• Column #2 at the Communities @ The WashingtonTimes.com

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, I published new column for the 

The column deals with cell phone health risk, precaution and the Precautionary Principle. In May 2011 IARC has classified cell phone radiation as the possible carcinogen. Does it mean that it is time to discuss whether implementation of the Precautionary Principle should be discussed?

Read my second column for the Communities at the WashingtonTimes.com and let me know what is your opinion in this matter by submittin a comment. I will respond to all comments, as I responded to all the comments that were made for my first column abouth the research needs.

If you missed what I published on Dec.4, 2011, this first column you find here.

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10 thoughts on “• Column #2 at the Communities @ The WashingtonTimes.com

  1. I cannot see any justifiable reason not to implement the Precautionary Principle for EMR.

    The Precautionary Principle is the international guideline for governments to deal with potential health crisis when consensus in science is NOT YET available. According to “The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – 2005 World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology”, the Precautionary Principle is defined as:

    “When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is SCIENTIFICALLY PLAUSIBLE BUT UNCERTAIN, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm.

    Morally unacceptable harm refers to harm to humans or the environment that is
    – threatening to human life or health, or
    – serious and effectively irreversible, or
    – inequitable to present or future generations, or
    – imposed without adequate consideration of the human rights of those affected.
    Actions are interventions that are undertaken before harm occurs that seek to avoid or diminish the harm.

    The PP requires that the main burden of providing evidence for safety rests on the proposers of a new technology or activity.”

    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001395/139578e.pdf

  2. Dear Dariusz,

    Hi Dariusz, I did see the article and thought that it was in part a response to my questions. I hence posted it to my list and soon received an email from Dr. Dimitris Panagopoulus questioning why his own research was also in fact seemingly ignored — or to perhaps rephrase it semantically as “not taken into account.” He attached several of his papers to the email that I have since uploaded to Scribd: “ANALYZING THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF MODERN
    TELECOMMUNICATIONS MICROWAVES”, “Bioeffects of mobile telephony radiation in relation to its intensity or distance from the antenna” , “Cell death induced by GSM 900-MHz and DCS 1800-MHz”
    mobile telephony radiation. In my opinion, arrogantly ignoring/disregarding/overlooking any evidence while at the same time using Scientific Rhetoric as a smokescreen to obfuscate the issue is not only the worst and most dangerous form of ignorance, but it is also verging on a form of psychopathology. Perhaps, we can call it trickle-down psychopathology in this case, as it seems to have infected large portions of the population — who seem to possess, in other words, what Marcuse called the “Happy Consciousness.” “I do not care what injustices are occurring in the world as long as my false electromagnetic needs are being satisfied.” Anyway perhaps you can answer Dr. Dimitris Panagopoulus`s question. Many people who are on top of this issue know that Dr. Panagoplous, as well as Dr. Olle Johansson, and many others have been academically persecuted for doing research, and hence speaking out on it, which show biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Best regards, paul doyon

  3. Paul, read my today’s column on the WashingtonTimes.com. It will answer some of your questions: “The forthcoming “new” evaluation of cell phone radiation and health was already published…”: http://wtim.es/tDXK1s

  4. Dariusz,

    Thank you for the clarification. OK. So we can say that they were not ignored — but they were obviously not taken into account. Though I am sure you must be trying to be diplomatic in your position, an increasingly informed public will naturally demand answers with regards to the non-transparent motives of these other members who outvoted your very valid opinions that the REFLEX studies should have indeed been included in the assessment. Most people would naturally infer that it seems more like a political than a scientific move on their part. Willfully ignoring evidence can only be considered “Willful Ignorance” (and not “Mindful Intelligence”) at best, and Criminal at worst . As Agatha Christie`s Peroit in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” said “Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory, let the theory go.” It seems as if we would be better off if we had detectives rather than scientists making decisions for the rest of us.

  5. Paul,

    Reflex studies were not ignored (I was one of the Reflex group participants).

    Reflex studies were reviewed by the subgroup dealing with the in vitro laboratory studies (I was member of this group). The majority of the members of this group did not consider Reflex evidence and evidence from other in vitro studies as sufficient to alter the outcome of the IARC evaluation.

    Decissions in the subgroups were made by voting. In the in vitro group those who considered in vitro evidence as sufficient to affect the IARC evaluation, like myself, were outvoted by the other group members.

