Anthony Miller, MD, Professor Emeritus Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto
Speaker at the EMF Medical Conference 2021
Radiation exposure has long been a concern for the public, policy makers, and health researchers. Beginning with radar during World War II, human exposure to electromagnetic fields and radio-frequency radiation powered technologies has grown substantially over time.
Concern over possible adverse effects of electromagnetic fields led to a review by a Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2002 and of radiofrequency radiation in 2011 , in both instances the classification applied was 2B, a possible human carcinogen.
Although there has not been much new evidence on electromagnetic fields since 2002, for radiofrequency radiation three important sets of case-control (human) studies provide evidence that radiofrequency radiation causes brain cancer. There is also evidence that radiofrequency radiation is a cause of vestibular neuroma (tumors of the auditory nerve) and breast cancer. Parotid gland tumors have also increased in incidence in Israel.
There are reasons to be particularly concerned over exposure of radiofrequency radiation to children: children have developing brains and other organs, they may be particularly susceptible to the effects of radiofrequency radiation, and exposure early in life could increase brain cancer risk in adulthood.
There have now been two major carcinogenicity studies in animals which show increase in risk of Schwannomas (the same type of abnormal cell found in vestibular neuromas) from prolonged exposure to radiofrequency radiation and increases in the incidence of brain cancer has been noted in the UK and USA.
Public Health Implications
Unfortunately the public do not understand, thus there is enormous ignorance over the adverse health effects of radiofrequency radiation, e.g. extensive use of mobile phones, apple watch, anticipation of driverless cars, while manufacturers of products that depend upon radiofrequency radiation for functioning ignore the risks, but they do so at their peril – they cannot obtain Insurance coverage against the risks of radiofrequency radiation.
Very few medical officers of health have taken action to protect the public against radiofrequency radiation, not at the city, county, municipality, rural or state council level, though an exception is the Berkeley California 2015 Ordinance that requires cell phone retailers in Berkeley to provide a notice with every sale or lease of a cell phone that warns customers to maintain a minimum separation between their bodies and their cell phones.
We now have sufficient evidence that radiofrequency radiation is a human carcinogen (IARC Category 1). We must remember that radiofrequency radiation is now ubiquitous. Even if the risk per individual is low, it is widely distributed and could become a major public health problem. The Precautionary Principle must be applied now, reduce exposure to As Low As is Reasonably Achievable. Remember – distance from sources of radiofrequency radiation is your friend.
Note: Dr. Miller is a cancer epidemiologist with almost 6 decades of dedicated international experience in the fields of research, public health and medicine. In 2019, he was recognized as a member of the Order of Canada for his high achievements on behalf of his nation.
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