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March 2008

INTERPHONE Study in Japan of brain tumours and mobile phone use using new method (SAR exposure and tumour localization) for assessing exposure inside the tumours.

The INTERPHONE study group from Japan recently published their national results of brain tumour risk and mobile phone use. The methodology used by the Japanese group involved estimating the specific absorption rate (SAR) inside the tumour by calculating the radiofrequency field absorption in the exact tumour location. Cases included glioma, meninigioma, and pituitary adenoma and their individually matched controls. The results (odds ratio) using the maximal SAR (all below 0.1 W/Kg; limit in Canada Safety Code 6 is 1.6 W/Kg) were 1.22 for glioma and 0.70 for meningioma. No significant trend of an increased odds ratio was found using SAR exposure indices. The authors explain a non-significant increase odds ratio in glioma cases heavily exposed to mobile phone radiofrequency by possible recall bias.

Takebayashi T, Varsier N, Kikuchi Y, Wake K, Taki M, Watanabe S, Akiba S, Yamaguchi N. Mobile phone use, exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic field, and brain tumour: a case-control study. Br J Cancer. 2008 98(3):652-659. Epub ahead of print Feb 5 2008. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604214

For more see “ Research – epidemiology – cell phone studies
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Population-based study in
Northern Germany on environmental risk factors for leukemia and lymphoma including extremely low and high frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

The research conducted by Hoffman and colleagues in Northern Germany was designed to investigate relevant environmental risk factors such as EMF on the occurrence of leukemia and lymphoma. The study was a case-control design and assessed exposure by direct measurements and a personal interview. Occupational exposure to EMF was reported for 393 (15.2%) men, but for only 37 (2.3%) women. Physical measurements for electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) were performed in 1935 homes; 3.2% of all 2-hr measurements revealed values above 0.2 mT.

Hoffman W, Terschueren C, Heimpel H, Feller A, Butte W, Hostrup O, Richardson D, Greiser E. Population-based research on occupational and environmental factors for leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: The Northern Germany Leukemia and Lymphoma Study (NLL). Am J Indust Med Epub ahead of print Feb 12 2008. DOI 10.1002/ajim.20551. 

For more see “ Research – epidemiology – other studies – general populations
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Radiofrequency radiation (835 MHz) assessment on DNA degradation of mammalian cells in vitro.

The experiment of Kim and colleagues was designed to assess 835 MHz radiofrequency radiation (RF) on cytogenetic endpoints (1) in vitro alkaline comet assay; (2) in vitro chromosome aberration. The results indicate no direct cytogenetic effect in the chromosome aberration test but the combined exposure of the cells to RF with ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS) showed a small and non significant cytogenetic effect. The comet assay results alone were almost all negative but the RF had an effect when combined with model clastogens. These results can’t exclude the possible increased risk of genetic damage from 835 MHz RF radiation exposure.

Kim JY, Hong SY, Lee YM, Yu SA, Koh WS, Hong JR, Son T, Chang SK, Lee M. In vitro assessment of clastogenicity of mobile radiation (835 MHz) using the alkaline comet assay and chromosomal aberration test. Environ Toxicol 2008 Jan 23 Epub ahead of print.

For more see “ Research – laboratory – cancer studies
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In vitro assessment of 900 MHz radiofrequency on human neutrophils shows increase speed and changes concentration gradient.

This in vitro experiment on human neutrophils exposed to 900 MHz radiofrequency and different temperatures investigated the ability of neutrophils from adult donors’ blood to follow concentration gradients of C-AMP. Results of the study indicate an increase speed of neutrophils when exposed to increasing temperatures but exceeded by 50% the maximum speed at the same temperature when exposed to 900 MHZ radiofrequency field. The concentration gradients of C-AMP also changed during this experiment. The neutrophils took 2.5 minutes to respond to the radiofrequency field exposure.

