Two surveys of the health of people living near base stations
Two recent papers report the results of surveys of the health of people living near base stations. Santini and colleagues carried out their study in France, and Navarro and colleagues in Murcia, Spain. Both studies compared symptoms in those living near a base station with those living further away. The participating subjects estimated the distances from the base station, but Navarro's study supplemented this by measurements of electromagnetic fields in the bedrooms of the subjects.
Both papers found
that those living close to the base station reported more symptoms than
those living further away. It is possible, however, that there was bias
in each study. Santini's group solicited participants through the media
by stating that they planned to study people living near base stations.
Navarro's team delivered questionnaires to people with the explanation
that they were evaluating the impact of the base stations. It is reasonable
to assume that those living nearer the base stations may have held stronger
negative views of the stations than those living further away, which
could have led to skewed results.
Research from India
has shown an increased frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in lymphocytes
(white blood cells) of people who had used cell phones for at least
2 years, compared with control subjects who had not used cell phones.
These types of abnormalities are thought to be involved in the early
stages of cancer. Blood samples from 24 cell phone users were compared
with samples from matched controls. The lymphocytes were cultured and
then examined by personnel who were not aware of the source of the specimen.
Gadhia PK, et al. (2003): A preliminary study to assess possible chromosomal
damage among users of digital mobile phones. Electromagnetic Biology
and Medicine 22:149-159.
The journal "Bioelectromagnetics" has published a Supplement containing reviews of the effects of RF fields on various aspects of human health. It is a valuable addition to the literature on the subject.
Reference: Bioelectromagnetics (2003), Supplement 6.