Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Welcome to EMR Safety

News releases:  PRLog
Twitter updates: @berkeleyprc

Overview

The Lancet: From Public to Planetary Health: A Manifesto
http://bit.ly/1kOZhOn

"New Federal Policy Needed for Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation Safety"
Prepared for "Oakland Voices: A Town Hall on Our Right to Communicate" (Jan 9, 2014)
http://bit.ly/1cH1Yvf

"Cellphones and Health" by Joel Moskowitz (Oct/Nov, 2013)
http://www.saferemr.com/2013/09/cellphones-and-health_9.html

Teléfonos Celulares y Salud por Dr. Joel Moskowitz
http://www.saferemr.com/2014/02/telefonos-celulares-y-salud.html

"Cell Phones and Cell Biology: Are We Selling Out?"
By David Katz, M.D., Huffington Post (Dec 12, 2013)
Based upon my press releases.
http://huff.to/1gtpcsX

Radio Programs


"Today on Your Call: What are 'best practices' for using digital devices?"
Ali Budner, KALW - FM, Mar 13, 2014  (53 minute audio)
Guests:  Joel Moskowitz, director and principal investigator with The Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
                Levi Felix, founder The Digital Detox and director of Camp Grounded
Available for listening or download at:  http://bit.ly/1dWdnJs

"Cell Phones and Health"
KPFA-FM, Jan 31, 2014 (1:00-1:30 PM)
Moderator: Laura Garzon Chica
Guests:  Josh Hart, Director, StopSmartMeters
Dr. Joel Moskowitz, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley 
Kevin Kunze, Director, "Mobilize: A film on cellphone radiation and health"
Available for listening or downloading at: http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/99666

"What Do You Need to Know about Cellphone Radiation?"
An interview on KAHI radio news (Nov 22, 2013) (11 minutes).

Transcript: http://bit.ly/1heyOFv
Download at:       http://bit.ly/J2XAf9 

"Everything you and your 'Friends and Neighbors' need to know about cellphone radiation and how to protect yourselves"
A 2-part program aired on Calvary Radio Network in Dec, 2013 (50 minutes).

Download at:     http://bit.ly/18xbulT

Community Presentations

"Brain Tumor Risk from Wireless Phone Use: Recent Research and Policy Implications
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part II: Dec 9, 2013) 
Slides:    http://bit.ly/1k9PeRQ
Video:     http://bit.ly/1kxkpto

"Cell Phones & Brain Tumors What Does the Science Show?"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part I: Nov 18, 2010)
Video (15 minutes): http://vimeo.com/17266112
Slides:                       http://bit.ly/W5tNCN

"Expert Roundtable: Skeptical about Cell Phones and Health?"
Forum at Commonwealth Club of California (Dec 9, 2013)
Other presentations will be available soon. 
Agenda : http://bit.ly/1aqek9K

Latest News Releases


Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation

Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife
http://www.prlog.org/12299815

Cell Phone Radiation Label Bill Passes Maine Legislature Before Dying
http://www.prlog.org/12299052


Compilation of my press releases submitted to the FCC (Nov 5, 2013)
http://bit.ly/1b9FG37

Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children
http://www.prlog.org/12269207

The Top Cell Phone Radiation Safety Stories of 2013
http://www.prlog.org/12262295

Everything You Wanted to Know about Cell Phone Radiation: Key submissions to the Federal Communications Commission
http://www.prlog.org/12245111

Did Tom Wheeler, the Nominee for Chairman of the FCC, Subvert Research Showing Harm From Cell Phone Radiation? http://www.prlog.org/12146045

Belgium Adopts New Regulations to Promote Cell Phone Radiation Safety

French Health Agency Recommends Children and Vulnerable Groups Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure
http://www.prlog.org/12226630

Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use
http://www.prlog.org/12216483

LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users

Cell Phone Use, Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer of the Pituitary Gland
http://www.prlog.org/12135511

Most Significant Government Health Report on Mobile Phone Radiation Ever Published
http://www.prlog.org/12125230

More News Releases

Is cell phone radiation a risk factor for female infertility?

Although we have considerable evidence that cell phone radiation damages sperm and is associated with male infertility, little attention has been paid to studying the effects of cell phone radiation on female infertility.* 

A newly published study by Courtney Lynch and her colleagues found for women trying to get pregnant that stress as measured by the alpha-amylase levels in their saliva predicted whether they were successful. The researchers found that women with the highest levels of this enzyme in their saliva had a 29 percent lower probability of pregnancy compared to those with the lowest levels. 

Although this study did not examine EMF exposure, earlier research published by Christoph Augner and his colleagues found that people who lived within 100 meters of cell phone towers had greater salivary alpha-amylase levels. In an experimental study, the researchers found that exposure to higher levels of GSM cell tower radiation increased the levels of this salivary enzyme. 

In a 2013 review paper, Nazıroğlu and colleagues examined research on the effects of Wi-Fi and mobile phone radiation on reproductive signaling pathways. They reported that this radiation is related to "oxidative stress and overproduction of free oxygen radicals in female and male infertility."  The authors concluded that "the role of EMR from mobile phones and wireless devices in female and male fertility should be investigated."

The news story and  study abstracts appear below.



References

Stress May Diminish a Woman's Fertility, Study Suggests


First U.S. review to show a possible link between stress and how long it takes to get pregnant


Mary Brophy Marcus, HealthDay News, Mar 24, 2014


Stress may increase a woman's risk of infertility, new research suggests.

The authors of the study wanted to investigate the relationship between stress and infertility. So they looked at levels of an enzyme linked with stress in the saliva of women who were trying to get pregnant.

They also tracked the women's ability to conceive over a 12-month period.

"Women with higher levels of the stress biomarker had a two-fold increased risk of infertility," said study author Courtney Lynch. The enzyme they measured is called salivary alpha-amylase.

"Alpha-amylase is an enzyme that is secreted into the mouth that helps the body start to digest carbohydrates," said Lynch, director of reproductive epidemiology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. "It is also linked to the fight-or-flight part of the stress system."

For the study, Lynch and her colleagues collected data from about 500 couples who were recruited from targeted counties in Texas and Michigan.

"We tried to find couples who were just starting to try to get pregnant," Lynch said. "We sent a nursing team out to their houses who did interviews and trained the women how to use saliva-collection kits."

The women took saliva samples twice -- at the start of the study and again after they'd had their first menstrual period during the study time frame. For most, that was about a month into the study, Lynch said. Since alpha-amylase can be affected by alcohol, tobacco and caffeine consumption, the researchers asked the women to take their saliva samples right after waking up in the morning.

The researchers followed the couples for up to 12 months, collecting information on whether they'd conceived.

Of the approximately 400 couples who completed the study, 87 percent of the women became pregnant. After adjusting for age, race, income and the use of alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes, the researchers found that the women with the highest alpha-amylase levels had a 29 percent lower probability of pregnancy compared to the women who had the lowest levels of the enzyme.

The study results were published in the March 24 issue of the journal Human Reproduction.
Lynch said it's important to be clear that the results do not suggest that stress alone is the reason a woman can't get pregnant.

"The message is not that everyone should go enroll in yoga tomorrow," she said. "The message is that if you've tried for five or six months and you aren't getting anywhere, maybe you should look at your lifestyle and think about whether or not stress might be a problem for you. 

And if it is, you might want to consider a stress-management program."

The authors said this is the first U.S. study to show a possible association between a stress indicator and how long it takes a woman to become pregnant.

Dr. Suleena Kansal Kalra is a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. She called the new research "a great first step -- it's presenting a way to measure [indicators] of stress."

"Part of the challenge is that we don't have validated [indicators] of stress hormones or validated questionnaires that measure stress, so the next step is that we really need to start validating some of these tools," said Kalra, who was not involved with the new research. 

