International Experts’ Perspective on the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR).
June 11, 2011 (updated as of July 2018). Below are some of the key resolutions, appeals, and declarations released by expert scientific groups around the world since 1998, regarding the biological and health effects of both low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) associated with electricity and radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) generated by wireless devices.
Anyone who reads these cannot be left with the illusion (or delusion) that this form of energy is without adverse biological and health consequences at levels well below existing guidelines. Children are particularly vulnerable. It is irresponsible of governments to maintain the status quo in light of thousands of studies that have been published and statements by these experts.
“If this was true … they would have told us.”
They are telling us, as these resolutions and appeals prove, but no one is listening!
Since 1997 there have been at least 37 appeals/resolutions/declarations from groups of scientists and medical doctors familiar with EMF/EMR research. Why are governments not listening?
Here are the resolutions/appeals/reports in reverse chronological order. Note: this page is update with new appeals/resolutions as they become available.
2017: Scientists warn of potential serious health effects of 5G, September 13, 2017 (available here).
We the undersigned, more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries, recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry. 5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. humans and the environment.
- 5G leads to massive increase of mandatory exposure to wireless radiation
- Harmful effects of RF-EMF exposure are already proven
- Precautions are needed
- “Safety guidelines” protect industry – not health
We urge the EU:
1. To take all reasonable measures to halt the 5G RF-EMF expansion until independent scientists can assure that 5G and the total radiation levels caused by RF-EMF (5G together with 2G, 3G, 4G, and WiFi) will not be harmful for EU-citizens, especially infants, children and pregnant women, as well as the environment.
2. To recommend that all EU countries, especially their radiation safety agencies, follow Resolution 1815 and inform radiation, about health risks from RF-EMF citizens, including, teachers and physicians, how and why to avoid wireless communication, particularly in/near e.g., daycare centers, schools, homes, workplaces, hospitals and elderly care.
3. To appoint immediately, without industry influence, an EU task force of independent, truly impartial EMF-and-health scientists with no conflicts of interest1 to re-evaluate the health risks and:
a. To decide about new, safe “maximum total exposure standards” for all wireless communication within EU.
b. To study the total and cumulative exposure affecting EU-citizens.
c. To create rules that will be prescribed/enforced within the EU about how to avoid exposure exceeding new EU ”maximum total exposure standards” concerning all kinds of EMFs in order to protect citizens, especially infants, children and pregnant women.
4. To prevent the wireless/telecom industry through its lobbying organizations from persuading EU-officials to make decisions about further propagation of RF radiation including 5G in Europe.
5. To favor and implement wired digital telecommunication instead of wireless.
2015: Brussels International Scientific Declaration on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, available here. Once again, an international group of medical doctors and scientists signed the Brussels Appeal and stated the following:
We, physicians, acting in accordance with the Hippocratic Oath, we, scientists, acting in the name of scientific truth, we all, medical doctors and researchers working in different countries worldwide, hereby state in full independence of judgment,
- that a high and growing number of persons are suffering from EHS and MCS worldwide;
- that EHS and MCS affect women, men and children;
- that on the basis of the presently available peer-reviewed scientific evidence of adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and various chemicals, and on the basis of clinical and biological investigations of patients, EHS is associated with exposure to EMFs and MCS with chemical exposure;
- that many frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum (radio- and microwavefrequencies as well as low and extremely low frequencies) and multiple chemicals are involved in the occurrence of EHS and MCS respectively;
- that the trigger for illness can be acute high intensity exposure or chronic very low intensity exposure and that reversibility can be obtained with a natural environment characterized by limited levels of anthropogenic EMFs and chemicals;
- that current case-control epidemiological studies and provocative studies aiming at reproducing EHS and/or MCS are scientifically difficult to construct and due to the present design flaws are in fact not suitable to prove or disprove causality; in particular because objective inclusion/exclusion criteria and endpoint evaluation criteria need to be more clearly defined; because responses to EMFs/chemicals are highly individual and depend on a variety of exposure parameters; and finally because test conditions are often reducing signal-to-noise ratio thereby obscuring evidence of a possible effect;
- that the nocebo effect is not a relevant nor a valid explanation when considering scientifically valuable blind provocation studies, since objective biological markers are detectable in patients as well as in animals;
- that new approaches are emerging for clinical and biological diagnosis and for monitoring of EHS and MCS including the use of reliable biomarkers;
- that EHS and MCS may be two faces of the same hypersensitivity-associated pathological condition and that this condition is causing serious consequences to health, professional and family life;
- finally that EHS and MCS ought therefore to be fully recognized by international and national institutions with responsibility for human health.
2015: International EMF Scientist Appeal, May 11, 2015. An international group of scientists, medical doctors and engineers who do research on electromagnetic pollution sent an appeal to the WHO and UN. This appeal was signed by more than 200 scientists from 41 countries. For more information about the appeal visit www.EMFScientist.org.
The appeal requested the following:
- children and pregnant women be protected;
- guidelines and regulatory standards be strengthened;
- manufacturers be encouraged to develop safer technology;
- utilities responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and monitoring of electricity maintain adequate power quality and ensure proper electrical wiring to minimize harmful ground current;
- the public be fully informed about the potential health risks from electromagnetic energy and taught harm reduction strategies;
- medical professionals be educated about the biological effects of electromagnetic energy and be provided training on treatment of patients with electromagnetic sensitivity;
- governments fund training and research on electromagnetic fields and health that is independent of industry and mandate industry cooperation with researchers;
- media disclose experts’ financial relationships with industry when citing their opinions regarding health and safety aspects of EMF-emitting technologies; and
- white-zones (radiation-free areas) be established.
Needless to say, neither the UN nor the WHO responded to this Appeal!
2014: Canadian Physician’s Declaration July 9, 2014 (available here).
There is considerable evidence and research from various scientific experts that exposure to microwave radiation from wireless devices; Wi-Fi, smart meters and cell towers can have an adverse impact on human physiological function. Many recent and emerging studies from university departments and scientific sources throughout the world support the assertion that energy from wireless devices may be causatively linked to various health problems including reproductive compromise, developmental impacts, hormonal dysregulation and cancer. In fact, in 2011 the World Health Organization listed microwave radiation as a Class 2B possible carcinogen and subsequent research strengthened the evidence that a stronger designation may be justified.
Physicians Call for Health Canada to Provide:
i) Wireless safety standards that are more protective of the health of Canadians; and
ii) Guidelines and resources to assist Canadian physicians in assessing and managing health problems related to microwave radiation.
To view document with 22 signature click here.
2014: Declaration: Scientists call for Protection from Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure (available here).
Quote: We are scientists engaged in the study of electromagnetic fields (EMF) radiofrequency radiation (RFR) health and safety. We have serious concerns regarding Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 Guideline.
Canada’s Safety Code 6 Guideline is fundamentally flawed.
Canada’s Safety Code 6 Guideline does not protect people.
We urgently call upon Health Canada . . .
i) to intervene in what we view as an emerging public health crisis;
ii) to establish guidelines based on the best available scientific data including studies on cancer and DNA damage, stress response, cognitive and neurological disorders, impaired reproduction, developmental effects, learning and behavioural problems among children and youth, and the broad range of symptoms classified as EHS; and
iii) To advise Canadians to limit their exposure and especially the exposure of children.
2014: The Baby Safe Project (available here). The Joint Statement n Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation.
We join together as physicians, scientists and educators to express our concern about the risk that wireless radiation poses to pregnancy and to urge pregnant women to limit their exposures.
We recognize that the exquisitely delicate systems that direct the development of human life are vulnerable to environmental insults, and that even minute exposures during critical windows of development may have serious and life-long consequences.
We know that the scientific process demands a thorough and exhaustive examination of the possible impact of wireless radiation on health; however, we believe substantial evidence of risk, rather than absolute proof of harm, must be the trigger for action to protect public health.
We call on the research community to conduct more studies to identify the mechanisms by which a fetus could be affected by wireless radiation exposures. We call on our elected leaders to support such research and to advance policies and regulations that limit exposures for pregnant women. We call on industry to implement and explore technologies and designs that will reduce radiation exposures until such research is carried out.
We affirm our role as health and science professionals to inform the public about the potential dangers associated with early-life exposures to wireless radiation, and invite all professionals engaged in obstetric, pediatric, and environmental health advocacy to join us in our quest to ensure the safety and health of future generations.
2014: International Scientists Declaration July 9, 2014. Scientists call for Protection from Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure.
According to this international group of 53 scientists from 18 countries who do research dealing with electromagnetic fields and/or electromagnetic radiation, Canada’s Safety Code 6 Guideline is fundamentally flawed and does not protect people
This expert group urgently calls upon Health Canada . . .
i) to intervene in what we view as an emerging public health crisis;
ii) to establish guidelines based on the best available scientific data including studies on cancer and DNA damage, stress response, cognitive and neurological disorders, impaired reproduction, developmental effects, learning and behavioural problems among children and youth, and the broad range of symptoms classified as EHS; and
iii) To advise Canadians to limit their exposure and especially the exposure of children.
Click here for pdf of this document with signatures.
2014: Open letter by British medical doctors: Health and safety of Wi-Fi and mobile phones, 24 March 2014 (available here).
Quote: We urge health agencies and the public to act immediately to reduce exposure to radiofrequency/ microwave radiation. This is especially important for children, who are physiologically more vulnerable to this exposure, and for whom adults have a safeguarding responsibility. Children’s health should be put ahead of convenience andcommercial benefits. Children should not use mobile phones except in an emergency, and WiFi should be replaced with wired alternatives in schools and other settings where children spend considerable time.
2013: European Manifesto in support of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) (available here). This 27 page document discusses the following topics.
For an EMF exposure regulation, which truly protects public health.
