Australian news, and some related international items

Electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones IS a danger

New Studies Show Health Risks from Wireless Tech: Warnings from the BioInitiative Working Group   April 11, 2014 RENSSELAER, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)--The BioInitiative Working Group says evidence for health risk from wireless tech is growing stronger and warrants immediate action. The Group released a mid-year update covering new science studies from 2012 to 2014.

New studies intensify medical concerns about malignant brain tumors from cell phone use. “There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones,” says Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD at Orebro University, Sweden, according to studies released in 2012 and 2013. “Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a known human carcinogen. The existing FCC/IEEE and ICNIRP public safety limits are not adequate to protect public health.”


The BioInitiative reports nervous system effects in 68% of studies on radiofrequency radiation (144 of 211 studies) in 2014. This has increased from 63% in 2012 (93 of 150 studies) in 2012. Studies of extremely-low frequency radiation are reported to cause nervous system effects in 90% of the 105 studies available in 2014. Genetic effects (damage to DNA) from radiofrequency radiation is reported in 65% (74 of 114 studies); and 83% (49 of 59 studies) of extremely-low frequency studies.

Mobile wireless devices like phones and tablets are big sources of unnecessary biological stress to the mind and body that can chip away at resilience over time. The Report warns against wireless in schools. Schools should provide internet access without Wi-FI.

“It is essentially an unregulated experiment on childrens’ health and learningMicrowave from wireless tech disrupts thinking – what could be worse for learning? Technology can be used more safely with wired devices that do not produce these biologically-disruptive levels of microwave radiation,” said Cindy Sage, Co-Editor of the BioInitiative Report.

Federal programs like ConnectED and E-Rate are calling for wireless classrooms while ignoring the health evidence. Hyperactivity, concentration problems, anxiety, irritability, disorientation, distracted behavior, sleep disorders, and headaches are reported in clinical studies.

Government reviews on health impacts of wireless radiofrequency radiation from the European Union and Australia continue to be inconclusive largely because they require certainty before issuing warnings. The FCC review of health impacts from wireless technologies is still underway, but has not affected the federal push for wireless classrooms.


BioInitiative Working Group
David O. Carpenter, MD
(518) 525-2660

April 12, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Sunshine: balance the need for Vitamin C with the avoidance of skin cancer

Concerns women may not be getting enough sunshine   31st Mar 2014  Professor John Wark, who works at both organisations, said vitamin D was an essential nutrient for everyone, young and old.

“Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones, muscles and overall health. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the best natural source of vitamin D, but it is also the main risk factor for skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin,” he said.

“A balanced approach to sunlight exposure can help you avoid vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to many chronic health conditions such as poor bone and muscle health, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and adverse mental health conditions to name only a few. Continue reading

April 1, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Play safe with WiFi technology – it might be harmful to health

Waves of uncertainty over wi-fi 29 March 14“……..CUT BACK ON YOUR EXPOSURE


Before buying a cellphone or internet-capable device, check out its SAR (specific absorption rate) rating – though in New Zealand you’ll likely have to go online for this information. The SAR measures how much the device’s emissions are absorbed by the body. Lower ratings indicate lower absorption.

Ensure your mobile has flight mode and use this as often as you can, including overnight, and when carrying it close to your body.

For long computing tasks, select a wired desktop or plugged-in laptop, rather than a wireless tablet.

Avoid holding a laptop or device on your lap or stomach – use a table instead, unless it’s in flight mode.

When you can, choose a text over a call. Keep phone calls to a minimum or use a hands-free kit.

Keep calls to a minimum where reception is bad – when a mobile is far from a cell tower, it has to boost its signal to connect.

Choose a wired mouse and keyboard.

radiation spectrum


If possible, choose corded devices, or purchase one with speaker-phone capabilities.

Keep the main transmitting base of the cordless phone away from bedrooms and desks.

Keep calls short.


When installing a transmitting unit, ask for it to be put up high, such as on the wall or a shelf, away from bedrooms or where people sit.

Only turn the system on when you’re using it. Make sure the router is turned off overnight, especially.

Choose software on a laptop rather than cloud-computing technology such as Google Docs, if you’re using wi-fi. Typing in a Google Docs word processing means a wi-fi signal is sent with every single keystroke.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Electromagnetic (non-ionising) radiation might not be safe and healthy

The uncertainty around the radiation’s effect should mean we treat the technologies using it with kid gloves rather than abandon, Monash University radiation researcher Mary Redmayne said.

