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February 2010

Little evidence of prenatal exposure to mobile phone on neurodevelopment of offspring

The objective of the study was to investigate the possible association between prenatal exposure to mobile phones and neurodevelopment in 14 month infants. A birth cohort in Spain between 2004 and 2006 was used for the study and 587 mothers provided information on their mobile phone use in week 32 of the pregnancy. To study to effect of prenatal mobile phone use by the mother, 530 children aged 14 months were tested for neurodevelopment with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. The authors found only small differences in neurodevelopment scores when comparing offspring of mobile phone users and non users. The authors concluded that their study provides little evidence that cell phone use during pregnancy has negative health effects on the initial neurodevelopment of offspring.

Vrijheid M, Martinez D, Forns J, Guxens M, Julvez J, Ferrer M, Sunyer J. Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Use and Neurodevelopment at 14 Months. Epidemiology. Jan 16, 2010 Ahead of print.

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No differences of objective measures between TETRA airwave base station and sham signal for control or electrosensitive people

The authors conducted a randomized double-blind provocation study to determine the impact on health and well-being of short-term exposure to a Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) base station signal, a new communication system in the UK. Subjects were individuals with self-reported electrosensitivity and controls. A total of 51 electrosensitive individuals and 132 matched controls were included in the open provocation experiment. For the double-blind experiment, a total of 48 sensitive and 132 controls were tested. The authors measured objective indices of short-term physiological response such as heart rate, skin conductance and blood pressure and subjective indices with visual analogue scales and symptom scales measuring well-being. The results did not show any differences on all measures between TETRA and sham exposures under double-blind conditions for both groups. The authors concluded that their results suggest that the adverse health effects reported by electrosensitive people are due to the belief of harmful effects of base station signals rather than true exposure.

Wallace D, Eltiti S, Ridgewell A, Garner K, Russo R, Sepulveda F, Walker S, Quinlan T, Dudley S, Maung S, Deeble R, Fox E. Do TETRA (Airwave) Base Station Signals Have a Short-Term Impact on Health and Well-Being? A Randomized Double-Blind Provocation Study. Environ Health Perspect. Jan 14,2010 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – epidemiological – other studies – other occupations
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A third of German general practitioners associate EMF with health complaints

The objective of the survey was to assess the proportion of general practitioners (GPs) in Germany who link electromagnetic fields (EMF) with health impacts. A random sample of 7% from online lists of all the GPs working in Germany included 1867 medical doctors who received a long version of a self-administered postal questionnaire about EMF and health and 928 doctors received a short version. The response rate was 23.3% for the long questionnaire and 49.1% for the short questionnaire. The results indicate that about 37% of those who completed the short questionnaire and 57% of the long questionnaire agreed "that there are persons whose health complaints are caused by EMF when legal limit values are met". The authors concluded that about a third of German GPs associated EMF with health complaints.

Kowall B, Breckenkamp J, Heyer K, Berg-Beckhoff G. German wide cross sectional survey on health impacts of electromagnetic fields in the view of general practitioners. Int J Public Health. Dec 18, 2009 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – epidemiological – cell phone studies
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Study of primary brain cancer in 2005 in southeastern France and occupational and environmental risk factors

The objective of the pilot case-control study was to assess the chemical and physical risk factors of 122 malignant primary brain tumors cases diagnosed in 2005 in France. Hospital-matched controls (122) from the neurosurgery department of the same hospital as the case were included in the study. A standardized questionnaire was administered by an occupational physician who collected information on possible risk factors of brain cancer in a face-to-face interview. Information collected in the questionnaire included jobs held, various exposures throughout working life, and leisure time activities. The results indicate that no jobs were found to be a major risk factor for malignant brain tumor. The authors found that individuals who used glue during leisure time had a significantly higher risk of brain cancer (Odds Ratio (OR) = 17.58, 95% CI 1.75 – 176.62) and a significantly lower risk was found for individuals living close to mobile telephone base stations (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.26 – 0.92). The authors concluded that several new hypotheses about the effects of cellular telephone towers and chemical exposure should be analysed in subsequent studies.

V Spinelli, Chinot O, Cabaniols C, Giorgi R, Alla P, Lehucher-Michel MP. Occupational and environmental risk factors for brain cancer: a pilot case-control study in France.  La presse Médicale. Dec 4, 2009. Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – epidemiological – cell phone studies
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Difference in symptoms between EMF related group and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) group

The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of electromagnetic fields (EMF) related and EMF-nonrelated symptoms, anxiety, depression, somatization, exhaustion, and stress in individuals with mobile phone related symptoms or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) compared to a population-based sample and a control sample without EMF symptoms. A total of 45 subjects with mobile phone related symptoms and 71 with EHS were compared with a sample of 106 from the population and a control group of 63 people. The authors used self-reported questionnaires to collect the data. The results indicate that the EHS group reported more symptoms than the mobile phone group, both for EMF and EMF-nonrelated. The authors concluded that their findings indicate a possible difference between participants with symptoms related to EMF sources and participants with general EHS with respect to symptoms and anxiety, depression, somatization, exhaustion, and stress.

Johansson A, Nordin S, Heiden M, Sandström M. (2010). Symptoms, personality traits, and stress in people with mobile phone-related symptoms and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. J Psychosom Res. 68(1):37-45.

For more see “Research – epidemiological – cell phone studies
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Cortical processing responsible for saccade inhibition in the brain not affected by cell phone exposure in humans

The objective of the study was to assess the health effect of electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by a cell phone on the inhibitory cortical functions of the brain using oculomotor paradigms. A double-blind crossover study design was chosen and the authors evaluated the performance of 10 healthy individuals on antisaccade, cued saccade tasks, and 2 overlap saccade (OL1, OL2) task before and after 30 minutes of exposure to EMF emitted by a cell phone or sham exposure. The authors found a small statistical significant shortening of latency in the CUED and OL2 tasks after EMF and sham exposure. Antisaccade amplitude decreased and also saccade velocities in the antisaccade, CUED saccade, and OL1 tasks after exposure. The authors concluded that 30 minutes of cell phone exposure had no significant short-term effect on the inhibitory control of saccades thus the cortical processing responsible for saccade inhibition was not changed after exposure to EMF

Okano T, Terao Y, Furubayashi T, Yugeta A, Hanajima R, Ugawa Y. The effect of electromagnetic field emitted by a mobile phone on the inhibitory control of saccades. Clin Neurophysiol. Jan 16, 2010 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – epidemiological – cell phone studies
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Heavy metal exposure not linked to electromagnetic hypersensitivity

The objective of the study was to investigate the potential link between electrosensitivity (EHS) and heavy metal exposure in 132 patients and 101 controls. Lead, mercury and cadmium concentrations in the blood of patients and controlswere measured in the study. The results do not indicate that heavy metal exposure closely related to the majority of EHS cases but the authors state it could play a role in exceptional cases. It was concluded that the data do not support heavy metal detoxification to relieve EHS.

Ghezel-Ahmadi D, Engel A, Weidemann J, Budnik LT, Baur X, Frick U, Hauser S, Dahmen N. Heavy metal exposure in patients suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Nov 22, 2009 Ahead of print.
 
For more see “Research – clinical – general
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Mobile phone use does not affect genomic instability in human oral mucosa cells

The objective of the study was to assess the effect of mobile phone usage on genomic instability of the human oral cavity's mucosa cells. A total of 131 individuals provided buccal mucosa cells and also completed a questionnaire about mobile phone use. Results indicate that 13 people never used mobile phones, 85 indicated mobile phone use for 3 hours per week or less, and 33 reported use of more than 3 hours per week. The questionnaire also had questions on age, gender, body weight, smoking status, medication and nutrition. The buccal mucosa cells were assessed for micronuclei and other markers in a sample of 1000 cells for each subject. A second person scoring counted another 1000 cells, thus for a total sample of 2000 analyzed cells per individual. The authors found that mobile phone use did not produce a significantly increased frequency of micronuclei.

Hintzsche H, Stopper H. Micronucleus frequency in buccal mucosa cells of mobile phone users. Toxicol Lett. Dec 24, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Exposure assessment methods for a job exposure matrix of Navy crew members

In this study, the authors used measurements done by the Royal Norwegian Navy on radiofrequency field (RF) emitted from high-frequency antennas and radars on specific areas where the Navy crew would access aboard fast patrol boats. Since this type of boat is small, a short distance between the individuals and the RF emitting equipment is typical. The authors describe the measured RF exposure aboard fast patrol boats and suggest different exposure methodologies to calculate total exposure and annual RF dose.

