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09/01/2007 - Russians more precautionary on Microwave Exposure

It is interesting to note that a country that has put as much time and effort into researching the possible health effects of microwave radiation exposure have far more precautionary guidelines on the subject than we do in the UK. We have included a summary below on their mobile phone advice:

The RNCNIRP (Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) offers the following advice on the safe use of mobile phones. These recommendations are based on the precautionary principle of the World Health Organization, published scientific and medical studies, reviews and recommendations by scientific groups and the expert opinions of RNCNIRP members.

  1. Children under the age of 16 should not use mobile phones.
  2. Pregnant women should not use mobile phones.
  3. Those suffering from following diseases and disorders should not use mobile phones: neurologic diseases such as neurasthenia, psychopathy, psychosteny, and all neurosis with asthenic, obsessional hysterical disorders and reducing of mental, physical activity, memory loss, sleep disorders, epilepsy and epileptic syndrome, epileptic predisposing
  4. The duration of calls should be limited to a maximum of three minutes, and after making a call the user should wait a minimum of 15 minutes before making another call. The use of headsets and hands-free systems is strongly encouraged.

Manufacturers and retailers of mobile phones should include the following information together with the engineering specifications:

  • all of the above recommendations regarding use;
  • all relevant health and epidemiological data on mobile phones, together with the radiation exposure levels associated with the phone and the name of the measurement lab.

Powerwatch Comments Do the Russians know something we don't, or are they just making a pro-active attempt to pre-emptively protect their population from possible effects?

Links:

[View conference background to RNCNIRP guidelines]

Also in the news

Industry studies are 9 times as likely to find "No Effect"

Anke Huss et al have conducted a systematic review of studies of controlled exposure to radiofrequency radiation with health-related outcomes. From a total of 59 studies in their analysis, 12 were funded exclusively by the telecommunications industry, 11 were funded by public agencies and charities, 14 had mixed funding (including industry), and in 22 the funding was not reported.

They found that "studies funded exclusively by industry reported the largest number of outcomes, but were least likely to report a statistically significant result: The odds ratio was 0.11 (95% confidence interval, 0.02-0.78) , compared with studies funded by public agencies or charities". This means that according to their data, studies funded purely by the cellphone industries alone were 9 times as likely to find no effect as those by purely public agencies and charities, and that this difference was statistically significant!

Unsurprisingly, they conclude that "the interpretation of results from studies of health effects of radiofrequency radiation should take sponsorship into account."

[Download paper (498 KB .pdf)]

EHS classified people have measurably altered skin

Olle Johansson has produced another study where he has found from his preliminary data that the skin of electrically hypersensitive people is noticeably different to those without the "functional impairment". He summarises, "In view of recent epidemiological studies, pointing to a correlation between long-term exposure from power-frequent magnetic fields or microwaves and cancer, our data ought to be taken seriously and further analyzed."

[View abstract on PubMed]

A new study finds that children really do absorb more phone radiation

A new Brazilian study has found that children absorb more radiation at widely used mobile phone frequencies (tested were 850 MHz and 1850 MHz). Using realistic models of the head, it was found that the SAR of a phone are typically more than 60% higher than reported when being used by a 10 year old.

This of course means that phones with SAR values close to guideline limits will be exposing these limits if used by a young child, which has interesting legal implications.

[View abstract on PubMed]

Sir William Stewart remains as chairman of the HPA

We are very pleased to hear that the current chairman of the Health Protection Agency, whose term of office was to end March 2007, has now had it extended until April 2011.

Sir William said: "I am delighted to accept this reappointment. The Agency has achieved a great deal since it was established, but there is still much more to be done as we face the challenges which lie ahead."

"I look forward to working with the Board and all staff as we focus on delivering ever improving public health protection for the people of the UK and indeed more widely."


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