Hebrew U Study Shows Israeli Soldiers Working With Radar Face Higher Risk of Cancer

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Israeli army radar station
Israeli army radar station

March 20, 2018

A study published by Prof. Elihu Richter, head of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Hebrew University medical school in Jerusalem, researcher Or Nativ of the Hebrew University and researcher and engineer Michael Peleg of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems revealed that soldiers and defense industry workers who are exposed to radio frequency radiation are at increased risk for contracting cancer, mainly the various cancers of the immune system. The risk of contracting more than one type of cancer is also higher than average.

The study surveys studies of three groups of cancer patients from the military and industrial sectors – in Israel, Poland and Belgium – who were exposed to similar radiation. All three studies found a particularly high rate of cancers of the immune system compared to other types of cancer.

The researchers found a particularly high incidence (40%) of various types of cancer of the immune system, including lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. Among cancer sufferers of the same age in the general population, 23% suffer from cancer of the immune system. About 13% of cancer patients who were exposed in the past to RFR in a military or security context suffered from more than one type of cancer, as compared to 3% of all cancer patients of the same age.

The question as to whether RFR increases the risk of cancer is of concern to the public, especially due to the use of cellphones. In this case the patients were exposed to radiation exceeding that to which ordinary cellphone users are exposed.

The civil radiation standard in Israel is 10 times as high as in Switzerland, and a 10th of that in the United States, but the standard does not apply to soldiers and industrial workers who operate equipment that emits RFR.

The prevalent view today in the scientific-medical community is that there is no real proof that electromagnetic radiation is a carcinogen. However, in 2011 the World Health Organization classified electromagnetic radiation as a possible cause of cancer. Recently the Health Ministry published figures demonstrating that in the past 25 years, during which the use of cellphones has become intensive, there has been no increase in the incidence of brain tumors in Israel. Similar claims are made in publications of the U.S. authorities.

Israeli soldier talks on a cellphone on a base.

The study is arousing divided reactions. The IDF claims that there was no use made of control groups, and that the researchers did not measure RFR emitted by electrical and radio devices used frequently in everyday life. They also claimed that according to the most up-to-date publication of the International Agency for Cancer Research, electromagnetic radiation on the spectrum of radio waves is not defined as a definite carcinogen for human beings, and that the findings of the study contradict the cumulative knowledge on the subject to the effect that no significant connection has been found between exposure to radio frequency radiation and cancer.

The researchers who conducted the study, on the other hand, claim that the article demonstrates the statistical significance of the 19 patients, similar to the findings of other studies in Israel and abroad. They claim that radiation really is a carcinogen and that suitable protection should be supplied to employees and soldiers and their exposure to it reduced.

Prof. Stilian Gelberg, head of the noise and radiation abatement unit in the Environmental Protection Ministry, agrees with the researchers. “The study really does reinforce the claim that there is a connection between exposure to radio frequency radiation and an increased risk of immune system cancers,” he says. He believes that the study emphasizes the need to be more meticulous about applying the precautionary principle among soldiers and defense industry employees.

“The army has adopted the recommendations and standards of environmental protection and they are doing quite a bit to meet them, including in submarines and various military facilities. If there ought to be any recommendation to security organizations in the wake of the study, it’s the use of devices to measure exposure to radiation, and strict enforcement of observing the regulations and providing instructions. At least some of the exposure to radiation originates in laziness or in the absence of strict enforcement of safety measures.” The IDF spokesman’s response: “The IDF attaches great importance to protecting the health of soldiers and monitors radio frequency radiation, in accordance with the safety rules and standardization in Israel, which are recognized by the Environmental Protection Ministry. Periodical radiation measurements are taken in the units and the equipment is tested according to strict exposure standards. We emphasize that no connection has been found between morbidity and radio frequency radiation.”


Read source article:
Israeli Soldiers Working With Radar Face Higher Risk of Cancer, Israeli Study Suggests

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