* Italian, German researchers link RF to disease - OSHA wants carriers to play role in tower safety (31/10/02)

Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens' Initiative Omega)

Italian, German researchers link RF to disease
. October 28, 2002

As the wireless industry prepares for oral argument in class-action headset and brain-cancer litigation this Friday, it was reminded that the health issue is not about to go away even as one lawsuit after another gets tossed by the courts.

Media outlets here and across the Atlantic were awash last week with stories of a new study linking mobile-phone radiation to cancer growth. The research, first reported by New Scientist magazine, was conducted by cell biologist Fiorenzo Marinelli and other scientists at the National Research Council in Bologna, Italy. According to the article,
researchers observed that strong mobile-phone radiation directed at leukemia cells first killed the cancer cells, but eventually caused them to aggressively multiply.

Marinelli did not respond to a request for comment last Thursday.  The mobile-phone industry, pointing to recent court rulings and pronouncements of government health organizations here and overseas, continues to maintain that cell phones are safe. Most health and safety organizations say that while they see no immediate cause for alarm, they cannot guarantee phones are safe and believe more research is needed to double check findings of DNA breaks, genetic damage and other adverse bioeffects that have shown up.

The Marinelli study is not the first to have observed an initial protective or cancer-inhibiting effect from radio-frequency radiation exposure that disappeared with extended exposure.

Earlier this month, a group of German doctors associated with a group named IGUMED said they believe there is a connection between mobile-phone radiation and a rise in a variety of diseases and illnessesin their country. The physicians, among other things, called for stricter safety limits and independent research.

The developments come as a newly published Australian study has comeunder attack from a broad cross section of scientists. The study, whichwas published shortly before a Baltimore federal judge blocked an $800 million cancer lawsuit from going to trial, was designed to replicate a1997 study that found an increased like lihood of cancer in lab mice exposed to mobile-phone radiation. The new Australian study did not detect any such link, but newsletter Microwave News this month quotes researchers-some associated with the industry-as saying the experiment did not replicate the earlier study and is highly flawed.

OSHA wants carriers to play role in tower safety
. October 28, 2002

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration may revive plans to get wireless carriers involved in efforts to improve tower safety, an area with interwoven legal and regulatory implications that mobile-phone operators have avoided to date. One possible reason for that is the law, which effectively allows wireless carriers and general contractors to escape liability for fatal tower falls by keeping a safe distance from the actual construction and maintenance of structures that house mobile-phone antennas. Instead, small subcontractors typically take the hit-in the form of relatively small OSHA fines-when workers die from falls.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said telecom tower work, which has skyrocketed as a result of increased wireless licensing in the past decade, has become the riskiest profession in the country. NIOSH said nearly 100 tower workers died from falls between 1992 and 1997. Federal regulators privately question the adequacy of government guidelines on tower safety.

The safety problem has been left to a handful of individuals in government and the financially troubled tower industry. While making solid progress, it does not appear they are winning the battle to improve tower safety. Meanwhile, wireless carriers have yet to lend their considerable financial and political clout to the issue.

"What we're trying to do is hold a higher level of accountability ... We need a broader stroke of the brush," said Rob Medlock, area director of OSHA in Cleveland. In 2000, Medlock drafted a letter calling on wireless carriers to lend their resources and voice to tower safety. The letter was moving up the chain of command in OSHA, but eventually got lost in
the shuffle in the change of administrations. Now, Medlock, at the urging of the National Association of Tower Erectors, wants the new OSHA leadership to reach out to the mobile-phone industry. Officials from OSHA and NATE recently met to discuss progress on a government-industry partnership that promotes tower safety in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan. They also talked strategy.

"We are looking for opportunities to help save lives," said Patrick Howey, executive director of NATE. "Practices and procedures for working safely on towers have been developed and are available. The next step in the process is reaching an understanding among all parties in the industry that the company hired to show up on the job site has been
properly trained and is properly equipped. There are plenty of companies out there right now who meet those qualifications. We need to work together to make sure they are the companies getting the jobs."

NATE and OSHA said they would like to grow their safety partnership into a national program. Don Doty of SpectraSite, a NATE member, and others in the tower industry are developing standards for hoist lines and gin poles that could eventually be incorporated into OSHA rules. Other OSHA rule changes are being contemplated as well.

"While wireless carriers are always concerned about tower safety, PCIA has asserted itself as the voice of the tower industry and tower-related questions should be referred to them," said Travis Larson, a spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, a trade group with a nearly $40  million budget.

But PCIA, which lost out to CTIA in the battle over wireless carrier representation, does not promote tower safety as an association. Indeed, PCIA has adopted a position at odds with the big tent approach sought by NATE and OSHA. "PCIA members-from very large to very small companies-have decided to manage safety issues on a company-by-company
basis," stated PCIA. "This allows them to more effectively address the specific safety needs inherent in their own business considerations. They work with OSHA and other labor authorities to provide a safe workplace for their staff and contractors."

Informant: Janet Newton at EMRNetwork

Citizens' Initiative Omega
If you want our (normally daily) Newsletter in German, sometimes partially in English, please go to

Note: Citizens' Initiative Omega works on non-profit base. Our messages are the result of many hours of daily research, roundup and editing. If you would like to support our activity for people around the world with a donation or an aid fund unique or on regular base, you can do it here https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=Star.Mail%40t- online.de&return=http%3A//www.grn.es/electropolucio/00omega.htm&no_note=1&tax=0&currency_code=USD

If you have informations which you would like to share with your friends and colleges around the world and which are from common interest, please send us this informations, we will send them out. Thank you.

Disclaimer:  The informations contained in our EMF-Omega-News are derived from sources, which we believe to be accurate but is not guaranteed.

Citizens' Initiative Omega is not responsible for any errors or omissions and disclaims any liability incurred as a consequence of any of the contents of this resources.