A Prevention Magazine Special Report - By Michael Segell - January 2010
The California Cluster
In 1990, THE CITY OF La Quinta, CA, proudly opened the doors of its sparkling new middle school. Gayle Cohen, then a sixth-grade teacher, recalls the sense of excitement everyone felt: "We had been in temporary facilities for 2 years, and the change was exhilarating." But the glow soon dimmed. One teacher developed vague symptoms - weakness, dizziness- and didn't return after the Christmas break. A couple of years later, another developed cancer and died; the teacher who took over his classroom was later diagnosed with throat cancer. More instructors continued to fall ill, and then, in 2003, on her 50th birthday, Cohen received her own bad news: breast cancer. "That's when I sat down with another teacher, and we remarked on all the cancers we'd seen" she says.
...By 2005, 16 staffers among the 137 who'd worked at the new school had been diagnosed with 18 cancers, a ratio nearly times the expected number. Nor were the children spared: About a dozen cancers have been detected so far among former students....
A local newspaper article about the possible disease cluster caught the attraction of Sam Milham, MD, a widely traveled epidemiologist who has investigated hundreds of environmental and occupational illness and published dozens of peer-reviewed papers on his findings. For the past 30 years, he has trained much of his focus on the potential hazards of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)-the radiation that surrounds all electrical appliances and devices, power lines, and home wiring and is emitted by communications devices, including cell phones and radio, TV, and WiFi transmitters....
With Cohen's help, Milham entered the school after hours one day to take readings. Astonishingly, in some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution exceeded his meter's ability to gauge them. His preliminary findings prompted the teachers to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration....
WHAT WAS WRONG with the La Quinta School?
THE EVIDENCE SHOWING HARM IS OVERWHELMING
Bioinitiative Working Group, an international collaboration of prestigious scientists and public health policy experts from the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and China, released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies (many very recent) that detail the toxic efforts of EMFs from all sources. Chronic exposure to even low-level radiation (like that from cell phone), the scientists concluded, can cause a variety of cancers, impair immunity, and contribute to Alzheimer's disease and dementia, heart disease, and many other ailments. "We now have a critical mass of evidence, and it gets stronger every day," says David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and coauthor of the public-health chapters of the Bioinitiative report.
FEARS ABOUT THE HAZARDS OF CELL PHONES SEEM JUSTIFIED.
THE EVIDENCE SHOWING HARM IS
A History of Harmful Effects
In the 1970s, Nancy Wertheimer, PhD, a Denver epidemiologist (since deseased), detected a spike in childhood leukemia (a rare disease) among kids who lived near electric power lines, prompting a rash of studies that arrived at similar conclusions.
In the 1980s, investigators concludeed that office workers with high exposure to EMFs from electronics had higher incidents of melanoma-a disease most often associated with sun exposure-than outdoor workers.
In 1998, reseachers with the National Cancer Institute reported that childhood leukemia risk were "significantly elevated" in children whose mothers used electric blankets during pregnancy and in children who used hair dryers, video machines in arcades, and video games connected to TVs.
How to PROTECT YOURSELF
Avoid Compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit dirty electricity. Use LED or incandescent bulbs. Do not install dimmer switches.
Main electrical and circuit breaker panels give off high EMF within 3 to 4 feet. Make sure your bed is safely distant, and keep in mind the panel may be on the floor above or below you or on the the other side of a wall. May we suggest the PowerGard, 70' Omni-Directional Optimizer, or STETZERiZER EMF Filters
FOR SAFER PHONING...
When using a cell phone: Use the speakerphone(and when you can't be sure to have the Waveshield on your cell phone) or a wired earpiece (hollow cord types are preferable.) (May we suggest the RF3 Radiation Free Headset) Do not use a Bluetooth wireless headset; combined with the phone. It can exceed even the current inadequate safety limits....
Avoid carrying it on your body, except when in "flight" or "off-line" mode. (We simply recommend turning the thing off or carry it in your bag)
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