Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

31 October 2016

The £2,500 Digital 'Granny Tracker' that Promises to Save Thousands in Care Costs

Now you can keep an eye on your elderly relatives from
your phone - which could reduce their care bill.
Credit:  Alamy/ Rex Features
[Our comment:  "Keeping an eye on Granny" from a distance will never make up for the physical presence of loved ones.  This technology will be exposing the elderly to microwave radiation, a class 2B "possible" carcinogen, having the potential to cause all kinds of other illnesses besides cancer. It could very increase rather than save health care costs.] 

The £2,500 digital 'granny tracker' that promises to save thousands in care costs
by Olivia Rudgard, The Telegraph, 
19 October 2016

Acontroversial monitoring system aiming to cut care bills by allowing family members to keep elderly relatives under surveillance at all times is to be sold in Britain for the first time.

It costs users £2,860 in the first year, and less after that, and, in connection with a range of "smart" household devices, can track a person's exact whereabouts as well as check whether they have stocked their fridge, taken their medicine, or whether they are watching TV or using other appliances.

Australia: ABC's Catalyst Staff to be Sacked and Weekly TV Show Format Scrapped

What happened to freedom of speech?!

ABC's Catalyst staff to be sacked and weekly TV show format scrapped

by Amanda Meade, The Guardian/ msn.com, 
31 October 2016

The ABC’s Catalyst program is to lose its weekly slot and its 11 staff – including the suspended presenter Maryanne Demasi – made redundant under a radical plan which has been approved by the ABC board.

Under the plan the in-house magazine-style program will be replaced by 17 one-hour science specials, mainly from the independent production sector.

But senior ABC program makers have warned that ditching the weekly half-hour program and disbanding the science unit would lead to a dumbing down of science programming and effectively kill off Australian science on television.

30 October 2016

United States: Waste, Families Left Behind As Nuclear Plants Close

After 43 years of cranking out electricity, the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant is shutting down. The plant was licensed until 2033, but will go offline 17 years earlier than planned. Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a "broken system" for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste.

Loading of nuclear fuel in the Fort Calhoun Station's
reactor, Unit 1, began in May 1973.  As the plant closes the
radioactive waste will be stored on site. 
United States Department of Energy / Flickr-CC
Waste, Families Left Behind As Nuclear Plants Close
by Frank Morris, kcur.org, 24 October 2016

A drive 30 minutes north of Omaha, Nebraska, leads to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. It's full of new equipment. There's a white concrete box building that's still under construction. It's licensed until 2033. But the plant is closing Monday.

Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a "broken system" for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste.

'Trying to skid to a halt'

Why Hackers Just Can’t Get Enough Of IoT

“Manufacturers today are flooding the market with cheap, insecure devices, with few market incentives to design the products with security in mind or to provide ongoing support,” U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Member Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said.

Why Hackers Just Can’t Get Enough Of IoT

by PYMNTS, 28 October 2016

It’s safe to say hackers may be developing a love affair with connected devices.

Anyone who attempted to hit a major site in the U.S. last Friday (Oct. 21) — such as Spotify, Amazon, Twitter or even Netflix — may have experienced firsthand what it’s like when hackers can have their way with Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

How Much Do You Know About Toxic Air?

All aircraft except for one filter toxic jet engine
air into cabins.
The DEADLY germs you’re inhaling when you fly - how much do YOU know about toxic air?
by Claudia Cuskelly, express.co.uk, 
27 October 2016

PASSENGERS and crew are exposed to on board plane fumes so dangerous they can be life-threatening.

Air travel can be a testing experience at the best of times. But annoying neighbours, seat kickers, stodgy plane food and lack of leg room aren’t the only elements for concern.

The in-cabin oxygen supply is not just stuffy, it’s filled with toxic fumes that no one’s told about.

Just this week a BA flight to Vancouver was diverted due to crew illness.

The reason for their sickness has not yet been confirmed, but the incident has again raised questions over air cabin quality.

Frank Brehany, Consumer Director of HolidayTravelWatch, said: "If the reports we have seen are correct, then they represent a text-book case of why Passengers should have a Right to information following a Fume Event on-board an aircraft."

29 October 2016

Aerotoxic Syndrome: It's Being Called the "Asbestos of the Airline Industry"

It’s being called the “Asbestos of the Airline Industry”
by Health Coach Beverly Butler, americaoutloud.com, (undated)

Interview with John Hoyte who is a retired pilot who fell sick with a mysterious illness in 1990, while flying a BAe 146 airliner which then led to his premature retirement on medical grounds. In 2006, he became aware of aerotoxic syndrome and after much research on the subject he founded the Aerotoxic Association in 2007.

Podcast: Download | Embed

This is something that has been happening since 1962 when they changed the design of the aircraft and started pumping air from the engine instead of getting it from the atmosphere. They did this to save money. Yes you're reading this correctly - so the airline put EVERYONE AT RISK, including YOU to save money!!! What is wrong with this picture?

Common Household Chemicals Are Linked to Type 2 Diabetes: Study

From Neel and Sargis (2011), published by the 
American Diabetes Association.  The data includes both
type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but since type 1 is much less
common than type 2, the numbers are generally
representative of type 2 diabetes.
(Choice of image by Editor, "Towards Better Health")
We too often incriminate lack of exercise and poor diet as causes for type 2 diabetes, while environmental factors may play a significant role in contributing to this disease.  (See also
"Diabetes and the Environment".)

These Common Chemicals Are Linked to Type-2 Diabetes: Study
by Justin Worland @justinworland, Time, 
26 October 2016

And that's just one of the ways household chemicals may be harming human health

Common household chemicals found in a wide range of products from carpets to cleaning products can alter hormones and contribute to type-2 diabetes—likely costing Europeans billions of dollars annually, according to new research.

Scientists behind the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, looked at data from seniors in the Swedish city of Uppsala on how exposure to chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system, like phthalates, PCBs, pesticides and perfluoroalkyls, contributes to obesity and diabetes. Researchers used those findings to study the effects of chemical exposure on Europeans more broadly.

Air Pollution Damages Arteries of Even Healthy Young Adults, New Study Shows

Fossil fuel emissions are the main driver of climate
change and potentially deadly smog.  Getty
Air pollution damages arteries of even healthy young adults, new study shows
by Ian Johnston Science Correspondent, independent.co.uk, 25 October 2016

Tiny particles produced by burning fossil fuels were thought to be mainly a problem for young and elderly people with medical conditions

Tiny particles of air pollution can damage the inner lining of veins and arteries in young and healthy people, putting them at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, according to new research.

Air pollution is thought to cause the premature deaths of about 40,000 people a year in the UK, with children and older people with medical conditions thought to be the most at risk.

But the new study suggests that healthy people in their twenties are also being harmed by the particles.

The World Health Organisation has warned that air pollution is “wreaking havoc on human health” amid rising scientific evidence about the dangers.

Japan: Fukushima Nuclear Clean-Up May Rise to Several Billion Dollars a Year

"Tepco has been struggling with rising costs at its Fukushima plant nearly six years after the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl... Japan has 10 nuclear operators and all have been hit by the political fallout from the disaster, which has undermined public faith in atomic energy. All but two of Japan's 42 reactors are in shut-down mode."

Fukushima nuclear clean-up may rise to several billion dollars a year: government
by Kentaro Hamada and Osamu Tsukimori | Reuters, TOKYO, 25 October 2016

Photo:  Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is illuminated for decommissioning operation in the dusk in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo March 10, 2016, a day before the five-year... REUTERS/Kyodo

The cost of cleaning up Tokyo Electric Power's wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may rise to several billion dollars a year, the Japanese government said on Tuesday, adding that it would look into a possible separation of the nuclear business from the utility.

A possible move to spin off Tepco's nuclear business into a subsidiary could make it easier to sell or merge it with other companies in the future.

28 October 2016

Market for "Hearable" Devices Could Reach $16 Billion by 2020

Market for “hearable” devices could reach $16B by 2020
by Donal Power, Contributing Writer, readwrite.com, 26 October 2016

Wearable technology is about to expand into a whole new sub-market via your ear-holes with the advent of “hearables.” And this new category of connected devices for your ears is beginning to make its mark on global markets.

Experts predict that the hearables market could surpass $16 billion by 2020. A key component to the rosy prospects for hearables is their potential to steal market share from headphones, medical hearing aids and other wearables that aren’t situated in the ear.

Several of the large electronics firms are gearing up to begin production of their own hearables, which could see a flood of the new technology on global markets.

Of particular interest is Apple’s expansion into greater ear-based technology is its introduction of wireless Airpods. These new headphones were launched in tandem with the new iPhone 7 which was designed without a headphone jack, causing much controversy among audiophiles.

Exploding Phone Burns Hole in Samsung's Balance Sheet

A Samsung Note 7 phone set up in a laboratory in South
Korea for a test.  Reuters( Edgar Su
"Samsung still does not know what caused the fires in devices sent to customers as replacements for the initial 2.5 million Note 7s it recalled due to fire-prone batteries... The battery might not be the only problem, suggesting the root cause may be more difficult to determine than had been hoped."

Exploding phone burns hole in Samsung's balance sheet
by Se Young Lee, independent.ie, 
28 October 2016

Mobile giant Samsung Electronics has said it aims to recover quickly from the disastrous withdrawal of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 that dragged third-quarter mobile earnings to their lowest level in nearly eight years.

The South Korean firm said it was expanding its probe into the Note 7 fires beyond batteries, as it tried to reassure investors that it would get to the bottom of one of the worst product failures in tech history. "We know we must work hard to earn back your trust and we are committed to doing just that," said co-chief executive JK Shin as he apologised for the debacle at a general meeting in Seoul following the release of the company's results.

27 October 2016

Banning Tablets Is Best for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended
that children ages 2 to 5 be limited to an hour a day of
screen time.  
Photo:  Getty Images
[And, a tablet should never be used on one's lap, especially
if connected to Wi-Fi.]
“One of the more troubling things I see as a pediatrician is a child getting an immunization and being handed an iPad or an iPhone to try to comfort them afterward,” says Dr. Christakis. “It often works, but think about what’s being displaced there—what they need is a hug, not an iPhone.”

Banning Tablets Is Best for Children
by Christopher Mims, The Wall Street Journal, 23 October 2016

Latest guidelines recommend just one hour of screen time a day of ‘high quality programming’

A funny thing happened when I banned tablets in my house on weekdays and curtailed their use on weekends. My children, ages 6 and 4, became less cantankerous. They also became happier, more responsive and engaged in more imaginative play. They rediscovered their toys. Outside the home, they became less demanding and better at self-regulating.

Friday, the American Academy of Pediatrics validated my experiment, recommending that children younger than 18 months get zero screen time, and those ages 2 to 5 be limited to one hour a day—half of its prior recommendation. The group recommended that the hour be “high quality programming” that parents watch with their children.

Wireless Pollution 'Out of Control' As Corporate Race for 5G Gears Up

Wireless pollution 'out of control' as corporate race for 5G gears up
by Lynne Wycherley, theecologist.org, 27 October 2016

Meg Montgoris using free Wi-Fi on the red stairs on
Duffy Square.  
Photo:  Adam Pantozzi/ Times
Alliance/ Yahoo via Flickr (CC BY)
With the UK's Digital Economy Bill set to be finalised today, new 5G microwave spectra are about to be released across the planet without adequate safety testing, writes Lynne Wycherley. Global neglect of the Precautionary Principle is opening the way to corporate profit but placing humans and ecosystems at risk, and delaying a paradigm shift towards safer connectivity.

In Drowning in a Sea of Microwaves, the late geneticist Dr Mae-Wan Ho - a visionary voice who opposed GMOs - identified pollution from wireless technologies as a pressing issue of our times.

Noting evidence for "DNA damage ... cancers, microwave sickness, [and], impairment of fertility", she concluded: "Evidence is emerging that the health hazards associated with wireless microwaves are at least comparable to, if not worse than, those associated with cigarette smoking."

26 October 2016

United Kingdom: Too Much Needless NHS Treatment Says Royal College, As It Draws Up List of Those with Little or No Benefit

Too many doctors are ordering treatments and investigations
which are not necessary, says the Academy of Medical
Royal Colleges.  
Credit:  Peter Byrne/PA
Too much needless NHS treatment says Royal College, as it draws up list of those with little or no benefit
by Laura Donnelly, health editor, The Telegraph, 24 October 2016

Doctors are giving too many patients tests and drugs they do not need, senior medics have warned, as they published a list of 40 treatments which should no longer be in routine use.

The unprecedented intervention by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC) follows research which found doctors commonly ordering X-ray, scans and drugs, in cases they believed to be pointless.

More than six in 10 medics said their decisions had been driven by a fear of litigation, with just as many saying they ordered interventions because they felt under pressure from patients.

The Academy – which represents all 21 medical royal colleges in the UK – has today drawn up a list of 40 treatments and procedures which it says are of little or no benefit to patients.

Alarming Levels Of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Found In Hospital Feeding Tubes

Alarming Levels Of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Found In Hospital Feeding Tubes
by Tami Canal, march-against-monsanto.com, 23 September 2016 ·

According to lab results conducted through funds provided by Moms Across America, Monsanto’s glyphosate has been found in a surprising place that could be especially harmful to the most at-risk hospital patients.

Lab tests conducted by the Microbe Inotech lab found alarmingly high levels of glyphosate in Pediasure liquid, which is used in feeding tubes given to babies and kids with cancer.

A total of 6 of 20 samples of the liquid tested at levels above 75 parts per billion, or 800-1110 times higher than what has been shown to destroy gut bacteria in chickens; only 50 ppT (trillion) was shown to cause liver, kidney and sex hormone changes in rats.

Canada: Ottawa Councillors and Staff Guinea Pigs for New Light-Up Bike Helmets

The Lumos Helmet uses bluetooth technology to connect
the helmet's lights sensor buttons on the bike's
handlebars.  (CBC)
[Bluetooth technology radiating microwaves right next to the brain...]

Ottawa councillors and staff guinea pigs for new light-up bike helmets
by CBC's All in a Day, CBC News
25 October 2016

Safer Roads Ottawa bought 12 helmets 
for $180

Some Ottawa city councillors and staffers are testing out a new bike helmet that lets others on the road know when they're turning and braking, just like a car's lights.

The Lumos Helmet uses bluetooth technology to connect the helmet's 60 or so LED lights to buttons that can be attached to the bike's handlebars.

Watch the video to see how it works. [See original article.]

"Once you click the button to turn left or right on your handlebars the actual helmet itself will light up a turn signal on that same side of your helmet so anyone behind you knows what your intent is out on the road," said Rob Wilkinson, co-ordinator of Safer Roads Ottawa.

The group is a partnership between Ottawa paramedics, police, fire, public works and public health services dedicated to trying to stop road deaths and serious injuries.

WHO Cancer Agency Asked Experts to Withhold Weedkiller Documents

Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller atomozers are displayed
for sale at a garden shop at Bonneuil-Sur-Marne near
Paris, France, June 16, 2915.  Reuters/ Charles Platiau
Exclusive: WHO cancer agency asked experts to withhold weedkiller documents
by Kate Kelland | LONDON, Reuters, 
26 October 2016

The World Health Organization's cancer agency - which is facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens - advised academic experts on one of its review panels not to disclose documents they were asked to release under United States freedom of information laws.

In a letter and an email seen by Reuters, officials from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cautioned scientists who worked on a review in 2015 of the weedkiller glyphosate against releasing requested material.

The review, published in March 2015, concluded glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic," putting IARC at odds with regulators around the world. Critics say they want the documents to find out more about how IARC reached its conclusion.

"IARC is the sole owner of such materials," IARC told the experts. "IARC requests you and your institute not to release any (such) documents."

Asked about its actions, the agency told Reuters on Tuesday it was seeking to protect its work from external interference and defending its panels' freedom to debate evidence openly and critically.

24 October 2016

Brain Cancer Top Killer in Kids: Are Cellphones a Factor?

(Copyright Fotolia)
Brain Cancer Top Killer in Kids: Are Cellphones a Factor?
by Sylvia Booth Hubbard, newsmax.com, 19 September 2016  

Brain cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths in children, according to a new study. Researchers say a chief reason is that new treatments for leukemia — long the No. 1 killer of kids — have knocked it from the top spot in recent years.

But some studies and experts suggest brain cancer rates in kids may be, in part, tied to the increasing use of cellphones by children and teens, and the rates of brain cancer may increase — perhaps drastically — when they become adults.

"I think that there will be a significant, if not enormous increase in primary brain tumors among young people, but perhaps not until they reach the age of late twenties or even thirties," neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock tells Newsmax Health.

6 Things We've Connected that May Kill Us in the Future

6 things we’ve connected that may kill us in the future
by Cate Lawrence, Contributing Writer, readwrite.com, 23 October 2016

As much as we here at ReadWrite are genuinely enthusiastic about the Internet of Things, it’s never been without a heavy grain of salt.

We’ve never been afraid to question, analyze and critique the form and function of connected devices and the biggest ecosphere they inhabit. Unfortunately the recent DDoS attack that affected the East Coast

It’s of no surprise that since I’ve been writing a monthly Hits and Misses column for IoT products, that the misses component pretty much writes itself as technologists and start ups connect more and more devices with the internet. Kitchen appliances in particular seen particularly vulnerable to derision by many, particularly when we talk about kettles and refrigerators.

We’ve seen much hand-wringing over time about data security breaches particularly those pertaining to baby monitors and smart sex toys.

But it’s worth noting that the recent DDoS attack has been in part, attributed to the vulnerability of certain connected devices including smart appliances and security cameras which has made some question the value of connected devices. The reality is that the market decides what products become connected to the internet.

Mobile Phones and Brain Cancer. Are You Worried?

Australian brain surgeon, Dr. Charlie Teo
[UPDATE 24 October 2016: A 26-year-old Australian woman, Courtney Keady, who has been diagnosed with an "inoperable" 12 millimetre brain tumour on her pineal gland, has accepted to be operated on by Dr. Charlie Teo. The operation will cost her $110,000. Read: Mail online article, "Woman, 26, who thought agonising pain in her head was due to the stress of studying for her degree discovers she has an 'inoperable' brain tumour".]

Mobile Phones and Brain Cancer.  Are You Worried?
by Rick Morton, mamamia.com, 8 May 2012

Dr Charlie Teo isn’t a kook. He is the best brain surgeon in the country [Australia]. He knows the inside of your head like you know the back of your hand. He’s seen the rise in a certain type of brain cancer.

And he’s worried.

Here’s what some of what he wrote on The Punch yesterday: [We could no longer find this article.]

“There are three undisputed facts about the link between mobile phones and brain tumours. Firstly, the jury is still out. Secondly, the number of mobile phone users is increasing rapidly and currently stands at over five billion worldwide. Thirdly, IF there is a causal link between exposure to non-ionising radiation and brain tumours, then the social and financial consequences would be devastating and on a scale never before witnessed in history.

23 October 2016

Watchdog Says Report of 10,000 Toddlers on ADHD Drugs Tip of the Iceberg—274,000 0-1 Year Olds and 370,000 Toddlers Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs

John F. Kennedy stated,”Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” It is time to start protecting our children and it starts with informing parents. 

Watchdog Says Report of 10,000 Toddlers on ADHD Drugs Tip of the Iceberg—274,000 0-1 Year Olds and 370,000 Toddlers Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs
by Press Releases, educationviews.org, 20 October 2015

While the recent New York Times article, “Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries,” seems shocking, the actual numbers of infants and toddlers being prescribed psychiatric drugs dwarfs the 10,000 2-3 year olds being prescribed ADHD drugs.[1] The mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) says according to data provided by IMS Health, the world’s leading health information and analytics company, hundreds of thousands of toddlers are being prescribed far more powerful psychiatric drugs than just ADHD drugs, and most alarming of all is the more than 274,000 0-1 year olds prescribed psychiatric drugs.[2]

American Academy of Pediatrics urges Caution Following Cell Phone Radiation Study

Healthy Kids: AAP urges caution following cell phone radiation study
by Amanda Butt, nbc16.com, 16 October 2016

EUGENE, Ore. - For years, people have wondered if too much time spent on cell phones could be dangerous to our health. Recently, the National Toxicology Program, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released partial findings from a two-year study that exposed rats to the types of radio frequency radiation that cell phones give off. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is hoping parents will listen closely to the findings—and take precautions.

Dr. Pilar Bradshaw, with Eugene Pediatric Associates, treats hundreds of kids each year in her practice. She’s troubled by the recent study that found a dangerous connection between cell phone radiation and cancer.

“The cancers that we’re talking about have shown to be very malignant, very dangerous, very hard to treat cancers in lab rats that were exposed to cell phone radiation similar to what we’re exposed to if we are using our phone while it’s placed against our ear,” Bradshaw explained.

Phone Batteries Emit Toxic Gases

Phone batteries emit toxic gases
timesofindia, 22 October 2016

More than 100 potentially fatal gases are produced by the batteries found in billions of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets, a new study has warned.

The research identified over 100 toxic gases released by lithium batteries, including carbon monoxide, which can cause strong irritations to the skin, eyes and nasal passages and harm the wider environment.

Researchers from the Institute of NBC Defence in the US and Tsinghua University in China said many people may be unaware of the dangers of overheating, damaging or using a disreputable charger for their rechargeable devices. In the new study, they investigated a type of rechargeable battery, known as a "lithium-ion" battery, which is placed in two billion consumer devices every year.

Hackers Used New Weapons to Disrupt Major Websites Across U.S.

"Security researchers have long warned that the increasing number of devices being hooked up to the internet, the so-called Internet of Things, would present an enormous security issue. And the assault on Friday, security researchers say, is only a glimpse of how those devices can be used for online attacks."

A map of the areas experiencing problems, as of Friday afternoon,
according to 
Hackers Used New Weapons to Disrupt Major Websites Across U.S.
by Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times, 21 October 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Major websites were inaccessible to people across wide swaths of the United States on Friday after a company that manages crucial parts of the internet’s infrastructure said it was under attack.

Users reported sporadic problems reaching several websites, including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times.

The company, Dyn, whose servers monitor and reroute internet traffic, said it began experiencing what security experts called a distributed denial-of-service attack just after 7 a.m. Reports that many sites were inaccessible started on the East Coast, but spread westward in three waves as the day wore on and into the evening.

And in a troubling development, the attack appears to have relied on hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices like cameras, baby monitors and home routers that have been infected — without their owners’ knowledge — with software that allows hackers to command them to flood a target with overwhelming traffic.

United States: Mobile Phone Makers Score Big Win in Radiation Suit

"The suits here were filed as far back as 2001 in the District of Columbia Superior Court and named as defendants Motorola Inc., Verizon Wireless Inc., AT&T Inc., Cingular Wireless LLC, and others. The plaintiffs or their representatives (many of the plaintiffs have since died) allege that their use of hand-held mobile phones caused brain cancer, tumors, and other types of illness and injury."

