Evidence Based Science Web Sites
The major public health organizations of more than 30 of world's leading industrialized countries do regular expert reviews of the scientific literature on the issue of EMF & health. Virtually every one of these expert reviews has come to the same conclusion as the World Health Organization "that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields".
To the layman, the scientific literature on EMF & health is often confusing. Alarmists like to promote poorly conducted studies with "positive" results. These have invariably turned out to be false positives. That is why the assessment of expert groups is so important. They evaluate all studies and use a "weight of evidence" approach. The World Health Organization has published a set of guidelines for the assessment of the health risks of EMF: "All studies, with either positive or negative effects, need to be evaluated and judged on their own merit, and then all together in a weight-of-evidence approach. It is important to determine how much a set of evidence changes the probability that exposure causes an outcome. Generally, studies must be replicated or be in agreement with similar studies. The evidence for an effect is further strengthened if the results from different types of studies (epidemiology or laboratory) point to the same conclusion". Expert groups consult comprehensive databases of studies on EMF & health such as the one maintained by the IEEE to conduct their assessments.
The following is a list of expert reviews and web sites that are operated by credible mainstream scientists and public health officials. Their findings are based on evidence based science published in reputable peer reviewed journals. The list includes a brief description of the materials that are available at each site. All of these mainstream scientific organizations arrive at the same conclusion as the European SCENIHR: "It is concluded from three independent lines of evidence (epidemiological, animal and in vitro studies) that exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans".
The following section is an update on recent expert reviews of the scientific literature on EMF & health. The public health organizations of most countries of the industrialized world conduct regular expert reviews of the scientific literature. Virtually every one of these expert reviews has come to the same conclusion as the World Health Organization "that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields". The following is a summary of such reviews released in the past year.
Latest Expert Reports
1. Radiofrequency Toolkit for Environment Health Practioners, BC Center for Disease Control
This report was prepared by the Center for Disease Control in the province of British Columbia Canada. On the whole, this document is quite good considering that it was written by outsiders to the field. The report notes that "several recent international reports" such as "the UK Health Protection Agency (2012) and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (2012), among others, have published major reviews of RF and its potential effect on health; both agencies concluded that there is little evidence of adverse impacs on the health of the general population by RF".
However, in its analysis of the BioInitiative Report, which deviates widely from the mainstream scientific consensus, the "Tookit" fails to do any critical analysis. The two editions of the Bio-Initiative Report have been widely criticized by mainstream scientists. The "Toolkit" also fails to mention the new studies that seriously undermine the weak evidence used in IARC classification of cell phones as Category 2B- a possible carcinogen. These are serious weaknesses that mar an otherwise good quality report. The full report can be found here.
2. March 2013 Swedish Radiation Safety (SSM) Report:
"together with national cancer incidence statistics from different countries, [recent results are] not convincing in linking mobile phone use to the occurrence of glioma or other tumours of the head region among adults."
P 5 "Although recent studies have covered longer exposure periods, scientific uncertainty remains for regular mobile phone use for longer than 13-15 years. It is also too early to draw firm conclusions regarding children and adolescents and risk for brain tumours, but the available literature to date does not indicate an increased risk."
P 5 effects of RF on EEG: "The observed effect is weak and does not translate into behavioural or other health effects. Recent studies suggest that considerable interindividual variation exists in the possible reactivity of the human brain to RF electromagnetic fields. The underlying mechanism is not yet understood,"
From web summary: "there are no radiation protection problems for the general public related to radio waves from sources such as mobile phone base stations, television and radio transmitters or wireless computer networks in home or school environments".
Click here to get the summary, click here to get the full report.
3. June 2012 Sweden: The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research has published a new report reviewing the past 10 years of research in the area of EMF and Health. The following quotes were taken from the Executive Summary:
"More than 15 provocation studies (single or double blind) have been conducted on symptoms attributed to exposure to RF fields. These studies have not been able to demonstrate that people experience symptoms or sensations more often when the fields are turned on than when they are turned off".
"A considerable number of studies on cancer, and in particular brain tumor, were presented. As a consequence there exist now very useful data including methodological results that can be used in the interpretation of this research. With a small number of exceptions the available results are all negative and taken together with new methodological understandings the overall interpretation is that these do not provide support for an association between mobile telephony and brain tumor risk".
Click these links for the: Executive Summary, and the Full Report.
4. 2102:3 Norway: The Expert Committee appointed by the Nowegian Institute of Health has published a new report entitled: Low-level electromagnetic fields - an assessment of health risks and evaluation of regulatory practice. The following are quotes from the web page short summary:
"The group found no evidence that the low-level fields around mobile phones and other transmitters increase the risk of cancer, impair male fertility, cause other reproductive damage or lead to other diseases and adverse health effects, such as changes to the endocrine and immune systems."
"The Committee did not find that mobile phones and other equipment can cause health problems such as electromagnetic hypersensitivity".
