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EME Update June 2010






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EME Update June 2010 EME Update June 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • June interphone edition 2010EME UPDATEM o b i l e telecoMMunications health and safety news editorial – iNterPHoNe fiNds No iNcreased risk > of braiN caNcer from mobiles largest study oN mobiles aNd braiN caNcer fiNds No liNk > WHo overall PositioN Not cHaNged by iNterPHoNe > No reasoN to cHaNge mobile PHoNe safety guideliNes > due to iNterPHoNe results says icNirP do mobile PHoNes really Protect users from braiN caNcer? > iNterPHoNe autHor says Half-Hour mobile limit uNNecessary > australiaN goverNmeNt first to resPoNd to iNterPHoNe > caNcer couNcil says mobile PHoNes doN’t damage cell dNa > HealtH autHorities say iNterPHoNe > does Not cHaNge safety advice oN mobiles rePorts of caNcer liNk are misleadiNg, say uk HealtH service > No cHaNge iN braiN caNcer rates, says 30 year aNalysis > euroPeaN HealtH autHorities > fiNd No evideNce of Wireless HealtH risks frequeNtly asked questioNs about tHe iNterPHoNe results >
  • EME UPDATE EDiToriAl - iNTErPHoNE fiNDs No iNcrEAsED risk of brAiN cANcEr froM MobilEsthe australian Mobile involved, is studying mobile phonetelecommunications association use among young people.(aMta) welcomes the release of it’s important to remember thatthe interphone study, which finds we have now been using mobileno increased risk of brain cancer phones for nearly 30 years andfrom mobile phone use. they have been in widespread next >interphone’s overall finding is use for two decades without any back >in line with the weight of scientific significant increase in the rates of HOMe >opinion, which has found no brain tumor being found. this fact print >substantiated scientific evidence of for research on cancer (iarc), was confirmed by the who’s world exit >any adverse health effects. which is part of the world health cancer report in 2008, and a largeover the past 20 years, more than organization (who), and adds to 30 year analysis of brain cancer30 authoritative expert scientific the large body of existing research rates published by danish scientistsreviews have evaluated the into health effects of radiofrequency last year.evidence of the potential health and emissions. although interphone is a largebiological effects of radiofrequency aMta takes all aspects of and important study, it must befields and have consistently mobile phone safety seriously viewed in context as only one ofconcluded that there are no and supports ongoing scientific many studies that will be used inestablished health risks. research, such as the cosMos the overall cancer-risk assessmentinterphone, a 13-nation study, is study that plans to follow the to be undertaken by iarc in 2011.the biggest study undertaken of its health of 250,000 european mobile chris althauskind into potential health impacts of phone users for 20-30 years. an chief executive officermobile phones. it was co-ordinated international study, MobiKids, in australian Mobileby the international agency which australian researchers are telecommunications association
  • EME UPDATE lArgEsT sTUDy oN MobilEs AND brAiN cANcEr fiNDs No liNk the results from the ten-year, phones. there were suggestions 13 nation interphone study, of an increased risk of glioma published online in the International at the highest exposure levels, Journal of Epidemiology on 17 May, but biases and error prevent a next > show no overall evidence mobile causal interpretation. the possible back > phone use is associated with an effects of long-term heavy use HOMe > increased risk of brain cancer. of mobile phones require further print > investigation,” the interphone exit > the multi national population-based researchers concluded. case-control study of glioma and meningioma, the most common specifically on meningioma, a types of brain tumor, is the largest benign tumor that grows out of the of its kind. membranes that cover the brain, the researchers found no signs of despite no overall link to brain an increased risk among mobile cancer, the interphone phone users. researchers say uncertainty still they added that evidence for remains about the possible effects an increased risk of glioma, a of long-term heavy use. malignant tumor of the brain’s “overall, no increase in risk of glial cells, was inconclusive, as the glioma or meningioma was increase could be due to one or observed with use of mobile continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE lArgEsT sTUDy oN MobilEs AND brAiN cANcEr fiNDs No liNk – continued from previous pagemore of the possible sources oferror.the researchers said “there isevidence that cases [subjects with next > back >brain tumor] tended to overestimate HOMe >their past exposure more than rest on the overall balance of rodents or cause dna damage in print >controls [healthy subjects] did”. exit > evidence”. cells in culture.”the results also show that subjectswith brain tumors tended to “our results are consistent with “by analogy with knownassociate their use of mobile most of the research published to carcinogens, the lack of aphones with the side of the head date,” the researchers said. consistently increasing risk withwhere their tumor was diagnosed, dose, duration of exposure “Much biological research has been and time since first exposuresuggesting the findings might be done in recent years on possible weigh against cause and effect.due to bias in recalling the side biological effects of rf fields. this nevertheless, given the uncertaintyof the head on which the mobile work covers in vitro [test tube] surrounding possible effects ofphone was generally used. and in vivo [live animal] exposure, rf on the brain, no strong casebecause of such errors, the alone and in combination with can be made for the plausibilityresearchers warned that “rather other physical or chemical agents, or implausibility of any observedthan focus on the most extreme and has found no evidence that rf exposure response pattern,” thevalues, the interpretation should fields are carcinogenic in laboratory researchers concluded.
