Tuesday, December 09, 2014

ICNIRP Vice-Chair claims that brain cancer risk from mobile phone use is unlikely

ICNIRP Vice-Chair claims that brain cancer risk from mobile phone use is unlikely

My comments:

Dr. Maria Feychting, Vice-Chair of ICNIRP, recently claimed that mobile phone use is unlikely to cause brain cancer because we would have seen signs of increased rates of brain cancer by now (see the 12/9/14 GSMA article below and Dr. Feychting's 11/11/14 presentation, http://bit.ly/133riM9).  

She ignores the fact that we have seen increases in brain cancer rates within specific population subgroups or for certain types of tumors in at least five nations. See the evidence I compiled from the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Norway, and Finland, for a webinar I conducted for cancer prevention staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (slides 26 - 31):

"Mobile Phone Use and Cancer Risk: Research on a Group 2B Carcinogen" Joel Moskowitz, Webinar for CDC Workgroup on Cancer Prevention (Oct 29, 2014)
Slides:    http://bit.ly/CDCWebinar102914
Audio:     http://bit.ly/101l2lR or http://bit.ly/1tDZbg2

Dr. Leszczynski In his 12/5/14 blog, "Epidemiology: ICNIRP hijacked WHO EMF Project," discussed the problems with "ICNIRP thinking" regarding the cancer risk of exposure to radio frequency radiation. He mentions Dr. Feychting's role in preparing the cancer chapter for the upcoming WHO Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) Review. Many nations have adopted exposure guidelines or non-binding recommendations more rigorous than ICNIRP's outmoded guidelines which are based only on thermal risks.

As Dr. Leszczynski has pointed out in various lectures and blogs, the wireless industry has co-opted ICNIRP and the WHO EMF Project. Unless these conflicts of interest are eliminated and researchers who are not funded by industry are appointed to conduct the WHO EHC review, the IARC's RF expert working group's classification of RF as a Group 2B carcinogen will be dismissed. [Since 2011 when the IARC classified RF as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B), there have been two review papers published calling for re-classification to "probably carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2A), and one review paper calling for re-classification to "carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).]  More importantly, the long-awaited WHO EHC review will be a sham, and global public health will continue to be put at risk from our ever-increasing exposure to electrosmog. 


Recent epidemiology does not support link between mobile phone use and brain cancer

GSM Association, December 9, 2014
Mobile phone use is unlikely to cause brain cancer because we would have seen signs of increased rates by now said Dr Maria Feychting, Vice Chairman of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), at a recent workshop on safety standards in held Australia.

“By now we would have seen an increase in the incidence of brain tumours – which we do not see,” Dr Feychting said during the workshop held in Wollongong, Australia, 11 November 2014.

Dr Feychting explained additional evidence had now emerged which put the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC)classification of  radio frequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, in doubt.

There are now several brain tumour incidence studies with longer follow-up periods since the IARC working group evaluated the scientific evidence in 2011, Dr Feychting said during her presentation (pdf).

We now have information up until 2012 on the rate of glioma – the most common type of brain tumour – in Sweden and the incidence in men in the age groups most likely to use a mobile phone had not changed significantly, she said.

“These incidence studies were not available by the IARC working group – but now we have more data,” Dr Feychting said.

Although she also acknowledged that a link could not be completely ruled out.
“We can’t say for sure that in ten years that there won’t be an increase, because we just don’t know,” Dr Feychting said.

Also the stable trends in brain cancer rates do not support the results of some population studies that indicate a possible link with long term mobile phone use, she said.

“The latest incidence trend studies do not support a causal interpretation of results from some epidemiological case-control studies,” Dr Feychting concluded.

The presentation of all of the speakers at the joint workshop with Australian health authorities on radio frequency health effects and standards are now available online (under the program tab).

Also at the workshop, World Health Organization’s (WHO) radiation programme team leader Dr Emilie van Deventer announced (pdf) the group of experts who will review the overall risk assessment of all health outcomes of RF exposures from industrial and telecommunications applications, including mobile communication technologies, was now expected to meet in late 2015.

This will most likely delay the publication of the Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) review, or ‘monograph’ as it is often called, until sometime in 2016.


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Website:              http://www.saferemr.com
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