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International Appeal: Scientists call for protection from non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposure

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Abstract

We are scientists engaged in the study of biological and health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF). Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices. These include–but are not limited to–radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitting devices, such as cellular and cordless phones and their base stations, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors as well as electric devices and infra-structures used in the delivery of electricity that generate extremely-low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF).
International Appeal: Scientists call for protection from
non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposure
To: His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations;
Honorable Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Honorable Achim
Steiner, Executive Director of the U.N. Environmental Programme; U.N. Member Nations
Summary. We are scientists engaged in the study of biological and health effects of non-ionizing electro-
magnetic fields (EMF). Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding
the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices. ese include–but
are not limited to–radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitting devices, such as cellular and cordless phones and
their base stations, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors as well as electric devices
and infra-structures used in the delivery of electricity that generate extremely-low frequency electromagnetic
field (ELF EMF).
EUR. J. ONCOL.; Vol. 20, n. 3/4, pp. 180-182, 2015 © Mattioli 1885
Specific topics
Scientific basis for our common concerns
Numerous recent scientific publications have
shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels
well below most international and national guidelines.
Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress,
increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages,
structural and functional changes of the reproductive
system, learning and memory deficits, neurological
disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being
An introduction to the International EMF Scientist Appeal
e current issue of the European Journal of Oncology contains a document the “International
EMF Scientist Appeal” (EMFscientist.org) that addresses the concerns of 215 scientists from 40 nations
about the adverse health effects on the human population exposed to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields
(EMF) from extremely-low frequency to radiofrequency. e Appeal has been submitted to the United
Nations, to two of its sub-agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations
Environmental Programme (UNEP), and to all UN Member Nations.
We note that the overall weight of evidence reported in peer-reviewed, scientific studies strongly
supports greater precautionary measures be taken to reduce or eliminate EMF exposure.
Coordinating and Advisory Committee for the “International EMF Scientist Appeal” (Martin
Blank, Magda Havas, Elizabeth Kelley, Henry Lai, and Joel Moskowitz). We can be reached through
Elizabeth Kelley at info@EMFscientist.org.
10-internationa appeal 180 16/12/15 13:56
International appeal 181
in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race,
as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both
plant and animal life.
ese findings justify our appeal to the United
Nations (UN) and, all member States in the world, to
encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to
exert strong leadership in fostering the development
of more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging pre-
cautionary measures, and educating the public about
health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal de-
velopment. By not taking action, the WHO is failing
to fulfill its role as the preeminent international public
health agency.
Inadequate non-ionizing EMF international
guidelines
e various agencies setting safety standards have
failed to impose sufficient guidelines to protect the
general public, particularly children who are more vul-
nerable to the effects of EMF.
e International Commission on Non-Ion-
izing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) established
in 1998 the “Guidelines For Limiting Exposure To
Time-Varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electromag-
netic Fields (up to 300 GHz)” (1). ese guidelines
are accepted by the WHO and numerous countries
around the world. e WHO is calling for all na-
tions to adopt the ICNIRP guidelines to encourage
international harmonization of standards. In 2009,
the ICNIRP released a statement saying that it was
reaffirming its 1998 guidelines, as in their opinion,
the scientific literature published since that time
“has provided no evidence of any adverse effects be-
low the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an
immediate revision of its guidance on limiting ex-
posure to high frequency electromagnetic fields (2).
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 IC-
NIRP guidelines do not cover long-term exposure
and low-intensity effects, they are insufficient to
protect public health.
e WHO adopted the International Agency for
Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of extreme-
ly low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF)
in 2002 (3) and radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in
2011 (4). is classification states that EMF is a pos-
sible human carcinogen (Group 2B). Despite both IARC
findings, the WHO continues to maintain that there
is insufficient evidence to justify lowering these quan-
titative exposure limits.
Since there is controversy about a rationale for
setting standards to avoid adverse health effects, we
recommend that the United Nations Environmental
Programme (UNEP) convene and fund an indepen-
dent multidisciplinary committee to explore the pros
and cons of alternatives to current practices that could
substantially lower human exposures to RF and ELF
fields. e deliberations of this group should be con-
ducted in a transparent and impartial way. Although
it is essential that industry be involved and cooperate
in this process, industry should not be allowed to bias
its processes or conclusions. is group should provide
their analysis to the UN and the WHO to guide pre-
cautionary action.
Collectively we also request that:
1. children and pregnant women be protected;
2. guidelines and regulatory standards be strength-
ened;
3. manufacturers be encouraged to develop safer
technology;
4. utilities responsible for the generation, trans-
mission, distribution, and monitoring of elec-
tricity maintain adequate power quality and
ensure proper electrical wiring to minimize
harmful ground current;
5. the public be fully informed about the potential
health risks from electromagnetic energy and
taught harm reduction strategies;
6. medical professionals be educated about the
biological effects of electromagnetic energy and
be provided training on treatment of patients
with electromagnetic sensitivity;
7. governments fund training and research on
electromagnetic fields and health that is inde-
pendent of industry and mandate industry co-
operation with researchers;
10-internationa appeal 181 16/12/15 13:56
International appeal
182
8. media disclose experts’ financial relationships
with industry when citing their opinions re-
garding health and safety aspects of EMF-
emitting technologies; and
9. white-zones (radiation-free areas) be estab-
lished.
e list of signatories and their affiliations is
available at EMFscientist.org
References
1. http://www.icnirp.org/cms/upload/publications/ICNIR-
Pemfgdl.pdf
2. http://www.icnirp.org/cms/upload/publications/ICNIRP-
StatementEMF.pdf
3. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol80
4. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol102/
10-internationa appeal 182 16/12/15 13:56
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