Mobile phones affect hormones

Sydney research shows that using a mobile phone for just a few minutes produced significant impacts on the endocrine system.

Thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes and hormonal balance were all affected in a study of 30 volunteers asked to use a mobile phone for just ten minutes!

The study was commissioned by the manufacturers of a stick-on device claimed to be protective against mobile phone radiation. It investigated the effects of using a mobile phone with and without the device, on volunteers in Sydney during April.

Volunteers were asked to conduct a conversation on a Nokia 6150 for 10 minutes on each of two consecutive days. Blood samples, taken before and at various intervals after the exposures, were analysed using a Clot Retraction Test (CRT) by Australian Biologics.

The CRT test measures the degree of oxidation in cells. Because free radicals are a form of oxygen, the test also assesses free radical damage. The test is unique in that it can assess the function of organs such as lung, ovaries, prostate, heart, pancreas and inflammatory processes. While other conventional tests can give more quantitative results, they cannot detect such a range of effects.

The test showed, unexpectedly, that the endocrine system of volunteers was severely impacted by using the mobile phone for just ten minutes. While all volunteers showed hormonal changes, most showed stress to the pancreas, some to the ovaries or testes, some showed inflammation and a few showed thyroid impacts. Those whose thyroids were impacted, showed greatest stress to the phone exposure, with one subject totally exhausted and unable to move for some time after each exposure.

The endocrine system is one of the body’s two major control systems, responsible for transmitting chemical messages - hormones - through the blood stream. Hormones can stimulate or inhibit body processes such as ovulation, the flight-or-fight response, rate of metabolism and body rhythms. It includes glands such as the pineal, pituitary, thyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries and testes.

According to Jennie Burke, Director of Australian Biologics, the profound impacts on the endocrine system that she detected are likely to be due to hormonal changes in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland.

The blood samples clearly illustrated the impact of mobile phone use in the study.

It is extremely unlikely that the changes to the blood pattern are a chance finding. In the thousands of Clot Retraction Tests routinely conducted by Australian Biologics, there is minimal variation in the blood of patients in the course of normal living, though exposure to x-rays and radiation therapy does produce obvious changes to oxidation.

The device was successful to some extent in reducing the effects of exposure to the mobile phone. Overall, it reduced oxidation and inflammation slightly.

An interesting finding was that the effectiveness of the zeropa varied according to the health of the subjects. Among the half that was more healthy, the zeropa considerably decreased oxidation indicative of pancreatic stress and inflammation. However, in other areas the result was not so clearcut. It was also apparent from the results that the use of the zeropa reduced recovery time of volunteers after exposure.

The study is a dramatic illustration of the effects of mobile phone use and presents alluring possibilities for follow-up.

EMRAA News June 2000, Vol 5 No 2