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Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields from Phone Masts on a Population of White Stork ( Ciconia ciconia )

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Abstract

Monitoring of a white stork population in Valladolid (Spain) in the vicinity of Cellular Phone Base Stations was carried out, with the objective of detecting possible effects. The total productivity, in the nests located within 200 meters of antennae, was 0.86 ± 0.16. For those located further than 300 m, the result was practically doubled, with an average of 1.6 ± 0.14. Very significant differences among the total productivity were found (U = 240; p = 0.001, Mann-Whitney test). In partial productivity, an average of 1.44 ± 0.16 was obtained for the first group (within 200 m of antennae) and of 1.65 ± 0.13 for the second (further than 300 m of antennae), respectively. The difference between both groups of nests in this case were not statistically significant (U = 216; P = 0.26, Mann-Whitney Test U). Twelve nests (40%) located within than 200 m of antennae never had chicks, while only one (3.3%) located further than 300 m had no chicks. The electric field intensity was higher on nests within 200 m (2.36 ± 0.82 V/m) than on nests further than 300 m (0.53 ± 0.82 V/m). Interesting behavioral observations of the white stork nesting sites located within 100 m of one or several cellsite antennae were carried out. These results are compatible with the possibility that microwaves are interfering with the reproduction of white storks and would corroborate the results of laboratory research by other authors.
Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields from Phone Masts
on a Population of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
Alfonso Balmori
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Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 24: 109–119, 2005
Copyright © Taylor & Francis, Inc.
ISSN 1536-8378 print
DOI: 10.1080/15368370500205472
Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields from
Phone Masts on a Population of
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
ALFONSO BALMORI
Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Castilla y León,
Valladolid, Spain
Monitoring of a white stork population in Valladolid (Spain) in the vicinity of
Cellular Phone Base Stations was carried out, with the objective of detecting
possible effects. The total productivity, in the nests located within 200 meters of
antennae, was 086 ±016. For those located further than 300 m, the result was
practically doubled, with an average of 16±014. Very significant differences
among the total productivity were found (U=240p=0001, Mann-Whitney test).
In partial productivity, an average of 144 ±016 was obtained for the first group
(within 200 m of antennae) and of 165 ±013 for the second (further than 300 m
of antennae), respectively. The difference between both groups of nests in this case
were not statistically significant (U=216P =026, Mann-Whitney Test U). Twelve
nests (40%) located within than 200 m of antennae never had chicks, while only one
(3.3%) located further than 300 m had no chicks. The electric field intensity was
higher on nests within 200 m (236 ±082V/m) than on nests further than 300 m
(053 ±082V/m). Interesting behavioral observations of the white stork nesting sites
located within 100 m of one or several cellsite antennae were carried out. These
results are compatible with the possibility that microwaves are interfering with
the reproduction of white storks and would corroborate the results of laboratory
research by other authors.
Keywords Cellsites; Cellular phone masts; Ciconia ciconia; Electromagnetic
fields; Microwaves; Nonthermal effects; Reproduction; White stork.
Introduction
Most of the attention on the possible biological effects of electromagnetic fields
(EMF) has been focused on human health. People frequently use wildlife as
biological indicators to detect the alterations in the ecosystems and in an urban
Address correspondence to Alfonso Balmori, Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta
de Castilla y León, C/Rigoberto Cortejoso, 14 47071 Valladolid, Spain; E-mail:
balmaral@jcyl.es
109
110 Balmori
habitat. The numeric tendency of the populations of birds is of particular interest
in the conservation of nature [1].
The cellsite antennae emit a frequency of 900 or 1800 MHz, pulsed in very
low frequencies, generally known as microwaves (300 MHz–300 GHz), similar to the
radar spectrum. The cellsite ordinarily have 3 sectors, with 3 antennae that cover
an angle of 120 degrees each [2–5]. Though they have many and varied outputs, at
a distance of 50 m, the power density is about 10 W/cm2[2], while at distances of
100 m at ground level it measures above 1 W/cm2(personal observation). Between
150 and 200 m, the power density of the main lobe near the ground is typically of
some tenth of 1 W/cm2[3].
In real life, living organisms are exposed to variable levels of electromagnetic
fields (radiofrequencies), according to the distance from the cellular bases stations,
the presence of passive structures to either amplify the waves (e.g., the metallic
structures) or to shield them (buildings or other obstacles), the number of
transmission calls within the transmitters and their position with relationship to the
orientation of the antenna [2].
Animals are very sensitive electrochemical complexes that communicate with
their environment through electrical impulses. Ionic currents and electric potential
differences exist through the cellular membranes and corporal fluids [6]. The
intrinsic electromagnetic fields from the biological structures are characterized by
certain specific frequencies that can be interfered with by the electromagnetic
radiation, through induction and causing modification in their biological responses
[3]. Animals exposed to the EMF can suffer a deterioration of health, changes in
behavior [7, 8], and changes in reproductive success [9, 10].
The low intensity pulsed microwave radiation from cellsites produces subtle
athermal influences in the living organisms, because this radiation is able to produce
biological responses by the microwave carrier and by the low frequency of pulses
from GSM system. “Windows” exist in whereby EMFs produce biological effects
at specific frequencies (window effect) [11]. Some effects are manifested exclusively
with a certain power density [12], while others are manifested after a certain
duration of the irradiation, which indicates long-term cumulative effects [13]. During
lingering exposure, the effects can change from stimulant to inhibition, depending
on the pulse shape [14, 15], the duration, development, and differentiation and the
physiologic condition or health of the receiving organism [16], and their genetic
predisposition [17]. These waves seem to cause different, and even contrary effects,
depending on their frequency, intensity, modulation, pulses or time of exposure
[12, 16, 18]. The pulsed waves (in bursts) and certain low frequency modulations,
produce great biological activity [14, 15, 18]. The dose-response relationships
(athermal) are nonlinear [19].
