Friday, November 30, 2007

Electrophysiological evidence for impairment of contrast sensitivity in mercury vapor occupational intoxication.

Environ Res. 2007 Nov 26 [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Electrophysiological evidence for impairment of contrast sensitivity in mercury vapor occupational intoxication.

Departamento de Psicologia Experimental, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Mello Moraes, 1721 Bloco A sala D-9, São Paulo 05508-900, SP, Brazil.

Contrast sensitivity (CS) was evaluated in 41 former workers from a lamp manufacturing plant who were on disability retirement due to exposure to mercury and 14 age-matched controls. The CS was measured monocularly using the sweep visual evoked potential (sVEP) paradigm at 6 spatial frequencies (0.2, 0.8, 2.0, 4.0, 15.0, and 30cpd). Statistical difference (p<0.05) was found between the controls and the patient right and left eyes for 2.0 and 4.0cpd. According the results in those spatial frequencies the eyes were classified in best and worst. Statistical differences were found between the controls and the best eyes for 2.0 and 4.0cpd and for 0.8, 2.0, and 4.0cpd for their worst eyes. No correlation was found between CS results and the time of exposure (mean=8.9yr+/-4.1), time away from the mercury source (mean=6.0yr+/-3.9), urinary mercury level at the time of work (mean=40.6mug/g+/-36.3) or with the mercury level at the CS measurement time (mean=1.6mug/g+/-1.1). We show the first evidence of a permanent impairment in CS measured objectively with the sVEP. Our data complement the previous psychophysical works reporting a diffuse impairment in the CS function showing a CS reduction in the low to middle spatial frequencies. In conclusion, non-reversible CS impairment was found in occupational exposure to mercury vapor. We suggest that CS measurement should be included in studies of the mercury effects of occupational exposure.

PMID: 18045587 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Toxicity study of allelochemical-like pesticides by a combination of 3D-QSAR, docking, Local Binding Energy (LBE) and GRID approaches.

SAR QSAR Environ Res. 2007 Dec;18(7):675-92.Click here to read Links

Toxicity study of allelochemical-like pesticides by a combination of 3D-QSAR, docking, Local Binding Energy (LBE) and GRID approaches.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri" Milano, 20157 Milano, Italy.

3D-QSAR, Docking, Local Binding Energy (LBE) and GRID methods were integrated as a tool for predicting toxicity and studying mechanisms of action. The method was tested on a set of 73 allelochemical-like pesticides, for which acute toxicity (LD(50)) for the rat was available. 3D-QSAR gave a model with high predictive ability and the regression maps indicated the important toxic chemical substituents. Significant ligand-protein residue interactions and oxidation positions in the binding site were found by docking analysis using CYP1A2 homology modelling. The binding energies of the compounds and the important substituents (Local Binding Energy, LBE) were calculated in order to demonstrate quantitatively the substituent contributions in the metabolism and toxicity. The GRID examination identified the CYP1A2 binding pocket feature. Finally, a 3D-QSAR map was compared to the GRID map, showing good overlaps and confirming the important role of CYP1A2 in allelochemical-like compounds toxicity.

PMID: 18038367 [PubMed - in process]

Controlling pathogenic inflammation to fungi.

xpert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2007 Dec;5(6):1007-1017.Click here to read Links

Controlling pathogenic inflammation to fungi.

University of Perugia, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, Via del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy. , University of Perugia, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, Via del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy.

The balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling is a prerequisite for successful host-fungal interactions. Although inflammation is an essential component of the protective response to fungi, its dysregulation may significantly worsen fungal diseases and limit protective, antifungal immune responses. The newly described Th17 developmental pathway may play an inflammatory role previously attributed to uncontrolled Th1 cell responses. The capacity of regulatory T cells to inhibit aspects of innate and adaptive antifungal immunity, including functional Th17 antagonism, is required for protective tolerance to fungi. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and tryptophan catabolites contribute to such a homeostatic condition by providing the host with immune defense mechanisms adequate for protection, without necessarily eliminating fungal pathogens - which would impair immune memory - or causing an unacceptable level of tissue damage. These new findings provide a molecular connection between the failure to resolve inflammation and lack of antifungal immune resistance, and point to strategies for immune therapy of fungal infections that attempt to limit inflammation in order to stimulate an effective immune response.

PMID: 18039084 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The role of cyp1a and heme oxygenase 1 gene expression for the toxicity of 3,4-dichloroaniline in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.

Aquat Toxicol. 2007 Oct 23 [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

The role of cyp1a and heme oxygenase 1 gene expression for the toxicity of 3,4-dichloroaniline in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Cell Toxicology, Permoserstrasse 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany.

Expression profiling of exposed cells or organisms can reveal genes sensitive to environmental contaminants or toxic compounds. However, the mechanistic relevance of altered gene expression often remains to be elucidated. Toxicant-dependent differential gene expression may indicate protection to or mediation of toxicity. Previous studies revealed a number of differentially transcribed genes in zebrafish embryos exposed to the model compound 3,4-dichloroaniline (3,4-DCA). To evaluate the significance of two of the most sensitive genes, cytochrome P 450 1a (cyp1a) and heme oxygenase 1 (hmox1), for 3,4-DCA toxicity, RNA interference-mediated knockdown and overexpression studies have been conducted. Knockdown of gene transcription by siRNA for cyp1a and hmox1 enhanced the frequency of developmental disorders in embryos exposed to 3,4-DCA. Vice versa, injection of cyp1a and hmox1 mRNA reduced the number of disorders. The opposite effects of siRNA and mRNA injection clearly indicate a protective role of the corresponding proteins. Functional studies such as the one presented could be applied to a wide variety of genes. They would be ideally suited to study the role of genes identified from toxicogenomic studies in the zebrafish embryo model.

PMID: 18045703 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Organophosphorus pesticide exposure decreases sperm quality: association between sperm parameters and urinary pesticide levels.

J Appl Toxicol. 2007 Nov 28 [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Organophosphorus pesticide exposure decreases sperm quality: association between sperm parameters and urinary pesticide levels.

Departamento de Salud Ambiental, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, Facultad de Medicina de Torreón, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, México.

