European coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation which truly protects public health
27 January 2017
The “European coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation which truly protects public health”expresses its full support for the BioInitiative Working Group Letter to the WHO International EMF Project of 19 December 2016, entitled “WHO RF EHC Core Group Membership is Unacceptable”. In this “No Confidence” Letter, the WHO is urged “to make changes to the WHO RF EHC Core Group membership to more fairly reflect membership and expertise of the 2011 IARC RF Working Group” (see Annex 1).
“Newly released animal studies conducted over a 16-year period by the NIEHS National Toxicology Program now report clear carcinogenic effects of chronic exposure to RF. In June of 2016, the NTP documented statistically significant risks for cancers of the brain and heart, as well as pre-cancerous lesions in animals exposed to RF, but not in control animals. Both human and animal results are now available to incorporate in the RF EHC risk assessment. This important effort can only be assured with a more balanced composition of core participants in the process. As well, the membership needs to be inclusive of under-represented countries such as Russia, China, India, Turkey, and Iran whose research communities have produced the majority of studies on non-thermal effects of RF in recent years”.
The preponderant presence of members of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reminds us that this organization has steadfastly refused to accept new scientific evidence of potential health risks from non-thermal, low-intensity radiofrequency radiation despite recent scientific advances in knowledge on the subject.
The ICNIRP not only does not guarantee transparency or independence but is known that there are conflicts of interest within it, undermining the impartiality that should govern the regulation of limits on non-ionizing radiation people. Although it is essential that industry be involved and cooperate in this process, industry should not be allowed to bias its processes or conclusions (see Annex 2, report prepared by AVAATE in June 2015 on these conflicts of interest of the ICNIRP).
In 2015, more than 220 scientists from 41 nations that have published peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing radiation, requested the WHO and the UN to protect human and wildlife exposure to such fields. “Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life. These findings justify our appeal to the United Nations (UN) and, all member States in the world, to encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging precautionary measures, and educating the public about health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal development. By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfill its role as the preeminent international public health agency” (see Annex 3, International EMF Scientist appeal, and Annex 4, list of organizations that support it).
We emphasize the need to ensure a high level of transparency, impartiality and plurality of expert assessments on health risks of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF), at all levels of decision, on basis of the WHO rules (point 4.2 of the Regulations for Expert Advisory Panels and Committees, points 2.6 and 4.6 of the Regulations for Study and Scientific Groups, Collaborating Institutions and Other Mechanisms of Collaboration, and articles 44-47 and 67 of the Rules of Procedure of the World Health Assembly), and in line with points 8.5.7 and 8.5.8 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Resolution 1815 (2011) on the potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment, as well as with the Aarhus Convention (1998) on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decisionmaking and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. The implementation of these principles would guarantee not only a pluralistic WHO RF EHC Core Group membership, but also the presentation of alternative scientific interpretations, the “views” of citizens and the presence of relevant groups involved with this issue.
The European Coordination of organizations for an EMF exposure regulation, which truly protects public health, is driving the European Manifesto in Support the ECI in favour of the precautionary regulation of the EMF exposure. Amongst the signatories to this European Manifesto there are scientists, researchers and experts, as well as professional bodies and associations and representatives of civil society organizations (from health advocates, consumers, neighbours, environmentalists, ecologists, labour union, parents of students, people with central sensitization syndromes -electro-hypersensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc.-, brain tumour patients, concerned citizens and activists associations working in the field of electromagnetic pollution), coming from 26 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, Portugal, UK, Russia, South Africa, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA).