An Open Message to ICNIRP’s Eric van Rongen and Rodney Croft

Today, on October 6, 2020, I have send an Open Message to Eric van Rongen and Rodney Croft.

Eric van Rongen was the Chair of ICNIRP during preparation and publication of the 2020 update of the ICNIRP Guidelines for RF-EMF exposures. Currently, Eric van Rongen is the Vice-Chair of ICNIRP.

Rodney Croft was Chair of the Task Group that prepared the ICNIRP’s 2020 update of the Guidelines for RF-EMF exposures. Currently, Rodney Croft is the Chair of the ICNIRP.

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Dear Eric and Rodney,

In the spring 2020, ICNIRP has published a revision of the 1998 safety guidelines for the exposures to RF-EMF.

The message coming out of this revision of the guidelines is loud and clear. In ICNIRP’s opinion, the 2020 ICNIRP Guidelines provide health safety for any user exposed to RF-EMF, no matter of age status, no matter of health status, no matter whether exposures will be acute or chronic, that will last a lifetime:

“…guidelines for limiting exposure to EMFs that will provide a high level of protection for all people against substantiated adverse health effects from exposures to both short- and long-term, continuous and discontinuous radiofrequency EMFs.”

I am, as many users of the wireless technology, curious what is the explanation for the following assurances:

1. ICNIRP assures that every user is completely protected but, at the same time, there is no sufficient research on age-dependency and health-status-dependency of exposures to RF-EMF. How ICNIRP can assure that the reduction factors built into guidelines are correct when there is no such experimental research and the safety provided by the guidelines is solely an assumption. How the user, who begins use of cellphone at young age of 5-6 years and will be using it for the next 80+ years, with years of varying health status caused by diseases and by aging, can be assured of complete safety when research is missing and assurances come from just assumptions.

2. There is group of four epidemiological studies demonstrating that avid use of cell phone over a long period of time increases risk of developing glioma. The terms of “avid” use and “long period” that meant in these studies use of cellphone for 30 minutes daily, every day over period of 10 years have become already obsolete as regular users tend to use cell phone for longer periods daily and for longer periods over the lifetime. The assurances, claimed by some of these studies that the so-called regular user’s health will not suffer have never been valid because the “regular user” was qualified as person making one phone call per week over the period of 6 months. ICNIRP, in the 2020 Guidelines has disqualified the results of these four epidemiological studies because the Danish Cohort study and the lack of clear increase in overall brain cancer cases over the last 20-30 years. However, ICNIRP was aware that the Danish Cohort has serious quality problems of the design. Also, if the brain cancer cases appear only in small subset of more sensitive population, the increase in brain cancer cases will likely be missed in global brain cancer trends. Furthermore, recent study examining location of brain cancer on the side of brain that is the same side where users keep cell phones, has shown a clear correlation. The question is, why ICNIRP arbitrarily disqualified the results of the four epidemiological case-control studies, supported by the brain cancer localization study, that have shown an increase in risk of brain cancer in avid and long term users?

3. Why ICNIRP, as came out in my extensive discussion with Rodney Croft, opposes research on sensitivity to EMF that would employ physiology and biochemistry methods. It is very likely, if not certain, that there exists a sub-population of users who are more sensitive to EMF exposures than the rest of the population. This might mean that these sensitive persons may respond to radiation levels that are considered as safe for the rest of the population as claimed by ICNIRP Guidelines. This sub-population is not possible to detect by the to-date used provocation studies employing psychology methods. It is clear that the to-date performed psychology provocation studies have one major error – scientists do not know whether participating volunteers have correct self-diagnosis of sensitivity to EMF exposures. Therefore, any claims suggesting that supposedly sensitive, self-diagnosed, volunteers are unable to correctly identify exposures, hence sensitivity does not exist, are false. This inadequate research approach should be replaced by studies combining some aspects of the psychology provocation approach with extensive sampling for physiological and biochemical tests. Why ICNIRP is opposing such studies by claiming that because psychological provocation studies, known to be highly inadequate, do not indicate that sensitivity to EMF exists, thus there is no need to continue research with testing physiology and biochemical markers?

4. There are questions concerning scientific evidence that ICNIRP used to justify safety guidelines for the currently deployed 5G technology. Several review articles (Wu et al. IEEE Microwave Mag 2015, 16:65–84; Simko & Mattsson, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3406; Leszczynski, Rev Environ Health 2020, AOP, doi: 10.1515/reveh-2020-0056), prepared either at the request of telecom industry or by independent scientists, have determined that only very limited research has been done on the biological and health effects that is insufficient to determine human health safety of the mm-waves. At the same time, Rodney Croft in his interview with news media “The Feed” in Australia has stated on June 16, 2020 the following:

There is no harm associated with 5G

Look it’s very true that the amount of studies that specifically look at 5G are very limited, but from a science perspective that just isn’t relevant.

