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EMR Literature Survey - December 2015

FEATURE ARTICLE:  
Residential exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and risk of childhood leukaemia, CNS tumour and lymphoma in Denmark

By: Pedersen C, Johansen C, Schüz J, Olsen JH, Raaschou-Nielsen O
Published in: Br J Cancer 2015; 113 (9): 1370 - 1374

SUMMARY

This case-control study investigated the association between exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) and three types of childhood cancers (leukaemia, central nervous system tumour and malignant lymphoma). This study was an extension of an older study to include recent cases. A total of 1570 cases and 4341 controls were included in the present study (covering 1987-2003), for a grand total of 3277 cases and 9129 controls for the combined period of 1968-2003. The analyses on the three cancers combined revealed that for the group exposed to elevated level of MF (defined as 0.4 microtesla, µT or greater) the odds ratio (OR) was 0.88 (95% confidence interval, 95% CI = 0.32-2.42) in the present study and 1.63 (95% CI = 0.77-3.46) in the combined period. The authors concluded that the increased risk associated with elevated MF exposure found previously OR 5.72 (CI 1.40-23.36) could not be confirmed based on the present study.

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Commentary by ARPANSA

The study by Pederson et al includes only very small numbers of cases and controls who are exposed to elevated MF; there were only 11 cases and 19 controls that were exposed to elevated MF in the combined period of 35 years. The exposure to ELF MF in the study was assessed using the distance of the subject’s residence to electrical supply infrastructure. This method of exposure assessment may have misclassified the exposure status of the subjects in the study.


Low intensity magnetic field influences short-term memory: A study in a group of healthy students

By: Navarro EA et al
Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2015: in press

SUMMARY

This is a human provocation study where the effects of ELF-MF on human memory were investigated. A total of 65 males were involved in the study, divided into exposed and non-exposed groups. The exposure was at a frequency of 2 kilohertz and at a maximum MF level of 0.11 µT in the head area. The authors found that low level MF exposure can affect cognitive functions: lower times were recorded for perception, sustained attention and motor execution, while time employed in binary decision increased.

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Mobile phone base stations and well-being - A meta-analysis

By: Klaps A et al
Published in: Sci Total Environ 2015; 544 : 24 - 30

SUMMARY

This is a meta-analysis of studies that investigated the effects of low-level radiofrequency (RF) radiation with the wellbeing of adults. The RF sources being investigated were mobile phone base stations. A total of 17 studies were included in the analysis, where the RF exposure was either imposed in double-blinded or non-blinded experiments, or assessed via measurements (field studies). The results of double-blind studies found no indication for any effect of RF radiation on human wellbeing. On the other hand, the non-blinded and field studies found that there were effects. Overall, the authors concluded that nocebo effects may play a role in the negative effects of short-term, low-level RF exposure from mobile phone base stations.

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Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors

By: Alexiou GA and Sioka C
Published in: J Negat Results Biomed 2015; 14 (1): 23

SUMMARY

This is a review of the literature on the studies that investigated the risk of brain tumours and mobile phone use. A total of 22 scientific papers were included in the review. The majority of the studies did not find an increased risk with mobile phone use. However some studies (such as INTERPHONE study and CERENAT study) showed increased risk of gliomas (which is the second most common type of brain tumour) among the heavy mobile phone users. The authors concluded that the evidence is so far inconsistent on gliomas and inconclusive on other brain tumour types.

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Assessment of contribution of other users to own total whole-body RF absorption in train environment

By: Plets D et al
Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2015: in press

SUMMARY

This is a computer simulation study of the RF radiation emanating from up to 15 wireless devices in the closed environment of a train carriage. In the study the specific absorption rate (SAR) for an individual is assessed from all wireless devices in the train carriage. The authors found that 15 other users connected to a GSM900 base station external to the train can induce SARs up to 24% of that induced by a user’s own device.

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