Viewpoints on ES

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The World Health Organization, ICNIRP, IARC and EU

The World Health Organization (WHO) and its agencies IARC and ICNIRP hold a wide range of views on Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) and the biological long-term effects of exposure to non-thermal electromagnetic fields and radiation. Some of these views conflict with each other and with established principles of public health. The International Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a WHO agency and a private group of mainly pro-wireless scientists, with many holding similar thermal views, derived from the atomic weapons industry. It issues thermal exposure limits to prevent heating, and not biological and non-thermal exposure limits to prevent cancers and neurological sickness.

The minority viewpoint held by ICNIRP and thus the WHO has come under increasing pressure from the majority viewpoint of international scientists over recent years.

WHO should acknowledge EHS as a Pathological Disorder

WHO should include EHS in ICD codes:

ICNIRP 2020 Guidelines lack scientific quality:

ICNIRP using 5G as health experiment, despite Nuremburg Code:

Dr Rongen of ICNIRP said of 5G:

“It is not set up as a public health experiment but of course you can consider it as such." 

Need for Long-term Guidelines to Replace Current FCC and ICNIRP:

WHO's ICNIRP: 'Conflicts of interest , corporate capture and the push for 5G':

ICNIRP faces questions:

WHO cancer review expected 2020:

WHO's purpose: to support world health, not industry interests

  • "WHO's in-house experts seem to be members of ICNIRP, although not exclusively. This may explain why only short term thermal effects from RF radiation are accepted as proofs of harm, and why non-thermal biological effects are ignored.
  • In the draft of the Monograph a large bulk of peer-reviewed scientific publications on non-thermal effects are dismissed, as also by ICNIRP. Most remarkable is that WHO has no intention to replace the Core Group of experts affiliated with ICNIRP. Thereby ICNIRP is given full access to and exclusive possibilities to influence the Monograph. In view of the huge economic interests built into the ICNIRP guidelines, and several of its expert members' ties to industry, no doubt this is a large conflict of interest that will seriously undermine not only the credibility of the Monograph on RF radiation but also the credibility of WHO as a protector of world health. 
  • It is time for laymen, NGOs and scientists to exert pressure on politicians to change the WHO agenda on RF radiation and health hazards and decide that WHO's purpose is to support world health instead of industry interests. 
  • Evidence has been published which indicated that members of ICNIRP have written scientifically incorrect and misleading information. It is unknown if WHO has responded to this evidence of suggested scientific misconduct.
  • To evaluate cancer risks it is necessary to include scientists with competence in medicine, especially oncology.
  • What are the personal advantages, at least in the short time, for those refusing to accept peer-reviewed scientific publications on adverse effects on health and environment from RF radiation?" 

                        Hardell L: "World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health - a hard nut to crack (Review)" (int. J Oncol., 2017)

WHO needs to protect against established non-thermal effects, including cancer, infertility and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS)

  • "The World Health Organization (WHO) and governmental agencies in many countries have not taken steps to warn of the health hazards resulting from exposures to EMFs at low, non-thermal intensities, nor have they set exposure standards that are adequately health protective.
  • Unfortunately the International EMF Project of the WHO, which is part of the Department of Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health in Geneva, has consistently minimized health concerns from non-ionizing EMFs at intensities that do not cause tissue heating (WHO, 2014). In this regard WHO has failed to provide an accurate and human health-protective analysis of the dangers posed to health, especially to the health of children, resulting from exposure to non-thermal levels of electromagnetic fields.
  • The Department of Public Health, Environment and Social Determinates of Disease takes its advice on the issues related to human health effects of non-ionizing EMFs from the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Almost all members of the core group preparing the new Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) document for the WHO are members of ICNIRP, a non-goverment organization (NGO) whose members are appointed by other members. In spite of recent efforts to control for conflicts of interest, ICNIRP has a long record of close associations with industry. 
  • Safety limits for RF exposure have been based (until today) on the thermal effects of EMFs. But these standards do not protect people, particularly children, from the deleterious health effects of non-thermal EMFs. Each of these diseases is associated with decrements in health and quality of life. Brain cancer patients often die is spite of some improvement in treatment, while EHS patients present with increased levels of distress, inability to work, and progressive social withdrawal. The ability for humans to reproduce is fundamental for the maintenance of our species. …
  • It is urgent that national and international bodies, particularly the WHO, take this significant public health hazard seriously and make appropriate recommendations for protective measures to reduce exposures."

                      Belpomme D et al.: “Thermal and non-thermal health effects of low intensity non-ionizing radiation: An international perspective” (Environ Pollut., 2018) 

The Lies Must Stop: Disband ICNIRP

When the chair of ICNIRP deliberately tells blatant lies, pretending that RFR is safe, it is time for the ICNIRP to be disbanded.

The WHO must now adopt long-term non-thermal guidelines and stop relying on ICNIRP's lies.

WHO EMF Project refuses to answer

The WHO EMF Project refuses to comment on its lack of science since 1993, who writes its flawed and out-of-date 'Fact' sheets (eg the one on EHS dates from 2005 and thus omits all recent studies confirming the existence and diagnosis of EHS), among many other major failings.

WHO and ICNIRP: flawed, unscientific, minority thermal viewpoint:

WHO's "unbalanced" RF assessment group is "unacceptable"
Majority of expert scientists have "no confidence" in WHO

The leading experts from around the world have condemned the World Health Organization's Radio Frequency Environmental Health Criteria Core Group as "unacceptable". Four of the international Bioinitiative group of 29 scientists, who in 2007 and 2012 produced what are widely regarded as currently the most authoritative and respected reports on electromagnetic health effects, issued a strongly worded statement (December 19 2016) pointing out that most of the WHO RF EHC group are compromised by belonging to the minority viewpoint heating-only hypothesis still invalidly held by the private ICNIRP group.

WHO's RF assessment group should be replaced by majority-viewpoint scientists

Scientists from the majority viewpoint on the health effects of low-level electromagnetic energy wrote to the WHO's Dr E van Deventer, in charge of the WHO's EMF Project, with a list of majority-viewpoint scientists to replace the minority-viewpoint clique still clinging to the long-invalidated thermal hypothesis proposed by H Schwann in 1953. Schwann's hypothesis was designed to protect some industrial and military interests, but it has been invalidated by the majority of established scientific evidence since then. Much of this scientific evidence has been accepted by other parts of the WHO. These include the ICNIRP, which in 2002 warned governments that "certain sensitive individuals" need safety limits below the ICNIRP's 6-minute heating limits, and the IARC, which in 2001 and 2011 classified low-level EMF energy as a 2B human carcinogen.

WHO's failure to prevent a public health disaster from wireless radiation

A lengthy letter to Dr Margaret Chan, the director-general of the WHO, its ICNIRP, the WHO EMF Project and its leader Dr E. van Deventer, and similar groups, challenges them over the WHO's 'Industry Infiltration, Intentional Ignorance, Denial of the Science, and Disregard for Humanity'. It suggests the minimum changes and actions necessary to rescue a world where human, animal and plant life will be unalterably harmed and society increasingly collapse, unless existing established science is urgently applied to rectifying the enormous challenge now facing humanity worldwide because the WHO's failure to act appropriately at the right time.

WHO needs to stop cover-up and tell the truth, now:

The facts about 5G and other sources of wireless radiation have been very skillfully downplayed and covered up by WHO, industry and governments, causing many people to believe it’s not a problem. The truth is that it's causing havoc all over the planet.
The WHO needs to:

  • Call a halt to 5G
  • Rollback existing wireless radiation
  • Replace wireless with wired connectivity
  • Hold global public awareness campaigns
  • Provide health support for those harmed and addicted by wireless
  • Stop the cover-up and tell the truth – now!

               Olga Sheean: “The WHO cover-up that is costing us the Earth” (June 5 2019, 19 min.; transcript)

WHO: "apparent unethical and illegal collusions that go on during evaluations of EMFs and their effects on human health"

A letter to Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and Environment, at the WHO, included:
"I want to impress upon the WHO, its working group evaluation committee and you the fact the U.S. Navy has known since 1971 about clinical manifestations attributed to microwave and radiofrequency radiation.  As proof, here is that 106-page, 2311 studies report:  Naval Medical Research Institute Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) And Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave And Radio-Frequency Radiation (1971; second printing 1972). I look forward to hearing from you as to what will be done to correct the apparent unethical and illegal collusions that go on during evaluations of EMFs and their effects on human health. Thank you very much for reading my letter and your kind cooperation to help humans become protected from EMF/RF/ELF non-thermal radiation wave adverse effects."

