A substantial body of scientific evidence raises concerns about health risks from cow's milk products. These problems relate to the proteins, sugar, fat, and contaminants in dairy products, and the inadequacy of whole cow's milk for infant nutrition.

Health risks from milk consumption are greatest for infants less than one year of age, in whom whole cow's milk can contribute to deficiencies in several nutrients, including iron, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. The American Academy of Pediatrics1 recommends that infants under one year of age not receive whole cow's milk.

Cow's milk products are very low in iron,2 containing only about one-tenth of a milligram (mg) per eight-ounce serving. To get the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of 15 mg of iron, an infant would have to drink more than 31 quarts of milk per day. Milk can also cause blood loss from the intestinal tract, which, over time, reduces the body's iron stores.

Researchers speculate that the blood loss may be a reaction to proteins present in milk.3 Pasteurization does not eliminate the problem. Researchers from the University of Iowa recently wrote in the Journal of Pediatrics that "in a large proportion of infants, the feeding of cow milk causes a substantial increase of hemoglobin loss. Some infants are exquisitely sensitive to cow milk and can lose large quantities of blood."3 Although concerns are greatest for children in the first year of life, there are also health concerns related to milk use among older children and some problems associated with cow's milk formulas.


Several reports link insulin-dependent diabetes to a specific protein in dairy products. This form of diabetes usually begins in childhood. It is a leading cause of blindness and contributes to heart disease, kidney damage, and amputations due to poor circulation.

Studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of diabetes.4 A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine5 adds substantial support to the long-standing theory that cow's milk proteins stimulate the production of the antibodies6 which, in turn, destroy the insulin-producing pancreatic cells.7 In the new report, researchers from Canada and Finland found high levels of antibodies to a specific portion of a cow's milk protein, called bovine serum albumin, in 100 percent of the 142 diabetic children they studied at the time the disease was diagnosed. Non-diabetic children may have such antibodies, but only at much lower levels. Evidence suggests that the combination of a genetic predisposition and cow's milk exposure is the major cause of the childhood form of diabetes, although there is no way of determining which children are genetically predisposed. Antibodies can apparently form in response to even small quantities of milk products, including infant formulas.

Pancreatic cell destruction occurs gradually, especially after infections, which cause the cellular proteins to be exposed to the damage of antibodies. Diabetes becomes evident when 80 to 90 percent of the insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed.

Milk proteins are also among the most common causes of food allergies. Often, the cause of the symptoms is not recognized for substantial periods of time.


Many people, particularly those of Asian and African ancestry, are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose. The result is diarrhea and gas. For those who can digest lactose, its breakdown products are two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. Galactose has been implicated in ovarian cancer8 and cataracts.9,10 Nursing children have active enzymes that break down galactose. As we age, many of us lose much of this capacity.


Whole milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, sour cream, and all other dairy products aside from skim and non-fat products contain significant amounts of saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, contributing to cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer. The early changes of heart disease have been documented in American teenagers. While children do need a certain amount of fat in their diets, there is no nutritional requirement for cow's milk fat. On the contrary, cow's milk is high in saturated fats, but low in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid.


Milk contains frequent contaminants, from pesticides to drugs. About one-third of milk products have been shown to be contaminated with antibiotic traces. The vitamin D content of milk has been poorly regulated. Recent testing of 42 milk samples found only 12 percent within the expected range of vitamin D content. Testing of ten samples of infant formula revealed seven with more than twice the vitamin D content reported on the label, one of which had more than four times the label amount.11 Vitamin D is toxic in overdose.12


Dairy products offer a false sense of security to those concerned about osteoporosis. In countries where dairy products are not generally consumed, there is actually less osteoporosis than in the United States. Studies have shown little effect of dairy products on osteoporosis.13 The Harvard Nurses' Health followed 78,000 women for a 12-year period and found that milk did not protect against bone fractures. Indeed, those who drank three glasses of milk per day had more fractures than those who rarely drank milk.14

There are many good sources of calcium. Kale, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables contain calcium that is readily absorbed by the body. A recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calcium absorbability was actually higher for kale than for milk, and concluded that "greens such as kale can be considered to be at least as good as milk in terms of their calcium absorbability."15 Beans are also rich in calcium. Fortified orange juice supplies large amounts of calcium in a palatable form.16

Calcium is only one of many factors that affect the bone. Other factors include hormones, phosphorus, boron, exercise, smoking, alcohol, and drugs.17-20 Protein is also important in calcium balance. Diets that are rich in protein, particularly animal proteins, encourage calcium loss.21-23


Could milk cause prostate cancer? The question has come up repeatedly in recent months, as billboards portraying New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with a milk mustache carried the words, "Got Prostate Cancer?" The outraged mayor countered that milk had nothing to do with his newly diagnosed disease, which also killed his father. For the public, this was completely new territory. Does drinking milk actually contribute to cancer?

Here are the facts: Major studies suggesting a link between milk and prostate cancer have appeared in medical journals since the 1970s. Two of six cohort studies (research studies following groups of people over time) found increased risk with higher milk intakes. Five studies comparing cancer patients to healthy individuals found a similar association. One of these, conducted in northern Italy, found that frequent dairy consumption could increase risk by two and one-half times.24

In 1997, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research concluded that dairy products should be considered a possible contributor to prostate cancer. And yet another research study came out in April 2000 pointing to a link between dairy and prostate cancer: Harvard's Physicians' Health Study followed 20,885 men for 11 years, finding that having two and one-half dairy servings each day boosted prostate cancer risk by 34 percent, compared to having less than one-half serving daily.25


Researchers are looking, not only at whether milk increases cancer risk, but how. The answer, apparently, is in the way milk affects a man's hormones. Dairy products boost the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the blood. In turn, IGF-I promotes cancer cell growth.26-28 A small amount is normally in the bloodstream, but several recent studies have linked increased IGF-I levels to prostate cancer and possibly to breast cancer as well.

Milk does other mischief. Its load of calcium depletes the body's vitamin D, which, in turn, may add to cancer risk. Most dairy products are also high in fat, which affects the activity of sex hormones that play a major role in cancer.

And it would come as no surprise that milk might affect the growth of cancer cells. After all, its biological purpose is to support rapid growth in all parts of a calf's body. After the age of weaning, calves (like all mammals) have no need for milk at all, and there is never a need to drink the milk of another species.

Researchers are investigating whether dairy products might be culprits in other forms of the disease. Ovarian cancer, in particular, may be linked to galactose, a sugar produced from the milk sugar lactose. Yogurt, cheese, "lactose-free" milk, and other dairy products contain substantial amounts of galactose.


There is no nutritional requirement for dairy products, and there are serious problems that can result from the proteins, sugar, fat, and contaminants in milk products. Therefore, the following recommendations are offered:

  1. Breast-feeding is the preferred method of infant feeding. As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, whole cow's milk should not be given to infants under one year of age.
  2. Parents should be alerted to the potential risks to their children from cow's milk use.
  3. Cow's milk should not be required or recommended in government guidelines.
  4. Government programs, such as school lunch programs and the WIC program, should be consistent with these recommendations.

As many readers (of Dr. GEORGIOU'S NATURAL MEDICINE NEWSLETTER) have asked for references to important issues such as this one, here are a list of useful references:


