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Dr. Sheila A. Johnston sajohnston@btinternet.com. Interpreting The Science Mobile Phones Is there a Health Risk November 9th,1999. Criteria anon peer reviewed Published in Science J. follows WHO criteria Replicated reviewed by the expert groups used to set standards. -ve Bioeffects ?

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dr sheila a johnston sajohnston@btinternet com

Dr. Sheila A. Johnstonsajohnston@btinternet.com

Interpreting The Science

Mobile Phones Is there a Health Risk November 9th,1999

the science

anon peer reviewed

Published in Science J.

follows WHO criteria


reviewed by the expert groups

used to set standards

-ve Bioeffects ?

Cancer, 1,2,3,4

1. Epi, human effects

2. In-vivo lifetime assay

3. Promotion & mutant mice

4. in-vitro- mechanisms DNA, ODC, HSP70

human sleep, EEG, BP

endocrine effects

human cognition

The Science
1 measurement 2 research 3 exposure limits

measurement 1,2,3

1. reactive near field &

2. near field discussions

3. far field established. V/m, SAR, CE approved

research established

same limits ww *

* Russia, China


measurement 1,2

1.SAR: near field draft standardising variables

2. Power emissions W, CE approval

research underway

2 slightly different limits N/A vs EC

1.Measurement 2.Research 3.Exposure Limits


  • 2. All EC models of mobile phones CE approved according to power class specification. The EC electrical standard for POWER EMISSION.
  • If you feel your phones doesn’t’ comply you can complain under the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Companies can be asked to test their phones.
  • Testing of phones and base stations can be carried out by NRPB or Microwave Consultants in the UK.
2 kinds of research limits dosimetry
Base sites

SAR limits 0.08 W/kg

whole body ex

Ratio, whole body (0.08) to

total heat dissipation

6 min equilibrium (1948 Pennes, Foster 1999)

so far no time-course dose-effect at/below limit

Mobile phones

SAR limits 2 W/kg

part body ex

part (2) (0.08x25=2) 1:25

part heat dissipation

6 min equilibrium (‘ 87, ‘89 L& Lagendijk ‘99)

so far no time-course dose-effect at/below limits

2 kinds of research, limits, dosimetry:
the 10 50x whole body safety margin
The 10-50x Whole Body Safety Margin
  • THRESHOLD for Adverse Effects 4W/kg WHOLE body. Adverse human health effects, nausea, dizziness, confusion (NOT CANCER), found with whole body exposures above 4W/kg.
  • The WORKERS limits set 10x below this at 0.4W/kg for workers
  • the PUBLIC limits set at 50x below this at 0.08 W/kg (50 x 0.08 = 4 W/kg)
  • NO adverse effects no t-c,d-c below the threshold
safety margin of exposure limits
Whole body exposure

base station exposure

public limit 0.08 W/kg

adverse effects above 1oC (‘48 ‘89,’93)

Typical ex factor 100x to 1000x less than limit

Part body exposure

mobile phone exposure

public limit 2 W/kg

adverse effects above 1oC (‘99, ‘89, ‘87)

at 2W GSM (.25W) brain 0.1oC (‘99)

Typical ex factor 100x to 1000x less than limit

SAFETY MARGIN of exposure limits

Examples of peak and average power emission for

class 4 GSM & class 1 GSM-1800 mobile phone

Pedersen and Andersen, 1999

Ionizing radiation

nuclear energy

radiation: Xrays, gamma rays

no threshold: follow precautionary approach

any dose is hazardous

any dose can cause mutations and cancer

continuous time-course dose effect

Non-ionizing radiation

mobile industry

radio waves: kHz-300GHz

threshold (1oC)

no dose below threshold has adverse effects

no dose below threshold causes mutations or cancer

there is no t-c,d-e below the threshold

independent industry contributions to research
Independent Industry Contributions to Research
  • GSMA ‘82, MMF (25), (WTR/CTIA(38))
  • Motorola (39), Fifth Framework EC (9M)
  • Finland, Sweden, Australia
  • MTAG UK, DoH (1B licensing fee)
gaps in measurement research
Whole body:Base stations

near field measurement: workers exposure -gap

public exp:far field- no gap

CE measurement no gap

research in vivo 2 yr assay Adey, Zook -no gap

rats cogniton’99 replication

promotion Pim-1’98 (replication)

toxicology, ODC, DNA-no gap (replication failed)

Part Body:Mobile phones

near field SAR measurement-gap

CE measurement- no gap

research dosimetry-ear Kuster, Gandhi’99, no gap

Heat measurement Lagendijk ‘99 (replication)

epid‘96, IARC’03

research in vivo 2yr assay

human cognition ‘98 repl

EEG, Sleep, endocrine repl

? Gaps In Measurement & Research
Gap: Research scientist don’t know power class specifications-engineering physics- gap filled by Industry- expertise in experimental exposure setups- money isn’t enough
  • Gap: NO WTR Firewalls: gap partly filled by Institutions who administer funds & Scientists carry out research & publish in indep scientific journals.
  • Gap: Data Bases: Research, past, underway, planned & Funding, Standards , Regulations, Power Class Specifications: information is advancing faster than can be tracked- -gap partly filled by EMF project, COST, Aachem data base
GAP: Industry a major stakeholder may NOT be providing enough technology & research information on its products for public dissemination to avoid technology misperception
  • CAUSES of technology misperception
  • Rapid increases in penetration means rapid increases in antennas. Each antenna can only carry a fixed number of calls. More antennas mean ?? RF
  • Rapid increases in research on mobile phones have occurred in every country-increases in mediastories. More research studies are ??
  • Rapid expansion of the uses of mobile technology is underway- fax, email & electronic data transfer.??
signs of technology misperception
SIGNS of Technology misperception
  • Repetition of health scares in the media
  • Governments under pressure to base standards on political pressure rather than scientific information
  • Pressure to shut down base sites due to fear rather than scientific information
  • Government members and local authorities, missing the information to make planning decisions.
  • Private individuals especially the vulnerable ones afraid and lacking the information to evaluate RF risks
solutions to technology misperception
Solutions to Technology Misperception
  • Industry funding NEUTRAL information banks on technology & research into health & mobile communications to inform governments and local authorities and stakeholders.
  • Industry supporting the local dissemination of technology & health information by independent scientists and government Health Authorities: Video +£ 50,000 In the Air
  • The Director, Femme Michelle Wagenaar- a communicator, base sites issues: Nokia, Netherlands

Dr. Sheila A. Johnstonsajohnston@btinternet.comQuestions

Femme-Michelle Wagenaar

In The Air