31
Aug
2007

RADIATION SAFETY STANDARDS TOO LAX, REPORT SAYS

I'll transcribe below the IRISH TIMES report on today's publication of an international scientific study on EMR health effects. Gratefully, the conclusions are quite supportive of our EHS cause. Best, Imelda, Cork


THE IRISH TIMES, FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2007 Page 7 print edition

"RADIATION SAFETY STANDARDS TOO LAX, REPORT SAYS

[by] Jamie Smyth, European Correspondent in Brussels

A new scientific study to be published today suggests existing public safety standards governing the level of radiation emitted by mobile phones, power lines, Wi-Fi networks and other electrical devices are inadequate. The claims will reopen the controversy about the risk of cancer from frequent use of mobile phones. The report, which has been written by a team of scientists and health experts, recommends that public authorities set stricter limits to protect the public. It also calls for better planning for the location of power lines and the construction of new homes, schools and other buildings to ensure they are low-radiation environments.

"From a public health policy standpoint, new public safety limits and limits on further deployment of risky technologies are warranted based on the total weight of evidence," claims the report, whose 14 authors reviewed more than 2,000 previous studies to come to their conclusions on the effects of electromagnetic radiation.

BIOINITIATIVE: A RATIONALE FOR A BIOLOGICALLY-BASED PUBLIC EXPOSURE STANDARD FOR ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS was compiled by scientists and health experts from the US, Sweden, Britain, China and the European Environment Agency in Denmark.

Lead author David Carpenter, director of the Institute of Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, New York, said the report represented "a wake-up call that long-term exposure" to this radiation may cause serious health effects. It documents scientific evidence in the US from as far back as 1979 that linked childhood leukaemia to exposure to power lines. Dozens of studies have confirmed this but public health responses have been slow, it suggests. It also raises concerns about the risk of brain tumours and contracting Alzheimer's disease from prolonged and heavy use of mobile phones. Prolonged exposure to radio frequency and microwave radiation from mobile phones, base stations and Wi-Fi networks can also be linked to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, spinelessness and changes in brainwave activity, the report argues. The conclusions are likely to be challenged by the mobile phone industry, which argues there is no hard evidence that using mobile phones is harmful.

The Stewart report, commissioned by the British government, found in 2000 and 2005 there was "no conclusive evidence" mobile phones posed a risk. But Dr Lenart Hardell, professor at University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden--who contributed to the BIOINITIATIVE report--said other studies that did not find an increased risk of brain tumours had not looked at heavy mobile users over many years. The report admits not everything is known about how electromagnetic radiation affects the human body but suggests safety standards may be too lenient."



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