A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Inflammatory Epidemiology?

June 2, 2008

Editors and reviewers at Epidemiology thought long and hard before publishing the new paper suggesting that a child's behavioral problems can be traced, at least in part, to the mother's use of a cell phone use during pregnancy (see our May 14 post). This comes across in an editorial by David Savitz that appears the same issue (July) as the paper.

The study is "a nearly perfect recipe for 'inflammatory epidemiology'," acknowledged Savitz, an editor at the journal who has long been involved with EMF research. But, he went on, "reviewers and editors believe that these findings are worth consideration by the scientific community. The very factors that make this result potentially inflammatory also provide the justification for deciding to publish such research —the exposure is common and growing, the outcome is a public health concern, and the laboratory can provide only limited insights for extrapolation to humans." The paper's take-home message should be, according to Savitz: "No call for alarm, stay tuned."