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FEB - The Swedish Association for the ElectroSensitive
News Archive 2004
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EU study on mobile radiation: DNA damage far below present safety limit!
REFLEX, a four-year study at 12 university research labs in 7 countries conducted by the Verum Foundation, based in Munich, funded by the EU at a cost of 3.2 Million Euro:
  • RF-EMF produced genotoxic effects in fibroblasts, HL-60 cells, granulosa cells of rats and neural progenitor cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells . Cells responded to RF-EMF exposure between SAR levels of 0.3 and 2 W/kg with a significant increase in single and double strand DNA breaks and in micronuclei frequency (Participants 2 and 3). Chromosomal aberrations in fibroblasts were also observed after RF-EMF exposure (Participant 3). In HL-60 cells an increase in the intracellular generation of free radicals accompanying RF-EMF exposure could clearly be demonstrated
  • RF-EMF at a SAR of 1.5 W/kg down-regulated the expression of neuronal genes in neuronal precursor cells and up-regulated the expression of early genes in p53-deficient embryonic stem cells,  but not in wild-type cells. Proteomic analyses on human endothelial cell lines showed that exposure to RF-EMF changed the expression and phosphorylation of numerous, largely unidentified proteins. Among these proteins is the heat shock protein hsp27, a marker for cellular stress responses. The results of the whole genome cDNA micro-array and proteomic analyses indicated that EMF may activate several groups of genes that play a role in cell division, cell proliferation and cell differentiation.
  • Our results show, that intermittent exposure to a 50 Hz magnetic field causes a reproducible increase in DNA strand breaks in cultured human cells. These findings are in accordance with some recent studies with whole-body exposure of rodents to ELF-EMF which revealed DNA single- and double-strand breaks in the brain (Lai and Singh 1997c; Singh and Lai 1998; Svedenstal et al. 1999a/b).
  • The guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP 1998) are 500 µT during workday for occupational exposures and 100 µT for 24 h/day for the general population. The on-set of genotoxic effects in our tests was at a magnetic flux density as low as 35 µT at 15 hours and 70 µT at 24 hours of exposure, being well below these proposed guideline values.
Researchers exposed cells in glass dishes to mobile phone signals and discovered that the low-power microwaves they emit can damage DNA, potentially causing cancer and other illnesses.
Professor Franz Adlkofer, the executive director of the Verum Foundation, said the scientists were surprised by the results, which contradicted their initial belief that there would be no damage to DNA.  "The precautionary principle is justified. At the moment I would say that it would be enough to advise customers only to use the mobile phone when they need it and not for too long, and only when there is good access to base stations."
Research Report and Summary
REFLEX - Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards from Low Energy Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods
Final report (large 11MB pdf) here:
Summary (small 39k pdf) here:

08 Dec 2004

UK: The Masts Crusaders
"Mandy's children are having nosebleeds. Andy sleeps with metal plates by his bed. Beat bobbies are reporting strange illnesses. They all blame the new police radio system...
In Bognor Regis 44-year-old Mandy Keeling began to vomit last New Year's Eve. "It was the day, I later learnt, that the Tetra mast 150 yards from my home began transmitting. I had two months of nausea, headaches and poor sleep. Doctors could do nothing. Then I heard about the mast. I was cynical about it at first. I thought, 'Pull yourself together.' I've lived here for 12 years, and there are other mobile masts, but none had made my brain vibrate." By now her two sons, aged nine and 19, were suffering, too; the younger one had nosebleeds.
She went knocking on doors and discovered neighbours had been affected as well. They campaigned to have the mast taken down; eventually, the company agreed. The mast was dismantled in May. Keeling was transformed: "I felt better within a month, and we're all perfectly healthy now. Except when I go near a Tetra mast somewhere else" ..."

Read more in The Independent...
23 Nov 2004 The Independent

Vodafone, we’ve got your number
"If high-frequency masts are so safe, why aren’t they in the boss’s back garden? Vodafone, we’ve got your number
PHONE MASTS: do they cause cancer? You need to find out, I need to find out; one judge says this, some scientists say that. Nobody seems to know for sure. This is the solution. Site a giant one in the middle of the lawn of each director of each mobile telephone company in the country. By law. You say they are safe, old chum. Well, on you go. Explain that one to the neighbours next time little sweetums complains of a headache. Give them the earnest speech about safe levels of radio wave emissions. See how it plays at Tumbletots. If tumours the size of pancakes start popping up on your estate, then we will know. Maybe you don’t think this is such a good idea. We will know then, too..."

