Anthony B. Miller, MD, FRCP, FRCP (C), FFPH, FACE

Professor & Department Chair Emeritus, Preventive Medicine & Biostatistics Dalla Lama School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Canada)

Scientific staff member UK Medical Research Council, 1962-71, Director Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute of Canada, 1971-86, Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto, 1992-6, Director, Canadian National Breast Screening Study, 1980-2005, special expert, Division of Cancer Prevention, US National Cancer Institute, 1997, Senior Epidemiologist, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1998-9, Head, Division of Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, 2000-3, Associate Director Research, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 2008-10, Lead OncoSim modelling initiative, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, 2011-20, Member of the Order of Canada, 2019.


Public Health Implications and Public Policy Review

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 radio-frequency radiation (RFR) technologies has grown substantially over time. In 2011, a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the published literature and categorized RFR as a “possible” (Group 2B) human carcinogen. A broad range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR have been reported since the IARC review. In addition, three large-scale carcinogenicity studies in rodents exposed to levels of RFR that mimic lifetime human exposures have shown significantly increased rates of Schwannomas and malignant gliomas, as well as chromosomal DNA damage. Of particular concern are the effects of RFR exposure on the developing brain in children. Compared with an adult male, a cell phone held against the head of a child exposes deeper brain structures to greater radiation doses per unit volume, and the young, thin skull’s bone marrow absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher local dose. Experimental and observational studies also suggest that men who keep cell phones in their trouser pockets have significantly lower sperm counts and significantly impaired sperm motility and morphology, including mitochondrial DNA damage as well as an increased risk of colon cancer. Pending an updated IARC working group review, current knowledge provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.

1:00 - 1:30 PM

Saturday 30 January 2021

Public Health Implications and Public Policy Review