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 <email@example.com>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). This news release is available at http://national-academies.org.
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL 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 Boulder
Robert C. Hansen, Ph.D.* (vice chair) President 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 Boston
Kathleen A. Cooney, M.D. Professor 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 Baltimore
Kenneth J. McLeod, Ph.D. Professor and Chairman Department of Bioengineering Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science State University of New York Binghamton
Keith D. Paulsen, Ph.D. Director Radiobiology and Bioengineering Research Program Norris Cotton Cancer Center Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and Professor 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. Professor Department of Biostatistics Rollins School of Public Health Emory University Atlanta
Daniel E. Wartenberg, Ph.D. Professor and Director Division of Environmental Epidemiology Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Professor Division of Epidemiology University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Piscataway
Gayle E. Woloschak, Ph.D. Professor Department of Radiology Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University Evanston, Ill.
RESEARCH COUNCIL staff
Rick Jostes, Ph.D. Study Director
Evan B. Douple, Ph.D. Scholar * Member, National Academy of Engineering