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, 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.
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.
Exposure of children to extremely low frequency magnetic fields in France: results of the EXPERS study
Magne I et al
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%.
Self-reported mobile phone use and semen parameters among men from a fertility clinic
Lewis RC et al
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.
Inferring the 1985-2014 impact of mobile phone use on selected brain cancer subtypes using Bayesian structural time series and synthetic controls
de Vocht F
Environ Int 2016; 97: 100-107
p>This is an ecological study that investigated the relationship between mobile phone use and brain cancer. The incidence data on brain cancer subtypes were compared to the mobile phone subscription using computer models, with latency periods of 5, 10, and 15 years. Mobile phone use can be hypothesised to be associated with the disease if there were differences between measured and modelled data. The authors found no relationship between mobile phone use and three brain cancer subtypes however for malignant neoplasms of the temporal lobe, the increase was 35% during 2005-2014 (assuming 10-year latency period).
This study is an update from a previous ecological study conducted by de Vocht et al which was reviewed in the January 2011 report. The previous study (which captured period of 1998-2007) found a small increase in the rate of cancers in the temporal lobe (<1 additional case per 100,000 people in that period). This study found a substantial increase in the rate of malignant neoplasms of the temporal lobe (20-120 additional cases per 100,000 people in the period 2005-2014) if mobile phone use is assumed as a causal factor. It should be noted however that ecological studies rely on data on the population level and not the individual level. It should also be pointed out that de Vocht et al did not use age-standardised incidence rates so any rise could be attributed to better diagnostic techniques and/or an ageing population.
The most recent ecological study that investigated the association between brain cancer and mobile phone use in Australia was conducted by Chapman et al (reported in May 2016’s report). The study by Chapman et al however did not investigate brain cancer sub-types. Chapman et al study found that there is no evidence of any rise of brain cancer in any age group that could be attributed to mobile phones.
A cross-sectional study of the association between mobile phone use and symptoms of ill health
Cho YM, Lim HJ, Jang H, Kim K, Choi JW, Shin C, Lee SK, Kwon JH, Kim N
Environ Health Toxicol 2016
This cross-sectional study investigated the association between mobile phone use and subjective symptoms. A total of 532 subjects were interviewed for their mobile phone use and whether they experienced subjective symptoms using various questionnaires. The authors found that call duration was not associated with any health effects other than headache severity, where increased duration of call was associated with more severe headache.
Improving precautionary communication in the EMF field? Effects of making messages consistent and explaining the effectiveness of precautions
Boehmert C, Wiedemann P, Croft R
Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016; 13 (10): 992-
This is an Australian cross-sectional study that looked into the effects of precautionary messages related to the RF exposure on the public’s perceived level of risk. The precautionary messages related to the use of RF devices (especially mobile phones) have previously been shown to increase public concern about RF radiation. A total of 1717 subjects were surveyed in the study to test two ways of improving the messages in order to reduce the perceived level of risk. The authors found that improving precautionary messages for their consistency and effectiveness do not reduce risk perception.
Radiofrequency Exposure Amongst Employees of Mobile Network Operators and Broadcasters
Litchfield I, van Tongeren M, Sorahan T
Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2016
This is a measurement study which investigated the radiofrequency (RF) exposure of workers in the telecommunications industry. A total of seven sites that hosted either broadcasting transmitters or mobile phone transmitters or both were measured for the RF levels in the study. The study found that the riggers working in radio and TV broadcast companies experienced the highest RF exposure and for the longest duration compared to workers for mobile phone operators.
The effects of a 50-Hz magnetic field on the cardiovascular system in rats
Zhou L, Wan B, Liu X, Zhang Y, Lai J, Ruan G, He M, Chen C, Wang DW
J Radiat Res 2016
This is an animal study which investigated whether extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) affect the cardiovascular system. A total of 128 rats were divided into two groups: (i) exposed (at a frequency of 50 Hertz, Hz and at a magnetic flux density of 100 microtesla, µT) for 20 hours per day, for 24 weeks; (ii) sham-exposed. Examinations on blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rate, and structure of the heart of the exposed group did not reveal any differences to the sham-exposed group. The authors concluded that the ELF MF exposure has no effect on the cardiovascular system.