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Risks to Health and Well-Being From Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted by Cell Phones and Other Wireless Devices

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Abstract

Radiation exposure has long been a concern for the public, policy makers, and health researchers. Beginning with radar during World War II, human exposure to radio-frequency radiation 1 (RFR) technologies has grown substantially over time. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the published literature and categorized RFR as a "possible" (Group 2B) human carcinogen. A broad range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR have been reported since the IARC review. In addition, three large-scale carcinogenicity studies in rodents exposed to levels of RFR that mimic lifetime human exposures have shown significantly increased rates of Schwannomas and malignant gliomas, as well as chromosomal DNA damage. Of particular concern are the effects of RFR exposure on the developing brain in children. Compared with an adult male, a cell phone held against the head of a child exposes deeper brain structures to greater radiation doses per unit volume, and the young, thin skull's bone marrow absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher local dose. Experimental and observational studies also suggest that men who keep cell phones in their trouser pockets have significantly lower sperm counts and significantly impaired sperm motility and morphology, including mitochondrial DNA damage. Based on the accumulated evidence, we recommend that IARC re-evaluate its 2011 classification of the human carcinogenicity of RFR, and that WHO complete a systematic review of multiple other health effects such as sperm damage. In the interim, current knowledge provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.
REVIEW
published: 13 August 2019
doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00223
Frontiers in Public Health | www.frontiersin.org 1August 2019 | Volume 7 | Article 223
Edited by:
Dariusz Leszczynski,
University of Helsinki, Finland
Reviewed by:
Lorenzo Manti,
University of Naples Federico II, Italy
Sareesh Naduvil Narayanan,
Ras al-Khaimah Medical and Health
Sciences University,
United Arab Emirates
*Correspondence:
Anthony B. Miller
ab.miller@utoronto.ca
Specialty section:
This article was submitted to
Radiation and Health,
a section of the journal
Frontiers in Public Health
Received: 10 April 2019
Accepted: 25 July 2019
Published: 13 August 2019
Citation:
Miller AB, Sears ME, Morgan LL,
Davis DL, Hardell L, Oremus M and
Soskolne CL (2019) Risks to Health
and Well-Being From
Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted by
Cell Phones and Other Wireless
Devices. Front. Public Health 7:223.
doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00223
Risks to Health and Well-Being From
Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted
by Cell Phones and Other Wireless
Devices
Anthony B. Miller 1
*, Margaret E. Sears 2, L. Lloyd Morgan 3, Devra L. Davis 3,
Lennart Hardell 4, Mark Oremus 5and Colin L. Soskolne 6,7
1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2Ottawa Hospital Research Institute,
Prevent Cancer Now, Ottawa, ON, Canada, 3Environmental Health Trust, Teton Village, WY, United States, 4The Environment
and Cancer Research Foundation, Örebro, Sweden, 5School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, ON, Canada, 6School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, 7Health Research Institute,
University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Radiation exposure has long been a concern for the public, policy makers, and
health researchers. Beginning with radar during World War II, human exposure to
radio-frequency radiation1(RFR) technologies has grown substantially over time. In
2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the published
literature and categorized RFR as a “possible” (Group 2B) human carcinogen. A broad
range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR have been reported
since the IARC review. In addition, three large-scale carcinogenicity studies in rodents
exposed to levels of RFR that mimic lifetime human exposures have shown significantly
increased rates of Schwannomas and malignant gliomas, as well as chromosomal DNA
damage. Of particular concern are the effects of RFR exposure on the developing
brain in children. Compared with an adult male, a cell phone held against the head
of a child exposes deeper brain structures to greater radiation doses per unit volume,
and the young, thin skull’s bone marrow absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher local dose.
Experimental and observational studies also suggest that men who keep cell phones
in their trouser pockets have significantly lower sperm counts and significantly impaired
sperm motility and morphology, including mitochondrial DNA damage. Based on the
accumulated evidence, we recommend that IARC re-evaluate its 2011 classification
of the human carcinogenicity of RFR, and that WHO complete a systematic review of
multiple other health effects such as sperm damage. In the interim, current knowledge
provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied
health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body
is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.
Keywords: brain cancer, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, glioma, non-cancer outcomes, policy
recommendations, radiofrequency fields, child development, acoustic neuroma
1Per IEEE C95.1-1991, the radio-frequency radiation frequency range is from 3 kHz to 300 GHz and is non-ionizing.
Miller et al. Risks From Radiofrequency Radiation
INTRODUCTION
We live in a generation that relies heavily on technology. Whether
for personal use or work, wireless devices, such as cell phones,
are commonly used around the world, and exposure to radio-
frequency radiation (RFR) is widespread, including in public
spaces (1,2).
In this review, we address the current scientific evidence
on health risks from exposure to RFR, which is in the non-
ionizing frequency range. We focus here on human health effects,
but also note evidence that RFR can cause physiological and/or
morphological effects on bees, plants and trees (35).
We recognize a diversity of opinions on the potential adverse
effects of RFR exposure from cell or mobile phones and other
wireless transmitting devices (WTDs) including cordless phones
and Wi-Fi. The paradigmatic approach in cancer epidemiology,
which considers the body of epidemiological, toxicological,
and mechanistic/cellular evidence when assessing causality,
is applied.
CARCINOGENICITY
Since 1998, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has maintained that no evidence
of adverse biological effects of RFR exist, other than tissue heating
at exposures above prescribed thresholds (6).
In contrast, in 2011, an expert working group of the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) categorized
RFR emitted by cell phones and other WTDs as a Group 2B
(“possible”) human carcinogen (7).
Since the IARC categorization, analyses of the large
international Interphone study, a series of studies by the Hardell
group in Sweden, and the French CERENAT case-control
studies, signal increased risks of brain tumors, particularly
with ipsilateral use (8). The largest case-control studies on cell
phone exposure and glioma and acoustic neuroma demonstrated
significantly elevated risks that tended to increase with increasing
latency, increasing cumulative duration of use, ipsilateral phone
use, and earlier age at first exposure (8).
Pooled analyses by the Hardell group that examined risk of
glioma and acoustic neuroma stratified by age at first exposure
to cell phones found the highest odds ratios among those first
exposed before age 20 years (911). For glioma, first use of cell
phones before age 20 years resulted in an odds ratio (OR) of 1.8
(95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–2.8). For ipsilateral use, the
OR was 2.3 (CI 1.3-4.2); contralateral use was 1.9 (CI 0.9-3.7).
Use of cordless phone before age 20 yielded OR 2.3 (CI 1.4–3.9),
ipsilateral OR 3.1 (CI 1.6–6.3) and contralateral use OR 1.5 (CI
0.6–3.8) (9).
Although Karipidis et al. (12) and Nilsson et al. (13) found
no evidence of an increased incidence of gliomas in recent years
in Australia and Sweden, respectively, Karipidis et al. (12) only
reported on brain tumor data for ages 20–59 and Nilsson et al.
(13) failed to include data for high grade glioma. In contrast,
others have reported evidence that increases in specific types of
brain tumors seen in laboratory studies are occurring in Britain
and the US:
The incidence of neuro-epithelial brain cancers has
significantly increased in all children, adolescent, and
young adult age groupings from birth to 24 years in the
United States (14,15).
A sustained and statistically significant rise in glioblastoma
multiforme across all ages has been described in the UK (16).
The incidence of several brain tumors are increasing at
statistically significant rates, according to the 2010–2017 Central
Brain Tumor Registry of the U.S. (CBTRUS) dataset (17).
There was a significant increase in incidence of
radiographically diagnosed tumors of the pituitary from
2006 to 2012 (APC =7.3% [95% CI: 4.1%, 10.5%]), with no
significant change in incidence from 2012 to 2015 (18).
Meningioma rates have increased in all age groups from 15
through 85+years.
Nerve sheath tumor (Schwannoma) rates have increased in all
age groups from age 20 through 84 years.
Vestibular Schwannoma rates, as a percentage of nerve sheath
tumors, have also increased from 58% in 2004 to 95% in
2010-2014.
Epidemiological evidence was subsequently reviewed and
incorporated in a meta-analysis by Röösli et al. (19). They
concluded that overall, epidemiological evidence does not
suggest increased brain or salivary gland tumor risk with mobile
phone (MP) use, although the authors admitted that some
uncertainty remains regarding long latency periods (>15 years),
rare brain tumor subtypes, and MP usage during childhood. Of
concern is that these analyses included cohort studies with poor
exposure classification (20).
In epidemiological studies, recall bias can play a substantial
role in the attenuation of odds ratios toward the null hypothesis.
An analysis of data from one large multicenter case-control
study of RFR exposure, did not find that recall bias was
an issue (21). In another multi-country study it was found
that young people can recall phone use moderately well, with
recall depending on the amount of phone use and participants’
characteristics (22). With less rigorous querying of exposure,
prospective cohort studies are unfortunately vulnerable to
exposure misclassification and imprecision in identifying risk
from rare events, to the point that negative results from such
studies are misleading (8,23).
Another example of disparate results from studies of different
design focuses on prognosis for patients with gliomas, depending
upon cell phone use. A Swedish study on glioma found lower
survival in patients with glioblastoma associated with long term
use of wireless phones (24). Ollson et al. (25), however, reported
no indication of reduced survival among glioblastoma patients
in Denmark, Finland and Sweden with a history of mobile
phone use (ever regular use, time since start of regular use,
cumulative call time overall or in the last 12 months) relative to
no or non-regular use. Notably, Olsson et al. (25) differed from
Carlberg and Hardell (24) in that the study did not include use of
cordless phones, used shorter latency time and excluded patients
older than 69 years. Furthermore, a major shortcoming was that
patients with the worst prognosis were excluded, as in Finland
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Miller et al. Risks From Radiofrequency Radiation
inoperable cases were excluded, all of which would bias the risk
estimate toward unity.
In the interim, three large-scale toxicological (animal
carcinogenicity) studies support the human evidence, as do
modeling, cellular and DNA studies identifying vulnerable sub-
groups of the population.
The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) (National
Toxicology Program (26,27) has reported significantly increased
incidence of glioma and malignant Schwannoma (mostly on the
nerves on the heart, but also additional organs) in large animal
carcinogenicity studies with exposure to levels of RFR that did
not significantly heat tissue. Multiple organs (e.g., brain, heart)
also had evidence of DNA damage. Although these findings have
been dismissed by the ICNIRP (28), one of the key originators of
the NTP study has refuted the criticisms (29).
A study by Italy’s Ramazzini Institute has evaluated lifespan
environmental exposure of rodents to RFR, as generated by 1.8
GHz GSM antennae of cell phone radio base stations. Although
the exposures were 60 to 6,000 times lower than those in the
NTP study, statistically significant increases in Schwannomas
of the heart in male rodents exposed to the highest dose, and
Schwann-cell hyperplasia in the heart in male and female rodents
were observed (30). A non-statistically significant increase in
malignant glial tumors in female rodents also was detected. These
findings with far field exposure to RFR are consistent with and
reinforce the results of the NTP study on near field exposure.
Both reported an increase in the incidence of tumors of the
brain and heart in RFR-exposed Sprague-Dawley rats, which are
tumors of the same histological type as those observed in some
epidemiological studies on cell phone users.
Further, in a 2015 animal carcinogenicity study, tumor
promotion by exposure of mice to RFR at levels below exposure
limits for humans was demonstrated (31). Co-carcinogenicity
of RFR was also demonstrated by Soffritti and Giuliani (32)
who examined both power-line frequency magnetic fields as
well as 1.8 GHz modulated RFR. They found that exposure to
Sinusoidal-50 Hz Magnetic Field (S-50 Hz MF) combined with
acute exposure to gamma radiation or to chronic administration
of formaldehyde in drinking water induced a significantly
increased incidence of malignant tumors in male and female
Sprague Dawley rats. In the same report, preliminary results
indicate higher incidence of malignant Schwannoma of the heart
after exposure to RFR in male rats. Given the ubiquity of many of
these co-carcinogens, this provides further evidence to support
the recommendation to reduce the public’s exposure to RFR to as
low as is reasonably achievable.
Finally, a case series highlights potential cancer risk from
cell phones carried close to the body. West et al. (33) reported
four “extraordinary” multifocal breast cancers that arose directly
under the antennae of the cell phones habitually carried within
the bra, on the sternal side of the breast (the opposite of
the norm). We note that case reports can point to major
unrecognized hazards and avenues for further investigation,
although they do not usually provide direct causal evidence.
In a study of four groups of men, of which one group did not
use mobile phones, it was found that DNA damage indicators in
hair follicle cells in the ear canal were higher in the RFR exposure
groups than in the control subjects. In addition, DNA damage
increased with the daily duration of exposure (34).
Many profess that RFR cannot be carcinogenic as it has
insufficient energy to cause direct DNA damage. In a review,
Vijayalaxmi and Prihoda (35) found some studies suggested
significantly increased damage in cells exposed to RF energy
compared to unexposed and/or sham-exposed control cells,
others did not. Unfortunately, however, in grading the evidence,
these authors failed to consider baseline DNA status or the fact
that genotoxicity has been poorly predicted using tissue culture
studies (36). As well funding, a strong source of bias in this field
of enquiry, was not considered (37).
CHILDREN AND REPRODUCTION
As a result of rapid growth rates and the greater vulnerability of
developing nervous systems, the long-term risks to children from
RFR exposure from cell phones and other WTDs are expected
to be greater than those to adults (38). By analogy with other
carcinogens, longer opportunities for exposure due to earlier use
of cell phones and other WTDs could be associated with greater
cancer risks in later life.
Modeling of energy absorption can be an indicator of potential
exposure to RFR. A study modeling the exposure of children 3–
14 years of age to RFR has indicated that a cell phone held against
the head of a child exposes deeper brain structures to roughly
double the radiation doses (including fluctuating electrical and
magnetic fields) per unit volume than in adults, and also that the
marrow in the young, thin skull absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher
local dose than in the skull of an adult male (39). Thus, pediatric
populations are among the most vulnerable to RFR exposure.
The increasing use of cell phones in children, which can be
regarded as a form of addictive behavior (40), has been shown
to be associated with emotional and behavioral disorders. Divan
et al. (41) studied 13,000 mothers and children and found that
prenatal exposure to cell phones was associated with behavioral
problems and hyperactivity in children. A subsequent Danish
study of 24,499 children found a 23% increased odds of emotional
and behavioral difficulties at age 11 years among children whose
mothers reported any cell phone use at age 7 years, compared to
children whose mothers reported no use at age 7 years (42). A
cross-sectional study of 4,524 US children aged 8–11 years from
20 study sites indicated that shorter screen time and longer sleep
periods independently improved child cognition, with maximum
benefits achieved with low screen time and age-appropriate
sleep times (43). Similarly, a cohort study of Swiss adolescents
suggested a potential adverse effect of RFR on cognitive functions
that involve brain regions mostly exposed during mobile phone
use (44). Sage and Burgio et al. (45) posit that epigenetic drivers
and DNA damage underlie adverse effects of wireless devices on
childhood development.
RFR exposure occurs in the context of other exposures, both
beneficial (e.g., nutrition) and adverse (e.g., toxicants or stress).
Two studies identified that RFR potentiated adverse effects of
lead on neurodevelopment, with higher maternal use of mobile
phones during pregnancy [1,198 mother-child pairs, (46)] and
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Miller et al. Risks From Radiofrequency Radiation
Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder (ADHD) with higher
cell phone use and higher blood lead levels, in 2,422 elementary
school children (47).
A study of Mobile Phone Base Station Tower settings adjacent
to school buildings has found that high exposure of male students
to RFR from these towers was associated with delayed fine and
gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention in
adolescent students, compared with students who were exposed
to low RFR (48). A recent prospective cohort study showed
a potential adverse effect of RFR brain dose on adolescents’
cognitive functions including spatial memory that involve brain
regions exposed during cell phone use (44).
In a review, Pall (49) concluded that various non-thermal
microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric
effects. Both animal research (5052) and human studies of
brain imaging research (5356) indicate potential roles of RFR
in these outcomes.
Male fertility has been addressed in cross-sectional studies
in men. Associations between keeping cell phones in trouser
pockets and lower sperm quantity and quality have been reported
(57). Both in vivo and in vitro studies with human sperm
confirm adverse effects of RFR on the testicular proteome and
other indicators of male reproductive health (57,58), including
infertility (59). Rago et al. (60) found significantly altered sperm
DNA fragmentation in subjects who use mobile phones for
more than 4 h/day and in particular those who place the device
in the trousers pocket. In a cohort study, Zhang et al. (61)
found that cell phone use may negatively affect sperm quality
in men by decreasing the semen volume, sperm concentration,
or sperm count, thus impairing male fertility. Gautam et al. (62)
studied the effect of 3G (1.8–2.5 GHz) mobile phone radiation
on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats. They found
that exposure to mobile phone radiation induces oxidative stress
in the rats which may lead to alteration in sperm parameters
affecting their fertility.
RELATED OBSERVATIONS, IMPLICATIONS
AND STRENGTHS OF CURRENT
EVIDENCE
An extensive review of numerous published studies confirms
non-thermally induced biological effects or damage (e.g.,
oxidative stress, damaged DNA, gene and protein expression,
breakdown of the blood-brain barrier) from exposure to RFR
(63), as well as adverse (chronic) health effects from long-
term exposure (64). Biological effects of typical population
exposures to RFR are largely attributed to fluctuating electrical
and magnetic fields (6567).
Indeed, an increasing number of people have developed
constellations of symptoms attributed to exposure to RFR (e.g.,
headaches, fatigue, appetite loss, insomnia), a syndrome termed
Microwave Sickness or Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS) (6870).
Causal inference is supported by consistency between
epidemiological studies of the effects of RFR on induction of
human cancer, especially glioma and vestibular Schwannomas,
and evidence from animal studies (8). The combined weight
of the evidence linking RFR to public health risks includes
a broad array of findings: experimental biological evidence of
non-thermal effects of RFR; concordance of evidence regarding
carcinogenicity of RFR; human evidence of male reproductive
damage; human and animal evidence of developmental harms;
and limited human and animal evidence of potentiation of effects
from chemical toxicants. Thus, diverse, independent evidence
of a potentially troubling and escalating problem warrants
policy intervention.
CHALLENGES TO RESEARCH, FROM
RAPID TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES
Advances in RFR-related technologies have been and continue
to be rapid. Changes in carrier frequencies and the growing
complexity of modulation technologies can quickly render
“yesterdays” technologies obsolete. This rapid obsolescence
restricts the amount of data on human RFR exposure to
particular frequencies, modulations and related health outcomes
that can be collected during the lifespan of the technology
in question.
Epidemiological studies with adequate statistical power must
be based upon large numbers of participants with sufficient
latency and intensity of exposure to specific technologies.
Therefore, a lack of epidemiological evidence does not necessarily
indicate an absence of effect, but rather an inability to
study an exposure for the length of time necessary, with an
adequate sample size and unexposed comparators, to draw
clear conclusions. For example, no case-control study has been
published on fourth generation (4G; 2–8 GHz) Long-term
Evolution (LTE) modulation, even though the modulation was
introduced in 2010 and achieved a 39% market share worldwide
by 2018 (71).
With this absence of human evidence, governments must
require large-scale animal studies (or other appropriate studies
of indicators of carcinogenicity and other adverse health effects)
to determine whether the newest modulation technologies incur
risks, prior to release into the marketplace. Governments should
also investigate short-term impacts such as insomnia, memory,
reaction time, hearing and vision, especially those that can occur
in children and adolescents, whose use of wireless devices has
grown exponentially within the past few years.
The Telecom industry’s fifth generation (5G) wireless
service will require the placement of many times more small
antennae/cell towers close to all recipients of the service,
because solid structures, rain and foliage block the associated
millimeter wave RFR (72). Frequency bands for 5G are separated
into two different frequency ranges. Frequency Range 1 (FR1)
includes sub-6 GHz frequency bands, some of which are bands
traditionally used by previous standards, but has been extended
to cover potential new spectrum offerings from 410 to 7,125
MHz. Frequency Range 2 (FR2) includes higher frequency
bands from 24.25 to 52.6 GHz. Bands in FR2 are largely of
millimeter wave length, these have a shorter range but a higher
available bandwidth than bands in the FR1. 5G technology is
being developed as it is also being deployed, with large arrays
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Miller et al. Risks From Radiofrequency Radiation
of directional, steerable, beam-forming antennae, operating at
higher power than previous technologies. 5G is not stand-alone—
it will operate and interface with other (including 3G and 4G)
frequencies and modulations to enable diverse devices under
continual development for the “internet of things,” driverless
vehicles and more (72).
Novel 5G technology is being rolled out in several
densely populated cities, although potential chronic health
or environmental impacts have not been evaluated and are
not being followed. Higher frequency (shorter wavelength)
radiation associated with 5G does not penetrate the body as
deeply as frequencies from older technologies although its
effects may be systemic (73,74). The range and magnitude
of potential impacts of 5G technologies are under-researched,
although important biological outcomes have been reported with
millimeter wavelength exposure. These include oxidative stress
and altered gene expression, effects on skin and systemic effects
such as on immune function (74). In vivo studies reporting
resonance with human sweat ducts (73), acceleration of bacterial
and viral replication, and other endpoints indicate the potential
for novel as well as more commonly recognized biological
impacts from this range of frequencies, and highlight the need
for research before population-wide continuous exposures.
GAPS IN APPLYING CURRENT EVIDENCE
Current exposure limits are based on an assumption that the
only adverse health effect from RFR is heating from short-term
(acute), time-averaged exposures (75). Unfortunately, in some
countries, notably the US, scientific evidence of the potential
hazards of RFR has been largely dismissed (76). Findings of
carcinogenicity, infertility and cell damage occurring at daily
exposure levels—within current limits—indicate that existing
exposure standards are not sufficiently protective of public
health. Evidence of carcinogenicity alone, such as that from
the NTP study, should be sufficient to recognize that current
exposure limits are inadequate.
Public health authorities in many jurisdictions have not yet
incorporated the latest science from the U.S. NTP or other
groups. Many cite 28-year old guidelines by the Institute of
Electrical and Electronic Engineers which claimed that “Research
on the effects of chronic exposure and speculations on the
biological significance of non-thermal interactions have not
yet resulted in any meaningful basis for alteration of the
standard” (77)2.
Conversely, some authorities have taken specific actions to
reduce exposure to their citizens (78), including testing and
recalling phones that exceed current exposure limits.
While we do not know how risks to individuals from using cell
phones may be offset by the benefits to public health of being able
to summon timely health, fire and police emergency services, the
findings reported above underscore the importance of evaluating
potential adverse health effects from RFR exposure, and taking
pragmatic, practical actions to minimize exposure.
2The FCC adopted the IEEE C95.1 1991 standard in 1996.
We propose the following considerations to address gaps in
the current body of evidence:
As many claim that we should by now be seeing an increase in
the incidence of brain tumors if RFR causes them, ignoring
the increases in brain tumors summarized above, a detailed
evaluation of age-specific, location-specific trends in the
incidence of gliomas in many countries is warranted.
Studies should be designed to yield the strongest evidence,
most efficiently:
Population-based case-control designs can be more
statistically powerful to determine relationships with rare
outcomes such as glioma, than cohort studies. Such studies
should explore the relationship between energy absorption
(SAR3), duration of exposure, and adverse outcomes,
especially brain cancer, cardiomyopathies and abnormal
cardiac rythms, hematologic malignancies, thyroid cancer.
Cohort studies are inefficient in the study of rare outcomes
with long latencies, such as glioma, because of cost-
considerations relating to the follow-up required of very
large cohorts needed for the study of rare outcomes. In
addition, without continual resource-consuming follow-
up at frequent intervals, it is not possible to ascertain
ongoing information about changing technologies, uses
(e.g., phoning vs. texting or accessing the Internet)
and/or exposures.
Cross-sectional studies comparing high-, medium-, and
low-exposure persons may yield hypothesis-generating
information about a range of outcomes relating to
memory, vision, hearing, reaction-time, pain, fertility, and
sleep patterns.
Exposure assessment is poor in this field, with very little fine-
grained detail as to frequencies and modulations, doses and
dose rates, and peak exposures, particularly over the long-
term. Solutions such as wearable meters and phone apps have
not yet been incorporated in large-scale research.
Systematic reviews on the topic could use existing databases
of research reports, such as the one created by Oceania
Radiofrequency Science Advisory Association (79) or EMF
Portal (80), to facilitate literature searches.
Studies should be conducted to determine appropriate
locations for installation of antennae and other broadcasting
systems; these studies should include examination of
biomarkers of inflammation, genotoxicity, and other health
indicators in persons who live at different radiuses around
these installations. This is difficult to study in the general
population because many people’s greatest exposure arises
from their personal devices.
Further work should be undertaken to determine the
distance that wireless technology antennae should be kept
away from humans to ensure acceptable levels of safety,
distinguishing among a broad range of sources (e.g., from
commercial transmitters to Bluetooth devices), recognizing
that exposures fall with the inverse of the square of the distance
3When necessary, SAR values should be adjusted for age of child in W/kg.
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Miller et al. Risks From Radiofrequency Radiation
(The inverse-square law specifies that intensity is inversely
proportional to the square of the distance from the source of
radiation). The effective radiated power from cell towers needs
to be regularly measured and monitored.
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON
THE EVIDENCE TO DATE
At the time of writing, a total of 32 countries or governmental
bodies within these countries4have issued policies and health
recommendations concerning exposure to RFR (78). Three U.S.
states have issued advisories to limit exposure to RFR (8183)
and the Worcester Massachusetts Public Schools (84) voted to post
precautionary guidelines on Wi-Fi radiation on its website. In
France, Wi-Fi has been removed from pre-schools and ordered to
be shut off in elementary schools when not in use, and children
aged 16 years or under are banned from bringing cell phones
to school (85). Because the national test agency found 9 out of
10 phones exceeded permissible radiation limits, France is also
recalling several million phones.
