Viewpoints on Electrosensitivity
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Pro-industry regulators and media
Pro-industry and government regulators who support high levels of wireless and other electromagnetic exposure have been criticised for producing reports with scientific bias and even 'fraud'. Many such reports have consistently omitted or rejected positive evidence of adverse effects, sometimes even omitting the WHO/IARC classifications of 2B cancer agents and the recommendations by leading scientists that these should be upgraded to Class 1 Certain.
In the US it has been alleged that "Julius Genachowski donated $3,494,919 to DNC [Democratic National Committee] and served as Chairman of the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] from 2009 to 2013" (Tyler Durden: "This Is How Much It 'Costs' To Get An Ambassadorship: Guccifer 2.0 Leaks DNC 'Pay-To-Play' Donor List" Zero Hedge, September 14 2016)
The wireless and cellphone industry is well aware of the potentially devastating costs of damage litigation when harm is eventually proved from low-level electromagnetic energy sufficient to convince all courts world-wide. At present the industry seems more concerned about short-term profits than the long-term safety of its products and tries to prevent the public becoming aware of the growing amount of evidence proving harm.
Canada: Safety Code 6 RSC review (2013)
Criticism of the Royal Society of Canada's review of Safety Code 6:
Submissions to the RSC included:
Health Canada's failure:
Europe: SCENIHR Opinion (draft 2014; published March 6th 2015)
Criticism of the draft Opinion of 2014 by the European Commission's SCENIHR (Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks). This included the failure to include studies showing the need for a Class 1 Certain cancer classification for radio frequency, and comments on the role of one the committee members.
Finland: STUK (2015)
- Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK: Säteilyturvakeskus, a governmental organization responsible for assuring radiation safety in Finland) "is hiding important radiation exposure information from the general public, the Government and the Parliament."
- "This is another untruthful statement from STUK experts (“It should be also remembered there is still no scientific evidence of harmful effects of cell phones.”), where they dismiss evidence, some of which came from STUK scientists, and which IARC considered as sufficiently compelling to classify cell phone radiation as a possible human carcinogen. It is possible to claim that there is no conclusive evidence, but the claim that there is no evidence is a simply a lie."
(Dariusz Leszcynski: "STUK in Finland: How trustworthy is information on smart phones and… nuclear power plants…" BRHP, August 10 2015)
Germany: ICNIRP (1998 on)
Criticism of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)'s heating limits:
In 2010 ICNIRP accepted electrosensitivity symptoms from non-thermal exposure, but it has not yet recommended non-thermal safety limits to protect people against this ill health.
UK: PHE(HPA) AGNIR Report (2012)
Criticism of the Advisory Group on Non-Ionizing Radiation (AGNIR)'s report of 2012:
The 2012 AGNIR Report has been analysed in detail and shown to be a fringe minority viewpoint where its conclusions of no harm are not supported by the evidence which clearly and convincingly shows harm.
- “The executive summary misleadingly implied that because not all studies reported the same effects, RF signals have no effect ...
- Decisions about involuntary, continuous and widespread RF exposures in schools, hospitals, workplaces and public and private spaces in the UK and around the world have been made based upon inaccurate conclusions of the AGNIR report …
- The denial of the existence of adverse effects of RF fields below ICNIRP guidelines in the AGNIR report conclusions is not supported by the scientific evidence …
- The involvement of ICNIRP scientists in the misleading report calls into question the basis and validity of the international exposure guidelines …
- The anticipated WHO Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on Radiofrequency Fields, due in 2017, is being prepared by a core group and additional experts, with 50% of those named, being, or having been, members of AGNIR or ICNIRP …
- Schools, hospitals, employers, organisations and individuals have legal responsibilities to safeguard the health, safety, well-being and development of children, employees and members of the public. But they are unable to fulfil their legal responsibilities when they have been provided with inaccurate information and the evidence of possible harm has been covered up …
- This has been a safeguarding failure and the health of some children or adults may have been damaged as a result …
- All children in schools and care environments need protection from the potential harmful effects of RF exposures and not, as is now often the case, a compulsory use of wireless devices in the classroom …
- Unfortunately, the report suffered from an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest. Public health and the well-being of other species in the natural world cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up.”
Starkey SJ (2016) “Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation”Rev Environ Health.
