International EMF Conference Stavanger 2009

Exposure to electromagnetic radiation has been documented to have major biological effects on living tissue. The exponential increase in the use of wireless technologies will most likely present serious, global public health consequences in the near future. Despite mounting evidence of severe health effects, the scientific facts are generally ignored by most governments. For pure commercial reasons, the telecom industry continues to refer to outdated and irrelevant safety standards, blissfully endorsed by their respective regulators.

More than two thousands scientific studies have shown that radio frequency exposures, including microwaves, can cause changes in cell membrane function, cell communication, metabolism and activation of proto-oncogenes. Production of stress proteins is triggered at exposure levels far below current regulatory limits. The resulting effects can include DNA breaks and chromosome aberrations, cell death including death of brain neurons, increased free-radical production, activation of the endogenous opioid system, cell stress and premature aging. Other documented effects are changes in brain function including memory loss, retarded learning, performance impairment in children, headaches and fatigue, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative conditions, reduction in melatonin secretion and cancers. Similar results have been found from exposure to power-frequency electromagnetic radiation (50-60Hz), and a link between childhood leukaemia and exposure to high-voltage power lines is now widely accepted by the scientific community.

Current regulatory limits are falling. An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament recently voted for a set of changes based on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields. In a resolution 4th September 2008, the European Parliament notes that “the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete”, “obviously take no account of developments in information and communication technologies”, and “do not address the issue of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children.” These eye-opening statements are indeed remarkable. A few countries have already acted in line with sound precautionary principles. Russia and China have long ago implemented significantly stricter limits than most western countries, and Switzerland, Italy and Lichtenstein have acted unilaterally to protect their own populations from the health hazards of electromagnetic radiation.

I am honoured to welcome you to this International EMF Conference to be held in Norway, where participants will have a unique opportunity to meet some of the world’s foremost experts on biological effects of electromagnetic radiation. In the days following the conference, the scientists will start developing new biologically-based guidelines for human exposure limits to electromagnetic radiation. This is history in the making. Do not miss a unique opportunity – join us in Stavanger November 17th 2009!

Best regards
Sissel Halmøy
Senior Advisor
Norges Miljøvernforbund