  • EME UPDATE WHo ovErAll PosiTioN NoT cHANgED by iNTErPHoNE the world health organisation the lack of a dose response (who) did not change its overall relationship and biases in the position on mobile phones and interphone study prevented a health after the publication of the solid link being made the who long awaited interphone study said: results on the two most common “a retrospective case-control next > types of brain cancer – glioma and study on adults, interphone, back > meningioma. coordinated by the international HOMe > the who immediately responded agency for research on cancer print > to the release of the interphone (iarc), was designed to determine exit > results and updated their fact sheet whether there are links between on mobile phones and health use of mobile phones and head online. the fact sheet reconfirmed and neck cancers in adults. the the existing scientific view that international pooled analysis of no solid effects on mobile phone data gathered from 13 participating users’ health have been found. countries found no increased risk of glioma or meningioma with mobile “a large number of studies have phone use of more than 10 years.” been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile “there are some indications of phones pose a potential health risk. an increased risk of glioma for to date, no adverse health effects those who reported the highest have been established for mobile 10% of cumulative hours of cell phone use,” the updated fact sheet phone use, although there was said. continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE WHo ovErAll PosiTioN NoT cHANgED by iNTErPHoNE – continued from previous pageno consistent trend of increasing “in particular, with the recentrisk with greater duration of use. popularity of mobile phone useresearchers concluded that biases among younger people, andand errors limit the strength of therefore a potentially longer next >these conclusions and prevent a lifetime of exposure, who has back >causal interpretation.” promoted further research on this HOMe >however the who did not group. several studies investigating print >completely rule out the possibility potential health effects in children exit >of a link because of the limitation of and adolescents are underway.”this type of population study. these include the cosMos study“to date, results of epidemiological that plans to follow the health ofstudies provide no consistent 250,000 european mobile phoneevidence of a causal relationship users for 20-30 years and anbetween radiofrequency exposure international study, MobiKids, inand any adverse health effect. which australian researchers are “while an increased risk of brainyet, these studies have too many involved, is studying mobile phone tumors is not established fromlimitations to completely rule out an use among young people. interphone data, the increasingassociation.” use of mobile phones and the lack there are also two studies currentlyto address this possibility the who of data for mobile phone use over underway in australia looking at thesays further long-term research time periods longer than 15 years health of high school and primaryis needed especially for young warrant further research of mobile school children using mobilepeople. phone use and brain cancer risk.” phones.
  • EME UPDATE No rEAsoN To cHANgE MobilE PHoNE sAfETy gUiDEliNEs DUE To iNTErPHoNE rEsUlTs sAys icNirP the international body which to date, has been keenly awaited,” developed the scientific guidelines the commissioners said. used to set the safe level of exposure to mobile phone No reasoN to emissions in australia says cHaNge guideliNes next > back > publication of the interphone “icnirp recently published a review HOMe > study results does not require any of the scientific evidence on the print > change to our safety standards. health effects of radiofrequency exit > the international commission on exposure from mobile phones. non-ionizing radiation protection we found the existing evidence (icnirp) published a note online did not support an increased risk soon after the interphone results of brain tumors in mobile phone were released, which provided their users within the duration of use preliminary review of the study. yet investigated. the subsequent publication of the interphone study “the possibility that mobile phone has added greatly to the volume of use might increase the risk of brain tumors has received pubic attention evidence available. icnirp believes for several years. if there were on preliminary review of the results, such a risk it would be of great however, that they do not change importance given the vast number the overall conclusions. icnirp of users worldwide. hence the therefore considers that the results publication of the interphone study, of the interphone study give no by far the largest study of this issue continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE No rEAsoN To cHANgE MobilE PHoNE sAfETy gUiDEliNEs DUE To iNTErPHoNE rEsUlTs sAys icNirP – continued from previous pagereason for alteration of the current risk of these brain tumors in people “there are serious methodologicalguidelines.” who regularly used mobile phones limitations inherent in studies of compared with non or non-regular this type, which depend on studyfurthermore, icnirp agreed users, which icnirp believes participants trying to rememberwith the researchers that the next > is likely to be a methodological and report their entire lifetime useinterphone results did not back > artefact rather than a real beneficial of mobile phones. such recall isindicate any solid link with mobile HOMe > effect of mobile phone use,” the problematic particularly for brainphone use and brain cancer. print > commissioners said. tumor patients. icnirp agrees exit >“overall, the study did not find an with the interphone authors thatincrease in the risks of glioma or “no raised risk of brain tumors was found among people who reported the biases and errors in the studymeningioma in relation to mobile preclude a causal interpretation of the largest number of calls, but anphone use,” the commissioners the results.” apparent raised risk was observedsaid. in people in the highest of ten guideliNe revieWsmall data sets biased categories of reported cumulative the earlier 300-page review of the hours of mobile phone use. thisthe commissioners also confirmed icnirp guidelines – which were first category included a number ofthat many of the separate smaller published in 1998 – considered all people who were recorded withsub-groups of results that indicate a the most recent studies into mobile highly improbable hours of use,health benefit were not valid due to phones and brain cancer except for presumably reflecting erroneousstudy limitations, just as are some interphone which had not yet reports, and there was no generalof the much smaller data sets which been published. dose-response gradient ofsuggest a link with brain tumors. increasing risk with increasing“there was an apparent decreased amount of use.” continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE No rEAsoN To cHANgE MobilE PHoNE sAfETy gUiDEliNEs DUE To iNTErPHoNE rEsUlTs sAys icNirP – continued from previous page“…it is the opinion of icnirp that agency (arpansa) which alsothe scientific literature published released a statement confirming thesince the 1998 guidelines has interphone results.provided no evidence of any “arpansa notes that the results next >adverse effects below the of the interphone study do not back >basic restrictions and does not establish an increased risk of brain HOMe >necessitate an immediate revision cancer related to mobile phone print >of its guidance on limiting exposure use,” the statement said. exit >to high frequency electromagnetic “the current arpansa standardfields [emitted by mobile phones],” includes a requirement to minimizethe review said. unnecessary exposure of the publicimPact oN australiaN to radiofrequency electromagneticstaNdard radiation. arpansa, with the help of australian scientists, willthe icnirp guidelines form the carefully examine the results ofbasis of world health organization the interphone study. together(who) recommendations to with the large amount of scientificgovernments and have been research published in the last 10widely adopted around the world in years, the results published todaynational safety standards. of the interphone study will helpthey form the basis of the arpansa decide whether a reviewaustralian safety standard which of its current exposure standardis set by the australian radiation for radiofrequency radiation isprotection and nuclear safety warranted.”
