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EMF Studies

20 June 2017

Fifteen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (15 June 2017)

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, 15 June 2017

Thermal Modeling for the Next Generation of Radiofrequency Exposure Limits: Commentary
Foster KR, Ziskin MC, Balzano Q. Thermal Modeling for the Next Generation of Radiofrequency Exposure Limits: Commentary. Health Phys. 2017 Jul;113(1):41-53. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000671.


This commentary evaluates two sets of guidelines for human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy, focusing on the frequency range above the "transition" frequency at 3-10 GHz where the guidelines change their basic restrictions from specific absorption rate to incident power density, through the end of the RF band at 300 GHz. The analysis is based on a simple thermal model based on Pennes' bioheat equation (BHTE) (Pennes 1948) assuming purely surface heating; an Appendix provides more details about the model and its range of applicability. This analysis suggests that present limits are highly conservative relative to their stated goals of limiting temperature increase in tissue. As applied to transmitting devices used against the body, they are much more conservative than product safety standards for touch temperature for personal electronics equipment that are used in contact with the body. Provisions in the current guidelines for "averaging time" and "averaging area" are not consistent with scaling characteristics of the bioheat equation and should be refined. The authors suggest the need for additional limits on fluence for protection against brief, high intensity pulses at millimeter wave frequencies. This commentary considers only thermal hazards, which form the basis of the current guidelines, and excludes considerations of reported "non-thermal" effects of exposure that would have to be evaluated in the process of updating the guidelines.



"To avoid misinterpretation, the authors emphasize that they consider only thermal hazards and do not comment on the contentious issue of “non-thermal” effects, which would have to be evaluated by the expert panels that update the limits...."

"Low-level effects: Despite more than 50 years of RF research, low-level biological effects have not been established. No theoretical mechanism has been established that supports the existence of any effect characterized by trivial heating other than microwave hearing.”

"The technology for exposure assessment needs to be improved, particularly at frequencies between the transition (10 GHz for ICNIRP) and the beginning of the mm wave band (30 GHz) where the energy penetration depth in skin ranges from about 2 mm (10 GHz) to less than 1 mm (30 GHz) (Table A1, Appendix). The transition between use of SAR as the dosimetric quantity below the transition frequency to incident power density above it is not reflected in the physics of electromagnetic waves, which obey the same propagation laws at all frequencies."

"Moreover, thermal modeling remains problematic, particularly for long-term (several minutes or more) exposures. The applicability and accuracy of the BHTE for calculating skin temperature increases for general exposure situations (arbitrary exposed areas of skin, steady state temperatures) have been subjected to almost no experimental tests for RF exposures at any frequency. Absent experimental validation of a generally useful thermal model, this calls for caution in setting limits based on thermal modeling."

"The authors declare no conflicts of interest."

"Acknowledgments—This work was sponsored by Mobile Manufacturers Forum, which had no control over the contents of this paper. The authors thank Dr. C-K Chou for helpful suggestions on this work."


Mobile phone use, school EMF levels & related symptoms: cross-sectional survey among high school students in Turkish city
Durusoy R, Hassoy H, Özkurt A, Karababa AO. Mobile phone use, school electromagnetic field levels and related symptoms: a cross-sectional survey among 2150 high school students in Izmir. Environ Health. 2017 Jun 2;16(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12940-017-0257-x.


BACKGROUND: Health outcomes of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from mobile phones and their base stations are of concern. Conducting multidisciplinary research, targeting children and exploring dose-response are recommended. Our objectives were to describe the mobile phone usage characteristics of high school students and to explore the association between mobile phone usage characteristics, high school EMF levels and self-reported symptoms.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study's data were collected by a survey questionnaire and by measuring school EMF levels between November 2009 and April 2011. A sample size of 2530 was calculated from a total of 20,493 students in 26 high schools and 2150 (85.0%) were included in the analysis. The frequencies of 23 symptoms were questioned and analysed according to 16 different aspects of mobile phone use and school EMF levels, exploring also dose-response. School EMF levels were measured with Aaronia Spectran HF-4060 device. Chi square and trend tests were used for univariate and logistic regression was used for multivariate analyses.

