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28/05/2010 - May 2010 - Science Update

The following is a quick summary of another twenty papers that have come out over the last few months related to effects of electromagnetic radiation. Some of the papers are notable papers that have been published very recently, others are papers that were published a few months ago that have not yet made it to one of the Science Updates.


1. N de Gannes FP et al, (November 2009) A confirmation study of Russian and Ukrainian data on effects of 2450 MHz microwave exposure on immunological processes and teratology in rats, Radiat Res. 2009 Nov;172(5):617-24 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

In a series of Russian and Ukrainian papers published from 1974-1986, it was reported that 30-day whole-body exposures to continuous-wave (CW) radiofrequency (RF) radiation at 2375 MHz and 5 W/m(2) disrupted the antigenic structure of rat brain tissue. The authors suggested that this action caused an autoimmune response in exposed animals. Moreover, these studies reported that blood serum from exposed rats injected into intact nonexposed female rats on the 10th day of pregnancy led to increased postimplantation embryo mortality and decreased fetus size and body weight. Because the results of these studies served in part as the basis for setting exposure limits in the former USSR, it was deemed necessary to perform confirmation studies, using modern dosimetric and biological methods. In our study, a new system was constructed to expose free-moving rats under far-field conditions. Whole-body and brain-averaged specific absorption rates (SARs) were calculated. All results, using ELISA and classic teratology end points, were negative in our laboratory. On the basis of this investigation, we conclude that, under these exposure conditions (2450 MHz, CW, 7 h/day, 30 days, 0.16 W/kg whole-body SAR), RF-radiation exposure had no influence on several immune and degenerative parameters or on prenatal development. In an important attempt to replicate some of the literature referred to for the more protective guidance levels in Russia, this French time led by Florence Poulletier de Gannes has failed to confirm the previous findings. We've heard, entirely anecdotally, that some of the members of RNCNIRP feel that these replications are methodologically very different to the original experiments, and feel that while they can be called null results in their own right, they should not be considered replications. If we can find out more, or get hold of the originals to compare the methodology, we'll post more, in the meantime, our only other observation is that the team involving Florence Poulletier de Gannes, Isabelle Lagroye, and Bernard Veyret, Gilles Ruffie and Bernard Billaudel have a long track record of publishing EMF papers with null findings (some recent examples: Sanchez 2006, Poulletier de Gannes 2008, Billaudel 2009). This doesn't necessarily imply anything, but there is a general trend of people that produce positive results producing more positive results and people producing null results continuing to do the same. One hypothesis that seems plausible is that the null findings are an indication that the group don't understand the experiments that produce positive effects well enough. Another is that they have performed the experiments more robustly and eliminated the false positives of previous experiments. The consistency of these patterns make random chance unlikely. The experiments being replicated are over 30 years old, and experimental methodology on EMFs has considerably improved over this time.


2. N de Gannes FP et al, (October 2009) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and extremely-low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields: a study in the SOD-1 transgenic mouse model, Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2009 Oct-Dec;10(5-6):370-3 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

There is some evidence from epidemiological studies of an association between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Our aim was to perform, for the first time, an animal study in a controlled magnetic environment. We used the SOD-1 mouse model to assess the possible effect of ELF magnetic fields on development of the disease. Seven mice per group were exposed to 50 Hz magnetic fields at two intensities (100 and 1000 microT(rms)) before the onset of the clinical signs of ALS. Exposure lasted 7 weeks, and body weight, motor performance and life span were monitored. Our results did not reveal any evidence of a link between ELF exposure and ALS in this transgenic animal model. Generally we aren't posting papers with 100 µT and upwards ELF fields, as they bear little relevance to typical exposures that the public may be subjected to. The reason we made an exception here is it follows on from the paper above. Another null result from exactly the same time, designed to assess the occupational epidemiological associations. It is extremely rare for the public, occupationally or otherwise, to be exposed to 0.1 - 1 mT fields at all, let alone for prolonged exposure. It seems very odd to design an experimental setup to assess these fields, when much of the research finding indications of adverse health effects from ELF fields (such as childhood leukaemia, Alzheimer's, and ALS) appear to be pointing to much lower leves, perhaps between 0.4 and 2 µT, 2-3 orders of magnitude below the levels used in this paper. It feels like the authors are working from the assumption that if you can find an effect at 1 µT, you'll find a bigger one at 100 times that level, but there's no obvious mechanistic justification for this assumption, and this lack of relevance to real world exposure may be a key factor in why this team fail to confirm the results of others.


