Monday, June 1, 2020

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields

I have been circulating abstracts of newly-published scientific papers on wireless radiation and electromagnetic fields (EMF) about once or twice a month since August 2016. These updates are sent to several hundred EMF scientists around the world.

The latest additions appear below.

The complete collection of abstracts now covers more than 900 scientific papers. This 658-page document (pdf) can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

Note: This link will change when new abstracts are added to the collection.

Recent Papers

Half Duplex Radio: Towards Green 5G NR Half Duplex Radio: Towards Green 5G NR

Kour H, Jha RK. Half Duplex Radio: Towards Green 5G NR. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine. May 2020. doi:10.1109/MCE.2020.2993105.

Abstract

The standardization of the 5th Generation of mobile communication networks is paving its way in 3GPP, involving the evolution of 5G New Radio (NR). One of the key features of NR is its operation at high frequencies such as mm Wave, involving high human exposure to electromagnetic (EM) radiation in the atmosphere. This increases the power density levels in our ecosystem, high specific absorption rates in body tissues because of temperature elevation due to heating. The article provides an overview of the harmful impacts of the Radio Frequency (RF) fields with some radiation reduction techniques. A potential solution as a proposal in the form of “Thermal Radiation” (TR) mode to design the future mobile communication networks is presented. The proposed mode validates its performance by decreasing Power Density (PD), complexity and temperature elevation. Also high energy efficiency is obtained for proposed TR mode hence contributing towards Green Communication.

Excerpt

Various biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) and mmWave radiation have been studied in literature. Some of them are summarized in Table 1. It can be seen that at low frequencies of exposure the power density values obtained for the study targets are within the exposure limits as specified by ICNIRP [3]. With the rise in frequency exposure, the PD and Specific absorption Rate (SAR) obtained rise correspondingly. The damage caused is seen in terms of reduced growth rate, reproductive capacity, corneal damage, altered memory and so on. There is a major contribution to the climate change caused by emission of harmful gases such as 𝐶𝑂2 due to proliferation in the ICT industry [4] and mobile communication systems which is expected to be 51% (179 Mt 𝐶𝑂2 𝑒) by 2020 [5].

In humans the eyes, skin tissues, brain are the most vulnerable areas and the power density exposure is maximum [7]. There are concerns regarding planning of the 5G networks in a way as to abide by the EMF limits and constraints. Various 5G enabling technologies have been discussed in literature to provide new opportunities for reducing the exposure and for EMF aware network planning to plan the future communication networks [8]. In [9], the authors discuss EM radiation reduction techniques for mobile communication systems such as Massive MIMO which increases the spatial diversity by transmitting parallel streams of information channels called as spatial multiplexing. Various other techniques discussed include Electromagnetic Shielding, Beamforming, Coordinated multipoint (CoMP), Spectrum Sharing. In [10] an algorithm to achieve better quality of experience and service in 5G systems is proposed. In addition, zonal based approach is followed in [11] to prolong battery lifetime of users in a spectrum-shared network contemplating Green Communication.

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Limitations of Incident Power Density as a Proxy for Induced Electromagnetic Fields

Christ A, Samaras T, Neufeld E, Kuster N. Limitations of Incident Power Density as a Proxy for Induced Electromagnetic Fields. Bioelectromagnetics. 2020 May 14. doi: 10.1002/bem.22268. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

The most recent safety guidelines define basic restrictions for electromagnetic field exposure at frequencies more than 6 GHz in terms of spatial- and time-averaged transmitted power density inside the body. To enable easy-to-perform evaluations in situ, the reference levels for the incident power density were derived. In this study, we examined whether compliance with the reference levels always ensures compliance with basic restrictions. This was evaluated at several distances from different antennas (dipole, loop, slot, patch, and helix). Three power density definitions based on integration of the perpendicular real part of the Poynting vector, the real part of its three vector components, and its modulus were compared for averaging areas of λ2 /16, 4 cm2 (below 30 GHz) and 1 cm2 (30 GHz). In the reactive near-field (d < λ/(2π)), the transmitted power density can be underestimated if an antenna operates at the free space exposure limit. This underestimation may exceed 6 dB (4.0 times) and depends on the field source due to different coupling mechanisms. It is frequency-dependent for fixed-size averaging areas (4 and 1 cm2 ). At larger distances, transmission can be larger than the theoretical plane-wave transmission coefficient due to backscattering between the body and field source. Using the modulus of the incident Poynting vector yields the smallest underestimation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32410291

Conclusions

The ratio of the transmitted to incident averaged PD was quantified considering near‐ and far‐field effects with the objective of establishing a correlation that can be used for the assessment of the compliance of wireless devices operating above 6 GHz based on free space measurements. The following additional aspects need be taken into consideration for the quantification of the average transmitted PD:
  • Increased coupling in the near‐field, which has already been described by Kuster and Balzano [1992], can lead to an underestimation of the average transmitted PD by more than 6 dB (4.0 times) or a factor of 4 for d < λ/2 if the real part of the Poynting vector that is perpendicular to the phantom (Equation (1)) is applied to calculate the averaged PD as the exposure metric.
  • The underestimation is frequency‐independent, if the averaging area is normalized to (λ/4)2, instead of being kept fixed at 4 or 1 cm2. If the averaging area is normalized to the wavelength, frequency independence for array antennas can be assumed provided that the array topology (e.g. number and spatial arrangement of array elements) is kept constant.
  • Calculating the averaged PD using the modulus of the Poynting vector (Equation (3)) yields a better proxy for the transmitted power in the near‐field, i.e. for d < λ/(2π), because it takes into account losses that are induced by the reactive field components, which do not contribute to the real part of the Poynting vector.
  • At distances d > λ/(2π), at which the Poynting vector approaches the PD of TEM wave propagation, the transmission coefficient may deviate by more than ±2 dB (1.6 times) from the plane‐wave equivalent transmission due to backscattering and constructive or destructive interference. Within the considered distance range of up to 2λ, the impact of backscattering cannot be neglected.
These results should be considered in the assessment of compliance of wireless devices with the basic restrictions. The incident PD calculated from the real part of the Poynting vector that is perpendicular to the phantom (Equation (1)) is a poor proxy for any EM source in the reactive near‐field, i.e. at d < λ/(2π) or at a distance of 2 mm below 24 GHz. According to the results of the evaluated EM sources in this study, the modulus of the Poynting vector (Equation (3)) approximates the exposure much more reliably. The most reliable method of determining the exposures at 2 mm below 24 GHz, however, is the direct assessment of the transmitted PD in a skin simulating phantom instead of the incident PD, as it also takes into account the coupling and backscattering effects. Above 24 GHz, current methods have proven to be sufficiently accurate and reliable.

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Comparison of effects of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and mobile phone exposure on human placenta and cord blood

Bektas H, Dasdag S, Bektas MS. Comparison of effects of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and mobile phone exposure on human placenta and cord blood. Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment. 34(1): 154-162, DOI: 10.1080/13102818.2020.1725639.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi systems and mobile phones on cord blood and placenta. The study included 149 pregnant women who were divided in subgroups: unexposed (control), mobile phone exposed, Wi-Fi exposed and mobile phone plus Wi-Fi exposed groups. Immediately after birth, placenta and cord blood samples were collected and protein carbonyl (PCO), malondialdehyde (MDA), total oxidant status (TOS), total antioxidant status, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels and DNA single strand breaks were analysed. The results of the study showed an increase in 8-OHdG, MDA, PCO and TOS in cord blood and placenta in the group exposed to mobile phones during gestation. However, the group exposed to Wi-Fi did not show alterations in the studied oxidative stress parameters. On the other hand, tail intensity and tail moment of DNA in the mobile phone exposure groups were higher than those in the control and Wi-Fi exposure groups. In conclusion, the results of this study indicated that mobile phone exposure during pregnancy could have an important potential to cause oxidative stress and DNA damage in cord blood and placenta. The results of this study also indicated that combined effects of Wi-Fi plus mobile phone exposure have a higher potential to cause synergistic harmful effects.

Excerpts

The use of wireless Internet and mobile phones has been increasing rapidly. Nowadays, access points to the internet are present in workplaces, public places, houses, and schools. These sources of RFR are raising the public concern regarding the potential health effects. Possibly, these systems are particularly popular with children and the young population. However, exact proof is not present on whether these RFR systems are harmful or not for humans. Therefore, people, especially pregnant women and children should be cautious around such equipment until there are sufficient data. Some animal studies have recently indicated that RFR exposure during pregnancy induced some adverse effects on infants [13–15]. On the other hand, in a human pregnancy study, it is reported that RFR exposure during pregnancy caused significant changes in some biochemical parameters of cord blood [16].

There is a correlation between radiofrequency and body penetration. When the frequency of the RFR increases, it penetrates less into the body tissues [8]. Consequently, the penetration of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi should be lower than that of 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz, which are the mobile phone frequencies. On the other hand, there are two frequency zones (around 100 MHz and 1–4 GHz) in which children absorb more RF than adults [8]. However, the strength and distance to sources are very important for the health effects of RFR. As it is known, when RFR moves away from the source, its power density decreases in proportion to 1/d2 (where d2 is the square of the distance to the source). People are exposed to local RFR when talking with mobile phones, whereas RFR emitted from Wi-Fi affects the entire body. It is thought that public exposure levels arising from Wi-Fi are lower than those from mobile phones [8]. Additionally, frequency, power density, distance and physical properties of the biological material (permeability and dielectric constant) are the determinative factors for the interaction between RFR and the biological material. It is also reported that tissues with high water content are more sensitive to RFR than others [9]. Therefore, another issue that needs attention is pregnancy because the body water content increases in pregnancy. It is also verified that RFR has potential to develop some anomalies during pregnancy [10,11]. Additionally, the specific absorption rate (SAR) levels in foetuses exposed to 900 MHz plane waves have been found 14% lower than those of their mothers [12]

In our study, the tail moment and tail intensity, which are DNA damage indicators, were found higher in Group 1 (mobile phone only) than in the control group. However, no significant change was observed in the Wi-Fi group (Group 2) in terms of the parameters under discussion. The 8-OHdG level, which is also another oxidative DNA damage indicator, was higher in Group 1 than in the Control. On the other hand, no significant alteration was observed in Group 2 as compared to the control. We also observed differences in the 8-OHDG levels, tail moment and tail intensity between the experimental groups (p<0.001). Therefore, we suggest that RFR emitted from mobile phones was more effective in inducing oxidative DNA damage than RFR emitted from Wi-Fi. On the other hand, the results from our study indicated that Wi-Fi has the potential to contribute to the detrimental effects of mobile phones.

In cord blood, the values of TOS and OSI in Groups 1 and 3 were higher than those in the control group (p<0.001), whereas the TAS levels were lower than that in the control (p<0.05). Alterations in TAS, TOS, OSI were not observed in the Wi-Fi exposed group. In placenta, TAS in Group 2 was higher than that in Group 1 (p<0.001), OSI in Group 2 were acquired lower than Group 1. The results obtained from our study showed that the exposure to mobile phones during the gestation period might be able to induce oxidative stress, but exposure to Wi-Fi does not appear to cause oxidative stress. The reason behind this difference may be attributed to absorption and attenuation of RFR emitted from Wi-Fi devices by walls and materials in the vicinity. In addition, mobile phone users are exposed to more RFR in the near field. Known harmful effects of RFR on living organisms depend on some physical characteristics of radiation [7]. The body RF penetration decreases when RF frequency increases [8].

There are some limitations to this study. For example, although all efforts were made to carefully select the participants enrolled in this study, the study design could not possibly exclude all potential effects of other factors on the pregnant women that may have affected the levels of the parameters in this study. However, the confounding factors presented in Tables 1 and 2 indicated that external factors were found statistically insignificant (p>0.05).

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Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: a critical review of explanatory hypotheses

Dieudonné M. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: a critical review of explanatory hypotheses. Environ Health. 2020 May 6;19(1):48. doi: 10.1186/s12940-020-00602-0.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:  Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a condition defined by the attribution of non-specific symptoms to electromagnetic fields (EMF) of anthropogenic origin. Despite its repercussions on the lives of its sufferers, and its potential to become a significant public health issue, it remains of a contested nature. Different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of symptoms experienced by self-declared EHS persons, which this article aims to review.

METHODS:  As EHS is a multi-dimensional problem, and its explanatory hypotheses have far-reaching implications, a broad view was adopted, not restricted to EHS literature but encompassing all relevant bodies of research on related topics. This could only be achieved through a narrative approach. Two strategies were used to identify pertinent references. Concerning EHS, a complete bibliography was extracted from a 2018 report from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety and updated with more recent studies. Concerning related topics, the appropriate databases were searched. Systematic reviews and expert reports were favored when available.

FINDINGS: Three main explanatory hypotheses appear in the literature: (1) the electromagnetic hypothesis, attributing EHS to EMF exposure; (2) the cognitive hypothesis, assuming that EHS results from false beliefs in EMF harmfulness, promoting nocebo responses to perceived EMF exposure; (3) the attributive hypothesis, conceiving EHS as a coping strategy for pre-existing conditions. These hypotheses are successively assessed, considering both their strengths and limitations, by comparing their theoretical, experimental, and ecological value.

CONCLUSION: No hypothesis proves totally satisfying. Avenues of research are suggested to help decide between them and reach a better understanding of EHS.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7201940/


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The enigma of headaches associated with electromagnetic hyperfrequencies: Hypotheses supporting non-psychogenic algogenic processes.

Toffa DH, Sow AD. The enigma of headaches associated with electromagnetic hyperfrequencies: Hypotheses supporting non-psychogenic algogenic processes. Electromagn Biol Med. 2020 May 13:1-10. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2020.1762638.

Abstract

Although an electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is reported in numerous studies, some authors associate hyperfrequencies (HF)-related pains with a nocebo effect while others suggest a biological effect. Therefore, we aimed to suggest hypotheses about the complex mechanisms of headaches related to HF-exposure. We crossed basic features of headaches with relevant studies (from the year 2000 up to 2018) emphasizing on the HF effects that may lead to pain genesis: neuroglial dysmetabolism, neuroinflammation, changes in cerebral blood perfusion, blood-brain barrier dysfunction and electrophysiological evidences of hyperexcitability. We privileged studies implying a sham exposure (for in vivo studies) and a specific absorption rate lower than 4 W/Kg. HF-induced headaches may involve an indirect inflammatory process (neurogenic, magnetogenic or thermogenic) as well as a direct biophysical effect (thermogenic or magnetogenic). We linked inflammatory processes to meningeal dysperfusion or primary neuroglial dysfunction triggered by non-thermal irradiation or HF-induced heating at thermal powers. In the latter case, HF-induced excitoxicity and oxidative stress probably play a crucial role. Such disorders may lead to vascular-trigeminal activation in predisposed people. Interestingly, an abnormal oxidative stress predisposition had been demonstrated in overall 80% of EHS self-reporting patients. In the case of direct effects, pain pathways' activation may be directly triggered by HF-irradiation (heating and/or transcranial HF-induced ectopic action potentials). Further research on HF-related headaches is needed.


Excerpts

Electromagnetic HFs are non-ionizing radiations that have complex interactions with intracranial structures. These radiations can significantly impact on neuroglial excitability and induce direct or indirect changes in the permeability of the BBB and meningeal capillaries. All these objective interactions can lead to the induction of headaches either by non-thermal/thermal proinflammatory mechanisms, by thermal stimulation of trigeminal endings, or also by ectopic discharges genesis. However, we believe that unless there occurs a prolonged and high-intensity exposure, a low threshold for vascular trigeminal activation seems crucial to promote headaches in EHS people. Our hypotheses are based on the conclusions of several studies targeting the brain effects of HF. However, further experiments based on the current assumptions should be conducted. In practice, since it is impossible to avoid HF exposure in modern society, it is important to emphasize awareness to reduce this exposure, especially in EHS individuals. Moreover, since some of the mechanisms described above can lead to durable neuroglial processes, chronic exposure in predisposed people can result in brain disorders (headaches or other) that increasingly evolve independently from HF triggering.

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Empirical study on specific absorption rate of head tissues due to induced heating of 4G cell phone radiation

Christopher B, Mary YS, Khandaker MU, Jojo PJ. Empirical study on specific absorption rate of head tissues due to induced heating of 4G cell phone radiation. Radiation Physics and Chemistry. Published online Apr 4, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radphyschem.2020.108910

Highlights

• Induced heating of 4G cell phone radiation affects the functions of neural cells.
• Temperature and SAR of brain, eye and skin tissues are measured in laboratory condition.
• Rise in temperature and SAR values are found in the studied tissues for confrontation of 600 s.
• Long time and over exposure to mobile phone radiation may affect the individual health.

Abstract

Exposures to electromagnetic radiation mainly from the extended use of mobile phones may initiate biological damages in the human body at the macromolecular level. Several studies on human and animal models have shown significant changes in the functions of neural cells. Present empirical study analyses the thermal changes and the specific absorption rates (SAR) of brain, eye and skin tissues due to prolonged exposure to mobile phone radiation. A phantom, simulating human head with skin, skull and brain was used for the study. The Phantom was exposed to radiation for longer durations (600 s and more) and the temperature variations at different specific points were studied with sensitive thermocouple probes. SAR (1 g of contiguous tissue) values were determined using the variations of temperature and other parameters. The average rise in brain temperature was found to be 0.10 ± 0.05 °C at 30 mm deep in the brain and the estimated SAR was 0.66 ± 0.35 Wkg-1. The increase in temperature for the eye socket was 0.03 ± 0.02 °C with SAR 0.15 ± 0.08 Wkg-1. The average rise in temperature for skin was 0.14 ± 0.05 °C and the SAR was 0.66 ± 0.42 Wkg-1. Although the measured SAR lie within the safe limit of 2 Wkg-1 recommended by the international regulatory body, considering the tremendous growth in the number of mobile phone users and prolonged use of mobile phone in communication purposes, the cumulative effects could be a real concern for human health.


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An Experimental Study of Effects of Media Implication on Self-Report Symptoms Related With Mobile Phone Use

Gao P, Zheng F-Z, He M-D, Li M, Deng P, Zhou Z, Yu Z-P, Zhang L. An Experimental Study of Effects of Media Implication on Self-Report Symptoms Related With MP Use. Front. Public Health, 13 May 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00175

Along with gradual increases in mobile phone (MP) use, the mass media has played a vital role in informing the public regarding the potential health hazards of MP use. These media warnings have prompted public worries about health. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of media warnings about the possible health hazards of MP use on self-reported symptoms. Participants were 703 undergraduate students who volunteered to take part in an experimental study between August 2013 and July 2015. After completing baseline questionnaires containing information on demographics, MP usage and possible confounding variables, the participants were randomly clustered assigned to a video treatment group (watching a 5-min video about the possible health hazards of MP use) or a control group. Then, they completed another set of questionnaires containing 6 self-reported physical symptoms and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Chi-squared tests, Mann-Whitney U-tests and logistic regression models were applied in the data analysis. Participants in the video group reported significantly more frequent headache (P = 0.01), fatigue (P = 0.00), memory loss (P = 0.03), inattention (P = 0.00), and higher level of depression (P = 0.05) than those in the control group. Additionally, the prevalence of memory loss (β = 0.071, P = 0.03) and inattention (β = 0.110, P = 0.00) were significantly higher in participants with higher level of depression who watched the video. Media warnings about the possible health hazards of MP use promote people to report physical symptoms and psychological problems. Considering this tendency, more moderate and scientific media information is needed to alleviate public worries about MP use.


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Spending the night next to a router - Results from the first human experimental study investigating the impact of Wi-Fi exposure on sleep

Danker-Hopfe H, Bueno-Lopez A, Dorn H, Schmid G, Hirtl R, Eggert T. Spending the night next to a router - Results from the first human experimental study investigating the impact of Wi-Fi exposure on sleep. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2020 May 11;228:113550. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2020.113550.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The use of wireless telecommunication systems such as wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi)-enabled devices has steadily increased in recent years. There are persistent concerns that radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure might affect health. Possible effects of RF-EMF exposure on human sleep were examined with regard to mobile phones and base stations, but not with regard to Wi-Fi exposure.

OBJECTIVES: The present double-blind, sham-controlled, randomized, fully counterbalanced cross-over study addressed for the first time the question whether a whole night Wi-Fi exposure has an effect on sleep.

METHODS: Thirty-four healthy young male subjects (mean ± SD: 24.1 ± 2.9 years) spent five nights in the sleep laboratory. A screening and adaptation night was followed by two experimental nights. Each of the experimental nights was preceded by a baseline night. Sleep was evaluated at the subjective level by a questionnaire and at the objective level (macro- and microstructure) by polysomnography. Either 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi (max psSAR10g of 6.4 mW/kg) or sham signals were delivered by a newly developed head exposure facility.

RESULTS: Results showed no statistically significant acute effects of a whole-night Wi-Fi exposure on subjective sleep parameters as well as on parameters characterizing the macrostructure of sleep. Analyses of the microstructure of sleep revealed a reduction in global EEG power in the alpha frequency band (8.00-11.75 Hz) during NREM sleep under acute Wi-Fi exposure compared to sham.

DISCUSSION: The results of the present human experimental study are well in line with several other neurophysiological studies showing that acute RF-EMF exposure has no effect on the macrostructure of sleep. The slight physiological changes in EEG power observed under Wi-Fi exposure are neither reflected in the subjective assessment of sleep nor at the level of objective measurements. The present results are not indicative of a sleep disturbing effect of Wi-Fi exposure.


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Review of Audiovestibular Symptoms Following Exposure to Acoustic and Electromagnetic Energy Outside Conventional Human Hearing

Lubner RJ, Kondamuri NS, Knoll RM, Ward BK, Littlefield PD, Rodgers D, Abdullah KG, Remenschneider AK, Kozin ED. Review of Audiovestibular Symptoms Following Exposure to Acoustic and Electromagnetic Energy Outside Conventional Human Hearing. Front Neurol. 2020 Apr 28;11:234. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00234.

Abstract

Objective: We aim to examine the existing literature on, and identify knowledge gaps in, the study of adverse animal and human audiovestibular effects from exposure to acoustic or electromagnetic waves that are outside of conventional human hearing.

Design/Setting/Participants: A review was performed, which included searches of relevant MeSH terms using PubMed, Embase, and Scopus. Primary outcomes included documented auditory and/or vestibular signs or symptoms in animals or humans exposed to infrasound, ultrasound, radiofrequency, and magnetic resonance imaging. The references of these articles were then reviewed in order to identify primary sources and literature not captured by electronic search databases. Results: Infrasound and ultrasound acoustic waves have been described in the literature to result in audiovestibular symptomology following exposure. Technology emitting infrasound such as wind turbines and rocket engines have produced isolated reports of vestibular symptoms, including dizziness and nausea and auditory complaints, such as tinnitus following exposure. Occupational exposure to both low frequency and high frequency ultrasound has resulted in reports of wide-ranging audiovestibular symptoms, with less robust evidence of symptomology following modern-day exposure via new technology such as remote controls, automated door openers, and wireless phone chargers. Radiofrequency exposure has been linked to both auditory and vestibular dysfunction in animal models, with additional historical evidence of human audiovestibular disturbance following unquantifiable exposure. While several theories, such as the cavitation theory, have been postulated as a cause for symptomatology, there is extremely limited knowledge of the pathophysiology behind the adverse effects that particular exposure frequencies, intensities, and durations have on animals and humans. This has created a knowledge gap in which much of our understanding is derived from retrospective examination of patients who develop symptoms after postulated exposures.

Conclusion and Relevance: Evidence for adverse human audiovestibular symptomology following exposure to acoustic waves and electromagnetic energy outside the spectrum of human hearing is largely rooted in case series or small cohort studies. Further research on the pathogenesis of audiovestibular dysfunction following acoustic exposure to these frequencies is critical to understand reported symptoms.


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Comprehensive radiofrequency electromagnetic field measurements and assessments: a city center example

Kurnaz C, Mutlu M. Comprehensive radiofrequency electromagnetic field measurements and assessments: a city center example. Environ Monit Assess. 2020 May 7;192(6):334. doi: 10.1007/s10661-020-08312-3.

Abstract

In this study, radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) measurements were carried out between 2016 and 2018 in one the largest provinces of Turkey; measurement results are compared with the limit values determined by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA). In the first stage of a three-phase evaluation, short-term RF-EMF measurements were conducted in 500 locations over a 2-year period. In the second stage, short-term RF-EMF measurement results were analyzed to determine selected locations for long-term RF-EMF measurements to be carried out, including variation of RF-EMF during the day. In the last stage, band selective measurements were taken and the main sources of RF-EMF in the environment were determined. Overall, RF-EMF values do not exceed the limits determined by ICNIRP and ICTA, and they are below levels that threaten public health. In the short-term RF-EMF measurements, RF-EMF levels doubled after fourth generation (4G) systems were introduced. In the long-term RF-EMF measurements, RF-EMF values in the day are 35.4% more than at night. The total measured RF-EMF within the city center is 99.3% base station sourced. Among the six main RF-EMF sources, the devices operating in UMTS2100 band have the most contribution to total RF-EMF of medium with 31.2%. Additionally, we found short-term average electric field strength data are best described by the "exponential distribution," while long-term RF-EMF measurement data is best described by the "Burr distribution."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32382839

Excerpts

Short-term and long-term RF-EMF measurements were taken using the PMM-8053 EMF meter (PMM-8053 2020) with the EP-330 electric field isotropic probe. Band selective RF-EMF measurements were performed with the SRM-3006 EMF meter (SRM-3006 2020) with 3501/03 isotropic electric field probe. The PMM-8053 measures the total RF-EMF for the frequency spectrum of 100 kHz–3GHz, while the SRM-3006 measures the RF-EMF for a selective band in the 27 MHz–3 GHz frequency band. Technical details for PMM-8053 and SRM- 3006 used in measurements are given in Table 2.

Conclusions   This study undertook three stages of RF-EMF measurement between 2016 and 2018 in the Altınordu District of Ordu, Turkey. In the first stage, short-term RF-EMF measurements, in the frequency range of 100 kHz–3 GHz, were performed at 500 locations during 2016 and 2017. The highest measured Eavg value in 2016 was 4.55 V/m (21.66% of the lowest ICTA reference level (21 V/m) and 16.25% of the lowest ICNIRP reference level (28 V/m) for the considered frequency band), which increased to 5.86 V/m (27.9% of the lowest ICTA reference level) in 2017. The average of all short-term RF-EMF measurements in 2016 was 0.39 V/m (corresponding to 1.85% of the ICTA reference level), which increased to 0.79 V/m (corresponding to 4.23% of the ICTA reference level) in 2017, an increase of 102.5%. The main reason for this increase appears to be due to the introduction of the 4G system in 2017. Our short-term RF-EMF measurement results (0.39 V/m and 0.79 V/m) were in agreement with those obtained in similar studies, where average electric field strength levels ranged between 0.22 and 0.41 V/m (Urbinello et al. 2014a), from 0.02 to 2.05 V/m (Sanchez-Montero et al. 2017), from 0.07 to 1.27 V/m (Jalilian et al. 2019), from 0.32 to 1.70 V/m (Tang et al. 2019), between 0.08 and 1.8 V/m (Gajsek et al. 2015), 0.47 V/m in city centers (Sagar et al. 2016), 0.74 V/m in urban environments (Joseph et al. 2012). The Eavg of the short-term RF-EMF data are best described by the exponential distribution.

In the second stage, long-term RF-EMF measurements at the 17 locations where the short-term RF-EMF measurement exceeded 1.90 V/m were performed to determine the variation of RF-EMF over the day. The maximum overall RF-EMF and average values were observed as 9.54 V/m and 5.13 V/m (45.42% and 24.42% of the corresponding of the lowest ICTA reference level (21 V/m) for the considered frequency band), respectively. RF-EMF values measured during the afternoon are higher than night and morning, being 35% greater than at night. Long-term RF-EMF measurement data is best described by the “Burr distribution.”
In the last stage, band selective RF-EMF measurements were performed at the same locations as the long-term measurements to identify the sources of RF-EMF. From all the locations considered, the highest average RF-EMF level was 5.013 V/m (23.87% of the lowest ICTA reference level for FM frequency band)) generated by the FM band. The greatest contribution to RF-EMF was from base stations, with 57.3% in the overall measurements, and increasing to 99.3% in the city center. The highest city center RF-EMF level (2.284 V/m for LTE 800 band) measured represented 8.41% of the ICTA limit for LTE 800.

Comprehensive RF-EMF measurements were conducted between 2016 and 2018 and over 510 h (short-term RF-EMF measurements took 100 h, while long-term and band selective RF-EMF measurements took 408 h and more than 2 h respectively) show that the values in Altınordu District are below the limits set by ICTA and ICNIRP. However, an annual increase in RF-EMF was observed, and it is recommended that measurements should be made annually to ensure levels remain below the limits set by ICTA and ICNIRP to reduce risks to public health. These measurements and assessments, especially with the deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless infrastructure in the near future, will be of great importance to determine and keep under control the level of RF-EMF in the environment.

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Case-control study on occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields and the association with acoustic neuroma

Carlberg M, Koppel T, Ahonen M, Hardell L. Case-control study on occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields and the association with acoustic neuroma. Environmental Research. Available online 7 May 2020, 109621

Highlights

• Exposure to ELF-EMF has been classified as a possible human carcinogen by IARC.
• Risk for acoustic neuroma was investigated for occupations with ELF-EMF exposure.
• No increased risk for acoustic neuroma was found in any exposure category.

Abstract

Exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) was in 2002 classified as a possible human carcinogen, Group 2B, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at WHO based on an increased risk for childhood leukemia. In case-control studies on brain and head tumours during 1997-2003 and 2007-2009 we assessed life-time occupations in addition to exposure to different agents. The INTEROCC ELF-EMF Job-Exposure Matrix was used for associating occupations with ELF-EMF exposure (μT) with acoustic neuroma. Cumulative exposure (μT-years), average exposure (μT) and maximum exposed job (μT) were calculated. No increased risk for acoustic neuroma was found in any category. For cumulative exposure in the highest exposure category 8.52+ μT years odds ratio (OR) = 1.2, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.8-2.0, p linear trend = 0.37 was calculated. No statistically significant risks were found in the time windows 1-14 years, and 15+ years, respectively. In conclusion occupational ELF-EMF was not associated with an increased risk for acoustic neuroma.


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Mobile Electromagnetic Radiation Affects Vitelline Vessels Development in Chick Embryo: A Morphometric Study

Al-Qudsi F, Al-Quahtani A. Mobile Electromagnetic Radiation Affects Vitelline Vessels Development in Chick Embryo: A Morphometric Study. Bioscience Research. 17(1):383-398. 2020.

Abstract

Smart mobile phone use has increased dramatically in the last five years. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from mobile phones might affect embryonic development. However the mechanism of this effect is not completely understood. Vitelline vessels are the first blood vessels formed, playing a vital role in embryonic nutrition during development. The aim of this research was to study the effect of mobile phone EMR (450-2100 MHz) on the formation of vitelline vessels in chick embryo (Gallus gallus domesticus) and detect the resulting congenital malformations. Fertilized chicken eggs were divided into three groups: control (C), exposed without call (EO) and exposed with call (EW). In EW group the mobile phone was called every 6 hours for 15 minutes, (60min/24hr.). While the EO group was exposed to a mobile phone connected through the Wi-Fi to the internet only. Embryos were extracted on day 2, 3, 4 and 5 of incubation. A major decrease in the formation of vitelline vessels was seen in the treated groups compared to the controls causing bleeding seen in several sites of the treated embryos. Congenital malformations increased in treated groups compared to the controls of all experimental ages. The congenital malformations seen were growth retardation, bleeding, clotting and neural tube defects. It was concluded that mobile phone EMR prevented proper formation of vitelline vessels resulting in deformed embryos.


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The influence of electromagnetic radiation of cell phones on the behavior of animals

Sultangaliyeva I, Beisenova R, Tazitdinova R, Abzhalelov A, Khanturin M. Vet World. The influence of electromagnetic radiation of cell phones on the behavior of animals. 2020 Mar;13(3):549-555. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2020.549-555.

Abstract

Background and Aim: The radiation emitted from cell phones has various deleterious effects on human health. The article considers the problem of the effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) of cell phones on the behavior of animals. The use of mobile phones is continually increasing throughout the world. All of the world population uses mobile phones widely; thus, having strong and daily effect on the brain. There is no restriction on the use of mobile phones. Getting more advantages and convenience of mobile communication, the population is trying not to hear the information about possible risks to their health, there is no element of self-restraint. The aim of this work was to study behavioral patterns in response to the influence of cell phones.

Materials and Methods: The experiments were carried out on 90 white outbred rats weighing 250-300 g. Experiments were carried out and the effect of EMR from Samsung Galaxy J1 mini and Xiaomi Redmi S2 phones on animal behavior was studied. Behavioral reactions were studied using the open field method.

Results: By the quality of the act of locomotion in the second experimental group is reduced by 30% and also in this group by the time of the act is 23% lower than in the control data. Vertical motor activity, a support stand, is also suppressed in the second experimental group: 61% lower in number and 47.2% lower in act time compared to the control group. Based on the data, we can conclude that the EMR of the phone Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini affects the behavior of animals to a greater extent than Xiaomi Redmi S2. By the frequency of the act, sniffing is 26% lower; by the time of the act, it remained at the level of control data in the second group. In the third group of the animals, the number and time of the act are 15% lower than the control data. The support stands as an indicator of research activity. In the second group the act of stand with support - by number was lower by 57% than the control data, this indicates that research activity is being suppressed.

Conclusion: According to the above changes under the action of EMR from the Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini and Xiaomi Redmi S2 phones, the motor component of behavior is suppressed. The research component of behavior in all groups of animals is enhanced due to high rates of sniffing. It is possible that in animals under stress, the motivation to interact with the environment decreases, leading to an excessive self-accentuation of the animal. Immobility is seen in all experimental groups, which indicates the suppression of the emotional sphere of brain activity. Defecation and urination change only slightly, which may also indicate the suppression of animal emotions.


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Protective Effects of Vitamin E on Mobile Phone Induced Injury in The Brain of Rats

Sangi S M A, Bawadekji A, Alotaibi N M, Aljameeli A M, Soomro S. Protective Effects of Vitamin E on Mobile Phone Induced Injury in The Brain of Rats. Int j pharm phytopharm res 2020;10(1):97-104

Abstract

Aim: With increase in use of cell phone and exposure to radiation emission from Wi-Fi,cell damage in all the body systems is found.It is necessary to find ways and means to prevent that cell damage that may affect normal functioning of the organs etc. The objective of this study was to assess the damage to brain caused by exposure to cell phones connected with Wi-Fi and prevention of that damage with Vitamin E.

Methods: Thirty male Wistar Albino rats were used in the study,rats were divided in different groups, they were exposed to cell phones and Wi-Fi for 8 weeks. The rats were treated with Vit. E 50 IU/kg of bodyweight for 4 weeks.

Results: Histopathological examination of the rat brain revealed that, exposure of rats to cell phones and Wi-Fi caused significant damage to the neurons in different areas of rat brain.The rats treated with Vit. E showed less damage in comparison to untreated rat groups.

Conclusion: In the brain of rats, treated with Vit. E intact neuronal architecture was found along with less inflammation.

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The Immunomodulatory Effect of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field on Serum Cytokine Levels in A Mouse Model of Hindlimb Unloading

Aghajari S, Mortazavi SMJ, Kalani M, Nematolahi S, Habibzadeh P, Farjadian S. The Immunomodulatory Effect of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field on Serum Cytokine Levels in A Mouse Model of Hindlimb Unloading. Cell J. 2021 Jan;22(4):401-405. doi: 10.22074/cellj.2021.6856. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Abstract

Objective: Astronauts are exposed to a wide range of environmental stresses during space flights that reduce their immune responses and make them more susceptible to infections and malignancies. Exposure to a low dose of a certain stress induces an adaptive response, which leads to resistance to higher doses of the same or other types of stress. We designed this study to investigate the effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF)-induced adaptive response on immune system modulation in a mouse model of hindlimb unloading (HU) as a ground-based animal model of spaceflight conditions.

Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, serum levels of T helper (Th)-mediated cytokines were determined by the multiplex cytometric bead assay in four groups of mice (n=10 per group): HU mice, RF-EMF-treated mice, HU mice pre-exposed to RF-EMF; and untreated controls. Mice were exposed to 2450 MHz RF-EMF with SAR 0.478 W/ kg for 12 hours/day for three successive days.

Results: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-9 (IL-9) and IL-22 were significantly decreased in HU mice. Comparison between HU mice and RF-EMF-treated mice showed an opposite change in IL-6, while IL-9, IL-22, IFN-γ and TNF-α decreased in both groups. However, just interferon gamma (IFN-γ) was significantly decreased in HU mice that were pre-exposed to RF-EMF compared to the control group.

Conclusion: The effect of RF-EMF in elevating IL-6 and reducing IL-9 in opposite directions in HU mice suggest a modulating effect of RF-EMF on HU-induced changes in these cytokines, as Th2 and Th9 eventually returned to normal levels and balances in cytokine ratios were also restored in HU mice pre-exposed to RF-EMF.


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The Effect of Radiation Emitted by Cell Phone on The Gelatinolytic Activity of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 and -9 of Mouse Pre-Antral Follicles During In Vitro Culture

Azimipour  F,  Zavareh  S, Lashkarbolouki T. The Effect of Radiation Emitted by Cell Phone on The Gelatinolytic Activity of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 and -9 of Mouse Pre-Antral Follicles During In Vitro Culture. Cell J. 2020 Apr;22(1):1-8. DOI: 10.22074/cellj.2020.6548.

Abstract

Objective: The unfavorable effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by the cell phone on reproduction health are controversial. Metalloproteinases play a vital role in ovarian follicle development. This study was designed to investigate the effects of exposure to the cell phone on the gelatinolytic activity of in vitro cultured mouse pre-antral follicle.

Materials and methods: In this experimental study, pre-antral follicles were isolated from ovaries of immature mice (n=16) and cultured with or without exposure to the cell phone in talking mode for 60 minutes. The gelatinolytic activity was evaluated through the zymography method, as well as the gene expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) namely MMP-2 and -9 and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) namely, TIMP-1 and -2 by the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. Also, in parallel, the development of pre-antral follicles was assessed.

Results: The maturation parameters of the cell phone-exposed pre-antral follicles were significantly lower compared with the control group (P<0.05). The gelatinolytic activity was significantly decreased in the cell phone-exposed preantral follicles compared with the control group (P<0.05). The relative mRNA expression of the MMP-2 gene was significantly (P<0.05) increased in the cell phone-exposed pre-antral follicles whereas the expression rate of the MMP-9 gene was considerably (P<0.05) reduced when compared with the control group. Conversely, the relative expression of the TIMP-1 was markedly (P<0.05) increased in the cell phone-exposed pre-antral follicles while the expression of the TIMP-2 was (P<0.05) significantly diminished in comparison with the control group.

Conclusion: Exposure to the cell phone alters the growth and maturation rate of murine ovarian follicle through the changing in the expression of the MMP-2 and -9 genes, as well as the gelatinolytic activity.


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Oxidative stress and apoptosis in electromagnetic waves exposed Zebrafish embryos and protective effects of conductive nonwoven fabric

Üstündağ ÜV, Özen MS, Ünal İ, Ateş PS, Alturfan AA, Akalın M, Sancak E, Emekli-Alturfan E.  Oxidative stress and apoptosis in electromagnetic waves exposed Zebrafish embryos and protective effects of conductive nonwoven fabric. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2020 Apr 20;66(1):70-75.

Abstract

The amount of technological products including television, radio transmitters, and mobile phone that have entered our daily life has increased in recent years. But these devices may cause adverse effects on human health. Electromagnetic shielding fabrics may limit and inhibit electromagnetic waves. Aim of our study was to evaluate electromagnetic wave blocking performance of nonwoven textile surfaces on zebrafish embryos that were exposed to electromagnetic waves at specific frequencies. Oxidant-antioxidant system parameters were evaluated spectrophotometrically. The expressions of tp53 and casp3a were evaluated by RT-PCR. Results showed that electromagnetic shielding fabrics produced as conductive nonwoven textile surfaces improved oxidant-antioxidant status and tp53 expression that were impaired in electromagnetic waves exposed zebrafish embryos. Also, electromagnetic shielding fabrics decreased casp3a expression responsible for the execution phase of apoptosis that increased in electromagnetic waves exposed zebrafish embryos.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32359387


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The role of 217-Hz ELF magnetic fields emitted from GSM mobile phones on electrochemotherapy mechanisms


Mansourian M, Firoozabadi M, Hassan ZM. The role of 217-Hz ELF magnetic fields emitted from GSM mobile phones on electrochemotherapy mechanisms. Electromagn Biol Med. 2020 May 15:1-11. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2020.1762635.

Abstract

Electrochemotherapy (ECT), the combination of electric pulses (EPs) and an anticancer drug, is a type of cancer treatment method. We investigated the effect of 217-Hz magnetic fields (MFs) similar to that generated by GSM900 mobile phones, as intervening factors, on proposed mechanisms of ECT including permeability, tumor hypoxia and immune system response. The 4T1 cells were exposed to extremely low-frequency (ELF)-MFs at 93, 120 or 159 µT intensities, generated by Helmholtz coils 10 min, and then put in individual groups, comprising no treatment, chemotherapy, EPs or ECT. The cell viability was evaluated. Then, two treatment protocols were selected for in vivo experiments. The mice with 4T1 tumor cells were exposed to ELF-MFs 10 min/day until the day their tumors reached 8 mm in diameter. Then, the tumors were treated to ECT. Tumor hypoxia and immune system response were analyzed through immunohistochemistry assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique, respectively. The results in vitro indicated a significant decreased ECT efficacy of 60 V/cm, 5 kHz at the flux density of 93 µT. The results in vivo showed that pre-exposure to ELF-MFs could increase tumor hypoxia induced by ECT. In addition, exposure to ELF-MFs before ECT caused a significant increase in interferon-γ/interleukin-4 in comparison with ECT alone. More studies, including studies on the effect of ELF-MFs emitted from mobile phones on tumor volume changes induced by ECT, are needed to elucidate how the process of ECT is influenced by the MFs.

Does exposure to 4G LTE cell phone radiation impair cell phone users' health?

4G or the fourth generation of cellular technology is called Long Term Evolution or LTE.  This technology employs new digital signal processing and modulation to increase the capacity and speed of wireless telecommunications networks. 

The standard for LTE was finalized in December, 2008, and the first mobile phone to employ this technology was released in September, 2010. By the end of 2017, 41 countries supported LTE coverage over at least 75% of their land area. In North America, the number of LTE mobile devices in use, 365 millionnow exceeds the size of the population.

LTE was launched without any pre-market safety testing. To date, I have found several peer-reviewed studies that examined the acute effects of exposure to LTE radiation on brain functioning and no research on human health effects.Thus, we do not know whether long-term exposure to LTE radiation is safe.

The fifth generation of cellular technology, or 5G, is currently being launched in selected areas in many countries. Although once again no pre-market safety testing was conducted, related research suggests various types of harm to humans and other species from exposure to 5G radiation.

Although 4G technology has been in use for almost a decade, very few studies have been conducted on the effects of exposure. The abstracts for these studies appear below.

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Empirical study on specific absorption rate of head tissues due to induced heating of 4G cell phone radiation

Christopher B, Mary YS, Khandaker MU, Jojo PJ. Empirical study on specific absorption rate of head tissues due to induced heating of 4G cell phone radiation. Radiation Physics and Chemistry. Published online Apr 4, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radphyschem.2020.108910

Highlights

• Induced heating of 4G cell phone radiation affects the functions of neural cells.
• Temperature and SAR of brain, eye and skin tissues are measured in laboratory condition.
• Rise in temperature and SAR values are found in the studied tissues for confrontation of 600 s.
• Long time and over exposure to mobile phone radiation may affect the individual health.

Abstract

Exposures to electromagnetic radiation mainly from the extended use of mobile phones may initiate biological damages in the human body at the macromolecular level. Several studies on human and animal models have shown significant changes in the functions of neural cells. Present empirical study analyses the thermal changes and the specific absorption rates (SAR) of brain, eye and skin tissues due to prolonged exposure to mobile phone radiation. A phantom, simulating human head with skin, skull and brain was used for the study. The Phantom was exposed to radiation for longer durations (600 s and more) and the temperature variations at different specific points were studied with sensitive thermocouple probes. SAR (1 g of contiguous tissue) values were determined using the variations of temperature and other parameters. The average rise in brain temperature was found to be 0.10 ± 0.05 °C at 30 mm deep in the brain and the estimated SAR was 0.66 ± 0.35 Wkg-1. The increase in temperature for the eye socket was 0.03 ± 0.02 °C with SAR 0.15 ± 0.08 Wkg-1. The average rise in temperature for skin was 0.14 ± 0.05 °C and the SAR was 0.66 ± 0.42 Wkg-1. Although the measured SAR lie within the safe limit of 2 Wkg-1 recommended by the international regulatory body, considering the tremendous growth in the number of mobile phone users and prolonged use of mobile phone in communication purposes, the cumulative effects could be a real concern for human health.


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Effects of mobile phone radiation on certain hematological parameters

Christopher B, Sheena MY, Uddin Khandaker M, Bradley DA, Chew MT, Jojo PJ.  Effects of mobile phone radiation on certain hematological parameters. Radiation Physics and Chemistry. Published online September 14, 2019. 108443. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radphyschem.2019.108443.

Highlights

• Mobile phone radiation affects blood hemoglobin level, white blood cell and platelets count and erythrocytes sedimentation rate.
• Effects of mobile phone radiation on hematological factors studied in a controlled condition in the laboratory.
• A matched case control approach was adopted for the investigation.
• Long time and over exposure to mobile phone radiation may affect the individual health.

Abstract

Exorbitant chronic exposure to any sort of radiation is hazardous to human health. Besides ionizing radiation, exposures to electromagnetic radiation mainly from the use of mobile phones have become a matter of great health concern, especially its extortionate use even by children. At the same time there are several myths related to the ill effects including carcinogenicity of the prolonged exposure continuously. The objective of this investigation was to find the effect on certain vital hematological parameters namely hemoglobin level, white blood cell (WBC) count, platelet count and erythrocytes sedimentation rate (ESR) level due to the prolonged exposure to mobile radiations through in vitro examination of human blood samples. Matched case control methodology was adopted for the study. Blood samples were collected by clinicians from 27 voluntary subjects for investigation. From each, one sample was kept un-exposed while the other three samples were exposed to mobile microwave radiations for 60 min continuously in identical and controlled conditions. A 4G hand phone of a very popular brand having transmission frequency range from 2.3 to 2.4 GHz including uplink and downlink was used. Hematological analyses were carried out on fresh samples immediately after collection. For comparison of the levels of hematological parameters, blood exposed to 1 h of phone radiation and control were analysed. Experimental results show that there is a significant change on the hematological components. The exposed blood samples were found to have decrease in platelet count only. Hemoglobin level, ESR rate and the WBC counts were found to be increased. While these observations are performed in a controlled laboratory conditions, the tremendous growth in number of mobile phone users, the effects could be many more folds especially in work places and cities even through passive exposure.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0969806X19305481

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Early-life exposure to pulsed LTE radiofrequency fields causes persistent changes in activity and behavior in mice

Broom KA, Findlay R, Addison DS, Goiceanu C, Sienkiewicz Z. Early-life exposure to pulsed LTE radiofrequency fields causes persistent changes in activity and behavior in C57BL/6 J mice. Bioelectromagnetics. 2019 Sep 15. doi: 10.1002/bem.22217.

Abstract

Despite much research, gaps remain in knowledge about the potential health effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) fields. This study investigated the effects of early-life exposure to pulsed long term evolution (LTE) 1,846 MHz downlink signals on innate mouse behavior. Animals were exposed for 30 min/day, 5 days/week at a whole-body average specific energy absorption rate (SAR) of 0.5 or 1 W/kg from late pregnancy (gestation day 13.5) to weaning (postnatal day 21). A behavioral tracking system measured locomotor, drinking, and feeding behavior in the home cage from 12 to 28 weeks of age. The exposure caused significant effects on both appetitive behaviors and activity of offspring that depended on the SAR. Compared with sham-exposed controls, exposure at 0.5 W/kg significantly decreased drinking frequency (P ≤ 0.000) and significantly decreased distance moved (P ≤ 0.001). In contrast, exposure at 1 W/kg significantly increased drinking frequency (P ≤ 0.001) and significantly increased moving duration (P ≤ 0.005). In the absence of other plausible explanations, it is concluded that repeated exposure to low-level RF fields in early life may have a persistent and long-term effect on adult behavior.


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Long-term exposure to 4G smartphone radiation diminished male reproductive potential in testes of adult rats

Yu G, Tang Z, Chen H, Chen Z, Wang L, et al.  Long-term exposure to 4G smartphone radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation diminished male reproductive potential by directly disrupting Spock3-MMP2-BTB axis in the testes of adult rats. Sci Total Environ. 2019 Aug 31;698:133860. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133860.

Abstract

The correlation between long-term exposure to SRF-EMR and the decline in male fertility is gradually receiving increasing attention from the medical society. While male reproductive organs are often exposed to SRF-EMR, little is currently known about the direct effects of long-term SRF-EMR exposure on the testes and its involvement in the suppression of male reproductive potential. The present study was designed to investigate this issue by using 4G SRF-EMR in rats. A unique exposure model using a 4G smartphone achieved localized exposure to the scrotum of the rats for 6 h each day (the smartphone was kept on active talk mode and received an external call for 1 min over 10 min intervals). Results showed that SRF-EMR exposure for 150 days decreased sperm quality and pup weight, accompanied by testicular injury. However, these adverse effects were not evident in rats exposed to SRF-EMR for 50 days or 100 days. Sequencing analysis and western blotting suggested Spock3 overexpression in the testes of rats exposed to SRF-EMR for 150 days. Inhibition of Spock3 overexpression improved sperm quality decline and alleviated testicular injury and BTB disorder in the exposed rats. Additionally, SRF-EMR exposure suppressed MMP2 activity, while increasing the activity of the MMP14-Spock3 complexes and decreasing MMP14-MMP2 complexes; these results were reversed by Spock3 inhibition. Thus, long-term exposure to 4G SRF-EMR diminished male fertility by directly disrupting the Spock3-MMP2-BTB axis in the testes of adult rats. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show direct toxicity of SRF-EMR on the testes emerging after long-term exposure.


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Short-term radiofrequency exposure from new generation mobile phones reduces EEG alpha power with no effects on cognitive performance.

Vecsei Z, Knakker B, Juhász P, Thuróczy G, Trunk A, Hernádi I. Short-term radiofrequency exposure from new generation mobile phones reduces EEG alpha power with no effects on cognitive performance. Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 20;8(1):18010. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36353-9.

Abstract

Although mobile phone (MP) use has been steadily increasing in the last decades and similar positive trends are expected for the near future, systematic investigations on neurophysiological and cognitive effects caused by recently developed technological standards for MPs are scarcely available. Here, we investigated the effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields emitted by new-generation mobile technologies, specifically, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE), on intrinsic scalp EEG activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) and cognitive performance in the Stroop test. The study involved 60 healthy, young-adult university students (34 for UMTS and 26 for LTE) with double-blind administration of Real and Sham exposure in separate sessions. EEG was recorded before, during and after RF exposure, and Stroop performance was assessed before and after EEG recording. Both RF exposure types caused a notable decrease in the alpha power over the whole scalp that persisted even after the cessation of the exposure, whereas no effects were found on any aspects of performance in the Stroop test. The results imply that the brain networks underlying global alpha oscillations might require minor reconfiguration to adapt to the local biophysical changes caused by focal RF exposure mimicking MP use.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6301959/

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The Effect of a Single 30-Min Long Term Evolution Mobile Phone-Like Exposure on Thermal Pain Threshold of Young Healthy Volunteers

Vecsei Z, Thuróczy G, Hernádi I. The Effect of a Single 30-Min Long Term Evolution Mobile Phone-Like Exposure on Thermal Pain Threshold of Young Healthy Volunteers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Aug 27;15(9). pii: E1849. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091849.

Abstract

Although the majority of mobile phone (MP) users do not attribute adverse effects on health or well-being to MP-emitted radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs), the exponential increase in the number of RF devices necessitates continuing research aimed at the objective investigation of such concerns. Here we investigated the effects of acute exposure from Long Term Evolution (LTE) MP EMFs on thermal pain threshold in healthy young adults. We use a protocol that was validated in a previous study in a capsaicin-induced hyperalgesia model and was also successfully used to show that exposure from an RF source mimicking a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) MP led to mildly stronger desensitization to repeated noxious thermal stimulation relative to the sham condition. Using the same experimental design, we did not find any effects of LTE exposure on thermal pain threshold. The present results, contrary to previous evidence obtained with the UMTS modulation, are likely to originate from placebo/nocebo effects and are unrelated to the brief acute LTE EMF exposure itself. The fact that this is dissimilar to our previous results on UMTS exposure implies that RF modulations might differentially affect pain perception and points to the necessity of further research on the topic.


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Modulation of brain functional connectivity by exposure to LTE (4G) cell phone radiation 

Wei Y, Yang J, Chen Z, Wu T, Lv B. Modulation of resting‐state brain functional connectivity by exposure to acute fourth‐generation long‐term evolution electromagnetic field: An fMRI study. Bioelectromagnetics. Published online 18 December 2018. 

Abstract

By now, the neurophysiological effect of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure and its underlying regulating mechanisms are not well manifested. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether acute long‐term evolution (LTE) EMF exposure could modulate brain functional connectivity using regional homogeneity (ReHo) method and seed‐based analysis on resting‐state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We performed the LTE‐EMF  exposure experiment and acquired the resting‐state brain activities before and after EMF exposure. Then we applied ReHo index to characterize the localized functional connectivity and seed‐based method to evaluate the inter‐regional functional connectivity. Statistical comparisons were conducted to identify the possible evidence of brain functional connectivity modulation induced by the acute LTE‐EMF exposure. We found that the acute LTE‐EMF exposure modulated localized intra‐regional connectivity (p < 0.05, AlphaSim corrected, voxel size ≥ 18) and inter‐regional connectivity in some brain regions (p < 0.05, AlphaSim corrected, voxel size ≥ 18). Our results may indicate that the approaches relying on network‐level inferences could provide deeper insight into the acute effect on human functional activity induced by LTE‐EMF exposure.

Excerpts

"Currently, multiple standards exist for wireless communication, which ranges from second‐generation (2G, GSM) to third‐generation (3G, UMTS) and fourth‐generation (4G, LTE) networks in daily life. Fifth‐generation (5G) networks will start to appear as a commercial infrastructure in the near future. Although we enjoy the convenience of mobile phones, the widespread use of them has raised attention about the possible health effects of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure [ICNIRP, 1998].

With neuroimaging and neuropsychology tools, the effect of EMF on the human brain can be reflected as signals of electrical activity [Hamblin et al., 2006; Croft et al., 2010; Lustenberger et al., 2013; Roggeveen et al., 2015a, b], cortical excitability [Tombini et al., 2013], cerebral blood flow [Aalto et al., 2006], brain glucose metabolism [Volkow et al., 2011], and hemodynamic responses [Volkow et al., 2011; Curcio et al., 2012]. Previous studies reported that GSM signals modulated alpha band power in resting‐state electroencephalogram (EEG) [Croft et al., 2010] or some event‐related potential (ERP) components during cognitive tasks [Hamblin et al., 2006], whereas other studies did not detect any GSM exposure‐induced changes in brain activity [Curcio et al., 2012]. Although some studies showed no significant effects of 3G signals on any neurophysiological measurements [Zhang et al., 2017], recent EEG studies reported significant EEG alterations associated with 3G mobile phone radiation [Roggeveen et al., 2015a, b]. The inconsistency could partly be attributed to different exposure frequencies, modulation modes, and exposure durations [Zhang et al., 2017]. For 4G‐related signals, only our two previous studies have investigated the acute effect of long‐term evolution (LTE) EMF exposure on human brain function [Lv et al., 2014; Yang et al., 2016] using EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that 30 min of LTE‐EMF exposure modulated the alpha/beta EEG bands [Yang et al., 2016] and spontaneous low‐frequency fluctuations [Lv et al., 2014] in some brain regions. Since LTE networks have been widely deployed, we should make more effort to evaluate the possible effects of LTE‐EMF exposure from different perspectives."

"In this study, we aimed to investigate whether acute LTE‐EMF exposure could modulate brain functional connectivity using resting‐state fMRI. We performed LTE‐EMF exposure experiments lasting for 30 min under a controllable environment and recorded the resting‐state brain activities before and after EMF exposure. Then, we applied the regional homogeneity (ReHo) index [Zang et al., 2004] to characterize localized intraregional connectivity and the seed‐based functional connectivity method [Margulies et al., 2010] to evaluate interregional brain connectivity. Statistical comparisons were conducted to identify possible evidence of brain functional connectivity modulation induced by acute LTE‐EMF exposure."

“To eliminate study biases, we employed a double‐blind, crossover, randomized, and counterbalanced design. Each participant underwent two experimental sessions including real exposure and sham exposure, which were separated by 1 day….The time‐division LTE signal (2.573 GHz) was produced by a signal generator a standard formulation for LTE signals….The power delivered to the standard dipole of 2.6 GHz was 24 dBm (mean value), which was equivalent to a theoretical maximal emission by an LTE terminal. The experiments were conducted in a shielding room to avoid the influence of environmental EMF. Each exposure session lasted for 30 min.”

“Numerical simulations that yielded spatial peak SAR averaging over 10 g tissues for the subjects was 0.98 ± 0.27 W/kg, with a maximal value of 1.52 W/kg, which was below the safety limits [ICNIRP, 1998].”

“In our previous studies, we found that LTE‐EMF exposure depressed the amplitude of spontaneous low frequency fluctuations (ALFFs) in some brain regions [Lv et al., 2014], such as those surrounding the left superior temporal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus (STG_L and MTG_L), right superior temporal gyrus (STG_R), right medial frontal gyrus, and right paracentral lobule (MFG_R and PCL_R). In the present study, we found new evidence that acute LTE‐EMF exposures lasting for 30 min modulated brain functional connectivity including not only localized intraregional connectivity, but also interregional connectivity.”

"Although the SAR values by LTE‐EMF exposure indicated no obvious temperature increase during the exposure experiments and the brain was excellent in terms of thermal regulation, we could not preclude that thermal changes, even minute changes, could be responsible for the instantaneous changes in neural firing. SAR is a metric averaging over 6 min, and its applicability for neurological studies should be discussed."

Conclusion

"Our results may indicate that approaches relying on network‐level inferences can provide deeper insights into the acute effects of LTE‐EMF exposure with intensities below the current safety limits on human functional connectivity. In the future, we need to investigate the evolution of the effect over time.”


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Effect of Electromagnetic Waves from Mobile Phones on Spermatogenesis in the Era of 4G-LTE

Oh JJ, Byun SS, Lee SE, Choe G, Hong SK. Effect of Electromagnetic Waves from Mobile Phones on Spermatogenesis in the Era of 4G-LTE. Biomed Res Int. 2018 Jan 29;2018:1801798.

Abstract

Objective  To investigate the effect of long duration exposure to electromagnetic field from mobile phones on spermatogenesis in rats using 4G-LTE.

Methods  Twenty Sprague-Dawley male rats were placed into 4 groups according to the intensity and exposure duration: Group 1 (sham procedure), Group 2 (3 cm distance + 6 h exposure daily), Group 3 (10 cm distance + 18 h exposure daily), and Group 4 (3 cm distance + 18 h exposure daily). After 1 month, we compared sperm parameters and histopathological findings of the testis.

Results  The mean spermatid count (×106/ml) was 398.6 in Group 1, 365.40 in Group 2, 354.60 in Group 3, and 298.60 in Group 4 (p = 0.041). In the second review, the mean count of spermatogonia in Group 4 (43.00) was significantly lower than in Group 1 (57.00) and Group 2 (53.40) (p < 0.001 and p = 0.010, resp.). The sum of the germ cell counts was decreased in Group 4 compared to Groups 1, 2, and 3 (p = 0.032). The mean Leydig cell count was significantly decreased in Group 4 (p < 0.001).

Conclusions  The longer exposure duration of electromagnetic field decreased the spermatogenesis. Our findings warrant further investigations on the potential effects of EMF from mobile phones on male fertility.


Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5896334/



May 2, 2016

By the end of 2013, 100 million cell phones in the U.S. operated on LTE. This number worldwide is expected to exceed 1 billion by the end of this year. 

Following is a summary of the second study published on the effects of 4th generation LTE cell phone radiation on the brain activity of cell phone users by the China Academy of Telecommunication Research of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The original study showed that 30 minutes of exposure to LTE phone radiation affected brain activity in the left superior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule. The current study found that a 30-minute exposure to LTE radiation modulated the EEG in the alpha and beta bands at the frontal region of the near and remote sides, and at the temporal region on the near side.

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Long-Term Evolution EMF Exposure Modulates Resting State EEG on Alpha and Beta Bands

Yang L, Chen Q, Lv B, Wu T. Long-Term Evolution Electromagnetic Fields Exposure Modulates the Resting State EEG on Alpha and Beta Bands. Clin EEG Neurosci. 
2017 May;48(3):168-175. doi: 10.1177/1550059416644887.

Abstract


Long-term evolution (LTE) wireless telecommunication systems are widely used globally, which has raised a concern that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted from LTE devices can change human neural function. To date, few studies have been conducted on the effect of exposure to LTE EMF. Here, we evaluated the changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) due to LTE EMF exposure. An LTE EMF exposure system with a stable power emission, which was equivalent to the maximum emission from an LTE mobile phone, was used to radiate the subjects. Numerical simulations were conducted to ensure that the specific absorption rate in the subject's head was below the safety limits. Exposure to LTE EMF reduced the spectral power and the interhemispheric coherence in the alpha and beta bands of the frontal and temporal brain regions. No significant change was observed in the spectral power and the inter-hemispheric coherence in different timeslots during and after the exposure. These findings also corroborated those of our previous study using functional magnetic resonant imaging.

http://1.usa.gov/2475GM3

Excerpts

".. the results of resting state EEG experiments have been contradictory. For example, some studies have reported enhancement of the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) band power values after exposure to pulse-modulated 450- and 900-MHz signals, pulse-modulated magnetic fields, and active mobile phone signals. In contrast, some studies have shown decreased alpha band activity after 20 minutes of extremely low-frequency EMF exposure, or 5 minutes of magnetic field exposure, or global system for mobile communications (GSM) EMF exposure. Many studies also found no changes in the EEG after either modulated or unmodulated EMF exposure. These inconsistencies could be attributed not only to the differences in the signal type, the modulation, the exposure frequency, the exposure intensity individual anatomy, the ages of the subjects, and the exposure duration but also to the lack of rigorous experimental designs. Most of the previously published studies have focused on GSM, WiFi, and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), signals. An emerging technology, “long term evolution” (LTE) wireless service, has been deployed since 2009 and the number of global LTE subscribers is expected to reach 1.37 billion by the end of 2015. Other than our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, there are very few reports on the effect of exposure to LTE EMF on brain function. We previously found that 30 minutes of exposure to LTE EMF modulated the spontaneous low-frequency fluctuations. We were interested in confirming our previous results using another neurophysiological method and also sought to assess the evolution of the effect over time during such exposure. In this article, we have investigated for the first time the changes in the resting state EEG caused by exposure to LTE signals. The exposure dose was below the current safety limit. In order to assess brain activities on different levels, we evaluated spectral power and interhemispheric coherence, which allowed investigation of EEG changes in specific brain regions, as well as their correlations, at different time points. We show that exposure to LTE EMF decreased the alpha and beta band power spectrum and interhemisphere coherence."

"The age of the subjects was 30.2 ± 2.7 years."

"A plastic spacer of 1 cm was used to maintain the distance between the right ear and a standard dipole. We applied 2 power meters to ensure a constant incident power to the emission dipole. The power delivered to the dipole was 24 dBm (peak value), equivalent to a theoretical maximum emission by an LTE terminal."

"All 25 subjects participated in the double-blind and counterbalanced experiment."

"The experiment included 2 sessions, which were separated by 1 week. Each session lasted 50 minutes and comprised 5 time slots. We indicated each time slot (10 minutes) in a session as sub1 to sub5. The radiation dipole was power off for the first (preexposure, sub1) and the last 10 minutes (postexposure, sub5) timeslots. Subjects were exposed to real EMF exposure in the 3 time slots (sub2 to sub4) between the first and the last 10 minutes in only 1 of the 2 sessions. The order of the 2 sessions was randomly selected per subject. The subjects were not informed of the sequence of each session; however, they were aware of the possibility of being exposed. On the other hand, the staff who analyzed the data did not know the sources of the EEG traces."

"The simulations yielded 1.34 W/kg (pSAR10g) and 1.96 W/kg (pSAR1g), with the electrodes, and 1.27 W/kg (pSAR10g) and 1.78 W/kg (pSAR1g), without the electrodes (Figure 2) when the dipole emitted radiation. Therefore, the presence of the EEG electrodes increased pSAR10g and pSAR1g by about 5.5% and 10.1%, respectively. Accordingly, the maximum resultant temperature increase was no more than 0.1°C ...."

"Previous studies on GSM and UMTS signal exposure frequently reported changes in interhemispheric coherence and the spectral power in the alpha band in the frontal and temporal regions, which were also confirmed by our results on LTE EMF exposure. Moreover, modulation of the power spectrum in the beta band, including both an increase and a decrease, was reported. Several reasons may account for the inconsistency. First, the signal frequency and its modulation influenced the affected EEG band: for example, exposure to 2G signals affect the alpha rhythms, whilst exposure to 3G signals do not. In contrast, the modulated 450-MHz signals of various intensities can change beta activity much more markedly than alpha band power. Second, gender and the individual sensitivity 38,40 may influence the effect on different bands. Hence, we attempted to reduce the variability by enrolling the subjects with the same gender and age."

"In particular, power spectral analysis has shown significant differences in the left frontal brain regions, that is, the remote side, on exposure. This may be associated with modulation of neural activity in the remote/contralateral brain regions. The remote effects of EMF have been observed in many previous studies. Our results reconfirmed that the effects were also seen with LTE EMF exposure."

"The power spectrum and the interhemispheric coherence did not differ significantly over sub2 to sub5. Thus, the observed effect did not change with the exposure time and the effect was therefore not developing. The reduction in alpha band activity has been associated with a decrease in individual information-processing ability, alertness, and cognitive performance. The decrease in beta band activity could be interpreted as decreased alertness, arousal, and excitement or a low level of fatigue. Notably, EEG power fluctuation was not in one-one correspondence with the change in behavioral/cognitive performance which should be evaluated by specifically designed experiments as the report by Haarala et al. No conclusion could be obtained by our study that the present EMF exposure affected the subjects’ cognitive abilities."

"This work studied EEG changes caused by LTE EMF exposure. An exposure system with a fixed power incident to a radiation dipole was used; this simulation demonstrated that the SAR was within the safety limits. LTE EMF exposure modulated the EEG in the alpha and beta bands at the frontal region of the near and remote sides, and at the temporal region on the near side. No developing effect was found in the periods during and after the exposure. Our results agreed to some extent with those of our previous fMRI study on LTE exposure. Our finding indicated that the LTE EMF exposure with the intensity beneath the safety limits could modulate the brain activities."

"Future studies should focus on the correlation of EEG changes with spatial SAR distribution. By taking individual anatomical structure into consideration, a precise dose-effect relationship can be established. EEG changes with a finer temporal resolution during the exposure session should also be evaluated."


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The alteration of spontaneous low frequency oscillations caused by acute electromagnetic fields exposure

Lv B, Chen Z, Wu T, et al. The alteration of spontaneous low frequency oscillations caused by acute electromagnetic fields exposure. Clin Neurophysiol. 2014;125:277-286.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The motivation of this study is to evaluate the possible alteration of regional resting state brain activity induced by the acute radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure (30 minutes) of Long Term Evolution (LTE) signal.


METHODS: We designed a controllable near-field LTE RF-EMF exposure environment. Eighteen subjects participated in a double-blind, crossover, randomized and counterbalanced experiment including two sessions (real and sham exposure). The radiation source was close to the right ear. Then the resting state fMRI signals of human brain were collected before and after the exposure in both sessions. We measured the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and fractional ALFF (fALFF) to characterize the spontaneous brain activity.

RESULTS: We found the decreased ALFF value around in left superior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule after the real exposure. And the decreased fALFF value was also detected in right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule.

CONCLUSIONS: The study provided the evidences that 30 minute LTE RF-EMF exposure modulated the spontaneous low frequency fluctuations in some brain regions.

SIGNIFICANCE: With resting state fMRI, we found the alteration of spontaneous low frequency fluctuations induced by the acute LTE RF-EMF exposure.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24012322