September 2007

Meta-analysis of cell phone use and brain tumour
The authors reviewed 9 case-control studies published between 2000 and 2006 that evaluated the association between cell phone use and brain tumours. The 9 studies included a total of 5,259 cases of primary brain tumours and 12,074 controls. There was an overall Odds ratio (OR) of 0.90 (95% CI 0.81-0.99) for cell phone use and brain tumour development. The pooled OR for cell phone users of ≥ 10 years (5 studies) was 1.25 (95% CI 1.01-1.54).

Since this analysis was performed there have been a number of other papers published from the INTERPHONE study, and a summary of the entire study results is awaited (see below).

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

Reference: Kan P, Simonsen SE, Lyon JL, Kestle JRW. Cellular phone use and brain tumor: a meta-analysis. J Neurooncol 2007;DOI 10.1007/s11060-007-9432-1
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The INTERPHONE study design, methods, and population description

The principal investigators of the INTERPHONE study have published an online paper that provides details of the design and epidemiological methods, as well as a description of the population included in the study. The population included 2,765 glioma, 2,425 meningioma, 1,121 acoustic neuroma, 109 malignant parotid gland tumour cases and 7,658 controls. The paper discusses potential recall and participation biases and their impact on the results.

For more, see "Research Programs - Interphone".

Reference: Cardis E, Richardson L, Deltour I, Armstrong B, and 44 others. The INTERPHONE study: design, epidemiological methods, and description of the study population. Eur J Epidemiol 2007. DOI 10.1007/s10654-007-9152-z.

Acoustic neuroma and environmental risk factors

Schlehofer and colleagues reports results from the German part of the Interphone study. They studied various potential risk factors for acoustic neuroma, and found no increased risk with the regular use of a cell phone or with exposure to ionizing radiation. There were increased risks, however, in those with hay fever and in those who had been exposed to persistent noise. These results agree with most studies of cell phone use, and confirm other reports of the association of acoustic neuroma with exposure to noise or to hay fever.

For more, see "Research - Epidemiology".

Reference: Schlehofer B, Schlaefer K, Blettner M, Berg G, et al. Environmental risk factors for sporadic acoustic neuroma (Interphone Study Group, Germany). Eur J Cancer 2007;43:1741-1747.
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Power output of cell phones
Erdreich and colleagues measured environmental, behavioral, and engineering factors affecting the RF power output of GSM cell phones (1900 MHz) during operation. They used software-modified phones that recorded power output settings. The largest factor affecting the energy output was study area, followed by user movement and location (inside or outside), use of a hands-free device, and urbanicity.

For more, see "Research - Exposure assessment".

Reference: Erdreich LS, Van Kerkhove MD, Scrafford CG, Barraj L, et al. Factors that influence the radiofrequency power output of GSM mobile phones. Rad Res 2007;168:253-261.
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Short-term RFR exposure does not lead to increased blood pressure

Barker et al. recruited 120 healthy volunteers to participate in a study of the effect of RFR exposure on the cardiovascular system.  The subjects were exposed to signals from either GSM or Tetra headsets, and measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline were done. There were no significant differences in any of these parameters. The authors state that their findings are in keeping with two other smaller studies, and suggest that further studies of acute changes in blood pressure due to GSM and TETRA handsets are not required.
For more, see "Research -Clinical - Cardiovascular".

Reference: Barker AT, Jackson PR, Parry H, Coulton LA, et al. The effect of GSM and TETRA mobile handsets on blood pressure, catechol levels and heart rate variability. Bioelectromagnetics 2007;28:433-438.
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RFR exposure and oxidative stress

Meral and colleagues exposed guinea pigs to 890-915 MHz EMF (SAR 0.95 W/kg) from a cellular phone for 12 h/day for 30 days. They found increased brain and blood levels of MDA, an oxidative metabolic product, while levels of antioxidants decreased. They concluded that electromagnetic fields from cell phones produced oxidative stress in the brain tissue of the guinea pigs.

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

Reference: Meral I, Mert H, Mert N, Deger Y, et al. (2007): Effects of 900 MHz electromagnetic field emitted from cellular phone on brain oxidative stress and some vitamin levels.Brain Res doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.015
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No effect of RFR exposure on an auditory discrimination task

The authors carried out this study as part of the UK's Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme. The study was planned in response to a small study by Maier et al. in 2004 that involved only 11 subjects, which suggested that an auditory discrimination task was impaired after RFR exposure for 50 min. In the present study there were 168 participants. No significant effect of RFR exposure was seen.

For more, see "Research - Clinical - Cognitive function".

Reference: Cinel C, Boldini A, Russo R, Fox E. Effects of mobile phone electromagnetic fields on an auditory order threshold task. Bioelectromagnetics 2007;28:493-496.
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Comparison of different standards for limiting exposure to EMF

Roy and Martin have reviewed standards for limiting RF exposure adopted by Eastern European countries and those of mainly Western countries. The former aim to protect against non-thermal effects caused by chronic, low-level exposure, while the latter, which follow ICNIRP and IEEE guidelines, protect against acute biological effects, and use specific absorption rates to protect against thermal effects.

For more, see "Wireless phones".

Reference: Roy CR, Martin LJ (2007): A comparison of important international and national standards for limiting exposure to EMF including the scientific rationale. Health Phys 92:635-641.


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