* Sleep Research Zurich - Residents block 'ugly' phone mast - Re: Dr. Cyril Smith's paper (11/12/02)

Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens' Initiative Omega)

Sleep Research Zurich 

Peter Achermann

Previous and Current Research

Signal analysis of the EEG. Mathematical modeling of sleep processes and circadian rhythms. Topographic analysis of the EEG. Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields of type GSM on sleep and sleep EEG. Sleep and regional cerebral blood flow assessed by PET (collaborative project with Clinic of Nuclear Medicine). Sleep and EEG analysis in parkinsonian and pain patients before and after stereotactic neurosurgery (collaborative project with the Clinic of Neurosurgery), and in stroke patients (collaborative project with Clinic of Neurology, University of Bern). Effects of rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on EEG topography during waking and subsequent sleep (collaborative project with Psychiatric Neuroimaging Group, University of Bern).
highest power in low delta range (< 2 Hz) during slow wave sleep alpha activity (10 Hz) during slow wave sleep and waking (at 7 h) spindle frequency activity (14 Hz) in nonREM sleep

Future Projects

Search for local and use-dependent features of sleep. More emphasis on clinical aspects.

Selected Publications

1. Achermann P., Borbély A.A.: (1998) Coherence analysis of the human sleep electroencephalogram. Neurosci., 85: 1195-1208.
2. Achermann P., Kunz H.: (1999) Modeling circadian rhythm generation in the suprachiasmatic nucleus with locally coupled self- sustained oscillators: phase shifts and phase response curves. J. Biol. Rhythms, 14: 460-468.
3. Roth C., Jeanmonod D., Magnin M., Morel A., Achermann P.: (2000) Effects of medial thalamotomy and pallido-thalamic tractotomy on sleep and waking EEG in pain and parkinsonian patients. Clin. Neurophysiol. (in press).



Residents block 'ugly' phone mast

Friday, 6 December, 2002, 14:17 GMT

Local people feared a mast would spoil their view

Planners have blocked a proposed phone mast because residents of a picturesque village feared it would be too ugly.

Council officers wanted to give the 50ft structure the go-ahead.

But public pressure forced them to scrap the plan after more than 300 people signed a petition against it and dozens sent letters of complaint.

Residents of Upper Clatford near Andover - one of Hampshire's most sought-after locations - also had concerns over the possible health risks of living near a mast.

Radiation study

Opponents have warned of a possible cancer risk from long-term exposure to radiation emitted by the masts.

But phone operators say no link has ever been proved.

A recent study of phone masts near 100 schools found them all well below international maximum recommended exposure guidelines.

Councillor Tony Jackson, chairman of the Test Valley Borough Council's planning committee said: "The mast was rejected on visual amenity grounds and because of the perceived health risk felt by local people."


Informant: Robert Riedlinger

Re: Dr. Cyril Smith's paper

Dear Klaus et al,
With regard to Dr. Cyril Smith's paper commenting on the Dolk studies of FM/TV transmitters in the UK, please note the following clarification.
The Dolk studies employed no measurement of power density, but rather rely on distance as a predictor of it. As anyone who has looked at radial power density graphs knows, even the most simplified of reasonable calculation methods produce a complex, rather wildly fluctuating density going out from the transmitter base. Topographical characteristics as well as trees and human structures in the way of the radiation further complicate power density. Minimal radiation, though some ELF, appears near the base. 
Dr. Neil Cherry PhD has pointed out in commenting on the Dolk studies that there should be fewer biological effects nearest the base, greater effects as one approaches the points at which the main beam touches earth or structures, and fewer effects again out beyond the main beam. That is exactly what Dolk et al found.  Presuming that all organisms responded the same way at the same power density levels, effects would fluctuate, moreover, as wildly as levels do. Adding the further complexities of varied outcomes, enormous differences between and within species, especially human susceptibility, and then the sensitization phenomenon, where decreasing levels of agent produce increasing reactions, we should generally expect to see surrounding transmitting towers considerably affected persons and animals near the main beam, and many lesser affected persons and animals before and beyond it. The least affected groups should be furthest from the tower. This is not only what Dolk found, what Cherry more precisely identified in Dolk, and what has been observed internationally near transmitting towers, but also the finding of a large body of related toxicology, where power density levels are known, and cause-and-effect relationships established.
It is therefore necessary to speculate from the Dolk studies neither about power density windows nor frequency windows; though these possibilities certainly should be explored in the lab and in epidemiology.
Finally, Dr. Smith's postscript statement, "...[B]laming the leukaemias on power levels does keep the paradigm within 'classical physics' where there can be no effects" is imprecise and unfounded.  Power levels at the source are not relevant as are power density levels in the environment, or atmosphere, around the exposed organisms. "Classical physics", whatever may be meant by the term, has, unfortunately, little relevance to biological mechanisms. Physicists do not hold expertise in public health science matters. Dr. Smith would further have us believe that a negative can be and has been proven. As Dr. Amar Bose, PhD, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT says, "Never say never." Regardless, the extant epidemiology and toxicology, however much more we would like of it, is already voluminous.  It shows that effects can and
do take place at the nanowatt/cm2-vicinity power density levels of the Dolk studies, especially where exposure duration - the most important variable, which Dr. Smith did not mention at all - is maximal.

Kind regards,

Susan Clarke, MMOC


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