Replication study fails to confirm phone effect on brain function

There have been several studies that have suggested that exposure to RF radiation from cell phones may enhance cognitive function. The authors of one of these studies have attempted to replicate it (Koivisto et al., 2000a), but with improved methodology. They included double blind testing, larger sample size, multicentre testing, and additional tests. In the present study they found that the electromagnetic field had no effect on cognitive functioning. For more, see "Research - Clinical Experiments- cognitive function".

Reference: Haarala C, Bjornberg L, Ek M, Laine M, et al. (2003): Effect of 902 MHz electromagnetic field emitted by mobile phones on human cognitive function: A replication study. Bioelectromagnetics 24:283-288.

RF radiation from cell phones only affects rats' behaviour when temperature is increased

Some research has suggested that RF radiation from cell phones can disrupt animal behaviour and cognitive function. Other research, however, has shown no effect. In a recent study, in which rats learned how to find food in a maze, there was no effect on the animals' performance unless they were exposed at high SAR levels, sufficient to elevate body temperature. For more, see "Research - Toxicological Experiments - brain function".

Reference: Yamaguchi H, Tsurita G, Ueno S, Watanabe S, et al (2003): 1439 MHz pulsed TDMA fields affect performance of rats in a T-maze task only when body temperature is elevated. Bioelectromagnetics 24:223-230.

No effect on melatonin secretion from cell phones

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. Its secretion is usually estimated by measurement of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS) excretion in the urine. Another study has failed to show any effect on 6-OHMS excretion from exposure to an electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by a cellular phone. Subjects were exposed from 7 p.m to 8 p.m. to an EMF from a cell phone at 900 MHz, pulsed with 217 Hz, SAR 1.23 W/kg. Their urine was collected from 7 p.m to 7a.m. Mean 6-OHMS levels did not differ significantly between the exposed and non-exposed experiment, and individuals did not show any difference in their excretion patterns. For more, see "Research - Clinical Experiments - hormone secretion".

Reference: Bortkiewicz A, Pilacik B, Gadzicka E, Szymczak W (2002): The excretion of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate in healthy young men exposed to electromagnetic fields emitted by cellular phone - an experimental study. Neuroendocrinology Letters 23 (suppl 1):88-91.

UK research program announces additional studies

The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme in the UK has announced that it will fund additional projects. One will investigate the risk of early childhood cancers, in particular leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, among the population residing near mobile phone base stations. A case-control approach will be used.

Another study will examine whether mobile phone signals cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. It will also investigate whether the signals affect the levels of certain hormones that are important in regulating metabolism. "Hypersensitive" people who often experience symptoms when using a mobile phone will be compared to a group who do not experience any symptoms.

More details of the Programme can be found at "Research Programs " and at www.mthr.org.uk.

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