October 2003

Weak GSM and third generation EM fields may affect brain function

A recent report from the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) described a research study that examined the relationship between electromagnetic fields, subjective complaints, and cognitive function. The EM fields included GSM and UTMS-like fields. The latter are the fields from "third generation" mobile phones. The authors of the study report that EM fields such as those from base station antennas may be associated with changes in well being and in cognitive function, when compared with baseline tests. For more, see "Research - Clinical experiments - cognitive function".

Reference: Zwamborn APM, Vossen SHJA, van Leersum BJAM, Ouwens MA, Makel WN (2003): Effects of global communication system radio-frequency fields on well being and cognitive functions of human subjects with and without subjective complaints. TNO-report. FEL-03-C148.

The report can be found at http://www.ez.nl/beleid/home_ond/gsm/docs/TNO-FEL_REPORT_03148_Definitief.pdf

Cataracts and electromagnetic radiation

In his latest column in the September 2003 issue of Radio Science Bulletin, James Lin reviews studies that have examined the induction of cataracts of the lens of the eye by electromagnetic radiation. He discusses experiments in rabbits and in rhesus monkeys and points out that microwaves produce cataracts in these animals only at high SARs, associated with a temperature increase in the eye. Lin then reviews the situation in humans and concludes:

"However, linear extrapolations of computed results indicate that the incident density required for the human eye to reach the cataractogenic threshold may be only slightly lower than that needed for rabbits. Thus, any concern for microwave radiation, within the exposure guidelines, inducing cataracts in humans may be exaggerated".

The Bulletin may be found at www.ursi.org/RSB.htm

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