From the blog of Dariusz Leszczynski:
( Research Professor, STUK – Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority )
Friday, July 24, 2009
How reliable is the epidemiological evidence on mobile phones and cancer?
This blog was updated on July 25th, 2009 with a post scriptum.
The opening lecture of the recent BioEM 2009, the Joint Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society and the European BioElectromagnetics Association in Davos, Switzerland (http://bioem2009.org/) was given by Anssi Auvinen. He reviewed all to date published epidemiological studies dealing with mobile phones and cancer. In the conclusion of his talk Auvinen said that we have performed sufficiently many epidemiological case-control studies but that their scientific evidence is of insufficient quality to reliably draw any health-risk-related estimates. Responding to the question from the audience, Auvinen admitted that execution of more of the case-control studies will not improve the situation, because of the unavoidable biases, and will be only waste of time and money.
I do agree with Auvinen’s position. At this stage of the research, the extensive list of various limitations of the executed case-control studies is casting a strong doubt over the reliability of the available epidemiological evidence as a basis for any human health risk estimate. The insufficient quality of dosimetry, selection and misclassification bias, low sensitivity in detection of health risk within the population are causing that drawing any health-related conclusions (no-risk or risk) is like “flipping-a-coin”.
Another recent development is the publication of two different reviews by the ICNIRP Standing Committee I – Epidemiology. One of the reviews (available already on-line) will be published in September 2009 issue of journal Epidemiology (http://journals.lww.com/epidem/toc/publishahead). The other review is published as part of the ICNIRP Report (http://www.icnirp.de/documents/RFReview.pdf).
There are two major surprises associated with ICNIRP SC-I reviews. First is the timing of publication and the second, even bigger surprise, is the difference in conclusions of both reviews.
The first surprise is the publication time of the reviews. The obvious question is why ICNIRP SC-I did not wait for the publication of the summary analysis of Interphone project, which has been already submitted and undergoes peer-review before publication? Without inclusion of this “nearly ready” summary analysis of Interphone, the ICNIRP SC-I reviews are incomplete and already “outdated”.
The second surprise is that the health risk conclusions are different in both reviews.
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE GO TO: http://rock-and-hard-place.blogspot.com/