Wireless Warnings From the BioInitiative Report:
THE BIOINITIATIVE REPORT 2012
A Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)
The updated report is now available for download and I’ve skimmed through some of it. What is clear is that there is enough evidence to be concerned, very concerned, about the exposures we are being subjected to. Current global wireless (and other) safety standards are not adequate to protect us from some pretty serious harm to our health. The report calls for immediate action in order to reduce threats to public health.
If you think there’s more than enough evidence to call for immediate precaution, then please share the link to the report with your lawmakers and legislators, and pay attention to tips you see on ways to protect yourself and your family until regulatory changes are made. And don’t be afraid to discuss this with others.
What follows are snippets I copied from parts of the report, things that stood out the most for me. They are not my words, they are copied from the report. If you want to see the actual research, download the report, it’s all in there.
The purpose of this report is to assess scientific evidence on health impacts from electromagnetic radiation below current public exposure limits and evaluate what changes in these limits are warranted now to reduce possible public health risks in the future.
Not everything is known yet about this subject; but what is clear is that the existing public safety standards limiting these radiation levels in nearly every country of the world look to be thousands of times too lenient.
Changes are needed.
New approaches are needed to educate decision-makers and the public about sources of exposure and to find alternatives that do not pose the same level of possible health risks, while there is still time to make changes.
From the PREFACE:
“The BioInitiative 2012 Report updates five years of science, public health, public policy and global response to the growing health issue of chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation in the daily life of billions of people around the world.”
“The global conversation on why public safety limits for electromagnetic and radiofrequency fields remain thousands of time higher than exposure levels that health studies consistently show to be associated with serious health impacts has intensified since 2007. Roughly, 1800 new studies have been published in the last five years reporting effects at exposure levels ten to hundreds or thousands of times lower than allowed under safety limits in most countries of the world. Yet, no government has instituted comprehensive reforms.”
“The world’s populations – from children to the general public to scientists and physicians – are increasingly faced with great pressures from advertising urging the incorporation of the latest wireless device into their everyday lives. This is occuring even while an elementary understanding the possible health consequences is beyond the ability of most people to grasp.
The exposures are invisible, the testing meters are expensive and technically difficult to operate, the industry promotes new gadgets and generates massive advertising and lobbying campaigns that silence debate, and the reliable, non-wireless alternatives (like wired telephones and utility meters) are being discontinued against public will. There is little labeling, and little or no informed choice.
In fact there is often not even the choice to stay with safer, wired solutions, as in the case of the ‘smart grid’ and smart wireless utility metering, an extreme example of a failed corporate-governmental partnership strategy, ostensibly for energy conservation.
A collision of the wireless technology rollout and the costs of choosing unwisely is beginning and will grow. The groundwork for this collision is being laid as a result of increased exposure, especially to radiofrequency fields, in education, in housing, in commerce, in communications and entertainment, in medical technologies and imaging, and in public and private transportation by air, bus, train and motor vehicles.
Special concerns are the care of the fetus and newborn, the care for children with learning disabilities, and consideration of people under protections of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which includes people who have become sensitized and physiologically intolerant of chronic exposures. The 2012 Report now addresses these issues as well as presenting an update of issues previously discussed.”
From the SUMMARY FOR THE PUBLIC
You cannot see it, taste it or smell it, but it is one of the most pervasive environmental exposures in industrialized countries today. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are the terms that broadly describe exposures created by the vast array of wired and wireless technologies that have altered the landscape of our lives in countless beneficial ways. However, these technologies were designed to maximize energy efficiency and convenience; not with biological effects on people in mind. Based on new studies, there is growing evidence among scientists and the public about possible health risks associated with these technologies.
In today’s world, everyone is exposed to two types of EMFs: (1) extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) from electrical and electronic appliances and power lines and (2) radiofrequency radiation (RF) from wireless devices such as cell phones and cordless phones, cellular antennas and towers, and broadcast transmission towers.
In this report we will use the term EMFs when referring to all electromagnetic fields in general; and the terms ELF and RF when referring to the specific type of exposure.
Problems with Existing Public Health Standards (Safety Limits)
Today’s public exposure limits for telecommunications are based on the presumption that heating of tissue (for RF) or induced electric currents in the body (for ELF) are the only concerns when living organisms are exposed to RF.
These exposures can create tissue heating that is well known to be harmful in even very short-term doses. As such, thermal limits do serve a purpose. For example, for people whose occupations require them to work around radar facilities or RF heat-sealers, or for people who install and service wireless antenna tower, thermally-based limits are necessary to prevent damage from heating (or, in the case of power-frequency ELF from induced current flow in tissues).
In the past, scientists and engineers developed exposure standards for electromagnetic radiation based what we now believe are faulty assumptions that the right way to measure how much non-ionizing energy humans can tolerate (how much exposure) without harm is to measure only the heating of tissue (RF) or induced currents in the body (ELF).
