Saturday, July 10, 2021

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields

I have been circulating abstracts of newly-published scientific papers on wireless radiation and electromagnetic fields (EMF) about once a month since August 2016. These updates are sent to several hundred EMF scientists around the world.

The latest additions appear below. The complete collection of abstracts now covers more than 1,000 scientific papers. This 1,000-page document (pdf) can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:


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

Recent Papers

Environmental impacts of 5G: A literature review of effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure of non-human vertebrates, invertebrates and plants

Arno Thielens. Environmental impacts of 5G: A literature review of effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure of non-human vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA). European Parliament. 2021, 137 pp. PE 690.021, ISBN 9789284680337. doi: 10.2861/318352.

Abstract

Telecommunication networks use radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to enable wireless communication. These networks have evolved over time, and have been launched in successive generations. The fifth generation of telecommunication networks will operate at frequencies that were not commonly used in previous generations, changing the exposure of wildlife to these waves. This report reviews the literature on the exposure of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields in anticipation of this change.

The review shows that dielectric heating can occur at all considered frequencies (0.4-300 GHz) and for all studied organisms. Summarising and discussing the results of a series of studies of radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure of wildlife, the review shows that several studies into the effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure on invertebrates and plants in the frequency bands considered demonstrate experimental shortcomings. Furthermore, the literature on invertebrate and plant exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields above 6 GHz is very limited. More research is needed in this field.


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Health Council of the Netherlands and evaluation of the fifth generation, 5G, for wireless communication and cancer risks

Lennart Hardell. Health Council of the Netherlands and evaluation of the fifth generation, 5G, for wireless communication and cancer risks. World J Clin Oncol 2021; 12(6): 393-403 doi: 10.5306/wjco.v12.i6.393.

Abstract

Currently the fifth generation, 5G, for wireless communication is about to be rolled out worldwide. Many persons are concerned about potential health risks from radiofrequency radiation. In September 2017, a letter was sent to the European Union asking for a moratorium on the deployment until scientific evaluation has been made on potential health risks (http://www.5Gappeal.eu). This appeal has had little success. The Health Council of the Netherlands released on September 2, 2020 their evaluation on 5G and health. It was largely based on a World Health Organization draft and report by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, both criticized for not being impartial. The guidelines by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection were recommended to be used, although they have been considered to be insufficient to protect against health hazards (http://www.emfscientist.org). The Health Council Committee recommended not to use the 26 GHz frequency band until health risks have been studied. For lower frequencies, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines were recommended. The conclusion that there is no reason to stop the use of lower frequencies for 5G is not justified by current evidence on cancer risks as commented in this article. A moratorium is urgently needed on the implementation of 5G for wireless communication.

Core Tip: In this comment, guidelines for radiofrequency radiation are discussed in relation to a recent evaluation by the Health Council of the Netherlands. The Committee recommends that for the deployment of 5G the frequency band 26 GHz should not be used. For lower frequencies, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines are recommended. However, these guidelines are not based on an objective evaluation of health risks, which is discussed in this paper.

Conclusion

In conclusion regarding cancer, current scientific evidence clearly demonstrates an increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma for use of mobile and/or cordless phones. In this review other tumor types and health endpoints are not discussed. The increased risk for brain and head tumors is based on human cancer epidemiology studies and is supported by similar tumor types found in animal studies. In fact, these animal studies confirmed the earlier results in case-control studies on increased tumor risk for use of wireless phones (both mobile and cordless phones). Mechanistic aspects on carcinogenesis come from laboratory findings on, e.g., the increase of reactive oxygen species[5] and DNA damage[4]. The current evaluation by the Health Council of the Netherlands is based on a WHO draft and SSM report. It also recommends using ICNIRP guidelines, considered to be insufficient to protect against health hazards, such as cancer, by the majority of the scientists in this field (https://www.emfscientist.org). The report does not represent a thorough, balanced, objective, and up-to-date evaluation of cancer risks and other hazardous effects from RF radiation. It is also strikingly contradictory as it concludes that serious health effects such as cancer and birth defects are “possible.” Yet it has no objection to the roll-out of 5G and recommends that later studies are performed to study health outcomes such as cancer and birth defects. Thus, no lessons are learned from existing observations on increased cancer risks[49]. The conclusion by the Commission that there is no reason to stop the use of lower frequencies for 5G up to 3.5 GHz because of no “proven adverse health effects,” merely reflects the biased conclusions by ICNIRP dominated groups. Thus that conclusion must be dismissed, and new guidelines for previous and new frequencies must be established considering the new technology, the different propagation pattern for 5G, and increased RF radiation. A moratorium is urgently required on the implementation of 5G for wireless communication[13]. Ultimately, wired solutions are preferred.


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The Critical Importance of Molecular Biomarkers and Imaging in the Study of Electrohypersensitivity. A Scientific Consensus International Report

Belpomme, Dominique, George L. Carlo, Philippe Irigaray, David O. Carpenter, Lennart Hardell, Michael Kundi, Igor Belyaev, Magda Havas, Franz Adlkofer, Gunnar Heuser, Anthony B. Miller, Daniela Caccamo, Chiara De Luca, Lebrecht von Klitzing, Martin L. Pall, Priyanka Bandara, Yael Stein, Cindy Sage, Morando Soffritti, Devra Davis, Joel M. Moskowitz, S. M.J. Mortazavi, Martha R. Herbert, Hanns Moshammer, Gerard Ledoigt, Robert Turner, Anthony Tweedale, Pilar Muñoz-Calero, Iris Udasin, Tarmo Koppel, Ernesto Burgio, and André Vander Vorst. 2021. "The Critical Importance of Molecular Biomarkers and Imaging in the Study of Electrohypersensitivity. A Scientific Consensus International Report" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 14: 7321. doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147321

Abstract

Clinical research aiming at objectively identifying and characterizing diseases via clinical observations and biological and radiological findings is a critical initial research step when establishing objective diagnostic criteria and treatments. Failure to first define such diagnostic criteria may lead research on pathogenesis and etiology to serious confounding biases and erroneous medical interpretations. This is particularly the case for electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and more particularly for the so-called “provocation tests”, which do not investigate the causal origin of EHS but rather the EHS-associated particular environmental intolerance state with hypersensitivity to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF). However, because those tests depend on multiple EMF-associated physical and biological parameters and have been conducted in patients without having first defined EHS objectively and/or endpoints adequately, they cannot presently be considered to be valid pathogenesis research methodologies. Consequently, the negative results obtained by these tests do not preclude a role of EMF exposure as a symptomatic trigger in EHS patients. Moreover, there is no proof that EHS symptoms or EHS itself are caused by psychosomatic or nocebo effects. This international consensus report pleads for the acknowledgement of EHS as a distinct neuropathological disorder and for its inclusion in the WHO International Classification of Diseases.


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Review of the scientific evidence on the individual sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EHS)

Dariusz Leszczynski. Review of the scientific evidence on the individual sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EHS). Rev Environ Health. 2021 Jul 6. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2021-0038.

Abstract

Part of the population considers themselves as sensitive to the man-made electromagnetic radiation (EMF) emitted by powerlines, electric wiring, electric home appliance and the wireless communication devices and networks. Sensitivity is characterized by a broad variety of non-specific symptoms that the sensitive people claim to experience when exposed to EMF. While the experienced symptoms are currently considered as a real life impairment, the factor causing these symptoms remains unclear. So far, scientists were unable to find causality link between symptoms experienced by sensitive persons and the exposures to EMF. However, as presented in this review, the executed to-date scientific studies, examining sensitivity to EMF, are of poor quality to find the link between EMF exposures and sensitivity symptoms of some people. It is logical to consider that the sensitivity to EMF exists but the scientific methodology used to find it is of insufficient quality. It is time to drop out psychology driven provocation studies that ask about feelings-based non-specific symptoms experienced by volunteers under EMF exposure. Such research approach produces only subjective and therefore highly unreliable data that is insufficient to prove, or to disprove, causality link between EHS and EMF. There is a need for a new direction in studying sensitivity to EMF. The basis for it is the notion of a commonly known phenomenon of individual sensitivity, where individuals’ responses to EMF depend on the genetic and epigenetic properties of the individual. It is proposed here that new studies, combining provocation approach, where volunteers are exposed to EMF, and high-throughput technologies of transcriptomics and proteomics are used to generate objective data, detecting molecular level biochemical responses of human body to EMF.

Final conclusions

– Problems and solutions for EHS research are summarized in Figure 2.
– Over the last 30 years, a sizable number of research studies has examined causality link between EMF exposures and EHS symptoms.
– The majority of the studies did not find any link between EMF and EHS.
– The EHS studies have examined acute effects but did not have capability to examine delayed EMF responses.
– The major problem is that scientists do not know whether EHS volunteers have indeed correct self-diagnosis of EHS or whether the diagnosis is incorrect and experimental groups are contaminated, to unknown degree, by non-EHS persons. In extreme situation, the small group of volunteers used in research study might have no EHS persons at all.
– Recently, research on EHS has drifted into direction of nocebo as the cause of EHS, what is incorrect.
– Instead of studying obvious impact of nocebo, or likes of medical students’ disease, research should focus on finding suitable biochemical and biophysical markers that could be used, in combination with single individual-focused provocation studies, to determine the sources of the EHS symptoms.
– The opinion that there is no causality link between EHS and EMF is unproven. This opinion, expressed by the World Health Organization EMF Project, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety and numerous governmental organizations, should be revised because the scientific research data
is of insufficient quality to be used as a proof of the lack of causality


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Nonmalignant meningioma and vestibular schwannoma incidence trends in the United States, 2004-2017

Diana R Withrow, Susan S Devesa, Dennis Deapen, Valentina Petkov, Alison L Van Dyke, Margaret Adamo, Terri S Armstrong, Mark R Gilbert, Martha S Linet. Nonmalignant meningioma and vestibular schwannoma incidence trends in the United States, 2004-2017. Cancer. 2021 Jun 23. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33553.

Abstract

Background: Given concerns about risks associated with the growing use of mobile phones over recent decades, the authors analyzed temporal trends in incidence rates of nonmalignant meningioma and vestibular schwannoma in the United States.

Methods: The incidence of nonmalignant meningioma and vestibular schwannoma among adults in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 18 registries during 2004 through 2017 was evaluated according to the method of diagnosis: microscopically (MC) or radiographically confirmed (RGC). Annual percent changes (APCs) and 95% CIs were estimated using log-linear models.

Results: Overall meningioma rates (n = 108,043) increased significantly from 2004 to 2009 (APC, 5.4%; 95% CI, 4.4%-6.4%) but subsequently rose at a slower pace through 2017 (APC, 1.0%; 95% CI, 0.6%-1.5%). Rates for MC meningiomas changed little from 2004 to 2017 (APC, -0.3%; 95% CI, -0.7%, 0.1%) but rose rapidly for RGC meningiomas until 2009 (APC, 9.5%; 95% CI, 7.8%-11.1%) and rose more modestly thereafter (APC, 2.3%; 95% CI, 1.5%-3.0%). Overall vestibular schwannoma rates (n = 17,475) were stable (APC, 0.4%; 95% CI, -0.2%, 1.0%), but MC vestibular schwannoma rates decreased (APC, -1.9%; 95% CI, -2.7%, -1.1%), whereas RGC vestibular schwannoma rates rose (2006-2017: APC, 1.7%; 95% CI, 0.5%-3.0%). For each tumor, the trends by diagnostic method were similar for each sex and each racial/ethnic group, but RGC diagnosis was more likely in older patients and for smaller tumors. Meningioma trends and the proportion of RGC diagnoses varied notably by registry.

Conclusions: Overall trends obscured differences by diagnostic method in this first large, detailed assessment, but the recent stable rates argue against an association with mobile phone use. Variation among registries requires evaluation to improve the registration of these nonmalignant tumors.

Lay summary: The etiology of most benign meningiomas and vestibular schwannomas is poorly understood, but concerns have been raised about whether mobile phone use contributes to risk of developing these tumors. Descriptive studies examining temporal trends could provide insight; however, globally, few registries collect these nonmalignant cases. In the United States, reporting benign meningiomas and vestibular schwannomas became required by law in 2004. This was the first large, systematic study to quantify and characterize incidence trends for meningioma and vestibular schwannoma according to whether the tumors were diagnosed microscopically or only radiographically. Differential trends across registries and by diagnostic method suggest that caution should be used when interpreting the patterns.


Excerpts

"Etiologic factors for most benign meningiomas and vestibular schwannomas (acoustic neuromas) are poorly understood, but concerns have long been raised about whether mobile phone use may initiate or promote the occurrence of these central nervous system (CNS) tumors. 1, 2  Analytic epidemiologic studies assessing mobile phone use and the risk of meningiomas have shown no association for a duration of use >10 years (see Supporting Table 1). For vestibular schwannomas, long-term mobile phone use has not been consistently linked with risk, but there is heterogeneity among investigations, and elevated risks were observed in a few studies for a duration of use >10 years (see Supporting Table 2). 2"

"The evaluation of a statistical association between mobile phone use and risk of meningioma or vestibular schwannoma was not feasible because of the descriptive epidemiologic study methods used, along with a lack of detailed data on the history, frequency, and hours per day, per week, or per month of mobile phone use from patients with benign brain tumors and from an appropriate comparison group."

"The potentially large impact of these nonetiologic factors on the incidence trends and the modest increases in meningiomas and stable vestibular schwannoma rates in recent years argue against a substantial effect of the huge increases in mobile phone use on underlying disease risk. This conclusion assumes, however, that the latency period is not many decades in length."

My comment: Although the case-control research examining the association between mobile phone use and meningioma yields mixed results, this study found that the incidence of meningioma in the U.S. was still increasing from 2009 on, just at a slower pace.

The results from the epidemiologic research examining the association between mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma is more consistent; however, the latency for tumor identification can be 20 or more years.

The smartphone started to become popular in the U.S. in 2007 with the first iPhone and in 2008 with Android phones. In many smartphones the cellular transmission antennas are located in the bottom of the handset so the neck, not the head, is likely to receive the greatest microwave radiation exposure among those who place the phone by their ear.  Two case-control studies found an association between thyroid cancer and mobile phone use, and thyroid cancer incidence has been rapidly increasing in many countries including the U.S.

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Immunity and electromagnetic fields

Piotr Piszczek, Karolina Wójcik-Piotrowicz, Krzysztof Gil, Jolanta Kaszuba-Zwoińska. Immunity and electromagnetic fields. Environ Res. 2021 Jun 11;111505. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111505.

Abstract

Despite many studies, the question about the positive or negative influence of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on living organisms still remains an unresolved issue. To date, the results are inconsistent and hardly comparable between different laboratories. The observed bio-effects are dependent not only on the applied EMF itself, but on many other factors such as the model system tested or environmental ones. In an organism, the role of the defense system against external stressors is played by the immune system consisting of various cell types. The immune cells are engaged in many physiological processes and responsible for the proper functioning of the whole organism. Any factor with an ability to cause immunomodulatory effects may weaken or enhance the response of the immune system. This review is focused on a wide range electromagnetic fields as a possible external factor which may modulate the innate and/or adaptive immunity. Considering the existing databases, we have compiled the bio-effects evoked by EMF in particular immune cell types involved in different types of immune response, with the common mechanistic models and mostly activated intracellular signaling cascade pathways.


Highlights
• Immune system cells are influenced by exposure to EMFs.
• EMFs might modulate effector activities of immune response.
• Bio-effectiveness is related to the frequency range of EMFs and cell types.
• Cellular changes might be enhanced by synergic effects of EMFs and other stressors.
Conclusions

Currently it is extremely difficult to select an intracellular mechanism that could play a dominant role in viability and/or effector activities modulation of various types of immune cells under EMF exposure in a wide range of parameters. The large number of results obtained for various EMF parameters and experimental conditions do not allow for a simple comparison of findings across different laboratories. Nevertheless, most of the studies are in agreement that:

(i) there is no generally accepted physical and/or biological mechanism of EMF action independently on type of the studies (i.e., in vivo/in vitro);
(ii) there is lack of conclusive evidence of EMF genotoxic effects;
(iii) findings concerning intracellular effects such as EMF-induced modulation of: gene expression, heat-shock proteins level, surface of cell membrane and cell morphology, signal transduction pathways, ions homeostasis and level of ROS cannot be excluded;
(iv) significant bio-effects are noticed for simultaneous EMF exposure with other cell stimuli (synergic effects);
(v) the response of various immune cells differs in an EMF type-dependent manner;
(vi) multidirectional research on immune cell cultures are certainly needed to be continued to understand potential risk of EMF exposure;
(vii) the influence of EMF on the innate immunity seems to be interesting issue in the context of aging process (Pawelec et al., 2020).

