Saturday, April 23, 2016

Vienna Medical Association Issues Cell Phone Guidelines

Vienna Medical Association Issues Cell Phone Guidelines

The Vienna Medical Association issued an updated set of cell phone guidelines.
January 2016: Vienna Medical Association has issued new Ten Cell Phone Guidelines:
  1. Make calls as short and little as possible – use a landline or write SMS. Children and teenagers under 16 years old should carry cell phones only for emergencies!
  2. Distance is your friend- Keep the phone away from body during connection of Phone. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s safer distance recommendation in the manual, keep a distance during the call set-up from the head and body. Take advantage of the built-in speakerphone or a headset!
  3. When using headsets or integrated hands-free, do not position mobile phones directly on the body – special caution applies here for pregnant women. For men, mobile phones are a risk to fertility if Mobile is stowed in Trouser pockets. Persons with electronic implants (pacemakers, insulin pumps et cetera) must pay attention to distance. Unless otherwise possible, use coat pocket, backpack or purse.
  4. Not in vehicles (car, bus, train) calls – without an external antenna, the radiation in the vehicle is higher. In addition, you will be distracted and you bother in public transport the other passengers!
  5. During the car when driving should be an absolute ban on SMS and internetworking – the distraction leads to self-endangerment and endangering other road users!
  6. Make calls at home and at work via the fixed corded (not wireless) network – Internet access via LAN cable (eg via ADSL, VDSL, fiber optic) no Radiation, is fast and secure data transfer. Constant radiation emitters like DECT cordless telephones, WLAN access points, data sticks and LTE Home base stations (Box, Cube etc.) should be avoided!
  7. Go offline more often or use Airplane mode – Remember that for functions such as listening to music, camera, alarm clock, calculator or offline games an internet connection is not always required!
  8. Fewer apps means less radiation – Minimize the number of apps and disable the most unnecessary background services on your smartphone. Disabling “Mobile services” / “data network mode” turns the smartphone again into a cell phone. You can still be reached, but avoid a lot of unnecessary radiation by background traffic!
  9. Avoid Mobile phone calls in places with poor reception (basement, elevator etc) as it increases transmission power. Use in poor reception Area a headset or the speakerphone!
  10. For buyers of mobile phones, Look out for a very low SAR value and an external antenna connection!
No Wi-Fi in Salzberg Schools: “The official advice of the Public Health Department of the Salzburg Region is not to use WLAN and DECT in Schools or Kindergartens.” -Gerd Oberfeld, MD.
The Vienna Medical Society had issued cell phone safety guidelines previously stating that cell phones should be used for as short of a time as possible and that children under 16 should not use cell phones at all. They also stated that “wireless LAN leads to high microwave exposure”.

April 18, 2016 - Haifa (Israel) is disconnecting Wi-Fi in schools

April 18, 2016 - Haifa (Israel) is disconnecting Wi-Fi in schools

The mayor and head of school system in Haifa, Israel ordered that Wi-Fi be turned off immediately in schools until it is proven safe.  See article here  (after navigating to page, click translate to get English translation)  Another news article is attached below.

Below is the resolution from the California Medical Association, the California branch of the AMA (American Medical Association), written in December 2014 urging precautions on wireless because peer reviewed scientific studies have demonstrated harm and stating that current FCC regulations do not protect against human harm.  

Again, the FCC exposure limit is 1000uW/cm2 for 30 minutes for frequencies 1.5-100 GHz  Background levels in areas without a cell tower closeby or near Wi-Fi router is around 0.0003uW/cm2  (3-ten thousandths).  Areas within 1500 ft of a cell tower or near a school Wi-Fi router are 0.1-1uW/cm2.  My home wi-fi measures 0.01uW/cm2 at about 10 ft from router.  So school wi-fi is many times higher than home Wi-Fi (by 10 to 100 times)  Therefore, living/attending school next to a cell tower, going to school in typical school Wi-Fi environment,  exposes you to over 1000 times higher RF levels than background.   Health effects at 0.001-0.1uW/cm2 are headaches, concentration/memory/neurological problems, sleeping problems, sperm abnormalities, twice the risk of leukemia per the 2012 Bioinitiative Report, a metaanalysis of 3800 peer reviewed scientific studies.  If you haven't seen this chart yet, take a look

1000uW/cm2 for 30 minutes is the level at which your flesh would start to warm up from the microwave radiation.  Compliance to FCC standards means only that there is not enough microwave radiation from a cell tower or wi-fi router to cook you. It does not mean that you are protected from all biological effects which begin as low as 0.001uW/cm2 (1 thousandth) which have been shown in scientific studies.  Long-term Health effects of chronic exposure to RF radiation levels were never studied by our government - instead RF levels have been presumed to be safe as long as there is not enough to cook you.  So cell phones, Wi-Fi, cell towers, DECT cordless phones, ipads, wireless laptops, etc. were never tested for safety yet have been massively deployed as if they have been proven safe.

