Friday, June 23, 2017

Is 5G Cellular Technology Harmful to Our Health?

Note: Recent millimeter wave bioeffect studies are listed below.

EMF Scientist Appeal Advisors Call for Moratorium 
on Policies for 5G “Small Cell” Antennas

The advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in opposition to a proposed change in FCC rules that would allow rapid deployment of 5th generation (5G) wireless infrastructure throughout the nation. A copy of the Appeal was appended to the letter.

5G involves transmission of millimeter waves which operate at much higher frequencies than currently used for cellular transmission (30 to 300 gigahertz). Because the range of these signals is limited (i.e., less than a football field), hundreds of thousands of new “small cell” antennas will be required in the U.S. The wireless industry wants to install these not-so-small cellular antennas on existing public utility poles.

The FCC intends to streamline the approval of these antennas which would further undermine the regulatory authority of cities and states over cell towers.

Meanwhile the wireless industry is lobbying for legislation in many states across the country that would limit local authority over cell antenna deployment.

Due to the concern that the FCC’s new rules will result in increased exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), the Appeal’s advisors oppose the new rules and call for a “public health review of the growing body of scientific evidence that includes reports of increasing rates of cancer and neurological diseases that may be caused by exposure to EMF from wireless sources.”

The Appeal reflects the concerns of 225 EMF experts from 41 nations about the impact of EMF exposure on public health. All of the experts who signed this appeal have published research in peer-reviewed scientific journals about the biologic or health effects of EMF.

According to the Appeal’s signatories, current national and international EMF exposure guidelines are obsolete and inadequate to protect human health and the environment. The FCC’s radio frequency guidelines were adopted in 1996.

The letter (dated June 9, 2017) is signed by the five advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal: Drs. Martin Blank, Magda Havas, Henry Lai, and Joel Moskowitz, and Elizabeth Kelley.

For more information:

FCC filing detail   (June 9, 2017)

May 8, 2017

A 5G Wireless Future: 
Will it give us a smart nation or contribute to an unhealthy one?

Dr. Cindy Russell, The (SCCMA) Bulletin, Jan/Feb 2017
Safety testing for 5G is the same as other wireless devices. It is based on heat. This is an obsolete standard and not considering current science showing cellular and organism harm from non-thermal effects. There is a large gap in safety data for 5G biological effects that has been demonstrated in older studies including military.
1. Do not proceed to roll out 5G technologies pending pre-market studies on health effects.
2. Reevaluate safety standards based on long term as well as short term studies on biological effects.
3. Rescind a portion of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which preempts state and local government regulation for the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects so that health and environmental issues can be addressed.
4. Rescind portions of The Spectrum Act which was passed in 2012 as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which strips the ability city officials and local governments to regulate cellular communications equipment, provides no public notification or opportunity for public input and may potentially result in environmental impacts.
5. Create an independent multidisciplinary scientific agency tasked with developing appropriate safety regulations, pre-market testing and research needs in a transparent environment with public input.
6. Label pertinent EMF information on devices along with appropriate precautionary warnings.
Dr. Russell provides a brief review of the research on millimeter wave bioeffects in this article:

Aug 17, 2016 (Updated Aug 19)

5G cellular technology will employ much higher frequency microwaves than current cell phone technologies: 2G, 3G, and 4G.  These microwaves, known as millimeter waves, won't penetrate building materials like the current technology which is why industry may need one cell antenna base station for every 12 homes. 
But millimeter waves can affect your eyes and penetrate your skin.

When the Los Angeles Times reporter contacted me for the story below, I did a quick search and found several recently published articles examining biological effects of millimeter waves (see references below). This form of microwave radiation is most likely to affect our skin and neuronal cells in the upper dermis.

Moreover, widespread adoption of 5G cellular technology in the U.S. may have profound effects on our ecosystem by altering bacteria, possibly creating harmful bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

History has proved that we cannot trust the FCC and the FDA to protect our health from microwave radiation exposure.

I submitted an open letter to the FCC in July calling for "an independent review of the biologic and health research to determine whether the RF standards should be modified before allowing additional spectrum to be used for new commercial applications."

