The moving of the cancer (Carla Díez) - ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AND HEALTH - UK plans to lower EMF limits - 'Phone threat' to air safety - New NRPB Dose Assessment Methodology Report Published - Winged Messengers: The Decline of Birds (5/5/03)

The moving of the cancer (Carla Díez)

In 32 years of history of the school there had been no case of
cancer. Ever since they installed 36 antennas in a next building, four
children have fallen ill in a year in this center of Valladolid. Until
September, 25,600 antennas of movable telephony were outside control.
One does not know if they are harmful but that they move thousands of million.

I believe giving carte blanch to Meridian is disgusting. Firstly the
method for doing so should alarm all New Zealanders. Secondly without
resource consents and notification the public are denied cheaper, more
efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly power. Thirdly we
will be denied the right to insist on power corridors, a health and
safety provision in many other countries and states. The health effects
are well documented and summarised below. Also of interest the results
of the recent Californian research

The report was prepared by the California Department of Health Services
under contract to the California Public Utilities Commission. The report
was 9 years in preparation and cost over $7 million. Based upon an
extensive review of the literature plus considerable original research.
It is particularly significant because it incorporates the dramatic
change of the epidemiology of power frequency magnetic fields that
began with the British Journal of Cancer study in October 2000. That
study and subsequent research showed that the previous research that
failed to detect a link between power frequency magnetic fields and
serious disease had used incorrect methodologies, and that the
application of the correct methodologies to this older research did
demonstrate the existence of such a link.

In its Executive Summary, the three researchers who conducted the study conclude:

"To one degree or another, all three of the DHS scientists are inclined
to believe that EMFs can cause some degree of increased risk of
childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and miscarriage."

"All three scientists had judgments that were "close to the dividing
line between believing and not believing" that EMFs cause some degree of
increased risk of suicide, or For adult leukemia, two of the scientists
are "close to the dividing line between believing or not believing" and
one was "prone to believe" that EMFs cause some degree of increased risk."



BY: Richard W. Woodley - Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee

Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are separated on the electromagnetic
spectrum by visible light - a frequency of roughly 500 trillion cycles a
second. Above that frequency is ionizing radiation which contains enough
energy to physically alter the atoms it strikes, changing them into
charged particles called ions. Below visible light the low frequency
waves are non-ionizing - they do not possess enough energy to charge
atoms. Ionizing radiation, such as nuclear radiation and X-rays, have
long been known to be harmful. However, the question of the health
effects of electromagnetic radiation, which is non- ionizing is a
controversial one.

Some of the first warnings came in 1972 when scientists in the Soviet
Union reported strange health effects in switchyard workers who were
routinely exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields. The workers
experienced increased heart disease, nervous disorders, blood pressure
changes, recurring headaches, fatigue, stress and chronic depression.

Although concerns had been raised earlier, one of the first
epidemiological studies to indicate a health risk was a 1979 University
of Colorado study by Dr. Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper which reported a
two to three fold increase in cancer deaths among children living near
high current power lines in Denver, Colorado.

In November 1986 Dr. David Savitz, of the University of North Carolina,
reported the results of a study done as part of the New York Power Lines
Project which confirmed Wertheimer and Leeper's findings. The study
found increased incidences of childhood cancer and leukemia associated with
EMF exposures above 2.5 mG. Dr. Savitz's final report to the New York State
Health Department stated: "The degree of confidence placed in these
findings is open to varying interpretation, but the tentative conclusion
that the study is supportive of an association of electromagnetic fields
(EMFs) and cancer risk is warranted."

Dr. David Carpenter, the Executive Secretary of the New York Power Lines
Project, in response to statements that the Project "revealed no evidence
that magnetic fields pose a health hazard" stated: "Any logical person
cannot conclude that there are no effects." He said "It's just wrong to
imply that there are no hazards." A second New York Power Lines Project
was soon planned.

The findings of the Wertheimer and Leeper and Savitz studies were
confirmed by a 1991 study by S.J. London et al., published in the
American Journal of Epidemiology.

A University of Southern California study undertaken by John Peters and
colleagues and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in
November 1991 also confirmed these findings. Public Power Weekly
reported on January 28 1992 that: "The most comprehensive study to date of
childhood leukemia and exposure to electromagnetic fields offers
additional evidence that proximity to power lines may increase leukemia risk."

When wire codes were used to measure exposure, the risk of leukemia
among children with the highest exposure to magnetic fields was about two
times greater than the risk of leukemia among children with the least risk.

There was no clear association shown when direct measurements of
magnetic fields in the children's residences were used as an indication of
exposure. However the discrepancy between results based on measurements
and those using wire codes may mean that wire codes are a more accurate
predictor of magnetic fields, according to the researchers. They stated:
"Although magnetic fields are imperfectly approximated by wiring
configuration, the wiring configuration is determined with little error,
is unlikely to change over time within a residence, and therefore, may
actually be a superior indication of long-time field exposure than the
measurements taken." "Even though our 24-hour measurements were longer
than measurements made in previous studies, they're still just
snapshots", said Peters. "The estimates based on wiring configuration
may better reflect the long-term exposure."

These findings were further confirmed by a 1992 Swedish study by Maria
Feychting and Anders Ahlbom which reported a higher relative risk of 2.7
times for childhood leukemia and 1.7 times for leukemia in adults for
subjects exposed to higher magnetic field levels compared with the
control group in the study.

Christine Gorman in the October 26, 1992 issue of Time, stated: "One of
the most telling results was that the cancer risk grew in proportion to
the strength of the electromagnetic field." She reported that children
with constant exposures to the weakest fields (less than 1 mG) had the
lowest incidence of cancer. Those exposed to 2 mG had a threefold
increase in risk and those exposed to 3 mG had a fourfold increase in
the risk of leukemia. As Gorman stated: "Such a clear progression makes
it difficult to argue that factors other than exposure to the
electromagnetic field were responsible for the extra cases of leukemia."

As well a 1992 Danish study conducted by Dr. Jorgen H. Olsen found a
five-fold increase in the risk of childhood leukemia, lymphomas and brain
tumours where children living near power lines were exposed to 4 mG.

Children are not the only ones at risk. Microwave News reported in
March/April 1990 that "there are now at least 12 studies pointing to an
EMF-brain tumour risk". Researcher Dr. Samuel Milham Jr. stated: "There
are far too many positive studies to dismiss an EMF-brain tumour connection".

As well, Microwave News reported in July/August 1990 that epidemiologists
at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, had
uncovered new evidence for an association between occupational exposures
to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the development of male breast
cancer. The study supports the preliminary findings of a Johns Hopkins
University (JHU) study, reported last year, showing an increased risk of
male breast cancer among young New York telephone workers.

Paul Demers, working with Dr. David Thomas's research group at the
Hutchinson center, has found that telephone linemen, electricians and
electric power workers have six times the expected rate of male breast
cancer - a statistically significant increase. For radio and
communications workers, the risk was almost tripled. Overall there was a
doubling of the cancer risk for all EMF-exposed workers.

A further Norwegian study found twice the expected rate of breast cancer
in men in occupations which involved exposure to electro- magnetic

As well, a study by University of North Carolina researcher Dana Loomis
published in the June 15, 1994 issue of the Journal of the National
Cancer Institute, found that women in electrical occupations are 38%
more likely to die of breast cancer than other working women. The study
found the breast cancer death rate was more than twice as high among
female telephone installers, repairers and line workers, compared with
women in
non-electrical occupations. The results support four previous studies
that found elevated breast cancer rates among male electrical workers.

Another study, conducted by Dr. Tora Tynes of the Cancer Registry of
Norway, found that in a sampling of over 2,000 female licensed ship
radio operators born between 1934 and 1969, the risk of develop- ing breast
cancer was almost twice that of other Norwegian women.

Another occupational study, funded by Hydro-Quebec, Ontario Hydro and
Electricite de France, was released at the end of March 1994. It found a
link between the magnetic fields generated by electrical currents and an
increased incidence of leukemia among utility workers. These findings
confirm the results of a 1991 study by Genevieve Matanoski that found
telephone workers employed by AT&T with higher EMF exposures had 2.5
times the rate of leukemia as employees with lower exposures.

"We believe our results speak for an association between occupational
exposure to magnetic fields and at least one type of leukemia" conclude
the authors, led by Dr. Gilles Theriault of Montreal's McGill University.

They found that workers with above-average exposure to magnetic fields
were three times more likely to develop acute myeloid leukemia than
less-exposed workers. Acute myeloid leukemia is one of the most common
types of leukemia among adults.

