WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

Minister-Mansoor-and-Jorge-J.-SkvarcaAntigua St John's - On August 19, the Ministry of Information Technology held a press conference during which Jorge Skvarca, an engineer and member of the WHO Advisory Panel on Radiation, presented the preliminary findings of his three-day study into cell phone base stations.

Unfortunately, when ABS aired the recording of the press conference for the evening news, the question and answer period was entirely disregarded.

On the government website, only the introduction speeches by Dr Mansoor and Skvarca were uploaded, and there was no indication that questions had even been asked.

Caribarena, however, has put the full press conference on Youtube, along with some excerpts.

In this article, we will analyze the question and answer period that followed. Caribarena promised to analyze this press conference, as well as the study done by Skvarca, and here it is.

 

 

 

First, it is important to explain why Caribarena got considerably high readings on the cell towers, while this independent study got very low ones. In our study, as we clearly expressed in our articles, we used the IEMFA's Seletun Scientific limits for cell tower radiation. Skvarca, in his study, chose to use the “internationally accepted” ICNIRP guidelines.

The two are very different, but perhaps one needs some revision. The Council of Europe has stated that the ICNIRP guidelines have “serious limitations,” and that they need to be revised to take into account a lot of modern research.

The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account thermal effects, and completely ignore all biological effects. This means that unless you are made physically hotter by the waves, there is nothing to worry about. This is crucially incorrect, as the Council of Europe has expressed.

The ICNIRP guidelines were also written in 1998. However, Skvarca's study relies on these numbers. Another important point to note is that, according to WHO/IARC, all radio frequency EMFs (like those of cell phones and towers) are classified as “possibly carcinogenic”. As Skvarca pointed out, coffee is also in this category, but so are some pesticides.

Ultimately, it does conflict with ICNIRP's guidelines though, creating much confusion. ICNIRP guidelines are currently used in some European countries, but France, Germany, and Austria were some of the first countries to abandon ICNIRP and enforce significantly lower limits. The IEMFA limits we used are based on current, leading research, and while the limits are being accepted slowly, they offer a far more precautionary approach.

There were many surprising statements made during the press conference. The first of these is the length of the study. Skvarca arrived on Tuesday, and met with the relevant ministries, but no measurements were conducted.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Skvarca, along with someone from the Ministry of Information Technology and a PAHO representative, set out at 7 am and called it a day at 8 pm, after around thirteen hours, including breaks and time spent driving between the sites.

On Friday, they again set out at 8 am and wrapped it up at 10:30 pm, giving Skvarca time to organise preliminary findings. Considering that over 63 sites were covered, this gives between 10-20 minutes of measuring per site. This is a huge error. When a base station is not handling calls, it becomes temporarily suspended, and the strength of its EMF is drastically reduced. The more calls the same tower is handling, the more power it is emitting.

Normally, 24-hour studies are conducted on individual towers, so that the tower's highs and lows can be considered. Then, the greatest value is tested, ensuring that even when the tower is most active, no one is at risk. Skvarca's study could never have conducted such lengths, and therefore may not have the truly highest values. In addition, Skvarca said the values recorded are averaged for analysis, which means the highest value isn't even used.



During the press conference, Skvarca said his guides, the Ministry of Information Technology, selected the sites, and he simply conducted measurements. However, with so much reliance on ministry personnel, is this study really independent?

Shouldn't an independent study be done without any influence from the government and all other organisations?

Clement Samuel, officer within the Telecommunications Division, noted that all the extreme cases spoken about in Caribarena's earlier articles were put on the list, with added weight, and according to Samuel, all were visited.

However, perhaps the most surprising of all was a sentence from Skvarca. He said that moving to 3G and other new mobile networks is good, because the higher the frequency, the lower the biological effects.

This is fundamentally wrong in the world of electromagnetic radiation. Simply put, the higher the frequency, the more energy it contains.

Gamma rays, X-Rays, and radar for instance are called ionizing radiation, because they carry so much energy that they can rip electrons from atoms, ultimately leading to cancer. Their high frequency demands this intense amount of energy.

