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06 January 2018

Fifteen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (5 January 2018)

Fifteen 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, 5 January 2018

Announcement

The impact of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on Wildlife (flora and fauna)

What do we know? What are the knowledge gaps?

The EKLIPSE Mechanism (EU-sponsored) invites people to join a wide range of experts from different disciplines as well as policy makers and practitioners for an international discussion about current knowledge regarding the effects of EMR on wildlife. They are holding a five-day interactive web conference during the afternoon hours (Central European Time) of January 22-25.

To participate in this web conference register now at: http://www.covision.com/register/?da=register.


New Research Studies

Radio Frequency Radiation

Distinguishing Polemic From Commentary in Science: Some Guidelines Illustrated With the Case of Sage and Burgio (2017)

Grimes DR, Bishop DV. Distinguishing Polemic From Commentary in Science: Some Guidelines Illustrated With the Case of Sage and Burgio (2017). Child Dev. 2017 Dec 21. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13013.

Abstract

Exposure to nonionizing radiation used in wireless communication remains a contentious topic in the public mind-while the overwhelming scientific evidence to date suggests that microwave and radio frequencies used in modern communications are safe, public apprehension remains considerable. A recent article in Child Development has caused concern by alleging a causative connection between nonionizing radiation and a host of conditions, including autism and cancer. This commentary outlines why these claims are devoid of merit, and why they should not have been given a scientific veneer of legitimacy. The commentary also outlines some hallmarks of potentially dubious science, with the hope that authors, reviewers, and editors might be better able to avoid suspect scientific claims.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29266222

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Averaged head phantoms from magnetic resonance images of Korean children and young adults

Han M, Lee AK, Choi HD, Jung YW, Park JS. Averaged head phantoms from magnetic resonance images of Korean children and young adults.
Phys Med Biol. 2017 Dec 14. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aaa1c7.

Abstract

Increased use of mobile phones raises concerns about the health risks of electromagnetic radiation. Phantom heads are routinely used for radiofrequency dosimetry simulations, and the purpose of this study was to construct averaged phantom heads for children and young adults. Using magnetic resonance images (MRI), sectioned cadaver images, and a hybrid approach, we initially built template phantoms representing 6-, 9-, 12-, 15-year-old children and adult. Our subsequent approach revised the template phantoms using 29 averaged items that were identified by averaging the MRI data from 500 children and young adults. In females, the brain size and cranium thickness peaked in the early teens and then decreased. This is contrary to what was observed in males, where brain size and cranium thicknesses either plateaued or grew continuously. The overall shape of brains was spherical in children and became ellipsoidal by adulthood. In this study, we devised a method to build averaged phantom heads by constructing surface and voxel models. The surface model could be used for phantom manipulation, whereas the voxel model could be used for compliance test of specific absorption rate (SAR) for users of mobile phones or other electronic devices.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29239853

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Effects of GSM and UMTS mobile telephony signals on neuron degeneration and blood-brain barrier permeation in the rat brain

Poulletier de Gannes F, Masuda H, Billaudel B, Poque-Haro E, Hurtier A, Lévêque P, Ruffié G, Taxile M, Veyret B, Lagroye I. Effects of GSM and UMTS mobile telephony signals on neuron degeneration and blood-brain barrier permeation in the rat brain. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 14;7(1):15496. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15690-1.

Abstract

Blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeation and neuron degeneration were assessed in the rat brain following exposure to mobile communication radiofrequency (RF) signals (GSM-1800 and UMTS-1950). Two protocols were used: (i) single 2 h exposure, with rats sacrificed immediately, and 1 h, 1, 7, or 50 days later, and (ii) repeated exposures (2 h/day, 5 days/week, for 4 weeks) with the effects assessed immediately and 50 days after the end of exposure. The rats' heads were exposed at brain-averaged specific absorption rates (BASAR) of 0.026, 0.26, 2.6, and 13 W/kg. No adverse impact in terms of BBB leakage or neuron degeneration was observed after single exposures or immediately after the end of repeated exposure, with the exception of a transient BBB leakage (UMTS, 0.26 W/kg). Fifty days after repeated exposure, the occurrence of degenerating neurons was unchanged on average. However, a significant increased albumin leakage was detected with both RF signals at 13 W/kg. In this work, the strongest, delayed effect was induced by GSM-1800 at 13 W/kg. Considering that 13 W/kg BASAR in the rat head is equivalent to 4 times as much in the human head, deleterious effects may occur following repeated human brain exposure above 50 W/kg.