  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. The use of whole cow's milk in infancy. Pediatrics 1992;89:1105-9.
  2. Pennington JAT, Church HN. Food values of portions commonly used. New York, Harper and Row, 1989.
  3. Ziegler EE, Fomon SJ, Nelson SE, et al. Cow milk feeding in infancy: further observations on blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract. J Pediatr 1990;116:11-8.
  4. Scott FW. Cow milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: is there a relationship? Am J CLin Nutr 1990;51:489-91.
  5. Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7.
  6. Roberton DM, Paganelli R, Dinwiddie R, Levinsky RJ. Milk antigen absorption in the preterm and term neonate. Arch Dis Child 1982;57:369-72.
  7. Bruining GJ, Molenaar J, Tuk CW, Lindeman J, Bruining HA, Marner B. Clinical time-course and characteristics of islet cell cytoplasmatic antibodies in childhood diabetes. Diabetologia 1984;26:24-29.
  8. Cramer DW, Willett WC, Bell DA, et al. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989;2:66-71.
  9. Simoons FJ. A geographic approach to senile cataracts: possible links with milk consumption, lactase activity, and galactose metabolism. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 1982;27:257-64.
  10. Couet C, Jan P, Debry G. Lactose and cataract in humans: a review. J Am Coll Nutr 1991;10:79-86.
  11. Holick MF, Shao Q, Liu WW, Chen TC. The vitamin D content of fortified milk and infant formula. New Engl J Med 1992;326:1178-81.
  12. Jacobus CH, Holick MF, Shao Q, et al. Hypervitaminosis D associated with drinking milk. New Engl J Med 1992;326:1173-7.
  13. Riggs BL, Wahner HW, Melton J, Richelson LS, Judd HL, O'Fallon M. Dietary calcium intake and rates on bone loss in women. J Clin Invest 1987;80:979-82.
  14. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Publ Health 1997;87:992-7.
  15. Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption from kale. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:656-7.
  16. Nicar MJ, Pak CYC. Calcium bioavailability from calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1985;61:391-3.
  17. Dawson-Hughes B. Calcium supplementation and bone loss: a review of controlled clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;54:274S-80S.
  18. Mazess RB, Barden HS. Bone density in premenopausal women: effects of age, dietary intake, physical activity, smoking, and birth control pills. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:132-42.
  19. Nelson ME, Fisher EC, Dilmanian FA, Dallal GE, Evans WJ. A 1-y walking program and increased dietary calcium in postmenopausal women: efect on bone. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:1304-11.
  20. Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1987;1:394-7.
  21. Zemel MB. Role of the sulfur-containing amino acids in protein-induced hypercalciuria in men. J Nutr 1981;111:545.
  22. Hegsted M. Urinary calcium and calcium balance in young men as affected by level of protein and phosphorus intake. J Nutr 1981;111:553.
  23. Marsh AG, Sanchez TV, Mickelsen O, Keiser J, Mayor G. Cortical bone density of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous women. J Am Dietetic Asso 1980;76:148-51.
  24. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. American Institute for Cancer Research, Washington, D.C., 1997, p. 322.
  25. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Ajani U, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians' Health Study. Presentation, American Association for Cancer Research, San Francisco, April 2000.
  26. Cohen P. Serum insulin-like growth factor-I levels and prostate cancer risk-interpreting the evidence. J Natl Cancer Inst 1998;90:876-9.
  27. Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ 1997;315:1255-60.
  28. Heaney RP, McCarron DA, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Dietary changes favorably affect bone remodeling in older adults. J Am Dietetic Asso 1999;99:1228-33.

God bless!

Dr. George J. Georgiou, Ph.D.
Clinical Nutritionist - Master Herbalist - Naturopath - Homeopath - Acupuncturist - Iridologist - Clinical Sexologist - Clinical Psychologist

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-----------------------------116002696914015 Content-Disposition: form-data; name="userfile"; filename="MobilePhones.html" Content-Type: text/html Mobile Phones - a selection of press reports from Britain EIGHT REPORTS from the DAILY TELEGRAPH, UK:

Mobile phone radiation alters brain cells

By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent
(The Daily Telegraph: 20/06/2002)

"Normal levels of mobile phone radiation have for the first time been found to have a biological effect on human brain cells, according to a two-year study by government scientists.

Research by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland found that microwaves from cellphone handsets damaged the blood-brain barrier, which prevents materials from the blood entering the brain. It warned that this might have implications for human health.

However, Prof Darius Leszczynski, who led the team, said that the research had so far been conducted only in laboratory conditions.

He said: "We need further study looking at real people to see if the blood-brain barrier is affected. What is happening in the human brain is an enigma. If it did happen it could lead to disturbances, such as headaches, feeling tired or problems with sleeping."

Prof William Stewart, who chairs the British Government's expert group on mobile phone radiation, said the Finnish research should be taken seriously because it came from "a well-respected team at a well-respected institution".

He said: "Because it found changes to the blood-brain barrier it is an important finding, particularly bearing in mind that it involved a short period of exposure.

"But a biological effect does not necessarily imply a health risk and we need more work on human subjects."

The study, the first to look at the effects of mobile phone radiation on human cells rather than those of laboratory animals, is due to be presented at a conference in Canada this month.

Cells from blood vessel walls in the brain were placed in culture dishes and subjected in the laboratory to mobile phone radiation of two watts per kilogram, the maximum allowed internationally for mobile phones. After an hour's exposure biochemical changes were seen in the cells that could alter the activity of about 400 proteins.

In particular, one enzyme, called HSP 27, which helps to regulate blood-brain barrier permeability, was affected. Prof Leszczynski said HSP 27 affected structures in the cells called stress fibres. The distribution of stress fibres in turn affected leakage of the blood-brain barrier. Prof Leszczynski said: "If the same thing happened in real life, in people, then it could affect blood-brain barrier permeability by increasing it." As a result, molecules that caused damage to neurons might be allowed to invade brain tissue.

"What I believe is that we will find these leaks occur in humans, too. What we do not know is the extent of these leaks and whether they have any effect on our health," said Prof Leszczynski.

He added that a French team also presenting findings at the conference had shown that blood-brain barrier leakage increased in rats exposed to mobile phone radiation.

But he added that it would be wrong to assume at this stage that mobile phones were hazardous to human health. It was possible that the human body might be able to cope with the effects.

Dr Michael Clarke, scientific spokesman at the National Radiological Protection Board, said: "It is important work and part of the jigsaw to see whether mobile phone radiation really has any health effect.

"But we need to remember that all sorts of things - tea, caffeine, red wine, sugar - have biological effects without necessarily damaging health."

More than 40 million people in Britain, many of them children, use mobile phones. The Government inquiry, led by Sir William, concluded two years ago that mobile phones posed no provable health risk but Sir William urged caution over the use of mobile phones by children until more was known about their impact on health.

In January, a new 7.4 million research programme was announced, backed by the Government and the mobile phone industry, to be managed by an international committee of experts led by Sir William.

The programme includes 15 studies that will seek clear conclusions about the health hazards of mobile phones, in particular fears of an association between cellphone radiation and brain cancer.

The Federation of Electronic Industries, which represents mobile phone makers and normally responds to health concerns regarding cellphone radiation, declined to comment."
[ .... as this could adversely affect the market for mobile phones!!! ..........]


Protection for phone radiation 'is useless'

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent
(The Daily Telegraph: 11/05/2002)

"MANY devices to protect mobile phone users from radiation are useless or impair reception and shorten battery life, said a Government report published yesterday.

The first official study of its kind concluded that earpiece pads were ineffective and that "absorbing buttons" reduced exposure by just 20 per cent.

Although shielding cases and antenna clips could reduce significantly the radiation absorbed by a user's head, the devices could lower the phone's performance, particularly inside buildings.

The report was commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry after an independent panel called for "clear information" about the effectiveness of mobile phone shields two years ago.

Sir William Stewart, the former chief scientist who led the earlier inquiry, said he was disappointed the report did not name individual products. Without that information, consumers were in the dark.

Although there is no scientific evidence that mobile phone radiation is a health hazard, dozens of devices are available that promise to protect users.

The report looked at four categories of device: shielded cases, earpiece pads and shields, antenna clips and caps, and absorbing buttons. Eleven devices were tried out on Nokia and Ericsson phones.

Their specific absorption rate, or rate at which tissue absorbed energy, was worked out using a model head filled with fluid.

"Tests in this study show that many of the shield devices can reduce the maximum absorption from the handset by large amounts.

"Generally, however, this reduction is due to the device limiting the useful, radiated transmit power from the phone by a similar amount, which has the associated disadvantage of reducing the phone's performance in weak signal areas or inside buildings."


Study on mobiles and radiation 'diluted'

By Nic Fleming and David Derbyshire
(The Daily Telegraph: 07/05/2002)

A LONG awaited report into devices to protect against mobile phone radiation has been diluted so that it will be of limited value to consumers when it is published this week, critics said yesterday.