Mobile Phone Makers Score Big Win in Radiation Suit
by Bruce Kaufman, bna.com, 21 October 2016

From Toxics Law Reporter
Martina Barash in Washington

Oct. 20 — The mobile phone industry scored a major victory in litigation tying the use of mobile phones to brain tumors as Washington, D.C.'s top court adopted a new test that could bar almost all of the plaintiffs’ scientific evidence (Motorola, Inc. v. Murray , 2016 BL 348817, D.C. en banc, No. 14-CV-1350, 10/20/16 ).

The viability of at least 13 suits over the dangers of long-term exposure to mobile-phone radiation is seriously jeopardized by the court’s Oct. 20 decision to abandon its century-old test for evaluating scientific testimony in favor of the much more widely adopted federal rule.

The case has been closely watched by a broad array of business and medical groups, which tried to steer the ruling in their favor.

21 October 2016

United States: Lawsuit Over Cellphones and Cancer Hits a Stumbling Block

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Photo:  Agnostic Preacher's Kid
Lawsuit Over Cellphones and Cancer Hits a Stumbling Block
by Ryan Knutson, Wall Street Journal,
20 October 2016

(See comment below article here.)

Appeals court says a different legal standard for evidence should have been used

An appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday dealt a setback to a long-running lawsuit against the wireless industry over health concerns surrounding cellphones, deciding that a different legal standard for evidence should have been applied.

The decision by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals will further prolong the litigation, initially filed in 2001, as plaintiffs must now produce arguments on why previously submitted evidence should continue to be included under the new standard.Jeffrey Morganroth, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said they wouldn’t back down, and that the ruling may even help get new testimony included.

The Long March Against Monsanto: A Letter from The Hague

'By destroying the health and livelihoods of literally millions
of people,' writes Cummins, 'Monsanto has earned the 
dubious distinction of being the most hated corporation on
Earth.' (Photo: Die Grünen Kärnten)
"Victims and witnesses described how, over the past 50 years, Monsanto has duped, assaulted, injured and killed farmers, farmworkers, rural villagers and urban consumers with its reckless use of toxic chemicals and pesticides."

The Long March Against Monsanto: A Letter from The Hague
by Ronnie Cummins, via Common Dreams,
20 October 2016

We are today in the midst of a battleground for two very different approaches to agriculture. One is the agro-ecological approach based on the use of open source traditional seeds based on biodiversity and living in harmony with nature. The other is the mechanistic world of an industrial system based on monocultures, one-way extraction and the use of pesticides, poisons and GMOs, where chemical cartels compete to take over our agriculture and food systems, destroying our ecosystems along the way.” - Brochure for The People’s Assembly, The Hague, Oct. 14, 2016, “Seeds of Freedom—Navdanya”

The Monsanto Tribunal

Documentary "Screenagers" Explores a Perplexing Question: What Are Smartphones Doing to Our Children?

Documentary explores a perplexing question: What are smartphones doing to our children?
by Wallace Baine, Sentinel Entertainment Editor, 12 October 2016

(Photo:) Almost seven out of ten American teenagers beginning high school own cell phones, as families struggle to figure out how to help kids develop habits of self-control against the seductions of the screen. Contributed photo.

For many people in contemporary America, it’s an annoyance. But for parents of teenagers, schoolteachers and anyone else who regularly interacts with kids, the annoyance is beginning to look a lot like a crisis.

We’re talking about the screen, explicitly as it applies to video games and smartphones. A new documentary called “Screenagers” has been making the rounds in communities across the country and around the world in an effort to reckon with what to do with an entire generation of young people who are essentially laboratory animals for a social experiment that nobody planned but everyone participates in.

United Kindgom: Whistleblowing NHS Manager on Third Day of Hunger Strike is Facing the Sack

Whistleblowing NHS manager on third day of hunger strike is facing the sack
SWNS Media Group, 12 October 2016

A nurse who raised serious concerns about patient and staff safety is about to be sacked and is now staging a hunger strike outside the Department of Health.

Jade Taylor, 46, has also been sleeping outside the government office, decided she had to speak out after her own parents were allegedly mistreated at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.

She was so angry about the poor treatment she bravely spoke out but feels she became a target by senior staff, and she took a year off work suffering with stress related issues.

Possible Link Between ADHD in Children and Cell Phone Use (2013 Study)

Possible Link Between ADHD in Children & Cell Phone Use
by Traci Pedersen, psychcentral.com, 21 April 2013

A new study suggests a potential link between the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cell phone use.  [Click here for full text of study.]

ADHD is a condition characterized by high levels of distraction, impulsiveness, an inability to remain still, and a tendency to be abnormally talkative.

For the study, researcher Yoon Hwan Byun of the Department of Medicine at Dankook University College of Medicine in Korea set out to discover whether radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) affect developing brains with prolonged exposure. Past research has suggested a link between prenatal cell phone exposure and the risk of conduct and behavior problems in children.

How Tiny Are Benefits From Many Tests And Pills? Researchers Paint A Picture

How Tiny Are Benefits From Many Tests And Pills? Researchers Paint A Picture
by Jay Hancock, khn.org, 12 October 2016

Mammograms are said to cut the risk of dying from breast cancer by as much as 20 percent, which sounds like an invincible argument for regular screening.

Two Maryland researchers want people to question that kind of thinking. They want patients to reexamine the usefulness of cancer exams, cholesterol tests, osteoporosis pills, MRI scans and many other routinely prescribed procedures and medicines.

And they want to convince them with statistics — but don’t worry! They promise not to use algebra or spreadsheets. Or even numbers.

