Union wants audit over tumours

12th May, 2006

AM - RMIT launches investigation into cause of staff brain tumours http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1636831.htm

Five members of staff at RMIT University in Melbourne have been diagnosed with brain tumours in the last month.

Two other staff members have developed brain tumours in recent years and the university.


Union wants audit over tumours

May 12, 2006

THE academics' union has demanded a health audit of at least 1,000 university workers and the closure of the top two floors of a building at the centre of a brain tumour scare.

Seven RMIT University staff members working in the building in central Melbourne have been diagnosed with brain tumours over the past seven years. National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Victorian secretary Matthew McGowan said five of the tumours had been diagnosed in the past month alone. Of the seven tumours, two are malignant.

Concerns have been raised over a possible link between two mobile phone towers on the building's roof and staff members becoming ill.

"We want a full audit of all of the health issues in the building to see whether or not there are any other illnesses that haven't been picked up," Mr McGowan said.

"They ought to be exploring the health situation of basically anyone who has worked in that building for the last 10 years.

"I would be surprised if it's less than 1,000."

The union has called for the top two floors of the building, floors 16 and 17, to be closed.

Mr McGowan criticised the university for not closing the two floors after the union received reports today of some workers remaining on the 16th level.

"They have invited staff to go home if they wish but they haven't actually closed them," he said.

"We're very disappointed. We were led to believe that they had closed those two departments ... and that hasn't occurred."

Mr McGowan said the union was not claiming the cause of the tumours was "necessarily" the mobile phone towers.

"What we are saying is there is a coincidence here. The coincidence is strong enough that it deserves serious attention."

Meanwhile lawyer Andrew Dimsey, who is advising the union, warned that the workers suffering the tumours could bring a class action against the university but only "if it could be established that their illnesses were caused by workplace radiation exposure".

"The most likely avenues for legal redress are workers compensation claims and potentially common-law negligence claims," he said.

"However, that would really depend on the scientific evidence being in place."

A case also could be brought against Telstra which owns the phone towers it was shown the towers caused the tumours.

Dr Bruce Hocking, an occupational health medicine expert, described the incidence of seven brain tumours in the one workplace over seven years as "highly unusual".

The normal incidence of brain tumours was one per 10,000 people annually, he said.

The building should be investigated for possible causes including the air-conditioning and any dangerous material left behind from research activities.

It was an "open question" as to whether mobile phone towers could cause brain tumours, especially if they had not been installed properly, he said.

"We need to keep an open mind in this particular situation dependent on what we find about the mobile phone towers," he said.

An RMIT spokeswoman said there no workers remained on the 17th floor but some had chosen to continue working on the 16th floor.

Results for preliminary testing for electromagnetic radiation around the building conducted today by RMIT were not available.


This report was published at dailytelegraph.news.com.au

Copyright 2004 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT+10).

The World Today - Health experts investigate RMIT cancer scare http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1637123.htm
Occupational health experts are investigating the cause of a serious cancer scare at RMIT University in Melbourne Seven of the Universitys staff who all work in one university building have recent...

Informant: Eileen O'Connor


Important comments on the RMIT cell tower case

Following a message I sent out on the bioelectromagnetics list on the RMIT building controversy, several comments were posted that are quite relevant to the case and dispute the understanding that being directly underneath a cellphone antenna facility means the RF/MW levels are minimal. As one technician said to me just yesterday: “If you have a cell phone antenna on the roof of a building, the safest place to be is below”.

Don Maisch

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Cancer Clusters in Vicinity to Cell-Phone Transmitter Stations

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Depleted Uranium: A Scientific Perspective


Informant: Milo

Melbourne office closes floors after mobile phone cancer scare

Thu May 11, 8:49 PM ET

The top two floors of a Melbourne building have been closed after seven office workers were diagnosed with brain tumors some fear may be linked to mobile phone transmitters on the roof, officials said.

The floors housing offices of a technical university were ordered evacuated Thursday after four staff members were found to have brain tumors over the past two weeks.

Those tumors were in addition to three other cases among staff working on the floors, the first dating back to 2001, according to officials of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).

A spokesman for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Steve Somogyi, said telecommunications transmitters on the roof of the building had raised concerns in the past, but a 2001 study found no link between them and the first cancer cases.

But he said the university was not ruling anything out and would ensure further studies were carried out.

"Clearly we're very concerned with the health and safety of our staff. Therefore we have taken a number of key actions to ensure that our staff can continue to work in a healthy framework," he said.

NTEU secretary Matthew McGowan said the concentration of brain tumor cases among staff working together "would appear to be much more than coincidence".

"What we know at this stage is that five of the cases occurred on the top floor and that's a highly unusual concentration," he said on Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

"What we also know is that a majority of those people are long-term employees, they've been there for more than 10 years," he said.

Five of those affected were academic staff and the other two administrative workers.

McGowan said it was not believed that students would have been affected because "they are in and out of the building" rather than working in the area long-term.

He said at least five of the brain tumor cases were not malignant, but there were unconfirmed reports of "a couple of other people who've also had similar injuries" and possibly one person who died of their illness.

Australia's biggest telephone company, Telstra, maintains mobile phone towers on the building and issued a statement saying the equipment complied with health and safety standards and was regularly tested.

"The standards are set by Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and based on strict World Health Organisation guidelines," it said.

But the company pledged to cooperate with RMIT's investigation "to address any staff concerns."

Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.


Informant: Leaflady

Cold War Talk Prompts Russian Call for 'World Government'

Russian Foreign Secretary Sergueii Lavrov called for the establishment of a world government, bringing together the United States and Russia. Lavrov's call comes at a time of a chilling of relations between Moscow and Washington and amidst signs of a new Cold War.


From Information Clearing House

Phone tower cancer fears

More on RMIT brain tumour controversy

From The Age Melbourne, May 12, 2006:

Phone tower cancer fears


A SPATE of brain tumours among staff has forced RMIT University to close part of its business school and test for radiation emissions from rooftop phone towers.

As staff reacted with shock, the university yesterday shut the top two floors of the Bourke Street building and ordered more than 100 employees to work from home for the next fortnight.

The closure follows the discovery of five brain tumours in the past month and two others in 1999 and 2001. Two were malignant and five were benign.

WorkCover has launched an investigation and RMIT has promised its own inquiry.

The academics' union last night expressed concern that the tumours were caused by the communications towers on the roof of the former Tivoli Theatre site.

National Tertiary Education Union state secretary Matthew McGowan warned that anecdotal reports from hastily arranged staff meetings yesterday suggested the number of people affected would grow.

"You have to ask some pretty serious questions and we're obviously concerned that it could be linked to the tower," he said.

"This would appear to be much more than coincidence and RMIT has a responsibility to leave no stone unturned in seeking the truth."

Five of the seven affected work on the top floor of the 17-storey building. All except one have worked in the building for at least a decade.

An RMIT academic who did not want to be named said staff ? the 16th and 17th floors are home to offices of senior management and lecturers ? were "in disbelief, concerned and upset" as they attended meetings and left the building late yesterday.

Medical experts contacted by The Age said no definitive link had been proved between mobile phone tower radiation and cancer.

Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal said there was no proof of a connection but "if you get clusters of disease it's sensible to investigate."

Dr John Gall, from private health company Southern Medical Services, which has been called in to assess the sick, said last night three of those affected had tumours showing symptoms consistent with radiation.

But he said there was no causal link with the building based on preliminary observations.

A spokesman for state Health Minister Bronwyn Pike said WorkCover would investigate the matter and the Department of Human Services would provide any expertise needed.

RMIT chief operating officer Steve Somogyi said testing was carried out on the building after the first two of the seven tumours were reported in 1999 and 2001. It found radiation and air quality levels within recommended guidelines.

"We value the health and safety of our staff and students veryhighly. The incidence of illness is disturbing and we shallcontinue to check for any possible cause connected to thebuilding," Mr Somogyi said.

But RMIT union branch president Jeanette Pierce said the university agreed to shut the two floors only after being pressuredby the union. "I'm a bit mystified that the university wasn't planning to vacate and that we had to make the point that theyneeded to vacate those two floors," she said.

There are more than 160 mobile phone towers in central Melbournealone. A Telstra spokeswoman said last night the company had twotowers at the Tivoli site, but both met health and safety standardsand were tested regularly.

"An enormous amount of medical research has been conductedwithout any substantiated evidence of a link between mobile phonetechnology and adverse health effects, including cancer," she said.