Aly AA, Cheema MI, Tambawala M, Laterza R, Zhou E, Rathnabharathi K, Barnes FS. Effects of 900-MHz Radio Frequencies on the Chemotaxis of Human Neutrophils in Vitro. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 2008;55(2 part1): 795-797.

For more, see  Research – Clinical – Immune System
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Study suggests protein expression in human skin might be affected by radiofrequency field exposure.

In a follow-up of a study that showed mobile phone radiofrequency changed protein expression in human endothelial cell line, the authors test the same hypothesis in human skin from ten healthy volunteer females. They used skin from the forearm and exposed it to 1.3 W/Kg, then took biopsies from both exposed and non exposed skin tissue. Results indicated 8 proteins were statistically significantly altered and 2 proteins in all 10 participants suggesting protein could be affected by radiofrequency field exposure.

Karinen A, Heinavaara S, Nylund R, Leszczynski D. Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human skin. BMC Genomics Feb 11 2008 9(1):77 Epub ahead of print.

For more see “ Research – laboratory – Other – Skin
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No indication of radiofrequency exposure of 1.8 W/kg could induce the nematode heat-shock gene.

This study tried to resolve the different results obtained lately in research conducted on radiofrequency on expression from heat-shock protein (hsp 16-1) promoter in Caenorhabditis elegans. Since weaker and stronger SAR then the guidelines were used in other studies, transgenic hsp 16-1 were exposed to SAR 1.8 W/kg for both continuous and pulsed radiofrequency exposures. Results showed no differences between RF and sham exposure to induce reporter expression, thus the heat-shock gene is not up-regulated.

Dawe AS, Nylund R, Leszczynski D, Kuster N, Reader T, De Pomerai DI. Continuous wave and simulated GSM exposure at 1.8 W/Kg and 1.8 GHz do not induce hsp16-1 heat-shock gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans. Bioelectromagnetics 2008; 29(2):92-99.

For more see “ Research – laboratory – others – heat shock response
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No immediate effects of mobile phone exposure on auditory or vestibular functions.

A double blind case-control study on auditory and vestibular functions was conducted to test if low level radiofrequency fields emitted from mobile phones could produce any significant health effects. Participants were nine cases and 21 controls who were all treated to either, a 30 minute pulsed, continuous (both at 1.3 W/kg), and no RF emission. Results did not show any differences from baseline to post-exposure and between cases and controls for auditory function nor for the vestibular organ.

Bamiou DE, Ceranic B, Cox R, Watt H, Chadwick P, Luxon LM. Mobile phone use effects on peripheral audiovestibular function: A case-control study. Bioelectromagnetics 2008; 29:108-117.

For more see “ Research – clinical – general health effects
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Observational study suggests semen quality of men may decrease due to cell phone usage.

The present study investigated whether cell phone use had an effect on multiple key markers of semen quality in men. The participants from this observational study were men chosen from an infertility clinic and they were separated in four groups based on their cell phone usage. The main results indicate that the mean sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology were diminished in the four groups as the cell phones usage increased. This observational research in men has shown that semen quality may decrease due to cell phone use.

Agarwal A, Deepinder F, Sharma R, Ranga G, Li J. Effect of cell phone usage on semen analysis in men attending infertility clinic: an observational study. Fertility and Sterility  May 4 2007 Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.01.166
For more see “ Research – laboratory – reproduction
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Availability of SAR information is relevant for customers’ prior to buying a mobile phone.

This 2-part study investigated whether providing SAR value prior to purchasing a mobile phone would be an important factor and informing the customer of the precautionary SAR as safety information would affect their risk perception. Results were such that SAR value had an impact for the laypersons’ intention of getting a mobile phone but presenting the precautionary limit does not affect the risk perception of safety of mobile phones.

Wiedemann PM, Schutz H, Clauberg M. Influence of information about specific absorption rate (SAR) upon customers’ purchase decisions and safety evaluation of mobile phones.  Bioelectromagnetics 2008;29:133-144.

