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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2007 Articles

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December 12, 2007

PERFORM-A is a washout. The eight-year, $10 million industry research project that was supposed to answer the question, "Does cellphone radiation cause cancer in animals?" instead promises to sow more confusion and mistrust.

October 30, 2007

Another reader has brought to our attention a fourth paper showing that GSM radiation can alter sleep. James Horne and coworkers at the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University in the U.K. have reported that very weak (0.133 W/Kg) signals can delay sleep onset. The new work, published in June, raises some particularly important —and thorny— issues regarding the biological effects of different ELF modulations on the 900 MHz GSM pulses. We'll leave those for another time, but for now the Loughborough study reinforces the take-home message that RF effects on sleep have become a major focus of the mobile phone health controversy.

October 29, 2007

The ability of mobile phone radiation to affect sleep is emerging as a robust low-level effect.

A team led by Bengt Arnetz has reported that a three-hour exposure to GSM radiation at 1.4 W/Kg an hour before bed can disrupt sleep. This supports the findings of Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich and Sarah Loughran of the Brain Sciences Institute at Australia's Swinburne University.

October 19, 2007

The five U.S. cell phones with the highest SARs are all made by Motorola, according to a list compiled by CNET. One Moto phone, the V195s for T-Mobile, has an SAR of 1.6 W/Kg, which is the maximum level allowed by the FCC (this model is not included on Motorola's SAR Web site). On the other hand, Moto's Razr V3x had the second lowest SAR (0.14 W/Kg) on CNET's list —though this model is not available in the U.S. Motorola's Web site gives the V3x as having a maximum SAR of 0.58 W/Kg.

October 9, 2007

Why is the Interphone study not finished yet? "The interpretation is not straightforward," Elisabeth Cardis told Microwave News in an interview from her office at IARC in Lyon, France. The data are "very difficult to interpret because of the potential problems of recall and selection bias," she explained.

October 3, 2007

Interphone 2.0 is underway. This second phase of the Interphone project is investigating the possible link between brain tumors and occupational exposures to various types of EMFs —not just those from mobile phones— as well as to chemicals.

September 26, 2007

Birds may actually be able to "see" a magnetic field. This is the fascinating and surprising conclusion of a group of German scientists who have been studying migratory birds. Not everyone is yet convinced that garden warblers can visualize the geomagnetic field (see today's news item on Nature.com), but the new German paper reminds us how little about we know about how living systems interact with electromagnetic signals.

September 24, 2007

The Swiss National Research Program on Non-Ionizing Radiation (NRP57) will hold a one-day wokshop, Dosimetry Meets Epidemiology, on January 11 in Zurich. The focus will be on exposure assessment in EMF epidemiology. Anders Ahlbom, Jørgen Bach Andersen, Alexander Borbély, Elisabeth Cardis and Yngve Hamnerius, all members of NRP57's steering committee, will chair the three sessions. Among those on the program are Joe Bowman of U.S. NIOSH, Niels Kuster of IT'IS, Mike Kelsh of Exponent and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern. There is only room for 60 attendees and we are told that half the spots are already taken. For more information, contact Christian Mottas at the Swiss National Science Foundation.

September 19, 2007

The French Interphone results are out and they are not reassuring.

The French study team, which includes Elisabeth Cardis, who is in charge of the overall Interphone project, has found high rates of brain tumors (gliomas) among heavy cell phone users. It's not a significant result, statistically speaking, but what is noteworthy is that this excess was apparent regardless of the way a heavy user was defined. As the researchers themselves put it: There is a "general tendency" for a greater glioma risk for "long-term users, heavy users [and] users with the largest numbers of telephones."

August 29, 2007

An international group of researchers has thrown down the gauntlet. The Bioinitiative Working Group is challenging the EMF power structure to set much stricter exposure standards for power lines, cell phones, cell towers and other sources of electromagnetic radiation.

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