21
Jan
2005

Researches Find Mobile Phones Can 'Excite' Antigens

From Judy Tidwell

If you have noticed an increase in skin rashes or allergic reactions to dust mites and pollen, your cell phone may be to blame. In what researchers called surprising results, a study indicates radiation emitted by mobile phones may increase allergic reactions.

Dr. Hajime Kimata from Unitika Hospital, Kyoto, Japan believes microwaves emitted by mobile handsets can 'excite' antigens - substances which cause allergic reactions - in the bloodstreams of people who already suffer from allergies.

Dr. Kimata tested 52 people who had a history of allergies. They all watched a one-hour video -- half of them while talking on their mobile phones and the other half with their phones turned off.

"When we did blood tests we found that the mobile phones had raised the levels of certain chemicals in the blood which provoke allergic reactions such as eczema, hay fever and asthma," Kimata said. "We were surprised but we carried out a properly controlled study. One group of patients had their phones turned on and receiving for an hour while they watched a video. The second group watched the same video while having their phones turned off so they couldn't receive calls. There was a significant increase in allergy levels which seemed to be linked to the use of mobile phones."

Further testing indicated that the group using mobile phones also had greater skin reactions when exposed to house dust mites or pollen from cedar trees.

Previous testing of mobile phones has resulted in contradictory claims concerning their affect on the health of their users. In a British study two years ago, researchers could find no evidence that mobile phones cause any risks to health, but recommended caution in using handsets, especially for children.

Earlier this year, researchers in Sweden claimed that mobile phones could damage key brain cells and trigger the early onset of Alzheimer's disease. Radiation from mobile phone handsets appeared to damage areas of the brain associated with learning, memory and movement in laboratory rats.

//allergies.about.com/cs/skin/a/aa030203a.htm


Informant: Robert Riedlinger
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