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September 2008

No association between mobile phone use and brain tumour risk (meningioma) in 5 North European countries part of the INTERPHONE study.

The authors evaluated the potential health risk of mobile phone use for a brain tumour type called meningioma. The study was a combined analysis of data from 5 North European countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and United Kingdom) participating in the international case-control INTERPHONE study. The national studies all followed the core INTERPHONE exposure assessment questionnaire. The study included 1209 meningioma cases matched with 3299 controls selected randomly from the population. Detailed information such as mobile phone use was obtained by personal interview. The results of this combined analysis indicate the risk of meningioma among regular mobile phone users was lower than non-regular users (odds ratio (OR) 0.76 confidence interval (CI) 0.65-.89). Other analyses including years since first use, total years of use, cumulative hours of use and number of calls did not indicate any increase in risk for meningioma. The authors concluded that the results do not show any association between mobile phone use and risk of brain tumour - meningioma.

Lahkola A, Salminen T, Raitanen J, Heinävaara S, Schoemaker M, Christensen HC, Feychting M, Johansen C, Klæboe L, Lönn S, Swerdlow A, Tynes T, Auvinen A. Meningioma and mobile phone use--a collaborative case-control study in five North European countries. Int J Epidemiol. Aug 2, 2008 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – Epidemiological – Cell phone studies
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New method proposed to relate total radiofrequency field exposure of the general public to actual whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR)

The objective of the research was to determine the individual exposure from 12 radiofrequency field sources in the environment and propose a method to use the exposure and calculate the whole-body absorption. This was done by measuring with a personal exposimeter 28 different exposure scenarios based on a number of important variables affecting exposure (time, environment, activity, location). Results of the measurements indicate that the scenario with the highest total exposure was from the inside of a train or bus due to a number of reasons such as handovers. An application is proposed where whole-body specific absorption rate percentiles (50, 95, 99) are estimated from a GSM downlink signal. The authors concluded that the application proposed in this paper could help epidemiological studies combine both electric field and actual whole-body SAR values and also compare exposure with baseline limits.

Joseph W, Vermeeren G, Verloock L, Heredia MM. (2008): Characterization of personal RF electromagnetic field exposure and actual absorption for the general public. Health Physics. 95(3):317-330.

For more see “Research – exposure assessment
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Exposure model to assess mobile phone radiofrequency (RF) exposure from base stations only valuable when input data from epidemiological studies has a low degree of uncertainty.

The current study was designed to determine the applicability of a proposed new model to assess the RF exposure in households from mobile phone base stations. The authors took data from base stations measurements in Germany and dosimetric measurements obtained from an epidemiological study. Data from the highest exposed group (10th upper percentiles) were then compared to determine the agreement between both methods by using kappa coefficient, and sensitivity and specificity analyses. Preliminary results showed a weak agreement and only when sub-analyses were performed using measured instead of interpolated geo-coordinates to determine the distance between households and base stations did the authors found a higher agreement between base stations measurements and data from the epidemiological study. Assessment of exposure using data from the epidemiological study was associated with a high degree of uncertainty. The conclusion of the research was that data from epidemiological studies must be applicable if they are to be used in such a model. If not, the use of dosimeters is recommended in order to evaluate RF exposure from mobile phone base stations.

Breckenkamp J, Neitzke HP, Bornkessel C, Berg-Beckhoff G. Applicability of an exposure model for the determination of emissions from mobile phone base stations. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. Aug 2, 2008 Ahead of print.

For more see “Research – exposure assessment
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Human and mouse cells exposed to GSM mobile phone radiation point to some differences in some but not all end points which may be explained by chance or by prior chemical stress.

The research by Höytö et al was designed to evaluate GSM radiofrequency (RF) field exposure in human neuroblastoma and mouse fibroblast cells. They also investigated the combined effects with other substances (oxidants) such as menadione and tert-butylhydroperoxide (t-BOOH). Several end points were measured following RF exposure for 1 and 24 hours; reduced cellular glutathione levels, lipid peroxidation, proliferation, caspase 3 activity, DNA fragmentation and viability. Results indicate that only 2 statistically significant differences in relation to RF exposure were measured; (1) increased lipid peroxidation with a prior provocation by t-BOOH for only human neuroblastoma cells, and (2) increase menadione-caspase 3 activity only in mouse fibroblast cells. It is worth noting that no other end points were significantly affected and the authors did not find any biological effects when both type of cells were exposed to RF exposure alone. The conclusion of the paper is that the significant findings could be due to chance or they could be the result of cells affected by chemical stress. The positive results need to be reproduced before the biological effects can be confirmed.

Höytö A, Luukkonen J, Juutilainen J, Naarala J. (2008): Proliferation, Oxidative Stress and Cell Death in Cells Exposed to 872 MHz Radiofrequency Radiation and Oxidants. Radiat Res. 170(2):235-243.

For more see “Research – Laboratory – Other – Free Oxygen Radicals
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Results of study on cerebral cytochrome c oxidase (CO) activity indicate only specific absorption rate (SAR) of 6 W/Kg GSM 900 MHz may affect brain metabolism and neuronal activity in rats

Ammari et al designed a study to evaluate exposure of GSM 900 MHz radiofrequency field on cytochrome c oxidase (CO) levels corresponding to rat brain metabolism. Rats were exposed for 7 consecutive days to GSM 900 MHz signal during 45 minutes/day at a SAR of 1.5 W/Kg or during 15 minutes/day at a SAR of 6 W/Kg. The results of the experiment indicate that only SAR of 6W/Kg decreased CO activity in areas of the prefrontal and frontal cortex, the septum, the hippocampus, and the posterior cortex. The authors concluded that only specific absorption rate of 6 W/Kg from GSM 900 MHz could alter brain metabolism and neuronal activity in rats.

Ammari M, Lecomte A, Sakly M, Abdelmelek H, de-Seze R. (2008): Exposure to GSM 900MHz electromagnetic fields affects cerebral cytochrome c oxidase activity. Toxicology. 250(1):70-74.

For more see “Research – Laboratory – Brain function
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No indication UMTS radiofrequency fields from mobile phone affect inner auditory system in humans

This research paper summarizes the results from the human component of the EMFNEAR project designed to assess changes in auditory functions following exposure to UMTS radiation from third generation mobile phones. Participants were normal hearing subjects and were exposed to either 20 minutes UMTS mobile phone signal (SAR 0.069 W/Kg or 1.75 W/Kg) or sham exposure in a double-blind design. An audiological assessment was performed prior and following real or sham exposures. The study did not provide any evidence for any health effect on the inner auditory system of humans following exposure to UMTS radiation.

Moulin AM, Parazzini M, Lutman ME, Thuroczy G, Sliwinska-Kowalska M, Tavarkiladze G, Uloziene I, Uloza V, Mishra S, Collet L, Ravazzani P. (2008):  Potential adverse effects of UMTS electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones on the human inner ear: A European project (EMFNEAR). J Acoust Soc Am. 123(5):3856.

For more see “Research – clinical – other – hearing
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Hand JW (2008): Modelling the interaction of electromagnetic fields (10 MHz–10 GHz) with the human body: methods and applications. Phys. Med. Biol. 53:243-286.  

For more see “Research – exposure assessment
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O'Keefe S. (2008): Does the use of cell phones cause brain tumors?  Clin J Oncol Nurs. 12(4):671-2.

For more see “Research – exposure assessment
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