Respectful Insolence

As supporters of science-based medicine know, in the woo-sphere, there is only One True Cause of Autism, and that is vaccines. At least, so it would seem. The idea that vaccines cause autism is based largely on anecdotes tinged with confirmation bias and selective memory mixed with a massive confusing of correlation with causation whereby the increase in autism prevalence over the last twenty years appears to correlate with an expansion of the vaccine schedule. Of course, as skeptics know, correlation does not necessarily equal causation, and I’ve often asked the question why it has to be the vaccines, pointing out that there are other things that correlate as well or better with the rise in autism prevalence. Perhaps my favorite example is Internet usage, which really took off in 1994 with the introduction of the graphical browser to the masses (Netscape Navigator), correlating very well with the “autism epidemic.” Another fine example are cell phones. After all, few people had cell phones in the early to mid-1990s, but their usage took off until today, when nearly everyone has one, a very nice correlation with autism prevalence. Of course, amusingly, Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing posted a hilariously apt graph correlating organic food sales with autism diagnoses and found a near-perfect correlation coefficient and a very low p-value.

So why isn’t it organic food causing the “autism epidemic”? The answer, of course, is obvious. It’s about the vaccines. It’s always been about the vaccines. It always will be about the vaccines. Vaccines are the one fixed point in the antivaccine universe that always have caused autism, cause autism, and will cause autism, always and forever, amen.

I should be careful what I ask for when I wonder about quacks finding other correlations and other “One True Causes” of autism. In fact, I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that someone actually did come up with a “One True Cause” of autism that wasn’t vaccines and does confuse correlation with causation. It also uses some grade-A primo woo to justify the author’s “theory” of what causes autism. And you, my readers, pointed it out to me, both here and at my not-so-super-secret other blog. It’s a website (www.thecausesofautism.com) that leads to something called The Fullerton Informer. Basically, the “hypothesis,” such as it is, is as follows:

There are two points of discussion on the blog:

  1. WiFi in the schools is dangerous to young children
  2. A hypothesis that Microwave Electro-Magnetic Frequency Emissions acting upon metals in the child’s brain in and out of the womb is the cause of autism.

Oh, goody. EMF woo. Very tasty. I’m not going to deal with the claim that wifi in schools is dangerous, at least not now. I’ve dealt with it before, after all, and the guy who runs it, Joe Imbriano, parrots the usual pseudoscience, quackery, and tropes. There’s nothing interesting there, no no spin or twist on the idea to pique my interest enough to blog about it. On the other hand, this idea about EMF acting on the metals in a child’s brain in the womb and after birth. This is some fine, tasty woo that I haven’t heard before. Moreover, the sheer crankery in Imbriano’s explanation of this “hypothesis” of his will amuse and delight true connoisseurs of woo such as myself. He titles it Carbonyl Iron and Orange County – The Autism Capital of the State, describing it thusly, “What originally began as a quest to get the WiFi systems out of my children’s Fullerton School District classrooms has led to a miraculous hope- that is to prevent newborn and infant children from becoming Autistic and a remarkable hypothesis-the possible connection of microwave EMF emissions’ interactions with metals in Autism, and the role a certain form of iron plays in all of this.”

One wonders how this “hope” came about, one does. So let’s delve in, shall we? Imbriano describes the genesis of his idea (I refuse to dignify it anymore by calling it a “hypothesis,” even with scare quotes) thusly:

In the summer of 1983, I was working in a fast food restaurant while I was in high school. It was my lunch time and I wanted to reheat my burger from earlier that I didn’t have time to finish. Foolishly, I put it in the microwave in its shiny foil wrapper. I pushed the power button and what happened next, I will never forget. The dielectric breakdown of air, as a result of tremendous voltage spikes (roughly equal to 3,000,000 volts per meter) and the resulting high concentrations of electric charge on the metal wrapper, generated by the magnetron, was happening right in front of my very eyes. 30 years later, I bring this up to demonstrate what we all know TO BE TRUE, that microwaving certain metals is dangerous. I believe, that a particular metal, depending on the particular frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum of the EMF emissions, such as BASF_Carbonyl_Iron_Powder_CIP_DS_USL_sfs.pdf can actually absorb the microwave radiation and stop the fireworks show. Simply coat the fork in a resin containing carbonly iron, microwave it, and the fork will get hot but will not create an electrical discharge. I remember that it looked like the 4th of July inside that microwave oven. I believe that the basic physics involved in that simple event lends tremendous insight into what is going on inside the brains, intestines and the rest of the bodies of the EMF sensitive, vulnerable sub-populations such as the unborn, newborns, infants and school children, and what I believe to be, the role these microwave emissions play in Autism. The brain contains about 100 billion neurons and the intestine contains roughly 100 million. Both the gut and the brain are where Autistic children show abnormalities. I firmly believe that both the gut and the brain are being affected by the microwave EMF emissions that have become increasingly prevalent in our lives.

Yes, indeed. Apparently babies’ bodies are just like a cold burger in a shiny foil wrapper, and the EMF radiation from wifi and cell phones cause their cells to light up like a Christmas tree, just like foil placed in a microwave oven. I’m not exaggerating, either. Later in the post, Imbriano describes EMF microwave emissions “creating electrical discharges and voltage spikes on certain metals,” allowing “metals and toxins to get in the brain by opening the BBB [blood-brain barrier] channels” and producing a “fireworks show at the cellular level” that he believes is “destroying the myelin sheathing” of neurons in the brain. He likens it to a overloading a wire with too much current. Never mind, of course, that autism is not a condition associated with demyelination, which is not generally thought to be a mechanism by which autism occurs. It is, actually, the mechanism by which multiple sclerosis develops. It helps to understand the basic science. While it is true that demyelination has on occasion been proposed as a mechanism of autism, the evidence for it as a pathophysiological factor isn’t really particularly strong.

How Imbriano comes to the remarkable conclusion that somehow EMF causes demyelination that in turn causes autism is a brilliant example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which diverse observations are made that he relates without understanding the context of those observations or even the basic science that makes his conclusions from them incredibly implausible (to put it kindly). It’s the sort of thing that Kent Heckenlively and some of the other bloggers at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism do when they string together all sorts of scientific studies willy nilly into a narrative that sounds compelling to a non-scientist but that scientists laugh at because they have a deep understanding of the actual science. It reminds me of what I used to do with a friend of mine when I was 13 or 14. We’d take our junior high understanding of science (well, junior high plus; we were both big science geeks, as you might imagine) and wildly speculate about multiple universes, faster-than-light travel, medical breakthroughs, and the like, all completely ridiculous in retrospect, knowing what I know about science, but completely compelling to us. I can only imagine what my friend and I would have come up with in those conversations had the Internet and PubMed existed back in the 1970s. It would probably have been something like what Mr. Imbriano came up with. We, however, outgrew such faux scientific flights of fancy. They served us well in that they actually reflected and encouraged our love of science, but as we learned more actual science we realized how off-base they were. Unfortunately, Mr. Imbriano seems stuck at that stage, as do so many cranks, who free associate various bits of science they find and come up with hypotheses that are simple, compelling (to them and their fellow cranks, at least), and completely wrong.

So what does carbonyl iron have to do with any of this? You’ll like this:

I have been doing extensive research on the effects of microwave EMF emissions on various metals as related to my need to clearly understand the interactions of the classroom WiFi networks’ emissions with items in the classroom and the children present. What I discovered was rather remarkable. When carbonyl iron was added to an asphalt mix during the manufacturing process, it increased the microwave absorption by 15X as opposed to plain asphalt. I remembered that carbonyl iron is commonly taken as an iron supplement. I could not believe my eyes.

Citing this paper on carbonyl iron to back up his view, Imbriano then claims that anemia “shows up in almost all autistic children,” after which he speculates wildly:

So there must be something going on with iron levels or something is happening to the iron such as bone marrow incorporation as a result of EMF exposure. There are some simple explanations as to why the iron and ferritin levels are not where they should be in the newborn and infants besides heredity. The first cause comes from the lack of available iron or folate in the womb where the mother’s diet is deficient in folates as well as elemental iron. Consequently, so becomes the developing child. The important link between folates and anemia is that when folates are present, it aids the production of healthy red blood cells which help transport oxygen throughout the body. Anemia develops with the lack iron and of folates in the body due to the lack of production of healthy red blood cells. Folate levels and anemia could very well be connected if an individual has a hard time absorbing this B vitamin through regular dietary intake and has a greater need for this vitamin. Pernicious anemia results from eating poorly nutritious foods, microwaved foods, and alcohol consumption, especially during pregnancy as these upset this balance. It can be noted that iron levels can rise quite easily through the supplementation of folates and iron. It is very simple to remedy.

It’s science word salad. It sounds impressive, but says absolutely nothing that makes any sense. And Imbriano doesn’t stop there. He moves on to blame cord clamping for causing anemia that leads to…well, it’s not exactly clear what. But Imbriano knows that Pitocin induction is a confounder. How? Don’t ask. He cites a dubious article linking Pitocin induction of labor with autism, only to dismiss this link as a confounder that is associated with immediate cord clamping. It’s kind of amusing that Imbriano knows the language of epidemiology, including confounders, but has no idea how to actually identify them. In any case, he then goes on to list a bunch of other things that cause anemia, from pesticides to obesity in expecting mothers to air pollution and more. From there, Imbriano “fits the pieces together” by saying that carbonyl iron is a common form of iron in supplements and that taking iron supplements before and during pregnancy has apparently been correlated with a lower risk of autism, declaring:

n summation, we believe that the WSJ article anectdotally confirms the implication of microwave emissions in having a causative effect on Autism. It is my belief that microwave EMF emissions acting on metals are the elusive missing link. We also believe that if all of the iron supplementation of the women was with carbonyl iron, instead of ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate, and, in term deliveries, cord clamping was delayed until pulsation ceases, or C sections were avoided when if at all possible, we could quite possibly, see virtually no autism if my assumptions are correct. If we removed EMF exposure entirely, we may just see the same results as well. The study didn’t specify which form of iron was taken. I would venture to say that carbonyl iron and ferrous sulfate are about 40%/50% ratio in terms of use by pregnant women and the other 10% being ferrous gluconate and other plant based forms which all differ in terms of their EMF absorption and permittivity.

You know, had PubMed and Google existed in the 1970s, I do believe that my friend and I could have come up with a far more scientifically plausible explanation for the “autism epidemic. I really do. At the very least, our science word salad was far more entertaining and served the purpose of sparking our imaginations in a way that led us both to become doctors and scientists later in life. Imbriano’s science word salad is all he seems able to come up with. Then he marvels that this “hypothesis has never been proposed.” Hilariously, it never occurs to him that maybe—just maybe—the reason the hypothesis has never been proposed is because there isn’t any evidence to lead scientists to think that such a hypothesis might have sufficient validity to be worth investigating seriously. In fact, given how low the energy from EMF is, to the point where it is unable to break chemical bonds. Energy unable to do anything more than very minimal heating is incredibly unlikely to be able to induce demyelination, much less autism or anything else.

I was going give Imbriano a bit of credit, though. At first he seemed to be the first person to come up with a crank idea about how autism is caused and how to treat it that has absolutely nothing to do with vaccines. He even included a passage about how total pollution is going down, as is total mercury exposure, dismissing the as potential causes of autism. Then he disappointed me halfway through the article. He starts pointing out that the “battery of immunizations are simply the straw that breaks the camel’s back of the already anemic, microwave EMF damaged, electrosensitive, immunocompromised infant.”

Damn. It really is always about vaccines. Even when it seems, for once, that it actually won’t be.

Comments

  1. #1 Ren
    http://facebook.com/rene.f.najera
    August 7, 2013

    There is a veterinarian in Baltimore who keeps showing up in news reports in print and online because of her activism against “smart meters” (instead of regular electricity meters). She keeps stating that the smart meters give off “electromagnetic radiation” (i.e. radio waves) that have not been tested for their effects on human health. She has stated:

    “Non-industry funded health organizations world-wide have issued warnings on continued proliferation of wireless infrastructure. These include, but are not limited to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Karolinska Institute (Leading European medical university that selects Nobel Prize Winners), and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.”

    And,

    “Smart meters are interfering and causing malfunctioning of a wide range of household and medical devices including other WiFi devices, Netlfix, garage door openers, security systems, pacemakers, defibrillators, etc.”

    Oh, no, it interferes with Netflix!

    I am convinced that these folks were not taught about confounding at any point in their lives. There was a study in the early 80’s that claimed that there was a statistically significant association between coffee and pancreatic cancer. There was. But that correlation went up in smoke, so to speak, when the results were controlled for smoking. Coffee drinkers who didn’t smoke had no greater risk of pancreatic cancer than non-coffee drinkers who didn’t smoke. Throw smoking into the equation, and the risks of pancreatic cancer increased. In that case, coffee drinking was a confounder.

    Of course, it takes critical thinking skills to figure these things out. The moment I read the microwave example, I got to thinking about how much iron is in our blood at any given time. Even people with hemochromatosis don’t have enough iron to make a blip on an electromagnetometer (metal detector). Heck, they’re not even radio opaque. So how in the world would their iron, any iron, be influenced by radio waves?

    But we’re not dealing with critical thinkers, are we?

  2. #2 Chris Hickie
    August 7, 2013

    What?!? Why didn’t he put some mercury in a microwave?

    Fear not, this is why youtube exists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mARTSw8gp7c

    And, of course, there’s a reason why we don’t see mercury lamps looking like this when they are off and not inside a running microwave–namely the density of microwave energy outside of a microwave oven is much lower. As noted in the wikipedia article on microwave ovens:

    The specific heating effect of a beam of high-power microwaves was discovered accidentally in 1945, shortly after high-powered microwave radar transmitters were developed and widely disseminated by the Allies of World War II, using the British magnetron technology that was shared with the United States company Raytheon in order to secure production facilities to produce the magnetron. Percy Spencer, an American self-taught engineer from Howland, Maine, worked at the time with Raytheon. He was working on an active radar set when he noticed that a Mr. Goodbar he had in his pocket started to melt – the radar had melted his chocolate bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked with Spencer’s microwave was popcorn, and the second was an egg, which exploded in the face of one of the experimenters.[3][4] To verify his finding, Spencer created a high density electromagnetic field by feeding microwave power from a magnetron into a metal box from which it had no way to escape. When food was placed in the box with the microwave energy, the temperature of the food rose rapidly.

    The key phrase here is “high power”. Wifi is nowhere near that power seen inside a home microwave oven. Although microwave oven frequencies overlap with wifi frequencies in the gigahertz range, it is a wonderful testimony to the science behind a Faraday cage.

  3. #3 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    August 7, 2013

    @Ren

    Re Smart meters

    In Wisconsin, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (the guy who is trying to ban employers from requiring flu vaccination) is also against smart meters, but his whole angle on both issues is one of individual rights over, well, pretty much anything else. His smart meter opt out bill, so he tries to frame it, is a Fourth Amendment bill. He keeps trying to hammer private, corporate actions into Bill of Rights issues, when the Bill of Rights applies to the government, not private individuals or companies.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    August 7, 2013

    Let me get this straight. People who are autistic exhibit symptoms as toddlers, right? (At least, these days most autism cases are diagnosed when the patient is a toddler.) Children generally don’t go to school until age 5, right? And this guy wants us to believe that the WiFi in schools contributes to autism? I have two questions for this dude: (1) What are you smoking? (2) Where do I get some?

  5. #5 Krebiozen
    August 7, 2013

    That was both painful and amusing to read. Imbriano’s “science by association” reminds me of the pieces of scientific evidence some people put together to support their claims about vaccines and autism: some studies have found unusual cytokine levels in autism, vaccines can increase cytokine levels, therefore vaccines cause autism.

  6. #6 Calli Arcale
    August 7, 2013

    Oh my lord, that was even funnier than the voltage craziness. I mean . . . so very very *wrong* and, in some cases, not even wrong in that piece. Let me just try to sum up the reasoning here:

    Microwaving aluminum foil is bad.
    Aluminum is a metal.
    Iron is a metal.
    You have iron atoms in your blood.
    Lots of these wind up in your brain and intestines.
    Microwaves are radio wave.
    WiFi is transmitted via radio waves.
    Autism involves brain differences, and some autistic kids have damage to their guts.
    Many austistic kids have been vaccinated.
    Vaccines sometimes contain thimerosal, which contains mercury atoms.
    Mercury is a metal.

    That’s all the science we need! WIFI CAUSES AUTISM BY MICROWAVING THE IRON ATOMS IN THE BODY AND THE MERCURY THAT IS SOMEHOW STILL IN VACCINES EVEN THOUGH ITS NOT!!!!!!!!

  7. #7 Kevin Brown
    Tempe, AZ
    August 7, 2013

    So I guess you shouldn’t wrap your kid in aluminum foil and pop her in the microwave or let her go to a school with WiFi.

  8. #8 afeman
    August 7, 2013

    “The dielectric breakdown of air, as a result of tremendous voltage spikes (roughly equal to 3,000,000 volts per meter) and the resulting high concentrations of electric charge on the metal wrapper, generated by the magnetron, was happening right in front of my very eyes.”

    Aka sparks. Cranks like to dress things up, no?

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    August 7, 2013

    BUT but but..
    for his theory to even contain a shred of sense wouldn’t the kids/ mothers *themselves* have to be microwaved?

    Doesn’t the power of miicrowaves drop off precipitously within a few feet?

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    August 7, 2013

    More *incroyable* autism speculation:
    @ AoA, courtesy of Dan Burns and chemical engineer/ nutritionisto, Wm Walsh.
    and
    @ TMR, via the Prof** on Jennifer Margolis’ book, The Business of Baby.

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    August 7, 2013

    Addendum:
    ** Right. I’m sure.

  12. #12 Bronze Dog
    August 7, 2013

    The key phrase here is “high power”. Wifi is nowhere near that power seen inside a home microwave oven. Although microwave oven frequencies overlap with wifi frequencies in the gigahertz range, it is a wonderful testimony to the science behind a Faraday cage.

    Semi-related: IIRC, one of the things that lead to a price drop in early microwave ovens was the revelation that they didn’t need radar-quality microwaves to heat food. I suspect that was more about signal quality or something, rather than power, though, since you aren’t trying to discern anything by echo, just fill a small chamber with a certain frequency.

    Something I think is noteworthy about microwaves: As I understand it, they’re generally better for reheating food, rather than cooking precisely because the radiation is too weak to cause the chemical reactions conventional ovens do via convection and more powerful thermal infrared radiation.

  13. #13 Edith Prickly
    August 7, 2013

    @ TMR, via the Prof** on Jennifer Margolis’ book, The Business of Baby.</blockquote. Oh, I took the linkbait and now I am grinding my teeth and muttering about the all "magical mommy wisdom" and conspiracy BS contained therein. I read the NYT book review she sneers about too and it appears Margulis did not bother to research OB standards of care for countries with government-funded health care systems. Why would the provincial government agree to pay for the pitocin and epidural I was given at the hospital if they're really so "unnecessary?" And I was able to "bond" just fine with my newborn son, even though he needed a 3-week stay in the NICU before I could bring him home. What a load of drivel.

    Sorry for the off-topic rant, but childbirth woo makes me ranty. Back to the EMF nuttery…

  14. #14 Edith Prickly
    this time with blockquotes
    August 7, 2013

    @ TMR, via the Prof** on Jennifer Margolis’ book, The Business of Baby.. Oh, I took the linkbait and now I am grinding my teeth and muttering about the all “magical mommy wisdom” and conspiracy BS contained therein. I read the NYT book review she sneers about too and it appears Margulis did not bother to research OB standards of care for countries with government-funded health care systems. Why would the provincial government agree to pay for the pitocin and epidural I was given at the hospital if they’re really so “unnecessary?” And I was able to “bond” just fine with my newborn son, even though he needed a 3-week stay in the NICU before I could bring him home. What a load of drivel.

    Sorry for the off-topic rant, but childbirth woo makes me ranty. Back to the EMF nuttery…

  15. #15 Edith Prickly
    never mind, the blockquotes have defeated me twice
    August 7, 2013

    first line only should have been blockquoted.

  16. #16 Eric Lund
    August 7, 2013

    As I understand it, [microwave ovens are] generally better for reheating food, rather than cooking precisely because the radiation is too weak to cause the chemical reactions conventional ovens do via convection and more powerful thermal infrared radiation.

    It’s mainly the thermal infrared radiation in conventional ovens, but this is basically correct. My understanding is that certain molecules have rotational bands which are excited by photons in this frequency range, and in solid food this tends to result in hot spots because the effective heating is limited to only a portion of the food (depending on the standing wave pattern set up in the oven). Food products tend to not be good thermal conductors. Thus, the hot and cold parts of your microwaved frozen burrito. Metals are much better heat conductors, which is one of the reasons putting metal objects in the microwave is not a good idea.

    In a conventional oven, you have heating elements which heat the air inside the oven to a temperature typically well above the boiling point of water, and the air in the oven convects to spread that heat more or less evenly about the interior of the oven. You also tend to use longer cooking times, so that the heat has a chance to conduct to the center of the food product you are cooking despite the poor heat conductivity of food. Metals just heat up faster, so it’s fine to put them in, whereas many plastics melt (unlike in a microwave), so they should be kept out. Some oils start to burn as well, so if you are cooking pizza you should grease the pan with something other than olive oil (don’t ask me how I know this).

  17. #17 Bronze Dog
    August 7, 2013

    You also tend to use longer cooking times, so that the heat has a chance to conduct to the center of the food product you are cooking despite the poor heat conductivity of food.

    Hence why it takes so long to cook a frozen turkey, why uniform bread dough develops a crust, and why my favorite frozen bread rolls get blackened on their bottoms in the aluminum tray if I accidentally overcook them.

    Reminded of a quote from Fullmetal Alchemist: “Alchemy began in the kitchen.” And from some kids’ show: “Cooking is a chemistry experiment you can eat.”

    Some oils start to burn as well, so if you are cooking pizza you should grease the pan with something other than olive oil (don’t ask me how I know this).

    I’m guessing you had a cooking experiment that ended with the use of a fire extinguisher.

  18. #18 Shay
    August 7, 2013

    I suppose we should be grateful Imbriano didn’t stick an egg in there.

  19. #19 Mike
    United States
    August 7, 2013

    @Denice #8

  20. #20 Mike
    August 7, 2013

    @Denice – second try. Silly interface.

    You’re right on the energy drop off. RF energy drops off with square of the distance. The power level for a WiFi system is orders of magnitude lower than what a microwave oven puts out. Most of the “WiFi is dangerous!” arguments get facepalms from pretty much anyone in RF Engineering.

    The “dose makes the poison” applies to RF too more or less.

  21. #21 Calli Arcale
    August 7, 2013

    Actually, putting metal in the microwave isn’t as bad an idea as folks have been led to believe. In fact, most folks *have* put metal in the microwave, with no ill effects, without ever knowing it.

    Hot Pockets have metallic linings in the cardboard sleeves that you’re meant to heat them up in. This is deliberate; the metal is a great thermal conductor, and it gets wonderfully warm in response to the microwaves. This helps the food to cook evenly, and also to get the outside pleasantly crispy. Microwave popcorn bags use the same princple, and then there are browning trays. Browning trays have a sheet of metal embedded in them, usually surrounded by ceramic. You put bacon or whatever on there, nuke it, and instead of getting disgusting floppy lukewarm pork, you get nice crispy strips of piping hot bacon.

    I’ve also read of a rather interesting way of making microwaved ice cream sundaes, where the ice cream is shielded with aluminum foil so it doesn’t heat up, but the chocolate is left exposed. I’m not sure of the mechanics of that, but I’m told it’s delicious (but somewhat messy).

    Microwaving metal isn’t really bad. It’s just that you’ll induce a current, and if there are gaps, you’ll get sparks. A crumpled ball of aluminum foil or a CD-ROM are great things for demonstrating this. Otherwise, it really just makes the metal hot.

    Oh, and to afeman, your quoting of this line made me notice something else:
    “The dielectric breakdown of air, as a result of tremendous voltage spikes (roughly equal to 3,000,000 volts per meter) and the resulting high concentrations of electric charge on the metal wrapper, generated by the magnetron, was happening right in front of my very eyes.”

    Gosh, three million volts? That really sounds like a hell of a lot to be inside my microwave! Even if it’s not enough to get a Norwegian Blue to stop kippin’ on its perch! Except . . . it’s not three million volts. It’s three million volts per meter, and if your microwave oven can accommodate a meter-long spark, you have one hell of an oven. The *millimeter* size sparks she actually saw would probably have been in the range of 1,000-10,000 volts. 10,000 volts sounds like a hell of a lot, but you get shocked worse by touching door handles in the winter. Even the three million volt discharge she uses to scare us is only mildly painful. The thing is, these are not sustained voltages. It’s the amps that kill you, not the volts (more or less). Not that you’d want to test that by sticking your hand in there, since never mind the electrical discharges, you’re microwaving your hand, silly!

  22. #22 Mu
    August 7, 2013

    The reason you get such uneven heating in a microwave is that for most materials, the hotter the material the easier it absorbs microwaves. So as soon as you start getting the first hot spots you’re reinforcing them by selectively heating them better.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    August 7, 2013

    The wavelength is a factor too, but all that is why microwaves usually have a turntable in them. And why most recipes recommend periodically stopping to stir or rearrange. And really, even with a conventional oven or stovetop, you’ll want to do that too or you’ll get uneven heating there as well.

  24. #24 Dangerous Bacon
    August 7, 2013

    One time I had a small fire break out in the office microwave because of a tiny amount of metal in a Chinese food container. Every other time I’ve reheated one of those containers, no problem.

    I think it has something to do with GMOs..

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    August 7, 2013

    OT but are natural health entreprenuers having their own charities EVER truly OT – I ask you?
    ( Plus, I’m not working today)

    Today @ Mercola.com, we are informed about charities bilking people of their hard earned money- some of the worst are named as are some who advocate SBM ( Susan Komen, ADA).

    Then, the CEO/ DO discusses his own efforts ‘partnering’ with 5 fine charities ( including NVIC) to form “Health Liberty” AND mentioning a few others he finds hunky dory ( including the ANH, an anti fluoride group and two who promote vitamin D).

    Only recently, MIke Adams discussed horrible charities whilst bolstering his own “Consumer Wellness Center” ( see health ranger.com/ philanthropy) which gives grants to schools/ students who educate children about natural health.

    AoA has a “DONATE” button as well. TMR sells merchandise- it was supposedly starting a charity with funds from sales of its book. ( NN, AoA and TMR appear to sell advertisement)

    Last, and certainly not least ( except perhaps in humility), PRN has a DONATE button which supports its non-profit** broadcasting efforts ( as well as a STORE, to support its chief broadcaster). It sometimes vaguely hints at raising money for “the station” whilst also being part of fund drives for non-profit radio stations ( Pacifica).

    From what I can ascertain, hosts create shows without pay and donate them to prn. Null used to have his own charity, the Nutrition Institute or suchlike ( see Quackwatch).

    ** which are “commercial free” despite being essentially,
    commercials for GN.

  26. #26 lilady
    August 7, 2013

    Shouldn’t we be more concerned about microwaving infant formulas or milk in the microwave…rather than worrying if the microwaves are going to affect an infant’s development? (Nasty burns and all that).

    There is an international group, located in Pretoria South Africa, which disseminates information about “Geopathic Stress, Electro-Stress and Electro-Sensitivity”. They (supposedly) have investigated teh ebil governments and *Big Micro*, *Big Cellphones* which are making out kids autistic. BTW, Orange County Joe Imbriano is published here…

    http://geopathology-za.wikidot.com/autism

    Microwave ovens: great for warming up my morning coffee and my evening decafs which I stash in the refrigerator. Good for warming leftovers, but nuked baked potatoes taste “quite sweet” to me.

  27. #27 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 7, 2013

    I guess that microwave didn’t have the honking great warning from the manufacturer about metallic objects and microwaves.

  28. #28 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 7, 2013

    On a more positive autism note, here’s this news item about a blood test that will be discussed at an autism conference in Adelaide:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-08/scientists-identify-way-to-test-autism-in-one-year-olds/4872506

    Of course, it’s probably the vaccines that introduced the toxins to the blood stream in the first place…

  29. #29 Ken
    August 7, 2013

    I suppose it makes more sense if you remember this season’s Doctor Who episode, “The Bells of Saint John”, where the Wifi was used to take over people’s minds.

    Well, no, it doesn’t make more sense. But at least it has a time machine, which the 21st-century wifi would need to cause autism in the 1950s.

  30. #30 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 7, 2013

    But Ken, autism didn’t exist in the 1950’s! Ann Dachel says so! /sarcasm

  31. #31 elburto
    August 8, 2013

    Wow. I had to head-bang my bed rail after reading that. I was trying to erase the sheer neuron-scrambling nonsense because it was making me feel stupider by the millisecond.

    Sadly I did not manage to give myself the gift of concussion. Fortunately the high level of actual scientific fact in these comments went a long way toward nudging my IQ back up! Now I just have to knock the dents out of my rail. I might follow Edith’s lead and pop over to TMR, I could head-bang the rail straight again.

  32. #32 Dangerous Bacon
    August 8, 2013

    “Shouldn’t we be more concerned about microwaving infant…….s”

    Shame on you, lilady.

  33. #33 Chris Hickie
    August 8, 2013

    Iron is present in the 10’s of micromolar levels in serum and blood cells.

    Sodium is present at ~ 100 millimolar levels in serum (and a lot less in cells)–so about 1000 times higher concentration then iron.

    Sodium, being a metal, is also a very good electrical conductor and will spark in a microwave (feel free to check youtube to see what sodium vapor lamps do in a microwave oven).

    So shouldn’t we all be much, much more worried about sodium and Wifi?

