Monday, December 28, 2015

Cancer risk from exposure to power lines and electrical appliances

Meta-analysis of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and cancer risk: 
a pooled analysis of epidemiologic studies

Zhang Y, Lai J, Ruan G, Chen C, Wang DW. Meta-analysis of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and cancer risk: a pooled analysis of epidemiologic studies. Environ Int. 2015 Dec 15;88:36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.12.012.


• A significant association between ELF-EMF exposure and cancer risk was identified.
• Subgroup analysis revealed increased risk only in North America, especially in United States.
• However, the data from individual European country was contradicted with each other.
• Increased risk was only observed in residential exposure or interview-based surveys.
• Device measured studies obtained no significant association in overall effects.


Human-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs), such as nonionizing radiation, are classified into three categories: extremely low frequency fields (< 300 Hz) ....

Studies have suggested that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) may affect physiological functions in animal models. However, epidemiologic studies investigating the association of ELF-EMF with the susceptibility to cancer yield contradictory results.

In this comprehensive analysis, we conducted a search for case-control surveys regarding the associations of ELF-EMF and cancer susceptibility in electronic databases. A total of 42 studies involving 13,259 cases and 100,882 controls were retrieved. 

All studies were case–control studies, including 23 breast cancer ..., 1 testicular cancer ..., 1 acoustic neuroma ..., 1 endometrial cancer ...., and 3 other cancer cases.

Overall, increased susceptibility to cancer was identified in the ELF-EMF exposed population (OR=1.08, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.15, P=0.02). In the stratified analyses, increased risk was found in North America (OR=1.10; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.20, P=0.02), especially the United States (OR=1.10; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.20, P=0.03). However, studies from Europe contradict these results. Moreover, a higher risk was found to be statistically significantly associated with the residential exposed population (OR=1.18; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.37, P=0.03). Furthermore, an increased cancer risk was found in interview-based surveys (OR=1.16; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.35, P=0.04). In device measurement-based studies, a slight increased risk was found only in premenopausal breast cancer (OR=1.23; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.49, P=0.04).

Our meta-analysis suggests that ELF-EMFs are associated with cancer risk, mainly in the United States and in residential exposed populations. Methodological challenges might explain the differences among studies.


The overall evaluation conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), while static electric and magnetic fields and extremely low-frequency electric fields are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3) (Humans, 2002).

ELF-EMFs are mainly generated by power transmission lines, power equipment or appliances (Chen et al., 2013). Because of the rapid development of industry and society, humans are surrounded by various electric devices, and exposure to ELF-EMFs is increasing. Currently, the biological effects induced by ELF-EMFs on human health have become a cause for concern (Grellier et al., 2014 and Zhang et al., 2015).

In general, animal experiments have produced positive results for all known human carcinogens, for which adequate testing has been performed (Humans, 2002). However, it is notable that childhood leukemia is the only cancer outcome for which this association has been consistently found using epidemiological methods (Grellier et al., 2014). It has been hypothesized that experiments designed following the classical two-step initiator–promoter concept of carcinogenesis may not be appropriate for understanding the biological effects of ELF-EMFs, as disease progression may result from complex interactions of genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens (Juutilainen, 2008).

The results in Fig. 2 show that weak association between EMF-ELF exposure and susceptibility to cancer was identified when all the eligible studies were pooled (OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.15, P = 0.02) regardless of the exposure models or cancer types (Fig. 2).