"Ultimately, we want to know how we can measure stress, and then, can we intervene?"

Exactly how stress affects fertility is not well understood, Lynch said. The study's authors said the women in the group with higher levels of the stress-related enzyme had sex about as often as those in the low-level group, so frequency of intercourse did not play a role.

Kalra said some women stop ovulating during stressful times, while others conceive in high-stress environments.

Lynch said the researchers have also collected data on men but have not yet analyzed it, so it's not yet clear how much a man's stress might influence a couple's fertility.

Women struggling with infertility who have stressful lifestyles should not blame themselves, Lynch said. "I don't want women to see this in the news and say, 'It's my fault I'm not pregnant,'" she said. "We know stress is not the major indicator of whether or not you're going to get pregnant."

Kalra agreed, noting that, "Age is the No. 1 factor linked to the inability to conceive. Mother Nature is cruel and unfair. All our success rates are better in women under 35. That does not mean every woman in her late 30s is going to be infertile, but age is the greatest predictor of success."

She added that cigarette smoking is "absolutely associated with a decrease in the ability to become pregnant," and obesity is beginning to be looked at as well.

Kalra is launching a fertility wellness program this spring at Penn that will combine yoga, meditation, nutrition counseling and a psychologist-led support group to help women who are hoping to become pregnant.

"Not being able to start your family when you're ready to do so can create a lot of stress for couples, particularly women," Kalra said.

"I'm not sure stress is an underlying cause of infertility, and I often find it counterproductive to tell women if they're a little less stressed they would become pregnant," she said. "We don't know if that's true. I generally say, 'I want you to feel as good as possible when you're embarking on the journey to have a family.' "

More information

To learn more about reducing stress, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

SOURCES: Courtney Lynch, Ph.D., M.P.H., director, reproductive epidemiology, and assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology and epidemiology, Ohio State University College of Medicine; Suleena Kansal Kalra, M.D., M.S.C.E., assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, and director, fertility wellness program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; March 24, 2014, Human Reproduction, online

http://bit.ly/1jJnHVI

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Lynch CD, Sundaram R, Maisog JM, Sweeney AM, Buck Louis GM.Preconception stress increases the risk of infertility: results from a couple-based prospective cohort study--the LIFE study. Hum Reprod. 2014 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION: Are women's stress levels prospectively associated with fecundity and infertility?

SUMMARY ANSWER: Higher levels of stress as measured by salivary alpha-amylase are associated with a longer time-to-pregnancy (TTP) and an increased risk of infertility.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Data suggest that stress and reproduction are interrelated; however, the directionality of that association is unclear.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: In 2005-2009, we enrolled 501 couples in a prospective cohort study with preconception enrollment at two research sites (Michigan and Texas, USA). Couples were followed for up to 12 months as they tried to conceive and through pregnancy if it occurred. A total of 401 (80%) couples completed the study protocol and 373 (93%) had complete data available for this analysis.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Enrolled women collected saliva the morning following enrollment and then the morning following their first observed study menses for the measurement of cortisol and alpha-amylase, which are biomarkers of stress. TTP was measured in cycles. Covariate data were captured on both a baseline questionnaire and daily journals.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Among the 401 (80%) women who completed the protocol, 347 (87%) became pregnant and 54 (13%) did not. After adjustment for female age, race, income, and use of alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes while trying to conceive, women in the highest tertile of alpha-amylase exhibited a 29% reduction in fecundity (longer TTP) compared with women in the lowest tertile [fecundability odds ratios (FORs) = 0.71; 95% confidence interval (CI) = (0.51, 1.00); P < 0.05]. This reduction in fecundity translated into a >2-fold increased risk of infertility among these women [relative risk (RR) = 2.07; 95% CI = (1.04, 4.11)]. In contrast, we found no association between salivary cortisol and fecundability.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Due to fiscal and logistical concerns, we were unable to collect repeated saliva samples and perceived stress questionnaire data throughout the duration of follow-up. Therefore, we were unable to examine whether stress levels increased as women continued to fail to get pregnant. Our ability to control for potential confounders using time-varying data from the daily journals, however, minimizes residual confounding.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: This is the first US study to demonstrate a prospective association between salivary stress biomarkers and TTP, and the first in the world to observe an association with infertility.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (contracts #N01-HD-3-3355, N01-HD-3-3356, N01-HD-3358). There are no conflicts of interest to declare.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24664130


