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Nyligen publicerades följande apell:

http://olgasheean.com/who-emf/

 

”Make your voice count

Sign this VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE in WHO’s EMF Project

We, the undersigned, being aware of and/or harmed by the adverse biological effects of EMFs, hereby declare our VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE for WHO and its EMF Project, headed by industry-biased Emilie van Deventer—an electrical engineer (with no medical or health credentials), who has publicized her support for the wireless telecommunications industry and has a major conflict of interest, given her industry-funded research aimed at promoting and advancing wireless communication technology.

We demand that:

1. Emilie van Deventer be immediately replaced by a qualified independent professional who has the appropriate medical credentials and a medically informed understanding of and respect for the millions of individuals experiencing microwave sickness/electromagnetic sensitivity, and who will act on the body of science that confirms the adverse biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

2. WHO and its EMF Project take immediate action to acknowledge, and make science-based decisions regarding, the proven harm caused by EMFs, without any bias or regard for commercial or industry interests, and with full disclosure to the public. With a mandate of preserving the health of the global population and, via its EMF Project, of ‘investigating the detrimental health effects from exposure of people to non-ionizing radiation’, WHO must ensure its complete freedom from industry bias and corruption.”

 

IARC som är en del av WHO utvärderade cancerrisker av radiofrekvent (RF) strålning från mobiltelefoner och annan strålning i frekvensområdet 30 kHz–300 GHz i maj 2011. Slutsatsen blev: Möjligen cancerframkallande för människan, Grupp 2B. Märkligt nog publicerade WHO kort därefter ett ’faktablad’ med budskapet ’inga hälsorisker’ av RF strålning. ‘To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use’.

Vem som skrev detta ‘faktablad’ är okänt och WHO anser fortfarande att det inte finns några hälsorisker av RF strålning:  ‘No major public health risks have emerged from several decades of EMF research, but uncertainties remain’.

WHO planerar att under 2017 publicera en utvärdering i form av ‘Environmental Health Criteria Monograph’ om RF strålning. Det har tidigare varit möjligt att avge synpunkter och nedan följer delar av det brev vi skickade till WHO. Något svar har vi inte fått.

 

World Health Organization                                              15 December, 2014
Dr. T E van Deventer, Team Leader
Radiation Programme Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social
Determinants of Health, World Health Organization
Geneva, Switzerland
Via Email: vandeventere@who.int

Comments on the WHO draft: Radio Frequency fields: Environmental Health Criteria Monograph

The following comments relate to section 12.1 Cancer Epidemiology. Due to the short time for submission of comments it is not possible to make a full review. That would require an in-depth review checking the original publications in detail.

Unfortunately the WHO draft does not state the names of the authors and any conflicts of interest. However, it must be clear that if any current or previous member of ICNIRP is part of this draft it would be a serious conflict of interest. ICNIRP has produced guidelines for radiofrequency electromagnetic (RF-EMF) exposure and accepts only thermal effects. Thus the large bulk of evidence on non-thermal effects is ignored, see the update of ICNIRP guidelines:

ICNIRP statement on the ”Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (up to 300 GHz)”. Health Physics. 2009; 97:257-8.

However, it is the opinion of ICNIRP that the scientific literature published since the 1998 guidelines has provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an immediate revision of its guidance on limiting exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields…..With regard to non-thermal interactions, it is in principle impossible to disprove their possible existence but the plausibility of the various non-thermal mechanisms that have been proposed is very low. In addition, the recent in vitro and animal genotoxicity and carcinogenicity studies are rather consistent overall and indicate that such effects are unlikely at low levels of exposure. Therefore, ICNIRP reconfirms the 1998 basic restrictions in the frequency range 100 kHz–300 GHz until further notice.”

ICNIRP has not published any later statement. Thus, ICNIRP has not changed their guidelines in spite of increasing evidence of adverse health effects from RF-EMF exposure. Being a present or a former member of ICNIRP creates intellectual bias, not the least to adopt their evaluation in any further review outside ICNIRP. In fact, it would be remarkable if an ICNIRP member comes to a conclusion other than the ICNIRP paradigm of “no health effects.”

