The cellular companies are threatened more than ever

The discussion on changing the Israeli law (that was postponed to next Sunday) makes a lot of headlines in attempt to influence the politicians' opinion. The public resistance really threatens now. Today's headilnes in the major newspaper's weekend supplement: "Big panic, small radiation".

The article is on three pages, and deals with the question of whether the phone and antennas' radiation is dangerous. "Depends on who you ask" writes the reporter. And he asks Dr. Sigal Sadezky, leader of Israeil's Interphone study. "Sadezky cannot refer to the study's results, but according to her, no serious study on cellular radiation health effects has been done until today. The sad truth is that the medical community just doesn't know what this radiation does to our body. Studies were done on other types of radiation, of the same type of the cellular radiation (microwave radiation), but Sadezky says that it is not possible to conclude conclusive evidence on the cellular radiation from them. It is true that the WHO set standards for this radiation, but there are no conclusive medical data that can say whether the standard itself is right or not. Sadezky says that the only radiation that the standard refer to is thermic, and the effects of the a-thermic radiation do not receive attention. She says that there is concern that the a-thermic radiation affects the brain. If there are no data, why is there an attempt to restrict the use of children? According to Sadezky, it is about preventive medicine. Children are very sensitive population to diseases and none wants to take the responsibility, if it will be found that something bad happens to children because of the cellular devices."

The reporter goes with a representative of the Env ministry to see what the levels of radiation on the street are. "The measurement shows 0.26 mW/cm2. The maximal value of the resident area is 40 mW/cm2 [this is not a law but a recommendation by Israeli Env ministry. Not enforced.]...We measured also the cellular phones themselves, in order to understand whether radiation is emitted from other devices as well. The radiation from the cellular phone that receives calls was 6.63 mW/cm2 - 25 times more than the radiation under the antenna. The radiation from the base of a wireless phone was 17 mW/cm2 - 65 times more than the radiation under the antenna. But t is impossible to compare between the radiation from these devices and the radiation from cellular antenna. The value of the measurement is, that it enables to show that also devices emit radiation. The wireless phone, for example, transmits in completely different frequencies than the antenna. In order to really compare the reception of the absorption of radiation from the cellular phones in the body, it's necessary to calculate power and frequencies, and to use other measurement devices. It means, that radiation measurement that is brought here does not say that wireless phone emits more radiation than cellular antenna."

(Reporter: Gil Kalian to Yediot Ahronot 22.7.05)

Sever Plozker, the leading economics reporter in the leading newspaper of the country. His healine is:


"Most cellular phones users have no idea how it really works. We cannot grasp how the voice moves and the pictures - thousands of km from the little device in our pocket to the little device in the other speaker's device in his pocket. The whole cellular issue looks to us as a mix of a misterious technology and black magic. And it frightens. It is frightening to think that our phone works as a transmitter and antenna. It is frightening to think that every hundreds of meters a big antenna is erected...it is frightening to think that misterious waves move all the times in the air, whisper in our ears, drip from the antennas around us.

And above all is the dull but consistent fear from 'radiation'. "Radiation" is bad, it makes you sick, it makes you cancer, radiation 'cooks your brain'. The pessimists among us suggest a precedent: the truth that cigarettes damage health, they say, was also hidden from the public for dozens of years, until brave scientists tore the lies mask apart of the cigarettes manufacturers and their servants. What can be said in front of this the crowd noise?

The truth can be said. The job of the media is to say the truth, and not to swell prejudices and to strengthen the ignorance only because it's good for the rating.

In January 2005 the National Committe for Radiation Protection, a leading American body whose job is to warn the public against possible radiation damages, made an exhaustive review of all the recent studies on the cellular radiation and public health. In the summery it was said, conclusively: there is no risk for public health from the cellular phones system, not from the mobiles themselves and certainly not from the external antennas.

And that's how the authors write, in their clumsy scientific language: 'The recent studies arrive to similar conclusions...they emphasize that exposure to very weak radiation, that characterizes antennas of cellular technology, cannot cause any bio-physical effects'

In 2002 the health council of the Neatherland published an extensive and exhaustive study that is cited today as a corner stone in every discussion on health and phones, of which subject is the assesment of the health effects from mobile phones. This study's results were also final: there is no place for worry from a possible negative effect from phones and antennas on health, apart from during driving. The committee was so sharp in its decisions, that it wrote: 'There is no reason to restrict the use of cellular phones by children". With regard to cellular antennas, these are not a reason for worry in any case, or as John Moulder, professor of radiation oncology from Wisconsin University, writes this month on his internet website: 'The general agreement of the scientific community in the U.S and in the world is that the power that is emitted from cellular antennas is too weak to cause any health damage'.

These determinings, it is right to point, were first included in the report done by Stewart Committee in the year 2000. It ordered, on the basis of medical and scientific studies, that there is no proof for the existance of adverse health effects from radiation that is emitted by mobile phones or cellular antennas.