Several studies have suggested that human semen quality has declined over the past decades and some of them have associated it with occupational exposure to pesticides. However, most of these studies have not been associated with a reliable exposure level and have been designed mostly as cross-sectional studies. The present work evaluates, in a longitudinal follow-up study, the effect of organophosphate pesticides (OP) at three occupational exposure levels on semen quality. In addition, the study examined the association between OP urinary levels and sperm parameters in exposed and unexposed workers. A total of 139 semen samples from 52 volunteers were assessed. Urinary OP levels were measured by gas-liquid chromatography.The results revealed that the poorest semen quality was found among the subjects with the highest OP exposure and the highest urinary OP levels. Seasonal variations in sperm concentration and sperm count were registered.The results showed a significant decrease in total sperm count among subjects with the highest exposure to OP. Further studies assessing the effects of OP on male reproductive health should be controlled by the variability in human sperm parameters, sperm seasonality, spermatogenesis time and the changing OP exposure level in men highly exposed to OP. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 18046699 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

EI News and Links for the W/E 11/30/2007

December 1, 2007

Lightbulb moment: The mercury dilemma with compact fluorescent lights

Novermber 30, 2007

Duke Scientists Map 'Silenced Genes'

Worst pollution risks increasingly indoors

Study: Children Who Breathed In Toxic WTC Dust Have More Breathing Problems

November 29, 2007

Builders want law on safer timber treatments

States Sue EPA Over Public Data On Toxins

Toxic Mold in Westbury, Long Island Apartment Complex Forces Residents to

Toxic Chemicals Found In Some Christmas Trees

Time to bag plastic?

The California Supreme Court will hear consumers' complaint that grocery
chains aren't obeying the law on labeling.,0,2939892.story?coll=la-home-center

Bottled water companies just swimming in profits

Lead in the home

ENVIRONMENT-PHILIPPINES: Aerial Spraying Issue Turns Seesaw Court Battle

Volunteers needed for CSU research

November 28, 2007

Rise in CT Scans Poses Cancer Risk

Acetamiprid; Pesticide Tolerance

Increasing your "green" productivity

'Get the lead out': Toxic to the brain, lead poses risk to young children

Mold is the source for many flu-like afflictions,0,2829563.story

Environmental Pollution Costs Billions in Illnesses Each Year

Health Department Releases New Findings of Children Exposed to the WTC

Google unveils its green dreams,1,6240106.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Toxic toys on bad trip off store shelves

Research: All I Want for Christmas Is Unscented Laundry

Sharing the Holdiay Spirit with the Disabled

Studies Show Fragrances - Perfume - Cologne Are Phototoxic

Health Canada warns against even low lead levels in toys

November 27, 2007

Asbestos turns up in toys, children's clay

Toxic toys watch: Santas Anonymous checking for recalled gifts

Greenpeace Slams Nokia, Nintendo for Green Issues,140008-c,technology/article.html

Lab Finds Toxic Metals In Wal-Mart Pet Toys

Hunger-striking protester takes mine battle to legislature

Round 2 for Biotech Beets

Ozone Can Affect Heavier People More

As safe as houses?

Get a flu shot without mercury

The building industry is meeting in Wellington this week to review concerns
over treated wood causing builders to fall sick.

November 26, 2007

California Diverts Fluorescents From Landfills

Finding relief for fibromyalgia sufferers

Mark Schapiro, Exposing a Toxic U.S. Policy

Bad or worse? Find a new choice

S. EPA, Cal EPA partner to reduce mercury: California first state to join
growing ranks of U.S. EPA's voluntary reduction program

Family says shots gave son autism

November 25, 2007

Processed Meat Unsafe For Human Consumption; Cancer Experts Warn of Dietary

On nanotechnology, experts see more risks than public

Retailers Face the Test of Testing

Mold hits SUNO's temporary campus

November 24, 2007

The FDA still refuses to protect the people

Flu Shots Don't Reduce Flu Deaths

Only most-toxic sites get cleanup funding

Are your products safe? You can't tell.

Toxic Toys: Unfettered trade is the root of problem

Toxic clouds fear over Gladstone,23739,22814999-3102,00.html

FDA: Flu drugs affecting kids' behavior

Methyl bromide still finds its way into U.S. fields

Heart ailment among youth stirs concern

Mother can block CPS from having her child vaccinated

November 23, 2007

Editorial | Product-Safety Horrors

Christmas trees may bring you holiday sniffles,0,6187208.story?coll=orl_entertainment_util

Product Safety Debate

Danger in the Dust: Toxic Flame Retardants Lurking in Every Home?,2933,312641,00.html

Critics worry about artificial turf's impact on ecosystem

Many 'green' claims may be shady

Wide-Open, Um, Plastic Spaces in Md.

Parents cope with season of suspect toys

Prenatal Arsenic Exposure Detected In Newborns

Critics raise red flag over fluoride in tap water

November 22, 2007

Agricultural Antibiotics May Be The Cause Of Super-Bugs

Tin, tiny and toxic among the toy hazards

November 21, 2007

Maryland Schools Have Huge Financial Stake in Coerced Vaccinations of

End Exclusion Coalition Launches National Action Plan on Disability

November 20, 2007

Zapped water marketed as alternative to chemical cleaners

McGuinty Government Reducing Environmental Toxins

It's Time To Bring Back DDT

November 16, 2007

Fibromyalgia not just in your head

No Date

State toxic mold task force established


Environmental Health Resources Database Now Available

Test Kits: Formaldehyde

Test Kits: Formaldehyde

Test Kits: Formaldehyde,+Single+Parameter+Test+Kit,+Model:+FM-1,+Drop+count+titration&frasl%3BThymolphthalein

Test Kits: Formaldehyde

New Holistic Dentist, Member of IAOMT and HDA

Grace Wu DDS
Member: AAOMT, HDA
587 Virginia Avenue NE # 5
Atlanta, GA 30306
F 404-389-0701


Daily News Feeds and Research Studies Delivered via Email:

Lourdes "Sal" Salvador

Articles and links are not necessarily the opinion of MCSA or Lourdes
Salvador and neither will be responsible for misuse of this information.
Posting does not constitute endorsement. We have no finacial interest in
anything posted . This post is provided free of charge via volunteer

Combined inhaled diesel exhaust particles and allergen exposure alter methylation of T helper genes and IgE production in vivo.

