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EMR Literature Survey - November 2016

The Intracranial Distribution of Gliomas in Relation to Exposure From Mobile Phones: Analyses From the INTERPHONE Study

By: Grell K, Frederiksen K, Schüz J, Cardis E, Armstrong B, Siemiatycki J, Krewski DR, McBride ML, Johansen C, Auvinen A, Hours M, Blettner M, Sadetzki S, Lagorio S, Yamaguchi N, Woodward A, Tynes T, Feychting M, Fleming SJ, Swerdlow AJ, Andersen PK
Published in: Am J Epidemiol 2016


This paper reported the results on further analyses of the INTERPHONE study. A total of 792 glioma cases who were regular mobile phone users (who made at least 1 call a week for a period of 6 months or more) and had preference on which side of the head they used a mobile phone (right ear or left ear) were included in the analyses. The distance from the preferred ear to the tumour location in the head was analysed. The authors suggested that using a mobile phone regularly is associated with glioma localisation that is closer to the preferred side of the head when a mobile phone is used. However no association was found on the cumulative call time and cumulative number of calls.


Commentary by ARPANSA

This study by Grell et al aimed to investigate the association between the localised absorption of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME) in the human brain as a result of using a mobile phone and the location of the brain tumour. Grell et al suggested an association with location of glioma closer to the preferred side of the head when a mobile phone is used, however the absence of an association with increasing call duration and increasing number of calls may imply that recall bias affected the findings. The information on the preferred side of head while using a mobile phone was self-reported.

A study conducted by Larjavaara et al (reported in May 2011’s report) which also studied the association between glioma location and mobile phone use did not suggest that gliomas in mobile phone users are preferentially located in the parts of the brain with the highest RF exposure from mobile phones.

Exposure of children to extremely low frequency magnetic fields in France: results of the EXPERS study

By: Magne I et al
Published in: J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2016


This is a measurement study that evaluated the typical children’s exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) in France. A total of 977 children aged up to 14 years were involved in the study, where their 24-hour personal exposures were measured using a MF meter. A mean MF level of 0.4 microtesla (µT) and above was found in 3.1% of the kids. However about 16% of the kids reported to have placed the MF meter near the alarm clock while sleeping, hence bringing down the proportion of those with a mean MF level of 0.4 µT and above from 3.1% to 0.8%.


Effects of repeated 9 and 30-day exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on social recognition behavior and estrogen receptor expression in olfactory bulb of Wistar female rats

By: Bernal-Mondragon C et al
Published in: Neurol Res 2016


This animal study investigated the effects of ELF MF on social behaviour. A total of 120 rats were equally divided into an exposed group (either 9 or 30 days of ELF MF exposure) and unexposed group. In each group, the rats were equally divided into 3 sub-groups where they were exposed to different levels of estrogen. The exposure was at a frequency of 60 Hertz (Hz) and magnetic flux density of 1 millitesla (five times the public exposure limit in the international guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, ICNIRP). The rats were tested for their learning ability to recognise other rats that they have encountered, and their brains were also extracted and analysed. The authors found that the effect of ELF MF exposure on social behaviour may be estrogen-dependent.


An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)

By: Fang Q et al
Published in: Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016; 13 (11): E1171-


This is a human provocation study that looked into the effects of ELF electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the human heart. A total of 22 people who participated in the study were exposed to pulsed ELF EMF at a magnetic flux density of up to 6.45 µT (about 3% of the public exposure limit in the ICNIRP guidelines). The electrocardiograms (ECGs) of each participant were compared before and after the exposure to pulsed ELF EMF. The authors found that the short exposure time to pulsed ELF EMF led to a small change in one of the parameters captured by the ECGs.


Self-reported mobile phone use and semen parameters among men from a fertility clinic

By: Lewis RC et al
Published in: Reprod Toxicol 2016


This cross-sectional study investigated whether mobile phone use affects men’s fertility. A total of 153 men who attended a fertility clinic were asked for their mobile phone use via questionnaires. The men’s semen samples were analysed for their quality e.g. sperm count, concentration, and motility which were compared to the World Health Organization’s reference values. The authors found no difference in the semen quality between those who were mobile phone users and those who were not.


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