Wouldn’t you think that if the Government wanted to “make the U.K. a world-leader in 5G” that its ministers would know some basics about how the regulatory organisation they follow, the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), arrived at its recommendations for safe exposure?
Recently I wrote to my MP, Rishi Sunak, to alert him to my situation in needing to avoid radio-frequency radiation (RFR) or electromagnetic fields (EMF), due to health damage I sustained 20 years ago when I lived 15 metres from a mobile phone mast. Before, dear reader, you tell me that my conclusion is pure speculation, let me tell you that this likely explanation only occurred to me after the death of a second neighbour from motor neurone disease and after months of my suffering with flu-like symptoms and heavily swollen neck glands, followed by health problems, with which I will not bore you.
Anyway, Mr. Sunak, very diligently, put my concerns to two ministerial colleagues, while telling me in the meantime that he proposed to blanket the U.K. with the fastest wireless coverage available. My reply to the latter remark was as follows:
1.The Government purportedly stands by the results of the Stewart Report 2000 and states here “adults should be able to make their own choices about reducing their exposure should they so wish, but be able to do this from an informed position”. How will this be possible if the country if blanketed? Smart devices, phone masts and WiFi are now everywhere where there are people. Will you inform people where coverage is lightest, if they wish to reduce exposure? Will you make sure that non-smart transactions are always possible? Will you ensure that some areas will always have landlines and are smart meter and smart camera free? And so on.
2. If the country is blanketed, what happens to the rights of those disabled by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in terms of section 6 of the Equality Act? A case has already been won in the U.K., where a local authority has been mandated to provide RFR/EMF free education for a child with EHS.
Be that as it may, when the ministerial replies arrived, I was genuinely shocked by the level of ignorance they betrayed.
Steve Barclay, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care wrote: “The ICNIRP guidelines apply to the whole population, including children and people of varying health status, which may include particularly susceptible groups or individuals.”
This is simply wrong. What ICNIRP actually says is:
Some exposure scenarios are defined as outside the scope of these guidelines. Medical procedures may utilise EMFs, and metallic implants may alter or perturb EMFs in the body, which in turn can affect the body both directly and indirectly… As medical procedures rely on medical expertise to weigh potential harm against intended benefits, ICNIRP considers such exposure managed by qualified medical practitioners, as beyond the scope of these guidelines. (emphasis mine)
In other words, these guidelines do not apply to anyone with a metal implant or anyone undergoing a medical procedure utilising EMFs. That is a large population group. It is left to doctors to advise on this, but, in fact, in the U.K. doctors are not trained in the health effects of non-ionising radiation. And the implication of this statement is that ICNIRP has no medical expertise. Indeed on examining the profiles of ICNIRP members, I have not found anyone with a medical qualification.
But even more alarming is this statement by Sir John Whittingdale OBE, the Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure:
The ICNIRP… guidelines… are based upon a large amount of research carried out over many years.
This is nonsense, I am afraid. The guidelines are based on behavioural studies of eight rats and five monkeys, which were irradiated for up to an hour and also by measuring heating effects on a plastic model of a man’s head. Criticisms of the methodology used for deciding the guidelines have been made by the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF) in a recent article and by James Lin, a highly qualified ex-member of ICNIRP, who laid out his objections in the IEEE Microwave magazine.
In actual fact, far from being the basis of the guidelines, the opposite is true. Studies on the biological health effects of EMFs are largely dismissed by ICNIRP with the comment “more research needs to be done”.
Sir John went on to state:
Reviews carried out by the independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) found no convincing evidence that radiofrequency field exposures below guideline levels cause health effects.
He did not mention that this review was carried out back in 2012 and was discredited by Dr. Sarah Starkey who found that the report omitted and distorted scientific evidence leading to wrong and misleading conclusions. She also pointed out how many personnel had dual roles and conflicts of interests by being in more than one of these regulatory bodies at the same time.
And indeed, since that time, there have been two very large animal studies (the NTP study and the Ramazzini study) showing a link between RFR and cancer as well as a large epidemiological review In 2019 by an international expert team led by Canada’s most senior cancer epidemiologist Professor Tony Miller, reporting human epidemiological evidence linking human breast and brain tumours, male reproductive outcomes and child neurodevelopmental conditions to RFR exposures. It also found compelling evidence of carcinogenesis, especially in the brain and acoustic nerve, as well as the breast, from strong RFR exposures to previous generations of mobile phone transmissions.
AGNIR was disbanded in 2017 and its remit adopted by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). Unfortunately COMARE has never produced a report on the health effects of non-ionising (radio-frequency) radiation, because our Government has never asked it to do so, according to an email sent to me by its secretariat.
What a contrast to the U.S. New Hampshire Commission, which gathered a large group of experts together and conducted a thorough investigation into the health effects of RFR a couple of years ago.
In June this year, at a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, its findings were described with great clarity by Professor Kent Chamberlain, the Professor Emeritus of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. His talk included a discussion of the methods used to set the ICNIRP safety exposure guidelines, a review of the peer-reviewed literature on adverse health effects of RFR and the highlighting of key findings, such as the increased risk of cancer if you live within 1,000 metres of a mast.
The Royal Society of Medicine conference was organised by the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF) and was based around an important paper, examining the 14 false assumptions of those creating the ICNIRP safety guidelines. I introduced the expert speakers in a previous DS article and they include Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe, Professor Kent Chamberlain, Professor James Lin and Professor John Frank in an event ably introduced by David Gee, who co-authored Late Lessons, Early Warnings for the European Environmental Agency.
Short written highlights, presentation slides and videos of the event are now available to view on an ICBE-EMF webpage and I’d say that these are essential viewing and reading for anyone interested in this subject and particularly for our Government ministers and their researchers.
Just when will our Government do its due diligence? And how certain do we need to be about causation before exercising caution and catering for those who already know they are affected by RFR exposure?