By Arthur Arthur Firstenberg
In 2002, Gro Harlem Brundtland, then head of the World Health Organization, told a Norwegian journalist that cell phones were banned from her office in Geneva because she personally becomes ill if a cell phone is brought within about four meters (13 feet) of her. Mrs. Brundtland is a medical doctor and former Prime Minister of Norway. This sensational news, published March 9, 2002 in Dagbladet, was ignored by every other newspaper in the world.
The following week Michael Repacholi, her subordinate in charge of the International EMF (electromagnetic field) Project, responded with a public statement belittling his boss’s concerns. Five months later, for reasons that many suspect were related to these circumstances, Mrs. Brundtland announced she would step down from her leadership post at the WHO after just one term.
Nothing could better illustrate our collective schizophrenia when it comes to thinking about electromagnetic radiation. We respond to those who are worried about its dangers — hence the International EMF Project — but we ignore and marginalize those, like Mrs. Brundtland, who have already succumbed to its effects.
As a consultant on the health effects of wireless technology, I receive calls that can be broadly divided into two main groups: those from people who are merely worried, whom I will call A, and those from people who are already sick, whom I will call B. I sometimes wish I could arrange a large conference call and have the two groups talk to each other — there needs to be more mutual understanding so that we are all trying to solve the same problems.
Caller A, worried, commonly asks what kind of shield to buy for his cell phone or what kind of headset to wear with it. Sometimes he wants to know what is a safe distance to live from a cell tower. Caller B, sick, wants to know what kind of shielding to put on her house, what kind of medical treatment to get, or, increasingly often, what part of the country she could move to to escape the radiation to save her life.
The following is designed as a sort of a primer: first, to help everybody get more or less on the same page, and second, to clear up some of the confusions so that we can make rational decisions toward a healthier world.
The most basic fact about cell phones and cell towers is that they emit microwave radiation; so do Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) antennas, wireless computers, cordless (portable) phones and their base units, and all other wireless devices. If it’s a communication device and it’s not attached to the wall by a wire, it’s emitting radiation. Most Wi-Fi systems and some cordless phones operate at the exact same frequency as a microwave oven, while other devices use a different frequency. Wi-Fi is always on and always radiating. The base units of most cordless phones are always radiating, even when no one is using the phone. A cell phone that is on but not in use is also radiating. And, needless to say, cell towers are always radiating.
Why is this a problem, you might ask? Scientists usually divide the electromagnetic spectrum into “ionizing” and “non-ionizing.” Ionizing radiation, which includes x-rays and atomic radiation, causes cancer. Non-ionizing radiation, which includes microwave radiation, is supposed to be safe. This distinction always reminded me of the propaganda in George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Four legs good, two legs bad.” “Non-ionizing good, ionizing bad” is as little to be trusted.
An astronomer once quipped that if Neil Armstrong had taken a cell phone to the Moon in 1969, it would have appeared to be the third most powerful source of microwave radiation in the universe, next only to the Sun and the Milky Way. He was right. Life evolved with negligible levels of microwave radiation. ** An increasing number of scientists speculate that our body’s own cells, in fact, use the microwave spectrum to communicate with one another, like children whispering in the dark, and that cell phones, like jackhammers, interfere with their signaling. ** In any case, it is a fact that we are all being bombarded, day in and day out, whether we use a cell phone or not, by an amount of microwave radiation that is some ten million times as strong as the average natural background. And it is also a fact that most of this radiation is due to technology that has been developed since the 1970s.
As far as cell phones themselves are concerned, if you put one up to your head you are damaging your brain in a number of different ways. First, think of a microwave oven. A cell phone, like a microwave oven and unlike a hot shower, heats you from the inside out, not from the outside in. And there are no sensory nerve endings in the brain to warn you of a rise in temperature because we did not evolve with microwave radiation, and this never happens in nature. Worse, the structure of the head and brain is so complex and non-uniform that “hot spots” are produced, where heating can be tens or hundreds of times what it is nearby. Hot spots can occur both close to the surface of the skull and deep within the brain, and also on a molecular level.
Cell phones are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, and you can find, in the packaging of most new phones, a number called the Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR, which is supposed to indicate the rate at which energy is absorbed by the brain from that particular model. One problem, however, is the arbitrary assumption, upon which the FCC’s regulations are based, that the brain can safely dissipate added heat at a rate of up to 1 degree C per hour. Compounding this is the scandalous procedure used to demonstrate compliance with these limits and give each cell phone its SAR rating. The standard way to measure SAR is on a “phantom” consisting, incredibly, of a homogenous fluid encased in Plexiglas in the shape of a head. Presto, no hot spots! But in reality, people who use cell phones for hours per day are chronically heating places in their brain. The FCC’s safety standard, by the way, was developed by electrical engineers, not doctors.
The Blood-Brain Barrier
The second effect that I want to focus on, which has been proven in the laboratory, should by itself have been enough to shut down this industry and should be enough to scare away anyone from ever using a cell phone again. I call it the “smoking gun” of cell phone experiments. Like most biological effects of microwave radiation, this has nothing to do with heating.
The brain is protected by tight junctions between adjacent cells of capillary walls, the so-called blood-brain barrier, which, like a border patrol, lets nutrients pass through from the blood to the brain, but keeps toxic substances out. Since 1988, researchers in the laboratory of a Swedish neurosurgeon, Leif Salford, have been running variations on this simple experiment: they expose young laboratory rats to either a cell phone or other source of microwave radiation, and later they sacrifice the animals and look for albumin in their brain tissue. Albumin is a protein that is a normal component of blood but that does not normally cross the blood-brain barrier. The presence of albumin in brain tissue is always a sign that blood vessels have been damaged and that the brain has lost some of its protection.
Here is what these researchers have found, consistently for 18 years: Microwave radiation, at doses equal to a cell phone’s emissions, causes albumin to be found in brain tissue. A one-time exposure to an ordinary cell phone for just two minutes causes albumin to leak into the brain. In one set of experiments, reducing the exposure level by a factor of 1,000 actually increased the damage to the blood-brain barrier, showing that this is not a dose-response effect and that reducing the power will not make wireless technology safer. And finally, in research published in June 2003, a single two-hour exposure to a cell phone, just once during its lifetime, permanently damaged the blood-brain barrier and, on autopsy 50 days later, was found to have damaged or destroyed up to 2 percent of an animal’s brain cells, including cells in areas of the brain concerned with learning, memory and movement.1 Reducing the exposure level by a factor of 10 or 100, thereby duplicating the effect of wearing a headset, moving a cell phone further from your body, or standing next to somebody else’s phone, did not appreciably change the results! Even at the lowest exposure, half the animals had a moderate to high number of damaged neurons.
The implications for us? Two minutes on a cell phone disrupts the blood-brain barrier, two hours on a cell phone causes permanent brain damage, and secondhand radiation may be almost as bad. The blood-brain barrier is the same in a rat and a human being.
These results caused enough of a commotion in Europe that in November 2003 a conference was held, sponsored by the European Union, titled “The Blood-Brain Barrier — Can It Be Influenced by RF [radio frequency]-Field Interactions?” as if to reassure the public: “See, we are doing something about this.” But, predictably, nothing was done about it, as nothing has been done about it for 30 years.
America’s Allan Frey, during the 1970s, was the first of many to demonstrate that low-level microwave radiation damages the blood-brain barrier.2 Similar mechanisms protect the eye (the blood-vitreous barrier) and the fetus (the placental barrier), and the work of Frey and others indicates that microwave radiation damages those barriers also.3 The implication: No pregnant woman should ever be using a cell phone.
Dr. Salford is quite outspoken about his work. He has called the use of handheld cell phones “the largest human biological experiment ever.” And he has publicly warned that a whole generation of cell-phone-using teenagers may suffer from mental deficits or Alzheimer’s disease by the time they reach middle age.
Unfortunately, cell phone users are not the only ones being injured, nor should we be worried only about the brain. The following brief summary is distilled from a vast scientific literature on the effects of radio waves (a larger spectrum which includes microwaves), together with the experiences of scientists and doctors all over the world with whom I am in contact.
Organs that have been shown to be especially susceptible to radio waves include the lungs, nervous system, heart, eyes, testes and thyroid gland. Diseases that have increased remarkably in the last couple of decades, and that there is good reason to connect with the massive increase in radiation in our environment, include asthma, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder, autism, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cataracts, hypothyroidism, diabetes, malignant melanoma, testicular cancer, and heart attacks and strokes in young people.
Radiation from microwave towers has also been associated with forest die-off, reproductive failure and population decline in many species of birds, and ill health and birth deformities in farm animals. The literature showing biological effects of microwave radiation is truly enormous, running to tens of thousands of documents, and I am amazed that industry spokespersons are getting away with saying that wireless technology has been proved safe or — just as ridiculous — that there is no evidence of harm.
I have omitted one disease from the above list: the illness that Caller B has, and that I have. A short history is in order here.
In the 1950s and 1960s workers who built, tested and repaired radar equipment came down with this disease in large numbers. So did operators of industrial microwave heaters and sealers. The Soviets named it, appropriately, radio wave sickness, and studied it extensively. In the West its existence was denied totally, but workers came down with it anyway. Witness congressional hearings held in 1981, chaired by then Representative Al Gore, on the health effects of radio-frequency heaters and sealers, another episode in “See, we are doing something about this,” while nothing is done.
