NRPB 2004 Mobile Phones and Health

Mobile Phones and Health - Get off that mobile, expert tells children

See Press Releases below.

A propos to mobile phone technology and children's health:

We have received numerous calls in the past 2 weeks for parents and teachers who are concerned about their children, students and fellow teachers who find themselves in classrooms where antennas sites are nearby and often are in the range of RF radiation coming from these antennas. We are now working on an effort to inform the NEA (National Education Association) about these situations and about the concern that teachers, school staff members and students alike are finding themselves in potentially unhealthy environments at schools.

Please e-mail your current contact information to me if you are involved in such a situation in your own area, or if your know teachers or parents who are. To get the attention of and action from a large national organization like the NEA, it will require their seeing that this is indeed an issue of national importance.

If you have contacts with officers (local or national) of the ATF (American Federation of Teachers), the other national professional organization for teachers, please make us aware of that information as well. Joint involvement from the NEA and the ATF would be ideal.

Thank you - Janet Newton

Two Press Releases from the UK on mobile phones, health, and marketing to children.

January 11, 2005
Press Release from UK National Radiological Protection Board announcing release of 2004 Mobile Phones and Health Report.

See also below: 11 January 2005 Press Release of Communic8 Ltd., manufacturer of MYMO mobile phone which it marketed expressly to parents for their young children. This withdrawal was brought about by the release of the NCRP Mobile Phones and Health Report 2004.


Mobile Phones and Health [link to full report]

Mobile Phones and Health

The Board of NRPB has published a major document1 on mobile phones and health. The review updates an earlier report published in 2000 by the UK Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones and Health (IEGMP, Chairman Sir William Stewart). The main conclusion is that there is no hard evidence at present that the health of the public, in general, is being affected adversely by the use of mobile phone technologies, but uncertainties remain and a continued precautionary approach to their use is recommended until the situation is further clarified.

In line with the use of a precautionary approach the document also recommends that:

* improvements be made in ensuring ready access by the public to all up to date and relevant information related to the use of mobile phones and of masts.
* the planning process associated with the erection of mobile phone base stations be subject to independent review.
* the legal responsibilities and regulations in relation to the installation of microcells and picocells should be clarified and more information about their deployment be made available.
* monitoring of potential exposures from 3G base stations be carried out concomitantly with the rollout of the network.
* a formal inspection procedure be set in place to ensure that exclusion zones around base stations are clearly identified.
* comparative information on the SAR values of different phones be made readily available to better inform consumer choice.
* particular attention be given to how best to minimise exposure of potentially vulnerable sub-groups such as children and to consider the possibility that there may be other sub-groups who may be particularly sensitive to radiowaves.
* a continuing research programme on the possible health effects of mobile phone technologies be strongly supported.

The Board also places high importance on accumulating knowledge of exposure levels and possible biological effects of TETRA based technology used by the police. It additionally welcomes the intention of government to increase the penalty for the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving by making it endorsable with three penalty points and an increased fine of £60.

Sir William Stewart, Chairman of the NRPB, said:

“In relation to mobile phone technology, our primary focus at NRPB is to ensure that the health and well-being of the general public is not being adversely affected by this technology. Today there are over 50 million mobile phones in use in the UK compared with 4.5 million a decade ago and numbers in use have doubled since 2000. The fact is that the use of mobile phones is now part of every-day life as an important means of easy communication by industry, security services, and the general public – and sometimes even as a fashion accessory. But because everyone has one does not necessarily mean that they are without potential adverse health effects".

Sir William also said:

"The fact is that the widespread use of mobile phones is a relatively recent phenomenon and it is possible that adverse health effects could emerge after years of prolonged use. The evidence base necessary to allow us to make firm judgements has not yet been accumulated. What we can say is that there is as yet no hard evidence of adverse health effects on the general public, but because of the current uncertainties we recommend a continued precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies. This approach should be adopted by all involved in this area – including government, the mobile phone industry and all who choose to purchase a mobile phone for themselves, or their family, or their children”.

Press enquiries:

E-mail: pressoffice@nrpb.org

1 Mobile Phones and Health. Report by the Board of NRPB. Doc NRPB 15(5) 1-116 (2004)

Hard copies are available, priced at £27.00 per copy, from NRPB Information Office, Chilton, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 0RQ (tel: 01235 822742, fax: 01235 822746, email: information@nrpb.org). Major credit cards are accepted for payment or cheque with order. Please add 10% for postage and packing.

