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How Cell Phones Cause Cancer
ZDNet UK , June 25, 2001
in Australia have reported one of the first scientific hypotheses
that normal mobile phone use can lead to cancer. The research group,
lead by radiation expert Dr Peter French, principal scientific officer
at the Centre for Immunology Research at St Vincent's Hospital in
Sydney, said that mobile phone frequencies well below current safety
levels could stress cells in a way that has been shown to increased
susceptibility to cancer.
The paper, published
in the June issue of the science journal Differentiation, says that
repeated exposure to mobile phone radiation acts as a repetitive
stress, leading to continuous manufacture of heat shock proteins
Heat shock proteins
are always present in cells at a low level, but are manufactured in larger
amounts when the cell is stressed by heat or other environmental factors.
They repair other proteins that are adversely affected by the conditions,
and are part of the cell's normal reaction to stress. However, if they
are produced too often or for too long, they are known to initiate cancer
and increase resistance to anti-cancer drugs.
Dr. French emphasised
that no link has yet been shown between the specific biological effects
of mobile phone radiation and cancer, but that there was now a theoretical
framework for such an effect that could be investigated. His previous
work has included showing that the production of histamine, a chemical
involved in asthma, can be nearly doubled after exposure to cellular frequencies.
To date, most safety
levels have been set on the assumption that damage is caused by heating
effects of radio waves in human tissue, much higher than the levels at
which Dr French claims heat shock proteins are triggered.
His co-authors include
Professor Ron Penny, the director of the Centre and one of Australia's
leading experts in the cellular effects of HIV, and Professor David McKenzie,
head of applied physics at Sydney University.
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