    (please take this with a grain of salt, literally, as you already know: (1) even the most heavily salted foods don’t get all sparky in your microwave, nor would you get all sparky in a microwave either, even if you were hypernatremic, and (2) microwave ovens are well shielded and, (3) wifi is so much more low power than a microwave)

  34. #34 elburto
    August 8, 2013

    Hmm. Maybe that’s why sparks shoot from my eyes when I’m phone-internetting through our WiFi connection.

    You’re a doctor Chris, are those bright blue eye sparks not normal? Maybe I need foil mittens.

  35. #35 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2013

    “Even when it’s not all about vaccines”
    it’s all about MERCURY..

    AoA’s chief biopsychophysioimmuno- theoretician, Teresa Conrick, today ‘schools” Simon Baron-Cohen about investigating ASDs and eating disorders.
    “After seventy years, these children deserve so much more than Psychiatry has offered”, saith she.

    In other news and balderdash:

    Mikey A. announces another aspect of his newest internet enterprise, BLOGS.naturalnews, a venue for free speech. Interested parties may submit their blogs, etc.. You can earn MONEY from ADS!

    Do I hear any takers?
    I’ve always imagined that someone could sokal him extremely well ( PRN is currently also recruiting show hosts) – imagine what some of RI’s talented minions could do at either outlet. NOt that I’m telling anyone to do that- it would be SO wrong. Heh.

    @ elburto-
    Wanna part time job as a writer?

  36. #36 Nancy
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you for providing the link to Mr. Imbriano’s piece, Mr. Orac. It is excellent. My daughter has autism and the information on the umbilical cord makes a lot of sense. (I labored for 3 days and nights at a midwifery farm, before having an emergency C-section where the umbilical cord was immediately clamped. I wrote about the link between EMF and autism here http://www.scribd.com/doc/87560084/It-Just-Makes-Sense-2012. -

  37. #37 elburto
    August 8, 2013

    Haha can you imagine the fun I’d have if I took my foil mitts off long enough to write for Mikey?

    First blogpost titles:

    “Hydroxyls – the hidden chemical compounds in your home”

    “Is there nitrogen in the air your innocent children are breathing?”

    Hmm… what if teh wiffy signals worsen my existing headmentals? P’raps I should add a jaunty foil beret to my ensemble.

  38. #38 elburto
    August 8, 2013

    Ooh Other Mrs elburto has offered to make me a foil onesie with a hood! That means my existing brainwrongs won’t be worsened by the evil signals.

  39. #39 JGC
    August 8, 2013

    I’d go with a take on George Carlin’s classic: “Scientists have discovered that human saliva can cause autism, but only when swallowed in small amounts for a preiod of time greater than 6 months.”

  40. #40 Eric Lund
    August 8, 2013

    Sodium, being a metal, is also a very good electrical conductor and will spark in a microwave (feel free to check youtube to see what sodium vapor lamps do in a microwave oven).

    If you want to see some real fireworks, take a half kilogram ingot of sodium to any convenient bridge and drop it in the river. That ought to scare anybody prone to falling for sodium-related woo. There is a reason bulk metallic sodium is usually stored in oil.

  41. #41 Roadstergal
    Slightly removed from the fray
    August 8, 2013

    I think it has something to do with GMOs..

    I generally like LightLife products, and our local supermarket has started carrying LightLife Vegetarian Chik’n Masala pot pies, which, despite the name, are utterly delicious (as long as you get the Masala ones – the plain ones are as tasteless as a regular microwave chicken pot pie). I particularly like that they are one of the few markers of frozen vegetarian entrees in our store that don’t plaster NON-GMO!!! comments all over their boxes.

    Eating GMOs cooked in a microwave makes me feel a litle better about being part of the crunchy progressive woo-friendly fringe…

  42. #43 Orac
    August 8, 2013

    Heh. It looks as though Mr. Imbriano is…displeased…with my post. Perhaps some comments are in order. http://thefullertoninformer.com/looks-like-one-of-our-15000-hits-yesterday-struck-a-nerve-in-the-belly-of-some-sort-of-beast/

  43. #44 Ed
    August 8, 2013

    May I ask, could you post some links to studies which have been conducted concerning the number of children who have Autism and have not been vaccinated, and the number of children who have Autism and have been vaccinated?

    That should help this discussion, I believe.

  44. #45 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2013

    SRSLY:
    15000 + hits and no comments yet?

  45. #46 Kiiri
    The Flipside
    August 8, 2013

    As the mom of a 21-month old, the whole bottle in the microwave thing is more geared toward the fact that (as many have pointed out) microwaves heat unevenly. You certainly don’t want to scald your infant by feeding them formula that is very hot in the middle. If you microwave, shake thoroughly and test on your own skin. We received as a gift a little electric bottle warmer that used steam to heat them. Still required shaking but worked great and heated a bit more evenly. My husband is a physicist so I have to get him to read this post. On second thought, better not, his head might explode.

  46. #47 Chris,
    August 8, 2013

    Ah, yes, I clicked on his little reaction. The ALL CAPS comment is hilarious:

    THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN AMERICA TODAY IS STILL INSIDE OF A MOTHER’S WOMB. YOU WOULD THINK THEY WOULD KNOW BETTER OR AT LEAST WANT TO HELP.

    So does he want to wrap every pregnant woman with aluminum foil? Or perhaps find a way to grow a fetus in a vat?

    By the way, our family bought our first microwave oven in the early 1970s. I wonder if Mr. Imbriano knows that. Or that there have been radio waves wafting through us for a good century or so.

  47. #48 Alain
    surgery city
    August 8, 2013

    I’ve been in an hospital since yesterday getting a surgery for a ruptured appendix which turned into an abcess. More news later when I get a computer.

    Alain

  48. #49 Mewens
    August 8, 2013

    Best wishes, Alain.

  49. #50 Rovin'
    August 8, 2013

    Chris #46

    So does he want to wrap every pregnant woman with aluminum foil?

    Someone in the comment section in the article is suggesting just that:

    http://thefullertoninformer.com/carbonyl-iron-and-orange-county-the-autism-capital-of-the-state/#comment-18869

  50. #51 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 8, 2013

    Nasty, Alain. I hope everything clears up quickly and relatively painlessly (or that at least the drugs work).

  51. #52 lilady
    August 8, 2013

    @ Dangerous Bacon: Good one ! :-)

    “Someone” is miffed that he hasn’t got any feedback…too bad. That’ll learn ‘em not to post on Orac’s super secret other blog. I hope Imbriano is convinced that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

    @ Alain: Whoa…that’s serious. Hope you feel better soon.

  52. #53 Agashem
    Back in the saddle again
    August 8, 2013

    Alain, j’espere que les medicins a Montreal son competent et que tu quitte l’hopital aussi tot que possible.
    Paix.

  53. #54 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2013

    @ Alain:

    Get well soon!

  54. #55 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 8, 2013

    Heh. It looks as though Mr. Imbriano is…displeased…with my post. Perhaps some comments are in order.

    A couple comments have an oddly familiar ring to them. But then again, the tin-foil brigade eventually sound alike.

  55. #56 elburto
    August 8, 2013

    Alain, mais non! Get well soon. At least you have science on your side and not naturopathy or Rife.

  56. #57 Ausduck
    Nowhere near a microwave oven for now
    August 8, 2013

    Re microwave ovens and microwave popcorn. I have set a popcorn bag on fire in an earlier microwave I had. I have also exploded eggs and jacket potatoes. It’s all one big learning curve :) I have learned to use the darn thing to reheat only, and I do that with caution.
    @ Alain, hope your recovery in without incident and you get better soon.

  57. #58 novalox
    August 8, 2013

    @Alain

    Hope you get better soon

  58. #59 sid offit
    August 8, 2013

    It must be depressing writing for the same twenty people everyday. I admire your sticktoitiveness.

  59. #60 novalox
    August 8, 2013

    @sid

    Considering that you can’t draw flies to your own blog, I find your ignorance very amusing.

    Also, it doesn’t change the fact that you are trying an appeal to popularity, which says nothing about how most all of your views have no support in actual reality.

    But then again, reason and logic have never been your strong suit in the first place.

  60. #61 Mark McAndrew
    August 8, 2013

    Sid has a blog? :D

  61. #62 lilady
    August 8, 2013

    Offal:

    “It must be depressing writing for the same twenty people everyday. I admire your sticktoitiveness.”

    It must be fun playing with glue pot and posting links to anti-vaccine anti-science sites on your Facebook page.

    I admire your Offalness.

  62. #63 herr doktor bimler
    August 9, 2013

    The key phrase here is “high power”.

    A second key phrase might be “wavelength”. Ants are happy wandering around inside an active microwave, because they are small compared to the wavelength… meaning that at any instant there is little difference between the electric field at one part of the ant and the electric field at another part… so no current flow.

    Imbriano evidently thinks that because microwaves induce current flows within aluminium foil (with the spectacular consequences of overheating and sparking), therefore they will also induce current flows within individual atoms. I am gobsmacked.

  63. #64 Narad
    August 9, 2013

    I admire your sticktoitiveness.

    Sid, do try to style your name consistently. I don’t have time to work on speeding up the killfile script at the moment.

  64. #65 Alain
    August 9, 2013

    So far so good, this was a surgery with complications but it was done very effectively. I have anti-abiotic, a nasogastric tube and a morphine pump to manage side-effects.

    Spelling errors courtesy of my fone

  65. #66 Edith Prickly
    August 9, 2013

    @Alain – Je te souhaite un bon rétablissement, mon ami.

  66. #67 Denice Walter
    August 9, 2013

    @ Mark McAndrew:

    It’s called “the Vaccine Machine” but actually, it’s the eponymous facebook page that’s active. Take a look.

  67. #68 Alain
    August 9, 2013

    Now that I have my computer, I can report my incident.

    Basically, I noticed a small pain last week in the right upper quadrant (out of 4 quadrant) and the pain increased tuesday to the point I needed an ambulance ride wednesday morning. No fever, No nausea or anything left me thinking it was this serious. And the triage nurse coded me for a stomach pain but I had to wait in a weelchair about 3 hours in various places between the ambulance ride and seeing a doctor after which I was admitted to a bed.

    Alain

  68. #69 Reuben Gaines
    http://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com
    August 9, 2013

    Sid-Robert Schecter should be one to talk.

    He actually told a woman whose child had died from the flu that the flu was “a minor illness.”

    Screen caps here:

    h_ttp://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/the-callousness-of-some-people/

    He’s got a lot of balls. I’ll give him that, and only that.

  69. #70 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 9, 2013

    Dayum, every time I think Sid hits bottom, he finds a new way to sink bit deeper. He just can’t get any worse than this, can he?

  70. #71 Edith Prickly
    August 9, 2013

    @Reuben and Johnny – I too did not think it possible that the disgusting pile of Offal could sink any lower in my opinion, but he just dug a new level. What an @sshole.

  71. #72 novalox
    Still watching siddy boy bat way below the Mendoza line in intelligence and basic human decency
    August 9, 2013

    @Edith

    I don’t know if sid’s comment’s on his blog/facebook will ever top the one in which he called a African infant with smallpox “cute”.

    That was rather repulsive.

  72. #73 LW
    August 9, 2013

    Dayum, every time I think Sid hits bottom, he finds a new way to sink bit deeper. He just can’t get any worse than this, can he?

    Yes. Yes, he can. And he will.

  73. #74 lilady
    August 9, 2013

    @ Reuben Gaines: Poor Offal… The only human to survive brain herniation, where his entire brain sank below his waist.

    Yeah, he’s got bigger b@lls that a brass monkey.

  74. #75 Krebiozen
    August 9, 2013

    It must be depressing writing for the same twenty people everyday.

    Since an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment on most blogs, I estimate that around 1,500 people have read this blog post so far.

    Does anyone know of the numbers of the comments refer to RI or Science Blogs in general? Schechter’s comment was comment number 272,729.

  75. #76 Krebiozen
    August 9, 2013

    Alain,
    I hope you have a rapid and uneventful recovery.

  76. #77 lilady
    August 9, 2013

    @ Alain: Make certain you behave yourself…no bailing out AMA (Against Medical Advice) and take time to recuperate. :-)

  77. #78 Alain
    August 9, 2013

    No worries, I’m not leaving until I get cleared and I’m taking the month off.

  78. #79 lilady
    August 9, 2013

    Poor Offal: He got his kishkes handed to him more than two years ago, when Respectful Insolence passed the 10 million “hits” mark:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/21/10000000/

    “Sid Offit
    April 21, 2011

    10,000,000? I thought it was the number of lives saved by vaccines every day in the United States.”

    “lilady
    April 21, 2011

    @ Sid Offal: 10,000,000 is the number of anti-vax articles you would have to crank out on your blog, to score the number of hits that RI receives in one hour.”

  79. #80 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    August 10, 2013

    Sid has managed to lower himself past whale feces at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

  80. #81 Narad
    August 10, 2013

    Does anyone know of the numbers of the comments refer to RI or Science Blogs in general? Schechter’s comment was comment number 272,729.

    It appears to be the latter. This, from yesterday, is comment 66,755 at Starts with a Bang.

  81. #82 LovleAnjel
    August 10, 2013

    I thought the problem with metal in a microwave, was if a spark jumped to the magnetron you had to buy a new microwave? Otherwise it’s pretty safe, if sparktastic.

  82. #83 Calli Arcale
    August 12, 2013

    Well, that and the metal can get hot, which can burn you when you try to take it out afterwards. ;-)

    Ever put a CD into a microwave? (Caveat: make sure it’s a CD you don’t care about, because it will not be playable afterwards.) Works best if you can remove the internal light in the microwave first so it’s nice and dark in there. Very pretty sparkles.

  83. #84 Denice Walter
    August 12, 2013

    I have an antique plate that has “gold” paint around the edge: microwaving it produces mini fireworks.

  84. #85 Shay
    speaking of non-sentient beings
    August 12, 2013

    He’s got a lot of balls. I’ll give him that, and only that.

    So do billiard tables.

  85. #86 Krebiozen
    August 12, 2013

    Just noticed Narad’s comment #81:

    It appears to be the latter.

    That means RI has attracted over a quarter of a million comments since day one, however many years ago that was. That’s an awful lot of comments if there ain’t nobody here but us chickens.

  86. #87 Alain
    August 12, 2013

    I Farted!!!!

    This is not a usually notheworthy or on-topic subject for SB but then you all would believe that having a nasogastric tube is nowhere near a problem for only the comatose patient with no exceptions. Now that I’m in top shape, I just want to rip the tubes appart and off I’m going.

    But, I’ll respect what I said earlier, I will wait until the doc discharge me out.

    Basically, what brought me in is a rupture of the appendix the size of a golf ball. I was in pain for a week beforehands but it failed to register on my personal pain scale so only when I guess it ruptured tuesday last week did I get to consult on the next morning (ambulance ride to the hospital but the triage nurse let me wait in the waiting room with a code for stomach pain).

    Since then, I’ve been doing constant progress to the point that I has 96% of O2 saturation without braithing support, digestive system function well enough but the doc were waiting on the intestines to function which they does now.

    Give me 2 days starting from tomorrow morning and I should be out.

