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23/03/2007 - Microwave Radiation can cause physical damage to eye lenses

Researchers in Israel published a paper in 2005 where they found exposure to 1 GHz microwave radiation caused both tempoarary macroscopic and permanent microscopic damage to bovine eye lenses in culture. The power of the exposing device was very low (about 2mW) yet caused a significant degree of damage to the lens.

The authors hypothesised that the microscopic damage (which, unlike the macroscopic damage, did not repair after the exposure finished) was caused by friction between particular cells exposed to the electromagnetic radiation.

Interestingly enough, a similar level of damage was observed when the irradiation intensity was reduced to one-half the original, except that it took twice the time. This implies that there may not be a threshold, and that all levels of received radiation carries some level of implied risk. SAR (Specific Absorbtion Rate) guidance levels may not be appropriate if it is the cumulative dose that is attached to the risk.


[View abstract on PubMed]

Also in the news

10 year old paper surfaced showing RF can increase cancer risk

Researchers from Poland found (as early as 1996) large, statistically significant, increases in a number of ailments from microwave radiation exposure.

Military career personnel between 1971 and 1985 were examined, looking for possible increased risk in a number of categories of cancer morbidity. There were an average of 128,000 military personnel in each year, of which an average of 3,700 (2.98%) per year were considered occupationally exposed to microwave radiation. The control group consisted of age matched military personnel from the unexposed group. The cancer morbidity rate for exposed personnel for all age groups (20-59 years) reached 119.1 per 100,000 annually (57.6 in non-exposed) with an OR of 2.07, fully significant at P < 0.05. The difference between observed and expected values results from higher morbidity rates due to neoplasms of the alimentary tract (OR = 3.19-3.24), brain tumours (OR = 1.91) and malignancies of the haemopoietic system and lymphatic organs (OR = 6.31).

Whilst a relatively old paper now, Powerwatch have not really covered this paper in our news stories in the past, and its relevance is at least as great now than it was at the time of publication. If true, this shows a large array of entirely non-thermal, statistically significant increases in cancer to those occupationally exposed to microwave radiation. Whilst the levels are not defined in the abstract, this is yet further evidence that non-thermal effects from microwave radiation exposure are very real, and it is yet further supportive evidence of a brain tumour risk from RF exposure.


[View abstract on PubMed]

Biased and dismissive summary report from the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority

The Swedish Radiation Protection Authority have just produced a new summary report looking into the effects of ELF and RF electromagnetic fields. This is a hopelessly one-sided dismissive report that highlights all the papers that have failed to find an effect and claimed that any that have found an effect are merely inconclusive.

The report makes the mistake of "averaging study results" by comparing the totals of no effect papers against those that found an effect, despite the fact that the papers are not always looking for the same thing. It is quite possible that some symptoms sometimes attributed to EMF exposure are unrelated, but that should not dilute the credibility of a paper looking at a totally different set of symptoms that finds an association.

It is also full of weasel words, praising studies that show no effect as "well-conducted" and studies that show an effect as "less methodically rigorous" despite having no justification for their comments, nor any specific comments as to exactly which studies are being praised and which are being criticised.

The epidemiological review section cites only one study, the recent Danish Cohort study. This it claims that "the majority" of the evidence speaks against an association, and ignore both the fact that some data points showed clearly statistically significant increases in malignant brain tumours and completely ignores the other flaws in the paper (listed in the news story linked above) that virtually destroys the validity of the measured data. The summary also then completely ignores Hardell's work (in fact, even in the detailed content, the summary made no commentary on the findings of any of Hardell's work).

All in all, we cannot see how such a one-sided summary of the current research, both labatory and epidemiological, can possibly be produced from a respectable European institution.