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Radiation from wireless technology affects the blood, the heart, and the autonomic nervous system1)

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Abstract Exposure to electrosmog generated by electric, electronic, and wireless technology is accelerating to the point that a portion of the population is experiencing adverse reactions when they are exposed. The symptoms of electrohypersensitivity (EHS), best described as rapid aging syndrome, experienced by adults and children resemble symptoms experienced by radar operators in the 1940s to the 1960s and are well described in the literature. An increasingly common response includes clumping (rouleau formation) of the red blood cells, heart palpitations, pain or pressure in the chest accompanied by anxiety, and an upregulation of the sympathetic nervous system coincident with a downregulation of the parasympathetic nervous system typical of the "fight-or-flight" response. Provocation studies presented in this article demonstrate that the response to electrosmog is physiologic and not psychosomatic. Those who experience prolonged and severe EHS may develop psychologic problems as a consequence of their inability to work, their limited ability to travel in our highly technologic environment, and the social stigma that their symptoms are imagined rather than real.
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DOI 10.1515/reveh-2013-0004Rev Environ Health 2013; 28(2-3): 75–84
Magda Havas*
Radiation from wireless technology affects the
blood, the heart, and the autonomic nervous
system1)
Abstract: Exposure to electrosmog generated by electric,
electronic, and wireless technology is accelerating to
the point that a portion of the population is experienc-
ing adverse reactions when they are exposed. The symp-
toms of electrohypersensitivity (EHS), best described as
rapid aging syndrome, experienced by adults and chil-
dren resemble symptoms experienced by radar opera-
tors in the 1940s to the 1960s and are well described in
the literature. An increasingly common response includes
clumping (rouleau formation) of the red blood cells, heart
palpitations, pain or pressure in the chest accompanied
by anxiety, and an upregulation of the sympathetic nerv-
ous system coincident with a downregulation of the
parasympathetic nervous system typical of the “fight-or-
flight” response. Provocation studies presented in this
article demonstrate that the response to electrosmog is
physiologic and not psychosomatic. Those who experi-
ence prolonged and severe EHS may develop psychologic
problems as a consequence of their inability to work, their
limited ability to travel in our highly technologic environ-
ment, and the social stigma that their symptoms are imag-
ined rather than real.
Keywords: electrosmog; radio-frequency radiation;
rouleau; tachycardia; WiFi; Wolff-Parkinson-White
Syndrome.
1)Presented at the Corporate Interference with Science and Health:
Fracking, Food, and Wireless, Scandinavia House, New York, NY,
March 13 and 14, 2013.
*Corresponding author: Magda Havas, PhD, Environmental and
Resource Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8
Canada, E-mail: mhavas@trentu.ca; www.magdahavas.com
Introduction
Our exposure to devices using electricity and emitting
extremely low-frequency and radio-frequency electro-
magnetic fields has been increasing ever since Edison
invented the incandescent light bulb and Tesla and
Marconi discovered that radio-frequency (RF) radiation
can be transmitted without wires. Radio, television, com-
puters, cell phones, and their accompanying cell phone
antennas, cordless phones, wireless routers (WiFi), wire-
less baby monitors, wireless games, and smart meters are
increasing our exposure to RF radiation and especially to
microwave radiation (300 MHz–300 GHz).
As an example of the proliferation of this technology,
access to WiFi was limited in 2002 but by 2012 access was
virtually ubiquitous in the USA (Figure 1). We have city-
wide WiFi in some communities, WiFi at work, at home,
in school, universities, and hospitals, in restaurants and
coffee shops, on public transit, at airports, and on an
increasing number of airplanes. As a society, we seem to
be insatiable for wireless technology and the connectivity
it affords.
Although the downside to this technology, namely, the
potentially harmful effects of nonionizing radiation, has
received relatively little attention in North America and
remains controversial, it is an area that deserves proper
research funding based on the sheer number of users and
people exposed worldwide to RF electromagnetic fields.