Valborg B, Hansson Mild K, Moen BE. Radiofrequency exposure on fast patrol boats in the Royal Norwegian Navy – an approach to a dose assessment. Bioelectromagnetics. Jan 6, 2010 Ahead of print.

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Results of whole-body specific absorption rate from measurements using various human phantom models and wireless frequencies in real environments.

The objective of the paper was to calculate the whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR) from measurement data for different human phantoms and wireless frequencies in real environments. The highest SAR values for 950 MHz are obtained for the 1 year-old child, followed by the 5-year-old child, 10-year-old child, average woman, and average man. In the 1year old child model, whole-body SAR values for 9 different radiofrequency sources (FM, DAB, TETRA, TV, GSM900 DL, GSM1800 DL, DECT, UMTS DL, WiFi) are determined for 15 different conditions. The highest 95th percentiles of the whole-body SAR are equal to 7.9 microW/kg GSM900 DL, 5.8 microW/kg DAB/TV, and 7.1 microW/kg DECT) for the 1-year-old child, with a maximal total whole-body SAR of 11.5 microW/kg for all 9 sources. Results indicate that all values were below the basic restriction of 0.08 W/kg for the general public. Functions of the SAR versus measured electric fields were provided in the paper for the different phantoms and frequencies, which can be useful for epidemiological and dosimetricstudies.

Joseph W, Vermeeren G, Verloock L, Martens L. Estimation of whole-body SAR from electromagnetic fields using personal exposure meters. Bioelectromagnetics. Dec 29, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Maximum average SAR in embryos lower than 0.08 W kg−1 for frequency range of 10 MHz to 1.5 GHz

The study explores calculated specific absorption rate (SAR) dosimetry in 4 and 8 week Japanese pregnant woman models of 4 and 8 week exposed to plane waves for frequency range of 10 MHz to 1.5 GHz. The authors used 2 types of 2 mm spatial-resolution pregnant-woman models. One model included a woman model approximately the average size of Japanese adult female in height and weight in addition to a cubic (4 week) embryo and the second model was a women model with a spheroidal (8 week) one. The results are presented as the averaged SAR in the embryos exposed to vertically and horizontally polarized plane waves at 4 propagation directions and calculated from 10 MHz to 1.5 GHz. The results of the simulation show that the maximum average SAR in the embryos exposed to plane waves was lower than 0.08 W kg−1 when the incident power density is at the reference level of ICNIRP guideline for general public environment.

Kawai H, Nagaoka T, Watanabe S, Saito K, Takahashi M, Ito K. Computational dosimetry in embryos exposed to electromagnetic plane waves over the frequency range of 10 MHz-1.5 GHz. Phys. Med. Biol. Dec 10, 2009 Ahead of print.

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No adverse effects of exposure to electromagnetic effects on rats

This research aims to evaluate the potential adverse effects of long-term whole-body exposure to electromagnetic fields from a cellular base station during the gestation and lactation periods of rats. Overall, the data did not reveal any adverse effects of exposure to a 2.14 GHz W-CDMA signal for 20 hours/day.

Takahashi S, Imai N, Nabae K, Wake K, Kawai H, Wang J, Watanabe S, Kawabe M, Fujiwara O, Ogawa K, Tamano S, Shirai T. Lack of Adverse Effects of Whole-Body Exposure to a Mobile Telecommunication Electromagnetic Field on the Rat Fetus. Radiat Res. Dec 23, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Cytogenetic effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation on human culture

This research aims to study if exposure from mobile phones and wireless technologies would induce DNA damage in cultured human lymphocytes. No differences were found between control and exposed cultures with or without mitomycin C, for any of the chromosomal parameters for any of the donors in the uninhibited assay or in the cell cultures.

Hansteen IL, Clausen KO, Haugan V, Svendsen M, Svendsen MV, Eriksen JG, Skiaker R, Hauger E, Lågeide L, Vistnes AI, Kure EH. (2009). Cytogenetic effects of exposure to 2.3 GHz radiofrequency radiation on human lymphocytes in vitro. Anticancer Res. 29(11):4323-30.

For more see “Research – laboratory – cancer studies
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Effect of mobile phone exposure on brain of rats

This study investigates the effects of mobile phone exposure on glial cells in brain of Wistar Albino adult male rats. The final score for apoptosis, total antioxidant capacity and catalase in rat brain might be altered by 900 MHz radiation produced by a generator to represent exposure of GSM phones.