3. P Salama N et al, (March 2010) Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on sexual behavior in adult male rabbit: an observational study, Int J Impot Res. 2010 Mar;22(2):127-33. Epub 2009 Nov 26 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The accumulating effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitted by a conventional mobile phone (MP) on male sexual behaviour have not yet been analyzed. Therefore, we studied these effects in 18 male rabbits that were randomly divided into phone and control groups. Six female teasers were taken successively to the male's cage and the copulatory behavior was recorded. Serum total testosterone, dopamine and cortisol were evaluated. The animals of the phone group were exposed to MPs (800 MHz) in a standby position for 8 h daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the copulatory behavior and hormonal assays were re-evaluated. Mounts without ejaculation were the main mounts in the phone group and its duration and frequency increased significantly compared with the controls, whereas the reverse was observed in its mounts with ejaculation. Ejaculation frequency dropped significantly, biting/grasping against teasers increased notably and mounting latency in accumulated means from the first to the fourth teasers were noted in the phone group. The hormonal assays did not show any significant differences between the study groups. Therefore, the pulsed radiofrequency emitted by a conventional MP, which was kept on a standby position, could affect the sexual behavior in the rabbit. A rather unusual paper for us, in rather an unusual journal. However, it is still a rather strange and statistically significant finding from mobile phone emitted EMFs that defies obvious explanation.


4. N Hug K et al, (January 2010) Parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and childhood cancer: a German case-control study, Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Jan 1;171(1):27-35. Epub 2009 Nov 25 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) have been classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The authors investigated, in a population-based case-control study in Germany, if children whose parents were exposed preconceptionally at work to ELF-MFs had an increased risk of developing cancer. Cases aged 0-14 years were ascertained from the German Childhood Cancer Registry. Controls were selected from local resident registration offices. The parental occupational history was recorded in questionnaires and telephone interviews, and preconceptional magnetic field exposure was estimated according to a job-exposure matrix. The analysis included 2,382 controls and 2,049 cases (846 children with acute leukemia, 159 children with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 444 children with central nervous system tumors, and 600 children with other solid tumors). Frequency-matched conditional logistic regression models revealed no increased cancer risks in children whose fathers were occupationally exposed to magnetic fields above 0.2 microT. Additionally, there was no evidence for a risk increase at magnetic field levels exceeding 1 microT. Based on much smaller numbers, maternal occupational exposure was also not related to increased cancer risks. In this large case-control study, the risk of childhood cancer was not linked to preconceptional parental ELF-MF exposure. Another epidemiological study looking at various diseases and parental occupational exposure to power frequency magnetic fields. Another study involving Joachim Schüz on ELF EMFs finding no effect.


5. - Inyang I et al, (December 2009) A new method to determine laterality of mobile telephone use in adolescents, Occup Environ Med. 2009 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

