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E-mail from Martin Blank, PhD. Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics. Bioelectromagnetics Society President, 1997-1998 to Mrs. Gunde Ziegelberger (ICNIRP) on ICNIRP EMF exposure guidelines

"The latest laboratory research points to serious inadequacies in the safety standards recommended by ICNIRP and IEEE committees. In particular, stimulation of the stress response by ELF and RF frequencies indicates: - EM fields probably cause molecular (e.g., DNA) damage in both frequency ranges. - protective biological processes are activated in cells by non-thermal mechanisms. - the same cellular processes are evoked by many parts of the EM spectrum."

I think ICNIRP should be made aware of scientific developments reported and discussed at the annual meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, held in Cancun earlier this month

Viernes 30 de junio de 2006 · 1525 lecturas

To: Mrs. Gunde Ziegelberger (ICNIRP)

Re: June 27 e-mail of Mr Hans Karow on ICNIRP EMF exposure guidelines.

I am writing in support of Mr Hans Karow’s request regarding information
about ICNIRP EMF exposure guidelines. Since these guidelines are meant
to reflect the latest and best available information regarding the
biological effects of EMF exposure, I think ICNIRP should be made aware
of scientific developments reported and discussed at the annual meeting
of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, held in Cancun earlier this month. A
symposium, entitled "Scientific Perspective on Electromagnetic Fields
and the Precautionary Principle"? was devoted to the scientific basis of
EMF safety standards. The formal discussion on the scientific issues
went on long past the designated closing time, and was continued in a
special discussion session on the following day. To insure that the
scientific issues continue to be explored and eventually resolved, the
issues were referred by the President to the Public Affairs Committee of
the Society, and instructed to meet regularly.

A major point of discussion was based on the distinction between
epidemiology studies that provide information about the probability of
risk and laboratory research that provides scientifically verifiable
information. The latest laboratory research points to serious
inadequacies in the safety standards recommended by ICNIRP and IEEE
committees. In particular, stimulation of the stress response by ELF and
RF frequencies indicates:

  • EM fields probably cause molecular (e.g., DNA) damage in both
    frequency ranges.
  • protective biological processes are activated in cells by non-thermal
    mechanisms.
  • the same cellular processes are evoked by many parts of the EM
    spectrum.

The measured ELF thresholds to EM fields are low, both in terms of field
strength and exposure duration, and there is great variability in the
sensitivity of biological systems. We know that physiological systems
have many protective mechanisms (e.g., homeostasis, repair mechanisms,
apoptosis) that tend to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of the
EM fields, but cannot always cope. Because of the wide range of
biological systems affected, the wide range of frequencies that are
biologically active, the low
response thresholds and the possibility of cumulative effects by
repetitive stimulation, the exposure standards should be revised to take
into account:

  • the importance of non-thermal mechanisms in assessing risk.
  • total cumulative exposure across the different divisions of the EM
    spectrum.
  • the increasing EM field background due to proliferation of electronic
    devices.
  • the most sensitive populations (usually children).

I trust that you will bring this letter to the attention of ICNIRP,
since I believe that ICNIRP would want to base its recommendations on
all available information. I also hope that you will act favorably on Mr
Karow’s request for information.

Sincerely yours,

Martin Blank, PhD
Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
Bioelectromagnetics Society President, 1997-1998

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