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POLL: How far were you living from a mobile phone base station mast when your ME/CFS first appeared?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Hip, Feb 14, 2017.

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How far were you living from a base station mast when your ME/CFS first appeared?

  1. 500 meters or further from the nearest base station

    59.0%
  2. Less than 500 meters from the nearest base station

    15.4%
  3. Less than 300 meters from the nearest base station

    15.4%
  4. Less than 150 meters from the nearest base station

    10.3%
  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    This poll asks: at the time your ME/CFS first appeared, how far was the home you were then living in from the nearest mobile phone base station mast?

    This poll is really only open to people whose ME/CFS first appeared within the last 10 or 15 years, simply because for those whose ME/CFS started before that, you will likely not be able to clearly remember whether or not there was a mobile phone base station near your home (but if you do clearly remember, then you can vote).

    In order to vote in this poll, you need to work out the distance between the home you lived in when you first developed ME/CFS and the nearest base station. You can easily work out this distance using the base station online maps given below.

    Cellular Mobile Phone Base Station Masts
    cell_phone_tower 1.jpg cell_phone_tower 2.jpg

    Living closer than 500 meters from a mobile phone base station mast has been tentatively linked to an increased incidence in cancer (though there is contradictory evidence for this), and to an increase in headaches, irritability, impaired concentration and lower cognitive performance.

    However, according to the WHO, apart from cancer studies, no research has yet examined the possible links between mobile phone base station proximity to the home, and the incidence of other chronic diseases, such as ME/CFS.

    So I thought it would be interesting to run a poll to see how close people were living to a mobile phone base station when their ME/CFS first appeared, to see if this might be a contributory factor in the development of ME/CFS. I personally doubt that the microwave electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations will be a contributory factor in ME/CFS, but let's see what the poll uncovers.



    Working Out the Distance From Your Home to the Nearest Base Station

    Given below are various online maps which show the locations of the mobile phone base stations in different countries. You can easily use these online maps to find the distance between the home you were living in when you first developed ME/CFS, and the nearest mobile phone base station mast.


    For those in the UK, you can use this map, which shows all the base stations in the UK (except Northern Ireland).

    On the map, zoom in to where you were living when your ME/CFS first appeared, and you should be able to see all the base stations around your home. There is a meter scale at the bottom right of the map, so using this scale and a piece of string to measure distance on your computer screen, you should be able to work out exactly how far the nearest base station was from the home you were living in when you developed ME/CFS.

    Another easy (and probably more accurate) way to measure distance from your home to the base station is using a regular Google map, and right clicking on this map at the location of your home, selecting "Measure distance" from the pop-up menu, and then left clicking on the map at the location where the base station would be. This will then tell you the exact distance between these two points.

    Once you have measured the distance in meters between your home and the base station, you can answer the poll accordingly.


    Those in the UK can also use this map of mobile phone base station locations (enter your postcode to see the map). Note that there is no scale on this map, but if you click on each base station shown, it will tell you its distance (in km) from the postcode area you entered. You may have to zoom in a bit if the base station is very close to your postcode area. This map seems slightly more up to date that the above UK base station map. Note: 1 kilometer = 1,000 meters. So for example: 0.300 km = 300 meters.

    For those in the United States, you can use this map, which shows all the mobile phone base station (cell tower) locations (you need to enter your street and city, and then select "View Tower Results").

    When you have found the nearest base station to your home, in order to measure the distance between this base station and your home, you need to go to a regular Google map, and right click on this Google map at the location of your home, selecting "Measure distance" from the pop-up menu, and then left click on the map at the location where the base station would be. This will then tell you the exact distance between these two points.

    For those in Canada, you can use this map, which shows all the base station locations. Please follow the above instructions for the UK (in italics) to work out the distance to your nearest mobile phone base station.

    For those in Australia, you can use this map, which shows all the base station locations (you need to enter your postcode or suburb name). Please follow the above instructions for the UK (in italics) to work out the distance to your nearest mobile phone base station.

    For those in New Zealand, you can use this map, which shows all the base station locations. Please follow the above instructions for the UK (in italics) to work out the distance to your nearest mobile phone base station.

    For those in Ireland: unfortunately I could not find an online map detailing the base station locations.



    Important Point: Please Read Before Answering the Poll

    Note that if your ME/CFS first appeared many years ago (eg, over a decade ago), make sure that any base station that you see close to your home on any online map was actually in existence at the time your ME/CFS first developed, as some base stations have only been erected in more recent years.

    In other words, if you see a base station near your home on the online map, please try to remember whether this base station was actually there at the time you first developed ME/CFS. If you are sure that the base station was existence at that time, then you can use the online map to measure how far away it was from the home you lived in when you developed ME/CFS, and then answer to poll accordingly.

    By contrast, if the online map shows that no base station is within a 500 meter proximity to the home you lived in when you first developed ME/CFS, then we can assume that was always the case, so you can without further ado select the poll answer option: "500 meters or further from the nearest base station".



    POLL RESULTS: Calculating the Risk Factor That Base Station Radiation Might Pose for the Triggering of ME/CFS

    If you are just voting in this poll, you don't need read this section.

    The null hypothesis in this poll is that proximity to mobile phone base stations does not play role in the triggering of ME/CFS, and is not a risk factor for ME/CFS.

    For the null hypothesis to be true, you would have to have both side of the following equation being equal (see here for why):

    (Number of people in 500-300m annulus zone) X 1.2 = (Number of people in 300-150m annulus zone) + (Number of people in 150-0m circle zone).

    If on the other hand the right side of that equation turns out to be larger than the left side, it would suggest that mobile phone base station radiation is a risk factor for ME/CFS.


    The equation to calculate the increased risk of triggering ME/CFS for those living within 300 meters of a base station, compared to the risk for those living in the 500 meter to 300 meter zone, is the following:

    Increased risk = ((ME incidence in 0m to <150m zone) + (ME incidence in 150m to <300m zone)) / (1.2 X (ME incidence in 300m to <500m zone))


    The current poll results (as of 26 Feb 2017) are:
    ME incidence in the 300m to <500m zone = 5
    ME incidence in the 150m to <300m zone = 5
    ME incidence in the 0m to <150m zone = 4

    So using the above equation, the increased risk is currently calculated at:

    Increased risk = (4 + 5) / (1.2 X 5) = 1.5

    The current 1.5x apparent effect is probably small enough to be explained purely by methodological error. So I would say that this poll shows no evidence of any increased risk of triggering ME/CFS from base stations.

    Bear in mind that is just a rough and ready forum poll, so even at best, the results will only give you an inkling of what the risk might be.

    However, I do think this poll is telling us something useful: in the thread detailing the 5- to 8-fold increase in ME/CFS incidence that apparently occurred in several countries during the 1980s (when cell phone networks were introduced), someone suggested that cellular base station might have been responsible for the increase. Which is a reasonable suggestion.

    Now if base station radiation had been responsible for such a large 5- to 8-fold increase in ME/CFS, I feel that this poll (now with its control group), would have likely picked up such a large influence.

    Thus the fact that the poll has not detected any such large influence does in my view does tell us something: it tells us that the 5- to 8-fold increase in incidence observed in the 1980s was most likely not down to the introduction of mobile phone base stations that occurred in that decade.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  2. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Option E: I got sick before there were mobile phones.
     
  3. AndyPR

    AndyPR Cookies for Tired Sam

    Yep, I need this option as well.
     
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  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Ah, some veteran patients! Sorry that there are no voting options for you guys.

    Going back to before the mobile era is not really going to serve the purpose of this poll, which is to determine whether proximity to a mobile phone base station mast increases the risk of developing ME/CFS.

    Though it is of interest that during the 1980s, there was a massive fivefold to eightfold increase in the incidence of myalgic encephalomyelitis (see this thread) in several countries globally. In the UK, cellular mobile phone networks first appeared in London in 1985, and spread to the rest of the UK by 1987. So possibility the introduction of mobile phone networks and the microwaves they create may have played a role in this apparent massive increase of ME/CFS incidence.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  5. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    There was a mid (or earlier?)1980s increase in NZ. It was first called Tapanui Flu.
    I got sick at that time, and at least another one PR member did too. I'm guessing there were no mobile phone networks in NZ then.
     
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  6. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    PS Commiserations to the other long, long term sufferers! :heart:
     
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  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Tapanui flu? That's a nice sounding name for a virus, but I am sure not so nice to develop ME/CFS from it.

    I guess in the case of a viral outbreak of ME/CFS like that, the virus itself probably explains any blip in the incidence figures. The fivefold to eightfold increase in the incidence of ME I think was found in surveys of the UK, US and Canada.



    Indeed. Commiserations and God bless our long term ME/CFS sufferers! I feel almost immature in only having 12 years of ME/CFS.
     
  8. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    My old secondary school used to have one parked on its roof. I guess the school got revenue from the mobile phone company.
     
  9. Kina

    Kina Admin Support Staff

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    The poll will uncover nothing but people with ME/CFS live at different distances from cell phone towers which they obviously do. You can't make any determination re: the risk of developing of ME/CFS is associated with cell phone towers and the poll is totally skewed.

