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National report calls for more research on health effects of wireless technologies
Date:1/18/2008

e and organ systems, the report said.

Barnes said a large-scale epidemiological research effort involving 13 countries in Europe known as the Interphone Study is nearing completion and is providing researchers with a large amount of new data. "There clearly have been large changes in the use of personal wireless technology," said Barnes, who was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004.

The report authors recommended new studies on the changing designs of antennas used for hand-held wireless communication devices. While studies targeting RF energy radiation on the human head from cell phone antennas held against the ear have been conducted, some newer cell phones and Web-surfing devices have antennas in proximity to other body regions like the waist, requiring more study, Barnes said.

A number of studies also have shown a steep increase in mobile phone use by children, ensuring that younger generations will experience much longer periods of RF exposure, Barnes said. "The fact that some cancers have a 10-to-20-year latency period make these broad, long-term studies potentially important," he said.

"The health effects of RF on the human body is a very controversial topic," he said. "There are a whole lot of studies that do not show any health effects from RF, and a few studies that do show some effects. While some studies show "perturbed growth effects" in cells as a result of these frequencies, other studies have shown therapies using electromagnetic frequencies can facilitate bone healing, he said.

"We don't live in a risk-free world," said Barnes. "People take risks every day by driving, skiing and riding bicycles. In many ways, the risk people are willing to take is more of a question for philosophy than for science."


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Contact: Frank Barnes
frank.barnes@colorado.edu
303-492-8225
University of Colorado at Boulder
Source:Eurekalert

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