February 29, 2012
By Lloyd Burrell
Cells phones are one of the most utilized, most convenient inventions of the twentieth century. While there are definite advantages to using cell phones, e.g., being in contact with loved ones at all times, as with any convenience or luxury there are usually some downfalls or consequences. With cell phones the consequences can be detrimental and therefore, should not be dismissed lightly.
Cell phones are a source of electromagnetic fields, radiation which creates change in anything it comes into contact with. EMFs emanate from mobile phones and because of how phones are used, these EMFs come into direct contact with the brain.
More than a dozen studies have linked using a cell phone for a long period of time — ten years or more — with a higher incidence of brain tumors and acoustic neuromas. These critical diagnoses are even more common when phones aren’t switched from one side of the head to the other when engaged in conversation.
Other adverse health effects include:
• Evidence of leukemia, breast cancer and other cancers.
• Neurological concerns and changes in the nervous system.
• A much higher risk of salivary gland tumors.
A study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria showed that cell phone use negatively affects sperm quality in men. A similar study from 2009 examined men in the height of their reproductive years and found infertility and the ability to father a healthy baby were compromised by cell phone usage.
Cells phones are also a source of perfluorooctanoic acid, a harmful chemical which has been linked to heart disease, cancer and female reproductive/developmental damage.
Cell phones are not the only problem. Cell phone towers, as well as other wireless devices, are responsible for contributing non-ionizing radio frequencies into the environment. Both the World Health Organization and the International Association for Research on Cancer have classified the electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones as a 2B, possible carcinogen. The towers and the phones themselves are constantly emitting microwave radiation. Even when cell phones are not in use they are putting out EMFs.
February 17, 2012
By Theodora Filis
When Bill Gates, founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides vaccines to third world countries, promoted decreasing the population of the world and favoring the ‘death panel’, it shocked many people. Bill Gates believes that “instead of spending millions of dollars on old people who just have months to live, the money should be spent elsewhere, where it can actually benefit people”.
Two years ago, the Microsoft billionaire, unveiled his mission to reduce the world’s population through vaccines during a TEDx presentation. As Gates rambles on about CO2 emissions, and its effects on climate change, he injects without pause, that in order to get CO2 to zero, “probably one of these numbers is going to have to get pretty close to zero.” He then goes on to describe how the first number, P (for People) might be reduced.
“The world today has 6.8 billion people”, said Gates, “that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”
In January 2010, at the Davos World Economic Forum, Gates announced his foundation would give $10 billion (€7.5 billion) over the next decade to develop and deliver new vaccines to children in the developing world.
For those who haven’t figured it out, the primary focus of the Gates Foundation is vaccinations, especially in Africa and other underdeveloped countries. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a founding member of the GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunization) in partnership with the World Bank, WHO and the vaccine industry. The goal of GAVI is to vaccinate every newborn child in the developing world.
How could that be a bad thing? Sounds like noble philanthropic work, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the vaccine industry has been repeatedly caught forcing dangerous (unsafe, untested or proven harmful) vaccines onto Third World populations – vaccines they cannot get rid of in the West. Some organizations have suggested that the true aim of the vaccinations is to make people sicker and even more susceptible to disease and premature death.
January 24th, 2012
The CDC identified a new virus in humans: H1N1, or what was then called swine flu, and the wheels of the public health machine started turning.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global H1N1 pandemic in June, and by October 2009, the first doses of an H1N1-specific vaccine were administered.
A study published Tuesday looks at how Americans in their thirties reacted to the availability of a vaccine. In all, about one in five of those in Generation X got the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009-2010 pandemic, according to the researcher’s analysis of survey data.
On average, those with more education in general, and those who knew the most about influenza in particular, were most likely to either have taken or planned to get vaccinated against H1N1.
A slight majority of participants –- 53% – answered “probably true” or “definitely true” when asked whether the vaccine is safe, with 31% replying “not sure.”
Participants also graded information sources –- their doctors and news media, for example – on their trustworthiness regarding H1N1.