Experts explain to WHO officials the need for up-to-date science reflecting the majority viewpoint

Leading experts met with Maria Neira, director of Public Health and Environment at the WHO, and Emilie van Deventer, leader of the WHO's EMF Project, on March 3 2017 in Geneva to explain the urgency of the need for the WHO to accept well established non-thermal effects. They explained that children as well as adults were vulnerable to the current high levels of environmental exposure based on the discredited heating-only paradigm still used by the minority viewpoint group at the WHO and the ICNIRP. Public Health throughout the world needs new non-thermal guidelines.

WHO admits that there are divergent viewpoints and that it cannot decide which is correct

Emilie van Deventer, the leader of the WHO's EMF Project, admits that there are divergent views on the safety of electromagnetic energy, despite the one-sided minority viewpoint held by the WHO's ICNIRP. She admits that she can't say which is correct.

This admission by the WHO, that its claims on electromagnetic exposure may be wrong and people should make up their own minds, is matched by a similar admission by the private group ICNIRP, on which the WHO relies. The ICNIRP also states that there are two viewpoints and people can choose whether to follow the minority ICNIRP/WHO hypothesis, or the majority of scientists:

  • ”Everybody can believe what they want. It’s up to people to decide which group they think is more reliable and what they should believe.”

     Eric von Rongen, chair of WHO’s ICNIRP, May 19 2016 (YouTube, June 16 2016, 1 min.)

Funding of WHO and conflicts of interest

The United Nations created the World Health Organization in 1948. In the 1970s its funding was 80% from Member States and 20% from private companies and donors, but now this proportion is 80% from donors and private companies, and 20% from Member States. The former includes the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sine 2007, built on money from Microsoft and the computer industry. Public health experts are disillusioned by WHO's complacency towards Monsanto's Roundup glyphosate and other areas where the independence of the WHO is compromised both by the influence of industrial lobbies, including pharmaceutical laboratories, and by the interests of its member states.

  • "Private philanthropy is inherently undemocratic. Health care should be a human right, not a charity, and the world’s governments should determine how funds to protect that right are spent. The Gates foundation is the WHO boss, not governments."
                              Margaret Kimberley: "Privatized Ebola: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the World Health Organization’s Boss, Not Governments" (Global Research, 2014)
  • "The World Health Organisation ... the international global authority on health ... has the law making powers but  systematically over 20 years it has been completely starved of funds and such funding as it gets are tied to all sorts of conditions and those conditions are being set by large, global NGOs such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which have no democratic base, no accountability and which in turn are doing untold harm through their vertical disease programmes because they are not rooted in public health and the public health systems."
    "We are talking about democratic deficits that are happening when large global funds like the Gates Fund or the Buffett Fund can actually determine what the world priorities are and so distort what the priorities should be for public health because it is tied to the economics, they need to industrialise, they need to medicalise and they need to pharmaceuticalise."
                                   Professor Alyson Pollock (Professor of Public Health Research and Policy, Queen Mary University of London): "The Origins of the Ebola Crisis" (CounterPunch, 2014)
  • "Although the Gates Foundation provides considerable support to the WHO, the money is, as with much of the WHO’s funding nowadays, earmarked for preconceived projects rather than the decisions of the World Health Assembly."
                                    Andrew Bowman: "The flip side to Bill Gates’ charity billions" (New Internationist, 2012)​
  • "It's about increasing food productivity," said Gates matter-of-factly, when asked how to save the world from famine. "We have one-fifth the productivity in Africa that we have in Europe and the United States. So better seed varieties, access to fertilizer... and the use of cell phones so that market information is more available."
                                      Jenny Marc, Nima Elbagir, Sheena McKenzie, Ignacio Osorio: "Looking Forward with Bill Gates" (CNN, 2017)

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director general, admitted that: “My budget [is] highly earmarked, so it is driven by what I call donor interests.”

Dr. Arata Kochi, the WHO’s malaria chief, complained in 2008 about the conflicts of interest created by the Gates Foundation. In an internal memo leaked to the New York Times he complained that the world’s top malaria researchers were “locked up in a ‘cartel’ with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group.” In other words, the standards of independent peer reviewed research were cast aside in order to please the funder.

Gates helped found the public-private GAVI Vaccine Alliance based in Geneva in 2000 with an initial grant of $750 million.

"Microwave News has learned that Mike Repacholi, the head of the WHO EMF project, recruited utility representatives to help write the original draft of the document and later asked them to review the completed draft. Then, as we reported last week, Repacholi invited eight utility representatives to attend next week’s task group meeting —the only observers who were invited (see our September 22 post). The task group and the industry observers will assemble at a WHO conference room in Geneva on Monday, October 3 to recommend exposure limits.

Thanks to Repacholi, the electric utility industry has been and continues to be a full partner in the writing of the EMF document —a document which will be the WHO’s official position on EMFs for years to come. The most disconcerting part of all is that no one at the WHO thinks he is doing anything wrong."

WHO's Emilie van Deventer: Call for Removal:

Alleged statement by Emilie van Deventer of the WHO to Karl Muller, 2007:

    “Industry doesn’t care about your health. They just want the network to work properly.”

The WHO's subordination on radiation since 1959 to the IAEA and the nuclear industry
​Repacholi as the Manager of the WHO's Radiation Program (Ionizing and Non-Ionizing)

For many radiation experts the WHO lacks expertise and leadership as regards man-made radiation. The WHO has shown itself on radiation to be responsible only to the radiation industry and to governments committed to radiation use, and not primarily to helping the health of humanity. The WHO's base is in Switzerland, a country which voted to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.

The WHO is subordinate to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The prime aim of this agency, formed in 1957, is to support the nuclear industry. The IAEA reports to the United Nations and to the UN Security Council. The WHO signed a convention with the IAEA on May 28 1959, in all matters concerned with health harm from radiation and nuclear use or accidents.

It is obvious to radiation experts concerned with public health that the key priority is for the annulment of the 1959 WHO agreement with the IAEA which subordinates the WHO to the IAEA. This restricts the WHO's ability to take the lead on public health as regards ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. 

The Agreement between the WHO and the IAEA, signed in 1959, states that the research programs of the WHO should previously be agreed, so that their results would not harm the IAEA's main objective, which is:
"To accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world".

(the Statute of the IAEA)

The Agreement guarantees that the research of the WHO will not negatively affect the development of the nuclear energy IAEA.

The Agreement (Article I, § 3) specifies in particular that:
"Whenever either organization proposes to initiate a program or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement."
2 According to Article III of the Agreement:
1) "The International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization recognize that they may find it necessary to apply certain limitations for the safeguarding of confidential information furnished to them." 

2) "Subject to such arrangements as may be necessary for the safeguarding of confidential material, the Secretariat of the IAEA and the Secretariat of the WHO shall keep each other fully informed concerning all projected activities and all programs of work which may be of interest to both parties."

The requirement of Article III, demanding confidentiality, which means silence, is contrary to the Constitution of the WHO.

In fact, the purpose of the WHO is specified in chapter I of the Constitution of the World Health Organization:
"The attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health".

                                 Michel Fernex: "The Chernobyl Catastrophe and Health" (2000, 20 pages)

Repacholi allegedly worked for the radiation industry, after employment by the WHO. While at the WHO he appeared as an expert witness for industry (Australian Senate Inquiry, 2000) and had started at the Australian Atomic Energy Commission in 1964-5. He was regarded as the Manager of the WHO's Radiation Program by both the IAEA, the lobby group for nuclear ionizing radiation, and by the WHO's International EMF Project, the non-ionizing group established in 1996 to complete its work by 2005, set up to deal with the "EMF Problem" and "the concerns" about EMF health effects:

  • "Says Dr Michael Repacholi, Manager of WHO's Radiation Program, 'the sum total of the Chernobyl Forum is a reassuring message.'"                                             (IAEA: "Chernobyl: The True Scale of the Accident" IAEA Press Release, 2005/12)

The WHO did not attend Chernobyl for 5 years from the time of the accident in 1986, allegedly because the WHO was not allowed to do so by the IAEA. The WHO attributed 50 deaths to the Chernobyl nuclear accident, increased to 4,000 including future years in 2005, whereas the New York Academy of Sciences' collection of translated Soviet research, published in 2009, attributed 985,000 deaths. The WHO's Repacholi concluded that “the public health effects were not nearly as substantial as had at first been feared”.

