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21 October 2017

WHO Conference on Noncommunicable Diseases - Radiation, Any Radiation, is Missing

WHO conference on noncommunicable diseases – radiation, any radiation, is missing
by Dariusz Lesczczynski, betweenrockandhardplace.wordpress.com, 20 October 2017

WHO Global Conference on Noncommunicable diseases: Enhancing policy coherence between different spheres of policy making that have a bearing on attaining SDG target 3.4 on NCDs by 2030.

Montevideo, Uruguay, October 18-20 2017.

One of the documents of the conference is The Montevideo Roadmap:

“…highlights the need for coordinated and coherent action from all sectors and the whole of society, as many of the main drivers of ill health lie outside the control of health ministries, systems and professionals. Non-State actors, including civil society and industry, have important roles to play.”

The Montevideo Roadmap lists several agents as major causes of deaths from the noncommunicable diseases:

“It also points out that the bulk of NCD deaths could have been prevented by action against tobacco, air pollution, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol – as well as by improved disease detection and treatment.”

Interestingly, looking at the program of the conference there is lack of interest in the radiation-caused noncommunicable diseases, some of which, like e.g. brain cancer or melanoma, might lead to premature deaths.

There seems to be no interest in ionizing radiation (like radon or X-rays), no interest in ultraviolet radiation and no interest in electromagnetic fields (emitted by power-lines and wireless communication). This lack of interest in radiation is seen from the preliminary program of the conference, dated July 4, 2017 (the only version available on the conference website).

It is surprising.

Ionizing radiation and ultraviolet radiation are known human carcinogens (group 1), as classified by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer).

Also, non-ionizing radiation emitted by power-lines and electric house wiring as well as radiation emitted by the wireless communication devices and their networks, were classified by IARC as possible human carcinogens (group 2B).

Therefore, the lack of attention of the conference to the radiation as a cause of some of the noncommunicable diseases indicates that the WHO does not consider radiation as serious enough problem for the health of the society to discuss it in the conference focused on noncommunicable diseases.


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