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

27 September 2018

Eighteen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (25 September 2018)

Eighteen 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, 25 September 2018

I have 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.

Since I have received numerous requests to post the abstracts on my EMR Safety website, I compiled the collection into a document which now contains more than 400 abstracts (including the papers below).

To see the latest studies or download the document go to the following web page:

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields

Recent Papers

Commentary on NTP cell phone data for assessing human health risks despite unfounded criticisms aimed at minimizing findings

Melnick RL. Commentary on the utility of the National Toxicology Program study on cell phone radiofrequency radiation data for assessing human health risks despite unfounded criticisms aimed at minimizing the findings of adverse health effects. Environ Res. 2018 Sep 19;168:1-6.
doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.010.

Abstract

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted two-year studies of cell phone radiation in rats and mice exposed to CDMA- or GSM-modulated radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at exposure intensities in the brain of rats that were similar to or only slightly higher than potential, localized human exposures from cell phones held next to the head. This study was designed to test the (null) hypothesis that cell phone radiation at non-thermal exposure intensities could not cause adverse health effects, and to provide dose-response data for any detected toxic or carcinogenic effects. Partial findings released from that study showed significantly increased incidences and/or trends for gliomas and glial cell hyperplasias in the brain and schwannomas and Schwann cell hyperplasias in the heart of exposed male rats. These results, as well as the findings of significantly increased DNA damage (strand breaks) in the brains of exposed rats and mice, reduced pup birth weights when pregnant dams were exposed to GSM- or CDMA-modulated RFR, and the induction of cardiomyopathy of the right ventricle in male and female rats clearly demonstrate that the null hypothesis has been disproved. The NTP findings are most important because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RFR as a "possible human carcinogen" based largely on increased risks of gliomas and acoustic neuromas (which are Schwann cell tumors on the acoustic nerve) among long term users of cell phones. The concordance between rats and humans in cell type affected by RFR strengthens the animal-to-human association. This commentary addresses several unfounded criticisms about the design and results of the NTP study that have been promoted to minimize the utility of the experimental data on RFR for assessing human health risks. In contrast to those criticisms, an expert peer-review panel recently concluded that the NTP studies were well designed, and that the results demonstrated that both GSM- and CDMA-modulated RFR were carcinogenic to the heart (schwannomas) and brain (gliomas) of male rats.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30243215

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

Smith-Roe SL, Wyde ME, Stout MD, Winters JW, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green AS, Kissling GE, Tice RR, Bucher JR, Witt KL. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure. 49th Annual Meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. San Antonio, Texas, Sep 22-26, 2018. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis; 59 (Suppl. 1): 85-85. Meeting abstract: P9. Sep 2018.

National Toxicology Program/NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC, and Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC.

Abstract

The National Toxicology Program tested the two common radiofrequency radiation (RFR) modulations emitted by cellular telephones in a 2-year rodent cancer bioassay that included additional animal cohorts for interim assessments of genotoxicity endpoints.

Male and female Sprague Dawley rats and B6C3F1/N mice were exposed from gestation day 5 or postnatal day 35, respectively, to code division multiple access (CDMA) or global system for mobile (GSM) modulations semi-continuously for 18 h/day in 10 min intervals in reverberation chambers at specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg (rats) or 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg (mice). Rats and mice were exposed at 900 MHz or 1900 MHz, respectively. The interim cohorts, 5 animals per treatment group, were examined after 19 (rats) or 13 (mice) weeks of exposure for evidence of RFR-induced genotoxicity. DNA damage was assessed in three brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum), and in liver cells and blood leukocytes using the comet assay. Chromosomal damage was assessed in peripheral blood erythrocytes using the micronucleus assay.

DNA damage was significantly increased in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations), peripheral leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). DNA damage was nominally elevated in several other tissues of RFR-exposed rats, although statistical significance was not achieved. No significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells were observed in rats or mice.

These results suggest that exposure to RFR has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/em.22231

National Toxicology Program (NTP) Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer
National Toxicology Program: Peer & public review of cell phone radiation study reports

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Personal exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields in Europe: Is there a generation gap?
Eeftens M, Struchen B, Birks LE, Cardis E, Estarlich M, Fernandez MF, Gajšek P, Gallastegi M, Huss A, Kheifets L, Meder IK, Olsen J, Torrent M, Trček T, Valič B, Vermeulen R, Vrijheid M, van Wel L, Guxens M, Röösli M. Personal exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields in Europe: Is there a generation gap? Environ Int. 2018 Sep 11;121(Pt 1):216-226. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.09.002.

Highlights

• Exposure to RF-EMF from uplink sources is higher in parents than in their children.
• Diurnal patterns for uplink indicate more phone use between 8 AM and 8 PM.
• Exposure to RF-EMF is correlated between children and parents from the same family.
• Higher RF-EMF levels are found in transport, where the uplink contribution is relatively high.
• The lowest levels are measured at home, school and work, where people spend most time.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from mobile communication technologies is changing rapidly. To characterize sources and associated variability, we studied the differences and correlations in exposure patterns between children aged 8 to 18 and their parents, over the course of the day, by age, by activity pattern, and for different metrics of exposure.

METHODS: Using portable RF-EMF measurement devices, we collected simultaneous real-time personal measurements of RF-EMF over 24 to 72 h in 294 parent-child pairs from Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Spain. The devices measured the power flux density (mW/m2) in 16 different frequency bands every 4 s, and activity diary Apps kept by the participants were used to collect time-activity information in real-time. We analyzed their exposures by activity, for the different source constituents of exposure: downlink (radiation emitted from mobile phone base stations), uplink (transmission from phone to base station), broadcast, DECT (digital enhanced cordless telecommunications) and Wi-Fi. We looked at the correlations between parents and children overall, during day (06:00-22.00) and night (22:00-06:00) and while spending time at home.

RESULTS: The mean of time-weighted average personal exposures was 0.16 mW/m2 for children and 0.15 mW/m2 for parents, on average predominantly originating from downlink sources (47% for children and 45% for parents), followed by uplink (18% and 27% respectively) and broadcast (25% and 19%). On average, exposure for downlink and uplink were highest during the day, and for Wi-Fi and DECT during the evening. Exposure during activities where most of the time is spent (home, school and work) was relatively low whereas exposure during travel and outside activities was higher. Exposure to uplink increased with age among young people, while DECT decreased slightly. Exposure to downlink, broadcast, and Wi-Fi showed no obvious trend with age. We found that exposure to total RF-EMF is correlated among children and their parents (Rspearman = 0.45), especially while at home (0.62) and during the night (0.60). Correlations were higher for environmental sources such as downlink (0.57) and broadcast (0.62) than for usage-related exposures such as uplink (0.29).

CONCLUSION: The generation gap between children and their parents is mostly evident in uplink exposure, due to more and longer uplink and cordless phone calls among parents, and their tendency to spend slightly more time in activities with higher environmental RF-EMF exposure, such as travel. Despite these differences in personal behavior, exposure to RF-EMF is moderately correlated between children and their parents, especially exposures resulting from environmental RF-EMF sources.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30216774

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Mobile antenna's impact on human health

Subhan F, Khan A, Ahmed S, Malik SN, Bakshah ST, Tahir S. Mobile antenna's and its impact on human health. J Medical Imaging and Health Informatics. 8(6):1266-1273. DOI: 10.1166/jmihi.2018.2296. Aug 2018.

Abstract

Mobile phones operate by communicating with a base station or cellular antennas. As mobile phone and its base station is a two way radio, they emit radio frequency radiation as a means of communication and hence can expose people near them to these radiations. Several research studies have found a link between cellular antennas and health effects on people living near antennas. These include cardiovascular problems, skin complaints, fatigue, sleep disturbance, memory loss, irritability, visual disruptions, hearing problems, depression, and dizziness. An extensive literature review was done to study the effect of mobile antennas on health including cancer. These studies concluded that incidence of cancer cases was remarkably higher among people who resided in 400 meters from mobile antennas, in comparison to those who lived further away. Females reported statistically more health complaints than males. Inhabitants living close to cellular antennas are also at increased risk for developing neuropsychiatric complaints. There are many proposed national and international criteria, for regulating and approving safety guidelines. All telecommunication companies should follow these safety standards.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/asp/jmihi/2018/00000008/00000006/art00023

(Note: I cannot access this paper.)

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Individual variation in temporal relationships between RF exposure & physical symptoms: A new approach in studying 'electrosensitivity'

Bogers RP, van Gils A, Clahsen SCS, Vercruijsse W, van Kamp I, Baliatsas C, Rosmalen JGM, Bolte JFB. Individual variation in temporal relationships between exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and non-specific physical symptoms: A new approach in studying 'electrosensitivity'. Environ Int. 2018 Sep 15;121(Pt 1):297-307. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.08.064.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Everyday exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted from wireless devices such as mobile phones and base stations, radio and television transmitters is ubiquitous. Some people attribute non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS) such as headache and fatigue to exposure to RF-EMF. Most previous laboratory studies or studies that analyzed populations at a group level did not find evidence of an association between RF-EMF exposure and NSPS.

OBJECTIVES: We explored the association between exposure to RF-EMF in daily life and the occurrence of NSPS in individual self-declared electrohypersensitive persons using body worn exposimeters and electronic diaries.

METHODS: We selected seven individuals who attributed their NSPS to RF-EMF exposure. The level of and variability in personal RF-EMF exposure and NSPS were determined during a three-week period. Data were analyzed using time series analysis in which exposure as measured and recorded in the diary was correlated with NSPS.

RESULTS: We found statistically significant correlations between perceived and actual exposure to wireless internet (WiFi - rate of change and number of peaks above threshold) and base stations for mobile telecommunications (GSM + UMTS downlink, rate of change) and NSPS scores in four of the seven participants. In two persons a higher EMF exposure was associated with higher symptom scores, and in two other persons it was associated with lower scores. Remarkably, we found no significant correlations between NSPS and time-weighted average power density, the most commonly used exposure metric.

CONCLUSIONS: RF-EMF exposure was associated either positively or negatively with NSPS in some but not all of the selected self-declared electrohypersensitive persons.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30227317

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS)
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A 3D human body blockage model for outdoor millimeter-wave cellular communication

Han B. Wang L, Schotten HD. A 3D human body blockage model for outdoor millimeter-wave cellular communication. Physical Communication, 25(Part 2):502-510. Dec 2017.

Blocking is one of the most important challenges in exploiting millimeter-wave for fifth-generation (5G) cellular communication systems. Compared to blockages caused by buildings or terrains, human body blockage exhibits a higher complexity due to the mobility and dynamic statistics of humans. To support development of outdoor millimeter-wave cellular systems, in this paper we present a novel 3D physical model of human body blockage. Based on the proposed model, the impact of human body blockage on frame-based data transmission is discussed, with respect to the system specifications and environment conditions.

https://ac.els-cdn.com/S1874490717301416/1-s2.0-S1874490717301416-main.pdf?_tid=6f9056cc-5d4c-4122-ac47-95400c448af1&acdnat=1536950496_e5a38b706a7bd8e8c32660210b15710d

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Mobile Phone Distance from Head and Temperature Changes of Radio Frequency Waves on Brain Tissue

Forouharmajd F, Ebrahimi H, Pourabdian S. Mobile Phone Distance from Head and Temperature Changes of Radio Frequency Waves on Brain Tissue. Int J Prev Med. 2018 Jul 20;9:61. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_70_17.

Abstract

Background: Analyzing the possible negative effects of using cell phones on the users' health is an important and vital affair due to rapid growth and extensive use of these devices on human communications and interactions. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of increasing the distance of cell phones to brain tissue on the temperature of the central and gray matters of brain due to the heat generated by radio frequency waves.

Methods:This study was an experimental study. A cow's brain tissue was analyzed in a compartment with three thicknesses of 2, 12, and 22 mm, in the distances of 4 mm and 4 cm from a cell phone for 15 min. Lutron thermometer was used to measure the tissue temperature, and the data analysis were done by Lutron and MATLAB software packages.

Results: The tissue temperature was increased while confronting with a cell phone in distances of 4 mm and 4 cm in all the three thicknesses of 2, 12, and 22 mm. The tissue temperature was higher after removing the confrontation at 4 mm distance as compared to the distance of 4 cm.

Conclusions: During confrontation and after that with the cell phone, reducing the distance of brain tissue and the cell phone increased the tissuetemperature intensely. In fact, by increasing the cell phone distance from brain tissue, the thermal effect of radiofrequency waves was reduced.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071445/

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The effects of radiofrequency radiation on mice fetus weight, length and tissues

Alimohammadi I, Ashtarinezhad A, Asl BM, Masruri B, Moghadasi N. The effects of radiofrequency radiation on mice fetus weight, length and tissues.
Data Brief. 2018 Jun 30;19:2189-2194. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.06.107.

