Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
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Scientific Panel Argues for a New Approach to Protecting the Public from Electromagnetic Fields
by Lourdes Salvador
After three days of intensive discussion, a scientific panel is arguing for a new approach to protecting the global public from electromagnetic fields (EMF).
EMF exposures result from the use of electric power and from wireless telecommunications technologies for voice and data transmission. Other sources of exposure include energy, security, military, and radar systems used in weather and transportation.
Scientific evidence shows biological disruption from EMF exposure, including changes in glucose metabolism, inner ear disturbances, cell leakage, cancer, neurological disease, immune system impairment, sleep disruption, and alterations in mood and cognitive abilities.
Current measures of safety have been found to be grossly inadequate.
"New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health worldwide," said the panel. These standards must err on the side of prudent precaution, not absolute proof.
Sensitive populations account for about half of the global population and include the elderly, ill, children, and genetically susceptible. This group is the most vulnerable to the negative effects of EMF exposure.
In terms of the safety of technologies emitting EMF, the panel shifts the burden of proving safety to the manufacturers and suppliers. In addition, the panel suggests that technologies be proven safe before they are marketed as opposed to the current system of safety testing only after negative events affect significant numbers of people.
The panel also suggests that an open access disease registry be formed to track trends of EMF exposure related illnesses, particularly cancer, immune, and neurological problems.
Finally, the panel strongly recommends that the environmental causes of electrosensitivity be classified as a functional impairment.
Fragopoulou A, Grigoriev Y, Johansson O, Margaritis LH, Morgan L, Richter E, Sage C. Scientific panel on electromagnetic field health risks: consensus points, recommendations, and rationales. Rev Environ Health. 2010 Oct-Dec;25(4):307-17.
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Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America