March 2007

Cell phone research studies and source of funding

Recent reviews have concluded that in medical research there is a strong association between industry sponsorship and pro-industry conclusions. Huss and colleagues have examined the relationship between the source of funding and the results of studies of health effects of cell phones. They concentrated on human experimental studies in areas of health-related outcomes including EEG recordings, assessments of cognitive or cardiovascular function, hormone levels, and subjective wellbeing and symptoms. The authors concluded from their analysis that studies funded exclusively by the industry reported the largest number of outcomes, but were least likely to report a statistically significant result. The authors point out, however, that it remains unclear which type of funding leads to the most accurate estimates of the effects of RFR. They give the example of researchers with an environmentalist agenda, who are more likely to be funded by public agencies or charities, and might be biased in a direction of overestimation of effects.

Reference: Huss A, Egger M, Hug K, Huwiler-Muntener K, et al. Source of funding and results of studies of health effects of mobile phone use: Systematic review of experimental studies. Environmental Health Perspectives 2007;115:1-4.


No apoptosis seen with RFR exposure

Joubert and colleagues investigated the effects of RFR on neuronal apoptosis (cell death) in rat primary neuronal cultures. Three methods were used to assess the apoptosis. The cells were exposed to a GSM 900 signal for 1 hour at an average SAR of 0.25 W/kg. Apoptosis was studied at 0 and 24 hours after exposure. No statistically significant differences in the apoptosis rate were observed between controls and RFR-exposed neurons.

For more, see "Research - Laboratory studies - others - cell death".

Reference: Joubert V, Leveque P, Cueille M, Bourthoumieu S, et al. No apoptosis is induced in rat cortical neurons exposed to GSM phone fields. Bioelectromagnetics 2007;28:115-121.
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No risk of testicular cancer with the use of cell or cordless phones.

Hardell and colleagues have reported online the results of a study on the risk of testicular cancer in men using cell or cordless phones. The men were diagnosed in the period 1993-1997 in Sweden. There were 981 cases and controls, of whom 91% and 89% respectively completed a questionnaire. No risk was associated with the use of a cell or cordless phone.

For more, see "Research-Epidemiology".

Reference: Hardell L, Carlberg M, Ohlson C-G, Westberg H, et al. Use of cellular and cordless telephones and risk of testicular cancer. International journal of andrology 2006 ISSN 0105-6263.
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RFR exposure did not lead to changes in heat-shock proteins

There has been extensive study of the effect of radiofrequency radiation on heat-shock proteins (HSPs). Another study has failed to show any evidence of an effect. Hirose and colleagues exposed two types of cells to RFR at SARs of 0.08 and 0.8 W/kg, and could not demonstrate any differences between exposed and sham-exposed cells in phosphorylation levels or in gene expression.

For more, see "Research - Laboratory studies - Others - Heat shock response".

Reference: Hirose H, Sakuma N, Kaji N, Nakayama K, et al. Mobile phone base station-emitted radiation does not induce phosphorylation of Hsp27. Bioelectromagnetics 2007;28:99-108.
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Brain tumour mortality rates in Switzerland, 1969-2002

Studies of trends in brain tumour incidence or mortality rates have been done in various countries, in an attempt to detect any change that might be ascribed to increased use of cell phones. Röösli and colleagues report on mortality trends in Switzerland from 1969 to 2002, and conclude that after the introduction of cell phone technology in that country, rates remained stable in all age groups. They caution, however, that ecological analyses such as this one are limited in their ability to reveal potentially small increases in risk for diseases with a long latency period.

For more, see "Wireless phones - Health issues".

Reference: Röösli M, Michel G, Kuehni CE, Spoerri A. Cellular telephone use and time trends in brain tumour mortality from 1969 to 2002. Eur J Cancer Prev 2007;16:77-82.



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