Monday, July 21, 2008

The Wonderful World of Cell Phones! (Part 1)

Tapping Your Cell Phone
Beware- Illegal software allows anyone to tap your cell phone
Cell Phones Spreading Superbugs in Hospitals
Thursday, May 14, 2009 by: David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) The cellular phones that hospital doctors and nurses bring to work are widely contaminated with dangerous pathogens, even when the health workers wash their hands regularly, a new study has found.
"Our results suggest cross-contamination of bacteria between the hands of health care workers and their mobile phones," wrote the researchers from Turkey's Ondokuz Mayis University in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials."
These mobile phones could act as a reservoir of infection which may facilitate patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria in a hospital setting." Researchers tested the dominant hands and mobile phones of 200 doctors and nurses in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms for bacteria capable of causing illness. While most of the health care workers followed hand washing guidelines, 95 percent of their phones tested positive for at least one dangerous form of bacteria. Almost 35 percent of phones contained two bacterial strains, while more than 11 percent contained three or more.
A full 12.5 percent of phones tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant variety of the common S. aureus bacteria that is responsible for staph infections. Due to its drug resistant prosperities, MRSA is much more difficult to treat than a regular staph infection and is significantly more likely to cause dangerous complications. If MRSA invades deep tissue or spreads beyond the skin to other organs, complications can include skin necrosis, disfiguring abscesses, blood infections, pneumonia and even death. It is particularly dangerous to those in a weakened state, such as hospital patients.
The prevalence of the bacteria is on the rise, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that the rate of hospital staph infections caused by MRSA to have risen from 2 percent in 1974 to 63 percent in 2004. MRSA is now considered responsible for a full 60 percent of all infections in hospitals.
CDC statistics record 94,000 MRSA infections per year in the United States, leading to 19,000 deaths -- more than the 12,500 deaths caused by AIDS in 2005. According to these figures, 31.8 out every 100,000 U.S. residents contract a MRSA infection each year. These figures were roughly in line with a nationwide survey conducted by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology in 2007, which estimated that 46 out of every 1,000 patients in medical facilities contracts an MRSA infection, or 1.2 million per year.
Prior studies have found MRSA contamination on electronic devices such as keyboards, but the current study may be the first to look at mobile phones specifically.
The researchers attributed the high rate of cell phone contamination to the fact that only one in 10 health care workers reported cleaning their phone regularly.
"Mobile phones are widely used as nonmedical portable electronic devices and [are] in close contact with the body," the authors wrote. "The mobile phones are used routinely all day long but not cleaned properly, as health care workers [may not] wash their hands as often as they should." While doctors and nurses might be exposed to dangerous bacteria in the course of their work, they might then carry them home on their phones and expose others to danger, the researchers warned.
"Since no warning has been given for cleaning mobile phones to meet hospital standards, the same rates and composition of contamination of mobile phones could be risky when carried outside the hospital environment."
The researchers advised that health care workers regularly swab their phones with alcohol-based disinfectants or anti-microbial substances. They concluded that banning cell phones from hospitals would be impractical, since the phones are now frequently used for work purposes during emergencies.
Cellphones safe for children: Health Canada
No evidence to support Toronto recommendation
Jenny Wagler, National Post
Published: Monday, July 21, 2008
Canada's largest city has recommended that parents limit the cellphone use of their children, but Health Canada said in response that science does not show that cellphones are unsafe.
Toronto Public Health has released a report that recommends that children cut down on their cellphone use to avoid exposure to radio frequencies, which the city says may prove to be a health risk. It recommends that children, where possible, use land lines, limit the length of cellphone calls, use headsets or hands-free options, and keep cellphones only for "essential purposes."
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, responding to the city's report, agreed last week parents should limit their children's use of cellphones until more scientific research can establish if they are safe.
"I'm hardly a scientific expert on the consequences of prolonged cellphone use by children," Mr. McGuinty said. "But if I read a story, just as a dad, in the paper, I might want to speak to my kids, tell them to minimize their use, and kind of stay tuned to what the scientific community has to say on this score."
But while the Toronto agency officers and the Premier were only the latest officials to worry about the risks of cellphone use, federal public health officials in Canada and the United States have said the evidence of harm is unproven.
"Health Canada currently sees no scientific reason to consider the use of cellphones as unsafe," the organization's media officer Paul Spendlove wrote in an e-mail. "There is no convincing evidence of increased risk of disease from exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields from cellphones."