So, if 1000uW/cm2 is the standard for safety, and the maximum is 1uW/cm2 within 1500 ft of a cell tower or near a school Wi-Fi router, it would be safe to live near 1000 cell towers or put 1000 routers in a classroom.  This defies common sense, but that's what the FCC standards would allow.  Please think about this, read the scientific studies, and if you don't believe these measurements, get a meter and take your own measurements at home, school, around a cell tower.  This one is $140: functions as both an RF meter and Gaussmeter. (scroll down to RF/Gauss Meter by Cornet), sales tax for NY only.  For other meter recommendations and how to measure properly


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Haifa is disconnecting Wi-Fi - for NOW

Haifa is disconnecting Wi-Fi - for NOW


In an unexpected move, the national radio news informed that
Haifa Municipality disconnects WiFi until they examine the
issue of safety seriously.  Then it was published online, and
now the municiaplity is attacked by many residents on its
facebook page. People who are not informed on the risks, are
sure the mayor has done a stupid thing.

Activists in other cities have called their municipalities to
do the same. Haifa municipality received some amazed calls
from other local authorities. The Ministry of Education has
not responded yet.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FOX 5 News: Parents Concerned About WiFi in MCPS Schools 2/2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FOX 5 News: Parents Concerned About WiFi in MCPS Schools 2/2016

Safe Tech For Schools Maryland Parents are featured in this Five Minute FOX 5 News Report.
Please watch parents voice our concerns. 

The next day Fox did a follow up with Dr. Davis in the studio LIVE!!!. Watch an excerpt here

Calling For MCPS to Explore Safe Technology in Schools. 

Watch our testimony to the Board of Education here. 

Safe Tech for Schools Maryland parents were in the news last year.
Please watch these news pieces below. 

Worldwide EMR Action Day - Disconnect from wireless tech - Saturday 23rd April 2016 - Brochure


Disconnect from wireless tech on Saturday 23rd April 2106

EMR Action Day Brochure                      

Dear Friends, Colleagues, respected Scientists and Medical Professionals,

Attached please find this year’s EMR Action Day brochure. It is attached in two formats to allow easier use and download.

The publisher version will allow you to insert your community/organisation details if you wish as requested previously.

It has been designed as a double-sided A4, tri-folding brochure. You may choose to just use part of the document.

All use of pictures and banners may be used for your distributions.

Wishing you success in raising the awareness in your communities and countries.

Kind regards

Tracey-Lee Dorny on behalf

EMR Action Day committee

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders

The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders

Murat Terzi, Berra Ozberk, Omur Gulsum Deniz, Suleyman Kaplan. The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. Available online 12 April 2016.


• Description of electromagnetic fields and evaluation of its possible effects on biological systems.
• The association between the electromagnetic field and neurodegenerative diseases.
• Experimental and clinical studies on the electromagnetic field.


In the modern world, people are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as part of their daily lives; the important question is “What is the effect of EMFs on human health?” Most previous studies are epidemiological, and we still do not have concrete evidence of EMF pathophysiology. Several factors may lead to chemical, morphological, and electrical alterations in the nervous system in a direct or indirect way. It is reported that non-ionizing EMFs have effects on animals and cells. The changes they bring about in organic systems may cause oxidative stress, which is essential for the neurophysiological process; it is associated with increased oxidization in species, or a reduction in antioxidant defense systems. Severe oxidative stress can cause imbalances in reactive oxygen species, which may trigger neurodegeneration. This review aims to detail these changes. Special attention is paid to the current data regarding EMFs’ effects on neurological disease and associated symptoms, such as headache, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.


We suggest that neurodegenerative diseases are triggered by the high rate of protein synthesis in nerve cells, which the protein transport and distribution mechanism of the cell is not able to overcome. In neurodegenerative disease studies, cell degenerations have been researched that are explicable by this mechanism. Under these conditions, increased rates of protein synthesis in responsive nerve cells may be harmful to human health. These neurodegenerative effects have an underlying mechanism related to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is described as the increased production of oxidizing substances and a decrease in antioxidant defenses. In more intense cases of stress, necrosis can occur, as well as apoptosis (Lennon et al., 1991). In addition, in a lesser number of cases, the chemical reactions can be converted by transition metals or other redox cycling combines (containing quinones) through reduction, and as a result of this process, more aggressive radicals, which cause diffuse cellular damage, can occur. This process results in long-term DNA damage (Evans and Cooke, 2004). The immune system responds to the fatal effects of oxidants by making the increased production of radicals a central part of its mechanism of destroying pathogens, wherein induced phagocytes produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen substances.

