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Portada del sitio > Documentos > Someone hears me?. An interview with Iris Atzmon

Alternative Life May 2007

Someone hears me?. An interview with Iris Atzmon

Jueves 10 de mayo de 2007 · 2584 lecturas

Alternative Life May 2007

Someone hears me?
By Daniel Mishori

During the last 15 years a new technology took control over the public and private space - the cellular communication. Almost everyone holds a cellular phone. We are "available" all the time. The distinction between work and leisure time became blur and new social codes were designed (a new kind of compliant: "I looked for you but you were not available"). We almost got used to the fact that also in coffee bars or on the beach, people are not in the here and now, but they are connected through the cellular to someone else somewhere else.
This availability became addictive, and as we know, the addiction to the cellular has a worrisome side - the radiation. The public debate about the danger from the cellular radiation moves on the continuity where on one side there are those who claim to zero damage and on the other side those who cry that there health damage is already known but is hidden from the public eye. Somewhere in between are most people, who don’t know whether it’s dangerous or not, and meanwhile they move to the next call. Except for the subject of cellular antennas near residence areas, which has succeeded in causing a small fight between citizens and the cellular companies, no consumer rebellion is seen in the horizon, although we have arrived already to the third generation. Aside the debate about the radiation danger, there is another question not less difficult: can we trust the professionals, the scientists and the cellular companies who calm us that there is no real danger for the public?
If you ask the world health organization, the communication ministry or the health ministry, they will tell you that you can count on the "research people". If you ask Iris Atzmon, you will receive a totally different answer.

Studies, Ignorance and Control

The cellular revolution brought Iris Atzmon to start five years ago, a private investigation voyage of which findings are very worrisome.
Atzmon is a doctorate student of epidemiology at the public health school in Haifa university, but an autodidact in her education on the cellular radiation. She finished her first degree in Education and Public Services in Haifa university, then turned shortly to computer programming and delved into an investigation that riped into a thick book (700 pages): The Cellular, Not What You Thought! The Information that is Hidden from the Public". This pioneering book deals with the dangers of cellular radiation and some accompanying discussions in the frame of interactions of the radiation with other environmental risks. The book cites hundreds of studies and scientific articles that support the hypothesis that there’s a real concern for health from the cellular radiation. The size of the book tells of a very serious and almost compulsive attitude, to the subject of the radiation and its dangers, and especially to the subject of "hiding" because a large part of the book documents the fight against hiding information about the dangers of radiation or downplaying it, as part of the strategy of those whose profits will be damaged if the pubic is exposed to the evidence about radiation dangers.
Atzmon arrived to our meeting equipped with cellular radiation detector.

How did you became interested in investigating the subject of cellular radiation? "My interest in the subject started in 2002, because of the bill of TAM"A 36 - there was a clause that forced the companies to inform the public about erecting new antennas, and the cellular companies succeeded in removing this clause in a way that prevented the public from knowing about antennas and resisting them. The companies received the help of the minister of communication then, Reuven Rivlin. For me it was - the hat is burning on the thief’s head: if they don’t want people to know, I must check what the problem is".

How did you start the mission?
"I started with the internet. The first thing I got were the advertisements of the companies and of course you can’t learn anything from them, but I didn’t have a clue at the start- I didn’t know any name of researcher, not a book, and I didn’t even know that the cellular radiation is microwave radiation. Meanwhile I started looking around me in the street and noticed I am surrounded by antennas. That’s how my awareness raised to the subject.
And then I traveled to England. There I bought an issue of the Ecologist. There was an excellent article about the cellular radiation, written by a British author David Edwards. The article cited studies and experts, and suddenly I saw that my feeling was right, that there was a real problem with the radiation.
At the end of the article there was an email address, so I wrote to Edwards and I started receiving material. He also connected me with a worker of British Telecom who kept a distribution list about radiation damage, after he became very sick and suffered from memory loss and chronic fatigue.
Edwards also wrote an excellent book called "Free to be Human", in which he claims that people are not really free in their minds. They think they are free, they think there is democracy, they think they have free will, but in fact, they are controlled by corporations, including the media industry, which has a monopoly on the information distribution among the public. The idea is that the biggest threat on freedom is the belief that it has already been achieved- when we don’t see physical cables around our hands. The manipulation is so sophisticated, that people don’t even feel they are controlled. You can say that this article on the cellular exemplified a similar kind of manipulation".

How can one deal with it?
"People are controlled on the basis of ignorance. If the person has no knowledge, he cannot judge what’s good or bad for him. If one only has the information that is flowing by the companies that has a clear interest to make maximum profits, then he can never be a master of his own health, he can never receive an informed decision about technologies or products. For example in cosmetics products: it is written with big letters that there is vitamin E in the product, but who can understand all the chemical names that are written in small letters on the labels, chemicals which can be carcinogenic?

