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29/11/2010 - November 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 Kowalczuk C et al, (October 2010) Absence of nonlinear responses in cells and tissues exposed to RF energy at mobile phone frequencies using a doubly resonant cavity, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Oct;31(7):556-65 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

A doubly resonant cavity was used to search for nonlinear radiofrequency (RF) energy conversion in a range of biological preparations, thereby testing the hypothesis that living tissue can demodulate RF carriers and generate baseband signals. The samples comprised high-density cell suspensions (human lymphocytes and mouse bone marrow cells); adherent cells (IMR-32 human neuroblastoma, G361 human melanoma, HF-19 human fibroblasts, N2a murine neuroblastoma (differentiated and non-differentiated) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells) and thin sections or slices of mouse tissues (brain, kidney, muscle, liver, spleen, testis, heart and diaphragm). Viable and non-viable (heat killed or metabolically impaired) samples were tested. Over 500 cell and tissue samples were placed within the cavity, exposed to continuous wave (CW) fields at the resonant frequency (f) of the loaded cavity (near 883 MHz) using input powers of 0.1 or 1?mW, and monitored for second harmonic generation by inspection of the output at 2f. Unwanted signals were minimised using low pass filters (= 1 GHz) at the input to, and high pass filters (= 1 GHz) at the output from, the cavity. A tuned low noise amplifier allowed detection of second harmonic signals above a noise floor as low as -169 dBm. No consistent second harmonic of the incident CW signals was detected. Therefore, these results do not support the hypothesis that living cells can demodulate RF energy, since second harmonic generation is the necessary and sufficient condition for demodulation. Demodulation extracts an information-bearing signal from a modulated carrier wave. This study tested an unmodulated carrier wave and the words "half-wave rectify" should replace "demodulate". They tested for a physical (rather than biological) mechanism for rectifying CW signals. One author, Balzano (2002), states that this method would not detect effects due to magnetite in the brain. From this work the authors are unable to judge if living cells in an animal or person can demodulate RF energy and/or most importantly detect (or not) the ELF/VLF RF energy pulses that are emitted by GSM and DECT phones.


2. - Joseph W et al, (October 2010) Assessment of general public exposure to LTE and RF sources present in an urban environment, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Oct;31(7):576-9 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

For the first time, in situ electromagnetic field exposure of the general public to fields from long term evolution (LTE) cellular base stations is assessed. Exposure contributions due to different radiofrequency (RF) sources are compared with LTE exposure at 30 locations in Stockholm, Sweden. Total exposures (0.2-2.6 V/m) satisfy the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference levels (from 28 V/m for frequency modulation (FM), up to 61 V/m for LTE) at all locations. LTE exposure levels up to 0.8 V/m were measured, and the average contribution of the LTE signal to the total RF exposure equals 4%. Exposure levels are typical with our experiences in built up areas, although London is normally between two and three times this exposure at street level.


3. N Lee HJ et al, (October 2010) The lack of histological changes of CDMA cellular phone-based radio frequency on rat testis, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Oct;31(7):528-34 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

We examined the histological changes by radiofrequency (RF) fields on rat testis, specifically with respect to sensitive processes such as spermatogenesis. Male rats were exposed to 848.5 MHz RF for 12 weeks. The RF exposure schedule consisted of two 45-min RF exposure periods, separated by a 15-min interval. The whole-body average specific absorption rate (SAR) of RF was 2.0 W/kg. We then investigated correlates of testicular function such as sperm counts in the cauda epididymis, malondialdehyde concentrations in the testes and epididymis, frequency of spermatogenesis stages, germ cell counts, and appearance of apoptotic cells in the testes. We also performed p53, bcl-2, caspase 3, p21, and PARP immunoblotting of the testes in sham- and RF-exposed animals. Based on these results, we concluded that subchronic exposure to 848.5 MHz with 2.0 W/kg SAR RF did not have any observable adverse effects on rat spermatogenesis. One of the few papers published with a null result looking at RF and fertility, this time with the exposure being 845 MHz CDMA signals. It doesn't appear that sperm motility were assessed in this paper, which has been a consistently associated effect in other research, nevertheless other factors (such as apoptosis) are clearly not showing an association in this paper.