The damage in the host tissues is a result of these reactive complexes in the cytotoxic pathway of phagocytes. This prevents a pathogen from escaping this part of the immune response. It has been suggested that the mechanism of oxidant usage by the immune system, and an imbalance of oxidative stress, might explain the lack of an autoimmune neurological disease (Nathan and Shiloh, 2000).

High oxygen consumption in the brain results in overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which affects the nervous system. Additionally, neuronal membranes contain severe amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are susceptible to injury by free radicals.

... Most studies have shown that ROS may contribute to the down regulation of tight junctions and therefore induce the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), accordingly, it plays a role in the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The BBB maintains an excessively stable extracellular environment, which is essential for certain synaptic transmissions and protects nervous sysem cells from damage. Increased impermeability of the BBB leads to potential hazards ....

There is evidence that the cell phone affects the BBB and induces headaches (Frey, 1998). Studies show that after EMF exposure, the permeability of the BBB changes, which may be due to the lack of autoimmune diseases’ effects on the CNS. BBB junctions become available to transmit immune cells, which may be a trigger for neuro-inflammation (de Vries et al., 1997).
Sensitivity to EMF exposure may be a common underlying effect in the CNS in regards to neurodegenerative disorders. In the literature, the main sensitization syndrome seems to be a pathophysiological change such as migraines, irritable bowel and bladder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or chronic pain. The IARC characterized the radiation of mobile phones as Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic) in 2011. Most studies show that the carcinogenic and genotoxic effects of EMFs also evidence a correlation between childhood leukemia and EMFs. However, there is still no definitive verdict on the link between EMFs and brain tumors. Some studies have demonstrated that neuro-endocrinological changes can cause neurological effects, such as cognitive affects. We now know that oxidative stress is caused by a lack of neurodegeneration, but the neurobehavioral effects pathway is still unknown.

.. based on data from in vivo and in vitro experimental studies, it has been suggested that the RF-EMF exposure has effects on neuronal activity and causes changes in cell excitability, cell membrane permeability, calcium efflux, and neurotransmitters (Volkow et al., 2011). Although there is a connection between EMFs and neurodegenerative disease, patients may suffer non-specific symptoms such as headaches, chronic fatigue, dizziness, sweating, paranoia, gastric distress, seizures, nausea, and chronic pain. People who do not have these symptoms may suffer from dark circles under the eyes, nerve pain, weakness, chronic illness, gastric disorder, and neurotransmitter imbalance. It is now known that these symptoms are also related to electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

...  A 2011 review of neurological and oncological outcomes around mobile phone base stations showed that eight symptoms had increased prevalence, including headaches and sleep disorders (Khurana et al., 2010). However, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a decision in 2005 that there is no known scientific basis for saying that electromagnetic hypersensitivity is caused by exposure to an electromagnetic field. The prevalence of electromagnetic hypersensitivity ranges from a few cases per million people to 5% of the population, depending on the region and description of the condition (Levallois et al., 2002). It is difficult to determine the prevalence, as electromagnetic hypersensitivity is still an uncertain diagnosis. There is no specific analysis except for skin disorders, which are analyzed using subjective or non-specific methods; initially, all other causes of the same symptoms should be excluded.

Today, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease and is characterized by the progressive loss of nervous system cells, especially in the cortex and hippocampus region. At the onset of the disease, oxidative injury is a key mechanism, progression, and pathogenesis. Specifically, redox-reactive metals (such as iron) are the main reason for hydroxyl radicals that are produced by redox reaction, and may support the synthesis of amyloid beta (Aβ) precursor protein, which is induced by oxidative stress (Stam, 2010; Fig. 2). We now have some information about the molecular principles of Alzheimer’s disease; however, its etiology is still unclear ....

The second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide is Parkinson’s disease (PD). It occurs as a result of the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain (Fig. 3). Additionally, production of intracytoplasmic neuronal inclusions, such as α-synuclein, contributes to the onset of the degeneration process. Reaction of the Dopamine redox, and the α-synuclein mutation occurring in oxidative stress, are considered the main pathogenic factors of PD (Pollanen et al., 1993). It is suggested that oxidative injury to DNA, protein, lipids, and raised RNA oxidation play a key role in the loss of neurons. In contrast to the epidemiology of AD, there is insufficient supporting epidemiological data regarding a definite correlation between PD and EMFs exposure...

