Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

28 May 2019

Twenty New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (23 May 2019)

Twenty 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, 23 May 2019

[Dr. Moscowitz] has been circulating abstracts of newly-published scientific papers on wireless radiation and electromagnetic fields (EMF) about once a month since August, 2016. Several hundred EMF scientists around the world receive these updates. The complete collection including the papers below now contains more than 600 abstracts.

To see the latest studies or to download the 467-page document (pdf) go to the following web page:

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields


International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Commission Elections 2019
Call for nominations - Open until 17 September 2019

ICNIRP is glad to open a call for nomination in view of the election of its scientific experts in the ICNIRP main Commission for the term of office 2020-2024. The call is extended to all International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) national Societies, to the IRPA Executive Council and to national public bodies in charge of non-ionizing radiation (NIR ) protection. Please send your nominations to the ICNIRP Secretariat at info@icnirp.org until 17 September 2019 (midnight CET) using the below forms and providing all necessary documentation (DoI and CV with publication list). Please note that no self-nomination will be accepted.

Background information

The ICNIRP main Commission is comprised of 14 members. Up to 5 vacancies may be filled at the upcoming election meeting, which will take place at the ICNIRP Annual General Meeting, 18-20 November 2019, Munich, Germany. Nominations of candidates to the election should focus on an appropriate scientific expertise related to the mission of ICNIRP in NIR protection - in particular with an expertise in biology, epidemiology or medicine favourably in the area of UV and EMF/LF. Additionally attention to the independence of the nominees from vested interests and to gender balance should motivate your nomination. All nominees' DOI will be subject to a screening prior to be added to the pool of candidates.

All IRPA National Societies, the IRPA Executive Council and National Public Bodies in charge of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection are invited to nominate scientific experts to participate in the Commission membership election.

The call for nominations for the membership in the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) from 2020 to 2024 is now open until 17 September 2019. All IRPA (International Radiation Protection Association) national societies, the IRPA Executive Council and all national public bodies in charge of non-ionizing radiation protection are invited to send their nominations.


My note: According to Investigate Europe, a group of investigative journalists, the ICNIRP "cartel" will not select scientists who believe that the preponderance of the research demonstrates that non-thermal EMF exposure can be harmful because ICNIRP would need to change its exposure guidelines as they protect only against short-term thermal effects. For more information see https://www.saferemr.com/2018/07/icnirps-exposure-guidelines-for-radio.html.

Recent Papers

Is increased EMF in the human environment interacting with environmental pollution the tipping point for increases in neurological deaths?

Pritchard C, Silk A, Hansen L. Are rises in Electro-Magnetic Field in the human environment, interacting with multiple environmental pollutions, the tipping point for increases in neurological deaths in the Western World? Med Hypotheses. 2019 Jun;127:76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.03.018.


Whilst humans evolved in the earth's Electro-Magnetic-Field (EMF) and sun-light, both being essential to life but too much sun and we burn. What happens if background EMF rise to critical levels, coinciding with increasing environmental pollutants? Two of the authors can look back over 50 clinical years and appreciate the profound changes in human morbidity across a range of disparate conditions - autoimmune diseases, asthma, earlier cancer incidence and reduced male sperm counts. In particular have been increased autism, dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and neurological diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Early Onset Dementia, Multiple System Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. What might have caused these changes-whilst genetic factors are taken as given, multiple environmental pollutants are associated with neurological disease although the mechanisms are unclear. The pace of increased neurological deaths far exceeds any Gompertzian explanation - that because people are living longer they are more likely to develop more age-related problems such as neurological disease. Using WHO global mortality categories of Neurological Disease Deaths (NDD) and Alzheimer's and Dementia deaths (Alz), updated June 2018, together they constitute Total Neurological Mortality (TNM), to calculate mortality rates per million for people aged 55-74 and for the over-75's in twenty-one Western countries. Recent increases in American people aged over-75's rose 49% from 1989 to 2015 but US neurological deaths increased five-fold. In 1989 based on Age-Standardised-Deaths-Rates America USA was 17th at 324 pm but rising to 539 pm became second highest. Different environmental/occupational factors have been found to be associated with neuro-degenerative diseases, including background EMF. We briefly explore how levels of EMF interact upon the human body, which can be described as a natural antennae and provide new evidence that builds upon earlier research to propose the following hypothesis. Based upon recent and new evidence we hypothesise that a major contribution for the relative sudden upsurge in neurological morbidity in the Western world (1989-2015), is because of increased background EMF that has become the tipping point-impacting upon any genetic predisposition, increasing multiple-interactive pollutants, such as rises in petro-chemicals, hormone disrupting chemicals, industrial, agricultural and domestic chemicals. The unprecedented neurological death rates, all within just twenty-five years, demand a re-examination of long-term EMF safety related to the increasing background EMF on human health. We do not wish to 'stop the modern world', only make it safer.



The possible global hazard of cell phone radiation on thyroid cells and hormones: a systematic review

Asl JF, Larijani B, Zakerkish M, Rahim F, Shirbandi K, Akbari R. The possible global hazard of cell phone radiation on thyroid cells and hormones: a systematic review of evidences. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 May 6. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-05096-z.


