Welcome to Stavanger November 17th 2009

Exposure to electromagnetic radiation has been documented to have major biological effects on living tissue. The exponential increase in the use of wireless technologies will most likely present serious, global public health consequences in the near future. Despite mounting evidence of severe health effects, the scientific facts are generally ignored by most governments. For pure commercial reasons, the telecom industry continues to refer to outdated and irrelevant safety standards, blissfully endorsed by their respective regulators.

More than two thousands scientific studies have shown that radio frequency exposures, including microwaves, can cause changes in cell membrane function, cell communication, metabolism and activation of proto-oncogenes. Production of stress proteins is triggered at exposure levels far below current regulatory limits. The resulting effects can include DNA breaks and chromosome aberrations, cell death including death of brain neurons, increased free-radical production, activation of the endogenous opioid system, cell stress and premature aging. Other documented effects are changes in brain function including memory loss, retarded learning, performance impairment in children, headaches and fatigue, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative conditions, reduction in melatonin secretion and cancers. Similar results have been found from exposure to power-frequency electromagnetic radiation (50-60Hz), and a link between childhood leukaemia and exposure to high-voltage power lines is now widely accepted by the scientific community.

Current regulatory limits are falling. An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament recently voted for a set of changes based on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields. In a resolution 4th September 2008, the European Parliament notes that “the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete”, “obviously take no account of developments in information and communication technologies”, and “do not address the issue of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children.” These eye-opening statements are indeed remarkable. A few countries have already acted in line with sound precautionary principles. Russia and China have long ago implemented significantly stricter limits than most western countries, and Switzerland, Italy and Lichtenstein have acted unilaterally to protect their own populations from the health hazards of electromagnetic radiation.

I am honoured to welcome you to this International EMF Conference to be held in Norway, where participants will have a unique opportunity to meet some of the world’s foremost experts on biological effects of electromagnetic radiation. In the days following the conference, the scientists will start developing new biologically-based guidelines for human exposure limits to electromagnetic radiation. This is history in the making. Do not miss a unique opportunity – join us in Stavanger November 17th 2009!

Best regards
Sissel Halmøy
Senior Advisor
Norges Miljøvernforbund


Velkommen til Stavanger 17. november 2009

Norge har i dag ingen forskningsaktivitet knyttet til biologiske effekter av elektromagnetisk stråling. Vi har heller ingen forskere som har markert seg internasjonalt i arbeidet for å fremskaffe økt kunnskap om elektromagnetiske felt og helse. Norske myndigheter og den norske befolkningen er søkende. Stadig flere mener at mikrobølgestråling fra mobiltelefoner og trådløse datanett representerer en reell helserisiko. Mange mener også at norske myndigheter er i utakt med myndighetene i andre land på dette området. I en resolusjon fra 4. september 2008 uttalte for eksempel EU-parlamentet at «grenseverdiene for eksponering for elektromagnetiske felt som er satt for befolkningen generelt har gått ut på dato», «åpenbart ikke tar hensyn til utviklingen innen informasjons- og kommunikasjons­teknologi», og «ikke tar for seg problemstillinger knyttet til sårbare grupper som gravide, nyfødte og barn». Mens stadig flere land velger en føre-var-holdning, er kontrasten til den offisielle norske politikk på området slående.

Norges Miljøvernforbund (NMF) har i mange år utfordret myndighetene for å få redusert Norges svært høye grenseverdier for elektromagnetisk stråling. Vi har i denne forbindelse etablert et nært samarbeid med ledende internasjonale fagmiljøer og ressurspersoner på området. I november 2009 kommer ledende vitenskapsmenn fra hele verden til Norge og Stavanger, etter initiativ fra NMF, for å starte arbeidet med å formulere nye og tryggere grenseverdier. På konferansen 17. november vil vi for første gang i Norge få anledning til å møte noen av disse internasjonale ekspertene. Blant foredragsholderne finner vi:

Elihu D Richter, MD, MPH (Israel)

Henry Lai, Professor, PhD (USA)

Martin Blank, Professor, PhD (USA)

Franz Adlkofer, Professor, PhD (Tyskland)

Alvaro Augusto Almeida de Salles, Professor, PhD (Brazil)

Stelios Zinelis, MD, PhD (Hellas)

Anton Merkulov Biol. Sc (Russland)

Yury Grigoriev, Professor, Dr. of Med Sci. (Russland)

Olle Johansson, Professor, PhD (Sverige)

Devra Lee Davis, Professor, PhD, MPH (USA)

Carl F. Blackman, PhD (USA)

Lukas Margaritis, PhD (Hellas)

Cindy Sage, MA (USA)

Konferansen er en helt spesiell anledning til å bli faglig oppdatert om dokumenterte helseeffekter av elektromagnetisk stråling. Disse effektene spenner over et vidt spekter, fra adferds- og hukommelsesproblemer til demenssykdommer og kreft.

