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03 March 2019

Seventeen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (13 February 2019)

Seventeen 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, 13 February 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 500 abstracts.

To see the latest studies or download the 405-page document (pdf) go to the following web page:
Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields

Recent News

"The 5G Mass Experiment" and the "ICNIRP Cartel"

"... it could also harm your health. Europe's governments ignore the danger."

As part of a project called, “The 5G Mass Experiment,” Investigate Europe, a team of investigative journalists from the European Union (EU), examined the risks of deployment of 5G, the fifth generation of mobile phone technology, and the adequacy of electromagnetic field (EMF) safety guidelines promoted by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). To date, the team has published six articles in major newspapers and magazines in five EU countries: Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.

Investigate Europe alleges the existence of an “ICNIRP cartel.” The journalists identified a group of fourteen scientists who either helped create, or defend, the EMF exposure guidelines disseminated by ICNIRP, a non-governmental organization based in Germany. A compilation of this information about the ICNIRP Cartel members and the health agencies that the Cartel affected can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/IE-ICNIRPcartel.

For more information: ICNIRP’s Exposure Guidelines for Radio Frequency Fields.

Recent Papers

Review of biological effects of EMF in intermediate frequency range (300 Hz to 1 MHz)

Bodewein L, Schmiedchen K, Dechent D, Stunder D, Graefrath D, Winter L, Kraus T, Driessen S. Systematic review on the biological effects of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields in the intermediate frequency range (300 Hz to 1 MHz). Environ Res. 2019 Jan 9;171:247-259. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.01.015.


• Biological effects of intermediate frequency fields were systematically analyzed.
• Fifty-six experimental studies were eligible.
• Weak field strengths and frequencies > 100 kHz have been hardly investigated.
• Low quality of evidence for adverse effects for most examined endpoints.
• Methodical limitations lowered credibility of the results.


"... a few studies that were of moderate quality, revealed some potentially adverse effects of MF in the IF range, such as an increased number of abnormal chicken embryos (Juutilainen and Saali, 1986), or an increase in inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress markers in the young mouse brain (Win-Shwe et al., 2015). Such studies should be replicated by independent laboratories."


BACKGROUND: Many novel technologies, including induction cookers or wireless power transfer, produce electric fields (EF), magnetic fields (MF) or electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the intermediate frequency (IF) range. The effects of such fields on biological systems, however, have been poorly investigated. The aim of this systematic review was to provide an update of the state of research and to evaluate the potential for adverse effects of EF, MF and EMF in the IF range (300 Hz to 1 MHz) on biological systems.

METHODS: The review was prepared in accordance with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Methodical limitations in individual studies were assessed using the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) Risk of Bias Rating Tool for Human and Animal Studies.

RESULTS: Fifty-six studies exposing humans, animals or in vitro systems were eligible for this review. In these studies, many different endpoints were examined and most of the findings were obtained in studies with exposure to MF. For most endpoints, however, the reviewed studies yielded inconsistent results, with some studies indicating no effect and some linking IF exposure with adverse effects. In the majority of the included studies, the applied field strengths were above the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference levels for the general public and the applied frequencies were mainly below 100 kHz. Furthermore, many of the reviewed studies suffered from methodical limitations which lowered the credibility of the reported results.

CONCLUSION: Due to the large heterogeneity in study designs, endpoints and exposed systems, as well as the inconsistent results and methodical limitations in many studies, the quality of evidence for adverse effects remains inadequate for drawing a conclusion on investigated biological effects of IF fields for most endpoints. We recommend that in future studies, effects of EF, MF and EMF in the IF range should be investigated more systematically, i.e., studies should consider various frequencies to identify potential frequency-dependent effects and apply different field strengths, especially if threshold-dependent effects are expected. Priority should be given to the investigation of acute effects, like induction of phosphenes, perception, excitation of nerves or muscles and thermal effects. This would be an important step towards the validation of the reference levels recommended by ICNIRP. Furthermore, we recommend that any new studies aim at implementing high quality dosimetry and minimizing sources of risk of bias.