In this article, the relationship between electrosmog
exposure and electrohypersensitivity (EHS), with a focus
on the cardiovascular system, is presented, based on
provocation studies and on reports of ill health among
those living near cell phone base stations or exposed to
WiFi in schools.
Electrohypersensitivity
Just as some people have multiple chemical sensitivity or
react to pollen, mold, and certain types of food, a growing
population is becoming “sensitive” to electromagnetic
radiation.
Khurana etal. (1) reviewed ten epidemiologic studies,
three dealing with cancer and seven with neurobehavioral
effects, that examined the putative effects of mobile phone
base stations. All of the neurobehavioral studies reported
more symptoms with proximity to base stations, and only
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76Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS
one attributed these health effects to stress rather than RF
exposure.
The results from one of these studies are presented
in Figure 2 (2). People who lived closest to the antennas
experienced the following symptoms more often than
those who lived further away: fatigue, sleep disturbance,
headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty concentrating,
depression, memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability,
hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular prob-
lems, dizziness, loss of appetite, movement difficulties,
and nausea. Many of these symptoms are more common
as we age, thus I prefer to call this rapid aging syndrome
(RAS). The difference between real aging and RAS expe-
rienced by those who are electrically hypersensitive is
that when these people go into an electromagnetically
clean environment, many of their symptoms diminish
Figure 1WiFi networks in the USA from 2002 to 2012 (source: wigle.net).
60
40
%
%
20
0
Sleep disturbance
Feeling of discomfort
Depression
Visual disruptions
Hearing disruptions
Cardiovascular
Loss of appelite
Nausea >300
100-200
10-50
50-100
200-300
<10
0
20
40
60
80
Movement difficulties
Dizziness
Skin problems
Irritability
Memory loss
Difficulty in concentration
Headaches
Fatigue
% respondents experiencing
symptoms “very often”
Rapid aging syndrome (RAS)
Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS)
1. Fatigue
2. Sleep disturbance
3. Headaches
4. Feeling of discomfort
5. Difficulty concentrating
6. Depression
7. Memory loss
8. Visual disruptions
9. Irritability
10. Hearing disruptions
11. Skin problems
12. Cardiovascular
13. Dizziness
14. Loss of appetite
15. Movement difficulties
16. Nausea
Residential distance of transmitter (m)
80
Figure 2Symptoms experienced by people near cellular phone base stations [based on the work of Santini etal. (2)].
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Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS77
or disappear. Obviously, this does not happen with real
aging.
Because cell towers are proliferating and difficult
to avoid in both urban and rural communities and if the
results of Santini etal. (2) represent what is happening to
those who live near cell towers, then it is quite likely that
we are going to experience (or are in the midst of experi-
encing) an emerging health crisis that is contributing to
chronic ill health and is promoting the sale of pain medi-
cation, sleep medication, antidepressants and antianxiety
medication, pills to moderate energy level and mood, and
drugs for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disor-
der such as Ritalin® (metylfenidat).
In 2006, Hallberg and Oberfeld (3) documented the
increasing prevalence of EHS. Figure 3 clearly shows that
self-perceived EHS is on the rise. According to the authors,
by 2017, 50% of the population is going to be complaining
of this illness. Admittedly, this is a rough calculation but it
demonstrates that symptoms of EHS are increasing.
It is difficult to estimate the percentage of the popula-
tion that has EHS. I use a conservative estimate of 3% of the
population for those who have severe symptoms, and this
is based on the population in Sweden who have registered
as being electrohypersensitive (4). Another 35% popula-
tion may have mild to moderate symptoms of EHS when
exposed to electrosmog (5). Based on these percentages,
the cumulative number of people who may be adversely
affected in Canada, the USA, and Europe is 25 million, for
severe sensitivity (EHS), and another 300 million, for mild
to moderate sensitivity (electrosensitivity). People in this
latter group can function in an electrosmog environment
but may develop headaches or have difficulty sleeping
and are living a life compromised by increasingly poor
health as a consequence of their exposure (Figure 2).
Historically, environmental contaminants have
been presented as contentious issues due, in part, to
the media’s need for “balanced reporting” and, in part,
to the economic consequences of altering our behavior
as consumers. This was certainly the case with asbestos,
dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), lead, mercury,
acid rain, and tobacco smoke and is currently the case
with climate change and EHS.
EHS may be viewed as a contentious issue, yet a
growing number of international experts, scientists, and
medical doctors have been asking governments and inter-
national agencies for decades to lower existing guidelines
for RF radiation because the current guidelines do not
protect public health. Table 1 provides a list of some of
these resolutions and appeals.
Some governments have heeded the warnings and
have exposure guidelines that are a fraction of those rec-
ommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and
accepted by the USA, UK, and Canada.
The WHO held an international workshop on electro-
sensitivity in Prague in 2004 (6), and they defined EHS as
follows:
“… 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 gener-
ally several orders of magnitude under the limits in internation-
ally accepted standards.”
What role should the WHO and other leading health
authorities play in helping these sensitive individual?
Some would advocate, at the very least, lower exposure
1980
0
5
10
Hallberg and Oberfeld 2006
Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine 25: 189–191.
y=1E-226e0.2608x
R2=0.9425
Extrapolation to 2017: 50% population
Percentage of EHS
15
Austria
California
England
Germany
Ireland
Sweden
1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Figure 3Estimated prevalence of self-proclaimed EHS in various countries [based on the work of Hallberg and Oberfeld (3)].
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78Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS
limits and possibly places where the radiation is not
allowed, similar to smoke-free environments. Instead,
the WHO recommended that this illness be referred to as
“idiopathic illness”, which basically means the cause is
unknown. By refusing to acknowledge the cause, theWHO
undermines the need for governing agencies to act.
In contrast to the WHO, the Austrian Medical Associa-
tion (7) came out with guidelines to help doctors diagnose
and treat those who experience EHS. In that document,
they recognize that there is a rise in stress-related illness
and that electrosmog may play a role. They even provide
a temporary code (Z58.4, exposure to radiation) under the
International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition to be
used for EMF syndrome, which is their term for EHS.
A group of psychologists considers EHS to be entirely
a psychologic illness rather than a physiologic response
to electrosmog (8, 9). A number of the articles reviewed by
Rubin etal. are based on flawed assumptions about (1) who
is truly experiencing EHS, (2) how people with EHS respond
to exposure, (3) what frequencies and intensities they
respond to, (3) how quickly they respond and recover fol-
lowing exposure, and (3) how the data should be analyzed.
These flawed assumptions lead to flawed conclusions.
For example, not everyone who believes they have
EHS actually have EHS. Thus, combing the results for the
self-proclaimed “EHS group” is likely to dilute the results,
producing no significant effect when analyzed statisti-
cally. The question that is being tested by this type of
analysis is, “Do those who believe to be electrically sensi-
tive all respond the same way to provocation testing?” and
the answer is likely to be “no”.
In the study by Rea et al. (10) of 100 people who
believed they were electrically hypersensitive, only 16
responded consistently to real exposure and not to sham
exposure. Had the results been statistically analyzed for
the entire 100 subjects tested, they would have shown
no effect of EMF exposure. Objective testing is required,
and people should be assessed as individuals rather than
members of a group for analysis. An analogous situation
is if there were 16 people with diabetes among a group of
100 people who all thought they were diabetic. Statistical
analysis of blood sugar measurements before and after
consuming a standard meal for the entire group would
likely miss the 16 people with diabetes.
The proper way to test for EHS is to monitor and assess
individual responses to electrosmog exposure in a double-
blind study, as was done by Rea etal. (10).
However, it is clear that those who experience EHS
and are no longer able to live a “normal” life and who are
not supported by their family, friends, and physicians also
experience stress leading to psychologic problems includ-
ing depression and anxiety disorders. Where I disagree
with Rea etal. (10) about EHS is that I believe the physi-
ologic response precedes the psychologic problem.
In this article, examples of the effects of electro smog
on the blood, heart, and autonomic nervous system (ANS)
are provided, indicating that EHS is a physiologic response
to electromagnetic pollution. The only legitimate use of
the term “idiopathic” (i.e., disease or disorder that has no
known cause) is in reference to the trigger that initiated
the electromagnetic sensitivity. In some cases, with good
medical investigation, this also can be surmised.
Table 1Appeals and resolutions from international groups of scientists and medical doctors.
Resolution/group Country Year Link
Salzburg Resolution Austria  http://www.magdahavas.com/international-experts-perspective-on-the-health-
effects-of-electromagnetic-fields-emf-and-electromagnetic-radiation-emr/
Catania Resolution Italy  www.emrpolicy.org/faq/catania.pdf
Freiburger Appeal Germany  http://www.magdahavas.com/international-experts-perspective-on-the-health-
effects-of-electromagnetic-fields-emf-and-electromagnetic-radiation-emr/
World Health Organization Czech
Republic
 http://www.who.int/peh-emf/meetings/hypersensitivity_prague/en/
Irish Doctors’ Environmental
Association
Ireland  www.ideaireland.org
Helsinki Appeal Finland  www.emrpolicy.org/headlines/helsinki_appeal_.pdf
Benevento Resolution Italy  http://www.icems.eu/docs/BeneventoResolution_REVISED_march.pdf
BioInitiative Report USA  and

www.bioinitiative.org
Venice Appeal Italy  http://www.icems.eu/resolution.htm
Porto Alegre Brazil  http://www.icems.eu/docs/resolutions/Porto_Alegre_Resolution.pdf
Seletun Norway  http://www.magdahavas.com/international-experts-perspective-on-the-health-
effects-of-electromagnetic-fields-emf-and-electromagnetic-radiation-emr/
International Doctors Appeal Germany  http://www.icems.eu/resolution.htm
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Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS79
Electrosmog affects the blood
Healthy blood consists of erythrocytes (red blood cells),
which are round and which float freely in the plasma.
A live blood sample, consisting of a drop of blood from
a finger prick, can be viewed under the microscope, as
shown in Figure 4. Changes in the size, shape, and clump-
ing of these erythrocytes can indicate impaired health.
Figure 4 shows live blood (blood without any chemi-
cals added to it) in an electromagnetically clean environ-
ment (A) and the blood from the same person spoke on a
cordless phone for 10min (B) and after using a wired com-
puter for 70min (C). The erythrocytes are sticking together
and resemble a stack of coins. This is known as rouleau for-
mation and indicates unhealthy blood.
Usually rouleau is caused by an increased fibrinogen
concentration or other changes in plasma proteins as in
multiple myeloma or macroglobulinemia. An alternative
explanation is that the rouleau may be due to a reduction
in the electrical potential at the cell membrane, which
would weaken the repellent forces between cells. A third
possibility is that it is a microscopic artifact, which, in
this case, is unlikely because the results are repeatable.
Research on the mechanisms involved in the rouleau for-
mation is needed.
With rouleau formation, the surface area of the red
blood cells is significantly reduced, and the release of
nutrients and the removal of waste products are compro-
mised. Symptoms may include headaches, difficulty con-
centrating, dizziness, nausea, heart and blood pressure
problems as well as cold, numbness, or tingling sensation
in the extremities (hands and feet).
The good news is that live blood analysis may be a
useful diagnostic for EHS. How quickly the blood clumps
and how quickly it recovers following exposure may be a
good indicator of the degree of sensitivity.
Electrosmog affects the heart and
the autonomic nervous system
Some people who are electrically hypersensitive complain
of pain or pressure in the chest area, heart palpitations,
Low electrosmog
Wired computerCordless phone
A
BC
Figure 4Live blood cells in a low-electrosmog environment (A), after using a cordless phone for 10min (B), and after using a wired
computer for 70min (C).
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80Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS
and/or an irregular heartbeat, accompanied by feelings
of anxiety that develop rapidly. The symptoms resemble
a heart attack and thus contribute to even more anxiety.
To test the effect of electrosmog on the heart, Havas
et al. (11) designed a simple experiment where subjects
were exposed to electromagnetic radiation generated by
the base of a cordless phone. This was a double-blind
study with randomized real and sham exposure. A cord-
less phone base station was selected as the source of
exposure because the base emits a constant beacon signal
when it is plugged into an electrical outlet. The beacon
signal in this case was a pulsed frequency of 2.4 GHz, the
same frequency used in WiFi.
In the original study (11), 25 subjects from Colorado
were tested, and although most subjects did not react
adversely to the radiation from the cordless phone base
station (see Figure 5, subject A), a few did react with either
tachycardia (rapid heart rate) or arrhythmia (irregular
heart rate) (Figure 5, subject B). The reaction was often
immediate and coincided with exposure to the radiation.
When the radiation ceased, the heart returned to normal.
Two examples of responsive subjects are provided.
The heart rate of subject B increased from a resting heart
rate of 68 beats per minute (bpm) to a rapid 122 bpm
during exposure, decreased to 66 bpm as soon as the radi-
ation was stopped, and increased to 129 bpm when it was
resumed. This reaction occurred while the subject was
resting in a supine position and was unaware of when he
or she was or was not exposed.
During the exposure to radiation from the cordless
phone base station, subject C (Figure 6) experienced
a slight increase in heart rate (from 65 to 86 bpm), an
irregular heartbeat, and changes in the response of the
sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system (SNS
and PNS, respectively). This upregulation of the SNS and
downregulation of the PNS is an example of the “fight-
or-flight” response, indicating physiologic stress. During
periods of this type of stress, the body redirects most of
the blood and energy from the internal organs to the arms
and legs to prepare the organism for fighting or fleeing a
stressful situation. Intermittent exposure may not cause a
problem but if the exposure is continuous and long-term,
the immune system of the body will be compromised and
the body will not be able to repair itself, resulting in symp-
toms that are commonly experienced by those who are
electrically hypersensitive. This inability to heal is what
then accelerates the symptoms of aging (i.e., RAS).
The level of radiation in this experiment was well
below international guidelines. Subjects were exposed
to 3μW/cm2, or 0.3% of the guidelines recommended by
International Centre for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protec-
tion (ICNIRP), the Federal Communication Commission
(in US) (FCC), and Health Canada for 2.4-GHz frequencies.
According to these organizations, harmful biologic effects
do not occur below these thermal guidelines. Both blood
and heart results from these provocation experiments
indicate otherwise, i.e., that biologic effects that can have
serious health implications do occur at levels well below
current thermal guidelines.
The cordless phone provocation study has since been
repeated for a larger group of subjects and shows similar
results (12).
Some suggested that the radiation from the cord-
less phone was interfering with the technology rather
than the heart. If this were the case, then 100% of the
subjects would have had similar results because the
Figure 5Rhythmograph of HRV during provocation with a digital 2.4-GHz cordless phone and sham exposure. The x-axis unit is time, with
each stage lasting approximately 3 min. The y-axis is the R-R interval (in seconds).
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Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS81
electromagnetic interference (EMI) would have been
consistent rather than highly variable and individualis-
tic. Additional testing of higher levels of radiation at the
sensor did not affect the heart rate variability (HRV) of a
subject who was nonresponsive to the original levels. Had
it been EMI, then higher levels of exposure should have
had a greater response, but this was not the case (12).
One subject (52-year-old man) told us that he normally
experiences a delayed reaction to electrosmog exposure,
and thus we monitored him for 30min postexposure and
observed the delayed response during a period of no expo-
sure. The response included periods of short-term and
intermittent irregularity in the R-R interval (HRV) as well
as episodic downregulation of both the SNS and the PNS,
which were both low to begin with (12). The normally low
heart rate, 53–55 bpm, began to increase slightly (61bpm)
25min postexposure.
WiFi in schools affects student
health
Students in schools with WiFi are complaining of head-
aches, difficulty concentrating, weakness, and heart pal-
pitations, prompting their parents to take them to their
family doctor and to their pediatric cardiologist to deter-
mine the nature of their problem.
In one Ontario school district, several students com-
plained of heart problems. A 6-year-old girl had a “musical
Figure 6Rhythmograph of HRV and functioning of the SNS and PNS
during provocation with digital 2.4-GHz cordless phone and sham
exposure.
heart”, and she experienced headaches and dizziness
only at school. A 12-year-old boy had tachycardia (rapid
heart rate). A 12-year-old girl experienced nausea, vomit-
ing, no fever, insomnia, blurred vision, and tachycardia
only at school. A 13-year-old boy had a pounding heart,
insomnia, and headaches. His family moved to a different
school district, and his symptoms disappeared.
In the same area, 4 students had sudden cardiac
arrests (SCA) during exercise class within a 2-year period.
Two of these students were resuscitated. The annual rate
for SCA among young people in Canada is approximately
7per year; hence, 4 in a small community is unusual.
According to Sinatra (13), a cardiologist, Wolff-Par-
kinson-White (WPW) syndrome, which is a disorder of
the conduction system of the heart, is present in 1 out of
700 students. In a school district with 50,000 students, as
many as 70 may have this generally undiagnosed condi-
tion. According to Sinatra (13), when students with WPW
syndrome are exercising and are exposed to microwave
radiation, the combined stress on the heart can lead to
supraventricular tachycardia, thus creating the “perfect
storm”.
Fortunately, due to the Defibrillator Access Act,
schools and other public buildings are installing defi-
brillators. What they should also be doing is trying to
determine what is causing SCA and why students are com-
plaining of headaches and heart palpitations at school. A
key question that needs to be asked is, “What role does
RF radiation from a school’s WiFi system and from nearby
cell phone base stations play in these symptoms?”
The effects of microwave radiation on the heart have
been known for decades (14). In a 1969 symposium on the
biological effects and health implications of microwave
radiation, the authors clearly state that, “In the interest
of occupational hygiene…researchers have recommended
that cardiovascular abnormalities be used as screening
criteria to exclude people from occupations involving
radio-frequency exposures”. Perhaps students need to
be screened at school to ensure that they do not have an
underlying heart condition that may be exacerbated with
WiFi microwave exposure.
According to Drezner et al. (15), out-of-hospital SCA
among young people is on the rise in the USA, although
doctors do not know the reason. The increasing exposure
to electrosmog may be to blame for at least part of this
increase. More research is urgently needed in this area.
Children are much more sensitive to environmental
toxins than are adults, and as such, there should be stricter
guidelines for exposure. To date, at least nine countries have
issued warnings that children should limit their use of cell
phones. These countries include the UK (2000), Germany
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82Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS
(2007), France (2008), Russia (2008), India (2008), Belgium
(2008), Finland (2009), the USA (2009), and Canada (2012).
The same warning should be issued for children exposed to
wireless games and WiFi routers, depending on the amount
of time students are exposed to these emitters.
WiFi routers emit a beacon signal that is continuous
as long as the device is activated. In other words, you do
not have to be connected to the Internet to be exposed
to the radiation generated by the wireless router. When
information is either uploaded or download, the radiation
levels increase both at the router and at the computer. The
same is true for cordless phones and wireless baby moni-
tors. Voice-activated baby monitors and cordless phones
that radiate only when in use are available in Europe but
are not currently available in North America.
Historic research on microwave
illness resembles current research
on electrohypersensitivity
The information provided in this article is not new.
Reviews as far back as 1969 summarized the effects of
microwave radiation and identified many of the same
symptoms. Dodge (16) reviewed the Soviet and Eastern
European literature and reported that microwave radia-
tion affects the central nervous system, ANS (as shown
here), neurohumoral systems, endocrine glands and func-
tions, eye and ocular function, blood and hematopoietic
system (as shown here), and miscellaneous organs.
Dodge (16) identified general subjective complaints
resulting from exposure to electromagnetic radiation
(Table2) that are similar to the symptoms experienced by
those who live near cell phone base stations (Figure 2). The
major difference is that Dodge was reviewing symptoms for
men who were occupationally exposed, whereas Santini
et al. (2) was documenting symptoms for those who lived
near cell phone antennas and were exposed to radiation in
their own homes and as such were unable to avoid exposure.
Glaser (17) reviewed the literature on the biologic
effects of microwave radiation and provided more than
2000 references in 1972. Although many of these studies
were conducted at levels above existing guidelines, we
are getting similar results at levels of microwave radiation
that are well below these guidelines.
Most revealing are the “psychophysiologic disorders”
based on human behavioral studies. These disorders
include the following and are similar to those reported by
Santini et al. (2): neurasthenia (general “bad” feeling),
depression, impotence, anxiety, lack of concentration,
hypochondria, dizziness, hallucinations, sleepiness,
insomnia, increased irritability, decreased appetite, loss
of memory, scalp sensations, increased fatigability, chest
pain, and tremor of the hands.
Both Glaser and Dodge worked for the US Navy and
had access to information that was later declassified. In
one limited-edition (only 15 copies were produced) docu-
ment, Pollack and Healer (18) recommended that the
power density guideline in the USA be reduced from 10,000
μW/cm2 to the same level used in the Soviet Union (10 μW/
cm2), but little attention was paid to this recommendation.
Table 2Subjective symptoms associated with RF and microwave radiation.
General subjective complaints resulting from exposure
toelectromagnetic radiation ()
Symptoms experienced “very often” by those who
live within m of a cell phone base station ()
Similar symptoms
Pain in head and eyes Headaches and visual disruptions
Weakness, weariness, and dizziness Dizziness and fatigue
Depression, antisocial tendencies, and general irritability Depression and irritability
Impairment of memory and general mental function Memory loss
Adenoma and inability to make decisions Difficulty concentrating
Chest pain and heart palpitation Cardiovascular
Dyspepsia, epigastric pain, and loss of appetite Loss of appetite
Sensitivity of mechanical stimulation and dermagraphism Skin problems
Different symptoms
Lacrimation Irritability
Hypochondria, sense of fear, and general tension Nausea
Inhibition of sex life (male) Movement difficulties
Scalp sensations and hair loss Hearing disruption
Trembling of eyelids, tongue, and fingers Sleep disturbance
Asthma Feeling of discomfort
Brittle fingernails
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Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS83
Years later, the power density guideline in the USA was
reduced from 10,000 to 1000 μW/cm2, although this was
still based on thermal effects.
Where do we go from here?
If we do nothing about guidelines and allow WiFi to be
installed in schools, if we allow WiMax to come into
neighborhoods as part of the 4G network, if we allow
wireless smart meters to be installed on homes, and if we
fail to regulate the technology in a way that minimizes
microwave exposure, then many more people are likely to
become ill and some will die (Figure 7).
If we choose to minimize exposure by establishing
biologically based guidelines rather than the current
thermal guidelines, by encouraging wired Internet access
in schools, universities, hospitals, workplaces, and
homes, by installing wired smart meters, and by estab-
lishing RF-free zones for those who are highly sensitive,
then we can reverse much of the damage that has been
inflicted (Figure 7).
The choice is ours, and the real question is, “Do we
have the foresight and courage to make the right decision
or will we require a health tsunami before we act?”
Received April 23, 2013; accepted July 24, 2013
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• Do nothing about guidelines
• Wi-Fi in schools
• WiMax communities (4G network)
• Wireless smart meters
• Cordless phones
• Wireless baby monitors, etc.
Present situation
No/low effect mark
Future ... ?
Serious health issue
• Lower guidelines
• Wired routers in schools
• Establish RF-free zones
• Wired smart meters
• Manufacture “low electrosmog” appliances...
Figure 7Two future health scenarios based on the steps we take or fail to take to reduce electrosmog exposure.
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84Havas: Heart, blood, and ANS
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Institute for Defense Analysis, Research and Engineering
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Conference Paper
This is a replication of a study that we previously conducted in Colorado with 25 subjects designed to test the effect of electromagnetic radiation 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 mW/cm 2). A few participants had a severe reaction to the radiation 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 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. Orthostatic HRV testing combined with provocation testing may provide a diagnostic tool for some sufferers of EHS when they are exposed to electromagnetic emitting devices. The protocol used underestimates reaction to electromagnetic radiation for those who have a delayed autonomic nervous system reaction and it may under diagnose those who have adrenal exhaustion as their ability to mount a response to a stressor is diminished.
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More than 2300 references on the biological responses to radio frequency and microwave radiation, published up to April 1972, are included in this bibliography of the world literature. Particular attention has been paid to the effects on man on non-ionizing radiation at these frequencies. The citations are arranged alphabetically by author, and contain as much information as possible so as to assure effective retrieval of the original documents. Soviet and East European literature is included in detail. An outline of the effects which have been attributed to radio frequency and microwave radiation is included as Chapter 1. The revised report (which supersedes DDC report AD-734 391) is updated with the inclusion of three supplementary listings, and has incorporated many corrections and additions to the original 2100 citations.
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A multiphase study was performed to find an effective method to evaluate electromagnetic field (EMF) sensitivity of patients. The first phase developed criteria for controlled testing using an environment low in chemical, particulate, and EMF pollution. Monitoring devices were used in an effort to ensure that extraneous EMF would not interfere with the tests. A second phase involved a single-blind challenge of 100 patients who complained of EMF sensitivity to a series of fields ranging from 0 to 5 MHz in frequency, plus 5 blank challenges. Twenty-five patients were found who were sensitive to the fields, but did not react to the blanks. These were compared in the third phase to 25 healthy naive volunteer controls. None of the volunteers reacted to any challenge, active or blank, but 16 of the EMF-sensitive patients (64%) had positive signs and symptoms scores, plus autonomic nervous system changes. In the fourth phase, the 16 EMF-sensitive patients were rechallenged twice to the frequencies to which they were most sensitive during the previous challenge. The active frequency was found to be positive in 100% of the challenges, while all of the placebo tests were negative. we concluded that this study gives strong evidence that electromagnetic field sensitivity exists, and can be elicited under environmentally controlled conditions.
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.
Article
Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) is a controversial illness in which people report symptoms that they believe are triggered by exposure to EMF. Double-blind experiments have found no association between the presence of EMF and self-reported outcomes in people with IEI-EMF. No systematic review has assessed whether EMF exposure triggers physiological or cognitive changes in this group. Using a systematic literature search, we identified 29 single or double-blind experiments in which participants with IEI-EMF were exposed to different EMF levels and in which objectively measured outcomes were assessed. Five studies identified significant effects of exposure such as reduced heart rate and blood pressure, altered pupillary light reflex, reduced visual attention and perception, improved spatial memory, movement away from an EMF source during sleep and altered EEG during sleep. In most cases, these were isolated results that other studies failed to replicate. For the sleep EEG findings, the results reflected similar changes in the IEI-EMF participants and a non-IEI-EMF control group. At present, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that people with IEI-EMF experience unusual physiological reactions as a result of exposure to EMF. This supports suggestions that EMF is not the main cause of their ill health.