Good morning. My name is Annie Sasco. I am an MD with doctoral training at Harvard in epidemiology, two master’s degrees, and a doctoral degree. I have been working in cancer epidemiology for the last 25 years at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. During that time I saw a doubling of the number of cancer cases in the world, and that led me to question the reason why. I became interested in environmental contaminants, be they physical, as in the case of ionizing or non-ionizing radiation, chemicals, or whatever. I have been asked by Next-Up to be a witness here today. I think it’s important for scientists to sometimes go beyond the mere statistical results and see, if you are interested in prevention, how to push for policies. I think those types of organizations such as Next-Up are very important in doing exactly that. On the issue of electromagnetic fields specifically, I have been a witness in several centres on that already, including, last year, in the French Senate in front of the Office parlementaire d’évaluation des choix scientifiques et technologiques. What do we know today about electromagnetic fields? And what I also want to say is, “When do we have enough evidence to take action?” With regard to electromagnetic fields, we have, of course. more than plenty of evidence of exposure; I think that exposures in the human population have greatly increased in the last 20 years. That’s a very recent phenomenon in terms of frequency of exposure of a population from multiple sources; and even if it’s a sole source at a low level, there is the possibility, of course, for interaction and for cumulative effects over time, since exposure starts in utero and goes on for a whole lifetime. So we have evidence that there is ever more frequent exposure and, in fact, soon the problem will be that no one will be unexposed, which will make comparison difficult, and therefore epidemiology difficult. With regard to biological effects, more will be said by other witnesses, I guess, but there are two groups, thermal and non-thermal, with the issue of potential general toxicity and whether these EMFs have a promoting or an initiating effect for cancer occurrence. As for experimental studies, there have been too few, in a way, and most of them have been done by industry-funded researchers. There have been very few public studies done with public funds that have looked at the evidence in animals, although with regard to exposure to carcinogens, animals are usually good cancer models and long-term effects models. Epidemiology is, of course, the most relevant. What do we know just on cellphones and antennas? There have been many studies on cellphones, the largest one being the Interphone study, with several thousand cases and controls, which was done in 13 countries on glioma, meningioma, parotid gland tumours, and also acoustic neurinomas. The final results should be out, I have been told, in the coming days. For the time being, results for several countries are already out, but not yet, to my knowledge, for Canada. They show somewhat contradictory results, but nevertheless, in several studies or some studies there is a tendency for increased risk for the heaviest users even if that’s defined in different ways. And that’s exactly what one expects to see. At the beginning, obviously, we are still young, in a way, in regard to exposure in the population, but it could be just the beginning of a more frequent problem in the years to come. The issue of children being particularly sensitive to this exposure has to be underlined, although at this time there is very little data, and more is needed. Similarly, we need more studies with valid protocols to look at issues of actual hypersensitivity. So do we already have enough to act on it? I think we have a great level of suspicion and already quite a lot of data that goes in that direction. If we want to wait for final proof, at least in terms of cancer, it may take another 20 years, and the issue then will be that we will not have any unexposed population to act as a control. We may never have the absolute final proof, but if our goal is to reduce somewhat the burden of cancer and other chronic diseases in the years to come, we have enough data to go ahead with a precautionary principle to avoid unnecessary exposure. Regulations vary a lot across the countries, whereas population does not vary so much, but we can come back to this later. I thank you for your attention.
Dr Johansson’s testimony on Apr 29th before Ottawa Parl. Committee
Dr. Olle Johansson: I could quickly answer that by repeating what some of the other speakers have already said. It’s obvious that your safety code is completely out of date and obsolete, and that goes for any form of international or national standards body throughout the world, including the American IEEE and FCC and the international ICNIRP standards and so forth. Low-intensity, non-thermal “bioeffects” and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards. These standards are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged low-intensity exposures. And they are only technical in nature. You have to understand that. I’m surprised that you have invited people from the industry. Health Canada must be dealing with the health of Canadians, not the health of the industry. Therefore, you should get rid of any form of technical standards and introduce new biologically based public exposure standards that are urgently needed to protect public health worldwide. It’s definitely not in the interest of the public to wait. ……………….. Dr. Olle Johansson: Yes. It was a little bit hard to hear the question, but if I understand correctly, the question was about biologically based standards. You have to understand that what you are talking about are technical standards based upon thermal heating effects in the acute stage measured in fluid-filled plastic dolls. It has nothing to do with the kind of bioeffects that are seen, very, very far below the ICNIRP values or Safety Code 6 values, and most likely you need some other form of measure. I would rather bounce the ball back to you and say that since I am one of the lousy authors of the BioInitiative Report– Voices: Oh, oh! Dr. Olle Johansson: –you should really read what the whistle- blowers tell you. If we are wrong, which I hope we are, because we are part of the mental fire brigade, and I want it to be a false alarm, of course, but I think several of the speakers have said…. And Canada, by all means, you are so very rich, you know. You don’t any need any economic support from the industry; you