In the last few decades, it has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that bioeffects and some adverse health effects occur at far lower levels of RF and ELF exposure where no heating (or induced currents) occurs at all; some effects are shown to occur at several hundred thousand times below the existing public safety limits where heating is an impossibility.
Effects occur at non-thermal or low-intensity exposure levels thousands of times below the levels that federal agencies say should keep the public safe. For many new devices operating with wireless technologies, the devices are exempt from any regulatory standards. The existing standards have been proven to be inadequate to control against harm from low-intensity, chronic exposures, based on any reasonable, independent assessment of the scientific literature. It means that an entirely new basis (a biological basis) for new exposure standards is needed.
There may be no lower limit at which exposures do not affect us. Until we know if there is a lower limit below which bioeffects and adverse health impacts do not occur, it is unwise from a public health perspective to continue “business-as-usual” deploying new technologies that increase ELF and RF exposures, particularly involuntary exposures.
BIOEFFECTS ARE CLEARLY ESTABLISHED
Bioeffects are clearly established and occur at very low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation. Bioeffects can occur in the first few minutes at levels associated with cell and cordless phone use. Bioeffects can also occur from just minutes of exposure to mobile phone masts (cell towers), WI-FI, and wireless utility ‘smart’ meters that produce whole-body exposure. Chronic base station level exposures can result in illness.
EVIDENCE FOR FERTILITY AND REPRODUCTION EFFECTS: HUMAN SPERM AND THEIR DNA ARE DAMAGED
Human sperm are damaged by cell phone radiation at very low intensities… Sperm lack the ability to repair DNA damage.
Studies of human sperm show genetic (DNA) damage from cell phones on standby mode and wireless laptop use.
EVIDENCE THAT CHILDREN ARE MORE VULNERABLE
There is good evidence to suggest that many toxic exposures to the fetus and very young child have especially detrimental consequences depending on when they occur during critical phases of growth and development (time windows of critical development), where such exposures may lay the seeds of health harm that develops even decades later.
Fetal Development Studies: Effects on the developing fetus from in-utero exposure to cell phone radiation have been observed in both human and animal studies since 2006. Divan et al (2008) found that children born of mothers who used cell phones during pregnancy develop more behavioral problems by the time they have reached school age than children whose mothers did not use cell phones during pregnancy. Children whose mothers used cell phones during pregnancy had 25% more emotional problems, 35% more hyperactivity, 49% more conduct problems and 34% more peer problems
EMF/RFR AS A PLAUSIBLE BIOLGICAL MECHANISM FOR AUTISM (ASD)
Many disrupted physiological processes and impaired behaviors in people with ASDs closely resemble those related to biological and health effects of EMF/RFR exposure. Biomarkers and indicators of disease and their clinical symptoms have striking similarities.
Broadly speaking, these types of phenomena can fall into one or more of several classes:
a) alteration of genes or gene expression,
b) induction of change in brain or organismic development,
c) alteration of phenomena modulating systemic and brain function on an ongoing basis throughout the life course (which can include systemic pathophysiology as well as brain-based changes), and
d) evidence of functional alteration in domains such as behavior, social interaction and attention known to be challenged in ASD.
Several thousand scientific studies over four decades point to serious biological effects and health harm from EMF and RFR.
These studies report:
single-and double-strand DNA damage,
loss of DNA repair capacity in human stem cells,
reduction in free-radical scavengers (particularly melatonin),
abnormal gene transcription,
damage to sperm morphology and function,
effects on behavior, and
effects on brain development in the fetus of human mothers that use cell phones during pregnancy.
Cell phone exposure has been linked to altered fetal brain development and ADHD-like behavior in the offspring of pregnant mice.
Reducing life-long health risks begins in the earliest stages of embryonic and fetal development, is accelerated for the infant and very young child compared to adults, and is not complete in young people (as far as brain and nervous system maturation) until the early 20’s. Windows of critical development mean that risk factors once laid down in the cells, or in epigenetic changes in the genome may have grave and life-long consequences for health or illness for every individual.
THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER IS AT RISK
The BBB is a protective barrier that prevents the flow of toxins into sensitive brain tissue. Increased permeability of the BBB caused by cell phone RFR may result in neuronal damage. Many research studies show that very low intensity exposures to RFR can affect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) (mostly animal studies).
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES CONSISTENTLY SHOW ELEVATIONS IN RISK OF BRAIN CANCERS
Brain Tumors: There is a consistent pattern of increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma associated with use of mobile phones and cordless phones.
WIRELESS WARNINGS FOR ALL
The continued rollout of wireless technologies and devices puts global public health at risk from unrestricted wireless commerce unless new, and far lower exposure limits and strong precautionary warnings for their use are implemented.
EMF AND RFR ARE PREVENTABLE TOXIC EXPOSURES
We have the knowledge and means to save global populations from multi-generational adverse health consequences by reducing both ELF and RFR exposures. Proactive and immediate measures to reduce unnecessary EMF exposures will lower disease burden and rates of premature death.
The entire BioInitiative 2012 Report is available at: http://www.bioinitiative.org.