by Cindy Sage, Sage Associates

A Comparison of Recent EMF Reviews and How Expert Groups Can Come to Opposite Conclusions Looking at the Same Evidence

In judging the sufficiency of scientific evidence to determine the likelihood that an environmental exposure is related to a health outcome, the answer one will arrive at very often depends on the professional background and training of the person interpreting it.

Approaches and terminology that are used in assessing, communicating and managing risks commonly differ in the view and practices of the various professional groups that can be involved in judging science. Evaluating the strengths of scientific evidence on public health and environmental hazards requires that these differences are recognized and transparent in expert reviews. Decision-makers and the public will be best served by a clear recognition that differing standards of evidence and levels of proof are expected and justified, and that making them explicit in review processes will go far to defusing misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.

Real life decisions are made every day about how to take EMF into account, with the evidence in hand. Societal judgments about where and whether to commit new resources for development needs to incorporate wise planning for EMF exposures given what we know (and do not know) today. However, waiting until all is known about EMF before we build new homes, schools, day-care and pre-school facilities and the like just will not happen. Its been the same question for nearly 20 years now.

Different approaches to evaluating scientific evidence have resulted in diametrically opposed conclusions about what the evidence means on EMF and health impacts. How can we look at the same evidence and come to such different conclusions about what it means? And, perhaps more importantly,what to do about it?

I recently looked at five reviews, each by recognized experts in the field, to determining what the current science tells us. These included the BioInitiative Report, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), the WHO ELF Monograph, the UK SAGE Report and the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) documents. All were released in 2007.

Comparing the conclusions of the BioInitative Report and the SCENIHR review, the BioInitiative Working Group concluded that the existing public safety limits (ICNIRP and FCC/IEEE) are insufficiently protective of public health. Further, the Bio-Initiative Report recommends development of new, biologically-based public exposure standards because the substantial evidence we already have suggests that chronic, long-term exposures to ELF and to new wireless technologies are not satisfactorily handled under the old thermally-based safety limits. The SCENIHR review concludes that no changes in the ICNIRP limits are warranted. The WHO ELF Monograph reviews essentially the same science as the BioInitiative Report and the SCENIHR (limited to ELF, of course) and also finds no reason to suggest changes in the ICNIRP limits (even confirming that the IARC 2B designation for ELF is valid). The WHO ELF Monograph and SCENIHR conclusions can only be explained if they adhere to a standard of evidence requiring virtual certainty* (scientific certainty, proof, adverse health risks are established, a causal link is demonstrated). How could so many experts come to so many different conclusions? We examine that question below.

In each case, the outcome was determined in large part by the approach taken. A careful reading of each document, together with the original “instructions” to each working group or committee can illustrate why results differ so widely. There are four important questions to ask about each one.

How is the central question framed?
What standard of evidence (level of proof) is employed?
What terminology guides the assessment?
What level of evidence is used to recommended action?

Framing the Question – What are we asking?
How the question is originally framed to the working group is the most central issue in defining the outcome. Whether the group actually sticks with this definition, or shifts it during the evaluation, is also of paramount importance.

For example, if the question is “is there a health risk demonstrated?” this virtually guarantees that causal scientific evidence (the highest burden of proof) will be required before the resulting analysis will say “EMF causes health risks”.

But, if the question is “is there a possible effect on health?” or some similar phrasing, then evaluation of the same evidence will result in a conclusion that has a lower burden of proof, and is far more likely to result in a conclusion that “EMF is likely to present health risks”.

How the question is structured, and whether this question is answered largely determines whether a report will say “no, EMF is not proven to be a health risk” or “yes, it appears possible or probable”.

* Conformance with EU policies would rule out using a strictly scientific standard of evidence. To be consistent with the EU Constitutional Principle on Health (Section 3.1) and the European Union Treaties Article 174, the WHO ELF Monograph process needed to be consistent with a public health/precautionary principle-based approach to judging the evidence. These two policies require that the precautionary principle be the basis for environmental protection for the public, and that protecting public health and taking preventive action before certainty of harm is proven is the foundation of the Precautionary Principle.

What Standard of Evidence (Level of Proof) is Used?
What is the implicit assumption about which levels of proof will be used going into an assessment of the EMF data? It needs to be made transparent at the outset, because if it is not, there will likely be significantly different views about “when we have enough information” to make policy changes or to require new regulatory action.

There are four basic professional approaches to judging the sufficiency of evidence in order to “take action” appropriate to their professional training and experience.

