September 2006

Brain tumours and base stations of cordless phones

An objective of the German component of the Interphone study was to investigate the association between the base stations of cordless phones and the risk of a brain tumour.
Schuz and colleagues carried out a case-control study of 747 cases of glioma or meningioma and 1694 matched controls. The exposure was the presence of a DECT phone close to the subject’s bed. No increased risk of brain tumour was observed. However, the number of exposed cases was low.

For more, see “Research – Epidemiology”.

Reference: Schuz J, Bohler E, Schlehofer B, Berg K, et al. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted from base stations of DECT cordless phones and the risk of glioma and meningioma (Interphone study group, Germany). Radiation Research 2006;166:116-119.

Two studies on electromagnetic fields and EEG changes:
1) In children

Krause and colleagues previously reported that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) affected EEG brain oscillatory activity during various cognitive tasks. In a recent study they tested 15 children, aged 10 -14 years. This is the first report on the effect of EMFs from a mobile phone on the EEGs of children. The subjects performed an auditory memory task while exposed to EMFs from a standard GSM phone. The results suggested that the EMF from the phone affected brain oscillatory responses.

For more, see "Research - Clinical - EEG".

Reference: Krause CM, Bjornberg CH, Pesonen M, Hulten A, et al. Mobile phone effects on children’s event-related oscillatory EEG during an auditory memory task. . International Journal of Radiation Biology 2006;82:443-450.

2) With auditory stimulus

Maby and colleagues provided an auditory stimulus to patients via a GSM cell phone, and recorded auditory evoked potentials by scalp EEGs. There were 9 healthy subjects and 6 with epilepsy. Some changes were seen in the frontal areas of the brain - on the ipsilateral side of the healthy subjects, and on the contralateral side in the epileptic patients.

The study could be criticized for the small number of participants and the single blind design. For more, see "Research - Clinical - EEG studies".

Reference: Maby E, Le Bouquin Jeannes R, Faucon G (2006): Scalp localization of human auditory cortical activity modified by GSM electromagnetic fields. Int J Radiat Biol 82:465-472.

No effect on cell proliferation from RFR exposure at SARs up to 200 W/kg.

Takashima and colleagues exposed two different cell lines to electromagnetic fields at 2.45 GHz frequency. The SARs ranged from 0.05 to 1500 W/kg. They found no effect on cell growth or survival until the SARs reached 200 W/kg, and suggest that thermal effects were the cause of changes that were seen above this level.

For more, see “Research – Toxilogical – others – cell growth and maturation”.

Reference: Takashima Y, Hirose H, Koyama S, Suzuki Y, et al. (2006): Effects of continuous and intermittent exposure to RF fields with a wide range of SARs on cell growth, survival, and cell cycle distribution. Bioelectromagnetics 27:392-400.

New IEEE standard for RFR exposure

Janes Lin, in his latest column in Radio Science Bulletin, reviews the changes in the new IEEE standard for human exposure to radiofrequency radiation. He also compares the standards with those of the current guidelines of the ICNIRP. The article can be found at

Reference: Lin JC. The new IEEE standard for human exposure to radiofrequency radiation and the current ICNIRP guidelines. Radio Science Bulletin 2006;317:61-63 (June 2006).

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