A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

IARC: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

June 30, 2010

Users of cell phones have another reason to be cautious. An Austrian team has found that the risk of developing tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, doubled after four years. This is one of the first epidemiological studies to investigate the long-term effects of mobile phones on hearing.

Hans-Peter Hutter of the Institute of Environmental Health at the Medical University of Vienna, and coworkers report that the observed association is "unlikely" to be spurious and could have important implications for public health. Their new epidemiological study, based on 100 cases and 100 controls, will appear in an upcoming issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

June 9, 2010

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recruited Joachim Schüz to lead its Section on Environment. Among his duties in Lyon, Schüz will supervise the still-unfinished work of theInterphone project. He will also play an advisory role in next year's IARC review of the possible cancer risks associated with RF radiation. Schüz, who begins at the agency on August 2, will report to Christopher Wild, the director of IARC.

May 17, 2010

There's an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone.

The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

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 28, 2009

Christopher Wild, the director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), announced today that the Interphone study has been submitted for publication. An advisory, "Status of the Interphone Study" has been posted on the IARC,  CREAL and UICC Web sites. Wild does not say to which journal the paper was sent.

As we reported May 11, the  submitted manuscript only addresses brain tumor (gliomas and meningiomas) risks from mobile phones. Still to be completed are the analyses for acoustic neuroma and parotid gland tumors, as well as for tumor location relative to RF radiation exposure. Wild states that, "Work is on-going to prepare subsequent manuscripts for publication."

May 11, 2009

The stalemate over Interphone is coming to an end. A project of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on the possible links between mobile phones and tumors, Interphone has been bogged down for over three years while its members feuded over how to interpret their results. Now, Microwave News has learned, a paper on brain tumor risks is about to be submitted for publication. Christopher Wild, the director of IARC, forced a compromise to resolve what had become a major embarrassment for the agency.

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.

June 19, 2008

The divisions within the Interphone project are coming out into the open. As the delay in releasing the final results approaches the three-year mark, the tensions within the study team are no longer much of a secret. It's even becoming clearer who is in which camp —who believes that cell phones present a tumor risk and who thinks the phones are safe.

October 3, 2007

Interphone 2.0 is underway. This second phase of the Interphone project is investigating the possible link between brain tumors and occupational exposures to various types of EMFs —not just those from mobile phones— as well as to chemicals.

July 28, 2007

The "methods" paper for the Interphone study on mobile phone tumor risks has been posted on the European Journal of Epidemiology's Web site. The full text of the 18-page paper can be downloaded free of charge. IARC's Elisabeth Cardis is the lead author; she has 47 coauthors. There is still no word on when the long-awaited results of the study will appear —they were originally scheduled to be ready as early as 2003-2004.

December 4, 2006

IARC's Elisabeth Cardis, who is running the Interphone study, gave an overview of the 13-country effort together with the results to date at an EC seminar in Brussels on November 20. Her PowerPoint presentation is well worth a look.

Cardis places special emphasis on long-term (ten or more ten years) risks of brain tumors and acoustic neuroma. She also contrasts the findings of the various national studies that have already been published with those of Sweden's Lennart Hardell and U.S.’s Peter Inskip (though Inskip’s participants had many fewer years of exposure). The final Interphone results are expected next year.

 

September 9, 2006

The protocol for the Interphone epidemiological study has been released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France. IARC is coordinating researchers in 13 countries in an investigation of the possible link between the use of mobile phones and the development of brain and salivary gland tumors. Some results have been made public, but not the overall findings, which could come any time now. (See also our commentary on some of the already published Interphone papers.)

August 18, 2004

California will soon decide what's next for EMFs.

As power line skirmishes continue to smolder across the country and around the world, California regulators may be the first to take stock of all the new health data that have been generated over the last decade.

January 20, 2004

Today it may be more of historical than scientific interest, but EPA’s 1990 evaluation of EMF cancer risks is now available on the Internet at no charge.

Back then, the draft Evaluation of the Potential Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields was a hot item. A team led by Dr. Robert McGaughy had recommended that power-frequency EMFs should be classified as “probable human carcinogens” and that RF/MW radiation be considered a “possible human carcinogen.”

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