Another remarkable drawback of the draft is that the following important chapters are missing: Chapter 1: Summary and recommendations for further study. Chapter 13: Health risk assessment, Chapter 14: Protective measures. It is unclear why these chapters are excluded. Is it so that WHO aims to produce their conclusions without comments from the international scientific community?

……………………………

Concluding remarks:

In conclusion the WHO draft is biased towards the null results. Findings on an association between use of wireless phones (mobile phones and cordless phones) and increased risk for brain tumours are misinterpreted, selectively reported and/or omitted in total. The draft cannot be used as science-based evaluation of increased risk. It needs to be re-written in a balanced way by scientists trained in epidemiology and oncology, not the least in medicine, and without conflicts of interest.

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD                                            Michael Carlberg, MSc
Department of Oncology                                             Department of Oncology
University Hospital                                                      University Hospital
SE-701 85 Örebro                                                      SE-701 85 Örebro
Sweden                                                                      Sweden”

 

Senare har personerna i WHOs arbetsgrupp presenterats. I tabellen anges även medlemskap i ICNIRP:

Name WHO ICNIRP
Simon Mann X X
Maria Feychting X X
Gunnhild Oftedal X X
Eric van Rongen X X
Maria Rosaria Scarfi X X*
Denis Zmirou X

*fd
WHO: World Health Organization
ICNIRP: International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

 

Av de sex personerna har alltså 5 anknytning till ICNIRP. ICNIRP är en privat organisation i Tyskland som inte erkänner några hälsoeffekter av RF strålning (frånsett av uppvärmning, jämför mikrovågsugn) och dom i själva verket ofta kan uppfattas som telekomindustrins förlängda arm. Det bör nämnas att Etikrådet vid Universitetsförvaltningen, Karolinska Institutet efter en jävsanmälan gällande Anders Ahlbom (AA; tidigare medlem av ICNIRP) gjorde följande bedömning:

För att beslutsfattare och allmänhet skall kunna dra grundade slutsatser och tolkningar krävs att alla parter tydligt anger bindningar och andra förhållanden som kan påverka eventuella uttalanden. AA bör således när han uttalar sig för myndigheters räkning och i andra sammanhang ange kopplingen till ICNIRP.
(2008-09-09 Dnr: 3753-2008-609)

Denna slutsats bör alltså gälla fem av de sex ledamöterna i WHOs grupp enligt ovan, vilket medför att WHOs dokument blir mindre trovärdigt som objektiv sammanställning av risker med RF strålning. Den som anser att WHO inte bör styras av intressegrupper bör läsa dokumentet i länken nedan och göra sin röst hörd.

http://olgasheean.com/who-emf/

Det finns sedan tidigare rapporter som visar på försämrad sömn om trådlösa prylar används vid sänggåendet. Nu har en genomgång av alla studier inom området gjorts.

Undersökningarna omfattade över 125 000 barn och ungdomar i åldern 6-19 år. Användning av mobiltelefon eller läsplatta gav omkring fördubblad risk för sömnsvårighet, dålig sömnkvalitet och uttalad trötthet dagtid. Resultaten var statistiskt säkerställda. Även barn som hade tillgång till dessa prylar men inte använde dem uppvisade samma hälsoproblem även om risken var något lägre. I USA har 72 % av barnen och 89 % av ungdomarna tillgång till minst en mobiltelefon eller läsplatta i sängen eller dess omedelbara närhet. Majoriteten använder även dessa i samband med sänggåendet. Situationen torde vara likartad i Sverige.

