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As a concerned general practitioner of 38 years standing, I have been following the ongoing debate about the potential harm to patients of both existing non-ionising radiofrequency radiation (RFR), and the potential impact of the coming fifth generation (5G) roll-out. I am one of the many physicians and scientists around the world who adopt the precautionary principle into our professional lives, following such luminaries as Hippocrates (“primum non nocere –first, do no harm”) and Benjamin Franklin (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”).

The recent exchange between Dr Sue Pockett1 and Professors Elwood and Wood2 reveals stark differences of opinion held by academics on this subject. Indeed, the professors Elwood and Wood are highly critical of those who select and represent data inappropriately to further their argument that non-ionising radio frequency radiation (RF-R) is harmful beyond its thermal effects. ‘Confirmation bias’ and ‘cherry-picking’ are phrases that are generally used to describe this phenomenon.

Most physicians following this debate are aware of the large whole animal studies by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the results of which were published in 2018. Elwood and Wood, in the section Whole Animal Studies p67,2 thoughtfully give a link to a webpage clearly detailing the peer-reviewed findings of these studies: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html.

To quote this webpage:

“The NTP studies found that high exposure to RFR (900 MHz) used by cell phones was associated with: clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas. Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas. Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant or complex combined pheochromocytoma.”

However, Elwood and Wood precede this link with this statement: “Recently, the most extensive studies yet have shown some possible cancer increases in male rats with lifelong exposure”.2

It appears that Elwood and Wood have interpreted ‘clear evidence of tumors’ as ‘some possible cancer increases.’ As no further explanation is given, the readers are left wondering whether this is a gross oversight, reflects a criticism or even a conscious denial of the conclusions stated on the NTP webpage to which they have been personally directed. The process of peer-review is explained thus on this page:

“The final conclusions represent the consensus between NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who thoroughly reviewed the draft NTP technical reports at a public meeting in March 2018. The results are based on NTP’s four categories of evidence that a substance may cause cancer: clear evidence (highest), some evidence, equivocal evidence, no evidence (lowest).”

Concerned independent scientists and physicians around the world3 cite this study, together with similar findings from the Ramazzini Institute study,4 as further evidence that the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) should consider revising their conclusions on the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Dr Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Auckland.

Correspondence Email

robinjlkelly@gmail.com

Competing Interests

Nil.

  1. Pockett S. Public health and the radio frequency radiation emitted by cellphone technology, smart meters and WiFi. N Z Med J 2018; 131(1487):97–107.
  2. Elwood M, Wood AW. Health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online) 2019; 132(1501):64–72.
  3. http://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal
  4. Fanconi, et al. Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission. Environmental Research Aug 2018; 165:496–503.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

View Article PDF

As a concerned general practitioner of 38 years standing, I have been following the ongoing debate about the potential harm to patients of both existing non-ionising radiofrequency radiation (RFR), and the potential impact of the coming fifth generation (5G) roll-out. I am one of the many physicians and scientists around the world who adopt the precautionary principle into our professional lives, following such luminaries as Hippocrates (“primum non nocere –first, do no harm”) and Benjamin Franklin (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”).

The recent exchange between Dr Sue Pockett1 and Professors Elwood and Wood2 reveals stark differences of opinion held by academics on this subject. Indeed, the professors Elwood and Wood are highly critical of those who select and represent data inappropriately to further their argument that non-ionising radio frequency radiation (RF-R) is harmful beyond its thermal effects. ‘Confirmation bias’ and ‘cherry-picking’ are phrases that are generally used to describe this phenomenon.

Most physicians following this debate are aware of the large whole animal studies by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the results of which were published in 2018. Elwood and Wood, in the section Whole Animal Studies p67,2 thoughtfully give a link to a webpage clearly detailing the peer-reviewed findings of these studies: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html.

To quote this webpage:

“The NTP studies found that high exposure to RFR (900 MHz) used by cell phones was associated with: clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas. Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas. Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant or complex combined pheochromocytoma.”

