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Reports - Cape Cod, Massachusetts



Initial Report on the Environmental Health Assessment of the PAVE PAWS radar at the MMR
&
Assessment of Public Health Concerns Associated with PAVE PAWS Radar Installations

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Reports and Investigations Related to

Pave Paws Radar Installations



Memorandum

To: Readers of the Expert Panel Report on PAVE PAWS Prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)

From: Suzanne K. Condon, Director, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment (BEHA)

Re: MDPH Opinion of Report Contents

Date: March 13, 2000


The attached report is the product of a contractual agreement between the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and four scientists to serve as members of an expert panel and provide advice to the MDPH based on their knowledge of microwave radio frequency radiation, health physics and epidemiology. Representatives from these disciplines were necessary to assess existing information concerning the potential health effects of human exposure to the PAVE PAWS radar facility on Cape Cod and to determine if environmental data presently available regarding this facility is adequate for a complete understanding of health effects.

While much information contained in the report relates to the authors' opinions, it does not necessarily represent the views of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Upon review of this report, we feel that the panel has come to the following important conclusions:

    1. Health effects data on the type of radiation emitted by PAVE PAWS are unclear, sometimes contradictory, or lacking; and
    2. Better environmental data are needed to characterize opportunities for exposure and potential health impacts from the facility.

We feel that the panel's finding that better exposure information is necessary to make the most informed statement about potential health impacts regarding PAVE PAWS is reasonable and scientifically prudent as indicated in the original MDPH cover letter dated November 26, 1999. Adequate characterization of exposure is an essential part of any environmental health investigation. For information on the department's views beyond the two important conclusions reviewed above, individuals should contact the MDPH directly.

MDPH is currently pursuing funding from the U.S. Air Force to conduct a comprehensive exposure assessment of PAVE PAWS as the next phase of an investigation to more clearly understand the health effects of human exposure to PAVE PAWS.



November 26, 1999

Dear Interested Parties,

Please find the accompanying reports entitled Initial Report on the Environmental Health Assessment of the PAVE PAWS radar at the MMR, received by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) this past summer and Assessment of Public Health Concerns Associated with PAVE PAWS Radar Installations, November 1, 1999. The reports were prepared by an expert scientific panel assembled by MDPH to address citizen concerns regarding potential health effects resulting from the operation of the PAVE PAWS radar facility at the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Bourne, Massachusetts. The panel was comprised of experts representing disciplines associated with the design of PAVE PAWS, and the understanding of the epidemiology, and health effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR), the type of energy emitted by PAVE PAWS,

Prior to the preparation of the reports, the panel conducted a comprehensive review of historical information associated with the Cape Cod PAVE PAWS facility. They were provided by Military, Federal, and State agencies, and the public with all documents known to exist which were associated with the operation of PAVE PAWS. A list of these documents is attached. In addition, the expert panel toured the PAVE PAWS facility and met with the military and civilian staff assigned to operate and maintain PAVE PAWS. The panel also attended a public meeting, which afforded residents the opportunity to voice their concerns to the panel for the panel's consideration during their investigatory process.

The panel concludes "there is no definitive scientific evidence to claim that the anticipated low radio frequency radiation (RFR) levels from PAVE PAWS could cause any harmful effect to the public." They also state that there is "suggestive scientific evidence that RFR produces bio-effects at much lower intensities than previously known." For this reason, they recommend that exposure risks to RFR from PAVE PAWS be described through environmental sampling.

The MDPH supports the panel's recommendations and the public sentiment that there should be a comprehensive characterization of PAVE PAWS RFR exposure. MDPH officials previously met with Air Force representatives to discuss the need for additional sampling. The Air Force has agreed to collaborate with all stakeholders in supporting the panel's recommendations for a comprehensive characterization of potential PAVE PAWS RFR in affected Cape Cod communities. This will enable the MDPH to assess public exposure opportunities in various Upper cape environments.

The MDPH will seek the collaboration of local health officers, legislators, and the public to develop an effective protocol for the comprehensive characterization of opportunities for human exposure to PAVE PAWS.

The reports are available on our website at: www.state.ma.us/dph/beha/ . If you have further questions or concerns regarding PAVE PAWS please feel free to contact Kevin Costas or myself at (617) 624-5757.

Sincerely,

Suzanne K. Condon, Director

Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment

Massachusetts Department of Public Health




Introduction
Click here to read report

Initial Report on the Environmental Health Assessment of the PAVE PAWS Radar at the MMR
Click here to read report

Assessment of Public Health Concerns Associated with Pave Paws Radar Installations
Click here to read report

PAVE PAWS Related Documents
Click here to read report



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