EMF News Digest for 2-25-2011


Bottom-up energy innovation takes off in Marin
Peter Asmus – San Francisco Chronicle

Most folks are gung-ho on the amazing power of wireless communications technology. Yet in my Marin County town, citizens are up in arms, blockading trucks and opposing the mandatory installation of SmartMeters – pulsing wireless signals about real-time energy usage so Pacific Gas and Electric Co. knows exactly how much power I consume, and when. Unfortunately, PG&E and other utilities have been slow to recognize that a top-down “one size fits all” approach to modernizing our aging, dinosaur electricity grid is not the only path forward.
PG&E has somehow been able to galvanize a constituency opposed to SmartMeters that reaches to both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Tea Party moms and pops are joining hands (at least temporarily) with ex-hippies. Scientists are also now engaged, warning about the possible health impacts of a completely wireless world running our communications and power systems.
SmartMeter opponents have been bolstered by recent developments. Last month, a study by Sage and Associates claimed that wireless SmartMeters may cause neurological symptoms such as headache, sleep disruption, restlessness, tremors, cognitive impairment and tinnitus, as well as increased cancer risk and heart problems.
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Cell Phone Radiation Changes Brain Metabolism Low-Level Effects Get a Boost
Microwave News
A well-regarded and influential team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) is on the brink of resolving a long-standing dispute with enormous implications for public health. In a paper due out tomorrow, Nora Volkow and coworkers are reporting that cell phone radiation can affect the normal functioning of the human brain.

Whether these short-term changes will lead to health consequences (and what they might be) is far from clear — though Volkow already has preliminary indications of a long-term effect. Nor is the mechanism of interaction yet known. But the new finding, if confirmed, would at the very least force a rethink of the prevailing orthodoxy, which maintains that low levels of RF and microwave radiation are too weak to have any effect and can be disregarded.

“The study is important because it documents that the human brain is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by cellphones,” Volkow told the New York Times.

Using positron emission tomography (PET), the NIH-BNL researchers have shown that radiation from a 50-minute cell phone exposure can speed up glucose metabolism, an established measure of brain activity. The finding is highly statistically significant. What is particularly remarkable about the new work is that those regions of the brain that were most highly exposed to phone radiation had the largest increases in metabolic activity. The NIH-BNL paper is published in the February 23rd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

“This paper is just dynamite,” said David Carpenter, the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment in Albany, NY. “It’s going to be very difficult to deny that RF radiation from a cell phone does not alter nervous system activity.” Carpenter, a neurophysiologist, has been active in the electromagnetic research community for over 30 years. “This work will turn the whole issue around,” he told Microwave News.

Ronald Herberman, the former director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, called the NIH-BNL report “stunning”…read more
For more information, please visit www.ehtrust.org, www.powerwatch.org, and www.bioinitiativereport.org
Reference to BMC Genomics study:
Karinen A, Heinävaara S, Nylund R, Leszczynski D. Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human skin. BMC Genomics 9, 2008, 77 (www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/9/77)
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DP&L only Ohio power company to delay ‘smart meter’ upgrades
By Tom Beyerlein
, Staff Writer Updated 11:08 PM Saturday, February 5, 2011

DAYTON — Dayton Power & Light Co. is the only major Ohio electric utility that isn’t rolling out digital “smart meters” that can reduce the duration of outages during storms such as the one last week that knocked out power to tens of thousands of local residents.

The meters improve response times by automatically pinpointing where outages occur. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last month approved DP&L’s withdrawal of a $370 million, 10-year plan to create a so-called smart grid here. The project was designed to improve reliability, help customers manage their energy use and costs, and make it easier to integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the grid.

Duke Energy of Ohio and AEP-Ohio have begun installing smart meters in southwest and central Ohio, and FirstEnergy Corp. plans to launch a pilot program in northeast Ohio this year.

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RESEARCH ON BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIO FREQUENCY RADIATION IN EURASIAN COMMUNIST COUNTRIES, 1976.
Magda Havas
February 24, 2011.  The Defense Intelligence Agency of the United States released a document referenced below that had a security classification as “confidential” and has since been “unclassified”.  This document may help us better understand why the U.S. military is interested in opposing a more protective guideline for microwave radiation.
Adams, R.L. and R.A. Williams.  1976.  Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation (Radiowaves and Microwaves) – Eurasian Communist Countries (U). Prepared by U.S. Army Medical Intelligence and Information Agency Office of the Surgeon General and was released by the Defense Intelligence Agency.  34 pp.  Unclassified.
Abstract:   This study was undertaken to provide a review and evaluation of the current Eurasian Communist country state-of-the-art in the area of the effects of radiowaves and microwaves. It generally covers the 1968-1975 period. The major topics include discussions of the effects on humans and animals. The study provides information on the genera1 trends of research with special attention to possible military applications. Where appropriate, information on safety standards and research personalities and facilities is provided.
If the more advanced nations of the West are strict in the enforcement of stringent exposure standards, there could be unfavorable effects on industrial output and military function.
Clearly “industrial output and military function” come before health!
To read more and download this document click here. 
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PRESS RELEASE
“They speak of fraud — which did not happen — to be able to deny the elephant in the room.”

Attempt to Destroy Scientific Mobile Telecommunication Data at the Medical University of Vienna Failed

Berlin, 31 January 2011 – Mid-2007 Prof. Alexander Lerchl, a biologist at the private Jacobs University Bremen and a member of the German Commission on Radiological Protection at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, informs the rector of the Medical University of Vienna, Prof. Wolfgang Schütz, about a serious suspicion: the findings described in two publications from the Division of Occupational Medicine of his university are most likely fraudulent. This news is picked up by numerous national and international media, with the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel leading the way, and broadcasted to the whole world. The documentation provided on our website reports on the strenuous attempts to remove the Vienna research findings, which indicate that cell phone radiation has a cancer-causing potential, from the scientific literature. Two scientists in important social positions, who certainly can be sure of the mobile phone industry’s appreciation, were in front of the line. That they disregard the information of the general public in favour of the cell phone industry do both – as it seems – approvingly accept.
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Please contact the FCC and tell them that 3% of the population suffers from electromagnetic sensitivity and needs to have land lines.  They cannot use cell phones.  Mention the 6500 doctors who have signed the Freiburger Appeal stating that electromagnetic sensitivity is the probable cause for numerous illnesses they are seeing in many of their patients. Ask them to say no to AT&T’s request to dismantle land line service. 
 
How to Contact the FCC: 
Chairman Julius Genachowski: Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: Michael.Copps@fcc.gov
Commissioner Robert McDowell: Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker: Meredith.Baker@fcc.gov
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554 
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From Co-Editor Mary Beth Brangan:
This is interesting from the 2009 article below: 
“In some areas, such as apartment buildings or other large multi-family buildings, transmitting communications over power lines makes sense because metering devices are most often installed in the basement and out of transmission range for smart appliances or in-home display units located in individual units.”

Why isn’t this being done?
MB

Silver Spring reveals ZigBee development partner

Monday, 02 March 2009 17:07
Silver Spring Networks, a leading smart grid technology firm, announced on February 26 that it has partnered with Exegin Technologies to develop ZigBee based software applications.  

ZigBee is a wireless standard that allows smart grid components to communicate intelligently without human intervention.  The protocol has gained a lot of momentum for use in smart grids because of the very low power requirements, low bandwidth, and low cost.  Because of these factors, ZigBee is rapidly emerging as a favourite for transmitting information from smart meters to monitoring and controlling equipment in the home.

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This is an excellent article – detailing the resistance and potential international failure of the Smart Grid based on the consumer pushback. The National is an English-language journal from the middle east-located in Abu Dhabi.

Health risks could switch off home energy meters 
Storm clouds are gathering over the booming domestic-energy monitoring sector in the US as concern grows that household electricity smart meters could pose serious health risks.
Investors in this new sector should be aware that, despite its green-energy saving credentials, the smart-metering industry could become the focus of international concern regarding the levels of radiation generated by the new digital devices.
The smart-meter sector is now starting to see a trend towards mergers and acquisitions. But reports in mid-February that smart-meter maker Landis & Gear, believed to be worth roughly US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn), is about to be auctioned coincided with news of mounting anti-smart meter protests in the US.
In California, the anti-smart metering lobby is claiming that poorly trained engineers are installing potentially lethal smart meters. In Australia, the Electrical Union claims that Energy Safe, the industry regulator, is allowing unqualified subcontractors to install smart meters in Victoria.

These fears have together created a powerful alliance between California’s liberal left, who are mainly concerned about health issues, and right-wing groups who believe the installation of smart meters are the thin end of a wedge of future state intervention into citizens’ personal lives.
California’s rejection of smart meters could also have investment repercussions way beyond energy-monitoring companies. Smart metering is a central pillar of President Barack Obama’s vision of a “green grid” supplying energy nationwide.
Should the US health and privacy fears continue to spread internationally, there could be global consequences.
According to Pike Research, the total installed base of smart meters in the Asia Pacific will increase from 52.8 million in 2010 to 350.3m by 2016. But the global growth of the industry in the Asia Pacific and elsewhere will suffer a severe setback should consumer resistance to smart-meter installation continue to grow throughout 2011.
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