Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hybrid & Electric Cars: Electromagnetic Radiation Risks

Hybrid and electric cars may be cancer-causing as they emit extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). Recent studies of the EMF emitted by these automobiles have claimed either that they pose a cancer risk for the vehicles' occupants or that they are safe.

Unfortunately, much of the research conducted on this issue has been industry-funded by companies with vested interests on one side of the issue or the other which makes it difficult to know which studies are trustworthy. 

Meanwhile, numerous peer-reviewed laboratory studies conducted over several decades have found biologic effects from limited exposures to ELF EMF. These studies suggest that the EMF guidelines established by the self-appointed, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) are inadequate to protect our health. Based upon the research, more than 230 EMF experts have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal which calls on the World Health Organization to establish stronger guidelines for ELF and radio frequency EMF. Thus, even if EMF measurements comply with the ICNIRP guidelines, occupants of hybrid and electric cars may still be at increased risk for cancer and other health problems. 

Given that magnetic fields have been considered "possibly carcinogenic" in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization since 2001, the precautionary principle dictates that we should design consumer products to minimize consumers’ exposure to ELF EMF. This especially applies to hybrid and electric automobiles as drivers and passengers spend considerable amounts of time in these vehicles, and health risks increase with the duration of exposure.

In January, 2014, SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia, proposed manufacturing design guidelines that could reduce the magnetic fields in electric vehicles (see below).  All automobile manufacturers should follow these guidelines to ensure their customers' safety. 

The public should demand that governments adequately fund high-quality research on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation that is independent of industry to eliminate any potential conflicts of interest. In the U.S., a major national research and education initiative could be funded with as little as a 5 cents a month fee on mobile phone subscribers.

Following are summaries and links to recent studies and news articles on this topic. 


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Radiofrequencies in cars: A public health threat

According to Theodore P. Metsis, Ph.D., an electrical, mechanical, and environmental engineer from Athens, Greece, modern conventional gas- and diesel-powered automobiles incorporate many EMF-emitting devices.
"EMFs in a car in motion with brakes applied + ABS activation may well exceed 100 mG. Adding RF radiation from blue tooth, Wi Fi, the cell phones of the passengers, the 4G antennas laid out all along the major roads plus the radars of cars already equipped with, located behind, left or right of a vehicle, the total EMF and EMR fields will exceed any limits humans can tolerate over a long period of time." 
http://www.radiationdangers.com/automotive-radiation/automotive-radiation/





PDF of Dr. Metsis' graphics (2 pages): http://bit.ly/RFcarsMetsis

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Electric cars and EMI with cardiac implantable electronic devices: 
A cross-sectional evaluation

Lennerz C, O'Connor M, Horlbeck L, Michel J, Weigand S, Grebmer C, Blazek P, Brkic A, Semmler V, Haller B, Reents T, Hessling G, Deisenhofer I, Whittaker P, Lienkamp M, Kolb C. Letter: Electric cars and electromagnetic interference with cardiac implantable electronic devices: A cross-sectional evaluation. Annals of Internal Medicine. Apr 24, 2018.

No Abstract
Excerpts
Cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are considered standard care for bradycardia, tachycardia, and heart failure. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can disrupt normal function … Electric cars represent a potential source of EMI. However, data are insufficient to determine their safety or whether their use should be restricted in patients with CIEDs.
Objective: To assess whether electric cars cause EMI and subsequent CIED dysfunction.
Methods and Findings: We approached 150 consecutive patients with CIEDs seen in our electrophysiology clinic … 40 patients declined to participate, and 2 withdrew consent … Participants were assigned to 1 of 4 electric cars with the largest European market share…we excluded hybrid vehicles.
Participants sat in the front seat while cars ran on a roller test bench … Participants then charged the same car in which they had sat. Finally, investigators drove the cars on public roads.
Field strength was generally highest during charging (30.1 to 116.5 µT) and increased as the charging current increased. Exposure during charging was at least an order of magnitude greater than that measured within 5 cm of the CIED in the front seat (2.0 to 3.6 µT). Field strength did not differ between the front and back seats. Peak field strength measured outside the cars ranged between the values measured during charging and those measured within the cars during testing … Field strength measured inside the cars during road driving was similar to that measured during test bench studies.
We found no evidence of EMI with CIEDs ...The electrocardiographic recorder did observe EMI, but CIED function and programming were unaffected.
Our sample was too small to detect rare events ... Nevertheless, other evidence supports a lack of EMI with CIEDs. Magnetic fields are generated in gasoline-powered vehicles if the vehicles' steel-belted tires are magnetized (3); average fields of approximately 20 µT were reported in the back seat of 12 models, and those as high as 97 µT were reported close to the tires (4). Similar values were reported in electric trains and trams (5). The lack of anecdotal reports of CIED malfunction associated with such transportation is consistent with our findings.
Electric cars seem safe for patients with CIEDs, and restrictions do not appear to be required. However, we recommend vigilance to monitor for rare events, especially those associated with charging and proposed “supercharging” technology.



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Evaluating ELF magnetic fields 
in the rear seats of electric vehicles


Lin J, Lu M, Wu T, Yang L, Wu T. Evaluating extremely low frequency magnetic fields in the rear seats of the electric vehicles. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2018 Mar 23. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncy048.

Abstract
In the electric vehicles (EVs), children can sit on a safety seat installed in the rear seats. Owing to their smaller physical dimensions, their heads, generally, are closer to the underfloor electrical systems where the magnetic field (MF) exposure is the greatest. In this study, the magnetic flux density (B) was measured in the rear seats of 10 different EVs, for different driving sessions. We used the measurement results from different heights corresponding to the locations of the heads of an adult and an infant to calculate the induced electric field (E-field) strength using anatomical human models. The results revealed that measured B fields in the rear seats were far below the reference levels by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Although small children may be exposed to higher MF strength, induced E-field strengths were much lower than that of adults due to their particular physical dimensions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29584925 
Excerpts
Small children and infants sitting in a safety seat at the rear part of the vehicle is a common occurrence. Children have smaller physical dimensions and, thus, their heads are generally much closer to the car floor, where the MF strength has been reported to be higher due to tire magnetization and the operation of the underfloor electrical systems (6, 7). The matter of children being potentially subject to greater magnetic field exposure may be relevant as leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer (8). In particular, Ahlbom et al. (9) and Greenland et al. (10) indicated that the exposure to 50 and 60 Hz MF exceeding 0.3–0.4 μT may result in an increased risk for childhood leukemia although a satisfactory causal relationship has not yet been reliably demonstrated. Also, it was reported that a combination of weak, steady and alternating MF could modify the radical concentration, which had the potential to lead to biologically significant changes (11).
... the B field values measured at location #4 (floor in from of rear seat) were the highest, followed by values from location #3 (rear seat cushion), #2 (child’s head position) and #1 (adult’s head position) (p < 0.012, α = 0.05/3 = 0.017). There was a significant difference between the driving scenarios (F(3, 117) = 3.72, p = 0.013). The acceleration and deceleration scenarios generated higher B fields compared with the stationary and the 40 km/h driving scenarios (p < 0.01, α = 0.05/3 = 0.017) while no difference was identified between acceleration and deceleration (p = 0.16).
... The results demonstrate that the induced E-field strength was lower for the infant model compared with that of the adult in terms of both the head and body as a whole.
The infant was reported to have higher electrical conductivity (29) but there was no database dedicated to the infant. Furthermore, below 1 MHz, the database was hard to be measured and the uncertainty was large (30). Therefore, we would not include the issue in the study.

Although several SCs (spectral components) on higher frequencies have been observed (can spread to 1.24 kHz), the spectral analysis revealed that the SCs concentrated on bands below 1000 Hz. The EVs under test used aluminum alloy wheel rims, which have low magnetic permeability. However, the steel wire in the reinforcing belts of radial tires pick up magnetic fields from the terrestrial MF. When the tires spin, the magnetized steel wire in the reinforcing belts generates ELF MF usually below 20 Hz, that can exceed 2.0 μT at seat level in the passenger compartment (6). The measurement did not identify the ELF MF by different sources because the purpose of the study was to investigate the realistic exposure scenario for the occupants. To note, degaussing the tires or using the fiberglass belted tires can eliminate this effect and provide the MF results solely introduced by the operation of the electrified system.

ICNIRP proposed guidelines to evaluate the compliance of the non-sinusoidal signal exposure(3). The measurements rendered the maximal B field at the level of one-tenth to several μT, far below the reference level of the guidelines (e.g. 200 μT for 20–400 Hz). The similar non-sinusoidal MF signal magnitudes can only account for 6–10% of the reference levels according to the previous reports(32). However, as noted in the Introduction, ‘… 50 and 60 Hz MF exceeding 0.3–0.4 μT may result in an increased risk for childhood leukemia’. Therefore, it is necessary to measure the MF in the EVs to limit the exposure and for the purpose of epidemiological studies.
In this study, we measured ELF MF in the rear seats of ten types of EVs. The measurements were performed for four different driving scenarios. The measurement results were analyzed to determine the worst-case scenario and those values were used for simulations. We made numerical simulations to compare the induced E-field strength due to the physical difference between children and adults using detailed anatomical models. The results support the contention that the MF in the EVs that we tested was far below the reference levels of the ICNIRP guidelines. Furthermore, our findings show that children would not be more highly exposed compared to adults when taking into consideration of their physical differences. However, the measurement results indicated that further studies should be performed to elucidate the concerns on the incidence of the childhood leukemia for infant and child occupants.
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Evaluation of electromagnetic exposure during 85 kHz wireless power transfer 
for electric vehicles

SangWook Park. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Exposure During 85 kHz Wireless Power Transfer for Electric Vehicles. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics. Volume: PP, Issue: 99. Sep 1, 2017. 10.1109/TMAG.2017.2748498

Abstract
The external fields in the proximity of electric vehicle (EV) wireless power transfer (WPT) systems requiring high power may exceed the limits of international safety guidelines. This study presents dosimetric results of an 85 kHz WPT system for electric vehicles. A WPT system for charging EVs is designed and dosimetry for the system is evaluated for various exposure scenarios: a human body in front of the WPT system without shielding, with shielding, with alignment and misalignment between transmitter and receiver, and with a metal plate on the system for vehicle mimic floor pan. The minimum accessible distances in compliance are investigated for various transmitting powers. The maximum allowable transmitting power are also investigated with the limits of international safety guidelines and the dosimetric results.
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8024022/
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Electric and magnetic fields <100 KHz in electric and gasoline-powered vehicles

Tell RA, Kavet R. Electric and magnetic fields <100 KHz in electric and gasoline-powered vehicles. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2016 Dec;172(4):541-546.
Abstract
Measurements were conducted to investigate electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) from 120 Hz to 10 kHz and 1.2 to 100 kHz in 9 electric or hybrid vehicles and 4 gasoline vehicles, all while being driven. The range of fields in the electric vehicles enclosed the range observed in the gasoline vehicles. Mean magnetic fields ranged from nominally 0.6 to 3.5 µT for electric/hybrids depending on the measurement band compared with nominally 0.4 to 0.6 µT for gasoline vehicles. Mean values of electric fields ranged from nominally 2 to 3 V m-1 for electric/hybrid vehicles depending on the band, compared with 0.9 to 3 V m-1 for gasoline vehicles. In all cases, the fields were well within published exposure limits for the general population. The measurements were performed with Narda model EHP-50C/EHP-50D EMF analysers that revealed the presence of spurious signals in the EHP-50C unit, which were resolved with the EHP-50D model.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26769905
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Passenger exposure to magnetic fields due to the batteries of an electric vehicle

Pablo Moreno-Torres Concha; Pablo Velez; Marcos Lafoz; Jaime R. Arribas. Passenger Exposure to Magnetic Fields due to the Batteries of an Electric Vehicle. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. 65(6):4564-4571. Jun 2016.
Abstract
In electric vehicles, passengers sit very close to an electric system of significant power. The high currents achieved in these vehicles mean that the passengers could be exposed to significant magnetic fields (MFs). One of the electric devices present in the power train are the batteries. In this paper, a methodology to evaluate the MF created by these batteries is presented. First, the MF generated by a single battery is analyzed using finite-elements simulations. Results are compared with laboratory measurements, which are taken from a real battery, to validate the model. After this, the MF created by a complete battery pack is estimated, and results are discussed.
Conclusion
Passengers inside an EV could be exposed to MFs of considerable strength when compared with conventional vehicles or to other daily exposures (at home, in the office, in the street, etc.). In this paper, the MF created by the batteries of a particular electric car is evaluated from the human health point of view by means of finite-elements simulations, measurements, and a simple analytical approximation, obtaining an upper bound for the estimated MF generated by a given battery pack. These results have been compared with ICNIRP's recommendations concerning exposure limitation to low-frequency MFs, finding that the field generated by this particular battery pack should be below ICNIRP's field reference levels, and conclusions concerning the influence of the switching frequency have been drawn. Finally, some discussion regarding other field sources within the vehicle and different vehicles designs has been presented. Due to the wide variety of both available EVs and battery stacks configurations, it is recommended that each vehicle model should be individually assessed regarding MF exposure.
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=7297855

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Magnetic field exposure assessment in electric vehicles


Vassilev A et al. Magnetic Field Exposure Assessment in Electric Vehicles. IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility. 57(1):35-43. Feb 2015.
Abstract
This article describes a study of magnetic field exposure in electric vehicles (EVs). The magnetic field inside eight different EVs (including battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell types) with different motor technologies (brushed direct current, permanent magnet synchronous, and induction) were measured at frequencies up to 10 MHz. Three vehicles with conventional powertrains were also investigated for comparison. The measurement protocol and the results of the measurement campaign are described, and various magnetic field sources are identified. As the measurements show a complex broadband frequency spectrum, an exposure calculation was performed using the ICNIRP “weighted peak” approach. Results for the measured EVs showed that the exposure reached 20% of the ICNIRP 2010 reference levels for general public exposure near to the battery and in the vicinity of the feet during vehicle start-up, but was less than 2% at head height for the front passenger position. Maximum exposures of the order of 10% of the ICNIRP 2010 reference levels were obtained for the cars with conventional powertrains.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6915707/
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Characterization of ELF magnetic fields from diesel, gasoline and hybrid 
cars under controlled conditions

Hareuveny R, Sudan M, Halgamuge MN, Yaffe Y, Tzabari Y, Namir D, Kheifets L. Characterization of Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields from Diesel, Gasoline and Hybrid Cars under Controlled Conditions. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Jan 30;12(2):1651-1666.

Abstract
This study characterizes extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field (MF) levels in 10 car models.
Extensive measurements were conducted in three diesel, four gasoline, and three hybrid cars, under similar controlled conditions and negligible background fields.

Averaged over all four seats under various driving scenarios the fields were lowest in diesel cars (0.02 μT), higher for gasoline (0.04-0.05 μT) and highest in hybrids (0.06-0.09 μT), but all were in-line with daily exposures from other sources. Hybrid cars had the highest mean and 95th percentile MF levels, and an especially large percentage of measurements above 0.2 μT. These parameters were also higher for moving conditions compared to standing while idling or revving at 2500 RPM and higher still at 80 km/h compared to 40 km/h. Fields in non-hybrid cars were higher at the front seats, while in hybrid cars they were higher at the back seats, particularly the back right seat where 16%-69% of measurements were greater than 0.2 μT.

As our results do not include low frequency fields (below 30 Hz) that might be generated by tire rotation, we suggest that net currents flowing through the cars' metallic chassis may be a possible source of MF. Larger surveys in standardized and well-described settings should be conducted with different types of vehicles and with spectral analysis of fields including lower frequencies due to magnetization of tires.
Excerpts
Previous work suggests that major sources of MF in cars include the tires and electric currents [4,5]. The level of MF exposure depends on the position within the vehicle (e.g., proximity to the MF sources) and can vary with different operating conditions, as changes to engine load can induce MFs through changes in electric currents. Scientific investigations of the levels of MF in cars are sparse: only one study evaluated fields only in non-hybrid cars [6], two studies of hybrid cars have been carried out [4,7], and few studies have systematically compared exposures in both hybrid and non-hybrid cars [8,9,10,11,12], some based on a very small number of cars 
In hybrid cars, the battery is generally located in the rear of the car and the engine is located in the front. Electric current flows between these two points through cables that run underneath the passenger cabin of the car. This cable is located on the left for right-hand driving cars and on the right for left-hand driving cars. Although in principle the system uses direct current (DC), current from the alternator that is not fully rectified as well as changes to the engine load, and therefore the current level, can produce MFs which are most likely in the ELF range. While most non-hybrid cars have batteries that are located in the front, batteries in some of them are located in the rear of the car, with cables running to the front of the car for the electrical appliances on the dashboard. In this study, all gasoline and diesel cars had batteries located in the front of the car.
...the percent of time above 0.2 µT was the most sensitive parameter of the exposure. Overall, the diesel cars measured in this study had the lowest MF readings (geometric mean less than 0.02 μT), while the hybrid cars had the highest MF readings (geometric mean 0.05 μT). Hybrid cars had also the most unstable results, even after excluding outliers beyond the 5th and 95th percentiles. With regard to seat position, after adjusting for the specific car model, gasoline and diesel cars produced higher average MF readings in the front seats, while hybrid cars produced the highest MF readings in the back right seat (presumably due to the location of the battery). Comparing the different operating conditions, the highest average fields were found at 80 km/h, and the differences between operating conditions were most pronounced in the back right seat in hybrid cars. Whether during typical city or highway driving, we found lowest average fields for diesel cars and highest fields for hybrid cars.
Previous works suggest that the magnetization of rotating tires is the primary source of ELF MFs in non-hybrid cars [5,15]. However, the relatively strong fields (on the order of a few μT within the car) originating from the rotating tires are typically at 5–15 Hz frequencies, which are filtered by the EMDEX II meters. ....
Overall, the average MF levels measured in the cars’ seats were in the range of 0.04–0.09 μT (AM) and 0.02–0.05 μT (GM). These fields are well below the ICNIRP [17] guidelines for maximum general public exposure (which range from 200 μT for 40 Hz to 100 μT for 800 Hz), but given the complex environments in the cars, simultaneous exposure to non-sinusoidal fields at multiple frequencies must be carefully taken into account. Nevertheless, exposures in the cars are in the range of every day exposure from other sources. Moreover, given the short amount of time that most adults and children spend in cars (about 30 minutes per day based on a survey of children in Israel (unpublished data), the relative contribution of this source to the ELF exposure of the general public is small. However, these fields are in addition to other exposure sources. Our results might explain trends seen in other daily exposures: slightly higher average fields observed while travelling (GM = 0.096 μT) relative to in bed (GM = 0.052 μT) and home not in bed (GM = 0.080 μT) [1]. Similarly, the survey of children in Israel found higher exposure from transportation (GM = 0.092 µT) compared to mean daily exposures (GM = 0.059 µT). Occupationally, the GM of time-weighted average for motor vehicle drivers is 0.12 μT [18].
Open access paper: http://bit.ly/1u9lUTN
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Design guidelines to reduce the magnetic field in electric vehicles

SINTEF, Jan 6, 2014

Based on the measurements and on extensive simulation work the project arrived on the following design guidelines to, if necessary, minimize the magnetic field in electric vehicles.

Cables
  • For any DC cable carrying significant amount of current, it should be made in the form of a twisted pair so that the currents in the pair always flow in the opposite directions. This will minimise its EMF emission.
  • For three-phase AC cables, three wires should be twisted and made as close as possible so as to minimise its EMF emission.
  • All power cables should be positioned as far away as possible from the passenger seat area, and their layout should not form a loop. If cable distance is less than 200mm away from the passenger seats, some forms of shielding should be adopted.
  • A thin layer of ferromagnetic shield is recommended as this is cost-effective solution for the reduction of EMF emission as well EMI emission.
  • Where possible, power cables should be laid such a way that they are separated from the passenger seat area by a steel sheet, e.g., under a steel metallic chassis, or inside a steel trunk.
Motors
  • Where possible, the motor should be installed farther away from the passenger seat area, and its rotation axis should not point to the seat region.
  • If weight permits, the motor housing should be made of steel, rather than aluminium, as the former has a much better shielding effect.
  • If the distance of the motor and passenger seat area is less than 500mm, some forms of shielding should be employed. For example, a steel plate could be placed between the motor and the passenger seat region
  • Motor housing should be electrically well connected to the vehicle metallic chassis to minimise any electrical potential.
  • Inverter and motor should be mounted as close as possible to each other to minimise the cable length between the two.
Batteries
  • Since batteries are distributed, the currents in the batteries and in the interconnectors may become a significant source for EMF emission, they should be place as far away as possible from the passenger seat areas. If the distance between the battery and passenger seat area is less than 200mm, steel shields should be used to separate the batteries and the seating area.
  • The cables connecting battery cells should not form a loop, and where possible, the interconnectors for the positive polarity should be as close as possible to those of the negative polarity.
http://bit.ly/1qw29Tb

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Magnetic fields in electric cars won't kill you

Jeremy Hsu, IEEE Spectrum, May 5, 2014
Summary
“The study, led by SINTEF, an independent research organization headquartered in Trondheim, Norway, measured the electromagnetic radiation—in the lab and during road tests—of seven different electric cars, one hydrogen-powered car, two gasoline-fueled cars and one diesel-fueled car. Results from all conditions showed that the exposure was less than 20 percent of the limit recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).”
“Measurements taken inside the vehicles—using a test dummy with sensors located in the head, chest and feet—showed exposure at less than 2 percent of the non-ionizing radiation limit at head-height. The highest electromagnetic field readings—still less than 20 percent of the limit—were found near the floor of the electric cars, close to the battery. Sensors picked up a burst of radiation that same level, when the cars were started.”
http://bit.ly/1pUuOxB
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ELF magnetic fields in electric and gasoline-powered vehicles

Tell RA, Sias G, Smith J, Sahl J, Kavet R. ELF magnetic fields in electric and gasoline-powered vehicles. Bioelectromagnetics. 2013 Feb;34(2):156-61. doi: 10.1002/bem.21730.

Abstract
We conducted a pilot study to assess magnetic field levels in electric compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, and established a methodology that would provide valid data for further assessments. The sample consisted of 14 vehicles, all manufactured between January 2000 and April 2009; 6 were gasoline-powered vehicles and 8 were electric vehicles of various types. Of the eight models available, three were represented by a gasoline-powered vehicle and at least one electric vehicle, enabling intra-model comparisons. Vehicles were driven over a 16.3 km test route. Each vehicle was equipped with six EMDEX Lite broadband meters with a 40-1,000 Hz bandwidth programmed to sample every 4 s. Standard statistical testing was based on the fact that the autocorrelation statistic damped quickly with time. For seven electric cars, the geometric mean (GM) of all measurements (N = 18,318) was 0.095 µT with a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 2.66, compared to 0.051 µT (N = 9,301; GSD = 2.11) for four gasoline-powered cars (P < 0.0001). Using the data from a previous exposure assessment of residential exposure in eight geographic regions in the United States as a basis for comparison (N = 218), the broadband magnetic fields in electric vehicles covered the same range as personal exposure levels recorded in that study. All fields measured in all vehicles were much less than the exposure limits published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Future studies should include larger sample sizes representative of a greater cross-section of electric-type vehicles.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22532300
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Mythbuster: EMF levels in hybrids

Consumer Reports News: August 4, 2010

Summary

“Some concern has been raised about the possible health effects of electromagnetic field radiation, known as EMF, for people who drive in hybrid cars. While all electrical devices, from table lamps to copy machines, emit EMF radiation, the fear is that hybrid cars, with their big batteries and powerful electric motors, can subject occupants to unhealthy doses. The problem is that there is no established threshold standard that says what an unhealthy dose might be, and no concrete, scientific proof that the sort of EMF produced by electric motors harms people

“We found the highest EMF levels in the Chevrolet Cobalt, a conventional non-hybrid small sedan.”

[The peak EMF readings at the driver’s feet ranged from 0.5 mG (milligauss) in the 2008 Toyota Highlander to 30 mG in the Chevrolet Cobalt. The hybrids tested at 2-4 mG. Here are some highlights from the tests. EMF readings were highest in the driver’s foot well and second-highest at the waist, much lower higher up, where human organs might be more susceptible to EMF.

“To get a sense of scale, though, note that users of personal computers are subject to EMF exposure in the range of 2 to 20 mG, electric blankets 5 to 30 mG, and a hair dryer 10 to 70 mG, according to an Australian government compilation. In this country, several states limit EMF emissions from power lines to 200 mG. However, there are no U.S. standards specifically governing EMF in cars.”

“In this series of tests, we found no evidence that hybrids expose drivers to significantly more EMF than do conventional cars. Consider this myth, busted.”

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Israel preps world’s first hybrid car radiation scale

Tal Bronfer, the truth about cars, March 1, 2010

Summary
“The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) recommends a limit of 1,000 mG (milligauss) for a 24 hour exposure period. While other guidelines pose similar limits, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) deemed extended exposure to electromagnetic fields stronger than 2 mG to be a “possible cause” for cancer. Israel’s Ministry of Health recommends a maximum of 4 mG.”
“Last year, Israeli automotive website Walla! Cars conducted a series of tests on the previous generation Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid, and recorded radiation figures of up to 100 mG during acceleration. Measurements also peaked when the batteries were either full (and in use) or empty (and being charged from the engine), while normal driving at constant speeds yielded 14 to 30 mG on the Prius, depending on the area of the cabin.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection is expected to publish the results of the study this week. The study will group hybrids sold in Israel into three different radiation groups, reports Israel’s Calcalist. It’s expected that the current-gen Prius will be deemed ‘safe’, while the Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid (as well as the prev-gen Prius) will be listed as emitting ‘excessive’ radiation.”
http://bit.ly/1pUu7Ep

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Fear, but few facts, on hybrid risk

Jim Motavalli, New York Times, Apr 27, 2008

Summary
“... concern is not without merit; agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute acknowledge the potential hazards of long-term exposure to a strong electromagnetic field, or E.M.F., and have done studies on the association of cancer risks with living near high-voltage utility lines.

While Americans live with E.M.F.’s all around — produced by everything from cellphones to electric blankets — there is no broad agreement over what level of exposure constitutes a health hazard, and there is no federal standard that sets allowable exposure levels. Government safety tests do not measure the strength of the fields in vehicles — though Honda and Toyota, the dominant hybrid makers, say their internal checks assure that their cars pose no added risk to occupants.”

“A spokesman for Honda, Chris Martin, points to the lack of a federally mandated standard for E.M.F.’s in cars. Despite this, he said, Honda takes the matter seriously. “All our tests had results that were well below the commission’s standard,” Mr. Martin said, referring to the European guidelines. And he cautions about the use of hand-held test equipment. “People have a valid concern, but they’re measuring radiation using the wrong devices,” he said.”
“Donald B. Karner, president of Electric Transportation Applications in Phoenix, who tested E.M.F. levels in battery-electric cars for the Energy Department in the 1990s, said it was hard to evaluate readings without knowing how the testing was done. He also said it was a problem to determine a danger level for low-frequency radiation, in part because dosage is determined not only by proximity to the source, but by duration of exposure. “We’re exposed to radio waves from the time we’re born, but there’s a general belief that there’s so little energy in them that they’re not dangerous,” he said.”
http://nyti.ms/TAQZxL

Monday, September 24, 2018

National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer




More Information:
and
ICNIRP’s Exposure Guidelines for Radio Frequency Fields



Sep 24, 2018

Commentary on NTP cell phone data for assessing human health risks despite unfounded criticisms aimed at minimizing findings

Melnick RL. Commentary on the utility of the National Toxicology Program study on cell phone radiofrequency radiation data for assessing human health risks despite unfounded criticisms aimed at minimizing the findings of adverse health effects. Environ Res. 2018 Sep 19;168:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.010. 

Abstract

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted two-year studies of cell phone radiation in rats and mice exposed to CDMA- or GSM-modulated radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at exposure intensities in the brain of rats that were similar to or only slightly higher than potential, localized human exposures from cell phones held next to the head. This study was designed to test the (null) hypothesis that cell phone radiation at non-thermal exposure intensities could not cause adverse health effects, and to provide dose-response data for any detected toxic or carcinogenic effects. 

Partial findings released from that study showed significantly increased incidences and/or trends for gliomas and glial cell hyperplasias in the brain and schwannomas and Schwann cell hyperplasias in the heart of exposed male rats. These results, as well as the findings of significantly increased DNA damage (strand breaks) in the brains of exposed rats and mice, reduced pup birth weights when pregnant dams were exposed to GSM- or CDMA-modulated RFR, and the induction of cardiomyopathy of the right ventricle in male and female rats clearly demonstrate that the null hypothesis has been disproved. 

 The NTP findings are most important because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RFR as a "possible human carcinogen" based largely on increased risks of gliomas and acoustic neuromas (which are Schwann cell tumors on the acoustic nerve) among long term users of cell phones. The concordance between rats and humans in cell type affected by RFR strengthens the animal-to-human association. 

This commentary addresses several unfounded criticisms about the design and results of the NTP study that have been promoted to minimize the utility of the experimental data on RFR for assessing human health risks. In contrast to those criticisms, an expert peer-review panel recently concluded that the NTP studies were well designed, and that the results demonstrated that both GSM- and CDMA-modulated RFR were carcinogenic to the heart (schwannomas) and brain (gliomas) of male rats.


Note: Dr. Melnick was a senior toxicologist and Director of Special Programs in the Environmental Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health. He led the design of the cell phone radiation studies discussed in this commentary.


Sep 12, 2018

NTP Scientists Report DNA Damage in Male and Female Mice and Male Rats 
Following Subchronic Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation

Smith-Roe SL, Wyde ME, Stout MD, Winters JW, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green AS, Kissling GE, Tice RR, Bucher JR, Witt KL.Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure. 49th Annual Meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. San Antonio, Texas. Sep 22-26, 2018. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis; 59 (Suppl. 1): 85-85. Meeting abstract: P9.  Sep 2018.

National Toxicology Program/NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC, and Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC.

Abstract

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

Male and female Sprague Dawley rats and B6C3F1/N mice were exposed from gestation day 5 or postnatal day 35, respectively, to code division multiple access (CDMA) or global system for mobile (GSM) modulations semi-continuously for 18 h/day in 10 min intervals in reverberation chambers at specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg (rats) or 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg (mice). Rats and mice were exposed at 900 MHz or 1900 MHz, respectively. The interim cohorts, 5 animals per treatment group, were examined after 19 (rats) or 13 (mice) weeks of exposure for evidence of RFR-induced genotoxicity. DNA damage was assessed in three brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum), and in liver cells and blood leukocytes using the comet assay. Chromosomal damage was assessed in peripheral blood erythrocytes using the micronucleus assay.

DNA damage was significantly increased in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations), peripheral leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). DNA damage was nominally elevated in several other tissues of RFR-exposed rats, although statistical significance was not achieved. No significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells were observed in rats or mice. 

These results suggest that exposure to RFR has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.

--

August 28, 2018 (Updated August 29)


“Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk”

In a new paper, “Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk” published in the journal IEEE Microwave Magazine, Dr. James C. Lin states that the results of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) cell phone radiation study suggest that current radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines are inadequate to protect human health (1). Furthermore, the paper recommends that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) re-assess the research and consider upgrading the classification of RF radiation from "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B) to probably carcinogenic (i.e., Group 2A).

Although Dr. Lin raises some criticisms of the NTP study in this and an earlier paper (1, 2), he recognizes the importance of this research to the field and the implications of the study findings for public health (2).

He praised the FDA and the NTP for the initiation and conduct of the study and emphasized the need for the “U.S. government to step in and conduct such research programs and not leave the matter entirely to the cell-phone industry” due to his concern that “The wireless industry has had nearly free reign to develop and distribute cellular mobile phones and related RF devices as they see fit.”

The publication of this article now is especially relevant because the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is in the process of updating its RF radiation exposure guidelines. ICNIRP plans to reaffirm its obsolete guidelines based upon the Commission's long-standing position that exposure to non-thermal levels of RF radiation does not pose any health risks. Dr. Lin served as an ICNIRP Commissioner from 2004-2016 and chaired ICNIRP's Standing Committee on Physics and Engineering from 2008-2012.

Dr. Lin was one of fourteen experts convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to review the National Toxicology Program’s cell phone radiation study in March of this year. He is a professor of electrical engineering, bioengineering, physiology, and biophysics at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His publications include ten books, hundreds of papers and book chapters, and he has made hundreds of presentations at professional conferences. He has served on the editorial board of fifteen professional journals and has received numerous awardsand honors throughout his distinguished career.

