General Environmental Health News

New worries over health risks of wireless devices


EIR: The International Herald Tribune reports on new studies linking long term exposure to wireless radiation to increased health risks, just as cities scramble to install all encompassing WI-FI coverage.

PARIS: While major cities around the world rush to blanket neighborhoods with free wireless Internet access, critics are questioning the health risks that might be created by a wired London or a Paris transformed from the City of Light to City of Hot Spots.

The nagging fear is that electromagnetic waves emitted by wireless technology could become the tobacco smoke of the 21st century. Some environmentalists are already demanding restrictions, and government officials in some countries are issuing warnings to limit use and seeking reviews of the long-term health impact of exposure to wireless networks and mobile telephones.

"The exposure to electromagnetic fields is rising, and it's widespread," said Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environmental Agency, a European Union institution. "So, come what may, we should be anticipating that even with a low dose, but with wide exposure, this will require much more inspection."

The agency, which last week issued a statement urging caution, is paying close attention to the results of an ongoing World Health Organization study called Interphone that is evaluating cellphone use by almost 7,000 brain tumor patients in 13 countries, among them Japan, Canada, Germany and France.

For the most part, national studies have detected no consequences from the use of mobile phones for a period of up to 10 years. But last spring, Interphone published the results of studies of 1,500 brain cancer patients in the south of England and Nordic countries.

Read the full article at the International Herald Tribune

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Canadian politicians carry cocktail of chemicals


Four prominent Canadian officials have subjected themselves to a barrage of tests to detect traces of chemicals and are said to be shocked by the results.

The laboratory tests carried out on the politicians, including Health Minister Tony Clement, have found all of them carry trace amounts of dozens of potentially dangerous pollutants in their bodies. The other elected officials tested were NDP leader Jack Layton, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, and Liberal John Godfrey, a critic of current environmental policies.

The testing which checked for over 100 chemicals was organized by Environmental Defense, the same environmental activism group that has previously tested members of the public in Canada and found widespread contamination with synthetic chemicals in everyone evaluated. The group then challenged the politicians to undergone the same testing to see how they compared, to which they agreed. The politician's results showed they had residues from stain repellents, flame retardants, and insecticides, amongst other undesirable substances.

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Researchers look to dirty electricity as a potential cause of unexplained illnesses


A recently published research article looks at potential health consequences of dirty electricity and calls for investigations into its role in unexplained illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ADHD.

As we move into the 21st Century and the "information age", the amount of electromagnetic radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis, in our homes, places of work, schools, and practically everywhere else, is increasing at a rapid rate. This electromagnetic pollution is present in the form of dirty electricity, ground current, and radio frequency radiation from wireless devices.

This trend is set to continue as the electronic devices we have come to rely on become ever more ubiquitous, and new "must have" devices are developed. There are not many people in the western world who don't spend the majority of their day in proximity to electronics such as televisions, computers, cells phones, and countless other devices. This situation has led an increasing number of people to wonder what effects this constant barrage of electromagnetic radiation might be having on the human body.

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Food industry funded medical studies are biased say researchers


A major review of medical studies funded by the food industry have found that they are up to 8 times more likely to reach favourable conclusions for a product than studies funded by other means.

This is the conclusion of a group of researchers from the Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, in the US, who looked into studies involving soft drinks with supposed health benefits.

So before you act on media reports or company spin regarding any research about the health effects of beverages such as milk, fruit juice or soft drinks, it is a wise idea to find out exactly who paid for the study. If research was funded by a company or group related to the food industry, particularly if this was the sole means of funding, the conclusions may be biased and misleading.

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Chemicals Harmful to Health in Low as Well as High Doses


Medical researchers are increasingly finding that synthetic chemicals can damage health at low doses as well as high, making it hard to predict "safe" levels.

In the world of toxicology it has always been assumed that the harm that chemicals can do to human health is dependent entirely on the dose. As a result, toxicologists have sought to discover the dose at which a particular chemical causes acute illness. A line is then drawn with doses of the chemical below that level deemed safe and those above unsafe, or toxic.

This simple dose dependent model has made it easy for lawmakers to set limits on chemical use and approve or ban specific chemical products for the sake of human health.

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