Thursday, June 12, 2008

Health studies / Critic ignorance / Sleep

From Sylvie
The Times of India 11 june 2008
Can mobiles make you infertile?
Kounteya Sinha
NEW DELHI: In a recent pilot study done at Jawaharlal Nehru University, rats subjected to radiation from mobile phones were found to have damaged DNA and low sperm count, leading to infertility and reduction in testis size. The Union health ministry now wants to find out whether excessive cellphone use could be having the same adverse effects on your health.
The ministry has commissioned India's first largescale study on the effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR) from mobile phones on humans. Initiated by Union health minister A Ramadoss and to be spearheaded by the Indian Council of Medical Research, which has just completed finalizing the protocol, the five-year study will be conducted by JNU's School of Environmental Sciences and three departments of AIIMS - obstetrics and gynaecology, neurology and biochemistry.
One of the important spinoffs of the study will involve measuring the wavelength and frequency of RFD emitted from various types of cellphones used in India to see whether or not these conform to international standards.
Study to find if excessive cellphone use causes cancer
A study commissioned by the Union health minister will look at the effect radio frequency radiation (RFR) has on neurological disorders like cognitive impairment, depression and sleep-related disorders. Scientists will look at whether excessive mobile phone use changes the white matter of the brain and causes physiological abnormalities.
They will also study RFR's effect on reproductive health like menstrual cycle, hormonal changes in women, its effect on male reproductive functions and whether it causes abnormalities in the male reproductive tract.

According to ICMR deputy director general and lead investigator R S Sharma, the study will also see whether excessive mobile use can cause cancer or increase the spread of cancerous cells in those already affected.
Dr J Behari from JNU's School of Environmental Sciences recently conducted a pilot study on 20 rats, who were subjected to two hours of RFR for 35 days in a sample chamber. "We found significant double strand DNA break in sperm cells that could mutate and cause cancer, significant lowering of sperm count and reduction in testis size. The human study would be path breaking," Dr Behari told TOI.
The study will recruit 4,000 subjects, who will be divided into five groups - heavy exposure male group (1,000 men who talk on the mobile phone for more than four hours a day), moderate exposure male group (1,000 men who speak for more than two hours but less than four), control group (1,000 men who don't use a cellphone), 500 heavily exposed women and a 500-strong female control group.
Dr Sharma said, "We will also calculate the specific absorption rate (SAR) - how much RFD is absorbed by our body when we speak on the mobile - and the power density - power generated by the phone both inside and outside our head when we talk. This will help quantify the magnitude of damage caused by mobile radiation."
The 4,000 subjects will undergo a series of clinical tests, blood and semen analysis, polysomnography, MRI, ECG, blood chemistry, gynaecological and infertility examinations and DNA tests.
At present, India has 250 million cellphone users. By the end of 2010, this figure is estimated to rise to 500 million. A health ministry official said, "India's tremendous growth in cellular phone use has greatly increased the extent and magnitude of RFR exposure. These new technologies have been introduced without full provision of information about their nature and without prior discussion within the scientific community about its possible consequences for health."
From Linda Sepp
10-year study tracks health of 200,000 cell users
Updated Tue. Jun. 10 2008 12:16 PM ET News Staff

A new study will track thousands of cellphone users in several countries over the course of a decade to determine whether mobile phone use contributes to adverse health effects.

In total, 200,000 cell phone users in Britain, Denmark and Sweden will be monitored for at least 10 years.

The study, to be led by researchers at Imperial College, London, will provide the first official research into concerns that mobile phone use contributes to cancer and other diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"The studies that have come out previous to this one, essentially indicating there is no link between cell phone use and these particular diseases, these studies have been relatively short term," CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy told Canada AM on Tuesday.

"The problem that scientists have is that it can take up to 10 years for these cancers to develop, so therefore we have this very large study that's going to go on for a very long time."

The study, which started on Tuesday, is being undertaken under the guidance of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme.

In a news release the MTHR said the U.K. component of the study will cost 3.1 million pounds. It is being funded jointly by the British government and the mobile phone industry -- though a "firewall" has been established to ensure the research is independent.

In total, 90,000 of the volunteer participants are British.

"This study should add importantly to our understanding of whether there are significant long-term health risks from use of mobile phones," David Coggon, a professor on the management committee of the project, said in a news release.

"The parallel collection of similar data in several European countries will give added value."

