A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

John Moulder: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

December 5, 2016

Geoffrey Kabat offers a remarkably apt critique of his own writings with his answer to the question, “Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?”:

“The problem with research in this area is not that it is worthless but that all too frequently it is interpreted naively and uncritically and used for partisan rather than scientific purposes.”

That’s from his new book, Getting Risk Right. It may be the only thing he gets right in the whole book. Hard to say because after reading the chapter on cell phone radiation, we couldn’t slog on much further.

December 1, 2014

”Still worried about power lines and cancer? That’s so retro, says the New York Times. You’re just stuck in the 1980’s.  

This is what the “newspaper of record” wants you to know about the risk of childhood leukemia from power lines: A “fairly broad consensus among researchers holds that no significant threat to public health has materialized.”

The full message is told in a new 7+ minute video, produced by the Times’ RetroReport, which boasts a staff of 13 journalists and 10 contributors, led by Kyra Darnton. The video even credits a fact checker. What was missing is the common sense to do some digging when reporting on a controversial issue.

April 23, 2014

In 2011, Health Canada found itself in a tough spot. The public was becoming more and more uneasy over exposure to RF radiation from the proliferating number of cell phones, cell towers and Wi-Fi routers. After holding hearings in the spring and fall of 2010, Parliament asked the health agency to investigate whether its exposure limits —the Canadian national RF standard known as Safety Code 6 (SC6)— were too lenient and needed strengthening. Soon afterwards, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) added urgency to the assignment by classifying RF radiation as a possible human cancer agent, or, in the vernacular, a 2B carcinogen.

Health Canada’s dilemma was that it had no interest in tightening SC6. Yet IARC’s 2B designation could not be easily ignored, especially after France and Belgium, among other European countries, had responded by adopting precautionary policies. Last year, for instance, Belgium banned the sale of cell phones to children. How would Health Canada find a way to stick with the status quo?

The answer was to commission a review of SC6 by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC)

April 14, 2011

Next Sunday, the New York Times Magazine will feature a long piece titled "Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?" by Siddhartha Mukherjee (it's already on the Times' Web site). It's a well-written article, as might be expected by his well-received book, Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Yet an important part of the story is missing: the politics of cell...

April 14, 2010

Men's Health has gotten into the act too. The May issue offers its take on cell phone radiation health risks with "Is Your Life on the Line?" by Paul Scott. He covers much of the same ground as Nathaniel Rich in Harper's —except his is shorter. Like Rich, Scott begins with the story of Lloyd Morgan, a brain tumor survivor and cell phone activist, who, Scott says, "has made it his mission to spread the message that cell phone radiation is carcinogenic."

July 31, 2006

Radiation Research is a scientific journal whose primary focus is on ionizing radiation, with only a minority of papers devoted to the non-ionizing side of the electromagnetic spectrum. Its June issue, however, features five papers, all of which claim to show that EMFs of one type or another have no biological effects.

July 22, 2004

When three cases of male breast cancer showed up in the same small office in Albuquerque in 2001, a lawsuit was quickly filed. “The odds of three men in one specific office getting breast cancer are a trillion to one,” said Sam Bregman, the plaintiffs’ attorney. He argued that the cancers were caused, at least in part, by EMFs from an electrical vault that was next to the basement office where the men worked.

July 1, 1995

The irony is astonishing. On the very day that a committee of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) completed its 800-page draft report asking regulatory agencies to pay “serious attention” to EMFs, public television station WGBH aired a one-hour show across the country comparing EMFs to cold fusion. While the NCRP committee called for “a national commitment to further research,” the June 13 Frontline, “Currents of Fear,” asked whether it was time to close down the research effort.

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