Non-ionizing radiation doesn't have this amount of power, which is why there are no short-term effects induced by cell phones or towers. So one of the fundamental rules of electromagnetic fields is that higher frequencies mean more power, and as such, more danger. However, Skvarca is praising the rising frequencies, stating that they have “lower” biological effects.

There were more surprises still to come. Point-to-point microwave antennas are used for base stations to communicate with other stations. They emit a beam at a very high (7 GHz and higher) frequency. This beam tends to open though, and some antennas beams can open as much as 3.4 degrees, resulting in a wide coverage area when used for distant communication.

This becomes a major issue when this beam contacts people, even at great distances. However, when questioned about this, Skvarca said that the beam is very direct, and nothing can get in between, because the signal will be lost.

Not only is this incorrect, since the beam can open wide, but it is incorrect because microwave antennas' beams can penetrate through entire buildings, and some new technologies can even move around buildings. The alternative for this technology is the use of underground fibre optic cables, which are completely harmless to humans.



However, Skvarca seemed to be more concerned with the price all this underground cable would cost. It is worthy to note that APUA already has an underground system in place. However, whether all of its mobile base stations are using this system is unclear.

One technique used internationally to force more tower sharing and to reduce the number of overall towers in a country is to force all operators to use two ranges, also called bands, of frequencies. In Europe, 900 and 1800 GSM bands are used, but in North America, 850 and 1900 GSM bands are used.

Caribarena questioned Skvarca about whether this is a good practice. His answer was very wide, and among other things, he said tower sharing is very important; that tower positioning is not something he can speak on; and that it is important to remember that every company ultimately wants to provide a good signal, and if it does not because of government limitations, no one will use that company.

Skvarca did say that how to promote tower sharing is not something he can speak on, but that seemed the only relevant comment.

Telecommunications Officer Clement Samuel also answered the question. He said it is important to remember that Antigua is a tourist country, and many Europeans and Americans come to Antigua and want instant roaming.

As such, all four frequency bands described above are necessary. This however is not entirely correct. All new mobile phones have a technology called “multi-banding”. Some are dual, some are tri, and some are quad band phones. A dual band phone can support two of the above frequency bands, a tri can support three, and a quad can work anywhere in the world.

This means that if Antigua had in play a combination of two GSM bands, one from the North American standard and one from European standards, all phones would work here.

The only exceptions would be phones without multi-banding. Take into consideration that the first commercial tri-band phone was made in 1999, and today, single band phones are very rare; all new phones have minimum dual band. So for those who use 13-year-old phones, there may be issues. For all others, these two frequency bands will work just fine. And even if they don't, why are tourists being put before locals? Aren't the serious health issues of locals more important to the government than tourists receiving “instant roaming” on their cell phones?


The press conference was not all negative however. Skvarca did make some very important and correct notes. First, he said that regardless of whether the reading is low, if a tower is near a school and it can be moved, it should be.


This is called the precautionary principle, as described by ICNIRP. Skvarca was speaking specifically about a base station near the Urlings Primary School. Children are highly vulnerable, exponentially more so than adults, and there are still very few studies that have been aimed at these youngsters.

Perhaps the best news we heard at the press conference was delivered by Samuel. When speaking about tower sharing, we asked what the Ministry's aims or target values are as far as the number of mobile base stations.

Samuel pointed out that other towers, such as internet access towers, should not be confused with mobile base stations, but the Ministry's aim would be to get the number of towers down to 40. He said that health issues aside, there is also the aesthetic issue, and the Ministry would love to get to that final figure.

Although there are still some serious issues to be addressed, it seems Caribarena's call for the reduction of mobile base stations has been heard. With the Ministry of IT setting its sights on 40 towers, the need for a more indepth study becomes clear. The health issues surrounding mobile base stations should not be dismissed, even if Skvarca says they are 20 to 100 times lower than international limits.

See related stories:

Are We Living in a Microwave

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34 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#34 Lorena » 2012-01-20 14:24

It's very encouraging to see more and more initiatives to spread cellphone radiation awareness. Unlike few years ago, when I use to keep my cellphone next to my nightstand so I could hear an alarm, now I completely changed my attitude towards cellphones. I've reduced hours spent on talking via cellphone, I switch it off when the reception is poor, I don't keep it next to my bed and I'm using EMF protection device personalbioprotector .com which should also help in reducing EMF radiation I'm exposed to on everyday basis
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Lorena

Brazilian study shows more cancer deaths around cell towers

#33 Handystrahlung » 2011-09-10 04:00

Brazilian stuy shows more cancer deaths around cell towers

Dode AC, et al, Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base
stations in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Sci Total Environ (2011)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680


Fulllext PDF:
http://www.emrsa.co.za/documents/brazilresearch.pdf

GSM, UMTS, LTE, TETRA, DECT, Wireless LAN

http://www.facebook.com/Mobilfunk.und.Gesundheit
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Handystrahlung

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#32 inVINCYble » 2011-09-07 18:47

Great job, Caribarena!
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inVINCYble

@jp farnsworth

#31 rawr » 2011-08-25 13:54

I kind of think you're missing the point. Why does this really matter? as far as i can see, the flaws pointed out are legit. We of all people should know that if what you say is right, what does it matter who you are? i've done just a little research, and everything you see here you can verify with credible online sources. besides, if you want to be so politically correct, skvarca isn't even from the WHO. he's just an electrical engineer from argentina who sits on one of the WHO's boards. doesn't make him god..... and why attack Caribarena? at the end of the day, they are fighting for our health. talk about free labour. however, i think it is also fair to commend dr.mansoor. He did commission a study, and the study was conducted in a timely manner. from there, what needs to be done is another story.
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rawr

I'm still waiting it's been 6 days

#30 JP Farnsworth » 2011-08-25 09:42

Let's start a countdown clock for your reporter. I want to know who did your survey and what their credentials are. Dr. Mansoor went and got a guy from the World Health Organization so he has gotten somone with credentials. Where is your engineer? Fair is Fair, or is this just tabloid news? whats next 3 headed alien babies?
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JP Farnsworth

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#29 Curious » 2011-08-23 08:15

I wonder if Caribarena will conveniently and coincidentally post their findings AFTER the findings of the expert are released. If you conducted a study, why haven't you posted your findings as yet? :lester:
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Curious

@ Tenman - "Remembering the Punic Wars" PT3

#28 John French II » 2011-08-22 20:19

Notes From A Native Son Of the Rock. Let me end by again suggesting that those who wish to have a critical look and not what is being spun in the media revist my comments in "The Concept of Patriotism Versus Enemy".
www.Caribarena.com/antigua/mobile/234-mobile/98194-new-inquiry-says-cell-towers-not-a-risk.html It is known that the various conflicts since the tenth Century have been fought over resources especially when the North Atlantic Countries have seen declines in their economies. NATO ganged up on Nasser and we again see this in Libya. I want to remind my friends that Germany, France & The Brits have declared Multiculturalism dead in their countries. Austrailia has said the same. The Tea Party wants to take back their Country from Obama. Canada has just brought back the "Royal" into its Navy and Airforce and has a PM flush with Victory who cares not a wit about Minorities. The March is on. The Stcok market rebounded. Oil Prices in Europe Dropped. They are awash with cheap oil from Irag and now Libya. Brother, Neocolonialism is back with a Vengeance. We Live In The IMF"S NEST. Respect.
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John French II

