[Neuroscience] Re: UK agency recognizes "electrosensitivity" as a physical impairment

Allen L. Barker alb at datafilter.com
Mon Oct 10 19:51:13 EST 2005


r norman wrote:
> On Tue, 04 Oct 2005 09:55:34 +0200, Jacob Sparre Andersen
> <sparre at nbi.dk> wrote:
> 
> 
>>Rich Hammett wrote:
>>
>>>In bionet.neuroscience Allen L. Barker <alb at datafilter.com> sanoi,
>>>hitaasti kuin hämähäkki:
>>
>>>>Electrical fields can make you sick
>>>>http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1774586,00.html
>>>>Sarah-Kate Templeton, Medical Correspondent
>>>>September 11, 2005
>>>
>>>>A GOVERNMENT agency has acknowledged for the first time that people
>>>>can suffer nausea, headaches and muscle pains when exposed to
>>>>electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, electricity pylons and
>>>>computer screens.
>>>
>>>ODL.  This is really, really stupid.
>>
>>Agreed!  I still haven't seen any experiments which indicates that this is
>>really the case.
>>
>>
>>>>There is particular concern about exposure to emissions from mobile
>>>>phone masts or base stations, often located near schools or
>>>>hospitals.
>>
>>Considering that the energy received from the cell-phones the same
>>people have in their pockets is thousands of times higher, this is
>>_really_ rediculous.
>>
> 
> 
> Sadly, the news reports (and quite possibly the Swedish and British
> governments) totally fail to recognize that different forms of
> electromagnetic phenomena exist.   Those listed, "mobile phones,
> electrical pylons, and computer screens" are dramatically different in
> nature.  

I would expect that the scientists who wrote the Swedish and British
government reports recognize that quite well.  I have not read those
reports myself, though.

> Radiation from cell phones or the base stations is supposed to be a
> hazard while living near a TV or AM/FM transmitting antenna is not?
> And "electromagnetic radiation" encompasses everything from very low
> frequency through microwave and IR, the visible spectrum, UV, into
> X-ray.  The radiation must excite a particular resonant frequency (or
> energy level) which means for microwave or radio frequencies just
> molecular jostling, twisting, and bending far smaller than normal
> thermal agitation, that is, just a slight heat effect trivially small
> unless you stick your head into the microwave oven.  Alternatively, if
> the energy is high enough to break chemical bonds -- i.e. UV or X ray
> -- it is already known to be dangerous. OK, some really intense
> microwave and IR frequencies can disrupt hydrogen bonding, but that
> requires quite intense fields. There really is no mechanism to account
> for the mobile phone or computer screen problem besides the well known
> problems of X radiation from improperly designed and operated CRT
> screens and stress induced by screen flicker or trying to read tiny
> text.

The effects would likely be due to nonthermal EM interactions
with biological processes.  Nonthermal interactions are real, but
they are not well-studied or well-publicized.  (According to Robert
Becker, a pioneer in electromedicine, the US government actually
worked to suppress knowledge of nonthermal EM effects.)

> Low frequencies from power lines (50 or 60 Hz) normally is just
> extremely intense local electric fields or magnetic fields, not
> electromagnetic radiation.  There are many birds who perch on power
> line wires.  True, most prefer to sit on the ground wire probably
> because there is a physical vibration, a hum, on the power carrying
> lines.  Still, they are so close to the wires that they are subject to
> incredibly intense fields.  Do they suffer from birth defects, high
> mortality?  I have never seen even a suggestion that they do.  There
> are large ecosystems living directly beneath high tension power lines.
> The plants, fungi, bacteria, and small soil animals are not mobile
> enough to move much and so live generation after generation with
> intense magnetic and electrical fields.  Are these defective in any
> way?  Lab experiments indicating developmental effects of electric or
> magnetic fields do not seem to be replicated in nature. 
> 
> It is true that "lower" vertebrates (sharks, fish) do contain
> electroreceptor organs capable of responding to very small electric
> fields in the water.  The hair cell receptor cells in our ear and
> vestibular organs are derived from those cells.  Still, those cells
> will not respond to radiation in the MHz and higher ranges and, if
> they do respond to power line frequencies we should all report
> constant audible 50/60 Hz buzzing all the time.  People do live and
> work in environments where there is constant and audible hum from
> electrical equipment.  Does that cause nausea, headaches, and muscle
> pain? 
> 
> Human complaints expressed at a low level and detectible (if at all)
> only through statistical tests on large populations, that is, through
> epidemiological methods, strongly suggest a problem provided they are
> reliably repeated.  

Some individuals can be highly sensitive to certain effects even if
most of the general population is not.