Following are key passages from Dr. Lin’s paper (1): 

“On 28 March 2018, following a thorough review of the draft NTP reports, pathologists and toxicologists on the peer-review panel concluded that, among other observations, there was statistically significant and “clear evidence” that both GSM- and CDMA-modulated RF radiation had led to the development of malignant schwannoma (a rare form of tumor) in the heart of male rats (of the Harlan-Sprague-Dawley strain). Further, there was “equivocal evidence” for the same schwannoma risk among female rats.
The panel also noted that there were unusual patterns of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in both RF-exposed male and female rats when compared with concurrent control animals. In addition, based on statistical significance, the panel concluded that the pathology findings showed indications of “some evidence” for RF-dependent carcinogenic activity in the brain of male rats, specifically glioma. However, the findings for female rats were deemed as providing only “equivocal evidence” for malignant gliomas when compared with concurrent controls.” (pp. 16-17)

“The NTP cell-phone RF exposure study is, by far, the largest study of its kind [5]. It was expensive and time consuming, and there may even have been better ways to perform the study. Nevertheless, it highlights that prolonged exposure to RF radiation at, or a little above, currently existing RF exposure regulation levels could lead to tumor development. The current RF exposure guidelines of 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg are promulgated with a reduction factor of 50 as a safety margin for the general public and to provide protection against presumed hazardous biological effects in humans [5], [6]. The finding that RF exposure could lead to dose-dependent cancer development at levels that are the same or three times above current exposure guidelines is significant.
 This implies that the safety margin may be no more than a factor of three. In fact, one recommendation (IEEE C95.1-2005) has a set of guidelines under controlled environments that allows local SARs of the brain and heart to be as much as 10 W/kg [7]. An SAR of 10 W/kg is considerably higher than the 1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 W/kg used in the NTP study.” “Because all tissue and organs were similarly exposed and had comparable SARs, it is important for the NTP team to perform a statistical comparison of total primary malignancies in all tissue and organs observed in RF-exposed and concurrent control rats before issuing its final report. Given that hyperplasia (the enlargement of tissue or organs caused by an increased rate of cell growth in the initial stage of cancer development) often leads to neoplasm, the statistical analysis should also include findings of hyperplasia.”  (p. 18)

“The FDA should be applauded for initiating and the NIEHS/NTP praised for having sponsored the research and conducted the cell-phone RF radiation studies. It’s important for the U.S. government to step in and conduct such research programs and not leave the matter entirely to the cell-phone industry. The wireless industry has had nearly free reign to develop and distribute cellular mobile phones and related RF devices as they see fit. The completion of this NTP study should not signify the end of the U.S. government’s role in supporting RF biological effects research because we continue to be exposed to more RF radiation every day [8], [9].” (p. 20)

“Malignant schwannoma in rat hearts were the most salient findings from the NTP RF bioassay. Acoustic schwannomas in human brains and malignant schwannomas in rat hearts were independently observed from two different body tissues in humans and rats. There could actually be a link between Schwann cells that wrap around both nerve tissues in the heart and along the auditory nervous system.” (p. 22) 

“Because all tissue and organs were similarly exposed and had comparable SARs, it is important for the NTP team to perform a statistical comparison of total primary malignancies in all tissue and organs observed in RF-exposed and concurrent control rats before issuing its final report. Given that hyperplasia (the enlargement of tissue or organs caused by an increased rate of cell growth in the initial stage of cancer development) often leads to neoplasm, the statistical analysis should also include findings of hyperplasia.” (p. 22)
[Note: I provided similar suggestions for analysis of the data in my critique of the NTP study(3)] 

“Now that the NTP review panel has concluded there is clear evidence of carcinogenicity from long-term RF exposure in rats, is it conceivable that the IARC would upgrade its epidemiology-based classification of RF exposure to the next level of carcinogenicity to humans?
As noted earlier, the existing RF exposure guidelines of 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg are promulgated with a reduction factor of 50, as a safety margin for the general public. The finding that long-term RF exposure could lead to cancer development in rats at levels that are the same as or no greater than a factor of three above these exposure guidelines is significant.
While complacencies abound for short-term exposure guidelines in terms of providing safety protection, an outstanding question persists concerning the adequacy of these guidelines for safe, long-term exposure to RF radiation at or below 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg. Perhaps the time has come to judiciously reassess, revise, and update these guidelines." (pp. 22-23)

References

(1) Lin JC. Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk. IEEE Microwave Magazine.  19(6):16-24. Sep/Oct 2018. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2018.2844058. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8425056/

(2) Lin JC. The NTP cell phone RF radiation health effects project. IEEE Microwave Magazine. 18(1): 15-17. Jan/Feb 2017. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2016.2616239. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7779288/

(3) Moskowitz JM. Comments about the NTP cell phone radiation studies. School of Public Health, UC Berkeley. Submitted to the National Toxicology Program, Mar 12, 2018. http://bit.ly/NTPcommentsJMM180312

--

June 25, 2018

NTP Scientific Advisory Board Updated on NTP Cell Phone Radiation Studies

The NTP cell phone radiation studies were discussed at the NTP’s Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting on June 20, 2018. Two scientists from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Drs. Chad Blystone and Michael Wyde, made presentations to the Board.

Dr. Blystone presented a summary of the peer review of the cell phone radiation studies conducted by the NTP.

 “There was robust discussion by the Peer Review Panels on the exposure system and NTP’s draft scientific interpretations. The Panel recommended increasing the NTP’s level of evidence calls regarding the heart in male and female rats, adrenal gland in male rats (GSM only), and the brain (gliomas) in male rats of both modulations.

The Panel’s comments on the draft interpretations will be captured in the peer review report, which will be posted with other meeting materials when completed. NTP will carefully consider the Panel’s recommendations when finalizing these technical reports, which will be published on the NTP website in fall 2018 (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/36144).”


Dr. Wyde summarized the results of the cell phone radiation studies:

“The primary finding observed in mice in these studies was increased DNA damage in cells of the frontal cortex of RFR-exposed male mice (both GSM and CDMA). This finding was not associated with any change in brain tumors in the 2-year studies; however, elevated incidences of neoplastic lesions were observed in male (skin and lung) and female mice (malignant lymphomas). These incidences may have been related to RFR exposure and were considered equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity for RFR at 1900 MHz for both GSM or CDMA modulations.

In the rat studies, exposures were initiated in utero and consistently resulted in exposure concentration-related decreases in pup body weight and body weight gains during the perinatal period. In general, decreased pup survival was observed at the higher levels of RFR tested. Increased DNA damage in cells of the hippocampus and frontal cortex was observed in RFR-exposed male mice from the CDMA study. Lower survival in control group was observed and attributed to high severity of chronic progressive nephropathy. At the end of the 2-year studies, increased incidences were observed in malignant schwannomas and right ventricular cardiomyopathy in the heart, malignant gliomas in the brain, and pheochromocytoma in the adrenal medulla (GSM only) of male rats. A number of neoplastic lesions were also observed that were considered equivocal findings that may have been related to RFR exposure in male (brain (granular cell tumors), pituitary gland, prostate, liver, adrenal gland, and pancreas) and female rats (heart, brain, and adrenal gland).”


Dr. Wyde also discussed followup studies that NTP plans to conduct:

“Follow-up studies will seek to investigate the perinatal effects, and further characterize organ-specific effects (heart, brain, adrenal medulla) in rats via immuno- and enzyme-histochemistry and molecular pathology methods. The impact of RFR exposure on behavior and stress will be further investigated, including the assessment of activity, response to system-generated noise and RFR signals, evaluation of stress indicators, measurement of stress hormones, and heart rate. The primary areas of mechanistic research will include investigation into the role of heat as a contributing factor to RFR-induced effects, oxidative stress mechanisms, changes in gene expression in multiple tissues, and the effect on DNA damage and repair. Given the positive effects on DNA damage in both rats and mice and the high level of interindividual variability that was observed in the small number of animals evaluated per sex per dose group (n=5) in the comet assay, it is important to replicate the comet assays to confirm DNA damage effects, as well as conduct additional, more-specific and robust assays to evaluate DNA damage and DNA repair enzymes.

Additionally, follow-up studies will address issues and criticisms raised during peer review of the NTP RFR studies in March 2018, including temperature measurement during periods of animal inactivity, evaluation of stress markers, evaluation of behavior changes during exposures, and measurement of food consumption. Additional studies will have the potential to expand to newer, current technologies and those evolving technologies that will become the new standard in the telecommunications industry.”


Written public comments were submitted by Dr. Annie Sasco, P.K. Mahesh, the Environmental Working Group, and Phonegate Alert. The comments supported the study design, the peer review panel's interpretation of results, the need for NTP to conduct health research on newer wireless technology, and the importance of public health warnings about exposure to cell phone radiation.


May 15, 2018

NTP Board of Scientific Counselors Will Discuss Cell Phone Radiation Study

At the June 20, 2018 meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIEHS will make a presentation about the NTP cell phone radiation study followed by public comments and a discussion of the study. The Counselors will also discuss future studies of radio frequency radiation. For more information see the meeting agenda


March 30, 2018 (Updated April 2)

NTP Should Analyze Overall Tumor Risk

In my written submission to NTP about the cell phone radiation studies, I recommended that NTP analyze the overall tumor risk from cell phone radiation exposure. After watching the three-day expert review of these studies, I restate this recommendation. 

While it is useful to examine what happened to the trees in the forest in this experiment (e.g., the increased risk of a specific tumor developing in male rats from GSM exposure), it is essential to examine what happened to the forest (e.g., the overall risk of a male rat developing a malignant tumor from cell phone radiation exposure). 

NTP should test the null hypothesis that lifelong exposure to non-thermal levels of cell phone radiation does not increase the incidence of cancer.

There are several strong justifications for conducting this analysis.

First, a 5-year, $5 million Air Force study found low incidences of various types of tumors in male rats exposed to microwave radiation. In that study, the exposed rats were three times more likely to get cancer than the control rats. The study employed much lower intensity microwave radiation than the NTP studies.

Second, early toxicology research on the effects of tobacco found low incidences of many types of tumors among animals exposed to tobacco smoke. Scientists dismissed this evidence as they assumed an agent could not cause cancer in different types of tissue. History later proved them wrong.

Third, numerous biologic studies have found that exposure to low-intensity radiofrequency radiation increases oxidative stress causing generation of free radicals, stress proteins, and DNA damage in many different types of cells.

Finally, my preliminary analysis of the overall tumor risk using summary data from the appendices to the NTP report, found that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation were significantly more likely to develop a tumor than control rats overall (81% vs. 62%; p < .001), and even in the lowest cell phone radiation exposure group, 1.5 watts per kilogram (82% vs. 62%; p <.001).

Male rats exposed to cell phone radiation were significantly more likely to develop cancer than control rats (38% vs. 26%; p = .021), and more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor (70% vs. 54%; p = .003).

Male rats in the lowest cell phone radiation exposure group, 1.5 watts per kilogram, were also more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor than control rats (74% vs. 54%; p < .001). Although cancer incidence for this low exposure group was greater than the control group, the difference was not statistically significant (34% vs. 26%; p = .163).


NTP should conduct these analyses controlling for survival differences between the exposed and control animals.


March 16, 2018 (Updated March 25)

Public Comments on the NTP 
Cell Phone Radiation Studies

To see selected public comments about the National Toxicology Program's draft technical reports on their cell phone radiation studies and for information about the peer review meeting, click on the following link:



February 23, 2018 (Updated March 5)

Ramazzini Institute Cell Tower-Cancer Study

Microwave News published a story on February 23, "'More Than a Coincidence': New Large Animal Study, Like NTP’s, Links RF to Schwannoma of the Heart" which describes a new major study that replicates the primary finding in the NTP study. 

The Ramazzini Institute in Italy will soon publish a study in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Research, which found that cell phone radiation caused malignant schwanomma in the hearts of male rats.

In this study of 2,448 male and female rats, the animals were exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM cell phone radiation for 19 hours per day from prenatal life until natural death. The cell phone phone radiation exposure in this study corresponds to what one could receive from a nearby cell phone tower. Hence, the exposures were much lower than in the NTP study. The SAR values in this study ranged from 0.001 W/kg to 0.1 W/kg as compared to 1.5 to 6.0 W/kg in the NTP study.

This is the fourth animal study to report increased cancer risk from exposure to low intensity microwave radiation. In addition to the NTP study (summarized below) and the U.S. Air Force studyRepacholi and colleagues (1997) found that female mice exposed to GSM-like cell phone radiation were twice as likely to develop lymphoma compared to unexposed control mice.

Nine peer-reviewed studies, including one cohort study, have found evidence in humans that long-term cell phone use is associated with increased risk of vestibular schwannomma, aka acoustic neuromaAcoustic neuroma also arises from the Schwann cells, but unlike its counterpart in the heart, it is usually a slow-growing tumor and not cancerous. 

February 20, 2018

NTP Cell Phone Radiation Cancer Study: A Public Health Perspective

The $25 million National Toxicology Program (NTP) cell phone radiation study proves that long-term exposure to low intensity, non-thermal levels of cell phone microwave radiation can cause cancer and DNA damage in an animal model. This is the second study our federal government conducted which found that low intensity microwave radiation caused cancer.

The NTP study is the missing link.

In conjunction with recently published case-control research in humans that found an association between long-term, heavy cell phone use and brain tumor risk (glioma and acoustic neuroma also known as vestibular schwannoma), and hundreds of studies that found increased oxidative stress (including stress proteins, free radicals and DNA damage) from exposure to low intensity microwave radiation, the NTP study should empower the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer to re-classify radio frequency radiation from its current classification, “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B), to “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A) or “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).

The strongest finding in the NTP reports was increased cancer incidence in Schwann cells of the hearts in male rats exposed to cell phone radiation. These rats also exhibited twice as many total schwanommas across all organs of the body compared to control rats, but this difference was not statistically significant (6% vs. 3%).

Other organs in male rats were observed to have low incidences of tumors that exceeded those found in the unexposed controls, including the brain (i.e., glioma), the adrenal, pituitary, and prostate glands, the pancreas, and the liver.

Female rats exposed to cell phone radiation also had elevated tumor incidence in the brain (i.e., glioma) and adrenal glands.

DNA damage was observed in mice and rats of both sexes exposed to cell phone radiation. (See my earlier posts for a summary of these results.)

Why is NTP downplaying the study results now?

NTP classified the increased malignant schwannoma in male rats as “some evidence of carcinogenic activity.” Other elevated incidences of tumors were considered “equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity” because they failed to display a classic dose-response relationship. However, much of the published research on microwave radiation finds that the likelihood of a health effect does not correspond closely with the dose (or intensity) of the radiation. Rather, the frequency of the carrier wave and pulsing and modulation of the signals appear to affect the organism's cell signaling processes independent of the intensity of the microwaves.

Although this is the largest and most important animal study to examine tumor risk caused by cell phone radiation, both the NTP and the FDA are now downplaying the study results. Yet, in May, 2016, the NTP was so concerned about the increased risk of schwanomma and glioma in male rats, they released a partial report with these results because these are the same types of tumors found in several case-control studies of cell phone use among humans. What explains this turnaround?

According to the new NTP report, Schwann cells are similar to glial cells. Thus, the causes of schwannoma may be similar to glioma:

"Schwann cells are similar to glial cells in the brain in that they are specialized supportive cells whose functions include maintaining homeostasis, forming myelin, and providing support and protection for neurons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). In the PNS, Schwann cells produce myelin and are analogous to oligodendrocytes [a type of glial cells] of the central nervous system" (page 162).

NTP should analyze the overall tumor risk.

The NTP researchers did not carefully examine the overall tumor risk, that is, the risk of an animal developing any type of tumor due to cell phone radiation exposure. There are several strong justifications for conducting this analysis.  

First, a 5-year, $5 million Air Force study found low incidences of various types of tumors in male rats exposed to microwave radiation. In that study, the exposed rats were three times more likely to get cancer than the control rats. The study employed much lower intensity microwave radiation than the NTP studies.

Second, early toxicology research on the effects of tobacco found low incidences of many types of tumors among animals exposed to tobacco smoke. Scientists dismissed this evidence as they assumed an agent could not cause cancer in different types of tissue. History later proved them wrong.

Finally, my preliminary analysis of the overall tumor risk using summary data from the appendices to the NTP report, found that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation were significantly more likely to develop cancer than control rats (38% vs. 25.5%; p = .021), and more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor (70% vs. 54%; p = .003).

Male rats in the lowest cell phone radiation exposure group, 1.5 watts per kilogram, were also more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor than control rats (74% vs. 54%; p < .001). Although cancer incidence for this low exposure group was greater than the control group, the difference was not statistically significant (34% vs. 25.5%; p = .163).

I questioned the omission of the overall tumor risk analysis during the recent NTP press conference.  Will NTP conduct this analysis, adjusting for survival time and litter differences, in time for the peer review of the NTP reports in late March?


Feb 7, 2018

"Same RF Cancer Data, Different Outlook" 

Microwave News (MN) published a story today that poses the question, “Why was the NTP so ambivalent about its cell phone cancer findings at the press conference last Friday when two years ago the same scientific evidence prompted a public health warning?” (“What Changed at NTP? Same RF Cancer Data, Different Outlook.” Feb 7, 2018. URL: http://microwavenews.com/news-center/what-changed). 

Besides the recent change of leadership at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), Microwave News speculates about potential political influence from the federal government including the NIEHS and NIH, the FDA, and the military, especially the Navy and Air Force. In addition, Congress and the White House may have intervened in response to lobbying by the cell phone industry.

Microwave News has been reporting on the potential health and environmental impacts of electromagnetic fields and radiation for more than 35 years and is widely recognized as an objective source of information on this topic.


Feb 2, 2018 (Updated Feb 6)

NTP Releases Draft Reports on Cell Phone Radiation 
and Conducts Press Conference

On February 2, 2018, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted a press conference and released two draft technical reports on the cell phone radiation studies -- one report on rats (TR-595) and one on mice (TR-596) and two supplemental data tables. The reports and data tables are available at http://bit.ly/NTPreports

The recording and transcript of the press conference are available at http://bit.ly/NTPpress2-2-18.

For information about the upcoming review process in March see National Toxicology Program: Peer & public review of cell phone radiation study reports.


Dec 1, 2017

Microwave News reported today that the vice-chair of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), Maria Feychting, has been trying to convince the scientific community to dismiss the $25 million cell phone cancer study conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).

According to Microwave News, Feychting claimed at scientific meetings held in Germany and Sweden last month that the pathology analyses in the NTP study were not properly blinded. This issue was originally raised by an official reviewer of the study and was laid to rest in the NTP interim report released in May, 2016.

Several researchers in the U.S. and Europe expressed their concerns to Microwave News about Feychting's misguided efforts to undermine the credibility of the NTP cell phone study.

The Microwave News article reports that Feychting's declaration of personal interests filed with ICNIRP is incomplete as she has not fully disclosed potential conflicts of interest due to her role in the Swedish COSMOS study which has industry funding.

For more information see Microwave News.


Nov 28, 2017


NIEHS updates its cell phone information page

This month the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) updated the cell phone information page on its website and the fact sheet which summarizes the NTP cell phone radiation study. See below for a summary of the study and its findings.

The NTP's website indicates that the NIEHS has warned its "federal regulatory partners" (i.e., the Federal Communications Commission and the Food and Drug Administration) that the NTP's research found that cell phone radiation caused cancer in male rats to enable these agencies to provide the latest guidance to the public about safe ways to use cell phones and other radiofrequency radiation-emitting devices. 

Following is some of the language which now appears on the NTP website.



The updated NTP fact sheet includes the following two graphics.





Nov 21, 2017

Two-year oncogenicity evaluations of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice

McCormick D. Two-year oncogenicity evaluations of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice. Toxicology Letters. 280 (Suppl. 1): S31. Oct 20, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.07.07

Epidemiology data concerning possible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency fields (RF) are conflicting. For this reason, well-designed and controlled studies in predictive laboratory animal models provide the best prospective opportunity to identify effects of RF exposure that may translate into human health hazards. 

The U.S. National Toxicology Program supported a program in our laboratory to identify and characterize effects of acute, subchronic, and chronic exposure to non-thermal levels of RF in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice.

Five-day pilot studies were performed to identify the maximum Specific Absorption Ratios (SARs) to which juvenile, adult, and pregnant rodents can be exposed without increasing body temperature by >1.0 °C. 

Subsequent subchronic (ten-week) toxicity studies failed to identify any toxicologically significant effects of non-thermal RF on survival, body weight, clinical signs, hematology, or gross or microscopic pathology.

Two-year studies were performed to determine if exposure to non-thermal levels of RF increases the incidence of neoplasia in any site. Male rats exposed to RF demonstrated significantly increased incidences of glioma (brain) and schwannoma (heart); these increases were not seen in female rats or in either sex of mice.

Gliomas and schwannomas have been identified in some epidemiology studies as possible RF-induced neoplasms. Considering (a) the conflicting results of RF epidemiology studies and (b) the lack of generally accepted biophysical or molecular mechanisms through which RF could induce or promote neoplasia, data from animal bioassays will play a central role in “weight-of-the-evidence” assessments of the possible health effects of RF exposure.



Sep 20, 2017

Scientists from the National Toxicology Program presented their data on the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation in rats and mice at the annual meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society held in Raleigh, North Carolina from September 9-13, 2017.

Male and female rats and mice were exposed to 2G cell phone radiation, either CDMA or GSM, for 18 hours per day in 10 minute intervals. The rats were exposed to cell phone radiation at 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg specific absorption rate (SAR) for 19 weeks from gestation day 5. The mice were exposed to radiation at 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg SAR for 13 weeks from postnatal day 5.

DNA damage was assessed in three brain regions, in liver cells and in blood leukocytes using the comet assay. Chromosomal damage was assessed in peripheral blood erythrocytes using the micronucleus assay. 

DNA damage was significantly increased:

  • in the frontal cortex of male mice from either CDMA or GSM cell phone radiation exposure, 
  • in peripheral leukocytes of female mice from CDMA exposure, and
  • in the hippocampus of male rats from CDMA exposure.
There were no significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells in rats or mice. 

The authors concluded that, "exposure to RFR [radio frequency radiation] has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions."

The NTP is scheduled to publish a complete report about its cell phone radiation studies in early 2018. The FDA called for this research in 1999.

Here is the abstract for this presentation.


Paper presented at annual meeting of Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society,
Raleigh, North Carolina, September 9-13, 2017.

Aug 31, 2017

Microwave News reported that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will release the “complete results” of its $25 million project on cell phone cancer risks early next year. The release of these data had been expected by the end of this year.

"The complete results from all the rat and mice studies will be available for peer review and public comment by early 2018," according to a new statement on the NTP Web site.

To date, the study has reported increased risk of cancer in the brain and heart of male rats from exposure to second generation (2G) cell phone radiation and increased risk of DNA damage in mice and rats of both sexes. For more information about the results of this study see the rest of this post. 

This NTP project is our nation's only major research on the effects of cell phone radiation since the 1990's. The FDA recommended that the NTP conduct these toxicology and carcinogenicity studies in 1999. The FDA letter calling for this study can be downloaded from the NIEHS website.

The NTP is still studying the effects of 2G cellphone radiation which may soon be obsolete. 

What about 3G, 4G, and 5G? Why must we rely on research from other nations to inform us about the health effects of this environmental toxin? 

The Federal government should be held accountable for the lack of research in the U.S. on the health effects of wireless radiation since the 1990's. 

Related Posts:

Government Failure to Address Wireless Radiation Risks

April 4, 2017


According to Microwave News, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will not publish as a stand-alone paper its findings of increased DNA breaks among rats exposed to cell phone radiation. These data which have been reported at an international scientific conference will be incorporated in a technical report to be released in December. The report will provide a "final determination" about the level of evidence that cell phone radiation causes cancer.

The NTP's statement:
”The genotoxicity paper was not accepted for stand-alone publication because the reviewers wanted additional detailed technical information on the methods used to expose the animals to radiofrequency radiation, as well as further placement of these findings in the context of the results of the two-year rodent studies. The complete results from all the rat and mice cancer studies remain in pathology review and the final determinations on the level of evidence for carcinogenic activity have not yet been made. For these reasons the decision was made to peer review and publish the genotoxicity data as part of the larger study in an NTP Technical Report.”
For a summary of the evidence about DNA damage due to cell phone radiation see the posts below for June 10, 2016 and August 23, 2016. 

September 7, 2016

 

The Green Gazette published an article today about the National Toxicology Program cell phone radiation study based upon my June 10 post which appears below.



August 23, 2016

Presentation on NTP Study to NIEHS Board of Scientific Counselors

On June 15, Dr. Michael Wyde, the director of the cell phone radiation studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), provided an overview of the studies to the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). He summarized the research designs and the partial results for the toxicology and carcinogenicity studies. 

A video of the presentation including the presentation slides and the question and answer session is available at https://youtu.be/TCRF71eMZ1Q.

According to Dr. Wyde, the FDA recommended that the NTP conduct toxicology and carcinogenicity studies of cell phone radiation in 1999. Completion of these studies is expected by some time in 2018.

The 1999 FDA letter calling for this study can be downloaded from the NIEHS website. 


June 24, 2016

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the newly-released study on cellphone radiation and cancer in rats conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) resulted in more than 1,000 news stories. Nearly 150 reporters participated in the telephone press conference held by the NTP on May 27.

Unfortunately, much of the media coverage contained considerable bias, or "spin" intended to create doubt about the study's important findings regarding cancer risk from exposure to cellphone radiation. Notable exceptions included news stories that appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Mother Jones.


June 10, 2016

NTP Toxicology & Carcinogenicity Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Studies

Summary of Presentation at BioEM 2016 Meeting (Ghent, Belgium) by Michael Wyde, PhD, Director of NTP Studies of Cell Phone Radiation, NIEHS, June 8, 2016

Dr. Wyde explained the four reasons why the National Toxicology Program (NTP) decided to release partial study results at this time: 1) given widespread cellphone use, even a small increase in disease incidence could have major public health implications; 2) there is a high level of public and media interest in the study; 3) the tumor types observed in these studies are similar to those found in human studies of cellphone use; and 4) the results support the IARC classification of radiofrequency radiation as potentially cancer-causing in humans.

Dr. Wyde discussed the 5-day pilot studies conducted on young and aged mice and rats and on pregnant rats to determine the maximum intensity of cellphone radiation that could be employed in the subsequent studies without inducing any heating effect. He also described the 28-day pre-chronic toxicology studies and the 2-year toxicology and carcinogenicity studies.

For the pre-chronic studies, NTP selected SAR exposures of 0, 3, 6, and 9 watts/kilogram (W/kg) in rats and 0, 5, 10, and 15 W/kg in mice based on pilot study results. Pregnant rats were exposed prenatally and 28 days postnatal to 900 MHz cellphone radiation (GSM or CDMA). Five-week old mice were exposed to 1900 MHz cellphone radiation for 28 days.

Dr. Wyde reported statistically significant evidence of DNA damage from nonthermal exposure to cellphone radiation in mice as well as in rats:
  • male rats: frontal cortex, hippocampus, liver, blood
  • male mice: frontal cortex
  • female rats: frontal cortex
  • female mice: liver, blood
The partial results of the carcinogenicity studies were also discussed. See my summary below.

The slides for this presentation are available at:
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/research/areas/cellphone/slides_bioem_wyde.pdf



June 13, 2016

Do Cellphones Cause Cancer? Probably, but it's Complicated
Dr. Chris Portier, Scientific American Blog, Jun 13, 2016

Setting the Record Straight on NTP Cell Phone Cancer Study
Dr. Ron Melnick Corrects ‘Misinformation,’ Rebuffed by the New York Times

Microwave News, Jun 10, 2016

American Cancer Society (ACS) responds to new study linking cell phone radiation to cancer
Otis W. Brawley, M.D., ACS Chief Medical Officer, ACS Pressroom, May 27, 2016


May 30, 2016

SPIN vs FACT: National Toxicology Program report on 
cancer risk from cellphone radiation

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institutes of Health reported partial findings from their $25 million study of the cancer risk from cellphone radiofrequency radiation (RFR). Controlled studies of rats showed that RFR caused two types of tumors, glioma and schwannoma. The results “…could have broad implications for public health.”

A fact sheet on the NTP study that summarizes some biased statements, or “Spin,” about the study that tend to create doubt about data quality and implications, as well as “Facts” from decades of previous research is available at http://bit.ly/NTPspinfacts

A German translation of this fact sheet is available at diagnose:funk. An Italian translation is available at Amica Associazione.





May 27, 2016 (updated June 1)

On May 26, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institutes of Health issued the first in a series of reports that contains partial findings from their long-awaited, $25 million study of the cancer risk from cell phone radiation. This report summarizes the study of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation on rats. The report on mice will be issued at a later date.

According to the report:
“Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to RFR [radiofrequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health.”
Overall, thirty of 540 (5.5%), or one in 18 male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer In addition,16 pre-cancerous hyperplasias were diagnosed. Thus, 46 of 540, or one in 12 male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer or pre-cancerous cells as compared to none of the 90 unexposed male rats. 

The two types of cancer examined in the exposed rats were glioma and schwannoma. Both types have been found in human studies of cell phone use.

In the group exposed to the lowest intensity of cell phone radiation (1.5 watts/kilogram or W/kg), 12 of 180, or one in 15 male rats developed cancer or pre-cancerous cellsIn the highest exposure group (6 W/kg), 24 of 180, or one in 8 male rats developed cancer or pre-cancerous cells.

This latter finding has policy implications for the FCC's current cell phone regulations which allow cell phones to emit up to 1.6 W/kg at the head or near the body (partial body Specific Absorption Rate or SAR).

The NTP study is likely a "game-changer" as it proves that non-ionizing, radiofrequency radiation can cause cancer without heating tissue. 

The results of the study reinforce the need for more stringent regulation of radiofrequency radiation and better disclosure of the health risks associated with wireless technologies -- two demands made by the International EMF Scientist Appeal -- a petition signed by 220 scientists who have published research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation.

Along with other recently published studies on the biologic and health effects of cell phone radiation, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization should now have sufficient data to reclassify radiofrequency radiation from "possibly carcingogenic" to "probably carcinogenic in humans."

The risk of cancer increased with the intensity of the cell phone radiation whereas no cancer was found in the sham controls—rats kept in the same apparatus but without any exposure to cell phone radiation.

In contrast to the male rats, the incidence of cancer in female rats among those exposed to cell phone radiation was not statistically significant. Overall, sixteen of 540 (3.0%), or one in 33 female rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer or a pre-cancerous lesion as compared to none of the 90 unexposed females. The NTP provided no explanation for the sex difference. The researchers pointed out that none of the human epidemiology studies has analysed the data by sex.

Why did cellphone radiation significantly increase cancer risk in male but not female rats? Perhaps, because glioma and heart schwannoma are less common in females. According to Microwave News (6/1/2016), the NTP report shows that among controls from past toxicology studies, males were ten times more likely to develop glioma than female rats (11 of 550 vs. 1 of 540). Also, males were twice as likely to develop heart schwannoma than female rats (9 of 669 vs. 4 of 699). 

The researchers believe that the cancers found in this experimental study were caused by the exposure to cell phone radiation as none of the control animals developed cancer. The researchers controlled the temperature of the animals to prevent heating effects so the cancers were caused by a non-thermal mechanism.

One of two types of second-generation (2G) cell phone technology, GSM and CDMA, were employed in this study. The frequency of the signals was 900 MHz. The rats were exposed to cell phone radiation every 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute break for 18 hours, resulting in nine hours a day of exposure over a two-year period. Both forms of cell phone radiation were found to increase cancer risk in the male rats.

For each type of cell phone radiation, the study employed four groups of 90 rats -- a sham control group that was not exposed to radiation, and three exposed groups.  The lowest exposure group had a SAR of 1.5 W/kg which is within the FCC's legal limit for partial body SAR exposure (e.g., at the head) from cell phones. The other exposure groups had SARs of 3 and 6 W/kg. 

Glioma is a common type of brain cancer in humans. It affects about 25,000 people per year in the U.S. and is the most common cause of cancer death in adults 15-39 years of age. Several major studies have found increased risk of glioma in humans associated with long-term, heavy cell phone use. 

In humans, schwannoma is a nonmalignant tumor that grows in Schwann cells that cover a nerve which connects to the brain. Numerous studies have found an increased risk of this rare tumor in heavy cell phone users. In the rat study, malignant schwannoma was found in Schwann cells in the heart.

The FDA requested in May, 1999 that the NIEHS research the effects of cell phone radiation on DNA in animal models. FDA called this a "high priority."  Seventeen years later the NIEHS has released only partial results from a series of studies which should have taken only a few years to conduct. 

For more information about the NTP study see http://bit.ly/govtfailure.

For references to the research that found increased risk of malignant and nonmalignant tumors among long-term cell phone users see http://bit.ly/WSJsaferemr.

The NTP report is available at http://bit.ly/NTPcell1.