Research has shown such effects on the living organisms at molecular [12] and
cellular levels [20] on immune processes [21], in DNA [22], on the nervous, cardiac,
endocrine, immune, and reproductive systems [16, 23–28], modification of sleep
and alteration of the cerebral electric response (EEG) [29], increase of the arterial
pressure and changes in the heart rhythm [30], and an increase in the permeability
of the blood brain barrier [31].
The objective of this study was to investigate if the phone mast cellsites caused
effects in wild birds similar to the laboratory studies, and studies carried out on
people exposed to this radiation [3, 5, 32–35].
EMF Effects on C. ciconia 111
Materials and Methods
For monitoring the breeding success of the white stork population, nests
n =60were selected and visited from May to June of 2003. The difficulty of the
investigation in the field, (and when studying wild species) does not allow one to
control all variables as in the laboratory; however, the selected nests had similar
characteristics. They were located in the roof of churches and buildings inside
urban nuclei in Valladolid (Spain). (The nests on trees and other natural supports
or outside the urban nuclei were never studied.) Since the cellsite radiations are
omnipresent, very few places exist with an intensity of 0 V/m near inhabited nuclei.
For that reason, nests were chosen that were exposed at very high or very low
levels of electromagnetic radiation, depending on the distance from the nests to the
antennas.
The nests were selected and separated in two categories:
a) Nests n =30located within 200 m of one or several cellsite antennae (GSM-
900 MHz and DCS-1800 MHz), placed in masts and in the roof of the buildings
at 15–30 m high.
b) Nests n =30located further than 300 m of any cellsites.
The nest were observed using a prismatic Zeiss 8 ×30 and a “Leika” 20-60 X
telescope. The number of young were counted.
For the analysis of the results of the reproduction, two indexes were used:
1) the total productivity (number of young flown by each couple, including nests
with zero chicks).
2) the partial productivity (number of young flown by couples with some chicks,
excluding nests with zero chicks).
To compare the breeding success of both groups of nests a nonparametric test was
applied (Mann-Whitney test U).
Also, we measured the electric field intensity (radiofrequencies and microwaves)
in V/m, using a “Nuova Elettronica” device Model LX 1435 with 10% sensitivity,
from a unidirectional antenna (range: 1 MHz–3 GHz). Keeping in mind the
inaccessibility of the nests, the measurements were made in their vacinity under
similar conditions, recording the reproducible values obtained when directing the
antenna of the device toward the cellsite antenna in line of sight.
Between February 2003 and June 2004, we carried out 15 and 10 visits,
respectively, to 20 nests located within 100 m of one or several cellsite antennae to
observe the behavior of the species. The visits covered all the phases of breeding,
from construction of the nest, until the appearance of young storks exercising their
wings and practicing flight.
Results
Table 1 presents the number of young and electric field intensity (V/m) of each
studied nest.
The total productivity, in the nests located within 200 m of antennae was
086 ±016. For those located further than 300 m, the result was practically doubled,
with an average of 16±014 (Table 1). Both groups showed very significant
differences in the breeding success (U =240; P =0001, Mann-Whitney Test U).
112 Balmori
Table 1
Intensity of electric field, total and partial productivity in the nests within 200 m
and further than 300 m to the phone mast
Nests within 200 m Nests further than 300 m
Number of Number of
Nest young EMF (V/m) Nest young EMF (V/m)
1 2 0.8 1 1 04
2 2 0.6 2 2 07
3 0 0.8 3 1 13
4 3 1.5 4 1 11
5 1 1.7 5 1 06
6 2 2.9 6 3 04
7 1 3.1 7 2 06
8 1 1.3 8 2 07
9 1 1.3 9 3 06
10 1 2.8 10 1 07
11 1 1.8 11 2 08
12 3 3.2 12 2 03
13 1 1.6 13 3 01
14 0 2.7 14 1 06
15 0 2.3 15 2 05
16 0 2.7 16 3 0
17 0 2.5 17 2 03
18 0 3.5 18 1 08
19 0 3.5 19 2 02
20 0 2.7 20 0 08
21 0 2.9 21 2 02
22 2 3.2 22 1 06
23 0 2.5 23 1 05
24 1 2.6 24 1 07
25 1 2.4 25 1 14
26 0 2.2 26 2 01
27 1 2.6 27 1 01
28 1 3.1 28 2 02
29 1 3.1 29 1 0
30 0 3.0 30 1 06
Mean EMF 2.36 053
Total productivity 0.86 1.6
Partial productivity 1.44 1.65
Nests without young 12 (40%) 1 (3.3%)
In partial productivity in average of 144 ±016 was obtained for the first group
(within 200 m of antennae) and 165 ±013 for the second (further than 300 m of
antennae) respectively. The difference between both groups of nests in this case was
not statistically significant (U =216; P =026, Mann-Whitney Test U).
EMF Effects on C. ciconia 113
Twelve nests 40%located within 200 m of the antennae never had any chicks,
while only one 33%, located further than 300 m, never had chicks.
The electric field intensity was higher on nests within 200 m (236 ±082 V/m)
that on nests further 300 m (053 ±082 V/m) (Table 1).
The results of the findings and interesting behavioral observations of the white
stork nesting sites located within 100 m of one or several cellsite antennae and on
those that the main beam impacted directly (EFI >2 V/m) included young that died
from unknown causes. Also, within this distance, couples frequently fought over the
nest construction sticks and failed to advance the construction of the nests. (Sticks
fell to the ground while the couple tried to build the nest.) Some nests were never
completed and the storks remained passively in front of cellsite antennae.
