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EMF Studies

09 May 2016

Further Comments on the Chapman et al Study Purporting to Show No Risk for Brain Tumors from Cell Phone Use

Comments on Chapman et al's Study by L. Lloyd Morgan, Dr. Martin Pall, and Dr. Joel Moscowitz
Updated 14 May 2016

Joel Moscowitz comments on Simon Chapman’s mobile phone ‘all-clear study
14 May 2016

This study seems designed to serve as propaganda for the public debate about whether cell phone radiation is a cancer risk factor. The study’s lead author, Simon Chapman, published an opinion piece online (see below) in which he accused Devra Davis of being an “alarmist” for her position in this debate.

Yesterday, Medscape, a website that “offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web’s most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools,” published a story about the study. The article cited Simon Chapman and John Boice, Jr. who supported the study’s conclusions, and Lennart Hardell who raised concerns. Since I have concerns about the study and do not believe the Medscape article was balanced, I sent Medscape my comments. See the Medscape article which appears below along with my comments in red (BOLD in this posting).

I strongly encourage scientists with expertise on EMF health effects to share their knowledge about the science with reporters. In my experience over the past seven years, most reporters are trying to write an accurate story. I realize that it is often inconvenient to talk to them, but it is the only way we can overcome the ignorance and bias promoted by scientists who have a vested interest in protecting the status quo.

SNIP (The Chapman paper as copied in the Moskowith posting is omitted here)

Following is a story about the study that appeared in Medscape. My comments appear in red.(Bold here) I sent my comments to the author of the article and the editor-in-chief of Medscape. The article is copyrighted so do not post it on the internet.

Continue reading:

L. Lloyd Morgan’s Comments on Australian Study by Chapman et al
by Camilla, Electromagnetic Health Blog, 7 May 2016

An Australian study purporting to show no risk for brain tumors from cell phone use has been critiqued here by L. Lloyd Morgan of the Environmental Health Trust (Chapman et al, “Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?”, Cancer Epidemiology).

Morgan states:

Chapman uses a classic technique of obfuscation. Instead of examining the annual percent incidence change per year of brain cancers located in the anatomical regions of the brain that absorb almost all of the radiation, and incidence among the brain cancers with the highest risk of brain cancer from cellphone use: glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) he switches the topic from annual percent change (APC) to a “what if” relative risk approach. SWITCH THE TOPIC, LOSE THE PICTURE

This “what if” approach has many false assumptions:

1. All regions of the brain are equally at risk. NOT TRUE.
a.  Almost all the absorbed radiation is on the side of head where the cellphone is place to the ear and is in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe and cerebellum.
b.  Zada et al’s analysis of California Cancer Registry APCs in these 3 regions are (from Table 3):
i.  frontal lobe, APC=2.4%, p<0.001 (99.9% confidence);
ii. temporal lobe, APC=1.9%, p=0.026 (97% confidence), and;
iii. cerebellum, APC=11.9%, p<0.001 (99.9% confidence. Because there are two lobes (left and right) these APCs would be about double if we knew which side of the head the cellphone was held.

2. The entire population was cellphone users from 1987 to 2014. NOT TRUE.

a. Chapman paper’s Fig. 1, “Percentage of Australians with mobile phone accounts.
i. Seven year after first use, in 1993 only about 10% had cellphone accounts
No information is provided about the average hours of use
Did the authors ask ACMA if they had this data?
ii. Ten year after first use in 1996 about 20% had cellphone accounts (see 1.& a., above)
iii. It was not until 2001 (15 years after first use) that >50% had cellphone accounts (15 of the 29 years in Fig. 1).
iv. Fig. 1 shows data for every year but there was NO DATA for 10 of these 15 years (1978–1990, 1992–1997) but the missing data were “estimated by linear interpolation.”

3.All ages use cellphones equally. NOT TRUE.

4. Both genders use cellphones equally. NOT TRUE.


In addition the Summary answers: section contradicts itself. “Age adjusted brain cancer incidence rates (20–84 years, per 100,000) have risen slightly in males (p < 0.05) … .” This sentence is contradicted several sentences later, “Significant increases in brain cancer incidence were observed … only in those aged >=70 years … .”

The value of “slightly’ is not stated but it was a statistically significant increase.

The source of funding is not mentioned. Absence of funding information is a red flag.

Further comments expected and we will post as they become available.

Comments from Martin Pall, PhD

Thanks Lloyd Morgan for your comments. One question: from 2 iv it states that there are no data for 10 of those 15 years. Unless Chapman has invented some new way of doing statistics with no data, doesn’t that mean that the statistics are fictional?

Chapman claimed that it is not thought that EMFs can damage DNA, apparently substituting industry propaganda for thought. Yet that there is extensive data on EMF causation of large amounts of single strand breaks in cellular DNA via comet assays and causation of double strand breaks in cellular DNA, with each of these having been reviewed in several places. There are also many studies showing elevation of 8-OHdG in cellular DNA following EMF exposures. Each of these are produced by free radicals which can be produced as breakdown products of peroxynitrite, so there are not only extensive data on these but also plausible causal mechanisms on each of them.


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