The Seletun Scientific Statement

Lower EMF Standards for World Health Are Urgently Needed,
International Scientists Say

Oslo, Norway, February 3, 2011.
The International Electromagnetic Fields Alliance (IEMFA) today announces a new published report and scientific Consensus Statement concerning health hazards of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Led by Olle Johansson, PhD of the Karolinska Institute, the report published by a consortium of international scientists urges global governments to adopt significantly lower human exposure standards for electromagnetic fields. The recommendations are based on the latest body of evidence in biological sciences, and the public-health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to electromagnetic fields from telecommunications and electric power technologies. The scientists recommend specific exposure limits for different frequency fields, including microwaves, used in wireless communications, and ELF electric fields and magnetic fields.

According to the international scientists, called the Seletun Scientific Panel, it has become obvious that new, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect long-term public health worldwide. Current public-safety EMF-exposure guidelines used worldwide, based on physics models and calculations, currently only protect for damage generated by a heating effect. With respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures that nowadays frequently occur, but do not have a heating effect, the guidelines, say the scientists, are inadequate and obsolete.

The report and Consensus Statement, published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21268443), include ten Key Points:

1. The global populations are insufficiently protected, thus currently at risk;
2. Sensitive Populations are extra vulnerable;
3. Government actions are urgently warranted now, based on evidence of serious disruption to biological systems;
4. The Burden of Proof for the safety of radiation-emitting technologies should fall on Producers and Providers, not Consumers;
5. EMF Exposures should be reduced in advance of complete understanding of mechanisms of action;
6. The current operative measure of Radiation Risk — the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) — is inadequate, and misguides on safety and health risks;
7. An international Disease Registry is needed to track Time Trends of the incidence of Illnesses to correlate the illnesses with exposures;
8. Pre-market health testing and safety demonstration is needed for all radiation-emitting technologies;
9. Parity is needed for occupational exposure standards, compared to those for the general public;
10. Persons with Electrohypersensitivity need the classification Functionally Impaired.

The International Electromagnetic Fields Alliance (www.iemfa.org) has rapidly grown in 2010 into a global collaboration of over fifty health advocacy groups focused on electromagnetic fields. Its principle aim is to disseminate coherent, health-oriented information and advice to the public worldwide on the ever-expanding body of knowledge on biological disruptions observed in living tissues after acute and long-term exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields. The Alliance benefits from the support of a large number of life scientists and medical experts from fifteen countries who collaborate worldwide to address emerging threats to public health.

Transcript of Video Presentation by Olle Johansson, PhD

February 3, 2011. The scientific journal Reviews on Environmental Health has published a report by scientists of the International Electromagnetic Fields Alliance (IEMFA) calling for greatly reduced exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation from power line and telecommunications technologies, including cell phones and wireless technologies. The statement, called the Seletun Scientific Statement, was written by seven life scientists in five countries, based on a large and growing body of science showing biological effects.

The Seletun Scientific Statement represents a Consensus Agreement among the life scientists including “10 Key Recommendations to Protect Public Health” (see Video of Olle Johansson, PhD of Karolinska Institute, below). The warnings strongly emphasize the global population is at risk, and that there is serious disruption to a number of important biological systems involved.

Transcript of the Video Presentation

In November 2009, a Scientific Panel comprised of international experts on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields met in Seletun, Norway, for three days of intensive discussion on existing scientific evidence and public health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to artificial electromagnetic fields (EMF) from telecommunications and electric power technologies. This meeting was a direct consequence of ongoing discussions already from the mid-’90s, when cellular infrastructure began to rapidly proliferate, and stretching through, among many, the Benevento, Venice and London Resolutions from this decade, and involving important conclusions drawn from the 600-page Bioinitiative Report published August 31, 2007, which was a review of over 2,000 studies showing biological effects from electromagnetic radiation at non-thermal levels of exposure, which partly was published subsequently in the journal Pathophysiology.

It has become obvious that new, biologically-based public exposure standards, taking into account long-term as well as non-thermal exposures, are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide. EMF exposures (static to 300 GHz) result from the use of electric power and from wireless telecommunications technologies for voice and data transmission, energy, security, military and radar use in weather and transportation.

The Seletun Scientific Panel recognizes that the body of evidence on EMF requires a new approach to protection of public health; the growth and development of the fetus, and of children; and argues for strong preventative actions. These conclusions are built upon prior scientific and public health reports documenting the following:

1. Low-intensity (non-thermal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards for telecommunications and power utility technologies in developed and developing countries.
2. ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC public safety limits are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures common today.
3. New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide.
4. It is not in the public interest to wait. Instead, governments should take decisive action now to protect biological function as well as the health of future generations.

Strong concern has been voiced by the public, and by scientists as well as public health and environmental policy experts, that the deployment of technologies that expose billions of people world-wide to new sources of EMF pose a pervasive risk to public health, and may pose a serious risk to future generations. Such exposures did not exist before the “age of industry and information”. A rapidly accumulating body of scientific evidence of harm to health and well-being constitute warnings that adverse health effects can occur with short-term and prolonged exposures to very low-intensity EMF at biologically active frequencies or frequency combinations.

The Seletun Scientific Panel has adopted a Consensus Agreement that recommends preventative and precautionary actions that are warranted now, given the existing evidence for potential global health risks. We recognize the duty of governments and their health agencies 1) to educate and warn the public, 2) to implement measures balanced in favor of the Precautionary Principle, 3) to monitor compliance with directives promoting alternatives to wireless, and 4) to fund research and policy development geared toward prevention of exposures and development of new public safety measures as well as new, safer communications technologies.

Therefore international scientists gathered in Norway with the objective of developing guidance for global governments on this important emerging public health issue. The Seletun Scientific Panel today announces a Consensus Agreement including 10 Key Recommendations to Protect Public Health (the text below is based on the paper published in Reviews on Environmental Health 25 (4), 2010. The original paper can be requested via Olle Johansson, Karolinska Institute, olle.johansson@ki.se):

1. The Global Population Is At Risk. Global populations are not sufficiently protected from electromagnetic fields (EMF) from emerging communication and data transmission technologies that are being deployed worldwide, affecting billions of people;

2. Sensitive Populations Are Currently Vulnerable. Sensitive populations (for example, the elderly, the ill, the genetically and/or immunologically challenged) and children and fetuses may be additionally vulnerable to health risks; their exposures are largely involuntary and they are less protected by existing public safety standards; and they may amount to 40-50% of the population;

3. Government Actions Are Warranted Now Based on Evidence of Serious Disruption to Biological Systems. The Seletun Scientific Panel urges governments to adopt an explicit statement that “the standard for judging and acting on the scientific evidence shall be based on prudent public health planning principles rather than scientific certainty of effect (causal evidence)”. Actions are warranted based on limited, or weak, scientific evidence, or a sufficiency of evidence – rather than a conclusive scientific evidence (causation or s