ICNIRP and Science & Wireless in Wollongong: Guest Blog from Dr. Redmayne

This is the Guest Blog on BRHP. The opinions expressed in it are of Mary Redmayne of Monash University. Publication of these opinions on BRHP site does not mean that BRHP automatically agrees with or endorses these opinions.

This guest blog is open for comments.

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Report on the ICNIRP/ACEBR/ARPANSA Workshop: Radiofrequency Field Health Effects & Standards, Wollongong, 11 November, 2014

Hosted and organised by Rodney Croft, University of Wollongong

By Mary Redmayne

(Dr Redmayne comments within presentations, questions and answers are in italics)

The meeting was well attended with many coming from Europe and some from the US. There was also a delegation from Myanmar. Most ICNIRP meetings are closed, but this one included researchers (such as those in the Monash University Centre for Population Health Research on Electromagnetic Energy (PRESEE) and members of the public (there was a registration fee).

Dr Carl-Magnuss Larson, CEO of ARPANSA, spoke on Government Expectations of ARPANSA: Science vs Protection. The ‘vs’ in the title was surprising, and the speaker queried it himself, apparently having been provided with the title. Dr Larson outlined that ARPANSA is a Commonwealth regulator and service provider that promotes uniformity of approach and is obliged to implement international best practise. This was defined as seeking guidance from groups such as ICNIRP and the WHO, plus doing their own monitoring of research.

There is a recurring difficulty in the way certain words are used in these circles. It first arose during this talk when Dr Larson said ICNIRP “protect against all known effects of radiation” while the slide said, “…all known health effects…”. This difference is important and the reason why becomes clearer further on.

Dr Larson presented the RISCOM model which he says they are implementing and explained it thus: the RISCOM model has three core approaches: Truth/Efficiency about the objective world, scientific method and always querying, “Is this true?”; Legitimacy about values and fairness; and Authenticity about personal integrity, not having a hidden agenda, and there being no vested interests.

ARPANSA are currently reviewing RPS3, the RF exposure Standard in Australia. The committee’s conclusion is that the, “underlying basis remains sound …. [and it is] continuing to protect against known health effects.” However, he reported that they will develop a precautionary statement for use in education and communication. There was no indication what this would say.

ARPANSA are considering a unified approach to ionising and non-ionising radiation.

They are initiating a project to measure RF exposure levels in schools. There is quite a bit of community concern over student exposures from WiFi and the tablets the students use in class. The outcome will certainly show that in most, if not all, cases the exposure is a very small percentage of the Standard. This seems quite unlikely to reassure those in the community who are concerned since their concerns generally don’t revolve around compliance.

I asked whether they would also be asking about changes in student health (since starting at the school). Dr Larson said that was not their area of expertise, so I suggested that our CRE (PRESEE) would be in a position to analyse such information and maybe we could collaborate.

Another question echoed the title of the talk, “What are the Government Expectations of ARPANSA?”

The second speaker was Dr Emilie van Deventer, Head of the WHO International EMF Project and Team Leader of the radiation programme at the WHO. She gave an update on RF fields environmental health criteria of the Project, jumping to-and-fro between her two roles during the talk. She began with the WHO definition of health: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” She referred to the IARC 2B rating of RF as a possible carcinogen, saying that there had not been enough evidence to “include exposures from WiFi, base stations etc. in this”. This is puzzling since the IARC publication states, “the Working Group classified RF-EMF as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B)” (Baan et al., 2011) without specifying any excluded sources. Dr van Deventer went on to say that the EMF Project looks at “all studied outcomes”, then said they were updating the 1993 EMF Monograph and would be including risk management, referring at this point to the WHO. The RF update had taken so long as they were waiting for the Interphone results to be published. This happened in 2010. She said the WHO Monograph will not include health benefits from RF exposure (although it is worth noting that as there are readily acknowledged health benefits from specific non-thermal exposures it is quite reasonable to assume there are also health detriments from other specific non-thermal exposures.) Authors will represent themselves, and core authors include Mann, Feychting (epidemiology), Oftedal, van Rongen, Scarfi, and Smirou. There was a long list of invited authors also. Possible implications of representing themselves is that it may then be considered that there is not the need to declare any conflict of interest and future liability for misleading conclusions will not lie with the WHO. The document is open for comment until mid-December and can be found at http://www.who.int/peh-emf/research/rf_ehc_page/en/ . It does not include the introduction and conclusions. These chapters will be called “Summary and recommendations for further study”, “Health risk assessment”, and “Protective measures”, as these have not yet been written. Neither does it yet review the last two years’ research.