1. APPLICATION OF THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AND THE ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) AND ALATA (As Low As Technically Achievable) PRINCIPLES FOR EMF EXPOSITION (INMISSION)
2. REVISION AND MINIMIZATION OF EMF EXPOSURE (INMISSION) LIMITS, WITH MONITORING FOR ITS COMPLIANCE,
- RADIO-FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (RF-EMF):
- EXTREMELY LOW-FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (ELF-EMF):
- PROGRESSIVE REVIEW/UPDATE OF THOSE LIMITS:
3. INFORMATION AND EDUCATION:
- Information campaigns, with the participation of organizations of concerned citizens inaccordance with the Convention of Aarhus,
- Report the effects described in medical bibliography on active or passive exposure (as in the case of tobacco) to EMF short to medium term
- Schools as Healthy Zones EMF-FREE, in the same category as the existing “Smoke-Free Zones”:
4. RECOGNITION OF EHS, PROTECTION OF EHS PEOPLE AND ZONES PROTECTED FROM EMFs:
- Official recognition of the existence of the “electro-hypersensitivity” syndrome as anenvironmental disease and – as it is done in Sweden
- Establishing health screening and intervention protocols, already made by institutions such asthe College of Physicians of Austria
- Public places as WHITE ZONES, EMF-FREE:
- Ensuring livable housing for EHS people:
5. MEASURES FOR INDUSTRY AND PUBLIC AUTHORITIES:
- Public participation in the process of implementation and monitoring of mobile phone basestations and terminals and high-voltage lines,
- Regulation of advertising promoting microwave emitting devices.
- Mandatory labeling of wireless devices,
- Withdrawal from the market of cell phones and wireless devices specifically intended for children as well as the withdrawal of ordinary DECT cordless phones and wireless baby monitor,
- Installation of warning devices the conversation after 3 minutes,
- Health standards of living to discourage talk on the cellphone about pregnant women, children and adolescents
- Withdrawal from the market of incubators whose engines expose infants to the ELF-EMF,
- Moratorium on the use and deployment of “Smart Meters”
- Mandatory liability insurance covering also health damages for the cell-phone and other wireless devices
- Promotion of independent research and studies,
- Ensure transparency, impartiality and plurality of expert assessments (33) on health risks of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF)
- Replacement of wireless networks by wired connections wherever possible.
- Promotion of technologies and techniques biocompatible and sustainable future from the point of view of environmental and human health
2013: Potenza Picena Resolution, April 20, 2013 (available here).
The International Congress of Potenza Picena entitled “Radar, radiofrequency and health risk”, reached the following conclusions:
- radars use pulsed radiofrequency that causes characteristic biological effects which are more invasive than non pulsed EMF;
- radiofrequency can cause structural changes in enzymes with time reactions of nanoseconds, while the pulsed radiofrequencies emitted by radars occur every milliseconds, thus suggesting that for every pulsing event several enzymatic changes occur;
- the pulsed signals can induce significant modifications on DNA regulations as an effect of the methylation of the genome;
- scientific literature concludes that biological/health effects can occur at low intensity exposure and chronic exposure can make a living organism more susceptible to the effect of the EMFs;
- ICEMS monograph (Eur. J. Oncol., 2010) concludes that there are non thermal mechanisms of action of EMF (including RF) on the living matter;
- experiments on cell cultured in residential areas in Potenza Picena showed that the radar signal activates apoptosis for short exposures and cell survival signal after 24 hours of exposure;
- preliminary results of animal experiments show that radiofrequency is a co-carcinogenic agent;
- radiofrequency induces oxidative stress processes in tissues and living organisms;
- different epidemiological studies show that there is a significant increase of health risks on the people exposed to pulsed radiofrequency and more studies need to be done to conclude especially about pulsed radiofrequency;
- scientific literature suggests that for EMF the precautionary principle should be internationally adopted
2012: Vienna College of Physicians, produced a flyer drawing attention to safer cell phone use called Radiation Information. (available here in several languages).
Cellphone: 10 medical rules
- When buying a mobile phone, ensure very low SAR value and an external antenna!
- It applies the following principle: the telephone calls as few as possible and as short as possible– use the phone or write text messages. Children and adolescents under 16 years “only” should carry mobile phones for emergencies!
- “The distance is your friend” – The mobile phone away from the head and body (extending the arm) during the development of the call. Use the built-in speaker or headphones!
- When using a headset or a mobile phone with Integrated hands-free speakerphone that is not placed directly on the body – If it is not possible otherwise: use the outer coat pocket, belt or bag!
- Do not carry your mobile phone or smartphone permanently near the body (chest or trouser pocket) – applies here special precautions for pregnant women. In men, the phones in the pocket are a risk for fertility. Persons with electronic implants (eg, pacemakers, insulin pumps) should pay attention to the distance!
- No phone conversations in vehicles (car, bus, train) – Without external antenna, the radiation is higher. Furthermore, one is distracted and one disturbs the fellow travellers!
- During the handling of the car there is an absolute prohibition on the SMS -and Internetworking- The distraction endangers yourself and other road users!
- At home and at work on landline call and keep or turn off the phone!
- Cellphone or Smartphone switched off or in flight mode when used as a camera, a calculator or a game console!
- Avoid cell phone calls in areas with poor reception (basement, elevator …) – In this type of situation, the mobile phone increases the transmission power, with poor reception using headphones or speakerphones.
2012: International Doctors’ Appeal 2012 is a 10-year follow-up to the Freiburg Appeal of 2002 (see #5 below). In this appeal, physicians recognize that radio frequency radiation poses a serious health risk and they demand that precaution be exercised to protect public health. Click here for pdf.
