• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Environmental Health Note/Can You Hear Me Now?

Air Date: Week of November 28, 2003

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

Living on Earth's Jennifer Chu reports on a study on the effects of cell phone radiation on the brain.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Just ahead, poetry and prose inspired by Montana’s Yaak Valley. First, this environmental health note from Jennifer Chu.

[HEALTH NOTE THEME]

CHU: Most research on cell phone usage has focused on a possible connection between radiation emitted by phones and cancer. And those studies have found no link. But a Swedish research team recently looked for a different effect.

They already had shown in previous studies that cell phone radiation weakens the protective layer of cells between the brain and bloodstream in rats. They also knew that the protein albumin could leak through this protective barrier. The researchers wanted to find out if this albumin leakage was damaging. So they exposed rats to radiation generated by a type of mobile phone commonly used in Europe. The rats were divided into three groups and exposed to different doses of radiation, all comparable to what a human might receive using a cell phone for two hours. Another group of rats received no radiation.

As expected, the exposed rats' brains showed signs of albumin accumulation. But these new tests also showed signs of significant damage to neurons throughout the brain. What's more, the higher the dose of radiation, the greater the neuron damage. The researchers admit this was a small study, but say it may point to long-term effects from frequent exposure to cell phone radiation.

That’s this week’s Health Note. I’m Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

[MUSIC]

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.