A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Reports from U.K.'s NRPB and U.S. National Academy of Sciences Due

January 8, 2005

Next week two major reports will be released to the public. On Tuesday January 11, the National Radiological Protection Board, or NRPB, will issue a review of the current state of knowledge on mobile phones and health. The report is already being called “Stewart#2.” Sir William Stewart was the chair of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) that issued Mobile Phones and Health. in May 2000 (see MWN, M/J00, p.1).

Sir William is now the chair of the NRPB. This second report was one of the recommendations made in the 2000 report —though the Stewart panel asked for it to be ready in 2003. The most widely cited conclusion of the Stewart#1 report is that children be discouraged from using mobile phones. Even though this remains official policy, the UK government has made no serious effort to implement this recommendation and most kids don’t have a clue that mobiles may present a radiation risk.

Then on January 13, the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), a branch of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), will release its assessment of the potential health effects from exposure to the RF radiation from the U.S. Air Force’s PAVE PAWS radar located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The PAVE PAWS project was requested by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) in 2001, and was initially slated to be completed in two years (see MWN, N/D01, J/F02 and M/A02). The chair of the NAS-NC panel is Frank Barnes of the University of Colorado, Boulder. The report will be released in Sandwich, MA, at a one-hour public briefing.