I sent this on 12/17/11 to twenty five reporters and editors on staff at the Los Angeles Times. I decided to wait to see if I got a reply before sharing it. They did not reply, but perhaps they read the letter. Besides the LA Times, there has been very little coverage of “Smart” Meters by any local media (Orange County Register, Irvine World News; news stations). This is possibly due to newspapers depending on advertising revenue from the utility/wireless industries.
One Point. After I sent the letter, I discovered that the reporting on the study of the effect of cell phones on children was even more flawed. The study actually did show a statistically significant risk of brain cancer from cell phones for children.
Hello Ms. Healy and Editors of LA Times,
I just recently started researching the effects of RF electromagnetic radiation since “smart” meters were installed in my neighborhood–and so I came across your (Ms Healy’s) article on cell phones and children. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/28/news/la-heb-cellphones-kids-cancer-20110728. I was surprised when I read it that you didn’t mention that brain cancer can have a very long latency period. So, although that was a study about children and brain cancer, from my newcomer’s understanding, if the study artificially shortens the latency period, the researcher might not see much of an effect.
I recommend that you look at the web site Microwave News which is run by Louis Slesin, who is a PhD. In this issue
http://dos-protect.com/index-2.html Dr. Slesin notes a study which did a similar analysis: Slesin writes “. . .and here comes perhaps the strangest part of their argument— because the most likely average latency time between exposure and the manifestation of a brain tumor is 5-10 years. Most everyone else puts the latency at 20-30 years, or at the very least more than 10 years.”
What I also find concerning is the almost “wide-eyed stance” that you and other LA Times writers seem to take regarding non thermal effects from RF radiation. The article which mentioned the Turkey studies http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/23/news/la-heb-cellphones-pregnancy-teens-20110523, discussed them as if non thermal physiological effects were brand new information–when there have been studies on this for the past 40 years. It has been known, for example, for decades that exposure to RF radiation (as little as two hours) can make the blood brain barrier more permeable–which then allows toxins and other matter to cross it.
I also have noticed in LA Times articles on this topic (and Smart Meters) that when the LA Times talks about studies, they do not distinguish between studies which are sponsored by industry and studies which are independent. The Times does the same when they discuss “scientists.”
This is a real problem, and this misinforms the reader.
I also see in the LA Times a rush to reassure and diminish any studies which show health effects–such as the article which went to press on June 1, 2011, the day after WHO declared RF radiation as a “class 2b possible carcinogen.” In that article http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/01/news/la-heb-cellphones-cancer-20110601, the LA Times was quick to compare this new classification as no more dangerous than drinking “coffee.” The WHO classification, actually, was a “big deal” [“decisive” said Dr. Adlkofer who headed the EU REFLEX studies], but you wouldn’t know it from reading The Times.
Regarding Smart Meters, I have little to say–because your paper has published so little about this topic. It’s almost as if there’s been a media black out. As a result of the lack of coverage, many people do not even know that the “upgrade” that Edison installed on their homes is actually a microwave transmitter. This, of course, allows Edison to say that the installment of “smart” meters in Southern California has gone “smoothly.”
In the one recent article/editorial that your paper did on “smart” meters, it was authored by someone who had interned for the CPUC, not exactly a pro consumer governmental body. (It’s headed by the former president of Southern California Edison.)
I think the LA Times’ reputation as an independent newspaper could be harmed if this continues to be how Electromagnetic Radio Frequency radiation which is increasingly blanketing our environment is covered. The new “Smart Grid” system means that there will be “smart” appliances which will come with RF radiation emitting transmitters, creating even more exposure.
At no peace time ever, in the history of human’s existence on this planet, have we lived in such a man-made radiation soup. It’s worthy of much more in-depth analysis and coverage.