Toxicol Sci. 2007 Nov 27 [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read Links

Combined inhaled diesel exhaust particles and allergen exposure alter methylation of T helper genes and IgE production in vivo.

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, 10032,

Changes in methylation of CpG sites at the interleukin (IL)-4 and interferon (IFN) gamma promoters are associated with T helper (Th) 2 polarization in vitro. No previous studies have examined whether air pollution or allergen exposure alters methylation of these two genes in vivo. We hypothesized that diesel exhaust particles (DEP) would induce hypermethylation of the IFNgamma promoter and hypomethylation of IL-4 in CD4(+) T cells among mice sensitized to the fungus allergen Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus). We also hypothesized that DEP-induced methylation changes would affect immunoglobulin (Ig) E regulation. BALB/c mice were exposed to a 3 week course of inhaled DEP exposure while undergoing intranasal sensitization to A. fumigatus. Purified DNA from splenic CD4(+) cells underwent bisulfite treatment, PCR amplification and pyrosequencing. Sera IgE levels were compared to methylation levels at several CpG sites in the IL-4 and IFNgamma promoter. Total IgE production was increased following intranasal sensitization A. fumigatus. IgE production was augmented further following combined exposure to A. fumigatus and DEP exposure. Inhaled DEP exposure and intranasal A. fumigatus induced hypermethylation at CpG(-45), CpG(-53), CpG(-205) sites of the IFNgamma promoter and hypomethylation at CpG(-408) of the IL-4 promoter. Altered methylation of promoters of both genes was correlated significantly with changes in IgE levels. This study is the first to demonstrate that inhaled environmental exposures influence methylation of Th genes in vivo, supporting a new paradigm in asthma pathogenesis.

PMID: 18042818 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The fibromyalgia diagnosis - hardly helpful for the patients?

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2007 Dec;25(4):250-5.Click here to read

The fibromyalgia diagnosis - hardly helpful for the patients?

Department of Neurology, Buskerud Hospital Trust, Norway.

Objective. To explore experiences and consequences of the process of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Design. Qualitative focus-group study. Setting. Two local self-help groups. Subjects. Eleven women diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Main outcome measures. Descriptions of experiences and consequences of the process of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Results. Many participants had been suffering for years, and initial response of relief was common. For some, the diagnosis legitimized the symptoms as a disease, for others it felt better to suffer from fibromyalgia rather than more serious conditions. Nevertheless sadness and despair emerged when they discovered limitations in treatment options, respect, and understanding. Some patients keep the diagnosis to themselves since people seem to pay no attention to the name, or blatantly regard them as too cheerful or healthy looking. The initial blessing of the fibromyalgia diagnosis seems to be limited in the long run. The process of adapting to this diagnosis can be lonely and strenuous. Conclusion. A diagnosis may be significant when it provides the road to relief or legitimizes the patient's problems. The social and medical meaning of the fibromyalgia diagnosis appears to be more complex. Our findings propose that the diagnosis was hardly helpful for these patients.

PMID: 18041660 [PubMed - in process]

Effect of consumer cooking on furan in convenience foods.

Note:  Furan is a colorless, volatile liquid used in some chemical manufacturing industries.  It has been implicated as a carcinogenic substance.
Food Addit Contam. 2008 Jan;25(1):25-31.Click here to read

Effect of consumer cooking on furan in convenience foods.

Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, UK.

The effect of domestic preparation regimes on the level of the heat-formed toxicant furan was studied to provide useful information for exposure assessment and advice for manufacturers and consumers. Foods were cooked in a saucepan on a gas hob or microwaved and furan was determined by headspace sampling with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In general, furan levels did not decrease as much when foods were cooked in a microwave oven when compared with the same foods cooked in a saucepan. Furan levels decreased in most canned and jarred foods after heating in a saucepan. Low levels of furan in soups in cartons were not changed by any procedure. Furan decreased slightly in foods on standing before consumption, but did so more rapidly on stirring. The levels also decreased slightly when foods were left to stand on plates; this observation is attributed to the volatility of furan.

PMID: 18041596 [PubMed - in process]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Clinical neurophysiology of fatigue.

lin Neurophysiol. 2007 Nov 24; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Clinical neurophysiology of fatigue.

University Medical Centre Nijmegen, Institute of Neurology, 920 Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Neuromuscular Centre Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Fatigue is a multidimensional concept covering both physiological and psychological aspects. Chronic fatigue is a typical symptom of diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD) and cerebrovascular disorders but is also presented by people in whom no defined somatic disease has been established. If certain criteria are met, chronic fatigue syndrome can be diagnosed. The 4-item Abbreviated Fatigue Questionnaire allows the extent of the experienced fatigue to be assessed with a high degree of reliability and validity. Physiological fatigue has been well defined and originates in both the peripheral and central nervous system. The condition can be assessed by combining force and surface-EMG measurements (including frequency analyses and muscle-fibre conduction estimations), twitch interpolation, magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex and analysis of changes in the readiness potential. Fatigue is a well-known phenomenon in both central and peripheral neurological disorders. Examples of the former conditions are multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and stroke. Although it seems to be a universal symptom of many brain disorders, the unique characteristics of the concomitant fatigue also point to a specific relationship with several of these syndromes. As regards neuromuscular disorders, fatigue has been reported in patients with post-polio syndrome, myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy and hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type-I. More than 60% of all neuromuscular patients suffer from severe fatigue, a prevalence resembling that of patients with MS. Except for several rare myopathies with specific metabolic derangements leading to exercise-induced muscle fatigue, most studies have not identified a prominent peripheral cause for the fatigue in this population. In contrast, the central activation of the diseased neuromuscular system is generally found to be suboptimal. The reliability of the psychological and clinical neurophysiological assessment techniques available today allows a multidisciplinary approach to fatigue in neurological patients, which may contribute to the elucidation of the pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic fatigue, with the ultimate goal to develop tailored treatments for fatigue in neurological patients. The present report discusses the different manifestations of fatigue and the available tools to assess peripheral and central fatigue.

PMID: 18039594 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Disease proportions attributable to environment

Disease proportions attributable to environment

Rodolfo Saracci email and Paolo Vineis email

Environmental Health 2007, 6:38doi:10.1186/1476-069X-6-38

Published: 28 November 2007

Abstract (provisional)

Population disease proportions attributable to various causal agents are popular as they present a simplified view of the contribution of each agent to the disease load. However they are only summary figures that may be easily misinterpreted or over-interpreted even when the causal link between an exposure and an effect is well established. This commentary discusses several issues surrounding the estimation of attributable proportions, particularly with reference to environmental causes of cancers, and critically examines two recently published papers. These issues encompass potential biases as well as the very definition of environment and of environmental agent. The latter aspect is not just a semantic question but carries implications for the focus of preventive actions, whether centred on the material and social environment or on single individuals.

Full Text:

Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from rivers in the Southeastern United States.

Sci Total Environ. 2007 Nov 22; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarker responses in fish from rivers in the Southeastern United States.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC), 4200 New Haven Rd., Columbia, MO 65201, USA.

Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) were collected from 13 sites located in the Mobile (MRB), Apalachicola-Flint-Chattahoochee (ARB), Savannah (SRB), and Pee Dee (PRB) River Basins to document spatial trends in accumulative chemical contaminants, health indicators, and reproductive biomarkers. Organochlorine residues, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-like activity (TCDD-EQ), and elemental contaminants were measured in composite samples of whole fish, grouped by species and gender, from each site. Mercury (Hg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the primary contaminants of concern. Concentrations of Hg in bass samples from all basins exceeded toxicity thresholds for piscivorous mammals (>0.1 mug/g ww), juvenile and adult fish (>0.2 mug/g ww), and piscivorous birds (>0.3 mug/g ww). Total PCB concentrations in samples from the MRB, ARB, and PRB were >480 ng/g ww and may be a risk to piscivorous wildlife. Selenium concentrations also exceeded toxicity thresholds (>0.75 mug/g ww) in MRB and ARB fish. Concentrations of other formerly used (total chlordanes, dieldrin, endrin, aldrin, mirex, and hexachlorobenzene) and currently used (pentachlorobenzene, pentachloroanisole, dacthal, endosulfan, gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, and methoxychlor) organochlorine residues were generally low or did not exceed toxicity thresholds for fish and piscivorous wildlife. TCDD-EQs exceeded wildlife dietary guidelines (>5 pg/g ww) in MRB and PRB fish. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was generally greatest in MRB bass and carp. Altered fish health indicators and reproductive biomarker were noted in individual fish, but mean responses were similar among basins. The field necropsy and histopathological examination determined that MRB fish were generally in poorer health than those from the other basins, primarily due to parasitic infestations. Tumors were found in few fish (n=5; 0.01%); ovarian tumors of smooth muscle origin were found in two ARB carp from the same site. Intersex gonads were identified in 47 male bass (42%) representing 12 sites and may indicate exposure to potential endocrine disrupting compounds. Comparatively high vitellogenin concentrations (>0.35 mg/mL) in male fish from the MRB, SRB, and PRB indicate exposure to estrogenic or anti-androgenic chemicals.

PMID: 18036634 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Methylmercury exposure associated with reduced productivity in common loons.

Ecotoxicology. 2007 Nov 25; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Methylmercury exposure associated with reduced productivity in common loons.

Canadian Wildlife Service-Atlantic Region, Environment Canada, 6 Bruce St, Mt. Pearl, NL, Canada, A1N 4T3,

Methylmercury can impair the reproduction of fish-eating wildlife. We measured lake pH, mercury (Hg) concentrations in small fish, blood Hg levels in adult male, female and juvenile common loons, and loon productivity from 120 lakes in Wisconsin, USA and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada (Maritimes). Mean lake pH was higher in Wisconsin than in the Maritimes. Body masses of adult loons and Hg concentrations in the blood of loons and in small fish were greater in the Maritimes. Hg levels in fish increased with lake acidity. Abundance of small fish increased in acidic lakes in the Maritimes. Blood Hg concentrations in adult and juvenile loons decreased with lake pH and increased with Hg levels in fish prey. Hg levels in male, female and juvenile loons were 22, 16 and 2.3 times greater than those in small fish. Loon Hg exposure, measured either as Hg levels in female loon blood or in fish prey, appeared to impose an upper limit on loon productivity. Loon productivity decreased as Hg exposure increased. Quantile regression analysis indicated that maximum observed loon productivity dropped 50% when fish Hg levels were 0.21 ug/g (wet wt), and failed completely when fish Hg concentrations were 0.41 ug/g.

PMID: 18038272 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

An outbreak of cardiovascular syndromes requiring urgent medical treatment and its association with environmental factors: an ecological study.

Environ Health. 2007 Nov 25;6(1):37 [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

An outbreak of cardiovascular syndromes requiring urgent medical treatment and its association with environmental factors: an ecological study.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In April 2005, syndromic surveillance based on statistical control chart methods in Sydney, Australia, signalled increasing incidence of urgent emergency department visits for cardiovascular and chest pain syndromes compared to the preceding twelve months. This paper aimed to determine whether environmental factors could have been responsible for this 'outbreak'. METHODS: The outcome studied was daily counts of emergency department visits for cardiovascular or chest pain syndromes that were considered immediately or imminently life threatening on arrival at hospital. The outbreak had a mean daily count of 5.7 visits compared with 4.0 in the same months in previous years sustained for eight weeks. Poisson regression was used to systematically assess the emergency department visits in relation to available daily weather and pollution variables by first finding the best model that explained short-term variation in the outcome over the period 25 January 2002 to 31 May 2005, and then assessing interactions of all available variables with the 'outbreak' period, April-May 2005. Rate ratios were estimated for an interquartile increase in each variable meaning that the ratio measures the relative increase (or decrease) in the emergency department visits for an interquartile increase in the weather or pollution variable. The rate ratios for the outbreak period measure the relative increase (or decrease) in the emergency department visits for an interquartile increase in the weather or pollution variable during the outbreak period only. RESULTS: The best fitting model over the whole study period included minimum temperature with a rate ratio (RR) of 0.86(95% confidence interval (CI), 0.77-0.96), maximum relative humidity of 1.09(95% CI 1.05-1.14) and minimum daily particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) of 1.05(95% CI, 1.01-1.09). During the outbreak period, maximum temperature (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.03-1.57), solar radiation (RR 1.44, 95% CI, 1.00-2.07) and ozone (RR 1.13, 95% CI 1.01-1.26) were associated with the outcome. CONCLUSIONS: The increase may have been associated with photochemical pollution. Syndromic surveillance can identify outbreaks of non-communicable diseases associated with environmental factors.

PMID: 18036253 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Immunoassay with cyromegalovirus early antigens from gene products p52 and CM2 (UL44 and UL57) detect active infection in patients with CFS.

J Clin Pathol. 2007 Nov 23; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read

Immunoassay with cyromegalovirus early antigens from gene products p52 and CM2 (UL44 and UL57) detect active infection in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Pathgroup Labs, Nashville, TN, United States.

AIMS: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the use of recombinant early antigens for detection of antibodies to cytomegalovirus (HCMV) gene products CM2 (UL44, UL57) and p52 (UL44) is specific in the diagnosis and differentiation of active HCMV infection in a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) which is often missed by the current ELISA assay that uses crude viral lysate antigen. METHODS: At a single clinic from 1999 - 2001 a total of 4,774 serologic tests were performed in 1135 CFS patients using two immunoassays; Copalis immunoassay and ELISA immunoassay. The Copalis immunoassay utilized HCMV Early gene products of UL44 and UL57 recombinant antigens for detection of HCMV IgM antibody, and viral capsid antigen for detection of HCMV IgG antibody. The ELISA immunoassay utilized viral crude lysate as antigen for detection of both HCMV IgG and IgM. RESULTS: Of the total, 1135 CFS patients, 517 patients (45.6%) were positive for HCMV IgG by both HCMV IgG by both assays. Of these, twelve CFS patients (2.2%) were positive for HCMV(V) IgM serum antibody by HCMV ELISA assay, and 61 CFS patients (11.8%) were positive for IgM HCMV serum antibody by Copalis assays. The Copalis assay that uses HCMV early recombinant gene products CM2 (UL44, UL57) and p52 (UL44) in comparison with ELISA was 98% specific. CONCLUSIONS: Immunoassays that use Early Antigen recombinant HCMV CM2 and p52 are five times more sensitive than HCMV ELISA assay using viral lysate and are specific in the detection and differentiation of active HCMV infection in a subset of CFS patients.

PMID: 18037660 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Monday, November 26, 2007

Community Spotlight: Andrew Goldsworthy, PhD

Community Spotlight


                               Andrew Goldsworthy, PhD


MCS America News

Volume 2, Issue 12, December 2007











What are electromagnetic fields?


An electromagnetic field is a combination of an electrical and a magnetic field. An electrical field is what enables you to pick up small pieces of paper with a plastic comb after combing your hair on a dry day. A magnetic field is what lets you to pick up pieces of iron with a magnet. When an electric current flows through a wire it generates both kinds, so we call it an electromagnetic field. The electrical part depends on the voltage and the distance over which it is acting and is measured in volts per metre. The magnetic part depends on the current flowing and is measured in tesla. If you were to stand under a power line, you would be exposed to an electrical field corresponding to the difference in voltage between the line (which is set by the power company) and the ground. You would also be exposed to a magnetic field due to the current actually flowing, which depends on how much electricity people are using.  Both kinds of field can produce biological effects, but the magnetic fields are generally considered to be more dangerous because they penetrate living tissues more easily.


Electromagnetic fields can be very useful because, when they change direction or strength; they can transmit energy.  For example, the rapidly changing fields in the antenna of a radio transmitter transmit energy as electromagnetic waves at the speed of light to the antenna of a receiver. Here they generate a similar pattern of current-flow, which is amplified by the radio and converted to sound. Unfortunately, they also make similar currents flow in the human body and these can give a whole range of unwanted biological effects.


How prevalent is human exposure to electromagnetic fields?


They are very prevalent, for example, visible light and radiant heat from the sun are both electromagnetic waves that we have evolved to live with and are relatively harmless. Others with a much shorter wavelength such as X-rays and gamma rays can split molecules into fragments and ions. These are called ionizing radiations and everyone agrees that they can be harmful to life. But we now know that non-ionizing radiation with much longer wavelengths than light can also have biological effects. It was originally thought that this was because they heated the tissue, so safety guidelines were drawn up to limit our exposure to levels that caused no significant heating. But since then, many non-thermal effects have been discovered (see where there seem to be direct electrical effects on the tissues at levels that may be hundreds of times below the official guidelines. However, the very existence of these non-thermal effects is hotly contested by the cell phone industry and even governments, possibly because they feel that they have a lot to lose if the general public were to discover that some of them were harmful. Unfortunately, most of us cannot escape this sort of radiation. It comes from overhead power lines, radio and television transmitters, domestic appliances and even the wiring in our own homes. But perhaps the most dangerous come from cell and cordless phones, which we hold to our heads, and from their respective base stations.



What non-thermal biological effects have been observed in relation to weak non-ionizing electromagnetic fields?  At what exposure level do these effects occur?


Effects that have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals include changes in the growth patterns of plants, changes in the rate of multiplication of yeast, the loss of calcium from animal cell membranes, the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier that normally prevents toxins from entering the brain, the destruction of DNA in human and animal cell cultures by cell phone radiation, reduced fertility in heavy cell phone users, increased incidence of cancer in people living near power lines, and various very unpleasant symptoms in people suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. I can't give a precise figure for the levels of radiation at which these phenomena occur since there is considerable variation in the sensitivity of different individuals and even in the sensitivity of the different cell types in their bodies. However, to give you a rough idea of the range, effects have been reported for alternating electrical fields between one hundredth of a volt per metre and 10 volts per metre. The effects of alternating magnetic fields occur typically in and around the region of one millionth of a tesla, which is about one fiftieth of the Earth's steady magnetic field.


