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Juno 2009

Exposure indices could be improved by accounting for average power levels of different telecommunications systems

The objective of the study was to assess determinants of mobile phone output power using software-modified phones (SMPs). Participants were 516 volunteers from 12 countries part of the INTERPHONE study. Each subjects used a SMP GSM phone for about 1 month where the date, time, duration of each call, and output power values were recorded. A questionnaire was completed by each subject on circumstances of their mobile phone use. Results indicate that average output power was around 50% of the maximum power. On average, 39% of the time of all calls was at maximum power. It was shown that situations of moving in a vehicle and inside buildings did not affect substantially output power but rural areas compared to urban ones showed higher levels mostly in Sweden. It was concluded that average power levels are much higher than what would be expected in theory for GSM networks and that collecting information on circumstances of phone use is not seen as very useful other than rural areas.

Vrijheid M, Mann S, Vecchia P, Wiart J, Taki M, Ardoino L, Armstrong BK, Auvinen A, Bédard D, Berg-Beckhoff G, Brown J, Chetrit A, Collatz-Christensen H, Combalot E, Cook A, Deltour I, Feychting M, Giles GG, Hepworth SJ, Hours M, Iavarone I, Johansen C, Krewski D, Kurttio P, Lagorio S, Lönn S, McBride M, Montestruq L, Parslow RC, Sadietzki S, Schüz J, Tynes T, Woodward A, Cardis E. Determinants of mobile phone output power in a multinational study – implications for exposure assessment Occup Environ Med Ahead of print May 21, 2009. doi:10.1136/oem.2008.043380

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Study finds very low self-reported physical symptoms associated with mobile phone usage

The goal of the Korpinen et al study was to research self-reported physical symptoms linked with mobile phone use and other electrical devices in a working population. An open-ended questionnaire was used as the study instrument. Questions were asked on the influence of new technical equipment and health. Results were published by subgroups of respondents for different self-reported symptoms: (1) those that associated symptoms with mobile phone; (2) those who had skin symptoms while in front of computer; and (3) those that associated symptoms with mobile phone and electrical devices. Only 0.7% of respondents associated symptoms with mobile phone use and electrical devices.

Korpinen LH, Paakkonen RJ. Self-Report of Physical Symptoms Associated With Using Mobile Phones and Other Electrical Devices. Bioelectromagnetics. April 27, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Method to estimate RF exposure in the environment: longer period estimation from data collected over short-period

The objective of the investigation was to identify if measurements collected over short period would be representative of true maximal and average exposure of longer period (1 week). The radiofrequency fieldexposure to FM, GSM, and UMTS signals was measured in the general population. Categories of RF exposure such as type of environment, population density, and mobile phone traffic were proposed.  A total of 352,800 time samples in 5 different sites were collected. The authors calculated a factor X (ratio actual max value to estimated max value from short period). Median values of the ratio actual/estimated were 1.05 (FM), 0.47 (GSM), and 0.96 (UMTS). The R factor, indicating variation over time, was calculated as the ratio median/maximal values. Median values are 0.92 (FM), 0.66 (GSM), and 0.71 (UMTS). The factor X and R enables someone to estimate longer exposure window from measurements of short period.

Joseph W, Verloock L, Tanghe E, Martens L. (2009). In-Situ Measurement Procedures for Temporal RF Electromagnetic Field Exposure of the General Public.  Health Physics 96(5):529-542.

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Maximum SAR values measured in adults inside elevator meet the international RF safety guidelines

The objective of the study was to find if an adult using a mobile phone inside an elevator would be exposed to higher specific absorption rate (SAR) and whether it exceeded the international exposure guidelines. A human body model was used in the study. Operating frequencies tested were 900, 1500, and 2000 MHz transmitting 250mW. Results indicate that peak spatial average 10-g SAR was influenced by position of the passenger and antenna against the walls of the actual size elevator. Whole-body SAR and peak 10-g SAR results were significantly increased for the passenger in the elevator compared to free-living space but meet the international safety guidelines for radiofrequency exposure.

Simba AY,   Hikage T. Watanabe S. Nojima T. (2009) Specific Absorption Rates of Anatomically Realistic Human Models Exposed to RF Electromagnetic Fields From Mobile Phones Used in Elevators. Microwave Theory and Techniques 57(5:1) 1250-1259.