Health care professionals topped the list – doctors, researchers, pharmacists, and nurses with medical expertise.
News media fell in the middle of the spectrum, on average, followed closely by “a family member” and “a close friend”.
January 18, 2012
By Sayer Ji
The Polio Global Eradication Initiative (PGEI), founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, holds up India as a prime example of its success at eradicating polio, stating on its website (Jan. 11 2012) that “India has made unprecedented progress against polio in the last two years and on 13 January, 2012, India will reach a major milestone — a 12-month period without any case of polio being recorded.”
This report, however, is highly misleading, as an estimated 100-180 Indian children are diagnosed with vaccine-associated polio paralysis (VAPP) each year. In fact, the clinical presentation of the disease, including paralysis, caused by VAPP is indistinguishable from that caused by wild polioviruses, making the PGEI’s pronouncements all the more suspect.1
According to the Polio Global Eradication Initiative’s own statistics2 there were 42 cases of wild-type polio (WPV) reported in India in 2010, indicating that vaccine-induced cases of polio paralysis (100-180 annually) outnumber wild-type cases by a factor of 3-4. Even if we put aside the important question of whether or not the PGEI is accurately differentiating between wild and vaccine-associated polio cases in their statistics, we still must ask ourselves: should not the real-world effects of immunization, both good and bad, be included in PGEI’s measurement of success? For the dozens of Indian children who develop vaccine-induced paralysis every year, the PGEI’s recent declaration of India as nearing “polio free” status, is not only disingenuous, but could be considered an attempt to minimize their obvious liability in having transformed polio from a natural disease vector into a man-made (iatrogenic) one.
October 21, 2011
By MARIA CHENG
Scientists are warning officials negotiating a global treaty on mercury that banning the deadly chemical completely would be dangerous for public health because of the chemical’s use in vaccines.
The ban option is one of several proposals on the table for a meeting later this month in Nairobi, but a final treaty isn’t expected until 2013.
According to the World Health Organization, mercury is one of the top 10 chemicals of public health concern and is highly toxic. Most of the worry is centered on mercury emissions from burning coal, gold mining and people eating mercury-tainted fish.
Mercury in small amounts is also found in many products including light bulbs, batteries and thermometers. WHO advises such products to be phased out, suggesting for example, that health systems switch to digital thermometers instead.
The problem is that a proposed ban might include thiomersal, a mercury compound used to prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of vaccines, many scientists say. It is used in about 300 million shots worldwide, against diseases including flu, tetanus, hepatitis B, diptheria and meningitis.
“Not being able to use mercury is not a viable option,” said David Wood, a WHO vaccines expert.
Wood said there isn’t a viable alternative to thiomersal at the moment. If banned, pharmaceuticals would likely have to switch to preservative-free vaccines, which would complicate the supply chain and vaccination campaigns in poor countries, since the injections would have a much shorter shelf life. Costs would also spike since manufacturers would need to reconfigure their factories.
In 2009, the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, began working on a legally binding global treaty on mercury. At the end of October, the third of five meetings to hammer out a treaty will take place in Nairobi.
“The document is a draft at the moment, so some of these proposals have to be taken with a grain of salt,” said Tim Kasten, head of the chemicals branch at UNEP. Kasten said the amount of mercury in vaccines is so minute it doesn’t threaten the environment. He said there could be provisions to allow mercury for certain uses, such as in dental fillings and vaccines.
But according to an annex in the draft document, there is currently no “allowable use exemption” for mercury products in pharmaceutical products, putting vaccines in the same category as banned mercury-containing paints and pesticides.
“That would be a terrible idea,” said Paul Offit, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Pennsylvania. “It would be another tragic example of us not being able to explain to the public where the real risk lies.”
Thiomersal has mostly been removed from childhood vaccines in the U.S. and Canada. In some European countries, including Norway and Sweden, manufacturers have been encouraged to make thiomersal-free vaccines – and no other uses of mercury as a medical preservative are allowed.