"According to Michael Repacholi, radiation manager for the UN’s World Health Organization, a “high proportion” of people most contaminated have suffered from stress. Sometimes this had led to reckless behaviour, including eating highly contaminated food, over-indulgence in alcohol and tobacco and “unprotected promiscuous sexual activity”. Repacholi nevertheless insisted that the study’s overall health message was “reassuring”: “Most people will be surprised that there are so few deaths.” His remarks, however, were criticised as “quite inappropriate” by a former WHO radiation scientist, Keith Baverstock. The lives of people living in contaminated areas had been “permanently blighted”, he says. “I doubt they find that reassuring.” Baverstock was also concerned that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, whose remit is to promote nuclear power, may have had too great an influence in the study. The study’s assessment of radiation risks should be regarded with scepticism, he argues."

                                           (Rob Edwards: "Major UN report counts human cost of Chernobyl" New Scientist, September 5 2005)

Dr H. Nakajima, director general of the WHO 1988-1998, allegedly claimed that the IAEA prevented the WHO from publishing proceedings of the two international conferences on the Chernobyl disaster held in Geneva in 1995 and Kiev in 2001. The WHO/IAEA/UNDP report did not appear until 2005 and was allegedly written by the IAEA not the WHO.

"The International Women's League for Peace and Freedom has campaigned against this scandalous stitch-up [the 1959 agreement giving the IAEA a veto over WHO's research into radiation] and it is at last coming unravelled. During the January 2001 media furore over Depleted Uranium weapons BBC Radio Wales conducted an hour-long phone-in discussion. LLRC's Dr Chris Busby and Dr Michael Repacholi of WHO were panellists. Busby pressed Repacholi hard, saying that the Agreement meant WHO could not be trusted to give a true account of the health effects of DU. Repacholi (who was speaking from Geneva) disappeared from the airwaves for some minutes. When he returned he said that WHO intended to take back the research function."

                                      (Dr Chris Busby: "WHO repudiates agreement with IAEA" Lower Level Radiation Campaign)

"An expert report warning that the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium (DU) weapons has been kept secret. It was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO.
Baverstock also believes that if the study had been published when it was completed in 2001, there would have been more pressure on the US and UK to limit their use of DU weapons in last year’s war, and to clean up afterwards. Baverstock was the WHO’s top expert on radiation and health for 11 years until he retired in May last year. While he was a member of staff, WHO refused to give him permission to publish the study. Baverstock suspects that WHO was leaned on by a more powerful pro-nuclear UN body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “I believe our study was censored and suppressed by the WHO because they didn’t like its conclusions. Previous experience suggests that WHO officials were bowing to pressure from the IAEA, whose remit is to promote nuclear power,” he said. These allegations, however, are dismissed as “totally unfounded” by WHO. “The IAEA role was very minor,” said Dr Mike Repacholi, the WHO coordinator of radiation and environmental health in Geneva."

                     (Rob Edwards: "WHO ‘suppressed’ scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq" Sunday Herald, February 24 2004)

    In 1995 the IAEA blocked the WHO conference on Chernobyl. The IAEA reports to the UN Security Council, not to medical authorities.

Dr Alice Stewart was right about low-level radiation. As explained by Dr Chris Busby, ionizing radiation, like non-ionizing radiation, is non-linear in its biological effects. The Health ministries in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia failed to establish a link between internal contamination in children and the diseases treated in hospitals and failed to check the correlation found by Professor Bandazhevsky between the caesium 137 (radioactive isotope) concentration and lesions in vital organs. Had they done so, they could have developed an effective prevention policy for children living in contaminated regions.
    The resolution of the WHO 2001 Kiev conference failed to include reference to the new scientific evidence  of low-level radiation effects of Cs137 in the body presented at the conference and thus failed to explain the high contamination rates in Belarus. According to the line maintained by the three UN Agencies, the IAEA, the UNSCEAR and the WHO, they cannot explain why, in 2001, only 20 out of 100 children in Belarus can be declared officially to be healthy, whereas before the Chernobyl catastrophe the number was 80 out of 100. 

The WHO's subordination to the United Nations:

The UN is responsible for the WHO.

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, a physicist and electrical engineer, stated in 2018 that he knew nothing of the health dangers of Wifi, although the WHO's IARC classified Wifi as a 2B possible human carcinogen in 2011.

The current International EMF Scientist Appeal about the dangers of Wifi, cellphones, 5G etc, is addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the director general of the WHO.

The WHO leader of its EMF Project, responsible for the WHO's Wifi safety limits, is also an electrical engineer.

The WHO's preference for psychological rather than physiological explanations following radiation exposure

The WHO regards mental health as the largest health problem caused by Chernobyl:

  • "The mental health impact of Chernobyl is the largest public health problem caused by the accident to date. ... It may never be possible to disentangle the multiple Chernobyl stressors from those following in its wake, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, the high levels of anxiety and medically unexplained physical symptoms continue to this day." 
                       Bennett B, Repacholi M, Carr Z: "Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes" (WHO, 2006,                                               Report of the UN Chernobyl Forum, Expert Group Health) "Mental, Psychological and Central Nervous System                                                 Effects: Expert Opinion: Consensus", p.97.

This 2006 WHO analysis of physical radiation health effects in terms of psychological outcomes as regards the Chernobyl ionizing radiation disaster is comparable with the 2005 WHO analysis of physical radiation health effects in terms of psychological outcomes as regards the non-ionizing radiation disaster evident in Electrosensitivity.

WHO's EMF Project's Environmental Health Criteria (EHC-RF) Monograph Draft (2014): Omission of key studies:

This WHO Project was due for completion in 2016, according to WHO in 2014. However the WHO has been hampered by massive conflicts of interest, omission of key studies and its failure to consult with the leading experts. The WHO still perversely adheres to the minority viewpoint of the ICNIRP and wireless industry activists  who still rely on Schwan's mistaken hypothesis of 1953 that the only adverse effect is a temperature rise of one degree within six minutes.

As at 2018 the WHO has failed to make progress on a comprehensive and balanced assessment based on the majority scientific viewpoint which has long accepted non-thermal effects. This failure and the WHO's submission to wireless industry pressure has brought the WHO and its parent body the UN into serious disrepute. It has also caused wide-scale harm to many people around the world who have suffered from the ICNIRP's absurdly high heating guidelines which were declared as "obsolete" by the European Parliament in 2009. The WHO's intransigence and refusal to accept science-based assessments of the established long-term dangers of EM energy is an unprecedented international scientific disgrace arguably without parallel in any other major area of public health.

Existence of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF):

  • The WHO accepts the existence of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) and states that its symptoms are real and can be disabling (WHO Backgrounder 296, 2005). However the hypothesis of this outdated Backgrounder on the cause of the symptoms is confused and invalidated (see below).
  • The WHO's group ICNIRP accepts electrosensitivity symptoms as caused by electromagnetic exposure (2010 and 2014 guidelines).

        WiFi includes 10 Hz frequencies and cellphones often include similar low frequencies such as 237 Hz, not just radio frequency and

        These low frequencies are the most biologically active frequencies for many body processes and functions.

        Such frequencies are also responsible for established electrosensitivity symptoms caused by geomagnetic disturbances.

    "The integrative properties of the nervous tissue of the CNS may render it, and therefore functions such as cognitive processes like memory, sensitive to the effects of these physiologically weak electric fields ... 10–20 Hz electric fields, above the threshold for retinal phosphenes, can interact with ongoing rhythmic electrical activity in the visual and motor cortices and slightly affect visual processing and motor co-ordination ... slowing of hand movement during task performance, which was consistent with an increased synchronization of 20 Hz motor cortex activity ... people employed in electrical occupations might have an increased risk for ALS ... it is reasonable for workers voluntarily and knowingly to experience transient effects such as retinal phosphenes and possible minor changes in some brain functions, since they are not believed to result in long term or pathological health effects ... These restrictions should also prevent any possible transient effects on brain function. These effects are not considered to be adverse health effects; however, ICNIRP recognizes that they may be disturbing in some occupational circumstances and should be avoided but no additional reduction factor is applied." (ICNIRP Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric and magnetic fields (1 Hz - 100 kHz), 2010)
  • "The movement-induced electric field in the head may be high enough to evoke vertigo and other sensory perceptions such as nausea, visual sensations (magnetophosphenes) and a metallic taste in the mouth ... There is also the possibility of acute neurocognitive effects, with subtle changes in attention, concentration and visuospatial orientation ... All these effects are not considered to be hazardous per se, but they can be disturbing and may impair working ability ... All of the subjects reported mild or severe vertigo sensations and some even experienced nausea with rapid movements ... Like vertigo and nausea, magnetophosphenes may be annoying and disturbing, but they are not considered to cause serious long-term health effects."  ​(ICNIRP Guidelines for limiting exposure to electric fields induced by movement of the human body in a static magnetic field and by time-varying magnetic fields below 1 Hz, 2014)
  • Non-thermal electrosensitivity symptoms are now widely accepted. Under the European Commission's Directive 2013/35/EU on physical agents (electromagnetic fields) (2013) employers are legally required to report their occurrence in workers.
  • WHO accepts:
  • "provocation studies using Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) signals have reported effects on brain function, notably on sleep electroencephalography (EEG) and resting EEG (e.g. van Rongen et al., 2009). These studies have shown moderate consistency to date"
    ​"earlier provocation studies indicating effects of RF EMF on cognitive performance" but these "have not been replicated in more recent and higher-quality provocation studies" 
  • WHO: High Priority Research Needs: 
    Provocation studies to identify neurobiological mechanisms underlying possible effects of RF on brain function, including sleep and resting EEG
    Rationale: These studies should include validation of these effects using a range of brain imaging methods.
    ​They should also include studies investigating possible thresholds and dose-response relationships at higher exposure levels such as those encountered during occupational exposure.

    Effects of RF exposure on ageing and neurodegenerative diseases
    Rationale: Age-related diseases, especially neurodegenerative diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease, are increasingly prevalent and are therefore an important public health issue. Mobile phone use typically involves repeated RF EMF exposure of the brain; a recent study has suggested that this type of exposure could affect Alzheimer disease in a transgenic mouse model for this condition (Arendash et al., 2010). There are a few ongoing studies of possible RF EMF effects on neurodegenerative diseases but further studies are required to investigate this subject more fully"

                        WHO Research Agenda for Radiofrequency Fields (WHO, 2010)
    WHO IARC 2011 assessors:
    Prof. AB Miller

Confusion between real Electrosensitivity and Electrophobia: the invalidated hypothesis of the WHO Backgrounder 296 (2005):

  • The WHO's Backgrounder 296 (2005), however, claims that "there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure". This is scientifically invalid. Many studies have established convincing and consistent evidence linking EHS symptoms to EMF exposure, as evidenced in WHO documents (e.g. see above). EHS symptoms are well known in, for instance, non-thermal electronic warfare, among radio operators, electrical engineers and military and radar personnel. They are also well established around cellphone towers, among teenagers using cellphones, among people sensitive to geomagnetic storms, and in workers near MRI scanners. The WHO has many times been asked to change this blatantly wrong and absurd statement. Even a former director general of the WHO has stated that EMF exposure causes her ES symptoms.
  • The WHO's Backgrounder 296 (2005) confuses two distinct conditions, Real physical Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity (EHS), and Electrophobia or IEI-EMF which it defines as a psychological fear caused by media or other information. The latter, IEI-EMF defined as a psychological fear, cannot apply to children, people unaware of the dangers of EM exposure, and pets or animals, all of whom can show real adverse symptoms from EM exposure.
  • The out of date and invalidated nature of the WHO's Backgrounder is shown by its failure to refer to the studies from the 1930s establishing EHS as a condition caused by EM exposure. By failing to include the whole evidence, long accepted by the majority of scientists, it presents a one-sided hypothesis, apparently to please pro-wireless industries and governments. The WHO's Backgrounder thus lacks scientific credibility and is one of the reasons why so many scientists and politicians are now questioning how far the WHO can be seen as a medical or scientific organisation free of industry bias.
  • It is logically and scientifically invalid to conclude that a condition like Electrosensitivty does not exist, simply because a few poorly designed provocation tests have failed to show an average of over 80% positive results. The individual nature of sensitivity is well established, and its genetic links, along with the many confounding elements. Some excellent provocation tests have shown positive results, meaning that the negative ones could be poorly designed or executed. Most such negative provocation tests make assumptions which have been shown to be invalid, such as that reactions are always linear, when it is established that they are not, or that all biological tissue will react in a similar way despite many other parameters, or that sensitivity has to be shown in a conscious reaction when most sensitivity appears to occur at subconscious levels.
  • Some 80% of studies show electrosensitivity symptoms, as well as increased cancer, near cellphone towers. The WHO's Backgrounder fails to acknowledge this, again showing its lack of scientific objectivity.
  • Some critics are concerned that there has been a deliberate attempt to hide the scientific evidence and instead present a different, psychological, hypothesis which is not relevant to physical electrosensitivity. To deliberately enable psychiatrists in some countries to incarcerate people who are suffering physically. on the grounds of a invalidated hypothesis of psychological disturbance, is the opposite of what a public health organisation should be doing. There have been repeated requests to remedy these errors in Backgrounder 296 since the year 2005 but, as of 2015, the WHO has failed to do so.

Electrophobia or IEI-EMF introduced in 2004 by the activist WHO EMF Project to help the wireless industry

In 2002 the ICNIRP admitted that there were "certain sensitive individuals" who needed lower safety limits than the ICNIRP's 6-minute heating limits based on Schwann's erroneous thermal hypothesis  of 1953. At the same time the Director General of the WHO, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, became Electrosensitive and publicly admitted to her real condition. This worried people in the wireless industry and the WHO EMF Project, which has adopted views sympathetic to the interests of the wireless industry.

Therefore in 2004, the WHO EMF Project held a meeting in Prague The WHO EMF Project was designed specifically to deal with the perceived "EMF issue" in an attempt to thwart any scientific evidence-based limitations on industry's current high exposure levels, thus against the majority science which had some 30 years before, in the 1960s and 1970s, accepted adverse non-thermal effects. At this meeting in Prague the WHO EMF Project decided to rename Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity as IEI-EMF.  They preferred the term IEI-EMF because they believed it removed a causal link to EMF energy:

  • "The term "Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) with attribution to EMF" was proposed by the working group to replace EHS since the latter implies that a causal relationship has been established between the reported symptoms and EMF."

The method adopted by the WHO EMF Project was to confuse real EHS with the different condition of Electrophobia. The latter requires prior psychological conditioning. Since many children, unaware adults and animals have real EHS and have not had prior psychological conditioning, they are not subject to the Nocebo effect or similar psychological influences, thus disproving the WHO EMF Project's attempt to confuse the two different conditions.

The conference in 2004, where the WHO EMF Project first adopted this attempt to confuse real EHS and Electrophobia, failed to assess the weight of evidence establishing the existence of real EHS as evidenced since the discovery of EHS in 1932. It did not refer to the extensive evidence from thousands of studies in the USSR and Poland, as well as in the west, establishing real EHS as a genuine physical condition which can be diagnosed by objective markers.

The WHO EMF Project report admitted the existence of the specific set of symptoms for real EHS. These were first described as a recognized condition in 1932. They have been verified in many studies since then, as indicating a real condition which is not psychological in origin.

  • "The reported sensitivity reactions include a wide range of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted individuals attribute to exposure to EMF. The symptoms most commonly reported include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances). Some individuals are so severely affected that they cease work and change their entire lifestyle, while others report mild symptoms and react by avoiding the fields as best they can."

The WHO EMF Project report then claimed, with no evidence, and disregarding the thousands of studies since 1932, that:

  • "The reported symptoms are not part of a recognized syndrome and have been generally termed as “electrical hypersensitivity” or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” (EHS)."

In fact EHS has been accepted by the majority of expert scientists as a recognised syndrome. It has been recognised by international regulators, such as by the Nordic Council of Ministers in the year 2000.

              (Kjell Hansson Mild Mike Repacholi Emilie van Deventer Paolo Ravazzani (editors): "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Proceedings International Workshop on EMF Hypersensitivity Prague, Czech Republic" (October 25-27, 2004; WHO 2006)

In fact, experts reckon that only about 1% of people with real EHS have phobias. This disproves the WHO EMF Project's confusion of these two different conditions of real EHS and Electrophobia.

              (Dr. Riina Bray, Medical Director of the Environmental Health Clinic of Ontario, affiliated to the University of Toronto: "Trials and Trends in Caring for Patients with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity at Ontario’s Environmental Health Clinic" (WSF Montreal, August 13 2016)

Disabling effects of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF):

  • The WHO accepts that the condition of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) is disabling (WHO Backgrounder 296, 2005). 

Acceptance of non-thermal effects​:

  • The WHO accepts that electromagnetic fields  and radiation can have adverse affects at levels below heating, and that non-thermal exposures are possible cancer agents (WHO agency IARC, 2001, 2011, WHO 1974). 
  • ​"It is demonstrated in the majority of published scientific studies, that non-thermal EMF fields in the ELF, RF and microwave frequency area can cause biological effects, which can be ... harmful" (WHO, ICNIRP, Klintestan & Bak, 2003).
  • “This unique material accumulated as a result of 20 years’ observations [1953-1973]  made it possible to establish a very important fact, namely, that the biological effects become more severe with increasing duration of work accompanied by irradiation of low intensities (less than 1 mW/cm2) … non-thermal or “extrathermal” effects are due to conversion of electromagnetic energy within an object into another form of non-thermal energy (molecular resonance absorption, photochemical reaction, etc.) … The occurrence of pronounced biologic effects of microwaves of intensities which do not evoke the integral heat effect (less than 10 mW/cm2) has been convincingly shown independently by a number of Soviet and foreign authors. Although there are differences of opinion on the "non-thermal” or “microthermal” nature of the biologic effects of low levels of energy, there should be no doubt at present as to the actual existence of these effects.”
    World Health Organization: “Biologic Effects & Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation” (WHO, 1974, 80 pages. p.23-24)
    “Biologic Effects & Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation” (World Health Organization, Warsaw Meeting, 1973)

Need for lower, non-thermal, limits for ES (IEI-EMF) people:

  • The World Health Organization warns governments that there are sub-groups in the population which need safety levels below the WHO's safety limits which were designed only to prevent 6-minute heating effects from electromagnetic exposure on healthy adult males:

    “This document explains the approach that ICNIRP uses in providing advice on protection against non-ionizing radiation (NIR) exposure to serve both as a guide for the understanding of ICNIRP’s documents and for its future work …
    Different groups in a population may have differences in their ability to tolerate a particular NIR exposure.For example, children, the elderly, and some chronically ill people might have a lower tolerance for one or more forms of NIR exposure than the rest of the population. Under such circumstances, it may be useful or necessary to develop separate guideline levels for different groups within the general population, but it may be more effective to adjust the guidelines for the general population to include such groups.”

    (WHO agency ICNIRP: ICNIRP (2002) “General approach to protection against non-ionizing radiation”Health Phys. 82(4): 540-548; PMID: 11906144.)

Need for individual safeguards for (i) individuals with special sensitivities (e.g. EHS) and (ii) normal individuals with co-exposures:

  • "Some guidelines may still not provide adequate protection for certain sensitive individuals nor for normal individuals exposed concomitantly to other agents, which may exacerbate the effect of the NIR exposure, an example being individuals with photosensitivity."

    (WHO agency ICNIRP; ICNIRP (2002) “General approach to protection against non-ionizing radiation” Health Phys. 82(4): 540-548; PMID: 11906144.)

World Health Organisation definition of 'health':

ICNIRP definition of 'health':

Some groups like the ICNIRP have tried to undermine this WHO definition of health by claiming that there are different levels of illness and it is acceptable for people to suffer transient illness, or transient adverse health effects, or transient suffering, or ill health which is not 'pronounced' or 'serious', even if there there are difficulties in assessing whether such transient symptoms may be markers of permanent or cumulative adverse effects.. This is totally against the WHO definition of complete well-being.

  • "ICNIRP considers that ... it is reasonable for workers voluntarily and knowingly to experience transient effects such as retinal phosphenes and possible minor changes in some brain functions, since they are not believed to result in long-term or pathological health effects."
    "... transient effects on brain function. These effects are not considered to be adverse health effects."
    (ICNIRP Guidelines, 2010)

ICNIRP, IEEE and FCC guidelines are acute thermal (6 minutes), not for long-term health effects:

    ICNIRP's 6-minute heating Guidelines of 1998 state that:

    “These guidelines are based on short-term, immediate health effects such as stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles, shocks and burns … and elevated tissue temperatures resulting from absorption of energy during exposure to EMF”
    and they do not protect against “potential long-term effects of exposure, such as an increased risk of cancer”.
                     (ICNIRP: Guidelines, 1998)
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the FCC, IEEE and ICNIRP guidelines are at presently only for heating effects and do not cover nonthermal and long-term health effects:

    “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s current exposure guidelines, as well as those of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), are thermally based, and do not apply to chronic, nonthermal exposure situations …
    The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified …
    ​Federal health and safety agencies have not yet developed policies concerning possible risk from long-term, nonthermal exposures. When developing exposure standards for other physical agents such as toxoc substances, health risk uncertainties, with emphasis given to sensitive populations, are often considered. Incorporating information on exposure scenarios involving repeated short duration / nonthermal exposures that may continue over very long periods of time (years), with an exposed population that includes children, the elderly, and people with various debilitating physical and medical conditions, could be beneficial in delineating appropriate protective exposure guidelines.”

    (Norbert Hanking: Letter, July 16 2002, Center for Science and Risk Assessment, EPA, to Ms Janet Newton, President EMR Network)
  • Ignore ICNIRP (November 14 2019, 7 min.)

ICNIRP: People can decide whether to believe ICNIRP or majority scientists

  • ”Everybody can believe what they want.
    If those scientists
    [220 scientists signatory to the International EMF Scientist Appeal to UN and WHO] think that there is enough evidence then it’s their responsibility to draw their conclusion.
    [14 members of the private group ICNIRP] draw different conclusions from that.
    ​It’s up to people to decide which group they think is more reliable and what they should believe.”

           Eric von Rongen, chair of WHO’s ICNIRP since May 2016,
    at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s conference in Stockholm on May 19 2016, when asked by Mona Nilsson which people should believe, the no-precaution beliefs of the 14 members of the private group ICNIRP, or the precautionary advice of the 220 scientists, .
                    ​(“Is straling van mobiel en wifi schadelijk?” [“Is radiation from mobile and wifi harmful?”], YouTube, June 16 2016, 1 min.).

ICNIRP heating-only limits are 'not mandatory prescriptions for safety':

Professor Paolo Vecchia, head of the ICNIRP, at the London meeting at the Royal Society in 2008, said that ICNIRP's limits were never intended as medical or health safety limits: 

  • “They are not mandatory prescriptions for safety ... They are not the last word on the issue ... They are not defensive walls for industry or others.”

ICNIRP: "There’s still a lot of unanswered questions”
The 1996 guidelines adopted by the FCC and the ICNIRP were partly based on recommendations by the industry group, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The ICNIRP and IEEE do not conduct research into radio-frequency health effects but rather set guidelines based on an evaluation of published research.

ICNIRP’s chair, Eric van Rongen, said more research on RF health effects needs to be conducted:

    For further details on the ICNIRP, see: Pro-Industry Regulators under Germany

US FCC  unable to evaluate health effects:

The US Federal Communications Commission is a regulatory body for the use of wireless technology. It does not have expertise on the adverse health effects of wireless radiation, for which it relies on other agencies.  

  • "The FCC doesn't have the expertise to evaluate whether the standard [i.e. 1997 EM heating exposure safety limit] is appropriate protection levels" but relies on other agencies to evaluate these limits.
    (Julius Knapp, chief of the Office of Engineering Technology at the FCC since 2006, to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chair of the Oversight Subcommittee of Domestic Policy, at a congressional hearing in 2008: ​"FCC clarifies how "Industry" set the Radio-frequency Guidelines in place").

US FCC adopts 'industry' standards from IEEE:
The US Federal Communications Commission does not have expertise to set exposure limits for wireless radiation, but instead adopts limits proposed by committees of the wireless 'industry' itself, composed of pro-wireless scientists and activists.

  • "The standard [i.e. 1997 EM heating exposure safety limit] which is in place is based on an industry recommended and recommended by other federal agencies accepted standard", namely a committee of the wireless industry group, the US IEEE.  
    (Julius Knapp, chief of the Office of Engineering Technology at the FCC since 2006, to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chair of the Oversight Subcommittee of Domestic Policy, at a congressional hearing in 2008: "FCC clarifies how "Industry" set the Radio-frequency Guidelines in place").

The ICNIRP follows the IEEE's and FCC's pro-wireless scientists and activists

Since the private group ICNIRP mainly adopted the heating-only limits proposed by the US pro-wireless industry group IEEE, in turn adopted by the FCC, the ICNIRP's heating-only limits are, therefore, also based on the claims of pro-wireless scientists and activists.

Cancer dangers apply to all forms of Radio Frequency and Microwave radiation:

Cause of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF):

  • The WHO conference of 1973 detailed the symptoms and progress of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) from microwaves in "Public Health Aspects of Microwave Radiation" (Biologic Effects & Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation, 1973).
  • The WHO states that some sensitive people need non-thermal electromagnetic limits for protection (ICNIRP, 2002).
  • The WHO (2005) accepted the existence of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) and its symptoms and disabling effects. At the same time, however, presumably to safeguard ICNIRP's heating-only pro-wireless limits, it claimed that the symptoms and condition had not been definitely linked with electromagnetic exposure. It did not suggest any other causal agent and most experts now reject this approach and accept that it is firmly established that the symptoms are caused by low-level electromagnetic exposure.
  • A WHO workshop stated that Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) was not a known psychiatric condition, implying that it would be wrong to muddle it with EM Phobia or fear of electromagnetic devices, as some studies still do (WHO, 2006).
  • The WHO wants further studies to examine the relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiation, and the symptoms of Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF) (WHO EMF Project, 2013).

