Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pregnancy & Wireless Radiation Risks

July 1, 2015

Grassroots Environmental Edu Wireless Radiation / Doctors Caution Pregnant Women About Wireless Radiation Health Risks (PRNewsFoto/Grassroots Environmental Educati)


Doctors Caution Pregnant Women About Wireless Radiation Health Risks

Over one hundred medical doctors and scientific experts from around the world agree: the risks of exposure to RF radiation from wireless devices for pregnant women and their unborn children are real, and women have a Right To Know.

NEW YORK, July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than one hundred medical doctors, scientists and public health experts from around the world have signed a Joint Statement advising pregnant women to take simple precautions to protect themselves and their babies from wireless radiation. The Statement is part of a national right-to-know campaign called the BabySafe Project created by two non-profit organizations to inform pregnant women about the issue.

"The wireless world may be convenient, but it's not without risks," says Patricia Wood, Executive Director of Grassroots Environmental Education and co-creator of the BabySafe Project. "When more than one hundred of the world's leading medical doctors and researchers on wireless radiation say we have enough evidence for women to take protective action, we think women should know about it."

The project is based on recent scientific studies suggesting that radiation from wireless devices is capable of interfering with the tiny electrical impulses that help synapses connect in a developing brain. Researchers at Yale University have been able to demonstrate that the brains of laboratory mice exposed to pulsed radio frequency radiation in utero were wired differently from those of the mice who were not exposed, resulting in behavioral differences that include poorer memory and symptoms that resemble ADHD in children.

The Yale study builds on more than twenty years of research and hundreds of independent, peer-reviewed studies showing that exposure to radiation from wireless devices can have non-thermal, biological effects on humans, including DNA strand breaks and other impacts not previously known. 

The authors of many of those studies are among those calling for precautions.

"The fetus is perhaps the most vulnerable to these types of insults, when the brain is just forming, when all of the organ systems are just beginning to develop," says Dr. Hugh Taylor, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Professor of Women's Health at Yale University, and lead author of the study. "There's essentially no downside to being cautious and protecting your baby. Why not do it?"

SOURCE Grassroots Environmental Education

http://bit.ly/1GMY4Nk

--

Recent studies that found effects on offspring from prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation


spontaneous abortion: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25937931?dopt=Abstract
threatened miscarriage: http://bit.ly/1Iwye5z
preterm birth: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23905441?dopt=Abstract

testicle: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24095929?dopt=Abstract



June 3, 2014

The following joint statement on pregnancy and wireless radiation is part of the Baby Safe Project, a new public awareness initiative designed to inform women about the links between pregnancy and wireless radiation.  The statement was signed by 44 physicians and scientists from 13 nations, and by 13 educators who have studied wireless radiation health effects.

The project is a joint initiative of two environmental health non-profit organizations: Grassroots Environmental Education and Environmental Health Trust.  

A video of the press conference that launched the Baby Safe Project and supplementary resources are available at http://bit.ly/1kqJUur/.  


Dr. Hugh Taylor from the Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Devra Davis from the Environmental Health Trust, and Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist who treats autistic children, made presentations at the press conference and answered questions from journalists.

Dr. Taylor discussed his peer-reviewed, experimental research on pregnant mice that were exposed to cell phone radiation. In his study prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation resulted in decreased memory and increased hyperactivity in the offspring. A dose-response relationship was observed between the amount of fetal exposure to cell phone radiation and altered brain activity in the offspring. Dr. Taylor recommends that pregnant women limit their exposure to cell phone radiation.

Dr. Davis discussed the history of tobacco and asbestos in the U.S. to argue for a precautionary approach to reducing risks from "possibly carcinogenic" environmental exposures like wireless radiation (as determined by the World Health Organization). She summarized peer-reviewed, experimental research on prenatal exposure to microwave radiation conducted by Dr. Nesrin Seyhan which found DNA damage in mice and by Dr. Suleyman Kaplan which found damage to brain cells in the hippocampus as well as adverse behavioral effects in the offspring.  Dr. Davis provided recommendations on how to reduce exposure to cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation.

Dr. Shetreat-Klein discussed peer-reviewed observational research that found prenatal exposure to wireless radiation associated with adverse behavioral changes in children. She advises pregnant women to keep cell phones away from their bodies.

