A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

U.K.: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

January 31, 2017

The incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most virulent and deadly type of brain cancer, is going up in the U.K., while the incidence there of other types of malignant brain tumors are declining, according to some newly published raw data.

Take a look at the two plots below and the trends are immediately apparent.

The incidence rates are not corrected for age, or...

April 9, 2014

“[D]uring 6% of the MRI shifts in this study workers experienced vertigo, which constitutes a potential safety hazard for both worker and patient. Additionally, several workers reported that symptoms affected their ability to work.” A Dutch-U.K. collaboration. Open Access.

October 6, 2013

The research group at the University of Oxford that reported a link between long-term use of a mobile phone and an elevated risk of acoustic neuroma (AN) in May now says that it is no longer there. In a short letter to the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE), the Oxford team advises that when the analysis was repeated with data from 2009-2011, "there is no longer a significant...

May 10, 2013

A new study from the U.K. is adding support to the still controversial proposition that long-term use of a cell phone increases the risk of developing acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the auditory nerve. No higher risk of glioma or meningioma, two types of brain cancer, was observed.

Women who used a mobile phone for more than ten years were two-and-half-times more likely to have an acoustic neuroma than those who never used a phone. The finding is statistically significant. This is the fourth epidemiological study that shows an association between long-term use of a cell phone and acoustic neuroma.

March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013, by Nicholas Blincoe.

June 16, 2011

Who wouldn't be confused? Here's a headline from today's U.K. Daily Mail: "Mobile Phones May NOT Increase Cancer Risk as Most Brain Tumours 'Not Within Radiation Range'." Yet, just two days earlier, it gave its readers a very different message: "Number of People with Brain Cancer Could Soar 20-Fold in 20 Years Because of Mobile Phones, Experts Warn." These opposing stories stem from the two...

March 3, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, the University of Manchester in England issued a press release on a new paper on brain cancer trends in the U.K., under the headline, "Mobile Phone Use Not Related to Increased Brain Cancer Risk." Clear and catchy — but wrong. Frank de Vocht and two collaborators actually saw a statistically significant...

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.

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.

May 1, 2007

U.K. newspapers ran another batch of power line and Wi-Fi stories last weekend. The BBC, the Guardian and the Times all featured items on EMFs following the formal release of the SAGE report, which presented policy options to address EMF health risks. The Daily Mail profiled Sarah Dacre and her travails with electrosensitivity. And the Independent and the Telegraph continued to focus on public anxiety over the proliferation of Wi-Fi systems, especially in schools.

January 22, 2007

An international team of researchers has found new evidence that long-term use of a mobile phone may lead to the development of a brain tumor on the side of the head the phone is used. In a study which will appear in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Cancer, epidemiologists from five European countries report a nearly 40% increase in gliomas, a type of brain tumor, among those who had used a cell phone for ten or more years. The increase is statistically significant. In addition, there was a trend showing that the brain tumor risk increased with years of use. The new paper is posted on the journal's Web site.

November 20, 2006

According to today's London Times, Sir William Stewart believes that the evidence that microwave radiation can have potentially harmful effects has become more persuasive over the past five years. Stewart, who was the the chief science advisor to the U.K government from 1990 to 1995, is the head of the U.K.'s Health Protection Agency —which absorbed the NRPB last year. He chaired the panel which wrote the influential report Mobile Phones and Health in 2000.

June 16, 2006

Powerwatch, the U.K. EMF group, has taken us to task for not being "outspoken enough" in our comments on the HPA's new paper on microcells (see our June 14 post). Alasdair Philips is outraged over the NRPB's (now the HPA) failure to survey the more powerful base station antennas that are less than 10 meters off the ground. "The operators have installed high-power macrocell type transmitters at microcell sites," he wrote. He offered a one-word assessment of the JRP paper —"rubbish." Last year, Powerwatch posted a detailed critique of the 2004 NRPB report.

May 1, 2006

A paradigm shift is taking place in the U.K. A high-level government advisory panel, the Stakeholder Advisory Group on ELF EMFs or SAGE, is set to recommend that homes should no longer be built near overhead power lines, according to the April 26 Daily Telegraph.

In an  April 29 follow-up item, Nic Fleming revealed that the National Grid is considering buying some 75,000 homes in England and Wales that are within 230 feet of high-voltage lines or 115 feet from lower-voltage lines. In contrast, on this side of the Atlantic, there is still no official recognition that power line EMFs present a cancer risk. For instance, an Arizona Public Service (APS) environmental scientist recently told the Arizona Republic that there are "no known adverse health risks." Who does APS' Marty Eroh cite for support for this view? The World Health Organization.

January 13, 2005

The British press has given a lot of ink to the Stewart report, featuring numerous interviews with Sir William. In one of the most detailed of these he told Nic Fleming of the Daily Telegraph that he is “more concerned” about possible health risks today than he was five years when he first called for children to be discouraged from using mobile phones.

Sir William said that, “When it comes to suggesting that mobile phones should be available to three- to eight-year-olds, I can’t believe for a moment that can be justified. It seems to me ludicrous.”

January 11, 2005

In its report, released today, the board of the NRPB reaffirmed its call for a “precautionary approach” to the use of mobile phones. One of the key recommendations is that “particular attention be given to how best to minimize exposure of potentially vulnerable subgroups such as children.” In the NRPB press release, Sir William Stewart, the chair of the board, states that, “The fact is that the widespread use of mobile phones is a relatively recent phenomenon and it is possible that adverse health effects could emerge after years of prolonged use.”

January 8, 2005

Next week two major reports will be released to the public. On Tuesday January 11, the National Radiological Protection Board, or NRPB, will issue a review of the current state of knowledge on mobile phones and health. The report is already being called “Stewart#2.” Sir William Stewart was the chair of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) that issued Mobile Phones and Health. in May 2000 (see MWN, M/J00, p.1).

October 30, 2004

On October 29, Sky News disclosed that the U.K. Department of Health kept a study linking power lines to childhood leukemia under wraps for three years. Children under 15 who lived within 100 meters of a power line had double the risk of developing leukemia, according to the report.

In an interview with the Independent, published on October 30, Dr. Gerald Draper of the Childhood Cancer Research Group in Oxford, denied that he had suppressed the results of his study that had looked at 35,000 cases of childhood leukemia between 1962 and 1995. Draper did concede that he had presented his preliminary results at a “private workshop” 18 months ago. He said that at that time the results were “fuzzy.”

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