The aim of this review was to investigate the effects of possible harmful waves from either cell phone use or being within the range of the cell phone from 450 to 3800 MHz on the thyroid cells and hormones. Eight electronic datasets were systematically searched using MeSH terms, including "cell phone," "mobile phone," "GSM," "radio frequency," "smartphone," "triiodothyronine," "thyroxin," "thyroid-stimulating hormone," "T3," "T4," "TSH," and "morphological" and all possible combinations, to identify relevant studies published up to Dec 2018. We also manually searched the reference lists of potentially selected studies to identify further relevant publications. About 161 relevant studies were initially found. After screening titles and abstracts, 139 studies were excluded, and finally 22 studies (comprising 7182 cases) were included in the qualitative synthesis. Of the 22 included studies, 11 studies reported changes in T3 and T4 levels (six reported a decrease in T3 levels and one reported increase in it); moreover, five found decreased T4 levels and two studies an increased level. In other 10 studies, TSH alteration was reported. Of these, two studies reported a decrease in TSH level and one reported an increase in the hormone levels, while in the remaining studies non-significant changes were reported. Finally, seven studies examined histological changes in the thyroid gland follicles and showed that the volume of these cells was reduced. Based on the evidence discussed above, the reduction in diameter of thyroid follicles is potentially linked with cell phone radiation. Exposure may negatively influence the iodine uptake in the thyroid gland or increases temperature effect on the thyroid gland. However, further research are needed in order to show that the level of TSH and thyroid hormone suppression by microwave.


Also see: https://www.saferemr.com/2014/07/is-mobile-phone-use-contributing-to.html


Effect of mobile phone radiofrequency signal on the alpha rhythm of human waking EEG: A review

Wallace J, Selmaoui B. Effect of mobile phone radiofrequency signal on the alpha rhythm of human waking EEG: A review. Environmental Research. Published online May 12, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.016


In response to the exponential increase in mobile phone use and the resulting increase in exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF), there have been several studies to investigate via electroencephalography (EEG) whether RF-EMF exposure affects brain activity. Data in the literature have shown that exposure to radiofrequency signals modifies the waking EEG with the main effect on the alpha band frequency (8–13 Hz). However, some studies have reported an increase in alpha band power, while others have shown a decrease, and other studies showed no effect on EEG power. Given that changes in the alpha amplitude are associated with attention and some cognitive aspects of human behavior, researchers deemed necessary to look whether alpha rhythm was modulated under RF-EMF exposure. The present review aims at comparing and discussing the main findings obtained so far regarding RF-EMF effects on alpha rhythm of human waking spontaneous EEG, focusing on differences in protocols between studies, which might explain the observed discrepancies and inconclusive results.



Mobile phones: A trade-off between speech intelligibility and exposure to noise levels and to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields

Thielens A, Bockstael A, Declerck S, Aminzadeh R, Aerts S, Botteldooren D, Martens L, Wout J.Mobile phones: A trade-off between speech intelligibility and exposure to noise levels and to radio-frequency electromagnetic field. Environmental Research. Published online May 8, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.006.


• First time measurement of simultaneous head exposure to RF-EMF and sound pressure during smartphone usage.
• Three use cases are compared: smartphone use at the ear, in speaker mode, and with a headset.
• We demonstrate that exposure to RF-EMF and sound pressure is highest when a phone held at the ear during calls.
• Speech intelligibility is more favourable when the phone is held at the ear in different background noise conditions.
• We demonstrate that reductions in exposure might come at a cost of speech intelligibility during wireless phone calls.


When making phone calls, cellphone and smartphone users are exposed to radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and sound pressure simultaneously. Speech intelligibility during mobile phone calls is related to the sound pressure level of speech relative to potential background sounds and also to the RF-EMF exposure, since the signal quality is correlated with the RF-EMF strength. Additionally, speech intelligibility, sound pressure level, and exposure to RF-EMFs are dependent on how the call is made (on speaker, held at the ear, or with headsets). The relationship between speech intelligibility, sound exposure, and exposure to RF-EMFs is determined in this study. To this aim, the transmitted RF-EMF power was recorded during phone calls made by 53 subjects in three different, controlled exposure scenarios: calling with the phone at the ear, calling in speaker-mode, and calling with a headset. This emitted power is directly proportional to the exposure to RF EMFs and is translated into specific absorption rate using numerical simulations. Simultaneously, sound pressure levels have been recorded and speech intelligibility has been assessed during each phone call. The results show that exposure to RF-EMFs, quantified as the specific absorption in the head, will be reduced when speaker-mode or a headset is used, in comparison to calling next to the ear. Additionally, personal exposure to sound pressure is also found to be highest in the condition where the phone is held next to the ear. On the other hand, speech perception is found to be the best when calling with a phone next to the ear in comparison to the other studied conditions, when background noise is present.


To our knowledge, this is the first study that reports SAR values and emitted powers obtained using actual phone calls made by several volunteers in controlled exposure conditions. In addition, it is also to the authors' best knowledge, the first paper studying the joint exposure to sound and RF-EMF....


In this study, the transmitted radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) power was recorded for 53 subjects who carried out phone calls in three controlled exposure scenarios: calling with the phone at the ear, calling in speaker-mode, and calling with a headset. Phone calls were carried out using the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) technologies. For both communication technologies, the emitted power of the phone at the ear was higher than the emitted power in the two other exposure conditions. Moreover, Finite-Difference Time-Domain simulations for a fixed emitted power showed that the brain-averaged specific absorption rate (SARbrain) was higher when the emitting antenna was located close to the ear than in speaker-mode and headset (94–350 times higher). The SARbrain values were then rescaled using the measured powers emitted using GSM technology during the experiments in order to estimate the RF-EMF absorption in the three studied scenarios. It was concluded that the SARbrain will be reduced by more than a factor 100 when either speaker-mode or a headset are used, in comparison to calling next to the ear. These results can be used as additional input for governmental institutions that issue guidelines on smart phone usage with the aim of lowering exposure. Furthermore, in conditions where background noise was present, speech perception was found to be the best when the phone was held at the ear in comparison to using the phone in speaker mode or with a headset. However, the exposure to sound pressure was also found to be the highest in the at-ear configuration, while it was lowest with the phone in speaker mode. Overall, the speaker-mode condition was found to be the configuration in which both exposures to RF-EMFs (in terms of SARbrain) and sound pressure were lowest, although reducing exposure by changing to this configuration does come at a cost in terms of speech intelligibility, in particular in noisy environments. Using a wired headset, on the other hand, was found to significantly reduce SARbrain while only reducing speech intelligibility by a small, yet significant in noisy conditions, amount in comparison to using the phone at the ear. These results are important for smartphone users that might be concerned about both exposure during their calls and about the quality of their calls.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935119302580