A University of North Carolina School of Public Health study conducted
by Dr. David Savitz and Dr. Dana P. Loomis published in January 1995 in the
American Journal of Epidemiology found that utility workers have a
greater chance of dying of brain cancer. The results demonstrated that
workers with the highest EMF exposures had more than a two-and-a-half
times greater chance of dying of brain cancer than the least exposed
workers. The researchers also observed a strong exposure-response
relationship for brain tumours.

Over 40 occupational studies have shown that adults who were routinely
exposed to high EMFs in their work environment had a significantly
increased chance of dying of cancer when compared to other workers.

In The Great Power-Line Cover-Up, published in 1993, Paul Brodeur cites
review of 51 epidemiological studies of electromagnetic field exposure
and cancer risk published in a California Department of Health Services
handbook. It found that 28 studies (55%) reported a statistically
significant risk, 15 studies (29%) reported elevated but nonstatistically
significant risk, and 8 studies (16%) reported no association.

In the same book Brodeur also refers to remarks made by Dr. David
Carpenter, the Executive Secretary of the New York Power Lines Project,
in the keynote speech at a conference on electromagnetic fields in
Meriden, Connecticut on July 28, 1992. Dr. Carpenter, was responding to
a June 1992 report of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
which stated that there was not enough evidence to support a conclusion
that electromagnetic fields could cause cancer. Brodeur states:
"Pointing to the consistency of results between several childhood cancer
studies and more than two dozen occupational studies, he declared that
the weight of the evidence clearly showed that people exposed to
power-line frequency fields at home and at work were experiencing an
increased risk of developing leukemia and brain cancer. He said that
recent studies showing increased breast cancer in men who were
occupationally exposed to power-frequency fields were particularly
worrisome, and he warned that if breast cancer and other reproductive
cancers in women were also found to be associated with magnetic-field
exposure, the nation would be facing a major public health hazard.... He
added that to do nothing about the problem was unacceptable because `we
are where we were with cigarette smoking twenty five years ago'".

In 1994 three new epidemiological reports were released. One indicated a
tie between occupational exposure to EMFs and Alzheimer's disease,
another indicated a link with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and
another indicated a tie with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

In a case-control study of 387 Alzheimer's patients and 475 controls,
Dr. Eugene Sobel of the University of Southern California School of Medicine
and colleagues found an association between occupational exposure to
electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and Alzheimer's disease. The study was made
up of two Finnish groups and one American group of subjects. Researchers
found that the overall odds ratio of subjects occupationally exposed to
"high" and "medium" levels of EMFs developing Alzheimer's was 3.0
(p<0.0003) compared to subjects exposed to "low" levels of EMFs.

A researcher at Coghill Research Labs in England recently reported the
results of a study on the relationship between Sudden Infant Death
Syndrome (SIDS) and EMFs. This study examined the location of all SIDS
cases in Inner North London between January 1986 and July 1988 in
relation to obvious sources of EMFs. The researcher found that not only
were SIDS infants living significantly nearer to EMF sources than
controls, but the nearer the EMF sources, the younger in age did the
infants die. The author concluded that there is a correlation between
chronic EM field exposure and SIDS.

Laboratory studies have also shown health effects from electromagnetic
radiation. Cass Peterson, writing in The Washington Post, states:
"Similarly, numerous animal studies have demonstrated neurological or
reproductive effects from low frequency electro- magnetic fields. Chick
embryos show a higher rate of abnormalities when exposed to low-frequency
fields, mice suffer a higher rate of abortion and abnormal fetuses when
exposed to slightly higher frequencies, approximating those emitted by
video display terminals." Peterson further stated: "In separate
experiments, scientists at the Cancer Therapy and Research Centre in San
Antonio discovered human cancer cells exposed to 60 Hz fields (the
frequency of a high-voltage line) grew as much as 24 times as fast as
unexposed cells and showed 'greatly increased resistance to destruction
by the cells of the body's defense system.'"

While doing research for the New York State Power Lines Project Dr.
Jerry Phillips and Dr. Wendell Winters discovered that human cancer cells
proliferated like crazy when exposed to magnetic fields. As well, the
exposed cells became increasingly resistant to the body's immune system.
Drs. Phillips and Winters stated that their observations led them to
believe that it was possible that magnetic fields stimulate the rate of
cancer cell growth, or act as a cancer promoter.

