November 2009 

International EMF Conference 2009

Electromagnetic fields and health

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 For pure commercial reasons, the telecom industry continues to refer to outdated and irrelevant safety standards, blissfully endorsed by their respective regulators.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 triggeredat 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 electro- magnetic 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 worldʼs 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 17th November 2009!

Best regards,

Sissel Halmøy
Senior Advisor Norges Miljøvernforbund


08:00 Registration

09:00 Welcome address by Kurt Oddekalv, Norges Miljøvernforbund (Norway)

09:05 Welcome address by Anders Smith, The Norwegian Directorate of Health (Norway)

09:10 Introductory remarks by Eileen O’Connor, UK Radiation Research Trust (UK)

Session One - EMF effects on biological processes - part I

09:15 Chair:
Devra Davis, founder of The Environmental Health Trust, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (USA)

09:20 Electromagnetic Fields and Health.
Olle Johansson, Professor, The Royal Institute of Technology, Associate Professor, The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden)

09:45 Possible Mechanisms of EMF Bioeffects.
Henry Lai, Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle (USA)

10:10 Intensity is not the only fundamental EMF measure: The Importance of Modulation for Production of Low Intensity Biological Effects.
Carl F Blackman, PhD, former President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, Raleigh (USA)

10:35 EMF-DNA Interactions in the Cellular Stress Response.
Martin Blank, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York (USA)

11:00 Refreshment break

Session Two - EMF effects on biological processes - part II

11:20 Chair:
Alex Swinkels, National Platform on Radiation Risks (Netherlands)

11:25 Evidence of Genotoxic Effects in Isolated Mammalian Cells after Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF).
Franz Adlkofer, Professor, Executive Director and Member of the Board of the Verum-Foundation, Munich (Germany)
Video, VerUm

11:50 Effects of EMF on Memory Function.
Lukas H Margaritis, Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Athens (Greece)

12:15 Discussion and questions

12:45 Lunch

Session Three – New biologically-based standards – the way forward to set exposure standards which protect public health

13:30 Chair:
Eileen O’Connor, UK Radiation Research Trust (UK)

13:35 Precaution and Prevention in Protection against Occupational and Community Exposures to EMF.
Elihu D Richter, Professor, Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine, Jerusalem (Israel)

14:00 SAR Simulations in the Head of Adults and Children: A Review and urgent Developments.
Alvaro Augusto Almeida de Salles, PhD, Professor, Electrical Engineering Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Porto Alegre (Brazil)

14.25 Mobile phones, cordless phones and the risk for brain tumours.
Fredrik Söderqvist, PhD, working at the department of Ocology, University Hospital Örebro, Sweden

14:50 Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Existing Standards cannot guarantee the Population's Safety.
Anton Merkulov, MSc, Testing Laboratory, Centre for Electromagnetic Safety, Moscow (Russian Federation), and
Yury Grigoriev, Professor, Dr of Med Sci, Chairman of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, Moscow (Russian Federation)

15:15 Discussion and questions

15:45 Summing up
Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates, Santa Barbara (USA)

16:00 Close of conference

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