Friday, November 25, 2022

Electromagnetic fields threaten wildlife

(See the end of this post for additional resources.)

Low-level EMF effects on wildlife and plants: 
What research tells us about an ecosystem approach

Levitt BB, Lai HC and Manville AM II. (2022) Low-level EMF effects on wildlife and plants: What research tells us about an ecosystem approach. Front. Public Health 10:1000840. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.1000840.


There is enough evidence to indicate we may be damaging non-human species at ecosystem and biosphere levels across all taxa from rising background levels of anthropogenic non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) from 0 Hz to 300 GHz. The focus of this Perspective paper is on the unique physiology of non-human species, their extraordinary sensitivity to both natural and anthropogenic EMF, and the likelihood that artificial EMF in the static, extremely low frequency (ELF) and radiofrequency (RF) ranges of the non-ionizing electromagnetic spectrum are capable at very low intensities of adversely affecting both fauna and flora in all species studied. Any existing exposure standards are for humans only; wildlife is unprotected, including within the safety margins of existing guidelines, which are inappropriate for trans-species sensitivities and different non-human physiology. Mechanistic, genotoxic, and potential ecosystem effects are discussed.


Radiofrequency radiation is a form of energetic air pollution and should be regulated as such (25). U.S. law (130) [42 USC § 7602 (g)] defines air pollution as:

“The term “air pollutant” means any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive (including source material, special nuclear material, and byproduct material) substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air. Such term includes any precursors to the formation of any air pollutant, to the extent the Administrator has identified such precursor or precursors for the particular purpose for which the term “air pollutant” is used.”

Unlike classic chemical toxicology pollutants in which a culprit can typically be identified and quantified, RFR may function as a “process” pollutant in the air not unlike how endocrine disruptors function in food and water in which the stressor causes a cascade of unpredictable systemic effects. The stimulus in the RFR analogy would be physical/energetic rather than chemical.

Long-term chronic low-level EMF exposure guidelines, which do not now exist, should be set accordingly for wildlife; mitigation techniques where possible should be developed; full environmental reviews should be conducted prior to the licensing/buildout of major new technologies like 5G; and environmental laws/regulations should be strictly enforced (25). We have a long over-due obligation to consider potential consequences to other species from our current unchecked technophoria—an obligation we have thus far not considered before species go extinct. In the views of these authors, the evidence requiring action is clear.

Open access paper:


Sep 26, 2021

The Effects of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Fields on Flora and Fauna 
(Levitt, Lai, and Manville) 

The journal, Reviews on Environmental Health, just published the final part of a three-part monograph that examines the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF), including wireless radiation from cell towers and EMF from power lines, on flora and fauna. This 150-page tome (plus supplements) written by B. Blake Levitt, Henry Lai, and Albert Manville cites more than 1,200 references.

B. Blake Levitt, an award-winning journalist/author and former contributor to the New York Times, has specialized in medical and science writing for over three decades. Since the late 1970's, she has researched the biological effects of nonionizing radiation. Henry Lai is a scientist and bioengineering Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and former Editor-in-Chief of Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. Dr. Lai is best known for his research published in 1995 which concluded that low-level microwave radiation caused DNA damage in rat brains. Albert Manville is a retired branch manager and senior wildlife biologist in the Division of Migratory Bird Management at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Manville has served as an adjunct professor and lecturer for more than two decades at Johns Hopkins University where he has taught field classes in ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife management.

The abstracts and excerpts from this three-part monograph appear below. 

Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, part 1. 
Rising ambient EMF levels in the environment
B. Blake Levitt, Henry C. Lai, Albert M. Manville. Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, part 1. Rising ambient EMF levels in the environment.  Rev Environ Health. 2021 May 27. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2021-0026.


Ambient levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) have risen sharply in the last 80 years, creating a novel energetic exposure that previously did not exist. Most recent decades have seen exponential increases in nearly all environments, including rural/remote areas and lower atmospheric regions. Because of unique physiologies, some species of flora and fauna are sensitive to exogenous EMF in ways that may surpass human reactivity. There is limited, but comprehensive, baseline data in the U.S. from the 1980s against which to compare significant new surveys from different countries. This now provides broader and more precise data on potential transient and chronic exposures to wildlife and habitats. Biological effects have been seen broadly across all taxa and frequencies at vanishingly low intensities comparable to today’s ambient exposures. Broad wildlife effects have been seen on orientation and migration, food finding, reproduction, mating, nest and den building, territorial maintenance and defense, and longevity and survivorship. Cyto- and geno-toxic effects have been observed. The above issues are explored in three consecutive parts: Part 1 questions today’s ambient EMF capabilities to adversely affect wildlife, with more urgency regarding 5G technologies. Part 2 explores natural and man-made fields, animal magnetoreception mechanisms, and pertinent studies to all wildlife kingdoms. Part 3 examines current exposure standards, applicable laws, and future directions. It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as ‘habitat’ so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants. Wildlife loss is often unseen and undocumented until tipping points are reached. Long-term chronic low-level EMF exposure standards, which do not now exist, should be set accordingly for wildlife, and environmental laws should be strictly enforced.


Ambient background levels of EMF have risen sharply in the last four decades, creating a novel energetic exposure that previously did not exist at the Earth’s surface, lower atmospheric levels, or underwater environments. Recent decades have seen exponential increases in nearly all environments, including remote regions. There is comprehensive but outdated baseline data from the 1980s against which to compare significant new surveys from other countries which found increasing RFR levels in urban, suburban and remote areas, primarily from cell infrastructure/phone/WiFi exposures. One indicative comparison of similar sites between 1980 and today found a 70-fold (7,000%) increase in ambient RFR [149]. The increased infrastructure required for 5G networks will widely infuse the environment with new atypical exposures, as are increasing satellite systems communicating with ground-based civilian networks. The new information provides broader perspective with more precise data on both potential transient and chronic exposures to wildlife and habitats. Biological effects have been seen broadly across all taxa at vanishingly low intensities comparable to today’s ambient exposures as examined in Part 2. The major question presented in Part 1 was whether increasing anthropogenic environmental EMF can cause biological effects in wildlife that may become more urgent with 5G technologies, in addition to concerns over potentially more lenient allowances being considered by major standards-setting committees at FCC and ICNIRP (examined in Part 3). There are unique signaling characteristics inherent to 5G transmission as currently designed of particular concern to non-human species. Background levels continue to rise but no one is studying cumulative effects to nonhuman species.

379 references.


Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 2 impacts: 
how species interact with natural and man-made EMF

B Blake Levitt, Henry C Lai, Albert M Manville. Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 2 impacts: how species interact with natural and man-made EMF. Rev Environ Health. 2021 Jul 8. doi:10.1515/reveh-2021-0050.


Ambient levels of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) have risen sharply in the last five decades to become a ubiquitous, continuous, biologically active environmental pollutant, even in rural and remote areas. Many species of flora and fauna, because of unique physiologies and habitats, are sensitive to exogenous EMF in ways that surpass human reactivity. This can lead to complex endogenous reactions that are highly variable, largely unseen, and a possible contributing factor in species extinctions, sometimes localized. Non-human magnetoreception mechanisms are explored. Numerous studies across all frequencies and taxa indicate that current low-level anthropogenic EMF can have myriad adverse and synergistic effects, including on orientation and migration, food finding, reproduction, mating, nest and den building, territorial maintenance and defense, and on vitality, longevity and survivorship itself. Effects have been observed in mammals such as bats, cervids, cetaceans, and pinnipeds among others, and on birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles, microbes and many species of flora. Cyto- and geno-toxic effects have long been observed in laboratory research on animal models that can be extrapolated to wildlife. Unusual multi-system mechanisms can come into play with non-human species - including in aquatic environments - that rely on the Earth's natural geomagnetic fields for critical life-sustaining information. Part 2 of this 3-part series includes four online supplement tables of effects seen in animals from both ELF and RFR at vanishingly low intensities. Taken as a whole, this indicates enough information to raise concerns about ambient exposures to nonionizing radiation at ecosystem levels. Wildlife loss is often unseen and undocumented until tipping points are reached. It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as 'habitat' so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants. Long-term chronic low-level EMF exposure standards, which do not now exist, should be set accordingly for wildlife, and environmental laws should be strictly enforced - a subject explored in Part 3.


Effects from both natural and man-made EMF over a wide range of frequencies, intensities, wave forms, and signaling characteristics have been observed in all species of animals and plants investigated. The database is now voluminous with in vitro, in vivo, and field studies from which to extrapolate. The majority of studies have found biological effects at both high and low-intensity man-made exposures, many with implications for wildlife health and viability. It is clear that ambient environmental levels are biologically active in all non-human species which can have unique physiological mechanisms that require natural geomagnetic information for their life’s most important activities. Sensitive magnetoreception allows living organisms, including plants, to detect small variations in environmental EMF and react immediately as well as over the long term, but it can also make some organisms exquisitely vulnerable to man-made fields. Anthropogenic EMF may be contributing more than we currently realize to species’ diminishment and extinction. Exposures continue to escalate without understanding EMF as a potential causative and/or co-factorial agent. It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a potential novel stressor to other species, design technology to reduce exposures to as low as reasonably achievable, keep systems wired as much as possible to reduce ambient RFR, and create laws accordingly — a subject explored more thoroughly in Part 3.

675 references.


Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 3. 
Exposure standards, public policy, laws, and future directions

B. Blake Levitt, Henry C. Lai, Albert M. Manville. Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 3. Exposure standards, public policy, laws, and future directions. Rev Environ Health. 2021 Sep 27. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2021-0083.


Due to the continuous rising ambient levels of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs) used in modern societies—primarily from wireless technologies—that have now become a ubiquitous biologically active environmental pollutant, a new vision on how to regulate such exposures for non-human species at the ecosystem level is needed. Government standards adopted for human exposures are examined for applicability to wildlife. Existing environmental laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the U.S. and others used in Canada and throughout Europe, should be strengthened and enforced. New laws should be written to accommodate the ever-increasing EMF exposures. Radiofrequency radiation exposure standards that have been adopted by worldwide agencies and governments warrant more stringent controls given the new and unusual signaling characteristics used in 5G technology. No such standards take wildlife into consideration. Many species of flora and fauna, because of distinctive physiologies, have been found sensitive to exogenous EMF in ways that surpass human reactivity. Such exposures may now be capable of affecting endogenous bioelectric states in some species. Numerous studies across all frequencies and taxa indicate that low-level EMF exposures have numerous adverse effects, including on orientation, migration, food finding, reproduction, mating, nest and den building, territorial maintenance, defense, vitality, longevity, and survivorship. Cyto- and geno-toxic effects have long been observed. It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as ‘habitat’ so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants. Wildlife loss is often unseen and undocumented until tipping points are reached. A robust dialog regarding technology’s high-impact role in the nascent field of electroecology needs to commence. Long-term chronic low-level EMF exposure standards should be set accordingly for wildlife, including, but not limited to, the redesign of wireless devices, as well as infrastructure, in order to reduce the rising ambient levels (explored in Part 1). Possible environmental approaches are discussed. This is Part 3 of a three-part series.



This is Part 3 and concludes a three-part series on electromagnetic field (EMF) effects to wildlife.

Part 1 focused on measurements of rising background levels in urban, suburban, rural, and deep forested areas as well as from satellites. Discussed were different physics models used to determine safety and their appropriateness to current exposures. The unusual signaling characteristics and unique potential biological effects from 5G were explored. The online edition of Part 1 contains a Supplement Table of measured global ambient levels.

Part 2 is an in-depth review of species extinctions, exceptional non-human magnetoreception capabilities, and other species’ known reactions to anthropogenic EMF exposures as studied in laboratories and in the field. All animal kingdoms are included and clear vulnerabilities are seen. Part 2 contains four Supplement Tables of extensive low-level studies across all taxa, including ELF/RFR genotoxic effects.

Part 3 discusses current exposure standards, existing federal, and international laws that should be enforced but often are not, and concludes with a detailed discussion of aeroecology—the concept of defining air as habitat that would serve to protect many, though not all, vulnerable species today.

Some solutions

Existing environmental laws in the U.S., Canada, and throughout Europe should be enforced. For example, in the U.S., NEPA and its EISs should be required each time a new broadly polluting EMF technology like 5G is introduced, not as the current policy is being interpreted through “CatEx” or simple dismissal. EISs should be required for all new technologies that create pervasive ambient EMF such as ‘smart’ grid/metering, Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), small cell networks, and the 5G “Internet of Things.” Where wildlife species are affected, systems and networks that currently meet radiation levels for CatEx (and are therefore exempt from review) should be required to develop/implement NEPA and EIS reviews for cumulative exposures to wildlife from multi-transmission sources.

Efforts should begin to develop acceptable exposure and emissions standards for wildlife, which today do not exist. Setting actual exposure standards for wildlife will be an enormous challenge, and for some species there may be no safe thresholds, especially with 5G and MMW. We may simply need to back away from many wireless technologies altogether, especially the densification of infrastructure, and refocus on developing better dedicated wired systems in urban, suburban and rural areas. Environmentally sensitive wilderness areas should be considered off limits for wireless infrastructure. Once air is seen as ‘habitat,’ there may come a time when a cell phone call voluntarily not made will be understood as removing something detrimental from air’s waste-stream, the way we now see plastic bags regarding terrestrial/aquatic pollution.

There are some reasonably simple things that can be done in the ELF ranges that would benefit insect, bird, and many wild mammal and ruminant species. For example, high-tension electric utility corridors can be built or changed to cancel magnetic fields with different wiring configurations. This is already widely done in the industry for other reasons but it also coincidentally eliminates at the source at least the magnetic field component for wildlife. There are other approaches too but further discussion is beyond the scope of this paper.

Research into the long-term, low-level ambient exposures to humans and wildlife is imperative given the picture that is emerging. There is a likelihood that low-level ambient EMF is a factor, or co-factor, in some of the adverse environmental effects we witness today—many previously discussed in this series of papers. There is currently no research in any industrialized country that looks to the broader implications to all flora and fauna from these rising background levels, even as effects to individual species are observed. This is an important, emerging environmental issue that must be addressed.


In this broad three-part review, we sought to clarify if rising ambient levels of EMF were within the range of effects observed in in vitro, in vivo, and field studies in all animal phyla thus far investigated. We further discussed mechanisms pertinent to different animal physiology, behavior, and unique environments. The intention was to determine if current levels have the ability to impact wildlife species according to current studies. The amount of papers that find effects at today’s EMF levels to myriad species is robust. Some unusual patterns did emerge, including broadly in flora that react beneficially to static EMF but adversely to AC-ELF and especially to RFR.

There is a very large database supporting the hypothesis that effects occur in unpredictable ways in numerous species in all representative taxa from modern ambient exposures. Associations are strong enough to warrant caution. New enlightened public policies are needed, as well as existing laws enforced, reflecting a broader understanding of non-human species’ interactions with environmental EMF. Emerging areas, such as aeroecology, help define airspace as habitat and bring better awareness of challenges faced by aerial species—including animals and plants. But we are in the nascent stages of understanding the full complexity and detailed components of electroecology—the larger category of how technology affects all biology and ecosystems.

Historically, control over the realm of nonionizing radiation has been the purview of the physics and engineering communities. It is time that the more appropriate branches of biological science, specializing in living systems, stepped up to fill in larger perspectives and more accurate knowledge. We need to task our technology sector engineers to create safer products and networks with an emphasis on wired systems, and to keep all EMF exposures as low as reasonably achievable.

Corresponding author: B. Blake Levitt, P.O. Box 2014, New Preston, CT 06777, USA, E-mail: 
aeroecology; electroecology; International Council on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP); Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA); National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs); radiofrequency radiation (RFR); rising ambient levels; U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

162 references.


Electromagnetic radiation as an emerging driver factor for the decline of insects

Alfonso Balmori. Electromagnetic radiation as an emerging driver factor for the decline of insects. Sci Total Environ. Available online 28 January 2021, 144913.


• Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide
• This reductions is mainly attributed to agricultural practice and pesticide use
• There is sufficient evidence on the damage caused by electromagnetic radiation
• Electromagnetic radiation may be a complementary driver in this decline
• The precautionary principle should be applied before any new deployment (e.g. 5G)


The biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Numerous studies have reported the serious decline in insects that has occurred in recent decades. The same is happening with the important group of pollinators, with an essential utility for pollination of crops. Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and ecosystem services. Many authors point out that reductions in insect abundance must be attributed mainly to agricultural practices and pesticide use. On the other hand, evidence for the effects of non-thermal microwave radiation on insects has been known for at least 50 years. The review carried out in this study shows that electromagnetic radiation should be considered seriously as a complementary driver for the dramatic decline in insects, acting in synergy with agricultural intensification, pesticides, invasive species and climate change. The extent that anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation represents a significant threat to insect pollinators is unresolved and plausible. For these reasons, and taking into account the benefits they provide to nature and humankind, the precautionary principle should be applied before any new deployment (such 5G) is considered.


Effects of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Pollution on Invertebrates, Including Pollinators Such as Honey Bees: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and What We Need to Know

Friesen M, Havas M. 2020. Effects of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Pollution on Invertebrates, Including Pollinators Such as Honey Bees: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and What We Need to Know.” Pages 127-138 In Working Landscapes. Proceedings of the 12th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference, February 2019, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Edited by D. Danyluk. Critical Wildlife Habitat Program, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Invertebrates, including pollinators such as honey bees, can be adversely affected by non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Sources contributing to common environmental EMR exposures include antennae (cell phone, broadcast, and radar), communications satellites, and power lines. Adverse biochemical changes and disorientation have been reported for honey bees and other invertebrates. Field studies have reported changes in abundance and composition of “key pollinator groups” (wild bees, hoverflies, bee flies, beetles, and wasps) that have been attributed to emissions from telecommunications towers. We take a close look at the biological effects on invertebrates of EMR reported in the scientific literature and a general look at evidence from studies on plants, birds, humans, and other animals (domestic, laboratory, wild). We discuss possible implications of excessive electromagnetic pollution on ecosystems and identify knowledge gaps and what we need to know before more electromagnetic pollution is added to the environment, especially in the form of 5G.


