Press Release

Experts worldwide slam the Oregon Health Authority report and call on the Governor and Legislature for retraction. Investigation may result in hearings in the Oregon legislature. 


The Washington Spectator has published an investigative report by Daniel Forbes entitled “Oregon Health Authority Condemned by Scientists For Scrubbing Report on Wireless Hazards in Schools” exposing how the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued an error-ridden Report to the legislature on children and the health effects of wireless radiation in schools. 

“No way round it: Oregon’s public health agency, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), has issued a shoddy, biased report on the potential harm to the state’s roughly 600,000 schoolkids from the wireless devices proliferating in classrooms.” 

In response to the OHA Report, senior scientists from the United States and around the world  including Dr. Linda Birnbaum, former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program signed onto a letter sent to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the State Legislature and OHA’s leadership calling for immediate retraction of the OHA report on the health risks of wireless due to its flaws, inconsistencies and lack of science-based conclusions. The numerous inadequacies and lack of science-based conclusions have been documented in a 100 page report by Environmental Health Trust also referenced in the scientists’ letter. In addition to the letter by the group of international experts, letters were also sent by the Environmental Working Group and Physicians for Safe Technology. 

Portland-based reporter Daniel Forbes documents in the Wireless Spectator article how the OHA relied on wireless industry-funded studies, inaccurately presented research findings and ignored studies showing harmful effects. 

Forbes analyzed several drafts of the OHA report that he obtained though public information requests. He found an inadequate review process coupled with deletions of scientific findings linking exposure to cancer and other health issues. For instance, an OHA administrator suggested in an early draft that the agency downplay one study’s findings of kids’ two-fold increased risk of brain cancer linked to cell phone ownership. 

Although an Oregon state epidemiologist is formally listed as a reviewer of the report, Forbes’ investigation found that the epidemiologist had “no-edits” raising serious questions about the quality of the “review.” 

OHA staff allegedly withheld a first draft which was, according to Forbes, “deeply embarrassing to OHA” as the initial draft revealed that OHA deleted content that contradict the final report’s conclusion that the research “does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that RFR exposure in school settings is associated with adverse health effects.”

Cindy Franklin of Consumers for Safe Cell Phones notes what she termed “pressure by the wireless industry to repeat the lie that wireless radiation is safe, even for children,” She urged Oregonians to call or email their representatives and, referring to the report, said, “OHA leadership has been implicated in this blatant, coordinated public health deception—how high up does this go? Governor Brown and the legislature must immediately hold investigative hearings.”

The Washington Spectator investigation may lead to hearings in the Oregon legislature as Oregon State Senator Michael Dembrow was quoted as stating, “If there are flaws in the report, they need to be remedied. The report is important to get a clear assessment of the science.” He added, “We need to have a hearing to hear both a critique of the report and OHA’s defense. Then the legislature needs to come up with funding to do a more in-depth report.”

Dembrow concluded, “It was a mistake on OHA’s part to make it look like a real study. It’s more like a memo.” Unlike a scientific journal article, “There were no reviewers as such.”

Scientific Letter by International Experts, Physicians and Environmental Health Organizations

The scientific letter by US and international scientists states, “The report would not pass peer review as it omitted animal and cellular studies and thus it does not provide a comprehensive or systematic review of the relevant literature….The failure of Oregon Health Authority to utilize in their review the significant body of evidence showing harm to animals from wireless radiation exposure is contrary to public health principles and OHA’s own established protocols of using animal studies in many other reviews. By omitting key peer reviewed scientific evidence of adverse effects and downplaying the scientific studies showing impacts to memory and the brain, the OHA review does not comport with the Agency’s mission of protecting and promoting public health.”  

Physicians For Safe Technology

Physicians For Safe Technology (PST) also sent a letter to the Oregon Health Authority stating the Oregon Health Authority Report  “endangers the public by asserting that health risks are absent or minimal.”  

“PST believes that today the scientific evidence strongly suggests risks for cancers, neurological disease, reproductive harm and neurodevelopmental risks for the fetus and newborn. Sufficient evidence exists in peer-reviewed professional and scientific papers published over more than two decades to reach the conclusion that public health warnings are necessary, and that the public should be both educated and protected by health agencies. Overall, the available epidemiological research examining RFR health effects DOES provide sufficient evidence to conclude that RFR exposures now typical in wireless classrooms is associated with adverse health effects on children.” 

“No positive assertion of safety of radiofrequency radiation (wireless technologies) can be made by the Oregon Health Authority that are consistent with your professional duties as public health officials. Your OHA 2020 Report endangers the public by asserting that health risks are absent or minimal. Existing FCC guidelines for public exposure are grossly inadequate. The public is not protected by them. The State of Oregon is unwise to rely on the FCCs outdated and grossly inadequate wireless health safety standards as a measure of protection for children.”

Environmental Working Group 

In addition, another major environmental health organization, the Environmental Working Group, also submitted a scientific letter to the Oregon Health Authority stating, “Given the substantial scientific evidence demonstrating that RFR exposure can negatively affect the brain and the heart, EWG is calling for the Oregon Health Authority, or OHA, to revise its report …by including the latest findings from human and animal studies that demonstrate the risks of RFR for children’s health and public health generally.” 


Background on the Oregon Report 

On New Year’s Eve 2020, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released the “ Wireless technology health risks report“ following the Oregon State Legislature’s Senate Bill 283 mandate to “review peer-reviewed, independently funded scientific studies” of the health effects of exposure to microwave radiation, particularly exposure that results from the use of wireless network technologies in schools or similar environments.”  

Children are more vulnerable

The EHT 100-page critique of the OHA Report documents that children are more vulnerable to wireless radiofrequency radiation. The American Academy of Pediatrics has written several letters to the FCC and FDA about how children are more vulnerable to radiofrequency radiation and the need for updates to FCC’s safety limits (AAP 2012 & 2013). 

Research indicates wireless radiofrequency (RFR) is a human carcinogen (Hardell and Carlberg 2019, Miller et al. 2018) and studies have linked RFR exposure to genetic effects (Lai 2021, Smith Roe et al., 2020) oxidative stress ( Schuermann and  Mevissen, 2021Yakymenko et al. 2016), reproductive impacts (Negi and Singh 2020, Singh et al., 2018, Houston et al., 2016), behavioral problems (Birks et al.  2017, Sudan et al. 2018, Sage and Burgio 2017) damage to memory  (Foerster et al. 2018) and damage to the brain (Bas et al., 2009; Deshmukh et al., 2015; Shahin et al., 2017;Megha et al., 2015; Aldad et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2015, Zhou et al., 2021).  

Children are more vulnerable to wireless radiation for several reasons. They have proportionately deeper penetration of RFR into the brain (Morris et al. 2015, Ghandi 2015, Ferreira and de Salles 2015, Wiart et al. 2008, Fernandez et al. 2018, Christ et al. 2010,  Mohammed 2017), more active stem cells which are more sensitive to RFR (Belyaev 2010, Williams et al. 2006) and developing brains which are more vulnerable to neurotoxic exposures (Heindel et al. 2015, Weiss 2000, Lanphear 2015, Redmayne and Johansson 2014, 2015). 

Furthermore, FCC radiofrequency radiation regulations were based on an adult male head and body, not a child’s brain and body (Gandhi et al. 2012) FCC limits only account for hort term exposure but were not based on protecting children from long term exposures (EPA 2002).  Children will receive a greater cumulative exposure than adults (Belpomme et al. 2018, Miller et al. 2019).

Experts Signing Letter Calling for the Oregon Authority to Retract Health Effects of Wireless Report

Scientists, medical doctors and experts signing onto the letter include Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., former Director National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program and Scholar in Residence; Duke University; Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD of theThe Environment and Cancer Research Foundation, Sweden; Devra Davis, PhD MPH of Environmental Health Trust; Anthony B. Miller, MD, Professor Emeritus Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto and former Chairman, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto and former Director, Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute of Canada, Toronto; Meg Sears, PhD, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Chair, Prevent Cancer Now, Canada: David O. Carpenter, MD, Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization, University at Albany, New York; Franz Adlkofer, MD Chairman Pandora-Foundation for Independent Research Germany; Colin L. Soskolne, PhD, Professor emeritus University of Alberta, Canada; Theodora Scarato MSW Executive Director, Environmental Health Trust; Lloyd Morgan of Environmental Health Trust  and Board of Directors, Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States: Dr. Paul Dart, Oregon Health & Science University; Don Maisch PhD of the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association; Theodore P. Metsis PhD, Electrical, Environmental Engineer, Greece; Igor Belyaev, Dr.Sc.Head, Department of Radiobiology Cancer Research Institute,  Slovak Republic; Denis L. Henshaw BSc PhD, University of Bristol;  Alvaro Augusto de Salles Ph.D,  Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, P. Alegre, Brazil; Claudio Fernández Rodríguez, Associate professor Federal Institute of Technology of Rio Grande do Sul, IFRS, Brazil; Paul Héroux, PhD, McGill University Medicine

Department of Surgery, McGill University Health Center; Tom Butler PhD MSc, University College Cork, Ireland; Victor Leach MSc founding Member of  the Australasian Radiation Protection Society and Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association Inc.  

About Daniel Forbes 

Daniel Forbes is a Portland, Oregon-based reporter whose 20-article series on Portland’s Bullseye Glass helped spur Oregon’s air toxics regulatory reform. (Bullseye paid its neighbors $6.5 million to settle claims against it.) His journalism helped lead to a change in Portland’s regulation of neurotoxic lead dust from unfettered housing demolitions. He has also covered issues such as lead in Portland School water and lead dust from construction.

He has received awards from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism/the Online News Association and a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He’s published widely, appeared on national TV and radio, and also testified before the U.S. House and Senate at hearings he caused after catching the Drug Czar paying the TV networks to demonize marijuana to influence voters. He also published a series on the theft of a black Southern Baptist church. Sparked by his successful, free-speech federal lawsuit against Lincoln Center and the NYPD, he authored the novel Derail this Train Wreck, from Fomite Press Source: Environmental Health Trust