Human Rights and Equality issues for people with Electrosensitivity (IEI-EMF):

  • The WHO states that "Guidelines are set for the average population and cannot directly address the requirements of a minority of potentially more sensitive people." It also states that the general public, "consists of individuals of all ages and varying health status" and that "Individual members of the public cannot be expected to take precautions to minimize or avoid exposure". These divergent WHO statements, implying that the WHO believes that people sensitive to EM radiation should continue to suffer, conflict with public health principles, its own warning to governments about groups needing non-thermal limits (see above) and United Nations' Human Rights and Equality Legislation, and may be similar to genetic genocide. In comparison, European Union directives on air pollution require that limits cover the whole population, including sensitive people such as asthmatics. (WHO information page 'About Electromagnetic Fields: Current Standards', 2014)

WHO states that Electromagnetic fields are an environmental health risk:

The WHO now recognizes EM exposure as a major health risk, although it admits that it has not evaluated it adequately. Its 2016 report on environmental health risks is an improvement on the first report of 2006 which did not include EM exposure as a factor.

  • The WHO list of environmental health risks includes “Noise, Electromagnetic fields” as the third of eight environmental factors (Table ES1, p.x).
  • The role of EM fields has not yet been fully assessed: “There are many examples of risks that have not been adequately evaluated, including ... the impact of electromagnetic and other exposures from new technologies.” (p.100).
  • “There is also limited evidence that extremely low frequency magnetic fields, as produced by power lines, support the development of childhood leukaemia.” (p.48-49).

(Prüss-Ustün A et al: “Preventing disease through healthy environments: A global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks” WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, 2016)

WHO: "Electromagnetic fields and public health; Cautionary Policies" (Backgrounder March 2000):

  • " a number of epidemiological studies suggest the existence of weak links between exposure to EMF and human disease"
  • "within the declaration signed in London at the 1999 Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, WHO was encouraged to take into account "the need to rigorously apply the Precautionary Principle in assessing risks and to adopt a more preventive, pro-active approach to hazards". "
  • "Several different policies promoting caution have been developed to address concerns about public, occupational and environmental health issues in the face of scientific uncertainty.
    These include:
    • Precautionary Principle
    • Prudent Avoidance
    • ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) "

  • ​"For countries of the European Union, the Treaty of Rome states that "Community policy on the environment ... shall be based on the precautionary principle.""
  • ​"On 2 February 2000, the European Commission approved an important communication on the Precautionary Principle providing guidelines for the application of the Principle."
  • "Prudent Avoidance was initially developed as a risk management strategy for power frequency EMF by Drs. Morgan, Florig and Nair at Carnegie Mellon University.
    In their 1989 report to the US Office of Technology Assessment these authors defined Prudent Avoidance as
    "taking steps to keep people out of fields by rerouting facilities and redesigning electrical systems and appliances""

Critiques of WHO, ICNIRP and International Sanitary Conferences

Outdated content of WHO Backgrounder 296

See above for the outdated claims in the WHO Backgrounder 296 about the causes of Electrosensitivity. Electrosensitivity has been recognised and established in medical since 1964 in eastern countries like the USSR and Poland, and since 2015 in western countries (see Reviews of Environmental Health, 2015). It has also been established that real Electrosensitivity is not a Nocembo effect, only the different condition of Electrophobia. Therefore the WHO Backgrounder 296 is wrong to claim that there is no or insufficient evidence to show that real Electrosensitivity is caused by electromagnetic exposure.

Outdated content of WHO Backgrounder 304

This backgrounder on EMFs and Public Health dates from 2006, before the WHO's IARC's classification of RF as a 2B human carcinogen and before the FDA's and FCC's NTP study in 2018 confirming 'clear evidence' of cancer from RF. Most leading experts accept that the latter evidence now requires RF to be reclassified as a class 1 certain human carcinogen. 

The conclusion of 304 from 2006, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations [cell towers] and wireless networks cause adverse health effects," by 2019 was totally unscientific, yet in 2019 was quoted by the wireless industry's propaganda through the CTIA as a justification for the IEEE's and ICNIRP's extraordinarily high guidelines despite lower levels of RF now proven to cause cancer, EHS and other injuries.

Failure of the WHO to consider fully all the evidence because of invalid thermal hypothesis

The majority of involved scientists argue that the WHO EMF Project and the ICNIRP still hold to the invalidated thesis that the only adverse health effects from EM exposure are the result of heating, and thus do not consider fully the many well established non-thermal effects. This applies, for instance, to the established pathway of mast cell de-granulation causing histamine immune reactions, as established by Johansson and others:

"Johansson points out that some of the studies in his and other’s papers have not been included in surveys by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), suggesting that these organizations have ignored relevant research due to incorrect assumptions of the levels of EMFs that can have a biological influence." (Lisa Zyga: "Radiation Review: Some People May be 'Allergic' to Cell Phones, Computers"PhyOrg.com, 2009; O. Johansson: "Disturbance of the immune system by electromagnetic fields - A potentially underlying cause for cellular damage and tissue repair reduction which could lead to disease and impairment" Pathophysiology, 2009)

Failure of WHO's RF assessment group to provide scientific balance
The leading experts from around the world have condemned the World Health Organization's Radio Frequency Environmental Health Criteria Core Group as "unacceptable". Four of the international Bioinitiative group of 29 scientists, who in 2007 and 2012 produced what are widely regarded as currently the most authoritative and respected reports on electromagnetic health effects, issued a strongly worded statement (December 19 2016) pointing out that most of the WHO RF EHC group are compromised by belonging to the minority viewpoint heating-only hypothesis still invalidly held by the private ICNIRP group.

Failure of ICNIRP to meet full potential Conflict of Interests criteria

In 2008 the Ethical Board at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, concluded that being a member of ICNIRP may be a conflict of interest which should be stated in scientific publications (Karolinska Institute Diary Number 3753-2008-609).

Advisors and/or members of WHO or ICNRIP etc: "grossly misleading about the available scientific evidence"

"I​n 2017 the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) published a report on environmental health issues (Miljöhälsorapport 2017) that included a section on EMF health risks authored by Anders Ahlbom and Maria Feychting, both professors at the Karolinska Institute [and current or former members or advisers to the WHO and/or ICNIRP etc.]. The report from Anders Ahlbom and Maria Feychting is grossly misleading about the available scientific evidence."

"This latest report ... is a clearly false evaluation of the available scientific literature. It is yet another striking example that Anders Ahlbom and Maria Feychting from the Karolinska Institute are not capable of making an objective and honest risk assessment of health risks from electromagnetic fields. The very biased report might be a result of their long standing ties to the industry that benefits from their dismissal of health risks from electromagnetic fields."

Examples of their misleading statements without supporting scientific evidence include:

  • ”There are no scientific data confirming that exposure to electromagnetic fields causes or contributes to these symptoms” [page 202]

    [In reality, there are hundreds of studies since the 1880s confirming that EMFs cause and contribute to ES specific symptoms.]
  • ”There is no scientific evidence that support that electromagnetic fields, such as radiofrequency fields associated with mobile telephony or wireless networks, cause the symptoms described by people who perceive themselves as being electrohypersensitive” [page 205]

    [In reality, 80% of base station studies show health harm near base stations, including up to 5 times the risk for cancer.]
  • ”There is no scientific support for health risks from exposure to radiofrequency fields below current reference values [i.e. ICNIRP 6-minute heating limits]." [page 205]

    [In reality, the majority of scientists, such as the 200+ of the 2015 International EMF Appeal, accept that hundreds of studies show health risks from exposure to RF below ICNIRP's heating limits.]

        "Anders Ahlbom and Maria Feychting mislead about research on health effects from electromagnetic fields in new report" (Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation, February 8 2018)

Failure of ICNIRP to provide balanced and accurate risk assessments

The ICNIRP's heating limits are now regarded as insufficient to protect the general population by the majority of involved scientist. 

The private, unaccountable, homogenous and conservative bias in ICNIRP has been analysed and established in a growing number od critiques.

In particular the ICNIRP does not accept and apply non-thermal safety limits, whereas the majority of involved scientists around the world has long accepted non-thermal effects.

