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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2004 Articles

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January 30, 2004

The ability of ELF magnetic fields to damage DNA may be getting clearer (see item below) —but not so for microwaves. Over the last ten years, the battle of the Washington universities has been raging, with Joseph Roti Roti of Washington University in St. Louis at odds with Henry Lai and N.P. Singh of the University of Washington, Seattle. Roti Roti is now claiming the upper hand in the February issue of Radiation Research.

January 27, 2004

Environmental Health Perspectives will publish a new paper by Henry Lai and N.P. Singh showing that a 24-hour exposure to 100 mG ELF EMFs can lead to significant increases in single- and double-strand DNA breaks. The two University of Washington, Seattle, researchers found even larger increases following a 48-hour exposure, leading them to conclude that the effect is cumulative.

January 27, 2004

A court in El Paso, TX, ruled on January 26 that German soldiers who developed cancer after being exposed to X-ray radiation from radar components can pursue their claims against the manufacturers of the equipment, according to the German edition of the Deutsche Welle. The defendants include GE, Raytheon and Lucent.

January 26, 2004

The U.S. military continues to investigate what might happen if you were zapped by one of its microwave weapons. Active denial technology, as the military calls it, uses 94 GHz millimeter waves (MMW) to induce pain by heating the skin. The Marine Corps says it’s like touching “an ordinary light bulb that has been left on for a while” —in fact, it’s just a “harmless energy beam,” according to the marines. Not everyone agrees.

January 26, 2004

Danish researchers have found no support for Lennart Hardell and Kjell Hansson Mild’s contention that mobile phones increase the risk of acoustic neuromas. A team led by Christoffer Johansen of the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen compared the histories of 106 cases of acoustic neuromas, benign tumors of the cranial nerve, with those of 212 controls. There was no elevated rate of cancer, even among those who had used a cell phone for ten years or more.

January 22, 2004

The U.K. Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Program (MTHR) has announced (January 22) that it is initiating two new research projects. Prof. Elaine Fox of the University of Essex will direct a study of EMF hypersensitivity symptoms among a group of volunteers, and Dr. Julie Barnett at the University of Surrey will lead an effort that will explore how people understand uncertain risks associated with mobile phones and towers. Both projects are due to be completed in December 2005.

Update on Landmark U.K. Stewart Report

January 20, 2004

A U.K. panel has concluded that health research on RF/MW radiation published over the last three years “does not give cause for concern.” In a report released on January 14, the Advisory Group on Non-Ionizing Radiation (AGNIR) found that, “The weight of evidence now available does not suggest that there are adverse effects from exposures to RF fields below guideline levels.” But the committee also cautioned that the available literature has “limitations” and that “mobile phones have only been in widespread use for a relatively short time.”

A Chance Finding at a Harvard Hospital

January 20, 2004

Researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, led by Michael Rohan have found that an MRI can significantly alleviate depression among those with bipolar disorder. A chance finding led to the study in which 30 bipolar patients were given a scan with a GE 1.5 Tesla MRI: 23 (77%) reported an improvement in their mood, while only 4 of 14 (29%) healthy control subjects noted a similar enhancement. All 11 patients who were not taking mood-stabilizing medication said that they felt better after the scan. The results are in the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

January 20, 2004

Environmental Health Perspectives is now an open access journal. This means that all research articles in EHP, which is published by the NIEHS, are feely accessible on the Internet.

Among the more than 10,000 research reports now available is the startling paper by the Lund University group in Sweden showing that very weak GSM mobile phone radiation can cause leakage through the blood-brain barrier, leading to neurological damage. The  Lund paper appeared in EHP’s June 2003 issue and was posted on the Web last January (see MWN, J/F03). The studies on the blood-brain barrier by Lund’s Drs. Leif Salford and Bertil Persson prompted a workshop held in Germany in November. Microwave News was there and we will be posting a report on the meeting soon.

January 20, 2004

On January 15, the Health Council of the Netherlands issued its EMF update, for the period May 2001 through May 2003. The report addresses both ELF and RF EMFs. (The complete text is available in Dutch and English; the English section begins on p.63.) It does not cover the TNO findings, published last September, which point to subjective health complaints following exposures to GSM mobile phone signals as low as 1 V/m (implicating SARs of less than 0.078 mW/Kg). 

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