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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2006 Articles

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November 20, 2006

According to today's London Times, Sir William Stewart believes that the evidence that microwave radiation can have potentially harmful effects has become more persuasive over the past five years. Stewart, who was the the chief science advisor to the U.K government from 1990 to 1995, is the head of the U.K.'s Health Protection Agency —which absorbed the NRPB last year. He chaired the panel which wrote the influential report Mobile Phones and Health in 2000.

November 17, 2006

Mike Repacholi is circulating a response to our November 23 News & Comment on his consulting work for two U.S. electric utilities. After you've read his letter, please take a look at our response to Repacholi

ANSI/IEEE C95.1-2006

November 16, 2006

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the new IEEE RF/MW radiation exposure standard on November 2, according to ANSI's Standards Action [see p.12]. The new standard is designated ANSI/IEEE C95.1-2006. The IEEE approved the standard on October 3, 2005 —it's a revision of IEEE C95.1-1991. 

November 13, 2006

Just months after leaving his post as the head of the EMF project at the World Health Organization (WHO), Mike Repacholi is now in business as an industry consultant. The Connecticut Light and Power Co. (CL&P), a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, and the United Illuminating Co. (UI) have hired Repacholi to help steer the Connecticut Siting Council away from a strict EMF exposure standard.

The siting council is in the process of revising the state's EMF policies. Last year, it hired its own consultant, Peter Valberg of the Gradient Corp., to review the current state of EMF health research. Valberg's report, submitted in January, proposes a "screening level" of 100 mG to protect against any adverse health effects "even in a hypothetically more sensitive sub-population" —that is, it would also protect young children. (What's a screening level? See below.)

October 29, 2006

Richard Saunders of the U.K. Health Protection Agency has been elected to ICNIRP. Saunders leads the non-ionizing radiation group at the HPA (formerly the NRPB). His predecessor at the NRPB/HPA, Alasdair McKinlay, served on the commission from 1992 to 2004 and was the chairman for four years beginning in 2000. In 2004, Saunders spent a year working with Mike Repacholi, the chairman emeritus of ICNIRP, at the WHO EMF project in Geneva.    

October 27, 2006

The American press may be ignoring the cell phone–sperm story, but not so physicist Robert Park. That slayer of voodoo science wants it dead and buried. [Disclosure: We have had vehement disagreements with Park over the years, especially when back in 2001, he called Microwave News a "fear merchant" based on little more than his own self-deceptions.]

October 26, 2006

The last time we checked earlier today, there were 124 different articles listed on Google News pegged to a report that cell phones can damage sperm quality. The more hours a day men spent on their phones, the greater the harm to the count, motility, viability and morphology of their sperm, according to a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, being held this week in New Orleans. Every major paper in England ran a detailed story, as did news media in Australia, India and New Zealand. (We didn't check foreign language outlets, though we did see links to some in China and Turkey.)

Had Close Ties to Cell Phone Industry

October 19, 2006

COST281 will soon disband. This European committee, which has been looking into the possible health effects of wireless radiation primarily by hosting a series of small workshops during the last five years, has been run by FGF, the German mobile phone industry. COST281 will hold its last meeting in Brussels on November 17. A few days later, November 20-21, also in Brussels, the European Commission is hosting its 3rd mobile communications seminar on managing EMF health risks. (See also September 22 below.)

September 23, 2006

When we wrote (September 21) that conflicts of interest among journal editors are not being addressed, we were neglecting the case of Charles Nemeroff, the editor-in-chief of Neuropsychopharmacology. Nemeroff is the chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University medical school in Atlanta.

As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this summer, a favorable review by Nemeroff of a device to treat depression, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, failed to disclose his ties to Cyberonics, the manufacturer of the device. The fact that his six academic coauthors had ties to Cyberonics, as the medical journal later revealed, was also left unmentioned; the eighth coauthor works at the company.

 

September 22, 2006

The European Commission is seeking public comment on a draft opinion on the Possible Effects of EMF on Human Health. The draft was written by a working group chaired by Anders Ahlbom of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Submissions are due by November 3.

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