Invertebrates (animals without backbones) are major components of most ecosystems. Insects are key to the integrity of many ecosystems in many roles including as pollinators. Honey bees play a role in pollination of domestic as well as wild plants and are often used as bio-indicator species and as a “model” to examine environmental problems. The global decline of pollinators is of grave concern and efforts are being made to identify the reasons (Potts et al. 2010; Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys 2019). One factor not widely considered is the possible role of anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible electric and magnetic fields of force. All living organisms have evolved in Earth’s natural EMFs and depend on them to live. Natural sources include Earth’s static magnetic field, and static electricity, including differences in charges among clouds and the earth that can lead to lightning. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) originates when fields change.

Anthropogenic (human-made, artificial) EMR sources are sometimes referred to as electromagnetic pollution or electrosmog. The main frequency ranges of interest in this article are: 1) extremely low frequencies (ELF) of 50/60 to 90 Hz that emanate from sources such as power lines and building wiring; and 2) radiofrequency radiation (RFR) of 700 MHz to 6 GHz, commonly used for devices such as cell phones, radio and television, and their supporting infrastructure, e.g., cell towers, antennae on buildings, and orbiting communications satellites. Also discussed are frequencies currently being developed and deployed above 6 GHz for 5G (5th Generation) for faster and more pervasive connectivity, including the “Internet of Things”.


Risk to pollinators from anthropogenic electro-magnetic radiation: Evidence and knowledge gaps

Vanbergen AJ, Potts SG, Vian A, Malkemper EP, Young J, Tscheulin T. Risk to pollinators from anthropogenic electro-magnetic radiation (EMR): Evidence and knowledge gaps. Sci Total Environ. 2019 Aug 7;695:133833. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133833.


• Anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation (light, radiofrequency) is perceived to threaten pollinators and biodiversity.
• Potential risks are artificial light at night (ALAN) and anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (AREMR).
• We assessed the quantity and quality of evidence, and the level of consensus, to distil key messages for science and policy.
• ALAN can alter pollinator communities and functions, although this remains to be well established.
• Evidence of AREMR impacts is inconclusive due to a lack of high quality, field-realistic studies.
• Whether pollinators and pollination face a threat from the spread of ALAN or AREMR remains a major knowledge gap.


Worldwide urbanisation and use of mobile and wireless technologies (5G, Internet of Things) is leading to the proliferation of anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and campaigning voices continue to call for the risk to human health and wildlife to be recognised. Pollinators provide many benefits to nature and humankind, but face multiple anthropogenic threats. Here, we assess whether artificial light at night (ALAN) and anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (AREMR), such as used in wireless technologies (4G, 5G) or emitted from power lines, represent an additional and growing threat to pollinators. A lack of high quality scientific studies means that knowledge of the risk to pollinators from anthropogenic EMR is either inconclusive, unresolved, or only partly established. A handful of studies provide evidence that ALAN can alter pollinator communities, pollination and fruit set. Laboratory experiments provide some, albeit variable, evidence that the honey bee Apis mellifera and other invertebrates can detect EMR, potentially using it for orientation or navigation, but they do not provide evidence that AREMR affects insect behaviour in ecosystems. Scientifically robust evidence of AREMR impacts on abundance or diversity of pollinators (or other invertebrates) are limited to a single study reporting positive and negative effects depending on the pollinator group and geographical location. Therefore, whether anthropogenic EMR (ALAN or AREMR) poses a significant threat to insect pollinators and the benefits they provide to ecosystems and humanity remains to be established.

Oct 31, 2018

EKLIPSE Project: Electromagnetic fields threaten wildlife

Implications for 5G deployment

A new report found that electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines, Wi-Fi, broadcast and cell towers pose a “credible” threat to wildlife, and that 5G (fifth generation cellular technology) could cause greater harm.

The analysis of 97 peer-reviewed studies by the EKLIPSE project concluded that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and to plant health.

The report concluded that: 
  • EMR represents a potential risk to the orientation or movement of invertebrates and may affect insect behavior and reproduction;
  • bird orientation can be disrupted by weak magnetic fields in the radiofrequency range, and the same may be true for other vertebrates including mammals; and
  • EMR exposure may affect plant metabolism due to production of reactive oxygen species often resulting in reduced plant growth.
  • Moreover, there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife.”
The review was conducted by a multidisciplinary, expert steering group composed of four biologists/ecologists who specialized in different taxonomic groups, and two physicists who study electromagnetic fields. This technical report represents the first step in an analysis of currently available knowledge and future research needs.

The reviewers pointed out the need for more high quality research. They rated the quality of 82 studies--56 had good to excellent biologic or ecologic quality, and 39 had good to excellent technical quality.

EKLIPSE (Establishing a European Knowledge and Learning Mechanism to Improve the Policy-Science-Society Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) is funded by the European Union to answer requests from policy makers and other societal actors on biodiversity-related issues.

For more information about the EKLIPSE conference held January 22-25, 2018, including slides and video, see:


Malkemper EP, Tscheulin T, VanBergen AJ, Vian A, Balian E, Goudeseune L (2018). The impacts of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on wildlife (flora and fauna). Current knowledge overview: a background document to the web conference. A report of the EKLIPSE project.

Goudeseune L, Balian E, Ventocilla J (2018). The impacts of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on wildlife (flora and fauna). Report of the web conference. A report of the EKLIPSE project.

Also see:


The EKLIPSE review was conducted at the request of Buglife, the only European organization devoted to the conservation of invertebrates. Invertebrates are vitally important to humans and other life forms which could not survive without them; yet, thousands of species are declining, and many are heading towards extinction. 