Failure of ICNIRP to achieve its aim of 'protection'

The ICNIRP's Statues. approved in 2008, section 4, state that one of its aims is: "giving guidance for the protection of workers,
members of the public, patients and the environment". Since people with real physical EHS still suffer, despite the many scientific medical papers confirming the existence of this condition, it is clear that the ICNIRP is still failing to achieve one of its key aims. Critics therefore argue that it should be replaced by medical scientists capable of producing safety limits which will protect all people including children, pregnant women, the elderly, the sick and those with EHS.

  • “Private scientific organizations exert a great deal of influence in the regulation of some technological risks ... Nevertheless, there are also sound reasons why governments shouldn’t uncritically follow the views expressed by such organizations. Taking the role played by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection in the regulation of electromagnetic fields as an illustrative example, this paper shows that private scientific organizations such as these are structurally less well suited than democratic authorities when it comes to managing those risks.” (Pascual GD “Not Entirely Reliable: Private Scientific Organisations and Risk Regulation – The Case of Electromagnetic Fields”EJRR 2013; pdf).

Failure of ICNIRP to provide sufficient evidence for its own safety standards:

  • “In the case of potential long-term effects of exposure, such as increased risk of cancer, ICNIRP concluded that available data are insufficient to provide a basis for setting exposure restrictions. By its own admission, therefore, ICNIRP has no scientific basis for setting long-term exposure guidelines for the general public. Yet it did so anyway, based only on thermal properties and short-term heating effects. Its guidelines are therefore based on ignorance.”
    ​    Karl Muller, BSc, MEd  (2017; ref.)

ICNIRP failures: composition, lack of accountability and transparency, lack of plurality, cognitive biases

Gabriel Doménech Pascual: "Not Entirely Reliable: Private Scientific Organizations and Risk Regulation – The Case of Electromagnetic Fields” (European J Risk Regulation, 2013):

Private scientific organizations exert a great deal of influence in the regulation of some technological risks … there are also sound reasons why governments shouldn’t uncritically follow the views expressed by such organizations. Taking the role played by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) in the regulation of EM fields as an illustrative example, this paper shows that private scientific organizations such as these are structurally less well suited than democratic authorities when it comes to managing those risks.

    Composition: Members of the ICNIRP are elected and re-elected by co-optation, i.e. by secret ballot and simple majority vote of the ICNIRP members. The decisions of the ICNIRP have to be made by simple majority vote, unless they relate to documents produced for publication, in which case they have to be adopted by consensus and, if this cannot be reached, by a three-quarters majority of the membership.
    Risk of Partiality.
    Lack of accountability and transparency. 

    Lack of plurality.
    Cognitive biases:

        The status quo bias.
        Confirmation bias.
        Overconfidence: overestimation, overplacement, overprecision, over optimistic.

Elasticity of scientific theories and elasticity of regulations.
There are several good reasons for governments not to uncritically follow the recommendations made by private scientific organisations such as the ICNIRP. Private scientific organizations such as the ICNIRP often have an excessively homogeneous composition. The system of co-optation used to elect their members favours such homogeneity. That lack of plurality tends to reduce both the quantity and the quality of the available information that serves the basis of their judgments, to stifle critical dialogue, to exacerbate the common biases and positions of their members and to produce extreme outcomes, polarized in the direction of those biases and points of view. 

Failure of ICNIRP to include all apparent Conflicts of Interests of its members and advisers:

There are many peer-reviewed studies showing the scientific inadequacy of the WHO's and the ICNIRP's safety limits which are based on the false hypothesis of harm only from heating. See the Bioinitiative Group for the majority scientific viewpoint which recognizes non-thermal adverse effects.

Influence of commercial interests on public health regulators at the International Sanitary Conferences before the creation of the WHO:

  • "Shortly after the Rome Conference [6th, 1885], the editor of a German medical journal [Deutsche Medizinischne Wochenschrift, 1885: 11:347] ironically pointed to the "surprising concordance between England's commercial interests and its scientific convictions". The English Cholera Commission, he said, had also found the comma bacillus, "but obstinately denies its significance" (Norman Howard-Jones: "The scientific background of the International Sanitary Conferences: 1851-1938", WHO Chronicle, 1974)

There is a need for regulators to recognize the difference between (a) non-linear frequency-dependent non-thermal bio-effects, and (b) linear intensity-dependent thermal bio-effects. ICNIRP and WHO guidelines recognise only (b): linear intensity-dependent thermal effects. Therefore the general population is not protected from (a): non-linear frequency-dependent non-thermal bio-effects.

  • "What distinguishes technologically produced EM fields from most natural ones is their much higher degree of coherence … This greatly increases their biological potency, and ‘opens the door’ to the possibility of frequency-specific, nonthermal influences of various kinds, against which existing Safety Guidelines, such as those issued by ICNIRP, afford no protection  … The [ICNIRP] Guidelines thus do not protect against adverse health effects provoked primarily and specifically through influences that the frequency of the fields might have on the human body … we are currently vulnerable to adverse health effects that might be provoked by non-thermal effects of the frequency dimension, which escapes regulation by the existing intensity-based [ICNIRP] Safety Guidelines  … There is currently an attempt (under the aegis of the World Health Organisation) to globally ‘harmonise’ exposure standards, by persuading countries with more stringent limits, such as Russia and China, to relax them in favour of the higher levels tolerated in the West. It can be no coincidence that in Russia, where the frequency-specific sensitivity of living organisms to ultra-low intensity microwave radiation was first discovered over 30 years ago, that the exposure guidelines are still 100 times more stringent that those of ICNIRP … an essentially linear perception, which might well be adequate to deal with thermal effects, but is inappropriate for realistic consideration of the non-thermal, frequency-specific vulnerability of the living organism … non-thermal influence necessarily depends on the state of the organism when it is exposed. This of course varies not only between different individuals, but also for the same individual, depending on his/her condition at the time of exposure – i.e. such influences are inherently non-linear in nature … Of particular concern to the public, and generating the most outrage, is the involuntary subjection of certain groups of the population 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to the emissions of GSM base-stations, when they are insensitively sited near to homes, schools and hospitals. The environment of these people is permanently and unavoidably polluted. This is a totally unacceptable state of affairs, which raises serious ethical questions, and arguably contravenes the Nuremberg Code.” (Hyland G, “The physiological and environmental effects of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation” European Parliament: Directorate General for Research-Directorate A, STOA, 2001).

ICNIRP is an unaccountable 'private club' with all its members holding the same minority scientific viewpoint

ICNIRP is an unaccountable 'private club' where all its members hold the same minority viewpoint, that adverse non-thermal effects do not exist and that therefore only Electrophobia or the Nocebo effect exists, and not real Electrosensitivty, despite peer-reviewed studies proving the existence of real Electrosensitivity and its objective markers, and proving that Electrosensitivty is not a Nocebo effect or the same as Electrophobia. Non-thermal effects have been established from 1932 and accepted widely in the USSR and Eastern Countries. Since 2008 the majority of western involved scientists have also accepted adverse non-thermal effects, such as from geomagnetic events, MRI effects, Electrosensitivty symptoms near cellphone towers and TV/radio masts, decreased male fertility and tumour promotion and skin effects. This means that the continued rejection of the majority scientific viewpoint makes ICNIRP's members seem a fringe pressure group, attempting to serve the wireless industry and some governments at the expense of human health.

  • "ICNIRP can, and should, be considered as a “private club” where, members of the new Main Commission are selected by the members of the outgoing Main Commission. It is a self-perpetuating and self-promoting German NGO that is not accountable for its actions at all. Nobody controls it. Nobody supervises it. Nobody checks it for conflicts of interests. Nobody checks it for the scientific accuracy. In all what and how ICNIRP does we, the general public, must rely on the self-assurances, from the ICNIRP, that all is in order. One may ask whether such self-assurances are sufficient when ICNIRP is preparing advisories “enforced” world-wide by the WHO and applied by the numerous governments and by the multi-billion industry. All members of the outgoing and the incoming Main Commission of ICNIRP are known for the same opinions:
        -  RF-EMF does not cause any adverse health effects
        -  Individual sensitivity to RF-EMF does not exist
        -  The only mechanism of RF-EMF effects is thermal
        -  the non-thermal effects do not exist.
    In such opinion-unified group, finding scientific consensus is not necessary – it exists from the starting point of selecting the new members – the “scientific consensus” is pre-defined. Therefore, instead of the real scientific debate about the possible health effects there will be discussion about providing a convincing demonstration of the lack of any effects. The scientific evidence will be looked from the view point of the, set a prori, notion of the lack of effects. This is wrong and misleading scientifically. The evidence should be looked at more open-mindedly, to determine whether the existing scientific evidence of the possible health effects is credible and reliable. Such open-minded debate was conducted at IARC when the carcinogenicity of the RF-EMF was evaluated in 2011. It was possible because IARC, unlike ICNIRP and the WHO, invited group of scientists representing a much larger breadth of opinions."
    (Dariusz Leszczynski: "ICNIRP does it again..." Between a Rock and a Hard Place, April 4 2016)
  • (Dariusz Leszczynski: "Is ICNIRP reliable enough to dictate meaning of science to the governmental risk regulators?" Between a Rock and a Hard Place, April 8 2016)
  • "A Radiant Day" (NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Company) & Brennpunkt, 2010), on the way some parts of the wireless industry and some governments still refuse to accept the medical scientific evidence dating from the 1950s onwards of the established harm from non-thermal radiation. It shows the dominant influence of the military and industry in the USA's IEEE on setting standards which suit them, and how the ICNIRP and the WHO adopted these very lax levels in 1998, whereas other countries have adopted much more stringent safety levels to allow for established non-thermal effects. It also shows how the WHO's EMF Project was financed in part by the wireless industry it was supposed to be regulating.