In summary, EMF seem to be a promising tool for modulation of various immune cell signaling pathways and immune system responses. Moreover, the studies concerning the action of electromagnetic fields alone or combined with medicaments are embedded in the mainstream of interests of EMF-related research in medicine and health care.

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Male cellular telephone exposure, fecundability, and semen quality: results from two preconception cohort studies


E E Hatch, S K Willis, A K Wesselink, E M Mikkelsen, M L Eisenberg, G J Sommer, H T Sorensen, K J Rothman, L A Wise. Male cellular telephone exposure, fecundability, and semen quality: results from two preconception cohort studies. Hum Reprod. 2021 Apr 20;36(5):1395-1404. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deab001.

Abstract

Study question: To what extent is exposure to cellular telephones associated with male fertility?

Summary answer: Overall, we found little association between carrying a cell phone in the front pants pocket and male fertility, although among leaner men (BMI <25 kg/m2), carrying a cell phone in the front pants pocket was associated with lower fecundability.

What is known already: Some studies have indicated that cell phone use is associated with poor semen quality, but the results are conflicting.

Study design, size, duration: Two prospective preconception cohort studies were conducted with men in Denmark (n = 751) and in North America (n = 2349), enrolled and followed via the internet from 2012 to 2020.

Participants/materials, setting, methods: On the baseline questionnaire, males reported their hours/day of carrying a cell phone in different body locations. We ascertained time to pregnancy via bi-monthly follow-up questionnaires completed by the female partner for up to 12 months or until reported conception. We used proportional probabilities regression models to estimate fecundability ratios (FRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between male cell phone habits and fecundability, focusing on front pants pocket exposure, within each cohort separately and pooling across the cohorts using a fixed-effect meta-analysis. In a subset of participants, we examined selected semen parameters (semen volume, sperm concentration and sperm motility) using a home-based semen testing kit.

Main results and the role of chance: There was little overall association between carrying a cell phone in a front pants pocket and fecundability: the FR for any front pants pocket exposure versus none was 0.94 (95% CI: 0.0.83-1.05). We observed an inverse association between any front pants pocket exposure and fecundability among men whose BMI was <25 kg/m2 (FR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.59-0.88) but little association among men whose BMI was ≥25 kg/m2 (FR = 1.05, 95% CI: 0.90-1.22). There were few consistent associations between cell phone exposure and semen volume, sperm concentration, or sperm motility.

Limitations, reasons for caution: Exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cell phones is subject to considerable non-differential misclassification, which would tend to attenuate the estimates for dichotomous comparisons and extreme exposure categories (e.g. exposure 8 vs. 0 h/day). Residual confounding by occupation or other unknown or poorly measured factors may also have affected the results.

Wider implications of the findings: Overall, there was little association between carrying one's phone in the front pants pocket and fecundability. There was a moderate inverse association between front pants pocket cell phone exposure and fecundability among men with BMI <25 kg/m2, but not among men with BMI ≥25 kg/m2. Although several previous studies have indicated associations between cell phone exposure and lower sperm motility, we found few consistent associations with any semen quality parameters.

Study funding/competing interest(s): The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, grant number R03HD090315. In the last 3 years, PRESTO has received in-kind donations from Sandstone Diagnostics (for semen kits), Swiss Precision Diagnostics (home pregnancy tests), Kindara.com (fertility app), and FertilityFriend.com (fertility app). Dr. L.A.W. is a fibroid consultant for AbbVie, Inc. Dr. H.T.S. reports that the Department of Clinical Epidemiology is involved in studies with funding from various companies as research grants to and administered by Aarhus University. None of these studies are related to the current study. Dr. M.L.E. is an advisor to Sandstone Diagnostics, Ro, Dadi, Hannah, and Underdog. Dr. G.J.S. holds ownership in Sandstone Diagnostics Inc., developers of the Trak Male Fertility Testing System. In addition, Dr. G.J.S. has a patent pending related to Trak Male Fertility Testing System issued.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33564831/

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Smart devices/mobile phone in patients with epilepsy? A systematic review

Ali A Asadi-Pooya, Nafiseh Mirzaei Damabi, Marzieh Rostaminejad, Mina Shahisavandi, Anahita Asadi-Pooya. Smart devices/mobile phone in patients with epilepsy? A systematic review. Acta Neurol Scand. 2021 Jun 28. doi: 10.1111/ane.13492.

Abstract

We systematically reviewed the existing literature on the safety of the use of smartphone, mobile phone/Internet, and Wi-Fi by people with epilepsy (PWE), according to the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Scopus, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar from the inception to April 9, 2021 were searched. These key words were used "epilepsy" OR "seizure" AND "Mobile Phone" OR "Cell Phone" OR "Smartphone" OR "Wi-Fi" OR "Electromagnetic" OR "Radiation." The primary search yielded 7766 studies; 33 studies were related. In total, 19 manuscripts were based on animal/computational studies and 14 articles reported human investigations. Among animal studies, 10 articles suggested detrimental effects by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on brain function/seizure activity, while nine studies negated this hypothesis. Among human studies, seven studies suggested detrimental effects by EMFs on brain function/seizure activity, while seven studies negated this hypothesis. None of the studies provided a good level of evidence. In one human study, all seven patients with epilepsy and abnormal EEG during the sham exposure, had an increase in the number of epileptic events with exposure to mobile phone radiation. In another study of the detrimental effects of smart technology device overuse among school students, an association was found between reporting seizures and the hours of smart technology device use. While high-quality evidence on the safety of the use of smartphone, mobile phone/Internet, and Wi-Fi in PWE is lacking, prudent use of these technologies, including using wired hand-free sets or other exposure-reducing measures is recommended.


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Low-SAR Antenna Design and Implementation for Mobile Phone Applications

Bao Lu, Bo Pang, Wei Hu, Wen Jiang. Low-SAR Antenna Design and Implementation for Mobile Phone Applications. IEEE Access. 30 June 2021. doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3093720.

Abstract

This paper presents a novel approach for designing low-SAR (specific absorption rate) terminal antenna. First of all, the relationship between the magnetic field and the SAR value is deduced by using the electric field formula of SAR and Maxwell’s equations. Then, by using the boundary conditions of the medium, the interaction mechanism between the radiated magnetic field of the antenna and the magnetic field inside human tissue is studied. Next, the relationship between the surface current and the radiated magnetic field of antenna is constructed. The approach of reducing the antenna radiated magnetic field is proposed by directly adjusting the antenna surface current, so that the SAR of human tissues is reduced. Finally, two low-SAR antennas are designed according to the proposed approach. The simulation and measurement results of the two low-SAR antennas show that the -6 dB bandwidth of both antennas is 2.4-2.49 GHz, which can meet the 2.4 G WLAN frequency band. At the same time, compared with the reference antenna, the peak values of 10 g average SAR of two antennas are reduced by more than 30%. In addition, the measured efficiencies of the two low-SAR antennas are higher than 40% in the operating frequency range. The validity of the proposed approach is proved by the simulation and measurement results of the antenna, which can be used to guide the SAR reduction design of mobile terminal antennas.


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Magnetic Interference on Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices From Apple iPhone MagSafe Technology

Fahd Nadeem, Arismendy Nunez Garcia, Cao Thach Tran, and Michael Wu. Magnetic Interference on Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices From Apple iPhone MagSafe Technology. Journal of the American Heart Association. Jun 2, 2021. doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.121.020818.

Abstract

Background  Magnet wireless charging is being utilized increasingly in current generation smartphones. Apple's MagSafe is a proprietary wireless charging technology with an array of magnets that has the capacity to generate magnet fieldstrength >50 gauss (G). We hypothesize that there is clinically significant magnet interference caused by Apple's MagSafe technology on cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED).

Methods and Results  This study has an in vivo and an ex vivo component. The in vivo component consists of consecutive patients who presented to the electrophysiology laboratory with previously implanted CIEDs. The iPhone 12 Pro Max was directly placed on the skin over the pocket of these patients and the effect was studied by device interrogation. For the ex vivo component of the study, CIEDs from major device companies were tested for magnetic interference caused by iPhone 12 Pro Max through unopened packages. We found that iPhone 12 Pro Max resulted in clinically identifiable magnet interference in 3/3 (100%) participants in vivo and in 8/11 (72.7%) devices ex vivo.

Conclusions  Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max MagSafe technology can cause magnet interference on CIEDs and has the potential to inhibit lifesaving therapy.


Excerpt

Magnet mode activation had been shown to occur in CIED's with exposure to a magnetic field as little as 10 G.9 The magnetic field strength of the iPhone 12 Pro Max can be greater than 50 G when in direct contact with the magnetometer. In our ex vivo study, we were able to trigger magnet reversion by placing the iPhone 12 Pro Max at up to 1.5 cm from certain CIED. The difference in magnet response to the iPhone 12 Pro Max among different devices is likely attributed to different hall‐sensor magnet sensitivity as all of the devices were susceptible to the standard donut magnet. Boston Scientific Accolade MRI pacemaker for example requires a magnet stronger than 70 G to activate magnet mode.10

Our case series has several clinical implications. People often put their smartphones in a breast pocket over a device which can be in close proximity to CIEDs. This can lead to asynchronous pacing or disabling of anti‐tachycardic therapies. Our study adds to the growing literature demonstrating EMI from magnets in several common technological products such as smart tablets, E‐cigarettes, fitness watch wristbands, and wireless headphones.11, 12, 13, 14

Our case series has several limitations. Our sample size is small and we tested on selected device types and the results of our study may not be generalizable. A large scale study should be performed to confirm our findings.

In conclusion, this report highlights the importance of public awareness regarding an interaction between CIEDs and a recently released smartphone model with magnetic charging capability. Although the Food and Drug Administration website states that cellphones do not pose a significant health risk for patients with these devices, they do acknowledge that certain precautions may be advisable.15 Based on the variability of interactions with respect to different smartphone models, patients are advised to consult with a heart rhythm specialist regarding recommendations specific to their smartphone and CIED.

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Generational Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancer in Recent Birth Cohorts under Age 40 - the Hypothetical Role of Radiofrequency Radiation from Cell Phones

Devra L Davis, Aaron M. Pilarcik, Anthony B. Miller. Generational Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancer in Recent Birth Cohorts under Age 40 - the Hypothetical Role of Radiofrequency Radiation from Cell Phones. Ann Gastroenterol Dig Dis, 3(1): 09-16. 2020.

Abstract

To determine if there are shifts in patterns of cancer, rates of disease can be evaluated in terms of Generational Risk (GR), comparing those born recently with those born decades earlier. Using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Surveillance Epidemiology and End-Results (SEER) Program and Iranian cancer registries, increases in GR of colon and rectal cancer in those under age 50 are presented. For the U.S. those born in the 1990s have a doubled risk of colon cancer (GR=2) and a fourfold increase in rectal cancer (GR=4) by the time they reach age 24 compared to those born six decades ago. Experimental studies have determined that the colon and rectum of Sprague-Dawley rats are exquisitely sensitive to both ionizing and non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation (RFR), expressing significant differences in patterns of methylation of a number of well-identified proteins and other biomarkers predictive of cancer risk. Modeling of nonionizing exposures also indicates that absorption of RFR into the colon and rectum from cell phones stored in the pocket exceeds current test limits by up to 5-fold. French government tests of phones positioned next to the body report exposures to non-ionizing radiation that are up to 11 times more than current guidelines. Based on these findings, it is prudent to develop policies to reduce direct exposures to RFR from cell phones, as occurs when they are kept next to the body, and to promote advances in hardware and software that reduce direct exposures to RFR.


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The non-thermal biological effects and mechanisms of microwave exposure

X. Zhao, G. Dong, C. Wang.  The non-thermal biological effects and mechanisms of microwave exposure. Int J Radiation Research. 19(3):475-486. July 2021. doi: 10.18869/acadpub.ijrr.19.2.475. 

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to present a brief review of pertinent information regarding the effects of microwave radiation on biological systems. Researchers have been intrigued by the interaction of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and various life processes since the 18th century. Microwaves refer to the oscillation of an EMF with a wavelength of 1 mm to 1 m, which penetrates matter to varying degrees. With the widespread and ever-increasing use of microwaves, such as cellular telephones and other wireless technologies, great attention and research has been paid to the potential adverse biological effects. It is well recognized that microwaves affect the biological functions of living organisms at both the cellular and molecular levels, and can lead to the appearance of toxicity, genotoxicity and transformation. However, until now no satisfactory mechanism has been proposed to explain the biological effects of these fields. Therefore, increasing attention should be focused on the biological effects of microwaves in the future, especially since microwaves have extensive applications in various fields.


Conclusions

During recent years there has been increasing public concern regarding the biological effects of microwave radiation emissions from wireless communications. The number of reports on the effects induced by microwave radiation in various cellular and molecular systems continues to increase, attracting public attention toward microwave radiation protection. However, until now no satisfactory mechanism has been proposed to explain the biological effects of these fields. The theories and hypotheses that explain some of the local physiological phenomena have limitations, making it difficult to formulate a specific diagnostic criteria and specific methods of prevention and treatment.

Currently, physical protection is the main measure of EMR protection, including protective clothing with metal wires. In addition, medical interventions through the use of antioxidants are also beneficial for protection against EMR, though specific drugs are lacking. Possible medications include melatonin (28), carnitine, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) (59), vitamin C (60) and different kinds of Chinese medicines (61).

Whether mobile phones or other wireless technologies are harmful to humans is still controversial, but research increasingly suggests that they are unlikely to cause brain cancers in adults (62) or affect learning and memory processes (63, 64). In addition, some studies have even found that microwaves emitted from mobile phones can induce adaptive responses that make animals more resistant to ionizing radiation (65). That said, efforts should be made to minimize microwave radiation exposure by remaining remote from TV towers, radar stations and other strong radiation areas. Furthermore, while mobile phone use has not been linked to brain cancer, long-term use may be harmful to the eyes (66) and brain (67). Thus, mobile devices should be kept at a safe distance from the head and, if possible, earphones should be used.

Microwave radiation may also be emitted from microwave ovens, which are widely used for food preparation in daily life. A commonly used frequency in such ovens is 2450 MHz (68). In general, microwave ovens may be considered a safe form of cooking (68); however, improper use can damage the eyes or even result in scald injuries and burns (69). As a safety precaution, a safe distance should be maintained from microwave ovens when in use. Thus, some studies suggest that although current literature lacks definitive evidence associating male infertility with cell phone exposure, limitation of exposure to the possible harmful effects of cell phone, laptop, and microwave ovens is recommended (70).

In conclusion, although the biological effects of microwaves are controversial, future studies regarding the non-thermal effects and mechanisms of microwave radiation are likely to progress our understanding, as well as our comprehension of temporary biological effects that may have long-term impacts on microbial cells, animals and humans. An increased number of studies are paying attention to the biological effects of microwaves and they are expected to increase in number in the future since microwaves have extensive applications in various fields.

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A review of protocols and guidelines addressing the exposure of occupants to electromagnetic field radiation (EMFR) in buildings


Shabnam Monadizadeh, Charles J. Kibert, Jiaxuan Li, Junghoon Woo, Ashish Asutosh, Samira Roostaie, Maryam Kouhirostami. A review of protocols and guidelines addressing the exposure of occupants to electromagnetic field radiation (EMFR) in buildings. Journal of Green Building. (2021) 16 (2): 55–81. doi: 10.3992/jgb.16.2.55.

Highlights
  • A comprehensive review of increasing electromagnetic field radiation (EMFR) impacts on building occupant health
  • Scientific evidence identifying adverse effects of EMFR
  • Governments and public health agencies are creating regulations to reduce EMFR exposure
  • National and international regulations with respect to the thresholds they set to protect human health
  • Provides a robust foundation for researchers to use in additional studies of EMFR impacts in various built environment scenarios
Abstract

A significant share of the technology that has emerged over the past several decades produces electromagnetic field (EMFR) radiation. Communications devices, household appliances, industrial equipment, and medical equipment and devices all produce EMFR with a variety of frequencies, strengths, and ranges. Some EMFR, such as Extremely Low Frequency (ELF), Radio Frequency (RF), and Ionizing Range (IR) radiation have been shown to have harmful effects on human health. Depending on the frequency and strength of the radiation, EMFR can have health effects at the cellular level as well as at brain, nervous, and cardiovascular levels. Health authorities have enacted regulations locally and globally to set critical values to limit the adverse effects of EMFR. By introducing a more comprehensive field of EMFR study and practice, architects and designers can design for a safer electromagnetic (EM) indoor environment, and, as building and construction specialists, will be able to monitor and reduce EM radiation. This paper identifies the nature of EMFR in the built environment, the various EMFR sources, and its human health effects. It addresses European and US regulations for EMFR in buildings and provides a preliminary action plan. The challenges of developing measurement protocols for the various EMFR frequency ranges and determining the effects of EMFR on building occupants are discussed. This paper argues that a mature method for measuring EMFR in building environments and linking these measurements to human health impacts will foster occupant health and lead to the adequate development of safeguards for occupants of buildings in future research.


Dissertation (open access): https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0052666/00001

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Exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: Comparison of exposimeters with a novel body-worn distributed meter

Anke Huss, Stefan Dongus, Reza Aminzadeh, ArnoThielens, Matthias van den Bossche, Patrick Van Torre, René de Seze, Elisabeth Cardis, Marloes Eeftens, Wout Joseph, Roel Vermeulen, MartinRöösli. Exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: Comparison of exposimeters with a novel body-worn distributed meter. Environment International. 156, November 2021, 106711. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106711

Highlights

• Personal exposimeters are often used for RF-EMF measurements, but have shortcomings.
• We developed a novel on-body calibrated device with distributed sensors (BWDM).
• BWDM is designed to minimize body shielding and to use frequency specific antennas.
• We measured RF-EMF exposures in parallel with three types of devices.
• Exposimeters provide slightly lower exposures but rank averaged exposures accurately.

Abstract

Background  Exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) is often measured with personal exposimeters, but the accuracy of measurements can be hampered as carrying the devices on-body may result in body shielding. Further, the compact design may compromise the frequency selectivity of the sensor. The aim of this study was to compare measurements obtained using a multi-band body-worn distributed-exposimeter (BWDM) with two commercially available personal exposimeters (ExpoM-RF and EmeSpy 200) under real-life conditions.

Conclusion

Our device comparisons are informative for the interpretation of existing epidemiological research results and may help future studies regarding how to design improved exposure assessment strategies and how to interpret RF-EMF exposure values reported in the scientific literature. Overall, within the currently applied frequency bands, our study indicates that using one single exposimeter results in slightly lower exposures than measured by a BWDM, most likely due to body shielding, but rank exposure levels reliably. Body shielding could probably at least be in part mitigated by using two exposimeters, on opposite sides of the body (Bhatt et al., 2016). Given their easier handling and relatively compact size, exposimeters thus represent valuable tools to assess population exposure to RF-EMF.


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Compliance Assessment of the Epithelial or Absorbed Power Density Below 10 GHz Using SAR Measurement Systems  

Theodoros Samaras, Andreas Christ, Niels Kuster. Compliance Assessment of the Epithelial or Absorbed Power Density Below 10 GHz Using SAR Measurement Systems.  Bioelectromagnetics. 2021 Jun 15. doi: 10.1002/bem.22355.

Abstract

The introduction of new dosimetric quantities, in particular, epithelial or absorbed power density for frequencies above 6 GHz, in exposure guidelines and safety standards requires the development of new experimental assessment procedures for compliance testing. In this study, we propose to approximate the peak spatial-average absorbed power density (psSab ) using the same measured data and algorithms that are used for determining the peak spatial-average specific absorption rate psSAR, which is currently limited to frequencies up to 10 GHz. The uncertainty component for the transformation of psSAR to psSab was evaluated as less than 0.55 dB (13.5%) for any source as close as 0.02λ from the tissue simulating media. The approach is easy to implement and allows determining compliance with the basic restrictions of the latest safety guidelines. In the next project, we will expand dosimetric probes, phantoms, and procedures for frequencies above 10 GHz.


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Effect of Microwave Radiation on Experimental Tumor Growth at Different Intensity Levels

Vladimir F. Pyankov; Olga V. Kryukova; Alexey F. Kopylov; Gennady M. Aldonin; Yuri P. Salomatov. Effect of Microwave Radiation on Experimental Tumor Growth at Different Intensity Levels. 2021 IEEE Conference of Russian Young Researchers in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (ElConRus). 26-29 Jan. 2021. doi: 10.1109/ElConRus51938.2021.9396077.

Abstract

The radiophysical installation designed to study the effect of microwave radiation on biological objects, with an operating frequency of 915 MHz, was used to influence mice with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma. The laboratory animals were exposed to microwave EM radiation of different intensity. The experimental results obtained revealed the dependence of the tumor growth on the intensity of the microwave radiation exposure.


Excerpts

It is shown that the EM radiation exerts a particularly strong impact on the rate of the EAC growth during the first stage of the tumor growth. The highest rate of tumor growth was detected in the animals of the control group, the next was the group exposed to the radiation of 100 µW/cm2, and the lowest rate was observed in the group exposed to 10 µW/cm2. The differences in the tumor growth rate are smoothed over upon reaching the number of 15 thousand cells. Thus, the death of animals with EAC which were exposed to radiation depends on the dose of the microwave radiation....

The data presented in the paper evidences that even in the case of low intensity the effect of microwave EM radiation on an organism with tumor can influence the tumor growth, shifting the stages of its development and, thus, this may influence the life expectancy of animals.

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Moderate exercise training as an effective strategy to reduce the harmful effects of cell phone radiation on Wistar rat's semen quality

HA Akbari, AA Gaeini. Moderate exercise training as an effective strategy to reduce the harmful effects of cell phone radiation on Wistar rat's semen quality. Int J Radiation Research. 19(2):317-323. 2021. doi: 10.18869/acadpub.ijrr.19.2.317.

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of moderate exercise training as an effective strategy to attenuate the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation emitted from a cell phone on Wistar Rat's semen quality.

Materials and Methods: Twenty four male Wistar rats (10 weeks old) were randomly assigned to groups: control group, exercise group, radiation group, and radiation plus exercise group. The animals in radiation and radiation plus exercise groups were exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation of a cell phone 3 hours/day for 28 days. The animals in exercise and radiation plus exercise groups performed moderate exercise training six days a week for 28 days. At the same time, the control and exercise groups exposed to a mobile phone in switch off. Basic parameters of testes weight, sperm count, motility, progressivity, morphology, and viability assessed.

Results: Exposure to the cell phone for 28 days significantly reduced sperm count, progressivity, and normal morphology. Exercise alone caused a significant increase in sperm progressivity only. Radiation plus exercise caused a significant increase in sperm progressivity and morphology compared with the radiation group.

Conclusion: Moderate exercise training may attenuate the harmful effects of exposure to cell phone radiation and enhance sperm quality and the fertility status of men.


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Acute effects of 2.856 GHz and 1.5 GHz microwaves on spatial memory abilities and CREB-related pathways

Shengzhi Tan, Hui Wang, Xinping Xu, Li Zhao, Jing Zhang, Ji Dong, Binwei Yao, Haoyu Wang, Yanhui Hao, Hongmei Zhou, Yabing Gao, Ruiyun Peng. Acute effects of 2.856 GHz and 1.5 GHz microwaves on spatial memory abilities and CREB-related pathways. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 11;11(1):12348. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91622-4.

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the acute effects of 2.856 GHz and 1.5 GHz microwaves on spatial memory and cAMP response element binding (CREB)-related pathways. A total of 120 male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: a control group (C); 2.856 GHz microwave exposure group (S group); 1.5 GHz microwave exposure group (L group); and 2.856 and 1.5 GHz cumulative exposure group (SL group). Decreases in spatial memory abilities, changes in EEG, structural injuries, and the downregulation of phosphorylated-Ak strain transforming (p-AKT), phosphorylated-calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (p-CaMKII), phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase (p-ERK) and p-CREB was observed 6 h after microwave exposure. Significant differences in the expression of p-CaMKII were found between the S and L groups. The power amplitudes of the EEG waves (θ, δ), levels of structural injuries and the expression of p-AKT, p-CaMK II, p-CREB, and p-ERK1/2 were significantly different in the S and L groups compared to the SL group. Interaction effects between the 2.856 and 1.5 GHz microwaves were found in the EEG and p-CREB changes. Our findings indicated that 2.856 GHz and 1.5 GHz microwave exposure induced a decline in spatial memory, which might be related to p-AKT, p-CaMK II, p-CREB and p-ERK1/2.


The power density in all three RF conditions was 10 milliwatts per square centimeter.

Excerpt

In terms of the molecular level, differences in the expression of p-CaMKII/CaMKII between 2.856 GHz and 1.5 GHz were found, which suggests the different sensitivities of the signal pathways to microwaves with different frequencies. Interaction effects of the two microwave frequencies were found for the changes in p-CREB/CREB. The accumulative exposure of the 2.856 GHz and 1.5 GHz microwaves aggravated the downregulation of p-CREB/CREB. Previous studies used combined exposure to communication microwaves (849 MHz and 1.95 GHz), but none of these studies analyzed the interaction effects53,54,55,56.

The present study provides new insights into the biological effects of microwave radiation. Microwaves affect multiple metabolic pathways, and the frequency played an important role in the biological effects. The results related to frequency-dependent effects suggested that microwave safety standards should be based on the frequency. Past safety standards were primarily based on radiation power, and radiation frequency was defined only in a rough range57. The interaction effects suggested that the biological effects caused by electromagnetic waves were much more complicated than previously thought. More attention should be given to this field.

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Electromagnetic Waves from Mobile Phones may Affect Rat Brain During Development


Dilek Akakin, Olgu Enis Tok, Damla Anil, Akin Akakin, Serap Sirvanci, Goksel Sener, Feriha Ercan. Electromagnetic Waves from Mobile Phones may Affect Rat Brain During Development. Turk Neurosurg. 2021;31(3):412-421. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.31665-20.2.

Abstract

Aim: To investigate the effects of electromagnetic waves (EMWs) from mobile phones (MPs) on rat brains of rats by morphological and biochemical analysis.

Material and methods: EMW was applied for two hours/day until birth in stand-by fetal and EMW fetal groups and postnatal 60th day in stand-by and EMW groups. The control group was not exposed to MP. On postnatal 60th day, brain malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels were measured, and western blot analysis was performed to determine glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) content. Hematoxylin and eosin staining and GFAP immunohistochemistry were applied. Trigeminal nerves were examined using the transmission electron microscope.

Results: In comparison to controls, rats exposed to MP in stand-by or talk modes had significantly increased neuronal damage in the cortex and hippocampus. Increased MDA levels in the EMW group and decreased GSH levels in the stand-by, EMW fetal and EMW groups were found compared with controls. Increased GFAP content in the EMW group and increased GFAP staining in the EMW fetal and EMW groups compared to controls were observed. EMW group had a significantly decreased number of myelinated axons than control animals.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggests that 1800 MHz EMWs (SAR=1.79 W/kg) exposure in the prenatal and early postnatal life may lead to trigeminal nerve damage in addition to oxidative stress-induced neuronal degeneration and astroglial activation in the rat brain. Effects seem to be mode related, being more detrimental in groups exposed to MP during talk mode.


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Residential exposure to electromagnetic fields and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): a dose-response meta-analysis

Tommaso Filippini, Elizabeth E Hatch, Marco Vinceti. Residential exposure to electromagnetic fields and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a dose-response meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 7;11(1):11939. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91349-2.

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is neurodegenerative disease characterized by a fatal prognosis and still unknown etiology. Some environmental risk factors have been suggested, including exposure to magnetic fields. Studies have suggested positive associations in occupationally-exposed populations, but the link with residential exposure is still debated as is the shape of such relation. Due to recent availability of advanced biostatistical tools for dose-response meta-analysis, we carried out a systematic review in order to assess the dose-response association between ALS and residential exposure to magnetic fields. We performed an online literature searching through April 30, 2021. Studies were included if they assessed residential exposure to electromagnetic fields, based either on distance from overhead power lines or on magnetic field modelling techniques, and if they reported risk estimates for ALS. We identified six eligible studies, four using distance-based and one modelling-based exposure assessment, and one both methods. Both distance-based and particularly modelling-based exposure estimates appeared to be associated with a decreased ALS risk in the highest exposure category, although estimates were very imprecise (summary RRs 0.87, 95% CI 0.63-1.20, and 0.27, 95% CI 0.05-1.36). Dose-response meta-analysis also showed little association between distance from power lines and ALS, with no evidence of any threshold. Overall, we found scant evidence of a positive association between residential magnetic fields exposure and ALS, although the available data were too limited to conduct a dose-response analysis for the modelled magnetic field estimates or to perform stratified analyses.

Conclusions

Overall, we found little association between exposure to magnetic fields and risk of ALS, using either distance from high-voltage overhead power lines or magnetic field modelling, although the available data were too limited to conduct a dose–response analysis for the modelled exposure studies or to perform further stratified analyses. Therefore, possible associations between magnetic fields exposure and ALS risk in selected subgroups and at very high exposure cannot be entirely ruled out.


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Surface Electromagnetic Waves at Gradual Interfaces between Lossy Media

Igor I. Smolyaninov; Surface Electromagnetic Waves at Gradual Interfaces between Lossy Media. Progress in Electromagnetics Research. 170:177-186. 2021. doi:10.2528/PIER21043006.

Abstract

A low loss propagating electromagnetic wave is shown to exist at a gradual interface between two lossy conductive media. Such a surface wave may be guided by a seafloor-seawater interface, and it may be used in radio communication and imaging underwater. It should allow communication distances of the order of 500m at 10 kHz along a sandy seabed. Similar surface waves may also be guided by various tissue boundaries inside a human body. For example, such surface wave solutions may exist at planar interfaces between skull bones and grey matter inside a human head at 6 GHz.

Conclusion

I have demonstrated that a new kind of low loss propagating surface electromagnetic wave, an “interfacial wave”, may exist at a gradual interface between two lossy conductive media. The comparison of its properties with the more well-known surface electromagnetic wave solutions, such as surface plasmons and Zenneck waves is summarized in Table 1. Such a deep-subwavelength surface wave may be guided by a seafloor-seawater interface, and it may be used in radio communication and imaging underwater. Similar surface waves may also be guided by various tissue boundaries inside a human body. For example, such surface wave solutions may exist at planar interfaces between skull bones and grey
matter inside a human head at 6 GHz. A possibility of deep sub-wavelength SEW cavities (or “hot spots”) has been revealed in numerical simulations of SEW-related effects in human tissues. Therefore, it will be important to reexamine EM radiation safety issues associated with the potential excitation and scattering of the newly discovered surface electromagnetic waves inside a human body.


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Effect of the electric field at 50 Hz and variable intensities on biochemical markers in the honey bee's hemolymph

Paweł Migdał, Agnieszka Murawska, Paweł Bieńkowski, Aneta Strachecka, Adam Roman. Effect of the electric field at 50 Hz and variable intensities on biochemical markers in the honey bee's hemolymph. PLoS One. 2021 Jun 24;16(6):e0252858. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252858.

Abstract

The amount of artificial electromagnetic fields of various parameters in the honey bee's environment increases globally. So far, it had been proven that exposure to an E-field at 50 Hz can cause changes in bee's behavior, alter the activity of proteases, and enzymatic antioxidants. Due to the potentially harmful effect of this factor on honey bees, we decided to investigate the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and the concentration of albumin and creatinine in bee's hemolymph after exposure to 50 Hz E-field. Honey bee workers were placed in wooden cages (200 × 150 × 70 mm) and exposed to the 50 Hz E-field with the intensity of <1, 5.0, 11.5, 23.0, or 34.5 kV/m for 1, 3, 6, or 12h. A homogeneous 50 Hz E-field was generated in the form of a plate capacitor. Hemolymph samples for analysis were taken immediately after the end of exposure to the E-field from 100 bees from each group. According to our study, the activity of AST, ALT, and ALP in honey bees' hemolymph decreased after exposure to 50 Hz E-field with various intensities. The decrease in AST, ALT, and ALP activity intensified with prolonged exposure time. 50 Hz E-field may cause the impairment of crucial metabolic cycles in the honey bees' organism (such as the citric acid cycle, ATP synthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, β-oxidation). Moreover, exposure to E-Field altered the concentration of creatinine and albumin, which are important non-enzymatic antioxidants. Such changes may indicate a disturbance in protein metabolism and increased muscle activity.


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Role of insulin/glucagon ratio and cell redox state in the hyperglycaemia induced by exposure to a 60-Hz magnetic field in rats


Gabriel Martiñón-Gutiérrez, María Luna-Castro, Rolando Hernández-Muñoz. Role of insulin/glucagon ratio and cell redox state in the hyperglycaemia induced by exposure to a 60-Hz magnetic field in rats. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 3;11(1):11666. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91228-w.

Abstract

The exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) could adversely affect the endocrine system and cellular proliferative response. Nonetheless, the use of 60-Hz EMFs in the form of magneto-therapy exerts beneficial actions on human health but can also induce hyperglycaemia. Therefore, the present study was aimed to search for metabolic responses of fed or fasted male rats to a single EMF exposure. We performed a 15 min-single exposure to 60-Hz (3.8 mT, intensity) EMF, and determined serum levels of glucose, lipids, and indicators of cellular redox state and energy parameters. A single exposure to a 60-Hz EMF induced hyperglycaemia in both animal groups, and an attenuated second serum insulin peak. The 60-Hz EMF also decreased free fatty acids and lactate serum levels, oppositely increasing pyruvate and acetoacetate levels. Significant increases in blood glucose level and rat's glucose metabolism were related to a more oxidized cellular redox state and variations in insulin and glucagon secretion. The 60-Hz EMF's effects were not modified in animals previously subjected to chronic EMFs exposure (14 days). In conclusion, increased serum glucose levels and glucose metabolism induced by a single 60-Hz EMF exposure were closely related to the cellular redox state and the insulin/glucagon ratio.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8175349/

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Effects of Long-Term Exposure of Intermediate Frequency Magnetic Fields (20 kHz, 360 µT) on the Development, Pathological Findings, and Behavior of Female Mice


Alexander Lerchl, Karen Drees, Née Grote, Isabel Gronau, Dirk Fischer, Julia Bauch, Axel Hoppe. Effects of Long-Term Exposure of Intermediate Frequency Magnetic Fields (20 kHz, 360 µT) on the Development, Pathological Findings, and Behavior of Female Mice. Bioelectromagnetics. 2021 May;42(4):309-316. doi: 10.1002/bem.22337.

Abstract

The use of magnetic fields in the intermediate-frequency (IF) range to wirelessly charge electric cars with power transfer in the kilowatt range has become increasingly widespread, leading to unavoidable stray fields in the microtesla range. Only a handful of studies have assessed the potential biological risks associated with exposure to such fields. We exposed female mice (n = 80 per group) to either 20 kHz, 360 µT (rms), or sham in Helmholtz coils to conduct a blind design study. Exposure started at 3 months of age (24 h/day). Body mass was recorded every 1-2 weeks. At 10 months of age, three behavioral tests were performed on 24 animals per group. Three months later, the mice were sacrificed and organs (brain, liver, kidney, spleen, and lung) were removed and prepared for microscopic analysis. Our findings demonstrate no differences in the development of body mass and survival rates (96% and 89%, respectively). Similarly, no significant differences were observed in tumor incidence rates. When it comes to behavioral tests, the 8-arm maze results revealed no significant differences. In contrast, the Rotarod data were significantly (P < 0.001) different with longer retention times seen in the exposed mice. In the open field, the number of supported rears was significantly lower (P < 0.01), whereas the other endpoints did not show any differences. Overall, our data reveal no adverse effects of exposure to 20 kHz, 360 µT on the development and tumor incidences, while the significant differences in the behavioral tests may indicate higher levels of alertness in mice.


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Biological effects of chronic exposure of Blaptica dubia (aka Dubia roach) nymphs to static and extremely low frequency magnetic fields


Larisa Ilijin, Marija Mrdaković, Dajana Todorović, Milena Vlahović, Anja Grčić, Aleksandra Filipović, Vesna Perić-Mataruga. Biological effects of chronic exposure of Blaptica dubia (Blattodea: Blaberidae) nymphs to static and extremely low frequency magnetic fields. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2021 Jun 4;93(2):e20190118. doi: 10.1590/0001-3765202120190118.

Abstract

In this paper, we analyzed the effects of chronic exposure (5 months) to static magnetic field (110 mT; SMF) and extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF MF; 10 mT, 50 Hz) on Blaptica dubia nymphs. We have examined acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) level, two sensitive biomarkers of stress in terrestrial insects. Relative growth rate (RGR), as a life history trait, was estimated. AChE activity was determined spectrophotometrically and HSP70 levels were quantified using indirect non-competitive ELISA and Western blotting. Calculated RGR was significantly changed upon exposure to both types of ambiental MFs. The effects of chronic exposure of B. dubia nymphs to SMF and ELF MF (50 Hz) were observed as decreased activity of AChE. The increased level of HSP70 was present only after exposure to SMF. The strength of ELF MF was most likely below the energy level needed to induce the expression of this stress protein. Different patterns of the expression of two HSP70 isoforms, where isoform 2 was sensitive only to SMF, are most likely a possibly switch - off in the expression of constitutive and/or inducible HSP70 isoforms.


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Static Magnetic Stimulation Induces Changes in the Oxidative Status and Cell Viability Parameters in a Primary Culture Model of Astrocytes

da Costa CC, Martins LAM, Koth AP, Ramos JMO, Guma FTCR, de Oliveira CM, Pedra NS, Fischer G, Helena ES, Gioda CR, Sanches PRS, Junior ASV, Soares MSP, Spanevello RM, Gamaro GD, de Souza ICC. Static Magnetic Stimulation Induces Changes in the Oxidative Status and Cell Viability Parameters in a Primary Culture Model of Astrocytes. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2021 Jun 27. doi: 10.1007/s12013-021-01015-7

Abstract

Astrocytes play an important role in the central nervous system function and may contribute to brain plasticity response during static magnetic fields (SMF) brain therapy. However, most studies evaluate SMF stimulation in brain plasticity while few studies evaluate the consequences of SMF at the cellular level. Thus, we here evaluate the effects of SMF at 305 mT (medium-intensity) in a primary culture of healthy/normal cortical astrocytes obtained from neonatal (1 to 2-day-old) Wistar rats. After reaching confluence, cells were daily subjected to SMF stimulation for 5 min, 15 min, 30 min, and 40 min during 7 consecutive days. Oxidative stress parameters, cell cycle, cell viability, and mitochondrial function were analyzed. The antioxidant capacity was reduced in groups stimulated for 5 and 40 min. Although no difference was observed in the enzymatic activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase or the total thiol content, lipid peroxidation was increased in all stimulated groups. The cell cycle was changed after 40 min of SMF stimulation while 15, 30, and 40 min led cells to death by necrosis. Mitochondrial function was reduced after SMF stimulation, although imaging analysis did not reveal substantial changes in the mitochondrial network. Results mainly revealed that SMF compromised healthy astrocytes' oxidative status and viability. This finding reveals how important is to understand the SMF stimulation at the cellular level since this therapeutic approach has been largely used against neurological and psychiatric diseases.


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Static Magnetic Field (0.2-0.4 T) Stimulates the Self-Renewal Ability of Osteosarcoma Stem Cells Through Autophagic Degradation of Ferritin

Bin Zhao, Tongyao Yu, Shenghang Wang, Jingmin Che, Liangfu Zhou, Peng Shang. Static Magnetic Field (0.2-0.4 T) Stimulates the Self-Renewal Ability of Osteosarcoma Stem Cells Through Autophagic Degradation of Ferritin. Bioelectromagnetics. 2021 Jun 3. doi: 10.1002/bem.22352.

Abstract

Static magnetic field (SMF) can alter cell fate decisions in many ways. However, the effects of SMF on cancer stem cells (CSCs) are little-known. In this particular study, we evaluate the biological effect of moderate-intensity SMF on osteosarcoma stem cells (OSCs) and try to clarify the underlying mechanisms of action. First, we demonstrated that prolonged exposure to SMF induced the proliferation and tumorsphere formation in K7M2 and MG63 OSCs. Moreover, SMF promoted the release of ferrous iron (Fe2+ ) and provoked reactive oxygen species (ROS) in OSCs. Interestingly, SMF evidently triggered the autophagic degradation of ferritin, which is characterized by the activation of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) and nuclear receptor co-activator 4 (NCOA4), and downregulation of ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1) in OSCs. Particularly, the colony-forming ability of K7M2 OSCs promoted by SMF was obviously abolished by using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) against NCOA4. Finally, treatment of the tumor-bearing mice with SMF did not affect the tumor volume or tumor mass, nor pulmonary metastasis of K7M2 OSCs, but the SMF-treated K7M2 OSCs caused a preference of pulmonary metastasis in a mouse model, which suggested that SMF might induce the metastatic characteristic of OSCs. Consequently, this paper demonstrates for the first time that the cumulative SMF exposure promoted the self-renewal ability of OSCs via autophagic degradation of ferritin, implying that ferritinophagy may be a potential molecular target for cancer.


Conclusions

Our study has provided, to our knowledge, the first evidence that moderate-intensity SMF stimulated the self-renewal ability of OSCs through autophagic degradation of ferritin (Fig. 7a). The long-term exposure to moderate-intensity SMF did not affect the tumor volume or tumor mass, nor the lung metastasis in tumor-bearing mice, but the OSCs exposed to SMF did cause a preference of pulmonary metastasis in tumor-bearing mice (Fig. 7b). Finally, it is important to state that the effects of SMF on OSCs here are not directly applicable to humans and should be interpreted with caution. 

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The Role of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on the Radical Pair Mechanism

Pablo Castello, Pablo Jimenez, Carlos F Martino. The Role of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on the Radical Pair Mechanism. Bioelectromagnetics. 2021 Jul 5. doi: 10.1002/bem.22358.

Abstract

In recent decades, the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in therapeutics has been one of the main fields of activity in the bioelectromagnetics arena. Nevertheless, progress in this area has been hindered by the lack of consensus on a biophysical mechanism of interaction that can satisfactorily explain how low-level, non-thermal electromagnetic fields would be able to sufficiently affect chemistry as to elicit biological effects in living organisms. This specifically applies in cases where the induced electric fields are too small to generate a biological response of any consequence. A growing body of experimental observations that would explain the nature of these effects speaks strongly about the involvement of a theory known as the radical pair mechanism (RPM). This mechanism explains how a pair of reactive oxygen species with distinct chemical fate can be influenced by a low-level external magnetic field through Zeeman and hyperfine interactions. So far, a study of the effects of complex spatiotemporal signals within the context of the RPM has not been performed. Here, we present a computational investigation of such effects by utilizing a generic PEMF test signal and RPM models of different complexity. Surprisingly, our results show how substantially different chemical results can be obtained within ranges that depend on the specific orientation of the PEMF test signal with respect to the background static magnetic field, its waveform, and both of their amplitudes. These results provide a basis for explaining the distinctive biological relevance of PEMF signals on radical pair chemical reactions.

Conclusion

Experimental observations speak strongly for the involvement of the radical pair mechanism in biological systems. For this purpose, we computationally studied whether a pulse train waveform can change the quantum singlet yields in a radical pair reaction. For a simple radical pair model, we demonstrated that the suggested reaction can be influenced by PEMFs.

This conclusion does not rule out the possibility of induced electric field effects stemming from PEMFs. However, experimental evidence suggests controversial results with the use of PEMFs that cannot be explained by the accepted mechanism of action [Barnes and Greenebaum, 2018]. Our study establishes the role of PEMF as a diagnostic tool that may indicate the involvement of magneto-sensitive radical pair reactions in biological systems. Extending this tool to determine orientation and amplitude dependence in which the input PEMF waveforms affect the reaction products can reveal the chemical nature of the radical pairs involved. Finally, using the oscillating or PEMF input waveform as a diagnostic tool to modify singlet quantum yields can easily be transferred to finding the optimal control to maximize the singlet yield. At the most fundamental level, one could investigate how a radical reaction can be controlled by perturbing spin interconversion to maximize a cost functional, the quantum singlet yield, through the selection of optimal control functions, namely the magnetic waveform.


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Magnetic sensitivity of cryptochrome 4 from a migratory songbird

Xu J, Jarocha LE, Zollitsch T, Konowalczyk M, Henbest KB, Richert S, Golesworthy MJ, Schmidt J, Déjean V, Sowood DJC, Bassetto M, Luo J, Walton JR, Fleming J, Wei Y, Pitcher TL, Moise G, Herrmann M, Yin H, Wu H, Bartölke R, Käsehagen SJ, Horst S, Dautaj G, Murton PDF, Gehrckens AS, Chelliah Y, Takahashi JS, Koch KW, Weber S, Solov'yov IA, Xie C, Mackenzie SR, Timmel CR, Mouritsen H, Hore PJ. Magnetic sensitivity of cryptochrome 4 from a migratory songbird. Nature. 2021 Jun;594(7864):535-540. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03618-9.

Abstract

Night-migratory songbirds are remarkably proficient navigators1. Flying alone and often over great distances, they use various directional cues including, crucially, a light-dependent magnetic compass2,3. The mechanism of this compass has been suggested to rely on the quantum spin dynamics of photoinduced radical pairs in cryptochrome flavoproteins located in the retinas of the birds4-7. Here we show that the photochemistry of cryptochrome 4 (CRY4) from the night-migratory European robin (Erithacus rubecula) is magnetically sensitive in vitro, and more so than CRY4 from two non-migratory bird species, chicken (Gallus gallus) and pigeon (Columba livia). Site-specific mutations of ErCRY4 reveal the roles of four successive flavin-tryptophan radical pairs in generating magnetic field effects and in stabilizing potential signalling states in a way that could enable sensing and signalling functions to be independently optimized in night-migratory birds.


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The Magnetic Compass of Birds: The Role of Cryptochrome

Roswitha Wiltschko, Christine Nießner, Wolfgang Wiltschko. The Magnetic Compass of Birds: The Role of Cryptochrome.Front Physiol. 2021 May 19;12:667000. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.667000.

Abstract

The geomagnetic field provides directional information for birds. The avian magnetic compass is an inclination compass that uses not the polarity of the magnetic field but the axial course of the field lines and their inclination in space. It works in a flexible functional window, and it requires short-wavelength light. These characteristics result from the underlying sensory mechanism based on radical pair processes in the eyes, with cryptochrome suggested as the receptor molecule. The chromophore of cryptochrome, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), undergoes a photocycle, where radical pairs are formed during photo-reduction as well as during re-oxidation; behavioral data indicate that the latter is crucial for detecting magnetic directions. Five types of cryptochromes are found in the retina of birds: cryptochrome 1a (Cry1a), cryptochrome 1b, cryptochrome 2, cryptochrome 4a, and cryptochrome 4b. Because of its location in the outer segments of the ultraviolet cones with their clear oil droplets, Cry1a appears to be the most likely receptor molecule for magnetic compass information.

Outlook

More than 50 years after the discovery of the avian magnetic compass, we finally have a concrete idea about the primary mechanism leading to the detection of directions by the magnetic field in birds: a radical pair process, with cryptochrome playing a crucial role in this process. Yet there are still several conflicting findings that have to be resolved, and a number of open questions that have to be answered.

One of the most important questions concerns the mechanisms by which the information obtained by the radical pair is transformed into a biological signal. Cryptochrome is found in the outer segments of cones, i.e., in a cell type that is also important for color vision. Is the visual information from the opsin and information on magnetic directions from cryptochrome transmitted separately or together? One might expect the latter since the cone has only one known way of transmitting information. This would mean, however, the two types of information have somehow to be separated, either already in the eyes or later in higher centers in the brain. There are speculations about possibilities (see, e.g., Bischof et al., 2011), but it will require many more considerations and experiments until we hopefully reach a complete understanding of how birds perceive the direction of the geomagnetic field.

Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8171495/

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Unravelling the enigma of bird magnetoreception

Eric J Warrant. Unravelling the enigma of bird magnetoreception. Nature. 2021 Jun;594(7864):497-498. doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-01596-6. doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-01596-6

No abstract.


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Random Effects in Magnetobiology and a Way to Summarize Them

Vladimir N Binhi. Random Effects in Magnetobiology and a Way to Summarize Them. Bioelectromagnetics. 2021 Jul 7. doi: 10.1002/bem.22359.

Abstract

In magnetobiology, it is difficult to reproduce the nonspecific (not associated with specialized receptors) biological effects of weak magnetic fields. This means that some important characteristic of the data may be missed in standard statistical processing, where the set of measurements to be averaged belongs to the same population so that the contribution of fluctuations decreases according to the Central Limit Theorem. It has been shown that a series of measurements of a nonspecific magnetic effect contains not only the usual scatter of data around the mean but also a significant random component in the mean itself. This random component indicates that measurements belong to different statistical populations, which requires special processing. This component, otherwise called heterogeneity, is an additional characteristic that is typically overlooked, and which reduces reproducibility. The current method for studying and summarizing highly heterogeneous data is the random-effect meta-analysis of absolute values, i.e., of magnitudes, rather than the values themselves. However, this estimator-the average of absolute values-has a significant positive bias when it comes to the small effects that are characteristic of magnetobiology. To solve this problem, an improved estimator based on the folded normal distribution that gives several times less bias is proposed. We used this improved estimator to analyze the nonspecific effect of the hypomagnetic field in the Stroop test in 40 subjects and found a statistically significant meta-effect with a standardized average of magnitudes of about 0.1. It has been shown that the proposed approach can also be applied to a single study.