A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Martin Röösli: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

October 6, 2020

“This review of 27 epidemiological studies on the association of occupational exposure to ELF-MF as well as electric shocks and the risk of ALS suggests a risk increase of 20% for ELF-MF exposed workers but no increased risk for workers who experienced electric shocks on their job.” But, just a few days later, a New Zealand team reaches the opposite conclusion.

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.

Yet, there is at least one important 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.

June 11, 2019

GBM is going up in Denmark. The steady rise is very similar to what has been seen in England.

New government data, released in May by a member of the Danish Parliament, show a near doubling of this fatal brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, since the year 2000. You can see the trend by following the orange line in the histogram …

June 3, 2019

De-Kun Li wants to change the conversation on cell phones and cancer. Li, a senior epidemiologist and veteran EMF researcher, believes that brain tumors have been getting too much attention at the expense of other types of cancer, notably colorectal cancer.

Efforts to reduce colon and rectal cancers have been a striking success story for those over 50 years old. Incidence among older Americans declined 32% between 2000 and 2013, due largely to better screening. But the story for young adults is very different. Those born around 1990 now face four times the risk of developing rectal cancer and twice the risk of colon cancer in their 20s, compared to those born around 1950, according to the American Cancer Society.

“No one can explain this apparent contradiction,” Li told Microwave News. Known risk factors for colorectal cancer include obesity, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity, but Li doesn’t think they can resolve the paradox.

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.

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...

November 17, 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, ...

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.

February 24, 2014

“Did not find evidence of an association between RF EMF epxosuure from broadcast transmitters and incidence of childhood leukemia.” Note that only 7 of the 283 leukemia cases were exposed to >0.2 V/m (~0.01 µW/cm²).

October 26, 2012

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, posted online October 24, 2012.  “This study demonstrates that personal RF-EMF exposure is affected by one’s own mobile phone in stand-by mode because of its regular location update.” From the University of Basel, Switzerland.

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.’’

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...

July 29, 2011

We pose two questions about the new children’s study on cell phone tumor risks, known as CEFALO:

(1) How many of the health and science reporters who filed stories actually read the paper beyond the press release and abstract? An even cursory look at the paper would have tipped them off that there was something systematically wrong with the data. Yet, practically without exception, they all...

July 27, 2011

Here's the golden rule for all cell phone cancer studies: Nothing comes easy.

The first study to look at brain tumors among children and teenagers who have used cell phones came out today and it shows no increased risk. Well, actually, the study, known as CEFALO, does indicate a higher risk —the problem is that it found a higher risk for all the kids who used a phone more than once a week for six months, regardless of how much time they spent on the phone. Because the risk does not go up with more use, the CEFALO team argues that the results argue against a true association.

May 17, 2010

An essential part of the Interphone story is Appendix 2. Although not included in the paper, it offers a way to look at the risks free of some of the bias that so muddled the published results. It also provides a window on the controversy that deadlocked the Interphone group for four years.

There is a general consensus that the large number of abnormally low risks observed in Interphone is a sign of a systematic problem —selection bias— in the way that the study was carried out. As the Interphone group acknowledges, it is "unlikely" that cell phones could immediately provide protection against brain tumors (see main Interphone Story).

May 17, 2010

There's an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone.

The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

November 17, 2008

It's not just childhood leukemia anymore. Alzheimer's Disease is poised to take center stage in the long-simmering EMF-health controversy.

A couple of weeks ago, a group led by Martin Röösli at Switzerland's University of Bern reported that people living within 50 meters of a high-voltage power line were more likely to die with Alzheimer's. The longer they lived near a 220-380 kV power line, the greater the risk: After 15 years, the odds of dying with Alzheimer's were double the expected rate. It is this striking dose-response —with the risk increasing over time— that makes the Swiss study compelling. Röösli told Microwave News that he himself found the consistency of this increase "surprising." Other members of the Röösli team are Anke Huss, Adrian Spoerri and Matthias Egger.

September 24, 2007

The Swiss National Research Program on Non-Ionizing Radiation (NRP57) will hold a one-day wokshop, Dosimetry Meets Epidemiology, on January 11 in Zurich. The focus will be on exposure assessment in EMF epidemiology. Anders Ahlbom, Jørgen Bach Andersen, Alexander Borbély, Elisabeth Cardis and Yngve Hamnerius, all members of NRP57's steering committee, will chair the three sessions. Among those on the program are Joe Bowman of U.S. NIOSH, Niels Kuster of IT'IS, Mike Kelsh of Exponent and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern. There is only room for 60 attendees and we are told that half the spots are already taken. For more information, contact Christian Mottas at the Swiss National Science Foundation.

February 12, 2007

The Swiss National Science Foundation today officially launched its EMF research program, known as (NRP 57). The 5 million franc (U.S.$4 million) program is sponsoring 11 new laboratory, epidemiological, dosimetric and risk management studies. These include:
• The effects of pulsed mobile phone signals on the human brain and on cognitive function by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich;
• The effects of 3G phone radiation on blood flow in the brain by Martin Wolf of the University Hospital, also in Zurich;
• An epidemiological survey on the health status of 2,000 people exposed to high-frequency radiation by Martin Röösli of the University of Berne;
In vivo and in vitro experiments on stress responses by Meike Mevissen, also of the University of Berne;
• Genotoxic studies on power-frequency EMFs by Primo Schär of the University of Basel;
• Three projects on dosimetry at the Foundation for Research on Information Technologies (IT'IS) in Zurich, which is run by Niels Kuster.
For the complete details, see the press release available in German and French; the program brochure, in German and French, as well as the program implementation plan in English, German and French.     


December 21, 2006

It's long been known that children with Down's syndrome have a much greater chance of developing acute leukemia —up to 20 times greater or even higher. Now, in the first study of its kind, a group of Mexican researchers have shown that Down's children exposed to magnetic fields of 6 mG (0.6 µT) or more had close to four times the risk of developing acute leukemia compared to other Down's children. (The analysis was based on spot measurements, rather than the more commonly used 24-hour readings.) Writing in the January 2007 issue of Epidemiology, Juan Mejia-Arangure and coworkers conclude that genetic susceptibility to leukemia may well modify the effects of EMFs.


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