Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The mayor of the second largest city in Calvados is going to remove the wi-fi network from local schools.
HEROUVILLE-SAINT-CLAIR (AFP) — The town council of Hérouville-Saint-Clair (Calvados-Normandy) is going to remove the wi-fi network (wireless Internet) in its schools before the end of the year, it announced on Monday, four days after the launch of the "Radiation Round Table" in Paris.
"We are going to apply the precautionary principle. Our job is to protect people's health," declared the mayor Rodolphe Thomas during a press conference. In this new town of 24,000 inhabitants situated on the outskirts of Caen, the wi-fi network has provided local schools with a wireless connection to the Internet, via the town hall. The dozen sites concerned will now have independent Internet access. In addition the Council are going to finance ten or more measurements of electromagnetic fields in the town, at a total cost of 4-5000 euros, added Laurent Mata, chief deputy mayor in charge of sustainable development. The intention is to change or relocate certain antennas if the radiation is too intense. "We'll take them to court" if the phone companies refuse to do this, affirmed M. Mata.
The mayor of Hérouville-Saint-Clair, Rodolphe Thomas
In September Hérouville Saint-Clair is going to launch a campaign about the precautions to take to protect oneself from radiation, aimed at the general public, the telecom operators and the landlords "who receive 1500-2500 euros per month for the rent of the roof where the relay antenna is installed", according to M. Mata. He estimates that overall these plans will cost the town 15,000 euros. Criirem (Centre for research and independent information on electromagnetic radiation), which claims to be the only independent organisation taking measurements of electromagnetic fields, has indicated that about 20 town and city councils in France have asked them to carry out assessments of this kind.
A relay antenna installed on the roof of an apartment building in Hérouville-Saint-Clair (Calvados) 27 04 2009

Intelligent lighting has come to one of the borough’s busiest roads. A £500,000 project has seen state-of-the-art ‘talking’ lights installed on the East Lancs Road between Golborne and Boothstown.
Eagle-eyed motorists may already have spotted mini antennae appearing on light columns along that stretch of the A580. These allow the lights to communicate with each other and remotely with street lighting engineers to help keep the borough bright. Engineers receive live computer reports to check each light is working.
Wigan Council is pioneering the region’s most extensive trial of intelligent street lighting in partnership with Mayflower Intelligent Management Systems. The new columns are controlled by special software and communicate by using low-power radio signals. Each light ‘reports in’ several times a day by e-mail, can be individually switched on or off and can even anticipate faults.
It’s also a ‘green scheme’. Engineers can monitor power use and adjust lighting levels according to traffic usage or weather conditions. Light pollution is reduced as the lamps only illuminate the road below, and the electricity is generated by wind power.
When Wigan Council took over the East Lancs Road from the Highways Agency a couple of years ago, the council negotiated funding to ensure the dual carriageway meets strict safety demands. A new cycle path and many surfacing improvements were soon in place.
Highways boss Peter Taylor explains: “Safety is the crucial factor. As well as replacing old columns, we want to improve the night time security of all road users on the A580, especially in the rural areas where it crosses part of Chat Moss.
“The lights will do what we tell them, when we tell them! But this is a serious investment with a serious message. We’re harnessing the latest technology to make one of our busiest routes one of our safest.”
Residents can report lighting faults anywhere online at www.wigan.gov.uk or to the council’s street lighting team on 01942 404331.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

How Cell Phones May Cause Autism
Rates of autism, a disabling neurodevelopmental disorder, have increased nearly 60-fold since the late 1970s, with the most significant increases occurring in the past decade. The cause of autism is unknown, although theories include such potential causes as:
• Genetic predisposition
• Inability to clear heavy metals
• Increased vulnerability to oxidative stress
• Environmental exposures including mercury preservatives in vaccines
• Trans-generational accumulation of toxic heavy metals
Now a groundbreaking new theory has been suggested by a study published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine: electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi devices and other similar wireless technologies as an accelerating factor in autism.

EMR May be the Missing Link The study, which involved over five years of research on children with autism and other membrane sensitivity disorders, found that EMR negatively affects cell membranes, and allows heavy metal toxins, which are associated with autism, to build up in your body. Meanwhile, the researchers pointed out that autism rates have increased concurrently along with the proliferation of cell phones and wireless use. EMR, the researchers say, could impact autism by facilitating early onset of symptoms or by trapping heavy metals inside of nerve cells, which could accelerate the onset of symptoms of heavy metal toxicity and hinder therapeutic clearance of the toxins . Speaking in reference to the huge rise in autism rates, Dr. George Carlo, the study’s co-author, said, "A rise of this magnitude must have a major environmental cause. Our data offer a reasonable mechanistic explanation for a connection between autism and wireless technology." They also suggest that EMR from wireless devices works in conjunction with environmental and genetic factors to cause autism. Primary researcher for this article is Tamara Mariea. Her clinic is called Internal Balance™ Inc.(www.internalbalance.com) and is a state-of-the-art Detoxification Clinic located in the Nashville, TN area. Her objective is to provide high quality and current up-to-date information on the hottest topics in the natural health industry including sound advice on how to implement a personal wellness and detoxification program that works.
One of the most successful programs offered at Internal Balance is the unique strategies implemented for autistic children. In working backward through the autistic child’s life, making changes to their environment, diet and implementing State-of-the-Art detoxification strategies, the Internal Balance team has witnessed numerous changes and improvements in the lives and families of these children. In a few cases, they have witnessed miracles that have changed lives forever, including Mariea’s team. Parents consistently report back that during and after the detoxification process and most importantly after making modifications to their home, they see huge changes in their children’s developmental progress and a decrease in the children’s general sensory discomfort.
Although Mariea believes that autism is a complicated condition that must have several factors at play for a child to fall to this diagnosis, she does believe that the three largest factors at play are
• Genetically determined detoxification capacity
• Early insult to immune system via contaminated vaccines and
• Being born with high levels of toxic burden and into a technologically advanced society riddled with ever increasing levels of radiation
Dr Joseph Mercola Comments :.
I am absolutely convinced that the explosion of cell phone usage around the world is one of the primary contributors to the autism epidemic. The information-carrying radio waves from cell phone base stations and cell phones makes children’s exposure to vaccines and heavy metals much more dangerous than they typically are. Why? Because EMR may actually trap heavy metals inside your cells, allowing them to cause damage and hindering your body from detoxifying them. While I realize that most people will not avoid cell phones because of their convenience, I would urge you to not let your kids use them.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Are you part of the worlds largest ever health experiment?

Whilst the World Health Organisation finally agrees that the untested mobile phone technologies need looking at and there monolithic infrastructure struggles out of its red tape labyrinth and into action (apparently they started looking into this in 1996 and have no conclusions either way as of yet) are you going to wait around to become a statistic referred to in there published report or are you going to stop you and your family being exposed to lethal doses of microwave radiation today?


Potential health effects of exposure to static and time varying electric and magnetic fields need scientific clarification. Electromagnetic fields of all frequencies represent one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences, about which there is anxiety and speculation are spreading. EMF exposure now occurs to varying degrees to all populations of the world, and the levels will continue to increase with advancing technology. Thus, even a small health consequence from EMF exposure could have a major public health impact.
Concerns have been expressed that exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields at power frequencies (50/60 Hz) could lead to an increased incidence of cancer in children and other adverse health effects. The evidence comes primarily from residential epidemiological studies. These studies suggest that children exposed to ELF magnetic fields have an associated increased risk of leukaemia.
