Wednesday, 4 December 2019

BOOK: The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life

The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, by Arthur Firstenberg

This book, written by Arthur Firstenberg in 2017, is one of the definitive texts on electrosensitivity, in all of its different shapes and forms. The 'Invisible Rainbow' of the title refers to electricity and the electromagnetic spectrum, most of which is completely invisible to humans, apart from a tiny portion of it which we can perceive as visible light; the colours of the rainbow.

Just as most of the electromagnetic spectrum cannot be seen with the naked eye, so it seems that 'electrosensitivity' is invisible to most non-sufferers. Symptoms arising from chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and radiation in the environment are probably experienced by most, if not all, people, and yet - officially - these harmful effects don't even exist, or else they are given to different causes.

As well as writing this book in 2017, Arthur Firstenberg has launched the INTERNATIONAL APPEAL to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space, which to date has been signed by 183,714 signatories from 208 nations and territories (as at 2nd December 2019).

This Appeal is an urgent call to the UN, the World Health Organisation, the EU, the Council of Europe, and worldwide governments, to take action:

'We the undersigned scientists, doctors, environmental organizations and citizens from (__) countries, urgently call for a halt to the deployment of the 5G (fifth generation) wireless network, including 5G from space satellites. 5G will massively increase exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation on top of the 2G, 3G and 4G networks for telecommunications already in place. RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law.'

With proceeds from the sale of this book going towards the costs of the 5G Appeal, I thought that now was a good time to write a short post to remind people about this excellent book, and especially so in the run-up to Christmas. The book definitely isn't cheap, and it's not widely available, but it is well worth searching out.

I've included links to some reviews of this book below, and at the bottom of this post, there are details of where to purchase it from.

Reviews of The Invisible Rainbow

My own comments, posted in a Facebook group:

'I found it extremely well-researched, well-written, and generally/genuinely fascinating; I certainly learnt a lot of things about electricity and electrosensitivity that I didn't know before.

As others have mentioned elsewhere, it's got a fascinating chapter called "Porphyrins and the Basis of Life", although I really need to re-read this to take it all in. I remember feeling that I was on the verge of an epiphany on reading it for the first time...!

Arthur describes some pretty spectacular and persuasive correlations between EMFs and a variety of diseases, including, topically, influenza. I guess that this sort of thing will be familiar to anyone who has read Sam Milham's book - especially when it comes to the so-called diseases of civilisation.

So yes, a riveting, eye-opening read, and up there with The Body Electric by Robert Becker I think (although thankfully without acres of felled woodland devoted to the subject of amputated salamanders...!).

The only thing that I thought could have been delved into in much greater detail - and perhaps this will be in the next book - is the huge conspiracy to bury this issue and pretend that nothing's actually wrong - the key individuals and organisations behind this, their methods, their vulnerabilities, their conflicts of interest and motivations, and so on.

Having said that, the book is sub-titled as "A History of Electricity and Life", and it certainly lives up to that description in bucket-loads. Well worth reading, if you can buy or borrow a copy.'

The Invisible Rainbow - A REVIEW AND APPRECIATION, By Miriam Lindbeck, EMRS - Ecodwell

The Invisible Rainbow - EMF Inspect

Book Review, by Frank de Vocht (Dr Frank de Vocht is a member of the COMARE committee in the UK, which guides the Government on issues relating to ionising and non-ionising radiation)

Where to buy the book:

Direct from the Cellular Phone Task Force website in the U.S.

Down to Earth EMF Services (books can be despatched to Europe and the UK):

Saturday, 2 November 2019

UK: 5G Consultation

The UK Government is currently conducting a public consultation into its plans to ease the deployment of 5G infrastructure, through changes to the planning system. This consultation ends on 4th November 2019, and you can find details of the Government's plans, and how to comment on them, here:

The Government is seeking responses to six questions concerning its plans, which you can see via the link above. Questions 2-6 are relevant to private individuals, as opposed to companies.

I've submitted a response, in which I go into a number of issues concerning 5G (as well as existing wireless technologies), and how the radiation emitted by 5G masts and small cells will pose a particular challenge for electrosensitive people such as myself. This was produced in quite a hurry, so there are probably many mistakes in it. Hopefully the general message will be clear though!

Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage

Response from: Dave Ashton
Capacity: Responding as an individual

Responses to questions 2 – 6:

2.1 No. Please see comments below.
2.2 No. Please see comments below.
3.1 No. Please see comments below.
4.1 No. Please see comments below.
5.1 No. Please see comments below.
6 Yes. Please see comments below.


In considering the Government's plans to facilitate and encourage the roll-out of 5G technologies through a drastic reform of the planning regime, it must be right to ask if this course of action is both necessary and desirable in the first place. I would argue that it is neither, and in fact that it is dangerous, anti-democratic, and entirely counter-productive.

The primary duty of any Government is to protect its citizens from harm, such as the adverse health effects resulting from exposure to the RadioFrequency (RF) radiation emitted by wireless technologies and devices.

Everybody is already exposed to layer upon layer of this radiation from 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile phones, WiFi, WiMax, smart meters, DECT cordless phones and baby monitors, mobile mast base stations, TETRA masts, radar transmitters, tv and radio transmitters, wireless laptops and tablets, wireless wearables and implantables, and an ever-growing ecosystem of 'smart' devices in the home, in cars, and just about everywhere else too.

