A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

cell phones: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

November 4, 2019

After eight years of work, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reopening its review of the health effects of RF radiation for a summary report intended to serve as a benchmark for its more than 150 member countries. The report will be used as a guide to respond to widespread concerns over the new world of 5G.

The WHO issued a public call in October for detailed literature reviews on ten types of RF–health impacts from cancer to fertility to electrohypersensitivity. Some see the move as a sign that the health agency is interested in opinions beyond those of its long-time partner, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). They hope that the WHO is finally ready to recognize evidence of low-level effects, in particular the link between cell phones and cancer. Others are far from convinced.

The skeptics see the new reviews as little more than a ruse.

October 28, 2019

French health officials want cell phone users to be better informed of potential risks and are urging them to take precautionary steps to limit their radiation exposures.

The move comes after an government health and safety agency (ANSES) issued an October 21 advisory warning the public not to carry phones in shirt or trouser pockets.

The French government wants the European Commission to require measurements indicating how much...

French health officials want cell phone users to be better informed of potential risks and are urging them to take precautionary steps to limit their radiation exposures.

The move comes after an government health and safety agency (ANSES) issued an October 21 advisory warning the public not to carry phones in shirt or trouser pockets.

The French government wants the European Commission to require measurements indicating how much...

August 8, 2019

After six years of study, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided not to revise its current safety limits for RF radiation. The rules, which were first adopted in 1996 and are the only ones governing cell phone exposures in the U.S., will continue to be based only on thermal effects.

“After a thorough review of the record and consultation with [the...

After six years of study, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided not to revise its current safety limits for RF radiation. The rules, which were first adopted in 1996 and are the only ones governing cell phone exposures in the U.S., will continue to be based only on thermal effects.

“After a thorough review of the record and consultation with [the...

April 23, 2019

“Microwave Emissions from Cell Phones Exceed Safety Limits in Europe and the U.S. When Touching the Body,” IEEE Access, posted April 18, 2019.

“[New] data corroborate our findings that most cell phones will exceed the safety guidelines when held against the body by factors of 1.6–3.7 times for the European/ICNIRP standard or by factors as high as 11 if 1-g SAR values were to be measured as required by the U.S. FCC.” By Om Gandhi. Open access.

November 17, 2018

“Evaluation of the NTP and Ramazzini Studies,” BERENIS Newsletter, November 2018.

This expert group on EMF/NIR, which advises the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, states that these two animal cancer studies are “the most comprehensive” to date. Despite their methodological differences, they both showed “relatively consistent results in schwannomas and gliomas, as well as a dose-dependent trend to an increase in the carcinogenicity of these tumors.” Based on these findings, BERENIS favors a precautionary approach for RF/EMF exposures.

November 13, 2018

“Cell Phone Use and Risk of Thyroid Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study in Connecticut,” Annals of Epidemiology, posted online October 29, 2018.

“A suggestive increased risk associated with long-term and frequent uses were observed for thyroid microcarcinomas, but not larger tumors (>10mm).”

October 12, 2017

“Mobile Phone Use and The Risk of Headache: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cross-Sectional Studies,” Scientific Reports, October 3, 2017. 

Chinese group finds statistically significant link. Back in 2001, Pierre Aubineau had a mechanism to explain how cell phone RF could cause headaches. But an industry-friendly colleague silenced him.

January 31, 2017

“ELF Exposure from Mobile and Cordless Phones for the Epidemiological Mobi-Kids Study,” Environment International, posted January 24, 2017.

“The results indicate that the current densities induced in the brain during DECT calls are likely to be an order of magnitude lower than those generated during GSM calls but over twice that during UMTS calls.” See also the group’s earlier paper.

March 9, 2016

“Effects of Cell Phone Use on Semen Parameters: Results from the MARHCS Cohort Ctudy in Chongqing, China,” Environment International, May 2016.

