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Bioinitiative Report

 Release Date: August 31, 2007

BioInitiative Report:

A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)


Organizing Committee:

Carl Blackman, Ph.D, USA

Martin Blank, Ph.D, USA

Michael Kundi, Ph.D, Austria

Cindy Sage, USA



Dr David Carpenter, USA

Zoreh Davanipour, Ph.D, USA

David Gee, Denmark

Dr Lennart Hardell, Ph.D, Sweden

Olle Johansson, Ph.D, Sweden

Henry Lai, Ph.D, USA

Kjell Hansson Mild, Ph.D, Sweden

Eugene Sobel, Ph.D, USA

Zhengping Xu and Guangdin Chen, Ph.D, China

Research Associate

S. Amy Sage, USA



James Burch, Ph.D, USA

Nancy Evans, USA

Stanton Glanz, Ph.D, USA

Denis Henshaw, Ph.D, UK

Dr Samuel Milham, USA

Louis Slesin, Ph.D, USA



The Organizing Committee thanks the participants of the BioIniative Working Group for their integrity and intellectual courage in dealing with this controversial and important topic; and for devoting the time and energy to produce their chapters. The information and conclusions in each chapter are the responsibilities of the authors of that chapter.


The Group has produced what the authors hope will be a benchmark for good science and public health policy planning. It document bioeffects, adverse health effects and public health conclusions about impacts of non-ionizing radiation (electromagnetic fields including extremely-low frequency ELF-EMF and radiofrequency/microwaveor RF-EMF fields).

Societal decisions about this body of science have global implications.Good public health policy depends on acting soon enough, but not without cause, and with enough information to guide intelligent actions. To a great degree, it is the definition of the standard of evidence used to judge the scientific reports that shapes this debate.Disagreement about when the evidence is sufficient to take action has more to do with the outcome of various reviews and standard-settingproceedings than any other single factor. Whatever “standard of evidence” is selected to assess the strength of the science will deeply influence the outcome of decisions on public policy.


We are at a critical juncture in this world-wide debate. The answers lie not only in the various branches of science; but necessarily depend on the involvement of public health and policy professionals, the regulatory, legal and environmental protection sectors, and the public sector. This has been a long-term collaboration of international scientists employing a multi-disciplinary approach to problem assessment and solving. Our work has necessarily relied on tools and approaches across the physical, biological and engineering sciences; and those of the environmental scientist and public health professional. Only when taken together can we see the whole and begin to take steps that can prevent possible harm and protect future generations.

(Please see the below attachment for the full 610 page report)
Public health implications of wireless technologies.Sage C, Carpenter DO. - 2009

Sage Associates, 1396 Danielson Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, USA.

Global exposures to emerging wireless technologies from applications including mobile phones, cordless phones, DECT phones, WI-FI, WLAN, WiMAX, wireless internet, baby monitors, and others may present serious public health consequences. Evidence supporting a public health risk is documented in the BioInitiative Report. New, biologically based public exposure standards for chronic exposure to low-intensity exposures are warranted. Existing safety standards are obsolete because they are based solely on thermal effects from acute exposures. The rapidly expanding development of new wireless technologies and the long latency for the development of such serious diseases as brain cancers means that failure to take immediate action to reduce risks may result in an epidemic of potentially fatal diseases in the future. Regardless of whether or not the associations are causal, the strengths of the associations are sufficiently strong that in the opinion of the authors, taking action to reduce exposures is imperative, especially for the fetus and children. Such action is fully compatible with the precautionary principle, as enunciated by the Rio Declaration, the European Constitution Principle on Health (Section 3.1) and the European Union Treaties Article 174.