The consequences of the inaccuracy of the AGNIR 2012 RF Report include the need to revise all advice given since 2012 based on the false conclusions of this Report. In the UK this Report was accepted by Public Health England, the agency of the Department of Health which gives advise on radiation harm. Since PHE has thus given the general public inaccurate information, it means that PHE will have to revisit the acceptable levels of involuntary radiation exposure permitted in schools, hospitals, workplaces, public and private spaces, etc. Other countries which have also used this AGNIR Report to support their heating-only limits will also now need to reject the AGNIR conclusions and revise the evidence based on the actual science and not on pro-industry 'inaccuracies'.
General criticism of Public Health England:
Public Health England's acceptance of individual Radiosensitivity since 1999. based on defective DNA repair:
(a) Public Health England accepts that some people have individual genetic radiosensitivity.
Public Health England also accepts that the fact that some people have individual genetic radiosensitivity raises ethical dilemmas if society allows levels of radiation dangerous to these specific groups and individuals.
Although these comments were written in relation to radiosensitivity from ionizing radiation, expert doctors nowadays accept that there are extensive overlaps between the ways ionizing and non-ionizing radiation affect the human body. Often the physical effects based on objective markers, such as DNA changes, cannot be differentiated between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. The dilemma recognized by PHE (HPA) and its AGIR over individual radiosensitivity and its ethical implications are relevant to radiosensistivity at low levels at other frequencies in the radio spectrum.
- "We are moving gradually to a situation where it will be possible to identify groups and sometimes individuals at greater than average risk from radiation exposure. Consideration as to how such groups and individuals might be protected raises new and important ethical questions, particularly in the occupational context. In the absence of routing individual testing it makes sense to focus on providing information to people about such risks and anything that can be done to reduce them."
- "Work should continue in order to develop a better understanding of heterogeneity in cellular and molecular responses to radiation and their relevance to radiation-induced cancer."
- "There is a need for further work to be carried out to examine the interaction of inflammatory responses and responses to irradiation."
(AGIR: "Human Radiosensitivity" (HPA/PHE, 2013, pages 150-151)
(b) Public Health England accepts that individual genetic radio-hypersensitivity to cancers probably involves defective DNA repair:
- "There is a large body of information that provides evidence of the existence of genetic subgroups with increased radiosensitivity, but there are few quantitative datasets on which to estimate the true prevalence of such individuals or the degree to which their risk of radiation-induced cancers is enhanced."
- "These include individuals with certain cancer-prone syndromes and individuals with no known syndrome whose cells have been found to be remarkably radiosensitive. In both cases, there is usually an association with defective DNA repair."
- "Current knowledge of the role of DNA damage in carcinogenesis suggests that many of these individuals will also be hypersensitive to the induction of radiation-related cancer. Such individuals are, however, extremely rare in the population."
(AGIR: "Genetic Heterogeneity in the Population and its Implications for Radiation Risk" (NRPB, 1999, p.36, 37)
NRPB (PHE, HPA): evidence of non-thermal effects in 2004:
- "There is some evidence suggesting field dependent effects on reaction time and reduced accuracy in performance of some cognitive tasks, which is supported by the results of studies on the EEG."
- "There is convincing evidence that power frequency electric fields can be detected by animals, most likely as the result of surface charge effects."
- "There is some evidence that exposure to magnetic fields may modulate the functions of the opioid and cholinergic systems, and this is supported by the results of studies investigating effects on anelgesia and on the acquisition and performance of spatial memory tasks."
- "Various claims have been made over many years suggesting that RF EMFs from a variety of military and civilian sources may cause adverse changes in an assortment of behavioural and neurological functions. These include lack of concentration, poor memory, changes in sleep pattern, as well as loss of appetite and reduced libido. Together these symptoms have sometimes been called the neurasthenic or microwave sickness syndrome. More recently exposure to mobile phones has been suggested to cause similar effects."
- "Specific concerns have been expressed about possible adverse effects on memory, attention or other cognitive functions."
- "A wide range of subjective symptoms has been attributed to exposure to various sources of RF EMFs both at home and at work. Some users of mobile phones report they suffer a variety of subjective complaints, including headaches and migraines, fatigue, skin itches, and sensations of warmth .... Less commonly reported symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, memory loss, confusion and vagueness, toothaches and nausea."
(NRPB: "Review of the Scientific Evidence for Limiting Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (0-300 GHz)" (2004, p.64, 98)
UK: IET report (2012)
Criticism of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's report of 2012:
USA: FCC, ICES, IEEE, CDC and NCRP
Criticism of the obsolete thermal limits still used by the US FCC, ICES and IEEE and of apparent Conflicts of Interest:
- Alster, Norm: “Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates” (Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, 2015, 59 pages)
- Anon: “Health Policy Groups Question FCC’s Allowing Manufacturer Violation of Its Cell Phone Microwave Radiation Exposure Limit: Majority of cell phones on market may exceed FCC’s stated RF safety limit of 1.6 W/kg, experts warn” (Business Wire, January 10 2017)
- Conrad, Richard: "For Legislators on Wireless Smart Meters" (review of evidence, May 12th 2014)
- Dart, Paul, et al: "Biological and Health Effects of Microwave Radio Frequency Transmissions: A Review of the Research Literature" (2013)
- International Association of Fire Fighters: "Position on the Health Effects from Radio Frequency and Microwave Radiation" (2005)
- Leszczynski, Dariusz: "Telecom in USA: A “YUGE” Conflict of Interest Problem" (2016)
- Maisch, Donald: "The Procrustean Approach: setting exposure standards for telecommunications frequency electromagnetic radiation" (chapter 3-4, University of Wollongong, 2009)
- Malik, Ajay: "Why the FCC's safety guidelines for Wi-Fi need to be re-evaluated" (Network World, November 12 2015)
- Modus, Kevin: "FCC Disability Advisory on Wireless Health Effects: Disability/Cancer and Brain Damage" (December 12 2016, 9 min.)
- Sage Associates: "Assessment of Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation Emissions from Smart Meters" (2011)
Testimony to the FCC on disabling health effects of wireless radiation at levels above biological safety limits, as still used by the FCC, ICNIRP etc.:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NCRP
In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted “We recommend caution in cellphone use,” on their website
Within weeks of posting their cell phone caution online, the passage was removed, along with a section that addressed potential risks of cell phone use for children. More than 500 pages of internal records suggest controversy at the agency over how to address cell phone risks, including disagreements about such risks among its scientists.
U.S. DHHS, NIH, NTP
- "Just as long term research into the health impacts of the 'electrosmog' created by wifi and mobile phones is yielding its first results, it's at risk of sudden termination from President Trump's budget cuts. But the cuts have little to do with saving money - and a lot to do with protecting corporate profit and economic growth from harsh truths, including evidence that electrosmog causes cancer in laboratory rats, and maybe humans too.
The Department for Health and Human Services (DHHS) funds the USA's leading public health institutes. As part of Trump's attempt to nullify environmental opposition in the USA, a long-standing objective of the political-right, the DHHS' budget is being cut by 18%, or about $15.1 billion. That will have wide-ranging effects on its dependent research agencies. The National Toxicology Programme, maintained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one such example. At present cuts to the NIH, which has seen increases in its funding over recent years, are believed to be around 20% of its budget, roughly $5.8 billion."
(Paul Mobbs: "Cellphones, wifi and cancer: Will Trump's budget cuts zap vital ‘electrosmog' research?" Ecologist, March 27 2017)
California Public Health Officials
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ordered the state of California in March 2017 to turn over the final version of the "Cell Phones and Health" guidelines from 2014. In May 2017 the judge forced California health officials to turn over all the previous versions of the guidelines it had kept secret. Joel Moskowitz, a public health researcher at UC Berkeley who sued the state to force the release of the records, said state officials should never have withheld the warnings from the public. “It would have to be purely political to deny distributing this,” Moskowitz said. “Science supports this.”
- "Newly released public records show that California public health officials worked for five years on a set of guidelines to warn the public about the potential dangers of cell phones, revising their work 27 times with updated research before abandoning the efforts without ever making their concerns public until ordered by a judge. The 27 versions of the guidelines, obtained by The Chronicle, show that California health officials deleted a section that warned state employees with work-issued cell phones about the potential increased risk for brain cancer from use of the devices over time. The final version of the guidelines was a broad warning to the public about exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones. It included a list of best practices to minimize exposure."