@ Tenman - "Remembering the Punic Wars" PT2

#27 John French II » 2011-08-22 20:00

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. I am however delighetd to see that your eyes have been opened. I hope that many others will see the light. Why is the Kingdom of Morocco, showing so much interest in Caribbean Peoples. It is not a member of the AU and will never be given its treatment of African Peoples and the annexation of stolen lands which the UN has condemned. Yet OECS small island states/nations continue to fall in its orbit for a few scholarships. Back to Libya: Oh How we continue to be duped. When I was in my third year in University, on the overthrow of Obote, I heard a British Minister state that they took im out and would continue to do so in British Interest. They installed Amin and made fools of all people of African descent. Anyone with a critical though would have questioned this NATO War when seeing the ancient flag of the monarchy being waved by the "Rebels". Without the economic, financial, and military might of NATO, this would have been a wrap. That they have succeded should be a lesson to every "Pickey Head" that the relentless march of Recolonization and not Freedom is knocking and gaining entry and dominance by any means necessary. Contd.
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John French II

APUA

#26 maco » 2011-08-22 19:55

The information Minister always bashing APUA and bigging up Digicel. A wonder why?
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maco

@ Tenman - "Remembering the Punic Wars" PT1

#25 John French II » 2011-08-22 19:45

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Let me begin by saying that I was quietly waiting to see if you would bypass this discussion until the report was in and the Blues had commented. Before I go on, let me indulge: "Starting in the 19th century,[6] various texts claim that the Roman general Scipio Aemili** Afric** plowed over and sowed the city of Carthage with salt after defeating it in the Third Punic War (146 BC), sacking it, and forcing the survivors(Black Africans) into slavery". You tricked me by going through the Maghreb War being waged by NATO against the "Frizzy Head" as Ghadafi is called by those against Africans and "Pickey Head People". The one who was willing to spend his $70 Billion US on African Unity angering the Arabs and the Euro-Buccaneers. The man who with Algeria and South Africa launced the African Communications Telecom Satelites freeing Africa of dependence on North Atlantic Telecommunications. The African and Arab Nation with the Highest Human Development Index. Together with the Germans & Italians constructing a huge aqueduct to water and make fertile the desert. The Scourge of the Arab Leaders who now looked to his homeland - Africa. Contd.
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John French II

@ Tenman

#24 Morris » 2011-08-22 18:38

It is all about the slcik black liquid that is buried underground. The US strategy has always been to support the opposition in any unstable gov't to guarantee itself a comfortable seat at the profit table in the future. The dilemma we face is always "whose best interest is at stake?"
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Morris

Skyewill

#23 tenman » 2011-08-22 18:03

Skyewill I too am intrigue by whats happening in Libya. The idea of persons being willing to ensure that they have a voice in the future of this country is important. However, I was taken aback when I heard John Bolton, former US UN ambassador, last night state via FOX news that the US should decide the future of Libya. In the past he has stated that some of the rebels are members of al-Qaeda'. I just find it sad that the only choice being offered sometimes seems to be whose shackles to wear.
..
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tenman

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#22 Morris » 2011-08-22 17:15

I am indeed pleased with the way that Caribarena has stuck on this issue. Great journalism, keep up the good Job!!!
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Morris

UK permits highest levels of exposure to its people

#21 Velma Lyrae » 2011-08-22 15:47

For those people living in UK who do not wish to be irradiated by technologies' microwave radiation to the highest levels possible without consideration for any biological effects -
please make you voice heard, please sign my new e-petition
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13510

Every signature counts - Thank you.
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Velma Lyrae

Where is Moammar Gadhafi?

#20 Skyewill » 2011-08-22 15:44

Spoke to libiyan young man last night He said they on there way to Tripoli to pick up the boss. The young man is a civilian a member of a youth group that joined the rebel forcesJust regular people. They arrested Young Gadhafi a few days ago. these are regular citizens
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Skyewill

The Cell Phone Tower Is Just the Beginning

#19 Dig It » 2011-08-22 14:51

Just listening to the "four-eyed" Telecommunication Officer gives me an upset stomach! Who gave this man permission to speak? Sometimes I really believe he is insane in the membrane! He really thinks that most or all tourists want to see these towers around the island, just to give them "instant roaming?" All of sudden this is an issue? What happen to preserve the beauty of the island, or, if not, add more beautification to it to attract tourists? If we are going to provide them with many cell-phone tower, why don't we change our marketing slogan as well? Instead of saying "the beach is just the beginning, why not out take out the "beach" and add "cell phone tower" to it?
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Dig It

@lionman-we owe it to ourselves

#18 Dig It » 2011-08-22 14:04

Lionman, "bad treatment" has become the norm in this country! When we will have the fire in the belly to spray the fire on those that treat us this way is another question! Nothing will ever get done, once we remain on the sideline, and hope for a miracle! This is not how change come about! It is the duty of every citizen to get an independent findings without governmental "contamination!" In that, unless some of us start depend a better study on the health of these towers, they are not going no where! We may just see increases, and not decreases as they tell us! Hey, I am not a violent person but sometimes I feel like knocking down those towers, and face the consequences! Why my health should joggle by greedy stakeholders?
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Dig It

You Prove the Point

#17 AAA » 2011-08-22 13:05

Very good response. Your re**al is tight, argument firm and ideas clear. Point for point, you have demonstrated a fairly sane an d studied approach to the minister's **sment team. I like the fact that you were also quite balanced. Trust me, as Dr. Newton said Mansoor is Mistaken and went on to prove the point, you did the same in this peice!
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AAA

Lionman, I have a question too

#16 Buzzbomb » 2011-08-22 12:57

You asked: "My why did they postion these towers on low levels and not position them on the highest points in the country like many other places?"
My answer would be simply that it's cost related. The cheapest method would be to locate the towers near roads an existing electrical services. I might add that higher towers are more expensive as well.
Corporations always look after their bottom line before any other concern. Public safety issues fall way behind profits and they spend millions to thwart any regulation. Whether it's BP spilling oil in the Gulf, natural gas fracking contaminating groundwater, or mountaintop strip mining, it's always the same when these rascals get caught.
My question is; who's interests is Mansoor serving in this debate?
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Buzzbomb

asdf

#15 asdf » 2011-08-22 12:57

Wsting money with all this testing. Peopel want cell phones, cell phoen towers ain't goign anywhere. Seriously just wasting money here. And to test a site for 24 hrs...imagine the amoutn fo equipment or at least the extra tiem to rent out the equipment that would require. nuff money wasting ....as per usual.
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asdf

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#14 On Looker » 2011-08-22 10:50

Big up Caribarena ! An to the wanna be On Looker please get orignal.

The On Looker I am asking for copy rights.................lol.

The Orignal On Looker.
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On Looker

Food for thought.

#13 Lionman » 2011-08-22 10:14

The pictures can speak a thousand words and that one of Minister-Mansoor-and -Jorge-J.-Skvarca display evilness and distrust. Antiguans need to stop accepting bad treatment and stand up for what is right if not for yourself do it for the future generations.
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Lionman

Food for thought.

#12 Lionman » 2011-08-22 10:12

My question is why did they postion these towers on low levels and not position them on the highest points in the country like many other places. To place a cell tower near schools and homes display disregard towards the residence of Antigua and Barbuda. To address the concept of money before your people is that Antigua government officials have always been inconsiderate towards their citizens when money is in the talks. Another question is when where these towers erected this may also bring light to citizens about pointing fingers at one political party and hold both UPP and ALP officials accountable for putting money and tourists as the primary concern rather than your own people. Its time for Antiguans and Barbudians to stand up for what is right and stop accepting nonsense and instant gratification. Cancer is no joke and when your mother, sister or wife encounter breast cancer what is going to be said. These politicians can always pick up their families and leave the country when things go bad but what about those who can't.
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Lionman

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#11 Hmm » 2011-08-22 09:04

This is a usefull issue. but the reality is how many of us are willing to give up our cell phone access in place of our health. I dare to say not many. Its like the AIDS epedemic its killing thousands but yet people continue to have unprotected sex. Perhaps Caribarena should conduct another survey to see how many persons would prefer limited or no cell phone access in certain areas for the benefit of their health
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Hmm

Ooops you did it again

#10 JP Farnsworth » 2011-08-22 08:45

One more thing, Who wrote this artical and what are you credentials in this filed?
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JP Farnsworth

Ooops you did it again

#9 JP Farnsworth » 2011-08-22 08:44

It's amazing I saw the interview and the Q&A period and no matter what the Engineer says you folks at Caribarena still think you know better. Why not admit it, you were wrong.
I guess by rable rousing you get more viewers.