4. P Goraca A et al, (June 2010) Effects of extremely low frequency magnetic field on the parameters of oxidative stress in heart, J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Jun;61(3):333-8 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Increasing production of free radicals in organisms is one of the putative mechanisms by which a extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) may affect biological systems. The present study was designated to assess if ELF-MF applied in the magnetotherapy, affects generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in heart tissue and antioxidant capacity of plasma according to its working time. The experiments were performed on 3 groups of animals: group I - control; group II - exposed to 40 Hz, 7 mT, 30 min/day for 14 days (this field is commonly applied in magnetotherapy); group III - exposed to 40 Hz, 7 mT, 60 min/day for 14 days. Control rats were housed in a separate room without exposure to ELF-MF. Immediately after the last exposure, blood was taken from the tail vein and hearts were removed under anesthesia. The effect of the exposure to ELF-MF on oxidative stress was assessed on the basis of the measurements of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), total free sulphydryl groups (-SH groups) and reduced glutathione (GSH) concentrations in heart homogenates. The total antioxidant capacity of plasma was measured using ferric reducing ability method (FRAP). Exposure to ELF-MF (40 Hz, 7 mT, 30 min/day for 2 weeks) did not significantly alter tissue TBARS, H(2)O(2), total free -SH groups, reduced glutathione (GSH) and total antioxidant capacity of plasma. By contrast, ELF-MF with the same frequency and induction but used for 60 min/day for 14 days caused significant increase in TBARS and H(2)O(2) concentration (P < 0.01) and decrease in the concentration of GSH (P < 0.05) and total free -SH groups in heart homogenates. Moreover, exposure of rats to ELF-MF (40 Hz, 7 mT, 60 min/day for 2 weeks) resulted in the decrease of plasma antioxidant capacity. Our results indicate that effects of ELF-MF on ROS generation in the heart tissue and antioxidant capacity of plasma depend on its working time.


5. P Andel R et al, (November 2010) Work-related exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and dementia: results from the population-based study of dementia in Swedish twins, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Nov;65(11):1220-7. Epub 2010 Jul 9 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

We examined the association between extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (EMF) and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease using all 9,508 individuals from the Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins (HARMONY) with valid occupational and diagnostic data. Dementia diagnoses were based on telephone screening followed by in-person clinical workup. Main lifetime occupation was coded according to an established EMF exposure matrix. Covariates were age, gender, education, vascular risk factors, and complexity of work. Based on previous research, data were also analyzed separately for cases with disease onset by age 75 years versus later, men versus women, and those with manual versus nonmanual main occupation. We used generalized estimating equations with the entire sample (to adjust for the inclusion of complete twin pairs) and conditional logistic regression with complete twin pairs only. Level of EMF exposure was not significantly associated with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. However, in stratified analyses, medium and high levels of EMF exposure were associated with increased dementia risk compared with low level in cases with onset by age 75 years (odds ratio: 1.94, 95% confidence interval: 1.07-3.65 for medium, odds ratio: 2.01, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-3.65 for high) and in participants with manual occupations (odds ratio: 1.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.06-3.09 for medium, odds ratio: 1.75, 95% confidence interval: 1.00-3.05 for high). Results with 42 twin pairs discordant for dementia did not reach statistical significance. Occupational EMF exposure appears relevant primarily to dementia with an earlier onset and among former manual workers.


6. N Auger N et al, (July 2010) The relationship between residential proximity to extremely low frequency power transmission lines and adverse birth outcomes, J Epidemiol Community Health. 2010 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Background Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields has been linked to adverse birth outcomes. This study evaluated whether maternal residential proximity to power transmission lines was associated with adverse birth outcomes. Methods Live singleton births in the Montreal and Quebec census metropolitan areas from 1990 to 2004 were extracted from the Quebec birth file (N = 707,215). Proximity was defined as residing within 400 m of a transmission line. Generalised estimating equations were used to evaluate associations between residential proximity to transmission lines and preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), small-for-gestational age (SGA) birth and infant sex, accounting for maternal age, education, marital status, ethnicity, parity, period of birth, and neighbourhood median household income. Results There was no association between residential proximity to transmission lines and PTB, LBW and infant sex in unadjusted and adjusted models. A lower likelihood of SGA birth was present for some distance categories (eg, adjusted OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.95 for 50-75 m relative to >/= 400 m). Conclusion Residential proximity to transmission lines is not associated with adverse births outcomes.


7. N Inskip PD et al, (Novermber 2010) Brain cancer incidence trends in relation to cellular telephone use in the United States, Neuro Oncol. 2010 Nov;12(11):1147-51. Epub 2010 Jul 16 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The use of cellular telephones has grown explosively during the past two decades, and there are now more than 279 million wireless subscribers in the United States. If cellular phone use causes brain cancer, as some suggest, the potential public health implications could be considerable. One might expect the effects of such a prevalent exposure to be reflected in general population incidence rates, unless the induction period is very long or confined to very long-term users. To address this issue, we examined temporal trends in brain cancer incidence rates in the United States, using data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Log-linear models were used to estimate the annual percent change in rates among whites. With the exception of the 20-29-year age group, the trends for 1992-2006 were downward or flat. Among those aged 20-29 years, there was a statistically significant increasing trend between 1992 and 2006 among females but not among males. The recent trend in 20-29-year-old women was driven by a rising incidence of frontal lobe cancers. No increases were apparent for temporal or parietal lobe cancers, or cancers of the cerebellum, which involve the parts of the brain that would be more highly exposed to radiofrequency radiation from cellular phones. Frontal lobe cancer rates also rose among 20-29-year-old males, but the increase began earlier than among females and before cell phone use was highly prevalent. Overall, these incidence data do not provide support to the view that cellular phone use causes brain cancer. As stated in many of our analyses of mobile phone data, the mass saturation of mobile phones in the general public took place typically between 1998 and 2000, where the percentage of the public that used a phone increased from under 10% up to over 95%. As there is reason to believe (from ionising radiation research and other brain tumour causes) that the typical latency time is likely to be at least 15 years, seeing anything in the national statistics in data collected prior to 2013 is very unlikely. A dataset that ends at 2006 is unlikely to find any increase related to mobile phone usage.


8. P Khurana VG et al, (July 2010) Epidemiological evidence for a health risk from mobile phone base stations, Int J Occup Environ Health. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):263-7 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Human populations are increasingly exposed to microwave/radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless communication technology, including mobile phones and their base stations. By searching PubMed, we identified a total of 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for putative health effects of mobile phone base stations. Seven of these studies explored the association between base station proximity and neurobehavioral effects and three investigated cancer. We found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances < 500 meters from base stations. None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations. We believe that comprehensive epidemiological studies of long-term mobile phone base station exposure are urgently required to more definitively understand its health impact. This paper has summarised the existing but very sparse literature on health effects of living near mobile phone base stations. At exposure levels far below international guidance levels there are clear and consistent signs of adverse health effects in the general population, including controlling for people's fear of the base station, and despite this there are no indications of decent funding for more work to be done in this area. Considering the vast number of people that could now be affected, good quality large scale epidemiological research on base stations is now long overdue.


9. N O'Connor RP et al, (July 2010) Exposure to GSM RF fields does not affect calcium homeostasis in human endothelial cells, rat pheocromocytoma cells or rat hippocampal neurons, PLoS One. 2010 Jul 27;5(7):e11828 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

In the course of modern daily life, individuals are exposed to numerous sources of electromagnetic radiation that are not present in the natural environment. The strength of the electromagnetic fields from sources such as hairdryers, computer display units and other electrical devices is modest. However, in many home and office environments, individuals can experience perpetual exposure to an "electromagnetic smog", with occasional peaks of relatively high electromagnetic field intensity. This has led to concerns that such radiation can affect health. In particular, emissions from mobile phones or mobile phone masts have been invoked as a potential source of pathological electromagnetic radiation. Previous reports have suggested that cellular calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis is affected by the types of radiofrequency fields emitted by mobile phones. In the present study, we used a high-throughput imaging platform to monitor putative changes in cellular Ca2+ during exposure of cells to 900 MHz GSM fields of differing power (specific absorption rate 0.012-2 W/Kg), thus mimicking the type of radiation emitted by current mobile phone handsets. Data from cells experiencing the 900 Mhz GSM fields were compared with data obtained from paired experiments using continuous wave fields or no field. We employed three cell types (human endothelial cells, PC-12 neuroblastoma and primary hippocampal neurons) that have previously been suggested to be sensitive to radiofrequency fields. Experiments were designed to examine putative effects of radiofrequency fields on resting Ca2+, in addition to Ca2+ signals evoked by an InsP(3)-generating agonist. Furthermore, we examined putative effects of radiofrequency field exposure on Ca2+ store emptying and store-operated Ca2+ entry following application of the Ca2+ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin. Multiple parameters (e.g., peak amplitude, integrated Ca2+ signal, recovery rates) were analysed to explore potential impact of radiofrequency field exposure on Ca2+ signals. Our data indicate that 900 MHz GSM fields do not affect either basal Ca2+ homeostasis or provoked Ca2+ signals. Even at the highest field strengths applied, which exceed typical phone exposure levels, we did not observe any changes in cellular Ca2+ signals. We conclude that under the conditions employed in our experiments, and using a highly-sensitive assay, we could not detect any consequence of RF exposure.


10. N Yildirim MS et al, (2010) Effect of mobile phone station on micronucleus frequency and chromosomal aberrations in human blood cells, Genet Couns. 2010;21(2):243-51 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The use of mobile telephones has rapidly increased worldwide as well as the number of mobile phone base stations that lead to rise low level radiofrequency emissions which may in turn have possible harm for human health. The national radiation protection board has published the known effects of radio waves exposure on humans living close to mobile phone base stations. However, several studies have claimed that the base station has detrimental effects on different tissues. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of mobile phone base stations on the micronucleus (MN) frequency and chromosomal aberrations on blood in people who were living around mobile phone base stations and healthy controls. Frequency of MN and chromosomal aberrations in study and control groups was 8.96 +/- 3.51 and 6.97 +/- 1.52 (p: 0.16); 0.36 +/- 0.31 and 0.75 +/- 0.61 (p: 0.07), respectively. Our results show that there was not a significant difference of MN frequency and chromosomal aberrations between the two study groups. The results claim that cellular phones and their base stations do not produce important carcinogenic changes. This is an interesting approach to the base station issue, in actually examining the blood differences between exposed participants and controls for cellular damage. Despite a relatively large error bound (which has a tendency to hide associations) there are no indications here of an association, and chromosomal aberrations are almost statistically significantly decreased in the control group.


11. P Iorio R et al, (August 2010) Involvement of mitochondrial activity in mediating ELF-EMF stimulatory effect on human sperm motility, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

It has recently been reported that the exposure of human spermatozoa to an extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic field (EMF) with a square waveform of 5 mT amplitude and frequency of 50 Hz improves sperm motility. The functional relationship between the energy metabolism and the enhancement of human sperm motility induced by ELF-EMF was investigated. Sperm exposure to ELF-EMF resulted in a progressive and significant increase of mitochondrial membrane potential and levels of ATP, ADP and NAD(+) that was associated with a progressive and significant increase in the sperm kinematic parameters. No significant effects were detected on other parameters such as ATP/ADP ratio and energy charge. When carbamoyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CICCP) was applied to inhibit the oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria, the values of energy parameters and motility in the sperm incubated in the presence of glucose and exposed to ELF-EMF did not change, thus indicating that the glycolysis was not involved in mediating ELF-EMF stimulatory effect on motility. By contrast, when pyruvate and lactate were provided instead of glucose, the energy status and motility increased significantly in ELF-EMF-treated sperm. Under these culture conditions, the inhibition of glycolitic metabolism by 2-deoxy-D-glucose (DOG) again resulted in increased values of energy and kinematic parameters, indicating that gluconeogenesis was not involved in producing glucose for use in glycolysis. We concluded that the key role in mediating the stimulatory effects exerted by ELF-EMF on human sperm motility is played by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation rather than glycolysis.


12. - Russo P et al, (August 2010) A numerical coefficient for evaluation of the environmental impact of electromagnetic fields radiated by base stations for mobile communications, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The aim of this study is the development of an Electromagnetic Environmental Impact Factor (EEIF). This is a global parameter that represents the level of electromagnetic impact on a specific area due to the presence of radiating systems, such as base station (BS) antennas for mobile communications. The numerical value of the EEIF depends only on the electromagnetic field intensity, a well-defined physical quantity that can easily be measured or computed. The paper describes the significant parameters of the field distribution adopted to evaluate the EEIF, and the assumptions used to develop a proper scale of values. Finally, some examples of application of the EEIF method are analyzed for real situations in a typical urban area.


13. P Yakymenko I, Sidorik E, (July 2010) Risks of carcinogenesis from electromagnetic radiation of mobile telephony devices, Exp Oncol. 2010 Jul;32(2):54-60 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Intensive implementation of mobile telephony technology in everyday human life during last two decades has given a possibility for epidemiological estimation of long-term effects of chronic exposure of human organism to low-intensive microwave (MW) radiation. Latest epidemiological data reveal a significant increase in risk of development of some types of tumors in chronic (over 10 years) users of mobile phone. It was detected a significant increase in incidence of brain tumors (glioma, acoustic neuroma, meningioma), parotid gland tumor, seminoma in long-term users of mobile phone, especially in cases of ipsilateral use (case-control odds ratios from 1.3 up to 6.1). Two epidemiological studies have indicated a significant increase of cancer incidence in people living close to the mobile telephony base station as compared with the population from distant area. These data raise a question of adequacy of modern safety limits of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure for humans. For today the limits were based solely on the conception of thermal mechanism of biological effects of RF/MW radiation. Meantime the latest experimental data indicate the significant metabolic changes in living cell under the low-intensive (non-thermal) EMR exposure. Among reproducible biological effects of low-intensive MWs are reactive oxygen species overproduction, heat shock proteins expression, DNA damages, apoptosis. The lack of generally accepted mechanism of biological effects of low-intensive non-ionizing radiation doesn't permit to disregard the obvious epidemiological and experimental data of its biological activity. Practical steps must be done for reasonable limitation of excessive EMR exposure, along with the implementation of new safety limits of mobile telephony devices radiation, and new technological decisions, which would take out the source of radiation from human brain.


14. N Kheifets L et al, (October 2010) A pooled analysis of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and childhood brain tumors, Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Oct 1;172(7):752-61. Epub 2010 Aug 9 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Pooled analyses may provide etiologic insight about associations between exposure and disease. In contrast to childhood leukemia, no pooled analyses of childhood brain tumors and exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) have been conducted. The authors carried out a pooled analysis based on primary data (1960-2001) from 10 studies of ELF-MF exposure and childhood brain tumors to assess whether the combined results, adjusted for potential confounding, indicated an association. The odds ratios for childhood brain tumors in ELF-MF exposure categories of 0.1 - <0.2 µT, 0.2 - <0.4 µT, and =0.4 µT were 0.95 (95% confidence interval: 0.65, 1.41), 0.70 (95% CI: 0.40, 1.22), and 1.14 (95% CI: 0.61, 2.13), respectively, in comparison with exposure of <0.1 µT. Other analyses employing alternate cutpoints, further adjustment for confounders, exclusion of particular studies, stratification by type of measurement or type of residence, and a nonparametric estimate of the exposure-response relation did not reveal consistent evidence of increased childhood brain tumor risk associated with ELF-MF exposure. These results provide little evidence for an association between ELF-MF exposure and childhood brain tumors. This study fairly thoroughly confirms that there is currently no statistical association between exposure to ELF (power-frequency) magnetic fields and the incidence of childhood brain tumours.