Melody Gutierrez: "New records show how state reworked secret cell phone warnings" (San Francisco Chronicle, May 19 2017)
California Department of Public Health: "Cell Phones and Health" (Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, April 2014)
"Cell Phone Safety Guidance from the California Public Health Department" (Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, May 19 2017)
Massachusetts: leadership role in protecting the public
"Massachusetts is taking a leadership role in protecting the public. Ashland Public Schools has become the first in the nation to take measures while awaiting further instruction from state leaders. Ashland has posted signs in each classroom advising wireless devices be turned off when not in use, wireless access points be turned on only when needed, and as the manufacturers’ fine print indicates, never keep an active device on one’s body.
On Beacon Hill, five legislators have introduced bills to address wireless radiation and public health. The first two bills are scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, June 20, 1-4 p.m. Senator Michael O. Moore’s S.1864 will give residents the right to choose a non-radiation-emitting public utility meter (gas, electric, water, solar, etc.). Senator Julian Cyr’s S.108 addresses safe use of hand-held devices by children.
In the fall, additional bills by Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Cyr, Senator Donald Humason and Representative Carolyn Dykema will come up for public hearing to educate our doctors, schools and the general public on wireless radiation risks and safer technology practices.
Until these bills are enacted and/or biologically safe mobile technology is brought to market, there are simple but important measures we can all choose to reduce our radiation exposure: connect to the internet via hard-wired fiber optics and Ethernet cables, then turn off the wireless emissions at work, home, school and leisure spaces. When on the go, keep devices in airplane mode except when needed as this disables the radiation transmissions, and never give a child a wireless device in active mode.
Other best practices are to create radiation-free white zones, especially in sleeping areas so the radiation doesn’t disrupt our body’s ability to cell repair while we sleep. Distances of a quarter to a half mile (for those with health complications) minimum should be established from cell towers, including the street-level antennas being installed in neighborhoods to support 5G infrastructure.
More than 200 leading scientists and public health experts have submitted an International Appeal to the World Health Organization and United Nations seeking their leadership in bringing public policy in line with current scientific evidence of harm."
Cece Doucette: "Protecting ourselves from two-way microwave radiation" (MetroWest Daily News, June 20 2017)
Colorado proposed ban on smartphone sales for children
"Too much technology too soon can impair brain development, hinder social skills and trigger an unhealthy reliance on the neurotransmitter dopamine, a high similar to what drug and alcohol addicts feel.
In February, he formed the nonprofit PAUS (Parents Against Underage Smartphones) with a few other medical professionals and began drafting a ballot initiative that, if passed, would make Colorado the first state in the nation to establish legal limits on smartphones sales to children.
Farnum’s proposal, ballot initiative no. 29, would make it illegal for cellphone providers to sell smartphones to children under the age of 13. The ban would require retailers to ask customers the age of the primary user of the smartphone and submit monthly adherence reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue."
Katie Mettler: "Smartphones made his kids ‘moody’ and ‘withdrawn.’ Now he wants to ban them for preteens" (Washington Post, June 19 2017)
Pro-industry influence: government agencies, journals and the media
The media and regulators are often influenced by pro-industry groups, including government agencies.
This is true of many industries in addition to the Wireless, Cellphone and Power-line Industries, including: Asbestos, Chemicals, Food & Sugar, GM, Glyphosate and Pesticides, and Tobacco,
The pro-wireless private German group called ICNIRP was spun out of a pro-nuclear weapons radiation group and usually adopts pro-wireless viewpoints.
The US pro-wireless IEEE represents parts of the wireless industry.
The WHO's IARC had to remove Anders Ahlbom after his industry links were revealed.
A Canadian panel of the Royal Society of Canada had to remove Daniel Krewski after conflicting interests were revealed.
In the US there have been concerns about industry links by people in the FCC.
In England Sir Richard Doll, the scientist who confirmed the link between smoking and lung cancer, later switched to supporting some industries and was chair of England's NRPB pro-wireless and pro-power-line Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) from 1990 to 2003 denying serious adverse bioelectromagnetic effects at low levels of exposure.