In response to audience questions, Dr. Davis discussed the need for research funding. She mentioned that the Environmental Health Trust and Dr. Joel Moskowitz at Berkeley are calling for an annual, one dollar fee per cell phone to be devoted to training and research on wireless radiation and health.  Dr. Taylor reported that his patients appreciate receiving precautionary information regarding the need to reduce exposure to wireless radiation during pregnancy. Dr. Davis discussed recommendations from the U.S. General Accountability Office and the American Academy of Pediatrics that call on the FCC to test cell phones in a realistic manner. Finally, Dr. Davis discussed the potential product liability faced by the cell phone industry due to adverse health impacts, an issue which she addressed in her book on cell phone radiation, Disconnect.


Joint Statement on Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation

We join together as physicians, scientists and educators to express our concern about the risk that wireless radiation poses to pregnancy and to urge pregnant women to limit their exposures.

We recognize that the exquisitely delicate systems that direct the development of human life are vulnerable to environmental insults, and that even minute exposures during critical windows of development may have serious and life-long consequences.

We know that the scientific process demands a thorough and exhaustive examination of the possible impact of wireless radiation on health; however, we believe substantial evidence of risk, rather than absolute proof of harm, must be the trigger for action to protect public health.

We call on the research community to conduct more studies to identify the mechanisms by which a fetus could be affected by wireless radiation exposures. We call on our elected leaders to support such research and to advance policies and regulations that limit exposures for pregnant women. We call on industry to implement and explore technologies and designs that will reduce radiation exposures until such research is carried out.

We affirm our role as health and science professionals to inform the public about the potential dangers associated with early-life exposures to wireless radiation, and invite all professionals engaged in obstetric, pediatric, and environmental health advocacy to join us in our quest to ensure the safety and health of future generations.

Signatories  
(Affiliations listed for identification purposes only)

Mikko Ahonen, PhD,
 University of Tampere, Finland

Jennifer Armstrong, MD, Ottawa Environmental Health
Martin Blank, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University
David Brown, PhD, Public Health Toxicologist, Environment and Human Health, Inc.
Lois Brustman, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital Center
Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, MD, Concerned Health Professionals of New York
David Carpenter, MD, School of Public Health, University at Albany
Richard Clapp, DSc, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health, Boston University
Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, Visiting Scholar, University of California at Berkeley
Alvaro Augusto de Salles, PhD, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Larysa Dyrszka, MD, Pediatrician, New York
Dr. Elizabeth Evans, MA, (Cantab) MBBS (London), DRCOG,  UK
Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Oleg Gregoriev, DrSc, PhD, Chairman, Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Magda Havas, PhD,  Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies, Trent University, Ontario, Canada
Gunnar Heuser, MD, University of California at Los Angeles (retired)
Olle Johansson, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Cynthia Johnson-McKay, MD, Columbia University
Süleyman Kaplan, PhD, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey
Henry Lai, PhD,  Bioelectromagnetics Research Laboratory, University of Washington
Michael Lerner, PhD, President, Commonweal
Luana Licata, PhD, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Don Maisch, PhD, www.emfacts.com, Australia
Asish Mehta, MD, MCh, DNB, Neurological Surgeon Mumbai, India
Anthony Miller, MD, School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada
Joel Moskowitz, PhD, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley
Hildor Palsdottir, PhD, School of Medicine, New York University
Janet Perlman, MD, MPH, University of California at Berkeley
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco
Lisa Ridgway, MD, Pediatrician
Aviva Romm, MD, Family Physician, Boston
Annie SascoMD, DrPH, University of Bordeaux, France
Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, CNS, CBT
Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, Bronx, New York
Colin L. Soskolne, PhD, University of Canberra, Australia
Ken Spaeth, MD, MPH, Hofstra University, North Shore--LIJ Health System
Yael Stein, MD, Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
Anne Steinemann, PhD, University of California at San Diego
Hugh Taylor, MD, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital
Leonardo Trasande, MD,  Institute of Environmental Medicine, Langone Medical Center, New York University
Lucy Waletzky, MD, Psychiatrist, Sleepy Hollow, New York
John Wargo, PhD, Professor of Risk Analysis, Environmental Policy, and Political Science, Yale University
John West, MD, Surgeon, RadNet
Jingduan Yang, MD, Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia

Wafaa Aborashed,
 Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities
Nancy Alderman, Environment and Human Health, Inc.
Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle, Ecological Options Network (EON)
Giorgio Cinciripini, Italian Network of No-Electrosmog NGOs
Frank Clegg, Canadians For Safe Technology
Desiree Jaworski, Center for Safer Wireless
B. Blake Levitt, former New York Times contributor, medical/science journalist, author
Ellen Marks, California Brain Tumor Association
L. Lloyd Morgan,  Environmental Health Trust
Janet Newton, EMRadiation Institute
Camilla Rees, MBA, ElectromagneticHealth.org
Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates; Co-Editor, BioInitiative 2012 Report

--

For more information about wireless radiation reproductive health effects and effects on children

The Baby Safe Project
http://bit.ly/1rDKjiq

Environmental Health Trust
http://bit.ly/1kjkaRP


Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
http://www.saferemr.com/


Related news releases from Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children
http://www.prlog.org/12269207

Children's Cell Phone Use May Increase Their Risk of ADHD
http://www.prlog.org/12110138


MOBI-KIDS: Childhood Brain Tumor Risk & Mobile Phone Use Study

Cell Phone Radiation, Pregnancy, and Sperm
http://www.prlog.org/12026867

Cell Phone Radiation Damages Sperm
http://www.prlog.org/11911996

Magnetic Field Exposure Before Birth May Contribute to Childhood Obesity
http://www.prlog.org/1193609

Belgium Adopts New Regulations to Promote Cell Phone Radiation Safety

French Health Agency Recommends Children and Vulnerable Groups Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure
http://www.prlog.org/12226630 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Welcome to EMR Safety

EMR Safety discusses scientific and policy developments regarding the health risks from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) produced by cell phones and cordless phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Smart Meters, baby monitors and other wireless devices. 


Friday, June 26, 2015

An Exposé of the FCC: An Agency Captured by the Industries it Regulates

Alster, Norm. Captured agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates. Cambridge, MA:  Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University.  2015. 

PDF: http://bit.ly/FCCcaptured  (free)
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1SQThCU (nominal cost)
Introduction

This exposé provides insight into how the FCC became a victim of regulatory capture by industry and the implications of these corrupting influences for our health and safety, our privacy, and our wallets. 

This book concludes with a series of recommendations by its author, Norm Alster, an investigative journalist, who has written for the New York Times, Forbes, Business Week, and Investor’s Business Daily.  He wrote this book while serving as a journalism fellow with the Investigative Journalism Project at Harvard University.

Following are some excerpts that pertain to the wireless radiation industry and its corrupting influences on the FCC. I encourage you to read Mr. Alster's entire treatise.


Excerpts

A detailed look at FCC actions—and non-actions—shows that over the years the FCC has granted the wireless industry pretty much what it has wanted.

Money—and lots of it—has played a part ... In all, CTIA, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Sprint spent roughly $45 million lobbying in 2013. Overall, the Communications/Electronics sector is one of Washington‘s super heavyweight lobbyists, spending nearly $800 million in 2013-2014, according to CRP data.

As a result, consumer safety, health, and privacy, along with consumer wallets, have all been overlooked, sacrificed, or raided due to unchecked industry influence …. Most insidious of all, the wireless industry has been allowed to grow unchecked and virtually unregulated, with fundamental questions on public health impact routinely ignored.
Industry control, in the case of wireless health issues, extends beyond Congress and regulators to basic scientific research. And in an obvious echo of the hardball tactics of the tobacco industry, the wireless industry has backed up its economic and political power by stonewalling on public relations and bullying potential threats into submission with its huge standing army of lawyers. In this way, a coddled wireless industry intimidated and silenced the City of San Francisco, while running roughshod over local opponents of its expansionary infrastructure.