“Our results suggest that certain aspects of cell phone use may negatively affect sperm quality in men by decreasing the semen volume, sperm concentration, or sperm count, thus impairing male fertility.” Click here for more on the growing literature detailing effects on fertility.

January 13, 2016

The NCRP was the driving force behind the removal of cautionary advice in a CDC fact sheet on cell phone use. Senior officials at the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements pressured the Centers for Disease Control into deleting the cautionary language in August 2014.

The NCRP is an influential policy-setting group, chartered by the U.S. Congress to serve the public health.

January 1, 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,...

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,...

February 3, 2015

“The Effects of Electromagnetic Waves Emitted by the Cell Phones on the Testicular Tissue,” Archives of Italian Urology and Andrology, Vol.86, No.4, pp.274-277, 2014.

The testes of rats exposed to 24hr of cell phone radiation (8hr in talk mode & 16hr in standby mode) for 20 days showed statistically signifcant changes in tissue structure. The authors caution against “unnecessary use of cell phones.” From Turkey. Open access.

January 20, 2015

“Exposure to 900 MHz EMFs Activates the MKP-1/ERK Pathway and Causes Blood-Brain Barrier Damage and Cognitive Impairment in Rats,” Brain Research, posted online January 15, 2015.

“[T]his is the first study to demonstarte that 900 MHz EMF affected spatial memory in rats exposed to EMF for 28 days but not in rats exposed to EMFs for 14 days.” … Also “provides evidence that 900 MHz [EMFs] resulted in the disruption of BBB permeability…” From China’s 3rd Military Medical University in Chongqing.

December 11, 2014

“Mobile Usage and Sleep Patterns Among Medical Students,” Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, January 2014.

“Students using mobile for > 2 hours/day may cause sleep deprivation and day sleepiness affecting cognitive and learning abilities of medical students.” Open access.

November 30, 2014

“Are Men Talking Their Reproductive Health Away?” Asian Journal of Andrology, posted online November 18, 2014.

“Until proven otherwise, it is recommended that those with subfertility issues or seeking assisted reproduction minimize their exposure to environmental RF‐EMW radiation to alleviate its potential negative impact on sperm quality.” By Ashok Agarwal and Damayanthi Durairajanayagam of the Cleveland Clinic; open access.

June 10, 2014

“Effect of Mobile Telephones on Sperm Quality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Environment International, September 2014.

Open access. From the U.K. “We conclude that pooled results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality.” See also a recent related review from China. And this new, more general review from Dublin, Ireland.

April 3, 2014

“The Risk of Subjective Symptoms in Mobile Phone Users in Poland —An Epidemiological Study,” International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, posted online April 2014.

“Headaches were reported significantly more often by the people who talked frequently and long in comparison with other users (63.2% of the subjects, p=0.0029), just like the symptoms of fatigue (45%, p=0.013).” Two years ago, members of the same Polish team published a similar study on mobile phone towers, with ambiguous results.

November 14, 2013

“Experimental and Numerical Assessment of Low-Frequency Current Distributions from UMTS and GSM Mobile Phones,” Physics in Medicine and Biology, December 7, 2013, from Niels Kuster's group in Zurich.

“The LF fields [<20 kHz] generated by mobile phone battery currents are, thus, not compliant with the ICNIRP reference levels for normal use, i.e., at the head.”

September 19, 2013

“Multifocal Breast Cancer in Young Women with Prolonged Contact Between Their Breasts and Their Cellular Phones,” Case Reports in Medicine, 2013.

Based on four cases among women, aged 21 to 39. “[U]nlike the brain which is protected by the skull as well as a spatial distance from the cellular device, each patient here had direct contact between their device and their breast.” Open access paper from a team of California physicians. For a local TV news report featuring two of the authors of these case reports, click here [no longer available]. And here is the American Cancer Society’s outlook, posted in May 2014 [also no longer available]—about a decade ago, ACS’s Ted Gansler, who wrote this opinion, promoted the idea that any link between cell phones and cancer is a “myth” (see MWN, M/J03, p.3).

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