Abstract

The public concern of harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation exposure, especially with rapid increase in the use of wireless and telecommunication devices, is increasing. Some studies show fetal and developmental abnormalities as the result of radiofrequency radiationexposure. We aimed to investigate possible teratogenic effects of radiofrequency in 915 MHz on mice fetus and protective role of vitamin C. 21 pregnant mice were divided into 3 groups. Control group was in normal condition without any stressor agent. Exposure group was exposed to 915 MHz RFR (8 h/day for 10 days) and 0.045 µw/cm2 power density. The exposure plus vitamin C group received 200 mg/kg vitamin C by gavage and was exposed to 915 MHz RFR (8 h/day for 10 days) and 0.045 µw/cm2 power density. The fetus weight, C-R length were measured by digital balance and caliper. Tissues were assessed after staining with H & E. Our results showed significant increase in fetus weight and C-R length and also enlarged liver, tail deformation in mice fetus in exposure group. Although usage of vitamin C caused significant decrease in mentioned parameters. The outcome of this study confirms the effects of radiofrequency radiation on growth parameters such as body weight, length and some tissues in mice fetuses and protective effect of vitamin C. However more studies on non-ionization radiation in different frequencies and severity, during pregnancy are needed to clarify the exact mechanisms of these changes and better protection.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6141437/

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Effect of exposure to 1800 MHz RFR on epidermal growth factor, caspase-3, Hsp27 and p38MAPK gene expressions in the rat eye

Eker ED, Arslan B, Yildirim M, Akar A, Aras N. The effect of exposure to 1800 MHz radiofrequency radiation on epidermal growth factor, caspase-3, Hsp27 and p38MAPK gene expressions in the rat eye. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2018;119(9):588-592. doi: 10.4149/BLL_2018_106.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) may induce DNA damage and oxidative stress in human lens epithelial cells (LECs). We aimed to investigate the expression levels of heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and caspase-3 gene expression levels in rat eye that was exposed to 1800 MHz RF-EMF.

METHODS: Thirty-seven female Wistar albino rats were divided into three groups. The rats in the study group (n = 9) were exposed to 1800 MHz RF-EMF at an electric field 6.8 ± 0.1 V/m and 0.06 W/kg specific absorption rate (SAR) for 2 hours per day for eight weeks. Sham group (n = 9) was kept under similar conditions as the exposed group without exposure to RF-EMF. The rats in all three groups were sacrificed and their eyes were removed. Hsp27, p38MAPK, EGFR, caspase-3 gene expression levels were investigated in detail with real-time polymerase chain reactions (Real-Time PCR).

RESULTS: caspase-3 and p38MAPK gene expression were significantly upregulated in the ocular tissues following exposure to RF-EMF (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: According to our findings, eye cells recognize EMF as a stress factor, and in response, activate caspase-3 and p38MAPK gene expressions. These results confirm that RF-EMF can cause cellular damage in rat ocular cells (Tab. 2, Fig. 3, Ref. 37).

Open access paper: http://bit.ly/2xBGnpu

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Physiopathological effects of quercetin on oxidative stress from 4.5 g mobile phone radiation exposed to liver tissue of rat

Postaci I, Coskun O, Senol N, Aslankoc R, Comlekci S. The physiopathological effects of quercetin on oxidative stress in radiation of 4.5 g mobile phone exposed liver tissue of rat. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2018;119(8):481-489. doi: 10.4149/BLL_2018_088.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The study was aimed to evaluate the physiopathological consideration of the effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) from the radiation of 4.5 G mobile phones on the liver tissue of rats and quercetin (Qu) applied as an antioxidant for reducing these effects.

METHODS: Male Wistar-Albino rats were divided into four groups with 8 rats in each group. Group 1 (control group), Group 2 (sham group), Group 3 (EMF group) and Group 4 (EMF + Qu). From the animals sacrificed at the end of the 30th day; liver tissues were taken for histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations.

RESULTS: In the liver tissue of the electromagnetic field group; dilatation of sinusitis was determined to be higher than in the sham group. It was concluded that the concentration of caspase-3 and TNF-α immunopositive cells was in the EMF group (+3) level and also the immunostaining was stronger, it caused an increase in malondialdehyde level, the difference between the groups was statistically significant, in terms of superoxide dismutase, catalase activities, the difference was not significant.

