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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2006 Articles

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June 6, 2006

A Swiss research team led by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich has failed to replicate the Dutch TNO study (see yesterday's post). Achermann and his collaborators, Martin Röösli of the University of Bern and Niels Kuster of the IT'IS Foundation in Zurich, found no consistent effects on well-being or cognitive performance following a 45-minute exposure to 3G RF radiation, at either a 1 V/m or a 10 V/m.

The radiation signals were designed to mimic those from a mobile phone base station. The experiments were run double blind —that is, neither the subjects nor the investigators knew when the power was turned on.

No Effect Finding Expected

June 5, 2006

The results of the attempted replication of the TNO study will be announced tomorrow in Zurich. The Dutch TNO study, caused quite a stir when it was released in the fall of 2003. It suggested that 3G RF fields as low as 1 V/m could be detrimental to a person's sense of well-being and has been widely cited by those opposed to the siting of mobile phone towers near schools and in residential neighborhoods.

Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich, Niels Kuster of IT'IS (see June 2, below) and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern will present their findings at a press conference scheduled to begin at 10:30am Swiss time. Their paper has been accepted for publication and will be posted on the Internet after the press conference. The word on the street is that they failed to repeat the TNO findings —but no one expected the TNO to find such effects in the first place. More tomorrow.

SPEAG/IT’IS Ad Campaign

June 2, 2006

We've been tempted to think that some junior X-men have jumped off the big screen onto the streets of New York City. Well, not really, it just seems like that with so many people linking Bluetooth headsets to their cell phones.

June 1, 2006

RMIT University has released a more detailed version (the third) of EMC Technologies' EMF/EMR measurement survey (see our May 25 post).  

May 28, 2006

Metal earrings can spark hotter hot spots in the heads of cell phone users. A team of Spanish scientists has found that the peak SAR —a measure of the energy delivered to human tissue— can be up to 25% higher when a 900 MHz phone is pressed up to an ear pierced with a metallic object. In a paper that will appear in a future issue of Bioelectromagnetics, David Sanchez-Hernandez and coworkers at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena don't say exactly where such hot spots may turn up nor whether this type of magnification will also occur with 1800 MHz phones, but they do advise that this finding merits "special attention."   

May 25, 2006

RMIT University has announced that environmental surveys have identified "no anomalies" on the top two floors of the Melbourne building where a cluster of brain tumor cases had been identified (see our May 13 and May 19 posts).

May 19, 2006

As the investigation of the RMIT University brain tumor cluster continues in Melbourne (see our May 13 post), we are reminded of another cancer cluster, which was also much in the news down under about this time last year. In this earlier case, some ten women working in the Australian Broadcasting Co.'s (ABC) offices in Brisbane developed breast cancer and, as at RMIT, power-frequency EMFs and RF radiation were under suspicion because there were antennas on the roof of the ABC building.

EMC Technologies, a test and measurement consulting company, was called in to survey the entire ABC site. Soon afterwards, ABC Queensland director Chris Wordsworth told the Sydney Morning Herald that testing had shown "nothing adverse." That April, Chris Zombolas, the technical director of EMC Technologies, confirmed to us what Wordsworth had already told the local newspapers: He had not found high levels of any electromagnetic signals. But, Zombolas added, he was not in a position to release the report —that would be up to ABC. Figuring there was nothing much more to the story, we moved on and did not give it much thought until the RMIT cluster became news.

May 19, 2006

How comprehensive and objective is the new IEEE RF exposure standard (C95.1-2005)? Not at all, says Vladimir Binhi of the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and the author of Magnetobiology. In a recent short comment, Binhi claims that the IEEE standard is biased, arguing that it dismisses non-thermal biological effects and ignores a large body of work documenting their existence. For its part, the IEEE committee, chaired by C.K. Chou of Motorola and John D'Andrea of the U.S. Navy (at Brooks Air Force Base), maintains that, "All relevant reported biological effects at either low '("non-thermal') or high ('thermal') levels were evaluated."

May 13, 2006

The brain tumor cluster at Australia's RMIT University is Topic A for EMF watchers around the world. It all began on Thursday when Australian TV news reported that the university had launched an investigation into seven cases of brain tumors among staff members in a 17-storey building on its Melbourne campus. Five of those who developed tumors worked on the top floor of the building (two others were on the 11th and 14th floors), and six of the seven had been there for more than a decade, according to the Australian, a national newspaper. Five of the cases were uncovered in the last month, while two others were reported in 1999 and 2001, Melbourne's The Age reported.

May 9, 2006

George Carlo is projecting that by the year 2010, there will be half a million cases of brain and eye cancer each year attributable to cell phone use, based on current epidemiological studies. Carlo made this prediction yesterday on New Zealand's TV3 news show, Campbell Live, hosted by John Campbell.

In the same interview, Carlo accuses Disney of putting 8-to-12-year-olds in "unbelievable danger," calling Disney's marketing of cell phone service to such young kids "grotesque." You can watch the interview, as well as two related news segments on the TV3 Web site.

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