A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Switzerland: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

October 6, 2020

“Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Occupational Exposure to ELF Magnetic Fields and Electric Shocks: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Reviews on Environmental Health, posted September 18, 2020.

“This review of 27 epidemiological studies on the association of occupational exposure to ELF-MF as well as electric shocks and the risk of ALS suggests a risk increase of 20% for ELF-MF exposed workers but no increased risk for workers who experienced electric shocks on their job.” But, just a few days later, a New Zealand team reaches the opposite conclusion.

November 17, 2018

“Evaluation of the NTP and Ramazzini Studies,” BERENIS Newsletter, November 2018.

This expert group on EMF/NIR, which advises the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, states that these two animal cancer studies are “the most comprehensive” to date. Despite their methodological differences, they both showed “relatively consistent results in schwannomas and gliomas, as well as a dose-dependent trend to an increase in the carcinogenicity of these tumors.” Based on these findings, BERENIS favors a precautionary approach for RF/EMF exposures.

February 24, 2014

“Exposure to RF EMFs from Broadcast Transmitters and Risk of Childhood Cancer: A Census-Based Cohort Study,” American Journal of Epidemiology, posted online February 19, 2014, from Switzerland.

“Did not find evidence of an association between RF EMF epxosuure from broadcast transmitters and incidence of childhood leukemia.” Note that only 7 of the 283 leukemia cases were exposed to >0.2 V/m (~0.01 µW/cm²).

October 26, 2012

“Impact of One’s Own Mobile Phone in Stand-By Mode on Personal RF EMF Exposure,”

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, posted online October 24, 2012.  “This study demonstrates that personal RF-EMF exposure is affected by one’s own mobile phone in stand-by mode because of its regular location update.” From the University of Basel, Switzerland.

October 20, 2008

A spate of spurious stories that were in the news last week needs to be aired and corrected. They also provide yet another reason to get the Interphone study out as soon as possible.

Le Soir, one of Belgium's leading French-language newspapers, kicked it off on the 15th. "GSM Is Carcinogenic" ran the headline at the top of its front page. The paper based its scoop on what it called the first results of the Interphone study, adapted from the latest project update, which had been posted on IARC's Web site the previous week. In fact, they were really old news. The last update, issued in February, had already included those results that point to a tumor risk —they were far from conclusive, however. As Elisabeth Cardis, the coordinator of Interphone, later confirmed to Microwave News, "There is nothing new in terms of risk in that [October] update." In two follow-on stories in its inside pages, Le Soir took a more measured tone, noting that these new "disturbing" results need to be confirmed. Cardis, now at CREAL in Barcelona, told the paper: "We must remain cautious in the interpretation of the Interphone results." Her words stand in contrast to the less than cautious warning on page one.

January 30, 2008

It's time to end the deadlock. It's time to release the results of the Interphone study, the largest and most expensive cell phone epidemiological study ever attempted. Any further delay would be close to scandalous.

A draft of the final paper with the combined data from the 13 participating countries was completed close to two years ago. One member of the Interphone team —Canada's Dan Krewski— has said that the holdup is due to disagreements over editing the manuscript, that is, changing a comma here or a comma there. We doubt that what's going on. Krewski told us this close to six months ago and the paper has still not been submitted for publication.

September 24, 2007

The Swiss National Research Program on Non-Ionizing Radiation (NRP57) will hold a one-day wokshop, Dosimetry Meets Epidemiology, on January 11 in Zurich. The focus will be on exposure assessment in EMF epidemiology. Anders Ahlbom, Jørgen Bach Andersen, Alexander Borbély, Elisabeth Cardis and Yngve Hamnerius, all members of NRP57's steering committee, will chair the three sessions. Among those on the program are Joe Bowman of U.S. NIOSH, Niels Kuster of IT'IS, Mike Kelsh of Exponent and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern. There is only room for 60 attendees and we are told that half the spots are already taken. For more information, contact Christian Mottas at the Swiss National Science Foundation.

July 2, 2007

Just days before the National Academy of Sciences' newly formed RF radiation committee holds its first meeting —primarily to plan its August 7-9 workshop (see May 24 post) — the Swiss federal environmental agency has issued its own report on what is and is not known about the health effects of high-frequency radiation. This is precisely the mission of the NAS panel: to identify current gaps in knowledge and research needs on the possible impacts of cell phones on health.

February 12, 2007

The Swiss National Science Foundation today officially launched its EMF research program, known as (NRP 57). The 5 million franc (U.S.$4 million) program is sponsoring 11 new laboratory, epidemiological, dosimetric and risk management studies. These include:
• The effects of pulsed mobile phone signals on the human brain and on cognitive function by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich;
• The effects of 3G phone radiation on blood flow in the brain by Martin Wolf of the University Hospital, also in Zurich;
• An epidemiological survey on the health status of 2,000 people exposed to high-frequency radiation by Martin Röösli of the University of Berne;
In vivo and in vitro experiments on stress responses by Meike Mevissen, also of the University of Berne;
• Genotoxic studies on power-frequency EMFs by Primo Schär of the University of Basel;
• Three projects on dosimetry at the Foundation for Research on Information Technologies (IT'IS) in Zurich, which is run by Niels Kuster.
For the complete details, see the press release available in German and French; the program brochure, in German and French, as well as the program implementation plan in English, German and French.     

 

July 3, 2006

The RF problem is a result of our misperceptions, according to the WHO's EMF project. The WHO would have us believe that everything would be better if we would just focus on all the good things that wireless technology is bringing into our lives instead of on those trifling health risks. As Mike Repacholi told Gregor Dürrenberger of the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communications: "As technology progresses, people's understanding of it is weak, causing a fear of the unknown, and, in their minds, that EMF health effects may occur from long-term low-level exposure."

June 6, 2006

A Swiss research team led by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich has failed to replicate the Dutch TNO study (see yesterday's post). Achermann and his collaborators, Martin Röösli of the University of Bern and Niels Kuster of the IT'IS Foundation in Zurich, found no consistent effects on well-being or cognitive performance following a 45-minute exposure to 3G RF radiation, at either a 1 V/m or a 10 V/m.

The radiation signals were designed to mimic those from a mobile phone base station. The experiments were run double blind —that is, neither the subjects nor the investigators knew when the power was turned on.

September 22, 2004

A Swiss research team will attempt to replicate a Dutch study which showed that exposure to very weak (1 V/m) 3G mobile phone radiation had a negative effect on a subject’s feeling of well-being. The Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication, based in Zurich, has awarded a team led by Peter Achermann of the University of Zurich €485,000 (approx. $600,000) to repeat the study at both 1 V/m and 10 V/m. Niels Kuster of IT’IS, also in Zurich, and Martin Röösli of the University of Bern will be collaborating with Achermann. The replication effort is scheduled to be completed by next September.

June 10, 2004

The Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communications, based in Zurich, is asking for proposals for research on a host of EMF related topics, including health and safety studies, dosimetry projects and work on risk perception. 

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