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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2008 Articles

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September 18, 2008

"Where is Interphone?" asked Ian Gibson, a member of the U.K. Parliament, at last week's Radiation Research Trust (RRT) conference in London. "Whose desk is it on?" No one offered an answer, not even Anders Ahlbom, a member of the Swedish Interphone group, who earlier that morning had given a talk on EMF epidemiology.

September 13, 2008

A number of mainstream newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, have picked up the NIEHS–EPRI story on their Web sites (see our September 5 post). The PI's Andrew Schneider reports that some at NIEHS are "outraged" by the tie-in with EPRI.

September 5, 2008

In an unprecedented move, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the research arm of the utility industry, will sponsor a public information booklet on EMFs for a unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is working out an arrangement whereby EPRI would pay for the writing and printing of a new edition of the NIEHS booklet, EMFs: Questions & Answers.

September 3, 2008

Making sweeping statements about scientific knowledge is always challenging, especially when writing about an unfamiliar field of research. Take, for example, this opening sentence from an article, "Fraud Charges Cast Doubt on Claims of DNA Damage from Cell Phone Fields" by Gretchen Vogel in this week's Science magazine:

September 2, 2008

While we were away on a summer break, another Interphone paper was released online: An analysis of the incidence of meningiomas (brain tumors) among cell phone users in five Northern European countries. It comes from the same teams that have previously reported increased risks of both glioma (another type of brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma (a tumor of the acoustic nerve) among long-term users.

August 1, 2008

The results of the Interphone study may finally surface by the end of the year. In an interview with Le Monde, published today, Elisabeth Cardis said the paper with the combined data from the 13 participating countries should be submitted for publication in September. If the peer-review process proceeds smoothly, it should then be available in the late fall. Cardis, the leader of the Interphone project who is now at CREAL in Barcelona, confirmed the schedule to Microwave News.

July 29, 2008

On tonight's Larry King Live, Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, called for the release of the Interphone study on the possible cell phone-tumor link. Here's what he said, according to a "rush transcript" from CNN: "I think we're going to have to look at the Interphone Study very carefully. For those listeners who don't know, the Interphone Study is run by the World Health Organization of the United Nations. It's actually been completed for about two and a half years and the people who actually ran the study have yet to publish it. There's a lot of discussions going on amongst those scientists as to exactly what the data show. And it would be really nice if it were published, I must tell you." 

July 28, 2008

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute's alert continues to attract media interest. CNN's Larry King Live has scheduled a new show on "Cell Phone Dangers" for tomorrow (Tuesday) night. (The last one was on May 27.) Sources at CNN told us that the guest list now includes: Keith Black, a neurosurgeon at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, Devra Davis of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, Paul Song, a radiation oncologist in Los Angeles and Ted Schwartz, a brain surgeon at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. The line-up may change before air time. Black, Gupta and Schwartz were also on the May 27 show. 

July 25, 2008

At this writing, Google News has a list of some 900 articles on the cell phone health alert issued by the University of Pittsburgh a couple of days ago. The Post-Gazette, the hometown paper, broke the story on the same day (it got an advance copy), and though some newspapers like the Baltimore Sun ran their own write-ups, the vast majority relied on the Associated Press for their coverage.

July 23, 2008

One of the hallmarks of the cell phone health controversy has been the silence of the U.S. public health communities. No medical, consumer, environmental or labor group has called for precaution, or even for more research.

The American Cancer Society, for instance, has adopted a what-me-worry approach. Indeed, CTIA, the industry lobby group, routinely refers press inquiries about possible health impacts to the ACS.

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