Den globale, ukritiske bruken av trådløs teknologi kan vise seg å bli vår tids aller største miljøutfordring. Vi tror du vil finne konferansen interessant, og ønsker deg hjertelig velkommen. Sett av tid allerede nå. Endelig program vil bli sendt ut om kort tid. Påmelding kan gjøres direkte til emf2009@nmf.no. Kursavgift NOK 1.750 / EUR 200 inklusive lunch.

Med vennlig hilsen
Norges Miljøvernforbund
Kurt Oddekalv, daglig leder
Sissel Halmøy, fagansvarlig elektromagnetisk stråling

Program

08:00 Registration
09:00 Welcome address by Kurt Oddekalv, Norges Miljøvernforbund (Norway)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
09:05 Welcome address by Anders Smith, The Norwegian Directorate of Health (Norway)
Video from the conference
09:10 Introductory remarks by Eileen O’Connor, UK Radiation Research Trust (UK)
Video from the conference
Session One – EMF effects on biological processes – part I
09:15 Chair: Devra Davis, founder of The Environmental Health Trust, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (USA)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
09:20 Electromagnetic Fields and Health.
Olle Johansson, Professor, The Royal Institute of Technology, Associate Professor, The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden)
09:45 Possible Mechanisms of EMF Bioeffects.
Henry Lai, Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle (USA)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
10:10 Intensity is not the only fundamental EMF measure: The Importance of Modulation for Production of Low Intensity Biological Effects.
Carl F Blackman, PhD, former President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, Raleigh (USA)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
10:35 EMF-DNA Interactions in the Cellular Stress Response.
Martin Blank, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York (USA)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
11:00 Refreshment break
Session Two – EMF effects on biological processes – part II
11:20 Chair: Alex Swinkels, National Platform on Radiation Risk (Netherlands)
11:25 Evidence of Genotoxic Effects in Isolated Mammalian Cells after Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF).
Franz Adlkofer, Professor, Executive Director and Member of the Board of the Verum-Foundation, Munich (Germany)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
11:50 Effects of EMF on Memory Function.Lukas H Margaritis, Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Athens (Greece)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
12:15 Discussion and questions
12:45 Lunch
Session Three – New biologically-based standards – the way forward to set exposure standards which protect public health
13:30 Chair: Eileen O’Connor, UK Radiation Research Trust (UK)
13:35 Precaution and Prevention in Protection against Occupational and Community Exposures to EMF. Elihu D Richter, Professor, Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hebrew University- Hadassah School of Medicine, Jerusalem (Israel)
Pdf file presentation download
14:00 SAR Simulations in the Head of Adults and Children: A Review and urgent Developments.
lvaro Augusto Almeida de Salles, PhD, Professor, Electrical Engineering Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Porto Alegre (Brazil)
Video from the conferencePdf file presentation download
14:25 EMF-related Committees.
Dr. Fredrik Söderqvist, Mobile Phones and the risk for brain tumor (Sweden)
14:50 Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Existing Standards can not guarantee the Population’s Safety.
Yury Grigoriev, Professor, Dr of Med Sci, Chairman of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, Moscow (Russian Federation), and Anton Merkulov, Biol. Sc, Testing Laboratory, Centre for Electromagnetic Safety, Moscow (Russian Federation)
Pdf file presentation download
15:15 Discussion and questions
15:45 Summing up by Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates, Santa Barbara (USA)
Video from the conference
16:00 Close of conference

 

Program Committee:
Sissel Halmøy, Norges Miljøvernforbund (Norway)
Olle Johansson, Karolinska Institute (Sweden)
Thomas J. Middelthon, Norges Miljøvernforbund (Norway)
Eileen O’Connor, UK Radiation Research Trust (UK)

Conference Venue:
Clarion Hotel, Stavanger Hall

Conference Organizer:
Norges Miljøvernforbund (NMF)
Postal address: P.O. Box 593, 5806 Bergen, Norway
Visiting address: Ludeboden, Skuteviksboder 24, 5035 Sandviken

