Critic of ICNIRP (International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection)
& WHO International EMF Project

Neil Cherry (2000): Criticism of the health assessment in the ICNIRP guidelines for radiofrequency and microwave radiation (100 kHz - 300 GHz)

"The ICNIRP Game:

ICNIRP is playing its own game and setting its own rules. It is the game that is played by national authorities which, as a team, they feel very comfortable with it. The name of the team is "The Consensus of Science". However, it involves quite a small and very select team that includes national experts who come from national authorities who subscribe to the rules of the ICNIRP game.

In the ICNIRP game the first rule is that there is only a tissue heating effect from RF/MW exposure. You must agree with this rule to play the ICNIRP game. As a consequence of this rule, in the ICNIRP game, all other biological effects are not real and any epidemiological study that shows an effect with non-thermal exposure, must be faulty and will be rejected. In other words, if you break this rule you are out of the game. In this game it is fine to change the rules about acceptable significant, what is evidence, and criteria for how a biological effect is established. In this game a study does not provide evidence until it has been exactly replicated."

Dariusz Leszczynski (2012) "In experts we trust" or ... should we?

"In my opinion, the claims of scientific consensus are false. They are propagated by some expert committees which ignore the fact that some other expert committees disagree entirely. What is worse, experts with the same opinion on the subject usually end up in the same evaluating body. This is the 'kiss of death' to any fair scientific debate.

... Currently, the most prominent and influential evaluation group is the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection - ICNIRP. The influential position of this group stems from the fact that the first chairman of ICNIRP was appointed the head of the WHO EMF Project, and since then the WHO begun to use scientific evaluations and recommendations made by ICNIRP. This, in turn, brought to this evaluation group international recognition, prestige and influence - the WHO recommended what ICNIRP recommended.

What is ICNIRP? It is safe to say that it is a selfperpetuating private club where current members of the Main Commission select new members to the Main Commission."

Council of Europe - Parliamentary Assembly. Doc. 12608 - The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment (2011)

"... It is most curious, to say the least, that the applicable official threshold values for limiting the health impact of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and high frequency waves were drawn up and proposed to international political institutions (WHO, European Commission, governments) by the ICNIRP, an NGO whose origin and structure are none too clear
and which is furthermore suspected of having rather close links with the industries whose expansion is shaped by recommendations for maximum threshold values for the different frequencies of electromagnetic fields."

Livio Giuliani (2010): Why investigate the non thermal mechanisms and effects of electromagnetic fields on living systems? An introduction. ICEMS Monograph.

"Protection against Non Ionizing Radiation is based on a paradigmatic assumption: "We know very well the interaction between electromagnetic fields and living organisms: it is a thermal interaction; thus the standards internationally accepted are adequate to protect people and workers".

This is a fairy tale. Since the 1970s the non thermal effects of electromagnetic fields on living organisms have been well known and also the non thermal mechanisms have been investigated. Nevertheless, until today, we have been condemned to listen to representatives from international institutions repeating the old refrain above." ... The point is, protection against non ionizing radiation, based on parameters adopted by international standards organizations, seems not to be adequate, despite the statement of Dr Van Deventer, nor able to protect people and workers.

European Parliament (2008): Mid-term review of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010

"Notes that the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete, since they have not been adjusted in the wake of Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0Hz to 30 GHz)(9) , obviously take no account of developments in information and communication technologies, of the recommendations issued by the European Environment Agency or of the stricter emission standards adopted, for example, by Belgium, Italy and Austria, and do not address the issue of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children" (item 22)

EMF Scientist International Appeal (2015): 200 researchers contact Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Scientists call for Protection from Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Field Exposure

"ICNIRP continues to the present day to make these assertions, in spite of growing scientific evidence to the contrary. It is our opinion that, because the ICNIRP guidelines do not cover long-term exposure and low-intensity effects, they are insufficient to protect public health."

Microwave News (2005): WHO and Electric Utilities: A Partnership on EMFs

"As members of the WHO Task Group make their way to Geneva for next weeks meeting to complete its Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) document on power-frequency EMFs, new information has emerged showing that the electric utility industry has played a major role at every stage of developing the review document."

David Mercer (2015) The WHO EMF Project: Legitimating the Imaginary of Global Harmonization of EMF Safety Standards

"Three important strategies used by the WHO EMF Project have involved: appeals to technological determinism, developing bespoken models for sound science, and setting the boundaries between science and policy to attempt to exclude their their opponents from the policy making arena."

AVAATE (2015): Report on conflict of interest existing at the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP).

"The fact that the members of the organization engage in various conflicts of interest, being related to companies interested in the development of telecommunications and new technologies, undermines the impartiality that should govern the regulation of limits on non-ionizing radiation people.
It is incomprehensible that an international organization such as WHO, which has numerous and qualified public resources to establish adequately these limits, has delegated to a private organization issues affecting public health of all humanity."

