Commission reports on EM fields
Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) has
updated a 1998 report on health effects of electromagnetic fields.
The Committee concludes:
"The additional information which has become available on
carcinogenic and other non-thermal effects of radiofrequency and
microwave radiation frequencies in the last years does not justify
a revision of exposure limits set by the Commission on the basis
of the conclusions of the 1998 opinion of the Scientific Steering
Committee. In particular, in humans, no evidence of carcinogenicity
in either children or adults has resulted from epidemiological
studies (the size of some of which was very large, although the
period of observation was not long enough for a definitive statement).
A relatively large series of laboratory studies has not provided
evidence of genotoxicity."
The full report
can be accessed at http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph/programmes/pollution/ph_fields_index.html
increase in brain tumour incidence rates in USA
A recent paper
reviewed trends in brain tumour rates in the USA. The authors used
the most recent data from the National Cancer Institute's surveillance
system. They found that central nervous system cancer (CNS) incidence
rates have stabilized in all age groups since 1991. There was an
increase in rates in some age groups in the mid-1980s that is considered
to be due to better detection of tumours by new technology such
as MRIs. The authors review the lack of evidence for an association
between these tumours and cellular phone use. They conclude: "
The possibility must be considered that environmental exposures
and lifestyle characteristics contribute too little to the overall
burden of CNS tumour development to be detectable by exposure assessment
methods currently available".
This topic is
discussed further in "Primer
- Wireless Phones - Health".
Gurney JG, Kadan-Lottick N (2001): Brain and other central nervous
system tumors: rates, trends, and epidemiology. Current Opinion
in Oncology 13:160-166.