The European Commission has just released a report on the “Possible effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on Human Health.”
After reviewing recent studies, the authors find limited evidence of risk but recommend further research.
For radiofrequency radiation from communications technology, the report concludes that there is no consistent evidence of health problems.
“The balance of epidemiologic evidence indicates that mobile phone use of less than 10 years does not pose any increased risk of brain tumour or acoustic neuroma. For long-term use, data are sparse.”
In connections with children’s use of mobile phones, it recommends further research. “Owing to widespread use of mobile phones among children and adolescents and relatively high exposures to the brain, investigation of the potential effect of RF fields in the development of childhood brain tumour is warranted.“
The report finds some evidence of risk from electromagnetic fields (ELF) from electrical sources It says, “The previous opinion came to a similar conclusion regarding carcinogenicity of ELF fields as IARC’s [International Agency for Research on Cancer] evaluation, namely that ELF magnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic. This conclusion was mainly based on epidemiologic results indicating that exposure to ELF fields might be a cause of childhood leukaemia. This assessment is still valid.”
The report does not find a connection between these fields and breast cancer or cardiovascular disease but “For yet some other diseases, such as neurodegenerative disease and brain cancer, the issue of an association to ELF fields remains open and more research is called for.”
It also recommends further research on genetic effects following results of studies showing such effectsfrom the REFLEX project.
The report was prepared by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) and can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_007.pdf.
from 'EMR and Health' Jun 2007, vol 3 no 2