Aggressive Brain Tumors on the Rise in England

Aggressive Brain Tumors on the Rise in England

Rate of GBM More Than Doubled Between 1995 and 2015

March 25, 2018

The incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the deadliest type of brain tumor, more than doubled in England between 1995 and 2015, according to a new analysis of national statistics. During that time, the number of cases of GBM rose from 983 to 2,531.

“We found a sustained and highly significant increase in GBM throughout the 21 years and across all ages,” said Alasdair Philips, the lead author of the study, which has just been released online by the peer-reviewed, open access, Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 

“The incidence rate of GBM, the most aggressive and quickly fatal brain tumor, is rising dramatically in England while the rates for lower grade tumors have decreased, masking this dramatic trend in the overall data,” Philips told Microwave News from his home in Beeswing in southern Scotland, not far from the English border.

Philips provided the graph below which shows how the total number of malignant brain tumors (black line) has remained fairly steady, concealing the increase in GBM (red line).

Brain Tumors in UK High Grade vs Low Grade

Source: Alasdair Philips

What’s Causing the Rise of GBM?

Philips and coworkers do not know what is causing the increase in GBM, but they reject improved diagnosis because these tumors are generally fatal and are very rarely missed. “We suggest that widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible,” they write.

One possible factor is the widespread use of cell phones.

“When we looked at the incidence of GBM tumors we found an even more dramatic rise in frontal and temporal regions of the brain. This raises the suspicion that mobile phone use may be promoting gliomas.” Philips told us (see figure below). “Indeed, our findings support previous work by Lennart Hardell’s group in Sweden.”

Frontal and Temporal Lobe GMBs

Source: Alasdair Philips

“The new paper adds further evidence for the increased risk of glioma associated with mobile phone use,” Hardell told us by e-mail from Örebro, Sweden. “It is in agreement with previous epidemiological findings of a higher glioma risk in humans using mobile phones and certainly also with the recent RF–animal studies from America and Italy.”

Philips also raises the possibility that an increased exposure to X-rays from CT scans might be contributing to the higher rates of GBM.

What’s Going On in the U.S.?

Increases in GBM have previously been seen in other countries, notably in the Netherlands (see our story from 2016). And there has been some anecdotal support from Denmark: In 2012, the Danish Cancer Society reported a spike in GBMs. The Society quoted a neuro-oncologist at Copenhagen University Hospital as saying that this was a “frightening development.” That news advisory was later removed from the society’s website. (See our “Something Rotten in Denmark.”)

In 2012, a group at the University of Southern California reported an increase in GBM in the frontal and temporal lobes in the U.S. But, a more recent analysis by the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States did not show a rise in GBM from 2000-2014 (Fig. 25). The CBTRUS study did not look at tumor location. Why there would be a difference in the incidence of GBM between England and America is not clear.

We asked David Carpenter, a neurophysiologist by training and the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment in Albany, NY, for a comment. “This appears to be the evidence that has been predicted from all the recent case-control studies showing an association between cell phone use and brain cancer,” he told us. “The question now is whether we’ll see this same trend in the American population.”

Joel Moskowitz of the Berkeley School of Public Health agrees that the issue needs more attention. “Those who cite statistics that appear to show a flat-line trend in overall brain tumor incidence and argue that cell phone use doesn’t cause brain cancer need to examine data on the location and type of brain tumors over time,” he said.

“Urgent Need for Funding

Philips too wants more work to be done. “Our results highlight an urgent need for funding more research into the initiation and promotion of GBM tumors,” he and his coworkers argue in their new paper.

Philips is a trustee of Children with Cancer UK, a British charity. He is also the founder of PowerWatch, an activist group that has long urged precautionary policies for radiation exposure. Denis Henshaw, the second author of the new paper, is the scientific director of the cancer charity and a professor emeritus at the University of Bristol. Children with Cancer had no direct role in this study, Henshaw said.