The study into the effectiveness of radiation shields, buttons and pads would not name individual products because of commercial sensitivities, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Its publication on Friday comes two years after the DTI agreed to produce clear information about the effectiveness of such devices and at least 10 months after the tests.

Simon Best, editor of the Electromagnetic Hazard and Therapy news report, said: "This report is of limited value to the tens of millions of mobile phone users in Britain.

"Publishing results without the names of the individual products does not provide information about the effectiveness of these devices. "The taxpayers who have paid for this work will be none the wiser as to whether the products they are using actually work, or which ones are worth buying."

Two years ago an expert panel set up by the Government to investigate mobile phones concluded that there was no scientific evidence linking mobile phone emissions to brain tumours, cancer or any other health risk.

However, the committee, chaired by Sir William Stewart, the former chief scientific adviser, concluded: "We recommend that the Government sets in place a national system which enables independent testing of shielding devices and hands-free kits to be carried out, and which enables clear information to be given about the effectiveness of such devices."

At the time the Government agreed that shields and hands-free kits should be independently tested and there should be information about their effectiveness.

The tests covered 11 protective devices, classified into four types: shielding devices, earpiece pads and shields, antenna clips and caps, and absorbing buttons.

A DTI spokesman said yesterday that it had never been the intention to name products. "From a legal perspective, the DTI cannot be seen to endorse, or not to endorse, particular products.

"From the start, the intention was to look at generic products and put the information into the public domain."

The report is being given a low profile release as a written answer to a parliamentary question.

A leaked copy of part of the original report sent to the DTI from the testing laboratory disclosed that Microshield, one of the products tested, reduced the rate at which radiation was absorbed by the head by between 90.4 and 98.4 per cent.

However, the report also stated that Microshield reduced the transmission power of the handset by between 78 and 85 per cent.

Les Wilson, of Microshield Industries, said: "These test results now leave no doubt that some shields will offer significant protection. I find it strange that the Government is on the one hand calling for users to reduce exposure, but on the other sitting on test results for products that can achieve this."

During 2000 mobile users were given conflicting advice an hands-free kits. In April and November the Consumers' Association released reports stating they channelled radiation from mobiles to the brain increasing exposure by up to 350 per cent.

However, in August of the same year, the DTI produced a study saying they offer "very substantial reductions in specific absorption rate, or the rate at which a volume of tissue absorbs radiation compared to the normal use of a mobile held against the ear".


Cellphone 'hazard on trains'

By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent
(The Daily Telegraph: 02/05/2002)

USING a mobile phone on a train could be doing more harm to fellow passengers than just raising their hackles. Scientists have discovered that cellphone radiation bounces around railway carriages, often exceeding health guidelines.

The problem is limited to carriages in which several passengers are simultaneously using mobile phones or wireless email devices

. Tsuyoshi Hondou, a physicist from Tohoku University, in Sendai, Japan, undertook the research after noticing that commuter trains were packed with people surfing the Net on their mobiles.

Using plans of a typical train carriage, Hondou calculated how much microwave radiation from mobile phones would be transmitted out of a carriage through the windows and how much would be reflected back inside.

Dr Hondou then worked out how microwaves from mobile phones distributed throughout a train carriage would combine, like light from different lamps increasing overall lighting in a room.

The resulting electromagnetic field in a train carriage could exceed the maximum exposure level recommended by the International Committee for Non-Ionising Radiation, Dr Hondou said. "It's possible even if the train is not crowded," he added.

In a standard train carriage carrying 151 people, Dr Hondou found radiation levels would exceed the committee's exposure limits if 30 people, each with a mobile phone emitting radio waves at a power of 0.4 watts, all used their phones simultaneously. However, up to two watts is permitted, so the limits could be exceeded with fewer mobiles in use.

Dr Hondou said his findings could become an environmental health issue, especially as dozens of new wireless devices were coming on to the market. He suggested that train operators took notice.

The problem could also arise on buses and in some lifts, New Scientist reported. Les Barclay, a radio engineering consultant who was part of the Stewart Inquiry into mobile phones and health risks, was cautious over Dr Hondou's findings.

