Episode 2: Thermal heating or biological damage


A debate of major consequence

Slide 1: Start slide

Scientists disagree about how electromagnetic radiation causes damage. Current exposure limits are based on the belief that non-ionizing radiation only causes damage by heating tissue. If so, we should not worry about the radiation levels to which we are currently exposed. But is that really the case?

slide 2.

The diversity of natural and man-made radiation spectra is enormous. There are infinite potential frequencies and signal shapes. Good radiation promotes and supports life. Bad radiation weakens and destroys it.

Today doctors employ electromagnetic technologies for medical imaging. Other beneficial applications are electro-acupuncture and light therapy.

On the other hand, there are the technologies we use to wirelessly communicate.

slide 3.

Science is unanimous about the harmfulness of electromagnetic radiation at very high frequencies. Such radiation contains a lot of energy and can provoke molecular change. This is called ionising radiation and it is cumulatively harmful to all life. Well-known types of ionising radiation are x-rays, gamma rays and other kinds of radioactivity.

slide 4.

In addition to ionisation, electromagnetic radiation can also heat up biological tissue. After all, radiation is energy and energy generates heat. Sunlight, for example, heats our tissues. That’s why it feels nice to sit out in the sun. Too much sun, however, can cause burns.

slide 5.

Man-made radiation fields are usually lower in frequency than sunlight. But at high transmitting power, even that kind of radiation can heat up tissues. Examples are the microwave oven and induction cooking plates.

Wireless technology also causes heat effects, but governments limit those by controlling the transmission power of wireless devices.


slide 6.

To do so policy makers translate transmission strength into exposure limits. In setting such limits, governments call on specialised institutions such as the “International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection” or ICNIRP. According to ICNIRP, radiation is only harmful when it heats up tissues. As long as radiation remains below tissue heating levels, there is no cause for concern.

slide 7.

This approach is scientifically controversial. Numerous peer-reviewed studies show that man-made radiation already causes biological effects far below heating limits. These include fatigue, insomnia, hormonal disruption, damage to the blood-brain barrier and fractured DNA.

Today a tremendous amount of scientific evidence points towards this kind of effect. More and more science, including epidemiological studies, prove that wireless technology disrupts biological processes far below tissue heating levels.

Slide 8.

The reason is that not just the transmission power of wireless technology can affect us, but also how carrier waves are modulated. Strongly pulsed signals disrupt subtle biological processes and constantly cause somatic stress.

(sound clip)

slide 9.

But ICNIRP and governments are not interested in that. Captured by industry, they continue to proclaim outdated assumptions based on biassed and reductive science. 

Slide 10.

To actually protect us from the harmful effects of wireless technology, we need exposure limits that:

  • Take biological effects into account

  • Apply the precautionary principle

  • Take independent science seriously

  • Set much stricter exposure limits than is the case today

Slide 11. That is why we strive for a maximum exposure limit of 0.6 volts per metre and for standards that take  all the effects of wireless technology into account.

slide 12. In the next episode we take a closer look at today’s exposure limits. Who determines them and why are they a problem?

Slide 13 You can support our lawsuit against Belgium and the EU by contributing to our crowdfund.

In this way, together we aim for a low-radiation living environment for ourselves and our children.


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