Emerging possibility for a meticulous, impartial review of the EMF science at the WHO

Over the recent years, there were numerous complaints about the reliance of the WHO EMF Project solely on the opinions of the ICNIRP. In fact, the WHO EMF Project could be considered as “front” for the opinions of ICNIRP.

It seems the World Health Organization has taken a notice of the complaints and took some action.

WHO EMF Project is preparing a very important document – the Environmental Health Criteria for the RF-EMF (EHC RF-EMF). This document will evaluate all scientific evidence concerning biological and health effects of RF-EMF emitted by all types of the wireless communication devices, including cell phones, cell towers and wi-fi routers…

The conclusions of the EHC RF-EMF will determine what will be the radiation safety limits that the telecom industry will need to abide by. This document will be of paramount importance for the future of the wireless communications, including the forthcoming 5th Generation Technology – the 5G.

With the considerable effort and with the considerable delay, the WHO EMF Project has prepared draft review of the scientific evidence of biological and health effects of the RF-EMF. This draft review was to be the basis for the discussions of the Working Group that would prepare EHC RF-EMF.

The draft review was prepared by a group of scientists, in large part from ICNIRP, led by the Chairman of ICNIRP – Eric van Rongen. The draft review clearly represented the views and opinions of ICNIRP.

Part of the draft review was presented for the public consultation and any scientist involved in RF-EMF research was free to send comments. These comments were then considered by the scientists who wrote the draft review and, at their discretion, incorporated or not incorporated into the final draft review. The information on what comments were accepted and what comments were rejected is confidential and unavailable.

The next step was the selection of the Working Group, that was to prepare the EHC RF-EMF using the final draft review… and then something apparently happened and the WHO stepped in and completely changed the plans of the WHO EMF Project and of the ICNIRP.

The WHO requested that the WHO EMF Project will prepare systematic reviews of all kinds of scientific evidence. The systematic review process was to be not dominated by the ICNIRP.

The systematic review is defined as follows:

Systematic reviews are types of literature reviews that collect and critically analyze multiple research studies or papers, using methods that are selected before one or more research questions are formulated, and then finding and analyzing studies that relate to and answer those questions in a structured methodology.

The differences between the systematic review and the literature review are listed in the table.

The problem with the systematic reviews was, for the WHO EMF Project, that getting experts to do the work required substantial funding and the WHO EMF Project, as I was informed last year in Hangzhou by Emilie van Deventer, had no such money.

How the issue of funds for the systematic reviews was finally resolved I do not know because Emilie van Deventer did not answer to my inquiries. However, one is known, the process of compilation of names of the scientists willing to participate in making the systematic reviews has begun.

For example, the WHO EMF Project send e-mails to all members of the WHO EMF Project International Advisory Committee asking for lists of suitable experts in their respective countries. The same was asked of the Bioelectromagnetics Society and, likely, other scientific organizations and associations.

The next step will be selection of experts suitable of performing the systematic reviews in areas of:

  • epidemiological studies,
  • human volunteers studies,
  • animal studies,
  • cellular studies,
  • dosimetry and exposure assessment,
  • public health.

What is still puzzling is why there is no group of experts, medical doctors, that would evaluate medical evidence.

As I wrote, there is an emerging possibility for a meticulous, impartial review of the EMF science at the WHO. It all will depend on how the experts will be selected. What criteria will be used. Who will be the persons deciding on the selection.

Let us hope, this emerging possibility will not be wasted and what is being done now at the WHO and at the WHO EMF Project is not only a smoke screen…


3 thoughts on “Emerging possibility for a meticulous, impartial review of the EMF science at the WHO

  1. I have little or no hope of the WHO doing the right thing. Fool me once, shame on you–fool me twice, shame on me. These people have an agenda–and that is to appease the wireless industry. Don’t be fooled. Their task isn’t to objectively review the issue–but to find acceptable ways to skirt the issue. It is a joke–like every protective agency around the globe. Like every professional organization. When time comes to putting profits up against health damage or environmental damage–profits wins hands down every time.

    We clearly are living in times of great evilness and greed. People’s health and welfare mean absolutely nothing to the powers that be. Absolutely ZERO…unless there is a profit to be made off of caring. I would be pleasantly surprised if the WHO does the right thing–but I am not holding my breath. Tired of holding out hope only to be majorly let down. Still believe that only a militant stance will create change in this area as the facts and a heap of sick people has done nothing so far.

  2. Re: Hardell comment. Two points are worth making here:
    1) The case-control studies relied upon for evidence of increased risk all employed a proxy of actual exposure which is completely inadequate and unreliable; leaving us with no understanding of the dose that subjects received. Poor dosimetry renders these studies uninformative. “The poison is in the dose”
    2) The oft repeated concerns of ICNIRP having a serious conflict of interest with respect to WHO ignores the fact that the two organizations are united in their objectives through an official collaboration agreement. Ergo, there is no conflict of interest. They have the same interest! Furthermore, ICNIRP membership is limited to independent experts. No industry representatives are involved in their joint pursuit.

  3. Some insight into what is going on at WHO can be find in this peer-reviewed article
    World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health – a hard nut to crack (Review)
    Abstract. In May 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluated cancer risks from radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Human epidemiological studies gave evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma. RF radiation was classified as Group 2B, a possible human carcinogen. Further epidemiological, animal and mechanistic studies have strengthened the association. In spite of this, in most countries little or nothing has been done to reduce exposure and educate people on health hazards from RF radiation. On the contrary ambient levels have increased. In 2014 the WHO launched a draft of a Monograph on RF
    fields and health for public comments. It turned out that five of the six members of the Core Group in charge of the draft are affiliated with International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an industry loyal NGO, and thus have a serious conflict of interest. Just as by ICNIRP, evaluation of non-thermal biological effects from RF radiation are dismissed as scientific evidence of adverse health effects in the Monograph. This has provoked many comments sent to the WHO. However, at a meeting on March 3, 2017 at the WHO Geneva office it was stated that the WHO has no intention to change the Core Group.

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