research awards announced
In 2000 the
Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones in the UK recommended
that further research be done on the health effects of mobile phones.
Fifteen research awards, worth a total of 4.5 million pounds, have
now been announced under the LINK Mobile Telecommunications and
Health Research Programme (MTHR). The initiative is funded jointly
by government and industry. Four epidemiological
studies of cancer are planned, as well as experiments on brain function,
hearing and balance, blood pressure, and cell metabolism. A study
is also planned into the effect of mobile phone use on car driving
tasks. Others will examine the deposition of energy from RF radiation
in the body.
can be found at www.mthr.org.uk
. Additional projects will be funded at a later date.
radiation associated with chromosomal changes in mice
Sykes and colleagues
from Flinders University in South Australia report on the effects
on mice of exposure to 4W/kg pulsed 900 MHz radiation for 30 minutes
daily. They examined the frequency of spontaneous intrachromosomal
recombination events in the spleen of mice exposed to the radiation.
There was no significant difference between exposed mice and controls
in those exposed for 1 or 5 days, but there was a significant reduction
in the recombination frequency in the 25-day group. A similar reduction
can be seen with proven genotoxic
agents, so that this may not be a beneficial event. The authors
state that the number of animals in each treatment group was small,
and replication of the experiment with a larger number is required.
More details of this can be found in "Toxicological
Experiments - cancer studies".
Sykes PJ, McCallum BD, Hooker AM (2001): Effect of exposure to 900
MHz radiofrequency radiation on intrachromosomal recombination in
pKZ1 mice. Radiation Research 156:495-502.
radiation increases levels of heat-shock proteins
New" of July 2000 and November 2001 we discussed heat-shock
proteins (Hsps). These are proteins released by the body as a protective
mechanism in stressful situations. De Pomerai and colleagues showed
an increase in Hsps in the soil nematode C. elegans exposed to RF
radiation, and French and colleagues hypothesized that chronic exposure
to radiation from mobile phones might cause increased levels of
Hsps in brain tissue, which might induce or promote cancer.
Now Kwee and
colleagues report that human cells exposed to 960 MHz radiation
for 20 minutes at a very low SAR of 2.1 mW/kg produced higher amounts
of Hsp than sham-exposed cells. This was thought to be an athermal
Kwee S, Raskmark P, Velizarov S (2001): Changes in cellular proteins
due to environmental non-ionizing radiation. I. Heat-shock proteins.
Electro- and Magnetobiology 20:141-152.