Warning from UK medical Doctors on Health and Safety of Wi-Fi and Mobile Phones
We wish to highlight our concern over the safety of exposure to microwave radiation from wireless technology, particularly for vulnerable groups like children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised health.
There is growing concern that chronic (long-term) exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation from wireless technologies causes damage, particularly genetic damage, cognitive damage, cancer and decreased fertility. There is now substantial evidence of a link between mobile phone use and brain cancer. This was recognised by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s 30-strong panel of scientists, which in 2011 classed radiofrequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic”.
Additionally, doctors are encountering a significant and growing number of people presenting with a range of acute (short-term) symptoms from wireless radiation, including headaches, palpitations, rashes, fatigue, sleep disturbance, allergies and memory and concentration problems.
International medical agencies have recognised the evidence of harm (see appended list) but these rulings may take many years to be reflected in public health policy. This controversy is a common characteristic of scientific understanding when environmental exposures are new.
New technologies and substances often come with scientific conflict, which can continue for several decades before consensus is achieved. Commercial pressures often delay the acceptance of health risks, even when scientific evidence is compelling. In the case of tobacco, asbestos, x-rays and leaded petrol, for example, it took many decades before damage was established and accepted by health agencies and during those decades millions of people suffered ill health and death as a result of the delay. Now, despite evidence of harm, wireless technology is being rolled out widely.
We urge health agencies and the public to act immediately to reduce exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation. This is especially important for children, who are physiologically more vulnerable to this exposure and for whom adults have a safeguarding responsibility.
Children’s health should be put ahead of convenience and commercial benefits. Children should not use mobile phones except in an emergency, and WiFi should be replaced with wired alternatives in schools and other settings where children spend considerable time.
Dr Elizabeth Evans MA (Cantab), MBBS (Lond), DRCOG – medical doctor
Dr Andrew Tresidder MRCGP (1989), MBBS (Lond) – medical doctor
Dr Erica Mallery Blythe BM – medical doctor
BCM SSITA London WC1N 3XX // www.ssita.org.uk
The Bioinitiative refer to 1800 new studies that report abnormal gene transcription. In addition to the findings of the AAEM, Bioinitiative specify cell phone radiation (low microwatt and nanowatt/cm2 range (0.00034 – 0.07 uW/cm2)) damage human sperm whether on standby mode and includes wireless laptops. To an unborn child, and in early childhood exposures to wireless technologies ups the risk of hyperactivity, learning disorders and behavioural problems in school.
Human sperm are damaged by cell phone radiation at very low intensities in the. There is a veritable flood of new studies reporting sperm damage in humans and animals, leading to substantial concerns for fertility, reproduction and health of the offspring (unrepaired de novo mutations in sperm). Exposure levels are similar to those resulting from wearing a cell phone on the belt, or in the pants pocket, or using a wireless laptop computer on the lap. Sperm lack the ability to repair DNA damage. Thirteen new published studies provide (positive) evidence that high ELF MF exposure can result in decreased melatonin production.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) noted the side effects of from 20 years of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Radiofrequency (RF), which includes WiFi, cell phones, and Smart Meter wireless communication have the following effect from consistent and long term exposure:
- Genetic damage (neurons, blood lymphocytes, sperm, red blood cells, epithelial cells, hematopoietic tissue, lung cells and bone marrow.)
- Reproductive defects
- Neurological degeneration
- Nervous system dysfunction
- Immune system dysfunction
- Cognitive effects
- Protein and peptide damage
- Kidney damage
- Developmental effects
In 2011, WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans noting an increased risk for glioma, a malignant brain cancer associated with wireless phone use. Since 2011, a Working Group of 31 scientists from 14 countries have been meeting at IARC in Lyon, France, to assess the potential carcinogenic hazards from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.
A 2011 Parliamentary debate by the Council of Europe made many ignored recommendations in Resolution 1815 (2011) to the EU states including:
8.1.1. take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours;
8.1.2. reconsider the scientific basis for the present standards on exposure to electromagnetic fields set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which have serious limitations, and apply ALARA principles, covering both thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation;
8.1.3. put in place information and awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of potentially harmful long-term biological effects on the environment and on human health, especially targeting children, teenagers and young people of reproductive age;
8.1.4. pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network;
8.1.5. in order to reduce costs, save energy, and protect the environment and human health, step up research on new types of antenna, mobile phone and DECT-type device, and encourage research to develop telecommunication based on other technologies which are just as efficient but whose effects are less negative on the environment and health;
More and more medical doctors, and scientists have asked schools to protect the heath of the children by using wired information and communication, which would promote healthy development and maximise learning and achievement.
AAEM “Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Fields Effect on Human Health” http://aaemonline.org/emf_rf_position.html
Bioinitiative “A Rationale for Biologically-based Exposure Standards for Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Radiation” http://www.bioinitiative.org/conclusions/
Council of Europe “The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment” http://assembly.coe.int/mainf.asp?link=/documents/adoptedtext/ta11/eres1815.htm
“IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields As Possibly Carcinogenic To Humans” http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf
“Medical and Scientific Experts Call for Safe Technologies in Schools” http://wifiinschools.org.uk/resources/safeschools2012.pdf