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27/12/2010 - December 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. P Augner C et al, (June 2010) Effects of exposure to GSM mobile phone base station signals on salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and immunoglobulin A, Biomed Environ Sci. 2010 Jun;23(3):199-207. [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The present study aimed to test whether exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by mobile phone base stations may have effects on salivary alpha-amylase, immunoglobulin A (IgA), and cortisol levels. Fifty seven participants were randomly allocated to one of three different experimental scenarios (22 participants to scenario 1, 26 to scenario 2, and 9 to scenario 3). Each participant went through five 50-minute exposure sessions. The main RF-EMF source was a GSM-900-MHz antenna located at the outer wall of the building. In scenarios 1 and 2, the first, third, and fifth sessions were "low" (median power flux density 5.2 microW/m(2)) exposure. The second session was "high" (2126.8 microW/m(2)), and the fourth session was "medium" (153.6 microW/m(2)) in scenario 1, and vice versa in scenario 2. Scenario 3 had four "low" exposure conditions, followed by a "high" exposure condition. Biomedical parameters were collected by saliva samples three times a session. Exposure levels were created by shielding curtains. In scenario 3 from session 4 to session 5 (from "low" to "high" exposure), an increase of cortisol was detected, while in scenarios 1 and 2, a higher concentration of alpha-amylase related to the baseline was identified as compared to that in scenario 3. IgA concentration was not significantly related to the exposure. RF-EMF in considerably lower field densities than ICNIRP-guidelines may influence certain psychobiological stress markers.


2. P Martinez-Samano J et al, (December 2010) Effects of acute electromagnetic field exposure and movement restraint on antioxidant system in liver, heart, kidney and plasma of Wistar rats: a preliminary report, Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Dec;86(12):1088-94. Epub 2010 Aug 11 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the early effects of acute (2 h) exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF), as well as movement restraint (MR) and the combination of both on the antioxidant systems in the plasma, liver, kidney, and heart of rats. Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were divided in two groups, restrained and unrestrained. The restrained animals were confined into an acrylic tube for 120 min. Half of the animals of each group were exposed to ELF-EMF (60 Hz, 2.4 mT) during the period of restriction. Immediately after treatment, reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were measured in tissues. GSH concentration was significantly lower in the heart of all experimental animals when compared to the control group; furthermore, the decrease was higher in the liver of restrained animals. SOD activity was lower in the plasma of restrained and EMF exposed animals compared to unrestrained rats. There were no significant differences in CAT activity and TBARS levels among all the experimental groups vs. the control group. Two hours of 60 Hz EMF exposure might immediately alter the metabolism of free radicals, decreasing SOD activity in plasma and GSH content in heart and kidney, but does not induce immediate lipid peroxidation. Oxidative stress induced by movement restraint was stronger than that produced by EMF.


3. N Mohler E et al, (September 2010) Effects of everyday radiofrequency electromagnetic-field exposure on sleep quality: a cross-sectional study, Radiat Res. 2010 Sep;174(3):347-56 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between exposure to various sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) in the everyday environment and sleep quality, which is a common public health concern. We assessed self-reported sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness in a random population sample of 1,375 inhabitants from the area of Basel, Switzerland. Exposure to environmental far-field RF EMFs was predicted for each individual using a prediction model that had been developed and validated previously. Self-reported cordless and mobile phone use as well as objective mobile phone operator data for the previous 6 months were also considered in the analyses. In multivariable regression models, adjusted for relevant confounders, no associations between environmental far-field RF EMF exposure and sleep disturbances or excessive daytime sleepiness were observed. The 10% most exposed participants had an estimated risk for sleep disturbances of 1.11 (95% CI: 0.50 to 2.44) and for excessive daytime sleepiness of 0.58 (95% CI: 0.31 to 1.05). Neither mobile phone use nor cordless phone use was associated with decreased sleep quality. The results of this large cross-sectional study did not indicate an impairment of subjective sleep quality due to exposure from various sources of RF EMFs in everyday life.


4. - Danker-Hopfe H et al, (September 2010) Do mobile phone base stations affect sleep of residents? Results from an experimental double-blind sham-controlled field study, Am J Hum Biol. 2010 Sep-Oct;22(5):613-8 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The aim of the present double-blind, sham-controlled, balanced randomized cross-over study was to disentangle effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and non-EMF effects of mobile phone base stations on objective and subjective sleep quality. In total 397 residents aged 18-81 years (50.9% female) from 10 German sites, where no mobile phone service was available, were exposed to sham and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications, 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz) base station signals by an experimental base station while their sleep was monitored at their homes during 12 nights. Participants were randomly exposed to real (GSM) or sham exposure for five nights each. Individual measurement of EMF exposure, questionnaires on sleep disorders, overall sleep quality, attitude towards mobile communication, and on subjective sleep quality (morning and evening protocols) as well as objective sleep data (frontal EEG and EOG recordings) were gathered. Analysis of the subjective and objective sleep data did not reveal any significant differences between the real and sham condition. During sham exposure nights, objective and subjective sleep efficiency, wake after sleep onset, and subjective sleep latency were significantly worse in participants with concerns about possible health risks resulting from base stations than in participants who were not concerned. The study did not provide any evidence for short-term physiological effects of EMF emitted by mobile phone base stations on objective and subjective sleep quality. However, the results indicate that mobile phone base stations as such (not the electromagnetic fields) may have a significant negative impact on sleep quality.


5. - Thomas S et al, (December 2010) Use of mobile phones and changes in cognitive function in adolescents, Occup Environ Med. 2010 Dec;67(12):861-6. Epub 2010 Aug 25 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Several studies have investigated the impact of mobile phone exposure on cognitive function in adults. However, children and adolescents are of special interest due to their developing nervous systems. Data were derived from the Australian Mobile Radiofrequency Phone Exposed Users' Study (MoRPhEUS) which comprised a baseline examination of year 7 students during 2005/2006 and a 1-year follow-up. Sociodemographic and exposure data were collected with a questionnaire. Cognitive functions were assessed with a computerised test battery and the Stroop Color-Word test. 236 students participated in both examinations. The proportion of mobile phone owners and the number of voice calls and short message services (SMS) per week increased from baseline to follow-up. Participants with more voice calls and SMS at baseline showed less reductions in response times over the 1-year period in various computerised tasks. Furthermore, those with increased voice calls and SMS exposure over the 1-year period showed changes in response time in a simple reaction and a working memory task. No associations were seen between mobile phone exposure and the Stroop test. We have observed that some changes in cognitive function, particularly in response time rather than accuracy, occurred with a latency period of 1 year and that some changes were associated with increased exposure. However, the increased exposure was mainly applied to those who had fewer voice calls and SMS at baseline, suggesting that these changes over time may relate to statistical regression to the mean, and not be the effect of mobile phone exposure.


6. P Bartsch H et al, (2010) Effect of chronic exposure to a GSM-like signal (mobile phone) on survival of female Sprague-Dawley rats: modulatory effects by month of birth and possibly stage of the solar cycle, Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010;31(4):457-73 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

During 1997-2008 two long-term (I and II) and two life-long (III and IV) experiments were performed analyzing the effect of chronic exposure to a low-intensity GSM-like signal (900 MHz pulsed with 217 Hz, 100 µW/cm2 average power flux density, 38-80 mW/kg mean specific absorption rate for whole body) on health and survival of unrestrained female Sprague-Dawley rats kept under identical conditions. Radiofrequency (RF)-exposure was started at 52-70 days of age and continued for 24 (I), 17 (II) and up to 36 and 37 months, respectively (III/IV). In the first two experiments (1997-2000) 12 exposed and 12 sham-exposed animals each were observed until they were maximally 770 or 580 days old. In experiment I no adverse health effects of chronic RF-exposure were detectable, neither by macroscopic nor detailed microscopic pathological examinations. Also in experiment II no apparent macroscopic pathological changes due to treatment were apparent. Median survival time could not be estimated since in none of the groups more than 50% of the animals had died. In the course of two complete survival experiments (2002-2005; 2005-2008) 30 RF- and 30 sham-exposed animals each were followed up until their natural end or when they became moribund and had to be euthanized. A synoptical data analysis was performed. Survival data of all four groups could be fitted well by the Weibull distribution. According to this analysis median survival was significantly shortened under RF-exposure in both experiments by 9.06% (95% CI 2.7 to 15.0%) (p=0.0064); i.e by 72 days in experiment III and 77 days in experiment IV as compared to the corresponding sham-treated animals (III: 799 days; IV: 852 days). Both groups of animals of experiment III showed reduced median survival times by 6.25% (95% CI -0.3 to 12.4%) (p=0.0604) compared to the corresponding groups of experiment IV (53 days: sham-exposed animals, 48 days: RF-exposed animals) which may be due to the fact that animals of experiment III were born in October and animals of experiment IV in May indicating that the month of birth affects life span. From the results of the last two experiments it has to be concluded that chronic exposure to a low-intensity GSM-like signal may exert negative health effects and shorten survival if treatment is applied sufficiently long and the observational period covers the full life span of the animals concerned. The current data show that survival of rats kept under controlled laboratory conditions varies within certain limits depending on the month of birth. In view of our previous observations regarding an inhibitory or no effect of RF-exposure on DMBA-induced mammary cancer during the 1997-2000 period, an additional modulatory influence on a year-to-year basis should be considered which might be related to changing solar activity during the the 11-years' sunspot cycle. These potentially complex influences of the natural environment modulating the effects of anthropogenic RF-signals on health and survival require a systematic continuation of such experiments throughout solar cycle 24 which started in 2009.


7. - Vermeeren G et al, (September 2010) The influence of the reflective environment on the absorption of a human male exposed to representative base station antennas from 300 MHz to 5 GHz, Phys Med Biol. 2010 Sep 21;55(18):5541-55. Epub 2010 Aug 31 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The environment is an important parameter when evaluating the exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. This study investigates numerically the variation on the whole-body and peak spatially averaged-specific absorption rate (SAR) in the heterogeneous virtual family male placed in front of a base station antenna in a reflective environment. The SAR values in a reflective environment are also compared to the values obtained when no environment is present (free space). The virtual family male has been placed at four distances (30 cm, 1 m, 3 m and 10 m) in front of six base station antennas (operating at 300 MHz, 450 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 5.0 GHz, respectively) and in three reflective environments (a perfectly conducting wall, a perfectly conducting ground and a perfectly conducting ground + wall). A total of 72 configurations are examined. The absorption in the heterogeneous body model is determined using the 3D electromagnetic (EM) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) solver Semcad-X. For the larger simulations, requirements in terms of computer resources are reduced by using a generalized Huygens' box approach. It has been observed that the ratio of the SAR in the virtual family male in a reflective environment and the SAR in the virtual family male in the free-space environment ranged from -8.7 dB up to 8.0 dB. A worst-case reflective environment could not be determined. ICNIRP reference levels not always showed to be compliant with the basic restrictions.


8. - Schuz J et al, (August 2010) An international prospective cohort study of mobile phone users and health (Cosmos): Design considerations and enrolment, Cancer Epidemiol. 2010 Aug 30. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Background: There is continuing public and scientific interest in the possibility that exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) from mobile telephones or other wireless devices and applications might increase the risk of certain cancers or other diseases. The interest is amplified by the rapid world-wide penetration of such technologies. The evidence from epidemiological studies published to date have not been consistent and, in particular, further studies are required to identify whether longer term (well beyond 10 years) RF exposure might pose some health risk. Methods: The "Cosmos" study described here is a large prospective cohort study of mobile telephone users (ongoing recruitment of 250,000 men and women aged 18+ years in five European countries - Denmark, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK) who will be followed up for 25+ years. Information on mobile telephone use is collected prospectively through questionnaires and objective traffic data from network operators. Associations with disease risks will be studied by linking cohort members to existing disease registries, while changes in symptoms such as headache and sleep quality and of general well-being are assessed by baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Conclusions: A prospective cohort study conducted with appropriate diligence and a sufficient sample size, overcomes many of the shortcomings of previous studies. Its major advantages are exposure assessment prior to the diagnosis of disease, the prospective collection of objective exposure information, long-term follow-up of multiple health outcomes, and the flexibility to investigate future changes in technologies or new research questions.


9. P Esmekaya MA et al, (December 2010) Pulse modulated 900 MHz radiation induces hypothyroidism and apoptosis in thyroid cells: a light, electron microscopy and immunohistochemical study, Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Dec;86(12):1106-16. Epub 2010 Sep 1 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

In the present study we investigated the possible histopathological effects of pulse modulated Radiofrequency (RF) fields on the thyroid gland using light microscopy, electron microscopy and immunohistochemical methods. Two months old male Wistar rats were exposed to a 900 MHz pulse-modulated RF radiation at a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.35 Watt/kg for 20 min/day for three weeks. The RF signals were pulse modulated by rectangular pulses with a repetition frequency of 217 Hz and a duty cycle of 1:8 (pulse width 0.576 ms). To assess thyroid endocrine disruption and estimate the degree of the pathology of the gland, we analysed structural alterations in follicular and colloidal diameters and areas, colloid content of the follicles, and height of the follicular epithelium. Apoptosis was confirmed by Transmission Electron Microscopy and assessing the activites of an initiator (caspase-9) and an effector (caspase-3) caspases that are important markers of cells undergoing apoptosis. Morphological analyses revealed hypothyrophy of the gland in the 900 MHz RF exposure group. The results indicated that thyroid hormone secretion was inhibited by the RF radiation. In addition, we also observed formation of apoptotic bodies and increased caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities in thyroid cells of the rats that were exposed to modulated RF fields. The overall findings indicated that whole body exposure to pulse-modulated RF radiation that is similar to that emitted by global system for mobile communications (GSM) mobile phones can cause pathological changes in the thyroid gland by altering the gland structure and enhancing caspase-dependent pathways of apoptosis.


10. P Ozgur E et al, (November 2010) Mobile phone radiation-induced free radical damage in the liver is inhibited by the antioxidants N-acetyl cysteine and epigallocatechin-gallate, Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Nov;86(11):935-45. Epub 2010 Sep 1 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

To investigate oxidative damage and antioxidant enzyme status in the liver of guinea pigs exposed to mobile phone-like radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and the potential protective effects of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) on the oxidative damage. Nine groups of guinea pigs were used to study the effects of exposure to an 1800-MHz Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)-modulated signal (average whole body Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 0.38 W/kg, 10 or 20 min per day for seven days) and treatment with antioxidants. Significant increases in malondialdehyde (MDA) and total nitric oxide (NO(x)) levels and decreases in activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were observed in the liver of guinea pigs after RFR exposure. Only NAC treatment induces increase in hepatic GSH-Px activities, whereas EGCG treatment alone attenuated MDA level. Extent of oxidative damage was found to be proportional to the duration of exposure (P < 0.05). Mobile phone-like radiation induces oxidative damage and changes the activities of antioxidant enzymes in the liver. The adverse effect of RFR may be related to the duration of mobile phone use. NAC and EGCG protect the liver tissue against the RFR-induced oxidative damage and enhance antioxidant enzyme activities.


11. P Akan Z et al, (December 2010) Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields affect the immune response of monocyte-derived macrophages to pathogens, Bioelectromagnetics. 2010 Dec;31(8):603-12. doi: 10.1002/bem.20607. Epub 2010 Aug 31 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

This study aimed to determine the effect of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) on the physiological response of phagocytes to an infectious agent. THP-1 cells (human monocytic leukemia cell line) were cultured and 50 Hz, 1 mT EMF was applied for 4-6 h to cells induced with Staphylococcus aureus or interferon gamma/lipopolysaccharide (IFy/LPS). Alterations in nitric oxide (NO), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) levels, heat shock protein 70 levels (hsp70), cGMP levels, caspase-9 activation, and the growth rate of S. aureus were determined. The growth curve of exposed bacteria was lower than the control. Field application increased NO levels. The increase was more prominent for S. aureus-induced cells and appeared earlier than the increase in cells without field application. However, a slight decrease was observed in iNOS levels. Increased cGMP levels in response to field application were closely correlated with increased NO levels. ELF-EMF alone caused increased hsp70 levels in a time-dependent manner. When cells were induced with S. aureus or IFy/LPS, field application produced higher levels of hsp70. ELF-EMF suppressed caspase-9 activation by a small extent. These data confirm that ELF-EMF affects bacterial growth and the response of the immune system to bacterial challenges, suggesting that ELF-EMF could be exploited for beneficial uses.


12. P Emre M et al, (September 2010) Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis in Relation to Exposure to Magnetic Field, Cell Biochem Biophys. 2010 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

We investigated the effect of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) with pulse trains exposure on lipid peroxidation, and, hence, oxidative stress in the rat liver tissue. The parameters that we measured were the levels of plasma alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase as well as plasma albumin, bilirubin, and total protein levels in 30 adult male Wistar rats exposed to ELF. We also determined the percentage of apoptotic and necrotic cells of the kidney extracts from the animals by flow cytometry method. Apoptotic cell death was further characterized by monitoring DNA degradation using gel electrophoresis. The results showed an increase in the levels of oxidative stress indicators, and the flow cytometric data suggested a possible relationship between the exposure to magnetic field and the cell death. We showed significantly lower necrotic cell percentages in experimental animals compared to either unexposed or sham control groups. However, DNA ladder analyses did not differentiate between the groups. Our results were discussed in relation to the response of biological systems to EMF.


13. P Cuccurazzu B et al, (November 2010) Exposure to extremely low-frequency (50 Hz) electromagnetic fields enhances adult hippocampal neurogenesis in C57BL/6 mice, Exp Neurol. 2010 Nov;226(1):173-82. Epub 2010 Sep 15 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Throughout life, new neurons are continuously generated in the hippocampus, which is therefore a major site of structural plasticity in the adult brain. We recently demonstrated that extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFEFs) promote the neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells in vitro by up-regulating Ca(v)1-channel activity. The aim of the present study was to determine whether 50-Hz/1 mT ELFEF stimulation also affects adult hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo, and if so, to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying this action and its functional impact on synaptic plasticity. ELFEF exposure (1 to 7 h/day for 7 days) significantly enhanced neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of adult mice, as documented by increased numbers of cells double-labeled for 5-bromo-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and doublecortin. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of hippocampal extracts revealed significant ELFEF exposure-induced increases in the transcription of pro-neuronal genes (Mash1, NeuroD2, Hes1) and genes encoding Ca(v)1.2 channel a(1C) subunits. Increased expression of NeuroD1, NeuroD2 and Ca(v)1 channels was also documented by Western blot analysis. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that, 30 days after ELFEF stimulation, roughly half of the newly generated immature neurons had survived and become mature dentate granule cells (as shown by their immunoreactivity for both BrdU and NeuN) and were integrated into the granule cell layer of the DG. Electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the new mature neurons influenced hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as reflected by increased long-term potentiation. Our findings show that ELFEF exposure can be an effective tool for increasing in vivo neurogenesis, and they could lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine.


14. P Kim J et al, (October 2010) Repetitive exposure to a 60-Hz time-varying magnetic field induces DNA double-strand breaks and apoptosis in human cells, Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Oct 1;400(4):739-44. Epub 2010 Sep 15 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

We investigated the effects of extremely low frequency time-varying magnetic fields (MFs) on human normal and cancer cells. Whereas a single exposure to a 60-Hz time-varying MF of 6mT for 30min showed no effect, repetitive exposure decreased cell viability. This decrease was accompanied by phosphorylation of y-H2AX, a common DNA double-strand break (DSB) marker, and checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2), which is critical to the DNA damage checkpoint pathway. In addition, repetitive exposure to a time-varying MF of 6mT for 30min every 24h for 3days led to p38 activation and induction of apoptosis in cancer and normal cells. Therefore, these results demonstrate that repetitive exposure to MF with extremely low frequency can induce DNA DSBs and apoptosis through p38 activation. These results also suggest the need for further evaluation of the effects of repetitive exposure to environmental time-varying MFs on human health.


15. P Yu Y, Yao K, (May 2010) Non-thermal cellular effects of lowpower microwave radiation on the lens and lens epithelial cells, J Int Med Res. 2010 May-Jun;38(3):729-36 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Because of the increased use of modern radiofrequency devices, public concern about the possible health effects of exposure to microwave radiation has arisen in many countries. It is well established that high-power microwave radiation can induce cataracts via its thermal effects. It remains unclear whether low-power microwave radiation, especially at levels below the current exposure limits, is cataractogenic. This review summarizes studies on the biological effects of low-power microwave radiation on lens and lens epithelial cells (LECs). It has been reported that exposure affects lens transparency, alters cell proliferation and apoptosis, inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication, and induces genetic instability and stress responses in LECs. These results raise the question of whether the ambient microwave environment can induce non-thermal effects in the lens and whether such effects have potential health consequences. Further in vivo studies on the effects on the lens of exposure to low-power microwave radiation are needed.


16. P Hardell L et al, (August 2010) Mobile phone use and the risk for malignant brain tumors: a case-control study on deceased cases and controls, Neuroepidemiology. 2010 Aug;35(2):109-14. Epub 2010 Jun 15 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

We investigated the use of mobile or cordless phones and the risk for malignant brain tumors in a group of deceased cases. Most previous studies have either left out deceased cases of brain tumors or matched them to living controls and therefore a study matching deceased cases to deceased controls is warranted. Recall error is one issue since it has been claimed that increased risks reported in some studies could be due to cases blaming mobile phones as a cause of the disease. This should be of less importance for deceased cases and if cancer controls are used. In this study brain tumor cases aged 20-80 years diagnosed during 1997-2003 that had died before inclusion in our previous studies on the same topic were included. Two control groups were used: one with controls that had died from another type of cancer than brain tumor and one with controls that had died from other diseases. Exposure was assessed by a questionnaire sent to the next-of-kin for both cases and controls. Replies were obtained for 346 (75%) cases, 343 (74%) cancer controls and 276 (60%) controls with other diseases. Use of mobile phones gave an increased risk, highest in the >10 years' latency group yielding odds ratio (OR) = 2.4, and 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4-4.1. The risk increased with cumulative number of lifetime hours for use, and was highest in the >2,000 h group (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.6-7.1). No clear association was found for use of cordless phones, although OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 0.8-3.4 was found in the group with >2,000 h of cumulative use. This investigation confirmed our previous results of an association between mobile phone use and malignant brain tumors.


17. P Lehrer S et al, (June 2010) Association between number of cell phone contracts and brain tumor incidence in nineteen U.S. States, J Neurooncol. 2010 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Some concern has arisen about adverse health effects of cell phones, especially the possibility that the low power microwave-frequency signal transmitted by the antennas on handsets might cause brain tumors or accelerate the growth of subclinical tumors. We analyzed data from the Statistical Report: Primary Brain Tumors in the United States, 2000-2004 and 2007 cell phone subscription data from the Governing State and Local Sourcebook. There was a significant correlation between number of cell phone subscriptions and brain tumors in nineteen US states (r = 0.950, P < 0.001). Because increased numbers of both cell phone subscriptions and brain tumors could be due solely to the fact that some states, such as New York, have much larger populations than other states, such as North Dakota, multiple linear regression was performed with number of brain tumors as the dependent variable, cell phone subscriptions, population, mean family income and mean age as independent variables. The effect of cell phone subscriptions was significant (P = 0.017), and independent of the effect of mean family income (P = 0.894), population (P = 0.003) and age (0.499). The very linear relationship between cell phone usage and brain tumor incidence is disturbing and certainly needs further epidemiological evaluation. In the meantime, it would be prudent to limit exposure to all sources of electro-magnetic radiation.


18. - Mild KH, Mattsson MO, (August 2010) ELF noise fields: a review, Electromagn Biol Med. 2010 Aug;29(3):72-97 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The debate as to whether low-level electromagnetic fields can affect biological systems and in the long term cause health effects has been going on for a long time. Yet the interaction of weak electromagnetic fields (EMF) with living cells, undoubtedly a most important phenomenon, is still not well understood. The exact mechanisms by which the effects are produced have not been identified. Furthermore, it is not possible to clearly define which aspects of an EMF exposure that constitute the "dose." One of the groups that contributed to solving this problem is the Bioelectromagnetics group at Catholic University of America (CUA), Washington, D.C. Their work has been devoted to investigating the physical parameters that are needed to obtain an effect of EMF exposure on biological systems, and also how to inhibit the effect. This is a review of their work on bioeffects caused by low-level EMF, their dependence on coherence time, constancy, spatial averaging, and also how the effects can be modified by an applied ELF noise magnetic field. The group has been using early chick embryos, and L929 and Daudi cells as their main experimental systems. The review also covers the work of other groups on low-level effects and the inhibition of the effects with an applied noise field. The group at CUA has shown that biological effects can be found after exposure to low-level ELF and RF electromagnetic fields, and when effects are observed, applying an ELF magnetic noise field inhibits the effects. Also, other research groups have tried to replicate the studies from the CUA group, or to apply EMF noise to suppress EMF-induced effects. Replications of the CUA effects have not always been successful. However, in all cases where the noise field has been applied to prevent an observed effect, it has been successful in eliminating the effect.


19. - Kheifets L et al, (October 2010) Risk governance for mobile phones, power lines, and other EMF technologies, Risk Anal. 2010 Oct;30(10):1481-94 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

Power-frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) have been present in industrialized countries since the late 19th century and a considerable amount of knowledge has been accumulated as to potential health effects. The mainstream scientific view is that even if there is a risk, it is unlikely to be of major public-health significance. EMFs from cellular communications and other radio-frequency technologies have increased rapidly in the last decade. This technology is constantly changing, which makes continued research both more urgent and more challenging. While there are no persuasive data suggesting a health risk, research and particularly exposure assessment is still immature. The principal risk-governance issue with power frequencies is how to respond to weak and uncertain scientific evidence that nonetheless causes public concern. For radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, the issue is how to respond to large potential consequences and large public concern where only limited scientific evidence exists. We survey these issues and identify deficits in risk governance. Deficits in problem framing include both overstatement and understatement of the scientific evidence and of the consequences of taking protective measures, limited ability to detect early warnings of risk, and attempted reassurance that has sometimes been counterproductive. Other deficits relate to the limited public involvement mechanisms, and flaws in the identification and evaluation of tradeoffs in the selection of appropriate management strategies. We conclude that risk management of EMFs has certainly not been perfect, but for power frequencies it has evolved and now displays many successful features. Lessons from the power-frequency experience can benefit risk governance of the radio-frequency EMFs and other emerging technologies.


20. P Hutter HP et al, (December 2010) Tinnitus and mobile phone use, Occup Environ Med. 2010 Dec;67(12):804-8. Epub 2010 Jun 23 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

The mechanisms that produce tinnitus are not fully understood. While tinnitus can be associated with diseases and disorders of the ear, retrocochlear diseases and vascular pathologies, there are few known risk factors for tinnitus apart from these conditions. There is anecdotal evidence of an link between mobile phone use and tinnitus, but so far there have been no systematic investigations into this possible association. 100 consecutive patients presenting with tinnitus were enrolled in an individually matched case-control study. For each case a control subject was randomly selected from visiting outpatients matched for sex and age. The patient's history was obtained and clinical examinations were conducted to exclude patients with known underlying causes of tinnitus. Mobile phone use was assessed based on the Interphone Study protocol. ORs were computed by conditional logistic regression with years of education and living in an urban area as covariates. Mobile phone use up to the index date (onset of tinnitus) on the same side as the tinnitus did not have significantly elevated ORs for regular use and intensity or for cumulative hours of use. The risk estimate was significantly elevated for prolonged use (greater than or equal to 4 years) of a mobile phone (OR 1.95; CI 1.00 to 3.80). Mobile phone use should be included in future investigations as a potential risk factor for developing tinnitus.