Som orsak till den försämrade sömnen diskuterar författarna att användning av mobiltelefon eller surfplatta avbryter och försenar sömnen, ger en psykologisk stimulans och att ljuset från plattorna påverkar dygnsrytmen. Märkligt nog nämner författarna inte alls exponeringen för radiofrekventa (RF) fält (elektromagnetisk strålning) från mobiler och läsplattor som bidragande orsak till sömnproblem och trötthet. En sådan effekt kan inte uteslutas – problem med sömn och trötthet sågs i studien även om prylarna inte använts vid sänggåendet. Exponering för RF strålning sker genom regelbunden uppdatering av appar, sms och internet även om de inte används aktivt. Detta ger intermittent passiv exponering. Både mobiltelefon och läsplatta bör stängas av nattetid och givetvis förvaras en bra bit från sängplatsen. Författarna tycks ha varit ovilliga till att diskutera RF strålning. Märkligt nog uteslöts studier om elektromagnetisk strålning i studien. Även trådlös uppkoppling av datorer hade varit av intresse att studera.

“The exclusion criteria were studies of stationary exposures, such as televisions or desktop or personal computers, or studies investigating electromagnetic radiation.”

Interphone omfattade 13 länder och gjordes åren 2000 till 2004. Resultaten för hela studien publicerades först 6 år senare år 2010. I en ny artikel 12 år senare har tumörläget undersökts i förhållande till dosfördelningen i hjärnan av den radiofrekventa (RF) strålningen från en mobiltelefon (Grell et al 2016). Tumörläget analyserades för 792 patienter med gliom i förhållande till avståndet till det öra som mestadels användes vid mobilsamtal.

Den högsta risken påvisades för gliom med kortast avstånd (0-55 mm) vilket gav α = 2.37, 95 % konfidensintervall (KI) = 1.56-4.56.

Tabell 3 i artikeln visar att tumörstorlek, antal år som mobiltelefonen använts och sammanlagd användningstid (totalt antal timmar och samtal) var variabler där de med störst storlek och högst exponering hade högst risk i gruppen med kortast avstånd till ytterörat.

α och 95 % KI i gruppen med kortast avstånd mellan ytterörat och tumörcentrum (0-55 mm)

Tumörstorlek                        α                    95 % KI

≤18 cm3                              1.96               1.51 – 3.66

>18 cm3                              4.09               1.90 – 12.0

Antal år som mobilen använts

<6 år                                   2.02               1.31 – 4.28

≥6 år                                   3.27               1.92 – 11.3

Totalt antal timmar

<200 timmar                       1.57                1.29 – 3.36

≥200 timmar                       4.06                2.03 – 11.6

Totalt antal samtal

<4,000                                1.55                1.25 – 3.42

≥4,000                                3.56                2.05 – 9.88

Författarna sammanfattar att ‘Taken together, our results suggest that ever using a mobile phone regularly is associated with glioma localization in the sense that more gliomas occurred closer to the ear on the side of the head where the mobile phone was reported to have been used the most. However, this trend was not related to amount of mobile phone use, making it less likely that the association observed is caused by a relationship between mobile phone use and cancer risk.’

Första meningen är korrekt men är vilseledande. Vad undersökningen visar är att risken är störst för gliom i området med högst RF-strålning från mobiltelefonen.

Den andra meningen är inte korrekt. Risken var högst i gruppen med flest antal år som mobilen använts, flest antal timmar och samtal. Även om skillnaden inte är statistisk signifikant är det ett mönster som stämmer med ökad risk för gliom vid användning av mobiltelefon. Intressant är att risken även är högst för de tumörer med störst storlek, vilket är biologiskt rimligt.

En liknande tendens att nedtona risken finns i abstract: ‘The association was independent of the cumulative call time and cumulative number of calls.’

Korrekt slutsats av studien är att användning av mobiltelefon ökar risken för gliom. Författarlistan är omfångsrik och onekligen finns i gruppen riskförnekare, vilket troligen bidragit till att resultaten tonats ner i artikeln.

 

Fotnot: α visar ändringen av risken för gliom i det anatomiska området (0-55 mm) i förhållande till baslinjen (≥115.01 mm).

I oktober 2016 utvärderade 18 experter cancerrisken för pentaklorfenol (PCP) vid cancerorganet IARC. Deras slutsats blev att PCP är cancerframkallande för människan, Grupp 1. PCP är ett persistent organiskt miljögift enligt Stockholmskonventionen. Klorfenoler, mest PCP, har används för impregnering av virke, t.ex. tryckimpregnering, men även för andra ändamål som att förhindra växt av bakterier och alger i pappersmassa.  PCP finns fortfarande kvar i exempelvis virke, kontaminerad mark kring sågverk som inte sanerats, och kan utgöra en fara för hälsan. I epidemiologiska fall-kontrollstudier fann vi att exponering för klorfenoler och fenoxisyror ökar risken för mjukdelssarkom (1979) och malignt lymfom, både Hodgkins sjukdom och non-Hodgkins lymfom (1981). Dessa studier var de första i världen som visade klart ökad risk för cancer för dessa kemikalier, även diskuterat i senare artiklar, t.ex. 1982.

Våra resultat om cancerrisk för klorfenoler (PCP) och fenoxisyror som användes mot ogräs och lövsly ifrågasattes snart av industrin och deras exporter. Flera av dessa med egen agenda som inte redovisades, endast deras universitetstillhörighet. I Sverige finns personer med stora anslag från Cancerfonden som arbetat för industrin och ifrågasatt cancerrisker i stället för att arbeta för cancerprevention, se

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02841860701753697

och

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17086516

Lärdomen är att det tog 37 år från den första studien som visade ökad risk för cancer till att PCP klassades som cancerframkallande för människa, år som förlorats för cancerprevention. Tyvärr är den långa tiden inte ovanlig när ekonomiska intressen står på spel. Andra exempel är tobak, asbest och nu även radiofrekvent strålning från t.ex. mobiltelefoner.

I mars 2015 utvärderade 17 experter från 11 länder vid WHO’s cancerorgan IARC cancerrisker av bekämpningsmedel däribland glyfosat. Det är ett storsäljande ogräsmedel under bland annat namnet Roundup, som används i jordbruket men även privat i villaträdgårdar etc. Det finns att köpa även i sprayflaskor för besprutning av grusgångar, garageuppfarter osv. Glyfosat kan återfinnas t.ex. i blod, bröstmjölk och urin främst hos jordbruksarbetare. Även förgiftning av vatten har påvisats i vissa områden.

Utvärderingen grundades både på studier av människa och djur. Glyfosat leder till skador på DNA och kromosomer. Ökad risk har visats bland besprutare för lymfom (non-Hodgkin lymfom), leukemier och även en del andra cancerformer. Ökad cancerrisk har även visats i djurstudier. Våra studier har visat ökad risk för non-Hodgkin lymfom, vilka ingick i beslutsunderlaget.

Experterna vid IARC bedömde glyfosat som ”troligen” cancerframkallande för människa (probably carcinogenic to humans Group 2A).

Monsanto är ett av de företag som tillverkar glyfosat. Naturligtvis har beslutet vid IARC lett till kraftig motreaktion från industrin. Det är märkligt att det i Sverige saknas debatt om preparatet som finns fritt tillgängligt för allmänheten. Självklart borde glyfosat dras in från marknaden och om något endast få användas av personer med licens för besprutning, något som gjorts i vissa länder.

Viss debatt finns internationellt, se t.ex.

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/apr/21/glyphosate-probably-carcinogenic-pesticide-why-cities-use-it

Eller

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/glyphosate-scientists-urge-caution-over-experts-claims-pesticide-is-probably-carcinogenic-10397787.html

Non-Hodgkin lymfom orsakas av kemikalier som påverkar immunsystemet och ger andra skador. Exempel på sådana kemikalier är PCB, dioxiner och bekämpningsmedel. Sedan 1970 har det skett en kraftig ökning av antalet personer som insjuknar enligt cancerregistret. Denna trend får ses som ett uttryck för den ökning av cancerframkallande ämnen, t.ex. miljögifter, som vi utsätts för.

ICD-7 - 200

Det första utkastet till monografi om hälsoeffekter av radiofrekventa fält från WHO innehåller många sakfel som vi påpekat tidigare. Vi har nu påtalat detta på nytt och skickat till WHO brev enligt nedan. IARC har fått samma brev med begäran om ny utvärdering av cancerrisker.

