2009:36 Recent Research on EMF and Health Risks. Sixth annual report from SSM:s independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields 2009

A large number of cell studies are done on both genotoxic and non-genotoxic outcomes, such as apoptosis gene expression. There are no new positive findings from cellular studies that have been well established in terms of experimental quality and replication. Potential heating of the samples is still seen as a major source of artefacts. Moreover, these few positive results are not related to each other and/or are not relevant for heath risk assessment.

There are animal studies on brain structure and brain function as well as on genotoxicity and cancer. Also reproductive effects are looked at. However, animal studies have not identified any clear effects on any of a number of different biological endpoints following exposure to RF radiation typical of mobile phone use, generally at levels too low to induce significant heating.

Many human laboratory studies reviewed here are provocation studies with rather short exposures. Most use methods that are too crude, or look at phenomena that are too small, or non-existent, for the research to be informative. However, EEG alpha- and betafrequencies seem to be sensitive to modulation by some pulse-modulation frequencies of the microwave- or GSM-signal. This curious effect does not have any behavioural counterpart, since similar types of EMF has been applied in various behavioural studies with negative results. This needs to be pursued. Surprisingly few studies have been done on children. In light of all official recommendations in different countries with special emphasis on children's use of mobile phones, this is rather peculiar.

Several epidemiological studies on mobile phone use and cancer have been presented since the previous report, including national studies from the Interphone group as well as other studies. There are also studies on reproductive outcomes. A few recent studies on people living near transmitters have also appeared. None of this changes any of the Groups previous conclusions. For conclusions, see the section on conclusions based on currently available data. However, one can draw some methodological conclusions at this point. One is that the problems in case control studies are too large for more such studies to be warranted at present. Another one is that cross- sectional research on symptoms, or other end points for that matter, also have too big inherent methodological problems to be warranted.