MELBOURNE, Australia, August 9, 2012—In 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration asked the US National Academies of Science to organize a workshop: ‘Identification of Research Needs Relating to Potential Biological or Adverse Health Effects of Wireless Communication’. Presentations at the workshop were invited from leading US and international scientists. I had the honour to present my views at the workshop.
Following the workshop, in 2008, the US National Academies published a report of the outcome of the presentations and discussions. The report identified a long list of research gaps that needed the attention of scientists. The hope was that the US FDA will, based on the identified research needs, would set up a new research program in the
Expectations were futile. The FDA decided that there is no need for a new research program.
Five years have passed from the time of that futile effort. A few days ago, the US Government Accountability Office published a report urging the US Federal Communications Commission to revisit the outdated safety standards for the exposures from wireless devices.
It will be interesting to see whether the GAO report encounters the same fate as the NAS report did.
The GAO report will be read, acknowledged, considered and… nothing will happen. Or, will it be, as some pessimistic forecasters suggest, that the safety standards will be revised, but the outcome might be new, less stringent standards, harmonized with ICNIRP.
The impetus for the GAO study and report was given by the 2011 IARC classification of cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen. This classification, as I have written already, gives justification for a revision of our thinking about the potential health risks associated with the wireless communications.
The IARC classification, without applying any ‘spin’ but using just plain and simple logical thinking, allows the following (for details see here):
- justifies implementation of the Precautionary Principle
- confirms the existence of non-thermal effects that can cause health risk
- indicates that the current safety standards are insufficient to protect health of the users
Read more from Dariusz Leszczynski in his science blog “BRHP - Between a Rock and a Hard Place”.
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