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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2004 Articles

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December 21, 2004

The final report of the REFLEX project is now available on the Web site of the Verum Foundation. The report summarizes the work of 12 research groups in seven European countries. The total cost of the project, which investigated the effects low-levels of RF radiation on cellular systems, was approximately $3 million.

Experimental data generated in a number of the labs showed that RF radiation could increase the number of DNA breaks in exposed cells, as well as activate a stress response —the production of heat shock proteins. Many of these effects have been reported at scientific conferences over the last few years (see, for example, MWN, J/A01, p.8; N/D01, p.1; and M/A03 p.7).

December 17, 2004

Epidemiologists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have found no association between the use of cell phones and the risk of brain tumors.

“No increased risk was found for glioma or meningioma related to mobile phone use,” reports Stefan Lönn and coworkers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine. Lönn completed the study as part of his doctoral dissertation under the direction of Maria Feychting. This work is part of the Interphone study being coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France.

WHO and Public Health Officials Stand in the Way; Eight Wrongheaded Excuses Debunked in London

December 7, 2004

Precautionary policies to protect children from power line electromagnetic fields (EMFs) should have been adopted years ago. It’s a no-brainer, yet health officials continue to sit on their hands.

There has long been widespread agreement that EMFs are linked to childhood leukemia. They are also likely to play a role in both brain and breast cancer as well as in miscarriages and in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But health agencies have been unwilling to move against these largely preventable risks. It’s astonishing that those charged with promoting public health —not just electric utility executives— are the roadblocks to change.

November 2, 2004

The World Health Organizationís EMF Project is advising national governments against setting stricter exposure limits for exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) to protect children from leukemia.

October 30, 2004

On October 29, Sky News disclosed that the U.K. Department of Health kept a study linking power lines to childhood leukemia under wraps for three years. Children under 15 who lived within 100 meters of a power line had double the risk of developing leukemia, according to the report.

In an interview with the Independent, published on October 30, Dr. Gerald Draper of the Childhood Cancer Research Group in Oxford, denied that he had suppressed the results of his study that had looked at 35,000 cases of childhood leukemia between 1962 and 1995. Draper did concede that he had presented his preliminary results at a “private workshop” 18 months ago. He said that at that time the results were “fuzzy.”

Opposing Outlooks

October 18, 2004

Members of each of the teams that have reported links between mobile phones and acoustic neuromas have recently published reviews of the RF epidemiological literature.

Acoustic Neuroma Implicated

October 12, 2004

Mobile phones may present a cancer risk after all. Epidemiologists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have found that the phones can increase the incidence of acoustic neuromas, benign tumors of the auditory nerve. The nerve is exposed to radiation during the normal use of a cell phone.

Those who used mobile phones for at least ten years, had close to twice the risk of developing acoustic neuromas, according to a team led by Dr. Maria Feychting and Prof. Anders Ahlbom of the Karolinska’s Institute of Environmental Medicine. Ahlbom is the deputy director of institute.

September 22, 2004

A Swiss research team will attempt to replicate a Dutch study which showed that exposure to very weak (1 V/m) 3G mobile phone radiation had a negative effect on a subject’s feeling of well-being. The Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication, based in Zurich, has awarded a team led by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich €485,000 (approx. $600,000) to repeat the study at both 1 V/m and 10 V/m. Niels Kuster of IT’IS, also in Zurich, and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern will be collaborating with Achermann. The replication effort is scheduled to be completed by next September.

September 22, 2004

The radiation protection agencies in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have issued a joint statement agreeing that “[T]here is no scientific evidence for any adverse health effects from mobile telecommunications systems, neither from base stations nor from headsets below the [ICNIRP exposure limits].” Even so, the agencies go on to endorse a policy of “prudent avoidance,” stating that, “The existing gaps and the prevailing scientific uncertainty justify a certain precautionary attitude regarding the use of handsets for mobile telephony. ”

September 21, 2004

The U.S. Navy has announced that, on September 30, it will close down its Project ELF transmitter, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The transmitter, which consists of a 56-mile antenna on Michigan’s upper penninsula and a 28-mile antenna in nothern Wisconsin, operates at 72-80 Hz with a peak power in excess of 2 million watts, is used to communicate with submerged submarines. Over the years, it has been the scene of countless protests and the subject of a number of lawsuits.

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