* Is driving while dialing worth it? - Is your laptop ruining your sex life? - GPS Spared...for now: FCC Rules on UWB use - Bobbies to be 'guinea pigs' testing cancer fear radios -Ask Bush to let the inspections work  (5/12/02)

Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens' Initiative Omega)

December 2, 2002

Is driving while dialing worth it?
By Nedra Pickler


Researchers say increased cell phone use has led to more crashes caused by drivers on the phone but that the value people place on being able to call from the road roughly equals the accidents' cost.

Opponents of banning cell phone use by drivers have cited studies that show the benefit of car calls outweighs the toll from such accidents - medical bills and property damage, for example. Harvard researchers, drawing on previous research involving cell phones and government figures for auto accidents, say in a study there is a growing public health risk from the reliance on cell phones in cars. The number of cell phone subscribers has grown from 94 million in 2000 to more than 128 million. Data on the number of crashes caused by cell phones are incomplete, said the study to be released today by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. But it suggests that drivers talking on their phones are responsible for about 6 percent of U.S. auto accidents each year, killing an estimated 2,600 people and injuring 330,000 others.

The figure was reached using current cell phone usage estimates to update a 1997 study. That study looked at phone records of Canadian drivers involved in crashes to see whether they were making calls at the time.

The cell phone industry found fault with the projections and their connection to wireless phones. "It's sort of assumptions built on assumptions," said Kimberly Kuo, spokeswoman for the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association. "There are not a lot of substantial findings that allow us to make policy conclusions."

The Harvard researchers also updated previous studies on the economic costs associated with accidents caused by cell phones, such as medical bills and loss of life. The costs added up to $43 billion - about the same as the researchers arrived at for the value that cell phone owners put on their phones. Cell phone owners cited benefits such as security and peace of mind for instant communication, increased productivity, privacy, and quicker crime and accident reporting

Joshua Cohen, lead author of the study, said an person has a small risk of being in an accident caused by a driver who is talking on the phone but said an overall public-health issue exists nonetheless. He urged careful consideration when deciding whether to ban cell phone usage. "People place a value on these calls, so just wiping out the phone calls and saying we are going to ban them, that's not something that should be taken lightly," he said.

New York state banned cell phone use for drivers in June 2001. Six other states have some regulation of in-vehicle use of cell phones, ranging from a one-hand-on-the-wheel rule to prohibiting school-bus drivers from using a phone. Felix Ortiz, a New York assemblyman who fought for six years to pass the ban, is helping lawmakers elsewhere write similar legislation. "Whether they say I'm crazy or they harass me, you know what? I think I am doing the right thing for the public safety and for the quality of life," he said.

The Harvard study found that a cell phone user has about a 13 chances in 1 million of being killed in an accident while making a call. That compares with 49 in 1 million for someone driving without a seat belt. Other drivers and pedestrians have about four chances in 1 million of dying in an accident caused by a cell phone user, according to the study. Their chance of being killed by a drunken driver is 18 in 1 million. The statistics are based on an average cell phone owner using 50 minutes a month.

Harvard's statistics update a previous study released two years ago, which estimated that the chances of being killed while driving and talking on a cell phone were about six in 1 million and 1.5 in 1 million for other people on the road. The original study was financed by the Harvard center and a grant from AT&T. The second phase was paid for solely by the center, which is supported by money from government, academia, individuals and private companies, including some automakers and insurers. The original study found that the costs saved by a cell phone ban would be $2 billion, compared with about $25 billion in benefits lost, meaning a cell phone ban would have a loss to society of about $23 billion. Mr. Cohen said the figures changed because more people are using cell phones and because the researchers have better estimates of accidents caused by cell phone use, including those not reported to authorities.


Informant: Volker Hartenstein, Member of the Bavarian Parliament forwarded by Reinhard Rückemann

Is your laptop ruining your sex life?

Here's a rather painful little article from the Hobart Mercury, Nov 23, 2002:

Considering the large number of schools now issuing laptops to their students a warning not to use them on the lap might be considered wise.

Penis burnt by laptop

Doctors warned laptop computers may inflict a burn even through clothing after a bazarre case of a Swedish scientist who scourched his penis and testicles.

The unnamed 50-year old father of two had balanced the computer on hid lap while he was writing a report at home, taking about an hour to do it. The LANCET Medical Journal said.