The Melbourne-based scientist said there was not enough research for us to know what a safe level of exposure was…… She said young people have thinner skulls, and the brain’s protective defences – a protein that covers nerve cells called myelin – were only fully developed in middle age. This combination meant children’s brains were poorly insulated from outside interference, such as radiation.

radiation spectrum

Waves of uncertainty over wi-fi 29 March 14After thousands of studies, the most that experts worldwide can determine is the radiation used for wi-fi networks, digital devices, cordless phones and cell phones is a “possible” cause of cancer. With such uncertainty, OLIVIA WANNAN asks if we are using this technology with enough caution. Continue reading

March 29, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Australia’s outdoor workers most at risk of skin cancer

UV-radiationTradies and farmers most at risk from sun 7 News 5 Feb14 Farmers, tradies and professional drivers are the workers most at risk from skin cancer, research has confirmed.

A major study by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, affiliated with the University of Western Australia, looked at the extent of sun exposure among workers in a cross-section of industries.

The research found that overall, more than one-third of male workers but just eight per cent of female workers – two million people in Australia – were exposed to solar radiation at work.

The workers at particular risk of skin cancer were farmers, trades and construction workers and drivers…..


February 5, 2014 Posted by | health, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Radiation contaminated sailors ignored by Australian government

Compensation plea over nuclear test MIKE DUFFY, 7NEWS SYDNEY 21 Jan 14  A veterans’ support group says it is disgusted by the treatment of sailors left sick with cancer after taking part in nuclear tests in the 1950s.

The conscripts claim they’ve been abandoned despite other servicemen receiving healthcare assistance.Over 60 years ago, back in October 1952, an Australian atomic test gave Britain membership to the nuclear club.

‘What no officer wants to face’ The cloud that appeared over the islands of Monte Bello, off Western Australia’s north coast, was proof Britain had the bomb.

Operation Hurricane was a major operation for the Australian Navy, but not everyone involved knew what they were in for.

Michael Rowe was a teenager, a conscripted national serviceman on HMAS Murchison.“When we got there we didn’t know why we were there,” he said.
“Then one morning we were told to assemble on deck we were going to witness the first British atomic bomb explosion. So we did as we were told and assembled on deck in fully protective outfits of sandals and shorts. “Knowing what we know now, they wouldn’t have had us there exposed as we were.”

Since speaking to 7News, Michael has sadly passed away, claimed by a cancer he believed was caused by radiation.

He lobbied for the same healthcare assistance afforded to those veterans judged to be closer to the blast.

Veterans activist Sandy Godfrey said:” These are the forgotten veterans of Australia who have just been ignored by the government.”……..

January 21, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australians should worry about skin cancer, ozone depletion and climate change

UV-radiationClimate change, the ozone hole, and skin cancer – they’re all connected, Online opinion,  By Noel Wauchope, 30 Dec 13   As I watch the TV news on these hot summer days, I marvel, in a sort of shocked way, at the acres of bare human flesh exposed to the harsh sunlight.- Australians of all ages, frolicking at the beaches. Don’t they know about skin cancer? Don’t they care?

Like the mythical mass suicide of lemmings, do they frolic to their doom.?

In a slower sort of frolic, Australia under the Abbott government no longer seems to know or care, about climate change.

Science is finding new connections between global warming and the ozone hole, and skin cancer, especially in Australia.

Australia has just had its hottest year on record. Global warming is happening, whether or not one argues about the cause. The hole in the ozone layer is still there, even though talk of that has gone out of fashion. And there’s skin cancer on the increase 2 common forms, and the less common melanoma, and another nasty rare one, that is becoming less rare in Australia.

What are the connections here?………

This article is not attempting to say that by addressing climate change,we are going to prevent skin cancer, although it is pretty clear that the faster Australia heats up, the greater will be the incidence of skin cancer. (So, on that basis alone, it would be a good idea to get on to a global drive to fight climate change.)

No, what is bugging me is the lack of information, media and public concern in Australia, about UV radiation, about skin cancer, and also cataracts and eye cancers, which also are caused by UV radiation..

You see, although the effects of UV radiation are world-wide, Australia is a special case, and we should be more concerned than nearly any other country.

Mathieu Isidro explains this, in a recent article:……

these rather frightening connections between skin cancer, ozone depletion and climate change are surely more reasons for Australia to take a leading role in action to slow the rate of climate change.


December 30, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, health | Leave a comment

Problems and limitations of mammography

BREAST-CANCERWhile mammography is still a very useful test, it has limitations, and having had a recent mammogram does not definitively exclude cancer. So, any change in the breasts, particularly a painless lump, requires a timely trip to the GP.