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
(ALS) is also known as mortal neurodegenerative disorder. This progressive disease is characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brain stem, and motor cortex. There is no inherited link in most ALS patients; however, a small number of patients have familial ALS in terms of the pathophysiology of the disease. Studies show that at a molecular level, antioxidant gene-encoding mutations may be responsible for the mechanism of degeneration. Oxidative stress is still indicated as having a key role. It must be considered that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a more important role in the etiopathogenesis of this disease than has hitherto been believed. Mitochondrial dysfunction may cause an energy deficit, whereby neurons are very sensitive. This triggers a calcium imbalance and initiates oxidative stress (Cozzolino and Carrì, 2012). Even though different hypotheses concerning the pathogenesis of the ALS have been promulgated, the etiology of most cases is unknown (Fig. 4) ....

Huntington’s disease
 (HD) is known as a progressive neurodegenerative disease; it transfers with genes and the autosomal dominant. The disorder starts with various psychiatric symptoms, cognitive regression, and choreiform movements. The Huntington protein is in the N-terminus of polyglutamine (Fig. 5). If cells have a repetition of the molecular genetic defect trinucleotide (CAG)n, they become excessive and the Huntington protein changes. Mutated genes cause neuronal cell death, particularly in the striatum and cortex. However, we still do not clearly understand the mechanisms of how they cause neuronal dysfunction and degeneration....

There is a great deal of controversy over the possible health effects of electromagnetic fields, and it is difficult to prove indisputably whether destructive risks exist or not. Although we still do not have much concrete evidence of exposure time and limit, it is best to keep public exposure well below the limits. High technology companies should find alternatives to comply with new environmental regulations. Future researchers should develop unique tools and experimental approaches to searching for living systems.

... In this review, synthesis studies on neurodegenerative disease, and some hypotheses, have shown evidence of a potential correlation between EMFs and the mechanism of neurodegeneration. Our knowledge of EMFs’ effects on the human brain is far from complete, and we also do not have enough evidence about peripheral neurological effects. Some people who are exposed to EMFs develop dysesthesia, but it is difficult to study nerve conduction in this disease in laboratory preparations. Overall, we do have some evidence from in vivo animals and in vitro cell and epidemiological studies that suggests that fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents, whose CNS is still developing and whose neuronal links are still forming, are more vulnerable to EMFs’ effects and demyelination.

It is necessary to conduct further research into the effects of EMFs on behavior, sleep, depression, cognitive activities, and psychomotor performance. In addition, the effects of prenatal and postnatal EMF exposure emitted by mobile phones can lead to attention problems in children. There is some evidence that EMFs can affect brain activity and the sleep cycle in humans. However, the health correlation is not clearly defined and studies cannot explain the precise mechanisms. Further studies of these effects are needed. Despite the fact we do not have enough evidence about the long-term neurological problems, these regions of science are significant in identifying the possible health effects. The largest amount of typical daily exposure comes from mobile phone base stations, cordless phones, and mobile phones. It is important to use these devices carefully. Cell phones play a significant part in our lives, although they remain harmful to human health, especially our brains. We recommend an increase in fully blinded, methodologically detailed studies on the biological and health effects of EMFs.

For more information about electromagnetic hypersensitivity see

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                  @berkeleyprc

How the World Health Organization's cancer agency confuses consumers

How the World Health Organization's cancer agency confuses consumers

Joel's comments: This Reuters article seems somewhat biased against IARC, an agency which many scientists believe sets the "gold standard" for carcinogenicity.

My impression has been that IARC's composition of expert panels often results in overly conservative assessments. It's not surprising to me that few substances or agents reviewed by IARC are given a clean bill of health because there must be sufficient peer-reviewed evidence suggestive of carcinogenicity before IARC will commit the resources to undertake a review.
What do you think about the current IARC classification of ELF and RF as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B)?  Should ELF and/or RF be reclassified to greater risk [i.e.., Group 2B ("probably carcinogenic") or Group 1 ("carcinogenic")] or lesser risk [Group 3 ("not classifiable") or Group 4 ("probably not carcinogenic")].

Would it be useful to conduct a formal survey of the EMF scientific community?
See Microwave News' extensive coverage of IARC regarding ELF and RF including the Ahlbom controversy at


Special Report: How the World Health Organization's cancer agency confuses consumers

Kate Kelland, Reuters, Apr 18, 2016

Thanks to scientists working under the auspices of the World Health Organization, you can be fairly sure your toothbrush won't give you cancer. Over four decades, a WHO research agency has assessed 989 substances and activities, ranging from arsenic to hairdressing, and found only one was "probably not" likely to cause cancer in humans. It was an ingredient in nylon used in stretchy yoga pants and toothbrush bristles.

All the other 988 substances, however, pose some level of risk or need further research, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is an arm of the WHO. Some things in IARC's top category of carcinogens are pretty obvious nasties, such as plutonium, mustard gas and smoking tobacco. Others are more surprising: Also ranked as "Group 1 Carcinogens" are wood dust and Chinese salted fish.