  • Scientific standard (95% - 99% certainty/causal)
  • Legal standard (51%+ - possible/probable range)
  • Environmental standard (10% - 30% potential for impact)
  • Public Health standard (variable, depends on both how much evidence there is, and severity of impact, if true).

The most rigorous is a scientific standard, where virtual proof of causation is typically required by scientists to arrive at consensus about an effect. This approach works best in mathematics, physics and chemistry. In biological systems this is rarely possible.

The second level of proof is the standard applied in civil legal proceedings, which is “more likely than not”. This is to say if there is a 50%+ likelihood of harm, this is taken as evidence for a relationship. It is not necessary that there be conclusive evidence of harm, nor is some uncertainty of causation a reason to conclude that no relationship exists between exposure and harm. In fact, some uncertainty is allowable even under the more stringent (criminal) standard of evidence, which is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. No legal standard requires complete certainty of effect in order to make a defensible judgment on the evidence at hand.

Environmental decision-making requires only the potential for a significant impact. National and state environmental quality acts (The National Environmental Policy Act) and various state environmental quality acts (SEQAs) require that assessments use a standard which is a relatively low level of certainty (10% to 30%). The potential for a significant impact requires that mitigation strategies be developed, i.e, require precautionary or preventative actions when only the potential for risk is present. We plan for environmental risks all the time without certainty that an adverse risk will occur (seismic events, landslides, flooding, etc).

The standard of evidence in Public Health Policy decision-making should reasonably be based on many factors, including how widespread the risk, how dread the disease, the cost of inaction (doing nothing until there is proof, but many may be harmed and so on). A slim showing of evidence coupled with a highly adverse public health impact (large numbers of individuals harmed, a very large public health impact if the early warnings are ignored) may warrant early precautionary actions. When the public health consequences are not so severe by ignoring early warnings, waiting for more evidence may be warranted since the consequences of doing nothing immediately may not be so great. For potential risks of small overall magnitude, waiting for substantially more evidence before taking actions (particularly costly actions) is reasonable.

A key to understanding how the same evidence can be so differently weighed and judged, in order to set a course for action, is to understand the way in which different professional groups approach this task. As noted above, this has not always been made explicit because different disciplines inherently use different standards.

What Terminology Guides the Assessment?
Selecting and defining key words to be used in an assessment is vital before the review starts. These typically include:

• evidence (as opposed to proof)
• effect
• adverse effect or risk
• proof
• consistent (or inconsistent)
• certainty (or uncertainty)
• plausible (as in mechanism)
• demonstrated or established (as in proven)
• acute versus chronic

What level of evidence is used to recommend action?
This could also be phrased as “what is the conclusion or outcome of the review?” and is it consistent with the original question asked, the standard of evidence which is appropriate to answer that question, and whether the terminology used in the assessment and conclusions are both transparent and consistent with answering the question.

Risk assessments are not only done by scientific expert review panels, but depend on many other stakeholders’ viewpoints. Thus, it is wrong to let the highest burden of proof (the scientific standard for judging the sufficiency of evidence) be a pre-condition to taking action, precisely because valid clinical and public health approaches for assessing the evidence set the bar far lower in terms of certainty, and in judging when it is sufficient to take action.

Whether an environmental or public health policy standard, as opposed to a strict scientific certainty standard is appropriate is a matter of debate and great consequence. The costs of inaction in terms of public health and resources will be enormous on a global scale if we ignore, or worse, refuse to use the proper screening assessments to determine these outcomes. At a minimum we should expect transparency in reviews – what is being asked and answered, whether the right levels of proof are being used, and whether the answers given follow from the evidence in light of these explicit approaches can be validated.

 

The BEMS Board of Directors has selected locations for upcoming BEMS meetings. As has been announced earlier, the 2009 meeting will be a joint meeting with EBEA, and will be held June 14th-19th in Davos, Switzerland. In 2010, the meeting moves to Korea (exact location to be determined by the local organizing committee chaired by BEMS member, Nam Kim), and the 2011 meeting will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Davos, Switzerland

Niels Kuster opened his term as BEMS President by thanking the membership for their trust in him to lead the society over the next year and expressing his confidence that the upcoming joint meeting with EBEA in Davos will be a success.

He reminded colleagues at the meeting of the concerns he noted in his candidate statement:

  • That the Society had, as a whole, diverged from its original focus on outstanding, new research.

  • That the research agency, in general, had become too driven by the interests of funding bodies rather than scientific needs.

  • That the scientific discourse is increasingly being taken over by political concerns.

  • That good scientists are becoming disenchanted with this “hostile environment” and will leave this field to return to more mainstream science unless we address the issue directly.

  • That we face a competitive disadvantage in obtaining funding for BEMS related projects.

He reminded members that he promised to work towards promoting excellence in bioelectromagnetics work through encouraging good scientists to become board members, inviting outstanding speakers to the annual meeting, pushing for more lively and balanced discussions within the BEMS community, expanding our work to focus on therapeutic effects, and initiating a Best Paper award related to BEMS research. He hopes to revitalize the Society to make BEMS “the premium source of information and enlightened gatherings.” Towards this end, he asked members to contact him (and other Board members) to identify their needs from the Society (journal, meeting format, meeting location, member services, web and newsletter content).

By Alastair McKinley, Chairperson, COST

COST

COST is the abbreviation for ‘European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical research’, which is one of the longest-running European bodies supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe. It is also the first and widest European intergovernmental network for coordination of nationally funded research activities.

The work of COST is carried out through “Actions”. These are new, innovative, and interdisciplinary scientific networks of nationally funded research teams of at least five COST countries. They cover basic and pre-competitive research for peaceful purposes as well as activities of public utility. They also contribute to the scientific, economic, cultural or societal development of Europe, by supporting networking activities such as meetings, conferences, short term scientific exchanges and outreach activities.

This article summarises a new COST ‘Action’ on emerging electromagnetic field (EMF) technologies and associated health risk management.

EMF technologies: Health Concerns

The use of devices emitting electromagnetic fields (EMF) ranging from static to microwave frequencies has significantly increased in recent years. Their presence has affected almost every aspect of day-to-day living, at home, while travelling and at school, college and work. By far the most significant impact has been through the rapid expansion of personal mobile telecommunication and wireless network systems for voice, picture and video communication, internet access and other data transfer applications. Other applications of EMF are found in the widespread use of electronic article surveillance, radiofrequency identification, metal detection and inductive heating devices. New digital public and commercial radio and television broadcast systems are currently being introduced throughout Europe. Applications in medicine abound, including advances in novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment design and new MRI scanning techniques. There is also potential for new medical applications of ultra wide band (UWB), for example in cardiology, detection of breast tumours, detection of intracranial hemorrhage, and the use of implantable sensors that rely on UWB communication.

While the benefits of technologies that have already been introduced are clear and widely accepted by society, significant concern continues to be expressed about consequential increases in EMF exposure of people and potential related adverse health effects. Generally, in the public arena, concern has been often expressed about potential effects of EMF exposure on children’s health and on that of older and/or sick people and pregnant women (including the unborn child). This is exemplified by public and media attention on potential adverse health effects that might result from the exposure of young people through the rapid expansion of the use of WiFi systems in schools and colleges.

In contrast, in one important occupational setting, concern has been expressed by medical practitioners and other clinical staff using MRI for diagnosis and for research and by those concerned with the manufacture, calibration and maintenance of MR equipment, over the likely adverse effect on working practices and patient care of the implementation of an EU Physical Agents Directive that sets limits on occupations exposure to EMF. The clearest trend in MRI is the move to systems utilising higher field strengths, with 3 T installations accelerating and moving into clinical rather than solely research settings. Use of high and ultrahigh systems for structural and molecular imaging will increase particularly in the study of degenerative neurological diseases, high-resolution vascular imaging, detailed monitoring of the effectiveness of anti-angiogenetic and genetic based drugs for the treatment of cancer.

It is clear that there is generally a paucity of data on these and other occupational exposures, and that experimental and computational studies are needed to resolve these issues.

Against this background, a successful submission was made to the COST programme for support for an Action entitled “Emerging EMF Technologies: Health Risk Management”. The Action, in the COST Domain ‘Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences’, designated as Action BM0704, has been developed by and represents a consensus of scientific experts covering the disciplines of medicine, epidemiology, biology, physics, engineering and risk assessment and management. Experts from some 27 European countries are participating in the Action.

The European Commission, national governments and international advisory bodies, such as the World Health Organization, have all recognised the importance of high quality scientific research as fundamental to addressing such concerns and the Action will effectively facilitate the ongoing exchange of information and the results of such research and provide information that can be transposed by relevant authorities into sound health risk management based on scientific evidence. The Action will also contribute to the training of early-stage scientists in respect of supporting their interaction with more experienced scientists and the skills and knowledge transfer that ensues.