Why did you become interested in this topic?


First let me explain where I am coming from. My father was a ship's radio officer and I was an amateur radio enthusiast when I was a university student, so I am not a technophobe and you could even say that wireless is in my blood.  But ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a biologist to see how living things worked and what part electricity played in this. I was too soft-hearted to do experiments on animals so I studied plants instead. When I became a university lecturer, I initially researched in several different areas but ended up looking at the roles of electricity in plants.


What are these roles?


Electricity, which is carried by the flow of ions (electrically charged atoms and molecules) in living tissues, plays a major role in both animal and plant cells. There is quite an extensive and detailed amount of literature on this, but put very simply, energy is used to pump specific ions across cell membranes, which often generates a voltage (usually just a fraction of a volt) across them. They are then allowed back via a different route to complete the circuit, but as they go back, they can do some useful things. Hydrogen ions can generate ATP, which is a vital source of energy for the cell. Another important one is calcium. This is continuously pumped out of the main part of the cell but it is then let back in in carefully regulated amounts.     The amount getting back can then control the activity of many enzyme systems and genes. Also, small differences between the activity of the flow and return pathways at either end of the cell generates a voltage gradient along the cell's length that can control its speed and direction of growth. It follows that externally applied artificial currents, or treatments that made these membranes leak can cause quite significant effects on metabolism.


What are the effects on plants then?


Work on this has been going on for over a hundred years. As early as 1904 Karl Lemström published well-replicated studies showing increases in crop yield of up to 40 percent when cereals were grown under high voltage overhead wires. He attributed this to weak electric currents carried by air ions to the plants and, via the plants, to the soil. This work was continued in the 1920s by Vernon Blackman of Imperial College, who found that AC was more effective than DC and that growth was inhibited if the current was too strong. In particular, he discovered that after just a very short exposure, the growth rate of seedlings continued to increase long after the current was switched off. Nowadays, we might interpret this as meaning that the current had activated genes for growth, which then remained active.


I found similar results when weak electric currents (one millionth of an amp) were passed directly through plant tissue cultures. They not only grew faster but also showed a much greater tendency to regenerate into new plants. This also suggests that the effects were due to the activation of genes. But this too was inhibited if the current was too strong, suggesting that an overdose is harmful. Effects of slowly alternating electromagnetic fields on metabolism have been found not only in higher plants, but also in single celled micro-organisms such as diatoms, where they affect their rate of locomotion, and yeast, where they affect the rate of cell division.


Relatively little has been published on the effects of radio frequency radiation on plants, but an often quoted example is pine trees around the Skrunda radar station in Latvia that showed severe growth inhibition (as measured by their annual rings) following the installation of the station. There was also evidence of additional stress (as measured by increased resin production) in trees having higher exposures to the radiation.  All of these effects are non-thermal and are certainly not psychosomatic.


What made you turn your attention to animals?


From my own work on plants and yeast and the classic studies of Suzanne Bawin et al. on the electromagnetically-induced release of calcium from brain tissue, I guessed that at least some of the electromagnetic effects on plants were due to the loss of structurally important calcium ions from cell membranes. This made them leak and allowed free calcium ions into their cells, which affected the rate of metabolism, activated genes and changed the speed and pattern of growth.


To check on this, I looked more deeply at the literature on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on animals. I found that everything seemed to fit with my theories. The basic effects of weak electromagnetic fields on plants and animals were broadly similar and both could be explained by membrane leakage. It all fitted; it explained the changes in metabolism and gene expression found in animal tissue cultures and also the accelerations of healing following some electromagnetic therapies. But there was a darker side; it also explained the fragmentation of DNA, the loss of fertility, the rise in allergy-related conditions and the increased risk of cancer associated with prolonged electromagnetic exposure. All of these could also be due to membrane leakage. It was a eureka moment in reverse. Instead of feeling elated, I felt gutted. What were we doing to ourselves? Was our insatiable, but blind, love of electrical and electromagnetic gadgets slowly poisoning us all?  It was like a bad dream and I felt I might wake up at any moment; but, that was not to be. I didn't want to believe them, but the scientific facts were staring me in the face. Having a logical explanation just made it worse.


So what could be done?  If even I did not want to believe what was happening, what chance would I have of convincing others without my inside knowledge of the very real dangers of over exposure to electromagnetic pollution? Nevertheless, I had to try. I felt I could not live with myself if I did not publish my discoveries as widely as possible in a form that could be understood by the layman. I did it directly on the Internet rather than in specialist scientific journals, to which most people have no access. If anyone thought the ideas to be interesting, useful or relevant to a friend, they could be passed on at the click of a mouse and so spread naturally.


The main work can be found at and in the links at the end of that article. They describe in simple terms how I think weak electromagnetic fields produce their non-thermal effects on cell membranes and they explain virtually all of the known biological responses to non-ionizing radiation, including those that are detrimental to health. They complement the excellent experimental work published in hundreds of papers in peer reviewed scientific journals, many of which have now been put in the public domain at Taken together, they are a warning to us all.


What is the principal mechanism by which electromagnetic fields produce these non-thermal biological effects?


A good way to illustrate this is by analogy with an imaginary machine for harvesting ripe apples.  It goes as follows:


John is proud of his machine for harvesting ripe apples. It works by shaking the tree with just the right force. If it is too weak, no apples fall off, if it is too strong, they all fall off, but if it is just right, only the ripe ones fall off and can be harvested.


If you can follow this, you will also be able to follow how weak electromagnetic fields can give biological effects without generating significant heat. They selectively "shake out" calcium ions from the delicate membranes that both surround living cells and divide them into compartments. These membranes are made mostly of negatively charged molecules interspersed with positively-charged ions that help to bind them together. Divalent ions (ions with two charges) such as calcium are better at binding than monovalent ions such as potassium, which have only one charge.  Suzanne Bawin and her co-workers in 1975 showed that weak electromagnetic fields can selectively remove calcium ions from cell membranes, which we now know would reduce their stability. This work has been repeated in other laboratories and has been found to occur only with very weak radiation and is restricted to certain "windows" for field strength, above and below which there is little or no effect.