Health costs continue to grow much faster than the economy’s ability to pay them. Partly as a result, scrutiny of potentially unneeded and harmful treatment has never been more intense.

Nearly three physicians in four surveyed by the American Board of Internal Medicine said unnecessary tests and procedures are a serious problem. The authoritative National Academy of Medicine estimated that 30 percent of all health spending — $750 billion — is wasted on fraud, administration and needless procedures.

Easy Jet Pilot France Aerotoxic Syndrome Litigation

Easy Jet Pilot France Aerotoxic Syndrome Litigation
(article from Aviation Travel Writer)
by John Hoyte, aerotoxic.org, 17 October 2016

The airline pilots, the disease of the cockpits:
( Pilotes de ligne, la maladie des cockpits )

For the first time in France, a pilot removal complaint against his company. He believes that the air circulating in the aircraft would cause a “aérotoxique syndrome“.

Collectives of seafarers and passengers have given a name to their combat: The “aérotoxique syndrome”. (Sipa Press)

Can flying a plane be dangerous to your health? Monday, Eric B., Captain among EasyJet, will file a complaint against the airline for involuntary violations of physical integrity, endangering the lives of others and… deception on the quality of the air”. He is convinced to have been “poisoned due to small fire” in his cockpit. He is 53 years old, which makes him one of the most senior pilots at the low-cost airline that he has integrated into since February 2002. After the end of the year 2009, he began suffering from a number of disorders including (nausea, gastrointestinal, fatigue, hyperventilation, etc. ) which have led to a chain of neurological and mental judgment diseases. In 2012, his state of health has deteriorated, as well as its relations with his employer. The center of expertise of Aviation Medicine of Toulouse-Blagnac issued to him a “medical incapacity Temporary” in June 2015. The former Airbus Instructor then lost his license to fly and was later nailed to the ground, no longer allowed to fly. He now seeks an explanation to his health problems.

The Fundamental Reasons Why Laptop Computers Should not be Used on Your Lap

"When it is placed on the lap, not only the heat from a laptop computer can warm men’s scrotums, the electromagnetic fields generated by laptop’s internal electronic circuits as well as the Wi-Fi Radiofrequency radiation hazards (in a Wi-Fi connected laptop) may decrease sperm quality. Furthermore, due to poor working posture, laptops should not be used on the lap for long hours."

The Fundamental Reasons Why Laptop Computers should not be Used on Your Lap
Study published on LinkedIn, 13 July 2016


S A R Mortazavi, S Taeb, S M J Mortazavi, S Zarei, M Haghani, P Habibzadeh, M B Shojaei-fard, The Fundamental Reasons Why Laptop Computers should not be Used on Your Lap, Journal of Biomedical Physics and Engineering, in press.


Wi-Fi Health Warning

Rosi Gladwell wants to get her danger message across.
WiFi health warning
by Steve Peacock, totnes-today.co.uk, 
18 October 2016

A women who fears her life is being devastated by WiFi and mobile telephone signals is launching her own campaign in Totnes to try to warn the public of tthe dangers.

Rosi Gladwell has been forced to banish WiFi and mobile telephones from her Littlehempston home since she realised four years ago she was suffering from a sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation, leaving her with migraines and breathing and heart problems.

The 67-year-old cannot stay in hotels or eat at restaurants because WiFi has now become so widespread and the impact of the radiation leaves her so ill.

19 October 2016

AirPods: Clear Sound, Sleek Styling, and Microwave Radiation

Clear Sound, Sleek Styling, and Microwave Radiation
by Katia Savchuk, alumni.berkeley.edu
18 October 2016

The release of AirPods, those sleek wireless earbuds from Apple, is again spurring debate over the safety of radiation-emitting devices—including cell phones, WiFi routers, and wireless headsets. While U.S. regulatory agencies and some scientists believe the risk from these devices is either low or unproven, there are experts, including a UC Berkeley public health researcher, concerned about their safety.

Joel Moskowitz, who directs the Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health, warns that radiation from the Bluetooth technology in the AirPods (and other headsets) poses health risks.

More than a dozen studies have shown that low-intensity microwave radiation similar to that emitted by Bluetooth can open up the blood-brain barrier, a layer of cells that block pathogens and toxins in the body from reaching the brain. That could lead to conditions such as autism, dementia, and brain cancer, Moskowitz says.

18 October 2016

Ending a Century of Ecocide and Genocide, Seeding Earth Democracy

"More accumulation of wealth through corporations,"
writes Shiva, "will lead to the extermination of most 
people, as their lands and livelihoods, their resources and
democracies, are grabbed for profits and control."
(Photo: Pixabay/CC0)
"Crimes against nature are connected to crimes against humanity."

Ending a Century of Ecocide and Genocide, Seeding Earth Democracy
by Vandana Shiva, Common Dreams,
12 October 2016

Putting Monsanto on trial is only the beginning of what the world's people must do to regain control of their food systems

For more than a century, a poison cartel has experimented with and developed chemicals to kill people, first in Hitler's concentration camps and the war, later by selling these chemicals as inputs for industrial agriculture.

In a little over half a century, small farmers have been uprooted everywhere, by design, further expanding the toxic fields of the industrial agriculture.

In India, a country of small farmers, the assault of the poison cartel has driven millions off the land and pushed 300,000 farmers to suicide due to debt for costly seeds and chemicals. The GMO seeds have failed to control pests and weeds. Instead they are creating super-pests and super-weeds, trapping farmers deeper in debt.

17 October 2016

Passengers Who Bring Fire-Prone Samsung Phones on Planes Face Fines

The FAA says Samsung Note 7 phones won't be allowed
aboard passenger or cargo aircraft, even if they've been
shut off.
Passengers who bring fire-prone Samsung phones on planes face fines
by Mary Schlangenstein and Alan Levin, Bloomberg, 17 October 2016

Passengers who try to carry Samsung Electronics Note 7 smartphones on flights will have them confiscated and may face fines under an emergency federal order that significantly expands restrictions on the devices, which have been linked to almost 100 incidents of overheating and fires.

