Wireless communication technologies:
New study findings confirm risks of non ionizing radiation. Digital mobile devices emit non ionizing radiation. The risks of electromagnetic fields (EMF) to human health have been known from medical and military research since the 1950s. This article documents the latest study findings regarding the endpoints of genotoxicity, fertility, blood-brain barrier, cardiac functions, cognition, and behavior. A verified mechanism of damage is oxidative cell stress. New hypotheses of additional mechanisms of action will also be presented. Users are only insufficiently informed about the risks of wireless communication technologies; prevention policies are not introduced. The uncertainties regarding the risks among the public are not due to unclear research findings, but to the industry’s controlling influence over politics and the media.
Published in umwelt-medizin-gesellschaft |29|3/2016; translated by Katharina Gustavs, May 2017
Copyright by diagnose:funk e.V., Germany – www.diagnose-funk.org, www.mobilfunkstudien.org
Excerpts: Communication applications are all around us. They transmit and receive pulsed, polarized RF radiation from 400 to 6000 MHz. Since the 1990s, humans, animals, and plants have been exposed to a frequency mixture of technical microwave radiation of ever increasing intensity to which living organisms have not adapted. Due to RF transmitters, smart-phones, tablets, DECT cordless phones, wireless video games, Wi-Fi hotspots, wearables, smart home applications, and Wi-Fi controlled devices, there are less and less radiation-free zones; nonusers, too, are exposed.
The exposure already starts at an early age with baby monitors and the latest addition of “smart” diapers. The Mimo Baby Monitor is embedded in rompers, monitoring sleep, breathing, physical activity, position, and skin temperature. Parents can then watch the diaper status and other vital statistics on their smart p hone displays via the Wi-Fi connection of the app. There are only very few young people who do not have their own smart phone; children and adolescents use them constantly from waking up in the morning until going to sleep (KNOP 2015, p.124). They are exposed to continuous RF radiation, especially due to constantly emitting apps. Billions of people use mobile devices close to their body; therefore, even a small risk can have major effects. For over 20 years, the German information service Strahlentelex/Elektrosmog-Report has reviewed the scientific evidence on a monthly basis; since 2009, the consumer protection organization diagnose:funk also has done so, among others, with quarterly study reviews.
Main focus: study findings regarding carcinogenicity
New research results regarding RF EMF (radio-frequency electromagnetic fields) now suggest that cell phone radiation is considered to be carcinogenic. Until recently, there had been uncertainties regarding the long latency period between the exposure of a carcinogen and the diagnosis of a tumor and the relatively short time of using wireless communication technologies. The WHO classification of “possibly carcinogenic” was based on the findings of the Interphone study (INTERPHONE STUDY GROUP 2011) for heavy users (more than 1640 hours) and the studies by the oncologist and epidemiologist Prof. Lennart Hardell that found an up to five-fold increase in tumor risk for heavy users of more than 20 years of cell phone use, and all the above studies observed the same types of tumors that have been developing in the animals of the most recent NTP study. In the U.S., the first partial findings of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) study, which is the most comprehensive animal study (rats) on non – ionizing radiation and cancer to date, presented on the 27 of May 2016 (WYDE et al. 2016). This study was financed by the U.S. government with 25 million dollars. The findings of the NTP study: Cell phone radiation can lead to tumors. In the exposed group of the male rats, tumors (schwannoma, glioma) were found and, in an additional number of rats, precancerous cell changes (hyperplasia of glial cells). In the control group, no tumors were found.
The NTP animal study supports the results of the REFLEX studies, which found that cell phone radiation can trigger DNA breaks in isolated human fibroblasts and thus can cause damage to their genes (DIEM et al. 2005, SCHWARZ et al. 2008). Besides these large studies, which also caused quite a stir in the media, there are now more than 50 individual in vivo and in vitro studies that demonstrate DNA breaks (HARDELL/CARLBERG 2012, RÜDIGER 2009). They are all listed at the EMF-Portal, the reference database of the WHO and the German federal government. The BioInitiative Report 2012 also includes a list (BIOINITIATIVEREPORT 2012, Chapter 11 – 14). We also refer to the Israeli studies by SADETZKI et al. (2008) and CZERNINSKI et al. (2011) that found a significantly increased tumor risk of the parotid glands, which has been reflected in a fourfold increase in the Israeli Cancer Registry (MORGAN et al. 2014).
In the diagnose:funk study review 2015, four new studies were analyzed that had observed genotoxic effects.
DESHMUKH et al. (2015) studied three of the frequencies used in telecommunication networks. This study shows that low-level microwave radiation exposure (non–thermal effects) of 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz causes adverse effects in rat brains. The significantly increased levels of stress proteins (HSP70) indicate cell stress and the increasing number of DNA strand breaks can lead to cell death or cell degeneration. AKHAVAN-SIGARI et al. (2014) demonstrate that the p53 gene (tumor suppressor gene), which plays an important role in cancer development, can mutate due to RF radiation expo-sure. The risk of mutant p53 genes occurring in the peripheral area of the tumor is significantly higher when a cell phone is used for three hours or more per day; this corresponds significantly to a shorter survival time. The findings of CARL-BERG/HARDELL (2014, 2016) and MOON et al. (2014) confirm that for long-term cell phone users the likelihood of a tumor and its size increase.
ATHEM Report Part II of the AUVA — Austrian Workers’ Compensation Board
In August 2016, the Austrian Workers’ Compensation Board (AUVA) published the ATHEM Report II “Untersuchung ather-mischer Wirkungen elektromagnetischer Felder im Mobil-funkbereich [Investigation of non thermal effects of electro-magnetic fields in the cell phone frequency range]” (AUVA 2016), which was carried out at the Medical University of Vienna. One reason for the investigation was that the Court of Cassation in Rome, the highest court of appeal in Italy, had for the first time attributed a manager’s brain tumor to his heavy use of cell phones. The plaintiff has received a disability pension of 80%.
One main area of the ATHEM project focused on laboratory tests of cellular mechanisms of possible genotoxic effects. The experiments in humans showed that “RF EMF exposure can cause minor genotoxic and cytotoxic effects in buccal mucosa cells. In heavy users, discrete evidence suggested an accumulation of effects due to exposure”
(Summary of ATHEM Report). The in vitro results confirm the risk potential:
“Some cells are sensitive to radiation and others are not. The investigation of a total of eight cell types confirmed the findings of ATHEM-1 that RF EMF exposure increases the DNA lesion rate in some cells, while other cells do not show any changes. Published findings of effects (found in sensitive cell types) do NOT contradict findings of cells not sensitive to radiation.
There is a latency period. The finding of ATHEM-1 that a certain period of time is required between the beginning of an exposure to the occurrence of effects was confirmed.
The oxidation rate increases. We observed that RF EMF exposure causes oxidation in the DNA and thus can make it more prone to breakage.
RF EMF exposure can act synergistically with other factors such as cell stress. In previously stressed cells, RF EMF exposure significantly increased the rate of DNA breaks.RF EMF exposure can activate specific cellular repair mechanisms. On the one hand, this finding confirms that DNA lesions occurred and, on the other hand, it supports the assumption that DNA damage caused by RF EMF exposure can be repaired. The DNA breaks are repaired. We were able to confirm another finding ofthe ATHEM-1 Project, that is, the exposure-induced DNA damage in the cells disappeared within two hours after the exposure had stopped” (AUVA 2016).
According to the studies by Prof. Michael Kundi (Vienna), cell phone use has already been reflected in increased tumor rates; though, not the total rate, but especially in the younger population. At the hearing at the Landtag of South Tyrol (May 2015), he presented the conclusions of his evaluation as follows:
“The evidence from epidemiological studies currently points to an increased brain tumor risk in cell phone users, whereby a causal interpretation is valid. Owing to the still short period of use (in comparison to the development period of the disease), it is not possible to rate the actual level of risk at this time.
