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Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 3. Exposure standards, public policy, laws, and future directions

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Abstract

Due to the continuous rising ambient levels of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs) used in modern societies-primarily from wireless technologies-that have now become a ubiquitous biologically active environmental pollutant, a new vision on how to regulate such exposures for non-human species at the ecosystem level is needed. Government standards adopted for human exposures are examined for applicability to wildlife. Existing environmental laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the U.S. and others used in Canada and throughout Europe, should be strengthened and enforced. New laws should be written to accommodate the ever-increasing EMF exposures. Radiofrequency radiation exposure standards that have been adopted by worldwide agencies and governments warrant more stringent controls given the new and unusual signaling characteristics used in 5G technology. No such standards take wildlife into consideration. Many species of flora and fauna, because of distinctive physiologies, have been found sensitive to exogenous EMF in ways that surpass human reactivity. Such exposures may now be capable of affecting endogenous bioelectric states in some species. Numerous studies across all frequencies and taxa indicate that low-level EMF exposures have numerous adverse effects, including on orientation, migration, food finding, reproduction, mating, nest and den building, territorial maintenance, defense, vitality, longevity, and survivorship. Cyto- and geno-toxic effects have long been observed. It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as 'habitat' so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants. Wildlife loss is often unseen and undocumented until tipping points are reached. A robust dialog regarding technology's high-impact role in the nascent field of electroecology needs to commence. Long-term chronic low-level EMF exposure standards should be set accordingly for wildlife, including, but not limited to, the redesign of wireless devices, as well as infrastructure, in order to reduce the rising ambient levels (explored in Part 1). Possible environmental approaches are discussed. This is Part 3 of a three-part series.