  • EME UPDATE Do MobilE PHoNEs rEAlly ProTEcT UsErs froM brAiN cANcEr?although most of the newscoverage about interphone hasfocused on the potential risks tomobile phone users, more recentlysome have noticed the many ofthe results seemed to show mobile next >phones protected their users from back >brain cancer. could it be true that HOMe >mobile phones have a ‘protective print > exit >effect’?in fact, the overall interphoneconclusion made it clear to thosewho could understand statisticsthat mobile phones seemed toprotect users. the main findingswere a reduced odds ratio relatedto regular mobile phone use forglioma [0.81] and meningioma[0.79] – the two most commontypes of brain cancer.continued next page … courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
  • EME UPDATE Do MobilE PHoNEs rEAlly ProTEcT UsErs froM brAiN cANcEr? – continued from previous pagethe researchers explained these carl bialik ‘the numbers Guy’odds ratios (or) of less than 1.0 – at The Wall Street Journal waswhich indicates a protective effect one of the few journalists to– as possibly reflecting participation point the result out in his column next >bias or other methodological commenting that “…using a back >limitations in the study design. cellphone seems to protect against HOMe > two types of brain tumors.” print >the ‘protect effect’ results puzzled exit >the interphone researches who however, some population studies, principal investigator of the interphonesaid in regard to interpreting the study dr elisabeth cardis. including interphone, have oftenfindings that: shown this type of result in the past.“we have no certain explanation it seems even more confusing population studies look at afor the overall reduced risk of brain when the more regular users country’s medical database andcancer among mobile phone users appeared to be more protected. identify patients with brain cancerin this study, although selection bias – cases – and compare their mobile “the reduced or for regular usersis almost certainly a contributor.” phone use with subjects who do compared with never regular users not have brain cancer – controls.“putting aside a genuine protective seems unlikely to reflect a genuineeffect as implausible, we have protective effect and makes our in interphone, trainedconsidered other reasons for these results difficult to interpret,” the interviewers conducted personalobservations,” the researchers said. researchers said. continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE Do MobilE PHoNEs rEAlly ProTEcT UsErs froM brAiN cANcEr? – continued from previous pageinterviews with all participants and that regular use has a protectivegathered information about their effect.patterns of mobile phone use, This is a likely explanation a study by some of the co-authorsmedical history, education and for why many relative which looked at how interphone next >family history of cancer. back > was conducted concluded that non-sometimes differences in ongoing risk estimates in the HOMe > participation by less frequent users print >participation in the study can Interphone study are could result in a bias of about 10 exit >create biases which create false or percent in the study.irregular results. for example, the actually below 1.0european union’s expert scientific “refusal to participate in brain [show a protective effect] tumor case-control studies seemsgroup recently commented on thelimitations of the interphone to be related to less prevalent useproject saying: of mobile phones, and this could result in a downward bias of around“low response rates, particularly it is possible, if more controls who 10% in odds ratios for regularamong controls, introduce bias if never use or who are irregular mobile phone use,” the researchersparticipation is related to mobile users of mobile phones drop out concluded.phone use (cardis et al. 2007). of the study (because of lack ofthis is a likely explanation for why interest) there would be more this type of study has complexmany relative risk estimates in the regular user controls (without limitations which need to be takeninterphone study are actually below cancer), compared to cases (with into account by independent health1.0” [show a protective effect]. cancer). this would make it appear experts when assessing the results.
  • EME UPDATE iNTErPHoNE AUTHor sAys HAlf-HoUr MobilE liMiT UNNEcEssAry the scientist who led australia’s centre press conference in a taped contribution to the global question and answer session in interphone study has dismissed sydney just hours after the study reports that it may be dangerous to was officially published. next > use a mobile phone for more than back > 30 minutes a day. “what someone did was a bit of HOMe > quick mental arithmetic that said print > the research found no clear link 1640 hours accumulated over 10 exit > between mobile phones and years of use equals about a half cancer, and the warning of a half- hour a day. that’s it – all i can really hour limit came from a quick say is that we are not really sure calculation by those re-interpreting about that increase in risk above the study’s findings, professor 1640 hours [of accumulated mobile bruce armstrong, lead author of theprofessor bruce armstrong, lead author of the phone use],” prof armstrong said.australian interphone study. australian interphone study, said. the best advice he could offer was “let me tell you where this half- that if people were worried about hour per day originated from ... the health ramifications of using it was in fact in The Times Online a mobile phone, then they should article in the uK on sunday, which curb their use or use a hands-free was also the one, as far as i know, device or low-radiation mobile which broke the embargo,” prof armstrong told a science Media continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE iNTErPHoNE AUTHor sAys HAlf-HoUr MobilE liMiT UNNEcEssAry – continued from previous pagephone. “but we don’t really knowif there is a harmful effect,” profarmstrong said.a media release issued by the next >international agency for research back > HOMe >on cancer (iarc) explains the print >arithmetic behind the half-hour per exit >day claim. iarc says “the cut-pointfor the heaviest 10% of users (1640hours lifetime), spread out over 10years, corresponds to about a half-hour per day”. professor armstrong has dismissed reports that it may be dangerous to use a mobile phone for more than 30 minutes a day.however, this is just a cut off pointfor ‘heavy users’ in the study and, prof armstrong said that because risk of brain tumor with mobileas the interphone researchers of such biases “we really still don’t phone use, but we cannotpointed out, some people in know whether there is or is not a confidently say that there is anthe study reported much higher risk of brain tumor occurrence with increased risk on the basis of thosethan 1640 lifetime hours (and in use of mobile phones”. suggestions. equally, we cannotsome cases implausible values confidently say, there is no risk.of reported use), and this over- “so, in interphone, we have therefore, my position is one ofreporting was a source of error. some suggestions of an increased uncertainty.”
  • EME UPDATE AUsTrAliAN govErNMENT firsT To rEsPoND To iNTErPHoNE a press release from the australian government the day before the interphone results were published made australia the first next > government in the world to release back > a statement in response to the HOMe > study. print > exit > parliamentary secretary for health Mark butler issued the press release on the 17 May acknowledging the overall results of the interphone parliamentary secretary for health Mark butler welcomes the results of the interphone project. project. the government’s press release was published a day before the interviews conducted in 13 interphone results were made countries, including australia. he public as the results were already said the australian centre was being widely reported in the media. supported by the national health and Medical research council Mr butler noted interphonethe interphone study was under a strict (nhMrc) and the cancer council.embargo to prevent media reporting until after was the most extensive study1:30aM paris time on 18 May 2010. conducted on the topic with continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE AUsTrAliAN govErNMENT firsT To rEsPoND To iNTErPHoNE – continued from previous page while there were suggestions of • continues to inform those an increased risk of certain types concerned over health effects of brain cancer associated with the of exposure that the above highest levels of mobile phone use, precautionary measures will next > Mr butler said these results may be reduce such exposure, and back > due to biases in the study which are HOMe > • concludes that currently difficult to avoid. print > available data does not warrant exit > Mr butler said the interphone any general recommendation results have been reviewed by the to limit use of mobile phones in federal government’s independent the adult population. radiation authority, the australian “i note the arpansa statement is radiation protection and nuclear consistent with its existing advice safety agency (arpansa), which on the use of mobile phones, said in a statement that it: including by children. i also note • recommends that parents that it is consistent with the advice encourage their children to limit of the cancer council issued in their exposure by reducing call response to the interphone report. time, by making calls where the australian Government reception is good, by using will continue to closely monitor hands-free devices, speaker ongoing research in the area,” options, or by texting; Mr butler said.
  • EME UPDATEcANcEr coUNcil sAys MobilE PHoNEs DoN’T DAMAgE cEll DNA the results of the interphone study, along with the large body of scientific research already conducted on mobile phones next > and cancer, indicate that mobile back > phones cannot damage the cells HOMe > interphone study, conducted that make up human dna, and print > across 13 countries including therefore cannot cause the type exit > australia, were consistent with of genetic mutations that cause other research that had failed to cancer, according to cancer council find a link between mobile phones australia scientists. and cancer. the cancer council has cautiously “this supports previous research welcomed the results of the largest showing mobile phones don’t international study to date into damage cell dna, meaning they mobile phone use, which they say can’t cause the type of genetic has found no evidence that normal mutations that develop into cancer,” use of mobile phones, for a period professor olver said in a statement. up to 12 years, can cause brain “however, it has been suggested cancer. that electromagnetic fields chief executive officer, professor associated with mobile phones ian olver, said findings from the continued next page …
  • EME UPDATEcANcEr coUNcil sAys MobilE PHoNEs DoN’T DAMAgE cEll DNA – continued from previous pagemay play a role in speeding up the in particular, insufficient time hasdevelopment of an existing cancer. passed since mobile phones werethe interphone study found no introduced to determine whetherevidence to support this theory.” or not there is a risk to children,” he next > said. back >professor olver said one intriguing HOMe >finding from the study was that “until this area has been fully print >patients with glioma were more investigated, cancer council exit >likely to have the tumor on the recommends caution in relation tosame side of the head as the mobile children – they should either not cancer council ceo professor ian olver saidphone was used, where there interphone failed to find a link between use, or minimise their use of mobilewas excessive use. “this doesn’t mobile phones and cancer phones.prove a link between brain cancer surprises’ from the study and said it “anyone concerned about theand mobile phones, however it would take another decade or more harmful effects of electromagneticdoes point to a need for more to see definitive findings on risks energy should reduce their use ofinvestigation of heavy phone use,” associated with mobile phone use. mobile phones, or employ hands-he said. free technology.” “this study involves phone usagecancer council scientific advisor, for 12 years at most, so it tells us the cancer council also issuedprofessor bernard stewart, little about risk associated with a position statement about theconfirmed there were no ‘big mobile phone use over decades. interphone results.