2012: Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF related health problems and illnesses (EMF syndrome) provides information on how to proceed if patients exhibit EMF-related health problems. It includes taking history of health problems and EMF exposure; examination and findings; measurement of EMF exposure; prevention or reduction of EMF exposure; diagnosis; and treatment. Click here for pdf.
2012: American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Jan 19, 2012 (available here).
Letter: Proposed Decision of Commissioner Peevy BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA regarding Smart Meters.
Hence, we call for:
- • An immediate moratorium on “smart meter” installation until these serious public health issues are resolved. Continuing with their installation would be extremely irresponsible.
- • Modify the revised proposed decision to include hearings on health impact in the second proceedings, along with cost evaluation and community wide opt‐out.
- • Provide immediate relief to those requesting it and restore the analog meters.
2011: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Health Organization (WHO) reclassified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as a Class 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogen to humans). This applies to all forms of radio frequency radiation (and not just cell phones as some inaccurately claim). Click here for press release. Final report will be published in the July 1st issue of The Lancet Oncology.
2011: The Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) released Resolution 1815 on the Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and their effect on the Environment. This document has some excellent recommendations regarding cell phones, cordless phones, wireless baby monitors, WiFi, WLAN, WiMax, power lines, relay antenna base stations; with special concerns expressed for the protection of children and those who are electrosensitive. Click here for document.
2011: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and Electrohypersensitivity (EHS), Summary of meeting at the WHO headquarters Geneva, May 13, 2011. Click here for report. Some statements from this meeting are quoted below:
We need to include these illnesses [MCS and EHS] in the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD), because what makes it more difficult for legal recognition is precisely the lack of code for these diseases in the ICD.
The adverse reactions to chemicals or electromagnetic radiation vary in duration according to each patient, and the manifestations differ too. When the patient is again exposed, symptoms usually worsen or result in the appearance of new symptoms.
The process of these diseases (MCS and EHS) is chronic and the patient’s situation is exacerbated if he/she lives in a toxic environment, such as near Tarragona petrochemical industry or subjected to electromagnetic radiation: emissions in the neighborhood, mobile phone antennas , etc. The patient has to avoid re-exposure.
We are facing very high numbers of people already diagnosed . . . between 12% and 15% of the population has some kind of disturbance in the presence of a chemical substance. In the EHS, figures of affected people are between 3 and 6% of the population, but these numbers are growing continuously.
Each country can recognize these diseases and include them in their ICE, independently of WHO, since according to the WHO countries have sovereignty on this issue.
2011: The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP), April 2011, released their Resolution entitled “Electromagnetic fields from Mobile Phones: Health Effect on Children and Teenagers”. Click here for report.
The Committee presents some startling statistics [references provided in original document].
In April 2008, the RNCNIRP reviewed the short-term and long-term effects of mobile phone use for children. In particular, it reviewed possible decrease of intellectual abilities and cognition together with possible increases in susceptibility to epileptic fits, “acquired dementia” and degeneration of cerebral nervous structures. The results of clinical studies have shown that chronic exposure to RF EMF may lead to borderline psychosomatic disorders. In 2010, a number of papers published in Russian and foreign peer-reviewed journals showed a response to RF EMF exposure from the immune system.
. . . since 2000 there has been a steady growth in the incidence of childhood diseases identified by RNCNIRP as “possible diseases” from mobile phone use. Of particular concern is the morbidity increase among young people aged 15 to 19 years (it is very likely that most of them are mobile phone users for a long period of time). Compared to 2009, the number of CNS [central nervous system] disorders among 15 to 17 year-old has grown by 85%, the number of individuals with epilepsy or epileptic syndrome has grown by 36%, the number of “mental retardation” cases has grown by 11%, and the number of blood disorders and immune status disorders has grown by 82%. In group of children aged less than 14 years there was a 64% growth in the number of blood disorders and immune status disorders, and 58% growth in nervous disorders. The number of patients aged 15 to 17 years old having consultations and treatment due to CNS disorders has grown by 72%.
Because of this the RNCNIRP considers it important to conduct a scientific study to determine whether the growth in morbidity resulted from EMF exposure from mobile phone use or whether it was caused by other factors.
2010: Seletun Statement, Norway: The International Electromagnetic Field Alliance (IEMFA) released their report entitled Scientific Panel on Electromagnetic Field Health Risks: Consensus Points, Recommendations, and Rationales following a scientific meeting at Seletun Norway November 2009. The summary/abstract is provided below. Click here for publication. Click here for report and short video of Dr. Olle Johansson. Report published in Reviews on Environmental Health is available here.
Summary: In November, 2009, a scientific panel met in Seletun, Norway, for three days of intensive discussion on existing scientific evidence and public health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to artificial electromagnetic fields (EMF). EMF exposures (static to 300 GHz) result from the use of electric power and from wireless telecommunications technologies for voice and data transmission, energy, security, military and radar use in weather and transportation. The Scientific Panel recognizes that the body of evidence on EMF requires a new approach to protection of public health; the growth and development of the fetus, and of children; and argues for strong preventative actions. New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health worldwide.