If this radiation were categorically known to be harmless, then in 2011 it would not have been classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) / International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen. [1]

Precautionary Approach: First recommended, then ignored...

On 22nd September 2019, I performed a search on the website for 'Group 2B' and IARC' within the following official documents:

2012 AGNIR Report:  Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: health effects [2]
2013 Guidance: Radio waves: reducing exposure [3]
2013/2019 Guidance: Mobile phone base stations: radio waves and health [4]
2012/2017 Guidance: Smart meters: radio waves and health [5]
2013 Guidance: Wireless networks (wi-fi): radio waves and health [6]
2019: House of Commons Library - 5G Briefing Paper [7]

I found no reference to either term in the Government's official advice to the public, nor in its internal advice, which is a very surprising omission. Apparently, it doesn't matter to the Government that this ubiquitous radiation could be promoting cancer throughout the population, and nor is there any need for people, especially children and vulnerable individuals, to be warned about this.

In 2000, Sir William Stewart - who had been the Government's chief scientific adviser, and who chaired the  Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) – recommended, in what became known as the Stewart Report [8], that:

'...a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies be adopted until much more detailed and scientifically robust information on any health effects becomes available'


'If there are currently unrecognised adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones, children may be more vulnerable because of their developing nervous system, the greater absorption of energy in the tissues of the head (paragraph 4.37), and a longer lifetime of exposure. In line with our precautionary approach, we believe that the widespread use of mobile phones by children for non-essential calls should be discouraged. We also recommend that the mobile phone industry should refrain from promoting the use of mobile phones by children'

This report highlighted the 'precautionary principle':

'Where there is uncertainty as to the existence or extent of risks to human health, the [European] Commission may take protective measures without having to wait until the reality or seriousness of those risks becomes apparent'

We now have much more scientific evidence linking the use of wireless technologies to an extensive array of harmful health effects, including cancer, than was available at the time of the Stewart Report.

For example, an IARC expert committee recently recommended that RF radiation be re-evaluated with high priority in the light of recent scientific findings [9] – particularly relating to the results of the National Toxicology Program studies in the U.S., and the Ramazzini Institute studies in Italy.

However, although lip-service is paid to the idea, the precautionary approach doesn't actually exist. The use of RF radiation-emitting devices is ubiquitous, even amongst very young children, and their chronic exposure now starts in utero.

Government and the authorities in denial

Successive governments have ignored the warnings of independent scientific and medical experts, listening instead to the industry, and to conflicted groups and organisations with an agenda. Worst of all, people are not being warned.

In June this year, when asked a parliamentary question about 5G by the MP for Stroud, Nicky Morgan, the Digital Minister, said that:

'A considerable amount of research has been carried out on radio waves and we anticipate no negative effects on public health' [10]

In media articles about 5G, Public Health England (PHE) says that:

'...there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area. However the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequences to public health.' [11]

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital and Broadband, is quoted by Inside Towers as saying:

“There is no compelling evidence for any increased concern about 5G roll-out compared to WiFi, 3G or 4G and there are well-established limits for radio equipment within which any new kit must operate...These limits are acknowledged by Public Health England in the UK and the World Health Organization. We want to support work that will bust health myths over 5G and provide evidence-based reassurance to the public” [12]

So, no negative effects are anticipated, exposure is expected to remain relatively 'low', there should be no consequences to public health, and there is no compelling evidence for increased concern. Imagine if untested drugs were sold on this uncertain basis, and the Government and other public bodies encouraged this. Yet, with 5G, this is precisely what is happening.

5G will increase exposure to radio waves, and the proposals detailed in this consultation will increase exposure to radio waves, through the removal of any remaining mobile 'not-spots', the addition of more layers of electrosmog, and the siting of radiation emitting masts (called 'small cells') even closer to people's homes, schools, shops, and to other public areas.

In addition, we have some new technologies to be tested out on the unsuspecting public for the first time, such as millimetre wave radiation, MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), and 'beam-forming' (which appears to essentially involve targeting the hapless 5G phone user with a directed beam of radiation, although what happens to anybody who happens to get in the way isn't clear).

The Digital Minister can anticipate whatever she likes, but the independent, non-industry science should give any responsible Member of Parliament considerable pause for thought. 5G has not been safety tested by independent experts who are unsullied by links to the industry prior to its introduction. As U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal put it in a recent 5G Senate Commerce Hearing when grilling wireless industry representatives:

'So there really is no research ongoing.  We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned' [13]

Whilst some towns, cities, and countries around the world are pausing the 5G rollout until independent science shows that the technology is safe, the UK seems intent on removing any remaining checks and balances provided by the planning system. It is therefore limiting the ability of local councils – and people - to have a meaningful say in a matter that will be of huge and lasting consequence for them.

A recent article in a US legal journal, 'Putting the Cart Before the Horse – The FCC’s “5G First, Safety Second” Policy' [14], describes how the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates wireless communications, still uses out-of-date RF Radiation safety limits, which ignore the independent, non-industry scientific evidence, and which therefore fail to protect the public. In the UK, we are doing exactly the same thing.

State of the Art Science

The National Toxicology Program in the U.S. has been described as the 'gold standard' of toxicology research. It has fairly recently tested the RF Radiation from 2G and 3G mobile phone technologies, at exposure levels that were too low to cause significant heating of bodily tissues in the test animals. In the information leaflet that accompanied the results [15], it summarised the findings:

* Clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas.
* Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas.
* Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were pheochromocytomas.