15. N Rajkovic V et al, (August 2010) Studies on the synergistic effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine on the thyroid gland, Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Aug 10. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (MF) and the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine, each separately, on the thyroid gland of juvenile-peripubertal rats, and to investigate the possible synergistic effect of these two factors combined. Materials and methods: The study was performed on male Wistar rats from postnatal day 23-53. Animals were divided into six groups: (1) 4 h/day exposure to MF (50 Hz, 100-300 µT, 54-160 V/m), (2) 20 mg/kg of body weight (bw) of atrazine, (3) 200 mg/kg bw of atrazine, (4) MF with 20 mg/kg bw of atrazine (5) MF with 200 mg/kg bw of atrazine, and (6) control. Results: Light and electron microscopic studies demonstrated no significant alterations in the thyroid structure between the treated groups and the control. Significant outcomes were found regarding the volume density of thyroid follicles and the connective tissue between the MF-exposed group when compared to both atrazine treatments and the combined treatments. The high dose of atrazine significantly affected the number of mast cells compared to the control. Conclusions: No synergistic effect of the MF and the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine on the thyroid gland has been found. The specific histological alterations of the thyroid parenchyma observed in some treated groups require further investigation.


16. - Johansson A et al, (January 2010) Symptoms, personality traits, and stress in people with mobile phone-related symptoms and electromagnetic hypersensitivity, J Psychosom Res. 2010 Jan;68(1):37-45 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Some people report symptoms that they associate with electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure. These symptoms may be related to specific EMF sources or to electrical equipment in general (perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity, EHS). Research and clinical observations suggest a difference between mobile phone (MP)-related symptoms and EHS with respect to symptom prevalence, psychological factors, and health prognosis. This study assessed prevalence of EMF-related and EMF-nonrelated symptoms, anxiety, depression, somatization, exhaustion, and stress in people with MP-related symptoms or EHS versus a population-based sample and a control sample without EMF-related symptoms. Forty-five participants with MP-related symptoms and 71 with EHS were compared with a population-based sample (n=106) and a control group (n=63) using self-report questionnaires. The EHS group reported more symptoms than the MP group, both EMF-related and EMF-nonrelated. The MP group reported a high prevalence of somatosensory symptoms, whereas the EHS group reported more neurasthenic symptoms. As to self-reported personality traits and stress, the case groups differed only on somatization and listlessness in a direct comparison. In comparison with the reference groups, the MP group showed increased levels of exhaustion and depression but not of anxiety, somatization, and stress; the EHS group showed increased levels for all of the conditions except for stress. The findings support the idea of a difference between people with symptoms related to specific EMF sources and people with general EHS with respect to symptoms and anxiety, depression, somatization, exhaustion, and stress. The differences are likely to be important in the management of patients. This paper interestingly shows a significant difference between those who believe they are sensitive to mobile phones specifically, and those who believe that they are generally electromagnetically hypersensitive. The "mobile phone group" appear to be exhibiting the symptoms we would more traditionally associate with "true" ES persons, that of tiredness and depression - this may be a useful clue in identifying those who react psychologically to their belief of EMF exposure from those who appear to be having a genuinelly associated reaction.


17. P Rajkovic V et al, (August 2010) Combined exposure of peripubertal male rats to the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine and power-frequency electromagnetic fields causes degranulation of cutaneous mast cells: a new toxic environmental hazard?, Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2010 Aug;59(2):334-41. Epub 2010 Feb 11 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The effects of single and combined treatments of the endocrine-disrupting compound atrazine and the power-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) were investigated on cutaneous mast cells in juvenile/peripubertal male Wistar rats. Animals were divided into six groups: (1) 4 h/day exposure to EMFs (50 Hz), (2) 20 mg/kg of body weight (bw) of atrazine, (3) 200 mg/kg bw of atrazine, (4) EMFs with 20 mg/kg bw of atrazine, (5) EMFs with 200 mg/kg bw of atrazine, and (6) control. Both the atrazine and the combined treatments, but not the single EMF exposure, increased the number of degranulated mast cells. Statistically significant differences were demonstrated between the control and both of the combined treatments (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Additionally, low and high doses of atrazine combined with the EMFs were found significantly different when compared to the EMF group alone (both at p < 0.001). Considering the biological importance of mast cells in cutaneous immune reactions, future studies should reveal whether combined exposures to chemical and physical environmental agents pose a serious health risk.