Notes for Editors

1. Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP). The Expert Group was formed in August 1999 under the Chairmanship of Sir William Stewart and its report was published in May 2000. (Mobile Phones and Health. Report of an Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones. Chilton, NRPB. Available online at www.iegmp.org.uk)
2. The Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR, Chairman Professor Anthony Swerdlow) published its extensive review of the science at the end of 2003 (AGNIR. Health Effects from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Doc NRPB 14(2) 1-177 2003.). The document published today incorporates that report and reviews work published during 2004.
3. SAR is specific energy absorption rate, a measure of the energy absorbed by tissue (the units for SAR are watts per kilogram, W kg-1) P02/05

11 January 2005
© Copyright NRPB 2005 | Policies | Feedback

Mymoshop.com Product Withdrawal Statement 11 Jan. 05

Communic8 Ltd, the distributor for CK Telecom Product HI001, branded MYMO for the UK has withdrawn the product for sale.

This product was designed specifically for the security of young children, has full parental controls, and calls just five numbers designated by the parent, it has no screen games or text facilities. It was a product to be used in emergencies, and was recommended for occasional use only. It was as our catch line states "a little peace of mind" for Parents concerned about the welfare of their children in a very insecure world.

We have never advertised or marketed this product, other than to parents, selling directly online, rather than through high street retailers and capitalising on the pester power so many retailers rely on. The phone is widely available across Europe though not through us, in leading toy shops, supermarkets and mobile retailers.

We have always taken a responsible line in marketing this product, consulting with leading children's charities and spokesmen like Mr John Carr of the NCH and MET Police NMCPU. We have listened to and followed their advice all the way.

We do however respect the latest report of Sir William Stewart into the long term dangers associated with the exposure to radio waves produced by mobile phones. The decision to withdraw the product is taken in light of this new evidence, suggesting that long term exposure can damage health, especially in the underdeveloped scull tissue of very young children.

Although we feel the product if used as recommended with parental guidance is safe, we are not experts in either the radiation or medical fields that Sir William and his team are. It would be foolish, ignorant even if we were to simply ignore these findings as we are sure the major manufacturers will find all too easy to do. Simple common sense has convinced us, that even the remotest possibility of our product becoming health risk to any child is unacceptable.

We sincerely hope the networks and manufacturers deliberately targeting young children will follow the lead of a small independent company. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience, and than them very much for their support for a product we had hoped would make children safer.

We will be concentrating on our other products including the SilverPhone for the vulnerable elderly. www.silverPhone.co.uk


Janet Newton, President
The EMR Policy Institute, P.O. Box 117, Marshfield VT 05658
Tel: (802) 426-3035 FAX: (802) 426-3030
Web Site: http://www.emrpolicy.org


More news from Europe on RF safety policy, research, etc.

5 January 2005 - EMF-team Finland issues Helsinki Appeal 2005 to members of the European Parliament

20 December 2004 - Swedish Radiation Protection Board (SSI) released the report of its Independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields - evaluation of recent radiofrequency radiation research.

November 2004 - Report of European Union's EMF REFLEX Research Project is released. Animal cells exposed to mobile phone radiation showed a significant increase in single and double-strand DNA breaks. The damage could not always be repaired by the cell. See summary and article from the journal Nature below.

5 January 2005 - EMF-team Finland issues Helsinki Appeal 2005 to members of the European Parliament. In it physicians and researchers call on the European Parliament to apply the Precautionary Principle to electromagnetic fields, especially in the radio- and microwave- frequency bands. They criticize the present RF safety standards that do not recognize the biological effects caused by non-thermal exposures to non-ionizing radiation [i.e., radiofrequency radiation.] They also call for continued refunding of the REFLEX EMF research program. See complete statement at: http://www.emrpolicy.org/news/headlines/index.htm
Members of the public who support this appeal are encouraged to send their signatures to EMF-team Finland.

20 December 2004 - Swedish Radiation Protection Board (SSI) released the report of its Independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields - evaluation of recent radiofrequency radiation research.

From the Executive Summary p. 4:
Exposure of children to RF and ELF fields:

Physical, chemical and therapeutic agents have the potential for affecting development, depending on the nature of the agent and the timing and magnitude of the exposure. For ELF [Extremely Low Frequency, i.e., power lines and building wiring] magnetic fields there are indications that children might be more sensitive; however, we lack the understanding of how, or even if, these fields might be involved in leukemogenesis. Widespread exposure to these fields is recent, and very little is known about the potential sensitivity of children 6to RF fields. Given the paucity of data indicating a particular vulnerability of children to EMF, it may be tempting to conclude that children are not more susceptible than adults to RF exposure. However, the absence of an observed effect does not necessarily mean that exposure is harmless, especially if crucial studies focusing on children are yet to be done. Given scientific uncertainty SSI has adopted precautionary approaches for both ELF and RF which we endorse.

