Statement of Hans-Christoph Scheiner, MD, February 27, 2012
 German Environmental Institute
 
Equipping aircraft with WiFi is a dangerous experiment. The health and safety of passengers - and especially flight crews - are at risk. Accumulated electro-magnetic radiation exposure may become the new human factor in transportation.
 
Since our group the German Environmental Physician Initiative sent a letter in 2008 to the aviation industry stating our concerns, there has been a proliferation of WiFi in commercial aircraft, as you know.
 
In our view, before allowing the addition of WiFi, and its radio-frequency radiation, to the existing inflight exposures from cosmic radiation and solar flares, regulatory agencies should conduct an investigation into the short and long-term effects on human performance and human health. As far as we know, these tests have not been conducted, making the installation of WiFi and widespread in-flight use of mobile phones, and other wireless devices, a very dangerous experiment, as I have stated.

We acknowledge WiFi is everywhere and there will be significant health consequences from these accumulated exposures. However, there are specific concerns in transportation, especially aviation which must be evaluated. Radiation effects are magnified in aircraft -- a metal 'Faraday' cage -- and other confined metal spaces, as they are with increased altitude. The evidence that this presents both health and flight safety hazards has increased. Is the government willing to take this risk? One of the issues is that no one knows how those who are affected will react. Reactions can include cognitive impairment and cardiac symptoms. Another concern is that no one is monitoring exposure for these or other adverse effects, including long-term cancer risks.

Even quite low levels of radio-frequency radiation - from WiFi and mobile devices - can open the blood-brain barrier and cause a lot of harm, including miniature edemas destroying brain cells which cannot be renewed. This damage presents an increased risk of neuro-degenerative conditions, including Parkinson's disease.

May we ask that you also review the 2008 letter from our group of physicians.
 
 
 
This is the full letter written in 2008 to many airline executives
by Dr. Scheiner and the German Environmental Physician Initiative.
 
Intended Authorization of Mobile Phones and Wireless LAN in Air Traffic
 
The information was spread in the media that it is planned to allow the use of wireless communication devices like cell phones, W-LAN, and similar electronic tools on commercial flights. We are highly concerned about this fact.
 
As a technical innovation the susceptibility of electronic board systems in relation to microwaves has decreased (to be questioned here are the remaining risks): the personal use of wireless communication technology on commercial flights leads to serious health risks to all passengers and flight personnel.
 
Therefore it should be treated as a fact of the overall security of commercial airlines. Reason: If there are wireless systems permanently in use like cell-phone stations, W-LAN, Blue-Tooth, DECT, etc.  in addition to active single cell phones and notebooks on flights with the duration of several hours, the passengers, crew and pilots would be exposed to excessive radiation of 25,000  nW/cm2 and higher.
 
Even though these levels of exposure are just from 1/10 to 1/50 of the actual legal exposure limits, there are multiple scientific proofs of health risks. Even a radiation dose of 100-500nW/cm2 breaks the blood-brain barrier, which causes the entry of water, dissolving metabolism waste products, environmental toxins and blood proteins (especially albumins) into the central nervous system.
 
The fatal consequences are: miniature edemas occur in the complete brain and multiple selective swellings in non-renewable brain cells are irretrievably squeezed to death. They occur as dark neurons in the microscopic picture. Those dark neurons are proven to be possible starting points of very serious neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Scleroses, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia and so on.
 
Many scientific studies with animal tests showed significantly this opening of the blood-brain barrier. Even low levels of 100-500 nW/cm2 caused in more than 50% of the animals tested an opening of the blood-brain barrier. At the actual levels of 25,000 nW/cm2, which are expected to  occur on board commercial airplanes equipped with WiFi, 100% of the animals tested had serious brain damage.
 
The breakage of the blood-brain barrier under the influence of radio waves and high frequency, which happens at levels far underneath the current legal exposure limit, has obtained doubtless scientific evidence. This was significantly found and described by ALBERTS 1977, OSCAR AND HAWKINS 1977, NEILLY AND LIN 1986 SALFORD, BRUN, PERSSON, 1994, 1997, 2003 AUBINEAU AND TOERE 2001, 2003 SCHIRMACHER 1999, 2000 and many others.

Another fact: While the airplane is moving at an altitude between 8,000 and 12,000 metres, a reduced air pressure occurs inside of the plane, which equals the air pressure of 2000 – 3000 metres outside. Therefore the breakage of the blood-brain barrier is more likely because of the lack of oxygen and the well-known altitude sickness.

The severe consequences of the brain and nerve damage and safety of passengers are very concerning, especially those of the pilots, because they are already highly exposed from radar. The symptoms caused by high frequencies, like headaches, drowsiness, vertigo, nausea are often connected with loss of hearing and vision; lack of concentration and memorization are in this context known as the “Microwave-Syndrome” (JOHNSON-LIAKOURIS, 1998, MILD 1998, SANTINI 2001, 2002, 2003, NAVARRO, OBERFELD 2003).
 