Moreover, the FCC has ignored the 800-plus submissions that call upon the agency to adopt rigorous radio frequency standards to protect the public’s health. Instead the agency maintains its 20-year old exposure guidelines that control only for heating or thermal risks. The FDA has ignored the thousands of studies that find nonthermal biologic effects, and the human studies that find a wide range of health effects including increased cancer risk and reproductive harm from exposure to low intensity microwaves.
In my opinion, precaution is warranted before unleashing 5G technology on the world. I suspect most of the 221 scientists who signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal (referenced in the article below), would support this assertion.

However, more research is also needed as specific characteristics of the millimeter waves (e.g., pulsing, modulation) to be employed in 5G cellular technology may be more important than the frequency or intensity of the waves in terms of biologic and health effects. The research funding must be independent of industry as conflicts of interest have been found to undermine the science in this field.
For an unbiased summary of the partial findings of the National Toxicology Program study of cancer risk from 2G cell phone radiation, see


Is 5G technology dangerous? Early data shows a slight increase of tumors in male rats exposed to cellphone radiation

Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times, Aug 8, 2016


 Low-intensity millimeter waves used for pain therapy have side effects

The Russians have pioneered millimeter wave therapy (MWT) using low intensity millimeter waves to reduce pain including headaches, joint pain, and postoperative pain.

Although the following review paper documents some positive effects from short-term exposure to MWT, the authors note that there are side effects including fatigue, sleepiness, and paresthesia (an abnormal sensation, tingling or pricking [“pins and needles”] caused by pressure on or damage to peripheral nerves). 

"We conclude that there is promising data from pilot case series and small-scale randomized controlled trials for analgesic/hypoalgesic effects of electromagnetic millimeter waves in frequency range 30–70 GHz. Large-scale randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of this non-invasive therapeutic technique are necessary." 
"In the studies reviewed the authors did not report any health-related side effects of MWT. Slight paresthesias, previously mentioned in several case reports and non-controlled case series (10,11), appeared in almost 50% of patients in studies where the effects of MWT were carefully described (21,27,28,31). The paresthesias were of short duration and reported as pleasant (‘warmth’) or neutral. General fatigue and sleepiness during the treatment sessions in almost 80% of the patients was a rather desirable side effect of MWT, as also described in previous reviews on biomedical effects of MWT (10,11,21,27,28)."
From: Usichenko TI, Edinger H, Gizhko VV, Lehmann C, Wendt M, Feyerherd F. Low-intensity electromagnetic millimeter waves for pain therapy. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 Jun;3(2):201-7. URL:
Little research is available on long-term exposure to millimeter waves (see below). Most of the studies referred to in this review paper did not modulate or pulse the carrier waves which will be required for information-carrying millimeter waves employed in 5G technologies. Prior research suggests that such waves will be more biologically active than pure sine waves.


Effects of Millimeter Waves Radiation on Cell Membrane - A Brief Review

Ramundo-Orlando A.  Effects of millimeter waves radiation on cell membrane - A brief review.  J Infrared Milli Terahz Waves. 2010; 30 (12): 1400-1411.


The millimeter waves (MMW) region of the electromagnetic spectrum, extending from 30 to 300 GHz in terms of frequency (corresponding to wavelengths from 10 mm to 1 mm), is officially used in non-invasive complementary medicine in many Eastern European countries against a variety of diseases such gastro duodenal ulcers, cardiovascular disorders, traumatism and tumor. On the other hand, besides technological applications in traffic and military systems, in the near future MMW will also find applications in high resolution and high-speed wireless communication technology. This has led to restoring interest in research on MMW induced biological effects. In this review emphasis has been given to the MMW-induced effects on cell membranes that are considered the major target for the interaction between MMW and biological systems.


 “Several studies on the effects induced by millimeter radiation on biological systems have been reported in the literature. Diverse effects have been observed on cell free systems, cultured cells, isolated organs of animals and humans. The subject has been extensively reviewed by Motzkin [17] and more recently by Pakhomov [3]. At the cellular level these effects are mainly on the membrane process and ion channels, molecular complexes, excitable and other structures. Many of these effects are quite unexpected from a radiation penetrating less than 1 mm into biological tissues [3, 18, 19]. However none of the findings described in the above reviews has been replicated in an independent laboratory, thus they cannot be considered as established biological effects.”

“…a large number of cellular studies have indicated that MMW may alter structural and functional properties of membranes (Table 2).”


“In this review emphasis has been given to the low-level MMW effects on cell membranes. Above all, it should be mentioned that the reported effects are of a non-thermal character, that is, the action of radiation does not produce essential heating of the biological system or destroy its structure. In this context it appears that no permanent structural change of lipid bilayer could arise under low level (less than 10 mW/cm2) millimeter waves irradiation.

