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25 September 2017

Twelve New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (22 September 2017)

Twelve new papers on electromagnetic fields and biology or health, courtesy of Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director, Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, 22 September 2017

NTP Cell Phone Radiation Study

Evaluation of Genotoxicity of Cell Phone Radiation in Male & Female Rats & Mice Following Subchronic Exposure

Smith-Roe SL, Wyde, ME, Stout MD, Winters JW, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green AS, Kissing GA, Tice RR, Bucher JR, Witt KL. Evaluation of the Genotoxicity of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Male and Female Rats and Mice Following Subchronic Exposure. Presentation at at annual meeting of Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society held in Raleigh, North Carolina from September 9-13, 2017.

Note from Dr. Moscowitz:  I don't know if a paper or slides are available. The abstract for this presentation is available at http://bitly.com/NTPsaferemr

Dosimetric Assessment for Mice & Rats Exposed in Reverberation Chambers for the Two-Year NTP Cancer Bioassay Study on Cell Phone Radiation

Gong, YJ, Capstick, MH; Kuehn, S ; Wilson, PF; Ladbury, JM ; Koepke, G; McCormick, DL ; Melnick, RL Kuster, N.Life-Time Dosimetric Assessment for Mice and Rats Exposed in Reverberation Chambers for the Two-Year NTP Cancer Bioassay Study on Cell Phone Radiation. IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility. 59(6):1798-1808. DOI: 10.1109/TEMC.2017.2665039. Dec 2017.


In this paper, we present the detailed life-time dosimetry analysis for rodents exposed in the reverberation exposure system designed for the two-year cancer bioassay study conducted by the National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The study required the well-controlled and characterized exposure of individually housed, unrestrained mice at 1900 MHz and rats at 900 MHz, frequencies chosen to give best uniformity exposure of organs and tissues. The wbSAR, the peak spatial SAR, and the organ specific SAR as well as the uncertainty and variation due to the exposure environment, differences in the growth rates, and animal posture were assessed. Compared to the wbSAR, the average exposure of the high-water-content tissues (blood, heart, lung) were higher by similar to 4 dB, while the low-loss tissues (bone and fat) were less by similar to 9 dB. The maximum uncertainty over the exposure period for the SAR was estimated to be <49% (k = 2) for the rodents whereas the relative uncertainty between the exposure groups was < 14% (k = 1). The instantaneous variation (averaged over 1 min) was < 13% (k = 1), which is small compared to other long term exposure research projects. These detailed dosimetric results empowers comparison with other studies and provides a reference for studies of long-term biological effects of exposure.



Other Studies
A History of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

Repacholi MH. A History of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Health Phys. 2017 Oct;113(4):282-300. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000699.


Concern about health risks from exposure to non-ionizing radiation (NIR) commenced in the 1950s after tracking radars were first introduced during the Second World War. Soon after, research on possible biological effects of microwave radiation in the former Soviet Union and the U.S. led to public and worker exposure limits being much lower in Eastern European than in Western countries, mainly because of different protection philosophies. As public concern increased, national authorities began introducing legislation to limit NIR exposures from domestic microwave ovens and workplace devices such as visual display units. The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) was formed in 1966 to represent national radiation protection societies. To address NIR protection issues, IRPA established a Working Group in 1974, then a Study Group in 1975, and finally the International NIR Committee (INIRC) in 1977. INIRC's publications quickly became accepted worldwide, and it was logical that it should become an independent commission. IRPA finally established the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), chartering its remit in 1992, and defining NIR as electromagnetic radiation (ultraviolet, visible, infrared), electromagnetic waves and fields, and infra- and ultrasound. ICNIRP's guidelines have been incorporated into legislation or adopted as standards in many countries. While ICNIRP has been subjected to criticism and close scrutiny by the public, media, and activists, it has continued to issue well-received, independent, science-based protection advice. This paper summarizes events leading to the formation of ICNIRP, its key activities up to 2017, ICNIRP's 25th anniversary year, and its future challenges.



"At the Budapest meeting, Repacholi advised that since he had established the International EMF Project at WHO, and as ICNIRP was now working closely with this project, it was a conflict of interest for him to remain as Chairman or as a member of ICNIRP. As such, he resigned."

"While the independence of ICNIRP members is clearly required in its Charter and Statutes, it had become an issue of public and political interest in some countries. At its meeting in Bordeaux (September 2003), it was decided that a conflict of interest declaration by all current and new members should not only be kept on file but also posted on ICNIRP’s website. A “Declaration of Personal Interest” completed by all Commission and Scientific Expert Group members is now posted on the ICNIRP website as a demonstration of the independence of its members, openness and transparency. These declarations of personal interest were made more stringent following discussions at the annual meeting in Thessaloniki (Greece, June 2013) and more detailed information was required from Commission and Scientific Expert Group members."

