• 04 AUG 09
    • 0

    #1109: Comments on the value of epidemiology and precaution

    From Stelios A Zinelis MD, the Hellenic Cancer Society. Replying to message #1100: How reliable is the epidemiological evidence on mobile phones and cancer?

    With a great interest I read that “…Auvinen admitted …more of the case-control studies will not improve the situation … and will be waist of time and money”. Also you “…do agree with Auvinen s position.” Furthermore, “…health-related conclusions(no-risk or risk) is like “flipping a coin””.
    The public would not agree with this approach, since they are exposed to electromagnetic radiation without their permission and their knowledge. What good does it do to the individuals who would be affected with this radiation and in 30-50-100 years measures will be taking to eliminate this risk?
    The past has taught us many lessons for example asbestos. The mining began in 1879. Nineteen years later was reported about the dust harmful effects. However, no actions were taking to protect the public. If a ban was done back in 1965 when the cause for adverse effects was plausible but unproven only Holland would have avoided 52,000 victims and 30 billion euro in costs for the period 1969-2030 and an estimation of 250,000-400,000 deaths from mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis will occur the next 35 years in European Union from the past asbestos exposure.
    With the current status of the epidemiology studies: 1) Problems in design of the Interphone studies, 2) Excluding Hardell s studies and 3) The Danish study-where the criteria of inclusion was if someone “ever” used phone between the period 1982-1995 and also by excluding the corporate phone users(most likely heavy users), it is not possible to resolve the issue and this may have major consequences in public health.

    However, objective, well design, independent epidemiological studies can contribute information of EMF and biological effects.

    Some of the Interphone studies have shown an adverse effect by the EMF. This is very powerful(with a such design) and along with Hardell’s findings, we should apply immediately the precautionary principle and minimize the human exposure. We would do more good than harm.

    Thank you
    Stelios A Zinelis MD
    Hellenic Cancer Society
    Cefalonia, Greece

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