Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Recent Posts on EMR Safety
  To develop recommendations about electromagnetic safety for its 150 member nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) has relied on expertise from members of the ICNIRP who have apparent conflicts of interest.

ICNIRP’s Exposure Guidelines for Radio Frequency Fields
  Exposé about the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and other EMF projects by Investigate Europe, a pan-European team of journalists.

NTP Cell Phone Radiation Study: Final Reports
  A $30 million study by the National Toxicology Program found that long-term exposure 
to cell phone radiation caused cancer in male rats and DNA damage in mice and rats.

  Op-ed by Joel Moskowitz published by Scientific American, Oct 2019.

5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects
  A brief review of the biologic and health effects from exposure to millimeter waves.

5G Wireless Technology: Is 5G Harmful to Our Health?
  "Both oncologic and non-cancerous chronic effects have been suggested."

Why we need stronger cell phone safety regulations--Key testimony submitted to the FCC

Cell Tower Health Effects
  A summary of research on the biologic and health effects associated with exposure to cell tower radiation.

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields 
  Compilation of over 800 abstracts of scientific papers published since August, 2016

5G Wireless Technology: Cutting Through the Hype
  Many news stories debunk the exaggerated benefits of 5G cellular technology.

Effects of Cell Phone Use on Adolescents 
 Research on adolescents suggests that cell phone use disturbs sleep and has adverse effects on memory and cognitive processes, and on the endocrine system.

  "Wireless radiation exposure limits and a summary of biologic and health effect studies by exposure level."

Effect of Mobile Phones on Sperm Quality
  Research that examines the effects of wireless radiation on sperm. Eight review papers and more than 40 recent studies.

Thyroid Cancer & Mobile Phone Use
  The evidence is mounting from epidemiologic and biologic studies that heavy cell phone use may cause thyroid cancer.

"Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety" (UC Berkeley talk)
  Video and slides from a recent presentation by Joel Moskowitz at UC Berkeley about wireless radiation research and policy developments including 5G. Non-technical overview of key issues.

Recent News

Louis Slesin. Will WHO Kick Its ICNIRP Habit? Non-Thermal Effects Hang in the Balance. Microwave News, Nov 4, 2019.
    After 8 years of work, the WHO is reopening its review of RF radiation health effects. This investigative report exposes ties between the WHO EMF Project, the ICNIRP, and the telecom industry.

Joel Moskowitz. We Have No Reason to Believe 5G is Safe. Scientific American, Oct 17, 2019.
   "we should support the recommendations of the 250 scientists and medical doctors who signed the 5G Appeal that calls for an immediate moratorium on the deployment of 5G and demand that our government fund the research needed to adopt biologically based exposure limits that protect our health and safety."

Simon Hill. Is cell phone radiation actually dangerous? We asked some experts. Digital Trends, Sep 25, 2019.
  "The ... standards that are in place, which haven’t changed since 1996, were set based on when animal behavior changed ... If we can’t draw conclusions about the NTP study, why is this earlier animal research still the basis of our safety limits?"

Joe Mahr. Lawsuit filed against Apple, Samsung after Chicago Tribune tests cellphones for radiofrequency radiationChicago Tribune, Aug 29, 2019.

Sam Roe. We tested popular cellphones for radiofrequency radiation. Now the FCC is investigating. Chicago Tribune, Aug 21, 2019.
  The paper's year-long investigation found some of the most popular cell phones, including Apple iPhones, emit radiation that exceeds government (FCC) safety limits

Sam Roe. Testing cellphones for radiofrequency radiation: How we did it. Chicago Tribune, Aug 21, 2019. 

Joel Moskowitz. 5G Health RisksBBC Radio 5, May 30, 2019 (9 minute news segment).
  The deployment of 5G in the United Kingdom today has generated great concern among the public. This is a brief overview of the health risks from exposure to 5G millimeter waves.

Devra Davis. 5G: The Unreported Global Threat. Medium, May 18, 2019.
  Major mainstream newspapers commonly ignore the substantial body of science pinpointing wireless radiation and 5G hazards detailed in journalistic investigations.

Investigate Europe. Mobile phones and health: Is 5G being rolled out too fast? Computer Weekly, April, 2019.
  Countries are deploying 5G at breakneck speed to gain a competitive edge, but scientists have concerns about effects on public health and are calling for a precautionary approach.

Markham Heid. Are AirPods and Other Bluetooth Headphones Safe? Medium, Mar 7, 2019.
  Numerous scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below international and national guidelines including cancer, neurological disorders, and DNA damage.

Investigate Europe. The 5G mass experiment. Jan 13, 2019.
   In a series of news stories, a team of investigative journalists examines the risks of 5G deployment. "it could also harm your health. Europe's governments ignore the danger." 

Hiawatha Bray. Could your cellphone’s electromagnetic field make you sick? Boston Globe, Jan 17, 2019.
  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health may be withholding information about possible health risks posed by cellphones and other wireless technologies.

Ronald Melnick, Ph.D. There's a clear cell phone-cancer link, but FDA is downplaying itThe Hill, Nov 13, 2018.
  Dr. Melnick was the senior toxicologist who led the design of the National Toxicology Program cell phone radiation studies.

Joyce Nelson. 5G Corporate Grail: Smart cities/dumb people?  Watershed Sentinel, Nov 5, 2018.
  "There’s a lot of hype about 5G, the fifth-generation wireless technology that is being rolled out in various “5G test beds” in major cities ...But it’s hard to see why we should be excited."

Annelie Fitzgerald. Mobile Phone Cover-up? Gov’t advisory body disbanded – inaccurate and misleading conclusions remain. TruePublica (UK), Oct 17, 2018.
   UK disbanded advisory group on non-ionizing radiation (AGNIR) after group issued inaccurate assessment of wireless radiation science subject to conflicts of interest. Public Heath England still relies on AGNIR report.

Martin Röösli. Mobile phone radiation may affect memory performance in adolescents. Medical Xpress. July 20, 2018.
  Radio frequency radiation may have adverse effects on memory performance of specific brain regions exposed during mobile phone use.

Ronnie Cohen. Do cellphones cause cancer? Government study reveals 'stunningly important findingsNewsweek, July 19, 2018.
  Current cellphone safety regulations are based on a premise that is now arguably false: that cellphone radiation can cause harm only by heating tissue.

Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie. The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones.The Guardian, July 14, 2018.
  We dismiss claims about mobiles being bad for our health – but is that because studies showing a link to cancer have been cast into doubt by the industry?

Reynard Loki. Our cellphone addiction is turning wireless tech into an invisible weapon that’s destroying wildlife. Salon, July 14, 2018.
  Electromagnetic radiation from Wi-Fi and cell towers poses a “credible risk” to birds, mammals, insects and plants

Lynne Peeples. Should cell phone providers warn customers of health risks? Berkeley says yesMcClatchy News Washington Bureau, July 11, 2018.
  Although the scientific community has not reached consensus, the California health department said research indicates long-term, extensive cellphone use may affect health.

Lynne Peeples. Wireless industry using First Amendment as a cudgel in its battle against safety warningsFair Warning, July 11, 2018.
  Complete version of the article. News websites published the McClatchy version.

Louis Slesin. "'Clear evidence' of cell phone cancer risk, say leading pathologists." Microwave News, April 9, 2018.
  Why the peer review panel and NTP interpreted the same animal data differently. 

Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie. "How big wireless made us think that cell phones are safe: A special investigation.The Nation, March 29, 2018.
  The disinformation campaign—and massive radiation increase—behind the 5G rollout.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields

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

The latest additions appear below.

The complete collection of abstracts now covers more than 800 scientific papers. This 563-page document (pdf) can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

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

Recent Papers

The Significance of Primary Tumors in the NTP Study of Chronic Rat Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation]

Lin JC. The Significance of Primary Tumors in the NTP Study of Chronic Rat Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation [Health Matters]. IEEE Microwave Magazine. 20(11):18-21. Nov 2019. DOI:10.1109/MMM.2019.2935361


Most media accounts of the U.S. National Toxicology Program's (NTP's) final report have understandably focused on the statistically significant finding of "clear evidence" that both GSM and code-division multiple access (CDMA)-modulated 900-MHz wireless RF radiation led to the development of malignant schwannoma, a rare form of tumor, in the hearts of male rats. In addition to this, unusual patterns of cardiomyopathy, i.e., damage to heart tissue, were observed in both RF-exposed male and female Sprague-Dawley rats compared with concurrent control animals, although the findings for female rats were deemed as providing only uncertain or "equivocal" evidence for schwannomas and malignant gliomas, compared to concurrent controls.


"A Closer Look at the NTP Findings

“In all fairness, the primary cancer or overall cancer rates detected in any organ or tissue inside the animal body do not appear to have been purposefully overlooked or unnoticed. Indeed, the results for total primary cancer or tumor occurrences in NTP animal studies can be found in the appendices of its final reports [1]. However, although the data may not have been purposefully disregarded or ignored, the NTP excluded them from its publicized report summaries. An independent analysis of the data showed that rats exposed to GSM and CDMA RF radiation had significantly higher overall or total primary tumor rates than did the concurrent control rats [4].

In particular, the highest overall cancer (or malignant tumors) rates were found in male rats exposed to whole-body SARs of 3 W/kg from 900-MHz cell phone RF radiation (42 and 46% for GSM and CDMA, respectively), and the lowest rate was found in the concurrent control group (27%). Thus, the RF-exposed groups had significantly higher overall or total primary cancer rates than did the concurrent control rats. Moreover, the highest overall tumor rates (either a benign or malignant tumor in any organ or tissue) were observed in male rats exposed to SARs of 3-W/kg (87 and 84% for GSM and CDMA, respectively) cell phone RF radiation. As stated previously, the lowest rate was seen in the concurrent control group (63%). The RF-exposed groups had significantly higher overall tumor rates than did the concurrent control rats. Male rats in the lowest RF-exposed groups (whole-body SARs of 1.5 W/kg) had significantly higher rates of benign primary tumors (76 and 73% for GSM and CDMA, respectively) than did concurrent or sham control groups (54%).”

"IARC Assessment

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed the then available scientific literature and concluded that the epidemiological studies on humans that had reported increased risks for malignant gliomas and acoustic neuromas among heavy or long-term users of cell phones were sufficiently strong to support a classification of 2B, i.e., possibly carcinogenic to humans [9]. With its classification of RF radiation as a 2B carcinogen, the IARC suggested that it also believed the available scientific evidence was incomplete and limited, especially with regard to results from animal experiments.

“The time is right for the IARC to upgrade its previous epidemiology-based classification of RF exposure to higher levels in terms of the carcinogenicity of RF radiation for humans. Recently, two relatively well-conducted RF and microwave exposure studies employing the Sprague–Dawley strain of rats—without, however, using any cancer-promoting agents (or cocarcinogens)—showed consistent results in significantly increased total primary cancer or overall tumor rates in animals exposed to RF radiation.”

It is important to note that the recent NTP and Ramazzini animal RF exposure studies presented similar findings in heart schwannomas and brain gliomas. The increased schwannomas and abnormal heart tissue development/damage to heart tissue are significant findings in RF-exposed animal research studies. In addition to this, the incidence of benign pheochromocytomas of the adrenal medulla was found to be higher in the exposed group than in the sham controls for the 2,450-MHz circular waveguide experiment [6]. Interestingly, in the recent NTP study, there was “some evidence” of carcinogenicity in the adrenal gland. The number of pheochromocytomas was significantly higher (p <0.05) in male rats at 1.5 and 3 W/kg, compared with the concurrent controls. Moreover, the increase in malignant tumor-like hyperplasia in the adrenal gland of female rats was significantly higher at 6 W/kg, relative to the concurrent controls (p <0.05)."


... It is important to note that the recent NTP and Ramazzini animal RF exposure studies presented similar findings in heart schwannomas and brain gliomas. The increased schwannomas and abnormal heart tissue development/damage to heart tissue are significant findings in RF-exposed animal research studies....

A particular perspective to keep in mind is that, with the induction of cancer by a carcinogen, an agent is typically considered carcinogenic if it induces a significant response in a specific tissue.”

[4] J. Moskowitz, “National toxicology program publishes final cell phone radiation study reports,” Electromagn. Radiation Safety, Nov. 2018. [Online].  Available:


Evaluation of genotoxicity of cell phone radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure (NTP study)

Smith-Roe SL, Wyde ME, Stout MD, Winters JW, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green AS, Kissling GE, Shockley KR, Tice RR, Bucher JR, Witt KL. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2019 Oct 21. doi: 10.1002/em.22343.


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

Male and female Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats and B6C3F1/N mice were exposed from gestation day 5 or postnatal day 35, respectively, to code division multiple access (CDMA) or global system for mobile (GSM) modulations over 18 h/day, at 10 min intervals, in reverberation chambers at specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg (rats, 900 MHz) or 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg (mice, 1900 MHz).After 19 (rats) or 14 (mice) weeks of exposure, animals were examined for evidence of RFR-associated genotoxicity using two different measures. Using the alkaline (pH > 13) comet assay, DNA damage was assessed in cells from three brain regions, liver cells, and peripheral blood leukocytes; using the micronucleus assay, chromosomal damage was assessed in immature and mature peripheral blood erythrocytes.

Results of the comet assay showed significant increases in DNA damage in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations), leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). Increases in DNA damage judged to be equivocal were observed in several other tissues of rats and mice. No significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells were observed in rats or mice. In conclusion, these results suggest that exposure to RFR is associated with an increase in DNA damage.


The NTP bioassay was designed to evaluate non-thermal effects of cell phone RFR exposure, which meant that body temperature could not change more than 1 °C under our exposure conditions .... Therefore, we consider it unlikely that thermal effects were a confounding factor for our genetic toxicity tests, although more work in general is needed to clarify the thermal effects of RFR on different tissues, and the degree to which increases in body or tissue temperature affect genomic integrity.

... our results and the results of other experiments suggest that non-thermal exposure of cells or whole organisms to RFR may result in measurable genotoxic effects, despite varied and weak responses across studies overall (Brusick et al., 1998; Ruediger, 2009; Verschaeve et al., 2010). Induction of oxygen radicals or interference with DNA repair processes have been proposed as possible mechanisms by which RFR could cause DNA damage (Ruediger 2009; Yakymenko et al. 2015).

... NTP Technical Reports on the results of the 2-year cancer bioassay for exposure to RFR for rats (TR 595) and mice (TR 596) were finalized, peer reviewed, and made publicly available in 2018. The NTP concluded that results demonstrated clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of cell phone RFR (both modulations) based on incidences of malignant schwannomas of the heart in male rats. Malignant gliomas in the brain were also observed in male rats exposed to cell phone RFR and were considered to be related to exposure. Female rats exhibited malignant schwannomas of the heart and malignant gliomas, but incidences of these tumors were considered equivocal. The observation that cell phone RFR affects heart and brain tissue in Sprague Dawley rats after long-term exposure was replicated in a similar study (that used only the GSM modulation) by the Ramazzini Institute (Falcioni et al., 2018). The gliomas and schwannomas observed in rats are similar to the tumor types reported in some epidemiology studies to be associated with cell phone use. The NTP bioassay findings in mice, in which different organs were affected compared to rats, were considered equivocal....

The highest exposure of 6 W/kg in rats and 10 W/kg in mice, for a total of 9 h 10 min a day (achieved by cycling for 10 min on, 10 min off over 18 h 20 min), produced higher exposures than experienced by humans under normal cellular phone use conditions. Thus, whether the findings in the NTP animal studies (e.g. malignant gliomas in the brain and malignant schwannomas in the hearts of male rats; increased levels of DNA damage in hippocampal cells of male rats and the frontal cortex of male mice) indicate a potential for adverse health outcomes in humans remains a question. Because one of the most important questions prompted by our results concerns the mechanism(s) by which RFR might induce biological effects, follow-up studies by the NTP to investigate mechanisms of genetic damage associated with RFR exposure are underway.


Adverse Effects of Wireless Radiation

Kostoff RN. Adverse Effects of Wireless Radiation. 2019. PDF.


This monograph identifies adverse effects of wireless radiation as reported in the premier biomedical literature. It shows that most of the reported laboratory experiments are not designed to elicit the more severe adverse effects reflective of the real-life operating environment in which wireless radiation is embedded. Many do not include pulsing and modulation of the carrier signal, and most do not account for synergistic effects of other toxic stimuli acting in concert with the wireless radiation. It also presents evidence that the nascent 5G mobile networking technology will affect not only the skin and eyes, as commonly believed, but will have systemic adverse effects as well. The monograph includes a substantial bibliography of papers that present these adverse effects, and shows that what has been reported is the tip of the iceberg of the full spectrum of potential adverse effects from wireless radiation.

Note: This 649-page monograph is not a peer-reviewed publication.


Mobile phone induced cognitive and neurochemical consequences

Sharma A, Sharma S, Shrivastava S, Singhal PK, Shukla S. Mobile phone induced cognitive and neurochemical consequences. J Chem Neuroanat. 2019 Sep 22:101684. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2019.101684.


• Use of mobile phone lowers acetyl cholinesterase activity of brain.
• MWR cause increase in lipid per oxidation thus alters membrane integrity.
• Microwave radiation alters the oxidative stress management.
• Effects on Hippocampus, Spatial Memory, Learning Behavior in Rats.


With the rapid advances in technology, extensive use of mobile phones has increased the risk of health problems. This study was performed to find out the effect of mobile phone frequency on male Wistar rats. Animals were divided into two groups (n = 6 in each group). Group one was considered as control and group two (experimental group) was exposed to microwave radiation (2100 MHz) for 4 hours/day (5 days/week) for 3 months. Exposure of microwave radiation frequency showed significant alterations in cholinesterase activity, muscular strength, learning ability and anxiety. MWR exposure was also associated with significant alteration in the oxidative defense system and hippocampus degeneration. Histopathological observations clearly depicted the neural degeneration. Thus, it can be concluded that MWR significantly affects the central nervous system and may lead to many severe illnesses. This study may reveal a platform to understand its toxic effect and can further be used for amendment in current guidelines of mobile radiation.


Cancers of the Brain and CNS: Global Patterns and Trends in Incidence

Mortazavi SMJ, Mortazavi SAR, Paknahad M. Cancers of the Brain and CNS: Global Patterns and Trends in Incidence. J Biomed Phys Eng. 2018 Mar 1;8(1):151-152.


Miranda-Filho et al. in their recently published paper entitled "Cancers of the brain and CNS: global patterns and trends in incidence" provided a global status report of the geographic and temporal variations in the incidence of brain and CNS cancers in different countries across continents worldwide. While the authors confirm the role of genetic risk factors and ionizing radiation exposures, they claimed that no firm conclusion could be drawn about the role of exposure to non-ionizing radiation. The paper authored by Miranda-Filho et al. not only addresses a challenging issue, it can be considered as a good contribution in the field of brain and CNS cancers. However, our correspondence addresses a basic shortcoming of this paper about the role of electromagnetic fields and cancers and provides evidence showing that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs), at least at high levels and long durations, can increases the risk of cancer.


Radiofrequency field exposure assessment: a pilot study on mobile phone signal strength and transmitted power levels

Brzozek C, Zeleke BM, Abramson MJ, Benke KK, Benke G. Radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure assessment: a pilot study on mobile phone signal strength and transmitted power levels. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Oct 22. doi: 10.1038/s41370-019-0178-6.


In many epidemiological studies mobile phone use has been used as an exposure proxy for radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure. However, RF-EMF exposure assessment from mobile phone use is prone to measurement errors limiting epidemiological research. An often-overlooked aspect is received signal strength levels from base stations and its correlation with mobile phone transmit (Tx) power. The Qualipoc android phone is a tool that provides information on both signal strength and Tx power. The phone produces simultaneous measurements of Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI), Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP), Received Signal Code Power (RSCP), and Tx power on the 3G and 4G networks. Measurements taken in the greater Melbourne area found a wide range of signal strength levels. The correlations between multiple signal strength indicators and Tx power were assessed with strong negative correlations found for 3G and 4G data technologies (3G RSSI -0.93, RSCP -0.93; 4G RSSI -0.85, RSRP -0.87). Variations in Tx power over categorical levels of signal strength were quantified and showed large increases in Tx power as signal level decreased. Future epidemiological studies should control for signal strength or factors influencing signal strength to reduce RF-EMF exposure measurement error.


This study has demonstrated the use of the Qualipoc handheld android phone to assess the correlations between multiple signal strength indicators and Tx power on the 3G and 4G networks in the greater Melbourne area. The phones provided objective measurements of exposure rather than self-reported estimates from surveys. It found Tx power from a mobile phone device varied greatly depending on signal strength level, with exposure differing by orders of magnitude between poor and excellent signal strength levels. In order to reduce measurement error in RF-EMF exposure, data on distance the phone is held from the body and Tx power are required. As Tx power is difficult to measure and costly with the Qualipoc android device, it is recommended that future epidemiological studies control for signal strength as a proxy due to the strong correlations found between signal strength and Tx power. Factors influencing signal strength, such as distance from base station or base station concentration, line of site, vegetation, building materials, and service provider provide measures to control for signal strength.


Methodological limitations in experimental studies on symptoms in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) - review

Schmiedchen K, Driessen S, Oftedal G. Methodological limitations in experimental studies on symptom development in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) - a systematic review. Environ Health. 2019 Oct 22;18(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s12940-019-0519-x.


BACKGROUND: Hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is a controversial condition. While individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) claim to experience health complaints upon EMF exposure, many experimental studies have found no convincing evidence for a physical relation. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate methodological limitations in experimental studies on symptom development in IEI-EMF individuals that might have fostered false positive or false negative results. Furthermore, we compared the profiles of these limitations between studies with positive and negative results.

METHODS: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guided the methodological conduct and reporting. Eligible were blinded experimental studies that exposed individuals with IEI-EMF to different EMF exposure levels and queried the development of symptoms during or after each exposure trial. Strengths and limitations in design, conduct and analysis of individual studies were assessed using a customized rating tool.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in this review. In many studies, both with positive and negative results, we identified methodological limitations that might have either fostered false or masked real effects of exposure. The most common limitations were related to the selection of study participants, the counterbalancing of the exposure sequence and the effectiveness of blinding. Many studies further lacked statistical power estimates. Methodically sound studies indicated that an effect of exposure is unlikely.

CONCLUSION: Overall, the evidence points towards no effect of exposure. If physical effects exist, previous findings suggest that they must be very weak or affect only few individuals with IEI-EMF. Given the evidence that the nocebo effect or medical/mental disorders may explain the symptoms in many individuals with IEI-EMF, additional research is required to identify the various factors that may be important for developing IEI-EMF and for provoking the symptoms. We recommend the identification of subgroups and exploring IEI-EMF in the context of other idiopathic environmental intolerances. If further experimental studies are conducted, they should preferably be performed at the individual level. In particular, to increase the likelihood of detecting hypersensitive individuals, if they exist, we encourage researchers to achieve a high credibility of the results by minimizing sources of risk of bias and imprecision.

EXCERPT: At present, it is not clear whether further provocation or intervention studies would provide new insight, but if further experimental studies are conducted, they should preferably be performed at the individual level. In order to increase the likelihood of detecting hypersensitive individuals, if they exist, we encourage researchers to achieve a high credibility of the results by minimizing of sources of risk of bias and imprecision. In any such study, efforts must be made to identify and include any individuals whose symptoms are caused by physical effects of the EMF exposure.

MY NOTE: Some scientists have argued that the provocation studies which this review paper evaluated employ an inappropriate methodology to test individuals with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS, or IEI-EMF). Provocation studies assume that symptoms appear immediately after an exposure to EMF ignoring the fact that in many instances there is a time lag between an EMF exposure and experience of symptoms. Thus, I concur with the authors' suggestion that further provocation studies are likely a waste of time. Rather, we need new paradigms to study this environmental illness.


Measurement and mapping of the electromagnetic radiation in the urban environment

Liu J, Wei M, Li H, Wang X, Wang X, Shi S. Measurement and mapping of the electromagnetic radiation in the urban environment. Electromagn Biol Med. 2019 Oct 31:1-6. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2019.1685540.


People are increasingly exposed to electromagnetic radiation with the rapid development of technologies such as broadcasting and mobile communication system. There is a concern that long-term exposure at low levels may be associated with various non-specific physical symptoms and ecological effects on animals and plants. It is extremely important to measure and analyze the electromagnetic radiation levels in order to protect people from the possible effects of electromagnetic radiation. A large-scale assessment of the effects of electromagnetic radiation on health or on ecology requires the ambient electromagnetic radiation levels over areas too vast to cover with conventional measurement methods. In this article, detailed information about the measurement tools and measurement method are given. The electromagnetic radiation exposure levels were measured on the main streets in the dense urban areas of Beijing, the capital of China. We apply ordinary kriging as an interpolation technique to assess the electromagnetic radiation exposure in large outdoor areas based on car-mounted measurements along the surrounding roads. The electromagnetic radiation exposure levels for larger areas can be investigated visually on the electromagnetic pollution map, which can assist decision makers by identifying the hotspots.


Chromosome damage in human cells induced by UMTS mobile telephony radiation

Panagopoulos DJ.  Chromosome damage in human cells induced by UMTS mobile telephony radiation. Gen Physiol Biophys. 2019 Sep 13. doi: 10.4149/gpb_2019032.


Environmental exposure to modern microwave telecommunication electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has increased to unprecedented levels with consequent health complaints and concerns. Many studies have already reported genotoxic effects on a variety of organisms and cell/tissue types. Human peripheral blood lymphocytes from six healthy donors were stimulated for mitosis and exposed to microwave EMF of Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) or third generation (3G) mobile telephony (MT) EMF/radiation emitted by a commercially available mobile phone handset. Lymphocytes exposed during the G2 phase of the cell division cycle and observed at metaphase, exhibited chromatid-type aberrations (gaps and breaks) at highly significant percentages - up to 275% - compared to the control (sham-exposed) samples. Each subject exhibited a different sensitivity to the microwave exposure. Moreover, the percentages of aberrations in the control samples among subjects were different due to genetic and environmental factors. The MT EMF exposure induced mainly achromatic lesions (gaps), and secondarily terminal deletions (breaks) in a smaller degree. In conclusion, the present study shows that microwave 3G MT EMF/radiation - within the current exposure limits - has significant genotoxic action on human cells, and human exposure to this EMF/radiation should be kept at levels as low as possible.


Exposures were performed by a UMTS (3G) commercially available mobile phone handset in order to test the effects of real-life exposures experienced daily by billions of MT users around the world. UMTS employs the “Wideband Code Division Multiple Access” (W-CDMA) code to offer greater spectral efficiency and bandwidth to mobile network operators. All modern digital MT signals, combine both high (RF) and low (ELF) frequencies....

... Representative average power density (from five representative instant measurements excluding background) in the RF band ± SD was 92 ± 27 μW/cm2. The carrier frequency was variable ~ 1920–1960 MHz during the exposures. Representative average ELF-E and ELF-B (from five representative instant measurements excluding background) ± SD at 100 Hz was 12 ± 4.2 V/m, and 0.9 ± 0.4 mG, respectively. Corresponding average ELF-E and ELF-B (from five instant measurements excluding background) ± SD at 1500 Hz was 8 ± 4.6 V/m, and 0.06 ± 0.02 mG, respectively. All measurements were carried out separately from the exposures in order to have the measuring devices at exactly the same position with the samples during the exposures. The above measured EMF/radiation intensity values are representative for UMTS mobile phone EMFs during “talk” mode, and are well within the current exposure limits (ICNIRP 1998, 2010)....

The disruption of cell electrochemical balance by manmade (polarized) EMFs through irregular gating of voltage-gated ion channels on cell membranes is described by the “ion forced-oscillation mechanism” (Panagopoulos et al. 2000, 2002, 2015b). In turn, it is explained how the disruption of intracellular ionic concentrations may lead to DNA damage by intracellular release of free radicals or hydrolytic enzymes like DNases (Barzilai and Yamamoto 2004; Phillips et al. 2009; Panagopoulos 2011; Pall 2013). This is in line with the attribution of the DNA and chromosome damage to oxidative stress by El-Abd and Eltoweissy (2012). According to the ion forced-oscillation mechanism, the bioactivity of a polarized EMF is proportional to its intensity and inversely proportional to its frequency, meaning that the ELF pulsing and modulation of the MT EMFs seem to be responsible for their intense bioactivity and not the carrier (RF) frequency which is several orders of magnitude higher than ELF. This is supported by significant experimental evidence (Panagopoulos 2019). Thus, reports that MT EMF-bioactivity depends on carrier frequency (Markova et al. 2005) seem unlikely according to this mechanism and the corresponding experimental evidence.

The present study – in line with previous studies of my group – indicates that people should necessarily reduce exposures to MT EMFs as much as possible by making prudent use of this technology and reduce drastically the number and duration of calls, make use of wired headsets (especially air-tube headsets) or the loudspeaker during calls and keep the device at the greatest possible distance from the body, not carry the mobile phones on their bodies while they are turned on, keep them at the greatest possible distance during the day, and switch them off during sleep. An avoidance strategy is the key for protection against the tremendously increased levels of man-made EMF exposures rather than metal shielding which is accused for internal desynchronization This is a severe medical syndrome in which the circadian rhythms of an individual (activity, temperature sleep/waking cycles, body secretions, etc.) start deviating from their normal 24 h-periodicity. Long-term persistence of this phenomenon is connected to a variety of health problems such as depression, sleep disorders, impulsivity, mania, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and increased cancer risk (Panagopoulos and Chrousos 2019). Finally, the responsible public health authorities should take into account the results of the present study as well as the results of hundreds of other peer-reviewed published studies (Panagopoulos 2019) and establish much stringer exposure limits than the existing ones.


Effect of electromagnetic field exposure on the transcription of repetitive DNA elements in human cells

Del Re B, Bersani F, Giorgi G. Effect of electromagnetic field exposure on the transcription of repetitive DNA elements in human cells. Electromagn Biol Med. 2019 Sep 21:1-9. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2019.1669634.


Repetitive DNA (RE-DNA) was long thought to be silent and inert; only recent research has shown that it can be transcribed and that transcription alteration can be induced by environmental stress conditions, causing human pathological effects. The aim of this study was to determine whether exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) could affect the transcription of RE-DNA. To this purpose, three different human cell lines (HeLa, BE(2)C and SH-SY5Y) were exposed to 900 MHz GSM-modulated RF-EMF at specific absorption rate of 1 W/kg or to sham. After exposure, mRNA levels of RE-DNA were evaluated through quantitative real-time PCR. The following RE-DNA types were investigated: Long Interspersed nucleotide Element 1, DNA alpha satellite and Human Endogenous Retroviruses-like sequences. When comparing cells exposed to RF-EMF versus control samples, different results were found for the three cell lines evaluated, indicating that RF-EMF exposure can significantly affect RE-DNA transcription and that the effects strongly depend on the cellular context and the tissue type. Further studies are needed to elucidate which molecular mechanisms could be involved.


Investigation of the neuroprotective effects of thymoquinone on rat spinal cord exposed to 900 MHz electromagnetic field

Yahyazadeh A, Altunkaynak BZ. Investigation of the neuroprotective effects of thymoquinone on rat spinal cord exposed to 900 MHz electromagnetic field. J Chem Neuroanat. 2019 Oct;100:101657. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2019.101657.


Exposure to electromagnetic field in long-term use of cell phones has increased concerns about serious health problems. Our aim was to survey the possible effects of electromagnetic field radiation (60 min/day for 28 days) on the spinal cords of 12 weeks old rats. Further, we investigated whether the administration of thymoquinone (10 mg/kg/day) would protect the spinal cord tissue against the adverse effects of electromagnetic field or not. Twenty-four adult male Wistar albino rats were assigned randomly into four groups: control, electromagnetic field, thymoquinone and electromagnetic field + thymoquinone. The cervical spinal cords of all rats was evaluated using the stereological, biochemical and histological methods. The number of motor neurons were reduced in the electromagnetic field group compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Superoxide dismutase level was higher in the electromagnetic field group compared to the control group (p < 0.05). In the electromagnetic field + thymoquinone group, we found an increase in the number of motor neurons and decrease in superoxide dismutase activity compared to the electromagnetic field group (p < 0.05). Our histological findings also exhibit the remarkable architectural alterations. We speculated that electromagnetic field radiation induced the morphological and biochemical damage to the spinal cord tissue of rats. Administration of antioxidant, thymoquinone, also ameliorated such complications caused by electromagnetic field.


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

Azimipour F, Zavareh S, Lashkarbolouki T. The Effect of Radiation Emitted by Cell Phone on The Gelatinolytic Activity of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 and -9 of Mouse Pre-Antral Follicles during In Vitro Culture. Cell J. 2020 Apr;22(1):1-8. doi: 10.22074/cellj.2020.6548. Epub 2019 Sep 8.


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

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

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

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


Melatonin Modulates NMDA-Receptor 2B/Calpain-1/Caspase-12 Pathways in Rat Brain After Long Time Exposure to GSM Radiation

Seymen CM, Ilgaz C, Erdogan D, Elmas C, Yar Saglam AS, Elmazoglu Z, Sirav Aral B, Take Kaplanoglu G. Melatonin Modulates NMDA-Receptor 2B/Calpain-1/Caspase-12 Pathways in Rat Brain After Long Time Exposure to GSM Radiation. Turk Neurosurg. 2019 Jul 11. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.26492-19.2.

AIM: In this study we aimed to investigate the potential protective effects of melatonin on the chronic radiation emitted by third generation mobile phones on the brain.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 24 male Wistar albino rats were divided into four equal groups. Throughout a 90-day experiment, no application was performed on the control group. The second group was exposed to 2100 MHz radiation for 30 minutes. Subcutaneous melatonin was injected into the third group. Subcutaneous melatonin injection was applied 40 minutes before radiation and then the fourth group was exposed to radiation for 30 minutes. At the end of the experiment, brain (cerebrum and cerebellum) tissues were taken from the subjects. Histochemical, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural and Western blot analyses were applied. In addition to brain weight, Purkinje cells' number, immunohistochemical H Score analyses and the results of the Western blot were examined statistically.

RESULTS: As a result, with the application of radiation, neuronal edema, relatively-decreased numbers of neurons on hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions, displacement of the Purkinje neurons and dark neurons findings were observed as a result of histochemical stainings. Radiation also activated the NMDA-receptor 2B/Calpain-1/Caspase-12 pathway, NMDA-receptor 2B and Calpain-1 with the findings being supported by Western blot analyses. Pre-increased protein synthesis before apoptosis was identified by electron microscopy.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, mobile phone radiation caused certain (ultra) structural changes on the brain and activated the NMDA-receptor 2B/Calpain-1/Caspase-12 pathway; in addition, melatonin was effective, but insufficient to demonstrate any protective effects.


Uncertainty Analysis of Mobile Phone Use and Its Effect on Cognitive Function: The Application of Monte Carlo Simulation in a Cohort of Australian Primary School Children

Brzozek C, Benke KK, Zeleke BM, Croft RJ, Dalecki A, Dimitriadis C, Kaufman J, Sim MR, Abramson MJ, Benke G. Uncertainty Analysis of Mobile Phone Use and Its Effect on Cognitive Function: The Application of Monte Carlo Simulation in a Cohort of Australian Primary School Children. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jul 8;16(13). pii: E2428. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16132428.


Previous epidemiological studies on health effects of radiation exposure from mobile phones have produced inconsistent results. This may be due to experimental difficulties and various sources of uncertainty, such as statistical variability, measurement errors, and model uncertainty. An analytical technique known as the Monte Carlo simulation provides an additional approach to analysis by addressing uncertainty in model inputs using error probability distributions, rather than point-source data. The aim of this investigation was to demonstrate using Monte Carlo simulation of data from the ExPOSURE (Examination of Psychological Outcomes in Students using Radiofrequency dEvices) study to quantify uncertainty in the output of the model. Data were collected twice, approximately one year apart (between 2011 and 2013) for 412 primary school participants in Australia. Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate output uncertainty in the model due to uncertainties in the call exposure data. Multiple linear regression models evaluated associations between mobile phone calls with cognitive function and found weak evidence of an association. Similar to previous longitudinal analysis, associations were found for the Go/No Go and Groton maze learning tasks, and a Stroop time ratio. However, with the introduction of uncertainty analysis, the results were closer to the null hypothesis.


Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, mobile phones, and health effects: where are we now? 

Miligi L. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, mobile phones, and health effects: where are we now? [Article in Italian]. Epidemiol Prev. 2019 Sep-Dec;43(5-6):374-379. doi: 10.19191/EP19.5-6.P374.107.


This paper aims to present useful elements for framing the issue of exposure to radio frequencies (RFs), in particular those related to telecommunications, and the possible effects on health also in the light of the rapid evolution of technologies (the advent of 5G). New developments in the field oblige us to reflect on the possible implications in terms of public health. Here, we have preferred to take stock and not to demand a systematic review. The development of telecommunications is creating great interest in all sectors for the possibility of new applications, but is also increasing concern for the effects on health not yet fully known, to the point that there is a growing mobilization against the introduction of 5G both at national and at international level. Epidemiological studies and metanalyses on the relationship between cancer and RFs, particularly those on mobile phones, still identify areas of uncertainty that need to be investigated, and studies on non-cancer effects are growing in number, suggesting the possibility of new risks. The relative scenarios that will open with the 5G trial are likely to change the overall exposure level of the population as a result of major changes in the network architecture. Therefore, it is important to adopt a strongly precautionary approach. Given the strong concerns of the population, the competent institutions should implement information and awareness programmes through adequate risk communication.


Why we do not agree with the reassuring conclusions of the report on radiofrequencies and cancer of the Italian National Institute of Health

Di Ciaula A, Terracini B. Why we do not agree with the reassuring conclusions of the report on radiofrequencies and cancer of the Italian National Institute of Health. [Article in Italian], Epidemiol Prev. 2019 Sep-Dec;43(5-6):314-316. doi: 10.19191/EP19.5-6.P314.097.

No abstract.


Comparative Investigations on the Inhibition of Mobile Phone Radiation by Multiple Compartment Cavity Resonance Devices

Dartsch PC, König FM.Comparative Investigations on the Inhibition of Mobile Phone Radiation by Multiple Compartment Cavity Resonance Devices. Japan Journal of Medicine. 2019: 2:3.


Mobile phone modulation technologies like LTE, UMTS and GSM are now fully established. Among these, mobile phones have been considered to emit only a radiation with low intensities when they are actively working and are placed near to the head. However, the safety aspects are not cleared evaluated. To address this topic, we have already investigated the cellular effects of DECT base radiation and its compensation by multiple compartment cavity resonance devices (RD). Prompted by this background, this study compares the efficacy of a second-generation RD with an optimized design in comparison to the first-generation RD used in previous studies. Connective tissue fibroblasts (cell line L-929) were exposed to the radiation of an actively transmitting commercially available mobile phone with 1.25 W/m2 at the level of the cells with and without the two different RD directed crosswise towards the cell layer during mobile phone irradiation. Unexposed cells in a similar incubator served as corresponding controls. The resulting cell vitality was checked by measurement of the enzymatic activity of mitochondrial dehydrogenases by the color change of the sodium salt 2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfo-pheny]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxyanilide (XTT). The results clearly demonstrate that exposure to mobile phone radiation caused a significantly reduced cell vitality by more than 50 % for non-thermal radiation with an intensity of 1.25 W/m2  at the level of the cells. The decreased cell vitality after mobile phone radiation exposure could be largely compensated by use of two crossed RD directed towards the cells. However, the newly designed RD construction was even more effective (reduction of cell vitality by 13.01 ± 1.86 %; mean value ± standard deviation) than the standard RD (reduction of cell vitality by 20.17 ± 2.16 %; mean value ± standard deviation) which has been already used successfully to compensate digitally enhanced cordless telecommunication (DECT) phone base station radiation.


Confronting Risk of Bias in RF Bioeffects Research. Comments on Two Papers by Vijayalaxmi and Prihoda

Foster KR, Simkó M, Verschaeve L. Confronting Risk of Bias in RF Bioeffects Research. Comments on Two Papers by Vijayalaxmi and Prihoda.  Radiat Res. 2019 Aug;192(4):363-366. doi: 10.1667/RR15478.1.

No abstract


Review: The influence of bioactive mobile telephony radiation at the level of a plant community – Possible mechanisms and indicators of the effects

Czerwiński M, Januszkiewicz L, Vian, Lázaro A. Review. The influence of bioactive mobile telephony radiation at the level of a plant community – Possible mechanisms and indicators of the effects. Ecological Indicators. Volume 108, January 2020, 105683.


• There are various indicators of microwave radiation impact on herbaceous vegetation.
• The best indicators are some parameters of vegetation canopy or individual plants.
• Specific plant functional groups may be indicators of long-term community processes.
• Other organisms interacting with plants, e.g. pollinators, should also be considered.
• The selection of indicators depends on the propagation of radiation in the canopy.


Environmental exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) from mobile telephony has rapidly increased in the last two decades and this trend is expected to continue. The effects of this exposure at plant community level are unknown and difficult to assess in a scientifically appropriate manner. Such an assessment can be scientifically adequate if a studied plant community is completely new and control-impact radiation treatment is used.

In this review we aimed to predict ecological effects and identify indicators of the impact of bioactive RF-EMFs at the mobile telephony frequency range on plant communities. We considered the scenario where a plant community was exposed to radiation generated by a base transmitting station antenna mounted on a nearby mast. This plant community can be represented by mesic meadow, ruderal or arable weed community, or other herbaceous, moderately productive vegetation type. We concentrated primarily on radiation effects that can be recorded for a year since the exposure started. To predict them we used physical theories of radiowave propagation in vegetation and the knowledge on plants physiological responses to RF-EMF. Our indicators can be used for the detection of the impact of RF-EMFs on vegetation in a control-impact experiment.

The identified indicators can be classified into the following groups: (1) canopy parameters; (2) plant characteristics to be measured in the field or laboratory in a number of individuals that represent the populations of selected species; (3) community weighted means/medians (CWMs) of plant traits and strategies; (4) the abundance of other organisms that interact with plants and can influence their fitness or population size. The group of canopy parameters includes mean height, vertical vegetation structure and dry weight of above-ground standing phytomass. Plant characteristics requiring biometric sampling in the field are plant height, the number of fruits and seeds, as well as seed viability. The group of plant traits that are calculated as CWMs covers seed releasing height, seed dispersal mode, SLA, leaf orientation, month of germination and flowering, Ellenberg’s light indicator value, and the proportion of individuals in the classes of competitors and stress tolerators according to Grime's CSR strategy scheme. The group of “non-plant” indicators includes primarily the frequency of flower visits by beetles, wasps, hoverflies, and bees that have their nests over ground. To detect ecological responses that occur for the first year since a herbaceous community has been exposed to potentially bioactive RF-EMF, the first two indicators groups should be used.


Global gene expression analysis of Escherichia coli K-12 DH5α after exposure to 2.4 GHz wireless fidelity radiation

Said-Salman IH, Jebaii FA, Yusef HH, Moustafa ME. Global gene expression analysis of Escherichia coli K-12 DH5α after exposure to 2.4 GHz wireless fidelity radiation. Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 8;9(1):14425. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51046-7.


This study investigated the non-thermal effects of Wi-Fi radiofrequency radiation of 2.4 GHz on global gene expression in Escherichia coli K-12 DH5α. High-throughput RNA-sequencing of 2.4 GHz exposed and non-exposed bacteria revealed that 101 genes were differentially expressed (DEGs) at P ≤ 0.05. The up-regulated genes were 52 while the down-regulated ones were 49. QRT-PCR analysis of pgaD, fliC, cheY, malP, malZ, motB, alsC, alsK, appB and appX confirmed the RNA-seq results. About 7% of DEGs are involved in cellular component organization, 6% in response to stress stimulus, 6% in biological regulation, 6% in localization, 5% in locomotion and 3% in cell adhesion. Database for annotation, visualization and integrated discovery (DAVID) functional clustering revealed that DEGs with high enrichment score included genes for localization of cell, locomotion, chemotaxis, response to external stimulus and cell adhesion. Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathways analysis showed that the pathways for flagellar assembly, chemotaxis and two-component system were affected. Go enrichment analysis indicated that the up-regulated DEGs are involved in metabolic pathways, transposition, response to stimuli, motility, chemotaxis and cell adhesion. The down-regulated DEGs are associated with metabolic pathways and localization of ions and organic molecules. Therefore, the exposure of E. coli DH5α to Wi-Fi radiofrequency radiation for 5 hours influenced several bacterial cellular and metabolic processes.


Ocular Effects of Exposure to 40, 75, and 95 GHz Millimeter Waves

Kojima M, Suzuki Y, Sasaki K,Taki M, Wake K, Watanabe S, Mizuno  M, Tasaki T, Sasaki H. Ocular Effects of Exposure to 40, 75, and 95 GHz Millimeter Waves. Journal of infrared, millimeter and terahertz waves. 39(9):912-925. DOI: 10.1007/s10762-018-0497-z


The objective of this study was to develop a model of ocular damage induced by 40, 75, and 95 GHz continuous millimeter waves (MMW), thereby allowing assessment of the clinical course of ocular damage resulting from exposure to thermal damage-inducing MMW. This study also examined the dependence of ocular damage on incident power density. Pigmented rabbit eyes were exposed to 40, 75, and 95 GHz MMW from a spot-focus-type lens antenna. Slight ocular damage was observed 10 min after MMW exposure, including reduced cornea thickness and reduced transparency. Diffuse fluorescein staining around the pupillary area indicated corneal epithelial injury. Slit-lamp examination 1 day after MMW exposure revealed a round area of opacity, accompanied by fluorescence staining, in the central pupillary zone. Corneal edema, indicative of corneal stromal damage, peaked 1 day after MMW exposure, with thickness gradually subsiding to normal. Three days after exposure, ocular conditions had almost normalized, though corneal thickness was slightly greater than that before exposure. The 50% probability of ocular damage (DD50) was in the order 40 > 95 ≈ 75 GHz at the same incident power densities.


We created rabbit models of ocular disorder by exposure to 40, 75, and 95 GHz MMW. In assessing the relationship between the degree of ocular disorder and incident power density of these three frequencies, we found that ocular damage induced by exposure to 40, 75, and 95 GHz was essentially the same, with no characteristic specific to each frequency. We also found that corneal surface temperature during exposure was increased in the order 40 < 95 < 75 GHz, but there was no relationship between degree of ocular damage and eye surface temperature. In addition, we performed probit analyses by using experimental data and estimated probabilities for incidence of ocular damage depending on the power density. DD50, defined as dose level to cause ocular damage with 50% probability, was in the order 40 GHz (206 mW/cm2) > 95 GHz (146 mW/cm2) ≈ 75 GHz (143 mW/cm2). At the same incident power density, the degree of ocular damage was greater in the eyes exposed for 30 min than for 6 min. These findings suggested that damage to the corneal epithelium was not induced by corneal dryness alone, but by exposure of dried corneas to MMW-induced heat to above body temperature.


MillimeterWave Heating in In Vitro Studies: Effect of Convection in Continuous and PulseModulated Regimes

Orlacchio R, Zhadobov M, Alekseev SI, Nikolayev D, Sauleau R, Le Page Y, Le Dréan Y. Millimeter‐Wave Heating in In Vitro Studies: Effect of Convection in Continuous and Pulse‐Modulated Regimes. Bioelectromagnetics. Published online October 3, 2019.

Shallow penetration of millimeter waves (MMW) and non‐uniform illumination in in vitro experiments result in a non‐uniform distribution of the specific absorption rate (SAR). These SAR gradients trigger convective currents in liquids affecting transient and steady‐state temperature distributions. We analyzed the effect of convection on temperature dynamics during MMW exposure in continuous‐wave (CW) and pulsed‐wave (PW) amplitude‐modulated regimes using micro‐thermocouples. Temperature rise kinetics are characterized by the occurrence of a temperature peak that shifts to shorter times as the SAR of the MMW exposure increases and precedes initiation of convection in bulk. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the liquid volume impacts convection. Increasing the volume results in earlier triggering of convection and in a greater cooling rate after the end of the exposure. In PW regimes, convection strongly depends on the pulse duration that affects the heat pulse amplitude and cooling rate. The latter results in a change of the average temperature in PW regime.


In conclusion, our results suggest that in planning in vitro studies in the MMW band, convection is one of the parameters that has to be carefully taken into account. It may affect cellular response through indirect mechanisms, such as the local change of the concentration of oxygen or nutrients transported by the culture medium. Deeper investigation of convection mechanisms requires numerical analysis of the multi‐physics problem, which constitutes one of the perspectives of a future study.


Scoping Review of the Potential Health Effects of Exposure to Extremely Low-Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields

Habash M, Gogna P, Krewski D, Habash RWY. Scoping Review of the Potential Health Effects of Exposure to Extremely Low-Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields. Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 2019;47(4):323-347. doi: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2019030211.


Previous studies suggest that extremely low-frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) may impact human health. However, epidemiologic studies have provided inconsistent results on the association between exposure to ELF EMFs and various health outcomes. This scoping review reports on primary investigations that were published during the ten-year period of 2007-2017 on the association between ELF EMFs and cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), reproductive health effects, and neurodegenerative diseases. We identified a total of 361 articles from two bibliographic databases (PubMed and EMBASE). Of these, 39 articles (19 cancer studies, two CVD studies, nine reproductive health studies, and ten neurodegenerative disease studies [with one repeated for two outcomes]) met inclusion criteria. Articles identified in this study focus on three different types of exposure: occupational (22 studies), residential (15 studies), and electric blanket (two studies). This review suggests that ELF EMFs may be associated with neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's disease; however, limited evidence was found to suggest that ELF EMFs are associated with several types of cancer, CVD, and reproductive outcomes. Additional epidemiological studies in large study populations with improved exposure assessments are needed to clarify current inconclusive relationships.


Melatonin Levels and Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields in Humans and Rats: New Insights 

Bouché NF, McConway K. Melatonin levels and low-frequency magnetic fields in humans and rats: New insights from a Bayesian logistic regression. Bioelectromagnetics. 2019 Sep 29. doi: 10.1002/bem.22218.

The present analysis revisits the impact of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) on melatonin (MLT) levels in human and rat subjects using both a parametric and non-parametric approach. In this analysis, we use 62 studies from review articles. The parametric approach consists of a Bayesian logistic regression (LR) analysis and the non-parametric approach consists of a Support Vector analysis, both of which are robust against spurious/false results. Both approaches reveal a unique well-ordered pattern, and show that human and rat studies are consistent with each other once the MF strength is restricted to cover the same range (with B ≲ 50 μT). In addition, the data reveal that chronic exposure (longer than ∼22 days) to ELF-MF appears to decrease MLT levels only when the MF strength is below a threshold of  i.e., when the man-made ELF-MF intensity is below that of the static geomagnetic field. Studies reporting an association between ELF-MF and changes to MLT levels and the opposite (no association with ELF-MF) can be reconciled under a single framework.


From our analysis of 62 studies on the possible variations of MLT levels in humans and rats from Jahandideh et al. [2010], Touitou and Selmaoui [2012], and Halgamuge [2013], we examined the possible relationship between a dichotomous‐dependent variable (corresponding to studies showing an effect or no effect on MLT excretion pattern) and independent variables such as exposure duration and magnetic field strength using a Bayesian approach and a simple LR model. We find that:

·         MF exposure duration is the most significant parameter in causing changes in the MLT levels both in human (Fig. 2) and rat (Fig. 4) studies, as others have reported [e.g., Selmaoui and Touitou, 1995; Kurokawa et al., 2003; Savitz, 2003; Jahandideh et al., 2010; Vanderstraeten et al., 2012];
·         human and rat studies are entirely consistent with one another, but only after matching the MF strengths to similar ranges, i.e., B ≲ 50 μT;
·         there seems to be no dose‐dependence between any change in the MLT levels with MF strengths ranging from 0.5 to 100μT as others have reported [e.g., Kato et al., 1993; Reiter, 1993; Pfluger and Minder, 1996; Halgamuge, 2013]; and
·         the impact of MF on the MLT levels does, however, depend on the ELF‐MF strength, in the regime where ELF‐MFs are weaker than  (Fig. 5). Such a window effect was already discussed in Löscher et al. [1998].

In light of these results, we suggest performing additional research on rats with ELF‐MF with intensities in the range from 20 nT to 20 μT, while controlling the additional factors listed earlier in the section Limitations, because epidemiological studies have indicated that adverse effects on human health become noticeable at ∼0.4 μT. But so far, very few rat studies involved ELF‐MF with intensities below 5 μT. This range 20 nT to a few μT covers the regime experienced by humans in man‐made and natural environments. Indeed, the natural variations of the geomagnetic field range from 20 nT to a few hundreds of nT [Hitchman et al., 1998].

As MF strengths > 50 μT are not found in nature, studies on rats with MF strengths > 50 μT, or mT levels, might reveal a different (likely acute effect) than the duration‐dependent effect discussed here, where perhaps one of the other factors discussed earlier has become dominant.


DNA damage from long-term occupational exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields among power plant workers

Bagheri Hosseinabadi M, Khanjani N, Mirzaii M, Norouzi P, Atashi A. DNA damage from long-term occupational exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields among power plant workers.Mutat Res. 2019 Oct;846:403079. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2019.07.007.


Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) are not known as definite occupational carcinogens, but some studies have reported the genotoxic effects of these fields on cell lines. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of long-term occupational exposure to these fields on DNA damage. In this cross-sectional study, blood samples were taken from 102 thermal power plant workers as the exposure group and 136 subjects as the unexposed group. DNA damage was evaluated using alkaline comet assay and flow cytometry. Exposure to ELF-EMFs was measured based on spot measurements and the IEEE Std C95.3.1 standard. The indices of comet assay, tail DNA percent, tail factor (%), and damage index were significantly higher in the exposed group compared to the unexposed group. Increased exposure to magnetic fields enhanced comet assay indices, except tail length; while exposure to electric fields had no significant effect on such indices. The percentage of cells at early apoptosis and late apoptosis phases caused by exposure to magnetic fields, respectively, decreased and increased significantly. Long-term occupational exposure to ELF-EMFs can probably cause genotoxic effects.


Effect of low frequency magnetic field on efficiency of chromosome break repair

Burgos-Molina AM, Mercado-Sáenz S, Sendra-Portero F, Ruiz-Gómez MJ. Effect of low frequency magnetic field on efficiency of chromosome break repair. Electromagn Biol Med. 2019 Oct 28:1-8. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2019.1685541.


DNA repair is essential to maintain genome integrity. There is scientific evidence that exposure to magnetic fields (MF) can produce alterations in DNA repair without clear conclusions. This work aims to study the cellular response to and repair of a very deleterious type of DNA damage, the DNA double strand break (DSB), in S. cerevisiae, under MF exposure. In S. cerevisiae cells, pairs of DSB were induced enzymatically by HO endonuclease by plating the cells on Galactose-containing media. The repair processes took place under exposure to a 50Hz, 2.45mT sinusoidal MF during 21 days. MF was generated by a pair of Helmholtz coils. MF induced 1.29- and 1.5-fold increase in the number of colonies grown at day 21 of exposure in relation to untreated controls for Pho91 and Rmd5 strain, respectively. In relation to the kinetics of DSB repair during MF exposure, a higher increase (55.56-fold) in DNA reparation was observed at day 15 for Rmd5 strain in relation to the slight increment (1.18-fold) found for Pho91 strain. The results suggest that long-term MF exposure could increase the DNA repair activity and there may be a relationship between the position of the DSB and the distance to the centromere.


Long-Term Monitoring of Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields in Electric Vehicles

Yang L, Lu M, Lin J, Li C, Zhang C, Lai Z, Wu T. Long-Term Monitoring of Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields in Electric Vehicles. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Oct 7;16(19). pii: E3765. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16193765.


Extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field (MF) exposure in electric vehicles (EVs) has raised public concern for human health. There have been many studies evaluating magnetic field values in these vehicles. However, there has been no report on the temporal variation of the magnetic field in the cabin . This is the first study on the long-term monitoring of actual MFs in EVs. In the study, we measured the magnetic flux density (B) in three shared vehicles over a period of two years. The measurements were performed at the front and rear seats during acceleration and constant-speed driving modes. We found that the B amplitudes and the spectral components could be modified by replacing the components and the hubs, while regular checks or maintenance did not influence the B values in the vehicle. This observation highlights the necessity of regularly monitoring ELF MF in EVs, especially after major repairs or accidents, to protect car users from potentially excessive ELF MF exposure. These results should be considered in updates of the measurement standards. The ELF MF effect should also be taken into consideration in relevant epidemiological studies.


Electric Field Exposure Assessments and a Novel Control Method for Buildings Installed Nearby High-Voltage Lines

Shemshadi A, Maleki AK. Electric Field Exposure Assessments and a Novel Control Method for Buildings Installed Nearby High-Voltage Lines. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2019 May-Aug;23(2):63-67. doi: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_215_18.


This essay presents a review of new methods for electric field value assessment in high-voltage areas. For buildings that are placed near high-voltage transmission line corridor, two main scenarios are modeled using finite element method. A new approach to reduce electric field value is also simulated and the results are discussed in detail. The results are compared to related standards values. In some cases the improvement rate exceeds 65%.


Increased aggression and reduced aversive learning in honey bees exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields

Shepherd S, Hollands G, Godley VC, Sharkh SM, Jackson CW, Newland PL. Increased aggression and reduced aversive learning in honey bees exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. PLoS One. 2019 Oct 10;14(10):e0223614. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223614. eCollection 2019.


Honey bees, Apis mellifera, are a globally significant pollinator species and are currently in decline, with losses attributed to an array of interacting environmental stressors. Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMFs) are a lesser-known abiotic environmental factor that are emitted from a variety of anthropogenic sources, including power lines, and have recently been shown to have a significant impact on the cognitive abilities and behaviour of honey bees. Here we have investigated the effects of field-realistic levels of ELF EMFs on aversive learning and aggression levels, which are critical factors for bees to maintain colony strength. Bees were exposed for 17 h to 100 μT or 1000 μT ELF EMFs, or a sham control. A sting extension response (SER) assay was conducted to determine the effects of ELF EMFs on aversive learning, while an intruder assay was conducted to determine the effects of ELF EMFs on aggression levels. Exposure to both 100 μT and 1000 μT ELF EMF reduced aversive learning performance by over 20%. Exposure to 100 μT ELF EMFs also increased aggression scores by 60%, in response to intruder bees from foreign hives. These results indicate that short-term exposure to ELF EMFs, at levels that could be encountered in bee hives placed under power lines, reduced aversive learning and increased aggression levels. These behavioural changes could have wider ecological implications in terms of the ability of bees to interact with, and respond appropriately to, threats and negative environmental stimuli.

Open access paper:


Self-organizing maps classification with application to the low-frequency magnetic field emitted by portable computers

Brodic D, Draganov IR. Self-organizing maps classification with application to the low-frequency magnetic field emitted by portable computers. 2017 3rd International Conference on Applied and Theoretical Computing and Communication Technology (iCATccT).  21-23 Dec. 2017. DOI: 10.1109/ICATCCT.2017.8389155


This study presents an application of the Self-Organizing-Map method used for the classification of the extremely low-frequency magnetic field emission in the close neighborhood of the portable computers. The experiment is conducted on two different groups of portable computers: (i) laptop and (ii) tablet computers. After measuring their extremely low-frequency magnetic field emission, the Self-Organizing-Map is used for the classification of these results, which authorized the typical emission levels. Some of them are dangerous, because they are far above the valid safety standards' limit. At the end, a discussion is performed on the importance of using the classification as a possible solution for safely use of the portable computers. In this way, it is used to define and reduce the risk of the magnetic field emission negative effects to the portable computer users.


The measurement experiment includes the ELF magnetic field measurement of 18 different portable computers. 9 out of 18 are laptop computers, while the rest of 9 portable computers are tablet computers ....

If we observe Fig. 5, it is quite clear that there is no laptop computer, which is completely safe for the use. Also, we can notice high peaks of the ELF emission at some positions at the surface of the top or bottom areas. These positions are typically linked with the places where are processor, cooler or graphic cards are below inside the laptop computer. These peaks are noticeable in the laptops 7 and 9. On the contrary, the laptops 3,4,6, and 8 are the safest of all tested laptops if we compare them to the other laptop computers at the top measuring positions.

Furthermore, if we divide the ELF emission at the top and bottom positions of the laptop computers, then we can notice that higher magnetic field emission is mainly connected to the bottom representing a battery position. However, a similar situation repeats with high level peaks as at the top of the laptop computers. The high peaks are noticeable in the laptops 1, 2, 3,4 and 7. On the contrary, the laptops 8 and 9 have the smallest level of the measured ELF magnetic field emission.
Then, if we observe Fig. 6, it is worth noting that Tablet 2 is completely safe for the use. Also, in the contrast to the laptop computers, the tablet computers are not characterized by the high-level ELF magnetic field peaks. It is quite reasonable, because they do not have active coolers and processors of such high processing power like laptop computers. Furthermore, the least safe tablet computers are tablets 1, 3 and 5.

Furthermore, if we divide the ELF emission at the top and bottom positions of the tablet computers, then we can notice that mainly higher magnetic field emission is at the top than at the bottom areas of the tablet computers. From this fact, we can conclude that the top protective cover glass (Gorilla glass 3 or 4) can reduce the level of the ELF


Genotoxic effects of intermediate frequency magnetic fields on blood leukocytes in vitro

Brech A, Kubinyi G, Németh Z, Bakos J, Fiocchi S, Thuróczy G. Genotoxic effects of intermediate frequency magnetic fields on blood leukocytes in vitro.
Mutat Res. 2019 Sep;845:403060. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2019.05.016.


The widespread presence of electromagnetic sources in daily life has initiated several studies on the effects of radiofrequency and power frequency fields. Only few investigations on the genotoxic effects of exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields (IF-MF) have been done so far. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate possible genotoxic effects of exposure to 123.90 kHz and 250.80 kHz IF-MF on canine and human blood. Blood was exposed to IF-MF at 630 A/m (0.79 mT) and 80 A/m (0.10 m T) with exposure durations of 1-5 h (hourly), 20 and 24 h. Cylindrically divided Petri dish system was developed for in vitro exposures where different induced current could be achieved in the samples at the same magnetic flux density level. For the assessment of genotoxicity the alkaline comet assay was applied. We detected a statistically significant increase in DNA damage only following 20 h exposure to IF-MF.


Effects of 171 MHz Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Field on Glucocorticoid and Mineral Corticoid Activity of the Adrenal Glands of Rats

Perov S, Rubtsova N, Balzano Q. Effects of 171 MHz Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Field on Glucocorticoid and Mineral Corticoid Activity of the Adrenal Glands of Rats. Bioelectromagnetics. 2019 Oct 22. doi: 10.1002/bem.22226.


A sub-acute electromagnetic field (EMF) biological effect study was carried out on rats exposed in the Transverse ElectroMagnetic exposure chamber at 171 MHz Continuous Wave (CW). The experiments involved three exposure levels (15, 25, and 35 V/m) for 15 days with triplicate parallel sham-exposed controls in each series. All exposure conditions were simulated for the evaluation of the electromagnetic energy distribution and specific absorption rate (SAR) in the rat phantoms. Studies have shown a biphasic biological response depending on time and absorbed electromagnetic energy. Under low SAR, approximately 0.006 W/kg, EMF exposure leads to the stimulation of adrenal gland activity. This process is accompanied by an initial increase of daily excretion of corticosterone and Na+ , which is seen as a higher Na+ /K+ ratio, followed by a decrease of these parameters over time. It is possible that EMF exposure causes a stress response in animals, which is seen as an increased adrenal activity.