Statistical evaluations show an increase in brain tumors, which, due to the latency period, has currently to be attributed to a cancer–promoting, not a cancer-causing effect of the non ionizing radiation. A damaged cell will turn into a tumor faster and more easily. There is clear evidence for the tumor-promoting effect. The new study by Lerchl et al., which had been published by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection in March 2015, confirmed this view” (KUNDI 2015).
In March 2015, based on findings of a replication study, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection announced that there is clear evidence of a cancer-promoting effect below the exposure limits (LERCHL et al. 2015). This is also confirmed by the assessment of the U.S. cancer statistics by GITTLEMAN et al. (2015). For certain types of cancer, significant increases in children and adolescents have been observed: „The incidence of the most common cancers in adults decreased between 2000 and 2010, as did the incidence of malignant central nervous system tumors (MCNST). However, the incidence of non malignant central nervous system tumors (NMCNST) increased significantly. In comparison, adolescents had increasing rates of MCNST and NMCNST, and children had increasing rates of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and MCNST.“ (GITTLEMAN et al. 2015, p. 111).
The Robert Koch Institute in Germany also documents an increase by ca. 25% between 1994 and 2012 for all malignant tumors in children (RKI 2015, p. 137). Prof. Franz Adlkofer coordinator of the REFLEX Project, concludes after the re-lease of the NTP study: “Based on the current state of re-search, the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation can now be considered a scientific fact” (ADLKOFER 2016).
Findings regarding mechanisms of action of non – ionizing radiation – Oxidative cell stress
The ATHEM Report confirms the mechanism of action based on oxidative cell stress. Oxidative stress occurs when oxidative processes due to free radicals exceed the capacity of the anti oxidative processes to neutralize, shifting the balance toward oxidation. In cells, various inflammatory injuries can be caused by, for example, oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, and DNA: “Intrinsic mutagens, for example, include free radicals (e.g .reactive oxygen species, ROS).”
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) include superoxides, peroxides, and hydroxyl radicals.
Low-level exposure can cause the formation of free radicals. In the largest review on “Oxidative Mechanisms of Biological Activity of Low-intensity Radiofrequency Radiation” to date, YAKYMENKO et al. (2015) assessed 100 studies. Ninety-three out of these studies showed an EMF-related overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS):
“In turn, a broad biological potential of ROS and other free radicals, including both their mutagenic effects and their signaling regulatory potential, makes RFR a potentially hazardous factor for human health” (YAKYMENKO et al. 2015, p. 12). The EMF exposure-related increase in oxidative damage occurs, according to Yakymenko et al., already at levels thousands of times below the exposure limits in the non thermal range at a power density of 0.1 μW/cm2 (= 1000 μW/m squared) and specific absorption range (SAR) of 3 μW/kg.1 These levels are well below exposure limits and exposure levels users experience during normal operation of mobile devices, routers, cell towers, and Wi-Fi hotspots.
In their UMG article “Increasing Incidence of Burnout due to Magnetic and Electromagnetic Fields of Cell Phone Networks and Other Wireless Communication Technologies“ (WARNKE 2013), Warnke and Hensinger summarize: “EMFs produce excessive cell-damaging free radicals and strongly reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, which, in turn, can damage the DNA. Simultaneously, the body’s own defense in the form of endogenous radical scavengers (antioxidants) is weakened by EMFs.
EMFs interfere with the center of our metabolism, the mitochondria, and thus interfere with our energy production: ATP production is inhibited. The decrease in ATP production debilitates the entire system.”
Spin conversion and free radicals
Magnetic fields generate free radicals and extend the lifetime of the latter.These mechanisms of action are also described in the recent article “Some Effects of Weak Magnetic Fields on Biological Systems: RF Fields Can Change Radical Concentrations and Cancer Cell Growth Rates” by the renowned RF researchers BARNES/GREENEBAUM (2016) from the U.S..
