Observations & Findings
Wireless Radiation Poses a Health Risk. Physicians Demand Overdue Precaution!
More than 1000 physicians signed the “Freiburg Appeal” in 2002. It was translated into many languages. As many as 36,000 people from all over the world support its warning about the dangers of radio-frequency radiation. Today—ten years later—we as physicians and scientists call again on our colleagues and the wider global community, but also on all politicians around the world.
Today—ten years later—we as physicians and scientists call again on the international community. We are deeply concerned. Despite all warnings, more and more new wireless technologies are introduced into our daily lives: cell phone networks, TETRA, LTE, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, baby monitors, wireless meters, digital radio and TV, and many others. All of these wireless technologies interfere with the biophysical organization of life with increasing layers and densities of electromagnetic fields.
Human, animal, and plant life is controlled by naturally occurring electromagnetic fields and signals. Technical electromagnetic fields with their extremely low to very high frequencies can interfere profoundly with the biological processes of cell communication and cell metabolism. Initially, the self-healing power of living beings will compensate for imbalances through finely tuned control mechanisms. Prolonged electromagnetic stress, however, may lead to a chronic impairment of this biologically meaningful organization of life and result in disease.
The consequences of this fundamental impairment of self-regulation have repeatedly been demonstrated in scientific studies: increased permeability of the protective blood-brain barrier, changes in brain wave activity, unbalanced release of neurotransmitters and hormones (especially the increase in stress hormones), immune system impairment, damage to genetic material, and lowered fertility, to name only a few of the best known examples. Oxidative cell stress—a major cause of many diseases—has been shown to be a central effect mechanism of radiation exposure.
A number of pressing mental health disorders appear to be increasing at a worrisome rate, including depression, burnout syndrome as well as sleep, anxiety, and panic disorders. This also applies to a multitude of other diseases: strokes in younger people, degenerative neurological disorders (e.g. early onset of dementia syndromes), headaches, tinnitus, autism, learning disorders, concentration problems, and behavioral disorders (ADHD), to name only the most prominent and most frequent symptoms and disorders.
Just like 10 years ago, we observe a steady increase in allergies, skin problems, pain syndromes, susceptibility to infections, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, metabolic disorders, and multi-system disorders.
We also observe clear patterns of temporal and spatial relationships between the onset of these symptoms and disorders and the start of a radiation exposure, e.g. in the vicinity of a newly installed cell tower, after heavy cell phone use, or the installation of a DECT cordless phone, wireless Internet router, or other wireless technologies in the home, in a neighbor’s home, or at work. The scientific evidence of an association between certain brain tumors and mobile phone use has been documented after only five years, mainly including meningiomas, gliomas, and acoustic neuromas.
Children and adolescents are most vulnerable. After leukemia, brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children. In Europe the cancer rate among older teenagers increases at 1.5 percent per year. In England frontal and temporal lobe tumors in children went up significantly from 1999 to 2009. And they increasingly display addictive behavior in the use of their cell phones and other online devices.
The number of those who suffer from electrohypersensitivity is steadily growing. They can develop severe symptoms immediately or even several hours after the exposure to technical electromagnetic fields. As physicians we welcome that Sweden has recognized electrohypersensitivity as a functional impairment. We would also like to point out and emphasize that the European Parliament has called on its member states “to follow the example of Sweden,” and that U.S. State Governors have raised public awareness about the serious consequences of electrohypersensitivity. The initiative of the Austrian Medical Association, which has released a guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses, hopefully will also catch on in other countries.
The observations made by physicians all over the world are consistent and increasingly confirmed by scientific findings. Adverse effects of electromagnetic fields and the fundamental impairment of biological control mechanisms well below current exposure limits have been demonstrated, in some instances for decades. The well-known report of the international BioInitiative Working Group (2007) has documented a multitude of health hazards and risks based on the evaluation of more than 1500 scientific studies. Since then numerous recent studies have confirmed the worrisome results and at the same time have shown that current exposure limits, which are based exclusively on acute thermal effects, are completely unsuitable. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified RF radiation as possibly cancerogenic in May 2011 based on the increased risk of brain tumors among those who heavily use their cell phones for many years. And market-leading manufacturers of cell phones corroborate the association when they justify their patent applications with the argument of cancer risk.
In numerous appeals and resolutions over the past years, more and more scientists and physicians have pointed to the health risks associated with wireless radiation exposures. In 2008 the Russian Radiation Protection Committee RNCNIRP gave a warning about the serious and irreparable consequences, of electromagnetic radiation especially for children, and again in 2011, intensified its warning. The European Environment Agency called for urgent precautionary action in 2009. The European Parliament repeated this call also in 2009.
In a unanimous resolution in 2011, the European Council demands abandoning wireless communication policies that are seen as unsustainable in their current form.