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NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR WORKER & PUBLIC EXPOSURE TO NIR Elizabeth Kelley, M.A. International NIR & Health Workshop Porto Alegre, Brasil,

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Presentation on theme: "NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR WORKER & PUBLIC EXPOSURE TO NIR Elizabeth Kelley, M.A. International NIR & Health Workshop Porto Alegre, Brasil,"— Presentation transcript:

1 NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR WORKER & PUBLIC EXPOSURE TO NIR Elizabeth Kelley, M.A. International NIR & Health Workshop Porto Alegre, Brasil, May 18 & 19, 2009.

2 Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) to Radio Frequency (RF) exposure time s radar 1970s computers 1980s cell phone electricity ~ s television radio wireless 1920s RFID WiFi, WiMax 2000s EHS miscarriages brain tumors electrocution cancers radio wave sickness screen dermatitis cancers smart meter ? Long-term Health Effects? CFL Technological Advances

3 National & International EMF Standards Using 2 GHz as the Reference Frequency

4 U.S. FCC EMF/RFR Public and Worker Exposure Guidelines 2 GHz + Short-Term Long-Term General Public Workers 30 minutesUnknown 6 minutes Unknown

5 Comparison to Ionizing Radiation Standards International cooperation (ICRP) Independent standards (EPA) & regulation (NRC) Many years, $ hundreds of millions for research on long term, low level exposures Limits for workers 10 times < clinically observable effects on chromosomes Limit for most sensitive member of public from nuclear power is 200 times < workers Decisions controlled by ALARA, remote siting

6 International standard setting critique Define the Precautionary Principle as science- based Base standards on short term acute health effects, e.g. temperature elevation, burn, etc. Have ignored credible studies showing low level effects Restrict stakeholder representation and do not fully consider economic and social aspects Conduct informational risk communications campaigns

7 Concerns about some current standards Physical and biological effects not recognized Standards not health based, do not consider low level effects Differential sensitivity of tissue not recognized RFR signal, as information to the cell, is not included, e.g., frequency/amplitude modulation Chronic exposure should not be extrapolated from acute exposure Adverse effect on bodily function and system; minimal consequences not included

8 Concerns about EMF/health issue management Human rights to a cleaner, safer environment Civil and constitutional rights No independent, sustained, government programs. Public health officials and major media are silent Independent scientists are not included Some nations preempt local control over antennas, no place to hide Industry immunity, no risk, public policy control Issue management strategy by manufacturers and providers: product marketing > consumer adaptation> wireless technology expansion

9 European Parliament: EMF Resolution April 2, 2009 Concerns about adequacy of the existing EMF limits Calls for consideration of biological effects Calls for Member States and industry to address new technologies to reduce EMF exposure Safer EMF environments – schools, homes, retirement centers and health care facilities Calls for studies on electromagnetic compatibilioty of artificial EMF with the living human body Calls for annual report on EU levels of EMF and actions taken to protect human health and the environment

10 European EMF Resolution cont. Deplores delay in publication of Interphone study and asks for an explanation right away Fund awareness program for young Europeans on cell phone risks and safer use of wireless technologies EU Indoor Air Quality policy study of wireless sources at home and in public (indoor WIFI, DECT) Improved consumer information and labelling Single standard for ELF exposure along high voltage grids Calls upon Member States to recognize EHS as a disability and grant adequate protection as an equal opportunity (as Sweden has)

11 Standard setting in a rapidly evolving wireless & electrical power environment Science trails technology Increased miniaturization and infrastructure applications Voluntary vs. involuntary exposure Low level, chronic exposure; non-linear effects Combined and cumulative exposure Neurological/behavioral effects/EHS Animal and cell studies can help define exposure Flexibility the key, e.g. MRIs, childrens toys

12 Interim precautionary measures Switzerland, 1999; Italy, 2003; Liechtenstein, 2008 Defines places with sensitive use as wherever people regularly spend lengthy periods of time - apartments, schools, hospitals, offices and playgrounds; EMF emissions monitoring and reporting. Liechtenstein, 2008 Environmental Protection law: consider the state of scientific knowledge or experience, people not endangered, well-being of the population not substantially interfered with. In urgent cases, shutdown can be ordered. Many nations issued health warnings on cell phone use European Parliament EMF Resolution April 2, 2009 France, May 2009 – Call for EMF science review

13 Model national government approach EMF research and policy oversight Top level legislative, research and standards development; ongoing public health and safety activities: Public health information and education Risk assessment - pre and post market Exposure monitoring & reporting Product safety reviews Occupational studies Toxicological assessment

14 Boulder, Colorado, USA Americas 1 st Smart Grid City

15 Antennas on Buildings (Kitchen, 2001) shadow region m Distance (m) Power Density (micro/m 2 ) W/m 2 Fire Station 101 reflection Electrosmog

16 Time of Adjustment: Paradigm Shift The very existence of science depends on vesting the power to choose between paradigms... Thomas Kuhn duck or rabbit?

17 Some Strengths of Scientific Evidence Beyond all reasonable doubt (Criminal Law) Reasonable certainty (Civil Law) Balance of probabilities/evidence (Bayesian) Strong possibility (IARC on ELF, 2002) Scientific suspicion of risk (Swedish Chemical Law) Pertinent information (Swine Flu Risk Assessment)

18 Choosing an appropriate strength of evidence for action is an ethical issue Who benefits and who gains from being wrong in acting, or not acting, early enough to prevent harm? Short term, specific, economic interests? Or long term health/ecosystem/general welfare interests?

19 The Precautionary Principle ICEMS Statement When there are indications of possible adverse effects, though they remain uncertain, the risks from doing nothing may be far greater than the risks of taking action to control these exposures. The Precautionary Principle shifts the burden of proof from those suspecting a risk to those who discount it.

20 Eurobarometer, 2006 When government responds positively to citizen concerns about how EMF exposure affects their health and well-being, citizens place more trust in their government.

21 The Gaia hypothesis is being tested

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