Radio frequency (RF) fields are used to great benefits in many facets of everyday life, such as radio and TV transmission, telecommunications (eg mobile telephones), diagnosis and treatments of disease and in industry for heating and sealing materials. With the rapid introduction of mobile telecommunications devices, especially among the general public, there has been a focus on the problems associated with near field RF exposure to the head from the small radiating antenna of mobile phones. In addition, concerns persist that exposure to pulsed and amplitude modulated RF fields may cause specific health effects.
As societies develop, greater use of certain technologies leads to increasing exposure to static electric and magnetic fields. This is especially the case in industry, transport, power transmission, research and medicine. Possible health effects from static fields have never been properly assessed. Given the rapid expansion of medical devices and imminent introduction, potentially on a large scale, of magnetic levitation transport systems that use strong static magnetic fields, any health impacts need to be properly assessed.
As part of its charter to protect public health and in response to public concern over health effects of EMF exposure, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the International EMF Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz. The EMF Project encourages focused research to fill important gaps in knowledge and to facilitate the development of internationally acceptable standards limiting EMF exposure.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The deliberate confusion poured upon the mobiles and health debate by the phone industry !

Possible biological effects of mobile phone radiation not only on scientific forums but also with the media and the general public. Since I considered my opinions as fact-based and moderate, I got surprised that this activity landed me “between a rock and a hard place”. I began to be criticized by those who interpret any piece of scientific evidence showing biological effect, as an indicator of health risk, and by those who interpret the same evidence as an indication of no risk at all. My opinions were considered as either not reaching far enough or reaching too far. In spite of it, I have continued the moderate line and I will do so also in my blog. In my opinion, the published science does not permit to make the final judgment on the possibility of health risk associated with the use of mobile phones. Furthermore, in my opinion, the available scientific evidence is insufficient to reliably support and justify the present no-health-risk-claims and the safety standards.
On March 30, 2007 I was appointed for the 3-year-period as Guangbiao Professor at the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. Chinese universities, in their quest for rapid improvement of the level of science in China, have begun to recruit international experts to make this transition as easy and as fast as possible. In this capacity I spend at least one month a year in Hangzhou (180 km south-west of Shanghai), where Zheijang University is located, and assist my Chinese colleagues with bioelectromagnetics research projects and with the education and training of graduate and post-graduate students.
One of the Zheijang University campuses (photo DL)
Being Guangbiao Professor I recently co-organized and co-chaired, with my Chinese host Prof. Zhengping Xu (see photo), the 5th International Seminar in China “Electromagnetic Fields and Biological Effects”, which took place in Hangzhou on April 17-19, 2009. One of the main topics of the conference was the health safety of mobile phones.
In respect to mobile phone safety issues China is very much player on its own. Like Russia it has its own safety standards that differ from standards used by numerous Western countries. At the meeting in Hangzhou, one of several invited key-presentations got my special attention. It was presented by Prof. Zhaojin Cao (co-authored by Qian Wang) from the National Institute of Environmental Health & Related Product Safety of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing. The topic of this presentation was “EMF standards and administration in China”, and the presentation was in its content very critical of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Electromagnetic Field Project (EMF Project). One of the major criticisms concerned disregarding of the scientific evidence for the weak effects of EMF radiation by ICNIRP and WHO. ICNIRP has well-established formal procedure to evaluate scientific publications. However, the outcome of evaluation, though smoothly guided by the procedure, depends on what the experts will say about the scientific quality of individual studies. This evaluation of individual studies seems to cause problems that lead to the claims of “disregard for weak effects of EMF” mentioned by Prof. Cao. It is not only my personal observation that the negative