CONCLUSION: It was determined that 2600 MHz EMF exposure caused damage to the liver, 100 mg/kg/day quercetin was not sufficient to prevent this damage (Tab. 5, Fig. 15, Ref. 27).

http://bit.ly/2Q311FY

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Modulatory effect of 900 MHz radiation on biochemical and reproductive parameters in rats
Narayanan SN, Lukose ST, Arun G, Mohapatra N, Pamala J, Concessao PL, Jetti R, Kedage V, Nalini K, Bhat PG. Modulatory effect of 900 MHz radiation on biochemical and reproductive parameters in rats. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2018;119(9):581-587. doi: 10.4149/BLL_2018_105.

Abstract

In the present study, the effect of 900 MHz radiation exposure on blood biochemical and reproductive parameters was evaluated in adolescent rats. Male albino Wistar rats (8-10 weeks of age) were exposed to 900 MHz radiation (1hr/day, power density - 146.60 µW/cm2) from a mobile phone for 28 days. On 29th day the animals were euthanized and malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidants (TA) levels and Glutathione-S transferase (GST) activity were studied in the blood. Reproductive parameters such as total sperm count, percentage of non-motile sperms, and sperm morphology were determined. Testes sections were stained with H(et)E staining and their cellular integrity was evaluated. Caspase-3 activity in the testes was also determined. MDA concentration was increased but TA levels and GST activity were not found to be different in 900 MHz group compared to controls. Sperm motility was found to be slightly reduced in 900 MHz group. Percentage of abnormal sperm was significantly elevated in 900 MHz group. Additionally, loss of germ cells particularly spermatocytes and spermatids was found in the testes of 900 MHz group. Testes caspase-3 activity was slightly elevated in 900 MHz exposed rats. Chronic 900 MHz exposure induced oxidative damage in the blood and lead to alterations in reproductive parameters in rats (Fig. 4, Ref. 33).

Open access paper: http://bit.ly/2pxJx9B

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Exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation of public risk prevention instruments threatens the quality of spermatozoids

Tirpak F, Slanina T, Tomka M, Zidek R, Halo M Jr, Ivanic P, Gren A, Formicki G, Stachanczyk K, Lukac N, Massanyi P. Exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation of public risk prevention instruments threatens the quality of spermatozoids. Reprod Domest Anim. 2018 Sep 7. doi: 10.1111/rda.13338.

Abstract

The use of artificial insemination in cattle breeding has evolved to global extent and insemination doses are often shipped via air transport which requires strict radiation-based examinations. For the determination of effect of non-ionizing radiation (NIR), to which are beings frequently exposed due to protection of airport or cultural event security, freshly ejaculated and cryopreserved bovine spermatozoa were used as experimental model. Following radiation with hand-held metal detector in various exposition times (0, 10 seconds, 15, 30 and 60 minutes - groups FR, FR10, FR15, FR30 and FR60) the spermatozoa underwent motility and DNA fragmentation analyses. Study on cryoconserved semen treated with NIR was performed in time intervals 0, 10 seconds, 1 and 5 minutes (insemination doses radiated before cryoconservation - CB, CB10, CB1, CB5; samples radiated after freezing - CA, CA10, CA1 and CA5). Fresh semen and insemination doses radiated after cryoconservation showed significantly lower total and progressive motility. No effect on motility parameters was detected in semen extended with cryopreservative medium and radiated prior to freezing. Surprisingly, NIR showed a potential to stimulate spermatozoa velocity; however the effect was modulated throughout the post-thawing incubation. Based on the DNA fragmentation assay, sperm DNA stayed intact. Present study underlines the potential harm of NIR, which is frequently used in everyday life, with overall adverse impact on human and animal reproduction. Current study also points out on interesting short-term spermatozoa stimulation induced by NIR.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30192989

The aim of the present study, carried out on the bovine spermatozoa, was to evaluate the possible risk of 93 kHz non-ionizing radiation associated with decreased fertilizing properties (sperm motility traits) of fresh and cryopreserved spermatozoa.

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Genotoxicity of intermediate frequency magnetic fields in vitro and in vivo

Herrala M, Kumari K, Koivisto H, Luukkonen J, Tanila H, Naarala J, Juutilainen J. Genotoxicity of intermediate frequency magnetic fields in vitro and in vivo.
Environ Res. 2018 Sep 8. pii: S0013-9351(18)30494-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.009.

