January 2004

Two surveys of the health of people living near base stations

Two recent papers report the results of surveys of the health of people living near base stations. Santini and colleagues carried out their study in France, and Navarro and colleagues in Murcia, Spain. Both studies compared symptoms in those living near a base station with those living further away. The participating subjects estimated the distances from the base station, but Navarro's study supplemented this by measurements of electromagnetic fields in the bedrooms of the subjects.

Both papers found that those living close to the base station reported more symptoms than those living further away. It is possible, however, that there was bias in each study. Santini's group solicited participants through the media by stating that they planned to study people living near base stations. Navarro's team delivered questionnaires to people with the explanation that they were evaluating the impact of the base stations. It is reasonable to assume that those living nearer the base stations may have held stronger negative views of the stations than those living further away, which could have led to skewed results.
For more, see "Research - Human Epidemiology".

References: Santini R, Santini P, le Ruz P, Danze JM, et al. (2003): Survey study of people living in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 22:41-49. Navarro EA, Segura J, Portoles M, Gomez-Perretta C (2003): The microwave syndrome: A preliminary study in Spain. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 22:161-169.

Chromosomal damage in blood cells of phone users

Research from India has shown an increased frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in lymphocytes (white blood cells) of people who had used cell phones for at least 2 years, compared with control subjects who had not used cell phones. These types of abnormalities are thought to be involved in the early stages of cancer. Blood samples from 24 cell phone users were compared with samples from matched controls. The lymphocytes were cultured and then examined by personnel who were not aware of the source of the specimen.
For more, see "Research - Toxicological Experiments - cancer studies".

Reference: Gadhia PK, et al. (2003): A preliminary study to assess possible chromosomal damage among users of digital mobile phones. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 22:149-159.

RF reviews in Bioelectromagnetics

The journal "Bioelectromagnetics" has published a Supplement containing reviews of the effects of RF fields on various aspects of human health. It is a valuable addition to the literature on the subject.

Reference: Bioelectromagnetics (2003), Supplement 6.

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