Research into how magnetic fields are linked to cancer is also being
undertaken. For example, Dr. Russell Reiter believes that a variety of
different cancers may be promoted by magnetic fields. In a paper
presented in November 1993 at a United States Department of Energy
meeting, he explained that "the suppression of melatonin by magnetic
fields could result in a higher incidence of cancer in any tissue," This
effect could clear up "one of the mysteries of the magnetic field/cancer
issue," that is, "the large number of different types that have
reportedly increased," he suggested. A leaked United States National
Council on Radiation Protection report (discussed later in this article)
supports this theory.

A recent study suggests another possible cause. A British study conducted
by Denis Henshaw and colleagues at the University of Bristol, published
in the International Journal of Radiation Biology on February 14, 1996,
found that power lines attract particles from radon gas, a known
carcinogen. They have found evidence that the harmful concentrations of
radon products may be present around overhead power lines. The
electromagnetic fields associated with the lines can therefore
concentrate a cocktail of potential carcinogens.

We only have room here to cite a sampling of the hundreds of laboratory
studies that have shown a link between EMFs and health effects.

The utility industry's latest strategy is to argue that we cannot prove
that there is a health risk from electromagnetic fields until we know
exactly how magnetic fields cause cancer, leukemia or other diseases.
This is a false argument as Paul Brodeur clearly points out in his 1993
book The Great Power-Line Cover-Up. He states: "What industry
spokespeople conveniently overlooked, of course, was that thirty years
after definitive epidemiology had been conducted to show that asbestos
was a potent cancer-producing agent, scientists still do not know the
mechanism by which an inhaled asbestos fibre reacts in lung tissue to
cause cancer. Nor do they understand the mechanism by which cigarette
smoke reacts in lung tissue to cause cancer. Or how the chemical
pesticide DDT operates in breast tissue to cause breast cancer. Suffice
it to say, if public health authorities had been required to wait for
the cancer-producing mechanisms of these agents to be fully understood,
regulations governing asbestos exposure would not have been implemented;
warnings on cigarette smoking would not have been issued; and the
twenty-year old ban on DDT would not have been imposed."

In the United States several courts have ruled on the health risk issue.

In late 1985, after parents brought suit, a Texas court ruled that
Houston Lighting & Power had shown "callous disregard" of their
children's health by siting a 345 kV line within 200 feet of a school
and playground. The court ordered the utility to relocate the line.

In June 1989 a Florida judge ruled that children may not play in a Boca
Raton school yard which borders on high voltage power lines. The suit
was brought by three local parents who sought to close the Sandpiper Shores
school because of potential electromagnetic field health hazards.

The judge noted that children have "no choice" about going to school and
therefore EMF exposure at school is an involuntary risk: He stated that
"a 1% chance that there is substantial danger is unacceptable".

Official recognition of the health hazards of electromagnetic radiation
is slowly coming. In a report issued June 19, 1989 the United States
Congressional Office of Technology Assessment stated: "Electric and
magnetic fields produced by electric power systems may pose public
health hazards." The report states that a growing amount of evidence now
indicates that, under certain circumstances, even relatively weak
extremely low frequency (ELF) fields can cause biological changes and
that, although the implications are still unclear, "there are legitimate
reasons for concern".

Among the report's proposals is a strategy of "prudent avoidance":
attempting to route new transmission lines so that they avoid people;
widening transmission line rights-of-way; developing designs for
distribution systems - including new grounding procedures - which would
reduce the associated fields; and redesigning appliances to minimize or
eliminate fields.

Further official recognition comes from a United States Environmental
Protection Agency draft report which, according to The New York Times
(May 23, 1990), says that there is a possible link between cancer and
the electromagnetic fields generated by power lines. In particular, the
agency's survey of existing human health studies found that children
exposed to such radiation seemed to face a higher than normal risk of
developing leukemia.

The findings on the possible health effects of exposure to radiation from
electromagnetic fields generally agree with those in the report issued
previously by Congress's Office of Technology Assessment.

Of the EPA report, Time magazine reported, on July 30, 1990, that Louis
Slesin of Microwave News, has printed what may be his greatest scoop:
the key paragraph of a two-year Environmental Protection Agency study
recommending that so-called extremely low-frequency fields be classified
as "probable human carcinogens" alongside such notorious chemical toxins
as PCBs, formaldehyde and dioxin. The recommendation, which could have
set off a costly chain of regulatory actions, was deleted from the final
draft after review by the White House Office of Policy Development. "The
EPA thing is a stunner," says Paul Brodeur, a writer for the New Yorker.
"It's a clear case of suppression and politicization of a major health
issue by the White House."