"Overall, research has not consistently demonstrated a link between cellular telephone use and cancer or any other adverse health effect," the institute says.
Regarding use by children specifically, the U. S. health agency said there is "no evidence that cellular telephone use poses more of a threat to children than to adults," although it does allow that children have not been the subjects of large studies and they "are likely to accumulate many years of exposure during their lives."
Loren Vanderlinden, the Toronto report's lead author, said there is hardly any research on the health impact of children's cellphone use, but that two 2007 meta-analyses of studies of adult cellphone users' health show "an association" between people who have used cellphones for 10 years or longer and both glioma and acoustic neuroma brain tumorous.
"It's an odds ratio, which shows there are higher odds for certain kinds of brain tumour," said Ms. Vanderlinden, a supervisor of environmental health assessment and policy at Toronto Public Health.
Furthermore, she said, despite the "acknowledged research gap" regarding child cellphone users' health, children would tend to be more vulnerable to brain and nervous-system cancers because their nervous systems are still developing.
But Mr. Spendlove said Health Canada has no advisories with respect to cellphone usage by school children. He said the organization identifies "concentration" as the chief personal safety issue for children using cellphones.
"For example," he said, "similar to adults not using a cellphone while driving, children should not use them while riding bicycles."
Health Canada, he said, bases its position on "the bulk of scientific evidence from animal, in vitro and epidemiological studies that have been carried out worldwide, including at our laboratory."
Marc Choma, director of communications for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, said he has "no reservations" about children using cellphones, adding that neither Health Canada nor the World Health Organization have identified any risks with cellphone use.
But the City of Toronto's report says that, while the evidence is far from conclusive, other jurisdictions are also starting to promote caution for child cellphone users.
The British Department of Health, it says, recommends that child cellphone users limit their exposure by keeping all calls short. The Belgian Federal Public Service and the Health General Directorate in France, it says, recommend that children and pregnant women limit their cellphone use and use land lines wherever possible. And the Russian Ministry of Health, it says, recommends that individuals under 18 not use cellphones at all.
"Everybody's clear on the uncertainty and the inconclusive nature of the science," Ms. Vanderlinden said, "but that it shouldn't stop precautionary policy and advice to parents on simple ways that [parents] might pay attention to their children's use of cellphones."
In the United States, the National Cancer Institute issued a lengthy
fact sheet that summarizes worldwide research into cellphones and the possible link to tumours in the brain.
Invisible Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation
Cell Phone Bacteria