Today, with the mass proliferation of radio towers and personal transmitters, the disease has spread like a plague into the general population. Estimates of its prevalence range up to one-third of the population, but it is rarely recognized for what it is until it has so disabled a person that he or she can no longer participate in society. You may recognize some of its common symptoms: insomnia, dizziness, nausea, headaches, fatigue, memory loss, inability to concentrate, depression, chest discomfort, ringing in the ears. Patients may also develop medical problems such as chronic respiratory infections, heart arrhythmias, sudden fluctuations in blood pressure, uncontrolled blood sugar, dehydration, and even seizures and internal bleeding.
What makes this disease so difficult to accept, and even more difficult to cope with, is that no treatment is likely to succeed unless one can also avoid exposure to its cause — and its cause is now everywhere. A 1998 survey by the California Department of Health Services indicated that at that time 120,000 Californians — and by implication 1 million Americans — were unable to work due to electromagnetic pollution.(4) The ranks of these so-called electrically sensitive are swelling in almost every country in the world, marginalized, stigmatized and ignored. With the level of radiation everywhere today, they almost never recover and sometimes take their own lives.
“They are acting as a warning for all of us,” says Dr. Olle Johansson of people with this illness. “It could be a major mistake to subject the entire world’s population to whole-body irradiation, 24 hours a day.” A neuroscientist at the famous Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Dr. Johansson heads a research team that is documenting a significant and permanent worsening of the public health that began precisely when the second-generation, 1800 MHz cell phones were introduced into Sweden in late l997.(5,6) After a decade-long decline, the number of Swedish workers on sick leave began to rise in late 1997 and more than doubled during the next five years. During the same period of time, sales of antidepressant drugs also doubled. The number of traffic accidents, after declining for years, began to climb again in 1997. The number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, after declining for several years, rose sharply in 1999 and had nearly doubled by 2001. This two-year delay is understandable when one considers that Alzheimer’s disease requires some time to develop.
If cell phones and cell towers are really deadly, have the radio and TV towers that we have been living with for a century been safe? In 2002 Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson coauthored a paper titled “Cancer Trends During the 20th Century,” which examined one aspect of that question.7 They found, in the United States, Sweden and dozens of other countries, that mortality rates for skin melanoma and for bladder, prostate, colon, breast and lung cancers closely paralleled the degree of public exposure to radio waves during the past hundred years. When radio broadcasting increased in a given location, so did those forms of cancer; when it decreased, so did those forms of cancer. And, a sensational finding: country by country — and county by county in Sweden — they found, statistically, that exposure to radio waves appears to be as big a factor in causing lung cancer as cigarette smoking!
Which brings me to address a widespread misconception. The biggest difference between the cell towers of today and the radio towers of the past is not their safety, but their numbers. The number of ordinary radio stations in the United States today is still less than 14,000. But cell towers and Wi-Fi towers number in the hundreds of thousands, and cell phones, wireless computers, cordless telephones and two-way radios number in the hundreds of millions. Radar facilities and emergency communication networks are also proliferating out of control. Since 1978, when the Environmental Protection Agency last surveyed the radio frequency environment in the United States, the average urban dweller’s exposure to radio waves has increased 1,000-fold, most of this increase occurring in just the last nine years.8 In the same period of time, radio pollution has spread from the cities to rest like a ubiquitous fog over the entire planet.
The vast human consequences of all this are being ignored. Since the late 1990s a whole new class of environmental refugees has been created right here in the United States. We have more and more people, sick, dying, seeking relief from our suffering, leaving our homes and our livelihoods, living in cars, trailers and tents in remote places. Unlike victims of hurricanes and earthquakes, we are not the subject of any relief efforts. No one is donating money to help us, to buy us a protected refuge; no one is volunteering to forego their cell phones, their wireless computers and their cordless phones so that we can once more be their neighbors and live among them.
The worried and the sick have not yet opened their hearts to each other, but they are asking questions. To answer caller A: No shield or headset will protect you from your cell or portable phone. There is no safe distance from a cell tower. If your cell phone or your wireless computer works where you live, you are being irradiated 24 hours a day.
To caller B: To effectively shield a house is difficult and rarely successful. There are only a few doctors in the United States attempting to treat radio wave sickness, and their success rate is poor — because there are few places left on Earth where one can go to escape this radiation and recover.
Yes, radiation comes down from satellites, too; they are part of the problem, not the solution. There is simply no way to make wireless technology safe.
Our society has become both socially and economically dependent, in just one short decade, upon a technology that is doing tremendous damage to the fabric of our world. The more entrenched we let ourselves become in it, the more difficult it will become to change our course. The time to extricate ourselves, both individually and collectively — difficult though it is already is — is now.
1. Leif G. Salford et al., “Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain After Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones,” Environmental Health Perspectives 111, no. 7 (2003): 881–883.
2. Allan H. Frey, Sondra R. Feld and Barbara Frey, “Neural Function and Behavior,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 247 (1975): 433–439.
3. Allan H. Frey, “Evolution and Results
of Biological Research with Low-Intensity Nonionizing Radiation,” in Modern Bioelectricity, ed. Andrew A. Marino (New York: Dekker, 1988), 785–837, at 809–810.
4. California EMF Program, The Risk Evaluation: An Evaluation of the Possible Risks From Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFs) From Power Lines, Internal Wiring, Electrical Occupations and Appliances (2002), app. 3.
5. Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson, “1997 — A Curious Year in Sweden,” European Journal of Cancer Prevention 13, no. 6 (2004): 535–538.
6. Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson, “Does GSM 1800 MHz Affect the Public Health in Sweden?” in Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop “Biological Effects of EMFs,” Kos, Greece, October 4-8, 2004, 361–364.
7. Örjan Hallberg and Olle Johansson, “Cancer Trends During the 20th Century,”
Journal of Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine 21, no. 1 (2002): 3–8.
8. David E. Janes Jr., “Radiofrequency Environments in the United States,” in 15th IEEE Conference on Communication, Boston, MA, June 10–14, 1979, vol. 2, 31.4.1–31.4.5.
Arthur Firstenberg’s Bio
Arthur Firstenberg is the founder and president of the Cellular Phone Task Force and the author of Microwaving Our Planet: The Environmental Impact of the Wireless Revolution (Cellular Phone Task Force 1996). From 1997 to 2002, he was the editor of the journal No Place To Hide.
Since 1996, the Task Force has provided a global clearinghouse for information about wireless technology’s injurious effects, and a national support network for people disabled by this technology. In 1997 the Task Force was the lead litigant in a challenge brought by over 50 citizens groups against the FCC’s limits for human exposure to radio frequency radiation.
Articles by Firstenberg or about his work have appeared in Mother Jones, The Ecologist, Earth Island Journal, Vegetarian Times, Village Voice, Utne Reader, Santa Fe New Mexican, San Francisco Chronicle, and other newspapers and magazines. His work has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Danish, Japanese, and Chinese.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University with a B.A. in mathematics, he attended the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine from 1978 to 1982. Injury by
x-ray overdose cut short his medical career. For the past 29 years he has been a researcher, consultant and lecturer on the health and environmental effects of electromagnetic radiation.
Essays by Firstenberg
April 5, 2008: “Sebastopol’s brave rejection of WiFi.” Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
March 30, 2008: “Unsung casualties of a wireless war.” Sun News.
January 14, 2007: “Look Wi-Fi in the eye.” Santa Fe New Mexican.
January 2006: “The largest biological experiment ever.” Sun Monthly.
December 2005: “Danger: radiation,” reprinted in Voices of the New Earth.
September 2005: “Danger: radiation.” Total Wellness.
August 2005: “Everyone is affected by electromagnetic radiation.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.
June 2004: “Killing Fields.” The Ecologist.
March 2004: “Telecommunications vs. the environment.” HopeDance.
August 2003: “Electrical sensitivity.” Human Ecology Study Group Newsletter.
July 2002: “Electrical sensitivity,” by Arthur Firstenberg and Susan Molloy. Latitudes.
Winter 2000-2001: “Radio waves: Invisible danger.” Earth Island Journal.
November 2001: “Wireless means radiation.” Lapis Lazuli Light, in Chinese.
November 2001: “Radio waves, the blood-brain barrier, and cerebral hemorrhage.” No Place To Hide.
October 2001: “Wireless means radiation.” Lapis News.
July 2000: “Measuring EMFs.” Our Toxic Times.
June 2000: Historical perspectives on EMFs.” Our Toxic Times.
Fall 2000: “The truth about cellular.” Progressive Health.
March 2000: “The problem of Internet pollution.” Alive: Canadian Journal of Health and Nutrition.
October 1999: “Microwaving the planet: Americans fight cellular towers in court.” Alive: Canadian Journal of Health and Nutrition.
September 1999: “Mortality statistics.” No Place To Hide.
September 1999: “Source of the Taos Hum.” No Place To Hide.
Summer 1999: “In the name of communication.” The Gazette.
June 1999: “About ringing in the ears – perception of electromagnetic waves.” AEVICEM Newsletter, in French.
June 1999: “The forgotten works of Bose and d’Arsonval.” AEVICEM Newsletter, in French.
March 1999: “Thousands of homing pigeons lose their way.” G∙A News (published by Tokyo Citizens for a Safe and Sane Environment), in Japanese.