can give independent money, give it to the whistle-blowers and independent scientists, because if they are wrong, they will prove themselves wrong very quickly. As Andrew Goldsworthy said, pinpoint some critical studies–for instance on egg cells, as Dimitris told us, and on sperm cells– because if they are destroyed, then you won’t have Health Canada in 50 or 100 years’ time. I think it’s very important for Health Canada to set up questions. I don’t see them at all; I don’t see what you want to do. My summary of today is that it feels very much that at least the people present in Canada right now want to take a chance on children and the future just for a toy. If I am wrong, I am very, very happy, but please let us look at these studies. Also, remember that you can never, ever outbalance a study showing an effect with studies that don’t show an effect; you can only outbalance them with studies that are exact replications, showing and proving why the first study was wrong, and such replications are not around. The replications that are around strongly support the conclusion that the current standards are obsolete and need to be revised, and actually I didn’t say that from the very beginning; it was the European Parliament. ……………………. Dr. Olle Johansson: I was also just going to comment that it seems that the members of Health Canada do not quite understand the precautionary principle, which is outlined in the Rio Declaration. You should read it carefully, because it clearly says that minority findings should be fully reported and considered and that uncertainty should be the basis to take action. Action would mean a moratorium, safety precautions, or whatever. The interesting thing is to look seriously, with adult eyes, on the scientific literature, and take away the studies that don’t show an effect, because they are, as you probably all know, of no interest in risk analysis. All the good car journeys would never impinge in risk analysis regarding car safety, for instance. If you look at these studies and really boil down the facts and ask yourself what kind of safety level you would have instead of an exposure standard, today that would be, in thermal measurement, zero watts per kilogram. Hon. Carolyn Bennett: It would be zero. Okay. Dr. Olle Johansson: Finally, I would add that I have heard over and over again that the levels of exposure are low. In the room you’re sitting in right now, just from the third generation mobile telephony, compared to the natural background that has been around for billions of years in Canada, you are sitting in levels that are approximately one million billion times above natural background. There you have your question mark: are we really built for a microwave life at such extreme levels? From the size, the question is very clear cut: no, we are not built for that, and we are not talking about a minor reduction. Just a few days ago I submitted a paper to a major American journal. In it, we point to the reductions in public exposure levels. Taking into consideration the future, the kids, teenagers, the elderly, and the adults, the levels must be lowered dramatically. And if I were Health Canada, I wouldn’t bother about the industry. I can tell you that they will come up with new technologies in some form. As a Swede, I hope that it will be Ericsson– Voices: Oh, oh! Dr. Olle Johansson: –that produces tomorrow’s human-friendly green technology, at exposure levels far, far, far below what we are talking about today. If I’m wrong, then I would be of course very happy to be wrong, but that would also mean that thousands of papers would be wrong at the same time, and that has never, ever happened in science. ……………………….. Dr. Olle Johansson: Well, you still have to understand that even if you are on average 5,400 times below Safety Code 6, you are still a million billion times above normal background regarding third-generation mobile telephony. The interesting thing is that for all other wireless communication systems and exposures, you are mostly much, much higher than that. Therefore, you must ask yourself, do we, through evolution, have an automatic microwave shield built into our body, it being so intelligent, so that it will protect our kids in 2010 from the kinds of exposures produced and manufactured by Motorola, by Ericsson, by Nokia, and so on? The answer is, of course, no way, we don’t have that, and therefore we must stop– The Chair: Thank you. Dr. Olle Johansson: The question is this: are we prepared to really take a chance on that? In Sweden, we always try to tell ourselves that it is to be better safe than sorry.
Dr Goldsworthy’s intro testimony on the April 29th 2010
Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy: I’ll do my best. I have sent the committee a lot of material containing scientific evidence, but what I want to do now is just summarize it, so I apologize for not giving references. I had a lifelong interest in radio communications and was one of the first people I know to buy a mobile phone, but I’m afraid all is not quite right. As the number of mobile phones–cellphones–expanded, a whole series of weird health effects started to appear. The cellphone companies had no idea what was causing them and still less of an idea on how to stop them happening. The only solution was to deny their existence, and this is what seems to be happening. They argue that because the results are not consistent, this is due to experimental error and can therefore be ignored. But this argument is flawed because it doesn’t take into account biological variability. We are all the product of thousands of genes that interact with each other and the environment in unpredictable ways. Each individual is unique. Not every smoker dies of cancer, we don’t all have the same side effects from taking medicinal drugs, and we can’t all be expected to respond in the same way to electromagnetic insults. Just because everyone is not affected doesn’t mean that no one is affected. They also say there is no plausible explanation for such diverse results. In this presentation, I’ve explained just how these effects, these multitudes of effects, are produced, and how modifications to the signal can put most of them right. There are two mechanisms that explain nearly all of them. The first one is based on the pigment cryptochrome. Plants use it to measure light and animals use it to navigate in the earth’s magnetic field. Both animals and plants use it to regulate their body clocks. Now, Ritz and his co-workers, in 2004, discovered that bird magnetic navigation was disrupted by a radio waves because