studies seem to get accepted as such, without too much scrutiny, whereas the positive studies are examined in every detail to determine why the result is positive. Hence, the positive studies are not treated equally with the negative ones, even though also the negative studies might include erroneous results or interpretations. Moreover, only the positive studies are demanded to be replicated before they can be accepted as valid evidence. This replication requirement is of course the correct approach, but it should be applied, at least to some degree, also to negative studies. At least the negative studies that are considered as providing the crucial evidence of no-effect should be replicated. An error in study design, execution, data analysis or interpretation might lead not only to positive but also to negative result. Furthermore, many of the positive studies are not even being attempted to be replicated and of course negative studies are not replicated at all. However, if the replication of the positive study is attempted then, commonly, the protocol of the replication study has so many modifications, introduced to improve the quality, that the outcome of such study is difficult, if not impossible, to compare with the original one. As often happens, the outcome of the so-called replication study differs from that of the original study. However, the failed replication might be either because of incorrect (unreliable) result of the original study or because of the modifications introduced in replication study. Usually, this question remains unanswered but the final result is claimed to be - in summary, the original study has not been replicated (= is not valid evidence). This practice, in my opinion, introduces bias into the otherwise clear-cut evaluation process of ICNIRP.Another issue, mentioned at the conference was the “weight of evidence”. To me this term is abused by those who wish to disregard scientific studies showing that mobile phone radiation can induce biological effects. We continuously hear that there were done thousands of studies on mobile phone radiation. However, this number is grossly exaggerated because it refers to research at all microwave-frequencies. For example the applicability of the results obtained using radiation frequency of microwave ovens might not necessarily be directly applicable to the mobile phone-emitted microwaves. There is still ongoing discussion whether it is possible to transpose results of experiments done with one frequency of microwaves to other frequencies. To me, in order to be relevant, the studies should be performed using actually mobile-phone-emitted microwaves. The number of such studies, which were done using mobile phone-emitted microwaves, is available from the EMF-Portal database (http://www.emf-portal.de/) that is maintained by the Research Center for Bioelectromagnetic Interaction at the University Hospital of the Aachen University in Germany. This specialized database lists as of May 15th, 2009, total of 499 studies that explicitly investigated the biological and health effects of mobile phone-related microwave frequencies. Therefore, in my opinion, the number of the executed studies is not sufficiently large to create reliable basis for any conclusive statements about the existence or the absence of the health risk associated with the use of mobile phone. These 499 studies include studies that do not show any biological effects of mobile phone radiation but also studies that show induction of such effects. However, because the majority of the published studies (these thousands of articles with all microwave frequencies) show no effect, it is commonly suggested that this “weight of evidence” supports the notion that there are no biological effects and no health risk. This issue was also mentioned in a presentation in Hangzhou. One renowned scientist, C. K. Chou of Motorola, had stated that the newly designed, and about to start in the USA, large animal study is unlikely to have impact on science concerning mobile phone effects because of the “weight of evidence” provided by the earlier published studies. In short it means that, in his opinion, even well designed, well executed state-of-the-art study with best available radiation exposure dosimetry, is not sufficient to cause any change in thinking about mobile phone radiation effects. Why? Because the earlier published studies, of which many were poorly designed or executed or had poor dosimetry design, provide “weight of evidence” against any effects. In the discussion period, my question to Dr. Chou was whether, in order to make any impact, we need to produce another large number of new studies to overcome the already existing “weight of evidence”. I did not get any straight answer but just a defensive statement that the “weight of evidence” is a commonly used approach. Yes, it is commonly used and commonly abused. Single well done study is not enough but also a bunch of poor studies should not be enough too.