March 1999: “Microwaving the planet.” Earth First! Journal.
January 1999: Cellular phone towers – mixed signals. Hearing Health.
1999-2004: Occasional contributor of op-ed columns in The Mendocino Beacon.
September 1998: “Influenza and electricity.” Japan Environment Monitor.
Summer 1998: “(Just about) nowhere is safe from the mobile phone” (edited reprint of “Microwaving our planet.”) The Third Opinion (Australia)
Summer 1998: “Microwaving our planet,” reprinted in Green Living.
September 1997: “Microwaving our planet.” HealthMap Magazine.
Summer 1997: “Microwaving our planet.” Earth Island Journal.
March 1996: “What does electromagnetic sensitivity have to do with porphyria? A biological detective story.” Electrical Sensitivity News
December 1995: “MTBE: A review of its good and bad points.” Our Toxic Times.
1994: “Economics, and human diversity.” Chapter in Earth Tones: Creative Perspectives on Ecological Issues, Belinda Subraman, ed., Vergin Press, El Paso, TX.
December 1981: “The effects of radiant energy on living organisms.” Paper presented at California College of Medicine, Irvine, CA.
Articles about Firstenberg and his work
Butler, Kiera. “This Is Your Brain on Cell Phones.” Mother Jones, July/August 2008.
Censored 1998, Peter Phillips and Project Censored, Seven Stories Press, NY 1998. Honorable Mention awarded to “Microwaving Our Planet,” Earth Island Journal, Summer 1997.
Curiel, Jonathan. “Worries cell phones could damage your cells.” San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2007.
Culbert, Michael. “Electrical sensitivity: hidden illness spreads.” International Council on Health Freedom Newsletter, Summer 1999.
Culbert, Michael. “Those cell phones – miracle or menace?” International Council on Health Freedom Newsletter, Spring 2000.
Culbert, Michael. Regular mention of Firstenberg’s work in International Council on Health Freedom Newsletter until it ceased publication in 2004.
Davis, Kevin. “The zapping of America; Can we survive the wireless revolution?” Utne Reader January-February 1998.
De Vita, Sabina M. Electromagnetic Pollution: A Hidden Stress to Your Health, Wellness Institute, Brampton, ON, 2000. Chapter on “The Electronic Workplace,” pp. 40-41.
EMF Health and Safety Digest. “In Brief.” Report on the federal lawsuit brought by the Cellular Phone Taskforce et al., April 1999.
Geske, Anne. “Hang Up and Listen.” Utne Reader, Jan./Feb. 2005.
Gilbert, Evelyn. “Lethal lampposts? Cellular phone antennas may threaten your health.” Village Voice, April 26, 1997.
Gilbert, Evelyn. “Cell phone static.” Vegetarian Times, August 1998.
Gitchel, Mel. “About the towers.” Journal Opinion, Bradford, VT, July 19, 2000.
Mittelman, Jerry, DDS. Special Report on Cell Phones. Holistic Dental Digest 1999.
Mooney, Elizabeth V. “Federal judges hear RF emissions debate.” RCR (the weekly newspaper for the wireless communications industry), April 12, 1999.
Nelson, Erik. “Radiation is one more reason cell-phone users can make you sick.” Long Island Voice, Dec. 3-9, 1998.
Rogers, Sherry, MD. “Cell phones cause leaky brain syndrome.” Total Wellness, Sept. 2005.
Sanders, Gabriel. “No strings attached.” Time Out New York, July 19-26, 2001.
Smith, Gar. “Zapped from space.” Earth Island Journal, Winter 1998.
Wilcox, Richard and Wilkinson, Jens. “Life in a Cellular Paradise.” The New Observer, Dec. 1999.
Williams, Rose Marie (President, American Cancer Coalition). “Cell phone controversy.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, June 2005.
Williams, Rose Marie. “Cell phones and children.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, July 2005.
“Microwaving Our Planet: The Environmental Impact of the Wireless Revolution is an essential reference tool.”
– Daryl T. Bean, National President, Public Service
Alliance of Canada, September 14, 1998.
“Firstenberg is to be congratulated on the quality of his publication! He also has courage to take up military technology.”
– Rosalie Bertell, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, International
Perspectives in Public Health, April 1, 1999
“We feel that reading the No Place To Hide newsletter could extend your life with healthier years.”
– Jerry Mittelman, DDS, editor, The Holistic Dental
Digest, Sept./Oct. 1999
“He is one of my valued contributors and a personal hero.”
– Gar Smith, editor, Earth Island Journal,
October 24, 2000
“His work is absolutely essential and eventually it will be more widely appreciated.”
– William E. Morton, MD, PhD, Occupational and
Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology, Oregon
Health Sciences University, May 1, 2001
“Your cause is a most important one, without any doubt. You mustn’t give up.”
– Teddy Goldsmith, founder, The Ecologist,
July 27, 2001
“At age 81, it’s normal for me to start losing my memory. But everybody I tell this to, says, ‘Well, I seem to be losing my memory, too.’ And I tell them about the work of Arthur Firstenberg.”
– Pete Seeger, April 21, 2000
“Firstenberg is a pioneer in the sense that Rachel Carson was a pioneer.”
– Chellis Glendinning, PhD, author of When
Technology Wounds, March 17, 2007
Written by Thomas Corriher
I have long been known by certain friends and my entire family as that “crazy” guy. The term was usually meant to describe me as being odd and unusual, rather than insane. Although, a few of those people may have suspected the latter from time to time. I’m okay with that, for being ‘normal’ is greatly overrated. I am considerably smarter than most people, so I have often taken refuge in the fact there there has always been a fine line between genius and insanity. Crazy like a fox, or crazy like a nut? I guess it’s entirely a matter of perspective.
One of my episodes of “craziness” occurred during the presentation of my 7th grade science project. I was still in the public schools at that time, and the understanding of science by teachers and students alike was more than a little bit underwhelming. They knew that light was really fast, but their overall understanding seemed to stop shortly thereafter. When I began preaching to them about fluorescent lights emitting radioactive, electromagnetic fields that were guaranteed to increase a person’s cancer risk: well, everyone’s eyes seemed to glaze over as if I were speaking a foreign language.
I vainly explained that if these lights operated at high voltages, and these voltages were pulsed at high frequencies, then radioactive energy would be emitted, and moreover, they were already known for producing the full band of light energy (some of which is destructive, too). It is how radio waves are made: frequency pulses. The higher the frequency, the more dangerous overall, but voltage and proximity matter, too, in regards to its dangerous ionizing effects upon the human body. They just looked at me as if I were the stupid one. They had those ‘he’s so special’ looks on their faces, in most cases. Some had the ‘he’s so crazy’ look. It was incomprehensible to them that I actually understood the topic that I had tried to lecture them about. Thus, I had the problem.
I believe my teacher even failed me, while the dumbed-down science projects like “Do Plants Need Water?” were graded highly. It was the typical public school’s act of rewarding only mediocrity. Shortly thereafter, by some freak of the cosmos, it was actually proven by multiple independent studies that electrically-produced electromagnetic energy (radiation) from fluorescent lights and power lines were indeed a danger to health. This was long before cell phones existed, and these were considered ground-breaking findings. Eventually, my being ‘crazy’ (thinking independently and having a willingness to challenge authority) got me sent to military school to get “straightened out”. These traits would have been considered virtues in more noble times.
It is time for me to get crazy again, with a topic that has far more importance and significance than radiation from power lines and fluorescent lights. Please read the remainder of this article with care, for it is vitally important that all of us spread this message, and you should understand why, by the time you have completed your reading. I realize that few of our readers have backgrounds in electrical or electronics engineering, so I am going to attempt to explain some otherwise complex topics in plain English.
This article will explain that there is a new generation of light bulbs that produce radiation in a more dangerous manner than we have ever seen before. Thus, I need to explain some very basic laws of electricity, so that readers may understand the dilemma that we all face. Please patiently wade through this information, because you need to know it and understand it. I promise you this on my honor.
Electricity really only exists in motion. Nothing happens without power transmission (“current”), and therefore, there is no real power without its movement. A disconnected battery is like a ship in a bottle. The ship is not really a sea vessel, because it never has the motion of floatation. Both these things have the potential to be more (a sea vessel or power supply), but they are both just paper weights until that time.
The 3 Core Types of Electrical Current (Don’t Skip This)
There is D.C. (direct current). This is the steady state current: meaning that the voltage never changes while the current is flowing. This is the “cleanest” type of power. It may come from a filtered power supply or a battery. D.C. power will usually produce a tiny magnetic field along its wires; but overall, it will not bleed energy or effect other devices.
Next there is A.C. (alternating current). This is a current/voltage combination that is constantly changing, as if it were produced by a standard generator. It typically reverses itself (back flows) half of the time to show negative voltages and currents on equipment capable of measuring it. As alternating current cycles from its maximum to its minimum value, the time this takes in seconds is mathematically computed to produce the frequency calculation.
In other words, frequency is a calculated measurement of how fast the voltage/current is changing. For instance, the standard frequency for power in the U.S. is 60 Hz.. This means that the power peaks and then drops to its lowest value exactly 60 times per second. Some readers may find it fascinating to know that this means the generators are rotating exactly 60 times per second too (60 R.P.M.).
