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TETRA and current UK research


New and recent research results

 A perceptive view of the current establishment science’s approach to environmental issues of our making, and some consequences. Take time to watch this cartoon!

 And more seriously, a discussion on how science is presented to the public, who lies behind it, and their agenda.

 The Fourth International Seminar on Electromagnetic Fields and Biological Effects September 12 to 16, 2005. Kunming, China

How interesting that an international conference like this continues despite this certainty asserted by the Mobile Manufacturers’ Forum ‘supporting WHO’ that EMF is quite harmless. But the result? Chinese researchers find DNA damage from low-level RF radiation.

 WHO: Base stations and wireless networks; exposures and health consequences. Workshop, June 15 2005

 An intriguing aspect uniting all (?) the health effects reported from EMF exposure. A huge area, introduced in our links.

 Time to stop the WHO charade. Why, oh why, is the leader of the WHO EMF project so reluctant to accept EHS?

 Background to who leads the WHO EMF project and perpetuates the lie that the only harm from EMF is psychological.

 Open letter to the World Health Organization: your job is not about ‘assessing science’, but ‘attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health’.

 Martin Weatherall of Canada wrote to the WHO Director General, and received a reply from Mike Repacholi to say WHO only deals in consensus. The WHO factsheet on EHSadvises against measuring EMF where people say they suffer because it’s all in the mind, and thinking about it nmakes it worse.

 Coherence and Electromagnetic Fields in Biological Systems, Prague, 1-4 July 2005, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

 Base stations & wireless networks: Exposures & health consequences, Geneva, 15-16 June 2005 World Health Organization

Late last year a major EU project, comprising many partners from several EU countries, released their Final Report – the REFLEX Report. That Report, which showed multiple irreparable breaks in DNA (the classic precursor to cancer) from low-level electromagnetic radiation (below government safety guidelines) includes the following text:

‘Since all these observations were made in in vitro studies, the results obtained neither preclude nor confirm a health risk due to EMF exposure, but they speak in favour of such a possibility.’

ie: It is more likely than not, on the basis of these findings, that such health risks exist.

This Report also states:

‘Furthermore, there exists no justification anymore to claim, that we are not aware of any pathophysiological mechanisms which could be the basis for the development of functional disturbances and any kind of chronic diseases in animal and man.’

ie: The claim, so often put out by the NRPB and others, that there are no known mechanisms by which EM radiation could cause illness, is no longer tenable.

 The EU REFLEX project. An important statement on why EMF research must not stop. Need a synopsis? see below:

 Read this synopsis on REFLEX at Powerwatch

 Childhood leukaemia risk doubles within 100 metres of high voltage power lines (15 September 2004)

While this does not relate to TETRA, it is a clear indication that the Government has knowledge of matters that affect the health of the nation and chooses to ignore or deny it, in this case for several years.

Further, the NRPB (now the HPA) has been complicit in these denials and despite acknowledging a problem, and taking partially remedial steps, does not deal fully with the problem. This tends to indicate that having shown that such callousness and professionally inept behaviour is characteristic in one important area, they can demonstrably be accused of being equally professionally inept in another.

In its resistance to any sensible investigation of TETRA, or examination of the claims made by many thousands of people throughout the world, the Radiation Protection Division of the HPA is not carrying out its supposed, mandated tasks and is, by implication and default, supporting the big business interests at the expense of the people of this country.

 Suffering and ready to help as a research subject? Why not help Essex University find answers.

Mobile phones and 3G only: or you might prefer to be cautious. If you say you are suffering physical symptoms, why are you being investigated by a psychology department at Essex University, or your uncertainties by a psychology department at Surrey University?

The answer, it seems, is that psychology researchers understand people better than, say, physicists, and are less likely to treat subjects mechanistically. OK. So long as we recognise that there are mechanisms under the spotlight, and that indeed the human body is electromagnetically active and tuned. Above all, it must be recognised that the psychosomatic line is a false trail now, as is the cop-out of ‘ideopathic environmental intolerance’ (IEI), which says rather than attribute a cause, and therefore perhaps blame, let’s sideline it as just one of those things.

A 7-page discussion document on laboratory sensitivity testing conditions. Responses and discussion invited.

A Finnish scientist believes he knows why scientists have yet to determine whether mobile phones pose a health risk to humans – they’ve been doing the wrong kind of science.

 Mobile phone user who gets headaches? Help King’s College.

Do you get headaches etc. from mobile phones or masts? King’s College psychiatry researchers are investigating sensitive people. This unit describes its work as follows: ‘Our group uses the skills of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and researchers to help us integrate neurolobiological findings with psychological processes and responses to both medication and psychological therapies’. The mobile phones unit is part of this department, and the original description as ‘Psychobiological effects of mobile phone exposure’ was considered misleading. But you might still prefer to be cautious. Head of this (psychiatry) unit is Simon Wessely. Read this complaint and this attitude towards Gulf War Syndrome, finally recognised by the MoD in October 2005.

OK; let’s not prejudge either. Here is the head of this MTHR research project, Dr James Rubin, responding to our comments on methodology, and criticism of a psychiatry/psychobiological unit deciding whether what we know to be physiological response induced by EMF, might really be all in the mind. We trust that this convenient ambiguity will be adequately tested by the right research premises.

 A foregone conclusion? Why are these researchers publishing their conclusive opinion ahead of their findings?

It might appear to you that there are uncomfortable parallels with the way ME (conveniently relabelled CFS) is being addressed? We couldn’t possibly comment, but pay a visit to ME Action.