RESULTS: Among participants, 2021 (94.0%) were using mobile phones and 129 (6.0%) were not. Among users, 49.4% were speaking <10 min and 52.2% were sending/receiving 75 or more messages per day. Headache, fatigue and sleep disturbances were observed respectively 1.90 (95% CI 1.30-2.77), 1.78 (1.21-2.63) and 1.53 (1.05-2.21) times more among mobile phone users. Dose-response relationships were observed especially for the number of calls per day, total duration of calls per day, total number of text messages per day, position and status of mobile phone at night and making calls while charging as exposures and headache, concentration difficulties, fatigue and sleep disturbances as general symptoms and warming of the ear and flushing as local symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: We found an association between mobile phone use and especially headache, concentration difficulties, fatigue, sleep disturbances and warming of the ear showing also dose-response. We have found limited associations between vicinity to base stations and some general symptoms; however, we did not find any association with school EMF levels. Decreasing the numbers of calls and messages, decreasing the duration of calls, using earphones, keeping the phone away from the head and body and similar precautions might decrease the frequencies or prevalence of the symptoms.



On the biophysical mechanism of sensing atmospheric discharges by living organisms

Dimitris J. Panagopoulos, Alfonso Balmori. On the biophysical mechanism of sensing atmospheric discharges by living organisms. Science of the Total Environment. 599-600:2026-2034. Dec 1, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.089• The symptoms are mainly headache, fatigue, sleep disorders etc.

• Sferics consist of partially polarized electromagnetic pulses.
• Sferics have adequate intensity and polarization to cause biological/health effects.
• We provide a novel biophysical explanation for sensing sferics by living organisms.


Atmospheric electrical discharges during thunderstorms, and the related electromagnetic fields (EMFs)/waves called sferics, can be sensed by humans at long distances through a variety of symptoms, mainly headache, fatigue, etc. Up to today there is no explanation for this association. Sferics consist of partially polarized electromagnetic pulses with an oscillating carrier signal in the very low frequency (VLF) band and a pulse repetition frequency in the extremely low frequency (ELF) band. Their ELF intensity may reach ~ 5 mV/m at global ranges, and ~ 0.5 V/m at ~ 1000 km from the lightning. The health symptoms associated with sferics are also associated with antennas of mobile telephony base stations and handsets, which emit radio frequency (RF) radiation pulsed on ELF, and expose humans at similar or stronger electric field intensities with sferics. According to the Ion Forced-Oscillation mechanism, polarized ELF EMFs of intensities down to 0.1–1 mV/m are able to disrupt any living cell's electrochemical balance and function by irregular gating of electro-sensitive ion channels on the cell membranes, and thus initiate a variety of health symptoms, while VLF EMFs need to be thousands of times stronger in order to be able to initiate health effects. We examine EMFs from sferics in terms of their bioactivity on the basis of this mechanism. We introduce the hypothesis that stronger atmospheric discharges may reasonably be considered to be ~ 70% along a straight line, and thus the associated EMFs (sferics) ~ 70% polarized. We find that sferics mainly in the ELF band have adequate intensity and polarization to cause biological/health effects. We provide explanation for the effects of sferics on human/animal health on the basis of this mechanism.



Environmental Factors That Influence Stem Cell Migration: An "Electric Field"

Iwasa SN, Babona-Pilipos R, Morshead CM. Environmental Factors That Influence Stem Cell Migration: An "Electric Field". Stem Cells Int. 2017;2017:4276927. doi: 10.1155/2017/4276927. Epub 2017 May 15.


Environmental Stimulus of Electric Fields on Stem Cell Migration. The movement of cells in response to electric potential gradients is called galvanotaxis. In vivo galvanotaxis, powered by endogenous electric fields (EFs), plays a critical role during development and wound healing. This review aims to provide a perspective on how stem cells transduce EFs into directed migration and an understanding of the current literature relating to the mechanisms by which cells sense and transduce EFs. We will comment on potential EF-based regenerative medicine therapeutics.



RF EMF Risk Perception Revisited: Is the Focus on Concern Sufficient for Risk Perception Studies?

Wiedemann PM, Freudenstein F, Böhmert C, Wiart J, Croft RJ. RF EMF Risk Perception Revisited: Is the Focus on Concern Sufficient for Risk Perception Studies? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Jun 8;14(6). pii: E620. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14060620.