On the other hand, MMW radiation may affect intracellular calcium activities, and, as a consequence, several cellular and molecular processes controlled by Ca2+ dynamics themselves. The effects of MMW radiation on ion transport may be the consequence of a direct effect on membrane proteins as well as on phospholipid domain organization. Water molecules seem to play an important role in these biological effects of MMW radiation. Unfortunately, detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating physiological responses to MMW exposure remain largely unknown.

Usually the search at a molecular level is simpler if we can reduce the complexity of our biological samples. This is the case for cell membranes by using model systems. They can be formed by a simple lipid bilayer without interfering components and they give independence from biological activity that can create complication in searching for electromagnetic fields bioeffects. The emphasis is on the search for molecular mechanisms of the membrane effect induced by MMW with different frequencies and power density. Furthermore, replication studies are needed including good temperature control and appropriate internal control samples. It is also advantageous if the future studies are multidisciplinary, invoking an integration of high quality exposure and effects methodologies.

Clearly a significant amount of accurate experimental work is still required in order to fully understand the interactions between MMW radiation and cell membrane.”

Recent Millimeter Wave Bioeffect Studies
(Updated: June 23, 2017)

Foster KR, Ziskin MC, Balzano Q. Thermal Response of Human Skin to Microwave Energy: A Critical Review. Health Phys. 2016; 111(6):528-541. (Note: This work was sponsored by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum. The authors state that MMF had no control over the contents.)

Gandhi OP, Riazi A. Absorption of millimeter waves by human beings and its biological implications. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques. MTT-34(2):228-235. 1986.

Haas AJ, Le Page Y, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R, Le Dréan Y. Effects of 60-GHz millimeter waves on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells using high-content screening. Neurosci Lett. 2016 Apr 8;618:58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2016.02.038. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Haas AJ, Le Page Y, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R, Dréan YL, Saligaut C. Effect of acute millimeter wave exposure on dopamine metabolism of NGF-treated PC12 cells. J Radiat Res. 2017 Feb 24:1-7. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrx004.

Hovnanyan K, Kalantaryan V, Trchounian A. The distinguishing effects of low intensity electromagnetic radiation of different extremely high frequences on Enterococcus hirae: growth rate inhibition and scanning electron microscopy analysis. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2017 . doi: 10.1111/lam.12764.

Le Dréan Y, Mahamoud YS, Le Page Y, Habauzit D, Le Quément C, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R. State of knowledge on biological effects at 40–60 GHz. Comptes Rendus Physique, 14(5):402-411. 2013.

Sivachenko IB, Medvedev DS, Molodtsova ID, Panteleev SS, Sokolov AY, Lyubashina OA. Effects of Millimeter-Wave Electromagnetic Radiation on the Experimental Model of Migraine. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2016 Feb;160(4):425-8. doi: 10.1007/s10517-016-3187-7. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Soghomonyan D, Trchounian K, Trchounian A. Millimeter waves or extremely high frequency electromagnetic fields in the environment: what are their effects on bacteria? Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Jun;100(11):4761-71. doi: 10.1007/s00253-016-7538-0. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WHO Radiofrequency Radiation Policy

World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health 
- a hard nut to crack (Review)

Today the International Journal of Oncology published a critique of the World Health Organization's pending review of the adverse health effects of wireless (i.e., radio frequency or RF) radiation. The critique was written by Dr. Lennart Hardell, the world's preeminent researcher on brain tumor risk and long-term cell phone use. 

His paper provides an historical overview of WHO's EMF Project, WHO's relationship to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and the relationships of both organizations to the military and electric and telecom industries.

Dr. Hardell notes that the WHO has relied heavily on members of ICNIRP, a non-governmental organization "with serious conflict of interest." In their reviews of the scientific evidence for adverse health effects from wireless radiation exposure, ICNIRP dismisses the evidence for biological effects due to non-thermal exposures. By focusing only on short-term heating effects and ignoring the effects of chronic exposure to non-thermal levels of RF radiation, ICNIRP has been able to adopt RF exposure guidelines about 300,000 times more permissive than otherwise would be required. RF exposure standards in many nations including the U.S. have been heavily influenced by these guidelines. 
"The ICNIRP guidelines are of huge importance to the influential telecommunications, military and power industries."
Dr. Hardell calls upon the public, NGOs, and the scientific community "to exert pressure on politicians to change the WHO agenda on RF radiation and health hazards and decide that WHO's purpose is to support world health instead of industry interests."