Trends and patterns of incidence of diffuse glioma in adults in the United States, 1973-2014

Li K, Lu D, Guo Y, Wang C, Liu X, Liu Y, Liu D. Trends and patterns of incidence of diffuse glioma in adults in the United States, 1973-2014. Cancer Med. 2018 Oct;7(10):5281-5290. doi: 10.1002/cam4.1757.


INTRODUCTION: The objective of the study was to identify trends in incidence of adult diffuse gliomas in the United States and evaluate the contribution of age, period, and cohort effects to the trends.

METHODS: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 9 database, primary diffuse glioma patients (≥20 years old) diagnosed from 1973 to 2014 were identified. Incidence trends were analyzed using joinpoint regression and age-period-cohort modeling.

RESULTS: Overall, the incidence for adult glioma decreased slowly from 1985 to 2014 (annual percent change [APC] = 0.5%, 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.3%-0.6%). In histology subtype-stratified analysis, glioblastoma and nonglioblastoma exhibited opposite trends. The incidence for glioblastoma increased from 1978 to 2014 (APC for year 1978-1992 = 2.7%, 95% CI, 1.8%-3.6%; APC for 1992-2014 = 0.3%, 95% CI, 0%-0.6%), while the incidence for nonglioblastoma decreased significantly from 1982 to 2014 (APC = 2.2%, 95% CI, 2.0%-2.5%). Age-period-cohort modeling revealed significant period and cohort effects, with the patterns for glioblastoma and nonglioblastoma distinctive from each other. Compared with adults born 1890s, those born 1920s had approximately 4-fold the risk of glioblastoma after adjustment of age and period effects, while the risk of nonglioblastoma was reduced by half in individuals in the 1939 cohort as compared with those in the 1909 cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: The results support the hypothesis of etiological heterogeneity of diffuse gliomas by histology subtypes. The established risk factors cannot fully explain the distinct patterns by histology subtypes, which necessitate further epidemiological studies.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6198197/


Effects of evening exposure to 3G mobile phone EMF on health and night sleep EEG architecture

Lowden A, Nagai R, Åkerstedt T, Hansson Mild K, Hillert L. Effects of evening exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by 3G mobile phones on health and night sleep EEG architecture. J Sleep Res. 2019 Jan 15:e12813. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12813.


Studies on sleep after exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields have shown mixed results. We investigated the effects of double-blind radiofrequency exposure to 1,930-1,990 MHz, UMTS 3G signalling standard, time-averaged 10 g specific absorption rate of 1.6 W kg-1on self-evaluated sleepiness and objective electroencephalogram architecture during sleep. Eighteen subjects aged 18-19 years underwent 3.0 hr of controlled exposure on two consecutive days 19:45-23:00 hours (including 15-min break); active or sham prior to sleep, followed by full-night 7.5 hr polysomnographic recordings in a sleep laboratory. In a cross-over design, the procedure was repeated a week later with the second condition. The results for sleep electroencephalogram architecture showed no change after radiofrequency exposure in sleep stages compared with sham, but power spectrum analyses showed a reduction of activity within the slow spindle range (11.0-12.75 Hz). No differences were found for self-evaluated health symptoms, performance on the Stroop colour word test during exposure or for sleep quality. These results confirm previous findings that radiofrequency post-exposure in the evening has very little influence on electroencephalogram architecture but possible on spindle range activity.



Telecommunication devices use, screen time and sleep in adolescents

Cabré-Riera A, Torrent M, Donaire-Gonzalez D, Vrijheid M, Cardis E, Guxens M. Telecommunication devices use, screen time and sleep in adolescents. Environ Res. 2018 Nov 1;171:341-347. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.10.036.