Conclusions in this report build upon prior scientific and public health reports and resolutions documenting the following consensus points:
a) Low-intensity (non-thermal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards.
b) ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC public safety limits are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures.
d) It is not in the public interest to wait.
2009: EU Parliament Electromagnetic Report and Resolution entitled: European Parliament Resolution on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields, was adopted February 17, 2009 with 29 recommendations. Click here for report.
2009: Porto Alegre Resolution, Brazil. Scientists and doctors recognize electrohypersensitivity and are concerned that exposure to electromagnetic fields may increase the risk of cancer and chronic diseases; that exposure levels established by international agencies (IEEE, ICNIRP, ICES) are obsolete; and that wireless technology places at risk the health of children, teens, pregnant women and others who are vulnerable. Click here for document. Here is their recommendation:
We strongly recommend these precautionary practices:
1. Children under the age of 16 should not use mobile phones and cordless phones, except for emergency calls;
2. The licensing and/or use of Wi-Fi, WIMAX, or any other forms of wireless communications technology, indoors or outdoor, shall preferably not include siting or signal transmission in residences, schools, day-care centers, senior centers, hospitals or any other buildings where people spend considerable time;
3. The licensing for siting and installation of infrastructure related to electrical power and wireless broadband telecommunications, particularly, cellular telephony, Wi-Fi and WIMAX, should only be approved after open public hearings are held and approval granted with full consideration given to the need to apply the Precautionary Principle. Sensitive areas should be avoided to protect vulnerable populations;
4. Mankind shall be encouraged to continue to discover new means of harnessing non-ionizing electromagnetic energy, aiming at bringing benefits to society, through definition of new standards of human exposure, which are based on the biological realities of nature and not solely on the consideration of economic and technological needs.
2008 University of Pittsburg Cancer Institute, The Case for Precaution in the Use of Cell Phones Based on Advice from an International Expert Panel (available here). Below is a quote from this report:
These measures are also likely to be important for people who are already suffering from cancer and who must avoid any external influence that may contribute to disease progression.
- Do not allow children to use a cell phone except for emergencies. The developing organs of a fetus or child are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
- While communicating using your cell phone, try to keep the cell phone away from the body as much as possible. The amplitude of the electromagnetic field is one fourth the strength at a distance of two inches and fifty times lower at three feet.Whenever possible, use the speaker-phone mode or a wireless Bluetooth headset, which has less than 1/100th of the electromagnetic emission of a normal cell phone. Use of a hands-free ear piece attachment may also reduce exposures.
- Avoid using your cell phone in places, like a bus, where you can passively expose others to your phone’s electromagnetic fields.
- Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body at all times. Do not keep it near your body at night such as under the pillow or on a bedside table, particularly if pregnant. You can also put it on “flight” or “off-line” mode, which stops electromagnetic emissions.
- If you must carry your cell phone on you, make sure that the keypad is positioned toward your body and the back is positioned toward the outside so that the transmitted electromagnetic fields move away from your rather than through you.
- Only use your cell phone to establish contact or for conversations lasting a few minutes as the biological effects are directly related to the duration of exposure. For longer conversations, use a land line with a corded phone, not a cordless phone, which uses electromagnetic emitting technology similar to that of cell phones.
- Switch sides regularly while communicating on your cell phone to spread out your exposure. Before putting your cell phone to the ear, wait until your correspondent has picked up. This limits the power of the electromagnetic field emitted near your ear and the duration of your exposure.
- Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train, as this automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.
- When possible, communicate via text messaging rather than making a call, limiting the duration of exposure and the proximity to the body.
- Choose a device with the lowest SAR possible (SAR = Specific Absorption Rate, which is a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body). SAR ratings of contemporary phones by different manufacturers are available by searching for “sar ratings cell phones” on the internet.
2008: Venice Resolution, Italy. International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) Scientists recognize biological effects at non-thermal levels, that standards are inadequate, that electro-sensitivity exists and that there is a need to research mechanisms. Click here for Venice Resolution.
Three key statements are provided below:
We take exception to the claim of the wireless communication industry that there is no credible scientific evidence to conclude there a risk. Recent epidemiological evidence is stronger than before, which is a further reason to justify precautions be taken to lower exposure standards in accordance with the Precautionary Principle.
We recognize the growing public health problem known as electrohypersensitivity; that this adverse health condition can be quite disabling; and, that this condition requires further urgent investigation and recognition.
We strongly advise limited use of cell phones, and other similar devices, by young children and teenagers, and we call upon governments to apply the Precautionary Principle as an interim measure while more biologically relevant standards are developed to protect against, not only the absorption of electromagnetic energy by the head, but also adverse effects of the signals on biochemistry, physiology and electrical biorhythms.
2008: Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, Moscow, Russia, April 14, 2008, statement on “Children and Mobile Phones: The Health of the Following Generation is in Danger.” (available in several languages here).
Here is a quote from this document:
According to the opinion of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the following health hazards are likely to be faced by the children mobile phone users in the nearest future: disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability, sleep problems, increase in sensitivity to the stress, increased epileptic readiness.
Expected (possible) remote health risks: brain tumors, tumors of acoustical and vestibular nerves (in the age of 25-30 years), Alzheimer’s disease, “got dementia”, depressivesyndrome, and the other types of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (in the age of 50 to 60).
