Health, science and wireless radiation

Health, science and wireless radiation

One of the most respected figures in the world of research on radiofrequency (wireless) radiation has published a paper in which he recommends keeping exposures to as low as possible.

Professor James Lin, Emeritus Professor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois in Chicago, has written about the politics in science, including the science on wireless radiation, and how different organisations maintain hugely divergent views about it.

He points out that in 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency radiation as a class 2B carcinogen, based on limited evidence from animal research. Subsequently, two major animal studies – one in Italy, one in the USA – both found increased cancer risks in the heart and brain of exposed rodents, and this strengthens the evidence for carcinogenicity.

Nevertheless, the International Commission for Nonionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has dismissed these findings and continued to maintain that exposures are safe as long as they do not cause temperature rises above 1 degree Celsius in tissues.

Professor Lin describes ICNIRP as ‘a privately constituted group, with self-appointed membership’ and said that its ‘simultaneous penchant to dismiss and criticize positive results and the fondness for and eager acceptance of negative findings are palpable and concerning.’

He concluded that, ‘Cellular mobile communication and associated wireless technologies have proven, beyond any debate, their direct benefit to humans. However, as for the verdict on the health and safety of billions of people who are exposed to unnecessary levels of RF radiation over extended lengths of time or even over their lifetimes, the jury is still out. When confronted with such divergent assessments of science, the ALARA – as low as reasonably achievable – practice and principle should be followed for RF health and safety.’

Professor Lin’s conclusions are of considerable significance, given his importance in the field of bioelectromagnetic research. Professor Lin is Editor in Chief of the journal Bioelectromagnetics, a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was formerly a member of International Commission on Nonionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and a President, of The Bioelectromagnetics Society. His further credentials and experience can be seen here:

James C Lin, ‘Science, Politics, and Groupthink’, IEEE Magazine, May 2021,

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