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No immediate effect on both reaction time and attention from short-term exposure of UMTS mobile signal.

Previous researches assessing the GSM signal from mobile phones have shown an effect on reaction time in human. This investigation by Unterlechner and colleagues was designed to find any influence by UMTS mobile phones on reaction time and human attention. The 40 volunteers were exposed to high (average 0.63 W/kg) and low (10% of high exposure) radiofrequency field as well as sham exposure. No statistically significant results from the tests performed to measure reaction time and human attention were reported by the authors.  

Unterlechner M, Sauter C, Schimd G, Zeithofer J. No effect of an UMTS mobile-like electromagnetic fields of 1.97 GHz on human attention and reaction time. Bioelectromagnetics 2008;29:145-153.

For more see “Research – clinical – cognitive function
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Study could not demonstrate electromagnetic field (EMF) sensibility in young healthy adults.

The objective of this research was to evaluate whether adults could perceive EMF, referred as electromagnetic sensibility. The design of the study assessed whether the subjects could perceive the GSM mobile phone EMF (902 MHz) by indicating (1) if the field was on; and  (2) if the field had change. No significant results were obtained after each subject completed 100 trials for each task even for the six subjects who had said they were able to perceive EMF. If was concluded that no evidence was found that electromagnetic sensibility to EMF from mobile phone could exist and insisted on the replication of results in EMF sensibility studies.

Soo Kwon M, Koivisto M, Laine M, Hämäläinen H. Perception of the electromagnetic field emitted by a mobile phone. Bioelectromagnetics 2008;29:154-159.

For more see “ Research – clinical – general health effects
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Review of radiofrequency fields from mobile phones and health effects on cardiovascular, reproductive, and immune systems.

The review paper by Jauchem included published literature (epidemiology and laboratory studies with humans) from 1998-2006 presented both positive and negative results and no significant adverse health effects were found for the cardiovascular, reproductive and immune systems. The current scientific information from mobile phone RF does not provide sufficient basis for establishing RF as a health hazard for the health conditions reviewed in this paper.

Jauchem JR. Effects of low-level radio-frequency (3 kHz to 300 GHz) energy on human cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and other systems: A review of the recent literature. Int J Hyg Environ Health. Epub ahead of print August 9, 2007 doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2007.05.001    

For more see “ Research – clinical
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Summary of BioInitiative report on potential health risk from electromagnetic field

The paper by Hardell discusses the BioInitiative report and the implication for current guidelines established by the regulators. The report is based on international research on the biological effects from low-intensity electromagnetic fields exposure. The authors make a number of suggestions such as reviewing the current guidelines for radiofrequency field exposure from mobile phones and apply the precautionary approach in some instances. The full BioInitiative report is available online www.bioinitiative.org.

Hardell L, Sage C. Biological effects from electromagnetic field exposure and public exposure standards. Biomed Pharmacother Dec 31 2007 Epub ahead of print.

For more see Review panel reports
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Brief communication: Exposure assessment using personal exposimeters.

This short communication paper published in Bioelectromagnetics discusses the difficulty in using personal exposimeters when assessing EMF exposure in epidemiological studies. A detailed problem is explained along with other errors to look for when using these devices.

Knafl U, Lehmann H, Riederer M. Electromagnetic field measurements using personal exposimeters. Bioelectromagnetics 2008;29:160-162.

For more see “Research – exposure assessment
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Letter to Eltiti and response from authors of paper
 “Does short-term exposure to mobile phone base station signals increase symptoms in individuals who report sensitivity to electromagnetic fields? A double-blind randomized provocation study.

Zinelis and other researchers discuss the interpretation of the results obtained by Eltiti et al. in their recent published paper on short-term exposure to mobile phone station signals.

Zinelis SA. Reply to Eltiti: Short-term exposure to mobile phone base station signals. Environ Health Perspect. Epub ahead of print. January 25, 2008 doi:10.1289/ehp.10733.

For more see “ Research – clinical – general health effects
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