Wertheimer believes that, for the individual, exposure to ELF fields does not pose a very big risk, but that from a public health viewpoint there may be need to worry.
The heated-bed study also providessome evidence that ELF fields may be related to congenital birth defects in humans, says Wertheimer.
Phillips told SCIENCE NEWS he has shown in recent experiments that exposure to ELF fields causes an abnormal increase in the growth of cancer cells.
They occurred in cells descending from those exposed to ELF fields more than five months prior to experiments, according to Phillips's paper in the November 1986 IMMUNOLOGY LETTERS.
According to Sagan, EPRI spends $2 million annually to study ELF field effects, and that figure will "significantly increase.
Industry concern over whether a linkbetween ELF and health problems actually exists also can be seen in reports from the November/December 1986 MICROWAVE NEWS:
In Canada, representatives fromunions, utilities, academia and government are forming a group to address priorities in ELF exposure research.
All the data, statistical analyses andconfounding factors are adding their weight to the hefty problem of deciding which ELF effects should concern the public.
He says the Oak Ridge lab will recommend a "multicentered approach' to ELF field research.
The debate on ELF fields and theirbiological effects is increasingly sensitive as a political issue, according to Wertheimer and others.