I hear Caribarena gets it's internet via Microwave? Maybe you should turn it off before the chicken is over cooked.
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JP Farnsworth

Contaminated

#8 Dig It » 2011-08-22 08:43

I am very skeptical of Skvarca's independent findings and the way he conducted it! Although his readings on the towers are low, it is still more questions than answers, given his study ignored biological effects! We will have to wait 10 or 20 years from to see if the health-risk involving cancer would on the people! What will be the excuse from these officials in years to come! I just don't feel like calling direct names this morning because I am just tired of all the crap! In that, I believe the peoples' health concerns should "always" be a top priority over everything! However, it seems like our health are always ignored or disregard, when "money" is involved to enriching others who have a stake in these towers! Nothing gets done "independently" when the stakes are so high! You are bound to find some sort of "contamination" along the line! Stay safe.
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Dig It

Get Up Stand Up

#7 The OnLooker » 2011-08-22 08:11

Just another reason that show Antiguan's are a bunch of useless wankers. The sit around waiting for everyone to solve their problems. If the investigation per site should have taken no less than 24 hrs then all findings after should be ruled as inconclusive. Mansoor is a dexxitxux, lying, good for nothing xxxxx. Antiguans need to rise up.
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The OnLooker

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#6 Roadwarrior » 2011-08-22 06:30

This is a most interesting article and I commend the Caribarena team for the work. The argument about bands has shown that our techs in the ministry seem not to be on the ball.
There is much more to be done and I hope that somebody's feet can be held to the fire to ensure that our health remains a priority.
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Roadwarrior

More

#5 RonFonteine.com » 2011-08-22 06:01

I collect useful info on this topic on www.electrostress-gezondheid.com
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RonFonteine.com

CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS?

#4 OO7 » 2011-08-22 05:26

"WHY ARE TOURIST BEING PUT BEFORE LOCALS? AREN'T THE SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES OF LOCALS MORE IMPORTANT TO GOVERNMENT THAN TOURIST RECEIVING INSTANT ROAMING ON THEIR CELL PHONES?
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OO7

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#3 Mr G » 2011-08-22 05:25

Even if you are not ES yet, it is beneficial to turn off your Wifi over night, as well as to ban electrical items, your cordless phones and mobiles from your bedroom. You will sleep much better and are less likely to have an interrupted sleep pattern. Usually waking around 4 am.

Another simple test is to stop carrying your mobile on your body (chest or trouser pockets). in many cases people experience the so-called “phantom text messages”. This describes a situation where every now and then you think you had a text message, when keeping the phone in your pockets, but when you checked there was no message. Some even suffer from heart palpitations. If that is case, just try for a while to carry your mobile in a bag or switch it off, while you have it in your pocket. ( Phone Logging onto mast )
es-uk.info
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Mr G

If wireless Radiation has no ill effects then how come?

#2 Mr G » 2011-08-22 04:28

Electro-Sensitivity (ES)

Electro-sensitive people suffer from a variety of symptoms in close vicinity to electromagnetic fields, Wi-fi, mobiles, DECT phones, baby monitors, certain light sources etc: Headaches, Speech problems, dizziness, chest palpations, tinnitus, pressure in the ears. sweating at night. skin irritations, pins and needles in the hands in the mornings, short-term memory loss, nauseas, joint aches and pressures at the back of the head as well as in the sinus or forehead area.
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Mr G

RE: Cell Tower Study Presents Controversial Findings

#1 Collin » 2011-08-22 03:56

I wish to compliment Caribarena for raising this issue.. Thanks on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda.
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Collin

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