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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cancer: Ericsson refutes claim on emission

Global leader in the telecommunications equipment manufacturing subsector, Ericsson, has maintained that its base stations are free of emissions likely to cause cancer of any kind.

Affirming this, the Communications Manager for West Africa at Ericsson, Mr. Olabode Sowunmi, told ITRealms Online that over the years, there are studies by experts on the possible adverse health effects as a result of radiofrequency fields from mobile phones or base stations, which have been consistent as none have conclusive evidence from mobile phones or base stations.

“Regarding possible adverse health effects due to exposure for radiofrequency fields from mobile phones or base stations there are numerous independent expert reviews which have all given consistent conclusions,” he said.

Sowunmi also noted that even the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded, mostly in its expert review fact sheet 193 that exposure to radiofrequency fields has no linkage to health consequences.

“None of the recent reviews have concluded that exposure to the RFfields from mobile phones or their base stations cause any adverse health consequence,” he declared.

According to him, in one of the most recent expert reviews performed by the European Commission SCENIHR (Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks) published in January 2009, he quoted the study as stating that it is doubtful from three major independent fields that radiofrequency, otherwise call emissions, could cause cancer in human beings.

“It is concluded from three independent lines of evidence, namely epidemiological, animal and in vitro studies; that exposure to RFfields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans,” he said.

In addition, he said that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report released last October 8, 2008, has indeed commented on possible adverse health effects of mobile phone, just as he was quick to add that IARC has been conducting a major epidemiological study called INTERPHONE on mobile phone use and possible association with head and neck tumors.

The study, he said, is now completed but the overall combined results from all 13 countries have not yet been published.

“Overall, the available results from the INTERPHONE study, so far, do not show any association between mobile phone use and risk to develop brain tumor. The comment in the IARC report regarding increased risk for glioma refers to a joint INTERPHONE publication from the Nordic countries and part of the UK. In this publication no overall increased risk for brain tumors was found among mobile phone users regardless of number of years or intensity of use,” he said.

Sowunmi emphasized that though a slightly increased risk was observed among long term phone users when analyzing a small subset of the data for those who reported use of the phone on the same side as location of the tumor.

The authors, he said, however, cautioned that: “Recall bias may affect the reported side of mobile phone use if cases over report use on the side where the tumor was diagnosed.”

He further advised on the importance of waiting for the final publication of the full INTERPHONE study and also to take all other relevant studies into account.

“Numerous international expert reviews on the health and safety of mobile telephony have given consistent conclusions on absence of adverse health effects due to exposure to RF fields from mobile phones or base stations,’ he insisted.

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