Aegis Corporation Home Page Back To Previous Page
Print This Page
Close Window

Volunteers Exposed To Cell Phone Radiation In STUK Experiment
Helsingin Sanomato
Journalist: Matti Huuskonen

March 14, 2006
     Place: Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), Roihupelto, Helsinki. The first human guinea pig of the day enters through the laboratory door. She is
Tarja K. Ikäheimonen, deputy head of the authority's research department.

     "This is my contribution to research. The management is committed", Ikäheimonen says, as she rolls up her sleeve.

     It is the last day of a human experiment, which has sparked a good deal of international attention. Ikäheimonen and nine other women working for STUK expose their skin to the radiation of a mobile telephone for one hour. The voluntary experiment has the permission of the ethics committee of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District.
The goal of the human experiments is to determine how radiation affects proteins, which are the building blocks of human cells. Results are expected near the end of the year.

     The head of the study, research professor Dariusz Leszczynski of STUK, notes that the results will not definitively indicate whether or not a mobile telephone has any effect on human health.

     However, they could indicate what the next focus of research might be. That is also interesting. Leszczynski has been busy giving interviews ever since Friday, when the newspaper Kaleva, and Reuters News Agency published reports on the planned experiments.
Ikäheimonen extends her arm and lets researcher
Tommi Toivonen draw markings on her skin with a felt-tip pen.

      It is from there that samples will be taken at the end of the test.

      Next, she sits down and puts her right arm on a rest, on top of an antenna.

     The antenna is connected to a wire, which leads to an old-model Nokia GSM telephone, which is the pulsating source of radiation for the study.

     "Is our position so comfortable that you can sit there for an hour?", Toivonen asks.

     Ikäheimonen kicks off a pair of slippers and asks for a table to be brought next to her. With her free hand she can write notes for an upcoming presentation for a seminar marking the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident.
Toivonen turns on the experimental cell phone and adjusts the radiation output to the right level with the help of a computer and an amplifier.

     Radiation is fed into Ikäheimonen's arm. It is not radioactive - it is the same type of radiation as that which is generated by microwave ovens.

     The output is below the maximum level permitted for mobile telephones. Compared to a microwave oven, the strength is perhaps a thousandth. It would take a long time to boil a cup of water with a cell phone.

     Ikäheimonen focuses on her presentation. An hour later she gets up. It is time for her to make her contribution - two pieces of skin. Surgeon Jorma Halttunen takes one piece from the irradiated arm, and a control sample from the other one.

Top of Page