A new study on potential risks from mobile phones.
- 'Reflex study, conducted by 12 research groups in seven European countries'
- 'majority-funded by the European Union'
- 'After being exposed to electromagnetic fields that are typical for mobile phones, the cells showed a significant increase in single and double-strand DNA breaks. The damage could not always be repaired by the cell. DNA carries the genetic material of an organism and its different cells.
"There was remaining damage for future generation of cells," said project leader Franz Adlkofer.'
- 'The radiation used in the study was at levels between a Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR, of between 0.3 and 2 watts per kilogram. Most phones emit radio signals at SAR levels of between 0.5 and 1 W/kg.
SAR is a measure of the rate of radio energy absorption in body tissue, and the SAR limit recommended by the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection is 2 W/kg.'
- 'Because of the lab set-up, the researchers said the study did not prove any health risks. But they added that "the genotoxic and phenotypic effects clearly require further studies ... on animals and human volunteers."
Adlkofer advised against the use of a mobile phone when an alternative fixed line phone was available, and recommended the use of a headset connected to a cell phone whenever possible.
"We don't want to create a panic, but it is good to take precautions," he said, adding that additional research could take another four or five years.'