… Currently presiding over the FCC is Tom Wheeler, a man who has led the two most powerful industry lobbying groups: CTIA and NCTA. It is Wheeler who once supervised a $25 million industry-funded research effort on wireless health effects. But when handpicked research leader George Carlo concluded that wireless radiation did raise the risk of brain tumors, Wheeler‘s CTIA allegedly rushed to muffle the message. ”You do the science. I‘ll take care of the politics,” Carlo recalls Wheeler saying.

Graphic: The revolving door between the FCC and industry

Tom Wheeler, former Head of CTIA & NCTA, is now FCC Chair.
Meredith Atwell Baker, former FCC Commissioner, is now head of CTIA.
Michael Powell, former FCC Chair, is now head of NCTA.
Jonathan Adelstein, former FCC Commissioner, is now head of PCIA, the Wireless Infrastructure Association.

Graphics: Top House and Senate recipients of cellular industry campaign contributions 

It all begins with passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, legislation once described … as “the most lobbied bill in history.” Late lobbying won the wireless industry enormous concessions from lawmakers, many of them major recipients of industry hard and soft dollar contributions. Congressional staffers who helped lobbyists write the new law did not go unrewarded. Thirteen of fifteen staffers later became lobbyists themselves.

In preempting local zoning authority—along with the public‘s right to guard its own safety and health—Congress unleashed an orgy of infrastructure build-out. Emboldened by the government green light and the vast consumer appetite for wireless technology, industry has had a free hand in installing more than 300,000 sites. Church steeples, schoolyards, school rooftops, even trees can house these facilities.

In a 2010 review of research on the biological effects of exposure to radiation from cell tower base stations, B. Blake Levitt and Henry Lai found that “some research does exist to warrant caution in infrastructure siting” ….

Beyond epidemiological studies, research on a wide range of living things raises further red flags. A 2013 study by the Indian scientists S. Sivani and D. Sudarsanam reports: “Based on current available literature, it is justified to conclude that RF-EMF [electromagnetic fields] radiation exposure can change neurotransmitter functions, blood-brain barrier, morphology, electrophysiology, cellular metabolism, calcium efflux, and gene and protein expression in certain types of cells even at lower intensities.”

… Citing other studies—often industry-funded—that fail to establish health effects, the wireless industry has dismissed such concerns. The FCC has typically echoed that position.

… since the passage of the 1996 law, the very opposite has occurred. Again and again both Congress and the FCC have opted to stiffen—rather than loosen—federal preemption over local zoning authority ….

… would consumers‘ embrace of cell phones and Wi-Fi be quite so ardent if the wireless industry, enabled by its Washington errand boys, hadn‘t so consistently stonewalled on evidence and substituted legal intimidation for honest inquiry?

The FCC in 1997 sent the message it has implicitly endorsed and conveyed ever since: study health effects all you want. It doesn‘t matter what you find. The build-out of wireless cannot be blocked or slowed by health issues.

… federal preemption is granted to pretty much any wireless outfit on just one simple condition: its installations must comply with FCC radiation emission standards. In view of this generous carte blanche to move radiation equipment into neighborhoods, schoolyards and home rooftops, one would think the FCC would at the very least diligently enforce its own emission standards. But that does not appear to be the case.

Indeed, one RF engineer who has worked on more than 3,000 rooftop sites found vast evidence of non-compliance. Marvin Wessel estimates that “10 to 20% exceed allowed radiation standards.” With 30,000 rooftop antenna sites across the U.S. that would mean that as many as 6,000 are emitting radiation in violation of FCC standards. Often, these emissions can be 600% or more of allowed exposure levels, according to Wessel.

The best ally of industry and the FCC on this (and other) issues may be public ignorance.

An online poll conducted for this project asked 202 respondents to rate the likelihood of a series of statements … there was one statement of indisputable fact: “The U.S. Congress forbids local communities from considering health effects when deciding whether to issue zoning permits for wireless antennae,” the statement said.

Though this is a stone cold fact that the wireless industry, the FCC and the courts have all turned into hard and inescapable reality for local authorities, just 1.5% of all poll respondents replied that it was “definitely true.”

… many respondents claim they would change behavior—reduce wireless use, restore landline service, protect their children—if claims on health dangers of wireless are true.

… in May 2015, more than 200 scientists boasting over 2,000 publications on wireless effects called on global institutions to address the health risks posed by this technology.

