Newsletter (04 March 2004)

Hearing and WHO


One of the arguments will be that they follow WHO recommendations. Can you help me with some good answers? Not the non-thermal effects, spherical cow model etc. I have said all that. What can we say about WHO's credibility?

Thank you

Sianette Kwee


Update on children & mobile phone use

An ongoing problem for the cell phone industry has been on how to respond to the calls for a precautionary approach in relation to the use of cell phones by children. - Notably the advice from the UK Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP), chaired by Sir William Stewart. (2000).

In particular, Sir William's advice to the mobile phone industry to "refrain from promoting the use of mobile phones by children" was not greeted happily in many a corporate board room. - After all, this their Holy Grail where the BIG $$$$ are being made with a bewildering array of shiny gadgets for the kiddies. I saw one yesterday, a snappy looking "scratch and sniff" cell phone that smells of roses when you scratch the case! I hope the instructions include a warning to avoid poking the antenna in the eye when having an olfactory experience!

In effect, Sir William's advice has placed the concept of a precautionary approach in the sights of the cell phone industry as a threat that needs to be dealt with.

So in a brilliant stroke of genius, someone came up with the idea of why not simply re-define the precautionary approach into something innocuous. And for good measure, have a go at re-writing science itself to give the all-clear for the industry. . . .

To keep track of this ongoing issue I have just placed two new papers (down loadable pdf files) on my web site, as follows:

Bypassing Peer Review: Motorola's influence on mobile phone research in Australia

(Or: Beware of Mickey Mouse Reviews)

February 24, 2004

".....Considering the above criticisms on the Motorola review, its conclusion as to the scientific literature adequately addressing the issue of children's use of mobile phones is fundamentally flawed. It would not stand up to an impartial critical peer review evaluation without a substantial re-writing. Therefore it is surprising to have such a review still being presented at a scientific conference when it's use of data was discredited a year earlier at the BEMS conference in Canada!"


NEWSPEAK: Redefining the Precautionary Principle for the Cellphone Industry


Newspeak was the fictional way of reinventing the English language as created in George Orwell's Sci Fi classic."1984". . . "Newspeak", far from being a fictional medium of expression, is alive and well in the ongoing cellphone controversy. George's classic novel probably sits in many a corporate reference library, under a section titled: "Risk Management". . . .


Exposure limits


Currently the Australian Radiation Protection  & Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has two committees working on revising the current Australian ELF guidelines, which are based on the old ICNIRP limits  (1000mG/residential / 5000mG/ occupational, etc.)

The reason for the revision is the growing consensus of a doubling of childhood leukaemia at 4 mG. However it seems the ARPANSA ELF working group is more interested in examining in intricate detail high level effects (surprise-surprise!) that keeps everybody happily occupied without getting on to the low level stuff. Perhaps by September we will have some indication where an Australian ELF standard is at.

Being interested in antiquarian manuscripts I seem to remember the US NCRP coming up with a 2 mG draft recommendation way back last century. In my opinion that was the "high-water mark" in scientifically valid ELF  limit recommendations. Briefly the NCRP recommended  the following :

In August 1995 a draft report of the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) was leaked to the New York publication Microwave News. The 800 page document recommended drastically reducing the current allowable powerline frequency exposure levels from 1000 milligauss (mG) to 2 mG. The scientific committee found that; "In key areas of bio-electromagnetic research, findings are sufficiently consistent and form a sufficiently coherent picture to suggest plausible connections between ELF EMF exposures and disruption of normal biological processes, in ways meriting detailed examination of potential implications in human health."

From studies on humans the committee cited evidence for a link between EMFs and "neuroendocrine and autonomic responses which, separately or collectively, may have pathophysiological implications" and "neurochemical, physiological, behavioural and chronobiological responses with implications for development of the nervous system."

From laboratory studies the committee noted that EMFs "alter gene transcriptional processes, the natural defense response of T-lymphocytes and other cellular processes".... and "affect neuroendocrine and psychosexual responses".

According to the Committee, problematic sources of ELF EMFs include local electrical distribution systems as well as high voltage power transmission systems. Particular appliances, including electric blankets and video display units also rate highly as problem sources along with "various occupational environments".

The NCRP committee report stated that the evidence points to human health hazards in everyday exposures to EMFs, particularly magnetic fields exceeding 2 mG .

According to the committee:

"..there is an implication that a significant proportion of the world's population may be subjected to a low level of risk, but a risk factor with significant societal consequences, by reason of its pervasive nature and the serious consequences for affected individuals."

I find it curious that nobody even mentions the NCRP draft recommendations anymore.

Don Maisch


Suit alleges health risks of Wi-Fi

News Story by Julie Hanson

FEBRUARY 18, 2004 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - First, children living near power lines were at risk for leukemia. Then cell phones were going to fry our brains. Now wireless networks are harmful too?

Three families have sued a Cook County, Ill., school district, claiming that wireless LANs installed in the district's 10 schools to let students access the network from anywhere in a classroom are subjecting their children to prolonged exposure to low-level, high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, presenting substantial and serious risks to their health.

Just how harmful are WLANs?

