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News & Comment

You Say “Caution,” We Say “Precaution,”
Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The NCRP was the driving force behind the removal of cautionary advice in a CDC fact sheet on cell phone use. Senior officials at the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements pressured the Centers for Disease Control into deleting the cautionary language in August 2014.

The NCRP is an influential policy-setting group, chartered by the U.S. Congress to serve the public health.

Skirts Freedom of Information Act

Monday, November 30, 2015
Last updated December 1, 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.

NY Times Tech Columnist Has Hands Slapped

Friday, March 20, 2015
Last updated April 19, 2015

The New York Times went into damage control mode yesterday after Nick Bilton, a tech columnist and a rising star at the newspaper, suggested that precaution is the best approach to the use of cell phones and wearable electronics.

No sooner had Bilton’s column hit print than Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ Public Editor, chastised Bilton for his naive analysis. (It was posted on the Web a day earlier.) Sullivan targeted the lack of “sophisticated evaluation of serious research.”

Germany’s Alex Lerchl Does a U-Turn

Friday, March 13, 2015
Last updated March 14, 2015

The RF–cancer story took a remarkable turn a few days ago. A new animal study challenged many of the assumptions which lie at the heart of claims that RF radiation —whether from cell phones, cell towers or Wi-Fi— are safe.

The new study, from Germany, a replication of an earlier experiment, also from Germany, found that weak cell phone signals can promote the growth of tumors in mice. It used radiation levels that do not cause heating and are well below current safety standards. Complicating matters even further, lower doses were often found to be more effective tumor promoters than higher levels; in effect, turning the conventional concept of a linear dose-response on its head.

Big Score for Industry Scientists

Monday, December 1, 2014
Last updated March 20, 2015

”Still worried about power lines and cancer? That’s so retro, says the New York Times. You’re just stuck in the 1980’s.  

This is what the “newspaper of record” wants you to know about the risk of childhood leukemia from power lines: A “fairly broad consensus among researchers holds that no significant threat to public health has materialized.”

The full message is told in a new 7+ minute video, produced by the Times’ RetroReport, which boasts a staff of 13 journalists and 10 contributors, led by Kyra Darnton. The video even credits a fact checker. What was missing is the common sense to do some digging when reporting on a controversial issue.

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Short Takes

June 11, 2019
Last updated June 16, 2019

Hans Skovgaard Poulsen sounded the alarm seven years ago. There’s a spike in glioblastoma —GBM— in Denmark, he warned. Poulsen, the head of neuro-oncology at Copenhagen University Hospital, called it “frightening.”

On November 2, 2012, the Danish Cancer Society dutifully sent out a press advisory under the title “...

May 6, 2019

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is circulating a report on the partial replication of the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s RF–animal study, planned by Korean and Japanese officials. It includes the proposed candidates for the project’s International Steering Committee. 

They are:
Alexander Lerchl, Jacobs University, Germany
•...

April 22, 2019
Last updated April 24, 2019

An advisory committee has recommended that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reassess the cancer risks associated with RF radiation. This should be a “high priority,” according to the panel’s report, which was issued last week.

The group, with 29 members from 18 countries, suggests that the new evaluation take place between 2022 and 2024.

In May 2011, an IARC expert committee classified RF radiation...

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...

January 16, 2019

In a victory for advocates of precaution, an Italian court has ordered the government to launch a campaign to advise the public of the health risks from mobile and cordless phones.

The information campaign must begin by July 16.

The court in Rome reached its decision last November, but the announcement was only made yesterday. The decision is here.

Today, the...

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...

 


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