Scientists weigh in on Italy’s radiation standard

August 28, 2023

Scientists from around the globe have appealed to the Italian Government not to increase the exposure limits in its radiation standard.

‘The news that the Government is considering the possibility of increasing the attention value by 6 V/m for the living areas where people stay more than 4 hours is the cause for great concern,’ the scientists wrote in their ‘Appeal of the Scientists for Electromagnetic Safety’, sent 4 August 2023.

Associate Professor Olle Johansson, one of the signatories to the Appeal, said that ‘the so-called natural background may be regarded as a (relatively) safe exposure level, and 6 V/m (at 1,800 MHz) is still 10,000,000 times (or more!) that level’.

The Appeal has so far been signed by 68 scientists working in the field, whose extensive publications are listed in the document, as well as biologists, physicists, engineers and medical practitioners.

The Appeal states that ‘Radiofrequency has been associated with several health problems including:

  • cancer (RF was classified by IARC as a “possibly carcinogenic for Man” in 2011, but subsequent studies concluded that radiofrequency falls within the parameters of Class 2A,1 that is to say "probable carcinogen", and of Class 1 that is to say "certain carcinogen");
  • neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's;
  • male and female infertility;
  • increased oxidative stress (related to many chronic diseases);
  • neurobehavioral changes in children born to mothers who used the mobile phone in pregnancy;
  • immune dysfunction;
  • alterations of insulin metabolism;
  • increased cerebral permeability and alterations of cerebral metabolism.’

‘We are already paying for the social and health costs of having released into the environment levels of artificial radiofrequency radiation which are not entirely compatible with life. A further increase of the exposure to radiofrequency in the population is ethically unacceptable and not even economically viable,’ the Appeal states. ‘Rather, measures are needed to protect public health and the environment. Plants and animals, in fact, are affected by the chronic exposure to radiofrequency, with significant damages mostly to birds and bees populations.’

The Appeal points out serious deficiencies in the international limits recommended by ICNIRP (International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection), on which Australia’s radiation standard is based.

  • ‘[T]hey only protect against acute thermal effects for high-intensity and short-term exposure duration (30 minutes);
  • they are not applicable to long-term and low-intensity exposures, such as it actually occurs in everyday life contexts;
  • they are based on outdated information;
  • they do not protect against the 5G radiation, which has strong characteristics of polarization, and it is very different from previous generations of mobile telephony, so they would require further studies.’

The Appeal requests that, rather than increasing exposure limits, the government decreases them to 0.6 V/m, as recommended by the Council of Europe.

It also asks the government to introduce legislation that requires experts expressing their views in public to declare their links with industry.

After receiving the Appeal, the Government cancelled a planned discussion about increasing the country’s radiation limits. However, it is expected to defer discussion to a future date.

The Appeal can be seen in full here.

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