Polarization: cell membranes as a crucial point of attack
In their study “Polarization: A Key Difference Between Man-made and Natural Electromagnetic Fields in regard to Biological Activity,” which was published in the Scientific Reports of the Nature Publishing Group, PANAGOPOULOS et al. (2015) put the hypothesis forward that polarization, which is the fixed spin direction of the electric field vector of a wave, is a crucial factor in understanding biological effects of low-level electromagnetic radiation. In the UMG supplement 3/2016, the physicist Dr. Klaus Scheler explains this study in a more easy-to-understand way:
“Within the framework of a generally accepted electrochemical model of the cell membrane and its function, they can demonstrate that polarized (!) electromagnetic waves — such as cell phone radiation — already due to their polarization and their low intensity are capable of irregularly activating special ion channels (channel proteins) in the cell membrane without any biological need (…) Ion channels act as gates and control the ion flow between the inside and outside of the cell, depending on the membrane voltage
Impact on sperm and embryo
The above-listed mechanisms of action lead to a range of organ impairments and make their etiology plausible. There is hardly any other research area where findings are as extensive and clear as the damaging effects to reproductive organs (testes, sperm, ovaries, embryo). As of February 2016, there are 130 studies available: 57 cover male organs, 73 female organs. Thirteen systematic reviews conclude that the risk potential is high. diagnose:funk documented this in its 24-page publication “Smartphones & Tablets schädigen Hoden, Spermien und Embryos [Smart phones & Tablets Cause Dam-age in Testes, Sperm and Embryos]“ (DIAGNOSE:FUNK 2016).
A decrease in sperm count and sperm quality has been shown by KUMAR et al. (2014), LI et al. (2010), MEO et al.
(2011), and TAS et al. (2014). The predominant mechanism of action and damage in sperm regarding their reduced count and quality is an excess production of reactive oxygen species. The excess production of free radicals, among other things, leads to lipid peroxidation and a weakening of the body’s own defenses, the antioxidants.
DNA changes and breaks
A decrease in sperm motility (movement)
Defective sperm heads, changes in morphometry, and a decrease in bonding capacity
Lowered testosterone level by KESARI et al. (2012) and MEO et al. (2010).
In March 2013, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) in Canada published a 376-page research over-view “Radiofrequency Toolkit for Environmental Health Practitioners” in which oxidative stress is named as the main cause for risks regarding sperm: “Overall, oxidative stress seems one of the more plausible mechanisms of RF-induced sperm damage. It has been found fairly consistently in human and animal studies on sperm specifically and on other cells in general” (BCCDC 2013, p. 272).
In contrast to the statements by the German federal government that we would not know anything about the effects on embryos, EMF research studies make clear statements. A total of 73 studies describe severe damage during fetal development and oogenesis.
Again, many studies showed interactions between ROS, lipid peroxidation, and a decrease in antioxidants
Decrease in reproductive capacity to infertility and malformations have been shown
Increase in apoptotic cellular processes (programmed cell death)
Prenatal exposure has postnatal consequences. When embryos are exposed, the newborns may develop pathological changes, e.g. in testes, behavioral disorders, and developmental delays.
A more detailed description of the contents of these studies and reviews can be found in the diagnose:funk study review “Brennpunkt,” which can be downloaded from the homepage at www.diagnose-funk.org.
Opening of the blood-brain barrier
The working group of the Swedish researcher Leif Salford found an increase in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier for albumin proteins and, as a result, also neuronal damage in an experimental series with more than 2,000 rats after a two-hour GSM exposure (SALFORD et al. 2003, NITTBY et al. 2009, NITTBY et al. 2011). The RF exposure levels were SAR 1 W/kg and well below that (NITTBY et al. 2011: 0.37 mW/kg). Salford says: “We have good reason to believe that what happens in a rat’s brain also happens in humans” (BBC 2003). So there was also a possibility that exposure to mobile phone radiation could trigger Alzheimer’s disease and early dementia in some people: “We cannot exclude that after some decades of often daily use, a whole generation of users may suffer negative effects maybe already in their middle age” (BBC 2003). The research groups SIRAV/SEYHAN demonstrated in 2011 and 2016, TANG et al. again in 2015, that cell phone radiation opens the blood-brain barrier at even lower levels: “The authors conclude that exposure of rats to electro-magnetic fields of 900 MHz or 1800 MHz might increase the permeability of the blood brain barrier with sex-specific differences” (EMF-Portal on SIRAV/SEYHAN 2016).