Discussion
The effects of athermal microwaves on birds have been well known for more than
35 years [36, 37]. Some authors obtained beneficial effects in the production of
insect eggs and exposed birds, but found that the mortality was doubled [38]. In
hen experiments, problems of health and a deterioration of the plumage arose, while
in the autopsies, leucosis and tumors of the central nervous system appears [39].
Giarola and Krueger [40] obtained a large reduction of the rate of growth and also
a reduction of the adrenal glands, in exposed chickens. Kondra et al. [41] obtained
an increase in the frequency of ovulation of exposed birds, and a bigger production
of eggs but with less weight, proposing that the pituitary gland was stimulated.
Other authors also have obtained effects reducing the rate of growth in chickens and
rats, reduction in the production of eggs in hens exposed to microwaves of different
frequencies and intensities, increase of fertility, and a deterioration of the quality of
the eggshell at certain frequencies [42]. An increase in the embryonic mortality of
chickens also has been found [15, 17, 43, 44]. These microwave effects are athermal
[45]. Recently, it also has been demonstrated that the microwaves used in cellphones
produce an athermal response in several types of neurons of the nervous system in
birds [46] and that they can affect the blood brain barrier as has been observed in
rats [47].
Birds are especially sensitive to the magnetic fields [48]. The white stork
(Ciconia ciconia) build their nests on pinnacles and other very high places with high
electromagnetic contamination (exposed to the microwaves). Also, they usually live
inside the urban environment, where the electromagnetic contamination is higher,
and remain in the nest a lot of the time, for this reason the decrease on the brood
can be a good biological indicator to detect the effects of these radiations.
The results indicate a difference in total productivity but not in partial
productivity between the near nests and those far from the antennae. This indicate
the existence of nests without chicks, or the death of young in their first stages in the
nests near cellsites (40% of nest without young, compared to 3.3% in nests further
300 m). Also, in the monitoring of the nests near to cellsite antennae, some dead
young were observed and several couples never built the nest.
In previous studies in Valladolid, the results of productivity were generally
higher than those obtained in this study and less nests appeared without young
(Table 2).
Consistent with these results, the microwaves could be affecting one or several
reproductive stages: the construction of the nest, the number of eggs, the embryonic
114 Balmori
Table 2
Results of censuses carried out in Valladolid (Spain).
Couples
Number of Total Partial without
Year visited nests productivity productivity young(%) References
1984 113 169 213 7 [65]
1992 115 193 52 [62]
1994 24 184 76 [63]
2001 35 243 [64]
2003 (<200 m) 30 083 144 40 This study
2003 (>300 m) 30 16165 33 This study
development, the hatching or the mortality of chicks in their first stages. The
faithfulness of the white stork to nest sites can increase the effects of the microwaves.
A Greek study [49] relates to a progressive drop in the number of births of
rodents. The mice exposed to 0168 W/cm2become sterile after 5 generations,
while those exposed to 1053 W/cm2became sterile after only 3 generations. The
interaction seems to take place through the central nervous system more than on
the reproductive gland directly. Other studies find a decrease of fertility, increase
of deaths after the birth in rats and dystrophic changes in their reproductive
organs [16]. A recent study shows a statistically significant high mortality rate of
chicken embryos subjected to the radiation from a cellphone, compared to the
control group [43]. EMF exposure affected the reproductive success of kestrels
(Falco sparverius), increasing fertility, egg size, embryonic development and fledging
success but reduced hatching success [10]. An increase in the mortality [50] and
the appearance of morphological abnormalities, especially of the neural tube
[14, 15, 17] has been recorded in chicken embryos exposed to pulsed magnetic fields,
with different susceptibility among individuals probably for genetic reasons. It is
probable that each species, even each individual, shows different susceptibility to the
radiation, since the susceptibility depends on the genetic bias, and of the irradiated
living organisms physiologic and neurological state [4, 51]. Different susceptibility
of each species also has been proven in wild birds exposed to CEM from high-
voltage powerlines [9]. When the experimental conditions (power density, frequency,
duration, composition of the tissue irradiated, etc.) change, their biological effects
also change [25, 52]. Microwaves have the potential to induce adverse reactions in
the health of people [2–5, 34, 35, 47]. Although the power output differs per site
and type of transmitter, at more than 300 m distance from the antennas, most of the
symptoms recorded in people diminish or disappear [34, 35]. It also has been pointed
out that below 0.6 V/m the effects on the people disappear (Salzburg resolution).
Since, we cannot see symptoms for white storks, it is necessary to use objective
variables such as the Total and Partial Productivity, and other characteristics of
behavior (nonconstruction of nest, sticks fall, etc.). We recommend electromagnetic
contamination in the microwave range be considered a risk factor in the decline
of some populations, especially urban birds, especially when exposed to higher
radiation levels. Because of their thinner skull, their great mobility and the fact
that they use areas with high levels of microwave electromagnetic radiation, birds
EMF Effects on C. ciconia 115
are very good biological indicators. The freedom of movement of birds and their
habit of settling in the proximity and even on the cellsites, makes them potentially
susceptible to such effects. Small organisms (children, birds, small mammals, etc.)
are especially vulnerable, as absorption of microwaves of the frequency used in
mobile telephones is greater as a consequence of the thinner skull of a bird, the
penetration of the radiation into the brain is greater [2, 49, 53, 54].
Several million birds of 230 species die annually from collisions with the masts
of telecommunication facilities in United States during migration [55]. The cause
of the accidents has yet to be proven, although one knows that they mainly take
place during the night, in fog, or bad weather. The birds use several orientation
systems: the stars, the sun, the site-specific recognition and the geomagnetic field
[48]. The illumination of the towers probably attracts the birds in the darkness,
but it is possible that the accidents take place in circumstances of little visibility,
because at the time, other navigational tools are not available. The perception to the
terrestrial magnetic field can be altered by the electromagnetic radiation from the
antennae. The reports of carrier pigeons losing direction in the vicinity of cellsites
are numerous, and more investigation is necessary.
In the United Kingdom, where the allowed radiation levels are 20 times higher
than those of Spain, a decline of several species of urban birds has recently taken
place [56], coinciding with the increasing installations of cellsites. Although this type
of contamination is considered at the present time by some experts as the most
serious [4], inspection systems and controls have never been developed to avoid
their pernicious effects on living organisms. Some of the biological mechanisms
of the effects of these waves are still ignored [12], although the athermal effects
on organisms have been sufficiently documented. The telephone industry could
be taking advantage of the complexity of the biological and physical processes
implied, to create an innocuous atmosphere, repeatedly denying the existence of
harmful effects in living organisms. For this reason the reports related to animals
are of special value, since in this case it can never be alleged that the effects are
psychosomatic [3].
Future investigation should be carried out with long-term monitoring of
the breeding success, of the sleeping places and of the uses of the habitat
for species more vulnerable to the microwaves. Of special interest should be
investigations that try to make correlations with the radiofrequency electromagnetic
field measurements. Field studies investigating populations of urban parks and
territories surrounding cellsites should be a high-priority. A radius of 1 sq K and
the layout of concentric lines at intermediate distances can be useful to investigate
differential results among areas depending on their vicinity and the radiation levels.
We consider that the birds most affected from the microwave electromagnetic
contamination could be:
l) those bound to urban environments with more sedentary customs, in general
those that spend more time in the vicinity of the base stations;
2) those that live or breed in high places, more exposed to the radiation and at
higher power density levels;
3) those that breed on open structures where the radiation impacts directly on
adults and chicks in the nest;
4) those that spend the night outside of holes or structures that attenuate the
radiation.
116 Balmori
In far away areas, where the radiation decreases progressively, the chronic
exposure can also have long term effects [13, 49]. Effects from antennas on
the habitat of birds are difficult to quantify, but they can cause a serious
deterioration, generating silent areas without male singers or reproductive couples.
The deterioration of the ecosystem can also take place from the impact of the
radiation on the populations of invertebrate prey [54, 57, 58] and on the plants [59].
Bioelectromagnetics is historically a frontier discipline. Controversy is frequent
when the scientists recognize serious effects on health and on the environment that
cause high economic losses. Independent investigators state the necessity of a drastic
reduction of the emmitted power levels on people and the ecosystems and that it is
technically viable although more expensive for the industry [4, 22, 60]. Our opinion
is that areas of continuous use should never exist at the height of the antennas
either inside the beam or within a radius of several hundreds meters. The restriction
to exposure to fauna presents special complexity; the main reason for the drastic
reduction in the emission power of the antennae is presented as the only viable and
effective solution to prevent these effects. Some authors have already propose that
we are withessing a paradigm change in biology [61].
Acknowledgment
Thanks are due to Denise Ward revised the English translation of the text and
to Manuel González, for his company in the visit to San Pablo. Juan Matute and
José Antonio García provided the information of some white stork censuses carried
out in Valladolid. The CDA (Junta de Castilla y León) helped me efficiently in
obtaining some of the papers. Comments by an anonymous referee greatly improved
the manuscript.
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... Several of the aforementioned findings involve DNA damage and consequent cell death in reproductive cells of different animals, resulting in decreased reproduction. In particular, the effects of pulsing WC EMFs on the DNA of reproductive cells, as reported by different studies on a variety of animals (25,30,31,36,40,41,46), display a marked similarity and explain other findings that connect WC EMF exposure with insect, bird and mammalian (including human) infertility (56)(57)(58)(59)(60)(61)(62)(63)(64), or declines in bird and insect populations (especially bees) during the past 15 years (65)(66)(67)(68)(69). A significant decrease in reproduction (decrease in egg laying or embryonic death) after exposure to mobile telephony (MT) radiation was identically observed in fruit flies (30,40,57,58), chicken eggs (61), birds (65)(66)(67), and bees (63). ...
... In particular, the effects of pulsing WC EMFs on the DNA of reproductive cells, as reported by different studies on a variety of animals (25,30,31,36,40,41,46), display a marked similarity and explain other findings that connect WC EMF exposure with insect, bird and mammalian (including human) infertility (56)(57)(58)(59)(60)(61)(62)(63)(64), or declines in bird and insect populations (especially bees) during the past 15 years (65)(66)(67)(68)(69). A significant decrease in reproduction (decrease in egg laying or embryonic death) after exposure to mobile telephony (MT) radiation was identically observed in fruit flies (30,40,57,58), chicken eggs (61), birds (65)(66)(67), and bees (63). Similar effects are reported for amphibians (70,71), rats (31,62), and human sperm (decreased number and motility of spermatozoa) (59,60). ...
... The present study reviewed experimental and epidemiological findings connecting exposure to purely ELF, and RF (containing ELF) human-made EMFs, with DNA damage and related pathologies, including cancer. It is documented that both such types of human-made EMF-exposure can induce OS (3,34,(36)(37)(38)(39)43,45,109), DNA damage 84,85) and infertility (56)(57)(58)(59)(60)(61)(62)(63)(64)(65)(66)(67)(68)(69)(70)(71). It is also documented that the same types of EMF-exposure are linked with increased cancer risk both in humans and experimental animals (72)(73)(74)(75)(76)(77)(78)(79)(80)(81)(82)(83)(86)(87)(88)(89)(90)(91)(92)(93)(94)(95)(96)(97)(98)(110)(111)(112)(113)(114). ...
Article
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Exposure of animals/biological samples to human‑made electromagnetic fields (EMFs), especially in the extremely low frequency (ELF) band, and the microwave/radio frequency (RF) band which is always combined with ELF, may lead to DNA damage. DNA damage is connected with cell death, infertility and other pathologies, including cancer. ELF exposure from high‑voltage power lines and complex RF exposure from wireless communication antennas/devices are linked to increased cancer risk. Almost all human‑made RF EMFs include ELF components in the form of modulation, pulsing and random variability. Thus, in addition to polarization and coherence, the existence of ELFs is a common feature of almost all human‑made EMFs. The present study reviews the DNA damage and related effects induced by human‑made EMFs. The ion forced‑oscillation mechanism for irregular gating of voltage‑gated ion channels on cell membranes by polarized/coherent EMFs is extensively described. Dysfunction of ion channels disrupts intracellular ionic concentrations, which determine the cell's electrochemical balance and homeostasis. The present study shows how this can result in DNA damage through reactive oxygen species/free radical overproduction. Thus, a complete picture is provided of how human‑made EMF exposure may indeed lead to DNA damage and related pathologies, including cancer. Moreover, it is suggested that the non‑thermal biological effects attributed to RF EMFs are actually due to their ELF components.
... The majority of the studies have concentrated on humans and occupational health issues, mostly based on animal model studies (e.g., mice, rats, chickens and other birds) under laboratory conditions (Cucurachi et al. 2013). A few recent studies have further insights into the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields on populations of wild birds (Balmori 2005, Fernie and Reynolds 2005, Balmori and Hallberg 2007Everaert andBauwens 2007, Rejt et al. 2007). As "birds are candidates for being good biological indicators for low-intensity electromagnetic radiation: they have thin skulls, their feathers can act as dielectric receptors of microwave radiation, many species use magnetic navigation, they are very mobile and possible psychosomatic effects are absent" (Balmori 2005). ...
... A few recent studies have further insights into the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields on populations of wild birds (Balmori 2005, Fernie and Reynolds 2005, Balmori and Hallberg 2007Everaert andBauwens 2007, Rejt et al. 2007). As "birds are candidates for being good biological indicators for low-intensity electromagnetic radiation: they have thin skulls, their feathers can act as dielectric receptors of microwave radiation, many species use magnetic navigation, they are very mobile and possible psychosomatic effects are absent" (Balmori 2005). According to Balmori (2004), urban birds that are exposed to electromagnetic contamination are more prone to the detrimental effects of RF-EMF. ...
... Furthermore, in terms of ecological study, it was largely given in the form of non-peer-reviewed grey literature (Cucurachi et al. 2013). Balmori's series of evaluations (Balmori 2005(Balmori , 2009 and 2021) are mostly concerned with the effects of RF-EMF on animals. Balmori's (2009Balmori's ( , 2021 contribution, on the other hand, contains significant methodological flaws. ...
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Full-text available
The persisting growth of wireless telecommunication technology causes increased electrosmog. Exposure to wide-ranging radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is thought to be a concern for all living organism across the globe. Several studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of electromagnetic radiation on various organisms, including the risk of electromagnetic radiation on birds, but the results have been inconclusive. Here, we investigated if there is any impact of electromagnetic radiation on the abundance and habitat use of sympatric House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow in Guwahati City, India. In addition, we did a comparative analysis of previous work that had been conducted on the possible effects of EMR on wild birds in field conditions. We collected sparrow abundance in selected urbanized habitats temporally over a period of two years in 45 locations and spatially covering 168 locations in the eastern part of Guwahati City. Point counts were carried out, and successively we measured the electromagnetic radiation along with other ecological factors that could influence the habitat usage of the species. It was observed that ecological factors had a major role in explaining the fine-scale habitat use of sparrows in Guwahati, but electromagnetic radiation had no impact. We found that House Sparrows had a quadratic relationship and Tree sparrows had a negative association with increasing urbanization. Studies carried out in the past on the impacts of electromagnetic radiation on birds outside the lab conditions had not considered other ecological factors, which could also influence the life history needs of the species. Therefore, future studies on the impact of EMR must also include species specific requirements. Based on our current knowledge, we can infer that low levels of EMR in the field (in urban settings) in cities around the globe are unable to induce thermal effects and so have no impact on sparrows and associated urban avifauna.
... The studies reviewed and discussed show that electromagnetic radiation is not only a plausible but a probable factor for multiple reasons, including that this is the only factor that interferes with all other hypothesised factors proposed so far. Electromagnetic radiation is a type of pollution that affects productivity [21][22][23], fertility [22], decreases insect chicken feed [24], causes habitat loss [25,26] and decreases immunity [27][28][29]. It is well known that a stressed immune system may increase the susceptibility of a bird to infectious diseases, bacteria, viruses and parasites [30]. ...
... located further than 300 m had no chicks. In sites located within 100 m of one or several phone masts with the main beam of radiation impacting directly on the nest, many young died from unknown causes [23]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, there has been a decline of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), mainly in European cities, and several hypotheses have been proposed that attempt to determine the causes of this rapid decline. Previous studies indicated that house sparrows were significantly negatively associated with increasing electromagnetic radiation and sparrows disappeared from areas most polluted. In addition, there are many studies on the impact of radiation on other bird and non-bird species, as well as numerous laboratory studies that demonstrated detrimental effects at electric field strength levels that can be found in cities today. Electromagnetic radiation is the most plausible factor for multiple reasons, including that this is the only one that affects the other hypotheses proposed so far. It is a type of pollution that affects productivity, fertility, decreases insects (chicken feed), causes loss of habitat, decreases immunity and can promote disease. Additionally, the recent sparrow decline matches the deployment of mobile telephony networks. Further, there are known mechanisms of action for non-thermal effects of electromagnetic radiation that may affect sparrows causing their decline. Thus, electromagnetic radiation must be seriously considered as a factor for house sparrows’ decline, probably in synergy with the other factors previously proposed.
... On the other hand, studies performed on animals or trees near base station antennas are especially important, because animals and plants cannot be aware of their proximity and therefore nocebo or psychosomatic effects cannot be attributed (Balmori, 2005(Balmori, , 2010Balmori and Hallberg, 2007;Hässig et al., 2012;Lázaro et al., 2016;Waldmann--Selsam et al., 2016;Levitt et al., 2021). In fact, a similar result of this study for humans was found in a review on the significant ecological effects of RF EMF in 65% of the studies on vertebrates, birds and plants (Cucurachi et al., 2013). ...
Article
The objective of this work was to perform a complete review of the existing scientific literature to update the knowledge on the effects of base station antennas on humans. Studies performed in real urban conditions, with mobile phone base stations situated close to apartments, were selected. Overall results of this review show three types of effects by base station antennas on the health of people: radiofrequency sickness (RS), cancer (C) and changes in biochemical parameters (CBP). Considering all the studies reviewed globally (n = 38), 73.6% (28/38) showed effects: 73.9% (17/23) for radiofrequency sickness, 76.9% (10/13) for cancer and 75.0% (6/8) for changes in biochemical parameters. Furthermore, studies that did not meet the strict conditions to be included in this review provided important supplementary evidence. The existence of similar effects from studies by different sources (but with RF of similar characteristics), such as radar, radio and television antennas, wireless smart meters and laboratory studies, reinforce the conclusions of this review. Of special importance are the studies performed on animals or trees near base station antennas that cannot be aware of their proximity and to which psychosomatic effects can never be attributed.
... 1671 • Fewer young per stork couple for nests within 200m of the antenna, 40% <200m had no chicks and the couple frequently fought over the sticks when trying to build the nest. 1672 • Tree swallows show changes in body mass growth constant after ELF exposure, with a gradual decrease in their homing speed after 4 years' exposure to ELF. 1673 • Bats avoid radar. 1674 • Bees react to EMFs with (i) direct effects, like other insects, in behaviour and physiology, 1675 1690 1691 1692 Honeybees show adverse biological effects at 7 KV/m, with induced currents of 0.5 microAmp, and at 5.1 KV/m, but not at 1.8 KV/m, 1693 and can detect static fluctuations at 26 nT against the earth's higher magnetic field, but need 100 microT at 60 Hz. ...
Book
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity is categorised as a multisymptomatic 'el-allergy' in the Nordic classification of 2000 (R.68.8). Its symptoms are 'certainly real' and it can be a 'disabling condition' (W.H.O., 2005). It was first recorded in the mid 20th century as an occupational illness, but it has now spread into the general population through environmental exposure from increasing levels of electromagnetic fields and radiation. This Summary covers current research on this syndrome, covering EM Sensitivity and EM Hypersensitivity. It includes tables of symptoms, EMF sources and exposure guidelines, along with references to scientific studies. This New Edition adds updates, international doctors' protocols, aspects of quantum biology, evidence for sensitivity in animals and plants, case studies, disability issues and human rights.
... Studies have recognized possible effects on organisms (e.g., bees, fruit ies, frogs, birds, bats, and humans) with the increase of RF-EMF in the environment ( Rejt et al. 2007). As "birds are candidates for being good biological indicators for low-intensity electromagnetic radiation: they have thin skulls, their feathers can act as dielectric receptors of microwave radiation, many species use magnetic navigation, they are very mobile and possible psychosomatic effects are absent" (Balmori 2005). Balmori (2004) also stated that the urban birds that are subjected to electromagnetic contamination are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of RF-EMF. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The persisting growth of wireless telecommunication technology causes increased electrosmog. Exposure to wide-ranging radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is thought to be a concern for all the living species across the globe. Studies have shown possible effects of electromagnetic radiation on various organisms including electromagnetic radiation risk on birds, but the outcomes were inconsistent. Here, we investigated if there is any impact of electromagnetic radiation on the abundance and habitat use of sympatric House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow in Guwahati City, India. In addition, we did a comparative analysis of previous work that had been conducted on possible effects of EMR on wild birds in field condition. We collected sparrow abundance in selected urbanization gradients temporally over a period of two years in 45 locations and spatially covering 168 locations in the eastern part of Guwahati City. Point counts were carried out, and successively we measured the electromagnetic radiation along with other ecological covariates. It was observed that ecological variables contributed significant variation to explain the habitat use of sparrows in Guwahati City compared to electromagnetic radiation. We observed that House Sparrow had quadratic relationship and Tree sparrow had negative association with increasing urbanization. Studies carried out in the past on the impacts of electromagnetic radiation on birds outside the lab condition had not considered other ecological covariates, which could also influence the life history needs of the bird species. Our study emphasized that the ecological covariates should be taken into consideration while studying the effect of electromagnetic radiation on wild organisms.
... Evidence of a connection between sparrows declined in UK and when introduction of phone mast GSM was established. The sparrow population in England has decreased in the last 30 years from 24 million to less than14 million (Balmori 2005;Balmori.2009). When rats are exposed for 2 hours in a day for 45 days at 0.21 mW/cm 2 power density SAR (0.038 W/kg), significant decreases in melatonin and increase in both creatine kinase and caspase 3 were observed (Kesari et al.,2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
In 21 st century almost every person uses cell phone throughout the world. However, the exposures of radiation emitted by the cell phone are not known to the individuals. Enormous exposure of unwanted electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phone in human life is increasing and expected to be in peak coming days due to the technological innovation such as 5G may have serious health hazards. There are numerous reports stated that radiation emitted by cell phone may be responsible biological as well as environmental hazards. However, due to the lack of awareness and knowledge of radiation emitted from cell phone, we expose our self in unnecessary radiation. Therefore, our main aim of the review article is to collect data from different studies and bring it up about the affect of cell phone radiation in human as well as in environment. The review also will focus on its exposure standards and its health and environmental implications, precautionary measure to avoid effect of cell phone radiation.
... In addition, communication towers in North America kill millions of birds annually by collision and most of them are Neotropical species that migrate at night (Longcore et al., 2008;Shire et al., 2000). Moreover, bird migration has been found to be altered due to the presence of electromagnetic fields (Balmori, 2005;Engels et al., 2014;Fernie et al., 2000). Additionally, birds have been found to display aggressive behavior and impaired reproduction when exposed to electromagnetic fields (Balmori and Hallberg, 2007;Everaert and Bauwens, 2007;Sarkar, 2011). ...
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Anthropogenic pollution is increasingly pervasive throughout all ecosystems worldwide. In recent years, negative consequences on many taxa, such as birds, have been observed. We reviewed the impacts of some of the most common anthropogenic pollutants on birds, including light, noise, polluted air, heavy metal, radioactive compound, pesticide, pharmaceutical, oil, and plastic pollution. We conducted a bibliometric analysis on scientific publications between 2000-2020. We found 1872 publications for the nine categories of pollutants. We described the wide range of impacts, from direct mortality to sublethal effects, including fitness reduction. Interactions between these pollutants exist, and they can exceed the effects of the pollutants by themselves. Despite this, interactions between pollutants are still understudied and require more targeted research efforts. Threats to avian species and anthropic pollutants are still increasing over time, making mitigation measures a high priority for preservation of these species. This review can be used as a baseline for conservationists and decision-makers to understand the various scopes of the threats that bird species are facing.
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This article uses environmental perspectives as a framework for analysing mobile communication networks, platforms and devices related to fifth generation (5G) expansion. The article focuses on wooden utility poles, recent actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and contested Department of the Interior (DOI) interpretations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The pell-mell expansion of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), new deregulatory actions allowing for new equipment on utility poles and controversies regarding the 1918 Bird Act absolving corporations from culpability when they kill birds as part of their business activities (oil spills, construction and similar) create a dangerous mix. These new initiatives pose threats to wildlife including when birds, particularly woodpeckers, interact with wooden utility pole infrastructures. The United States of America is the main geographic setting for this study, although these trends are partially evident in many other nations.
Article
PurposeBTS waves are one of the most important environmental pollutants, but there is inadequate data of its effects on living creatures. Birds have major role in environmental balance and hematologic factors are good describers of animal health. Therefore, we studied hematological factors in pigeons to assess the health effects of BTS waves in urban birds.Methods This experiment has been run on 120 six month-old pigeons. After adaptation to laboratory settings, they divided to six random groups of distance from BTS and daily exposure time. G1: 50 cm/30 min, G2: 100 cm/30 min daily, G3: 150 cm/30 min, G4: 50 cm/60 min, G5: 100 cm/60 min and G6: 150 cm/60 min. Daily exposure done for 30 consecutive days. Hematologic studies done before and after exposure for analysis of WBC, Neut, Mono, Lymph, RBC, Hb, HCT, MCV, MCHC and platelets. Results processed statistically by SPSS software.ResultsThe results of this study showed a significant difference between the six experimental groups. The results showed distance from the BTS source had the largest effect on PLT followed by HCT, MCV, MCHC, Neut, Hb, RBC, Lymph, WBC, and Mono, respectively. Moreover, the duration of exposure to BTS wave had the largest effect on Mono followed by PLT, Neut, MCV, MCHC, WBC, HCT, Lymph, RBC and Hb, respectively.Conclusions Study showed that increasing exposure time and decreasing distance from the wave source have significant effect on hematologic factors. The distance has more effect than exposure time. Further investigation on protection and reducing the side effects are recommended.