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, evidence of the harmful biological effects of low-level radio frequency radiation has been "ambiguous." However, the FCC does acknowledge that prolonged exposure to high levels of this radiation can result in the heating of human tissue and an increase in body temperature. This, in a nutshell, is how microwaves cook food.

Wi-Fi experts argue that although wireless networks do, in fact, produce low levels of electromagnetic radiation, they emit no more than household gadgets do. If wireless networks are hazardous to your health, they say, so then is nuking a slice of pizza. Microwave ovens and many cordless phones operate at the same 2.4-GHz frequency used by an 802.11b wireless network. Even wireless speakers emit similar radiation levels. "At this point, we have no reason to believe there is any harm in wireless networks," says Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director Frank Hanzlik.

The school district in question, Oak Park Elementary School District No. 97, is standing behind its decision to use wireless technology. In a statement, representatives said they spent two years researching the issue and listening to expert testimony. The district believes the technology, the same as that used in buildings around the world, is safe.

But plaintiffs in the Oak Park lawsuit claim they have more than 400 scientific articles outlining the health risks of low-intensity radio frequency radiation exposure. In their lawsuit, they assert that "responsible scientists have reported that prolonged exposure to low-intensity radio frequency radiation can break down DNA strands, cause chromosome aberrations and break down the blood-brain barrier, thereby permitting toxic proteins to invade the brain."

They are scheduled to get their day in court this month.,10801,90275,00.html


Re: Comments on: "Workplace" Chemicals & Stress Damages Brain & Liver

Hi Klaus.

I have to beg to differ with one opinion in this article: ...Comments on: "Workplace" Chemicals & Stress Damages Brain & Liver

Martin Andersson


...  limiting or ultimate values that this results in are based on thermal effects. Non-thermal effects described by experts in this area are caused by exposure to radio-and microwaves with a low field intensity, but over longer periods. (Ref 8)...

The sensation is similar to tinnitus, and some exposed persons may actually think it is tinnitus and perhaps seek treatment for tinnitus. The sensation is a hissing, buzzing, or sizzling sound, sometimes with superposed irregular "popping" sounds. It may be barely recognizable or almost deafeningly loud.

Some references on microwave hearing may be found in  A list in appended here for readers' convenience:

Original classic:

Frey, A. H. Human auditory system response to modulated electromagnetic energy.

Journal of Applied Physiology, 1962, 17(2), 689 - 692.


Ingalls, C. E. Sensation of Hearing in Electromagnetic Fields. New York State Journal of Medicine, 1967, 67(22), 2292 - 2297 (Nov 15 issue).

Foster, K. R. and Finch, E. D. Microwave Hearing: Evidence for Thermoacoustic

Auditory Stimulation by Pulsed Microwaves. Science, 1974, 185, 256 - 258.

Frey, A. H. Holographic Assessment of a Hypothesized Microwave Hearing Mechanism.

Science, 1979, 206, 232 - 234; challenged by Chou, et al, Science, 1980, 209, 1143 - 1144; rebutted by Frey and Coren, Science, 1980, 209, 1144 - 1145.

Although microwave hearing sensations are bothersome (as is tinnitus, which is caused by inner-ear damage), they apparently do not cause permanent injury, at least in the short term.

The author above apparently was not aware of microwave hearing.

John Michael Williams


More on the Arts of the EHS matter

Below is more related to POWERLINES. Do any members of the group know of other arts based interpretations of EHS? If so, I would like very much to be made aware of them.




Soviet forces have been beaming invisible microwave radiation at Americans for over twenty years, triggering cancer, heart problems, cataracts, and emotional stress (24). The bizarre Soviet zapping of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, "The Moscow Signal", may well have been the opening volley of the Invisible War of electromagnetic weaponry. While sweeping the embassy for bugs in 1962, security personnel detected a microwave beam aimed straight at the embassy (25). Naturally, the Pentagon and Intelligence Community became alarmed at the possibility of neurological and behavioral effects on diplomatic personnel. Keeping the knowledge secret from the suffering embassy staff for 12 years, the CIA launched PROJECT PANDORA (26), aimed at understanding the Soviet's motives for the microwave attack. Pandora personnel discovered that the Soviets had conducted extensive microwave research operations over the years. They concentrated their study on the emotional and rental effects of microwaves. By the summer of. 1965, a Pentagon-affiliated think tank, Institute for Defense Analysis, convened a special task force to replicate. Soviet experiments and analyze the problem. The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began experimenting on rhesus monkeys with microwaves at Walter Reed Army Research Institute. The results are still classified Top Secret, but, from recent duplicate studies we learn that microwaves cause 'profound effects on the central nervous system and change behavior of rhesus monkeys.


Bush Puts Giant Sequoias on the Chopping Block

March 02, 2004

Under the guise of forest fire prevention, the Bush Administration's Forest Service has proposed logging in California's Sequoia National Monument, home to some of the world's tallest and oldest trees, reaching ages of 3,200 years or more. Also at risk are the Pacific fisher, the California spotted owl, and many other threatened species dependent on ancient forest habitat.

Informant: George Paxinos


Insurer warns of global warming catastrophe

The world's second-largest reinsurer Swiss Re warns that the costs of global warming threaten to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making. s