The $1400 Phone Bill
Mobile phone use 'raises children's risk of brain cancer fivefold'
Alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation raises fears that today's youngsters face an epidemic of the disease in later life
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones, startling new research indicates.
The study, experts say, raises fears that today's young people may suffer an "epidemic" of the disease in later life. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 per cent of primary schoolchildren.
Yet investigating dangers to the young has been omitted from a massive £3.1m British investigation of the risks of cancer from using mobile phones, launched this year, even though the official Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme – which is conducting it – admits that the issue is of the "highest priority".
Despite recommendations of an official report that the use of mobiles by children should be "minimised", the Government has done almost nothing to discourage it.
Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them. They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.
The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health.
It sprung from a further analysis of data from one of the biggest studies carried out into the risk that the radiation causes cancer, headed by Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. Professor Hardell told the conference – held at the Royal Society by the Radiation Research Trust – that "people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20" had more than five-fold increase in glioma", a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher.
Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumours of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness.
By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.
Professor Hardell told the IoS: "This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions." He believes that children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting. At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed. Indeed, he admits, the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study do not show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market.
The research has shown that adults who have used the handsets for more than 10 years are much more likely to get gliomas and acoustic neuromas, but he said that there was not enough data to show how such relatively long-term use would increase the risk for those who had started young.
He wants more research to be done, but the risks to children will not be studied in the MTHR study, which will follow 90,000 people in Britain. Professor David Coggon, the chairman of the programmes management committee, said they had not been included because other research was being done on young people by a study at Sweden's Kariolinska Institute.
He said: "It looks frightening to see a five-fold increase in cancer among people who started use in childhood," but he said he "would be extremely surprised" if the risk was shown to be so high once all the evidence was in.
But David Carpenter, dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of NewYork – who also attended the conference – said: "Children are spending significant time on mobile phones. We may be facing a public health crisis in an epidemic of brain cancers as a result of mobile phone use."
In 2000 and 2005, two official inquiries under Sir William Stewart, a former government chief scientist, recommended the use of mobile phones by children should be "discouraged" and "minimised".
But almost nothing has been done, and their use by the young has more than doubled since the turn of the millennium.

Warning over 'bullying by mobile'
One in five young people has been bullied by mobile phone or via the internet, a study suggests.
Tuesday, 7 June, 2005
Children's charity NCH surveyed 770 youngsters and found 14% of 11- to 19-year-olds had been threatened or harassed using text messages.
Bullies had used images taken with mobile phone cameras to intimidate or embarrass one in 10 young people.
This included singling out overweight or spotty youngsters and recording and sharing acts of playground violence.
The findings follow reports of so-called "happy slapping" attacks - where assaults on children and adults are recorded on mobile phones and sent via video messaging.
Musician Myleene Klass, who helped launch the website, said text messaging was a language almost exclusive to children.
"To kids, it's a language that they use every single day, and now it's becoming a bullying tool," she said.
John Carr, the NCH's new technology adviser, said: "For a child or teenager being bullied by mobile phone, it can be terrifying and feel like there is no escape.
"This new research reveals the massive scale of mobile bullying and shows how camera phones are being used by bullies to frighten and intimidate their victims."
Some 26% of digital bullying victims did not know the identity of their tormentor, the survey found.
Mr Carr said: "This extremely worrying phenomenon highlights the urgent need to tackle mobile bullying before it ruins more lives."
More than one in 10 respondents to the survey, carried out jointly with Tesco Mobile, said they had bullied others via text message, with half of all incidents happening within schools.
But in terms of the proportion of children affected, the problem would not appear to be getting worse. A survey three years ago from the NCH claimed that one in four youngsters had been threatened via a mobile phone or computer.
'Traditional' bullying
A Department for Education and Skills spokesman said bullying in any form was unacceptable.
He said: "Every school must have an active anti-bullying policy. Every adult in that school has a responsibility to tackle bullying
"Every parent has a responsibility to support their child and their school."
The NCH report found that 5% of young people had been bullied in internet chatrooms and 4% via e-mail.
The charity has launched an interactive website - - to give advice and support.
Anti-bullying charity Bullying Online warned that intimidation by mobile phone or internet was usually only a small part of the problem.
Its founder, John Carnell, said: "If a child is being bullied, they will most likely be bullied in the traditional ways as well - physical assaults, teasing and so on."
He said the real problem was bullying, not technology.
The problem of mobile phone bullying has become apparent alongside the growth of handset ownership among young people.
Bullying Online was warning of incidents more than five years ago.
Happy Slapping in the UK - comment by Richard Grannon