Read more in Times Online...
22 Nov 2004 Times Online

New mobile phone link to cancer
"Mobile phone users were last night advised to cut their use of handsets - particularly in areas with poor reception - after new research found evidence they can cause cell damage. The new study, to be published next month, adds to the already heated debate over mobile phone safety. It found that the risk was increased in areas with a poor signal because the mobile phone used higher-powered radiation to maintain contact with the network. The team, based in Germany, is now seeking funds to see if their findings are repeated on living cells within the human body.
Last night, some experts and the mobile industry itself urged consumers not to panic, pointing out that previous studies had failed to prove mobile phones caused illnesses.
The four-year study was conducted by the Verum Foundation, based in Munich, and funded by the EU at a cost of £2.2m..."

Read more in The Scotsman...
Read more on EU:Reflex Studie (in German - but with nice pictures and diagrams that tell a lot...)
Read Reflex Project Summary in English (PDF)...
21 Nov 2004 The Scotsman

400 Swedish Electro-Hypersensitives witness at WHO-seminar in Prague
At the International WHO-Seminar on EMF Hypersensitivity in Prague (Czech Republic, October 25-27th ) more than 400 Electro Hypersensitives from Sweden will present their experiences through ”Black on White – Voices and Witnesses about Electro-Hypersensitivity – The Swedish Experience”, published today. The book is based on presentations and letters from electro-hypersentives to the Swedish Council for Work Life Research (RALF) in March 2000.

Black-on-White discloses how electro-hypersensitives (EHS), in spite of the Swedish official disability acceptance, still are confronted with distrust from physicians, healthcare, social insurance institutions and authorities. Nevertheless, the witnesses express a great strength and hope for the future and present a growing understanding from work-life and society. Several of the EHS reporting their experiences are white-collar workers within education, engineering, IT and telecom.

The EHS experiences now being published in English and accepted for a poster presentation at the WHO-seminar is an important step to share the “Swedish Experience” with the growing number of EHS in the “wireless society” world-wide. The book is also intended for politicians, researchers and healthcare authorities in all countries where Electro Hypersensitivity is still a questioned disability.

PDF/Abstract here:
The printed version of Black on White. Voices and Witnesses about electro-hypersensitivity (2005) is now available! Order here:

“Black on White – Voices and witnesses about Electro-Hypersensitivity – The Swedish Experience”, Rigmor Granlund-Lind, John Lind, Mimers Brunn Kunskapsförlag (2004), Download PDF (1.3MByte) here:

Swedish version published 2002; Svart på vitt – Röster och vittnesmål om elöverkänslighet, Mimers Brunn Kunskapsförlaget, 2002, ISBN 91-88884-05-8


WHO on EHS: “Sensitivity to EMF has been given the general name “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity” or EHS. It comprises nervous system symptoms like headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin symptoms like prickling, burning sensations and rashes, pain and ache in muscles and many other health problems. Whatever its cause, EHS is a real and sometimes a disabling problem for the affected persons, while the level of EMF in their neighbourhood is usually no greater than is encountered in normal living environments.”

25 Oct 2004

Barbados: Electronic Fields make people Sick
Until very recently epidemiological studies on health effects of exposure to electromagnetic field (EMFs) concentrated on the incidence of cancer. However as evidence continues to accumulate on the health effects of exposure to EMFs, at certain levels and for long duration, it is becoming clear that the fields may act as a low-level immune-system stressor which can manifest in a number of health problems, not just cancer. This situation is likely to get worse as we continue to promote the use of computers in the classroom and as we mo ve towards wireless computer and communication technologies that generate radio frequency radiation.
Read more in Nation News...
17 Oct 2004 Nation News

Barbados: Hidden dangers in the home
"Your beloved television, video, DVD player, stereo, cordless telephone and the other electronic equipment in your home may be making you sick. They may be the reason why you’re suffering with nagging fatigue, headaches, dizziness, pain in the teeth and gums, and an inability to sleep at night, and other symptoms. Businessman Eugene Young, 42, tried to cure his headaches, his pain in his teeth and gums, ringing in the ears and s leeping problems with pain killers. He went to a dentist and he looked for an air filter as he thought air pollution was the reason for his condition. But fixing the air pollution was only one thing; He was also recommended to deal with the electromagnetic pollution. After unplugging his computer, television, cordless phone and the radio next to his bed he had a first night in a long time that he slept properly... Young got help to filter out the electromagnetic pollution from his electric wirings and since then - no ringing in the ears, no pain in the teeth, no gum aches, no headaches, and sleeping much better at night as opposed to having these types of symptoms disturbing his body. 'The buzz word is sick building syndrome and everybody is looking at the air [but] nobody is looking at the electrical pollution,' Young said"...
Read more in Nation News...
16 Oct 2004 Nation News

Mobile Phones Again Linked to Cancer Risk
Mobile phones may present a cancer risk after all. Epidemiologists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have found that the phones can increase the incidence of acoustic neuromas, benign tumors of the auditory nerve. The nerve is exposed to radiation during the normal use of a cell phone. 
Those who used mobile phones for at least ten years, had close to twice the risk of developing acoustic neuromas, according to a team led by Dr. Maria Feychting and Prof. Anders Ahlbom of the Karolinska’s Institute of Environmental Medicine. Ahlbom is the deputy director of institute. 
For those acoustic neuromas that were on the same side of the head as the phone was used, the risk was even higher —approximately a fourfold increase compared to controls, a statistically significant finding.
Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Acoustic Neuroma. 
Epidemiology. 15(6):653-659, November 2004.
Lonn, Stefan *; Ahlbom, Anders *; Hall, Per +; Feychting, Maria *
12 Oct 2004 

UK: Why no wiser on mobile risks?
Given all that we do know about emissions — and all that we don’t — one question cries out: Are we all guinea pigs in some global multibillion-pound commercial experime nt? When I put this question to Dr Michael Clark, science spokesman for the NRPB, he replied: “In a way, yes we are.” Scary
more in TIMESONLINE...
03 Oct 2004 TimesONLINE

UK: Tetra Revolt 
”We are a group of people who love our job and we are not trouble makers, but we are genuine in our belief that these (Tetra) Radios are killing us”  - Anonymous police officer
Read the article in the Ecologist (Oct 2004) about the new police communication system in UK.
Read The Ecologist Report...
20 Sep 2004 The Ecologist

In Cellular Towers' Shadows, Anxiety
Worried About Radiation, Parents Urge Fairfax Schools to Drop Cash Cow
Diana Barbera, a filmmaker and mother of four, turned to the Internet when she heard that Fairfax County school officials wanted to put a towering pole of wireless phone antennas at the middle school two of her children attend. 
Barbera, 38, of Clifton learned that the federal government says that people near such poles encounter low levels of radio-frequency radiation but that they would have to be next to the antennas -- usually about 100 feet in the air -- to be exposed to potentially dangerous levels. She also read that some scientists question whether long-term exposure also may be harmful to people on the ground. 
The way Barbera sees it, the mere possibility is reason enough to ban placement of the antennas near schools. With another Fairfax parent, Karl Polzer of Falls Church, she began speaking out against proposed cellular antenna poles before the School Board. This month, they launched www.protectschools.org
Read more in Washington Post ...
20 Sep 2004 Washington Post

Childhood leukaemia risk doubles within 100 metres of high voltage power lines
The biggest ever publicly funded UK study (1) into power lines and child cancer has found that children under the age of 15 living within 100 metres of high-voltage power lines have close to twice the risk of developing leukaemia. Children aged 0-5 are the most vulnerable so their risk is likely to be even higher. 
This result from the OXFORD CHILDHOOD CANCER RESEARCH GROUP study, headed by Gerald Draper analysed and compared 33 years of data (from1962 to1995) on 35,000 children diagnosed with cancer.
more in Medical News Today...
15 Sep 2004 Medical News Today

Hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields - the invisible disease
ELECTRIC hypersensitivity is a disorder where neurological and allergic symptoms, including headaches and nausea, are brought on through exposure to electromagnetic fields.
While many people have trouble getting recognition for the condition, it has attracted growing numbers of researchers.
It has become a prominent topic in America, where Dr William Rea (who claims to suffer himself) reports that he is treating 500 patients who are electrically sensitive, at his clinic in Dallas, Texas.
more in icWales...
Allergy to electricity leaves woman fearing winter freeze
A WOMAN who moved to Wales to escape modern life after discovering she is allergic to electricity, spoke last night of her fears over surviving the winter without heat.
Petra Smith, 37, lives in a caravan on the West Wales coast near Cardigan after giving up all mod cons at her home in Devon.
She suffers from extreme electrical sensitivity, a rare allergic condition which makes her brain "fry" and causes insomnia and panic attacks when she is around powerful electrical devices.
But now Mrs Smith, who used to play electric guitar in a band and loved going to the cinema before developing the condition, is now worried how she will even be able to heat her caravan without power.
more in icWales...
08 Sep 2004 icWales

She has to live in caravan
A WOMAN has been forced to turn her back on the 21st century - because she's allergic to electricity.
Petra Smith lives in a caravan in the Welsh countryside, with a wood burning stove and battery-powered lights, because she suffers from electrical hypersensitivity.
She suffers panic attacks and her skin becomes itchy if she gets close to electrical appliances.
She said: 'The most traumatic thing has been having to completely alter my social life.
'Microwaves and computers were a disaster area for me.
Charmaine Yabsley, from Allergy Magazine, said: 'Electrical hypersensitivity is becoming more common so the more information available, the better.'
more in Daily Record...
06 Sep 2004 Daily Record

Mobile phone firms silent on radiation 
MOBILE phone firms were yesterday accused of keeping consumers in the dark over radiation levels generated by hi-tech handsets.
Some models emit ten times the level of others, but experts said most users had no idea which ones were best for their health.
Sir William Stewart, head of the Health Protection Agency, claimed the industry had made it very difficult for the public to identify the safest phones.
more in This is London...
08 Sep 2004 This is London

Health chief criticises mobile phone risks
Sir William Stewart, one of the Government's leading public health advisers, has criticised the mobile phone industry for failing to make handset radiation levels available to the public and called for emissions data to appear on each phone.
Sir William, chairman of the Health Protection Agency and the National Radiation Protection Board, said new guidelines on the potential health effects of using mobile phones would be published by the end of the year.
more in the Telegraph...
07 Sep 2004 Telegraph

Stray Currents in the USA: Duane Dahlberg presents his views in a detailed report
By Duane A. Dahlberg
Throughout geological history environmental changes have been occurring, and these changes have had an impact on life. The effects have been both beneficial and detrimental. As populations have increased and technologies expanded, there are new and different environmental changes. The world is deluged by ever increasing byproducts of the present age of technology. In addition to the benefits of the technological advances, there also negative impacts from the application of these technologies and their byproducts. People of the world are faced with the need to sort out the positive and the negative impacts of technology in order to maintain the most ideal conditions for all life. There are many factors that have hindered an accurate assessment, however, especially of the negative impacts resulting from technological byproducts.
As an example this paper considers the potential negative impacts from exposure to the electricity that is added to the environment where living organisms exist. The specific case presented primarily involves effects on dairy cattle, but it is also applicable in other places and for other living organisms. Attention is given to different positions taken regarding possible electrical effects, the information gleaned from research and investigations, and the conflicts that have emerged. The paper presents the basic mechanisms for effects and areas of insufficient information, and it suggests a research methodology for providing a more comprehensive picture of the issues.
Read the complete report as a PDF here on feb.se (190KByte)...
03 Aug 2004 FEB

TCO: Only one in four mobile phones pass TCO'01 test
SonyEricsson and Nokia fail to meet TCO requirements TCO Development has tested 25 mobile phone models produced by ten different manufacturers to see if they meet the emitted radiation and ergonomic requirements of our quality and environmental labeling system, TCO'01 Mobile Phones. Six models were of the SonyEricsson make and four were from Nokia. None of these phones met all the requirements.
more at TCO development Site...
more in the complete testreport...
18 May 2004 TCO Development

UK: Making Waves
Geraldine 37 was "certain from the word go" that her tinnitus-like symptoms had something to do with the phone masts on the roof of her high-rise block of flats. She was staggerd by the 600 replies on her questionnaire to 800 flats in the area. The respondents were complaining of ringing ears, headaches and difficulty sleeping - which, along with dizziness, nosebleeds, rashes, nausea and loss of concentration, are typical of the problems reported across the country. The diversity of ailments, all of which could point to anything, are at the same time all possible symptoms of one thing: radiation sickness. 
more in The Guardian...
10 April 2004 The Guardian

Cellphones may boost forces on biological tissue
The conventional view is that the only way radio waves could damage a cell would be if they were energetic enough to break chemical bonds or heat the tissue, like microwaves. Yet the radiation given off by handsets is much too weak to produce either of these effects. Finding an alternative mechanism is the "holy grail" for those who believe the radiation is harmful.
 Now Bo Sernelius, a physicist at Linkoping University in Sweden, has a new lead. He modelled the dielectric properties of cells. Water molecules have poles of positive and negative electric charge that are known to create attractive forces between cells, known as van der Waals forces. These are normally extremely weak, typically around a billion-billionth of a newton. According his figures, in fields of 850 megahertz - around the frequency used by mobile phones - the attractive forces appear to leap to micronewton strength. That is a huge jump of around 11 orders of magnitude.
  Sernelius's investigation is only theoretical. But if the effect could be confirmed experimentally it could form the basis of an explanation for tissue damage: stronger attractive forces between cells might make them clump together, for example, or cause blood vessels to contract.
more in New Scientist...
4 April 2004 New Scientist

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