He developed painful plisters on his foreskin and scrotum which became infected but eventually cleared up.

Manuals usually advise users not to rest the laptop on exposed skin but in this case the man was wearing trousers and underpants.

Informant: Don Maisch

Commentary from Dieter Keim, Ilbenstadt

This article printed also in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on November, 23 2002, can bring certainly many to smile, brought however apparently scarcely someone for thinking over, for although worldwide appeared, it became previously speechless and accepted without commentary. 

How can it be possible that such burning can emerge through a Laptop? 

Simple infrared rays never can have been the cause of this massive injury. Fire bubble injuries caused in a so sensitive area would have made themselves already noticeably before with strong pains, no one would have been able to hold out till the development of the fire bubble. Only a person with paraplegia would not be able to feel that in advance! 

The new BLUETOOTH works in the frequency-area 2.4 GHz with 1600 Hertz pulse frequencies! This radiation performs its work painless! 

Perhaps there was therefore only such a lapidare message without further references, to document not the dangerousness of this new Bluetooth - technology. 

E.g. would be acceptable by working with the Laptop that the scientist sent data cable-free (BLUETOOTH) to the printer. According to achievement class, onerous values between 70 and 7500 mW should arise per qm! 

In addition in the room there are considerable reflections, and in the large room-office it comes to additions of considerable values through other colleagues with the same volume of reflections increase! 

Does BLUETOOTH let already greet here and shows us its teeth ?????

GPS Spared...for now: FCC Rules on UWB use. (Global View)
Issue: March, 2002

Vigorous lobbying by civil and military agencies appears to have thwarted -- temporarily at least -- proposals to allow unlicensed ultra-wideband (UWB) devices to operate in the GPS frequencies. But GPS advocates remain concerned that further FCC actions in the coming months could spread UWB into OPS bands.

On February 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a first report and order that permits the marketing and operation of certain types of products incorporating UWB. Use of the devices must remain above 1.99 GHz or below 960 MHz, depending on the specific application.

In comments on the FCC action, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Spectrum and C3 Policy Steven Price said, "The Department supports FCC's reasoned and balanced approach of protecting critical national security systems from frequency interference while allowing commercial deployment of new technologies." In a letter to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans late last year, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz expressed his agency's "deep concern" about the effect of uncontrolled UWB proliferation on GPS and other military systems.

UWB devices operate by employing very narrow or short-duration pulses that result in the use of very large transmission bandwidths. Anticipated uses include a variety of ground-and wall-penetrating imaging systems for public safety purposes, vehicular radar systems, and communications and measurement techniques, such as high-speed home and business networking devices as well as storage tank measurement devices. Proponents for existing radio frequency users worry that the UWB signals will interfere with their systems, either directly or indirectly by raising the overall thermal noise floor. A series of laboratory and field tests, conducted on behalf of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) during the past year, indicated that problems could arise for GPS and other communications systems.

Due to the absence of production UWB equipment available and associated lack of operational experience with the impact of UWB on other radio services, the FCC said it chose "to err on the side of conservatism" in setting emission limits. However, the commission intends to review the standards for UWB devices within the next 6 to 12 months and issue a further notice of proposed rule making "to explore more flexible standards and address the operation of additional types of UWB operations and technology."That intention prompted the U.S. GPS Industry Council to urge continued vigilance on behalf of GPS and says it will "continue to follow this proceeding...to ensure that safety and national security services are protected."

Although GPS escaped in the first round, other transportation-related safety-of-life systems, including aviation VORs, terminal area doppler radar, a variety of communications datalinks, and microwave landing systems do fall inside the bands opened up to UWE use.

Informant: Gotemf

Bobbies to be 'guinea pigs' testing cancer fear radios

by Peter Dobbie

Wednesday 30 January 2002 ALARM RESEARCH: Barrie Trower, from Newton Abbot, whose report commissioned by the Police Federation went straight to the Whitehall desk of Home Secretary David Blunkett.

POLICE officers in Devon and Cornwall have been warned that their new radios could scramble their brains and lead to widespread cancers.

An expert called in by the Police Federation to evaluate the health risks of the new Airwave radio system has predicted an increase in cases of a wide range of cancers and brain tumours within ten years. He also believes that the equipment could disrupt brain-cell activity, leading to disorientation, depression, paranoia and even suicide among officers.

The radios come into service in the two counties this year, and will be used throughout Britain by 2005. But a leading authority on the dangers of mobile phone use --research scientist Barrie Trower from Newton Abbott -- is not convinced that they are perfectly safe. Mr Trower was called in by the Federation, which represents the UK's serving officers, to give advice on the use of the new TETRA (Terrestrial Trunk Radio) System -- and his views were sent straight to the Home Secretary David Blunkett. He warned: 'The Airwave system is a fact of life because all other frequencies have been sold off and police forces will either accept the new system, or be left with the old which is now out of date. The Government has forced the situation where the police, and eventually the fire service and ambulance service, are left with no choice but to accept,' he said.

'Literally billions of pounds are resting on this because when Airwaves is used in the UK, manufacturers will be able to say to overseas buyers that if it is good enough for British bobbies, then police forces around the world should buy it. 'But I predict that we will definitely see an increase in breast cancer, eye cancer, brain tumours, spine cancer and some testicular cancers in our police forces within ten years.' Mr  Trower's fears centre on the operating frequency of 17.6Hz assigned to Tetra when the system was being established. This means that it emits radiation in pulses occurring 17.6 times a second; a level some scientists believe can penetrate deep into the brain, damaging cell communication and ultimately leading to cancer.

Roger Coghill, an independent research scientist and a member of the Department of Health's UK mobile telecommunications health research programme, said: 'A criminal could not have come up with a better system. 'They could not have chosen a better frequency with which to disarm and debilitate the very forces that are trying to secure their arrest.'

Sir William Stewart's report on mobile phone safety in 2000 concluded that systems modulating at frequencies around 16Hz should be 'avoided if possible in future developments of signal coding.'

Low-frequency electromagnetic radiation was identified as far back as the 1960s as a potential anti-personnel weapon when the superpowers began conducting in non-lethal 'mind control' devices.

'It has been tested in Lancashire last year and Devon and Cornwall Police will be one of the first forces to take it fully on board during the summer,' said Mr Trower. 'They will be used as guinea pigs, it is as simple as that. 'In fact, the National Radiological Protection Board has gone as far as saying that police, and the other emergency services are an ideal group to study for the effects of radiation from radio frequencies.'

It is understood that the Airwave system has already been plagued with bugs, including suggestions that they can jam other police equipment, like the latest breath-test machines.

Those were problems detailed in a special report by the Sunday Independent on December 16 last year.

It is also expected that police officers will be afraid to complain about possible health threats and will comply with the decision of the Chief Constable, Sir John Evans, to introduce the new system. In addition, there is expected to be a health scare linked to the siting of the radio masts. These will be put up all over the countryside, and with a radio range of up to 30 miles, the signals will concentrate from all over as they reach a transmitter. Said Mr Trower: 'That is one of the reasons we don't want to see masts sited near schools. 'Any property near a mast is going to get the full force of that frequency. 'The population as a whole will be a target.'

Mr Trower's advice to police officers is simple: 'If you have to use the radios, then women should not wear bras with wire stays.

'A protection mesh should be fitted to belt worn radios.

'Earpieces should be checked often for radiation leakage.

'These are basic health responses but give no guarantee of safety.

'As for officers in vehicles and for the population, my prediction of increased levels of cancer still stands.'

But last night, a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police pointed out that Mr Trower's research had been commissioned by the Police Federation and not by the Constabulary.

Speaking to Chief Constables last year, former Home Secretary Jack Straw said of the project: 'We are, of course, aware of the concerns that have been raised by the Police Federation and are determined to ensure that the new system is scrutinised as it is rolled out.'

Informant: Don Maisch


Ever watch the UK police drama "The Bill" and notice how the officer's radios are attached to their breast pockets or lapels? Ever wonder if perhaps this is not the best place to put a transmitter?  From the following Sunday Mirror article it looks like this is shaping up major OH&S issue for the police unions.

Australian police unions take note. . .

The placement of RF transmitting radios close to the breast is of SPECIAL concern as  breast cancer tumors absorb significantly more EMR than other cancers, or healthy tissue. To quote from one study, conducted at Duke University, North Carolina, USA, in 1993.