Lennart Hardell. World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health - a hard nut to crack (Review). International Journal of Oncology. Published online June 21, 2017.

In May 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluated cancer risks from radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Human epidemiological studies gave evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma. RF radiation was classified as Group 2B, a possible human carcinogen. Further epidemiological, animal and mechanistic studies have strengthened the association. In spite of this, in most countries little or nothing has been done to reduce exposure and educate people on health hazards from RF radiation. On the contrary ambient levels have increased.
In 2014 the WHO launched a draft of a Monograph on RF fields and health for public comments. It turned out that five of the six members of the Core Group in charge of the draft are affiliated with International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an industry loyal NGO, and thus have a serious conflict of interest. Just as by ICNIRP, evaluation of non-thermal biological effects from RF radiation are dismissed as scientific evidence of adverse health effects in the Monograph. This has provoked many comments sent to the WHO. However, at a meeting on March 3, 2017 at the WHO Geneva office it was stated that the WHO has no intention to change the Core Group.
Open Access Paper: and

The exposure guideline used by many agencies was established in 1998 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and was based only on established short-term thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation neglecting nonthermal biological effects (18).
Basis for limiting exposure according to ICNIRP: ‘Only established effects were used as the basis for the proposed exposure restrictions. Induction of cancer from long-term EMF exposure was not considered to be established, and so these guidelines are based on short-term, immediate health effects such as stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles, shocks and burns caused by touching conducting objects, and elevated tissue temperatures resulting from absorption of energy during exposure to EMF. In the case of potential long-term effects of exposure, such as an increased risk of cancer, ICNIRP concluded that available data are insufficient to provide a basis for setting exposure restrictions, although epidemiological research has provided suggestive, but unconvincing, evidence of an association between possible carcinogenic effects.’
The guidelines were updated in 2009 but still do not cover cancer and other long-term or non-thermal health effects. ICNIRP gives the guideline 2 to 10 W/m2 for RF radiation depending on frequency, thus only based on a short-term immediate thermal effect (19). ICNIRP is a private organisation (NGO) based in Germany. New expert members can only be elected by members of ICNIRP. Many of ICNIRP members have ties to the industry that is dependent on the ICNIRP guidelines. The guidelines are of huge economic and strategic importance to the military, telecom/IT and power industry.
In contrast to ICNIRP, the BioInitiative Reports from 2007 and updated in 2012, based the evaluation also on non‑thermal health effects from RF radiation (20,21). The scientific benchmark for possible health risks was defined to be 30 to 60 μW/m2. Thus, using the significantly higher guideline by ICNIRP gives a ‘green card’ to roll out the wireless digital technology thereby not considering non-thermal health effects from RF radiation. Numerous health hazards are disregarded such as cancer (8), effects on neurotransmitters and neuroprotection (22,23), blood-brain-barrier (24,25), cognition (26-29), psychological addiction (30-32), sleep (33-36), behavioral problems (37-41) and sperm quality (13,42,43). No doubt the IARC decision started a world-wide spinning machine to question the evaluation. It was similar to the one launched by the tobacco industry when IARC was studying and evaluating passive smoking as a carcinogen in the 1990s (44). Sowing confusion and manufacturing doubt about scientific facts is a well-known strategy used by the tobacco and other industries (8,45-48).
The biophysicist Michael Repacholi from Australia was the first chairman of ICNIRP in 1992. His own research within this field is scanty, although a study on lymphoma incidence in mice exposed to RF radiation published in 1997 has attracted interest (49). Repacholi suggested in 1995 that WHO should start the EMF project. This was adopted by WHO in 1996 ....Repacholi was during 1996-2006 the leader of the WHO department of electromagnetic radiation, the WHOEMF project.
Michael Repacholi immediately set up a close collaboration between WHO and ICNIRP (being head of both organizations) inviting the electric, telecom and military industries to meetings. He also arranged for large part of the WHO EMF project to be financed by the telecommunication industry's lobbying organisations; GSM Association and Mobile Manufacturers Forum, now called Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF) (51) in addition to WHO ...
Repacholi acted like a representative for the telecom industry while responsible for the EMF health effects department at the WHO.... Since he left WHO in 2006 he has been involved in industry propaganda video interviews with GSM Association and Hydro Quebec ...