Action Objectives

The main objective of the Action is to create a structure in which researchers in the field of EMF and health can share knowledge and information on:

  • How existing EMF technologies change either in their operating characteristics or in novel ways and applications in which they are used.
  • Identifying what entirely new EMF technologies are introduced and on what time-scale.
  • What novel emission and operating characteristics might result and what impact these would have on the device-specific and overall EMF exposure of people.
  • What possible health effects could consequently arise and the scientific evidence for health concerns if any.
  • How such concerns should be addressed through the use of evidence-based information.
  • What tools are effective in communicating and managing such risks and perceived risks.

Action Programme

The initial focus will be on those existing EMF technologies where concern has already been expressed about their use and where further developments in respect of their applications are foreseen in the shorter term. These include:

  • WiFi – and more generally wireless networks - particularly in respect of their mass roll-out across Europe in schools, other educational establishments and elsewhere, and the potential exposure of young people. This is a complex issue due to the variable proximity of such devices and the efficiency of coupling of EMF with the body.
  • MRI - where there is already considerable research in progress in assessing occupational exposures to medical staff and to patients and volunteers. Increases in specialised MRI techniques, such as cardiac imaging and interventional procedures, will lead to the emergence of greater numbers of specialised medical units with further uncertainties in exposures of staff. It is important that the results of dosimetry and other studies are shared and discussed in respect of assessment of compliance with an EU Physical Agents Directive and in national and European policies for the care of patients and volunteers undergoing MRI procedures.
  • Electronic article surveillance and RFID devices - where the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), in a report commissioned by the EU, recommended the measurement of levels of exposure. Such exposures include those to workers and to the general public (including children). For this, and for other exposure characterisation purposes, the further development and dosimetric application of anatomically realistic computational phantoms, including those of children, based on medical imaging data is recommended.

The focus will subsequently shift to identify those EMF technology applications and services currently in use and/or likely to be rolled out over future years and, where possible, to characterise likely exposures and identify potential health concerns associated with their use. Likely candidates might include, for example: so-called 4G (and further developments in mobile telephony), ad hoc networks, W-LANS, WiMax, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Wimedia, UWB, broad-band over power transmission lines, various EASD and RFID applications and further digital broadcasting.

Benefits

The Action will be of benefit to:

  • Researchers: - in respect of sharing information on ongoing research multidisciplinary forums, early identification of research gaps and needs, encouraging opportunities for international collaboration and co-publication and, for early-stage researchers, the opportunity to acquire relevant further experience, skills and knowledge.
  • Risk managers and communicators: - in providing multidisciplinary forums to share complementary knowledge with scientific researchers supporting the development of health risk communication strategies.
  • EU and national and local government officials and elected representatives: - in their task of developing proportionate policies to minimise health risk in the face of often technically complex and apparently conflicting health information.
  • International health protection advisory and technical standardisation organizations: - in providing scientific information on EMF and health related to emerging technologies, useful to the work of bodies such as WHO, ICNIRP, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) etc.
  • Industry and commerce: - in respect of having the information to judge whether there is likely to be adverse public and media concern about their products and services before launching them, to consider likely EMF emissions and exposures of people at an early stage of product design and development.
  • Society as a whole: - in ensuring that, when new EMFtechnologies are introduced, potential risks are seen in perspective with the benefits. This supports open communication and dialogue based on facts rather than ‘beliefs’.
  • The media: - in making available facts about new EMF technologies in order to inform their readers/viewers/listeners.

Working Groups

The scientific programme of the Action is carried out through the multidisciplinary activities of working groups. Initially, these comprise five working groups, viz.:

  • EMF Technologies and Measurements – Chaired by Georg Neubauer
  • Computational Dosimetry – Chaired by Joe Wiart
  • Epidemiology and Human Studies – Chaired by Maria Feychting
  • Biology – Chaired by Isabelle Lagroye
  • Risk Management – Chaired by Peter Wiedemann

Collaboration

International coordination of activity in EMF-related scientific research and health risk management has been significantly improved by the activities of previous COST actions in this field, particularly one, which addressed the health issues related to mobile communication systems. Through effective multidisciplinary scientific collaboration, major improvements in providing stakeholder-specific information for health risk communication should be possible. There are many partners contributing to this process internationally including WHO, ICNIRP and national agencies and advisory bodies. The Action seeks to build upon and strengthen this cooperative complementary approach with other bodies.

