A new study concludes intrauterine devices don't generally increase the risk of pelvic infection, challenging research that condemned the Dalkon Shield and other IUDs more than 10 years ago, a published report said Monday.

The latest finding was published in The Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, and could rekindle the debate about the value of IUDs, currently used by 1.5 million women.The Times said a committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - which praised the study as appearing to be "good solid work" - will begin evaluating the report this week.

"If the argument made is true, it will have profound significance on the use of IUDs in general," said an official of the group.

The new report used the raw data from a study of more than a decade ago, and was supervised by a researcher who had been a consultant to the Dalkon Shield's manufacturer, the A.H. Robins Co.