Comparing Japan and America

Pat Ormsby (our EHS reporter in Japan) has asked me to send you in her update "Comparing Japan and America" for posting. She said she emailed it to you a few weeks ago but you may not have got it.

Best, Imelda, Cork.

Comparing Japan and America

Busy with projects, I have been out of touch with Japan's Gauss Network [Japan's EHS support network] for several months, but the major topics appear to be the problem of cellphone use on trains, especially with regard to people with pacemakers, with the barrier-free concept being brought up; the insane and probably illegal push by electric utilities and household electronics makers for all-electric housing (electric heating, induction heater cooking which involves high levels of EMF); and imprudent placement of high tension lines.

The June Gauss Tsushin newsletter had a good article by Hitoshi Ariizumi on harmful effects of low-frequency sound waves and electromagnetic waves, which I will have to sit down and read through. (I have scanned through it, and he is comparing the two because they involve sensitivity to phenomena which our traditional five senses don't catch.)

My annual trips to America used to be somewhat of a break from the constant cell phonery of Japan, but no longer. In fact, it seems to be worse than in Japan, because nobody has even heard of a problem with EMF in America. They have no idea what I am talking about. It used to be just the jet-set that had them, but now far more people are getting cell phones, and public transportation is hell for me. Worse than that, it seems to me that the phones in America are more harmful than those in Japan. This is subjective. But I always felt a distance of about two meters from phones to be okay in Japan, and in April, I heard another electrosensitive lady at the Gauss Network meeting say the same thing. This contrasts with the four meters I hear about from the ES in Europe. I also felt a problem at about four meters in America. If you are in a crowd, say shopping, this means that you will deal with far more effects of radiation. People tend to stay about a meter or more from strangers if they can, so at two meters, you'll have a few exposures now and then to the radiation, but at four meters if half of the people are carrying phones, the exposure will be nearly constant.

But let me stop griping here. I went to Chicago to the clinic of Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative practitioner whom I learned about via Omega's newsletters. Now here is a really positive contrast: while I carefully choose my words in Japan to describe my reactions to EMF and try to alert my doctors to what I regard as a dangerous situation for the public, only to be ignored repeatedly, the staff at Dr. Mercola's clinic were polite and helpful, asking me to describe my condition and countermeasures. Far from belittling me or suggesting that this was psychosomatic, they provided literature, as they do to all their patients, suggesting everyone should avoid exposure to EMF. They perform useful testing, and make dietary and lifestyle suggestions to help improve the quality of life. I highly recommend them to anyone with ES or other environment-related conditions.

My husband and I both turned out to have high levels of mercury, which should be no surprise as we eat so much fish in Japan. I have heard that some ES have gotten relief through mercury detoxification, so the next step for my husband and me will be to get our amalgams removed and we will probably have to do that overseas. But we are experiencing good effects from following the recommendations of the clinic, and anticipate further action to be very worth while.

Dr. Mercola is an admitted fan of new technology, but he also has an open mind. One of his latest newsletters had an in-depth article on the dangers of EMF. I recommend checking out his site at http://www.mercola.com

Regarding the proposal I mentioned earlier this year for a Union of Mobile Non-Users, the last I heard was that the details are still being hammered out. Swearing never to use a cell phone is probably extreme, and at the same time, probably realistic. I mean, do we really expect industry ever to get its act together and make a cell phone that is actually harmless?

I wouldn't hold my breath, and we will probably run out of oil in the meantime and be sent back to the stone age, but yes, never is a very long time. I think it would be better to put forth the challenge to industry to make something even the most sensitive can accept. The late Dr. Neil Cherry proposed very low levels of radiation, and said it was possible to achieve.

On the other hand, the Union of Mobile Non-Users is proposed not only for the ES, but also for everyone with other ethical objections to the technology: the social disruption, the pollution, resource wars, etc. These are problems that would not be solved by further technological refinement. However, extreme stances will guarantee a small union, and I hope we can make it open to anyone with any objection whatsoever to cellphone technology as it exists, and use it as an instrument to lobby for the most essential ameliorations.

I will attempt to brave the radiation of central Tokyo for the next Gauss Network meeting, and have a better report early in September.

Yours truly, Pat Ormsby

PS I just talked to Arthur Firstenberg, who is now in Santa Fe, where he says he is experiencing effects from phones at two meters rather than the usual four, and that this makes a huge difference in his health. We speculate it may be due to geomagnetic anomalies.


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September 2005

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