Speakers

Franz Adlkofer (Germany), Professor, Dr. med., received his doctorate from the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich in 1965 and his post-doctoral education in internal medicine from the Free University of Berlin until 1976. From 1976 to 1992, Professor Adlkofer worked in the industry. Since 1992 he is Executive Director and since 2002 Member of the Board of VERUM – Foundation for Behaviour and Environment in Munich. His special interest concentrates on the investigation of diseases caused by behaviour and the environment. To investigate the biological effects of electromagnetic fields, Professor Adlkofer organized and co-ordinated the EU-funded research project REFLEX between 1999 and 2004. In addition, the VERUM Foundation promoted complementary research and sponsored numerous scientific workshops in this area. Professor Adlkofer is author and co-author of many scientific papers and presentations at national and international meetings.

Alvaro Augusto A. de Salles (Brazil), Professor, PhD, received his degree in electrical engineering from University College London, England. His research includes studies on solid-state phased array radar design, optical control of amplifiers and oscillators, and research and development on microwave and optical semiconductor devices and components. Since 1991 he has been with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where he is now an Associate Professor. His research interests are microwave and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, microwave planar antennas and components, mobile and wireless communications, and biological effects of non ionizing radiation. Professor de Salles has authored more than 50 papers in Brazilian and international journals and conferences. He is a founding member of the Brazilian Microwave and Optoelectronics Society, member of ICEMS, the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety, and a scientific and technical advisor for the EM Radiation Research Trust.

Martin Blank (USA), Associate Professor, PhD, received a BS in Chemistry from City College of New York, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University, New York, and a PhD in Colloid Science from Cambridge University, England. He has done research and taught for over 45 years in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, where he is Associate Professor. He has had temporary academic appointments at leading universities and research centres in England, Israel, USA, Australia, USSR, Poland, India, Canada and Japan. He has broad industrial research experience. Working for the US Office of Naval Research, he developed a research program on Biomembrane Electrochemistry. He has consulted for private corporations and research agencies, and was recently invited to address the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil on Bioelectromagnetics research and biologically based safety standards. For the last 25 years he has focused on effects of electromagnetic fields on stress protein synthesis in cells and on ion and electron transport enzymes. He has published over 200 papers and reviews, as well as twelve edited books on electrical properties of biological systems. He was one of the organizers of the Bioinitiative working group, and a contributor to the BioInitiative Report. He edited a follow-up to the BioInitiative Report by the same authors, in the August 2009 issue of the journal Pathophysiology. He has been active in interdisciplinary biophysical sciences, including roles as Chairman of the Organic and Biological Division of the Electrochemical Society, President of the Bioelectrochemical Society, and President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, USA.

Yury G. Grigoriev (Russia), Professor, Dr. of Med Sci., Chairman of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, member of the Russian Academy of Electrical Engineering Sciences, member of the International Advisory Committee on WHO’s EMF Project, IEEE member and a permanent member of the US Bioelectromagnetic Society (BEMS). He is Deputy Chairman of the Radiobiology Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academic of the Academy of Electrotechnical sciences of Russia, and a member of the board of the Journal of Radiation Biology and Ecology. He is a Major Researcher of the Federal Medical Biophysical Centre, FMBA, in Moscow. Since 1949, his scientific interests have been in the field of biological effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. His work has involved EMF RF exposure on the nervous system and the brain, using modern vestibular stimulation techniques. He has developed standards for RF exposure, and studied the influence on organisms of magnetic deprivation for more than 15 years. Professor Grigoriev has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and 15 books on biological effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, and extreme environmental physiology. More than 67 dissertations have been worked out and defended under his guidance. He was awarded the USSR State Scientific Prize in 1976.

Olle Johansson (Sweden), Associate Professor, PhD, is head of the Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology, also in Stockholm, Sweden. His research focus has been to investigate health effects of modern, man-made electromagnetic fields as well as the functional impairment known as electrohypersensitivity. He introduced the term “screen dermatitis” to explain the cutaneous damages which subsequently caught the interest of occupational medicine, biophysics and biochemistry, as well as neuroscience and experimental dermatology. He has published more than 500 original articles, reviews, book chapters and conference reports within the field of basic and applied neuroscience, and participated in more than 300 congresses and symposia as an invited speaker. He is used as referee for a large number of scientific journals, and has on-going international scientific collaborations with many countries, including Japan, Brazil, India, Serbia, Germany and USA. His studies have been widely recognised in the public media, including newspapers, radio and TV as well as on the Internet, both nationally and internationally. He recently contributed a chapter in the BioInitiative Report entitled “Evidence for effects on the immune system”, which was recently updated in a Special Issue of the journal Pathophysiology entitled “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”.

