Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

20 February 2017

The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States

The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States
by Diane Cardwell, The New York Times, 18 February 2017

(Photo):  The Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia, one of only four of the dozens of new reactors once up for licensing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission still under construction. The Vogtle project has been marred by delays and cost overruns. Credit via Georgia Power

This was supposed to be America’s nuclear century.

The Three Mile Island meltdown was two generations ago. Since then, engineers had developed innovative designs to avoid the kinds of failures that devastated Fukushima in Japan. The United States government was earmarking billions of dollars for a new atomic age, in part to help tame a warming global climate.

But a remarkable confluence of events is bringing that to an end, capped in recent days by Toshiba’s decision to take a $6 billion loss and pull Westinghouse, its American nuclear power subsidiary, out of the construction business.

Germany is Banning the Bright-Eyed Talking Doll "Cayla" that Just Might Be a Spy

A My Friend Cayla doll in London
in 2014.  Germany is banning the
doll over privacy fears.  
Rob Stothard/Getty Images
“Hello Barbie,” an interactive doll, is sold in the United States but not in Germany, where the news media has dubbed it the “Stasi-Barbie,” a reference to the widely hated East German secret police that infiltrated the everyday lives of Germans.  Cayla is also being banned in Germany... The announcement reflects the growing concerns over “smart” products in the home that can get... too smart." 

The Bright-Eyed Talking Doll That Just Might Be a Spy
by Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, The New York Times,
17 February 2017

Cayla is a blond, bright-eyed doll that chatters about horses and hobbies. She plays games and accurately answers questions about the world at large. She could also be eavesdropping on your child.

That’s the stark warning parents in Germany received on Friday from the country’s telecommunications watchdog, the Federal Network Agency, which said hackers could use the doll to steal personal data by recording private conversations over an insecure Bluetooth connection.

The watchdog said it was pulling the doll off store shelves and banning them in Germany.

“Objects that have concealed cameras or microphones that can send information endanger the private sphere,” said Jochen Homann, the agency’s president. “The Cayla doll is forbidden in Germany,” he added, citing a German telecommunications law.

19 February 2017

Dad Finds Vile Messages in Popular Game on Son's iPad

Mr. Morrison says he was propositioned in a water-
themed room in the game [Roblox].  
Source: Roblox
This article comes with a video on cyber safety for parents and children.

Dad horrified to find vile messages in popular game on son's iPad
kidspot.com, 16 February 2017

The former rugby league star said the disturbing messages in the virtual world “turned his stomach”.

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game – aimed at children - which allows strangers to contact and communicate with young kids.

Roblox, which markets itself as a gaming site for kids and teens, invites children into a virtual world to “create adventures, play games, role play and learn with their friends”.

It has more than 30 million unique monthly users - predominantly kids.

Dad Iain Morrison wants the chat facility on the site removed as it allows strangers to message kids directly.

18 February 2017

The Emerging Market of Smartphone-Integrated Infant Physiologic Monitors

Example of a "smart" onesie.  Choice of image
by Editor, "Towards Better Health"
"Despite the lack of publicly available evidence supporting the safety, accuracy, effectiveness, or role of these monitors in the care of well infants, sales of these products are brisk and the market is expanding....  There are no medical indications for monitoring healthy infants at home ....The makers of consumer infant physiologic monitors have avoided US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) medical device regulation by not making claims that the devices prevent SIDS."

The Emerging Market of Smartphone-Integrated Infant Physiologic Monitors

Viewpoint
JAMA, January 24/31, 2017

Christopher P. Bonafide, David T. Jamison, Elizabeth E. Foglia. The Emerging Market of Smartphone-Integrated Infant Physiologic Monitors. JAMA. 2017;317(4):353-354. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19137

No Abstract

Excerpts

In the past 2 years, a new class of infant physiologic monitors marketed to parents for use in the home has emerged. Smartphone applications (apps) integrated with sensors built into socks, onesies, buttons, leg bands, and diaper clips have the capability to display infants’ respirations, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation, and to generate alarms for apnea, tachycardia, bradycardia, and desaturation (Table). Despite the lack of publicly available evidence supporting the safety, accuracy, effectiveness, or role of these monitors in the care of well infants, sales of these products are brisk and the market is expanding....

There are no medical indications for monitoring healthy infants at home ....

Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuits

Many consumer advocacy groups are calling for much stronger warnings about the risk of brain tumors and other injuries from cell phone radiation, indicating that manufacturers must do more to educate consumers and ensure that they are aware of the risk.

Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuits
aboutlawsuits.com, Updated: February 2017

Radio frequency energy from cell phones could be linked to an increased risk of cancer, studies have shown. Holding or using the phones too close to the body has been linked to a potential risk of brain tumors, breast cancer and infertility.

STATUS OF CELL PHONE CANCER LAWSUITS: Product liability lawyers are continuing to review and evaluate whether financial compensation may be available through cell phone lawsuits on behalf of individuals diagnosed with brain cancer or other injuries that may be associated with significant use of mobile phones in close proximity to the body.

OVERVIEW: Cell phones are used by more than 5 billion people worldwide and there has been long debate and concerns about the potential radiation side effects from cell phones.

Americans and Cybersecurity

(jmiks/iStock.com)
Americans and Cybersecurity
by Kenneth Olmstead and Aaron Smith, pewresearch.org,m 26 January 2017

Many Americans do not trust modern institutions to protect their personal data – even as they frequently neglect cybersecurity best practices in their own personal lives

Cyberattacks and data breaches are facts of life for government agencies, businesses and individuals alike in today’s digitized and networked world. Just a few of the most high-profile breaches in 2016 alone include the hacking and subsequent release of emails from members of the Democratic National Committee; the release of testing records of dozens of athletes conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency; and the announcement by Yahoo that hackers had accessed the private information associated with roughly 1 billion email accounts. Finally, in late 2016 and early 2017 U.S. intelligence agencies (the FBI, CIA and Department of Homeland Security) both issued statements and testified before Congress that the Russian government was involved in the hack of the DNC with the aim of influencing the 2016 presidential election.

Canada: British Columbia: Anmore Residents Want Power Lines Underground

Some Anmore residents are petitioning
against a proposed transmission line
near their homes.  
Photograph By File
Anmore residents want power lines underground
by Diane Strandberg, Tri City News, 14 February 2017

Petition to Premier Christy Clark, BC Utilities Commission garners over 200 names

A group of Anmore residents is petitioning Premier Christy Clark and the BC Utilities Commission to make BC Hydro put its new transmission line underground because of safety concerns.

Urs Ribary said the utility is ignoring residents' concerns and proceeding with plans to install a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will put families at risk of high exposure to electro-magnetic fields (EMF).

"Somebody has to stand up and put on the brakes," Ribary said. "We need a safer solution."

Although the existing line has cut through people's yards along a right of way for several decades, people now are more aware of the health risks of EMF, Ribary told The Tri-City News.

But spokesperson Judy Dobrowolski said the additional line will be consolidated with an existing line, reducing the number of structures and lowering the current magnetic field levels, while existing levels are already within World Health Organization standards.

But Ribary and his group say BC Hydro's data on EMF exposure is incomplete and ignores the long-term effects of regular exposure. Putting the line underground would avoid health risks to about 140 homes and up to 700 people, he said, but BC Hydro has not entertained the idea because of the cost.

South Africa: Cellphone Tower Threat to Residents

Residents and community activists gathered in front of
the tower to voice their concerns.
Cellphone tower threat to residents
risingsunchatsworth.co.za, 15 February 2017

MTN SA media communications officer, Bridget Bhengu said, “This relates to the eThekwini pole project and all enquiries relating to it should be referred to eThekwini Municipality.”

Constant headaches, sleep deprivation and prolonged body pains are just a few of the ailments that Merebank residents have been complaining about after a cell tower was installed at the corner of Dubrigarth and Dinapur Road, last year.

Residents also claim they were not informed of the installation of the cell tower and were instead told that surveillance cameras were being installed. Now months later, the community is up in arms as they fear the radiation from the tower is resulting in the many illnesses and discomforts they are suffering with.

Study on Cell Phone, EMF Dangers Ignored

Everyone should view this presentation of the partial results of the National Toxicology Program study prepared by Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of NIEHS, and delivered by Ronald Melnick PhD, retired NIH scientist who helped design the NIEHS study. This is from the 2017 Expert Forum on Wireless and Health at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 24-27 January 2017.

Study on Cell Phone, EMF Dangers Ignored
by James Spounias, americanfreepress.net
15 February 2017

For years, scientists have been warning that pollution from electro- magnetic frequencies emitted by cell phones and WiFi “likely cause” brain and heart cancers in test animals, but no one is listening. Even worse, as technology spreads around the world, no one is working on ways to help minimize exposure to these types of toxic EMF waves.

Far-sighted health advocates have warned about the dangers of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) pollution, broadly including power lines, cellular phone towers, and cellular and cordless telephones, for a long time. New technologies such as Wi-Fi and “smart meters” bring EMF closer to us—in our homes, workplaces, and many public spaces. They also make communication towers more prolific, which intensifies the problem.

A recent study on cellular telephone dangers and proposed action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) went virtually under the radar.

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices

The screens of in-flight entertainment systems on an
Airbus A350 XWB.  
Credit Kazuhiro Nogi/
Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
[Our comment:  Why does everyone assume we all have tablets, laptops, cellphones?!   I, for one, have no cellphone - only a connected laptop and a fixed phone, to protect myself from exposure to radiofrequency radiation.]

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices

by Christopher Mele, The New York Times, 
16 February 2017

Those seat-back screens that have long been part of in-flight entertainment systems are preparing to depart from many airplanes, experts say, and will gradually be replaced by content streamed to passengers’ electronic devices through improved wireless service.

But as with a delayed flight, don’t expect the changes to take off in a hurry.

For airlines, the switch would save money and cater to customers’ changing viewing habits, which rely increasingly on tablets and smartphones, William Hoppe, the leader of travel, logistics and hospitality at Intelenet Global Services, said in an email.