below for your information a comment sent to Prof Leitgeb about the COST
document on epidemiology of base stations.
With best wishes
Dear Professor Leitgeb
for your e-mail message with the enclosed documents. As an epidemiologist,
I am surprised at the opening statment and conclusions that "Epidemiological
studies are not capable to prove causal relationships". I would be
grateful if you could modify it - I would much prefer something like:
"It is difficult to establish causal relationships in epidemiology
when the risks studied are small".
information, in epidemiology, there are - and have been for decades -
"criteria for causality". Although epidemiology is a science
of observation rather than experimentation, Bradford Hill in 1965 and
1966 and, more recently, other authors have provided guidelines for evaluating
whether a relation observed in epidemiology is causal. They include:
- dose-response relationship
- temporal relationship between exposure and outcome
- specificity of response
- coherence of results across studies
- biological plausibility
- Bradford-Hill A -"The Environment and Disease: Association or Causation?"
Proc. Royal Soc. Med. 58:295 (1966)-
- Bradford-Hill, A. "The Environment and Disease: Association or
Causation?" President's Address. Proc Royal Soc Med. 9:295-300 (1965)
the IARC Monographs applies these criteria in evaluating whether a given
agent is carcinogenic. The rule of the Monographs for classifying an agent
as carcinogenic to humans (category I) is that there should be sufficient
evidence from epidemiological studies (i.e. in the words of the preamble
- that a causal relationship has been established). Only exceptionnally
are agents classified as category I in the absence of such evidence. The
IARC Monographs preamble, which provides details about the criteria used
for these evaluations, is available on the IARC web-site www.iarc.fr.
I have reproduced relevant extracts below, from the last part of the preamble,
for your understanding,
With best wishes
from the IARC Monographs preamble -
1. The following
describes the evaluation of epidemiological studies (note - at this stage
of the evaluation, no consideration is made of results of studies in experimental
animals or other relevant data) "(i) Carcinogenicity in humans
[... ] The
evidence relevant to carcinogenicity from studies in humans is classified
into one of the following categories:
evidence of carcinogenicity: The Working Group considers that a causal
relationship has been established between exposure to the agent, mixture
or exposure circumstance and human cancer. That is, a positive relationship
has been observed between the exposure and cancer in studies in which
chance, bias and confounding could be ruled out with reasonable confidence.
2. The following
describes the "overall evaluation"
Overall evaluation Finally, the body of evidence is considered as a whole,
in order to reach an overall evaluation of the carcinogenicity to humans
of an agent, mixture or circumstance of exposure.
agent, mixture or exposure circumstance is described according to the
wording of one of the following categories, and the designated group is
given. The categorization of an agent, mixture or exposure circumstance
is a matter of scientific judgement, reflecting the strength of the evidence
derived from studies in humans and in experimental animals and from other
1: The agent (mixture) is carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance
entails exposures that are carcinogenic to humans. This category is used
when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Exceptionally,
an agent (mixture) may be placed in this category when evidence of carcinogenicity
in humans is less than sufficient but there is sufficient evidence of
carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence in exposed
humans that the agent (mixture) acts through a relevant
mechanism of carcinogenicity.
Chief, Unit of Radiation and Cancer. International Agency for Research
150 cours Albert Thomas. 69 372 Lyon Cedex 08
Volker Hartenstein, Member of the Bavarian Parliament
Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 20:03 GMT
phone mast denied
application was made by Hutchinson 3G
a telecommunications mast in Wiltshire have been rejected
council turned down the planning application for a mast near Marlborough
at a meeting on Thursday.
objections to the proposal were received by the council, and 25 local
residents turned out for the meeting to register their protest.
3G, the company behind the application, said it was too early to say if
it would appeal against the decision.
refused the request on the grounds of visual impairment; the fact that
a conservation area borders the ground where the mast was intended, and
loss of amenities to residents.
a local resident who led the protest, told BBC News Online:"I am
absolutely delighted. This is Christmas come early."
for Hutchinson 3G said the news was disappointing.
will now have to consider our options, but did believe this was a good
solution," he said.
was for one mast with three 11-metre antennae near Marlborough.
No one from
Kennet District Council was available for comment.
Energy Council / disclosure
dear Sir, in response to your e-mail I can inform you that I also want
the disclosure principle to appear in the EU directive on the electricity
market liberalisation. From the start of the discussions, Belgium has
pleaded for a compulsory provision, in the core of the directive, aimed
to give all consumers precise information about the contribution of each
energy source to the overall fuelmix of the supplier over the preceding
year, this in order to enable consumers to make a choice with full knowledge
of the facts. Although very few Member States supported this approach,
this principle has now been accepted.
the information concerning CO2 and radioactive waste, which will have
to be accessible, I must remind you that the initial proposition of the
commission concerned only information about CO2. The information about
radioactive waste has been added on request of Belgium and Austria. But
I agree on the fact that the actual wording of article 3.6.(b) is not
ideal, but it results of course from discussions between the 15 Member
States and the Commission. At this stage, it is not easy to modify a text
which has been approved by almost all Member States, but I will continue
to work on the improvement of this provision.
State Secretary for Energy & Sustainable Development