I understand you don’t own a mobile phone
I never had and I will never have. It isn’t important to me to be available all the time, if someone wants me he leaves a message or an email and I get back to him.
I go with public phones cards and I am annoyed by the fact that public phones are disappearing.
The problem is that every wireless device emits radiation - also wireless internet, for example there’s a case of a child that had symptoms that disappeared only after the wireless internet was disconnected, I know of cases of disruptions of heart rhythm.
I know people who fight against antennas and don’t realize they have wireless radiation inside the house. It’s also a matter of life style. For me a mobile phone is also loss of privacy. A person sits in the bus and I hear why he broke up with his girlfriend and whether he believes in God.
It has an element of addiction: people keep looking whether they received an SMS. In a conference I was lately in an education institute, people sat on the grass and each one was connected to his phone, instead of making new contacts.
There is also diversion of attention: people cross the street while speaking on the phone, drive and talk on the phone".

Findings that are hard to hear

At this point in the interview we made a little radiation experiment. I called from the wired phone to my mobile (popular second generation) and Iris operated her radiation detector. Even from a distance of 40-50 cm the detector cried with many red colored lights. It was found that using an internal voice amplifier that enables to put the phone further from the ear, doesn’t prevent the exposure to radiation. Frightening. We made a similar experiment with two additional phones from the third generation. In one of them there was moderate radiation and the other very high. I returned home disturbed, I admit.

So the cellular radiation really causes damage?
"People hold the phone near their ear. We have never put a device so close to the brain without knowing what it is really capable to do. It is not an innocent device.
Experiments show that the radiation from the mobile phone changes the brain waves, the brain waves play a role in control of the body functions, the meaning is that people allow to interfere with their brain functions, especially small children.
Apart from that, there are symptoms that people feel: headaches, heat in the ear, ringings, nose bleedings, loss of concentration, dizziness and sleep problems because the radiation interferes with melatonin production which is the hormone of sleep.
I ask myself, how many people get drug prescriptions against depression and headaches when these are actually symptoms that are derived from the radiation, and they are missed in the diagnosis. Physicians don’t study on environmental pollution or radiation. There is a terrible disconnection between medicine and environment."
"There are studies that point to damage in the blood brain barrier. The radiation causes changes in the protein of the barrier and causes penetration of substances that shouldn’t be in the brain, meaning the radiation damages the protection barrier of the brain and people become more vulnerable to other factors like air pollution and smoking. It is important to stress: the opening of the blood brain barrier happens within 2 minutes, so short exposure is enough!
"In studies it was also found that the radiation causes production of free radicals, which is a carcinogenic factor. The body has anti-oxidants protection system, but if the body is exposed chronically to free radicals, it needs to ’waste’ the protection system on the fight against environmental exposures.
"And finally, there are studies that point to long term risks, like brain tumors and benign tumors of the acoustic nerve. Benign tumors have potential to become malignant, and until then the tumor damage the hearing and causes suffering and pains. There is also evidence for DNA breakage, meaning potential for genetic damage and damage that is going to affect on the heredity.

At the bottom line, from the comprehensive investigation that you made, a person who uses a mobile phone is certainly risking his health?
"I don’t like to decide for someone else. I think it depends on the duration of use. The more you talk, the greater the risk. Especially above 10 years. The fact that children speak hours on hours is problematic. In general, there are many findings that show the radiation is problematic, there are complaints of people on symptoms and it is known that some people are electrosensitive and more vulnerable. So in my opinion yes, it is clear that there is a certain risk, but it depends on the level of exposure.

But the cellular companies say that there is no evidence for risk among the probable user.
"The standard that exists today is a cheat. The SAR, which is a measure for absorption of radiation in the brain, does not represent anything. The tests were not done on a live brain but on a solution of salt or sugar. It is clear that the radiation doesn’t affect a live material like on a dead material. Millions are talking on the phone, and they are told that it is safe on the basis of testing a salt solution?
The SAR also talks about an average per gram tissue, but the radiation is not distributed in reality "on average" but in hot spots in the brain. The problem is that the brain doesn’t dissipate the heat, it doesn’t have heat receptors and in the near field - near the brain, the radiation is accumulated up to 10 times than the original power, so we are told that it is only 0.6 watts but it can reach 6 watts and people feel the effect of heating"

Playing the expert

In high school, Atzmon brought a delivery of organic food home and informed her parents that from now on they go organic. It was long before the awareness wave to the damage of pesticides. Her high awareness of the connection to link between environment and health was undoubtly a necessary condition for the independent initiation to publish a self published- book. It seems that her concern for her health has an important role in the decision to go for a fight. "Everyone has concern for his health. If there had been no fear, I wouldn’t have started checking the cellular issue, but at certain point the fear becomes power. Suddenly you want to go out and do something, and to inform others that this is the situation. People who are not afraid don’t know what it’s about, they don’t understand that there is something to fear about".