2007: BioInitiative Report, USA. In response to statements that there are no scientific studies showing adverse biological effects of low level electromagnetic fields and radio frequency radiation, a group of researchers produced the BioInitiative Report that documents 2000 studies showing biological effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields and radio frequency (RF) radiation and calling for biologically based exposure guidelines. This document was criticized for not having been peer-reviewed even though most of the studies cited in this document were peer-reviewed. Click here for pdf.
Since then some of the BioInitiative papers as well as ones by other authors have appeared in a special issue of the peer-reviewd journal Pathophysiology (Volume 16 Issues 2-3, 2009). The papers in this journal document EMF effects on DNA, EMF effects on the brain, EMF in the environment, and science as a guide to public policy. Click here for abstracts.
2006: Benevento Resolution, Italy. The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) organized a conference entitled: The Precautionary EMF Approach: Rationale, Legislation and Implementation. Scientists at this conference signed the Benevento Resolution (click here for pdf) that consists of 7 major statements. Among those statements are the following:
1. . . . there are adverse health effects from occupational and public exposures to electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields, or EMF, at current exposure levels. What is needed, but not yet realized, is a comprehensive, independent and transparent examination of the evidence pointing to this emerging, potential public health issue.
4. Arguments that weak (low intensity) EMF cannot affect biological systems do not represent the current spectrum of scientific opinion.
6. We encourage governments to adopt a framework of guidelines for public and occupational EMF exposure that reflect the Precautionary Principle– as some nations have already done.
2005: Helsinki Appeal, Finland. Physicians and researchers presented the Helsinki Appeal to the European Parliament. Click here for document. They state that:
The present safety standards of ICNIRP (International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) do not recognize the biological effects caused by non-ionizing radiation except those induced by the thermal effect. In the light of recent scientific information, the standards recommended by ICNIRP have become obsolete and should be rejected. Especially children and other persons at risk should be taken into account when re-evaluating the limits regarding the harmful effects of electromagnetic fields and radiation. Call for new safety standards, reject International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines.
2005: Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association (IDEA), Ireland. Members of IDEA wrote a position paper on electromagnetic radiation. Doctors recognize electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is increasing and request advice from government on how to treat EHS. Click here for document. Below is a quote from this document.
The Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association believes that the Irish Government should urgently review the information currently available internationally on the topic of the thermal and non-thermal effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation with a view to immediately initiating appropriate research into the adverse health effects of exposure to all forms of non-ionising radiation in this country, and into the forms of treatment available elsewhere. Before the results of this research are available, an epidemiological database should be initiated of individuals suffering from symptoms thought to be related to exposure to non-ionising radiation. Those claiming to be suffering from the effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation should have their claims investigated in a sensitive and thorough way, and appropriate treatment provided by the State.
The strictest possible safety regulations should be established for the installation of masts and transmitters, and for the acceptable levels of potential exposure of individuals to electro-magnetic radiation.
2004. International Association of Fire Fighters (U.S., Canada, Mexico), Resolution 15. Passed at their meeting in Boston, MA (available here).
After a number of “whereas” here is the resolution:
RESOLVED, That the IAFF shall seek funding for an initial U. S. and Canadian study with the highest scientific merit and integrity, contrasting firefighters with residence in stations with towers to firefighters without similar exposure; and be it further
RESOLVED, That in accordance with the results of the study, the IAFF will establish protective policy measures with the health and safety of all firefighters as the paramount objective; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the IAFF oppose the use of fire stations as base stations for antennas and towers for the conduction of cell phone transmissions until such installations are proven not to be hazardous to the health of our members.
**Note: A pilot study was conducted in 2004 of six California fire fighters working and sleeping in stations with towers. The study, conducted by Gunnar Heuser, M.D., PhD. of Agoura Hills, CA, focused on neurological symptoms of six fire fighters who had been working for up to five years in stations with cell towers. Those symptoms included slowed reaction time, lack of focus, lack of impulse control, severe headaches, anesthesia-like sleep, sleep deprivation, depression, and tremors. Dr. Heuser used functional brain scans – SPECT scans – to assess any changes in the brains of the six fire fighters as compared to healthy brains of men of the same age. Computerized psychological testing known as TOVA was used to study reaction time, impulse control, and attention span. The SPECT scans revealed a pattern of abnormal change which was concentrated over a wider area than would normally be seen in brains of individuals exposed to toxic inhalation, as might be expected from fighting fires. Dr. Heuser concluded the only plausible explanation at this time would be RF radiation exposure. Additionally, the TOVA testing revealed among the six fire fighters delayed reaction time, lack of impulse control, and difficulty in maintaining mental focus.