Repacholi recruited Emilie van Deventer to the WHO EMF Project in 2000. She is the current project manager at WHO for the EMF project. She has been a long time member of the industry dominated organization Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IEEE is the world's most powerful federation of engineers. The members are or have been employed in companies or organizations that are producers or users of technologies that depend on radiation frequencies, such as power companies, the telecom and the military industry. IEEE has prioritized international lobbying efforts for decades especially aimed at the WHO ..
Van Deventer is an electrical engineer. She has no formal or earlier knowledge in medicine, epidemiology or biology, so it is surprising that she was selected for such an important position at the WHO ...
WHO radio frequency fields: Environmental health criteria monograph
It must be regarded to be unusual and scientifically inadequate not to provide for review the health risk assessment and protective measures which would be most important parts of the Monograph. Furthermore, it turned out that of the six members in the WHO Core Group four are active members of ICNIRP and one is a former member. This was published in 2016 (52) and also discussed more recently (8). Only one person seems to be independent of ICNIRP, see Table I. Several persons have also affiliation(s) to other advisory groups, authorities and/or committees. Six of the 20 additional experts are affiliated with ICNIRP.
Being a member of ICNIRP is a conflict of interest in the scientific evaluation of health hazards from RF radiation through ties to military and industry. This is particularly true since the ICNIRP guidelines are of huge importance to the influential telecommunications, military and power industries. Another conflict of interest is for members officially assessing possible health effects below their own set ICNIRP guidelines, which they have already stated as beeing safe, see also discussion in (52).
It should be noted that the Ethical Board at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden concluded already in 2008 that being a member of ICNIRP may be a conflict of interest that should be stated officially whenever a member from ICNIRP makes opinions on health risks from EMF (Karolinska Institute diary number: 3753-2008-609). No statement of such conflict of interest can be found in the WHO draft of the Monograph on RF radiation.
It was stated by the WHO officials that ICNIRP is an NGO with an official relationship with WHO that ‘helps us a lot in our analyses’ and their members work as WHO's experts. Thus, in spite of five of six persons in the Core Group for the Monograph being affiliated with ICNIRP, WHO seems to have no intention to change these members. On the other hand, the Task Group is not finalized.
According to the meeting all experts are selected on individual basis and not as members of ICNIRP. Further, it was stated that the WHO guideline documents are in full WHO's responsibility. It is not known when the Monograph on RF radiation will be published. WHO still ‘keeps looking at the evidence’ and is still adding new documents to the Monograph.
In the draft of the Monograph a large bulk of peer-reviewed scientific publications on non-thermal effects are dismissed, c.f. as also by ICNIRP (19). Most remarkable is that WHO has no intention to replace the Core Group of experts affiliated with ICNIRP. Thereby ICNIRP is given full access to and exclusive possibilities to influence the Monograph. In view of the huge economic interests built into the ICNIRP guidelines, and several of its expert members' ties to industry, no doubt this is a large conflict of interest that will seriously undermine not only the credibility of the Monograph on RF radiation but also the credibility of WHO as a protector of world health. Seriously enough, the Monograph will be the hallmark for years to come on evaluation of health hazards from RF radiation and pave the way for increasing exposure to RF radiation to people and environment, e.g. the fifth generation (5G), internet of things, etc.
Children and adolescents may be more sensitive to RF radiation than adults (2). Thus as an authoritative agency, WHO has an obligation to reference all the scientific research results and call the experts from all the related fields like engineering, health and medicine to engage in the re-evaluation of all health effects including non-thermal of RF radiation. Related agencies should launch an objective and transparent project for this assessment.
Protests and comments by scientific experts and several organizations seem to be ignored. The Monograph might be political and industry supportive more than scientific and health promoting. For a definitive conclusion a more thorough review of the whole draft document would be needed. By now it is time for laymen, NGOs and scientists to exert pressure on politicians to change the WHO agenda on RF radiation and health hazards and decide that WHO's purpose is to support world health instead of industry interests. It is also time to evaluate the competence of the persons making the evaluations and decisions before publishing the Monograph. Of note, evidence has been published (52) which indicated that members of ICNIRP have written scientifically incorrect and misleading information. It is unknown if WHO has responded to this evidence of suggested scientific misconduct.

June 19, 2017

International EMF Expert Group to Counter ICNIRP

ECERI Newsletter. No. 6, June 2017
"Following a recent meeting with WHO representatives in Geneva, members of this ECERI group have decided to publish their own data in the form of a scientific consensus paper on the effects of non-thermal EMFs on behalf of the ECERI. Finally, since several ECERI scientists believe that environmental pollution may in fact be a cause of cancer and other diseases such as Alzheimer disease and autism, ECERI has proposed to create another international group comprising scientists and jurists to discuss the possibility that intentional massive pollution could be recognized by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a true crime against health. This proposal will be discussed at the next ECERI Executive Committee and General Assembly in Brussels.
Following the meeting with WHO in Geneva on March, the 3rd, it was proposed to create an ECERI-related working group to oppose ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection), that might be termed “International commission of scientific expertise on non-thermal radiation effects (ICSENTRE). The members of this group so far are: Dominique Belpomme (France), Igor Belyaev (Slovakia), Ernesto Burgio (Italy), David Carpenter (USA), Lennart Hardell (Sweden), Magda Havas (Canada), SMJ Mortazavi (Iran), André Vander Vorst (Belgium) and Gérard Ledoigt (France). If you wish to join this group, please contact Christine Campagnac ("
ECERI – European Cancer and Environment Research Institute, Square de Meeus 38-40, 1000 Brussels; Tél :0032 24 01 87 75 or 0033

April 1, 2017

ECERI Meeting with WHO on Electromagnetic Fields

ECERI Newsletter No. 5, March 2017

"Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Emilie van Deventer, Team Leader of the Radiation Programme at the WHO received on March the 3rd, in Geneva, a scientific delegation of the European Cancer and Environment Research Institute (ECERI), composed of Dominique Belpomme (F), Igor Belyaev (SKA), Ernesto Burgio (I), Christine Campagnac (F), David Carpenter (US), Tarmo Koppel (EE) and Lennart Hardell (SE) to discuss the health effects of EMFs.
David Carpenter introduced the talk, reminding that there are numerous significant human health hazards of concern, due to non-thermal effects of EMFs. He expressed the particular concern of the ECERI Group that a new WHO Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) document on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) is scheduled to be released in 2017, and that the members of the EHC Core Group are in denial of serious non-thermal effects of RF EMFs in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Regarding the particular vulnerability of children and their high exposure, the scientific group urges WHO to address the hazards of RF EMF.
Igor Belyaev pointed at genotoxicity induced by exposure to RF can under specific conditions of exposure (type of cells, type of signal etc) and at all other biological effects of RF (blood brain barrier, melatonin, oxidative stress, gene/protein proliferation) induced under specific conditions of non-thermal RF exposure.
In contrast to the Russian National Committee of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the ICNIRP safety standards do not take into account non-thermal effects and prolonged exposures, and are in evident contradiction with classification of RF as possible carcinogen, group 2B, by IARC.

Igor Belyaev delivers to Maria Neira a letter from Oleg Grigoriev, Head of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP). “Based on multiple Russian studies and  emerging number of studies coming from other countries, RNCNIRP has consistently warned against possible health effects from mobile communication” writes Oleg Grigoriev, requesting that WHO balances the RF working group in the evaluation of RF health effects to get more credible conclusions.
Lennart Hardell presented the results of his epidemiological studies on brain tumor risks and exposure to EMF. His data strongly suggest that RF EMF should be classified not as Group IIB, as it is presently the case, ie as possible carcinogenic, but as IIA, ie as probably carcinogenic. His  studies  were recently confirmed by other independent scientific group (see page 4 of the present letter).
Dominique Belpomme pres.ented the results of his study on electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Based on a series of 1,500 EHS and/or MCS cases, it was found that EHS can be objectively characterized by a battery of biomarkers reflecting oxidative stress, low grade neuro-inflammation and BBB opening.
Presently 1-10% of the investigated population in Europe is estimated to be EHS-self reporting persons. The ECERI group calls WHO to urgently accomplish its humanitarian worldwide public health mission: (1) by reexamining objectively the EHS-related health problem, independent of non- science-based external types of conflicting pressures; (2) by considering EHS and MCS as two new emerging well identified pathological disorders; (3) by including EHS and MCS in separate codes in the next version of the WHO ICD.
Ernesto Burgio pointed at the epigenetics mechanisms by which children are very vulnerable to RF EMF. EMFs (both ELF and RFR) are among the environmental factors already proven to be at the same time constantly increasing in the environment and mostly interfering on the less differentiated cells, on stem cell differentiation and on the early stages of brain development, on cell migration and synaptogenesis, and on the gametes.
This raises concerns for public health, regarding the possible effects (neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer etc.) of long-term exposure to low intensity, environmental daily life levels on the directly exposed subjects and even on the future generations. He concluded that this may impose a drastic reduction of the exposure to EMFs of pregnant women and infants.
Emilie van Deventer invited the ECERI scientific group to provide as many additional publications as possible, particularly peer-reviewed meta-analysis.
Regarding the preliminary monography released last year, she stated that the conclusions were not included given that the document was not final. She added that the Task Group was not defined yet, and that it was still possible to apply. The date for the final release of the monography is not planned yet either.
International EMF Expertise Group
Following the meeting with Maria Neira, the ECERI group defined a new strategy on EMFs for the future. The present members unanimously decided to join efforts to make non-thermal effects of EMF definitely recognized at an international level. The principle of an ECERI collective scientific publication on non-thermal effects of EMFs was agreed. This publication should be issued by June. An  International EMF Expertise  Group  issued  from ECERI  is  under  development, aiming at publishing meta-analysis on EMFs health effects, in order to counterbalance ICNIRP’s political influence."