The devices won’t be allowed aboard passenger or cargo aircraft even if they’ve been shut off, the Federal Aviation Administration announced. About 1.9 million Note 7s have been sold in the United States.

Switzerland: Is Time Up for Nuclear Power?

The initiative demands the end of nuclear energy
production in Switzerland by 2029.  (Reuters)
Is time up for nuclear power in Switzerland?
by Luigi Jorio, swissinfo.ch, 13 October 2016

Banning construction of nuclear power plants and limiting to 45 years the use of existing ones: that’s what a people’s initiative from the Green Party, to be voted on in November, proposes. It has not been endorsed by the cabinet or by parliament.

On March 11, 2011, dramatic footage from Japan showed the destruction caused by an earthquake and tsunami. The coastal nuclear power plant at Fukushima sustained severe damage. There was worldwide concern, and a few weeks later the Swiss government announced its historic decision that “existing nuclear power plants [in Switzerland] should be decommissioned at the end of their safe operational lifespan and not be replaced by new nuclear power plants”.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Re-Think Pink

Re-Think Pink
by Meg Sears, PhD, Chair and Science Advisor, 
Prevent Cancer Now, thevalleyvoice.ca, 16 October 2016

Is breast cancer really avoidable?

October's pink "Breast Cancer Awareness" ribbons raise attention for the disease and extract millions of dollars from Canadians' pockets, but do not prevent cancer.

Companies associate their products with breast cancer awareness, while increasing their profit margins and elevating their corporate image. Before buying in, we should ask:

1. Who gets the money, and what do they do with it?
2. How much (if any) money goes to research, to prevent or to treat breast cancer?
3. Is this "pink-washing"? Does this company make products that may contribute to breast cancer, perhaps with ingredients that interfere with hormones? What is the company doing to ensure that their products, supply chain and corporate practices embrace least-toxic approaches and do not add to the disease?

16 October 2016

As Cyberthreats Multiply, Hackers Now Target Medical Devices

Getty Images
As cyberthreats multiply, hackers now target medical devices
by Trent Gillies | @trentCNBC, cnbc,com, 
15 October 2016

Hackers can invade your bank account and steal your identity. So is there also a cyber threat to your health?

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson notified 114,000 diabetic patients that a hacker could exploit one of its insulin pumps. The J&J Animas OneTouch Ping could be attacked, disabling the device or altering the dosage.

J&J said the risk is extremely low, but suggested ways users could mitigate that risk. Could other medical devices, like infusion pumps and pacemakers, vulnerable to a malicious hacker?

"There is no [impervious] device," Kevin Fu told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview, "pretty much every device that has a computer in it is breakable. "

Autism Speaks No Longer Seeking Cure

Autism Speaks has a new mission statement, which 
includes a noticeably different tone and no mention of
finding a cure for the developmental disorder.
(Autism Speaks/Flickr)
Autism Speaks No Longer Seeking Cure
by Michelle Diament, disabilityscoop.com, 
14 October 2016

For the first time, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization has revamped its agenda and one notable objective is no more.

Autism Speaks’ board of directors voted in late September to modify the organization’s mission statement, marking the first such change since the nonprofit was established in 2005.

The new iteration is shorter and strikes a markedly different tone. Gone are terms like “struggle,” “hardship” and “crisis.” Also absent is any mention of seeking a cure for the developmental disorder.

“Our mission statement was updated to reflect the evolving strategic direction of Autism Speaks and current needs in the autism community,” C.J. Volpe, the group’s spokesman, tells Disability Scoop.

Key Cell Phone Radiation Research Studies

[We cannot keep up with the large number of studies being published on cell phone radiation research. Here is a list of key studies provided by saferemr.com (Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.Director, Center for Family & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.]

Key Cell Phone Radiation Research Studies
saferemr.com, 12 October 2016

Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list as I have focused on more recent papers and tried to be parsimonious. I will update this list periodically.

For additional research studies, see my post, "Should Cellphones Have Warning Labels? (Wall Street Journal)."

Tumor risk review papers

• Myung et al (2009) Mobile phone use & risk of tumors: a meta-analysis. http://1.usa.gov/12wBOmd
• Khurana et al (2009) Cell phones & brain tumors: a review including long-term epi data. http://1.usa.gov/1jel7s0

Too Much Screen Time Damaging Young Eyes, Say Doctors

“I think parents should start pushing their children and themselves to have a better lifestyle.  When we were small, we used to go out; we didn’t have a lot of access to TVs or smartphones. You can teach your child how to play sports or how to play an instrument. There are lots of other things one can do,” says one doctor.

Oman health: Too much screen time damaging young eyes, say doctors

by Gautam Viswanathan, Gautam@timesofoman.com, 3 October 2016

Muscat: Children as young as two are now being asked to wear spectacles, owing to the considerable time they are spending looking at smartphones and laptops.

Dr. Entisar Mohamed from the Royal Oman Hospital said, “These days, I’ve seen kids as young as four wearing glasses. I’ve even seen children that are two years old wearing them.”

“The light reflection, concentration and radiation from gadgets, exhausts their eyes,” she explained.

Wearable Health Monitors Not Always Reliable, Study Shows

"More than one in 5 Americans owns a wearable device like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, according to Forrester Research, Inc., though half stop using the device within six months of purchase."

Wearable health monitors not always reliable, study shows

by Karen Weintraub, Special for USA TODAY, 
12 October 2016

Wearable devices may provide interesting information, but the heart-rate data is unreliable and raises doubts about usefulness, a new study shows.

The new study, by cardiac experts at the Cleveland Clinic, examined four popular devices and found that their heart rate monitors are wrong 10%-20% of the time.

