A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Australia: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

January 2, 2019

The incidence of brain tumors in Australia did not increase between 2003 and 2013, according to a new analysis by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR). This means that there can be no link between the use of mobile phones and brain cancer, they claim. 

If such an association were true, “then the brain tumor rates would be higher than those that are observed,” states an ARPANSA press release that accompanies the new paper published in BMJ Open.

“People say mobile phones can cause cancer but our study showed this was not the case,” said ARPANSA’s Ken Karipidis, the lead author.

Others are skeptical. The work is incomplete and misleading —or worse, they say.

December 13, 2018

“We found no evidence that mobile phone use increased any brain tumour histological types or subtypes.” See also the press release. Open access.

September 8, 2016

“We propose a mechanistic model in which RF-EMR exposure leads to defective mitochondrial function associated with elevated levels of ROS production…” From Australia, open access.

November 8, 2010

A follow-up to our "Scams Galore" piece: Today, the Australian TV show MediaWatch ran an item on the Q-Link scam —"Q Are the Missing Link." Well worth a look. The piece was prompted in part by an item in the Sydney Daily Telegraph promoting the bogus shield (it has now been thankfully removed from the Web). See also ...

June 11, 2009

At a time when there are calls for tightening EMF power-frequency exposure standards to address cancer risks, Australia is moving in the opposite direction. In mid-May, a committee working under ARPANSA, the national radiation protection agency, distributed a draft proposal that would triple the permissible exposure levels for the general public. If these rules are adopted, children could be exposed to up 3,000 mG, 24/7 —that’s one thousand times higher than the 3 mG threshold for childhood leukemia indicated by epidemiological studies, and three times higher than the ICNIRP recommended limit of 1,000 mG.

April 10, 2009

Shows on cell phone radiation are all over the TV news —at least in Australia and Europe, if not the U.S.

One theme that runs through many of these programs is impatience over the delays in the publication of the Interphone results. In a Swiss documentary, aired on March 31, Christopher Wild, the new head of IARC, expresses his concern over the reputation of IARC and says that he looks forward to its completion "in the coming months." Elisabeth Cardis, the head of Interphone, concedes to that same Swiss TV reporter that Interphone is indeed taking a long time to finish (see "Interphone Project: The Cracks Begin To Show"). A few days earlier in an unrelated e-mail, Cardis stated that the results would be submitted for publication "in the coming weeks."

March 9, 2009

Tired of waiting for Interphone? Thanks to Professor Bruce Armstrong, you can now get a good idea of what the final results will show. A world-class epidemiologist and the head of the Australian Interphone study team based at the University of Sydney, Armstrong has combined all the available results published to date and, in a 45-minute lecture, reviews and interprets the potential tumor risks. His meta-analysis includes the as-yet unpublished Australian Interphone data.

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.

August 2, 2006

The incidence of malignant tumors on the two top floors of a high-rise buildingat RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, are within the expected range, according to reports released today.

When benign tumors are included, however, the total tumor count is statistically higher than expected. Southern Medical Services, which carried out the occupational health and safety assessment for RMIT, attributes the "apparent increase" to incomplete collection of benign tumor data by the cancer registry.

The reports, together with RMIT public statements, are available from the RMIT Web site. (See also our posts of June 1 and before.) Southern Medical Services, found that "there is no correlation between tumor case office locations and ELF magnetic fields greater than 4 mG." 

May 25, 2006

RMIT University has announced that environmental surveys have identified "no anomalies" on the top two floors of the Melbourne building where a cluster of brain tumor cases had been identified (see our May 13 and May 19 posts).

May 19, 2006

As the investigation of the RMIT University brain tumor cluster continues in Melbourne (see our May 13 post), we are reminded of another cancer cluster, which was also much in the news down under about this time last year. In this earlier case, some ten women working in the Australian Broadcasting Co.'s (ABC) offices in Brisbane developed breast cancer and, as at RMIT, power-frequency EMFs and RF radiation were under suspicion because there were antennas on the roof of the ABC building.

EMC Technologies, a test and measurement consulting company, was called in to survey the entire ABC site. Soon afterwards, ABC Queensland director Chris Wordsworth told the Sydney Morning Herald that testing had shown "nothing adverse." That April, Chris Zombolas, the technical director of EMC Technologies, confirmed to us what Wordsworth had already told the local newspapers: He had not found high levels of any electromagnetic signals. But, Zombolas added, he was not in a position to release the report —that would be up to ABC. Figuring there was nothing much more to the story, we moved on and did not give it much thought until the RMIT cluster became news.

May 13, 2006

The brain tumor cluster at Australia's RMIT University is Topic A for EMF watchers around the world. It all began on Thursday when Australian TV news reported that the university had launched an investigation into seven cases of brain tumors among staff members in a 17-storey building on its Melbourne campus. Five of those who developed tumors worked on the top floor of the building (two others were on the 11th and 14th floors), and six of the seven had been there for more than a decade, according to the Australian, a national newspaper. Five of the cases were uncovered in the last month, while two others were reported in 1999 and 2001, Melbourne's The Age reported.

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