    ​    "A Radiant Day"  Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4; Part 5.
  • "Microwaves, Science and Lies" (93 minutes, 2014, rent for $5, and trailer, 2 minutes). This excellent documentary traces industry influence in the World Health Organisation and elsewhere.

        "Microwaves, Science and Lies" (Powerwatch, 2014) commentary, 

The World Health Organization's EMF Project: similar failings to ICNIRP

The WHO's EMF Project was created in 1996 under Repacholi, formerly chair of the ICNIRP, to deal with the "EMF problem". Its scientific reviews meetings are generally conducted in conjunction with ICNIRP, itself heavily criticized for its homogeneous, minority and outdated hypothesis on only heating effects, It seems that the EMF Project, like ICNIRP, has often failed to rely on medical scientists who regularly diagnose and treat people with EHS, and instead, like the wireless industry and some governments, prefers the opinions of psychologists who are concerned with Electrophobia.

  • "The controversy over setting international safety standards and health guidelines has simmered for a number of decades. The mainstream “regulatory science” position has been that it is unlikely EMF’s constitute a significant health risk and therefore minimal regulatory intervention or significant precautionary considerations are required. A small but persistent stream of scientific studies nevertheless have continued to raise significant health concerns and have led to calls for regulators to build stronger precautionary approaches into EMF standards and guidelines. The WHO EMF project was established in 1996 in an attempt to discourage this situation leading to different nation states adopting strong precautionary approaches and developing a diversity of national EMF safety standards and health guidelines ... Three important strategies used by the WHO EMF Project have involved: appeals to technological determinism, developing bespoke models for sound science, and setting the boundaries between science and policy to attempt to exclude their opponents from the policy making arena." (Mercer D: “The WHO EMF Project: Legitimating the Imaginary of Global Harmonization of EMF Safety Standards” 2016)
  • The Electromagnetic Radiation Research Foundation of South Africa: "An Open Letter to Dr Emilie van Deventer, Director, EMF Project, World Health Organisation" (May 11 2016)

The WHO EMF Project, ICNIRP, IARC and the invalidated thermal paradigm

Reliance of the thermal paradigm, invalidated since 1930 when non-thermal effects were established as primary, began to weaken after the IARC in 2001 classified ELF as a 2B human carcinogen. By 2003 the WHO EMF Project and ICNIRP expected the IARC to classify RF as not carcinogenic in 2004. This would have allowed them to reaffirm their thermal guidelines after the WHO published a new WHO Environmental Health Criteria assessment. This sequence of events would thus have concluded the WHO EMF Project by 2006, as originally planned.

In practice, the expected timings for publications were delayed, unravelling the plans of the WHO EMF Project and the ICNIRP stated at the WHO/ICNIRP Guilin, China, Conference in 2003 (link). The IARC did not assess RF in 2004 but waited until 2011. In 2011 the IARC's assessment, against the thermal lobby's expectations, accepted non-thermal evidence and classified RF as a 2B carcinogen. This meant that the WHO EMF Project could not produce a valid EHC for RF when the IARC recognized non-thermal effects. This in turn meant the ICNIRP could not produce a full scientific assessment to support its thermal guidelines. The EHC for RF was circulated in draft form in 2014 (see above) but was heavily criticised on scientific grounds and has not been published.

In practice, because 5G required signal strengths above even the thermal ICNIRP guidelines of 1998, the ICNIRP simply issued new guidelines in 2020 allowing much higher intensities of RF. The ICNIRP seemed to hope that this would enable 5G, without the scientific support of a WHO EHC re-assessment, still awaited despite its intended publication date of 2004.

The WHO's EMF Project built on 'money laundering':

  • “The International EMF Project is a telecom mole hiding in plain sight within WHO. Its initial funding was money laundered via the Royal Adelaide Hospital, whereby the telecoms industry sent funds to the hospital and the hospital ‘donated’ the money to the International EMF Project. The tobacco industry had a similar effect on WHO many years ago, causing substantial embarrassment for the organization.”
    L. Lloyd Morgan, Senior Research Fellow Environmental Health Trust (ref.)

The dangers of a situation now largely out of control

  • "The most telling evidence for the dangers of EMRs (electromagnetic radiation) is the fact that the players we so dearly want to believe are protecting us, years ago all abandoned ship and do not take any legal and economic responsibility at all for future health damage of electromagnetic fields from this so-called ‘safe technology’. Among the ‘sailors’ that have left the boat are the manufacturers, the telecom operators, the insurance companies (by not insuring for health effects of electromagnetic fields), and to a high degree also the radiation protection authorities, as well as the World Health Organization.
    In addition to this, there are results from an overwhelming number of studies, including:
    - genotoxic cellular DNA-damage
    - disruptions and alterations of cellular functions like increases in intracellular stimulatory pathways and calcium handling
    - decreased learning and memory scores
    - disruption of tissue structures like the blood-brain barrier
    - damage and induced death of nerve cells
    - impact on vessel and immune functions
    - loss of sperm quality as well as fertility.
    We are not the only species in jeopardy; practically all animals and plants may be at stake."

         (Assoc. Prof. Olle Johansson: "Are we really coping with the increasing amounts of airborne radiation?" Living Now, July 2016) 

  • "Global neglect of the Precautionary Principle is opening the way to corporate profit but placing humans and ecosystems at risk, and delaying a paradigm shift towards safer connectivity ... 
    The worldwide rush towards 5G or 'fifth generation' wireless rollouts is set to raise our pulsing pollution to new levels. Untested, high microwave frequencies are being lined up to increase bandwidth, automation, and usage - at great profit to the industry. These millimetre and centimetre waves, though too weak to heat us, may pose possible risks to our skin, and deeper surface tissue, including that of plants ... 
    The pulsed, polarized, microwaves used by wireless technologies pose more biological risks than smooth or natural waves. Weak millimetre waves have a known potential to increase antibiotic resistance: what ecological effects might they risk, perhaps, if used universally? ... 
    With no mention of health-testing, carbon costs, or corporate responsibility, the FCC voted unaminously to go ahead by releasing swathes of untested high frequencies for private sector exploitation - so setting a trend. To questionable ends ... 
    Professor Yuri Grigoriev, long-serving chair of Russia's non-ionising radiation protection body (RNCNIRP), warned in 2008: "levels of non-ionising radiation are constantly increasing and ubiquitous: it is out of control ... Urgent action is needed".

    (Lynne Wycherley: "Wireless pollution 'out of control' as corporate race for 5G gears up" The Ecologist, October 27 2016)

  • "Microwaves at current exposure levels are linked to brain damage, DNA damage, brain tumours, cancers, microwave sickness, impairment of cognitive functions, impairment of reproduction and fertility, affecting humans, rodents, birds, and bees ... Evidence is emerging that the health hazards associated with wireless microwaves are at least comparable to, if not worse than, those associated with cigarette smoking. Unlike cigarette smoking, passive exposure to microwaves is hard to avoid if wi-fi becomes ubiquitous. Now that smoking bans are in place all over the world, there is no reason not to do the same with wi-fi. All wi-fi networks in public places should be dismantled, especially in schools and universities, and a ban imposed."

    (Mae-Wan Ho: "Drowning in a Sea of Microwaves" Institute of Science in Society Report, 2007)

Further information:

The US Federal Communications Commission is a regulatory body for the use of wireless technology. It does not have expertise on the adverse health effects of wireless radiation. 

California knew smart meters are dangerous

Andre Fauteux: "California knew smart meters were dangerous" (La Maison du 21e siecle magazine, March 29 2015)