A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

News & Comment

Radar Gun Parallels

Friday, April 8, 2005

Fire fighters want to know if placing cell phone towers on fire stations puts them at risk. Until a study can provide some reassurance that there is no radiation hazard, the International Association of Fire Fighters wants to ban antennas from fire stations.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bill Guy says that he didn’t do it, that he didn’t call NIH, that he didn’t try to shut down Henry Lai’s work on microwave-induced DNA breaks. (See “Wake-Up Call.”)

In a letter to Microwave News, Guy wrote: “I most vehemently and unequivocally deny that I, or anybody that I am aware of, made any calls to NIH...”

Friday, March 11, 2005

The March issue of the University of Washington alumni magazine, Columns, features a well-deserved tribute to Henry Lai and his colleague, N.P. Singh, who have demonstrated that low-level microwave radiation can lead to an increase in DNA breaks in the brain cells of rats (available online). The headline of the piece tells the story: “Wake-Up Call: Can Radiation from Cell Phones Damage DNA in Our Brains? When a UW Researcher Found Disturbing Data, Funding Became Tight and One Industry Leader Threatened Legal Action.”

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Karolinska group’s paper showing no increased risk of brain tumors among those who used a cell phone for ten or more years appears in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. We first reported this result in December based on a brief announcement from Stockholm, but the published paper offers many more details.

One interesting item is the finding of a somewhat elevated risk of developing a glioma (a 60-80% increase) on the same side of the head as the phone was used. But, the Karolinska researchers also saw a lower than expected glioma risk on the opposite side of the head.

Site Data Should Be Kept Secret, Says Industry

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It was embarrassing watching the cell phone industry shoot itself in the foot yesterday. The scene was a public hearing at the New York City Council in downtown Manhattan on a proposal to maintain and make available a list of all new cell phone antenna sites. Predictably, the mobile phone operators oppose the bill (Intro. No.149-A) and the citizen groups are backing it.

Jane Builder, a manager at T-Mobile, called the proposal “anti-business” and “anti-technology,” but there was another reason she did not even want to discuss in a public forum —the security issue. Though Builder kept mum, she had brought along Kathryn Condello who had no problem raising the specter of a terrorist attack on the city’s critical infrastructure. “Since September 11, 2001, we live in a different world,” said Condello. If the bill becomes law, she warned, it would provide “a blueprint for sabotage” with the potential of devastating the City of New York’s telecommunications. Condello was also issuing this overly dramatic —and spurious— warning on behalf of Cingular, Nextel and Sprint.

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Short Takes

January 12, 2023

Abraham Liboff, a biophysicst and journal editor, died on January 9 at the age of 95.

Abe was a wonderful and generous man. On the occasion of his 90th birthday, I wrote an appreciation of his work. You can read it here.

November 16, 2022

ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, has issued a request for proposals for studies on RF radiation.

October 19, 2022
Last updated October 31, 2022

Two influential health agencies, both based in France, will host a one-day meeting on RF–health research, November 23 in Paris. The public is invited to attend in person or online. Registration is free.

The conference, organized by ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, and IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, will focus on potential effects of RF radiation on the brain and on cancer risks. The theme is “Research in a Fast-Moving Environment.”

July 14, 2022
Last updated July 15, 2022

Close to 40 years after its first publication, The Microwave Debate, Nicholas Steneck’s history of research and regulation of microwave health effects, is back in print —this time in Norwegian.

The new translation comes with an epilogue by Thomas Butler, a professor at Ireland’s Cork University Business School, who has contributed seven chapters —about 30,000 words— to bring Steneck’s story up to the present.

The translation is the brainchild of Einar Flydal ...

September 27, 2021
Last updated November 25, 2022

A detailed examination —likely the most exhaustive ever attempted— of the environmental effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation has been published in Reviews on Environmental Health.

“Effects of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Fields on Flora and Fauna” is in three parts, the last of which was posted today.

Taken together, the three papers run over 200 pages in the journal and include more 1,000 references.

May 3, 2021
Last updated May 5, 2021

Italy’s 6 V/m RF exposure standard, one of the strictest in the world, may soon fall victim to 5G.

The Italian limit, adopted more than 20 years ago, is widely perceived as standing in the way of the build-out of 5G infrastructure, which will require the installation of many more RF antennas. The proposed solution is to bring it in line with ICNIRP and follow its 61 V/m guideline.