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Scientists Counter ICNIRP’s Guidelines on 5G, Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation Exposures

Mar 13, 2020

Dr. Devra Davis of Environmental Health Trust and  Dr. Joel Moskowitz of University of California Berkeley are quoted in the latest news critiquing the 2020 ICNIRP guidelines on cell phone and wireless radiation.
On  March 11, 2020,  the International Commission on Non-ionizing Research Protection (ICNIRP), – an invite only entity without any oversight- published new human exposure guidelines for non-ionizing radiation (100 KHz to 300 GHz) in the journal Health Physics. These guidelines address radio-frequency radiation exposures, wireless radiation radio, WiFi, and Bluetooth in addition to 3G, 4G, and 5G cell phones and cell towers. However they are only for short term heating effects from exposure, not for long term health effects.

The article below features Dr. Devra Davis of Environmental Health Trust and  Dr. Joel Moskowitz  and is reposted curtesy of TR Daily.   TR Daily of  Wolters Kluwer is a leading provider of information, business intelligence, and regulatory and legal workflow solutions for legal, corporate, and compliance professionals across several industries.

International Commission Releases New Radio-frequency Guidelines

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has released new guidelines that it says will ensure people are protected from radio frequency (RF) signals of 5G services. The guidelines also cover 3G and 4G devices, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and radio.

The new guidelines, which took seven years to develop, are more appropriate than the organization’s first guidelines released in 1998 because they include higher frequencies used for 5G services, said ICNIRP Chairman Eric van Rongen.

“We know parts of the community are concerned about the safety of 5G and we hope the updated guidelines will help put people at ease,” he said. “The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to EMF exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range.”

A news release said the primary changes in the new guidelines dealing with 5G and spectrum above 6 gigahertz are (1) “the addition of a restriction for exposure to the whole body;” (2) “the addition of a restriction for brief (less than 6-minute) exposures to small regions of the body;” and (3) “the reduction of the maximum exposure permitted over a small region of the body.”

The ICNIRP said that other “minor” changes include (1) “greater transparency to make the logic and scientific basis of the guidelines easier for the health protection community to engage with;” (2) “additional means of assessing compliance with the guidelines;” and (3) “greater specification of how to assess complicated exposure scenarios.”

The guidelines are published in the scientific journal “Health Physics.”

ICNIRP said its guidelines consider non-thermal effects of RF emissions. It said that it “considers all potential adverse health effects, and sets restrictions to ensure that none occur, regardless of the mechanism of interaction between the exposure and the body. The lowest exposure levels that can cause adverse health effects are due to thermal mechanisms, and so restrictions have been set based on the thermal effects, as these will protect against any other effects that could occur at higher exposure levels.”

Critics who complain about inadequate RF standards set around the world, including the failure to consider the impact of 5G deployments, particularly point to what they said is a lack of attention to non-thermal RF effects.

Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Public Health and creator of the website, said that ICNIRP’s guidelines “were designed to protect us only from short-term heating (or thermal) effects. The guidelines fail to protect us from non-thermal effects, especially from long-term exposure to wireless radiation because ICNIRP continues to dismiss the many hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that have found biologic and health effects from exposure to low-intensity, radio frequency radiation including many human as well as animal studies. The preponderance of the research has found evidence of increased cancer incidence, oxidative stress, DNA damage, and infertility from exposure to wireless radiation.”

“Relying on twentieth-century science to set standards for 21st-century technology makes no sense. The complexity of the technology makes it possible for this unelected group of 11 persons that reports to no authority and has no oversight to wield unreasonable influence. This report relies on a highly selective literature review,” said Devra Davis, president of the Environmental Health Trust. “They make no mention of the fact that infertility clinics around the world advise men having problems impregnating their partners to remove wireless devices from their bodies. They completely discount results from the U.S. flagship testing program, the National Toxicology Program, that produced what peer-reviewers concurred was clear evidence of cancer in animals and compelling evidence of DNA damage in both mice and rats exposed to the same amounts of cellphone radiation as humans can receive in their lifetimes. They do not even consider the work of Lennart Hardell, arguably one of the top experts in the field studying the human impacts of cell phones, and fail to mention the large French national study of brain cancer that confirmed increased risks in the heaviest cellphone users.”

Ms. Davis added that “EHT is working with top legal experts to challenge outdated FCC standards (that rely on ICNIRP) because they betray the public trust by failing to take full notice of the range of scientific information on these matters. Further, we think that contrary analyses from European expert groups must be taken into account in any consideration of appropriate policy responses.”

Last December, the FCC released an item maintaining its existing RF exposure limits despite arguments that they are unsafe and should be tightened (TR Daily, Dec. 4, 2019). EHT and several other groups and individuals have filed two legal challenges to the item (TR Daily, Feb. 5).

—Paul Kirby,

TR Daily – March 12, 2020

ICNIRP. Guidelines for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields (100 kHz to 300 GHz). Health Phys 118(00):000–000; 2020. Pre-print. DOI: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001210.