Newsletter (20 February 2004)

In own case

The archiving of our group postings after 29/01/04 has moved from


Addendum to New paper: 60Hz b-fields shown to damage neuronal DNA

The informant was Bill Beaty


UW study: Exposure to low-level magnetic fields damages DNA



A new study, to be published in the May edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, found that exposure to a 60-hertz field for 24 hours broke brain-cell DNA strands in rats, and exposure for 48 hours caused even more DNA damage.

Bioengineering professors Henry Lai and Narendra Singh also found that continued exposure makes cells self-destruct because they can't repair themselves - much like findings of a 1995 study conducted at 10 times the intensity for just two hours.

The UW study suggests the effects are cumulative, meaning duration can be as damaging as intensity.

"In real life, people get this exposure in brief doses - three minutes of exposure to a blow dryer, five minutes of exposure to an electric razor," Lai said. "We found that this could add up over time."

Lai and Singh aren't urging people to start drip-drying their hair or quit using electric alarm clocks.

They do say people need to be aware that low-level magnetic fields emitted by many electrical devices central to daily life could be harmful.

"People should do what they can to limit their exposure to as little as possible, especially in relation to electrical appliances that are used very close to the body," Lai said.

Traditionally, scientists have believed that low-level electronic fields could not be harmful because they weren't potent enough to break chemical bonds in cells.

The UW study doesn't completely debunk that theory. It suggests a more subtle mechanism is at work.

Lai and Singh hypothesize that rather than causing direct harm, low-level electromagnetic fields spike the amount of free iron within certain cells. That free iron then undergoes a chemical reaction that releases "free radicals" or charged atoms that attack cell structures, including DNA, lipids and proteins.

To test that theory, researchers gave some of the rats drugs that either neutralize free radicals or decrease free iron before exposing the animals to the magnetic field.

The experiment supported their hypothesis, showing that the drugs prevented brain-cell DNA damage.

Cells undergo wear and tear all the time, so DNA damage in and of itself isn't cause for alarm.

It becomes a concern when damage increases, because that increases the likelihood that a mistake will occur in the cellular repair process. That could result in a mutation, which in turn could cause diseases like cancer.

Some types of DNA damage are easily fixed, such as a break on one side of DNA's ladder-like double helix. Repairs become more difficult if both sides of the helix are broken, thus increasing the likelihood of mutation. Both single- and double-strand breaks were found in the UW study.

The study, which has undergone peer review, is available in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives. The publication is the journal of the National Institutes of Environmental Health, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

Informant: Greg Wiegand


RE: 60 Hz fields

Many of us recall Abe Liboff presenting the work of he and Ken McCleod at the mid 1980s annual BEMS meeting where they demonstrated the dysregulatory effects of 60 Hz fields. That was buried in the stir created by their "cyclotron resonance" presentation, but Abe made it very clear he considered 60 Hz to be a very unfortunate choice of frequencies that we as a society are destined to live with. I presume the reason they saw such poor performance in their test model has been clarified by Henry Lai and his colleague.

Glen Gordon


Abuse of power?

As mentioned before several municipalities in Denmark had put a stop to 3G- masts. Now some county authorities has decided that this is illegal. According to regulations for buildings, health risks cannot be used as an argument to turn down an application to raise e.g. a mobile phone tower. So now several large towns, will allow masts to be raised again. Other towns are expected to follow and the target is 3000 3G-masts in Denmark.

So the authorities use their power to enforce something on the public, in spite of the fears and the resistance in the population. They can easily do it, because they do not carry any responsibility for the consequences. We have seen numerous cases here in Denmark of people getting seriously ill or dying because they were treated with a technique, medicine etc., generally accepted to be dangerous. In spite of this the authorities went on for years to recommend the use of them, claiming that they were harmless. When the persons affected sued the authorities for claim of damages, this was always turned down, because it was the people's own fault and responsibility, as they said.

The results of a study from Aalborg university, paid and ordered, has just appeared (J. Bach Andersen, G. Pedersen et al.) on 3G masts.

So we are back where it all started.