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Augner C, Hacker GW. Are people living next to mobile phone base stations more strained? Relationship of health concerns, self-estimated distance to base station, and psychological parameters. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Dec;13(3):141-5. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.58918.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coeval with the expansion of mobile phone technology and the associated obvious presence of mobile phone base stations, some people living close to these masts reported symptoms they attributed to electromagnetic fields (EMF). Public and scientific discussions arose with regard to whether these symptoms were due to EMF or were nocebo effects. The aim of this study was to find out if people who believe that they live close to base stations show psychological or psychobiological differences that would indicate more strain or stress. Furthermore, we wanted to detect the relevant connections linking self-estimated distance between home and the next mobile phone base station (DBS), daily use of mobile phone (MPU), EMF-health concerns, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and psychological strain parameters.

DESIGN, MATERIALS AND METHODS:  Fifty-seven participants completed standardized and non-standardized questionnaires that focused on the relevant parameters. In addition, saliva samples were used as an indication to determine the psychobiological strain by concentration of alpha-amylase, cortisol, immunoglobulin A (IgA), and substance P.

RESULTS:  Self-declared base station neighbors (DBS </= 100 meters) had significantly higher concentrations of alpha-amylase in their saliva, higher rates in symptom checklist subscales (SCL) somatization, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, phobic anxiety, and global strain index PST (Positive Symptom Total). There were no differences in EMF-related health concern scales.

CONCLUSIONS:  We conclude that self-declared base station neighbors are more strained than others. EMF-related health concerns cannot explain these findings. Further research should identify if actual EMF exposure or other factors are responsible for these results.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20442833

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Augner C, Hacker GW, Oberfeld G, Florian M, Hitzl W, Hutter J, Pauser G. Effects of exposure to GSM mobile phone base station signals on salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and immunoglobulin A. Biomed Environ Sci. 2010 Jun;23(3):199-207. doi: 10.1016/S0895-3988(10)60053-0.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to test whether exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by mobile phone base stations may have effects on salivary alpha-amylase, immunoglobulin A (IgA), and cortisol levels.

METHODS: Fifty seven participants were randomly allocated to one of three different experimental scenarios (22 participants to scenario 1, 26 to scenario 2, and 9 to scenario 3). Each participant went through five 50-minute exposure sessions. The main RF-EMF source was a GSM-900-MHz antenna located at the outer wall of the building. In scenarios 1 and 2, the first, third, and fifth sessions were "low" (median power flux density 5.2 microW/m(2)) exposure. The second session was "high" (2126.8 microW/m(2)), and the fourth session was "medium" (153.6 microW/m(2)) in scenario 1, and vice versa in scenario 2. Scenario 3 had four "low" exposure conditions, followed by a "high" exposure condition. Biomedical parameters were collected by saliva samples three times a session. Exposure levels were created by shielding curtains.

RESULTS: In scenario 3 from session 4 to session 5 (from "low" to "high" exposure), an increase of cortisol was detected, while in scenarios 1 and 2, a higher concentration of alpha-amylase related to the baseline was identified as compared to that in scenario 3. IgA concentration was not significantly related to the exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: RF-EMF in considerably lower field densities than ICNIRP-guidelines may influence certain psychobiological stress markers.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708499

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Nazıroğlu M, Yüksel M, Köse SA, Özkaya MO. Recent reports of Wi-Fi and mobile phone-induced radiation on oxidative stress and reproductive signaling pathways in females and males.J Membr Biol. 2013 Dec;246(12):869-75. doi: 10.1007/s00232-013-9597-9. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Abstract

Environmental exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) has been increasing with the increasing demand for communication devices. The aim of the study was to discuss the mechanisms and risk factors of EMR changes on reproductive functions and membrane oxidative biology in females and males. It was reported that even chronic exposure to EMR did not increase the risk of reproductive functions such as increased levels of neoantigens abort. However, the results of some studies indicate that EMR induced endometriosis and inflammation and decreased the number of follicles in the ovarium or uterus of rats. In studies with male rats, exposure caused degeneration in the seminiferous tubules, reduction in the number of Leydig cells and testosterone production as well as increases in luteinizing hormone levels and apoptotic cells. In some cases of male and female infertility, increased levels of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation and decreased values of antioxidants such as melatonin, vitamin E and glutathione peroxidase were reported in animals exposed to EMR. In conclusion, the results of current studies indicate that oxidative stress from exposure to Wi-Fi and mobile phone-induced EMR is a significant mechanism affecting female and male reproductive systems. However, there is no evidence to this date to support an increased risk of female and male infertility related to EMR exposure.
Conclusions

.. EMR exposure from Wi-Fi and mobile phones is related to oxidative stress and overproduction of free oxygen radicals in female and male infertility. Use of mobile phones and wireless devices has been increasing day by day. There are very scarce data on Wi-Fi-induced reproductive dysfunction in female and male individuals. However, carcinogenic and proliferative effects of mobile phones (Kim et al. 2010) and Wi-Fi (Kumar et al. 2011; Kesari et al. 2011; Nazırog˘lu et al. 2012b) have been reported in animals and cell culture systems, although there is no report on Wi-Fi- or mobile phone-induced cancer in reproductive tissues of female and male individuals. In the future, the role of EMR from mobile phones and wireless devices in female and male fertility should be investigated.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife

The Department of Interior charges that the FCC standards for cell phone radiation  are outmoded and no longer applicable as they do not adequately protect wildlife.

The Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the United States Department of the Interior sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce which addresses the Interior Department's concern that cell tower radiation has had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds and other wildlife. 

The Interior Department accused the Federal government of employing outdated radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a federal agency with no expertise in health.  The standards are no longer applicable because they control only for overheating and do not protect organisms from the adverse effects of exposure to the low-intensity radiation produced by cell phones and cell towers:
"the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today." 
The Department  criticized the Federal government's proposed procedures for placement and operation of communication towers, and called for "independent, third-party peer-reviewed studies" in the U.S. to examine the effects of cell tower radiation on "migratory birds and other trust species." 