Paul Brodeur wrote of the EPA report in The New Yorker: "In spite of the
deletion, the summary-and-conclusions section of the draft EPA report
contained a persuasive indictment of power-line magnetic fields as a
cancer-producing agent. Its authors stated that five of the six
case-control studies published in the peer-reviewed medical literature
showed that children who lived near power lines giving off strong
magnetic fields were developing cancer more readily than children who
did not live near power lines."

Further official recognition came on June 29, 1994 when Washington
State's Department of Labor and Industries ruled that a former smelter
employee of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation in Tacoma was
entitled to worker's compensation for cancer he claims was caused by
exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the job. This is the first
ruling by a U.S. government body acknowledging a link between EMF
exposure and cancer. The complaint filed by James Brewer pointed out
that eight Kaiser employees out of the 90 who worked with him in the
smelter's "pot room" had developed lymphoma or leukemia and died.
Aluminum smelting requires unusually high levels of electrical power and
consequently workers are exposed to high magnetic field levels during
the manufacturing process. In the pot room Brewer was also frequently
exposed to intense heat and noxious chemicals including benzene and
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Mr. Brewer's physician, Dr. Samuel Milham, has asserted a link between
EMF and cancer in aluminum smelters in his research. Dr. Milham studied
Kaiser's aluminum plant during the 1980s and found "way too many cases"
of leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among workers there. The high
incidence of cancer in the Kaiser workers coincides with similar
findings in other aluminum plants.

The latest official recognition of the health risk comes in a leaked
United States National Council on Radiation Protection report funded by
the Environmental Protection Agency and written by eleven leading
American experts in EMFs. Bob Edwards, in the October 7, 1995 issue of
New Scientist, writes that the report recommends an EMF safety limit of
2 mG (0.2 microteslas). He writes: "EPA officials say the report is the
most comprehensive study ever on the health effects of low-frequency
EMFs. Its findings represent a fundamental challenge to the electricity
industry. The authors say that their recommendations, if accepted, could
force `complex and costly' changes in society`s use of electricity.

"The committee`s chairman, Ross Adey, a neurologist from the Veterans
Affairs Medical Centre in Loma Linda, California, says there is now a
`powerful body of impressive evidence' to suggest that very low exposure
to EMFs has subtle, long-term effects on human health. `The sensitivity
of the brain and its mechanisms to these fields is the key to
understanding this issue,' he told New Scientist.

"The report recommends that future developments adopt a safety limit of
0.2 microteslas. This is a very weak magnetic field, and stronger fields
are common around electricity pylons and close to electrical appliances.
New nurseries, schools and houses should not be built where EMF
exposures breach that guideline, says the report, and power lines should be kept
away from residential areas. Offices should be designed to keep
workers'exposure from computers, photocopiers and printers below o.2

The final report is expected to be released to the public in late 1996
or 1997.

Public health officials are now beginning to take a position on the EMF issue.

Patti Miller, who is in charge of the Washington State Department of
Health EMF Task Force, is quoted by Ellen Sugarman in Warning: The
Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health as stating: "In
the Department of Health, we've been answering questions about the
dangers by telling people to avoid fields at the level of 3 mG. The
utilities recently complained to the governor's office about it and the
governor has tried to make us stop saying this when people call. But we
feel strongly that we can't just pass the buck the way they do. After
all, we're responsible for the public health."

Dr. David Carpenter, former Executive Secretary of the New York Power
Lines Project and now Dean of the State of New York School of Public
Health, is quoted by Ellen Sugarman as stating: "I am now convinced that
EMFs pose a health hazard. There is a statistical association between
magnetic fields and cancer that goes beyond the shadow of reasonable
doubt. I think there is clear evidence that exposure to EMFs increases
the risk for cancer. This is most clear with leukemia and brain tumours,
but in the residential studies, statistical significance increased for
all kinds of cancer. And we're just beginning to have a whole body of
evidence that reproductive cancers are increased by exposure."

The World Health Organization has, in early 1996, initiated a 5 year
$3.33 million project to assess the health and environmental effects of
exposure to electric and magnetic fields. An International Advisory
Committee will oversee the project.

