Cell phone use is already linked to an increased risk of brain tumour. Now, a new study claims that radiation from mobiles affects human skin too.
A team of researchers in Finland has carried out the study and found that living tissue responds to mobile phone radiation which alters protein expression in people, the BMC Genomics journal reported.
According to lead researcher Dariusz Leszczynski of Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, "Mobile phone radiation has some biological effect. Even if the changes are small, they still exist."
In the study, a small area of forearm's skin in ten volunteers was exposed to GSM signal for one hour. After that, skin biopsies were collected from exposed and non-exposed areas of skin and all extractable proteins were examined.
After the analysis of nearly 580 proteins, the researchers identified eight proteins, which were statistically significantly affected.
According to Leszczynski, it is much too early to say will these changes induced by the mobile phone radiation have any effect on health.
"The aim of this project was not detecting any possible health effects, but to find out whether living human skin responds to mobile phone radiation and whether proteomics approach is useful in sorting out this issue," he said.
A more extensive study with 50-100 volunteers is now planned at STUK. The research is expected to begin in 2009.
Earlier studies have shown that mobile phone radiation changes protein expression and activity in human endothelial cell line.