Monday, March 18, 2019

"Cell Phones, Cell Towers & Wireless Safety" (UC Berkeley)



On February 27, 2019, Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., delivered the keynote presentation, "Cell Phones, Cell Towers and Wireless Safety" for the "Balancing Technology" series offered by University Health Services (UHS) at the University of California, Berkeley. The event was co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Dr. Moskowitz, director of the UC Berkeley Center for Family and Community Health, has been translating and disseminating the research on wireless radiation health effects since 2009. His Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website has had more than two million page views by visitors from over 200 countries since 2013.

The presentation was filmed by UHS and by CNBC. The video, slides, and safety tips can be viewed at the following links:

View Video:  http://bit.ly/UCBvideo2-27-19 (72 minute YouTube video)
View Slides: http://bit.ly/UCB2-27-19jmm (Supplemental slides can be found at end of presentation.)


Safety Tips
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety:           http://bit.ly/EMRsafetytips3
California Department of Public Health:  http://bit.ly/CDPHguidance



Thursday, March 14, 2019

Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation

Evaluation of Temperature Elevation in Human Ocular Tissues due to Wireless Eyewear Devices

Lan J, Du G. Evaluation of temperature elevation in human ocular tissues due to wireless eyewear devices. ACES Journal. 34(1):17-24. 2019. 

Abstract

In this paper, a numerical study is proposed to evaluate the temperature variation in the human ocular tissues during the electromagnetic radiation exposure from wireless eyewear device. The results show that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually as the exposure time goes on and could reach the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes. During this process, the temperature increments in different ocular tissues are between 1.1°C and 1.7°C. The results also show the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes to that of the whole steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Therefore, we believe that electromagnetic radiation from wireless eyewear device might pose a threat on the health of the human eyes. People should decrease the talk time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, attention is paid to evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments. The results show the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR, which indicates that the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues.

Conclusions

Based on the results evaluated in this paper, we find that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually and reaches the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes during the EM exposure of wireless eyewear device. The temperature increments in different ocular tissues are from 1°C to 1.7°C. We, therefore, believe EM exposure from wireless eyewear device may pose a threat on the health of the eyes, especially for the lens which suffer from the maximal temperature increments. Meanwhile, the results also show that the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes exposure time to that of the complete thermal steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Hence, wireless eyewear device users should shorten the usage time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, we evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments in the ocular tissues. We find that the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR. Therefore, we believe the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues. This paper could provide valuable data for the establishment of related safety standards and future researches in the biological effect of microwave and human eyes. However, limited by the experimental condition, the experiment is not included. Therefore, conclusions presented in this paper are just indicative but not definitive.





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On the effects of glasses on the SAR in human head resulting from wireless eyewear devices at phone call state

Lan JQ, Liang X, Hong T, Du GH. On the effects of glasses on the SAR in human head resulting from wireless eyewear devices at phone call state. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2018 Feb 8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2018.02.001.

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of glasses on the specific absorption rates (SAR) in the human head resulting from wireless eyewear device at phone call state. We mainly concentrate on the SAR in the eyes since their sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EMF). We find wearing glasses obviously alters the distribution and magnitude of the SAR. The maximal SAR in the ocular tissues with glasses is even 6 times more than that without glasses. Wearing glasses also induce the new hotspot in the eyes which may cause the biggest SAR increment in the ocular tissues. Moreover, calculated results indicate that the maximal SAR is sensitive to the size of glasses and radiation frequency. Because of this, we believe wearing glasses may possibly increase the risk of health hazard to eyes of wireless eyewear device user. These calculated results could be a valuable reference for the glasses designer to reduce the SAR in the eyes.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29428220

Conclusions



Based on the calculated results, we find wearing glasses obviously alters the distribution and magnitude of SAR. The maximal SAR in the ocular tissues with glasses is even 6 times more than that without glasses. Wearing glasses also could induce the new hotspot in the eyeballs which may cause the biggest SAR increment in the ocular tissues. Moreover, calculated results indicate that the maximal SAR is sensitive to the size of glasses and radiation frequency. Therefore, we believe wearing glasses may possibly increase the risk of health hazard to human eyes. In order to decrease the SAR in the ocular tissues, people should choose the adaptive glasses according to the radiation frequency. If possible, we advise people to take off their glasses when they use the eyewear device. These calculated results could be a valuable reference for the glasses designer to reduce the SAR in the eyes. However, due to the limited research conditions, the experiment is not included. So conclusions, in this paper, are just indicative but not definitive.

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March 22, 2017

The Google Glass, an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses, was not embraced by the general public when it was introduced in 2013-2014. So Google changed its marketing strategy to target specific occupational needs including healthcare, military, and sports applications.
Recently, a colleague told me that some physician offices in California require their staff to wear the Glass. Last week, National Public Radio reported that some factory workers must also wear the Glass.
Tasnim Shamma, Google Glass Didn't Disappear. You Can Find It On The Factory Floor. WABE/National Public Radio, March 18, 2017. http://n.pr/2nDG22d
Following is a press release I prepared three years ago which provides precautionary information about this wireless device. SAR values for the latest model of the Google Glass follow the press release.
--
Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation
The Google Glass emits more wireless radiation than most cell phones on the market, but unlike cell phone users, Glass users may be wearing this device on their heads for more than 12 hours a day putting their health at risk.

By Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. - April 15, 2014 - PRLog -- The Google Glass emits both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radiation. Although the Glass official web site, http://www.google.com/glass/start/ , contains information warning consumers about the device's potential interference with radio or television reception, the site provides no safety information to consumers.

As a body-worn, microwave-emitting device, Google is required by Federal law to test the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR of the Glass. This is a measure of the maximum microwave radiation absorbed by the user in 6 minutes averaged over one gram of tissue. 

Although Google did not post the SAR information on its web site, the Glass test reports can be found on the FCC's web site at [https://fccid.io/document.php?id=1910822]. The FCC ID for the current version of the Glass is X1.

The official test report indicates that the SAR for the Glass is much higher than the SARs for the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S5, or most cell phones on the market.

During the last year, Google improved the antenna on the Glass which resulted in an increase in the SAR from 1.11 to 1.42 watts/kilogram (W/kg).  In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a head and body SAR of 0.57 and 0.64 W/kg, respectively. The Apple iPhone 5 has a head SAR of 1.17 and a body SAR of 1.18 W/kg.

In the U.S. no personal wireless device can have a SAR that exceeds 1.6 W/kg. The SAR standard, however, was developed several decades ago in the U.S. primarily by physicists and engineers to protect users from the acute effects of the heat generated by microwave radiation. The standards do not protect users from the non-thermal effects of cell phone radiation which have been associated with increased brain cancer risk among long-term cell phone users and other health problems in the short term including electrosensitivity, sperm damage and infertility, and reproductive health risks in children.

Just because these devices are legal does not mean they are safe

Although many health researchers, including myself, have questioned the utility of assessing only a device's SAR, currently that is all governments measure and regulate. 

Governments want consumers to believe that all legally marketed wireless devices are safe, and that the SAR level does not matter as long as it meets the legal standard.  Yet no study has proved that exposure to low-intensity microwave radiation is safe, and thousands of peer-reviewed, published studies have found biologic effects from such exposures. The research suggests that governments need to adopt more stringent, biologically-based, standards to protect consumers' health.

Medical and public health professionals should call on Google to end this experiment on Glass users or at least fully inform consumers of the potential long-term health risks from wearing this device.


--

Google Glass SAR test report update

Following are the results from the SAR test report for the Google Glass Model GG1 (A4R-GG1; dated May 18, 2015):

Head test: 0.293 W/kg for Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) and 0.790 W/kg for Wi-Fi (5 GHz)

Simultaneous transmission: 0.874 W/kg

Bluetooth was excluded from testing as the maximum output power is 2.0 dBm.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Welcome to EMR Safety

EMR Safety addresses scientific and policy developments concerning the health risks from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

Saferemr.com provides a curated collection of links to articles on cell phones and cordless phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Smart Meters and other wireless devices.

I summarize the peer-reviewed research on health risks associated with wireless radiation including cancer risk, reproductive harm and neurological disorders; and expose the manufacturing of doubt about these risks by industry-linked scientists and organizations.

Since 2013, the web site has had more than two million page views by visitors from over 200 countries which attests to global concern about the impact of wireless radiation on our health.

During the past year, over half of visitors were from outside the United States with the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, Israel, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Netherlands represented the most. About two-thirds of visitors were 25-54 years of age and 63% were male.




EMR Safety reached one million page views on April 7, 2017, 
and two million page views on March 11, 2019.

For visitors new to this web site or this topic, there are overviews about why we are concerned about cell phones and other wireless devices:

"Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety" (UC Berkeley Presentation, Feb., 2019)

Wireless Technology & Public Health Forum (Dec., 2015) 

There are safety tips from various organizations on how to reduce your cell phone radiation exposure:

To explore specific topics, click on Overview of Contents, located in the column on the right hand side of the page.  Articles are listed by topic. Find the article of interest and click on the link.

You can also look up articles by the month and year they were posted or last updated in the archive, which is located on the column to the right. Click on the month and a list of the articles posted that month will appear. Then click on the article’s title, and it will take you to the page.

Finally, you can find topics of interest by using the Search Box at the upper left hand side of the page (the box with the magnifying glass icon).

The most popular posts address cellphones and health, the role of cell phones in increasing brain tumor incidence, electromagnetic fields (EMF) in hybrid and electric automobiles, Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) of popular smartphones, the Council of Europe’s recommendations to restrict Wi-Fi and mobile phone use in schools, and EMF controversies in neurobiology.

For regular updates about electromagnetic radiation safety follow me on Twitter (@berkeleyprc) or Facebook.



International Scientist Appeal on Electromagnetic Fields & Wireless Technology  -- 240+ EMF scientists petition for warnings & stronger regulation

Mobilize, a Film about Cell Phone Radiation  -- Award-winning documentary

Radio Interviews (and Podcasts)

Supplemental Information:

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Does exposure to 4G LTE cell phone radiation impair cell phone users' health?

4G or the fourth generation of cellular technology is called Long Term Evolution or LTE.  This technology employs new digital signal processing and modulation to increase the capacity and speed of wireless telecommunications networks. 

The standard for LTE was finalized in December, 2008, and the first mobile phone to employ this technology was released in September, 2010. By the end of 2017, 41 countries supported LTE coverage over at least 75% of their land area. In North America, the number of LTE mobile devices in use, 365 millionnow exceeds the size of the population.


LTE was launched without any pre-market safety testing. To date, I have found only peer-reviewed studies that examined the acute effects of exposure to LTE radiation on brain functioning and no research on health effects. Thus, we do not know whether long-term exposure to LTE radiation is safe.

The fifth generation of cellular technology, or 5G, is currently being launched in selected areas in a handful of countries. Although once again no pre-market safety testing was conducted, related research suggests various types of harm to humans and other species from exposure to 5G radiation.

The abstracts for LTE studies appear below.


Short-term radiofrequency exposure from new generation mobile phones reduces EEG alpha power with no effects on cognitive performance.

Vecsei Z, Knakker B, Juhász P, Thuróczy G, Trunk A, Hernádi I. Short-term radiofrequency exposure from new generation mobile phones reduces EEG alpha power with no effects on cognitive performance. Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 20;8(1):18010. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36353-9.

Abstract

Although mobile phone (MP) use has been steadily increasing in the last decades and similar positive trends are expected for the near future, systematic investigations on neurophysiological and cognitive effects caused by recently developed technological standards for MPs are scarcely available. Here, we investigated the effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields emitted by new-generation mobile technologies, specifically, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE), on intrinsic scalp EEG activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) and cognitive performance in the Stroop test. The study involved 60 healthy, young-adult university students (34 for UMTS and 26 for LTE) with double-blind administration of Real and Sham exposure in separate sessions. EEG was recorded before, during and after RF exposure, and Stroop performance was assessed before and after EEG recording. Both RF exposure types caused a notable decrease in the alpha power over the whole scalp that persisted even after the cessation of the exposure, whereas no effects were found on any aspects of performance in the Stroop test. The results imply that the brain networks underlying global alpha oscillations might require minor reconfiguration to adapt to the local biophysical changes caused by focal RF exposure mimicking MP use.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6301959/

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The Effect of a Single 30-Min Long Term Evolution Mobile Phone-Like Exposure on Thermal Pain Threshold of Young Healthy Volunteers

Vecsei Z, Thuróczy G, Hernádi I. The Effect of a Single 30-Min Long Term Evolution Mobile Phone-Like Exposure on Thermal Pain Threshold of Young Healthy Volunteers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Aug 27;15(9). pii: E1849. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091849.

Abstract

Although the majority of mobile phone (MP) users do not attribute adverse effects on health or well-being to MP-emitted radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs), the exponential increase in the number of RF devices necessitates continuing research aimed at the objective investigation of such concerns. Here we investigated the effects of acute exposure from Long Term Evolution (LTE) MP EMFs on thermal pain threshold in healthy young adults. We use a protocol that was validated in a previous study in a capsaicin-induced hyperalgesia model and was also successfully used to show that exposure from an RF source mimicking a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) MP led to mildly stronger desensitization to repeated noxious thermal stimulation relative to the sham condition. Using the same experimental design, we did not find any effects of LTE exposure on thermal pain threshold. The present results, contrary to previous evidence obtained with the UMTS modulation, are likely to originate from placebo/nocebo effects and are unrelated to the brief acute LTE EMF exposure itself. The fact that this is dissimilar to our previous results on UMTS exposure implies that RF modulations might differentially affect pain perception and points to the necessity of further research on the topic.


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Modulation of brain functional connectivity by exposure to LTE (4G) cell phone radiation


Wei Y, Yang J, Chen Z, Wu T, Lv B. Modulation of resting‐state brain functional connectivity by exposure to acute fourth‐generation long‐term evolution electromagnetic field: An fMRI study. Bioelectromagnetics. Published online 18 December 2018. 

Abstract

By now, the neurophysiological effect of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure and its underlying regulating mechanisms are not well manifested. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether acute long‐term evolution (LTE) EMF exposure could modulate brain functional connectivity using regional homogeneity (ReHo) method and seed‐based analysis on resting‐state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We performed the LTE‐EMF  exposure experiment and acquired the resting‐state brain activities before and after EMF exposure. Then we applied ReHo index to characterize the localized functional connectivity and seed‐based method to evaluate the inter‐regional functional connectivity. Statistical comparisons were conducted to identify the possible evidence of brain functional connectivity modulation induced by the acute LTE‐EMF exposure. We found that the acute LTE‐EMF exposure modulated localized intra‐regional connectivity (p < 0.05, AlphaSim corrected, voxel size ≥ 18) and inter‐regional connectivity in some brain regions (p < 0.05, AlphaSim corrected, voxel size ≥ 18). Our results may indicate that the approaches relying on network‐level inferences could provide deeper insight into the acute effect on human functional activity induced by LTE‐EMF exposure.

Excerpts

"Currently, multiple standards exist for wireless communication, which ranges from second‐generation (2G, GSM) to third‐generation (3G, UMTS) and fourth‐generation (4G, LTE) networks in daily life. Fifth‐generation (5G) networks will start to appear as a commercial infrastructure in the near future. Although we enjoy the convenience of mobile phones, the widespread use of them has raised attention about the possible health effects of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure [ICNIRP, 1998].

With neuroimaging and neuropsychology tools, the effect of EMF on the human brain can be reflected as signals of electrical activity [Hamblin et al., 2006; Croft et al., 2010; Lustenberger et al., 2013; Roggeveen et al., 2015a, b], cortical excitability [Tombini et al., 2013], cerebral blood flow [Aalto et al., 2006], brain glucose metabolism [Volkow et al., 2011], and hemodynamic responses [Volkow et al., 2011; Curcio et al., 2012]. Previous studies reported that GSM signals modulated alpha band power in resting‐state electroencephalogram (EEG) [Croft et al., 2010] or some event‐related potential (ERP) components during cognitive tasks [Hamblin et al., 2006], whereas other studies did not detect any GSM exposure‐induced changes in brain activity [Curcio et al., 2012]. Although some studies showed no significant effects of 3G signals on any neurophysiological measurements [Zhang et al., 2017], recent EEG studies reported significant EEG alterations associated with 3G mobile phone radiation [Roggeveen et al., 2015a, b]. The inconsistency could partly be attributed to different exposure frequencies, modulation modes, and exposure durations [Zhang et al., 2017]. For 4G‐related signals, only our two previous studies have investigated the acute effect of long‐term evolution (LTE) EMF exposure on human brain function [Lv et al., 2014; Yang et al., 2016] using EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that 30 min of LTE‐EMF exposure modulated the alpha/beta EEG bands [Yang et al., 2016] and spontaneous low‐frequency fluctuations [Lv et al., 2014] in some brain regions. Since LTE networks have been widely deployed, we should make more effort to evaluate the possible effects of LTE‐EMF exposure from different perspectives."

"In this study, we aimed to investigate whether acute LTE‐EMF exposure could modulate brain functional connectivity using resting‐state fMRI. We performed LTE‐EMF exposure experiments lasting for 30 min under a controllable environment and recorded the resting‐state brain activities before and after EMF exposure. Then, we applied the regional homogeneity (ReHo) index [Zang et al., 2004] to characterize localized intraregional connectivity and the seed‐based functional connectivity method [Margulies et al., 2010] to evaluate interregional brain connectivity. Statistical comparisons were conducted to identify possible evidence of brain functional connectivity modulation induced by acute LTE‐EMF exposure."

“To eliminate study biases, we employed a double‐blind, crossover, randomized, and counterbalanced design. Each participant underwent two experimental sessions including real exposure and sham exposure, which were separated by 1 day….The time‐division LTE signal (2.573 GHz) was produced by a signal generator a standard formulation for LTE signals….The power delivered to the standard dipole of 2.6 GHz was 24 dBm (mean value), which was equivalent to a theoretical maximal emission by an LTE terminal. The experiments were conducted in a shielding room to avoid the influence of environmental EMF. Each exposure session lasted for 30 min.”

“Numerical simulations that yielded spatial peak SAR averaging over 10 g tissues for the subjects was 0.98 ± 0.27 W/kg, with a maximal value of 1.52 W/kg, which was below the safety limits [ICNIRP, 1998].”

“In our previous studies, we found that LTE‐EMF exposure depressed the amplitude of spontaneous low frequency fluctuations (ALFFs) in some brain regions [Lv et al., 2014], such as those surrounding the left superior temporal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus (STG_L and MTG_L), right superior temporal gyrus (STG_R), right medial frontal gyrus, and right paracentral lobule (MFG_R and PCL_R). In the present study, we found new evidence that acute LTE‐EMF exposures lasting for 30 min modulated brain functional connectivity including not only localized intraregional connectivity, but also interregional connectivity.”

"Although the SAR values by LTE‐EMF exposure indicated no obvious temperature increase during the exposure experiments and the brain was excellent in terms of thermal regulation, we could not preclude that thermal changes, even minute changes, could be responsible for the instantaneous changes in neural firing. SAR is a metric averaging over 6 min, and its applicability for neurological studies should be discussed."

Conclusion

"Our results may indicate that approaches relying on network‐level inferences can provide deeper insights into the acute effects of LTE‐EMF exposure with intensities below the current safety limits on human functional connectivity. In the future, we need to investigate the evolution of the effect over time.”



May 2, 2016

By the end of 2013, 100 million cell phones in the U.S. operated on LTE. This number worldwide is expected to exceed 1 billion by the end of this year. 

Following is a summary of the second study published on the effects of 4th generation LTE cell phone radiation on the brain activity of cell phone users by the China Academy of Telecommunication Research of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The original study showed that 30 minutes of exposure to LTE phone radiation affected brain activity in the left superior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule. The current study found that a 30-minute exposure to LTE radiation modulated the EEG in the alpha and beta bands at the frontal region of the near and remote sides, and at the temporal region on the near side.

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Long-Term Evolution EMF Exposure Modulates Resting State EEG on Alpha and Beta Bands

Yang L, Chen Q, Lv B, Wu T. Long-Term Evolution Electromagnetic Fields Exposure Modulates the Resting State EEG on Alpha and Beta Bands. Clin EEG Neurosci. 
2017 May;48(3):168-175. doi: 10.1177/1550059416644887.

Abstract


Long-term evolution (LTE) wireless telecommunication systems are widely used globally, which has raised a concern that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted from LTE devices can change human neural function. To date, few studies have been conducted on the effect of exposure to LTE EMF. Here, we evaluated the changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) due to LTE EMF exposure. An LTE EMF exposure system with a stable power emission, which was equivalent to the maximum emission from an LTE mobile phone, was used to radiate the subjects. Numerical simulations were conducted to ensure that the specific absorption rate in the subject's head was below the safety limits. Exposure to LTE EMF reduced the spectral power and the interhemispheric coherence in the alpha and beta bands of the frontal and temporal brain regions. No significant change was observed in the spectral power and the inter-hemispheric coherence in different timeslots during and after the exposure. These findings also corroborated those of our previous study using functional magnetic resonant imaging.

http://1.usa.gov/2475GM3

Excerpts

".. the results of resting state EEG experiments have been contradictory. For example, some studies have reported enhancement of the alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) band power values after exposure to pulse-modulated 450- and 900-MHz signals, pulse-modulated magnetic fields, and active mobile phone signals. In contrast, some studies have shown decreased alpha band activity after 20 minutes of extremely low-frequency EMF exposure, or 5 minutes of magnetic field exposure, or global system for mobile communications (GSM) EMF exposure. Many studies also found no changes in the EEG after either modulated or unmodulated EMF exposure. These inconsistencies could be attributed not only to the differences in the signal type, the modulation, the exposure frequency, the exposure intensity individual anatomy, the ages of the subjects, and the exposure duration but also to the lack of rigorous experimental designs. Most of the previously published studies have focused on GSM, WiFi, and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), signals. An emerging technology, “long term evolution” (LTE) wireless service, has been deployed since 2009 and the number of global LTE subscribers is expected to reach 1.37 billion by the end of 2015. Other than our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, there are very few reports on the effect of exposure to LTE EMF on brain function. We previously found that 30 minutes of exposure to LTE EMF modulated the spontaneous low-frequency fluctuations. We were interested in confirming our previous results using another neurophysiological method and also sought to assess the evolution of the effect over time during such exposure. In this article, we have investigated for the first time the changes in the resting state EEG caused by exposure to LTE signals. The exposure dose was below the current safety limit. In order to assess brain activities on different levels, we evaluated spectral power and interhemispheric coherence, which allowed investigation of EEG changes in specific brain regions, as well as their correlations, at different time points. We show that exposure to LTE EMF decreased the alpha and beta band power spectrum and interhemisphere coherence."

"The age of the subjects was 30.2 ± 2.7 years."

"A plastic spacer of 1 cm was used to maintain the distance between the right ear and a standard dipole. We applied 2 power meters to ensure a constant incident power to the emission dipole. The power delivered to the dipole was 24 dBm (peak value), equivalent to a theoretical maximum emission by an LTE terminal."

"All 25 subjects participated in the double-blind and counterbalanced experiment."

"The experiment included 2 sessions, which were separated by 1 week. Each session lasted 50 minutes and comprised 5 time slots. We indicated each time slot (10 minutes) in a session as sub1 to sub5. The radiation dipole was power off for the first (preexposure, sub1) and the last 10 minutes (postexposure, sub5) timeslots. Subjects were exposed to real EMF exposure in the 3 time slots (sub2 to sub4) between the first and the last 10 minutes in only 1 of the 2 sessions. The order of the 2 sessions was randomly selected per subject. The subjects were not informed of the sequence of each session; however, they were aware of the possibility of being exposed. On the other hand, the staff who analyzed the data did not know the sources of the EEG traces."

"The simulations yielded 1.34 W/kg (pSAR10g) and 1.96 W/kg (pSAR1g), with the electrodes, and 1.27 W/kg (pSAR10g) and 1.78 W/kg (pSAR1g), without the electrodes (Figure 2) when the dipole emitted radiation. Therefore, the presence of the EEG electrodes increased pSAR10g and pSAR1g by about 5.5% and 10.1%, respectively. Accordingly, the maximum resultant temperature increase was no more than 0.1°C ...."

"Previous studies on GSM and UMTS signal exposure frequently reported changes in interhemispheric coherence and the spectral power in the alpha band in the frontal and temporal regions, which were also confirmed by our results on LTE EMF exposure. Moreover, modulation of the power spectrum in the beta band, including both an increase and a decrease, was reported. Several reasons may account for the inconsistency. First, the signal frequency and its modulation influenced the affected EEG band: for example, exposure to 2G signals affect the alpha rhythms, whilst exposure to 3G signals do not. In contrast, the modulated 450-MHz signals of various intensities can change beta activity much more markedly than alpha band power. Second, gender and the individual sensitivity 38,40 may influence the effect on different bands. Hence, we attempted to reduce the variability by enrolling the subjects with the same gender and age."

"In particular, power spectral analysis has shown significant differences in the left frontal brain regions, that is, the remote side, on exposure. This may be associated with modulation of neural activity in the remote/contralateral brain regions. The remote effects of EMF have been observed in many previous studies. Our results reconfirmed that the effects were also seen with LTE EMF exposure."

"The power spectrum and the interhemispheric coherence did not differ significantly over sub2 to sub5. Thus, the observed effect did not change with the exposure time and the effect was therefore not developing. The reduction in alpha band activity has been associated with a decrease in individual information-processing ability, alertness, and cognitive performance. The decrease in beta band activity could be interpreted as decreased alertness, arousal, and excitement or a low level of fatigue. Notably, EEG power fluctuation was not in one-one correspondence with the change in behavioral/cognitive performance which should be evaluated by specifically designed experiments as the report by Haarala et al. No conclusion could be obtained by our study that the present EMF exposure affected the subjects’ cognitive abilities."

"This work studied EEG changes caused by LTE EMF exposure. An exposure system with a fixed power incident to a radiation dipole was used; this simulation demonstrated that the SAR was within the safety limits. LTE EMF exposure modulated the EEG in the alpha and beta bands at the frontal region of the near and remote sides, and at the temporal region on the near side. No developing effect was found in the periods during and after the exposure. Our results agreed to some extent with those of our previous fMRI study on LTE exposure. Our finding indicated that the LTE EMF exposure with the intensity beneath the safety limits could modulate the brain activities."

"Future studies should focus on the correlation of EEG changes with spatial SAR distribution. By taking individual anatomical structure into consideration, a precise dose-effect relationship can be established. EEG changes with a finer temporal resolution during the exposure session should also be evaluated."

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The alteration of spontaneous low frequency oscillations caused by acute electromagnetic fields exposure

Lv B, Chen Z, Wu T, et al. The alteration of spontaneous low frequency oscillations caused by acute electromagnetic fields exposure. Clin Neurophysiol. 2014;125:277-286.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The motivation of this study is to evaluate the possible alteration of regional resting state brain activity induced by the acute radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure (30 minutes) of Long Term Evolution (LTE) signal.

METHODS: We designed a controllable near-field LTE RF-EMF exposure environment. Eighteen subjects participated in a double-blind, crossover, randomized and counterbalanced experiment including two sessions (real and sham exposure). The radiation source was close to the right ear. Then the resting state fMRI signals of human brain were collected before and after the exposure in both sessions. We measured the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and fractional ALFF (fALFF) to characterize the spontaneous brain activity.
RESULTS: We found the decreased ALFF value around in left superior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule after the real exposure. And the decreased fALFF value was also detected in right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule.

CONCLUSIONS: The study provided the evidences that 30 minute LTE RF-EMF exposure modulated the spontaneous low frequency fluctuations in some brain regions.

SIGNIFICANCE: With resting state fMRI, we found the alteration of spontaneous low frequency fluctuations induced by the acute LTE RF-EMF exposure.

http://1.usa.gov/1gTqxVr

Monday, March 4, 2019

Presentations

"Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety"
Joel Moskowitz, Keynote presentation, University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley (Feb 27, 2019)
Video (72 minutes), slides, and safety tips: https://www.saferemr.com/2019/03/cellphones-cell-towers-wireless.html

Cellphones and Public Health Policy 
Joel Moskowitz, Collaborative on Health and the Environment Webinar, May 9, 2018

Video (30 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE-ff6oSY0k

"Wireless Technology & Public Health: Health & Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World"
Joel Moskowitz, Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Teleconference (Feb 16, 2016)  http://healthandenvironment.org/wg_calls/18206
Slides: http://healthandenvironment.org/uploads/docs/MoskowitzslidesFeb162016.pdf
Audio:  http://che.webfactional.com/audio/chepartnercallwirelesstechfeb162016.mp3
Q&A:    http://healthandenvironment.org/articles/partnership_blog/18207

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy"
Joel Moskowitz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health presentation (Oct 22, 2015)
Slides: http://bit.ly/wirelessradiationUCLA102215


"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy"
Joel Moskowitz, Mountain View Center for Performing Arts (Oct 10, 2015)
Slides: http://bit.ly/MtnView10102015
Video:  http://bit.ly/talk101015jmm (46:29)

"Cell Phones and Your Health" (BEUHS653)
Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley faculty and staff presentation (Sep 10, 2015)
Sponsored by University Health Services/Health Matters and CITRIS
Slides: http://bit.ly/ucbjmm091015

"Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation Safety Policy Options"
Joel Moskowitz, "Final Remarks: Domestic Policy Implications," Commonwealth Club of California (Jun 22, 2015) 
Slides: http://bit.ly/PolicyOptionsJMM
Video:  https://vimeo.com/133169375 (10:26)

Video & slides for the Commonwealth Club forum: "Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened to Protect Adults, Children and Vulnerable Populations – and Should Parents, Teachers and Schools Restrict Technology Overuse among Children?" (Jun 22, 2015): http://bit.ly/CC062215

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health"
Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley lecture, Health and Social Behavior (PH200) (Apr 8, 2015)
Slides: http://bit.ly/jmm04082015

"Mobile Phone Use and Cancer Risk: Research on a Group 2B Carcinogen"
Joel Moskowitz, Webinar for CDC Work Group on Cancer Prevention (Oct 29, 2014)
Slides:    http://bit.ly/CDCWebinar102914
Audio:     http://bit.ly/101l2lR or http://bit.ly/1tDZbg2

"Mobile Phone Radiation and Health: Recent Research and Policy Developments"
Joel Moskowitz, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley (Jun 19, 2014)
Slides:     http://bit.ly/1lFp9vc

"Brain Tumor Risk from Wireless Phone Use: Recent Research and Policy Implications"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part II: Dec 9, 2013) 
Slides:    http://bit.ly/1k9PeRQ
Video:     http://bit.ly/1kxkpto or http://bit.ly/1hx3t5j

"Expert Roundtable: Skeptical about Cell Phones and Health?"
Forum at Commonwealth Club of California (Dec 9, 2013)
Other presentations will be available soon. 
Agenda : http://bit.ly/1aqek9K

"Cell Phones & Brain Tumors What Does the Science Show?"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part I: Nov 18, 2010)
Slides:                       http://bit.ly/W5tNCN
Video (15 minutes): http://vimeo.com/17266112

GAO 2012 Mobile Phone Report to the Congress


"The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently." 

The FCC Failed to Comply with the GAO's Cell Phone Recommendations

At the request of the U.S. Congress, in 2012 the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an investigation and issued a report, "Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed" (GAO 12-771).

The report made two recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency in the Department of Commerce responsible for ensuring cell phone safety: 
(1) formally reassess the exposure limit for radio frequency radiation and change the limit if appropriate; and 
(2) reassess the adequacy of cell phone testing requirements, particularly when phones are held next to the body, and update testing requirements as appropriate.
Since 2012, the GAO routinely contacted the FCC to determine whether the FCC implemented the GAO's recommendations. Since the FCC has provided no specific plans to comply, in 2019 the GAO closed out the investigation reporting that the FCC failed to implement the GAO's recommendations regarding cell phone exposure limits and testing requirements (see below).

The FCC's exposure limits and testing procedures adopted in 1996 are considered inadequate to protect human health by most scientists who publish research on the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on biology and health.

The GAO report was requested in 2012 by the following members of Congress: Henry Waxman, Anna Eshoo, and Edward Markey.


https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-771

Also see:


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January 10, 2013

"Comments on the 2012 GAO Report:
'Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed'”

By Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley


U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO). Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed. GAO-12-771. Washington, DC: General Accountability Office. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-771 .


The GAO Report selectively reviewed scientific literature that supports the FCC’s claim that cell phones which comply with the federal standards are safe. The GAO did not consider the methodologic limitations of this research or the alternative interpretations of the results from these studies. The GAO Report did not review the scientific evidence that strongly suggests the FCC standards which control only for thermal effects do not adequately protect the public from harm due to non-thermal effects of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation.

Although we do not have conclusive proof that cell phone radiation is harmful to humans, the FCC certainly cannot prove its claim that cell phones that comply with current federal standards are safe. The claim relies on many assumptions about the science.
A critical review of the science—as opposed to simply “weighting the evidence”— reveals that these assumptions have dubious validity, and that there is sufficient evidence to require the development of a stronger, biologically-based standard that protects against sub-thermal exposures.

Comments (11 pp.) available at:  http://bit.ly/SneysY.

--


"What GAO Found

Scientific research to date has not demonstrated adverse human health effects of exposure to radio-frequency (RF) energy from mobile phone use, but research is ongoing that may increase understanding of any possible effects. In addition, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as experts GAO interviewed have reached similar conclusions about the scientific research. Ongoing research examining the health effects of RF energy exposure is funded and supported by federal agencies, international organizations, and the mobile phone industry. NIH is the only federal agency GAO interviewed directly funding studies in this area, but other agencies support research under way by collaborating with NIH or other organizations to conduct studies and identify areas for additional research.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) RF energy exposure limit may not reflect the latest research, and testing requirements may not identify maximum exposure in all possible usage conditions. FCC set an RF energy exposure limit for mobile phones in 1996, based on recommendations from federal health and safety agencies and international organizations. These international organizations have updated their exposure limit recommendation in recent years, based on new research, and this new limit has been widely adopted by other countries, including countries in the European Union. This new recommended limit could allow for more RF energy exposure, but actual exposure depends on a number of factors including how the phone is held during use. FCC has not adopted the new recommended limit. The Office of Management and Budget’s instructions to federal agencies require the adoption of consensus standards when possible. FCC told GAO that it relies on the guidance of federal health and safety agencies when determining the RF energy exposure limit, and to date, none of these agencies have advised FCC to change the limit. However, FCC has not formally asked these agencies for a reassessment. By not formally reassessing its current limit, FCC cannot ensure it is using a limit that reflects the latest research on RF energy exposure. FCC has also not reassessed its testing requirements to ensure that they identify the maximum RF energy exposure a user could experience. Some consumers may use mobile phones against the body, which FCC does not currently test, and could result in RF energy exposure higher than the FCC limit.

Federal agencies and the mobile phone industry provide information on the health effects of mobile phone use and related issues to the public through their websites and mobile phone manuals. The types of information provided via federal agencies’ websites on mobile phone health effects and related issues vary, in part because of the agencies’ different missions, although agencies provide a broadly consistent message. Members of the mobile phone industry voluntarily provide information on their websites and in mobile-phone user manuals. There are no federal requirements that manufacturers provide information to consumers about the health effects of mobile phone use.

Why GAO Did This Study

The rapid adoption of mobile phones has occurred amidst controversy over whether the technology poses a risk to human health as a result of long-term exposure to RF energy from mobile phone use. FCC and FDA share regulatory responsibilities for mobile phones. GAO was asked to examine several issues related to mobile phone health effects and regulation. Specifically, this report addresses (1) what is known about the health effects of RF energy from mobile phones and what are current research activities, (2) how FCC set the RF energy exposure limit for mobile phones, and (3) federal agency and industry actions to inform the public about health issues related to mobile phones, among other things. GAO reviewed scientific research; interviewed experts in fields such as public health and engineering, officials from federal agencies, and representatives of academic institutions, consumer groups, and the mobile phone industry; reviewed mobile phone testing and certification regulations and guidance; and reviewed relevant federal agency websites and mobile phone user manuals.

What GAO Recommends

FCC should formally reassess and, if appropriate, change its current RF energy exposure limit and mobile phone testing requirements related to likely usage configurations, particularly when phones are held against the body. FCC noted that a draft document currently under consideration by FCC has the potential to address GAO’s recommendations


For more information, contact Mark Goldstein at (202) 512-2834 or goldsteinm@gao.gov, or Marcia Crosse at (202) 512-7114 or crossem@gao.gov."

View report: https://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592901.pdf

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-771