Radiation literature survey
The radiation literature survey provides updates on published literature related to radiation (both ionising and non-ionising) and health.
Published literature includes articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, scientific-body reports, fact sheets, conference proceedings etc.
The updates on new radiation literature that are of high quality and of public interest will be published as they arise. For each update, a short summary and a link to the abstract or to the full document (if freely available) are provided. The update may also include a commentary from ARPANSA and links to external websites for further information. The links may be considered useful at the time of preparation of the update however ARPANSA has no control over the content or currency of information on external links. Please see the ARPANSA website disclaimer.
Explanations of the more common terms used in the updates are found in the glossary.
The radiation literature that is listed in the updates is found by searching various databases and is not exhaustive.
The intention of the radiation literature survey is to provide an update on new literature related to radiation and health that may be of interest to the general public. ARPANSA does not take responsibility for any of the content in the scientific literature and is not able to provide copies of the papers that are listed.
Visit the National Library of Australia Australian Government Web Archive to access archived information no longer available on our website.
Effects of Simulated Mobile Phone Electromagnetic Radiation on Fertilization and Embryo Development
Chen H et al.
Fetal Pediatr Pathol 2016
This animal study looked into the effect of RF on embryo development. Female mice were stimulated to ovulate and divided into groups of: (i) control; (ii) low RF (no exposure level mentioned); (ii) mid RF (570 microwatts per centimetre-squared, µW/cm²); (iii) high RF (1400 µW/cm²). Exposure to RF was applied at a frequency of 935 megahertz (MHz) and was either at 2 hours per day (h/d) or 4 h/d, for 3 days. After the exposure, the egg cells were harvested for in vitro fertilisation. There were significant differences in the rate of fertilisation and subsequent rate of development, between the control group and mid-RF or high-RF groups. The authors suggested that RF exposure negatively affected fertilisation and embryo development.
Long-term exposure to 835 MHz RF-EMF induces hyperactivity, autophagy and demyelination in the cortical neurons of mice
Kim JH et al.
Sci Rep 2017; 7: 41129
This is an animal study investigating the effects of RF exposure on the brain. A group of mice were exposed to RF at a frequency of 835 MHz and a SAR of 4 W/kg (twice the public exposure limit in the Australian RF Standard), for 5 h/d, for 12 weeks. The authors assessed any changes on the properties of nerve cells in the mice brains. It was found that RF exposure resulted in damage to the insulating sheath of the nerve fibres (myelin) and that the mice displayed hyperactivity-like behaviour. The authors suggested that prolonged very high RF exposure can lead to neurological disorders.
Effects of personalised exposure on self-rated electromagnetic hypersensitivity and sensibility – A double-blind randomised controlled trial
van Moorselaar I, Slottje P, Heller P, van Strien R, Kromhout H, Murbach M, Kuster N, Vermeulen R, Huss A
Environ Int 2016
This human provocation study investigated whether electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is associated with electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure. A total of 42 persons who identified themselves as EHS participated. The first part of the study involved exposing the participants to various EMF signals (radiofrequency, RF at mobile phone/Wi-Fi/cordless phone frequencies or extremely low frequency magnetic fields, ELF MF at power frequency) to determine the level (up to 6 volts per meter, V/m for RF and up to 6.6 microtesla µT for ELF MF) and the type of EMF signal to which each participant reported being sensitive. Once the type of EMF and level was set, each participant underwent second testing in a double-blind manner, and the sequence of sham and exposure conditions was randomised. The authors found that the EHS individuals were not able to distinguish exposure from sham conditions better than chance.
The study by van Moorselaar et al is one of a few studies which have employed the strategy of conducting the experiment at the study participants’ chosen place (mostly their homes), aimed to reduce the anxiety associated with being tested in an unfamiliar place e.g. the laboratory.
As mentioned in an ARPANSA Fact Sheet on EHS, several studies have indicated that the nocebo effect (an adverse effect due to the belief that something is harmful) may cause some individuals to associate the EMF exposure to the occurrence of their health symptoms. The study by van Moorselaar et al found that over four months of follow-up after the double-blind testing, the EHS individuals who participated in the study and were aware of the results had reported fewer symptoms and reduced severity of symptoms. The authors suggested that this improvement in their health symptoms may be due to a participation effect. This implied that EHS individuals could benefit from this type of testing by hypothetically reducing the nocebo responses.
Assessment of General Public Exposure to LTE signals compared to other Cellular Networks Present in Thessaloniki, Greece
Gkonis F et al
Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2016
This is a measurement study which assessed the RF exposure resulting from the long term evolution (LTE) of mobile phone technology. Measurements at ten mobile phone base stations were conducted, and the LTE signals were compared to other mobile phone technologies. The average and maximum power density contribution of LTE signals to the overall mobile phone networks signals were found to be 7.8% and 36.7%, respectively. The authors concluded that the RF exposure from LTE was far below the public exposure limit in the international EMF guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (PDF 647 kb), which is in line with the Australian Standard. The highest LTE exposure recorded was 0.645 V/m, which is less than 2% of the public exposure limit of the Australian Standard.
Does cell phone use increase the chances of parotid gland tumor development? A systematic review and meta-analysis
de Siqueira EC, de Souza FT, Gomez RS, Gomes CC, de Souza RP
J Oral Pathol Med 2016
This is a meta-analysis of studies investigating the use of mobile phone and parotid gland tumour. A total of three case-control studies (which captured 5,087 subjects in total) were included in the analysis. Mobile phone use was associated with an increased risk of developing parotid gland tumour (odds ratio, OR = 1.28, 95% confidence intervals, 95% CI = 1.09 – 1.51). The authors concluded that mobile phone use may be associated with parotid gland tumour.
Effect of electromagnetic waves from mobile phone on immune status of male rats: possible protective role of vitamin D
El-Gohary OA et al
Can J Physiol Pharmacol 2016
This animal study investigated the effect of mobile phone use on the immune system. A total of 48 rats were divided into six groups and kept for 30 days: (i) sham-exposed; (ii) given vitamin D only; (iii) exposed for 1 hour per day (h/day); (iv) exposed for 2 h/day; (v) exposed for 1 h/day and given vitamin D; (vi) exposed for 2 h/day and given vitamin D. The exposure was at a frequency of 900 megahertz (MHz) and at a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.9 watts per kilogram (W/kg) which is 45% of the public exposure limit in the Australian Standard. The authors found that RF exposure negatively affected the immune system and that vitamin D may have reversed the negative effect induced by the exposure.
RF-EMF exposure at 1800 MHz did not elicit DNA damage or abnormal cellular behaviors in different neurogenic cells
Su L et al
This is an in vitro study that looked into the relationship between RF exposure and DNA damage. The study used different cells found in the human nervous system, where they were exposed intermittently to RF (5 minutes on and 10 minutes off) at a frequency of 1800 MHz and SAR of 4 W/kg (twice the public exposure limit in the Australian RF Standard) for 1, 6, or 24 hours. The authors found that RF exposure above the public exposure limit did not cause DNA damage or any abnormal cellular behaviour.
The Intracranial Distribution of Gliomas in Relation to Exposure From Mobile Phones: Analyses From the INTERPHONE Study
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
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.
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.
An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
Fang Q et al
Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016; 13 (11): E1171-
p>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.
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
Bernal-Mondragon C et al
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.