From the Discussion section on page 34:

To date, little is known about the levels of radiofrequency radiation exposure in the general population from sources such as mobile phones being used by oneself or other people, mobile phone base stations, and radio and television transmitters. Measurements that have been performed have usually been made as a result of public concern about base station exposures or other specific sources, and have therefore been made at locations that could be assumed to have higher fields than would be the case if measurement locations were selected randomly. Furthermore, all measurements have been stationary, and these is today no knowledge about the level of exposure that an individual will have throughout the day . . .

There is need for information about the personal exposure to RF fields in the general population, to enhance the understanding of the relative importance of exposure from base stations close to the home, from radio and television transmitters, and from the use of mobile phones . . . Studies with personal RF exposure measurements of randomly selected samples of the general population are strongly encouraged.

See complete report at:

The Report of the European Union's REFLEX Project (Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards from Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods) was released in November, 2004. The Project studied ELF and RF exposures to various cell types. See link below. It's a long download, 291 pages, so be patient).


Of particular interest after as cursory read through -
pp. 1-3 Foreward by Ross Adey
pp. 7-8 Introduction - the goals of the REFLEX Project
pp. 239-242 Section 7.0 POLICY RELATED BENEFITS.

From 7.12 Summary
... the omnipresence of EMF's in infrastructures and consumer products have become a topic of public concern. This is due to the fear of people that based on the many conflicting research data a risk to their health cannot be excluded with some certainty.

Therefore, the overall objective of REFLEX was to find out whether or not the fundamental biological processes at the cellular and molecular level support such an assumption. For this purpose, possible effects of EMFs on cellular events controlling key functions, including those involved in carcinogenesis and in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, were studied through focussed research. Failure to observe the occurrence of such key critical events in living cells after EMF exposure would have suggested that further research efforts in this field could be suspended and financial resources be reallocated to the investigation of more important issues. But as clearly demonstrated, the results of the REFLEX project show the way into the opposite direction.

Key emphases of the REFLEX Project were to develop reliable exposure equipment, to assure that exposure parameters were consistent and thoroughly documented, and to examine how differences in techniques for cell culture preparation such as staining of specimens yielded differing results. Along with consistency in genotype of study specimens, these emphases are of crucial importance to the replication of studies from one laboratory to another.

Nature - Article on REFLEX Project Final Report

The best science journalism on the web

Published online: 21 December 2004;

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA
by Helen Pearson

European studies point to cellular harm.

Phone users should exercise caution, researchers warn.
© Punchstock
Radiation from mobile or cellular phones harms the DNA in human cells, according to an extensive, pan-European laboratory study.

The research does not provide definitive proof that equivalent radiation harms people who use mobile phones. But the researchers emphasize that more extensive studies to test this link should be done, and that, until then, phone users should be cautious.

Controversy has raged for years over whether the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones can trigger tumours or Alzheimer's disease, or can otherwise harm human health. But the evidence showing whether and how radiation damages cells, and so might cause disease, has been scant and contradictory.

The most recent news comes from the REFLEX study, a four-year project performed by twelve research groups in seven European countries, whose results were published online this month, although they have not yet appeared in a peer-reviewed journal. "We have found a mechanism that could cause chronic disease," concludes study leader Franz Adlkofer of Verum, a research organization based in Munich, Germany.

"There is no doubt that mobile phone radiation causes DNA damage under certain conditions." - Remarks of Reflex Project leader Franz Adlkofer of Verum, a research organization based in Munich, Germany

The team found that levels of radiation equivalent to those from a phone prompted breaks in individual strands of DNA in a variety of human cells. These types of damage have been linked with cancer. The level of injury increased with the intensity of radiation and the length of exposure.

The researchers also saw hints, but not conclusive evidence, of other cell changes, including damage to chromosomes, alterations in the activity of certain genes and a boosted rate of cell division.

Doubtless damage

The damaging effects occurred when cells were exposed to electromagnetic radiation of intensities between 0.3 and 2 watts per kilogram. This overlaps with the level of radiation typically emitted by phones of around 0.2 to 1 watt per kilogram.

Adlkofer acknowledges that the work, like previous studies showing harm from mobile phone radiation, is likely to be criticized. But he says: "I've seen experiments done 100 times in several labs. To me there is no doubt that it causes DNA damage under certain conditions."

Janet Newton, President
The EMR Policy Institute, P.O. Box 117, Marshfield VT 05658
Tel: (802) 426-3035 FAX: (802) 426-3030
Web Site: www.emrpolicy.org

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Mobile Phones and Brain Damage

Cell Phone Radiation Slows Down Brain Speed

Cellular Phones Linked to Cellular DNA Damage

Mobile Phone Radiation Harms DNA

New mobile phone link to cancer

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The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science

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Letter and attachment to the WHO in response to its Precautionary Framework

Mobile Phones Break DNA & Scramble Genomes



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