 

 

World Health Organization                                                              4 August, 2015

 

Dr Margaret Chan, Director General

World Health Organization

Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva 27

Geneva, Switzerland

 

Emelie van Deventer, Team Leader

Radiation Programme Department of Public Health,

Environmental and Social Determinants of Health,

World Health Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

 

Dear Ms. Margaret Chan

Dear Ms. Emelie van Deventer

 

Further Comments on the WHO draft: Radio Frequency fields: Environmental Health Criteria Monograph

On 15 December, 2014 we submitted comments on the WHO draft on radio frequency fields and health. Since we have not got a satisfactory reply from WHO, not seen a revision of the draft, and adding to that more published studies that reinforce the increased risk for certain brain tumours associated with use of wireless phones we want to submit the following, additional comments.

The brain is the primary target organ for exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) during the use of the handheld wireless phone. This has given concern of an increased risk for brain tumours. The carcinogenic effect of RF-EMF on humans was evaluated at a meeting during 24 – 31 May 2011 at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO in Lyon, France. One of us (LH) was part of the expert group. The Working Group categorised RF-EMF from mobile phones, and from other devices that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields in the frequency range 30 kHz–300 GHz, as a Group 2B, i.e. a possible, human carcinogen (http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol102/mono102.pdf).

Since then more studies have been published that strengthen the association between use of wireless phones (mobile and cordless phones) and increased risk for brain tumours. We have performed long-term research in this area and in the following we give a short up-dated summary of our findings based on research since the 1990’s. In our publications relevant information can be found also on other studies, as well as discussions of the current scientific evidence.

Glioma:

Glioma is a malignant brain tumour (“brain cancer”), and the most common type is glioblastoma multiforme with a poor prognosis. We have published a statistically significant increased risk for glioma among users of both mobile and cordless phones. The risk increased with latency (time from first use of the phone until tumour diagnosis) and cumulative number of hours for use. Highest risk was found in the area of the brain with highest exposure to RF-EMF. All these results are of biological relevance; that is what would be expected for a causal association. The full paper can be read here:

http://www.pathophysiologyjournal.com/article/S0928-4680(14)00064-9/pdf

Meningioma:

Menigioma is mostly a benign brain tumour and accounts for about 30 % of all intracranial tumours. The incidence is approximately 2-times higher in women than in men. No conclusive evidence of an association between use of mobile and cordless phones and meningioma was found in our study. However, taking the long latency periods that have been reported for the increased meningioma risk associated with exposure to ionizing radiation it is still too early to make a definitive risk assessment. Results for even longer latency periods of wireless phone use than in our study are desirable, see more details here:

http://www.spandidos-publications.com/or/33/6/3093

Acoustic neuroma:

Acoustic neuroma or Vestibular Schwannoma is a rare benign tumour in the eighth cranial nerve that leads from the inner ear to the brain. It grows slowly and does not undergo malignant transformation, but may give compression of vital brain stem centres. Tinnitus and hearing problems are usual first symptoms of acoustic neuroma. We published a clear, statistically significant, association between use of mobile and cordless phones and acoustic neuroma. The risk increased with time since first use. For use of both mobile and cordless phones the risk was highest in the longest latency group. Tumour volume increased per 100 hours of cumulative use and year of latency for wireless phones indicating tumour progression from RF-EMF. The whole study can be read here:

http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/43/4/1036

Brain tumour prognosis:

A causal association would be strengthened if use of wireless phones has an impact on the survival of glioma patients. We analyzed survival of 1,678 glioma patients in our case-control studies 1997-2003 and 2007-2009. Use of wireless phones in the > 20 years latency group (time since first use) yielded increased hazard ratio (HR) = 1.7, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.2-2.3 for glioma, i.e. decreased survival. Increased HR was found for use of both mobile and cordless phones. Highest HR was found for cases with first use before the age of 20 years. These results strengthen a causal association between use of wireless phones and glioma. The publication can be read here:

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/10/10790

Risk in different age groups of first use:

In our glioma study we found highest risk for subjects with first use of mobile or cordless phone before the age of 20, see Table 8 in the publication:

http://www.pathophysiologyjournal.com/article/S0928-4680(14)00064-9/pdf

We published similar results for acoustic neuroma and use of mobile phones, see Table 21.2:

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.433.7480&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Children and adolescents are more exposed to RF-EMF than adults due to thinner skull bone, higher conductivity in the brain tissue, and a smaller head. The developing brain is also more vulnerable than in adults and it is still developing until about 20 years of age. The finding of higher risk in young persons is worrying, not the least due to the high prevalence of use of wireless phones in children and adolescents.

Brain tumour incidence:

It is not correct to claim that the incidence of brain tumours has not increased in the Scandinavian countries. The age-standardized incidence of brain tumours increased dramatically in Denmark with +41.2 % among men and +46.1 % among women during 2003-2012 (http://www.ssi.dk/Aktuelt/Nyheder/2013/~/media/Indhold/DK – dansk/Sundhedsdata og it/NSF/Registre/Cancerregisteret/Cancerregisteret 2012.ashx).

Due to the well-known under-reporting of brain tumours to the Swedish Cancer Registry we studied brain tumour rates using the Swedish National Inpatient Register and the Causes of Death Register (see http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/4/3793/htm ). In summary we found a statistically significant increasing rate of not specified brain tumours from 2007 in the Inpatient Register and from 2008 in the Causes of Death Register. Our study indicated that several of these tumours were never reported to the Swedish Cancer Register. The results are in accordance with a reasonable latency period for use of wireless phones, e.g. mobile phones, see Figures 5 and 6 in our publication. Thus, the Swedish Cancer Register data cannot be used to dismiss an increased risk for brain tumours associated with use of wireless phones. On the contrary our study is consistent with an association considering a reasonable tumour induction period.

Mechanistic aspects:

Reactive oxygen species:

RF-EMFs do not cause direct DNA damage. On the other hand numerous studies have shown generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can cause oxidative damage of DNA. This is a well-known mechanism in carcinogenesis for many agents. The broad biological potential of ROS and other free radicals makes radiofrequency radiation a potentially hazardous factor for human health, not only cancer risk but also other health effects. A recent update can be read here:

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15368378.2015.1043557

-Tumour promotion:

Tumour promotion by RF-EMF exposure was reported in 2010 in a study on mice: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545575. These findings were recently replicated and add to the relevance of tumour risk: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25749340

-p53:

The p53 protein is a transcription factor that plays a vital role in regulating cell growth, DNA repair and apoptosis, and p53 mutations are involved in disease progression. In a recent study it was found that use of mobile phones for ≥3 hours a day was associated with increased risk for the mutant type of p53 gene expression in the peripheral zone of astrocytoma grade IV (glioblastoma multiforme), and that this increase was statistically significant correlated with shorter overall survival time:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4178273/

 These results are in agreement with the decreased survival for patients with astrocytoma grade IV (glioblastoma multiforme) associated with long-term use of mobile phones and cordless phones that we reported in 2014, see above the section on prognosis.

Causality:

To further evaluate strengths of evidence Sir Austin Bradford Hill wrote in the 1960’s a famous article on association or causation at the height of the tobacco and lung cancer controversy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1898525/pdf/procrsmed00196-0010.pdf

Hill offered a list of nine aspects of an association to be considered when deciding if an association is causal. However, he did not request all nine viewpoints to be fulfilled for causality. We used the Hill criteria to evaluate the causality on brain tumour risk from RF-EMF emitted from wireless phones. We concluded that based on the Hill criteria, glioma and acoustic neuroma should be considered to be caused by RF-EMF emissions from wireless phones and regarded as carcinogenic to humans, classifying it as Group 1 according to the IARC classification. See more here:

http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2013.28.issue-2-3/reveh-2013-0006/reveh-2013-0006.xml

Conclusion:

Our results are in agreement with other studies such as the international Interphone study and the French CERENAT study. This is discussed in more detail in e.g. our article on glioma risk, see also:

http://www.pathophysiologyjournal.com/article/S0928-4680(12)00110-1/pdf

The so called Danish cohort study on mobile phone users has been taken as evidence of no risk. However, the many shortcomings as reviewed elsewhere makes the study inconclusive regarding assessment of cancer risk. It should not be cited as evidence of no risk, for more details see: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2012.27.issue-1/reveh-2012-0004/reveh-2012-0004.xml?format=INT

In summary there is consistent evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma associated with use of mobile phones and cordless phones. Furthermore, the risk is highest for persons with first use before the age of 20, which is of special concern. Our conclusion is that RF-EMF should be regarded as a human carcinogen. The IARC classification should be updated to at least Group 2A, a probable human carcinogen. Current guidelines for exposure need to be urgently revised. The WHO Monograph draft on this issue is based on selective inclusion of studies and wrong assessment of the evidence of increased risk. Thus the Danish cohort study on mobile phone users and the Swedish Cancer Register data cannot be used as evidence of no increased risk. It is important that the public and decision makers are given correct information about the cancer risk so that they can make decisions based on correct data and take precautions. Otherwise there is an obvious risk of forthcoming increasing impairment of human health and increasing numbers of cancer in the population. We anticipate correction of the Monograph and your reply to this letter no later than 15 September, 2015. If you so wish our research group may of course give a presentation at WHO on this topic.

Yours sincerely,

 

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD

Department of Oncology

University Hospital

SE-701 85 Örebro

Sweden

 

Michael Carlberg, MSc

Department of Oncology

University Hospital

SE-701 85 Örebro

Sweden

Ms. Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor                                       July 24, 2015

Ms. Carol Pogas, Reporter

 

The New York Times

Regarding: Cellphone Ordinance Puts Berkeley at Forefront of Radiation Debate http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/us/cellphone-ordinance-puts-berkeley-at-forefront-of-radiation-debate.html?_r=0

Published online July 21, 2015

Dear Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Pogas,

We have read this article in the New York Times with interest. However, there are several mistakes, and even wrong statements, on the health hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from cell phones in the article. In the following we want to correct some of the false statements.

The brain is the primary target organ for exposure to RF-EMF during the use of the handheld wireless phone. This has given concern of an increased risk for brain tumours. The carcinogenic effect of RF-EMF on humans was evaluated at a meeting during 24 – 31 May 2011 at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO in Lyon, France. One of us (LH) was part of the expert group. The Working Group categorised RF-EMF from mobile phones, and from other devices that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields in the frequency range 30 kHz–300 GHz, as a Group 2B, i.e. a possible, human carcinogen (http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol102/mono102.pdf).

Since then more studies have been published that strengthen the association between use of  wireless phones (mobile and cordless phones) and increased risk for brain tumours. We have performed long-term research in this area and in the following we give a short up-dated summary of our findings based on research since the 1990’s. In our publications relevant information can be found also on other studies, as well as discussions of the current scientific evidence.

Glioma:

Glioma is a malignant brain tumour (“brain cancer”), and the most common type is glioblastoma multiforme with a poor prognosis. We have published a statistically significant increased risk for glioma among users of both mobile and cordless phones. The risk increased with latency (time from first use of the phone) and cumulative number of hours for use. Highest risk was found in the area of the brain with highest exposure to RF-EMF. All these results are of biological relevance; that is what would be expected for a causal association. The full paper can be read here: http://www.pathophysiologyjournal.com/article/S0928-4680(14)00064-9/pdf

Meningioma:

Meningioma is mostly a benign brain tumour and accounts for about 30 % of all intracranial tumours. The incidence is approximately 2-times higher in women than in men. No conclusive evidence of an association between use of mobile and cordless phones and meningioma was found in our study. However, taking the long latency periods that have been reported for the increased meningioma risk associated with exposure to ionizing radiation it is still too early to make a definitive risk assessment. Results for even longer latency periods of wireless phone use than in our study are desirable, see more details here: http://www.spandidos-publications.com/or/33/6/3093