Igor Belyaev (2008): Problems in assessment of risks from exposures to microwaves of mobile communication

Critique of ICNIRP-guidance levels - no consideration of:

  • wavelength/frequency
  • near field/far field
  • overall duration of exposure (continuous, interrupted), acute and chronic exposures
  • polarization (linear, circular)
  • continues wave (CW) and pulsed fields(pulse repetition rate, pulse width or duty cycle, pulse shape, pulse to average power, etc.)
  • modulation (amplitude, frequency, phase, complex)
  • static magnetic field at the place of exposure
  • electromagnetic stray field

Comment: This presentation explains the technical limitation of ICNIRP guidelines. The diashow requires the IE browser.

Khurana, V. G., Hardell, L., Everaert, J., Bortkiewicz, A., Carlberg, M. & Ahonen, M. (2010). Epidemiological Evidence for a Health Risk from Mobile Phone Base Stations. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (IJOEH), Vol. 16, No. 3, 263-267.

"We found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances less than 500 meters from base stations.

None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations."

Michael Kundi and Hans-Peter Hutter (2009). Mobile phone base stations -Effects on wellbeing and health. Pathophysiology. Pathophysiology (2010) Special issue of electromagnetic fields. Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):71-8

"Studying effects of mobile phone base station signals on health have been discouraged by authoritative bodies like WHO International EMF Project and COST 281.

From available evidence it is impossible to delineate a threshold below which no effect occurs, however, given the fact that studies reporting low exposure were invariably negative it is suggested that power densities around 0.5-1 mW/m² must be exceeded in order to observe an effect. The meager data base must be extended in the coming years.

The difficulties of investigating long-term effects of base station exposure have been exaggerated, considering that base station and handset exposure have almost nothing in common both needs to be studied independently. It cannot be accepted that studying base stations is postponed until there is firm evidence for mobile phones."

Yuri Grigoriev, RNCNIRP (2010) Electromagnetic fields and the public: EMF standards and estimation of risk

"Numerous peer-reviewed studies covering non-thermal biological effects have been made by scientists in Russia (previously the USSR). Analysis of 28 biological experiments conducted in vitro, in situ, and in vivo by the present author from 1975 onwards in the former Soviet Union, and later in Russia, using modulated RF-EMF allows the following basic conclusions to be made:

- exposure of biological systems to EMF with higher or lower composite regimens of modulation can lead to the possible development of both physiological and unfavourable biological effects, that are distinct from the biological effects induced by non-modulated EMF;

- acute exposure to low intensities of modulated EMF (at non-thermal levels) can result in development of pathological effects;

- there is a dependence of development of a reciprocal biological response on the intensity and directness of the concrete regimen of EMF modulation; this dependence was fixed at all levels of biological systems - in vitro, in situ, and in vivo;

- as a rule, modulated EMF invokes more recognisable biological effects than continuous EMF regimes.

Roger Coghill (2007) A talk about microwave radiation in Royal Society, London

"This means that ICNIRP is considering only immediate thermal effects, not interference effects. (Interference effects are such as those affecting avionic instruments when cellphones are used inflight. The signals do not heat the plane!). In this conclusion they therefore ignore all 400 plus studies of non-thermal effects reported in the peer reviewed literature."

Gerald Hyland (2002) Response to COST281's 'Scientific Comment on Individuals Statements of Concern About Health Hazards of Weak EMF'

"The COST paper is an ill-considered, deliberate attempt to misrepresent and distort the sense of my text by means of many untruths and inaccuracies - ... - The whole tenor of their response betrays the hallmark of a panic, rear-guard action to attempt to maintain the (industry-beneficial) status quo.

Their tactic is to frame their criticisms in such a way that in many cases they appear eminently reasonable to anyone who has not read my original STOA Report; ...

In arguing why, in their view, certain electronic instruments are more sensitive to electromagnetic radiation than are humans, and so should be better protected, they conveniently choose to ignore the fact (given in my Report) that the human EEG is sensitive to microwave radiation at an intensity as low as 10-15W/cm2, a value well below sensitivities currently realisable technologically!"

EU STOA Paper:

Comment: Please, take a look at the COST 281 document by (mostly) ICNIRP members.

Don Maisch (2006): Conflict of Interest & Bias in Health Advisory Committees: A case study of the WHO’s Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Task Group

"Although the above sample of WHO recommendations were in response to Big Tobacco’s attempts to undermine WHO integrity, its direct relevance to other large industrial interests cannot be ignored, be it the power industry or telecommunications. Unfortunately it seems that in this case at least, WHO has forgotten the hard lessons learnt with its previous experiences with Big Tobacco.

In the case of WHO’s Task Group writing the new Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) for power frequency EMFs, a violation of the above recommendations urgently calls for an independent evaluation to protect both public health and WHO’s integrity."

Andrew Marino (2006): SOBs at WHO

"In 1996 the World Health Organization began what it said was a program "to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz" (EMF Project).

However, the project was corrupted from the start because it was controlled by the power- and cell-phone industries in the industrialized countries. ...

The person placed in charge of the program by the industries was Michael Repacholi, who had been known for more than 16 years to be a paid consultant and spokesman for the companies responsible for producing EMF pollution. It was not realistic to expect that he would conduct an open and honest inquiry, and his performance in office has been even more miserable than could have been anticipated based on what was known about his personal views at the time he was appointed."

Nilsson, M. (2011). Leading expert Anders Ahlbom linked to the Telecom Industry. Conflict of interest at the WHO

Professor Ahlbom, who is supposed to chair the expert group on epidemiology at the upcoming IARC evaluation of the carcinogenicity of mobile phone radiation, is the cofounder of "Gunnar Ahlbom AB" a Brussels-based lobby firm aiming to assist the telecom industry on EU regulations, public affairs and corporate communications. Anders Ahlbom's link to the Telecom Industry through his brother and their common company is a straight-forward explanation of his systematic denial of health risks....

... In 1998 he [Gunnar Ahlbom] was the Swedish mobile phone leading operator Telias "country manager" and 1999 he was interviewed in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet as a lobbyist for Telia in Brussels.In 2006 he was contracted by COCIR, a Brussels-based lobby organisation for the medical equipment industry, the telecommunication industry and so on. His brother Anders Ahlbom, was at the same time, 2006/2007 as a chair for the SCENIHR, and 2009 as a SCENIHR expert, evaluating health risks with telecommunications as well as medical equipment (MRI-equipment).

Kumar, G. (2010). The ICNIRP on tour in India, because India is not adapting ICNIRP guidance level.
- Report on Workshop on "Testing and Compliance for EMF in the Mobile Industry"

"I mentioned about safe guidelines adopted in various countries and several health hazards occurring at levels as low as 1000 microwatts/m² = 0.001 W/m² for continuous exposure. I also mentioned that ICNIRP guidelines are meant for short term exposure(averaged over 6 minutes) and not meant for long term exposure." ... There were more than 150 people in the audience and most of them were from telecom industry and there were probably only 5 people representing general public. Theme of the International Health Conference was "Ensuring Public Health and Safety in the Mobile Industry", so where was the public?

Maisch, D. (2010). The Procrustean Approach.
Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation, An examination of the manipulation of telecommunications standards by political, military, and industrial vested interests at the expense of public health protection.
PhD Thesis, University of Wollongong, Australia, 302 pages.

Raynold Kasevich (2006): Raymond Kasevich: Cellphones, Radars, and Health. IEEE Spectrum, August 2002

"These standards, formulated in the late 1980s by the American National Standards Institute, the IEEE, and others, are based on the assumption that if nonionizing radiation affects living cells and tissue, it must do so by heating the tissue.

Nevertheless, there is growing scientific evidence that prolonged exposure to some kinds of radio waves does cause at least low-level changes in the movements, workings, and possibly structure of molecules and cells in living tissue. This evidence raises the possibility of health effects—ones against which our current exposure standards are not adequately protecting us.

The telecommunications industry, which is in deep denial, needs to face reality. Professional groups, such as the IEEE’s Standards Association, must work with the U.S. government and international agencies to ensure that studies of long-term, low-level, nonthermal bioeffects are put in place."

Pathophysiology (2010) Special issue of electromagnetic fields. Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):71-8

Comment: Describes various biological effects and DNA response. Explains why the ICNIRP guideline is inaccurate. We recommend especially the Blank & Goodman (2009) and Blackman (2009) articles.

CBC Marketplace (2003). Controversy at IARC

"For Lorenzo Tomatis [ex IARC WHO director], the downgrading of DEHP was a clear sign IARC had let industry get too close to the science. He and 30 other scientists from around the world decided to go public with their fears saying that allowing industry representatives to take part in IARC's decisions about what is cancerous "compromises public health" and that scientific papers showing a possible link to cancer had been "ignored or intentionally suppressed." ... He [IARC director Peter Kleihues] told me I was persona non grata and had me escorted out by two witnesses from the building saying I was not allowed to come back...I think even Saddam Hussein could go back into IARC but not me. I found it totally absurd because it was a disagreement on the interpretation of scientific data."

Foster, S. (2014). WHO Knew - The Elephant in the Room. WHO press conference, Rapid growth of cancers, the Royal Society, London. EM Radiation Research Trust.

"An uncomfortable shift could be felt in the room. The Advisor asked one final question: "Would Drs. Wild and Stewart have a problem with people of all ages being exposed to RF radiation 24/7?" Dr. Stewart voiced his opinion in a professorial fashion, "I would have no problem at all"."

Morton, W. E. (1988). The nature and significance of the corporate influence on threshold limit values. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 14(6), 721-723.


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