Newsletter (07 April 2004)

Mobile phones 'harm blood cells


Mobile phone radiation may damage cells by increasing the forces they exert on each other, scientists have said. The finding could be the key to claims that mobile phones cause cancer and other health problems. Swedish physicists looked at the effect of electromagnetic radiation on red blood cells using a mathematical theory, New Scientist reported.

Experts cautioned that the finding was theoretical and said there was no evidence of a danger to health.

There have been suggestions that mobile phones can cause brain tumours and Alzheimer's disease, but research has been inconclusive.

The conventional view has been that radio waves could only damage a cell if they were energetic enough to break chemical bonds or "cook" tissue. But radiation given off by mobile phone handsets is too weak to do this.

Bo Sernelius at Linkoping University, Sweden, looked at another possibility by modelling the properties of red blood cells. Water molecules have poles of positive and negative charge which create forces between cells. These forces are normally extremely weak - about a billion-billionth of a newton.


The simplified mathematical model investigated the effect of electromagnetic radiation in the field of 850 megahertz - about the range used by mobile phones - on the blood cells. The molecules all ended up with their poles aligned in the same direction. The forces between the cells unexpectedly jumped by about 11 orders of magnitude.

If confirmed by experiments, the results could give an explanation for tissue damage. Stronger attractive forces between cells might make them clump together or cause blood cells to contract, New Scientist said.

Katie Daniel, deputy editor of the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, said the finding was important. "It highlights the idea that electromagnetic radiation might act on cells by affecting the attractive forces between them rather than simply causing heat damage to tissue," she said.

Camelia Gabriel, from King's College London, who is taking part in the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme funded by the Government, said the theory was feasible. But she said the model was extremely simple and may not apply to larger numbers of cells. "It needs to be tested experimentally," she said.

Dr Michael Clark at the National Radiological Protection Board said: "You can do anything with numbers. It is very interesting, but I can't get excited about it until somebody measures it." Studies had not proved there was any danger to health from mobile phones, he said. "There is no evidence of cancer or anything else. So it is so far, so good. But it is early days," said Dr Clark.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/04/06 18:04:06 GMT


Message from Susan

Informant: Josef Hasslberger


Mobile phone use

U.K. Sunday Mirror

Scientists have discovered that a call lasting just two minutes can alter the natural electrical activity of a child's brain for up to an hour afterwards...THE CHILD SCRAMBLER THESE are the first images that show the shocking effect that using a mobile phone has on a child's brain. Scientists have discovered that a call lasting just two minutes can alter the natural electrical activity of a child's brain for up to an hour afterwards. And they also found for the first time how radio waves from mobile phones penetrate deep into the brain and not just around the ear. The study by Spanish scientists has prompted leading medical experts to question whether it is safe for children to use mobile phones at all. Doctors fear that disturbed brain activity in children could lead to psychiatric and behavioural problems or impair learning ability. It was the first time that human guinea pigs were used to measure the effects of mobile phone radiation on children.

Informant: George Paxinos


Depleted Uranium Weapons


It is likely that the purchase of Abrams tanks is part of a "harmonization" of US and Australian forces. So that in future wars of adventure over oil, the Aussies can bravely fight and die right alongside the Yanks, using the same nuclear weaponry.

Hopefully the Australian government will not bow to  Pentagon pressure to go down the DU path.

Don Maisch


Cancer in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset

The environmental consultancy Green Audit has answered criticism from the UK Government's influential advisory group COMARE (Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment). Response dated 30th March 2004


In 2002, in a citizens' epidemiology study unique in the UK, Parents Concerned About Hinkley (PCAH) conducted a door-to-door survey of cancer in the North ward of Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. ("Wards" are local authority administrative areas.) Green Audit analysed the results, showing significant excesses of cancer. The cause is thought to be internal radiation following inhalation and ingestion of radioactivity blowing inland from nearby mud-flats, which are contaminated by discharges from Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station.

In September the South West Cancer Intelligence Service published a study of cancer incidence in both the Burnham wards and two neighbouring wards. The data confirm what PCAH found in Burnham North and also confirm that proximity to the sea is associated with increased cancer incidence.