Following are excerpts from the letter, dated  Feb 7, 2014:
"The Department believes that some of the proposed procedures are not consistent with Executive Order 13186 Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds, which specifically requires federal agencies to develop and use principles, standards, and practices that will lessen the amount of unintentional take reasonably attributed to agency actions. The Department, through the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), finds that the proposals lack provisions necessary to conserve migratory bird resources, including eagles. The proposals also do not reflect current information regarding the effects of communication towers to birds. Our comments are intended to further clarify specific issues and address provisions in the proposals.
The Department recommends revisions to the proposed procedures to better reflect the impacts to resources under our jurisdiction from communication towers. The placement and operation of communication towers, including un-guyed, unlit, monopole or lattice-designed structures, impact protected migratory birds in two significant ways. The first is by injury, crippling loss, and death from collisions with towers and their supporting guy-wire infrastructure, where present. The second significant issue associated with communication towers involves impacts from non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted by them (See Attachment)."
Enclosure A
"The second significant issue associated with communication towers involves impacts from nonionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted by these structures. Radiation studies at cellular communication towers were begun circa 2000 in Europe and continue today on wild nesting birds. Study results have documented nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death (e.g., Balmori 2005, Balmori and Hallberg 2007, and Everaert and Bauwens 2007). Nesting migratory birds and their offspring have apparently been affected by the radiation from cellular phone towers in the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges- 915 MHz is the standard cellular phone frequency used in the United States. However, the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today. This is primarily due to the lower levels of radiation output from microwave-powered communication devices such as cellular telephones and other sources of point-to-point communications; levels typically lower than from microwave ovens. The problem, however, appears to focus on very low levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. For example, in laboratory studies, T. Litovitz (personal communication) and DiCarlo et al. (2002) raised concerns about impacts of low-level, non-thermal electromagnetic radiation from the standard 915 MHz cell phone frequency on domestic chicken embryos- with some lethal results (Manville 2009, 2013a). Radiation at extremely low levels (0.0001 the level emitted by the average digital cellular telephone) caused heart attacks and the deaths of some chicken embryos subjected to hypoxic conditions in the laboratory while controls subjected to hypoxia were unaffected (DiCarlo et al. 2002). To date, no independent, third-party field studies have been conducted in North America on impacts of tower electromagnetic radiation on migratory birds. With the European field and U.S. laboratory evidence already available, independent, third-party peer-reviewed studies need to be conducted in the U.S. to begin examining the effects from radiation on migratory birds and other trust species."
Radiation Impacts and Categorical Exclusions
"There is a growing level of anecdotal evidence linking effects of non-thermal, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from communication towers on nesting and roosting wild birds and other wildlife in the U.S. Independent, third-party studies have yet to be conducted in the U.S. or Canada, although a peer-reviewed research protocol developed for the U.S. Forest Service by the Service's Division of Migratory Bird Management is available to study both collision and radiation impacts (Manville 2002). As previously mentioned, Balmori (2005) found strong negative correlations between levels of tower-emitted microwave radiation and bird breeding, nesting, and roosting in the vicinity of electromagnetic fields in Spain. He documented nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death in House Sparrows, White Storks, Rock Doves, Magpies, Collared Doves, and other species. Though these species had historically been documented to roost and nest in these areas, Balmori (2005) did not observe these symptoms prior to construction and operation of the cellular phone towers. Balmori and Hallberg (2007) and Everaert and Bauwens (2007) found similar strong negative correlations among male House Sparrows. Under laboratory 'conditions, DiCarlo et al. (2002) raised troubling concerns about impacts of low-level, non-thermal electromagnetic radiation from the standard 915 MHz cell phone frequency on domestic chicken embryos- with some lethal results (Manville 2009). Given the findings of the studies mentioned above, field studies should be conducted in North America to validate potential impacts of communication tower radiation both direct and indirect - to migratory birds and other trust wildlife species."
The full text of the letter, the addendum and citations are available at:  http://1.usa.gov/1jn3CZg

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cell Phone Radiation Label Bill Passes Maine Legislature Before Dying

The Maine House and Senate passed "The Wireless Information Act," a cell phone radiation label requirement, and then killed it prior to enactment due to cellular industry lobbyists.

On March 11, 2014, the Maine House House of Representatives passed an amended version of "The Wireless Information Act" on a vote of 83 to 56.  The bill, LD 1013, requires that any manufacturer's information relating to radio-frequency exposure must be plainly visible on the outside of the cell phone's product packaging or the packaging must contain a label with the following warning for all cell phones sold in the state that have manufacturer's safety warnings:


"RF EXPOSURE: To find information relating to radio-frequency exposure, refer to information supplied by the manufacturer" and language directing consumers to the page or pages of the owner's manual or other insert or location where the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information may be found."

The amended bill specifies that it applies only to cell phones sold at retail in the state, and that the law would take effect only after four other states, in addition to Maine, have adopted legislation requiring labeling of cell phones or cell phone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure.

Rep. Andrea Boland sponsored the bill.

Prior to the vote, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig publicly announced at a lecture at the University of Southern Maine that he would help defend the law if the industry sued and the State of Maine did not want to defend it.

On March 18, the Maine Senate passed the amended bill on a 21-14 vote.  


