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08

Retrospective validation study of mobile phone use shows both systematic and random recall errors.

The INTERPHONE study assessed the potential recall bias of a subset of subjects by comparing answers’ they provided of their past mobile phone use and network billing records obtained from the operators. The study participants were 212 cases and 296 controls who gave consent to access their mobile phone records from network operators. The ratio of reported (questionnaire) and actual (network) phone use was not different between cases and control but an underestimation of the number of calls (ratio=0.81) and overestimation of duration of calls (ratio=1.4) was found in the study. Ratios (reported/actual) also increased by level of mobile phone use and random errors between participants were large. It was concluded that no differential recall errors, that is between cases and control was apparent, but overestimation of phone use by cases in the earliest phone use periods could positively affect risk estimates of mobile phone use.

Vrijheid M, Armstrong BK, Bédard D, Brown J, Deltour I, Iavarone I, Krewski D, Lagorio S, Moore S, Richardson L, Giles GG, McBride M, Parent ME, Siemiatycki J, Cardis E. Recall bias in the assessment of exposure to mobile phones. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. Ahead of print 21 May  2008.

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Most radiofrequency (RF) energy emitted from mobile phones absorbed in the brain region on the side of the head the phone is used.

The objective of the Cardis et al study was to determine the RF energy absorption in the brain by using actual laboratory measurements from 110 mobile phones. Results indicate, depending on the frequency, that 97-99% of energy absorb in the brain is on the side the phone was used and between 50-60% of the energy is absorb in the temporal lobe. Specific absorption rate (SAR) decreases quickly as the brain depth increases and SAR distribution is also similar when testing different mobile phone characteristics. The authors conclude that spatial distribution of RF energy absorbed in the brain is important for the interpretation of cancer risk from mobile phone use (see Takebayashi et al study, 2008

Cardis E, Deltour I, Mann S, Moissonnier M, Taki M, Varsier N, Wake K, Wiart J. Distribution of RF energy emitted by mobile phones in anatomical structures of the brain  Physics in Medicine and Biology 53(11):2771-2783.

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Behavioural difficulties in children due to pre and postnatal mobile phone exposure if found to be true could have significant public health importance.
The current research study examined the potential association of pre and postnatal mobile phone exposure and subsequent behavioural problems in young children. Mothers of more than 13,000 children aged 7 or more were interviewed and completed a questionnaire on their past mobile phone use during pregnancy, the childs’ current phone use and their behavioral problems. The odds ratio (OR) for the highest category of behavioral problems was 1.80 (95% CI = 1.45-2.23) after adjusting for potential confounders. Prenatal mobile phone exposure but less postnatal exposure was associated with behavioural, emotional, and hyperactivity problems. The authors state that the results could be due to residual confounding and thus non causal but still remain of great public concern if found to be true.
Divan HA, Kheifets L, Obel C, Olsen J. Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure to Cell Phone Use and Behavioral Problems in Children.  Epidemiology. Ahead of print 19(4) July 2008.

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Review of mobile phones on hearing and balance shows no evidence of cochleo-vestibular adverse health effects.

The authors completed a systematic literature review (2000-2005) on the potential health effects of mobile phones on the auditory and vestibular systems. They conclude that studies that looked at mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma have reported inconsistent results and also that radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones do not affect the cochlear cells function and nerve as well as the vestibular system. 

Balbani APS, Montovani JC. (2008): Mobile phones: influence on auditory and vestibular systems.Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol 74(1):125-131.

For more see “Research – clinical – other – hearing
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Study does not confirm an effect of GSM or UMTS mobile phone systems on cognitive and related functions in healthy individuals.

This study examined whether GSM and UMTS would affect a number of physiological and psychological functions such as test performance, audition, and reaction time in humans. This double-blind study did not confirm any significant health effects from either GSM or UMTS radiofrequency exposure in all the tested parameters when compared to sham exposure. Kleinlogel et al conclude that results of their study do not provide any evidence that radiofrequency exposure from mobile phone such as the GSM or UMTS systems caused any adverse health effects in 15 healthy subjects.

Kleinlogel H, Dierks Th, Koenig Th, Lehmann H, Minder A, Berz R. Effects of weak mobile phone -Electromagnetic fields (GSM, UMTS) on event related potentials and cognitive functions. Bioelectromagnetics 2008 Apr 17 Ahead of print.

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Second study does not confirm an effect of GSM or UMTS mobile phone systems on well-being and EEG in healthy individuals.

This second study from Kleinlogel examined again whether GSM and UMTS would affect this time around well-being and resting electroencephalogram (EEG). This double-blind study did not provide evidence for any significant health effect of either GSM or UMTS on all the tested parameters when compared to sham exposure. Kleinlogel et al conclude their results do not provide any evidence that radiofrequency exposure from mobile phone such as the GSM or UMTS systems causes any adverse health effects in normal mobile phone users.

Kleinlogel H, Dierks T, Koenig T, Lehmann H,  Minder A, Berz R. Effects of weak mobile Phone - Electromagnetic fields (GSM, UMTS) on well-being and resting EEG Bioelectromagnetics 22 Apr 2008 Ahead of print.

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Investigation does not confirm radiofrequency (RF) exposure has an effect on neurophysiological data in people with atopic dermatitis.

Exposure to mobile phone radiation and atopic dermatitis (AD) was studied in this human experiment with 15 subjects with AD and 15 matched controls. Each subject was exposed for 30 minutes to RF field (900 MHz GSM) at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1 W/Kg. Concentrations of substance P, tumor necrosis factor receptor 1, and the neurotrophic factor were measured at baseline and following RF exposure and sham-exposure. Baseline values were similar in both groups. Atopic dermatitis cases had significantly different results for the tumor necrosis and neurotrophic factor than the control subjects while other substances tested were not different in the 2 groups. Symptoms were too rare to evaluate the health effect of RF exposure. It was concluded that mobile phone RF exposure did not produce any effect on the serum levels of parameters measured in the study in atopic dermatitis cases.

Johansson A, Forsgren S, Stenberg B, Wilén J, Kalezic N, Sandström M. No effect of mobile phone-like RF exposure on patients with atopic dermatitis Bioelectromagnetics 31 Jan 2008 Ahead of print.

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Belyaev IY, Grigoriev YG. (2007): Problems in assessment of risks from exposures to microwaves of mobile communication. Radiats Biol Radioecol 47(6):727-32.

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Summary statistics obtained by regression order statistics (ROS) is more reliable than actual data measured by personal exposimeters which are below the detection limit and replaced by an appropriate value (at the limit).

This study investigated whether the ROS method would be better for the interpretation of results from measurements collected by personal exposimeters when compared to the imputation of values (with data at the detection limit) which are below the exposimeter detection limit. Both the ROS and data replacement method were compared using 109 weekly exposimeter measurements. Differences between both methods were moderate for the 90th percentile and the mean when total measurement exposure data was taken into account but for analyses at lower exposure levels, the data replacement method overestimated the contributions of minor RF sources. The authors conclude that the ROS is more reliable and informative but it depends on the data distribution and need to be considered cautiously.

Röösli M, Frei P, Mohler E, Braun-Fahrländer C, Bürgi A, Fröhlich J, Neubauer G, Theis G, Egger M. Statistical analysis of personal radiofrequency electromagnetic field measurements with nondetects.  Bioelectromagnetics 2008 Apr 17 Ahead of print.

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Kim BC, Choi HD, Park SO.  Methods of evaluating human exposure to electromagnetic fields radiated from operating base stations in Korea. Bioelectromagnetics 15 Apr 2008 Ahead of print.

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Radiofrequency field affects growth but not colony-forming ability and viability of cells exposed to radiofrequency (RF) field.

Pavicic and Trosic tested two frequencies, 864 MHz and 935 MHz, on 3 cell parameters; growth, colony-forming ability, and cell viability. Cells were continuously exposed for 1, 2, or 3 hours and each cell sample was matched with an unexposed cell control. The results indicate that both 864 MHz and 935 MHz frequencies significantly (p=0.05) affected cell growth when exposed to RF during 2 and 3 hours. But, colony-forming ability and cell viability did not differ from control cells. It was concluded that both 864 MHz and 935 MHz frequencies had similar effect on the measured parameters in the V79 cell line.

Pavicic I, Trosic I. (2008). Impact of 864 MHz or 935 MHz radiofrequency microwave radiation on the basic growth parameters of V79 cell line. Acta Biol Hung. 59(1):67-76.

For more see “Research – laboratory – other – growth and maturation
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UMTS mobile phone system may produce genotoxic effects in some human cells during in vitro experiment.