It noted that:

 '...the studies question the long-held assumption that radio frequency radiation is of no concern as  long as the energy level is low and does not significantly heat the tissues'

This is a very significant statement, because it is this 'long-held assumption' that forms the basis of the UK's RF Radiation exposure limits, through its implementation of the International Commmission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection's (ICNIRP's) Guidelines. RF Radiation is of huge concern, as everybody is already exposed to this Group 2B Carcinogen, whether they like it or not, and whether they use wireless devices or not. We're all lab rats now.

A companion study [16], carried out by the Ramazzini Institute in Italy, reported that:

'A statistically significant increase in the incidence of heart Schwannomas was observed in treated male rats at the highest dose (50 V/m)'.

It gets worse though. The NTP has recently published its 'Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure' [17]. This paper states that:

'...these results suggest that exposure to RFR (RadioFrequency Radiation) is associated with an increase in DNA damage'

The NTP is a U.S. inter-agency program, which is composed of three Government agencies. It is not a bunch of wild conspiracy theorists pushing an agenda. What it says matters. The implication of DNA damage being done to humans, plants and animals through environmental exposure to RF Radiation is truly chilling, and the Government bears large responsibility for this, through its support for harmful wireless technologies such as 5G.

The results of these two major toxicology studies, with more results to follow, stand in stark contrast to the  official advice that is provided by Public Health England, the Government, and other organisations.

Crisis at ICNIRP, the WHO, PHE, and COMARE

The UK follows the RF Radiation exposure guidelines provided by ICNIRP, which is a private, unaccountable, self-appointed, and industry-friendly organisation, based in Germany, and which is part-funded by the German State.

244 scientists from around the world have put their names to the EMF Call [18]. This states that:

'ICNIRP’s opinion and guidelines are unscientific and protect industry, not public health.'

They continue:

'ICNIRP’s mandate to issue exposure guidelines needs to be seriously questioned. ICNIRP is not independent of industry ties as it claims...Its opinions are not objective, not representative of the body of scientific evidence, but are biased in favor of industry. It is obvious from their reluctance to consider scientific findings of harm that ICNIRP protects industry, not the public health, nor the environment.

ICNIRP’s first chairman and other experts have or have had financial ties to the telecom, military and/or power industry...Their first chairman managed to head the WHO EMF project using WHO as an umbrella to promote ICNIRP guidelines as the world standard. That person was also responsible for channeling funding from the telecom industry to the WHO EMF project for several years.'

Concerning 5G, an article in the Telegraph [19] recently quoted Dr Eric Van Rongen, ICNIRP Chairman, as saying:

'It was not set up as a public health experiment, but of course you can consider it as such'.

Indeed. 5G is self-evidently a public health experiment, on a massive scale.  As are 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi, and all other artificial sources of pulsed, polarized, and modulated RF/microwave radiation. What is more, there is no provision to opt out of this particular public health experiment.

ICNIRP's assumption informs PHE, the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), the former Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), and even the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Analysis by Investigate Europe [20] shows how intertwined all of these organisations are, and how the same names keep cropping up. One of these names is an engineer called Dr Simon Mann, who is an ICNIRP Scientific Expert Group member, at the same time as being Head of the Physical Dosimetry Department at PHE.

I understand that he is / was also involved with:

The COMARE Secretariat
The former AGNIR
The National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Health Impact of Environmental Hazards
The former National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB)
The former Health Protection Agency (HPA)
The former Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme (50% funded by the wireless industry)

Media articles about 5G and health effects, such as this one in the Bristol Post, [21] regularly quote Dr Mann:

“It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing telecommunications network or in a new area.

“However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequences for public health.”

What these articles generally do not mention is his membership of ICNIRP. In her critique [22] of the former AGNIR,  neuroscientist Dr Sarah Starkey said:

'Currently, six members of AGNIR and three members of PHE or its parent organisation, the Department of Health (DH), are or have been part of ICNIRP...When the group charged with assessing whether there is evidence of health effects occurring at exposures below current ICNIRP values have members who are responsible for setting the guidelines, it introduces a conflict of interest'

Shortly after her paper was published, coincidence or not, AGNIR was quietly disbanded. Dr Mann's involvement in COMARE and PHE continues though, along with his membership of ICNIRP.

In the UK, the National Planning Policy Framework prevents health concerns - for example over the installation of a new mobile phone base station close to homes – from being taken into account in planning decisions. RF Radiation exposures complying with ICNIRP's limits are deemed to be safe. All scientific evidence showing that ICNIRP's Guidelines are flawed is dismissed.

In addition, it has recently been reported by The Times [23] that Matt Warman, the digital and broadband minister, has ordered councils not to block 5G due to health concerns. He is quoted as saying that:

'There is currently no compelling evidence to back up concerns about 5G'

This is a bold statement to make, given that the safety of 5G has not been independently tested and verified. Again, ICNIRP's Guidelines, which have been redrafted to cover the higher frequencies to be used in 5G, serve as a figleaf. Everything will be within ICNIRP's limits, therefore everything will be fine.

