| "The 4 year
project measured a significant increase in single and double-strand DNA
breaks in human and animal cells"
"The damage could not
always be repaired by the cell"
AMSTERDAM — Two
of the world's top mobile phone makers said more research is needed
into the potential for cell phone radiation to damage DNA, following a
laboratory study by 12 European institutes which found harmful effects.
Sony Ericsson, the world's No. 3 and 6 mobile phone makers, said they
needed further scientific evidence that radio waves harm body cells and
The results of
the European Union-funded study, which was made available on a Web site
this week by the coordinating German institute Verum, first needed to
be published in a scientific magazine, said Sony Ericsson,
published results have to be balanced with the total picture of
research. There are other studies published that failed to show any
link between radio signals and DNA damages," the company said in an
e-mailed response to questions.
spokesman in Washington said his company was also "awaiting evaluation
by the scientific community".
Verum said it
was in talks with several magazines and a publication decision was
expected within months.
four-year research project measured a significant increase in single
and double-strand DNA breaks in human and animal cells after being
exposed to electromagnetic fields that are typical for mobile phones.
damage could not always be repaired by the cell. DNA carries the
genetic material of an organism and its different cells. "There was
remaining damage for future generation of cells," project leader Franz
Adlkofer told Reuters.
He said the
laboratory study did not prove that mobile phones are a risk to health
but concluded that more research is needed to see if effects can also
be found outside a lab.
independent studies into the health effects of mobile phone radiation
have found it may have some effect on the human body, such as heating
up the brain and causing headaches and nausea, but no study that could
be independently repeated has proved that radiation had permanent
million mobile phones are expected to be sold to consumers this year,
and over 1.5 billion people around the world use one.
two other major research projects were underway, one from the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized
cancer research agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and a
separate WHO study.
The first study
assesses whether electromagnetic fields from cell phones are a cause of
cancer in humans, after IARC found in June 2001 that this was a
"possibility". The other study looks into other health effects of
Results of the
studies were expected this year, but are now expected late 2005 at the
earliest for IARC, and a year later for the WHO research project.
said it sponsors research, but mainly those projects recommended by the
Reflex study conducted by 12 research groups in seven European
countries was two-thirds funded by the European Union.
Lucas van Grinsven, Reuters