A working group, put together by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), judged (by a vote of 19 to 9) that the International Agency for Research on Cancer classification scheme should categorize 60 Hz electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B human carcinogen. However, a large epidemiological study of childhood leukemia, conducted by the National Cancer Institute, shows no association with exposure to EMF. The federal working group discounted the National Cancer Institute’s study in favor of slightly positive risk factors observed in several other studies. Inconsistencies in results were also swept aside. Most importantly, the group essentially ignored very convincing data from two long-term animal studies, both showing no evidence of cancer from exposure to EMF.
“We are very disappointed with the working group’s conclusions,” says NEMA Environmental Consultant Doug Bannerman, who served as one of nine invited observers. Bannerman says the conclusions fly in the face of those reached by more than 100 scientists, after several days of intensive reviews in three separate scientific meetings held by NIEHS, the lead agency in the national program. Most of EMF/Rapid program’s research finds no causal relationship between EMF and cancer, and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) finds the working group’s conclusions to be of dubious value.