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28/03/2008 - Brain Surgeon demonstrates clear brain tumour risk
Dr. Vini G. Khurana, a Staff Specialist Neurosurgeon for The Canberra Hospital, has written a paper looking at recent epidemiological and laboratory research on mobile phones and likelihood of an increase in brain tumour risk, and finds the evidence to be fairly overwhelming.
The following are the key messages of his paper:
- Mobile phones are convenient and frequently invaluable, yet exposure to their electromagnetic radiation is invisible. Therefore, any danger this exposure poses may be easily dismissed.
- Exposure is long-term and its effects on the body, particularly its electrical organ, the brain, are compounded by numerous other simultaneous long-term exposures including continuous waves from radio and TV transmitter towers, cordless phone base stations, power lines, and wireless/WiFi computing devices.
- A malignant brain tumour represents a life-ending diagnosis in the vast majority of those diagnosed. There is a significant and increasing body of evidence, to date at least 8 comprehensive clinical studies internationally and one long-term meta-analysis, for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours.
- Taken together, the data presented below compellingly suggest that the link between mobile phones and brain tumours should no longer be regarded as a myth. Individual and class action lawsuits have been filed in the USA, and at least one has already been successfully prosecuted, regarding the cell phone-brain tumour link.
- The "incubation time" or "latency" (i.e., the time from commencement of regular mobile phone usage to the diagnosis of a malignant solid brain tumour in a susceptible individual) may be in the order of 10-20 years. In the years 2008-2012, we will have reached the appropriate length of follow-up time to begin to definitively observe the impact of this global technology on brain tumour incidence rates.
- There is currently enough evidence and technology available to warrant Industry and Governments alike in taking immediate steps to reduce exposure of consumers to mobile phone-related electromagnetic radiation and to make consumers clearly aware of potential dangers and how to use this technology sensibly and safely.
- It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking, and directly concerns all of us, particularly the younger generation, including very young children.
- Scientists and physicians from some academic centres worldwide came together in mid-2007 to propose safer standards regarding public exposure to electromagnetic fields (Click the link for details).
From the Hardell papers and the INTERPHONE studies to Chou and Lau's lab work, most of the important papers from the last 10 years are very well represented, including insightful commentaries on each of the papers themselves. At the end of the section looking at the science, Dr. Khurana also gives a summary of the typical criticisms of both the positive and the negative studies.
The case is made extremely well that, regardless of the fact that there is about a 50%/50% split of positive and negative studies in the recent literature, the justification for the increase in brain tumour risk being genuine is very compelling, and the conclusions are very hard hitting:
"...unless the Industry and Governments take immediate and decisive steps to openly acknowledge and intervene in this situation, even while waiting definitive confirmation by large and well-constructed multi-centre studies worldwide, malignant brain tumour incidence and its associated death rate will be observed globally to rise within a decade from now, by which time it may be far too late to meaningfully intervene, especially for those who are currently children and young adults."
Dr. Vini G. Khurana, March 2008
The full paper is available online for free, and is an exceptionally well researched document following up the Bioinitiative report from last year. It is becoming steadily more irresponsible for governments to be following the now very outdated WHO advice on the risks from Electromagnetic Radiation, and high time that precautionary guidelines are adopted to take into account the implications that the possible increase in risk may have. Bearing in mind that there is now over a 100% market saturation of mobile phones in the UK, the repurcussions could be immense, and by the time they start appearing it will be too late.
- Online Paper in Full
- About the Author
Also in the news
Microwave News criticises SSI for ignoring INTERPHONE papers showing effects
Louis Slesin has heavily criticised the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI) for seemingly excluding INTERPHONE papers that showed an effect from their latest status report on EMFs and health.
Despite the fact that the group contains a number of scientists on the INTERPHONE group itself, they have conveniently ignored the recent Finnish, French, and Israeli INTERPHONE studies, which all found an increase in long-term phone usage ... they do however include the recent German and Norwegian INTERPHONE studies that failed to find an increase.
Regardless of the reason for this inconsistency, there is no way that the report authors were unaware of the three studies showing an effect, and it is hard to comprehend why they may have been excluded.
- Read the excellent article in full on Microwave News
Parotid Gland risk found in INTERPHONE paper despite summary saying otherwise
The Interphone Study is a 13-country case-control study on the risk of brain and parotid gland tumors as a result of cellphone use. In order to roll-up the results from all 13 countries, each of the individual country studies are required to use the Interphone Protocol.
To date (March 2008) there have been two Interphone studies on the risk of parotid gland tumors (a salivary gland near the ear) from cellphone use. The two studies, using the same Interphone Protocol, reported diametrically different results. How could this be? The quick answer is that one study had far more tumors (cases) than the other. The longer answer is that one study restricted their study design to the highest levels of exposure, while the other study made no such effort.
The earlier Swedish-Danish study, by Lönn et al., led by the prestigious Karolinska Institute, reported, "For regular mobile phone use, regardless of duration, the risk estimates for malignant and benign tumors were 0.7 (95% confidence interval: 0.4, 1.3) and 0.9 (95% confidence interval: 0.5, 1.5), respectively. Similar results were found for more than 10 years' duration of
mobile phone use." In other words the study, in contrast to the Israeli study, reported no risk regardless of duration of use even when the duration exceeded 10 years. As we will see, though Lönn et al. reported no risk, they did find a risk.