to cure her with the benifitical biological
effects of the EM. Now, I will give some examples.

1) Wards triangle of the femur (Bone) doesn't regenerates. May be 1 %
only. But, medical applications of the EM, it is possible to obtain
regeneration up to 40 % (Please see attachment).

2) Classicaly kidney parenchyma doesn't regenerates after the
destruction. But it is possible to regenerate parenchyma of the kidney
with the medical applications of the EM. Before the Physiotherapy and
Rehabilitation treatment, tickness of the kidney parenchyma is 4 mm.
After the Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation treatment, tickness of the
kidney parenchyma regenerates and gets the tickness of the 7,9 mm.
(Please see the attachment).

You see, we can't generalise that, ''EM IS ABSOLUTELY HARMFULL'' or ''EM

If any one like to write to me about this matter, please, any person can
write to me freely. I send to you 2 attachments.

With my best regards,

Omega: Dear Dr. Gorgun: The attachments are in turkish language, so we
can't use them. Perhaps you can translate them.



I did read information help wanted from the Mr. Robert Riedlinger. Since
33 years I am working on the biological effects of the EM. Perhaps I can
be helpfull for him. Please, would you send my message to him. I thank
you again because of your great scientific servises for the humanity.

With my best regards.


Another court case helping residents

This ruling which denied an appeal by American Tower after being
denied a special permit to build a tower in a residential/school area
has some good historical background info and demonstrates again the
power of the local goverments:

Mobilize the community and stop the radiation!

Informant: Bob Sklar

Persbericht Amnesty International 'Nigeria: False information about
Amnesty International's campaign on Amina Lawal'.

7 May 2003

Nigeria: False information about Amnesty International's campaign on
Amina Lawal

Amnesty International today moved to correct misleading information
falsely attributed to one of the web pages of the Spanish section of
Amnesty International. Information has been widely distributed by email
falsely claiming that Amina Lawal's execution had been set for 3 June
2003 and referring to Amnesty International as a source.

Contrary to this information widely circulated on internet, Amnesty
International has consistently published accurate information about the
case on all its official web pages.

Amnesty International regards Amina Lawal's case as of the highest
priority and appreciates the support that members of the public have
given the campaign. However, circulating emails with inaccurate
information causes many problems for all the groups working hard to
defend Amina Lawal and women's human rights in Nigeria.

"All our web pages contain up-to-date information on Amina Lawal's
case. Our public material mentions 3 June 2003 not as the date for
carrying out a sentence of death, but as the new date set by the Sharia
Court of Appeal of Katsina State for the hearing against her sentence,"
Amnesty International said. An Amnesty International delegation was
present in Court in Katsina state on 25 March 2003, when the new date
was fixed.

Amnesty International understands that Amina Lawal's right to legal
representation, fair trial and right to appeal are guaranteed at
present. Amina Lawal is not in detention and has excellent legal
representation, including prominent women lawyers and senior Nigerian
advocates. She is being supported by a coalition of Nigerian women's
groups and human rights groups. Amnesty International is in close touch
with these organizations and is careful to include only the most
accurate information on its websites.

According to the Nigerian Constitution, at the end of all judicial
processes involving the death penalty, the President of the Republic
could exercise his prerogative of mercy, a political, and not a judicial, decision.

"We will not hesitate to campaign for such a prerogative to be
exerted by the President in due time, as we would for any case
attracting the death penalty under any penal code, including Sharia
Penal Legislation," the organization stressed.

Amnesty International will continue to publicly call on the Federal
Government to abolish the death penalty and amend all legislation
introducing cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments at all levels of
the Nigerian legislation, including the Sharia Penal Legislation.
However, the organization does not wish to interfere in the judicial
process in the case of Amina Lawal and does not recommend carrying out
any international campaign specifically on her case at this point in time.

Nigeria: False information about Amnesty International's campaign on Amina Lawal

Informant: Paul V. Rafferty
U.N. OBSERVER & International Report
Office at The Hague

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