A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

John Bucher: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

October 23, 2018

Japanese and Korean officials are working on a partial replication of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) animal study on cancer risks from cell phone radiation. The project is expected to be approved and get underway late next year.

Though collaborating on a common experimental design, each country will carry out its own exposures with animals from the same breeder. If the designs are similar enough, the two sets of data will be combined in a joint analysis.

“We have been discussing this issue in Japan,” said Masao Taki of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University, who was a member of ICNIRP from 1996 to 2008.

April 9, 2018

“You had it right the first time.” That was the implicit message to the National Toxicology Program (NTP) from an expert panel after a point-by-point review of NTP’s draft reports on its $25 million study of cancer risks of cell phone radiation in mice and rats.

Two years ago, with the results in hand, the NTP rushed to warn the public about the dangers of cell phones. It issued an interim report pointing to higher rates of tumors in the hearts and brains of male rats exposed to two different kinds of phone radiation. Then early this February with the release of the formal draft reports, the NTP made a U-turn, saying that using a cell phone “is not a high-risk situation.”

Now a peer review panel —11 pathologists and toxicologists from academia and industry and one statistician— has concluded that there is “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in those male rats.

February 7, 2018

Why was the NTP so ambivalent about its cell phone cancer findings at the press conference last Friday when two years ago the same scientific evidence prompted a public health warning?

Some of the pathology numbers got tweaked since they were first released in 2016, but the changes were minor. It’s the same data set —but with a very different interpretation. The NTP mindset somehow shifted from we need to release this important new health data now to this is “not a high-risk situation.”

Who or what moved the NTP managers to change their outlook? There’s no shortage of suspects and suspicions.

February 2, 2018

Here are four key takeaways from the NTP press conference held this afternoon, soon after the release of its two cell phone reports:

1. NTP’s bottom line on cell phone use: “This is not a high-risk situation.”

2. RF radiation has biological effects at levels previously believed to be innocuous —they may be good or bad.

3. NTP will continue to do RF health studies. A new exposure facility is being...

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.

September 6, 2016

In May, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed higher rates of cancer. Soon, the NTP will explain how that might have happened.

The same RF/microwave radiation that led male rats to develop brain tumors also caused DNA breaks in their brains. Female rats —which did not have significant elevated tumor counts— had fewer DNA breaks.

All these findings are part of the same $25 million NTP project.

The NTP results provide “strong evidence for the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation,” Ron Melnick told Microwave News.

September 3, 2016

Also here. Mostly Michael Wyde’s talk with important comments by NTP Director Linda Birnbaum and Associate Director John Bucher. Birnbaum calls the link between RF and Schwannomas of the heart “unequivocally clear” (@43:20-minute mark). A few minutes later, she describes it as having a “beautiful dose-relationship.” Bucher talks about the continuity in the spectrum between hyperplasia and glioma.

May 31, 2016

Senior managers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released the preliminary results of their cell phone radiation study late last week. They were so concerned about the elevated rates of two types of cancer among exposed rats that they felt an immediate public alert was warranted. They considered it unwise to wait for the results to wend their way into a journal sometime next year. Not surprisingly, the NTP report generated worldwide media attention.

There were some startling reactions. Both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Consumer Reports immediately shelved their long-held, wait-and-see positions. In a statement issued soon after the NTP’s press conference, Otis Brawley, ACS’ chief medical officer, called the NTP report “good science.” Consumer Reports said that the new study was “groundbreaking” and encouraged people to take simple precautions to limit their exposures.

However, much of the mainstream media saw it very differently. The Washington Post ran its story under the headline, “Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? Don’t Believe the Hype.”

May 26, 2016

This evening, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released a draft of the report on its two-year cell phone cancer study. Linda Birnbaum, the director of the NIEHS, and John Bucher, the leader of the study, will present the report at a teleconference tomorrow, Friday. They are the director and associate director of the NTP, respectively. [Birnbaum did not...

May 25, 2016

The cell phone cancer controversy will never be the same again.

The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) is expected to issue a public announcement that cell phone radiation presents a cancer risk for humans. The move comes soon after its recently completed study showed statistically significant increases in cancer among rats that had been exposed to GSM or CDMA signals for two-years.

Discussions are currently underway among federal agencies on how to inform the public about the new findings. NTP senior managers believe that these results should be released as soon as possible because just about everyone is exposed to wireless radiation all the time and therefore everyone is potentially at risk.

February 27, 2016

Once again, power-frequency magnetic fields have been found to act as a cancer promoter.

Eighteen months ago an international team led by Elisabeth Cardis in Spain showed cancer promotion in workers exposed to chemicals and extremely low frequency (ELF) EMFs. Now an Italian team has found essentially the same promotional effect in animals exposed to ionizing radiation and ELF EMFs.

The new study, which was carried out at the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, is part of the most ambitious EMF–animal project ever attempted.

November 30, 2015

NIEHS really doesn’t want to talk about it. Ten years into a $25+ million project to assess the cancer risk of wireless radiation in laboratory animals, the staff at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences remains tight-lipped and refuses to release project documents.

NIEHS has many reasons for keeping a low profile. The RF project, the most expensive in National Toxicology Program history, is years late and two-to-three times over budget. A more immediate concern is that it could force the institute into a position it would desperately prefer to avoid: Being at the center of the ever-contentious controversy over cell phone radiation and cancer.

January 18, 2010

Lorenzo Tomatis got it. But few others do. Among those who don't are the many managers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) who refuse to allow that the EMF–cancer playbook may be different from the one for chemicals. Even now, when there is ample evidence that power line EMFs can increase the risk of childhood leukemia and there is a growing suspicion that cell phone radiation is associated with three different types of tumors, NIEHS prefers to look the other way. The institute has long resisted endorsing precautionary policies for any kind of EMFs.

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