Radiologist issues a caution on breast cancer screening for young women, Canberra Times, Dr Jeremy Price, 26 Dec 13, 

The problem of screening younger women for breast cancer is an important health issue.

All too frequently we see women between 30 and 50 years of age presenting with a palpable clinical lump which turns out to be cancer and often at a rather late stage. Furthermore, when compared to the older more typical age group, young women with breast cancer usually have more aggressive high-grade disease. Frequently, even if a mammogram has been performed, nothing has shown up, often because the cancer cannot be distinguished from the normal dense breast tissue which most young women naturally have in preparation for lactation. Continue reading

December 26, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Australia’s radiation affected veterans denied justice yet again

Maralinga sign they’ve been treated like second-class citizens.
 “This really is disgusting. How is it that these people, subject to the fury of a nuclear blast, aren’t even entitled to a gold card for their medical treatment as other veterans are?” 

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Aussie nuclear veterans ‘disgusted’ by bid failure  Australian veterans of British nuclear tests say they’re disgusted by the latest setback to their campaign for compensation. (Transcript from World News Australia Radio) Australia’s Human Rights Commission has decided it can’t consider the case of the 300 veterans because the matter is out of its jurisdiction.
The decision has left the veterans’ lawyers saying it’s the end of their campaign.
Murray Silby spoke to some of the veterans, including Avon Hudson “They’ll act with extreme disgust at the government and the Human Rights Commission. I mean we shouldn’t wait on the Human Rights Commission. This should have been addressed by governments of the past, but given the Human Rights heard this I have no time for the Human Rights (Commission) now.”

Avon Hudson says he and his fellow veterans have lost faith in a system that should have protected their rights.”I don’t know anybody that was there when I served there that hasn’t had either cancer or some other illness induced by radiation. Continue reading

December 17, 2013 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian National Radiation Dose Register to be exxpanded

text ionisingExpansion of the Australian National Radiation Dose Register   13 Dec 13, This medical presentation is about Expansion of the Australian National Radiation Dose Register. In the International Best Practice exposure records for each worker shall be maintained during and after the worker’s working life, at least until the former worker attains or would have attained the age of 75 years, and for not less than 30 years after cessation of the work in which the worker was subject to occupational exposure. This requirement has been adopted in Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation across Australia.

Continue reading

December 13, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Lucas Heights reactor medical Isotopes

1998 Both ANSTO and the government have sought to cloak rational discussion about the costs and benefits of a reactor under a dishonest claim that the reactor is vital for nuclear medicine. In fact medical isotopes can be easily obtained from a global market which already supplies many Australian hospitals.

a senior government bureaucrat who was quoted on the same ABC radio program saying: “The government decided to push the whole health line, and that included appealing to the emotion of people. … So it was reduced to one point, and an emotional one at that. They never tried to argue the science of it, the rationality of it”.ABC radio on March 29, 1998

The medical isotope rhetoric has become so implausible that the government is itself backing away from it. The parliamentary Public Works Committee produced a bipartisan report in August 1999 which said: “A number of organisations and individuals challenged the need for a research reactor based on a requirement to produce medical radiopharmaceuticals. … The Committee recognises that this issue has not been resolved satisfactorily.”

In fact, a nuclear reactor is likely to commit Australia decisively to the “nuclear club” by ensuring a seat on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA regulates the world’s nuclear industry and is also the world’s biggest promoter of nuclear energy.

It is unclear how our national interest is served by participating in the global spread of nuclear energy with its associated risks and waste problems. Professor McKinnon, who carried out the government’s 1993 Reactor Review, agreed, stating: “There may be national advantages in not being so closely associated with IAEA stances.”

Cyclotrons have important advantages over nuclear reactors in relation to radioactive waste and safety, and cyclotrons pose no risk in relation to weapons proliferation. The underlying reason for these advantages is that cyclotrons are powered by electricity, whereas research reactors rely on a uranium fission reaction.

December 9, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The power of suggestion in attitudes to wind power and health

fearThe results showed that the experience of symptoms and mood during exposure to audible windfarm sound and infrasound was influenced by the type of expectations provided before exposure periods.

The onus falls on the media to report on health fears about wind farms cautiously, particularly given strong evidence that it is the discussion itself that may be creating and perpetuating health complaints.

wind-farm-evil-1Wind turbines don’t make you feel sick or healthy, but spin can  Fiona Crichton  PhD candidate in psychological medicine at University of Auckland 29 Nov 13

Despite at least 19 reviews of the scientific evidence universally concluding that exposure to wind farm sound doesn’t trigger adverse health effects, people continue to report feeling unwell because they live near wind turbines.

