Thursday, 21 March 2019
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS

No health risks from mobile phone signals say Norwegian experts


Norwegian reportThere are no health risks from exposure to signals from mobile phones, base stations or wireless networks and the likelihood of health hazards occurring in the future are unlikely.
 
This was the main conclusion of an exhaustive two-year review of all available scientific evidence released last September by a working group of 17 experts commissioned by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
 
“The group found no evidence that the low-level fields around mobile phones and other transmitters increase the risk of cancer, impair male fertility, cause other reproductive damage or lead to other diseases and adverse health effects, such as changes to the endocrine and immune systems,” said committee Chair Professor Jan Alexander – who is the Assistant Director-General at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health – in a statement.
 
The review was prompted by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services along with the Ministry of Transport and Communication in response to daily enquires about the health effects of exposure to wireless technology.
 
In the comprehensive 200-page report, the committee also reviewed the risk of cancer and “found no scientific evidence for an association between mobile phone use and fast-growing brain tumours. So far, the effect on slow-growing tumours has been studied in people who have used mobile phones for up to 20 years. These studies show no association.”
 
“Exposure from base stations and radio and television transmitters is significantly lower than from using a mobile phone and the available data do not suggest that such low exposure could increase the risk of cancer,” the committee said.
 
A number of studies of cancer in animals have been performed, and relevant mechanisms have also been studied using micro-organisms and cells. Overall, these studies provide further evidence that exposure to weak RF fields does not lead to cancer, they said.
 
The committee said because of the extensive level of research in to wireless communication technologies and health to date the likelihood of unknown health hazards occurring in the future were unlikely.
 
“There is always an element of uncertainty in all risk assessments. In this case, the Committee considers the uncertainty to be small. Some uncertainty is associated with high exposure over time, such as extensive use of mobile phones over several decades. Until now, this has been impossible to study. Cancer registries should follow the development of cancer incidence in the future and research should not cease. Studies of animals that have been exposed throughout life provide no evidence that low level RF fields cause cancer. It is unlikely that long-term use of mobile phones will cause health risks that are unknown today.”
 
“Regarding equipment that provides the lowest exposure, such as base stations, wireless networks, broadcasting transmitters and proximity to other mobile phones, the experts believe that the risk assessment has negligible uncertainty. In other words, it is reasonably certain that such equipment is not associated with health risks.”
 
The committee also said it did not support claims that some individuals are more sensitive to wireless emissions.
 
“We have no grounds to say that the symptoms are imaginary. But a large number of studies suggest that these symptoms must have other causes than the physical effects of low-level electromagnetic fields around mobile phones, wireless transmitters and other wireless equipment,” Professor Alexander said.
 
Because the uncertainties in the health risk assessment are small, the committee advised that there was no need to do more than take general precautions such as using a hands-free kit to help to reduce exposure from handsets.
 

The Norwegian and English summaries of the report can be downloaded in PDF format at www.fhi.no

 

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