* Document on epidemiology of base stations Dr Elisabeth Cardis - Wiltshire phone mast denied - November Energy Council/disclosure (26/12/02)
Dear all,

Please find 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

Thank you 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".

For your 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:

- strength of evidence
- dose-response relationship
- temporal relationship between exposure and outcome
- specificity of response
- coherence of results across studies
- biological plausibility

The original references are:
- 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)

Indeed, 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, the "Evaluation".

Thank you for your understanding,
With best wishes
Elisabeth Cardis

Extracts 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:

Sufficient 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"

"(c) 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.

[...] The 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 relevant data.

a.. Group 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.

Dr Elisabeth Cardis
Chief, Unit of Radiation and Cancer. International Agency for Research on Cancer
150 cours Albert Thomas. 69 372 Lyon Cedex 08

Informant: Volker Hartenstein, Member of the Bavarian Parliament

BBC News
Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 20:03 GMT

Wiltshire phone mast denied

The planning application was made by Hutchinson 3G

Plans for a telecommunications mast in Wiltshire have been rejected

Kennet district council turned down the planning application for a mast near Marlborough at a meeting on Thursday.

Over 400 objections to the proposal were received by the council, and 25 local residents turned out for the meeting to register their protest.

Hutchinson 3G, the company behind the application, said it was too early to say if it would appeal against the decision.

'Absolutely delighted'

The council 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.

Mark Denyer, a local resident who led the protest, told BBC News Online:"I am absolutely delighted. This is Christmas come early."

A spokesperson for Hutchinson 3G said the news was disappointing.

"We will now have to consider our options, but did believe this was a good solution," he said.

The application was for one mast with three 11-metre antennae near Marlborough.

No one from Kennet District Council was available for comment.


Informant: Robert Riedlinger

November Energy Council / disclosure

Dear Madame, 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.

As regards 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.

Sincerely yours,

State Secretary for Energy & Sustainable Development

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