History in this area begins nearly 70 years ago.
Currently-entrenched official positions on safe RF public
exposure levels originated in the 1950s, during the period known
as the Cold War between the United States of America (USA) and
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). At this time,
the US Department of Defense (DOD) was charged with developing
radar (radio-based detection and ranging) systems capable of
detecting incoming Soviet missiles.
This meant that the US military had a major vested interest in
producing radar installations that were as powerful as possible.
Objections raised by local US communities upset at the unheralded
appearance of such facilities in their neighborhoods
were dismissed as a minor cost in comparison with the perceived
benefit of preventing nuclear annihilation.
Thus, in terms of the above definition of conflict of interest,
both of the interests that were clearly in conflict here were
perceived to be protection of the public — it is just that one
of them (the one that prevailed) was a product of military paranoia,
while the other involved the much more mundane question of everyday
health and safety.
A further complication during this historical period was that
microwaves were widely used in diathermy, a then popular medical
treatment for a number of conditions thought to be improved by
tissue heating. Hence, it was convenient for both military and
medical circles in the US to ignore early scientific indications
to the contrary and choose to believe uncritically the hypothesis
that the only way in which microwave radiation could affect
biological organisms was by heating them.
Interestingly however, when it came to the setting of standards
regulating the level of microwave radiation to which people could
safely be exposed, the medical profession was deemed to have too much
vested interest in diathermy to participate,
while the obvious conflict of interest involved in making the
military responsible for setting acceptable microwave power limits
By 1960, all three branches of the US military had concluded,
on the basis of one man’s calculations and some minimal
experimentation (involving disruption of food-motivated
behavior in irradiated laboratory animals) that 10 mW/cm2 was a
safe power density limit to prevent excessive tissue heating,
and after some debate, this figure duly became the basis of the
first IEEE/ANSI C95.1 microwave standard in 1966.
Thereafter, the DOD treated all reports of biological effects of
RF power densities less than 10 mW/cm2 as a threat to national
security and shut down any lab that produced them [4,5,6].
In contrast, the Soviets whose imagined missiles the DOD was
charged with detecting and destroying concentrated on following
up early reports of sub-thermal microwave effects,
and as a result, set their exposure limit at 0.01 mW/cm2.
This thousand-fold stricter limit posed a serious problem for US
military planners — if any of America’s western European allies
were tempted to adopt it, deployment of American radar installations
in Europe would be jeopardized.
Therefore, concurrent with the space/arms race, an RF standards
race was played out in various international organizations, such as
WHO (the World Health Organization) and NATO (the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization) .
Internationalization of what was by now the unchallengable dogma
that tissue heating was the only possible biological effect of RF
was achieved by the simple expedient of embedding individuals
committed to the thermal-only narrative in WHO and NATO.
In 1971, Sol Michaelson, the American who had been most instrumental
in the adoption of the thermal-only standard by ANSI C95.1,
was appointed to a committee called the Task Group on Environmental
Health Criteria for Radiofrequency and Microwaves,
jointly convened by WHO and the International Radiation Protection
The founding chairman of IRPA was Michael Repacholi, an Australian
also committed to the thermal-only dogma.
In 1992, IRPA morphed into ICNIRP (the International Commission on
Non Ionizing Radiation Protection), with Repacholi still as the chair.
And in 1998, ICNIRP brought out the Guidelines document which still
enshrines the ANSI thermal-only dogma as the basis of national
standards throughout the English-speaking world.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, a second strand of activity in support
of the thermal-only dogma was quietly emerging.
In the early 1970s, a growing popular environmental movement and
the consequent espousal by the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) of a precautionary approach to a great many potential
health hazards were seen by corporate interests as a threat to the
foundations of industrial society .
The challenge for industry was cast as how best to respond to
legislative restrictions on the activities of corporations —
and in particular to the science that led to those restrictions.
One major response to this challenge was the establishment in
1972 of a ‘Business Roundtable’ consisting of many of America’s
CEOs, for the express purpose of promoting “less unwarranted
intrusion by government into business affairs”
and ensuring that “the business sector in a pluralistic society
should play an active and effective role in the formation of
public policy” .
Lobby offices were established in Washington, and a number of
industry-backed think tanks created to come up with strategies
applicable to all industries.
Measures adopted with respect to the biological effects of
microwave emissions mirrored those of the tobacco industry:
They included the following:
Creation of an air of uncertainty about the science: Given that
biological organisms are formidably complex and that science by
its nature rarely involves complete certainty,
this should perhaps not have proved too difficult.
But just to make sure, a concerted campaign of disinformation was
Basically, whenever a piece of science inimical to industry or Air
Force interests appeared, contractors were hired to discredit it
by apparently repeating the experiments, but actually changing
critical factors to produce more funder-friendly results.