The conditions for inclusion were outlined which did not require papers to be in English, however she said they were having difficulty finding translators for the Russian and Chinese papers. Case studies are excluded. Epidemiological studies must include exposed and unexposed groups, while laboratory studies must have at least 2 exposure types (one could be a control group) and human blinded conditions.

They are including a new category called the ‘grey zone’ for some papers that do not meet the criteria but are noteworthy and therefore not excluded immediately and may be included eventually.

In questions, I asked what proportion of the grey zone papers found no effects. The unspoken point here is that this system opens the way for bias, partly in which papers even make it to the grey zone, and later in which ones are accepted and which ones rejected. The response was that they have listed them and why they are in the grey zone, but Dr van Deventer did not have the stats for the proportion inquired about. It was not clear whether that list is in the draft, but there does not appear to be any reference to “grey zone”.

Another question asked what they will do with the Russian and Chinese papers; in response, they have asked the countries’ relevant authorities for translations of abstract so they can decide whether they are relevant to translate in their entirety.

Professor Maria Feychting, Vice Chair of ICNIRP, spoke on IARC 2B and RF epidemiological studies. She reported that the lack of complete unanimity in the 2B decision was because, “results [of research] are rather hard to interpret.” She said there was no increase in brain tumours after the introduction of mobile phones and that the brain tumour studies had been done too early. The Interphone deciles had proportions with similar numbers in each category defined by the controls. There was reference to the recent Coureau paper. This is, presumably, the CERENAT study which found a statistically significant increase in gliomas in the heaviest mobile phone users when various exposure types were considered.

Dr Feychting critiqued various techniques used in some studies and presented Deltour et al. (2012) graphs of observed and predicted tumour incidence if earlier papers were correct, and then gave charts for a few countries indicating the incidence has not increased. Vertical axes varied. This presentation has been critiqued by Steven Weller giving opposing information about brain tumour incidence. Dr Feychting named 4 child studies and reported that none had found an association with brain tumours. They included the CEFALO study which did show a dose-dependent increase in tumours, but as this also applied to contralateral exposure they discounted the findings (Aydin et al., 2011). She then stated there has been no increase in brain tumours in children.

There were several questions.

  • Q Do you have a theory why the Hardell studies are so different?
  • A. Lower use of mobile phones. Different way of asking the question..
  • Q (Dariusz L.) These show incorrect study design. Danish study resulted in data smoothed.
  • A. They were designed well according to epidemiology study design. She disagreed about the Danish study being bad.
  • Q (Geza B.) Any comment on Mobi-kids?
  • A. Haven’t seen the results. They used hospital controls which is a disadvantage and may not be representative of those in the community.
  • Q Have we now covered the latency period [for brain tumours]?
  • A. If mobile phone exposure initiates cancer it can take longer. Depends on the type of tumour.

Dr Zenon Sienkiewicz is a consultant expert to ICNIRP, consultant to AGNIR, and member of MTHER Management Committee and enthusiastic presenter. The title he was provided with “IARC 2B and RF laboratory studies” he rephrased as “2B or not 2B”. His first point was that, “the results came out as limited because that’s the criteria we had to use”. Lab studies could provide supporting evidence and a mechanism, which he called the elephant in the room. Some limitations were, for human studies, that you could only consider short term physiological effects, and for tissue/cells, that effects in isolation may not be relevant. He referred to some studies being very poor, for instance, “a phone in stand-by really doesn’t emit anything much” and that a mouse study exposing mice to a phone in stand-by was a waste of time as the phone is “a lump of inert plastic” – this isn’t actually true and I was told by Chris Zombolas of EMC Testing that exposure can be high and ongoing in stand-by in smart phones. The distance of the phone from the mice is more relevant.

