Thursday, January 10, 2013

BioInitiative 2012 Report

Commentary on BioInitiative 2012 Report

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.

"BioInitiative 2012: A Rationale for Biologically-based Exposure Standards for Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Radiation" updates the 2007 BioInitiative Report. The 2012 report was written by 29 authors from ten countries including ten MDs and 21 PhDs. Authors include three former presidents and five members of the Bioelectromagnetics Society. One author is Chair of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation, and another is Senior Advisor to the European Environmental Agency.

Critics of the report have argued that it is not published in a peer-reviewed journal, and it is biased. It is true that the report was prepared independent of governments, existing bodies and industry professional societies. The critics of this report, many of whom suffer from serious conflicts of interest, ignore a large and growing body of scientific literature that demonstrates biologic activity and harmful health effects from exposure to low (i.e., sub-thermal) levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

The critics of this report only recognize EMR effects caused by heating tissue (i.e., thermal effects).  As such, the critics have upheld the outdated EMR safety standards which their professional organizations established in the early 1990’s. 

With minor variations, these EMR standards were adopted by the U.S. and other Western nations in the mid-1990's. At that time, exposure of the general population to sources of EMR, especially in close proximity to the body (e.g., cell and cordless phones, wi-fi), was quite minor as compared to the present day.

The 2012 BioInitiative Report presents the scientific evidence why we need to adopt much stronger, biologically-based standards. The report presents a solid scientific and public health policy assessment that is evidence-based. 

Read the report and judge for yourself which side of this decades-long debate you believe.

BioInitiative 2012 Report Issues New Warnings on Wireless and EMF

Press Release, Business Wire, Jan 3, 2013

Rensselaer, N.Y., A new report by the BioInitiative Working Group 2012 says that evidence for risks to health has substantially increased since 2007 from electromagnetic fields and wireless technologies (radiofrequency radiation). The Report reviews over 1800 new scientific studies. Cell phone users, parents-to-be, young children and pregnant women are at particular risk.
“There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones.”
“There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones,” says Lennart Hardell, MD at Orebro University, Sweden. “Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a human carcinogen. The existing FCC/IEE and ICNIRP public safety limits and reference levels are not adequate to protect public health.”

A dozen new studies link cell phone radiation to sperm damage. Even a cell phone in the pocket or on a belt may harm sperm DNA, result in misshapen sperm, and impair fertility in men. Laptop computers with wireless internet connections can damage DNA in sperm.

Based on strong evidence for vulnerable biology in autism, EMF/RFR can plausibly increase autism risk and symptoms.

"While we aggressively investigate the links between autism disorders and wireless technologies, we should minimize wireless and EMF exposures for people with autism disorders, children of all ages, people planning a baby, and during pregnancy,” says Martha Herbert, MD, PhD.

Wireless devices such as phones and laptops used by pregnant women may alter brain development of the fetus. This has been linked in both animal and human studies to hyperactivity, learning and behavior problems.

According to David O. Carpenter, MD, co-editor:

“There is now much more evidence of risks to health affecting billions of people world-wide. The status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.”

This study covers EMF from powerlines, electrical wiring, appliances and hand-held devices; and from wireless technologies (cell and cordless phones, cell towers, ‘smart meters’, WI-FI, wireless laptops, wireless routers, baby monitors, and other electronic devices). Health topics include damage to DNA and genes, effects on memory, learning, behavior, attention, sleep disruption, cancer and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. New safety standards are urgently needed for protection against EMF and wireless exposures that now appear everywhere in daily life.

The BioInitiative 2012 Report is available at:

"In twenty-one technical chapters of this 2012 update, the contributing authors discuss the content and implications of about 1800 new studies. Overall, there is reinforced scientific evidence of risk where there is chronic exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic fields and to wireless technologies (radiofrequency radiation including microwave radiation).”

“There is more evidence in 2012 that such exposures damage DNA, interfere with DNA repair, evidence of toxicity to the human genome (genes), more worrisome effects on the nervous system (neurology) and more and better studies on the effects of mobile phone base stations (wireless antenna facilities or cell towers) that report lower RFR levels over time can result in adverse health impacts. There has been a big increase in the number of studies looking at the effects of cell phones (on the belt, or in the pocket of men radiating only on standby mode) and from wireless laptops on impacts to sperm quality and motility; and sperm death (fertility and reproduction).”

“In other new studies of the fetus, infant and young child, and child-in-school – there are a dozen or more new studies of importance."

Table Of Contents
Summary For The Public And Conclusions
Statement Of The Problem
The Existing Public Exposure Standards
Evidence For Inadequacy Of The Standards
Evidence For Effects On Gene And Protein Expression
Evidence For Genotoxic Effects – RFR And ELF DNA Damage
Evidence For Stress Response (Stress Proteins)
Evidence For Effects On Immune Function
Evidence For Effects On Neurology And Behavior
Effects Of EMF From Wireless Communication Upon The Blood-Brain Barrier
Evidence For Brain Tumors And Acoustic Neuromas
Evidence For Childhood Cancers (Leukemia)
Evidence For Effects On Melatonin: Alzheimer’s Disease And Breast Cancer
Evidence For Breast Cancer Promotion
Evidence For Disruption By The Modulating Signal
Plausible Genetic And Metabolic Mechanisms For Bioeffects Of Very Weak ELF Magnetic Fields On Living Tissue
Evidence Based On EMF Medical Therapeutics
Fertility And Reproduction Effects Of EMF
Fetal And Neonatal Effects Of EMF
Findings In Autism Consistent With EMF And RFR
Mobile Phone Base Stations: Well-being And Health
Precaution In Action - Global Public Health Examples Since Bioinitiative 2007
The Precautionary Principle
Key Scientific Evidence And Public Health Policy Recommendations
List Of Participants And Affiliations
Glossary Of Terms And Abbreviations