German expert report confirm effects of mobile telephone radiation
Following is a translation of a German press release about a German cell phone report, apparently similar in scope to the UK’s IEGMP Stewart report. As with UK report, the German”experts” try to have it both ways. On one hand they are admitting to adverse effects from cell phone use but on the other downplaying the risks with rather contradictory statements, such as “Young and healthy people are not at risk…[h]owever, the radiation of mobile communication systems … could be harmful to other groups, like children, elderly or sick people, babies and pregnant women…there could be an increased risk of cancer in humans in the long term… be on the safe side and keep mobile phone calls short.”
One quote I like however is one bound to put the boys at ICNIRP and ICES into damage control mode: “The working mechanism is non-thermal and not yet understood.”
Lets hope this report comes out in an English version soon.
Press release – May 16th 2005
Experts confirm effects of mobile telephone
Experts say, keep mobile phone calls short, don’t call in a moving car without external antenna, don’t make mobile phone calls at a long distance from the antenna tower.
Young and healthy adults have no problem – other groups at risk
The radiation of wireless communication indeed has effects on the central nervous system, influences the functioning of the brain and causes damage to DNA. That is confirmed by 25 experts who studied the relevant scientific literature of 2000 to 2004. The investigation was done by the working group ‘Mensch Umwelt Technik’ (MUT) of the Jülich research institute in Jülich, Germany. The results were presented to the public on May 9th, 2005. The experts guess that the effects on the central nervous system can not cause health problems, though this opinion has no scientific base. The influence on the brain results in shortened or prolonged reaction times and less or more cognitive mistakes, depending on the parameters of the radiation. The experts think the damage to DNA is not a problem, since it would not lead to cell damage.
The investigation was ordered and financed by T-Mobile, a provider of mobile communications. The experts only studied scientific reports and did not pay attention to the many experiences of people suffering from health effects of modern radiofrequent radiation. The complaints of these people however fit in well with the effects on the central nervous system, increased neuronal activity and influence on the functioning of the brain. The damage to DNA moreover fits in well with the results of epidemiologic investigations, finding an increased risk of cancer in the neighbourhood of antenna towers. The experts however state that the results of epidemiologic investigations are not consistent and more research is needed. In the meantime they advise to keep mobile calls short and not to use a mobile phone in a moving car without outside antenna nor at a far distance from the antenna tower.
Young and healthy people are not at risk, say the experts. However, the radiation of mobile communication systems (probably combined with other factors) could be harmful to other groups, like children, elderly or sick people, babies and pregnant women. Probably the pulse-modulated radiation is most effectful on the central nervous system and brain. The working mechanism is non-thermal and not yet understood. Pulse-modulation is used by e.g. GSM, UMTS, DECT, WLAN, WIFI, TETRA and many other wireless systems. The experts say headaches and problems with concentration and remembrance could be related to the radiation of mobile phone systems, but according to the literature the other complaints probably are not. Having studied the scientific literature, they doubt if electrohypersensitivity (EHS) exists, but they emphasize that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
The experts studied the permeability of the ‘blood brain barrier’, the risk of cancer, the damage to DNA, the effects on the brain and central nervous system and the disturbance of well-being. About the permeability of the ‘blood brain barrier’ there is no consensus. The experts think the ‘blood brain barrier’ could fail under stress or thermal conditions, but without relevance to health. There is no consensus about the damage to DNA neither. However, the experts think this can not be relevant biologically and to health, since the literature does not mention cell damage as a consequence. Laboratory tests with animals do not show an increase of cancer. Nevertheless the experts say there could be an increased risk of cancer in humans in the long term. They advise to be on the safe side and keep mobile phone calls short.
Source in German:
Original texts of the report, for your information:
On page 19 of the general part (5.1.3) is written that the dicussion about the cancer risk is alive again as a result of the Reflex study (the European study directed by Adlkofer, DNA damage was found). So, it is not quite true that the ‘Bedenken is nicht gehärtet’ (the objections are not worsened). They are because the cancer discussion is alive again.
On page 31 of the general part is written, that there is no extra risk of cancer in the short term, but there could be in the long term.
On page C-26 (part about cancer epidemiology) is the warning of the experts to act precautionary, they write literally: keep mobile phone calls short, don’t call in a moving car without external antenna, don’t make mobile phone calls at a long distance from the antenna tower. This warning is even more strict than by Sir William Stewart of the NRPB (Jan. 2005). It fits in with the recent news that mobile phone users in rural areas (at a far distance from antenna towers) have more risk of a brain tumor.
On page D-16 (the first part about the central nervous system) is written (underlined) that the radiation of mobile phone systems can influence the cognitive function and can influence the EEG and the cerebral blood flow, so the brain activity.
On page D-15 is written (also underlined) that it is impossible to conclude from the studied literature that there are acute health effects. Also (not underlined) that there is no scientific base at this moment to be sure if the influence on the central nervous system and the brain activity is relevant. The experts write that they think it is not likely and that the think the influence on the brain activity is not pathologic. They don’t mention any scientific base for this opinion.
On page E-7 is written (bold) that all research (apart from two) is done with young, healthy adults. On the same page (also bold) that the influence of the radiation on the EEG must be non-thermal and (not bold) that the pulse-modulated radiation is most effective. (GSM, UMTS, DECT, WLAN, TETRA etc. are all pulse-modulated digital wireless systems).
On page 41 of the general part is written, that there could be a group of people who can experience negative health effects.
On page F-29 is written that there are concrete indications that headaches are related to the radiation. A relation with problems of concentration and remembrance is possible, but not likely. The other complaints probably are not related to the radiation. However, the investigations speak against each other, so it can not be excluded absolutely.
On page G-32 is written that the absence of evidence is no evidence of absence (of the existance of EHS, electrohypersensitivity).
On page F-28 is written that there may be co-factors, that the combination with electromagnetic radiation could cause the complaints.
If you have any questions on this report please contact
Frans van Velden MSc at: email@example.com