ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK

Committee on Assessment of the Possible Health Effects of Ground Wave Emergency Network

Board on Radiation Effects Research

Commission on Life Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1993



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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK Committee on Assessment of the Possible Health Effects of Ground Wave Emergency Network Board on Radiation Effects Research Commission on Life Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1993

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 CONSTITUTION AVENUE, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20418 The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is the president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This project was prepared under contract No. F49620-90-0012 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of the Air Force. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 92-60706 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04777-3 B-616 Limited number of copies available from the Board on Radiation Effects Research, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK COMMITTEE ON ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK THOMAS S. TENFORDE (Chairman), Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Washington CLAUDIO J. CONTI, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, Texas H. KEITH FLORIG, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. OM P. GANDHI, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah MICHAEL E. GINEVAN, Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. GEORGE H. HARRISON, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland MAUREEN M. HENDERSON, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington J. ROSS MACDONALD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina REGINA M. SANTELLA, Columbia University, New York, New York JAN A. J. STOLWIJK, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut HOWARD WACHTEL, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado National Research Council Staff D. DENNIS MAHLUM, Study Director until February 28, 1993 LARRY H. TOBUREN, Study Director as of February 1, 1993 DORIS E. TAYLOR, Administrative Assistant NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Editor SPONSOR'S PROJECT OFFICERS Major Robert Veal, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Stephen Martin, U.S. Air Force

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK BOARD ON RADIATION EFFECTS RESEARCH WARREN K. SINCLAIR (Chairman), National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (ret.), Bethesda, Maryland DOUGLAS GRAHN, Argonne National Laboratory (ret.), Madison, Indiana ERIC J. HALL, Columbia University, New York, New York MAUREEN M. HENDERSON, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington LEONARD S. LERMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts JOHN B. LITTLE, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts JONATHAN M. SAMET, New Mexico Tumor Registry, University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico THOMAS S. TENFORDE, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Washington ARTHUR C. UPTON, New York University Medical Center (ret.), New York, New York National Research Council Staff CHARLES W. EDINGTON, Director D. DENNIS MAHLUM, Senior Program Officer until February 28, 1993 EVAN B. DOUPLE, Senior Program Officer LARRY H. TOBUREN, Senior Program Officer as of February 1, 1993 CATHERINE S. BERKLEY, Administrative Associate MAURITA A. DOW, Project Assistant DORIS E. TAYLOR, Administrative Assistant

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK COMMISSION ON LIFE SCIENCES THOMAS D. POLLARD (Chairman), Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland BRUCE M. ALBERTS, University of Califormia, San Francisco, California BRUCE N. AMES, University of California, Berkeley, California J. MICHAEL BISHOP, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California DAVID BOTSTEIN, Stanford Univesity School of Medicine, Stanford, California MICHAEL T. CLEGG, University of California, Riverside, California GLENN A. CROSBY, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington LEROY E. HOOD, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington MARIAN E. KOSHLAND, University of California, Berkeley, California RICHARD E. LENSKI, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom STEVEN P. PAKES, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas EMIL A. PFITZER, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., Nutley, New Jersey MALCOLM C. PIKE, USC School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California PAUL G. RISSER, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio JONATHAN M. SAMET, New Mexico Tumor Registry, Albuquerque, New Mexico HAROLD M. SCHMECK, JR., Armonk, New York CARLA J. SHATZ, University of California, Berkeley, California SUSAN S. TAYLOR, University of California at San Diege, La Jolla, California P. ROY VAGELOS, Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, New Jersey TORSTEN N. WIESEL, Rockefeller University, New York, New York National Research Council Staff ALVIN G. LAZEN, Acting Executive Director

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK PREFACE This report was prepared in response to a request from the U.S. Air Force for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the potential health effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by the Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN). This system was designed to protect strategic communication capabilities in the event of a highaltitude nuclear detonation. The GWEN communication system broadcasts UHF messages (225-400 MHz) that are transmitted at low altitudes by a network of low-frequency (150-175 kHz) relay nodes located throughout the United States. This mode of message transmission is immune to interference from the strong electromagnetic pulse produced by a high-altitude nuclear detonation. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the GWEN system was issued in 1987. However, in 1990 members of Congress requested the Air Force to evaluate recent evidence for adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields and to assess the relevance of this information to the issue of possible health effects of GWEN emissions. The release of federal funds to bring the entire system of GWEN transmitters and relay nodes into operation was delayed until a response to this request for information was received by Congress. The Air Force subsequently established a contract with the National Research Council (NRC) to convene a committee of independent scientists to address the question of potential health effects of GWEN electromagnetic fields. An NRC committee of eleven scientists who are recognized for expertise in the areas of dosimetry, biological interactions, epidemiology, and health effects of electromagnetic fields was appointed by the NAS Board on Radiation Effects Research and approved by the NRC Chairman, Dr. Frank Press. The GWEN committee met on five occasions for a total of nine days during the period December 14, 1990 to September 15, 1991. A draft report was prepared during this interval, and subsequently refined for submission to an NRC-appointed peer review committee in April, 1992. The GWEN report was designed to be responsive to a series of questions raised by the Air Force on the potential health effects of electromagnetic fields, including risks of shocks and burns, effects of these fields on membrane processes in living cells, and the possible carcinogenic effects of these fields. Although relatively little information exists on the biological and health risks of electromagnetic fields in the frequency bands used for GWEN transmissions, the committee was nonetheless able to draw conclusions on the basis of available data for fields with frequencies below and above those of the GWEN system. Detailed dosimetric calculations were performed to characterize the physical interaction of GWEN fields with humans, and the existing biological and human health literature on the effects of electromagnetic fields was evaluated in this context. The levels of GWEN fields in public areas were also analyzed in relation to exposure standards and guidelines for electromagnetic fields that have been issued by governments and agencies throughout the

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK world. Finally, estimates of cancer risk imposed by public exposure to GWEN fields were made by comparison of GWEN field intensities with those of AM and FM communication systems, for which there is currently no evidence of adverse health impacts. The overall conclusion of the committee was that no unacceptable risks to public health should result from full operation of the GWEN communication system. The committee also recommends that its report be used in conjunction with the original EIS as a definitive assessment of potential effects on public health of electromagnetic fields emitted by the GWEN system. Thomas S. Tenforde Chairman Committee on Assessment of the Possible Health Effects of Ground Wave Emergency Network

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee would like to extend its appreciation to Dr. D. Dennis Mahlum of the Board on Radiation Effects Research, who served as Study Director from January, 1991 through the conclusion of the report activities. We also thank Dr. Raymond D. Cooper, who was instrumental in establishing the Air Force contract in 1990 and served as the initial Study Director. The committee also thanks Mrs. Doris E. Taylor for her role in organizing the committee meetings and in preparing this report. Appreciation is extended to Major Robert T. Veale and Lt. Col. Stephen Martin, who served as the Air Force project offices and provided extensive background information on the GWEN system to the committee; to Lt. Col. G. Andrew Mickley, Dr. James H. Merritt and Dr. Sidney Everett of the Armstrong Laboratory for Human Systems at Brooks Air Force Base, who provided perspectives and information on the biological effects of radiofrequency radiation; and to Dr. Steven M. Sussman and Dr. Roswell P. Barnes, Jr. of the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA for providing information on the physical characteristics of GWEN electromagnetic fields. Appreciation is also extended to Dr. John E. Burris, the Executive Director of the NRC Commission on Life Sciences, and Dr. Charles W. Edington, Director of the Board on Radiation Effects Research, for their support of the GWEN committee's activities.

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK CONTENTS     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1      Introduction   1      Description of GWEN System   2      Biological Interactions   2      Field Interactions   3      Organ and Tissue Systems   4      Cellular and Subcellar Effects   5      Human Evidence   5      Thermal Effects   7      Risk Assessment   7      Exposure Reduction   9      Conclusions   9  Chapter 1   INTRODUCTION   11  Chapter 2   DESCRIPTION OF GWEN SYSTEM   13  Chapter 3   COUPLING OF GWEN ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS TO THE HUMAN BODY   25      Low-Frequency (LF) Transmitter   25      Ultra-High-Frequency (UHF) Transmitter   25      Induced Fields and Currents in the Human Body   25      Induced Currents and E Fields at 174.625 kHz   26      SARs for UHF Electromagnetic Fields   28      Microscopic Field Interactions at the Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Levels   32      Indirect Coupling--Shock and Burns   34     APPENDIX A:  Anatomically Based Model and Numerical Procedure Used for Calculations   37      Anatomically Based Model   37      Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method   37      References   41  Chapter 4   PERCEPTION AND BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS   45      References   49  Chapter 5   EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS ON DEVELOPMENT   53      References   61

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK  Chapter 6   EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS ON ORGANS AND TISSUES   67      Introduction   67      Nervous System   67      Visual System   69      Endocrine System   70      Immune System   71      Hematologic and Cardiovascular Systems   71      Animal Carcinogenesis   72      Conclusions   74      References   76  Chapter 7   IN VITRO CELLULAR AND SUBCELLULAR END POINTS   85      Bone Healing   89      Mutagenic Effects   89      Cytogenetic Effects   90      Cell Transformation   92      Effects on Transcription   92      Tumor Promotion   94      Conclusions   98      References   99  Chapter 8   HUMAN LABORATORY AND CLINICAL EVIDENCE OF EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS   109      Cutaneous Perception   109      Phosphenes   110      Pacemaker Interference   110      Microwave Auditory Effect   110      Circadian Rhythms   110      Brain Evoked Potentials   111      Heart Rate   111      Reaction Time   111      Mood and Cognitive Function   113      Blood Composition   113      Bone Repair and Growth Stimulation   113      Conclusions   114      References   115  Chapter 9   EPIDEMIOLOGICAL RESEARCH RELEVANT TO IDENTIFICATION OF HEALTH HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH GWEN FIELDS   121      Studies of General Environmental Exposure   121      Occupational Studies   126      Epidemiologic Studies of Health Effects of Microwave Exposure   127

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ASSESSMENT OF THE POSSIBLE HEALTH EFFECTS OF GROUND WAVE EMERGENCY NETWORK      Radio Broadcast Stations   128      Amateur Radio Operations   129      Conclusions   129      References   131  Chapter 10   STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES FOR EXPOSURE TO RADIOFREQUENCY AND EXTREMELY-LOW-FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS   137      References   141  Chapter 11   RISK ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT   143      Risk Assessment   143      General Description of GWEN Fields   144      Coupling of Electromagnetic Fields to Human Body   145      Shielding by Buildings   146      Population Distribution Around Gwen Sites   146      LF and UHF Exposures of Population Around Sites   149      Exposure Comparisons with Existing Standards   150      Exposure Comparisons with Other Sources   150      Bounding GWEN Risks   154      Historical Growth in Broadcast Activity   154      Public Health Surveillance Around Broadcast Facilities   157      Meadowlands Sports Complex   157      Bounds on Excess Population Risk from GWEN Fields   158      Limitations of GWEN Risk Assessment   162      Risk Perception   162      Exposure Reduction   163      Research Needs   164      References   165

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