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June 16, 2010     The Julian News
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June 16, 2010
 

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12 The Julian News Questions & Answers About Our Environment Dear EarthTalk: OK, so are cell phones emitting dangerous radiation or not? If so, which phones are safer that others and what do we do to minimize exposure? -- Luke Alderman, Santa Fe, NM The jury is still out as to whether or not the radiation emitted by cell phones can cause negative health effects for callers. Mobile phones emit signals to communicate with cellular towers via radio waves, which are comprised of radio- frequency (RF) energy, a form of electromagnetic radiation. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits the amount of radiation any phone sold in the U.S. can emit to what it considers a safe level of 1.6 watts per kilogram of body weight (a measure of the energy absorbed by the body when using a wireless device). But some health practitioners are concerned that even this level of exposure may be too high, resulting in people unwittingly exposing themselves to potentially harmful radiation every time they make or take a call. Such radiation is known to heat up living tissue it comes into close contact with by a fraction of a degree, but this level of temperature increase is less than that caused by exposure to direct sunlight, and the brain's blood circulation typically disperses this excess heat quickly by increasing local blood flow. Some recent studies have found higher risks for brain and salivary gland tumors among people using cell phones for 10 years or longer, while other research has found little if any risk. Other research has looked at the reproductive, cognitive and sleep effects of RF energy at levels similar to what cell/ smart phones emit. Results have been mixed. More studies are now underway to resolve whether or not cell phones are safe for people to use, but some electronics manufacturers aren't waiting around to cut down on the radiation emissions of the phones they make and sell. If you are in the market for a new cell phone, check out the nonprofit Environmental Working General Contractor Electrical General Contractor Ne w Cons truction " Room Additions Decks Remodels Over 35 Years Experience Lawrence Noble, Owner Julian Resident for 27 years State L/c, 602654 760" 765" 2363 PO Box 1342 JULIAN, CA 92036 Painting Contractor Exterior/Interior Specialist Refiable - Over 20 Years Experience Fully Licensed and Bonded Power Washing Free Estimates Lie # 792234 ' NO Deposit Required - Ever serving All of San Diego County 760 5114 1414 Contractor Remodels I .Additions I Genera/Repairsl ~" FREE I ! --"#JP EST, MA,ES ! Air Conditioning and Heating Service For over 26 years I Borrego, Cuyamaca, Escondido, Julian, Ocotillo, Palomar Mountain, Ramona, Ranchita, Santa Ysabel, Warner Springs Drilling California Contractor L/c, # 455969 SERVICE Complete Water Systems Sales & Repair "Your Complete Water Systems Company Since 1981" 765-1246 . 789-9976 P. O. Box 1719 Julian, CA 92036 iiiiiiiiii II Painting Fully Licensed and Insured License #459575 P.O. Box 632 Julian, CA 92036 [760) 765-0265 Excavation / Site Work Pumps/Well Contractor Lic. 702741 Submersible Pumps Booster Pumps Storage Tanks Ozone Water Treatment New I taltmt, ad Rep ttr# (760) 765-0#07 Bobcat Demeriton BOBCAT WORK DEMOLITION JERRY COZENS &: JUSTIN COZENS (760) 765-2589 (760) 803-3749 License # 439493 Carpet~Flooring Bull Dozer Services "''''''''''''"''''"''''""'" [Dozer Work] "~~im" " 176~74 9"1782] ......., Clearin Gradin l ee Please Compare Our Prices & Service RPET :i::::, ........ Roads Over 35 Years. of Professional. Quahty |INSTALLED: ::: ,nstallab0nslhr0ughoutSanD,eg0Counly :;=:i':::;: :I S8o/hour i J I" ss ..: I u mn Intenors, Inc: ! " k, 7nn 7hR.4 nnr-, Highway 78 in Wynola I ~ Herman J Iq~q~llv~ / ~l~l~ StateLic'N'596150O ! ~m~-~J,80O.l[-A i l t I I I l I t t I I I I I t t t I ttt tl Ill I Itt Concrete - Foundations - Retaining Walls INC. YZ049 Ils. June 16, 2010 The jury is still out as to whether or not the radiation emitted by cell phones is dangerous, but some manufacturers are working to reduce the radiation emissions of the phones they make. Though it may make you look bionic, a safe bet is to use a headset or ear piece to create distance between the phone and your head when calling. Thinkstock Group's (EWG's) rundown on which of the thousand or so popular cell/smart phone models give off the most and least radiation. Levels vary widely, from as little as 0.3 to the legal limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram of body weight. Sanyo's Katana II, Samsung's Rugby, Nokia's 7710, and the Blackberry Storm, among others, get top marks from EWG for giving off lower amounts of radiation (in the 0.3 range). Meanwhile, more than a dozen different cell/smart phones (including some of the most popular models such as Motorola's Droid, Blackberry's Bold 9700, LG's Chocolate Touch and HTC's Nexus One by Google) are categorized as "worst" by EWG for giving off larger amounts of radiation (pushing the 1.6 limit). Apple's Phone 3Gs is in the middle of the spectrum, leaking between 0.52 and 1.19, depending on usage. Regardless of which cell/smart phone you use, you can minimize your exposure to RF radiation by taking a few simple precautions. For one, using a headset (these give off significantly less radiation) or speaker phone keeps the phone itself away from your head. Also, your phone emits far less radiation when used to text instead of call-- and the phone isn't next to your brain when texting--so the more you tap (just not while driving, please!) instead of talk the better. Also, a poor signal (fewer bars) means that your phone has to work harder--and emit more radiation--to connect UP to a wireless tower, so wait to make that call until you are somewhere with a stronger connection. CONTACTS: FCC, www.fcc. gov; Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org. GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk c/o E/The Environmental Magazine P.O. Box 5098 Westport, CT 06881 e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine. com. or submit it at: www.emagazine.com/ earthtalk/thisweek/ Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart. The spring sun has broken through the clouds in rivers of nourishing light. Soon its streams will be unleashed in broad waves to flood the land in summer. Seeds have become flowers, and flower petals are falling to yield their coming fruit. The green grasses are waving goodbye as they morph into golden hills and fields. And the ready gardeners are coming out to plant their sunlight seeds of hope into the waiting ground. Hail to the gardeners, the guardians of the thriving earth! You are the world's messengers of happiness, goodwill and hope. E erience Since 1988 * Tree Consulting and Inspection * Long Term Forest Maintenance and Planning * Hazardous Removal and Precision Felling * Ornamental Pruning and Lacing * Brush Clearing and Chipping FREE ES TIMA TES Licensed and Bonded Fully Insured for Your Protection ERIC DAUBER H: 760-765-2975 C: 760-271-9585 PO Box 254 JULIAN, CA. 92036 WE-S690A License #945348 CA Desert Communities Soy "If You Build It, They Will Come" Chambers of Commerce Urge Congress To Pass California Desert Protection Act of 2010 by Lori Abbott Three Southern California chambers of commerce have joined in support of the California Desert Protection Act, currently making its way through the U.S. Senate. They say their communities would benefit from the bill, which would expand Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve. It would also designate two new national monuments: the Mojave Trails monument along historic Route 66 and the Sand to Snow National monument. George Kopp, president of the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce, says the protected areas will bring more tourists to the desert to see such an awe-inspiring place. "Anytime you create a new area of wilderness or any kind of protected area, it increases interest and people want to go see what is worth protecting up here. People will come and we think it's really great for us." Paul Smith, owner of the historic 29 Palms Inn and member of the chamber, says they believe creating the two new national monuments will increase tourism and create new jobs. "It's not small business, Joshua Tree National Park attracts over 1.2 million visitors a year. You could, very conservatively, estimate that between two and four hundred dollars per visitor is spent in their visitation ." Karen Lowe, president of the Marengo Valley Chamber of Commerce, says the Sand to Snow National Monument will do more than protect the snow-capped mountains of San Bernardno and the desert wildlife of Joshua Tree. "We envision that the same thing could happen for Marengo Valley that's happened for Joshua Tree; that we would have small businesses and artistic businesses that spring up in support of the parks, including the little outback shops and art shops." According to the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service, recreational visitors to the desert currently contribute $230 million to the region. The bill is now being considered by a U.S. Senate committee. More information about the California Desert Protection Act is available at www.californiadesert.org. ~Russet Page Julian's Bearing Fruit Community Garden volunteers have been busy preparing space. Our two large garden plots off Orchard Lane in Wynola are taking shape. The land donated by Michael Hart and Michele Harvey and Albert and, Lydia Lewis has seen fruit trees blossoming and planter boxes assembling. Daniel Jennings continued on page 14 Kathleen Beck and the community gardeners ~, ' '1