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New Book Dismisses Cell Phone Cancer Risks

Monday, December 5, 2016
Last updated December 9, 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.

Consistent with Higher Tumor Counts
20 Years After Landmark Lai-Singh Study

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Last updated October 22, 2019

In May, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed higher rates of cancer. Soon, the NTP will explain how that might have happened.

The same RF/microwave radiation that led male rats to develop brain tumors also caused DNA breaks in their brains. Female rats —which did not have significant elevated tumor counts— had fewer DNA breaks.

All these findings are part of the same $25 million NTP project.

The NTP results provide “strong evidence for the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation,” Ron Melnick told Microwave News.

An Insider Unafraid To Challenge the Microwave Orthodoxy

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Last updated July 17, 2016

Steve Cleary, whose career in microwave research spanned from the military’s Tri-Service program in the late 1950s to the cell phone industry’s sham project in the 1990s, died at home on June 7 of a heart attack. He leaves his wife, Fran, four daughters and ten grandchildren. He was 79.

Cleary was a professor of biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond from 1964 to 2002. Like many other radiobiologists of his generation, he was trained at the University of Rochester. He later got his PhD at New York University under Merril Eisenbud, a former senior health official at the Atomic Energy Commission. Cleary’s doctoral thesis was the first epidemiological study of the impact of microwaves on the eyes. He detected a significant increase in the incidence of defects in the lenses of military personnel who had long-term exposure, a rare published report of an adverse finding.

Ron Melnick Corrects ‘Misinformation,’
Rebuffed by the New York Times

Friday, June 10, 2016

On May 31, the New York Times ran a piece in what it calls “The Upshot” on the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) cell phone animal study. The column is a regular feature in the Times that seeks to give readers context for stories in the news. This one was titled “Why It’s Not Time to Panic About Cell Phones and Cancer.” It was written by Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Carroll outlined reasons for his skepticism over the cancer results, calling the $25 million NTP study “imperfect.” This prompted a response from Ron Melnick, who led the study’s design team before he retired in 2009. In an eight-point rebuttal, Melnick corrected what he called “numerous and misleading statements.” The full text of his letter is reprinted below.

Are More People Getting Brain Tumors?
GBMs, the Most Virulent Type, Are Rising

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Last updated June 2, 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.”

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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.

 


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