Impact on cognition, behavior, and changes in neurotransmitters
In view of the rapid spread of Wi-Fi in schools, especially through the introduction of tablets as a universal educational tool, study findings regarding cognition and behavior gain practical relevance. The studies mentioned in the sections below have been reviewed by diagnose: funk Study Reviews and can be downloaded at www.mobilfunkstudien.org.
DESHMUKH et al. (2015) studied three of the frequencies used in telecommunication networks. The study shows that low-level microwave radiation at 900, 1800, and 2450 MHz (non thermal effect) causes adverse effects in rat brains, which manifest themselves as a reduced learning performance in the brain, memory, and spatial orientation. The neurotransmitters (dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, and serotonin), which are chemical substances that transmit electric impulses to the synapses in the brain, are adversely affected by the frequencies 900 MHz and 1800 MHz; this has been shown in the studies by ERIS et al. (2015) and MEGHA et al. (2015). This can lead to a reduced learning performance as well as learning and memory disorders, also affecting sleep, appetite, and learning. A lack of serotonin generates e.g. depression, discomfort, nausea, and diarrhea. DE CAIRES et al. (2014) studied the impact of 1800 MHz on the central nervous system, demonstrating stress effects. LI et al. (2015) showed changes in rat neurotransmitter levels, especially in their serotonin metabolism, that lead to deficits in brain performance. SAIKHEDKAR et al. (2014) observed neurodegenerative changes in the cells of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex, resulting in more severe anxiety, more stress and depression. ROGGEVEEN et al. (2015) studied whether smart-phone radiation changes the EEG. The result: The activities of the alpha, beta, and gamma bands increased in almost all brain regions measured. In the hippocampus, spatial learning and memory are processed, stored, and recalled. SHAHIN et al. (2015) showed that the constant exposure to 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi radiation causes oxidative/nitrosative stress in the hippo-campus and leads to cell changes that impair learning and the capacity to recall information. NARAYANAN et al. (2015) also observed structural changes in the hippocampus at 900 MHz that lead to reduced learning and recalling with respect to spatial orientation. As to causes, the authors point to ROS and DNA damage. IKINCI et al. (2015) showed that biochemical and pathological changes can occur in the spinal cord when male rats are exposed to 900 MHz fields one hour a day from day 21 to day 46. As a cause, the authors identify lipid peroxidation. Since the spinal cord is the pathway from the brain to the peripheral nervous system, any disturbance along its way can lead to behavioral changes because the flow of information is disrupted. MORTAZAVI et al. (2011) studied 469 students with respect to the impact of their cell phone use. There was a statistically signification association between call duration and frequency of certain symptoms, including headaches, muscle aches, heart palpitations, tired-ness, tinnitus, vertigo, and sleep problems. In addition, problems with attention, concentration, and nervousness were higher than expected in heavy users. SCHOENI et al. (2015) studied whether the frequent use of smart phones affects memory performance. The evaluation of the memory tests performed by the adolescents revealed a significant association between the higher dose of RF EMF and a poorer figural memory performance after one year.
Impact on heart and blood functions
In the case-control study of EKICI et al. (2016), the impact of cell phone radiation on the heart function of healthy persons, especially heart rate variability (HRV), has been investigated. It has been shown that the duration of cell phone use may influence the autonomic balance of the heart rate variability in healthy persons. During a phone call, the mobile device is close to the head, which has a connection to the controls of heart activity (pacemaker). The electromagnetic fields of cell phones can cause changes in the heart rate variability, especially in long-term users. SAILI et al. (2015) showed changes in heart rate variability, increased blood pressure, and catecholamine efficacy (neurotransmitters) induced by the exposure to Wi-Fi signals. LIPPI et al. (2016) studied the impact of 900 MHz radiation of smart phones on leukocytes. After 30 minutes of exposure, a significant decrease in myeloperoxidase has been observed in all 16 samples as well as a significant decrease in segmented neutrophil leukocytes. Myeloperoxidase plays an important role in the oxidative cellular processes. Structure, volume, and function of blood platelets (thrombocytes) changed significantly. The authors concluded that blood products that contain leukocytes should be protected from smart phone radiation during manufacture and storage.