Kennedy said several anecdotal studies have suggested cell phone use can lead to an increased number of tumours on the side of the brain where the phone is held, and that heavy phone use can contribute to a reduced sperm count.

"So there have been some disturbing results but the problem again is that they have not been large numbers and the testing has not gone over many, many years," Kennedy said.

Coggon said the massive study -- though it will take a decade for conclusive results to emerge -- should help solve that problem.

"This study should add importantly to our understanding of whether there are significant long-term health risks from use of mobile phones. The parallel collection of similar data in several European countries will give added value," he said.

The person who wrote the information below is obviously very ignorant about the dangers of electro magnetic radiation! His critizism of Milt Bowling shows his stupidity.
From Sylvie - they attack an activist Bowling

Cell tower critic not switched on to facts
Vancouver Courier
Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
To the editor:

Milt Bowling ("Holden's cell towers pose health risk," Letters, June 4) really needs to stop his baseless and childish crusade against cellphone towers. In spite of his claims to the contrary, there has never been any solid evidence that these specific antennas pose any danger to the public.

Bowling makes a point of stating these antennas produce "electromagnetic radiation," a fact with which he apparently likes to scare small children. Oh, no! Not (gasp!) radiation!

The fact is, Bowling and everyone else is exposed to more "electromagnetic radiation" standing under an ordinary light bulb than 50 feet from a cell tower. In his apparent technical ignorance, Bowling fails to understand that everything from radio waves to infrared heat to ordinary sunlight is all "electromagnetic radiation." Consult any high school physics text.

Cell tower antennas transmit with a power of 20 to 30 watts. To someone standing as close as 50 feet from one, the energy he is exposed to (even if standing there 24 hours a day) is on average millions of times less than that received by the same person talking for five minutes on a cellphone, while holding its two-to-three watt antenna against the side of his head.

It is strange that for years, people in Richmond lived near AM radio station towers whose output was 50,000 to 100,000 watts, with no evidence of problems. Yet Bowling is claiming that a cell tower antenna with a crummy 20 watt output is dangerous.

There is nothing worse than someone claiming to be expert about something he clearly has no technical understanding of.

Robert Wilson,

The Globe and Mail 2008 june 10

Globe Life
Teen insomnia linked to cellphone use
If your child is having a hard time falling asleep, tell her to forget about counting sheep and hang up her cellphone instead.
A new study presented yesterday at SLEEP 2008, the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, found teenagers who use their cellphones excessively are more prone to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue.
"It is necessary to increase the awareness among youngsters of the negative effects of excessive mobile phone use on their sleep-wake patterns," wrote Gaby Badre, the study's author, adding that lack of sleep can have health risks and affect attention and cognitive abilities.
The study, which adds to a growing body of research about the impact of cellphones on sleep patterns, followed 21 subjects between the ages of 14 and 20, all of whom had regular schedules and no history of sleep problems.
The participants were divided into two groups, one that made less than five calls and/or text messages a day, and the other that made more than 15 calls and/or text messages a day.
The teens were also asked to keep sleep diaries and answer questionnaires about their lifestyle and sleep habits.
According to the results, the young people who used their cellphones excessively had increased restlessness, consumed more energy drinks, had difficulty falling asleep and were more susceptible to stress and fatigue.
One of the subjects sent more than 200 text messages a day. Only one teen turned their cellphone off at night.
Members of the group with the high number of calls woke up more regularly in the night, were more likely to toss and turn, had a harder time getting up in the morning and were more tired before midday. On the weekend, seven of the 11 teens who made the high number of calls woke up after noon. Only two from the other group woke up so late.
It is recommended that adolescents get nine hours of sleep a night.
This is not the first time cellphones have been linked to wakeful nights.
In January, another study, by Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, found that radiation released by cellphones appeared to cause insomnia, headaches and difficulties in concentration.
The 18-month study followed 35 men and 36 women between the ages of 18 and 45, some of whom were exposed to radiation that mimicked levels received when using cellular phones.
"The ones who were exposed reported headaches, it took longer for them to fall asleep and they did not sleep as well through the night," concluded Bengt Arnetz, who led the study.
Sweet dreams
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offered the following tips on how to get a good night's sleep. Surprisingly, they did not recommend turning off your cellphone.

Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, and any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
Do not stay up all night to "cram" for an exam or do homework.
Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom.
Siri Agrell