Dr Sienkiewicz outlined the studies that were considered and why the specific conclusions were reached by the IARC panel. Long-term bioassays have to have a “weight-of-evidence pretty strong response”. Overall study-types considered, 5 studies gave the ‘limited evidence’ conclusion toward the IARC decision.

Dr Sienkiewicz also reported that mechanistic effects maybe oxidative stress or blood brain barrier [related] “but there was no clear unequivocal evidence to suggest RF may cause or enhance carcinogenesis.”

Dr Eric van Rongen who is an ICNIRP commissioner and on the WHO EMF Project Advisory Committee spoke on ICNIRP Philosophy on RF Protection and Guidelines. The current ICNIRP update is to discuss threshold, environment, precaution/prevention, and risk perception. Most of the presentation content had been covered previously.

There were several questions.

  • Q (C Bhatt) 1. Are there any plans to include chronic exposure in the Standard? 2. Has SAR based assessment been compared with absorbed dose as in ionising radiation? 3. Does the public limit consider pregnant women and children?
  • A. 1. Chronic exposure will be considered. 2. Absorbed dose will be discussed. 3. “Sensitive groups are supposed to be incorporated”
  • Q (?) The way ICNIRP uses the word ‘science’ is slippery, so is ‘precaution’.
  • A. “That’s true, but as long as you’re clear about what you’re doing it’s up to authorities to decide whether they take it up. You just need to be crystal clear about what you’re doing.”
  • Q (V Anderson) The 10g averaging definition was never contiguous and is therefore impractical [there was more that I didn’t have time to note down].
  • A. [I emailed Vitas for an explanation of the response. This is it: “When you assess a mass average of SAR, you need to define both the mass and the shape of the averaging mass. The IEEE standards and all international and national guidelines define the shape as a cube, which is sensible in terms of ease of calculation but also because it recognises that heat from a point diffuses radially. The ICNIRP guidelines however define the shape of the mass as any contiguous shape, which could be any shape such as a cube, oblong, pyramid, doughnut, long string, cat shape, etc. This is not practical or implementable as it entails an infinite range of possibilities and does not recognise the physical properties of diffusion, which is why everybody ignores this advice. Limits that are not implementable are also unenforceable, which helps nobody. I guess Eric was conceding that although ICNIRP are very good at identifying credible adverse effect effect mechanisms, they don’t take so much care in the technical details of how their limits are defined, which is a great pity. This is why I suggested that the technical formulation of reference level limits should be handed over to other engineering bodies like the IEEE and IEC who are much more competent to do this. ICNIRP should also consult these bodies about the practicality of their definition of basic restriction limits.” Dr van Rongen said this [part of the process] did not consider health but “technical issues to prevent practical problems not health effects.”

Professor James Lin spoke of Considerations for High Frequency Guidelines. He is an ICNIRP Main Commissioner and has been its Chairman. He opened with asking why we are still discussing this after 60 years, and possibly posed an answer in the next slide which stated, “Interest in human health protection has expanded.” The steps given for developing guidelines were: 1. Review the literature. 2. Apply 4 philosophical levels to basic restrictions from “no demonstrable effects” through to “clear effect”.

The 1998 Guidelines were based on acute exposures, specifically acute eye cataract induction 100 w/kg > 15 minutes. They then applied a reduction factor of 50 resulting in 2 W/kg in contiguous tissue. The precautionary principle contained in an EEA 2004 document was read out. Professor Lin then argued that it was applied within the reduction factor, giving significant protection from thermal factors.

Current issues included chronic low exposure and an appropriate metric quantity, including frequency band. He reported that computation has improved greatly and can now provide 1mm spatial resolutions. The guidelines are based on 10 g, but this doesn’t account for several tissue types encountered in this mass in the eye. He queried the appropriate tissue mass for SAR characterization and times for SAR temperature elevation:

Exposure duration 30 seconds: the larger the averaging mass, the worse the correlation.

