A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Lennart Hardell: 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

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.

July 24, 2018

An “urgent” call for action from D. Belpomme, L. Hardell, I. Belyaev, E. Burgio & D. Carpenter.

March 25, 2018

The incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the deadliest type of brain tumor, more than doubled in England between 1995 and 2015, according to a new analysis of national statistics. During that time, the number of cases of GBM rose from 983 to 2,531.

“We found a sustained and highly significant increase in GBM throughout the 21 years and across all ages,” said Alasdair Philips, the lead author of the study, which has just been released online by the peer-reviewed, open access, Journal of Environmental and Public Health.

“The incidence rate of GBM, the most aggressive and quickly fatal brain tumor, is rising dramatically in England while the rates for lower grade tumors have decreased, masking this dramatic trend in the overall data,” Philips told Microwave News from his home in Beeswing in southern Scotland, not far from the English border.

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.

April 12, 2017

“An increased risk in late stage (promotion/progression) of astrocytoma grade IV for occupational ELF-EMF exposure was found.” From Sweden (including Lennart Hardell). For background, see our “EMF Cancer Promotion: An Old Idea Makes a Strong Comeback.”

December 5, 2016

Geoffrey Kabat offers a remarkably apt critique of his own writings with his answer to the question, “Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?”:

“The problem with research in this area is not that it is worthless but that all too frequently it is interpreted naively and uncritically and used for partisan rather than scientific purposes.”

That’s from his new book, Getting Risk Right. It may be the only thing he gets right in the whole book. Hard to say because after reading the chapter on cell phone radiation, we couldn’t slog on much further.

August 18, 2016

New from Lennart Hardell’s group in Sweden. “With the emergence of the smartphones in the mid and late 2000s, the internal antenna location started to shift from the top of the phone to the bottom of the phone.” This would entail greater RF exposure of the thyroid gland than earlier phones. (Open access) … In a report issued on August 18, IARC maintains that, “the growing epidemic of thyroid cancer reported in recent decades in several high-income countries is...

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.”

October 20, 2014

Some leading epidemiologists have been saying that cell phones don’t pose a brain tumor risk because cancer rates are not going up. Now comes word that Swedish cancer registry data are in disarray and official statistics may be masking a disquieting trend.

Since 2008, there has been a close to 30% increase in patients with a brain tumor of an “unknown nature” and that increase is not reflected in the national cancer registry, according to a new analysis by...

October 16, 2014

Those who first used wireless phones before the age of 20 have a higher brain tumor risk and a shorter survival time, Hardell told us. This paper, along with others like a recent German-Iranian paper, call for an “urgent revision of current exposure guidelines,” they write. Open access.

September 25, 2013

Using a new data set covering 2007-2009, Lennart Hardell and his research team have reaffirmed their previous findings that long-term use of a wireless phone leads to higher rates of both malignant brain tumors and acoustic neuromas (AN), but not of meningiomas, a type of benign brain tumor. In general, they report, the longer the use, the greater the risk for AN and malignant brain tumors.

All three new papers are open access. For the malignant brain tumor paper, click here; for the AN paper...

May 10, 2013

A new study from the U.K. is adding support to the still controversial proposition that long-term use of a cell phone increases the risk of developing acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the auditory nerve. No higher risk of glioma or meningioma, two types of brain cancer, was observed.

Women who used a mobile phone for more than ten years were two-and-half-times more likely to have an acoustic neuroma than those who never used a phone. The finding is statistically significant. This is the fourth epidemiological study that shows an association between long-term use of a cell phone and acoustic neuroma.

April 19, 2013

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released its detailed evaluation of the cancer risks associated with RF radiation, which serves as the rationale for designating RF as a possible human carcinogen.

The IARC monograph comes close to two years after an invited panel of experts from 14 countries reached this conclusion following an eight-day meeting at IARC headquarters in Lyon, France (see our...

November 8, 2012

The Danish Cancer Society is reporting that the number of men diagnosed with glioblastoma —the most malignant type of brain cancer— has nearly doubled over the last ten years. Hans Skovgaard Poulsen, the head of neuro-oncology at Copenhagen University Hospital, is calling it a "frightening development...

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.

September 20, 2012

Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, early online, posted September 18, 2012. The lead author is Fredrik Söderqvist, a member of Lennart Hardell's group at Sweden's Örebro University Hospital.

March 9, 2012

A new analysis from the U.S. National Cancer Institute has found that the rates of brain tumors (glioma) in the United States are inconsistent with the results of Lennart Hardell’s group in Sweden. The NCI team, led by Mark Little, does allow that “the U.S. data could be consistent with the modest excess risks in the Interphone study.’’

November 3, 2011

The latest update of the Danish cell phone-cancer study is being touted as the biggest and best ever. It shows “no link between mobile phone use and [brain] tumors,” according to the press release.

Don’t believe a word of it.

On October 20, the British Medical Journal released the third installment of the Danish Cancer Society’s cohort study, which has been tracking some 400,000 mobile phones subscribers since the 1980s. The whole enterprise has been dogged by controversy and political suspicions since the first results were published ten years ago.

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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