"Recommendations on exposure limits have been and continue to be based purely on the science and only minor changes or fine-tuning to these limits have been necessary over the years. Many national authorities have adopted ICNIRP guidelines into their own guidance or legislation. The stability of the limits over many years, because there has not been any research providing evidence of harm from exposures below the guideline limits, provides reassurance to national authorities about the adequacy of the protection the limits provide."

"ICNIRP members have taken a leading role in assisting WHO’s International EMF Project with its first systematic review of the scientific literature to determine whether there are any health consequences from exposure to radiofrequency fields. The results and conclusions of this Environmental Health Criteria monograph will form a basis for the updated ICNIRP guidelines on high frequency EMF. An important aspect of this WHO review is that, not only WHO Task Group members, but all members of any working groups contributing to each chapter, including ICNIRP members, must complete a form detailing any conflict of interest for review and approval by the WHO Legal Department.Given the huge amount of work this systematic review involves, it is anticipated that this monograph should now be published in 2018. Much of ICNIRP’s future work will be done in collaboration with WHO’s EMF Project."

"ICNIRP published its general philosophy of NIR protection 15 y ago (ICNIRP 2002), but this needs updating and more detail added. ICNIRP is currently working on this update since it views the protection principles as fundamental to the development of all its guidelines and statements. In addition, such principles provide consistency in protection for future publications."

"Possible health effects of EMF have been of concern for a long time and so ICNIRP has been subjected to significant public and political scrutiny. To its credit, by
steadfastly remaining a purely scientific Commission and not entering the politics of NIR issues, ICNIRP has successfully weathered all storms to become the most recognized agency for producing independent authoritative advice on NIR protection issues."

"The authors declare no conflicts of interest."

Note from Dr. Moscowitz: In recent years, many professional journals require authors to disclose conflicts of interest (COIs). However, it is extremely rare that anyone discloses their COIs. Thus, this requirement which relies on self reporting COIs has been largely a sham.

Increasing levels of saliva alpha amylase in electrohypersensitive (EHS) patients

Andrianome S, Hugueville L, de Seze R, Selmaoui B.Increasing levels of saliva alpha amylase in electrohypersensitive (EHS) patients.Int J Radiat Biol. 2017 Aug;93(8):841-848. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2017.1325971. Epub 2017 May 17.


PURPOSE: To assess the level of various salivary and urinary markers of patients with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and to compare them with those of a healthy control group.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed samples from 30 EHS individuals and a matched control group of 25 individuals (non-EHS) aged between 22 and 66. We quantified cortisol both in saliva and urine, alpha amylase (sAA), immunoglobulin A and C Reactive Protein levels in saliva and neopterin in urine (uNeopterin).

RESULTS: sAA was found to be significantly higher (p < 0.005) in the EHS group. uNeopterin and sAA analysis showed a significant difference based on the duration of EHS.

CONCLUSION: Higher levels of sAA in EHS participants may suggest that the sympathetic adrenal medullar system is activated. However, most of the analyzed markers of the immune system, sympathetic activity and circadian rhythm did not vary significantly in the EHS group. There is a trend to the higher levels of some variables in subgroups according to the EHS duration.



Maternal cell phone use in early pregnancy & child's language, communication & motor skills at 3 & 5 years: Norwegian mother child cohort study

Papadopoulou E, Haugen M, Schjølberg S, Magnus P, Brunborg G, Vrijheid M, Alexander J. Maternal cell phone use in early pregnancy and child's language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years: the Norwegian mother and child cohort study (MoBa). BMC Public Health. 2017 Sep 5;17(1):685. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4672-2.


BACKGROUND: Cell phone use during pregnancy is a public health concern. We investigated the association between maternal cell phone use in pregnancy and child's language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years.

METHODS: This prospective study includes 45,389 mother-child pairs, participants of the MoBa, recruited at mid-pregnancy from 1999 to 2008. Maternal frequency of cell phone use in early pregnancy and child language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years, were assessed by questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations.

RESULTS: No cell phone use in early pregnancy was reported by 9.8% of women, while 39%, 46.9% and 4.3% of the women were categorized as low, medium and high cell phone users. Children of cell phone user mothers had 17% (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.89) lower adjusted risk of having low sentence complexity at 3 years, compared to children of non-users. The risk was 13%, 22% and 29% lower by low, medium and high maternal cell phone use. Additionally, children of cell phone users had lower risk of low motor skills score at 3 years, compared to children of non-users, but this association was not found at 5 years. We found no association between maternal cell phone use and low communication skills.

CONCLUSIONS: We reported a decreased risk of low language and motor skills at three years in relation to prenatal cell phone use, which might be explained by enhanced maternal-child interaction among cell phone users. No evidence of adverse neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal cell phone use was reported.



Use of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields for the treatment of cancer

Jimenez H, Blackman C, Lesser G, Debinski W, Chan M, Sharma S, Watabe K, Lo HW, Thomas A, Godwin D, Blackstock W, Mudry A, Posey J, O'Connor R, Brezovich I, Bonin K, Kim-Shapiro D, Barbault A, Pasche B. Use of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields for the treatment of cancer. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2018 Jan 1;23:284-297.


Cancer treatment and treatment options are quite limited in circumstances such as when the tumor is inoperable, in brain cancers when the drugs cannot penetrate the blood-brain-barrier, or when there is no tumor-specific target for generation of effective therapeutic antibodies. Despite the fact that electromagnetic fields (EMF) in medicine have been used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes, the use of non-ionizing EMF for cancer treatment is a new emerging concept. Here we summarize the history of EMF from the 1890's to the novel and new innovative methods that target and treat cancer by non-ionizing radiation.



Efficacy and Safety of Treating Glioblastoma With Tumor-Treating Fields Therapy

Saria MG, Kesari S. Efficacy and Safety of Treating Glioblastoma With Tumor-Treating Fields Therapy. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2016 Oct 1;20(5):S9-S13. doi: 10.1188/16.CJON.S1.9-13.


BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive astrocytoma with a dismal prognosis. Since 1976, only three chemotherapeutic agents have been approved for the treatment of GBM. Tumor-treating fields (TTFields) therapy, delivered via a noninvasive device, is a new therapy approved for use in patients with recurrent GBM and in combination with temozolomide for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM.

OBJECTIVES: This article reviews the mechanism of action and findings from preclinical and clinical studies supporting the use of TTFields for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM.

METHODS: This article provides an overview of published literature on the efficacy and safety of treating GBM with TTFields.

FINDINGS: For the first time in more than a decade, patients with GBM have a noninvasive treatment option that has been shown to increase progression-free survival and overall survival with minimal adverse events.



Compared with historic cancer treatment modalities, TTFields have an innovative mechanism of action. Nonbiochemical and nonablative, TTFields use frequency-specific, low-intensity, alternating electric fields to disrupt structures within the cancer cell during mitosis, leading to apoptosis. Specifically, TTFields technology takes advantage of the special characteristics, geometric shape, and the rate of dividing cancer cells, which make them susceptible to the effects of TTFields. TTFields alter tumor cell polarity at an intermediate frequency (100–300 kHz). The frequency used for TTFields is specific to the target cell type (e.g., 200 kHz for gliomas). TTFields have been shown to disrupt the normal assembly of the microtubule spindle by exerting directional forces on polar intracellular elements, such as macromolecules and organelles. These processes lead to physical disruption of the cell membrane and to programmed cell death (Giladi et al., 2015) (see Figure 1).

The pivotal, randomized phase III study leading to the FDA approval of Optune for recurrent GBM and the subsequent prospective, multicenter, open-label, randomized, controlled trial leading to the approval of Optune for patients with newly diagnosed GBM demonstrate that the addition of TTFields to maintenance TMZ chemotherapy significantly improves survival without increasing toxicities in patients with glioblastoma. The introduction of the second-generation device, which weighs about 50% less than the original device, is expected to improve GBM patient compliance. Trials are evaluating the safety and efficacy of TTFields in low-grade gliomas, solid tumor brain metastases, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other solid malignancies.


Evaluation of Electromagnetic Exposure During 85 kHz Wireless Power Transfer for Electric Vehicles

SangWook Park. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Exposure During 85 kHz Wireless Power Transfer for Electric Vehicles. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics. Volume: PP, Issue: 99. Sep 1, 2017.10.1109/TMAG.2017.2748498


The external fields in the proximity of electric vehicle (EV) wireless power transfer (WPT) systems requiring high power may exceed the limits of international safety guidelines. This study presents dosimetric results of an 85 kHz WPT system for electric vehicles. A WPT system for charging EVs is designed and dosimetry for the system is evaluated for various exposure scenarios: a human body in front of the WPT system without shielding, with shielding, with alignment and misalignment between transmitter and receiver, and with a metal plate on the system for vehicle mimic floor pan. The minimum accessible distances in compliance are investigated for various transmitting powers. The maximum allowable transmitting power are also investigated with the limits of international safety guidelines and the dosimetric results.



Effect of 2G and 3G Cell Phone Radiation on Developing Liver of Chick Embryo - Comparative Study

D'Silva MH, Swer RT, Anbalagan J, Rajesh B. Effect of Radiofrequency Radiation Emitted from 2G and 3G Cell Phone on Developing Liver of Chick Embryo - A Comparative Study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Jul;11(7):AC05-AC09. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2017/26360.10275. Epub 2017 Jul 1.


INTRODUCTION: The increasing scientific evidence of various health hazards on exposure of Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR) emitted from both the cell phones and base stations have caused significant media attention and public discussion in recent years. The mechanism of interaction of RF fields with developing tissues of children and fetuses may be different from that of adults due to their smaller physical size and variation in tissue electromagnetic properties. The present study may provide an insight into the basic mechanisms by which RF fields interact with developing tissues in an embryo.

AIM: To evaluate the possible tissue and DNA damage in developing liver of chick embryo following chronic exposure to Ultra-High Frequency/Radiofrequency Radiation (UHF/RFR) emitted from 2G and 3G cell phone.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fertilized chick embryos were incubated in four groups. Group A-experimental group exposed to 2G radiation (60 eggs), Group B- experimental group exposed to 3G radiation (60 eggs), Group C- sham exposed control group (60 eggs) and Group D- control group (48 eggs). On completion of scheduled duration, the embryos were collected and processed for routine histological studies to check structural changes in liver. The nuclear diameter and karyorrhexis changes of hepatocytes were analysed using oculometer and square reticule respectively. The liver procured from one batch of eggs from all the four groups was subjected to alkaline comet assay technique to assess DNA damage. The results were compared using one-way ANOVA test.

RESULTS: In our study, the exposure of developing chick embryos to 2G and 3G cell phone radiations caused structural changes in liver in the form of dilated sinusoidal spaces with haemorrhage, increased vacuolations in cytoplasm, increased nuclear diameter and karyorrhexis and significantly increased DNA damage.

CONCLUSION: The chronic exposure of chick embryo liver to RFR emitted from 2G and 3G cell phone resulted in various structural changes and DNA damage. The changes were more pronounced in 3G experimental group. Based on these findings it is necessary to create awareness among public about the possible ill effects of RFR exposure from cell phone.

Open Access: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5583901/


The first four batches (48 eggs) were grouped as control (Group–D) and they were incubated without any external factors interfering with their developmental process. Next five batches (60 eggs) were treated as sham exposed group (Group-C). They were incubated along with a popular brand cell phone with the SAR of 0.310 watts/kilogram hung from above with 5 cm distance separating the egg and kept in null status (switched off)....

The experimental group, Group–A (exposed to 2G cell phone radiation) and Group–B (exposed to 3G cell phone radiation), were also incubated (60+60 eggs) in a similar manner with the cell phone kept in silent operative mode with head phone plugged in (switched on). This arrangement ensured that the cell phone got activated automatically each time it received a call and the intensity of radio frequency waves were measured using radiofrequency meter (RF meter, Less EMF Inc, USA) [Table/Fig-1].

A popular brand cell phone hand set and a service provider were used for network connection for both 2G and 3G exposure. For exposure activation, the cell phone was rung from another cell phone for duration of three minutes each, every half an hour, with the first exposure given at 12thhour of incubation (4.30 am-4.30 pm). The total exposure for a 12 hour period was 75 minutes followed by 12 hour of exposure-free period. This was repeated daily up to 12th day of incubation.

From our experimental outcome, we conclude that the chronic exposure of chick embryo liver to RFR emitted from 2G and 3G cell phone resulted in various structural changes and DNA damage. The changes were more pronounced in 3G experimental group. Many researchers now opine that cell phones may turn out to be the cigarettes of 21st century as their effects or interactions with biological tissues on long term exposure are yet to be explored especially in foetuses and children. Hence, children and pregnant women should use the cell phone with caution. Introduction of new generation phones, 4G and 5G, open a vast potential for future research and whether these changes observed due to RFR exposure are reversible or not on withdrawing the exposure is another arena which warrants further research.


Effects of Combined Exposure to Microwave and Heat on Gene Expression and Sperm Parameters in Mice

Gohari FA, Saranjam B, Asgari M, Omidi L, Ekrami H, Moussavi-Najarkola SA.An Experimental Study of the Effects of Combined Exposure to Microwave and Heat on Gene Expression and Sperm Parameters in Mice. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2017 Apr-Jun;10(2):128-134. doi: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_136_16.


OBJECTIVES: Separate exposure to microwaves (MWs) or heat had effects on expression levels of Bax and Bcl-2 and sperm parameters in studied group.

AIMS: The objectives of this research were to determine the effects of separate and combined exposure to 900-MHz MW (as representative of cell phone radiation) and heat on gene expression and spermogram of male mice.

SETTINGS AND DESIGN: This experimental animal study was conducted in the school of public health.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was done on 12 male mice randomly divided into four groups (21-23 g): control, test group 1 with separate exposure to 900-MHz MW, test group 2 with separate exposure to hot and sultry climate, and test group 3 with simultaneous whole body exposures to 900-MHz MW and hot and sultry climate. In all studied groups, gene expression and sperm parameters were measured.

RESULTS: Tissue samples in all test groups showed integrity of the seminiferous tubule followed by all types of germ line cells. Significant increases in the number of dead sperms in mice with separate exposure to heat were observed in comparison with the other studied groups (P < 0.05). The ratio of Bax expression was elevated to 0.015 ± 0.006 in mice after combined exposures to 900-MHz MW and heat.

CONCLUSION: Separate and combined exposure to 900-MHz MW and heat may induce adverse effects on sperm parameters and gene expression of studied male mice.


Note: limited statistical power -- 12 mice randomly divided into 4 groups


Residential magnetic fields exposure and childhood leukemia: a population-based case-control study in California

Kheifets L, Crespi CM, Hooper C, Cockburn M, Amoon AT, Vergara XP. Residential magnetic fields exposure and childhood leukemia: a population-based case-control study in California. Cancer Causes Control. 2017 Sep 12. doi: 10.1007/s10552-017-0951-6. [Epub ahead of print]


PURPOSE: Studies have reported an increased risk of childhood leukemia associated with exposure to magnetic fields. We conducted a large records-based case-control study of childhood leukemia risk and exposure to magnetic fields from power lines in California.

METHODS: The study included 5,788 childhood leukemia cases (born in and diagnosed in California 1986-2008) matched to population-based controls on age and sex. We calculated magnetic fields at birth addresses using geographic information systems, aerial imagery, historical information on load and phasing, and site visits.

RESULTS: Based on unconditional logistic regression controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status using subjects geocoded to a basic standard of accuracy, we report a slight risk deficit in two intermediate exposure groups and a small excess risk in the highest exposure group (odds ratio of 1.50 (95% confidence interval [0.70, 3.23])). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses as well as matched analyses gave similar results. All estimates had wide confidence intervals.

CONCLUSION: Our large, statewide, record-based case-control study of childhood leukemia in California does not in itself provide clear evidence of risk associated with greater exposure to magnetic fields from power lines, but could be viewed as consistent with previous findings of increased risk.



Power frequency magnetic field promotes a more malignant phenotype in neuroblastoma cells via redox-related mechanisms

Falone S, Santini S Jr, Cordone V, Cesare P, Bonfigli A, Grannonico M, Di Emidio G, Tatone C, Cacchio M, Amicarelli F. Power frequency magnetic field promotes a more malignant phenotype in neuroblastoma cells via redox-related mechanisms.Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 13;7(1):11470. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11869-8.


In accordance with the classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) are suspected to promote malignant progression by providing survival advantage to cancer cells through the activation of critical cytoprotective pathways. Among these, the major antioxidative and detoxification defence systems might be targeted by ELF-MF by conferring cells significant resistance against clinically-relevant cytotoxic agents. We investigated whether the hyperproliferation that is induced in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells by a 50 Hz, 1 mT ELF magnetic field was supported by improved defence towards reactive oxygen species (ROS) and xenobiotics, as well as by reduced vulnerability against both H2O2 and anti-tumor ROS-generating drug doxorubicin. ELF-MF induced a proliferative and survival advantage by activating key redox-responsive antioxidative and detoxification cytoprotective pathways that are associated with a more aggressive behavior of neuroblastoma cells. This was coupled with the upregulation of the major sirtuins, as well as with increased signaling activity of the erythroid 2-related nuclear transcription factor 2 (NRF2). Interestingly, we also showed that the exposure to 50 Hz MF as low as 100 µT may still be able to alter behavior and responses of cancer cells to clinically-relevant drugs.



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Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
Website: http://www.saferemr.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaferEMR
Twitter: @berkeleyprc

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