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World Health Organization - International EMF Project - International Advisory Committee (IAC) - 25th anniversary of the International EMF Project and the 10th Optical Radiation meeting, South Africa National Report 2021



The international electromagnetic field (EMF) project of the World Health Organization (WHO) is a collaborative effort of the WHO teams for Environment, Climate Change and Health (ECCH) and Radiation and Health (ionizing and non-ionizing). The purpose of the effort is twofold. Firstly it seeks to create and house a database of legislation pertaining to EMF exposure. Secondly, it seeks to promote dialogue on the risks related to EMF exposure. The establishment of the EMF Project is motivated by the fact that EMF of a very broad range of frequencies represents one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences on human health. EMF may have notable positive or negative effects on health, depending on the exposure context. EMF has been around since the birth of the universe, with light being its most familiar form. Electric and magnetic fields are part of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, which extends from static electric and magnetic fields, through radiofrequency, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation, to X-rays. Various Organs of State have reviewed the research endeavors of the NRF in this emerging field and found that the research is innovative and strongly aligned with South Africa’s national interests. The EMF project is a multidisciplinary research endeavor integrating efforts from multiple sectors. Of particular import to South Africa is research into EMF exposure risks, EMF shielding modifications, and bio-adaptation mitigation options related to climate change. The EMF Project is endorsed by the Surgeon General, and the Nation’s doctor is provided with the best available scientific information on how to improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The mission of the EMF Project is to protect, promote, and advance the health of our Nation.
International Advisory Committee (IAC)
25th anniversary of the International EMF Project
and the 10th Optical Radiation meeting
WHO, Geneva, Switzerland
8,9,10 June 2021
South Africa - National Report 2021
Government Activities
The National Research Foundation (NRF) has taken over the role of WHO IAC country
reporting and advisory body. The NRF is an entity of the Department of Science and
Innovation (DSI). Its mandate is to promote and support research through funding, human
resource development, and the provision of National Research Facilities in the fields of
natural, medical, social sciences, humanities, and technology. The NRF serves as the
National body responsible for adhering to a number of international bodies regulations,
including the International Science Council’s (ISC) requirements. Further details regarding
the NRF can be accessed via the following link:
Since 2015 the NRF has increased research efforts that have focused on developing
science-based solutions to the effects of increased exposure to ionizing and non-ionizing
radiation. This includes non-native electromagnetic (EM) fields (EMF), infrared, optical, and
ultraviolet photons. The NRF has distinguished itself in emerging research, and has vast
interdisciplinary experience having coordinated input from multiple fields. The NRF is
committed to strengthening the civic role and social responsibility of the higher education
sector and promoting the fundamental role of science and research in development. Further,
it seeks to support policy formation through developing and nurturing expertise across
disciplines. The benefit of more rigorous and fact-based standards will assist in achieving
transparent, effective, and accountable government in South Africa.
Research Activities
South Africa is part of multi-national research endeavors with, for example, the Netherlands
(NL), France (FR), Italy (IT), Germany (DE), Poland (PL), Nigeria (NI), Russia (RU), and
Hungary (HU) to name but a few.
Recommended updates to current research endeavors:
1. In multidisciplinary research endeavors with cost-reduction goals, projects should
strive to achieve synergistic outcomes and employ non-linear statistical analysis for
evaluation. For example, with the SharkSafe Barrier project, using static magnets
demonstrates safer swimming areas, but when coupled with nanobubble generation
and oyster banks it provides synergistic bio-restoration, marine farming, water
treatment, storm wave surge protection, tourism, and medical solutions.
DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.14769729
2. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented economic impact on global
health care, and there is a need for improving cost-effective treatment strategies. EM
/ sub-molecular medical science treatments can be implemented in an economically
affordable and sustainable manner within the Climate Change Framework. For
example, in orthopedics, patients that have been operated on initially achieve
significantly better outcomes than those who do not undergo surgery. However, in the
long term, just over half of the patients that undergo rotator cuff repair (for example)
present a recurrent tear. As such, this subgroup has comparable outcomes to those
individuals treated by physical therapy only. Hence, there is a stringent need to:
(1) develop a decision-making tool to identify patients that are more likely to heal
and benefit from surgery than conservative non-invasive treatment in the mid to
(2) to investigate innovative cost-effective approaches to improve healing rates of
patients that undergo surgery. Our current methodological and translational research
project aims at grading and ranking risk factors to predict rotator cuff retear likelihood
as well as investigating if a novel non-pharmacological add-on rehabilitation protocol
can enhance the healing process.
3. Deuterium has been shown to be of importance in medical applications involving
moving biological networks. It has the largest magnitude natural stable isotope
related to discrepancy in behavior when compared to that of hydrogen in hydrogen
bonding and moving biological networks. The deuteron's parent ion is a proton with
extensive substitution-related kinetic isotope effects due to environmental exposures
that medical science needs to address in the near future. Deuterium has an
interesting relationship with ultraviolet (UV) photons and repels light absorption in the
red and Near-Infrared Range (NIR). It is important for growth, but when in abundance
or incorrect location can bring about mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, MRI
data interpretation can benefit from translational Deutenomics. Deuterium Metabolic
Imaging is difficult to develop due to its loss to metabolic water within living
organisms. New nuclear quantum event-based approaches offer hope as
Deutenomics deals with proton binding and moving biological architectures in the
presence of deuterium. These approaches mean one no longer needs to scan
deuterium to see deuterium in proton binding networks.
4. Radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) were shown to induce
oxidative stress in cell cultures and in animal studies. This can lead to mtDNA
damage as mitochondrial DNA is particularly vulnerable to reactive oxygen species
(ROS). Besides the general effect on genome stability, affected organs include the
brain and reproductive tract leading to impaired cognitive functions and decreasing
fertility. In human epigenetic research, priority should be given to Mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA), and the role of coupled and uncoupled haplotype groups.
5. Magnetic field drop zone: NASA has been observing an unusually large weak spot in
the Earth’s magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly, or SAA. Initially, over
South America, it is migrating and extending over Southern Africa. Particle radiation
in this SAA region can knock out onboard computers and interfere with the data
collection of satellites that pass through it. Research groups must take into account
current observations and model the behavior of the SAA in order to monitor and
predict future changes. This will help prepare for future challenges to satellites,
humans, and agriculture affected by the SAA. It is not only the magnetic field drop
that is of importance but solar photon levels as well.
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Our research team falls between the WHO teams for Environment, Climate Change and
Health (ECCH) and Radiation and Health governed by the WHO Collaborative Effort
Manifesto. EMF of a very broad range of frequencies represents one of the most common
and fastest growing environmental influences. EMF has notably positive or negative effects,
depending on the context it is employed in. EMF has been around since the birth of the
universe, with light being its most familiar and significant form. Electric and magnetic fields
are part of the spectrum of EM radiation, which extends from static electric and magnetic
fields, through RF, UV, and infrared radiation (IR), to X-rays. Since 2017 there has been a
growing consensus that Light EM has the most predominant effect on biochemistry both
positive and negative.
The NASA Human Research Program (HRP) research methodology is employed by this
research program and is beneficial in accelerating progress in our synergistic science-based
research pedagogy. Small changes to terminology can have profound effects on research
endeavors. Simple grammatical updates can lead to pedagogical improvements.
For example:
1. Lighting analysis research on plants, animals, and humans related to exposure
regulations is mandated to shift the investigation approach from Energy Flux Models
to Photon Flux Models.
2. UV radiation is better referred to as UV photons.
3. And, terms such as photosynthesis, photobiomodulation (PBM), and photodynamic
therapy (PDT) are encouraged to include the letter “n” after the “photo”, thus referring
to “photon” instead of “photo”.
Completed research projects
1. F. Kyeyune, J.L. Botha, B. van Heerden, P. Maly, R. van Grondelle, M. Diale, T.P.J. Krüger.
“Strong plasmonic fluorescence enhancement of individual plant light-harvesting complexes.”
Nanoscale 11:15139-15146 (2019)
2. Md. Wahadoszamen*, T.P.J. Krüger*, A.M Ara, R. van Grondelle, M.S. Gwizdala,
“Charge-transfer states in phycobilisomes.” Biochim. Biophys. Acta – Bioenergetics
1861:148187 (2020) (*equal contribution)
3. M. Gwizdala P.H. Lebre, G. Maggs-Kölling, E. Marais, D.A. Cowan, T.P.J. Krüger, “Sub-lithic
photosynthesis in hot desert habitats.” Environ Microbiol XXXX (2021)
4. Chetty-Mhlanga, S., Fuhrimann, S., Eeftens, M., Basera, W., Hartinger, S., Dalvie, M.A. and
Röösli, M., 2020. Different aspects of electronic media use, symptoms, and neurocognitive
outcomes of children and adolescents in the rural Western Cape region of South Africa.
