Swedish study on brain tumours and phones
New" of July 2001 we noted preliminary results from a new study
by Hardell and colleagues. This case-control study has now been
published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. Patients
with brain tumour from several regions of Sweden were compared with
controls with regard to various exposures, including cell and cordless
phones. A total of 1,303 matched pairs were used in the analysis
of the results. There was an increased risk with the use of analogue
phones (OR 1.3). Although there was no overall increased risk of
brain tumours with digital or cordless phones, several sub-analyses
did show an increased risk with these phones. For instance, there
was an increased risk of temporal lobe tumours in those who had
used cordless phones for more than 5 years, and there was also an
increased risk of tumours on the same side as phone use (for both
digital and cordless phones). This latter finding was true not only
for tumours in the temporal area but also in other areas of the
This is the
first study to suggest an increased risk from cordless phones. Other
researchers have not confirmed results from this study. More details
can be found in "Research -Epidemiology".
Hardell L, Hallquist A, Mild KH, Carlberg M, et al. Cellular and
cordless telephones and the risk for brain tumours. Eur J Cancer
NRPB plans review of EMF science
The UK National
Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) is reviewing the scientific
basis for its exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields from
0 Hz to 300 GHz. The Board plans to do a comprehensive review of
the areas of biology, epidemiology, and dosimetry. The precautionary
approach will be considered where information may be lacking. An
initial report is anticipated later this year.
near Vatican Radio station
A recent study
examined the adult mortality and childhood incidence rates of leukaemia
within a 10-km radius of the transmitters of the Vatican Radio station.
The transmitters range in power from 5 to 600 kW, and the frequencies
from 4.005-21.85 MHz for short waves and 0.527-1.611 MHz for long
waves. Data on leukaemia were collected over the period 1987 to
1998 for adult cases and for one year longer for childhood cases.
The risk of childhood leukaemia was higher than expected for the
distance up to 6 km from the radio station, and there was a significant
decline in risk with increasing distance both for male mortality
and childhood leukaemia.
point out that the study has limitations because of the small number
of cases and the lack of exposure data. This has been true of other
similar studies of radio and television transmitters. For more see
"Research - -Epidemiology".
Michelozzi P, Capon A, Kirchmayer U, Forastiere F, et al. (2002):
Adult and childhood leukemia near a high-power radio station in
Rome, Italy. Amer J Epidemiol 155:1096-1103.
ICNIRP explains approach to protection against
Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has produced
a document explaining its approach in providing advice on protection
against non-ionizing radiation exposure. The document outlines ICNIRP's
role, its approach to health risk assessment, and the principles
it follows in developing guidance on limiting exposure.
The International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection
(ICNIRP) (2002): General approach to protection against non-ionizing
radiation. Health Physics 82:540-548.
The document can be read at www.icnirp.de