Click the following link for a web page short summary of the report.
Click the following to download the PDF of the English version of the report.
5. April 2012 UK: The UK base Health Protection Agency has just released an exhaustive new 348 page expert report on the issue of EMF and Health. The report is entitled: Health Effects of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields. The following is the key conclusion of the report: "The quantity, and in general quality, of research published on the potential health effects of RF field exposure has increased substantially since AGNIR last reviewed this subject. Population exposure to RF fields has become more widespread and heterogeneous. There are still limitations to the published research that preclude a definitive judgement, but the evidence considered overall has not demonstrated any adverse health effects of RF field exposure below internationally accepted guideline levels. There are possible effects on EEG patterns, but these have not been conclusively established, and it is unclear whether such effects would have any health consequences. There is increasing evidence that RF field exposure below guideline levels does not cause symptoms and cannot be detected by people, even by those who consider themselves sensitive to RF fields. The limited available data on other non-cancer outcomes show no effects of RF field exposure. The accumulating evidence on cancer risks, notably in relation to mobile phone use, is not definitive, but overall is increasingly in the direction of no material effect of exposure. There are few data, however, on risks beyond 15 years from first exposure.
In summary, although a substantial amount of research has been conducted in this area, there is no convincing evidence that RF field exposure below guideline levels causes health effects in adults or children".
6. EFHRAM European Health Risk Assessment Network D2 Report Risk Analysis of Human Exposure to EMF 2010: "SCENIHR (2009a) reviewed the evidence from the various national studies and pooled analyses from parts of the Interphone study: severe concerns were raised about reporting bias that may exist in these data. Nonetheless, it was concluded that this evidence, combined with the results of animal and cellular studies indicated that exposure to RF fields was unlikely to lead to an increase in brain cancer or parotid gland tumours in humans".
7. EFHRAM European Health Risk Assessment Network D3 Report on Risks of EMF in vitro and in vivo 2010: P 27 "For the three frequency ranges examined, the conclusions of the 2009 SCENIHR report are still valid in spite of the publication of several positive findings. Many of the new publications originate from laboratories and countries that are new to bioelectromagnetics research. This translates sometimes into unsatisfactory dosimetry or statistical analysis. Health risk assessment to be performed in the coming years (e.g., WHO EMF project) will need to be carried out with strict quality criteria".
8. ICNIRP International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: ICNIRP is affiliated with the World Health Organization. New report: Exposure to electromagnetic fields, biological effects and health consequences 16/2009. P260: "Recent concern has been more with exposure to the lower level RF radiation characteristic of mobile phone use. Whilst it is in principle impossible to disprove the possible existence of non-thermal interactions, the plausibility of various non-thermal mechanisms that have been proposed is very low. Concerning cancer-related effects, the recent in vitro and animal genotoxicity and carcinogenicity studies are rather consistent overall and indicate that such effects are unlikely at SAR levels up to 4 W/kg. With regard to in vitro studies of RF effects on non-genotoxic end-points such as cell signaling and gene/protein expression, the results are more equivocal, but the magnitudes of the reported RF radiation induced changes are very small and of limited functional consequence. The results of studies on cell proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis and cell transformation are mostly negative".
9. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion: Wireless Technology and Health Outcomes: Evidence and Review 2010:
10. University of Ottawa, McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment: Review Panel Reports 2011. This is a collection of quotes from reports by expert groups of the world's major public health organization assessing the issue of EMF & health. New quotes are added periodically.
- "…While the most recent review continues to call for additional research to follow up on new findings, after a decade of additional research, there is still no conclusive evidence of adverse effects on health at exposure levels below current Canadian guidelines.'
- Given the experience with other sources of non-ionizing radiation (e.g. power lines) that have been in use much longer than cellphones or Wi-Fi, it is unlikely that all controversies related to potential RF effects will be resolved even after decades of additional research".
11. Swedish Radiation Authority: the Swedish State Radiation Protection Authority (SSI), sets the safety standards for wireless devices in Sweden. The SSI has commissioned a series of expert assessments on EMF and health in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The following statements were extracted from these reports:
- 2008 P5: "Six recent studies on carcinogenicity, some with higher exposure levels than previously used, consistently report lack of carcinogenic effects, and two studies on genotoxicity report no increase in micronuclei or DNA strand breaks after RF exposure".
- 2009 P4: "..these results in combination with the negative animal data and very low exposure from transmitters make it highly unlikely that living in the vicinity of a transmitter implicates an increased risk of cancer."
12. Latin American Expert Committee: Non-ionizing EMF and its Effects on Human Health 2010: P11 "The induction and promotion of tumors or blood neoplasms by RF exposure in animals as well as the appearance of cellular molecular predecessors of tumorigenesis, etc. has also been investigated. Despite using RF exposures, measured as specific absorption rates (SARs), far above those that people are normally exposed to, and in some cases exposures for the duration of the animal's lifetime, about 93% of in vivo studies published since 1990 have shown no significant short or long-term effects. Further, the average survival of irradiated groups of animals was not affected in some 96% of studies.
- 2009 P4: "While the symptoms experienced by patients with perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity are very real and some subjects suffer severely, there is no evidence that RF exposure is a causal factor."
- 2010: P4: "Available data do not indicate any risks related to exposure to RF from base stations or radio or TV antennas. Taking into account also the low levels of exposure that these sources give rise to, health effects from transmitters are unlikely".
13. The following is a compilation of 68 statements from Expert Groups over the years 2000 - 2010 attesting to the fact that there is no credible evidence of harm from EMF.
Previous Reports from Expert Groups
1. World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO is the world's largest and most prestigious public health organization. It was established by the United Nations to monitor and report on international pubic health issues. The WHO has published an excellent overview of EMF and health entitled "About Electromagnetic Fields". The following is a link to fact sheets containing documents on Base stations and wireless networks, Electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and Exposure to extremely low frequency fields. http://www.who.int/peh-emf/en/.
2. The American Cancer Society. This site has good articles on cellular phones and cellular phone towers and health: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/AtHome/cellular-phones
3. The US FDA this page contains a statement by the FDA to the effect that there are no known problems from the use of cell phones: http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/HomeBusinessandEntertainment/CellPhones/default.htm
4. US National Cancer Institute. The page summarizes the results of studies to date on cellular telephone risk and cancer risk. The results of the majority of studies are negative. A handful of "positive" studies suffer from "recall bias". http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones and this update.
5. US Centers for Disease Control. This fact sheet is a basic Q&A on cell phones and health. The CDC indicates that studies to date do not indicate a significant association between cell phones and health problems. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/factsheets/cellphone_facts.pdf
6. European Commission: Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) has written a comprehensive report entitled: Health Effects of Exposure to EMF. This report was issued in Jan. 09. They found no significant link between various forms of EMF and health. The main 83 page report is entitled Health Effects of EMF. The following quote is from P 8: ""It is concluded from three independent lines of evidence (epidemiological, animal and in vitro studies) that exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans".
7. EMF-NET is a scientific consortium of 41 participants from various countries funded by the European Commission to investigate the issue of EMF and health. None of their investigations has found any significant link between EMF and health. The following is a link to their documents: http://web.jrc.ec.europa.eu/emf-net/efrtdocuments.cfm
8. The COMAR committee of the the IEEE has written an excellent Review Paper published in the Oct. 2009 issue of Health Physics on many of the studies cited by alarmists, and in particular the Bio-Initiative Report. From the COMAR paper:
"A major weakness of the BIR is a selective, rather than a comprehensive, review of the literature in various topical areas.
9. The Health Council of the Netherlands published an updated 124 page report (1st half Dutch, 2nd half English) dated Mar. 2009 on EMF and health. The following is a quote from the cover letter to the Minister: "... the Committee concludes that there is no scientific evidence that exposure to environmental levels of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields causes health problems."
10. U.K. Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) (2000), "Mobile Phones and Health," Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones," c/o National Radiological Protection Board, Chilton, Didcot," Oxon, UK. UK Independent Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP),
11. U.K. National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), Advisory Group on Non-Ionizing Radiation (AGNIR) (2004) "Review of the Scientific Evidence for Limiting Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (0 - 300 GHz)," Documents of the NRPB, Vol. 15, No. 3, NRPB, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire, U.K.
12. UK Institution of Engineering and Technology, Biological Effects Policy Advisory
Group on Low-level Electromagnetic Fields (2006): Link
13. French Environmental Health and Safety Agency (AFSSET) Communiqué on cell phone towers
14. French Academie Nationale de Medecine. "Les risques des antennes de téléphonie mobile".
15. German Research Centre Jülich, Programme Group Humans, Environment,
Technology (MUT) (2005) This program brought together 25 leading experts from
Germany and Switzerland in a risk dialogue to assess the results of recent scientific
studies on mobile phones and base stations Mobile Phones and Health
16. Nordic Countries: The Radiation Authorities of the Nordic Countries recently issued a joint statement on the safety of mobile base stations and wireless networks: EXPOSURE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS
17. Ireland Expert Group on Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (2007) Health Effects of EMF
18. Japanese Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (MPHPT) (2001) Interim Report by Committee to Promote Research on the Possible Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (30 January 2001), MPHPT Communications News, Vol. 11, No. 23.
19. Australian Government, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Committee on Electromagnetic Energy Public Health Issues (2003) Fact Sheet EME Series No 1 "Electromagnetic Energy and Its Effects", and "Mobile Phone and Health Effects", and Base station health effects.
20. Hong Kong, Office of the Telecommunications Authority (2007) "Know More about
Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation"
21. Health Canada (2006) It'sYour Health, Safety and Safe Use of Mobile Phones
22. New Zealand Ministry of Health, National Radiation Laboratory (2007) Safety of Cell Phones
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