Please, kindly explain this extremely puzzling statement and please, let me know, what scientific studies were used by ICNIRP in preparation of the Guidelines that assure human health safety while the sufficient scientific research has not been performed.

I hope for a swift answer, explaining why ICNIRP arbitrarily ignores scientific evidence, and I thank you for your time,

Dariusz Leszczynski

11 thoughts on “An Open Message to ICNIRP’s Eric van Rongen and Rodney Croft

  1. Dear Dariusz,
    a few years ago during SCENIHR’s annual meeting, then in Athens, Greece I asked the chairman why are they excluding a large number of publications (including mine) from evaluation in order to finalize their opinion on bio effectiveness. The response was, «due to inadequate dosimetry”, nothing more. I assume that ICNIRP is taking the same approach so my question which goes along your question # 3 to Eric van Rongen and Rodney Croft is the following; “who on earth authorized them to make such judgement and drop out peer reviewed publications”? At least they (ICNIRP) should make a statement explaining in detail which and why certain exposure conditions are not scientifically correct and also “which and why specific papers have been excluded”. The issue of effects vs. no effects is very serious globally and the statements that “There is no harm associated with 5G”and “ it’s very true that the amount of studies that specifically look at 5G are very limited, but from a science perspective that just isn’t relevant”, are at least childish.
    .
    Best regards

    Lukas

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  5. Hello Darius,

    Since my wife suffered significantly from EHS, for 12 years, I am absolutely enraged reading about ICNIRP’s complete lack of vigilance, as far as heath and safety of the public is concerned. Clearly industry rules, where science is swept under the corporate carpet.

    In case you have not seen this, I am forwarding this ICNIRP exposé, from June 2020.
    This report was commissioned, coordinated and published by two members of the European
    Parliament – Michèle Rivasi (Europe Écologie) and Klaus Buchner (Ökologisch-Demokratische
    Partei), and financed by the Greens/EfA group in the European Parliament.

    Click to access ICNIRP-report-FINAL-19-JUNE-2020.pdf

    I knew that politics is a dirty game, but did not realize it also includes science, where corporate “war gaming” , overrules everything.

    Marcus Schluschen
    Canada

  6. The corruption of the scientific process by ICNIRP was noted back in 2000 by Dr Neil Cherry who wrote a paper on this. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/35464854.pdf
    Roll forward 20 years and nothing has really changed.
    Important questions I think ICNIRP should be asked are as follows:
    1. When will ICNIRP have an open membership policy like other radiation protection authorities i.e. like the ICRP? Having a membership process that is hidden in secrecy and not transparent, is at best described as cronyism. Reform is needed if ICNIRP wishes to be seen as a trusted international advisory organisation.
    2. Why ICNIRP excludes from its membership representatives from Countries that have more restrictive and therefore more protective scientific based RF Standards?
    3. Why ICNIRP excludes from its membership well qualified scientists who hold a different viewpoint to ICNIRP’s philosophy that only thermal effects are harmful?
    4. When is ICNIRP going to incorporate a proper risk management approach that considers potential risks and uses tried and recognized epidemiological techniques (such as Bradford Hill criteria for causation) to evaluate harm rather than the current method which appears to ignore evidence that is not in alignment with its thinking?
    5. When is ICNIRP going to include and involve more members with medical backgrounds , again like ICRP? Today, ICNIRP appears to be dominated by those with physical science qualifications and is very light on in the biomedical sciences.
    6. Why ICNIRP chose a psychologist who has no practical experience in radiation protection as the chairman?
    7. Why ICNIRP did not address many of the concerns raised as part of the public consultation process on the draft guidelines? Many of the almost 100 respondents raised issues around non thermal effects that were completely ignored. In my mind the consultation process was just a flag waving exercise and a complete waste of time. ICNIRP had no intention of addressing these issues as demonstrated by the final version.
    8. When is ICNIRP going to consider the environment in its guidelines? At present the guidelines are only applicable to protecting humans from known harmful thermal effects from acute exposures. What about insects, plants, birds and other animals?
    All in all a sad state of affairs that only benefits industry and government, not the environment or public health.

  7. Thanks Wilhelm. I will wait for few days and see what happens. Eric usually responds to my inquiries. Rodney not so much. Of course if I get responses then I will publish them. If I don’t get responses then I will think what to do next.
    I am certain that ICNIRP knows that many people wonder how they evaluate and how they dismiss scientific research.
    Best wishes, Dariusz

  8. Hi Darius

    thank you for the effort you take. I agree that ICNIRP has left what scientists call “evidence based” Is it in your interest if many people ask Eric van  Rongen to receive the answer in CC, and in this way show that you are not the only one in the world with interest in the answers.

    Do you have a better suggestion how to support your ICNIRP initative ?

    Wilhelm Mosgoeller (Austria)

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