In the 1950s many countries began to see a dramatic increase
in the skin cancer melanoma. Professors Örgan Hallberg and
Olle Johansson,* noted that the sharp upsurge of skin cancer had
begun in 1955, around six years before flying off for a holiday
in the sun became popular, and looked for other possible causes.
Previous research suggested a link between the risk of developing
melanoma and the distance people lived from FM radio transmitters,
so they decided to research the link in more depth. 
Analysing data from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the US, they
found roughly similar experiences in all four countries:
- The rolling out of FM transmitter towers
led to the same increase in melanoma skin cancer after the same
- The more FM transmitter towers in a country,
the higher the levels of melanoma skin cancer
This finding was echoed in Australia, where a significant increase
in melanoma skin cancer deaths between 1964 and 1967 corresponded
with the introduction of high power TV antenna masts.
Örgan and Olle’s 2004 and 2005 studies confirmed these
findings. [2,3] Focusing this time
on melanoma skin cancer and what happened in the separate counties
within Sweden, they discovered the same strong links. They also
there was a stronger link between developing melanoma and
exposure to electromagnetic waves from FM transmitter towers
than with exposure to ultraviolet radiation
continuous disturbance of cell repair mechanisms by electromagnetic
fields seemed to amplify the carcinogenic cell damage caused
by other factors like ultraviolet radiation
Örgan and Olle also looked at the data for all cancer
deaths in Sweden since 1912. This showed that:
- rates started to increase in 1920 when medium
wave radio was introduced
- the rate of increase jumped significantly
in 1955 when Sweden got FM radio and TV1
- the rate jumped again in 1969-70 when TV2
and colour TV were brought in
- the rate dropped sharply in 1978 when the
use of the old AM broadcasting transmitter towers declined and
- the rate started to increase again about 4-5
They also noted a strong geographical relationship between transmitter
towers and clusters of skin cancer and lung, breast and colon
Ed.- (i) As further evidence that the human body is affected
by radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF), Örgan and
Olle cited1 the fascinating work by Augustsson and Stierner. [2,3]
They recorded the locations of moles and melanoma on the
bodies of hundreds of volunteers, then combined the results in
a ‘dot density map’ and discovered that some locations
were more popular than others. They then drew on the lines of
the tiny electric currents generated in the body by exposure to
RF and noted a strong overlap, suggesting a link.
Augustsson and Stierner also noted that the highest mole densities
were found in areas that were not normally exposed to sunshine.
A copy of this article may be downloaded free of charge from
* from the Karolinska Institute’s Department of Neuroscience
in Stockholm, Sweden
 Hallberg,Ö and Johansson,O.
Archives of Environmental Health 2002;57(1):32-40
 Hallberg,Ö and Johansson,O.
Medical Science Monitor 2004;10 (7):336-340
 Hallberg,Ö and Johansson,O.
Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2005;24:1-8
(11665) Nick Anderson. Green Health Watch
Stealth base stations more damaging
Many of the box-shaped ‘microcell mobile phone base stations’
mounted on walls and lamposts continuously irradiate the public
with as high levels of microwaves as the free-standing antennae
mounted on church spires and school roofs (macrocell base stations).
These ‘microcell’ base stations are typically positioned
between three and six metres above the ground and are often disguised,
e.g. as burglar alarms.
An NRPB (National Radiation Protection Board*) survey found that
many of the microcell masts they tested exposed the public to
microwave fields as strong as 5Volts per metre (5V/m). Their report
also noted that “around 6% were radiating more than 5 watts”.
The mobile network operators have also sometimes installed high-power
‘macrocell’ base stations at microcell sites. Their
antennae often face domestic bedrooms and living rooms just across
the street, causing the highest microwave irradiation of people:
often between three and ten volts per metre.
Because ‘Microcell base stations’ blend in with
the street and are less than ten metres above the ground, they
do not require any planning permission or council consultation
thanks to a ‘de minimus’ loophole in planning law.
The term ‘de minimis’ comes from the Latin legal
phrase ‘De minimis non curat lex’, which means ‘The
law does not care about very small matters’. This shows
official contempt for the widespread public concern about the
potential adverse health effects. For most of us, being irradiated
is not “a very small matter”. The mobile network
operators have taken full advantage of the loophole. In one
square quarter-of-a-mile in Soho, for instance, there are now
150 mobile phone base stations, 94 of which are less than 10
metres above the ground. The antennae often face bedrooms and
living rooms just across the street continually irradiating
people with far higher levels of microwaves than needed for
the operation of a mobile phone network.
Although the UK Government has agreed to a precautionary approach
in this matter but the maximum safe exposure levels they permit
are nearly a hundred times higher than the 0.6 V/m precautionary
principle ceiling recommended by Austria’s 1998 Salzburg
Resolution nearly fifty and the 1.2 - 2.5V/m limits adopted
in Paris. ‘Volts per metre’ is not a unit with which
most people are familiar. If the Salzburg precautionary ceiling
of 0.6V/m is seen in terms of risk as the ‘equivalent
to’ a 30mph vehicle speed limit in residential areas,
the Government 58V/m limit is obviously not at all precautionary
- the equivalent to doing 2847 miles per hour in a residential
area. Reckless might be a better description. Exposures from
microcell base stations recorded in the survey show that many
city dwellers are being continually exposed to risks equivalent
of cars driving 147 to 500mph in built up areas.
Ed.- (i) Powerwatch has devised an index which gives a quick
rule-of-thumb means of assessing base stations to check that
the radiation is as low as possible. Visit website: www.powerwatch.org.uk/gen/lpamasts.asp
(ii) The mobile service operators had registered 5,008 such
base stations by the end of 2004. There were almost certainly
many more unregistered stations at that time ( they did not
and still do not require planning permission), and there will
certainly be considerably more (registered and unregistered)
* On 1 April 2005 the National Radiological Protection Board
merged with the UK’s Health Protection Agency, forming
its new Radiation Protection Division. The Division continues
to operate from the old NRPB headquarters at Chilton in Oxfordshire.
Its contact details are now:
Health Protection Agency, Radiation Protection Division, Chilton,
Didcot OX11 0RQ % 01235 831600
ANOTHER ARTICLE BELOW
(11462) Alasdair Philips. Powerwatch U.K.
sees electrosensitivity like radioactivity
In 2000, the Swedish health authorities recognised electromagnetic
hypersensitivity (‘electrosensitivity’ or ES for short)
as a physical illness, where exposure to electromagnetic fields
(EMFs) can severely disrupt health. They estimate that 3% of their
population is affected. The UK’s Radiation Protection Division
has finally agreed to research the issue.
There is now ample evidence that exposure to EMFs can cause biological
changes in the human body. Electrosensitivity expert associate
professor Olle Johansson at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute,
for instance, has shown that it increases the number of mast cells
near the surface of the skin, the same as occurs after exposure
Electrosensitive people are likely to be affected by mobile phones
and phone masts.
(11572) Nic Fleming. Daily Telegraph