OBJECTIVES: As more children use mobile (cellular) telephones, public anxiety grows about possible adverse health effects of radiofrequency (RF) exposure upon developing nervous systems. Most epidemiological studies investigating health effects of mobile telephones have relied on self reports from questionnaires. Whilst there are some validation studies investigating the accuracy of self-reported mobile phone use in adults and adolescents, self-reported laterality of use has not been validated at any age. Although this study mainly sought to validate accuracy of self reported laterality of mobile telephone use in adolescents, investigation also covered number and duration of calls. METHODS: We monitored 455 calls in 30 students, Mean age (Standard deviation) = 14 (0.4) years. For 1 week, participants used Hardware Modified Phones (HMPs) which logged dosimetric parameters such as laterality (side of head), date, number and duration of calls. These "gold standard" measurements were compared with questionnaire self-reported laterality and estimated typical weekly phone use. RESULTS: Agreement between HMP and self-reported laterality was modest, kappa (95% confidence interval) = 0.3 (0.0, 0.6). Concordance between HMP and self-reported number of calls was fair, intraclass correlation coefficient ICC = 0.38 (0.07, 0.69) but poor for duration, ICC = 0.01 (0.00, 0.37) with wide limits of agreement for both. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that adolescent self-reported laterality was of limited validity. Adolescent self-reported phone use by number and duration of calls was generally inaccurate but comparable to recent adult studies. Epidemiological studies of mobile phone use based on self-reported information may underestimate true associations with health effects. With the latest results of the INTERPHONE study so far, this paper shows some very interesting findings, with a conclusion that "Epidemiological studies of mobile phone use based on self-reported information may underestimate true associations with health effects.", very much in line with the commentaries from Lloyd Morgan and ourselves. It further decreases the likelihood that actual impact of the recall bias identified by the INTERPHONE authors is capable of explaining the long term effects.


6. P Thomas S et al, (February 2010) Exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields and behavioural problems in Bavarian children and adolescents, Eur J Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;25(2):135-41. Epub 2009 Dec 4 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Only few studies have so far investigated possible health effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) in children and adolescents, although experts discuss a potential higher vulnerability to such fields. We aimed to investigate a possible association between measured exposure to RF EMF fields and behavioural problems in children and adolescents. 1,498 children and 1,524 adolescents were randomly selected from the population registries of four Bavarian (South of Germany) cities. During an Interview data on participants' mental health, socio-demographic characteristics and potential confounders were collected. Mental health behaviour was assessed using the German version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Using a personal dosimeter, we obtained radio-frequency EMF exposure profiles over 24 h. Exposure levels over waking hours were expressed as mean percentage of the reference level. Overall, exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields was far below the reference level. Seven percent of the children and 5% of the adolescents showed an abnormal mental behaviour. In the multiple logistic regression analyses measured exposure to RF fields in the highest quartile was associated to overall behavioural problems for adolescents (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1-4.5) but not for children (1.3; 0.7-2.6). These results are mainly driven by one subscale, as the results showed an association between exposure and conduct problems for adolescents (3.7; 1.6-8.4) and children (2.9; 1.4-5.9). As this is one of the first studies that investigated an association between exposure to mobile telecommunication networks and mental health behaviour more studies using personal dosimetry are warranted to confirm these findings. From authors with previous experience assessing health symptoms near mobile phone base stations, this is an RF dosimetric study attempting to assess behaviour in comparison to RF EMF exposure. There findings are quite striking, with a large and statistically significant increase in conduct problems for both adolescents and children from RF exposure. This is one of the first studies of its kind, but it is also yet another paper that shows an association between exposure and symptoms that we would rather not see in young people, which raises another reason to ask the question of whether, and how much, children's mobile phone usage should be restricted.


7. P Maskey D et al, (February 2010) Effect of 835 MHz radiofrequency radiation exposure on calcium binding proteins in the hippocampus of the mouse brain, Brain Res. 2010 Feb 8;1313:232-41. Epub 2009 Dec 5 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Worldwide expansion of mobile phones and electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure has raised question of their possible biological effects on the brain and nervous system. Radiofrequency (RF) radiation might alter intracellular signaling pathways through changes in calcium (Ca(2+)) permeability across cell membranes. Changes in the expression of calcium binding proteins (CaBP) like calbindin D28-k (CB) and calretinin (CR) could indicate impaired Ca(2+)homeostasis due to EMF exposure. CB and CR expression were measured with immunohistochemistry in the hippocampus of mice after EMF exposure at 835 MHz for different exposure times and absorption rates, 1 h/day for 5 days at a specific absorption rate (SAR)=1.6 W/kg, 1 h/day for 5 days at SAR=4.0 W/kg, 5 h/day for 1 day at SAR=1.6 W/kg, 5 h/day for 1 day at SAR=4.0 W/kg, daily exposure for 1 month at SAR=1.6 W/kg. Body weights did not change significantly. CB immunoreactivity (IR) displayed moderate staining of cells in the cornu ammonis (CA) areas and prominently stained granule cells. CR IR revealed prominently stained pyramidal cells with dendrites running perpendicularly in the CA area. Exposure for 1 month produced almost complete loss of pyramidal cells in the CA1 area. CaBP differences could cause changes in cellular Ca(2+)levels, which could have deleterious effect on normal hippocampal functions concerned with neuronal connectivity and integration. This paper on mobile phone exposure from South Korea has found strong signal pathway damage, at typical RF EMF exposure levels that would be expected from normal mobile phone use. It is not clear whether the exposure was CW, phone simulated, actual phone, or near field / far field, but the findings are still statistically significant and potentially important with relevance to the blood brain barrier effects that are currently so inconsistent.


8. - Deltour I et al, (December 2009) Time trends in brain tumor incidence rates in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, 1974-2003, J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Dec 16;101(24):1721-4 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

In Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, the use of mobile phones increased sharply in the mid-1990s; thus, time trends in brain tumor incidence after 1998 may provide information about possible tumor risks associated with mobile phone use. We investigated time trends in the incidence of glioma and meningioma in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden from 1974 to 2003, using data from national cancer registries. We used joinpoint regression models to analyze the annual incidence rates of glioma and meningioma. During this period, 59,984 men and women aged 20-79 years were diagnosed with brain tumors in a population of 16 million adults. All statistical tests were two-sided. From 1974 to 2003, the incidence rate of glioma increased by 0.5% per year (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.2% to 0.8%) among men and by 0.2% per year (95% CI = -0.1% to 0.5%) among women and that of meningioma increased by 0.8% per year (95% CI = 0.4% to 1.3%) among men, and after the early 1990s, by 3.8% per year (95% CI = 3.2% to 4.4%) among women. No change in incidence trends were observed from 1998 to 2003, the time when possible associations between mobile phone use and cancer risk would be informative about an induction period of 5-10 years. We have two comments particularly on the last sentence. Firstly, there was proportionally little mobile phone takeup until ~1998 onwards where the real mobile boom started in Europe. Which means that incidence data prior to 2000 has almost no chance of finding cancer risks with an induction period of less than 3 or 4 years. Even 2005 is too early for a 10 year induction period, which as far as we have been made aware is the latest incidence data used in the recently published pooled INTERPHONE results. Furthermore, the speculation from elsewhere is that if there is a causal association, the typical induction period is more likely to be 20 to 25 years (similar to with ionising radiation and these forms of brain tumour). As a result, there is nothing reassuring (or otherwise) in these conclusions, as they are merely what one would expect with the current theoretical expectations.


9. P Morabito C et al, (February 2010) Modulation of redox status and calcium handling by extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in C2C12 muscle cells: A real-time, single-cell approach, Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Feb 15;48(4):579-89. Epub 2009 Dec 11 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The biological effects of electric and magnetic fields, which are ubiquitous in modern society, remain poorly understood. Here, we applied a single-cell approach to study the effects of short-term exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) on muscle cell differentiation and function using C2C12 cells as an in vitro model of the skeletal muscle phenotype. Our focus was on markers of oxidative stress and calcium (Ca(2+)) handling, two interrelated cellular processes previously shown to be affected by such radiation in other cell models. Collectively, our data reveal that ELF-EMFs (1) induced reactive oxygen species production in myoblasts and myotubes with a concomitant decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential; (2) activated the cellular detoxification system, increasing catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities; and (3) altered intracellular Ca(2+)homeostasis, increasing the spontaneous activity of myotubes and enhancing cellular reactivity to a depolarizing agent (KCl) or an agonist (caffeine) of intracellular store Ca(2+)channels. In conclusion, our data support a possible link between exposure to ELF-EMFs and modification of the cellular redox state, which could, in turn, increase the level of intracellular Ca(2+)and thus modulate the metabolic activity of C2C12 cells.


10. P Di Campli E et al, (June 2010) Effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on Helicobacter pylori biofilm, Curr Microbiol. 2010 Jun;60(6):412-8. Epub 2009 Dec 24 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) both on biofilm formation and on mature biofilm of Helicobacter pylori. Bacterial cultures and 2-day-old biofilm of H. pylori ATCC 43629 were exposed to ELF-EMF (50 Hz frequency-1 mT intensity) for 2 days to assess their effect on the cell adhesion and on the mature biofilm detachment, respectively. All the exposed cultures and the respective sham exposed controls were studied for: the cell viability status, the cell morphological analysis, the biofilm mass measurement, the genotypic profile, and the luxS and amiA gene expression. The ELF-EMF acted on the bacterial population during the biofilm formation displaying significant differences in cell viability, as well as, in morphotypes measured by the prevalence of spiral forms (58.41%) in respect to the controls (33.14%), whereas, on mature biofilm, no significant differences were found when compared to the controls. The measurement of biofilm cell mass was significantly reduced in exposed cultures in both examined experimental conditions. No changes in DNA patterns were recorded, whereas a modulation in amiA gene expression was detected. An exposure to ELF-EMF of H. pylori biofilm induces phenotypic changes on adhering bacteria and decreases the cell adhesion unbalancing the bacterial population therefore reducing the H. pylori capability to protect itself.


11. - Joseph W et al, (May 2010) Estimation of whole-body SAR from electromagnetic fields using personal exposure meters, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 May;31(4):286-95 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

In this article, personal electromagnetic field measurements are converted into whole-body specific absorption rates for exposure of the general public. Whole-body SAR values calculated from personal exposure meter data are compared for different human spheroid phantoms: the highest SAR values (at 950 MHz) are obtained for the 1-year-old child (99th percentile of 17.9 microW/kg for electric field strength of 0.36 V/m), followed by the 5-year-old child, 10-year-old child, average woman, and average man. For the 1-year-old child, whole-body SAR values due to 9 different radiofrequency sources (FM, DAB, TETRA, TV, GSM900 DL, GSM1800 DL, DECT, UMTS DL, WiFi) are determined for 15 different scenarios. An SAR matrix for 15 different exposure scenarios and 9 sources is provided with the personal field exposure matrix. Highest 95th percentiles of the whole-body SAR are equal to 7.9 microW/kg (0.36 V/m, GSM900 DL), 5.8 microW/kg (0.26 V/m, DAB/TV), and 7.1 microW/kg (0.41 V/m, DECT) for the 1-year-old child, with a maximal total whole-body SAR of 11.5 microW/kg (0.48 V/m) due to all 9 sources. All values are below the basic restriction of 0.08 W/kg for the general public. 95th percentiles of whole-body SAR per V/m are equal to 60.1, 87.9, and 42.7 microW/kg for GSM900, DAB/TV, and DECT sources, respectively. Functions of the SAR versus measured electric fields are provided for the different phantoms and frequencies, enabling epidemiological and dosimetric studies to make an analysis in combination with both electric field and actual whole-body SAR. This is a rather odd paper, assessing non localised whole body absorbed dose exposure to a number of sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation. The fact that exposure is higher the younger the exposed person is interesting, but not unexpected, and the fact that whole body exposure is below ICNIRP guidance levels is not unexpected either. This is another paper that contributes little new, but is still recent and within the topic area.


12. N Hansteen IL et al, (November 2009) Cytogenetic effects of exposure to 2.3 GHz radiofrequency radiation on human lymphocytes in vitro, Anticancer Res. 2009 Nov;29(11):4323-30 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

BACKGROUND: No previous in vitro studies have tested radio frequency radiation for at least one full cell cycle in culture. The aim was to test if exposure used in mobile phones and wireless network technologies would induce DNA damage in cultured human lymphocytes with and without a known clastogen. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Lymphocytes from six donors were exposed to 2.3 GHz, 10 W/m(2) continuous waves, or 2.3 GHz, 10 W/m(2) pulsed waves (200 Hz pulse frequency, 50% duty cycle). Mitomycin C was added to half of the cultures. DNA synthesis and repair were inhibited in one experiment. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were observed between control and exposed cultures. A weak trend for more chromosomal damage with the interaction of pulsed fields with mitomycin C compared to a constant field was observed. CONCLUSION: Exposure during the whole cell cycle in inhibited cultures did not resulted in significant differences in chromosomal aberrations as compared to controls. This is ICNIRP exposure levels of 61 V/m for these RF EMF frequencies, and is an interesting null finding. It is not clear whether the pulsed exposure was all that close to the typical signals from mobile phones or WiFi, as it looks initially like a rather crude simulation of exposure, but it does add to the literature showing no effect. It would have been more interesting (from our point of view) if there were three exposures: CW, mobile phone on a typical frequency band and accurate traffic / signal exposure, and WiFi at 2.4 GHz with a similarly typical traffic / signal exposure. If the purpose is to assess the effects of these technologies, the actual technologies should be used for exposures to maximise the relevance of the research.


13. - Hu J et al, (November 2009) Level of microwave radiation from mobile phone base stations built in residential districts, Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2009 Nov;38(6):712-6 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the condition of microwave radiation pollution from mobile phone base station built in populated area. METHODS: Random selected 18 residential districts where had base station and 10 residential districts where had no base stations. A TES-92 electromagnetic radiation monitor were used to measure the intensity of microwave radiation in external and internal living environment. RESULTS: The intensities of microwave radiation in the exposure residential districts were more higher than those of the control residential districts (p < 0.05). There was a intensity peak at about 10 m from the station, it would gradually weaken with the increase of the distance. The level of microwave radiation in antenna main lobe region is not certainly more higher than the side lobe direction, and the side lobe direction also is not more lower. At the same district, where there were two base stations, the electromagnetic field nestification would take place in someplace. The intensities of microwave radiation outside the exposure windows in the resident room not only changed with distance but also with the height of the floor. The intensities of microwave radiation inside the aluminum alloys security net were more lower than those of outside the aluminum alloys security net (p < 0.05), but the inside or outside of glass-window appears almost no change (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Although all the measure dates on the ground around the base station could be below the primary standard in "environment electromagnetic wave hygienic standard" (GB9175-88), there were still a minorities of windows which exposed to the base station were higher, and the outside or inside of a few window was even higher beyond the primary safe level defined standard. The aluminum alloys security net can partly shield the microwave radiation from the mobile phone base station.


14. - Baste V et al, (January 2010) Radiofrequency exposure on fast patrol boats in the Royal Norwegian Navy-an approach to a dose assessment, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Epidemiological studies related to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) have mainly used crude proxies for exposure, such as job titles, distance to, or use of different equipment emitting RF EMF. The Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) has measured RF field emitted from high-frequency antennas and radars on several spots where the crew would most likely be located aboard fast patrol boats (FPB). These boats are small, with short distance between the crew and the equipment emitting RF field. We have described the measured RF exposure aboard FPB and suggested different methods for calculations of total exposure and annual dose. Linear and spatial average in addition to percentage of ICNIRP and squared deviation of ICNIRP has been used. The methods will form the basis of a job exposure matrix where relative differences in exposure between groups of crew members can be used in further epidemiological studies of reproductive health.


15. P Severini M et al, (January 2010) Metamorphosis delay in Xenopus laevis (Daudin) tadpoles exposed to a 50 Hz weak magnetic field, Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Jan;86(1):37-46 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

