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RADIO FREQUENCY RADIATION

DR THOR TEONG GEE MD(USM)

PENANG EMFs ALLIANCE

INTRODUCTION
Everyone is exposed to 2 types of ElectroMagnetic Radiation (EMR): 1. Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) EMF from i. electrical & electronic appliances ii. power lines 2. Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation from wireless devices i. cellphones ii. cordless phones iii. cellular antennas and towers iv. Wifi & Wimax

WiFi
Wifi = Wireless Fidelity Computers can connect to a network without the need for cables The connection is made using RF radiation Early 1990s, 1st wireless system was developed After 1999, wireless technologies gradually widely accepted Using frequency of 2.4gHz (mobile phones use a frequency of 0.9-2.1gHz)

HUMAN
Human beings are bioelectrical systems -ECG (electrocardiogramme) -EEG (electroencephalogramme) -Nerve impulses

ECG

EEG

NERVOUS SYSTEM

HEALTH EFFECTS of RFR


Neurological: - headache, dizziness, nausea, memory and concentration difficulties, insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, numbness, tingling, muscles and joints pains. Cardiac: - palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, shortness of breath and hypertension

HEALTH EFFECTS of RFR


Eyes: - pain & discomfort, deteriorating vision and cataracts. Ears: - hearing loss, ringing in the ears.

HEALTH EFFECTS of RFR


Miscellaneous: -skin problems -genetic effects eg: male sterility, miscarriage and birth defects. -asthma

SAFETY LIMITS
Most of the countries are using the safety limits recommended by ICNIRP (International Commission of Non Ionising Radiation Protection) in 1998 The safety limits were based on short term thermal effects on adults Long term thermal effects and non thermal effects are not taken into consideration

WHO PRECAUTIONARY APPROACHES


Strict adherence to existing national or international safety standards: such standards, based on current knowledge, are developed to protect everyone in the population with a large safety factor. Simple protective measures: barriers around strong electromagnetic field sources help preclude unauthorized access to areas where exposure limits may be exceeded.

WHO PRECAUTIONARY APPROACHES


3. Consultation with local authorities and the public in siting new power lines or mobile phone base stations: siting decisions are often required to take into account aesthetics and public sensitivities. Open communication during the planning stages can help create public understanding and greater acceptance of a new facility.

WHO PRECAUTIONARY APPROACHES


4. Communication: an effective system of health information and communication among scientists, governments, industry and the public can help raise general awareness of programmes dealing with exposure to electromagnetic fields and reduce any mistrust and fears.

BENEVENTO RESOLUTION
By the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) in 2006 More evidence has accumulated suggesting that there are adverse health effects from exposure to EMF There is evidence that present sources of funding bias the analysis and interpretation of research findings Based on scientific review, biological effects can occur from exposures to RF radiation Studies demonstrates that exposure to RF radiation can increase cancer risk in children and increased brain tumor risk from long term use of mobile phones

ICEMS encourages governments to: Promote alternatives to wireless communication systems, Inform the population of the potential risks of wireless use. Advise consumers to limit wireless calls and use a land line for long conversations. Limit cell phone and cordless phone used by young children* and teenagers Proposals for city-wide wireless access systems (e.g. Wi-Fi, WIMAX) should require public review of potential EMF exposure Designate wireless-free zones in cities, in public buildings (schools, hospitals, residential areas) and, on public transit, to permit access by persons who are hypersensitive to EMF.

BENEVENTO RESOLUTION

RESEARCHES & STUDIES


Henry Lai PhD Research Professor of BioEngineering University Of Washington in Seattle 35 years of experience in the field of electromagnetic radiation and its health effects Conducted 300 researches

HENRY LAI
Of the 300 researches
70% are not industrial funded 68% show adverse health effects 47% show evidence of cancer 69% cause cellular and mollecular damages 77% cause electrophysiological damages 83% confirm the alteration of physiological and behavioural functions

HENRY LAI
One of the studies Exposed the brain cells of guinea pig to the electromagnetic radiation from cellular phone It showed genetic damage

Initiated by: The President of Federal Agency for Radiation Protection of Germany 1994-2004 studied 1,000 residents who lived within and outside the radius of 400m of cellular transmitter site Residents who lived within the radius of 400m, the incident of cancer was significantly higher 1999-2004( after 5 years of exposure), risk of getting cancer x3 for the residents of the area in the proximity of the cellular transmitter site those patients who had lived during the past 10 years at a distance of up to 400 m from the cellular transmitter site, compared to those patients living further away, the patients fell ill on average 8 years earlier.

NAILA STUDY

BioInitiative Report 2007


A group of scientists, researchers, public health policy professionals reviewed over 2000 studies about the effects of EM radiation Believed EM radiation causes adverse health effects Must adopt a more conservative and stringent safety limits Recommended the usage of wired internet connection esp in schools and libraries

RECENT PROGRESS
2005: Austrian Medical Association recommended to use wired internet connection instead of WiFi 2005: Frankfurt Local Education Authority & German Teachers Union banned or advised against the use of WiFi in schools

RECENT PROGRESS
2007: European Environment Agency advise public regarding exposure to WiFi networks until more is known German Government warned citizens to avoid using WiFi in workplace or at home, suggested cabled connections instead Several schools in England and France dismantled their WiFi system after concern from teachers and parents French National Library removed all WiFi system in Paris due to health complaints from staffs.

RECENT PROGRESS
2008: European Parliament voted 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter radiation limits 2009: French Government bans advertise of mobile phones to children and will also introduce new limits for radiation from phones

WE URGE
Be more selective when installing the wireless online transmitters and access points (AP) Provide Wifi Free Zone esp schools, nursery, residential areas and recreation parks. Avoid 24 hours radiation exposure

Together We Build A Healthy And Harmonious Living Environment