Sianette Kwee


Schools at risk- continued

Environment Ministry demands radiation measurements in 33 schools

Zafrir Rinat

Haaretz  17.2.04

Details Summary:

The Env. Ministry demands from the power company to do radiation measurements in 33 schools near power lines. Dr. Stelian Galberg asked in the beginning of February to know the results within two weeks. At the end of last month, the ministry wanted to receive detailed data about the power company's installations and how they operate,  after the ministry found high radiation levels. Miki Haran, head of the ministry, asked the chair of local authorities, Adi Eldar, to prevent heads of local authorities from building houses and schools near power installation as long as there is no measurement of the radiation there.

The recommendation of the Env. Ministry, 10 mG average for a day, is related to the fact that the ministry wants to have a legal authority (which he now has not) to set standards as a law. The schools where the ministry demands measurements are located in a distance of less than 30 meters from power lines of 161 KW and 110 KW.

The municipality said that it was not the first time the Env. Ministry published statements to the media with no base in reality. The municipality called the parents to send their children to all the schools in the city.


Osafia-Daliat il Carmel- highest suicide rate

In light of the connection radiation---higher suicide rate that is found in the research,  it's worth noting that Osafia-Daliat il Carmel has the highest suicide rate in Israel, it was said yesterday on the radio. Today this is published in Haaretz.

In summery:

The talk of the day in Daliat il Carmel/ Osafia is the death of two soldiers, Fadi Kayuf and Ihab Wahabi. Two soldiers, 19 years old, committed suicide in a time gap of 24 hours. There is an increase of suicide rates in Osafia, 4 months ago another young man was found, at the same age.

Two weeks ago an article was published in the local newspaper "Il Dawally" which is distributed in the villages of the Carmel and Hagalil, on the first page, about an increase in suicide rate in the Druze community. A senior worker in the health center was interviewed and said there was an increase.

The family of the soldier Fadi Kayuf is angry at the police because the police says it's suicide but the family says it's natural death. "Fadi didn't commit suicide, he died of stroke", said his brother angrily. "It's not possible to point a reason which could cause him do such a terrible thing. He was happy". Kayuf had a special voice and became a successful singer. Until the age of 18 he already had 5 CDs. He served as a singer in the army. Ihav Whabi didn't show a sign, he just asked his mother to wake his brothers, he kissed them, and went out. Half an hour later his friends received SMS from him. Written to each one of them: "always take care of yourself brother, be strong, always smile". The family asked the cellular company to find him. He was found in a field with his personal weapon, he shot himself. The uncle thinks the cause was Ihav financial situation.


The Power Line in Kiron will Be Removed

Moshe Ronen

The power company agreed to dismantle the power line in less than a year, the line which passes in Kiron that is in Kiriat Ono. That's what was decided two weeks after it had been exposed in Yediot Ahronot, supplement "7 yamim" that 19 people who live in two close buildings, got sick and 10 of them died of cancer.

Following the article, hundreds of people asked the Envirmonment Ministry to measure also in their houses that are near power lines.

Informant: Iris Atzmon


One third of the world’s urban population lives in a slum

Late in 2003 the United Nations reported that one billion people—approximately one third of the world’s urban dwellers and a sixth of all humanity, live in slums. And it predicted that within 30 years that figure would have doubled to two billion—a third of the current world population.

From Information Clearing House


Bush administration "distorts science," says report

Top scientists and environmentalists accused the Bush administration Wednesday of suppressing and distorting scientific findings that run counter to its own policies.


Swiss study predicts scorching European summers

The heat wave that killed more than 10,000 people across Europe last summer is only a taste of things to come as the planet becomes steadily warmer, a Swiss expert predicted this week.


World is slipping in goal of fresh water to poor

The world is slipping behind a U.N. goal of supplying fresh water by 2015 to more than a half-billion people in developing nations who currently lack it, the head of a U.N. Commission said Tuesday.


Green groups sue to block drilling in Alaska reserve

Environmental groups on Tuesday sued to block the Bush administration's current plan to open million of acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling because they want more protection for the area's wildlife.


Brazilian Indians fear millennial way of life is threatened by development

Naked children are leaping from mango trees and tumbling into the mild water of the Xingu River without a care. But up by the grass-roofed long houses, the village elders fret that their way of life may come to an end soon.


Ecuador is sacked by illegal wildlife trade


Scottish skiers face grim reality of global warming