So, what do we need to do, to account for the weak effects of EMF, that in my opinion exist, and to outbalance the “weight of evidence” in our evaluation of possible health effects of mobile phone radiation? We need a few well designed studies, executed by consortia of scientists, not by single research groups. These studies should be aimed at proving or disproving whether human body responds to mobile phone radiation and whether the response is of sufficient magnitude to alter normal human physiology. Surprise, surprise, in spite of years of research into human health risk of mobile phone radiation, we still do not have unbiased answer to the fundamental question: whether human bodies (tissues, organs) react to mobile phone-emitted microwaves. If they do not, then there will never be any health problem. But, at present, we are still missing science to prove it. This question will not be answered by epidemiological, animal or in vitro laboratory studies. We need studies where human volunteers will be exposed to mobile phone radiation and, thereafter, examined for changes on molecular level (gene and protein expression and activity using transcriptomics and proteomics) and for changes in organ physiology by e.g. sampling various body fluids. Such studies should be well funded so that scientists will not need to make short-cuts in science because of the lack of funds to perform all of needed experiments and in a sufficient number of replicates. This is often the case now and that is why so many poor quality and non-informative studies have been published... and provide the distortion to the “weight of evidence”. However, getting funds might be a problem. Continuous assurances from WHO and ICNIRP that thousands of studies have been done and that mobile phone radiation does not cause any known health risk and the safety standards protect us all, have caused that the funding agencies are not interested to sponsor new projects. If there is no problem, as WHO and ICNIRP are saying, then why to spend more money. At the same time one may ask why WHO and ICNIRP are so sure that there is and will be no health problems when we still do not know if living human tissues and organs react to mobile phone radiation or not. Surprisingly, such studies have not been done yet.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Addiction to cell phones: are there
neurophysiological mechanisms involved?
Maria Paz de la Puente1, Afonso Balmori 2
Published in Proyecto, Vol. 61: pp. 8-12, March 2007
Acknowledgments: Claudio Gómez Perretta and Paqui Bonet
Translation from Spanish: Patricia Garcia
At first glance we could consider the addiction to cell phones as belonging to those addictions that
are substance-free, also called psychological addictions. Yet, unlike these, cell phones emit
microwaves that reach the brain, making investigators wonder if there could be a physiological
base for such addictions.
The following article gives a brief overview of the studies made that analyze the effects that these
radiation produce and that bring us closer to the possible addictive effect, similar to those
provoked by conventional drugs. In them, the authors dare to sound the alarm of the abuse that
young people, whose brains are still in the process of maturing, could be prey to the risks derived
from their improper use, and consider that there should be specific education of the responsible use of
cell phones.
Investigation about addictions to new technologies and especially about the abuse of cell
phones is scarce, due in part to its great complexity and to the novelty of this social
phenomenon. There are frequent difficulties in distinguishing between normal use of a
substance or a modern technology, and the abuse of, or addiction to it. In general, one
decides if such abuse or dependence exists, firstly by the intensity and frequency of use,
secondly and more objectively by the amount of money invested in it, and thirdly by the
level of interference that this process has on family, social and work relationships of each
individual involved. In this manner, the interference, or significant restriction in the
integral development of the individual would co-react with the level of compulsion or the
partial or total control of its use, as a common trait described in any implicit activity
would reflect in limiting the freedom or dependence of the individual.
Furthermore, when we speak of addiction, we are referring to the existence of compulsive
behavior or of behaviors that aren’t controlled by the individual, and that distance them
from their normal actions. The methods most commonly used to classify and diagnose
mental and behavioral disorders (DSM 4,CIE 10) coincide in considering ‘substance
dependency’ as a group of behavioral, cognitive and physiological phenomenon that
develop after the continuous use of a substance that typically include: an intense desire to
consume the drug, difficulties in controlling its consumption, persistence in this
consumption in spite of the harmful consequences, prioritizing consumption of the drug
above other activities and obligations, increased tolerance and sometimes signs of
physical abstinence. Other concepts, such as amount of use (occasional, frequent), abuse
and addiction complicate and qualify the diagnosis.
1 Psychologist, Director of Aldaba Foundation – Project Man (an organisation
working with drug addicts; helping them to overcome their addictions.)
2 Biologist investigator of the effects of radio frequencies on living organisms.
Proyecto, Vol. 61: pp. 8-12, March 2007 2
News and polls
With increasing frequency the media brings up news about ‘addiction’ to cell phones.
Studies based on polls and observations made in different countries reach the same
conclusion: young people in particular have become inseparable from their cell phones.
According to the latest studies, one of every three teens admit to being ‘hooked’ by their
cell phones.