An implicit assumption of risk perception studies is that concerns expressed in questionnaires reflect concerns in everyday life. The aim of the present study is to check this assumption, i.e., the extrapolability of risk perceptions expressed in a survey, to risk perceptions in everyday life. To that end, risk perceptions were measured by a multidimensional approach. In addition to the traditional focus on measuring the magnitude of risk perceptions, the thematic relevance (how often people think about a risk issue) and the discursive relevance (how often people think about or discuss a risk issue) of risk perceptions were also collected. Taking into account this extended view of risk perception, an online survey was conducted in six European countries with 2454 respondents, referring to radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) risk potentials from base stations, and access points, such as WiFi routers and cell phones. The findings reveal that the present study's multidimensional approach to measuring risk perception provides a more differentiated understanding of RF EMF risk perception. High levels of concerns expressed in questionnaires do not automatically imply that these concerns are thematically relevant in everyday life. We use thematic relevance to distinguish between enduringly concerned (high concern according to both questionnaire and thematic relevance) and not enduringly concerned participants (high concern according to questionnaire but no thematic relevance). Furthermore, we provide data for the empirical value of this distinction: Compared to other participants, enduringly concerned subjects consider radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure to a greater extent as a moral and affective issue. They also see themselves as highly exposed to radio frequency electromagnetic fields. However, despite these differences, subjects with high levels of thematic relevance are nevertheless sensitive to exposure reduction as a means for improving the acceptance of base stations in their neighborhood. This underlines the value of exposure reduction for the acceptance of radio frequency electromagnetic field communication technologies.



Microwave-induced Apoptosis and Cytotoxicity of NK Cells through ERK1/2 Signaling

Zhao L, Li J, Hao YH, Gao YB, Wang SM, Zhang J, Dong J, Zhou HM, Liu SC, Peng RY. Microwave-induced Apoptosis and Cytotoxicity of NK Cells through ERK1/2 Signaling. Biomed Environ Sci. 2017 May;30(5):323-332. doi: 10.3967/bes2017.043.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate microwave-induced morphological and functional injury of natural killer (NK) cells and uncover their mechanisms.

METHODS: NK-92 cells were exposed to 10, 30, and 50 mW/cm2 microwaves for 5 min. Ultrastructural changes, cellular apoptosis and cell cycle regulation were detected at 1 h and 24 h after exposure. Cytotoxic activity was assayed at 1 h after exposure, while perforin and NKG2D expression were detected at 1 h, 6 h, and 12 h after exposure. To clarify the mechanisms, phosphorylated ERK (p-ERK) was detected at 1 h after exposure. Moreover, microwave-induced cellular apoptosis and cell cycle regulation were analyzed after blockade of ERK signaling by using U0126.

RESULTS: Microwave-induced morphological and ultrastructural injury, dose-dependent apoptosis (P < 0.001) and cell cycle arrest (P < 0.001) were detected at 1 h after microwave exposure. Moreover, significant apoptosis was still detected at 24 h after 50 mW/cm2 microwave exposure (P < 0.01). In the 30 mW/cm2 microwave exposure model, microwaves impaired the cytotoxic activity of NK-92 cells at 1 h and down regulated perforin protein both at 1 h and 6 h after exposure (P < 0.05). Furthermore, p-ERK was down regulated at 1 h after exposure (P < 0.05), while ERK blockade significantly promoted microwave-induced apoptosis (P < 0.05) and downregulation of perforin (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Microwave dose-dependently induced morphological and functional injury in NK-92 cells, possibly through ERK-mediated regulation of apoptosis and perforin expression.



Resveratrol may reverse effects of long-term occupational exposure to EMF on power plant workers

Zhang D, Zhang Y, Zhu B, Zhang H, Sun Y, Sun C. Resveratrol may reverse the effects of long-term occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields on workers of a power plant. Oncotarget. 2017 May 7. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.17668. [Epub ahead of print]


High-voltage electricity lines are known to generate extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs). With the process of urbanization, increasing concerns has been focused on the potentially hazardous impacts of ELF-EMF on human health, and the conclusions are controversial. Little is known about the method of prevention against ELF-EMF induced healthy problems. A total of 186 male workers with occupational exposure to high-voltage electricity lines, and 154 male subjects with insignificant exposure as reference control were enrolled in this study. Resveratrol or placebo was given as dietary supplements (500 mg twice daily), and several inflammatory biomarkers and biomarkers of oxidative stress were assessed. Workers who had long-term exposure to high-voltage electricity lines exhibited elevated urinary levels of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy-guanosine (8-OHdG) and F2-isoprostane, compared to the reference group. Lower plasma nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and interleukin (IL)-6 were observed in exposed workers compared to the reference group. Resveratrol significantly reversed the adverse impacts of ELF-EMF. Stimulated cytokine production by resveratrol was found in exposed workers but not in the reference group. This study supported that occupational and long-term exposure to high-voltage electricity lines has an adverse effect on homeostasis of human body, and resveratrol supplement could be an effective protection strategy against the adverse effects induced by ELF-EMFs.