However, Elwood and Wood precede this link with this statement: “Recently, the most extensive studies yet have shown some possible cancer increases in male rats with lifelong exposure”.2

It appears that Elwood and Wood have interpreted ‘clear evidence of tumors’ as ‘some possible cancer increases.’ As no further explanation is given, the readers are left wondering whether this is a gross oversight, reflects a criticism or even a conscious denial of the conclusions stated on the NTP webpage to which they have been personally directed. The process of peer-review is explained thus on this page:

“The final conclusions represent the consensus between NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who thoroughly reviewed the draft NTP technical reports at a public meeting in March 2018. The results are based on NTP’s four categories of evidence that a substance may cause cancer: clear evidence (highest), some evidence, equivocal evidence, no evidence (lowest).”

Concerned independent scientists and physicians around the world3 cite this study, together with similar findings from the Ramazzini Institute study,4 as further evidence that the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) should consider revising their conclusions on the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Dr Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Auckland.

Correspondence Email

robinjlkelly@gmail.com

Competing Interests

Nil.

  1. Pockett S. Public health and the radio frequency radiation emitted by cellphone technology, smart meters and WiFi. N Z Med J 2018; 131(1487):97–107.
  2. Elwood M, Wood AW. Health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online) 2019; 132(1501):64–72.
  3. http://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal
  4. Fanconi, et al. Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission. Environmental Research Aug 2018; 165:496–503.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

View Article PDF

As a concerned general practitioner of 38 years standing, I have been following the ongoing debate about the potential harm to patients of both existing non-ionising radiofrequency radiation (RFR), and the potential impact of the coming fifth generation (5G) roll-out. I am one of the many physicians and scientists around the world who adopt the precautionary principle into our professional lives, following such luminaries as Hippocrates (“primum non nocere –first, do no harm”) and Benjamin Franklin (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”).

The recent exchange between Dr Sue Pockett1 and Professors Elwood and Wood2 reveals stark differences of opinion held by academics on this subject. Indeed, the professors Elwood and Wood are highly critical of those who select and represent data inappropriately to further their argument that non-ionising radio frequency radiation (RF-R) is harmful beyond its thermal effects. ‘Confirmation bias’ and ‘cherry-picking’ are phrases that are generally used to describe this phenomenon.

Most physicians following this debate are aware of the large whole animal studies by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the results of which were published in 2018. Elwood and Wood, in the section Whole Animal Studies p67,2 thoughtfully give a link to a webpage clearly detailing the peer-reviewed findings of these studies: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html.

To quote this webpage:

“The NTP studies found that high exposure to RFR (900 MHz) used by cell phones was associated with: clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas. Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas. Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant or complex combined pheochromocytoma.”

However, Elwood and Wood precede this link with this statement: “Recently, the most extensive studies yet have shown some possible cancer increases in male rats with lifelong exposure”.2

It appears that Elwood and Wood have interpreted ‘clear evidence of tumors’ as ‘some possible cancer increases.’ As no further explanation is given, the readers are left wondering whether this is a gross oversight, reflects a criticism or even a conscious denial of the conclusions stated on the NTP webpage to which they have been personally directed. The process of peer-review is explained thus on this page:

“The final conclusions represent the consensus between NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who thoroughly reviewed the draft NTP technical reports at a public meeting in March 2018. The results are based on NTP’s four categories of evidence that a substance may cause cancer: clear evidence (highest), some evidence, equivocal evidence, no evidence (lowest).”

Concerned independent scientists and physicians around the world3 cite this study, together with similar findings from the Ramazzini Institute study,4 as further evidence that the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) should consider revising their conclusions on the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Dr Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Auckland.

Correspondence Email

robinjlkelly@gmail.com

Competing Interests

Nil.

  1. Pockett S. Public health and the radio frequency radiation emitted by cellphone technology, smart meters and WiFi. N Z Med J 2018; 131(1487):97–107.
  2. Elwood M, Wood AW. Health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online) 2019; 132(1501):64–72.
  3. http://emfscientist.org/index.php/emf-scientist-appeal
  4. Fanconi, et al. Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission. Environmental Research Aug 2018; 165:496–503.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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