Monday, August 6, 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 EMF 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 complete 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

Association between parental occupational exposure to ELF magnetic fields and childhood nervous system tumors risk: A meta-analysis

Su L, Zhao C, Jin Y, Lei Y, Lu L, Chen G. Association between parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and childhood nervous system tumors risk: A meta-analysis. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Nov 15;642:1406-1414.
Highlights

• A meta-analysis identified 22 studies on parental occupational ELF-MF exposure and risk of childhood nervous system tumors.
• Parental occupational ELF-MF exposure was associated with increased risk of childhood CNS tumors but not neuroblastoma.
• Maternal but not paternal occupational ELF-MF exposure significantly increased risk of childhood CNS tumors.
Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Previous epidemiological studies suggested association between parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and risk of childhood nervous system tumors, but the results were inconsistent. We conducted a meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies to re-evaluate this association.

METHODS: Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed and Web of Science databases as well as by manual searching. Summary odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled with a fixed-effects or random-effects model.

RESULTS:  A total of 22 eligible articles (21 case-control studies and 1 cohort study) were included for the quantitative analysis. The results showed that parental occupational ELF-MF exposure was significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood nervous system tumors (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.02-1.21), and this association remained in studies on central nervous system (CNS) tumors (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.02-1.27) but not neuroblastoma (OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.92-1.14). Furthermore, maternal (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.05-1.23) but not paternal (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.98-1.13) occupational ELF-MF exposure significantly increased risk of childhood nervous system tumors. Increased risk of childhood CNS tumors was significant associated with maternal (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.06-1.26) but not paternal (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.98-1.34) occupational ELF-MF exposure.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our results provide limited evidence for the association between maternal occupational exposure to ELF-MF and increased risk of childhood CNS tumors, which should be explained with cautions. Future studies are needed to further evaluate the association of paternal occupational ELF-MF exposure with risk of childhood CNS tumors.

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The human skin as a sub-THz receiver - Does 5G pose a danger to it or not?

Betzalel N, Ben Ishai P, Feldman Y. The human skin as a sub-THz receiver - Does 5G pose a danger to it or not? Environ Res. 2018 May;163:208-216. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.032.

Highlights

• The sweat duct is regarded as a helical antenna in the sub-THz band, reflectance depends on perspiration.
• We outline the background for non-thermal effects based on the structure of sweat ducts.
• We have introduced a realistic skin EM model and found the expected SAR for the 5G standard.

Abstract

In the interaction of microwave radiation and human beings, the skin is traditionally considered as just an absorbing sponge stratum filled with water. In previous works, we showed that this view is flawed when we demonstrated that the coiled portion of the sweat duct in upper skin layer is regarded as a helical antenna in the sub-THz band. Experimentally we showed that the reflectance of the human skin in the sub-THz region depends on the intensity of perspiration, i.e. sweat duct's conductivity, and correlates with levels of human stress (physical, mental and emotional). Later on, we detected circular dichroism in the reflectance from the skin, a signature of the axial mode of a helical antenna. The full ramifications of what these findings represent in the human condition are still unclear. We also revealed correlation of electrocardiography (ECG) parameters to the sub-THz reflection coefficient of human skin. In a recent work, we developed a unique simulation tool of human skin, taking into account the skin multi-layer structure together with the helical segment of the sweat duct embedded in it. The presence of the sweat duct led to a high specific absorption rate (SAR) of the skin in extremely high frequency band. In this paper, we summarize the physical evidence for this phenomenon and consider its implication for the future exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum by wireless communication. Starting from July 2016 the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations above 24 GHz (5 G). This trend of exploitation is predicted to expand to higher frequencies in the sub-THz region. One must consider the implications of human immersion in the electromagnetic noise, caused by devices working at the very same frequencies as those, to which the sweat duct (as a helical antenna) is most attuned. We are raising a warning flag against the unrestricted use of sub-THz technologies for communication, before the possible consequences for public health are explored.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29459303

Excerpt

The need for high data transmission rates, coupled with advances in semiconductor technology, is pushing the communications industry towards the sub-THz frequency spectrum. While the promises of a glorious future, resplendent with semi-infinite data streaming, may be attractive, there is a price to pay for such luxury. We shall find our cities, workspace and homes awash with 5 G base stations and we shall live though an unprecedented EM smog. The benefits to our society of becoming so wired cannot ignore possible health concerns, as yet unexplored. There is enough evidence to suggest that the combination of the helical sweat duct and wavelengths approaching the dimensions of skin layers could lead to non-thermal biological effects. Such fears should be investigated and these concerns should also effect the definition of standards for the application of 5G communications.

Prior study:

Betzalel N, Feldman Y, Ishai PB. The Modeling of the Absorbance of Sub-THz Radiation by Human Skin. IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology 7(5):521-528. Sep 2017.

Abstract

In the near future, applications will come online that require data transmission in ultrahigh rates of 100 Gbit per second and beyond. In fact, the planning for new industry regulations for the exploitation of the sub-THz band are well advanced under the auspices of IEEE 802.15 Terahertz Interest Group. One aspect of this endeavor is to gauge the possible impact on human health by the expected explosion in commercial use of this band. It is, therefore, imperative to estimate the respective specific absorption rates of human tissues. In the interaction of microwave radiation and human beings, the skin is traditionally considered as just an absorbing sponge stratum filled with water. This approach is justified when the impinging wavelength is greater than the dimensions of the skin layer. However, in the sub-THz band this condition is violated. In 2008, we demonstrated that the coiled portion of the sweat duct in upper skin layer could be regarded as a helical antenna in the sub-THz band. The full ramifications of what these findings represent in the human condition are still very unclear, but it is obvious that the absorption of electromagnetic energy is governed by the topology for the skin and its organelles, especially the sweat duct.

Conclusion

The need for high data transmission rates, coupled with advances in semiconductor technology, is pushing the communications industry toward the sub-THz frequency spectrum. While this is a relatively underutilized area of the EM spectrum, it does come with a price. The affinity of atmospheric absorption in this band means that many small short range and relatively powerful transmitters will be required for decent coverage. The results of our study emphasize that rather than gallop toward these solutions with abandon, the human health implications must be considered first, as wavelengths approach the dimensions of skin-based features. The results point to the dominant role of the sweat duct in EM skin absorbance. We can conclude and say that if the new regime of WLAN communication, the 5G standard, will happen in the next years, the concern regarding biological influence on the human body should be considered.


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Effects of EMF exposure on the antioxidant defense system

Kıvrak EG, Yurt KK, Kaplan AA, Alkan I, Altun G. Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidant defense system. J Microsc Ultrastruct. 2017 Oct-Dec;5(4):167-176.

Abstract

Technological devices have become essential components of daily life. However, their deleterious effects on the body, particularly on the nervous system, are well known. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) have various chemical effects, including causing deterioration in large molecules in cells and imbalance in ionic equilibrium. Despite being essential for life, oxygen molecules can lead to the generation of hazardous by-products, known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), during biological reactions. These reactive oxygen species can damage cellular components such as proteins, lipids and DNA. Antioxidant defense systems exist in order to keep free radical formation under control and to prevent their harmful effects on the biological system. Free radical formation can take place in various ways, including ultraviolet light, drugs, lipid oxidation, immunological reactions, radiation, stress, smoking, alcohol and biochemical redox reactions. Oxidative stress occurs if the antioxidant defense system is unable to prevent the harmful effects of free radicals. Several studies have reported that exposure to EMF results in oxidative stress in many tissues of the body. Exposure to EMF is known to increase free radical concentrations and traceability and can affect the radical couple recombination. The purpose of this review was to highlight the impact of oxidative stress on antioxidant systems.


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Non-ionizing EMF hazard in the 21th century

Koh WJ, Moochhala SM. Non-ionizing EMF hazard in the 21th century. 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and 2018 IEEE Asia-Pacific Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC/APEMC).

Abstract

With the fast advancement in technologies and the heavy reliance on wireless devices, we are exposed to ever increasing electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from home to office to public places. The two most widely referenced standards for non-ionizing EMF radiation protection - IEEE C95.1 and ICNIRP - were last updated in 2005 and 1998 respectively. A comparison of the two standards with the Russian standard shows that the Russian maximum permissible exposure (MPE) is 41 and 5.8 times lower in terms of electric field strength at 1MHz respectively. Despite numerous tests showing potential hazards to humans from radiation levels below the MPE levels stated in ICNIRP guidelines and C95.1, ICNIRP and IEEE continue to ignore calls by scientists to review their MPE levels. This paper addresses the current and future trends in communication and wireless technologies and their impact on the EMF radiation level that the general public will be exposed to. Studies on biological effects due to EMF radiation carried out over the last 20+ years will also be discussed. Based on the effects of these studies from radiation levels well below the MPE in C95.1 and ICNIRP guidelines, this paper recommends a review of the current safety levels.

Conclusion

With the fast advancement in telecommunication and wireless technologies and the heavy reliance on AC and DC power supplies, we will be constantly and increasingly exposed to EMF everywhere we go, including where we sleep. Based on the findings from numerous EM-Bio effect studies, it is evident that non-thermal and low radiation level (below MPE levels specified in C95.1 and ICNIRP guidelines) EMF could have significant effects on human body. it should be mentioned here that very specific exposure conditions may trigger biological response in one individual, but not in others. And some may take longer time than others for the symptoms to appear. Any health safety standard must protect not just those who are healthy but include those in poor health, the young and the pregnant women.

WHO's decision to classify mobile phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic came more than 20 years after mobile phones were introduced. Should we wait another 20 years for severe biological effects to show up and then regret that we did not do something earlier? We hope IEEE and ICNIRP can seriously consider potential effects from long term exposure of EMF radiation and review their MPE levels as soon as possible. If the committees still think that the results are inconclusive, then they may want to define a set of objective specific testing protocols so scientists and researchers can work on it to produce clear and definitive results.


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Longitudinal associations between risk appraisal of base stations for mobile phones, radio or television and non-specific symptoms

Martens AL, Slottje P, Smid T, Kromhout H, Vermeulen RCH, Timmermans DRM. Longitudinal associations between risk appraisal of base stations for mobile phones, radio or television and non-specific symptoms. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 112:81-89. Sep 2018.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2018.07.008

Highlights

• We studied longitudinal associations in a general population cohort.
• Risk appraisal of base stations was associated with higher symptom scores.
• The results indicate the presence of bidirectional longitudinal associations.
• Female sex, younger age, higher education, were associated with high risk appraisal.

Abstract

Introduction: Studies found that higher risk appraisal of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is associated with reporting more non-specific symptoms such as headache and back pain. There is limited data available on the longitudinal nature of such associations and what aspects of risk appraisal and characteristics of subjects are relevant.

Objective: To examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between risk appraisal measures and non-specific symptoms, and assess the role of subject characteristics (sex, age, education, trait negative affect) in a general population cohort.

Methods: This study was nested in the Dutch general population AMIGO cohort that was established in 2011/2012, when participants were 31–65 years old. We studied a sample of participants (n = 1720) who filled in two follow-up questionnaires in 2013 and 2014, including questions about perceived exposure, perceived risk, and health concerns as indicators of risk appraisal of base stations, and non-specific symptoms.

Results: Perceived exposure, perceived risk, and health concerns, respectively, were associated with higher symptom scores in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Only health concerns (not perceived exposure and perceived risk) temporally preceded high symptom scores and vice versa. Female sex, younger age, higher education, and higher trait negative affect were associated with higher risk appraisal of mobile phone base stations.

Discussion: The findings in this study strengthen the evidence base for cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between higher risk appraisal and non-specific symptoms in the general population. However, the directionality of potential causal relations in non-sensitive general population samples should be examined further in future studies, providing information to the benefit of risk communication strategies.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022399918302058

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Exposure to GSM 900-MHz mobile radiation impaired inhibitory avoidance memory consolidation in rat: Involvements of opioidergic and nitrergic systems

Ahmadi S, Alavi SS, Jadidi M, Ardjmand A. Exposure to GSM 900-MHz mobile radiation impaired inhibitory avoidance memory consolidation in rat: Involvements of opioidergic and nitrergic systems. Brain Research. 1701:36-45. Dec 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2018.07.016.
Highlights

• Four weeks of exposure to GSM radiation impaired IA memory performance.\
• Post-training i.c.v. injections of naloxone recovered the impairment of IA memory.
• Pre-test i.c.v. injections of L-NAME impaired the positive effect of naloxone
• Pre-test co-administration of L-arginine and L-NAME recovered the impairment.
• Opioid and NO systems are involved in the effects of GSM exposure on IA memory.

Abstract

The use of mobile phones is increasing, and the main health concern is the possible deleterious effects of radiation on brain functioning. The present study aimed to examine the effects of exposure to a global system for mobile communication (GSM) with mobile phones on inhibitory avoidance (IA) memory performance as well as the involvement of endogenous opioids and nitric oxide (NO) in this task. Male Wistar rats, 10–12 weeks old, were used. The results showed that four weeks of mobile phone exposure impaired IA memory performance in rats. The results also revealed that post-training, but not pre-training, as well as pre-test intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of naloxone (0.4, 4 and 40 ng/rat), dose-dependently recovered the impairment of IA memory performance induced by GSM radiation. Additionally, the impairment of IA memory performance was completely recovered in the exposed animals with post-training treatment of naloxone (40 ng/rat) plus pre-test i.c.v. injections of L-arginine (100 and 200 nmol/rat). However, pre-test i.c.v. injections of L-NAME (10 and 20 nmol/rat), impaired IA memory performance in the animals receiving post-training naloxone (40 ng/rat). In the animals receiving post-training naloxone treatment, the impairment of IA memory performance due to pre-test i.c.v. injections of L-NAME was recovered by the pre-test co-administration of L-arginine. It was concluded that the recovery from impairment of IA memory in GSM-exposed animals with post-training naloxone treatment was the result of blockade of the opioidergic system in early memory consolidation as well as activation of the nitrergic system in the retrieval phase of memory.


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Evaluating temperature changes of brain tissue due to induced heating of cell phone waves

Forouharmajd F, Pourabdian S, Hossein E. Evaluating temperature changes of brain tissue due to induced heating of cell phone waves. Intl J Prev Med. 9:40. Apr 2018

Background: Worries have recently been increased in the absorption of radiofrequency waves and their destructing effects on human health by increasing use of cell phones (mobile phones). This study performed to determine the thermal changes due to mobile phone radio frequency waves in gray and white brain tissue. Methods: This study is an empirical study, where the thermal changes of electromagnetic waves resulted from cell phones (900 MHZ, specific absorption rate for head 1.18 w/kg) on the 15 brain tissue of a cow were analyzed in a compartment with three different thickness of 2 mm, 12 mm, and 22 mm, for 15 min. The Lutron thermometer (model: MT-917) with 0.01 degrees C precision was used for measuring the tissue temperature. For each thickness was measured three times. Data analysis is done by Lutron and MATLAB software packages. Results: In confronting of the tissue with the cell phone, the temperature was increased by 0.53 degrees C in the 2 mm thickness that is the gray matter of the brain, increased by 0.99 degrees C in the 12 mm thickness, and also increased by 0.92 degrees C in the 22 mm thickness. Brain temperature showed higher rates than the base temperature after 15 min of confrontation with cell phone waves in all the three thicknesses. Conclusions: Cell phone radiated radio frequency waves were effective on increasing brain tissue temperature, and this temperature increase has cumulative effect on the tissue, being higher, for some time after the confrontation than the time with no confrontation.


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Modeling tissue heating from exposure to RF energy & relevance of tissue heating to exposure limits

Foster, KR, Ziskin MC, Balzano Q; Bit-Babik G. Modeling Tissue Heating From Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy and Relevance of Tissue Heating to Exposure Limits: Heating Factor. Health Physics: 115(2):295-307. Aug 2018

Abstract

This review/commentary addresses recent thermal and electromagnetic modeling studies that use image-based anthropomorphic human models to establish the local absorption of radiofrequency energy and the resulting increase in temperature in the body. The frequency range of present interest is from 100 MHz through the transition frequency (where the basic restrictions in exposure guidelines change from specific absorption rate to incident power density, which occurs at 3–10 GHz depending on the guideline). Several detailed thermal modeling studies are reviewed to compare a recently introduced dosimetric quantity, the heating factor, across different exposure conditions as related to the peak temperature rise in tissue that would be permitted by limits for local body exposure. The present review suggests that the heating factor is a robust quantity that is useful for normalizing exposures across different simulation models. Limitations include lack of information about the location in the body where peak absorption and peak temperature increases occur in each exposure scenario, which are needed for careful assessment of potential hazards. To the limited extent that comparisons are possible, the thermal model (which is based on Pennes’ bioheat equation) agrees reasonably well with experimental data, notwithstanding the lack of theoretical rigor of the model and uncertainties in the model parameters. In particular, the blood flow parameter is both variable with physiological condition and largely determines the steady state temperature rise. We suggest an approach to define exposure limits above and below the transition frequency (the frequency at which the basic restriction changes from specific absorption rate to incident power density) to provide consistent levels of protection against thermal hazards. More research is needed to better validate the model and to improve thermal dosimetry in general. While modeling studies have considered the effects of variation in thickness of tissue layers, the effects of normal physiological variation in tissue blood flow have been relatively unexplored.


Conclusion

Advances in computational dosimetry and thermal modeling, reviewed in this paper, have filled in many details about the relation between psSAR and peak increase in temperature. These studies show that the heating factor is a robust measure of this relation. However, additional information is needed to assess potential thermal hazards of RF exposure, including the location and magnitude of the temperature increases in the body.

This present and two previous reviews in this series (Foster et al. 2016, 2017) show that thermal models can be useful for revising and updating RF exposure limits. While the theory that underlies the models, Pennes’ BHTE, is generally reliable, it is not exact. Thermal models for RF heating of tissue require additional experimental validation including effects of variability in tissue blood perfusion, possible thermoregulatory responses of the body to RF heating, and other factors. Finally, more experimental data are needed for thermal hazards of RF energy at frequencies above the threshold. Apart from thermal hazards, a comprehensive review of all reported biological effects of RF energy above the transition frequency in the standards is also needed.

Q.B., K.R.F, and M.Z. were supported in this project by Mobile and Wireless Forum, which did not review and had no control over preparation of this manuscript. The authors thank A. Hirata, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan, for providing results used to prepare Fig. 3, and Dr. Vitas Anderson and Dr. C-K Chou for helpful discussion of earlier drafts of this paper. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and are not to be attributed to Motorola Solutions or any of its operating companies.

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900 MHz GSM Cell Phone Radiation Alters Human MCF-7 Cells & Stem Cells

Shahbazi-Gahrouei D, Hashemi-Beni B, Moradi A, Aliakbari M, Shahbazi-Gahrouei S. Exposure to Global System for Mobile Communication 900 MHz Cellular Phone Radiofrequency Alters Growth, Proliferation and Morphology of Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Int J Prev Med. 2018 Jun 19;9:51.

Abstract

Background: Today, using cellular phone and its harmful effects in human life is growing. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the global system for mobile communication (GSM) 900 MHz cellular phone radiofrequency waves on growth, morphology, and proliferation rate of mesenchymal stem cells and Michigan Cancer Foundation (MCF-7) cells within the specific distance and intensity.

Methods: MCF-7 and human adipose-derived stem cells (HADSCs) were exposed to GSM cellular phones 900 MHz frequency with intensity of 354.6 μW/cm2 during different exposure times 6, 21, 51, and 101 min/day with an interval of 10 min for each subsequent radiation exposure for 3 and 5 days at 10 and 20 cm distances from antenna. 3-(4,5-dimethythiazol- 2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay and trypan blue test were used to determine the growth of cells and cell viability, respectively. Statistical analyses were carried out using three-way ANOVA. Differences were significant when P < 0.05.

Results: The proliferation rates of both MCF-7 and HADSCs cells in all exposure groups were significantly lower than controls (P < 0.05). There was a significant effect on the percentage of cell survival with increase the period of time from 3 to 5 days for MCF-7 (P < 0.01) and HADSCs (P = 0.02), respectively. Variations in distance had no significant effect on the percentage of cell survival (P = 0.35) on MCF-7 (P = 0.02) and HADSCs (P = 0.09) cells, respectively.

Conclusions: The results showed that radiation of GSM 900 MHz cellular phone may be reduced cell viability and proliferation rates of both cells. It is recommended to reduce exposure time, increase distance from antenna, and reserve the use of cell phones for shorter conversations to prevent its biological and harmful effects. Further studies with other intensities and frequencies on different cells are recommended.


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What is adverse effect of Wireless Local Area Network, using 2.45 GHz, on the reproductive system?

Bilgici B, Gun S, Avci B, Akar A, Engiz BK. What is adverse effect of Wireless Local Area Network, using 2.45 GHz, on the reproductive system? Int J Radiat Biol. 2018 Jul 20:1-25.

Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the inflammatory effect and testicular damage on rats exposed to low level of electromagnetic fields (EMF) at 2.45 GHz microwave radiation.

METHODS: Twenty two Wistar rats were divided into two groups. Group 1 was the control group and not exposed to EMF. Group 2 was exposed to low level EMF (average E-field 3.68± 0.36 V/m, whole body average SAR, 0.0233W/kg, in 10g tissue) at 2.45 GHz for 1 hour/day for 30 consecutive days. At the end of the study, interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), interleukin-32 (IL-32), C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in rat serum and IL-6, IL-10, IL-32 were measured in rat testis tissue. Furthermore, testicular tissues were evaluated histopathologically in terms of spermatogenesis and coagulation necrosis.

RESULTS:  Serum IL-6 and CRP levels were found to be significantly different in the study group compared to the control group (p < 0.05), but no significant difference was found in serum IL-10, IL-32 levels and testis tissue IL-6, IL-10, IL-32 levels compared to the control group (p > 0.05). On the other hand, histopathological evaluation of testicular tissue revealed a significant difference in necrosis and spermatogenesis when compared with the control group (p < 0.05) Conclusions: It may be concluded that low level EMF at 2.45 GHz increases inflammation and testicular damage and negative impact on male reproductive system function.


Excerpt:

In this study, Microwave system with monopole antenna (2004X-RF, Everest Co., Adapazari, Turkey) was used to produce the low level EMF at 2.45 GHz. Microwave radiation generator can radiate at 2.45 GHz frequency, with a range of 0-1 Watt output power, and produce continuous or pulsed (modulated at 217 Hz) radiation.

My note:  This study did not test Wi-Fi.

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DNA electromagnetic properties and interactions - An investigation on intrinsic bioelectromagnetism within DNA

Bukhari MH, Batool S, Raza Y, Bagasra O, Rizvi A, Shah A.DNA electromagnetic properties and interactions - An investigation on intrinsic bioelectromagnetism within DNA. Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine. Jul 19, 2018.
https://doi.org/10.1080/15368378.2018.1499032.

Abstract

The question whether intrinsic bioelectromagnetism exists within DNA or not is an important and so far unexplored area of biology. We carried out a study of isolated genetic material, utilizing both prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA, to measure any possible intrinsic electromagnetic effects or fields emanated within the molecules. Studies were carried out with extremely sensitive ultra-low-noise trans-impedance amplifiers and a high-precision data acquisition system to record any possible faintest electromagnetic signals from the concentrated, as well as diluted DNA, in vitro. Some experiments were performed to investigate any possible electromagnetic effects of high-frequency (HF) RF fields on the DNA under test. However, after extensive testing and careful measurements, we failed to detect any possible intrinsic or induced electromagnetic activity from the DNA as compared to simple water or empty chambers. We reached a conclusion that there does not seem to be any measurable intrinsic electromagnetic activity or fields present in the DNA material, whether in concentrated or diluted form, and if there were, any such activity or fields would be extremely minuscule to be detected with scientific precision by current human measurement methods.


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Exposure to 50 Hz Magnetic Fields in Homes and Areas Surrounding Urban Transformer Stations in Silla (Spain): Environmental Impact Assessment

Enrique A. Navarro-Camba EA , Segura-García J, Gomez-Perretta C. Exposure to 50 Hz Magnetic Fields in Homes and Areas Surrounding Urban Transformer Stations in Silla (Spain): Environmental Impact Assessment. Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2641; 27 July 2018. (This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Waves Pollution)

Abstract

Exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFs) is almost inevitable almost anywhere in the world. An ELF magnetic field (ELF-MF) of around 1 mG = 0.1 μT is typically measured in any home of the world with a certain degree of development and well-being. There is fear and concern about exposure to electromagnetic fields from high- and medium-voltage wiring and transformer stations, especially internal transformer stations (TSs), which in Spain are commonly located inside residential buildings on the ground floor. It is common for neighbors living near these stations to ask for stations to be moved away from their homes, and to ask for information about exposure levels and their effects. Municipality is the closest administration to the citizens that must solve this situation, mediating between the citizens, the utility companies and the national administration. In this case, the municipality of Silla (València, Spain) wanted to know the levels of exposure in the dwellings annexed to the TSs, to compare them with Spanish legislation and the recommendations coming from epidemiological studies. This article presents the first systematic campaign of ELF-MF measurements from TSs carried out in a Spanish city. Many measurements were carried out in the rooms of the apartments doing spatial averages of spatial grid measurements. Measurements are made in the bed and bedrooms and a weighted average and an environmental impact indicator were obtained for each location. We found that old TSs usually provide the highest peak exposure levels. A notable result of this work is that approximately one quarter of the population living above or next to a TS would be exposed to a weighted MF level greater than 0.3 μT, and that about a 10% of this population would not be able to relocate their bedroom or living room to minimize the level of exposure.

Open access paper:
http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/8/2641

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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.

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.
Conclusion

Exposure to high magnetic fields in residential situations occurs in proximity to appliances, especially microwave ovens, conductive water pipes, meter boxes, and wiring, as well as external sources such as power lines, transformers and substations. Emissions of some appliances exceeded the general public exposure levels of the ICNIRP exposure guideline. However, there is no conclusive proof that electromagnetic fields cause health problems. Taking precautions, such as increasing distance from sources can significantly reduce exposures. In this work, we analyzed the power frequency magnetic fields using 3163 datasets from 100 houses in Australia. Our work provides a model for future surveys, especially for epidemiological studies. This work also will be useful to householders to understand the typical magnetic field strength to which they are exposed everyday. Future surveys could be conducted with larger samples, to verify our observations and to correlate these exposures with symptoms experienced by householders. Future studies could also consider measurements of radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices in the home.

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Millitesla magnetic field effects on the photocycle of an animal cryptochrome
Sheppard DM, Li J, Henbest KB, Neil SR, Maeda K, Storey J, Schleicher E, Biskup T, Rodriguez R, Weber S, Hore PJ, Timmel CR, Mackenzie SR. Millitesla magnetic field effects on the photocycle of an animal cryptochrome. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 8;7:42228. doi: 10.1038/srep42228.

Abstract

Drosophila have been used as model organisms to explore both the biophysical mechanisms of animal magnetoreception and the possibility that weak, low-frequency anthropogenic electromagnetic fields may have biological consequences. In both cases, the presumed receptor is cryptochrome, a protein thought to be responsible for magnetic compass sensing in migratory birds and a variety of magnetic behavioural responses in insects. Here, we demonstrate that photo-induced electron transfer reactions in Drosophila melanogaster cryptochrome are indeed influenced by magnetic fields of a few millitesla. The form of the protein containing flavin and tryptophan radicals shows kinetics that differ markedly from those of closely related members of the cryptochrome-photolyase family. These differences and the magnetic sensitivity of Drosophila cryptochrome are interpreted in terms of the radical pair mechanism and a photocycle involving the recently discovered fourth tryptophan electron donor.


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6-mT 0-120-Hz magnetic fields differentially affect cellular ATP levels


Wang D, Zhang L, Shao G, Yang S, Tao S, Fang K, Zhang X. 6-mT 0-120-Hz magnetic fields differentially affect cellular ATP levels. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Aug 3. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2868-3.

Abstract

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an indispensable molecule that provides energy for essentially all cellular processes, has been shown to be affected by some magnetic fields (MFs). Although people are frequently exposed to various static and power frequency MFs in their daily lives, the exact effects of these MFs of different frequencies have not been systematically investigated. Here, we tested 6-mT MFs with 0, 50, and 120 Hz for their effects on cellular ATP levels in 11 different cell lines. We found that the 6-mT static magnetic field (SMF) either does not affect or increase cellular ATP levels, while 6-mT 50-Hz MF either does not affect or decrease cellular ATP levels. In contrast, 6-mT 120-Hz MF has variable effects. We examined the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) in four different cell lines, but did not find their direct correlation with ATP levels. Although none of the ATP level changes induced by these three different frequencies of 6-mT MFs are dramatic, these results may be used to explain some differential cellular responses of various cell lines to different frequency MFs.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30074140

Excerpt

In conclusion, although the ATP level changes induced by 6-mT MFs are not dramatic, the exact effects are cell type-, MF frequency-, and time-dependent. These may help to explain some observed cellular phenomenon of low-frequency MFs. Given the prevalence of power frequency and SMF exposure for human bodies, such as the MFs generated by electric power lines, home appliance, and household items, people should be aware of their potential effects on cellular ATP, which is the foundation of many cellular processes.


Two important papers from the last research update

Thermal and non-thermal health effects of low intensity non-ionizing radiation: An international perspective

Belpomme D, Hardell, L, Belyaev I, Burgio E, Carpenter DO. Thermal and non-thermal health effects of low intensity non-ionizing radiation: An international perspective. Environ Pollut. 2018 Jul 6;242(Pt A):643-658. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.07.019.

Highlights

• Exposure to electromagnetic fields has increased dramatically.
• Electromagnetic fields at low and non-thermal intensities increase risk of cancer in animals and humans.
• Some individuals are particularly sensitive and develop a syndrome of electrohypersensitivity.
• There is an urgent need to recognize hazards associated with excessive exposure to non-thermal levels of electromagnetic fields.

Abstract

Exposure to low frequency and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields at low intensities poses a significant health hazard that has not been adequately addressed by national and international organizations such as the World Health Organization. There is strong evidence that excessive exposure to mobile phone-frequencies over long periods of time increases the risk of brain cancer both in humans and animals. The mechanism(s) responsible include induction of reactive oxygen species, gene expression alteration and DNA damage through both epigenetic and genetic processes. In vivo and in vitro studies demonstrate adverse effects on male and female reproduction, almost certainly due to generation of reactive oxygen species. There is increasing evidence the exposures can result in neurobehavioral decrements and that some individuals develop a syndrome of "electro-hypersensitivity" or "microwave illness", which is one of several syndromes commonly categorized as "idiopathic environmental intolerance". While the symptoms are non-specific, new biochemical indicators and imaging techniques allow diagnosis that excludes the symptoms as being only psychosomatic. Unfortunately standards set by most national and international bodies are not protective of human health. This is a particular concern in children, given the rapid expansion of use of wireless technologies, the greater susceptibility of the developing nervous system, the hyperconductivity of their brain tissue, the greater penetration of radiofrequency radiation relative to head size and their potential for a longer lifetime exposure.


Final section of the paper:

Public Health Implications of Human Exposure to EMFs

The incidence of brain cancer in children and adolescents has increased between 2000 and 2010 (Ostrom et al., 2015). Gliomas are increasing in the Netherlands (Ho et al., 2014), glioblastomas are increasing in Australia (Dobes et al., 2011) and England (Philips et al., 2018) and all brain cancers are increasing in Spain (Etxeberrua et al., 2015) and Sweden (Hardell and Carlberg, 2017). The latency period between initial exposure and clinical occurrence of brain cancer is not known but is estimated to be long. While not all reports of brain cancer rates show an increase, some do. The continually increasing exposure to EMFs from all sources may contribute to these increases. The prevalence of EHS is unknown, but various reports suggest that it is between 1 and 10% of the population (Hallberg and Oberfeld, 2006; Huang et al., 2018). Male fertility has been declining (Geoffroy-Siraudin et al., 2012; Levine et al., 2017). EMFs increase the risk of each of these diseases and others. Alzheimer's disease is increasing in many countries worldwide and its association with ELF-EMF occupational exposure has been clearly demonstrated through several independent epidemiological studies (Davanipour and Sobel, 2009; Sobel et al., 1996; Qiu et al., 2004) and a meta-analysis of these studies (García et al., 2008). A recent meta-analysis (Huss et al., 2018) has reported an increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in workers occupationally exposure to ELF-EMFs.

Safety limits for RF exposure have been based (until today) on the thermal effects of EMFs. But these standards do not protect people, particularly children, from the deleterious health effects of non-thermal EMFs (Nazıroğlu et al., 2013; Mahmoudabadi et al., 2015). Each of these diseases is associated with decrements in health and quality of life. Brain cancer patients often die is spite of some improvement in treatment, while EHS patients present with increased levels of distress, inability to work, and progressive social withdrawal. The ability for humans to reproduce is fundamental for the maintenance of our species.

The scientific evidence for harm from EMFs is increasingly strong. We do not advocate going back to the age before electricity or wireless communication, but we deplore the present failure of public health international bodies to recognize the scientific data showing the adverse effects of EMFs on human health. It is encouraging that some governments are taking action. France has removed WiFi from pre-schools and ordered Wi-Fi to be shut off in elementary schools when not in use (
http://www.telegraph.co.uk.news/2017/12/11/france-ipose-total-ban-mobile-phones-schools/). The State of California Department of Public Health has issued a warning on use of mobile phones and offered advice on how to reduce exposure (State of California, 2017). There are many steps that are neither difficult nor expensive that can be taken to use modern technology but in a manner that significally reduces threats to human health.

It is urgent that national and international bodies, particularly the WHO, take this significant public health hazard seriously and make appropriate recommendations for protective measures to reduce exposures. This is especially urgently needed for children and adolescents. It is also important that all parts of society, especially the medical community, educators, and the general public, become informed about the hazards associated with exposure to EMFs and of the steps that can be easily taken to reduce exposure and risk of associated disease.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30025338

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Cohort study of adolescents' memory performance & brain dose of microwave radiation from wireless EMF

Foerster M., Thielens A., Joseph W., Eeftens M., Röösli M. (2018) A prospective cohort study of adolescents' memory performance and individual brain dose of microwave radiation from wireless communication. Environmental Health Perspectives.
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/ehp2747

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The potential impact of microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by wireless communication devices on neurocognitive functions of adolescents is controversial. In a previous analysis, we found changes in figural memory scores associated with a higher cumulative RF-EMF brain dose in adolescents.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to follow-up our previous results using a new study population, dose estimation, and approach to controlling for confounding from media usage itself.

METHODS: RF-EMF brain dose for each participant was modeled. Multivariable linear regression models were fitted on verbal and figural memory score changes over 1 y and on estimated cumulative brain dose and RF-EMF related and unrelated media usage (n=669–676). Because of the hemispheric lateralization of memory, we conducted a laterality analysis for phone call ear preference. To control for the confounding of media use behaviors, a stratified analysis for different media usage groups was also conducted.

RESULTS: We found decreased figural memory scores in association with an interquartile range (IQR) increase in estimated cumulative RF-EMF brain dose scores: −0:22 (95% CI: −0:47, 0.03; IQR: 953 mJ=kg per day) in the whole sample, −0:39 (95% CI: −0:67, −0:10; IQR: 953 mJ=kg per day) in right-side users (n=532), and −0:26 (95% CI: −0:42, −0:10; IQR: 341 mJ=kg per day) when recorded network operator data were used for RF-EMF dose estimation (n=274). Media usage unrelated to RF-EMF did not show significant associations or consistent patterns, with the exception of consistent (nonsignificant) positive associations between data traffic duration and verbal memory.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings for a cohort of Swiss adolescents require confirmation in other populations but suggest a potential adverse effect of of RF-EMF brain dose on cognitive functions that involve brain regions mostly exposed during mobile phone use.
https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2427

Conclusion

We found preliminary evidence suggesting that RF-EMF may affect brain functions such as figural memory in regions that are most exposed during mobile phone use. Our findings do not provide conclusive evidence of causal effects and should be interpreted with caution until confirmed in other populations. Associations with media use parameters with low RF-EMF exposures did not provide clear or consistent support of effects of media use unrelated to RF-EMF (with the possible exception of consistent positive associations between verbal memory and data traffic duration). It is not yet clear which brain processes could be potentially affected and what biophysical mechanism may play a role. Potential long-term risk can be minimized by avoiding high brain-exposure situations as occurs when using a mobile phone with maximum power close to the ear because of, for example, bad network quality.

Original study from 2015:
Schoeni A., Roser K., Röösli M. (2015) Memory performance, wireless communication and exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: a prospective cohort study in adolescents. Environmental International. 85: 343-351.

Highlights

• This is a prospective cohort study with approx. one year of follow-up.
• Self-reported and operator recorded mobile phone use data were collected.
• The cumulative RF-EMF dose for the brain and for the whole body was calculated.
• Associations were stronger for RF-EMF dose than for use of wireless devices.
• RF-EMF exposure might impair memory performance in adolescents.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:  The aim of this study is to investigate whether memory performance in adolescents is affected by radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from wireless device use or by the wireless device use itself due to non-radiation related factors in that context.

METHODS:  We conducted a prospective cohort study with 439 adolescents. Verbal and figural memory tasks at baseline and after one year were completed using a standardized, computerized cognitive test battery. Use of wireless devices was inquired by questionnaire and operator recorded mobile phone use data was obtained for a subgroup of 234 adolescents. RF-EMF dose measures considering various factors affecting RF-EMF exposure were computed for the brain and the whole body. Data were analysed using a longitudinal approach, to investigate whether cumulative exposure over one year was related to changes in memory performance. All analyses were adjusted for relevant confounders.

RESULTS:  The kappa coefficients between cumulative mobile phone call duration and RF-EMF brain and whole body dose were 0.62 and 0.67, respectively for the whole sample and 0.48 and 0.28, respectively for the sample with operator data. In linear exposure-response models an interquartile increase in cumulative operator recorded mobile phone call duration was associated with a decrease in figural memory performance score by -0.15 (95% CI: -0.33, 0.03) units. For cumulative RF-EMF brain and whole body dose corresponding decreases in figural memory scores were -0.26 (95% CI: -0.42, -0.10) and -0.40 (95% CI: -0.79, -0.01), respectively. No exposure-response associations were observed for sending text messages and duration of gaming, which produces tiny RF-EMF emissions.

CONCLUSIONS:  A change in memory performance over one year was negatively associated with cumulative duration of wireless phone use and more strongly with RF-EMF dose. This may indicate that RF-EMF exposure affects memory performance.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412015300659?via%3Dihub