Finally, there is pulsating D.C.. Pulsating direct current is a combination of D.C. and A.C.. The voltage and current with pulsating D.C. do not change in values, except for changing from a state of being fully on or fully off. It is as if someone is quickly turning a switch on and off, but there are no middle voltages, or negative voltages. On precision equipment, the on pulses usually appear as blocks called “square waves”.
Why You Need To Know A Little Something About High Frequency Currents
You may be asking why would our readers need to know these things? That comes really soon, so be careful what you wish for. (Just kidding.) As I mentioned earlier, a new radiation threat is upon us all. In lieu of this, I must begin by emphasizing the ‘radio’ and ‘radiant’ roots for the word radiation. They ultimately are descriptions of the same phenomena: radiant energy in the form of electromagnetic waves of pulsating energy. So, how does the energy actually radiate itself outward? The truth is, we don’t really understand that part.
Physicists have pulled their hair out for decades over that question. What we do know is that when things vibrate at a nuclear level or have electrical current changes, then these changes of state ― these frequencies ― cause energy to be radiated outward at the same frequencies. This is how radio transmissions work. Radio transmissions merely mix the audio (voice) signal with an exact frequency that listening radios are “tuned” for, and viola! Or as my past electronics teachers would have said, in their fancy-smancy engineering terms: “It will have imparted intelligence upon the carrier wave”.
A good analogy of how frequencies operate is remembering the ripples from a time when you dropped a pebble into a small creek or pond. You may recall that the ripples were reflected from the banks at exactly the same rate and distance as the original waves that struck them. The whole point of this paragraph is to make clear that the very basis of radiant energy transmissions and all types of radiation on the entire electromagnetic spectrum boil down to one thing: frequencies. Frequencies determine how far the energy travels, how well it penetrates, and how it effects things.
The ultra high frequencies of gamma (ie. nuclear) radiation will quickly destroy a person through burns, cancer, or otherwise; while the low 60 Hz. of standard American power has little effect in typical exposure. Frequency determines if the energy is radio, microwave, infrared light, visible light, x-rays, gamma, or ultraviolet. There is real power in frequencies. No pun intended. As a general rule, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous the energy is. Nuclear radiation is at a really high frequency, for example.
For years, we have heard about how incandescent bulbs are bad for the environment. This made way for a whole new industry of “green” bulbs, marketed to the growing portion of people who seek to address environmental concerns. However, they actually compromise people’s health, and are ultimately more harmful to the environment.
Common Symptoms Resulting From Exposure To “Energy Efficient” Light Bulbs
There are lots of theories regarding how these bulbs can cause these effects, but they are speculative. Very little research has been done. Despite this, European countries are phasing out incandescent bulbs, and forcing the public to switch to the “energy efficient” alternative.
The new light bulbs stunningly emit two forms of radiation outside of the light spectrum: ultraviolet and radio frequency; and would you believe the F.D.A. is involved? The F.D.A. states that in addition to visible light (U.V.A.), these bulbs also emit U.V.B., and infrared radiation; but let’s not forget those radio transmissions! These bulbs are also said to have a flicker rate of 100-120 cycles per second, which seems low considering the U.V.B. light that they produce, and of course, those radio transmissions. In any case, even a flicker rate as low as 100 hertz is more than enough to trigger severe episodes of epileptic seizures. Video games are well known to do the same at a mere 60 Hz.
Judging from the multiple bands of radiation released, the flicker rate can be expected to be well beyond 120 hertz (including the light that we can’t actually see), so just start adding zeros to get the point about how likely they are to trigger epileptic seizures. These bulbs have negative effects on people with lupus too, which is something that has baffled everyone so far. That’s still not all. They are known to damage the skin too, and did we mention high frequency radiation? Watchdog organizations in the U.K. are clamoring about the issues mentioned above, and the fact that these bulbs also aggravate eczema and porphyria too.
Our staff has been doing this work long enough to spot the pattern. The radiation from these bulbs directly attacks the immune system, and furthermore damages the skin tissues enough to prevent the proper formation of vitamin D3. This will cause major cholesterol problems in time, and cripple the liver by preventing it from converting the cholesterol reserves inside the skin tissues (vitamin D2) into usable vitamin D3. This has the potential to cause or aggravate, not dozens, but hundreds of disease states. All that they had to do was shift the frequencies of otherwise benign light bulbs, and suddenly we have this mess. It is as if the whole mess with fluorescent light bulbs gave somebody inspiration for how to radiation poison us, while tricking us to beg for it, in order to “save the environment”.
The Energy Efficient Scam
One of my first lessons while studying Electronics Engineering was that energy efficiency is effected more by heat than any other factor. That’s why super conductors are always super cooled, and why your oven uses about 60 times more power than your television. Heat equals wasted power. That’s written in stone. Amazingly, standard light bulbs manage to be extremely energy efficient, despite the heat that they produce, and despite the fact that their light comes from heated elements. In fact, they manage to waste less than 10% of the power applied. This is because the heat resists the current flow in the wire coil ― to the point of practically cutting off the current.
You see, heat also increases resistance. This breaking effect upon a bulb’s current gives standard incandescent light bulbs their overall high efficiency. My first engineering project was testing light bulbs with high-end testing equipment, to study this rare property. I remember our teacher gleefully laughing at us as we sat befuddled by the fact that all of our calculations for voltages, currents, and power usage just did not add up. He thought it was almost hysterical when we began testing the equipment itself. The exercise was meant to be a memorable lesson about how heat may dissipate (or conserve) power in such a way that electrical devices at least appear to bend the rules of physics.
Another important lesson was that while theoretically incandescent light bulbs ought to be wasteful of energy, they actually increase their own resistance via heat to the point that very little of their energy is wasted. Take for example how long a standard flashlight will produce bright light with one or two small batteries. On the other hand, just try to power an oven with those same batteries for an exercise in futility. The whole thing was fascinating to the point that I knew this program of study was meant for me.
The new generation of bulbs is supposedly designed to save us from a problem that does not exist ― inefficient conventional bulbs, so this is where the story about them starts to reek like dead fish. The new bulbs, as you may have already noticed, do not produce a noticeable amount of heat. This is because the light from the new generation of bulbs is produced by injecting pulsating electricity (having a frequency) into a chemical gas to radiate light, as in radiation. Pay close attention to that frequency thing.
By the types of radiation that the new bulbs emit, we know that they must operate at frequencies astronomically higher than the 120 hertz that they are said to, so somebody is certainly lying about them. What’s more is that technically, there is no reason for the higher frequencies to be used. If a lower frequency produces the needed visible light, then why do these bulbs operate at unnecessary higher frequency bands too? These extra frequencies simply could not have been stepped up and oscillated (frequency generated) higher by accident, regardless of whether the oscillation is chemical or electronic.
Doing such a thing can make even an experienced engineer’s head spin, due to the overall technical difficulties in frequency tuning; especially on the high-end. Furthermore, are we expected to believe that none of the companies or regulators involved ever bothered to test these new light bulbs with an oscilloscope during the testing? What else could an engineer test a new light device with? A sound meter? It’s absolutely ludicrous to believe that they do not know. Thus, the only explanation is that these bulbs produce harmful radiation by design. They are designed to produce dangerous ionizing radiation outside of the range of visible light, which is known to be extremely harmful (ie. deadly) to humans, and it is all justified to solve an “environmental problem” that doesn’t even exist.
The proof is already before you to observe at your leisure ― how they interfere with radios, cordless phones, and R.F. remote controls. Can you smell it too? This writer is practically gasping for air.
It Gets Even Worse. Seriously.
This may be showing my age to some, but I had never heard of ‘dirty electricity’ when I was in college. It sounds like the super power for a comic book super villain, and in a way, it actually is. Guess what it involves? If you guessed frequencies, then great job. For those of you with some electronics training, it is similar to the topic of harmonics, but the rest of you need not worry about this point. Here’s the quick and dirty about ‘dirty electricity’. The new age bulbs do not just directly radiate radiation from themselves, which alone would be plenty bad and a reason for infamy.
Believe it or not, these bulbs actually inject frequencies back into the buildings’ electrical supply lines. This means that every wire in the building is also producing radiation too, like a spider web of giant antennas, and at even higher frequencies. Is there any reader out there who still believes the radiation poisoning is unintentional? All I can say is God bless Dr. Magda Havas, of Trent University, who cataloged these findings with empirical data about the frequency ranges for both the radiation coming from the bulbs, and the ‘dirty electricity’ radiation that pulses throughout entire buildings.
“The energy efficient compact fluorescent lights that are commercial available generate radio frequency radiation and ultraviolet radiation, they contain mercury – a known neurotoxin, and they are making some people ill. Instead of promoting these light bulbs governments around the world should be insisting that manufactures produces light bulbs that are electromagnetically clean and contain no toxic chemicals. Some of these are already available (CLED) but are too expensive for regular use.
With a growing number of people developing electrohypersensitivity we have a serious emerging and newly identified health risk that is likely to get worse until regulations restricting our exposure to electromagnetic pollutants are enforced. Since everyone uses light bulbs and since the incandescent light bulbs are being phased out this is an area that requires immediate attention.”