In the country subgroup analysis, a statistically significant increase in risk was found in North America (15 breast cancer, 3 brain cancer, 1 leukemia and 1 other cancer; OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.20, P = 0.02), mainly in the United States (14 breast cancer, 3 brain cancer and 1 other cancer; OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.20, P = 0.03). On the contrary, no statistically significant association between EMF-ELFs and cancer risk was found in a global analysis of European studies (7 breast cancer, 7 brain cancer, 8 leukemia and 5 other cancers) .... An increased risk of cancer was found in Norway (3 breast cancer, 1 brain cancer, 1 leukemia and 1 other cancer; OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.21, P = 0.02) and France (1 brain cancer and 1 leukemia; OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.84, P = 0.03), while a decreased risk was found in Sweden (4 breast cancer, 1 brain cancer, 1 leukemia and 1 other cancer; OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.84, 0.96, P = 0.001) and England (2 brain cancer, 2 leukemia and 2 other cancers; OR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.96, P = 0.02). In addition, a study from New Zealand also showed an increased cancer risk (1 leukemia; OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.08, 3.59, P = 0.03) .... Further subgroup analyses based on cancer type did not reveal any statistically significant associations in all of the analyzed types. When compared by exposure methods, an increased risk was only observed in residential exposure populations (OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.37, P = 0.03).  

[Note that the 23 studies that examined breast cancer risk yielded a marginally significant association with ELF-EMF exposure (OR = 1.07, p = .06)].

In conclusion, in our study, relevant literature selected from broad databases with stringent standards revealed an increased risk of cancer upon ELF-EMF exposure. However, more quantitative studies will contribute to more comprehensive results in the future.

Cell tower radiation prevents garden cress from germinating

Peer-reviewed study replicates Danish student experiment

In 2013, five ninth grade students in Denmark conducted an experiment for a national science fair which found that cress seeds located near two Wi-Fi routers failed to germinate.

Mainstream media in many countries reported on this news story:

"European acclaim for grade 9 experiment." Nyheder, May 17, 2013.

"Can WiFi Signals Stunt Plant Growth? ... A Danish science experiment by a group of 9th-graders has gained worldwide interest and may have us rethinking the proliferation of wireless devices in our homes.ABC News, May 24, 2013.

"Deense leerlingen verbazen wetenschappers met Wifi-experiment." DeWereldMorgen, May 28, 2013.

"Le Wi-Fi mortel pour les graines de cresson? Attendons l'expérience scientifique." Slate, May 31, 2013.

"Wi-fried: do wireless routers really kill plants?" The Guardian, Dec 17, 2013.

The story went viral on the Internet. 

More recently, students in a few countries replicated the findings of this study, but pundits dismissed the results.

In a newly published peer-reviewed study, Drs. Cammaerts and Johansson conducted a partial replication of the original Danish student study using cell towers instead of WiFi routers as the source of wireless radiation. They found that cress seeds located 200 meters from two cell towers failed to germinate. 

They concluded that "wireless technology may effectively and seriously impact nature and should urgently be used much more cautiously."


Effect of man-made electromagnetic fields on common Brassicaceae Lepidium sativum (cress d’Alinois) seed germination: a preliminary replication study

Cammaerts MC, Johansson O. Effect of man-made electromagnetic fields on common Brassicaceae Lepidium sativum (cress d’Alinois) seed germination: a preliminary replication study. Phyton, International Journal of Experimental Botany 2015; 84: 132-137.


Under high levels of radiation (70-100 µW/m2 =175 mV/m), seeds of Brassicaceae Lepidium sativum (cress d’Alinois) never germinated. In fact, the first step of seeds’ germination ‒ e.g. imbibitions of germinal cells ‒ could not occur under radiation, while inside the humid compost such imbibitions occurred and roots slightly developed. When removed from the electromagnetic field, seeds germinated normally. The radiation was, thus, most likely the cause of the non-occurrence of the seeds’ imbibitions and germination.

Imbibition is a special type of diffusion when water is absorbed by solids-colloids-causing them to enormously increase in volume.


The present work was undertaken consequently to that performed by a group of Danish girls (Lea Nielson, Mathilde Nielsen, Signe Nielsen, Sisse Coltau and Rikke Holm), at Hjallerup Skole, under the supervision of their biology teacher Mr. Kim Horsevad. These girls made an experiment as a part of a national science fair/competition for high school pupils about which more information can be found at the website

It would be tempting to just discard such observations since they have not been performed under controlled conditions, thus not following all the rules of sciences. But often, observations done outside of the regular laboratory environments are the start of new discoveries. So, we decided to try to replicate the girls’ work.