PURPOSE: To investigate the association between telecommunication and other screen devices use and subjective and objective sleep measures in adolescents at 17-18 years.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study on adolescents aged 17-18 years from a Spanish population-based birth cohort established in Menorca in 1997-1998. Information on devices use was collected using self-reported questionnaires. Mobile Phone Problematic Use Scale was used to assess mobile phone use dependency. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used to assess subjective sleep (n = 226). ActiGraph wGT3X-BT for 7 nights was used to assess objective sleep (n = 110).

RESULTS: One or more cordless phone calls/week was associated with a lower sleep quality [Prevalence Ratio (PR) 1.30 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.04; 1.62)]. Habitual and frequent problematic mobile phone use was associated with a lower sleep quality [PR 1.55 (95%CI 1.03; 2.33) and PR 1.67 (95% CI 1.09; 2.56), respectively]. Higher tablet use was associated with decreased sleep efficiency and increased minutes of wake time after sleep onset [β-1.15 (95% CI -1.99; -0.31) and β 7.00 (95% CI 2.40; 11.60) per increase of 10 min/day of use, respectively]. No associations were found between other devices and sleep measures.

CONCLUSIONS: Frequency of cordless phone calls, mobile phone dependency, and tablet use were related to an increase of subjective and objective sleep problems in adolescents. These results seem to indicate that sleep displacement, mental arousal, and exposure to blue light screen emission might play a more important role on sleep than a high RF-EMF exposure to the brain. However, more studies are needed assessing personal RF-EMF levels to draw conclusions.



Note: The increased cancer incidence observed in the cell phone radiation studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the Ramazzini Institute was not likely due to heating, that is, it was not a thermal effect because hyperthermia alone is not carcinogenic according to this 2003 review paper. Dr. John Bucher pointed this out in the NTP's media teleconference about the study.

Carcinogenic effects of hyperthermia

Dewhirst MW, Lora-Michiels M, Viglianti BL, Dewey WC, Repacholi M. Carcinogenic effects of hyperthermia. Int J Hyperthermia. 2003 May-Jun;19(3):236-51.


The purpose of this paper is to assess the evidence for and against the premise that hyperthermia is carcinogenic. The paper is one of several published in this issue of the International Journal of Hyperthermia on the subject of the health risks of hyperthermia. The motivation for this issue of the journal was the result of a World Health Organization workshop that dealt with this issue, as it relates to exposure of the population to RF fields. Since hyperthermia can be a natural consequence of such exposures, the health risks of hyperthermia are relevant in this context.Particularly in the case of carcinogenesis, it is necessary to provide a brief overview of the data that have been generated to examine the carcinogenic risks of RF exposure, so that these results can be compared with studies that have examined the carcinogenic risks of hyperthermia. For this reason, the paper is organized into three sections dealing with: (1) effects of heat on DNA damage/repair and mutations, (2) in vivo studies evaluating the carcinogenic potential of heat alone and combined with other carcinogens, and (3) in vivo studies involving RF exposures. The bulk of the data presented indicate that hyperthermia alone is not carcinogenic. If hyperthermia occurs in the presence of exposure to known carcinogens, such as radiation or chemical carcinogens there is the potential for modulation of carcinogenic effects of those agents. In some circumstances, hyperthermia can actually protect against tumour formation. In other instances, hyperthermia clearly increases incidence of tumour formation, but this occurs following thermal exposures (several degrees C temperature rise for up to 1 h or more) and radiation (therapeutic levels as for treatment of cancer) or chemical carcinogen doses higher than would be encountered by the general population. The extrapolation of these results to the general population, where radiation exposure levels would be at background and temperature rise from incidental RF exposure, such as cell phones (which are estimated to cause no more than 0.1 degrees C temperature rise) is not recommended. Current evidence indicates that the temperature elevations resulting from RF exposure are not carcinogenic. Caution should be used in situations where exposure to known carcinogens is combined with thermal exposures high enough to cause tissue damage. A summary of thermal thresholds for tissue damage from hyperthermia is presented in another paper in this special issue (Dewhirst et al.). No data exist that examine the carcinogenic risks of chronic thermal exposures below the threshold for detectable tissue damage, either alone or in combination with known carcinogens. This is an important goal for future research.