The criticism of ICNIRP's Guidelines comes from many directions. The author of a recent article in IEEE Microwave Magazine [24] recently said this:

'The time is right for the IARC to upgrade its previous epidemiology based classification of RF exposure to higher levels in terms of the carcinogenicity of RF radiation for humans'

What is remarkable, and what must surely be causing consternation behind closed doors at ICNIRP, PHE and COMARE, is that the person who wrote this is Dr James C. Lin, a former member of the ICNIRP Commission.

To compound ICNIRP's woes, the 252 experts from all around the world who have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal [25], say that:

'Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans.

Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life...It is our opinion that, because the ICNIRP guidelines do not cover long-term exposure and low-intensity effects, they are insufficient to protect public health''

The results of the studies of the NTP and the Ramazzini Institute appear to disprove ICNIRP's assumption, as all exposures of the test animals were calibrated at levels that were insufficient to cause thermal effects. In these toxicology studies, exposure to 2G and 3G RF Radiation was found to promote DNA damage, and to lead to cancer in some of the test animals. The evidence was categorised as 'clear' and 'statistically significant' respectively. Indeed, the Ramazzini Institute results served to replicate the findings of the National Toxicology Program.

An attempt by ICNIRP to downplay the significance of the NTP and RI results [26] smacks of desperation. What is more, the NTP and RI results build upon the substantial scientific literature showing harmful effects that already exists.

ICNIRP/WHO/PHE/COMARE are being confronted with credible, non-conflicted scientific evidence, which  contradicts their thermal effects-only paradigm. It follows that the RF Radiation 'safety levels' that govern the  exposure of every single person in the UK (even honourable and right honourable Members of Parliament) have been shown to be fatally flawed.

ICNIRP is in crisis, as the non-industry scientific evidence keeps stacking up. PHE, COMARE and the WHO, because of their close working relationship with ICNIRP, are also therefore in crisis. What ICNIRP says, they say. ICNIRP's flawed  assumption is their flawed  assumption.

The UK Government is therefore encouraging and facilitating the irradiation of its population with an untested technology, using flawed safety limits. Every type of artificial RF Radiation – including 5G - is currently classified as a possible carcinogen. The UK Government is therefore in a crisis that is partly of its own making, even if it doesn't yet know it, or admit it.

The discrimination of people with 'Protected Characteristics'

Question 6 of the Government's 5G consultation refers to 'people with protected characteristics', as is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act of 2010.

The Government believes that 'the changes raised in this consultation will have a positive effect on all persons, including those with protected characteristics'. In fact, the Government's plans would be deeply discriminatory against many of these people.

It is known that children, for example, are particularly vulnerable to RF radiation from mobile phones and so on (see papers on the subject by Professor Om Gandhi).  The public is not being warned, and people - including very young children - are using these devices in an unconstrained manner. They are being exposed to the radiation from wireless infrastructure on a daily basis, and very few will have any idea of what the long term consequences are likely to be.

In addition, people who are sensitised to this radiation, such as myself,  will also be discriminated against, as we will be subjected to yet more RF radiation, and will lose any last remaining 'not spots' of reduced levels of RF radiation to which we can flee.

It appears that we are to be denied the fundamental human right to say whether or not we wish to be exposed to ubiquitous radiation in the environment. First it was cellular services such as 2G, 3G and 4G, then WiFi everywhere, then so-called 'smart meters', and now 5G small cells and other infrastructure. We are being steadily disenfranchised, concerning one of the most critical issues of our time.

Many of us lose our jobs, and sometimes our homes, because of our sensitivity, and the terrible symptoms that we are forced to endure on a daily basis. Our condition is then denied as being 'real' by the ignorant, or  by those with interests to protect. Our right to protest via the planning process is removed. We are patted on the head, and told that our condition is 'psychological'. With the honourable exception of one or two MPs, the Government and official organisations treat us with utter contempt.

With the advent of 5G small cells in close proximity to our homes, and the relaxation of any remaining planning constraints for wireless infrastructure, who knows what the effect on sensitised people will be, except to say that it will be very bad indeed.

The Government has been warned repeatedly over the years about the harmful effects of RF Radiation, not just on sensitised people such as myself, but on everybody, including infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those who are either sick, or who are predisposed to illness. The non-industry science is clearly showing that these warnings were, and are, well-founded. The Government is in very big trouble indeed.


In light of the credible, compelling, and deeply disturbing, scientific evidence, the Government would be best advised to abandon its plans for 5G altogether, let alone its misguided attempts to relax the planning regime. The country needs 5G like it needs a hole in the head, and any so-called 'benefits' of this technology will be an illusion, when set against the costs.

Sooner or later, the Government is going to have to bow to reality, and deal with the long-term health, societal, and economic issues which result from the ubiquitous and 24/7 exposure of the whole population to harmful electromagnetic radiation.

As people throughout the country start to become aware of what is happening, in a sort of Age of Electromagnetic Enlightenment, they will demand that the Government, of whatever political colour, stops denying everything, stops relying on conflicted individuals and organisations for advice, and instead starts to take its fundamental duty to protect them seriously.

The number of decent and informed individuals who are becoming aware of this self-induced public health crisis is steadily growing, and they are seeing through the fog of misinformation and propaganda to the truth which lies beyond. To proceed with 5G would be an act of monumental folly, which the people would surely never forgive.


1) Non-ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields - IARC
2) Research and analysis: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: health effects (AGNIR Report 2012)
3) Guidance: Radio waves: reducing exposure
4) Guidance: Mobile phone base stations: radio waves and health
5) Guidance: Smart meters: radio waves and health
6) Guidance: Wireless networks (wi-fi): radio waves and health
7) 5G Briefing Paper (House of Commons Library)
8) Mobile Phones and Health - Independent Export Group on Mobile Phones, 2000
9) Report of the Advisory Group to Recommend Priorities for the IARC Monographs during 2020–2024
10) 5G will have ‘no negative effects on public health’, says digital minister
11) Should we be hung up over 5G mega masts?... - Mail, 16th October 2019
12) UK Puts Local Authorities on Notice: Say ‘Yes’ to 5G - Inside Towers, 16th October 2019
13) At Senate Commerce Hearing, Blumenthal Raises Concerns on 5G Wireless Technology's Potential Health Risks
14) Putting the Cart Before the Horse – The FCC’s “5G First, Safety Second” Policy
15) Cell Phone Radio Frequency Radiation Studies - National Toxicology Program
16) Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission - Ramazzini Institute
17) Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure
18) The EMF Call - Call for Truly Protective Limits for Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (100 kHz to 300 GHz)
19) ICNIRP Chairman, Eric van Rongen, clarifies issues from ‘The Telegraph’ interview - Between A Rock and a Hard Place, 15th March 2019
20) The 5G Mass Experiment - Investigate Europe
21) Could Bristol councillors end the roll-out of 5G in Bristol? Bristol Post, 5th September 2019
22) Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation
23) Don’t block 5G, ministers tell councils - Times, 14th October 2019
24) NTP Cell Phone Radiation Study: Final Reports – Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
25) International EMF Scientist Appeal
26) ICNIRP Note 2019

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Mobile Phones: BBC Bias

The BBC, Britain's state broadcaster, aired an extremely biased piece about mobile phones on Tuesday 23rd April 2019, as part of a programme called 'Heath: Truth or Scare'. I was contacted about this by a severely electrosensitive person, who was upset about the one-sided nature of the coverage.

On watching the programme myself, I was amazed at the BBC's portrayal of mobile phones and other wireless devices as being essentially harmless. Indeed, the idea that these things are harmful was described as a 'myth' by one of the presenters.

The programme featured two 'experts', who both denied that mobile phones are harmful. This message was reiterated by one of the presenters, as well as by the reporter. Apparently, the BBC had failed to do even a small amount of research beforehand, and had also failed to invite a properly qualified EMF expert to take part.

The poor lady and her family who were the subject of the piece were given some spectacularly bad advice by one of the 'experts', and I very much hope that sooner or later, she comes to realise this.

I've just sent in a complaint to the BBC about the programme, which you can find below. I've also added links to a couple of videos - one containing the programme's 'lowlights', and the other with the whole piece on mobile phones.

If you feel like I did after watching this industry propaganda, I've also added information at the bottom on how to complain to the BBC. The more complaints that they receive - no matter how brief they are - the more they will realise what a blunder it was for them to broadcast this biased piece in the first place.

VIDEO: 'Lowlights' of the programme (5.22 minutes):

VIDEO: Complete section of the BBC programme about mobile phones - can be downloaded (13 minutes approx.):

My complaint to the BBC - sent 29th April 2019

Complaint. Health: Truth or Scare, Series 3 Episode 2 - Broadcast at 9:15am, 23 Apr 2019

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to complain about the section in this programme that discussed the issue of 'whether radiation from mobile phones really is causing brain cancer' [1].

The BBC is a public service broadcaster, and its Editorial Guidelines state that:

'The Agreement accompanying the BBC Charter requires us to do all we can to ensure controversial subjects are treated with due impartiality in our news and other output dealing with matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy' [2].

Unfortunately though, this programme completely failed to cover this issue with 'due impartiality', as I summarise below. 

1) The programme approached the issue in a biased, one-sided manner, and presented the debate as having been settled, describing any view to the contrary as a 'myth'.

2) It called upon the testimony of just two supposed experts concerning the biological effects of electromagnetic radiation; however, the expertise of these individuals in the field of non-ionising radiation is not obvious, and their no-effects bias was evident.

3) The programme gave misleading, scientifically incorrect, and irresponsible information, and omitted providing crucial advice, not just to the lady who featured in this segment, but also to the wider public, with potentially serious repercussions. 

Taking each of my complaints in turn:

1. Biased coverage

The BBC only presented one side of the issue of whether or not mobile phone (and other) wireless technologies are harmful, and can cause cancer. It relied upon two 'experts' who stated that the radiation is not harmful, but it didn't feature any experts to counter this opinion.

The two experts, the reporter, and one of the presenters, all made statements that are not supported by the majority of the independent, non-industry, science. Any member of the public who viewed this programme, and who was not aware of the science, would naturally believe that mobile phones (and wireless technologies in general) had been given a clean bill of health by the BBC and its 'experts', and that their use - even by very young children - was therefore without risk.

2. Biased 'experts'

The BBC featured two 'experts' on the biological effects of exposure to the radiation that is emitted by mobile phones and other wireless technologies - Professor Malcolm Sperrin and Yolanda Ohene.

Professor Dariusz Leszczynski, who was a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group which in 2011 classified RF radiation as a possible carcinogen, said this following the programme:

'BBC should do better selection of experts to make their science program believable. Continuous repeating, as BBC journalists and experts did, of ICNIRP and telecom's mantra that "low power" radiation emitted by wireless devices has no health effects misrepresents what scientific research has found.

Just two examples of BBC experts with no expertise in wireless radiation but who provided a very definite opinions of no-health-effects-whatsoever:

BBC expert, Dr Ohene, has 2 peer-reviewed publications on MRI, as listed on PubMed database. She has also 5 conference abstracts listed on Google Scholar website. And that is all. Sort of little for the thorough in-depth expertise on wireless radiation.

BBC expert, Prof. Sperrin: "I've been associated with the military for many years" ( Just to recall, cell phones derived in 80's from the military technology. Thus, the military background might be considered a bias. Prof Sperrin's list of publications on Google Scholar lists 19 articles, mostly on radon. No practical research expertise with wireless radiation.' [3].

An online search shows that Professor Sperrin has, over many years, claimed that the radiation from wireless technologies is safe, despite his apparent lack of expertise on non-ionising radiation. For example, he is quoted in a BBC article published in 2007 as saying that:

'...evidence points to wi-fi transmissions being well below any likely threshold for human effect'. [4].

No non-ionising radiation expert was invited to counter the opinions expressed on the programme with a fact-based evaluation of the science, and an analysis of the potential for wireless technologies and infrastructure to harm health at exposures that are below the current allowable levels.

3. Misleading, incorrect, contradictory, and irresponsible statements, plus omissions

The following statements were made by the presenters, reporter, and chosen experts over the course of the programme. My comments are in parenthesis.

Yolanda Ohene (expert):

(Stickers were given to Ashley to put on her wireless devices, denoting low, medium or high risk when it comes to radiation emissions)

'It [RF radiation] doesn't do any damage to the cells' (false - see the scientific literature)

'It [mobile phone] does give off some radiation, but it's a radiofrequency wave, so we can change this [sticker] from high to, perhaps, a medium' (non-sequitur, and contradicts other statements, such as the cells not being damaged by RF radiation)

'The light from the sun would be much more damaging than these [wireless] devices' (where is the peer-reviewed evidence to support this assertion?)

'It [sunbathing without sunscreen in Barbados] would be so much worse than even using 10 mobile phones at the same time' (where is the peer-reviewed evidence to support this assertion?)

'The cells in your body are not going to be harmed by this [radiation]' (false - see the scientific literature)

Kevin Duala (presenter)

'(it's) great to know I don't have to worry about the radiation from my mobile phone...I mean that is one myth Angela that doesn't seem to be going away' (IARC's classification is not a myth)

Steve Brown (reporter)

'So there is no evidence that the radiofrequencies emitted from our mobile phones cause illness in human beings' (false - see the scientific literature)

'So because the radiation emitted from mobile phones and wifi routers is the very weak non-ionising kind, there is no evidence to suggest we're in danger of developing any health problems from it' (false - see the scientific literature; also, this assumes that it is the intensity of the radiation alone that causes biological damage, and not the polarity, frequency, pulsation, duration, modulation etc.)

Professor Malcolm Sperrin (expert)

'There's no evidence that suggests you should worry' (false - see the scientific literature; there is actually a great deal of evidence to worry about)

The statements, made by Professor Malcolm Sperrin, Yolanda Ohene, Steve Brown and Kevin Duala were either misleading, contradictory, or false, as even a superficial examination of the non-industry, peer-reviewed, scientific literature shows.

Were members of the public to believe what they have been told by the presenters and experts on this programme, they would potentially be putting themselves and their families at great risk.

Also, there was no mention in the programme of any of the following:

a) The formal classification in 2011 of RF radiation as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer / World Health Organisation, on the basis of an increased risk of glioma [5].

Also, an IARC expert group has recently recommended that high priority be given to a re-evaluation of RF radiation, in light of recent scientific findings [6].

b) The results of two recent scientific studies, carried out by the National Toxicology Program in the US, and the Ramazzini Institute in Italy, which found 'clear' and 'statistically significant' evidence respectively of a link between mobile phone / mobile mast radiation and cancer [7] [8].

c) A recent study, and related analysis, showing a doubling in the occurence of the most deadly form of brain cancer in England, and the possible link between this and the use of mobile phones [9].

d) The substantial body of non-industry scientific literature showing evidence of harm from RF radiation (see the EMF Portal, the BioInitiative Report, or the ORSAA database) [10] [11] [12].

e) The RF radiation warning that is buried deep in the phone itself, or in small print in the manual, advising that the device should not be held against the body; Ashley was filmed taking her phone out of her back pocket, but no attention was drawn of this. By storing the phone there, she was potentially exposed to radiation from the phone which exceeded the international limits.

f) The fact that the insurance industry will not cover any health effects of exposure to the RF radiation from wireless technologies [13].

g) Two significant papers by Om Gandhi, Life Fellow at the IEEE: 'Microwave Emissions From Cell Phones Exceed Safety Limits in Europe and the US When Touching the Body' [14], and 'Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children' [15].

h) The warnings of the 247 experts who have signed the International EMF [Electro Magnetic Field] Scientist Appeal, which has been sent to the UN, all UN member states, and the World Health Organisation (emphasis mine):

'Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life...It is our opinion that, because the ICNIRP guidelines do not cover long-term exposure and low-intensity effects, they are insufficient to protect public health' [16].

