Sunday, June 23, 2019

Mobile Communications and Public Health

Mobile Communications and Public Health

Edited by Marko Markov

Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. June 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1-138-56842-6 (Hardback); 978-0-203-70510-0 (eBook)

This book represents a comprehensive overview of various forms of mobile communications devices, with increasing variations and intensities that constitute a serious hazard to both the biosphere and mankind. Contributors stress the lack of controls over mobile communication signal sources, as well as the absence of monitoring the health of individuals exposed to microwave radiation. The work also entails a review of the engineering behind mobile communication technology, including a summary of basic scientific evidence of the effects of biological exposure to microwaves, and unique coverage on potential hazards of mobile communication for children.

Marko S. Markov, Ph.D., has been professor and chairman of the Department of Biophysics and Radiobiology of Sofia University for more than 20 years. With over 45 years of basic science research experience, and over 40 years in the clinical application of electromagnetic fields, he is recognized as one of the world’s best experts in the subject. His list of publications includes 196 papers and 18 books.

  • Presents an overview of what modern science knows about mobile communications signals;
  • Details the latest research on potential hazards related to uncontrolled use of mobile devices;
  • Provides information related to children's organisms not developed biologically prior to exposure to microwave signals;
  • Offers methods of control of the house and work environment; and
  • Explores the link between science and electromagnetics hazards.

By Rainer Nyberg, Lennart Hardell. pp. xii - xvi


Mobile Communications and Public Health

by Marko S. Markov. Chapter 1: pp. 1-24.


The last quarter of the 20th and the first two decades of the 21st centuries are characterized by increasing hazards of electromagnetic fields for the biosphere and public health. This anthropogenic factor has been considered in two distinct directions: low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) from power lines and high frequency EMF from cellular communications.

Public fear as well as scientific understanding have pointed to the serious problems for public health. World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the importance of this issue and originated “The international EMF project” which during the last two decades has organized a series of international meetings in different locations of the world with the intention to harmonize standards for EMF radiation and exposure. Unfortunately, this activity did not end with a more or less defined conclusion or at least a recommendation. With respect to EMF emitted for the purpose of mobile communications, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recognized the non-ionizing radiation from microwaves used in mobile communications as a possible carcinogenic source (category 2B).

This paper discussed the basic physics problems related to characterization of the non-ionizing radiation that are of importance for public health. Special attention is paid to missing definitions for basic terminology and to the non-thermal effects of EMF as well as the incorrect use of SAR [Specific Absorption Rate] for defining conditions of exposure. The core of the paper is the potential hazard of mobile communications for human health.


In conclusion, today the entire biosphere and mankind are subjected to signals from space and terrestrial sources, unknown by numbers and by their physical characteristics. We are at the bottom of the ocean of electromagnetic waves. What is worse—this global “experiment” is conducted without protocol, monitoring, and the possibility to produce any protections. The mobile communication industry is creating newer and newer tools in order to eventually increase the speed of communications. Smartphones and smart meters significantly change the electromagnetic environment not only for occupational conditions, but in every home. Billions of people are not informed about the fact that their homes and they themselves are subjected to the “new and advanced” technological developments. This cohort includes babies and elderly people, schoolboys and professionals.

What is even worse, the new 5G mobile technology is being introduced even before the development of industrial standards. No health hazard estimation is planned; no guidance for protection and standards are developed. It is time to ring the bell.


Cell Phone Radiation: Evidence From ELF and RF Studies Supporting More Inclusive Risk Identification and Assessment 

By Carl Blackman. Chapter 2: pp. 25-46.


Many national and international exposure standards for maximum radiation exposure from the use of cell phones and other similar portable devices are ultimately based on the production of heat, particularly in regions of the head, that is, thermal effects (TE). The recent elevation in some countries of the allowable exposure, that is, averaging the exposure that occurs in a 6 minute period over 10 grams (g)  of tissue rather than over 1 g, allows for greater heating in small portions of the 10-g volume compared to the exposure that would be allowed averaged over a 1-g volume. There is concern that ‘hot’ spots, that is, momentary higher intensities, could occur in portions of the 10-g tissue piece, which might have adverse consequences, particularly in brain tissue.

There is another concern about exposure to cell phone radiation that has been virtually ignored except for the National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) advice given in a publication in 1986 (National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, Biological Effects and Exposure Criteria for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, 1986, 400 pp.). This NCRP review and guidance explicitly acknowledged the existence of non-thermal effects (NTE), and included provisions for reduced maximum-allowable limits should certain radiation characteristics occur during the exposure.
If we are to take most current national and international exposure standards as completely protective of thermal injury for acute exposure only (6 min time period), then the recent evidence from epidemiological studies associating increases in brain and head cancers with increased cell phone use per day and per year over 8–12 years raises concerns about the possible health consequences of NTE first acknowledged in the NCRP 1986 report (National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, Biological Effects and Exposure Criteria for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, 1986, 400 pp.).
This paper will review some of the salient evidence that demonstrates the existence of NTE and the exposure complexities that must be considered and understood to provide appropriate, more thorough evaluation and guidance for future studies and for assessment of potential health consequences. Unfortunately, this paper is necessary because most national and international reviews of the research area since the 1986 report (National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, Biological Effects and Exposure Criteria for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, 1986, 400 pp.) have not included scientists with expertise in NTE, or have not given appropriate attention to their requests to include NTE in the establishment of public health-based radiation exposure standards. Thus, those standards are limited because they are not comprehensive.


There is substantial scientific evidence that some modulated fields (pulsed or repeated signals) are bioactive, which increases the likelihood that they could have health impacts with chronic exposure even at very low exposure levels. Modulation signals may interfere with normal, nonlinear biological processes. Modulation is a fundamental factor that should be taken into account in new public safety standards; at present it is not even a contributing factor. To properly evaluate the biological and health impacts of exposure to modulated RFR (carrier waves), it is also essential to study the impact of the modulating signal (lower frequency fields or ELF-modulated RF). Current standards have ignored modulation as a factor in human health impacts, and thus are inadequate in the protection of the public in terms of chronic exposure to some forms of ELF-modulated RF signals. The current Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards are not sufficiently protective of public health with respect to chronic exposure to modulated fields (particularly new technologies that are pulse-modulated and heavily used in cellular telephony). The collective papers on modulation appear to be omitted from consideration in the recent World Health Organization (WHO) and IEEE science reviews. This body of research has been ignored by current standard setting bodies that rely only on traditional energy-based (thermal) concepts. 

More laboratory as opposed to epidemiological research is needed to determine which modulation factors and combinations are bioactive and deleterious at low intensities, and are likely to result in disease-related processes and/or health risks; however, this should not delay preventative actions supporting public health and wellness. If signals need to be modulated in the development of new wireless technologies, for example, it makes sense to use what existing scientific information is available to avoid the most obviously deleterious exposure parameters and select others that may be less likely to interfere with normal biological processes in life. 

The current membership on Risk Assessment committees needs to be made more inclusive by adding scientists experienced with producing nonthermal biological effects. The current practice of segregating scientific investigations (and resulting public health limits) by artificial, engineering-based divisions of frequency needs to be changed because this approach dramatically dilutes the impact of the basic science results and eliminates consideration of modulation signals, thereby reducing and distorting the weight of evidence in any evaluation process.

Public Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields

By Peter Gajšek. Chapter 3: pp. 47-64.


The increasing use of various wireless devices and development of new telecommunication technologies has resulted in a fundamental change of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) exposure in the everyday environment. In the last three decades, a large number of scientific studies on the exposure assessment of the general public to RF-EMF in different environments were completed. The results of numerous exposure assessment studies come to almost the same conclusions: that public RF-EMF exposures in different micro environments are only a small fraction of existing RF exposure standards.


In general, all the research studies related to exposure assessment of the general public to fixed RF-EMF sources in the environment including base stations, broadcasting, and wireless systems clearly demonstrated that the total mean value of the electric field was quite low and did not exceed 10% of the internationally recognized limit values.