Exposure to magnetic fields from power lines & childhood asthma in Danish National Birth Cohort

Sudan M, Arah OA, Becker T, Levy Y, Sigsgaard T, Olsen J, Vergara X, Kheifets L. Re-examining the association between residential exposure to magnetic fields from power lines and childhood asthma in the Danish National Birth Cohort. PLoS One. 2017 May 17;12(5):e0177651. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177651.


BACKGROUND: A study reported an increased risk of asthma in children whose mothers were exposed to magnetic field (MF) levels above 0.2 μT during pregnancy. We re-examined this association using data from mothers and children in the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC).

METHODS: This study included 92,676 singleton-born children and their mothers from the DNBC. MF exposure from power lines was estimated for all residences where the mothers lived during pregnancy and for all children from birth until the end of follow up. Exposure was categorized into 0 μT, 0.1 μT, and ≥ 0.2 μT for analysis. Definitive and possible asthma cases were identified using data from three independent data sources: 1) mothers' reports, 2) a national hospitalization register, 3) a national prescription drug register. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between the highest level of exposure during pregnancy and asthma in children, adjusting for several potential confounding factors. We also examined the sensitivity of the risk estimates to changes in exposure and outcome definitions.

RESULTS: No differences or trends in the risk of asthma development were detected between children with different levels of MF exposure regardless of the asthma case definition or outcome data source. For definitive cases, the HR (95% CI) for those with any exposure was 0.72 (0.27-1.92), and it was 0.41 (0.06-2.92) for those exposed to ≥ 0.2 μT. Adjustments for confounding and variations in the exposure definition did not appreciably alter the results.

CONCLUSION: We did not find evidence that residential exposure to MF during pregnancy or early childhood increased the risk of childhood asthma. This interpretation is in line with the lack of an established biological mechanism directly linking MF exposure to asthma, but high exposure was very rare in this cohort.



Exposure to ELF and IF magnetic and electric fields among children from the INMA-Gipuzkoa cohort

Gallastegi M, Jiménez-Zabala A, Santa-Marina L, Aurrekoetxea JJ, Ayerdi M, Ibarluzea J, Kromhout H, González J, Huss A. Exposure to extremely low and intermediate-frequency magnetic and electric fields among children from the INMA-Gipuzkoa cohort.Environ Res. 2017 May 30;157:190-197. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.05.027. [Epub ahead of print]


Detailed assessment of exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) and intermediate frequency (IF) fields is essential in order to conduct informative epidemiological studies of the health effects from exposure to these fields. There is limited information available regarding ELF electric fields and on both magnetic and electric field exposures of children in the IF range. The aim of this study was to characterize ELF and IF exposure of children in the Spanish INMA cohort. A combination of spot and fixed measurements was carried out in 104 homes, 26 schools and their playgrounds and 105 parks. Low levels of ELF magnetic fields (ELF-MF) were observed (with the highest 24-h time-weighted average (TWA) exposure being 0.15μT in one home). The interquartile range (IQR) of ELF electric fields (ELF-EF) ranged from 1 to 15V/m indoors and from 0.3 to 1.1V/m outdoors and a maximum value observed was 55.5V/m in one school playground. IQR ranges for IF magnetic and electric fields were between 0.02 and 0.23μT and 0.2 and 0.5V/m respectively and maximum values were 0.03μT and 1.51V/m in homes. Correlations between magnetic and electric fields were weak for ELF (Spearman 0.04-0.36 in different settings) and moderate for IF (between 0.28 and 0.75). Children of INMA-Gipuzkoa cohort were exposed to very low levels of ELF-MF in all settings and to similar levels of ELF-EF compared to the range of previously reported levels, although somewhat higher exposures occurred at home. Children enrolled to our study were similarly exposed to IF in all settings.



Effects of acute & chronic exposure to 900 MHz & 2100 MHz EMR on glutamate receptor signaling pathway

Gökçek-Saraç Ç, Er H, Kencebay Manas C, Kantar Gök D, Özen Ş, Derin N. Effects of acute and chronic exposure to both 900 MHz and 2100 MHz electromagnetic radiation on glutamate receptor signaling pathway. Int J Radiat Biol. 2017 Jun 1:1-29. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2017.1337279. [Epub ahead of print]


PURPOSE: To demonstrate molecular effects of acute and chronic exposure to both 900 MHz and 2100 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on the hippocampal level/activity of some of the enzymes - including PKA, CaMKIIα, CREB, and p44/42 MAPK - from N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) related signaling pathways.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rats were divided into following groups: Sham rats, rats exposed to 900 MHz and 2100 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for acute (1 week) or chronic (10 weeks), respectively. The Western Blotting and activity measurement assays were used to assess the level/activity of the selected enzymes.

RESULTS: The obtained results have revealed that the hippocampal level/activity of selected enzymes was significantly higher in chronic groups as compared to acute groups at both 900 MHz and 2100 MHz RF-EMR exposure. In addition, hippocampal level/activity of selected enzymes was significantly higher at 2100 MHz RF-EMR than 900 MHz RF-EMR in both acute and chronic groups.

CONCLUSION: The present study provides experimental evidence that both exposure duration (1 week versus 10 weeks) and different carrier frequencies (900 MHz versus 2100 MHz) had different effects on protein expression of hippocampus in Wistar rats, which might encourage further research on protection against RF-EMR exposure.



Adaptive Response Induced by Pre-Exposure to 915 MHz RF: A Possible Role for Antioxidant Enzyme Activity
Mortazavi SMJ, Mostafavi-Pour Z, Daneshmand M, Zal F, Zare R, Mosleh-Shirazi MA. Adaptive Response Induced by Pre-Exposure to 915 MHz Radiofrequency: A Possible Role for Antioxidant Enzyme Activity. J Biomed Phys Eng. 2017 Jun 1;7(2):137-142.


BACKGROUND: Over the past few years, the rapid use of high frequency electromagnetic fields like mobile phones has raised global concerns about the negative health effects of its use. Adaptive response is the ability of a cell or tissue to better resist stress damage by prior exposure to a lesser amount of stress. This study aimed to assess whether radiofrequency radiation can induce adaptive response by changing the antioxidant balance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to assess RF-induced adaptive response in tissues, we evaluated the level of GSH and the activity of GR in liver. 50 rats were divided into 5 groups. Three groups were pre-exposed to 915 MHz RF radiation, 4 hours per day for one week at different powers, as low, medium and high. 24 hours after the last exposure to radiation, they were exposed to 4 Gy sublethal dose of gamma radiation and then sacrificed after 5 hours. Their livers were removed, washed and were kept at -80o C until used.

RESULTS: Our finding showed that pre-exposure to 915 MHz radiofrequency radiation with specific power could induce adaptive response in liver by inducing changes in the activity and level of antioxidant enzymes.

CONCLUSION: It can be concluded that pre-exposure to microwave radiation could increase the level of GSH and the activity of GR enzyme, although these increases were seen just in low power group, and the GR activity was indicated in medium power group. This increase protects tissue from oxidative damage induced by sublethal dose of gamma radiation.



Alterations of thymic morphology and antioxidant biomarkers in male rats following exposure to continuous 900 MHz EMF during adolescence

Kulaber A, Kerimoğlu G, Ersöz Ş, Çolakoğlu S, Odacı E. Alterations of thymic morphology and antioxidant biomarkers in 60-day-old male rats following exposure to a continuous 900 MHz electromagnetic field during adolescence. Biotech Histochem. 2017 Jun 9:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10520295.2017.1312525.


We investigated changes in thymic tissue of male rats exposed to a 900 megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF) on postnatal days 22-59. Three groups of six 21-day-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were allocated as: control (CG), sham (SG) and EMF (EMFG) groups. No procedure was performed on the CG rats. SG rats were placed in a Plexiglas cage for 1 h every day between postnatal days 22 and 59 without exposure to EMF. EMFG rats were placed in the same cage for the same periods as the SG rats and were exposed to 900 MHz EMF. Rats were sacrificed on postnatal day 60. Sections of thymus were stained for histological assessment. Oxidant/antioxidant parameters were investigated biochemically. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in EMFG increased compared to the other groups. Extravascular erythrocytes were observed in the medullary/corticomedullary regions in EMFG sections. We found that 900 MHz EMF applied for 1 h/day on postnatal days 22-59 can increase tissue MDA and histopathological changes in male rat thymic tissue.



Warburg effect-damping of electromagnetic oscillations

Pokorný J, Pokorný J, Borodavka F. Warburg effect-damping of electromagnetic oscillations. Electromagn Biol Med. 2017 Jun 2:1-9. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2017.1326933.


