ICNIRP: Published Research on Conflicts of Interest and Lack of Protection – Environmental Health Trust


The International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection- an invite only club  with longstanding industry ties that is accountable to no one.

ICNIRP is short for the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection. ICNIRP is an invite only,  small group of just 14 members that has no oversight. It was  founded by scientist Michael Repacholi who was funneling industry money though a hospital to fund his EMF activities and is now an industry consultant. Repacholi remains  an ICNIRP Emeritus Member. 

ICNIRP  – with its impressive sounding name – is de-facto the standard setting so called “authority” when it comes to answering the question of “what is safe” regarding wireless and powerline frequency extremely low frequency non-ionizing radiation. It does not represent “consensus” as it is made of just up to 14 people.

“ICNIRP can, and should, be considered as a “private club” where, members of the new Main Commission are selected by the members of the outgoing Main Commission. It is a self-perpetuating and self-promoting German NGO that is not accountable for its actions at all. Nobody controls it. Nobody supervises it. Nobody checks it for conflicts of interests. Nobody checks it for the scientific accuracy. In all what and how ICNIRP does we, the general public, must rely on the self-assurances, from the ICNIRP, that all is in order.”  –Dr. Dariuz Leszczynski on ICNIRP

List of Published research on ICNIRPs Industry Ties 

  • Aspects on the International Commission on NonIonizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) 2020 Guidelines on Radiofrequency Radiation published in the Journal of Cancer Science and Clinical Therapeutics 5 (2021) by Hardell et al. states the conclusion by ICNIRP in their limits are “ not objective and lack scientific credibility according to a research report that investigated ICNIRP commissioned by two European Parliament Members published in June 2020 [58]. Industry funding has been found to influence the results on research on RF radiation and health effects. However, ICNIRP does not take this into account although ICNIRP members themselves have reported that industry-funded scientific research seems to influence the results by reporting less findings showing adverse health effects of EMF compared to independent research.” ICNIRP’s conclusion [48] on cancer risks is…not correct and is contradicted by scientific evidence. Abundant and convincing evidence of increased cancer risks and other negative health effects are today available. The ICNIRP 2020 guidelines allow exposure at levels known to be harmful. In the interest of public health, the ICNIRP 2020 guidelines should be immediately replaced by truly protective guidelines produced by independent scientists.” 
  • Molecular and Clinical Oncology published “Appeals that matter or not on a moratorium on the deployment of the fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation” in 2020  detailing how ICNIRP is referred to as “a private German non-governmental organization. ICNIRP [that] relies on the evaluation only of thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation, thereby excluding a large body of published science demonstrating the detrimental effects caused by non-thermal radiation.” 
  • Oncology Letters published “ Health risks from radiofrequency radiation, including 5G, should be assessed by experts with no conflicts of interest” “There seems to be a cartel of individuals monopolizing evaluation committees, thus reinforcing the no-risk paradigm. We believe that this activity should qualify as scientific misconduct.” The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has repeatedly ignored scientific evidence on adverse effects of RF radiation to humans and the environment. “All countries should declare a moratorium on 5G until independent research, performed by scientists without any ties to the industry, confirms its safety or not. 2G, 3G, 4G and WiFi are also considered not to be safe, but 5G will be worse regarding harmful biological effects.
  • Dr. Lennart Hardell published “World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health – a hard nut to crack (Review)” in the  International Journal of Oncology documenting the industry support of the WHO EMF Project and ICNIRP and how the groups share members. “Of note, evidence has been published (52) which indicated that members of ICNIRP have written scientifically incorrect and misleading information. It is unknown if WHO has responded to this evidence of suggested scientific misconduct.” 
  • Reviews on Environmental Health published “Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation” detailing the conflicts of interest with Pubic Health England’s Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation and ICNIRP. The paper concludes, “PHE and AGNIR had a responsibility to provide accurate information about the safety of RF fields. Unfortunately, the report suffered from an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest. Public health and the well-being of other species in the natural world cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up.”
  • The article Not Entirely Reliable: Private Scientific Organizations and Risk Regulation–The Case of Electromagnetic Fields published in European Journal of Risk Regulation by Pascual, G. D. (2013) states that “Private scientific organizations exert a great deal of influence in the regulation of some technological risks. The high level of expertise of their members is arguably a good reason for them to participate in making and monitoring risk regulations, in order to adjust these to scientific progress. Nevertheless, there are also sound reasons why governments shouldn’t uncritically follow the views expressed by such organizations. Taking the role played by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection in the regulation of electromagnetic fields as an illustrative example, this paper shows that private scientific organizations such as these are structurally less well suited than democratic authorities when it comes to managing those risks.”
  • A important paper was published in Health Physics in 2020 by longtime NIH scientist Dr. Ronald Melnick entitled “ICNIRP’S Evaluation of the National Toxicology Program’s Carcinogenicity Studies on Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields” addressing numerous criticisms of the NTP findings. Melnick documents one by one how these criticisms include false claims and “several incorrect statements that appear to be written to justify retaining exposure standards that were established more than 20 years ago.” He presents the scientific documentation that each of these criticisms are unfounded stating “ICNIRP’s misrepresentation of the methodology and interpretation of the NTP studies on cell phone RF radiation does not support their conclusion that “limitations preclude drawing conclusions about carcinogenicity in relation to RF EMFs.”
  • The study Lost opportunities for cancer prevention: historical evidence on early warnings with emphasis on radiofrequency radiation published in Reviews on Environmental Health presents missed opportunities for cancer prevention exemplified by asbestos, tobacco, certain pesticides and now RF radiation. It highlights ICNIRP stating that a “lack of proper unbiased risk evaluation of the 5G technology makes adverse effects impossible to be foreseen. This disregard is exemplified by the recent report from the International Commission on non-ionizing radiation protection (ICNIRP) whereby only thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation are acknowledged despite a large number of reported non-thermal effects.” The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a private non-governmental (NGO) organization registered in Munich, Germany. ICNIRP appoints its own members and is closed to transparency. It was started in 1992 with the biophysicist Michael Repacholi as the first chairman, now emeritus member. ICNIRP has published three articles with guidelines on RF-EMF exposure [86], [89], [90]. Only thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation are recognized, thereby excluding all studies showing harmful effects at lower non-thermal intensities. In contrast to ICNIRP, some other expert panels such as European Academy of Environmental Medicine [91], the Bioinitiative group [92], and the Russian Commission for Protection from Non-Ionizing Radiation [93], take into account non-thermal RF effects and suggest much lower guidelines for RF exposure.”