EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses

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DOI: 10.1515/reveh-2016-0011
Cite this publication
Abstract
Chronic diseases and illnesses associated with non-specific symptoms are on the rise. In addition to chronic stress in social and work environments, physical and chemical exposures at home, at work, and during leisure activities are causal or contributing environmental stressors that deserve attention by the general practitioner as well as by all other members of the health care community. It seems necessary now to take "new exposures" like electromagnetic fields (EMF) into account. Physicians are increasingly confronted with health problems from unidentified causes. Studies, empirical observations, and patient reports clearly indicate interactions between EMF exposure and health problems. Individual susceptibility and environmental factors are frequently neglected. New wireless technologies and applications have been introduced without any certainty about their health effects, raising new challenges for medicine and society. For instance, the issue of so-called non-thermal effects and potential long-term effects of low-dose exposure were scarcely investigated prior to the introduction of these technologies. Common electromagnetic field or EMF sources: Radio-frequency radiation (RF) (3 MHz to 300 GHz) is emitted from radio and TV broadcast antennas, Wi-Fi access points, routers, and clients (e.g. smartphones, tablets), cordless and mobile phones including their base stations, and Bluetooth devices. Extremely low frequency electric (ELF EF) and magnetic fields (ELF MF) (3 Hz to 3 kHz) are emitted from electrical wiring, lamps, and appliances. Very low frequency electric (VLF EF) and magnetic fields (VLF MF) (3 kHz to 3 MHz) are emitted, due to harmonic voltage and current distortions, from electrical wiring, lamps (e.g. compact fluorescent lamps), and electronic devices. On the one hand, there is strong evidence that long-term exposure to certain EMFs is a risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and male infertility. On the other hand, the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is more and more recognized by health authorities, disability administrators and case workers, politicians, as well as courts of law. We recommend treating EHS clinically as part of the group of chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI), but still recognizing that the underlying cause remains the environment. In the beginning, EHS symptoms occur only occasionally, but over time they may increase in frequency and severity. Common EHS symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. A comprehensive medical history, which should include all symptoms and their occurrences in spatial and temporal terms and in the context of EMF exposures, is the key to making the diagnosis. The EMF exposure is usually assessed by EMF measurements at home and at work. Certain types of EMF exposure can be assessed by asking about common EMF sources. It is very important to take the individual susceptibility into account. The primary method of treatment should mainly focus on the prevention or reduction of EMF exposure, that is, reducing or eliminating all sources of high EMF exposure at home and at the workplace. The reduction of EMF exposure should also be extended to public spaces such as schools, hospitals, public transport, and libraries to enable persons with EHS an unhindered use (accessibility measure). If a detrimental EMF exposure is reduced sufficiently, the body has a chance to recover and EHS symptoms will be reduced or even disappear. Many examples have shown that such measures can prove effective. To increase the effectiveness of the treatment, the broad range of other environmental factors that contribute to the total body burden should also be addressed. Anything that supports homeostasis will increase a person's resilience against disease and thus against the adverse effects of EMF exposure. There is increasing evidence that EMF exposure has a major impact on the oxidative and nitrosative regulation capacity in affected individuals. This concept also may explain why the level of susceptibility to EMF can change and why the range of symptoms reported in the context of EMF exposures is so large. Based on our current understanding, a treatment approach that minimizes the adverse effects of peroxynitrite - as has been increasingly used in the treatment of multisystem illnesses - works best. This EMF Guideline gives an overview of the current knowledge regarding EMF-related health risks and provides recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and accessibility measures of EHS to improve and restore individual health outcomes as well as for the development of strategies for prevention.
Rev Environ Health 2016; aop
European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) – EMF
working group:
*Corresponding author: Gerd Oberfeld, Department of Public
Health, Government of Land Salzburg, Austria,
E-mail: gerd.oberfeld@salzburg.gv.at
Igor Belyaev: Cancer Research Institute BMC, Slovak Academy of
Science, Bratislava, Slovak Republic; and Prokhorov General Physics
Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
Amy Dean: American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Wichita,
KS, USA
Horst Eger: Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of
Bavaria, Medical Quality Circle “Electromagnetic Fields in Medicine –
Diagnostic, Therapy, Environment”, no. 65143, Naila, Germany
Gerhard Hubmann: Center for Holistic Medicine “MEDICUS”, Vienna,
Austria; and Wiener Internationale Akademie für Ganzheitsmedizin
(GAMED), Vienna, Austria
Reinhold Jandrisovits: Medical Association Burgenland,
Environmental Medicine Department, Eisenstadt, Austria
Markus Kern: Medical Quality Circle “Electromagnetic Fields in
Medicine – Diagnosis, Treatment and Environment”, Kempten,
Germany; and Kompetenzinitiative zum Schutz von Mensch, Umwelt
u. Demokratie e.V., Kempten, Germany
Michael Kundi and Hanns Moshammer: Institute of Environmental
Health, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Piero Lercher: Medical Association Vienna, Environmental Medicine
Department, Vienna, Austria
Kurt Müller: European Academy for Environmental Medicine,
Kempten, Germany
Peter Ohnsorge: European Academy for Environmental Medicine,
Wurzburg, Germany
Peter Pelzmann: Department of electronics and computer science
engineering, HTL Danube City, Vienna, Austria
Claus Scheingraber: Working Group Electro-Biology (AEB), Munich,
Germany and Association for Environmental- and Human-Toxicology
(DGUHT), Wurzburg, Germany
Roby Thill: Association for Environmental Medicine (ALMEN),
Beaufort, Luxembourg
Igor Belyaev, Amy Dean, Horst Eger, Gerhard Hubmann, Reinhold Jandrisovits, Markus
Kern, Michael Kundi, Hanns Moshammer, Piero Lercher, Kurt Müller, Gerd Oberfeld*,
PeterOhnsorge, Peter Pelzmann, Claus Scheingraber and Roby Thill
EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health
problems and illnesses
DOI 10.1515/reveh-2016-0011
Received March 16, 2016; accepted May 29, 2016
Abstract: Chronic diseases and illnesses associated with
non- specific symptoms are on the rise. In addition to
chronic stress in social and work environments, physi-
cal and chemical exposures at home, at work, and during
leisure activities are causal or contributing environmen-
tal stressors that deserve attention by the general practi-
tioner as well as by all other members of the health care
community. It seems necessary now to take “new expo-
sures” like electromagnetic fields (EMF) into account.
Physicians are increasingly confronted with health prob-
lems from unidentified causes. Studies, empirical obser-
vations, and patient reports clearly indicate interactions
between EMF exposure and health problems. Individual
susceptibility and environmental factors are frequently
neglected. New wireless technologies and applications
have been introduced without any certainty about their
health effects, raising new challenges for medicine and
society. For instance, the issue of so-called non- thermal
effects and potential long-term effects of low-dose
exposure were scarcely investigated prior to the introduc-
tion of these technologies. Common electromagnetic field
or EMF sources: Radio-frequency radiation (RF) (3MHz to
300 GHz) is emitted from radio and TV broadcast anten-
nas, Wi-Fi access points, routers, and clients (e.g. smart-
phones, tablets), cordless and mobile phones including
their base stations, and Bluetooth devices. Extremely low
frequency electric (ELF EF) and magnetic fields (ELF MF)
(3Hz to 3 kHz) are emitted from electrical wiring, lamps,
and appliances. Very low frequency electric (VLF EF) and
magnetic fields (VLF MF) (3 kHz to 3MHz) are emitted,
due to harmonic voltage and current distortions, from
electrical wiring, lamps (e.g. compact fluorescent lamps),
and electronic devices. On the one hand, there is strong
evidence that long-term exposure to certain EMFs is a
risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzhei-
mer’s disease, and male infertility. On the other hand,
the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is
more and more recognized by health authorities, disabil-
ity administrators and case workers, politicians, as well
- 10.1515/reveh-2016-0011
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via Slovak Academy of Science
2Belyaev etal.: EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016
as courts of law. We recommend treating EHS clinically as
part of the group of chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI),
but still recognizing that the underlying cause remains
the environment. In the beginning, EHS symptoms occur
only occasionally, but over time they may increase in fre-
quency and severity. Common EHS symptoms include
headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems,
depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symp-
toms. A comprehensive medical history, which should
include all symptoms and their occurrences in spatial and
temporal terms and in the context of EMF exposures, is
the key to making the diagnosis. The EMF exposure is usu-
ally assessed by EMF measurements at home and at work.
Certain types of EMF exposure can be assessed by asking
about common EMF sources. It is very important to take
the individual susceptibility into account. The primary
method of treatment should mainly focus on the preven-
tion or reduction of EMF exposure, that is, reducing or
eliminating all sources of high EMF exposure at home and
at the workplace. The reduction of EMF exposure should
also be extended to public spaces such as schools, hos-
pitals, public transport, and libraries to enable persons
with EHS an unhindered use (accessibility measure). If
a detrimental EMF exposure is reduced sufficiently, the
body has a chance to recover and EHS symptoms will be
reduced or even disappear. Many examples have shown
that such measures can prove effective. To increase the
effectiveness of the treatment, the broad range of other
environmental factors that contribute to the total body
burden should also be addressed. Anything that supports
homeostasis will increase a person’s resilience against
disease and thus against the adverse effects of EMF expo-
sure. There is increasing evidence that EMF exposure has
a major impact on the oxidative and nitrosative regula-
tion capacity in affected individuals. This concept also
may explain why the level of susceptibility to EMF can
change and why the range of symptoms reported in the
context of EMF exposures is so large. Based on our current
understanding, a treatment approach that minimizes the
adverse effects of peroxynitrite – as has been increasingly
used in the treatment of multisystem illnesses – works
best. This EMF Guideline gives an overview of the current
knowledge regarding EMF-related health risks and pro-
vides recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and
accessibility measures of EHS to improve and restore indi-
vidual health outcomes as well as for the development of
strategies for prevention.
Keywords: accessibility measures; Alzheimer’s disease;
cancer; chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI); diagnosis;
electric; electromagnetic field (EMF); electromagnetic
hypersensitivity (EHS); infertility; leukemia; magnetic;
medical guideline; nitrosative stress; non-ionizing;
oxidative stress; peroxynitrite; prevention; radiation;
static; therapy; treatment.
Current state of the scientific and
political debate about EMF-related
health problems from a medical
perspective
Introduction
The Environmental Burden of Disease Project assessed
the influence of nine environmental stressors (benzene,
dioxins including furans and dioxin-like PCBs, second-
hand smoke, formaldehyde, lead, noise, ozone, particu-
late matter and radon) on the health of the population of
six countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy,
and the Netherlands). Those nine environmental stressors
caused 3%–7% of the annual burden of disease in the six
European countries (1).
The Bundespsychotherapeutenkammer (BPtK) study
in Germany showed that mental disorders had increased
further and especially burnout as a reason of inability
to work increased seven-fold from 2004 to 2011 (2). In
Germany, 42% of early retirements in 2012 were caused by
mental disorders, depression being the leading diagnosis
(3). In Germany, psychotropic drugs are in third place for
the prescriptions of all drugs (4).
The consumption of methylphenidate (Ritalin,
Medikinet, Concerta), a psychotropic drug prescribed as
a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) especially for young children and adolescents,
has increased alarmingly since the early 1990s. Accord-
ing to statistics of the German Federal Institute for Drugs
and Medical Devices (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel
und Medizinprodukte), prescriptions have increased
even more dramatically since 2000 and reached a climax
in 2012. In 2013, only a slight decline in the number of
prescriptions was observed (5). Interestingly, the rapid
increase in the use of methylphenidate coincides with
the enormous expansion of mobile telecommunication
and other related technologies, posing an open research
question.
In Germany, work disability cases and absence days
due to mental health disorders more than doubled from
1994 to 2011 (6). In the Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development (OECD) countries, a huge
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variability in the prescription of antidepressants has
occurred and generally an increasing trend has been
observed. Socioeconomic status and therapeutic stand-
ards cannot fully explain these observations (7). Func-
tional disturbances like chronic inflammation and
changes of neurotransmitter functions caused by environ-
mental influences have hardly been investigated.
A steady increase in the prevalence of allergic/
asthmatic diseases globally has occurred, with about
30%–40% of the world population now being affected by
one or more allergic/asthmatic conditions (8).
It is suspected that environmental conditions such as
the increasing exposure of the population to electromag-
netic fields (EMFs) play a causal role for EMF-related health
effects (9–12), including exposure to radio- frequency radi-
ation (RF), which emanates from, e.g. cordless phones
(DECT), mobile phone base stations, and mobile phones
(GSM, GPRS, UMTS, LTE), especially smartphones, data
cards for laptop and notebook computers, wireless LAN
(Wi-Fi), wireless and powerline communication-based
smart meters, but also exposure to extremely low fre-
quency (ELF) electric fields (EF) and magnetic fields (MF)
including “dirty electricity”, which emanate from distur-
bances on electric wiring, power lines, electric devices,
and other equipment. For the society and the medical
community, all of this raises new challenges.
While biophysical and biochemical mechanisms of
biological effects of EMF at low-intensity levels are not
exactly known, significant progress has been achieved in
the last decades, and there are numerous data indicating
that these mechanisms may overlap for ELF and RF effects
(13–18). In the following sections, we provide some back-
ground information on important aspects of EMF biologi-
cal effects. However, this must not be misunderstood as a
full review of the evidence. We do not always strictly dif-
ferentiate between RF and ELF fields because of the above
mentioned overlap in biological mechanisms. It should
also be mentioned here that very specific exposure condi-
tions may trigger biological responses in one individual,
but not in others. Anecdotal reports, however, indicate
that such individual responsiveness or susceptibility does
expand over time and the intolerance then extends over a
broad range of exposure conditions.
Chronic diseases and illnesses associated with unspe-
cific symptoms are on the rise. In addition to chronic stress
in social and work environments, physical and chemical
exposures at home, at work, and during leisure activities
are causal or contributing environmental stressors that
deserve attention by the general practitioner as well as by
all other members of the health care community. It seems
certainly necessary now to take “new exposures” like EMF
into account, or as stated by Hedendahl etal. (19): “It is
time to consider ELF EMF and RF EMF as environmental
pollutants that need to be controlled”.
Worldwide statements of organizations
regarding EMF
The recommendations of the World Health Organization
(WHO) regarding ELF electric and magnetic fields and RF
radiation, compiled by the International Commission on
Non- Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) (20, 21), are
based on currents induced in the body (ELF) and thermal
effects (RF).
Thermal effects are defined as effects that originate in
elevated temperatures from the absorption of electromag-
netic energy. The specific absorption rate (SAR) is defined
as the rate of absorption of electromagnetic energy in a unit
mass of biological tissue. It is proportional to the incre-
mental temperature increase in that tissue. Indeed while
a significant temperature increase must be avoided as it
can be of immediate adverse health consequences (tissue
necrosis, cardiac stress, etc.) exposures can be without
(measureable) temperature increase either because of heat
dissipation or because the exposure is too low to be associ-
ated with relevant heating. The latter type of exposure is
termed non-thermal. Biological and health-relevant effects
at non-thermal levels have been shown and discussed by
many research groups all over the world (9, 10, 22–24).
The ICNIRP recommendations were adopted by
the EU in its Council Recommendation of 1999, without
considering long-term non-thermal effects. However, it
should be stressed that at an international EMF confer-
ence in London (2008), Professor Paolo Vecchia, ICNIRP
Chairman from 2004 to 2012, said about the exposure
guidelines “What they are not”: “They are not mandatory
prescriptions for safety”, “They are not the’ ‘last word’ on
the issue”, and “They are not defensive walls for industry
or others” (25).
For all RF-based non-thermal EMF effects, SAR esti-
mates are not an appropriate exposure metric, but instead
either the field intensity or power density (PD) in combi-
nation with exposure duration should be used in safety
standards (26, 14, 27). In contrast to the ICNIRP guidelines,
the Russian safety standards, are based on non-thermal
RF effects, which were obtained by several research insti-
tutes in the former Soviet Union during decades of studies
on chronic exposures to RF (28, 29).
In contrast to the WHO headquarter in Geneva, the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a
WHO-affiliated specialized agency in Lyon, classified
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extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) as pos-
sibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B) in 2002 (30) and
radio-frequency radiation in 2011 (24).
It should be noted that, during the last 20 years, more
than 20 position papers and resolutions regarding EMF
and health have been adopted by EMF researchers and
physicians. These include the Vienna EMF Resolution,
Austria, 1998; Stewart Report, UK, 2000; Salzburg Reso-
lution, Austria, 2000; Freiburg Appeal, Germany, 2002;
Catania Resolution, Italy, 2002; Irish Doctors’ Environ-
mental Association Statement, Ireland, 2005; Helsinki
Appeal, Finland, 2005; Benevento Resolution, Italy, 2006;
Venice Resolution, Italy, 2008; Porto Alegre Resolution,
Brazil, 2009; Russian National Committee on Non-Ioniz-
ing Radiation Protection Resolution, Russia, 2001; Inter-
national Doctors’ Appeal, Europe, 2012; and the Report of
the Standing Committee on Health, Canada, 2015 (3134).
In August 2007 and December 2012, the BioInitiative
Working Group, an international group of 29 experts with
different competences, published two groundbreaking
reports “BioInitiative 2007/resp. 2012 – A Rationale for a
Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electro-
magnetic Fields (ELF and RF)” edited by Cindy Sage and
David O. Carpenter, calling for preventive measures against
EMF exposure based on the available scientific evidence
(9, 10). The BioInitiative reports are global milestones with
respect to a comprehensive review of biological effects and
health effects of low-intensity electromagnetic radiation
as well as the conclusions and recommendations given for
the public. The BioInitiative report 2012 includes sections
on the evidence for effects on: gene and protein expres-
sion, DNA, immune function, neurology and behavior,
blood-brain barrier, brain tumors and acoustic neuromas,
childhood leukemia, melatonin, Alzheimer’s disease,
breast cancer, fertility and reproduction, fetal and neo-
natal disorders, autism, disruption by the modulating
signal, EMF medical therapeutics, as well as sections on:
statement of the problem, the existing public exposure
standards, evidence for inadequacy of the standards, the
precautionary principle, global public health examples,
key scientific evidence and public health recommenda-
tions, and summary for the public and conclusions.
As it is mostly neglected as a health hazard, the Euro-
pean Environment Agency compared the risks of non-ioniz-
ing radiation (EMF) to other environmental hazards such as
asbestos, benzene, and tobacco, urgently recommending to
implement a precautionary approach regarding EMF (35).
This position was confirmed and elaborated more compre-
hensibly in further publications in 2011 and 2013 (36, 37).
In September 2008, a statement of the European Par-
liament called for a review of the EMF limits set out in the
EU Council Recommendation of 1999, which was based on
the ICNIRP guidelines, with reference to the BioInitiative
Report (38). This was further strengthened in the Euro-
pean Parliament resolution of April 2009 (39).
At the meeting in November 2009 in Seletun, Norway,
a scientific panel adopted a Consensus Agreement that rec-
ommends preventative and precautionary actions that are
warranted now, given the existing evidence for potential
global health risks from EMF exposure (40). Besides general
and specific recommendations, e.g. for mobile and cordless
phone use, the panel recommended exposure limits for
ELF magnetic fields and radio-frequency radiation. It was
stated by the panel: “Numeric limits recommended here
do not yet take into account sensitive populations (EHS,
immune-compromised, the fetus, developing children, the
elderly, people on medications, etc.). Another safety margin
is, thus, likely justified further below the numeric limits for
EMF exposure recommended here”.
