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25 September 2023

Phone Radiation: Letter by Prof. Tom Butler to the Editor, Irish Examiner

Excellent letter to the Editor on cell phone radiation by Prof. Tom Butler - Irish Examiner, 25 Sept. 2023.

Phone radiation

The article published in last Saturday’s business section on the Apple iPhone 12 is materially and factually incorrect. It states, regarding mobile phones: “According to the WHO, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by them.”

In 2011, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B carcinogen and “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. This classification was based on evidence to 2011 of an increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with mobile phone use. Experimental and epidemiological research since 2011 corroborated and extended this finding and many scientists now believe, based on recent “clear evidence”, that radiofrequency radiation should be reclassified as a Group 2A probable or a Group 1 carcinogen along with cigarettes. It must be noted that the WHO unequivocally expresses
concerns about the health risks to children from exposure to radiofrequency radiation, including that emitted by mobile phones.

I belong to a group of researchers that includes medical practitioners, epidemiologists, oncologists, physicists, bioengineers, microbiologists, and the former director of the US government’s National Institute for Environmental Health Science the National Toxicology Program (NTP). We have recently reviewed and evaluated the risks to children of everyday exposure to radiation from wireless devices. We find that the risks to children are real and amplified due to their developing neurological and central nervous systems, thinner skulls, and lighter body mass. While “clear evidence” of the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation comes from comprehensive NTP and Ramazzini Institute studies on animals, 90% of studies find an association between everyday exposure to low-level radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices and cellular oxidative stress. (These levels are far below the regulatory threshold Apple is accused of breaching.)

Oxidative stress is associated with many serious neurological and physical disorders, including, for example, anxiety, learning disorders, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and skin cancer, all of which have increased dramatically in recent years. Thus, any environmental agent found to produce oxidative stress in humans is of major concern and the precautionary principle should be applied, especially where children are concerned.

This is not the first time that Apple or other smartphone manufacturers have exceeded regulatory radiofrequency radiation thresholds, as discovered in research conducted by French physician, Dr Marc Arazi and published in Phonegate, and also in subsequent independent studies conducted for the Chicago Tribune. Not only are the telecommunications and IT industries gaming the regulations to enhance the performance of wireless devices, they have also been distorting the scientific evidence on the adverse health effects of exposure to low-level radiofrequency radiation since the 1970s. Members of the European Parliament, Dr Klaus Buchner and Michèle Rivasi, found in their research that the industry effectively captured the FCC and the ICNIRP NGO, which produce the safety guidelines for the US and EU respectively. My research also finds that both also are entwined with and heavily dependent on the industry standards body the IEEE, whose members are predominantly industry consultants and engineers. Thus, in all this children’s health and safety has not and is not being protected.

Professor Tom Butler
University College Cork

(second letter):

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