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Áhætta samfara skjánotkun ungra barna
Iceland Created: 1 Mar 2017
Hvorki snjallsíminn né spjaldölvan eru heppileg leiktæki fyrir börn undir sex ár aldri, því of mikil skjánotkun getur hindrað börn í að öðlast fullan þroska, segir bandaríski sálfræðingurinn dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair. Leikur í raunheimum er hins vegar besta leiðin fyrir að börn til að þroska öll skynsvæði heilans, en sé það ekki gert fyrir vissan aldur þá er engin leið að spóla til baka. Fullyrðingar um að börn nái ekki fullu valdi á tækninni ef þau kynnast ekki skjáumhverfinu ung eru hins vegar alrangar.
„Það er mikilvægt fyrir börn, sérstaklega börn undir sex ára aldri, að þroska öll skynsvæði heilans með því að taka að fullu þátt í heiminum í kringum okkur,“ segir Steiner-Adair. Hún er meðal fyrirlesara á ráðstefnunni Börn, skjátími og þráðlaus örbylgjugeislun sem Félag foreldra leikskólabarna stendur fyrir á Hótel Natura í dag.
Bók hennar „The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age“ hefur hlotið mikið lof, en Steiner-Adair sem flytur fyrirlestur sinn í gegnum Skype segir mikla skjánotkun þeirra kynslóða barna sem nú eru að vaxa úr grasi hindra þroska þeirra að mörgu leiti.
Lestu alla greinina:
http://www.mbl.is/frettir/taekni/2017/02/24/ahaetta_samfara_skjanotkun_ungra_barna/
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Morgunblaðið/Agnes Ingvarsdóttir

Snjallsíminn ekki góð barnfóstra
Iceland Created: 1 Mar 2017
Töluvert er um að foreldrar nýti spjaldtölvur og snjallsíma sem barnfóstru til að hafa ofan af fyrir börnum eða róa þau niður og jafnvel dæmi um að börnum sé réttur snjallsími til að hafa ofan af fyrir þeim á meðan skipt er um bleyju.
Bandaríski sálfræðingurinn Catherine Steiner-Adair, telur slíka skjánotkun hins vegar ekki af hinu góða. Steiner-Adair var meðal fyrirlesara á ráðstefnunni Börn, skjátími og þráðlaus örbylgjugeislun sem Félag foreldra leikskólabarna stóð fyrir á Hótel Natura í gær. Bók hennar „The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age“ hefur hlotið mikið lof, en Steiner-Adair sem flutti fyrirlestur sinn í gegnum Skype segir mikla skjánotkun þeirra kynslóða barna sem nú eru að vaxa úr grasi hindra þroska þeirra að mörgu leyti.
„Eitt af því mikilvægasta sem við kennum börnum okkar og sem við þurfum að halda áfram að kenna þeim í gegnum alla æskuna er hæfnin til að takast á við vonbrigði, að hugga sig sjálf og róa sig niður,“ segir Steiner-Adair. Þetta felur að hennar sögn m.a. í sér að syngja með börnum og spjalla við þau til að hafa ofan af fyrir þeim í röðinni við kassann í búðinni eða á langri ökuferð. Hún segir þessi samskipti vera mikilvægan hluta af sambandi foreldris og barns, enda eigi börn erfitt með að læra í skóla ef þau hafa ekki lært að þróa með sér þolinmæði og bíða þess að röðin komi að þeim.
Lestu alla greinina:
http://www.mbl.is/frettir/taekni/2017/02/25/snjallsiminn_ekki_god_barnfostra/
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Morgunblaðið/Agnes Ingvarsdóttir

Börnin þurfa að njóta vafans
Iceland Created: 1 Mar 2017
Skólar ættu að sleppa því að nota þráðlaust net og láta landtenginguna duga, þetta segir Dariusz Leszczynski, rannsóknarprófessor við Helsinki-háskóla sem áður starfaði hjá Geislavörnum Finnlands. Þó að engar rannsóknir hafi enn sýnt fram á að heilsufarsógnir fylgi geislun frá þráðlausu neti hafa áhrifin ekki verið nógsamlega rannsökuð til þessa og börnin eigi alltaf að njóta vafans.
Leszczynski er meðal fyrirlesara á ráðstefnunni Börn, skjátími og þráðlaus örbylgjugeislun sem Félag foreldra leikskólabarna stendur fyrir á Hótel Natura á morgun.
„Geislun er vandasamt umræðuefni,“ segir Leszczynski í símaviðtali við mbl.is á leið sinni til Íslands. „Það kemur reglulega upp í umræðunni hvort þráðlaust net, farsímaturnar og farsímar sé hættulegt börnum og fullorðnum.

Lestu alla greinina:
http://www.mbl.is/frettir/innlent/2017/02/23/bornin_thurfa_ad_njota_vafans/
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Morgunblaðið/Agnes Ingvarsdóttir

Judge Rules California Health Dept. Must Release Papers Discussing Risk Of Cellphone Use
USA Created: 28 Feb 2017
California could have to hand over some documents on cellphone use it tried to keep under wraps.

On Friday, a Superior Court judge ruled the state must release papers discussing the possible risks of long-term cellphone use.

The documents were written by the state’s Environmental Health Investigations branch and are believed to contain cellphone radiation warnings and recommendations for public use.

But the state refused to hand them over when requested by a director at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.

So Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., sued the state under the California Public Records Act.

Moskowitz, Director at the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health explained to KPIX 5 the reason he sued. “I would like this document to see the light of day because it will inform the public that there is concern within the California Department of Public Health that cellphone radiation is a risk, and it will provide them with some information about how to reduce those risks.”

When asked why he thinks the state is trying to suppress this document, he said, “They claim that this would lead to chaos and confusion among the public, I suspect that they were afraid of the reaction from the telecommunications industry should they publish this document. In fact, they even argued that in their brief.”

In a tentative ruling Friday, a judge found the documents are, in fact, public record and the public should have a right to see it.

The judge stated that there is significant public interest in DPH’s investigation into risks associated with cellular phone use and advising the public as to those risks.

Moskowitz cites new research that finds a significant relationship between cellphone use of 10 or more years and increased brain tumor risk.

The Department of Public Health would not comment on the ruling or if it intends to release the documents. Lawyers note they could appeal.

The FCC says there is no evidence of a “definite link between wireless devices and cancer or other illnesses.”

But, Moskowitz, who believes cellphones do pose health risks and urges users to limit their contact with them, hopes the ruling will at least help call attention to the issue.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: CBS Local San Fransisco, Julie Watts, 24 Feb 2017

First State in the Nation: Maryland State Advisory Council Recommends Reducing School WiFi
USA Created: 28 Feb 2017
After reviewing new and growing evidence on health risks of wireless radiation, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC) issued a Report advising the Department of Education to recommend local school districts reduce classroom wireless radiation exposures by providing wired—rather than wireless—internet connections. CEHPAC’s health experts include Governor appointed pediatricians, Maryland State House/Senate appointees and representatives of the Department of Education and Department of Health. The Council cited the recent US National Toxicology Program (NTP) findings of increased rates of rare malignant cancers in animals, as well as children’s unique vulnerability to the radiation. While several countries, such as France, Israel and Cyprus, already have such protective measures in place, this action to issue recommendations to reduce classroom wireless exposures is the first by an expert state body in the United States.

The Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council recommends:

1. “The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems consider using wired devices,” “WiFi can be turned off” and instead “a wired local area network (LAN) can provide a reliable and secure form of networking…without any microwave electromagnetic field exposure.”

2. New construction and renovations: “If a new classroom is to be built, or electrical work is to be carried out in an existing classroom, network cables can be added at the same time, providing wired (not wireless) network access with minimal extra cost and time.”

3. The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems use strategies to minimize exposures: “Have children place devices on desks to serve as barrier between the device and children’s bodies; Locate laptops in the classroom in a way that keeps pupil heads as far away from the laptop screens (where the antennas are) as practicable; Consider using screens designed to reduce eyestrain; Consider using a switch to shut down the router when it is not in use”.

4. “The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should provide suggestions to the public on ways to reduce exposure: Sit away from WiFi routers, especially when people are using it to access the internet. Turn off the wireless on your laptop when you are not using it. Turn off WiFi on smartphones and tablets when not surfing the web. Switch tablets to airplane mode to play games or watch videos stored on the device.”

5. “The General Assembly should consider funding education and research on electromagnetic radiation and health as schools add WiFi to classrooms.”

6. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should “ask the United States Department of Health and Human Services to formally petition the FCC to revisit the exposure limit to ensure it is protective of children’s health and that it relies on current science.”

7. The Report should be shared with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Communications Commission, Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland General Assembly

“While this report focused on WiFi radiation in schools, there are additional concerns about mobile phones and cell phone towers. CEHPAC plans to take a look at these broader issues over the next year,” the Report states.

Referring to the fact that US wireless public exposure limits were set in 1996, without testing for long term safety, the CEHPAC Council Report also stated that “decades-old standards need updating in light of new science.” Such statements are in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has also called for a regulatory review and states that children’s brains are less mature and can absorb proportionately twice the wireless radiation as an adult because of children’s thinner skulls that contain more fluid.

“If you plan to watch a movie on your device, download it first, then switch to airplane mode while you watch in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure,” recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In response to the 2016 NTP study findings of a cancer link, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Reports, Obstetricians and several Medical Associations have issued recommendations to reduce cell phone and wireless exposures to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also called on the United States government to strengthen wireless exposure regulations to protect children and pregnant women.

“Our children’s healthy future rests on the responsible actions of today,” stated Theodora Scarato MSW, of Environmental Health Trust, who brought the issue to the Council in Spring of 2014. “21st century learning should include 21st century science,” Scarato points out about research showing wireless alters brain development in addition to cancer. “Corded non-wireless connections in school are an important part of a safe and healthy school environment, respecting not only our children but also the teachers and staff.”

The Council heard testimony from health organizations and from parents who reside in multiple counties in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Howard County. The Council also received hundreds of pages of expert scientific material and comments prior to the final Report, which the Council has posted on their website.

“Parents have a right to know if there is an environmental hazard in the classroom and actions that can be taken to reduce exposure. The stakes are so high for our children, yet we are way behind what has been happening around the world. Over 20 countries have taken steps and in some cases passed legislation to protect their youngest and most vulnerable citizens and it is time we do the same for ours,” stated Montgomery County parent Laura Simon, pointing to countries like France, Cyprus and Israel.

Scarato described the process of how she brought the health issue of children’s exposures to wireless in schools to Maryland State agencies almost three years ago, by first writing letters of concern about the school radiation exposures. “I was shocked to learn no government health agency had reviewed the issue from a health and safety standpoint considering how fast WiFi was being installed in schools across the State.” Dr. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, initially responded to Scarato’s concern, “It is fair to say there are legitimate questions about the long-term health implications of microwave radiation” and that the Department of Health “would be interested in the advice and counsel of groups such as the Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council.”

Scarato pointed out that the Education Department representative on the Council voted in favor of the CEHPAC recommendations to reduce wireless exposures.” The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) also had responded to Scarato’s initial concerns by referring her to CEHPAC which “exists for the purpose of identifying environmental hazards that may affect children’s health and recommending solutions to those hazards.”

In 2017, Maryland lawmakers will consider a bill to to create uniform screen safety guidelines for public schools “to protect children from the documented health hazards posed by daily use of digital devices.” Medical researchers are pointing to an array of psychological, emotional, and physiological psychological, emotional, and she see a logical health issues screens pose to children at the same time that schools are integrating wireless networks and one to one device initiatives into classrooms. In response to these health concerns, many schools worldwide are replacing wireless systems with wired systems, limiting time children spend on screens and developing policy to address health concerns posed by school wireless networks.

Wii Radiation in Schools in Maryland Final Report of the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council
http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/MD_CEHPAC_SchoolWiFi_022017_final.pdf

Letters from Physicians CEHPAC’s Public Comments
http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/Doctor%20Letters%20on%20Wi-Fi%20In%20School%20%20Full%20Compilation%20.pdf

Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council Website
http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/26excom/html/08childe.html

Local/State/National and International Policy action on Wireless and Children
http://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/International-Policy-Precautionary-Actions-on-Wireless-Radiation.pdf

American Academy of Pediatrics
Letter to FCC and FDA Commissioners
Letter to US Representative Dennis Kucinich in Support of the Cell Phone Right to Know Act
The AAP responds to study showing link between cell phone radiation, tumors in rats May 27, 2016
American Academy of Pediatrics Website: Healthy Children.org Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know

Testimony to the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2TxgdaZ0lgCbxVEVe30_BOe1v1Klu1w0
Testimony to Maryland State Board of Education https://youtu.be/XGhhtuvnqCs
Testimony of a High Schooler in Montgomery County about this issue to the State Board of Education https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnRGRnboXBg
Click here to view the source article.
Source: SAT Press Releases, 27 Feb 2017

How single-sided, outdated and obsolete will be the EHC RF-EMF when it will be, hopefully, published in 2018?
Finland Created: 26 Feb 2017
WHO EMF Project, under the ICNIRP’s “supervision”, is preparing the Environmental Health Criteria for radio-frequency modulated electromagnetic fields (EHC RF-EMF). This document will evaluate all possible health risks from the radio-frequency modulated electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by the wireless communication devices.

The EHC RF-EMF is delayed for some 10 years now. As I wrote on BRHP, partial draft of the EHC RF-EMF document, written by the group of scientists with a dominating presence of ICNIRP members, was released for the general public comments in 2014.

The next steps were to update the text using comments received, to select group of experts that will review the EHC draft document and to prepare the final version of EHC.

Now, in the end of February 2017, the progress seems to be slow and no end in sight.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BRHP blog, Prof. Dariusz Leszczynski, 26 Feb 2017

Anti-mast campaigners send out clear signal to mobile company
United Kingdom Created: 24 Feb 2017
OVER sixty people have signed a petition asking the council to reject proposals to erect a 4G telephone mast in Southport.

CTIL Communications, on behalf of Vodafone and Telefonica, want to erect a 15 metre mobile phone mast on land at 32 Belmont Street – but face strong objection from at least 66 nearby residents who are begging the company to rethink their proposals.

Dukes Ward Councillor David Barton said: “I believe that the Council should listen to and act upon the views and concerns of the residents, who, for very good reasons, would prefer to see an alternative location found for any future Telecommunications Base Stations.

"Having conducted an extensive and thorough survey with the residents and CTIL the telephone provider, I would strongly recommend that the telephone provider waits until a better suited location becomes available that is not directly within a clustered residential area such as Belmont Street.

"I should like to thank both local residents and the telephone provider for continuing to seek the best placed site to improve our local telecommunications for the long-term and have confidence that such a better site may be found outside of Belmont Street.

"Following residents' requests I have submitted additional site locations where land and property owners have consented to acquiring a telephone mast in the future and thank those who have already come forward.

"Should anyone else wish to formally submit a location I would recommend they contact either myself or the telephone provider directly so that we may together achieve the best outcome for all."

A planning statement by CTIL Communications said: “This is an new Vodafone and Telefonica site with planned 4G to upgrade the geographical area for better coverage and capacity.”

“4G (LTE) is the latest service to be provided by operators for increasing data speeds on their networks and for improving the user experience.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Sefton & West Lancashire Champion, Ollie Cowan, 24 Feb 2017

Research Presented at International Conference Link Cell Phone Radiation To Cancer, Low Birth Weight & Sperm Damage
Israel Created: 23 Feb 2017
Scientists from 10 nations evaluated the latest peer reviewed body of evidence linking adverse health effects to wireless radiation at an expert forum that was held in late January at Hebrew University. The scientists call for policy actions to reduce exposure were recommended, such as legislation that significantly and more protectively reduces human exposure to RF, minimization of wireless in schools and public places, and national campaigns about screen time and children’s health.

Experts call for strong policy action to protect the public and especially children who are more vulnerable.

The event was organized in cooperation with the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and Environmental Health Trust (EHT). Findings included the large $25 million study by the US National Toxicology Program, and other investigations confirming cancer-promoting effects, along with substantially increased cancer risks to regular long-term cell phone users, and important new studies indicating potential human health risks of 5G communication systems, wireless in schools, and the physical and psychological effects of screen time

According to Dr. Anthony Miller— long-term advisor at the World Health Organization’s IARC, and advisor to Environmental Health Trust detailed the current epidemiological research on long-term cell phone users stated that his overall conclusions are that in terms of the 2011 IARC classification, today Radiofrequency fields should be considered probable causes of human cancer. Lecture videos are now available at the Environmental Health Trust conference website.

Evidence of Increased Malignancies and DNA Damage

Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, prepared a presentation shared by Dr. Ron Melnick on the National Toxicology Program (NTP) study’s research findings on rats exposed to wireless radiation at levels mimicking long- term cell phone exposures. Findings include: increased highly malignant cancers of the brain; increased highly malignant cancer of the heart nerve sheath; and DNA damage in the brain. In addition to increased malignancies and DNA damage, lower litter weights were found in the wireless exposed rats of the NTP study.