    Alain

  87. #88 Agashem
    Off to bed
    August 12, 2013

    Fantastique, Alain. Je sais que tu a hate de retourner chez vous, mais patience, mon ami.

  88. #89 Ray
    August 16, 2013

    If anyone wants to investigate the Health Effects caused by electromagetic radiation, here is a link to 3,000 peer reviewed studies, most of which were published over the last three decades:

    http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/RFR-11_28-research-summary.pdf

    And here is a link to 2,000 more studies that were published before 1975:

    http://docs.stetzerelectric.com/Naval-Medical-Research-Institute-1972-Full-Bibliography.pdf

    It is readily apparent from looking over these 5,000 studies that Orac is not in touch with the state of the science. Electromagnetic radiation is very much able to cause biological effects. More needs to be learned, but the point of Imbriano’s blog is to not expose an entire generation of children when we already know that there are effects. It is unacceptable to ignore this evidence.

  89. #90 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 16, 2013

    Tell us, Ray, which of those studies do you find most convincing? If your answer is “all of them”, obviously it’s not because you evaluated the actual quality of the research, but just because they came up with the answer you wanted to believe.

  90. #91 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 16, 2013

    Ray – of course electromagnetic radiation can cause biological effects. The question is: what are the convincing studies to support that the types of electromagnetic radiation discussed above in the field strengths discussed above cause these effects?

  91. #92 JGC
    August 16, 2013

    Ray, that exposure to EMF fields can cause physiologic effects is established; that exposure to low strength EMF fields cause significant adverse health effects is not. For every study you offer in support of the later hypothesis there are one or more studies poviding evidence that opposes the hypothesis.

    For example, the first study in bioinitiative’s review you provided a link to (Aalto et al., 2006) concludes modestly

    These results are consistent with the postulation that EMF induces changes in neuronal activity.

    A quick PubMed search readily yields Goshn et al’s Effects of GSM 900 MHz on middle cerebral artery blood flow assessed by transcranial Doppler sonography, PMID 23106209, which concludes

    No significant changes were detected in studied variables in middle cerebral arteries during sham or real exposure…Twenty minutes of RF exposure to a mobile phone does not seem to affect the cerebral circulation.

  92. #93 Ray
    August 16, 2013

    I’ve been measuring electromagnetic radiation for over 20 years, and with many instruments. One of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of this issue is that we are told that wireless devices emit “low levels” of radiation. This is not the case.

    WiFi enabled iPads emit levels of radiation that are at least 50,000,000 (50 million) times higher than natural environments.

    This chart, with units in nanowatts per square meter, shows the emissions of several types of wireless devices and compares these radiation levels to peer reviewed research.

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/wireless_compared_to_studies_nano_5000.pdf

    There are so many areas of research that are very compelling. If the mere presence of thousands of peer reviewed studies reporting biological and health effects from EMR radiation isn’t enough to persuade you to not expose children to high levels of microwave radiation, and you seek a “smoking gun”, I would suggest looking into heat shock proteins.

    Personally I am convinced when I see study after study showing such effects as genetic damage, leakage of the blood brain barrier, or increased risk of cancer.

    What I find most accessible for beginners, are cell tower studies. This section of the scientific literature is also quite relevant, because the radiation levels are similar to WiFi. A WiFi router will emit about as much radiation to a classroom as would be present standing 100 meters in front of a cell tower. When you add in the wireless devices, the levels become many times higher. This is a very serious issue as children would be exposed to these levels for long periods of time.

    Here is a document that shows several dozen mobile phone and radio antenna epidemiological studies from around the world. Increased risk of cancer is the most consistent symptom for those populations living close, as in less than 500 meters from the tower or antenna.

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/epidemiological_studies.pdf

    It is very clear from this research that there are neurological effects from exposure to high frequency pulsed microwave radiation. After reviewing the scientific literature, Dr. Martha Herbert M.D. of Harvard Medical School, who is also a practicing pediatric neurologist at Mass General Hospital, concluded that schools should opt for wired internet rather than WiFi.

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/martha_herbert._md_lausd_wifi_in_schools.pdf

  93. #94 Alain
    August 16, 2013

    I wish to thanks everyone here wishing me a speedy recovery. I am finally out of the hospital, not in pain and doing fine. Furthermore, I have a date planned tomorrow with a 32 years old mother of one and it’s been endless romance since Wednesday.

    Good evening.

    Alain

  94. #95 JGC
    August 16, 2013

    Personally I am convinced when I see study after study showing such effects as genetic damage, leakage of the blood brain barrier, or increased risk of cancer.

    Simple question for you, Ray, What in your opinion is the single most compelling study demonstrating that exposure to the EMF fields produced by cell phones or WiFi enabled iPad tablets increase ones risk of developing cancer?

  95. #96 JGC
    August 16, 2013

    BTW, as I understand it the iPad does not expose you to millions of times the EMF radiation present in natural environments where no iPad is present, due to a little something commonly found in natural environments we call the sun (sunlight’s around 5 x 10^14 Hz )

  96. #97 Ray
    August 16, 2013

    JGC, I don’t single out studies that way.

    I think one study by itself is fairly unconvincing. I look instead at groups of studies. So when for example I look at the group of cell tower studies, and I see the same effects regardless of race, nationality, or economic status, this removes the chances of confounding variables. As such, I see that there is ample evidence that RF radiofrequency radiation causes cancer and neurological illness.

    The fact stands that there are thousands and thousands of peer reviewed studies reporting biological and health effects. Instead of arguing about which one is best/worst, let’s just acknowledge that there is substantial evidence before us showing that pulse modulated RF radiofrequency microwave radiation is able to cause adverse health effects.

    If you would like to look at some of the specific studies that I find most relevant, here is a list, as well as links to the actual research:

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/studiesreports.html

  97. #98 Ren
    August 16, 2013

    Jesus Christ, not the “wi-fi in schools kills kids” thing again. You know what kills kids (especially when they become adults)? Ignorance. Plain and simple. Not paying attention to the science class when the electromagnetic spectrum is explained to you can get you killed.

    That, or it makes you sound like a damned fool by saying that wi-fi (or any other type of radio signal from consumer products) kills.

  98. #99 Ray
    August 16, 2013

    It is fairly predictable that if you can’t dispute the presence of the science that clearly shows that RF radiation causes bio-effects that the next step is to obfuscate with some other nonsense like comparing wireless to the sun.

    Or if you are really desperate, you can always swear so as to compensate for lack of knowledge.

    Levels of RF microwave radiation as emitted by an iPad are hundreds of millions of times higher than are present in the natural environment.

    Solar radiation is different in that (at least to my knowledge) it doesn’t go through walls, or our bodies.

    On a more obvious note, children aren’t exposed while to the sun all day everyday, at least while at school. We protect our children from overexposure to UV rays, with sunblock and common sense.

  99. #100 lilady
    August 16, 2013

    @ Alain: Welcome back, we all missed you. :-)

  100. #101 Ren
    August 16, 2013

    “Solar radiation is different in that (at least to my knowledge) it doesn’t go through walls, or our bodies.”

    That’s all I needed to read to know how off-kilter you are. Just another person who doesn’t know or understand (or want to understand) the electromagnetic spectrum. I’m done with you. Good night.

    For everyone else interested, UV rays are on one end of the spectrum while radio waves are on the other, they differ in wavelength and frequency (thus, energy). One can throw your DNA for a loop, the other just possibly can’t. I’ll leave it up to those of you living in the real world to figure out which is which.

  101. #102 Ren
    August 16, 2013

    Sorry, forgot to mention that the sun puts out radiation in the full spectrum. Wikipedia is a pretty good source, actually:

    h_ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_radiation

  102. #103 Ren
    August 16, 2013

    “Levels of RF microwave radiation as emitted by an iPad are hundreds of millions of times higher than are present in the natural environment.”

    That’s funny, when dad worked in the uranium mines, he had to wear a special suit. Should he wear that suit when he plays with the ipad?

    Oh, wait, you’re going to tell me that radio waves are different from gamma radiation. (They’re not. They’re just different manifestations of electromagnetic radiation.)

  103. #104 Ray
    August 16, 2013

    Actually UV rays are not on one end of the spectrum. You might want to dust off your physics book.

    More critical to the discussion at hand, it used to be believed that EMF radiation didn’t possess enough energy to cause damage to DNA. The scientific record now shows otherwise, as hundreds of peer reviewed studies show that EMF radiation causes damage to DNA and other genetic material.

    http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/sec06_2007_Evidence_For_Genotoxic_Effects.pdf

    http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/sec06_2012_genetic_effects_non-ionizing.pdf

  104. #105 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 16, 2013

    nanowatts per square meter

    *Nano*watts? Do you know how small a nanowatt is? That’s a decimal point, eight zeros and a one. .000000001 of a watt. Everything is big compared to a nanoanything.

    A surface area of one square meter on Earth receives one nanowatt of power from a single star of apparent magnitude +3.5.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanowatt#Multiples

    Yah, that starlight is a killer.

    Why, I spent all night outside a coupla times, it’s a wonder I ain’t dead yet.

    @Alain
    You go, you ol’ dog. Good luck

  105. #106 JGC
    August 17, 2013

    Ray@97, are you admitting you’re unable to offer a study offering compelling evidence EMF produced by consumer electronics or radio/cell phone towers causes cancer?

  106. #107 JGC
    August 17, 2013

    Ray @99, no one is arguing RF radiation can’t caause bio-effects. What we’re disputing is thr claim that the RF exposure associated with WiFi in schools is sufficient to harm children.

  107. #108 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 17, 2013

    I think one study by itself is fairly unconvincing. I look instead at groups of studies.

    Well, that’d be your mistake; you’re assuming that if you don’t look closely enough at a study to see if there’s anything wrong with it, that means there’s nothing wrong with it. Or, well, let’s be a little more favorable: maybe you realize that it is possible for a “study” to be bullsh!t, but you think there’s some rule in place that if you bring 5,000 studies together in one place, some of them must not be bullsh!t. Just like if you take a counterfeit bill, and put it together with 4,999 other counterfeit bills, you wind up with something other than 5,000 counterfeit bills, right??

    Oh, and by the way, if you go up to the search box at the top of the page and type in “Martha Herbert” you’ll find out why saying “Dr. Martha Herbert of Harvard Medical School believes Wi-Fi is dangerous, too!” doesn’t impress anyone around here. Just in case, along with “5,000 studies can’t be wrong,” you also believe “no one associated with Harvard Medical School can be a credulous quack.”

  108. #109 Ren
    http://about.me/rene.f.najera
    August 17, 2013

    *Yawn* So, when my dad worked for the uranium mining companies, he told me about how hot some of those mines got. He said there were some mines up in Canada whose uranium was so pure that they had to send in robots to explore and heavily-protected machinery to do the mining. Why was it hot? Because the radiation was heating things up.

    That’s energy right there.

    So I conducted an experiment last night. I put a cup of water next to my wi-fi router. I then put a thermometer in it. It was there for about six hours. The water was at room temperature all the time. If wi-fi signals are so powerful so as to cause DNA damage, or irritation, or anything that triggers cells to turn cancerous, why wasn’t it strong enough to even warm the water up one degree celsius?

    “Actually UV rays are not on one end of the spectrum. You might want to dust off your physics book.”

    So I guess the sky isn’t blue, either?

    From longest wavelength and lower frequency to shortest wavelength and higher frequency, the spectrum is thus:

    -Radio Waves
    -Microwaves
    -Infrared
    -Visible light (Roy G. Biv)
    -Ultraviolet
    -Xray
    -Gamma ray

    What physics education have you had? Because we need to contact that institution of higher learning and get them to check their textbooks.

    Finally, Ray, I notice that you don’t put any information about yourself in your website. If you did and I missed it, can you point me to your resume, CV, or something that tells us you’re not full of it?

  109. #110 Denice Walter
    August 17, 2013

    Martha Herbert has appeared on the Gary Null Show
    and her book has been recommended by AoA.

    IIRC she may have been a speaker at Autism One 2013 however I can’t check the speakers’ list with the current site up for that conference.

  110. #111 Denice Walter
    August 17, 2013

    I stand corrected: she wasn’t at Autism One 2013.

    The other two instances are easy enough to find ( @ progressiveradionetwork and AoA). She may have given a lecture elsewhere and been spoken about with admiration by AoA people.

  111. #112 Ray
    August 17, 2013

    Johnny – A nanowatt is an appropriate unit to used when comparing wireless radiation to background levels. Why is it that you are ignoring the fact that levels in a classroom are millions of times higher?

    JGC – I have offered you several thousand studies that provide compelling evidence that RF radiofrequency microwave radiation causes adverse biological effects including cancer. If that isn’t enough evidence for you, nothing will be.

    As far as critically analyzing those studies individually, have at it. Let us know when you are able to discredit each and every one of those roughly 5,000 papers.

    Ren – Although the sun does emit a full spectrum of radiation, you have to be more focused with what you are asking. A better question to ask would be if the sun emits measurable amounts of microwave radiation to the earth. The answer is no. If you take an RF measuring instrument out into a natural environment, you will see no difference between day and night readings. The sun is not the issue that we are focusing on. It is the levels of microwave radiation in the classroom, which could be avoided with hardwiring the computers.

    Antaeus – I think you are proving that you and your other buddies here are spending your time focused on finding a flaw in my wording rather than recognizing that you are faced with a mountain of evidence showing that microwave radiation does cause adverse biological effects.

    As with JGC, if you are implying that all of those 5,000 peer reviewed studies reporting biological and health effects are somehow flawed – then I suggest that you prove it. Otherwise you are just being resistant.

    Ren – You said “UV rays are on one end of the spectrum while radio waves are on the other” This is factually incorrect. Just let it go.

    Further, so your dad worked in a uranium mine. Ok, I get it, it sucked.

    If you would spend even five minutes reading any of the scientific literature that has been provided to you, would see that science has moved on beyond the mistaken belief that the only adverse biological effects from microwave radiation are those induced as a result of thermal effects. This is more than about heating things up.

    The whole point here is that we need to adjust with the times, and with advancements in knowledge, rather than sitting around with our buddies making fun of those who do.

  112. #113 ARD
    August 17, 2013

    Ray, do you know what a radio telescope is? It’s a device used to measure the output of radio waves of stars and planets. These have been in use for decades by astronomers.

    One of the first things they pointed radio telescopes at was the sun. And guess what? The giant fusion reactor just one astronomical unit away produces a lot of microwave radiation! So, for that matter, do the large planets of the outer solar system. Studies of solar microwave radiation are rather important to studying plasma physics and the solar magnetic field.

    To say that the sun does not emit measurable microwave radiation to Earth is completely and totally ignorant, at best.

  113. #114 Ray
    August 17, 2013

    ARD, I stand corrected. A radio telescope can pick up microwave radiation from the sun.
    Large radio telescopes, such as the one located at the National Observatory in Green Bank, WV are actually so sensitive that no wireless devices can operate within several miles because such transmission would cause interference to the operation of the telescope.

    You guys are really reaching here, though, as not even the highest quality RF measuring instruments will detect any microwave radiation emitted from the sun.

    The fact remains that the levels of radiation emitted by wireless devices are millions of times higher than those in low radiation natural environments.