Some have suggested that the health situation with wireless is analogous to that of tobacco before court decisions finally forced Big Tobacco to admit guilt and pay up.

It seems significant that the responses of wireless and its captured agency—the FCC—feature the same obtuse refusal to examine the evidence. The wireless industry reaction features stonewalling public relations and hyper aggressive legal action. It can also involve undermining the credibility and cutting off the funding for researchers who do not endorse cellular safety. It is these hardball tactics that look a lot like 20th century Big Tobacco tactics. It is these hardball tactics—along with consistently supportive FCC policies—that heighten suspicion the wireless industry does indeed have something to hide.

So how does the FCC handle a scientific split that seems to suggest bias in industry-sponsored research?

In a posting on its Web site that reads like it was written by wireless lobbyists, the FCC chooses strikingly patronizing language to slight and trivialize the many scientists and health and safety experts who‘ve found cause for concern. In a two page Web post titled “Wireless Devices and Health Concerns,” the FCC four times refers to either “some health and safety interest groups,” “some parties,” or “some consumers” before in each case rebutting their presumably groundless concerns about wireless risk. Additionally, the FCC site references the World Health Organization as among those organizations who‘ve found that “the weight of scientific evidence” has not linked exposure to radiofrequency from mobile devices with ”any known health problems.”

Yes, it‘s true that the World Health organization remains bitterly divided on the subject. But it‘s also true that a 30 member unit of the WHO called the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was near unanimous in pronouncing cell phones “possibly carcinogenic” in 2011. How can the FCC omit any reference to such a pronouncement? Even if it finds reason to side with pro-industry scientists, shouldn‘t this government agency also mention that cell phones are currently in the same potential carcinogen class as lead paint?

Cell phones are not the only wireless suspects. Asked what he would do if he had policy-making authority, Dr. Hardell swiftly replied that he would “ban wireless use in schools and pre-schools. You don‘t need Wi-Fi,” he noted.

So what is the FCC doing in response to what at the very least is a troubling chain of clues to cellular danger? As it has done with wireless infrastructure, the FCC has to this point largely relied on industry “self-regulation.” Though it set standards for device radiation emissions back in 1996, the agency doesn‘t generally test devices itself. Despite its responsibility for the safety of cell phones, the FCC relies on manufacturers‘ good-faith efforts to test them. Critics contend that this has allowed manufacturers undue latitude in testing their devices.

The EPA, notably, was once a hub of research on RF effects, employing as many as 35 scientists. However, the research program was cut off in the late 80s during the Regan presidency. [Former EPA Scientist, Carl] Blackman says he was personally “forbidden” to study health effects by his “supervisory structure.”

Blackman is cautious in imputing motives to the high government officials who wanted his work at EPA stopped. But he does say that political pressure has been a factor at both the EPA and FCC: “The FCC people were quite responsive to the biological point of view. But there are also pressures on the FCC from industry.” The FCC, he suggests, may not just be looking at the scientific evidence, “The FCC‘s position—like the EPA‘s—is influenced by political considerations as well.”

Still, the FCC has ultimate regulatory responsibility and cannot indefinitely pass the buck on an issue of fundamental public health. Remarkably, it has not changed course despite the IARC classification of cell phones as possibly carcinogenic, despite the recent studies showing triple the glioma risk for heavy users, despite the floodtide of research showing biological effects, and despite even the recent defection of core industry booster Alex Lerchl. It is the refusal of both industry and the FCC to even acknowledge this cascade of warning signs that seems most incriminating.

This is a very rich industry that does not hesitate to outspend and bully challengers into submission. Meanwhile, amidst the legal smoke and medical confusion, the industry has managed to make the entire world dependent on its products. Even tobacco never had so many hooked users.

Such sustained success in the face of medical doubt has required industry to keep a lid on critics and detractors. Many scientists who‘ve found real or potential risk from the sort of microwave radiation emanating from wireless devices have learned there is a price to be paid for standing up to the industry juggernaut. A few prominent examples …

The FCC‘s network of corruption doesn‘t just shield industry from needed scrutiny and regulation on matters of public health and safety. Sometimes it just puts its hand directly into the public pocket and redistributes that cash to industry supplicants …

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has issued several reports citing fraud, waste and mismanagement, along with inadequate FCC oversight of the subsidy program. Bribery, kickbacks and false documentation can perhaps be expected in a handout program mandated by Congress and only indirectly supervised by the FCC.