    Also, in the whole IARC expert group were not enough “votes” to change the outcome.

    There were few members of the in vitro and epidemiology subgroup who would like to discuss in more detail the in vitro evidence but there was not enough “support” for such action.

  6. Dear Dariusz,

    You state the following:

    “The IARC evaluation of the available science, concerning cancer was done in May 2011. According to the IARC evaluation made by the 30 international experts (I was one of them), cell phone radiation is classified as a possible carcinogen.”

    And while I congratulate your group on its assessment as a step in the correct direction, as you may know, Dr. Franz Adlkofer, who was in charge of the REFLEX studies,

    has stated that had the REFLEX studies been indeed taken into account by your group, the IARC, that cell phone radiation would have most likely been classified as a “probable” carcinogen, and not just a “possible” carcinogen.

    Can you explain why in fact the REFLEX studies were ignored by the IARC?

    Kind regards,

    Paul Doyon

  7. Dear

    You mention you need <> with the Precautionary Principle. In this case we should have the permission from the public who is exposed to the chronic EMF(from base stations and etc.). The discussion about more knowledge and mechanism is a way not to do any thing and the one who benefits is the industry(more money) as Mrs Vassiliou(2009) has reported on behalf from EU that lowering EMF levels would have economic consequences to the sector and an article written by the industry and the National Polytechnic in the past reported that if we used the more strict criteria would be more expensive for the industry. Even if more knowledge was available still the discussion would be the same, let΄s replicate, repeat, on and on … We do not know mechanism for many diseases or how the medications work but we treat and protect the patients.
    The approach of plain precaution is only for theoretical discussion. We may warn, inform but in real life does not work, also I am not sure how someone can apply precaution when a company installs a base station next to his house.
    We may advance our knowledge but we should not have conflict of interest be involved in issues of public protection. Of course, someone would ask what is the harm to the public of the application of Precautionary Principle?

    Stelios A Zinelis

  8. Lloyd, I do not say that the Precautionary Principle should be implemented. I say that it should be discussed whether it is necessary, or not, because the prerequisite science review has been done.

  9. Dear Dariusz,
    You write, “In the context of IARC classification of the cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen, inaction should not be an option.” I strongly agree with this, but disagree that the Precautionary Principle should be invoked.

    The evidence is sufficient to mandate implementation of the ALARA Principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). There are many actions that could be implement in short order:
    1) Cellphone antennae could be made directional.
    2) The existing exposure limits are based on a false premise. That is the only biological effect from ELF & RF radiation is heating. The exposure limits can be changed to reflect the numerous findings of non-thermal effects (i.e., no measurable temperature changes). To make this simple I suggest that exposure limits be lowered such that human sperm is undamaged under normal placement of cellphones in the trouser pockets of men.
    3) Cellphone base stations, similar to broadcast TV and Radio, be located at substantial distance from populated areas (top of mountains, high towers in region without mountains.

    There are many design details required to implement 3), but approached with an intent to implement the necessary design details, it is achievable.

    Lloyd Morgan
    Sr. Research Fellow, Environmental Health Trust

  10. Dear Dariusz, as a wise man stated “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. I believe that (even prior) to the IARC decision on 31 may 2011 regarding RF being in the (Group 2B) possible carcinogen, was determined, there is no harm in invoking the precautionary principle. The Precautionary Principle should not only be discussed but should be enacted. This should be the natural course of doing business, after all no-one looses anything when they can make informed health choices. Without relevant information, there is no health choice, just spin and confusion. There is more than enough scientific evidence through the many decades of scientific research to warrant The Precautionary Principle. The Russians take RF exposure very seriously and advise against (children under 18 using cell phones). Most of the western countries have such dangerously high standards for RF exposure, which will prove detrimental to the health in the long term. No scientific study is absolutely perfect, but when biological damage at (non-thermal) levels have been proven/replicated, then obviously there is something there. For those in authority to deny the harm to health in the face of proof is pure negligence to public health, but who will be accountable in the end? More industry conflicts of interest have been reported on Italian TV – RAI 3 – REPORT – PUNTATA 27/11/2011 – L’ONDA LUNGA – DI Sabrina Giannini. With all the abundance of conflicts of interest is it any wonder that The Precautionary Principle is not implemented? One surely has to understand that this does not serve the public health.

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