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Polarization: A Key Difference between Man-made and Natural Electromagnetic Fields, in regard to Biological Activity



In the present study we analyze the role of polarization in the biological activity of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)/Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). All types of man-made EMFs/EMR - in contrast to natural EMFs/EMR - are polarized. Polarized EMFs/EMR can have increased biological activity, due to: 1) Ability to produce constructive interference effects and amplify their intensities at many locations. 2) Ability to force all charged/polar molecules and especially free ions within and around all living cells to oscillate on parallel planes and in phase with the applied polarized field. Such ionic forced-oscillations exert additive electrostatic forces on the sensors of cell membrane electro-sensitive ion channels, resulting in their irregular gating and consequent disruption of the cell's electrochemical balance. These features render man-made EMFs/EMR more bioactive than natural non-ionizing EMFs/EMR. This explains the increasing number of biological effects discovered during the past few decades to be induced by man-made EMFs, in contrast to natural EMFs in the terrestrial environment which have always been present throughout evolution, although human exposure to the latter ones is normally of significantly higher intensities/energy and longer durations. Thus, polarization seems to be a trigger that significantly increases the probability for the initiation of biological/health effects.
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
Polarization: A Key Dierence
between Man-made and Natural
Electromagnetic Fields, in regard
to Biological Activity
Dimitris J. Panagopoulos1,2,3, Olle Johansson4 & George L. Carlo5
In the present study we analyze the role of polarization in the biological activity of Electromagnetic
Fields (EMFs)/Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). All types of man-made EMFs/EMR - in contrast to
natural EMFs/EMR - are polarized. Polarized EMFs/EMR can have increased biological activity, due to:
1) Ability to produce constructive interference eects and amplify their intensities at many locations.
2) Ability to force all charged/polar molecules and especially free ions within and around all living
cells to oscillate on parallel planes and in phase with the applied polarized eld. Such ionic forced-
oscillations exert additive electrostatic forces on the sensors of cell membrane electro-sensitive ion
channels, resulting in their irregular gating and consequent disruption of the cell’s electrochemical
balance. These features render man-made EMFs/EMR more bioactive than natural non-ionizing
EMFs/EMR. This explains the increasing number of biological eects discovered during the past few
decades to be induced by man-made EMFs, in contrast to natural EMFs in the terrestrial environment
which have always been present throughout evolution, although human exposure to the latter ones
is normally of signicantly higher intensities/energy and longer durations. Thus, polarization seems
to be a trigger that signicantly increases the probability for the initiation of biological/health eects.
Man-Made EMR is more Active biologically than Natural Non-Ionizing EMR. A large
and increasing number of studies during the past few decades have indicated a variety of adverse
biological eects to be triggered by exposure to man-made EMFs, especially of radio frequency
(RF)/microwaves, and extremely low frequency (ELF). e recorded biological eects range from alter-
ations in the synthesis rates and intracellular concentrations of dierent biomolecules, to DNA and pro-
tein damage, which may result in cell death, reproductive declines, or even cancer1–7. Under the weight of
this evidence the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classied both ELF magnetic
elds and RF EMFs as possibly carcinogenic to humans8,9. e intensities of radiation and durations
of exposure in all these studies were signicantly smaller than those of corresponding exposures from
natural EMFs in the terrestrial environment. Moreover, the eld intensities applied in the studies were
several orders of magnitude smaller than physiological elds in cell membranes, or elds generated by
nerve and muscle excitations10,11.
Solar EMR intensity incident upon a human body ranges normally between 8 and 24 mW/cm2
(depending on season, atmospheric conditions, geographical location, etc) while corresponding intensity
from a digital mobile phone handset upon a human head during “talk” emission is normally less than
1National Center for Scientic Research “Demokritos”, Athens, Greece. 2Department of Biology, University of
Athens, Greece. 3Radiation and Environmental Biophysics Research Centre, Greece. 4Experimental Dermatology
Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. 5The Science and Public Policy
Institute, Institute for Healthful Adaptation, Washington, DC, USA. Correspondence and requests for materials
should be addressed to D.J.P. (email:
Received: 24 February 2015
Accepted: 07 September 2015
Published: 12 October 2015
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
0.2 mW/cm2 (Refs. 6,12,13). Similarly, terrestrial electric and magnetic elds, or infrared radiation from
every human body at normal temperature, have signicantly larger incident intensities and exposure
durations on any human than most articial EMF sources14–16. Why is then the rst benecial while
the latter seem to be detrimental? In the present study we shall attempt to explain theoretically that
the increased adverse biological action of man-made EMFs is due to the fact that they are polarized in
contrast to the natural ones.
Man-Made EMR is Polarized, while Natural EMR is not. A eld/wave is called linearly polarized
when it oscillates on a certain plane which is called the “polarization plane”. A combination of linearly
polarized elds/waves can give circularly or elliptically polarized elds/waves.
Natural EMR/EMFs (cosmic microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, gamma rays) and several
forms of articially triggered electromagnetic emissions (such as from light bulbs with thermal la-
ments, gas discharge lamps, x-rays, lasers, etc.) are not polarized. ey are produced by large numbers
of molecular, atomic, or nuclear transitions of random orientation and random phase dierence between
them (except for the lasers which are coherent). ese are de-excitations of molecules, atoms, or atomic
nuclei17. Each photon they consist of oscillates on a distinct random plane, and therefore it has a dierent
polarization. Moreover the dierent photons are not produced simultaneously but they have random
phase dierences among them.
In contrast, man-made electromagnetic waves are produced by electromagnetic oscillation circuits
(“omson” circuits), forcing free electrons to oscillate back and forth along a metal wire (electric cir-
cuit). us, they are not produced by excitations/de-excitations of molecules, atoms, or nuclei, and
because the electronic oscillations take place in specic directions/orientations they are polarized (most
usually linearly polarized). e plane of polarization is determined by the geometry of the circuit. [Lasers
are coherent light emissions, not necessarily polarized, and condensed within a narrow beam with high
intensity, but they may also be polarized]. Superposition of two elds of identical frequency and linear
polarizations, equal amplitudes, and a phase dierence 90° between them, or superposition of three such
elds with a phase dierence 120° between each two of them, and with specic geometrical arrangement,
results in a circularly polarized eld of the same frequency. e above combinations with unequal ampli-
tudes results in elliptically polarized eld of the same frequency18. Circularly and elliptically polarized
50–60 Hz electric and magnetic elds are formed around 3-phase electric power transmission lines. ese
elds are accused for an association with cancer7,8.
Oscillating polarized EMFs/EMR (in contrast to unpolarized) have the ability to induce coherent
forced-oscillations on charged/polar molecules within a medium. In case that the medium is biological
tissue, the result is that all charged molecules will be forced to oscillate in phase with the eld and on
planes parallel to its polarization19,20. Several oscillating electromagnetic elds of the same polarization -
such as the elds from dierent antennas vertically oriented - may also produce constructive interference
eects and thus, amplify at certain locations the local eld intensity, and the amplitude of oscillation
of any charged particle within the medium (and within living tissue). At such locations, living tissue
becomes more susceptible to the initiation of biological eects21.
Only coherent polarized elds/waves of the same polarization and frequency are able to produce
standing interference eects (fringes of maximum and minimum intensity)22. When the polarization is
xed (e.g. vertically oriented antennas) but there are dierences in coherence and/or frequency between
the sources, the interference eects are not standing at xed locations, but change with time creating
transient peaks at changing locations.
Natural light from two or more dierent sources does not produce interference eects, except under
the specic conditions of the Young experiment, where the light from a single source passes through two
identical slits which - in turn - become two identical-coherent secondary sources18,23.
Unpolarized electromagnetic radiation can become polarized when it passes through anisotropic
media, as are certain crystals. In uids (gases and liquids) the molecules are randomly oriented, and
macroscopically are considered isotropic inducing no polarization in the electromagnetic waves trans-
mitted through them. Unpolarized natural light can become partly polarized to a small average degree
aer diraction on atmospheric molecules, or reection on water, mirrors, metallic surfaces, etc.18. us,
living creatures exposed to natural radiation since the beginning of life on Earth, although have been
exposed to partially polarized light at a small average degree under certain circumstances24,25, have never
been exposed to totally polarized radiation as is EMR/EMFs of modern human technology.
Field Intensity versus Wave Intensity of electromagnetic waves. A plane harmonic electro-
magnetic wave in the vacuum or the air has electric and magnetic eld intensity components, given by
the equations:
ω=(−) ()
EE kr tsin1
ω=(−) ()
BB kr tsin2
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
r is the distance from the source, t is the time, ω = 2πν = kw · c, is the circular frequency of the wave (ν
the frequency), and kw(= 2π/λ) is the wave number (λ the wavelength).
e velocity of the electromagnetic wave (and of any wave), is:
e wave intensity
(“Poynting vector”), is:
JcEcEB 4
And the average value of its amplitude:
us, the wave intensity depends upon the square of the electric eld intensity.
Superposition of Electromagnetic Waves/Fields
Superposition of Unpolarized EMR/EMFs. Consider two incoherent, unpolarized electromagnetic
rays with electric components E1, E2, reaching a certain point P in space at a certain moment t in time.
Let us assume for simplicity that the two waves are plane harmonic. e two vectors
due to the
dierent polarizations oscillate on dierent planes. Since the two waves are not polarized, their polariza-
tions vary randomly with time. e total angle φ between the two vectors each moment is determined
by the dierent polarizations, plus the dierent phases, and varies randomly in time.
e resultant electric eld
(electric component of the resultant electromagnetic wave) each moment
at point P, is given by the equation:
EEEEE2cos 6
E varies with time due to the temporal variations of E1, E2, cos φ. But the average value of cos φ is zero:
and the averages of E2,
, and
are /
, /
and /
respectively (E0, E01, E02 the amplitudes of
E, E1, E2).
e average resultant electric eld is then:
=(+)=+(= )EEEEEE
or constant
and (according to Eq.5):
=+(= )()
JJ Jconstant
aveave ave12
Even when the two component waves have the same frequency and phase, due to the randomly
changing polarizations, the result is still the same.
us, the total time average wave intensity due to the superposition of two (or more) rays of random
polarizations (natural EMR/EMFs) is the sum of the two individual average intensities, and it is con-
stant at every point and - macroscopically - there is no local variation in the resultant intensity, i.e. no
interference eects.
