A recent paper from Prof. David Carpenter, MD on extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMF) from 50 to 60 Hz electricity shows that the source of funding plays a major role in study results. Almost all industry-supported studies ‘fail to find any significant or even suggestive association’ between magnetic field exposure and childhood leukaemia. Not surprisingly, ‘it is clear that almost all government or independent studies find either a statistically significant association between magnetic field exposure and childhood leukemia, or an elevated risk…’.
Carpenter states that ‘When one allows for bias reflected in source of funding, the evidence that magnetic fields increase risk of cancer is neither inconsistent nor inconclusive’ (SSMA emphasis).
The abstract adds that it is not just children who are at risk from exposure to magnetic fields, but also adults. There is strong evidence for cancers in addition to leukaemia; particularly brain and breast cancer.
- In government-funded studies, magnetic field exposure causes childhood leukaemia.
- In industry-funded studies, magnetic field exposure does not cause childhood leukaemia.
- Magnetic field exposure increases risk of adult leukaemia, brain and breast cancer.
- Steps should be taken to reduce human exposure to elevated magnetic fields.
Carpenter’s paper ‘Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and cancer: How source of funding affects results’ can be accessed here.
ARPANSA’s position of ELF EMF
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is described as being the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety. So what might ARPANSA have to say about the link between exposure to magnetic fields and cancer?
According to ARPANSA’s webpage on electricity and health, ‘The scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to ELF EMF found around the home, the office or near powerlines and other electrical sources is a hazard to human health’. This position appears to be yet another example of ARPANSA being blinded by industry.
Industry funding also impacts RF research study results
A research paper published in 2007, titled ‘Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use: Systematic Review of Experimental Studies‘, found that industry funding plays a similar role in radiofrequency EMF study results. It concluded that ‘The interpretation of results from studies of health effects of radiofrequency radiation should take sponsorship into account’.
Further resources concerning industry influence on EMF science:
- Environmental Health Trust webpage: Research on Industry Influence on EMF
- Powerwatch webpage: Bias and confounding in EMF science
- Bio-Effects presentation delivered to the Electromagnetic Energy Reference Group