Exposure duration 30 minutes, temperature doesn’t monotonically decrease with mass [as mass increases] but levels off at about 20g.

Exposure duration 60 minutes, the maximum temperature is reached at about 5-8 g (4-10 max.) then drops as mass increases to 50 g.

He concluded that time of exposure made no difference [I may have misunderstood this as it didn’t seem to agree with the above.]

Questions

  • Q (V Anderson) I had difficulty understanding the presented model, what was it?
  • A. Duke for far-field (a computer model from the Virtual Family developed by the IT’IS Foundation to measure interaction of RF with different body sizes. Duke represents a 34 year old man of 72.4 kg) and plane wave for near-field, thermal ADI-FD (Alternate direction implicit, finite difference for bioheat equation).
  • Q Is it published?
  • A. Presented at conference (unnamed)
  • Q. What’s the relevance of 30 seconds assessment as it provides no time for temperature to rise.
  • A. Good point. This is one timing specified in the current standard (the ICNIRP guidelines only mention 30 secs in the context of a cited paper, p.499. It’s not clear what Standard Dr Lin was referring to if not the Guidelines). At 30 seconds any heat transfer mechanism hasn’t been activated, temperature increases much faster in a smaller mass than larger, an average over 10 gm doesn’t capture what’s taken place – it ignores what’s happened at a lower mass.
  • Q (R Croft) Can we scale current values down to 1g:
  • A. I’m not saying we [should] rely on the original biodata (rabit eye) [because] within 10g there are at least 6 tissue types. We don’t need such a big reduction factor. We could consider a different (i.e. lesser) reduction factor [than 50x].
  • Q (??) That’s a good argument on heating but what of health effects?
  • A. Cataract is a good one.
  • Q. The standard is not based on the eye.
  • A. [It is for] acute local exposure. The biological basis of whole body absorption (WBA) is the fraction?? of work-schedule over 60 minutes.

Dr Vitas Anderson is an RF safety and assessment advisor to international government and industry bodies. He gave diatribe (cheerfully and in the nicest of ways) on 1g vs 10g Averaging Mass, and added “and other stuff which is more interesting” onto the given title. He opened by stating that averaging evens out the spread of temperature and illustrated how using Pennes bioheat equation on a computation model of a head removes all hot areas. He said to aim for better definition of temperature rise 1g had much less smoothing than 10g, but then added that there was better correlation between 10g and temp. rise at all frequencies.

He had had “the pleasure – and horror – of trying to implement ICNRIP guidelines.” They do well at identifying credible mechanisms, but badly at the following:

  1. Whole body absorption SAR which he referred to as “one of the great stupidities” and asked why we had picked up this endpoint, referring to it as “criminal behaviour” (with an illustration of Mickey Mouse on screen).
  2. Safety factors of 1/10 and 1/50 have very poor explanations and “are arbitrary and unscientific”. Factors need to be named. “The ICNIRP approach is untestable and unscientific, nevertheless the framework has been engraved on tablets of stone.”
  3. The need to change these into guidelines was based on a standing person, plane wave which was an unrealistic situation. It is almost impossible to get whole body absorption increase so “the standard is very pie-eyed”. Local and WBA have been conflated. WBA reference current is used for local absorption too [which is] “absolute garbage”. “Propagating this model now with so much more information available is unforgiveable and it fails all 3 of the aims.”

His advice was:

  1. To ‘keep it real’. Use a meaningful comparison eg Human heat load at different activities. He used a child playing basketball as an example, saying that the WBA is 9.9 W/kg for 50 minutes, and listed the adverse effects such as flushing of the face, exhaustion, thirst etc., then how many people had actually been seriously injured by RF exposure.
  2. Consider real exposure scenarios, not a spheroid man and plane wave, but a person working on an antenna eg Kuster and Balzano 1992, using H-field.
  3. Consider whether RF limits are the best way to ensure safety. He pointed out the firemen and builders have much higher heat exposures and that they use a common sense approach. He asked whether it’s possible to suffer RF injury without discomfort or pain. Finally asking “Can we manage excessive RF with common sense? Do we need limits or guidelines?”

