Welcome to Mast Sanity

We are the primary national organisation opposing the insensitive siting of mobile phone and Tetra masts in the UK. Read more...

Phone Mast News Feeds

News Now News Now
Google News Google News Feed
Powerwatch Powerwatch News Feed
** New** ES-UK ES-UK News Feed
MS Research Mast Sanity Research News Feed
MS News Mast Sanity News Feed

Donate

Please consider supporting our efforts.

Amount: 

Or Send Donations by post to:

Mast Sanity
c/o Highfields
Brantham Hill,
Manningtree, Essex
CO11 1SD

Research

We always need more research so please if you find papers that are not on our list please send us the link or the doc.

Looking at all the studies (we only have the tip of the iceberg here - there is in excess of 200 scientific studies that show a health problem from mobile phone technology) it looks as if they've proven a health risk over and over and over again.

However the argument the authorities and industry constantly chuck out is "...these studies have not been replicated.. they must be replicated before they can be scientifically accepted..." The implication is always that this has been tried and failed.. this is not true. From what we can gather studies are not replicated because they are not repeated (they are not given funding).

If the Government is serious about protecting our health and putting our children before profit then its time they put ourmoney where their mouth is. We guess that if the NEW research programs turn out a health effect they will be rubbished as not replicated. Lets put our taxes into repeating some of these studies so that we can finally get a true picture of the science

(reproduced by permission)

Abstract

Many people suffer one or more of a wide variety of symptoms when exposed to weak non-ionising electromagnetic radiation, including that from cell phones and Wi-Fi. Those responsible for the radiation deny that these effects exist, saying that there is no plausible explanation. In this submission I explain just how these effects can arise, and how virtually all of them share one of two common mechanisms. The pieces of the jigsaw fit together remarkably well and leave little doubt that the majority of the reported effects are real and must be taken seriously. Knowledge of the mechanisms makes it possible to mitigate the worst of these effects and I have made a number of suggestions as to how this might be done. I have also explained how a simple test, taking just a day or two to perform, could be used to assess the biological safety of both new and existing wireless technologies. Until this has been done, it would be wise to halt the roll-out of new wireless technologies and withdraw from sale particularly hazardous items such as DECT baby monitors which radiate continuously next to a very young child.

Introduction

There are literally thousands of scientific papers written on the non-thermal effects of weak non-ionising radiation such as that from cell phones (www.bioinitiative.org ). Well over half of them show some sort of biological effect, many with either direct or indirect implications for human health. However, the results lack consistency and the cell phone industry uses this to imply that there are really no ill effects and that it is all due to experimental error. This argument is, however, flawed because it does not take into account biological variability.

Biological variability

It is a common mistake made by physicists and engineers alike that living organisms behave like simple physical systems and must always respond in the same way to physical or chemical perturbations.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Living cells are not just chemical factories run by a fixed computer program. They are the product of thousands of genes that interact in countless ways, both with each other and the environment. Their physiology changes continuously to cope with rapid alterations in the environment and there are also epigenetic changes to their DNA that can be semi-permanent over the lifetime of the whole organism. It is these characteristics that enable the genes from two different parents to adapt to one another and give a viable offspring rather than a genetic disaster. You could not take a random mix of components from an Apple Mac and a PC, throw them into a box and hope to get a machine that worked. However, living organisms do this sort of thing easily.

 

It follows that living cells and organisms cannot always be expected to respond in the same way to chemical insults or to electromagnetic radiation. For example, not every smoker dies of cancer and we do not all suffer the same (if any) side effects from taking a medicinal drug. We cannot therefore expect non-ionising radiation to affect everyone equally. Because not everyone is affected by the radiation does not mean that no one is. Although it is understandable why the Industry prefers to use this argument, it is deeply flawed and potentially dangerous to those who are susceptible to the radiation.

 

This is an emailed response to Cliff Mason of OFCOM following a proposal by Vodafone that it should be allowed to increase the power of its base stations by a factor of four. The email explains the mechanism by which base station radiation may be responsible for the increased incidence of cancer around them, the decline of the bees, and the loss of many trees within range to pathogens. It also explains how a simple modification to the signal could put it right.

It remains to be seen whether they are prepared to do anything about it.

Dear Cliff Mason,

As an ex-amateur radio enthusiast, I am a great believer in the value of mobile communications, but things are not yet right. There is compelling evidence for a mechanism by which the continuous radiation from mobile phone base stations can weaken the immune systems, not only in humans, but also in animals and plants.  In addition, the same mechanism is probably responsible for colony collapse disorder in honey bees and their increased susceptibility to various pathogens.

It is based on a family of pigments called cryptochromes, which occur in virtually all animals and plants and some micro-organisms. They have a number of functions, including navigation in the Earth’s magnetic field and the regulation of the “body clock”, which is needed for solar navigation and also for the regulation of the immune system. This pigment is very badly affected by a wide range of radio frequencies, so that all of these processes can be disrupted by the modulated radiation from mobile phone base stations.  This can explain the clusters of cancer cases believed by many people to have formed around mobile phone base stations as well as the decline and incipient loss of the honey bee population, which will have far more serious consequences for mankind. Insofar as the mobile phone operators say that there is no known mechanism by which their radiation can have these effects, we can only assume that they are unaware of its effects on cryptochrome.

I am attaching a document entitled “Making Mobile Phones Safer”, which sets this out in more detail and makes some simple suggestions to mitigate these effects.  I am also attaching the original “Nature” paper by Ritz et al. in which they first discovered the effects of radio-frequency radiation on cryptochrome and animal navigation.

I am quite happy for you to forward this email, with attachments, to Vodafone, but I would suggest that they postpone any increase in power until this has been sorted out. It may not be that difficult.

 

I was an amateur radio enthusiast before becoming a professional biologist, but kept my interest in radio throughout a long career as a lecturer at Imperial College London. No one appreciates more than I the wonders of engineering that have gone into even the cheapest cell phone, but equally I know the very real dangers that cell phone signals present to both the user and people living near cell towers.

Unmodulated radio waves are relatively safe

It has been known since the work of Suzanne Bawin and her co-workers in the mid 1970s that pure low power radio waves, of strengths similar to those used by cell phones, are relatively harmless. Pretty much the only damage that can be done by an unmodulated signal is due to the heating effect of the radiation as it passes through the body, and the ICNIRP safety guidelines adopted by many governments are more than adequate to protect you against that.

Modulated radio waves are not safe

Bawin et al. also showed that the situation changes drastically when the signal is "amplitude modulated" so that its strength rises and falls in time with a lower frequency. In particular, they found that signals that were far too weak to generate significant heat, could now drive structurally important calcium from the surfaces of brain cells. Other work showed that pulses with very sharp rise and fall times were even more effective. The loss of this calcium weakens the membrane and makes it more likely to leak and gives unwanted biological effects.

Cell phone signals are modulated

Cell phone signals have to be "modulated" if they are to carry information such as speech and the various control signals needed to make the system work. Most digital modulation systems involve sharp changes in signal strength. These occur over a wide range of frequencies, some of which are biologically active. Furthermore, they occur at radiation levels many orders of magnitude lower than those specified by the ICNIRP guidelines. These guidelines are therefore set far too high to protect us from modulated radiation.

Comments by Andrew Goldsworthy on a widely publicised paper by Arendash and co-workers that suggests that mobile phone radiation may cure Alzheimer’s disease.

I have looked at the original Arendash et al. paper and things are not quite as reported in the press.

The radiation was not modulated

The first point I should make is that they used radiation at 918MHz (similar to a GSM mobile phone in this respect) but it was neither pulsed nor modulated, so it cannot be regarded in any way as being equivalent to real mobile phone or Wifi radiation.

Unmodulated radiation is less biologically active

The non-thermal effects of unmodulated radio frequency radiation are normally much weaker than modulated radiation and could even produce the opposite effect (this is called radiation hormesis, which has been studied mostly in relation to ionizing radiation, but it probably also applies to non-ionizing radiation). 

Radiation hormesis

It is argued that living cells and organisms perceive the damaging effects of the radiation and put themselves into “repair mode”. This includes boosting enzymes needed for cellular growth and regeneration and also triggering inflammation to increase the blood supply to the affected region. Provided these measures are successful, there may be no observable adverse effects. However, some of these mechanisms are generic and may also affect other illnesses, so that very weak radiation may have net beneficial effects, even on systems that are not directly affected by it. This may be what we are seeing here; mild inflammation of the brain would increase its blood supply and could stave off the degeneration normally associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Amplitude modulated waves can weaken cell membranes and cause illnesses
Amplitude modulated radio waves (such as those used by mobile phones), where the strength of the carrier wave rises and falls in time with the modulating waveform, give greater biological effects. This is perhaps because they are more effective in jerking structurally-important calcium ions free from cell membranes, which makes them more inclined to leak. The effects of this can be harmful in many cases (see http://tinyurl.com/5ru6e6 for a proposed mechanism and some of the consequences).

Amplitude modulation can also affect cryptochrome to increase the risk of cancer

When a carrier wave is modulated in this way, it generates a range of other frequencies on either side of the carrier (called sidebands), which contain the information. Digital transmissions have particularly wide sidebands that encompass many other biologically active frequencies, including those that interfere with the activity of cryptochrome, which some animals use to sense magnetic fields for navigation (Ritz et al. Nature, Vol. 429, 13 May 2004). Cryptochrome also occurs in most animal and plant cells, where it is an essential part of the “body clock” that controls their natural circadian rhythms. It is effects on cryptochrome that probably account for the sleep disturbances experienced by people living near base stations. It may also explain their apparent increased risk of getting cancer since the immune system, which normally disposes of aberrant cells before they become cancerous, is controlled by the body clock. This is to make the most efficient use of limited bodily resources, which are switched from physical activity during the day to the immune system at night. If our natural body rhythms are disrupted or reduced in amplitude by the radiation, it means that at no time can the immune system function at maximum strength and we are therefore more likely to develop cancer.

The take-home story

To sum up, it is perfectly possible that unmodulated microwaves could mitigate the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, but modulated microwaves are likely to do more harm than good. So now may not be the time to buy granny a mobile phone, but we should nevertheless look more carefully at the effects of unmodulated radiation. It may really help, but we still need to proceed with great caution.

Andrew Goldsworthy BSc PhD

Lecturer in Biology (retired)

Imperial College London


Or: A Very Dangerous Assumption

Dr. Grahame Blackwell, June 2009

It's a well-known truism that nature will exploit every ecological niche, however small and unlikely.  Life is to be found in the deepest darkest trenches of the oceans, the coldest Arctic wastes, the smallest crevices in rocks deep underground.  Even in the most abundant and densely-populated environments, if there is a potential food source or habitat unclaimed then some species will arise or adapt to make the fullest possible use of it.

..............................

..............................

So what of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation?