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 ... [Show full abstract] 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.