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04/05/2011 - April 2011 - Science Update

The following is a quick summary of another eighteen 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 Moghadam MK et al, (March 2011) Effects of weak environmental magnetic fields on the spontaneous bioelectrical activity of snail neurons, J Membr Biol. 2011 Mar;240(2):63-71. Epub 2011 Jan 20 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

We examined the effects of 50-Hz magnetic fields in the range of flux densities relevant to our current environmental exposures on action potential (AP), after-hyperpolarization potential (AHP) and neuronal excitability in neurons of land snails, Helix aspersa. It was shown that when the neurons were exposed to magnetic field at the various flux densities, marked changes in neuronal excitability, AP firing frequency and AHP amplitude were seen. These effects seemed to be related to the intensity, type (single and continuous or repeated and cumulative) and length of exposure (18 or 20 min). The extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposures affect the excitability of F1 neuronal cells in a nonmonotonic manner, disrupting their normal characteristic and synchronized firing patterns by interfering with the cell membrane electrophysiological properties. Our results could explain one of the mechanisms and sites of action of ELF magnetic fields. A possible explanation of the inhibitory effects of magnetic fields could be a decrease in Ca(2+) influx through inhibition of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. The detailed mechanism of effect, however, needs to be further studied under voltage-clamp conditions.

2. P Nishimura T et al, (March 2011) A 1-uT extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field vs. sham control for mild-to-moderate hypertension: a double-blind, randomized study, Hypertens Res. 2011 Mar;34(3):372-7. Epub 2011 Jan 20 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) on blood pressure (BP) are controversial. In this double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled study, we examined the effects of repeated exposure to a 1-µT ELF-EMF on BP in 20 humans with mild-to-moderate hypertension. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the ELF-EMF group or the sham group. Subjects in the ELF-EMF group were exposed to an ELF-EMF (6- and 8 Hz, respectively, peak magnetic field 1 µT, peak electric field 10 Vm(-1)) for at least two 10- to 15-min sessions per week, over a period of 4 weeks. In the sham group, the EMF-generating apparatus was not active. We obtained systolic and diastolic BP (SBP and DBP, respectively) measurements at registration and before and after each ELF-EMF exposure session. Subjects in the ELF-EMF and sham groups had mean ages of 52.8 and 55.1 years, and were exposed to a mean of 9.9 and 9.0 sessions, respectively. There was a significant difference between the ELF-EMF and sham groups with respect to change in SBP value between baseline and the end of the exposure regimen (P=0.02), but not with respect to change in DBP (P=0.21). There were no adverse events other than mild paresthesia of the hands of two subjects in the ELF-EMF group. Our results suggest that repeated exposure to an ELF-EMF has a BP-lowering effect on humans with mild-to-moderate hypertension.

3. - Vulevic B, Osmokrovic P, (January 2011) Survey of elf magnetic field levels in households near overhead power lines in serbia, Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2011 Jan 26. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

During the last eight years, 'VINCA' Institute-Radiation and Environmental Protection Laboratory has performed environmental 'spot' broadband measurements of extremely low frequency (ELF-50 Hz) electric and magnetic fields and RF (100 kHz-3 GHz) electromagnetic fields in over 35 municipalities in Serbia. These investigations were motivated by the local population requesting information about levels of general public exposure to time-varying electric and magnetic fields in living spaces. This paper presents a summary of values measured in households under overhead power lines. These measurements will be useful in determining the exposure levels of the general public, which in turn determines whether the exposure levels are within reference levels recommended by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines. It has turned out that measured values are far below the recommended safe levels.

4. N Poulletier de Gannes F et al, (February 2011) Effect of exposure to the edge signal on oxidative stress in brain cell models, Radiat Res. 2011 Feb;175(2):225-30. Epub 2010 Nov 22 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

In this study we investigated the effect of the Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE) signal on cells of three human brain cell lines, SH-SY5Y, U87 and CHME5, used as models of neurons, astrocytes and microglia, respectively, as well as on primary cortical neuron cultures. SXC-1800 waveguides (IT'IS-Foundation, Zürich, Switzerland) were modified for in vitro exposure to the EDGE signal radiofrequency (RF) radiation at 1800 MHz. Four exposure conditions were tested: 2 and 10 W/kg for 1 and 24 h. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured by flow cytometry using the dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) probe at the end of the 24-h exposure or 24 h after the 1-h exposure. Rotenone treatment was used as a positive control. All cells tested responded to rotenone treatment by increasing ROS production. These findings indicate that exposure to the EDGE signal does not induce oxidative stress under these test conditions, including 10 W/kg. Our results are in agreement with earlier findings that RF radiation alone does not increase ROS production.

5. - Sage C, (October 2010) Tragedy of the commons revisited: the high tech-high risk wireless world, Rev Environ Health. 2010 Oct-Dec;25(4):319-24 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

In 1968, Garrett Hardin, an eminent population ecologist from Santa Barbara, CA published an article in Science titled 'Tragedy of the Commons' that was immediately hailed as a landmark piece of thinking. This paper reshaped prevailing views about our place in the ecological network of the planet and was pivotal in defining how pursuit of our individual actions to maximize self-interest will, across populations all doing the same thing, result in diminished and overused environmental resources. Before sustainability was even a buzzword, Hardin created a way of seeing the world that emphasized how individuals must learn to recognize and to act with more in mind than squeezing one more cow onto the common pasture. He gave us new ways to think about how we might better manage our resources in the face of new technologies. He was not a believer in the technological fix. Those lessons are highly relevant today to the unchecked proliferation of wireless radiofrequency signals, thought by many to cause serious health consequences.

6. P Trillo MA et al, (January 2011) Cytostatic response of NB69 cells to weak pulse-modulated 2.2 GHz radar-like signals, Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Jan 28. doi: 10.1002/bem.20643. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The present study investigates the response of two human cancer cell lines to a 24-h treatment with a 2.2-GHz, pulse-modulated (5 µs pulse duration, 100 Hz repetition rate) radar-like signal at an average SAR = 0.023 W/kg, using a newly designed setup for in vitro exposure to radiofrequency (RF) fields. A complete discretized model of the setup was created for numerical dosimetry using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) software, SEMCAD X. The average dose of RF radiation absorbed by the cultures was calculated to be subthermal (ΔT < 0.1 °C). The RF exposure induced a consistent, statistically significant reduction in the cell number (13.5% below controls, P < 0.001) in the neuroblastoma NB69 line. This effect was accompanied with slight but statistically significant increases in the proportions of cells in phases G0/G1 and G2/M of the cell cycle (6% and 9%, respectively; P < 0.05 over controls). By contrast, the hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2 did not respond to the same RF treatment. These results indicate that a pulse-modulated RF radiation with high instantaneous amplitude and low average power can induce cytostatic responses on specific, sensitive cancer cell lines. The effect would be mediated, at least in part, by alterations in the kinetics of the cell cycle.

7. - Ubeda A et al, (January 2011) Assessment of occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields in hospital personnel, Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Jan 31. doi: 10.1002/bem.20644. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

It has been proposed that chronic exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) in occupational environments could represent a risk factor for a number of disorders. Medical and technical workers in hospitals have been reported to be exposed to relatively strong ELF fields. The present work aims to characterize exposure to MF in the 5 Hz to 2 kHz frequency range in a large hospital through both instantaneous environmental measurements and personal monitoring of workers. The study was conducted in different working environments of a hospital with about 4400 employees, many of them working at two or more different work stations and consequently, exposed to MF levels that were expected to be unevenly distributed in space and time. The results indicate that: (1) The dominant frequency at the studied environments was 50 Hz (average 90.8 ± 6% of the total B value); (2) The best descriptive information on a worker's exposure is obtained from personal monitoring of volunteer workers; (3) The arithmetic averages of exposure levels obtained from the monitoring ranged from 0.03 ± 0.01 µT in nurses to 0.39 ± 0.13 µT in physiotherapists; and (4) The description of the MF environment through spot measurements in the workplace, although coherent with the data from personal monitoring, might not adequately estimate MF exposure in some professional categories.

8. P Liu ML et al, (February 2011) Potential Protection of Green Tea Polyphenols Against 1800 MHz Electromagnetic Radiation-Induced Injury on Rat Cortical Neurons, Neurotox Res. 2011 Feb 4. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) are harmful to public health, but the certain anti-irradiation mechanism is not clear yet. The present study was performed to investigate the possible protective effects of green tea polyphenols against electromagnetic radiation-induced injury in the cultured rat cortical neurons. In this study, green tea polyphenols were used in the cultured cortical neurons exposed to 1800 MHz EMFs by the mobile phone. We found that the mobile phone irradiation for 24 h induced marked neuronal cell death in the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) and TUNEL (TdT mediated biotin-dUTP nicked-end labeling) assay, and protective effects of green tea polyphenols on the injured cortical neurons were demonstrated by testing the content of Bcl-2 Assaciated X protein (Bax) in the immunoprecipitation assay and Western blot assay. In our study results, the mobile phone irradiation-induced increases in the content of active Bax were inhibited significantly by green tea polyphenols, while the contents of total Bax had no marked changes after the treatment of green tea polyphenols. Our results suggested a neuroprotective effect of green tea polyphenols against the mobile phone irradiation-induced injury on the cultured rat cortical neurons.

9. P Cao Y et al, (February 2011) Induction of adaptive response: Pre-exposure of mice to 900 MHz radiofrequency fields reduces hematopoietic damage caused by subsequent exposure to ionising radiation, Int J Radiat Biol. 2011 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Purpose: To investigate whether an adaptive response can be induced in mice which were pre-exposed to 900 MHz radiofrequency fields. Materials and methods: Adult male Kunming mice were exposed to 900 MHz radiofrequency fields (RF) at power intensities of 12, 120 and 1200 W/cm(2) for 1 h/day for 14 days and then subjected to whole body gamma-irradiation. The results were compared with those in unexposed control animals and those exposed to gamma-irradiation alone (without pre-exposure to RF). The extent of survival and hematopoietic tissue damage (assessed in the form of nucleated colony forming cells in the bone marrow and colony forming cells in the spleen of lethally irradiated "recipient" mice) as well as the expression of cell cycle-related genes were investigated. Results:The results indicated a significant increase in survival time, reduction in the hematopoietic tissue damage in RF pre-exposed mice which were gamma-irradiated (as compared with those exposed to gamma-radiation alone). This was accompanied by significantly increased expression of cell cycle-related genes, namely, cyclin-D1, cyclin-E, cyclin-DK4 and cyclin-DK2 in hematopoietic cells. Conclusions: Pre-exposure of mice to 900 MHz radiofrequency fields has resulted in a significant reduction in hematopoietic damage caused by subsequent exposure to ionising radiation. This phenomenon appears to be similar to that of the "adaptive response" which is well documented in scientific literature.

10. - Behari J, (October 2010) Biological responses of mobile phone frequency exposure, Indian J Exp Biol. 2010 Oct;48(10):959-81 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Existence of low level electromagnetic fields in the environment has been known since antiquity and their biological implications are noted for several decades. As such dosimetry of such field parameters and their emissions from various sources of mass utilization has been a subject of constant concern. Recent advancement in mobile communications has also drawn attention to their biological effects. Hand held children and adults alike generally use mobile sources as cordless phones in various positions with respect to the body. Further, an increasing number of mobile communication base stations have led to wide ranging concern about possible health effects of radiofrequency emissions. There are two distinct possibilities by which health could be affected as a result of radio frequency field exposure. These are thermal effects caused by holding mobile phones close to the body and extended conversations over a long period of time. Secondly, there could be possibly non thermal effects from both phones and base stations whereby the affects could also be cumulative. Some people may be adversely affected by the environmental impact of mobile phone base stations situated near their homes, schools or any other place. In addition to mobile phones, appliances like microwave oven etc are also in increasing use. Apart from the controversy over the possible health effects due to the non-thermal effect of electromagnetic fields the electromagnetic interaction of portable radio waves with human head needs to be quantitatively evaluated. Relating to this is the criteria of safe exposure to the population at large. While a lot of efforts have gone into resolving the issue, a clear picture has yet to emerge. Recent advances and the problems relating to the safety criteria are discussed.

11. N Song HS et al, (December 2010) Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on Phospholipase Activity in the Cultured Cells, Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;14(6):427-33. Epub 2010 Dec 31 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

This study was conducted to investigate the effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) on signal pathway in plasma membrane of cultured cells (RAW 264.7 cells and RBL 2H3 cells), by measuring the activity of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)), phospholipase C (PLC) and phospholipase D (PLD). The cells were exposed to the EMF (60 Hz, 0.1 or 1 mT) for 4 or 16 h. The basal and 0.5 µM melittin-induced arachidonic acid release was not affected by EMF in both cells. In cell-free PLA(2) assay, we failed to observe the change of cPLA(2) and sPLA(2) activity. Also both PLC and PLD activities did not show any change in the two cell lines exposed to EMF. This study suggests that the exposure condition of EMF (60 Hz, 0.1 or 1 mT) which is 2.4 fold higher than the limit of occupational exposure does not induce phospholipases-associated signal pathway in RAW 264.7 cells and RBL 2H3 cells.

12. P Huang SM et al, (April 2011) Occupational Exposure of Dentists to Extremely-low-frequency Magnetic Field, J Occup Health. 2011 Apr 20;53(2):130-6. Epub 2011 Feb 17 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Objective: To compare occupational exposure to extremely-low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) between dentists practicing in dental clinics and those employed in hospitals. Methods: Thirty-two dentists who worked at clinics (n=15) and 33 dentists employed at hospital dental departments (n=7) voluntarily provided their informed consent to participate in this measurement study. The study dentists were requested to wear an ELF-MF dosimeter for some 3 h at work to determine their personal exposure. Spot measurements taken at a number of locations in each dental office were used to indicate the work environment exposure level. Additionally, ELF-MF emitted from common dental equipment was also measured. All measurements were performed with EMDEX Lite meters. Results: The average environmental exposure to ELF-MF is higher in clinic dental offices than in hospital dental departments (0.55 vs. 0.15 µT, p=0.008). Personal dosimetry showed that on average, clinic dentists spent 35.71 and 19.39% of their time at exposures above 0.3 and 0.4 µT at work, respectively. The corresponding figures for hospital dentists were 19.61 and 13.92%. Additionally, ELF-MF was greater than 0.4 µT at 30 cm from all selected equipment, but the ELF-MF generally diminished as the distance from dental equipment increased. Uultraviolet air sterilization system produced 3 times as much ELF-MF as other dental equipment. Conclusions: This study suggests the possibility of over-exposure of dentists to power frequency ELF-MF. Additionally, certain dental equipment may produce ELF-MF levels greater than 0.4 µT in areas where dentists usually work when treating patients.

13. N Sakurai T et al, (February 2011) Analysis of Gene Expression in a Human-derived Glial Cell Line Exposed to 2.45 GHz Continuous Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, J Radiat Res (Tokyo). 2011;52(2):185-92. Epub 2011 Feb 19 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The increasing use of mobile phones has aroused public concern regarding the potential health risks of radiofrequency (RF) fields. We investigated the effects of exposure to RF fields (2.45 GHz, continuous wave) at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1, 5, and 10 W/kg for 1, 4, and 24 h on gene expression in a normal human glial cell line, SVGp12, using DNA microarray. Microarray analysis revealed 23 assigned gene spots and 5 non-assigned gene spots as prospective altered gene spots. Twenty-two genes out of the 23 assigned gene spots were further analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to validate the results of microarray, and no significant alterations in gene expression were observed. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, we found no evidence that exposure to RF fields affected gene expression in SVGp12 cells. It is rather unclear why a continuous wave exposure at 2.45 GHz is considered necessarily relevant to mobile phone use and associated RF exposure to the general public.

14. P Volkow ND et al, (February 2011) Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism, JAMA. 2011 Feb 23;305(8):808-13 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The dramatic increase in use of cellular telephones has generated concern about possible negative effects of radiofrequency signals delivered to the brain. However, whether acute cell phone exposure affects the human brain is unclear. To evaluate if acute cell phone exposure affects brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity. Randomized crossover study conducted between January 1 and December 31, 2009, at a single US laboratory among 47 healthy participants recruited from the community. Cell phones were placed on the left and right ears and positron emission tomography with ((18)F)fluorodeoxyglucose injection was used to measure brain glucose metabolism twice, once with the right cell phone activated (sound muted) for 50 minutes ("on" condition) and once with both cell phones deactivated ("off" condition). Statistical parametric mapping was used to compare metabolism between on and off conditions using paired t tests, and Pearson linear correlations were used to verify the association of metabolism and estimated amplitude of radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic waves emitted by the cell phone. Clusters with at least 1000 voxels (volume > 8 cm(3)) and P < .05 (corrected for multiple comparisons) were considered significant. Brain glucose metabolism computed as absolute metabolism (µmol/100 g per minute) and as normalized metabolism (region/whole brain). Whole-brain metabolism did not differ between on and off conditions. In contrast, metabolism in the region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher for on than off conditions (35.7 vs 33.3 µmol/100 g per minute; mean difference, 2.4 [95% confidence interval, 0.67-4.2]; P = .004). The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for absolute metabolism (R = 0.95, P < .001) and normalized metabolism (R = 0.89; P < .001). In healthy participants and compared with no exposure, 50-minute cell phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. This finding is of unknown clinical significance.

15. P Baldi I et al, (November 2010) Occupational and residential exposure to electromagnetic fields and risk of brain tumors in adults: A case-control study in Gironde, France, Int J Cancer. 2010 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The etiology of brain tumors remains largely unknown. Among potential risk factors, exposure to electromagnetic fields is suspected. We analyzed the relationship between residential and occupational exposure to electromagnetic field and brain tumors in adults. A case-control study was carried out in southwestern France between May 1999 and April 2001. A total of 221 central nervous system tumors (105 gliomas, 67 meningiomas, 33 neurinomas and 16 others) and 442 individually age- and sex-matched controls selected from general population were included. Electromagnetic field exposure [extremely low frequency (ELF) and radiofrequency separately was assessed in occupational settings through expert judgement based on complete job calendar, and at home by assessing the distance to power lines with the help of a geographical information system. Confounders such as education, use of home pesticide, residency in a rural area and occupational exposure to chemicals were taken into account. Separate analyses were performed for gliomas, meningiomas and acoustic neurinomas. A nonsignificant increase in risk was found for occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields [odds ratio (OR = 1.52, 0.92-2.51)]. This increase became significant for meningiomas, especially when considering ELF separately [OR = 3.02; 95 percent confidence interval (95% CI) =1.10-8.25]. The risk of meningioma was also higher in subjects living in the vicinity of power lines (< 100 m), even if not significant (OR = 2.99, 95% CI 0.86-10.40). These data suggest that occupational or residential exposure to ELF may play a role in the occurrence of meningioma.

16. N de Vocht F et al, (January 2011) Time trends (1998-2007) in brain cancer incidence rates in relation to mobile phone use in England, Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Jan 28. doi: 10.1002/bem.20648. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Mobile phone use in the United Kingdom and other countries has risen steeply since the early 1990's when the first digital mobile phones were introduced. There is an ongoing controversy about whether radio frequency (RF) exposure from mobile phones increases the risk of brain cancer. However, given the widespread use and nearly two decades elapsing since mobile phones were introduced, an association should have produced a noticeable increase in the incidence of brain cancer by now. Trends in rates of newly diagnosed brain cancer cases in England between 1998 and 2007 were examined. There were no time trends in overall incidence of brain cancers for either gender, or any specific age group. Systematic increases in rates for cancers of the temporal lobe in men (0.04 new cases/year) and women (0.02/year) were observed, along with decreases in the rates of cancers of the parietal lobe (-0.03/year), cerebrum (-0.02/year) and cerebellum (-0.01/year) in men only. The increased use of mobile phones between 1985 and 2003 has not led to a noticeable change in the incidence of brain cancer in England between 1998 and 2007. The observed increase in the rate of cancers in the temporal lobe, if caused by mobile phone use, would constitute < 1 additional case per 100,000 people in that period. These data do not indicate a pressing need to implement a precautionary principle by means of population-wide interventions to reduce RF exposure from mobile phones. Whilst it is very timely to be examining cancer incidence trends, there are a number of assumptions in this paper that appear to be at odds with other published literature in tumour incidence. In reality, although use of mobile phones increased between 1985 and 2003, the real surge of usage (from ~10% of the population to ~90% of the population) was between 1997 and 2001. Most latency periods (time since exposure and diagnosis) for primary tumours are typically well over 10 years, commonly between 15 and 30 years. Incidence data collected up to 2007 is very unlikely to show any cancer trends, regardless of how dramatic a final association may be. It will be interesting to see if the same lack of trend is found in incidence data from 2010 to 2020.

17. P Hardell L et al, (May 2011) Pooled analysis of case-control studies on malignant brain tumours and the use of mobile and cordless phones including living and deceased subjects, Int J Oncol. 2011 May;38(5):1465-74. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2011.947. Epub 2011 Feb 17 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

We studied the association between use of mobile and cordless phones and malignant brain tumours. Pooled analysis was performed of two case-control studies on patients with malignant brain tumours diagnosed during 1997-2003 and matched controls alive at the time of study inclusion and one case-control study on deceased patients and controls diagnosed during the same time period. Cases and controls or relatives to deceased subjects were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Replies were obtained for 1,251 (85%) cases and 2,438 (84%) controls. The risk increased with latency period and cumulative use in hours for both mobile and cordless phones. Highest risk was found for the most common type of glioma, astrocytoma, yielding in the >10 year latency group for mobile phone use odds ratio (OR) = 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.9-3.7 and cordless phone use OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.2-2.9. In a separate analysis, these phone types were independent risk factors for glioma. The risk for astrocytoma was highest in the group with first use of a wireless phone before the age of 20; mobile phone use OR = 4.9, 95% CI = 2.2-11, cordless phone use OR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.7-8.7. In conclusion, an increased risk was found for glioma and use of mobile or cordless phone. The risk increased with latency time and cumulative use in hours and was highest in subjects with first use before the age of 20. This latest paper from Hardell shows a logical but concerning finding - that the increase in risk associated with use beginning as a teenager could be 2-3 times higher than when usage started as an adult. This is particularly concerning when the majority of 10 year olds in the UK already own and use their own mobile phone.

18. - Kelsh MA et al, (July 2011) Measured radiofrequency exposure during various mobile-phone use scenarios, J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2010 Jun 16. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Epidemiologic studies of mobile phone users have relied on self reporting or billing records to assess exposure. Herein, we report quantitative measurements of mobile-phone power output as a function of phone technology, environmental terrain, and handset design. Radiofrequency (RF) output data were collected using software-modified phones that recorded power control settings, coupled with a mobile system that recorded and analyzed RF fields measured in a phantom head placed in a vehicle. Data collected from three distinct routes (urban, suburban, and rural) were summarized as averages of peak levels and overall averages of RF power output, and were analyzed using analysis of variance methods. Technology was the strongest predictor of RF power output. The older analog technology produced the highest RF levels, whereas CDMA had the lowest, with GSM and TDMA showing similar intermediate levels. We observed generally higher RF power output in rural areas. There was good correlation between average power control settings in the software-modified phones and power measurements in the phantoms. Our findings suggest that phone technology, and to a lesser extent, degree of urbanization, are the two stronger influences on RF power output. Software-modified phones should be useful for improving epidemiologic exposure assessment.