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Scientists Will Not Rule Out Cancer Phone Link
Courier Mail
Journalist: Sean Parnell
January 7, 2000

Australian scientists have been unable to rule out a connection between mobile phone use and cancer, after delivering the first findings of a $1.4million national research programme.

In 1996, the Federal Government announced funding of $4.5million over five years for research and public information into health issues associated with mobile phones and other communications devices.

As part of the programme, the National Health and Medical Research Council approved four research projects which received more than $1.2million in funding.

But Professor Pamela Sykes, who ran the first project to be completed, said yesterday her study on the effects of radiofrequency electro-magnetic radiation was "inconclusive".

Professor Sykes used a specially-designed machine – the only one of its type in Australia – to determine whether radiation caused any lingering genetic change to specially bred mice.

Professor Sykes said some of the mice were affected, and some weren't, with variations within treatment groups making the data impossible to read.

"What I'd like to do is repeat some of the experiments but my funding has run out," she said.

In the pilot project, the mice were subjected to 4wt a kilogram of radiation – the highest dose on the scale – for one half-hour treatment, five half-hour treatments and 25 half-hour treatments.

The three remaining studies were continuing, with findings not expected for up to three years.

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