Slides from Eileen O`Connor`s Presentation (Powerpoint)

Eileen O’Connor
UK Radiation Research Trust
“The Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields –
History of Electromagnetic Pollution in Our Midst”
Commonwealth Club of San Francisco California
NOVEMBER 18, 2010
Why am I here?
I had suffered for years with sleep problems, headaches, dizzy spells
and vertigo only to be told by my doctors that it was stress or a virus. I
eventually developed breast cancer at the age of 38 and discovered
that I was living in a cancer cluster.
We now understand that we are not alone, there are many other
people living in cancer clusters around phone masts in the UK and
throughout the world. I had been living 100m from a phone mast and I
now realise the symptoms reported to my doctor are known as a
condition called electro sensitivity.
Wishaw T-Mobile mast after 7 years
by 2001 the story unfolds
Six ladies developed breast cancer
One case of prostate cancer
One bladder cancer
One lung cancer
Three cases of pre-cancer cervical cells
One motor neurone disease, age 51, who also had massive spinal tumour
People developed benign lumps
Electro sensitivity
Three cases of severe skin rashes
Many villagers suffering with sleep problems, headaches, dizziness
and low immune system problems
Horse with blood problems, under continuous vet treatment
Removal of phone mast November, 2003
The T-Mobile Wishaw phone mast 1994-2003
• Many of the residents reported a restored feeling of well-being,
improvement in sleep patterns and increased energy levels. Simple
things like headaches and dizzy symptoms disappeared
Map of 18 houses in small village up to 500m surrounding the mast
The EM Radiation Research Trust
Reg. Charity No: 1106304
The Radiation Research Trust (RRT) are leading supporters of
the precautionary approach to
Electromagnetic Radiation.
The RRT gained charitable status
in 2003 and is supported by MPs
and MEPs from each of the UK
political parties. We are also
indebted to Independent Scientific,
Public Health and Technical Advisors.
Photograph taken at the
Palace of Westminster
From small village battle against a phone
mast to International Campaign
• I am the Director for the Radiation Research Trust (RRT)
• Founder board member for the International EMF Alliance
• Member of the UK Health Protection Agency, EMF Discussion Group
• Co-author “Cell phones and Brain Tumours: 15 Reasons for
Alerting the public via the media
• Trustees have worked closely with the media and appeared on
national and International TV and radio
• January 2005 - I appeared in a week long Political Reality TV Show
called “Vote for Me” on National TV every night for one week. It
was billed as a political X factor show with contestants voted off by
the public each night. I campaigned on a single issue “phone masts”
receiving 1000’s of public votes and was the runner up after
successfully dealing with political challenges
The Debate
RRT Conference 2008
In order to address the issues surrounding this debate the Radiation
Research Trust organised a major conference on the 8th & 9th September,
2008 entitled:
‘Electromagnetic fields and health - a global issue’
This took place at the Royal Society, London.
The RRT invited speakers from ICNIRP, WHO, the Russian National
Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and national bodies such
as the UK Health Protection Agency and the MTHR.
They were joined by scientists, politicians, lawyers and concerned citizens,
each offering differing viewpoints in order to encourage discussion around
risk assessment.
Evidence from the Public
Quote from Sir William Stewart at the RRT Conference, 2008
• Sir William is the retired Chairman for the UK Health Protection
Agency. He was the Chief Scientist reporting directly to the
Conservative and Labour Governments
• “Since 2000 there has been a mass of publications, reports,
observations, and views purporting at the very least to implicate
phones/base stations as a cause of adverse health effects. At a time
of uncertainty when more information is required, non-peer
reviewed articles should not be ignored. Doing so is ridiculous. They
may be right but unproven and/or offer pointers to be thought
about and followed up.”
Scientists presenting at the RRT conference
reported children at risk
"The potential risk to children's health is very high and a completely
new problem. Use of mobile phones for those under 18 or pregnant
should be restricted.
Children have a unique vulnerability as they grow and develop;
there are ‘windows of susceptibility’ periods when their organs and
systems may be particularly sensitive to the effect of certain
environmental threats.