Frey  describes one such attempt as follows:
“After my colleagues and I published in 1975 , that exposure
to very weak microwave radiation opens the regulatory interface
known as the blood brain barrier (BBB),
a critical protection for the brain, the Brooks AFB group selected
a contractor to supposedly replicate our experiment.
For 2 years, this contractor presented data at scientific
conferences stating that microwave radiation had no effect on
the BBB. After much pressure from the scientific community, he
finally revealed that he had not, in fact, replicated our work.
We had injected dye into the femoral vein of lab rats after
exposure to microwaves and observed the dye in the brain
within 5 min. The Brooks contractor had stuck a needle into the
animals’ bellies and sprayed the dye onto their intestines.
Thus it is no surprise that when he looked at the brain 5 min
later, he did not see any dye; the dye had yet to make it
into the circulatory system.”
The continuing nature of such campaigns is suggested by Maisch
, who writes:
“A survey conducted by the New York based publication Microwave
News in 2006 consisted of examining papers on microwave effects
on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.
A total of 85 papers on the topic were identified. 43 of the
papers reported finding a biological effect and 42 did not.
Of the 42 no-effect papers, 32 were identified as having been
funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry.
With the 43 papers that reported effects, only 3 were identified
as being funded by Air Force or industry.
This survey thus suggests that the source of funding has a strong
influence on the outcome of research”.
Adoption of an algebraic model of evidence assessment:
Once approximately equal numbers of papers had been installed in
the scientific literature
concluding that sub-thermal levels of microwaves on the one hand
do, but on the other hand do not, have harmful biological effects,
the narrative was promulgated in official circles that “weight
of evidence” is the important thing to consider in such matters.
The implicit model behind this narrative involves an unstated
presumption that each negative study (i.e., each study that does
not find any effect of low intensity microwaves) cancels out
one positive study (i.e., one study that does find an effect of
low intensity microwaves);
with an algebraic sum of zero indicating no effect .
Any inconvenient remainder is then dealt with by impugning the
validity and/or the significance of particularly convincing
postive studies: as, for example, in Section 4.2 and Appendix A
of the NZ Government Interagency Report 2018 1.
Population of regulatory bodies by industry insiders:
The above strategies certainly served to convince time-strapped
politicians that all is fine, but to an unbiased scientist,
they appear decidedly dicey. Thus, the most vital of all the
strategies implemented by Big Wireless has been
the appointment to regulatory roles of people who are, or used
to be, members of the industries they are now charged with
Arguably the most important regulatory body in the world is
ICNIRP, whose 1998 Guidelines document is still the basis of
the national standards adopted by the governments of most
ICNIRP is a self-selected, private (non-governmental) organization,
populated exclusively by members invited by existing members.
The organization is very concerned to project the image that it
is composed of disinterested scientists — indeed all ICNIRP members
are required to post on the organization’s website detailed
declarations of interest (DOIs).
However, a closer inspection of these DOIs reveals that a good
many of the sections of a good many of the forms remain unfilled,
and a detailed list of undeclared conflicts of interest among
ICNIRP members has been published by a group of concerned citizens
The relevant section of WHO is essentially identical to ICNIRP :
Michael Repacholi, the founder of ICNIRP, established the WHO
International EMF Project (IEMFP) in 1996 and remained in charge
of it until 2006 , when he reportedly resigned after
allegations of corruption  to officially become an industry
In 2004, Repacholi stated in a conference presentation that the
IEMFP was able to “receive funding from any source through Royal
Adelaide Hospital; an agency established through WHO Legal
Department agreement to collect funds for the project”
—an arrangement that reportedly enabled receipt of annual
payments of $150,000 from the cellphone industry [3,14].
Thus, in spite of their stated rules and protestations to the
contrary, there have been persistent allegations that both ICNIRP
and the relevant section of WHO are riddled with undeclared
conflicts of interest.
In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission, whose function
it is to regulate the wireless industry in that country, has been
openly characterized by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
at Harvard University as “a captured agency” .
(. . .)
Because disruption of the BBB (blood brain barrier) is a known
contributor to the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease
and other forms of dementia [34,35],
at least two public health conclusions might reasonably be drawn
from these findings.
First, it would be prudent to advise the increasing population of
elderly citizens to avoid cell phones, smart meters, and Wi-Fi.
But perhaps more importantly, chronic exposure of the young to RF
now starts in the womb and continues throughout babyhood
(wireless baby monitors), childhood (wrist-worn child locators),
and adolescence (smart phones, Wi-Fi).
Because the biological effects of RF are known to be cumulative,
urgent steps should be taken to reduce the exposure of babies,
children, and teenagers to radiofrequency radiation,
to avoid an epidemic of early-onset dementia starting in middle age.
( fra S.Pocketts akademiske forstudier )