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Date: March 9, 2006
Contacts: Bill Kearney, Director of Media Relations
Chris Dobbins, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail <>


PAVE PAWS Epidemiology Study Reviewed by National Research Council;
No Changes to Be Made to Previous Report

WOODS HOLE, Mass. -- A draft study by the International Epidemiology Institute provides some new information for assessing potential health effects linked to the U.S. Air Force PAVE PAWS radar installation on Cape Cod, but it also contains several methodological flaws, according to a review by the National Academies' National Research Council. In a letter to the Air Force, the Research Council also said that it would make no changes to the conclusions of a report it issued last year, which did not find significant evidence of adverse health effects to Cape Cod residents from long-term exposure to radiofrequency energy from PAVE PAWS. The IEI draft study was not available when the Research Council committee wrote the report last year.

The authors of the draft epidemiology study reported that their analyses "provided little evidence of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to PAVE PAWS radar." The Research Council committee said that the epidemiology study provides some useful information, such as a breakdown of data by census block and zip code as well as an analysis of diseases other than cancer. In particular, the study's analysis of birth weights suggests that researchers are unlikely to find an association between low birth weight and exposure to PAVE PAWS radar. But the committee's letter also cites a number of important methodological deficiencies in the study that make many of its results unclear. For example, the epidemiology study compares disease rates on Cape Cod with those in Worcester County, a historically more industrial and urban area where the population is likely to have different lifestyle characteristics than that on Cape Cod.

The Research Council committee also retained the recommendations made in its 2005 report, while adding several others regarding future studies that might be useful. Additionally, if future epidemiological studies are pursued, the committee recommended that comparison counties not include Worcester County and that more data on confounding factors such as smoking and pesticide exposure be included. More data on annual changes in disease rates would be helpful as well.

The committee's work was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. The National Research Council is the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. It is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science and technology advice under a
congressional charter. A committee roster follows.

The committee's letter to the Air Force is available on the Internet at Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). This news release is available at

Division on Earth and Life Studies
Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board

Committee to Assess Potential Health Effects From Exposures to
PAVE PAWS Low-Level Phased-Array Radiofrequency Energy

Frank S. Barnes, Ph.D.* (chair)
Distinguished Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Colorado

Robert C. Hansen, Ph.D.* (vice chair)
R.C. Hansen Inc.
Tarzana, Calif.

Larry E. Anderson, Ph.D.
Senior Staff and Program Manager
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, Wash.

Graham A. Coldtiz, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School, and
Professor of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

Kathleen A. Cooney, M.D.
Departments of Internal Medicine and Urology
University of Michigan Medical Center
Ann Arbor

Francesca Dominici, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biostatistics
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Kenneth J. McLeod, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Bioengineering
Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
State University of New York

Keith D. Paulsen, Ph.D.
Radiobiology and Bioengineering Research Program
Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and
Thayer School of Engineering
Dartmouth College
Hanover, N.H.

Susan L. Santos, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Health Education and Behavioral Sciences
School of Public Health
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and
Director of Risk Communication
East Orange War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center
Medford, Mass.

Jan A.J. Stolwijk, Ph.D.
Susan D. Bliss Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Emeritus
School of Medicine
Yale University
New Haven, Conn.

Lance A. Waller, Ph.D.
Department of Biostatistics
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

Daniel E. Wartenberg, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Division of Environmental Epidemiology
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and
Division of Epidemiology
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Gayle E. Woloschak, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Evanston, Ill.


Rick Jostes, Ph.D.
Study Director

Evan B. Douple, Ph.D.

* Member, National Academy of Engineering