|Betreff: Mobile Phones & Brain Damage|
|Datum: 28 Sep 2004 15:09:04 -0000|
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Fields of Influence
Debate over the health impacts of weak electromagnetic fields continues unabated as more and more biological effects are documented. This mini-series began in Science in Society 17, where we described how a new physics of the organism that can account for those effects has been systematically ignored and excluded from mainstream discourse. The situation has hardly changed since and requires radical steps to be taken in scientific research funding and in science education.
ISIS Press Release 28/09/04
Mobile Phones & Brain Damage
Rats exposed to mobile phones for two hours showed brain damages that persisted 50 days later. But current exposure standards are still highly inadequate to protect the public. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports
Sources for this article are posted on ISIS members' website. Details here.
Mobile phones "the largest human biologic experiment"
Researchers found "highly significant" evidence for damages to brain cells in rats exposed for 2 hrs to microwaves from mobile phones; and these damages were still seen 50 days after the exposure.
One quarter of the world's population is now exposing themselves to microwaves from hand-held mobile phones. The research team in Lundt University, Sweden, led by Leif Salford, referred to this as "the largest human biologic experiment ever". They point out that soon, microwaves will be emitted by an abundance of other appliances in the `cordless' office and in the home.
Most researchers have concentrated on the question of whether radiofrequency electromagnetic fields can induce or promote cancer, but the evidence appears conflicting.
Mobile phones undermine the blood-brain barrier
Lundt and colleagues have been studying the effects of 915MHz radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in rats since 1988. "In a series of more than 1,600 animals, we have proven that subthermal power densities from both pulse- modulated and continuous RF EMFs - including those from ...mobile phones - have the potency to significantly open the blood-brain barrier such that the animal's own albumin passes out of the bloodstream into the brain tissue and accumulates in the neurons and glial cells surrounding the capillaries."
These results have been duplicated in at least two other laboratories. One group showed that the animals' own albumin injected into the brain of rats led to damage of the neurons at the site of injection when the concentration of albumin in the injected solution is at least 25% of that in the blood.
Brain damage persists 50 days after exposure
In a study published in June 2003, Salford and colleagues exposed rats to RF EMF in special transverse electromagnetic transmission line chambers (TEM-cells) designed by scaling down previously constructed cells at the National Bureau of Standards. These cells generate uniform EMF s for standard measurements. A mobile phone with a programmable power output was connected via a coaxial cable to the TEM-cell; and no voice modulation was applied. The TEM-cell is enclosed in a wooden box (15x15x15 cm) that supports the outer conduction and central plate. The outer conductor is made of brass net and is attached to the inner walls of the box. The centre plate, or septum, is made of aluminium. The TEM cells were placed in a temperature-controlled room, where room air is circulated through holes in the wooden box.
The rats were placed in plastic trays (12x12x7cm) to avoid contact with the central plate and outer conductor. Thirty-two male and female Fisher 344 rats 12-26 weeks old and weighing 282 + 91 gm were divided into four groups of eight rats each. Three experimental groups of rats were exposed to peak power densities of 0.24, 2.4 and 24 W/m2, resulting in average whole-body SARs (specific absorption rates) of 2mW/kg, 20 mW/kg and 200 mW/kg respectively. The fourth (control) group of rats was simultaneously kept for 2 hr in non-activated TEM-cells. The animals in each exposure group were allowed to survive for about 50 days after exposure and carefully observed daily for neurologic and behavioural abnormalities.
At the end of the period, the brains were removed and sectioned and stained.
The exposed rat brain showed multiple spots of albumin leaking out from the blood vessels. On high power, dark, dead neurons can be seen interspersed with the living ones. There is an apparent dose-response relationship between the level of exposure and the number of dead neurons found.
Previous studies by the same group showed that albumin leakage into the brain occurs within hours after exposure in about 40% of the animals. But in the present study, there is still albumin leakage after 50 days. This suggests that there might have been a "vicious circle" started by the initial leakage, leading to long lasting effects.
Teenagers most affected
The researchers pointed out that 12-26 week old rats are comparable in age to human teenagers, the most frequent users of mobile phones. This level of damage to the nerve cells is worrying, as "it may result in reduced brain reserve capacity". In other words, the teenagers' brains may age prematurely. A study by retail analysts Mintel found that up to 80% of 11 to 14 year-olds have a mobile phone in the United Kingdom.
There is now evidence that a wide range of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum can have biological effects from DNA damage in brain cells to childhood leukemia (see "Eelectromgnetic fields, leukaemia & DNA damage", this series).
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