ArticlePDF Available

Provocation Study using Heart Rate Variability shows Radiation from*+] Cordless Phone DIIHFWV Autonomic Nervous System

  • Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, Inc. USA


Purpose: The effect of microwav radiation on heart rate variability (HRV) was tested in a double blind study. Method: Twenty-five subjects in Colorado between the ages of 37 to 79 completed an electrohypersensitivity (EHS) questionnaire. After recording their orthostatic HRV, we did continuous real-time monitoring of HRV in a provocation study, where supine subjects were exposed for 3-minute intervals to radiation generated by a cordless phone at 2.4 GHz or to sham exposure. Results: Questionnaire: Based on self-assessments, participants classified themselves as extremely electrically sensi-tive (24%), moderately (16%), slightly (16%), not sensitive (8%) or with no opinion (36%) about their sensitivity. The top 10 symptoms experienced by those claiming to be sensitive include memory problems, difficulty concen-trating, eye problems, sleep disorder, feeling unwell, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, and heart palpitations. The five most common objects allegedly causing sensitivity were fluorescent lights, antennas, cell phones, Wi-Fi, and cordless phones. Provocation Experiment: Forty percent of the subjects experienced some changes in their HRV attributable to MW radiation. For some the response was extreme (tachycardia), for others moderate to mild (changes in SNS and/or PSNS). and for some there was no observable reaction either because of high adaptive capacity or because of systemic neurovegetative exhaustion. Conclusions: Orthostatic HRV combined with provocation testing may provide a diagnostic test for some EHS sufferers when they are exposed to electromagnetic emitting devices. This is the first study that documents imme-diate and dramatic changes in both HR and HRV associated with MW exposure at levels well below (0.5%) federal guidelines in Canada and the United States (1000 microW/cm 2).
Purpose: The effect of SXOVHGmicrowavHradiation on heart rate variability
(HRV) was tested in a double blind study. Method: Twenty-five subjects in
Colorado between the ages of 37 to 79 completed an electrohypersensitivity
(EHS) questionnaire. After recording their orthostatic HRV, we did continuous
real-time monitoring of HRV in a provocation study, where supine subjects
were exposed for 3-minute intervals to radiation generated by aGLJLWDO cordless
phone at 2.4 GHz or to sham exposure. Results: Questionnaire: Based on self-
assessments, participants classified themselves as extremely electrically sensi-
tive (24%), moderately (16%), slightly (16%), not sensitive (8%) or with no
opinion (36%) about their sensitivity. The top 10 symptoms experienced by
those claiming to be sensitive include memory problems, difficulty concen-
trating, eye problems, sleep disorder, feeling unwell, headache, dizziness,
tinnitus, chronic fatigue, and heart palpitations. The five most common objects
allegedly causing sensitivity were fluorescent lights, antennas, cell phones, Wi-
Fi, and cordless phones. Provocation Experiment: Forty percent of the subjects
experienced some changes in their HRV attributable to MW radiation. For
some the response was extreme (tachycardia), for others moderate to mild
(changes in SNS and/or PSNS). and for some there was no observable reaction
either because of high adaptive capacity or because of systemic neurovegetative
exhaustion. Conclusions: Orthostatic HRV combined with provocation testing
may provide a diagnostic test for some EHS sufferers when they are exposed to
electromagnetic emitting devices. This is the first study that documents imme-
diate and dramatic changes in both HR and HRV associated with MW exposure
Provocation Study using Heart Rate Variability shows
Radiation from *+]Cordless PhoneDIIHFWV
Autonomic Nervous System
Magda Havas*, Jeffrey Marrongelle**, Bernard Pollner***,
Elizabeth Kelley****, Camilla R.G. Rees*****, Lisa Tully******
* Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada
** 1629 Long Run Road, PO Box 606, Schuylkill Haven, PA, USA
*** Haspingerstrasse 7/2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
**** International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety, Venice, Italy
***** 350 Bay Street, #100-214, San Francisco, California, 94133, USA
****** 27 Arrow Leaf Court, Boulder, Colorado 80304, USA
Address/Indirizzo: Magda Havas BSc, PhD, Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University,
Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada - Tel. 705 748-1011 x7882 - Fax 705-748-1569
at levels well below (0.5%) federal guidelines in Canada and the United States
(1000 microW/cm2).
Key Words: heart rate variability, microwave radiation, DECT phone, auto-
nomic nervous system, provocation study, sympathetic, parasympathetic, cord-
A growing population claims to be sensitive to devices emitting electromagnetic
energy. Hallberg and Oberfeld1report a prevalence of electrohypersensitivity (EHS)
that has increased from less than 2% prior to 1997 to approximately 10% by 2004 and
is expected to affect 50% of the population by 2017. Whether this is due to a real
increase in EHS or to greater media attention, is not known. However, to label EHS as
a psychological disorder or to attribute the symptoms to aging and/or stress does not
resolve the issue that a growing population, especially those under the age of 60, are
suffering from some combination of fatigue, sleep disturbance, chronic pain, skin, eye,
hearing, cardiovascular and balance problems, mood disorders as well as cognitive
dysfunction and that these symptoms appear to worsen when people are exposed to
electromagnetic emitting devices2-7.
The World Health Organization (WHO) organized an international seminar and
working group meeting in Prague on EMF Hypersensitivity in 2004, and at that meeting
they defined EHS as follows8:
“. . . a phenomenon where individuals experience adverse health effects while using
or being in the vicinity of devices emanating electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic
fields (EMFs) . . . Whatever its cause, EHS is a real and sometimes a debilitating
problem for the affected persons . . . Their exposures are generally several orders of
magnitude under the limits in internationally accepted standards.”
The WHO goes on to state that:
“EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted indi-
viduals attribute to exposure to EMF. The symptoms most commonly experienced
include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well
as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficul-
ties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation and digestive disturbances). The collection
of symptoms is not part of any recognized syndrome.
Both provocation studies (where individuals are exposed to some form of electro-
magnetic energy and their symptoms are documented) and amelioration studies (where
exposure is reduced) can shed light on the offending energy source and the type and rate
of reaction.
Several amelioration studies have documented improvements in the behavior of
students and the health and wellbeing of teachers9, among asthmatics10, and in both
diabetics and those with multiple sclerosis11,12 when their exposure to dirty electricity is
reduced. Dirty electricity refers to microsurges flowing along electrical wires in the kHz
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
range that can damage sensitive electronic equipment and, it appears, affect the health of
those exposed.
In contrast to amelioration studies, provocation studies - examining the response of
people with self-diagnosed electrohypersensitivity (EHS) - have generated mixed
Rea et al.13 were one of the first to show that sensitive individuals responded repeat-
edly to several frequencies between 0.1 Hz and 5 MHz but not to blank challenges. Reac-
tions were mostly neurological and included tingling, sleepiness, headache, dizziness,
and - in severe cases - unconsciousness, although other symptoms were also observed
including pain of various sorts, muscle tightness particularly in the chest, spasm, palpi-
tation, flushing, tachycardia, etc. In addition to the clinical symptoms, instrument
recordings of pupil dilation, respiration, and heart activity were also included in the
study using a double-blind approach. Results showed a 20% decrease in pulmonary
function and a 40% increase in heart rate. These objective instrumental recordings, in
combination with the clinical symptoms, demonstrate that EMF sensitive individuals
respond physiologically to certain EMF frequencies although responses were robust for
only 16 of the 100 potentially sensitive individuals tested.
In a more recent review, Rubin et al.14 concluded that there was no robust evidence to
support the existence of a biophysical hypersensitivity to EMF. This was based on 31
double-blind experiments that tested 725 EHS subjects. Twenty-four studies found no
difference between exposure and sham conditions and of the seven studies that did find
some evidence that exposure affected EHS participants, the research group failed to repli-
cate the results (two studies) or the results appeared to be statistical artifacts (three studies).
Those who live near antennas and those who suffer from EHS often complain of
cardiovascular problems such as rapid heart rate, arrhythmia, chest pain, and/or changes
in blood pressure3,7,15,.
Indeed, the doctors who signed the Freiburger Appeal17 stated the following:
We have observed, in recent years, a dramatic rise in severe and chronic disease
among our patients especially . . . extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, ever harder
to influence with medications; heart rhythm disorders; heart attacks and strokes
among an increasingly younger population . . .”
Based on these findings we decided to study the affect of microwave (MW) radiation
generated by a digital cordless phone on the cardiovascular system by monitoring heart
rate variability (HRV). Unlike cell phones that radiate microwaves only when they are
either transmitting or receiving information, the cordless phone we used radiates
constantly as long as the base of the phone is plugged into an electrical outlet. The phone
we used was an AT&T digitally pulsed cordless telephone that operates at 2.4 GHz or
frequencies commonly used for microwave ovens and Wi-Fi. It resembles its European
version know as a DECT phone that operates at 1.9 GHz (ref 57).
HRV is increasingly used for screening cardiovascular and neurological disorders18-23.
We wanted to determine whether HRV could be used as a tool to diagnose EHS and
whether it could be used to predict probability and/or intensity of the reaction to a MW
provocation. The HRV analysis, using NervExpress software24,25, provides information
about the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system with real
time monitoring and provides additional information including a pre-exposure fitness
score based on the orthostatic test.
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Materials and methods
Background Electromagnetic Environment
Testing was done in two locations, one in Golden and the other in Boulder, Colorado,
on three separate weekdays during a 6-day period (Table 1). Background levels of low
frequency magnetic fields, intermediate frequency radiation on electrical wires, and
radio frequency radiation were monitored at each location and the values are provided
in Table 1. All testing of the electromagnetic environment was done in the area where
volunteers were tested for their heart rate variability during the provocation study.
The extremely low frequency magnetic field was measured with an omni-directional
Trifield meter. This meter is calibrated at 60 Hz with a frequency-weighted response
from 30 to 500 Hz and a flat response from 500 to 1000 Hz. Accuracy is ± 20%.
Power quality was measured with a Microsurge meter that measures high frequency
transients and harmonics between 4 and 150 kHz (intermediate frequency range). This
meter provides a digital reading from 1 to 1999 of /dv/dt/ expressed as GS units with a
+/- 5% accuracy26.Since we were trying to ensure low background exposure, we installed
GS filters to improve power quality. The results recorded are with GS filters installed.
Within at least 100 m of the testing area, all wireless devices (cell phones, cordless
phones, wireless routers) were turned off. Radio frequency radiation from outside the
testing area was measured with an Electrosmog Meter, which has an accuracy of ±2.4
dB within the frequency range of 50 MHz to 3.5 GHz. Measurements were conducted
using the omni-directional mode and were repeated during the testing. This meter was
also used to determine the exposure of test subjects during provocation with a digital
cordless phone. This cordless phone emits radio frequency radiation when the base
station is plugged into an electrical outlet. This happens even when the phone is not in
use. We used the base station of an AT&T 2.4 GHz phone digitally pulsed at 100 Hz to
expose subjects to MW radiation (ref 57). The emission of MWs at different distances
from the front of the base station is provided in Figure 1.
Testing of Subjects
Subjects were recruited by word-of–mouth based on their availability during a short
period of testing. Of the 27 people who volunteered to be tested, two were excluded, one
based on age (less than 16 years old) and another based on a serious heart condition.
Subjects were asked to complete a wellness and electrohypersensitivity (EHS) ques-
tionnaire. They were then asked questions about their age, height, weight, blood type,
time of last meal, and occupation (in the event of occupational exposure to electromag-
netic fields/radiation).
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Table 1 - Measurements of the electromagnetic environment at each testing location
Location Date Magnetic Field Power Quality Radio Frequency Radiation
30 - 1000 Hz 4 - 150 kHz 50 MHz – 3.5 GHz
Colorado mG GS units microW/cm2
Golden 10/16/08 3 – 15 140 0.8
Boulder 10/20/08 0.4 37 <0.01
Boulder 10/21/08 0.4 80 <0.01
We measured resting heart rate and blood pressure using a Life Source UA-767 Plus
digital blood pressure monitor; saliva pH with pH ion test strips designed for urine and
saliva (pH range 4.5-9.0), and blood sugar with ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus.
In an attempt to address the question: “Is there a simple test that relates EHS with the
electrical environment of the human body?” we measured galvanic skin response (GSR),
body voltage, and the high and low frequency electric and magnetic field of each subject.
Wrist-to-wrist galvanic skin response was measured as an indicator of stress using a
Nexxtech voltmeter (Cat. No. 2200810) set at 20 volts DC and attached to the inner wrist
with a Medi Trace 535 ECG Conducive Adhesive Electrodes Foam used for ECG moni-
toring. Capacitively coupled “body voltage” was measured with a MSI Multimeter
connected to a BV-1 body voltage adaptor. The subject’s thumb was placed on one
connector and the other connector was plugged into the electrical ground, which served
as the reference electrode. High frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) electric and
magnetic fields were measured with a Multidetektor II Profi meter held at approximately
30 cm from the subject’s body, while the subject was seated.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Testing
Two types of HRV testing were conducted. The first was an orthostatic test and the
second was continuous monitoring of heart rate variability with and without provocation
(exposure to MW frequencies from a digital cordless phone). NervExpress software was
used for HRV testing24. NervExpress has both CE and EU approval and is a Class Two
Medical Device in Canada and in the European Union. An electrode belt with transmitter
was placed on the person’s chest near the heart, against the skin. A wired HRV cable
with receiver was clipped to the clothing near the transmitter and connected to the COM
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 1. Radiation near a 2.4 GHz AT&T digital cordless phone when the base station of the phone is
plugged into an electrical outlet and the phone is not in use.
port of the computer for acoustical-wired transmission (not wireless). This provided
continuous monitoring of the interval between heartbeats (R-R interval).
For the orthostatic testing subject laid down on his/her back and remained in this
position for 192 R-R intervals or heart beats (approximately 3 minutes), at which time a
beep from the computer indicated that the person stand up and remain standing until the
end of the testing period, which was 448 intervals (approximately 7 minutes depending
on heart rate).
For the provocation testing, subject remained in a lying down position for the dura-
tion of the testing. A digital cordless phone base station, placed approximately 30 to 50
cm from subject’s head, was then connected randomly to either a live (real exposure) or
dead (sham exposure) extension cord. It was not possible for the subject to know if the
cordless phone was on or off at any one time. Continuous real-time monitoring recorded
the interval between each heartbeat. Data were analyzed by timed stages consisting of
192 R-R intervals (heart beats).
The sham exposures are referred to as either pre-MW exposure or post-MW exposure
to differentiate the order of testing. Since type of exposure was done randomly in some
instances either the pre-MW or the post-MW is missing. Subjects who reacted immedi-
ately to the cordless phone were retested with more real/sham exposures. When subject
was exposed multiple times, only the first exposure was used for comparison. Provoca-
tion testing took between 9 to 30 minutes per subject.
After the initial testing, treatments (deep breathing, laser acupuncture, Clean Sweep)
that might alleviate symptoms were tried on a few subjects but these results will be
reported elsewhere.
Interpretation of HRV Results
The results for the orthostatic testing and provocation testing were sent to one of the
authors (JM) for interpretation. An example of the type of information send is provided
in Figure 2 (orthostatic) and Figure 3 (provocation). No information was provided about
the subject’s self-proclaimed EHS and the information about exposure was blinded. JM
did not examine the provocation results until he reviewed the orthostatic results. No
attempt was made to relate the two during this initial stage of interpretation.
Predicting Response and Health based on Orthostatic Test
For the orthostatic testing JM provided a ranking for cardiovascular tone (CVT),
which is based on the blood pressure and heart rate (sum of systolic and diastolic blood
pressure times heart rate) and provides information on whether the cardiovascular
system is hypotonic (<12,500) or hypertonic (>16,500). We used a 5-point ranking scale
as follows: Rank 1: < 12,500, hypotonic; Rank 2: 12,500 to 14,000; Rank 3: 14,000 to
15,500; Rank 4: 15,500 to 16,500; Rank 5: > 16,500, hypertonic.
Non-adaptive Capacity (NAC)awas ranked on a 5-point scale with 1 indicating highly
adaptive and 5 indicating highly non-adaptive. This was based on a balanced sympa-
thetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PSNS) nervous system (average orthostatic response
within ±1 standard deviation from center on graph) and on the overall fitness score. The
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
aLater Adaptive Capacity (AC) was used, which is the inverse of NAC.
closer to normal value of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in a given subject, the
less likely they are to react, since their adaptive capacity is high. “Normal” refers to the
balanced SNS/PSNS and the appropriate direction of movement under stress, in this case
when person stood up. Direction of movement is shown in the NervExpress graph
(Figure 2). Appropriate direction of movement would be either up 1 standard deviation
(small increase in SNS and no change in PSNS); up and to the left 1 standard deviation
each (small increase in SNS and small decrease in PSNS); or to left (no change in SNS
and slight decrease in PSNS). For those who move further to the left (greater down regu-
lation of PSNS) or further up and to the left (greater up regulation of SNS combined with
a greater down regulation of PSNS), the less likely they are to adapt and the more likely
they are to react. Likewise, if the fitness score is high or adequate, the individual would
be capable of resisting the stressor. An adequate physical fitness score is between 1:1
and 10:6. The first number refers to the functioning of the physiological system and the
second is the adaptation reserve. The lower the numbers the greater the level of fitness
in each category. Note, if a subject with good or adequate fitness was to be a reactor to
MW stress, his/her reaction would be both rapid and strong.
Probability of Reaction (POR) was ranked on a 5-point scale with “1” indicating low
probability of a reaction and “5” indicating high probability of a reaction to stress of
any kind. Criteria were similar to the NAC. However, greater consideration was given
to the Chronotropic Myocardial Reaction Index (ChMR) value and the dysautonomic
status (average of orthostatic test is more than two standard deviations from center or
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 2. Orthostatic HRV information provided for blinded analysis of Subject 18
up to the right) of the subject, whereby individuals with compromised ANS and a poor
ChMR ranking (outside the range of 0.53 to 0.69) would be most likely to react and vice
A potential non-responding reactor is someone with low energy, average orthostatic
response in lower left quadrate, and a physical fitness score between 10:6 and 13:7.
Subject 18 in Figure 2 is a borderline non-responding reactor. Note, this does not neces-
sarily imply that this person is hypersensitive, only that he probably does not have
enough energy to mount a reaction even if he was EHS.
JM also provided his comments on the health status of the subject based on the rhyth-
mogram, autonomic nervous system assessment (changes in the sympathetic (SNS) and
parasympathetic (PSNS) nervous system), Fitness Score, Vascular Compensation Reac-
tion (VC), Chronotropic Myocardial Reaction Index (ChMR), Compensation Response
(CR), Ortho Test Ratio (OTR), Parameters of Optimal Variability (POV), Index of
Discrepancy (ID); and Tension Index (TI). The interpretation of the HRV parameters is
dependant to a certain degree on the integration of all the data provided as a whole with
value being given to the total ANS picture presented. Those skilled in the art and science
of HRV analysis should reach similar interpretive assessment of the data presented
Blinded Analysis of Provocation Results
The blinded data for the continuous monitoring of heart rate variability with real and
sham exposure were sent to JM for analysis (Figure 3). JM attempted to identify the
stage during which exposure took place, stage during which the subject reacted, and then
ranked symptom probability (5-point scale) and intensity (non-reactive, mild, moderate,
intense). The assessment is provided in Appendix A.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Fig. 3. Continuous monitoring of heart rate variability (HRV) with real and sham exposure to microwave
radiation from a digital cordless phone. Information provided for blinded analysis of Subject 18
Wellness and Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) Questionnaire
Prior to any testing, each subject was asked to complete a wellness and EHS question-
naire. This was designed on surveymonkey ( and was adminis-
tered in paper format. This questionnaire was analyzed separately from the HRV data.
Background Electromagnetic Environment
The two environments, where we conducted the testing, differed in their background
levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR). The
Golden site had high magnetic fields (3-15 mG), high levels of dirty electricity (140 GS
units) despite the GS filters being installed, and elevated levels of radio frequency (RF)
radiation (0.8 microW/cm2) coming from 27 TV transmitters on Lookout Mountain
within 4 km of our testing environment. Despite RF reflecting film on windows the RF
levels inside the home were elevated. The Boulder environment was relatively pristine
and differed only with respect to power quality on the two days of testing (Table 1).
The cordless phone, used for provocation, produced radiation that was maximal at the
subject’s head (3 to 5 microW/cm2) and minimal at the subject’s feet (0.2 to 0.8
microW/cm2) depending on height of subject and the environment. The cordless phone
did not alter magnetic field or power quality.
A total of 25 subjects were included in this pilot study, ranging in age from 37 to 79
with most (40%) of the subjects in their 50s (Table 2). Eighty percent were females.
Approximately half of the participants had normal body mass index and the other half
were either overweight (28%) or obese (16%)27. Mean resting heart rate for this group
was 70 (beats per minute) and ranged from 53 to 81. Blood pressure fell within a normal
range for 40% of participants and fell within stage 1 of high blood pressure for 16% of
the subjects28. None of the subjects had pacemakers, a prerequisite for the study. Forty
percent had mercury amalgam fillings and 28% had metal (artificial joints, braces, etc.)
in their body. This is relevant as metal implants and mercury fillings may relate to elec-
Self-perceived Electrosensitivity
One third of participants did not know if they were or were not electrically sensitive,
40% believed they were moderately to extremely sensitive, 16% stated that they had a little
sensitivity, and 8% claimed they were not at all sensitive. Their sensitivity was slightly
debilitating for 24% and moderately debilitating for 20% of participants (Figure 4).
Reaction time for symptoms to appear after exposure ranged from immediately (12%)
to within 2 hours (4%) and was within 10 minutes for the majority of those who believe
they react (28%) (Figure 5). Recovery time ranged from immediately to within 1 day
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
with only 4% claiming to recover immediately. Several participants noted that the rate
of reaction and recovery is a function of the severity of their exposure and their state of
health. The more intense the exposure the more rapid their response and the slower their
rate of recovery. These results may have a bearing on the provocation study as we are
testing an immediate reaction/recovery response (~3 minutes) to a moderate intensity
exposure (3 to 5 micoW/cm2) and the percent that claim to respond quickly is low among
this group.
The most common symptoms of exposure to electrosmog, as identified by this group
of participants, included poor short-term memory, difficulty concentrating, eye prob-
lems, sleep disorder, feeling unwell, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue and
heart palpitations (Figure 6, upper graph). Of the symptoms commonly associated with
EHS, heart palpitations (10th), rapid heartbeat (18th), arrhythmia (21st), and slower
heartbeat (23rd) are the only ones we would be able to identify with HRV testing. For
most participants who claim to react, reactions are mild to moderate.