Cell tower studies
Due to the almost complete coverage, the impact of cell tower radiation exposure cannot be studied very well in long-term studies: there are no exposure-free residential control areas available anymore. Furthermore, people are exposed to many different RF sources by now (smart phones, WLAN/Wi-Fi, DECT cordless phone, baby monitor, etc.). When in the 2004 Naila study (EGER et al. 2004) an increased cancer risk had been observed for the first in the vicinity of cell towers, the lead author Dr. Horst Eger demanded from the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection to carry out follow-up studies for as long as there were still radiation-free zones available. This did not happen. The population, as deplored by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection in its radiation protection guidelines in 2005, still faces “uncontrolled exposures” (BUNDESAMT FÜR STRAHLENSCHUTZ 2005, p. 44).
For the past two years, cell tower studies have been carried out, in particular, outside of Europe. Two new Iranian studies have been published on the impact of cell tower radiation (ALAZAWI 2011, SHAHBAZI-GAHROUEI et al. 2014). The frequency of health symptoms was compared between residents living within 300 m of the cell antenna site to those living farther away than 300 m. The identical results of both studies: “Most of the health complaints such as nausea, headache, dizziness, irritability, discomfort, nervousness, depression, sleep disturbance, memory loss and lowering of libido were statistically significantly more often reported by residents living near a base station (≤ 300 m distance) com-pared to those living in a distance of more than 300 m to a base station. The authors suggested that mobile phone base stations should not be sited closer than 300 m to residences to minimize exposure of the residents” (EMF-Portal on the study by SHAHBAZI-GAHROUEI et al. 2014).
Mixture of frequencies and interactions not researched
The reader will notice the following:
1. In most studies only the impact of a single frequency is examined, but in real life all living organisms are exposed to a mixture of frequencies.
2. The combination effects with other environmental toxins such as amalgam, nitric oxides, fine particulate matter, lead, glyphosate, aluminum, fluorides, cadmium, plasticizers, and others have really not been researched in any depths. Radiation from wireless communication technologies results in combination effects with other environmental exposures (REA 2016). The Canadian environmental medical physicians Genuis and Lipp discuss this reinforcing combination effect in their article “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Fact or Fic-tion?” (2011). Depending on previous exposures and the state of the immune system, EMFs have an impact. There is an absurd discussion going on about electromagnetic hypersensitivity. EMFs lead to oxidative stress and thus form an important basis for a range of inflammatory cellular processes with pathological consequences. To claim — especially when based on pseudo experiments with short-term exposures (a smoker does not drop dead at his or her first deep drag) — that it can be ruled out that humans respond with sensitivities or allergies to these types of long-term exposures is absurd. To psychologize persons with electromagnetic hypersensitivity is discriminatory (GIBSON 2016).
The implementation of the Internet of Things, including smart homes and autonomous cars, the RF radiation exposures will increase tremendously. This will result in new combination effects.
The new report from the Otto Hug Strahleninstitut “Unterschätzte Gesundheitsgefahren durch Radioaktivität am Beispiel der Radarsoldaten [Underestimated Risks from Radi-oactivity Using the Example of Radar Soldiers]” (MÄMPEL et al. 2015) also addresses, among other things, the interactions of radar and cell phone radiation:
“The exposure to radar radiation has so far only been recognized as harmful to health by official agencies and the Radar Commission when the power density level of the radiation results in a measurable increase in temperature in the tissue. However, we now have numerous scientific studies about the effects of cell phone radiation whose higher frequencies also fall into the microwave range. These findings show that at long-term exposures also below the so-called thermal thresh-old irreversible and pathological disorders such as infertility may occur. Combination effects between ionizing and no nionizing radiation are also to be considered as a possible cause of multiple disease phenomena, which can be observed in soldiers and staff members of radar facilities” (MÄMPEL et al. 2015, p. 9).