Mitochondrial dysfunction is a central defect in cells creating the Warburg and reverse Warburg effect cancers. However, the link between mitochondrial dysfunction and cancer has not yet been clearly explained. Decrease of mitochondrial oxidative energy production to about 50 % in comparison with healthy cells may be caused by inhibition of pyruvate transfer into mitochondrial matrix and/or disturbed H+ ion transfer across inner mitochondrial membrane into cytosol. Lowering of the inner membrane potential and shifting of the working point of mitochondria to high values of pH above an intermediate point causes reorganization of the ordered water layer at the mitochondrial membrane. The reorganized ordered water layers at high pH values release electrons which are transferred to the cytosol rim of the layer. The electrons damp electromagnetic activity of Warburg effect cancer cells or fibroblasts associated with reverse Warburg effect cancer cells leading to lowered electromagnetic activity, disturbed coherence, increased frequency of oscillations and decreased level of biological functions. In reverse Warburg effect cancers, associated fibroblasts supply energy-rich metabolites to the cancer cell resulting in increased power of electromagnetic field, fluctuations due to shift of oscillations to an unstable nonlinear region, decreased frequency and loss of coherence.



Electrical Grounding Improves Vagal Tone in Preterm Infants

Passi R, Doheny KK, Gordin Y, Hinssen H, Palmer C. Electrical Grounding Improves Vagal Tone in Preterm Infants. Neonatology. 2017 Jun 10;112(2):187-192. doi: 10.1159/000475744.


BACKGROUND: Low vagal tone (VT) is a marker of vulnerability to stress and the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants. Electric fields produced by equipment in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) induce an electric potential measurable on the skin in reference to ground. An electrical connection to ground reduces the skin potential and improves VT in adults.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to measure the electric field strengths in the NICU environment and to determine if connecting an infant to electrical ground would reduce the skin potential and improve VT. We also wished to determine if the skin potential correlated with VT.

METHODS: Environmental magnetic flux density (MFD) was measured in and around incubators. Electrical grounding (EG) was achieved with a patch electrode and wire that extended to a ground outlet. We measured the skin potential in 26 infants and heart rate variability in 20 infants before, during, and after grounding. VT was represented by the high-frequency power of heart rate variability.

RESULTS: The background MFD in the NICU was below 0.5 mG, but it ranged between 1.5 and 12.7 mG in the closed incubator. A 60-Hz oscillating potential was recorded on the skin of all infants. With EG, the skin voltage dropped by about 95%. Pre-grounding VT was inversely correlated with the skin potential. VT increased by 67% with EG. After grounding, the VT fell to the pre-grounding level.

CONCLUSION: The electrical environment affects autonomic balance. EG improves VT and may improve resilience to stress and lower the risk of neonatal morbidity in preterm infants.



ELF EMFs Affect Myogenic Processes in C2C12 Myoblasts: Role of Gap-Junction-Mediated Intercellular Communication

Morabito C, Steimberg N, Rovetta F, Boniotti J, Guarnieri S, Mazzoleni G, Mariggiò MA. Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Affect Myogenic Processes in C2C12 Myoblasts: Role of Gap-Junction-Mediated Intercellular Communication. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:2460215. doi: 10.1155/2017/2460215.


Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) can interact with biological systems. Although they are successfully used as therapeutic agents in physiatrics and rehabilitative practice, they might represent environmental pollutants and pose a risk to human health. Due to the lack of evidence of their mechanism of action, the effects of ELF-EMFs on differentiation processes in skeletal muscle were investigated. C2C12 myoblasts were exposed to ELF-EMFs generated by a solenoid. The effects of ELF-EMFs on cell viability and on growth and differentiation rates were studied using colorimetric and vital dye assays, cytomorphology, and molecular analysis of MyoD and myogenin expression, respectively. The establishment of functional gap junctions was investigated analyzing connexin 43 expression levels and measuring cell permeability, using microinjection/dye-transfer assays. The ELF-EMFs did not affect C2C12 myoblast viability or proliferation rate. Conversely, at ELF-EMF intensity in the mT range, the myogenic process was accelerated, through increased expression of MyoD, myogenin, and connexin 43. The increase in gap-junction function suggests promoting cell fusion and myotube differentiation. These data provide the first evidence of the mechanism through which ELF-EMFs may provide therapeutic benefits and can resolve, at least in part, some conditions of muscle dysfunction.



Recent posts on EMR Safety

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Cell Phone Safety Guidance from the California Public Health Department

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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