Effects of smartphone overuse on headache, sleep and quality of life in migraine patients

Demir YP, Sumer MM. Effects of smartphone overuse on headache, sleep and quality of life in migraine patients. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2019 Apr;24(2):115-121. doi: 10.17712/nsj.2019.2.20180037.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of smartphone overuse on headache, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and quality of life in migraine patients.

METHODS: This study is a single-center, cross sectional comparative study. This study was conducted between July and September 2017 in the Neurology Clinic of a private hospital. Migraine disability assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire was used to evaluate the disability status, and Mobile Phone Problematic Use Scale (MPPUS) was used to evaluate smartphone use frequency. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), 24-h Migraine Quality of Life Questionnaire (24-h MQoLQ), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were used to evaluate the pain intensity, quality of life, sleep quality and daytime sleepiness, respectively.

RESULTS: The study included a total of 123 patients. There was a significant difference between the groups in terms of pain intensity, frequency and duration as well as VAS, PSQI, 24-h MQoLQ and ESS (p less than 0.05) scores. There was a negative correlation between MPPUS and PSQI (r=-0.367, p less than 0.05); a strong positive correlation between MPPUS and ESS (r=0.675, p less than 0.05) and a negative correlation between MPPUS and 24-h MQoLQ (r=-0.508, p less than 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Smartphone use has been observed to increase headache duration and frequency in migraine patients. Its overuse in migraine patients is related to poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness; furthermore, as the smartphone use increases, sleep quality decreases, daytime sleepiness increases and quality of life decreases.



Analysis of biological effects of cell phone radiation on human body using specific absorption rate and thermoregulatory response

Tanghid B. Rashid TB, Song HH. Analysis of biological effects of cell phone radiation on human body using specific absorption rate and thermoregulatory response. Microwave and Optical Technology Letters. 61(6):1482-1490. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/mop.31777


Health and science have reached a point of intersection which has never existed before. With the recent rapid increase in the use of cellular phones and long periods of usage of these devices near the human body, public concern regarding potential health hazards due to absorption of electromagnetic energy has been growing. To address these issues, this research evaluates the average Specific Absorption Rate in different human tissues by varying source to antenna distance and radiated power using the ANSYS 3D human body model. The Pennes bioheat transfer equation was solved analytically to calculate the longtime exposure effect and temperature rise. The results show that regardless of the frequency, if the antenna radiated power is low (less than 125 mW), temperature increase within the human tissues is low; however if the antenna operates at high radiated power (1 W), temperature tends to increase eight and a half times.


The simulation was performed for five different frequencies (850 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 5.1 GHz). To obtain the average SAR values on different scenarios, at each frequency antenna radiated power were varied four different times (0.125 W, 1 W, 1.5 W, and 2 W) and head to antenna distance varied three different times (0 mm, 10 mm, and 20 mm).

In head tissues, at higher frequencies (2.1 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 5.1 GHz) at 125 mW radiated and when there is no distance between head and antenna, average SAR values are higher in all tissues except fat tissues as shown in Table 3-5. Maximum average SAR values are found in CSF, dura, brain, skin, and bone tissues at 5.1 GHz frequency, which are 11.4 W/kg, 10.89 W/kg, 10.77 W/kg, 10.51 W/kg, and 9.3 W/kg, respectively, as shown in Table 4. Average SAR values are high at higher frequencies because tissues have relatively high conductively. In high frequency at high radiated power of 1 W, average SAR values in all tissues are very high. The maximum average SAR value found in CSF tissue was 91.2 W/kg. This means if the antenna is operating at a high power level, there is a high chance of tissues being affected.

The above discussion proves that there is an inversely proportional relationship between SAR and the distance between the body model and the excitation source. For instance, increasing the distance between the source and the head model from 0 mm to 10 mm causes the SAR to decrease by approximately three times at lower frequency, and it decreases approximately five and a half times at higher frequency.

The research concludes, for the long time exposure, and even for the worst possible radiated power level, the temperature rise caused in the human tissues is not close to the dangerous [thermal] limit [42 degrees centigrade].



Trends in the incidence of primary brain, central nervous system and intracranial tumors in Israel, 1990-2015

Keinan-Boker L, Friedman E, Silverman BG. Trends in the incidence of primary brain, central nervous system and intracranial tumors in Israel, 1990-2015. Cancer Epidemiol. 2018 Oct;56:6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2018.07.003.


• Exponential growth in cellphone use fueled concerns regarding brain and CNS tumors.
• Results so far are inconsistent. Studying cancer incidence trends may thus be informative.
• We studied brain tumor trends from 1990 to 2015 in Israel, when cellphone use dramatically increased.
• Results do not support a substantial role for cellphone use; smaller risks in special subgroups may exist.
• Future research is needed; implementation of the precautionary principle is prudent.


BACKGROUND: The association between cellphone technology and brain, central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumors is unclear. Analysis of trends in incidence of such tumors for periods during which cellphone use increased dramatically may add relevant information. Herein we describe secular trends in the incidence of primary tumors of the brain and CNS from 1990 to 2015 in Israel, a period during which cellphone technology became extremely prevalent in Israel.

METHODS: All cases of primary brain, CNS and intracranial tumors (excluding lymphomas) diagnosed in Israel from 1990 to 2015 were identified in the Israel National Cancer Registry database and categorized by behavior (malignant; benign/uncertain behavior) and histologic type. Annual age-standardized incidence rates by sex and population group (Jews; Arabs) were computed, and the annual percent changes and 95% confidence intervals per category were calculated using Joinpoint software.

RESULTS: Over 26 years (1990-2015) no significant changes in the incidence of malignant brain, CNS and intracranial tumors were observed, except for an increase in malignant glioma incidence in Jewish women up to 2008 and Arab men up to 2001, which levelled off in both subgroups thereafter. The incidence of benign/uncertain behavior brain, CNS and intracranial tumors increased in most population groups up to the mid-2000s, a trend mostly driven by changes in the incidence of meningioma, but either significantly decreased (Jews) or stabilized (Arabs) thereafter.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are not consistent with a discernable effect of cellphone use patterns in Israel on incidence trends of brain, CNS and intracranial tumors.



Incidence trends of adult malignant brain tumors in Finland, 1990-2016

Natukka T, Raitanen J, Haapasalo H, Auvinen A. Incidence trends of adult malignant brain tumors in Finland, 1990-2016. Acta Oncol. 2019 Apr 15:1-7. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2019.1603396.


BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported increased incidence trends of malignant gliomas in the late 1900s with a plateau in the 2000s, but also some recent increases have been reported. The purpose of our study was to analyze incidence trends of malignant gliomas in Finland by morphology and tumor location.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data on 4730 malignant glioma patients were obtained from case notifications to the nationwide, population-based Finnish Cancer Registry (FCR), and less detailed data on 3590 patients up to 2016. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) and average annual percent changes (APCs) in the incidence rates were calculated by histological subtype and tumor location.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of gliomas was 7.7/100,000 in 1990-2006 and 7.3 in 2007-2016. The incidence of all gliomas combined was stable during both study periods, with no departure from linearity. In an analysis by age group, increasing incidence was found only for ages 80 years and older (1990-2006). During both study periods, incidence rates were increasing in glioblastoma and decreasing in unspecified brain tumors. In 1990-2006, rates were also increasing for anaplastic oligodendroglioma, oligoastrocytoma and unspecified malignant glioma, while decreasing for astrocytoma. As for tumor location, incidence in 1990-2006 was increasing for frontal lobe and brainstem tumors, as well as those with an unspecified location, but decreasing for the parietal lobes, cerebrum and ventricles.

CONCLUSIONS: No increasing incidence trend was observed for malignant gliomas overall. An increasing incidence trend of malignant gliomas was found in the oldest age group during 1990-2006.



The Prevalence of People With Restricted Access to Work in Man-Made Electromagnetic Environments
Bevington M. The Prevalence of People With Restricted Access to Work in Man-Made Electromagnetic Environments. Journal of Environment and Health Science. Published online Jan 18, 2019.


Some surveys have identified people who have restricted access to work in environments with man-made electromagnetic exposures. This study attempts to determine their prevalence, an aspect not previously investigated in its own right. It is based on analyses of the two different types of surveys of people with Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF), or Electromagnetic Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS), either of the general population or of people with IEI-EMF/EHS. In addition, there are different definitions of IEI-EMF/EHS, with a range of subconscious, mild, moderate or severe symptoms, potentially leading in three stages to hyper-sensitivity. The current evidence is assessed as indicating that, in addition to subconscious sensitivity, the prevalence of IEI-EMF/EHS is between about 5.0 and 30 per cent of the general population for mild cases, 1.5 and 5.0 per cent for moderate cases and < 1.5 per cent for severe cases. The prevalence of people restricted in their access to work in a man-made electromagnetic environment is estimated at 0.65 per cent of the general population, at about 18% of the general population with moderate IEI-EMF/EHS. The estimate of 0.65% equates to 435,500 people in the UK’s population of 67 million. Some reasons for possible under-reporting are discussed. Adjustments can enable some people with this disability to remain in employment, suggesting that rates of restriction in access to work may fall as employers become aware of what adjustments are needed.

Open access paper: https://www.ommegaonline.org/article-details/The-Prevalence-of-People-With-Restricted-Access-to-Work-in-Man-Made-Electromagnetic-Environments/2402


Disturbance in haematological parameters induced by exposure to electromagnetic fields: Review paper
Jbirea JM, Azab AE, Elsayed ASI. Disturbance in haematological parameters induced by exposure to electromagnetic fields. Hematology & Transfusion International Journal. 6(6):242-251. 2018.


Background: The use of mobile phones, wireless, and electrical devices has gradually increased throughout the last century, and scientists have suggested that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by such devices may have harmful effects on living creatures. Many studies revealed that the EMFs might produce a variety of adverse effects on human health as headaches, chronic fatigue, heart problems, stress, nausea, chest pain, and also some bad effects on central nervous, endocrine and immune systems. Exposure to EMF result in deterioration of RBCs function and metabolic activity, it was expected that, the increase of toxicity in specific organs was a result of the RBCs functional failure. The mechanisms by which the electromagnetic fields cause their bad effects may be by causing deterioration in cellular large molecules, imbalance in ionic equilibrium and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These reactive oxygen species can damage cellular components such as proteins, lipids and DNA. Measurements of blood parameters are of the most important diagnostic methods by which we can determine the health status of human and animals for certain diseases as anemia, leukemia and also detect the presence of the inflammations.

Objectives: This study aimed to present an overview on the previous works from 1997 to 2018 on the varying effects of electromagnetic fields on haematological data in human and different species of experimental models by using different frequencies, intensities, and different sources of electromagnetic fields for different periods. The hematological parameters are fluctuating across the exposure period to the EMFs suggesting the possible induction of hazardous biological effects during the exposure to magnetic field.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that exposure of human and experimental animals to EMFs cause harmful effects on blood cells. These effects were disturbance in haematological parameters depending on species, the sources of EMFs, frequencies, intensities and duration of exposure.

Open access paper: https://medcraveonline.com/HTIJ/HTIJ-06-00193.pdf


Conflicts of interest and misleading statements in official reports about health consequences of radiofrequency radiation and new measurements of exposure levels
Pockett S. Conflicts of Interest and Misleading Statements in Official Reports about the Health Consequences of Radiofrequency Radiation and Some New Measurements of Exposure Levels. Magnetochemistry 2019, 5(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/magnetochemistry5020031


Official reports to governments throughout the Western world attempt to allay public concern about the increasing inescapability of the microwaves (also known as radiofrequency radiation or RF) emitted by “smart” technologies, by repeating the dogma that the only proven biological effect of RF is acute tissue heating, and assuring us that the levels of radiation to which the public are exposed are significantly less than those needed to cause acute tissue heating. The present paper first shows the origin of this “thermal-only” dogma in the military paranoia of the 1950s. It then reveals how financial conflict of interest and intentionally misleading statements have been powerful factors in preserving that dogma in the face of now overwhelming evidence that it is false, using one 2018 report to ministers of the New Zealand government as an example. Lastly, some new pilot measurements of ambient RF power densities in Auckland city are reported and compared with levels reported in other cities, various international exposure limits, and levels shown scientifically to cause biological harm. It is concluded that politicians in the Western world should stop accepting soothing reports from individuals with blatant conflicts of interest and start taking the health and safety of their communities seriously.


It is time to stop believing ICNIRP spin. Tissue heating is not the only biological effect of radiofrequency radiation. The thermal-only exposure limit is not safe.
Like tobacco smoke, low intensity radiofrequency radiation has multiple harmful effects on human health. Unlike secondhand smoke, secondhand radiation is fast becoming inescapable. The present situation is thus worse than Big Tobacco redux.
Elected politicians should stop accepting biased reports from individuals with blatant conflicts of interest and start taking seriously the health and safety of their constituents; or at least of their own children and grandchildren.
The unchecked expansion of Big Wireless permitted by ICNIRP’s thermal-only guidelines is actively harmful to all biological inhabitants of planet Earth. Further expansion to 5G technology will inevitably involve yet more radiation exposure. The fact that this exposure will not breach the ludicrously high ICNIRP-based standard is no defense at all.

Spatial and temporal variability of Rf-Emf exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium
Velghe M, Wout J, Debouvere S , Aminzadeh R, Martens L, Thielens A. Characterisation of spatial and temporal variability of Rf-Emf exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium. Environmental Research. Published online May 22, 2019.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.027Get rights and content

• Comparison of population exposure to RF-EMF in 5 densely populated cities with similar characteristics within Flanders, Belgium.
• The first findings that indicate the effects of regulations on exposure levels.
• Repeatability and representativeness of the used method are shown, which is important for future research.
• Application of this method outside of office hours renders new insights in daily behaviour of exposure.
• On-body calibration of the measurement device allowed us to, in contrast to most other similar studies, quantify the on-body measurement uncertainty.


Personal exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMFs) was studied using personal measurements in five different microenvironments in each of five cities (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Hasselt) in Flanders, Belgium. These measurements were carried out by two researchers using on-body calibrated personal exposimeters. In three out of the five studied cities (Brussels, Ghent and Bruges), temporal aspects of personal exposure to RF-EMFs were studied as well. Measurements during and outside of rush hours (7:00–9:15 and 16:30–19:00) were compared. Likewise, measurements were executed during night time and compared to the ones measured during working hours. Representativeness and repeatability of the measurement method was studied as well.

The highest mean total exposure was found in Brussels (2.63 mW/m2), the most densely populated city in this study. However, we measured higher downlink exposure in Antwerp than in Brussels, which might be an effect of the stronger legislation on base stations in Brussels. The measurements and used protocol were found to be both repeatable over time (r = 0.95 for median total exposure) and representative for the studied microenvironments in terms of path selection (r = 0.88 for median total exposure). Finally, in 10 out of the 13 on-body calibrated frequency bands we found that the measurement devices underestimate the intensity of the incident RF-EMFs with median underestimations up to 68%.


Personal exposure to RF-EMFs was studied using microenvironmental measurements in five cities in Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region. Highest total exposure values were found in Brussels (2.63 mW/m2 averaged over five microenvironments). Our analysis showed that the amount of RF-EMF radiation in a certain environment was dependent on the population density within that environment. A higher average downlink exposure was measured in Antwerp in comparison to Brussels whilst having a lower population density. This might be an effect of the stronger legislation on base stations in Brussels. Downlink was the largest contributor to total exposure. The total RF-EMF exposure was significantly higher during rush than during non-rush hours. Furthermore, the total exposure was highest at night compared to other timeslots. The selected paths showed to be representative for exposure in their respective microenvironments. The results were also found to be repeatable. The used measurement devices were calibrated on the body of the researchers that wore them during measurements. These calibrations showed that the devices underestimate the personal exposure since median underestimations were measured in a majority of the studied frequency bands on the bodies of the two individual researchers, respectively.



