In May, 190 scientists from 39 nations appealed to the World Health Organization (WHO) to “exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines…” The letter was developed by a committee that included professors from Columbia University, Trent University, the Uni- versity of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley. It was then signed by a host of university professors and researchers from around the world.
The directive cited several key studies that have shown that radiation from electromagnetic fields—even low-frequency radiation—is a possible cause of cancer. The WHO adopted a classification for extremely low-frequency electro- magnetic radiation in 2002 and in 2011 classified radiofrequency (RF) radiation within its Group 2B—a “possible human carcinogen.”
The letter points out that while WHO has accepted these classifications, there have been no guidelines or standards created by the agency or in conjunction with other agencies. It recommends a convening of the United Nations Environmental Programme and the funding of an independent committee to explore practical means of regulating the widespread and uncontrolled expansion of wireless technologies throughout our environment. The appeal also calls for the protection specifically of children and pregnant women and a strengthening of regulations placed on technology manufacturers.
Berkeley, California, set a precedent on May 12 by acknowledging the health risk posed by RF radiation and adopting the Right to Know Ordinance, requiring electronics retailers to warn customers about the potential health risks associated with it. It reads, “If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is on and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation.” The ordinance requires that the notice be displayed in stores that sell mobile phones.