Significance of micronuclei in buccal smears of mobile phone users: A comparative study

Vanishree M, Manvikar V, Rudraraju A, Reddy KMP, Kumar NHP, Quadri SJM. Significance of micronuclei in buccal smears of mobile phone users: A comparative study. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2018 Sep-Dec;22(3):448. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_201_18.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The present study was designed to evaluate the frequency of micronuclei (MN) in the buccal exfoliated cells of mobile phone users. In addition, comparison of MN frequency between high and low mobile phone users was also done.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 30 male and 30 female participants between the age group of 20-28 years were selected from the Outpatient Department of Navodaya Dental College and Hospital, Raichur, Karnataka. The participants were divided into two groups: Group A - low mobile phone users and Group B - high mobile phone users. Cell sampling and preparation was done on the slide. All the slides were observed for a total of 1000 cells for the presence and number of MN in each cell.

RESULTS: There was a significant increase in the mean MN count in Group B in comparison to the Group A. There was highly significant difference in the mean MN count of participants using (code division multiple access) CDMA than (global system for mobiles) GSM mobile phones. The MN mean count was found to be significantly increased in non-headphone users in comparison to headphone users. In Group B, the MN count on the side of mobile phone use was found to be statistically significantly elevated in comparison to the opposite side.

CONCLUSION: Mobile phone radiation even in the permissible range when used for longer duration can cause significant genotoxicity. The genotoxicity accentuates when mobile phones are frequently used on the same side which may be due to more amount of radiation and increase in the temperature. Headphone usage reduces the genotoxicity of mobile phone radiation to some extent.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306606/


Transdermal patches loaded with L-cysteine HCL as a strategy for protection from cell phone radiation

Omar SM, Nasr M, Rafla DA. Transdermal patches loaded with L-cysteine HCL as a strategy for protection from mobile phone-emitting electromagnetic radiation hazards. Saudi Pharm J. 2019 Jan;27(1):112-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2018.09.004.


Mobile phone usage has been increased in the last few years emitting electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which disturbs normal cellular processes via oxidative stress. L-cysteine, a glutathione precursor, prevents oxidative damage.

Transdermal patches (TDPs) loaded with L-cysteine hydrochloride (L-CyS-HCL) were fabricated by dispersion of L-CyS-HCL 5% w/w and different concentrations of sorbitol as a plasticizer in room-temperature vulcanizable synthetic silicone matrices (RTV-Si). The effect of sorbitol on patch physicochemical parameters was assessed; in-vitro L-CyS-HCL release profiles and ex-vivo permeation were studied. Pharmacokinetic parameters of endogenous synthetized in-vivo glutathione, after receiving IV bolus dose of L-CyS-HCl and L-CyS-HCl-RTV-Si-TDPs were studied in rat model. The influence of L-CyS-HCL-RTV-Si-TDPs against damaging effects of mobile phone EMR on rats' blood and brain tissues was studied.

The results revealed that patch plasticity, intensity reflections, surface porosity, L-CyS-HCL release rate and skin permeation increased with increasing sorbitol concentration. Pharmacokinetic profile for IV dose and L-CyS-HCl-RTV-Si-TDPs revealed that the L-CyS-HCl-RTV-Si-TDPs provided a sustained glutathione plasma concentration-time profile over entire patch application. High significant differences in biological parameters (blood and brain samples) were observed for radiated rats using the patch in study compared with positive control rats.

Promising long-term strategy for protection against mobile phone hazards was obtained.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323147/


High ambient radiofrequency radiation in Stockholm city, Sweden

Carlberg M, Hedendahl L, Koppel T, Hardell L. High ambient radiofrequency radiation in Stockholm city, Sweden. Oncol Lett. 2019 Feb;17(2):1777-1783. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.9789.


We measured the radiofrequency (RF) radiation at central parts in Stockholm, Sweden in March and April 2017. The same measurement round tour was used each time. We used EME Spy 200 for the measurements as in our previous studies in Stockholm. The results were based on 11,482 entries, corresponding to more than 12 h measurements. The total mean level was 5,494 µW/m2 (median 3,346; range 36.6-205,155). The major contributions were down links from LTE 800 (4G), GSM + UMTS 900 (3G), GSM 1800 (2G), UMTS 2100 (3G) and LTE 2600 (4G). Regarding different places, the highest RF radiation was measured at the Hay Market with a mean level of 10,728 µW/m2 (median 8,578; range 335-68,815). This is a square used for shopping, and both retailers and visitors may spend considerable time at this place. Also, the Sergel Plaza had high radiation with a mean of 7,768 µW/m2. All measurements exceeded the target level of 30-60 µW/m2 based on non-thermal (no heating) effects, according to the BioInitiative Report. Based on short-term thermal effects, The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection established guideline 2 of 10 W/m2 (2,000,000-10,000,000 µW/m2) depending on frequency in 1998, and has not changed it despite solid evidence of non-thermal biological effects at substantially lower exposure levels. These environmental RF radiation levels are expected to increase with the introduction of 5G for wireless communication.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341832/


Alternating Electric Fields (TTFields) Activate Cav1.2 Channels in Human Glioblastoma Cells

Neuhaus E, Zirjacks L, Ganser K, Klumpp L, Schüler U, Zips D, Eckert F, Huber SM. Alternating Electric Fields (TTFields) Activate Cav1.2 Channels in Human Glioblastoma Cells. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jan 18;11(1). pii: E110. doi: 10.3390/cancers11010110.


Tumor treating fields (TTFields) represent a novel FDA-approved treatment modality for patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. This therapy applies intermediate frequency alternating electric fields with low intensity to the tumor volume by the use of non-invasive transducer electrode arrays. Mechanistically, TTFields have been proposed to impair formation of the mitotic spindle apparatus and cytokinesis. In order to identify further potential molecular targets, here the effects of TTFields on Ca2+-signaling, ion channel activity in the plasma membrane, cell cycle, cell death, and clonogenic survival were tested in two human glioblastoma cell lines in vitro by fura-2 Ca2+ imaging, patch-clamp cell-attached recordings, flow cytometry and pre-plated colony formation assay. In addition, the expression of voltage-gated Ca2+ (Cav) channels was determined by real-time RT-PCR and their significance for the cellular TTFields response defined by knock-down and pharmacological blockade. As a result, TTFields stimulated in a cell line-dependent manner a Cav1.2-mediated Ca2+entry, G₁ or S phase cell cycle arrest, breakdown of the inner mitochondrial membrane potential and DNA degradation, and/or decline of clonogenic survival suggesting a tumoricidal action of TTFields. Moreover, inhibition of Cav1.2 by benidipine aggravated in one glioblastoma line the TTFields effects suggesting that Cav1.2-triggered signaling contributes to cellular TTFields stress response. In conclusion, the present study identified Cav1.2 channels as TTFields target in the plasma membrane and provides the rationale to combine TTFields therapy with Ca2+ antagonists that are already in clinical use.



Complications of nonionizing radiofrequency on divided attention

Bamdad K, Adel Z, Esmaeili M. Complications of nonionizing radiofrequency on divided attention. J Cell Biochem. 2019 Feb 3. doi: 10.1002/jcb.28343.


Exposure to electromagnetic fields is considered as a potential hazard for biological systems. The objective of our investigation is the study of probable consequences of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from Wi-Fi router devices on the short-term memory, and attention's levels. A population consisting of 312 female college students (14 to 17 years old) was elected by cluster random sampling. Teenagers were divided into two groups of control group (Wi-Fi nonusers; n = 138), and experiment group (Wi-Fi users; n = 174). Both groups have been examined using short-term memory tests; selective attention, and also divided attention tests. According to the results, there was no significant difference between using Wi-Fi router devices on levels of selective attentions and short-term memory of the sample students with the control group. However, analyses revealed that there is a significant correlation between the use of Wi-Fi routers and declining levels of divided attentions. Our investigation has demonstrated the adverse consequences of 2.4-2.48 GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields of Wi-Fi router devices on divided attention levels of female university students that should be mentioned as a technological risk factor and taken into account by healthcare organizations.