Evaluation of Temperature Elevation in Human Ocular Tissues due to Wireless Eyewear Devices

Lan J, Du G. Evaluation of temperature elevation in human ocular tissues due to wireless eyewear devices. ACES Journal. 34(1):17-24. 2019.


In this paper, a numerical study is proposed to evaluate the temperature variation in the human ocular tissues during the electromagnetic radiation exposure from wireless eyewear device. The results show that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually as the exposure time goes on and could reach the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes. During this process, the temperature increments in different ocular tissues are between 1.1°C and 1.7°C. The results also show the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes to that of the whole steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Therefore, we believe that electromagnetic radiation from wireless eyewear device might pose a threat on the health of the human eyes. People should decrease the talk time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, attention is paid to evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments. The results show the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR, which indicates that the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues.


Based on the results evaluated in this paper, we find that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually and reaches the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes during the EM exposure of wireless eyewear device. The temperature increments in different ocular tissues are from 1°C to 1.7°C. We, therefore, believe EM exposure from wireless eyewear device may pose a threat on the health of the eyes, especially for the lens which suffer from the maximal temperature increments. Meanwhile, the results also show that the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes exposure time to that of the complete thermal steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Hence, wireless eyewear device users should shorten the usage time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, we evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments in the ocular tissues. We find that the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR. Therefore, we believe the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues. This paper could provide valuable data for the establishment of related safety standards and future researches in the biological effect of microwave and human eyes. However, limited by the experimental condition, the experiment is not included. Therefore, conclusions presented in this paper are just indicative but not definitive.

Open access paper: http://www.aces-society.org/includes/downloadpaper.php?of=ACES_Journal_January_2019_Paper_3&nf=19-1-3


Millimeter Wave Radiation Activates Leech Nociceptors via TRPV1-Like Receptor Sensitization

Romanenko S, Harvey AR, Hool L, Fan S, Wallace VP. Millimeter Wave Radiation Activates Leech Nociceptors via TRPV1-Like Receptor Sensitization. Biophys J. 2019 Apr 25. pii: S0006-3495(19)30340-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.04.021.


There is evidence that millimeter waves (MMWs) can have an impact on cellular function, including neurons. Earlier in vitro studies have shown that exposure levels well below the recommended safe limit of 1 mW/cm2 cause changes in the action potential (AP) firing rate, resting potential, and AP pulse shape of sensory neurons in leech preparations as well as alter neuronal properties in rat cortical brain slices; these effects differ from changes induced by direct heating. In this article, we compare the responses of thermosensitive primary nociceptors of the medicinal leech under thermal heating and MMW irradiation (80-170 mW/cm2 at 60 GHz). The results show that MMW exposure causes an almost twofold decrease in the threshold for activation of the AP compared with thermal heating (3.9 ± 0.4 vs. 8.3 ± 0.4 mV, respectively). Our analysis suggests that MMWs-mediated threshold alterations are not caused by the enhancement of voltage-gated sodium and potassium conductance. We propose that the reduction in AP threshold can be attributed to the sensitization of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1-like receptor in the leech nociceptor. In silico modeling supported our experimental findings. Our results provide evidence that MMW exposure stimulates specific receptor responses that differ from direct thermal heating, fostering the need for additional studies.



Can Low-Level RF Exposure Affect Cognitive Behaviour in Lab Animals? Literature Review of Spatial Learning and Place Memory
Sienkiewicz Z, van Rongen E. Can Low-Level Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields Effect Cognitive Behaviour in Laboratory Animals? A Systematic Review of the Literature Related to Spatial Learning and Place Memory. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 8;16(9). pii: E1607. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16091607.


This review considers whether exposure to low-level radiofrequency (RF) fields, mostly associated with mobile phone technology, can influence cognitive behaviour of laboratory animals. Studies were nominated for inclusion using an a priori defined protocol with preselected criteria, and studies were excluded from analysis if they did not include sufficient details about the exposure, dosimetry or experimental protocol, or if they lacked a sham-exposed group. Overall, 62 studies were identified that have investigated the effects of RF fields on spatial memory and place learning and have been published since 1993. Of these, 17 studies were excluded, 20 studies reported no significant field-related effects, 21 studies reported significant impairments or deficits, and four studies reported beneficial consequences. The data do not suggest whether these outcomes are related to specific differences in exposure or testing conditions, or simply represent chance. However, some studies have suggested possible molecular mechanisms for the observed effects, but none of these has been substantiated through independent replication. Further behavioural studies could prove useful to resolve this situation, and it is suggested that these studies should use a consistent animal model with standardized exposure and testing protocols, and with detailed dosimetry provided by heterogeneous, anatomically-realistic animal models.

Open access paper: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/9/1607


Protective role of spermine against male reproductive aberrations induced by EMF exposure in the rat

Shahin NN, El-Nabarawy NA, Gouda AS, Megarbane B. The protective role of spermine against male reproductive aberrations induced by exposure to electromagnetic field - An experimental investigation in the rat. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 370:117-130. May, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2019.03.009


• Exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) impairs spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis.• EMF toxicity is mediated by oxidative, inflammatory, apoptotic and DNA perturbations.• Spermine exhibits protective effects against EMF-induced alteration in male fertility.• Protection is at least in part due to anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects.