  • EME UPDATE HEAlTH AUTHoriTiEs sAy iNTErPHoNE DoEs NoT cHANgE sAfETy ADvicE oN MobilEsseveral health authorities around released May 17, 2010 – shows no increasing number of calls, longerthe world have issued statements increased health risk due to radio- call time, or time since the start ofin response to the publication of frequency (rf) energy, a form of the use of cell phones.”the interphone study, saying electromagnetic radiation that isthe overall results do not change emitted by cell phones.” iNterPHoNe commeNt next >their existing advice that the use australian centre for back >of mobile phones is not associated Nci statemeNt: iNterNatioNal rf bioeffects research HOMe >with adverse health effects. study sHoWs No iNcreased 17 may 2010 print > risk of braiN tumors from exit >health authorities that have “interphone is both large and cell PHoNe usepublished statements include: rigorous enough to address this us National cancer institute claim, and it has not provided anyNo evideNce liNkiNg cell 17 may 2010 convincing scientific evidence ofPHoNe use to risk of braiN an association between mobile “interphone, an internationaltumors phone use and the development of collaboration, and the largestus food and drug administration study of its kind to date, reported glioma or meningioma. while themay 2010 that overall, cell phone users study demonstrates some weak“although research is ongoing, have no increased risk of two of evidence of an association withthe food and drug administration the most common forms of brain the highest tenth of cumulative call(fda) says that available scientific cancer -- glioma and meningioma. time (but only in those who startedevidence – including world health furthermore, there was no mobile phone use most recently),organization (who) findings evidence of risk with progressively continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE HEAlTH AUTHoriTiEs sAy iNTErPHoNE DoEs NoT cHANgE sAfETy ADvicE oN MobilEs – continued from previous pagethe authors conclude that biases “…the study provides no clear, or iNterPHoNeand errors limit the strength of any even strongly suggestive, evidence uk Health Protection agencyconclusions in this group. it now of a hazard. Moreover, it indicates 18 may 2010seems clear that if there was an that if there is any hazard of brain next >effect of mobile phone use on brain cancer or meningioma from use “the study, a pooled analysis of back >tumor risks in adults, this is likely of mobile phones then the risk studies from 13 different countries, HOMe >to be too small to be detectable by during the initial 10-15 years of is a major contribution to the print >even a large multinational study of use must be small. this conclusion understanding of the health impact exit >the size of interphone.” is consistent with the findings of mobile phones. of most other epidemiological it concludes that ‘biases and errors’braiN tumor risk iN relatioN studies that have examined the within the study have restrictedto mobile telePHoNe use: relation of brain tumors to use of conclusions that can be drawn andresults of tHe iNterPHoNe mobile phones, and also with the means the researchers were unableiNterNatioNal case-coNtrol absence of demonstrable effects on to make any clear link betweenstudy cancer incidence when laboratory mobile phone use and brainuk advisory group on animals have been exposed tumors.”Non-ionising radiation to radiofrequency radiation25 may 2010 experimentally.”
  • EME UPDATE rEPorTs of cANcEr liNk ArE MislEADiNg, sAy Uk HEAlTH sErvicE the british government’s national while the Daily Mail says “long health service (nhs) has criticised conversations” and “prolonged use some media outlets for their over many years” pose a potential next > ‘misleading’ reporting of the results risk. back > of the interphone study, which HOMe > “the research in question was a the nhs says found no evidence of print > well-conducted analysis of several a link between mobile phone use exit > international studies that actually and cancer. found no plausible evidence of a a comprehensive review of the link between cancer and mobile interphone study by the nhs phone use. some newspapers have selectively quoted a few reveals the overall results from the results in this research that study indicate mobile phone use suggest a significant link, but this does not cause cancer. is misleading in the context of the the nhs say newspapers featured overall results. the researchers a confusing mix of reports on themselves explain these few the implications of the research, anomalous results, and conclude including The Daily Telegraph’s that there are no conclusive signs ofthe nhs has criticised the Daily Mail for their an increased risk of brain tumors.”misleading reporting of the results of the suggestion that half an hour a dayinterphone study. can increase brain cancer risk, continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE rEPorTs of cANcEr liNk ArE MislEADiNg, sAy Uk HEAlTH sErvicE – continued from previous page“overall, this study does not “in their paper, the researchersprovide evidence that mobile themselves provide plausiblephones cause cancer, a finding explanations for these results. next >echoed by the majority of studies they clearly conclude that there is back >on the matter, although sadly not by no evidence of an increased risk HOMe >most newspapers,” the nhs said. of meningioma among users of print > mobile phones, and that for glioma, exit >the nhs explains that a number the overall results are inconclusive,”of media reports appeared before the nhs said.the publication of the research the nhs say some newspapers selectively quoted results which was misleading in thepaper itself, and may have been context of the overall results. “overall, the emphasis someinfluenced by a series of alleged newspapers have placed oninternet leaks that selectively selected results of this research of some newspapers that ‘talking is misleading. this study doesused data taken out of its correct for 30 minutes a day’ increases not provide evidence that mobilescientific context. the risk of brain tumors. while phones cause cancer. More“while there is a need for further there are a few spikes in results, research will follow and overresearch into longer-term mobile these individual results should be time, as data gathers, the longer-phone use, this study certainly does interpreted in the context of the term effects of mobile use can benot support the clear-cut claims data as a whole. assessed.”
  • EME UPDATE No cHANgE iN brAiN cANcEr rATEs, sAys 30 yEAr ANAlysisone of the largest studies everconducted on the potential linkbetween mobile phone use Glioma and meningioma incidence rates per 100,000and brain cancer has found adults in denmark, finland,the explosion in mobile phone norway, and sweden overownership in the past two decades the period 1974 – 2003, by sex and 20-year age group,has not caused an increase in brain on a logarithmic scale. circlescancer cases. indicate rates for those aged next > 20 – 39 years, squares indicate backthe 30-year analysis of cancer rates for those aged 40 – 59 >cases reported amongst 16 million years, triangles indicate rates HOMe >adults in europe found no related, for those aged 60 – 79 years, print > and a solid line indicates theobservable change in the incidence regression curve. a ) Men, exit >of brain cancer cases up until 2003. glioma. b ) Men, meningioma. c ) women, glioma. d )the results are important because women, meningioma.the researchers said they expectedto see a significant rise in the change in incidence trends was norway, and sweden and wasnumber of people diagnosed with observed from 1998 to 2003, the strengthened by the high-qualitybrain cancer between 1998 to time when possible associations cancer registries in these countries.2003 – a fact that would support between mobile phone use and lead author dr isabelle deltour,the theory that mobile phone use cancer risk would be informative from the institute of cancerincreases the risk of brain cancer. about an induction period of five to epidemiology at the danish cancer“from 1974 to 2003, brain tumor 10 years,” the researchers state. society, said the study was basedincidence rates in denmark, finland, published in the december edition on nearly 60,000 brain tumor casesnorway, and sweden were stable, of the Journal of the National that were diagnosed from 1974 todecreased, or continued a gradual Cancer Institute, the study 2003 in adults aged 20 – 79 yearsincrease that started before the was based on the entire adult old.introduction of mobile phones. no populations of denmark, finland, continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE No cHANgE iN brAiN cANcEr rATEs, sAys 30 yEAr ANAlysis – continued from previous page“in summary, we did not detect any “our results are in contrast toclear change in the long-term time those of a swedish case – controltrends in the incidence of brain study series, which suggestedtumors from 1998 to 2003 in any lead author substantially increased risks forsubgroup. our finding that brain dr isabelle glioma among both short and long- deltour, from the term users of mobile phones.”tumor incidence rates were either institute of cancerstable, decreased, or continued a epidemiology at the researchers say although the danish cancer mobile phone use has frequently next >gradual increase that started before society. been proposed as a risk factor for back >the introduction of mobile phones “the observed patterns of brain brain tumors, neither a biological HOMe >is consistent with mobile phone tumor incidence are consistent with mechanism to explain this print >use having no observable effect on the results of a large danish cohort association nor the cause of brain exit >brain tumor incidence in this period.our results extend those of previous study of mobile phone subscribers, tumors is known.studies of time trends up to 1998 which found no increased risk for “the lack of a detectable trend brain tumors associated with mobile change in incidence rates up toby adding 5 years of follow-up,” dr phone use. 2003 in this study suggests that thedeltour said. “our results are also in line with induction period for brain tumorsthe study’s conclusions are those of the nordic and united associated with mobile phoneconsistent with the findings of a use exceeds 5 – 10 years, that Kingdom populations of thenumber of recent papers by other international interphone case – the increased risk of brain tumorsnordic and british investigations, control study of brain tumors, which associated with mobile phone useand quash claims by a controversial show no overall increase in glioma in this population is too small to be2006 study by swedish scientists or meningioma risk, but leave observed, that the risk is restrictedthat suggested there were open the possibility of a small to to subgroups of brain tumors or“substantially increased risks” for moderate increased risk for glioma mobile phone users, or there isboth short and long-term users of among the heaviest users of mobile no increased risk associated withmobiles. phones,” dr deltour said. mobile phone use,” dr deltour said.
  • EME UPDATE EUroPEAN HEAlTH AUTHoriTiEs fiND No EviDENcE of WirElEss HEAlTH risksfive european safety authorities the scientific evidence available the normal living environment atreleased a joint statement in on public exposure to fixed present. this conclusion concursnovember last year reassuring the transmitters, such as mobile phone with the opinion of international next >public that there is no substantiated base stations and tV and radio scientific and advisory bodies listed back >scientific evidence that mobile transmitters, and found there is as references below [icnirp 1998 , HOMe > print >phone use or exposure to the no need for authorities to take and 2009; who, 2005 and 2006; exit >emissions from base stations below any further action to reduce this scenihr 2009; ssi`s independentinternationally accepted levels pose exposure. expert Group on electromagnetica health risk. fields, 2007]. the nordic authorities “the nordic authorities agree that therefore at present see no needGovernment health authorities there is no scientific evidence for for a common recommendationfrom finland, sweden, norway, adverse health effects caused bydenmark and iceland reviewed all radiofrequency field strengths in continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE EUroPEAN HEAlTH AUTHoriTiEs fiND No EviDENcE of WirElEss HEAlTH risks – continued from previous pagefor further actions to reduce theseradiofrequency fields,” the fiveauthorities said in a statement. next >importantly, the five nordic safety back >authorities confirmed that their HOMe > print >joint statement on mobile phone exit >handsets released in september2004 remains valid.“the nordic authorities agree thatthere is no scientific evidence forany adverse health effects frommobile telecommunication systems,neither from the base stations norfrom the handsets, below the basicrestrictions and reference valuesrecommended by the internationalcommission on non-ionizingradiation protection (icnirp),”the 2004 joint statementconcluded.
