Aspects on the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) 2020 Guidelines on Radiofrequency Radiation

Abstract: The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) published 2020 updated guidelines on radiofrequency (RF) radiation in the frequency range 100 kHz to 300 GHz. Harmful effects on human health and the environment at levels below the guidelines are downplayed although evidence is steadily increasing. Only thermal (heating) effects are acknowledged and therefore form the basis for the guidelines. Despite the increasing scientific evidence of non-thermal effects, the new ICNIRP guidelines are not lower compared with the previous levels. Expert groups from the WHO, the EU Commission and Sweden are to a large extent made up of members from ICNIRP, with no representative from the many scientists who are critical of the ICNIRP standpoint.

This article is relevant for the implementation of 5G. The full article is free to download and can be found here.

ICNIRP, guidelines, conflicts of interest and EU

Two members of the EU Parliament, Claus Buchner and Michèle Rivasi, published on June 19, 2020 a document on ICNIRP. It shows the many conflicts of interest that exist among the ICNIRP members.

It clearly also shows that the ICNIRP guidelines should not be used for radiofrequency radiation. At pages 48-49 this is concluded:

We think that the call for more independent scientific assessment in this area is, for all the arguments mentioned above and in what follows, fully justified. 49 That is the most important conclusion of this report: for really independent scientific advice we cannot rely on ICNIRP. The European Commission and national governments, from countries like Germany, should stop funding ICNIRP. It is high time that the European Commission creates a new, public and fully independent advisory council on non-ionizing radiation. The funds currently allocated to ICNIRP could be used to set up this new organisation. And given the overall rise in R&D funding via Horizon Europe, with a foreseen budget (for 2021-2027) of between 75 and 100 billion euros, funding should in no way constitute an insurmountable hurdle to setting up this new, truly independent, body.”

Radiofrequency radiation, 5G, ICNIRP and conflicts of interest

In a new article the outdated guidelines for radiofrequency radiation by ICNIRP are discussed.

These guidelines are used by many countries. The recent publication by ICNIRP gives even higher levels for exposure compared with the previous ones. Only heating (thermal) effects are considered.

The conclusion in the article is that:

“..the ICNIRP has failed to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of health risks associated with RF radiation. The latest ICNIRP publication cannot be used for guidelines on this exposure.”

Electromagnetic Radiation due to Cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies: How safe are we?

This article by Naren et al informs about electromagnetic radiation from different devices. It is important reading for all concerned. The results are also shown in illustrative figures. The whole article is free to download from internet. A summary by the authors follows here:

“In this work, we determine the radiation concern levels in several scenarios using a handheld radiation meter by correlating the findings with several international standards, which are determined based on thorough scientific evidence. This study also analyzes the EMR from common devices used in day to day life such as smartphones, laptops, Wi-Fi routers, hotspots, wireless earphones, smartwatches, Bluetooth speakers and other wireless accessories using a handheld radio frequency radiation measurement device. The procedure followed in this paper is so presented that it can also be utilized by the general public as a tutorial to evaluate their own safety with respect to EMR exposure. We present a summary of the most prominent health hazards which have been known to occur due to EMR exposure.”

Cell phone radiation and DNA damage

An important part of the NTP study was recently published. The full article can be found here.


“Results of the comet assay showed significant increases in DNA damage in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations), leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). Increases in DNA damage judged to be equivocal were observed in several other tissues of rats and mice….these results suggest that exposure to RFR is associated with an increase in DNA damage.”

No doubt these results add to the knowledge on the mechanism of radiofrequency radiation carcinogenesis. By now similar tumor types have been found in human and animal studies supported by laboratory studies on DNA damage for RF radiation. These results show that RF radiation should be classified as carcinogenic to humans, Group 1 according to the IARC classification.

Letter on Expert evaluations on health risks from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) and 5G

Several Swiss citizens have expressed concern that bias and misinterpretation of the science on radiofrequency radiation (RF) and health have influenced the expert evaluations in BERENIS and the subgroup 3. In fact, the conclusion that ‘No health effect has been consistently proven’ does not reflect the evaluation by scientists with no conflicts of interest. These circumstances are further elaborated in the included letter, original in English and with German certified translation. This letter is endorsed by 22 scientists with research in this area and no conflicts of interest.

WHO – ICNIRP and radiofrequency radiation

The close association between WHO and the ICNIRP has been described in a previous article. Unfortunately, this association seems to have prevented actions on health and the environment. ICNIRP is a private NGO based in Germany that acts pro-industry. In fact, exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation has increased in the society. Now the fifth generation, 5G, of wireless communication is implemented in spite of potential risks to human health and the environment. Our appeal ( asking for a moratorium until research on risks have been performed has not had any positive response either from EU or the Nordic countries.

Microwave news has now published an update with historical views. It is well worth to read. This information is usually not available to the layman.

Russian research from the 1970’s on health effects from radiofrequency radiation

Already in the 1970’s Russian researchers published animal studies on health effects from radiofrequency radiation in the frequency range that is currently for 5G use; mm waves. These studies were declassified by CIA in 2012 and are now available at internet.

A whole range of detrimental effects on the nervous system, different organs, hormones and the immune system were presented.

These results strengthen the warnings to implement the 5G system before adverse effects on humans and the environment have been investigated by researchers independent from industry.

Unfortunately these appeals seem to have had little or no effect, 5G has its own track, see and

High ambient radiofrequency radiation at the Stockholm Hay Market in Sweden

We have published results on measurements of radiofrequency (RF) radiation in central parts of Stockholm, Sweden. The published article can be found here. Especially high levels were found at the Hay Market and Sergel Plaza; mean levels 10,728 and 7,768 microWatt/m2, respectively. Also at central streets high ambient RF radiation was found from nearby base stations.

The figure below shows the result for the Hay Market. We have inserted the 30-60 microWatt/m2 line for lowest level of biological effects (red line).

Radiofrequency radiation from nearby base stations gives high levels in an apartment in Stockholm, Sweden: A case report

We measured radiofrequency radiation in an apartment in Stockholm. The study is open under open access. Due to nearby bases stations high radiation levels were measure both in the apartment and on balconies.

A total of 74,531 measurements were made corresponding to ~83 h of recording. The total mean RF radiation level was 3,811 μW/m2 (range 15.2‑112,318 μW/m2) for the measurement of the whole apartment, including balconies. Particularly high levels were measured on three balconies and 3 of 4 bedrooms. The total mean RF radiation level decreased by 98% when the measured down‑links from the base stations for 2, 3 and 4 G were disre­garded. The results are discussed in relation to the detrimental health effects of non‑thermal RF radiation. Due to the current high RF radiation, the apartment is not suitable for long‑term living, particularly for children who may be more sensitive than adults. For a definitive conclusion regarding the effect of RF radiation from nearby base stations, one option would be to turn them off and repeat the measurements. However, the simplest and safest solution would be to turn them off and dismantle them.

Thus, we concluded that of special concern is the levels in bedrooms, especially those two used by children, since they seem to be more vulnerable to adverse health effects than grown‑ups. They have also a longer expected life in which illnesses may later become manifest. The results indicate that this apartment is unsuitable for long‑term living based on current knowledge of the potential adverse effects on health of RF radiation.

Another conclusion is that RF radiation should be measured in homes, especially before moving into a new one.