Monthly Archives: January 2016

Is WiFi in Schools Dumbing Down Kids?

The percentage of American children who suffer from ADD, anxiety, and various learning disorders is growing. America, once the leader in education among industrialized nations, has fallen to almost last. While we continue to spend the most money on education for our children, our children continue to perform poorly.

While it is clear our approach to education might need to be re-evaluated, what is also becoming clear is that the environment in which our kids are being taught might be affecting their ability to learn.

A UK EMF Watchdog Group recently published an article reporting on two new studies showing how WiFi is adversely affecting human brain function. One study was published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience and the second study was published as part of the International Workshop of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation.

Both studies focused on the effects of WiFi signals on the brains of young adults in their early twenties. Even though WiFi signals have been employed freely in American schools for years now,  these are the first studies to focus on how these signals affect the brain’s ability to learn.

Both studies conducted were blind studies, where participants did not know when they were being exposed to the radiation and when they were not.

The study published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience focused on the ability of young men and women to maintain a ‘working memory’. ‘Working memory’ is defined as the ability to keep information available long enough to complete a task. ‘Working memory’, as you can imagine, is integral to all forms of problem solving, decision making, reasoning, planning and monitoring.

By measuring the electrical activity on the surface of the brain while the participants were attempting to complete a task involving ‘working memory’ (a version of the Hayling Sentence Completion test was given to participants), the researchers found that specific brain activity related to attention and memory greatly decreased in the men when microwave radiation similar to a WiFi signal was present. For women, the electrical activity slightly increased when exposed to the radiation.

Although young women were not as affected as young men in their ability to retain information while being exposed to radiation similar to a WiFi signal, the second study conducted during the International Workshop of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation found that young women were more affected than young men in terms of their ability to retain short-term memory when exposed to radiation similar to a WiFi signal. The young women had a more difficult time completing a task involving repeating a string of numbers when exposed to the radiation. The researchers found that when the radiation was present, the young women’s brainwaves (apha, beta, delta) were greatly altered in their corticol regions. The young men’s were altered as well, but to a lesser extent.

Short-term memory, ‘working memory’, attention spans and balanced brainwaves are integral to learning and proper brain development. As new studies come out showing how WiFi signals alter brain activity in participants who are exposed to these signals for even short periods of time, one might ask how these signals are affecting the brain activity, and hence brain development, of our children who are being exposed to them for prolonged periods of time throughout the duration of their schooling.

 

German Study: Cell Tower Radiation Causing Mental Dysfunction

With prescription medication for ADD/ADHD in children at an all time high in the west, a German study conducted by Klaus Buchner and Horst Eger in 2011 shows that radiation from cell towers are causing a specific increase in the stress hormones that lead to various forms of mental dysfunction, with ADD/ADHD being among them.

This study was done in a Bavarian village and looks at the “changes of clinically important neurotransmitters from electromagnetic radiation” by analyzing human urine samples taken before a cell tower was installed and than 18 months afterward. The study was conducted in a rural village so as to rule out any effects from other types of EMF exposures upon the subjects being studied.

The study states:

“After the activation of the GSM base station, the study found the levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline increased significantly during the first six months; the levels of the precursor dopamine decreased substantially. The initial levels were not restored even after one and a half years. As an indicator of the dysregulated chronic imbalance of the stress system, the phenylethylamine (PEA) levels dropped significantly until the end of the study period.”

The levels of radiation emitted by the newly installed and activated cell tower base station were far below the levels currently considered to be safe by regulators.

The study goes on:

“Chronic dysregulation of the catecholamine system has great relevance for health and is well known to damage human health in the long run.”

The researchers found that after being exposed to the radiation from the cell tower base, participants experienced a drastic increase in levels of certain stress hormones. Long-term elevation of these stress hormones are indicators for various psychiatric and mental disturbances.

In fact, one neurotransmitter that the study found seems to be heavily affected by cell tower radiation is phenylethylamine (PEA). When subjects were exposed to RF radiation from the cell tower base, their levels of this important neurotransmitter drastically declined. This depletion of PEA causes complete dysregulation of the stress hormones, speciifically adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. Low levels of PEA have been linked to ADD and ADHD.

Another interesting finding of the study was that those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and allergies, the elderly, as well as children, were affected by the radiation more than other subjects. Their urine levels of stress hormones were found to be higher and were also found to stay higher longer.