    .

  114. #115 Krebiozen
    A small island in the North Atlantic
    August 17, 2013

    Ray,

    If the mere presence of thousands of peer reviewed studies reporting biological and health effects from EMR radiation isn’t enough to persuade you to not expose children to high levels of microwave radiation, and you seek a “smoking gun”, I would suggest looking into heat shock proteins.

    A look at randomly selected studies form your list uncovered several that found no ill effects, indeed no effects at all from mobile phones, many studies on rats exposed to far higher levels of EMT than mobile phones produce that did find effects, and some that did not look at EMR at all, but at the distractory effects of mobile phone use while driving, ” Inhibited head movements: A risk of combining phoning with other activities?” for example.

    I also looked at your list of exposures and picked a claim at random, that EMR exposure of 13,000,000 times background, equivalent to less than the EMR exposure 2 feet away from a wi-fi enabled laptop doubles the risk of leukemia. The reference is to Dolk 1997, ‘Cancer incidence near radio and television transmitters in Great Britain’, which is also mentioned in the other list of studies you linked to and which concludes:

    No causal implications can be made from a single cluster investigation of this kind.

    A subsequent study of these clusters by the same authors (PDF) concluded:

    For childhood leukemia and brain cancer, and adult skin melanoma and bladder cancer, results were not indicative of a decline in risk with distance from transmitters. The magnitude and pattern of risk found in the Sutton Coldfield study did not appear to be replicated. The authors conclude that the results at most give no more than very weak support to the Sutton Coldfield findings.

    Why is the original study that supports your claims of damage mentioned, but not the follow-up study that found no problems?

    This seems to me to be sloppy at best and deliberately misleading at worst. Do you understand why I am not inclined to take anything you have written here seriously, when a cursory look at the evidence you have presented found that it doesn’t say what you claimed it does?

  115. #116 Krebiozen
    August 17, 2013

    Is there a name for the phenomenon where you only see typos after clicking ‘Submit’? Is there a cure?

    I almost forgot Alain – bonne santé et bonne chance!

  116. #117 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 17, 2013

    if you are implying that all of those 5,000 peer reviewed studies reporting biological and health effects are somehow flawed – then I suggest that you prove it.

    Sorry, that’s not how the burden of proof works. You’re trying to say “here’s an idea which mainstream science does not consider supported by the evidence, but I think it is,” you have to show us that your interpretation of the evidence is more rigorous than theirs. The mere fact that a study is done is no guarantee that it was done right or means anything.

    If we picked a study out of your list of 5,000 and pointed out its flaws, it doesn’t take a genius to know what your response would be: “Well, that one may be flawed, but there’s 4,999 others that aren’t!” You could keep doing that over and over; if we knocked down phony studies at a rate of one a day, you could still keep going for over TEN YEARS claiming that the ones that hadn’t been shown YET to be bogus proved your claims. That ain’t the way it works; you want to argue that you know better than mainstream science, you prove YOUR CASE, and not just by saying “5,000, that’s a big number, isn’t it!”

  117. #118 Shay
    August 17, 2013

    Warning shot across your bows, Ray; if you cite something, people here will actually go read it.

  118. #119 Ray
    August 17, 2013

    Really, Shay, people are actually reading the studies? That would be nice, but I haven’t heard one word about any of the studies that do report adverse biological effects. All I’ve heard are excuses, searches for flaws, and attempts to obfuscate by comparing to the sun, etc.

    If people here really read the science, then let’s do it. Let’s take a walk through the studies and reports, and do a proper investigation. It wouldn’t take years. It might take weeks at best. If you really give a damn about the issue at hand, which is children’s exposure to microwave radiation, then you shouldn’t have a problem directing your collective scientific expertise toward evaluating some of the research.

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/studiesreports.html

    Let’s start with #2.

    Yakymenko. 2011. Long-Term Exposure to Microwave Radiation Provokes Cancer Growth: Evidence From Radar and Mobile Communication Systems.

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/long-term_exposure_to_microwave_radiation_yakymenko_2011.pdf

  119. #120 Ren
    August 17, 2013

    Still waiting for your credentials, Ray. And you saying that UV and radio waves are not on the spectrum, asking me to let it go, and then saying that the sun does put out radio waves makes you read like a damned fool. Again, where did you go to school, we need to warn them that they’re missing their lowest-achieving student.

  120. #121 Ray
    August 17, 2013

    Ren, I am not obligated to share with you my personal resume or academic credentials, because this is not my research. If you would like to challenge the authors of any of the studies I provide, then go for it. I’m sure they will not mind your inquiry.

    As for my statement about UV and radio waves, go back and read it. You stated, incorrectly, that they two were at opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    As for the sun, again, you misread what I wrote. Perhaps you need to check your vision, or you are too emotionally involved.

    What I wrote was that the sun does not emit measurable amounts of microwave radiation to the earth, meaning not even the most sensitive RF measuring instruments available are able to detect it.

  121. #122 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 17, 2013

    What I wrote was that the sun does not emit measurable amounts of microwave radiation to the earth, meaning not even the most sensitive RF measuring instruments available are able to detect it.

    Nope, you’re wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_outage

    The fact that you believe otherwise explains why you think nanowatts/M2 is a useful ‘yardstick’ to measure anything.

  122. #123 Ren
    August 17, 2013

    “As for my statement about UV and radio waves, go back and read it. You stated, incorrectly, that they two were at opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum.”

    Can you tell us where each is on the spectrum, then? A simple listing of the types of radiation on the spectrum (like the one I did above) will do.

    Sure, there might be something wrong with my eyes, my intelligence, whatever. But at least I don’t believe in boogey radio waves under my bed.

  123. #124 Ray
    August 17, 2013

    Again, it is not possible to measure RF levels from the sun with professional grade RF measuring tools. Any levels emitted by the sun are far too small to be detected.

    This sun issue is a continued attempt to obfuscate from the issue at hand, which is that levels of microwave radiation in a WiFi enabled classroom are millions of times higher than in low radiation environments of today.

    This is the electromagnetic spectrum chart that I use most frequently:

    http://indoorenvirosolutions.com/images/electromagnetic_spectrum.jpg

    Microwave radiation is located near the center, and UV radiation is about ¾ the way down the spectrum.

    We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but not our own facts. It is a fact that there are several thousand peer reviewed studies showing biological and health effects below those considered safe by either the FCC or other international agencies such as ICNIRP.

    In order to establish safe levels, especially for children, we need to examine the scientific literature and find the levels at which effects begin to occur. This is just common sense, but the industry will prevent the implementation of biologically based standards.

  124. #125 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 17, 2013

    Again, it is not possible to measure RF levels from the sun with professional grade RF measuring tools. Any levels emitted by the sun are far too small to be detected.

    No, all you need is a radio receiver and the knowledge to use it.

    http://www.radiosky.com/suncentral.html

    The above is admittedly not microwave, but covers HF and VHF.

    These guys covered from 1.4GHz to 18GHz.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1991ApJ…370..779Z

    You don’t have any experience with biology or radio, do you, Ray?

  125. #126 herr doktor bimler
    August 17, 2013

    Ray:
    the sun does not emit measurable amounts of microwave radiation to the earth, meaning not even the most sensitive RF measuring instruments available are able to detect it..

    Johnny’s first link in #125:
    The “quiet sun”, that is, the Sun when it is in a period of low sunspot activity is easily detected at microwave frequencies where its “thermal” emissions are strongest. It is thus often the first object an amateur radio astronomer will turn their uhf or microwave antenna toward when testing. If you can’t detect the Sun, you probably won’t be able to detect anything with your uhf or microwave radiotelescope.

    Ray again:
    We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but not our own facts.

    Now there I agree with him.

  126. #127 yoda
    cambridge ma
    August 18, 2013
  127. #128 Bill Price
    At the keyboard, hoping the no-preview bug doesn't bite tonight
    August 18, 2013

    In the following, I use some trivial html entities: aelig (’cause I like using obsolete typography for obsolete concepts like aether and homoeopathy), sup2 for superscript2; mu for the Greek letter meaning micro; times for the times symbol; mdash for the em dash; and pi for that Greek letter. If WordPress’ bugs eat them, just put them back in where they would make sense.
    —————————————————————————
    Before getting to the good stuff, Ray, I’d like to ask you for a clarification of something you wrote in you introductory screed: you mentioned, more than once, the concepts of “RF radiofrequency” radiation. Since “RF” means “radio-frequency” in the field, would you explain the difference and utility of the concepts of “radio-frequency radio frequency” (as you reference) vs “non-radio-frequency radio frequency” (negating the modifier) vs “radio-frequency non radio frequency” (negating the noun). Once you do so, there may be a chance that your ‘contribution’ might be considered to make a little sense.
    —————————————————————————-
    #112 Ray, August 17, 2013:

    Johnny – A nanowatt is an appropriate unit to used when comparing wireless radiation to background levels. Why is it that you are ignoring the fact that levels in a classroom are millions of times higher?

    You, earlier, were talking nanowatts per square meter (but I’m not going to reread all your drivel above to find the reference). Now you’re talking “millions of times higher” levels than that, which amounts to milliwatts per square meter, and you’re complaining about WiFi signals.
    You had earlier misstated that the multiple WiFis in a classroom are additive with respect to power. This is not correct, since each WiFi channel is half duplex: there can be no more than one active transmission at a time on any given channel. Thus, no matter how many devices are using each channel, there can be no more than one device’s RF in the’æther’ at any time, so the maximum power in the whole system is three or four times the maximum channel power (sometimes a room can use as many as four channels; usually, the limit is three.) Because of required deadtime between packets, the utilization of a channel is far less than 100%, but we can ignore that for simplicity.
    I haven’t found the US limits, but the EU power limit is 100 milliwatt (mw) EIRP per device. EIRP is the radiated power integrated over the entire sphere surrounding the device. One square meter is the surface area of a sphere with a radius of (about) 282 mm, 28 cm, or ’bout 11 inches — call it a foot for simplicity.
    How many square meters per student? I’m 1.8 m tall by less than .5m at my widest aspect: that makes me maybe .9m&sup2;. A large high-school student might be this big. An elementary-school student might be .2 to .3 m&sup2;.
    How close is the average student to the radiation source? As a SWAG, I’d say 6 meters, or about 20 feet. This, again, is likely to be small, giving Ray yet another benefit of known error. The RF source is at the center of a sphere of 6m radius: the sphere’s area is about 450 m&sup2;, according to my handy calculator widget, using area = 4 × π &times r&sup2;.
    Let’s take a large kid, 70% of my height and width, thus presenting half my area, or about .45m&sup2;, to the radiation. Since the radiation covers 450m&sup2;, he’s getting .001 (.1%) of it. Since the max EIRP is 100 mw, he’s getting less than 100 μw.
    One hundred microwatts is in the range of a few thousands of nanowatts, not millions of them — and that’s with all the errors of approximation going your way, Ray.

  128. #129 Narad
    August 18, 2013

    Instead of arguing about which one is best/worst, let’s just acknowledge that there is substantial evidence before us showing that pulse modulated RF radiofrequency microwave radiation is able to cause adverse health effects.

    Good thing neither 802.11 nor CDMA is a pulse modulation scheme, then.

    (Hi, all!)

  129. #130 Chris,
    August 18, 2013

    Narad. you do understand that even among us “regulars” you are a bit “odd.”

    I have no clue about your reference (which is not a first).

  130. #131 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    pulse modulated RF radiofrequency microwave radiation is able to cause adverse health effects.

    There seems to be an idea here that because a form of low-energy radiation contains information — a signal, concentrated into a single frequency and encoded in certain ways so that the right recipient can resolve it from background noise — then it somehow has more biological effect than the background thermal radiation itself, which has no other effect than to warm one’s exterior and (depending on the frequency) one’s internal tissues.

    Sounds like magical thinking to me. Like thinking one’s laptop computer becomes heavier when more files are stored on the hard disk.

    Like Bill Price @127, I am impressed by the repeated emphasis on the words “RF radiofrequency”, straight from the Department of Redundancy Department.

  131. #132 lilady
    August 18, 2013

    Don’t just think you can get away with a simple “Hi,all”, Narad.

    We’ve all missed you. :-)

  132. #133 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    Narad. you do understand that even among us “regulars” you are a bit “odd.”
    This could easily start a competition amongst the regulars as to who is the most odd. Probably a bad idea.

    Narad’s point, I think, is that the standard Wifi protocols are not pulse-code modulation, but rather a form of modulation that spreads itself across a wide spectrum and is statistically indistinguishable from broadband thermal radiation (apart from the recipient of the transmission, who is switching frequencies in the same sequence). Which should reassure Ray who is concerned about PCM Wifi.

  133. #134 Scottynuke
    August 18, 2013

    Chris, I have a feeling the RI crowd could build up quite a glossary of terms trying to expose Ray to the light of reason:

    802.11 — the official IEEE designation for the WiFi standard
    CDMA — Code Division Multiple Access, one of several cell phone transmission methods.

    And a lurker’s hello to Narad! :-)

  134. #135 Krebiozen
    August 18, 2013

    Ray,

    Let’s stick with your claim that wi-fi, i.e. EMR in the range 0–300 GHz and power 500 mW, causes adverse health effects. I’m not going to look at 5,000 studies, so a random sample of the more recent 3,000 seemed a good strategy for getting a taste of what is in there. I explained what that turned up above i.e. that many of the studies do not support your claim, some contradict it, and others do not remotely address it.

    It looks to me as if someone put a bunch of key words into a search and has been promoting this list as research that proves that wi-fi or cell phones or microwave towers are dangerous, when it is anything but. As I wrote before, either sloppy or deliberately misleading.

    I have often seen people presenting a long list of studies and claiming that they support some unconventional position, from antivaccine campaigners to radiation hormesis nuts, to cell phone alarmists it is always the same. I think they assume that no one has the time or inclination to look at these studies to see what they really say.

    Well, I do have the skills to rapidly process information like this, and I have the inclination to oppose pseudoscience wherever I find it. What follows is what I found when I took a closer look at the evidence you presented. Apologies to others here for the length and content of this comment.

    Looking specifically for “wi-fi” in the list of more recent studies I found the following:

    PMID: 22465825: Immunohistopathologic demonstration of deleterious effects on growing rat testes of radiofrequency waves emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices. This is a study of 5 rats exposed to wi-fi constantly for 5 months, which found increased levels of an oxidant marker in the testes and decreased levels of antioxidant enzymes, both barely statistically significant <0.05.

    My assessment: this is a small study, that found small barely statistically significant effects on rats (which raises the issue of problems of scale) and the results could be due to thermal effects.

    PMID: 22112647: To evaluate the effects of laptop computers connected to local area networks wirelessly (WiFi) on human spermatozoa. This is an in vitro study of sperm samples split into 2 aliquots which were either placed next to an internet-connected laptop by Wi-Fi for 4 hours, or incubated under identical conditions without being exposed to the laptop. They found a significant decrease in progressive sperm motility and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation.