> These phenomena also usually suggest potential
> mechanisms which may be tested experimentally.  I may be wrong (and
> will receive no doubt a lot of responses if I am), but my impression
> is that the research validating either the statistical validity of the
> complaint or any potential mechanism accounting for the problem is
> highly debatable.  

Blood flow to brain changes with radio-wave exposure: study
http://www.troyrecord.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10030002&BRD=1170&PAG=740&dept_id=226965&rfi=6
2003 Kyodo News (c) Established 1945 August 19, 2003

TOKYO, Aug 19, 2003 (Kyodo via COMTEX) -- Japanese researchers said
Tuesday they have found that blood flow in the brains of people who
complain of irritation from electromagnetic waves changes when they
are exposed to such waves from appliances such as cell phones and
power lines.

The research group measured the changes in the amount of blood flow in
10 people, five of whom have symptoms of hypersensitivity to
electromagnetic waves. They found that the brain's blood flow in those
with the hypersensitivity fluctuated with exposure to the waves.

The findings are expected to contribute to understanding the symptoms,
such as headaches and fatigue, for which the causal relationship with
electromagnetic waves remains unknown.

The researchers believe the symptoms were caused either because the
electromagnetic waves disrupted the nerve system and thus caused
changes in the blood flow, or that the ability to maintain the brain's
blood flow at a certain level was reduced.

The research involved Ko Sakabe of the Kitasato Institute Hospital and
the nongovernmental environment organization Japan Offspring Fund.

Many people with irritations linked to electromagnetic waves also have
problems moving their eyeballs and abnormality in their pupils'
reaction to light.

"We want to conduct further research with more cases and higher
precision," Sakabe said.

There has so far been no method to test for hypersensitivity to
electromagnetic waves. One indicator is that symptoms disappear or
improve as patients distance themselves from the environment affected
by the waves.

In some cases, factors other than electromagnetic waves were said to
be the cause of the illnesses.


> Some may argue that the enormous economic forces require our
> telecommunications and electrical power infrastructure and hence will
> actively suppress any research that shows these to be dangerous.  Yet,
> scientists tend to be pesky individuals often not attuned to (or, more
> often, strongly opposed to) such institutional pressures.  Anyone who
> does discover a clear mechanism by which electromagnetic influences
> cause physical impairment quickly become famous -- a powerful
> motivation to continue looking.  Still, no clear data. 

Perhaps you should read the British report and look into studies of
nonthermal EM effects before concluding that there is no clear data...

-----------------------

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Directorate General for Research-Directorate A
STOA - Scientific and Technological Options Assessment
Options Brief and Executive Summary PE nr. 297.574 March 2001

THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF NON-IONISING ELECTROMAGNETIC
RADIATION

http://www.europarl.eu.int/stoa/publi/pdf/summaries/00-07-03sum_en.pdf

-----------------------

Mobile phones can trigger eye damage, fear scientists
http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/08/07/nmob...
By Peter Zimonjic
(Filed: 07/08/2005)

-----------------------

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/109581896/ABSTRACT

Changes in human EEG caused by low level modulated microwave stimulation
Hiie Hinrikus *, Maie Parts, Jaanus Lass, Viiu Tuulik
Biomedical Engineering Centre, Tallinn Technical University, Tallinn, Estonia
email: Hiie Hinrikus (hiie at bmt.cb.ttu.ee)

*Correspondence to Hiie Hinrikus, Biomedical Engineering Centre, Tallinn
Technical University, 5 Ehitajate Road, EE19086, Tallinn, Estonia.

Funded by:
Estonian Science Foundation; Grant Number: 5143

Keywords
EMF effect • photic stimulation • EEG alpha rhythm • EEG theta rhythm •
repetitive exposure

Abstract
This study focuses on the effect of low level microwave radiation on human
EEG alpha and theta rhythms. During the experiment, 20 healthy volunteers
were exposed to a 450 MHz microwaves with 7 Hz on-off modulation. The
field power density at the scalp was 0.16 mW/cm2. Signals from the
following EEG channels were used: FP1, FP2, P3, P4, T3, T4, O1, and O2.
The experimental protocol consisted of one cycle of short term photic and
ten cycles of the repetitive microwave stimulation. The changes caused by
photic as well as microwave stimulation were more regular on the alpha
rhythm. In the majority of cases, photic stimulation caused changes in the
EEG energy level in the occipital and microwave stimulation in the frontal
region. Our experimental results demonstrated that microwave stimulation
effects became apparent, starting from the third stimulation cycle. Changes
varied strongly from subject to subject. Therefore, photic and microwave
exposure did not cause statistically significant changes in the EEG
activity level for the whole group. For some subjects, clear tendencies of
changes in microwave on-off cycles were noticeable. Bioelectromagnetics
25:431-440, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Received: 11 June 2003; Accepted: 18 November 2003


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