This interaction is of great importance now – not only for residents in the vicinity of airports and military facilities. Autonomous cars will be driven by a combination of radar, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, that is, humans and the environment will be exposed to another layer of a combination of different frequencies with complete coverage.
Conclusions: insights and interests
Based on a review of the research findings from in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies, there can only be one conclusion: Long-term risks, in particular, pose huge health risks that cannot yet be determined. Why the public is not informed about this, Prof. Martin Blank (USA), former president of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, documents in his book “OVERPOWERED. What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other WiFi-age Devices” (2014) the history and the current state of the research as well as his own experience of the U.S. industry’s influence over politics and its communication of research findings.
Some long-term effects are known through the research reviews by Prof. Karl Hecht (HECHT 1996, 2012, 2015, 2016), which he carried out 1990s. They were banished to the archives. We are in the middle of an open trial that was sanctioned by the government against its better knowledge as reported by the eye witness Prof. Hecht in the UMG interview 2/2016 (HECHT 2016). Fifty billion in licensing fees in 2001 and the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, also referred to as the “chancellor of the bosses,” delivered: “He often claimed that it would be completely wrong, in the context of innovations, to talk about risks first and opportunities second. The other way around, it would make sense: ‘First realize opportunities and do not talk about risks; only talk about risks when they also manifest themselves, that is, when they cannot be avoided anymore,’” Mirko Weber writes in the newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung.
The organizational theorist Günther Ortmann calls this “too late as a political program” (WEBER 2016). The Federal Office for Radiation Protection responded to this in its 2005 radiation protection guidelines with criticism: “On the other hand, we face a large-scale introduction of new exposures without having been able to reach a final estimate and assessment of their risks (e.g. wireless communication tech-nologies)” (p. 50). In the guidelines, the suspicion of a cancer-promoting effect had already been confirmed. After calls from industry associations to withdraw the guidelines, the discussion about this issue stopped. So now we have an industry with a worldwide sale of billions of euros, excessive profits, hundreds of thousands of jobs, which is why people are expected to accept risks “without any alternative.”
In his book World Risk Society (2007), the sociologist Ulrich Beck writes: “The predominant definitions grant engineering and natural sciences monopoly status: They — in fact, the main-stream, not counter experts and alternative scientists — decide without any participation of the public what is tolerable and what is not in the face of threatening uncertainties and risks. (…) The sequence of laboratory first, implementation second no longer applies. Instead, assessment comes after implementation and manufacturing prior to research. The dilemma, the big risks have rushed scientific logic into, applies universally: The sciences hover blindly above the boundary of risks” (BECK 2007, p. 73ff). This is why Ulrich Beck, with reference to the English state theorist Thomas Hobbes, advocates “an individual right of resistance for citizens. When the government produces or tolerates life-threatening conditions, then, according to Hobbes, ‘citizens are free to refuse them’ (…) For risks are produced by the industry, externalized by the economy, individualized by the legal system, legitimized by natural sciences, and played down by politicians“ (BECK 2007, p. 177).
As early as 1994, the ECOLOG Institute warned in its book Risiko Elektrosmog? [Electrosmog a Risk?]:
“The entire earth turns more and more into a huge laboratory in which we, depending on our attitude and profession, observe with eagerness or horror which global impact the mass use of chemicals, electromagnetic fields, genetically manipulated organisms will have – only we cannot clean up this laboratory quite as easily when we realize the experiment went wrong” (NEITZKE et al. 1994, p. 319).
We cannot allow this to continue because, for reasons of profit, the sum total of all human-caused environmental damage poses a risk to the very existence of the human species.
Peter Hensinger M.A.
Board Member of diagnose:funk e.V.
Dipl. Biol. Isabel Wilke
Editor of ElektrosmogReport
Link to pdf:Hensinger_Wilke_2016_umg_Engl