* RF brain damage link found in Swedish study - Association between occupational exposure to power frequency electromagnetic fields and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Interactive effect of chemical substances and occupational electromagnetic field exposure on the risk of gliomas and meningiomas in Swedish men - Spherical Cow Concept-please help - Electromagnetic Compatibility of Medical Devices with Mobile Communications (5/2/03)

2/3 RCR Wireless News article

RF brain damage link found in Swedish study
* February 03, 2003

WASHINGTON-A Swedish-funded study published in an U.S. government health journal says mobile-phone exposure caused brain damage in lab rats.

The study, published last Wednesday in the online edition of the journal Environmental Heath Perspectives, is said to represent the first time researchers have found damage to neurons in rat brains exposed to radiation from mobile phones. Researchers said radiation from GSM mobile phones, which are prevalent around the world, was associated with leakage in the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier serves as a filter of sorts that shields the brain from harmful chemicals.

"If it's replicated as a study it may indicate an insufficiency in our current standard," said Robert Curtis, a scientist at the Occupational Safety and Health Agency and a member of a panel of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that is crafting updated radiation exposure guidelines for mobile phones and communications transmitters.

The mobile phone industry insists mobile phones do not pose a health risk. Government health officials here and overseas say research to date has not linked wireless handsets to adverse biological effects in humans, but they say they cannot guarantee phones are safe and that more research is needed. There are 140 million mobile phone subscribers in the United States and more than 1 billion worldwide.

Industry downplayed the new study.

"The scientific community, public health authorities and others presumably will treat this as they would any researcher claiming a novel finding," said Norm Sandler, director of global strategic issues for Motorola Inc. "They will ask questions about the design, the exposures and the statistics underlying the reported results to assess its significance in a proper context."

Last September, a federal judge in Baltimore dismissed an $800-million brain cancer suit against Motorola. But U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake-who ruled plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient scientific evidence to warrant a jury trial-still has a slew of similar cases ending before her. The Motorola cancer suit is being challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va. Attorneys at the law firm of Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles and a trial lawyer who has won huge judgments in tobacco and asbestos litigation, filed the opening brief on behalf of 43-year-old Christopher Newman on Jan. 21. Motorola and possibly other wireless firms are expected to file responses later this month.

Environmental Health Perspectives is the journal of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, of Research Triangle Park, N.C., a unit of the National Institutes of Health and a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Brandon Adams, a spokesman for the journal, said the mobile phone study was peer reviewed and that 96 percent of scientific papers submitted to the publication are rejected.

The journal's press release said researchers, led by Leif Salford of the Department of Neurosurgery at Lund University in Sweden, studied 12- to 26-week-old rats because their developmental age is comparable to that of human teenagers-heavy users of mobile phones The research was funded by a grant from the Swedish Council for Work Life Research.

"The situation of the growing brain might deserve special attention since biological and maturational processes are particularly vulnerable," the researchers stated. "We cannot exclude that after some decades of often daily use, a whole generation of users may suffer negative effects as early as middle age."

The researchers, who acknowledged their study sample was small, nevertheless said the combined results are highly significant and exhibit a clear, dose-response relation. Establishing causation is a key element in health litigation.

"Scientists have been looking for some time at the possible effects of exposure to the energy coming out of cellular phones," said Jim Burkhart, science editor of Environmental Health Perspectives. "These scientists decided to look in a new place, studying potential nerve damage, rather than cancer growth. Their results suggest a strong need for further study, as we all rely on cell phones more and more."

Jo-Anne Basile, vice president of external and industry relations at the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, urged caution. "You cannot make a judgment based on a single study. You want to look at the way research is trending and at the preponderance of scientific evidence." Basile said studies continue to show no adverse health effects from mobile phones, adding that handset emission is subject to strict federal guidelines.

Message from JEFFREY SILVA

Association between occupational exposure to power frequency electromagnetic fields and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A review.

Li CY, Sung FC.

Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan Republic of China.

BACKGROUND: For the past two decades, there has been concern over electromagnetic exposure and human health. While most research has focused on cancer and reproductive outcomes, there is interest in the relationship between electromagnetic fields (EMF) and neurodegenerative diseases.

METHODS: We review epidemiological findings and evidence regarding the association between occupational exposure to power frequency EMFs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Medline was searched for citations related to occupational hazards and ALS, literature reviews and epidemiological evaluations.

RESULTS: Nine out of the ten epidemiological studies that have been conducted on the risk of ALS in relation to occupational exposure to EMF show moderate to strong relative risk estimates that supported a link between them.

Although data from these studies was consistent, the causal inference to a link between EMF exposure and ALS is restricted mainly due to the lack of direct information on EMF exposure and incomplete consideration of the other potential risk factors for ALS at workplaces. For instance, electric shock, in particular, is more common in electrical occupations than in any other occupations.

CONCLUSIONS: This review concludes that further studies should consider investigating the separate effect of EMF exposure and electrical shocks to make more specific interpretations. On-site measurements of EMF should be conducted to include information on EMF exposure from residences as well as workplaces to improve exposure assessment.