The exponentially increasing use of electromagnetic field (EMF)-emitting devices imposes substantial health burden on modern societies with particular concerns of male infertility. Limited studies have addressed the modulation of this risk by protective agents. We investigated the hazardous effects of rat exposure to EMF (900 MHz, 2 h/day for 8 weeks) on male fertility and evaluated the possible protective effect of the polyamine, spermine, against EMF-induced alterations. Exposure to EMF significantly decreased sperm count, viability and motility, and increased sperm deformities. EMF-exposed rats exhibited significant reductions in serum inhibin B and testosterone along with elevated activin A, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and estradiol concentrations. Testicular steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), c-kit mRNA expression and testicular activities of the key androgenic enzymes 3 beta- and 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases were significantly attenuated following exposure to EMF. Exposure led to testicular lipid peroxidation, decreased catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities and triggered nuclear factor-kappa B p65, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2 and caspase-3 overexpression. EMF-exposed rats showed testicular DNA damage as indicated by elevated comet parameters. Spermine administration (2.5 mg/Kg/day intraperitoneally for 8 weeks) prevented EMF-induced alterations in the sperm and hormone profiles, StAR and c-kit expression and androgenic enzyme activities. Spermine hampered EMF-induced oxidative, inflammatory, apoptotic and DNA perturbations. Histological and histomorphometric analysis of the testes supported all biochemical findings. In conclusion, rat exposure to EMF disrupts sperm and hormone profiles with underlying impairment of steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis. Spermine confers protection against EMF-associated testicular and reproductive aberrations, at least in part, via antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.


Rats were exposed to the EMF at 900 MHz frequency and 0.02 mW/cm2 power density during 2 h/day over a period of eight consecutive weeks, as previously described (Kesari et al., 2011). The average specific absorption rate was 1.075 W/Kg, as calculated by the Finite-Difference-Time-Domain. Non-exposed rats were placed in the same device with exposure off, used in similar environmental conditions.



Interaction of low frequency external electric fields and pancreatic β-cell: a mathematical modeling approach to identify the influence of excitation parameters

Farashi S, Sasanpour P, Rafii-Tabar H. Interaction of low frequency external electric fields and pancreatic β-cell: a mathematical modeling approach to identify the influence of excitation parameters. Int J Radiat Biol. 2018 Nov;94(11):1038-1048. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2018.1478162.


PURPOSE: Although the effect of electromagnetic fields on biological systems has attracted attraction in recent years, there has not been any conclusive result concerning the effects of interaction and the underlying mechanisms involved. Besides the complexity of biological systems, the parameters of the applied electromagnetic field have not been estimated in most of the experiments.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, we have used computational approach in order to find the excitation parameters of an external electric field which produces sensible effects in the function of insulin secretory machinery, whose failure triggers the diabetes disease. A mathematical model of the human β-cell has been used and the effects of external electric fields with different amplitudes, frequencies and wave shapes have been studied.

RESULTS: The results from our simulations show that the external electric field can influence the membrane electrical activity and perhaps the insulin secretion when its amplitude exceeds a threshold value. Furthermore, our simulations reveal that different waveforms have distinct effects on the β-cell membrane electrical activity and the characteristic features of the excitation like frequency would change the interaction mechanism.

CONCLUSION: The results could help the researchers to investigate the possible role of the environmental electromagnetic fields on the promotion of diabetes disease.



Safety Management of Electromagnetic Fields in the Work Environment
Koppel T. Safety Management of Electromagnetic Fields in the Work Environment. Ph.D. Thesis. Tallinn, Estonia: Tallinn University of Technology. Nov 2019.


Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields is a known risk factor and considered the most complicated physical hazard in the workplace. The legislation requires measures to be taken to reduce exposure and to mitigate risks in order to guarantee worker safety. Electromagnetic fields are considered a new and emerging risk factor. Assessing risks in the electromagnetic domain is a challenge as whole extent of the health implications of different types and forms of exposure is unknown.

EMFs were studied using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, including measurements, questionnaires, interviews and in-situ workplace observations. The research addressed current practices and rules of managing safety from electromagnetic fields. Safety compliance analyses were conducted with regard to legislative requirements. This endeavor was guided by the new requirements for health and safety with regard to electromagnetic fields.

This study was intended to help improve management’s safety knowledge of this risk factor, by encompassing scientifically reasonable approaches in designing EMF safety.
The study included analysis of the exposure levels of workers, and development of methods to reduce exposure, with respect to the new occupational EMF legislation. The author analyzed the EMF exposure in different settings, including means of work, encompassing industrial, office, and public settings. The EMF safety compliance of companies
was investigated. New, safer ways to work when exposed to electromagnetic fields were proposed.

The author proposed and tested methods of EMF exposure reduction, which can be used by employers to demonstrate compliance with the occupational exposure norms, and public safety norms. As a result, a model was developed introducing a system for managing EMF safety. The model prescribes a set of hierarchical steps to mitigate risks from the workers’ exposure to EMFs.

The research improved the scientific understanding of consequences from exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). There are long term health effects from occupational exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields that are not currently covered by safety legislation.

Significantly elevated radiofrequency (RF) EMF hotspots were measured in open spaces resulting from poor set up of RF antennas. Investigations also revealed that industrial workers are exposed to high levels of magnetic radiation from production devices that to a large extent is unnecessary. By following the technical and administrative intervention solutions developed by the author, the workers’ exposure could be drastically reduced.

Contributing to safety education of both the workers and the working environment specialists will have a positive effect on safety compliance and other related safety issues within the company. Working environments specialists reported higher compliance with EMF safety arrangements compared to the workers, but overall, safety management practices were still poor relative to the legislative requirements. In comparison to workers, working environment specialists also reported better addressing the needs of workers in risk groups.

There are several steps the worker can take to control his/her overall exposure without significant additional effort or expense. Rearrangement of devices and adoption of new operational habits can reduce exposure to the EMFs even by orders of magnitude. Intervention measures may include increasing the distance from the source of the EMF and shielding the EMF source. The best reduction of EMF exposure will be achieved when several measures are implemented simultaneously.

