Betreff: £250,000 project finds no cancer correlation; industry reports of the mobile study
Von: Iris Atzmon
Datum: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 14:26:53 +0200

Residents sceptical of antenna study findings
By Alexia Saoulli

AKROTIRI RESIDENTS yesterday remained unconvinced that the British Bases antenna ‘Pluto’ was harmless, despite the results of a medical survey claiming that it was.
The residents continue to believe the gargantuan antenna that sits on their doorstep is to blame for what they say are increased cancer incidence in their village.
The study found no such correlation, only that residents suffered increased frequency of migraines, headaches, dizzy spells and depression.

Health Minister Charis Charalambous along with senior ministry medical officer Dr Andreas Georgiou presented the results of the Bristol University study to residents on Thursday night.
The study, which looked at the communities of Akrotiri, Asomatos and Kyvides, was completed in June 2005. Charalambous blamed “unacceptable bureaucracy” for delays in informing residents of its content.

The minister said measurements of the electromagnetic fields would continue so that a better picture of the antennas operation could be achieved and that efforts would be made to conduct a second more in-depth study.

The residents heard the village’s cancer incidence was unrelated to the antennas presence.
Georgiou said the increased symptoms of headaches, migraines, depression and dizzy spells could not be exclusively blamed on the antennas and that other factors, such as the frequent airplane flights over the village, could also be to blame.

The residents remained unconvinced regarding the study’s validity and said in the past two years four people had died of cancer and five others were suffering from it.
The also expressed concern that no one could guarantee that the British had not reduced the antenna’s transmissions so that the results were within the permissible limits.

During the discussion it emerged that the British Bases had not kept to its agreement with the government regarding only using one antenna at a time and that since the September 11 terrorist attacks due to greater needs, both antennas sometimes worked simultaneously.
The Bases representative said it was the Bases’ administration’s intention to cooperate with the government regarding implementing specific recommendations made by the researchers, particular as far as continuing with taking measurements.

Meanwhile Charalambous assured the residents he would be examining their concerns closely and would return to discuss what further steps needed to be taken.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007
Industry reports:
Mobile phones & cancer: the headlines are wrong again Print
By Stuart Corner   
Saturday, 27 January 2007
The topic of mobile phones and cancer is highly emotive, and very important. The majority of research to date has shown no links but there have been some disturbing exceptions, always disputed and denigrated by the cellular industry. Erroneous and emotive headlines do not help.
Take this one from an Australian newspaper reporting on new research findings. "Mobile users 'may grow brain tumours' - People who use mobile phones for more than a decade are far more likely to grow brain tumours on the side of their head, new research shows."

The story was prompted by a study, to be published later this year in the International Journal of Cancer, undertaken by The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland. It compared the mobile phone use of 1521 people with gliomas with that of 3301 people without them. Gliomas are tumours that develop in a type of brain cell called glial cells, or sometimes glia, or neuralgia.

So what did the research actually find? According to a published abstract of the study,  "We found no evidence of increased risk of glioma related to regular mobile phone use. No significant association was found across categories with duration of use, years since first use, cumulative number of calls or cumulative hours of use. When the linear trend was examined, the odds ratio for cumulative hours of mobile phone use was 1.006...per 100 hrs, but no such relationship was found for the years of use or the number of calls. We found no increased risks when analogue and digital phones were analysed separately."

So where did that headline come from? Well the researchers went on to say. "For more than 10 years of mobile phone use reported on the side of the head where the tumour was located, an increased odds ratio of borderline statistical significance (OR = 1.39) was found, whereas similar use on the opposite side of the head resulted in an odds ratio of 0.98.

In other words, for people who had been using a cellphone for more than 10 years the incidence of Glioma on that side of the head was 40 percent greater, in the sample studied.

Note that the abstract said the finding was of "borderline statistical significance" and that "Although our results overall do not indicate an increased risk of glioma in relation to mobile phone use, the possible risk in the most heavily exposed part of the brain with long-term use needs to be explored further before firm conclusions can be drawn."

That hardly constitutes a case of 'far more likely'. Not even 'likely'. Such cautious statement as this, unfortunately do not make for good headlines.

However while the majority of very many studies have yet to come up with any conclusive link, such findings as these - and there are others hinting that all may not be well and calling for further research - are especially disturbing when you consider that the great explosion of mobile phone usage is barely a decade old.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that, years in the future the world could suffer an epidemic of cancers induced by long-term cellphone usage. But so far there is very little indication of this. As iTWire reported recently,  other types of electromagnetic radiation are far more hazardous. 