We therefore recommend the following:
1. Governmental and institutional support of data collection and
analysis to monitor potential links between RFR associated
with wireless technology and cancers, sperm, the heart,
the nervous system, sleep, vision and hearing, and effects
on children.
2. Further dissemination of information regarding potential
health risk information that is in wireless devices and manuals
is necessary to respect users’ Right To Know. Cautionary
statements and protective measures should be posted on
packaging and at points of sale. Governments should follow
the practice of France, Israel and Belgium and mandate
labeling, as for tobacco and alcohol.
3. Regulations should require that any WTD that could be used
or carried directly against the skin (e.g., a cell phone) or in
close proximity (e.g., a device being used on the lap of a
small child) be tested appropriately as used, and that this
information be prominently displayed at point of sale, on
packaging, and both on the exterior and within the device.
4. IARC should convene a new working group to update the
categorization of RFR, including current scientific findings
4Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark,
European Environmental Agency, European Parliament, Finland, France, French
Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Italy, India, Ireland, Israel, Namibia, New Zealand,
Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania,
Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
that highlight, in particular, risks to youngsters of subsequent
cancers. We note that an IARC Advisory Group has recently
recommended that RFR should be re-evaluated by the IARC
Monographs program with high priority.
5. The World Health Organization (WHO) should complete
its long-standing RFR systematic review project, using
strong modern scientific methods. National and regional
public health authorities similarly need to update their
understanding and to provide adequate precautionary
guidance for the public to minimize potential health risks.
6. Emerging human evidence is confirming animal evidence
of developmental problems with RFR exposure during
pregnancy. RFR sources should be avoided and distanced
from expectant mothers, as recommended by physicians and
scientists (babysafeproject.org).
7. Other countries should follow France, limiting RFR exposure
in children under 16 years of age.
8. Cell towers should be distanced from homes, daycare centers,
schools, and places frequented by pregnant women, men who
wish to father healthy children, and the young.
Specific examples of how the health policy recommendations
above, invoking the Precautionary Principle, might be practically
applied to protect public health, are provided in the Annex.
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual
contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors acknowledge the contributions of Mr. Ali Siddiqui in
drafting the Policy Recommendations, and those from members
of the Board of the International Network for Epidemiology in
Policy (INEP) into previous iterations of this manuscript. We
are grateful to external reviewers for their thoughtful critiques
that have served to improve both accuracy and presentation.This
manuscript was initially developed by the authors as a draft of a
Position Statement of INEP. The opportunity was then provided
to INEP’s 23 member organizations to endorse what the INEP
Board had recommended, but 12 of those member organizations
elected not to vote. Of the 11 that did vote, three endorsed the
statement, two voted against it, and six abstained. Ultimately, the
Board voted to abandon its involvement with what it determined
to be a divisive topic. The authors then decided that, in the
public interest, the document should be published independent
of INEP.
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Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors declare that this manuscript was
drafted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be
construed as a potential conflict of interest, although subsequent to its preparation,
DD became a consultant to legal counsel representing persons with glioma
attributed to radiation from cell phones.
Copyright © 2019 Miller, Sears, Morgan, Davis, Hardell, Oremus and
Soskolne. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or
reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s)
and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in
this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use,
distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these
terms.
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Miller et al. Risks From Radiofrequency Radiation
ANNEX: EXAMPLES OF ACTIONS FOR
REDUCING RFR EXPOSURE
1. Focus actions for reducing exposure to RFR on pregnant
women, infants, children and adolescents, as well as males who
might wish to become fathers.
2. Reduce, as much as possible, the extent to which infants
and young children are exposed to RFR from Wi-Fi-enabled
devices such as baby monitors, wearable devices, cell phones,
tablets, etc.
3. Avoid placing cell towers and small cell antennae close to
schools and homes pending further research and revision
of the existing exposure limits. In schools, homes and
the workplace, cable or optical fiber connections to the
Internet are preferred. Wi-Fi routers in schools and
daycares/kindergartens should be strongly discouraged
and programs instituted to provide Internet access via cable
or fiber.
4. Ensure that WTDs minimize radiation by transmitting
only when necessary, and as infrequently as is feasible.
Examples include transmitting only in response to a
signal (e.g., accessing a router or querying a device, a
cordless phone handset being turned on, or voice or
motion activation). Prominent, visible power switches are
needed to ensure that WTDs can be easily turned on
only when needed, and off when not required (e.g., Wi-Fi
when sleeping).
5. Lower permitted power densities in close proximity to fixed-
site antennae, from “occupational” limits to exposure limits
for the general public.
6. Update current exposure limits to be protective against the
non-thermal effects of RFR. Such action should be taken
by all heath ministries and public health agencies, as well
as industry regulatory bodies. Exposure limits should be
based on measurements of RFR levels related to biological
effects (2).
7. Ensure that advisories relating to cell phone use are placed in
such a way that purchasers can find them easily, similar to the
Berkeley Cell Phone “Right to Know” Ordinance (86).
8. Advise the public that texting and speaker mode are preferable
to holding cell phones to the ear. Alternatively, use hands-free
accessories for cell phones, including air tube headsets that
interrupt the transmission of RFR.
9. When possible, keep cell phones away from the body (e.g., on
a nearby desk, in a purse or bag, or on a mounted hands-free
accessory in motor vehicles).
10. Delay the widespread implementation of 5G (and any
other new technology) until studies can be conducted to
assess safety. This includes a wide range of household
and community-wide infrastructure WTDs and self-driving
vehicles, as well as the building of 5G minicells.
11. Fiber-optic connections for the Internet should be made
available to every home, office, school, warehouse and factory,
when and where possible.
GLOSSARY
ALARA As Low a level As Reasonably Achievable
CBTRUS Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States
CI Confidence Interval
EMR Electro Magnetic Radiation
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
ICNIRP International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection
INEP International Network for Epidemiology in Policy
LTE Long-Term Evolution modulation
NTP U.S. National Toxicology Program
OR Odds Ratio
RFR Radio-Frequency Radiation
SAR Specific Absorption Rate
WTD Wireless Transmitting Device
Frontiers in Public Health | www.frontiersin.org 10 August 2019 | Volume 7 | Article 223
... The use of mobile phones and base stations are increasing worldwide [27]; however, the biological effects of EMF exposure on cardiac cells and tissues remain unclear. Cardiomyocytes are sensitive to a wide range of internal and external stimuli linked to ROS formation [18]. ...
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Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is a sensitive research topic. Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to EMFs influences the cardiovascular system. In the present study, we examined whether 915 MHz EMF exposure affects myocardial antioxidative and apoptotic status in vitro and in vivo. No statistically significant difference in the apoptotic cell profile and antioxidant capacity was observed between controls and short-term EMF-exposed mouse cardiomyocytes and H9C2 cardiomyoblasts. Compared with sham-exposed controls, mice subjected to a 915 MHz EMF for 48 h and 72 h had no significant effect on structural tissue integrity and myocardial expression of apoptosis and antioxidant genes. Therefore, these results indicate that short-term exposure to EMF in cardiac cells and tissues did not translate into a significant effect on the myocardial antioxidant defense system and apoptotic cell death.
... This makes mmWave signals possible risks (i.e., of penetrating into the human body). The studies have shown exposure to the RF radiation leading to affect different body parts, including the skin and eyes [15,81]. ...
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The fifth-generation mobile network (5G), as the fundamental enabler of Industry 4.0, has facilitated digital transformation and smart manufacturing through AI and cloud computing (CC). However, B5G is viewed as a turning point that will fundamentally transform existing global trends in wireless communication practices as well as in the lives of masses. B5G foresees a world where physical–digital confluence takes place. This study intends to see the world beyond 5G with the transition to 6G assuming the lead as future wireless communication technology. However, despite several developments, the dream of an era without latency, unprecedented speed internet, and extraterrestrial communication has yet to become a reality. This article explores main impediments and challenges that the 5G–6G transition may face in achieving these greater ideals. This article furnishes the vision for 6G, facilitating technology infrastructures, challenges, and research leads towards the ultimate achievement of “technology for humanity” objective and better service to underprivileged people.
... Environment affects male sexual function and sexuality. In addition to the medical conditions and lifestyle variables previously described, several studies have revealed that specific environmental exposures such as climate/day light/ heat [20], night shifts, chemical toxicants [21,22], heavy metals [23,24], radiofrequency electromagnetic fields [25], and exogenous drugs may adversely affect male reproductive and sexual health (Table 1). ...
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Purpose of Review Erectile dysfunction, or the inability to achieve penile erection, can be caused by many pharmacological and non-pharmacological factors including smoking, diet, alcohol consumption, obesity, and environmental exposures. Therefore, encouragement of healthy routines can result in great improvement in sexual function. In this review, examples of lifestyle and diet types that burden male sexual function have been addressed in order to encourage healthier lifestyle. Recent Findings Radiant heat, chemical toxins, heavy metals, radio frequency electromagnetic fields, adherence to the Western diet, obesity, lack of exercise, and drug use negatively affect male sexual health through a variety of mechanisms including vascular dysfunction, hormonal dysfunction, and nitric oxide inhibition. Summary This systematic review reveals a captivating role between environmental exposures, dietary patterns, and reproductive and sexual health, especially erectile dysfunction that would serve as comprehensive guide aiding patients’ counseling and management.
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Concerns about the health effects of frequent exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted from mobile towers and handsets have been raised because of the gradual increase in usage of cell phones and frequent setting up of mobile towers. Present study is targeted to detrimental effects of EMF radiation on various biological systems mainly due to online teaching and learning process by suppressing the immune system. During COVID-19 pandemic the increased usage of internet due to online education and online office leads to more detrimental effects of EMF radiation. Further inculcation of soft computing techniques in EMF radiation has been presented. A literature review focusing on the usage of soft computing techniques in the domain of EMF radiation has been presented in the article. An online survey has been conducted targeting Indian academic stakeholders’ (Specially Teachers, Students and Parents termed as population in paper) for analyzing the awareness towards the bio hazards of EMF exposure.
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With the advancement of wireless technologies and electronic/electrical devices, humans are exposed to more complicated electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields (EMF), which has raised public concerns on potential health effects. Researchers have recently conducted a series of studies on diverse exposure scenarios. In addition, international standard organizations have revised safety guidelines and standards (1). These recent results and practices can enhance our knowledge in assessing health risks from the exposure to EMF (2). This Research Topic consists of 14 articles (one review article, two brief research report articles, and 11 original research articles) published in the Radiation and Health section of Frontiers in Public Health.
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The MOBI-Kids case-control study on wireless phone use and brain tumor risk in childhood and adolescence included the age group 10–24 years diagnosed between 2010 and 2015. Overall no increased risk was found although for brain tumors in the temporal region an increased risk was found in the age groups 10–14 and 20–24 years. Most odds ratios (ORs) in MOBI-Kids were <1.0, some statistically significant, suggestive of a preventive effect from RF radiation; however, this is in contrast to current knowledge about radiofrequency (RF) carcinogenesis. The MOBI-Kids results are not biologically plausible and indicate that the study was flawed due to methodological problems. For example, not all brain tumor cases were included since central localization was excluded. Instead, all brain tumor cases should have been included regardless of histopathology and anatomical localization. Only surgical controls with appendicitis were used instead of population-based controls from the same geographical area as for the cases. In fact, increased incidence of appendicitis has been postulated to be associated with RF radiation which makes selection of control group in MOBI-Kids questionable. Start of wireless phone use up to 10 years before diagnosis was in some analyses included in the unexposed group. Thus, any important results demonstrating late carcinogenesis, a promoter effect, have been omitted from analysis and may underestimate true risks. Linear trend was in some analyses statistically significant in the calculation of RF-specific energy and extremely low frequency (ELF)-induced current in the center of gravity of the tumor. Additional case-case analysis should have been performed. The data from this study should be reanalyzed using unconditional regression analysis adjusted for potential confounding factors to increase statistical power. Then all responding cases and controls could be included in the analyses. In sum, we believe the results as reported in this paper seem uninterpretable and should be dismissed.
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The use of wireless communication technology in mobile phones has revolutionized modern telecommunication and mobile phones have become so popular that their number exceeds the global population. Electromagnetic field radiations (EMR) are an integral part of wireless technology, which are emitted by mobile phones, mobile towers, electric power stations, transmission lines, radars, microwave ovens, television sets, refrigerators, diagnostic/therapeutic and other electronic devices. The manmade EMR sources have added to the existing burden of natural EMR human exposure arising from the Sun, cosmos, atmospheric discharges, and thunderstorms. EMR including radiofrequency waves (RF) and extremely low frequency radiation (ELF) has generated great interest as their human exposure causes headache, fatigue, tinnitus, concentration problems, depression, memory loss, skin irritation, sleep disorders, nausea, cardiovascular effects, chest pain, immunity and hormonal disorders as the short-term effects and cancer as the late effect. The review has been written by collecting the information using various search engines including google scholar, PubMed SciFinder, Science direct, EMF-portal, saferemr, and other websites on the internet and its main focus is on the mutagenic and genotoxic effects of EMR in humans and mammals. Numerous investigations revealed that exposure in the range of 0–300 GHz EMR is harmless as this did not increase micronuclei and chromosome aberrations. On the contrary, several other studies have demonstrated that exposure to EMR increases the frequency of micronuclei, chromosome aberrations, DNA adducts, DNA single and double strand breaks at the molecular level in vitro and in vivo. The EMR exposure induces reactive oxygen species and changes the fidelity of genes involved in signal transduction, cytoskeleton formation, and cellular metabolism.
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Radiofrequency (RF) heating with superior properties, like high energy efficiency due to volumetric heating, lower processing time, and greater energy saving has emerged as a potential alternative to the conventional method. RF technology has proven to process food materials with improved physical, chemical, and sensory properties, offering multiple applications in food processing. However, so far, the application of RF heating to the food industries is limited due to non‐uniform temperature distribution and the complexity of food composition. Its use is restricted to lab‐scale research and needs more systematic comprehensive research on a pilot scale and commercial scale. The application of computer simulation on the improvement of design for scale‐up operations is an emerging area. Furthermore, health hazards arising out of the use of high‐frequency radio waves during operations are the major concerns for the adoption of this technology. This chapter discusses the principle and mechanism of RF heating, application areas in food processing and preservation, technological constraints and associated safety hazards, commercialization aspects, and future scope of the technology.
Raw Data
We present an integrative understanding of cancer as a metabolic multifactorial, multistage disease. We focus on underlying genetics-environmental interactions, evidenced by telomere changes. A range of genetic and epigenetic factors, including physical agents and predisposing factors such as diet and lifestyle are included. We present a structured model of the causes of cancer, methods of investigations, approaches to cancer prevention, and polypharmaceutical multidisciplinary complex treatment within a framework of personalized medicine. We searched PubMed, National Cancer Institute online, and other databases for publications regarding causes of cancer, reports of novel mitochondrial reprogramming, epigenetic, and telomerase therapies and state-of-the-art investigations. We focused on multistep treatment protocols to enhance early detection of cancer, and elimination or neutralization of the causes and factors associated with cancer formation and progression. Our aim is to suggest a model therapeutic protocol that incorporates the patient's genome, metabolism, and immune system status; stage of tumor development; and comorbidity(ies), if any. Investigation and treatment of cancer is a challenge that requires further holistic studies that improve the quality of life and survival rates, but are most likely to aid prevention.
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During recent years, an increasing percentage of male infertility has to be attributed to an array of environmental, health and lifestyle factors. Male infertility is likely to be affected by the intense exposure to heat and extreme exposure to pesticides, radiations, radioactivity and other hazardous substances. We are surrounded by several types of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations and both have recognized causative effects on spermatogenesis. Since it is impossible to cover all types of radiation sources and their biological effects under a single title, this review is focusing on radiation deriving from cell phones, laptops, Wi-Fi and microwave ovens, as these are the most common sources of non-ionizing radiations, which may contribute to the cause of infertility by exploring the effect of exposure to radiofrequency radiations on the male fertility pattern. From currently available studies it is clear that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) have deleterious effects on sperm parameters (like sperm count, morphology, motility), affects the role of kinases in cellular metabolism and the endocrine system, and produces genotoxicity, genomic instability and oxidative stress. This is followed with protective measures for these radiations and future recommendations. The study concludes that the RF-EMF may induce oxidative stress with an increased level of reactive oxygen species, which may lead to infertility. This has been concluded based on available evidences from in vitro and in vivo studies suggesting that RF-EMF exposure negatively affects sperm quality.
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Objective Some studies have reported increasing trends in certain brain tumours and a possible link with mobile phone use has been suggested. We examined the incidence time trends of brain tumour in Australia for three distinct time periods to ascertain the influence of improved diagnostic technologies and increase in mobile phone use on the incidence of brain tumours. Design In a population-based ecological study, we examined trends of brain tumour over the periods 1982–1992, 1993–2002 and 2003–2013. We further compared the observed incidence during the period of substantial mobile phone use (2003–2013) with predicted (modelled) incidence for the same period by applying various relative risks, latency periods and mobile phone use scenarios. Setting National Australian incidence registration data on primary cancers of the brain diagnosed between 1982 and 2013. Population 16 825 eligible brain cancer cases aged 20–59 from all of Australia (10 083 males and 6742 females). Main outcome measures Annual percentage change (APC) in brain tumour incidence based on Poisson regression analysis. Results The overall brain tumour rates remained stable during all three periods. There was an increase in glioblastoma during 1993–2002 (APC 2.3, 95% CI 0.8 to 3.7) which was likely due to advances in the use of MRI during that period. There were no increases in any brain tumour types, including glioma (−0.6, –1.4 to 0.2) and glioblastoma (0.8, –0.4 to 2.0), during the period of substantial mobile phone use from 2003 to 2013. During that period, there was also no increase in glioma of the temporal lobe (0.5, –1.3 to 2.3), which is the location most exposed when using a mobile phone. Predicted incidence rates were higher than the observed rates for latency periods up to 15 years. Conclusions In Australia, there has been no increase in any brain tumour histological type or glioma location that can be attributed to mobile phones.
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AbstractThe use of mobile phones has remarkably increased and become a basic need of daily life. Increasing subscriptions of mobile phones boost the installation of mobile phone base station towers (MPBSTs) in crowded commercial and residential areas including near school buildings. This study investigated the impact of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) radiation generated by MPBSTs on cognitive functions. Two hundred and seventeen volunteer male students aged between 13 and 16 registered from two different intermediate schools: 124 students were from School 1 and 93 students were from School 2. The MPBSTs were located within 200 m from the school buildings. In School 1, RF-EMF was 2.010 μW/cm2 with a frequency of 925 MHz and in School 2, RF-EMF was 10.021 μW/cm2 with a frequency of 925 MHz. Students were exposed to EMFR for 6 hr a day, 5 days a week for a total period of 2 years. The Narda Safety Test Solution device SRM-3006 was used to measure RF-EMF in both schools, and cognitive functions tasks were measured by the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Significant impairment in Motor Screening Task (MOT; p= .03) and Spatial Working Memory (SWM) task (p= .04) was identified among the group of students who were exposed to high RF-EMF produced by MPBSTs. High exposure to RF-EMF produced by MPBSTs was associated with delayed fine and gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention in school adolescents compared to students who were exposed to low RF-EMF
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We measured the radiofrequency (RF) radiation at central parts in Stockholm, Sweden in March and April 2017. The same measurement round tour was used each time. We used EME Spy 200 for the measurements as in our previous studies in Stockholm. The results were based on 11,482 entries, corresponding to more than 12 h measurements. The total mean level was 5,494 µW/m² (median 3,346; range 36.6-205,155). The major contributions were down links from LTE 800 (4G), GSM + UMTS 900 (3G), GSM 1800 (2G), UMTS 2100 (3G) and LTE 2600 (4G). Regarding different places, the highest RF radiation was measured at the Hay Market with a mean level of 10,728 µW/m² (median 8,578; range 335-68,815). This is a square used for shopping, and both retailers and visitors may spend considerable time at this place. Also, the Sergel Plaza had high radiation with a mean of 7,768 µW/m². All measurements exceeded the target level of 30-60 µW/m² based on non-thermal (no heating) effects, according to the BioInitiative Report. Based on short-term thermal effects, The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection established guideline 2 of 10 W/m² (2,000,000-10,000,000 µW/m²) depending on frequency in 1998, and has not changed it despite solid evidence of non-thermal biological effects at substantially lower exposure levels. These environmental RF radiation levels are expected to increase with the introduction of 5G for wireless communication.
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Purpose Gliomas are the most common cancer of the brain, with a poor prognosis in particular for glioblastoma. In 2014, a study suggested reduced survival in relation to latency of mobile phone use among glioblastoma patients. A joint epidemiological/experimental project to study effects of RF-EMF on tumor development and progression was established. The current analysis relates to the epidemiological part and addresses whether pre-diagnostic mobile phone use was associated with survival among glioma patients. Methods Glioma cases (n = 806) previously enrolled in a collaborative population-based case–control study in Denmark, Finland and Sweden were followed up for survival. Vital status, date of death, date of emigration, or date last known to be alive was obtained based on registry linkages with a unique personal ID in each country. Cox regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) stratified by country. Covariates investigated were sex, age, education, histology, treatment, anatomic location and marital status. Results No indication of reduced survival among glioblastoma patients was observed for various measures of mobile phone use (ever regular use, time since start of regular use, cumulative call time overall or in the last 12 months) relative to no or non-regular use. All significant associations suggested better survival for mobile phone users. Results were similar for high-grade and low-grade gliomas. Conclusions We found no evidence of reduced survival among glioma patients in relation to previous mobile phone use.
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Epidemiological studies have suggested that human exposure to extremely low‐frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFEMF) from the electric power and to mobile phone radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RFEMF) induce an increased risk of developing malignant tumours. However, no adequate laboratory data, in particular long‐term carcinogenicity bioassays to support the epidemiological evidence, have yet been available. This motivated the Ramazzini Institute to embark on a first project of four large life‐span carcinogenic bioassays conducted on over 7,000 Sprague Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to S‐50Hz MF alone or combined with gamma radiation or formaldehyde or aflatoxinB1. Results now available from these studies, which started concurrently, have shown that exposure to Sinusoidal‐50Hz Magnetic Field (S‐50Hz MF) combined with acute exposure to gamma radiation or to chronic administration of formaldehyde in drinking water induces a significantly increased incidence of malignant tumours in males and females. A second project of two large life‐span carcinogenic bioassays was conducted on over 3,000 Sprague Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to 1.8 GHz GSM of mobile phone radio base station, alone or combined with acute exposure to gamma radiation. Early results from the experiment on 1.8 GHz GSM alone show a significant increase in the incidence of heart malignant schwannoma among males exposed at the highest dose. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Mobile phones can be found almost everywhere across the globe, upholding a direct point-to-point connection between the device and the broadcast tower. The emission of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) puts the surrounding environment inevitably into contact with this radiation. We have therefore exposed honey bee queen larvae to the radiation of a common mobile phone device (GSM band at 900 MHz) during all stages of their pre-adult development including pupation. After 14 days of exposure, hatching of adult queens was assessed and mating success after further 11 days, respectively. Moreover, full colonies were established of five of the untreated and four of the treated queens to contrast population dynamics. We found that mobile phone radiation had significantly reduced the hatching ratio but not the mating success. If treated queens had successfully mated, colony development was not adversely affected. We provide evidence that mobile phone radiation may alter pupal development, once succeeded this point, no further impairment has manifested in adulthood. Our results are discussed against the background of long-lasting consequences for colony performance and the possible implication on periodic colony losses.
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Mobile phones (MPs) are the most relevant source of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure to the brain and the salivary gland. Whether this exposure implies a cancer risk has been addressed in several case-control and few cohort studies. A meta-analysis of these studies does not show increased risks for meningioma, pituitary, and salivary gland tumors. For glioma and acoustic neuroma, the results are heterogeneous, with few case-control studies reporting substantially increased risks. However, these elevated risks are not coherent with observed incidence time trends, which are considered informative for this specific topic owing to the steep increase in MP use, the availability of virtually complete cancer registry data from many countries, and the limited number of known competing environmental risk factors. In conclusion, epidemiological studies do not suggest increased brain or salivary gland tumor risk with MP use, although some uncertainty remains regarding long latency periods (>15 years), rare brain tumor subtypes, and MP usage during childhood.
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In recent years, there has been significant increase in mobile phone users. With this, health concerns associated with the exposure to electromagnetic radiation are also increasing. Continuous exposure to electromagnetic (EM) radiation generated from mobile phone is one of the probable reasons behind increasing male infertility. EM radiations induce oxidative stress that leads to numerous changes in reproductive parameters. With this hypothesis, we studied the effect of 3G mobile phone radiations on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats. Adult rats were divided into two groups: control and radio frequency‐exposed. The animals were exposed to 3G mobile phone radiation for 45 days (2 hr/day) in specially designed exposure setup under standard conditions. Various biochemical and physiological parameters such as sperm count, sperm morphology, mitochondrial activity, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species level and histopathological analysis were studied. Histopathological examination revealed a reduction in spermatogenic cells and alterations in sperm membrane. Significant increase in ROS and lipid peroxidation level with simultaneously decrease in sperm count, alterations in sperm tail morphology were observed in the exposed group. In conclusion, exposure to mobile phone radiations induces oxidative stress in male Wistar rats which may lead to alteration in sperm parameters and affects their fertility.