    I could start a poll about bus stops.

    If I posted:

    So the poll will indicate that most members here live in some proximity to a bus stop so therefore I can conclude living near a bus stop increases the risk of ME/CFS -- what are they calling things like that these days -- "alternative facts".

    Why cell phone towers?

    What about cell phone exposure itself? The amount of exposure from living near to a cell phone tower is much lower than exposure from a cell phone.

    What about microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors, wifi? They all emit EMF's.

    There is more EMF exposure from radios, TV's, electrical wiring, lighting, and electrical appliances in our homes than cell from phone towers. EMF's are everywhere and have been everywhere long before cell phone towers existed. Was there a huge increase in ME/CFS as people installed electricity in there homes -- doesn't seem so.

    At very high levels RF energy is dangerous because it can heat the body's tissues very fast. Cell phone towers produce RF that do not cause any significant heat. RF energy decreases quickly over distance and at ground level even beside the towers, levels are extremely low.
     
  10. AndyPR

    AndyPR Cookies for Tired Sam

    Now we did have a bus stop in the village where I grew up, that could explain a lot.

    My personal opinion is that there was an increase in the recorded instances of CFS in the 80s because there was a raised awareness of CFS in the 80s, it's a lot harder to find something if you don't go looking for it. Of course, the chances then increase of false positives but a good selection criteria can help with that.
     
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  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    If cell towers were a problem, I should be cured by now. Coverage is pretty awful in our new neighborhood :p Actually, the reception was pretty bad in the old neighborhood too, where I lived when I got sick. And you can just forget about trying to use the neighbor's unsecured wireless network in a concrete house!
     
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  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    I'd assume they would qualify as living more than 500m from a cell tower at the time of onset :p Due to there being none at all anywhere.
     
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  13. wdb

    wdb Senior Member

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    I love how the community spends half the time drawing attention to awful flawed research methodology of the CBT/GET crowd and the other half of the time conducting our own research with even worse methodology.
     
  14. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Biscuit Antagonist

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    well it's another reason not to take the bus in addition to avoiding the coughing, spluttering infectious people you have to sit next to on there. Thanks for the tip. I've thrown away my laptop, iPad, mobile phone and microwave away as well, so I maybe offline for a while. Think I will just turn off the electricity and duck tape up the seal around the front door...I live near a main road :nervous:
     
  15. Skippa

    Skippa Senior Member

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    Interestingly, when I first developed ME/CFS in a moderate - severe way, I had just moved about a hundred yards from an electricity pylon. You could hear it hum sometimes.
     
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  16. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I agree with @wdb. It seems so many who are critical of science don't always apply the same standards to alternative treatments.

    While mainstream science isn't perfect, think of it this way: Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

    Alternative medicine that actually works is no longer alternative: it's simply called medicine.

    That being said, we each have the right to make our own medical decisions. Brainstorming, etc. such as this can lead to hypothesis. Unfortunately, the science doesn't back this one.

    Btw, the cat would win. Hands down! Just sayin'.;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  17. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    I was shocked to find out there are 3 different masts less than 500m near me. I was not aware of this.

    The map says it is updated 2012. I was diagnosed 12 years ago but I'm sure I had it another 2 years before. It's possible that all those masts were there, because they are in the industrial site and a power base. They must have been one of the earliest ones. It is impossible to see them from the road. Can see it in the Google Map satellite very clearly.
     
  18. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    How do I know where the cell towers were located? Was pretty flat in my area. Is there a map for that?

    GG
     
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Do you guys who are criticizing my methodology actually know what my methodology is? I worked out a system that I think will be valid for determining the risk factor that living close to a mobile phone base station might pose to the development of ME/CFS. I have not actually explained this methodology in my above posts. But I am happy to provide details.

    If I get sufficient respondents, I think the results of my poll will most likely show that that mobile phone base station proximity is not a risk factor for ME/CFS.



    Those are valid questions, and yes, they all emit electromagnetic radiation.

    However, unless you can develop a methodology that can correlate the degree of electromagnetic radiation exposure from these devices to ME/CFS prevalence, then there is no way to gauge whether they might be a risk factor for ME/CFS. I cannot think of any methodology that would work for cordless phones, WiFI, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  20. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    I thought i was within 500 meters of one as a brand new one got put up at the bottom of the field over the road from where i lived a year or two before getting ill but on closer inspection its more like 600 meters.

    My house was sandwiched between 3 masts, all 3 approx 600 meters away with my house almost in the centre of the triangle.
     

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