of their effects on cryptochrome. This is also true for insects and probably causes colony collapse disorder in bees. The radio waves don’t break chemical bonds, they just interfere with the transport of an electron between two parts of the molecule that is essential for its function. Cryptochrome also controls circadian rhythms and the body clock, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and also the immune system. The immune system works best at night. This explains the sleep disturbances found in people living near mobile phone base stations. It also increases their risk of cancer by reducing the ability of the immune system to cope with incipient cancer cells. It might also contribute to the decline of the bees, which are becoming increasingly susceptible to pathogens. As you all know, the loss of the bees would be devastating to our agriculture. Fortunately, we can do something about it. According to Ritz, cryptochrome is sensitive to a broad range of frequencies, but they’re mostly below 10 megahertz. These are well below the carrier frequencies used in mobile phones, but are generated when they are modulated to carry digital information. They are due to harmonics, they are not essential, and they can be suppressed. The cellphone companies should do this straight away. Secondly, there are effects on cell membranes. Low frequency electromagnetic fields and radio frequencies that have been modulated with low frequencies can remove calcium ions from cell membranes. This weakens them and makes them more inclined to leak, which explains most of the other biological effects such as cardiac arrhythmia. + -(0935) The heart muscle beats in response to electrical waves propagating through it. These are generated by ions moving across its cell membrane. If they leak, these ion movements are less pronounced and the heartbeat becomes irregular, which could result in heart failure– lack of information. When cells leak into the surrounding matrix, it can cause inflammation. That which is beginning to show is early dementia. The brain is separated from the blood by what we call a tight junction barrier, in which the gaps between the cells are sealed to prevent the entry of unwanted materials. Cellphone radiation makes this barrier leak to let in toxic materials that can lead to early dementia. Allergies, which are also on the increase– [cut off by Chair]
Dr Panagopoulos’ intro testimony on the April 29th 2010
[the Apr 29 evidence is now posted at he HESA site] Dr. Dimitris Panagopoulos: Hello. Thanks for inviting me. I shall try to describe, within a few lines, 10 basic conclusions from our experimental and theoretical work at the University of Athens over the last 11 years on the biological effects of mobile telephone radiation. Conclusion number one is that GSM radiation between 900 and 1,800 megahertz, from mobile phone handsets, is found to reduce insect reproduction by up to 60%. The insects were exposed for six minutes daily during the first five days of their adult lives. Both males and females were found to be affected. Second, the reduction of insect reproductive capacity was found to be due to cell death induction in reproductive cells. In the papers distributed to the committee members, we can see pictures of eggs from insects. In the first picture, we see eggs from a non-exposed insect. In the second picture, we see eggs from an insect exposed to radiation from a mobile phone handset. We can see the characteristic fluorescence denoting DNA fragmentation and cell death. You have more pictures like this. Third, the effect of short-term exposure is evident at radiational intensities down to one microwatt per square centimetre. This radiational intensity is found at a distance of about one metre from a cellphone or 100 metres from a corresponding base station antenna. This radiational intensity is 450 times and 900 times lower than the limits set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, ICNIRP, at 900 and 1,800 megahertz, respectively. It is possible that for long-term exposure durations of weeks or months or years, the effect would be evident at even longer distances or at even lower intensities. For this, a safety factor should be introduced in the above value, of one microwatt per square centimetre. By introducing a safety factor of 10, the above value becomes 0.1 microwatts per square centimetre, which is the limit proposed by the BioInitiative Report. Fourth, the effect is strongest for intensities higher than 200 microwatts per square centimetre; this is when we have a cellphone very close to our heads. Within that so-called window, around the intensity value of 10 microwatts per square centimetre, the effect becomes even stronger. This intensity value of 10 microwatts per square centimetre corresponds to a distance of about 20 to 30 centimetres from a mobile phone handset or 20 to 30 metres from a base station antenna. Fifth, the effect increases with increasing daily duration of exposure in terms of short-term exposures of one minute to 21 minutes daily. Sixth, the effect is non-thermal. There are no temperature increases during the exposures. Seventh, the effect at the cellular level is most likely due to the irregular gating of ion channels on cell membranes, which is caused by the electromagnetic fields. This leads to disruption of the cell’s electrochemical balance and function. This mechanism is a non- thermal one. Eighth, although we cannot simply extrapolate the above results from insects to humans, similar effects on humans cannot be excluded. On the contrary, they are possible, first because insects are, in general, much more resistant to radiation than mammals, and second, because the presented findings are in agreement with the results of other experimenters who are reporting DNA damage in mammalian cells or mammalian and human infertility. There are many references for these findings in papers also distributed to the committee. + -(0930) Ninth, reported observations during the last years regarding the diminishing of insect populations, especially bees, can be explained by a decrease in their reproductive capacity, as I described. Our tenth and last conclusion is that symptoms referred to as “microwave syndrome”, like headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, etc., among people residing around base station antennas, can possibly be explained by cellular stress induction on brain cells or even cell death induction on a number of brain cells. Thank you for your attention.
Dr. Annie Sasco microwavenews.com/interphonecracks.html
Francois Therrien dangersemo.com