International scientists endorse a precautionary approach to EMR exposure
A group of international scientists has signed a document endorsing a precautionary approach to EMR exposure. Known as the Venice Resolution, the document was initiated on 6 June by the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety, following the 6th ICEMS Workshop, held last December.
“As stated in the Benevento Resolution of September 2001, we remain concerned about the effects of human exposure to electromagnetic fields on health. At the 6th ICEMS Workshop, entitled, “Foundations of bioelectromagnetics: towards a new rationale for risk assessment and management,” we discussed electrohypersensitivity, blood brain barrier changes, learning and behavioral effects, changes in anti-oxidant enzyme activities, DNA damage, biochemical mechanisms of interaction, biological damage and, experimental approaches to validate these effects. As an outcome, we are compelled to confirm the existence of non-thermal effects of electromagnetic fields on living matter, which seem to occur at every level of investigation from molecular to epidemiological.
“An urgent task before international researchers is to discover the detailed mechanisms of non-thermal interactions between electromagnetic fields and living matter. A collateral consequence will be the design of new general public and occupational protection standards. We, who are at the forefront of this research, encourage an ethical approach in setting of exposure standards which protect the health of all, including those who are more vulnerable. We recognize the need for research to reveal the critical exposure parameters of effect and risk from exposure to electromagnetic fields.
“The non-ionizing radiation protection standards recommended by international standards organizations, and supported by the World Health Organization, are inadequate. Existing guidelines are based on results from acute exposure studies and only thermal effects are considered. A world wide application of the Precautionary Principle is required. In addition, new standards should be developed to take various physiological conditions into consideration, eg pregnancy, newborns, children, and elderly people.
“We take exception to the claim of the wireless communication industry that there is no credible scientific evidence to conclude there is a risk. Recent epidemiological evidence is stronger than before, which is a further reason to justify precautions be taken to lower exposure standards in accordance with the Precautionary Principle.
“We recognize the growing public health problem known as electrohypersensitivity; that this adverse health condition can be quite disabling; and, that this condition requires further urgent investigation and recognition.
“We strongly advise limited use of cell phones, and other similar devices, by young children and teenagers, and we call upon governments to apply the Precautionary Principle as an interim measure while more biologically relevant standards are developed to protect against, not only the absorption of electromagnetic energy by the head, but also adverse effects of the signals on biochemistry, physiology and electrical biorhythms.”
The resolution and list of signatories to it can be found at http://www.icems.eu/docs/Venice_Resolution_0608.pdf.
from 'EMR and Health' Sept 2008, vol 4 no 3
About The Author - Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.