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World News
May, 2008
Research
Deletrious effect of UMTS on DNA – data valid?
Professor Alexander Lerchl of Jacobs-University in Bremen presented a scientific comment on the study of Schwarz et al. (2008): "Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (UMTS, 1,950 MHz) induce genotoxic effects in vitro in human fibroblasts but not in lymphocytes". In this study, the authors had reported about a significant increase of DNA strand breaks after UMTS exposure far below the legal limits. Lerchl describes the inconsistencies and statistical faults that he has found during the review of the data published.

The comment was published in the journal “International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health“ and can be downloaded free of charge at http://www.springerlink.com.

More about the background of Lerchl’s review was published in the current issue of Laborjournal, a service magazine for medicine and biosciences. You find this article and further background information at: http://www.laborjournal.de. What is also interesting within this context is the report of the FGF workshop 2007 about “Genotoxic Effects of Radiofrequency Fields – Lessons from the Conflicting Results” at: http://www.fgf.de/forschungsprojekte
Study: Effects of Modulated Microwave Radiation at Cellular Telephone Frequency (1.95 GHz) on X-Ray-Induced Chromosome Aberrations in Human Lymphocytes In Vitro
From the abstract: The influence of UMTS exposure on the yield of chromosome aberrations induced by X rays was studies. No significant variations due to the UMTS exposure were found in the fraction of aberrant cells. However, the frequency of exchanges per cell was affected by the SAR, showing a small but statistically significant increase of 0.11 exchange per cell compared to 0 W/kg SAR.

Bibliography: Manti et al., Radiat. Res. 169, 575–583 (2008), Abstract
Genetic Damage in Mammalian Somatic Cells Exposed to Radiofrequency Radiation: A Meta-analysis of Data from 63 Publications (1990–2005)
From the abstract: A meta-analysis of reported data was conducted to obtain a quantitative estimate (with 95% confidence intervals) of genotoxicity in RF-radiation-exposed cells compared with sham-exposed/unexposed control cells. The overall data indicated that (1) the difference between RF-radiation-exposed and sham-/unexposed controls as well as the effect size or standardized mean difference due to RF-radiation exposure was small with very few exceptions; (2) at certain RF radiation exposure conditions, there were statistically significant increases in genotoxicity for some end points; and (3) the mean indices for chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei in RF-radiation-exposed and sham-/unexposed controls were within the spontaneous levels reported in the historical database. Considerable evidence for publication bias was found in the meta-analysis.

Bibliography: Vijayalaxmi and Prihoda, T. J.Radiat. Res. 169, 561–574 (2008), Abstract
Environment and Society
RNCNIRP Opinion on Children and Mobile Phones
As reported last week in the Russian news portal "C News", experts of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) have stated that handsets pose danger for children and teen-agers. The statement is available now at several websites for example at:
http://www.emfacts.com
MMF Viewpoint: "Khurana’s Internet Report"
The Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) has issued a statement on Dr. Vini Khuranas report on the Internet alleging that mobile phones pose a great risk to public health. MMF states that this report is a discussion of selective scientific literature by one individual and does not present any new research findings and that it does not provide a balanced analysis of the published RF science with due consideration of the relative scientific quality of different studies. For this reason, Khurana’s conclusion would be at odds with many reviews of the extensive scientific literature on this subject by national and international regulatory and health agencies around the globe.
http://www.mmfai.org
Australian Researcher on Brain Tumor Risk of long-time Mobile Phone Use
Interphone researcher Professor Bruce Armstrong of the University of Sydney School of Public Health has expressed concern over the tumor risks associated with the long-term use of mobile phones. "I think the evidence that is accumulating is pointing towards an effect of mobile phones on tumors," told in the Australian current affairs show "TodayTonight". Armstrong is leading the Australian component of the Interphone project. http://www.emfacts.com.

The TodayTonight story, “Health Fears over Mobile Phones” is available for viewing on their web site under “Featured Videos” on the right hand side. http://au.todaytonight.yahoo.com
Politics and Laws
EMC law (EMVG) now also available in English language
The law about the electromagnetic compatibility of equipment (Gesetz über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln, EMVG) was published on 29/02/2008 in Bundesgesetzblatt, part I, N° 6, and came into effect on March 1st. The aim of EMVG is the realization of EU directive 2004/108/EC and it takes the place of the EMVG of 1998. The English version of EMVG drawn up by the EC commission, "Act concerning the electromagnetic compatibility of equipment", has been published at the website of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie).
http://www.bmwi.de
AUVA denies harmlessness of mobile radio
In a press release of 28/04/2008, Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt in Österreich (AUVA) (General Insurance Company in Austria) reacts with indignation to the press information of the Scientific Radio Council (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Funk, WBF) of 23/04/2008 about the harmlessness of intensive mobile phone use. The AUVA-expert Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Hamid Molla-Djafari and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Mosgöller of Medizinische Universität Wien answer: "If there have not been shown deleterious effects so far, that does not mean that there are none." AUVA refers in this context again to the ATHEM-project, intiated by itself, that to their own opinion has found new scientific results of best quality being relevant for the risk evaluation of intensive mobile phone use.
AUVA press release of 28/04/2008
Review of the Swiss decree on the protection against non-ionizing radiation: physical closeness to mobile antennae
In a decision of November 6, 2007, the Swiss Federal Court dealt with the question when nearby mobile radio antennae are part of a station to be examined and have to be considered with regard to the respect of limits. With a review of the decree on the protection against non-ionizing radiation (Verordnung über den Schutz vor nichtionisierender Strahlung, NISV) the request of the Federal Court shall be realized. The aim of the review is to establish the existing experience in the decree on the protection against non-ionizing radiation (NISV) and to see at the same time that it is made clear which antennae belong to which station, independently from the time sequence they were approved in. However, the limits of the NISV will not be changed. The audit has now been launched.
http://www.bafu.admin.ch
Calendar of Events
Conference: "Health risks from non-ionising radiation due to mobile telephony"
This conference held of the Danish Council for Strategic Research is called to review the status of the research projects supported in respect to the overall Danish National Research Programme objective and the current status at the international level. Participation is free and open to all researchers and other people with an interest in research on health risks from non-ionising radiation from mobile telephony. Time and Location: Tuesday May 27, 2008, 9.00 – 17.00 in Kopenhagen/Denmark.
http://fi.dk
25th "PIERS" 2009 in Beijing
The 25th Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS) will takte part in Beijing, 23 - 27 March, 2009. It will provide an international forum for reporting progress and recent advances in all aspects of electromagnetics. One of the suggested topics is "Medical electromagnetics, biological effects, MRI". For more information please visit the Conference website
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