A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

News & Comment

Squashing the Cheshire Cat 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Last updated July 18, 2014

Lucas Portelli just ran over the Cheshire cat. He didn't know it was there. He's too young to appreciate how this fictional feline has held sway in the EMF-health controversy.

A little background for newcomers: the Cheshire cat is a metaphor for the lack of reproduciblity of EMF effects observed in some laboratories —but not others. It’s a favorite of those who see the study of EMFs as pathological science. The effects come and go, like the Cheshire Cat. Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t. EMF effects are not thought as being robust. Or more plainly, they are not to be believed.

But what if there was an unregognized confounding factor that was playing havoc with the EMF experiments? Portelli may well have found such a confounder.

ICEMS vs. ICNIRP; Hardell vs. Interphone

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Last updated October 24, 2012

The Supreme Court of Italy has affirmed a ruling granting worker's compensation to a businessman who developed a tumor after using a cell phone for 12 years. This is the first time that a high court —in any country— has ruled in favor a link between mobile phone radiation and tumor development.

Innocente Marcolini, a financial manager at an industrial plant in Brescia in northern Italy, used cell and cordless phones for five-to-six hours a day for 12 years. Then, one morning ten years ago, Marcolini sensed an unusual tingling in his chin while shaving. He was soon diagnosed as having a benign tumor on the trigeminal nerve, which controls facial muscles and sensations.

Marcolini filed for workers' compensation alleging that his wireless phones were responsible for the tumor. At first, his claim was rejected. But, in December 2009, the Court of Appeals in Brescia reversed that decision and, on October 12, Italy's Supreme Court affirmed the Appeals Court's ruling. No further appeals are possible.

 McGill University Professor Proposes Radical New Outlook

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Last updated August 12, 2013

Paul Héroux has a problem. He believes he has identified a way to control the growth of cancer cells, but he can't get his ideas into print. "We think we have the Rosetta Stone that will allow us to unravel the intricacies of cancer physiology," says Héroux, a professor at McGill University in Montreal.  Yet, one scientific journal after another has refused to publish what he has found.

Part of Héroux's problem is that his argument is based on an even more controversial proposition than a possible cure for cancer: That extremely weak magnetic fields can bring about major changes in DNA. That is a tough sell. Héroux ups the ante another notch by claiming to show that those changes are so easy to spot that you don't need hi-tech instruments to see them, just a standard issue microscope. All you have to do is count chromosomes, admittedly with close attention to detail.

And that's not all. Héroux says he has pinpointed where and how the magnetic field acts on the cell.

Kaiser’s De-Kun Li Second Prospective Study

Friday, July 27, 2012

De-Kun Li is the last man standing. Not long ago, many of the leading environmental epidemiologists in the U.S. were working on EMFs of one kind or another. They've all moved on —all except De-Kun Li, and he continues to break new ground in one study after another.

Li, a senior researcher at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA, has now shown that EMF exposures in the womb are linked to an increased risk of childhood obesity.

"Maternal exposure to high [magnetic fields] during pregnancy may be a new and previously unknown factor contributing to the world-wide epidemic of childhood obesity/overweight," Li writes in a paper posted today by Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed, open access journal owned by the group that publishes Nature.

Cell Phone Radiation Limit Will Be Reviewed, But Why Is It News Now?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Last updated August 15, 2012

Bloomberg News caught a lot of people by surprise last Friday morning with a story announcing that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would review its rules on radiation exposures from cell phones. As  Bloomberg's Todd Shields pointed out, the move was long overdue: The FCC's current exposure standard was set in 1996.

Just as interesting is a question no one seems to be asking: Why was this in the news?


Short Takes

June 1, 2016

One common criticism of the new NTP cell phone cancer study is that, unlike the male rats, there was no significant increase in tumors among female rats.

For instance in its latest assault on the NTP results, the New York Times is running a comment by a pediatrics professor in Indiana, in which he states:

“It’s also odd that...

May 26, 2016
Last updated May 30, 2016

This evening, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released a draft of the report on its two-year cell phone cancer study. Linda Birnbaum, the director of the NIEHS, and John Bucher, the leader of the study, will present the report at a teleconference tomorrow, Friday. They are the director and associate director of the NTP, respectively. [Birnbaum did not...

March 18, 2016
Last updated March 19, 2016

Weak RF fields may indeed be able to promote cancer, according to two leading members of the EMF/RF research community. Frank Barnes and Ben Greenebaum are offering theoretical arguments to explain how low-level RF radiation can alter the growth rates of cancer cells. They present their ideas in an article which has just...

January 1, 2016
Last updated January 12, 2016

In August 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued and then rescinded precautionary advice on the use of cell phones. See our story, “CDC Calls for Caution on Cell Phones, Then Gets Cold Feet.”

Today,* Danny Hakim, an investigative reporter at the New York Times, has published a behind-the-scenes look at what was going on at the time, based on more than 500 pages of CDC internal documents, including e-mails, together with follow-up interviews. His story,...

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...

October 20, 2014
Last updated April 16, 2015

Some leading epidemiologists have been saying that cell phones don’t pose a brain tumor risk because cancer rates are not going up. Now comes word that Swedish cancer registry data are in disarray and official statistics may be masking a disquieting trend.

Since 2008, there has been a close to 30% increase in patients with a brain tumor of an “unknown nature” and that increase is not reflected in the national cancer registry, according to a new analysis by...