A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

WHO: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

June 21, 2017

By Lennart Hardell. A review of WHO and ICNIRP’s roles in the ongoing evaluation of RF and health. Includes details of a March meeting with WHO’s Maria Neira, who denied there are any conflicts of interest at work. Open access.

July 8, 2014

Today’s New York Times revisits the EMF controversy, with reporter Kenneth Chang looking back at a Science Times story about power-line EMFs and cancer that ran in July 1989.

Both now and then the Times quoted David Carpenter. Here...

May 21, 2014

Judith Richter of the University of Zurich’s Center for Ethics, asks: “Why do member states find it acceptable that an international public agency can be funded by corporate donors?” See also her related commentary in Social Medicine.

February 18, 2014

The advice came from Mike Repacholi, who said, “otherwise mischief mongers will create a scare about unfounded myths.”

November 26, 2013

EirGrid, the Irish state-owned power line company, is planning to build three new 400 kV lines and to upgrade 2,000 km of existing power lines at a cost of €3.2 billion to help provide reliable service in the years to come. But there's nothing new about its approach to addressing the public's concerns about EMFs.

Take a look at this new 35-minute “Prime Time” video from RTÉ, a local TV station. It illustrates, once again, the double talk endemic to...

April 12, 2012

Mike Repacholi, the former head of the World Health Organization's EMF project, is blaming his former boss, Gro Harlem Brundtland, for contributing "massively" to people's fears of RF radiation from mobile phones.

While Brundtland was director-general of the WHO (1998 – 2003), she revealed that she was EHS or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) (see...

October 25, 2011

Last year, sensing that the upcoming IARC assessment might undercut his legacy at both the WHO and ICNIRP, Mike Repacholi assembled a team to prepare its own assessment of the possible tumor risks from RF radiation: That review has just been released by the journal...

June 24, 2011

The WHO EMF project in Geneva has updated its fact sheet on mobile phones (#193) in light of the IARC decision. WHO continues to maintain, as it did last year following the release of the...

May 27, 2011

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe today called on European governments to "take all reasonable measures" to reduce exposure to EMFs, especially for RF from mobile phones and particularly for children "who seem to be most at risk from head tumors." The adopted...

December 18, 2009

Pity those who are trying to follow the cell phone–brain tumor story. Their sense of the cancer risk is most likely a reflection of the last thing they read or saw on TV —It all depends on whose sound bite they happen to catch.

Take, for example, a paper published earlier this month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) by a team of Scandinavian epidemiologists, under a rather bland title — "Time Trends in Brain Tumor Incidence Rates in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, 1974–2003." But its message is anything but: Because there has been no increase in brain tumors between 1998 and 2003, a period when the use of cell phones "increased sharply," cell phones are cancer safe.

November 23, 2009

A decade after some of the world's leading epidemiologists agreed that exposure to power line EMFs could lead to childhood leukemia, the denial continues. Some people still believe that the studies that link EMFs to cancer are nothing more than junk science. Even those who should know better refuse to acknowledge the risks. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the association is so weak that it can be pretty much ignored, and the leading radiation protection group, ICNIRP, has refused to endorse precaution. Here in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scarcely acknowledges that EMFs are even a health issue.

April 10, 2009

Shows on cell phone radiation are all over the TV news —at least in Australia and Europe, if not the U.S.

One theme that runs through many of these programs is impatience over the delays in the publication of the Interphone results. In a Swiss documentary, aired on March 31, Christopher Wild, the new head of IARC, expresses his concern over the reputation of IARC and says that he looks forward to its completion "in the coming months." Elisabeth Cardis, the head of Interphone, concedes to that same Swiss TV reporter that Interphone is indeed taking a long time to finish (see "Interphone Project: The Cracks Begin To Show"). A few days earlier in an unrelated e-mail, Cardis stated that the results would be submitted for publication "in the coming weeks."

February 23, 2009

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), campus is in an uproar over a cluster of cancer cases among those working in the university's Literature Building. Eight women who worked there developed breast cancer between 2000 and 2006, which is significantly more than would have been expected by chance, according to an analysis by Cedric Garland, a UCSD epidemiologist.

In his June 2008 report to UCSD Chancellor Marye Ann Fox, Garland devotes a lot of attention to the possible role played by EMFs, especially transients from the motors of the building's elevators. Garland recommends a strategy of "prudent avoidance," which he calls a "special case of the precautionary principle":

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.

July 30, 2007

Mike Repacholi has now revealed that up to half of the funds raised for his EMF Project came from industry. This admission comes in an interview with Resource Strategies Inc. in an effort, he states, to “set the record straight.” Repacholi is circulating the text of the interview far and wide because, he says, he wants “the truth about WHO” to be known.

May 21, 2007

It's the murky disconnect that undermines public confidence in EMF exposure standards: While epidemiological studies point to an increased risk of childhood leukemia at exposures as low as 3-4 mG, the ICNIRP exposure standard is over 200 times higher. That is, ICNIRP sees nothing wrong with exposing kids to 999 mG, 24/7. One reason this disparity is baffling is that Anders Ahlbom of Sweden's Karolinska Institute is both the chair of ICNIRP's committee on epidemiology and the person whose work —more than anyone else's other than Nancy Wertheimer's— has established the plausibility of the 3-4 mG threshold. The IEEE standard is even more out of sync: At over 9,000 mG: it's more than nine times higher than the ICNIRP limit.

March 23, 2007

The government of Ireland released a report yesterday that generally dismisses health concerns over RF radiation from mobile phones and base stations, as well as concerns over EMFs from power lines. The report, Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, was prepared by a four-member panel chaired by Mike Repacholi, the former head of the WHO EMF project. The panel concluded that, "So far no adverse short or long-term health effects have been found from exposure to the RF signals produced by mobile phones and base station transmitters" and that "there are no data available to suggest that the use of mobile phones by children is a health hazard."

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

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.)

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