Wave Intensity versus Field Intensity of Unpolarized EMR. Although the sum average wave
intensity due to superposition of natural unpolarized waves is the sum of individual average intensities
each one depending on the square amplitude of individual electric eld (Eq. 7), the sum electric eld
from an innite number of individual waves (as e.g. with natural light), is zero:
=+++…+ =
Let us explain this in more detail: Consider many photons of natural unpolarized light superposed
on each other at a particular point in space. Let us assume for simplicity that these photons have equal
amplitudes and are of the same frequency but have dierent polarizations meaning that their electric
vectors have all possible orientations forming angles between each two of them from 0° to 360°. Since all
possible orientations have equal probabilities, the superposition of a large number of such equal vectors
applied on the same point in space will be the sum of vectors applied on the centre of a sphere with
their ends equally distributed around the surface of the sphere. e sum of an innite number of such
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
vectors (all applied on the same point – centre of the sphere – and with their ends evenly distributed at
all points of the sphere surface) tends to become zero.
In other words, at any given location, any moment, the sum electric eld of a large number of incident
photons of random polarization tends to be null, since the individual vectors are in all possible directions
diminishing each other when superimposed (destructive interference of electric vectors). Similarly for
the sum magnetic eld:
us, the result of superposition of a large number of incident natural waves is increased wave inten-
sity, but negligible electric and magnetic elds approaching zero with innite number of individual
waves/photons. Since the electric forces on charged particles depend directly on electric and magnetic
eld intensities
(, )
, but not on the wave intensity
, unpolarized EMFs/EMR cannot induce any net
forced-oscillations on any charged particles (e.g. biological molecules). ey may only induce heat, i.e.
random oscillations in all possible directions due to momentary non-zero eld intensities, but this does
not result to any net electric or magnetic eld, or to any net forced-oscillation of charged molecules.
Superposition of Coherent Polarized Waves/Fields of the same polarization. When two or
more waves/elds of the same polarization and frequency are in addition coherent, in other words, when
their phase dierence at the location of superposition is:
ϕπ=,(=,,,…), ()
nn2with 123 9
the result is constructive interference, meaning that the resultant wave has an amplitude (intensity) equal
to the sum of amplitudes of the single waves that interfere at the particular location.
When two waves of same polarization have opposite phases at another location, in other words, when
their phase dierence is:
ϕπ=( +),()
n21 10
then the result of their superposition is destructive interference, i.e. a wave of the same polarization but
with diminished intensity.
e electrical components of two such waves (plane harmonic waves of the same polarization and fre-
quency) reaching a certain location aer having run dierent distances r1, and r2 from their two coherent
sources, are given by the equations:
ω=(−) ()
EE kr tsin11
ω=(−) ()
EE kr tsin12
Again, the amplitude E0 of the resultant electric eld
(electric component of the resultant electro-
magnetic wave), is:
EEEEE2cos 13
01 02
depending in this case only upon the dierence in the distances run by the two
waves, and not upon polarization.
At any location where: ϕ = 2nπ, Eq.13 gives:
01 02 01 02
At these locations we have constructive interference.
At any location where: ϕ = (2n + 1)π, Eq. 13 gives:
01 02 01 02
At these locations we have destructive interference.
e intensity of the resultant wave at any location is:
JJ J16
e amplitude of the resultant wave intensity will be, correspondingly:
0001 02
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
(at the locations of constructive interference), and
JcEE 18
0001 02
(at the locations of destructive interference).
us, at the locations of constructive interference, the electric eld vectors of the two waves/elds
are parallel and in the same direction, and both the resultant eld and the resultant wave intensity are
maximum (Eqs.14 and 17).
For two identical sources (E01 = E02): E0 = 2E01 and ε
For N identical sources:
is is why series of parallel RF/microwave antennas are oen used to produce high-intensity beams
in certain directions18.
At the locations of destructive interference the electric eld vectors of the two waves are anti-parallel,
and thus, both the resultant eld and the resultant wave intensity are minimum (Eqs. 15 and 18). For
identical sources (E01 = E02): E = 0, J = 0.
us, for N number of polarized coherent electromagnetic sources of the same polarization, fre-
quency, and dierent intensities, with electric components E1, E2, …, EN, it comes that at the locations
of constructive interference, the resultant electric eld is the sum electric eld from all the individual
sources (e.g. antennas):
=+++…+ ()
e bigger the number of coherent superimposed waves/elds (from the same or dierent sources),
the higher and narrower the peaks18. at situation can create very sharp peaks of wave and eld intensi-
ties at certain locations, not easily detectable by eld meters, where any living organism may be exposed
to peak electric and magnetic eld intensities. Such locations of increased eld/radiation intensity, also
called “hot spots”, were recently detected within urban areas, due to wave/eld superposition from
mobile telephony base towers21. Any location along the midperpendicular to the distance d between two
antennas is a location of constructive interference in the case of two identical antennas.
us, the dierence between superposition of unpolarized and polarized electromagnetic waves/
elds, is that while in the rst case we have increased average wave intensity but zeroed net elds at any
location, in the second case we have increased both wave intensity and elds at certain locations where
constructive interference occurs. is dierence is of crucial importance for understanding the dier-
ences in biological activity between natural and man-made EMFs/non-ionizing EMR.
Induction of Forced-Oscillations in living tissue by Polarized EMFs
All critical biomolecules are either electrically charged or polar11. While natural unpolarised EMF/EMR
at any intensity cannot induce any specic/coherent oscillation on these molecules, polarized man-made
EMFs/EMR will induce a coherent forced-oscillation on every charged/polar molecule within biological
tissue. is is fundamental to our understanding of the biological phenomena. is oscillation will be
most evident on the free (mobile) ions which carry a net electric charge and exist in large concentra-
tions in all types of cells or extracellular tissue determining practically all cellular/biological functions11.