Perhaps the most significant new factor concerning the EMF health factor
is the increasing public awareness. The January 1-3, 1993 issue of USA
Weekend, a Sunday supplement magazine with a readership of thirty-three
and a half million, contained a poll that asked readers to select what
they considered to be the United States number one environmental health
priority. The results were announced in the February 19-21, 1993 issue
of the magazine. Electromagnetic fields were selected as the number one
priority by 35% of the readers; 17% chose chemicals in food; 12% chose
indoor air quality, and 36% listed other environmental concerns.

The Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line maintains a Bibliography on
Electromagnetic Radiation and Health which currently contains over 1,000
entries consisting of scientific reports and journal articles, government
and official reports, newspaper and magazine articles, books, and
non-print media such as videotapes and TV programs.

Another extensive review of the the health effects of EMFs is provided in
the Safe Technologies Corporation file in the Other EMF Organizations menu.


Bridlewood Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Information Service

Informant: PW.DM.WARD

UK plans to lower EMF limits


By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent

There are concerns about electricity fields

The exposure of people in the UK to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) should
be cut significantly, the government's radiation advisers say. The
National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) says the UK should adopt
international exposure standards.

EMFs are given off by many industrial and domestic electric
installations and appliances, including mobile telephones and wiring
circuits. Some experts say deeper cuts are necessary to protect people's
health. EMFs are measured in units called microTeslas.

The NRPB has recommended for many years that nobody should be exposed to
a level higher than 1,600 microTeslas. But in a consultation document on
restricting people's exposure, it now recommends the UK should adopt the
guidelines of the International Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Protection (Icnirp). The commission's recommended level is far lower, at
100 microTeslas.

Health impact

The NRPB paper reviews recent research on possible health effects.
It includes reviews of EMFs and possible health effects by Icnirp, the
World Health Organisation, and the UK's Independent Expert Group on
Mobile Phones. The NRPB says: "All scientific investigations are subject
to uncertainties, including the interpretation of studies on the
possible adverse health effects of exposure to EMFs. "The results from
well designed and conducted studies have uncertainties that can be
quantified statistically, but may not always be explicable.

"Hence a cautious approach is used in making proposals for quantitative
restrictions on EMF exposures."But some experts believe the
traditionally cautious NRPB should have seized the chance to be much bolder.

Denis Henshaw, professor of physics at the University of Bristol, told
BBC News Online: "The adoption by the NRPB of a precautionary approach
to EMF exposures is to be welcomed. "In the case of new installations
(power lines, sub-stations, etc.) this needs to result in public
exposures well below 0.4 microTeslas, the level at which a doubling of
the risk of childhood leukaemia has been seen. "This should also protect
against increased risk of adult brain cancer, miscarriage and a number
of other adverse health outcomes. "In the case of existing installations
the adoption of the Icnirp exposure limit of 100 microTeslas still
leaves people living near high-voltage power lines potentially exposed
to magnetic field levels of several or even tens of microTeslas, well
above the levels where adverse health effects have been reported.
"Future consideration will need to be given to reducing exposures with
respect to existing installations."

Leukaemia risk

Two years ago an NRPB investigation found "a weak association" between
EMFs and an increased risk of childhood leukaemia. It said the extra
danger was slight, but recommended further research. The investigation
included a study of 3,000 children which suggested electricity pylons
could double the childhood leukaemia risk. But the NRPB said the
evidence applied not just to power lines, but to the effects of
electrical power inside houses.

In 2000 a US study concluded people might be likelier to commit suicide
if they were regularly exposed to low-frequency electromagnetic fields.

The UK Electricity Association said it fully supported the NRPB approach.
Dr John Swanson, its scientific adviser, said: "The new proposals do not
change what the science says, but are more about looking at what could
be the pros and cons of changing the safety margins from those we use now.
"This does not mean that the old guidelines were fundamentally flawed".
It is simply asking the question, should we have even greater safety
margins than we already have."