It’s ironic that people buy these bulbs to help the environment, because they emit mercury vapor when they break. In fact, they’re so toxic that you’re not supposed to put them in your regular garbage. They’re household hazardous waste. If you break one in the house, you are supposed to open all of your windows and doors, and evacuate the house for at least 15 minutes to minimize your exposure to the poisonous mercury gas. Don’t forget that mercury is a bio-accumulative toxin, so it remains in your body forever in ever growing amounts.
Please let me introduce myself. My name is Dr. Carlos Sosa, M.D.
(physician and surgeon) and I’m presently living in Medellin, Colombia in South America.
During the month of May 2006, I was forced to leave my house because of the symptoms caused to me and my family by the microwaves of a wireless Internet (WiFi) mast (or antenna). The structure had been in our building for nearly three years and the company that owned it had been slowly raising the transmission frequency.
In May/06 I started feeling a terrible sense of unwellness: headaches, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, irritability, amnesia or forgetfulness and lack of attention or concentration capacity. I couldn’t bear being close to my house or to any other microwave mast, be it cell phone or WiFi antennas. I had to leave my house together with my whole family just to find out that the city was flooded by some 4000 masts that wouldn’t ‘t leave a single irradiated spot for us to live in.
I could sense the electromagnetic fields that were being given off by these antennas blocks away before I could even see them. Many times I felt like a burning candle in the back part of my head (occipital). We had to move to five different apartments all over the city because the situation was the same no matter where we went. I couldn’t find physical or mental peace anywhere in the city. I couldn’t study again which, being a Medical Doctor is a tragedy. Studying is my life and I wasn’t able to remember or to concentrate. I had to resign my position at the hospital where I worked because there were various microwave cell phone masts around the hospital. I could not stand being inside the Emergency Service because the electromagnetic contamination was just too high and I felt pain just trying to find a place to park the car. That used to be my daily routine.
Despite the fact that I tried to get help from local health authorities and the National Ministry of Communications of Colombia, nobody actually helped me. I sent my written reports with medical evidence to our city Health Secretary. He probably laughed a lot.
A few months later I found out of Dr. William Rea who runs the Environmental Health Clinic in Dallas, Texas. I left immediately in search of his help. I already knew I had Microwave Syndrome. The alterations in my physiology were serious enough to seek help anywhere in the world.
In Colombia, not a single medical doctor is trained in any of the universities to treat this problem. It’s simply not taught anywhere in pre-graduate or graduate programs in medical schools around the country. Plus, being a medical doctor, I know of the IGNORANCE and DOGMATISM of the medical profession. If I made it public I would be tried for witchcraft. Despite this, I tried a very prestigious neurologist who had studied in Great Britain. He didn’t even know the syndrome existed in Medicine and he tried to laugh before I showed him my box with some 2000 medical publications from all medical specialties written by doctors from all over the world.
In Dallas I was able to meet people from the five continents with exactly my same story: they had been subject to microwave radiation from a mast that was one, two, three or four blocks away.
I was not considering the possibility of surviving in the measure that my neurological functions were deeply affected. My best option at that point in time was committing suicide and I thought about it every hour of every day. Dr. Rea made the diagnosis of a toxic encephalopathy, immune dysregulation and dysautonomy. All of these diagnoses are a direct consequence of microwave irradiation. It had been many years since I had cried. I stayed in the clinic’s rest room for half an hour trying to vanish the traces of the tears and my red eyes. I knew how serious the situation was. Basically all of my life, my profession and my neurological integrity was at stake.
Dr. Rea taught me a lot. I will be eternally grateful to him. Though he wanted me to stay for two or three months, my economical situation did not allow for it. The very first day I had to spend almost all of my money in lab examinations. The medical results at the clinic spread through all of the gamut of possibilities from no response, partial recovery, functional symptoms, to total cure.
I returned to Colombia in search of a place to hide from microwaves in the jungle. I visited tens of towns and states around the country. The nation is totally contaminated with electromagnetic smog. And Colombia is far better than any city in the United States or Europe. I finally managed to find a spot at one of the turns of the Andes Mountains. It was a beautiful place with a creek, a forest, a 200 year old house with no electricity and pure air. (All those interested, please just write to [email protected]). Though I could sense the electromagnetic fields coming probably from radar units, there was a big reduction in the symptoms that allowed me to start recovering. After staying there for 5 months I had to return to the city, because I was starting to feel the microwaves of the airplanes crossing in the sky. Unfortunately, there was an international air navigation route on the sky and I had to leave in very much pain back to the city.
It was Dr. George Carlo, head of the epidemiology branch of the CTIA of the United States, who denounced publicly the evidence that they had concerning genetic damages, lymphomas, rupture of the brain-blood-barrier, presence of micronuclei, etc. The criteria used in Medicine and specifically in Epidemiology to establish a causal relationship between a chemical, bacterial or physical agent and disease, were fulfilled in less than ten years, states Carlo. These criteria, known as the Koch-Henle postulates, have proven that microwaves from cell phone telephony affect human health in a catastrophic way.
Not a single government in the world cares. Only through litigation will changes become effective.
My case, just like the case of other medical doctors who are or have been electro-sensitive, is just another modern version of infamy. Among these is the case of the former director of WHO and Norwegian prime minister: Gro Harlem Brundtland. She had forbidden journalists from using cell phones in her office because of her EHS (electrohypersensitivity). The news was made public in Norway and Sweden. A few months later, she had to abandon the leadership of the World Health Organization. Many point to Michael Repacholi and the the cell phone industry as authors of this proscription. Dr. Brundtland eventually became another patient in Dallas.
Like her, Dr. Arthur Firstenberg and Dr. Lisa Nagy have become the tips of the icebergs. There is no doubt: the Microwave Syndrome is not only the biggest experiment in the history of Mankind, but also, it is one of the biggest epidemics recorded in Medicine (after the Black Death, influenza, malaria, AIDS, etc). The Health Department of the State of California is estimating that the total number of people affected in the United States by EHS or the Microwave Syndrome is over ONE MILLION people.
In not a single Medicine book or journal in the world, be it a genetics, a physiology, a histology, a molecular biology, a biochemistry, a microbiology, an internal medicine, a pediatrics, a surgery, a neurology, a cardiology, or any other text does it say that the human cell was designed to to withstand microwave radiation day and night throughout the years. This is a creation, an invention or a lie from the cell phone industry. This industry was set up by engineers, physicist, electricians and many times, by graduates of elementary school who had no credentials and no knowledge of Medicine whatsoever. That’s the reason why many of us are ill or actually dying. As long as the cell phone industry owns the World Health Organization, the crime will proceed. The credibility gap of the WHO extends well beyond the Milky Way. The ethical conflict is patent. The international epidemic of the microwave syndrome is getting to levels of genocide. And Michael Repacholi is internationally responsible for CRIMES AGAINST MANKIND. The knowledge was there since the 1920’s.
Originally described in the Soviet Union during the 1940’s and 1950’s, the Microwave Syndrome, also called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, Microwave Disease, Radio-frequency Sickness, Radar Disease, Electric Sensitivity, Cell Phone Disease, Cell Phone Mast Disease constitutes a CRIME AGAINST MANKIND on behalf of the international cell phone industry. Soviet medical reports were already describing the damaging action of electromagnetic fields on human beings in the 1920’s. The microwaving of approximately 80-90% of the human population is, according to Dr. Leif Salford of the Neurosurgery Department of Lund University in Sweden, the greatest experiment ever conducted against Man. Medical ethics codes have been violated by the World Health Organization taken over by the the cell phone industry in 1996.
The Microwave Syndrome or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, constitutes a criminal action that has violated medical ethics, the Nuremberg Code, the Helsinki Declaration, and Human Rights of MANKIND as a species. It is an international HOLOCAUST that is killing hundreds of thousands around the world. Not a single health authority in Great Britain, the United States, Spain, Germany, France or Colombia cares at all.
Taking into account the medical literature of the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia, the total number of international medical references concerning this problem easily exceeds 100 million and they started to be published more than 80 years ago. The problem is not new. Furthermore, the British government knew of the symptoms of the operators of the radar antennas during the Second World War: the same symptoms that people who are subject to microwaves from cell phone masts experience. Microwave radiation is pertinent to cause death. Not a single government in the world cares because of the giant fortunes involved.
The World Health Organization, years ago a very serious and respectable institution, was bought in 1996 by the former director of the ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection), Michael Repacholi. The ICNIRP is a private organization that was built up in order to protect the private interests of the American and European cell phone industry. In many regards, cell phones pose an equivalent problem as cocaine traffickers. No matter how damaging it actually is, there will always be corrupted officials who are willing to sell their conscience for money and look the other way. There is a present international campaign to submit Michael Repacholi to international justice for CRIMES AGAINST MANKIND. I personally hold Michael Repacholi responsible for my EHS. This person has to be sent to criminal trial for his actions against millions of human beings in the five continents. The WHO knew of this damaging action decades before the introduction of cell phone telephony in the world. Repacholi did not care. In 1973 the WHO conducted an international Congress in Warsaw under the auspices of the government of Poland and the Federal Drug Administration of the United States. The results of this congress were published in the book entitled: “Biologic Effects and Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation.” I have heard that Michael Repacholi ordered this book burned.
Repacholi recently revealed that up to half of the funds raised for the EMF project of the World Health Organization came from the cell phone industry.