[The "subsidy program," the Universal Service Fund, subsidizes various technology programs at public cost.]

Fraud—as pervasive and troubling as it has been—is just one of the problems with the programs of universal service. It may not even be the fundamental problem. More fundamental issues concern the very aim, logic and efficiency of programs to extend broadband and wireless technology at public expense. Though the aims of extending service to distant impoverished areas seem worthy on the surface, there are many reasons to think the major beneficiaries of these programs are the technology companies that win the contracts.

… the FCC, prodded by an industry ever on the lookout for incremental growth opportunities, is ignoring the health of youngsters to promote expanded Wi-Fi subsidies in schools across the U.S.

As a captured agency, the FCC is a prime example of institutional corruption. Officials in such institutions do not need to receive envelopes bulging with cash. But even their most well-intentioned efforts are often overwhelmed by a system that favors powerful private influences, typically at the expense of public interest.

… the auctions of electromagnetic spectrum, used by all wireless communications companies to send their signals, have yielded nearly $100 billion in recent years. The most recent auction to wireless providers produced the unexpectedly high total of $43 billion. No matter that the sale of spectrum is contributing to a pea soup of electromagnetic "smog" whose health consequences are largely unknown. The government needs money and Congress shows its appreciation with consistently pro-wireless policies.

Science is often the catalyst for meaningful regulation. But what happens when scientists are dependent on industry for research funding? Under pressure from budget cutters and deregulators, government funding for research on RF health effects has dried up. The EPA, which once had 35 investigators in the area, has long since abandoned its efforts.85 Numerous scientists have told me there‘s simply no independent research funding in the U.S. They are left with a simple choice: work on industry-sponsored research or abandon the field.


… an FCC with public interest commissioners is an idea worth consideration. It would at least require party apologists to defend how they so consistently champion the moneyed interests that have purchased disproportionate access and power in Washington.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

International Scientist Appeal on Electromagnetic Fields & Wireless Technology


June 25, 2015

WHO: It's time for a change

The World Health Organization promotes the radio frequency radiation guidelines adopted by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Many countries have adopted these guidelines to serve as their regulatory standards for wireless radiation exposure from cell phones, Wi-Fi, and other wireless devices.

ICNIRP has 14 members on the commission. ICNIRP recently announced that is calling for nominations to serve on the Commission from 2016 to 2020. To be eligible for membership, one must be nominated by the Executive Council of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) or an IRPA Associate Society.

IRPA, the international professional society for radiological protection, was created by health physicists with expertise in ionizing radiation. The Executive Council consists of 12 members including seven physicists, two engineers, a nuclear technologist, a biochemist, and an M.D. biologist. Their expertise and the primary focus of their association has been on protection from ionizing radiation. So it is reasonable to question why the eligibility criteria for ICNIRP membership requires that ICNIRP members be nominated by IRPA or its affiliates since ICNIRP’s domain is non-ionizing radiation protection.

Do the selection criteria for ICNIRP membership explain why ICNIRP has not adopted biologically-based guidelines to protect people from non-ionizing radiation?

ICNIRP should be composed of members who possess a comprehensive and deep understanding of the scientific literature regarding chronic, low intensity exposure to non-ionizing radiation and biology or health. In addition, these experts should be unbiased and should not have even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Recently, 206 scientists signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, a petition which claims that "the ICNIRP guidelines do not cover long-term exposure and low-intensity effects" and "they are insufficient to protect public health."  All of these scientists have published peer-reviewed research on non-ionizing radiation protection.
"The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) established in 1998 the “Guidelines For Limiting Exposure To Time-Varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz)”[1]." These guidelines are accepted by the WHO and numerous countries around the world. The WHO is calling for all nations to adopt the ICNIRP guidelines to encourage international harmonization of standards. In 2009, the ICNIRP released a statement saying that it was reaffirming its 1998 guidelines, as in their opinion, the scientific literature published since that time “has provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an immediate revision of its guidance on limiting exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields."http://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal

Perhaps, it is time for the WHO to replace ICNIRP with an expert committee that has greater expertise regarding non-ionizing radiation protection and use this committee to establish the WHO guidelines for wireless radiation. 