    My assessment: did they control for thermal effects from the EMR? For IR from the laptop? My laptop and wi-fi router get quite warm – does this just show the effects of cooking sperm samples? They conclude that, “keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility”.

    Personally I have my testes connected to a constant blood perfusion mechanism – I believe this is quite common. These authors don’t seem to have taken blood circulation into account.

    PMID: 22906414 Personal radiofrequency electromagnetic field measurements in the Netherlands: Exposure level and variability for everyday activities, times of day and types of area. This study found that that mean exposure over 24 h, excluding own mobile phone use, was 0.180 mW/m^2 and the highest exposure peaks in the WiFi band, up to 0.265 W/m^2, came from stray microwave oven radiation.

    My assessment: since average body surface area is less than 2 m^2, this means average exposure would be 360 mW and maximum exposure less than 600 mW. No mention of any health effects.

    PMID: 20647607 SAR in a child voxel phantom from exposure to wireless computer networks (Wi-Fi). This study used a computational model of a child’s body to calculate EMR exposure from wi-fi exposure. It concluded that wi-fi exposure results in “less than 1% of the specific energy absorption rate previously calculated in the head for a typical mobile phone exposure condition”. No mention of any health effects.

    My assessment: children absorb very much less microwave radiation from wi-fi than previously thought.

    PMID: 18695413 Characterization of personal RF electromagnetic field exposure and actual absorption for the general public. This study used a personal exposure meter to measure EMR in 28 different environments that people are exposed to. It found that 99% of people absorb less than 5.01 microW kg(-1).

    My assessment: assuming a body weight of 70 kg, this means that almost everyone absorbs less than 351 microwatts. No mention of any health effects.

    I skipped another very similar study that also did not assess any health effects.

    PMID: 2255600 Effects of WiFi signals on thymocyte development and peripheral T cell compartment in an animal model. This study exposed pregnant mice to whole body to wi-fi at a specific absorption rate of 4 W/kg, 2 h per day, starting 5 days after mating and ending 1 day before the expected delivery. Sham-exposed and cage control groups were used as controls. Cell count, phenotype, proliferation of thymocytes, spleen cell count, CD4/CD8 cell frequencies, T cell proliferation, and cytokine production were measured. No effects were observed as compared to controls. The study concludes: “our results do not support the hypothesis that the exposure to WiFi signals during prenatal life results in detrimental effects on the immune T cell compartment”.

    My assessment: 4 W/kg is a huge exposure compared to the 600 mW maximum found in the Netherlands study above. In a 70 kg human this would be 280,000 mW. So pregnant rats were unaffected by more than 450 times the exposure humans get.

    PMID: 22004929 Assessment of exposure to electromagnetic fields from wireless computer networks (wi-fi) in schools; results of laboratory measurements. This study assessed EMR exposure from wi-fi in schools using a 20 MHz bandwidth signal analyzer. It concluded that exposures were, ” all much lower than the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection reference level”.

    My assessment: this shows that exposure in schools from wi-fi is well within the safety limits determined by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. No health effects mentioned.

    PMID: 22311618 Effect of in utero wi -fi exposure on the pre – and postnatal development of rats. This study assessed the effects of in utero exposure to a 2450 MHz Wi-Fi signal (2 hr/day, 6 days/week for 18 days) on pregnant rats and their pups. The results? ” No abnormalities were noted in the pregnant rats and no significant signs of toxicity were observed in the pre- and postnatal development of the pups, even at the highest level of 4 W/kg”. The conclusion? “The results from this screening study aimed at investigating Wi-Fi effects, strengthen the previous conclusions that teratology and development studies have not detected any noxious effects of exposures to mobile telephony-related RF fields at exposure levels below standard limits.”

    My assessment: wi-fi has no adverse effects on pregnant rats’ offspring, even at exposures more than 450 times greater than the maximum human exposure observed in the study from the Netherlands referenced above.

    PMID: 19656570 Radiofrequency exposure in the French general population: band, time, location and activity variability. This is another study looking at actual population exposures , which found variable exposures and does not mention any health effects.

    My assessment: no comment necessary.

    PMID: 9416798 Proliferation and cytogenetic studies in human blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to 2450 MHz radiofrequency radiation. This study looked at blood samples exposed to 2450 MHz radiofrequency radiation for varying lengths of time compared to unexposed controls and gamma radiation-exposed controls. Chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei in subsequently cultured lymphocytes were examined.

    Results: “There were no significant differences between RFR-exposed and sham-exposed lymphocytes with respect to; (a) mitotic indices; (b) incidence of cells showing chromosome damage; (c) exchange aberrations; (d) acentric fragments; (e) binucleate lymphocytes, and (f) micronuclei, for either the continuous or intermittent RFR exposures. In contrast, the response of positive control cells exposed to 150 cGy gamma radiation was significantly different from RFR-exposed and sham-exposed lymphocytes.”

    Conclusion: “Thus, there is no evidence for an effect on mitogen-stimulated proliferation kinetics or for excess genotoxicity within 72 h in human blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to 2450 MHz RFR.”

    My assessment: no comment necessary.

    At this point I started getting bored, so I stopped. Of the 10 studies I looked at, only one very small study found barely statistical significant increases in oxidative stress markers in rats in vivo.

    One study found possible adverse effects on human sperm in vitro.

    One study found no effects on animal blood in vitro.

    Two studies found no effects on animals in vivo, even pregnant rats exposed to hundreds of times the levels humans re exposed to.

    None of the studies I looked at found any adverse health effects on humans.

    Half of the studies did not examine health effects at all.

    So, assuming my sample studies from these thousands of studies are representative*, I conclude that the vast majority do not support Ray’s claims about the dangers of EMR at all. Half of them do not address health effects at all, and most of those that did found no adverse effects.

    * I suppose there may be some bias introduced by searching for “w-fi”, so I will take a quick look to be sure. More later.

  135. #136 Ren
    August 18, 2013

    Wow! You guys went all out on looking at his “research.” I just started from the epidemiological concept of biological plausibility. Biological systems are robust and complex. For electromagnetic radiation to affect them, the radiation would have to be high energy and/or sustained. Radio waves from wi-fi and other consumer sources isn’t either. If it can’t heat up water, it can’t knock off electrons from atoms and create free-radicals. It can’t unwind DNA. It can’t cause errors in DNA transcription or translation that can’t be corrected by the cell’s own correction mechanisms. It’s not like a chemical that will trigger reactions leading to cancer at the cellular level. It just can’t do any of these things, and Ray trying to convince anyone of this is an insult to our collective intelligence

    That said, I’m glad you guys are around to smack his “research” around.

  136. #137 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Krebiozen,

    I appreciate your initial efforts to gain an understanding the state of the science.

    Regarding PMID 22112647, Use of Laptop Computers Connected to Internet Through Wi-Fi Decreases Human Sperm Motility and Increases Sperm DNA Fragmentation, you wondered if the effects were due to thermal mechanisms. They were not.

    Note that there has been relatively little research conducted on WiFi as the source of RF emissions. This is why I generally refer to cell tower studies, and why I recommended Yakymenko 2011 as a beginning. So far I have heard nothing from anyone on the blog about this report.

    Johnny, and herr doctor bimler,

    That is interesting that it is possible, at certain times of the sunspot cycle, to detect microwave frequencies using radio equipment. It is however, very clear that none of you have any experience measuring RF in the environment, and you continue to avoid the real issue, which are the microwave levels in the classroom as compared to out in nature.

    It is a continued distraction to discuss sunspots, as this has no measurable impact on the levels of RF radiation experienced by students in the classroom. You are ignoring the elephant in the room, which is long-term direct exposure of children to elevated levels of microwave emissions that, again, are millions of times higher than in natural areas.

    Ren,

    You continue to inaccurately state that RF radiation is incapable of causing genetic damage. Please see post #104. There are now hundreds of published studies that have reported damage to DNA and other genetic material from EMR radiation.

    You guys are quite a crew. You are the most resistant group I’ve come across, and you call yourself scientists. Where is the scientific inquiry? Why such antagonism?

  137. #138 Denice Walter
    August 18, 2013

    I don’t find Narad to be odd. In fact at one point, I thought we were related.**

    At any rate, amongst those I survey ANY sort of EMR is suspicious: wi fi, cell phones, microwaved foods, plugged in televisions and appliances, electrical meters, the list is nearly endless. At least one woo-meister sold cell phone shields.

    ** technically, we’re ALL related, aren’t we?

  138. #139 Niche Geek
    Great White North
    August 18, 2013

    Ray,

    You have misread Ren. He stated that WiFi could not cause the proposed effect yet you addressed him as if he was referring o all RF radiation. All WiFi is RF but not all RF is WiFi.

    Krebiozen,

    That was very informative. On behalf of Lurkers everywhere – thank you.

  139. #140 Chris
    August 18, 2013

    Thanks all. I just know the energy level is very low.

    Though, Narad does have a frightening amount of knowledge. Let’s hope he never becomes an evil overlord.

  140. #141 Narad
    August 18, 2013

    This is the electromagnetic spectrum chart that I use most frequently:

    http://indoorenvirosolutions.com/images/electromagnetic_spectrum.jpg

    Microwave radiation is located near the center, and UV radiation is about ¾ the way down the spectrum.

    That’s a logarithmic plot, Ray.

  141. #142 Shay
    August 18, 2013

    You are the most resistant group I’ve come across, and you call yourself scientists. Where is the scientific inquiry?

    Oh, the irony.

  142. #143 Denice Walter
    August 18, 2013

    Ah, *resistance*.. it ain’t just something that happened in France.

  143. #144 Narad
    August 18, 2013

    Don’t just think you can get away with a simple “Hi,all”, Narad.

    There’s just been a lot going on in addition to the move at the beginning of August. Out-of-town guests, new client, finally have insurance (which I’m promptly exploiting to the fullest), U-verse Internet technical support is completely incompetent, etc.

    We’ve all missed you. :-)

    Aw, shucks.

  144. #145 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Niche Geek,

    Ren said, and I quote:

    “For electromagnetic radiation to affect them, the radiation would have to be high energy and/or sustained. Radio waves from wi-fi and other consumer sources isn’t either. If it can’t heat up water, it can’t knock off electrons from atoms and create free-radicals. It can’t unwind DNA. It can’t cause errors in DNA transcription or translation that can’t be corrected by the cell’s own correction mechanisms.”

    Ren is clearly said that EMR radiation is unable to do damage to DNA, and admitted that without doing any research he was certain of the truth.

    The fact is that this is another example of members of this blog being called on the fact that they are out of touch with the science, and instead of admitting this and moving on, you defend each other.

    Why are you as a group able to find flaws with what I present, but will not even make mention if one of you speaks in error? Is fitting in more important than getting to the truth with your blog gang?

  145. #146 Khani
    August 18, 2013

    Because when one of us makes an error, it’s corrected and we *move on.* Can we move on to the rest of the argument now please? Thank you.

  146. #147 Narad
    August 18, 2013

    Ren is clearly said that EMR radiation [sic] is unable to do damage to DNA, and admitted that without doing any research he was certain of the truth.

    By all means, explain the mechanism, because we know it’s not the energy of the photons themselves.

  147. #148 Niche Geek
    August 18, 2013

    Ray,

    Um… Read that again. I’ll help you focus:

    “For electromagnetic radiation to affect them, the radiation would have to be high energy and/or sustained.”
    I.e He acknowledges that EMR can have an impact under certain conditions.

    “Radio waves from wi-fi and other consumer sources isn’t either.”
    I.e the class of devices about which you are worked up, can’t produce the effect.

  148. #149 yoda
    August 18, 2013

    It never occurs to those under the spell that directed research provides the results desired by those who pay for it. It is real simple. Something is safe because there are no studies that prove that it is dangerous. Want to prove that something is safe? Sure irradiate the blood in the brain of a rat with 900 Mhz lets say 5 microwatts per cm2 for 20 minutes a day for 30 days, analyze brain blood circulation, no changes-therefore it is safe.

    Now lets look at 2.4 ghz @ 8 microwatts per cm2 for 6 hours a day for 180 days for one year on the female human eggs in 6 year old girls. This is what the exposure level and duration in the wireless classroom is for first grade girls.

    There are no studies. Period. When did they remove an egg from a 5 year old. They never will. Therefore it is safe.
    Make sure there are never any studies conducted objectively to show harmful effects. Easy, pull the strings in the right direction, later blame everything else for all the problems and tar and feather the thinkers as loons. Where are the studies with 180 days a year 6 hours a day 35 to a room with these things in their laps? Then add the home exposure. There are none. Therefore it is safe and those that dare to challenge are idiots, crackpots, cranks, and of course unqualified.

    The most incredible advances in human history did not come as a result intellectual arrogance, they came from the free thinking works of the average person in spite of the worst intentions of those that were least likely to be swayed by reality staring them in the face.

    It is easy to get behind what is popular, what is perceived safe and in good company. That is the herd mentality.

    You are enabling this eugenics plan to go forth and who knows, maybe you are pleased with the stealth attack on human fertility, its Autism by product . Maybe you are actually part of it. Maybe it is possible that your world view lends itself to just that. One thing is certain, you, and your children, if you have or ever plan on having any, will by default, been a participant in this long awaited study. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  149. #150 Krebiozen
    August 18, 2013

    Ray,

    I appreciate your initial efforts to gain an understanding the state of the science.

    I’m fairly familiar with the state of the science already. Your claim that you had 5,000 studies that proved something I am 99% certain is not true p!ssed me off enough to take the time to show that you are mistaken. If my samples are representative (which I am confident they are) I would be more justified in claiming that I have 5,000 studies that show EMR from microwave towers and wi-fi is harmless to humans than you are in claiming the converse.

    Regarding PMID 22112647, Use of Laptop Computers Connected to Internet Through Wi-Fi Decreases Human Sperm Motility and Increases Sperm DNA Fragmentation, you wondered if the effects were due to thermal mechanisms. They were not.

    Because you say so? I don’t have full text access to that study, so please explain how they controlled for any thermal effects of the microwaves, or for IR effects from the laptop. Sperm are exquisitely sensitive to heat, which is why human testicles dangle so fetchingly outside the body; surprisingly it turns out it’s to keep them cool, not for aesthetic appeal.

    I am reading Yakymenko and I’ll get back to you. So far I suspect cherry-picking, healthy worker effects and correlations due to confounders, but I could be wrong. The possibility of cell tower emissions having any effect on human health when they are so tiny compared to levels that have no effect at all on pregnant rats seems negligible to me., not to mention the essentially zero prior plausibility Ren has pointed out

    I’m reminded me of this story from South Africa in which a microwave tower was alleged to be causing continuing, “headaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns”, before it was revealed it had been turned off for the previous six weeks.

    By the way, searching your list of studies for “2.45 GHz microwave”, the first two studies I found suggested that EMR from wi-fi and cell phone towers have no health effects:

    1. Previously reported increased liposome permeability after 2.45 GHz microwave exposure is due to thermal effects.

    2. Whole-body exposure to 2.45 GHz electromagnetic fields does not alter radial-maze performance in rats.

    I haven’t the intestinal fortitude to continue but I think this strongly supports my case.