PURPOSE: The experiment was performed to prove that exposure to a relatively weak extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field retards tadpoles' development. METHODS: Two cohorts of Xenopus laevis laevis (Daudin) tadpoles were exposed during their immature period ( approximately 60 days) to a 50 Hz magnetic field of 63.9 < or = B < or = 76.4 µT rms (root mean square, average values) magnetic flux density in a solenoid. At the same time, as controls, two comparable cohorts were reared in two aquariums remote from the solenoid. Cohorts' degree of development was quantified by daily inspections of animal limbs and attributing them to a stage of the Nieuwkoop and Faber ( 1956 ) classification. The experiment was replicated three times. RESULTS: (a) Mean developmental rate of exposed cohorts was reduced with respect to controls (0.43 vs. 0.48 stages/day, p < 0.001) starting from early larval stages; (b) Exposure increased the mean metamorphosis period of tadpoles by 2.4 days compared with the controls (p < 0.001); (c) Maturation rates of exposed and control tadpoles changed during maturation period; and (d) Important mortality, malformations or teratogenic effects were not observed in exposed matured tadpoles. CONCLUSION: A long-term exposure of X. laevis tadpoles to a relatively weak 50 Hz magnetic field causes a sub-lethal effect that slows down their larval developmental rate and delays their metamorphosis.


16. N Wallace D et al, (January 2010) Do TETRA (Airwave) Base Station Signals Have a Short-Term Impact on Health and Well-Being? A Randomized Double-Blind Provocation Study, Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Background: 'Airwave' is the new communication system currently being rolled out across the UK for the police and emergency services. Some police officers have complained about skin rashes, nausea, headaches and depression as a consequence of using their Airwave handsets. In addition, a small sub-group in the population self-report being sensitive to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in general. Objectives: A randomized double-blind provocation study was conducted to establish whether short-term exposure to a Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) base station signal has an impact on health and well-being in individuals with self-reported 'electrosensitivity' and controls. Methods: 51 individuals with self-reported 'electrosensitivity' and 132 age- and gender-matched controls participated in an open provocation test, while 48 sensitive and 132 control participants went on to complete double-blind tests in a fully screened semi-anechoic chamber. Heart rate, skin conductance and blood pressure readings provided objective indices of short-term physiological response. Visual analogue scales and symptom scales provided subjective indices of well-being. Results: No differences occurred on any measure between TETRA and Sham (no signal) under double-blind conditions for either control or electrosensitive participants and neither group could detect the presence of a TETRA signal above chance (50%). When conditions were not double-blinded, however, the self-reported electrosensitive individuals did report feeling worse and experienced more severe symptoms during TETRA compared to Sham. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the adverse symptoms experienced by electrosensitive individuals are due to the belief of harm from TETRA base stations rather than due to the low-level EMF exposure itself. Another Fox and Eltiti paper failing to find any association with double blind experiments aiming to detect sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. We don't yet have the full paper, but considering the statistical mockery behind their last conclusions we are putting little weight behind these findings until we can see whether they have better controlled for the flaws in their previous work.


17. P Del Re B et al, (December 2009) Extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure affects DnaK and GroEL expression in E. coli cells with impaired heat shock response, Gen Physiol Biophys. 2009 Dec;28(4):420-4 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

In our earlier experiments, we found that extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) affect heat shock protein (HSP) expression in wild type Escherichia coli cells. In the present work we investigate the ability of ELF-MF exposure to trigger an increase of DnaK and GroEL protein levels also in E. coli cells not exhibiting the classic heat shock response (HSR) when subjected to a 42 degrees C heat stress. We find that these cells, although lacking a HSR to heat shock treatment, show an enhancement of DnaK and GroEL protein levels after 30 or 90 min sinusoidal ELF-MF exposure (50 Hz, 1 mT). This result suggests that the HSP induction pathway triggered by ELF-MF exposure could be different from that elicited by heat shock treatment.


18. P Rajaei F et al, (January 2010) Effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field on fertility and heights of epithelial cells in pre-implantation stage endometrium and fallopian tube in mice, Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2010 Jan;8(1):56-60 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) on fertility and heights of epithelial cells in pre-implantation stage endometrium and fallopian tube in mice. METHODS: Eighty female NMRI mice were randomly divided into 2 groups: control group was not exposed to EMF and experimental group was exposed to 4-hour EMF per day, 6 days a week for 2 weeks to 50 Hz, 0.5 mT EMF. Female mice in two groups were superovulated and mated with male mice over night. At the time of implantation, the blastocysts were obtained from the presumed pregnant mice with vaginal plug by flushing the uterus horns. The samples of uterus horns and fallopian tubes in two groups were taken and were processed for light microscopic studies. RESULTS: The analysis of mean number of the flushed blastocysts in the EMF group showed significant decrease as compared with the control group (P < 0.03). Light microscopic study showed that the height of fallopian tube epithelial cells was significantly increased in the EMF group as compared with the control group (P < 0.001). However the height of endometrial epithelial cells in the EMF group showed insignificant increase as compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that ELF-EMF has detrimental effect on female reproductive system in mice by decreasing the number of flushed blastocysts and increasing the height of fallopian tube epithelial cells.