The conclusions of a study elaborated by the office of Defense of the Minor of the
Community of Madrid in the year 2004, by the organization ‘Protégeles’ (Protect them),
based on a poll taken of children and adolescents between 11 and 17, are that ‘Separated
from their cell phone, the syndrome is a confirmed and measured reality, not an
exaggeration. 38 percent of those young people from Madrid were said to feel ‘upset’,
‘overwhelmed’ or that they ‘felt awful’ if they couldn’t use their cell phone, normally as a
result of punishment or fault with the phone. According to the specialists, the abuse of the
use of cell phones could be typified as ‘a disorder of addiction that has to be stopped as soon
as possible’ (Paniagua, 2005).
The Consejería de Sanidad de la Comunidad de Madrid (Social Security Office in
Madrid) through its anti-drug agency, has recently introduced, within its program of
preventing drug addiction destined for schools of this region, a pilot project entitled,
‘Preventing addictions to New Technologies’.
A study by the University of Navarro affirms that young people between 15 and 19
admit being addicted to their cell phones (Naval et al., 2004)
Another study developed far from Spain, in South Korea, demonstrates that the youth of
that country suffer dependency on technology, and that 30% suffer from confusion and
transitory depression when they can’t use their cell phone.
Last but not least, British scientists have decided that more and more people are getting
addicted to their cell phones, causing stress and irritability (BBC, 2006).
Dr David Sheffield, from the University of Staffordshire, has found behavioral problems
related to the use of cell phone among the 106 individuals studied. About 16% of those
interviewed had a behavioral problem due to the use of cell phones. The results
demonstrated that when there is a reduction in the use of cell phones, there is a lowering
of blood pressure.
Similarities with the conventional addictive process
Although the accepted international classifications that are habitually used in clinical
psychology consider addictions and those disorders of the control of impulses as
independent entities, they have many similarities between them, as a matter of fact, many
authors consider obsessive gambling as a substance-free addiction. (Tirapu et al., 2004)
It may at first glance seem complicated to speak of a cell phone addict as we speak of a
drug addict, but if we stop to analyze this situation, it is not difficult to establish
similarities between them.
Comparing those that use the cell phone with moderation, the ‘addicts’ present a
permanent state of vigilance or alert, focused on whatever signal that may come from the
phone, which in turn provokes the almost compulsive and uncontrolled necessity of
checking the cell phone constantly, independently of what they’re doing.
It almost seems as if they need to dedicate more and more time to it (tolerance perhaps),
and this instrument begins to occupy a very special place in their lives. Recent studies
have also shown that those ‘addicts’ that stop using their cell phones show a syndrome of
withdrawal that is both physical and psychological. This syndrome is characterized by
Proyecto, Vol. 61: pp. 8-12, March 2007 3
observable symptoms of anguish, anxiety, nervousness, irritability etc. These manifestations
disappear once the ‘addict’ can use their phone again. The ‘addict’ also seems to have
problems of insecurity, low self-esteem, difficulties in establishing inter-personal
relationships, isolation and other emotional factors. We have begun to see actual cases of
people who look for rehabilitation for cell phone addiction in drug treatment centers
(Bononato, 2003).