Dasdag S, Akdag MZ, Ulukaya E, Uzunlar AK, Ocak AR. (2009). Effect of mobile phone exposure on apoptotic glial cells and status of oxidative stress in rat brain. Electromagn Biol Med. 28(4):342-54.

For more see “Research – laboratory – brain function
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Effect of electromagnetic fields on cell function: microglia activation and related signal transduction

This research aims to study the activation of microglia and involvement of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3; mediates signal transduction from the extracellular environment to the nucleus) in microglia activation after 2.45 GHz electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure. The data provide evidence that EMF exposure can initiate the activation of microglia cells and that STAT3 signal transduction is involved in EMF-induced microglial activation.

Hao Y, Yang X, Chen C, Yuan-Wang, Wang X, Li M, Yu Z. (2010). STAT3 signalling pathway is involved in the activation of microglia induced by 2.45 GHz electromagnetic fields. Int J Radiat Biol. 86(1):27-36.

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Increased gene expression due to radiofrequency exposure

This study aims to check the hypothesis that cell phone radiofrequency field radiation can cause cellular damage to the rat facial nerve leading to increased mRNA transcription of injury-associated proteins. The authors concluded that the up-regulations have occurred in the cell phone exposed group because there have been injuries to the surrounding nerve tissue.

Yan JG, Agresti M, Zhang LL, Yan Y, Matloub HS. (2009). Qualitative effect on mRNAs of injury-associated proteins by cell phone like radiation in rat facial nerves. Electromagn Biol Med. 28(4):383-90.

For more see “Research – laboratory – other studies – heat-shock response
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Does radiofrequency radiation induce double-strand breaks in stem cells?

The aim of this research is to study whether microwaves from GSM and UMTS induce double-strand breaks (DSB) or DSB repair in stem cells. Strongest microwave effects were always observed in stem cells that may suggest both significant misbalance in DSB repair and severe stress response.

Belyaev I, Markova E, Malmgren L. Microwaves from Mobile Phones Inhibit 53BP1 Focus Formation in Human Stem Cells Stronger than in Differentiated Cells: Possible Mechanistic Link to Cancer Risk. Environ Health Perspect. Oct 22, 2009 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – laboratory – cancer studies
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Acute or long-term brain exposures to cell phone do not affect stress in the brain of mice

The objective of the study was to investigate whether acute or long-term exposure of the brain to cell phone radiofrequency (RF) fields activated microglia. Mice were exposed at 900 MHz far-field whole body exposure at a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 4 W/kg for 60 minutes for acute exposure and 5 consecutive days each week during 104 weeks for long-term scenario. The control group of mice were sham-exposed or in a cage free to move in order to control for any stress that could be caused by being restrain to move. The authors also included a group of positive control brains what received a stab wound to test for stress response by microglia. Results indicate that there was no increase in microglial expression in brains for short or long-term exposure compared to control (sham-exposed or freely moving caged mice) brains. Important microglial activation was detected in brains of positive control group. The authors concluded that acute or long-term exposures of murine brains to cell phone do not affect the microglial activation, a measure of stress in the brain.

Finnie JW, Cai Z, Manavis J, Helps S, Blumbergs PC. (2010). Microglial activation as a measure of stress in mouse brains exposed acutely (60 minutes) and long-term (2 years) to mobile telephone radiofrequency fields. Pathology. 42(2):151-154.

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Review of radiofrequency fields and non-thermal effect on biological systems

The author reviews recent approaches to analyze the effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on biological systems specifically cellular stress response and gene expression. Research data on classical cellular stress response such as expression of heat shock proteins and stimulation of stress-activated protein kinases are presented and evaluated in this review. The author notes that more studies are needed to better determine the exact threshold of the thermal heat shock response and the homogeneity of the cellular response for each biological system.

Gaestel M. Biological monitoring of non-thermal effects of mobile phone radiation: recent approaches and challenges. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. Dec 15, 2009 Ahead of print.

For more see “Bibliography – Review Papers
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Zinelis SA. The Precautionary Principle: Radiofrequency Exposures from Mobile Telephones and Base Stations. Environ Health Perspect 118:A16-A16. Jan 01, 2010 Ahead of print.

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Dolan M, Rowley J. 2010. The Precautionary Principle: Dolan and Rowley Respond. Environ Health Perspect 118:A16-A17.

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