In the March
Update, we discussed two recent studies that failed to demonstrate
any genotoxic effects
in cells exposed to RF radiation at cellular phone frequency. Another
study, by Maes and colleagues, has now been published and has similar
findings. In this study human blood cells were exposed to 900MHz
radiation. In some experiments, the cells were also exposed to either
mitomycin C (a chemical that produces mutations in cells) or to
X-rays. There was no indication of a genotoxic effect from the RF
radiation, either with or without the added exposures of x-rays
or mitomycin C.
Maes A, Collier M, Verschaeve L. Cytogenetic effects of 900 MHz
(GSM) microwaves on human lymphocytes. Bioelectromagnetics 2001;22:91-96.
biohazards of RF radiation evaluated
In a recent
paper in Bioelectromagnetics, Pickard and Moros discuss the prospects
of ultra high frequency (UHF, 300 - 3000MHz) irradiation producing
a nonthermal bioeffect. The authors, from the University of Washington
in St. Louis, Missouri, use a theoretical framework, and conclude
"that the rate of energy deposition from a typical field and
within a typical tissue is so small as to make unlikely any significant
nonthermal biological effect".
Pickard WF, Moros EG. Energy deposition processes in biological
tissue: Nonthermal biohazards seem unlikely in the ultra-high frequency
range. Bioelectromagnetics 2001;22:97-105.
on Hardell study
In the December 2000 update we discussed a Lancet paper by Rothman,
in which he reviewed epidemiological evidence of health risks of
cell phones. In the Lancet of March 24 Drs. Hardell and Mild attempt
to answer concerns that Rothman expressed about their study. Dr
Rothman replies, reiterating his view that "their finding of
an absence of any overall increase in risk coupled with a doubtful
result about laterality leaves room for much scepticism about a
Hardell L, Mild KH. Cellular telephones and risk of brain tumours.
Lancet 2001;357:960-1. Reply: Rothman KJ.
of symptoms from phone use
There have been
occasional reports of people experiencing a variety of symptoms
when using a cell phone. You can read more about this in the November
2000 "What's New" and in the report on Wireless Telecommunications
and Your Health, which is found in the "Health" section
of this web site. However, previous reports have relied on anecdotal
evidence. Now Koivisto and colleagues from the University of Turku
in Finland have carried out experiments to test whether exposure
to RF radiation at 902 MHz for 30-60 minutes is associated with
symptoms. Their experiments did not reveal any difference between
exposure and non-exposure conditions for symptoms such as headache,
dizziness, fatigue, itching or tingling of the skin, redness on
the skin, and sensations of warmth on the skin.
Koivisto M, Haarala C, Krause CM, Revonsuo A, et al. GSM phone signal
does not produce subjective symptoms. Bioelectromagnetics 2001;22:212-215.