A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

The Lies Must Stop
Disband ICNIRP

Facts Matter, Now More Than Ever

April 9, 2020

We’re all frazzled and anxious. The world has changed, seemingly overnight, and we don’t know when and how we will ever go back to normal —whatever that means. One thing we don’t have to worry about is whether 5G radiation is responsible for COVID-19. It’s not. There’s no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.

Lots of data show that various types of RF radiation can affect our immune systems.* But, like everything else about electromagnetic radiation, the necessary follow-up research was never done and no one knows for sure if electronic smog makes us more vulnerable to disease. I’ll leave that conversation for another time.

Yet, there is at least one parallel between how we’ve been struggling with COVID-19 over the last few months and how we have been dealing with electromagnetic radiation for the last few decades. In each case, science has taken a back seat to politics. The failure to separate fact from fiction has made the battle against the coronavirus far worse, especially in the U.S. Much the same can be said of how governments and scientific committees have addressed electromagnetic health risks.

The public has been fed lies and half-truths about the health effects of RF/microwave radiation for as long as I have been involved, since the 1970s. The campaign has created a culture of confusion, especially with respect to cell phones and cancer. In this environment, why would anyone be surprised that sensational conspiracy theories about 5G have found a footing?

The Microwave News website is chock-full of articles describing how the public has been misled time and time again. Here are two current examples from those who are supposed to serve as the worlds’ experts and to protect us from EMF/RF hazards: the members of the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, ICNIRP for short. All over the world, ICNIRP’s guidelines are the de facto standards for safe exposure to RF and EMFs.

“No Evidence for Cancer”

The first is from Eric van Rongen of The Netherlands, the current chairman of ICNIRP. Van Rongen has posted a six-minute overview of the Commission’s updated RF exposure standards, issued about a month ago. Two minutes into his PowerPoint narration you can hear him say, “There is no evidence from all [this] scientific information for the induction of cancer by radiofrequency fields” (see slide below).

ICNIRP: No Evidence of CancerSource: ICNIRP

Anyone who has been paying any attention at all knows that this is —let’s not mince words— a lie. Van Rongen and the other members of ICNIRP should go to the nearest blackboard and write 100 times: The U.S. National Toxicology Program has found “clear evidence” that exposure to RF radiation can lead to cancer.

I hasten to add that the NTP study is only one of many that show an RF–cancer link. It’s the most important and the most persuasive, but hardly the only one.

ICNIRP may not agree with the NTP finding, but that is what the $30 million animal study showed. Its members want you to think that they know better and that the NTP results are untrustworthy.

Not long after details of the NTP experiment were released, Sweden’s Maria Feychting, ICNIRP’s vice chair, spread the word that it had methodological flaws. When she was corrected, Feychting clammed up. She never offered an explanation or an apology. Is this any different from those spreading 5G/COVID-19 rumors? Each acts on what they want to believe rather than what the facts show. Feychting’s machinations may be more damaging because she is backed by the full weight of the Karolinska Institute.

Missing: The Headline News of 2018

The second example comes from a report prepared for the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority by a nine-member panel of experts. Each year, the Authority commissions an annual update with the past year’s most important scientific developments on the health effects of EMFs and RF radiation. Van Rongen and Switzerland’s Martin Röösli, who is also on ICNIRP, are members of this panel. (Having ICNIRP’s seal of approval leads to invitations to sit on other advisory groups.)

The 2019 panel report, which recently became available, covers papers “published from April 2018 up to and including December 2018.” Here again, the two ICNIRP members and their seven colleagues made believe that the NTP report does not exist. It’s not mentioned, there is no citation. Nothing at all.

For the record, the NTP final report was released on November 1, 2018.

I would argue that the NTP warning was the most important RF–health development not only of 2018, but of the decade and most likely of the new millennium. Yet the expert panel chose to ignore it.

I asked both van Rongen and Röösli why the NTP findings had been left out of the report, even though they were published in the panel’s time window for inclusion. Each replied that the NTP report had been addressed in their previous summary (covering April 2017 through March 2018). I had checked the wrong annual update, Röösli suggested.

There is a discussion of the NTP findings in last year’s Swedish update. But that was based on an earlier NTP draft where the staff had opted for a weaker designation, “some evidence” of cancer. Later, after an in-depth public peer review, the NTP strengthened the conclusion to “clear evidence” of cancer.

That was the headline news of 2018. “Clear evidence” was a game changer; leaving it out of the annual update is a sure sign of bias. The NTP conclusion was now qualitatively different from the earlier draft —it could well have been the title of the panel’s 2018 update. But van Rongen, Röösli and the others ignored it.

Time To Clean House

This cannot go on. The first step is for ICNIRP, Mike Repacholi’s bastard child, to be disbanded. The Swedish panel should also be dissolved and reconstituted with a more balanced membership. Indeed, all expert committees should be broadened to include those who allow that more than RF tissue heating may be at work.

But most important: The lies and distortions must stop. Otherwise, confusion and conspiracy theories will continue to run rampant. The net result is that the entire RF research enterprise will lack credibility, which, unfortunately, is the objective of many of the leading players.

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* Cindy Sage and Stephanie Kerst have recently assembled a list of more than two dozen studies showing disrupted immunological responses following exposure to low-intensity non-ionizing radiation. It's available on the BioInitiative Report website.

† The other members of the Swedish panel are: Anke Huss (The Netherlands), Aslak Harbo Poulsen (Denmark), Clemens Dasenbrock (Germany), Heidi Danker-Hopfe (Germany), Lars Mjönes, (Sweden, scientific secretary), Leif Moberg (Sweden, chair) and Maria Rosaria Scarfi (Italy).

‡ Also missing from the panel’s 2018 summary is the Ramazzini animal study. It too found cancer —indeed, exactly the same type of rare tumor (malignant schwannoma of the heart) seen in the NTP study. The Ramazzini paper was published in the August 2018 issue of Environmental Research. It was covered in the previous year’s update where it was dismissed based on arguments that are at best facile, and at worst off the wall.

Additional Reading:
Will WHO Kick Its ICNIRP Habit? Non-Thermal Effects Hang in the Balance; Repacholi’s Legacy of Industry Cronyism