Radiofrequency Radiation Cancer Promotion: Animal Study Makes Waves
Germany's Alex Lerchl Does a U-Turn
Microwave News, Mar 13, 2015
The RF-cancer story took a remarkable turn a few days ago. A new animal study challenged many of the assumptions that lie at the heart of claims that RF radiation--whether from cell phones, cell towers or Wi-Fi--is safe.
The new study, from Germany, a replication of an earlier experiment, also from Germany, found that weak cell-phone signals can promote the growth of tumors in mice. It used radiation levels that do not cause heating and are well below current safety standards. Complicating matters even further, lower doses were often found to be more effective tumor promoters than higher levels; in effect, turning the conventional concept of a linear dose-response on its head.
And for those with the stamina to have
stayed tuned to the slow-moving RF-health soap opera, the new paper offers an
unexpected surprise. The lead author of new animal study is Alex Lerchl, who
for years has charged that the only science showing low-level RF effects is bad
science. Now the one whom activists had accused of being an industry lackey is
being hailed as a hero.
Comments (from March 7, 2015)
M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director, Center for Family and Community Health, School
of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley:
This is an important study on several accounts. First, the study demonstrates that the tumor-enhancing effects from exposure to UMTS (3G) cell phone radiation observed in a previous animal study are reproducible. Reproducibility is one of the foundations of the scientific method.
Second, the study did not find a dose-response effect. Rather "many of the tumor-promoting effects in our study were seen at low to moderate exposure levels (0.04 and 0.4 W/kg SAR), thus well below exposure limits for the users of mobile phones." The tumor-promoting effects were not observed when the animals were exposed to 2.0 W/kg SAR, the legal limit in many countries outside the U.S. (where the limit is 1.6 W/kg.) The SAR exposure limits adopted by most countries assumes a dose-response relationship between the exposure and adverse health effects. The nonlinear effects observed in this study suggest that the SAR methodology is inadequate to protect human health.
Third, The authors explain why
some researchers have had difficulty in reproducing the results of earlier
studies--their methods deviate in critical ways from the original
experiments. Hence, these so-called "replication studies" fail to
reproduce the effects observed in earlier studies.
Tumor promotion by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below exposure limits for humans
Alexander Lerchl, Melanie Klose, Karen Grote, Adalbert F.X. Wilhelm, Oliver Spathmann, Thomas Fiedler, Joachim Streckert, Volkert Hansenc, Markus Clemens. Tumor promotion by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below exposure limits for humans. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Available online 6 March 2015.
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