The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences today released the full text of a report from scientists concluding, by a divided vote, that electrical and magnetic fields around power lines, home wiring, home appliances and some industrial uses should be regarded as a "possible" human carcinogen that needs further research. However, the Institute asked for additional public and scientific comment before it prepares its own report to Congress.
The panel of experts split, with 19 voting that it was a "possible" human carcinogen while ten other experts abstained or found the data unconvincing or negative as to EMF's possible carcinogenicity. None of the panel voted for the stronger categories of "known" or "probable" human carcinogen. And the panel chairman, Michael Gallo, Ph.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Medical School commented that the report does not suggest that the risk that may be associated with EMF is high, compared to many other public health risks.
The majority view was based on population studies, and was made in the face of the panel's finding that data from recently concluded animal and other laboratory studies failed to support such a link.
The conclusions of the scientists' review were announced June 24, but the 508-page report of the review became available today, along with a request for comment. The report, along with the public comments, will provide input to the NIEHS report, a health assessment of EMF, which will be submitted to Congress later this year.
Members of the public may comment on the report in writing over an
approximately two month period ending October 9 or may speak at one of four
public hearings announced today. All the sessions except the ones in Tucson
will be at 3 p.m., with late registration beginning an hour before the meeting.
The sessions are planned to end at 8 p.m. The public comment sessions in
Contact: Tom Hawkins
919 541-1402 or 3345
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences