ArticlePDF Available

Provocation study using heart rate variability shows microwave radiation from 2.4 GHz cordless phone affects autonomic nervous system

Authors:

Abstract

Aim: The effect of pulsed (100 Hz) microwave (MW) radiation on heart rate variability (HRV) was tested in a double blind study. Materials and Methods: 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 gener-ated by a cordless phone at 2.4 GHz or to sham exposure. Results: Question-naire: Based on self-assessments, participants classified themselves as extremely electrically sensitive (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 prob-lems, difficulty concentrating, 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 attribut-able to digitally pulsed (100 Hz) MW radiation. For some the response was extreme (tachycardia), for others moderate to mild (changes in sympathetic nervous system and/or parasympathetic nervous system). 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 immediate and dramatic changes in both Hearth Rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) associated with MW exposure at levels 18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 273 well below (0.5%) federal guidelines in Canada and the United States (1000 microW/cm 2).
Abstract
Aim: The effect of pulsed (100 Hz) microwave (MW) radiation on heart rate
variability (HRV) was tested in a double blind study. Materials and Methods:
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 gener-
ated by a cordless phone at 2.4 GHz or to sham exposure. Results: Question-
naire: Based on self-assessments, participants classified themselves as
extremely electrically sensitive (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 prob-
lems, difficulty concentrating, 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 attribut-
able to digitally pulsed (100 Hz) MW radiation. For some the response was
extreme (tachycardia), for others moderate to mild (changes in sympathetic
nervous system and/or parasympathetic nervous system). 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 immediate and dramatic changes in both Hearth
Rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) associated with MW exposure at levels
273
Provocation study using heart rate variability shows
microwave radiation from 2.4 GHz cordless phone
affects 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: Magda Havas BSc, PhD, Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University,
Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada - Tel. 705 748-1011 x7882 - Fax 705-748-1569
E-mail: mhavas@trentu.ca
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 273
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-
less phone, 2.4 GHz, electrohypersensitivity
Introduction
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
274
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 274
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 EHS, have generated mixed results.
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.14concluded 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 pressure3,7,15,16.
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 digitalally pulsed (100 Hz) 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 Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT)
phone that operates at 1.9 GHz18.
HRV is increasingly used for screening cardiovascular and neurological disorders19-24.
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 software25, 26, 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
275
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 275
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% accuracy27. 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 radiation18. The emission of MWs at different distances from
the front of the base station is provided in fig. 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 EHS questionnaire. They were then
asked questions about their age, height, weight, blood type, time of last meal, and occu-
pation (in the event of occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields/radiation).
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
276
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 276
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.
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 testing25. 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
277
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 277
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 heartbeats (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 (heartbeats).
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 fig. 2 (orthostatic) and fig. 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
sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PSNS) nervous system (average orthostatic
response within ±1 standard deviation from center on graph) and on the overall fitness
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
278
aLater Adaptive Capacity (AC) was used, which is the inverse of NAC.
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 278
score. The 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 (fig. 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 regulation of PSNS) or further up and to the left (greater up regula-
tion 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 phys-
ical 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
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
279
Fig. 2. Orthostatic HRV information provided for blinded analysis of Subject 18
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 279
status (average of orthostatic test is more than two standard deviations from center or
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
versa.
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 fig. 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
rhythmogram, autonomic nervous system assessment (changes in the SNS and PSNS),
Fitness Score, Vascular Compensation Reaction (VC), 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 here26.
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 (fig. 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
280
Fig. 3. Continuous monitoring of HRV with real and sham exposure to MW radiation from a digital cord-
less phone. Information provided for blinded analysis of Subject 18
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 280
Wellness and EHS Questionnaire
Prior to any testing, each subject was asked to complete a wellness and EHS question-
naire. This was designed on surveymonkey (www.surveymonkey.com) and was adminis-
tered in paper format. This questionnaire was analyzed separately from the HRV data.
Results
Background electromagnetic environment
The two environments, where we conducted the testing, differed in their background
levels of 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 envi-
ronment. 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.
Participants
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%)28. 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 subjects29. 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 EHS30.
Questionnaire
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 (fig. 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%) (fig. 5). Recovery time ranged from immediately to within 1 day with
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
281
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 281
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 µW/cm2) and the percent that claims to respond quickly is low among
this group.
Symptoms
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 (fig. 6, upper graph). Of the symptoms commonly associated with
EHS, heart palpitations (10th), rapid heartbeat (18th), arrhythmia (21st), and slower heart-
beat (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 (fig. 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
women).
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
282
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%
BMIaobese 4 16%
overweight 7 28%
normal 13 52%
underweight 1 4%
Resting Heart Rate Mean and Range 70 bpm 53-81 bpm
Blood PressurebNormal 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%
aBMI = Body Mass Index based on height and weight28
bBlood Pressure (BP) according to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (nd)29
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 282
A large percentage of participants had food allergies (64%), mold/pollen/dust aller-
gies (48%), pet allergies (20%), and were chemically sensitive (36%) (fig. 7).
Some also had pre-existing health/medical conditions (fig. 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 (fig. 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
283
Fig. 4. Self-proclaimed electrosensitivity of participants (n=25)
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 283
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
(fig. 7).
EHS and person’s EMF
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 HF and LF magnetic field (Table 3). Galvanic skin response was highly vari-
able among subjects prior to testing and did not relate to either sensitivity or the envi-
ronment. 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
EHS of the subjects tested. In a follow-up study it would be useful to monitor each
person’s EMF before, during, and after exposure.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
284
Fig. 5. Self-proclaimed response time of participants to electro-stress and recovery (n=25)
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 284
Blind assessment of responses: orthostatic HRV provocation HRV
The Orthostatic HRV provided us with the state of the ANS and the relative fitness
score of the individual prior to exposure, which is important 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
285
Fig. 6. Severity and frequency of symptoms associated with electrosmog exposure (n=25)
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 285
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
286
Fig. 7. Response to specific questions that may contribute to or be associated with electrical sensitivity
(n=25)
Fig. 8. Existing medical conditions of participants (n=25)
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 286
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 (figs. 3, 10, 12).
However, 10 subjects (40%) did respond to the MW challenge. Fig. 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
287
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*
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 287
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 61 bpm to 154 bpm (with real provocation) and returned to 64 bpm (with
sham provocation) (fig. 11). The increase in heart rate was accompanied by up regula-
tion of the SNS and down regulation of the PSNS during cordless phone exposure for
four subjects in Table 4 (fig. 13). Response of the one subject (Subject 27) was para-
doxical in that the heart rate increased from 72 to 82 bpm during which time the
parasympathetic tone increased and the sympathetic tone remained constant.
Fig. 14 shows the range of responses of some non- or slightly reactive subjects to
provocation.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
288
Fig. 10. Continuous monitoring of HRV during provocation part of this study for one subject who was
non-reactive
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 288
The pre- and post-MW cordless phone response (SNS & PSNS) differed significantly
for this group (fig. 15) with up regulation of the SNS and down regulation of the
PSNS 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 (fig. 16B). This indicates, yet again, a stimulation of the SNS (LF) and a down-
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
289
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 MW post bgrnd pre MW post bgrnd pre MW post
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 289
regulation of the PSNS (HF). The up regulation was greater for LF2 than for LF1 (fig.
16A).
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.
Discussion
The most intriguing result in this study is that a small group of subjects responded
immediately and dramatically to MW exposure generated by a digital cordless DECT
phone with blinded exposure. Heart rate (HR) increased significantly for 4 subjects (16%)
(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 al.14, and Bergqvist et al.31. 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 typically occurring
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
290
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 290
among such afflicted individuals. Furthermore, several studies report no effect of mobile
phones (various exposure conditions) on human HRV-parameters32-39.
Our results clearly show a causal relationship between pulsed 100 Hz MW exposure
and changes in the ANS that is physiological rather than psychological and that may
explain at least some of the symptoms experienced by those sensitive to electromagnetic
frequencies. Dysfunction of the ANS can lead to heart irregularities (arrhythmia, palpi-
tations, flutter), altered blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, sleep disturbances,
profuse sweating and fainting spells, which are some of the symptoms of EHS.
When the SNS (fight or flight response) is stimulated and the PSNS (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 regulated PSNS and/or up regulated SNS). Interestingly,
Sandstrom40 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.
Our results show that the SNS is up regulated (increase in LF) and the PSNS is down
regulated (decrease in HF) for some of the subjects during provocation. The greatest
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
291
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 291
increase is in LF2, which is the adrenal stress response, although LF1 also increases. We
not know the degree to which this is due to the 100 Hz pulse, the MW carrier, or their
combination.
Several studies lend support to our results.
Lyskov et al.41 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
respond.
Kolesnyk et al.42 describes an “adverse influence of mobile phone on HRV” and Rezk
et al. 43 reports an increase of fetal and neonatal HR and a decrease in cardiac output after
exposure of pregnant women to mobile phones.
Andrzejak et al.44 reports an increased parasympathetic tone and a decreased sympa-
thetic tone after a 20-minute telephone-call. While these results are contrary to our find-
ings, 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
292
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
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 292
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 HR vari-
ability, higher incidences of increased blood pressure and disturbances in parameters of
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
293
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
AB
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 293
diurnal rhythms of blood pressure and HR-all of no clinical significance, but showing a
certain dysregulation of autonomic cardiac control45-48.
Bortkiewicz et al.49 reported that exposure to AM radio frequency EMF within
hygienic standards affects the functions of the ANS 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 premature beats). As in our study, RF
exposure was associated with a reduced HF power spectrum suggesting that the EMF
field reduce the influence of the PSNS on circulatory function.
Several studies report changes in blood pressure with electromagnetic exposure50, 51.
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 respectively52, 53. 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 hsp7054. Similarly 1.71 GHz MW exposure increased hsp70 in p53-deficient embry-
onic stem cells55. Abramov and Merkulova56 report pulsed EMFs increase the enzymatic
activity of acetylcholinesterase in the animal heart, which suppresses the parasympa-
thetic 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 exposures in
the work and home environment. Perhaps only chronic exposure to MW-EMF can influ-
ence 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, 57.
The common devices attributed to stress generation included fluorescent lights,
antennas, cell phones, Wi-Fi, and cordless phones. The last 4 items all emit MW radia-
tion.
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
adaptive capacity coupled with a poor fitness score and did not have enough energy to
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
294
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 294
mount a reaction. Orthostatic HRV combined with provocation monitoring may help
distinguish these three types of responses (sensitive, not sensitive, non-responsive reac-
tors).
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.
Conclusions
The orthostatic HRV provides information about the adaptive capacity of an indi-
vidual based on fitness score and on the state of the SNS and PSNS. 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 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
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 reaction, 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 100 Hz MW stressor. For some the response is extreme (tachycardia), for others
moderate 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 ANS and may put some indi-
viduals with pre-existing heart conditions at risk when exposed to electromagnetic radi-
ation 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
295
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 295
Acknowledgements
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.
References
1. Hallberg O, Oberfeld G. Letter to the Editor: Will we all become electrosensitive? Electromagn Biol
Med 2006; 25: 189-91.
2. Firstenberg A. Radio wave packet. President, cellular phone taskforce. 2001; http://www.good
healthinfo.net/radiation/radio_wave_packet.pdf
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, et al. Prevalence of self-reported hypersensitivity to electric 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. Electromagn Biol
Med 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.
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.
9. Havas M, Olstad A. Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in three Minnesota
Schools. Sci Total Environ 2008; 402(2-3): 157-62.
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. Electromagn Biol Med 2006; 25: 259-68.
12. Havas M. Dirty electricity elevates blood sugar among electrically sensitive diabetics and may
explain brittle diabetes. Electromagn Biol Med 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. Psychosom Med 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: S369-73.
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. Renner-
felt © Mimers Brunn Kunskapsförlaget, Sweden. mimersbrunn@spray.se
17. IGUMED. Freiburger Appeal. nterdisziplina re Gesellschaft fur Umweltmedizin e. Bergseestr. Bad
Sackingen, October 9 2002, 57, 79713. igumed@gmx.de
18. Haumann T, Sierck P. Nonstop pulsed 2.4 GHz radiation inside US homes. 2nd International
Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, 7-11 Oct. 2002.
19. Singer DH, Martin GJ, Magid N, et al. Low heart rate variability and sudden cardiac death. J Elec-
trocardiol 1988; 21: S46-55.
20. 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, 12-13.
21. Hayano J. Decreased magnitude of heart rate spectral components in coronary artery disease. Circu-
lation 1990; 81: 1217-24.
22. Muhlnickel B. The value of heart rate frequency variability in the prognostic evaluation of patients
with severe cerebral injuries. Anaesthesiol Reanim 1990; 15: 342-50.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
296
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 296
23. Van Ravenrwaaij-Arts CM, Kollee LA, Hopman JC, et al. Heart rate variability. Ann Int Med 1993;
118: 436-47.
24. 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. Eur Heart J 1996; 17: 354-81.
25. Riftine A. Nervexpress. System Guide and User’s Manual. Heart Rhythm Instruments Inc., 2002,
72. Metuchen NJ. www.nervexpress.com.
26. Riftine A. Quantitative assessment of the autonomic nervous system based on heart rate variability
analysis theoretical review of the nerve-express system with sample cases. Theoretical Review and
Clinical Use 2005; 43 pp. www.intelwave.net
27. 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.
28. NHLBI. High Blood Pressure. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Diseases and Conditions
Index. November 2008. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_WhatIs.html.
29. NHLBI. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Obesity Education Initiative, Calculate our Body
Mass Index. No date; http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
30. 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.
31. 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, Swedish: National Institute for Working Life, 1997; 135 pp.
32. Mann K, Röschke J, Connemann B, et al. No effects of pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic fields
on heart rate variability during human sleep. Neuropsychobiology 1998; 38: 251-6.
33. Röschke J, Mann K, Connemann B. Cardiac autonomic activity during sleep under the influence of
radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Somnologie 2005; 9: 180-4.
34. Wilén J, Johansson A, Kalezic N, et al. Psychophysiological tests and provocation of subjects with
mobile phone related symptoms. Bioelectromagnetics 2006; 27: 204-14.
35. 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:
233-6.
36. Parazzini M, Ravazzani P, Tognola G, et al. Electromagnetic fields produced by GSM cellular
phones and heart rate variability. Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28: 122-9.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. Ahamed VI, Karthick NG, Joseph PK. Effect of mobile phone radiation on heart rate variability.
Comput Biol Med 2008; 38: 709-12.
40. Sandstrom M, Lyskov E, Hornsten R, et al. Holter ECG monitoring in patients with perceived elec-
trical hypersensitivity. Int J Psychophysiol 2003; 49: 227-35.
41. Lyskov E, Sandström M, Hansson Mild K. Neurophysiological study of patients with perceived
‘electrical hypersensitivity’. Int J Psychophysiol 2001; 42: 233-41.
42. Kolesnyk I, Zhulinsky M, Abramov VO, et al. Effect of mobile phone electromagnetic emission on
characteristics of cerebral blood circulation and neurohumoral regulations in humans. Fiziol Zh
2008; 54: 90-3.
43. 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
44. 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.
45. Bortkiewicz A, Zmylony M, Gadzicka E, et al. Evaluation of selected parameters of circulatory
system function in various occupational groups exposed to high frequency electromagnetic fields.
II. Electrocardiographic changes. Med Pr 1996; 47: 241-52.
46. 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.
47. Gadzicka E, Bortkiewicz A, Zmylony M, et al. Evaluation of selected functional circulation param-
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
297
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 297
eters 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.
48. Szmigielski S, Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, et al. Alteration of diurnal rhythms of blood pressure and
heart rate to workers exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Blood Press Monit 1998; 3:
323-30.
49. Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, Zmylony M. Heart rate variability in workers exposed to medium-
frequency electromagnetic fields. J Auton Nerv Syst 1996; 59: 91-7.
50. Lu ST, Mathur SP, Akyel Y, et al. Ultrawide-band electromagnetic pulses induced hypotension in
rats. Physiol Behav 1999; 65: 753-61.
51. 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.
52. Kim MJ, Rhee SJ. Green tea catechins protect rats from microwave-induced oxidative damage to
heart tissue. J Med Food 2004; 7: 299-304.
53. 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.
54. 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.
55. 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.
56. 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.
57. Bergqvist U, Wahlberg J. Skin symptoms and disease during work with visual display terminals.
Cont Derm 1994; 30: 197-204.
Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5
298
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:14 Pagina 298
APPENDIX A: Summary of data based on blind assessment.
Notes:
1 Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) response categories are based on HR = heart rate; SNS = sympathetic
nervous system; PSNS = parasympathetic nervous system.
2 EHS was ranked based on changes in HR and changes in the SNS and PSNS during exposure to
microwave (MW) radiation.
3 Self-assessment of sensitivity based on questionnaire response.
4 Cardiovascular (CV) Tone is based on the HR times the sum of the systolic and diastolic blood pres-
sure; values at 1 or lower are hypotonic and values at 5 are hypertonic.
5 Intensity of reaction (IOR); adaptive capacity (AC), which is 6 - non adaptive capacity (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 2.4 GHz digital cordless phone radiating and at a power density
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 Chronotropic Myocardial Reaction Index (ChMR) and vascular
compensation reaction (VC). Middle of bell curve.
10 The healthier a subject the more likely the reaction. This person has the energy to become sympto-
matic.
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-
sure.
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.
M. Havas, et al: Microwave radiation affects autonomic nervous system
299
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:15 Pagina 299
16 Has diminished energy capacity (11:6). This person doesn’t have enough energy to have a robust
response.
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 Don’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
age.
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-
bilities.
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 Tension Index (TI). Good geriatric pattern. If she reacts it would
be moderate to mild.
31 Strong girl. Has strong adrenal capacity. If she 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
300
18-havas:18-havas 11-10-2010 9:15 Pagina 300
... This last finding has also been observed by others who have published case reports showing the role of RFR exposure in inducing neurologic change [55,56] and in a single clinical study in which EHS has been ascribed as a neurological syndrome [57]. In addition, it has been shown that in EHS patients RFR exposure increases plasma glucose levels [58,59] and affects heart rate variability [59] and that in multiple sclerosis-bearing patients [60] RFR exposure can worsen symptoms, meaning that RFR can induce objective, bioclinical alterations in humans. These different objective findings are contrary to what has been published in the scientific literature using simple questionnaires and/or interviews tending to show that EHS is associated with subjective symptoms [61][62][63][64][65]. Indeed, contrary to these unfounded claims, not all symptoms are subjective; most symptoms are neurologic and usually not psychiatric [1,66]. ...
... In addition, several earlier experiments tried to study in particular the effects of low intensity millimeter waves (MMW) exposure in animal and human peripheral nerve tissues, but these studies have failed to reproduce EHS-associated neurologic effects, to the contrary providing some unexpected therapeutic beneficial effects [84]. These diverse independent but overall convergent experimental studies are the basic component of clinical research [58,59,70,77,80,[85][86][87][88][89][90][91][92][93][94], which were analyzed during a consensus meeting on EHS held in Brussels in 2015 [95] and published in a peer-reviewed special issue [96]. Contrary to the scientifically unfounded statement of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a non-governmental German organization with supposed close links with the industry [97], the physical and biological data obtained from these experimental studies strongly suggest that non-thermal (or microthermal) health effects can be caused in animals as well as in humans by low intensity non-ionizing radiation [66]. ...
... Such positive data obtained by provocation tests have also been independently shown in two earlier different EHS case reports [56,57] and more recently in two studies showing in EHS patients the objective effect of pulsed microwave radiation on heart rate variability in a double-blind provocation study [58] and more generally the effects of RFR on the blood, the heart and the autonomic nervous system [59]. Similar objective endpoints were also provided independently by two German scientists-Andreas Tuengler and Lebrecht von Klitzing-who considered that heart rate variability, microcirculation (capillary blood flow) and electric skin potentials [135] and electromyogram (EMG) recording [136] were suitable non-invasive methods for use in provocation studies as an objective endpoint assessment. ...
Article
Full-text available
Clinical research aiming at objectively identifying and characterizing diseases via clinical observations and biological and radiological findings is a critical initial research step when establishing objective diagnostic criteria and treatments. Failure to first define such diagnostic criteria may lead research on pathogenesis and etiology to serious confounding biases and erroneous medical interpretations. This is particularly the case for electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and more particularly for the so-called “provocation tests”, which do not investigate the causal origin of EHS but rather the EHS-associated particular environmental intolerance state with hypersensitivity to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF). However, because those tests depend on multiple EMF-associated physical and biological parameters and have been conducted in patients without having first defined EHS objectively and/or endpoints adequately, they cannot presently be considered to be valid pathogenesis research methodologies. Consequently, the negative results obtained by these tests do not preclude a role of EMF exposure as a symptomatic trigger in EHS patients. Moreover, there is no proof that EHS symptoms or EHS itself are caused by psychosomatic or nocebo effects. This international consensus report pleads for the acknowledgement of EHS as a distinct neuropathological disorder and for its inclusion in the WHO International Classification of Diseases.
... The recommendations of the ICNIRP establish the maximum levels of radiation at 450 µ W/cm 2 [3,[9][10][11]. However, the BioInitiative working group, together with other researchers [8,10,[12][13][14][15][16], suggest that adverse health effects are observed at low levels of exposure 0.1 µ W/cm 2 . Studies suggest that RF-EMF exposures with powers below the recommendations of the ICNIRP have effects related to changes in brain activity [17], affecting cognitive and motor performance [12,13], infertility problems in the male reproductive system [18,19], DNA damage [20,21], association to different brain tumors and intensity of RF-EMF, and having a greater effect in children and teenagers than in adults [4,6,12,[22][23][24][25]. ...
... In this study, the regulations established by ICNIRP [3] were not followed, the measurements of the maximum received power levels were considered (not the average). The non-thermal effects are not considered in the establishment of the exposure limits, and the BioInitiative working group, together with other researchers [8,10,[12][13][14][15][16], suggest that adverse health effects are observed at low levels of exposure and suggest that using the SAR criterion alone is not the most appropriate for this purpose. Conventional exposimeters are not suitable for differentiating between multiple electromagnetic field sources because their resolution bandwidth is determined by the full desired frequency band to be measured, avoiding the detection of the sources responsible for the greatest contribution of electromagnetic fields [34]. ...
Article
Full-text available
A novel compact device with spectrum analyzer characteristics has been designed, which allows the measuring of the maximum power received in multiple narrow frequency bands of 300 kHz, recording the entire spectrum from 78 MHz to 6 GHz; the device is capable of measuring the entire communications spectrum and detecting multiple sources of electromagnetic fields using the same communications band. The proposed device permits the evaluation of the cross-talk effect that, in conventional exposimeters, generates a mistake estimation of electromagnetic fields. The device was calibrated in an anechoic chamber for far-fields and was validated against a portable spectrum analyzer in a residential area. A strong correlation between the two devices with a confidence higher than 95% was obtained; indicating that the device could be considered as an important tool for electromagnetic field studies.
... Exposure to high electromagnetic radiation, has been widely recognized as a threat to human health. Its potential risks include but is not limited to mental diseases [8], tissue impairment [9] and brain tumor [10]. In addition, there has been solid evidence that pregnant women and children are even more vulnerable to high electromagnetic radiation exposure [11], [12]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
We study the problem of efficiently charging a set of rechargeable nodes using a set of wireless chargers, under safety constraints on the electromagnetic radiation incurred. In particular, we define a new charging model that greatly differs from existing models in that it takes into account real technology restrictions of the chargers and nodes of the network, mainly regarding energy limitations. Our model also introduces non-linear constraints (in the time domain), that radically change the nature of the computational problems we consider. In this charging model, we present and study the Low Radiation Efficient Charging Problem (LREC), in which we wish to optimize the amount of "useful" energy transferred from chargers to nodes (under constraints on the maximum level of imposed radiation). We present several fundamental properties of this problem and provide indications of its hardness. Finally, we propose an iterative local improvement heuristic for LREC, which runs in polynomial time and we evaluate its performance via simulation. Our algorithm decouples the computation of the objective function from the computation of the maximum radiation and also does not depend on the exact formula used for the computation of the electromagnetic radiation in each point of the network, achieving good trade-offs between charging efficiency and radiation control; it also exhibits good energy balance properties. We provide extensive simulation results supporting our claims and theoretical results.
... The risks of excessive RF energy exposure have been studied in the past, which have revealed that harmful biological effects may stem from strong RF radiation [58,59,60,61,62,63]. High energy density across the charging space in WPT systems may cause excessive RF energy exposure, which we strive to avoid in the design of Energy-Ball . ...
Thesis
Full-text available
In this thesis, we discuss the feasibility of using distributed antenna systems to facilitate the deployment of IoT devices. Our approaches are inspired by Fresnel zone plates for focusing light. In our design, in a manner analogous to creating a Fresnel zone plate, we discretize the zone plates into multiple independent phase shifters. Each phase shifter is a far-field RF transmitter in our system. Specifically, by coherently combining the phase of each RF transmitter in a 3D distributed antenna system, the system forms an energy ball at the target location where the energy density level is significantly higher than the energy density level at any other locations. Our results demonstrate that this energy ball has great potential to be leveraged to solve many fundamental problems in IoT and enable exciting IoT applications. In the first part of this thesis, we discuss how a distributed antenna system contributes to an IoT system's confidentiality gains. Ensuring confidentiality of communication is fundamental to securing the operation of a wireless IoT system, where eavesdropping is easily facilitated by the broadcast nature of the wireless medium. By applying distributed beamforming among a coalition, we show that a new approach for assuring physical layer secrecy, without requiring any knowledge about the eavesdropper or injecting any additional cover noise, is possible if the transmitters frequently perturb their phases around the proper alignment phase while transmitting messages. This approach is readily applied to amplitude-based modulation schemes, such as PAM or QAM. We present our secrecy mechanisms, prove several important secrecy properties, and develop a practical secret communication system design. In the next part of this thesis, we discuss how a distributed antenna system contributes to an IoT system's energy efficiency gains. In order to meet the ever-growing energy demand from the next billion IoT devices, we present a new wireless power transfer (WPT) approach by aligning the phases of a collection of radio frequency (RF) energy chargers at the target receiver device. Our approach can ship energy over tens of meters and to mobile targets. More importantly, our approach leads to a highly asymmetric energy density distribution in the charging area: the energy density at the target receiver is much higher than the energy density at other locations. It is a departure from existing beamforming based WPT systems that have high energy along the energy beam path. Such a technology can enable a large array of batteryless IoT applications and render them much more robust and long-running. Thanks to its asymmetric energy distribution, our approach potentially can be scaled up to ship a higher level of energy over longer distances. We design, prototype, and evaluate the proposed distributed antenna system. We implement the testbed that consists of 17 N210 and 4 B210 Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) nodes, yielding a 20 x 20 m2 experiment area. Depending on system parameter settings, we measure that the eavesdroppers failed to decode 30%-60% of the bits across multiple locations while the intended receiver has an estimated bit error ratio of 3 x 10-6. Our results also show the system can deliver over 0.6mw RF power that enables batteryless mobile sensors at any point across the area. In the last part of this thesis, we build a distributed beamforming system that can continuously charge tiny IoT devices placed in hard-to-reach locations (e.g. medical implants) with consistent high power, even when the implant moves around inside the human body. To accomplish this, we exploit the unique energy ball pattern of the distributed antenna array and devise a backscatter-assisted beamforming algorithm that can concentrate RF energy on a tiny spot surrounding the medical implant. Meanwhile, the power levels on other body parts stay at a low level, reducing the risk of overheating. We prototype the system on 21 software-defined radios and a printed circuit board (PCB). Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed system achieves 0.37 mW average charging power inside a 10 cm-thick pork belly, which is sufficient to wirelessly power a range of commercial medical devices. Comparison with state-of-the-art powering approaches shows that our system achieves 5.4x-18.1x power gain when the implant is stationary, and 5.3x -7.4x power gain when the implant is in motion.
... The risks of excessive RF energy exposure have been studied in the past, which have revealed that harmful biological effects may stem from strong RF radiation [26][27][28][29][30][31] . High energy density across the charging space in WPT systems may cause excessive RF energy exposure, which we strive to avoid in the design of our system. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a new Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) approach by aligning the phases of a group of spatially distributed Radio Frequency (RF) transmitters (TX) at the target receiver (RX) device. Our approach can transfer energy over tens of meters and even to targets blocked by obstacles. Compared to popular beamforming based WPTs, our approach leads to a drastically different energy density distribution: the energy density at the target receiver is much higher than the energy density at other locations. Due to this unique energy distribution pattern, our approach offers a safer WPT solution, which can be potentially scaled up to ship a higher level of energy over longer distances. Specifically, we model the energy density distribution and prove that our proposed system can create a high energy peak exactly at the target receiver. Then we conduct detailed simulation studies to investigate how the actual energy distribution is impacted by various important system parameters, including number/topology of transmitters, transmitter antenna directionality, the distance between receiver and transmitters, and environmental multipath. Finally, we build an actual prototype with 17 N210 and 4 B210 Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) nodes, through which we validate the salient features and performance promises of the proposed system.
... These observations were similar to the report of Bortkiewicz et al. [23] investigating radio and TV transmission workers. Increased LF and HF levels obtained in our study agree with the findings of Andrzejak et al. [24] and Havas et al. [25] on the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure in humans. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Electromagnetic fields have been reported to alter electrical activities in the brain and heart. However, there is paucity of information on the potential functional alterations that magnetic fields from mobile phone could cause to the heart. This study investigated heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP) and lipid profile in Wistar rats exposed to electromagnetic field radiation from a dual transceiver mobile phone (DTrMP). Methods Twenty-one male albino Wistar rats (140–180 g) were randomly assigned to two major groups positioned 5 m apart as follows: control: no phone (n=7) and treatment group (n=14) continuously exposed to electromagnetic field from Tecno T312 DTrMP 900/1800 MHz set in silence mode. Experimental treatment consisted in 10 min calls/day, directed to this device for a period of six weeks. Seven animals from the treatment group were allowed to recover for a period of two weeks after exposure. HRV, systolic, diastolic and mean arterial BP were noninvasively investigated, while serum lipid profile and heart tissue nitric oxide (NO) activities were determined using standard procedures. Results There was significant (p<0.05) increase in systolic, diastolic, mean arterial BP and a decrease in HRV. Serum high density lipoproteins decreased, while total cholesterol, atherogenic indices, and heart NO levels increased significantly in the radiation exposed animals. The alterations observed in exposed animals remained unchanged even after the recovery period. Conclusions These results suggest that exposure to electromagnetic radiation from dual transceiver mobile phones could be a risk factor to increase in blood pressure.
Article
Much of the controversy over the cause of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) lies in the absence of recognized clinical and biological criteria for a widely accepted diagnosis. However, there are presently sufficient data for EHS to be acknowledged as a distinctly well-defined and objectively characterized neurologic pathological disorder. Because we have shown that 1) EHS is frequently associated with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in EHS patients, and 2) that both individualized disorders share a common pathophysiological mechanism for symptom occurrence; it appears that EHS and MCS can be identified as a unique neurologic syndrome, regardless its causal origin. In this overview we distinguish the etiology of EHS itself from the environmental causes that trigger pathophysiological changes and clinical symptoms after EHS has occurred. Contrary to present scientifically unfounded claims, we indubitably refute the hypothesis of a nocebo effect to explain the genesis of EHS and its presentation. We as well refute the erroneous concept that EHS could be reduced to a vague and unproven “functional impairment”. To the contrary, we show here there are objective pathophysiological changes and health effects induced by electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure in EHS patients and most of all in healthy subjects, meaning that excessive non-thermal anthropogenic EMFs are strongly noxious for health. In this overview and medical assessment we focus on the effects of extremely low frequencies, wireless communications radiofrequencies and microwaves EMF. We discuss how to better define and characterize EHS. Taken into consideration the WHO proposed causality criteria, we show that EHS is in fact causally associated with increased exposure to man-made EMF, and in some cases to marketed environmental chemicals. We therefore appeal to all governments and international health institutions, particularly the WHO, to urgently consider the growing EHS-associated pandemic plague, and to acknowledge EHS as a new real EMF causally-related pathology.
Article
Full-text available
This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled replication of a study that we previously conducted in Colorado with 25 subjects designed to test the effect of radio frequency radiation (RFR) generated by the base station of a cordless phone on heart rate variability (HRV). In this study, we analyzed the response of 69 subjects between the ages of 26 and 80 in both Canada and the USA. Subjects were exposed to radiation for 3-min intervals generated by a 2.4-GHz cordless phone base station (3–8 microW/cm2). Prior to provocation we conducted an orthostatic test to assess the state of adrenal exhaustion, which interferes with a person’s ability to mount a response to a stressor. A few participants had a severe reaction to the RFR with an increase in heart rate and altered HRV indicative of an alarm response to stress. Based on the HRV analyses of the 69 subjects, 7% were classified as being “moderately to very sensitive”, 29% were “little to moderately sensitive”, 30% were “not to a little sensitive” and 6% were “unknown”. These results are not psychosomatic and are not due to electromagnetic interference. Twenty-five percent of the subjects’ self-proclaimed sensitivity corresponded to that based on the HRV analysis, while 32% overestimated their sensitivity and 42% did not know whether or not they were electrically sensitive. Of the 39 participants who claimed to experience some electrical hypersensitivity, 36% claimed they also reacted to a cordless phone and experienced heart symptoms and, of these, 64% were classified as having some degree of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) based on their HRV response. Novel findings include documentation of a delayed response to radiation. This protocol underestimates the reaction to electromagnetic radiation and may provide a false negative for those with a delayed reaction and/or with adrenal exhaustion. Orthostatic HRV testing combined with provocation testing may provide a useful diagnostic tool for some sufferers of EHS when they are exposed to electromagnetic radiation. It can be used to confirm EHS but not to reject EHS as a diagnosis since not everyone with EHS has an ANS reaction to electromagnetic radiation.
Article
Full-text available
Part of the population considers themselves as sensitive to the man-made electromagnetic radiation (EMF) emitted by powerlines, electric wiring, electric home appliance and the wireless communication devices and networks. Sensitivity is characterized by a broad variety of non-specific symptoms that the sensitive people claim to experience when exposed to EMF. While the experienced symptoms are currently considered as a real life impairment, the factor causing these symptoms remains unclear. So far, scientists were unable to find causality link between symptoms experienced by sensitive persons and the exposures to EMF. However, as presented in this review, the executed to-date scientific studies, examining sensitivity to EMF, are of poor quality to find the link between EMF exposures and sensitivity symptoms of some people. It is logical to consider that the sensitivity to EMF exists but the scientific methodology used to find it is of insufficient quality. It is time to drop out psychology driven provocation studies that ask about feelings-based non-specific symptoms experienced by volunteers under EMF exposure. Such research approach produces only subjective and therefore highly unreliable data that is insufficient to prove, or to disprove, causality link between EHS and EMF. There is a need for a new direction in studying sensitivity to EMF. The basis for it is the notion of a commonly known phenomenon of individual sensitivity, where individuals' responses to EMF depend on the genetic and epigenetic properties of the individual. It is proposed here that new studies, combining provocation approach, where volunteers are exposed to EMF, and high-throughput technologies of transcriptomics and proteomics are used to generate objective data, detecting molecular level biochemical responses of human body to EMF.
Article
Wireless Power Transfer has become a commercially viable technology to charge devices because of the convenience of no power wiring and the reliability of continuous power supply. This paper concerns the fundamental issue of wireless charger placement with electromagnetic radiation (EMR) safety. Although there are a few wireless charging schemes consider EMR safety, none of them addresses the charger placement issue. In this paper, we propose PESA, a wireless charger Placement scheme that guarantees EMR SAfety for every location on the plane. First, we discretize the whole charging area and formulate the problem into the Multidimensional 0/1 Knapsack (MDK) problem. Second, we propose a fast approximation algorithm to the MDK problem. Third, we propose a near optimal scheme to improve speed by double partitioning the area. We prove that the output of our algorithm is better than (1-ε) of the optimal solution to PESA with a smaller EMR threshold (1-ε/2)Rt and a larger EMR coverage radius (1+ε/2)D. We conducted both simulations and field experiments to evaluate the performance of our scheme. Our experimental results show that in terms of charging utility, our algorithm outperforms the comparison algorithms.
Chapter
Full-text available
Electromagnetic hypersensitive persons (EHS) attribute their nonspecific health symptoms to environmental electromagnetic fields (EMF) of different sources in or outside their homes. In general, causal attribution is not restricted to specific EMF frequencies but involves a wide range from extremely low frequencies (ELF) up to radio frequencies (RF) including mobile telecommunication microwaves and radar. EHS argue that existing exposure limits were not low enough to account for their increased sensitivities. Results of measurement campaigns are summarized. They demonstrate that environmental fields in the ELF and RF range are usually orders of magnitudes below exposure limits. The rational and biological background of recommended exposure limits are described. The existing scientific studies are reviewed, including investigations on the prevalence of EHS among the general population, ability of EHS to perceive and/or react to exposures to weak EMF (assessed in laboratory provocational studies or to the vicinity of EMF sources studied by epidemiologic approaches), and the existence of a specific symptom cluster, which could characterize a suspected EHS syndrome, or individual EHS-specific factors such as electric perception thresholds, neurophysiologic parameters, and cognitive performance and behavior. However, in spite of the variety of scientific attempts, a causal role of EMF remains yet unproven. This does not mean that the suffering could be ignored. It is recognized that EHS cases deserve help. Therapeutic approaches are described and the conclusion of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is summarized.
Article
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.
Article
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.
Article
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.
Article
A survey study using a questionnaire was conducted on 530 people (270 men, 260 women) living or not in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations, on 18 Non Specific Health Symptoms. Comparisons of complaint frequencies (CHI-SQUARE test with Yates correction) in relation to the distance from base stations and sex show significant (p <0.05) increase as compared to people living > 300 m or not exposed to base stations, up through 300 m for tiredness, 200 m for headache, sleep disruption, discomfort, etc., 100 m for irritability, depression, loss of memory, dizziness, libido decrease, etc. Women significantly more often than men (p < 0.05) complained of headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep disruption, depression, discomfort and visual disruptions. This first study on symptoms experienced by people living in the vicinity of base stations shows that, in view of radioprotection, the of minimal distance of people from cellular phone base stations should not be < 300 m. © 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS base station / bioeffects / cellular phone 1. INTRODUCTION Chronic exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields or microwaves brings on bioeffects in man such as headaches, fatigue, and sleep and memory disruptions [1, 2]. These biological effects, associated with others (skin problems, nausea, irritability, etc.) constitute what is known in English as "Non Specific Health Symptoms" (NSHS) that characterize radiofrequency sickness. [3] Cellular mobile phone technology uses hyperfrequencies (frequencies of 900 or 1800 MHz) pulsed with extremely low frequencies (frequencies < 300 Hertz) [4]. Even though the biological effects resulting from mobile phone use are relatively well known and bring to mind those described in radiofrequency sickness [5, 6], to our knowledge no study exists on the health of people living in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. We are reporting here the results pertaining to 530 people living in France, in the vicinity or not, of base stations, in relation to the distances from these stations and to the sex of the study participants.