* it attacks PCAH's Questionnaire Survey for not being a definitive study, whereas it was intended to be indicative; as a doorstep questionnaire administered by volunteers it could never have been anything else.

* it makes a fatal error about the way the PCAH was conducted, assuming that 30% of households had responded to a 100% canvass, which could have introduced bias. In fact there was a 100% response to a 30% sample. COMARE have allowed this error to remain although they have been told about it repeatedly.

* it overlooks flawed analysis in the subsequent extended study conducted by the South West Cancer Intelligence Service (SWCIS).

* it overlooks the fact that once the flaws are corrected the SWCIS study confirms PCAH's findings.

* it uses a selective subset of the SWCIS data.

* it uses wrong significance testing.

* it says that chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (which accounts for much of the excess leukaemia in Burnham) is not caused by radiation. This assumption has no scientific basis since it relies on studies of external radiation at Hiroshima.

Speaking on behalf on Green Audit Richard Bramhall said: "I have great admiration for the courage of the local volunteers who knocked on people's doors asking for sensitive personal information about their health. COMARE pays lip service to them, claiming that they "don't wish to criticise either the idea of carrying out such a survey or the involvement of the local community." But they demonstrate a complete failure to understand the realities of public concern and grass roots action, condemning the study for not checking medical and histological records. How can a local campaign group have access to such records? How does COMARE think volunteers could interrogate people on their doorsteps about whether their cancers were primaries or secondaries, or whether they were distinguishing correctly between malignant or in situ or benign cancers?

The local health authorities have been remote, arrogant and dismissive. They have refused to work with local campaign groups for fear of "compromising their impartiality and public perceptions of their role".

Now, both COMARE and the cancer registry have applied inappropriate statistical techniques in an effort to deny obvious enhancements of risk near the mud-flats. They have even blamed X-ray mammography for apparent excesses of breast cancer incidence. They seem to be unaware that since mortality from breast cancer is also double what would be expected in Burnham, blaming X-ray mammography suggests that it is killing women.

Cancer data have been withheld from competent public interest epidemiologists on the basis of a rule which the Department of Health adopted as a temporary measure for a different purpose - stopping open reports and web sites from revealing too much information about patients. Even the National Radiological Protection Board has criticised the rule; at a recent meeting Board  members were concerned that it would be an obstacle to many studies crucial for public health. The NRPB's Chairman has addressed their concerns to the UK Department of Health."

The Green Audit response is hosted on or go to and click on the NEWS icon. It can be downloaded as html or as a PDF file.

The COMARE Statement is on]

Informant: Richard Bramhall


Communicating by RF in James Lovelock's future Atlantis

Hi Klaus:  Relevant to the many illuminating entries in your latest posting (March 30, 2004) on covert high- tech modes for sending and receiving information directly to the brain is James Lovelock's futuristic vision  of an Atlantis where the occupants "have no need for speech or writing. The possession of an electronic nervous system makes speech redundant; they are able to use radio frequencies to communicate directly a wide range of images and ideas." (THE AGES OF GAIA by James Lovelock, 1988. Page 222)

Best,  Imelda, Cork


A Toxic Cover-up?

From Information Clearing House


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Save the trees

Pro-Chemical Lobbying Aims to Undermine International Regulatory Efforts

Bush Green Light for Carbon Dioxide May Cost Consumers Millions

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Environmental Pioneer Decries Bush Environmental Damage








Help Fight a Proposed Dam in Canada's Boreal Forest

Manitoba Hydro, one of Canada's largest utilities, is preparing to begin a multi-stage hydroelectric dam and transmission project that would cause lasting damage to the Heart of the Boreal Forest. Government hearings concerning the first of a series of proposed dams, Wuskwatim, will conclude in May. NRDC added this exceptionally pristine and endangered stretch of Canada's boreal forest to our BioGems list earlier this year.

If Manitoba Hydro goes ahead with Wuskwatim, other proposed facilities -- including transmission lines that would cut directly through the habitat of songbirds, moose, bears and endangered woodland caribou -- would likely follow close behind. These projects would clear the way for new roads and other invasive activity in the region, destroying wildlife and harming indigenous communities that depend on the land for survival.

» Call on Manitoba Hydro to suspend its plans until officials complete a comprehensive environmental review.


Omega-News Collection 7. April 04