Note: This was an observational study, not a randomized trial. The observed difference on divided attention may be due to confounding.


Effect of 900-, 1800-, and 2100-MHz radiofrequency radiation on DNA and oxidative stress in brain

Alkis ME, Bilgin HM, Akpolat V, Dasdag S, Yegin K, Yavas MC, Akdag MZ. Effect of 900-, 1800-, and 2100-MHz radiofrequency radiation on DNA and oxidative stress in brain. Electromagn Biol Med. 2019 Jan 22:1-16. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2019.1567526.


Ubiquitous and ever increasing use of mobile phones led to the growing concern about the effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by cell phones on biological systems. The aim of this study is to explore whether long-term RFR exposure at different frequencies affects DNA damage and oxidant-antioxidant parameters in the blood and brain tissue of rats. 28 male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four equal groups (n = 7). They were identified as Group 1: sham-control, Group 2: 900 MHz, Group 3: 1800 MHz, and Group 4: 2100 MHz. Experimental groups of rats were exposed to RFR 2 h/day for 6 months. The sham-control group of rats was subjected to the same experimental condition but generator was turned off. Specific absorption rates (SARs) at brain with 1 g average were calculated as 0.0845 W/kg, 0.04563 W/kg, and 0.03957, at 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz, respectively. Additionally, malondialdehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), total antioxidant status (TAS), and total oxidant status (TOS) analyses were conducted in the brain tissue samples. Results of the study showed that DNA damage and oxidative stress indicators were found higher in the RFR exposure groups than in the sham-control group. In conclusion, 900-, 1800-, and 2100-MHz RFR emitted from mobile phones may cause oxidative damage, induce increase in lipid peroxidation, and increase oxidative DNA damage formation in the frontal lobe of the rat brain tissues. Furthermore, 2100-MHz RFR may cause formation of DNA single-strand breaks.



RFR at different mobile phone frequencies seems to cause oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, and DNA damage by changing oxidant and antioxidant levels in frontal lobe of the brain tissue. However, the increase in the frequency and the increase in the level of damage suggest that RFRs at higher frequencies may negatively affect brain tissue and may lead to the development of damage. Our study is consistent with many recent studies and supports the hypothesis that RFR causes damage to biological tissues. However, in order to reach solid conclusions, detailed long-term studies at molecular level are definitely needed.


Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMF) on honey bee queen development and mating success

Odemer R, Odemer F. Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMF) on honey bee queen development and mating success. Science of The Total Environment. 661:553-562. April 15, 2019.


• Chronic RF-EMF exposure significantly reduced hatching of honey bee queens.
• Mortalities occurred during pupation, not at the larval stages.
• Mating success was not adversely affected by the irradiation.
• After the exposure, surviving queens were able to establish intact colonies.


Mobile phones can be found almost everywhere across the globe, upholding a direct point-to-point connection between the device and the broadcast tower. The emission of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) puts the surrounding environment inevitably into contact with this radiation. We have therefore exposed honey bee queen larvae to the radiation of a common mobile phone device (GSM band at 900 MHz) during all stages of their pre-adult development including pupation. After 14 days of exposure, hatching of adult queens was assessed and mating success after further 11 days, respectively. Moreover, full colonies were established of five of the untreated and four of the treated queens to contrast population dynamics. We found that mobile phone radiation had significantly reduced the hatching ratio but not the mating success. If treated queens had successfully mated, colony development was not adversely affected. We provide evidence that mobile phone radiation may alter pupal development, once succeeded this point, no further impairment has manifested in adulthood. Our results are discussed against the background of long-lasting consequences for colony performance and the possible implication on periodic colony losses.


Even though detrimental effects on ontogenetic queen development were revealed by the outcome of our study, caution is needed in interpreting these results. So far, there have been no serious records of colony losses associated with mobile phone radiation. Moreover, we have created by far a worst case operator scenario to which honey bee colonies would not be exposed under realistic beekeeping conditions. Duration and level were similar to average operator exposure by the use of a mobile phone, but not to those present at an apiary, neither in rural nor in urban areas. And yet, queens that survived the treatment were able to establish full functional colonies, demonstrating an immense recovering potential. Therefore we do not assume any acute negative effects on bee health in the mid-term. However,we do not rule out an influence through lower doses of permanent irradiation, in particular on a chronic sublethal level present in major city environments. Hence, we urgently suggest further research should be carried out in the long-term to ascertain what impacts are to be expected in the context of a suitable risk assessment for electromagnetic fields on bee health.



Room temperature and selective triggering of supramolecular DNA assembly/disassembly by non-ionizing radiation

Greschner AA, Ropagnol X, Kort M, Zuberi N, Perreault J, Razzari L, Ozaki T, Gauthier MA. Room temperature and selective triggering of supramolecular DNA assembly/disassembly by non-ionizing radiation. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Feb 1. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b10355.


Recent observations have suggested that non-ionizing radiation in the microwave and terahertz (THz; far infrared) regimes could have an effect on double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). These observations are of significance owing to the omnipresence of microwave emitters in our daily lives (e.g., food preparation, telecommunication, wireless internet) and the increasing prevalence of THz emitters for imaging (e.g., concealed weapon detection in airports, screening skin cancer) and communication technologies. By examining multiple DNA nanostructures as well as two plasmid DNA, microwaves were shown to promote the repair and assembly of DNA nanostructures and single-stranded regions of plasmid DNA, while intense THz pulses had the opposite effect (in particular for short dsDNA). Both effects occurred at room temperature within minutes, showed a DNA-length dependence, and did not affect the chemical integrity of the DNA. Intriguingly, the function of seven proteins (enzymes and antibodies) was not affected by exposure to either forms of radiation under the conditions examined. This particularity was exploited to assemble a fully-functional hybrid DNA-protein nanostructure in a bottom-up manner. This study therefore provides entirely new perspectives for the effects, on a molecular level, of non-ionizing radiation on biomolecules. Moreover, the proposed structure-activity relationships could be exploited in the field of DNA nanotechnology, which paves the way for designing a new range of functional DNA nanomaterials that are currently inaccessible to state-of-the-art assembly protocols.



Exposure to EMF of High Voltage Overhead Power Lines and Female Infertility

Esmailzadeh S, Delavar MA, Aleyassin A, Gholamian SA, Ahmadi A. Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields of High Voltage Overhead Power Lines and Female Infertility. Int J Occup Environ Med. 2019 Jan;10(1):11-16. doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2019.1429.


BACKGROUND: Living in the vicinity of high voltage power lines has brought about a range of health woes, but the effect of residential exposure to electromagnetic fields from the power lines on female fertility has not been explored yet.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis if residential proximity to high voltage power lines could be associated with the increased risk of female infertility.

METHODS: In a case-control study, 462 women with confirmed diagnosis of unexplained infertility or behavioral and environmental factors were assessed between February 2014 and December 2016. Control group comprised of 471 persons with no history of infertility selected using randomized-digit dialing from the numbers registered in a birth registry between 2014 and 2016. The nearest linear distance from high voltage power lines to the participants' residence of cases and controls was measured using a Geographical Information System (GIS) and Google Earth aerial evaluation for high voltage power lines (240-400 kV).

RESULTS: 112 (14.1%) houses were within 500 meters from a high voltage power line. Women living within 500 meters of the lines (OR 4.14, 95% CI 2.61 to 6.57) and 500-1000 meters of the line (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.47) carried a significantly higher risk of infertility than those women living more than 1000 meters away from the power lines. After adjusting for confounding factors, women living within 500 meters of the lines carried a higher risk (aOR 4.44, 95% CI 2.77 to 7.11) of infertility compared with women living more than 1000 meters of the lines.

CONCLUSION: The current safety guidelines for electromagnetic fields exposure seems to be not adequate for protecting people from the hazardous effects of the field.



Childhood leukemia risk in the California Power Line Study: magnetic fields versus distance from power lines

Catherine M.Crespi, JohnSwanson, Ximena P.Vergara, LeekaKheifets. Childhood leukemia risk in the California Power Line Study: magnetic fields versus distance from power lines.Environmental Research.January 11, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.01.022.


• Magnetic field strength and power line proximity are related but distinguishable
• Childhood leukemia risk was higher only when highly exposed to both
• Factors other than magnetic fields may explain higher leukemia risk near lines


Pooled analyses have suggested a small increased risk of childhood leukemia associated with distance and with exposure to high magnetic fields from power transmission lines. Because magnetic fields are correlated with distance from lines, the question of whether the risk is due to magnetic fields exposure or to some other factor associated with distance from lines is unresolved. We used data from a large records-based case-control study to examine several research questions formulated to disentangle the relationships among magnetic fields, distance from high voltage lines, and childhood leukemia risk. In models examining an interaction between distance and magnetic fields exposure, we found that neither close proximity to high voltage lines alone nor exposure to high calculated fields alone were associated with childhood leukemia risk. Rather, elevated risk was confined to the group that was both very close to high voltage lines (<50 m) and had high calculated fields (≥0.4 μT) (odds ratio 4.06, 95% CI 1.16, 14.3). Further, high calculated fields (≥0.4 μT) that were due solely to lower voltage lines (<200 kV) were not associated with elevated risk; rather, risk was confined to high fields attributable to high voltage lines. Whilst other explanations are possible, our findings argue against magnetic fields as a sole explanation for the association between distance and childhood leukemia and in favor of some other explanation linked to characteristics of power lines.



Changes over time in the reported risk for childhood leukemia and magnetic fields

Swanson J, Kheifets LI, Vergara X. Changes over time in the reported risk for childhood leukaemia and magnetic fields.
J Radiol Prot. 2019 Feb 8. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/ab0586.


There have been many studies from 1979 to the present reporting raised risks for childhood leukaemia with exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields. There are also suggestions that the reported risk has been decreasing. We examine trends in the risk over time from all available studies. For 41 studies, we combine reported risks using inverse-variance weighting, drawing risk estimates from previous pooled analyses where possible for greater consistency. We examine the cumulative risk for studies published up to each successive calendar year for all studies and for various subsets, and test for a trend over the period. The cumulative relative risk has indeed declined, for our most rigorous analysis from a maximum 2.44 in 1997 to 1.58 in 2017, but not statistically significantly when tested as a linear trend. We find suggestions of higher risks in studies looking at higher exposures and in studies with better quality exposure assessment. We conclude that there is a decline in reported risk from the mid-1990s to now, which is unlikely to be solely explained by improving study quality but may be due to chance, and an elevated risk remains.



Weak magnetic fields alter stem cell–mediated growth

Van Huizen AV, Morton JM, Kinsey LJ, Von Kannon DG, Saad MA, Birkholz TR, Czajka JM, Cyrus J, Barnes FS, Beane WS. Weak magnetic fields alter stem cell–mediated growth. Science Advances. 5(1). 30 Jan 2019. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7201.


Biological systems are constantly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the form of natural geomagnetic fields and EMFs emitted from technology. While strong magnetic fields are known to change chemical reaction rates and free radical concentrations, the debate remains about whether static weak magnetic fields (WMFs; <1 mT) also produce biological effects. Using the planarian regeneration model, we show that WMFs altered stem cell proliferation and subsequent differentiation via changes in reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and downstream heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression. These data reveal that on the basis of field strength, WMF exposure can increase or decrease new tissue formation in vivo, suggesting WMFs as a potential therapeutic tool to manipulate mitotic activity.

Open access paper: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau7201


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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