Neurophysiological bases for addiction
Looking at this problem through the psychobiological perspective, different investigations
have been based, since several years ago, on the neurophysiological base of addictions in
general. (Snyder, 1996). They want to determine which neurotransmitter intervenes, and in
which parts of the brain they act, when a person presents a disorder because of the use of
addictive substances. Dopamine seems to be the most active, although it’s not the only
one. Although each drug possesses its own mechanism of action, all of them intervene to a
greater or lesser measure on a neuronal reward circuit known as the mesolimbic
dopaminergic system, that favors, by means of pleasurable sensations, adaptive
behaviors. Those systems of reward are located in the primitive part of the brain, where
the processes of survival are inaccessible to the conscious or voluntary mind. We know
that several natural substances and activities touch this system, and that show properties
of positive reward (food, drink, sexual behavior etc.). The opiate receptors in the
mammalian brain especially are concentrated mainly in this limbic system which regulates,
among other things, emotional behavior. Because of this, the need to consume is produced
in apparent absence of conscious, rational behavior, hence the difficulty of leaving the
vicious cycle of drug abuse. The drugs that are abused have in common the ability to serve
as a positive reinforcement, and of controlling behavior in a way that is similar to the
natural positive reinforcement. The difference lies in that the natural reinforcement
normally enters this system of reward through the senses, while drugs stimulate this
circuit directly. The drugs that are being used create a false signal in the brain that
indicate that a beneficial adaptive has arrived. This cerebral signal then produces an
increase in the frequency of consumption, putting to one side the adaptive behavior.
(Tirapu et al., 2004)
The effects of cell phone radiation on the brain
As mentioned above, addiction to cell phones could be counted among those considered
substance-free, or psychological addictions; perhaps we could include compulsive
gambling, compulsive use of video games, or the Internet. Psychological addictions don’t
have chemical substances in them, but there is a degree of dependency and a certain
amount of loss of control by the one who has it. (Echeburúa and Fernandez-Montalvo,
2002) And yet, in contrast to these, cell phones emit microwaves, high electromagneticmodulated
radiation also known as radio-frequencies, that interfere in important bodily
systems (nervous, reproductive, endocrine, immunological) as well as in the processes and
structures characteristic of living organisms, brain waves, the blood-brain barrier, the
pineal gland, and DNA (Salford, 2003; Kramarenko, 2003; Navarro et al., 2003; Reflex,
2004; Balmori, 2004).
Dependency or addiction to cell phones could have a physiological base, due to the
interruptions that the microwaves provoke in the neurotransmitters in the neural synapses
of the reward system of the brain. These effects are still under investigation and it is too
soon to understand the neurophysiological basis of cell phone addiction.
In this brief review we will analyze the reported effects that this radiation has on
neurotransmitters and post-synaptic receptors that could help us understand the possibly
addictive effect similar to that produced by conventional drugs.
Proyecto, Vol. 61: pp. 8-12, March 2007 4
Henry Lai, the American scientist, of the Bioelectromagnetics Research Laboratory of the
University of Washington, discovered that microwaves increase the activity of brain
endorphins or endogenous opioids (the biological basis of addiction to opium and its
derivates as well as alcohol) in similar ways to morphine. Even Dr Lai (in a personal
communication) commented how Russian doctors used microwaves with patients with
‘cravings’ for heroin, although with inconclusive results. There could also be a suggested
existence of an opiate-like action, similar to actual opiates and alcohol, as being partly
responsible of its pleasurable ‘craving’ and of the positive reinforcement observed in cell
phone addicts. In another study by the same author, the effects of radio-frequencies on
the hippocampus were blocked by a pre-treatment in rats with opiate antagonists,
naloxone and naltrexone, which suggests that radio frequencies activate endogenous
opioids in the brain (Lai et al., 1989a). He also found that the receptors for
benzodiazepine (BDZ) related to anxiety responses and stress in animals, were activated
after being exposed to radio frequencies, probably related to the reinforcement of those
euphoric properties of opiates. (Braestrup et al., 1979; Lai et al., 1992b;Walker and
Ettenberg, 2001). Besides, during the same conditions of irradiation, different regions of
the brain can have different sensitivity or vulnerability to radio frequencies and provoke
different responses (Lai et al., 1991), but it seems that the long-term effects depend on the
length of exposure (Lai, 1997). In this way and in general, the effects of radio frequencies
on addiction imply several biological processes that are similar to other agents, such as
certain psychoactive drugs: alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines (Lai, 1999).
Physiology professor W Ross Adey, recently deceased from the University of California
explained that the union of neurotransmitters GABA, Acetylcholine and Glutamate
(closely related with the reward system) to its specific receptor, is sensitive to weak
modulated microwave fields (a characteristic found in cell phone radiation) (Adey, 2003).
