When we listen to government, telecom and power industry spokesmen speak about the possible health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields, it seems they would prefer us to believe that there is no cause for concern. Or at worst, there is controversy in the research about whether EMF exposure has any negative biological or health effects. They may cite study after study where no effect was detected. They may cite statistics about how many such negative correlation studies exist. And they may come to the conclusion that EMF exposure is safe.
Oddly, the facts they cite may be correct, but their conclusions are not. Think about this hypothetical situation:
An island is discovered in the Pacific Ocean. People wonder if treasure might be buried there. Over time, 100 different treasure hunters visit the island looking for treasure. Some use unique and exotic techniques in searching for the treasure. A few have bizarre and irrational styles. Many use standard, time tested methods. Some techniques are used by many different treasure hunters.
If, after the end of all this activity, only half of the treasure hunters found treasure, what would be your conclusion about whether or not treasure was buried on the island? What if only 1 out of 10 found treasure? What if only 1 out of the entire group found treasure? What would be your conclusion then?
Of course, you would conclude that there was indeed treasure buried on that island, and that there could be more. There would be no uncertainty, no controversy. It would not matter one bit how many searchers found nothing. Searching does not guarantee finding, but finding it does guarantee that it exists.
This same thinking can be applied to the vast body of reasearch that now exists about whether and in what ways EMF exposure impacts our biology. Anyone who says otherwise has either not looked beyond the headlines of the research, or has looked at it but not understood it, or is lying. You don’t have to take my word for it. Look yourself…
Those of you who are still skeptical may ask: “So how can it be that so many studies do not find a link between EMF exposure and health effects”? The problem lies in what they are not saying.
First, you must look closely at who is funding the search, and therefore the motivation behind it. It is easy to imagine that studies (funded by industries whose profits would be damaged by proof that EMF are dangerous) might be crafted with a negative outcome built into the design of the study. Let me give you an example…
A study designer wants to show that there is no link between the amount of cell phone usage (minutes per day) and the risk of brain cancer (which takes a long time to develop even with known cancer causing agents).
It would seem logical and appropriate to measure the actual minutes a phone is held to the head for a large population, and correlate that data with the incidence of brain tumors over a long period, compared to a control group of people who have no radiation exposure. But instead, one could use the “billed minutes” data with no attention to how the phone was used (direct against the head, vs. hands-free, vs. speaker phone, vs. texting, etc.), versus the number of brain tumors over short period, and compare that relationship against a control group which has plenty of background exposure even if they don’t own a cellphone.
All three factors would skew the results toward finding that there was not a big difference in the amount of brain tumors in the “exposed” group compared to the control group. Or that phone usage does notcorrelated with incidence of tumor at all. Think this is silly? So do we. And yet this is exactly how some of the research is done. Take a look at the Interphone study. And to top it off, despite heavily skewing the outcome of the study to show no correlation, the study still showed “suggestions of an increased risk” at “the highest exposure levels,” But instead of revealing the truth, the “researchers” still concluded (and the media still reported) that “The use of mobile phones for over ten years shows no increased risk of brain tumors.” Really?