Select Page

WHO/IARC Position On Wireless And Health


World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on Cancer’s Position on Wireless and Health

The World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on cancer recommends reducing exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) from cell phones. This is stated in the 2011 Press Release. There are also expert advisors of the  World Health Organization who are making clear statements that radiofrequency radiation is a carcinogen backed by scientific evidence.  On this page we have the documentation of the statements and videos of the World Health organization experts speaking. 

It is important o note that the World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on Cancer is a different entity than the World Health Organization EMF Project. The EMF Project was started with industry money and has been criticized for lack of transparency and deep roots to industry. As an example, we are not informed as to who writes the factsheets  and content and when asked, there is no response.  The one paid staff member on the EMF Project is an engineer who has a history of support by wireless companies.

However the World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on Cancer EMF Working group for the evaluation of RFR was vetted for conflicts of interest and is considered the gold standard for evaluating carcinogens. On this page we present the information from this body of the World Health Organization. 

Please watch these videos of World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on Cancer’s Position on Wireless and Health. After the videos we have more information all hyperlinked to the source. We also review members of the WHO/IARC and their recent statements so that the reader can see examples of statements by experts on the scientific evidence showing harm. Yes, there is scientific evidence. 

What Is The World Health Organization (WHO) Position on Wireless and Health?

  1. 2011: Wireless radiation is classified as a “Possible Human Carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO).
    World Health Organization Press Release on Wireless Radiation

    World Health Organization Press Release on Wireless Radiation

2019 Update: WHO/IARC Advisory group recommend re-evaluating RF in light of new science since 2011 classification. 

  • The  advisory group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization  advisory group has released new recommendations to reassess  as a “high priority” the cancer risks of radiofrequency (RF) radiation between 2020–2024.  The  recommendations were published in The Lancet  Oncology on April 18, 2019. The  IARC advisory group of 29 scientists from 18 countries met in March, 2019. Many WHO/IARC scientists have publicly stated the classification will likely strengthen due to the National Toxicology Program study. 
  1. The Class 2B classification includes wireless radiation from any transmitting source such as cellphones, baby monitors, tablets, cell towers, radar, other wifi, etc. It applies to RF-EMF in the range of 30 KHz to 300 GHz emitted from any device- not just cell phones. This fact is detailed in the  Lancet’s published statement  and in the related press release in 2011. All wireless electronic devices emit RF-EMF (wireless radiation). It does not matter what type of device is the source. While cell phone use at the head results in highest exposures to the brain, many other devices emit lower levels of exposures that can have a cumulative effect on the whole body.
  1. The WHO IARC Monograph states that research shows this radiation is absorbed deeper into children’s bodies than into adults.
    • The 2013 published Monograph states, “the average exposure from use of the same mobile phone is higher by a factor of 2 in a child’s brain and higher by a factor of 10 in the bone marrow of the skull.” Read these details on page 34 of the World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer’s published Monograph on Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.
  1. The WHO IARC Director Christopher Wild recommends taking measures to reduce exposures until research on long term exposures is completed in light of the risk classification.
    • The 2011 Press Release by the WHO IARC states, “Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings,” said IARC Director Christopher Wild, “it is important that additional research be conducted into the long‐term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands‐free devices or texting.”
  1. Even in 2010 WHO stated that significantly more research is needed. Statements about proof of safety are false. 
    The WHO has published a 36-page Research Agenda for Radiofrequency Fields (Wireless) detailing the critical research that still needs to be done with wireless, calling for research that looks at the connection with neurodegenerative diseases, cognition, and cancer—among other endpoints. Please note the following points made in the research agenda:

    • The agenda states it a high priority to look at “Prospective cohort studies of children and adolescents with outcomes including behavioural and neurological disorders and cancer”. They recommend a “longitudinal design, thereby allowing the study of several outcomes and changes in technology and the use of mobile phones as well as other sources of RF EMF exposure, such as wireless laptops.”
    • The agenda prioritizes “Effects of early-life and prenatal RF exposure on development and behaviour “ because “there is still a paucity of information concerning the effects of prenatal and early life exposure to RF EMF on subsequent development and behaviour. Such studies are regarded as important because of the widespread use of mobile phones by children and the increasing exposure to other RF sources such as wireless local area networks (WLANs) and the reported effects of RF EMF on the adult EEG. “
    • Read the Research Agenda here.
  1. WHO IARC scientists continue to publish research and commentary in medical journals detailing that there are no safety assurances with wireless. They state an urgent need for well done directed research.
    • Dr. Samet, Senior Scientist, Chair of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for the Research on Cancer 2011 RF-EMF Working Group stated, “The IARC 2B classification implies an assurance of safety that cannot be offered—a particular concern, given the prospect that most of the world’s population will have lifelong exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.” in his 2014 Commentary calling for more directed research published in the journal Epidemiology.
  1. Many WHO IARC  scientists who are WHO advisors and served on the 2011 WHO IARC working group now state that additional scientific evidence indicates that wireless radiation should  be re-classified either as as a “probable human carcinogen” or a “known human carcinogen.” 

Several experts no longer are of the opinion that the evidence shows “possible carcinogenicity. They believe the evidence has increase and they are upgrading their opinion on the matter.

The following experts were part of the WHO IARC’s RF-EMF Review in 2011. Please see their opinion. 

Dr. Anthony Miller

Dr. Anthony Miller publishes research, lectures, testifies to government officials on the increased evidence of risk from wireless technology, and has four decades of expertise with the WHO IARC. See his testimony to the City of Toronto against cell towers here. Watch his 2014   lecture at Women’s College Hospital here. Watch his lecture in 2017 stating that the evidence is now increased enough  to classify wireless as human carcinogen. See his statement to the National Toxicology Program here. 

Dr. Lennart Hardell

Dr. Lennart Hardell is repeatedly issuing statements and publishing papers statig this radiation is carcinogenic and that the evidence substantiates this opinion.

He published several research studies including research in the International Journal of Oncology entitled Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use concluding, “This study confirmed previous results of an association between mobile and cordless phone use and malignant brain tumours. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that RF-EMFs play a role both in the initiation and promotion stages of carcinogenesis”.

Dr. Hardell is an International Agency for the Research on Cancer EMF Working Group expert and now states that wireless “should be regarded as human carcinogen requiring urgent revision of current exposure guidelines.”

Dr. Chris Portier

“A careful review of the scientific literature demonstrates there are potentially dangerous effects from RF,“ stated Portier, a recently retired CDC Director, Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease in his official call for invoking the precautionary principle with wireless. See also a poster presentation he penned for the conference here.

Dr. Igor Belyaev

“There are many publications showing health effects of radiofrequency radiations. Approximately half of all published papers show such effects. This apparent discrepancy can be accounted for various conditions of exposure, because non-thermal RF effects are critically dependent on various parameters and also biological variables.” Dr. Igor Belyaev is the Head Research Scientist at the Cancer Research Institute at the Slovak Academy of Science in Bratislava, Slovakia. Dr. Belyaev was one of the 30 members of the IARC Working Group tasked with classifying the carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation—the Group that produced the 2013 IARC Monograph. Please watch him speak at the National Press Club at this video link.

  1. In 2015 over 200 scientists appealed to the WHO and the United Nations to take immediate action to reduce health risks of wireless radiation and “the emerging public health crisis related to cell phones, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in neighborhoods.”
  1. On October 14, 2015, WHO scientists with expertise in wireless radiation wrote a Letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education detailing children’s unique vulnerability to the health risks of wireless technology.
    The Doctors and scientists call for educating students on safer ways to use technology and for installing safer hardwired technology in school classrooms.

  1. In 2002 The World Health Organization issued “Children’s Health and Environment: A Review of Evidence” (see page 184) recommending reducing exposures to children:
    • “The possible adverse health effects in children associated with radiofrequency fields have not been fully investigated.”
    • “Because there are suggestions that RF exposure may be more hazardous for the fetus and child due to their greater susceptibility, prudent avoidance is one approach to keeping children’s exposure as low as possible.”
    • “Further research is needed to clarify the potential risks of ELF-EMF and radiofrequency fields for children’s health.”