i) The fact that the UK follows the radiation exposure guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which have been criticised as inadequate by many experts, including Dr Lennart Hardell, the oncologist whose studies were instrumental in IARC's 2011 classification of RF radiation as a possible carcinogen:

'The exposure guideline used by many agencies was established in 1998 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and was based only on established short-term thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation neglecting non-thermal biological effects...ICNIRP is a private organisation (NGO) based in Germany. New expert members can only be elected by members of ICNIRP. Many of ICNIRP members have ties to the industry that is dependent on the ICNIRP guidelines. The guidelines are of huge economic and strategic importance to the military, telecom/IT and power industry' [17].

j) The paper 'Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation', written by neuroscientist Dr Sarah Starkey:

'The Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) 2012 report forms the basis of official advice on the safety of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields in the United Kingdom...PHE [Public Health England] and AGNIR had a responsibility to provide accurate information about the safety of RF fields. Unfortunately, the report suffered from an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest. Public health and the well-being of other species in the natural world cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up'

Her critique shows that three senior members of PHE are also members of ICNIRP, and she notes that:

'Independence from ICNIRP is necessary to remove the conflict of interest when effects below ICNIRP exposure guidelines are being assessed' [18].

(Subsequent to the publication of her paper, coincidence or not, AGNIR was quietly disbanded...)

k} The subsequent calls by a number of the experts who were part of the 2011 IARC RF radiation working group for the cancer classification of this agent to be raised, to either Group 2A Probable Carcinogen, or Group 1 Human Carcinogen. These include Dr Lennart Hardell [19], Dr Anthony Miller [20], and Professor Dariusz Leszczynski [21].

l) The health risks associated with the blue light that is emitted by mobile phones and other wireless devices, which were highlighted by Dame Sally Davies, the Government's Chief Medical Officer, in her 2017 report: 'Health Impacts of All Pollution – what do we know?' [22].

m) The advice issued in 2000, and reiterated in 2004, by the Government's Scientific Adviser, Sir William Stewart ('The Stewart Report'):

'If there are currently unrecognised adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones, children may be especially vulnerable because of their developing nervous system, the greater absorption of energy on the tissues of the head...and a longer lifetime of exposure. In line with our precautionary approach, we believe that the widespread use of mobile phones by children for non-essential calls should be discouraged. We also recommend that the mobile phone industry should refrain from promoting the use of mobile phones by children'. [23].

(Should the BBC therefore also refrain from promoting and normalising their use by children...?)

n) The advice given in the Health Protection Agency's response to the 2012 Advisory Group on Non Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) report, which said:

'Excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged, while adults should make their own choices as to whether they wish to reduce their exposures, but be enabled to do this from an informed position' [24].

This advice is repeated by Public Health England [25].

o) The advice given by the NHS:

'Children should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep all calls short' [26 ], and 'The UK Chief Medical Officers advise that children and young people under 16 should be encouraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only, and to keep calls short' [27].

(Footage was shown in the programme of Ashley's young children using mobile phones and other wireless devices, but no warning was given by the BBC that this practice is officially discouraged)

p) The recent request of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to the Government:

''The report of the Independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation [AGNIR] on the ‘Health effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields’ is now nearly seven years old. In its Response to our Report, we ask the Government to outline what assessment it has made of the quantity and quality of the research on this topic, published since 2012, and to explain whether another evidence review is now warranted' [28].

(To its credit, the Committee did not describe the concern that the radiation from wireless devices such as mobile phones might be harming children as a 'myth'...)


When an issue is of such fundamental importance to human health as the biological effects of radiation from ubiquitous wireless devices and infrastructure, it is surely the duty of the BBC to present both sides of the scientific debate fairly, and without bias. It should not cherry-pick the scientific evidence and the experts that it uses, nor offer advice to the viewing public that is false, misleading, or potentially harmful. It should also not normalise the casual use of radiation-emitting technologies by young children, as this would be contrary to official advice.

The BBC failed to display due impartiality in this programme, but I hope that my complaint is examined in a more objective manner, and that it is ultimately upheld.

Please can I suggest that in order to remedy the damage that I would argue has been done, it would be appropriate for the BBC to produce and air another tv programme in which this crucial issue is addressed in a much more balanced manner, and with the participation of properly qualified experts from both sides of the debate.

There is an abundance of scientific evidence showing that the radiation from wireless devices and technologies is harmful, and that the current safety guidelines are not protective, as they are based on a false assumption (i.e. that the radiofrequency/microwave radiation from wireless devices is safe, so long as it doesn't heat you too much...).

There are also official and other organisations which argue that there is no 'convincing', 'conclusive', or 'consistent' evidence of harm, and who do not practice a 'precautionary approach', other than in name alone. In order to have a fair debate, so that the public interest is properly served, both sides must be allowed to have their say, the facts must be presented, and BBC presenters and reporters should really keep their opinions to themselves.