The study concludes:

“…the expansion of wireless networks corresponds with the increase in prescription expenses for methylphenidate, a drug whose chemical structure is related to PEA and which is indicated in cases of attention deficit disorder (ADD)…”

 

American Cancer Society: Marginalizing Studies Showing Cell Phones Linked to Cancer

For those of you who use herbs and nutraceuticals to improve the health of yourself and family, you are aware of the stringent guidelines associated with these items. With herbs in particular, any study done that might show a small increase in toxicity of the liver, etc. after an inordinate amount of an extract of the herb is force-fed to rates, will validate the FDA issuing a warning that the particular herb is toxic and sales of that herb can no longer state for internal use.

Forgetting about the drive of Big Pharma to limit its competition in the health field, let’s just say that the regulating agencies are concerned about the health of the population and choose to err on the side of caution when it comes to safety.

With that in mind, one must inquire as to why these same principles do not apply when regulating agencies consider the risk of RF radiation emitted by Cell Phones.

The American Cancer Society dedicates a page of their website to FAQs on Cell Phone use and Cancer. A quick perusal of the page shows a substantial amount of evidence from countless international studies that are compelling enough to alert regulating agencies that there is certainly ‘smoke’ when it comes to Cell Phone use and Cancer. As the old adage proclaims, where there is smoke there is fire.

Here are just a few of the studies listed that show enough potential danger to revisit the safety standards in regards to Cell Phone use, if not declare the use of Cell Phones as potentially carcinogenic,

  • Some scientists have reported that the RF waves from cell phones produce effects in human cells (in lab dishes) that might possibly help tumors grow.” This conclusion was from a Lab Study of human cells in a petri dish exposed to RF radiation.
  • “In the meantime, a recent small study in people has shown that cell phones may have some effects on the brain, although it’s not clear if they’re harmful. The study found that when people had an active cell phone held up to their ear for 50 minutes, brain tissues on the same side of the head as the phone used more glucose than did tissues on the other side of the brain.” It is known that Cancer cells have a different metabolism than healthy cells. An increase in glucose usage of cells in tissues exposed to RF radiation could be seen as an earmark for the growth of both benign and malignant brain tumors.
  • “…several studies published by the same research group in Sweden have reported an increased risk of tumors on the side of the head where the cell phone was held, particularly with 10 or more years of use.”
  • “There was a suggestion of a possible increased risk of glioma, and a smaller suggestion of an increased risk of meningioma, in the 10% of people who used their cell phones the most.”
  • “One case-control study looking at children and teens did not find a significant link to brain tumors…”

The American Cancer Society’s FAQs concludes that there is simply not enough evidence pointing to a health threat and quotes the FDA on Cell Phone use:

“The majority of studies published have failed to show an association between exposure to radiofrequency from a cell phone and health problems.”

In the lieu of the evidence documented from studies, if Cell Phones were an herb or Vitamin C, we would probably no longer have access to them.

TSA Body Scanners: Are the Radiation Levels Really Safe?

Regardless of the politics around the TSA Body Scanners, the amount of radiation one is exposed to is a serious concern. Now, as we hear talk of the elimination of the ‘pat-down’ option, it seems the average commuter will be forced to undergo radiation exposure.

Although the supposition is that the amount of radiation one is exposed to is safe, there are dissenting voices in the science world. While some opponents to the scanners cite a lack of long-term studies on the specific technologies, others claim there is simply not enough information to know whether real damage is being done.

As Douglas Boreham, Professor in Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences at McMaster University in Ontaria, CA stated, “I don’t think the right questions have been asked. We don’t have enough information to make a decision on whether there’s going to be a biological effect or not.”

While most Americans understand the technology  in terms of being an x-ray machine, the truth is the Body Scanners utilize two new technologies. One is called Millimeter Wave Scanning and the other is called Backscatter x-ray.

Millimeter Wave Scanning technology was invented in 1992. While it is said the radiation emitted does not penetrate deep enough into the body to disrupt cells, there is evidence countering that. Millimeter Wave Scanners emit a wavelength of ten to one millimeter called a millimeter wave. These waves are considered Extremely High Frequency (EHF) and are known as tetrahertz (THz) radiation, Research has shown that tetrahertz radiation can ‘unzip’ double-stranded DNA. These DNA breaks are what lead to problems with gene expression as well as DNA replication. This is a concern in terms of birth defects as well as cancers.

As one study on Millimeter Wave Scanning from a 2011 published article in the International Journal of Microwave Technology states, “It is therefore plausible that distribution of the molecular products of thermal injury to areas remote from the site of irradiation could cause secondary injury (including, conceivably, carcinogenesis) and this is still an active area of research.”

Backscatter X-ray Technology was also invented in 1992 and utilizes ionizing radiation to take a 2D image. Ionizing radiation breaks chemical bonds and is known to be carcinogenic in even minute doses. While the amount of radiation exposure during the Body Scan is considered by proponents to be negligible (they claim 1 million people being scanned 520 times in one year would only increase cancer rates by 4 cases), opponents to the Technology are many.

Several scientists from University of California in SF, among them an expert in cancer and imaging, wrote a letter to the Presidential Science Advisor raising questions regarding the safety of the radiation exposure from these machines. The scientists’ main concern being that the devices are not considered medical, therefore they are not subjected to the same standards by the FDA as medical x-ray devices would be. This is why the scientists claim that the amount of radiation one is exposed to during a Body Scan using this technology is not the amount proclaimed by the authorities.

Apparently, Physics Professor Peter Rez from Arizona State University, shares the same concerns as the UCSF scientists. A paper he authored, soon to be published in the Journal of Radiation Protection and Dosimetry, states that the radiation dose delivered per body scan is a tleast “10 times higher” than what is being reported.

With so many concerns regarding human exposure to these various types of radiations, and so many questions unanswered, it would seem that common sense would dictate these x-ray technologies would be looked into more carefully before mandating an entire population -including pregnant women and children- be exposed to them.

Fibromyalgia: The Missing EMF Link

Fibromylagia is classified as a syndrome, as its symptoms are so varied. Widespread pain and fatigue are two of the major symptoms experienced by sufferers. A new syndrome, its symptoms were defined in the early 90′s and its cause has been attributed to “neurochemical imbalances and the activation of inflammatory pathways in the brain which results in abnormalities in pain-processing”, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Allergies and chemical sensitivities were usually discovered in Fibromylagia sufferers, along with chronic headaches and sleep irregularities. At this time, conventional medicine focuses on alleviating the symptoms through medications, with results that are not always so effective.

While mainstream science focuses on ‘band-aiding’ the problem, many sufferer’s have taken initiative to improve their condition by altering their lifestyle. One sufferer in particular, found  a direct link between her exposure to EMF fields and her Fibromyalgia.

She writes:

“But have you considered that perhaps electromagnetic fields and dirty electricity may be causing your fibromyalgia flare ups or even part of the root cause of your fibromyalgia? I recently learned about this influence on the body and realized it was most definitely part of the reason why I had fibromyalgia years ago. My fibromyalgia came on hard and strong after it had been under control for a few years once I began driving a long distance to get to chiropractic school.”

She goes on to chronicle the high EMFs in her car as well as the constant exposure to EMF fields she was receiving through endless hours working on her laptop both in school and at home. She goes on to write that she has consistently found a direct link between exposure to EMFs and her Fibromyalgia flare-ups.

This correlation, although ignored by mainstream science, makes perfect sense when the inflammatory impact upon the immune system by EMFs has been continuously documented through various research studies.

As stated in the well-respected Bioiniative Report:

“… there is substantial evidence that ELF and RF can cause inflammatory reactions, allergy reactions and change normal immune function at levels allowed by current public safety standards. The body’s immune defense system senses danger from ELF and RF exposures, and targets an immune defense against these fields, much like the body’s reaction in producing stress proteins. These are additional indicators that very low intensity ELF and RF exposures are a) recognized by cells and b) can cause reactions as if the exposure is harmful… Chronic inflammatory responses can lead to cellular, tissue and organ damage over time. Many chronic diseases are thought to be related to chronic problems with immune system function.”

In terms of Fibromyalgia, it seems as though avoiding exposures/substances which create an inflammatory immune response is key to mitigating symptoms and controlling flare-ups. In addition to lessening the amount of chemicals one is exposed to by eating clean food, drinking clean water and avoiding contact with pesticidies, etc., lessening one’s exposure to EMF fields seems to be  an important component to reducing any type of inflammatory reaction, including those associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

It is interesting to note that Fibromylagia Syndrome became prevalent in the 90s, the same decade that saw the  passing of the Telecommunications Act. The 1996 Act heralded the widespread installation of cell towers throughout the United States, thereby exponentially increasing background radiation (RF) exposure to levels never before experienced by any life-form on earth, including man.