Further Information

The Chairperson of the Action is Alastair McKinlay and the Vice- chairperson, Mirjana Moser. The Scientific Secretariat is led by Gerd Friedrich with professional administrative support from Daniela Wernze. Further information about this and other COST actions and activities can be obtained online at http:// www.cost.esf.org/index.php?id=211. COST Action BM0704’s own Website is currently being developed and will be online by August 2008.

The results of the 2008 BEMS election were announced at the Annual Business Meeting, held June 11, 2008 in San Diego, CA. Each year, at least five new members join the Board of Directors to replace those retiring from their three year terms. Retiring members of the board in 2008 include Past President Ben Greenebaum, Biological Sciences members James McNamee and Joseph Salvatore, Engineering and Physical Sciences member Frank Hart, and At Large member Michael Murphy. New Past President Ewa Czerska handed the gavel to incoming President Niels Kuster after announcing
these election results:

Incoming Vice President Michael R. Murphy holds a PhD in neuroscience from MIT, Cambridge, MA and is currently the Scientific Director, Directed Energy Bioeffects Division of the USAF Radio Frequency Radiation Branch, where his interests include both laser and RF bioeffects and protection. He hopes to expand opportunities for younger members to get involved in the Society’s operations, and to use his develop new materials to broaden the support for and membership in our Society.

One of the new Biological and Medical Sciences board members, David Black, is a specialist in Occupational and Environmental Physician and a Senior Medical Academic at the School of Population Health of the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He is a fully qualified specialist medical practitioner recognised and in good standing with the Medical Council of New Zealand. Prior to commencing his medical training he was an electronic engineer originally trained in the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.

The other new Biological and Medical Sciences board member, Ann Rajnicek may be familiar to BEMS members from her plenary talk at the 2007 BEMS meeting held in Kanazawa, Japan. She is a lecturer and research scientist in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) and she holds a PhD in 1990 from Purdue University and is part of a European research consortium (funded by the European Commission) developing an implantable electrochemical device to aid mammalian spinal cord repair.

Filling the Engineering and Physical Sciences position on the board, Art Thansandote holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carleton University, Canada. In July 1991, he joined Health Canada where he is currently chief of the Electromagnetics Division which assesses, monitors and assists in the reduction of possible health risks from EMF exposure. Being a native of Thailand, he has cooperated with the Thai Ministry of Public Health in its development of a national program on non-ionizing radiation protection.

The newest At-Large board member, Andrei G. Pakhomov is a Research Associate Professor at Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He holds a Ph.D. in radiation biology/biophysics from the Medical Radiology Research Center (MRRC) in Obninsk, Russia and worked at Brooks AFB and the University of Texas Health Science Center before moving to Old Dominion University.

6th International Non-Ionizing Radiation Workshop
Date: October 14-17, 2008
Location: Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL
Notes: see article in this issue
Contact: http://www.icnirp.org/NIR2008.htm

12th International Conference, International Radiation Protection Association, IRPA 12
Date: October 19-24, 2008
Location: Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA.
Focus: 1. Epistemology of radiation: Methods, current knowledge of physical and biological sciences in relation to effects of radiation exposure. 2. Radiation Protection of people 3. Practice of radiation protection by practitioners and industries.
Contact: http://www.irpa12.org.ar

Workshop on Effects of RF Fields
Date: November 17 to 19, 2008
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Organized by the FGF (Research Association for Radio Applications) jointly with the Ministry of the Environment Baden-Württemberg this international scientific workshop will focus on open questions in the research on biological and health effects of radiofrequency fields. Key issues will be the research on children, possible long-term effects with the example of animal experiments as well as on mechanisms in the cellular and subcellular area.
There is no registration fee, but interested participants should send a note indicating their interest to haberland@fgf.de. Deadline for registration is on September 30th, 2008.