This is an excellent source of research up to 2004, succinctly written, on the biological and health effects of radio frequency radiation. For example:
Internationally acknowledged experts in the field of RF/MW radiation research have shown that RF/MW transmissions of the type used in digital cellular antennas and phones can have critical effects on cell cultures, animals, and people in laboratories and have also found epidemiological evidence (studies of communities, not in the laboratory) of serious health effects at “non-thermal levels,” where the intensity of the RF/MW radiation was too low to cause heating. They have found:
- Increased cell growth of brain cancer cells (5)
- A doubling of the rate of lymphoma in mice (6)
- Changes in tumor growth in rats (7)
- An increased number of tumors in rats (8)
- Increased single- and double-strand breaks in DNA, our genetic material (9)
- 2 to 4 times as many cancers in Polish soldiers exposed to RF (10)
- More childhood leukemia in children exposed to RF (11)
- Changes in sleep patterns and REM type sleep (12)
- Headaches caused by RF/MW radiation exposure (13)
- Neurologic changes (14) including:
- Changes in the blood-brain-barrier (15)
- Changes in cellular morphology (including cell death) (16)
- Changes in neural electrophysiology (EEG) (17)
- Changes in neurotransmitters (which affect motivation and pain perception) (18)
- Metabolic changes (of calcium ions, for instance) (19)
- Cytogenetic effects (which can affect cancer, Alzheimer’s, neurodegenerative diseases) (20)
- Decreased memory, attention, and slower reaction time in school children (21)
- Retarded learning in rats indicating a deficit in spatial “working memory” (22)
- Increased blood pressure in healthy men (23)
- Damage to eye cells when combined with commonly used glaucoma medications (24)
2002. Catania Resolution, Italy. This resolution was signed by scientists at the international conference “State of the Research on Electromagnetic Fields-Scientific and Legal Issues”. Click here for resolution. Three of their statements are provided below:
1. Epidemiological and in vivo and in vitro experimental evidence demonstrates the existence of electromagnetic field (EMF) induced effects, some of which can be adverse to health.
4. The weight of evidence calls for preventive strategies based on the precautionary principle. At times the precautionary principle may involve prudent avoidance and prudent use.
5. We are aware that there are gaps in knowledge on biological and physical effects, and health risks related to EMF, which require additional independent research.
2002 : Freiburg Appeal, Germany, Oct. 2002. Physicians request tougher guidelines for radio frequency exposure. This document was endorsed by thousands of healthcare practitioners. Click here for pdf. Below is a quote from this report.
We have observed, in recent years, a dramatic rise in severe and chronic diseases among our patients, especially:
· Learning, concentration, and behavioural disorders (e.g. attention deficit disorder, ADD)
· Extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, ever harder to influence with medications
· Heart rhythm disorders
· Heart attacks and strokes among an increasingly younger population
· Brain-degenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer–s) and epilepsy
· Cancerous afflictions: leukemia, brain tumors
Moreover, we have observed an ever-increasing occurrence of various disorders, often misdiagnosed in patients as psychosomatic:
· Headaches, migraines
· Chronic exhaustion
· Inner agitation
· Sleeplessness, daytime sleepiness
· Susceptibility to infection
· Nervous and connective tissue pains, for which the usual causes do not explain even the most conspicuous symptoms
Since the living environment and lifestyles of our patients are familiar to us, we can see especially after carefully-directed inquiry a clear temporal and spatial correlation between the appearance of disease and exposure to pulsed high -frequency microwave radiation (HFMR), such as:
· Installation of a mobile telephone sending station in the near vicinity
· Intensive mobile telephone use
· Installation of a digital cordless (DECT) telephone at home or in the neighbourhood
We can no longer believe this to be purely coincidence, for:
· Too often do we observe a marked concentration of particular illnesses in correspondingly HFMR-polluted areas or apartments;
· Too often does a long-term disease or affliction improve or disappear in a relatively short time after reduction or elimination of HFMR pollution in the patient’s environment;
· Too often are our observations confirmed by on-site measurements of HFMR of unusual intensity.
2002: Salzburg Resolution, Austria. The Salzburg Resolution on Mobile Telecommunication Base Stations makes four recommendations including preliminary guidelines 0f 0.1 microW/cm2 for sum of all emissions from mobile phone stations. This is well below the current ICNIRP guidelines and those in Canada and the US (1000 microW/cm2) and is slightly lower than guidelines in Switzerland, Italy, Russia, China (10 mciroW/cm2). Click here for document.
2000: Roccaraso Resolution – 4th June 2000. This resolution (available here in several languages) recommends the following:
We recommend the establishment of an industrially independent Commission in Italy:
- To collect epidemiological data from cell phone users and from populations in the vicinity of Base-stations.
2. To study the real exposures from cell phones and ear pieces to aquire the information necessary to ensure adequate protection of cell phone users.
2000: Stewart Report, UK. The Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) produced a report, Mobile Phones and Health, that is commonly referred to as the Stewart Report, named after its Chairman Sir William Stewart. Click here for pdf. A quote from the foreward shows how much our understanding of this issue has changed since 2000.
The report points out that the balance of evidence does not suggest mobile phone technologies put the health of the general population of the UK at risk. There is some preliminary evidence that outputs from mobile phone technologies may cause, in some cases, subtle biological effects, although, importantly, these do not necessarily mean that health is affected. There is also evidence that in some cases people’s well-being may be adversely affected by the insensitive siting of base stations. New mechanisms need to be set in place to prevent that happening.
The report goes on to state that:
1.17. The balance of evidence to date suggests that exposures to RF radiation below NRPB and ICNIRP guidelines do not cause adverse health effects to the general population.