19. P Myung SK et al, (November 2009) Mobile phone use and risk of tumors: a meta-analysis, J Clin Oncol. 2009 Nov 20;27(33):5565-72. Epub 2009 Oct 13 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

PURPOSE: Case-control studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the association between mobile phone use and tumor risk. We investigated these associations using a meta-analysis. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library in August 2008. Two evaluators independently reviewed and selected articles based on predetermined selection criteria. RESULTS: Of 465 articles meeting our initial criteria, 23 case-control studies, which involved 37,916 participants (12,344 patient cases and 25,572 controls), were included in the final analyses. Compared with never or rarely having used a mobile phone, the odds ratio for overall use was 0.98 for malignant and benign tumors (95% CI, 0.89 to 1.07) in a random-effects meta-analysis of all 23 studies. However, a significant positive association (harmful effect) was observed in a random-effects meta-analysis of eight studies using blinding, whereas a significant negative association (protective effect) was observed in a fixed-effects meta-analysis of 15 studies not using blinding. Mobile phone use of 10 years or longer was associated with a risk of tumors in 13 studies reporting this association (odds ratio = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.34). Further, these findings were also observed in the subgroup analyses by methodologic quality of study. Blinding and methodologic quality of study were strongly associated with the research group. CONCLUSION: The current study found that there is possible evidence linking mobile phone use to an increased risk of tumors from a meta-analysis of low-biased case-control studies. Prospective cohort studies providing a higher level of evidence are needed. This interesting paper hit the UK national press at the time of release, and was an attempt by researchers in a different field to assess the quality of the epidemiological studies on mobile phone usage. Their findings were that, overall the studies by Hardell and his team are of generally superior quality to the INTERPHONE papers, which leaves the implication that more weight can be given to them with regards to the veracity of their findings. It is also relevant to note that there are some published criticisms of this paper as well (by Stang, Samkange-Zeeb (inc. Schuz again!), and Rowley). However, all the points raised in these criticisms have been answered by the authors in full - worth reading and making your own mind up on the accuracy of the study within the context of what is possible in such a complicated meta-analysis.


20. P Comba P, Fazzo L, (2009) Health effects of magnetic fields generated from power lines: new clues for an old puzzle, Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2009;45(3):233-7 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Thirty years ago, Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper published the first report on the association between childhood cancer and "electrical current configuration" of houses in Denver, Colorado. In 2001 the International Agency for Research on Cancer defined 50-60 Hz magnetic fields as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" because of the "limited evidence" of carcinogenicity of residential exposure relatively to childhood leukemia. With respect to health effects other than cancer, namely neurodegenerative disorders, miscarriage, subtle differences in the timing of melatonin release, altered autonomic control of the heart, and changes in the number of natural killer cells, some open questions still remain. Several authors recommended further investigation of the possible long-term effects of magnetic fields, focussing on populations experiencing high exposure levels. In this frame a research team of ISS searched for a suitable location to implement an epidemiological study aimed at a wide range of outcomes for which a priori hypotheses could be formulated. The recently published findings of this project showed an increase of primary and secondary malignant neoplasms, ischaemic disease and haematological diseases. Future studies should thus address the most exposed sectors of the population, take into account different outcomes (all neoplasms, neurodegenerative diseases, immunological disorders, specific cardiovascular effects) and follow research protocols that enable subsequent pooled analyses. A precautionary approach may provide the frame for decision making where the available resources for environmental remediation be prioritatively allocated to worst-off situations.