Before a bill goes to the Governor for approval in Maine, it is returned to the originating body for enactment, usually a routine matter.  However, on March 20, the bill died in the Maine House of Representatives as the House failed to enact it on a 77-60 vote.  Cell phone industry lobbyists killed the bill by co-opting the Democratic House leadership to switch their votes from approval to disapproval.

Several other states, including California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, have tried to adopt cell phone warning label laws but have been blocked by intense lobbying by the cell phone industry. The industry does not want consumers to read the microwave radiation safety warnings that cell phone manufacturers bury in cell phone user manuals, nor does it want cell phone users to take simple precautions to reduce their risk of harm.  The industry has argued before the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that consumers will panic if they are informed about the risks from exposure to cell phone radiation that have been reported in the scientific literature.

Why does the cellular industry continue to hide from the public the RF safety information contained in the cell phone user manuals?  Isn't this short-sighted from the perspective of product liability? Why isn't this industry concerned about public safety?

The wording of the bill and the amendment appear below.


LD 1013 (HP 711)
‘An Act To Create the Wireless Information Act’
Sec. 1.  22 MRSA c. 261-B  is enacted to read:
CHAPTER 261-B
THE WIRELESS INFORMATION ACT
§ 1537Short title
This chapter may be known and cited as "the Wireless Information Act."
§ 1538Labels for cellular telephones

1 Definitions.     As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A.  "Cellular telephone" means a device used to access a wireless telephone service.

2 Prominence of instructions.     If a cellular telephone manufacturer includes guidelines or instructions or general information relating to radio-frequency exposure in any literature distributed or made available to consumers in connection with its products, the cellular telephone manufacturer shall ensure that:

A.  The full language of the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information is plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging; or

B.  A label is plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging alerting consumers to the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information. The body of the notice must be in letters not less than 1/16 inch in height. The initial words "RF EXPOSURE" must appear in capital letters and in bold type at least 1/8 inch in height, followed by: "To find information relating to radio-frequency exposure, refer to information supplied by the manufacturer" and language directing consumers to the page or pages of the owner's manual or other insert or location where the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information may be found.

3 Violation.    A violation of this chapter is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

SUMMARY

This amendment replaces the bill. It requires that any notification related to radio-frequency exposure supplied by a cellular telephone manufacturer must have the language of the notification plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging or a label, plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging, directing the consumer where to find the information. A violation of this provision is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act. 


AMENDMENT
Amend the amendment in section 1 in §1538 by inserting after subsection 2 the following:

3 Application.    This section applies only to cellular telephones sold at retail in this State.
Amend the amendment in section 1 in §1538 by renumbering the subsections to read consecutively.
Amend the amendment by inserting after section 1 the following:
Sec. 2. Contingent effective date; repeal.
1. Effective date. The chair of the Public Utilities Commission shall monitor legislative activities in other states and certify to the Secretary of State and the Revisor of Statutes when 4 states, in addition to Maine, have adopted legislation requiring labeling of cellular telephones or cellular telephone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure. The chair shall notify the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities matters when certification is made. That section of this Act that enacts the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 261-B takes effect 30 days after the date of the chair's certification.
2. Repeal. If no certification has been made by the chair of the Public Utilities Commission under subsection 1 before January 1, 2024, the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 261-B is repealed on that date.’
 SUMMARY
This amendment provides that the requirements governing the labeling of cellular telephones or cellular telephone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure applies only to cellular telephones sold at retail in Maine. This amendment also requires that before this legislation takes effect, 4 other states must adopt legislation requiring labeling of cellular telephones or cellular telephone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

News Releases on PRLog


Health Policy

Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation

Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife
http://www.prlog.org/12299815

Cell Phone Radiation Label Bill Passes Maine Legislature Before Dying
http://www.prlog.org/12299052


Everything You Wanted to Know about Cell Phone Radiation: Key Submissions to the Federal Communications Commission
http://www.prlog.org/12245111

Did Tom Wheeler, the Nominee for Chairman of the FCC, Subvert Research Showing Harm From Cell Phone Radiation?
http://www.prlog.org/12146045

