Reports emerged in 2001 that electromagnetic radiation produced by Vatican Radio's transmitters near the town was above the legal limit. A health authority released a study claiming that children in the area were six times more likely to develop leukemia.
The 300-page report prepared by Italy's most prestigious cancer research hospital called the connection between Vatican antennas and childhood cancer "coherent and significant."
The Independent reports:
"Vatican Radio said it was disappointed by the ruling."
Europe is ahead of the U.S. in the implementation of many progressive public health policies. For example, like most of Europe, Italy banned the import of genetically modified foods many years ago, resisting agricultural invasion by Monsanto.
But Italians have THEIR OWN corporate superpower to do battle with—the Vatican. This makes the recent Supreme Court ruling all the more significant.
In the Italian study cited above, not only were leukemia rates found to be higher, but researchers found increased cancer mortalities among people living in a 5.5-mile radius of Vatican Radio's giant antenna towers, which continually broadcast papal speeches, news programs, and religious events in 40 languages all over the world.
Just like the Italians, we Americans are bombarded daily with electromagnetic radiation, and although you can't see it, hear it or feel it, we're actually steeped in an electromagnetic soup most of the time.
Electromagnetic radiation may be one of the most significant risks to your child—along with sugar and processed food, genetically modified foods, lack of exercise, overuse of x-rays, vaccines and many prescription drugs.
One of the effects of excess radiation is leukemia, and children are far more at risk than adults. And so far, the U.S. government has done little to protect them.
EPA Admitted the Threat Was Real—Then Backpedaled
By 1990, thousands of EMF studies had been conducted worldwide, with published research appearing in journals as early as the1940s. Of these, at least two dozen epidemiological studies on humans indicated a link between EMFs and serious health problems, including leukemia.
In response to public pressure, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began reviewing and evaluating the scientific data.
In a March 1990 draft report, the EPA recommended EMFs be classified as "probable human carcinogens." This prompted industry and computer lobbyists to come down hard on the EPA.
When the final report was released, the EPA had removed EMFs' classification as a possible carcinogen.
When asked for an explanation, the EPA responded that it was "not appropriate" to use the probable carcinogen label until scientists could demonstrate how EMFs caused cancer and exactly how much EMF is harmful. This explanation has been woefully inadequate to many critics, who claim the EPA was swayed by special interests.
The EPA's current stance remains that research is "inconclusive." But there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary!
For more history about the EPA's role in maintaining the status quo, I recommend reading Blake Levitt's book Electromagnetic Fields: A Consumer's Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves.
Dr. Milham's Findings About Leukemia
Dr. Samuel Milham proposed that electromagnetic field exposure is linked to most of the diseases of civilization—including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even ADHD. As evidence, he cites a very low incidence of modern diseases among the Old-Order Amish, who use no form of electricity whatsoever.
In fact, the Old-Order Amish have uncommonly low rates of neurodegenerative disease and NOT ONE case of ADHD on record. (I think this is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that they avoid the use of vaccines.)
Dr. Milham states that, in his research, childhood leukemia correlates extremely well with "electrification." Children like the Old-Order Amish who do not live around electricity simply DON'T have the leukemia rates of children who live surrounded by electrification and other sources of electromagnetic exposure, such as Wifi, radio towers, cell phones, etc.
He has proposed that, for every 10 percent increase in the number of electrified homes nearby, there is a 24 percent increase in leukemia among children ages 2 to 4.
Although Milham's work focuses on "dirty electricity," which is theorized to spread around neighborhoods from operation of radio frequency and microwave towers, this has yet to be proven and remains poorly understood, with most evidence being anecdotal, at this point. For more information about "dirty electricity," refer to Dr. Milham's book, Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization.
What is known with more certainty is that RF emissions, such as those produced by the Vatican transmitters, produce some alarming biological effects.
How Radio Frequency Radiation Affects Your Body
Radio frequency (RF) radiation starts at a frequency of about 30 thousand cycles per second (30 kHz) in the radio wave region and reaches up into the microwave region, ending at about 300 GHz. Radio frequency radiation is given off purposely by transmitters, but also inadvertently by electronic equipment and electrical wiring.
Biological effects of RF radiation fall into two categories: thermal effects (caused by heating) and non-thermal effects. The radiation that injured the children in Rome was the non-thermal variety—the kind that goes unnoticed until you find yourself diagnosed with cancer.
Many of the non-thermal effects of RF radiation come from its associated "ELF" signals, or "extremely low frequency" pulses,
According to Dr. George Carlo of Safe Wireless Initiative, one of the adverse effects of this pulsed signal is that the vibratory protein receptors within the walls of your cells (which control the exchange of nutrients and toxins into and out of the cell) are negatively impacted.
The cells will actually interpret this foreign vibration as an intruder and shut down the cell wall, thus starving the cell while trapping toxins inside. Intercellular communication is also disrupted, causing confusion within the cells as to how and when to divide.
In general, it is not one specific type of EMF that is to blame for radiation's negative health effects, but rather the constant bombardment and chronic duration of the many different kinds of EMF that we are exposed to, day in and day out.
And your DNA reacts to the entire spectrum. According to Dr. Martin Blank, a physicist at Columbia University, your body is constructed with a "fractal antenna" inside each and every cell, which responds to the entire range of frequencies on the EMF spectrum!
With this knowledge, you can certainly understand how children in nearby proximity to the Vatican's radio transmitters could have been more likely to develop leukemia.
Your Cells React to EMFs Like an Environmental Toxin
It's important to remember that you are an electrical being, and as such, you are influenced by the electromagnetic radiation around you. Your body is composed of conductive and semi-conductive materials, and your cells react to EMFs like any other environmental toxin or harmful invader.
