Monday, November 21, 2016

Four lectures on wireless radiation health effects

The slides from three lectures about the health effects of wireless radiation presented by Dr. Dariusz Leszczynski in Melbourne, Australia are available from his blog site, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place."
  • "How probable are health effects of radiation from wireless transmitting devices?"
  • "Explaining ambiguous science requires high ethics and low conflict of interest"
  • "Health effects of wireless radiation--possible or probable"
Dr. Leszczynski has 20 years of experience researching the effects of electromagnetic fields on health. He is an adjunct professor of biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, Finland and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, "Frontiers in Radiation and Health." 

He was one of 31 members of the expert working group convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization in 2011 that classified radio frequency radiation as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B)." In his recent lectures he argues that we have sufficient research evidence to change this classification to "probably carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2A).

The slides from my recent lecture to MPH students enrolled in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley are now available.
  • "Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health"

Monday, October 24, 2016

Do iPhones emit more radiation than Samsung Galaxy phones?

Caveat Emptor:  In the following post, I re-iterate the concern of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that it is deceptive for the FCC to apply the SAR test in a manner that does not reflect how consumers actually use cell phones. I am not endorsing use of the SAR test for cell phone safety certification because the test fails to address the risks from exposure to non-thermal levels of microwave radiation. We need to adopt biologically-based safety limits and an appropriate testing procedure. See my earlier post, "What's Wrong with Cellphone Radiation Safety Limits," for more information.

Several recent news stories reported that Apple iPhones emit twice as much radiation as Samsung Galaxy phones (Cho Mu-Hyun, “iPhones 'emit double the radiation' of Galaxy handsets: Korean agency,” ZDNet, September 27, 2016). This story has been reported in Australia, China, France, India, Japan, and South Korea.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Representative Choi Myung-gil who serves on the South Korean Assembly’s Telecommunications Committee stated that six Apple products received a Tier 2 rating from the country's National Radio Research Agency (NRRA). In contrast, all Samsung products received a Tier 1 rating. The Tier 1 rating is awarded to mobile devices with a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) below 0.8 watts/kilogram (W/kg) whereas devices with a higher SAR are given a Tier 2 rating.

Representative Choi also expressed concern that the SAR has been increasing over time for all cell phones and tablets and asked his government to do more to protect the public from wireless radiation exposure.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers all cell phones with a SAR of 1.60 W/kg or less to be safe. Unlike Korea and Belgium (below), the FCC discourages consumers from comparing SARs when selecting a phone. According to the FCC:

“ALL cell phones must meet the FCC’s RF exposure standard, which is set at a level well below that at which laboratory testing indicates, and medical and biological experts generally agree, adverse health effects could occur. For users who are concerned with the adequacy of this standard or who otherwise wish to further reduce their exposure, the most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory. These measures will generally have much more impact on RF energy absorption than the small difference in SAR between individual cell phones, which, in any event, is an unreliable comparison of RF exposure to consumers, given the variables of individual use.”

What is the full story?

The SAR is a measure of the maximum amount of microwave radiation absorbed by a test dummy, not the amount of microwave radiation emitted by a wireless device. Moreover, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the SAR does not provide an accurate representation of the amount of radiation that the typical cell phone user’s head and body absorb over time. For more information about how to interpret the SAR see the links at the end of this article.

The tier rating classifications in Korea are misleading because they only account for the SAR tested at the head. Furthermore, they only address the situation when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned off while testing cellular transmission.

When tested near the head with W-Fi and Bluetooth turned off, the iPhone 7 does indeed have higher SARs than Galaxy 7 smartphones. However, in simultaneous mode with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on along with the cellular transmitter(s), the iPhones and Galaxy phones have similar SARs near the head. According to test reports filed with the FCC, without Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, iPhone SARs ranged from 1.09 to 1.19 W/kg as compared to 0.62 to 0.64 W/kg for Galaxy phones (see results below). However in simultaneous mode with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on, iPhone SARs ranged from 1.42 to 1.49 W/kg as compared to 1.40 to 1.56 W/kg for Galaxy phones.

Unlike the SAR head test which is conducted at a fixed distance from the test dummy (about 6 millimeters), the SAR body test can be conducted at different distances from the dummy (up to 25 millimeters). The distance is selected by the phone’s manufacturer. SAR values from phones tested at different distances from the dummy should not be directly compared because they are not comparable.

Although with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off, the iPhone 7 and Galaxy 7 smartphones appear to have similar body SARs, these phones were tested at different distances from the body. The iPhones were tested at 5 millimeters, and the Galaxy phones were tested at 15 millimeters. If the Galaxy phones had been tested at 5 millimeters, the SAR values would likely have been between 1.73 and 2.78 W/kg. (These estimates are based on research by Om Gandhi which found that SAR increases 5% to 10% for each millimeter closer to the body.) Moreover, since the body SARs for the iPhone ranged from 1.09 to 1.14 W/kg, the body is exposed to less radiation from an iPhone than a Galaxy phone when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned off.

Based upon SAR test results, when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on in addition to cellular, the body absorbs considerably less radiation from an iPhone, whereas the head absorbs similar amounts of radiation as compared to Galaxy phones. 

FCC needs to standardize the body SAR test

The FCC should standardize the distance from the test dummy for the SAR body test. Since hardly anyone uses a manufacturer-approved cell phone holder to keep the phone away from their body, there is no justification for allowing phones to be tested at different distances from the dummy. Also, consumers who wanted to compare the body SARs from different phones would then be able to do so.

All phones should be tested next to the body where people actually keep their cell phones. However, it is likely that no phone would pass the test and be certified for sale in the U.S. 

Some phones may even fail the SAR test with a 5 millimeter body separation distance. For example, the Samsung Galaxy 7 phones would not likely have been certified for sale because the maximum SAR allowed in the U.S. or Korea is 1.60 W/kg, and the body SARs would have exceeded this limit if the phones were tested at 5 millimeters.

Belgium’s 5-tier safety system for cell phones

Belgium has a 5-tier safety classification system. All cell phones in Belgium are labeled with the letter A, B, C, D, or E, corresponding to the phone's head SAR (averaged over 10 grams of simulated tissue):
  • "A" indicates a SAR less than 0.4 watts/kilogram (W/kg),
  • "B" from 0.4 to less than 0.8 W/kg, 
  • "C" from 0.8 to less than 1.2 W/kg, 
  • "D" from 1.2 to less than 1.6 W/kg, and 
  • "E" more than 1.6 W/kg.
In Belgium it is compulsory to display a poster at the point of sale that explains the SAR-value categories and advises the consumer to make phone calls wearing an earpiece and to choose a mobile phone with a lower radiation value.

“Think about your health – use your mobile phone moderately, make your calls wearing an earpiece and choose a set with a lower SAR value.”

SARs reported to the 
Federal Communications Commission

The maximum SAR allowed in the U.S. and Korea is 1.60 W/kg averaged over one gram of simulated tissue. The SARs reported below were averaged over one gram. 


iPhone 7 (Model A1660: GSM and CDMA)
Head = 1.10 watts per kilogram (W/kg) 
Body = 1.14 W/kg
Hotspot = 1.16 W/kg
Simultaneous (cellular plus Wi-Fi) = 1.49 W/kg (head), 1.56 W/kg (body), 1.56 W/kg (hotspot)

iPhone 7 (Model A1778: GSM, no CDMA) 
Head = 1.19 W/kg 
Body = 1.09 W/kg
Hotspot = 1.14 W/kg
Simultaneous (cellular plus Wi-Fi) = 1.56 W/kg (head), 1.51 W/kg (body), 1.58 W/kg (hotspot)

iPhone 7 Plus (Model A1661: GSM and CDMA)
Head = 1.09 W/kg 
Body = 1.10 W/kg
Hotspot = 1.13 W/kg
Simultaneous (cellular plus Wi-Fi) = 1.45 W/kg (head), 1.51 W/kg (body), 1.58 W/kg (hotspot)

iPhone 7 Plus (Model A1784: GSM, no CDMA) 
Head = 1.09 W/kg 
Body = 1.14 W/kg
Hotspot = 1.14 W/kg
Simultaneous (cellular plus Wi-Fi) = 1.42 W/kg (head), 1.54 W/kg (body), 1.54 W/kg (hotspot)


Galaxy S7
Head = 0.62 W/kg 
Body = 1.06 W/kg
Hotspot = 0.55 W/kg (head)
Simultaneous (cellular plus Wi-Fi) = 1.40 W/kg (head), 1.50 W/kg (body), 1.59 W/kg (hotspot)

Galaxy S7 Edge
Head = 0.64 W/kg 
Body = 1.07 W/kg
Hotspot = 1.10 W/kg
Simultaneous (cellular plus Wi-Fi) = 1.56 W/kg hotspot

Also see:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Specific Absorption Rates (SAR)

What are the SAR values for Samsung’s new smart phones? 

What is the manufacturer's recommended minimum 
body separation distance?

How should consumers use this information?

Be sure to read the latest 
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall

October 10, 2016 (updated Oct 11)

Today the New York Times reported that Samsung has decided to permanently stop producing the Note 7 smartphone due to problems with the replacement phones.

On October 10, the BBC reported that Samsung temporarily stopped production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to reports of replacement phones catching on fire. Several phone companies in the U.S. stopped selling this phone or replacing existing phones. 

CNN reported that Samsung issued an alert to all Galaxy Note 7 owners to turn off their phones immediately to prevent fires.

September 15, 2016

Today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold prior to September 15 because the lithium ion battery can overheat and catch fire. Canada and Mexico also issued recalls. Samsung has received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S.

To find out more the recall and whether your cell phone battery is safe, see Samsung's recall notice.

September 2, 2016

Samsung has stopped sales on the Galaxy Note 7 and issued a voluntary recall due to potential battery problems. As of September 1, 35 devices have caught fire when charging. Contact your cell phone company for details about the recall.

SAR Values for Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and Note 7

March 1, 2016 (Updated on August 4, 2016 with Galaxy Note 7 SARs)

According to test reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for the Galaxy S7 for cellular transmission is 0.62 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 1.06 w/kg when worn on the body. The wireless router SAR is 0.55 w/kg at the head. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.40 w/kg at the head, 1.50 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.59 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (1)

For the Galaxy S7 Edge, the SAR for cellular transmission is 0.64 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 1.07 w/kg when worn on the body. The wireless router SAR is 1.10 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.56 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (2)

For the Galaxy Note 7, the SAR for cellular transmission is 0.39 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 0.67 w/kg when worn on the body. The wireless router SAR is 0.85 w/kg at the head. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.24 w/kg at the head, 1.41 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.59 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (2A)

All SARs reported above are averaged over one gram of body tissue corresponding to the US standard. The SARs may vary depending upon your specific cell phone carrier (e.g., AT&T = A, Sprint = P, T-Mobile = T, Verizon = V). The SARs for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge can be found at

The minimum separation distance for body-worn testing was 15 mm (about 0.6 of an inch). According to Samsung, "To meet RF exposure guidelines during body-worn operation, the device should be positioned at least this distance away from the body." 

The SARs for the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were obtained at a separation distance of 5 mm (about 0.2 of an inch) from the body so the body-worn SAR values are not comparable to those reported for the Samsung phones. The iPhone SAR values can be found in my article on Apple smart phones.

The FCC ID number for the Galaxy S7 is A3LSMG930US; for the S7 Edge it is A3LSMG935US, and for the S7 Note it is A3LSMN930F. The SAR values for these smart phones can be found on the following FCC website:

What do SAR values mean to the consumer?

The legal limit for the SAR in the U.S. is 1.60 w/kg (averaged over one gram of tissue).

The FCC requires that all cell phone models be tested for their Specific Absorption Rate or SAR. The SAR is a measure of the maximum amount of microwave radiation absorbed by the head or the body. It is measured in a laboratory using an artificial model of a large adult male with different fluids to simulate human tissue. The SAR, which is measured in watts per kilogram, represents the maximum amount of energy absorbed in any one gram of tissue in the test model. Phones sold in the U.S. typically range in SAR values from about 0.20 w/kg up to the 1.60 legal limit. (3, 4)

The SAR test, adopted in 1996 by the FCC, was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012. (5) The test does not reflect those who currently use cell phones, nor does it correspond to the way people use them. Today many children are cell phone users -- the child’s brain absorbs twice the radiation as the adult’s brain. Moreover, the artificial head does not contain any metal (e.g., dental fillings, earrings, or eyeglass frames) which could increase the radiation absorption beyond the measured SAR in the laboratory. (5)

The FCC assumes that consumers will carry their cell phones in a manufacturer-approved holder that keeps the phone a minimum distance away from the body. However, most people do not keep their phone in a cell phone holder. For the body-worn SAR test, the FCC allows the manufacturer to choose the separation distance between the cell phone and the test model as long as consumers are informed about the minimum distance tested. However, few consumers are aware of the manufacturer’s recommended minimum body separation distance from their cell phone because this information is often difficult to find. Thus, most consumers are in the dark about precautions they can take to keep their exposure to microwave radiation below the legal limit. This prompted the city of Berkeley, California to adopt landmark legislation that requires cellphone retailers to inform their customers about the manufacturer’s safety information.

To ensure that the cell phone does not exceed the legal limit, consumers should never keep their cell phone in their pockets or next to their skin. The cell phone is not tested directly against the body because almost all cell phones would fail the SAR test as the radiation absorption increases dramatically when the cell phone is close to the body.

Is the legal limit sufficient to protect the cell phone user’s health?

Federal policies in the U.S. could lead the public to believe that all legally-marketed cell phones are safe, and that a cell phone's SAR doesn't matter as long as it meets the legal limit: 1.6 watts per kilogram. (3, 4)

However, the Environmental Working Group and experts point out that the SAR only measures the maximum microwave absorption from cell phone use that perfectly matches laboratory conditions. The SAR is not a good indicator of one’s cumulative microwave exposure under naturalistic conditions.  The research evidence suggests that how one uses the phone (e.g., hands-free) and one’s cell phone carrier actually matters more than the phone’s SAR level.  (4, 6, 7)

The SAR standard was developed to protect users only from the acute effects of the heat generated by microwave radiation (i.e., the thermal effect). (5) The SAR limit does not protect users from the non-thermal effects caused by the cumulative exposure over time to cell phone radiation.

Yet, thousands of laboratory studies with animals and cell samples have found deleterious biologic effects from short-term exposure to low intensity cell phone radiation, including development of stress proteins, micronuclei, free radicals, DNA breakage, and sperm damage. (8) Human studies have also found that brief exposure to cell phone radiation alters brain activity and can open the blood-brain barrier which could enable chemical toxins in the circulatory system to penetrate the brain. (9)

Major studies with humans have found increased cancer risk, including a three-fold increase in brain cancer among those who used wireless phones (cell phones and cordless phones) for 25 or more years. (10)  Based upon this research, the World Health Organization in 2011 declared radiofrequency radiation "possibly carcinogenic" in humans (Group 2B). (11)

Other risks from cell phone use include reproductive health damage and male infertility, and neurological disorders (e.g., impaired cognitive functioning, headaches and migraines, and ADHD [attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder]) in children. (12, 13)

Based upon the weight of the evidence from several decades of research including thousands of peer-reviewed published studies, many experts worldwide have signed declarations calling upon government to adopt stronger radiation standards to protect consumers from low intensity, non-thermal exposures from radiation associated with wireless communications, and to alert consumers about how to reduce their risk of harm. (14 -16) Recent evidence suggests that brain tumor incidence is increasing in the U.S. and other countries and exposure to cell phone radiation may be contributing to this increase. (17) In May, 2015, about 200 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on electromagnetic fields and biology or health signed a petition, the International EMFScientist Appeal, calling for stronger regulation of wireless radiation. 

For tips on how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation, see "Some Tips to ReduceYour Exposure to Wireless Radiation". (18) In short, limit your use of the phone, keep the phone away from your body whenever it is powered on, use the phone hands-free, and turn off transmitters not in use (e.g., shut off Wi-Fi or use airplane mode).


(1) PCTEST Engineering Laboratory, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. FCC ID: A3LSMG930US. Date of Testing: 12/04/2015 to 1/04/2016.

(2) PCTEST Engineering Laboratory, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. FCC ID: A3LSMG935US. Date of Testing: 12/02/2015 to 1/06/2015.

(2A) PCTEST Engineering Laboratory, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. FCC ID: A3LSMN930F. Date of Testing: 5/28/2016 to 6/06/16.

(3) FCC. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for Cellular Telephones. Undated.

(4) FCC. “Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) For Cell Phones: What It Means For You.” Undated.

(5) Joel Moskowitz. “"Comments on the 2012 GAO Report: 'Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed'.:”

(6) Wolchover N. Radiation Risk: Are Some Cellphones More Dangerous Than Others? Life's Little Mysteries. June 23, 2011.

(7) Environmental Working Group. EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use: Where is EWG's cell phone database? August 27 2013. 

(8) Giuliani L. Soffritti M. Non-thermal effects and mechanisms of interaction between electromagnetic fields and living matter. ICEMS Monograph. Bologna, Italy: National Institute for the Study and Control of Cancer. 2010.

(9) Joel Moskowitz. “LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users.” Sep 20, 2013.

(10) Joel Moskowitz. “Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use: Study.

(11) Joel Moskowitz. “Most Significant Government Health Report on Mobile Phone Radiation Ever Published.”

(12) Joel Moskowitz. “Cell Phone Radiation, Pregnancy, and Sperm.” Nov 19, 2012.

(13) Joel Moskowitz. “Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children.“

(14) Joel Moskowitz. “Part I: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations--Key Testimony Submitted to the FCC.” Aug 4, 2014.

(15) Joel Moskowitz. “Part II: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations--Key Research Papers Submitted to the FCC.” Aug 4, 2014.

(16) Joel Moskowitz. “Part III: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations--98 Scientific Experts Who Signed Resolutions.” Aug 4, 2014.

(17) Joel Moskowitz. Brain Tumor Rates are Increasing in the U.S.: The Role of Cell Phone and Cordless Phone Use.

(18) Joel Moskowitz. Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation  (one page handout). Undated.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Does Wireless Radiation from Cell Phones and Wi-Fi Cause Alzheimer's Disease?

Microwaves and Alzheimer's disease

Oct 6, 2016

The following paper discusses the research which suggests that long-term exposure to cell phone & other wireless radiation (e.g., Wi-Fi) may cause Alzheimer's Disease. The paper was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 

The paper is open access and can be viewed or downloaded from the link below.

Zhang X, Huang WJ, Chen WW. Microwaves and Alzheimer's disease. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Oct;12(4):1969-1972. 
Alzheimer's diseases (AD) is the most common type of dementia and a neurodegenerative disease that occurs when the nerve cells in the brain die. The cause and treatment of AD remain unknown. However, AD is a disease that affects the brain, an organ that controls behavior. Accordingly, anything that can interact with the brain may affect this organ positively or negatively, thereby protecting or encouraging AD. In this regard, modern life encompasses microwaves for all issues including industrial, communications, medical and domestic tenders, and among all applications, the cell phone wave, which directly exposes the brain, continues to be the most used. Evidence suggests that microwaves may produce various biological effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and many arguments relay the possibility that microwaves may be involved in the pathophysiology of CNS disease, including AD. By contrast, previous studies have reported some beneficial cognitive effects and that microwaves may protect against cognitive impairment in AD. However, although many of the beneficial effects of microwaves are derived from animal models, but can easily be extrapolated to humans, whether microwaves cause AD is an important issue that is to be addressed in the current review.
The impact of wireless communication on human health is a matter of debate. Since there are widespread concerns regarding the deleterious effects of the exposure to microwaves on human tissues and the subsequent potential threat of carcinogenesis, we can conclude that the current exposure to microwaves during the use of cell phones is not safe for long-term exposure, despite the current scientific opinion. Absorption of the cell phone signal into the brain of children does not exclude serious neuronal damage, as evidenced in rat studies (). In addition, the increased risk of tumors of the head associated with long-term cell phone use is evident since radiofrequency may cause the blood-brain barrier to leak and to favor the damage of genetic material which consists of common precursors to cancer (). Accordingly, poor fertility and the increased chance of miscarriage and childhood cancer have been associated with cell phone storage in front pockets. Notably, the data suggested that the hippocampus can be injured by long-term microwave exposure (), which may result in the impairment of cognitive function due to neurotransmitter disruption. These results suggest that precautionary approach underlying the restrictive use of cell phones constitutes essential appropriate guidelines to follow although additional studies are needed.
Open Access Paper:

Also see:

Blood-brain barrier studies
Key cell phone radiation research studies
Potential biologic mechanism


Hallberg Ö, Johansson O. Alzheimer mortality - why does it increase so fast in sparsely populated areas? Europ Biol Bioelectromag 2005; 1: 225-246.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Comic Strip: WiFi & Cell Tower Safety, Industry Profits & Government Negligence

Einar Flydal has given me permission to post his comic strip, "The Daily Dose."

Prior to retirement, Einar Flydal was a researcher and senior adviser with the strategy department of Telenor, one of the world's largest mobile communication companies. He was an adjunct assistant professor in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the former chair of the Norwegian Mirror Committee on ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility.

Click on the graphics to enlarge them.

Monday, September 19, 2016

EMF Controversies in Neurobiology

Controversies on Electromagnetic Fields in Neurobiology of Organisms

Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Special issue edited by Suleyman Kaplan and Devra Davis
Volume 75, Part B, Pages 41-140 (September 2016)

Süleyman Kaplan, Devra Davis. Editorial. Pages 41-42


•Microwave EMFs activate voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) concentrated in the brain.
•Animal studies show such low level MWV EMFs have diverse high impacts in the brain.
•VGCC activity causes widespread neuropsychiatric effects in humans (genetic studies).
•26 studies have EMFs assoc. with neuropsychiatric effects; 5 criteria show causality.
•MWV EMFs cause at least 13 neuropsychiatric effects including depression in humans.
Non-thermal microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Calcium channel blockers block EMF effects and several types of additional evidence confirm this mechanism. Low intensity microwave EMFs have been proposed to produce neuropsychiatric effects, sometimes called microwave syndrome, and the focus of this review is whether these are indeed well documented and consistent with the known mechanism(s) of action of such EMFs. VGCCs occur in very high densities throughout the nervous system and have near universal roles in release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Soviet and Western literature shows that much of the impact of non-thermal microwave exposures in experimental animals occurs in the brain and peripheral nervous system, such that nervous system histology and function show diverse and substantial changes. These may be generated through roles of VGCC activation, producing excessive neurotransmitter/neuroendocrine release as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress and other responses. Excessive VGCC activity has been shown from genetic polymorphism studies to have roles in producing neuropsychiatric changes in humans. Two U.S. government reports from the 1970s to 1980s provide evidence for many neuropsychiatric effects of non-thermal microwave EMFs, based on occupational exposure studies. 18 more recent epidemiological studies, provide substantial evidence that microwave EMFs from cell/mobile phone base stations, excessive cell/mobile phone usage and from wireless smart meters can each produce similar patterns of neuropsychiatric effects, with several of these studies showing clear dose–response relationships. Lesser evidence from 6 additional studies suggests that short wave, radio station, occupational and digital TV antenna exposures may produce similar neuropsychiatric effects. Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/ tingling/ dermographism and EEG changes. In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects.

Suleyman Kaplan, Omur Gulsum Deniz, Mehmet Emin Önger, Aysın Pınar Türkmen, Kıymet Kübra Yurt, Işınsu Aydın, Berrin Zuhal Altunkaynak, Devra Davis. Electromagnetic field and brain development. Review Article. Pages 52-61.

•Side effects of electromagnetic field.
•How electromagnetic field affects the brain development?
•Experimental and clinical studies about the electromagnetic field.

Rapid advances in technology involve increased exposures to radio-frequency/microwave radiation from mobile phones and other wireless transmitting devices. As cell phones are held close to the head during talking and often stored next to the reproductive organs, studies are mostly focused on the brain. In fact, more research is especially needed to investigate electromagnetic field (EMF)’s effects on the central nervous system (CNS). Several studies clearly demonstrate that EMF emitted by cell phones could affect a range of body systems and functions. Recent work has demonstrated that EMF inhibit the formation and differentiation of neural stem cells during embryonic development and also affect reproductive and neurological health of adults that have undergone prenatal exposure. The aim of this review is to discuss the developing CNS and explain potential impacts of EMF on this system.


Berrin Zuhal Altunkaynak, Gamze Altun, Ahmed Yahyazadeh, Arife Ahsen Kaplan, Omur Gulsum Deniz, Aysın Pinar Türkmen, Mehmet Emin Önger, Suleyman Kaplan. Different methods for evaluating the effects of microwave radiation exposure on the nervous system. Review Article. Pages 62-69.

•Overview to different frequencies of electromagnetic field radiation exposure.
•Possible side effects of microwave radiation on the central nervous system.
•Qualitative and quantitative analysis to reveal the effects of the electromagnetic field exposure.

Microwave radiation (MWR) leads to hazardous effects on he central nervous system (CNS) for both human and animals. The widespread use of mobile phones has increased the risks of health problems in the CNS caused by radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields. To determine these effects various methodological approaches related to neuroscience such as stereology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy have been used. These approaches examine the effects on cells exposed to MWR at the light microscopic and ultrastructural levels, and novel information is obtained. The main aim of this paper is to discuss possible side effects of MWR in the light of current literature with different methodological approaches.


Ferhat Say, Berrin Zuhal Altunkaynak, Sina Coşkun, Ömür Gülsüm Deniz, Çağrı Yıldız, Gamze Altun, Arife Ahsen Kaplan, Sefa Ersan Kaya, Ahmet Pişkin. Controversies related to electromagnetic field exposure on peripheral nerves. Review Article. Pages 70-76.

•Possible effects of electromagnetic field.
•How electromagnetic field affects the peripheral nerve structure?
•Experimental and clinical studies of nervous system on the electromagnetic field.

Electromagnetic field (EMF) is a pervasive environmental presence in modern society. In recent years, mobile phone usage has increased rapidly throughout the world. As mobile phones are generally held close to the head while talking, studies have mostly focused on the central and peripheral nervous system. There is a need for further research to ascertain the real effect of EMF exposure on the nervous system. Several studies have clearly demonstrated that EMF emitted by cell phones could affect the systems of the body as well as functions. However, the adverse effects of EMF emitted by mobile phones on the peripheral nerves are still controversial. Therefore, this review summarizes current knowledge on the possible positive or negative effects of electromagnetic field on peripheral nerves.


Murat Terzi, Berra Ozberk, Omur Gulsum Deniz, Suleyman Kaplan. The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders. Review Article. Pages 77-84.

•Description of electromagnetic fields and evaluation of its possible effects on biological systems.
•The association between the electromagnetic field and neurodegenerative diseases.
•Experimental and clinical studies on the electromagnetic field.

In the modern world, people are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as part of their daily lives; the important question is “What is the effect of EMFs on human health?” Most previous studies are epidemiological, and we still do not have concrete evidence of EMF pathophysiology. Several factors may lead to chemical, morphological, and electrical alterations in the nervous system in a direct or indirect way. It is reported that non-ionizing EMFs have effects on animals and cells. The changes they bring about in organic systems may cause oxidative stress, which is essential for the neurophysiological process; it is associated with increased oxidization in species, or a reduction in antioxidant defense systems. Severe oxidative stress can cause imbalances in reactive oxygen species, which may trigger neurodegeneration. This review aims to detail these changes. Special attention is paid to the current data regarding EMFs’ effects on neurological disease and associated symptoms, such as headache, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.


Suleyman Dasdag, Mehmet Zulkuf Akdag. The link between radiofrequencies emitted from wireless technologies and oxidative stress. Review Article. Pages 85-93.

Wireless communication such as cellular telephones and other types of handheld phones working with frequencies of 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2450 MHz have been increasing rapidly. Therefore, public opinion concern about the potential human health hazards of short and long-term effect of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Oxidative stress is a biochemical condition, which is defined by the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the anti-oxidative defense. In this review, we evaluated available in vitro and in vivo studies carried out on the relation between RF emitted from mobile phones and oxidative stress. The results of the studies we reviewed here indicated that mobile phones and similar equipment or radars can be thought as a factor, which cause oxidative stress. Even some of them claimed that oxidative stress originated from radiofrequencies can be resulted with DNA damage. For this reason one of the points to think on is relation between mobile phones and oxidative stress. However, more performance is necessary especially on human exposure studies.


Duygu Sahin, Elcin Ozgur, Goknur Guler, Arın Tomruk, Ilhan Unlu, Aylin Sepici-Dinçel, Nesrin Seyhan. The 2100 MHz radiofrequency radiation of a 3G-mobile phone and the DNA oxidative damage in brain. Pages 94-98.

•The 2100 MHz radiofrequency radiation and oxidative DNA damage in brain.
•The effects of duration and tissue type to DNA damage.

We aimed to evaluate the effect of 2100 MHz radiofrequency radiation emitted by a generator, simulating a 3G-mobile phone on the brain of rats during 10 and 40 days of exposure. The female rats were randomly divided into four groups. Group I; exposed to 3G modulated 2100 MHz RFR signal for 6 h/day, 5 consecutive days/wk for 2 weeks, group II; control 10 days, were kept in an inactive exposure set-up for 6 h/day, 5 consecutive days/wk for 2 weeks, group III; exposed to 3G modulated 2100 MHz RFR signal for 6 h/day, 5 consecutive days/wk for 8 weeks and group IV; control 40 days, were kept in an inactive exposure set-up for 6 h/day, 5 consecutive days/wk for 8 weeks. After the genomic DNA content of brain was extracted, oxidative DNA damage (8-hydroxy-2′deoxyguanosine, pg/mL) and malondialdehyde (MDA, nmoL/g tissue) levels were determined. Our main finding was the increased oxidative DNA damage to brain after 10 days of exposure with the decreased oxidative DNA damage following 40 days of exposure compared to their control groups. Besides decreased lipid peroxidation end product, MDA, was observed after 40 days of exposure. The measured decreased quantities of damage during the 40 days of exposure could be the means of adapted and increased DNA repair mechanisms.


İkinci, Tolga Mercantepe, Deniz Unal, Hüseyin Serkan Erol, Arzu Şahin, Ali Aslan, Orhan Baş, Havva Erdem, Osman Fikret Sönmez, Haydar Kaya, Ersan Odacı. Morphological and antioxidant impairments in the spinal cord of male offspring rats following exposure to a continuous 900 MHz electromagnetic field during early and mid-adolescence. Pages 99-104.

•Spinal cords of male rats were investigated following exposure to 900 MHz EMF.
•Tissue malondialdehyde and glutathione levels increased in the EMF group.
•Light microscopy revealed atrophy in the spinal cord in the EMF group.
•TEM revealed invagination into the axon in the EMF group.
•TEM revealed loss of myelin sheath integrity in the EMF group.

The effects of devices emitting electromagnetic field (EMF) on human health have become the subject of intense research among scientists due to the rapid increase in their use. Children and adolescents are particularly attracted to the use of devices emitting EMF, such as mobile phones. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate changes in the spinal cords of male rat pups exposed to the effect of 900 MHz EMF. The study began with 24 Sprague-Dawley male rats aged 3 weeks. Three groups containing equal numbers of rats were established—control group (CG), sham group (SG) and EMF group (EMFG). EMFG rats were placed inside an EMF cage every day between postnatal days (PD) 21 and 46 and exposed to the effect of 900 MHz EMF for 1 h. SG rats were kept in the EMF cage for 1 h without being exposed to the effect of EMF. At the end of the study, the spinal cords in the upper thoracic region of all rats were removed. Tissues were collected for biochemistry, light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopic (TEM) examination. Biochemistry results revealed significantly increased malondialdehyde and glutathione levels in EMFG compared to CG and SG, while SG and EMFG catalase and superoxide dismutase levels were significantly higher than those in CG. In EMFG, LM revealed atrophy in the spinal cord, vacuolization, myelin thickening and irregularities in the perikarya. TEM revealed marked loss of myelin sheath integrity and invagination into the axon and broad vacuoles in axoplasm. The study results show that biochemical alterations and pathological changes may occur in the spinal cords of male rats following exposure to 900 MHz EMF for 1 h a day on PD 21–46.


Ersan Odacı, Hatice Hancı, Ayşe İkinci, Osman Fikret Sönmez, Ali Aslan, Arzu Şahin, Haydar Kaya, Serdar Çolakoğlu, Orhan Baş. Maternal exposure to a continuous 900-MHz electromagnetic field provokes neuronal loss and pathological changes in cerebellum of 32-day-old female rat offspring Pages 105-110.

•The female rat pup cerebellum was investigated following prenatal 900 MHz EMF exposure.
•Total Purkinje cell numbers were estimated following prenatal 900 MHz EMF exposure.
•Purkinje cell numbers were lower in the EMF group compared to the control and sham groups.
•Pyknotic neurons with dark cytoplasm were observed in the EMF group.

Large numbers of people are unknowingly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from wireless devices. Evidence exists for altered cerebellar development in association with prenatal exposure to EMF. However, insufficient information is still available regarding the effects of exposure to 900 megahertz (MHz) EMF during the prenatal period on subsequent postnatal cerebellar development. This study was planned to investigate the 32-day-old female rat pup cerebellum following exposure to 900 MHz EMF during the prenatal period using stereological and histopathological evaluation methods. Pregnant rats were divided into control, sham and EMF groups. Pregnant EMF group (PEMFG) rats were exposed to 900 MHz EMF for 1 h inside an EMF cage during days 13–21 of pregnancy. Pregnant sham group (PSG) rats were also placed inside the EMF cage during days 13–21 of pregnancy for 1 h, but were not exposed to any EMF. No procedure was performed on the pregnant control group (PCG) rats. Newborn control group (CG) rats were obtained from the PCG mothers, newborn sham group (SG) rats from the PSG and newborn EMF group (EMFG) rats from the PEMFG rats. The cerebellums of the newborn female rats were extracted on postnatal day 32. The number of Purkinje cells was estimated stereologically, and histopathological evaluations were also performed on cerebellar sections. Total Purkinje cell numbers calculated using stereological analysis were significantly lower in EMFG compared to CG (p < 0.05) and SG (p < 0.05). Additionally, some pathological changes such as pyknotic neurons with dark cytoplasm were observed in EMFG sections under light microscopy. In conclusion, our study results show that prenatal exposure to EMF affects the development of Purkinje cells in the female rat cerebellum and that the consequences of this pathological effect persist after the postnatal period.


Arda Esmekaya, Mehmet Zahid Tuysuz, Arın Tomruk, Ayse G. Canseven, Engin Yücel, Zuhal Aktuna, Semih Keskil, Nesrin Seyhan. Effects of cell phone radiation on lipid peroxidation, glutathione and nitric oxide levels in mouse brain during epileptic seizure. Pages 111-115.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of cellular phone radiation on oxidative stress parameters and oxide levels in mouse brain during pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced epileptic seizure. Eight weeks old mice were used in the study. Animals were distributed in the following groups: Group I: Control group treated with PTZ, Group II: 15 min cellular phone radiation + PTZ treatment + 30 min cellular phone radiation, Group III: 30 min cellular phone radiation + PTZ treatment + 30 min cellular phone radiation. The RF radiation was produced by a 900 MHz cellular phone. Lipid peroxidation, which is the indicator of oxidative stress was quantified by measuring the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). The glutathione (GSH) levels were determined by the Ellman method. Tissue total nitric oxide (NOx) levels were obtained using the Griess assay. Lipid peroxidation and NOx levels of brain tissue increased significantly in group II and III compared to group I. On the contrary, GSH levels were significantly lower in group II and III than group I. However, no statistically significant alterations in any of the endpoints were noted between group II and Group III. Overall, the experimental findings demonstrated that cellular phone radiation may increase the oxidative damage and NOx level during epileptic activity in mouse brain.


Mehmet Zulkuf Akdag, Suleyman Dasdag, Fazile Canturk, Derya Karabulut, Yusuf Caner, Nur Adalier. Does prolonged radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi devices induce DNA damage in various tissues of rats? Pages 116-122.

Wireless internet (Wi-Fi) providers have become essential in our daily lives, as wireless technology is evolving at a dizzying pace. Although there are different frequency generators, one of the most commonly used Wi-Fi devices are 2.4 GHz frequency generators. These devices are heavily used in all areas of life but the effect of radiofrequency (RF) radiation emission on users is generally ignored. Yet, an increasing share of the public expresses concern on this issue. Therefore, this study intends to respond to the growing public concern. The purpose of this study is to reveal whether long term exposure of 2.4 GHz frequency RF radiation will cause DNA damage of different tissues such as brain, kidney, liver, and skin tissue and testicular tissues of rats. The study was conducted on 16 adult male Wistar–Albino rats. The rats in the experimental group (n = 8) were exposed to 2.4 GHz frequency radiation for over a year. The rats in the sham control group (n = 8) were subjected to the same experimental conditions except the Wi-Fi generator was turned off. After the exposure period was complete the possible DNA damage on the rat’s brain, liver, kidney, skin, and testicular tissues was detected through the single cell gel electrophoresis assay (comet) method. The amount of DNA damage was measured as percentage tail DNA value. Based on the DNA damage results determined by the single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet) method, it was found that the% tail DNA values of the brain, kidney, liver, and skin tissues of the rats in the experimental group increased more than those in the control group. The increase of the DNA damage in all tissues was not significant (p > 0.05). However the increase of the DNA damage in rat testes tissue was significant (p < 0.01).
In conclusion, long-term exposure to 2.4 GHz RF radiation (Wi-Fi) does not cause DNA damage of the organs investigated in this study except testes. The results of this study indicated that testes are more sensitive organ to RF radiation.

•Exposure to the pulse modulated radio-frequency radiation could lead to increase in the permeability of blood–brain barrier.
•New researches are needed to discuss the effects of radio-frequency radiation on children.
•Efforts have to be made to understand the mechanisms of the interaction of radio-frequency radiation and the central nervous system.

With the increased use of mobile phones, their biological and health effects have become more important. Usage of mobile phones near the head increases the possibility of effects on brain tissue. This study was designed to investigate the possible effects of pulse modulated 900 MHz and 1800 MHz radio-frequency radiation on the permeability of blood–brain barrier of rats. Study was performed with 6 groups of young adult male and female wistar albino rats. The permeability of blood-brain barrier to intravenously injected evans blue dye was quantitatively examined for both control and radio-frequency radiarion exposed groups. For male groups; Evans blue content in the whole brain was found to be 0.08 ± 0.01 mg% in the control, 0.13 ± 0.03 mg% in 900 MHz exposed and 0.26 ± 0.05 mg% in 1800 MHz exposed animals. In both male radio-frequency radiation exposed groups, the permeability of blood–brain barrier found to be increased with respect to the controls (p < 0.01). 1800 MHz pulse modulated radio-frequency radiation exposure was found more effective on the male animals (p < 0.01). For female groups; dye contents in the whole brains were 0.14 ± 0.01 mg% in the control, 0.24 ± 0.03 mg% in 900 MHz exposed and 0.14 ± 0.02 mg% in 1800 MHz exposed animals. No statistical variance found between the control and 1800 MHz exposed animals (p > 0.01). However 900 MHz pulse modulated radio-frequency exposure was found effective on the permeability of blood-brain barrier of female animals. Results have shown that 20 min pulse modulated radio-frequency radiation exposure of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz induces an effect and increases the permeability of blood-brain barrier of male rats. For females, 900 MHz was found effective and it could be concluded that this result may due to the physiological differences between female and male animals. The results of this study suggest that mobile phone radation could lead to increase the permeability of blood-brain barrier under non-thermal exposure levels. More studies are needed to demonstrate the mechanisms of that breakdown.


Göknur Güler, Elcin Ozgur, Hikmet Keles, Arin Tomruk, Sevil Atalay Vural, Nesrin Seyhan. Neurodegenerative changes and apoptosis induced by intrauterine and extrauterine exposure of radiofrequency radiation. Pages 128-133.

•Fetal exposure to mobile phone radiation causes apoptosis and oxidative damage in brain.

Adverse health effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) on the ongoing developmental stages of children from conception to childhood are scientifically anticipated subject. This study was performed to identify the effects of global system for mobile communications (GSM) modulated mobile phone like RFR in 1800 MHz frequency on oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation beside the apoptotic cell formation, using histopathological and immunohistochemical methods in the brain tissue of 1-month-old male and female New Zealand White rabbits that were exposed to these fields at their mother's womb and after the birth. Oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation levels were investigated by measuring the 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, respectively. Histopathological changes were observed using by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. Apoptotic cells were detected in the examined organs by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining.

For both male and female infants; 8-OHdG levels increased in the group exposed to RFR in both intrauterine and extrauterine periods compared to the infants that were never exposed to RFR and the ones were exposed when they reached one month of age (p < 0.05). MDA results were different for male and female rabbits. There was no difference between all female infant groups (p > 0.05), while only intrauterine exposure significantly causes MDA level increase for the male infants. HE staining revealed mild lessions in neuronal necrobiosis in brain tissues of female rabbits that had only intaruterine exposure and male rabbits had only extrauterine exposure. Gliosis were mildly positive in brain tissues of rabbits that are exposed only intrauterine period, also the group exposed both intrauterine and extrauterine periods. However, there was no apoptotic change detected by TUNEL staining in the brain tissues of all groups.


•Oxidative stress plays important role in biology of Wi-Fi (2.45 GHz)
•2.45 GHz increased oxidative stress in brain and liver pregnant rats and their newborns
•Brain seems sensitive to oxidative injury in the development of newborns.

An excessive production of reactive oxygen substances (ROS) and reduced antioxidant defence systems resulting from electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure may lead to oxidative brain and liver damage and degradation of membranes during pregnancy and development of rat pups. We aimed to investigate the effects of Wi-Fi-induced EMR on the brain and liver antioxidant redox systems in the rat during pregnancy and development.
Sixteen pregnant rats and their 48 newborns were equally divided into control and EMR groups. The EMR groups were exposed to 2.45 GHz EMR (1 h/day for 5 days/week) from pregnancy to 3 weeks of age. Brain cortex and liver samples were taken from the newborns between the first and third weeks. In the EMR groups, lipid peroxidation levels in the brain and liver were increased following EMR exposure; however, the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity, and vitamin A, vitamin E and β-carotene concentrations were decreased in the brain and liver. Glutathione (GSH) and vitamin C concentrations in the brain were also lower in the EMR groups than in the controls; however, their concentrations did not change in the liver. 

In conclusion, Wi-Fi-induced oxidative stress in the brain and liver of developing rats was the result of reduced GSH-Px, GSH and antioxidant vitamin concentrations. Moreover, the brain seemed to be more sensitive to oxidative injury compared to the liver in the development of newborns.