The conflict of interests is like having the tobacco industry sponsor research in order to deny that cigarettes cause lung cancer, mouth floor cancer, larynx cancer, pharynx cancer, coronary disease, peripheral vascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, myocardial infarction, strokes, etc.
The Microwave Syndrome, as it was originally described by Soviet medical investigators consists of:
– A neurasthenic syndrome: fatigue, irritability, nausea, headaches, anorexia, depression, dizziness
– A cardiovascular syndrome: bradycardia, tachycardia, hypertension or low blood pressure
– A diencephalic syndrome: memory problems, concentration difficulties, insomnia
Chronic exposure to microwaves is associated with dermatological lesions, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (epidemic), brain tumors (epidemic), changes in the electroencephalogram, cardiac arrhythmias, reproduction problems, allergies, hypothyroidism, sinusitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.
Because it was known since the 1920’s that microwaves are bio-active, lawyers like Peter Angelos in the USA are making a fortune in litigation processes (similar to those against the tobacco industry) against the cell phone industry. Not only that, but Motorola openly lied to the federal government and its agencies when it stated that they had thousands of studies that proved that microwaves caused no ham. Last year, the judicial system of the United States established that the brain tumor that the patient Sharesa Price had was a direct consequence of cell phone use. Repacholi is totally silent, as so as the cell phone industry and the World Health Organization.
Because of this grave crisis that almost cost me my life, I started investigating on a possible cure for EHS or microwave syndrome. I developed an approach that reconstructs previous Soviet treatments and modern medicine. I started my own site in the hope of helping people around the world to overcome this tragedy ( www.thesanctuarydrsosa.com ). I presently live outside the city in a place with a very low microwave radiation level- a sanctuary.
Colombia has had some of the most astonishing cases in the world. One of them was located in Valledupar in the northern part of the country. One thousand people in El Amparo neighborhood are sick because of two giant cell phone masts. They are selling 250 houses because of the microwave syndrome people are suffering. The government says it’s just coincidence.
I want to dedicate my life to help other patients who like me, are facing an infamous situation caused by human greed. I have tons of medical information that I want to share with everybody. Feel free to contact me. There is hope and Medicine does in fact have treatment options to offer.
Dr. Carlos Sosa, M.D.
“If 3 months ago you told Veronica there were reasons she might not want to buy an iPad, she probably would have ignored you, laughed even. But a lot can happen in 3 months, including an installation of cell towers 6 feet above her head, and a steep learning curve regarding the safety or lack there of, of wireless technology. The last thing on her mind, is buying another wireless device of any sort.”
Click HERE to read her story…
Click HERE to read the article from The Sun in London.
Click HERE to visit his official Website.
Are mobile phone users at risk to their health? If they are, it will be noticed first in Finland. By Jaakko Lyytinen
“It stings my ear just as if someone had stabbed a nail into my head. My skin doesn’t just get inflamed and itchy and hot, but I also come out in a rash as if I’d grabbed a stinging-nettle”, explains Hanna Nurminen.
The it in her description is a mobile phone handset – something that 54-year-old Hanna Nurminen picks up only under the greatest duress.
She even gets distressing symptoms from other people’s phones.
At the beginning of this year, for instance, Nurminen travelled from Helsinki to Turku by bus, and in a nearby seat was another woman, who spoke on her mobile for the entire two-hour journey.
After the trip, Nurminen’s muscles and joints ached for several days.
Nurminen, whose maiden name is Herlin, retains a significant holding in the family engineering firm, the international elevator and escalator company Kone, which her father Pekka Herlin headed as CEO (from 1964-1986) and as Chairman (from 1987 until his death in 2003).
She is also the Chairman of the Board of the Kone Foundation (Koneen Säätiö), which exists to promote Finnish academic research, arts and culture.
Hanna Nurminen does not give interviews about Herlin family matters, but she has no qualms about talking freely about her own problems with mobile phones – in fact she is only too eager to express her views on the subject.
Her symptoms grew more pronounced in the autumn of 2006.
Electromagnetic devices, for example a PC or a mobile phone, began to cause her to suffer cardiac arrythmia symptoms, giddiness, shortness of breath, aches in muscles and joints, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), and headaches.
Nurminen had become a victim of electrohypersensitivity or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).
EHS sufferers believe that they are allergic to electromagnetic fields.
Although Nurminen’s symptoms – and those of fellow-sufferers – are perfectly real, it has not been possible to determine from blind “provocation trials” that there is a direct association between the symptoms and the electromagnetic radiation alleged to cause them.
Doctors do not consider EHS to be a medical condition as such, but more of a vague syndrome, not unlike MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), for example.
This naturally frustrates and infuriates sufferers.
“It is so humilitating the way that doctors and the authorities respond to the problem. Even though a sizeable number of perfectly sane individuals are suffering, there is a complete unwillingness to acknowledge the very existence of the malady”, complains Nurminen.
“I want to be everywhere, with everyone, all the time. Now and always.”
Ten years ago, the pushy advertising strapline from Finnish telecoms operator Elisa was a source of irritation to many, but now it is as real as you like.
This IS the mobile age.
There are smartphones, 3G networks, wireless broadband connections, mokkulas or USB-modems, mini-notebooks and ultraportables, bluetooth, and WLAN, online 24/7…
Everywhere one goes, there is a vast and complex web of electromagnetic fields criss-crossing at different frequencies.
Finland has something like seven million mobile phone connections in a country of not much more than five million inhabitants.
Many Finnish children get their first mobile by the time they reach pre-school age, a good deal earlier than elsewhere in Europe, and quite a few adults are carrying around two handsets in their pocket on a daily basis.
And we are no longer talking – in fact we haven’t been for years now – about “the cellphone as status symbol”, but as a practical everyday device that we all take very much for granted.
In 2008 the Finns made 4.9 billion calls on their mobile phones, amounting to a stunning 14,500 million minutes on the phone.
That is a lot of talking – more than 27,587 years of it, in fact.
For precisely these sorts of reasons, the Finns are an interesting case-study in any research into the adverse effects of mobile telephony.
Towards the end of last year, an exceptionally broad health study was launched here and in four other European countries.
By the end of 2011, one hundred thousand Finns aged between 18 and 69 years will have received an invitation to take part in this international cohort study on mobile phone use and health (COSMOS).
COSMOS will explore whether the use of mobiles has any influence on the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s Disease.
Equally, the researchers want to establish whether the phones cause an elevated risk of head and neck area tumours, cerebrovascular disorders and diseases, headaches, sleeping disturbances, mood affective disorders such as bipolar disorder, or tinnitus in the ears.
On the basis of earlier studies, the radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones can indeed have an impact on sleep patterns and on the electrical activity of the brain, but as yet the jury is still out on whether these effects are adverse ones, or whether they could even possibly be beneficial to us.
COSMOS is the world’s largest study of mobile phones and health, since it is also being carried out simultaneously in Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, and The Netherlands.
The Finnish test-subjects are being invited randomly from the customer registers of mobile phone operators Elisa and TeliaSonera, and if they agree to sign a consent form, they will join the study.
The number and duration of calls by participants will then be monitored over a period of several years and with their permission the data will be collated with health status information, followed from the comprehensive Finnish population-based health registers and databases.
The subjects invited in 2009 will be joined by more this year and next, and the first meaningful results are expected something like five years from now.
But what is the purpose of and even the need for a study on a giant scale such as this one?
For years now, the authorities and the mobile phone companies have been assuring us that everything is fine and that cellphones do not pose a health risk.
And the ‘all-clear’ declarations are said to be based on “extensive studies”.
“It is hard to give recommendations. It is more a matter of radiation protection policy than anything based on hard scientific evidence”, says Research Professor Anssi Auvinen from the University of Tampere’s School of Public Health, who is heading the COSMOS research team under the aegis of STUK, Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
“The situation is quite different from that with ionizing radiation, such as in X-rays or gamma rays, the effects of which we know quite a bit about and with a good degree of accuracy. But electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range is another matter altogether”, says Auvinen.
Hmmm. This means in effect that we “know very little” about devices that we use a very great deal – and which we hold for long periods right next to our brains.
The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, which is headquartered in a large tiled edifice in Eastern Helsinki, regulates for example the safe use of nuclear energy, carries out research on the means of radon prevention in Finnish homes and workplaces, and is also responsible for studying the radiation effects of cellular phones.
On its website, STUK has this to say on the subject:
“So far, the only known mechanism that mobile telephone radiation has had an effect on living tissue is heating. The rise in temperature on the surface of the brain caused by radio waves is 0.3°C at the most. This kind of temperature rise is not known to have biological significance. The temperature of the brain normally fluctuates by about one degree Celsius, and only after a five-degree increase in temperature do cells become seriously damaged.”
“Several studies, in several countries, have tried to find out any other effects apart from heating. On the basis of the results obtained from the studies, it has not been possible to conclude that radiation from mobile phones would be detrimental to health”, adds the STUK comment.
But when one scrolls down a little further on the page concerning mobile phone radiation, it transpires that the picture is not quite so clear-cut after all.
Some studies have in fact reported “an increased risk of brain tumour in people who have used a mobile phone for a long time (more than ten years)”.
In some other studies, on the other hand, it was observed that non-ionizing mobile phone radiation could cause temporary changes in the functions of cells. This was noted among others by Dariusz Leszczynski at STUK.
Research Professor Leszczynski, 55, took a doctorate in molecular biology from Jagiellonian University in Krakow in his native Poland in 1983, and moved to Finland as a researcher.
After settling here he took a Ph.D in biochemistry from the University of Helsinki and wound up at STUK, where from the end of the 1990s he steeped himself in the subject of the health impacts of mobile telephony.
This was around the time when the whole cellphone business went ballistic, and mobile handsets became the toys of the nation at large.
In 1995 there were just over one million mobile phone connections in Finland, but by 2001 this figure had grown to four million and more.
Leszczynski observed that the research into the possible health risks associated with mobile phones was full of contradictory findings and had serious shortcomings.
Researchers had approached the problem from the perspectives of their respective specialist fields, but practically nobody had considered what ought really to be under the microscope to determine if there are any health risks.
“We realised that we really had to start again from scratch”, says Leszczynski.
In 1999 his team began to study the biological effects of microwave radiation in the STUK laboratories.
They brought to the table completely new methods for gene and protein research.
The results were interesting. Radiation caused a stress reaction in some cells, and it also influenced gene and protein expression and activity.
It was not possible to draw hard and fast conclusions over health risks on the basis of cell culture tests, but the results did garner quite a bit of attention.
At one international conference, a colleague and a representative of the mobile phone industry warned Leszczynski that his findings – using large-scale screening of gene and protein expression – were going to stir up a hornet’s nest and that the media would be generating banner headlines on the illnesses caused by mobile phones.
The reaction left Leszczynski shocked and stunned.
“Science cannot work in such a way that we limit our research methods on the basis of how the media might raise a storm over the findings”, he says.
The next step, in 2006, was to apply the tests to human subjects.
The skin on the forearms of test subjects was exposed to mobile phone radiation [a 900 MHz GSM signal] for one hour in the laboratory, and changes in protein expression were examined.
The results corresponded to the findings from the cell culture tests: there were changes to be seen in the expression of proteins in the skin.
Even these results did not provide a red flag of the danger of mobile phones, but rather indicated a direction for future research.
However, funding for such research has thus far not been forthcoming.
And hence, says Leszczynski, the answer to the core question remains elusive: does the human body react to mobile phone radiation or does it not?
“The basic research into the subject is still missing. Animal and cell studies have been carried out in the laboratory, in which it has been demonstrated that radiation can have an effect. There have also been studies that have indicated no such impact”, he goes on.
“It is problematic to consider that humans will not have any health problems from the exposure to mobile phones. Such claims are premature in a situation when we still do not know whether the human body reacts to mobile phone radiation.”
The health risk deriving from mobile phones that has been examined most thoroughly is that of cancer, most particularly brain tumours.
Animal studies on the risk of cancer from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields were launched in Finland in the early 1990s.
Jukka Juutilainen led a team that explored the effects of mobile phone radiation in conjunction with ionizing radiation, for instance from X-rays.
“Already at that stage it began to look quite probable that radiofrequency radiation alone was not sufficient to cause cancer promotion”, reports Juutilainen, who now heads the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.
The explanation was simple enough: the energy level of the radio waves is not sufficient to cause damage to DNA in cells.
Subsequent empirical research on the cancer risks associated with RF radiation has been carried out on a massive scale, says Juutilainen.
And the results that have come back have been almost unanimously negative: no effects have been found.
And no effects were found, either, in what has hitherto been the largest cellphone study performed in Finland, the so-called Hermo Research Programme [Health Risk Assessment of Mobile Communications].
This three-year study, carried out under Juutilainen’s leadership, was completed in 2007, and in addition to looking into elevated cancer risk it examined such things as whether the electromagnetic fields had any effects on the developing nervous system – a study relevant to children’s use of mobile phones.
This last issue is one of the real hot potatoes of the entire mobile phone debate.
Research data relating to children are to all intents and purposes non-existent, and for ethical reasons the gathering of such information through human testing is not possible, since the development of the human brain continues until as late as the age of 20.
Hence in the Hermo study, too, the experiments were carried out on juvenile rats, some of which were exposed after weaning to RF radiation similar to that emanating from GSM phones.
The results were surprising: in addition to there being no degenerative changes in the RF-exposed rats, in some behavioural tests the irradiated rats demonstrated improved learning and memory functions.
In other words, at least in theory it is conceivable that mobile phone radiation could have a beneficial effect on human memory and learning.
Dariusz Leszczynski’s tests on protein expression and activity in human skin were also included in the Hermo programme, but in the view of Jukka Juutilainen there are attendant problems with the repeatability and interpretation of such procedures.
Besides, Juutilainen argues, protein changes will occur regardless of the type of exposure.
“Let’s say, if I hold my hand out in direct sunlight for a few minutes, then there will certainly be changes in protein expression, and also a small change in temperature. It is the task of our bodies, after all, to adapt constantly to changes in the surrounding environment. But it is a very long step from this to determining whether this is a health hazard.”
The majority of the mobile phone & health studies conducted around the world have hitherto been general population assays concerning the causal relation of RF radiation and possible brain tumours of one kind or another.
One such is Interphone, the world’s largest study to date, which was initiated at the end of the 1990s by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), based in Lyons.
A total of thirteen countries are taking part, including Finland.
According to an Interphone results update released in October 2008, “pooling of data from Nordic countries and part of the UK yielded a significantly increased risk of glioma [a type of tumour that starts in the brain or spine] related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more on the side of the head where the tumour developed”.
In layman’s terms, this means if you hold a mobile phone against your left ear for long enough, you are at risk of developing a tumour on that side of the head.
On the other hand, the same pooled data referred to above “found no increased risk of meningioma in relation to long term or heavy use” of mobile phones.
An Israeli Interphone study, meanwhile, debunked this and observed a possible relation between heavy mobile phone use and the risk of parotid gland tumours, both benign and malignant.
No such findings were forthcoming from the Scandinavian research subjects.
If mobile phone researchers are unanimous on anything, they are certainly of very like mind in saying that there are problems with the Interphone methodologies.
“When you go asking sick people how much they used a mobile phone ten years ago, the answers you get back are not going to be awfully reliable. It is much the same as if you were to ask someone how many emails he sent ten years ago”, says Research Professor Anssi Auvinen from STUK, who also heads the Finnish end of Interphone.
According to Dariusz Leszczynski, the problems with the Interphone studies were known from the outset.
Even so, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has leant on the Interphone results in its advisory work.
The ICNIRP, a body of independent scientific experts, is also responsible for determining and publishing international exposure guidelines, including those for RF radiation.
“From the very start, it was known that the Interphone research was not sufficiently comprehensive. The studies explored what happened in the course of a few years, but the development of a cancer in the brain can take ten years or even more”, charges Leszczynski.
The truth about the possible health risks associated with mobile phones and RF radiation is out there somewhere, but at the very least it is swathed in mystery at present.
But who are the people who consider the health hazards already proven beyond doubt?
One of them can be found almost next door to Prof. Jukka Juttilainen on the Kuopio Campus of the University of Eastern Finland.
Osmo Hänninen, 70, is the former Rector of the University of Kuopio and a long-serving Professor of Physiology there.
Hänninen still maintains an office on the campus in Kuopio.
The small room is lined from floor to ceiling with scientific articles and publications, quite a few of which deal with the subject of electromagnetic fields and RF radiation.
He became interested in the subject when electromagnetic hypersensitivity sufferers got in touch with him.
Hänninen, who has also become known as a supporter of folk medicine, believes strongly that the health risks of mobile phones have been gravely underestimated.
“The present demands are based solely on the one narrow area, the thermal effect. It’s quite pointless to think that way”, he says.
Hänninen has compared mobile handsets to medical preparations.
A new drug is tested for years in in vitro and in vivo studies on animals and cell cultures, and only then in clinical trials on humans – a total of more than ten years for all phases.
In order that a new pharmaceutical product gets through the demanding approval process of regulatory authorities and onto the market, it must be determined that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
In the case of electromagnetic radiation, there are no such research obligations.
If the mobile phone were a drug, it would be banned, claims Hänninen.
“We have this enormous machinery in place to determine the safety of chemicals, but for things like this we do nothing”, Hänninen shakes his head.
For the interview, he has brought along with him files stuffed with research papers that prove the existence of electrohypersensitivity.
Hänninen takes the view that what is happening right now is the greatest human experiment in all history, the results of which will seen only in 10 to 20 years from now.
The authorities, the mobile phone manufacturers, the teleoperators, and the media are covering up the truth, he claims, because of the colossal commercial interests that are involved.
He also charges that the handset industry directs most research studies.
Hänninen’s theories could come across as something out of the Conspiracy 101 textbook, but in terms of the backing for the research studies he does have a point.
For example, on the steering group of the Hermo project there were representatives from Nokia and the teleoperators Elisa and TeliaSonera, who all also took part in the funding of the venture, along with Finnet Networks.
The overall budget for the three years was of the order of EUR 1.9 million, with the firms putting in EUR 325,000 (roughly 17%) and the lion’s share of the funding coming from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation – and from universities and research institutes.
One master’s dissertation written in association with Hermo was directed by an employee of the Nokia Research Center.
According to Jukka Juutilainen, this person had already started mentoring the thesis while working as a member of staff at the University of Kuopio.