What happens when you expose a radio antenna to a significant amount of external noise?
You get static. And that is what is happening in today's "electrosmog" environment—your body's electrical system is interrupted with a sort of static. Many of your body's processes operate in the same frequency range as this electrosmog.
For you to be healthy, your body must be able to communicate within itself. Leukemia and other cancers involve a dysfunctional immune system—the body's internal communication has broken down.
Experts disagree about the exact mechanism by which EMFs trigger biological problems, but we do have some viable working theories. Many of these mechanisms were spelled out last November in the ICEMS Monograph: "Non-thermal Effects and Mechanisms of Interaction Between Electromagnetic Fields and Living Matter," a collection of research papers reviewing many of the known mechanisms.
In 2004, a Swedish physicist named Bo Semelius may have discovered part of the missing link in how non-ionizing radiation causes tissue damage.
Semelius stumbled across a surprising finding suggesting that non-thermal mobile phone radiation can cause a massive increase in the forces that living cells exert on each other—known as van der Waals forces.
Dr. Martin Blank says that EMFs can actually break apart your DNA. He explains that your cells respond to EMFs as if they are in distress—they emit a kind of cellular distress signal.
For more on Blank's evidence for cellular and DNA effects, please refer to my January 2011 article.
Studies Linking Childhood Leukemia with EMF Exposure
There have been numerous studies investigating the connection between childhood leukemia and exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Many studies support an association, but many others are inconclusive.
Proving causality is very difficult because most of the studies involve very small populations of children who live in a narrow geographic area, and incidence rates are relatively small. So, finding statistical significance is a real research challenge.
It is clear that larger and longer-term studies need to be done.
In addition to the 2001 Rome study that led to the Italian court's ruling, here are a few other studies I found that suggest an association between EMFs and leukemia:
- In a study in England and Wales, childhood cancer rates correlated with distance the children lived from high voltage power lines (2005)
- Higher exposures of radiation in some children's homes may be doubling leukemia rates in Britain (2001)
- Italian study of residential exposure to EMFs suggested possible associations between EMFs and childhood leukemia (1999)
- Population-based study of German children reported a "possible association" between EMF and childhood leukemia (1997)
- Higher childhood leukemia rates were found among children who lived near radio towers in Hawaii (1994)
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does demonstrate a fair amount of evidence in line with the Italian Supreme Court's findings against the Vatican.
Why Children are More Susceptible to the Damaging Effects of Radiation
There are a number of reasons why infants and children are even more at risk from EMFs than are adults:
- Radiation can penetrate the thinner skull bones of infants and children much more easily than an adult's thicker skull. The radiation can enter all the way into their midbrain, where tumors are more deadly.
- Children's cells reproduce more quickly, so they're more susceptible to aggressive cell growth and tumor genesis.
- Your child's immune system is not as developed as yours, so it's more prone to disruption, making your child more prone to all kinds of illnesses.
- Children face a far greater lifetime exposure to electromagnetic radiation. In fact, Professor Lennart Hardell of Sweden has shown that young adults who begin using cell phones heavily as teenagers have 4 to 5 times more brain cancer.
- According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, radiation can flip certain genes in your child's mitochondria. Your child can then develop a mitochondrial disorder, which can cause muscular atrophy or severe developmental problems.
Leukemia Types and Trends
Leukemia is marked by abnormally large numbers of white blood cells (leukocytes or WBCs). These cells, although abundant, cannot perform their normal function of protecting your body from invaders, because they are defective.
According to the National Cancer Institute, leukemias account for about one third of all childhood cancers today and can be acute or chronic. The vast majority (about 98 percent) of childhood leukemias are acute—meaning, rapidly developing.
Childhood leukemias are classified into the following three types:
- Acute lymphocytic anemia (ALL): represents about 60 percent of all childhood leukemia cases in the United States
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML): represents about 38 percent of the cases
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): accounts for only 50 CASES per year
For hundreds of years, physicians have observed abnormally high numbers of white blood cells in certain patients—a disorder they called "white blood"—which is how leukemia got its name. But it wasn't until 1845 that the condition was first officially diagnosed as "leukemia" by John Hughes Benett, a physician in Edinburgh.
Leukemia rates made a sudden jump upward in the early 19th Century, a trend that continues today.
Rates are highest in developed countries and among families of higher socioeconomic status, presumably because those families typically are exposed to higher levels of electromagnetic radiation from modern technology and telecommunication, as well as chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.
Another way to think about this is, modern families are living in environments that are LEAST like the environments in which humans evolved.
Simple Ways to Lower Your EMF Exposure
There is no way to completely remove electrosmog from your environment. The best we can all strive for is to minimize the risk, and there are some simple ways to do that.
For starters, you can:
- Use a landline at home and at work whenever possible.
- Keep your cell phone away from your body when it's on. Use it only when you have good reception. Keep cell phone use to a minimum, and keep it away from your child.
- Use safer headset technology.
- Turn on and unplug everything electrical in your sleeping area. Better yet, turn off all the fuses for the night. When you appreciate the difference in quality of sleep you may want to install a bedside 'demand switch' for ease of turning the fuses on and off.
- Move your bed so that your head is at least 3 to 6 feet from all electrical outlets.
- Sleep on a non-metal bed and mattress.
- Remove cordless phones and base stations from our nightstand area. Keep base stations at least three rooms away or keep them turned off except when you specifically need a portable phone.
- Reduce or eliminate wireless devices from your home and work environment.
- Avoid using wireless baby monitors and electric blankets. Epidemiological studies have linked electric blankets with miscarriages and childhood leukemia.
For a complete list of tips to help protect yourself from radiation, click here.