“We feel obliged to call for strong actions of precaution by international regulators, above all for children and pregnant women,” stated Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi, Director of the Research Department of the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Centre Ramazzini Institute.

At the Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi of the Italian Ramazzini Institute released new partial findings of their cell phone radiation studies, which found, like the NTP study, lower birth weight in rats prenatally exposed to cell phone radiation. The Ramazzini study radiation exposures were orders of magnitude lower density of Radiofrequency (RF) fields than the NTP study exposures and were set to mimic cell tower radiation exposure levels.

The meeting was co-chaired by Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, visiting Professor of Medicine of The Hebrew University, who provided an update on research findings that link wireless radiation to brain, liver and skin damage in prenatally exposed animals, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine, physician-researcher Charles Greenblatt, an acclaimed basic researcher and discoverer of ancient DNA.

Videos of Lectures and Presentation Slides are available at the Conference website here:
http://ehtrust.org/science/key-scientific-lectures/2017-expert-forum-wireless-radiation-human-health
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EHTrust, 22 Feb 2017

Long-term cell phone use increases brain tumor risk: two new meta-analyses
USA Created: 23 Feb 2017
During the second week of February, two meta-analyses that examined the research on the risk of cell phone use and brain tumor risk were published in peer-reviewed journals. Both papers reported a statistically significant relationship between cell phone use of ten or more years and increased brain tumor risk.

The authors of the first paper conclude that, "These results are in concordance with the conclusion of the expert panel for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that cell phones are possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B)." The authors of the second paper call for the adoption of precautionary measures to reduce the adverse effects of cell phone use.

The first paper was published in the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, and the second paper was published in the medical journal, Neurological Sciences.


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The first study conducted by scientists at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, in Łódź, Poland, examined the research on mobile phone use and the risk of brain tumors and salivary gland tumors. The study found a significant relationship between mobile phone use and the risk of an intracranial tumor on the same side of the head where the phone was placed during calls. The study also reported a significant relationship between mobile phone use of 10 or more years and intracranial tumor risk.

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Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors
- A meta-analysis

Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, Szymczak W. Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors - A meta-analysis. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2017 Feb 21;30(1):27-43. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00802. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Abstract

Results of epidemiological studies on the association between use of mobile phone and brain cancer are ambiguous, as well as the results of 5 meta-analysis studies published to date. Since the last meta-analysis (2009), new case-control studies have been published, which theoretically could affect the conclusions on this relationship. Therefore, we decided to perform a new meta-analysis. We conducted a systematic review of multiple electronic data bases for relevant publications. The inclusion criteria were: original papers, case-control studies, published till the end of March 2014, measures of association (point estimates as odds ratio and confidence interval of the effect measured), data on individual exposure. Twenty four studies (26 846 cases, 50 013 controls) were included into the meta-analysis. A significantly higher risk of an intracranial tumor (all types) was noted for the period of mobile phone use over 10 years (odds ratio (OR) = 1.324, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.028-1.704), and for the ipsilateral location (OR = 1.249, 95% CI: 1.022-1.526). The results support the hypothesis that long-term use of mobile phone increases risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure. Further studies are needed to confirm this relationship.

Excerpts

The results obtained in the random effects model indicated that there was a significant relationship between mobile phone use for longer than 10 years and the risk of intracranial tumors (OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.07–1.98).

Because OR is significantly greater than 1 (OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.04–1.52), we can conclude that there is a significant relationship between the time from the first regular use of mobile phone of 10 years or more and the risk of intracranial tumors.

Since OR is greater than 1 (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.06–1.57), there is a significant relationship between ipsilateral use of mobile phone and the risk of intracranial tumor.

We found a significant relationship between:
–– all intracranial tumors and all phone types; ipsilateral exposure;
–– all intracranial tumors and all phone types, when the time of mobile phone use was not shorter than 10 years;
–– all intracranial tumors and all phone types when the time from the first regular use of mobile phone was 10 years or more.

We are not able to compare our results with reference to different kinds of intracranial tumors (glioma, meningioma, acoustic neuroma) in relation to time of using mobile phones. A reliable analysis was not feasible because, in our opinion, the number of original works is too small.