Yours faithfully,

Dave Ashton


1. Truth or Scare, Series 3 Episode 2, BBC, Broadcast at 9:15am, 23 Apr 2019

2. BBC Editorial Guidelines

3. Professor Dariusz Leszczynski

4. Wi-fi health fears are 'unproven' - BBC, 21st May 2007

5. IARC Monograph 102

6. Lancet Oncology, 17th April 2019

7. National Toxicology Program

8. Ramazzini Institute

9. Glioblastomas Have Doubled in Number in England Since Mobile Phones Were Introduced in 1995 - Franz Adlkofer

10. EMF Portal

11. BioInitiative Report

12. ORSAA Database

13. Electromagnetic Field Insurance Policy Exclusion Are The Standard - Environmental Health Trust

14. Microwave Emissions From Cell Phones Exceed Safety Limits in Europe and the US When Touching the Body, OM P. GANDHI

15. Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children - Om Gandhi et al

16. International EMF Scientist Appeal

17. World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health - a hard nut to crack (Review) - Lennart Hardell

18. Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation - Sarah J. Starkey

19. Evaluation of Mobile Phone and Cordless Phone Use and Glioma Risk Using the Bradford Hill Viewpoints from 1965 on Association or Causation - Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg

20. Cancer epidemiology update, following the 2011 IARC evaluation of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (Monograph 102) - Anthony Miller et al

21. Something potentially BIG is brewing down-under for the 5G – A class action lawsuit, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 30th July 2018

22. Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2017

23. Mobile Phones and Health, IEGMP, Chairman Sir William Stewart

24. HPA response to the 2012 AGNIR report on the health effects from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, 1st April 2012

25. Radio waves: reducing exposure from mobile phones - Public Health England

26. Overview: Mobile phone safety - NHS

27. Mobile Phones and Base Stations, NHS, 2011

28. Impact of screen-use on young people's health - House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

How to complain (by online form, phone, or address to send a letter to):

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Call on IARC to re-evaluate RF Radiation

Everyone - not just experts - can nominate an agent for IARC to examine, in order to decide whether it is carcinogenic to humans. Nominations must be received by 15th January 2019, and they will be considered at its meeting  'Recommend Priorities for the IARC Monographs during 2020–2024', which takes place on 25–27 March 2019.

IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organisation) is holding a meeting in March 2019 in order to decide which agents to study over the next few years. Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation from wireless technologies is an obvious candidate for their consideration. It is emitted by phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters, mobile masts (cell towers), etc., it is just about everywhere, and it is currently classified as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen.

In 2011, IARC determined that there is limited evidence in humans of a link between RF Radiation and glioma and acoustic neuroma. Since then, the non-industry scientific evidence has continued to accumulate, showing that as well as being linked to tumours, RF radiation can also cause many other health effects, including electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

Despite IARC's decision, a precautionary approach to the mass deployment of wireless technologies has generally NOT been adopted, and now new 5G millimetre wave frequencies are to be added to the electrosmog to which we are all exposed on a daily basis. Nobody really knows what the total effect of this will be on human, animal and plant life, but many scientific experts are warning that the consequences are likely to be dire.

Major studies carried out by the National Toxicology Program in the US, and the Ramazzini Institute in Italy, have recently found 'clear' and 'statistically significant' evidence respectively of a link between RF radiation and tumours:


Ramazzini Institute

What more evidence do we really need?

Despite this, all warnings and appeals to Governments and other official organisations fall upon deaf ears, no precautions are taken, and we are told that this electrosmog is safe as long as it is kept within 'internationally agreed' guidelines, such as those provided by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation, which is a small, self-appointed organisation based in Germany, with known commercial and military links.

To illustrate the sheer scale of the problem, the GSMA - an industry lobby group - says that 'the number of unique mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2025, equivalent to 71% of the world’s population'. It adds that (wireless) Internet of Things connections 'will increase more than threefold worldwide between 2017 and 2025, reaching 25 billion'.

Perhaps one of the few remaining ways in which sanity could be restored, and meaningful action taken, might be if IARC were to reclassify RF radiation as either a Group 2A Probable Carcinogen, or even as a Group 1 Human Carcinogen. Just look what happened with Roundup / Monsanto after Glyphosate was classified as a Group 2A Probable Carcinogen

Everyone is able to nominate an agent for IARC to study; it says this on their website, and I emailed them for verification, which I duly received.

The form itself is a bit fiddly to use. I downloaded the .pdf file of the form, and filled it in on the computer. Even though you may not be an expert who will taking part in the actual deliberations, you will still need to fill in the Conflicts of Interest section of the form. You will also need to create a 'digital signature', and add this at the bottom of the form. Instructions on how to do this are given via the link below, and please note that you will need the free software Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your device to add the digital signature to the form.

I really believe that if IARC were to re-evaluate RF radiation, taking into account the recent results from the National Toxicology Program and Ramazzini Institute study results, and if the classification was subsequently tightened - even if only to Group 2A Probable Carcinogen - then this would change everything. Just imagine a world where it is officially acknowledged that exposure to radiation from wireless devices and technologies will probably cause cancer.

If you'd like to suggest that IARC re-evaluate RF Radiation (or any other agent, come to that), the link is below. The link below this is to a page with further information about this meeting. Below this is a link to a copy of the form that I submitted, with my email address removed.

It seems to me that if we want things to change for the better, we will need to be instrumental in that change. Nominating RF Radiation as an agent for IARC to study - urgently - would be a good place to start...

FORM: Nomination of Agents for Future IARC Monographs

IARC Monographs - Upcoming Meetings (additional links and information)

My agent nomination to IARC

Image from:

(Please note that Coffee, shown in the image at the top, is now classified as  Group 3: 'Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans')