on electromagnetic hypersensitivity and on protective devices
COMAR is the
Committee on Man and Radiation, a technical committee of the Institute
of Electric and Electronic Engineers. Last year the Committee published
two reports of relevance to cellular phones and health.
The first topic
was "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity". It discussed common
associated symptoms and possible causes, and reviewed publications
that had examined the condition. One publication, by Hietanen and
colleagues (2002) explored the relationship between cellular phones
and hypersensitivity. This paper is reviewed in "Research
-Clinical - General Health Effects".
The second topic
was the use of protective devices for cellular telephones.
can be read at www.seas.upenn.edu/~kfoster/comar.htm
on mice lymphoma
In the September
'02 issue of "What's New" we discussed a study by Utteridge
and colleagues that attempted to replicate the 1997 research by
Repacholi. This latter study had suggested that RF radiation increased
the incidence of lymphoma in mice genetically prone to develop that
in the February issue of "Radiation Research" challenge
some aspects of the Utteridge paper. One of the main concerns related
to the apparent difference in survival figures in the paper. In
one figure all the mice appear to have died by 18 months, but in
another, a weight gain curve, mice are still shown to be alive at
28 months. Utteridge and colleagues explain this discrepancy by
stating that the survival figure related to days of exposure rather
than absolute age. Since the animals were not exposed on weekends
and other holidays the survival time appeared shorter than it actually
is discussed in the January/February issue of "Microwave News",
and several researchers are quoted as saying that this way to present
data is highly unusual.
To address these
issues in more detail, we have added an addendum to the summary
of the Utteridge paper in "Research
- Toxicological Experiments - cancer studies".
paper from Swedish group
colleagues from Sweden have published a fourth paper from the case-control
study that they conducted in 1997-2000. This latest paper does not
produce any new data from the case-control study. It states again
that the odds ratio for
vestibular schwannoma (VS) in those using an analogue phone was
3.45. This tumour is also known as acoustic
neuroma. The authors also reviewed incidence
rates for VS and other brain tumours in Sweden from 1960 to 1998.
They found a significant increase for VS in the period 1980-1998,
and for other benign tumours from 1960-1979. There was no increase
for other benign tumours or for malignant tumours in the period
Hardell L, Mild KH, Sandstrom M, Carlberg M, et al. Vestibular schwannoma,
tinnitus, and cellular telephones. Neuroepidemiology 2003;22:124-129.