"In general, at all frequencies tested [50 to 900 MHz], both conductivity and relative permittivity were greater in malignant tissue than in normal tissue of the same type. For tissues of the same type, the differences in electrical properties from normal to malignant were least for kidney (about 6% and 4% average differences over the frequency range in permittivity and conductivity, respectively), and these differences were the greatest for mammary gland (about 233% and 577% average differences in permittivity and conductivity, respectively)

Joines W.T., Zhang Y., Chenxing L., Jirtle R.L. (1993)The measured electrical properties of normal and malignant human tissues from 50 to 900 MHz Medical physics, Vol. 21, April 1994, p.547-550.

So what may this mean?  A single cancer cell that occurs in the breast may be given a significant boost in growth rate when additionally exposed to RF energy from the radio AND THE BODY'S ABILITY TO CONTROL THAT SINGLE CANCER CELL WILL CORRESPONDINGLY BE LESSENED. THEREFORE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER IS GREATLY INCREASED.

This possibility was admitted in the Information sheet,"Safety of Mobile Phones and Towers - The Answers" (Nov.1995) by the Australian Radiation Laboratory, Spectrum Management Agency, Austel and the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, (under the heading, Is Cancer an issue?)

"There is yet insufficient scientific knowledge of many aspects of health effects of radio waves. One common question is: Do radio waves from mobile phones increase the risks of cancer? The answer is that there is no experimental evidence that radio waves directly cause cancer. Laboratory studies on animals suggest that where cancer exists, radio waves may accelerate its growth."

Ask Bush to let the inspections work

Inspections in Iraq have started.  Most of us breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, it's become clear that the ultra-hawks in the Bush administration -- Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle -- will not take yes for an answer. While the rest of the world thinks Iraq has backed down, these men are beginning a massive public relations blitz for war.

With the possibility of a peaceful resolution to this crisis at hand, we cannot allow a few men to push the world to war.  Send a message to President Bush to let the inspections work at:


We'll compile your messages and present them to the Administration, including Secretary of State Powell, and to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The good news is that the ultra-hawks face some serious opposition. Secretary of State Colin Powell and other members of the Bush Administration are willing to give diplomacy a chance, and the State Department's interpretation of the U.N. resolution is a lot more reasonable than the White House's interpretation.

But unless wiser heads prevail, this is what we should expect:

(1) starting December 8th, members of the Bush administration will claim that Iraq is in material breach of the U.N. resolution, citing supposed omissions in the coming multi-hundred page report, based on undisclosed intelligence;
(2) soon thereafter some "hot" incident, like anti-aircraft fire on U.S. patrols in the no-fly zone, will be used to solidify public support for war, and finally
(3) the bombing campaign will begin.

This could all begin before Christmas -- another wonderful gift to the world from the Bush administration.

President Bush has agreed that war should be the very last resort. Let's hold him and his administration to those words:


Please sign on today. We must support policy makers who will oppose these few extremists in the Bush White House who have been looking for an excuse for war from the very beginning.


--Eli Pariser
International Campaigns Director, MoveOn.org
Founder, 9-11peace.org
December 4th, 2002

P.S.  Here's the text of the message we will send with the list of compiled individual comments:

Dear Mr. President,

On October 11, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution on Iraq that authorizes you to use war as a last resort -- if and only if diplomacy fails to accomplish the U.S.'s national goals.

In this context, we are deeply concerned by your Administration's repeated attempts to frame Iraqi anti-aircraft fire within the no-fly-zone as a material breach of the resolution. As U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and other U.N. diplomats have pointed out, the resolution clearly excludes such events from its jurisdiction.

We are also concerned that you have already found Iraq's response "not
encouraging" when the inspectors have been at work only for a week and
so far have not encountered Iraqi obstruction.

The United States has made a commitment to approaching the danger that Saddam Hussein poses through the international community.  The resumption of the inspections regime is a triumph for the U.S., international law and multilateralism. But the United States will lose all credibility with its allies if it appears that it will go to war regardless of the inspections' success. And by alienating and infuriating allies through unilateral action, the U.S. could throw the success of the campaign against terrorism into jeopardy.

Mr. President, it appears that your administration is looking for an excuse to go to war, when a peaceful and just solution may be at hand. We ask that you live up to your word and give diplomacy a chance.

We can win without war.

Citizens' Initiative Omega
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