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Comment Vol 2 December 2018
Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its
As the Planetary Health Alliance moves forward after a
productive second annual meeting, a discussion on the
rapid global proliferation of artificial electromagnetic
fields would now be apt. The most notable is the
blanket of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation,
largely microwave radiation generated for wireless
communication and surveillance technologies, as
mounting scientific evidence suggests that prolonged
exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation
has serious biological and health effects. However,
public exposure regulations in most countries con-
tinue to be based on the guidelines of the International
Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection1 and
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,2 which
were established in the 1990s on the belief that only
acute thermal effects are hazardous. Prevention of tissue
heating by radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is
now proven to be ineffective in preventing biochemical
and physiological interference. For example, acute
non-thermal exposure has been shown to alter human
brain metabolism by NIH scientists,3 electrical activity
in the brain,4 and systemic immune responses.5 Chronic
exposure has been associated with increased oxidative
stress and DNA damage6,7 and cancer risk.8 Laboratory
studies, including large rodent studies by the US National
Toxicology Program9 and Ramazzini Institute of Italy,10
confirm these biological and health effects in vivo. As we
address the threats to human health from the changing
environmental conditions due to human activity,11
the increasing exposure to artificial electromagnetic
radiation needs to be included in this discussion.
Due to the exponential increase in the use of wireless
personal communication devices (eg, mobile or cordless
phones and WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled devices) and
the infrastructure facilitating them, levels of exposure
to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation around
the 1 GHz frequency band, which is mostly used for
modern wireless communications, have increased from
extremely low natural levels by about 10¹⁸ times (figure).
Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is also used
for radar, security scanners, smart meters, and medical
equipment (MRI, diathermy, and radiofrequency
ablation). It is plausibly the most rapidly increasing
anthropogenic environmental exposure since the mid-
20th century, and levels will surge considerably again,
as technologies like the Internet of Things and 5G add
millions more radiofrequency transmitters around us.
Unprecedented human exposure to radiofrequency
electromagnetic radiation from conception until death
has been occurring in the past two decades. Evidence
of its effects on the CNS, including altered neuro-
development14 and increased risk of some neuro-
degenerative diseases,15 is a major concern considering
the steady increase in their incidence. Evidence exists
for an association between neuro develop mental or
Figure: Typical maximum daily exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from man-made and
natural power flux densities in comparison with International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Protection safety guidelines1
Anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation levels are illustrated for different periods in the
evolution of wireless communication technologies. These exposure levels are frequently experienced daily by
people using various wireless devices. The levels are instantaneous and not time-averaged over 6 minutes as
specified by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection for thermal reasons. Figure modified
from Philips and Lamburn12 with permission. Natural levels of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation were
based on the NASA review report CR-166661.13
1 MHz
1 GHz
1 THz
Power flux density (W/m
Frequency (Hz)
Medium-wave broadcastin
Short-wave broadcasting
FM VHF radio
Mobile phones
Mobile phones, WiFi, etc
300 GHz end of ICNIRP radiofrequency guidance
ICNIRP (occupational peak)
ICNIRP (occupational)
ICNIRP (public peak)
ICNIRP (public)
2010s, typical
1980s, typical
1950s, typical
Natural background
e513 Vol 2 December 2018
behavioural disorders in children and exposure to
wireless devices,14 and experimental evidence, such as
the Yale finding, shows that prenatal exposure could
cause structural and functional changes in the brain
associated with ADHD-like behaviour.16 These findings
deserve urgent attention.
At the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory
Association, an independent scientific organisation,
volunteering scientists have constructed the world’s
largest categorised online data base of peer-reviewed
studies on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation
and other man-made electromagnetic fields of lower
frequencies. A recent evaluation of 2266 studies
(including in-vitro and in-vivo studies in human,
animal, and plant experimental systems and population
studies) found that most studies (n=1546, 68∙2%)
have demonstrated significant biological or health
effects associated with exposure to anthropogenic
electromagnetic fields. We have published our
preliminary data on radiofrequency electromagnetic
radiation, which shows that 89% (216 of 242) of
experimental studies that investigated oxidative stress
endpoints showed significant effects.7 This weight of
scientific evidence refutes the prominent claim that
the deployment of wireless technologies poses no
health risks at the currently permitted non-thermal
radiofrequency exposure levels. Instead, the evidence
supports the International EMF Scientist Appeal by
244 scientists from 41 countries who have published on
the subject in peer-reviewed literature and collectively
petitioned the WHO and the UN for immediate
measures to reduce public exposure to artificial
electromagnetic fields and radiation.
Evidence also exists of the effects of radiofrequency
electromagnetic radiation on flora and fauna. For
example, the reported global reduction in bees and
other insects is plausibly linked to the increased
radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation in the
environment.17 Honeybees are among the species
that use magnetoreception, which is sensitive to
anthropogenic electromagnetic fields, for navigation.
Man-made electromagnetic fields range from
extremely low frequency (associated with electricity
supplies and electrical appliances) to low, medium,
high, and extremely high frequency (mostly associated
with wireless communication). The potential effects
of these anthropogenic electromagnetic fields on
natural electromagnetic fields, such as the Schumann
Resonance that controls the weather and climate,
have not been properly studied. Similarly, we do not
adequately understand the effects of anthropogenic
radio frequency electromagnetic radiation on other
natural and man-made atmospheric components
or the ionosphere. It has been widely claimed that
radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, being non-
ionising radiation, does not possess enough photon
energy to cause DNA damage. This has now been
proven wrong experimentally.18,19 Radiofrequency
electromagnetic radiation causes DNA damage
apparently through oxidative stress,7 similar to near-UV
radiation, which was also long thought to be harmless.
At a time when environmental health scientists
tackle serious global issues such as climate change and
chemical toxicants in public health, there is an urgent
need to address so-called electrosmog. A genuine
evidence-based approach to the risk assessment and
regulation of anthropogenic electromagnetic fields
will help the health of us all, as well as that of our
planetary home. Some government health authorities
have recently taken steps to reduce public exposure to
radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation by regulating
use of wireless devices by children and recommending
preferential use of wired communication devices in
general, but this ought to be a coordinated international
*Priyanka Bandara, David O Carpenter
Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association,
Scarborough, QLD 4020, Australia (PB); and Institute for Health
and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY, USA
We declare no competing interests. We thank Alasdair Philips for assistance with
the figure and Victor Leach and Steve Weller for assistance with the ORSAA
Database, which has enabled our overview of the scientific evidence in this area
of research.
Copyright © The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access
article under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
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guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic, and
electromagnetic fields (up to 300 GHz). Health Phys 1998; 74: 494–522.
2 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE C95.7-2014—IEEE
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300 GHz. IEEE Standards Association, 2014.
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For the Oceania Radiofrequency
Scientific Advisory Association
For the International EMF
Scientist Appeal see www.
Comment Vol 2 December 2018
5 Kimata H. Microwave radiation from cellular phones increases
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... Thus, the coincidences of similar effects from studies with different sources of electromagnetic radiation (but with similar pulsed, polarized and modulated radiation), such as radar or radio/television antennas, reinforce the conclusions of this review. Non-ionizing EMF are among the fastest growing forms of environmental pollution, its increase around the world in recent years has been exponential (Bandara and Carpenter, 2018) and symptoms reported today may be classic microwave/RF sickness (Levitt and Lai, 2010). ...
The objective of this work was to perform a complete review of the existing scientific literature to update the knowledge on the effects of base station antennas on humans. Studies performed in real urban conditions, with mobile phone base stations situated close to apartments, were selected. Overall results of this review show three types of effects by base station antennas on the health of people: radiofrequency sickness (RS), cancer (C) and changes in biochemical parameters (CBP). Considering all the studies reviewed globally (n = 38), 73.6% (28/38) showed effects: 73.9% (17/23) for radiofrequency sickness, 76.9% (10/13) for cancer and 75.0% (6/8) for changes in biochemical parameters. Furthermore, studies that did not meet the strict conditions to be included in this review provided important supplementary evidence. The existence of similar effects from studies by different sources (but with RF of similar characteristics), such as radar, radio and television antennas, wireless smart meters and laboratory studies, reinforce the conclusions of this review. Of special importance are the studies performed on animals or trees near base station antennas that cannot be aware of their proximity and to which psychosomatic effects can never be attributed.
... In parallel with the increasing use of telecommunication and other RF-EMF emitting technologies, there are concerns in some sections of the community regarding potential adverse health effects from exposures to RF-EMF from these technologies [13]. Given that anthropogenic sources of RF-EMF exposure have increased considerably in recent decades [1], there is a need to assess these exposures. ...
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Modern human populations are exposed to anthropogenic sources of radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs), primarily to telecommunication and broadcasting technologies. As a result, ongoing concerns from some members of the public have arisen regarding potential health effects following RF-EMF exposures. In order to monitor human RF-EMF exposures and investigate potential health effects, an objective assessment of RF-EMF exposures is necessary. Accurate dosimetry is essential for any investigation of potential associations between RF-EMF exposure and health effects in human populations. This review updates state-of-the-art knowledge of currently available RF-EMF exposure assessment tools applicable in human epidemiological studies. These tools cater for assessing RF-EMF exposures in human environments; through mobile phone-based tools or other standalone tools. RF-EMF exposure assessment has been significantly improved through the application of some of these tools in recent years.
... Se están produciendo cada vez con mayor rapidez e intensidad a nivel mundial, campos electromagnéticos (CEM) artificiales, principalmente de radiofrecuencia y microondas (RF/MO) por las comunicaciones inalámbricas y tecnologías de vigilancia, que están superando los niveles naturales de los CEM terrestres extremadamente bajos, en una magnitud aproximada de 10 18 veces mayor. Estos niveles aumentarán considerablemente más, con los millones de transmisores de RF de la quinta generación de móviles (5G) (Bandara et al., 2018). ...
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El capítulo aborda una discusión en torno a la escala en el pensamiento internacional. Desarrolla un análisis sobre el mundo como producción históri- co-social compleja, y también sobre la diferencia como elemento central en la producción de mundo. Considerando que en Relaciones Internacionales la comple- jidad es poco observada, y comprendiendo que la escala mundial es en realidad una yuxtaposición de escalas diferenciadas, el capítulo plantea la necesaria discusión de la escala como tecnología central de ordenamiento, regulación y articulación de la diferencia, así como también discute la diferencia como herencia de la producción histórica de distintos mundos precapitalistas y su incorporación subalterna a la dinámica del capitalismo mundializado, tanto como el proceso de producción de diferencia dentro de patrones de homogeneización y jerarquización que definen al sistema mundial y en los cuales la escala juega un papel central. Por último, propone el concepto de (geo)política de las escalas como proceso de inteligibilidad de la complejidad social y como forma metodológica y política de comprensión de la escala mundial.
... Electromagnetic pollution is considered major pollution that causes Electromagnetic (EM) waves to interact with electronic equipment and causes instability in their functioning [1][2][3]. To countereffect this, EMI shielding is a need of the hour and is founding a profound area in research [4]. ...
... Интенсивное развитие беспроводных технологий передачи информации посредством высокочастотной радиосвязи, беспроводного интернета, спутниковых информационных систем, а также радиоэлектронных и высокоточных измерительных электронных систем актуализирует решение вопроса негативного влияния высокочастотных электромагнитных излучений на человека [1-3], особенно в плотно заселенных городских районах и агломерациях. Так, уровень высокочастотного электромагнитного фона в городах превышает природный на 50-60 дБ [4], а электромагнитный фон при звонке сотового телефона составляет 29-39 дБм для GSM900 и GSM1800 и около 23 дБм для 4G LTE стандартов [5]. ...
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The results of studies of the created concrete–micro-powder composites of structural steel St3 for use as radio-absorbing and radio-shielding building materials are presented. Metal ferromagnetic filler in the form of micro-powder St3 is obtained from metal chip waste raw materials. Microscopy methods and measurement of electromagnetic properties have been used to obtain data on the microstructure of the created composites and their frequency dependences of electromagnetic characteristics. According to the data obtained, the studied composite materials are applicable as low-cost radio-absorbing and radio-shielding building materials for protection against microwave radiation. Keywords: concrete composites, steel micropowders, microwave absorption, microwave shielding, microwave radiation Приведены результаты исследований созданных композитов бетон–микропорошки конструкционной стали Ст3 с целью использования в качестве радиопоглощающих и радиоэкранирующих строительных материалов. Металлический ферромагнитный наполнитель в виде микропорошка Ст3 получен из металлического стружечного отходного сырья. Методами микроскопии и измерением электромагнитных свойств получены данные по микроструктуре созданных композитов и частотным зависимостям электромагнитных характеристик. Согласно полученным данным композиционные материалы применимы в качестве низкостоимостных радиопоглощающих и радиоэкранирующих строительных материалов для защиты от микроволновых излучений. Ключевые слова: бетонные композиты, микропорошки стали, радиопоглощение, радиоэкранирование, микроволновые излучения
... In any case, it would be extremely inefficient and dangerous to restrict research on diseases to scientists not familiar with clinical research and medicine. In other words, it is through close collaboration between clinicians, epidemiologists and biologists-and also biophysicists and biochemists-that the truth will progressively emerge about EHS, which remains an intriguing nascent environmental pathology with worldwide high-risk public health implications [153] in our increasingly electromagnetically polluted world, due in particular to the widespread deployment of wireless technologies [154]. ...
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Clinical research aiming at objectively identifying and characterizing diseases via clinical observations and biological and radiological findings is a critical initial research step when establishing objective diagnostic criteria and treatments. Failure to first define such diagnostic criteria may lead research on pathogenesis and etiology to serious confounding biases and erroneous medical interpretations. This is particularly the case for electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and more particularly for the so-called “provocation tests”, which do not investigate the causal origin of EHS but rather the EHS-associated particular environmental intolerance state with hypersensitivity to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF). However, because those tests depend on multiple EMF-associated physical and biological parameters and have been conducted in patients without having first defined EHS objectively and/or endpoints adequately, they cannot presently be considered to be valid pathogenesis research methodologies. Consequently, the negative results obtained by these tests do not preclude a role of EMF exposure as a symptomatic trigger in EHS patients. Moreover, there is no proof that EHS symptoms or EHS itself are caused by psychosomatic or nocebo effects. This international consensus report pleads for the acknowledgement of EHS as a distinct neuropathological disorder and for its inclusion in the WHO International Classification of Diseases.
Much of the controversy over the cause of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) lies in the absence of recognized clinical and biological criteria for a widely accepted diagnosis. However, there are presently sufficient data for EHS to be acknowledged as a distinctly well-defined and objectively characterized neurologic pathological disorder. Because we have shown that 1) EHS is frequently associated with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in EHS patients, and 2) that both individualized disorders share a common pathophysiological mechanism for symptom occurrence; it appears that EHS and MCS can be identified as a unique neurologic syndrome, regardless its causal origin. In this overview we distinguish the etiology of EHS itself from the environmental causes that trigger pathophysiological changes and clinical symptoms after EHS has occurred. Contrary to present scientifically unfounded claims, we indubitably refute the hypothesis of a nocebo effect to explain the genesis of EHS and its presentation. We as well refute the erroneous concept that EHS could be reduced to a vague and unproven “functional impairment”. To the contrary, we show here there are objective pathophysiological changes and health effects induced by electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure in EHS patients and most of all in healthy subjects, meaning that excessive non-thermal anthropogenic EMFs are strongly noxious for health. In this overview and medical assessment we focus on the effects of extremely low frequencies, wireless communications radiofrequencies and microwaves EMF. We discuss how to better define and characterize EHS. Taken into consideration the WHO proposed causality criteria, we show that EHS is in fact causally associated with increased exposure to man-made EMF, and in some cases to marketed environmental chemicals. We therefore appeal to all governments and international health institutions, particularly the WHO, to urgently consider the growing EHS-associated pandemic plague, and to acknowledge EHS as a new real EMF causally-related pathology.
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It is still unknown how molecules coordinate their activity and operate at high speeds in the crowded environment of a cell. The study focuses on the geometry of biomolecules, assuming B-DNA, α-helix, β-strand, water molecules, and chemical bonds, including hydrogen bonds, as various types of antennas. The analysis demonstrates that living systems have highly sophisticated wireless and wired communication infrastructures for regulating and coordinating molecular activities, revealing why water is essential for molecular dynamics and indicating how we evolved. The study also includes a few equations linking antenna fields with Einstein's general relativity, Kepler's law of planetary motion, and Newton's law of gravitation, which divides the gravitational field into antenna field zones and clarifies many astronomical facts. The findings, furthermore, suggest that the gravitational field is the antenna field of astronomical objects; and that nature's antennas, such as molecules and astronomical objects, communicate via gravitational waves. We hope that the study, which uses a classical approach to explain the facts of living systems and the Universe, will find applications in biology, astronomy, communication engineering, and other areas of science.
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The National Toxicology Program tested two common radiofrequency radiation (RFR) modulations emitted by cellular telephones in a 2‐year rodent cancer bioassay that included interim assessments of additional animals for genotoxicity endpoints. Male and female Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats and B6C3F1/N mice were exposed from gestation day 5 or postnatal day 35, respectively, to code division multiple access (CDMA) or global system for mobile (GSM) modulations over 18 h/day, at 10 min intervals, in reverberation chambers at specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg (rats, 900 MHz) or 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg (mice, 1900 MHz). After 19 (rats) or 14 (mice) weeks of exposure, animals were examined for evidence of RFR‐associated genotoxicity using two different measures. Using the alkaline (pH > 13) comet assay, DNA damage was assessed in cells from three brain regions, liver cells, and peripheral blood leukocytes; using the micronucleus assay, chromosomal damage was assessed in immature and mature peripheral blood erythrocytes. Results of the comet assay showed significant increases in DNA damage in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations), leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). Increases in DNA damage judged to be equivocal were observed in several other tissues of rats and mice. No significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells were observed in rats or mice. In conclusion, these results suggest that exposure to RFR is associated with an increase in DNA damage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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This study focuses on man-made radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR), which has increased exponentially around the globe over the last few decades due to a rapid expansion of mobile/wireless/satellite technologies. The WHO’s IARC classified RF-EMR as a Group 2B possible human carcinogen in 2011. The Scientific evidence emerged since, particularly epidemiological evidence linking mobile/cordless phone use to brain cancer and experimental evidence of genotoxicity and carcinogenicity has led to calls for an update to this classification. In many countries, including Australia, the current RF exposure regulation is based on the 1998 guidelines of the International Commission on Non-ionization Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Several scientific organizations, including the US National Toxicology Program and EPA, and the American and European academies for environmental medicine, have raised concerns about the thermal basis of ICNIRP guidelines which only takes into account acute tissue heating effects. There is strong scientific evidence of non-thermal biological effects occurring in the absence of heating. These effects cannot be prevented by current thermally-based guidelines. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has based its RF standard (RPS3) on the ICNIRP guidelines which inherit the same limitation – an inability to assure safety from chronic non-thermal effects. ARPANSA has been reluctant to accept potential health effects that may arise out of low-intensity (non-thermal) RF-EMR biological effects as ARPANSA claims a lack of an “established” mechanism other than heating. Our detailed study of the scientific literature challenges this paradigm. We present the experimental evidence of RF-EMR induced oxidative stress, a key non-thermal mechanism of biological effects at low intensity exposures. In our recent review of the scientific literature, 216 out of 242 studies that investigated endpoints related to oxidative stress were found to have reported significant effects. Evaluation of the scientific literature by ARPANSA (TRS164 report) has failed to critically review the literature on oxidative stress and assess its potential impact on public health. We present oxidative stress as a key central mechanism underlying adverse biological effects related to RF-EMR exposure, such as DNA damage. Considering the well-established role of oxidative stress in pathobiology of a wide array of chronic diseases, RF exposure standards require urgent reform.
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Radiofrequency radiations (RFRs) emitted by mobile phone base stations have raised concerns on its adverse impact on humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. Therefore, the present study was envisaged to evaluate the effect of RFR on the DNA damage and antioxidant status in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes (HPBLs) of individuals residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations and comparing it with healthy controls. The study groups matched for various demographic data including age, gender, dietary pattern, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, duration of mobile phone use and average daily mobile phone use. The RF power density of the exposed individuals was significantly higher (p < 0.0001) when compared to the control group. The HPBLs were cultured and the DNA damage was assessed by cytokinesis blocked micronucleus (MN) assay in the binucleate lymphocytes. The analyses of data from the exposed group (n = 40), residing within a perimeter of 80 m of mobile base stations, showed significantly (p < 0.0001) higher frequency of micronuclei when compared to the control group, residing 300 m away from the mobile base station/s. The analysis of various antioxidants in the plasma of exposed individuals revealed a significant attrition in glutathione (GSH) concentration (p < 0.01), activities of catalase (CAT) (p < 0.001) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) (p < 0.001) and rise in lipid peroxidation (LOO) when compared to controls. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed a significant association among reduced GSH concentration (p < 0.05), CAT (p < 0.001) and SOD (p < 0.001) activities and elevated MN frequency (p < 0.001) and LOO (p < 0.001) with increasing RF power density.
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Objective. Bradford Hill’s viewpoints from 1965 on association or causation were used on glioma risk and use of mobile or cordless phones. Methods. All nine viewpoints were evaluated based on epidemiology and laboratory studies. Results. Strength: meta-analysis of case-control studies gave odds ratio (OR) = 1.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.31–2.76 with highest cumulative exposure. Consistency: the risk increased with latency, meta-analysis gave in the 10+ years’ latency group OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.20–2.19. Specificity: increased risk for glioma was in the temporal lobe. Using meningioma cases as comparison group still increased the risk. Temporality: highest risk was in the 20+ years’ latency group, OR = 2.01, 95% CI =1.41–2.88, for wireless phones. Biological gradient: cumulative use of wireless phones increased the risk. Plausibility: animal studies showed an increased incidence of glioma and malignant schwannoma in rats exposed to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. There is increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from RF radiation. Coherence: there is a change in the natural history of glioma and increasing incidence. Experiment: antioxidants reduced ROS production from RF radiation. Analogy: there is an increased risk in subjects exposed to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Conclusion. RF radiation should be regarded as a human carcinogen causing glioma.
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Neurobehavioral disorders are increasingly prevalent in children, however their etiology is not well understood. An association between prenatal cellular telephone use and hyperactivity in children has been postulated, yet the direct effects of radiofrequency radiation exposure on neurodevelopment remain unknown. Here we used a mouse model to demonstrate that in-utero radiofrequency exposure from cellular telephones does affect adult behavior. Mice exposed in-utero were hyperactive and had impaired memory as determined using the object recognition, light/dark box and step-down assays. Whole cell patch clamp recordings of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) revealed that these behavioral changes were due to altered neuronal developmental programming. Exposed mice had dose-responsive impaired glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto layer V pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. We present the first experimental evidence of neuropathology due to in-utero cellular telephone radiation. Further experiments are needed in humans or non-human primates to determine the risk of exposure during pregnancy.
Background: In 2011, IARC classified radiofrequency radiation (RFR) as possible human carcinogen (Group 2B). According to IARC, animals studies, as well as epidemiological ones, showed limited evidence of carcinogenicity. In 2016, the NTP published the first results of its long-term bioassays on near field RFR, reporting increased incidence of malignant glial tumors of the brain and heart Schwannoma in rats exposed to GSM - and CDMA - modulated cell phone RFR. The tumors observed in the NTP study are of the type similar to the ones observed in some epidemiological studies of cell phone users. Objectives: The Ramazzini Institute (RI) performed a life-span carcinogenic study on Sprague-Dawley rats to evaluate the carcinogenic effects of RFR in the situation of far field, reproducing the environmental exposure to RFR generated by 1.8 GHz GSM antenna of the radio base stations of mobile phone. This is the largest long-term study ever performed in rats on the health effects of RFR, including 2448 animals. In this article, we reported the final results regarding brain and heart tumors. Methods: Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed from prenatal life until natural death to a 1.8 GHz GSM far field of 0, 5, 25, 50 V/m with a whole-body exposure for 19 h/day. Results: A statistically significant increase in the incidence of heart Schwannomas was observed in treated male rats at the highest dose (50 V/m). Furthermore, an increase in the incidence of heart Schwann cells hyperplasia was observed in treated male and female rats at the highest dose (50 V/m), although this was not statistically significant. An increase in the incidence of malignant glial tumors was observed in treated female rats at the highest dose (50 V/m), although not statistically significant. Conclusions: The RI findings on far field exposure to RFR are consistent with and reinforce the results of the NTP study on near field exposure, as both reported an increase in the incidence of tumors of the brain and heart in RFR-exposed Sprague-Dawley rats. These tumors are of the same histotype of those observed in some epidemiological studies on cell phone users. These experimental studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the re-evaluation of IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans.
The impact of human activities on our planet's natural systems has been intensifying rapidly in the past several decades, leading to disruption and transformation of most natural systems. These disruptions in the atmosphere, oceans, and across the terrestrial land surface are not only driving species to extinction, they pose serious threats to human health and wellbeing. Characterising and addressing these threats requires a paradigm shift. In a lecture delivered to the Academy of Medical Sciences on Nov 13, 2017, I describe the scale of human impacts on natural systems and the extensive associated health effects across nearly every dimension of human health. I highlight several overarching themes that emerge from planetary health and suggest advances in the way we train, reward, promote, and fund the generation of health scientists who will be tasked with breaking out of their disciplinary silos to address this urgent constellation of health threats. I propose that protecting the health of future generations requires taking better care of Earth's natural systems.
The effects of nonionizing electromagnetic (EM) field interactions with the human body were reported and human related studies were collected. Nonionizing EM fields are linked to cancer in humans in three different ways: cause, means of detection, and effective treatment. Bad and benign effects are expected from nonionizing EM fields and much more knowledge is necessary to properly categorize and qualify EM field characteristics. It is concluded that knowledge of the boundary between categories, largely dependent on field intensity, is vital to proper future use of EM radiation for any purpose and the protection of the individual from hazard.
Previous studies have observed increases in electroencephalographic power during sleep in the spindle frequency range (approximately 11-15 Hz) after exposure to mobile phone-like radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF). Results also suggest that pulse modulation of the signal is crucial to induce these effects. Nevertheless, it remains unclear which specific elements of the field are responsible for the observed changes. We investigated whether pulse-modulation frequency components in the range of sleep spindles may be involved in mediating these effects. Thirty young healthy men were exposed, at weekly intervals, to three different conditions for 30 min directly prior to an 8-h sleep period. Exposure consisted of a 900-MHz RF EMF, pulse modulated at 14 Hz or 217 Hz, and a sham control condition. Both active conditions had a peak spatial specific absorption rate of 2 W kg(-1) . During exposure subjects performed three different cognitive tasks (measuring attention, reaction speed and working memory), which were presented in a fixed order. Electroencephalographic power in the spindle frequency range was increased during non-rapid eye movement sleep (2nd episode) following the 14-Hz pulse-modulated condition. A similar but non-significant increase was also observed following the 217-Hz pulse-modulated condition. Importantly, this exposure-induced effect showed considerable individual variability. Regarding cognitive performance, no clear exposure-related effects were seen. Consistent with previous findings, our results provide further evidence that pulse-modulated RF EMF alter brain physiology, although the time-course of the effect remains variable across studies. Additionally, we demonstrated that modulation frequency components within a physiological range may be sufficient to induce these effects.
The dramatic increase in use of cellular telephones has generated concern about possible negative effects of radiofrequency signals delivered to the brain. However, whether acute cell phone exposure affects the human brain is unclear. To evaluate if acute cell phone exposure affects brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity. Randomized crossover study conducted between January 1 and December 31, 2009, at a single US laboratory among 47 healthy participants recruited from the community. Cell phones were placed on the left and right ears and positron emission tomography with ((18)F)fluorodeoxyglucose injection was used to measure brain glucose metabolism twice, once with the right cell phone activated (sound muted) for 50 minutes ("on" condition) and once with both cell phones deactivated ("off" condition). Statistical parametric mapping was used to compare metabolism between on and off conditions using paired t tests, and Pearson linear correlations were used to verify the association of metabolism and estimated amplitude of radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic waves emitted by the cell phone. Clusters with at least 1000 voxels (volume >8 cm(3)) and P < .05 (corrected for multiple comparisons) were considered significant. Brain glucose metabolism computed as absolute metabolism (μmol/100 g per minute) and as normalized metabolism (region/whole brain). Whole-brain metabolism did not differ between on and off conditions. In contrast, metabolism in the region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher for on than off conditions (35.7 vs 33.3 μmol/100 g per minute; mean difference, 2.4 [95% confidence interval, 0.67-4.2]; P = .004). The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for absolute metabolism (R = 0.95, P < .001) and normalized metabolism (R = 0.89; P < .001). In healthy participants and compared with no exposure, 50-minute cell phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. This finding is of unknown clinical significance.