Philips has been working on this analysis for the last seven years, without any outside funding. He himself paid for the data from the U.K. Office of National Statistics. His findings beg the question: Why didn’t anyone else, notably an epidemiologist, detect this trend in rising GBM?  Henshaw commented that their findings illustrate the need to look more carefully at —and to try and explain the mechanisms behind— brain tumor trends. “You should always keep your eye out for the unexpected,” he told us.
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Class Action Lawsuit States City of San Diego Misused Taxpayer Funds for Smart Water Meter Program

Class Action Lawsuit States City of San Diego Misused Taxpayer Funds for Smart Water Meter Program

Legal action demands Public Utilities Department repay millions of dollars to customers.

Suit Claims City Misuses Tax Money for Smart Meters

A class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the city of San Diego, the Public Utilities Department and the city council, alleging the city misused taxpayer funds to pay for the city’s new smart water meters.

The legal action alleges the city’s Public Utilities Department fostered an “illegal financing scheme” by using municipal sewer funds to pay for the advanced metering infrastructure, also known as the “AMI smart water meter program”.

NBC 7 Responds has been investigating the smart meter program since last July and has revealed problems with meter installations and questions surrounding the financing behind retrofitted water meters.

The class action lawsuit is not related to a recent surge of complaints about high water bills.

Approximately $33-million dollars used to pay for the more than $67-million dollar meter project came from sewer ratepayers or the Municipal Sewer Fund, the suit claims. Attorney Paul Neuhart, whose office filed the case, said the city has 2.2-million sewer users and 1.3-million water users.

Neuhart told NBC 7 Responds that ratepayers who only have sewer services were forced to pay for metering equipment they will never use.

The lawsuit states that in March 2016, the Public Utilities Department determined the cost of the project and recommended the city apply for more than $42-million dollars of financing from the State Water Board’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund. That amount comprised 70% of the total project cost. The Public Utilities Department also recommended an additional $18-million dollars in funding from the Municipal Sewer Fund for the smart meter project.

Then in December 2016, at an Independent Rates Oversight Committee hearing, Public Utilities Department staff reported half of the cost was going to be paid for by the Sewer Fund, rather than state financing. In addition, the project’s total cost increased by more than $7-million dollars.

The lawsuit claims these financing decisions violated Proposition 218, a state measure that requires public input on public spending for any items the money was not originally designated for. The suit also demands the city repay ratepayers for sewer funds used to purchase the water meters.

Neuhart told NBC 7 Responds this case highlights the need for increased oversight over how the Public Utilities Department spends taxpayer dollars. NBC 7 Responds found the Independent Rates Oversight Committee, created in 2007 to oversee the Public Utilities Department, has no staff or budget and committee members work on a volunteer basis.

NBC 7 Respond asked the Public Utilities Department, City Council Members and the City Attorney’s office for a comment, but none of them have responded to the allegations raised in the lawsuit.

“We will review the complaint and respond through the court,” City Attorney spokesperson Gerry Braun said in an email.


MARYLAND-Delegate continues fight against abuse of Smart Meters

Delegate continues fight against abuse of Smart Meters

Leszczynski: Brief Opinion on the NTP Rat Study – “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”

    • 24 MAR 18

    Leszczynski: Brief Opinion on the NTP Rat Study – “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”


    Publication of the full results of the NTP study, yet again, re-confirms what Aristotle said “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know”. No matter how disappointed some might be, this is the reality of the scientific research.

    The study is a classic toxicology. Namely: rats were long-term exposed to various doses of cell phone radiation and their health was followed over the long period of time.

    NTP study demonstrates that exposures to cell phone radiation cause biological and health effects in animals. This confirms that the biological and health effects in humans are possible.

    Toxicology Approach and Radiation Exposure

    Animal toxicology studies are standard procedure in assessing carcinogenicity of chemical and physical agents. Genetic and physiological similarities between humans and e.g. rats or mice are the reason why these animals are commonly used in biomedical and pharmaceutical research. Animal toxicology studies are especially useful/required when the data from human studies (epidemiology or volunteer) is insufficient or inadequate and where ethical considerations preclude certain experimentation on humans.  SNIP

    Read the full article here


Judge says Peco customer can relocate a smart meter, but not get rid of it

Judge says Peco customer can relocate a smart meter, but not get rid of it

A Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission administrative law judge has ruled that a New Hope customer who says a Peco smart meter made her sick can’t force the utility to replace the wireless device, but she can pay to move the equipment away from her house.

