The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection ( ICNIRP) are the body responsible for publishing radiation exposure guidelines.
The UK have only recently adopted these guidelines whereas previously the UK exposure limits were over 3000 times those recommended by ICNIRP.
- Non-Ionising Radiation refers to the type of radiation energy that, when it passes through the human body, is said to have insufficient energy to directly damage DNA.
The fundamental flaws
The ICNIRP guidelines only ensure that exposure to radiation of the kind used in Mobile telephony does not result in an adverse degree of body heating (thermal effects). Many of the tests were carried out on animals such as cows by subjecting them to short-periods of exposure.
The guidelines are thus fundamentally flawed in several ways:
- The guidelines are based on short-term exposure to electro-magnetic (EM) radiation
- The guidelines do not account for non-thermal biological effects of EM radiation
- The guidelines have not been updated to take into account changes in technology, i.e. the digitised pulsed nature of the EM signal
1. Obviously, people living near mobile phone mast transmitters are subjected to long-term exposure, unlike the tests which were short-term based .
2. Many eminent Scientists now maintain that non-thermal biological effects occur below the thermal heating limits, and that DNA may be damaged due to continuous bombardment from EM radiation on human cell DNA (see proof of DNA damage below)
3. The guidelines do not take into account modern digital modulation techniques that pulse the signals at frequencies that may affect cell resonance. Pulsed microwave signals may closely match and interfere with the frequency used by the human brain.
The above images show a bundle of DNA exposed to low-level microwave radiation below thermal heating levels. Fig.3 shows that after only 2 hours exposure the DNA strands break away and become damaged. *DNA carries the body's genetic code and any strand breaks, if not repaired properly, could lead to cell mutations and even cancer.
In December 2005, preliminary results of work by 12 groups in seven countries found that radiation at some cell phone levels damages DNA in a laboratory setting.
The effort—called REFLEX—studied radiation effects on animal and human cells. REFLEX scientists used radiation at Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels of between 0.3 and 2 watts per kilogram. (SAR measures the rate at which the body absorbs emissions from a handset.) SAR levels from most phones range between 0.5 and 1 watt per kilogram.
The REFLEX results showing DNA damage were previously confirmed in a replicated study by Professor Lai and N.P. Singh. There have also been many other independent studies confirming biological effects at levels before any heating takes place.
Indeed, the UK's National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) confirmed this is in their 2005 report stating..
"There is now scientific evidence however that suggests that there may be biological effects occurring at exposures below these [ICNIRP] guidelines"
So why do the NRPB allow us to be exposed to this type of radiation?
The NRPB (now part of the UK Health Protection Agency) advised government to recommend mobile operators adopt the ICNIRP guidelines as a 'precautionary approach'. The UK government along with mobile operators do not feel there is sufficient evidence to prove that DNA damages at non-thermal levels cause adverse health effects.
Many scientists say that this 'thermal' train of thought is not only archaic but also very naive since the technology is surpassing the research needed to confirm its safety...
"the widespread use of mobile phone technologies is still fairly recent and technologies are continuing to develop at a pace which is outstripping analyses of any potential impact on health"
Source: Sir William Stewart, Chairman, National Radiological Protection Board, the Stewart report 2005
PRISM, along with many other organisations are calling for these ICNIRP guidelines to be updated to take into account changes in microwave technology. Until then, we are simply not protected from the long-term exposure of low-level microwave exposure as many would have us believe.
“If medicines or foodstuffs delivered the same test results as mobile phone radiation one would have to immediately remove them from the market”.
The currently adopted guidelines are akin to a fireguard in front of a defective gas fire, you may be prevented from being burnt, but you may not be around to care..
Related ICNIRP Articles
ICNIRPGuidelines risk assessment: built on a house of cards (PDF Document)
INCIRP Guidelines: Radiation Research Trust (PDF document)