Re: ARLX023 EMF cancer link studied (fwd)


From: Rick Zabrodski (
Date: Sun May 21 1995 - 22:02:08 EDT

I thought the group might find the attached interesting.
I should point out that I do not operate qrp 99% of the time because I
am paranoid about getting cancer! ;-)
I have recieved some "flame" accusations (unlike the response below).
Lots of you guys on the list work in "rf" environments so I thought you
might find this interesting. Is ARRL just reporting news or is this
"passive propoganda"? I suspect a bit of both! As this is not directly
qrp related please respond to me flames please!!!!

Dr. Rick Zabrodski BSc, MD, CCFP(E) * VE6GK
Email: * NorCal 519 ARCI 7650 GQRP 8329
Phone 403-271-5123 Fax 403-225-1276 * "Power is no substitute for skill"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 22 May 1995 10:52:00 T10
From: Anderson, Vitas <v.anderson@TRL.OZ.AU>
To: Multiple recipients of list EMFLDS-L <>
Subject: Re: ARLX023 EMF cancer link studied (fwd)


When you say an apple/orange comparison, I assume you are referring to
whether the CAPS (council of American physical scientists) statement about
ELF (extremely low frequency) biomechanisms is generally applicable to the
RF (radio frequency) regime. Certainly the type of interaction of biolgical
tissue with EM fields or radiation is quite different over these two
frequency regimes. In fact even within the RF regime (say 100 kHz to 300
GHz) the pattern of field absorption varies widely, ie, surface absorption
(akin to infra red) at the high frequency end, deeper resonance or partial
resonance absorption around the middle and surface charge effects from the
E-field at the low end. The two main recognised hazards from RF
overexposure have been excessive heating from energy absorption and shocks
and burns from surface charges which are relatively well understood. There
have of course been reports of non thermal bioeffects from RF exposure at
low power levels, and interestingly these effects often seem to rely on ELF
amplitude or pulse modulation of the RF carrier which is I guess why the
ARRL made the connection between the CAPS statement and RF. However, apart
from the problem of validating the ELF effect per se, there is an additional
hurdle here of trying to find a credible mechanism for the cells (cell
membrane?) to detect the ELF modulation on the RF carrier in the first
place. Still, as they say, the search goes on...

I have asked around if anyone knew of a similarly unequivocal statement
about RF nonthermal bioeffects as the one put out by the CAPS about ELF and
here are the responses:

Also I understand that one of the committees of the IEEE is currently
considering this issue.

Vitas Anderson
I am often asked about this topic as it relates to amater radio.
The ARRL is the "official" ham radio organization in the USA.
Your thoughts on the blurb below appreciated. Note that many hams
expose themselves to in excess of 1 kw of RF energy between 1.8 and
450 mhz. I think this is a bit of an apple/orange comparison!

Dr. Rick Zabrodski BSc, MD, CCFP(E) * VE6GK
Email: * NorCal 519 ARCI 7650 GQRP 8329
Phone 403-271-5123 Fax 403-225-1276 * "Power is no substitute for skill"

 ---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 15:26:43 EDT
Subject: ARLX023 EMF cancer link studied

ARLX023 EMF cancer link studied

Special Bulletin 23 ARLX023
>From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT May 19, 1995
To all radio amateurs

ARLX023 EMF cancer link studied

The Council of the American Physical Society (APS) has issued the
results of a study entitled ''Power Line Fields and Public Health,''
concerning the potential dangers of cancer from electromagnetic
fields that emanate from common power lines and electrical

The APS concluded that ''the scientific literature and the reports of
reviews by other panels show no consistent, significant link between
cancer and power line fields'' and '' the preponderance of ...
research findings have failed to substantiate those studies which
have reported specific adverse health effects from exposure to such

''While it is impossible to prove that no deleterious health effects
occur from exposure to any environmental factor, it is necessary to
demonstrate a consistent, significant, and causal relationship
before one can conclude that such effects do occur. From this
standpoint, the conjectures relating cancer to power line fields
have not been scientifically substantiated.''

The APS said that billions of dollars are being spent by states and
municipalities to mitigate and litigate this perceived problem and
''the burden of cost placed on the American public is incommensurate
with the risk, if any.''

A background report on this issue by David Hafemeister is available
on the Internet through the APS World Wide Web HomePage at:

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