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Electrosensitivity UK Considers Advertising Standards Authority Ruling on Cell Phone Radiation Information Poster Invalid

Apr 4, 2018


Electrosensitivity UK considers Advertising Standards Authority Ruling  to halt cell phone radiation poster “invalid on scientific grounds.”


Electrosensitivity UK had information posters on cell phone radiation and health released as part of a  public awareness campaign.  The posters  included text which stated “Worth the risk? It’s your call. More and more research is starting to show potential health risks from mobile and cordless phones, WiFi and other electromagnetic fields”. Below the text was an image of a mobile phone which displayed a variety of on-screen apps. These app icons were titled “Damaged immune system; Electrosensitivity; Skin Disorder; Cancer Risk Raised; Heart Palpitations; Headaches; Memory Loss; Fatigue; Brain Tumour; Sleep Disorders; Dementia; Tinnitus; M.S; Damaged Sperm Count; Depression”.

Read the May 2017 Buzz feed news article “A Charity Could Face Investigation Over Its Adverts That Claim W-iFi And Mobile Phones Make People Ill” to see the poster.

However the informational posters were slapped with a complaint and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled  the ad must not appear again in the form complained of. They told Electrosensitivity-UK “to ensure they did not make claims that implied there was robust scientific evidence emerging that demonstrated negative human health impacts caused by mobile and cordless phones, WiFi and other electromagnetic fields or that specific medical conditions had been shown to be caused by exposure to mobile and cordless phones, WiFi and other electromagnetic fields, unless they held adequate substantiation for such claims.” However Electrosensitivity UK ha submitted extensive scientific documentation. Read the press release by Electrosensitivity UK on the ruling.

Read the ASA ruling here

Read Electrosensitivity UK’s  Submissions to ASA HERE 


Electrosensitivity UK (ES-UK) . PRESS RELEASE: APRIL 2 2018

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)’s Ruling A17-388045, for release on April 4 2018, relating to the information poster displayed by three groups,  including Electrosensitivity UK,  during May-June 2017.


1.Electrosensitivity UK considers the ASA’s ruling invalid on scientific grounds.

(a) The World Health Organization’s IARC[1] classifies radio frequency radiation, such as from mobile phones, phone masts and Wifi, as a 2B (possible) human carcinogen. The information poster follows this warning by WHO/IARC in stating that there are ‘potential’ health risks.[2]

(b) To omit these ‘potential’ health risks – all mobile phones carry health warnings on the distance from the body at which they should be used – would have been ‘misleading’ and ‘unsubstantiated’, the very claims made wrongly by the ASA against the wording of the information poster.


2.The poster is fully substantiated scientifically and by new scientific evidence, so it cannot be misleading.

(a) Leading world experts state that new evidence requires that wireless radiation should now be reclassified by WHO/IARC as a class 2A (probable) or a class 1 (certain) human cancer agent.[3]

(b) In March 2018 England’s Chief Medical Officer issued a health warning on mobile phones.[4]

(c) In December 2017 California’s Public Health Director issued a health warning on mobile phones.[5]

(d) In February 2018 the $25m National Toxicology Program study confirmed tumours at current exposure levels from mobile phones.[6]

(e) In March 2018 the €5m Ramazzini Institute study confirmed tumours and cancer from phone masts at current levels and asked for reclassification of radiofrequency as a class 2A (probable) or class 1 (certain) human carcinogen.[7]

(f) The increase in brain tumours (Glioblastoma Multiforme) in England 1995–2015 suggests an adverse environmental or lifestyle factor, such as mobile phone use.[8]

(g) From September 2018 France will extend its health ban on Wifi in nurseries and infant schools to include a ban on mobile phones in schools for those aged under 15.

  1. The ASA, funded commercially by a levy on advertisers including wireless industries, lacks scientific expertise in this field. Its ruling does not quote a single peer-reviewed study showing that there is no risk. Instead, it quotes WHO Sheet 193 and the NHS, but these are not peer-reviewed, while groups like Public Health England have serious conflicts of interest.[9] ES-UK’s Selected Studies[10] provides 2,000 relevant studies and references confirming the growing evidence of potential health risks. 
  1. What proportion of the ASA’s income comes from the mobile phone, Wifi and other related industries, and does it have a conflict of interest?
  2. The four Responses[11] from Electrosensitivity UK submitted to the ASA since June 2017 (available on the ES-UK website) fully substantiate the poster’s wording scientifically and confirm that it could not be considered misleading. They follow the majority international scientific opinion as represented by the International EMF Scientist Appeal to the UN and WHO, not the minority viewpoint of the wireless industry.
  3. Comments by trustees:

Dr Andrew Tresidder, MBBS MRCGP, ES-UK Trustee, Physician Health Educator:

“It is unfortunate that the ASA are behind the times and are unable to scientifically critique all the mounting evidence regarding health issues from Radiofrequency and other technology. Many people are aware that switching off mobile phones, Wifi, laptops and other technology at night stops the headaches, hot ears, poor sleep and other problems that they were suffering, and will be surprised at the ASA’s dismissal of the ES-UK summary of scientific evidence. It is interesting that the ASA have been unwilling to give any details of their expert scientific committee.”


Michael Bevington, Chair of Trustees, Electrosensitivity UK:

 “I am very concerned that a commercial group like the ASA is trying to prevent people being given accurate scientific information on health risks from mobile phones, phone masts and Wifi. There is ever increasing scientific evidence from world experts and authorities about cancer risks and cardiovascular, fertility and neurological harm from these wireless devices. The ASA lacks scientific expertise in this area of health and should not try to censor substantiated scientific evidence about the harm from wireless devices.”


Michael Bevington,

Chair of Trustees,

Electrosensitivity UK

March 26 2018

[1] WHO’s IARC: International Agency for Research on Cancer: Baan et al, 2011

[2] This classification as a 2B human cancer agent also applies to power line frequencies.

[3] Carlberg et al., 2017; Hardell et al., 2013; Peleg et al., 2018; Morgan et al., 2015; (Miller), 2017.

[4] “Silent killer in your bedroom … a mobile phone” The Times, March 2 2018.

[5] “CDPH Issues Guidelines on How to Reduce Exposure to RF Energy from Cell Phones”

[6] “Comments on the NTP Technical report on the toxicology and carcinogenesis studies…”

[7] Falcioni L et al., 2018.

[8] Philips A et al., 2018.

[9]A hard nut to crack” 2017; DoH PHE’s AGNIR Report ‘inaccurate’ 2016; “Multiple countries ban wifi & cell phones around schools, young children & foetuses” 2018.

[10] Selected Studies:

[11] 2-ES-UK response to ASA Draft-March 7 2018; 3-ES-UK response to ASA Draft-December 11 2017; 4-ES-UK response Part 2 to ASA-August 8 2017; 5-ES-UK response to ASA-July 4 2017.