SPRBM 27th Scientific Conference
Date: January 6-9, 2009
Location: O’ahu, Hawaii
Contact: SPRBMoffice@aol.com, http://www.sprbm.org

SPIE Energy-Based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment
Date: January 24-29, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA (USA)
Notes: see March/April BEMS newsletter
Contact: http://spie.org/BiOS

Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS) for 2009
Date: March 23-27, 2009
Location: Beijing, CHINA
Notes: PIERS provides an international forum for reporting progress and recent advances in the modern development of electromagnetic theory and its new and exciting applications starting 1989. Spectra of interest range from statics to RF, microwave, photonics, and beyond. Topics include radiation, propagation, diffraction, scattering, guidance, resonance, power, energy and force issues, and all other modern developments. The 2009 meeting will have two sessions that are being organized by BEMS members: Both are under Topic 27: “Medical Electromagnetics, RF biological effect, MRI”:

  • Advances in the Bioeffects and Exposure Standards for Non-Ionizing Radiation - Organized by Michael R. Murphy
  • RF Exposure Safety Issues - Organized by C-K Chou

A third session of possible interest to BEMS members is:

  • Biomedical Applications of Electromagnetic waves - Organized by Xu Li.

Abstract submission deadline: October 7, 2008
Contact: http://piers.mit.edu/piers

Society for Thermal Medicine Annual Meeting
Date: April 3-7, 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Abstract submission deadline: December 5, 2008
Contact: http://www.thermalmedicine.org

BioEM2009: Joint Meeting of The Bioelectromagnetics Society and the European BioElectromagnetics Association
Date: June 14-19, 2009
Location: Davos, Switzerland
Technical Program Co-Chairs: Dariusz Leszcynski and Guglielmo D’Inzeo
Contact: http://www.bioelectromagnetics.org

I am a Ph. D. student in Medical physics at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran and a student member of BEMs. I will be fulfilling the requirements for my Doctorate degree by 20 Aug 2008. I had been in Sweden as a researcher studying the biological effects of magnetic filed in Lund University during the past 8 months. I have experience and qualifications including an M. S. in Medical physics.

I would like to apply for a post doc position and very eager to further my research activities in the area of Medical Physics or a closely related area. I very much look forward to having the opportunity to work or post doc position in USA or Europe. I would be pleased if anyone can inform me how I can get information about this matter. Mehri Kaviani Moghadam (kaviani_mm@yahoo.com)

SPRBM CALL FOR PAPERS 27TH SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE

Mechanisms of Cellular and Tissue Response
to Physical Stimuli

Program Chair: Fred Pavalko, PhD

Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii, January 6-9, 2009

ABSTRACT DEADLINE

November 25, 2008

CONFERENCE TOPICS

Cellular Mechanotransduction
Tissue Biomechanics
Cell-ECM Interactions
Tissue Engineering
Mechanosensation
Mechanical Habituation

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Lynda Bonewald, PhD
Alex Robling, PhD
Yu-Li Wang, PhD
Randall Duncan, PhD
William Wagner, PhD
Brad Yoeder, PhD

Contact Dr. Pavalko at: fpavalko@iupui.edu

The Progress for Electromagnetic Research Symposium (PIERS) has extended the deadline of abstract submission to October 7, 2008. If you planed to submit but missed the September deadline, you can still do it.

To prepare for your abstract, authors are invited to submit a one-page abstract of no less than 250 words in English. No full-length paper is required, but you may submit a full paper for PIERS publication by November 7, 2008.

The abstract should explain clearly the content and relevance of the proposed technical contribution. On a separate page list the following information: (1) Title of the paper, (2) Name, affiliation, and email of each author, (3) Mailing address, (4) Telephone/ Fax numbers, (5) Corresponding author and Presenting author, (6) Topic or Session organizer, if applicable, (7) State if poster presentation is preferred.

Papers may be submitted on the website http://piers.mit.edu/piers2k9Beijing/submit/submit_new.php. Under item 4, select item 27, Medical electromagnetics, RF biological effect, MRI, and item 5, select “RF Exposure Safety Issues organized by Chung-Kwang Chou”.

In 1988 I attended a BEMS meeting for the first time. At that time I was going to start a series of bioassays of power frequency magnetic fields, but found difficulty about design of the exposure facility under conditions of bioassay. I heard there was an EMF community in the U.S. How did they design such facilities? The meeting was held in Stamford, and of a rather small scale. I eagerly listened to the oral presentations and looked at the posters.

There I met Dr. S.M. Harvey (Ontario Hydro) in front of his poster. His publication was on the in vivo exposure facility and he kindly discussed on the detail for me. His design satisfied perfectly the conditions of bioassay, and the cost of construction seemed to be reasonable. The meeting decided my fate. I constructed an animal exposure facility on the basis of his design. Since then I had been engaged in EMF research until retired according to Japanese schedule on 2002. My group, and my successors have still, published many studies in BEMS meetings and in the journal.

Yoshihisa Otaka
BEMS Emeritus Member

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