This experiment used both human fibroblasts and lymphocytes and exposed them in vitro to the 1,950 UMTS mobile phone system to study its impact on genotoxic effects. UMTS exposure increased the comet tail factor (CTF) (DNA damage level) and induced centromere-negative micronuclei (MN) in fibroblasts cells but not in lymphocytes. UMTS radiofrequency exposure is potentially related to genetic damage in fibroblasts type cells but probably not in all human cells when tested in vitro.

Schwarz C, Kratochvil E, Pilger A, Kuster N, Adlkofer F, Rüdiger HW. (2008): Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (UMTS, 1,950 MHz) induce genotoxic effects in vitro in human fibroblasts but not in lymphocytes. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 81(6):755-67.

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Lerchl A. Comments on "Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (UMTS, 1,950 MHz) induce genotoxic effects in vitro in human fibroblasts but not in lymphocytes" by Schwarz et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health  2008 Apr 24 Ahead of print.

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Rüdiger HW. Answer to comments by A. Lerchl on "Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (UMTS, 1,950 MHz) induce genotoxic effects in vitro in human fibroblasts but not in lymphocytes" published by C. Schwarz et al. 2008. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 15 May 2008 Ahead of print.

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900 MHz microwaves may cause continuous astroglia activation in rats but only at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 6W/Kg

The current study assessed whether 900 MHz microwaves at SAR 1.5W/Kg (below safety limits) and SAR 6 W/Kg would increase gliosis. Rats were exposed for 45 min/day, 5 days/week during 6 months at SAR 1.5 W/kg and 15 min/day at SAR 6 W/Kg in 6 different brain regions. Results indicate that rats exposed to microwaves equivalent to SAR 6 W/Kg had elevated GFAP surface areas in the brain although persistent exposure to SAR 1.5 W/Kg did not affect GFAP expression.

Ammari M, Brillaud E, Gamez C, Lecomte A, Sakly M, Abdelmelek H, de Seze R. Effect of a chronic GSM 900MHz exposure on glia in the rat brain. Biomed Pharmacother. 2008 Mar 26 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – laboratory – brain function
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Effect of UMTS on chromosome aberrations in lymphocyte cells may enhance chromosomal damage at SAR 2.0 W/kg

The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of UMTS exposure on chromosome aberrations induced by X-rays in human blood lymphocytes. The lymphocytes were exposed in vitro for 24 hours at SAR 0.5 W/Kg and 2.0 W/Kg. The results of the study do not indicate statistically significant changes in the fraction of aberrant cells but the frequency of exchanges for each cell was significantly modified by the specific absorption rate (SAR). The authors conclude that SAR may affect the ability of DNA breaks induced by X-ray to repair or SAR could alter the cell death pathways for the affected response.

Manti, L., Braselmann, H., Calabrese, M. L., Massa, R., Pugliese, M., Scampoli, P., Sicignano, G. and Grossi, G. (2008). Effects of Modulated Microwave Radiation at Cellular Telephone Frequency (1.95 GHz) on X-Ray-Induced Chromosome Aberrations in Human Lymphocytes In Vitro. Radiat Res 169(5):575-583.

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Meta-analysis of quantitative effect of genotoxicity from radiofrequency radiation

This meta-analysis was conducted to assess the health effects of radiofrequency radiation emitted by mobile phones and the genetic damage (genotoxicity) it can cause in cells during in vivo and in vitro experiments. A quantitative assessment and 95% confidence interval of genotoxicity in RF exposed cells compared to non exposed cells was presented. Genotoxicity effects were measured for a number of end points such as DNA strand breaks, the number of chromosomal aberrations, and  the micronuclei and sister chromatid exchanges. Results indicate that the difference between cells exposed to RF and controls was negligible but for a few exceptions. For some RF exposure conditions there were significant increases in genotoxic effect for some end points but no changes in chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei due to RF radiation were detected. It was concluded that publication bias was apparent in the studies included in the meta-analysis.

VIjayalaxmi, Prihoda TJ. (2008). Genetic damage in mammalian somatic cells exposed to radiofrequency radiation: a meta-analysis of data from 63 publications (1990-2005). Radiat Res.169(5):561-74.

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Health Risks Fifth Annual Report from SSI’s (Swedish Radiation Protection Agency) Independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields, 2007. Published online 15 April, 2008.

The SSI report reviewed the health effects of four different frequency fields including radiofrequency (RF). Relatively few new studies on mobile phone use and brain tumour risk were published during the last year.

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