1.18 There is now scientific evidence, however, which suggests that there may be biological effects occurring at exposures below these guidelines . . .
1.19 . . . We conclude therefore that it is not possible at present to say that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects, and that the gaps in knowledge are sufficient to justify a precautionary approach.
1.20 In the light of the above considerations we recommend that a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies be adopted until much more detailed and scientifically robust information on any health effects becomes available.
1998: Vienna EMF Resolution, Austria. At a Workshop on Possible Biological and Health Effects of RF Electromagnetic Fields, the scientists agreed on the following:
The participants agreed that biological effects from low-intensity exposures are scientifically established. However, the current state of scientific consensus is inadequate to derive reliable exposure standards. The existing evidence demands an increase in the research efforts on the possible health impact and on an adequate exposure and dose asses.
Base stations: How could satisfactory Public Participation be ensured?
The public should be given timely participation in the process. This should include information on technical and exposure data as well as information on the status of the health debate. Public participation in the decision (limits, siting, etc.) should be enabled.
Cellular phones: How could the situation of the users be improved?
Technical data should be made available to the users to allow comparison with respect to EMF-exposure. In order to promote prudent usage, sufficient information on the health debate should be provided. This procedure should offer opportunities for the users to manage reduction in EMF-exposure. In addition, this process could stimulate further developmentlow-intensity emission devices
Regarding legal aspects . . .
there is protection deficit in the public and private laws which is unsatisfactory. The legislator is requested to solve the conflict of interests between the industries commission on one side and the neighbours involvement and their interests on protection of life and health on the other side. Because of the constitutionally determined objectives of the state to comprehensively protect the environment, there is a demand of acting precautionary on the polititcal and legal level.
The Vienna declaration on electromagnetic fields recommended 13 detailed action items for parliament to consider. Click here to read those items and to download pdf.
1997: Boston Physicians’ and Scientists’ Petition. We the undersigned physicians and scientists call upon public health officials to intervene to halt the initiation of communication transmissions employing ground level, horizontally transmitted, pulsed microwaves in Boston. This form of transmission is scheduled to begin June, 1997, by the Sprint Corporation for personal communications systems (PCS). Given the biological plausibility of negative health impacts, particularly to the human nervous system, as well as anecdotal evidence of illness and death from such exposures in cities where transmission has already been implemented, and voluminous medical studies indicating human and ecological harm from microwaves, we urge the suspension of that implementation pending full public notification of its potential hazards and the full review and determination of its safety by the scientific community.
With 97 signatures sent to ENHALE (Environmental Health Advocacy League], Box 425 Concord MA, 01742.
Based on these resolutions and appeals from international groups of physicians and scientists immediate action is required to protect public health from continued increasing exposure to radio frequency radiation and electromagnetic fields.
I call on . . .
- regulators around the world to reexamine existing guidelines for both EMF and EMR and to reduce them to the lowest possible levels to protect the public and workers. Values above 3 milliGauss (low frequency magnetic fields); above 0.1 microW/cm2 (power density for radio frequency radiation) and above 40 GS units (dirty electricity) have been associated with adverse health effects in peer reviewed scientific publications!
- government agencies responsibility for the location of both base stations and power lines to keep distances at least 500 meters (base stations) and 100 meters (transmission lines) from residential properties as well as school and health care facilities. Also, to slow down the installation of 5G until we have evidence that it has no long-term adverse health effects on humans, plants or animals.
- utilities (water, gas, electricity) to reconsider the use of wireless smart meters and provide wired options for those who are sensitive, for those who do not want to be exposed, and for those in densely populated settings.
- manufacturers who are providing technology that uses electricity and/or emits radio frequency radiation to re-engineer their products to provide the minimum radiation possible. This includes light bulbs, computers, wireless home devices like baby monitors and cordless phones, cell phones, smart meters, plasma TVs, among others.
- architects, builders, electricians, and plumbers to design and construct buildings that are based on principles of good electromagnetic hygiene. This includes using materials that absorb or shield building interiors from microwave radiation especially near external sources of this radiation and in multi-unit buildings; to provide wired alternatives to wireless devices; to properly wire and ground buildings to minimize low frequency electromagnetic fields and to eliminate ground current problems; and to install filters on electrical panels and/or throughout the building to ensure good power quality.
- local, state, federal health authorities to educate medical professions about the potential biological effects of both low frequency and radio frequency electromagnetic energy; about the growing number of people who have electrosensitivity (ES) or electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and to alert them on how they can help their patients in terms of minimizing their exposure and promoting their recovery.
- hospitals and
- school boards should choose wired internet access over WiFi (wireless technology) and not allow towers/antennas within 400 meters of their property.
- parents to practice good electromagnetic hygiene especially in the bedroom and especially for their children. This involves using wired rather than wireless devices in the home, keeping electric appliances away from the bed, turning off/unplugging devices when not in use.
- the media to provide information to the public about the health and safety of using this technology; to rely on “independent experts” who do not receive funding or other benefits based on the outcome of research studies; and to identify experts funded by the industry as “industry representatives”. The integrity of many of these scientists leaves much to be desired.