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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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2008 Articles

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May 31, 2008

Some news notes on the Interphone study:

• Those who say there are no long-term cell phone risks often point to the Interphone study from Japan, published earlier this year, for support. As we have previously reported, the Japanese researchers said there was no association between cell phones and brain tumors, even though they found a close to sixfold increase in glioma among heavily-exposed users after ten or more years (see our February 15 post). That link was based on a small number of cases and was not statistically significant; the Japanese attributed the increase to recall bias. Bruce Hocking, an occupational and environmental health physician in Melbourne, Australia, suggests otherwise. In a letter published this week in the British Journal of Cancer, Hocking points out that the risk of meningioma (another type of brain tumor) is hardly raised at all (OR=1.14). He writes: "If recall bias is the true explanation for the increased risk of glioma, it should similarly have affected the meningioma group, but it has not. Therefore, the increased risk in the glioma group may be a true finding."

May 29, 2008

Next-Up, the European activist group, has posted the entire Larry King Live show, "Cell Phones: Are They Dangerous?," on its Web site. Only the ads are missing. Click here to see the 44-minute video. A transcript is also available.

May 28, 2008

Robert O. Becker, a towering figure in bioelectromagnetics, died on May 14 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 84 and had been ailing for some time. Becker, best known for his research on "currents of injury" and the role they play in regeneration, made significant contributions to many areas of electrobiology. He was later drawn into public controversies over health effects — Becker is credited as the first to use the term "electromagnetic pollution"— and in the end paid dearly for speaking out.

"Bob Becker's passing marks the end of an era in bioelectromagnetics, that time when very few scientists believed that non-thermal electromagnetic exposures were biologically significant," said Abe Liboff, a physicist and the co-editor of Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. "All the work on applying electromagnetic fields to bone repair is attributable to Becker's reinterpretation of Carlo Matteucci's discovery of currents of injury," he said.

May 27, 2008

Larry King will devote tonight's show to a discussion on "Cell Phones: Are They Dangerous?" Among those scheduled to appear are Drs. Keith Black, the head of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN's chief medical correspondent, Vini Khurana, an Australian neurosurgeon (see our April 10 post), Louis Slesin, the editor of Microwave News, and Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society.

A Surprising Finding

May 14, 2008

It's certainly a provocative and surprising finding —almost to the point of being unbelievable. A joint U.S.–Danish team has reported that young children born to mothers who had used cell phones during pregnancy were more likely to have behavioral disorders, such as hyperactivity and emotional problems.

April 28, 2008

Another Interphone researcher is expressing concern over the tumor risks associated with the long-term use of mobile phones. "I think the evidence that is accumulating is pointing towards an effect of mobile phones on tumors," Professor Bruce Armstrong of the University of Sydney School of Public Health told "TodayTonight," an Australian current affairs show on Channel 7, a national network.

April 10, 2008

Vini Khurana hit the big time last week. The Australian neurosurgeon parlayed a 69-page literature review on cell phones and brain tumors into a spot on the U.S. NBC Nightly News. Call it the power of the sound bite.

Key Brain Tumor Study Ignored

March 14, 2008

The Interphone saga gets weirder and weirder. The latest chapter comes with the release, earlier this week, of a status report on EMFs and health by the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI).

Recent Research on EMF Health Risks, the fifth annual report by an independent expert group, covers what was learned about various types of EMFs, from ELF to RF, in 2007. Here we address only what it says about the latest Interphone results —or more precisely, what it does not say.

Sixfold Increase in Gliomas Seen as Unreliable

February 15, 2008

If anyone is still not convinced that the completed Interphone study should be released as soon as possible (see our January 30 post), they need look no further than how the Interphone results from Japan were handled last week.

February 12, 2008

Dariusz Leszczynski has been applying the powerful new techniques of molecular biology (specifically, proteomics) to better understand EMF effects. A couple of years ago he predicted that they would "help in the discovery of the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms."

Now, Leszczynski and collaborators at Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) in Helsinki have shown that relatively low-power mobile phone radiation can alter the production of proteins in human skin. Ten women volunteered to have their forearms irradiated with 900 MHz GSM radiation for one hour at an SAR of 1.3 W/Kg —well below the European cell phone exposure standard of 2.0 W/Kg. A small sample of skin was then removed and analyzed. The levels of eight different proteins (out of a total of 580) were found to be significantly changed.

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