 And now, December 2005, a new MTHR study appears: ‘The effect of TETRA radiofrequency fields on symptom reporting in police officers.’ Also led by Simon Wessely, it might appear that complete detachment is lacking. We must not prejudge, but coming from the team that has decided from published provocation studies that EHS and EMF bear no causal relation and must be psychosomatic, their desire to examine what it is that such studies might be lacking has to be questioned. Further details on methodology and what constitutes the provocation signal and device are not available at present.

 News: Essex study (Psychology department, not medicine) into hypersentivity expands to encompass mobile phone base stations

Also, the NRPB commissioned Dr Neil Irvine, of the Health Protection Agency, to carry out a review of existing scientific literature on EHS. His report, intended to focus on symptoms, prognosis and treatment, was eventually published in November 2005 (see above)and leant towards the ‘all in the mind’ school of thought based on the Rubin/Wessley view.

Do you get the impression that people with medical symptoms are going to get explained away? We hope not. But it isn’t just the research findings that matter, it’s the way they are used. For example, the DSTL (Porton Down) study is used in Parliament to say TETRA signals are not a risk (Hansard). Yet it has been questioned on method, is not peer reviewed and has not been formally published in the scientific community. This further extension at Essex (November 2004) aims to provide ‘an independent assessment of recent findings from the Netherlands suggesting an effect of 3G signals on well-being’. Again. let’s hope that the official response is not the usual ‘that’s interesting, we need more research’. Delay on delay; those of us who suffer do not need to be told whether we do or not. We want to know why.

And what a muddle, when sometimes operator planning appeals fail on grounds of perceived health fears, and sometimes planning objections on grounds of health fears fail because inspectors will not accept health fears as a valid reason. With all the nationwide reports on adverse health and cancer or motor neurone disease clusters attributed to masts, this is astounding. So where masts are allowed to be erected depends on ambiguous planning guidelines in the absence of any relevant research.

World Health Organisation

The International EMF Project being undertaken by WHO with greater focus since 2002 is usually cited by NRPB and the Home Office. Begun in 1996, this programme aims to gather, assess and encourage research. It is not a primary research initiative. On the basis of what it can find has already been done and said, it will, by peer review process, judge what is best advice. The programme has recently been divided to cover static and pulsed EMF separately. The initial primary concern for thermal effects has widened to include biological effects. Funding for this? Not WHO, but ‘Funding is provided by contributions from WHO member states and non-governmental organizations approved by WHO.’ Details are unavailable.

 The Interphone project, directed by WHO IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). Do turkeys vote for Christmas? (US: Thanksgiving!) Funded by the industry.

 Close calls for the cellar rats. Italian scientists in Bologna have taken over a Renaissance castle to ascertain carcinogenic effects of EMF on rats: masts, phones and power lines included. Of course, apart from the measurements, this experiment is what is happening to us all. Are we the same as rats? As far as regular toxicology goes, pretty much. What about whole-body induced currents and resonant frequencies? Maybe not. If Soffritti [leading the research] is aware of the global scale of the potential problem, he is also aware of the global interests he might be challenging. ‘When innovative research reveals that agents important for technological development, and so of great economic and political interest, may be hazardous for health, obstacles will be put in its way.’

What is being done in the UK?

If you read our letters section you will see that the NRPB seem disinclined to respond. They and therefore the Home Office, consider epidemiological studies (ie finding out what is actually happening, rather than predictive laboratory studies of what might happen in the real world) too complex to consider! Instead they prefer to regard people who suffer and object as ‘mavericks’ and ‘activists’ whose symptoms will eventually ‘prove unfounded’. Yes, that is really what these guardians of the public health say. However, there is some noise about from people like us, and it is not new.

 Take a look at what is emerging from investigation of cancer clusters attributed to mobile phone masts.

 Read what Barrie Trower, author of the original report on TETRA to the Police Federation has to say now.

Already, radio therapists and surgeons are expressing their concerns that particularly-characterised and inoperable brain tumours are being caused not only by mobile phone use, but by base station radiation. Residential siting of masts is a madness that is likely to be covered up for decades. And TETRA has all the added features of pernicious extremely low frequency pulsing. Whatever is said about this, whatever is said about the international (ICNIRP) guidelines on exposure levels, all the experiences from people around the UK should not be happening because they are non-thermal biological effects occurring way, way below the thermal-effect guidelines. And they are being ignored and supressed.

How can we help get things moving?

Those of us who are apparently sensitive, can, if we don’t mind filling in questionnaires, or even taking part in research, join in. After all it is a real effect and it should be seen. (See Health links.)

We also need to pester our health representatives to acknowledge the validity of what we are feeling. It is quite unacceptable to impose technology on human beings in such a way as to affect their well-being and endanger their health. Do not keep quiet, and do not accept the opinion of doctors who dismiss you.

Look up your local health protection agency, and find out who is responsible (perhaps someone in charge of communicable diseases, since they are used to epidemiology). Or try your Council Environmental department. All these people are responsible for finding out what is wrong; remind them. Write, phone and email until you get a response, and don’t let them dismiss you as an activist and hysteric. Write objectively and sensibly; there is no advantage in getting emotional, however you feel.

If you didn’t say ‘TETRA’ they’d be in there testing the water, the air, the supermarket food ... So why should TETRA be different?

  The World Health Organisation has produced this draft Framework to Develop Precautionary Measures in Areas of Scientific Uncertainty

  Cindy Sage, EMF consultant, responds to WHO precautionary framework

TETRA, Lambleys Barn, Lancing, W Sussex Hiding behind a barn, TETRA at Lambleys Barn, Lancing, West Sussex.

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