Open Access Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686211/
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Extremely Low Frequency Fields

Exposure to Magnetic Field Non-Ionizing Radiation and the Risk of Miscarriage: A Prospective Cohort Study
Li DK, Chen H, Ferber JR, Odouli R, Quesenberry C. Exposure to Magnetic Field Non-Ionizing Radiation and the Risk of Miscarriage: A Prospective Cohort Study. Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 13;7(1):17541. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16623-8.

Abstract

Magnetic field (MF) non-ionizing radiation is widespread and everyone is exposed to some degree. This prospective cohort study of 913 pregnant women examined the association between high MF exposure and miscarriage risk. Cox (proportional hazards) regression was used to examine the association. After controlling for multiple other factors, women who were exposed to higher MF levels had 2.72 times the risk of miscarriage (hazard ratio = 2.72, 95% CI: 1.42-5.19) than those with lower MF exposure. The increased risk of miscarriage associated with high MF was consistently observed regardless of the sources of high MF. The association was much stronger if MF was measured on a typical day of participants' pregnancies. The finding also demonstrated that accurate measurement of MF exposure is vital for examining MF health effects. This study provides fresh evidence, directly from a human population, that MF non-ionizing radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health.

Open Access Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5727515/

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Exposure to ELF EMF during Lessons in Secondary Schools

Silangam W, Yoosook W, Kongtip P, Kongtawelert A, Theppeang K. EXPOSURE TO EXTREMELY LOW FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS DURING LESSONS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2017 Dec 5:1-5. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncx266. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Schools are a significant location where children are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which may cause adverse health effects. This cross-sectional study aimed to examine exposure levels to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) with a range of 5 Hz-32 kHz, and ELF-electric fields (ELF-EFs) with a range of 5 Hz-2 kHz in secondary schools in Bangkok, Thailand. This study was conducted in 60 classrooms from three schools during class hours. Spot measurements were taken with a Narda EFA 300 field analyzer to evaluate exposure levels. This study showed that ELF-EMF exposure levels are lower than ICNIRP guidelines, while 21.67% of classrooms had a magnetic field strength above 0.2 μT, and the main sources of ELF-EMFs were electrical equipment and electrical wiring. Future studies should measure ELF-EMF levels in other areas and evaluate the effects of long term exposure to ELF-EMFs on children's health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29216404

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Stochastic Dosimetry for the Assessment of Children Exposure to Uniform 50 Hz Magnetic Field with Uncertain Orientation
Chiaramello E, Fiocchi S, Ravazzani P, Parazzini M. Stochastic Dosimetry for the Assessment of Children Exposure to Uniform 50 Hz Magnetic Field with Uncertain Orientation. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:4672124. doi: 10.1155/2017/4672124. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

Abstract

This study focused on the evaluation of the exposure of children aging from five to fourteen years to 50 Hz homogenous magnetic field uncertain orientation using stochastic dosimetry. Surrogate models allowed assessing how the variation of the orientation of the magnetic field influenced the induced electric field in each tissue of the central nervous system (CNS) and in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) of children. Results showed that the electric field induced in CNS and PNS tissues of children were within the ICNIRP basic restrictions for general public and that no significant difference was found in the level of exposure of children of different ages when considering 10000 possible orientations of the magnetic field. A "mean stochastic model," useful to estimate the level of exposure in each tissue of a representative child in the range of age from five to fourteen years, was developed. In conclusion, this study was useful to deepen knowledge about the ELF-MF exposure, including the evaluation of variable and uncertain conditions, thus representing a step towards a more realistic characterization of the exposure to EMF.

Open Access Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684611/

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Maternal cumulative exposure to ELF EMF and pregnancy outcomes in the Elfe cohort

Migault L, Piel C, Carles C, Delva F, Lacourt A, Cardis E, Zaros C, de Seze R, Baldi I, Bouvier G. Maternal cumulative exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and pregnancy outcomes in the Elfe cohort. Environ Int. 2017 Dec 20;112:165-173. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.12.025.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To study the relations between maternal cumulative exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMF) and the risk of moderate prematurity and small for gestational age within the Elfe cohort.

METHODS: The Elfe study included 18,329 infants born at 33weeks of gestation or more in France in 2011 and was designed to follow the children until 20years of age. Gestational age and anthropometric data at birth were collected in medical records and small for gestational age was defined according to a French customized growth standard. During interviews, mothers were asked to report their job status during pregnancy. If employed, their occupation was coded according to the International Standard Classification of Occupations 1988 and the date on which they stopped their work was recorded. Cumulative exposure to ELF EMF during pregnancy was assessed, for both mothers who worked and those who did not during pregnancy, using a recently-updated job-exposure matrix (JEM). Cumulative exposure was considered as a categorical variable (<17.5, 17.5-23.8, 23.8-36.2, 36.2-61.6 or ≥61.6μT-days), a binary variable (<44.1 and ≥44.1μT-days) and a continuous variable. Associations were analyzed by logistic regression, adjusting for the mother's lifestyle factors, sociodemographic characteristics and some mother's medical history during and before pregnancy. Analyses were restricted to single births and to complete values for the pregnancy outcomes (n=16,733).

RESULTS: Cumulative exposure was obtained for 96.0% of the mothers. Among them, 37.5% were classified in the 23.8-36.2μT-days category, but high exposures were rare: 1.3% in the ≥61.6μT-days category and 5.5% in the ≥44.1μT-days category. No significant association was observed between maternal cumulative exposure and moderate prematurity and small for gestational age in this exposure range.

CONCLUSION: This large population-based study does not suggest that maternal exposure to ELF EMF during pregnancy is highly associated with risks of moderate prematurity or small for gestational age.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29275242

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Effects of ELF EMF on Neurogenesis and Cognitive Behavior in an Experimental Model of Hippocampal Injury
Sakhaie MH, Soleimani M, Pourheydar B, Majd Z, Atefimanesh P, Asl SS, Mehdizadeh M. Effects of Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Neurogenesis and Cognitive Behavior in an Experimental Model of Hippocampal Injury. Behav Neurol. 2017;2017:9194261. doi: 10.1155/2017/9194261. Epub 2017 Nov 12.

Abstract

Exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields may induce constant modulation in neuronal plasticity. In recent years, tremendous efforts have been made to design a suitable strategy for enhancing adult neurogenesis, which seems to be deterred due to brain senescence and several neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we evaluated the effects of ELF-EMF on neurogenesis and memory, following treatment with trimethyltin chloride (TMT) as a neurotoxicant. The mice in all groups (n = 56) were injected with BrdU during the experiment for seven consecutive days to label newborn cells. Spatial memory was assessed by the Morris water maze (MWM) test. By the end of the experiment, neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation were assessed in the hippocampus, using immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Based on the findings, exposure to ELF-EMF enhanced spatial learning and memory in the MWM test. ELF-EMF exposure significantly enhanced the number of BrdU+ and NeuN+ cells in the dentate gyrus of adult mice (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, resp.). Western blot analysis revealed significant upregulation of NeuroD2 in ELF-EMF-exposed mice compared to the TMT-treated group (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that ELF-EMF might have clinical implications for the improvement of neurodegenerative processes and could help develop a novel therapeutic approach in regenerative medicine.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29259353

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Spatial memory recovery in Alzheimer's rat model by ELF EMF exposure

Akbarnejad Z, Esmaeilpour K, Shabani M, Asadi-Shekaari M, Saeedi Goraghani M, Ahmadi-Zeidabadi M. Spatial memory recovery in Alzheimer's rat model by electromagnetic field exposure. Int J Neurosci. 2017 Dec 20:1-6. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1411353. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Although studies have shown a potential association between extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) exposure and Alzheimer's disease (AD), few studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of weak magnetic fields on brain functions such as cognitive functions in animal models. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of ELF-EMF exposure (50 Hz, 10 mT) on spatial learning and memory changes in AD rats.

METHODS: Amyloid-β (Aβ) 1-42 was injected into lateral ventricle to establish an AD rat model. The rats were divided into six groups: Group I (control); Group II (surgical sham); Group III (AD) Alzheimer's rat model; Group IV (MF) rats exposed to ELF-MF for 14 consecutive days; Group V (Aβ injection+M) rats exposed to magnetic field for 14 consecutive days from day 0 to 14 days after the Aβ peptide injection; Group VI (AD+M) rats exposed to magnetic field for 14 consecutive days after 2 weeks of Aβ peptide injection from 14th to 28th day . Morris water maze investigations were performed.

RESULTS: AD rats showed a significant impairment in learning and memory compared to control rats. The results showed that ELF-MF improved the learning and memory impairments in Aβ injection+M and AD+M groups.

CONCLUSION: Our results showed that application of ELF-MF not only has improving effect on different cognitive disorder signs of AD animals, but also disrupts the processes of AD rat model formation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29185809

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Intermediate Frequency RF

Impact of EMR emitted by monitors on cellular membrane structure and protective antioxidant effect of vitamin A - In vitro study
Lewicka M, Henrykowska G, Zawadzka M, Rutkowski M, Pacholski K, Buczyński A. Impact of electromagnetic radiation emitted by monitors on changes in the cellular membrane structure and protective antioxidant effect of vitamin A - In vitro study. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2017 Jul 14;30(5):695-703. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00851. Epub 2017 May 30.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The increasing number of devices emitting electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in people's everyday life attracted the attention of researchers because of possible adverse effects of this factor on living organisms. One of the EMR effect may be peroxidation of lipid membranes formed as a result of free radical process. The article presents the results of in vitro studies aimed at identifying changes in malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration - a marker of lipid peroxidation and antioxidant role of vitamin A during the exposure of blood platelets to electromagnetic radiation generated by liquid-crystal-display (LCD) monitors.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Electromagnetic radiation emitted by LCD monitors is characterized by parameters: 1 kHz frequency and 220 V/m intensity (15 cm from display screen). The time of exposure was 30 and 60 min. The study was conducted on porcine blood platelets. The samples were divided into 6 groups: unexposed to radiation, unexposed + vitamin A, exposed for 30 min, exposed for 30 min + vitamin A, exposed for 60 min, exposed for 60 min + vitamin A.

RESULTS: The MDA concentration in blood platelets increases significantly as compared to control values after 60 min of exposure to EMR. A significant decrease in MDA concentration after the addition of vitamin A was noticed. In the blood samples exposed to EMR for 30 and 60 min the MDA concentration was significantly increased by addition of vitamin A.

CONCLUSIONS: The results show the possibly negative effect of electromagnetic radiation on the cellular membrane structure manifested by changes in malondialdehyde concentration and indicate a possible protective role of vitamin A in this process.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28584329

Mortazavi SMJ. Letter to the Editor (July 26, 2017) concerning the paper "Impact of electromagnetic radiation emitted by monitors on changes in the cellular membrane structure and protective antioxidant effect of vitamin A - In vitro study". Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2018 Jan 15;31(3):371-372. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01245. Epub 2017 Dec 5. http://ijomeh.eu/Comments-on-Impact-of-electromagnetic-radiation-emitted-by-monitors-on-changes-in,80565,0,2.html

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Behavioral testing of mice exposed to intermediate frequency magnetic fields indicates mild memory impairment

Kumari K, Koivisto H, Viluksela M, Paldanius KMA, Marttinen M, Hiltunen M, Naarala J, Tanila H, Juutilainen J. Behavioral testing of mice exposed to intermediate frequency magnetic fields indicates mild memory impairment. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 4;12(12):e0188880. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188880.

Abstract

Human exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields (MF) is increasing due to applications like electronic article surveillance systems and induction heating cooking hobs. However, limited data is available on their possible health effects. The present study assessed behavioral and histopathological consequences of exposing mice to 7.5 kHz MF at 12 or 120 μT for 5 weeks. No effects were observed on body weight, spontaneous activity, motor coordination, level of anxiety or aggression. In the Morris swim task, mice in the 120 μT group showed less steep learning curve than the other groups, but did not differ from controls in their search bias in the probe test. The passive avoidance task indicated a clear impairment of memory over 48 h in the 120 μT group. No effects on astroglial activation or neurogenesis were observed in the hippocampus. The mRNA expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor did not change but expression of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA was significantly increased in the 120 μT group. These findings suggest that 7.5 kHz MF exposure may lead to mild learning and memory impairment, possibly through an inflammatory reaction in the hippocampus.

Open Access Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5714647/

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Behavioural phenotypes in mice after prenatal and early postnatal exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields

Kumari K, Koivisto H, Myles C, Jonne N, Matti V, Heikki T, Jukka J. Behavioural phenotypes in mice after prenatal and early postnatal exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields. Environ Res. 2017 Dec 22;162:27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.12.013.

Abstract

Electromagnetic fields are ubiquitous in the environment. Human exposure to intermediate frequency (IF) fields is increasing due to applications like electronic article surveillance systems, wireless power transfer, and induction heating cooking hobs. However, there are limited data on possible health effects of exposure to IF magnetic fields (MF). In the present study, we set out to assess cognitive and behavioural effects of IF MF in mice exposed during prenatal and early postnatal periods. Pregnant female mice were exposed continuously to 7.5kHz MFs at 12 and 120μT, from mating until weaning of pups. Sham exposed pregnant mice were used as a control group. A behavioural teratology study was conducted on the male offspring at two months of age to detect possible effects on the developing nervous system. Body weight development did not differ between the exposure groups. The exposure did not alter spontaneous motor activity when exploring a novel cage or anxiety in novelty-suppressed feeding or marble burying tests. Improved performance in the Rotarod task was observed in the 12µT group, while the 120μT exposure group swam more slowly than the sham exposed group in the Morris swim navigation task. However, indices of learning and memory (path length and escape latency during task acquisition and search bias during the probe test) did not differ between the exposure groups. Furthermore, the passive avoidance task did not indicate any impairment of long-term memory over a 48h interval in the exposed groups. In a post-mortem histopathological analysis, there was no evidence for an effect of IF MF exposure on astroglial reactivity or hippocampal neurogenesis. The results suggest that the IF MF used did not have detrimental effects on spatial learning and memory or histological markers of tissue reaction. The two statistically significant findings that were observed (improved performance in the Rotarod task in the 12µT group and decreased swimming speed in the 120µT group) are likely to be chance findings, as they do not form an internally consistent, dose-dependent pattern indicative of specific developmental effects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29276976

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Recent posts on EMR Safety

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety: 2017 Year in Review
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Cell Phone Safety Guidance from the California Public Health Department
California’s Cell Phone Safety Guidance: 2017 vs 2009
Cell Phone and Wireless Technology Safety Tips
5G Wireless Technology: Cutting Through the Hype
Has the Smart Phone Replaced the Cigarette?
Research on Smart Phone and Internet Addiction
Wireless Radiation TV News

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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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