2007:04 Recent Research on EMF and Health Risks. Fourth annual report from SSI’s Independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields, 2006

This year’s report includes a preamble in which the work process of the group is described. In particular the methods for evaluation of the results of studies as well as for synthesizing the scientific evidence within a research area are described. A recent childhood leukaemia study from Japan is in line with previous epidemiologic findings. The effects of RF fields on many different genotoxicity endpoints have been evaluated both in vitro and in vivo using a wide range of exposure levels, and most of the studies have reported no effects.

The most recent studies reviewed for the present report do not appear to strengthen the evidence of any genotoxic effects of RF fields. The results from the REFLEX project, reporting increased DNA strand breaks in cell cultures exposed to RF fields, need to be better understood before conclusions can be drawn. A replication of the TNO study did not find effects of UMTS-like base-station RF radiation on cognitive performance and well-being.

Recently published studies on mobile phone use and cancer risk do not change the earlier overall assessment of the available evidence from epidemiological studies. In particular an extended follow up of a cohort study from Denmark does not alter the conclusions. In the report for 2005 the expert group assessed the evidence for five key issues in health-related EMF research. In this years report the expert group has added one issue: Possible interaction mechanisms for weak exposure from ELF and RF electromagnetic fields.