He said microwaves would bounce around inside carriages and combine to boost radiation levels, but the increase should be minimal as power dropped off a short distance away from each phone.

However, Dr Hondou said this would only be the case if the radio waves were not reflected by the train walls.


Worms raise safety fears over mobile phone rays

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent
(The Daily Telegraph: 07/02/2002)

THE safety of mobile phones has been questioned once again by a study that found that their emissions can boost the fertility of worms.

In experiments at Nottingham University, female nematode laboratory worms produced more eggs when exposed to the sort of radiation that comes from cell phones.

The finding adds to the evidence that mobile phone radiation may have unexpected and unexplained effects on living cells. Sir William Stewart, who leads the Government's independent group on mobile phones, called the results "potentially far reaching".

Phone microwaves should not have enough energy to sever even the weak chemical bonds inside cells. They should be able to cause damage only if they actually heat tissue. Guidelines on the safety of mobile phones and devices such as microwave ovens and radar systems, are based entirely on this heating effect.

Dr David de Pomerai, of Nottingham University, looked for non-thermal effects by exposing worm larvae to microwaves with the same frequencies and energies as analogue mobile phone signals, New Scientist magazine reports today.

Female larvae exposed to radiation produced far more eggs as adults than normal. The effect was significant because even mild heating makes them infertile, he said.

Previous studies at Nottingham found that prolonged exposure to phone emissions triggered the release of stress proteins in the creatures, even though there was no evidence of heating.

The worms exposed to mobile phone radiation also became 10 per cent larger than those not exposed. "The criticism levelled against our work is that microwaves are heating the worms," he said.

"In this case it looks very unlikely because if there is only a slight rise in temperature, the number of eggs falls to zero. This is an important indicator that there may be non-thermal effects."

Microwaves might cause "hot spots" within cells that could trigger changes without raising the overall temperature of the cell.

Sir William said he would take the findings seriously. "These results are very important and potentially far reaching," he said. "Independent confirmation is crucial and we need this quickly."

Michael Clark, of the National Radiological Protection Board, which sets safety standards for all types of radiation, said: "The guidelines can't be changed on the basis of one experiment."


Mobile telephones in new brain tumour alert

By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent
(The Daily Telegraph: 05/09/2001)

USING a mobile telephone more than doubles the risk of developing brain cancer on the side of the head where the phone is held, the British Association festival of science was told yesterday.

A second warning was issued when Sir William Stewart, who chaired last year's government-sponsored report into mobile phone health risks, called for the cost of handsets to be increased to restrict their use by children.

Sir William, the president of the British Association, said he would not allow his grandchildren to use a mobile phone and also castigated operators for targeting advertisements at youngsters.

The study into a link with brain tumours was carried out by Lennart Hardell, professor of oncology at Orebro University in Sweden, who compared 1,617 patients diagnosed with brain tumours between 1997 and last year with the same number of healthy people.

He found that people who used cellphones were two and a half times more likely to have a temporal brain tumour on the side of the head where they held their phone.

In the case of tumours of the auditory nerve, which connects the ear to the brain, the risk increased to more than three times for mobile phone users.

Because of the need to investigate patients who had used cellphones for 10 years or more, the research concentrated on analogue phones. But Prof Hardell said yesterday that users of digital mobiles, which emit less radiation, could face similar health risks because the phones use pulsed microwaves as opposed to the continuous signals of analogues.

Prof Hardell said: "We will have to wait several more years, probably at least until 2005, before we can see the health effects of digital phones." Meanwhile users should exercise precaution, as the Stewart report has urged.

The mobile phone industry has been plagued by reports suggesting that mobile phones cause cancer. However, there have also been reports of studies showing no health risks to users.

With more than 800 million cellphones in use worldwide, of which 44.7 million are in Britain, even a small cancer risk could have devastating effects.

Sir William said the investigation into the potential dangers of using a mobile phone needed to be broader. "Research into mobile phones has been led by the physical sciences looking at radiation levels. But there are subtle biological effects.

