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Govt Urged to Fund Research Into Health Impacts of Wifi

Govt Urged to Fund Research Into Health Impacts of Wifi as New Research Confirms Links to Brain Cancer

December 2, 2013

The latest research out of Sweden on the use of cellphones has found that people who use a wireless phone for more than a year are 70 per cent more likely to get brain cancer than those who used the devices for less than a year.

The research, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal International Journal of Oncology, is the third paper in a series on the use of wireless phones, including cellphones and cordless phones, and the risk of malignant and non-malignant brain tumours, carried out by Dr Lennart Hardell and his colleagues.

In the wake of the research Safer Wireless Technology New Zealand Incorporated (SWTNZ) is urging the Government to fund research on the health impacts of electromagnetic radiation here, as WiFi and related wireless devices, as well as cellular reception towers, become more ubiquitous.

Spokesperson for SWTNZ Dr Stuart Reuben – a retired cardiologist - said that New Zealand was lagging behind the rest of the world on research into the effects of electro-magnetic radiation, yet was supporting an aggressive effort to ensure WIFI is installed in all areas of the country, including schools.

“The Australian Government is contributing $5m over the next five years towards research into the health effects of electromagnetic radiation from cellphones, tablets, wireless routers and other wireless technology, while this Government continues to bury its head in the sand on the issue,” Dr Reuben said.

“Our Government is continuing to claim that there are no proven links between electromagnetic radiation and major health issues such as cancer, even as the overseas research piles up to show that the opposite is in fact true,” he said. “The World Health Organisation has now classed cellphone radiation as a 2B Carcinogen, which is the same classification that DDT holds,” he said.

Dr Reuben said that New Zealand’s standard for the allowed maximum level of electromagnetic radiation is one of the highest in the world. “In New Zealand the maximum level is 450 microwatts per square centimetre, compared to Sweden  which has a maximum level of just 1 microwatt per square centimetre,” Dr Reuben said.  “And yet the Swedes still get by just fine using the latest wireless technology.

“The Swedish example begs the question of why we need such a high level here,” he said. “I’m sure the telecommunications companies in this country that are paying huge sums of money to the Government each year to install wireless transmitters in every possible nook and cranny amid our homes, schools, workplaces, recreational areas and shopping precincts would argue that they don’t actually hit anywhere near the peak levels allowed for electromagnetic radiation – but who would know, because the compliance and monitoring of the levels is so infrequent.”

“In many parts of India they have started dismantling cell towers around schools because of the research showing the health impacts on children – while our Government is insisting that Ipads (one of the higher emitters of electromagnetic radiation) are available in all schools,” Dr Reuben said.

“What the overseas research is all pointing to is that if we continue to allow our children to be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation, many of them are very likely to be diagnosed with leukemia and brain tumours within a few years. Is this really something we are willing to err on the side of risk with, when our children put their lives in our hands?”

SWTNZ wants the Government to put funding into researching the health impacts of electromagnetic radiation from wireless technology, cellphone towers, cellphones and other related devices so that the allowed levels per square centimetre in New Zealand are lowered.

“Even if we halved the standard to 225 microwatts per square centimetre, we’d still have a level that’s 225 times higher than Sweden, and higher than many other countries in the world that enjoy the latest wireless technology,” Dr Reuben said.

A preliminary New Zealand study carried out by a PHD student from Victoria University  last year  on the behavioural effects  of wireless technology on adolescents which was published in Environmental Health this year found that sustained exposure to electromagnetic radiation caused irritability, disturbed sleep patterns, lack of concentration and lethargy. It is surely relevant that Victoria University resolved that emissions from transmitters on their property should not exceed 3 microwatts per square centimetre.

- Ends –

For more info on the Australian research funding visit:

http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/outcomes-funding-rounds/nhmrc-funded-research-effects-electromagnetic-energy/nhmrc-grants-eme

To read the latest Swedish research on the links between the use of wireless devices and brain cancer in the International Journal of Oncology visit:

http://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ijo.2013.2111

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