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20/11/2006 - Cell Death induced by Mobile Phone Radiation

A new study from Greece has found that cell death can be generated in fruit flies by exposing them to a few minutes per day of GSM 900 MHz and DCS 1800 MHz mobile phone radiation for the first six days of their adult life. They found that a significant proportion of egg chambers are broken down due to DNA fragmentation of their constituent cells, and found this effect for both types of mobile phone radiation.

This is yet another study that is experimentally repeatable, which shows a definitively recorded measure of damage to live cells and tissue from mobile phone radiation. As with the study covered in our news story two months ago, this is the sort of research that needs urgent attempts to replicate. If this can be successfully replicated, it can easily become definitive evidence that mobile phones are potentially capable of causing damaging non-thermal effects.


[View full abstract on Pubmed]

Also in the news

Microwave News and Mike Repacholi meet head to head online

Since retiring from his position in the World Health Organisation, Mike Repacholi has started lending his "consultancy expertise" to Connecticut Light and Power Co. (CL&P), a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, and the United Illuminating Co. (UI), two American power industries. Naturally this has drawn criticism from those that felt that the EMF project was rather too heavily industry aligned anyway, and thus Microwave News published an insightful summary of a number of these criticisms with good backing from relevant sources.

Mike Repacholi then countered this argument with a circulated letter, also now published on the Microwave News website, who have now followed up with a response to his letter. Interesting reading!

[View original critical summary in full]
[View Mike Repocholi's Letter (21 KB .pdf)]
[View Microwave News' response to the letter (21 KB .pdf)]

Interphone Study Group find flaws in their data collection methods

A new study from the Interphone group has found that short term recall of mobile phone users about their recent phone usage is significantly inaccurate. From the study conclusions:

Volunteer subjects recalled their recent phone use with moderate systematic error and substantial random error. This large random error can be expected to reduce the power of the Interphone study to detect an increase in risk of brain, acoustic nerve, and parotid gland tumours with increasing mobile phone use, if one exists.

Interestingly, this is the same method for data collection that was used for the Hardell studies, for which they came under a fair amount of criticism. This latest work by the Interphone group claims that heavy users tend to overestimate their total usage which, if correct, would mean that the statistically significant increases found by the Hardell group in heavy mobile phone users may in fact be for less usage than actually reported. If so, this consequently implies that the brain tumour risk from mobile phone usage may be greater than that suggested by Hardell.


[View full abstract on Pubmed]

Schools withdraw Wireless networks due to health concerns

Three separate schools have all been reported to have removed wireless networking facilities from parts of the schools when concern from parents reached a level that was deemed sufficient for remedial action. In one of these schools the main reason for the removal of the wireless network was the apparent effect it was having on one of the teachers, who had become too ill to continue working whilst the wireless network was running.

This in itself is interesting news, but more startling is the followup article in the times by health editor Nigel Hawkes who writes off the whole episode as scaremongering:

"Today radio signals from mobile phones, mobile phone masts and now wi-fi installations have taken over where nuclear tests left off. Feeling a bit peaky? It's probably that mobile mast round the corner.

"It can't be said often enough that there is hardly a shred of worthwhile evidence to support the worries.

"In some US schools, and even in a university in Canada, wi-fi has been banned until it can be "proved safe". Can Canadian academic standards be so low that they do not know it is impossible to prove anything safe? The best that can be hoped for is no evidence of risk: evidence of no risk is asking the impossible."

This is simply gross ignorance of the last 5 years of scientific research into this issue. There is now steadily mounting evidence to support the likelihood of adverse health effects from masts - in fact, there is more research pointing to an adverse health effect than there is failing to find an effect. It is worth bringing up that there is no substantial research at this stage into Wireless networking, but the technology is sufficiently similar that the prudent course of action would be to recommend urgent research into this field instead of write it off as harmless. The final paragraph is quite reasonable, except it avoids the point that we already have a position where "no evidence of risk" simply cannot be claimed - there is ample evidence of a possible risk, and this needs further investigation. Later in the article was the following:

"Wi-fi works at much lower power levels and over shorter ranges than mobile phone networks, so is even less likely to cause a problem. But even writing this implies that mobile phones themselves may be a problem when there is no persuasive evidence that they are."

Again, this is simply an unreasonably one sided point of view. There is now very good evidence to suggest that there may be some serious long-term problems from mobile phone usage, that simply cannot be found true or false yet because of the latency period of the health effects coupled with the length of widespread usage.

From such a prestigious newspaper as the Times, we would have expected far better from their health editor than this.


[Times article regarding schools removing wifi networks]
[Response from Health Editor Nigel Hawkes]

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