Posted by: karlmuller30
Wed Jan 9, 2008 4:15 am (PST)
After an earlier posting ("Man versus Mast") which I said was the last story I wrote, I remembered that I had in fact written another article on the subject. This was for a new magazine called Afropolitan, launched in Johannesburg last year in conjunction with Kaya FM, a radio station aimed at a black urban audience. Quite a sophisticated publication, glossy pages and lots of high-end advertising. I was asked at very short notice whether I could write an article on health. What appears below was written in about two hours flat in an internet cafe, and was published exactly as it appears below. This was actually the launch edition of the magazine. As far as I'm aware, there was no response of any kind to this story. I'm really hoping there are no major mistakes in it, as I say, it was written very very fast. Nonetheless, I like to think this is one of the hardest-hitting articles yet published on the subject.
This being a very self-consciously African magazine, I published the article under my full name.
As far as I know, Robert Becker (in a 2000 interview with Linda Moulton Howe of Earthfiles) is one of the very few people who have raised the possible evolutionary significance of saturation EMF pollution. I wonder what future scientists will say of what we've done to the biosphere.
Edition 2 (August 2007)
Johannesburg, South Africa
The microwave-compliant population
by Karl Mosupatsela Muller
A question to men: are you sterilising yourself on a daily basis by talking too much? You think I'm joking? Read on.
I doubt there has ever been a bigger love affair in all of history, than between South Africans and their cellphones. We were one of the first countries in the world to have more cellphones than landlines. The International Telecommunications Union reported four years ago that South Africa is unique in the world, for being the one country that is systematically rolling back on fixed-line provision.
And who can blame people for taking to this technology? Suddenly, residents of a squatter camp, who cannot possibly imagine getting a Telkom line, just need a handset (probably stolen -- the single most reported crime in South Africa is now cellphone theft) and an airtime voucher, and they can communicate with the world, even set up a business.
With markets saturated in developed countries, Africa, with its huge distances and minimal infrastructure, is seen as the "promised land" for cellphone operators. You only need to look in the business pages of any newspaper to see what a mad "scramble for Africa" is taking place among the telecoms operators.
And yet there is a vast amount of scientific evidence that exposure to microwave radiation (used by radars, microwave ovens … and cellphones) can be extremely harmful to health.
Surely, you say, there must be some form of government protection from dangerous forms of radiation?
You could not be more wrong. A query to the Minister of Health in Parliament a couple of years ago from the IFP MP Dr Ruth Rabinowitz, a medical doctor -- and the only one in South Africa of whom I am aware who has raised a single word of warning about microwave exposure -- revealed that all government regulations regarding radio emissions and health were withdrawn in November 2002, because they were "inadequate" to recent technologies. There is no protection in place for the public at all. The minister said that the cellphone companies are quite able to regulate themselves, thank you very much, and anyway, there's no health risk, so there's nothing to worry about.
Yet even Vodacom's corporate expert on health issues, Chris Mercer, fresh from a meeting with the Department of Health, told a public meeting in Bryanston this year that the company was unhappy with what he described as this "regulatory vacuum" on radiation and health.
In the meantime, studies show all kinds of health problems. Research in Sweden by Prof Leif Salford of Lund University on rats showed that just two hours of exposure to low-level cellphone radiation caused massive leaks across the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from toxins. In the case of young rats with nervous systems that were still developing, permanent destruction of brain cells occurred, particularly in areas associated with memory and learning. Salford warned that teenagers using cellphones could be "senile at 30".
And indeed, as any urban teacher or parent will tell you, we are experiencing a pandemic of attention deficit disorder and memory problems among our children, which has arisen in the last decade. When I put this to Vodacom's Chris Mercer, he said (to another public meeting): "It's because they drink Coca-Cola. You know, they use that stuff to strip paint off ships." I told him that kids have been drinking Coca-Cola (and watching TV) for decades, why has a pandemic of ADD arisen in the last few years? He had no answer.
After Salford's work, research by the Finnish government's radiation protection bureau showed massive damage the proteins of the human blood-brain barrier caused by cellphone radiation. The head of this department, Prof Dariusz Leszczynski, was in South Africa in 2004, and he issued a warning (printed in Business Day on November 9 of that year) that no one should use a cellphone for more than 15 minutes at a time, specifically to avoid damaging their brains.
It's worth pointing out that the biggest company in Finland is Nokia, and the head of the Finnish government's radiation protection bureau is not going to issue a warning like this unless he is sure that there is a problem.
When in 2004 a Hungarian study reported that men who were "heavy" cellphone users showed sperm counts down 30% compared to normal, and motility of the surviving sperm -- their ability to "swim" -- also down 30%, the cellphone industry reacted predictably, saying this was just one isolated study, not to be taken seriously.
