Experts Respond To ABC Catalyst's Claim That WiFi Could Be Linked To Cancer

A recent edition of the ABC’s Catalyst programme looked into the issues of the health effects of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. The episode “takes a closer look at the link between mobile phones and brain cancer, and explores whether our wireless devices could be putting our health at risk”.

Dr Devra Davis stated on the show, “With respect to mobile phones and brain cancer, the reality is every single well-designed study ever conducted finds an increased risk of brain cancer with the heaviest users, and the range of the risk is between 50 per cent to eightfold. That’s a fact.”

Experts have now spoken out about the program’s findings.

“I was particularly disappointed to see ‘Wi-Fried’ air yesterday in the guise of science journalism, and felt it important to reassure other viewers that the fringe position provided by Dr Davis and associates is merely that, a fringe position that is not supported by science,” says Professor Rodney Croft, Director of the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia’s Centre for Research Excellence in Electromagnetic Energy.

Dr Croft is also a current International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Commissioner, and a Professor of Health Psychology at University of Wollongong.

“There is very strong scientific consensus that, even after considering such personal views as Dr Davis’, there is no substantiated evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency emissions encountered by mobile telecommunications can cause any harm. Of course it is impossible for science to demonstrate that anything is absolutely safe, and so regardless of whether we’re talking about Wi-Fi or orange juice, science cannot demonstrate absolute safety.

“However, given that radiofrequency emissions are one of the most heavily researched agents that science has ever assessed, and given that (contrary to Catalyst’s claims) no substantiated health effects have emerged, we can be very confident that the emissions are indeed safe.”

Dr Croft points to the ICNIRP website as a resource for further information about the international consensus on the topic.

“During the program Prof Davis claims that the Australian brain cancer incidence rates (a graph was shown) cannot be used as evidence of no problem because brain cancer latency is 40 years,” observes Dr Geza Benke, a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. “This firstly contradicts her own argument then, because she spends a lot of time saying current studies are showing increased cancer risk!”

“Secondly, Prof Davis’s claims are incorrect, since solid tumors have a much shorter minimum latency. This means we should be seeing increased rates now if there was an association. This reference also contradicts her claims that there are no environmental tumors that occur before 10 years.”

Are you concerned about WiFi cancer risks? Would a definite link stop you from using it? Let us know in the comments below.

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