Monday, 20 May 2019

Last decade of research on mobile signals shows no evidence of health risks

SAR testThere is no evidence that mobile phones can affect human health and finding any risks in the future is becoming increasingly unlikely, according to an expert panel convened by the Swedish government to review the last ten years of research.

“Extensive research for more than a decade has not detected anything new regarding interaction mechanisms between radiofrequency fields and the human body and has found no evidence for health risks below current exposure guidelines,” the experts said.
The Swedish Council for Social Life and Social Research (FAS) said that heat is the only known way radio frequency (RF) signals can affect the human body and that many studies had failed to show how exposure under the current guidelines could possibly harm mobile users.
“Extensive research on various aspects of RF fields has been conducted during the last ten years and the knowledge database has increased considerably,” the report Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and risk of disease and ill health - Research during the last ten years said.
“We now know much more about measurements and absorption of RF fields and also about sources of exposure to the population and levels of exposure.”
“While absolute certainty can never be achieved, nothing has appeared to suggest that the since long established interaction mechanism of heating would not suffice as basis for health protection.”
The group of Swedish experts including Professor Maria Feychting, Professor Yngve Hamnerius, Associate Professor Lena Hillert, and Professor Anders Ahlbom (chair) has produced annual updates on the state of research since 2003 and were asked by the Swedish government to look back at the previous decade to see how the state of knowledge had progressed.
The researchers said while a number of different health problems are often linked to mobile phone signals, the basis of the links stem from public concern about the technology rather than sound scientific evidence, as is the case with many other disputed health problems.
“There is of course a huge range of other health outcomes that also could be investigated in relation to RF field exposure, but none for which there exists a credible hypothesis that calls for testing,” the researchers said.
“Two endpoints, “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” (a variety of acute, non-specific symptoms) and brain tumors have been at the forefront in the discussions about mobile communication and health risks.
“For neither of them has a biological hypothesis or initial study served as the starting point, but rather a general concern that some information could have been overlooked regarding a new technology that spread very rapidly.
“In both instances, the data that have been accumulated do not speak in favor of increased risks. While absolute safety never exists, it seems increasingly unlikely that any of these endpoints is associated with RF field exposure.”
The researchers also said worldwide brain cancer rates did not support a view that mobile phones could cause brain tumors, even if there was a small increased risk as suggested in some data from major population studies, such as INTERPHONE.
“The majority of epidemiological studies have found no evidence that mobile phone use is associated with an increased risk of glioma, meningioma, acoustic neuroma or other tumors,” the report said. “The few increased risk estimates observed were found in studies prone to recall bias, and the magnitude of the reported risk increases are such that they would definitely have resulted in a detectable increase in the brain tumor incidence rates if they were real.”
“Overall, the data on brain tumor and mobile telephony do not support an effect of mobile phone use on tumor risk, in particular when taken together with national cancer trend statistics throughout the world.”


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