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.
Report of Partial Findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley SD Rats (Whole Body Exposure)
United States National Toxicology Program
United States National Toxicology Program
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the US is currently conducting a series of radiofrequency (RF) cancer studies in rats. The current report presents partial findings from the overall project, specifically looking at brain and heart cancer (glioma and schwannoma). In the study rats were exposed in utero and continuing throughout their lifetimes to GSM or CDMA RF at 900 megahertz (MHz), for 18 hours/day (10 minutes on/10 minutes off), 7 days/week, at a whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0 (sham), 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg. The report found that the incidence of glioma in the brain and schwannoma in the heart of male rats exposed to RF from both CDMA and GSM type mobile phone systems was generally comparable with baseline incidence apart from schwannoma in the heart for male rats exposed to CDMA at 6 W/kg. The report concludes that these findings appear to support the International Agency for Research on Cancer classification of RF as a possible carcinogen.
There have been a number of animal studies that have investigated whether exposure to RF from mobile phones causes cancer (ICNIRP, 2013; SCENIHR, 2013). Overall a considerable number of well-performed animal studies have not shown mobile phone RF to cause cancer.
The conclusion of the current NTP report does not reflect the results reported which showed only one statistically significant association from the multiple endpoints tested which was schwannoma in the heart for male rats exposed to CDMA at 6 W/kg. It is important to note that this level of exposure is three times the SAR limit of 2 W/kg for the general public in the Australian Standard.
All other endpoints that were reported were not statistically significant and fell within the historical baseline incidence for these diseases in all animals from all studies undertaken by the NTP.
Childhood leukaemia and distance from power lines in California: a population-based case-control study
Crespi CM, Vergara XP, Hooper C, Oksuzyan S, Wu S, Cockburn M, Kheifets L
Br J Cancer 2016: in press
This case-control study investigated the association between ELF MF exposure and two childhood cancers (leukaemia and cancer of the central nervous system, CNS). There was a non-significant, slightly increased risk associated with living within 50 metres (m) of high voltage power lines and childhood leukaemia (odds ratio, OR = 1.4, 95% confidence interval, 95% CI = 0.7, 2.7). There was no evidence of increased risk for childhood leukaemia at distances beyond 50 m or CNS cancer at any distance. The authors concluded that there is at most weak support for increased risk of childhood leukaemia for children living within 50 m of high voltage power lines.
Measuring personal exposure from 900MHz mobile phone base stations in Australia and Belgium using a novel personal distributed exposimeter
Bhatt CR et al
Environ Int 2016; 92 : 388 - 397
This measurement study investigated the environmental exposure from mobile phone base stations. The RF exposure from GSM mobile phone base stations operating in the 900 MHz band in 34 different environments in Australia and Belgium were measured using a personal dosimeter and compared (in terms of electric fields). The study found that personal exposures in urban environment were higher than rural or suburban environments. The exposure levels in city centre, bus, and railway station in urban environment were among the locations associated with highest personal exposures in Australia. The exposure levels in most environments were however significantly lower in Australia compared to Belgium. The authors reported that personal RF exposure levels in the Australian environment are well below the limits for the general public in the Australian RF Standard.
Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk: Eleventh report from SSM's Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields, 2016
SSM, Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields
SSM Reports of Swedish Radiation Safety Authority 2016(15): 1 – 112
This is a review by the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSM) on scientific studies published from October 2014 to September 2015 that investigated electromagnetic fields (EMF) and health. For static fields, the new epidemiological studies confirm earlier studies that there is an association between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and acute effects. For extremely low frequency (ELF) fields, an association between childhood leukaemia and elevated level of ELF magnetic fields (MF) continutes to be observed, but a causal relationship has still not been established. For RF fields, a new large Norwegian study did not find that maternal mobile phone use during pregnancy causes adverse health effects on the mother’s reproductive health. Overall, the report by SSM did not reveal any new findings to support a causal association between EMF exposure and adverse health effects.
Associations of parental occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields with childhood leukemia risk
Su L, Fei Y, Wei X, Guo J, Jiang X, Lu L, Chen G
Leuk Lymphoma 2016: in press
This is a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies investigating parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) and childhood leukaemia. The meta-analysis included data from one cohort and 11 case-control studies. The authors report that overall neither maternal nor paternal occupational ELF MF exposure was associated with childhood leukaemia. The majority of studies included in the meta-analysis assessed ELF MF exposure by classifying the occupation of the subjects (job title). In order to decrease the potential of misclassification of ELF MF exposure the authors recommend further studies with exposure assessment that includes measurements.
The World Health Organization reviewed the epidemiological studies investigating parental occupational exposure to ELF MF and childhood leukaemia in 2007 (WHO, 2007 (PDF 4.0 mb)). The WHO review concluded that studies on parental occupational exposure to ELF MF in the preconception period or during gestation are methodologically weak and the results are not consistent.
Studies published since the WHO review have been highlighted in previous monthly reports. These include a German case-control study by Hug et al (2009) which did not find an association between preconceptional parental ELF MF exposure and childhood cancer (November 2009 report). An Australian study by Reid et al also did not find an increased risk of leukaemia in offspring of parents with occupational exposure to ELF EMF (September 2011 report).
Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Parotid Gland Tumors: A Retrospective Case-Control Study
Gulf J Oncolog 2016; 1 (20): 71 - 78
This case-control study investigated the association between mobile phone use and parotid gland tumours. A total of 26 cases and 61 controls (all from the same hospital) were recruited in the study. The information on mobile phone use was obtained via questionnaire. Participants were considered exposed if the daily mobile phone use was more than 1 hour. The authors reported a statistically significant association between mobile phone use and parotid gland tumours (odds ratio, OR = 2.93, 95% CI = 1.07 – 8.03). The authors however noted that the results need to be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size.
The effects of the duration of mobile phone use on heart rate variability parameters in healthy subjects
Ekici B et al
Anatol J Cardiol 2016: in press
This is a cross-sectional study that investigated whether mobile phone use affects heart rate variability. A total of 148 healthy participants were included in the study. Based on the duration of mobile phone use, the participants were categorised into four groups: less than 30 minutes per day (min/d), 30-60 min/d, more than 60 min/d and no mobile phone use. The cardiovascular function of the participants was assessed via electrocardiogram. The authors reported that the heart rate variability was significantly increased in the three groups who used mobile phones.
Time trend in incidence of malignant neoplasms of the central nervous system in relation to mobile phone use among young people in Japan
Sato Y et al
Bioelectromagnetics 2016: in press
This is an ecological study that investigated whether there is an increase in incidence of cancer of the central nervous system (CNS) since the introduction of mobile phones in Japan. The information on mobile phone use was gathered via internet polling from 7,550 volunteers who were born before 2005. The incidence in CNS cancer has increased significantly in men and women aged 20-29 years (annual percent change, APC = 3.9%, 95% confidence interval, 95% CI = 1.6 – 6.3 in men and APC = 12.3%, 95% CI = 3.3-22.1) and 30-39 years (APC = 2.7%, 95% CI = 1.3 – 4.1 in men and APC = 3.0%, 95% CI = 1.4 – 4.7 in women) from 1993 to 2010 in Japan. The authors also calculated the expected incidence assuming that the relative risk was 1.4 for those who used mobile phones more than 1640 h cumulatively (classified as heavy use) as reported in the INTERPHONE study. The observed incidence was lower than the expected incidence if the association reported in the INTERPHONE study was true. Hence the authors concluded that the increase in incidence of CNS cancer among young people in Japan was unlikely to be caused by heavy mobile phone use.
Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and risk of childhood leukemia: A risk assessment by the ARIMMORA consortium
Schuz J, Dasenbrock C, Ravazzani P, Roosli M, Schar P, Bounds PL, Erdmann F, Borkhardt A, Cobaleda C, Fedrowitz M, Hamnerius Y, Sanchez-Garcia I, Seger R, Schmiegelow K, Ziegelberger G, Capstick M, Manser M, Muller M, Schmid CD, Schurmann D, Struchen
Bioelectromagnetics 2016: in press
The Advanced Research on Interaction Mechanisms of electroMagnetic exposures with Organisms for Risk Assessment (ARIMMORA) project is a risk assessment funded by the European Commission to review the association between extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) and childhood leukaemia after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified ELF MF as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" in 2002. Overall, the project found that there is a limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals, with only weak supporting evidence from mechanistic studies, which confirms the validity of the IARC classification. The ARIMMORA project found that if the association is established, up to 2% of childhood leukaemia cases in Europe would be attributable to ELF-MF.
A paper published by the same main author in 2011 (reported in October 2011’s report) that reviewed a number of studies investigating ELF-MF and childhood cancers found that the assessment of ELF MF as a possible carcinogen was valid, mainly based on epidemiological evidence. It was found that more than 20 epidemiological studies have shown an association with relatively high consistency. Schuz et al estimated in 2011 that if there was a cause and effect relationship between ELF MF and childhood leukaemia, about 1% of all childhood leukaemia cases are attributable to ELF MF in Europe, and about 3% in North America.
The latest finding from the ARIMMORA project has estimated that up to 2% of childhood leukaemia cases in Europe will be caused by higher than typical ELF MF exposure (4 milligauss, mG and above), if the cause and effect relationship is assumed. The project acknowledged that the continuing existence of scientific uncertainty is dissatisfactory for public health messaging. However the continuing uncertainty is justified by the fact that although some epidemiological studies support a possible association with childhood leukaemia this is not supported by experimental studies.
Disturbed sleep in individuals with Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF): Melatonin assessment as a biological marker
Andrianome S et al
Bioelectromagnetics 2016: in press
This is a case-control study which investigated whether the symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) are associated with melatonin levels. Thirty people with EHS (cases) were matched to twenty five healthy individuals (controls). The level of melatonin and sleep quality (assessed via questionnaires) were compared in the two groups. No significant difference was found in the melatonin levels in the two groups despite the difference in the sleep quality (people with EHS reported lower sleep quality).