'Mobiles are safe', operators claim

Base stations do not damage DNA, operators say

Simon Burns in Taipei,, 26 Jan 2007

High powered radio waves from mobile phone base stations appear to have no adverse effects on human tissue, according to research sponsored by Japanese mobile phone operators.

Experiments involved researchers blasting samples of living cells from brain, skin and lung tissue with radio waves up to 10 times stronger than legal safety limits for mobile base station transmitters.

The researchers claimed that no adverse effects were detectable even after as much as 96 hours of exposure.

The research was carried out by the Mitsubishi Chemical Safety Institute (MCSI) on behalf of Japan's three largest mobile phone operators, SoftBank Mobile Corp, NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp

MCSI is a member of the giant Mitsubishi group of companies, members of which provide a wide variety of products and services including mobile phones.

The Japanese mobile phone firms have not yet published full details of the research findings.

However, according to an interim research paper released last year, technicians conducting the research looked for signs of genetic damage. Tests of 44,000 cell samples had revealed "no consistent significant effect on gene expression".

The researchers based their findings partly on the absence of excess heat-shock proteins in the cells that they had bombarded with radio waves.

Heat-shock proteins are manufactured in cells when they are under stress, as part of a damage control process.

They also looked for signs that badly damaged cells were attempting to dispose of themselves by a process of 'apoptosis', or cellular suicide.

The researchers tested radio signals of the frequency and transmission pattern emitted by a 2GHz-band Wideband-Code Division Multiple Access base station, according to a statement published by NTT DoCoMo.

Research into the health effects of mobile phone use has produced a wide range of results.

A recent study by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority found that long-term mobile phone use could slightly increase the risk of brain tumours developing on the side of the head where the phone is held.

This effect was only observed in cases where the user had owned a mobile phone for more than 10 years, the researchers said.

From the past:

[04] British team arrive for new antenna health study

By Jennie Matthew
TOP BRITISH scientists arrive in Cyprus today to begin a full-scale investigation into the health effects of the British antennae at Akrotiri.
But the study is unlikely to derail work on the completion of the Pluto Project, the modernisation of British spy installations - inciting anger among critics who say the SBA are paying no more than lip-service to concerns about the safety of electromagnetic radiation.
First promised 15 months ago in response to the anti-antenna riots in July 2001, the £250,000 project will only be finished after the controversial new three-mast antenna is up and running.
Backed by the Green Party and DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis, Akrotiri residents vigorously oppose plans for the new colossus (to measure 96- metres tall by 196-metres wide), which they say will dramatically increase cancer and health-related problems.
The team from Bristol University Oncology Centre will launch a major investigation into their claims in an attempt to draw a line under the ongoing controversy.
Questionnaires, translated into Greek, will be handed out by March to every adult living in Akrotiri.
Their answers will be then be correlated with objective data such as medical and burial records to establish whether the village is indeed a bad- health hotspot.
Scientists will then look for abnormalities by comparing the evidence with that taken from a "control" village, 20km away.
Experts said it took considerable time to find a similar-sized village not burdened by other environmental hazards, which could have distorted the comparison.
It will take the team until the end of 2003 to assess all the necessary data, take into account seasonal variation and measure radiation emissions.
They will submit a written report in early 2004.
But SBA spokesman Rob Need says the new antenna is on track for a completion date by the end of 2003 regardless.
The British have already spent £75,000 on studies to determine the environmental impact of the mast, which have proved inconclusive. Commissioned by London and Nicosia, they are footing half the bill for the latest study.
"The money's not the point. This mast will be built anyway," Need has said.
But Professor Allan Preece of the University of Bristol is sceptical about concerns, given the "tiny" level of radiation to which the village is exposed.
"We're dealing with a volt a metre, which is tiny. We have that sort of level in hospitals because of antennae on the roof," he said.
"Our wisdom and scientific thought would suggest that they oughtn't to be concerned. But we need to keep an open mind [and be] as objective as possible; collect perceptions and opinions and correlate them with objective evidence," he added.
Dr Andreas Georgiou, Public Health Specialist at the Ministry of Health, will assist in the management and review of the project, but no representative of the British government will be involved at any level.
A local research assistant will be recruited by Easter to help oversee the work when the Bristol team are in England.
Studies into the effect of electromagnetic fields on human health have proved inconclusive and contradictory all over the world.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002