Radio frequency radiation (RFR): the nature of exposure and carcinogenic potential Abstract
Epidemiologic evidence on the relation between radio-frequency radiation (RFR) and cancer is reviewed. Radio-wave communications are used extensively in modern society; thus, we are all subject to RFR created by radio, television, wireless telephony, emergency communications, radar, etc. Interest in the health effects of RFR has been motivated by the rapid growth in wireless communications and by media reports expressing concern that specific diseases may be caused by RFR exposure, e.g., from cellular telephone handsets. Due to the ubiquitous presence of RFR, the public health implication of any connection between RFR and cancer risk is potentially significant. (It is important to keep RFR distinct from power-line electromagnetic fields.) Comparison of potential risks from RFR exposure with other occupational and environmental health risks requires evaluating the level of support from available epidemiology, from studies with laboratory animals, and from mechanistic or biophysical information about the interaction of RFR with living tissues. A large number of studies have been done with laboratory animals and with in vitro systems; a more limited set of epidemiologic studies is available. Effects from RFR exposure that lead to temperature increases have been consistently reported, but 'non-thermal' effects have not been substantiated. Also, there are no mechanistic theories that support 'non-thermal' interactions with biology. Evidence to support a causal relationship between exposure to RFR and human cancers is scant. Our present state of knowledge about exposure, mechanisms, epidemiology, and animal studies does not identify significant cancer risks.
Cancer cellular telephones electromagnetic fields nonionizing radiation radio frequency radiation References
Rothman KJ, Chou CK, Morgan R,
Assessment of cellular telephone and other radio frequency exposure for epidemiologic research.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Radiofre-quency Radiation Levels and Population Exposure in Urban
Areas of the Eastern United States. Silver Spring, MD(USA): EPA Office of Radiation Programs, 1978; Dept. of Commerce Publication PB-292–855, EPA-520/2-77-008. (TW Athey,
l) May, 1978.
Stuchly MA. Mobile communication systems and biological effects on their users.
Radio Sci Bull
Chou CK, Bassen H, Osepchuk J,
Radio frequency electromagnetic exposure: Tutorial review on experimental dosimetry.
International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Health issues related to the use of hand-held radiotelephones and base transmitters.
Durney CH, Massoudi H, Iskander MF.
Radiofrequency Dosimetry Handbook (4th Edition
). Washington, DC: US School of Aerospace Medicine, 1986; Report USAFAM-TR: 85–73.
Grandolfo M. Occupational exposure limits for radio-frequency and microwave radiation.
Appl Inc Hyg
Petersen RC, Testagrossa PA. Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields associated with cellular-radio cell-site antennas.
Adair RK. Biological effects on the cellular level of electric field pulses.
The Pathway for Oxygen
. Cambridge, MA (USA): Harvard University Press, 1984.
Dimbylow PJ. FDTD calculations of the SAR for a dipole closely coupled to the head at 900 MHz and 1.9 GHz.
Phys Med Biol
Gandhi OP. Some numerical methods for dosimetry: extremely low frequencies to microwave frequencies.
Anderson V, Joyner KH. Specific absorption rate levels measured in a phantom head exposed to radio frequency transmissions from analog hand-held mobile phones.
US National Council on Radiation Protection and Meas-urement (NCRP).
Biological effects of exposure criteria
for radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Washington, DC: NCRP, 1986; NCRP Report Number 86.
Gough M, ed. Assessing and managing health risks of wire-less communication instruments (Symposium Proceedings).
Hum Eco Risk Assess
Balcer-Kubiczek EK, Harrison GH. Neoplastic transfor-mation of C3H/10T1/2 cells following exposure to 120-Hz modulated 2.45 GHz microwaves and phorbol ester tumor promoter.
Salford LG, Brun A, Persson BRR, Eberhardt J. Experimental studies of brain tumor development during exposure to continuous and pulsed 915 MHz radiofrequency radiation.
Wu RY, Chiang H, Shao BJ, Fu YD. Effects of 2.45 GHz microwave radiation and phorbol ester 12-O-tetrade-canolylphorbol acetate on dimethylhydrazine-induced colon cancer in mice.
Szmigielski S, Szudzinski A, Pietraszek A, Bielec M, Janiak M, Wrembel JK. Accelerated development of spontaneous and benzopyrene-induced skin cancer in mice exposed to 2450-MHz microwave radiation.
Santini R, Hosni M, Deschaux P, Pacheco H. B16 melanoma development in black mice exposed to low-level microwave radiation.
Szmigielski S, Bielec M, Lipski S, Sokolska G. Immunologic and cancer-related aspects of exposure to low-level microwave and radiofrequency fields. (Chapter 25) In: Marino A, ed.
. New York, NY (USA): Marcel-Dekker, 1988: 861–925.
Rotkovska D, Moc J, Kautska J, Bartnickova A, Keprtova J, Hofer M. Evaluation of the biological effects of police radar RAMER 7F.
Env Health Perspec
Adey WR, Byus CV, Cain CD,
Brain tumor incidence in rats chronically exposed to digital cellular telephone fields in a initiation-promotion model.
18th Annual Bioelectromagnetics Society Meeting
1996: p.27, Abstract A–7-3.
World Health Organization (WHO).
Environmental Health Criteria 137: Electromagnetic Fields (300 Hz to 300 GHz
). Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, 1993: 1–290.
Hayes RB, Brown LM, Pottern LM,
Occupation and risk for testicular cancer: A case-control study.
Int J Epidemiol
Hill DG. A longitudinal study of a cohort with past expo-sure to radar: The MIT Radiation Laboratory follow-up study. Doctoral dissertation. UMI Dissertation Information Service, Ann Arbor, MI, 1988.
Robinette CD, Silverman C, Jablon S. Effects upon health of occupational exposure to microwave radiation (radar).
Am J Epidemiol
Silverman C. Epidemiologic studies of microwave effects.
Milham S. Mortality by license class in amateur radio operators.
Am J Epidemiol
Thomas TL, Stolley PD, Stemhagen A,
Brain tumor mortality risk among men with electrical and electronics jobs: A case-control study.
Selvin S, Schulman J, Merrill DW. Distance and risk measures for the analysis of spatial data: a study of childhood cancers.
Soc Sci Med
Linet MS, Devesa SS. Descriptive epidemiology of childhood leukemia.
Br J Cancer
Brown PN, Ertz H, Olsen JH, Yssing M, Scheibel E, Jensen OM. Incidence of childhood cancer in Denmark 1943–1984.
Int J Epidemiol
Rothman KJ, Loughlin JE, Funch DP, Dreyer NA. Overall mortality of cellular telephone customers.
Office of Engineering and Technology.
Questions and answers about biological effects and potential hazards of radiofrequency radiation
. Washington, DC: Federal Communications Commission, OET, 1989; DCOET Bulletin No. 56, January 1989.
Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). IEEE Standard for safety levels with respect to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz. IEEE C95.1–1991. New York, April 27, 1992.
Parker SL, Tong T, Bolden S, Wingo PA. Cancer statistics, 1996.
CA Cancer J Clin
US National Safety Council.
Accident Facts: 1993 Edition.
Itasca, IL (USA): National Safety Council, 1993: 1–120.
Henderson BE, Ross RK, Pike MC. Toward the primary prevention of cancer.
Olsen RG, Wong PS. Characteristics of low frequency electric and magnetic fields in the vicinity of electric power lines.
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Dolk H, Shaddick G, Walls P,
Cancer incidence near radio and television transmitters in Great Britain: I. Sutton Coldfield transmitter.
Am J Epidemiol
Dolk H, Elliott P, Shaddick G,
Cancer incidence near radio and television transmitters in Great Britain: II. All high power transmitters.
Am J Epidemiol