Extra Low Frequency
Power Lines!
Calif Power Line EMF Warnings & Policy


22 July 2001

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Calif EMF Warnings & Policy (Goldberg)..
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 09:01:57 -0500
From: Roy Beavers <guru@emfguru.com>
Reply-To: roy@emfguru.com
Organization: EMF-L List
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

..........From EMF-L........

A message about this "study" conducted by the California Department of Health was posted last week.....

The story below is more complete, however.  I again urge all serious students of this EMF saga to obtain a copy of the actual report and make it a part of your library.....

It appears to be the first honest admission by any "responsible" state or federal agency that "we have a problem."   It may be said to represent the consensus of the ALWAYS CONSERVATIVE "establishment" science community today ... as the "ostrich" responsible government officials take their heads out of their "holes" and begin to swing public policy back toward PROTECTING THE PUBLIC -- rather than industry!!!

Typically -- this report also "hedges" its judgment to avoid arousing the public too much.  You will find much language of that type in the article below.   When reading this article (and the report itself), it is always a good idea to remember that scientists preparing reports for government (public) consumption are usually mindful of a "need" (they think) to alert the public in as low key a manner and language as possible.  This reflects, in part, an elitist attitude which assumes that the public is not capable of "handling" the complete, unvarnished truth......

So, read between the lines here....  You will find much that confirms what has been posted on this list over the past five years about the hazards (risks) of ELF "power line" exposure........  Of course, it ALWAYS is part of the "religion" of the science establishment to say:  "but chemical exposures are more serious health risks."  I expect them to change that "litany", too, before too long.........


Roy Beavers (EMFguru)

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.....


All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing....
.........Edmund Burke

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Calif Dept Health Services: EMF Warnings & Policy
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 10:15:07 -0400
From: "Robert B. Goldberg" <bob@infoventures.com>
To: Roy Beavers <guru@emfguru.com>

You usually get these before I do, but I did not see it among your messages.  This is a substantial draft report and the full text is available on line as a PDF document.

Regards, Bob

ENS: Power Lines, Wiring Pose Health Risks


SACRAMENTO, California, July 16, 2001 (ENS) - Added risk of miscarriage, childhood leukemia, brain cancer and greater incidence of suicide are some of the health risks associated with exposure to electric and magnetic fields such as those that radiate from power lines, according to a California health department review.

Released Friday under pressure from a California First Amendment Coalition lawsuit, two reports summarize and analyze a decade of research done at a cost to ratepayers of more than $7 million.

Two reports by researchers from the California Department of Health Services say human population studies suggest there might be a problem from electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) from power lines, wiring in buildings, certain jobs, and appliances.

On behalf of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), three scientists who work for the California Department of Health Services were asked to review the existing scientific literature about possible health problems from these sources. The PUC request for review did not include radio frequency EMFs from cell phones and radio towers.

Three assigned scientists, a physician/epidemiologist, a geneticist/epidemiologist, and a physicist with training in
epidemiology assessed the literature with the assistance of 10 other DHS scientists.

It is "more than 50 percent possible" the scientists reported, that EMFs at home or at work could cause a "very small increased lifetime risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease."

"It is more than 50 percent possible that EMFs at home or at work could cause a five to 10 percent added risk of miscarriage."

"It is 10-50 percent possible that residential or occupational EMFs could be responsible for a small increased lifetime risk of male breast cancer, childhood brain cancer, suicide, Alzheimer's disease, or sudden cardiac death," the scientists wrote.

In every instance, they took care to note that "there is a chance that EMFs have no effect at all."

"It is very unlikely - two to 10 percent possible - but not impossible, that residential or occupational EMFs could be responsible for even a small fraction of birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal deaths, or cancer generally," the researchers said.

All of the three reviewers give a degree of confidence of at least 10 to 50 percent possible that residential or occupational EMFs could be responsible for a small 15 increased lifetime risk of adult leukemia or female breast cancer, and one gave a degree of confidence that was higher.

The reviewers compared the size of possible risks from EMFs to the size of possible risks from chemical and physical agents now being regulated.

They agreed that with the exception of miscarriage, the added risk, if any, of even a highly EMF exposed individual getting any of these rare diseases would be such that the vast majority of highly exposed individuals - 95 percent to 99.9 percent - would not get them.

"Calculations suggest that the fraction of all cases of these conditions for which EMF might be responsible would be very low," they said.

Still, these results were not readily released to the public, according to the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) which mounted a lawsuit to make them public.

In late June, the lawsuit was filed in Alameda Superior Court by the California First Amendment Coalition and Citizens Concerned about EMFs, two public benefit non-profit organizations. Defendants named in the suit are the California Department of Health Services (DHS), DHS Director Dr. Diana Bonta, the California Electric and Magnetic Fields
Program, and EMF Program Director Dr. Raymond Neutra.

The two reports, one a compilation of all available scientific evidence, the other examining public policy implications of the data, were originally ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission in 1993.

"We are delighted that the state decided to abide by the California Public Records Act rather than go through protracted litigation," said CFAC executive director Kent Pollock. "The people of California won an important victory this morning."

The reports were scheduled for release in early May, but at the last minute the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) asked state department of health to delay releasing the reports until CPUC staff could review them.

Several California Public Records Act requests for the reports were denied. The letters of denial said release was inappropriate because any last minute CPUC changes would become detectable if the reports were released before the CPUC had a chance to review or alter them.

"These reports in their uncensored versions are important to the public because they reflect an unbiased risk assessment of the effects that EMF exposure from electric utility facilities has on human health," said Peter Frech, executive director of Citizens Concerned About EMFs.

