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Examination of Health Risks Associated with Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation. Cynthia Kelly, M.D. Orthopaedic Oncologist Denver, Colorado. Radiation . You can’t touch it, feel it, smell it, or taste it. Radiation . Very high doses cause immediate cellular death.

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examination of health risks associated with exposure to electromagnetic radiation

Examination of Health Risks Associated with Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation

Cynthia Kelly, M.D.

Orthopaedic Oncologist

Denver, Colorado

  • You can’t
    • touch it,
    • feel it,
    • smell it,
    • or taste it.
  • Very high doses cause immediate cellular death.
  • Low doses cause disturbances within the cell, causing systems malfunction but not death.
    • Ion transport(calcium), gene transcription
health effects of electromagnetic fields
Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields
  • Brain cancer
  • Childhood leukemia
  • Birth defects
  • Pregnancy loss
    • Physiotherapists 0.04-0.56 W/cm2
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Altered calcium ion movement in brain cells
  • Altered children’s performance
    • Mental & physical 0-4 W/cm2
literature review
Literature Review
  • Cells (plant & animal) exposed to EMF show “distinct growth changes … alteration in cellular enzymes.”
  • Human & animal cells demonstrated “modulation of gene-expression, changes in transcription pattern & protein synthesis.”
    • DNA effects
          • Hawaii Med J 1991
literature review6
Literature Review
  • Available data suggest that RF radiation should be considered “a carcinogenic risk,” a position taken in an internal 1990 US EPA document…
    • when there was much less evidence of the potential harmfulness of EMF radiation.
          • Env Health Perspectives 105(s) Dec 1997
literature review7
Literature Review
  • Statistically significant dose-response relationships exist for the physiotherapist study, Korean war study and the Polish military study.
          • Dept Natural Resources Engineering NZ 1997
lit review health effects due to emf exposure
Lit Review: Health Effects Due to EMF Exposure

Community levels after LCG proposed tower = 1-20W/cm2

health effects of emf
Health Effects of EMF
  • There are more than 60 major studies declaring the dangers of EMF.
  • EMF has been declared a “hazard” by the Swedish government, and they have instituted mandates concerning public exposure.
public exposure limit
Public Exposure Limit
  • If cancer risk is to be reduced,
    • the limit should be <0.1W/cm2
  • If miscarriage risk, sleep disruption, children’s performance impairment, and chronic fatigue is to be reduced,
    • the limit should be <0.01W/cm2
          • Dept Natural Resources Engineering NZ 1997
health effects of emf11
Health Effects of EMF
  • Under extended exposure conditions RF signals at average of 5 W/kg are capable of inducing chromosome damage in human lymphocytes.
  • Increase in # micronucleated cells

Bioelectromagnetics 23:113-126, 2002


Our children

childhood leukemia emf
Childhood Leukemia & EMF
  • Positive association & dose-response relationship with relative risk estimates from 1.5-2.7 for past exposure (5 studies).
  • Significant dose-response relationship (3 studies).
    • Observations can’t be explained by misclass-ification of exposure or a selection bias.
    • A confounder effect would hardly explain such results.
  • Possible causal nature cannot be dismissed.
          • Levallois: Am J Prev Med 1995
childhood leukemia emf14
Childhood Leukemia & EMF
  • Italian study – 2.2 fold increase in leukemia in children living w/in 6 km of Vatican radio and TV transmission towers (2001)
  • Australia study – increased incidence of childhood leukemia and death d/t TV tower RF
        • Med. J. Australia, Vol.165, No. 2 p.601-5
health effects of emf15
Health Effects of EMF
  • 18 studies of childhood cancer & residential exposure to EMF have been conducted.
    • There is a preponderance of positive results, more than one would expect by chance.
  • When all studies are pooled, the average risk for leukemia, lymphoma and nervous system tumors are statistically significant.
          • Cancer Causes Control 5:299-309, 1994
health effects of emf16
Health Effects of EMF
  • There were excess leukemia & central nervous system cancers in those employed in occupations where there is substantial use of electricity
    • Electricians, electric utility & power company employees
  • Meta-analysis regarding occupational exposure to EMF, leukemia & brain cancer report modest but statistically significant increases in cancer risk.
          • J Occup Environ Med, Dec. 1995
  • Current regulatory standards are based solely on the THERMAL effects of RF radiation (200W/cm2) at the cellular level.
  • Evidence from Moscow & other community studies suggest that exposure as low as 2W/cm2 may have long term health effects.
          • Env Health Perspectives 105(s) Dec 1997
health studies
Health Studies
  • The focus of more recent animal studies exploring the possible carcinogenicity of EMF exposure has been the role of EMF as a promoter of malfunction within a cell.
  • Development of cancer is probably multifactorial.

“… a multistep process that requires at least 2 genotoxic events in its critical path but is facilitated by nongenotoxic proliferative effects on target cells. EMF could influence carcinogenesis if it exerted either direct or indirect effects on target cell turnover.”

  • Bioelectromagnetics 17:339, 1996
  • In work spanning a decade & 9 projects, Goodman & Henderson reported increased transcription of oncogenes (cancer genes) & other specific mRNA sequences in several types of cells exposed to low-frequency magnetic fields.
  • Latency is the delayed effect of exposure to a harmful substance, i.e. sun and UV exposure.
  • Tobacco industry –
    • Initially there was felt to be no link between tobacco use and cancer
    • Now the link is clear cut
clinical experience
Clinical Experience
  • Children with cancer
  • Parents’ concerns
risk vs benefit
Risk vs. Benefit
  • Risk: Health hazard to community, both real & perceived.
  • ‘Benefit’: Better resolution on a television screen
implications for public policy
Implications for Public Policy
  • The risk of EMF exposure with erection of the new tower is sufficiently significant and the exposure sufficiently widespread that actions to limit new exposures are warranted.
implications for public policy26
Implications for Public Policy
  • Two main approaches for lowering exposure to EMF:
    • Personal: change in one’s habits
    • Societal: increase the distance of the source of EMF from people
  • The costs of mitigation and litigation relating to the power line – cancer connection have risen into the billions of $$ & threaten to go much higher.
  • Avoid additional costs & locate the proposed tower to an alternate, less-inhabited site.
  • When it is possible to reduce EMF exposure at a reasonable cost and low inconvenience, future disease may be substantially reduced.
          • Public Health Reports, May/June 1996
The evidence justifies Prudent Avoidance of unnecessary community exposures.
          • Env Health Perspectives 105(s) Dec 1997
  • There is discrepancy surrounding allowable, “safe” levels of exposure to all sources of electromagnetic energy.
  • With the possible association with cancer, fetal loss and other effects, prudence in the design and placement of new power systems is imperative.
  • There is conclusive, alarming, scientific evidence linking EMR and the development of cancer and other health problems in children & adults at the same levels this “Super Tower” will emit.
  • After exposure to EMR:
    • there are significant patterns of increase incidence of childhood leukemia, brain cancer, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), and other harmful effects with exposure to EMR.
    • biochemical & physiologic reactions and alterations at the cellular and tissue level.
  • It is unconscionable that Jeffco commissioners would expose an UNWILLING community of constituents to the effects of EMR until it is unequivocally proven to be safe.
the future
The Future
  • What do you say to the children of the community living in proximity to the new tower who develop cancer?
  • Why put your constituents at risk all for better TV viewing?
  • Other acceptable site available