January 2003

New WHO handbook on risk communication

The World Health Organization published a new handbook in October 2002, "Establishing a dialogue on risks from electromagnetic fields". The WHO states: "The handbook is intended to support decision-makers faced with a combination of public controversy, scientific uncertainty, and the need to operate existing facilities and/or the requirement to site new facilities appropriately". The publication can be downloaded from the WHO EMF site www.int/peh-emf

No effect of EMF on rats' spatial learning

Dubreuil and colleagues studied rats using a system that exposed only the rats' heads to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields, pulsed at 217 Hz. The SARs were 1 and 3.5 w/kg in different tests. The exposed animals were compared to sham-exposed and cage-control rats. After 45 minutes exposure the rats performed two tasks - an elimination task in a radial-arm maze, and a spatial navigation task. There were no differences between the various groups in the performance of these tasks. For more details, see "Research - Toxicological experiments - brain function".

Reference: Dubreuil D, Jay T, Edeline J-M (2002): Does heads-only exposure to GSM-900 electromagnetic fields affect the performance of rats in spatial learning tasks? Behavioural Brain Research 129:202-210.



Another study shows faster brain function with cell phone exposure


In "Research - Clinical - cognitive function", we discuss several studies that have shown that exposure to RF radiation at cell phone frequencies facilitated cognitive function in human volunteers. See also "What's New" for February, May, and September 2000.

Another study has been reported showing similar findings. Edelstyn and Oldershaw found improved performance in three of six psychological tests in 38 young male volunteers exposed to 900 MHz EMF. The results were seen after 15 minutes of exposure. For more details, see the above section.

Reference: Edelstyn N, Oldershaw A (2002): The acute effects of exposure to the electromagnetic field emitted by mobile phones on human attention. Neuroreport 13:119-121.


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