Summary of the situation report bulletin (2/2019) published online

In November 2019, two interesting seminars were held in Germany: first, November 5–7, the International Workshop: Environmental effects of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields: Flora and Fauna, and later, November 20–22, the 6th International Workshop on the Causes of Childhood Leukemia.

I took part in the first-mentioned seminar. The International Workshop: Environmental effects of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields: Flora and fauna discussed topics such as how birds use the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation as well as research on bats, dogs and honeybees, among others. The Earth’s magnetic field is, obviously, different than fields from electrical systems, but it was, nevertheless, interesting to find out about the wide range of research carried out on magnetoreception.

I have found some interesting scientific publications for this new situation report bulletin, which starts with a paper on the possible association between power lines and childhood leukemia. Occupational exposure is discussed in a paper that explores cancer incidence in UK electricity supply industry workers. Covering quite a vast amount of data from the years 1973–2015, this study reaches far beyond the scope of electric and magnetic fields.

This time, inspired by the seminar I attended in Germany, I chose to conclude the bulletin with a paper on dogs. It was news to me that dogs can be trained to identify the magnetic field of a bar magnet. While there are other dog-related studies available, this struck me as the most interesting. I would also like to remind you that, instead of fields from power lines, this paper is about bar magnets.

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Summary of the situation report bulletin (1/2019) published online

During the process of compiling this issue of the Situation Report Bulletin, I took part in the annual joint meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) and the European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA). The BioEM2019 conference, held June 23–28 in Montpellier, France, presented a wide range of interesting studies on electric and magnetic fields. More information can be found on the conference website.

According to the website of ICNIRP, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation, the Commission is holding its 9th workshop on non-ionizing radiation in South Korea in May next year.

Once again, I have found new scientific publications of interest for this bulletin. The bulletin starts with papers on the possible association between power lines and childhood leukemia. One of the studies investigates whether there have been changes over time in the reported risk of childhood leukemia associated with magnetic fields, while another focuses on the association of parental occupational exposures and the risk of childhood acute leukemia.

Occupational exposures are discussed in two more papers, with the first one dealing with the effect of chronic exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on sleep quality, stress, depression, and anxiety. The second one reports on a pooled study, with data from three different countries, exploring the associations of occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and electric shocks with the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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Summary of the situation report bulletin (2/2018) published online

We are now there: The new Radiation Act came into force in Finland on December 15, 2018, and along with it, the decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on restricting public exposure to non-ionizing radiation (NIR). The new decree imposes binding restrictions on electric and magnetic fields with frequencies below 100 kHz but does not apply to electric-field exposure from high-voltage overhead power lines as per the Electrical Safety Act (1135/2016).

The CIGRE Session 2018, held in August in Paris, discussed, among other things, health issues relating to electromagnetic fields and how they are dealt with in the electricity sector. September 10–13, 2018, the first EMF-Med World Conference was held in Split, within the framework of the project COST EMF-MED (Action BM1309): European network for innovative uses of EMFs in biomedical applications.

Once again, I have found new scientific publications of interest for this bulletin. The bulletin starts with a number of papers on the possible association between power lines and childhood leukemia. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a familiar topic from earlier bulletins, is now discussed in two papers.

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Summary of the situation report bulletin (1/2018) published online

This summer, the annual joint meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) and the European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA) was held June 24-29 in Piran, Slovenia. At this BioEM2018 conference, ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) presented the draft of its new guidelines for the frequency range from 100 kHz to 300 GHz. The guidelines for extremely low-frequency fields remain unchanged for now.

As noted in earlier bulletins, the Finnish radiation legislation is currently being revised. For the time being, the new radiation act and the decree on non-ionizing radiation are still underway.

Again, I have found new scientific publications of interest for this bulletin. This time, some of the topics are a bit different than what has been dealt with before. I also included a paper on honey bees for a change, while the main focus will continue to be on human research.

The current bulletin starts more traditionally, with papers on childhood leukemia.

One interesting paper is the Finnish pilot study on maternal exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields from electronic article surveillance systems and potential reproductive outcomes.

Once again, the bulletin concludes with two papers on occupational exposure.

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Summary of the situation report bulletin (2/2017) published online

Since the summer, a few interesting international workshops have taken place. The one held by COST EMF-MED in October in Vienna dealt with topics such as the safety of medical, esthetic and cosmetic devices using electromagnetic fields.

Another international workshop, held by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) on 12–14 December in Munich, focused on the relationship between neurodegenerative diseases and magnetic field exposure.

The new Finnish radiation legislation is still in preparation. The new radiation act and the decree on non-ionizing radiation are expected to come into force during 2018.

I have found interesting scientific publications for this bulletin. The first one is a CIGRE Reference Paper, basically a statement based on studies carried out on electric and magnetic fields so far. CIGRE, or the Council on Large Electric Systems, is an international non-profit association that actively monitors the health effects of electric power systems.

For example, papers explore topics such as the exposure of adolescents to magnetic fields in Israel and the investigation of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, with the help of participants using mobile exposure units at home. The final paper on neonatal incubators was included because electromagnetic fields, in this context, is an issue that has evoked some interest among researchers in recent years.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!