Environmental Research, 184, p.109315.
5. Sabino, C.P., Ball, A.R., Baptista, M.S., Dai, T., Hamblin, M.R., Ribeiro, M.S., Santos, A.L.,
Sellera, F.P., Tegos, G.P., and Wainwright, M., 2020. Light-based technologies for the
management of COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B:
Biology, p.111999.
6. Adams, B. and Petruccione, F., 2020. Quantum effects in the brain: A review. AVS Quantum
Science, 2(2), p.022901.
7. Dutch Hacking Health Award 2020: the SA-NL bi-lateral agreement produced the winning
solution in the Dutch Hacking Health Awards. It is a means of converting ubiquitous devices
such as smartphones, tablets, TVs, displays, projectors, monitors, and computers into PBM
add-on therapy devices for managing sleep problems and neurological disorders. The current
Apple OS facilitates the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Google has been provided
instructions to meet the same MVP requirements. The MVP demonstrates a significant
reduction in user electrical consumption.
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Further, ongoing research projects include:
BATTLE Dementia (Using Biomodulation and AI to Trace and Target -- through a Living field
labs intervention -- Early-stage dementia).
Netherlands Police resilience training program.
Cold / Ocean Joy biomodulation on cardiology, neurology, and urology.
NLC project: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of PBM.
NRF SARCHI Chair: Laser Applications in Health
Translational model from plant to human photonsynthesis.
Static magnetic fields on plant photonsynthesis.
Static magnetic fields on human photonsynthesis
The Effect of Risk Factors, Surgical Technique and Biomodulation on Tendon Healing after
Rotator Cuff Repair.
Weak static magnetic field combined with salinity and light provides (poly-)isotopic correction
of metabolic abnormalities to enhance sub-cellular thresholds against deuterium
Analgesic effect of PBM in oral surgery and accelerated wound repair.
Biomodulation on ameliorating cardiovascular risks in cyclists.
Nanofluidic dynamics to EM Zeta potential water changes to improving Coffee machines.
EM Zeta potential water and static magnetic fields to improve coffee plantations agriculture
Nanofluidic dynamics to EM Zeta potential water changes in hair salons.
The effect of poultry growth and sanitation through biomodulation.
MRI scan methodologies: magnetic resonance spectra of protons and deuterons overlapping
to study their ratios with kinetic isotope effects even at the levels found in human tissues.
MRI and NMR radiologist and technician safety analysis.
Deuterium analysis in foods, beverages and consumables.
Tan through clothing and swimwear.
Bioelectric enabled footwear.
Shark Safe barrier, bio-restoration, and carbon sequestration.
Deuterium GIS Wine, gravitational lensing, and ELF-UV.
Global deuterium isotope GIS map dataset.
Incorporation of Chinese Geomancy with GIS, a hydrological analysis with EM, and
hydrogen/deuterium fractionation potentials.
Valorization Startup Hub mentorship program, Amsterdam, NL.
National Statistics, CENSUS, South Africa.
The Ocean and River Cleanup Project.
The Boring company.
Nanofluidic EM polymers on wheelchairs. Enabling collapsible/foldable wheelchairs for
lightweight travel (car, air, train, boat).
Offshore cloud computing data centers.
Bacteria used as a cleaning solution and replacement to chemical cleaning solutions.
Marik’s IV protocol for Sepsis as a cost-effective model to ameliorate hypoxia and
mitochondrial failure.
Analysis of cryptocurrency model as a social-ecological system (SES) in decentralized
medicine, and agriculture.
The Yarkovsky effect and colour pink on cancer development.
Prisoner Reform Program (PRP).
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New policies and legislations regarding EMF exposure
SA still does not have an EMF projection standard in place, nor legislation to govern the
import, use, and application of laser devices for medical applications. In the RF
telecommunications domain, the Minister of Communications has instructed the
telecommunications regulator ICASA to help establish such a guideline and or standard.
Currently, there is a disagreement between operational management, civic duty, and the
executive board regarding the design and roll-out of such a system. The 2017 government
study - following reviews by multiple organs of state - does endorse a means of achieving a
working EMF protection standard within 12-16 months. However, current political obstacles
are curtailing this development. It is suggested that these obstacles are confronted in order
to reduce social unrest and resource expenses related to increasing litigation.
Further areas of public concern and concomitant national
Utilities SMART meters: Similar to both FR and NL, in SA some members of the public,
and municipal pilot projects have submitted complaints about SMART meter installations.
One of the main complaints surrounds RF emissions. Both in FR, and the NLs some
members of the public have been granted the “old” or digital meter system over the newer
SMART meters. In the SA High Court 2017, it was suggested the primary setting default to
ethernet (hardwire) for utility SMART meters. This brings about advantages synergistic with
other promoted services, i.e. increased data security, faster-broadband infrastructure, and
reduced RF spurious emissions. However, according to USA court case reviews, there may
still be an issue of voltage transients. If this is still the case it can have detrimental effects on
electronics and or sensitive medical or scientific research equipment.
Energy transmission: Similar to Germany, with increasing electrical energy demands and
services the generation and transmission of power is requiring increasing proximity between
the generating source, transmission line, and the population. This is also evident with the
expansion of renewable energy and the upgrading of existing infrastructure. There is general
consensus that additional precautionary and safety measures are required when erecting or
significantly altering low-frequency installations and direct current installations. Possibilities
must be exhausted to minimize the EM and EMF generated by the respective installation
using state-of-the-art processes taking into account the circumstances within the respective
installers’ sphere of influence. Installations of low-frequency electricity transmission
infrastructure (with a frequency of 50 Hz and a rated voltage of 220 Kilovolt and more) which
are being erected in new areas are not allowed to be erected over buildings or parts of
buildings intended for the long-term occupation of humans. Recent advances in technology,
unified with the requirements of the state promise substantial reductions in project CAPEX
and ongoing operating costs.
Electric vehicles (EV):EVs require an expanded and accelerated rollout of necessary
infrastructure. After reviewing the positive and negative concerns raised in the literature,
there seems to be an emerging consensus that EVs design can be modified with minimal
effort to address negative factors. In the context of the RSA, the opportunity to export EVs
into the AU presents a number of economic opportunities. At the same time, it presents an
opportunity to address environmental concerns related to EVs. EV’s are here to stay and the
field must be addressed.
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Electrohypersensitivity (EHS): Similar to findings in IT, FR, and the NLs, a number of
individuals have reported a variety of health problems that they relate to EMF exposure at
home and in the workplace. Rulings have acknowledged that EMF-related health issues
could result in workplace-related accidents or illness. The biggest obstacle to date has been
identified as the miscommunication of, and the misunderstanding of the specific interactions
between EM and biological organisms. Different EM spectrums can bring about different
symptoms. Population vulnerability and bio-adaptation vary between mtDNA haplotype
groups. The use of the term Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) has brought about
further confusion and miscommunication. This is a result of bodies not adhering to the
Climate Change Framework scientific-technical analysis for compensation mechanisms
which defines the parameters of classification as Sensitivity, Adaptability, and Vulnerability.
This has been further explored in the 2017 SA govt. published study. The organs of state
reviews have endorsed efforts toward adaptability strategies so that vulnerability can be
reduced by strengthening adaptive capacity. It is for this reason that the decision has been
taken to help update the teaching curriculum in medicine with biophysics in an effort to
address these misunderstandings. The study into the model development surrounding “EHS”
has not only brought about better understanding but also advanced cost-effective treatments
into other epigenetic and genetic disease models.
In SA, the capacity of EMF to affect biological functions has been investigated and confirmed
in reviews of the Ombudsman, Commission, Magistrate, and High Court. The WHO health
and disabilities publication uses “disabilities” as an umbrella term to cover a wide range of
conditions. The term “disabilities” covers impairments, activity limitations, and participation
restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is
a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation
restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in life situations. Disability is thus not
just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between
features of a person’s body (including physical, mental, neurological) and features of the
society in which he or she lives. Overcoming the difficulties faced by people with disabilities
requires interventions to remove environmental and social barriers. This makes it clear that
people must be able to participate in society, function independently, and remain in their own
living environment for as long as possible. Multiple international regulations confirm
municipalities must promote this by virtue of providing facilities, assistance, and support. The
government’s strategy toward bio-adaption solutions is not only showing promise for persons
with “EHS” type complaints but also has benefits in other spheres as well.
PBM: All hospitals and clinics are required to make use of PBM within their patient care and
treatment options. The degree of PBM intensity is variable. Solutions are available to be
cost-effective and efficient. SA does hold the resources for further R&D, and script regulatory
Nanobubble water (NBW): All hospitals and clinics are required to install and or retrofit
existing installations to produce high concentration of NBs with increased dissolved oxygen
(DO) content. DO are not to be produced using water electrolysis. All greywater systems
require NB application prior to discharge into the environment.
Consumable beverages isotope labeling: Consumable liquids/beverages require the
placement of bulk deuterium levels in ppm on their label packaging or else a link to a web
display. Deuterium depleted water (DDW), SA has the facilities to produce and export
reduced deuterium concentration levels in water.
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Pesticides: glyphosate is to be phased out with immediate effect. UVC photons is an
effective and endorsed replacement.
Diabetes & Tuberculosis (TB): PBM, NBW, and DDW all demonstrate cost-effective
strategies toward alleviating the burden of diabetes and TB. They are to be utilized and
propagated into use as much as possible.
ICD code billing guidance and encompassed treatments within medical/health
insurance schemes: Plans are underway to work toward bringing forward advances in
medicine related to the domain of this report. For example, rTMS, PBM, PDT, cryotherapy,
NBW, DDW, electro-, etc… Completing this task not only provides relief on healthcare costs
but also stimulates the economy, research and facilitates regulation of the use of such
modalities and or treatment protocols.
The number of EMF and Climate Change related complaints received by various
government departments has been increasing over time. In the past, these have not been
handled optimally, but there is now a general consensus to strive toward cooperative
solutions and synergy. One of the proposed means employed is to increase both technical
and non-technical communication strategies. This will encourage the nation’s inhabitants to
become citizen scientists in a pedagogy that is aligned with this committees’ voice.
New public information initiatives
A single idea in quantum mechanics can be taken and put into practical application in the
research sphere of EMF. The three (3) proposed quantum research spheres of the EMF
project are:
1. Sub-molecular medical sciences.
2. Sub-molecular agricultural sciences.
3. Simulation, predictive modeling, and legislative policy development.
Examples of the application of sub-molecular medical sciences include:
1. Training of medical doctors (CPD training).
2. Improvement of medical services.
3. Improvement of human and animal health by mitigating environmental effects, and
developing resilience programs to combat climate change and EMF.
4. Development of updated teaching curricula for 1st and 2nd-year medical students in
In this regard, we propose developing the first set of courses aimed at Masters, PhDs, and
Professionals to provide European Course credits in January 2022. These are:
1. Introduction to sub-molecular medical sciences.
2. Introduction to sub-molecular agricultural sciences.
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Public citizen science engagement and accelerated learning
Plans are currently underway to develop a cost-effective animated education series; DIY
projects for at-home and/or government projects; and a Netflix series. The strategic reason
for these communication mediums is a move toward enhancing accessibility requirements
and making the material available in multiple languages, with subtitles, and other features
addressing disability needs.
We thank the South African people and foreign agencies for their financial contributions via
taxes and direct donations. With your support, our researchers have been able to provide
and share the findings above which you have made possible through your investments and
National contact:
Report chaired and presented by:
Mr. James C. Lech,
National Research Foundation
This report was commissioned by the WHO International EMF Project IAC -
ZA and ISC. committee. Further details regarding the review committee can
be accessed via the following link.
Extra reviewers:
Sepo Hachigonta, Directorate: Director of Strategic Partnerships, NRF.
Puleng Tshitlho, Directorate: Professional Officer, Strategic Partnerships, NRF.
Nelson Komane, Directorate: Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development (HICD),
Professional Officer, NRF.
Terence Tshisevhe: Directorate: Social Development (UNESCO & Health) Department of International Relations and
Cooperation (DIRCO).
Notutela, NP : Social Development, DIRCO.
Saran, S : UNESCO and Health, DIRCO.
Lindiwe E Makubalo, Minister of Health, South Africa Permanent Mission to the UN and other International Organizations.
Editory: la Rey
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