June 2001

No effects of RF fields on melatonin, cortisol, or the immune system

A German study on healthy young men has shown no effect of RF fields on melatonin, cortisol, or two markers of the immune system. The electromagnetic field was comparable to that of hand-held digital mobile phones. For further details of this study, see "Research-Clinical -Others" and look for immune system.

Reference: Radon K, Parera D, Rose D-M, Jung D, et al. No effects of pulsed radio frequency electromagnetic fields on melatonin, cortisol, and selected markers of the immune system in man. Bioelectromagnetics 2001;22:280-287.

Australian Working Group issues draft Standards

A Working Group of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has published a draft of "Radiation Protection Standard: Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields 3 KHz to 300 GHz". In the main, the Group has based the standards on the ICNIRP exposure guidelines of 1998. The report can be read at www.arpansa.gov.au/rf_dft_standard.htm

Another Australian report, however, recommends a different approach. A committee of the Senate of the Parliament of Australia has published a report, "Inquiry into Electromagnetic Radiation", and advises that Australia not base its Standards on ICNIRP guidelines. It further criticizes the transfer of the responsibility for the standards to ARPANSA. The report can be read at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/ecita_ctte/EMR/index.htm

More on cellular phones and the risk of brain cancer

A recent article in a cancer journal for clinicians reviews what is now known about cellular phones and the risk of brain cancer. The article summarizes the technology of cellular phones and discusses four recent studies that examined brain cancer risk. These studies have been reviewed in "What's New" of November 1999, and January, February, and March 2001. The article also briefly mentions animal studies, and reviews statements from public health agencies.

Reference: Frumkin H, Jacobson A, Gansler T, Thun MJ. Environmental carcinogens - Cellular phones and risk of brain tumors. CA Cancer J Clin 2001;51:137-141.

And a report from the US General Accounting Office

The United States General Accounting Office has issued a report on "Research and regulatory efforts on mobile phone health issues", in response to a request for information that arose from US Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Edward Markey. The report states (page 8): "According to FDA and others, the research to date does not show that mobile phone radiofrequency transmissions have adverse health effects but there is not enough information at this point to conclude that these products are without risk". The report can be accessed at www.gao.gov and go to GAO Reports, Find Gao Reports and search for report # GAO-01-545.

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