A Working Hypothesis, Conclusions and Recommendations
Bearing these discoveries in mind, it is plausible to deduce that the morbidity relating to
the use of cell phones could have a neurophysiological basis in common with some
conventional drugs, through acting on neurotransmitters – like the response to
electromagnetic exposure described above – and having similar effects on the cerebral
reward circuit.
In this way, it could not really be considered an addiction ‘without substance’; we could
take this idea further, considering its own behavior ‘per se’ because it shares mechanisms
similar to conventional drug addiction. Lastly, the radiation emitted by the cell phone
would be a positive reinforcer that not only acts through conventional sensory channels
but also through the reward circuit, acting directly through microwaves on the brain.
We find all the requirements of DSM4 in the street, in the polls as well as in laboratory
studies that show certain effects that radiation in the brain could justify the addictive
behavior. So then, what are we waiting for to take steps with the general public and
especially with young people, who comprise the most vulnerable section of the
population? We must teach people to be autonomous, with a sense of judgment, capable
of choosing and of using responsibly those means that are available, but in order to do
this, we must inform and educate. We are facing new phenomena in which there are
hidden risks (purposely hidden?) with negative consequences for everybody’s health.
Young people, once again, are in the most vulnerable age range. Clearly they are also big
consumers – in this case of cell phones – but since their brains and bodies are still
maturing and developing, this shows how unwise the risks are of undue use of cell phones.
While the scientific view progresses and becomes more clear, it is urgent (under the
precautionary principle) that adults be informed, have a hands-on attitude and be
capable of incorporating facts that can help us educate (or re-educate) especially the
young in the responsible use of the cell phone.
Proyecto, Vol. 61: pp. 8-12, March 2007 5
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paradigm shift in biology’. In Smith B, Adelman G (eds): International Encyclopedia of
Neuroscience. New York
Balmori A (2004), ‘Posibles efectos de las ondas electromagnéticas utilizadas en la telefonía
inalámbrica sobre los seres vivos’. Ardeola, 51: 477-490
BBC World Service, 14 de septiembre de 2006: La adicción al teléfono móvil.
Bononato L (2003), Adicciones y nuevas tecnologías. Informe Inédito. Asociación Proyecto Hombre
Braestrup C, Neilsen M, Neilsen EB, Lyon M (1979), ‘Benzodiazepine receptors in the brain as
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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Grenoble 25 May 2009
Government Round Table on phone masts
The mayors of several cities request a trial period of reducing EMF exposure levels
Michel Destot, who has been involved in the discussions initiated by the Minister of Health on the question of radio frequencies, health and environment, was pleased with the progress of the discussions and the initiative that brought together for the first time residents' action groups, representatives of consumers and employees, local authority officials and phone operating companies.
However, the Association of mayors of French cities (Association des Maires de Grandes Villes de France – AMGVF), of which he is president, is requesting that once the studies have been completed, the government announce specific measures that will give a clear message to the public.
The AMGVF is aware that at present the strategy favoured by residents' action groups is taking their case to court, and the phone companies are very hesitant about improving existing agreements or signing new ones.
Without preempting the results of the scientific and health assessments that are expected in the autumn, the AMGVF is demanding that:
- city-wide experiments should be started this summer in reducing the areas of exposure to electromagnetic fields, to see if this is technically and financially feasible;
- these experiments should managed by the State, which needs to allocate adequate resources in personnel and finance;
- these experiments should bring together residents, action groups, phone companies and local officials in order to continue the public debate initiated by the government.
The AMGVF would also like to see new protocols and methods for measuring EMFs tested.
The city of Grenoble has already declared its availability for such an experiment, undertaken by the State, but within a framework that the AMGVF wishes to see clarified by the government, following the presentation this morning (Monday 25 May) of the report on the Round Table on phone masts.
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