The Fallacy of Reliance upon ICNIRP...
International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection


13 July 2000

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: The fallacy of reliance upon ICNIRP...
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 11:37:29 -0500
From: Roy Beavers
Organization: EMF-L Bulletin Board

Hi everybody:

As soon as I had forwarded the following, I realized that there is a great deal more that needs to be said about the passionate "love affair" that governments (not just the U.K. government) appear to be forming with the ICNIRP and its EMF standards.... As discussed in the series of messages below.....

No-one (certainly no conscience-driven "honest" public official) would entertain such notions of "love or affection" toward the ICNIRP ... had they been present at the Air Force "dog and pony show" briefing given by Dr. Mays Swicord in Munich!!!

The U.S. Air Force sponsored "Forum on EMF Safety Standards and Science" preceded the convening of the Annual BEMS meeting in Munich, using the prior Sunday (11 June). The "forum" itself was an undisguised, out and out, propaganda "sales pitch" ... intended to "acquaint" the visiting scientists with ICNIRP's "process and criteria for determining the 'scientific' basis for standards."..... i.e., Intended to "sell" the ICNIRP "party line" in advance of the scientists' meeting....!!!!

What the attendees heard was, that, in fact: (1) There is no consistent or "legitimized" process in what the ICNIRP does. As "briefed" by Dr. Swicord -- "actually, we (ICNIRP) reach our decisions through consensus over a period of time which usually takes about ten years!!!"

And, (2) What about the ICNIRP's "scientific" basis??? Again -- as the briefer informed us -- "Of course we cannot reach any 'scientific' conclusion until we know: what is the mechanism that is the source of the biological effects." (Swicord quotes are from notes, not recorded verbatum.)

Now that, folks, is what is known as a "stacked deck."!!!!!!

In the first instance, by their own admission, the ICNIRP is operating under a "consensus" system that is programed to be about ten years behind the times.... Certainly programed to ignore the most recent scientific knowledge..... The work of Allen Preece (and the Finns who have corroborated his work), for example.....

In the second instance, the ICNIRP is dedicated to a definition of "scientific" that (much like the NRPB in the U.K.) can NEVER serve as a basis for PUBLIC HEALTH policy that would take "precautionary steps" in advance of "knowing the mechanism." Clearly, the epidemiology, in other words, will be (and IS being) ignored by the ICNIRP procedures...... The ICNIRP is NOT an institution that serves (or believes in) the Precautionary Principle......

I wonder -- do the governments of the world REALLY know how flimsy is the ICNIRP (totally a "conflict of interest" group -- more will be said about this in the future) as an institution upon which to base a public health policy viz. the burgeoning EMF health hazards......???


Roy Beavers (EMFguru)

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness

People are more important than profits!!

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: UK Ministerial letter 29th June to Councils & MPs
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 14:00:29
From: Alasdair Philips

Dear Roy

You may like to circulate this letter that I have just written to the UK Government Minister for Housing and Planning at the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. The offending paragraph in his letter which was written to all Council leaders in England and English MPs on 29th June is the penultimate one that states: "It is our view that, if a proposed development meets the ICNIRP guidlines (as recommended by Stewart on a precautionary basis), it should not be necessary for a planning authority, in processing an application, to consider health effects further." ................

Below it is a response to the same letter from the lawyer Alan Mayer.

Good wishes for all your important and good work, as usual,


Alasdair Philips, BSc(Eng), DAgE, MIAgE
Director, UK Powerwatch, (
EMC Engineer and EMF-bioeffects researcher

Dear Nick Raynsford

To say I feel you let your electorate down by sending this letter is far too mild. I don't know who drafted it for you, but it looks as if they have got the Industry interests, and not community interests, at heart. It is more than simply misleading and I have to wonder how closely the writer bothered to read the Stewart Report, and even if they had actually bothered to talk to Bill Stewart about what he felt was particularly important to emphasise. The text of your letter suggests that they had not.

I find it quite inappropriate that you circulated this letter implying that ICNIRP is all Stewart requires to be precautionary ~ in fact he only said that for acute exposure from handsets, etc, and Stewart 1.43 clearly sets outs the recommendations for masts: "that public exposure levels are kept as low as possible commensurate with an effective telecommunications system."

This is typically 500 fold less in power terms than ICNIRP! Even the cellular industry agree that they can work to 3 V/m or less public exposure signal levels ~ at 1800 MHz this is about a 350 times lower maximum power than permitted by ICNIRP !

Your letter, if the ICNIRP sentence is applied, effectively implies that local councils have no useable power to influence mast siting. That is just plain wrong, and should be corrected at the earliest possible opportunity.

This misleading message is apparently being backed up by wheeling Prof Les Barclay around to local Councils to tell them that if masts comply with ICNIRP then all is well. He is entitled to hold that view, but that is NOT what the IEGMP as a whole recommended to Government as regards the exposure of the public to RF/microwaves from cellular mast emissions.

Here is what I suggest that you should have pointed out (without industry and DTI malinfluence ~ ~ by the way a leading and senior industry manager told me that your letter was "like manna from heaven for us". I bet!):.......

My suggested DETR letter text (please read this through ~ thanks):

""Stewart recommends (1.43) "that public exposure levels are kept as low as possible commensurate with an effective telecommunications system."