The existing standards cannot guarantee the safe, healthy
development of the next generation.”
Professor Yury Grigoriev,
Chairman of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection
Guests from both sides of the debate joined us
for dinner at Westminster following the conference
Other reasons for concern
• An international working group of scientists, researchers and public
health policy professionals produced the 2007 BioInitiative report.
The report provides detailed scientific information on health
impacts when people are exposed to electromagnetic radiation
hundreds or even thousands of times below the ICNIRP guidelines
• The authors reviewed more than 2000 scientific studies and
concluded that the existing public safety limits are inadequate to
protect public health. From a public health policy standpoint, new
public safety limits, and limits on further deployment of risky
The ECOLOG study T-Mobile Germany
The ECOLOG review of over 220 peer reviewed and published papers
found evidence for:
• Effects on central nervous system
• Cancer initiating and promoting effects
• Impairments of certain brain functions
• Loss of memory and cognitive function
ECOLOG called for an immediate downward regulation for the ICNIRP
The European REFLEX study Confirmed:
Mobile Phones Break DNA
• REFLEX involved 12 research groups in 7 European countries
working from 2000 to 2004 costing more than €3 million
• REFLEX found that radiation from mobile phones breaks DNA in
human cells, confirming important findings already in the scientific
literature from Lai and Singh at the University of Washington in
Seattle, USA
Image of cell and DNA damage
WHO Database
80% research find increases in epidemiological studies on Mobile masts
WHO database
Epidemiological Evidence for a Health Risk
from Mobile Phone Base Stations
paper after searching PubMed and identified a total of 10
epidemiological studies that assessed for health effects of mobile
phone base stations. Seven of these studies explored the
association between base station proximity and neurobehavioral
effects and three investigated cancer
• Eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse
neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at
distances 500 meters from base stations
Other reasons for concern
• In September 2008, MEPs voted 522 to 16 to urge ministers across
Europe to bring in stricter radiation limits and said: “The limits on
exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) which have been set for
the general public are obsolete
• The European Parliament "is greatly concerned at the Bio-Initiative
international report which points in its conclusions to the health
risks posed by emissions from devices such as mobile telephones,
UMTS, Wi-Fi, WiMax and Bluetooth, and also DECT telephones“
Legal decisions
Here are a few examples:
• The Court of Appeal of Tunis ordered the dismantling of a base
station installed on the roof of a villa in a residential neighbourhood
in the capital on behalf of uncertainties about its impact on the
health of residents July 2010
• The district court of Ghent gave a judgment banning the Installation
of a phone mast in the suburb of Drongen. In its judgment, the
court recalled a decision taken by a Justice of the Peace in 2000,
who declared: "As long as it has not been scientifically proven that
radiation is without danger, it should be considered that it is
probably dangerous.“ May, 2009
Government funds received from
mobile phone industry
• The UK government netted £22.47bn from the auction of mobile
phone licences
• The sector generates over £15bn a year in taxes
• The Government has put around £6 million back into mobile
telecommunication research to date. This represents just 0.04% of
the tax revenues from a single year of operation – this seems totally
disproportionate considering the level of concern for health effects
Is ICNIRP responsible?
Paolo Vecchia, Chairman for ICNIRP presented at the RRT conference
in September, 2008
• In his presentation, he made it very clear that: “the ICNIRP
guidelines are neither mandatory prescriptions for safety, the “last
word” on the issue nor are they defensive walls for Industry or
• This statement makes it clear that the decision to adopt these
guidelines into national legislation as “sufficient to protect public
health” is political
The government’s misuse of ICNIRP is the primary issue
Thank you for listening
Thank you to Camilla Rees from Electromagnetic Health for organising
this important event
“Science is about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or
obscured by politics or ideology. It's about listening to what our
scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient - especially when
it's inconvenient.” Barack Obama, 44th President of the United
For the sake of us all especially our children, non-ionising radiation is a
high priority for public health, leaders from all continents should
come together to address this unfolding tragedy to humans, animals
and nature
I hope and pray that Obama listens to his own words and
takes action!
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