Fears about thiomersal in vaccines were first raised after a flawed medical study in 1998 linked a common childhood injection to autism. But numerous studies since have found no sign the mercury compound is risky.
Experts hope countries won’t go overboard in their attempts to control the substance.
“Provided you know the risks and it’s handled properly, there isn’t a problem,” said Andrew Nelson, a toxicology expert at the University of Leeds. “The health of so many millions of children benefit from vaccines containing mercury that an absolute ban is ridiculous.”
August 5th, 2011
The Huffington Post
Here’s another thing to tell people afraid of flying — airplanes could actually be safer than going to the hospital.
That’s the message from the World Health Organization, which announced this week that the risk of dying from medical errors and infections is greater than the risk of dying from a plane crash, Reuters reported.
The chance of a hospital error is about 1 in 10 in most hospitals around the world, and the chance of dying from that error is about 1 in 300, according to Reuters. But the risk of dying from a plane crash is 1 in 10 million passengers.
“It shows that health care generally worldwide still has a long way to go,” Liam Donaldson, the WHO’s envoy for patient safety, said in a news briefing that Reuters reported on.
The chance of hospital errors and infections is different from country to country, Postmedia News reported. For example, in Canada, the hospital-associated infection rate is 11.6 percent, while in the United States, it’s as low as 4.5 percent. But worldwide, the infection rates could be as high as 16 percent, according to Postmedia News.
Aside from death, hospital-acquired infections and medical errors can cause major health problems for people. Hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in the United States make up 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And bloodstream infections are considered the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S.
While we’re looking at the odds, here are your chances of some other unfortunate events.
The odds of getting struck by lightning in any one year is 1 in 1 million, while the chance of getting struck in your entire lifetime is 1 in 10,000, according to the National Weather Service. And according to 2000 U.S. data from the University of Florida, the chance of getting bitten by a shark is 1 in 11.5 million.
July 11, 2011
By Deirdre Imus
Let’s face it…we love our cell phones. Whether we use them for business or just to keep in touch with family and friends, for most of us, they have become indispensable. Nonetheless, there are new warnings about the health risks associated with cell phone use that consumers need to be aware of.
In May, after a thorough review of the existing research, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” and acknowledged that the radiation emitted from cell phones may increase an individual’s risk of brain cancer. Prior to this announcement, the WHO had maintained the position that no adverse health problems had been confirmed.
In one of the largest international studies undertaken, scientists found the rate of brain glioma (a type of tumor) doubled in individuals who used a cell phone for 10 years or more.
June 2nd, 2011
By: Cathy Becker and Katie Kindelan
After a World Health Organization study concluded cancer, some are wondering what else in their homes and their everyday lives may be just as, or even more, dangerous to their health.
The World Health Organization, whose International Agency for Research on Cancer announced the results of its year-long cell phone study Tuesday, estimates that there are 5 billion cell phone users globally, representing nearly three-quarters of the world’s population.
A family of those 5 billion cell phone users can be found in the New York City home of Steve and Elizabeth Howard,and their two young sons, 9 month-old Luke and three year-old Graham.
Steve and Elizabeth, owners of five cellphones and an iPad among them, were initially calm in reacting to the multi-country study released by WHO that found people who used cell phones most often, an average of 30 minutes per day over 10 years, had a 40 percent higher risk for a rare brain tumor called a glioma.
“I kind of let it go in one ear and out the other,” Steve, the father, told “Good Morning America.”
The Howards’ ambivalent response could be a case of “the boy who cried wolf,” a response to the roughly 30 other studies that have tried, and failed, to establish any link between cell phones and cancer since cell phones hit the consumer market in the late 1970s.
What’s More Dangerous, Cell Phones or Microwave Ovens?
One study even found those who used cell phones occasionally had a lower cancer risk than those who used old-fashioned land lines.
But the latest decision from WHO placed cell phones on a list of possible carcinogens that includes the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust.
