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How to Approach the Challenge of Minimizing Non-Thermal Health Effects of Microwave Radiation from Electrical Devices



Dozens of reviews and thousands of primary literature studies have shown the existence of many different non-thermal health effects of microwave and lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs); however current safety guidelines and standards only recognize thermal effects. This leaves both individuals and companies unprotected, particularly with the very large increases in microwave frequency exposures that are occurring over time. It has recently been shown that many, perhaps even all non-thermal health effects are produced by activation of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) in the plasma membranes of cells, with EMFs activating these channels, producing large increases in intracellular calcium levels [Ca2+]i. The voltage sensor controlling the VGCCs is thought to be extremely sensitive to activation by weak EMFs. Diverse health effects are thought to be produced by downstream effects of increased [Ca2+]i produced by VGCC activation. It is difficult if not impossible to currently predict the biological effects of different EMFs because pulsation patterns, frequencies and EMF polarization each have strong influences on biological effects; there are also windows of exposure producing maximum biological effects within the exposure window. While decreasing exposures on the order of 100 to 1000-fold will no doubt be useful, we also need to have genuine biological measures of damage to allow optimization of both the type of EMF exposures as well as intensities. Biological optimization should be done by studying cells in culture that have high densities of various types of VGCCs, measuring such effects as increases in [Ca2+]i and increases in nitric oxide (NO) production following EMF exposures. Such cell culture-based assessment of biological damage should allow progressive improvement of wireless communication devices and various other electronic devices by choosing designs that lower biological responses.
International Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering & Management (IJIREM) ISSN: 2350-0557,
Volume-2, Issue -5, September 2015
How to Approach the Challenge of Minimizing
Non-Thermal Health Effects of
Microwave Radiation from Electrical Devices
Martin L. Pall, PhD,
Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences,
Washington State University
638 NE 41st Ave., Portland, OR 97232, USA
Phone: 503-232-3883
Dozens of reviews and thousands of primary literature
studies have shown the existence of many different
non-thermal health effects of microwave and lower
frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs); however
current safety guidelines and standards only recognize
thermal effects. This leaves both individuals and
companies unprotected, particularly with the very
large increases in microwave frequency exposures that
are occurring over time. It has recently been shown
that many, perhaps even all non-thermal health effects
are produced by activation of voltage-gated calcium
channels (VGCCs) in the plasma membranes of cells,
with EMFs activating these channels, producing large
increases in intracellular calcium levels [Ca2+]i. The
voltage sensor controlling the VGCCs is thought to be
extremely sensitive to activation by weak EMFs.
Diverse health effects are thought to be produced by
downstream effects of increased [Ca2+]i produced by
VGCC activation. It is difficult if not impossible to
currently predict the biological effects of different
EMFs because pulsation patterns, frequencies and
EMF polarization each have strong influences on
biological effects; there are also windows of exposure
producing maximum biological effects within the
exposure window. While decreasing exposures on the
order of 100 to 1000-fold will no doubt be useful, we
also need to have genuine biological measures of
damage to allow optimization of both the type of EMF
exposures as well as intensities. Biological
optimization should be done by studying cells in
culture that have high densities of various types of
VGCCs, measuring such effects as increases in
[Ca2+]i and increases in nitric oxide (NO) production
following EMF exposures. Such cell culture-based
assessment of biological damage should allow
progressive improvement of wireless communication
devices and various other electronic devices by
choosing designs that lower biological responses.
Microwave frequency EMFs, calcium signaling, nitric
oxide, peroxynitrite, oxidative stress
1. There Is a Widespread Literature
on Non-Thermal Effects Being
Produced by Low-Intensity
Microwave/RF Exposures
The earliest major report of widespread non-thermal
effects of microwave frequency radiation exposures
was the 1971 Naval Medical Research Institute
(NMRI) Research Report [1] which listed 40 apparent
neuropsychiatric changes produced by non-thermal
microwave frequency exposures, including 5
central/peripheral nervous system (NS) changes, 9
central NS effects, 4 autonomic system effects, 17
psychological disorders, 4 behavioral changes and 2
misc. effects [1,2]. It also listed cardiac effects
including ECG changes and cardiac necrosis as well as
both hypotension and hypertension, and also 8
different endocrine effects. Changes affecting fertility
included tubular degeneration in the testis, decreased
spermatogenesis, altered sex ratio, altered menstrual
activity, altered fetal development and decreased
lactation. Many other non-thermal changes were also
listed for a total of over 100 non-thermal effects. This
NMRI report also provided a supplementary document
listing over 2300 citations documenting these and
other effects of microwave exposures in humans and
in animals, with approximately 2000 of these
documenting apparent non-thermal effects.
Tolgskaya and Gordon [3] published a long and
detailed review of effects of microwave and lower
frequency EMFs on experimental animals, mostly
rodents. They report that non-thermal exposures
impact many tissues, with the nervous system being
the most sensitive organ in the body, based on
histological studies, followed by the heart and the
testis. They also report effects of non-thermal
exposures on liver, kidney, endocrine and many other
organs. The nervous system effects are very extensive
and are discussed in Reference [2,3] and more modern
studies reporting extensive effects of such non-thermal
EMF exposures on the brain are also cited in [2].
There are also many modern studies showing effects
of non-thermal exposures on fertility in animals.
The Raines 1981 National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) report [4] reviewed an
extensive literature based on occupational exposures
to non-thermal microwave EMFs. Based on multiple
studies, Raines [4] reports 19 neuropsychiatric effects
to be associated with occupational
microwave/radiofrequency EMFs, as well as cardiac
effects, endocrine including neuroendocrine effects
and several other effects.
The Bolen 1994 report put out by the Rome
Laboratory of the U.S. Air Force [5], acknowledged
the role of non-thermal effects of microwave EMFs on
humans. This report states in the Conclusion section
that “Experimental evidence has shown that exposure
to low intensity radiation can have a profound effect
on biological processes. The nonthermal effects of
RF/MW radiation exposure are becoming important
measures of biological interaction of EM fields.”
Clearly Bolen [5] rejects the claim that only thermal
effects occur. So we can see from these four reviews
(1,3-5), that there was already a well accepted
literature on non-thermal effects of microwave
frequency EMFs back in the 1970’s through the mid-
1990’s but it is still the case that U.S. and international
safety guidelines and standards are based solely on
thermal effects.
22 additional scientific published reviews have each
reviewed various types of non-thermal microwave
effects in humans and/or experimental animals in
various contexts [2,6-26], as have 26 studies in a
recently published book [27]. It can be seen from this
that there is a widely held consensus in much of the
scientific community that various non-thermal effects
of microwave EMFs are well documented.
2. Safety Guidelines and Standards
Are Based Only On Thermal Effects
Nevertheless, U.S., ICNIRP and almost all other
safety guidelines/standards for microwave/lower
frequency EMFs have been based solely on thermal
(heating) effects, not on non-thermal effects. These
have, therefore left both the general public and also
companies designing devices emitting electromagnetic
fields unprotected by genuine scientifically-based
standards. It is the central focus of this paper as to
how such companies should respond to this situation.
There have been many scientific statements that have
expressed great concern about the inadequacy of these
safety guidelines/standards because of their failure to
include what in the views of many scientists, are well
established non-thermal effects. For example, Havas
in a 2013 paper [6] lists 14 statements of this type,
written between 2002 and 2012 by various groups of
international scientists, each expressing concern about
non-thermal effects and the inadequacy of safety
guidelines and standards. In addition, recently, there
was a petition from various scientists, arguing that the
World Health Organization should reclassify
microwave EMFs as a Class 1 human carcinogen; 53
scientists signed a petition that the 2014 Canadian
Report (discussed further below) had inadequate
protection standards for human health; and 206
international scientists signed a statement sent to the
United Nations Secretary General and to member
states, stating that international safety guidelines and
standards are inadequate to protect human health.
3. Four Important Factors Which
Make the Biological Activity of EMFs
Unpredictable in Terms of Intensity
and Unpredictable in General
Many have assumed that it is possible to predict the
effects of such EMFs based simply on EMF exposure
intensities but such assumptions are clearly false.
Empirical observations have shown that four types of
factors greatly influence biological responses to
microwave EMFs , with all four reviewed by Belyaev
[28] and 3 of the 4 each reviewed elsewhere [24,25].
1. One of these is that pulsed fields are in most
cases more biologically active than non-
pulsed fields. The literature on comparing
pulsed fields with non-pulsed fields goes
back to the 1960’s [3] and continues right up
to the present [24-26,28,29]. One example
of pulsation effects is from studies of
therapeutic effects of non-thermal
microwave frequency EMFs [26], when they
are of the right type and intensity and
focused on the right tissue. Such therapy
was standardized using pulsed microwave
fields back in the mid-1970s because these
pulse fields were more active, a
standardization that continues to the present
day [26]. There are some 4000 studies of
pulsed microwave therapy which make up
the largest literature on non-thermal
biological effects. Unfortunately we don’t
have enough detailed knowledge of these
pulsation effects to be able to predict how
biologically active EMFs with different
patterns of pulsation will be. With very
complex pulsed fields like those from smart
meters or smart phones, prediction becomes
still more difficult. Panagopoulos et al [29]
have argued that complex pulsation patterns
are consistently more biologically active
than are simpler patterns. There is some
evidence that very low frequency pulsations
(10 Hz or less) may lower biological
responses, which if confirmed may be useful
for lowering biological effects of electronic
devices. Because all wireless
communication devices communicate via
pulsations, pulsation effects may be inherent
factors with such devices.
2. There are non-linearities in dose response
curves and specifically there are specific
intensity windows of exposure which
produce greater biological effects than
exposures of either higher or lower
intensity [24,28,29]. In one experiment, an
effect seen within a window was studied and
it was found that increasing intensity to even
to 150 times higher intensity of exposure
lead to lower biological responses than was
found in the window. Clearly these intensity
windows also create important uncertainties
in trying to predict biological effects of
EMF exposures.
3. It has also been shown that different
frequencies have different biological effects
[28]. While this is a simpler issue, than
either pulsations or the window effects, it
may well add substantial complexity in
combination with each of these other two
4. Perhaps most importantly, artificial EMFs
are polarized and can be linearly or
circularly polarized. However most
naturally occurring EMFs are non-polarized
or only weakly polarized. Polarized fields
can produce much stronger forces on
charged groups, which, as discussed below,
are likely to have central roles in producing
non-thermal biological effects [28,29]. One
of the other effects discussed by Belyaev
[28] is that circularly polarized fields can be
either right handed or left handed and that
the handedness of specific fields have
extremely large effects on the biological
responses, such that fields that are identical
in intensity and frequency and differ only in
their handedness of circular polarization can
have almost completely different biological
All of these things the effects of pulsations, of
window effects, of frequencies and of linear and
circular polarization argue compellingly that we
cannot predict biological effects based simply on the
intensity of EMFs and certainly not on heating effects
of EMFs. An attractive approach to measuring
biological effects empirically is discussed below.
4. How Do Non-Thermal EMF
Exposures Produce Biological Effects?
The above discussed studies, clearly show that there
has been a consensus in the scientific literature from
the early 1970s up to the present time on the existence
of widespread non-thermal EMF health effects but it
has been unclear what mechanism(s) generated these
health effects. There were various suggestions about
how these might be generated but no confirmation that
those suggested mechanisms were correct. The author
stumbled onto the mechanism in 2012 and published
on it in mid-2013. This 2013 paper [30] was honored
by being placed on the Global Medical Discovery web
site as one of the most important medical papers of
2013. At this writing, it has been cited 42 times
according to the Google Scholar database, with 18 of
those citations during the first half of 2015. So clearly
it is having a substantial and rapidly increasing impact
on the scientific literature. I have given 26
professional talks, in part or in whole on EMF effects
in 10 different countries over the last 2 1/4 years. So
it is clear that there has been a tremendous amount of
interest in this.
What the 2013 study showed [30], was that in 24
different studies (and there are now 2 more that can
now be added [2]), effects of low-intensity EMFs,
both microwave frequency and lower frequency EMFs
could be blocked by calcium channel blockers, drugs
that block what are called voltage-gated calcium
channels (VGCCs). There were a total of 5 different
types of calcium channel blocker drugs used in these
studies, with each type acting on a different site on the
VGCCs and each thought to be highly specific for
blocking VGCCs. What these studies tell us is that
these EMFs act to produce non-thermal effects by
activating the VGCCs. Where several effects were
studied, when one of them was blocked or greatly
lowered, each other effect studied was also blocked or
greatly lowered. This tells us that the role of VGCC
activation is quite wide many effects go through that
mechanism, possibly even all non-thermal effects in
mammals. There are a number of other types of
evidence confirming this mechanism of action of
microwave frequency EMFs [2,24,30]. It is now
apparent [24] that these EMFs act directly on the
voltage sensor of the VGCCs, the part of the VGCC
protein that detects electrical changes and can open the
channel in response to electrical changes.
The voltage sensor (and this is shown on pp. 102-104
in [24]) is predicted, because of its structure and its
location in the plasma membrane of the cell, to be
extraordinarily sensitive to activation by these EMFs,
about 7.2 million times more sensitive than are single
charged groups elsewhere in the cell. What this means
is that arguments that EMFs produced by particular
devices are too weak to produce biological effects
[31], are immediately highly suspect because the
actual target, the voltage sensor of the VGCCs is
extremely sensitive to these EMFs.
How, then can the stimulation of the VGCC
mechanism lead to health impacts? When the VGCCs
are activated, they open up a channel and leads to
large increases in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) and it
is the excessive intracellular calcium that leads to most
if not all of the biological effects. Calcium signaling
is very important to the cell, with some effects of it
being produced through increases in nitric oxide (NO)
as seen in Fig. 1 and Ref 2.
kinase G
Low Freq.
Figure 1. EMFs Act via Downstream Effects of
VGCC Activation to Produce Pathophysiological
and Therapeutic Effects. Taken from Ref. [24] with
There are non-thermal therapeutic effects produced by
these EMFs where they are at the appropriate level
and where they are focused on the proper tissue; Such
therapeutic effects are produced by the NO signaling
pathway across the top of the Figure. However NO
can also react with superoxide (which is also elevated
by excessive Ca2+]i) to form peroxynitrite, ONOO(-),
a potent oxidant. Peroxynitrite can break down to
produce reactive free radicals and cause oxidative
stress, with all of these acting to produce
pathophysiological (that is disease causing) effects
(Fig.1). Excess calcium signaling by elevated [Ca2+]i
can also contribute to pathophysiological effects.
A number of repeatedly reported effects of effects of
microwave EMF exposures can be generated by these
mechanisms, as shown in Ref. [24].
Table 1. Apparent Mechanisms of Action for
Microwave Exposures Producing Diverse
Biological Effects (See Fig. 1)
Apparent Mechanism(s)
Oxidative stress
Peroxynitrite & consequent free
radical formation
Single strand
breaks in cellular
Free radical attack on DNA
Double strand
breaks in cellular
Same as above
Single and double strand breaks,
8-nitroguanine and other pro-
mutagenic changes in cellular
DNA; produced by elevated NO,
Breakdown of
Peroxynitrite activation of matrix
metalloproteinases (MMPs)
leading to proteolysis of tight
junction proteins
Male and female
Induction of double strand DNA
breaks; Other oxidative stress
mechanisms; [Ca2+]i
mitochondrial effects causing
apoptosis; in males, breakdown
of blood-testis barrier
Increases in [Ca2+]i and NO/NO
VGCC activation of
neurotransmitter release; other
effects?; possible role of excess
depletion; sleep
VGCCs, elevated [Ca2+]i
leading to disruption of circadian
rhythm entrainment as well as
melatonin synthesis; elevated
[Ca2+]i may also lead to
elevated night time levels of
VGCC activation and [Ca2+]i
elevation; calcium signaling and
also peroxynitrite/oxidative
leading to sudden
cardiac death
Very high VGCC activities
found in cardiac (sinoatrial node)
pacemaker cells; excessive
VGCC activity and [Ca2+]i
levels produces these electrical
changes in the heart
Taken from ref [24] with permission.
A large number of these repeatedly reported effects of
such EMF exposures can be caused by various
downstream effects of VGCC activation as shown in
Fig. 1. This suggests that both Fig. 1 and also Table 1
may explain many of the effects produced by non-
thermal exposures to microwave frequency EMFs.
These apparent mechanisms of action provide further
support that most if not all effects of microwave and
lower frequency EMFs are likely to be produced via
downstream effects of VGCC activation.
In contrast to this, when the author examined the
evidence supporting a strictly thermal mode of action
of these microwave frequency EMFs in the 2014
Canadian Report [32], that evidence was found to be
deeply flawed [24].
5. Biologically-Based EMF Safety
Standards – Why Industry Needs to
Look at These and How They May Be
Hardell and Sage [34], the Scientific Panel on
Electromagnetic Health Risks [17] and the author [24]
have called for biologically-based EMF safety
standards, standards that are based on genuine
biologically relevant responses to low-level
microwave and other EMFs. The best approach to
doing so, in the author’s view, as discussed earlier
[24] involves looking at biological responses of
VGCC-containing cells in culture (using methods
outlined below). The initial focus here is on how such
responses should be useful in quantifying biological
effects of electronic devices that produce EMFs.
The goal here is both to use such cell culture studies to
quantify biological effects of various EMFs, with
regard to effects of frequency, intensity, pulsation
pattern and polarization. A wide variety of electronic
devices can be tested, so as to improve designs by
lowering biological effects. These would include
various types of broadcasting devices including
antennae, all types of wireless communication devices
and also many other electronic devices that
inadvertently broadcast EMFs and/or dirty electricity.
Smaller devices such as cell phones, cordless phones,
cordless phone bases, smart meters, Wi-Fi fields and
computers/tablets generating Wi-Fi signals but also
many other devices. Panagopoulos et al [25] have
recently argued that complex pulsation patterns such
as produced by smart phones and smart meters
produce higher biological activity. A wide variety of
factors should be investigated for improved safety,
including improved antenna design, use of frequencies
producing lowered biological effects, use of shielding
materials and changes in polarization and pulsation
patterns. Improved sensitivity of receivers can allow
lowered intensities to be used.
In dirty electricity, transients produced by various
devices, produce transients in electrical power wiring
such that the wiring acts as an antenna, producing in
turn, human exposure to EMFs. All digital technology
has the potential to produce such dirty electricity, but
digital technology involving high current flows may
be the major challenge, such as broadcasting antennas,
digital power supplies and inverters. It may be
important to investigate the use of filters to lower such
transients in electrical wiring. It is not uncommon for
electronic devices to purposefully introduce signals
onto electrical power wiring, such that the wiring is
used as a communication conduit. Clearly such
purposeful use of power wiring needs to be
investigated for biological effects. Filters and other
technologies should be investigated to see if these
lower biological responses. Even static magnetic
fields can activate VGCCs [30], possibly because
rapid movement of the VGCCs due to movement of
plasma membranes in which they are located. The
effects, therefore of many types of EMFs can be
assessed biologically through testing of such
biological responses.
How then should cells in culture be used to monitor
biological effects of various EMFs? Studies would
use cell lines with such high VGCC levels, such as
neuroblastoma cell lines, glioblastoma/glioma hybrid
cell lines or perhaps cell lines derived from endocrine
cells with relatively high VGCC levels. Among these
cell lines should be the neuroblastoma cell lines
previously studied by Dutta et al (discussed in [24])
and shown to produce changes in calcium fluxes in
response to very low level EMF exposures. PC12
cells, a commonly used chromaffin cell line may also
be useful. In addition, it may useful to use cardiac
pacemaker cells which have very high activities of
VGCCs and can be derived from stem cells [24].
Because the growth conditions of cells may influence
their responsiveness, such conditions must be
standardized. Standardization should include growth
of cells in a Faraday cage such as to prevent, to the
extent possible, previous exposures to EMFs.
Two approaches should be used to measure responses
of such cells to EMF exposure: Cells in culture could
be monitored for nitric oxide (NO) production using
an NO electrode in the gas phase over the culture,
using methods similar to those used by Pilla [33]. NO
synthesis is stimulated by [Ca2+]i elevation because
there are two NO synthase enzymes that are each
calcium-dependent and therefore increase in activity
with increasing [Ca2+]i. Continuous measurements
from an NO electrode can be recorded and easily
quantified, allowing accumulation of very large
amounts of data in very short time periods in response
to various EMFs. Therefore, issues such as
reproducibility should be quickly resolved.
Another approach to such studies involves using
calcium-sensitive fluorescent probes that concentrate
into the cytoplasm of cells, allowing assessments of
[Ca]i levels with a fluorescence microscope or of
multiple cells using a fluorometer. Alternatively,
transgenic cell lines containing green fluorescent
protein (GFP) can be used, where GFP functions as
the calcium-sensitive fluorescent probe. This may
allow one of obtain information of different types than
described in the previous paragraph. One can get
information on heterogeneity of responses at the
cellular level and also how raised [Ca]i levels may
propagate over time from one part of the cell to
another. However a limitation to this approach may
occur if the fields generated by the microscope perturb
the [Ca2+]i levels and cannot be well shielded using a
small Faraday cage that does not cage exposures that
are to be studied. So these two approaches are distinct
from one another and whether they will complement
each other as they develop is uncertain. It is my view
that both of these should be investigated if only to
explore their strong points and weak points, but that
the NO electrode approach may be a very good place
to start because it has already been used to assess EMF
effects [33] and because it allows easy quantification.
These two types of approaches should allow
comparison of different wireless communications
devices for their relative biological effects, possibly
permitting easy improvements in design. There is
some evidence that some pulsation patterns may lower
biological effects and this type of effect might be
studied as well.
From the standpoint of industry and engineering of
electronic devices, the four factors we discussed
above, that each influence biological responses each
need to be considered: the roles of pulsations, window
effects, frequency and polarization. Each of these can
be viewed as a challenge, but also as an opportunity.
The opportunities come because by manipulating these
factors, it may well be possible to develop devices
with much lower biological effects than are produced
by current devices. A smart company that gets the
information early and uses it effectively may well
have a marketing advantage over its competitors.
6. Conclusions
Non-thermal effects of EMF exposures have been
extensively documented for over 40 years. However
only recently has the mechanism of action of such
non-thermal effects been demonstrated. These act via
EMF activation of VGCCs, producing increases in
intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i. This allows the
development of techniques using cells in culture with
high densities of multiple types of VGCCs, to assess
different devices that emit microwave frequency
EMFs by measuring either increases in [Ca2+]i or
increases in nitric oxide (NO) produced as a
consequence of increased [Ca2+]i. It is the author’s
view that smart companies should use these cell
culture techniques to greatly improve the safety of
such devices.
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... Cellular DNA damage Glaser (1971); Yakymenko et al. (1999) Glaser (1971); Tolgskaya and Gordon (1973); Raines (1981); Lai (1994); Grigor'ev (1996) Adey (1981Adey ( , 1988; Walleczek (1992); Yakymenko et al. (1999); Gye and Park (2012); Pall (2013Pall ( , 2015aPall ( , 2015bPall ( , 2016aPall ( , 2016b); Asghari et al. (2016) Endocrine effects Glaser (1971); Tolgskaya and Gordon (1973); Raines (1981) Dasdag and Akdag (2016); Wang and Zhang (2017) 4. Wi-Fi and other EMFs may be particularly damaging to young people Most arguments that have been made that microwave frequency EMFs may be much more damaging to young children have centered on the much smaller skulls and skull thickness in young children, increasing the exposure of their brains to EMFs (Gandhi and Kang, 2001;Gandhi et al., 2012). However there are other arguments to be made. ...
... In studies where multiple effects were studied, all studied effects were blocked or greatly lowered by calcium channel blockers. These studies show that EMFs produce diverse non-thermal effects via VGCC activation Pall (2013Pall ( , 2014Pall ( , 2015aPall ( , 2015bPall ( , 2016aPall ( , 2016b) in many human and animal cells. In plant cells, EMFs activate somewhat similar calcium channels and produce somewhat similar effects on oxidative stress, cellular DNA damage and calcium signaling (Pall, 2016a). ...
... Each of these voltage sensor charges is within the lipid bilayer part of the plasma membrane. The electrical forces on the voltage sensor are very high for three distinct reasons (Pall, 2015b(Pall, , 2015a(Pall, , 2016a. 1. The 20 charges on the voltage sensor make the forces on voltage sensor 20 times higher than the forces on a single charge. ...
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Repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload. Each of these effects are also caused by exposures to other microwave frequency EMFs, with each such effect being documented in from 10 to 16 reviews. Therefore, each of these seven EMF effects are established effects of Wi-Fi and of other microwave frequency EMFs. Each of these seven is also produced by downstream effects of the main action of such EMFs, voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. While VGCC activation via EMF interaction with the VGCC voltage sensor seems to be the predominant mechanism of action of EMFs, other mechanisms appear to have minor roles. Minor roles include activation of other voltage-gated ion channels, calcium cyclotron resonance and the geomagnetic magnetoreception mechanism. Five properties of non-thermal EMF effects are discussed. These are that pulsed EMFs are, in most cases, more active than are non-pulsed EMFs; artificial EMFs are polarized and such polarized EMFs are much more active than non-polarized EMFs; dose-response curves are non-linear and non-monotone; EMF effects are often cumulative; and EMFs may impact young people more than adults. These general findings and data presented earlier on Wi-Fi effects were used to assess the Foster and Moulder (F&M) review of Wi-Fi. The F&M study claimed that there were seven important studies of Wi-Fi that each showed no effect. However, none of these were Wi-Fi studies, with each differing from genuine Wi-Fi in three distinct ways. F&M could, at most conclude that there was no statistically significant evidence of an effect. The tiny numbers studied in each of these seven F&M-linked studies show that each of them lack power to make any substantive conclusions. In conclusion, there are seven repeatedly found Wi-Fi effects which have also been shown to be caused by other similar EMF exposures. Each of the seven should be considered, therefore, as established effects of Wi-Fi.
... Microwave and lower frequency EMFs have been found in animals, to work via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) [1][2][3][4]. Various EMF effects were found to be blocked or greatly lowered by calcium channel blockers [1][2][3]. Five different calcium channel blockers have been used in these studies, which differ from one another in their structures and sites of action, but are all thought to have high specificity as calcium channel blockers [1][2][3]. ...
... Five different calcium channel blockers have been used in these studies, which differ from one another in their structures and sites of action, but are all thought to have high specificity as calcium channel blockers [1][2][3]. These and other data [1][2][3][4], *Address correspondence to this author at the Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University, 638 NE 41 st Ave., Portland, OR 97232-3312, USA; Tel: 503-232-3883; E-mail: argue for the centrality of VGCC activation in producing effects of EMFs in animal cells. ...
... argue for the centrality of VGCC activation in producing effects of EMFs in animal cells. VGCC activation is thought to act primarily via increased intracellular calcium [Ca 2+ ]i, and a wide variety of effects of EMFs in animals are thought to be produced as a consequence of increased [Ca 2+ ]i in animal cells [1][2][3][4] as diagrammed in Fig. 1. The therapeutic effects of EMFs, such as stimulation of bone growth, are thought to be produced by elevated nitric oxide (NO) and NO signaling [1,5,6]. ...
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It has been shown that low intensity microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act in animals via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) in the plasma membrane, producing excessive intracellular calcium [Ca²⁺]i, with excessive [Ca²⁺]i leading to both pathophysiological and also in some cases therapeutic effects. The pathophysiological effects are produced largely through excessive [Ca2+]i signaling including excessive nitric oxide (NO), superoxide, peroxynitrite, free radical formation and consequent oxidative stress. The activation of the VGCCs is thought to be produced via EMF impact on the VGCC voltage sensor, with the physical properties of that voltage sensor predicting that it is extraordinarily sensitive to these EMFs. It is shown here that the action of EMFs in terrestrial, multicellular (embryophyte) plants is probably similar to the action in animals in most but not all respects, with calcium channel activation in the plasma membrane leading to excessive [Ca²⁺]i, leading in turn to most if not all of the biological effects. A number of studies in plants are briefly reviewed which are consistent with and supportive of such a mechanism. Plant channels most plausibly to be involved, are the so-called two pore channels (TPCs), which have a voltage sensor similar to those found in the animal VGCCs.
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The authors describe the advantages and the adverse consequences of 5G networks development. They propose their own classification of the advantages, dividing them into explicit, implicit and hidden. The hidden advantages are determined to be decisive. Special attention is paid to the potential of 5G networks to provide police functions, in particular, to ensure all issues of total surveillance of any person. The risk-cost-benefit analysis is carried out, allowing us to draw conclusions about the justification for the 5G networks development. The analysis makes us doubt the justification of spending trillions of rubles for the development of 5G networks in the Russian Federation. The book is intended for specialists in the field of ecology, environmental protection and for students studying and specializing in these areas.
Despite many studies, the question about the positive or negative influence of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on living organisms still remains an unresolved issue. To date, the results are inconsistent and hardly comparable between different laboratories. The observed bio-effects are dependent not only on the applied EMF itself, but on many other factors such as the model system tested or environmental ones. In an organism, the role of the defense system against external stressors is played by the immune system consisting of various cell types. The immune cells are engaged in many physiological processes and responsible for the proper functioning of the whole organism. Any factor with an ability to cause immunomodulatory effects may weaken or enhance the response of the immune system. This review is focused on a wide range electromagnetic fields as a possible external factor which may modulate the innate and/or adaptive immunity. Considering the existing databases, we have compiled the bio-effects evoked by EMF in particular immune cell types involved in different types of immune response, with the common mechanistic models and mostly activated intracellular signaling cascade pathways.
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Effects [of exposure to 5G] include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harm- ful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive systems, learning and memory deficits, neu- rological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Living organisms at all levels, the scientists added, are affected by exposure to electro- magnetic fields produced by smartphone devices and transmission towers. Damage is not limited to humans as there is growing evidence of harmful effects in both plant and animal life.
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We examined whether exposures to mobile phone radiation in biological/clinical experiments should be performed with real-life Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) emitted by commercially available mobile phone handsets, instead of simulated EMFs emitted by generators or test phones. Real mobile phone emissions are constantly and unpredictably varying and thus are very different from simulated emissions which employ fixed parameters and no variability. This variability is an important parameter that makes real emissions more bioactive. Living organisms seem to have decreased defense against environmental stressors of high variability. While experimental studies employing simulated EMF-emissions present a strong inconsistency among their results with less than 50% of them reporting effects, studies employing real mobile phone exposures demonstrate an almost 100% consistency in showing adverse effects. This consistency is in agreement with studies showing association with brain tumors, symptoms of unwellness, and declines in animal populations. Average dosimetry in studies with real emissions can be reliable with increased number of field measurements, and variation in experimental outcomes due to exposure variability becomes less significant with increased number of experimental replications. We conclude that, in order for experimental findings to reflect reality, it is crucially important that exposures be performed by commercially available mobile phone handsets.
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Non-thermal microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Calcium channel blockers block EMF effects and several types of additional evidence confirm this mechanism. Low intensity microwave EMFs have been proposed to produce neuropsychiatric effects, sometimes called microwave syndrome, and the focus of this review is whether these are indeed well documented and consistent with the known mechanism(s) of action of such EMFs. VGCCs occur in very high densities throughout the nervous system and have near universal roles in release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Soviet and Western literature shows that much of the impact of non-thermal microwave exposures in experimental animals occurs in the brain and peripheral nervous system, such that nervous system histology and function show diverse and substantial changes. These may be generated through roles of VGCC activation, producing excessive neurotransmitter/neuroendocrine release as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress and other responses. Excessive VGCC activity has been shown from genetic polymorphism studies to have roles in producing neuropsychiatric changes in humans. Two U.S. government reports from the 1970's-80's provide evidence for many neuropsychiatric effects of non-thermal microwave EMFs, based on occupational exposure studies. 18 more recent epidemiological studies, provide substantial evidence that microwave EMFs from cell/mobile phone base stations, excessive cell/mobile phone usage and from wireless smart meters can each produce similar patterns of neuropsychiatric effects, with several of these studies showing clear dose-response relationships. Lesser evidence from 6 additional studies suggests that short wave, radio station, occupational and digital TV antenna exposures may produce similar neuropsychiatric effects. Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness,dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG changes. In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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This review considers a paradigm shift on microwave electromagnetic field (EMF) action from only thermal effects to action via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Microwave/lower frequency EMFs were shown in two dozen studies to act via VGCC activation because all effects studied were blocked by calcium channel blockers. This mode of action was further supported by hundreds of studies showing microwave changes in calcium fluxes and intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i signaling. The biophysical properties of VGCCs/similar channels make them particularly sensitive to low intensity, non-thermal EMF exposures. Non-thermal studies have shown that in most cases pulsed fields are more active than are non-pulsed fields and that exposures within certain intensity windows have much large biological effects than do either lower or higher intensity exposures; these are both consistent with a VGCC role but inconsistent with only a heating/thermal role. Downstream effects of VGCC activation include calcium signaling, elevated nitric oxide (NO), NO signaling, peroxynitrite, free radical formation, and oxidative stress. Downstream effects explain repeatedly reported biological responses to non-thermal exposures: oxidative stress; single and double strand breaks in cellular DNA; cancer; male and female infertility; lowered melatonin/sleep disruption; cardiac changes including tachycardia, arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death; diverse neuropsychiatric effects including depression; and therapeutic effects. Non-VGCC non-thermal mechanisms may occur, but none have been shown to have effects in mammals. Biologically relevant safety standards can be developed through studies of cell lines/cell cultures with high levels of different VGCCs, measuring their responses to different EMF exposures. The 2014 Canadian Report by a panel of experts only recognizes thermal effects regarding safety standards for non-ionizing radiation exposures. Its position is therefore contradicted by each of the observations above. The Report is assessed here in several ways including through Karl Popper's assessment of strength of evidence. Popper argues that the strongest type of evidence is evidence that falsifies a theory; second strongest is a test of "risky prediction"; the weakest confirms a prediction that the theory could be correct but in no way rules out alternative theories. All of the evidence supporting the Report's conclusion that only thermal effects need be considered are of the weakest type, confirming prediction but not ruling out alternatives. In contrast, there are thousands of studies apparently falsifying their position. The Report argues that there are no biophysically viable mechanisms for non-thermal effects (shown to be false, see above). It claims that there are many "inconsistencies" in the literature causing them to throw out large numbers of studies; however, the one area where it apparently documents this claim, that of genotoxicity, shows no inconsistencies; rather it shows that various cell types, fields and end points produce different responses, as should be expected. The Report claims that cataract formation is produced by thermal effects but ignores studies falsifying this claim and also studies showing [Ca2+]i and VGCC roles. It is time for a paradigm shift away from only thermal effects toward VGCC activation and consequent downstream effects.
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Mobile phones are owned by most of the adult population worldwide. Radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) from these devices could potentially affect sperm development and function. Around 14% of couples in high- and middle-income countries have difficulty conceiving, and there are unexplained declines in semen quality reported in several countries. Given the ubiquity of mobile phone use, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified. A systematic review was therefore conducted, followed by meta-analysis using random effects models, to determine whether exposure to RF-EMR emitted from mobile phones affects human sperm quality. Participants were from fertility clinic and research centres. The sperm quality outcome measures were motility, viability and concentration, which are the parameters most frequently used in clinical settings to assess fertility. We used ten studies in the meta-analysis, including 1492 samples. Exposure to mobile phones was associated with reduced sperm motility (mean difference − 8.1% (95% CI − 13.1, − 3.2)) and viability (mean difference − 9.1% (95% CI − 18.4, 0.2)), but the effects on concentration were more equivocal. The results were consistent across experimental in vitro and observational in vivo studies. We conclude that pooled results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality. Further study is required to determine the full clinical implications for both sub-fertile men and the general population.
While influences of electricity and electromagnetic fields on biological systems were observed as early as the 18th century (Galvani) and the 19th century (d’Arsonval), and numerous speculations have been advanced since, a rigorous inquiry started after the Second World War. By the mid-seventies a broad range of topics was addressed, including potential health hazards of human exposure to electromagnetic energy. The interest in this field has been to a large extent stimulated by the worker and public concerns and pressures regarding safety of proliferating technologies. The main effort has concentrated in two frequency ranges: power line frequencies (50–60 Hz), and radiofrequencies (RF) and microwaves (from a few kHz to hundreds of GHz).
There have been numerous recent reports of headaches occurring in association with the use of hand-held cellular telephones. Are these reported headaches real? Are they due to emissions from telephones? There is reason to believe that the answer is "yes" to both questions. There are several lines of evidence to support this conclusion. First, headaches as a consequence of exposure to low intensity microwaves were reported in the literature 30 years ago. These were observed during the course of microwave hearing research before there were cellular telephones. Second, the blood-brain barrier appears to be involved in headaches, and low intensity microwave energy exposure affects the barrier. Third, the dopamine-opiate systems of the brain appear to be involved in headaches, and low intensity electromagnetic energy exposure affects those systems. In all three lines of research, the microwave energy used was approximately the same-in frequencies, modulations, and incident energies-as those emitted by present day cellular telephones. Could the current reports of headaches be the canary in the coal mine, warning of biologically significant effects?
The effects of radiofrequency (RF) exposure on wake and sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) have been in focus since mobile phone usage became pervasive. It has been hypothesized that effects may be explained by (1) enhanced induced fields due to RF coupling with the electrode assembly, (2) the subsequent temperature increase around the electrodes, or (3) RF induced thermal pulsing caused by localized exposure in the head. We evaluated these three hypotheses by means of both numerical and experimental assessments made with appropriate phantoms and anatomical human models. Typical and worst-case electrode placements were examined at 900 and 2140 MHz. Our results indicate that hypothesis 1 can be rejected, as the induced fields cause <20% increase in the 10 g-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR). Simulations with an anatomical model indicate that hypothesis 2 is also not supported, as the realistic worst-case electrode placement results in a maximum skin temperature increase of 0.31 °C while brain temperature elevations remained <0.1 °C. These local short-term temperature elevations are unlikely to change brain physiology during the time period from minutes to several hours after exposure. The maximum observed temperature ripple due to RF pulses is <0.001 °C for GSM-like signals and <0.004 °C for 20-fold higher pulse energy, and offers no support for hypothesis 3. Thus, the mechanism of interaction between RF and changes in the EEG power spectrum remains unknown. Bioelectromagnetics 9999:1-11, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.