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July 2018

July 31, 2018

  • Chapter 3: The state of research

    The altered text

    A peer review of the Draft NTP Technical Reports on ‘Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation’ was published in March 2018. It confirmed that there was some evidence to suggest the correlation between cancer in rats and mobile radiation. However, some of the research is still considered equivocal and open to interpretation.

    Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, noted that the studies were negative for common tumors. “These draft reports are bound to create a lot of concern, but in fact they won’t change what I tell people: the evidence for an association between cellphones and cancer is weak, and so far, we have not seen a higher cancer risk in people.” Dr. John Bucher, [National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program (NTP)], stated that the findings of the rare nerve-tissue tumor found in the hearts of male rats does not mean humans should be worried. He also said the effect likely only showed up in the male rats because they were larger, and likely absorbed more radiation than the female rats or mice.
    (Reuters, 2018)

    Bearing the above quote in mind, it’s important to remember that equivocal evidence does not disprove connections between cancer and EMF. Bucher himself has mentioned the need for further studies in the past. In ‘Conflicting views on chemical carcinogenesis arising from the design and evaluation of rodent carcinogenicity studies.’ (2008), he raised the topic that further assessments of human cancer risk of environmental agents based on animal carcinogenicity data due to uncertainties associated with extrapolations of toxicologic findings from studies in experimental animals to human circumstances were required. Bucher suggested some points on how to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of environmental agents and experimental studies.

    It is up to you to make an informed decision either way, depending on your personal usage of mobile devices. The intention is not to scare but rather to educate.

    Inna Vishik, an Assistant professor of physics at University of California stated that “the recent study about cell phones causing cancer in rats should be taken with a grain of salt when making the connection to humans. In particular, the rats in the study were exposed to radiation power densities of 0, 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg ... This would be equivalent of the 100 kg human getting up to 600 Watts — basically getting microwaved. … Cell phones are hundreds of times weaker.
    (Quora, 2018)

    Dr. David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and Environment at the University at Albany, said he thought the study provided backing for the human epidemiological studies that suggested cell phone use was associated with an increased risk of gliomas and acoustic neuromas, a type of schwannoma. “I think this is real,” he said, suggesting people used wired earpieces to talk on cellphones.
    (The New York Times, 2016)

    ‘Re-Inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks’ (2018) a book by National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy (Washington, DC) aims to have policymakers rethink the rise in wireless technology, while drawing attention to the consequences which may occur due to the neglect of wired infrastructures nationally (USA).

  • The altered text

    Sweden (2018)
    A recently published study that was conducted by Swiss TPH in collaboration with the European Union project GERoNiMO says that cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year may have a negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents. Researches found preliminary evidence suggesting that RF-EMF may affect brain functions such as figural memory in regions that are most exposed during mobile phone use.

    The findings do not provide conclusive evidence of causal effects and should be interpreted with caution until confirmed in other populations. Associations with media use parameters with low RF-EMF exposures did not provide clear or consistent support of effects of media use unrelated to RF-EMF (with the possible exception of consistent positive associations between verbal memory and data traffic duration). It is not yet clear which brain processes could be potentially affected and what biophysical mechanism may play a role.

    A unique feature of this study is the use of objectively collected mobile phone user data from mobile phone operators.” - said Martin Röösli, PhD, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Head of the Environmental Exposures and Health Unit. He emphasised that further research is needed to rule out the influence of other factors. “For instance, the study results could have been affected by puberty, which affects both mobile phone use and the participant's cognitive and behavioural state.

  • The altered text

    Italy (2018)
    In a study entitled ‘Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications?’ evidences about the biological properties of RF-EMF are progressively accumulating and, although they are in some case still preliminary or controversial, clearly point to the existence of multi-level interactions between high-frequency EMF and biological systems, and to the possibility of oncologic and non-oncologic (mainly reproductive, metabolic, neurologic, microbiologic) effects. The Division of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Bisceglie (ASL BAT), Bisceglie, Italy and the International Society of Doctors for Environment (ISDE) Arezzo, Italy decided to research how 5G communication technology might affect us as human beings.

    Biological effects have also been recorded at exposure levels below the regulatory limits, leading to growing doubts about the real safety of the currently employed ICNIRP standards. Particular concerns derive from the wide (and rapidly increasing) density of wireless devices and antennas (also in view of the forthcoming 5G networks), from the increased susceptibility to RF-EMF in children, and from the effects of RF-EMF at a cellular and molecular level, in particular regarding the ability to promote oxidative processes, DNA damage, alterations of gene expression, and to influence the development of stem cells.

    Further experimental and epidemiologic studies are urgently needed in order to better and fully explore the health effects caused in humans by the exposure to RF-EMF frequencies in different age groups and with increasing exposure density.

    In the respect of the WHO principle “health in all policies”, the development of new RF-EMF communication networks should be paralleled by adequate and active involvement of public institutions operating in the field of environmental health, by a revision of the existing exposure limits and by policies aimed to reduce the level of risk in the exposed population.

July 30, 2018

  • Chapter 3: The state of research

    The altered text

    We have looked into concerns voiced by the media as well as the scientific community.

    One such continuous study is the Generalized EMF research using novel methods (GERoNIMO) project. Started in 2014 as ‘an integrated approach from research to risk assessment and support to risk management’. It is set to be completed in 2019. The European Union (grant agreement 603794) are providing the financial support for the study, as well as local and national funding sources.

    ISGlobal includes 19 partners from 13 countries and as they’re leading this project it shows that there is a real public concern for information regarding the subject of mobile radiation. They have set objectives to close gaps in knowledge on EMF including health effects, reinforcing policy development and proposing non-technological means to reduce EMF exposure.

    GERoNiMO will, in particular, allow the investigation of potential effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) and intermediate frequency fields (IF) – alone and in combination with other environmental exposures – on the risks of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, behaviour, reproductive outcomes and aging.