Analysis of Battelle 60-Hertz Studies

Presented at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, Atlanta, GA, 1984.


Following reports in the mid-1970’s of 60-Hz-induced bioeffects, investigators at the Battelle Laboratories in Richland, Washington, began a series of studies on rodents to determine whether there was any basis for regulations governing environmental exposure to such fields. Their efforts yielded studies that have been interpreted to mean that (a) there are no biological effects (hence no need for environmental regulation), (b) such effects do exist but further studies are needed to determine their significance, and (c) there are effects, and environmental controls are needed to protect the public health.

We found four areas in the Battelle studies (statistical sensitivity, lumping, animal husbandry, replication criteria) that we think makes them unreliable indicators of the truth of all three interpretations. Thus, despite their scope, the studies do not clearly prove or disprove the existence of 60-Hz bioeffects, and they provide no useful guidance for environmental regulators.

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