POWERLINE FIELDS ARE POSSIBLE CARCINOGENS: TWO RECENT REPORTS BY HEALTH AGENCIES.
K. R. Foster Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA.
EIGHTH ANNUAL MICHAELSON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, AUGUST 10 - 14, 2000 KALISPELL, MT
This past summer (2001), two important developments have occurred relevant to the public issue of possible hazards from ELF fields. First, on June 27 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that ELF magnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on the statistical association of higher level residential ELF magnetic fields and increased risk for childhood leukemia. Second, in July, the California State EMF Program issued a draft report that concluded that ELF magnetic fields are "more than 50% possible" to cause childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, spontaneous abortion, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The California report outlined a series of policy options anticipated to cost $0.48-7.6 billion. This talk will outline the scientific basis for the conclusions of these agencies and discuss possible implications of the findings. Whether these reports represent a major shift in scientific attitudes about possible health risks of environmental ELF fields remains to be seen, but these statements, by major health agencies, set new precedents whose implications need to be examined carefully.