ehtrust.org, posted August 2018
A newly published study comparing people living close (within 80 meters) and far (over 300 meters) from a cellular antennas found that the people living closer to the cellular antennas had statistically significant effects- increases in blood damage considered biomarkers predictive of cancer. Researchers measured the radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposures to the two groups and found that although the levels were within government limits, the people living closer to the cellular antennas had a much higher RF exposure.
The study entitled, “Impact of radiofrequency radiation on DNA damage and antioxidants in peripheral blood lymphocytes of humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base station” (Zothansiama et al, 2017) was published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine.
Through blood tests, researchers found statistically significant findings in people living closer to mobile base stations – who had higher RF levels in their bedrooms than the control group.
The exposed group had statistically significant:
- Higher frequency of micronuclei.
- Attrition in antioxidant glutathione concentration, activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase.
- Rise in lipid peroxidation a product of free radical oxidation.
“The present study demonstrated that staying near the mobile base stations and continuous use of mobile phones damage the DNA, and it may have an adverse effect in the long run. The persistence of DNA unrepaired damage leads to genomic instability which may lead to several health disorders including the induction of cancer, ” concluded the study authors.
The increases in micronuclei in the people living closer to the cellular antennas is important in understanding the health impact of human exposures to cellular radiation. Micronuclei form in blood as a result of chromosomal damage and micronuclei are considered an early biological indicator of cancer risk.
Published research concludes that screening for micronuclei may serve as a valuable method in predicting cancer and various diseases because micronuclei are a biomarker of chromosomal defects induced by genotoxic agents. As an example, in a 2004 published study, researchers found the presence of micronuclei in higher numbers among children who developed thyroid cancer as a result of their radioactive exposure in the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Micronuclei was used as an indicator of the radiation damage in this study.
In addition to this study, several previously published studies show a decrease in glutathione or glutathione enzymatic activity after exposure to wireless radiation. Glutathione is the main cellular free radical scavenger in the brain, playing a key role in protecting cells from toxins, particularly in the brain. This antioxidant maintains the body’s immune system. In addition, published studies have supported the hypothesis that glutathione may play a role in the pathophysiology of autism.
In this study the exposed group was constituted of people living within 80 meters of cell antennas and the control group was constituted of people living over 300 meters away from cell antennas. The study groups were matched for various demographic data including age, gender, dietary pattern, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, duration of mobile phone use and average daily mobile phone use. None of the participants had occupational exposure to RFR, and there were no electric transformer, high tension electric power line and radio and television transmitters close to (at least 500 m) their residences. Sampling was also done only from those residences who did not use microwave oven for cooking, Wifi devices and any other major source of electromagnetic fields.
Effects Found at Radiofrequency Exposures Within Government Limits
In this study, bedroom RF power density measurements were taken to measure the exposure of the two groups. For both groups the RF levels were below the Indian government’s allowable public exposure limits to RF radiation. India’s limits are 0.45 W/m2 for 900 MHz and 0.92 W/m2 for 1800 MHz frequency as per Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, New Delhi guidelines and are 1/10 of International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).