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs AboUT THE iNTErPHoNE rEsUlTs1. does this mean that i can only use my mobile phone for less than 30 minutes a day?although many media reports the interphone researchers the who response to the resultsfocused on a small data set specifically warned against focusing agreed saying:involving ‘heavy users’ for one on the extreme values in the paper. “There are some indications oftype of cancer which suggested next > “rather than focus on the most an increased risk of glioma fora possible link with mobile back >phone use, it is not an accurate extreme values, the interpretation those who reported the highest HOMe >representation of the results. should rest on the overall balance 10% of cumulative hours of cell print > of evidence.” phone use, although there was exit >the researchers concluded that no consistent trend of increasingoverall there was no link between they also said the evidence for an risk with greater duration of use.the two most common types of increased risk of glioma among the Researchers concluded that biasesbrain cancers, including heavy highest users was inconclusive, as and errors limit the strength ofusers, and mobile phone use. the the increase could be due to one these conclusions and prevent adata on heavy users was included or more of the possible sources of causal interpretation.”in the overall results, but doesn’t error.show up in the overall statistical this extreme result is no moreanalysis, because it included only a for example, some of the small plausible than the results whichsmall number of study participants. group of ‘heavy users’ claimed showed users were protected bythe data set of heavy users and they used their mobile phone for their mobile phone use – boththe type of cancer – glioma – was more than 12 hours a day and there are related to biases which arearound 200 people out of the 6000 was “reasonable doubt about the common in this type of study.with cancer in the study. credibility of such claims.” continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page2. should i now keep changing the side of the head that i use my mobile phone to reduce my chance of a tumour?although the overall results did once this was done, the overall is unlikely if a real effect was beingnot show a link with brain cancer, interphone results did not show observed.two of the analyses of data from a link with brain cancer. “the observation of an unlikely next >individual countries reported ipsilateral [side of the head] effect in back > secondly, patients diagnosed withincreased risks of brain cancer for HOMe > a brain tumour tend to over report low exposure categories suggestsa period of 10 years or more on the print > that they used their mobile phone that cases might have over-reported exit >side of the head where the tumour on the same side of the head as the use on the side of the tumour,” thedeveloped. tumour was found on. researchers said in the paper.first, this possible link is based on also, additional validation studies this type of ‘recall bias’ would bethe very small numbers of subjects which used phone records rather more likely to occur if a subjectwho had both brain cancer and than users’ memories found perceived that mobile phoneused their mobile for more than 10 evidence that people diagnosed use was associated with brainyears. with a brain tumour tended to over- tumours and this has been widely report their past mobile phone use speculated by the media.the very reason the project was and that this ‘recall bias’ may beset up was to pull together a large the researchers also thought bias more likely if subjects perceive thatpool of combined data from 13 was the explanation because it mobile phone use is associatedcountries, so this small number tended to show up with people who with brain tumours.limitation could be avoided. had used their phone less, which continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page3. my take on iNterPHoNe was that we are all now going to get brain tumours because it said there was an increased risk over the long term?early uK media reports, published response relationship – are an and time since first exposurejust before the full results were important indicator of a possible weigh against cause and effect.released, speculated that the results effect. however, no consistent nevertheless, given the uncertaintyfound a link with long-term use. pattern was found in the study. surrounding possible effects of rf on the brain, no strong casehowever, this was not found in the “by analogy with known next can be made for the plausibility >published interphone results. carcinogens, the lack of a or implausibility of any observed back >findings which show a link with consistently increasing risk with exposure response pattern,” the HOMe >diseases as time increases – a dose dose, duration of exposure researchers said in the paper. print > exit >4. it looks like everyone has to use hands-free kits from now on and we should only use or mobiles phones once a week –if people are concerned about • reduce the amount of time spent falls off rapidly with increasingtheir exposure to mobile phone on the cell phone distance from the handset. aemissions there are some simple • use speaker mode or a headset person using a mobile phone 30–40ways to reduce exposure as to place more distance between cm away from their body – foroutline by the us food and drug the head and the cell phone example when text messaging,administration (fda) in their the world health organisation accessing the internet, or using ainterphone statement which said: confirmed these are an effective “hands free” device – will therefore way for users to reduce exposure have a much lower exposure toAlthough evidence shows little or in their latest fact sheet on mobile radiofrequency fields than someoneno risk of brain tumors for most phones and health saying: holding the handset against theirlong-term users of cell phones, FDA head.”says people who want to reduce “the power (and hence thetheir RF exposure can: radiofrequency exposure to a user) continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page5. i am confused – one day the papers said that there is definitely a link to brain cancers and mobiles and the next day they said it was almost ok. can’t the researchers make the results clear?it is understandable that people “the research in question was a echoed by the majority of studiesmight be confused about the well-conducted analysis of several on the matter, although sadly not byinterphone results, because of international studies that actually most newspapers,” the nhs said. next >the vastly different news reporting. found no plausible evidence of a back > the nhs explain that a number link between cancer and mobile HOMe >initial newspaper reports which of media reports appeared before phone use. some newspapers print >started in the uK before the results the publication of the research have selectively quoted a few exit >where published such as The Daily paper itself, and may have been results in this research that suggest a significant link, but this influenced by a series of allegedTelegraph suggested