'Phone threat' to air safety


By Tom Symonds and Simon Montague
BBC Transport Correspondents

A text could freeze compasses

There is new evidence passengers using mobile phones endanger aircraft,
according to a Civil Aviation Authority report obtained by BBC News
Online. In tests, compasses froze or overshot, navigation bearings were
inaccurate and there was interference on radio channels. Research
supports pilots who have complained about mobiles interfering with
aircraft systems and distractions in cockpits, the report says. It urges
airlines to impose safety measures including:
Ensuring flight crews turn off mobiles on the flight deck
Check-in staff asking passengers to confirm mobiles in hold luggage are
off Reminder notices in airport departure lounges and boarding gates

Since 1996, pilots have reported 35 mobile phone-related safety
incidents, including false warnings in the cockpit, distractions causing
aircraft to stray accidentally onto runways or fly at the wrong
altitude, interrupted radio communications and multiple safety systems

Last September, factory worker Faiz Chopdat from Blackburn was jailed
for four months after being convicted of recklessly endangering an aircraft.
He repeatedly refused to turn off his mobile phone on an Air 2000 flight
from Egypt to Manchester. And in October, Russian businessman Sergey
Lebedev was fined £2,500 after forcing a British Airways jet to abort a
landing at Manchester Airport. Cabin crew spent so long arguing with him
about whether he would turn off his mobile they were unable to prepare
the plane.

and a link:


New NRPB Dose Assessment Methodology Report Published

NRPB has issued a public Consultation Document1 on advice for
restricting exposures to people from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) at
work and at home. The document reviews the scientific data for adverse
health effects from EMFs and how this evidence leads to quantitative
exposure restrictions. NRPB proposes that the exposure guidelines of the
International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation be adopted in the UK.
An aim of the Consultation Document is to receive comments on the issues
related to EMF exposure restrictions and aspects of precaution. The
closing date for comments is Monday 28 July 2003.

The Consultation Document reviews scientific information on possible
health effects published since its previous reviews in 19932 and 19993.
It also takes account of reviews carried out by expert bodies, including
the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection
(ICNIRP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UK Independent Expert
Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) and NRPB's Advisory Group on Non-ionising
Radiation (AGNIR). The review considers epidemiology, experimental
biology, volunteer studies and dosimetry.

All scientific investigations are subject to uncertainties, including
the interpretation of studies on the possible adverse health effects of
exposure to EMFs. The results from well designed and conducted studies
have uncertainties that can be quantified statistically, but may not
always be explicable. Not all studies are well designed and executed,
and this must also be taken into account in any scientific review. Hence
a cautious approach is used in making proposals for quantitative
restrictions on EMF exposures.

NRPB is aware of developments from international bodies including WHO,
ICNIRP and the European Commission (EC), towards the harmonisation of
approaches to EMF exposure guidelines development.

Careful consideration has been given in the Consultation Document to the
possible application of the Precautionary Principle to EMF exposure.
Proposals are set out in the document that would bring together all
stakeholders, including the general public, to facilitate an open
discussion on EMFs and the Precautionary Principle.

Formal advice to Government on guidelines for limiting exposure to EMFs
will be issued by NRPB after a review of the comments received on the
Consultation Document.

Hard copies of the Consultation Document are available, at £30 per copy,
from the NRPB Information Office, Chilton, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 0RQ (tel:
01235 822742, fax: 01235 822746, email: Major
credit cards are accepted for payment or a cheque with order. Please add
10% postage and packing.

1 NRPB Consultation Document. Proposals for Limiting Exposure to
Electromagnetic Fields (0 - 300 GHz). NRPB Chilton, 2003.

2 NRPB. Restrictions on Human Exposure to Static and Time Varying
Electromagnetic Fields and Radiation. Doc NRPB 4(5), 7-63 (1993).

3 NRPB. 1998 ICNIRP Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-Varying
Electric, Magnetic and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz): NRPB
Advice on Aspects of Implementation in the UK. Doc NRPB 10(2), 5-59 (1999).

Press enquiries:


1 May 2003

Informant: Robert Riedlinger

Worldwatch Paper 165: Winged Messengers: The Decline of Birds, Howard Youth,

ISBN: 1-878071-68-8

Birds inspire people with their beauty, song, and powers of flight. But
birds cannot fly far enough to escape the dangers posed by our modern,
ever-more-crowded world. Birds are under threat as never before; at
least 103 species have vanished since 1800, and as many as 1,200 of the
world's 9,800 bird species face extinction within the century. Birds
require many of the same things we need for a sustainable future, and
their alarming decline is a warning signal.

In Winged Messengers: The Decline of Birds, Howard Youth explores bird
declines around the world and the various threats facing birds and other
wildlife sharing their habitats, and he shares what we must do to chart
a course to a better future for them and for other living beings,
including ourselves.

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