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.
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).
Does chronic exposure to mobile phones affect cognition?
Mohan M et al
Funct Neurol 2016; 31 (1): 47 - 51
p>This is a cross-sectional study that aimed to assess the effects of RF exposure on cognition. A total of ninety participants aged 17-25 years were divided equally into 3 groups according to their mobile phone use: less than 5 years, more than 5 years, and no mobile phone use. The electroencephalography (EEG) analysis revealed that there was no significant difference among the three groups. The authors concluded that long-term mobile phone use does not affect cognition.
Effects of cell phone use on semen parameters: results from the MARHCS cohort study in Chongqing, China
Zhang G et al
Environ Int 2016; 91 : 116 - 121
This is a cohort study that investigated the effects of mobile phone use on male reproductive health. A total of 794 college students were included in the study in 2013 and they were reassessed in 2014 and 2015 (the loss of follow up was around 16% and 28% in 2014 and 2015, respectively). The information on mobile phone use was self-reported and the semen parameters including sperm count, volume and concentration were analysed. The authors reported that the mobile phone call duration using mobile phones was significantly associated with decreased semen parameters and thus concluded that mobile phone use may impair male fertility.
The effect of prenatal exposure to 1800 MHz electromagnetic field on calcineurin and bone development in rats
Erkut A et al
Acta Cir Bras 2016; 31 (2): 74 - 83
This is an animal study that investigated whether radiofrequency (RF) exposure causes any effects in the development of the offspring. A total of 16 pregnant rats were divided into 4 groups: exposed to either 0, 6, 12, or 24 hours a day. Details of the exposure received by the animals were not provided by the study. The exposure was at a frequency of 1800 megahertz and maximum power output of 2 Watts. The bone development of the male offspring was then evaluated after 60 days of birth. The authors reported that RF exposure during the prenatal period may inhibit bone and muscle tissue development.
Use of mobile and cordless phones and cognition in Australian primary school children: a prospective cohort study
Redmayne M, Smith CL, Benke G, Croft RJ, Dalecki A, Dimitriadis C, Kaufman J, Macleod S, Sim MR, Wolfe R, Abramson MJ
Environ Health 2016; 15 (1): 26
This Australian cohort study investigated whether there is an association between wireless phone use and cognitive function in children. The cohort included a total of 619 children aged 8-11 years from schools in Melbourne and Wollongong. Information on mobile and cordless phone use was obtained via questionnaires and the children were tested for cognitive function. Overall, there was no support of an association between wireless phones use and cognitive function in primary school-aged children.
This paper reported the results that were obtained at the start of the cohort study (baseline), which will be compared to the results obtained at a later time (after a period of follow-up).
As commented on January 2016’s report, studies investigating cognitive effects of mobile phone use on children have yielded inconsistent results so far.
Obtaining information via questionnaires can produce information bias. In this study by Redmayne et al, it was interesting to note that many children reported themselves as using a mobile phone whereas the parents reported that they were not using it.
Another interesting finding was that there was a significant difference in the reaction time (which is a measured parameter of cognitive function) on one of the tasks between girls and boys (gender effects), which may warrant further investigation.