In a recommended decision posted Tuesday, the PUC hearing examiner, Darlene D. Heep, said that Peco had successfully rebutted Maria Povacz’s claims that radio waves from the meter had caused her health problems.

But the judge said, “The preponderance of the evidence does suggest that some other aspect of the Peco smart meters is inimitably perceptible by and contrary to the health and well-being of the individual, Ms. Povacz.”

While not allowing Povacz to reject a smart meter, or replace it with an old analog electric meter that must be manually read, the judge said the customer could pay to relocate the smart meter away from her house. Peco would be required to move its power line to the new meter location.

The decision was among three long-awaited rulings posted Tuesday in cases brought by customers who said Peco’s wireless smart meters caused their health problems. The customers had asked to opt out from having the devices, which the utility says it is required to install under a 2008 state law that allows no exceptions.

Heep’s determination that “some other aspect” of the meter caused Povacz’s ill health seems unlikely to lay the issue to rest.

In two other cases that were argued along with Povacz’s claim, Heep dismissed the complaints of Cynthia Randall and Paul Albrecht, who live in Roxborough, and Laura Sunstein Murphy of West Bradford Township, Chester County. The judge said the customers had not established that the use of smart meters constituted unsafe and unreasonable service.

Edward Lanza, a Harrisburg lawyer who had argued the cases along with Steve Harvey of Philadelphia, expressed disappointment with the decisions and said he planned to file exceptions.

The recommended decisions will be reviewed by the five-member PUC, which makes the final decisions.

Peco installed 1.7 million smart meters on its system, and scores of utility customers objected, alleging the meters were unsafe or invaded their privacy. The three cases, filed in 2015 and 2016, were among a small number the PUC allowed to move forward because the customers said the devices emit electromagnetic frequencies that caused their health problems.

Customers who object to smart meters have few options available other than completely disconnecting from Peco’s system and generating their own power.

Italian RF Study “Reinforces” U.S. NTP Finding Ramazzini’s Belpoggi Calls for IARC To Reassess RF Cancer Risk

Microwave News - A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Italian RF Study “Reinforces” U.S. NTP Finding

Ramazzini’s Belpoggi Calls for IARC To Reassess RF Cancer Risk

Partial results of the Ramazzini Institute’s RF–animal study, which show a statistically significant increase in tumors in the hearts of male rats exposed to GSM radiation, were officially released today. They appear in Environmental Research, a peer-reviewed journal.

As we reported last month, the Ramazzini finding of Schwann cell tumors —called schwannomas— in the rat hearts is consistent with a similar finding by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) in a $25 million RF project.

In an interview with Microwave News, Fiorella Belpoggi, the senior author of the new paper and the director of the Ramazzini Institute’s Research Center in Bologna, Italy, offered her views on the new results, the parallels with those of the NTP and the implications for IARC’s designation of the cancer risk of RF radiation.
Read the exclusive Interview here.

Louis Slesin, PhD

Editor, Microwave News

Halifax Water’s smart meters raising privacy concerns

Halifax Water’s smart meters raising privacy concerns

CTV Atlantic
Published Wednesday
March 21, 2018 9:21PM ADT 
Smart Meters
New smart meters being rolled out by Halifax Water
may be just a bit too smart for some homeowners


New smart meters being rolled out by Halifax’s water utility may be just a bit too smart for some homeowners.

The meters collect information about usage every few minutes. They feed data to a box outside the house, which transmits it to collector points every six minutes. It all winds up in servers controlled by Halifax Water.

“I understand why people are worried about it, especially in today’s age where you hear a lot and read a lot about data breaches,” says Cathie O’Toole, CFO of Halifax Water.

Halifax Water updated council on Tuesday while discussing its business plan. Councillor Richard Zurawsky admitted he wasn’t thrilled with the idea of information being collected and stored about his water usage.

“I have an appointment with Halifax Water to put a smart meter in, and I’m digging my heels in. I don’t want that in there because I just don’t know enough about it,” Zurawsky told council Tuesday.

The utility insists all of its data is restricted and compartmentalized.

“We protect our data with encryption and proprietary protocols,” says O’Toole. “Any data we collect resides on servers that are inside Canada, and in some cases, actually inside Halifax Water under our own control.”

