Prof. Dr. Dariusz Leszczynski
PhD, DSc, currently retired; continues as Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Chief Editor of “Radiation and Health”; specialty of the “Frontiers in Public Health”, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Holds two doctorates, in molecular biology (DSc) and biochemistry (PhD), from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, and Helsinki University, Finland, respectively.
For nearly 22 years (1992–2013), he worked at the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK with responsibility for research on biological and health effects of non-ionizing radiation. From 2003 to 2007, he was head of the Radiation Biology Laboratory and from 2000 to 2013, research professor.
He held several visiting appointments: 1997–1999 Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School, 2006–2009 Guangbiao Professor at the Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China and 2012–2013 Visiting Professor at the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.
An internationally recognized expert in the field of biological and health effects of radiation emitted by wireless communication devices. In this capacity, he testified in 2009 before the US Senate Committee, in 2015 before the Committee of the Canadian House of Commons and in 2014 advised the Minister of Health of India.
In 2011 he was one of the 30 experts invited by the International Agency for Research on Cancer who classified cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Full CV and list of publications are available on his science and policy blog “BRHP – Between a Rock and a Hard Place”: https://betweenrockandhardplace.wordpress.com/cv-november-2018/
About the presentation:
In the early 1970s and 1980s, the first generation (1G) of mobile phones and cell tower networks were deployed without prior testing for human health safety. It was assumed that the emitted low power is harmless. However, decades later in 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiation emitted by cell phones and cell towers, by then already the 3rd and 4th generation (3G and 4G), as a possible human carcinogen (category 2B).
Since the 2011 classification, a number of research studies were published that not only strengthened the evidence for the 2B classification but provided data suggesting that the IARC classification could be upgraded to the level of a probable human carcinogen (category 2A).
Besides the epidemiology and animal studies that form the core of the IARC classification, there is a sizable number of studies indicating that the radiation emitted by mobile phones acts via thermal and non-thermal mechanisms. The biological mechanism activated by the mobile phone radiation exposure is the classic cellular stress response. Activation of the stress response, the first line of cellular defense, leads to activation of a diverse variety of cellular signaling pathways, leading to changes in gene and protein expression and activity. All these changes aim to protect cells from the effects of exposure to radiation emitted by mobile phones. If and when the cellular defenses fail, pathological processes may begin.
Currently, the new generation of wireless communication, 5G, is being rapidly deployed. 5G will introduce new radiation, the millimeter waves, that was also not tested for human health hazard. Studies on biological and health effects of the millimeter waves are scarce.
In spite of the experiences with 1G through 4G, the new 5G is being deployed without health testing because of the same discredited assumption that low power emitted by the 5G will not cause harm. It is déjà vu all over again as shown by the experience with the deployment of 1G through 4G.
In summary, it is known that radiation emitted by 1G through 4G affects the development of human brain cancer and the development of cancer in animals through thermal and non-thermal mechanisms triggered by the activation of the cellular stress response. For the currently deployed 5G, the biological and health effects of the millimeter waves are largely unknown because of the lack of appropriate scientific studies.
In conclusion, the to-date gathered information on biological and health effects of 1G through 5G mobile communication devices suggests that there are sufficient grounds for implementation of the Precautionary Principle as specified by the European Union. While deployment of new technologies needs to continue, it is necessary to determine whether everything and everywhere needs to be wireless. Especially the use of fiber-optic technology should be considered as a reliable replacement for the wireless technology whenever possible and feasible.