Nordic countries issue joint statement
The Danish National
Board of Health, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland,
and the Radiation Protection authorities of Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
have issued a joint statement about cell phones and health. They state:
The authorities go on to make a plea for more research, and state that "the prevailing scientific uncertainty justify a certain precautionary attitude regarding the use of handsets for mobile telephony".
The statement can
be read at www.ssi.se/ickejoniserande_stralning/mobiletele/NordicMobilPress2004.pdf
In a recent Comment,
Blank and Goodman of Columbia University in New York outlined an argument
that the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is an inappropriate basis for
safety standards for radiofrequency (RF) fields. They argue that research
has shown that both extremely low frequency (ELF) and RF fields stimulate
the same non-thermal pathway in studies of the stress response. They
In a reply, Ron Peterson, Chair of the IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety, states that the studies quoted by Blank and Goodman "have not been confirmed by research in independent laboratories". He goes on to point out:
Reply: Petersen R. Bioelectromagnetics 2004;25:647-648.
A working group of IEEE has been created to develop recommended practices for determining SAR in the head by computational techniques. The past and present chairs of the working group have recently reviewed the difficulties that have arisen in this area of research. They propose a protocol, developed by an IEEE standards group, as an initial step in alleviating the problems.
Beard BB, Kainz W. Review and standardization of cell phone exposure
calculations using the SAM phantom and anatomically correct models.
BioMedical Engineering OnLine 2004;3:34, Oct 13 (Epub ahead of print).The
article can be found at www.biomedical-engineering-online.com/content/3/1/34
The Mobile Telecommunications
and Health Research Programme (MTHR) has announced three new research
awards. One is an extension to an existing study investigating whether
emissions from mobile phone base stations can elicit a variety of symptoms
in those exposed to them. The other studies involve evaluation of a
new exposure meter, and the assessment of possible biological effects
following exposure to pulsed signals. More information on the program
can be found at "Research Programs
" on this site, or at www.mthr.org.uk
A research group that was mentioned in "What's New" last month (Cassels and colleagues) have published another paper that explores the behaviour of rats exposed to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at cell phone power levels. They found that in a plus-maze test, a standard test of animal anxiety, rats exposed to RFR behaved no differently than sham-exposed rats. For more, see "Toxicological experiments - brain function" - link to the summary of the Cosquer article from the reference in the section.
Reference: Cosquer B, Galani R, Kuster N, Cassel JC. Whole-body exposure to 2.45 GHz electromagnetic fields does not alter anxiety responses in rats: a plus-maze study including test validation. Behav Brain Res 2005;156:65-74.