Noviembre 2007

Awareness of Government advice on cell phone use

In 2000 the UK Government issued a leaflet about mobile phones and health, in which precautionary advice was given about use of the phones. About 9 million leaflets were distributed. Barnett and colleagues carried out a study, under the auspices of the Mobile Telecommunications Health research Programme, to explore public awareness of the leaflet and to assess responses to the precautionary advice. A nationally representative sample was surveyed, with a response rate of 65%. Face to face interviews were carried out with 1,742 people. Fifteen percent were aware of the leaflet. Awareness of the content of the advice contained in the leaflets was low. The authors state that the results indicate that policy makers need to develop a clear understanding of the possible effects of communicating precautionary advice.

Reference: Barnett J, Timotijevic L, Shepherd R, Senior V (2007): Public responses to precautionary information from the Department of Health (UK) about possible health risks from mobile phones. Health Policy 82:240-250.

2007 report of MTHR programme

The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) in the UK has issued its 2007 update. It summarizes findings of the research done thus far in the areas of cancer of the brain and nervous system, brain function, electrical hypersensitivity, biological mechanisms, base stations, risk communication, and mobile phones and driving. The report concludes that more research is needed on the long-term use of cell phones and tumours of the brain and nervous system, and on the effects of signals from cell phones and base stations on children. An additional £6 million has been allocated for further research, some of which will go to the UK component of a cohort study of cell phone use and brain tumours. There will be approximately 200,000 subjects from 4 countries in this study. The report can be accessed at www.mthr.org.uk.

INTERPHONE study update

An update on the results from the INTERPHONE study can be found at www.iarc.fr/ENG/units/RCA4.php.
Information on this study can also be found at "Research Programs - Interphone study". The summary results of the entire study are awaited.

Meta-analysis on cognitive function papers

Barth and colleagues (2007) performed a meta-analysis for neurobehavioral effects due to EMFs emitted by GSM mobile phones. They concluded that the EMFs might have a small impact on human attention and working memory.

Reference: Barth A, Winker R, Ponocny-Seliger E, Mayrhofer W, et al. A meta-analysis for neurobehavioral effects due to electromagnetic field exposure emitted by GSM mobile phones. Occup Environ Med online 10 Oct 2007. Doi:10.1136/oem.2006.031450

For more, see "Research - Clinical - Cognitive function",

Another animal study shows no increase in brain tumours from RFR exposure

Shirai and colleagues previously reported that ethylnitrourea (ENU)-exposed rats that had long-term exposure to a 1.439 GHz signal demonstrated no increase in brain tumour development. The authors have now repeated their experiment with a new frequency of RF exposure - the 1.95 GHz W-CDMA signal from the IMT-2000 system that is rapidly becoming the most commonly employed in Japan. No significant increase in incidences or numbers of brain tumours was detected in the EMF-exposed groups.

Reference: Shirai T, Ichihara T, Wake K, Watanabe S, et al. (2007): Lack of promoting effects of chronic exposure to 1.95 GHz W-CDMA signals for IMT-2000 cellular system on development of N-ethylnitrosurea-induced central nervous system tumors in F334 rats. Bioelectromagnetics 28:562-572.
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For more, see "Research - Laboratory - cancer studies".

ODC activity after RFR exposure

Höytö and colleagues attempted to carry out a replication of a study by Penafiel et al. (1997) that showed an increase in levels of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) in murine L929 fibroblasts after exposure to RFR. Their results did not confirm those of the earlier study.

Reference: Höytö A, Juutilainen J, Naarala L. Ornithine decarboxylase activity of L929 cells after exposure to continuous wave or 50 Hz modulated radiofrequency radiation - a replication study. Bioelectromagnetics 28:501-508.
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For more, see "Research - Laboratory - cancer studies".



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