All the committees and all the reviews recommend, taken for granted, to continue and study the subjects. But the more studies published, the conclusion is strengthened about the lack of damage of the whole cellular system. Is it possible that all the scientists and all the doctors and all the physicists are wrong? Could be, but the probability strives to zero. About the same probability that the sun won't shine tommorow.

There is no imagination and no parallel between the danger of smoking and the 'danger' of a cellular antenna or a mobile phone. The known health effects of smoking were known to the scientific and medical community many years before the cigarette companies were forced to print them on the boxes. Since the end of the second world war, many scientific studies were published that arrived to the same conclusion: smoking damages health. It was the concensus of the physicians and scientists. The difficulty was to convince the politicians to fight the cigarette companies for the public. With regard to the cellular phones, the situation is opposite. Almost all the scientific community is united in the notion that there is no health damage from phone use and it tries with all of its force to restrain the popolist politicians who ride on the obscure fear wave of the 'radiation'. I trust in this issue, like on other issues, the many articles by the most serious weekly newspaper, the British "the economist", which warns again and again of a crowd panic with no basis in the subject of cellular antennas and phones.

"Almost all the scientific community is united in the notion that there is no health damage from phone use..." Omega this statement is plain and simple not true. See further under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

All the infrastructure for the modern life is dangerous: the road is dangerous, the private car is dangerous, the train is dangerous, the flight is dangerous, the power network is dangerous and radio waves are dangerous. In spite of that, without all these, life is not possible. The cellular phone, to our joy, is the last of the dangers list. But in oder to even make the probability of the (unproven) damage to public health, there is a need to increase the cellular antennas number and not to reduce it. The more the distance between the antena and the mobile phone is shotrer, the radiation power is lower and the whole system is safer. That's why the regulatory systems in Singapore,the Neatherland and in the U.K pressure on the cellular companies to increase significantly the number of the cellular antennas and reduce the distances among them.

The authorities also encourage moving to advanced cellular networks. The newer the phone- the less radiation it emits. If something can be dangerous to our health, they were our first phones, the heavy and analogue. But also their health risk was much lower than of the use of wireless phone in our home.

And finally, a local remark: the radiation standards in Israel, with regard to the cellular system, are much stricter than in most countries. Are all these facts going to influence the politicians in Israel? Will they influence the ministers in the government or PM so they will act to calm the public down and not to increase their unlogical fears? You made me laugh. Israel is a country of celebrating and violent regime popolism." (Sever Plozker, Yediot 22.7.2005)

*** A huge antenna was erected a week ago at night in Ramat Gan, with the approval of the mayor. The residents went out in the middle of the night and blocked the roads. The police spread them but the public pressure worked. The mayor ordered to destroy the antenna. At the same nigh another huge was erected In Givataim at about 24:00 o'clock. The residents went out to the streets, the mayor met with them in the night, and decided to appeal to the court. The cellular company put there a aguard to guard the antenna. The court ordered to remove the antenna until the next discussion on the subject. (Yediot Ahronot 18.7.2005)

Givataim residents stood with signs saying: "A Jew does not cause cancer to another Jew". (Yediot 22.7.05)

*** In Kara (arab village) people threw a grenade (weapon) on celullar antenna (internet reporting)

*** A new bill to ban cellular phones under the age of 8, by parliament member Lea Ness. She says: "cellular is not a kids game". The new bill is a result of Repacholi's statement that was published as a new research findings by the WHO, findings that prove that children are exposed more to cellular radiation than adults. The newspaper reports that the leaders of the study claim that the skull of children is thinner and their brain is in process of development. Lea Ness suggest to make the cellular companies and stores responsible not to sell phones to children under 8 year old.
(Maariv 21.7.2005)

Interesting to note: one of the cellular companies' executive, (Cellcom's) is a pediatrician by profession.

*** the 3 executives of the three cellular companies in Israel fired their PR office in order to attack personally, the public resistance to cellular antennas. This is the proof, as it was written in the newspaper today, that the PR office which was their way to deal with "public perception" - failed in its job. The three executives sent a letter to Ofir Pines, Home office minister, who leads the fight for a change in the law (which is going to be discussed on Sunday.)

They wrote him that because this issue is discussed extensively in the media lately, people all over the country damage cellular towers that were erected according to the law, and "workers of the companies were exposed to direct violence, only because they did their job according to the law and to the strict standards".

They wrote him that "the fear of transmission sites with which we deal for several years is a subject that is very easy to 'ride' on, and frighten the public about. It is difficult to explain the simple facts, according to which there is not any connection between the celullar antennas and a health problem, and the more antennas are, the less the transmission power is from the cellular devices that are close to our heads. It mustn't happen that your public fight will cause blaze of emotions and a surf to a dangerous slope in which the lay person will be convinced that the antenna that is erected according to the law can hurt him".
(Source: Haaretz, The Marker 21.7.2205 p. 8)

The war is a war of the control over knowlege, and the companies want us to be ignorant and submissive. But it just doesn't work so easy this time, like it worked for the cigarettes and asbestos companies. And if you read until here, there's a sentence from a beautiful song by Manic Street Preachers which I find very rellevant to the cellular issue. It says: If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

Iris Atzmon.


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Juli 2005

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