--

June 8, 2015

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. submitted the International EMF Scientist Appeal along with the Press Release and a description of the Appeal to the Federal Communications Commission in response to an FCC request for input regarding its radio frequency radiation regulations which were adopted in 1996 (Proceeding Number 13-84).

These three documents can be downloaded from FCC web site at http://bit.ly/FCCappeal.

A summary of key documents submitted to the FCC under Proceeding Number 13-84 is available at http://bit.ly/FCCkeydocs.

June 4, 2015 Update

The "International EMF Scientist Appeal" has generated more than 48 news stories in 26 nations written in 21 different languages attesting to the global reach of this petition.


May 16, 2015 Update

On Monday, May 11th, 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal to the United Nations, the UN member states, and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology* in the face of increasing evidence of risk.These exposures are a rapidly growing form of environmental pollution worldwide. 

*(e.g., cell phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, wireless devices, cell towers, wireless utility meters).

The “International EMF Scientist Appeal” asks the Secretary General, UN affiliated bodies and all member nations to encourage precautionary measures, to limit EMF exposures, and to educate the public about health risks, particularly to children and pregnant women.

To date, the petition has been signed by 200 EMF scientists from 40 countries -- each has published peer-reviewed research on non-ionizing EMF and biology or health -- about 2,000 scientific papers in all. 

The EMFscientist.org web site launched last Monday has been visited by people in 119 countries attesting to the global reach of this emerging public health crisis. The site contains information about this "wake up call" from the scientific community including a 3-minute video announcing the Appeal by Dr. Martin Blank, a past president of the International Bioelectromagnetics Society who has had over 30 years of experience conducting EMF research at Columbia University.

The International EMF Alliance has begun to collect endorsements of the Appeal from non-governnmental (i.e., non-profit) organizations around the world.]


May 11, 2015


PRESS RELEASE


International Scientists Appeal to U.N. to Protect Humans and Wildlife from Electromagnetic Fields and Wireless Technology


WHO’s conflicting stance on risk needs strengthening, says 190 scientists


New York, NY, May 11, 2015. Today 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal to the United Nations, UN member states and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. These exposures are a rapidly growing form of environmental pollution worldwide.

The “International EMF Scientist Appeal” asks the Secretary General and UN affiliated bodies to encourage precautionary measures, to limit EMF exposures, and to educate the public about health risks, particularly to children and pregnant women.

The Appeal highlights WHO’s conflicting positions about EMF risk. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B “Possible Carcinogen” in 2011, and Extremely Low Frequency fields in 2001.  Nonetheless, WHO continues to ignore its own agency’s recommendations and favors guidelines recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). These guidelines, developed by a self-selected group of industry insiders, have long been criticized as non-protective.

The Appeal calls on the UN to strengthen its advisories on EMF risk for humans and to assess the potential impact on wildlife and other living organisms under the auspices of the UN Environmental Programme, in line with the science demonstrating risk, thereby resolving this inconsistency.

Martin Blank, PhD, of Columbia University, says, 

"International exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields must be strengthened to reflect the reality of their impact on our bodies, especially on our DNA. The time to deal with the harmful biological and health effects is long overdue. We must reduce exposure by establishing more protective guidelines.”

Joel Moskowitz, PhD, of University of California, Berkeley, says, 

“ICNIRP guidelines set exposure standards for high-intensity, short-term, tissue-heating thresholds. These do not protect us from the low-intensity, chronic exposures common today. Scientists signing the Appeal request that the UN and member nations protect the global human population and wildlife from EMF exposures.”


International EMF Scientist Appeal, Description of the Appeal and Spokesperson Quotes:  EMFscientist.org

Video Statement (3 min.) by Spokesperson Martin Blank, PhD:  EMFscientist.org
     (An HD version of the video statement is available on request.)