That may not matter much for the weekend warriors who just want to check on whether their fitness is improving. But a snapshot heart rate, even if accurate, won’t tell them much.

“On a day-to-day basis for an apparently healthy person, knowing your heart-rate does not provide any benefit,” said Marc Gillinov, a cardiac surgeon and one of the authors of the new paper, published in JAMA Cardiology.

“They’re selling millions and millions of these devices and so far we haven’t demonstrated a general benefit to them.”

Your Phone May Be Smart, but Your Doctor Still Knows More than an App

If you have a medical problem, you're better off seeing a
real doctor than relying on the diagnosis of a program on
your computer or smartphone, according to a new study.
(Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images)
Your phone may be smart, but your doctor still knows more than an app
by Karen Kaplan, latimes.com, 
10 October 2016

If you’re feeling sick and you want to know what’s wrong with you, there’s an app for that. But the diagnosis won’t be as accurate as the one you’d get from a doctor — not by a long shot.

In a head-to-head comparison, real human physicians outperformed a collection of 23 symptom-checker apps and websites by a margin of more than 2 to 1, according to a report published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Autism One 2016: The Wireless-Free Tent Experience

Autism One 2016: The Wireless-Free Tent Experience
clearlightventures.com, 8 September 2016

In 2015, I gave a talk at the Autism One conference entitled “Wireless: A Key Piece of the Autism Puzzle and What You Can Do About it.” Two other talks were also given at that conference which discussed the health effects of wireless and EMF (electromagnetic fields) and how they contribute to autism. The challenge was that the hotel the conference was held at had a very strong industrial-strength Wi-Fi. This was a big concern, as I was planning to return for the 2016 Autism One conference. Was there some way to reduce exposure for parents and extremely sensitive children?

I have been focusing on reducing sensory noise, toxins, and wireless in my home and office space for over a decade, and my office was just featured on a CNN program that explored the health effects of environmental toxins. Working with some professionals from Healthy Building Sciences, LessEMF.com, and Alan Maher Designs, we came up with a plan to create a low EMF zone. My company, Clear Light Ventures, sponsored a room we named the “Clear Space.” We incorporated as many healthy factors as we could into the room, but the primary goal was reducing high levels of wireless radiation.

Mammograms More Likely to Cause Unneeded Treatment than to Save Lives

NIHA 3-D mammogram showing normal tissue.
Mammograms more likely to cause unneeded treatment than to save lives
by Sharon Begley @sxbegle, statnews.com, 
12 October 2016

A new study offers a reality check to anyone who says a mammogram saved her life. For every woman in whom mammography detected a breast cancer that was destined to become large and potentially life-threatening — the kind that screening is intended to head off — about four are diagnosed with one that would never have threatened their health. But the surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation that follows such diagnoses can be traumatic, disfiguring, toxic, or even life-shortening even as it’s unnecessary.

Prior estimates of how many mammogram-detected cancers are overdiagnoses, meaning they don’t need to be treated, have ranged from 0 to 54 percent. The new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, improves on those by using hard data rather than mathematical modeling, and 40 years of it.

15 October 2016

Call to Action on Neurotoxin Exposure in Pregnant Women and Children

Call to Action on Neurotoxin Exposure in Pregnant Women and Children
by Jennifer Abbasi, jamanetwork.com, 
11 October 2016

Author Affiliations Article Information
JAMA. 2016;316(14):1436-1437. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11576

Citing an alarming increase in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a group of scientists, health professionals, and children’s health advocates is calling for increased monitoring, assessment, and reduction of neurotoxic chemicals. The Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks (TENDR) Consensus Statement, published in July in Environmental Health Perspectives, is “a call to action to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals that can contribute to the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities in America’s children.”

Monsanto Faces People's Tribunal for Crimes Against Planet and Humanity

"Corporate crimes have become visible everywhere, the corporations become bigger, claiming absolute power, absolute rights, absolute immunity, deploying more violent tools against nature and people." —Vandana Shiva

Monsanto Faces People's Tribunal for Crimes Against Planet and Humanity
by Nika Knight, staff writer, Common Dreams, 14 October 2016

Mock trial at The Hague calls on International Criminal Court to take real action against biotech behemoth

(Photo) "Monsanto's history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet," said IFOAM-Organics International president Andre Leu. (Photo: djandywdotcom/flickr/cc)

The people are taking Monsanto to court.

An international tribunal is being staged in front of The Hague this weekend to highlight the human rights violations and ecological devastation wreaked by the GMO and chemical giant around the world, as well as to draw attention to the failure of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring such corporate criminals to justice.

United States: Feds Announce Airplane Ban for All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones

The ban comes on the heels of some airlines beginning to use “fire containment bags” to stow the phones in flight.  The bags are bright red, made of fire-resistant materials, and are designed to hold not just phones but laptops or tablets as well. They close with velcro and heavy zippers, and can withstand temperatures up to 3,200° F (1760° C). So far, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, and Delta have started using the bags.

Feds Announce Airplane Ban for All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones
by Ashlee Kieler, consumerist.com, 14 October 2016

The Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), have officially issued an emergency order to ban all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from air transportation in the U.S., deeming the devices “forbidden hazardous material.”

14 October 2016

China Bans X-Ray Scanners at Airports

The Ministry of Environmental Protection said that ionizing radiation devices should not be used to screen humans on a large scale.

China bans X-ray scanners at airports

vanguardngr.com, 13 October 2016

China has ordered the removal of full-body X-ray scanners at airports and railway stations due to radiation risks. 

In an urgent document sent to the Department of Environmental Protection of Sichuan Province (DEPSP) on Monday and published on Wednesday, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) urged DEPSP to strengthen law enforcement and stop producing, selling and using full-body X-ray scanners without authorisation to ensure the safety of the people.