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A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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May 17, 2010

The Paper — E. Cardis et al. (The Interphone Study Group), "Brain Tumour Risk in Relation to Mobile Telephone Use: Results of the Interphone International Case-Control Study," International Journal of Epidemiology, 2010 (open access)
Supplementary DataAppendix 1 and Appendix 2 (open access)
Commentary— R. Sarraci & J. Samet, "Call Me on My Mobile Phone … Or Better Not? — A Look at the Interphone Study Results," International Journal of Epidemiology, 2010 (open access)
Press Releases:
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — "Interphone Study Reports on Mobile Phone Use and Brain Cancer Risk"  May 17
International Union Against Cancer (UICC) — "Interphone Study Reports on Mobile Phone Use and Brain Cancer Risk" undated
Audio of Press Conference, held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva,  May 17

May 7, 2010

The first results of the Interphone project will be released on May 18, Microwave News has learned. The paper will be published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. "It is scheduled to be in the June issue," said an assistant in the journal's editorial office in Bristol, England. An electronic copy of the paper will be posted on the "advance access" page of the journal's Web site on the 18th.

May 6, 2010

Today, the President's Cancer Panel issued its report, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk. The #1 recommendation is to adopt a precautionary outlook: "A precautionary, prevention-oriented approach should replace current reactionary approaches to environmental contaminants in which human harm must be proven before action is taken to reduce or eliminate exposure" (p.103). The panel also states that, "It is vitally important to recognize that children are far more susceptible to damage from environmental carcinogens" (p.111).

May 3, 2010
Last updated July 10, 2015

Fifteen years ago Om Gandhi pointed out that children are exposed to higher levels of radiation from cell phones than adults. He was right then and he is right today. Yet, no one could blame you for thinking otherwise.

In an article published in the May issue of Harper's, Nathaniel Rich uses this putative controversy, among a number of other examples, to make the case that confusion reigns in all aspects of cell-phone research. "The brain of a child absorbs a much greater amount of radiation from a cell phone than does the brain of an adult," he writes, adding immediately after, "No, it does not."

April 14, 2010

Men's Health has gotten into the act too. The May issue offers its take on cell phone radiation health risks with "Is Your Life on the Line?" by Paul Scott. He covers much of the same ground as Nathaniel Rich in Harper's —except his is shorter. Like Rich, Scott begins with the story of Lloyd Morgan, a brain tumor survivor and cell phone activist, who, Scott says, "has made it his mission to spread the message that cell phone radiation is carcinogenic."

April 13, 2010

Out today: The May issue of Harper's magazine with a cover story on mobile phone and other EMF health risks: "For Whom the Cell Tolls: Why Your Cell Phone May (or May Not) Be Killing You" by Nathaniel Rich.

April 4, 2010

The bone marrow of young pigs has a higher water content than adult bone marrow and, as expected, Peyman and Gabriel found that it has a higher conductivity. A little math might help understand why a higher water content in tissues this leads to higher SARs. Start with the basic equation for calculating the SAR:

SAR = σ E2 / ρ

where σ = conductivity of the tissue; E = electric field, ρ = density of the tissue

More simply, this means that the SAR is proportional to the conductivity:

SAR σ

and therefore as the conductivity increases, so does the SAR.

March 11, 2010

The CBS Evening News took on the brain tumor-cell phone story tonight with "Maine Considers Warnings for Cell Phones." The focus was on State Representative Andrea Boland's bill, the Children's Wireless Protection Act, which would require cell phones be sold with warning labels. That bill has practically no chance of getting through the legislature. Members of the Health and Human Services Committee unanimously (13-0) opposed it earlier in the week, according to the Associated Press. And even if the legislature were to pass the bill, Gov. John Baldacci would likely veto it.

March 4, 2010

Time magazine has posted a piece on "Cell-Phone Safety," which will appear in next week's print edition (March 15).

Also, in its March issue, Popular Science offers a detailed look at the EMF controversy. "Disconnected" runs a full ten pages, with a promo on the cover: "Killer Cell Phones: The Real Science Behind the Health Scare." The magazine's Web site pitches the story as an exploration of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS): "The Man Who Was Allergic to Radio Waves." The "man" is Per Segerbäck, a former Ellemtel telecom engineer who now lives deep in the Swedish countryside.

February 16, 2010

The Washington Post's health section offers its take on the cell phone–tumor story today. In "Not Exactly a Ringing Endorsement," reporter John Donnelly presents a variety of opinions from DC area residents: "Everything is a risk. I'm a bodyguard. That's risky. You got to have a life. Cell phones don't scare me," said one. "It makes me nervous," said a pregnant 26-year-old, "I use the speakerphone as much as I can. I keep it away from my body. I try to use it very little."

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