Conclusions
Our results support the hypothesis that long-term (over 10 years) use of mobile phones increases the risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure. The same conclusions are valid for the work by Davis et al. (2013) [45], who reviewed papers on the association between the use of wireless (mobile and cordless) phones and intracranial tumors. Those authors stress that the risk of tumors in people who have used the phone for periods longer than 10 years is significantly elevated. In people who had started using the phone on a regular basis before they were 20 years old, the risk of ipsilateral glioma was found to be fourfold higher. Hardell et al. (2013) [46] stress the significance of the “lifetime exposure dose.” For an exposure of ≥ 1640 h, the risk of ipsilateral acoustic neuroma is 2.55 (95% CI: 1.5–4.4).

These results are in concordance with the conclusion of the expert panel for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that cell phones are possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B) [47]. More research is needed to confirm that electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are carcinogenic to humans.

Open Access Paper: http://bit.ly/2m8Amwt

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Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumors: a systematic review

The results of a newly published review and meta-analysis of the research on cell phone use and brain tumor risk found that long-term or heavy cell phone use was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of brain tumors.

Overall, the study found that long-term or heavy cell phone use was associated with a 33% increased risk of a brain tumor.

The risk of a brain tumor for long-term cell phone use varied depending upon the quality of the research study with higher quality studies tending to yield greater risk estimates (see Table below). For the five highest quality studies, the estimates ranged from a 21% increased risk to 2.6 times the risk of a non-cellphone user. For five lower quality studies. the estimates ranged from a 47% reduced risk to 5.1 times the risk of a non-cellphone user.

Based upon the results of this review, the authors recommend that precautionary measures be taken to reduce the adverse effects of cell phone use.

In this study, long-term cell phone use was defined as ten or more years. The highest quality studies scored 7 or 8 on a 10-point scale, and the lower quality studies scored 5 or 6.

This paper was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Neurological Sciences.

The first author of this paper, Dr. Manya Prasad is in the Department of Community Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak. India. His colleagues are in the Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India.


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Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes

Prasad M, Kathuria P, Nair P, Kumar A, Prasad K. Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes. Neurological Sciences. 2017 Feb 17. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2850-8.

Abstract

Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiations that are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Evidence for increased risk for brain tumours accumulated in parallel by epidemiologic investigations remains controversial. This paper aims to investigate whether methodological quality of studies and source of funding can explain the variation in results.

PubMed and Cochrane CENTRAL searches were conducted from 1966 to December 2016, which was supplemented with relevant articles identified in the references. Twenty-two case control studies were included for systematic review.

Meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies showed practically no increase in risk of brain tumour [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92-1.14)]. However, for mobile phone use of 10 years or longer (or 1,640 or more hours in lifetime), the overall result of the meta-analysis showed a significant 1.33 times increase in risk. The summary estimate of government funded as well as phone industry funded studies showed 1.07 times increase in odds which was not significant, while mixed funded studies did not show any increase in risk of brain tumour. Meta-regression analysis indicated that the association was significantly associated with methodological study quality (p < 0.019, 95% CI 0.009-0.09). Relationship between source of funding and log OR for each study was not statistically significant (p < 0.32, 95% CI 0.036-0.010).

We found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (10 or more years). Studies with higher quality showed a trend towards high risk of brain tumour, while lower quality showed a trend towards lower risk/protection.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28213724

Excerpts

In the 22 case–control studies, a total of 48,452 participants (17,321 patient cases and 31,131 controls) were identified, with the mean age of 46.65 years (range 18–90 years). Data for ipsilateral use and temporal lobe location could not be retrieved from the papers. However, data for long-term use of mobile phones (10 or more years) were extracted from 12 studies out of 22 studies (Tables 1, 2).

Data from 14 case control studies were included in the meta-analysis. We identified a total of 30,421 participants (12,426 cases and 19,334 controls). In Fig. 2, the study with quality sum of 8 shows that there is 1.64 times increase in odds of having brain tumour with mobile phone use. In the hierarchical meta-analysis of studies with progressively lower quality scores of 7, 6, and 5, the odds ratio progressively decreased to 1.08, 0.98, and 0.81, respectively. Therefore, the overall result [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92–1.14)] shows a statistically insignificant increase in odds of risk of brain tumour.

In Fig. 3, the study with quality sum of eight shows that there is 2.58 times increase in odds of having brain tumour with mobile phone use of more than 10 years duration. In the meta-analysis, studies with progressively lower quality score of 7 and 6 show a progressively lower risk of brain tumour with odds ratio 1.44 and 1.13, respectively. However, the overall result of the meta-analysis shows a significant 1.33 times increase in odds of having risk of brain tumours with mobile phone use.

Stratified meta-analysis according to sources of funding shows a consistent increase in risk of brain tumour with mobile phone use of more than 10 years. While summary estimate of government funded studies shows 1.64 times increase in odds (Supplementary Figure IV), mixed funded studies show 1.05 times increase in odds of risk of brain tumours, but the results were not statistically significant (Supplementary Figure V). The data for more than 10 years of use were not available for phone industry funded studies.

The meta-analysis of case–control studies found that there is a significant positive correlation between study quality and risk of brain tumour associated with use of mobile phones. Higher quality studies show a statistically significant association between mobile phone use and risk of brain tumour, but adding poor quality studies leads to loss of significance. We found that Government funded studies were generally of higher methodological quality than phone industry funded or mixed funded.

However, one qualitatively similar finding in both government funded as well as mixed funded studies is that long-term use (10 or more years or 1640 or more hours of lifetime cellphone use) is associated with increased risk of brain tumour.

Conclusion

In our review of the literature and meta-analysis of case–control studies, we found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (greater than 10 years). We also found a significantly positive correlation between study quality and outcome in the form of risk of brain tumour associated with use of mobile phones. Higher quality studies show a statistically significant association between mobile phone use and risk of brain tumour. Even the source of funding was found to affect the quality of results produced by the studies. As mobile phone use certainly continues, our findings are pertinent to warrant application of precautionary measures aimed at reducing its adverse effects. Furthermore, well-designed studies embedded with prospective cohorts are required to provide a higher level of evidence.
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Source: SaferEMR blog, Joel M. Moskowitz Ph.D., 22 Feb 2017

German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears
Germany Created: 21 Feb 2017
An official watchdog in Germany has told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla because its smart technology can reveal personal data.

The warning was issued by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications.

Researchers say hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it.

But the UK Toy Retailers Association said Cayla "offers no special risk".

In a statement sent to the BBC, the TRA also said "there is no reason for alarm".

The Vivid Toy group, which distributes My Friend Cayla, has previously said that examples of hacking were isolated and carried out by specialists. However, it said the company would take the information on board as it was able to upgrade the app used with the doll.

But experts have warned that the problem has not been fixed.

The Cayla doll can respond to a user's question by accessing the internet. For example, if a child asks the doll "what is a little horse called?" the doll can reply "it's called a foal".

A vulnerability in Cayla's software was first revealed in January 2015.

Complaints have been filed by US and EU consumer groups.

The EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, told the BBC: "I'm worried about the impact of connected dolls on children's privacy and safety."

The Commission is investigating whether such smart dolls breach EU data protection safeguards.

In addition to those concerns, a hack allowing strangers to speak directly to children via the My Friend Cayla doll has been shown to be possible.

The TRA said "we would always expect parents to supervise their children at least intermittently".

It said the distributor Vivid had "restated that the toy is perfectly safe to own and use when following the user instructions".
Privacy laws

Under German law, it is illegal to sell or possess a banned surveillance device. A breach of that law can result in a jail term of up to two years, according to German media reports.

Germany has strict privacy laws to protect against surveillance. In the 20th Century Germans experienced abusive surveillance by the state - in Nazi Germany and communist East Germany.

The warning by Germany's Federal Network Agency came after student Stefan Hessel, from the University of Saarland, raised legal concerns about My Friend Cayla.

Mr Hessel, quoted by the German website Netzpolitik.org, said a bluetooth-enabled device could connect to Cayla's speaker and microphone system within a radius of 10m (33ft). He said an eavesdropper could even spy on someone playing with the doll "through several walls".

A spokesman for the federal agency told Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily that Cayla amounted to a "concealed transmitting device", illegal under an article in German telecoms law (in German).

"It doesn't matter what that object is - it could be an ashtray or fire alarm," he explained.

Manufacturer Genesis Toys has not yet commented on the German warning.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39002142
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir

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