Monday, June 11, 2018

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 a month since August, 2016. These updates are sent to several hundred scientists around the world.

Since I have received numerous requests to post the abstracts on this website, I have compiled the collection into a document. The collection of abstracts from more than 400 papers can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:



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

See EMF-Portal for a searchable database of EMF studies. The Portal contains over 26,000 publications and 6,000 summaries of scientific studies on the effects of EMF. The Portal is a project of RWTH University Hospital in Aachen, Germany.

Latest edition

Database of bio-effects from non-ionizing radiation

Leach V, Weller S, Redmayne M. A novel database of bio-effects from non-ionizing radiation. Rev Environ Health. 2018 Jun 6. pii: /j/reveh.ahead-of-print/reveh-2018-0017/reveh-2018-0017.xml. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2018-0017/

Abstract

A significant amount of electromagnetic field/electromagnetic radiation (EMF/EMR) research is available that examines biological and disease associated endpoints. The quantity, variety and changing parameters in the available research can be challenging when undertaking a literature review, meta-analysis, preparing a study design, building reference lists or comparing findings between relevant scientific papers. The Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (ORSAA) has created a comprehensive, non-biased, multi-categorized, searchable database of papers on non-ionizing EMF/EMR to help address these challenges. It is regularly added to, freely accessible online and designed to allow data to be easily retrieved, sorted and analyzed. This paper demonstrates the content and search flexibility of the ORSAA database. Demonstration searches are presented by Effect/No Effect; frequency-band/s; in vitro; in vivo; biological effects; study type; and funding source.

As of September 15, 2017, the clear majority of 2653 papers captured in the database examine outcomes in the 300 MHz-3 GHz range. There are 3 times more biological "Effect" than "No Effect" papers; nearly a third of papers provide no funding statement; industry-funded studies more often than not find "No Effect", while institutional funding commonly reveal "Effects". Country of origin where the study is conducted/funded also appears to have a dramatic influence on the likely result outcome.
The Oceania Radiofrequency Science Advisory Association

The Oceania Radiofrequency Science Advisory Association (ORSAA) Database is a searchable database on peer-reviewed scientific studies and articles on bioeffect research of electromagnetic fields. The database is designed to enable detailed independent searches invaluable to researchers and scientists. It requires some training on how to use it most effectively.


Discussion and Conclusions
ORSAA’s new database provides a highly flexible way of searching a wide, and increasing, range of the EMF literature. It can be used to search for papers according to frequency range, power, SAR, tested endpoints, reported outcomes and study type, amongst others. Furthermore, the data can be exported to create graphs to identify trends in research as well as biological effect outcomes based on frequency and/or exposure duration.
Our method of selecting papers for inclusion is intended to minimize bias and we anticipate that the resulting library is representative of the spread of peer-reviewed papers being published.
Nearly a third of the studies do not declare research funding in the papers so they are marked as funding source unknown in the ORSAA database. Maisch discusses this problem [5]. It may be that these are generally funded by the institution or department where the work was performed, but without a declaration the reader cannot know. Although we have not included NESS studies in the funding chart (Figure 2), it should be borne in mind that the choice of papers selected for reviews and meta-analyses may be related to the funding source and may ultimately affect the paper conclusions. ORSAA considers funding declarations are of critical importance to ensure transparency and to help identify potential biases. ORSAA also encourages all journals to insist on providing this, even when there is no specific funder to declare. Requiring full disclosure of income affiliations is vital, especially in the latter circumstance.
Although animal studies cannot provide direct evidence of human biological effects, animal models can provide a strong indication of likely risks to humans. The ORSAA database can be used to enumerate and compare the many instances where both animal and human studies have found the same biological effect outcomes.
Our demonstration tables also indicate that although there are studies that report no effect on the tested parameters, there are in many cases significantly more that do find an effect. Closer examination suggests that this inconsistency can be explained in large part by the lack of replication between studies.
The evolving database cannot be used as a sole source of reference for a systematic review on any particular end-point, and can only reflect the status quo with reference to the included papers. However, it provides many benefits to the general public and researchers alike.

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Genomic effects of cell phone exposure on the reproductive system


Yahyazadeh A, Deniz OG, Kaplan AA, Altun G, Yurt KK, Davis D. The genomic effects of cell phone exposure on the reproductive system. Environmental Research. Available online 5 June 2018.

Abstract

Humans are exposed to increasing levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) at various frequencies as technology advances. In this context, improving understanding of the biological effects of EMF remains an important, high priority issue. Although a number of studies in this issue and elsewhere have focused on the mechanisms of the oxidative stress caused by EMF, the precise understanding of the processes involved remains to be elucidated. Due to unclear results among the studies, the issue of EMF exposure in the literature should be evaluated at the genomic level on the reproductive system. Based on this requirement, a detail review of recently published studies is necessary. The main objectives of this study are to show differences between negative and positive effect of EMF on the reproductive system of animal and human. Extensive review of literature has been made based on well known data bases like Web of Science, PubMed, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Scopus. This paper reviews the current literature and is intended to contribute to a better understanding of the genotoxic effects of EMF emitted from mobile phones and wireless systems on the human reproductive system, especially on fertility. The current literature reveals that mobile phones can affect cellular functions via non-thermal effects. Although the cellular targets of global system for mobile communications (GSM)-modulated EMF are associated with the cell membrane, the subject is still controversial. Studies regarding the genotoxic effects of EMF have generally focused on DNA damage. Possible mechanisms are related to ROS formation due to oxidative stress. EMF increases ROS production by enhancing the activity of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) oxidase in the cell membrane. Further detailed studies are needed to elucidate DNA damage mechanisms and apoptotic pathways during oogenesis and spermatogenesis in germ cells exposed to EMF.

Conclusion

This paper reviews the current literature and is intended to contribute to a better understanding of the genotoxic effects of EMF emitted from mobile phones and wireless systems on the human reproductive system, especially on fertility. The current literature reveals that mobile phones can affect cellular functions via non-thermal effects (Diem et al., 2005; Hanci et al., 2013 ;  Odaci et al., 2016a). Although the cellular targets of GSM-modulated EMF are associated with the cell membrane, the subject is still controversial (Eberhardt et al., 2008). Studies regarding the genotoxic effects of EMF have generally focused on DNA damage (Mortelmans and Rupa, 2004; Young, 2002; Zeiger, 2004; Panagopoulos, 2012 ;  Turedi et al., 2016). Possible mechanisms are related to ROS formation due to oxidative stress (Moustafa et al., 2004; Hanukoglu et al., 2006). EMF increases ROS production by enhancing the activity of NADH oxidase in the cell membrane (Friedman et al., 2007b). In this context, EMF affected spermatozoa may have a high degree rate of infertilization. It seems that previous genomic studies do not show definitive evidence regarding EMF affected cells in the fertilization. Although we evaluated broadly the genomic effects of cell phone exposure on the reproductive system using both animal and human studies, one of the weaknesses of this work is insufficient review of human studies. This may come from limited number of EMF based human studies in the literature. Further detailed studies are needed to elucidate DNA damage mechanisms and apoptotic pathways during oogenesis and spermatogenesis in germ cells that are exposed to EMF.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118302639

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Effects of mobile phone exposure on metabolomics in the male and female reproductive systems

Altun G, Deniz OG, Yurt KK, Davis D, Kaplan S. Effects of mobile phone exposure on metabolomics in the male and female reproductive systems. Environmental Research. Available online 5 June 2018.

Highlights


• Long-term exposure to EMF decreases sperm motility and fertilization.
• Effects of EMF emitted from mobile phones are related to protein synthesis.
• Oxidative stress based EMF exposure modulates nitric oxide level in the germ cells.
• Oxidative stress based EMF exposure inhibits antioxidant mechanisms in the germ cells.


Abstract

With current advances in technology, a number of epidemiological and experimental studies have reported a broad range of adverse effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on human health. Multiple cellular mechanisms have been proposed as direct causes or contributors to these biological effects. EMF-induced alterations in cellular levels can activate voltage-gated calcium channels and lead to the formation of free radicals, protein misfolding and DNA damage. Because rapidly dividing germ cells go through meiosis and mitosis, they are more sensitive to EMF in contrast to other slower-growing cell types. In this review, possible mechanistic pathways of the effects of EMF exposure on fertilization, oogenesis and spermatogenesis are discussed. In addition, the present review also evaluates metabolomic effects of GSM-modulated EMFs on the male and female reproductive systems in recent human and animal studies. In this context, experimental and epidemiological studies which examine the impact of mobile phone radiation on the processes of oogenesis and spermatogenesis are examined in line with current approaches.

Conclusion

EMF emitted by mobile phones has a number of well-documented adverse metabolomic effects on the male and female reproductive systems and can lead to infertility by increasing ROS production and reducing GSH and other antioxidants. The primary target of the EMF emitted by mobile phones may be the cell membrane (Pall in press, this volume). This then results in accelerated activity of membrane NADH oxidase and, consequently, greater rates of ROS formation that cannot be easily conjugated or detoxified. Although many studies have reported morphological and functional deteriorations in testis and ovary following EMF exposures, as well both structural and functional deficits in reproductive health, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. To assist in further clarification of these processes and mechanisms, Table 1 summarizes key studies on the metabolomic effects of EMF on reproductive systems. Future studies will benefit greatly from standardized exposure protocols and evaluations of key metabolomic indicators.


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Effect of cell-phone RF on angiogenesis and cell invasion in human head and neck cancer cells

Alahmad YM, Aljaber M, Saleh AI, Yalcin HC, Aboulkassim T, Yasmeen A, Batist G, Moustafa AA. Effect of cell-phone radiofrequency on angiogenesis and cell invasion in human head and neck cancer cells. Head Neck. 2018 May 13. doi: 10.1002/hed.25210.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:  Today, the cell phone is the most widespread technology globally. However, the outcome of cell-phone radiofrequency on head and neck cancer progression has not yet been explored.

METHODS:  The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and human head and neck cancer cell lines, FaDu and SCC25, were used to explore the outcome of cell-phone radiofrequency on angiogenesis, cell invasion, and colony formation of head and neck cancer cells, respectively. Western blot analysis was used to investigate the impact of the cell phone on the regulation of E-cadherin and Erk1/Erk2 genes.

RESULTS:  Our data revealed that cell-phone radiofrequency promotes angiogenesis of the CAM. In addition, the cell phone enhances cell invasion and colony formation of human head and neck cancer cells; this is accompanied by a downregulation of E-cadherin expression. More significantly, we found that the cell phone can activate Erk1/Erk2 in our experimental models.

CONCLUSION:  Our investigation reveals that cell-phone radiofrequency could enhance head and neck cancer by stimulating angiogenesis and cell invasion via Erk1/Erk2 activation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29756334

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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.

Abstract

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.

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Wireless radiation absorption in child vs adult brain & eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality

Fernandez C, de Salles AA, Sears ME, Morris RD, Davis DL. Absorption of wireless radiation in the child versus adult brain and eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality. Environmental Research. Jun 5, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.013

Highlights

• More cell phone radiation is absorbed by children's inner brain tissues than adults’.
• Children's radiofrequency radiation exposure should be reduced.
• Further research to evaluate the risks to the eye from use of VR is urgently needed.
• It is biologically relevant and feasible to reduce the standards’ averaging volume.
• Current methods to determine wireless device compliance should be revised.

Abstract

Children's brains are more susceptible to hazardous exposures, and are thought to absorb higher doses of radiation from cell phones in some regions of the brain. Globally the numbers and applications of wireless devices are increasing rapidly, but since 1997 safety testing has relied on a large, homogenous, adult male head phantom to simulate exposures; the “Standard Anthropomorphic Mannequin” (SAM) is used to estimate only whether tissue temperature will be increased by more than 1 Celsius degree in the periphery. The present work employs anatomically based modeling currently used to set standards for surgical and medical devices, that incorporates heterogeneous characteristics of age and anatomy. Modeling of a cell phone held to the ear, or of virtual reality devices in front of the eyes, reveals that young eyes and brains absorb substantially higher local radiation doses than adults’. Age-specific simulations indicate the need to apply refined methods for regulatory compliance testing; and for public education regarding manufacturers' advice to keep phones off the body, and prudent use to limit exposures, particularly to protect the young.

Excerpts

In summary, compared with adult models, children experience two- to three-fold higher RF doses to: 1) localized areas of the brain when a cell phone is positioned next to the ear; and 2) the eyes and frontal lobe when a cell phone is used to view virtual reality. These findings raise serious questions about the current approach to certify cell phones; particularly the use of the SAM.

Our modeling demonstrates clearly that localized psSAR varies significantly for critical components of the brain. Younger models absorb proportionally more radiation in the eyes and brain – grey matter, cerebellum and hippocampus—and the local dose rate varies inversely with age. This reflects the fact that the head is not homogeneous. Indeed, localized heating up to 5 Centigrade degrees has been detected as a result of mobile phone radiation studied ex vivo in cow brain using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance thermometry (Gultekin and Moeller, 2013).

Our findings support reexamination of methods to determine regulatory compliance for wireless devices, and highlight the importance of precautionary advice such as that of American Academy of Pediatrics (2016). The Academy recommends that younger children should not use cell phones, and that prudent measures should be taken to eliminate exposure (e.g. using devices for amusement or education only when all wireless features are turned off – in “airplane mode”) or to minimize exposure (e.g. texting or using speakerphone), and that cell phones should not be kept next to the body. Use of wires/cables in schools and homes circumvents needless exposures of children to radiation from both devices and Wi-Fi routers. There is also an urgent need for research to evaluate the risks to the eye from use of cell phones in virtual reality applications. 

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Children's exposure assessment of radiofrequency fields: Comparison between spot and personal measurements

Gallastegi M, Huss A, Santa-Marina L, Aurrekoetxea JJ, Guxens M, Birks LE, Ibarluzea J, Guerra D, Röösli M. Children's exposure assessment of radiofrequency fields: Comparison between spot and personal measurements. Environment International. 118:60-69. Sep 2018. 

Highlights
• Children's radiofrequency field levels and contribution of sources were assessed.
• We contrasted exposure assessment based on spot and personal measurements.
• Median exposures range: 29.73–236.31 μW/m2; broadcast and downlink contributed most.
• Proportional bias between assessment based on spot and personal measurements.
• No systematic differences when classifying subjects in exposure-dependent groups.

Abstract

Introduction  Radiofrequency (RF) fields are widely used and, while it is still unknown whether children are more vulnerable to this type of exposure, it is essential to explore their level of exposure in order to conduct adequate epidemiological studies. Personal measurements provide individualized information, but they are costly in terms of time and resources, especially in large epidemiological studies. Other approaches, such as estimation of time-weighted averages (TWAs) based on spot measurements could simplify the work.

Objectives  The aims of this study were to assess RF exposure in the Spanish INMA birth cohort by spot measurements and by personal measurements in the settings where children tend to spend most of their time, i.e., homes, schools and parks; to identify the settings and sources that contribute most to that exposure; and to explore if exposure assessment based on spot measurements is a valid proxy for personal exposure.

Methods  When children were 8 years old, spot measurements were conducted in the principal settings of 104 participants: homes (104), schools and their playgrounds (26) and parks (79). At the same time, personal measurements were taken for a subsample of 50 children during 3 days. Exposure assessment based on personal and on spot measurements were compared both in terms of mean exposures and in exposure-dependent categories by means of Bland-Altman plots, Cohen's kappa and McNemar test.

Results  Median exposure levels ranged from 29.73 (in children's bedrooms) to 200.10 μW/m2 (in school playgrounds) for spot measurements and were higher outdoors than indoors. Median personal exposure was 52.13 μW/m2 and median levels of assessments based on spot measurements ranged from 25.46 to 123.21 μW/m2. Based on spot measurements, the sources that contributed most to the exposure were FM radio, mobile phone downlink and Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial, while indoor and personal sources contributed very little (altogether <20%). Similar distribution was observed with personal measurements.

There was a bias proportional to power density between personal measurements and estimates based on spot measurements, with the latter providing higher exposure estimates. Nevertheless, there were no systematic differences between those methodologies when classifying subjects into exposure categories. Personal measurements of total RF exposure showed low to moderate agreement with home and bedroom spot measurements and agreed better, though moderately, with TWA based on spot measurements in the main settings where children spend time (homes, schools and parks; Kappa = 0.46).

Conclusions   Exposure assessment based on spot measurements could be a feasible proxy to rank personal RF exposure in children population, providing that all relevant locations are being measured.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412017319724

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Exposure to radiation from single or combined radio frequencies provokes macrophage dysfunction in the RAW 264.7 cell line

López-Furelos A, Salas-Sánchez AA, Ares-Pena FJ, Leiro-Vidal JM, López-Martín E. Exposure to radiation from single or combined radio frequencies provokes macrophage dysfunction in the RAW 264.7 cell line. Int J Radiat Biol. 2018 Apr 30:1-12. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2018.1465610.

Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine whether exposure to radiation from single or multiple radio-frequency (RF) signals at 900 and 2450 MHz would induce effects in the RAW 264.7 cell line.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cell cultures were exposed to single or combined RF for 4, 24, 48, or 72 h in a GTEM electromagnetic test chamber. At the end of the radiation exposure time, viability and cell growth were analyzed by flow cytometry, nitric oxide (NO) production was measured by colorimetry, the expression of HSP70 and TNF-α was ascertained by qPCR, and the phagocytic activity was observed by microscopy.

RESULTS: NO production increased after 48 h exposure at 2450 MHz, compared with controls. The group subjected to the combined interaction of two RFs showed an increase of HSP70 after 48 h exposure and a significant increase of NO and TNF-α after 72 h. The phagocytic activity of macrophages decreased in all groups as exposure time increased.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicated a decrease in phagocytic activity and an increase in inflammatory, cytoprotective, and cytotoxic responses in macrophages after continuous and combined exposure of multiple RF signals. Multiple RF interact in everyday life, the immune response in humans is unknown.


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Cellular stress & caspase-3 resulting from combined two-frequency signal in brains of Sprague-Dawley rats


López-Furelos A, Leiro-Vidal JM, Salas-Sánchez AÁ, Ares-Pena FJ, López-Martín ME. Evidence of cellular stress and caspase-3 resulting from a combined two-frequency signal in the cerebrum and cerebellum of sprague-dawley rats. Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 4;7(40):64674-64689. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11753.

Abstract

Multiple simultaneous exposures to electromagnetic signals induced adjustments in mammal nervous systems. In this study, we investigated the non-thermal SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) in the cerebral or cerebellar hemispheres of rats exposed in vivo to combined electromagnetic field (EMF) signals at 900 and 2450 MHz.Forty rats divided into four groups of 10 were individually exposed or not exposed to radiation in a GTEM chamber for one or two hours. After radiation, we used the Chemiluminescent Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ChELISA) technique to measure cellular stress levels, indicated by the presence of heat shock proteins (HSP) 90 and 70, as well as caspase-3-dependent pre-apoptotic activity in left and right cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres of Sprague Dawley rats.Twenty-four hours after exposure to combined or single radiation, significant differences were evident in HSP 90 and 70 but not in caspase 3 levels between the hemispheres of the cerebral cortex at high SAR levels. In the cerebellar hemispheres, groups exposed to a single radiofrequency (RF) and high SAR showed significant differences in HSP 90, 70 and caspase-3 levels compared to control animals. The absorbed energy and/or biological effects of combined signals were not additive, suggesting that multiple signals act on nervous tissue by a different mechanism.


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Biological effects of cell-phone radiofrequency waves exposure on fertilization in mice; an in vivo and in vitro study

Fatehi D, Anjomshoa M, Mohammadi M, Seify M, Rostamzadeh A. Biological effects of cell-phone radiofrequency waves exposure on fertilization in mice; an in vivo and in vitro study. Middle East Fertility Society Journal, 23(2):148-153. June 2018.

Abstract

Increasing use of cell-phone is one of the most important risk factors for population health. We designed an experimental study aimed at evaluating the effects of cell-phone radiofrequency (RF) waves exposure on fertilization in mice. Two hundred male and female NMRI-mice were used. One hundred males divided in five groups (n = 20) as control and exposed groups. Those irradiated with cell-phone RF in “Standby-mode” 1, 5 and 10 h daily named groups II, III and IV; respectively. Group V irradiated with cell-phone on “Active-mode” one hour daily. After 30 days irradiation, 50 males and 50 females were kept 24 h to assess their embryos. Fifty males were scarified to evaluate both in vitro and in vivo parameters, and 50 females received PMSG & HCG for both quantitative and qualitative evaluation. Comparing groups III, IV and V with control-group showed significantly decreased in the number of two-cell embryos (p = .000); however, a significant increase was found in the number of dead embryos (p = .000). Furthermore, 5 h daily irradiation significantly decreased grade-A embryos (p = .015); while, it significantly increased grade-B, C and D embryos (p-values = 0.026, 0.007, 0.006; respectively). Moreover, comparing groups IV and V to control-group, significant increase was found in pregnancy duration (p = .005, p = .009; respectively). However, in the mentioned groups a significant decrease was seen in number of newborn mice (p = .001, p = .004; respectively). In conclusion our findings showed that the cell-phone radiation can affect development of embryos as well as the number of newborn and pregnancy duration in NMRI-mouse, which might be a significant cause of reproductive failure.


The applied frequency of the waves was 900 MHz irradiated from a Nokia cell-phone (Nokia 1100, Finland). In case of irradiation, the distance between cell-phone and mouse was 10 cm.

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Extremely Low Frequency Fields

Proximity to overhead power lines and childhood leukaemia: an international pooled analysis

Amoon AT, Crespi CM, Ahlbom A, Bhatnagar M, Bray I, Bunch KJ, Clavel J, Feychting M, Hémon D, Johansen C, Kreis C, Malagoli C, Marquant F, Pedersen C, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Röösli M, Spycher BD, Sudan M, Swanson J, Tittarelli A, Tuck DM, Tynes T, Vergara X, Vinceti M, Wünsch-Filho V, Kheifets L. Proximity to overhead power lines and childhood leukaemia: an international pooled analysis. Br J Cancer. 2018 May 29. doi: 10.1038/s41416-018-0097-7.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although studies have consistently found an association between childhood leukaemia risk and magnetic fields, the associations between childhood leukaemia and distance to overhead power lines have been inconsistent. We pooled data from multiple studies to assess the association with distance and evaluate whether it is due to magnetic fields or other factors associated with distance from lines.

METHODS: We present a pooled analysis combining individual-level data (29,049 cases and 68,231 controls) from 11 record-based studies.

RESULTS: There was no material association between childhood leukaemia and distance to nearest overhead power line of any voltage. Among children living < 50 m from 200 + kV power lines, the adjusted odds ratio for childhood leukaemia was 1.33 (95% CI: 0.92-1.93). The odds ratio was higher among children diagnosed before age 5 years. There was no association with calculated magnetic fields. Odds ratios remained unchanged with adjustment for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: In this first comprehensive pooled analysis of childhood leukaemia and distance to power lines, we found a small and imprecise risk for residences < 50 m of 200 + kV lines that was not explained by high magnetic fields. Reasons for the increased risk, found in this and many other studies, remains to be elucidated.


In conclusion, we found a small, imprecise association between childhood leukaemia and residence located within 50 m of 200 + kV lines, which was stronger for younger children, in our individual-data pooled analysis of 11 studies. This association was not explained by exposure to high MF levels or by other measured confounders. We found no evidence for bias as a potential explanation and in particular, we only included record-based studies, making selection bias unlikely. Although exposure misclassification is likely to be present, the risk of bias due to distance misclassification is quite small. The previous UK findings of risk estimates for distances beyond 200 m are not supported by the pooled data from other countries. The decrease in effect over time are not clearly supported by the pooled data from other countries, although numbers of exposed cases and controls for the earlier time period are small for both the United Kingdom and for other countries combined. Although pooled analysis is a powerful approach to integrating data, it is only as good as the underlying data. Reasons for the small yet fairly consistent increase in the risk of childhood leukaemia in relation to proximity to power lines found in many studies remain to be elucidated.

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Measurement and analysis of power-frequency magnetic fields in residences: Results from a pilot study

Halgamuge MN, McLean L.Measurement and analysis of power-frequency magnetic fields in residences: Results from a pilot study. Measurement. 125:415-424. Sep 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2018.05.007

Highlights
• Exposure to high magnetic fields in residential situations occurs in proximity to appliances.
• Emissions from some appliances exceeded the general public exposure levels of the ICNIRP limits.
• Taking precautions, such as reducing distance from sources can significantly reduce exposures.
• Collected data can be useful as an additional data base for future epidemiological studies.

Abstract

Aim  Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) are emitted by electrical household appliances, wiring, meter boxes, conductive plumbing, power lines and transformers. Some of the studies investigating the link between ELF-MFs and health problems have not adequately characterized the magnetic field exposure of subjects, as they did not always measure residential magnetic fields or measure in locations where residents are most exposed. Considering this, there is a need for good quality assessments of residential ELF-MFs in different geographical regions to collect general public exposure data and to identify high sources of magnetic fields. Such studies have the potential to add significant scientific knowledge about residential exposure and appropriate precautions to reduce exposure, improve the quality of life and substantially reduce health care costs.

Subject and methods  In this work, we analyzed the ELF-MFs from 3163 datasets collected from 100 houses in Australia. Measurements were carried out in different geographical locations and were assessed for compliance with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines. Then we compared our measurements with another twenty-three peer-reviewed studies, published 1987–2015, reporting magnetic field measurements in residences.

Results  The observed average (geometric mean) magnetic field values were; bed 0.85, bedroom 1.39 mG, baby cot 0.39 mG, children’s play area 0.47 mG, and family room 0.30 mG. Our results show considerable variation in the fields to which residents are typically exposed, particularly in beds (21.83%) and bedrooms (33.33%) where the percentage of measurements greater than 4 mG was considerable. Some emissions exceeded the general public exposure levels of the ICNIRP Guidelines, with the potential for residents to be exposed above these levels. However, away from electrical appliances, the average field in all rooms was 0.30–1.39 mG. We show that simple precautions can be applied to reduce exposure to ELF-MFs in residences and thereby minimize potential risks to health and wellbeing.

Conclusion  Our investigation provides a new data collection model for future surveys, which could be conducted with larger samples to verify our observations. Additionally, this data could be useful as a reference for researchers and those members of the general public who do not have access to the necessary measuring equipment.

Excerpts

The fields most likely to impact residents are those near beds, where people spend long periods of time daily. In our study, these included fields from clock radios, meter boxes, wiring and conductive plumbing.

In most cases, the kitchen appliance with the highest magnetic field was the microwave oven, whether or not it was operating, indicating that especial care needs to be taken when positioning it. Our study considered only the magnetic fields from the microwave oven and not the microwave radiation that it also emits. Many other kitchen appliances also had high magnetic fields – including ovens, cook tops, range hoods, kettles, dishwashers and toasters.

Magnetic fields varied from 2.9 to 167 mG for washing machines and 0.3 to 373 mG for clothes dryers, however, residents do not usually spend long periods of time close to these machines while they are operating. We measured highest magnetic fields from irons during the period when they were heating up to the desired setting and observed that, once they had done so, magnetic fields at the handle were generally less than 0.01 mG. A surprise finding was the very high magnetic fields from hairdryers, which are used in close proximity to the body.


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Magnetocarcinogenesis: is there a mechanism for carcinogenic effects of weak magnetic fields?

Juutilainen J, Herrala M, Luukkonen J, Naarala J, Hore PJ. Magnetocarcinogenesis: is there a mechanism for carcinogenic effects of weak magnetic fields? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. May 23, 2018.

Abstract

Extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields have been classified as possibly carcinogenic, mainly based on rather consistent epidemiological findings suggesting a link between childhood leukaemia and 50–60 Hz magnetic fields from power lines. However, causality is not the only possible explanation for the epidemiological associations, as animal and in vitro experiments have provided only limited support for carcinogenic effects of ELF magnetic fields. Importantly, there is no generally accepted biophysical mechanism that could explain such effects. In this review, we discuss the possibility that carcinogenic effects are based on the radical pair mechanism (RPM), which seems to be involved in magnetoreception in birds and certain other animals, allowing navigation in the geomagnetic field. We review the current understanding of the RPM in magnetoreception, and discuss cryptochromes as the putative magnetosensitive molecules and their possible links to cancer-relevant biological processes. We then propose a hypothesis for explaining the link between ELF fields and childhood leukaemia, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the current evidence, and make proposals for further research.


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Cytotoxicity of carboplatin on human glioblastoma cells is reduced by exposure to ELF EMF (50 Hz, 70 G)

Amiri M, Basiri M, Eskandary H, Akbarnejad Z, Esmaeeli M, Masoumi-Ardakani Y, Ahmadi-Zeidabadi M. Cytotoxicity of carboplatin on human glioblastoma cells is reduced by the concomitant exposure to an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (50 Hz, 70 G). Electromagn Biol Med. 2018 May 30:1-8. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2018.1477052.

Abstract
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant brain cancer that causes high mortality in patients. GBM responds weakly to the common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy and even surgery. Carboplatin is an alkylating agent widely used to treat cancer. However, resistance to this drug is a common problem in its use in cancer treatment. Concomitant exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) and carboplatin is one unexplored possibility for overcoming this resistance. Indeed, many lines of evidence show that EMF affects cancer cells and drug action. In this study, we evaluated the effect of concomitant administration of carboplatin and EMF (50 Hz, 70 G) and also concomitant administration of carboplatin and static magnetic field (SMF) (70 G) on human glioma cell line (U-87). The results showed that cotreatment reduced the efficiency of carboplatin in U-87 cells, by decreasing caspase-3 in comparison to drug groups. Overall, EMF reduced the apoptotic effect of carboplatin, possibly through a redox regulation mechanism. Therefore, we have to avoid coadministration of magnetic field (MF) and carboplatin in tumor area, because the MF decreased the toxicity of the drug. However, further studies are needed to reveal the action mechanism of this combination therapeutic method.


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Reanalysis of risks of childhood leukemia with distance from overhead power lines in the UK

Swanson J, Bunch K. Reanalysis of risks of childhood leukaemia with distance from overhead power lines in the UK. J Radiol Prot. 2018 May 30. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aac89a.

Abstract

Our previous study of childhood leukaemia and distance to high-voltage overhead power lines in the UK has been included in an international pooled analysis. That pooled analysis used different distance categories to us, which has focussed attention on the effect of that choice. We re-analyse our previous subjects, using finer distance categories. In the 1960s and 1970s, when we principally found an elevated risk, the risk did not fall monotonically with distance from the power line but had a maximum at 100-200 m. This weakens the evidence that any elevated risks are related to magnetic fields, and slightly strengthens the evidence for a possible effect involving residential mobility or other socioeconomic factors.