A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

News & Comment

Friday, May 14, 2004

Very weak radiation can have a profound influence on a robin’s magnetic compass. A group led by Prof. Thorsten Ritz has shown that 7 MHz signals of less than 100 nanowatts per square centimeter can disorient the bird’s migratory flight. The new findings appear in the May 13 issue of Nature.

Only 6 of 25 Pass

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

After testing 25 different models of mobile phones, TCO Development, an arm of the Swedish white-collar union TCO based in Stockholm, is recommending only six of them. Seven of the phones failed to meet TCO's SAR standard of 0.8 W/Kg averaged over 10 g of tissue (see MWN, J/F01, p.6).

TCO Development states that its SAR limit is less strict than the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) SAR standard for certifying phones for sale in the U.S. (It is not clear how many of these models are available in the U.S. marketplace.) 

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The U.K. National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) is recommending the adoption of the ICNIRP limits for human exposures to EMFs in the 0-300 GHz frequency range. In its Advice, issued on March 31, the NRPB cites its “review of the science, the need to adopt a cautious approach and recognition of the benefits of international harmonization” as the rationale for tightening the U.K. standards, which are among the least restrictive in the world.

The board stresses that it may be necessary to adopt “further precautionary measures” for the exposure of children to power-frequency magnetic fields.

First Prospective Study

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A prospective epidemiological study —the first of its kind— has failed to find an association between a woman’s melatonin level and her risk of developing breast cancer. Ruth Travis and coworkers at the University of Oxford in the U.K. report in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that, while they cannot rule out a “moderate” association, their results are a setback for the hypothesis that “endogenous melatonin concentration is a major factor in breast cancer etiology. ”

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A U.K. panel has thrown some cold water on the idea that charged particles (ions) created by power lines could increase cancer rates among those living nearby. In a report issued on March 10, the advisory group on non-ionizing radiation (AGNIR) to the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) concludes that “it seems unlikely that corona ions would have more than a small effect on the long-term health risks associated with particulate air pollution.”

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Short Takes

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.

February 8, 2021

Alexander Lerchl’s bogus campaign against the REFLEX project and members of Hugo Rüdiger’s lab did nothing to harm his career. Just the opposite, Lerchl thrived as he gained stature and a succession of rich research grants from the German government.

Over the last 20 years, Germany’s Federal Office of Radiation Protection —the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, or BfS for short— has given Lerchl $5 million in contracts. Lerchl has been the best-funded RF lab researcher in Germany, Europe, and, most likely, the world.