O’Toole says if a hacker did get in, they wouldn’t get far.

“All they would get would be a string of numbers that would make no sense to them because it wouldn’t have any context,” she says.

Halifax Water is hoping to install more than 84,000 smart meters in a two-year period.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.

NEW YORK-Activists fight switch to ‘smart’ electric meters

Activists fight switch to ‘smart’ electric meters

Local citizen activists concerned about health and privacy are joining other groups across the state in opposing plans by utilities such as Orange & Rockland to roll out smart electric meters and gas modules.

O&R is currently replacing roughly 113,000 electric meters and 42,500 gas modules across Orange and Sullivan counties with wireless digital meters that can be read remotely.

Central Hudson Gas & Electric, which supplies electricity and natural gas to parts of Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, also has encountered resistance as it installs smart meters, which emit low-level radio waves that concern some citizens.

Environmental consultant Deborah Kopald of Highlands is among those behind the Orange County effort, which includes the New York Safe Utility Meter Association and Stop Smart Meters Woodstock New York.

Kopald has petitioned the state Public Service Commission to vacate a decision to let O&R roll out the smart meters, and to compel the state to hold a public hearing for feedback on the issue.

Smart-meter opponents want O&R to let citizens use analog meters and to not charge them to opt out.

Ulster County activists recently succeeded in getting the commission to require Central Hudson to not charge an opt-out fee.

“People should have a guaranteed analog option that doesn’t emit radio frequency radiation, and there shouldn’t be a charge for people to be able to opt out and not use it, ” Kopald said.

Activists’ concerns include:

‒ Exposure to radio frequency radiation from meters

‒ Privacy issues, because some smart meter data can, under certain circumstances, be used to discern what customers were doing in their homes based on electric usage patterns

‒ Cyber threats via hacking as more meters, appliances and the electric grid increasingly connect to the internet.

O&R spokesman Michael Donovan said the smart meters don’t collect customers’ identifying information or usage data on individual appliances.

He said they’re accurate and efficient, and the company follows robust cybersecurity standards.

He cited examples of how smart meters could ultimately lower customers’ bills in the future.

“Many scientific studies have found no evidence that smart meters present any particular health risk, ” Donovan said.

“Compared to other common devices such as cellphones, Wi-Fi routers, and baby monitors, smart meters transmit radio frequency at extremely low signal strength.”

OKLAHOMA-Letter to the Editor: Legislation places health over smart meters

Letter to the Editor: Legislation places health over smart meters

  • B.A. Geary, Tulsa
OG&E employee installs smart meter newsok

An OG&E employee installs and programs the new smart meter system in a home in Piedmont. CHRIS LANDSBERGER/The Oklahoman

How many customers of PSO know the opportunity to get rid of a “smart” meter is no longer as expensive as it was in late 2016 and early 2017?

Many customers who desired not to have the smart meters, which PSO forced on Tulsa customers around 2015 (and earlier in PSO’s so-called pilot programs) had to wait over a year before having the chance to be rid of those meters.

Even then, many people could not afford the extremely high opt-out fees, which the Corporation Commission permitted. Experience has apparently proven that those opt-out fees were way too high. The fees have been lowered and are now: up front $53.55 and monthly $13.21.

An electric or gas or water utility’s bad choice to use smart digital meters and save money (i.e., kill jobs of meter readers) imposes unseen costs and risks on customers. PSO filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission even hint there is financial risk to the utilities themselves.

No one should have to pay to protect family and home. Utilities don’t admit to customers that thousands of experts and studies like the Bioinitiative Report 2012 continue to document the health costs.

There are states where customers have the choice of safe, reliable analog meters at no fee. House Bill 2872,introduced into the Oklahoma Legislature this session would allow our citizens that choice, making health a higher priority than short-sighted utility gambles.

Editor’s note: HB 2872 failed to gain the approval of the House Utilities Committee ahead of a legislative deadline.

PA-Lititz woman believes smart meter causes her headaches, insomnia

Lititz woman believes smart meter causes her headaches, insomnia




She’s been living in Lititz for 10 years, but in the last five months Eileen Crone says her life has changed.

“It’s like we were camping in our own house,” Crone said.

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