"They could be adverse or beneficial - we simply do not know. There is increasing evidence that the non-thermal effects of mobile phone radiation could affect us. We should be doing more work on biological effects and the Department of Health agrees with that."

Sir William added that it was "irresponsible" for operators to suggest in advertisements that youngsters needed a mobile phone to return to school.

Explaining why he would not allow his grandchildren to use mobiles, he said: "Children's skulls are not fully developed. Their bones are not as thick as adults and they will be using mobile phones for longer over their lifetimes than adults.

"It is worrying as there are effects we will not know about for some time. I would support higher pricing to reduce use of mobiles by children."

A report by the National Radiological Protection Board has called for more research into the police radio system, Tetra, because of suspicions that its similar technology to digital phones - using pulses of around 17 cycles a second - could affect brain tissue.


Brain tissue alert over new 999 police radio link

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
(The Daily Telegraph: 13/07/2001)

THE planned introduction of a 2.5 billion emergency radio service is being reassessed by ministers amid concern that radio waves could cause changes to brain tissue.

The new system, known as Airwave, relies on a frequency that scientists say should be avoided for health reasons.

An official report in May last year said that frequencies close to that used should be avoided. Despite this warning, the Home Office announced in February that it would go ahead with the system. It said experts had examined the system and "no obvious health risks have been identified".

But a series of Whitehall meetings this week involving scientists, police representatives and Government officials have raised the safety issue again and cast fresh doubt over its future.

One expert, who did not want to be named, said the police were concerned that the service was being introduced with safety issues unresolved. The new ministerial team at the Home Office was also said to be anxious to be brought up to date with the issue.

Airwave, a collaboration between BT and the police, is already being tested by Lancashire police and will eventually become a national, digital mobile radio communications service for all emergency services dealing with 999 calls by 2005. It will boost speed of communication, security and data transmission.

The Airwave handsets use the European Tetra (Terrestrial Trunk Radio System) standard, which enables up to four users to access a single radio channel simultaneously. Their transmissions are confined to "bursts" at the rate of 17.65 times per second (Hz).

But a report commissioned by the Department of Health, under the chairmanship of Prof Sir William Stewart, a former Government Chief Scientist, last year found that possible effects of frequencies at or near 16Hz included the release of calcium from brain tissue. Calcium carries out signalling, regulates secretions and other tasks.

Although the Stewart report found no consequences for health, and there was no accepted mechanism by which these frequencies could affect brain tissue, the use of that frequency should be avoided, Sir William reiterated yesterday.

He is concerned that he may have been kept in the dark about Airwave specifications, saying Government observers who sat on the committee knew the Airwave specifications but did not mention them.

As a result of this - and delays in reacting to his report - research on the safety implications were only commissioned earlier this year by the Home Office. Sir William said he was surprised by the slow response.

Sir William added that the National Radiological Protection Board should have been more forthcoming about the modulation used by the communications system. He said: "They never said anything about it."

A Home Office spokesman said that the Stewart committee identified no obvious health risk but added that additional research is necessary because concerns "continue to be expressed".

A BT spokesman stressed that there is no convincing scientific evidence of a health risk to humans, and said Sir William had "gone overboard".

He added that the new phones will comply with guidelines produced by the NRPB as well as those of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection.


Children ignoring mobile phone dangers

By Robert Uhlig Technology Correspondent
(Daily Telegraph: 29/06/2001)

ONE in 10 children under 16 uses a mobile phone for more than 45 minutes every day, despite believing that it could be a health hazard.

The finding comes just a year after a Government report recommended that the widespread use of mobile phones by children for non-essential calls should be discouraged.

Tony Sherborne, an education researcher at Sheffield Hallam University, surveyed 1,000 school children. He found that nine out of 10 aged 11 to 15 owned a mobile phone, compared with seven out of 10 adults.

Although most children used their cellphone for less than 15 minutes a day, nearly a quarter used it for more, he said. More than one in 20 spent more than an hour a day on a mobile phone.

Mr Sherborne called the findings "worrying" and added that many teenagers appeared to be ignoring the message that mobile phone use could be harmful for them, even though the majority believed the research into mobile phone safety.

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