The DETR has already enabled councils to achieve this in various previous advice. In particular, in paragraph 10 of our DETR Circular No.4 (18 June 1999) 'Planning for Telecommunications', we pointed out that: "local planning authorities should have previously formed a view, particularly in the course of development plan preparation, on sites in their area that might be suitable for telecommunications development".

Once such sites have been identified, then as we set out in the aforementioned para 10: "If an operator makes an application relating to a location which is not on the register of sites, the local authority may reasonably expect the applicant to show that no site on the register would present a practicable alternative to the location proposed." In this way, local planning authorities can influence considerable power over the location of future masts.

I suggest that this is particularly appropriate for addressing public concern. You should work with local communities in identifying suitable sites for masts, usually away from sensitive sites such as schools and residential housing. Where masts need to be sited in residential areas, then the antennas should be mounted as high as possible, and in every case above the roof levels of nearby properties, in order to achieve exposure levels "as low as practicable".

Low height street furniture (lampost) masts will virtually never comply with the Stewart 1.43 advice. In many cases cellular operators are now installing many of these because of the difficulties they have had in the past in gaining approval for full size (15m or higher) masts. In almost all cases appropriately sited full size masts will offer lower levels of RF and microwave exposure to nearby residents. The Cellular Operators do have the right to have an adequate number of suitably located masts. It is vital that local planning authorities, in conjunction with local communities, identify suitable sites for masts to avoid these difficulties. ""

((Your supportive and friendly Minister for Housing and Planning,)) ((Nick Raynsford.))

Good wishes for your tight-rope walking!

I hope you find the above thoughts helpful and I would appreciate any feedback that you may care to give.

Alasdair Philips

Alasdair Philips, BSc(Eng), DAgE, MIAgE
Director, UK Powerwatch, (
EMC Engineer and EMF-bioeffects researcher

At 11:16 13/07/2000 +0100, jim mochnacz wrote: Nick Raynsford MP (Min for Housing and Planning) has written to all Council Leaders in England (& MPs) with DETR Guidance re " Mobile telecommunications Masts - Health and Planning Issues" dated 29 June 2000.

The Guidance has caused some concern to objectors and campaigners because it appears to be saying business as usual re mobile phone masts and health concerns.

See below a response from Solicitors Halsey Meyer Higgins of 56 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London. Letter written and signed by Alan Meyer.

12 July 2000

DETR Guidance - 29 June 2000 to all Council Leaders in England, providing Interim Guidance to Planning Authorities pending the outcome of the planned July Consultation document relating to Full Planning for Masts and Base Stations.

1. The Guidance for this interim period is correct, since the law remains as currently in existence until it is changed. However, it only partially takes into account the two subsisting Court of Appeal Decisions in the Newport case and more recently, in the Tandridge case. The letter tends to down play the Court Decision regarding "a Material Planning Consideration" which Planning Authorities are entitled to take into account, but applying such weight as each Planning Authority decides in a particular case.

2. Until any new measures are introduced - provide they are introduced - the interim position has to be maintained and accordingly the letter is quite correct in that regard.

3. However, there is a gloss within the letter which seems to indicate that the Stewart report's Recommendations regarding "well being in some cases" is to be either overlooked or probably glossed over.

Quite probably this well being aspect was the most helpful part of Stewart since "well being in some cases" covers most objectors whose "well being" is likely to be adversely affected by a Mast erected over night or "too close". That causes stress which in some people affects not only their "well being" but also in some cases such stress may trigger adverse medical health conditions of various types. That is of course, a medical matter and not one based upon incomplete or inconclusive science.

4. Nick Raynsford's letter of course totally ignores the latest World health Organisation Press release with its revised recommendations. The last Recommendation being the vital one concerning taking into account "public sensibilities" when siting decisions are taken.

5. However, the most concerning paragraph of Nick Raynsford's Guidance letter must be the third paragraph on its second page which seems completely to ignore "the well being aspect" and the possibility of indirect adverse effects. These are the public's main concern and ones which the Court of appeal's decisions currently permit Planning Authorities to take such concerns into account as one of the material Planning Considerations. It sounds to me that perhaps this paragraph is a warning that the proposed Consultation Document is going to perhaps restrict that aspect by limiting the Planning Authorities' discretion in some way.

Alan Meyer. 12 July 2000

Below is comment from Alistair Philips, Director of Powerwatch:

re Nick Raynsford's Guidance (para 3 second page)

"It is our view that, if a proposed development meets the ICNIRP guidelines (as recommended by Stewart on a precautionary basis), it should not be necessary for a planning authority, in processing an application, to consider the health effects further".

Whereas Stewart states: (in para 1.43 main recommendations to Govt.) for MASTS: "that public exposure levels are kept as low as possible commensurate with an effective telecommunications system." This is typically 500 fold less in power terms than ICNIRP! Nick Raynsford's letter removes all powers from local councils.

It has been (unkindly) suggested that this is "payback time" : telecoms industry has paid over £22Bn for 3rd Generation Mobile Phone Frequencies and Government Ministers are now expected through "consultation" to get objectors and campaigners off the industries back and on with placing Profit before Public Health.

Council Leaders, Objectors, campaigners and Opinion Formers (i.e. press)are requested to keep up the pressure.

Jim Mochnacz 13 July

(Very many thanks to Alan Meyer for his legal advice and Margaret Dean and Alistair Philips for guidance and direction)

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