Man-made electromagnetic waves have actually largely been shown to have adverse effects on living organisms. They affect, for instance, mammals (Adang et al., 2006; Benlaidi & Kharroussi, 2011), birds (Everaert & Bauwens, 2007), amphibians (Balmori, 2006), bees (Kimmel et al., 2007, Sharma & Kumar, 2010; Favre, 2011), ants (Cammaerts et al., 2012, 2013), fruit flies (Panagopoulos et al., 2004; Panagopoulos, 2012), and even protozoa (Cammaerts et al., 2011). In fact, they act firstly and essentially on the cellular membrane and so affect any living
organism (Cammaerts et al., 2011). Such waves have also been shown to impact plants (Roux et al., 2008; Haggerty, 2010), at physiological and ecological levels.

Four identical series of seeds of Brassicaceae Lepidium sativum (cress d’Alinois) (same quantity, quality, origin, age) were deposited on identical compost (same initial sample), each one in an identical tray (20 cm x 15 cm x 4 cm). Compost is the commonly used material for obtaining germination of seeds. The compost was humidified with same quantity (100 ml) of the very same tap water. Two of these trays were set at a place where the electromagnetic field reached an intensity of 70 - 100 µW/m2 (= about 175 mV/m), this being mainly due to the presence of two communication masts at about 200 meters of distance (Fig. 1). The two other trays were set at another place where the electromagnetic field had an intensity of about 2 - 3 µW/m2 (= 30 mV/m). These two series of seeds, set under low radiation level, were used as the control sample. since the existing electromagnetic fields were generated by communication masts, the frequencies of the emitted waves were 900 MHz and/or 1,800 MHz.

After four days, the seeds set under the two different electromagnetic field strengths already differed: those under the lower level had begun to germinate while those under the higher level of electromagnetic field had not at all done so. After seven days in total, many seeds maintained under low level of exposure had completed their germination and other ones were in the process of their germination while the seeds set under the higher level of exposure appeared unchanged (when looking at them from above) (Fig. 2 A). The experiment was continued until a total of 10 days with, at that time, the same results as above: normal germination for the seeds under low radiation, apparently no germination for those set under the higher radiation.

The fact that man-made electromagnetic waves probably have adverse effects on living organisms is actually more and more realized and admitted. Reviews on the subject exist (Pakhomov & Murphy, 2000; Fragopoulou et al., 2010; Sivani & Sudarsanam, 2012; Cucurachi et al., 2013).

In conclusion, the present investigation - although preliminary in its character- indicates that the prodigious wireless technology may effectively and seriously impact nature and should urgently be used much more cautiously (see also the published work of Doyon (2008)). The present study also brings some new information on the subject - effect of electromagnetism on plants - but it must be replicated on several plants species, at different independent laboratories, as well as developed further at the cytological and physiological levels by botanists, histologists and physiologists ....

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wireless Technology & Public Health Forum

December 8, 2015
On October 10, 2015, the Santa Clara County Medical Association Alliance Foundation sponsored a forum, "Wireless Technology and Public Health: Health and Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World," at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts in Mountain View, California.
The event brought together leading experts from various disciplines who presented current scientific research regarding the health effects of electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, Wi Fi and other electronic devices on biological systems.
The experts presented the science and personal stories behind the recent call for safer wireless radiation standards by over 200 international scientists.  Links to autism, cancer, infertility, adverse effects on wildlife, cell phone safety and Wi Fi precautions were discussed.

The forum was videotaped and can be viewed online. See links below.


Part 1  Joel Moskowitz, PhD - Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy

Joel M. Moskowitz, PhD, Director, Center for Family and Community Health, U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, associate producer of the movie Mobilize: A Film about Cell Phone Radiation, discussed new research related to wireless technology, public health and policy. His website is a valuable resource for journalists and the public. In the past year, he helped organize the International EMF Scientist Appeal (EMFScientist.orgsigned by more than 200 EMF scientists and consulted on the Berkeley cell phone “right to know” ordinance

Video (46 mins.):

Part 2  Martin Pall, PhD - How Wireless Devices Cause Cell Harm: Voltage-Gate Calcium Channels

Martin Pall, PhD, Professor Emeritus, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, author of numerous scientific papers on oxidation and inflammation, discussed the cellular mechanisms of action that explain the adverse biological effects of wireless devices on the human body. 

Video (31 mins.):

Part 3  Suruchi Chandra, MD - Environmental Factors in Autism and EMF Radiation

Suruchi Chandra, MD, Harvard-trained integrative psychiatrist discussed stressors on the developing nervous system, childhood developmental delays, research related to microwave EMF and other toxic exposures, and how this knowledge changed her approach to clinical care.

Video (18 mins.):

Part 4  Peter Sullivan - The Autism Puzzle: Reducing Digital Overload in a Wireless Era

Peter Sullivan, founder of Clear Light Ventures and a Silicon Valley computer scientist, discussed his personal family experience with autism spectrum disorder and how he improved the health of his family through EMF reduction.

Video (16 mins.):

Part 5  Toril Jelter, MD - Health Effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation in Children

Toril Jelter, MD, pediatrician and general practitioner who treats children and adults with electrohypersensitivity, discussed her clinical experience with autism and behavioral changes related to electromagnetic radiation.

Video (20 mins.):

Part 6  Victoria Dunckley, MD - Electronic Screen Syndrome: The Overstimulated Child

Victoria Dunckley, MD, award-winning child psychiatrist and author of "Reset Your Child's Brain," discussed the identification and management of screen-time's physiological effects on mood regulation, cognition, sleep, and behavior in children.

Video (28 mins.):

Part 7  Katie Singer - Electronics in Our Ecosystem: EMF Effects on Wildlife, Birds and Bees

Katie Singer, author of "An Electronic Silent Spring," reported on the impact of exposure to electromagnetic radiation on wildlife.

Video (24 mins.):

Loretta Lynch, JD, attorney and former President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), discussed corporate influence in government, profiteering and the smart meter issue at the CPUC. Ms. Lynch
 served the CPUC through California’s energy crisis fighting manipulation of energy sellers.

Video: not available

Part 8 Question and Answer Session

Video (24 mins.):

The forum was organized by Cindy Lee Russell, MD, Vice President of Community Health, Santa Clara County Medical Association.

Monday, December 7, 2015


"Wireless Technology & Public Health: Health & Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World"
Joel Moskowitz, Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Teleconference (Feb 16, 2016)

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy"
Joel Moskowitz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health presentation (Oct 22, 2015)

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy"
Joel Moskowitz, Mountain View Center for Performing Arts (Oct 10, 2015)
Video: (46:29)

"Cell Phones and Your Health" (BEUHS653)
Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley faculty and staff presentation (Sep 10, 2015)
Sponsored by University Health Services/Health Matters and CITRIS

"Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation Safety Policy Options"
Joel Moskowitz, "Final Remarks: Domestic Policy Implications," Commonwealth Club of California (Jun 22, 2015) 
Video: (10:26)

Video & slides for the Commonwealth Club forum: "Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened to Protect Adults, Children and Vulnerable Populations – and Should Parents, Teachers and Schools Restrict Technology Overuse among Children?" (Jun 22, 2015):

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health"
Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley lecture, Health and Social Behavior (PH200) (Apr 8, 2015)

"Mobile Phone Use and Cancer Risk: Research on a Group 2B Carcinogen"
Joel Moskowitz, Webinar for CDC Work Group on Cancer Prevention (Oct 29, 2014)
Audio: or

"Mobile Phone Radiation and Health: Recent Research and Policy Developments"
Joel Moskowitz, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley (Jun 19, 2014)

"Brain Tumor Risk from Wireless Phone Use: Recent Research and Policy Implications"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part II: Dec 9, 2013) 
Video: or

"Expert Roundtable: Skeptical about Cell Phones and Health?"
Forum at Commonwealth Club of California (Dec 9, 2013)
Other presentations will be available soon. 
Agenda :

"Cell Phones & Brain Tumors What Does the Science Show?"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part I: Nov 18, 2010)
Video (15 minutes):