  150. #151 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Niche Geek,

    Again, you are standing behind your blog members conclusions without even familiarizing yourself with the research. Your statement is inaccurate. The scientific research shows that wireless devices such as laptops, iPads, and cellular phones emit more than enough radiation to cause DNA and other genetic damage.

    Example:

    1. Belyaev et al. [I992] studied the effect of low intensity microwaves on the
    conformational state of the genome of X irradiated E. coli cells by the method
    of viscosity anomalous time dependencies. A power density of 1 microW/cm2
    is sufficient to suppress radiation induced repair of the genome conformational state.

    As I explained before, wireless devices emit over 100,000 uW/m2, or 10 uW/cm2, which is significantly higher than the levels at which this study found genetic effects.

    2., Nittby et al.2008. Exposure to radiation from global system for mobile communications at 1,800 MHz significantly changes gene expression in rat hippocampus and cortex.

    In this study SAR levels of 13 mW/kg were associated with genetic effects. According to the manufacturer, iPads are able to emit 1.19 w/kg, (which is a much higher)

  151. #152 Militant Agnostic
    In a deadly soup of RF dreading the lack of preview
    August 18, 2013

    @ray

    It is however, very clear that none of you have any experience measuring RF in the environment consulting the leprechauns in my underpants, and you continue to avoid the real issue, which are the microwave levels in the classroom as compared to out in nature.

    FTFY

  152. #153 Khani
    August 18, 2013

    #149 Wow, so you believe that wifi is part of a wideranging eugenics plan? Who’s behind it, out of curiosity? And how do they get thousands of scientists, consumers, teachers and administrators (most of whom have kids) to go along without a single whistleblower saying “Hey, I don’t want my kid to be harmed by this, I’m out.”

  153. #154 Scottynuke
    August 18, 2013

    @ Narad #141:

    “That’s a logarithmic plot, Ray.”

    Why am I hearing that in Venkman’s voice? :-)

  154. #155 Mal Adapted
    August 18, 2013

    There’s a character in Santa Fe, NM who sued his neighbor over her use of electrical devices in her home:

    The lawsuit, brought by Arthur Firstenberg, charged that his health had been seriously impaired by electromagnetic fields generated by cordless telephones, dimmer switches, chargers, Wi-Fi and other computer equipment, and other devices while one defendant rented a neighboring house.

    In court, he was supported by two “expert” witnesses:

    Erica Elliot, M.D. and Raymond Singer, Ph.D. Elliott, who believes that she suffers from EMS, had treated Firstenberg for several years. Singer, who represents himself as a neurotoxicologist, said that his opinions were supported by tests he had administered to Firstenberg. The defendants countered by pointing out that Elliott’s opinions were based on self-serving statements from Firstenberg and that Singer’s tests were improperly designed [8]. The judge agreed, excluded their testimony as experts, and concluded:

    – The weight of evidence indicates that experimental and epidemiologic studies have failed to provide adequate support for a causal relationship between electromagnetic fields and complaints of “EMS.”

    – Experimental studies have found no reliable evidence that people who claim to be sensitive actually experience any unusual physical reactions

    – Since Firstenberg could not demonstrate causation, his case must be dismissed.

    Firstenberg was recently chosen “Best Spokesperson for the Junk-Science Contingent” by the Santa Fe Reporter, a local news and entertainment weekly. He took exception to being so honored in a letter to the publication, accusing it of being a shill for Big Cellular:

    “Junk science” is a term for science that is inconvenient for corporate polluters. Polluters with pockets deep enough to buy the truth. Cigarettes won’t hurt you, right? Fracking doesn’t pollute groundwater. Global warming isn’t happening. Microwaving your brain is a good idea. If it was profitable enough, people would still believe the earth is flat.

    So far, he hasn’t mentioned any link to vaccines.

  155. #156 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Kreibiozen,

    I don’t know why you feel as if you need to reinvent the wheel. Just look at the Bionitiative Report and they will tell you which studies did and didn’t report biological effects.

    Not all studies need to be in agreement for there to be evidence that a problem exists. In fact, one study reporting genetic damage should be enough to get our attention. The fact that hundreds exist is both substantive and compelling.

    I find it unsurprising that you consider any studies that report adverse effects “cherry picking”.

    Here is the full text of the study that found increased fragmentation of DNA from a WiFi laptop in less than four hours of exposure.

    http://www.wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/avendano_wi-fi_decreases_sperm_motility__increase_dna_fragments_2011.pdf

    How RFR or other electromagnetic radiation induces changes to genetic material
    is not yet understood, which as you know is a common occurrence with new areas of scientific discovery.

    From the 2007 Bioinitiative Report:

    “A drawback in the interpretation and understanding of experimental data from
    bioelectromagnetic research is that there is no general acceptable mechanism on how EMF affects biological systems. The mechanism by which RFR causes genetic effect is unknown. Since the energy level is not sufficient to cause direct breakage of chemical bonds within molecules, the effects are probably indirect and secondary to other induced chemical changes in the cell.

    One possibility is via free radical formation inside cells. Free radicals kill cells by
    damaging macromolecules, such as DNA, protein and membrane. Several reports have indicated that electromagnetic fields (EMF) enhance free radical activity in cells [e.g., Lai and Singh, 1997a, b; 2004; Oral et al., 2006; Simko, 2007], particularly via the Fenton reaction [Lai and Singh, 2004]. The Fenton reaction is a catalytic process of iron to convert hydrogen peroxides, a product of oxidative respiration in the mitochondria, into hydroxyl free radical, which is a very potent and toxic free radical”

    For more information:

    2007 Report:
    http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/sec06_2007_Evidence_For_Genotoxic_Effects.pdf
    2012 Update:
    http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/sec06_2012_genetic_effects_non-ionizing.pdf

  156. #157 Krebiozen
    August 18, 2013

    Ray,

    you continue to avoid the real issue, which are the microwave levels in the classroom as compared to out in nature.

    Are you determined to keep me from the work I’ve been trying to finish all day? The real issue is whether these exposures can have any adverse effects on the health of children and teachers in that environment. We can find the answers in some of the 5,000 studies you cited.

    1. What are the maximum exposures in classrooms?
    PMID: 22004929 ” all much lower than the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection reference level”. The ICNRP reference level for public exposure to 1.5-15 GHz is 10 W/m^2. An Australian study (Foster, KR, Radiofrequency Exposure from Wireless LANS Utilizing Wi-Fi Technology, Health Physics 92: 280-289; 2007.) concluded:

    All measurements were found to be well below the general public reference level with the maximum reading measured from the wireless network of only 5% of the general public reference level. The maximum environmental reading was 0.0049% of the general public reference levels and the maximum reading when 10 cm from the school notebook computers was only 1% of the general public reference level.

    So we can deduce that that maximum levels in the classroom were 0.0049% of 10 W/m^2, or 0.49 mW/m^2. In comparison, the power of solar radiation (of a wide range of wavelengths) reaching the Earth is approximately 250 W/m2, half a million times greater, and more than enough to cause adverse health effects (sunburn, skin cancers).

    Anyway, assuming an average weight of 40 kg, we are looking at maximum classroom exposures of around 20 mW from wi-fi, over a school day of 7 hours.

    2. What evidence is there for adverse effects of these levels of exposure?
    PMID: 2255600 and 22311618 – pregnant rats exposed to 4 W/kg showed no adverse effects, and neither did their offspring. This is approximately 800 times the exposure schoolchildren are exposed to. Given the sensitivity of a developing fetus, and the dose response curve we expect, I am reassured that it is very, very, very unlikely that 20 mW is going to frazzle little Jimmy’s brain, or any other part of him.

    There are, of course, a range of other studies that support these findings, which is why there are no serious questions about wi-fi safety.

  157. #158 Krebiozen
    August 18, 2013

    Belyaev et al. [I992] reported that 1 microW/cm2 is sufficient to suppress radiation-induced repair of the genome conformational state in E coli cells in a petri dish. Even assuming this applies in any way to a human being, (which I doubt, since there are a number of differences between bacteria and humans not least a circulatory system and more effective genetic repair mechanisms),that’s the same as 1 mW/m^2 which is more than twice the maximum environmental exposure of 0.49 mW/m^2 measured in classrooms by Foster, KR, 2007.

  158. #159 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    Belyaev et al. [I992]

    I am impressed, by the way, to learn that there is a journal — “Bioelectromagnetics” — devoted, as its name suggests, to soliciting and publishing junk science about biological effects from non-ionising radiation. It is peer-reviewed, in that each report from a believer in the evils of wifi is sent out to other believers in the evils of wifi to have its arguments and evidence objectively assessed.

  159. #160 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    searching your list of studies for “2.45 GHz microwave”, the first two studies I found suggested that EMR from wi-fi and cell phone towers have no health effects:

    Krebiozen has demonstrated Ray’s failure to read the 5000 publications which he is citing in support of his claim. It’s hard to see why anyone should bother reading them.

    You guys are quite a crew. You are the most resistant group I’ve come across, and you call yourself scientists. Where is the scientific inquiry? Why such antagonism?

    Ray is sounding more and more like Greg, with a new schtik to troll about.

  160. #161 Narad
    August 18, 2013

    According to the manufacturer, iPads are able to emit 1.19 w/kg, (which is a much higher)

    Ray, please show me where Apple quotes the transmit power of an iPad in the curious units of watts per kilogram.

    Then I’ll tell you what the actual Tx power is.

  161. #162 Narad
    August 18, 2013

    Why am I hearing that in Venkman’s voice?

    I’m quite enjoying his abandonment of acknowledging when he makes incredibly boneheaded statements.

  162. #163 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 18, 2013

    Again, you are standing behind your blog members conclusions without even familiarizing yourself with the research.

    Uh-hunh. And you told us “These are 5,000 studies which show the dangers of EMR”, about a list of studies many of which actually said “we found no evidence to support the alleged dangers of EMR” or which was even about the distractions posed by mobile phones while driving and didn’t have anything to do with EMR… because you were familiar with the research?

    There’s only two possibilities. Either you knew that your “5,000 studies” all warning how dangerous EMR is were not what you were representing them to be, in which case you were just plain lying. Or you simply found that someone else had assembled those lists and was claiming them all to be damning evidence against EMR and you just simply accepted their say-so on it, in which case you’re still a liar for saying you knew these to be 5,000 good studies but also a big ol’ hypocrite since that was exactly what you just accused Niche Geek of, after Krebiozen demonstrated that your representation of the studies as all smoking guns against EMR was utterly wrong!

    If you were more interesting, I’d be tempted to make it an ultimatum question, where you either answer the question yourself or have the answer filled in by default, if you try evading the question. But frankly, you’re just not that interesting. You’re just a broken record. All you can do is repeat what we already know to be false, that those studies are solid evidence against EMR.

  163. #164 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    I liked his raising of the sun’s radio output as “A better question to ask” (i#112) , and the later insistence that his own question is “avoid[ing] the real issue” and “a continued attempt to obfuscate from the issue at hand”.

  164. #165 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    Narad @162: I’m quite enjoying his abandonment of acknowledging when he makes incredibly boneheaded statements.

    A special treat there is Ray’s continuing belief that radio frequencies are the only form of EMF, and that gamma rays and ultraviolet are not EM *.

    Antaeus Feldspar @163:
    Or you simply found that someone else had assembled those lists and was claiming them all to be damning evidence against EMR and you just simply accepted their say-so on it

    This second interpretation is more in keeping with Ray’s reluctance to single out any report as especially convincing (arguing instead that conviction comes from the cumulative weight of so many reports, relevant or not),** and his refusal to defend *any* of them (referring us instead to “the authors of any of the studies I provide”).

    So my interpretation is not so much “sincerely deluded (though dishonest) believer”, but rather “trolling for sh1ts-&-giggles”. YMMV, of course, Yoda, on the other hand, comes across as dim enough to fit the genuinely-deluded category.
    ———————————
    * E.g. “it used to be believed that EMF radiation didn’t possess enough energy to cause damage to DNA”.

    ** Combined with the insistence that readers “discredit each and every one of those roughly 5,000 papers”… as long as one report remains unaddressed, then single reports do matter after all.

  165. #166 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Ok, so I admit that I did not read all 5,000 peer reviewed studies on the lists. That much I take responsibility for. I should have looked over the lists more before stating that x number of studies act as evidence.

    With that said, you are all aware by now that there are many studies reporting biological and health impacts from EMR radiation. How many? I’m not certain how many, but to play it safe, I will say many.

    Here is a site that provides a comprehensive list of studies:
    http://www.justproveit.net/studies

    Or, here is another list that indicates if the studies have reported an effect.
    http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/studies.asp

    It is clearly evident that there are many, many peer reviewed studies reporting biological effects from wireless radiation.

  166. #167 LW
    August 18, 2013

    Hey, Ray, have you heard of the photoelectric effect? I think Einstein wrote some paper about it*. I think it’s relevant to this discussion.

    * Yes, I know, guys, but does Ray?

  167. #168 novalox
    August 18, 2013

    @LW

    Judging from ray’s comments, probably not.

    I also seriously hope that yoda’s post is some kind of Poe, because that is some serious conspiracy theory mongering there

  168. #169 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    I take responsibility that I did not read all 5,000 peer reviewed studies on the lists. That much I take responsibility for. I should have looked over the lists more before stating that x number of studies act as evidence.

    With that said, you are all aware by now that there are many studies reporting biological and health impacts from EMR radiation. How many? I’m not certain how many, but to play it safe, I will say many.

    Here is a site that provides a comprehensive list of studies:
    http://www.justproveit.net/studies

    Or, here is another list that indicates if the studies have reported an effect.
    http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/studies.asp

    It is clear that there are many, many peer reviewed studies reporting biological effects from wireless radiation.

  169. #170 Ray.1
    August 18, 2013

    I am trying to submit a response but for some reason this system will not allow me to post.

  170. #171 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Test

  171. #172 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    I acknowledge that I did not read all 5,000 peer reviewed studies on the lists. I recognize that I should have looked over the lists more before stating how many thousand studies exist.

    With that said, it is clear from the lists of studies that many, many peer reviewed studies report adverse biological effects.

    Here is a site that provides a comprehensive list of studies:
    http://www.justproveit.net/studies

    Or, here is another list that indicates if the studies have reported an effect.
    http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/studies.asp

  172. #173 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    For some reason, this system will not allow me to post my comments.

  173. #174 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Apologies for the two test posts. For some reason I am having problems posting comments.

    As far as the number of studies that report adverse biological effects, I recognize that the 5,000 number may not be accurate. I have not take the time to read all of the studies, and I cannot say with accuracy how many there are. For now I will say many.

    Even a quick glimpse of this list, with studies labeled if they reported effects, shows that there are tons of studies that report biological and health impacts from EMR radiation.

    http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/studies.asp

  174. #175 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Apologies for the repeat comments.

  175. #176 Niche Geek
    August 18, 2013

    Ray,

    No, I’m not “…standing behind your blog members conclusions without even familiarizing yourself with the research”. I’ve not made any such argument. I’ve merely pointed out that you’ve misread those with whom you are arguing. I have looked at your list and I too think that it does a poor job of supporting your point.