The explanation is simple if we remember John's apple harvester. The alternating electromagnetic fields "shake" the cell membranes, with the negatively-charged structural components and the positive binding ions moving in opposite directions. If the field is too weak, nothing happens. If it is too strong, all the ions are driven off and then back onto the membrane with each cycle. But if it is "just right" only the more strongly charged ions (such as divalent calcium) are affected and are selectively removed. Their place is then taken by less-affected monovalent ions such as potassium. This occurs mainly with low frequency alternating fields or radio-frequency fields that are amplitude-modulated or pulsed at a low frequency.


This loss of calcium ions is important because it weakens the membranes so that they are more likely to tear and develop temporary holes, especially when they are adjacent to moving cell contents. This can make them permeable even to large molecules such as enzymes. The leakage of digestive enzymes from lysosomes (membrane-bound particles that normally digest waste) into the rest of the cell is almost certainly responsible for the fragmentation of DNA in human and animal cell cultures seen after prolonged exposure to cell phone radiation. This genetic damage has been reported in several studies and is likely to cause cancer, a reduction in fertility (both of which are now becoming apparent) and possible mutations in future generations.



There is no reason to believe that WiFi is any safer. Although the signal is weaker, this does not necessarily mean it is safer. Because biological effects occur in specific "windows" for signal strength, there is no linear relationship between signal strength and physiological effects. If it fell within a window, a weaker signal could even be more dangerous than a stronger one. We must also remember that the router radiation is continuous, regardless of whether it is talking to a computer, so our exposure is chronic. This is serious because studies on mobile phone radiation show that the damage to DNA is dependent on the duration of the exposure and peaks in less than 24 hours.


Do our bodies have any defences against these electromagnetic onslaughts?


The human race, like other living organisms, has evolved some pretty good defence mechanisms to protect itself from natural non-ionizing radiation, but most of this, such as the "static" from thunderstorms, is weak and intermittent. One protection mechanism is the production of heat-shock proteins, which despite their name, can be triggered by electromagnetic radiation that is far too weak to generate significant heat. According to Martin Blank and his co-workers, they are produced by the direct activation of known base sequences in DNA. Their function is to combine with important proteins and enzymes in living cells to prevent them being destroyed by the digestive enzymes leaking from damaged lysosomes. Unfortunately, this also stops them working properly so that metabolic efficiency is reduced. It's rather like running a computer in "safe mode" when not all functions are available. This may be all right for as long as a thunderstorm normally lasts, but might be expected to give a more permanent and harmful reduction in metabolic efficiency with continuous exposure, e.g. from a cell tower or WiFi router.


In addition to the heat-shock proteins, there is an increased activity of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, which can be triggered by calcium leaking through damaged membranes. This enzyme is the starting point for a metabolic pathway leading to the production of polyamines, which protect DNA.  However, these and other defence measures require metabolic energy and resources, which have to come from somewhere. They may be diverted from our physical energy so we have chronic symptoms of fatigue. They could also be diverted from the immune system, which would reduce our resistance to disease. In addition, these resources may not always be fully available, for example if we are ill. This could set up a vicious cycle in which illness increases our susceptibility to electromagnetic radiation, which in turn makes us more likely to be ill.


There are many things that governments could do if they put their minds to it.  Probably the worst offenders are cell phones, digital cordless phones and Wifi. They should all carry government health warnings against prolonged use and WiFi (like smoking) should be banned in schools and public places until it can be proven unequivocally to be safe. There could be incentives to make us use these devices sparingly. For example, all cell phone tariffs other than pay-as-you-go could be withdrawn and increased rates charged for calls lasting over a few minutes. Hopefully, this would also reduce the number of cell phone base stations (cell towers) needed as well as the power that they radiate. These base stations are a major problem since, unlike cell phone handsets, they are in continuous operation and expose people living nearby to chronic biologically-active microwave radiation. Many people report suffering dizziness and other symptoms when exposed to the radiation from cell towers and there are anecdotal indications of clusters of cancer cases forming around them. It would therefore not be unreasonable to ask that they should not be located close to homes or places where people spend a great deal of their time. If this is not possible, the phone company should pay for adequate screening. The polluter should pay.


The electromagnetic safety of mains wiring could also be improved. Apart from not building houses near power lines, we should look at our domestic wiring. The trend to replace earthed metal conduit with plastic is a retrograde step. We should look in future to be using screened cable for domestic wiring and appliance cords. The trend to use un-earthed double insulated appliances should also be discouraged. While they offer little risk of electric shock, the lack of an earthed chassis makes them prone to emit stronger electromagnetic fields. Keep the double insulation by all means, but retain the earthed chassis.


How would you recommend approaching officials with this concern to bring about positive community change?


This is a difficult question since the cell phone companies, as well as most governments, have a huge stake in mobile communications and usually deny that there are any biological effects of radiation that is below their official safety guidelines (these are based only on heating effects). This is untrue and you can refer them to the wealth of information to the contrary that can be found at

The fact is that the safety guidelines need to be revised in line with modern research.


A further point is that the costs of treating electromagnetically related illnesses such as MCS, allergies and reduced fertility, almost certainly exceeds the tax revenue from the cell phone industries (see ) and may be expected to get worse as a predicted increase in cancer from DNA fragmentation becomes more apparent.  In other words, the continued expansion in mobile communications using present technology is already causing a net financial loss to the nation.  On present trends, this is likely to get worse. We must devise newer and safer methods of wireless communication as a matter of urgency; and until this happens, the expansion and use of the present systems should be severely restricted.


Is there a way to reduce electromagnetic pollution without losing our access to cell phones, WiFi and other modern day technology?


It is perfectly possible (although more expensive) to produce cell phones and base stations that work at lower power by using the latest low-noise technology and larger base-station antennae to collect weaker signals more efficiently. It may also be possible to encode the signals or use different frequencies so that the transmissions are less hazardous. How they do this is a matter for the engineers, but whatever the solutions, they should be tested for biological safety before going into production. The bottom line is that very few people would want to give up their cell phones entirely, and this may not even be necessary so long as they keep their phone calls short and relatively infrequent. However, the cell phone industry still has a duty of care not to poison us with their products and we should not be encouraged by advertising and offers of free airtime to make excessive use of them.