IARC has said that working as a painter causes cancer, using a mobile phone possibly does, and working shifts as a pilot or a nurse, for example – is "probably carcinogenic." Last October, it ranked processed meats in its top category of known carcinogens, alongside plutonium.

The findings have caused consternation, not least for non-scientists puzzled by what IARC's rankings mean.

As a global authority on cancer – a disease that kills more than 8 million people a year worldwide, with more than 14 million new cases appearing annually – IARC has enormous influence and commands much respect, even among its critics. Yet experts from academia, industry and public health say IARC confuses the public and policymakers. Some critics say the way IARC considers and communicates whether substances are carcinogenic is flawed and needs reform.

Even the WHO, which oversees IARC, was caught off guard by the agency's announcement that red and processed meat should be classified respectively as probable and known carcinogens. The WHO's official spokesman, Gregory Hartl, issued a statement saying WHO's Geneva headquarters had been flooded with queries and requests for clarification. IARC's ruling did not mean people should stop eating meat, he said.

Asked about the relationship between IARC and the WHO, Hartl told Reuters: "WHO works closely and continually with IARC to improve the way the two bodies collaborate and communicate on the knowledge of potential and real hazards and risks to the public."

At stake are judgments that can affect the lives of millions of people and the economic activities of states and multinational companies. IARC's rulings influence many things, from whether chemicals are licensed for use in industry to whether consumers choose or spurn certain products or lifestyles.

But its methods are poorly understood and do not serve the public well, according to Bob Tarone, a statistician formerly at America's National Cancer Institute and now Biostatistics Director at the International Epidemiology Institute. He said of the way IARC works: "It's not good for science, it's not good for regulatory agencies. And for people? Well, they are just being confused."

Paolo Boffetta worked at IARC for 19 years, rising to become head of the genetics and epidemiology team, and describes himself as "still a strong supporter" of the agency. Nevertheless, Boffetta, now at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in the United States, said IARC's approach sometimes lacks "scientific rigor" because its judgments can involve experts reviewing their own research or that of colleagues.

Some institutions have also clashed with IARC. The agency is currently embroiled in an acrimonious dispute with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) over glyphosate, an ingredient of widely-used pesticides. IARC says glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic." EFSA says it isn't. The glyphosate row has thrown up concerns about potential conflicts of interest at IARC: It involves an adviser to the agency who is closely linked to the Environmental Defense Fund, a U.S. campaign group opposed to pesticides. (See).

In the face of its critics, IARC steadfastly defends its methods and aims. "This is really the strongest possible process," Kurt Straif, the head of IARC's classification program, told Reuters when asked about the way his agency evaluates possible causes of cancer.

IARC's director, Chris Wild, has also defended the agency against criticism in scientific journals. In a letter to one of the journals, he said the scientists involved in its classification decisions "are motivated by a desire to improve public health by identifying the causes of human cancer and thereby contributing to disease prevention."

Richard Sullivan, a professor of cancer policy and global health at King's College London, says any confusion is due to a widespread misunderstanding of IARC's role.

"IARC is purely there to do the science. And the science is absolutely fine," he told Reuters. "But there is a disjunction between the pure science and the policy and public health messaging. That's where problems arise."


From the beginning, IARC has been a compromise. Born out of a French initiative, it was originally envisaged as an independent agency with a huge budget. It ended up as a semi-autonomous part of the WHO with modest funds. IARC, based in Lyon, had revenue of about 30 million euros ($34 million) in 2014, whereas the British charity Cancer Research UK had income of about $875 million and the U.S. government's National Cancer Institute had a budget of $4.9 billion in 2014.

Despite its limited financial heft, IARC was a pioneer and established itself as a world-leading authority. Its assessments of whether something is a cause of cancer catch the eyes and ears of policymakers and the public.

To produce its assessments, IARC assembles groups of experts who review the existing scientific evidence and then place a substance or activity in one of five categories: carcinogenic to humans; probably carcinogenic; possibly carcinogenic; not classifiable as carcinogenic; and probably not carcinogenic. These reports are known as "monographs."

The public sometimes misunderstands what IARC means by its classifications. The agency says it assesses "hazard" – the strength of evidence about whether a substance or activity can cause cancer in any way. It takes no account of typical levels of human exposure or consumption. So it is not measuring "risk" or the likelihood of a person getting cancer from something.

IARC gives no view on the relative levels of risk of getting cancer from, say, plutonium or alcohol; what it does say is that there is clear evidence that both are capable of causing cancer. Therefore it ranks both substances in its top category of being carcinogenic.

