A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Interphone News Notes

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."

• Siegal Sadetzki, Israel's lead Interphone investigator, continues to warn about long-term risks. "I would say our results are in line with previous results that are showing something is going wrong here," she told Tyler Hamilton of the Toronto Star. His story, "Listening to Cellphone Warnings," appears in today's editions. "After 10 years or more we do see something there," Sadetzki said. She has reported an increase in parotid gland tumors among long-term users (see "Set Interphone Free" (January 30) and our April 28 post).

• Elisabeth Cardis, the head of the Interphone study now at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona, told the Star that the completed study will be submitted for publication "soon." (She has made similar predictions in the past.) On May 27, she presented her latest update on Interphone at a meeting in Copenhagen. Her PowerPoint can be downloaded here.

• And last week, a group of Interphone researchers publshed a study on the possible impact of recall bias on the study results —based on surveys in Australia, Canada and Italy. The paper appears in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, which is making the full text available at no cost.