Working as a hairdresser is considered riskier than using a cellphone, according to the IARC’s classification system, achieving “probable carcinogen” status. Other possible carcinogens include working as a dry cleaner or a firefighter.
Findings like those in the WHO study got the Howards questioning what else could be lurking in their home as a possible cancer risk. And are the radiation levels really that dangerous?
ABC News brought in Michael Knox, an electrical engineering professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University to examine the Howards’ home, testing their cell phone, Wi-Fi enabled computer and microwave, each a vital part of the Howards’ daily life.
“If I looked at these signal levels,” Knox said of the radio waves popping on his testing device. “If I had to say which one do you want to stay away from the most? The microwave oven. If anything, it’s transmitting a lot of energy,” he said.
Knox’s conclusion, that other items in the home may be even more dangerous than cell phones, matches the reaction among many doctors and experts to the WHO study, who say the data on cellphone use and brain cancer is still inconclusive.
“While experimental evidence and very limited human studies suggest that we should be cautious, people should realize there are many things we are exposed to every day that also is classified by IARC as possibly carcinogenic,” said Dr. Peter Shields, chief of Georgetown University Hospital’s cancer genetics and epidemiology program in Washington, D.C. “The classification used by IARC for cellphones is the lowest of all the carcinogenic classes, and no one should think that cell phones pose the same risk as smoking and asbestos.”
The WHO decided, in effect, to err on the side of caution.
Microwave Ovens May Be More Dangerous Than Cell Phones
“[The] IARC is saying that we should be cautious and think through what we do when we regulate exposures from cell phones,” Shields told ABC News. “They follow the precautionary principle and want to maximally protect public health.”
Nevertheless, some experts believe the evidence, inconclusive as it is, warrants caution. ABC News reached out to 92 physicians, 65 of whom said they would continue to hold their cellphones up to their ear, but 27 said they will use hands-free devices to minimize their risk.
The Howards say after the visit from Knox, they too plan to take similar caution.
“My children are so young I would want to limit the amount that they’re interacting with this sort of stuff,” said Elizabeth, noting she had previously allowed even 3-year-old Graham, to have his own cell phone, although it was not set up to make calls.
Researchers at the University of Utah established that the radiation dose is much higher inside the brains of 5- and 10-year-olds than in adults, a major concern as more children adopt cell phones.
Cell phone safety options for the Howards, and the world’s other 5 billion cell phone users, include texting more and talking less, or using hands-free devices.
“Use a wired ear piece, that absolutely has a minimal amount of radiation, or even use a Bluetooth which has substantially less radiation than a cell phone,” advised Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society, to ABC News.
In the U.S., the Federal Communication Commission set a maximum limit of 1.6 watts per kilo of body tissue. However, they did not test phones being carried directly in a person’s pocket, just inside of belt holsters. So far, the recommendation continues to be to hold your cell phone about one inch away from your body.
June 2nd, 2011
By: Tan Ee Lyn and Steve Gutterman
A deadly outbreak of E.coli centred in Germany and spreading across Europe is caused by a dangerous new strain, Chinese scientists who analyzed the bacteria said.
The scientists said the outbreak, which has killed 17 and made more than 1,500 others ill in at least 10 European countries and is thought to come from vegetables, carried genes making it resistant to several classes of antibiotics.
“This E. coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic,” said the scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen city in southern China who are collaborating with colleagues in Germany.
World Health Organization spokesperson Aphaluck Bhatiasevi said the WHO was waiting for more information from laboratories. “This strain has never been seen in an outbreak situation before,” he said.
In a worsening trade row prompted by the outbreak, Russia banned imports of all raw vegetables from the European Union, prompting an immediate protest by the European commission.
Moscow had already banned imports of vegetables from Germany and Spain over the outbreak, which German officials originally blamed on contaminated cucumbers imported from Spain before backtracking and apologizing to Madrid.
Gennady Onishchenko, head of the Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor, said the deaths caused by the outbreak “demonstrate that the much-praised European sanitary legislation, which Russia is being urged to adopt, does not work,” Interfax news agency reported.
