Mobile phones, wifi, devices linked to cancer

Finally a scientist has come out and demonstrated what we all fear… that our mobile phone, wifi, radio, and TV transmitters that produce low intensity radio frequency radiation are damaging to our health. A paper released last week in Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine suggests that all these things indeed could her causing oxidative stress in cells and could cause DNA damage and other biological effects referred to as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defense.

“These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health,” Co-author Dr. Igor Yakymenko said.

The study, done by American and Ukrainian scientists, “indicates that among 100 currently available peer-reviewed studies dealing with oxidative effects of low-intensity RFR, in general, 93 confirmed that RFR induces oxidative effects in biological systems.”

“Ordinary wireless radiation” could trigger ROS production in cells, the study said.

Yakymenko said that use of mobile phone for 20 minutes a day for five years can boost the risk of one type of brain tumour by three times, while using a mobile phone for an hour a day for four years and increase the risk of certain tumours by three to five times.

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According to the cancer council, in 2015, about 1,820 Australians (1,080 men and 740 women) are expected to be diagnosed with brain cancer and this is expected to rise in coming years.

Yakymenko also cautioned that brain and related cancers can take as many as 30 years to develop.

The “data were obtained on adults who used cell phones mostly up to 10 years as adults,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “The situation can dramatically differ for children who use cells phone in childhood, when their biology much more sensitive to hazardous factors, and will use it over the life.”

There has been some debate in the media today about Mr Yakymenko’s study and whether the sample is appropriate for the media coverage he is getting.

Emeritus Professor in the School of Public Health a the The University of Sydney, Bruce Armstrong commented on the study today.

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“The soundness of the research is hard to judge because the paper focuses mainly on the research results and not on the research quality, which is likely to be highly variable.”

“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the evidence for cancer causing effects (one of the possible outcomes of oxidative stress in cells) of RFR in 2011 and concluded that RFR possibly causes cancer in humans. IARC would have considered most of the papers covered by this review in its deliberations.” With respect specifically to the effects in cellular systems IARC concluded “Overall, the Working Group concluded that there was weak evidence that exposure to RF radiation affects oxidative stress and alters the levels of reactive oxygen species”. With respect to experimental animals IARC concluded “There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity [cancer causing effect] of radiofrequency radiation”.

In practical terms, the conclusions of the Yakymenko paper and the IARC monograph are little different. Yakymenko et al concluded:  “… a broad biological potential of ROS and other free radicals, including both their mutagenic effects and their signalling regulatory potential, makes RFR a potentially hazardous factor for human health.”

With respect to cancer, there is little if anything in cancer trends over the past 30 years, and particularly in the brain (given concerns about mobile phone use), to suggest that recent large increases in exposure to RFR are increasing cancer risk.”

How cautious have you been over the years about the risks of mobile devices and radiation?  And how at risk are you and your loved ones?