Sunday, February 08, 2004

Experts debate harm of electromagnetic fields

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the health effects of electromagnetic fields around power lines, resulting in a wide range of findings.
Vermont's Public Service Board will hear differing opinions on EMF when it listens to testimony about Vermont Electric Power Co.'s proposed power-line upgrade in northwestern Vermont in the next few weeks.
Below is what some of the experts scheduled to speak about EMFs said in testimony already filed with the Public Service Board.
Peter Valberg
on behalf of VELCO

"Thousands of studies have now examined the hypothesis that power-line EMF exposure can lead to biological effects, and potentially, adverse health impacts. Out of this vast number, some studies have reported results that can be interpreted as suggestive of power-line EMF being hazardous to human health ... but the overall summary is that evidence for EMFs harming human health is weak and inconsistent."
"... the EMF levels predicted to be associated with this project, leads me to conclude that the EMF that will be produced as a result of this project will not have adverse public health effects."
Peter Valberg served as faculty member at Harvard University School of Public Health and conducted research for the National Cancer Institute on magnetic field effects on lung cells. He has served on numerous EMF study committees and panels.
Daniel Wartenberg
for Vermont Citizens
for Safe Energy

"Dr. Valberg concludes that 'some studies have reported results that can be interpreted as suggestive of power-line EMF being hazardous to human health.' I agree. Not only can they be so interpreted, but they have been interpreted that way. Further (additional analyses) have shown that, when combined, these studies jointly show associations between power-line EMF exposure and childhood leukemia. Such data justify, or in my opinion, obligate one to consider and evaluate exposure reduction and preventive measures for any project that exposes people to power-line EMF."
Daniel Wartenberg is the director of the Cancer Control program for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and is a professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of New Jersey. He has served as an adviser to a variety of governmental agencies.

Vermont Department
of Health

On the VELCO project

"The Vermont Department of Health concludes that the electric and magnetic power frequency field strength for the proposed (project) does not appear to be a public health hazard based on the review of the literature and on calculations with existing and proposed current loads."
"The Vermont Department of Health concludes that the data in the current body of literature is insufficient to establish a direct cause and effect relationship between EMF exposure and adverse health effects."
Carla White and Lawrence Crist compiled the Health Department's position paper on EMF concerns and the VELCO project. White is a radiological health specialist and Crist is the director of the Division of Health Protection.

Vincent DelPizzo
For Vermont Citizens
for Safe Energy

"I am almost certain that a 50-100 percent increase in the risk of childhood leukemia is real. I am also inclined to believe that EMFs pose an increased risk of adult leukemia, brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and miscarriage."
Vincent DelPizzo is the former research director of the California Department of Health Sciences' EMF program, a researcher and the author of numerous scientific articles on EMF and health. He has served on a variety of government advisory boards.