The new ban would take effect on Thursday morning, he said. The European Commission said it would write to Moscow within hours to say the move was disproportionate.
Spain is threatening legal action over the crisis. It wants compensation for its farmers, who say lost sales are costing them 200 million euros ($287 million) a week and could put 70,000 people out of work.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the European Commission had been slow to act.
“I would have liked a clearer reaction from the Commission, above all to clarify the rules of the game in the European Union on borders,” Zapatero said in an interview on state radio RNE.
“The German federal government should know that it has an overall responsibility to other states in the European Union and we shall ask for very forthright explanations and of course will demand sufficient reparations.”
Reinhard Burger, head of German disease control agency the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), admitted there “still is no indication of a definable source.”
The RKI reported 365 new E.coli cases on Wednesday and said a quarter of them involved a life-threatening complication of a type of E.coli known as Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC).
The World Health Organization said it had also been notified of cases in Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain.
All these cases except two are in people who had recently visited northern Germany or in one case, had contact with a visitor from northern Germany, it said. There are many hospitalized patients, several of them requiring intensive care, including dialysis due to kidney complications.
EU officials have said three cases of E.coli linked to the German outbreak have also been reported in the United States.
EU health experts say they are shocked by the outbreak, which is on a scale never seen before in the region.
Denis Coulombier, head of surveillance and response for the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which monitors disease in the EU, said studies so far show a strong link between disease symptoms and the consumption of fresh vegetables in Germany.
“To have such a high number of severe cases means that probably there was a huge contamination at some junction,” he told Reuters in an interview. “That could have been anywhere from the farm to the fork — in transport, packaging, cleaning, at wholesalers, or retailers — anywhere along that food chain.”
European Union countries exported 594 million euros ($853 million) worth of vegetables to Russia last year while EU imports of vegetables from Russia were just 29 million euros, EU data show. It was not clear what proportion of that was raw.
France, Germany and Poland are the biggest exporters of fruits and vegetables to Russia, an EU spokesman said.
High-end Russian grocery store chain Azbuka Vkusa, which sources more than 40 percent of all its fresh vegetables and fruit from Europe, said it had not received official notice of the ban but was getting ready to dump prohibited items.
“For example, we can replace European tomatoes with the Azeri ones we already have on our shelves,” spokesman Igor Yadroshnikov told Reuters. “Radishes and carrots from Europe can be swapped for Russian ones; squash, eggplants and peppers trucked in from Europe can be replaced with Turkish ones.”
Health experts are advising people traveling to Germany to avoid eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and salad.
“Anyone returning from Germany with illness including bloody diarrhea should seek urgent medical attention,” Britain’s Health Protection Agency said in a statement.
May 31st, 2011
By: Danielle Dellorto
Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.
Before its announcement Tuesday, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.
A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
What that means is that right now there haven’t been enough long-term studies conducted to make a clear conclusion if radiation from cell phones are safe, but there is enough data showing a possible connection that consumers should be alerted.
“The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences,” said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing. It is not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven.
“What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones.”
The voices urging caution to consumers have gotten louder in recent years.
The European Environmental Agency has pushed for more studies, saying cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. The head of a prominent cancer-research institute at the University of Pittsburgh sent a memo to all employees urging them to limit cell phone use because of a possible risk of cancer.
“When you look at cancer development — particularly brain cancer — it takes a long time to develop. I think it is a good idea to give the public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to radiation from your cell phone could possibly cause cancer,” said Dr. Henry Lai, research professor in bioengineering at University of Washington who has studied radiation for over 30 years.
Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer was released in 2010. It showed participants in the study who used a cell phones for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor. To date, there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children.
“Childrens’ skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger.” said Black of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Manufacturers of many popular cell phones already warn consumers to keep their device away from their body.
The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says for users’ radiation exposure to not exceed FCC guidelines, “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body.”
Blackberry Bold advises users to, “keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 in. (25 mm) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting.”