Monday, June 10, 2024

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields

I have been circulating abstracts of newly-published scientific papers on radio frequency and other non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) monthly since 2016. The complete collection contains more than 2000 abstracts with links to these papers. Several hundred EMF scientists around the world receive these updates.

To download Volume 3 which contains abstracts of papers published in 2024 (including the new papers listed below) click on the following link (122 page pdf):

To download Volume 2 which contains abstracts of papers published from 2021 through 2023 click on the following link (867 page pdf):

To download Volume 1 which contains abstracts of papers published from 2016 through 2020 click on the following link (875 page pdf):

The abstracts for recently published papers appear below.

 

 

Evaluation of oxidative stress and genetic instability among residents near mobile phone base stations in Germany

Gulati S, Mosgoeller W, Moldan D, Kosik P, Durdik M, Jakl L, Skorvaga M, Markova E, Kochanova D, Vigasova K, Belyaev I. Evaluation of oxidative stress and genetic instability among residents near mobile phone base stations in Germany. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Volume 279, 2024, doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2024.116486.

Highlights

Residents exposed to RF-EMR from base stations were tested for genetic instability.

The years long exposure had no measurable effect on specific cancer related genes.

We found high level of lipid peroxidation and DNA-lesions but not significant.

Chromosomal aberrations were significantly more pronounced in highly exposed group.

Abstract

Human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) is restricted to prevent thermal effects in the tissue. However, at very low intensity exposure "non-thermal" biological effects, like oxidative stress, DNA or chromosomal aberrations, etc. collectively termed genomic-instability can occur after few hours. Little is known about chronic (years long) exposure with non-thermal RF-EMF. We identified two neighboring housing estates in a rural region with residents exposed to either relatively low (control-group) or relatively high (exposed-group) RF-EMF emitted from nearby mobile phone base stations (MPBS). 24 healthy adults that lived in their homes at least for 5 years volunteered. The homes were surveyed for common types of EMF, blood samples were tested for oxidative status, transient DNA alterations, permanent chromosomal damage, and specific cancer related genetic markers, like MLL gene rearrangements. We documented possible confounders, like age, sex, nutrition, life-exposure to ionizing radiation (X-rays), occupational exposures, etc. The groups matched well, age, sex, lifestyle and occupational risk factors were similar. The years long exposure had no measurable effect on MLL gene rearrangements and c-Abl-gene transcription modification. Associated with higher exposure, we found higher levels of lipid oxidation and oxidative DNA-lesions, though not statistically significant. DNA double strand breaks, micronuclei, ring chromosomes, and acentric chromosomes were not significantly different between the groups. Chromosomal aberrations like dicentric chromosomes (p=0.007), chromatid gaps (p=0.019), chromosomal fragments (p<0.001) and the total of chromosomal aberrations (p<0.001) were significantly higher in the exposed group. No potential confounder interfered with these findings. Increased rates of chromosomal aberrations as linked to excess exposure with ionizing radiation may also occur with non-ionizing radiation exposure. Biological endpoints can be informative for designing exposure limitation strategies. Further research is warranted to investigate the dose-effect-relationship between both, exposure intensity and exposure time, to account for endpoint accumulations after years of exposure. As established for ionizing radiation, chromosomal aberrations could contribute to the definition of protection thresholds, as their rate reflects exposure intensity and exposure time.


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Analysis of the metabolic profile of humans naturally exposed to RF-EM radiation

Rangesh NM, Malaisamy AK, Kumar N, Kumar S. Analysis of the metabolic profile of humans naturally exposed to RF-EM radiation. Metabolomics. 2024 May 18;20(3):55. doi: 10.1007/s11306-024-02121-2.

Abstract

Introduction: The world is experiencing exponential growth in communication, especially wireless communication. Wireless connectivity has recently become a part of everyone's daily life. Recent developments in low-cost, low-power, and miniature devices contribute to a significant rise in radiofrequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EM) radiation exposure in our environment, raising concern over its effect on biological systems. The inconsistent and conflicting research results make it difficult to draw definite conclusions about how RF-EM radiation affects living things.

Objectives: This study identified two micro-environments based on their level of exposure to cellular RF-EM radiation, one with significantly less exposure and another with very high exposure to RF-EM radiation. Emphasis is given to studying the metabolites in the urine samples of humans naturally exposed to these two different microenvironments to understand short-term metabolic dysregulations.

Methods: Untargeted 1H NMR spectroscopy was employed for metabolomics analyses to identify dysregulated metabolites. A total of 60 subjects were recruited with 5 ml urine samples each. These subjects were divided into two groups: one highly exposed to RF-EM (n = 30) and the other consisting of low-exposure populations (n = 30).

Results: The study found that the twenty-nine metabolites were dysregulated. Among them, 19 were downregulated, and 10 were upregulated. In particular, Glyoxylate and dicarboxylate and the TCA cycle metabolism pathway have been perturbed. The dysregulated metabolites were validated using the ROC curve analysis.

Conclusion: Untargeted urine metabolomics was conducted to identify dysregulated metabolites linked to RF-EM radiation exposure. Preliminary findings suggest a connection between oxidative stress and gut microbiota imbalance. However, further research is needed to validate these biomarkers and understand the effects of RF-EM radiation on human health. Further research is needed with a diverse population.

Conclusion

The purpose of this study was to initiate an exploration using urine metabolomics and 1H NMR spectroscopy to identify specific dysregulated metabolites associated with RF-EM radiation exposure. The objective was to pinpoint potential biomarkers for future validation. Based on these preliminary findings, there appears to be a possible connection between RF-EM radiation exposure, oxidative stress, and disruptions in the gut microbiota balance. Nevertheless, it’s imperative to stress that additional investigations with a larger and more diverse population are necessary to validate these identified biomarkers and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of RF-EM radiation exposure on human health. Furthermore, individuals with lower levels of radiation exposure exhibited metabolite signatures of a healthier gut microbiota system, indicating a potential association between radiation exposure and microbiota health. However, it is crucial to emphasize that further research is essential for confirmation. Future studies involve conducting a comprehensive study involving individuals with substantial RF-EM radiation exposure alongside a control group of unexposed individuals.


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Investigation of the Adverse Health Effects of Cell Phone Radiation and Propose Solutions to Minimize Them: A Systematic Review

Elyasi H, Ghanbari M, Nadri F. Investigation of the Adverse Health Effects of Cell Phone Radiation and Propose Solutions to Minimize Them: A Systematic Review. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2024 Jan-Mar;28(1):18-22. doi: 10.4103/ijoem.ijoem_89_23.

Abstract

Today, mobile phones are one of the most common devices emitting electromagnetic radiation and are available to more than seven billion people in different age groups around the world. The effects of electromagnetic radiation on biological systems have been studied for several years. In this systematic review to find relevant articles, international databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, and Cochrane were used since 2007-2022 by selecting appropriate keywords. The result revealed that exposure to cell phone radiation can lead to disturb in the metabolic activity of the cerebellum by increasing the migration of granulosa cells, decrease the water around the fetus in pregnant women, decrease in the number of blood plates, increasing levels of ALT and AST that they are the key biomarkers of liver damage, decrease of phagocytosis and induced apoptosis of neutrophils, changes at the level of glucose and even at the microscopic level of pancreas this may be a predisposing factor for diabetes, increment in tissue temperature in all depth of the brain tissue, EMF increase the volume, weight, and atresia follicles of the ovaries of the children, also it can cause oxidative stress, DNA fragmentation, etc. Mobile phone radiation is harmful and depends on its intensity, frequency, wave type, and exposure duration. It can cause different biological effects in humans. Due to the uncertainty of the results and mechanism of the effect of these waves, research in this field is still ongoing.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC11111148/

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Evaluation of neonatal outcomes according to the specific absorption rate values of phones used during pregnancy

Büyükeren M, Karanfil Yaman F. Evaluation of neonatal outcomes according to the specific absorption rate values of phones used during pregnancy. J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2024 Mar 6;25(1):7-12. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2023.2022-10-1.

Abstract

Objective: The aim was to compare neonatal outcomes according to cell phone specific absorption rate (SAR) levels and daily time spent on cell phones by pregnant women.

Material and Methods: Women who gave birth at Konya City Hospital between September 2020 and February 2021 were included in this retrospective study. Gestational ages, birth weight, birth length, head circumference, sex, 5-minute APGAR scores, neonate postpartum resuscitation requirement, delivery type, the model of phone used by the pregnant women, and the average time spent on the phone during a day were recorded. To determine the relation between the SAR values of the phones used and delivering a small for gestational age (SGA) baby, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed.

Results: In total 1495 pregnant women were included. The rate of delivering a SGA fetus was significantly higher in women who used phones with higher SAR values (p=0.001). The cut-off value for the SAR level was 1.23 W/kg with 69.3% sensitivity and 73.0% specificity (area under the curve: 0.685; 95% confidence interval: 0.643-0.726). No correlation was found between time spent on the phone and SGA birth rate. Although both phone SAR values and time spent on the phone were higher in the symmetrical SGA group compared to the asymmetrical SGA group, the difference was not significant (p>0.05). Although the women who had preterm delivery had higher phone SAR values and had spent more time on the phone compared to those who had term deliveries, the difference was again not significant (p>0.05).

Conclusion:  As the SAR values of cell phones used during pregnancy increased, there was a trend towards delivering a SGA baby.


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1.7 GHz LTE radiofrequency EMF with stable power monitoring and efficient thermal control has no effect on the proliferation of various human cell types

My note: The study employed a Western blot analysis which is less likely to detect DNA damage than a comet assay.

Goh J, Suh D, Park G, Jeon S, Lee Y, Kim N, Song K. 1.7 GHz long-term evolution radiofrequency electromagnetic field with stable power monitoring and efficient thermal control has no effect on the proliferation of various human cell types. PLoS One. 2024 May 7;19(5):e0302936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0302936.

Abstract

Long-term evolution (LTE) radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) is widely used in communication technologies. Thus, the influence of RF-EMF on biological systems is a major public concern and its physiological effects remain controversial. In our previous study, we showed that continuous exposure of various human cell types to 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF at a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 2 W/Kg for 72 h can induce cellular senescence. To understand the precise cellular effects of LTE RF-EMF, we elaborated the 1.7 GHz RF-EMF cell exposure system used in the previous study by replacing the RF signal generator and developing a software-based feedback system to improve the exposure power stability. This refinement of the 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF generator facilitated the automatic regulation of RF-EMF exposure, maintaining target power levels within a 3% range and a constant temperature even during the 72-h-exposure period. With the improved experimental setup, we examined the effect of continuous exposure to 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF at up to SAR of 8 W/Kg in human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs), Huh7, HeLa, and rat B103 cells. Surprisingly, the proliferation of all cell types, which displayed different growth rates, did not change significantly compared with that of the unexposed controls. Also, neither DNA damage nor cell cycle perturbation was observed in the 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF-exposed cells. However, when the thermal control system was turned off and the subsequent temperature increase induced by the RF-EMF was not controlled during continuous exposure to SAR of 8 W/Kg LTE RF-EMF, cellular proliferation increased by 35.2% at the maximum. These observations strongly suggest that the cellular effects attributed to 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF exposure are primarily due to the induced thermal changes rather than the RF-EMF exposure itself.

Conclusion

To understand the precise cellular effect of 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF, we developed an RF-EMF cell exposure system with an improved RF signal generator and control software. With a refined RF-EMF exposure system, we could maintain a consistent target power during the 72-h-exposure period with minimal thermal effects. With this refined experimental setup, exposure to 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF at the SAR ranging from 0.4 W/Kg to 8 W/Kg neither affects the proliferation of various human cells with different growth rates nor induces DNA damage and cell cycle perturbation. Before upgrading the exposure system, we observed that the exposure of human cells to 1.7 GHz RF-EMF increased or decreased cell proliferation, depending on the SAR values. In addition, we verified that exposure to 1.7 GHz RF-EMF with this refined system affected cell proliferation when heat was not properly controlled. Altogether, these results suggest that exposure to 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF does not directly influence cell proliferation and that the physiological changes induced by RF-EMF might be associated with thermal effects.


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The effects of radiofrequency exposure on cognition: A systematic review and meta-analysis of human observational studies

(My note: Systematic reviews require a multitude of macro- and micro-decisions.  When conducted by biased investigative teams, systematic reviews generate erroneous conclusions and policy implications. By design, this review excluded most of the relevant research; hence, its conclusion is very limited in scope.)

Benke G, Abramson MJ, Brzozek C, McDonald S, Kelsall H, Sanagou M, Zeleke BM, Kaufman J, Brennan S, Verbeek J, Karipidis K. The effects of radiofrequency exposure on cognition: A systematic review and meta-analysis of human observational studies. Environment International. 2024. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2024.108779.

Abstract

Background  We aimed to assess evidence of long-term effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) on indicators of cognition, including domains of learning and memory, executive function, complex attention, language, perceptual motor ability and social cognition, and of an exposure–response relationship between RF-EMF and cognition.

Methods  We searched PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo and the EMF-Portal on September 30, 2022 without limiting by date or language of publication. We included cohort or case-control studies that evaluated the effects of RF exposure on cognitive function in one or more of the cognitive domains. Studies were rated for risk of bias using the OHAT tool and synthesised using fixed effects meta-analysis. We assessed the certainty of the evidence using the GRADE approach and considered modification by OHAT for assessing evidence of exposures.

Results  We included 5 studies that reported analyses of data from 4 cohorts with 4639 participants consisting of 2808 adults and 1831 children across three countries (Australia, Singapore and Switzerland) conducted between 2006 and 2017. The main source of RF-EMF exposure was mobile (cell) phone use measured as calls per week or minutes per day. For mobile phone use in children, two studies (615 participants) that compared an increase in mobile phone use to a decrease or no change were included in meta-analyses. Learning and memory. There was little effect on accuracy (mean difference, MD −0.03; 95% CI −0.07 to 0.02) or response time (MD −0.01; 95% CI −0.04 to 0.02) on the one-back memory task; and accuracy (MD −0.02; 95%CI −0.04 to 0.00) or response time (MD −0.01; 95%CI −0.04 to 0.03) on the one card learning task (low certainty evidence for all outcomes). Executive function. There was little to no effect on the Stroop test for the time ratio ((B-A)/A) response (MD 0.02; 95% CI −0.01 to 0.04, very low certainty) or the time ratio ((D-C)/C) response (MD 0.00; 95% CI −0.06 to 0.05, very low certainty), with both tests measuring susceptibility to interference effects. Complex attention. There was little to no effect on detection task accuracy (MD 0.02; 95% CI −0.04 to 0.08), or response time (MD 0.02;95% CI 0.01 to 0.03), and little to no effect on identification task accuracy (MD 0.00; 95% CI −0.04 to 0.05) or response time (MD 0.00;95% CI −0.01 to 0.02) (low certainty evidence for all outcomes). No other cognitive domains were investigated in children. A single study among elderly people provided very low certainty evidence that more frequent mobile phone use may have little to no effect on the odds of a decline in global cognitive function (odds ratio, OR 0.81; 95% CI 0.42 to 1.58, 649 participants) or a decline in executive function (OR 1.07; 95% CI 0.37 to 3.05, 146 participants), and may lead to a small, probably unimportant, reduction in the odds of a decline in complex attention (OR 0.67;95%CI 0.27 to 1.68, 159 participants) and a decline in learning and memory (OR 0.75; 95% CI 0.29 to 1.99, 159 participants). An exposure–response relationship was not identified for any of the cognitive outcomes.

Discussion  This systematic review and meta-analysis found only a few studies that provided very low to low certainty evidence of little to no association between RF-EMF exposure and learning and memory, executive function and complex attention. None of the studies among children reported on global cognitive function or other domains of cognition. Only one study reported a lack of an effect for all domains in elderly persons but this was of very low certainty evidence. Further studies are needed to address all types of populations, exposures and cognitive outcomes, particularly studies investigating environmental and occupational exposure in adults. Future studies also need to address uncertainties in the assessment of exposure and standardise testing of specific domains of cognitive function to enable synthesis across studies and increase the certainty of the evidence.

Other  This review was partially funded by the WHO radioprotection programme and prospectively registered on PROSPERO CRD42021257548.

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare the following financial interests/personal relationships which may be considered as potential competing interests: [Dr Geza Benke reports financial support was provided by World Health Organization. MA declares that he holds a small parcel of Telstra shares. KK, CB and MS as part of their employment are involved in the provision of advice to the Australian Commonwealth Government, Australian States and Territories and the general public on the risks and health effects of exposure to ionising and non-ionising radiation. KK is also a member of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection where he contributes in the development and dissemination of science-based advice on limiting exposure to non-ionizing radiation. No member of the review team was involved in screening or extracting data from a study in which he or she was an author].

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Emilie Van Deventer, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland; Martin Röösli, Swiss TPH, Basel, Switzerland and Anke Huss, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; for their contributions to the protocol.

Supplementary files can be downloaded.


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Effects of recall and selection biases on modeling cancer risk from mobile phone use: Results from a case-control simulation study

(My note: The models tested in this simulation study were based on questionable assumptions and weak methods studies.)

Bouaoun L, Byrnes G, Lagorio S, Feychting M, Abou-Bakre A, Beranger R, Schüz J. Effects of recall and selection biases on modeling cancer risk from mobile phone use: Results from a case-control simulation study. Epidemiology. 2024 May 20. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001749.

Abstract

Background: The largest case-control study (Interphone Study) investigating glioma risk related to mobile phone use showed a J-shaped relationship with reduced relative risks for moderate use and a 40% increased relative risk among the 10% heaviest regular mobile phone users, using a categorical risk model based on deciles of lifetime duration of use among ever regular users.

Methods: We conducted Monte-Carlo simulations examining whether the reported estimates are compatible with an assumption of no effect of mobile phone use on glioma risk when the various forms of biases present in the Interphone study are accounted for. Four scenarios of sources of error in self-reported mobile phone use were considered, along with selection bias. Input parameters used for simulations were those obtained from Interphone validation studies on reporting accuracy and from using a non-response questionnaire.

Results: We found that the scenario simultaneously modeling systematic and random reporting errors produced a J-shaped relationship perfectly compatible with the observed relationship from the main Interphone study with a simulated spurious increased relative risk among heaviest users (OR = 1.91) compared to never regular users. The main determinant for producing this J shape was higher reporting error variance in cases compared to controls, as observed in the validation studies. Selection bias contributed to the reduced risks as well.

Conclusions: Some uncertainty remains, but the evidence from the present simulation study shifts the overall assessment to making it less likely that heavy mobile phone use is causally related to an increased glioma risk.


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Validation of mobile phone use recall in the multinational MOBI-kids study

van Wel L, Huss A, Kromhout H, Momoli F, Krewski D, Langer CE, Castaño-Vinyals G, Kundi M, Maule M, Miligi L, Sadetzki S, Albert A, Alguacil J, Aragones N, Badia F, Bruchim R, Goedhart G, de Llobet P, Kiyohara K, Kojimahara N, Lacour B, Morales-Suarez-Varela M, Radon K, Remen T, Weinmann T, Vrijheid M, Cardis E, Vermeulen R; MOBI‐Kids consortium. Validation of mobile phone use recall in the multinational MOBI-kids study. Bioelectromagnetics. 2024 May 22. doi: 10.1002/bem.22507.

Abstract

Potential differential and non-differential recall error in mobile phone use (MPU) in the multinational MOBI-Kids case-control study were evaluated. We compared self-reported MPU with network operator billing record data up to 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years before the interview date from 702 subjects aged between 10 and 24 years in eight countries. Spearman rank correlations, Kappa coefficients and geometric mean ratios (GMRs) were used. No material differences in MPU recall estimates between cases and controls were observed. The Spearman rank correlation coefficients between self-reported and recorded MPU in the most recent 3 months were 0.57 and 0.59 for call number and for call duration, respectively. The number of calls was on average underestimated by the participants (GMR = 0.69), while the duration of calls was overestimated (GMR = 1.59). Country, years since start of using a mobile phone, age at time of interview, and sex did not appear to influence recall accuracy for either call number or call duration. A trend in recall error was seen with level of self-reported MPU, with underestimation of use at lower levels and overestimation of use at higher levels for both number and duration of calls. Although both systematic and random errors in self-reported MPU among participants were observed, there was no evidence of differential recall error between cases and controls. Nonetheless, these sources of exposure measurement error warrant consideration in interpretation of the MOBI-Kids case-control study results on the association between children's use of mobile phones and potential brain cancer risk.

Highlights

  • Self-reported and operator-registered phone calls were compared among MobiKids participants.

  • On average, number of calls was underestimated, and duration overestimated.

  • No differential recall error was found between brain tumor cases and controls in MobiKids.

Excerpts

The comparison of self-reported and recorded MPU was conducted separately for the number and duration (in minutes) of calls in the 3 months preceding the date of interview. In addition, a subset of subjects who had data available for 1 year, and a subset for 2 years preceding the date of interview were assessed....

A total of 702 subjects from eight different countries (Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Korea, and Spain) had data on both self-reported and recorded MPU in the 3 months preceding the interview date (Table 1)....

The overall GMRs of self-reported versus recorded MPU in the most recent 3 months were 1.59 for call duration and 0.69 for call number, indicating systematic errors in the form of overreporting of call duration of calls and underreporting of the number of calls. Looking at recall over time for subjects with 2 years of data available, there appears to be a lower level of overreporting of duration of calls for both cases (initial GMR 1.62, 1.44 at 1 year) and controls (initial GMR 1.37, 1.08 at 1 year) between recent and 1 year recall. There is however little difference in recall in call duration over time between the 1 and 2 year time points for either cases or controls (1.44 vs. 1.41 and 1.08 vs. 1.07, respectively) (Table 5). Although this same initial decrease can be seen in controls for recall of number of calls, it is less clear for cases (Table 4)....

While not all subjects from the main MOBI-Kids study provided informed consent to obtain their network operator data and not all operators provided data, we managed to include a large proportion of subjects (24.8%) from the MOBI-Kids case–control study in this validation study. The proportion of subjects where longer-term data was available (at 1- and 2-year time periods) was smaller, with no subjects from some of the participating countries....

... it may not always be clear from billing records who the actual user of the phone was when making calls. Therefore, while billing records provide insight into validity and possible calibration of self-reports, they may not represent the gold standard for studies, especially due to the low number of retained study participants, and also because internet-based calling (VoiP) is not included in the records....

Both the COSMOS (Reedijk et al., 2024) as well as the INTERPHONE validation (Vrijheid et al., 2009) studies found significantly differing ratios between countries. In the present study we did see some differences in GMRs among the eight participating countries, but the differences did not achieve statistical significance. In contrast, the MOBI-Expo validation study by Goedhart et al. (2018) did find significant differences among countries with participants from Greece, Israel, and Korea underestimating the duration of calls while in other countries duration was overestimated....

CONCLUSIONS

We compared self-reported MPU with operator data at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years preceding the interview date. No indication of differential recall error between cases and controls was found. Both non-differential systematic and random errors were observed, with number of calls being underreported and duration of calls being over-reported on average in both cases and controls. If there are true underlying risks, then the observed non-differential random errors may bias risk estimates towards their null values and decrease study power.


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Micro-environmental personal radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposures in Melbourne: A longitudinal trend analysis

Bhatt CR, Henderson S, Sanagou M, Brzozek C, Thielens A, Benke G, Loughran S. Micro-environmental personal radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposures in Melbourne: A longitudinal trend analysis. Environ Res. 2024 Mar 13;251(Pt 2):118629. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2024.118629

Highlights

• RF-EMF exposure may be affected by changes in telecommunication technologies.
• Personal RF-EMF exposure assessments were undertaken in 2015/16 and 2022.
• Quantile regression models were used to compare exposure levels and overall trend.
• Median total exposure level at follow-up did not change over time.
• Overall trend of total exposure at follow-up increased.

Abstract

Background  A knowledge gap exists regarding longitudinal assessment of personal radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposures globally. It is unclear how the change in telecommunication technology over the years translates to change in RF-EMF exposure. This study aims to evaluate longitudinal trends of micro-environmental personal RF-EMF exposures in Australia.

Methods  The study utilised baseline (2015-16) and follow-up (2022) data on personal RF-EMF exposure (88 MHz-6 GHz) measured across 18 micro-environments in Melbourne. Simultaneous quantile regression analysis was conducted to compare exposure data distribution percentiles, particularly median (P50), upper extreme value (P99) and overall exposure trends. RF-EMF exposures were compared across six exposure source types: mobile downlink, mobile uplink, broadcast, 5G-New Radio, Others and Total (of the aforementioned sources). Frequency-specific exposures measured at baseline and follow-up were compared. Total exposure across different groups of micro-environment types were also compared.

Results  For all micro-environmental data, total (median and P99) exposure levels did not significantly change at follow-up. Overall exposure trend of total exposure increased at follow-up. Mobile downlink contributed the highest exposure among all sources showing an increase in median exposure and overall exposure trend. Of seven micro-environment types, five of them showed total exposure levels (median and P99) and overall exposure trend increased at follow-up.

Open access paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935124005334

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Evaluating radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure in confined spaces: a systematic review of recent studies and future directions

Ahsan Ashraf M, Celik T. Evaluating radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure in confined spaces: a systematic review of recent studies and future directions. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2024 Apr 20;200(6):598-616. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncae045.

Abstract

This study reviews recent research on Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field (RF-EMF) exposure in confined environments, focusing on methodologies and parameters. Studies typically evaluate RF-EMF exposure using an electric field and specific absorption rate but fail to consider temperature rise in the tissues in confined environments. The study highlights the investigation of RF-EMF exposure in subterranean environments such as subways, tunnels and mines. Future research should evaluate the exposure of communication devices in such environments, considering the surrounding environment. Such studies will aid in understanding the risks and developing effective mitigation strategies to protect workers and the general public.

Conclusion

In this study, we conducted an SLR of 63 articles related to RF-EMF exposure in confined environments. The articles were selected based on a QA and divided into measurement and simulation studies. Our literature analysis demonstrates that RF-EMF exposure is higher in working spaces and transport than in dwellings, largely due to multiple exposure frequencies and excessive users. However, evaluating sub-terrain environments remains limited despite the growing use of wearable wireless devices in these settings. We also identified the different exposimeters and numerical dosimetry software tools commonly used for measuring and simulating RF-EMF exposure in confined environments. Furthermore, we found that the electric field is the most commonly investigated parameter for evaluating RF-EMF exposure using dosimetry simulation and measurement in confined environments. Given the increasing use of wearable wireless devices in sub-terrain and other occupational environments, there is a critical need to evaluate RF-EMF exposure in high-temperature environments, particularly with respect to temperature elevation in tissue. Future studies should evaluate the potential health impacts of long-term exposure to RF-EMF, especially in occupational settings where workers are exposed for extended periods.


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Optimal design of electromagnetic field exposure maps in large areas

López-Espí PL, Sánchez-Montero R, Guillén-Pina J, Chocano-del-Cerro R, Rojas JAM. Optimal design of electromagnetic field exposure maps in large areas. Environmental Impact Assessment Review. Volume 106, 2024, doi: 10.1016/j.eiar.2024.107525.

Abstract

The mapping of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure over large areas is a very useful tool for the analysis of epidemiological data and risk assessment. Its production requires a costly measurement process. To optimize the effort and ensure the representativeness of the exposure map, criteria for the selection of the sites to be measured must be established. This paper presents a methodology for conducting EMF exposure maps suitable for risk assessment evaluation in large areas. The proposal combines radio wave propagation criteria and GIS methods to optimize the sampling effort. The design criteria are based on the determination of a rectangular grid of 250 m side and the identification of the emitters within the area under study. Both urban and rural sites are analysed in the proposal and line of sight conditions (LOS) are considered to reduce the number of points required and thus optimize the measurement effort. Depending on the extent and regularity of the surface, the density of measurement points has been estimated to be between 8 and 10 points per square kilometre in the urban area. The proposed methodology has been applied to a case study of a 2.8 km2 urban area within a 35.11 km2 municipality, obtaining an average point density of 9.64 points/km2 in the urban area. The differences in exposure depending on the application of the criteria have been analysed by means of the statistical values of the sets and the subtraction of the maps generated using kriging techniques. According to our results, if LOS measurements are not properly incorporated, the mean value of the EMF is underestimated in the area under study.

Conclusions

In this proposal, the methodology for EMF exposure mapping in large areas has been analysed. To optimize the measurement effort over a large area, a division into 250 × 250 m2 urban grids should be considered, in which the possible sources of radiation should be known. A measurement under LOS conditions must be performed in each of the grids in which any of the emitters is present. The absence of measurements under LOS conditions implies an underestimation of the mean values. To select the rest of the grids to be measured, the viewshed analysis allows to simplify the number of measurements by grouping those grids determined as N-LOS. To achieve optimal interpolation results over the entire surface, sufficient measurements must also be available on its perimeter. Interpolation by ordinary stable kriging obtains adequate results under LOS and N-LOS conditions. The generated maps contribute to a better perception of risk as they provide an objective and simple tool to show the level of EMF. They do not require complex propagation models but are based on interpolations made within a GIS. They can also be combined, using these techniques, for risk assessment and even, if epidemiological data are available, for possible correlations studies.

The proposal considers the differences between urban areas, with the possibility of multipath, and rural (non-urban) areas. For the analysis of urban areas, a grid of 250 × 250 m2 has been proposed as a guideline for the spatial organisation of the territory in urban areas and 500 × 500 m2 in rural areas.

Depending on the extent and regularity of the surface, the density of measurement points has been estimated to be between 8 and 10 points per square kilometre in the urban area. Lower point densities result in IDW representations and higher densities increase the measurement effort excessively. In the case under study, for the urban area, a density of 9.64 points/km2 has been reached.

The study has been performed following the six-minute averaging criterion and in a bandwidth from 100 kHz to 3 GHz. The latest ICNIRP recommendations modify these values to take into account, among others, the new 5G signals, not yet present in the area. The urban study was carried out in a mainly residential area, where there are no concentrations of the general public, which could lead to areas of greater exposure due to greater use of the network. For future studies, therefore, the measurement and comparison according to the latest ICNIRP recommendations is still pending in areas where the new 5G networks have been incorporated and in urban micro-environments where there is a higher population density or uses significantly different from residential. Another point of continuation of this research is the correlation of the measured values with tumor statistics and other diseases. The opportunity provided by exposure maps created for entire urban environments may allow, where appropriate, to find possible relationships.


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Electromagnetic field exposure monitoring of commercial 28-GHz band 5G base stations in Tokyo, Japan

Liu S, Tobita K, Onishi T, Taki M, Watanabe S. Electromagnetic field exposure monitoring of commercial 28-GHz band 5G base stations in Tokyo, Japan. Bioelectromagnetics. 2024 May 22. doi: 10.1002/bem.22505.

Abstract

Fifth generation (5G) wireless communication is being rolled out around the world. In this work, the latest radio frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure measurement results on commercial 28-GHz band 5G base stations (BSs) deployed in the urban area of Tokyo, Japan, are presented. The measurements were conducted under realistic traffic conditions with a 5G smartphone and using both omnidirectional and horn antennas. First and foremost, in all cases, the electric-field (E-field) intensity is much lower (<-38 dB) than the exposure limits. The E-field intensities for traffic-off cases do not show any significant difference between the two antennas with the maximum being 3.6 dB. For traffic-on cases, the omnidirectional antenna can undesirably capture the radio wave from the smartphone in some cases, resulting in a 7-13 dB higher E-field intensity than that using the horn antenna. We also present comparative results between 4G long term evolution BSs and sub-6-GHz band and 28-GHz band 5G BSs and provide recommendations on acquiring meaningful EMF exposure data. This work is a further step toward the standardization of the measurement method regarding quasi-millimeter/millimeter wave 5G BSs.


Conclusions

The latest EMF exposure measurement results on commercial 28-GHz band 5G FR2 BSs in Tokyo, Japan, were presented in this paper. The measurements were evaluated under realistic traffic conditions and in an isotropic state using both omnidirectional and horn antennas. In all cases (sites and spots, antennas, and traffic conditions), the E-field intensity was within the limits established by ICNIRP and IEEE/ICES. The maximal time-averaged E-field intensity (118 dBμV/m) reached only 0.016% of the limit. It was found that the E-field intensity varied with measurement height with a variance in amplitude reaching 10–25 dB over different measurement spots. The E-field intensities for traffic-off cases did not show any significant difference between the two antennas with the maximum being 3.6 dB. However, for traffic-on cases, the omnidirectional antenna may undesirably capture the radio wave from the smartphone in some cases, thus leading to a time-averaged E-field intensity 7–13 dB higher than that in the cases of using the horn antenna. Despite this, an omnidirectional antenna is always preferred as it can detect all the reflections and scatterings of the environment. A horn antenna is preferred only in situations where the reflections and scatterings are negligible. On the other hand, the distance between the smartphone and the antenna (50 cm in this study) may be increased to avoid the capture of the irradiation from the smartphone. For the horn antenna, there is generally a 23–27 dB rise in the time-averaged E-field intensity of traffic-on cases compared with that of traffic-off cases. The rise for the omnidirectional antenna is 19–37 dB.

5G, especially 5G FR2, is being continuously deployed. The measurements in this work were mainly limited to the urban area of Tokyo, Japan. With the expansion of the 5G service coverage, measurements in suburban and rural areas will be conducted in the future. Comparative studies between 5G FR1 and FR2 will also be of considerable interest and will be a future target. In summary, investigations will be successively conducted following the deployment of 5G.

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The exposure of nonhuman living organisms to mobile communication emissions: A survey to establish European stakeholders’ policy option preferences

Recuero Virto L, Thielens A, Czerwiński M, Froidevaux J. (2024). The exposure of nonhuman living organisms to mobile communication emissions: A survey to establish European stakeholders’ policy option preferences. Risk Analysis, 1–15. doi: 10.1111/risa.14322.

Abstract

There is an unprecedented exposure of living organisms to mobile communications radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) emissions. Guidelines on exposure thresholds to limit thermal effects from these emissions are restricted to humans. However, tissue heating can occur in all living organisms that are exposed. In addition, exposure at millimetric frequencies used by 5G may impact surface tissues and organs of plants and small-size species. It is also expected that the addition of 5G to existing networks will intensify radiofrequency absorption by living organisms.

A European Parliament report proposed policy options on the effects of RF-EMF exposure of plants, animals, and other living organisms in the context of 5G: funding more research, implementing monitoring networks, accessing more information from operators on antennas and EMF emissions, and developing compliance studies when antennas are installed. However, there is no evidence on the preferences of relevant stakeholders regarding these policy options. This paper reports the findings of a survey of key European stakeholders’ policy option preferences based on the European Parliament's report. It reveals a broad consensus on funding more research on the effects of exposure of plants, animals, and other living organisms to EMFs. It also highlights the need for deliberation concerning the other policy options that could provide solutions for regulatory authorities, central administrations, the private sector, nongovernmental associations and advocates, and academics. Such deliberation would pave the way for effective solutions, focusing on long-term output from funding research, and enabling short-term socially and economically acceptable actions for all parties concerned.

Excerpts

From a regulatory perspective, current guidelines on exposure thresholds to limit thermal energy from mobile communications emissions developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) only concern human health (ICNIRP, 1998, 2020; IEEE, 1991, 2019).3 It is worth noting that ICNIRP and IEEE thresholds, developed under the assumptions that biological effects are due to excessive tissue heating and that no effects occur below the threshold, remain controversial (ICBE-EMF, 2022). According to the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF), adverse effects have been observed below the threshold, such as nonthermal induction of reactive oxygen species, DNA damage, cardiomyopathy, carcinogenicity, sperm damage, and neurological effects (e.g., electromagnetic hypersensitivity)....

According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), steps taken to protect the environment from ionizing radiation should fall within the concept of optimization, the latter understood as the process of determining the level of protection and safety that makes exposures, and the probability and magnitude of potential exposures, as low as reasonably achievable, economic and societal factors being taken into account. Reference levels were derived by the ICRP to relate the effects of ionizing radiation to doses to nonhuman organisms, but the institution states that these values are not limited and are not intended to be used in that manner. Potential synergies between ICNIRP and ICRP approaches were already subject to discussion in the past for human health, in particular, whether ALARA approaches developed by the ICRP could be meaningfully applied to nonionizing radiation (ICNIRP/WHO/ICRP/IRPA/ILO, 2014).

To conclude, humans have so far chosen not to address the effects of RF-EMF on nonhuman organisms even if there is evidence of thermal effects on all living organisms. The controversial debates on RF-EMF effects on human health have probably hampered early attempts to address the effects on nonhuman organisms. Our results show that, for the consulted stakeholders, this topic calls for some action. It is not a matter of hindering progress, but understanding the optimal conditions for technological proliferation, given the current state of knowledge.


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RF-EMF Exposure Assessment of Fetus During The First Trimester of Pregnancy

Sandeep S, Vard A, Guxens M, Bloch I, Wiart J. RF-EMF Exposure Assessment of Fetus During The First Trimester of Pregnancy. IEEE Access, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2024.3404369. 

Abstract

This article describes the computational analysis of Radio Frequency - Electromagnetic Field (RF-EMF) exposure of Uterus-Fetus Units (UFUs) embedded inside the body of a 26 year old human female. Realistic UFU models are obtained from ultrasound images acquired for different fetuses and at specific development stages (7 weeks, 9 weeks and 11 weeks old), for which a deep-learning based segmentation method is developed. Each UFU model is then inserted into a computational electromagnetic model of a 26 year old female. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of the fetus at commonly used wireless communication frequencies is estimated using a commercially available numerical electromagnetic solver. The Inverted F antenna (IFA), which is a commonly used mobile phone antenna was used as the excitation source. Fetus SAR values are reported for different combinations of excitation frequencies, phone positions and UFU ages. It was found that the fetus SAR for all the cases is well below the maximum allowable exposure limit of 80 mW/kg, as prescribed by ICNIRP. Furthermore, we replaced the embryo with uterus tissues and calculated the SAR in the uterus tissues (i.e. uterus tissues with same volume and shape, and at the same location as that of UFU). The uterus SAR values were found to be only marginally different from that of fetus SAR.


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Regression calibration of self-reported mobile phone use to optimize quantitative risk estimation in the COSMOS study

Reedijk M, Portengen L, Auvinen A, Kojo K, Heinävaara S, Feychting M, Tettamanti G, Hillert L, Elliott P, Toledano MB, Smith RB, Heller J, Schüz J, Deltour I, Poulsen AH, Johansen C, Verheij R, Peeters P, Rookus M, Traini E, Huss A, Kromhout H, Vermeulen R, Study Group TC. Regression calibration of self-reported mobile phone use to optimize quantitative risk estimation in the COSMOS study. Am J Epidemiol. 2024 May 13:kwae039. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwae039.

Abstract

The Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health (COSMOS) has repeatedly collected self-reported and operator-recorded data on mobile phone use. Assessing health effects using self-reported information is prone to measurement error, but operator data were available prospectively for only part of the study population and did not cover past mobile phone use. To optimize the available data and reduce bias, we evaluated different statistical approaches for constructing mobile phone exposure histories within COSMOS. We evaluated and compared the performance of four regression calibration (RC) methods (simple, direct, inverse, and generalized additive model for location, shape, and scale), complete-case (CC) analysis and multiple imputation (MI) in a simulation study with a binary health outcome. We used self-reported and operator-recorded mobile phone call data collected at baseline (2007-2012) from participants in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. Parameter estimates obtained using simple, direct, and inverse RC methods were associated with less bias and lower mean squared error than those obtained with CC analysis or MI. We showed that RC methods resulted in more accurate estimation of the relation between mobile phone use and health outcomes, by combining self-reported data with objective operator-recorded data available for a subset of participants.

Excerpts

Self-reported duration of mobile phone use (REPORT) at baseline [21] was based on answers to the question: “Over the last three months, on average, how much time per week did you spend talking on a mobile phone?”. The following response options were provided: “< 5 min/week”, “5-29 min/week”, “30-59 min/week”, “1-3 hours/week”, “4-6 hours/week”, and “>6 hours/week”. In the Netherlands and the UK two further categories of call duration were included, “7-9 hours/week” and “10 or more hours/week”, but these were combined into “>6 hours/week” for the present analyses....

Operator-recorded duration of mobile phone use (RECORD) was collected for all participants who provided consent and had a subscription under their own name. Operator-recorded data were used only when available for all mobile phones that were reported (up to two phones in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and up to three in the UK) and for at least three full months at the time the baseline questionnaire was administered. Participants with mobile phones that were also used by others were excluded. Operator-recorded data were available for 21% of participants in Denmark, 76% in Finland, 40% in the Netherlands, 63% in Sweden, and 76% in the UK....

A major issue is how well mobile phone use predicts the exposure of interest, namely radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. While past validation studies have been carried out for
the 2nd mobile phone generation, showing fair agreement between amount of use and cumulated emission from the handset [4], fewer data are available on the predictive power of
mobile phones of the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations that have and are being used by COSMOS participants....

Table 1 (excerpt)

Complete data by country: Denmark (11%: 2993/25912), Finland (70%: 9162/13062), Netherlands (3%: 3039/88466), Sweden (49%: 24881/50678), United Kingdom (58%: 56862/98685)

Recorded call duration in minutes/week by country (geometric mean): Denmark (60.6), Finland (81.5), Netherlands (23.4), Sweden (78.3), United Kingdom (46.5)

Conclusion

This study addressed an important concern in mobile phone research and more generally in environmental epidemiology: how to leverage self-reported exposure estimates that are often available but error-prone, with more objective measurements that may be obtained in only a subset of participants. Our simulation study indicated RC approaches may improve estimation of exposure-outcome relations between mobile phone use and health outcomes within COSMOS. The prospective design and improved exposure assessment within COSMOS compared to that in previous case-control studies are expected to lead to more robust conclusions about possible health effects from use of mobile phones.

Conflict of Interest: MF was vice chairman (2012-2020) of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, an independent body setting guidelines for non-ionizing radiation protection. She has served as advisor to a number of national and international public advisory and research steering groups concerning the potential health effects of exposure to non-ionizing radiation, currently for the World Health Organization (WHO). HK was the chair of the Committee on Electromagnetic Fields of the Health Council of The Netherlands till 2022. He currently is a member of the WHO Task Group for the Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on RF-EMF. AH is a member of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection since 2020, and of the Committee on Electromagnetic Fields of the Health Council of The Netherlands, and chairs the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s (SSM) Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields since 2020. AA currently is a member of the WHO Task Group for the Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on RF-EMF. MBT is currently member of the WHO groups tasked with systematic review of evidence on non-ionizing radiation and health, that is feeding into the Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on RF-EMF. All other authors declare they have no competing financial interests.


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Monitoring of the exposure to electromagnetic fields with autonomous probes installed outdoors in France

Jawad O, Conil E, Agnani J-B,  Wang S, Wiart J. Monitoring of the exposure to electromagnetic fields with autonomous probes installed outdoors in France. Comptes Rendus. Physique, Online first (2024), pp. 1-21. doi : 10.5802/crphys.182.

Abstract

The study is based on a new temporal analysis of exposure based on the deployment of autonomous broadband E-field monitoring probes in many French cities. The combination of the probe’s data with frequency-selective in situ measurements performed by ANFR and the knowledge of the nearby base station antennas, allows to draw statistical conclusions on the exposure of the population. Indeed, the data collected by the probes reveal that different periodicities exist (seasonality, day/night). This paper shows that the monitoring probes are able to detect the seasonality of the exposure and provide analysis of correlation between monitoring probes and radio environment.

Excerpt

The analysis indicates that the monitoring probes have varying exposure levels. Probes measuring significant levels show a difference in exposure between day and night, a phenomenon observed for the first time in France. An empirical time interval from 8 AM to 11 PM enables to calculate the ratio of averaged E-field levels between day and night. This ratio is between 1.28 and 1.42 for the three probes with the highest RMS level. Several papers, such as [8–10], have characterized the day and night fluctuation, but this has never been demonstrated using French data.

For the first time, the variability of daily working hours has been quantified for all the probes installed in France. The data shows that most of the probes exhibit a 30% variation percentage based on the data gathered from 8 AM to 5 PM. Based on our knowledge, this is the first time that the assessment of the daily variation contributor based on more than 150 probes installed in different environments is achieved. It confirms the level of daily variation contributor to the in situ measurement uncertainty budget, as communicated in the accredited in situ measurement reports [3, 16, 17]....

For the first time, the seasonality of the level of exposure has been analyzed at the French national level. The PCA on dataset No. 2 emphasizes the observation that the positioning of the probe is crucial to observe a remarkable variation of the exposure level. The probe must not only be installed in an area with many base stations, but also in close proximity to them and in a line-of-sight position for the exposure. A large number of probes measuring low exposure levels can be explained by the fact that the probes are not in a line-of-sight situation. In some cities, probes were installed in low-density areas rather than in front of base stations due to public concern over electromagnetic waves. Upon analysis, we find that some probes measure a lower level of exposure in summer time. This interpretation was confirmed with the Principal Component Analysis, which showed that the second component of the PCA characterizes the difference between probes with higher exposure in summer or winter. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that some of the cities are very touristic during the summer, leading to increased use of the telecommunication infrastructure. In general, the exposure levels measured by the autonomous probe are very low compared to the limits. The increase of the exposure level is relatively slow, as it has been shown in several ANFR studies [4, 18–20].


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Statistical Analysis of RF-EMF Exposure Induced by Cellular Wireless Networks in Public Transportation Facilities of the Paris Regionx

Y. Zhang et al. Statistical Analysis of RF-EMF Exposure Induced by Cellular Wireless Networks in Public Transportation Facilities of the Paris Regionx. IEEE Access, vol. 12, pp. 79741-79753, 2024, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2024.3410090. 

Abstract

Wireless communications are increasingly used today. Despite such use, there is a significant perception of risk which makes exposure monitoring a significant concern today. The work described in this article was carried out within the framework of the European SEAWave project and the French Beyond5G project. The exposure assessment was evaluated using a personal exposimeter (MVG EMF Spy) whose compactness and ease of use make it more suitable and portable than a system combining measuring probes and spectrum analyzers. Measurements were carried out on the cellular frequency bands used by 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, as well as that of Wi-Fi, in different modes of public transportation (RER, metro, tramway, bus, and train) circulating in the Paris region. The measurements have been analyzed by frequency band, type of public transportation, and type of environment encountered. For each set of measurements (e.g., metro lines, tramways), the mean, standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis were evaluated and analyzed. For all exposure measurements taken in the 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600, and 3500 MHz frequency bands, the overall average values are 0.39, 0.43, 0.30, 0.21, 0.18, 0.24 and 0.18 V/m, respectively. These measurements have, in all cases, a significant dispersion as shown by the ratios of standard deviations to mean values. The well-known K-means clustering technique was applied to these four parameters for different subsets of data. The number of clusters k = 3 has been chosen based on the analysis of the optimal value of k for the current dataset. Our analysis indicates that the first group’s members display the highest mean values with moderate variance and the lowest values for the third and fourth moments. The second cluster is distinguished by points with large mean and variance, accompanied by moderate skewness and kurtosis. Conversely, the third group comprises points with the smallest mean and variance values, yet the largest measurements for the third and fourth moments.


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Expression levels of tam receptors and ligands in the testes of rats exposed to short and middle-term 2100 MHz radiofrequency radiation

Katirci E, Kirimlioglu E, Oflamaz AO, Hidisoglu E, Cernomorcenco A, Yargıcoğlu P, Ozen S, Demir N. Expression levels of tam receptors and ligands in the testes of rats exposed to short and middle-term 2100 MHz radiofrequency radiation. Bioelectromagnetics. 2024 May 9. doi: 10.1002/bem.22504.

Abstract

With advances in technology, the emission of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) into the environment, particularly from mobile devices, has become a growing concern. Tyro 3, Axl, and Mer (TAM) receptors and their ligands are essential for spermatogenesis and testosterone production. RFR has been shown to induce testicular cell apoptosis by causing inflammation and disrupting homeostasis. This study aimed to investigate the role of TAM receptors and ligands in the maintenance of homeostasis and elimination of apoptotic cells in the testes (weeks), short-term sham exposure (sham/1 week), and middle-term sham exposure (sham/10 weeks). Testicular morphology was assessed using hematoxylin-eosin staining, while immunohistochemical staining was performed to assess expression levels of TAM receptors and ligands in the testes of all groups. The results showed that testicular morphology was normal in the control, sham/1 week, and sham/10 weeks groups. However, abnormal processes of spermatogenesis and seminiferous tubule morphology were observed in RFR exposure groups. Cleaved Caspase 3 immunoreactivity showed statistically significant difference in 1 and 10 weeks exposure groups compared to control group. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the immunoreactivity of Tyro 3, Axl, Mer, Gas 6, and Pros 1 between groups. Moreover, Tyro 3 expression in Sertoli cells was statistically significantly increased in RFR exposure groups compared to the control. Taken together, the results suggest that RFR exposure negatively affects TAM signalling, preventing the clearance of apoptotic cells, and this process may lead to infection and inflammation. As a result, rat testicular morphology and function may be impaired.


Highlights

Exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) disrupts normal seminiferous tubule morphology.
RFR exposure in round spermatids may induce apoptosis independent of Tyro 3, Axl, and Mer (TAM) receptors.
TAM receptors and ligands are expressed in rat testis.

Conclusions

TAM receptors and ligands may play an important role in the spermatogenesis processes and may affect the functions of Leydig cells and Sertoli cells. In the present study, we have reported that RFR exposure impair the morphology of rat testis. However, the impact on testicular function remains uncertain and requires further investigation. RFR exposure may negatively affect TAM signaling and enhances the accumulation of apoptotic cells.

Humans are exposed to RFR at a variable rate on a daily basis. Cell phones are the main source of RFR exposure, further complicating personal exposure times. In this study, cleaved caspase 3, TAM receptors and ligands were evaluated in rat testicular tissue exposed to 2100 MHz RFR. This study highlights the importance of radiofrequency exposure in male infertility. It provides a model for RFR reproductive toxicity studies. In order to better study the toxicity potential of RFR in the male reproductive system, it is necessary to study the intrauterine development and possibly live/healthy birth rates of the fetuses produced by mating RFR-exposed male mice with healthy female mice. In addition, long-term animal studies are urgently needed to investigate the potential health effects of frequencies used by upcoming 5G on the male reproductive system.

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Effects of non-ionizing radio frequency electromagnetic radiation on the development and behavior of early embryos of Danio rerio (zebrafish)

Khira R, Uggini GK. Effects of non-ionizing radio frequency electromagnetic radiation on the development and behavior of early embryos of Danio rerio. Electromagn Biol Med. 2024 May 12:1-8. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2024.2352429.

Abstract

Biological effects of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) in the range of 900-1800 MHz emerging from the mobile phone were investigated and were found to influence the locomotor pattern when exposure was initiated from 1 hour post fertilization (hpf) in zebrafish embryos (ZE), Danio rerio. Mobile phones and other wireless devices offer tremendous advantages. However, on the flipside they are leading to an increased electromagnetic energy in the environment, an excess of which could be termed as electromagnetic pollution. Herein, we tried to understand the effects of RF-EMR emerging from the mobile phone, on the development and behavior of ZE, exposed to RF-EMR (specific absorption rate of 1.13 W/kg and 1800 MHz frequency) 1 hr daily, for 5 days. To understand if there could be any developmental stage-specific vulnerability to RF-EMR, the exposure was initiated at three different time points: 1hpf, 6hpf and 24hpf of ZE development. Observations revealed no significant changes in the survival rate, morphology, oxidative stress or cortisol levels. However, statistically significant variations were observed in the batch where exposure started at 1 hpf, with respect to locomotion patterns (distance travelled: 659.1 ± 173.1 mm Vs 963.5 ± 200.4 mm), which could be correlated to anxiety-like behavior; along with a corresponding increase in yolk consumption (yolk sac area: 0.251 ± 0.019 mm2 Vs 0.225 ± 0.018 mm2). Therefore, we conclude that RF-EMR exposure influences the organism maximally during the earliest stage of development, and we also believe that an increase in the time of exposure (corresponding to the patterns of current usage of mobile phones) might reveal added afflictions.

Plain Language Summary

Mobile phones and other wireless devices are on a rampant usage worldwide. They work by radiating low energy radiofrequency electromagnetic radiations. An excessive usage of wireless devices is leading to increased presence of these radiations in our surroundings. Since these radiations are not physically sensed by the organisms, its impact stays elusive. Nevertheless, the interaction of these radiations with biological systems may produce some unwarranted effects. When we exposed the ZE to the mobile phone radiation daily 1 hr for 5 days, our observations revealed that the youngest of the experimental group showed susceptibility. The effect was evident through haphazard movements and stressed behavior. So, it is important to be aware of the potential effects and take necessary precautions by following safety guidelines, especially when the organism is in its early life stage.


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Multi-frequency electromagnetic radiation induces anxiety in mice via inflammation in the cerebral cortex

Jing X, Menghua L, Lihui Z, Qian W, Xueli W, Xuelong Z, Zhihui L, Guofu D, Changzhen W. Multi-frequency electromagnetic radiation induces anxiety in mice via inflammation in the cerebral cortex. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2024 May 9. doi: 10.1007/s11356-024-33447-y.

Abstract

Modern life is filled with radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) in various frequency bands, while the health risks are not clear. In this study, mice were whole-body exposed to 0.9/1.5/2.65 GHz radiofrequency radiation at 4 W/kg for 2 h per day for 4 weeks to investigate the emotional effects. It was found that the mice showed anxiety but no severe depression. The ELISA results showed a significant decrease in amino acid neurotransmitters (GABA, DA, 5-HT), although acetylcholine (ACH) levels were not significantly altered. Furthermore, Western blot results showed that BDNF, TrkB, and CREB levels were increased in the cerebral cortex, while NF-κB levels were decreased. In addition, pro-inflammatory factors (IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α) were significantly elevated, and anti-inflammatory factors (IL-4, IL-10) tended to decrease. In conclusion, multi-frequency electromagnetic radiation induces an inflammatory response through the CREB-BDNF-TrkB and NF-κB pathways in the cerebral cortex and causes a decrease in excitatory neurotransmitters, which ultimately causes anxiety in mice.

Excerpt

In conclusion, these findings suggest that multi-frequency RF-EMR may induce anxiety by decreasing brain neurotransmitter levels and triggering inflammatory responses via the CREB-BDNF-TrkB pathway (Fig. 5). Currently, there are few studies on the relationship between multi-frequency electromagnetic radiation and mood changes, and this study provides some data support and a direction for future research. However, further in-depth investigations are needed to elucidate the specific mechanism of whether multi-frequency RF-EMR can induce negative emotions.


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The endocannabinoid system is involved in the anxiety-like behavior induced by dual-frequency 2.65/0.8 GHz electromagnetic radiation in mice

Xue T, Ma RH, Xu C, Sun B, Yan DF, Liu XM, Gao D, Li ZH, Gao Y, Wang CZ. The endocannabinoid system is involved in the anxiety-like behavior induced by dual-frequency 2.65/0.8 GHz electromagnetic radiation in mice. Front Mol Neurosci. 2024 Apr 15;17:1366855. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2024.1366855.

Abstract

As wireless communication devices gain popularity, concerns about the potential risks of environmental exposure to complex frequency electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on mental health have become a public health issue. Historically, EMR research has predominantly focused on single- frequency electromagnetic waves, neglecting the study of multi-frequency electromagnetic waves, which more accurately represent everyday life. To address these concerns, our study compared the emotional effects of single-frequency and dual-frequency EMR while exploring potential molecular mechanisms and intervention targets. Our results revealed that single-frequency EMR at 2.65 or 0.8 GHz did not induce anxiety-like behavior in mice. However, exposure to dual-frequency EMR at 2.65/0.8 GHz significantly led to anxiety-like behavior in mice. Further analysis of mouse sera revealed substantial increases in corticosterone and corticotrophin releasing hormone levels following exposure to 2.65/0.8 GHz EMR. Transcriptome sequencing indicated a significant decrease in the expression of Cnr1, encoding cannabinoid receptor 1 Type (CB1R), in the cerebral. This finding was consistently verified through western blot analysis, revealing a substantial reduction in CB1R content. Additionally, a significant decrease in the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol was observed in the cerebral cortex. Remarkably, administering the cannabinoid receptor agonist Win55-212-2 significantly alleviated the anxiety-like behavior, and the cannabinoid receptor antagonist AM251 effectively counteracted the anti-anxiety effects of Win55-212-2. In summary, our research confirmed that dual-frequency EMR is more likely to induce anxiety-like behavior in mice than single-frequency EMR, with implications for the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the endocannabinoid system. Furthermore, our findings suggest that Win55-212-2 may represent a novel avenue for researching and developing anti-EMR drugs.


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Assessment of the potential threats to brain health posed by the radiation from 5G sub-6 GHz base stations in China using dosimetric methods

Lin J, Ding G, Liu X, Li J. Assessment of the potential threats to brain health posed by the radiation from 5G sub-6 GHz base stations in China using dosimetric methods. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2024 May;31(21):31015-31027. doi: 10.1007/s11356-024-33172-6.

Abstract

The 5G sub-6 GHz radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) are the most widely used in China's communications. The public has expressed concerns about possible brain health effects of the higher frequency bands in 5G compared to 2G, 3G, and 4G bands. It is imperative to empirically investigate the potential health hazards of these novel frequency bands in 5G communication technology. This study evaluates the assessment of brain tissue dose coupling from sub-6 GHz band EMF emitted by base stations in China. Based on the 3D virtual human body model, the simulation environment was established. Dose including specific absorption rate (SAR) and internal electric field (IEF) between 2G, 3G, and 4G bands and 5G sub-6 GHz was investigated using normalized exposure values and exposure limits. The results indicate that the sub-6 GHz high-frequency band of 5G has the lowest dose value. It can be concluded that high-frequency electromagnetic radiation in 5G sub-6 GHz reduces the dose and health threats to the brain. This provides strong support for the promotion of 5G commutation in China and other regions.

Conclusion

The research employed dosimetric methodology to comparatively evaluate the potential threat of communication EMF emitted by base stations to the human brain in China. Normalized evaluation showed that the dose value of brain tissue decreased with the increase of frequency. Moreover, the study explored the brain dose and health threats in accordance with both international mainstream ICNIRP guidelines and Chinese national standards. The findings indicate that the sub-6 GHz high-frequency band of 5G has the lowest dose value, thus ensuring a low risk of use. However, it should be noted that the choice of industry standards and physical evaluation quantities can slightly influence the evaluation results and trends. The research supplements the inadequacy of laboratory animal experiments and comparatively elaborates on the potential harm of EMF exposure from 5G sub-6 GHz to the brain’s health. From a perspective of normalized assessment and the guideline comparison assessment, it can be concluded that high-frequency electromagnetic radiation in 5G sub-6 GHz reduces the harm of dose and risk values. This provides strong support for the promotion of 5G commutation in China and other regions. However, the limitation of this study is that the actual public exposure value does not take into account the measured value as the massive geographic information and statistical data. In the subsequent stage, the investigation of exposure measurement and dose evaluation can be merged with epidemiological research to probe deeper into the repercussions of novel frequency bands on the brain and its affiliated organ system.


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Whole-body SAR measurements of millimeter-wave base station in reverberation chambers

Eilers Bischoff J, Joshi P, Colombi D, Xu B, Törnevik C. Whole-body SAR measurements of millimeter-wave base station in reverberation chambers. International Journal of Microwave and Wireless Technologies. Published online 2024:1-6. doi:10.1017/S1759078724000515

Abstract

This paper presents a method for measuring whole-body specific absorption rate (WBSAR) of millimeter-wave base stations (BSs) in a reverberation chamber (RC). The absorbed power in the phantom from the equipment under test (EUT) and hence WBSAR is determined as the difference between the total radiated power with and without the phantom. A chamber transfer function is determined and used to include only the absorption in the phantom due to direct illumination from the EUT, i.e., excluding absorption due to the RC multipath reflections. The measurement method was evaluated at 28 GHz using a horn antenna and a commercial massive multi-input–multi-output BS. The experimental results are in good agreement with simulations. The proposed method allows for measurements of WBSAR within 3 minutes, which is much shorter than traditional approaches. The method is suitable for compliance assessments of BS products with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection 2020 electromagnetic field exposure guidelines, which extend the applicability of WBSAR as basic restrictions up to 300 GHz.


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Retraction notice to "Exercise ameliorates hippocampal damage induced by Wi-Fi radiation; A biochemical, histological, and immunohistochemical study"

Mohamed AO, Abdel Hafez SMN, Ibrahim RA, Rifaai RA. Retraction notice to "Exercise ameliorates hippocampal damage induced by Wi-Fi radiation; A biochemical, histological, and immunohistochemical study" [J. Chem. Neuroanat. 129 (2023) 102252]. J Chem Neuroanat. 2024 Jun 8:102433. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2024.102433. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38851999.

No abstract

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38851999/

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Review on the impact of cell phone radiation effects on green plants

Panda DK, Das DP, Behera SK, Dhal NK. Review on the impact of cell phone radiation effects on green plants. Environ Monit Assess. 2024 May 21;196(6):565. doi: 10.1007/s10661-024-12623-0.

Abstract

The aim of this review is to assess the impact of cell phone radiation effects on green plants. Rapid progress in networking and communication systems has introduced frequency- and amplitude-modulated technologies to the world with higher allowed bands and greater speed by using high-powered radio generators, which facilitate high definition connectivity, rapid transfer of larger data files, and quick multiple accesses. These cause frequent exposure of cellular radiation to the biological world from a number of sources. Key factors like a range of frequencies, time durations, power densities, and electric fields were found to have differential impacts on the growth and development of green plants. As far as the effects on green plants are concerned in this review, alterations in their morphological characteristics like overall growth, canopy density, and pigmentation to physiological variations like chlorophyll fluorescence and change in membrane potential etc. have been found to be affected by cellular radiation. On the other hand, elevated oxidative status of the cell, macromolecular damage, and lipid peroxidation have been found frequently. On the chromosomal level, micronuclei formation, spindle detachments, and increased mitotic indexes etc. have been noticed. Transcription factors were found to be overexpressed in many cases due to the cellular radiation impact, which shows effects at the molecular level.


Conclusion

Cellular radiation affects plant seed germination, physiological, biochemical, cytogenetic, and molecular characters. In some cases, the effect has been shown to be positive. There is definitely some impact of these radiations; still there are controversies. Negative impacts can be described as heating stress or charged effect of electric fields, but how the changes are positive nobody explains. Where the positive changes happen or on what frequency, and if power and SAR value is required have not been described. Not much research was found on wild plants, despite having more height and highly exposed in field conditions. Molecular changes in level of mRNA transcriptions have been seen with very less numbers of publications. Changes in the level of ion transports and electron transport chains have been done in very less numbers. Physical absorption and behavior of plant tissues have to be done more widely. The importance of these studies is most crucial because of the increased demand of technology with more number of users and requirement of high-end communication. Vast research in this field is required in order to avoid further hazards.

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Effect of moisture content variation on dielectric properties of various plant leaves at microwave frequencies

Chauhan PD, Gadani DH, Rana VA. Effect of moisture content variation on dielectric properties of various plant leaves at microwave frequencies. Sci Rep. 2024 Jun 8;14(1):13204. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-64266-3.

Abstract

Complex permittivity of Corn, Jowar, Ashoka and Banana plant leaves was measured using a Vector Network Analyzer (Anritsu Shockline Model-MS46322A) over 500 MHz to 15 GHz frequency range, at different moisture contents. The dielectric constant ( ') and dielectric loss ( ″) of the leaves decrease with decrease in moisture content over this frequency range. For the leaves having moisture content less than certain critical moisture level (CML), the values of ' and " remain almost constant with frequency variation. ″ does not increase appreciably with the increase in moisture content up to CML. CML is found to vary for different types of leaves. At higher moisture level, ' and ″ exhibit frequency dependence. Above certain moisture level in the leaves, ″ starts to increase slowly with the increase in frequency above 3 GHz approaching towards the dielectric relaxation of water. The values of ' and ″ were also measured for the extract of leaves and compared with the values calculated using Stogryn equations for the same salinity, and the results agree with the calculated values. The measured values of ' and ″ for the leaves were compared with the values calculated using Debye-Cole dual dispersion dielectric model and are found to match very well.


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How the Impact of Electromagnetic Fields on Plants Can Greatly Increase Severity of and Even Occurrence of “Wildfires”: A Four-Part Structure

Pall ML. How the Impact of Electromagnetic Fields on Plants Can Greatly Increase Severity of and Even Occurrence of “Wildfires”: A Four-Part Structure.Ecology & Conservation Science: Open Access. 2024. doi: 10.19080/ECOA.2023.04.555631

Abstract

Low growing plants near buildings and electric powerlines often burn explosively at extreme temperatures, leaving a light gray powder whereas plants away from such sources of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) burn more normally, leaving slightly burned and/or charred materials. It is argued here that EMFs trigger a four-part mechanism producing this unusual pattern. Electronically generated EMFs impact plants via activation of voltage-controlled calcium channels, causing increases in plant terpenes and three other classes of volatiles (polyamines, lipid peroxidation volatiles and methyl jasmonate) and large increases in peroxynitrite and reactive free radicals. Four processes ensue: 1. The volatile terpenes make plants much more flammable. 2. Each of the four classes of volatiles accumulate in the air under very low wind conditions, and the heavy volatile-containing air spreads over the ground, selectively producing plasma membrane depolarization in low growing plants and parts of plants. Depolarization activates the same calcium channels activated by EMFs, selectively spreading and amplifying EMF-like effects to these low growing plants. 3. The terpenes react with free radicals and O2 to produce three classes of explosive terpene-derived chemicals, hydroperoxides, nitrate esters and nitro compounds. Accordingly, the explosive burning of these three classes of terpene derived chemicals in low growing plants produces very rapidly advancing low level firestorms which when they hit adjacent buildings also causes the buildings to burn at extremely high temperatures, leaving a light gray powder. 4. Terpene hydroperoxides because of their low thermostability may cause spontaneous combustion. Appropriate conditions for spontaneous combustion may be limited to plant materials in depressions in the ground. Sixteen fire observations are inconsistent with climate change being the sole cause of fire severity but are consistent with the proposed mechanism. Wind records from four large explosive US fires were examined and were found to be consistent with prediction. High voltage powerline roles in fires may be caused by powerline dirty electricity produced EMFs rather than poor maintenance as has previously been claimed.


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Oxidative Stress Response of Honey Bee Colonies during Long-Term Exposure at a Frequency of 900 MHz under Field Conditions

Vilić M, Žura Žaja I, Tkalec M, Tucak P, Malarić K, Popara N, Žura N, Pašić S, Gajger IT. Oxidative Stress Response of Honey Bee Colonies (Apis mellifera L.) during Long-Term Exposure at a Frequency of 900 MHz under Field Conditions. Insects. 2024 May 20;15(5):372. doi: 10.3390/insects15050372.

Abstract

In this study, oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in honey bee larvae, pupae and the midguts of adult bees were investigated during a one-year exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) at a frequency of 900 MHz under field conditions. The experiment was carried out on honey bee colonies at three locations with electric field levels of 30 mV m-1, 70 mV m-1 and 1000 mV m-1. Antioxidant enzymes, glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) as indicators of lipid peroxidation were measured spectrophotometrically. The GST activity within the same developmental stage showed no significant differences regardless of electric field level or sampling time. The highest GST activity was found in the pupae, followed by activity in the larvae and midguts. Both CAT activity and TBARS concentration were the highest in the midguts, regardless of field level and sampling time. The larvae showed a significantly higher TBARS concentration at the location with an electric field level of 1000 mV m-1 compared to the locations with lower levels. Our results show that RF-EMFs at a frequency of 900 MHz can cause oxidative stress in honey bees, with the larval stage being more sensitive than the pupal stage, but there was no linear relationship between electric field level and effect in any of the developmental stages.


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The Cellular Response Is Determined by a Combination of Different ELF-EMF Exposure Parameters: A Scope Review

López de Mingo I, Rivera González M-X, Maestú Unturbe C. The Cellular Response Is Determined by a Combination of Different ELF-EMF Exposure Parameters: A Scope Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2024; 25(10):5074. doi: 10.3390/ijms25105074.

Abstract

Since the establishment of regulations for exposure to extremely low-frequency (0–300) Hz electromagnetic fields, scientific opinion has prioritised the hypothesis that the most important parameter determining cellular behaviour has been intensity, ignoring the other exposure parameters (frequency, time, mode, waveform). This has been reflected in the methodologies of the in vitro articles published and the reviews in which they are included. A scope review was carried out, grouping a total of 79 articles that met the proposed inclusion criteria and studying the effects of the different experiments on viability, proliferation, apoptosis, oxidative stress and the cell cycle. These results have been divided and classified by frequency, intensity, exposure time and exposure mode (continuous/intermittent). The results obtained for each of the processes according to the exposure parameter used are shown graphically to highlight the importance of a good methodology in experimental development and the search for mechanisms of action that explain the experimental results, considering not only the criterion of intensity. The consequence of this is a more than necessary revision of current exposure protection regulations for the general population based on the reductionist criterion of intensity.

Conclusions

This review arises from the need to consider each of the parameters of exposure to magnetic fields as an entity capable of producing a determined response in the cell. The
importance that has been given to the intensity parameter since the establishment of regulations for the exposure of the general public to low-frequency electromagnetic fields has
led to it also being the main parameter in in vitro experiments, considering intensity as the determining parameter for the occurrence of the main cellular effects and placing the
“dose effect” as one of the main theories explaining the effects found. We must begin to think of combinations of exposure parameters that act at the cellular level as specific codes that give rise to specific responses. Biology, and more specifically cell biology, entails a set of rules that must be protected as a fundamental right. There must be a commitment on
the part of scientific researchers in bioelectromagnetism to develop quality experiments based on rigorous working methodologies and the search for experimental conclusions
that contribute to existing knowledge in this field in order to establish models of interaction between magnetic fields and biological systems that allow us to think of magnetic
fields not only as a tool for modulating cell behaviour but also as a possible therapeutic application for various fields of medicine such as oncology, neurodegeneration or the
healing of wounds and lesions.


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Modulation of Zebrafish Heart Rate by Alternating Magnetic Fields With Frequencies Close to Heart Rhythm

Krylov VV, Sizov DA, Machikhin AS, Guryleva AV, Tchougounov V, Burlakov AB. Modulation of Zebrafish Heart Rate by Alternating Magnetic Fields With Frequencies Close to Heart Rhythm. IEEE Journal of Electromagnetics, RF and Microwaves in Medicine and Biology. 2024. doi: 10.1109/JERM.2024.3397557. 

Abstract

Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) up to 100 μT exhibit impacts on physiological processes, including heart function. The mechanisms underlying the influence of these fields on fish heart rates remain insufficiently explored. We assumed that the direct impact of ELF-MF with a frequency close to the heart rate could entrain oscillatory processes responsible for autonomously maintaining heart rhythm in zebrafish embryos. Embryos' heart rates ranged from 1.44 to 3 Hz depending on age, and ELF-MF with frequencies precisely matched, 10% higher, or lower than the heart rate were applied. Additionally, embryos experienced ELF-MF with amplitudes varying by an order of magnitude. Almost all tested ELF-MF induced an increased heart rate effect. This effect was the most pronounced when the exposure occurred earlier during ontogenesis. Fields with frequencies close to the heart rate did not entrain cardiac contractions in zebrafish embryos. A significant negative correlation between heart rate increase and ELF-MF frequency was observed for ELF-MF with amplitudes of 1.98–3.2 μT and 46.8 μT but not 30 μT. Probable molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are discussed in terms of magnetic influence on radical pairs within biochemical oscillating processes.


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Prey can detect predators via electroreception in air

England SJ, Robert D. Prey can detect predators via electroreception in air. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Jun 4;121(23):e2322674121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2322674121

Abstract

Predators and prey benefit from detecting sensory cues of each other's presence. As they move through their environment, terrestrial animals accumulate electrostatic charge. Because electric charges exert forces at a distance, a prey animal could conceivably sense electrical forces to detect an approaching predator. Here, we report such a case of a terrestrial animal detecting its predators by electroreception. We show that predatory wasps are charged, thus emit electric fields, and that caterpillars respond to such fields with defensive behaviors. Furthermore, the mechanosensory setae of caterpillars are deflected by these electrostatic forces and are tuned to the wingbeat frequency of their insect predators. This ability unveils a dimension of the sensory interactions between prey and predators and is likely widespread among terrestrial animals.


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Associations between solar and geomagnetic activity and cognitive function in the Normative Aging study

Liddie JM, Vieira CLZ, Coull BA, Sparrow D, Koutrakis P, Weisskopf MG. Associations between solar and geomagnetic activity and cognitive function in the Normative Aging study. Environ Int. 2024 Apr 16;187:108666. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2024.108666.

Abstract

Background: Studies show that changes in solar and geomagnetic activity (SGA) influence melatonin secretion and the autonomic nervous system. We evaluated associations between solar and geomagnetic activity and cognitive function in the Normative Aging Study from 1992 to 2013.

Methods: We used logistic and linear generalized estimating equations and regressions to evaluate the associations between moving averages of sunspot number (SSN) and Kp index (a measure of geomagnetic activity) and a binary measure for Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (≤25 or > 25) and six other cognitive tests as continuous measures, combined into one global composite score and considered separately.

Results: A one-IQR increase in same-day SSN and Kp index were associated with 17% (95% CI: 3%, 34%) and 19% (95% CI: 4%, 36%) increases in the odds of low MMSE score. We observed small increases in the global cognitive score with increasing SSN, although we observed decreases specifically in relation to the backwards digit span test.

Conclusions: Periods of high SGA were associated with cognitive function. SGA may not equally impact all aspects of cognitive function, as evidenced by differences in associations observed for the MMSE, global cognitive score, and individual cognitive tests. Given that much of the pathology of cognitive decline in the elderly remains unexplained, studies specifically targeting decline and with longer follow-up periods are warranted.


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ICNIRP Statement on Short Wavelength Light Exposure from Indoor Artificial Sources and Human Health

Miller S, Cajochen C, Green A, Hanifin J, Huss A, Karipidis K, Loughran S, Oftedal G, O'Hagan J, Sliney DH, Croft R, van Rongen E, Cridland N, d'Inzeo G, Hirata A, Marino C, Röösli M, Watanabe S; International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). ICNIRP Statement on Short Wavelength Light Exposure from Indoor Artificial Sources and Human Health. Health Phys. 2024 Apr 1;126(4):241-248. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001790.

Abstract

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of effects from exposure to short wavelength light (SWL), defined here as 380-550 nm, on human health. The spectral sensitivity of the human circadian timing system peaks at around 480 nm, much shorter than the peak sensitivity of daytime vision (i.e., 555 nm). Some experimental studies have demonstrated effects on the circadian timing system and on sleep from SWL exposure, especially when SWL exposure occurs in the evening or at night. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has identified a lack of consensus among public health officials regarding whether SWL from artificial sources disrupts circadian rhythm, and if so, whether SWL-disrupted circadian rhythm is associated with adverse health outcomes. Systematic reviews of studies designed to examine the effects of SWL on sleep and human health have shown conflicting results. There are many variables that can affect the outcome of these experimental studies. One of the main problems in earlier studies was the use of photometric quantities as a surrogate for SWL exposure. Additionally, the measurement of ambient light may not be an accurate measure of the amount of light impinging on the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, which are now known to play a major role in the human circadian timing system. Furthermore, epidemiological studies of long-term effects of chronic SWL exposure per se on human health are lacking. ICNIRP recommends that an analysis of data gaps be performed to delineate the types of studies needed, the parameters that should be addressed, and the methodology that should be applied in future studies so that a decision about the need for exposure guidelines can be made. In the meantime, ICNIRP supports some recommendations for how the quality of future studies might be improved.