In managing EMF safety, the author advises the employer to proceed step by step. The hierarchical process starts with the employer informing the worker about EMF conditions. Secondly, the employer should educate the worker how to reduce his/her exposure. Thirdly, the employer should motivate the worker to follow the EMF safety management procedures. And lastly, the employer should conduct regular reviews on the implementation and operational effectiveness of the EMF safety management system. "



Top 100 cited noninvasive neuromodulation clinical trials
Lucena MFG, Teixeira PEP, Bonin Pinto C, Fregni F. Top 100 cited noninvasive neuromodulation clinical trials. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2019 May 16. doi: 10.1080/17434440.2019.1615440.


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are noninvasive neuromodulation techniques used as therapeutic and research tools for several neuropsychiatric conditions. Given the exponential scientific growth of this field we aimed to systematically review the most cited clinical trials using TMS or tDCS. Areas covered: A de-novo keyword search strategy identified and characterized the 100 most-cited trials. Total citation count for the most cited trials was 13,204. Articles were published between 2008 and 2014 in 50 different journals with a median impact factor of 6.52 (IQR 3.37). Almost half of the top cited papers were investigating mechanisms of action in healthy subjects. Most studies were feasibility trials and only 5 were pivotal trials, including the ones used for recent FDA approval. Seven articles were interlinked with another article by at least 25 citations and eight authors had collaborated with at least one other author.

Expert Commentary: Although there has been a significant increase in interest for rTMS and tDCS, most of the cited clinical trials are still small feasibility studies, what reinforced the need for more robust clinical trials (larger samples sizes and effects sizes) to better define clinical effectiveness.



2100 MHz mobile phone radiation damages DNA in onion roots

Chandel S, Kaur S, Issa M, Singh HP, Batish DR, Kohli RK. Appraisal of immediate and late effects of mobile phone radiations at 2100 MHz on mitotic activity and DNA integrity in root meristems of Allium cepa. Protoplasma. 2019 May 21. doi: 10.1007/s00709-019-01386-y.


The present study evaluated the potential of 2100 MHz radiofrequency radiations to act as cytotoxic and genotoxic agent. Fresh onion (Allium cepa L.) roots were exposed to electromagnetic field radiations (EMF-r) for different durations (1 h and 4 h) and evaluated for mitotic index (MI), phase index, chromosomal aberrations, and DNA damage. DNA damage was investigated with the help of the comet assay by assessing various parameters like % head DNA (HDNA), % tail DNA (TDNA), tail moment (TM), and olive tail moment (OTM). Effects of EMF-r exposure were also compared with that of methyl methanesulfonate (MMS; 90 μM), which acted as a positive control. The post-exposure effects of EMF-r after providing the test plants with an acclimatization period of 24 h were also evaluated. Compared to the control, a significant increase in the MI and aberration percentage was recorded upon 4 h of exposure. However, no specific trend of phase index in response to exposure was detected. EMF-r exposure incited DNA damage with a significant decrease in HDNA accompanied by an increase in TDNA upon exposure of 4 h. However, TM and OTM did not change significantly upon exposure as compared to that of control. Analysis of the post-exposure effects of EMF-r did not show any significant change/recovery. Our data, thus, suggest the potential cytotoxic and genotoxic nature of 2100 MHz EMF-r. Our study bears great significance in view of the swiftly emergent EMF-r in the surrounding environment and their potential for inciting aberrations at the chromosomal level, thus posing a genetic hazard.


It is apparent from the present study that radiofrequency radiations at 2100 MHz have a potential for inciting cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in A. cepa root meristems. The observed biological effects were dependent on the duration of exposure, and the maximum alterations were found upon 4 h of exposure. As the concentration of EMF waves by man-made devices like mobile phones is increasing in the environment at a very fast rate, we cannot afford to ignore the biological effects of these radiations. Our study holds great significance in view of this rapidly emergent EMF-r in the surrounding environment and their potential for inciting aberrations and damage at the chromosomal level, thus posing a genetic hazard. The study calls for a proper risk assessment in terms of impacts on the environment and public health of the increasing electromagnetic smog and development of strategies to reduce EMF-r pollution in the natural environment.


Effects of 50 Hz magnetic field-exposed cell culture medium on cellular functions in human amniotic epithelial cells

Fei Y, Su L, Lou H, Zhao C, Wang Y, Chen G. The effects of 50 Hz magnetic field-exposed cell culture medium on cellular functions in FL cells. J Radiat Res. 2019 May 21. pii: rrz020. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrz020.


Although extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) have been classified as a possible carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), their biological effects and underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Our previous study indicated that ELF-MF exposure influenced the relative permittivity of the saline solution, suggesting that the MF exposure altered physical properties of the solution. To explore the biophysical mechanism of ELF-MF-induced biological effects, this study examined the effects of 50 Hz sinusoidal MF at 0-4.0 mT on the permittivity of culture medium with phase-interrogation surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing. Then, the biological effects of MF pre-exposed culture medium on cell viability, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, oxidative stress, and genetic stabilities were analyzed using Cell Counting Kit-8, western blot, flow cytometry, γH2AX foci formation, and comet assay. The results showed that SPR signals were decreased under MF exposure in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and the decreased SPR signals were reversible when the exposure was drawn off. However, MF pre-exposed culture medium did not significantly change cell viability, intracellular reactive oxygen species level, activation of the MARK signaling pathways, or genetic stabilities in human amniotic epithelial cells (FL cells). In conclusion, our data suggest that the relative permittivity of culture medium was influenced by 50 Hz MF exposure, but this change did not affect the biological processes in FL cells.


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

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Website: https://www.saferemr.com

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