Contacts:

Elizabeth Kelley, MA, Director              Joel Moskowitz, PhD               
EMFscientist.org                                  School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
info@EMFscientist.org                         jmm@berkeley.edu
                                                                             

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Canadian Parliament Committee Calls for Protection of Vulnerable Groups from Wireless Radiation Exposure

The Standing Committee on Health of the House of Commons in the Canadian Parliament issued a report on radio frequency electromagnetic radiation and health in June, 2015.  

The  Committee held public hearings regarding Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 recommended limits on safe human exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. 

Witnesses testified to the Committee or submitted briefs that raised concerns about the adequacy of Safety Code 6 to protect the population from health risks due to RF radiation. 

Concerns were raised that the Royal Society of Canada's review of Safety Code 6 for Health Canada was biased. That the review excluded 140 key research studies was of concern to Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST). Health Canada admitted that 36 of these studies which demonstrated health risks from exposures below the safety limit “were considered to be in scope and of sufficient quality for risk assessment.”

The witnesses discussed possible links between RF exposure and cancer, reproductive issues and autism. Concerns were raised about RF exposure in schools due to use of Wi-Fi; the need for RF exposure limits to protect vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, infants and children, and persons with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).

Most submissions recommended lowering the RF exposure limits in Safety Code 6. Russia, China, Italy and Switzerland were cited as examples of nations with lower exposure limits than Canada (or the U.S.). C4ST recommended “precautionary approaches regarding exposures to electromagnetic radiation from wireless communications devices that are as Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA).”

The Standing Committee on Health made the following recommendations in their report to the Parliament (pp. 25-26):

"Recommendation 1: That the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the health departments of the provinces and territories, examine existing cancer data collection methods to improve the collection of information relating to wireless device use and cancer.

Recommendation 2: That Statistics Canada consider including questions related to electromagnetic hypersensitivity in the Canadian Community Health Survey.
Recommendation 3: That the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, consider funding research into electromagnetic hypersensitivity testing, diagnosis and treatment, and its possible impacts on health in the workplace.
Recommendation 4: That the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the World Health Organization consider updating their guidelines and continuing education materials regarding the diagnosis and treatment of electromagnetic hypersensitivity to ensure they are based on the latest scientific evidence and reflect the symptoms of affected Canadians.

Recommendation 5: That the Government of Canada continue to provide reasonable accommodations for environmental sensitivities, including electromagnetic hypersensitivity, as required under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Recommendation 6: That Health Canada ensure the openness and transparency of its processes for the review of Safety Code 6, so that all Canadians have an opportunity to be informed about the evidence considered or excluded in such reviews, that outside experts are provided full information when doing independent reviews, and that the scientific rationale for any change is clearly communicated.
Recommendation 7: That the Government of Canada establish a system for Canadians to report potential adverse reactions to radiofrequency fields.
Recommendation 8: That an independent scientific body recognized by Health Canada examine whether measures taken and guidelines provided in other countries, such as France and Israel, to limit the exposure of vulnerable populations, including infants, and young children in the school environment, to radiofrequencies should be adopted in Canada.

Recommendation 9: That the Government of Canada develop an awareness campaign relating to the safe use of wireless technologies, such as cell phones and Wi-Fi, in key environments such as the school and home to ensure that Canadian families and children are reducing risks related to radiofrequency exposure.
Recommendation 10: That Health Canada conduct a comprehensive review of all existing literature relating to radiofrequency fields and carcinogenicity based on international best practices.
Recommendation 11: That the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, consider funding research into the link between radiofrequency fields and potential health effects such as cancer, genetic damage, infertility, impairment to development and behaviour, harmful effects to eyes and on the brain, cardiovascular, biological and biochemical effects.
Recommendation 12: That the Government of Canada and manufacturers consider policy measures regarding the marketing of radiation emitting devices to children under the age of 14, in order to ensure they are aware of the health risks and how they can be avoided."


"Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Health of Canadians." Report of the Standing Committee on Health, 41st Parliament, Second Session. House of Commons, Canada. June 2015. http://bit.ly/RF-EMR-Report-Canada-2015


Also see:

Webster, P.C. Parliamentary report calls for action on Wi-Fi. CMAJ. Jun 25, 2015. DOI:10.1503/cmaj.109-5107. 
http://www.cmaj.ca/site/earlyreleases/25june15_parliamentary-report-calls-for-action-on-Wi-Fi.xhtml