Geoffrey Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the United States who has publicly criticized IARC, says the classifications do the public "a disservice."

"What the public wants to know is: What are the agents in our surroundings that are likely to have palpable effects on our health? Not theoretical exposures which might, under some far-fetched conditions, possibly have an effect," said Kabat, who is also author of the book "Hyping Health Risks."

The risks of public misapprehension were evident in some of the media reaction to IARC's announcement on red and processed meats. The Huffington Post declared: "Meat is the new tobacco." Britain's Daily Mail said "health chiefs" had "put processed meat on same level as cigarettes."

Such interpretations are misleading, in IARC's view. Straif told Reuters that the blame for any confusion lies with industry, activist groups and the media.

"There are stakeholders on various sides that want to make it look ridiculous," he said. "There are activist groups who want to say, 'This is now an IARC carcinogen and we need to take all actions against it'. And then there is a third dimension – the media, who have their own interests in being sensational."

Straif defended the decision to place processed meat in the same hazard category as plutonium, saying that "for both of these things there is clear evidence that these are human carcinogens."


Some critics say the problems with IARC's monographs begin well before they become headlines. Their concerns focus on the composition of the "expert working groups" that decide which of the five IARC categories a substance or activity should go in. These experts sometimes include people who have spent years publishing research on whether the substance or activity under scrutiny can cause cancer. They may be part of IARC working groups that review their own research or that of close colleagues.

Between 2012 and 2015, for example, IARC published or started 18 monographs involving 314 scientists. A Reuters analysis found that at least 61 of those scientists served on monograph working groups that considered their own scientific research. The analysis did not include the number of scientists on working groups that reviewed the research of close colleagues.

In letters, commentaries and articles in scientific journals, Tarone of the International Epidemiology Institute and other scientists have questioned whether such people "are the best judges of the validity and methodological soundness of their own and allied work."

IARC's Straif said the agency's working groups consist of "the world's best experts" who critically review the scientific evidence and are not swayed by previous findings in their own work, or that of close colleagues. "IARC has a strong belief, for good reasons, that those who know the most about certain exposures are those who have worked on such exposures," he said.

Straif said IARC's rules ensure no "author or associated colleague" can directly evaluate a study they have published. And neutrality is assured, he said, because the discussions involve 20 to 30 people in an environment where "advocacy of any kind ... is not tolerated."

Tarone regards IARC's assumption that all experts will be detached and independent as "naive, if not anti-scientific." He told Reuters: "It's absurd to assert there are no issues of bias related to self-interest, reputation or careerism. It has nothing to do with bad motives, it's just human nature."

Tarone and other critics say IARC is inconsistent in its treatment of potential conflicts of interest and cite as an example a study of radiation of the sort emitted by mobile phones. In June 2011, IARC concluded such radiation is "possibly carcinogenic." That ranking put mobile phone use in the same category as lead and chloroform.

Anders Ahlbom, a senior professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, was originally invited to chair the working group on electromagnetic radio frequencies in May 2011. However, Ahlbom, who thinks there is little evidence to suggest mobile phones cause cancer, was asked to step down about a week before the meeting was due to begin after he told IARC he had been contacted by a journalist. The journalist had questioned him about being on the board of his brother's consulting firm, which helps clients lobby on telecoms issues.

IARC decided that Ahlbom had a perceived conflict of interest. Ahlbom accepted this decision, although he said there was no conflict since he had no financial interest in his brother's company. Ahlbom said his departure upset the balance of the IARC working group, which, he and five other scientists said, included researchers who already viewed mobile phones as likely to raise the risk of brain tumors.

"It appears that IARC handles conflicts of interest differently depending on who the person is and which 'side' he is assumed to represent," Ahlbom told Reuters.

Straif said IARC "takes all conflicts of interest seriously, regardless of the individuals or organizations involved." He said that Ahlbom's exit from the working group did not leave it with an imbalance.

"It is difficult to perceive how a strong working group of 32 internationally renowned experts would suddenly not have a balance anymore because of one single expert who had a conflict," he said.


At the meetings of IARC working groups, invited observers who have "relevant scientific credentials" are allowed to attend; but they have to sign confidentiality agreements and cannot discuss the proceedings. Straif says this is to ensure the scientists can speak candidly, without fear of having their disagreements or discussions reported externally without their consent.

One observer, a specialist in food and animal science who attended the working group on red and processed meats in 2015, spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. The person alleged that the expert panel reviewing the scientific evidence appeared to aim for a specific result.

In its meat assessment, IARC went beyond its normal remit of assessing hazard, not risk. It gave specific warnings about the risk of eating red and processed meat products.