that half is misleading in the context of the internet leaks that selectivelyan hour a day can increase brain overall results. the researchers used data taken out of its correctcancer risk, while the Daily Mail themselves explain these few scientific context.said “long conversations” and“prolonged use over many years” anomalous results, and conclude the uK health protection agencypose a potential risk. that there are no conclusive say the public should be careful not signs of an increased risk of brain to use the internet or newspapersthis was then followed by updated tumours,” the uK national health as their only source and shouldarticles reporting more accurately service (nhs) said in response to also look at independent healththe overall published results that the misguided reports. authorities such as the world healthmobile phones where not linked “overall, this study does not organisation for their assessmentwith the two most common types provide evidence that mobile of research findings.of brain cancer. phones cause cancer, a finding continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page6. i am really scared by what i have seen on the news – dr teo said the results of the study are very alarming and brain cancers are on the rise?all scientific questions result in a operating within international meningioma among adults fromvast diversity of opinion – which guidelines. denmark, finland, norway, andcan be confusing for the public. sweden between 1974 and 2003. next > the incidence of brain tumours has these nordic countries have the back >this is also why we rely on the not increased since the introduction highest rates of mobile phone HOMe >expert opinion of international and widespread use of mobile ownership in the world. print >health agencies for an overall phones. The World Cancer Report exit >assessment of mobile phone health published late last year said: “after they found incidence rates overand safety issues. 1983 and more recently during the this 30 year-period were stable, period of increasing prevalence of decreased, or continued a graduala long line of expert panel reviews mobile phone users, the incidence increase that started before theand opinions have been published has remained relatively stable for introduction of mobile phones.on this area over the last decade both men and women.” they also found no change fromand all of these reports have agreedthat the scientific evidence does not also danish scientists have 1998 to 2003 – the years in whichshow any established health effects extensively studied annual mobile phone use grew rapidly.from the use of mobile phones incidence rates of glioma and continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page7. i heard that it will be 10 years away before we have any answers – so what was iNterPHoNe supposed to do?no single study can answer any by the world health organisation “a large number of studies havescientific question, and all studies (who), have found there is no been performed over the last twomust be viewed not in isolation but convincing scientific evidence that decades to assess whether mobile next >against the backdrop of significant the use of mobile phones can cause phones pose a potential health risk. back >previous research. brain tumours or other cancers in to date, no adverse health effects HOMe > humans. have been established for mobile print >independent expert bodies look at phone use.” exit >all the available published studies as shown by the who statementand weigh up the evidence before (fact sheet 193 – electromagnetic also, the possibility of longer-termthey come to an overall health risk fields and public health: mobile risks is being addressed in theassessment. phones May 2010) released after cosMos study that plans to follow the health of 250,000 europeanover the last 20 years, more than the interphone project results mobile users for 20-30 years.30 authoritative expert scientific were published – this view has notreviews around the world, including changed. the statement says: continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page8. but didn’t industry fund iNterPHoNe – no wonder we don’t have any clear answers?interphone was a very large for this reason we fund quality organisation (who). the who hasstudy, and the funding came from a independent research from behind already responded (fact sheet 193variety of sources, including about a ‘firewall’. we only provide funding – electromagnetic fields and public next >a quarter of the funds from the for research projects jointly with health: mobile phones May 2010) to back >mobiles industry, which included national and international health the interphone project saying: HOMe >the Mobile Manufacturers forum and scientific research bodies. print “a large number of studies have >(MMf) and the GsM association we also encourage all research been performed over the last two exit >(GsMa). findings to be published in peer- decades to assess whether mobileindustry is in a difficult situation reviewed scientific journals to phones pose a potential health risk.here – if we don’t fund research we ensure openness and transparency to date, no adverse health effectsare accused of not caring about in our research programs. have been established for mobileour customers and when we fund phone use.” the results of research then need toneeded research we are accused of be assessed by independent healthtrying to influence the results. agencies, such as the world health continued next page …
  • EME UPDATE frEqUENTly AskED qUEsTioNs – continued from previous page9. With no clear answers from iNterPHoNe and with young people using phones so much more than we do – what should we do now?the study period was from 2000 to this type of study is unlikely to “today, mobile phone use has2004 and it was designed to study be able to be repeated because become much more prevalent andpeople who had been using mobile people, and particularly young it is not unusual for young peoplephones for up to 10 years. so the people, now use mobile phones to use mobile phones for an hour HOMe >study is very relevant – particularly very differently – they tend to text or more a day. this increasing back >because during the 1990’s people message more and access email use is tempered, however, by the print > lower emissions, on average, fromtended to use phones only for voice and the internet and therefore don’t exit > newer technology phones, andcalls – which meant the phone, hold the phone up to the side of the increasing use of texting andtended to be held against the side their head. this is also why the hands-free operations that keep theof the head. overall conclusion of the study, that phone away from the head.” no increased risk was observed,therefore, the study provides a should be reassuring for mobile a similar study – called Mobikidsgood assessment of exposure phone users. – is now underway to assessand whether or not there was an any potential brain cancer risksassociation between the use of iarc pointed out this change of associated with the use of mobilemobile phones and brain cancer. usage trend in their media release: phones by children and teenagers.