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Mobile phone signal and integrity of the human blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers.

The objective of the study was to evaluate whether exposure to mobile phone radiofrequency field (RF) has a negative effect on the integrity of the human blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers.  A total of 41 volunteers were exposed during 30 minutes to GSM 890MHz RF signal (specific absorption rate (SAR of 1.0W/kg; a gram of tissue).  Changes in serum concentrations of S100B and transthyretin, markers of the brain barrier integrity, were measured before and following exposure to GSM signal. Results indicate that there was no statistically significant increase for the marker S100B, but a statistical significant elevation was measured for transthyretin 60 minutes after the RF exposure. The authors conclude that they can’t say what the clinical significance of their result is and suggest a larger study where participants are randomized to more exposure conditions including sham is needed to confirm a true effect of the RF exposure on brain barriers.

Soderqvist F, Carlberg M, Mild KH, Hardell L. Exposure to a 890MHz mobile phone-like signal and serum levels of S100B and transthyretin in volunteers. Toxicological Letters. May 7 2009 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – laboratory – brain function”
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No significant effect of mobile phone radiofrequency (RF) exposure on ornithine decarboxylase  (ODC) enzyme activity

The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of RF exposure on the enzyme activity of ODC. The exposure to various mobile phone signals using different set-ups had no significant influence on ODC enzyme activity of mouse fibroblasts, irrespective of the exposure and cell conditions.

Billaudel B, Taxile M, Ruffie G, Veyret B, Lagroye I. Effects of exposure to DAMPS and GSM signals on ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity: I. L-929 mouse fibroblasts. Int J Radiat Biol. May 12, 2009 Ahead of print 1-9.

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No significant effect of mobile phone radiofrequency (RF) exposure on ornithine decarboxylase  (ODC) enzyme activity

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of RF exposure on the enzyme activity of ODC and to extend a previous confirmation study of the same authors to human neuroblastoma cells (Billaudel et al., 2009). The results showed that, irrespective of the signal used and exposure conditions, human neuroblastoma cells did not exhibit any alteration in ODC enzyme activity.

Billaudel B, Taxile M, Poulletier De Gannes F, Ruffie G, Lagroye I, Veyret B. Effects of exposure to DAMPS and GSM signals on Ornithine Decarboxylase (ODC) activity: II- SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Int J Radiat Biol. May 12, 2009 Ahead of print 1-4.

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Influence of radiofrequency (RF) radiation on neuron development

In this study, a possible influence of 900 MHz GSM-modulated RF exposure on neuron development has been investigated. Results show that the exposure (SAR = 1 W/kg) alters in vitro shape determination due to neurite emergence from the soma, without affecting branching and length of neurites in both neural cell line and primary cortical neurons.

Del Vecchio G, Giuliani A, Fernandez M, Mesirca P, Bersani F, Pinto R, Ardoino L, Lovisolo GA, Giardino L, Calzà L. (2009). Continuous exposure to 900MHz GSM-modulated EMF alters morphological maturation of neural cells. Neurosci Lett. 455(3):173-7.

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Milham S. Letter to Editor Meningioma and mobile phone use. Int J Epidemiol. Apr 22, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Morgan L. Comment: Meningioma and mobile phone use—a collaborative case–control study in five North European countries. Int J Epidemio April 22, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Auvinen A, Lahkola A, Feychting M, Swerdlow AJ, Johansen C, Tynes T on behalf of the authors. Response to commentary: Meningioma and mobile phone use—a collaborative case–control study in five North European countries International Journal of Epidemiology April 22, 2009 Ahead of print.

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Nordstrom CH. Comments on “cognitive impairment in rats after long-term exposure to GSM-900 mobile phone radiation” by Nittby et al. Bioelectromagnetics. May 4, 2009. Ahead of print.

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Nittby H, Salford LG, Grafström G, Brun A, Malmgren L, Persson BR, Eberhardt J. Response to Comments on Cognitive Impairment in Rats After Long-Term Exposure to GSM-900 Mobile Phone Radiation. (Bioelectromagnetics 29:219-232, 2008). Bioelectromagnetics. May 8, 2009 Ahead of print.

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