A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Niels Kuster: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

June 25, 2015

Lancet Oncology, the journal which published the official announcement of IARC’s decision to designate RF radiation as a possible human carcinogen, has issued a correction to the conflict of interest (COI) statement it had included for...

November 14, 2013

“The LF fields [<20 kHz] generated by mobile phone battery currents are, thus, not compliant with the ICNIRP reference levels for normal use, i.e., at the head.”

May 26, 2011

Niels Kuster may not have realized just how right he was when he warned that the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS)  was "threatened" by its "biased scientific culture." It's threatened no more. BEMS has succumbed. In an ...

February 4, 2011

Publication bias is a well-known problem —it's defined in a recent, widely read New Yorker article as "the tendency of scientists and scientific journals to prefer positive data over null results, which is what happens when no effect is found." This may be generally true, but once again, the usual rules don't apply to EMFs. Here researchers (and editors) are all too often more interested in publishing failures than successes. Actually, for EMFs, failure is success, promising financial...

May 3, 2010

Fifteen years ago Om Gandhi pointed out that children are exposed to higher levels of radiation from cell phones than adults. He was right then and he is right today. Yet, no one could blame you for thinking otherwise.

In an article published in the May issue of Harper's, Nathaniel Rich uses this putative controversy, among a number of other examples, to make the case that confusion reigns in all aspects of cell-phone research. "The brain of a child absorbs a much greater amount of radiation from a cell phone than does the brain of an adult," he writes, adding immediately after, "No, it does not."

April 4, 2010

The bone marrow of young pigs has a higher water content than adult bone marrow and, as expected, Peyman and Gabriel found that it has a higher conductivity. A little math might help understand why a higher water content in tissues this leads to higher SARs. Start with the basic equation for calculating the SAR:

SAR = σ E2 / ρ

where σ = conductivity of the tissue; E = electric field, ρ = density of the tissue

More simply, this means that the SAR is proportional to the conductivity:


and therefore as the conductivity increases, so does the SAR.

February 9, 2009

Call it the end of an era. Motorola, which has by any measure been the dominant force in the RF health arena for more than 15 years, is stepping back from the fray. The field will never be quite the same again.

On Friday, February 13, Motorola will close down its RF research lab in Plantation, FL. C.K. Chou, Mark Douglas, Joe Elder, Joe Morrissey and their support staff have all lost their jobs. A few days later, Ken Joyner, another key player on RF regulatory affairs based in Australia, will leave Motorola after 12 years with the company.

July 22, 2008

The brains of young children absorb twice as much as RF energy from a cell phone as those of adults, according to a set of new calculations carried out by Joe Wiart's research group at France Telecom in the suburbs of Paris.

December 12, 2007

PERFORM-A is a washout. The eight-year, $10 million industry research project that was supposed to answer the question, "Does cellphone radiation cause cancer in animals?" instead promises to sow more confusion and mistrust.

September 24, 2007

The Swiss National Research Program on Non-Ionizing Radiation (NRP57) will hold a one-day wokshop, Dosimetry Meets Epidemiology, on January 11 in Zurich. The focus will be on exposure assessment in EMF epidemiology. Anders Ahlbom, Jørgen Bach Andersen, Alexander Borbély, Elisabeth Cardis and Yngve Hamnerius, all members of NRP57's steering committee, will chair the three sessions. Among those on the program are Joe Bowman of U.S. NIOSH, Niels Kuster of IT'IS, Mike Kelsh of Exponent and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern. There is only room for 60 attendees and we are told that half the spots are already taken. For more information, contact Christian Mottas at the Swiss National Science Foundation.

February 12, 2007

The Swiss National Science Foundation today officially launched its EMF research program, known as (NRP 57). The 5 million franc (U.S.$4 million) program is sponsoring 11 new laboratory, epidemiological, dosimetric and risk management studies. These include:
• The effects of pulsed mobile phone signals on the human brain and on cognitive function by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich;
• The effects of 3G phone radiation on blood flow in the brain by Martin Wolf of the University Hospital, also in Zurich;
• An epidemiological survey on the health status of 2,000 people exposed to high-frequency radiation by Martin Röösli of the University of Berne;
In vivo and in vitro experiments on stress responses by Meike Mevissen, also of the University of Berne;
• Genotoxic studies on power-frequency EMFs by Primo Schär of the University of Basel;
• Three projects on dosimetry at the Foundation for Research on Information Technologies (IT'IS) in Zurich, which is run by Niels Kuster.
For the complete details, see the press release available in German and French; the program brochure, in German and French, as well as the program implementation plan in English, German and French.     


June 6, 2006

A Swiss research team led by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich has failed to replicate the Dutch TNO study (see yesterday's post). Achermann and his collaborators, Martin Röösli of the University of Bern and Niels Kuster of the IT'IS Foundation in Zurich, found no consistent effects on well-being or cognitive performance following a 45-minute exposure to 3G RF radiation, at either a 1 V/m or a 10 V/m.

The radiation signals were designed to mimic those from a mobile phone base station. The experiments were run double blind —that is, neither the subjects nor the investigators knew when the power was turned on.

June 5, 2006

The results of the attempted replication of the TNO study will be announced tomorrow in Zurich. The Dutch TNO study, caused quite a stir when it was released in the fall of 2003. It suggested that 3G RF fields as low as 1 V/m could be detrimental to a person's sense of well-being and has been widely cited by those opposed to the siting of mobile phone towers near schools and in residential neighborhoods.

Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich, Niels Kuster of IT'IS (see June 2, below) and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern will present their findings at a press conference scheduled to begin at 10:30am Swiss time. Their paper has been accepted for publication and will be posted on the Internet after the press conference. The word on the street is that they failed to repeat the TNO findings —but no one expected the TNO to find such effects in the first place. More tomorrow.

June 2, 2006

We've been tempted to think that some junior X-men have jumped off the big screen onto the streets of New York City. Well, not really, it just seems like that with so many people linking Bluetooth headsets to their cell phones.

August 5, 2005

A literature review on the topic by Luc Martens of Belgium’s Ghent University was posted on the Bioelectromagnetics Web site a few days ago. Anyone who doubts how little we know about all this should check it out.

Not counting the abstract, references and acknowledgments, the review runs just three pages —that’s it. There’s not much to say because we don’t know much.

Even the relatively long-running controversy over whether children absorb more radiation than adults due to their thinner skulls and whether the radiation penetrates deeper into their heads —sometimes referred to as Salt Lake City vs. Zurich or Gandhi vs. Kuster— remains unresolved (see MWN, N/D01, p.8). Or as Martens puts it, “There is still an inconsistency in the literature.”

September 22, 2004

A Swiss research team will attempt to replicate a Dutch study which showed that exposure to very weak (1 V/m) 3G mobile phone radiation had a negative effect on a subject’s feeling of well-being. The Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication, based in Zurich, has awarded a team led by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich €485,000 (approx. $600,000) to repeat the study at both 1 V/m and 10 V/m. Niels Kuster of IT’IS, also in Zurich, and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern will be collaborating with Achermann. The replication effort is scheduled to be completed by next September.

July 22, 2004

The brains of young children absorb twice as much as RF energy from a cell phone as those of adults, according to a set of new calculations carried out by Joe Wiart's research group at France Telecom in the suburbs of Paris.

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