Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New website, new style: comprehensive information on non-ionizing radiation (NIR) made accessible

ICNIRP, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, has launched a new website, which presents a comprehensive and well structured source of information on electromagnetic fields, exposure limits and health implications. Readers are able to obtain an introduction to the various topics through short website articles arranged by frequency or types of application and can choose to deepen their understanding by consulting ICNIRP’s publications like the guidelines and fact sheets.

In regards to mobile phones and exposure limits for example, the reader can access an overview article called “Mobile phones. High Frequencies” via the menu item "applications”. The article summaries ICNIRP’s scientific view on the topic, includes a video tutorial summarising updates from the latest workshop, and provides links to related publications and further reading from external sources of information for a broader view on the topic.

The aforementioned article on “Mobile Phones. High Frequency” states:

  • Acute and long-term effects of HF exposure from the use of mobile phones have been studied extensively without showing any conclusive evidence of adverse health effects.
  • Among all of this research, the risk of tumors in close proximity to the ear where the phone is held, e.g. brain tumors, has been the focus of numerous epidemiological studies. A few of these epidemiological studies have shown a slight increase in risk for the small group of long-term and heavy mobile phone users (read more). These findings may be explained by reporting biases and weaknesses identified in the studies. Also, experimental studies on animals and cells failed to confirm the epidemiological studies, and there is no biophysical mechanism that could explain carcinogenicity at such exposure levels. In addition, the increased risk observed in some of the epidemiological studies is not compatible with the stable frequency of occurrence of these tumors in the population. This is an important consideration, given the widespread and significant increase in the use of mobile phones in the general population during the last few decades.

There is also information on exposure from Base stations, concluding:

  • A large number of studies have been undertaken on both acute and long-term effects from HF exposure typical of base stations. Research at these levels of exposure has provided no conclusive evidence of any related adverse health effects.

And a section about Wi-Fi, which summarises:

  • A large number of studies have been undertaken on both acute and long-term effects from HF exposure, such as Wi-Fi, without showing any conclusive evidence of adverse health effects. Much of this research is inferred from the mobile phone and base station literature, as it refers to a similar exposure.

The website presents ICNIRP’s scientific output in a more accessible way and improves public access to ICNIRP’s publications. The reader can peruse the list of publications in chronological order or select filters such as the type of publication (i.e. guidelines, statement, review, proceedings, etc.), the subject (frequency or applications), or the media type (pdf, cd, book, etc.).

A valuable resource for everyone interested in learning more about non-ionizing radiation: