The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter

Debate on health effects of Internet penetration reignited

Related

Mobile-phones-WiFi• Electromagnetic radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones/towers, ipads, smart metres causes ill-health
• Cell phone radiation study confirms cancer risk

Recent studies have reignited the debate on the health effects of Internet penetration and the increased use of smart phones all over the world. Researchers suggest that the electromagnetic radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones/towers, ipads, smart metres and many other devices that uses the Radio Frequency spectrum, is making humans sick.

The science is strong, extensive, in some cases over 50 years old (army scientist studying the effects of radar) and many leading scientists are very worried. However, the world of industry, and more worryingly, the government bodies that regulate exposure and public health, has chosen to look the other way. The consequences are awful.

Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the “anxiety and speculation” regarding electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and their alleged effects on public health.A United Kingdom’s (UK’s) leading doctor on the issue, Dr. Erica Mallery Blythe, said there is also an estimated 13,000,000 Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Sufferers (EHS) in Europe. Sweden classifies EHS as a ‘disability’ and there are now 500,000 registered EHS sufferers in Sweden.

Blythe said: “The debate saying there’s no proof just doesn’t cut it anymore… that’s sounding like smokers in the 70’s and 80’s. It is clear that ubiquitous exposure from EMF is messing with us at a very subtle level… quantum biology is where this is going to be established. But before then many people will fall ill. Teachers, doctors and nurses themselves…all of us… but most importantly and most at risk, children.”

A recent cell phone radiation study by researchers from the Orebro University, Sweden, has confirmed cancer risk.The National Toxicology Programme (NTP) under the Swedish National Institutes of Health has completed the largest-ever animal study on cell phone radiation and cancer.

According to Associate Director of the NTP, Dr. John Bucher, the results confirmed that cell phone radiation exposure levels within the currently allowable safety limits are the “likely cause” of brain and heart cancers in these animals. One in twelve male rats developed either malignant cancer (brain and rare heart tumours) or pre-cancerous lesions that can lead to cancer. Tumors called schwannomas were induced in the heart, in the same kind of cells in the brain that have lead to acoustic neuromas seen in human studies.

The NTP said it is important to release these completed findings now given the implications to global health. No cancers occurred in the control group.Prof. Lennart Hardell of Orebro University said: “The animal study confirms our findings in epidemiological studies of an increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma among people that use wireless phones, both cell phones and cordless phones (DECT). Acoustic neuroma is a type of Schwannoma, so interestingly this study confirms findings in humans of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma. In 2013 we called for upgrading the risk in humans to Group 1, the agent is carcinogenic to humans. It is now time to re-evaluate both the cancer risk and other potential health effects in humans from radiofrequency radiation and also inform the public.”

Hardell added: “This NTP evidence is greatly strengthening the evidence of risk, is sufficient to reclassify cell phone radiation as a known cancer-causing agent, and confirms the inadequacy of existing public safety limits.”

The WHO’s 10-year study of human use of mobile phones concluded there is an increased risk for malignant brain tumours among the heavier mobile phone users, particularly where it is used mostly on one side of the head. The 2010 Interphone mega-study of cancer in humans using mobile phones found higher cancer risk, but at that time there was little animal testing to support the risks identified in humans.

Now, this NTP study has shown statistically significant risks with a dose-response relationship to the amount of exposure. It proves that non-ionizing radiation can plausibly cause cancer, not just ionizing radiation like x-rays and puts to rest the traditional scientific argument that cell phone radiation can’t do harm.Bucher said the animals’ exposure was about the same as for people who are heavy users of cell phones.

He also confirmed that the exposure of 1.5 W/Kg is lower than currently allowed under FCC public safety limits. Testing on rats is standard in predicting human cancers.
The BioInitiative Report (2014) documents nervous system effects in 68 per cent of studies on radiofrequency radiation (144 of 211 studies). This has increased from 63 per cent in 2012 (93 of 150 studies). Genetic effects (damage to genetic material/DNA) from radiofrequency radiation are reported in 65 per cent (74 of 114 studies); and 83 per cent (49 of 59 studies) of extremely low frequency studies.

Dr. Christopher Portier, formerly with the NTP commented this is not just an associated finding—but that the relationship between radiation exposure and cancer is clear. “I would call it a causative study, absolutely. They controlled everything in the study. It is (the cancer) because of the exposure. “This is by far—far and away—the most carefully done cell phone bioassay, a biological assessment. This is a classic study that is done for trying to understand cancers in humans.”

In response to public concern, the WHO established the International EMF Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz. They have stated that although extensive research has been conducted into possible health effects of exposure to many parts of the frequency spectrum, all reviews conducted so far have indicated that, as long as exposures are below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP (1998) EMF guidelines, which cover the full frequency range from 0–300 GHz, such exposures do not produce any known adverse health effect. Of course, by the very definition of such limits, stronger or more frequent exposures to EMF can be unhealthy, and in fact serve as the basis for electromagnetic weaponry.

International guidelines on exposure levels to microwave frequency EMFs such as ICNIRP limit the power levels of wireless devices and it is uncommon for wireless devices to exceed the guidelines. These guidelines only take into account thermal effects, as non-thermal effects have not been conclusively demonstrated.

In 2011, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the WHO, classified wireless radiation as Group 2B – possibly carcinogenic. That means that there “could be some risk” of carcinogenicity, so additional research into the long-term, heavy use of wireless devices needs to be conducted.



18 Comments
  • Okoro Tonye

    In Nigeria, we don’t have internet penetration and here we are worrying about health effects with those with internet. As always, we like to go along with whatever seems to be the fad in other serious countries, just to be counted also.
    We should be worried of low internet penetration.

    • ewucanbeer

      YOU ARE USING THE INTERNET TO COMMENT HERE! Abi na text u dey use?

      • Okoro Tonye

        Internet penetration means: CHEAP FIBRE OPTICS BROADBAND CONNECTION FOR ALL. Presently it is still very expensive in Nigeria, and can only be afforded by a few well-to-do people like YOU.

        • ewucanbeer

          No it does not! Dial up is still internet Penetration! 1.44 kbps is very very slow, but it still gets you on the internet!
          A car that has a max speed of 3km/hr is still a car! (Human maximum running speed is 40km/hr). Do not embarrass yourself with your ignorance!
          Shut up if you are not well informed. Been on the internet since 1996! Consider myself as an expert.

          • Okoro Tonye

            Internet Penetration means INTERNET AVAILABILITY AND USAGE BY A LARGE PROPORTION OF THE POPULACE. We will have internet penetration when it’s available to barbers, shoemakers vulcanizers, bukas, mechanics, provision shops etc. By the way, you should clean-up your language, because as it presently stands, it (your language ), is casting EASTERN NIGERIANS in very poor light. You need to show class, excellence and distinction. I mean no offence. Have a pleasant day my brother.

          • ewucanbeer

            Mechanics and vulcanizers do have access to the internet! You can argue affordability, but it is available. I speak excellent Queen’s English you fool. I hate imbeciles that do not know they are one. No offense, have a good day.

          • ewucanbeer

            I’m only rude to Igbo haters! Drown them sumbitches in the lagoon.

        • ewucanbeer

          Cheap is a relative term. I consider it cheap. Naija $10 for 10Gb, in US $25 for 25Gb. They are not going to make it cheaper to please you.

          • Okoro Tonye

            Cheap, is indeed a relative term. Minimum worker in the US earns monthly : $25x10x24daysxNGN350=NGN2.1m; In Nigeria, he earns:NGN300x10x24days=NGN72,000

          • ewucanbeer

            Na lie! And pays $750 per month in rent! 350k per month. Do yo pay that?

          • Okoro Tonye

            If you deduct all their major expenses, which, i agree are heavier than ours, they still have bigger disposable income than we do

          • ewucanbeer

            So you think! They just borrow! A study conducted in the us showed that 75% of middle class Americans could not come up with $500 in an emergency. All middle class Nigerians (200k/month) can come up with 200k in 24 hours!
            Do not be decieved. Why do you think a lot of people go to the US and ‘disappear’. They just sold their house, car and land to get there and the cannot recoup it so the just never come home.

        • ewucanbeer

          Do you think internet is free or cheap in the US or UK? It is what you consider a priority.

        • ewucanbeer

          How may Americans have fibre optic cables? Less than 10%!

          • Okoro Tonye

            Mind that am not talking of only the USA but all seriois countries of the world. Today, there, as long as you have telephone cable (which 90% of them have ), you automatically have broadband connection, which makes it affordable to watch online video and other online connections to household equipment etc, what’s now called IoT (internet of things). Can you afford to connect you generator online with say MTN or etisalat? THAT’S WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT.

          • ewucanbeer

            Yes you can! Buy a sim card and the equipment, and you’re on! I’m currently downloading two programs at about 5Mbps EACH! On MTN!
            I have lived in the UK and USA. So I know the average speed is lower than Nigerias although more reliable. Copper cables for phones is not fibre and slows it down to about 3.5G. That is what they call “the last mile” in the US. You are speaking to an expert, Not someone you can bamboozle. Get your fact right and syo

    • ewucanbeer

      YOU ARE USING THE INTERNET TI COMMENT HERE! Abi na text u dey use?

  • ewucanbeer

    That is why our people drive taxis there. University graduates with 25 experience make $25 per hour. The minimum wage is about $6/hr. Try living on that. I earned $4.25/hr in the late 1990s!
    Over 90% of the US population earn less than _$3000/ month. Do not be deceived by criminals. COunt the number of people you know living on the US and think how many have big cars and houses here. They come home, sleep in your home eat your food and drive your car. Then give you $100 when they leave. Who is the fool here.