He finished with expressing that real concern and protection should be placed with very high exposures such as those from diathermy and MRI where exposure can be 10000-25000 Watts and real risk is high, but current guidelines are not helpful even then.

In fact, I believe that medical applications are generally excluded from having to comply with the Standard.

  • Q (A de Gros, Canada) We need a 3D time image of what’s really happening.
  • A. –
  • Q (D Leszczynski) You’re forgetting non-thermal effects – either you’re right and all those studies are wrong or ….. The comparison with basketball [is not a good analogy] – heat increases gradually and the body produces hormones to deal with it, but a phone by the head is like putting butter in the over – the cells are unprepared compared to basketball.
  • A. I disagree
  • Q (J Lin) Steady state takes an hour
  • Q (S Weller) You’re being disingenuous. I’m EHS. My case is real. Perception has nothing to do with my health. It’s not psychological.
  • A. I disagree
  • Q (R Croft) Re SAR and Δtime: Do we have any evidence of harm?
  • A. We don’t need to find evidence of harm, we need to know whether harm eventuates.
  • Q (M Repacholi) Based on changes of behaviour in primates which we regarded as a health effect so that became the threshold. Safety factors for chemicals and most things was a factor of 10 so we used that too.
  • A. I understand, but we’re much more informed now. It’s not a valid approach any more. Q It’s absolutely reasonable. A. RF suits provide a 10 dB reduction in heat but the added heat load of wearing one is greater than that! Gloves would be better.

PANEL DISCUSSION

M Repacholi began by saying that to set a safety limit you need a dose-response curve but they didn’t have one.

  • Q (?? To Feychting) What about other cancer studies?
  • A. Funding and good long-term registries are needed. In Australia these [can be accessed through] the Dept. of Health and Welfare. Q What about prostate and breast cancer? A. You need some basis to assume RF would affect cancer
  • Q (Alexander le Gros) Suggestion to specify normal physiological range of biological effects [response to RF].
  • A (J Lin) may be helpful if there is a normal biological range. “You could be brain dead and have less EEG change than when you close your eyes” [or did he say more which is presumably what he meant?!]
  • Q (M Redmayne) Could point exposure (than 1g or 10g) be more relevant for DNA damage at the cellular level? May it be that all observed effects are the result of heat damage at a very localised point?
  • A. (Z Sienkiewicz) We’re unable to assess or model at that level ….. basically therefore it’s irrelevant.
  • A. (V Anderson) Under normal circumstances you won’t see a temperature rise in the short time the temperature is at its highest. This seems to suggest that a) the highest temperature may not last long enough to register and will therefore be reported as athermal, and b) it is important to know the time needed for cell damage that has been observed to occur.

Conversation ensued:

  • V Anderson: A lot of effort has been wasted on low level stuff [exposures]. It‘s worth listing effects at high exposure and what doctors should do about it.
  • Z Sienkiewicz: Treat the same way as for a burn
  • M Repacholi: Just treat the anxiety, [because] overexposure is still likely to be below thermal damage.
  • V Anderson: But what if it isn’t?
  • J Lin: MRI and diathermy – they may not know there’s been an overexposure and the patient may not mention discomfort. The patient and practitioner need to alert the operator if they [the patient] feel any pain.
  • Q (P Bandara) expressed concern about the claim of a lack of biological evidence of harm when many papers have reported it – she cited some.
  • A. (Z Sienkiewicz) We do look at the data and make our own judgement. Even if there is a change in ROS, it doesn’t mean there’s an effect down the line.
  • A. (M Repacholi) There’s a new area of ‘grey studies’ to be looked at. We can’t base decisions on poor quality studies.
  • Q (D Leszczynski) It looks like if 10 years’ use of mobile leads to cancer then the Standard isn’t useful.
  • A. (M Repacholi and M Feychting) No- it means the epidemiological studies can’t be trusted. The [current] ICNRIP literature review is based on the Bluebook 2009 [ICNIRP 2009 statement on RF?] and ??. (The first is itself a review and the second I didn’t catch the name of.) This will tell us what to do with updating.

M Repacholi closed the meeting, including: “ not affected economically… politically….”; “When studies are combined, it looks as though ICNIRP guidelines won’t be challenged (pause) very much”; “…heard from Vitas who had an alternative view. Always good to hear an alternative view. Mostly”

References

  • Aydin, D., Feychting, M., Schuz, J., Tynes, T., Andersen, T. V., Schmidt, L. S., . . . Roosli, M. (2011). Mobile phone use and brain tumors in children and adolescents: a multicenter case-control study (CEFALO). J Natl Cancer Inst, 103(16), 1264-1276.
  • Baan, R., Grosse, Y., Lauby-Secretan, B., El Ghissassi, F., Bouvard, V., Benbrahim-Tallaa, L., . . . Straif, K. (2011). Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The Lancet Oncology, 12(7), 624-626.

 

Report on the Science and Wireless 2014 event

“Living in a wireless world of mobile phones, base stations & WiFi: Health & electro-hypersensitivity (EHS)”, was hosted in Wollongong by the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR) on 11 November, 5.45pm -6.55pm. It was followed by refreshments and networking. The session was a public event to inform the medical community and EHS sufferers about EHS. It was attended by many of those who had attended the day’s ICNIRP meeting plus EHS people from as far away as Brisbane. There were also attendees from the medical fraternity.

I understand that this forum was originally intended as a form of Research Translation, there was no referenced research presented this year. Instead, there were three 10 minutes talks, written to flow as a single, light-weight presentation giving assurance that there was no evidence of RF exposure causing EHS or its symptoms.

All speakers were identified by non-ICNIRP affiliations in the programme.

Professor Rodney Croft began by showing slides from various websites belonging to groups such as the Environmental Health Trust which seek to raise awareness of ways to reduce one’s exposure to RF-EMFs. He used phrases such as “even breast cancer risk has been proposed” along with a screen grab from one of these sites showing a mobile phone tucked into a bra. He itemised the types of research that have been done, and areas of research. “What’s been reported is there are no health effects”; this was said with a slide listing reviews by WHO, AGNIR, SCENIHR, ICNIRP, and IARC. The BioInitiative Report was not there. Specific reports were not named or dated. One exception, he said, was “the IARC report which used confusing language but was, really, consistent with all the others.” He then handed over to Dr Eric van Rongen who defined EHS as “attribution of health symptoms to EMF”. The recent WHO survey considered “cross-sectional research where associations were found, but there were many confounders so it was impossible to make causal conclusions, and [they] were therefore not much use”. They also considered lab studies where conditions had been blinded; these had found only a nocebo effect. To conclude, “There is no relation between symptoms and exposure. What do we do?”. No specific studies were cited. He handed over to Dr Michael Repacholi who pointed out that different people had different symptoms and that there was no research establishing a link. EHS is not a medical diagnosis. He suggested looking for another cause [of experienced symptoms].

“If people have symptoms, it’s the symptoms that need to be treated. Governments should provide information to the public that there are no links ….”. This statement was longer but I didn’t catch it all.

Panel discussion (question and answer session) for the three speakers:

  • Q (Telco industry employee) Are there any studies on people in phone exchanges/ maintenance?
  • A. (van Rongen) No particular study.
  • Q. (Dr P Bandara – EHS, molecular pathobiologist) How can you say no evidence of health effect when case control studies have shown increased risk?
  • A. (R Croft) The trouble focussing on 1 or 2 results and treating that as a clear proven relationship is problematic.
  • A. (M Repacholi) It comes back to study quality – even negative studies are looked at in detail and may be dismissed.
  • Q (Steve Weller – EHS, IT professional and BSc Biochemistry and Microbiology) Do studies consider delayed effects and are tests conducted in shielded rooms, or are other EMFs considered? How many include objective tests?
  • A. (R Croft) No study is perfect and other things could be done. You have to choose a design most likely to answer your questions. [The steps you propose are] unlikely to change anything.
  • A. (E van Rongen) If you know what fields symptoms are attributed to you can account for that. Early studies haven’t done that. ELF and lighting has not been shielded or corrected for. Later studies [have] improved design.
  • Q (Psychiatrist, Royal Prince Alfred) Is there a connection to depression?
  • A. (??) Yes. More association with depression
  • Q (Maria Stefanik, concerned parent) 1. Who is financing most research?
  • A. (Croft asked to respond by Chair) In Australia, all I’m aware of at the moment is the NHMRC.
  • Q Is there any research with young people and brain cancers and do they use Telco records?
  • A. (M Repacholi) Telcos only keep records for a few years.
  • Q (M Redmayne) Dr Repacholi suggested considering whether flickering light can cause some of the EHS symptoms. I’m wondering whether this may be exactly what’s happening. Many modulations result in extremely low frequency pulses very close to that from strobe lights that can cause seizures in some people. Could the panel comment on whether they think perhaps there are cells that are picking up this pulse, and responding, leading to some EHS symptoms?
  • A (R Croft) “We’ve looked at whether the body can see flickers and it can’t. EEG responses aren’t sensorially mediated”
  • Q. (M Redmayne) I pointed out that some of his research showed increased alpha activity in the brain at frequencies very close to the ELF pulse within the exposures they had tested.
  • Q (Anne Read) I was involved in medicine 45 years ago. Back then we were told a certain amount of radiation was just fine, but that’s come down over the years til now the limit is zero.
  • A. –

The Chair took a straw poll on how many people present thought the Standard was sufficiently protective, and then on how many thought it was not. At a rough estimate, 20-25% put their hands up to the second question. I didn’t see behind me to estimate the first category but maybe a third of those in front put up their hand.

(M Repacholi) Base stations should be designed to give just enough coverage for their area.

  • Q. (?) What additional measures can be put in place to help EHS sufferers?
  • A (M Repacholi) Stop using a mobile phone – it’s the strongest exposure. People make a cost/benefit decision about whether to use mobile phones. Many people object to environmental exposures because of lack of choice. They need to see personal benefit outweigh personal detriment.
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4 thoughts on “ICNIRP and Science & Wireless in Wollongong: Guest Blog from Dr. Redmayne

  1. Pingback: ICNIRP: trådløsbransjens tobakksforskningsinstitutt | Jeg har noe på hjertet …

  2. Staggering that the discussion remains centred on average thermal effects when the actual effects are at the cellular, molecular, atomic, subatomic and quantum level. Discussion about average wattage per unit mass is simply bullshit.

  3. >>The outcome will certainly show that in most, if not all, cases the exposure is a very small percentage of the Standard.
    Particularly if they do not measure exposure close to the devices themselves. If they just measure ambient levels they’ll find lower levels than if they measure in the lap of a child holding an ipad.

  4. [I apologize, my punctuation/grammar here won’t be good!] About this: “She said the WHO Monograph will not include health benefits from RF exposure (although it is worth noting that as there are readily acknowledged health benefits from specific non-thermal exposures it is quite reasonable to assume there are also health detriments from other specific non-thermal exposures.)” In almost the same mindset as what Dr. Redmayne wrote near the beginning, “There is a recurring difficulty in the way certain words are used in these circles. It first arose during this talk when Dr Larson said ICNIRP ‘protect against all known effects of radiation’ while the slide said, ‘…all known health effects…’. This difference is important and the reason why becomes clearer further on.” wouldn’t it be more objective in the first comment that I excerpted without using the word “benefit” within the parentheses? Please understand that I’m not trying to put words into anyone’s mouth, merely trying to convey my thought, for example this different wording: “She said the WHO Monograph will not include health benefits from RF exposure (although it is worth noting that as there are readily acknowledged health effects where RF exposure is purposely applied in circumstances where there is an expectation that advantages will outweigh disadvantages from specific, controlled, medically-supervised, non-thermal exposures it is quite reasonable to assume there are also health detriments from other specific non-thermal exposures.)”

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