March 1, 2017

The chairman of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) which criticizes the WHO working group on the evaluation of health effects from radiofrequency radiation (RFR) because the working group is primarily composed of past and present members of ICNIRP, a "private self-selected organization." 

The letter asserts that the working group "is not balanced" and does not represent the perspective of the majority of the scientific community that studies the effects of RFR.

ICNIRP does not recognize the non-thermal effects of RFR and upholds RFR guidelines adopted in 1996 that only protect against harmful thermal effects.
"Based on multiple Russian studies and emerging number of studies coming from other countries, RNCNIRP has consistently warned against possible health effects from mobile communication. The point of view of RNCNIRP is supported by hundreds of new publications including well known recent RF studies in human and animals."

May 31, 2013

The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking input on its radiofrequency (RF) policies.  Although the WHO is applying a "risk management" framework to this issue, recent presentations by the WHO and by ICNIRP, its standard setting body, suggest these organizations perceive RF radiation to be more of a public relations problem than a public safety issue.

How long will the WHO (and ICNIRP) continue its denialist policy regarding radiofrequency bioeffects and long term health risks from low intensity, microwave radiation associated with use of mobile phones and Wi-Fi?  More importantly, what will it take to get the WHO to embrace the precautionary principle?

Announcement of International Stakeholder Seminar on Radiofrequency Policies and call for examples of good risk management practices
The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking the views of stakeholders and interested parties in the process of preparing an Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) monograph on radiofrequency (RF) fields. The monograph will include a scientific review of all studied health outcomes and it will provide an overview of risk management policies and practices around the world.

As part of the EHC process, the WHO is convening a seminar on 5 June 2013 at the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) in Paris, France. The purpose of the seminar is to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to present their views on specific questions to be addressed during the course of this project. The discussions at the seminar and their conclusions will be considered carefully in the development of the WHO monograph.


RF and Health: A WHO Perspective 

Emile Van Deventer, ITU Workshop on EMF, May 9, 2013

At the ITU International Workshop on EMF in May 2013, Dr Emilie van Deventer from the WHO provided an overview of the WHO EMF program advising the EHC review process was already underway and was expected to be completed in 2015.


EMF Safety Guidelines -- The ICNIRP View

Rüdiger Matthes, International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), May 2013

Also at the ITU workshop, Rüdiger Matthes, Chairman of the International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) presented an overview of the EMF Safety Guidelines and told delegates that the Guidelines would be reviewed following the WHO EHC.

Following are some key quotes from his presentation:

  • "no convincing evidence from epidemiology"
  • "very few epidemiological data available (no recent studies)"
  • "insufficient evidence from animal studies"
  • "still insufficient evidence for firm conclusions"
  • "data are still too limited for an appropriate risk assessment"
  • "biological effects have not been studied very well"
  • "recent high quality animal studies consistently report lack of an effect"

IARC Monograph Vol. 102 on ‘Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields Published

On the 19th April 2013, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published Monograph Vol. 102 on ‘Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.‘

Monograph 102 - Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (April 2013) 

Additional Information:

(EMF Explained is a series developed by three wireless industry associations.)