Juutilainen also defends the need for industrial funding in mobile phone research, but says that the companies cannot be given any elbow-room to influence the interpretation of results or how they are published.
Companies are also involved in the financing of the ongoing COSMOS cohort study, which is itself part of the broader WIRECOM project (Wireless Communication Devices and Human Health).
The corporate partners in WIRECOM are the same trio of Nokia, TeliaSonera and Elisa.
Public funding for COSMOS accounts for 85% of the total, and the companies put up 15%.
Osmo Hänninen has demanded in an online petition that the companies’ representatives be removed from the COSMOS steering group.
At the same time he has urged Tekes to continue the funding of Dariusz Leszczynski’s research.
For his own part, Leszczynski is a little embarrassed and uncomfortable at the attention being paid to his work.
Whilst he says that the electromagnetic hypersensitives mean well, their emotionally-charged viewpoint tends to muddy the waters of the mobile phone debate.
In Leszczynski’s opinion the statements from the EHS sufferers could also have an adverse impact on the funding for basic research.
“The financiers might start to wonder if this is about real science or some Ghostbusters stuff”, he says.
Finland is no exception as far as research funding goes: elsewhere in the world there have been the same problems over finding independent partners to stump up for research programmes.
Last September, Dariusz Leszczynski was among an international scientists’ delegation who convened an expert conference on cellphones and health in Washington D.C. He participated in a U.S. Senate hearing where he spoke about the need for new mobile phone research.
These days he is also active in China, where he holds a three-year professorship at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.
Dariusz Leszczynski also maintains a blog, rather cutely entitled “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, which he says accurately reflects his position in the mobile phone research field.
“Some scientists are of the opinion that we have enough evidence that cellphones do not have any health impacts, or at least that they do not pose a clear and present danger to humans. In their view we might just as well pack things up and put the money to some other better use.”
“In the opposing camp, the argument is that mobile phones do have an adverse effect on our health and that the hazards have been demonstrated. Most of those on this side of the fence are the electromagnetic hypersensitives and activists.”
Among the former group, even the smallest of findings are downplayed as meaningless, while the latter group gives them undue emphasis.
“I’d say to both sides of the argument that they would be better off chilling out a bit. We do not yet have sufficient data to say one way or the other that RF radiation represents a health risk, or that it does not. There just isn’t enough solid evidence either way”, argues Leszczynski.
But is this the world’s largest human experiment, a gigantic clinical trial, as Osmo Hänninen claims?
On a daily basis, we use a great many devices whose real long-term impact on our health still remains something of a question-mark.
And as a consequence, some members of the population get sick, like Hanna Nurminen, with whom this article began.
Uncertainty has begun to creep into the recommendations even of the authorities.
STUK, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, is now recommending that parents restrict the mobile phone usage of their children and even encourage them to use SMS messaging rather than making calls.
According to the newer “precautionary” principles, it is worth reducing risks to a minimum, even if there is no certainty that there is a risk out there.
Use handsfree devices to minimise exposure of the head to RF radiation, be brief rather than garrulous, use SMS, avoid making or taking calls in weak fields, and so on.
Hanna Nurminen is particularly worried about children and young adults.
And it is not merely a matter of cellphones, but also wireless networks, base stations, and radio masts, whose numbers have grown dramatically in recent years.
“My heart bleeds when I see a young child talking on a mobile. Or when I hear that schools are buying smart interactive whiteboards for their classrooms. They are putting wireless networks into the schools and base stations on the roofs of kindergartens”, laments Nurminen.
These days she is able to work on a PC after having got herself built a metal desk that screens out radiation.
Not everyone has it so good.
“Finland is known as a forerunner in technological development and innovation, but we have to be able to recognise the ugly side to all this. People like us ought to be taken seriously”, she sighs.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 3.4.2010
Here is a report from ABC news about Sarah Dacre, a woman who must wear radiation protection when she leaves her home.
From Nottingham Evening Post
(ESS Comments – Brian Stein, Chief Executive Samworth Brothers Ltd, suffers from electro-hypersensitivity. He is on the Board of Trustees for Radiation Research Trust, an organization that promotes awareness of EMF. )
Brian Stein has not watched TV for four years. Not necessarily a bad thing perhaps, but the 55-year-old does not have a choice. “Last summer my children were inside watching England play in Euro 2004,” he said.
“Every time England scored and I heard cheering I wanted to run in to see the goal – but I was stuck out in the garden.” Frustrating as it is, missing England going out again on penalties is the thin end of the wedge for Mr Stein, who says he has an allergic reaction to electricity.
Mobile phones are out of the question, as are computers, the cinema, music devices plugged into the mains, long haul flights and electric trains.
The chief executive of a chilled food manufacturer, Mr Steinsays he has been forced to trade in his top of the range car for a “banger”.
“Most new cars are full of microchips, it’s like driving a computer, I need something less sophisticated,” he said.
In his office, the computerised heating system has been replaced with old-fashioned central heating, and apart from lighting, electricity is isolated and power sockets left dead.
The closest computer terminal sits on his secretary’s desk next door, and Mr Stein can only use the hands-free speaker phone in his office for a short time. Board meetings mean flip charts and overhead projectors.
At home in East Bridgford, he has to turn off the mains to get to sleep.
He admits his is a problem which sets him apart from most of the population.
In the past, he says, medical professionals have treated him like he was “visiting Earth from the Moon”.
“I was a normal person, I spent 15 years using a mobile phone,” he said.
“But in the last year I started experiencing weird symptoms. I suppose medically it would be described as a headache, but this was unlike any headache I’d ever experienced before.
“It was more like I could feel very sensitive nerve endings in my head.” He said he could almost turn the pain on and off like a switch.
“I’d pick up the mobile phone, put it to my ear and there was pain. It was quite ridiculous.
“But I didn’t stop using the phone then. A while later I was using it when I felt intense pain. It was excruciating like something had burst in my head. The damage had been done.” From that moment the situation got rapidly worse.
“I found I was starting to get weird sensations when I was near computers, and when I was driving my car.” After seeking medical advice, Mr Stein was nowhere nearer to working out the problem.
He spoke to medical professionals and scientists who told him his ‘condition’ did not exist.
“My doctor examined me and couldn’t find anything wrong.
“But I insisted I needed to see a specialist and that I needed a brain scan.
The scan came back clear.
“It was great on one hand, because I was worried it may have been a brain tumour or something, but at the same time I was thinking ‘What the heck is happening?’ he said.
At the beginning, Mr Stein could even tell if someone he was speaking to had a phone switched on in their pocket.
“Whatever it is that most people have that defends them against electromagnetic fields was damaged,” he claims.
Mr Stein spent time at Breakspear Hospital in Herts, where allergy and environmental illness is treated. But his symptoms continued.
“My only way of dealing with it was experimenting on myself, to work out what caused the problem.
“I visited alternative practitioners and found they could not do anything. The only thing that worked was avoidance.
“I’m lucky because I’m the chief executive of a company and can modify my environment so I can still work.
“I have to take a lot of precautions. I can travel on low cost flights, because there is no in-light entertainment.” Mr Stein said he tries not to dwell on any long-term effects of his condition.
“I don’t want to think about it – you only have to look at what mobile phones can do to rats in laboratories.” And he says he can only advise those close to him to be careful.
“Just before I became sensitive I bought my wife, mother and three kids mobile phones.
“My mother and my wife say they rarely use them.
“As far as the kids are concerned it’s a bit like cigarettes – you can only tell them how you feel, but I suppose mobile phones are a part of their culture.” Some existing research suggests symptoms of EHS include fatigue, severe headaches and skin problems.
Other scientists say there is no evidence the condition exists.
But now it appears scientists and health advisers are taking the claims more seriously. The National Radiological Protection Board
(NRPB) is carrying out a review of existing scientific studies into EHS.
Two studies, funded with £750,000 from the Department of Health and the telecommunications industry, are already under way.
And Sir William Stewart, the government’s adviser on radiation, has called for more research.
Mr Stein says he was asked to take part in one of the studies, run by researchers at the University of Essex, but declined.
Volunteers will be exposed to signals from a mobile phone mast to test if cognitive functions, such as attention span and memory, are affected.
Mr Stein believes more and more people will be coming forward as sufferers and thinks concern about mobile phone use should have been taken seriously.
‘Sufferers can feel shame and guilt’ Rod Read, director of the ElectroSensitivity-UK charity, said EHS is the “environmental consequence of over-exposure to electromagnetic fields for sensitive individuals over a period of time”.
Symptoms can include headaches, irritability, sleeping difficulties, fatigue, loss of concentration and short-term memory. Sufferers may also have flu-like symptoms such as sniffles, sore throats, and muscle and joint pains. Mr Read said because of mood swings the condition can affect relationships and home life.
“Withdrawal and isolation are common reactions – no phones, no TV, no travel, no chemically emitting papers or even sunlight for some.
“It can be horrendous, catastrophic.
“There is even shame and guilt, often unwittingly provoked by the disbelieving nearest and dearest, which is aided and abetted by ill-informed doctors and arrogant psychiatrists.” Mr Read added: “Doctors are some of the worst offenders.
“They react very badly to attempts to explain from the patient, all too often with a ‘I’m the doctor here’ attitude. Less obviously competent people are made to feel very silly and ashamed.”
by: Martin Weatherall-
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