Article
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Alfonso Balmori Martínez es biólogo (abalmori@delfi n.retecal.es) D urante decenios multitud de seres vivos han sido utilizados por el hombre para detectar posibles alteraciones en los ecosistemas. Desde los líquenes, muy sensi-bles a la contaminación por acumular las sustancias tóxicas en sus tejidos, hasta las aves que viven en jardines y edifi cios, una amplia gama de organismos han servido como indicadores de la salud del hábitat humano. Desde la segunda mitad de los 90 del pasado siglo se ha instalado una tupida red de estaciones base de telefonía que han incrementado la contaminación elec-tromagnética, especialmente de las ciuda-des, hasta niveles alarmantes. El motivo de esta afi rmación radica en que estas antenas lanzan microondas con una frecuencia de 900 MHz para el sistema analógico (GSM) y de 1.800 MHz para el digital (DCS) pulsadas en muy bajas frecuencias. Existen numerosos estudios científi cos que alertan del peligro de este tipo de radiación, que interfi ere con el sistema nervioso y alte-ra un b u e n número de pro-cesos biológicos, sobre la salud humana y los seres vivos (1). Algunos trabajos muestran que también los animales expuestos a estas radiaciones pueden sufrir un deterioro de su salud en la vecindad de las antenas emisoras (2), e incluso mostrar conspicuos comportamien-tos aberrantes (3). Interacciones sinérgicas entre campos electromagnéticos de diferen-tes frecuencias han sido descritos también a escala celular (4). Además, algunos estudios alertan de los efectos de estas ondas sobre la reproducción, como el decremento de los conteos de esperma y el reducido desarrollo de los túbulos en los testículos de rata (5) o el aumento de la mortalidad de embriones de pollo (6, 7). El signifi cativo incremento de los micronúcleos en los eritrocitos del ganado que pasta cerca de los transmisores es indicativo del efecto genotóxico de su exposición (8). Los efectos genéticos de la microondas sobre hámster y ratas han sido demostrados en varios estudios (9, 10, 11, 12). Precisamente aplicando estos conocidos efectos, actualmente se está investigando en Sudáfrica su potencial utilización contra el virus del SIDA. Estos campos de alta frecuencia pro-ducen una respuesta en varios tipos de neuronas del sistema nervioso central de las aves (13), afectan a la actividad central colinérgica en la rata (14), y también a su aprendizaje memorístico (15). Además, numerosos estudios demuestran que los campos electromagnéticos emitidos por las antenas y los teléfonos móviles favorecen la permeabilidad de la barrera hematoen-cefálica (16, 17, 18), facilitando la entrada de sustancias perjudiciales al cerebro que dañan las neuronas de las ratas (19). Durante los últimos años estamos reali-zando en Valladolid una serie de estudios encaminados a obtener información sobre lo que está ocurriendo con la fauna silvestre de la ciudad, sometida a este tipo de radia-ciones. Una de las difi cultades intrínsecas a esta investigación es lograr compaginar los tiempos de exposición con la gran movili-dad de la fauna, lo que obliga a trabajar con especies muy sedentarias y querenciosas o bien a realizar los seguimientos en periodos de cría o dormideros estacionales.
Chapter
Spectacular developments in radio engineering technology over the past decade have created striking new options in personal communication devices and systems. Through miniaturization born of computer chip technology, there has been a step function increment in device reliability and user convenience. User acceptance of these new technologies has been immediate and worldwide. In the perspective of human health, a population base of millions of daily users are now exposed to RF fields under near-field conditions, with expectations that these newly evolved behavioral patterns will continue on a lifelong basis.
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In experiments with thirty rabbits the influence of thirty-minute microwave irradiation (1.5 GHz, pulse intensity 0.3 mW/cm 2; pulsed modes: 0.12 Hz, 16 ms or 1000 Hz, 0.4 ms; pack-pulsed mode: pulse frequency 1000 Hz, pack frequency 0.12 Hz) on the total bioelectrical activity of brain structures was studied. The reliable effect was detected only in hippocamp. The total bioelectrical activity of cortex, caudate nucleus, hypothalamus, amygdata and septum was not changes reliably in animal group studied. The reaction if hippocamp was displayed as amplification of θ-range in spectrum within of normal functioning.
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In the present study we investigated the influence of pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic fields of digital mobile radio telephones on sleep in healthy humans. Besides a hypnotic effect with shortening of sleep onset latency, a REM suppressive effect with reduction of duration and percentage of REM sleep was found. Moreover, spectral analysis revealed qualitative alterations of the EEG signal during REM sleep with an increased spectral power density. Knowing the relevance of REM sleep for adequate information processing in the brain, especially concerning mnestic functions and learning processes, the results emphasize the necessity to carry out further investigations on the interaction of this type of electromagnetic fields and the human organism.
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Prakt. Tierarzt 79: 5, 437-444 (1998) [Practical Veterinary Surgeon 79: 5, 437-444 (1998)] Schlütersche GmbH & Co. KG, Verlag und Druckerei [Schlütersche GmbH & Co. KG, Publisher and Printer] ISSN 0032-681 X SUMMARY: In addition to a considerable reduction of milk yield and increasing occurences of health problems, behavioural abnormalities that have not yet been examined, have been observed over the last two years in a herd of dairy cows maintained in close proximity to a TV and Radio transmitting antenna. The evaluation of possible factors which could explain the abnormalities in the livestock did not disclose any factors other than the measurable high-frequency electromagnetic fields. An experiment in which a cow with abnormal behaviour was brought to a stable in a different area resulted in normalisation of the cow within five days. The symptoms returned, however, when the cow was brought back to the stable in close proximity to the antenna in question. In view of the previously known effects of electromagnetic fields it may be possible that the observed abnormalities are related to the electromagnetic field exposure.
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White Leghorn hybrid chickens of different ages were subjected to CW microwave radiations at a frequency of 6 GHz and at densities of 0.02 and 400 picowatts/cm3. Microwaves were produced by a Varian LD 807 travelling wave tube. Continuous or periodic exposure of chickens during the growing stage did not affect their growth or feed conversion efficiency in comparison with non-treated controls. Hens subjected continuously, from 1 day old, to microwave treatment at the low or high densities showed significantly higher percent hen-day rate of lay, during 169 to 476 days of age, and significantly lower egg weight than the untreated birds. The low-density treatment resulted in significantly higher fertility than the high level of treatment. Egg quality, mortality and several other traits studied were unaffected by the treatments.
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This is the 2nd part of a survey study conducted on 530 people (270 men, 260 women) living or not in vicinity of cellular phone base stations. Comparison of complaints frequencies for 16 Non Specific Health Symptoms was done with the CHI-Square test with Yates correction. Our results show significant increase (p 5 years), excepted for irritability significantly increased after > 5 years. Other electromagnetic factors (electrical transformers, radio-television transmitters,...) have effects on the frequency of some symptoms reported by the subjects.