Asbestos and Chemicals Industries:
Food and Sugar Industries:
GM, Glyphosate and Pesticides Industries:
- Anon.: "The Monsanto Papers: MDL Glyphosate Cancer Case Key Documents & Analysis" (U.S. Right To Know, 2017)
- Anon.: "California Becomes First State to Declare Glyphosate Causes Cancer" (ECO Watch, March 30 2017)
- Anon: "Emails reveal role of Monsanto in Seralini study retraction" (GMO Seralini, July 21 2016)
- Anon.: "An Detailed Evaluation of Glyphosate Use and the Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in the North American Pooled Project (NAPP)" (Occupational Cancer Research Centre, June 3 2015)
- Anon.: "RoundUp (glyphosate) Causes Cancer, says World Health Organization" (Natural Health News)
- Engdahl, FW: "Victory in Paris vs Monsanto GMO Cabal" (New Eastern Outlook, January 3 2016)
- Carey Gillam: "Upcoming EPA Meetings on Safety of Monsanto Weed Killer Drawing Scrutiny" (The Huffington Post Australia, September 29 2016)
- Carey Gillam: "Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Cancer Scientist In Flawed Reuters Story" (HuffPost, June 16 2017)
- Hakin, Danny: "Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents" (New York Times, March 14 2017)
- Portier CJ et al: "Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)" (J Epidemiol Community Health, 2016)
Wireless, Cellphone and Power-line Industries:
- Alster, Norm: “Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates” (Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, 2015)
- ES-UK Newsletter: "Sir Richard Doll and AGNIR" (vol. 11(2), July 2013, p.21-23)
- Gennaro V et al: "Business bias: how epidemiologic studies may underestimate or fail to detect increased risks of cancer and other diseases" (Int J Occup Environ Health, 2005)
- Havas, Magda: "Subversion of Science: Royal Society of Canada Panel with Conflict of Interest to review Safety Code 6!" (June 13 2013)
- Huss A et al.: "Source of funding and results of studies of health effects of mobile phone use: systematic review of experimental studies" (Environ Health Perspect., 2007)
- Levis AG et al: "Mobile phones and head tumours. The discrepancies in cause-effect relationships in the epidemiological studies - how do they arise?" (Environ Health, 2011)
- Slesin, Louis: "IARC Drops Anders Ahlbom from RF–Cancer Panel" (Microwave News, May 22 2011)
- Slesin, Louis: "“Radiation Research” and The Cult of Negative Results" (A Microwave News Investigation into 'Radiation Research' and John Moulder, July 31 2006)
- Maisch, Don: "The Procrustean Approach: Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation: An examination of the manipulation of telecommunications standards by political, military, and industrial vested interests at the expense of public health protection" (University of Wollongong, PhD, 2010, 302 pages)
- Morgan LL: "Estimating the risk of brain tumors from cellphone use: Published case-control studies" (Pathophysiology, 2009)
- RF Safe Corporation: "Motorola War-Games Scientists Indicating Health Risk from Cell Phone Radiation" (about Jerry Phillips in 1998)
- Septiemefactory: "Microwaves, Science and Lies" (2014, 91 min., trailer 2 min)
- Septième Factory : "Microwaves, Science and Lies" (93 minutes, 2014)
- Slesin, Louis: "IARC Drops Anders Ahlbom from RF–Cancer Panel" (Microwave News, May 22 2011)
- Slesin, Louis: "“Radiation Research” and The Cult of Negative Results" (A Microwave News Investigation into 'Radiation Research' and John Moulder, July 31 2006)
- Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation: "Bias in the assessment of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF): Over 40 NGOs lodge a complaint to the European Ombudsman" (March 11 2015)
- Webster, Paul: "Federal Wi-Fi panel criticised for undisclosed conflict" (CMAJ, 2013)
- Wyatt, Edward: "Telecom Investor Named to Be F.C.C. Chairman" (NY Times, May 1 2013)
Wikipedia and pro-industry editors
One of the clearest examples of the systematic influence of the clique of pro-industry activists appears to be Wikipedia. It has been alleged that some editors are paid or expected to alter articles and entries in favor of the industry for which they work.
The Wikipedia entry on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity used to have some balance between real physical EHS and psychological Electrophobia, with which it has sometimes been confused. Since 2016, however, it has been rewritten in a blatantly anti-scientific way, ignoring the established evidence since 1932 and instead pretending that all cases of real EHS are actually Electrophobia, without supplying convincing proof.
In fact it is not just conditions like EHS which have been misrepresented in Wikipedia. Much of natural medicine, organic farming and 'green' attempts to preserve life on planet Earth have also been unfairly condemned (see e.g. alternative medicine, dental amalgam controversy, Glyphosate, genetically modified crops, homeopathy, naturopathy, water fluoridation).
See also: Science - corruption by industry