All of the symptoms, except high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and slower heartbeat,
were experienced several times per day (daily) or several times per week (weekly) by at
least one or more participants. The patterns for symptom severity and frequency are
similar (Figure 6, upper vs. lower graph). Some of the symptoms (feeling unwell, pain,
chronic fatigue, gas/bloat, skin problems) were experienced several times each month
(monthly) may relate to menses in pre-menopausal or peri-menopausal women (16
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Table 2 - Information about participants
Gender Male 5 20%
Female 20 80%
Age Mean and Range 60 years 37-79 years
Age Class 20s 1 4%
30s 1 4%
40s 2 8%
50s 10 40%
60s 5 20%
70s 7 28%
BMI1obese 4 16%
overweight 7 28%
normal 13 52%
underweight 1 4%
Resting Heart Rate Mean and Range 70 bpm 53-81 bpm
Blood Pressure2Normal 10 40%
Pre-hypertension 11 44%
High Blood Pressure 4 16%
Metal in Body Pace maker 0 0%
Mercury fillings 10 40%
Other metal 7 28%
1: BMI = Body Mass Index based on height and weight. NHLBI 2008
2: Blood Pressure (BP) according to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (nd)
A large percentage of participants had food allergies (64%), mold/pollen/dust aller-
gies (48%), pet allergies (20%), and were chemically sensitive (36%) (Figure 7).
Some also had pre-existing health/medical conditions (Figure 8). The top five were
anxiety (28%); hypo-thyroidism (24%); autoimmune disorder (20%), depression (16%)
and high blood pressure (16%). Note these may be self-diagnosed rather than medically
diagnosed conditions.
Objects Contributing or Associated with Adverse Health Symptoms
Among the objects identified as contributing to adverse health symptoms, tube fluo-
rescent lights were at the top of the list with more than 40% of participants reacting often
or always (Figure 9). The next 4 items on the list (antennas, cell phones, Wi-Fi, cordless
phones) all emit microwave radiation. According to this figure 16% of subjects respond
to cordless phones often or always and their responses may include headaches, dizziness,
depression, which we are unable to monitor with HRV.
Fifty-two percent stated they are debilitated by their sensitivity, 24% slightly, 20%
moderately, and 8% severely. Some have difficult shopping, which may relate to
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 4.Response of subjects with self-proclaimed electrosensitivity to the following questions:
A. How electrically sensitive are you? and B. How debilitated are you by your sensitivity? (n=25)
lighting in stores. Others have difficulty flying or traveling by car, perhaps due to
microwave exposure on highways and in airplanes. A few subjects are unable to use
mobile phones and computers and are unable to watch television. Some are unable to
wear jewelry because it irritates the skin and/or watches because they often malfunction
(Figure 7).
EHS and Person’s Electromagnetic Field
The body voltage, as measured by the potential difference between the subject and the
electrical ground, differed at the two sites. Subjects at Golden had much higher values
than those at Boulder. This was also the case for the high and low frequency electric field
and for the high and low frequency magnetic field (Table 3). Galvanic skin response was
highly variable among subjects prior to testing and did not relate to either sensitivity or
the environment. There was no association between any of the EMF measurements
(body voltage, GSR, electric field or magnetic field) that we conducted prior to testing
and electrohypersensitivity of the subjects tested. In a follow-up study it would be useful
to monitor each person’s electromagnetic field before, during, and after exposure.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Fig. 5. Response of subjects with self-proclaimed electrosensitivity to the following questions: A. After
exposure, how quickly to do you respond (experience symptoms)? and B. After exposure, how quickly
do you recover (feel good again)? (n=25)
Blind Assessment of Responses: Orthostatic HRV Provocation HRV
The Orthostatic HRV provided us with the state of the autonomic nervous system
(ANS) and the relative fitness score of the individual prior to exposure, which is impor-
tant for predicting the intensity outcome of exposure.
A summary of the orthostatic HRV (blinded analysis) along with the self-assessment
and the provocation HRV (blinded and unblinded) are provide in Appendix A for each
subject. For those individuals who had either a moderate or intense response, the blinded
predictions show good agreement for stage of exposure and for intensity of exposure.
Based on the orthostatic test, those with high adaptive capacity had a lower proba-
bility of reacting to stress, but if they did react, their reaction would be moderate to
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 6. Severity and frequency of symptoms associated with electrosmog exposure (n=25)
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Fig. 7. Response to specific questions that may contribute to or be associated with electrical sensitivity
Fig. 8. Existing medical conditions of participants (n=25)
intense. Conversely, those with low adaptive capacity had a higher probability of
reacting but they didn’t always have the energy to react and hence their reactions would
be mild.
Provocation HRV
Most of the subjects (15/25, 60%) did not respond appreciable to the MW radiation
generated by the cordless phone when it was plugged into a live outlet. The rhythmo-
gram was unchanged and the heart rate, parasympathetic and sympathetic tone remained
constant (Figures 3, 10, 12).
However, 10 subjects (40%) did respond to the MW challenge. Figure 13 shows the
response for six of those 10. Response and the recovery were immediate. MW provoca-
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 9. Objects contributing to adverse health symptoms. Those marked with a dot generate microwave
frequencies (n=25).
Table 3 - Personal electromagnetic environment (mean ± standard deviation) of subjects tested includ-
ing galvanic skin response (GSR), body voltage, electric (E-field) and magnetic fields (M-field) at both
high and low frequency (HF and LF) [* P ≤0.05].
Location Date GSR Body E-field E-field M-field M-field
Voltage HF LF HF LF
mV mV mV mV mG mG
Golden 10/16/08 3.5 ± 1.8 3.4 ± 0.5* 88 ± 85* 333 ± 71* 4.6 ± 5.7* 17 ± 14*
Boulder 10/20/08 3.2 ± 2.5 0.5 ± 0.5 13 ± 33 63 ± 94 0.2 ± 0.6 2.7 ± 0.7*
Boulder 10/21/08 4.1 ± 1.3 0.2 ± 0.1 2 ± 0.8 57 ± 50 0.1 ± 0.4 1.7 ± 0.6*
tion differed noticeably compared with sham exposure. Heart rate increased significantly
for four of the subjects, resulting in tachycardia for three. The heart rate for subject 25
jumped from 61bpm to 154 bpm (with real provocation) and returned to 64bpm (with
sham provocation) (Figure 11). The increase in heart rate was accompanied by up regu-
lation of the sympathetic nervous system and down regulation of the parasympathetic
nervous system during cordless phone exposure for four subjects in Table 4 (see also
Figure 13). Response of the one subject (Subject 27) was paradoxical in that the heart
rate increased from 72 to 82 bpm during which time the parasympathetic tone increased
and the sympathetic tone remained constant (Figure 13, Table 4).
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Fig. 10. Continuous monitoring of HRV during provocation part of this study for one subject who was
Fig. 11. Continuous monitoring of HRV during provocation part of this study for one subject who react-
ed to the MW radiation from a digital cordless 2.4 GHz phone.
Figure 14 shows the range of responses of some non- or slightly reactive subjects to
The pre- and post-MWcordless phone response (SNS & PSNS) differed significantly
for this group (Figures 15) with up regulation of the sympathetic nervous system and
down regulation of the parasympathetic nervous system with MW exposure and the
reverse for post-MW exposure suggesting a recovery phase.
The severe and moderate responders had a much higher LF/HF ratio than those who
either did not respond or had a mild reaction to the MW exposure from the cordless
phone (Figure 16B). This indicates, yet again, a stimulation of the SNS (LF) and a down-
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Table 4 - Real-time monitoring of heart rate, sympathetic and parasympathetic tone before, during, and
after exposure to a 2.4 GHz digital cordless phone radiating 3-5 microW/cm2
EHS Subject EHS Heart Rate (bpm) Sympathetic Response Parasympathetic Response
Code Ranked bgrnd pre MWpost bgrnd pre MWpost bgrnd pre MWpost
Intense 25 1 61 61 154 64 -1 -1 40 0 0-4 -1
17 2 66 68 122 66 0040 0-2 -3 0
26 3 59 61 106 61 -1 -1 30 1 2-3 1
27 4 72 nd 82 69 0 nd 00-3 nd 2 -2
Moderate 5566 66 66 65 1130-1 -1 -3 -1
9677 75 75 73 1101-2 0 -3 -1
3748 50 53 nd 2 -2 0 nd 200nd
16 8 61 nd 62 63 0 nd -2 0 -2 nd -2 -2
8981 nd 81 80 1 nd 11 0nd -2 -1
10 10 69 68 70 70 00 00-2 -2 -3 -1
mild 2 11 54 54 55 56 -2 -3 -2 -2 -3 -3 -3 -3
23 12 59 nd 58 60 -1 nd 0 -2 -2 nd -2 -3
12 13 71 nd 69 74 0 nd 10-1 nd -1 -1
18 14 60 61 61 61 -2 -1 -2 -1 -3 -3 -3 -2
19 15 63 62 62 61 -1 0 -1 -1 -3 -3 -3 -2
6 16 65 66 66 65 0000-3 -3 -4 -3
4 17 61 62 61 61 -2 -1 -1 -2 -3 -2 -3 -2
24 18 71 72 71 69 0000-3 -2 -1 -2
none 1 19 71 70 71 71 0001-3 -1 -1 -1
11 20 57 nd 57 58 0 nd 00 3nd 32
21 21 78 78 78 nd 111nd -2 -3 -3 nd
7 22 70 71 70 69 0000-3 -3 -3 -3
14 23 69 68 67 66 0000-1 -2 -2 -1
20 24 67 nd 66 66 0 nd 00-1 nd -1 -1
13 25 80 78 76 nd 111nd -3 -2 -2 nd
Response Mean Heart Rate Mean Sympathetic Mean Parasympathetic
(bmp) Response Response
Intense 65 63 116 65 -0.5 -0.7 2.8 0.0 -0.5 0.0 -2.0 -0.5
Moderate 67 65 68 70 0.8 0.0 0.3 0.4 -0.8 -0.8 -2.2 -1.2
Mild 63 63 63 63 -1.0 -0.8 -0.6 -1.0 -2.6 -2.7 -2.5 -2.3
None 70 73 69 66 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.2 -1.4 -2.2 -1.3 -0.8
All 66 66 74 66 -0.1 -0.3 0.4 -0.2 -1.5 -1.7 -2.0 -1.4
Note: EHS categories described in text; bgrnd = background; pre=sham exposure before real exposure;
MW=microwave exposure; post=sham exposure after real exposure; nd=no data
regulation of the PSNS (HF). The up regulation was greater for LF2 than for LF1 (Figure
Based on self-assessment and the results from the provocation study, 2 subjects (8%)
underestimated their sensitivity and 5 subjects (20%) overestimated their sensitivity to
the cordless phone provocation. However, only two of the 5 claim to experience mild
heart palpitations and only one of those responds “sometimes” to cordless phones.
The most intriguing result in this study is that a small group of subjects responded
immediately and dramatically to microwave (MW) exposure generated by a digital cord-
less phone with blinded exposure. Heart rate (HR) increased significantly for 4 subjects
(16%) (by 10 to 93 beats per minute) and the sympathetic / parasympathetic balance
changed for an additional 6 subjects (24%) while they remained in a supine position. This
is the first study documenting such a dramatic change brought about immediately and
lasting as long as the subject was exposed and is in sharp contrast to the provocation
studies reviewed by Levallois5, Rubin et al14, and Bergqvist et al30. Authors of these
reviews generally conclude that they were unable to establish a relationship between low
or high frequency fields and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) or with symptoms
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Fig. 12. Subject 7: No changes in heart rate, sympathetic, and parasympathetic tone before, during, and
after blind provocation with a 2.4 GHz cordless phone generating exposure of 3 to 5 microW/cm2.
typically occurring among such afflicted individuals. Furthermore, several studies report
no effect of mobile phones (various exposure conditions) on human HRV-parameters31-38.
Our results clearly show a causal relationship between pulsed 100 Hz MW exposure
and changes in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that is physiological rather than psy-
chological and that may explain at least some of the symptoms experienced by those
sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies.Dysfunction of the ANS can lead toheart
irregularities (arrhythmia, palpitations, flutter), altered blood pressure, dizziness,
nausea, fatigue, sleep disturbances, profuse sweating and fainting spells, which are
some of the symptoms of EHS.
When the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) is stimulated and the
parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) is suppressed the body is in a state of
arousal and uses more energy. If this is a constant state of affairs, the subject may
become tired and may have difficulty sleeping (unable to relax because of a down regu-
lated parasympathetic nervous system and/or up regulated sympathetic nervous
response). Interestingly, Sandstrom39 found a disturbed pattern of circadian rhythms of
HRV and the absence of the expected HF (parasympathetic) power-spectrum component
during sleep in persons who perceived themselves as being electrically hypersensitive.
If the dysfunction of the ANS is intermittent it may be experienced as anxiety and/or
panic attacks, and if the vagus nerve is affected it may lead to dizziness and/or nausea.
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 13. Reactive Subjects: Changes in heart rate, sympathetic, and parasympathetic tone before, during,
and after blind provocation with a 2.4 GHz cordless phone that generates exposure of 3 to 5 microW/cm2.
Our results show that the sympathetic nervous system is up regulated (increase in LF)
and the parasympathetic nervous system is down regulated (decrease in HF) for some of
the subjects during provocation. The greatest increase is in LF2, which is the adrenal
stress response, although LF1 also increases. Is this due to the pulse or the MW or both?
Several studies lend support to our results.
Lyskov et al.40 monitored baseline neurophysiological characteristics of 20 patients
with EHS and compared them to a group of controls. They found that the observed group
of patients had a trend to hypersympathotone, hyper-responsiveness to sensor stimula-
tion and heightened arousal. The EHS group at rest had on average lower HR and HRV
and higher LF/HF ratio than controls. We found that subjects with intense and moderate
reactions to the MW provocation also had higher LF/HF ratios than those who did not
Kolesnyk41 describes an “adverse influence of mobile phone on HRV” and Rezk42
reports an increase of fetal and neonatal heart rate and a decrease in cardiac output after
exposure of pregnant women to mobile phones.
Andrzejak43 reports an increased parasympathetic tone and a decreased sympathetic
tone after a 20-minute telephone-call. While these results are contrary to our findings,
the effect of speaking cannot be ruled out in Andrzejak’s study. In our study the subject
remained in a supine position, silent and still during the testing.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
Fig. 14. Non- or slightly reactive subjects: Patterns of response for before, during, and after blind provo-
cation with a 2.4 GHz cordless phone that generates exposure of 3 to 5 microW/cm2
Workers of radio broadcasting stations have an increased risk of disturbances in blood
pressure and heart rhythm. They have a lower daily heart rate, a decreased heart rate
variability, higher incidences of increased blood pressure and disturbances in parameters
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
Fig. 15. Response of 25 subjects to blind provocation by a 2.4 GHz digital cordless phone that generates
exposure of 3 to 5 microW/cm2.
Fig. 16. A. Mean high frequency (parasympathetic) and low frequency (sympathetic) spectral distribu-
tion as a function of response intensity of 25 subjects exposed to a 2.4 GHz cordless phone. B. Low fre-
quency (LF1 + LF2) to high frequency (HF) ratio for different exposures
of diurnal rhythms of blood pressure and heart rate-all of no clinical significance, but
showing a certain dysregulation of autonomic cardiac control44-47.
Bortkiewicz et al.48 reported that exposure to AM radio frequency electromagnetic
fields within hygienic standards affects the functions of the autonomic nervous system
of workers. Workers had higher frequency of abnormalities in resting and 24-h ECG
than controls and an increased number of heart rhythm disturbances (ventricular prema-
ture beats). As in our study, RF exposure was associated with a reduced HF power spec-
trum suggesting that the EMF field reduce the influence of the parasympathetic nervous
system on circulatory function.
Several studies report changes in blood pressure with electromagnetic exposure49,50.
Others show an increase of oxidative stress and a decrease of antioxidative defense-
systems in heart-tissue irradiated with 2.45 GHz and 900 MHz respectively51,52. Still
others show a stress-response reaction following exposure to radio frequency radiation
either in the form of heat shock proteins (hsp) or changes in enzymatic activity. Irradia-
tion of rats with a low-intensity-field (0.2-20 MHz) resulted in an increase of myocar-
dial hsp7053. Similarly 1.71 GHz MW exposure increased hsp70 in p53-deficient embry-
onic stem cells54. Abramov55 reports pulsed EMFs increase the enzymatic activity of
acetylcholinesterase in the animal heart, which suppresses the parasympathetic and
allows the sympathetic to dominate.
Most of the studies on humans that did not show any effects of MW radiation in some
of the studies mentioned above were conducted with young, healthy subjects, giving rise
to the question whether the experiments would have yielded different results with
subjects with a “higher level of pathologic pre-load” and thus fewer possibilities to
acutely compensate the possible stressor of radiation.
The studies on work-exposure to MW radiation were able to show different levels of
effects on the cardiovascular system, and this could be interpreted as the necessity to
remain regularly, repeatedly, and for a longer time under the influence of a certain
(EMF) exposure, hence pointing out the great importance of the electromagnetic expo-
sures in the work and home environment. Perhaps only chronic exposure to MW-EMF
can influence various rhythms (e.g. cardiovascular biorhythms) sufficiently to cause
detectable effects. Perhaps it is these individuals who become EHS and then respond to
stressors if they have sufficient energy to mount a reaction.
In our study, half of those tested claimed to be moderately to extremely sensitive to
electromagnetic energy and they ranged in age from 37 to 79 years old. The symptoms
they identified are similar to those reported elsewhere and include poor short-term
memory, difficulty concentrating, eye problems, sleep disorder, feeling unwell,
headache, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, and heart palpitations2,7,56.
The common devices attributed to stress generation included fluorescent lights,
antennas, cell phones, Wi-Fi, and cordless phones. The last 4 items all emit microwave
Many of those claiming to have EHS also had food allergies, mold/pollen/dust aller-
gies and were chemically sensitive. With so many other sensitivities it is difficult to
determine whether the sensitivity to electromagnetic energy is a primary disorder attrib-
utable to high and/or prolonged EM exposures or a secondary disorder brought about by
an impaired immune system attributable to other stressors.
Interestingly, the younger participants (37 to 58) displayed the most intense responses
presumably because they were healthy enough to mount a response to a stressor. Those
who did not respond to the MW exposure were either not sensitive, or they had a low
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
adaptive capacity coupled with a poor fitness score and did not have enough energy to
mount a reaction. Orthostatic HRV combined with provocation monitoring may help
distinguish these three types of responses (sensitive, not sensitive, non-responsive reac-
The term EHS was deemed to imply that a causal relationship has been established
between the reported symptoms and EMF exposure and for that reason the WHO8has
labeled EHS as Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) to indicate that it is an
acquired disorder with multiple recurrent symptoms, associated with diverse environ-
mental factors tolerated by the majority of people, and not explained by any known
medical, psychiatric or psychological disorder. We think this labeling needs to be
changed especially in light of this study.
The orthostatic heart rate variability (HRV) provides information about the adaptive
capacity of an individual based on fitness score and on the state of the sympathetic
(SNS) and parasympathetic (PSNS) nervous system. A person with high adaptive
capacity is unlikely to respond to a stressor (because they are highly adaptive) but if they
do respond the response is likely to be intense. Orthostatic HRV was able to predict the
intensity of the response much better than the probability of a response to a stressor,
which in this case was a cordless 2.4 GHz digital cordless phone that generated a power
density of 3 to 5 microW/cm2.
Forty percent of those tested responded to the HRV provocation. Some experienced
tachycardia, which corresponded to an up regulation of their SNS and a down regulation
of their PSNS (increase in LF/HF ratio). This was deemed a severe response when the
heart rate (HR) in supine subjects increased by 10 to 93 beats per minute during blinded
exposure. HR returned to normal during sham exposure for all subjects tested. In total,
16% had a severe response, 24% had a moderate response (changes in SNS and/or PSNS
but no change in HR); 32% had a slight response; and 28% were non-responders. Some
of the non-responders were either highly adaptive (not sensitive) or non-responding
reactors (not enough energy to mount a reaction). A few reactors had a potentiated reac-
tion, such that their reaction increased with repeated exposure, while others showed re-
regulation with repeated exposure.
These data show that HRV can be used to demonstrate a physiological response to a
pulsed MW stressor. For some the response is extreme (tachycardia), for others mod-
erate to mild (changes in SNS and/or PSNS),and for some there is no observable
reaction because of high adaptive capacity or because of systemic neurovegetative
exhaustion. Our results show that MW radiation affects the autonomic nervous system
and may put some individuals with pre-existing heart conditions at risk when exposed to
electromagnetic radiation to which they are sensitive.
This study provides scientific evidence that some individuals may experience
arrhythmia, heart palpitations, heart flutter, or rapid heartbeat and/or vasovagal symp-
toms such as dizziness, nausea, profuse sweating and syncope when exposed to electro-
magnetic devices. It is the first study to demonstrate such a dramatic response to pulsed
MW radiation at 0.5% of existing federal guidelines (1000 microW/cm2) in both Canada
and the US.
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
We thank those who offered their homes for testing and those who volunteered to be tested. Special
thanks goes to Evelyn Savarin for helping with this research.
1. Hallberg O, Oberfeld G. Letter to the Editor: Will we all become electrosensitive? Electromagnetic
Biology and Medicine 2006; 25: 189-91.
2. Firstenberg A. Radio Wave Packet. President, Cellular Phone Taskforce. 2001; http://www.good
3. Eltiti S, Wallace D, Zougkou K, et al. Development and Evaluation of the Electromagnetic Hyper-
sensitivity Questionnaire. Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28: 137-51.
4. Hillert L, Berglind N, Arnetz BB, Bellander T. Prevalence of self-reported hypersensitivity to elec-
tric or magnetic fields in a population-based questionnaire survey. Scand J Work Environ Health
2002; 28 (1):33-41.
5. Levallois P. Hypersensitivity of human subjects to environmental electric and magnetic field expo-
sure: a review of the literature. Environ Health Perspect 2002; 110 (suppl 4): 613-8.
6. Johansson O. Electrohypersensitivity: State-of-the-Art of a Functional Impairment. Electromagnetic
Biology and Medicine 2006; 25: 245-58.
7. Schooneveld H, Kuiper J. Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) in the Netherlands. A Questionnaire
Survey. 2nd graphical edition. Stichting EHS (Dutch EHS Foundation), 2008; 23 pp.
8. Mild KH, Repacholi M, van Deventer E (Eds). Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. Proceedings Inter-
national Workshop on EMF Hypersensitivity Prague, Czech Republic October 25-27, 2004, 196 pp.
9. Havas M, Olstad A. Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in three Minnesota
Schools. Science of the Total Environment, 2008; Volume 402, Issues 2-3, 1 September 2008, pp.
10. Havas M. Dirty Electricity: An Invisible Pollutant in Schools. Feature Article for Forum Magazine,
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), 2006; Fall.
11. Havas M. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological effects of dirty electricity with emphasis on
diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2006; 25: 259-68.
12. Havas, M. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May
Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2008; 27( 2): 135-46.
13. Rea WJ, Pan Y, Fenyves EJ, et al. Electromagnetic field sensitivity. J Bioelectr 1991; 10: 241-56.
14. Rubin GJ, Das Munshi J, Wessely S. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Systematic Review of
Provocation Studies. Psychosomatic Medicine 2005; 67: 224-32.
15. Santini R, Santini P, Danze JM. Study of the health of people living in the vicinity of mobile phone
base stations: 1st influence of distance and sex. Pathol Biol 2002; 50: S369-373.
16. Granlund R, Lind J. Black on White: Voices and witnesses about electro-hypersensitivity, the
Swedish Experience. 2nd Internet Edition Oct 3, 2004 Translation: J. Ganellen; Diagrams: J.
Rennerfelt © Mimers Brunn Kunskapsförlaget, Sweden.
17. Freiburger Appeal. October 9. Interdisziplina re Gesellschaft fur Umweltmedizin e. V., IGUMED,
Bergseestr. 2002; 57, 79713 Bad Sa ckingen,
18. Singer DH, Martin GJ, Magid N, et al. Low heart rate variability and sudden cardiac death. J Elec-
trocardiol 1988; 21, suppl: S46-S55.
19. Cerutti. S. Power spectrum analysis of heart rate variability signal in the diagnosis of diabetic
neuropathy, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 11th Annual International Confer-
ence, 1989; pp. 12-13.
20. Hayano J. Decreased magnitude of heart rate spectral components in coronary artery disease. Circu-
lation 1990; 81: 1217-24.
21. Muhlnickel B. The value of heart rate frequency variability in the prognostic evaluation of patients
with severe cerebral injuries. Anaesthesiol Reanim 1990; 15: 342-350.
22. Van Ravenrwaaij-Arts CM, Kollee LA, Hopman JC, Scoelinga GB, Van Geijn HP. Heart rate vari-
ability. Ann Int Med 1993; 118: 436-47.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
23. Camm AJ, Malik M. Guidelines, Heart Rate Variability, Standards of Measurement, Physiological
Interpretation, and Clinical Use. Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North
American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. European Heart Journal 1996; 17: 354-81.
24. Riftine A. Nervexpress. System Guide and User’s Manual. Heart Rhythm Instruments Inc., 72 pp.
2002. Metuchen NJ.
25. Riftine A. Quantitative Assessment of the Autonomic Nervous System based on Heart Rate Vari-
ability Analysis Theoretical Review of the Nerve-Express System with Sample Cases. Theoretical
Review and Clinical Use 2005; 43 pp.,
26. Graham MH. A microsurge meter for electrical pollution research. Memorandum No. UCB/ERL
M03/3, 19 February 2003, Electronics Research Laboratory, College of Engineering, University of
California, Berkeley.
27. NHLBI. High Blood Pressure National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Diseases and Conditions
Index November 2008
28. NHLBI. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Obesity Education Initiative, Calculate our Body
Mass Index. No date;
29. Mortazavi SM, Daiee E, Yazdi A, et al. Mercury release from dental amalgam restorations after
magnetic resonance imaging and following mobile phone use. Pak J Biol Sci 2008; 11 (8): 1142-6.
30. Bergqvist U, Vogel E (Eds.) Possible health implications of subjective symptoms and electromag-
netic fields. A report prepared by a European group of experts for the European Commission, DG
V, National Institute for Working Life, 1997; 135 pp.
31. Mann K, Röschke J, Connemann B, Beta, H. No effects of pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic
fields on heart rate variability during human sleep. Neuropsychobiology 1998; 38: 251-6.
32. Röschke J, Mann K, Connemann B. Cardiac Autonomic Activity during Sleep under the Influence
of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. Somnologie 2005; 9: 180-4.
33. Wilén J, Johansson A, Kalezic N, et al. Psychophysiological tests and provocation of subjects with
mobile phone related symptoms. Bioelectromagnetics 2006; 27: 204-14.
34. Atlasz T, Kellényi L, Kovács P, et al. The application of surface plethysmography for heart rate
variability analysis after GSM radiofrequency exposure. J Biochem Biophys Methods 2006; 69:
35. Parazzini M, Ravazzani P, Tognola G, et al. Electromagnetic fields produced by GSM cellular
phones and heart rate variability. Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28: 122-9.
36. Barker AT, Jackson PR, Parry H, et al. The effect of GSM and TETRA mobile handset signals on
blood pressure, catechol levels and heart rate variability. Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28: 433-8.
37. Johansson A, Forsgren S, Stenberg B, et al. No effect of mobile phone-like RF exposure on patients
with atopic dermatitis. Bioelectromagnetics 2008; 29: 353-62.
38. Ahamed VI, Karthick NG, Joseph PK. Effect of mobile phone radiation on heart rate variability.
Comput Biol Med 2008; 38: 709-12.
39. Sandstrom M, Lyskov E, Hornsten R, et al. Holter ECG monitoring in patients with perceived elec-
trical hypersensitivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology 2003; 49: 227-35.
40. Lyskov E, Sandström M, Hansson Mild K. Neurophysiological study of patients with perceived
‘electrical hypersensitivity’. Int J Psychophysiol 2001; 42: 233-41.
41. Kolesnyk I, Zhulinsky M, Abramov VO, Kalinichenko AV. Effect of mobile phone electromagnetic
emission on characteristics of cerebral blood circulation and neurohumoral regulations in humans].
Fiziol Zh 2008; 54: 90-3.
42. Rezk AY, Abdulqawi K, Mustafa RM, et al. Fetal and neonatal responses following maternal expo-
sure to mobile phones. Saudi Med J 2008; 29: 218-23
43. Andrzejak R, Poreba R, Poreba M, et al. The influence of the call with a mobile phone on heart rate
variability parameters in healthy volunteers. Ind Health 2008; 46: 409-17.
44. Bortkiewicz A, Zmylony M, Gadzicka E, Szymczak W. Evaluation of selected parameters of circu-
latory system function in various occupational groups exposed to high frequency electromagnetic
fields. II. Electrocardiographic changes. Med Pr 1996b; 47: 241-52.
45. Bortkiewicz A, Zmylony M, Gadzicka E, et al. Ambulatory ECG monitoring in workers exposed to
electromagnetic fields. J Med Eng Technol 1997; 21: 41-6.
46. Gadzicka E, Bortkiewicz A, Zmylony M, Paczyski C. Evaluation of selected functional circulation
parameters of workers from various occupational groups exposed to electromagnetic fields of high
frequency. III. 24-h monitoring of arterial blood pressure (ABP)]. Med Pr 1997; 48: 15-24.
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
47. Szmigielski S, Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, et ak. Alteration of diurnal rhythms of blood pressure
and heart rate to workers exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Blood Press Monit
1998; 3: 323-30.
48. Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, Zmylony M. Heart rate variability in workers exposed to medium-
frequency electromagnetic fields. J Auton Nerv Syst 1996a; 59: 91-7.
49. Lu ST, Mathur SP, Akyel Y, Lee JC. Ultrawide-band electromagnetic pulses induced hypotension
in rats. Physiol Behav 1999; 65: 753-61.
50. Li BF, Guo GZ, Ren DQ, et al. Electromagnetic pulses induce fluctuations in blood pressure in rats.
Int J Radiat Biol 2007; 83: 421-9.
51. Kim MJ, Rhee SJ. Green tea catechins protect rats from microwave-induced oxidative damage to
heart tissue. J Med Food 2004; 7: 299-304.
52. Ozguner F, Altinbas A, Ozaydin M, et al. Mobile phone-induced myocardial oxidative stress: protec-
tion by a novel antioxidant agent caffeic acid phenethyl ester. Toxicol Ind Health 2005; 21: 223-30.
53. Ronchi R, Marano L, Braidotti P, et al. Effects of broad band electromagnetic fields on HSP70
expression and ischemia-reperfusion in rat hearts. Life Sci 2004; 75: 1925-36.
54. Czyz, J, Guan K, Zeng Q, et al. High frequency electromagnetic fields (GSM signals) affect gene
expression levels in tumor suppressor p53-deficient embryonic stem cells. Bioelectromagnetics
2004; 25: 296-307.
55. Abramov LN, Merkulova LM. Histochemical study of the cholinesterase activity in the structures of
the rat heart normally and during exposure to a pulsed electromagnetic field. Arkh Anat Gistol
Embriol 1980; 79: 66-71.
56. Bergqvist U, Wahlberg J. Skin symptoms and disease during work with visual display terminals.
Cont Derm 1994; 30:197-204.
57. Haumann T, Sierck P. Nonstop pulsed 2.4 GHz radiation inside US homes. 2nd International
Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, 7-10 Oct. 2002.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
APPENDIX A: Summary of data based on blind assessment.
1 EHS response categories are based on HR = heart rate; SNS = sympathetic nervous system;
PSNS = parasympathetic nervous system.
2 Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) was ranked based on changes in heart rate (HR) and changes in the
sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PSNS) nervous system during exposure to MW radiation.
3 Self-assessment of sensitivity based on questionnaire response.
4 Cardiovascular (CV) Tone is based on the heart rate times the sum of the systolic and diastolic blood
pressure; values at 1 or lower are hypotonic and values at 5 are hypertonic.
5 Intensity of reaction (IOR); adaptive capacity (AC), which is 6 - NAC; and probability of reaction
(POR) are based on the orthostatic heart rate variability (HRV) results and are described in the text.
6 Subjects were exposed to MW radiation at different stages. Stages in parentheses were not used in
the study as they reflect multiple exposures with interference from other agents.
7 Blind assessment was based on the HRV during continuous monitoring with real and sham expo-
sure to MW radiation from a cordless 2.4 GHzGLJLWDOFRUGOHVV phone radiating and at a power
GHQVLW\between 3 and 5 microW/cm2.
8 Excellent subject.
9 Symptomatic at stage 3, parasympathetic rally begins to recovery but feels anxiety, stage 3 faint or
dizziness predicted. Decent ChMR and VC. Middle of bell curve.
10 The healthier a subject the more likely the reaction. This person has the energy to become sympto-
11 Mildly inflamed. Mildly fatigued but highly adaptive. ChMR and VC good. Has ability to react.
12 Adaptive person. Could use Mg and/or K based on high standing HR
13 Has plenty of energy. Moderate response due to weakening. Stage 7 body re-regulating from expo-
14 Shows a weakening reaction (down regulation of SNS). Positive reactor. Very healthy for age.
Highly adaptive geriatric.
15 Lot of adaptive capacity. If she is exposed her reaction would be a fairly strong reaction.
16 Has diminished energy capacity (11:6). This person doesn’t have enough energy to have a robust
M.Havas, et al: Microwave Radiation Affects Autonomic Nervous System
17 Potentiated reactor, time sensitive, couldn’t tolerate re-exposure. If she reacts it will be moderately
strong because of ChMR. Needs minerals for VC factor slowed her down.
18 May be on heart medication. Cardiac rate and rhythm non-adaptive. CV tone hypertonic.
19 Any neurological insult will be met with a hard reaction since she has inverted response when she
stands up.
20 If reactor, it will be strong because of ChMR strong. Highly adaptive capability and reserve. Slow
VC could be mineral or vitamin D deficiency.
21 Doesn’t have a strong PSNS resistance. Reactivity is based on inability to go parasympathetic, and
then they will go more sympathetic if they have the energy to do so. No energy. Either a delayed
reaction or a weak reaction.
22 Afibrillation, palpitations of heart probable. Strong girl. 11:6 fitness is OK for a person this age.
23 May have dental problems based on S/P response. Neurologically compromised.
24 Neurologically compromised. May be overmedicated on CV drug.
25 Strong gal. Decent reserve capacity but temporary fatigue. Doesn’t feel bad but poor health for her
26 Normal reaction to stress, mild non-toxic reaction. Potential for reaction: moderately high because
of the 10.4 but may tolerate an amount of exposure before they react because of the reserve capa-
27 Ridiculously healthy. Poster boy for his age. He can take a lot based on fitness of 6:5.
28 Lower end of bell curve. Doesn’t have energy to react although may be symptomatic.
29 Either highly adaptive or non-reactive. Orthostatic response indicates that person doesn’t have
enough energy to have a robust response.
30 Normal CV tone for age, Decent TI. Good geriatric pattern. If she reacts it would be moderate to
31 Strong girl. Has strong adrenal capacity. IIshe reacts it will be strong. May have chronic fatigue.
32 Moderate inflammation. Tired and has low adaptive reserve. If stressor comes along it will produce
more stress. If reacting it would be medium.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
We investigated the effects of green tea catechin on oxidative damage in microwave-exposed rats. The microwave-exposed rats received one of three diets: catechin-free (MW-0C), 0.25% catechin (MW-0.25C), or 0.5% catechin (MW-0.5C). Rats were sacrificed 6 days after microwave irradiation (2.45 GHz, 15 minutes). Cytochrome P-450 levels in the MW-0C group was increased by 85% compared with normal, but was 11% and 14% lower in the MW-0.25C and MW-0.5C groups than in the MW-0C group. NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase activity in the MW-0C group was increased by 29%, compared with the normal group, but was significantly less in the MW-0.25C and MW-0.5C groups. Superoxide dismutase activity in the MW-0C group was decreased by 34%, compared with the normal group, but in the MW-0.25C and MW-0.5C groups was 19% and 25% higher. The activity of glutathione peroxidase in the MW-0C group was decreased by 28% but remained near normal with catechin supplements. Superoxide radical concentrations in the MW-0C group were increased by 35%, compared with the normal group. However, superoxide radicals in the MW-0.25C and MW-0.5C groups were 11% and 12% lower, respectively, compared with the MW-0C group. Microwave irradiation significantly increased levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, carbonyl values, and lipofuscin contents, but green tea catechin partially overcame the effects of the microwave irradiation. In conclusion, the mixed function oxidase system was activated, the formation of superoxide radical. lipid peroxide, oxidized protein, and lipofuscin was increased, and the antioxidative defense system was weakened in heart tissue of microwave-exposed rats, but the oxidative damage was significantly reduced by catechin supplementation.
The use of DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication) cordless phones has been a major health and environmental concern in Europe and especially in Germany for years. The biological concern arose from studies on HF (high frequency) sources such as GSM cellular phones and towers. Digital cordless phones are also available in the USA - marketed as 2.4 GHz digital technology. A digital cordless phone was placed in a representative private home in California and HF measurements were conducted at different locations inside, using frequency selective spectrum analysis to obtain the cordless phone power densities. The results showed that the radiation patterns and levels emitted by the small cordless phone base station are almost identical to the DECT technology - also digitally pulsed and permanent microwave radiation. The power density values presented for each room inside the home can be compared to average DECT cordless phone radiation exposures found in German homes. The maximum power density was found to be over 500,000 µW/m 2 at a normally encountered distance (about 1 - 2 feet) if the base station is placed on an office desk or bedside table. The radiation peak values in the same room are higher than those encountered in proximity to cellular base stations located near residential buildings.
Question of the study We investigated the influence of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by digital mobile telephones on heart rate variability (HRV) during sleep in healthy young men. Subjects and methods For each subject, two polysommographies were carried out in the sleep laboratory under field and sham exposure, respectively. Field intensity was weak so that thermal effects could be excluded. HRV was assessed from the electrocardiogram both in the time and in the frequency domain. Results For most HRV parameters, significant differences between sleep stages were found. Particularly, on the basis of spectral analysis of the RR intervals, slow wave sleep was characterized by a low LF/HF ratio of the low- and high-frequency components of HRV, indicating a predominance of the parasympathetic over the sympathetic activity in autonomic cardiac control. During REM sleep, the balance was shifted in favour of the sympathetic tone. For all HRV parameters, no significant differences were found between field and sham exposure. Conclusions Under the given experimental conditions, no influence of weak radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on cardiac autonomic activity could be proven.