Disturbance of the immune system by electromagnetic fields-A potentially underlying cause for cellular damage and tissue repair reduction which could lead to disease and impairment.Johansson O. - 2009

The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

A number of papers dealing with the effects of modern, man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the immune system are summarized in the present review. EMFs disturb immune function through stimulation of various allergic and inflammatory responses, as well as effects on tissue repair processes. Such disturbances increase the risks for various diseases, including cancer. These and the EMF effects on other biological processes (e.g. DNA damage, neurological effects, etc.) are now widely reported to occur at exposure levels significantly below most current national and international safety limits. Obviously, biologically based exposure standards are needed to prevent disruption of normal body processes and potential adverse health effects of chronic exposure. Based on this review, as well as the reviews in the recent Bioinitiative Report [] [C.F. Blackman, M. Blank, M. Kundi, C. Sage, D.O. Carpenter, Z. Davanipour, D. Gee, L. Hardell, O. Johansson, H. Lai, K.H. Mild, A. Sage, E.L. Sobel, Z. Xu, G. Chen, The Bioinitiative Report-A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), 2007)], it must be concluded that the existing public safety limits are inadequate to protect public health, and that new public safety limits, as well as limits on further deployment of untested technologies, are warranted.


Long-term exposure to magnetic fields and the risks of Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer: Further biological research.Davanipour Z, Sobel E. - 2009

Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, United States.

Objective: Extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF) magnetic fields (MFs) pervade our environment. Whether or not these magnetic fields are associated with increased risk of serious diseases, e.g., cancers and Alzheimer's disease, is thus important when developing a rational public policy. The Bioinitiative Report was an effort by internationally recognized scientists who have spent significant time investigating the biological consequences of exposures to these magnetic fields to address this question. Our objective was to provide an unbiased review of the current knowledge and to provide our general and specific conclusions. Results: The evidence indicates that long-term significant occupational exposure to ELF MF may certainly increase the risk of both Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer. There is now evidence that two relevant biological processes (increased production of amyloid beta and decreased production of melatonin) are influenced by high long-term ELF MF exposure that may lead to Alzheimer's disease. There is further evidence that one of these biological processes (decreased melatonin production) may also lead to breast cancer. Finally, there is evidence that exposures to RF MF and ELF MF have similar biological consequences. Conclusion: It is important to mitigate ELF and RF MF exposures through equipment design changes and environmental placement of electrical equipment, e.g., AC/DC transformers. Further research related to these proposed and other biological processes is required.


Biological effects from electromagnetic field exposure and public exposure standards.Hardell L, Sage C. - 2008

Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden.

During recent years there has been increasing public concern on potential health risks from power-frequency fields (extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields; ELF) and from radiofrequency/microwave radiation emissions (RF) from wireless communications. Non-thermal (low-intensity) biological effects have not been considered for regulation of microwave exposure, although numerous scientific reports indicate such effects. The BioInitiative Report is based on an international research and public policy initiative to give an overview of what is known of biological effects that occur at low-intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) exposure. Health endpoints reported to be associated with ELF and/or RF include childhood leukaemia, brain tumours, genotoxic effects, neurological effects and neurodegenerative diseases, immune system deregulation, allergic and inflammatory responses, breast cancer, miscarriage and some cardiovascular effects. The BioInitiative Report concluded that a reasonable suspicion of risk exists based on clear evidence of bioeffects at environmentally relevant levels, which, with prolonged exposures may reasonably be presumed to result in health impacts. Regarding ELF a new lower public safety limit for habitable space adjacent to all new or upgraded power lines and for all other new constructions should be applied. A new lower limit should also be used for existing habitable space for children and/or women who are pregnant. A precautionary limit should be adopted for outdoor, cumulative RF exposure and for cumulative indoor RF fields with considerably lower limits than existing guidelines, see the BioInitiative Report. The current guidelines for the US and European microwave exposure from mobile phones, for the brain are 1.6 W/Kg and 2 W/Kg, respectively. Since use of mobile phones is associated with an increased risk for brain tumour after 10 years, a new biologically based guideline is warranted. Other health impacts associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields not summarized here may be found in the BioInitiative Report at