Belgium Adopts New Regulations to Promote Cell Phone Radiation Safety

French Health Agency Recommends Children and Vulnerable Groups Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure
http://www.prlog.org/12226630 

FCC Needs Input on Radio Frequency Radiation
http://www.prlog.org/12178160

San Francisco Updates Cell Phone Safety Warnings
http://www.prlog.org/12149797
 
Will San Francisco Abandon Its Cell Phone Right to Know Law?
http://www.prlog.org/12132051

 
Most Significant Government Health Report on Mobile Phone Radiation Ever Published
http://www.prlog.org/12125230

Wireless Industry's Patented System to Reduce Cancer Risk from Wireless Local Networks Never Adopte
http://www.prlog.org/12094566
 
Better Late Than Never? FCC to Review Cell Phone Radiation Standards (2/5/2013)
http://www.prlog.org/12073996
 
Comments submitted to FCC re: "FCC Proposes Changes in the Commission's Rules and Procedures Regarding Human Exposure to RadioFrequency Electromagnetic Energy" (Proceeding Number 03-137), Feb 5, 2013
http://bit.ly/WsHdLe
http://bit.ly/UuBmZ2
 
Call for Action to Reduce Harm from Mobile Phone Radiation
http://www.prlog.org/12065677

Drs. Oz and Gupta Call for Caution in Using Cell Phones
http://www.prlog.org/12060850
  
What's Wrong with the GAO Report on Cell Phone Radiation?
http://www.prlog.org/12057270

Studies Show Cell Phone Use Increases Brain Cancer Risk
http://www.prlog.org/12052898

Boeing Tests In-Flight Wireless on Potatoes, Not People
http://www.prlog.org/12046596
 


Florida City Adopts Cell Phone Precautionary Health Warnings
http://www.prlog.org/12031899

San Francisco's Cell Phone Fact Sheet is Factual
http://www.prlog.org/11973342

Cell Phone Radiation Warning on San Francisco Government Web Site
http://www.prlog.org/11879000

Big Week for Cell Phone Radiation Legislation
http://www.prlog.org/11943091

Does The FCC Plan To Rubber Stamp Outdated Cell Phone Radiation Standards?
http://www.prlog.org/11901340

Italian Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can Cause Cancer
http://www.prlog.org/12004383

India Adopts Health Warnings & U.S. Mobile Phone Standards
http://www.prlog.org/11966704

Russian Cell Phone Standards Offer Better Protection than American Standards
http://www.prlog.org/11916029 


Samsung Scores with Lowest Radiation Cell Phones
http://www.prlog.org/11962089


Health Effects

Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children
http://www.prlog.org/12269207

Everything You Wanted to Know about Cell Phone Radiation
http://www.prlog.org/12245111

Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use
http://www.prlog.org/12216483

LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users 
http://www.prlog.org/12215083

Cell Phone Use, Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer of the Pituitary Gland
http://www.prlog.org/12135511
 

WHO Monograph on Cancer Risk from Mobile Phone Use Released
http://www.prlog.org/12122198

Children's Cell Phone Use May Increase Their Risk of ADHD
http://www.prlog.org/12110138

Your Cell Phone Company May Affect Your Risk of Brain Cancer
http://www.prlog.org/12106833

Exposure to Electricity May Increase Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease and ALS
http://www.prlog.org/12087069

Studies Show Cell Phone Use Increases Brain Cancer Risk
http://www.prlog.org/12052898

Secondhand Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation: An Emerging Public Health Problem?
http://www.prlog.org/12010018


Health Experts Caution About Smart Meters
http://www.prlog.org/11978228


Cell Phone Radiation, Pregnancy, and Sperm
http://www.prlog.org/12026867

Cell Phone Radiation Damages Sperm
http://www.prlog.org/11911996

Magnetic Field Exposure Before Birth May Contribute to Childhood Obesity
http://www.prlog.org/1193609