A warning alarm on cancer epidemiology: Research on evaluation of radio frequency electromagnetic fields of IARC’s Monograph 102

Anthony B. Miller, L. Lloyd Morgan and others published a research paper, “Cancer epidemiology update, following the 2011 IARC evaluation of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (Monograph 102)” which was prepared for and revised with the Epidemiology Working Group of the Expert Forum: Wireless Radiation and Human Health at the Hebrew University, Jan 23-26, 2017. Morgan is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Environment Health Trust.

Technology is both revolutionary and potentially dangerous. A large majority of the world’s population uses cellphones, which are supposed to simplify the “complex lives” in our “modern” world. Wireless devices which radiate radio frequency radiation, was classified a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2011. The potential risk of cancer from use of wireless devices is what Morgan has delved into in the course of his research.

Use of wireless devices result in exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR). Most humans use these sources on an everyday basis and are at risk of cancer and other adverse effects from such exposures.

Radiation sources include “communication devices such as mobile (cell) or cordless phones, laptops and tablets, baby monitors, wearable devices, Smart Meters, and associated infrastructure (e.g., Wi-Fi routers, antennae systems (DAS) that can employ directional couplers or wireless amplifiers to enhance accessibility)’.”

Anthony B. Miller, L .Lloyd Morgan and the authors of the paper reviewed and summarized the human epidemiology and some other studies to derive a better understanding of this issue since the IARC Working Group meeting.

The principal sources of exposure of humans to RFR are cordless phones and mobile phones (cell phones). In their research, Anthony B. Miller, L. Lloyd Morgan and the other researchers noticed that glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common brain cancer. This cancer was found to have an association with exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) in nine case-control studies, which were conducted in Sweden, France and other countries.

Furthermore, increase in the incidence of GBM was reported in the UK and other countries. The team of researchers have quoted numerous case-control studies that showed a link between cell phones and cancer. E.g., it was observed that women who regularly placed a phone in their brassieres were diagnosed with multiple primary breast cancers located where they regularly place their cell phones. In another study at an Israeli Antenna Range Facility, the researchers observed a cancer cluster of young workers and they pointed at the significant impact the workplace conditions played on human health. Similarly, cancers were found among a few military personnel who were exposed to prolonged RFR between 1992 and 2011.

Anthony B. Miller, L. Lloyd Morgan and the team found that non-malignant endpoints, acoustic neuroma (a tumor on the hearing nerve) and meningioma are also linked to RFR. They engaged in an in-depth scientific study, the results of which are very interesting and are well explained in the research paper.

After a deep analysis, Anthony B. Miller, L. Lloyd Morgan and the team of researchers have suggested that RFR be upgraded to IARC’s Group 1, carcinogenic to humans’ classification. However, they also feel that further studies must be carried out to learn more about the association of tumour types such as parotid gland, testicular, breast, hematopoietic malignancies and multiple primary cancer with RFR exposures. In addition to the above, they are also of the opinion that in the absence of a better exposure assessment system, case-control studies must continue to be conducted.

This will not only increase awareness amongst the human race but also increase the understanding of the relationship between exposure to RFR and disease causation, as well as the exercise of trial-error experiments and interventions more efficient and fruitful.

Anthony B. Miller, L. Lloyd Morgan and the other researchers’ emphasis on the evidence amassed thus far from human epidemiology. This suggests the need for a concerted program of public and health professional education, which should be undertaken in society to spread awareness and to develop policies to promote safer technology in collaboration with the designers of software and hardware. They further stressed that the lack of detailed studies reflect a myopic attitude towards the technology and the need of the hour is to snap out of the “fool’s paradise”.

While cellphones and the myriad other wireless transmitting devices (WTDs) are a health hazard, the good news is that the hazard can be substantially reduced by keeping it some distance away (the catch phrase is “Distance Is Your Friend”). For example, use a headset when talking on a cellphone; do not keep it next to your body when not in use (it is constantly radiating to a cell tower near where you are which allows your cellphone to be contacted). Additionally, when children are sleeping no cellphone should be in the bedroom.

The findings of this extraordinary study must not be ignored and the credit for this warning alarm goes to Anthony B. Miller, L. Lloyd Morgan and their brilliant team.

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