According to a news story in The Telegraph:

“… the charity Buglife warned that despite good evidence of the harms there was little research ongoing to assess the impact, or apply pollution limits.

The charity said ‘serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out’ and called for 5G transmitters to be placed away from street lights, which attract insects, or areas where they could harm wildlife.

Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife said: ‘We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied.

There is a credible risk that 5G could impact significantly on wildlife, and that placing transmitters on LED street lamps, which attract nocturnal insects such as moths increases exposure and thereby risk.

Therefore we call for all 5G pilots to include detailed studies of their influence and impacts on wildlife, and for the results of those studies to be made public.’

Buglife called for 5G transmitters to be moved away from street lights where insects are drawn.

As of March, 237 scientists have signed an appeal to the United Nations asking them to take the risks posed by electromagnetic radiation more seriously.”

Additional Resources (Updated August 14, 2021)

Aikaterina L, Stefi AL, Vassilacopoulou D, Margaritis LH, Christodoulakis NS. Oxidative stress and an animal neurotransmitter synthesizing enzyme in the leaves of wild growing myrtle after exposure to GSM radiation. Flora. 243:67-76. June 2018.

Granger J, Walkowicz L, Fitak R, Johnsen S. Gray whales strand more often on days with increased levels of atmospheric radio-frequency noise. Curr Biol. 2020 Feb 24;30(4):R155-R156.

Lupi D, Mesiano MP, Adani A, Benocci R, Giacchini R, Parenti P, Zambon G, Lavazza A, Boniotti MB, Bassi S, Colombo M, Tremolada P. 2021. Combined Effects of Pesticides and Electromagnetic-Fields on Honeybees: Multi-Stress Exposure. Insects. 12(8):716. doi: 10.3390/insects12080716.

Nyqvist D, Durif C, Johnsen MG, De Jong K, Forland TN, Sivle LD. Electric and magnetic senses in marine animals, and potential behavioral effects of electromagnetic surveys. Mar Environ Res. 2020 Mar;155:104888.

Panagopoulos DJ, Balmori A, Chrousos GP. On the biophysical mechanism of sensing upcoming earthquakes by animals. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Jan 29;717:136989.

Russell, C. Wireless Silent Spring. Santa Clara County Medical Association Bulletin. Oct 2018.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

What's Wrong with Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Limits?

A leading expert, Professor Om Gandhi, blames the inadequacies of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) safety standard and the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM) model used to test cell phones on industry and military engineers who dominated the IEEE standard setting meetings. He discusses the dangers of 5G radiation.

The We Know Show / PodBean, Nov 21, 2022

Meet the man whose research inspired the SAM campaign. Om P. Gandhi, Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the University of Utah, taught courses on biological effects of antennas, RF and microwave electromagnetic fields for over 50 years.

Prof. Om P. Gandhi is a world expert on how mobile phone radiation penetrates the human brain. Once a consultant to major cell phone companies, Gandhi now refuses to work with them. 

He has authored or co-authored several book chapters, and over 200 journal articles in electromagnetic dosimetry, microwave tubes, and solid-state devices. He also edited a book entitled Biological Effects and Medical Applications of Electromagnetic Energy and co-edited a book entitled Electromagnetic Biointeraction.

Dr. Gandhi was elected as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 1997. He was the Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Utah, from 1992 to 1999, the President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society from 1992 to 1993, the Co-Chairman of the IEEE SCC 28. IV Subcommittee on the RF Safety Standards from 1988 to 1997, and the Chairman of the IEEE Committee on Man and Radiation from 1980 to 1982. He received the d’Arsonval Medal of the Bioelectromagnetics Society for pioneering contributions to the field of bioelectromagnetics in 1995, the Microwave Pioneer Award of the IEEE MTTS in 2001, and the State of Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2002.

“The SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) for a 10-year old is up to 153% higher than the SAR for the SAM model and MRI scans of children between 5 and 8 years of age and found approximately 2 times higher SAR in children compared to adults. When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults”

– O. P. Gandhi et al, 2012

“It is a fact that humans of all sizes and ages from children to older individuals are using cell phones, and testing for compliance testing for a 220 lb., 6 feet 2 inch tall adult male underestimates the actual energy absorbed by up to a factor of two, thus releasing into the market telephones that would not pass if a proper safety compliance testing method was used.”

- Dr. Om P. Gandhi Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in his FCC Submission

The We Are Not SAM movement is not based on opinion - it's backed by science and the leading independent scientists from around the world have a lot to say about this testing dummy called SAM.  Tune in to hear some of the mind-boggling insights from Om’s research, the specifics around the SAM test which has allowed mobile phones to proliferate the market with unsafe devices, the FDTD Method - an alternative solution to the SAM test which can detect radiation with precision, the antenna affect, why humans absorb radiation and act like a conductor + so much more!

Show notes:

1:58 – Why are they testing mobile phones on a plastic dummy, how it violates SAR (specific absorption rate) testing standards

7:39 –  As a professor, they can’t stop me publishing research

10:25 – Mobile phone tower proximity matters – a weak signal requires more radiation

12:54 – Uncovering different radiation absorption rates for children and adults

16:22 – Children 5-12 years are absorbing twice the amount of radiation compared to adults

31:10 – FDTD method, the alternative biological test for safety, why is this hidden?

33:26 – The Antenna Effect, why humans absorb radiation then act like a conductor

38:13 – Does the 5G technology have the potential to create human transmitters?

42:16 – Revealing studies conclude you should stay away from mobile phone towers

44:19 – Biggest health risks of 5G infrastructure is higher rates of cancer

49:00 – The FCC does not take long-term exposure into account

57:22 – "5G is being rolled out unnecessarily without proper testing, that’s a fact!"


Download and read Om Gandhi's 2012 research paper titled “Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children

Link to more of Om Gandhi’s research papers

Watch Dr. Gandhi share his research showing children receive higher cell phone radiation exposures than adults + more details of his ground-breaking research.

To download this interview (mp3):


Sep 28, 2017

Does the FCC Adequately Enforce its Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Limits?

Last September, the Washington, DC law firm, Swankin & Turner, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that questioned whether the agency adequately enforced its cell phone radiation exposure limits.

The letter raised four areas of concern about current testing procedures and posed twelve specific questions.

One concern is that the FCC's two-decade-old cell phone testing procedures allow for a 30% margin of error. This means that a cell phone with a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) greater than 1.231 W/kg can actually exceed the FCC's exposure limit of 1.6 W/kg. The law firm's clients estimate that about 75% of the cell phones on the market may exceed the current exposure limits.

In 2012, the U.S. General Accountability Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, presented a report to the FCC which raised concerns about the adequacy of cell phone testing procedures. The Commission has yet to address the GAO's concerns so it is unlikely that the FCC will provide a timely response to Swankin &Turner.

The FCC's lack of responsiveness to the Congress and to the American people is explained in a Harvard publication by Norm Alster, "Captured agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates."

Swankin & Turner sent the letter to the FCC on behalf of its clients -- The National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy and Environmental Health Trust.

The eleven page letter can be downloaded at:

June 19, 2017

Current Cell Phone Radiation Standards 
Do Not Protect Human Health

National and international regulatory limits for radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure from cell phones and cell towers are outdated according to Dr. Yuri Grigoriev. Moreover, the standards are inadequate to protect human health, especially the health of children and those who are hypersensitive to RFR.

Dr. Grigoriev calls for research on the biological effects of chronic exposure to low-intensity RFR in order to develop stronger RFR standards, “bearing in mind, above all, long-term exposure on the brain at all levels of development.”  He argues that until we adopt protective regulations, we should “provide the public with full information on the possible dangers of mobile communication for their health. “ 

Finally, he appeals to his colleagues “Do not sin against the truth!”

Dr. Grigoriev is the Chairman of the Russian National Committee on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP), and  a member of the International Advisory Committee on Electromagnetic Fields and Health for the World Health Organization.

Following are excerpts from Dr. Grigoriev's book chapter and a link to download the document.

Grigoriev Y. “Methodology of Standards Development for EMF RF in Russia and by International Commissions: Distinctions in Approaches." In Markov, M (Ed.), Dosimetry in Bioelectromagnetics. Chapter 15. pp. 315-337. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis. 2017.


“The ultimate goal of electromagnetic field (EMF) standards is to protect human health. Exposure limits are intended to protect against adverse health effects of EMF exposure across the entire frequency range and modulation.”

“The Russian standard for base stations has already been in existence for more than 30 years and is more rigid than the maximum level recommended by the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). This distinction has been discussed at scientific meetings for many years—unfortunately, without result.
The second EMF source of mobile communication—the mobile phone—has no sufficient substantiation on exposure limits. The irradiation of a brain is not limited and is not supervised. The children using mobile phones are especially at high risk.”

“The first RF EMF standard for the population, SanPiN 848-70, was approved by the Ministry of Health of the USSR in 1970 and was considered for the population exposure limit of 1 μW/cm² in the microwave band of 300 MHz to 300 GHz. In 1978, the USSR  Ministry of Health approved the next SanPiN No. 1823-78. In this document, MPL for the population in the frequency range of 300 MHz to 300 GHz was set as 5 μW/cm².”

“Currently, three questions remain relevant for standardization: 
1. Are there nonthermal biological effects of low levels of RF EMF?
2. Is it possible that the irradiation of the population with RF EMF throughout human life leads to increased adverse biological effects?
3. Is there a “threshold” level of exposure to RF EMF, and if so how do we define it?”
“….These results together with numerous studies conducted by scientists from many countries provide direct evidence that RF EMF intensity of up to 10 mW/cm² may have a nonthermal mechanism of action.”

“There is evidence that RF EMF can cause development of tumors in the brain of mobile phone users after a 10–12 year “waiting period” (Hardell and Calberg, 2009). The term 'heavy users' that appeared in some publications linked the unfavorable bioeffects of the prolonged mobile phone use to accumulative processes of adverse biological effects.

It has been shown that after a single exposure to low-intensity RF EMF, certain changes in the brain EEG occur (Lukyanova, 1999, 2015). During the first hours after exposure, there is a restoration of bioelectrical activity of the brain, which indicates the insinuation of compensatory processes. Naturally, in these conditions, a repeated exposure might weaken compensatory processes and lead to development of the process of accumulation (Lukyanov et al., 2015).”

“The threshold level is the lowest level of exposure of the physical factor (EMF RF), below which the risk to public health does not exist, is introduced in analogy with the principles of ionizing radiation.  Given the complexity of this problem, we propose to determine the threshold level as a criterion for the body’s response to RF EMF exposure, but on the condition that this response should not be pathological. This reaction may be compensatory/ adaptive and should exist within the physiological range.”

“When determining the limit values for base stations, the RNCNIRP decided to leave the limit value for the general public of 10 μW/cm² unchanged, as it was set in 1984. This value was well justified by previous research, and so there was no need for changing it (Vinogradov and Dumanskiy, 1974, 1975; Shandala and Vinogradov, 1982; Shandala et al., 1983, 1985; Vinogradov and Naumenko, 1986; Vinogradov et al., 1999).

It is important to note that the MPL of 10 μW/cm² for the population has remained intact for more than 30 years. Previously, the standard was used only in Russia and the countries formerly in coalition with the Soviet Union. Now, MPLs of 10 μW/cm² or less are used as RF legal exposure limits or nonbinding recommendations for national, regional, urban, or sensitive areas for at least 20 countries worldwide (Figure 15.1).”

“The adoption of the standard in 2003 for the mobile phone in terms of formalizing requirements for methods of measuring the near field and for the establishment of a threshold for the evaluation of RF EMF exposure on brain function as a critical organ was not optimal….There was a proposal to use a safety factor of 5 and set to the cell phone MPL at 100 μW/cm² (Russian Standard, 2003—SanPiN 2.1.8/ It should be emphasized that SanPiN 2.1.8/, for the first time, introduced the recommendation to limit cell phone use for persons younger than 18 years as well as pregnant women.”

“The following factors allow us to conclude that the potential risk to the health of children who use mobile phones is very high:

– Absorption of electromagnetic energy by the head of a child is much higher than in the head of adults (children’s brain tissue has a higher conductivity, the size of the child’s head is smaller, and the skull bone of the child is thin).
– The distance from the antenna to the brain is short, because the child’s ear shell is very soft and has almost no layer of the cartilage.
– The child’s body is more sensitive to EMFs than adults.
– The child’s brain is more vulnerable to the effects of EMF.
– The brains of children have a greater propensity to accumulation of adverse reactions in the context of repeated exposures to EMF.
– EMF RF may have an adverse effect on cognitive functions.
– Today’s children use mobile phones at an early age and will continue to use them during their lifespan, and so the duration of the exposure of children to electromagnetic radiation will be substantially larger than that of modern adult users.”

“According to the members of the Russian National Committee of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP, 2008), some possible disorders that might originate in children who use mobile phones include weakened memory, decline of attention, reduction  of mental and cognitive abilities, irritability, sleep disturbance, tendency to stress reactions, and increased epileptic readiness.

It is also possible to expect the development of the adverse effects in older age as the result of the accumulation of adverse effects both in cells and in various functional systems of the body: brain tumors, tumors of the auditory and vestibular nerves (at age 25–30 years), Alzheimer’s disease, “dementia,” depressive syndrome, and other manifestations of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (at age 50–60 years).

Children users of mobile phones are not able to know that their brains are subjected to EMF, risking their health. This is a significant factor in moral ethics for parents. Also important is that the risk of EMF RF exposure is not less than the risk for children’s health from tobacco or alcohol.”

“Currently, international standards are developed by ICNIRP, IEEE, CENELEC, and other international and national commissions. Their methodology uses only the results of experimental animal studies obtained under the conditions of acute effects and thermal-level EMF RF (Bernhard, 1999).

Any standard safety margin depends on the predetermined threshold. Outside Russia, the threshold level is determined on the basis of “stable pathological reactions” in the conditions of acute exposure to RF EMF heat level (WHO Handbook, 2002).”

“Our long experience with ionizing and non-ionizing radiations led us to formulate the following postulate: “The development of hygiene standards for the population should take into account the actual conditions of EMF RF exposure of the population—local or total exposure, acute single exposure or chronic, constant, or repeated exposure; the functional importance of ‘critical organ’ or ‘critical body systems’; and effect on all population groups or only on certain limited groups of the population” (Grigoriev, 1997, 2008a).

Taking into account this postulate, we can make a clear conclusion that the Western standards do not meet the basic hygienic requirements …. Western regulations do not take into account events that occurred for the first time during the life of our civilization. Children who use mobile phones voluntarily irradiate their brains. This EMF RF exposure of the brain occurs every day, and the fractional exposure is projected for many years.

We criticized the Western standards because they do not correspond to the actual conditions of RF EMF exposure on the population (report in 2003 at an international seminar in China, Grigoriev et al., 2003b).”

“This analysis of the methodology of RF EMF regulation abroad allows us to conclude that the current so-called International Recommendations/Guidelines (ICNIRP, 1998) and the IEEE Standards (S95.1-2005), CENELEC (EN 50166-2.2000) do not correspond to existing conditions of RF EMF exposure on the population and cannot guarantee the safety of the public health.

Interestingly, this view was confirmed by the European Parliament in 2009 ….”

“We believe that it is necessary within the framework of the development problems of the methodology of EMF RF standards to specifically consider additional criteria for risk assessment related to the exposure of children to RF EMF who became active users of mobile phones.

Western experts working on new standards, completely ignoring the problem of childhood cell phone use do not take into account the WHO opinion on the higher sensitivity of children to environmental factors in the International standards: ‘children are different from adults.’

Children have a unique vulnerability. As they grow and develop, there are “windows of susceptibility”: periods when their organs and systems may be particularly sensitive to the effect of certain environmental threats (WHO, 2003).”

“The electromagnetic burden on the population is growing daily. At the same time, over the last 20 years, debates are still continuing on the following topic: Is the health of the population at risk because of increasing pollution due to RF EMF from the base stations and mobile phones?

The brains of almost all people on earth are exposed to EMF radiation. However, practically, there are no restrictions for the use of mobile communications. Having the advantages and convenience of mobile communication, the population is ignoring the information about the possible risks to their health. This threat affects everybody, including children aged 3–4 years. Pregnant women do not protect their fetuses from exposure to EMF.

The scientific community is watching this picture and is waiting for the results of this uncontrolled global experiment (Markov and Grigoriev, 2013). We saw similar hazards during the Victorian period in Britain (wallpaper with mercury and toys with lead).”

“…there are four postulates that show the risk to public health from mobile communication (Grigoriev, 2013). It is necessary to convince the population and to create an environment of reasonable restrictions on the use of this  communication.

The first postulate: ‘EMF—harmful type of radiation.’ Mobile communication uses RF EMF. This type of electromagnetic radiation is considered harmful. Exceeding the permissible levels can cause disease; therefore, it requires hygienic control. This is the absolute truth.

The second postulate: ‘The brain and EMF.’ The mobile phone is an open source of EMF, and there is no protection for valuable human organs. EMFs affect the brain during mobile phone use. Nerve structures inside the internal ear (the vestibular and the auditory apparatus) are located directly under the beam of EMF. This is the absolute truth.

The third postulate: ‘Children and EMF.’ For the first time, in history the child’s brain is subjected to RF EMF. There are no results of the study of chronic local RF EMF exposure on the brain. Children are more vulnerable to external environmental factors. This opinion was expressed by WHO (2003) and in the Parma Declaration (WHO European Region, 2010). This is the absolute truth.

Fourth postulate: ‘The lack of adequate recommendations/standards.’ There is no agreement on the methodology for determining the EMF RF remote control and for the development of international standards, and there are no results from 20 years of debate on this issue. This is a real fact.”

“I believe that the time has come to provide the public with full information on the possible dangers of mobile communication for their health. The abovementioned four postulates allow the public to comprehend the likely risks to their health from uncontrolled use of mobile communication.”

“I appeal to colleagues: Do not sin against the truth!”


“Of course, new sources of electromagnetic radiation are creating additional problems in the development of standards. Public health protection issues in connection with the use of mobile communications have become completely different. The use of mobile phones has led to the local long-term RF EMF exposure to the brain. The normative level is not considered a permanent RF EMF exposure on the brain of the user. Existing regulations do not address to the real hazard RF EMF exposure. Given these circumstances, standards cannot currently guarantee the well-being of adults and children.

Children mobile phone users were included in the group of high risk. In this regard, there is a need to develop more appropriate stringent standards to ensure absolute security for growing children. Existing standards should take into consideration the vulnerable group of people hypersensitive to RF EMF.

Given that the current regulations are outdated, it is necessary to carry out complex research into possible biological effects on conditions of chronic exposure to low-intensity EMF RF, bearing in mind, above all, long-term exposure on the brain at all levels of development.

As a temporary measure of limiting exposure to EMF on the population, it is necessary to introduce the concept of “voluntary risk”; that is, mobile telephony should be a product of self-selection on the background of the official public information about possible health hazards.”

The document can be downloaded from the Radiation Research Trust:

June 23, 2014

What's Wrong with Cell Phone Radiation 
Exposure Limits?

In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a cell phone radiation exposure limit based upon a measure called the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR.  A SAR testing procedure was developed that is applied to all cell phones sold in the U.S.

In the U.S and about a half dozen other countries, cell phones are allowed to have a maximum SAR of 1.6 watts per kilogram of tissue averaged over one gram of tissue.  Many countries, however, adopted a more permissive standard, that was developed by a self-appointed body, known as the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection or ICNIRP. The ICNIRP standard allows for up to 2.0 watts per kilogram of tissue averaged over ten grams of tissue. 

Recent studies have determined that the head can absorb 2-3 times the radiation from a phone based on the ICNIRP standard as compared to the U.S. standard. Nonetheless, the cell phone industry in the U.S. has been lobbying the FCC to adopt the ICNIRP standard using the euphemism, "harmonization," to justify this weakening of the regulatory standard.

Considerable research, however, suggests that both the U.S. and ICNIRP standards do not adequately protect us from health risks due to exposure to cell phone radiation. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and testing procedures are based upon four fallacies:

1) The SAR standards assume that a thermal (or heating) effect is the only way that microwave radiation emitted by cell phones can harm tissue.

However, many studies have found that exposure to low-intensity, microwave radiation at non-thermal levels where there is no measurable temperature change can produce DNA damage, reactive oxygen species, and stress proteins, and can alter brain activity and open the blood-brain-barrier. The SAR standards do not protect mobile device users from these non-thermal effects.

2) The standards are based upon averaging cell phone radiation exposure over one or ten grams of tissue and over time.

However, peak exposures and/or "hot spots" which damage tissue are not considered.

3) The standards only consider the immediate, acute effects of cell phone radiation exposure.

However, chronic effects due to long-term exposure are ignored.

4) The SAR test procedure uses a Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM) which simulates a very large man's head and body.

The standards do not address exposure to fetuses, children, or women, different tissue types, or metallic objects worn on the body that influence the absorption of radiation (e.g., metal eye glasses, earrings, or dental braces).  Research indicates that a child's brain absorbs 2-3 times the radiation of an adult's brain.


Evaluation of Specific Absorption Rate as a Dosimetric Quantity for Electromagnetic Fields Bioeffects

DJ Panagopoulos, O Johansson, GL Carlo. Evaluation of Specific Absorption Rate as a Dosimetric Quantity for Electromagnetic Fields Bioeffects. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e62663. Published online 2013 Jun 4. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062663


Purpose  To evaluate SAR as a dosimetric quantity for EMF bioeffects, and identify ways for increasing the precision in EMF dosimetry and bioactivity assessment.

Methods  We discuss the interaction of man-made electromagnetic waves with biological matter and calculate the energy transferred to a single free ion within a cell. We analyze the physics and biology of SAR and evaluate the methods of its estimation. We discuss the experimentally observed non-linearity between electromagnetic exposure and biological effect.

Results  We find that: a) The energy absorbed by living matter during exposure to environmentally accounted EMFs is normally well below the thermal level. b) All existing methods for SAR estimation, especially those based upon tissue conductivity and internal electric field, have serious deficiencies. c) The only method to estimate SAR without large error is by measuring temperature increases within biological tissue, which normally are negligible for environmental EMF intensities, and thus cannot be measured.

Conclusions  SAR actually refers to thermal effects, while the vast majority of the recorded biological effects from man-made non-ionizing environmental radiation are non-thermal. Even if SAR could be accurately estimated for a whole tissue, organ, or body, the biological/health effect is determined by tiny amounts of energy/power absorbed by specific biomolecules, which cannot be calculated. Moreover, it depends upon field parameters not taken into account in SAR calculation. Thus, SAR should not be used as the primary dosimetric quantity, but used only as a complementary measure, always reporting the estimating method and the corresponding error. Radiation/field intensity along with additional physical parameters (such as frequency, modulation etc) which can be directly and in any case more accurately measured on the surface of biological tissues, should constitute the primary measure for EMF exposures, in spite of similar uncertainty to predict the biological effect due to non-linearity.


For further information about the FCC review of the SAR exposure limits in the U.S. see ...

FCC Needs Input on Radio Frequency Radiation

Does The FCC Plan To Rubber Stamp Outdated Cell Phone Radiation Standards?

Comments submitted to FCC re: "FCC Proposes Changes in the Commission's Rules and Procedures Regarding Human Exposure to RadioFrequency Electromagnetic Energy" (Proceeding Number 03-137), Feb 5, 2013

What's Wrong with the GAO Report on Cell Phone Radiation?