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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Bull World Health Organ vol.85 n.5 Genebra May. 2007

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862007000500032 

LETTERS

 

Studies on health and electromagnetic fields

 

 

Örjan Hallberg1

Hallberg Independent Research, Polkavägen 14B, 142 65 Trångsund, Sweden

 

 

Here are some comments on the review by Robyn M Lucas, Michael H Repacholi & Anthony J McMichael in the June 2006 issue of the Bulletin.

This is a very good review. I will comment on some statements from the text. I will also refer to two WHO projects regarding studies on health and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in which I am currently involved.1,2

"Skin cancer (is) caused by excessive exposure to UVR." This is not necessarily true; another hypothesis is that the increase is caused by reduced efficiency of the skin-damage repair process.3

"There is evidence that the incidence of skin cancer is beginning to plateau in some countries." It is important to note that for cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) it is the incidence among younger age cohorts that has levelled off; this is yet not so for older cohorts. This indicates an environmental change some 50 years ago, and that we will have to wait until 2025 before all age cohorts flatten out, thus giving a stable age-standardized level.3–5

"The age-standardized incidence of CMM in southern and eastern Europe are now increasing sharply in all age groups." The change from the 70 to 87–108 MHz band for FM radio in eastern countries around 1990 onwards is expected to give increasing rates of CMM, as we noticed in Nordic countries from around 1955–1960 onwards. In the Nordic countries, the body-resonant FM radio was introduced starting in 1955.

 

References

1. Hallberg O, Johansson O. WHO EMF-project 991. Available at: http://www.who.int/ pehemf/research/ database/emfstudies/

2. Hallberg O. WHO EMF-project 1619. Available at: http://www.who.int/ peh-emf/research/ database/emfstudies/

3. Hallberg Ö. A theory and model to explain the skin melanoma epidemic. Melanoma Res 2006;6:115-8.

4. Hallberg Ö. Increasing incidence of malignant melanoma of the skin can be modelled as a response to suddenly imposed environmental stress. Med Sci Monit 2005;11:CR457-61.

5. Reykdal P, Smith D. Is FM broadcasting radiation causing an increase in melanoma? Available at: http://www.looking.t.com/ articles/6a1feat1.html

 

 

1 Correspondence to Örjan Hallberga (e-mail: oerjan.hallberg@swipnet.se).