A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

ICNIRP: 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.

February 20, 2019

A major review of cell phone cancer risks is at the center of an ongoing controversy over whether it is biased and should be withdrawn.

The new paper by some of the most prominent members of the RF–health community contends that epidemiological studies do not show an increased risk of brain tumors or acoustic neuroma associated with the use of mobile phones. That is, cell phones are cancer safe.

Titled “Brain and Salivary Gland Tumors and Mobile Phone Use: Evaluating the Evidence from Various Epidemiological Study Designs,” the...

February 20, 2019

It has been nearly eight years since an expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF radiation as a possible human carcinogen. Since then, neither the World Health Organization (WHO) nor the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has recommended precautionary policies to limit potential health risks.

No U.S. health agency has yet advised the public to reduce RF exposures.

Even after two large animal studies —by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) and Italy’s Ramazzini Institute— presented clear evidence of a cancer link last year, the WHO has remained silent; ICNIRP responded by calling both animal studies unconvincing.

Now comes the Annual Review of Public Health, which on January 11 posted a paper by five leading epidemiologists who posit that, after a systematic review of all the human studies, they don’t see an elevated cancer risk. The takeaway is that the IARC classification was a mistake.

November 30, 2018

“Another conclusion of this study is that the current ICNIRP (1998) and IEEE (2005, 2010) guidelines urgently need to be revised, as the duty cycle of 1,000 currently tolerated can produce unacceptable temperature increases that may result in permanent tissue damage.” From IT’IS in Zurich.

September 12, 2018

Ron Melnick, formerly with NTP, spells out 15 “extensive and misleading” statements made by ICNIRP on the NTP and Ramazzini cell phone–animal studies. Also today, Ramazzini’s Fiorella Belpoggi  posted her comments. See also Melnick’s commentary on the NTP study posted (...

September 4, 2018

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has determined that the two recent animal studies pointing to a cancer risk from cell phone radiation are not convincing and should not be used to revise current exposure standards. 

In a “note” published today, the 12-member group states that the studies by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the...

August 29, 2018

Jim Lin,12-yr former member of ICNIRP (& editor-in-chief of Bioelectomagnetics), writes: “Perhaps the time has come to judiciously reassess, revise & update [the ICNIRP] guidelines” so that they protect against long-term RF exposures. As of now they only address acute effects.

December 1, 2017

”A few days ago, I received an urgent warning from a longtime contact in Sweden. An industry associate had told him that the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s study on cell phone cancer risks was screwed up and essentially “useless.”

I was tempted to disregard it as nothing more than a corporate delusion. But the original source was said to be Maria Feychting, a professor at the Karolinska Institute and the vice chair of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). She had cast doubt on the landmark $25 million NTP RF–animal study in a talk presented at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences —the institute that awards the Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry every year.

I decided I had to check out the rumor.

June 21, 2017

By Lennart Hardell. A review of WHO and ICNIRP’s roles in the ongoing evaluation of RF and health. Includes details of a March meeting with WHO’s Maria Neira, who denied there are any conflicts of interest at work. Open access.

January 21, 2017

By Jim Lin, a former member of ICNIRP (2004-2016) on the NTP $25 million animal study.

February 25, 2014

Five years ago we reported on what we thought was an important clue in the search for understanding the well-documented association between childhood leukemia and EMF exposure. A team based in Shanghai presented evidence that children carrying a genetic variation linked to DNA repair were four times more likely to develop leukemia than those without that genetic marker. We called the finding a “major breakthrough” and predicted, “It simply cannot be ignored.”

We were wrong. So wrong.

What happened next —or rather, what did not happen— sheds light on why EMF research treads water and never moves forward.

November 14, 2013

“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.”

October 23, 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.

August 7, 2012

In its much-anticipated report, released today, the GAO told the FCC to take a fresh look at its cell phone exposure standard and the way the phones are tested for compliance with that limit. The 46-page report is available here.

Julius Knapp, the chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, responded that he and...

November 23, 2011

ICNIRP has announced the results of its most recent elections. Rüdiger Matthes and Maria Feychting are the new chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the commission. They will take over in May 2012. Three new members were also elected to ICNIRP and will take their seats in May: Rodney Croft,...

October 25, 2011

Last year, sensing that the upcoming IARC assessment might undercut his legacy at both the WHO and ICNIRP, Mike Repacholi assembled a team to prepare its own assessment of the possible tumor risks from RF radiation: That review has just been released by the journal...

October 18, 2011

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is raising objections to a draft EC directive on EM safety standards for workers. The ETUC does not agree with the directive's reliance on the ICNIRP exposure limits...

July 6, 2011

The battle over Interphone continues. This time it's in full public view as key players publish papers detailing where they stand on cell phone tumor risks. There haven't been any big surprises since their opinions have long been known. Yet, the diametrically opposing views have led to conflicting stories in the media as each new study is released.

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