  176. #177 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Going back through the posts, Krebiozen referred to a report that found maximum RFR exposures in the classroom to be 0.49mW/m2, or 490 uW/m2.

    These numbers are very much different from other subsequent reports such as:

    Assessment of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields From Wireless Computer Networks (Wi-FI) in Schools; Results of Laboratory Measurements. Peyman et al. Health Physics Society 2011.

    This EU funded research project measured power density levels of over 30 mW/m2, or 30,000 uW/m2.

    Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, RF levels can be as high as 120 mW/m2 or 120,000 uW/m2 at the thighs, according to the IMTC study on WLAN in 2005, or as high as 50,000,000 uW/m2 according to the NRW Ministry of Environment brochure on wireless devices 2012)

    The Apple Important Product Information Guide reveals that the highest SAR for the iPad with WiFi 2.4 GHZ is 1.19 W/kg.

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/iPad_Important_Product_Information_Guide.pdf

  177. #178 Niche Geek
    August 18, 2013

    Ray, ray, ray.

    The fallback from “I haven’t read the studies” is not “but I’m sure that are still fine”. It shows that you aren’t arguing with evidence, but with faith.

  178. #179 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    Here is a site that provides a comprehensive list of studies:
    Ray is very good at referring us to other people’s lists.

  179. #180 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Now, as for the studies, what I continue to see here on the blog are attempts to discredit the existence of large numbers of peer reviewed studies reporting adverse biological effects.

    I have provided a report from Yakymenko 2011 that so far no one wishes to address. Why, well because it states:

    “Recently, a number of reports revealed that under certain conditions the irradiation
    by low intensity MW can substantially induce cancer progression in humans and in animal models.”

    and:

    “We conclude that recent data strongly point to the need for re-elaboration of the current safety limits for non-ionizing radiation using recently obtained knowledge. We also emphasize that the everyday exposure of both occupational and general public to MW radiation should be regulated based on a precautionary principles which imply maximum restriction of excessive exposure.”

  180. #181 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Additionally, no one wishes to address the BioInitiative Report Section on Genotoxic effects, which provides detailed information on study after study that report that RF radiofrequency microwave radiation causes damage to DNA and other genetic material.

    Yes there are studies that do not report effects, but there are many studies that do. According to the summary, just looking at studies published since 2007, over 54 peer reviewed papers have reported effects, whereas 32 have not.

    This research effectively proves that RF microwave radiation does cause genetic effects, at levels that are much lower than those claimed to be safe by international agencies such as ICNIRP.

    Further, there are a number of studies that report genetic damage at levels to which students would be exposed when in a WiFi enabled classroom.

    This group has a propensity to focus on the studies that do not report effects, while meanwhile completely ignoring the research that does show effects. This is dishonest.

  181. #182 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    As such, this blog group will also not touch the study that found increased fragmentation of DNA from a WiFi laptop in less than four hours of exposure.
    http://www.wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/avendano_wi-fi_decreases_sperm_motility__increase_dna_fragments_2011.pdf
    Why not? If we really were neutral and wanted to evaluate things objectively, this certainly would be something to discuss.

    Instead, all is silent on this subject as well.

  182. #183 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    I will place another issue before you, which is the effect of RF microwave radiation on the brain.

    http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/sec10_2012_Effects_Electromagnetic_Fields_Wireless_Communication.pdf

    In this section there exist study after study, conducted over decades, that report leakage of the blood brain barrier, at levels that are much lower than those emitted by iPads or other wireless devices.

  183. #184 herr doktor bimler
    August 18, 2013

    no one wishes to address the BioInitiative Report Section on Genotoxic effects

    I for one would be more interested in discussing these lists with the people who compiled them, who may have read the papers they contain, preferring to deal with the organ-grinder rather than the monkey.

  184. #185 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    Herr, you are but an excuse maker. You refuse to acknowledge any studies that report adverse effects.

  185. #186 Ray
    August 18, 2013

    . I have given you access to the peer reviewed research that provides more than sufficient evidence that RF radiofrequency radiation at or below levels emitted by WiFi enabled classrooms causes serious biological effects.

    Again, here is a list of studies that I consider most relevant:
    http://www.wifiinschools.com/studiesreports.html

    My position is this: Each and every peer reviewed study conducted on RFR radiation, especially the so-called low intensity studies, that report adverse biological effects represent individually and collectively evidence that it is unsafe for use in a classroom with young children.

    It does not matter if all the studies do not agree.

    It does not matter if some studies do not find effects.

    It does not matter if I got the exact number of studies wrong.

    Studies do not cancel out studies. Each of those studies acts as evidence, and in God’s name, we should have some respect for life and not expose the children to something that we know is harmful.

    We do not yet know the exact details of how harmful this kind of radiation is at which levels, but you have to be dishonest to ignore the fact there is peer reviewed evidence showing it to be harmful.

    This is all I have to say, you can now resume your Hyena-like behavior.

  186. #187 Niche Geek
    August 18, 2013

    “Studies do not cancel out studies”

    That’s not, as far as I can tell, as straightforward an answer as you make out. The details matter. The P values matter.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, I don’t know, but I do know that you’ve reached your conclusion without any trace of skepticism.

  187. #188 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 19, 2013

    Ray, it’s only been 113 years, so perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the equation E=hν. (That’s a “nu” not a “v”—this font is worthless.)

    That means the energy of a photon of electromagnetic radiation of a given frequency is Planck’s constant times its frequency. For 2.45 GHz photons, I get about 1.01384 x 10^-5 eV.

    The lowest ionization energy I can find is cesium, at 3.8939 eV. For biological significance, carbon=11.2603 eV, hydrogen=13.59844 eV, oxygen=13.61806 eV, nitrogen=14.53414 eV, and since you keep bringing up DNA, phosphorus=10.48669 eV. Even the lowest of these is a little over 1 million times the energy of the microwave photons we’re talking about. (And before you say it just takes a million of them to do the same job, there’s this thing called Quantum Mechanics—perhaps you should look into it.)

    The only harm microwaves could do to anybody is to raise the temperature of some body part to unhealthy levels, and that takes many times the power we’re talking about. If you were being exposed to high-power microwaves, the first symptom would be the vitreous humor in your eyeballs turning opaque, because it’s not cooled by blood circulation, and that would be readily noticeable. Any reports of that happening? Didn’t think so.

    BTW, they pasteurize eggs at 140˚ F, without any denaturing of the egg white, and I really think people would notice their eyeballs heating up to 140˚!

  188. #189 yoda
    August 19, 2013

    We are not talking about knocking an electron out of orbit, we are not talking about ionizing radiation. We are talking about electromagnetic emissions that are in a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum at 2.45 ghz is where the maximum dielectric loss of water begins, where the FCC says go to town boys, just don’t cook ‘em, where most of the human body absorbs, and vibrations result in structural isomerism to things like insulin receptors via a non thermal mechanism. Insulin receptors don’t dig it especially when the soda has high fructose corn syrup in it.\

    These emissions contain energy. Any one of us can pull out the old equations and punch numbers into the TI scientific calculator. Not everyone is brainwashed into believing that low power to you may not be low power to a certain component of a biological system. They do things like leave extra parts in cells after divisions, make the remote control car go, the cell phone ring, make the human eggs unable to be fertilized, give sperm flat heads and weak tails, give the unborn autism, make the average person walk around in a fog. Studies you bet -peer reviewed, you bet-these effects-heck no. The largest class action law suit in world history would be well underway if these scientists went there. They can’t, they won’t and those that do, won’t be scientists for long.

    Oh yeah you say-prove it- show me the studies-Why don’t you ask your pals in the white coats that huff acetone all day to get their hands out of the glove box for a minute and ask the honchos for a couple hundred g’s to study just one of my Embryaino supposed ridiculous theories . I dare you.

  189. #190 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 19, 2013

    Yoda, you are completely out of your fu¢king mind. Absolutely nothing you said there makes any sense whatsoever. Please seek psychiatric help. Ray is just a gullible idiot, but you’re insane.

  190. #191 yoda
    August 19, 2013

    It doesn’t make sense to you because you simply don’t understand the science.

  191. #192 novalox
    August 19, 2013

    @yoda

    Then show the citations that will support your position.

    Otherwise, since your position flies in the face of established and well-known science, we can assume that you are making stuff up.

    Of course, judging by your use of insults and ad hominems, we could be waiting a while for you to come up with something or actual worth.

  192. #194 yoda
    August 19, 2013

    Just because science is “well established” doesn’t mean its infallible. A flat earth was well established, the speed of light being constant was well established. Try to keep an open mind. Being called insane, needing psyc help. Come on guys.

  193. #195 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East rand
    August 19, 2013

    @Ray:

    I have given you access to the peer reviewed research that provides more than sufficient evidence that RF radiofrequency radiation at or below levels emitted by WiFi enabled classrooms causes serious biological effects.

    No, you haven’t. You gave us a link to a list of 5 000 studies. Krebiozen at #135 sampled them, and found out that a lot didn’t support your case. At #124, you insisted that the effects of solar radiation could not be detected by “professional grade tools”, despite Johnny at #122 posting a link showing you to be incorrect.
    You are using two tactics that we have seen before: posting a string of studies in support of your claims that don’t actually support your claims; and insisting on something that has been shown to be false. Around here, if someone provides evidence (or “evidence”), some of the other posters will actually check to see if the evidence supports the claim. Not only that, quite a few of Orac’s readership are smart enough and educated enough to tell if the evidence is sound, or if the poster is just trying to bulldust.

  194. #196 yoda
    August 19, 2013
  195. #197 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 19, 2013

    @yoda:

    A flat earth was well established…

    False. It was known in the days of the Ancient Greeks that the earth was round.

  196. #198 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 19, 2013

    False. It was known in the days of the Ancient Greeks that the earth was round.

    And the speed of light is constant. The two postulates of Special Relativity are that there are no privileged frames of reference and that the speed of light is that same for all observers. SR makes numerical predictions that are very accurately fulfilled, so its postulates appear to be true. Yoda can’t even sound sciency.

  197. #199 Khani
    August 19, 2013

    I still want to know exactly who is in charge of this alleged eugenics program. Who is running the conspiracy, Yoda? Precisely who?

  198. #200 Krebiozen
    August 19, 2013

    Ray,

    As such, this blog group will also not touch the study that found increased fragmentation of DNA from a WiFi laptop in less than four hours of exposure. [...] Instead, all is silent on this subject as well.

    Now that’s just insulting. I certainly haven’t been silent on this subject. I do have to sleep and attend to my real life from time to time, so apologies for not instantly replying to your last comment on it.

    I still don’t agree that the wi-fi sperm study controlled for possible thermal effects of the microwaves. In any case, a 400µL aliquot of sperm suspended in modified human tubal fluid supplemented with 10% synthetic serum substitute is a poor proxy for sperm inside a living humans testes, for reasons I have explained (not being attached to a circulatory system for a start).

    The title of the paper is extremely dishonest: “Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation”. This clearly strongly implies that this study has shown that using laptops damages the user’s sperm, when it does no such thing.

    Thanks for leading me on an interesting journey though. I never expected to find myself searching for “wi-fi sperm”. Though I did humorously speculate here recently that we can expect someone to eventually figure out a way of getting people pregnant over a fiber optic line, wi-fi seems a little more ambitious.

    I also discovered the existence of “embryo oil” (which must surely have a CAM market ), and of thermometers used in IVF that can measure the temperature of a single drop of fluid.

    How the experimenters in the wi-fi sperm study managed to measure the temperature of 35 aliquots every 5 minutes, especially when each drop is in a separate 10 mm petri dish submerged in embryo oil, I don’t know. I don’t think they could have.

    Their supplemental Figure 1 shows a graph of “Incubation temperature in test (under the laptop) and control (unexposed groups” but doesn’t explicitly state what these temperatures are. Are they from the IVF thermometer measuring the temperature of each drop? We don’t know, and I don’t buy this study as evidence of anything much.

  199. #201 Krebiozen
    August 19, 2013

    yoda,
    Some of us here arethe ones in the white coats, though we don’t huff acetone, not all day anyway. Diethyl ether is more fun, and has the added thrill of being explosive.
    I was amused by your statement about RF emissions:

    They do things like leave extra parts in cells after divisions, make the remote control car go, the cell phone ring, make the human eggs unable to be fertilized, give sperm flat heads and weak tails, give the unborn autism, make the average person walk around in a fog.

    Do you really think radio waves have enough power to “make the remote control car go, the cell phone ring”? Haven’t you wondered why these devices require batteries?
    I’m also wondering about these “extra parts” that radio waves leave in cells after divisions. Whatever do you mean by that? Also, do you have any evidence that 2.45 ghz EM prevents human eggs from being fertilized? Or that it ” give sperm flat heads and weak tails, give the unborn autism, make the average person walk around in a fog”? I have never seen any convincing evidence that remotely supports any of this.

  200. #202 Krebiozen
    August 19, 2013

    Is scientific illiteracy contagious? I meant “2.45 GHz EMR”, obviously.

  201. #203 JGC
    No Ray, it's not enough
    August 19, 2013

    I realize this is a late response to your post @ 112, but no: that isn’t sufficient.

    Recall I didn’t ask for a list of thousands of studies of unknown quality. I asked you to identify which single study you felt best supported your claims.

    As for “As with JGC, if you are implying that all of those 5,000 peer reviewed studies reporting biological and health effects are somehow flawed – then I suggest that you prove it” as you’re the one who’s made the claim that exposure to the EMF fields produced by WiFi enabled iPads is harmful it is your responsibility to support that claim.

  202. #204 Narad
    August 19, 2013

    The Apple Important Product Information Guide reveals that the highest SAR for the iPad with WiFi 2.4 GHZ is 1.19 W/kg.

    Ray, you have a small problem here. That pamphlet was for BCG-E2381A, the original iPad. Let’s look at the results. Regardless of the SAR values (which of course were obtained as mW/g),* the peak output EIRP from the better antenna on the best channel is 29.4 dBm, or 871 mW. You can more than halve that for normal operation, and halve it again, because the ‘I’ is for isotropically.

    Moreover, your noggin and hand are going reduce the efficiency of the antenna through detuning. It’s not going to fry a kilogram of anything. Have you ever wondered why, to use the numbers from the Evaluation Report, the 10 g SAR is 0.287 mW/g while the 1 g SAR is 0.736 mW/g (at an average power of 16.7 dBm)?

    * Where the 1.19 comes from beats me; the 2.4 GHz maximum SAR is 0.791 mW/g in the Evaluation Report. This figure does appear in the iPod 3, BCGA1416, 5 GHz data, though.

  203. #205 Narad
    August 19, 2013

    And the speed of light is constant. The two postulates of Special Relativity are that there are no privileged frames of reference and that the speed of light is that same for all observers.

    As it has units, it wouldn’t really matter if the value of c had varied over time. The fine-structure constant is another story.

  204. #206 Narad
    August 19, 2013

    ^ “This figure does appear in the iPodiPad 3, BCGA1416, 5 GHz data, though.”

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