Summary of Meeting of ECERI Delegation with WHO on Electromagnetic Fields, 3 March 2017
ECERI Newsletter no.5, March 2017
(European Cancer and Environment Research Institute) http://www.eceri-institute.org/
The meeting with WHO’s representatives and a delegation from the ECERI this month stands as a major turning point for our Institute. This opens a new opportunity for scientific collaboration on EMFs wthin the ECERI, aiming at having non-thermal effects recognized once for all by the international scientific and political community. This will require a global and collective effort from all of our members. But in the context of the fast development of more powerful and detrimental wireless technologies, particularly 5G, this has become a high priority. Christine Campagnac, General Secretary.
Meeting with WHO on electromagnetic fields, 3rd of March, 2017
Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organisation and Emilie van Deventer, Team Leader of the Radiation Programme at the WHO received on March the 3 rd , in Geneva, a scientific delegation of the ECERI, composed of Dominique Belpomme (F), Igor Belyaev (SKA), Ernesto Burgio (I), Christine Campagnac (F), David Carpenter (US), Tarmo Koppel (EE) and Lennart Hardell (SE) to discuss the health effects of EMFs.
David Carpenter introduced the talk, reminding that there are numerous significant human health hazards of concern, due to non-thermal effects of EMFs. He expressed the particular concern of the ECERI Group that a new WHO Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) document on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) is scheduled to be released in 2017, and that the members of the EHC Core Group are in denial of serious non-thermal effects of RF EMFs in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Regarding the particular vulnerability of children and their high exposure, the scientific group urges WHO to address the hazards of RF EMF.
Igor Belyaev pointed at genotoxicity induced by exposure to RF can under specific conditions of exposure (type of cells, type of signal etc) and at all other biological effects of RF (blood brain barrier, melatonin, oxidative stress, gene/protein proliferation) induced under specific conditions of non-thermal RF exposure. In contrast to the Russian National Committee of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the ICNIRP safety standards do not take into account non-thermal effects and prolonged exposures, and are in evident contradiction with classification of RF as possible carcinogen, group 2B, by IARC. Igor Belyaev delivers to Maria Neira a letter from Oleg Grigoriev, Head of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP). “Based on multiple Russian studies and emerging number of studies coming from other countries, RNCNIRP has consistently warned against possible health effects from mobile communication” writes Oleg Grigoriev, requesting that WHO balances the RF working group in the evaluation of RF health effects to get more credible conclusions.
Lennart Hardell presented the results of his epidemiological studies on brain tumor risks and exposure to EMF. His data strongly suggest that RF EMF should be classified not as Group IIB, as it is presently the case, ie as possible carcinogenic, but as IIA, ie as probably carcinogenic. His studies were recently confirmed by other independent scientific group (see page 4 of the present letter).
Dominique Belpomme presented the results of his study on electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Based on a series of 1,500 EHS and/or MCS cases, it was found that EHS can be objectively characterized by a battery of biomarkers reflecting oxidative stress, low grade neuro-inflammation and BBB opening.
Presently 1-10% of the investigated population in Europe is estimated to be EHS-self reporting persons. The ECERI group calls WHO to urgently accomplish its humanitarian worldwide public health mission: (1) by reexamining objectively the EHS-related health problem, independent of nonscience-based external types of conflicting pressures; (2) by considering EHS and MCS as two new emerging well identified pathological disorders; (3) by including EHS and MCS in separate codes in the next version of the WHO ICD.
Ernesto Burgio pointed at the epigenetics mechanisms by which children are very vulnerable to RF EMF. EMFs (both ELF and RFR) are among the environmental factors already proven to be at the same time constantly increasing in the environment and mostly interfering on the less differentiated cells, on stem cell differentiation and on the early stages of brain development, on cell migration and synaptogenesis, and on the gametes.
This raises concerns for public health, regarding the possible effects (neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer etc.) of long-term exposure to low intensity, environmental daily life levels on the directly exposed subjects and even on the future generations. He concluded that this may impose a drastic reduction of the exposure to EMFs of pregnant women and infants.
Emilie van Deventer invited the ECERI scientific group to provide as many adding publications as possible, particularly peer-reviewed meta-analysis. Regarding the preliminary monography released last year, she precised that the conclusions were not included given that the document was not achieved. She added that the Task Group was not defined yet, and that it was still possible to apply. The date for the final release of the monography is not planned yet either.
International EMFs Expertise Group
Following the meeting with Maria Neira, the ECERI group defined a new strategy on EMFs for the future. The present members unanimously decided to join efforts to make non-thermal effects of EMF definitely recognized at an international level. The principle of an ECERI collective scientific publication on non-thermal effects of EMFs was agreed. This publication should be issued by June. An International EMF Expertise Group issued from ECERI is under development, aiming at publishing meta-analysis on EMFs health effects, in order to counterbalance ICNIRP’s political influence.
Grateful thanks to the author of ‘Towards Better Health’ for the translation of this article.