Everyone of us is part of a vast radiation experiment - result unknown

As the points Dr. Dave J Aldridge's makes in his published letter are applicable to other countries, I am sending it along to you for posting.

Imelda, Cork.


Everyone of us is part of a vast radiation experiment - result unknown

IN relation to the debate in your letters columns last month concerning the hazards of cell-phone and other non-ionizing radiation, I find it inconceivable that any responsible official or body would claim such radiation to be ‘safe.’

Certainly no one with a grasp of the complex science involved would do so.

The following points need sombre reflection:

1. Every man, woman and child in Ireland is taking part, involuntarily, in one vast and irreversible non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (NI-EMR) exposure experiment, the ethics of which are highly questionable, and the long-term outcome unknown.

2. Based on experience with microwave radiation over the last 50 years and my current investigations, I believe the current maximum permitted public exposure to low band (900 mhz) cellphone radiation is 4,500 times too high and 9,000 times too high for the cell-phone high band (1.8 ghz).

Lowering this to 1mw/m2 for public exposure in ‘living spaces’ and 100mw/m2 for ‘sleeping spaces’ would provide a starting point to protect the general population against those effects not covered by the International Committee Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines (ICNIRP guidelines).

3. Government ministers and officials continue to claim cell-phone microwave radiation is ‘safe,’ quoting ICNIRP guidelines, and stating that the safety of this radiation is supported in ‘the literature.’

Yet, the actual text of the ICNIRP guidelines states something very different: that the only effect taken into consideration when framing the guidelines, and against which protection is provided, is heating effect and the guidelines are not intended to protect against cancer or other long-term effects.

I have been studying ‘the literature’ for some years - for the last five on a full-time basis.

Most of the published research has a serious shortcoming in that the sponsor of many of the projects going back the 1950s was the US military. They had - and still have - a strong interest in the denial of low-level bio-effects.

Controlling the funding, it insisted that experiments be designed to find ‘thermal only’ outcomes and that high power should be employed. Many of the investigators were not biologists, and there was extensive criticism of the behavioural test methods in the discussions of results.

For many experiments the power levels were such as to preclude observation of any bio-effects, and the behavioural tests used were so poorly selected and so insensitive as to render it impossible to detect a positive response if such occurred. When the data from a Department of Defence-sponsored experimental series claiming to show no bio-effects was re-analysed, it was shown that due to poor statistical technique and the use of the wrong mathematical model, observations of bio-effects had been conveniently lost in the ‘noise.’

If there are no low-level bio-effects, why is the US Defence Advances Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spending over $3 billion per year on EMR-based weapons research?

4. In addition to the well known microwave hearing ‘tinnitus’ effect, the list of EHS symptoms, as defined by the WHO, includes tingling of nerves, sleepiness, headache, dizziness, unconsciousness, pain, muscle spasms, palpitations, flushing, tachycardia or edema because of impairment of the circulatory system; pressure in ears, tooth pains, tightness in chest, dyspnea, nausea, belching, burning eyes and itching, burning or prickling skin.

5. Based on anecdotal evidence, I estimate that 20% of the Irish population is likely to be experiencing low-level EHS effects, and not identifying it as such. And, in turn, around 20% of that mildly affected 20% - or 4% of the total population - are experiencing it to such an extent that it effects their way of life beyond a point where it can’t be considered just inconvenient.

Since the average GP has no in-depth knowledge of EHS, one of the difficulties for the medical profession is that the symptoms mimic the onset of mental illness. Consequently, many EHS sufferers (possibly as high as 50%) are believed to have been misdiagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia.

6. Comparing AM, FM and TV broadcast signals is like comparing apples with plums and grapes. While they all are non-ionising radiation, only the 625-line TV signals in Ireland use microwaves, defined as wavelengths below 1 metre and extending from 300 mhz to 300ghz.

TV transmitters, however, due to the range required and massive power used, are placed on remote mountaintops. By contrast, cell-phone base stations are placed in close proximity to people, often against their objections.

7. The location of many cell-phone base station aerials and towers is ill advised. When possible, those aerials utilised by vets, gardaí, ESB, creameries, taxis, fire and ambulance services should be relocated from rooftops to remote hilltop bases. This measure would reduce the exposure level of the population to electro-smog and reduce the incidence of EHS effects.

The cell-phone base station, regardless of the aerial being placed on a building or tower, needs to be located in the centre of its ‘cell,’ yet its location requires careful consideration of the type of population and exposure created.

8. Co-location is a very bad idea as the radiation from each source is additive in its effects and creates ‘RF hotspots.’ It is questionable if network operators should continue to be permitted to duplicate each other’s coverage for this reason. What is needed is a national coverage plan and well documented ‘safe areas’ where NI-EMR levels are kept low. I know of a number of EHS sufferers who have built (wooden) houses in low signal level areas only to find now that their lives are being severely affected by radiation from new emitters, some far away and being transported and re-radiated by above-ground clutter such as rural ESB feed lines.

9. The Irish Doctors Environmental Association are to be applauded for their efforts in bringing the plight of EHS sufferers to the attention of the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

However, that committee apparently does not have the mandate to deal with the wider aspects of EMR hazards, including the health hazards and risks of NI-EMR associated with its application and use. NI-EMR covers all radiation from static EM fields to ultraviolet. I believe a new joint committee will be needed. The Irish Doctors Environmental Association has been handicapped as a doctors’ group only without the benefits of a biophysicist to untangle the complexities of NI-EMR/human interactions.

I hope this helps to clear away the ‘spin’ originating from the Government and its officials, as well as cellphone and other players.

Dave J Aldridge
Co Mayo


Dave J Aldridge
The Irish Anti-War Movement: Community member


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Mai 2005

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