However, in October last year, a conference on fertility held by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in New Orleans revealed new research confirming everything that the Hungarians had been saying. Men who used cellphones for more than four hours a day had the lowest sperm counts (down over 25% from normal) and the poorest quality sperm. The research was conducted by US researchers at top hospitals in Cleveland and New Orleans, and doctors in Mumbai, India.
Heavy cellphone users also showed a 50% drop in the number of properly formed sperm, with just one-fifth looking normal under a microscope.
The researchers believed the damage could be caused by the radiation emitted by handsets, or the heat they generate. Let's not forget that heat kills sperm, and that you are literally microwaving your body when you use a cellphone.
Sperm counts among British men have generally fallen by 30% over the past decade, during which period there was an explosive growth in the use of mobile phones in the UK. The drop has also been blamed on obesity, smoking, stress, pollution and chemicals that disrupt the hormonal system -- but none of these factors has changed as drastically as the amount of microwave radiation in the environment.
However, the connection between infertility and microwaves is not new. In the 1970s, according to the British expert Cyril Smith in his book Electromagnetic Man, a young chap in England climbed a microwave tower for a prank. The authorities, in what Smith describes as a "rare" admission, said that this young man had probably sterilised himself permanently. They said they had issued this fact as a warning to other pranksters.
I've even heard stories from professionals that sailors during the Second World War were aware of this effect, and deliberately used to make themselves infertile by standing in front of radar antennas before they went on shore leave, as a form of contraception. However, when I asked Chris Mercer about infertility in men caused by microwaves, his flippant reply was "Well, I wouldn't use it as a contraceptive."
Australian and Greek research showed that low-level microwaves made rats completely infertile after just five generations.
Other research has shown severe genetic damage caused by microwave radiation. In the early 1990s, Drs Lai and Singh of Washington University in the US showed double-strand DNA breaks caused by cellphone exposure, in other words permanent genetic damage. This was also attacked by the cellphone industry as "just one study". Then a multimillion-dollar research project by the European Union, called the Reflex study, confirmed this genetic damage in 2004. The cellphone industry now says this study was done in the test-tube, and therefore no conclusions can be drawn from it about health.
According to Dr George Carlo, an epidemiologist hired by the American wireless industry to research health risks, when the results started coming in, one of the most worrying findings (apart from increased cancer rates, particularly of previously rare tumours on the head) was that of "micronuclei" formation. This is when the nucleus of the cell, containing all the genetic material, actually fragments, breaking into little pieces. Micronuclei are absolute indicators of cancer. After the Chernobyl nuclear accident, survivors were screened for micronuclei to see which were at risk of contracting cancer.
So are we causing massive genetic damage to the human race? Are men busy paying to sterilise themselves as they chat away on the latest and swankiest cellphone? And is there really no protection for the public from governments anywhere?
To my mind, the most revealing story comes from Dr George Carlo's book Cell Phones -- Invisible Hazards of the Wireless Age, right from the beginning of the mobile phone explosion. The relevant US agency, the Food and Drug Agency (FDA), had one guideline on its books that might apply to devices like cellphones. The guideline stated that apparatus like this should be held at least 2,5cm (an inch) away from "the body".
The Swedish electronics firm Eriksson gave the FDA a possible interpretation of this guideline. The head is not really "the body", is it, said Eriksson. So it's OK to hold cellphones right up against the head, then, isn't it?
And the FDA said "yes".
So there you have it. It's quite OK to hold a microwave transmitter right next to your brain, the most precious organ you have, and which is known to operate with the most complex electrical activity -- because the head is not "the body". That is the protection Americans get from their government.
But of all the problems with cellphones, the destruction of sperm worries me the most. It's not just that men will become infertile (and there has been an explosion in the number of people visiting infertility clinics over the last few years in this country). It is that we are seeing very particular sperm destroyed -- sperm that is not able to handle microwave radiation. In this way, the microwave industry is creating without doubt the single greatest artificial mutation of the human race in its entire history. And the end result will be that only "microwave-tolerant" humans will be born.
People are paying fortunes in airtime to participate in the creation of a "microwave-compliant" population, in which only humans who will be potential customers of the cellphone operators will be allowed to exist. And Africa is now right in the front line of this war against "non-compliant" humanity.
Prof Leif Salford called the bathing of entire populations in microwave radiation "the single biggest experiment ever conducted on the human race".
Do I use cellphones? Not on your life. The times I've tried, I've gone deaf in the ear used almost immediately, experienced terrible headaches and fatigue lasting for hours, and once even got a bright red patch on my face where I held the phone. I am definitely not "microwave compliant", probably a result of massive previous exposure to radiation. I approached the Department of Health to see if they could do tests to prove that I was sensitive to this radiation, and they replied that they had no equipment to do even the most rudimentary experiments or research.
I honestly believe that people like me are earmarked for extermination by microwave.
How about you? Are you a human guinea pig? And if you're a man, do you keep your cellphone near your "crown jewels"?
I was once asked for advice on whether a man should keep his cellphone in his pocket. I said it was fine, as long as he kept the battery in his other pocket.