Is there anything that individual's can do on their own to protect themselves from electromagnetic pollution?


There is a great deal we can do ourselves to minimise our exposure.


Cell phones

Very few people would be willing to give up their cell phones; even I have one, although mine stays switched off and is only used in emergencies. If you have it switched on, even if you are not using it, it sends out regular signals at full power so that the phone company can keep track of where you are. If you must use one, use text messages, which need much less airtime, rather than voice calls.  Any voice calls should be kept short, preferably to no more than a few minutes, and made from a good reception area; if reception is poor, the phone turns the power of its transmissions up to compensate. Do not use one in a car, even if you are not driving; reception inside its metal body is usually bad, so the phone will be transmitting at full power. Definitely do not use one while driving, not even a hands-free type, since the radiation from both sorts appears to interfere with normal brain function and makes you about four times more likely to have an accident.


Cordless phones

Do not use digital cordless phones when it is possible to use a landline. I know they give you the freedom to wander around with them and still continue with the cooking, but they can be even more dangerous than cell phones.  Although the handset is not as powerful as a cell phone and is completely inactive when not in use, the villain of the piece is the base station. This will be irradiating you with microwaves all day, every day, regardless of whether you are making a call. If you really must have a cordless phone, get a modern low radiation type such as the Orchid Low Radiation Phone, where the base station can be placed well away from the handsets, is only active when making a call, and the handset power is reduced when reception is good.


Cordless baby alarms

Be extremely careful in your choice of these since many of them work on the same principle as digital cordless phones and will be continuously irradiating your baby with pulsed microwaves. Not only could this be bad for the baby's health and development but, by interfering with melatonin production, it may even delay the onset of sleep.



We should not use WiFi to connect our computers. Ethernet cables are not only safer but also much faster and more reliable. However, if you don't fancy drilling holes in walls or running patch leads under carpets, good alternatives are the various versions of "Homeplug". These send the information from computer to computer in an encoded form via your normal mains wiring. The best ones are now as fast as Ethernet. If you are out and about, try to avoid WiFi hotspots such as WiFi-enabled restaurants, hotels etc. If sufficient people do this, the proprietors will soon get the message and switch it off.


Microwave cookers

Most of us in the developed world have one, but even the best of them leak at least some microwave radiation, so try not to get too close when they are in use.



Some people, such as those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity, suffer very badly.  If moving to a less polluted area is not an option, they might consider screening their homes. This can be done with aluminium foil or an electrically conducting paint, together with electrically conducting net over the windows. More details of these can be found at  But don't forget, these measures will only protect you from external radiation. If you generate any inside, it could even make matters worse by reflecting it back at you.


Electromagnetic exposure coupled to simultaneous illness is likely to be a major risk factor in developing cancer since it would leave our bodies even more poorly defended against electromagnetic radiation, and so increase the risk of DNA damage and all that ensues. After all, no one can guarantee that all of the trillions of cells in their bodies will be 100 percent healthy all of the time and very few genetically damaged cells may be needed to initiate a tumour. It seems likely that other electromagnetically induced conditions such as some forms of acquired EHS and MCS may also be triggered more easily by simultaneous illness. I know of at least one case where a perfectly healthy individual suffered a prolonged attack of ME, which was immediately followed by extreme electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Perhaps you may know of others. It might be a reasonable prediction that the longer the electromagnetic exposure and the longer the duration of illness the greater is the theoretical risk of doing permanent damage.


Where do allergies and MCS come into your thinking?


Apart from the damage to DNA and the consequent risk of cancer in future years, there is a much more immediate threat to the various "tight-junction barriers" that restrict the entry of foreign materials into our bodies. These barriers are layers of cells joined by impermeable substances (tight junctions) which prevent unwanted materials leaking in around their sides. They protect all of our body surfaces, including the skin, gut, lungs and respiratory tract. There is now very strong evidence that the increase in the permeability of cell membranes brought about by weak electromagnetic radiation allows some of these unwanted substances, including various allergens and a whole range of  foreign chemicals, to enter the body by going straight through the cells and/or disrupting the tight junctions themselves. It seems likely that the present increase in allergies and allergy-related illnesses such as multiple chemical sensitivities, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and even type-1 diabetes is due to our increasing exposure to electromagnetic fields. For more information and references, please visit 


What steps would be necessary to protect individuals in the community from these effects?


We have become heavily dependent on equipment that generates electromagnetic fields and few of us would want to do without them. Think of it; no washing machines, no electric light, no automobiles, no cell phones, the list goes on. We cannot turn the clock all the way back without destroying our civilisation. All we can do is try to exploit as many as possible of our technological advances without unduly compromising our own health and safety.


Where do we go from here? 


For the time being there may be little we can do except to reduce our own personal exposure to non-ionizing radiation and keep up the pressure on governments to revise their official safety guidelines, which are at present far too lenient.


We should draw their attention, not just to the risk of cancer from excessive cell phone use (which may not become really apparent for several years) but to the loss of fertility and the rise in allergy-related illnesses that can now be linked to electromagnetic exposure. These are happening here; they are happening now and should be the subject of immediate and independent scientific investigation. In that the cost of these illnesses almost certainly exceeds the tax revenue from the cell phone industry, there may now be more of an incentive for them to do this.


Much of the necessary research could be just number crunching using existing data. Cell phone use, as determined from the phone company's records and living near cell towers could be correlated with the incidence of specific illnesses or allergies. This may be easier in countries such as the UK, which have state-run health services, where records may be more complete and less fragmented. In addition, simple and relatively benign experiments could be performed on animals to measure changes in skin permeability and the penetration of allergens in response to both acute and chronic electromagnetic exposure. Pigs might be a good choice since their size and subcutaneous fat makes them electrically similar to humans. No doubt, other people may have other suggestions. Hopefully, it should not take too long to establish the truth. Until we do, no one can be guaranteed to be safe, not even the bosses of the cell phone companies. We are all in this together and we will all suffer if we get it wrong.


-Andrew Goldsworthy



Copyrighted © 2007  MCS America

Blog Archive