Source: Am J Ind Med 2003 Feb;43(2):212-20


Interactive effect of chemical substances and occupational electromagnetic field exposure on the risk of gliomas and meningiomas in Swedish men.

Navas-Acien A, Pollan M, Gustavsson P, Floderus B, Plato N, Dosemeci M.

Environmental and Cancer Epidemiology Area, National Center for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, 28029 Madrid, Spain [A. N-A., M. P.].

The objective of our study was to investigate the possible interactive effect of occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELFMF) and to known or suspected carcinogenic chemicals on the incidence of the two main histological types of brain cancer, gliomas and meningiomas, in a cohort of male Swedish workers.

The historical cohort of all Swedish men gainfully employed in 1970 were followed 19 years (1971-1989). Exposure to ELFMF and to nine chemicals were assessed using two Swedish job exposure matrices based on occupational codes and industrial activity. Relative risks adjusted for age, period, geographical area, and town size were computed using log-linear Poisson models.

The main finding was the absence of ELFMF effect on glioma risk in the absence of a simultaneous exposure to chemical products.

The effect of petroleum products was independent of the intensity of ELFMF exposure whereas solvents, lead, and pesticides/herbicides were only associated with glioma in workers also exposed to moderate or high levels of ELFMF.

On the other hand, whereas ELFMF seemed to enhance the effect of specific chemicals in the causation of gliomas, we did not find a relationship between ELFMF exposure and meningiomas.

The potential for ELFMF to act as an effect modifier of the association of chemical agents and glioma is an interesting new finding.

It would be worthwhile to evaluate this hypothesis for other tumors.

Also, it is necessary to confirm these results in epidemiological studies with individual exposure assessments, and in experimental studies that may elucidate whether there is a true causal mechanism for the results we observed.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002 Dec;11(12):1678-83

Informant: Reinhard Rückemann

Spherical Cow Concept - please help:

Dear Klaus,

I am looking for the precise specification of the "Spherical Cow Concept" described by Dr. Robert O. Becker. Is the only basic and first (laboratory) development to "establish" the power of density of microwaves emitted on persons, children and pregnant women..

Described in the Practical Guidelines:


Exposure to powerful microwave radiation (RF) increases the temperature of animals and human beings. It may cause adverse health effects immediately. This increase in temperature has been studied by physicists and engineers using artificial spherical models.

They based their findings on the "spherical cow concept". The initial heating undergone by a cow's body as a result of microwave radiation allowed them to establish a "safe level": the power of radiation is "10 times smaller"!.

Dr. William Steward. "Both the NRPB and ICNIRP guidelines are based on the need to avoid known adverse health effects. At the time these guidelines were drawn up, the only established adverse effects were those caused by the heating of tissues (1.15)."

Dr. Robert Becker. New York. Twice Dr. Becker has been nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine. Published by Linda Moulton Howe in EARTHFILES London (May 2000). "That level was applied for several decades to everything that concerned electromagnetic pollution. Of course, this is not correct."

An important lawyer ask me to provide this basic reference and the official NORM.

Have you any information about: Weight, materials, characteristics and NORM?

Thank you and best regards
Miguel Muntane

Kind regards,
Marre Dafforn.

DB 9702 Electromagnetic Compatibility of Medical Devices with Mobile Communications
Issued March 1997
£49.95 (Free to UK health and social care providers)
An electronic copy of this document is not available

Executive Summary

The compatibility of mobile communication equipment with medical devices is an area where much published information and guidance is conflicting. We have hence organised a large study, based on research conducted at 18 locations including hospitals and MDA evaluation centres. Data were gathered for 178 different models of medical device using a wide range of radio handsets. Overall, in 23% of tests medical devices suffered electromagnetic interference (EMI) from handsets. 43% of these interference incidents would have had a direct impact on patient care, and were rated as serious.

Similar handsets were grouped together on the basis of their effects on devices:

Emergency radios, used by ambulance, police and fire personnel. Security radios, used by security, maintenance staff, and porters. Cellphones, including analogue and digital mobile phones. Cordless phones, including pagers, and radio computer local area networks.

The type of radio handset made a large difference to the likelihood of interference.

41% of medical devices suffered interference from emergency radio handsets at a distance of 1m, with 49% of the responses being serious (category 1).

35% of medical devices suffered interference from security radio handsets at a distance of 1m, with 49% of the responses being serious (category 1).

By comparison only 4% of devices suffered interference from cellphones at a distance of 1m, with less than 0.1% showing serious effects. There were no marked differences between analogue and digital cellphones.

Our tests failed to detect significant levels of interference from cordless phones and radio computer local area networks, which are installed in some hospitals.

Some categories of medical device have a high susceptibility to interference. Physiological monitors, or devices incorporating them, such as defibrillators or external pacemakers, were the most severely affected. For every device type, some models consistently performed better than average.

Cellular base stations (the arrays of aerials on the roofs of tall buildings which relay mobile phone messages to the telephone system) are unlikely to interfere with medical devices, unless they are exceptionally sensitive. The highest field strengths were found just inside windows in buildings adjacent to those with aerials on the roof, particularly where the window was at a comparable height to the aerial.


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