It is expected that the strength and complexity of EMF exposures will increase continuously, especially in relation to expansion of the 5th generation of mobile telephony and other emerging technologies that will use different frequency bands. An increasing number of devices and processes employing these frequencies (household appliances, telecommunication, etc.) have already been introduced into everyday life. Almost nothing is known about these exposures and potential exposure levels.

It is expected that global mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual rate of 45% in the coming years, which represents a tenfold increase between 2016 and 2022 (Ericsson, 2016). This increase is driven largely by the adoption of mobile video streaming. On top of that, the Internet of Things (IoT) is shifting from a vision to reality. The 29 billion connected devices by 2022 are expected to include 18 billion IoT or machine-to-machine (M2M) devices. Subsequently, the future 5G mobile networks will need to support new challenging and new use cases, which will demand more spectrum in ever higher frequency ranges.

Furthermore, emissions will continue to change in characteristics and levels due to new infrastructure deployments, smart environments, and novel wireless devices. Thus it is expected that the complexity of EMF exposures will increase in the future.


Health Effects of Chronic Exposure to Radiation From Mobile Communication 

By Igor Belyaev. Chapter 4: pp. 65-100.


Due to strong evidence showing the critical role of the exposure duration for the effects of nonthermal microwaves (NT MW), studies with prolonged chronic exposures became of key importance in assessment of the MW health effects. Given the undoubted key role of specific signal characteristics such as frequency, modulation, and polarization, the studies with chronic exposures to real signals of mobile communication become of predominant importance for assessment of health effects from mobile communication. There were a number of such studies performed recently. Most of them confirmed results of animal studies with chronic MW exposure previously performed in Russia/The Soviet Union by showing detrimental health effects including those related to carcinogenesis.


Chronic exposure to nonthermal microwaves (NT MW) may result in various health effects affecting the central nervous system, fertility, immune functions, and causing/promoting cancer. Taken together, available studies indicate that response to NT MW depends on PD and duration exposure (7). The SAR based ICNIRP safety standards, which have been widely adopted for protection against acute thermal effects of MW, are insufficient to protect the public from chronic exposures to NT MW from mobile communication. New safety standards should commonly be adopted based on data from multiple studies on chronic exposures and mechanisms for nonthermal MW effects (106). It should be anticipated that definite parts of human population, such as children, pregnant women, and hypersensitive persons, which constitute about 1%–10% of the general population in economically developed counties (113), could be especially vulnerable to chronic NT MW exposures. In general, new signals of mobile communication should be tested with chronic exposures before being put into practice.


Can Electromagnetic Field Exposure Caused by Mobile Communication Systems in a Public Environment Be Counted as Dominant?

By Jolanta Karpowicz, Dina Šimunić, Krzysztof Gryz. Chapter 5: 101-128. 

The core principle used by mobile communication systems to transfer information via the wireless links involves the emission and reception of the electromagnetic field in the radio frequency band. The entire population today is exposed to the electromagnetic field emitted by mobile terminals (mobile phone handsets, cordless phones, tablets, laptops, routers, etc.) and their base stations. The same frequency bands are also used by other technologies, such as radio and television broadcasting, wireless internet access, microwave heating, anti-theft systems, radio frequency identification systems, and so on. When discussing health hazards may be caused by electromagnetic field exposure from mobile communication systems, it must be remembered that in some cases, other sources of electromagnetic exposure may deliver a dominant or a significant exposure component of the total radio frequency electromagnetic exposure of particular individuals. This paper describes the technical aspects of various mobile communication systems. Exposure scenarios with various dominant sources of exposures are discussed in the chapter together with exposure evaluation techniques which may help recognize the exposure pattern. 


The level of exposure to RF-EMF recorded in the discussed investigations performed in environments accessible to the public is usually significantly lower than the general public exposure limits provided by international guidelines and legislation established in various countries (4–61 V/m) (Council Recommendation, 1999, Gryz et al., 2014a, Stam, 2011). It is worth noting that, when approaching RF emitting antennas, especially BTS of mobile networks or RTV broadcasting, over a short distance the level of RF-EMF increases and may even significantly exceed the mentioned limits. However, the investigations show that in locations where many users of mobile communication tools are present in a crowded space, the components of RF-EMF exposure caused by their activities (which significantly vary over time) may together exceed components from the stationary emitters of RF-EMF (such as mobile networks base stations and RTV broadcasting antennas). Furthermore, other studies showed that local hot spots of exposure may also be created in such locations as a result of the multipath propagation of RF-EMF. Together, this is significant in the context of the safety of the vulnerable population, such as individuals with medical implants and users of telemedicine body worn sensors, because it may cause local hot spot overexposure with respect to the limit of radio frequency exposure, which may influence the function of electronic devices. In order to avoid medical device malfunction, it is usually recommended to maintain a distance from the transmitting terminals (handsets) greater than 1 meter....

It is also important to keep in mind that the rapidly developing mobile communication services are including continuously higher frequencies – AM and FM radio transmissions initially operated at kHz and MHz frequencies and analogue radiophones and cellular phones started from frequencies 27–450 MHz, whereas today’s digital cellular phones use frequencies up to 2.2 GHz and wireless internet access explores frequencies up to almost 6 GHz, where the next generation of cellular phones is also going to be. Even much higher frequencies are explored by radio links, almost up to 100 GHz.


Low-Level Thermal Signals: An Understudied Aspect of Radio Frequency Field Exposures with Potential Implications on Public Health

By Lucas A. Portelli. Chapter 6: 129-162.


Protection from the hazards of radio frequency (RF) fields is currently aimed at confining the RF-induced thermal changes in tissue to within limits which are currently considered as safe. In this regard, hazardous effects of such exposures are traditionally investigated, catalogued, and interpreted from a perspective based on presumably adequate approximations and assumptions that simplify several dosimetric and biological aspects. While these simplifications are certainly useful and convenient, they tend to obscure the existence of dosimetric artifacts and subtle biological responses which may be of relevance to human health when observed from the microdosimetric or chronic perspectives. Increasingly realistic human models, for example, can unveil the existence of localized hot-spots and thermal transients which are invisible when using simpler models or space and time averaging as is customary for the safety regulatory practice. This results in exposures which can be in reality many times greater than the supposed and reported exposures. Similarly, from the biological perspective, the classical thermal hazard paradigm assumes that thermal damage only occurs after certain relatively high temperatures are reached for short amounts of time, inducing safety regulations to limit rather acute thermal exposures accordingly. However, while this perspective is practical and apparently sufficient to protect the population under the current paradigm, it is impervious to the possibility of the existence of the effects of chronic exposures to low-levels of thermal challenges. Such exposures may cause small amounts of thermal damage directly or indirectly (e.g., via the stimulation of compensatory physiological reactions) which may add up over time.
In this regard, one must recognize that localized thermal transients (collections of which form Thermal Signals) are an unavoidable result of exposure to modulated RF fields, even if the exposure is within the limits which are currently considered as safe. One can contemplate, for example, how such a thermal signal can appear when tissue is exposed to an intermittent RF field (e.g., …on-off-on-off…) as the deposited heat is actively or passively redistributed by physical or physiological means throughout the organism and back into the environment.
The fact that such signals are inherent to RF exposures alone makes the studying of their biological effects a necessity to guarantee human safety. Nevertheless, at present, the possibility of biological effects of thermal signals is not mentioned, contemplated or investigated since they are deemed inconsequential under the current paradigm. Yet, sensitivity to minute thermal changes is an inherent aspect of physicochemical laws which govern the dynamics and function of biochemical reactions and structures. Such structures and reactions can potentially act as transducers of thermal signals into the cellular processes, which may translate into biological and ultimately health effects. Consequently, the study of thermal signals may open a myriad of possibilities for noninvasive, nonchemical interaction with biochemical signals at the cellular level which may have broad implications in the scientific, industrial, regulatory, and therapeutic arenas.


It is an undeniable fact that complex biological systems, from the molecular to the full organism level, are built around very rigorous thermal specifications making them very sensitive and responsive to small temperature changes in their internal or external vicinity. Hence, thermal signals which are invariably linked to the imposition of RF fields have the potential to be accompanied by compensatory biochemical responses from tissue at a local or global level in the organism. Such thermal signals might initially have modest effects on biochemical reactions and structures, however, these effects may then be amplified by the biological system into relevant biological and health effects.

From the public health perspective, a necessary question to answer is: what are the biological effects of chronic exposures to low-level thermal signals and what are the relative health risks? (i.e., compared to a smoking certain number of cigarettes a day, for example). However, to date, our currently poor understanding about the true biological relevance of thermal signals is insufficient to draw useful scientific conclusions which can affect decisions, recommendations, and policy to protect the public from potential hazards. In fact, the amount of data available is much less than would be considered the bare minimum. How “small” a thermal signal is can only be judged from a biological system perspective by generating the appropriate set of experiments and interpreting them from a paradigm that includes this possibility. While, in essence, the characteristics of this thermal signal will be a result of the antagonistic thermal processes (heat-in versus heat-out) specific to the details of the exposure, the need for consideration of the effects from the cellular spatio-temporal scale might require significant amounts of effort and complications. However, such apparent complications, in return, may hold substantial scientific, industrial, and therapeutic potential at best or understanding of realistic safety thresholds at worst.

Therefore, in view of the pervasiveness and potential relevance of low-level thermal signals, the paradigm centered around the notion of a “thermal damage threshold” on which the current safety standards and recommendations for mobile communications are currently based might be incomplete. For this reason alone, basic research in this area is imperative. Therefore, scientists and executives who are seriously concerned about the implications of mobile communications on public health must consider directing their scientific resources towards unveiling the true biological relevance of RF-induced small thermal signals to such a degree as these are directed towards the study of RF-induced “thermal” and “nonthermal” effects. In this regard, thermal signals may not only appear as a secondary effect in other instances of intermittent energy deposition (ultrasound or light), but it could also be purposely generated to achieve therapeutic levels, should these exist....


How Cancer Can Be Caused by Microwave Frequency Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures: EMF Activation of Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels (VGCCs) Can Cause Cancer Including Tumor Promotion, Tissue Invasion, and Metastasis via 15 Mechanisms

By Martin L. Pall. Chapter 7: pp. 163-186.


Thirty reviews each argue that microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can and do cause cancer. These conclusions should be definitive and are further buttressed by the National Toxicology Program study on 2G cell phone radiation. However, there are still claims that there cannot be a mechanism for EMF cancer causation. Such EMFs are known to act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation and consequent downstream increases in intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i and peroxynitrite/free radicals/oxidative stress. Fifteen mechanisms are discussed here whereby these downstream effects can cause cancer. These include single strand and double strand DNA breaks and oxidized DNA bases; increased ornithine decarboxylase; lowered melatonin; increased NF-kappa B; increased tumor promotion via degradation of gap junction proteins; increased tumor promotion via DNA breaks/gene amplification; increased tissue invasion and metastasis via increased tight junction protein degradation; increased CaMKII via protein oxidation; calcium produced increased CaMKII; calcium-dependent phosphatidylserine flippase; c-src activation by calcium/calmodulin; calcium increased cellular oncogene transcription; calpain activation of tumor migration, tissue invasion, and metastasis. These 15 mechanisms and reviews on calcium roles in cancer causation together show that EMFs acting via VGCC activation can cause cancer initiation, promotion, and progression. We have, therefore, a large number of mechanisms by which microwave frequency EMFs can cause cancer.


This paper is based on three important findings. First, that microwave and lower frequency EMFs act via activation of VGCCs. Second, 29 different reviews have concluded that such EMFs cause cancer, raising the question of how VGCC activation can cause cancer. Third, because VGCC activation acts mainly via increased [Ca2+]i, it is reasonable to assume that cancer causation occurs via increased calcium signaling and via other downstream effects of [Ca2+]i. This paper finds that there are multiple mechanisms that fit each of these two descriptions that cause cancer based on the cancer literature. Many of them come from the downstream effects involving the peroxynitrite/free radical/oxidative stress pathway and one of the important consequences of that pathway, elevated NF-kappa B. Those downstream effects are similar or identical to the effects that are central to inflammatory carcinogenesis in the literature. But, in addition, there are cancer causing effects that are caused by excessive calcium signaling and these are also discussed here.

These mechanisms are listed below. Mechanisms 1–6 are all reported to be raised following EMF exposures and are, therefore, particularly plausibly involved in EMF-caused carcinogenesis. Each of these 15 is produced as a consequence of either the peroxynitrite/free radical/oxidative stress pathway of action of as a consequence of excessive calcium signaling. Each is, therefore, highly plausible because each of these pathways of action are well documented downstream effects of EMF exposures....

We have, then, 15 well-documented mechanisms by which EMFs acting via VGCC activation can cause cancer. It is complete and utter to nonsense, therefore, to claim there are no such mechanisms.


A Summary of Recent Literature (2007–2017) on Neurobiological Effects of Radio Frequency Radiation

By Henry Lai. Chapter 8: 187-222.


Neurological effects are caused by changes in the nervous system. Factors that act directly or indirectly on the nervous system causing morphological, chemical or electrical changes in the nervous system can lead to neurological effects. The final manifestation of these effects can be seen as psychological/behavioral changes, for example, memory, learning, and perception. The nervous system is an electrical organ. Thus, it should not be surprising that exposure to electromagnetic fields could lead to neurological changes. Morphological, chemical, electrical, and behavioral changes have been reported in animals and cells after exposure to nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) across a range of frequencies. The consequences of physiological changes in the nervous system are very difficult to assess. We do not quite understand how the nervous system functions and reacts to external perturbations. The highly flexible nervous system could easily compensate for external disturbances. On the other hand, the consequence of neural perturbation is also situation-dependent. For example, an EMF-induced change in brain electrical activity could lead to different consequences depending on whether a person is watching TV or driving a car.


1. A major concern is that in some of the studies, details of the exposure setup and dosimetry are not provided. This is important since details of the independent variables are very important in interpreting the validity of the experimental results, that is, dependent variables. In many of these studies, a cell phone was used in the exposure of animals and humans. But information on how the cell phone was activated, in many instances, was not provided. Thus, the amount of energy deposited in the body was not known....

2. Most of the studies were carried out with relatively high levels of RFR compared to environmental levels. However, if you look through the narratives, there are studies that reported effects at very low level, for example, Bak et al., (2010). Indeed, biological/health effects of RFR at levels much lower than most international RFR-exposure guidelines, for example, International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), have been reported (see table 1 in Levitt and Lai, 2010). This raises the question on whether the guidelines used in most countries nowadays are actually obsolete and new exposure guidelines have to be set.

3. Thus, there is ample evidence that RFR exposure affects the nervous system from both acute and long-term exposure experiments. Brain electric activities, nerve cell functions and chemistry, and behavior can be affected. Some explanatory mechanisms for these effects have emerged. One consistent finding is that animals exposed to RFR suffered from memory and learning deficits. These effects can be explained by the results of numerous reports that showed RFR affected the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory and learning. However, the location and configuration of the human hippocampus are quite different from those of a rodent. There have not been many studies on the effect of RFR on the human hippocampus. Several studies did report deficits in memory in human subjects exposed to RFR, particularly on short-term memory, a function specifically related to the hippocampus....

4. Another very consistent finding is that RFR affects free radical metabolism in the brain. This may explain some of the cellular and physiological effects of RFR on the nervous system. As a matter of fact, oxidative changes in cells and tissues after exposure to RFR is a very common phenomenon (cf. Yakymenko et al., 2016). This happens in many organs of the body and can provide explanation of many reported biological effects of RFR.

5. Many of the effects of RFR on the nervous system, for example, on the hippocampus, oxidative effects, and behavioral effects are also observed with exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (cf. my section on the neurological effects of ELF EMF in the Bioinitiative Report, There has been speculation whether biological effects observed with low frequency modulated RFR were actually caused by the modulation. There are two reports published in the last decade that seemed to refute this hypothesis..... Another question is whether one type of modulation is different from another in causing biological effects. Cell phone technology advances from one generation to another. Do the research data of a 3G phone apply to 4G or 5G phone radiation? RFR is a complex entity. Its biological effects depend on many of its physical properties, for example, frequency, direction of the incident waves relative to the object exposed, dielectric properties, size and shape of the exposed object, polarization of the waves, and so on. Thus, it is unlikely that one can easily extrapolate the effects from one form of RFR to another. An assumption that 3G radiation is safe does not necessary imply that 5G radiation is safe. Each one of them has to be investigated separately.