"If these reports were censored for political reasons or delayed until the state of California had bought the transmission grid from the utilities, then the whole purpose of the California EMF Research Program - to inform the public about such risks - would have been defeated."

The increased risk of miscarriages did not show up in animal studies, the three DHS reviewers said, but "two new epidemiology studies in humans suggest that a substantial proportion of miscarriages might be caused by EMFs," they said.

Miscarriages occur in about 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies in any case, the reviewers point out. "The theoretical added risk for an EMF exposed pregnant woman may be an additional five to 10 percent according to these two studies. If true, this would clearly be of concern to individuals and regulators."

But the type of EMF exposures implicated by these two new epidemiological studies "short, very high exposures probably come from being within a few inches of appliances and indoor wiring, and only rarely from power lines," the reviewers theorize.

"It may not be possible to avoid all such exposures in modern life," they say.

Seventy-five percent of the women in the studies had at least one of these brief high exposures during a day. Even one exposure a day, if typically experienced during pregnancy, seemed to increase the risk of miscarriage. Nonetheless, the majority of pregnant women with such exposures did not miscarry, the reviewers emphasized.

The policy report recognizes four value perspectives. One says, in effect, do not incur costs unless risks are virtually certain.

A second stresses freedom for property rights from governmental interference.

A third proposes regulation in the name of social justice if a small percentage of the population is especially vulnerable.

A fourth, used by economists, attempts to quantify the risk of harm and the cost of avoiding it in order to design a yardstick of reasonable cost-benefit tradeoffs.

In this report, the policy analysts relied mainly on the cost-benefit approach as one that all parties could understand and critique objectively. They concluded, among other things, that:

Relatively modest cost measures to add protection against EMFs from transmission lines might cost $136 million to avoid 27 deaths statewide over the projected 35 year life of the lines.

The expensive option, undergrounding of the lines, might avoid 495 deaths over the 35 years but might cost $248 billion. To an economist, how much was worth spending would depend on how many lives were seen as otherwise threatened over the 35 years.

For distribution lines, those bringing power to homes and workplaces, the modest cost estimates are $234.5 million to save 47 lives over the period, or $5.03 billion to save 1,005 lives over the period.

Different grounding procedures within homes might cost $200 per home and save 22 lives over the period.

"The PUC has administrative procedures for reconciling conflicting interests and perspectives with regard to the power grid. This is particularly important in the face of the need in California for more capacity in generation and transmission of electricity. State and local agencies develop policy for schools. Since electricity is so ubiquitous many agencies have potential interest in this issue," the researchers pointed out.

"People will often tolerate risks and not be anxious if there is cost to them to remove the exposure or benefit from tolerating it," the researchers concluded. "Therefore it will be important to provide information to the public and to develop stakeholder agreement on how to proceed with regard to EMF exposures."

The reports are now available on the California Department of Health Services website at: http://www.dhs.ca.gov.

Public comments are welcome by September 10. They can be submitted through the website or by contacting: Jack Collins, California EMF Program, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1700, Oakland, California 94612. E-mail: JCollins@dhs.ca.gov

= - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - =

The Risk Evaluation

An Evaluation of the Possible Risks From Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFs) From Power Lines, Internal Wiring, Electrical Occupations and Appliances

The Risk Evaluation analyzes the potential human health risks of magnetic field exposure. Specifically, this document provides an evaluation of the animal, laboratory and human evidence that shows how exposure to 50/60 Hz magnetic fields may or may not increase human health risks. The Risk Evaluation is based on the results of published research studies, with emphasis on new studies, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Working Group Report, and the results of the California EMF Program Studies.

How to Comment

Cover Page

Table of Contents

Statement for the General Public

Scientific Abstract of the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Chapter 1--Introduction

Chapter 2--The Initial or "Prior" Degree of Confidence of A Possible EMF Hazard

Chapter 3--The EMF Mixture

Chapter 4--Biophysical Issues

Chapter 5--In Vitro Mechanistic Studies

Chapter 6--Animal Pathology and Physiology

Chapter 7--Generic Issues on Epidemiological Evidence

Chapter 8--Epidemiology of the Leukemias

Chapter 9--Epidemiology of Adult Brain Cancer

Chapter 10--Childhood Brain Cancer

Chapter 11--Breast Cancer

Chapter 12--All Cancers

Chapter 13--Miscarriage

Chapter 14--Other Reproductive and Developmental Studies

Chapter 15--Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Chapter 16--Alzheimer's Disease

Chapter 17--Heart Disease and EMF Exposure: Evidence

Chapter 18--Suicide

Chapter 19--Other Adverse Non-Cancer Health Outcomes

Chapter 20--Dose Response Relationship

Chapter 21--Conclusions


Appendix One--Science Advisory Panel

Appendix Two--Risk Evaluation Guidelines

Appendix Three--Prevalence and Risk Factors of Self-Perceived
Hypersensitivity to Electromagnetic Fields in California

Appendix Four--Study Review of Hypersensitivity of Human Subjects To
Environmental Electric and Magnetic Field Exposure

Appendix Five--A Nested Case-Control Study of Residential and Personal
Magnetic Field Measures and Miscarriages

Appendix Six--A Population-Based Prospective Study of Personal
Exposure to Magnetic Fields During Pregnancy and the Risk of
Spontaneous Abortion

Policy Options Summary

Policy Options in the Face of Possible Risk from Power Frequency
Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Information Ventures, Inc.
42 S. 15th Street, Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2299
Phone: (215)569-2300  Fax: (215)569-2575
e-mail: billt@infoventures.com

Dr. Robert Goldberg
Information Ventures, Inc.
42 S. 15th St., Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2299

(215) 569-2300
(215) 569-2575 FAX
e-mail: bob@infoventures.com

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