Since 2007 the Highest Health Council of the Ministry
of Health in Austria has recommended to take preventive
action by reducing exposure levels from RF devices which
may lead to long-term human exposure of at least a factor
of 100 below the guideline levels of the European Com-
mission and by issuing rules on how to reduce one’s indi-
vidual exposure to RF radiation from mobile phones (41).
In May 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe adopted the report “The Potential
Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and their Effects on the
Environment” (42). The Assembly recommended many
preventive measures for the member states of the Council
of Europe with the aim to protect humans and the envi-
ronment, especially from high-frequency electromagnetic
fields such as: “Take all reasonable measures to reduce
exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radiofre-
quencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure
of children and young people who seem to be most at risk
from head tumors”, or “Pay particular attention to ‘electro-
sensitive’ people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance
to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to
protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not
covered by the wireless network”.
Recognizing that patients are being adversely affected
by EMF exposure, the American Academy of Environ-
mental Medicine (AAEM) published recommendations
regarding EMF exposure in July 2012. The AAEM called
for physicians to consider electromagnetic exposure in
diagnosis and treatment and to recognize that EMF expo-
sure “may be an underlying cause of the patient’s disease
process” (43).
Since 2014, the Belgian government has prohibited the
advertising of mobile phones for children under the age of
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7 and has required the specific absorption rate (SAR) of
mobile phones be listed. Furthermore, at the point of sale,
well-marked warnings must be posted that instruct users
to use headsets and to minimize their exposure (44).
In January 2015, the French parliament adopted a
comprehensive law that protects the general public from
excessive exposure to electromagnetic waves. Among
other things, it was passed to ban Wi-Fi in nurseries for
children under the age of 3 and to enable Wi-Fi at primary
schools with children under the age of 11 only when used
specifically for lessons. Public places offering Wi-Fi must
clearly advertise this fact on a sign. At the point of sale of
mobile phones, the SAR value must be clearly shown. In
the future, any mobile phone advertisement must include
recommendations on how users can reduce RF radiation
exposure to the head such as the use of headsets. Data on
local EMF exposure levels shall be made more easily acces-
sible to the general public, among others, through country-
wide transmitter maps. Also, the French government will
have to submit a report on electromagnetic hypersensitiv-
ity to the parliament within a year (45).
As of February 2016, 220 scientists from 42 coun-
tries have signed an international Appeal, directed to
the United Nations (UN) and WHO, calling for protec-
tion from non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposure.
The appeal addresses the scientifically proven effects
on health and the inadequate international guidelines
(ICNIRP) to date and their use by the WHO. In addition,
nine requests were made, including that: “the public be
fully informed about the potential health risks from elec-
tromagnetic energy and taught harm reduction strategies
and that “medical professionals be educated about the
biological effects of electromagnetic energy and be pro-
vided training on treatment of patients with electromag-
netic sensitivity” (46).
In September 2015 an International Scientific Decla-
ration on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Multiple
Chemical Sensitivity was published by the Scientific Com-
mittee following the 5th Paris Appeal Congress, which
took place on 18 May 2015 at the Royal Academy of Medi-
cine, Brussels, Belgium. It calls upon national and inter-
national agencies and organizations to recognize EHS and
multiple chemical sensitivity as a disease and urges par-
ticularly the WHO to include EHS and MCS in the Interna-
tional Classification of Diseases. It also asks national and
international agencies and organizations to adopt simple
precautionary measures of prevention, to inform the
public, and to appoint truly independent expert groups to
evaluate these health risks based on scientific objectivity,
which is not the case today (47).
EMF and cancer
Except for a few investigations in occupational settings,
epidemiological research of EMF started in 1979 when
Wertheimer and Leeper published their study about the
relationship between the proximity to so-called power
line poles (ELF MF) with “service drop” wires and the
occurrence of childhood cancer (specifically leukemia
and brain tumors) (48). At the same time Robinette etal.
studied mortality in a cohort of Korean War veterans
having been trained on military radars (RF) in the early
1950s (49). Both studies found indications of increased
risks and initiated a new era of studying health-relevant
effects from exposure to EMFs.
ELF MF
In the following years, a large number of investigations
about the relationship between childhood leukemia and
extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) have
been published. However, the results seemed inconsist-
ent until in 2000 two pooled analyses (50, 51) were con-
ducted, providing little indication of inconsistency and
demonstrating an increase of leukemia risk with increas-
ing average exposure levels that was significant for levels
above 0.3 or 0.4 μT relative to averages below 0.1 μT but
without indication of a threshold. Based on these find-
ings, the International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) classified ELF MF in 2002 as a Group 2B (possible)
carcinogen (30). To this category belong, e.g. lead, DDT,
welding fumes, and carbon tetrachloride.
Since then additional epidemiological studies have
been conducted that gave essentially the same results
(52, 53). The only study to date on the gene-environment
interaction in relation to power-frequency MF reported a
significant effect enhancement in children with a poly-
morphism in a DNA-repair gene (54). In a review on child-
hood leukemia and ELF MF, Kundi concluded that there
is sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies of an
increased risk for childhood leukemia from exposure to
power-frequency MF that cannot be attributed to chance,
bias, or confounding. Therefore, according to the rules of
IARC, such exposures ought to be classified as a Group 1
(definitive) carcinogen (55).
The BioInitiative Report 2012 (56) stated: “Children
who have leukemia and are in recovery have poorer sur-
vival rates if their ELF exposure at home (or where they are
recovering) is between 1mG [0.1 μT] and 2 mG [0.2 μT] in
one study; over 3mG [0.3 μT] in another study” (56).
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    Exposure to low frequency and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields at low intensities poses a significant health hazard that has not been adequately addressed by national and international organizations such as the World Health Organization. There is strong evidence that excessive exposure to mobile phone-frequencies over long periods of time increases the risk of brain cancer both in humans and animals. The mechanism(s) responsible include induction of reactive oxygen species, gene expression alteration and DNA damage through both epigenetic and genetic processes. In vivo and in vitro studies demonstrate adverse effects on male and female reproduction, almost certainly due to generation of reactive oxygen species. There is increasing evidence the exposures can result in neurobehavioral decrements and that some individuals develop a syndrome of "electro-hypersensitivity" or "microwave illness", which is one of several syndromes commonly categorized as "idiopathic environmental intolerance". While the symptoms are non-specific, new biochemical indicators and imaging techniques allow diagnosis that excludes the symptoms as being only psychosomatic. Unfortunately standards set by most national and international bodies are not protective of human health. This is a particular concern in children, given the rapid expansion of use of wireless technologies, the greater susceptibility of the developing nervous system, the hyperconductivity of their brain tissue, the greater penetration of radiofrequency radiation relative to head size and their potential for a longer lifetime exposure.
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    A study was done on the effects and influence of conventional electromagnetic fields (Wifi and Cellular) on contaminating microorganisms. The study was performed using Luria-Bertani (LB) and Water Peptone 2.5% (WP) media in two Wifi band channels (1 and 11) using control samples in each case, for a period of 2 days at -30 dBm. The results show a significant decrease in the viability of Escherichia coli ATCC25922 over WP. However, no significant changes were found when LB was used; both results are repeated for both channels. This generates possible anti-pollution technologies for the food industry using electromagnetic fields as the operating principle.
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    Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have long been known to interact with living organisms and their cells and to bear the potential for therapeutic use. Among the most extensively investigated applications, the use of Pulsed EMFs (PEMFs) has proven effective to ameliorate bone healing in several studies, although the evidence is still inconclusive. This is due in part to our still‐poor understanding of the mechanisms by which PEMFs act on cells and affect their functions and to an ongoing lack of consensus on the most effective parameters for specific clinical applications. The present review has compared in vitro studies on PEMFs on different osteoblast models, which elucidate potential mechanisms of action for PEMFs, up to the most recent insights into the role of primary cilia, and highlight the critical issues underlying at least some of the inconsistent results in the available literature. Bioelectromagnetics. 2019;9999:XX–XX.
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    A great deal of evidence has confirmed that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can affect the central nervous system. In this study, cultured neonatal human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells were exposed to pulsed EMF of 1 mT intensity and 50 Hz frequency 8 h daily for 3 days. In addition to cell proliferation and cell death assays, immunocytochemistry for RPE65, PAX6, nestin, and cytokeratin 8/18 proteins were performed. Real‐time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR) was performed for NES, PAX6, RPE65, and ACTA2 gene expression. Exposed hRPE cells did not demonstrate significant change in terms of cytomorphology, cell proliferation, or cell death. Protein expression of PAX6 was decreased in treated cells compared to controls and remained unchanged for RPE65, cytokeratin 8/18, and nestin. Gene expressions of NES, RPE65, and PAX6 were decreased in treated cells as compared to controls. Gene expression of ACTA2 did not significantly change. In conclusion, viability of cultivated neonatal hRPE cells did not change after short exposure to a safe dose of pulsed EMF albeit that both gene and protein expressions of retinal progenitor cell markers were reduced. Whether longer exposure durations that are being constantly produced by widely‐used electronic devices may induce significant changes in these cells, needs further investigation. Bioelectromagnetics. 39:585–594, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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    Modern technologies relying on wireless communication systems have brought increasing levels of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure. This increased research interest in the effects of these radiations on human health. There is compelling evidence that EMFs affect cell physiology by altering redox-related processes. Considering the importance of redox milieu in the biological competence of oocyte and sperm, we reviewed the existing literature regarding the effects of EMFs on reproductive systems. Given the role of mitochondria as the main source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), we focused on the hypothesis of a mitochondrial basis of EMF-induced reproductive toxicity. MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Scopus database were examined for peer-reviewed original articles by searching for the following keywords: “extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs),” “radiofrequency (RF),” “microwaves,” “Wi-Fi,” “mobile phone,” “oxidative stress,” “mitochondria,” “fertility,” “sperm,” “testis,” “oocyte,” “ovarian follicle,” and “embryo.” These keywords were combined with other search phrases relevant to the topic. Although we reported contradictory data due to lack of uniformity in the experimental designs, a growing body of evidence suggests that EMF exposure during spermatogenesis induces increased ROS production associated with decreased ROS scavenging activity. Numerous studies revealed the detrimental effects of EMFs from mobile phones, laptops, and other electric devices on sperm quality and provide evidence for extensive electron leakage from the mitochondrial electron transport chain as the main cause of EMF damage. In female reproductive systems, the contribution of oxidative stress to EMF-induced damages and the evidence of mitochondrial origin of ROS overproduction are reported, as well. In conclusion, mitochondria seem to play an important role as source of ROS in both male and female reproductive systems under EMF exposure. Future and more standardized studies are required for a better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying EMF potential challenge to our reproductive system in order to improve preventive strategies.
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    Introduction: Non-ionizing radiation does not have the level of energy required to produce ionization in tissues or cause DNA damage, but can generate thermal and non-thermal effects on human health that are currently the subject of study and discussion. Much of the daily activity in academic areas is performed under the influence of innumerable radiations. Objective: Evaluate the exposure levels to non-ionizing radiation in academic and sensitive areas in different faculties of the National University of La Plata, Argentina. Methodology: The measurements were made using the Narda® NBM 550 instrument with an isotropic measurement probe in the 100 kHz band at 3 GHz. Seven exterior measurements were taken (outdoor) in different Faculties: In the Faculty of Medical Sciences internal (indoor) measurements were made. Of the latter, three environments were selected to determine the main sources of emission. Results: The maximum values obtained from the external and internal measurements were found below the maximum value of 0.2 mW / cm2. At the Faculty of Medical Sciences, specific measurements were made on two sites of high circulation and on one of several hours of permanence at the place of exposure. Data processing revealed that the specific measurements at 20 cm of the electric lighting fixtures were higher than the maximum allowed. Discussion: It can be inferred that although the results of the external measurements made in the different academic fields are within the allowed values, it is recommended that the measurements be made annually and the use of low emission sources