Electromagnetic fields from non-ionising electromagnetic radiation : discussion

Non-ionising electromagnetic radiation (NIEMR) is a feature of the modern world. Electricity drives modern civilisation, and an increasing amount of communication is breaking out from the wires into a supposed wireless Nirvana.

Undoubtedly, electricity, then radio communication in its broadest sense, has liberated people from hard work, the constraints of daylight, and enabled instant global as much as local communication. Electricity is the mark of the ‘instant world’, and the accelerating ‘progress’ we have come to expect. Without these developments, of course, you would not be reading this. But perhaps if we had taken a different approach, you would not need to.

Just take stock for a moment over what comprises your wireless world. Remember: if it communicates without wires, then apart from TV remote controls etc., it is probably a microwave connection. If you have to point it, it is focussed, otherwise it is ‘broadcast’:

  • mobile phone/Blackberry type device
  • Bluetooth links between phone, computer, music device etc.
  • home wireless router/hub
  • cordless home phone (DECT)
  • wireless hi-fi loudspeakers
  • cordless headphones
  • wireless entertainment distribution
  • Wii game player
  • wireless games consoles
  • netbook PC, and wi-fi or Wimax points
  • wireless offices
  • wireless data capture
  • RFID stock trackers in the shops you visit
  • wireless electricity meters and usage displays
  • and much more.

All convenient, and all heading towards ‘convergence’ where devices interact and collate data.

For decades there has been a growing awareness of three fundamental features:

  1. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) from man-made NIEMR are phenomenally in excess of that in the natural environment; it may be called ‘low level’ but it is perhaps 1013 higher than nature.
  2. Living organisms are fundamentally electromagnetic in their their physiology; our bodies work only by virtue of extremely subtle electric systems operating within a range of very sensitive frequencies.
  3. Putting the two together, it might seem we would be inherently susceptible to novel sources of NIEMR, and that the bio-electromagnetics might well be disturbed by industrial sources.

The story of modern times is being told in terms of whether we are just getting nervous about what we have produced (chemicals, pesticides, radiations etc.), or whether we are discovering (and covering up) some very serious and widespread consequences of what is actually polluting and toxic.

It is also a story of development much faster than long-term studies can keep up with, and of industrial and political interests strong enough to hold science under control: whether by ignoring studies, or generating studies sure to produce at least ambiguous results, or by avoiding investigation in key areas.

What this site intends to do is to demonstrate that from various countries, scientists have for decades been demonstrating disquiet about the way we use electricity and electromagnetic phenomena so indiscriminately. Some have researched and campaigned for NIEMR in healing, others have demonstrated to need for restraint in, for example, the siting of high-tension power facilities, or extreme low frequency military communications. But in sum, there is an immense body of scientific evidence demonstrating that all is not well, and that we have not sufficiently understood the impact of NIEMR on ourselves and the living environment.

Highly topical issues include mobile phone use, chronic exposure to base stations (transmitters), and power lines. These are discussed, and we hope will lead to your own objective investigations. Nor is it our intention to scare. We live with risk and we calculate it, but when it comes to universal applications or infrastructure, from which there can be no escape, we do say that awareness, honesty and action to find better ways of delivering energy and communications, should be expected, not have to be fought for.

The politics of research funding as it pertains to wireless technology health risks

There is a distinction between research aimed at cause and effect, and research aimed at surveillance, screening and intervention that is important but often overlooked.

Most of the public has been tricked by the industry and government agencies into believing that the answers to all of the question lie in more research on cause and effect. That is perhaps that biggest ruse of all. Cause/effect research done today, helps no one today, and it may not even help anyone tomorrow. In my view, what we need to help people exposed today is surveillance related research aimed at identifying high risk groups for intervention. It is simply too late in the game to rely only on basic cause/effect research to help public health.

Wireless technology contributes a pervasive exposure that now impacts billions of people around the globe. We have never, in history, had such a large ‘population at risk’ from any consumer related technology. But, the elephant sitting in the room, so to speak, is that this problem is ‘post-market’. The horse is already out of the barn. The exposures are already occurring every day. And, to make matters more complicated, the technologies evolve and change within every year – so the exposure characteristics are continually morphing. Therefore, causation research studies per se, no matter who funds them or who conducts them, are only marginally relevant to public health protection.

While scientists are arguing over parochial nuances – including funding sources, locations of tumors, whose research is better than whose – millions who could be helped with surveillance are not being helped.

The industry likes the concept of causation research because it delays the day of reckoning. Government agency officials like causation research because it allows bureaucrats to cover their behinds. The media likes causation research because it gives them something dramatic to talk about. But it doesn’t help anyone else.

A basic tenet of public health has always been to understand enough about a disease process to be able to prevent or control it. We are there with our mechanism-based understanding of the effects of EMR in all the known effect windows. So, if we are serious about protecting public health, we should be focusing our efforts on the development of tools to help identify early stage symptoms so that corrective interventions can be applied early enough to work.

Dr George Carlo

Related EM field issues

Some national responses and inquiries

Some countries find it very difficult to accept that there might be real flaws in the origin and scope of standards for exposure such as from ICNIRP.