Rodney Croft to explore link between mobile phone usage and brain tumours at UOW

Professor Rodney Croft will host a public forum on the wireless world and human health. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Professor Rodney Croft will host a public forum on the wireless world and human health. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Is there a link between mobile phone usage and brain tumours? Can living near a base station give you migraines? How does Wi-Fi affect household health?

Those questions, and more, can be put to some of the world’s leading experts in electromagnetic fields at a public forum at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus on November 11.

Professor Rodney Croft, director of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research, said the event would reveal the latest research into the wireless world and human health.

‘‘We want to give people an update on the latest science as there are still a lot of people who have questions about whether things like mobile phones and base stations are harmful or not,’’ he said.

‘‘We will be looking at what’s called electro-hypersensitivity, where people report a lot of symptoms that they attribute to these things.

‘‘These include headaches, nausea and lack of concentration – not too dissimilar to a migraine, and like a migraine they can be quite severe.’’

However despite a plethora of research in this area, Prof Croft said no adverse health effects had been shown from exposure to these radio-frequency emissions.

‘‘The bottom line is, that at the levels we’re exposed to, there isn’t any evidence that exposure can give us cancer or anything else,’’ he said.

The only consistently observed finding, he said, was a small effect on brain activity measured by EEG during sleep.

‘‘We have seen some very reliable patterns in the brain’s electrical activity caused by exposure to radio frequency emissions,’’ he said.

‘‘But it hasn’t been determined whether the effect of that is substantial enough to cause changes to sleep architecture – how long you sleep for, how long it takes to get to sleep.

‘‘So we plan to do further studies in this area with adults, as well as see what effect exposure can have on the sleep of children and adolescents.’’

The centre is hosting the forum in collaboration with the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute. Call 42214333 for details.

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