IARC said, for example, that for each 50 gram piece of processed meat eaten daily, the risk of a person developing colon cancer increases by 18 percent. The observer who spoke to Reuters said these data appeared "to come from nowhere, overnight."

The observer said: "I expected that the science would be reviewed with a high level of rigor. But quite frankly, at the end of the 10 days, from a scientific standpoint I was really quite shocked."

Straif said the numbers came from "a combined analysis" of the scientific papers under review, and were issued by IARC because there was sufficient evidence in human epidemiological studies for the working group experts to feel confident in them.

Straif told Reuters parts of the working group discussions may have been missed by some observers: "We really worked around the clock, up late into the night and all weekend, so I'm not sure if the observers were there at all times."

In a subsequent email to Reuters, he said the risk estimates and corresponding scientific papers were part of the monograph discussions from "the very first working drafts and through all revisions." He added: "It is very difficult to understand how any participant could have missed this discussion."

While not disagreeing with IARC's assessment of meat as a carcinogen, the WHO headquarters issued a series of tweets giving context. The WHO stressed that "the health risks of processed meat are vastly different of those cigarettes and asbestos" and that "meat provides a number of essential nutrients and, when consumed in moderation, has a place in a healthy diet."

The controversy has raised questions at WHO headquarters about the organization's control over IARC. "There is talk here now of needing to rein IARC in," said a Geneva-based WHO insider.

Charles Clift, a global public health specialist at the Centre on Global Health Security at Britain's Chatham House, said the WHO should have taken more of a role in IARC's presentation of its conclusions on red and processed meat.

"The WHO should be there to give authoritative guidance," Clift said, "not just endorse things that can be misinterpreted – either from IARC or anybody else."

The WHO's spokesman, Hartl, told Reuters that IARC was a "functionally independent" agency, and that when IARC flags up cancer hazards, the "WHO assesses or re-assesses the levels of risk associated with those hazards. Based on the risk assessment, WHO reaffirms existing or issues new guidance aimed at safeguarding public health."

Straif of IARC said: "I'm very happy with the way we do things at the moment. We are really at the head of the scientific community."

(Additional reporting by Himanshu Ojha; Editing By Richard Woods)

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                  @berkeleyprc 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Your Letter to School Officials About the Threat of Wi-Fi in Schools

Your Letter to School Officials About the Threat of Wi-Fi in Schools

Hi Janis

MANY thanks for sending us your outstanding letter to School Officials. I'm translating it in French and have posted your Engish version at and it is now linked at

Please note that while checking the source of the following quote (which I could not find in the Convention on the Rights of the Child) ...

United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), asserts: "that every child should have the opportunity to grow and develop free from preventable illness or injury."

... I've discovered that it comes in fact from the American Academy of Pediatrics. So I've amended your letter accordingly to...

The American Academy of Pediatrics asserts: "that every child should have the opportunity to grow and develop free from preventable illness or injury."

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989):

Article 3


Best regards


PS Un mot à Stephanye: Je vais réviser ta lettre ce soir et te revenir là-dessus sans faute. Merci beaucoup de l'avoir préparée. Et bonne idée de laisser faire le sondage détaillé vu que l'arrivée du Wi-Fi est récente.

Hi all
Sorry I don't speak french but I have a letter that I haven't sent out yet and thought if you needed to use any of this information you are welcome to