Abstract

We assessed genotoxic effects of intermediate frequency magnetic fields (MF) in vitro and in vivo. Rat primary astrocytes were exposed for 24 h to a 7.5 kHz MF at a magnetic flux density of 30 or 300 µT. Male C57BL/6 J mice were exposed continuously for 5 weeks to a 7.5 kHz MF at 12 or 120 μT, and blood samples were collected for the genotoxicity assays. To evaluate possible co-genotoxicity, the in vitro experiments included combined exposure with menadione (an agent that induces mitochondrial superoxide production and DNA damage) and methyl methanesulfonate (an alkylating agent). DNA damage and DNA repair (in vitro) were measured using the alkaline Comet assay and formation of micronuclei was assessed microscopically (in vivo) or using flow cytometry (in vitro). The results did not support genotoxicity or co-genotoxicity of 7.5 kHz MFs at magnetic flux densities up to 300 µT in vitro or in vivo. On the contrary, there was some evidence that exposure to 7.5 kHz MFs might reduce the level of genetic damage. Strongest indication of any biological effects was obtained from measurements of relative cell number, which was significantly and consistently increased after MF exposure in all in vitro experiments. Health implications of this finding are unclear, but it suggests that 7.5 kHz MFs may stimulate cell proliferation or suppress cell death.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30243651

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Characterization of Children's Exposure to Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields by Stochastic Modeling

Bonato M, Parazzini M, Chiaramello E, Fiocchi S, Le Brusquet L, Magne I, Souques M, Röösli M, Ravazzani P. Characterization of Children's Exposure to Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields by Stochastic Modeling. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep 8;15(9). pii: E1963. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091963.

Abstract

In this study, children's exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF, 40⁻800 Hz) is investigated. The interest in this thematic has grown due to a possible correlation between the increased risk of childhood leukemia and a daily average exposure above 0.4 µT, although the causal relationship is still uncertain. The aim of this paper was to present a new method of characterizing the children's exposure to ELF-MF starting from personal measurements using a stochastic approach based on segmentation (and to apply it to the personal measurements themselves) of two previous projects: the ARIMMORA project and the EXPERS project. The stochastic model consisted in (i) splitting the 24 h recordings into stationary events and (ii) characterizing each event with four parameters that are easily interpretable: the duration of the event, the mean value, the dispersion of the magnetic field over the event, and a final parameter characterizing the variation speed. Afterward, the data from the two databases were divided in subgroups based on a characteristic (i.e., children's age, number of inhabitants in the area, etc.). For every subgroup, the kernel density estimation (KDE) of each parameter was calculated and the p-value histogram of the parameters together was obtained, in order to compare the subgroups and to extract information about the children's exposure. In conclusion, this new stochastic approach allows for the identification of the parameters that most affect the level of children's exposure.

Open access paper: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/9/1963

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Demystifying Monarch Butterfly Migration

Reppert SM, de Roode JC. Demystifying Monarch Butterfly Migration. Curr Biol. 2018 Sep 10;28(17):R1009-R1022. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.02.067.

Abstract

Every fall, millions of North American monarch butterflies undergo a stunning long-distance migration to reach their overwintering grounds in Mexico. Migration allows the butterflies to escape freezing temperatures and dying host plants, and reduces infections with a virulent parasite. We discuss the multigenerational migration journey and its evolutionary history, and highlight the navigational mechanisms of migratory monarchs. Monarchs use a bidirectional time-compensated sun compass for orientation, which is based on a time-compensating circadian clock that resides in the antennae, and which has a distinctive molecular mechanism. Migrants can also use a light-dependent inclination magnetic compass for orientation under overcast conditions. Additional environmental features, e.g., atmospheric conditions, geologic barriers, and social interactions, likely augment navigation. The publication of the monarch genome and the development of gene-editing strategies have enabled the dissection of the genetic and neurobiological basis of the migration. The monarch butterfly has emerged as an excellent system to study the ecological, neural, and genetic basis of long-distance animal migration.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205052

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Exposure to 50 Hz Magnetic Fields in Homes and Areas Surrounding Urban Transformer Stations in Silla (Spain)

Navarro-Camba EA, Segura-García J, Gomez-Perretta C. Exposure to 50 Hz Magnetic Fields in Homes and Areas Surrounding Urban Transformer Stations in Silla (Spain): Environmental Impact Assessment. Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2641; doi:10.3390/su10082641

Abstract

Exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFs) is almost inevitable almost anywhere in the world. An ELF magnetic field (ELF-MF) of around 1 mG = 0.1 μT is typically measured in any home of the world with a certain degree of development and well-being. There is fear and concern about exposure to electromagnetic fields from high- and medium-voltage wiring and transformer stations, especially internal transformer stations (TSs), which in Spain are commonly located inside residential buildings on the ground floor. It is common for neighbors living near these stations to ask for stations to be moved away from their homes, and to ask for information about exposure levels and their effects. Municipality is the closest administration to the citizens that must solve this situation, mediating between the citizens, the utility companies and the national administration. In this case, the municipality of Silla (València, Spain) wanted to know the levels of exposure in the dwellings annexed to the TSs, to compare them with Spanish legislation and the recommendations coming from epidemiological studies. This article presents the first systematic campaign of ELF-MF measurements from TSs carried out in a Spanish city. Many measurements were carried out in the rooms of the apartments doing spatial averages of spatial grid measurements. Measurements are made in the bed and bedrooms and a weighted average and an environmental impact indicator were obtained for each location. We found that old TSs usually provide the highest peak exposure levels. A notable result of this work is that approximately one quarter of the population living above or next to a TS would be exposed to a weighted MF level greater than 0.3 μT, and that about a 10% of this population would not be able to relocate their bedroom or living room to minimize the level of exposure.

Open access paper: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/8/2641
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Investigating the role of internal layout of magnetic field-generating equipment on workers' exposure at power substations

Hosseini M, Farhang Matin L, Monazzam MR, Khosroabadi H. Investigating the role of internal layout of magnetic field-generating equipment on workers' exposure at power substations. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2018 Sep 12:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2018.1475927.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: This research is an attempt to show the role of interior layout of equipment in generating magnetic fields.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The levels of an extremely low-frequency magnetic field were measured in accordance with Standard No. IEEE 644:1994 in three substations and a control building in a petrochemical power plant in southern Iran. Then, workers' occupational exposure (time-weighted average [TWA]) was calculated and the sources of maximum magnetic field generation at each place were identified. Their interior design was changed to achieve the optimal layout of equipment subsequently; the workers' TWA was recalculated for the new situation.

RESULTS: The obtained results showed that electrical engineers and technicians were exposed to the maximum TWA of 10.14 μT. The operators in the control room were exposed to the lowest TWA of 0.84 μT. The results also showed that after the change of interior design and proper layout design of the equipment in the substations, the TWA was reduced by 0.73 μT.

CONCLUSION: The research findings revealed that the most harmonious arrangement of equipment in an industrial unit plays a major role in reducing the exposure of workers to magnetic fields and ultimately increases the level of their health in the workplace.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205763

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Study of Electrical Stimulation with Different Electric Field Intensities in Regulating Differentiation of PC12 Cells

Jing W, Zhang Y, Cai Q, Chen G, Wang L, Yang X, Zhong W. Study of Electrical Stimulation with Different Electric Field Intensities in Regulating Differentiation of PC12 Cells. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Sep 13. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.8b00286.

Abstract

The strategy of using electrical stimulation (ES) to promote neural differentiation and regeneration of injured nerves is proven feasible. The study on the possible molecular mechanisms in relation to this ES promotion effect should be helpful to understand the phenomenon. In this study, it was identified the neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells was enhanced when the electric field intensity was in the range of 30-80 mV/mm, lower or higher electric field intensity displayed inferior effect. Under ES, however, levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), intracellular Ca2+ dynamics and expression of TREK-1 were measured gradually increasing alongside higher electric field intensity. Trying to understand the relationship between the ES enhancement on differentiation and these variations in cell activities, parallel experiments were conducted by introducing exogeneous H2O2 into culture systems at different concentrations. Similarly, the effects of H2O2 concentration on neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells, intracellular ROS and Ca2+ levels, and TREK-1 expression were systematically characterized. In comparative studies, it was found the two cases that ES of 50 mV/mm for 2 h/day and H2O2 of 5 µM in culture medium shared comparable results in intracellular ROS and Ca2+ levels, and TREK-1 expression. Higher H2O2 concentration (e.g. 10 µM and 20 µM) demonstrated adverse effect on cell differentiation and caused DNA damage. A stronger ES (e.g. 100 mV/mm), being associated with higher intracellular ROS level, also resulted in weaker enhancement on the neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells. These facts suggested that the intracellular ROS generated under ES might be an intermediate signal transducer involved in cascade reactions relative to cell differentiation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30212623

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

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Website: https://www.saferemr.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaferEMR
Twitter: @berkeleyprc

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