RMIT management emailed all staff and students late yesterdayand said health check-ups and counselling would be made available.About 600 staff work in the building.

Mr McGowan said shutting the two floors should be just the firststep. "We think they should be testing all staff who have worked onthose levels and not just for tumours. We need to understand whatare the health risks that people are suffering," he said.

A help line for students and family members is available on 1800155 945.

Tanya Stoianoff, the executive director of the Mobile CarriersForum, which represents mobile phone companies, said there was nocredible scientific evidence of health effects from living or working near a mobile phone base station.

Shocked students to avoid suspect floors

By Chee Chee Leung and Adam Morton

May 12, 2006

RMIT STUDENTS waiting to enter classes late yesterday afternoon were shocked by news of the tumour scare, with many yet to receive official notification from the university.

Business management student Deb Ferguson said she was surprised it had been going on for so many years, and considers herself lucky to be only a part-time student ? and one that doesn't venture higher than the 10th floor.

"I'll just quickly pop in and out," she said.

"I think it will freak out full-time students, especially if they have been here a long time ... but it's reassuring to know that something will be done about it."

Business Information Technology research director Bill Martin said people were scared, but relieved the university was shutting the floors.

"As soon as I've finished this meeting we've been told to go home and not come back for two weeks," he said.

"Everyone thought they will announce an inquiry and it will drag on and while it's dragging on we'll all be getting sick, but to my amazement they've acted."

Staff approached by The Age declined to comment about it by name, but one said: "I think everybody's pretty scared ... You don't know why and it seems very unusual there's five (affected) on the one floor."

Another said she was horrified that academics were not told of an earlier investigation into the first two tumours - discovered in 1999 and 2001 - until yesterday.

That investigation found the radiation and air quality levels were within recommended guidelines.

"That's horrible ? that they knew that five years ago but didn't tell us," she said.

"It's spooky, everyone is a little shaken."

She said staff were in disbelief and upset and confused, with wild rumours circulating about staff members having died.

The university said all seven people with tumours were alive.

MBA student Mark McCormack doesn't go past the 11th floor, which he reckons is "a good thing".

"It's just a bit hard to fathom ... I'm actually starting to feel a bit worried about going up there. It's sort of overwhelming."

Other students felt it might not be anything more than coincidence, including banking and finance student Yared Haile.

"It's a shock. We go to level 13 and 14 at least once a week to submit our assignments and talk to teachers. (Floors) 16 and 17 is not that far," he said.

"But it could be a coincidence. We don't know until the investigation is done."

Accounting student Peter Bateman expressed a similar view.

"Of course it would concern you, but how do you know it's actually the building? It could be anything, it could be coincidence."


Cell Phone EMF Damage to Blood-Brain Barrier & DNA; Increased Cancer

We continually hear from the cell phone industry that cell phones are safe and yet many others state that they are not. There is one person who can truly be considered an expert on the subject because he headed a massive investigation on behalf of the cell phone industry, Dr. George Carlo. He was the Chief Scientist of the Worlds Largest Research Effort into Wireless Safety. He uncovered reasons to believe that serious medical harm was being caused by cell phones. This information is still being hidden by the cell phone industry.

Please listen to this interview and consider reading his (and Martin Schram's) book - Cell Phones, Invisible Hazards of the Wireless Age.


Martin Weatherall

----- Original Message -----
From: Donag1
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 2:01 PM
Subject: Cell Phone EMF Damage to Blood-Brain Barrier & DNA; Increased Cancer

Mary was checking the net for Protection from EMF and found the following website with the attached archive to a 2006 Radio Program by Dr. George Carlo, a scientist who headed the $28.5 million research program funded by the cell phone industry: http://www.emf-health.com/biopronews-drcarlo-interview.htm
Dr. Carlo appeared on 20/20, 60 Minutes, etc. and is scheduled to have a July 2006 documentary film of his work released to major theaters. He also published a book in 2001. His continued work will be toward repairing damages and to protect citizens as much as possible.

Hope you'll take time to listen to the whole program, or hear it in parts. It explains a lot about the "Information Blackout" on EMF Health Problems. The epidemic has already begun with Broadband as well as Cell Phones -- our environment is truly being contaminated.

Here's another case where promotion for profit was ahead of the health of citizens.

Don Hillman,
Ph.D. Professor Emeritus,
Michigan State University


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