Although all molecules oscillate randomly with much higher velocities due to thermal motion, this has
no biological eect other than increase in tissue temperature. But a coherent polarized oscillation of even
millions of times smaller energy than average thermal molecular energy26 can initiate biological eects.
A forced-oscillation of mobile ions, induced by an external polarized EMF, can result in irregular gat-
ing of electrosensitive ion channels on the cell membranes. at was described in detail in Panagopoulos
et al.19,20. According to this theory - the plausibility of which in actual biological conditions was veried
by numerical test27 - the forced-oscillation of ions in the vicinity of the voltage-sensors of voltage-gated
ion channels can exert forces on these sensors equal to or greater than the forces known to physio-
logically gate these channels. Irregular gating of these channels can potentially disrupt any cell’s elec-
trochemical balance and function11, leading to a variety of biological/health eects including the most
detrimental ones, such as DNA damage, cell death, or cancer28.
Most cation channels (Ca+2, K+, Na+, etc) on the membranes of all animal cells, are voltage-gated11.
ey interconvert between open and closed state, when the electrostatic force on the electric charges of
their voltage sensors due to transmembrane voltage changes, transcends some critical value. e voltage
sensors of these channels are four symmetrically arranged, transmembrane, positively charged helical
domains, each one designated S4. Changes in the transmembrane potential on the order of 30 mV are
normally required to gate electrosensitive channels29,30. Several ions may interact simultaneously each
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
moment with an S4 domain from a distance on the order of 1 nm, since - except for the single ion that
may be passing through the channel pore when the channel is opened - a few more ions are bound close
to the pore of the channel at specic ion-binding sites (e.g. three in potassium channels)31. Details on the
structure and function of cation electrosensitive channels can be found in11,29,31.
Consider e.g. four potassium ions at distances on the order of 1 nm from the channel-sensors (S4),
and an externally applied oscillating EMF/EMR. e electric (and the magnetic) force on each ion due
to any unpolarized eld is zero (Eq.8). In contrast, the force due to a polarized eld with an electrical
component E, is F = Ezqe. For a sinusoidal alternating eld Ε = Ε0 sin ωt, the movement equation of a
free ion of mass mi, is19,20:
λω ω++ =
where r is the ion displacement due to the forced-oscillation, z is the ions valence (z = 1 for potassium
ions), qe = 1.6× 1019 C the elementary charge, λ the damping coecient for the ion displacement (cal-
culated to have a value within a channel
λ≅. ×/
64 10 Kg s
), ω0 = 2πν0 (ν0 the ions oscillation
self-frequency taken equal to the ion’s recorded spontaneous intracellular oscillation frequency on the
order of 0.1 Hz), ω = 2πν (ν the frequency of the eld/radiation), and E0 the amplitude of the eld19,20.
e general solution of Eq.22, is19,20:
e term
0 in the solution, represents a constant displacement, but has no eect on the oscillating
term ω
0. is constant displacement doubles the amplitude
0 of the forced-oscillation at the
moment when the eld is applied or interrupted, or during its rst and last periods, and the ion’s dis-
placement will be twice the amplitude of the forced-oscillation. For pulsed elds (such as most elds of
modern digital telecommunications) this will be taking place constantly with every repeated pulse. us,
pulsed elds are - theoretically - twice more drastic than continuous/non-interrupted elds of the same
other parameters, in agreement with several experimental data1,32.
e amplitude of the forced-oscillation (ignoring the constant term in Eq.23), is:
e force acting on the eective charge q of an S4 domain, via an oscillating single-valence free cation,
2, (r is the distance of the free ion from the eective charge of S4). Each oscillating
cation displaced by dr, induces a force on each S4 sensor:
While in the case of a non-polarized applied eld
dr 0
, and
dF 0
, in the case of a polarized
applied eld, the sum force on the channel sensor from all four cations, is:
is is an even more crucial dierence between polarized and unpolarized EMFs in regard to biological
activity than the ability of interference.
e eective charge of each S4 domain is found to be: q = 1.7 qe30. e minimum force on this charge
required normally to gate the channel - equal to the force generated by a change of 30 mV in the mem-
brane potential30 - is calculated19 to be:
=. ×.
dF 81610N
e displacement of one single-valence cation within the channel, necessary to exert this minimum
force is calculated from Eq.25 to be:
dr 410m
For 4 cations oscillating in phase and on parallel planes due to an external polarized eld/radiation,
the minimum displacement is decreased to: dr = 1012 m.
erefore, any external polarized oscillating EMF able to force free ions to oscillate with amplitude
0, is able to irregularly gate cation channels on cell membranes. For z = 1 (potassium ions),
and substituting the values for qe, λ on the last condition, we get:
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
(ν in Hz, Ε0 in V/m)
For double-valence cations (z = 2) (e.g. Ca+2) the condition becomes,
Ev10 27
(ν in Hz, Ε0 in V/m)
[An in depth description of the briey presented mechanism can be found in19,20.]
For electric power elds (ν = 50 Hz), Condition 27 becomes,
≥. /()E0005Vm 28
us, power frequency EMFs with intensities exceeding 5 mV/m are potentially able to disrupt cell
function. For N number of EMF-sources of the same polarization (e.g. N number of parallel power lines)
the last value is divided by N (according to Eq.19) at the locations of constructive interference, and thus
even more decreased. Such minimum power frequency eld intensity values are abundant in urban daily
environments, and even more close to high-voltage power transmission lines7.
For pulsed elds the second part of Condition 27 is divided by 2, and becomes:
05 10 29
(ν in Hz, Ε0 in V/m).
For digital mobile telephony elds/radiation emitting ELF pulses with a pulse repetition frequency
ν = 217 Hz (among other ELF frequencies they transmit)33, Condition 29 becomes:
≥. /()E001V m30
For the pulse repetition frequency of ν = 8.34 Hz (also included in mobile telephony signals)33,34,
Condition 29 becomes:
≥. /()E00004V m31
As is evident from the described mechanism, the field does not gate the channel by forces exerted
directly on the channel sensors. It would take a field on the order of the transmembrane field
(106–107 V/m) for that. It is the mediation of the oscillating free ions in close proximity to the S4 channel
sensors that allows such weak elds to be able to exert the necessary forces to gate the channel.
us, ELF electric elds emitted by mobile phones and base stations stronger than 0.0004 V/m are
also potentially able to disrupt the function of any living cell. is ELF intensity value is emitted by
regular cell phones at distances up to a few meters and base stations at distances up to a few hundred
meters6,34,35. For N number of mobile telephony antennas vertically oriented, the last value is divided by
N (according to Eq.19) at locations of constructive interference.
We do not distinguish between externally applied EMFs and internally induced ones within living
tissue, especially in the case of ELF for the following reasons: 1. Living tissue is not metal to shield
from electric elds and certainly is not ferromagnetic metal (Fe, Co, Ni) to shield from magnetic elds.
Moreover, it is known that especially ELF elds cannot be easily shielded even by Faraday cages and in
order to signicantly minimize them it is recommended to totally enclose them in closed metal boxes6.
us, ELF electric elds penetrate living tissue with certain degree of attenuation, and magnetic elds
penetrate with zero attenuation. 2. Even in case that the ELF elds are signicantly attenuated in the
inner tissues of a living body, the eyes, the brain, the skin cells, or the myriads of nerve ber terminals
that end up on the outer epidermis, are directly exposed to the eld intensities measured externally on
the surface of the living tissue.
It has been shown that tissue preparations (such as bovine broblasts or chicken tendons) respond
to externally applied pulsed or sinusoidal ELF electric elds (by changes in DNA or protein synthesis
rates, proliferation rates, alignment with respect to the eld direction, etc), at very low thresholds
~103 V/m1,36–38. ese thresholds are very close to those predicted by the present study.
Except for direct electric eld exposure by an external eld, there can be an electric eld within tissues
induced by an externally applied oscillating magnetic one, which as explained penetrates living tissue
with zero attenuation. Tuor et al.34 measured ELF magnetic elds from cell phones on the order of 1 G
(= 104 T) at 217 Hz. is can induce electric elds on the order of ~0.1 V/m within the human body, as
can be shown by application of Maxwell’s law of electromagnetic induction:
BudS 32
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
, the magnetic and the induced electric eld intensities respectively,
an incremental length
along a closed path l of induced electric eld circulation enclosing a surface S.
is the unit vector
vertical to the surface S).
parallel to and independent of l,
vertical to and independent of S, and l a circular
path of radius α including the surface S, Eq.32 becomes:
which gives:
05 33
(Eind in V/m, B in T, α in m).
By replacing in the last equation α = 0.20 m (a reasonably large radius for a circumference within an
adult human body), and
, [according to Tuor et al.34], we get Eind ~ 0.1 V/m. is is the induced
electric eld intensity within a human body by the 217 Hz pulses of mobile telephony, and it is about ten
times larger than the minimum estimated value able to initiate biological eects at this frequency accord-
ing to Condition 30.
In the present study we showed that polarized EMFs/EMR, such as every type of man-made EMF, have
the ability to create interference eects and amplify their eld intensities at specic locations where con-
structive interference occurs, and that this phenomenon cannot occur with natural EMFs/EMR which
are not polarized.
Any location at equal distances from identical sources (antennas), in other words any location along
the midperpendicular to the distance d between the two sources, is a location of constructive interference
and increased eld and wave intensities. As the number of sources (e.g. antennas) increases, the ampli-
cation of the resultant eld intensities (E, B) at certain locations increases too (Eq.19), and for a large
number of sources eld intensities may become very sharp. is explains theoretically the detected “hot
spots” from mobile telephony base stations in urban environments21. e result of eld superposition
at those locations are standing waves (i.e. they do not change with time) when the two or more sources
of the same polarization are in addition coherent (i.e. same frequency, same phase dierence). Within
biological tissue, at those locations of constructive interference we can have increased biological activity
due to the polarized EMFs.
e most usual case is, when the multiple incident elds/waves are of the same polarization but not
coherent (i.e. dierent frequency and/or varying phase dierence), as e.g. the waves from all dierent
radio, television, and mobile telephony antennas vertically oriented. en, the resultant elds/waves are
not standing but timely varying, creating momentary constructive interference at unpredictably dierent
locations each moment. is fact may represent an extraordinary ability of man-made/polarized EMFs
to trigger biological eects.
Using the forced-oscillation mechanism19,20 we showed that the resultant force exerted on the S4
sensors of electrosensitive ion channels on cell membranes by several ions forced to oscillate on parallel
planes and in phase by an applied polarized EMF (and even more by constructively superimposed elds
from several polarized EMF-sources), is able to irregularly gate these channels. e result can then be
the disruption of the cell’s electrochemical balance, leading to a variety of biological/health eects28. is
is in contrast to the null force exerted by any number of ions oscillating on non-parallel random planes
and with dierent phases from each other due to any number of non-polarized applied EMFs, and in
contrast to the null force exerted by the random thermal movement of the same ions20,26.
In experiments testing the role of dierent polarization types on the biological activity of RF
EMR, exposure of E. coli to 51.76 GHz radiation resulted in inhibition of DNA repair when linear or
right-handed circularly polarized radiation was used, while le-handed circularly polarized radiation
caused no eects. Exposure to 41.32 GHz similar EMR was reported to reverse the eect: In this case,
only linear or le-handed circularly polarized radiation inhibited the DNA repair39. In both frequencies,
the right-handed or the le-handed circularly polarized radiation induced a greater eect than the line-
arly polarized radiation. When the structure of the DNA was altered by ethidium bromide intercalation,
a change in intensity of the eect of polarization was reported40. Chromatin condensation (a sign of
cell death) was induced by elliptically polarized 36.65 GHz microwave radiation. e eect increased
with intensity. Right-handed polarization induced a stronger eect than le-handed41. ese experi-
ments show that not only linear but circular and elliptical polarizations are important parameters for
the biological action of EMR, and that molecular structure of biomolecules may be important for the
interaction between polarized EMF and the biological tissue. In all these studies there was no compari-
son with unpolarised eld of identical other parameters, but only comparison between dierent types of
SCIENTIFIC RepoRts | 5:14914 | DOI: 10.1038/srep14914
polarization. Again, it is important to note that circularly and elliptically polarized 50–60 Hz EMFs are
formed around 3-phase power transmission lines.
Experiments with non-polarized and polarized EMFs/EMR of identical other characteristics (inten-
sity, frequency, waveform, etc) on certain biological models should be performed to test the validity of
the present theoretical study. is should be the subject of a future experimental study.
e present theoretical analysis shows that polarized man-made EMFs/EMR can trigger biological
eects while much stronger and of higher energy (frequency) unpolarized EMFs/Non-Ionizing EMR
(e.g. heat, or natural light) cannot.
is is the reason why polarized microwave radiation of maximum power 1 W emitted by a mobile
phone can damage DNA and cause adverse health eects2,3,5,6,35, while non-polarized infrared, visible, and
ultraviolet radiation from a 100 W light bulb, or ~400 W infrared and visible EMR from a human body14,16,
cannot. Similarly with solar EMR the intensity of which incident on a human body (~8–24 mW/cm2) is
hundreds of times higher than radiation intensity incident from e.g. a cell phone on a user’s head/body
during a usual phone-conversation with the handset in touch with the head (less than 0.2 mW/cm2), or
incident intensities from other RF, ELF sources of human technology6,7,12,13. e total daily duration
of human exposure to the sunlight is also much longer normally than the total daily duration of cell
phone exposure during conversations5,6,12,13. Moreover the frequency (energy) of sunlight is also sig-
nicantly larger than any man-made RF or ELF frequencies. Yet, there are no adverse biological eects
due to normal/non-excessive exposure to sunlight. On the contrary, it is benecial and vital/necessary
for human/animal health, in contrast to cell phone radiation. Similarly, there are no adverse biological
eects due to exposure (mainly in the infrared and visible regions) from one human body to another
(with an incident intensity ~20 mW/cm2)16. Although all animals on Earth have adapted throughout
evolution to exposures to EMFs from the sun and the earth, these elds are non-polarized (even though
natural light may become partially polarized in a small average degree due to atmospheric scattering
or reections). Moreover, terrestrial electric and magnetic elds are mainly static, emitting very weak
non-polarized ELF radiation due to slight variations in their intensities. However, larger variations on the
order of 20% of their normal intensities due to solar activity with a periodicity of about 11 years result in
increase of human/animal health incidents15. erefore, living organisms on Earth are adapted to natural
(non-polarized or even partially polarized) EMFs since the beginning of life, but not to variations in
their normal intensities on the order of 20%, and thus we would not expect them to adapt to man-made
(totally polarized) EMFs/EMR. e present study explained how this dierence in polarization results in
corresponding dierences in biological activity between natural and man-made EMFs.
Increased biological activity does not necessarily result in observable biological/health eects, since
there are adaptive mechanisms operating at cellular-tissue-organism levels in response to ever occurring
changes. However, these mechanisms may not always be totally eective, especially when the organism
is under additional stress or increased metabolic needs (e.g. sickness, childhood/development, old age,
etc.). en exposure to polarized (man-made) EMFs may considerably increase the probability for the
initiation of adverse health eects. e eect of polarized EMF-exposure may even be benecial in
certain cases of applied static or pulsed electric or magnetic elds of specied orientation and intensi-
ties that enhance the action of endogenous physiological elds within living cells/organisms e.g. during
development, wound healing, bone fracture healing etc.38,42.
e role of polarization in the ability of EMFs/non-ionizing EMR to induce biological eects, as
described in the present study, is - up to today - largely underestimated in the EMF-bioeects literature.
us, we believe that the present study contributes signicantly towards a better understanding of the
mechanisms underlying EMF-bioeects.
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The study was supported by the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, the Irish Doctors
Environmental Association, and the Alliance for Irish Radiation Protection. Dr Panagopoulos wishes
to thank Drs G. Pantelias and A. Stubos at the National Center for Scientic Research “Demokritos”,
Athens, Greece. Prof. Johansson wishes to thank Einar Rasmussen, Norway, and Brian Stein, UK, for
their general support.
Author Contributions
Analyzed the data: D.J.P., O.J. and G.L.C. Wrote and reviewed the paper: D.J.P., O.J. and G.L.C. Conceived
and designed the study: D.J.P. Wrote equations and Performed calculations: D.J.P.
Additional Information
Competing nancial interests: e authors declare no competing nancial interests.
How to cite this article: Panagopoulos, D. J. et al. Polarization: A Key Dierence between Man-made
and Natural Electromagnetic Fields, in regard to Biological Activity. Sci. Rep. 5, 14914; doi: 10.1038/
srep14914 (2015).
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Previous research by the authors indicated that an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) evokes molecular alterations in the porcine myometrium. It was hypothesized that the ELF-EMF could induce alterations in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the myometrium. In the current study, slices of the porcine myometrium during the peri-implantation period (n = 4) were used for further in vitro exposition to ELF-EMF (50 Hz, 8 mT, 2 h treatment duration). The study tested whether the ELF-EMF may affect: 1/the expression of DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a), 2/the level of genomic DNA methylation, and 3/the level of amplification of methylated and unmethylated variants of promoter regions of selected genes with altered expression in response to ELF-EMF. It was found that ELF-EMF treatment increased DNMT1, decreased DNMT3a mRNA transcript and protein abundance, and increased the level of genomic DNA methylation. The direction of alterations in the level of amplification of methylated and unmethylated variants of the promoter region of selected genes with altered expression, i.e. prodynorphin (PDYN), interleukin 15 (IL15) signal transducer and activator of transcription 5A (STAT5A), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and between down-regulated genes were early growth response 2 (EGR2), hyaluronan and proteoglycan link protein 1 (HAPLN1), and uteroferrin associated basic protein-2 (UABP2), mostly involving the direction of changes in their transcriptional activity, which was evaluated in a previous study by the authors. Thus, ELF-EMF radiation disturbs epigenetic mechanisms, which may underlay ELF-EMF-related transcriptomic alterations in the myometrium.
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There is enough evidence to indicate we may be damaging non-human species at ecosystem and biosphere levels across all taxa from rising background levels of anthropogenic non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) from 0 Hz to 300 GHz. The focus of this Perspective paper is on the unique physiology of non-human species, their extraordinary sensitivity to both natural and anthropogenic EMF, and the likelihood that artificial EMF in the static, extremely low frequency (ELF) and radiofrequency (RF) ranges of the non-ionizing electromagnetic spectrum are capable at very low intensities of adversely affecting both fauna and flora in all species studied. Any existing exposure standards are for humans only; wildlife is unprotected, including within the safety margins of existing guidelines, which are inappropriate for trans-species sensitivities and different non-human physiology. Mechanistic, genotoxic, and potential ecosystem effects are discussed.
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While different classes of biological effects of radiation used in modern telecommunications are already confirmed by different experimenters, a lot of contradictory results are also reported. Despite uncertainties, some of the recent results reporting effects show an intriguing agreement between them, although with different biological models and under different laboratory conditions. Such results of exceptional importance and mutual similarity are those reporting DNA damage or oxidative stress induction on reproductive cells of different organisms, resulting in decreased fertility and reproduction. This distinct similarity among results of different researchers makes unlikely the possibility that these results could be wrong. This chapter analyzes and resumes our experimental findings of DNA damage on insect reproductive cells by Global System for Mobile telecommunications (GSM) radiation, compares them with similar recent results on mammalian-human infertility and discusses the possible connection between these findings and other reports regarding tumour induction, symptoms of unwellness, or declines in bird and insect populations. A possible biochemical explanation of the reported effects at the cellular level is attempted. Since microwave radiation is non-ionizing and therefore unable to break chemical bonds, indirect ways of DNA damage are discussed, through enhancement of free radical and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, or irregular release of hydrolytic enzymes. Such events can be initiated by alterations of intracellular ionic concentrations after irregular gating of electrosensitive channels on the cell membranes according to the Ion Forced-Vibration theory that we have previously proposed. This biophysical mechanism seems to be realistic, since it is able to explain all of the reported biological effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), including the so-called "windows" of increased bioactivity reported for many years but remaining unexplained so far, and recorded also in our recent experiments regarding GSM radiation exposure. The chapter also discusses an important dosimetry issue, regarding the use of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a quantity introduced to describe temperature increases within biological tissue (thermal effects), while the recorded biological effects in their vast majority are non-thermal. Finally the chapter attempts to propose some basic precautions and a different way of network design for mobile telephony base station antennas, in order to minimize the exposure of human population and reduce significantly the current exposure limits in order to account for the reported non thermal biological effects.
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In the present chapter we present data showing the electric nature of both our natural environment and the living organisms and how the inevitable interaction between the two, determines health and well-being. We first give a brief theoretical background of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and waves and delineate the differences between natural and man-made electromagnetic radiation. Apart from other differences, while man-made radiation produced by oscillation circuits is polarized, natural radiation produced by atomic events is not. We describe the electromagnetic nature of our natural environment on Earth, i.e. the terrestrial electric and magnetic fields, the natural radiation from the sun and the stars, the cosmic microwaves and the natural radioactivity. We note that all living organisms on Earth live in harmony with these natural fields and types of radiation as long as these fields are within normal levels and are not disturbed by changes, usually in solar activity. We then describe the electrical nature of all living organisms as this is determined by the electrical properties of the cell membranes, the circadian biological clock, the endogenous electric currents within cells and tissues, and the intracellular ionic oscillations. We explain how the periodicity of our natural environment mainly determined by the periodical movement of the earth around its axis and around the sun, implies the periodical function of the suprahiasmatic nuclei (SCN) - a group of neurons located above the optic chiasm - which constitute the central circadian biological clock in mammals. We discuss the probable connection between the central biological clock with the endogenous electric oscillations within cells and organs constituting the "peripheral clocks", and how the central clock controls the function of peripheral ones in the heart, the brain, and all parts of the living body by electrical and chemical signals. We explain how cellular/tissue functions are initiated and controlled by endogenous (intracellular/trans-cellular) weak electric currents consisting of directed free ion flows through the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane, and the connection of these currents with the function of the circadian biological clock. We present experimental data showing that the endogenous electric currents and the corresponding functions they control can be easily varied by externally applied electric or magnetic fields of similar or even significantly smaller intensities than those generating the endogenous currents. We present two possible ways by which external EMFs like those produced by human technology can distort the physiological endogenous electric currents and the corresponding biological/physiological functions: a) By direct interference between the external and the endogenous fields and, b) By alteration of the intracellular ionic concentrations (i.e. by changing the number of electric current carriers within the cells) after irregular gating of electrosensitive ion-channels on the cell membranes. Finally, we discuss how maintenance of this delicate electromagnetic equilibrium between living organisms and their natural environment, determines health and well-being, and how its disturbance will inevitably lead sooner or later to health effects.
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The direct targets of extremely low and microwave frequency range electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in producing non-thermal effects have not been clearly established. However, studies in the literature, reviewed here, provide substantial support for such direct targets. Twenty-three studies have shown that voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) produce these and other EMF effects, such that the L-type or other VGCC blockers block or greatly lower diverse EMF effects. Furthermore, the voltage-gated properties of these channels may provide biophysically plausible mechanisms for EMF biological effects. Downstream responses of such EMF exposures may be mediated through Ca(2+) /calmodulin stimulation of nitric oxide synthesis. Potentially, physiological/therapeutic responses may be largely as a result of nitric oxide-cGMP-protein kinase G pathway stimulation. A well-studied example of such an apparent therapeutic response, EMF stimulation of bone growth, appears to work along this pathway. However, pathophysiological responses to EMFs may be as a result of nitric oxide-peroxynitrite-oxidative stress pathway of action. A single such well-documented example, EMF induction of DNA single-strand breaks in cells, as measured by alkaline comet assays, is reviewed here. Such single-strand breaks are known to be produced through the action of this pathway. Data on the mechanism of EMF induction of such breaks are limited; what data are available support this proposed mechanism. Other Ca(2+) -mediated regulatory changes, independent of nitric oxide, may also have roles. This article reviews, then, a substantially supported set of targets, VGCCs, whose stimulation produces non-thermal EMF responses by humans/higher animals with downstream effects involving Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent nitric oxide increases, which may explain therapeutic and pathophysiological effects.
The increased uses of mobile phones have raised pub lic interest in possible health issues associated w ith exposure to electromagnetic energy. For the speedy transmission and avoiding th e construction of more towers, the single tower can be shared by multiple network operators. The simultaneous exposure to multiple fr equency fields, the sum of all the radiation must b e taken into consideration so the radiation intensity level exceeds by several times than the prescribed guideline. Hence, the public is being exposed to continuous, low intensity radiations from these towers. Present Sur vey has been designed to identify signal strength a mong the people dwelling near the base station. Signal Strength predicted by inte gration of NDVI methodology is taken into account f or factors like trees, trunks, leaves, branches, their density and their heights r elative to the antenna heights and also it has been calculated by both theoretical and practical. In this regard the present study, practi cal field investigations of existing towers have be en done by using SCEPTOR (Mobile GIS/GPS receiver). These GPS data fed to GIS for cr eating a new layer along with DEM file and satellit e image for creating virtual model.3D city model has been performed for the stud y area. Finally the radiation hotspot area has been identified by using viewshed analysis.
This article concludes a series of papers concerned with the flow of electric current through the surface membrane of a giant nerve fibre (Hodgkinet al., 1952,J. Physiol.116, 424–448; Hodgkin and Huxley, 1952,J. Physiol.116, 449–566). Its general object is to discuss the results of the preceding papers (Section 1), to put them into mathematical form (Section 2) and to show that they will account for conduction and excitation in quantitative terms (Sections 3–6).
Thomas Young contributed to philology and to the problems of vision, as well as to the understanding of wave motion and interference for which he is principally known. The steps by which he achieved understanding of the phenomena of interference, from his first work in 1801, through the publication of Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy, and up to his development of the theory of the interferometer in 1817, are outlined.