6. An important area of research is on how RFR in the environment affects humans and wildlife. Environmental RFR level has become higher and higher over the past decades due to the employment of RFR wireless devices. Take the example of Bak et al. (2010) mentioned above, an effect on human event-related brain potential was reported after 20 min of exposure to a GSM signal at a power density of 0.0052 mW/cm2. This is very close to the levels found in some cities. The highest power density of ambient RFR measured near schools and hospitals in Chandigarh, India, was reported to be 0.001148 mW/cm2 in 2012 (Dhami, 2012). The maximum total RFR power density emitted by FM and TV broadcasting stations and mobile phone base stations in centers of the major cities in the West Bank-Palestine was 0.00386 mW/cm2 (Lahham and Hammash, 2012). One also has to take into consideration that exposure in the Bak et al. (2010) study was acute (20 min), whereas environmental exposure is chronic. Related to the neurological effect is the magnetic sense possessed by many species of animals. It is essential for their survival. Interference by RFR of magnetic compass orientation in animals has been reported (e.g., Landler et al., 2015; Malkemper et al., 2015; Pakhomov et al., 2017; Schwarze et al., 2016; Vácha et al., 2009). Understanding the effects could help in preserving the ecosystem and ensure survival of the species on this earth.


Radiobiological Arguments for Assessing the Electromagnetic Hazard to Public Health for the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century: The Opinion of the Russian Scientist

By Yury G. Grigoriev. Chapter 9: 223-236.


Over the past 25 years, there has been a global distribution of wireless communications which has significantly changed the electromagnetic pollution of the external environment and the methodology for assessing health risks for all population groups. In these difficult conditions, many specialists have neglected radiobiological concepts, for example, the concept of a critical organ or critical system, the possibility of accumulating adverse effects, and the determination of residual damage (remote consequences). Almost daily life-long exposure of the RF EMF to the brain has not received attention. In many countries, there is complete disregard for the precautionary principle proposed by the WHO. Children for the first time in the entire period of civilization should be included in the risk group. Even before the era of the development of mobile communications, there were significant differences in the guidelines and standards for radio frequency radiation in the radio frequency range. This paper demonstrates the significance of biological responses to the nonthermal low RF EMF. Therefore, scientists should stand firm in this “electromagnetic chaos” in the habitat of the population.


At present, there are no unified approaches to assessing the health hazards of the RF EMF of mobile communications. There is a wide variation in the permissible RF EMF levels. The possibility of developing long-term consequences is underestimated. The technical solutions for the creation of new types of wireless communication outrun scientific research to assess the danger to the public. The precautionary principle is ignored when placing base stations. There is a desire to ensure that all schools use Wi-Fi.

The large spread, uncontrolled, use of this connection by all groups of the population, including children, continues although the mobile phone is an open source of radiation, and the critical body is the user’s brain.


A Longitudinal Study of Psychophysiological Indicators in Pupils Users of Mobile Communications in Russia (2006–2017): Children Are in the Group of Risk

By Yury G. Grigoriev, Natalia I. Khorseva. Chapter 10: 237-252.


The human brain is exposed to electromagnetic fields of the radio frequency range (RF EMF) constantly, around the clock, from the base stations. The decision of the IARC in 2011 has determined social and ethical problems for society and for scientists—the definition of risk for the population, including children. Children are the most active group of mobile communication users. Unfortunately, the current assessment of the impact of RF EMF on the children's brains through questionnaires conducted in epidemiological studies is not convincing. The chronic impact of RF EMR, including the radiation of mobile phones on the bodies of children and adolescents, in particular on their psychophysiological and cognitive functions, have not been studied.
This publication presents the results of a longitudinal study of the psychophysiological indicators of children and teenage mobile communication users conducted in Russia from 2006 to present. The patterns of the negative influence of mobile phone radiation on the auditory and visual system, fatigue and performance, and on the parameters of attention and memory are established. The undeniable advantage of these studies is not only the presence of a control group, but also the development and implementation of preventive measures to reduce the negative impact of mobile phone radiation.


....So, the longitudinal changes in the psychophysiological indicators of children who use mobile phones convincingly show that chronic exposure to electromagnetic radiation from a mobile phone may negatively affect the central nervous system of the child:

1. The reaction time to sound and light stimuli is increased;
2. There is an increase in the number of violations of phonemic perception and the number of missed signals when a sound stimulus is presented;
3. Indicators of arbitrary attention and semantic memory deteriorate;
4. There are increased parameters of fatigue and decreased parameters of working capacity
It should be especially noted that in most cases in children who are active users of mobile communication, changes in psychophysiological indicators either were within the lower limit of the norm or already go beyond it....

It was found that the safe mode of use (headphones, speakerphone, use of SMS, MMS) statistically significantly improve ALL psychophysiological indicators.

We believe that the results of our longitudinal observations clearly show that the RF EMF from mobile phones affects psychophysiological indicators of children and adolescents. 

Based on our results, it can be confidently affirmed that children are located in the group at risk. It should be recognized and the efforts of the scientific community to reduce the risk of adverse effects on the organisms of children should be made. One of the possible ways of reducing the impact of electromagnetic fields on children is an understanding of the dangers by the parents and children, the use of mobile communication, and a voluntary choice of the form of communication, that is, the introduction of the concept of “voluntary risk.”

pp. 253-264.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Effects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: 833 Studies

Feb 1, 2018 (Updated June 10, 2019)

Note: There are now 1,027 studies in the collection. The abstracts can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Government and industry-linked scientists often claim that the research on the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is inconsistent, and that more research is needed before precautionary warnings are issued or regulatory guidelines are strengthened.

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization classified radio frequency radiation (RFR) “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B). The IARC plans to review RFR again by 2024 because most peer-reviewed studies published in the past decade found significant evidence that RFR causes genotoxicity. Thus, the IARC will likely re-classify RFR to either "probably carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2A) or "carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) at the next expert review.

Cell phones and other wireless devices also produce static and extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields. ELF was classified by the IARC as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) a decade before RFR received this classification.

Dr. Henry Lai, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and former Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, has compiled summaries of several areas of the research on the biologic and health effects of exposure to RFR and ELF EMF. His sets of abstracts which cover the period from 1990 to 2019 constitute a comprehensive collection of this research.

Dr. Lai finds that the preponderance of the research has found that exposure to RFR or ELF EMF produces oxidative stress or free radicals, and damages DNA. Moreover the preponderance of RFR studies that examined neurological outcomes has found significant effects.

The evidence for DNA damage has been found more consistently in animal and human (in vivo) studies than in studies of cell samples (in vitro).

The abstracts can be downloaded from the BioInitiative web site by clicking on the links below.

Note: The comet assay is a sensitive genotoxicity test for the detection of DNA damage and repair. This is a standard technique used in biomonitoring and genotoxicity testing.

Top Line Results

Radio frequency radiation:

·         89% (n=203) of 225 oxidative stress (or free radical) studies report significant effects.

·         64% (n=49) of 76 DNA comet assay studies report significant effects.
o   54% (n=25) of 46 in vitro studies report significant effects.
o   80% (n=24) of 30 in vivo studies report significant effects.

·         73% (n=222) of 305 neurological studies report significant effects.

Extremely low frequency and static electromagnetic fields:

·         89% (n=203) of 229 oxidative stress (or free radical) studies report significant effects.

·         74% (n=34) of 46 DNA comet assay studies report significant effects.
o   68% (n=21) of 31 in vitro studies report significant effects.
o   87% (n=13) of 15 in vivo studies report significant effects.

Links to Study Abstracts

Radio Frequency Radiation (3,000 Hz - 300 GHz):

RFR Research Summary (1990-2017)