FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Joson (202) 296-7000
April 26, 2000 Washington, D.C. - - An independent group, led by Dr. George Carlo, the former head of the $27 million, industry sponsored Wireless Technology Research (WTR) program, has launched a new wireless phone health study aimed at assessing a number of consumer related health problems, including birth defects, health effects in women and impacts on children.
The Radiation Protection Project, under the not-for-profit Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), has initiated the program that includes post-market surveillance among the 90 million wireless phone users in the United States, and a series of specific laboratory and epidemiological studies that follow directly from the work completed by the WTR.
The Radiation Protection Project will examine how the risks of developing cancer, including leukemia and other blood cancers, and birth defects are impacted by wireless phone use. In addition, work focused on the impact of wireless phone radiation exposure on women and children, the adequacy of current radiation emission standards, and interference between digital phones and implanted cardiac defibrillators will be included.
*Because scientific and medical studies have shown possible health effects from the use of wireless phones, it is critically important to find and assess health problems among phone users that they believe may be related to their use of the phone. Monitoring of this type is currently not being done anywhere in the world, and it is necessary to do this monitoring to ensure consumer protection. We have now corrected that problem, at least for the United States,* said Dr. Carlo in announcing the new tracking and monitoring program. The Health Risk Management Group, Inc. of Washington, D.C. is coordinating the surveillance project.
Initial support and funding for the new program has come from private sources, and a coordinated effort is currently underway to raise additional funds from government, foundations, philanthropists and business leaders to complete the $60 million research aspect of the program within the next four years. The surveillance, which yields immediate benefit to consumers, will be ongoing.
The surveillance program will link specific health problems with types of cellular and wireless phones used, consumer phone usage patterns, and year when phones were first used. The in-field follow up capability that has been developed to pursue leads identified through the surveillance is modeled after the Centers for Disease Control Epidemiologic Intelligence Service (EIS) program.
Press Release Page 2
*People who believe they are experiencing health effects from their phone use can help by sharing their experiences, confidentially, with the Radiation Protection Project. In effect, they are helping all wireless phone users because our goal is to protect consumers and ensure safety* said Carlo. *They can contact us by telephone, mail or through the Internet.*
Over the next 60 days the Radiation Protection Project will be issuing public service announcements and using other forms of media to alert consumers and make them aware of this important program.
Consumers can reach us online at our website HRMGroup.org or firstname.lastname@example.org; by telephone at (202) 296-7000; fax at (202) 296-7576; and by mail at: Radiation Protection Project, 1711 N Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
The Science and Public Policy Institute addresses issues that involve conflicts among science, public health, business and politics. Previous SPPI projects include: the health effects of silicone breast implants, the public health ramifications of the recent tobacco settlement, the safety of food irradiation, the impact of ultraviolet radiation from climate change on human health, and the adequacy of the U.S. polio vaccine policy.