 Acoustic neuroma:

Acoustic neuroma or Vestibular Schwannoma is a rare benign tumour in the eighth cranial nerve that leads from the inner ear to the brain. It grows slowly and does not undergo malignant transformation, but may give compression of vital brain stem centres. Tinnitus and hearing problems are usual first symptoms of acoustic neuroma. We published a clear, statistically significant, association between use of mobile and cordless phones and acoustic neuroma. The risk increased with time since first use. For use of both mobile and cordless phones the risk was highest in the longest latency group. Tumour volume increased per 100 hours of cumulative use and year of latency for wireless phones indicating tumour progression from RF-EMF. The whole study can be read here: http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/43/4/1036

Brain tumour incidence:

It is not correct to claim that the incidence of brain tumours has not increased in the Scandinavian countries. The age-standardized incidence of brain tumours increased dramatically in Denmark with +41.2 % among men and +46.1 % among women during 2003-2012 (http://www.ssi.dk/Aktuelt/Nyheder/2013/~/media/Indhold/DK – dansk/Sundhedsdata og it/NSF/Registre/Cancerregisteret/Cancerregisteret 2012.ashx).

Due to the well-known under-reporting of brain tumours to the Swedish Cancer Registry we studied brain tumour rates using the Swedish National Inpatient Register and the Causes of Death Register. In summary we found a statistically significant increasing rate of not specified brain tumours from 2007 in the Inpatient Register and from 2008 in the Causes of Death Register. Our study indicated that several of these tumours were never reported to the Swedish Cancer Register. Thus, the Swedish Cancer Register data cannot be used to dismiss an increased risk for brain tumours associated with use of wireless phones. On the contrary our study is consistent with an association considering a reasonable tumour induction period, see more here: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/4/3793

Mechanistic aspects:

It is correct that RF-EMFs do not cause direct DNA damage. On the other hand numerous studies have shown generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can cause oxidative damage of DNA. This is a well-known mechanism in carcinogenesis for many agents. The broad biological potential of ROS and other free radicals makes radiofrequency radiation a potentially hazardous factor for human health, not only cancer risk but also other health effects. A recent update can be read here: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15368378.2015.1043557

Causality:

To further evaluate strengths of evidence Bradford Hill wrote in the 1960’s a famous article on association or causation at the height of the tobacco and lung cancer controversy. Hill offered a list of nine aspects of an association to be considered when deciding if an association is causal. However, he did not request all nine viewpoints to be fulfilled for causality. We used the Hill criteria to evaluate the causality on brain tumor risk from RF-EMF emitted from wireless phones. We concluded that based on the Hill criteria, glioma and acoustic neuroma should be considered to be caused by RF-EMF emissions from wireless phones and regarded as carcinogenic to humans, classifying it as Group 1 according to the IARC classification. Current guidelines for exposure need to be urgently revised. See more here: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2013.28.issue-2-3/reveh-2013-0006/reveh-2013-0006.xml

Conclusion:

Our results are in agreement with other studies such as the international Interphone study and the French so called CERENAT study. This is discussed in e.g. our article on glioma risk. In summary there is consistent evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma associated with use of mobile phones and cordless phones. Furthermore, the risk is highest for persons with first use before the age of 20, which is of special concern. Our conclusion is that RF-EMF should be regarded as a human carcinogen. The IARC classification should be updated to at least Group 2A, a probable human carcinogen. It is necessary to give the public correct information on the cancer risk. The precautionary principle should be used to minimize exposure to RF-EMF. Media have an important role to inform in a balanced way. Unfortunately this article in the New York Times is biased towards the no risk assumption. It should be corrected based on facts and not wishful thinking.

Yours sincerely,

 

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD

Department of Oncology

University Hospital

SE-701 85 Örebro

Sweden

 

Michael Carlberg, MSc

Department of Oncology

University Hospital

SE-701 85 Örebro

Sweden