A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Jonathan Samet: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

January 19, 2024

UPDATE 2
IARC has announced that the agency will evaluate the cancer risks of “automotive gasoline and some oxygenated additives” from February 25 to March 4, 2025. The reassesssment of RF radiation will have to wait.

October 25, 2023
UPDATE 1
Other Monograph meetings have now been scheduled for March, June and November 2024. The next possible slot for RF radiation is in early 2025.

December 12, 2022

On November 23, 2002, Elisabete Weiderpass, the Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), revealed that a new assessment of the evidence linking radiofrequency (RF) radiation to cancer would likely take place in early 2024. A formal decision could come within a few months.

Calls for a new IARC evaluation have been mounting for some years following the release of two large animal studies showing elevated tumor counts after lifelong exposure to RF radiation. Many believe that the animal experiments leave the Agency little choice but to increase the cancer risk classification at least one notch to “probable” from the current “possible,” or perhaps to its highest classification, a known human carcinogen.

But, as Weiderpass made clear on making the announcement at a conference in Paris, the RF–cancer risk might instead be downgraded and the “possible” classification removed.

The stakes are high.

May 31, 2016

Senior managers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released the preliminary results of their cell phone radiation study late last week. They were so concerned about the elevated rates of two types of cancer among exposed rats that they felt an immediate public alert was warranted. They considered it unwise to wait for the results to wend their way into a journal sometime next year. Not surprisingly, the NTP report generated worldwide media attention.

There were some startling reactions. Both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Consumer Reports immediately shelved their long-held, wait-and-see positions. In a statement issued soon after the NTP’s press conference, Otis Brawley, ACS’ chief medical officer, called the NTP report “good science.” Consumer Reports said that the new study was “groundbreaking” and encouraged people to take simple precautions to limit their exposures.

However, much of the mainstream media saw it very differently. The Washington Post ran its story under the headline, “Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? Don’t Believe the Hype.”

December 13, 2013

Just over a year ago, the Danish Cancer Society (DCS) issued a news advisory with some alarming news: The number of men diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most malignant type of brain cancer, had doubled over the last ten years. Hans Skovgaard Poulsen, the head of neuro-oncology at Copenhagen University Hospital was quoted in the release as saying that this was a “frightening development.”

At the time, Christoffer Johansen, a senior researcher at the DCS told us: “I think the data is true and valid.” And Joachim Schüz, a long time collaborator of Johansen’s at the DCS who is now at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon told Microwave News that the news was “indeed a concern.” He said that he could not explain it. (See our report here.)

After that, there was silence.

August 1, 2011

A mother's exposure to weak power-frequency magnetic fields during pregnancy substantially increases the chances her child will develop asthma, according to a new study by De-Kun Li and coworkers at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. An average magnetic field exposure of just 2 mG (0.2 µT) during pregnancy more than triples the child's risk of getting asthma by the age of 13, they report in a paper released today by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association (AMA).

July 29, 2011

We pose two questions about the new children’s study on cell phone tumor risks, known as CEFALO:

(1) How many of the health and science reporters who filed stories actually read the paper beyond the press release and abstract? An even cursory look at the paper would have tipped them off that there was something systematically wrong with the data. Yet, practically...

June 7, 2011

"No one should overreact to the word 'possible'," Jonathan Samet said in an interview with the New York Times on the IARC decision to label radiation from cell phones and other RF sources as "possible human carcinogens." Samet, who chaired the panel, said that the discussion among the...

May 31, 2011

A day-by-day blog of the IARC RF–Cancer Review, May 23-30.

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