We’ve known for some time that exposure to negative messages about wind farms makes people more likely to report feeling sick after exposure to turbines. And new research, published by my colleagues and I this week in the journal Health Psychology, shows positive messages about wind farms may have the opposite effect – improve perceptions of health.


Speculation in the media and on the internet often attributes the symptoms to sub-audible sound produced by operating wind farms (infrasound). But the reality is that infrasound (sound below 16 hertz) is consistently present in the environment and is caused by wind, ocean waves and traffic. Importantly, research demonstrates there is nothing unusual about the levels of infrasound produced by wind farms. Continue reading

November 28, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, wind | Leave a comment

Australians really should be worrying about Ultraviolet Radiation

text-Merkel-cell-carcinomaUV radiation: A central factor behind Queensland’s record rates of Merkel cell carcinoma  November 25, 2013   Queensland has at least double the rates of the world’s deadliest skin cancer on record – yet much of the state are unaware the rare cancer even exists.

Merkel cell carcinoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer, with 60 per cent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis, compared to just 7 per cent of melanomapatients.

New research from Cancer Council Queensland, the University of Queensland and the Western Australia Institute of Medical Research has suggested ultraviolet radiation plays an important role in the development of Merkel cell carcinoma, contributing to Queensland’s record rates.

The findings will be presented at The Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference, hosted by Cancer Council Queensland in Brisbane today. Continue reading

November 28, 2013 Posted by | health, Queensland | Leave a comment

A new warning for Australia – on UV radiation and skin cancer

Christina Macpherson 27 Nov 13, Today’s item from the Courier Mail should concern people, especially Queenslanders  -

“…..You can still get burnt on windy, cloudy and cool days. UV radiation can penetrate overcast conditions and may even be more intense due reflection off the bottom of clouds, says Cancer Council CEO, Professor Ian Olver.  

“Australia experiences extremely high UV levels in summer around the country, so it’s important to slip on clothing, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, slide on sunglasses and seek shade,” he warned.

Australia tops the world for getting UV radiation of both types UVA and UVB. The “hole in the ozone layer” seems to be out of fashion as a news topic in Australia.  The Antarctic ozone hole is a dramatic thinning of ozone in the stratosphere over Antarctica each spring.  This means that Australians are getting much more  UV radiation than ever before. We are vulnerable to all types of skin cancer, and now – the most dangerous type is on the increase.  They thought that the rare Merkel cell skin cancer was caused by a virus. Now they’re finding that UV radiation may be the cause.


Warning on new killer skin cancer: Merkel cell carcinoma  24th Nov 2013 

THE world’s deadliest skin cancer has taken a grip on Queensland, yet many people have never heard of it. Merkel cell carcinoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer, with 60% of patients dying within five years of diagnosis.

That compares to just 7% of melanoma patients. Queensland has at least double the world rate of the rare cancer.

New research from Cancer Council Queensland, the University of Queensland and the Western Australia Institute of Medical Research suggests ultra-violet radiation plays an important role in the development of Merkel cell carcinoma, contributing to Queensland’s record rates. The findings have been presented at The Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference, hosted by Cancer Council Queensland, in Brisbane.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the five-year relative survival rate for Merkel cell carcinoma was just 41%, compared to 93% for melanoma. “A total of 340 cases of Merkel cell carcinoma were diagnosed in Queensland from 2006 to 2010,” Ms Clift said.

“As with most cancers, the best chance of survival is early diagnosis. “This is particularly important for Merkel cell carcinoma as these tumours tend to grow rapidly.”

It was essential health experts developed public health campaigns to educate people about the cancer, she said. “Merkel cell carcinomas can be difficult to identify, and are sometimes confused with benign skin cancers,” she said.

“It is therefore imperative that Queenslanders get to know their own skin. “If they notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size, they should visit their GP immediately.”

November 26, 2013 Posted by | health, Queensland | Leave a comment

Important information for Australians about UV rdaiation

UV-radiationSunscreen application and skin cancer: an interview with Dr Michelle Hunt, Inner Sydney Dermatology, News Medical,  November 13, 2013 

How many people does skin cancer affect and is it on the rise?

Unfortunately the incidence of skin cancer has risen in Australia over the past decades. From 1982 to 2007, melanoma diagnosis increased by around 50%, and in 2011, 1544 people died due to melanoma.

Over 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) in Australia each year, and two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

More than 2000 Australians died from skin cancer in 2011.

How effective is sunscreen at protecting the skin against sun damage? Continue reading

November 14, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment


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