Happy Slapper vs Boxer
Doctor sounds cellphone alarm
Provided by: Associated Press
Written by: Jennifer C. Yates And Seth Borenstein,
Jul. 23, 2008
PITTSBURGH - The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cellphone use because of the possible risk of cancer.
The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that don't find a link between increased tumours and cellphone use, and a public lack of worry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Herberman is basing his alarm on early, unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science and he believes people should take action now - especially when it comes to children. "Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," Herberman said.
Herberman's advice is sure to raise concern among many cellphone users and especially parents. In the memo he sent to about 3,000 faculty and staff Wednesday, he says children should use cellphones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing.
Adults should keep the phone away from the head and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset, he says. He even warns against using cellphones in public places like a bus because it exposes others to the phone's electromagnetic fields.
The issue that concerns some scientists - though nowhere near a consensus - is electromagnetic radiation, especially its possible effects on children. It is not a major topic in conferences of brain specialists.
A 2008 University of Utah analysis looked at nine studies - including some Herberman cites - with thousands of brain tumour patients and concludes "we found no overall increased risk of brain tumours among cellular phone users. The potential elevated risk of brain tumours after long-term cellular phone use awaits confirmation by future studies."
Studies last year in France and Norway concluded the same thing.
"If there is a risk from these products - and at this point we do not know that there is - it is probably very small," the Food and Drug Administration says on an agency website.
Still, Herberman cites a "growing body of literature linking long-term cellphone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer."
"Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use," he wrote in his memo. [Read entire article:]

Hang Up and Drive
Crazy Biker
Family: Teen Killed while Texting and Driving
Cell Phone while Driving is Deadly
Bad News For Cell Phone Users
by Sepp Hasslberger
According to a study published in the June issue of "Environmental Health Perspectives", researchers have documented damage to nerve cells in the brains of rats they exposed to the type of radiation cell phone users get when calling their friends or family.
The damaging mechanism seems to be a weakening of the blood-brain barrier, a kind of filter which protects the brain from toxic or otherwise unwanted chemicals circulated with the blood. As the brain is more sensitive than other body tissue, the barrier filters and bars entrance to what should not be in the brain.
Calling on your mobile may put that vital barrier out of commission, so any damaging substance present in the blood which is normally kept out can now imperil the brain's functions. Double jeopardy for those who also take a swig of of Coke or Pepsi "light" or any other soft drink containing Aspartame. The brake-down products from this widespread but quite deadly artificial sweetener are poisons that might just have an easier time getting into the brain after a lengthy chat with your sweetheart.
The situation seems to be nothing short of serious - the researchers say that "after some decades of (often) daily use, a whole generation of users may suffer negative effects, perhaps as early as in middle age."
As great as it is to be connected, we might one day have to pay for having embraced a dangerous technology too willingly and too quickly. Not that microwaves for communication purposes are the only technology available. Other bands of the electromagnetic spectrum are less damaging, although they might also be less efficient. [Read entire article at:]
Mobile Phone Use Disrupts Sleep, Causes Headaches and Confusion
by David Gutierrez
08 August 2008
(NaturalNews) Extended exposure to the radiation of a mobile phone, even when not in use, can cause headaches and disrupt the body's ability to enter deep sleep, according to a study conducted by researchers from Wayne State University in the United States and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and published in the peer-reviewed online journal Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium. Researchers conducted an experiment on 36 women and 35 men, of whom 22 and 16, respectively, had previously reported symptoms that they blamed on use of mobile phones. The remaining 33 participants had not reported any symptoms. All participants were screened carefully by doctors to make sure that they had no underlying medical condition that might interfere with the results. They were all recruited specifically for the current study. During two different sessions, the participants were exposed either to real or sham radiation for three hours, but were not told which they had been exposed to. The radiation was equivalent to that emitted by a mobile phone, giving an average exposure of 1.4 Watts per kilogram. It included simulations of a phone being both in use and inactive but still turned on. Researchers collected data on the participants before, during and after each exposure. Upon questioning after the exposure, neither the radiation nor the control group was able to guess which group they were in any more accurately than by chance. Participants took longer to reach stage 3 sleep when exposed to radiation than when exposed to sham radiation, and stayed in stage 4 sleep for a shorter time. These stages of deep sleep are believed to play an important role in helping the body recover from everyday stresses.
Participants who had not previously reported any symptoms were also more likely to report experiencing headaches while being exposed to real radiation than to sham radiation.