And how did you decide to write such a thick book?
"A lot of material was accumulated. And then I remember traveling in a train and sitting near someone that was talking on his mobile, and I felt that I knew something that he didn’t, and maybe if he knew it, he would behave differently, maybe reduce his mobile use, and I thought I must write a book about the subject. When you have knowledge, you see how business is going, how the consumer doesn’t understand what’s going on, and you understand also what they don’t tell to consumers, and this is actually rudeness: to sell you a dangerous technology or toxic chemicals and to demand for it even money from you? Isn’t it rude?"
I noticed there was an atomic ignorance around me. Even on websites of environment quality, and that there were only few who raised doubts or talked differently. I understood I had to bring something very strong in order to convince the public, to have a strong argument, to show the subject from many angles,and to explain the politics of the discussion of public health and environment, because many people fall into the trap there. The purpose of the book was to give power to the public by giving knowledge.
People feel they are helpless in front of corporations, that they are big bodies with a lot of money. The more they know, they less helpless they will be".

What do you mean by "politics" of the discussion of public health?

"For example when the World Health Organization plays ’the experts game’.
Many people believe the interest of this organization is public health.
To my surprise, I found that the main problem of the radiation is derived of the behaviour of the WHO. Almost all of the governments in the world rely on the WHO and cite its position but it was found that the ’expert’ who is responsible for the radiation subject in the organization receives money from the cellular industry- research grants and traveling expenses. He is the one who traveled all over the world to recommend governments to adopt a standard that is updated to 1998, which is not protective against the radiation: it is only for acute effects but doesn’t deal with the issue of cancer and neurological diseases...and this person affects directly on the health of millions of people, his name is Dr. Michael Repacholi. In one job he was the head of the ICNIRP which is an industry body and not public body, and on the other job at the WHO he recommended his standard to governments. In the year 2000 a petition was filed to Kofi Anan with regard to Repacholi but it was rejected.
"The interest of the WHO is an economical interest- to protect the industry.
The WHO behaved the same way also with regard to tobacco, asbestos and today also with regard to water fluoridation. It helps the industry to delay the information to the public, and ignores studies that point to possible damage".
"So politics is a lie or half-truth when one has an economical interest.
There is a phenomenon of experts who use their academic position and their certificates in order to say things that are not science- based or even in contrast to scientific findings, without telling that the receive money for research or "consulting" from the industry, which has the interest to sell and produce the product.
A lot of the environmental problems are derived of the corporate control on experts and the public system that is ready to accept this. The only thing that is possible to do is to distribute contradicting knowledge.
It is very important to confront the experts. That is why I wrote the book, so people can get the knowledge and the power".

So contradicting knowledge is the answer?
"The cellular companies knew that there would be resistance to the antennas so they wanted to prevent, the knowledge of the public by law. The issue of genetic engineering is run in the same way: the health ministry acted together with the commercial ministry to prevent labeling the GMO food. It is a kind of forcing through forcing ignorance. If one cannot identify GMO food he cannot avoid it".

Where do we advance?

It is possible that the efforts start to hit some waves.
One physician called to Atmzon, excited, to tell her that he suffered from headaches for years, and after he read the book he decided to stop using the phone and the headaches were gone. Others who read it say that only now they understand how strong is the manipulation of the cellular industry and the baterry of experts.
"There are people who, after reading the book, even change their mobile use to wired phone only", tells Atzmon, "they return to the ’stone age’ without any feeling inferiority".

How do you deal with the fact that relatives and friends probably continue to use the device?
"Friends and relatives feel the need to apologize. I always say to people that it’s their own business. My attitude is personal responsibility, if you read and you know what you are doing, it is your responsibility".

And maybe the fear from the cellular revolution is related to the fear of a new technology no matter what it is?
"The question is whether the fear has a basis or not. The interest owners focus the attention on the concern of people. This is diversion of the attention to the emotional element. They tell people - ’you are afraid’ instead of providing them information".
Atzmon also emphasizes that one of the issues of the cellular is its global exposure:
"Even with cigarettes the exposure was not so global, with little children, like it is with the cellular. Every damage, even if it small, even if it translated into less than 1% -it has enourmous influence, and the system acts as if it does not understand the magnitude of the risk. To say that there are no proofs and to continue giving the control over research to the industry- like it was with smoking- is simply stupid".

Are you not going against progress? The cellular revolution is considered to be one of the clear signs of progress of this era
"If there is damage then the ’progress’ doesn’t not advance us.
In my opinion it is very primitive to distribute radiation everywhere.
True, in the past we couldn’t talk wirelessly, and now yes, but it is only part of the picture. We need to better define what progress is, and to see whether certain technology really brings us progress or not. Otherwise, we are left with a brainwash according to which progress means only technical developments".

Dr. Daniel Mishori teaches environmrntal ethics in Tel Aviv university.
For reactions: MishoriD yahoo.com

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