18. P Malagoli C et al, (March 2010) Risk of hematological malignancies associated with magnetic fields exposure from power lines: a case-control study in two municipalities of northern Italy, Environ Health. 2010 Mar 30;9:16 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Some epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between electromagnetic field exposure induced by high voltage power lines and childhood leukemia, but null results have also been yielded and the possibility of bias due to unmeasured confounders has been suggested. We studied this relation in the Modena and Reggio Emilia municipalities of northern Italy, identifying the corridors along high voltage power lines with calculated magnetic field intensity in the 0.1-<0.2, 0.2-<0.4, and >/= 0.4 microTesla ranges. We identified 64 cases of newly-diagnosed hematological malignancies in children aged <14 within these municipalities from 1986 to 2007, and we sampled four matched controls for each case, collecting information on historical residence and parental socioeconomic status of these subjects. Relative risk of leukemia associated with antecedent residence in the area with exposure >/=0.1 microTesla was 3.2 (6.7 adjusting for socioeconomic status), but this estimate was statistically very unstable, its 95% confidence interval being 0.4-23.4, and no indication of a dose-response relation emerged. Relative risk for acute lymphoblastic leukemia was 5.3 (95% confidence interval 0.7-43.5), while there was no increased risk for the other hematological malignancies. Though the number of exposed children in this study was too low to allow firm conclusions, results were more suggestive of an excess risk of leukemia among exposed children than of a null relation.


19. - Bakker JF et al, (June 2010) Assessment of induced SAR in children exposed to electromagnetic plane waves between 10 MHz and 5.6 GHz, Phys Med Biol. 2010 Jun 7;55(11):3115-30. Epub 2010 May 12 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

To avoid potentially adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has defined EMF reference levels from the basic restrictions on the induced whole-body-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR(wb)) and the peak 10 g spatial-averaged SAR (SAR(10g)). The objective of this study is to assess if the SAR in children remains below the basic restrictions upon exposure at the reference levels. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) modeling was used to calculate the SAR in six children and two adults when exposed to all 12 orthogonal plane wave configurations. A sensitivity study showed an expanded uncertainty of 53% (SAR(wb)) and 58% (SAR(10g)) due to variations in simulation settings and tissue properties. In this study, we found that the basic restriction on the SAR(wb) is occasionally exceeded for children, up to a maximum of 45% in small children. The maximum SAR(10g) values, usually found at body protrusions, remain under the limit for all scenarios studied. Our results are in good agreement with the literature, suggesting that the recommended ICNIRP reference levels may need fine tuning.


20. - Calvente I et al, (July 2010) Exposure to electromagnetic fields (non-ionizing radiation) and its relationship with childhood leukemia: a systematic review, Sci Total Environ. 2010 Jul 15;408(16):3062-9. Epub 2010 May 7 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Childhood exposure to physical contamination, including non-ionizing radiation, has been implicated in numerous diseases, raising concerns about the widespread and increasing sources of exposure to this type of radiation. The primary objective of this review was to analyze the current state of knowledge on the association between environmental exposure to non-ionizing radiation and the risk of childhood leukemia. Scientific publications between 1979 and 2008 that include examination of this association have been reviewed using the MEDLINE/PubMed database. Studies to date have not convincingly confirmed or ruled out an association between non-ionizing radiation and the risk of childhood leukemia. Discrepancies among the conclusions of the studies may also be influenced by confounding factors, selection bias, and misclassification. Childhood defects can result from genetic or epigenetic damage and from effects on the embryo or fetus, which may both be related to environmental exposure of the parent before conception or during the pregnancy. It is therefore critical for researchers to define a priori the type and "window" of exposure to be assessed. Methodological problems to be solved include the proper diagnostic classification of individuals and the estimated exposure to non-ionizing radiation, which may act through various mechanisms of action. There appears to be an urgent need to reconsider exposure limits for low frequency and static magnetic fields, based on combined experimental and epidemiological research into the relationship between exposure to non-ionizing radiation and adverse human health effects.