Dear School Officials,
Parents have sent School Officials 1,000's of peer reviewed studies by scientists and medical experts showing the harmful effects of wireless technology associated with long term exposure to microwave radiation such as increased infertility, neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Experts both nationally and internationally continue to call on the Canadian government to implement much stricter exposure standards for radio frequency radiation to mitigate risk, especially for infants and children who are most vulnerable.
Why have School Officials refused to heed the recommendations from the highest level of public health? The World Health Organization (WHO), declared that parents should reduce children's chronic exposure to RF/MWR where ever possible to mitigate risk for harmful effects, pointing out that any reasonable measure to limit or reduce exposure would be benefit children, fetuses and those with EHS.
According to a report delivered June 18th 2015, by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA) the microwave radiation from wireless devices is now a "serious public health issue".  The Canadian Parliamentary Committee discussed possible links between RF exposure and cancer, reproductive issues and autism. Concerns were raised about RF exposure in schools due to use of Wi-Fi; the need for RF exposure limits to protect vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, infants and children, and persons with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS),49,4240
The International EMF Scientist Appeal, signed by over 200 EMF research scientists, university professors and medical doctors from 40 countries, called upon the United Nations, the WHO, and the UN Member States to address the emerging public health crisis
Health Canada has disregarded or minimized certain recent studies, such as cancer, DNA damage, protein synthesis, stress response, and detrimental biological health effects in humans that occur at radiation levels far below the existing Safety Code 6 Guideline. During the hearings four international experts testified that Health Canada is "either unwilling or not competent" to judge current scientific evidence that wireless radiation is harmful to our health. Health Canada is not protecting the public.
In February 20, 2013, in the Superior Court of Quebec, James McNamee, Health Canada scientist admitted that theSafety Code 6 guidelines for microwave radiation (which includes radiation from devices such as mobile phones, cell phone antennas, Wi-Fi, wireless toys and baby monitors, smart meters etc. is based ONLY on preventing a heating effect!  That is burning of the skin within 6 minutes.
The statement in the Preface of Safety Code 6 (2009) is the following (page 3):
The purpose of this code is to establish safety limits for human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy in the frequency range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. The safety limits in this code apply to all individuals working at, or visiting, federally regulated sites. These guidelines may also be adopted by the provinces, industry or other interested parties.
Health Canada's Safety Code 6 does NOT apply to provinces, industry, or other interested parties.  The provinces have the authority to establish levels far more restrictive than Safety Code 6.
Dr. McNamee finally admitted that the guidelines in question regarding cell towers are based ONLY on preventing a thermal effect and it is now accurate to say that Canada does not have a guideline to protect Canadians from long-term exposure to "non-thermal" levels of microwave radiation! (Dr. Magda Havas)
In February 2015, Lloyds of London officially reiterated its long-held policy to exclude any liability coverage for injuries, "Directly or indirectly arising out of, resulting from, or contributed to by electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves or noise."  (Exclusion 32)  This would include microwave wireless radiation emitted from the commercial grade Wi-Fi transmitters and the multiple wireless devices.,2,4168
The Ministry of Education has put the onus on the individual School Boards to approve the installation of this wireless technology thus relieving themselves of any liability. It is made very clear in a letter to the BCCPAC dated November 19, 2012, from the Ministry of Education, the Board of Education has the authority to develop policies addressing the use of wireless technology in schools and to implement the appropriate technology where it is deemed necessary to support the education needs of students. 
When parents requested ONE peer reviewed study proving 'wifi was safe for children and the unborn,' Health Officers were unable to present one.  The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Kendall has stated in a letter in March 2015, "Nor, as others have suggested do I make statements that such radiation is 'safe' ".
Vancouver Island School Medical Officer Dr. Stanwick has stated: Upon review of the evidence, the prevailing position in this province from experts at the federal, provincial and regional levels is that the evidence reveals that "Wi-Fi exposure in schools does not pose a level of risk that is unacceptable." The other chief medical health officers in the province, Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health and other federal and provincial agencies hold this position.
Stating there is in fact a risk.
Why are School Officials refusing Parents, Teachers and Students their RIGHT TO KNOW about the health risks from this unregulated technology that has never been tested for safety? Safety Manuals and Disclaimers have not been disclosed, for example:
Apple instructs its users: "Read all safety information below and operating instructions before using iPad to avoid injury."
 " be sure that human exposure to RF energy does not exceed the FCC, IC, and European Union guidelines, always follow these instructions and precautions: Orient the device in portrait mode with the Home button at the bottom of the display, or in landscape mode with the cellular antenna (located under the black edge at the top of the device) away from your body or other objects"

A child cannot hold an iPad without being exposed to microwave radiation pulsating every 4 seconds. That's 900 bursts of radiation in one hour!
The user manual also recommends users (many children): "you can further limit your exposure by limiting the amount of time using iPad Wi-Fi+3G in wireless mode, since time is a factor in how much exposure a person receives, and by placing more distance between your body and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, since exposure level drops off dramatically with distance."
Samsung 3G Laptop: "Usage precautions during 3G connection:  Keep safe distance from pregnant woman's stomach or from lower stomach of teenagers.  Body work operation:  Important safety information regarding radiofrequency radiation (RF) exposure.  To ensure compliance with RF exposure guidelines the Notebook PC must be used with a minimum of 20.8 cm (8 Inches) antenna separation from the body."
Apple "iPhone's SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines for body-worn operation if positioned less than 15 mm (5/8th inch) from the body. When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8th inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases, belt clips or holsters that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8th inch) separation between iPhone and the body
Why are teachers being forced to claim disability or early retirement, parents having to take their children out of school for home schooling and others forced in frustration to give up their parental right to protect their children?  Why is it no amount of evidence, peer reviewed studies, presentations by scientists and medical experts fail to make School Officials understand this mandatory exposure to microwave radiation causes permanent and irreversible damage?
Parents want to know why are School Officials willfully turning a deaf ear to the voices of our children who are suffering from this RF exposure?
Janis Hoffmann
Victoria BC
United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), asserts:"that every child should have the opportunity to grow and develop free from preventable illness or injury."
Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
3.   States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.