A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

News & Comment

Director Sends Mixed Signals

Monday, December 12, 2022

On November 23, Elisabete Weiderpass, the Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), revealed that a new assessment of the evidence linking radiofrequency (RF) radiation to cancer would likely take place in early 2024. A formal decision could come within a few months.

Calls for a new IARC evaluation have been mounting for some years following the release of two large animal studies showing elevated tumor counts after lifelong exposure to RF radiation. Many believe that the animal experiments leave the Agency little choice but to increase the cancer risk classification at least one notch to “probable” from the current “possible,” or perhaps to its highest classification, a known human carcinogen.

But, as Weiderpass made clear on making the announcement at a conference in Paris, the RF–cancer risk might instead be downgraded and the “possible” classification removed.

The stakes are high.

Dissident Scientists Seek Tighter Health Limits

Will They Succeed Where Others Failed?

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

An international group of research scientists has come together to challenge ICNIRP, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

The new panel wants a complete revision of ICNIRP’s guidelines for exposures to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. The researchers are demanding the adoption of more scientifically rigorous standards, which better protect public health and the environment.

“We are calling for an independent evaluation of the limits,” said Joel Moskowitz of Berkeley Public Health.

Corruption of the Scientific Literature Continues

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Last updated July 22, 2022

My wife and I spent a few days in Basel, Switzerland, earlier this month. One afternoon as we were walking through town, I spotted a carefully crafted warning on the side of an otherwise unremarkable building. “The Odious Smell of Truth,” it called out.

With a little Googling, I learned that the expression comes from the title of an exhibition held at the Royal College of Art in London in the spring of 2017. The show was organized by Peter Kennard, a noted British political artist, and his students. They called themselves the Rage Collective. What does it mean, they wanted to know, to tell the truth in a world of false news and social media misinformation.

As it happens, a few days later, I received an email from Peter Hensinger, the scientific director of Diagnose:Funk, with a commentary he had just published which was sharply critical of Martin Röösli, an associate professor at the University of Basel.

David Grimes, Oxford, The Wellcome Trust
and the Art of Name Dropping

Junk Science in a JAMA Journal

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Last updated April 21, 2022

David Robert Grimes is a “got lemons, make lemonade” kind of guy. Or as his famous Irish countryman Oscar Wilde quipped more than 100 years ago, “a grapefruit is just a lemon that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it.”

Well, actually, though that line is attributed to Wilde on countless websites, he never said or wrote it. The first documented use was more than a decade after he died in Paris in 1900. But given so, it seems all the more appropriate to mention it in the context of the Grimes affair.

I bring all this up because I’m still trying to understand why JAMA Oncology would have commissioned or accepted a manuscript on a hotly controversial subject —a review of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and cancer— by a junior Irish academic-cum-columnist without any relevant qualifications, David Robert Grimes, at the time of Dublin City University.

Former Director of NIEHS Endorses Removal

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Senior environmental health scientists are calling for JAMA Oncology to retract a review of RF radiation and cancer by David Robert Grimes, a physicist at Dublin City University.*

Grimes’s paper, which was posted on the journal’s website on December 9th, has prompted a barrage of letters of protest to Nora Disis, the editor of JAMA Oncology.

Among those calling for retraction is Linda Birnbaum, who, for ten years, 2009-2019, was the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Ronald Melnick, who led the team that designed the NTP RF–cancer study, is another harsh critic.

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Short Takes

January 12, 2023

Abraham Liboff, a biophysicst and journal editor, died on January 9 at the age of 95.

Abe was a wonderful and generous man. On the occasion of his 90th birthday, I wrote an appreciation of his work. You can read it here.

November 16, 2022

ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, has issued a request for proposals for studies on RF radiation.

October 19, 2022
Last updated October 31, 2022

Two influential health agencies, both based in France, will host a one-day meeting on RF–health research, November 23 in Paris. The public is invited to attend in person or online. Registration is free.

The conference, organized by ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, and IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, will focus on potential effects of RF radiation on the brain and on cancer risks. The theme is “Research in a Fast-Moving Environment.”

July 14, 2022
Last updated July 15, 2022

Close to 40 years after its first publication, The Microwave Debate, Nicholas Steneck’s history of research and regulation of microwave health effects, is back in print —this time in Norwegian.

The new translation comes with an epilogue by Thomas Butler, a professor at Ireland’s Cork University Business School, who has contributed seven chapters —about 30,000 words— to bring Steneck’s story up to the present.

The translation is the brainchild of Einar Flydal ...

September 27, 2021
Last updated November 25, 2022

A detailed examination —likely the most exhaustive ever attempted— of the environmental effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation has been published in Reviews on Environmental Health.

“Effects of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Fields on Flora and Fauna” is in three parts, the last of which was posted today.

Taken together, the three papers run over 200 pages in the journal and include more 1,000 references.

May 3, 2021
Last updated May 5, 2021

Italy’s 6 V/m RF exposure standard, one of the strictest in the world, may soon fall victim to 5G.

The Italian limit, adopted more than 20 years ago, is widely perceived as standing in the way of the build-out of 5G infrastructure, which will require the installation of many more RF antennas. The proposed solution is to bring it in line with ICNIRP and follow its 61 V/m guideline.

 


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