Another dangerous result is the extreme slow-down of the neuro-muscular response because of a doubled reaction time. Also the mental capacity is, in terms of cognitive disorders, verifiably heavily affected. Epidemiological studies and exposure trials with volunteers and animals show this clearly.  See also the TNO-STUDY OF PROFESSOR ZWAMBORN 2003, KALODYSKI U.KALODYNKA 1996, PROFESSOR LAI U. SINGH 1966, 1997, 1998, ALTPETER U. ABELIN 1995,  1999, SEMM U. BEASOND 1996, ROSCHKE UND MANN 1996 and many more.
 
Because of the mostly fatal exits of flight accidents, there are no special data about the influence from radio and microwaves on flight safety and security available. But the knowledge we have from other traffic systems on the ground is surely transferable: in 2002, The British Transport Research Laboratory found that the time of a reaction of a car driver is 30% lower if he has been exposed to radio waves than the reaction time of an alcoholized driver, and 50% lower than the reaction time of a driver who has not been exposed to either.
 
In 1997 the University of Toronto (REDELMEIER AND TIBSCHIRANI) found out on the basis of a big trial that in relation to the length of exposure to radio waves of the car drivers, the drivers were 5 times as likely to cause an accident and twice as likely to cause a deadly crash. The same was confirmed by the RESEARCH GROUP OF VIOLANTI (1998) “CELLULAR PHONES AND FATAL TRAFFIC COLLISIONS.” Similar facts were proved by PROFESSOR UNGER AT BREMEN UNIVERSITY: Cell Phone influence while driving leads, even for experienced drivers, to a 30%  increase in lane changing and stopping mistakes!
 
In this context, the following is very interesting: it has been proven multiple times that the use of cellular phones cause electroencephalography changes of the brain waves! Because of this it was possible for DR. VON KLITZING AT LUEBECK UNIVERSITY to prove that highly pulsed frequencies like mobile phones lead to pathologically EEG-patterns of the brain in the so called “alpha–rhythm.”  This EEG area represents our physical and mental relaxing and recovering phases. The “alpha-rhythm” is shown while we sleep and dream. Pathological EEG changes in this alpha-area-- showing up most at 10 Hz – are an indication of a deep radio wave caused disorder of our physical and mental health, which reaches deep into our subconscious. Those EEG changes were already proven before DR. KLITZING by Russian and American researchers, and after him often reproduced, for example by the German Department for Work Safety and Occupational Medicinein 1998 (FREUDE ET. AL.), by THE UNIVERSITY OF ZUERICH UNDER PROF. ACHERMAN, HUBER, BORBELEY ET AL. 1999,2000,2002,2003).
 
The above explanations include that radio waves also cause serious sleep disorders. It is also proven multiple times that radio waves cause a decrease in the sleep and body defense hormone Melatonin. (BURCH U.A. 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, REITER U. ROBINSON 1994,1995, ABELIN U.ALTPETER 1995,  1999 U.A.M.) Let’s not forget about the intermediate massive impairment of our microcirculation  and therewith the oxygen supply of our inner organs and brain caused by the  tendency of our red  blood cells to stick together under the influence of radio waves.(DR. PETERSOHN 1998, RITTER  UND WOLSKI 2005).
 
In addition to this, PROF. KUNDI (Environmental hygienic department of Vienna University) found a high increase of heart attacks, strokes, thromboses and embolism in people who live near transmitter masts. All of these are disorders that could lead to an immediate airplane crash, with hundreds of victims, if this would happen to pilots. And finally the following is for all airlines to consider: electrosensitivity and electroallergies to wireless electronic devices already bother 10% of the worldwide population, and this tendency is rapidly increasing. Even short flights, but especially long ones, on which the passengers are constantly given a continual exposure of radio and microwaves would lead to a reduction of bookings and a recognizable decrease in sales for airlines which permit cell phone systems, notebooks and similar wireless instruments on board.
 
This has already been seen in Germany and other countries where electro-sensitive or allergic people avoid high-speed trains because of permanently active “Repeaters” (amplifiers of HF signals).  This is one of the facts that cause their above-described microwave syndrome (headaches, nausea, drowsiness, vision disorders etc) and force their changeover to using different ways of transportation like cars, buses and trains without repeaters.
 
The decrease of sales is doubtless continuing, and will do so even more as passengers realize what kind of danger permanent radio and microwaves on board hold for flight security. We ask you not to ignore these scientific facts about the dangers of radio and microwaves.
 
Dr. med. Hans-Christoph Scheiner, Environmental physician, Münchner Ärzteappell, Munich, July 24, 2008.
 
By orders of the German Environmental Physician Initiative represented by:

Dr. med. Wolf Bergmann Freiburger Ärzte-Appell,
Dr. med. Horst Eger Ärztlicher Qualitätszirkel Naila.
Dr. med. Markus Kern Mobilfunk-Ärzteinitiative, Allgäu-Bodensee-Oberschwaben,
Dr. med. Peter Lackner Münchner Ärzteappell,
Dr. med. dent. Joh. Lechner München, Vorsitzender der GZM,
Dr. med. Joachim Mutter Universitätsklinik Freiburg