May 2007

Interphone study from five countries

The latest report from the Interphone study is from the four Nordic countries and Southeast England. It summarizes the results obtained in the investigation of the risk of glioma in those using cell phones. The Odds Ratio (OR) for regular use was 0.78, and, with one exception, all other results were not statistically significant. The exception was for use of the phone on the same side as the tumour for 10 years or more. This result showed an OR of 1.39, and was statistically significant. There was a low participation rate, especially among the controls. The authors discuss in detail the potential sources of bias in this type of study.

For more, see "Research - Epidemiology" and "Research Programs - Interphone study".

Reference: Lahkola A, Auvinen A, Raitanen J, Schoemaker MJ, et al. (2007): Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in 5 North European countries. Int J Cancer 120:1769-1775.
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Summary of long-term results of cell phone epidemiological studies

Hardell and colleagues have written a paper that attempts to summarize results from epidemiological studies of cell phones and the risk of brain tumours. In general the studies suffer from small number of cases. The authors conclude that the results “give a consistent pattern of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma”.

Reference: Hardell LO, Carlberg M, Söderquist F, Hansson Mild K, et al. (2007): Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours - increased risk associated with use for > 10 years. Occup Environ Med published online 4 Apr 2007; doi:10.1136/oem.2006.029751

Paternal occupation and pregnancy outcomes

Mjøen , Sætre, and colleagues report a study on paternal occupational exposure to RFR and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. They used data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway that were linked with data on paternal occupation from the general population census. The study included the years 1976-2005. There were very few statistically significant results (either of increased or decreased risk) amongst the many that were estimated. The authors conclude:
            "This study is partly reassuring for occupationally exposed fathers".

            For more, see "Research - Epidemiology".

Reference: Mjøen G, Sætre DO, Lie RT, Tynes T, et al. Paternal occupational exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Eur J Epidemiol 2006;21:529-535.
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No increase in micronuclei after chronic RFR exposure in mice

A study from Finland reports that chronic exposure of mice to RFR at 902 MHz for up to 78 weeks did not produce any increase in the number of micronuclei (a sign of chromosomal damage) in red blood cells.

For more, see "Research - Laboratory - cancer studies".

Reference: Juutilainen J, Heikkinen P, Soikkeli H, Maki-Paakkanen J. Micronucleus frequency in erythrocytes of mice after long-term exposure to radiofrequency radiation. Int J Radiat Biol 2007, 83:213-220.
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No effect on cell death or cell cycle progression from RFR exposure

Chauhan and colleagues at Health Canada studied the effect of 1.9 GHz RFR exposure for 6 hours at SARs up to 10 W/kg on a variety of biological processes. No detectable changes in cell viability, cell cycle kinetics, incidence of apoptosis, or cytokine expression were observed in any of the RF-exposed groups in any of the cell lines tested, relative to the sham controls.
For more, see "Research - laboratory - cell cycle progression" and "Research - others - cell death"

Reference: Chauhan V, Mariampillai A, Kutzner BC, Wikins RC, et al. Evaluating the biological effects of intermittent 1.9 GHz pulse-modulated radiofrequency fields in a series of human-derived cell lines. Radiat Res 2007;167:87-93.
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Exposure standards and risks

In a recent article Barnes discusses the risks and benefits of technology using electromagnetic radiation, and the dilemma that standards-setting bodies face. He states that these bodies "need to take into account both the results showing biological changes at low levels (of exposure) and the large number of studies that do not show any changes. Additionally they need to take into account the benefits of having wireless communications that are used to save lives and enhance the standard of living for a significant fraction of the public." He suggests that the public be presented with tables of relative risks that include levels of exposure and other risks for comparison.

Reference: Barnes F. Setting standards in the presence of developing scientific understanding. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2006;25:209-215.

Feasibility of epidemiological studies on base stations

The methodological challenges of epidemiological studies of possible health effects of cell phone base stations is the subject of a recent paper in "Bioelectromagnetics". It is a summary of a workshop that brought together scientists in relevant fields to critically evaluate the issues. The authors emphasize that in epidemiological studies of the possible health effects of base stations, all relevant radiofrequency sources have to be taken into account. Different study designs are needed for immediate, short to medium term, and long term effects.

Reference: Neubauer G, Feychting M, Hamnerius Y, Kheifets L, et al. (2007): Feasibility of future epidemiological studies on possible health effects of mobile phone base stations. Bioelectromagnetics 28:224-230.

RF exposure and formation of reactive oxygen species

Zeni and colleagues investigated the effect of RF exposure from a 900 MHz signal, either continuous-wave or GSM-modulated, on mouse cells, either with or without treatment of the environmental pollutant, MX. They did not find any indication that the RF exposure increased the production of reactive oxygen species.

For more, see "Research - Others - Free oxygen radicals".

Reference: Zeni O, Di Pietro R, d'Ambrosio G, Massa R, et al. Formation of reactive oxygen species in L929 cells after exposure to 900 MHz RF radiation with and without co-exposure to 3'chloro-4- (dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone. Radiation Research 2007;167:306-311.


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