Henry Lai (USA), PhD, is a Research Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle and an Honorary Professor of the Tropical Medicine Institute at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. He received a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Physiology from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Washington. His research interests involve studying the biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields from extremely-low-frequency to radiofrequency, and the use of electromagnetic fields for the treatment of various diseases, such as malaria and cancer.

Lukas H. Margaritis (Greece), Professor, PhD, is currently assigned to the Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, Athens University. He received his PhD from Athens University, Department of Biology, and was a post-doctoral researcher and teaching assistant of cell biology at Harvard University, USA. He received training in high voltage electromagnetism at the University of Colorado National with a scholarship from the US National Institutes of Health. He has written two textbooks, including a comprehensive textbook on Cell Biology. He has represented Greek in EU’s Biotechnology programs, organized scientific symposia, and been a member of editorial board of the Int. J. Insect Morph. & Embryology. He is currently co-ordinator of the ERASMUS program with 33 European Universities, and has supervised both postgraduate and postdoctoral candidates. His current teaching activities cover cell biology, electron microscopy, biophysics and radiobiology, image analysis and processing, and computers in biology. Among his research interests are cellular and molecular biology and biochemistry during gene expression in a model cell system, erythrocyte membrane disorders, and effects of irradiation (lasers, UV, mobile phones) on the structure and function of cells and tissues.

Anton V. Merkulov (Russia), PhD, Biol. Sc received a MSc degree in telecommunication from the Politechnika Wroclawska, Wroclaw, Poland, in 1995 and a PhD in radiobiology and hygiene from the Burnazyan Federal Medical Biophysical Centre in Moscow, Russia. Currently he is the head of the Testing laboratory at the Centre for Electromagnetic Safety in Moscow. He has studied issues related to electromagnetic safety of human beings and ecosystems since 1996. His main area of interest is electromagnetic field dosimetry, hygienic and ecological standardization, and protection. Dr. Merkulov is author and co-author of more than 40 scientific papers and he took part in the development of two Russian hygienic standards – “Hygienic requirements for personal computers and work arrangement” and “Maximum permissible levels for the power frequency (50 Hz) magnetic field general public exposure”.

Elihu D. Richter (Israel), Professor, MD, M.P.H., is Head of the Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Community Medicine and Public Health in Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Richter has led the unit for more than a decade. He has contributed original work in the fields of toxicology, environmental health, occupational safety, workers’ rights and community health.

Stelios A Zinelis (Greece), MD, BA, has specialized in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He graduated as a MD from Western Penn Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and received his PhD from the University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece. He has post doctorate studies in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. Zinelis is Vice President of the Hellenic Cancer Society. He has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on the effects of the Electromagnetic Radiation to human health, and he is one of the many scientists that have publically questioned whether the scientific knowledge in this area is influenced by industry stakeholders.

Carl F. Blackman (USA), PhD, received his doctorate in Biophysics in 1969, performed post-doctoral training at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1969-1970), and joined the EPA in 1970. He studied the complexities of electric and magnetic field interactions with biological systems (1970-1998, which included support from US DOE 1989-1998). He now performs research to examine molecular pathways revealed by microarray analyses that are expected to lead to mode-of-action information associated with the carcinogenic activity of classes of chemicals of environmental interest. Dr. Blackman is one of six founders of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (1978), served as president (1990), on the Editorial Board (14 years), and on the Board of Directors (2007-2010). He served on numerous national and international scientific committees, including the WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. He has co-authored 58 peer-reviewed publications, 23 book chapters, 57 invited presentations, and 132 abstracts. He has reviewed grant applications for 17 organizations and manuscripts for 56 organizations. He is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, American Society for Photobiology, the Biophysics Society, Bioelectromagnetics Society, European BioElectromagnetics Association, and the Society for In Vitro Biology.

Devra Lee Davis (USA), is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburg Graduate School of Public Health, and founder of The Environmental Health Trust. She earned a PhD in science studies at the University of Chicago and a M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of John Hopkins. She has served on numerous governmental and international boards, and recently she wrote the book “The secret history on the war of cancer”.

Stavanger

There is a lot of energy and activity in the Stavanger region. One reason for this is that Stavanger is the centre for the Norwegian North Sea oil industry. In 2008 Stavanger was European Capital of culture. A look at the video below will give you brief introduction to what our region has to offer inhabitants and visitors. You will find some general information about the Stavanger region here.