New international authority on electromagnetic fields

New international authority on electromagnetic fields

There’s a new and weighty authority on the international EMF landscape. It’s the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF), launched on 18 October and it’s raising the bar for standard-setting worldwide.

The new Commission combines a wealth of expertise. It is a multi-disciplinary consortium of scientists, doctors and related professionals who are, or have been, involved with research on the biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields. Its Chairman, Ronald Melnick is an experienced toxicologist who designed the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) long-term study on rats and mice exposed to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and managed this study for the first 10 years. (The study ultimately found a link between mobile phone radiation and tumours.)

The ICBE-EMF has simple and supremely important aim. It is dedicated to ensuring that humans and other species are adequately protected from the harmful effects of electromagnetic fields.

The ICBE-EMF will fill an important gap in the setting of radiation protection standards. It differs from other international standards-setting authorities in a number of key respects.

  • It is independent of the industries regulated.

  • It is multidisciplinary with expertise in, for example, biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and telecommunications, so it doesn’t rely only on physics and engineering.

  • It focuses on the physiological, biochemical and behavioural response of living organisms to electromagnetic fields – and not just the effects caused by heating.

Further, the ICBE-EMF, unlike previous standards setters, recognises:

  • that all living species, not just humans, should be protected;

  • that there are other features of exposure, (not just the intensity of a signal) that affect living organisms, including modulation, pulsation, duty cycle, cumulative exposure, exposure duration, multiple frequencies, biological sensitivities etc;

  • that living organisms are exposed to multiple frequencies and to many other damaging agents that may interact synergistically;

  • that it’s important to protect vulnerable species, vulnerable stages of the life cycle and vulnerable populations, including infants, children, pregnant women, people with impaired immune systems and people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), environmental sensitivities and/or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS);

  • that electromagnetic fields may trigger symptoms and that precursors that can initiate the onset of sensitivity need to be considered to help with recovery;

  • that there is a need for more than numerical exposure guidelines and that technical solutions can be used to reduce exposure;

  • that frivolous wireless technologies (eg an RF-transmitting thermometer inside a soother used to measure an infant’s temperature) should not be approved for sale;

  • that scientific information should be shared with decision makers, policy makers, public health officials, health care providers and the public.

In a paper published on 18 October, the Commission explained that international standards for wireless radiation set by ICNIRP and the FCC are based on invalid assumptions and outdated science, and do not protect human health or wildlife. It believes that more protective standards should be developed and that there should be a moratorium on the further rollout of 5G until it’s been demonstrated to be safe.

The ICBE-EMF has further called for the public to be informed about the health risks of wireless radiation and encouraged to take precautions to minimise exposures, especially for children, pregnant women and people who are electromagnetically hypersensitive.

The ICBE-EMF was commissioned by the advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal, a petition signed by more than 240 scientists who have published over 2,000 papers on EMF, biology, and health. It was organised under the umbrella of the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance (ESA), a non-profit organisation in the USA.

References and further information:


If you haven’t already tuned in, you can hear:

  • David Gee, an expert in environment and public health policy-making for science, talk about wireless radiation, the problems with current international standards and the new paper here.

  • Dr Magda Havas talk about the new publication from ICBE-EMF here.

What can you do?

What else can you do?

  • forward this email to others to inform them, too

  • see the latest news in our October newsletter EMR and Health here

  • book a phone consultation to find answers to your questions here.