12 May 2006

Mobile phone transmitters, science, society and health

Seven staff working on the top floors of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's building have developed brain tumours. The suspected cause is the radiation emission from the mobile phone antennas placed on the roof of the building. The two floors have been shut and the 100 employees work from home.(SMH)

  • The academics' union claims that the tumours are caused by the towers on the roof.
  • Medical experts are quick to point out:"… no definitive link had been proved between mobile phone tower radiation and cancer."
  • 'Independent' R&D (National Health and Medical Research Council), funded with $2.5 million is looking into "the possible health effects of electromagnetic energy emissions from mobile phones and mobile phone towers."
There is a low attention field on the issue in the media:
The brain tumor and death of broadcaster Andrew Olle in 1995
The excellent articles (>health) on the subject by Stewart First in the late 90s.
Some abc interviews: "When those diseases arise people tend to want to see a pattern in it and in fact a cluster of diseases like that may just be one extreme of randomness. Nobody's talking about clusters of 'no brain tumours' in their workplace for example, which would be the opposite extreme. However, there is ongoing unease about electronic magnetic radiation and its affect on brains."
ABC interview:" Studying the effect of radio frequency radiation on life:" If we think that there is a possibility of external electromagnetic fields to interfere with electromagnetic fields in our body then there is a possibility of some health effects.

The gesture of a mostly non-consultative risk society chooses to invest in ongoing 'independent' r&d to outsource the 'solutions' of the 'down-sides' of radiation fields. Meanwhile risk minimisation is recommended, the sale of gadgets for personal electrosmog 'protection' booms. Should the human misery come to the public attention then compassion society springs into action, collects a lot of funds which 'calm' and turn the attention hype back into a calming collective amnesia. Risks are privatised and business as usual can proceed.

In Manly mobile radiation antennas sprout from most building roofs and decorate many pubs. Consultation seems alien. No one really worries. Brain tumours, leukaemia, lymphoma etc are for some-one else.
Electromagnetic Fields, WHO
"As Low As Reasonably Achievable"
Health and symptoms
How to cook an egg with two mobile phones
Update (260506):Tests found 'nothing', but another "handful" of tumour cases have been reported.

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