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... Nowadays, non-ionizing radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) is ubiquitous, especially in the industry, military, radio, and wireless communications sectors. The potential adverse effects of RF-EMR on human health and offspring development have obtained lots of public attention (1)(2)(3)(4). Notably, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has categorized RF-EMR as possible carcinogens to humans (5,6). ...
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Nowadays, concerns about the harmful effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on male fertility and offspring health are growing. In the present study, we investigated the effects of long-term exposure (at least 10 weeks) to the RF-EMR [2.0 GHz; power density, 2.5 W/m 2 ; whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR), 0.125-0.5 W/kg] on male mice fertility and F1 growth and glucose metabolism. No significant injuries were observed in testis organization, sperm quality, and pregnancy rate. However, mice exposed to RF-EMR exhibited a significantly elevated apoptosis rate in testis germ cells. Interestingly, paternal RF-EMR exposure resulted in sex-specific weight trajectory differences and glucose metabolism changes in male F1 mice but not in female F1 mice. The changed glucose metabolism in F1 male may result from the altered gene expression of liver Gck. These data collectively suggested that 2.0 GHz RF-EMR whole-body exposure of male mice does not cause obvious impairment in testis, sperm quality, and pregnancy rate. Paternal RF-EMR exposure causes male-specific alterations in body weight trajectories and glucose metabolism of F1.
... Nowadays, non-ionizing radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) is ubiquitous, especially in the industry, military, radio, and wireless communications sectors. The potential adverse effects of RF-EMR on human health and offspring development have obtained lots of public attention (1)(2)(3)(4). Notably, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has categorized RF-EMR as possible carcinogens to humans (5,6). ...
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Full-text available
Nowadays, concerns about the harmful effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on male fertility and offspring health are growing. In the present study, we investigated the effects of long-term exposure (at least 10 weeks) to the RF-EMR [2.0 GHz; power density, 2.5 W/m 2 ; whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR), 0.125-0.5 W/kg] on male mice fertility and F1 growth and glucose metabolism. No significant injuries were observed in testis organization, sperm quality, and pregnancy rate. However, mice exposed to RF-EMR exhibited a significantly elevated apoptosis rate in testis germ cells. Interestingly, paternal RF-EMR exposure resulted in sex-specific weight trajectory differences and glucose metabolism changes in male F1 mice but not in female F1 mice. The changed glucose metabolism in F1 male may result from the altered gene expression of liver Gck. These data collectively suggested that 2.0 GHz RF-EMR whole-body exposure of male mice does not cause obvious impairment in testis, sperm quality, and pregnancy rate. Paternal RF-EMR exposure causes male-specific alterations in body weight trajectories and glucose metabolism of F1.
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1. Historical Perspective.- 2. Physical Description of Radio and Microwave Radiation.- 3. Radio and Microwave Dosimetry and Measurement.- 4. Radio and Microwave Dielectric Properties of Biological Materials.- 5. Propagation and Absorption in Tissue Media.- 6. Criteria for Evaluation of Biological Literature.- 7. Molecular, Cellular, Invertebrate Biology.- 8. Reproduction, Development, and Growth.- 9. Thermoregulation.- 10. Neural Effects of Microwave /Radiofrequency Energies.- 11. Behavioral Effects.- 12. Neuroendocrine Effects.- 13. Cardiovascular Effects.- 14. Effects on Hematopoiesis and Hematology.- 15. Effects on Immune Responses.- 16. Biochemical Effects.- 17. The Common Integument (Skin).- 18. Cataracts and Other Ocular Effects.- 19. Epidemiological and Other Investigations in the Human.- 20. Personnel Protection, Protection Guides, and Standards.- 21. Problems and Recommendations.
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A review is made of Soviet and foreign experimental studies furthering understanding of the mechanism of the acute resonance action of extremely high frequency† † The range of extremely high frequencies (e.h.f.) from 3 × 1010 to 3 × 1011 Hz corresponds to the millimetre wave range from 1 to 10 mm [1]. coherent electromagnetic radiations of low power on living organisms and the significance of these radiations for the functioning of the latter.
Article
Estimates of bird and bat fatalities are often made at wind-energy projects to assess impacts by comparing them with other fatality estimates. Many fatality estimates have been made across North America, but they have varied greatly in field and analytical methods, monitoring duration, and in the size and height of the wind turbines monitored for fatalities, and few benefited from scientific peer review. To improve comparability among estimates, I reviewed available reports of fatality monitoring at wind-energy projects throughout North America, and I applied a common estimator and 3 adjustment factors to data collected from these reports. To adjust fatality estimates for proportions of carcasses not found during routine monitoring, I used national averages from hundreds of carcass placement trials intended to characterize scavenger removal and searcher detection rates, and I relied on patterns of carcass distance from wind turbines to develop an adjustment for variation in maximum search radius around wind turbines mounted on various tower heights. Adjusted fatality rates correlated inversely with wind-turbine size for all raptors as a group across the United States, and for all birds as a group within the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, California. I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012. As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods, especially in the implementation of detection trials, which should be more realistically incorporated into routine monitoring. © 2013 The Wildlife Society
Article
Electromagnetic noise is emitted everywhere humans use electronic devices. For decades, it has been hotly debated whether man-made electric and magnetic fields affect biological processes, including human health. So far, no putative effect of anthropogenic electromagnetic noise at intensities below the guidelines adopted by the World Health Organization has withstood the test of independent replication under truly blinded experimental conditions. No effect has therefore been widely accepted as scientifically proven. Here we show that migratory birds are unable to use their magnetic compass in the presence of urban electromagnetic noise. When European robins, Erithacus rubecula, were exposed to the background electromagnetic noise present in unscreened wooden huts at the University of Oldenburg campus, they could not orient using their magnetic compass. Their magnetic orientation capabilities reappeared in electrically grounded, aluminium-screened huts, which attenuated electromagnetic noise in the frequency range from 50 kHz to 5 MHz by approximately two orders of magnitude. When the grounding was removed or when broadband electromagnetic noise was deliberately generated inside the screened and grounded huts, the birds again lost their magnetic orientation capabilities. The disruptive effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is not confined to a narrow frequency band and birds tested far from sources of electromagnetic noise required no screening to orient with their magnetic compass. These fully double-blinded tests document a reproducible effect of anthropogenic electromagnetic noise on the behaviour of an intact vertebrate.
Article
Signals from a VLF transmitter suppress magnetospheric mid-latitude hiss in a band up to 200 Hz wide located just below the transmitter frequency. These quiet bands take 5 to 25 s to develop and last more than 30 s after the end of transmissions. The modification of the electron velocity distribution function by the transmitter signals is a possible explanation for this new phenomenon.
Article
As imperiled bird populations continue to increase, new challenges arise from the effects of growing numbers of communication towers, power lines, commercial wind facilities, and buildings. This paper briefl y reviews steps the USFWS is taking to seriously address structural impacts to migra- tory birds. New fi ndings will be briefl y reviewed that address lighting impacts, new challenges facing birds from tower radiation, and collision and habitat fragmentation effects on avifauna. See the paper in this volume by Klem on his ongoing research with building glass, lighting and windows for details in trying to resolve those challenges.
Article
The effects of microwave irradiation at two different frequencies (1.28 and 5.62 GHz) on observing-behavior of rodents were investigated. During daily irradiation, eight male hooded rats performed on a two-lever task; depression of one lever produced one of two different tones and the other lever produced food when depressed in the presence of the appropriate tone. At 5.62 GHz, the observing-response rate was not consistently affected until the power density approximated 26 mW/cm2 at 1.28 GHz, the observing-response rate of all rats was consistently affected at a power density of 15 mW/cm2. The respective whole-body specific absorption rates (SARs) were 4.94 and 3.75 W/kg. Measurements of localized SAR in a rat-shaped model of simulated muscle tissue revealed marked differences in the absorption pattern between the two frequencies. The localized SAR in the model's head at 1.28 GHz was higher on the side distal to the source of radiation. At 5.62 GHz the localized SAR in the head was higher on the proximal side. It is concluded that the rat's observing behavior is disrupted at a lower power density at 1.28 than at 5.62 GHz because of deeper penetration of energy at the lower frequency, and because of frequency-dependent differences in anatomic distribution of the absorbed microwave energy.
Article
Studies of the effects of environmental low frequency electromagnetic fields on isolated cellular systems and tissue preparations derived from brain, bone, blood, and pancreas are reported. Behavioral effects of 60 Hz fields were examined in monkeys. Bioeffects of low level microwave fields modulated at 60 Hz and other ELF frequencies were also examined. Findings in the present studies emphasize a key role for cell membrane surfaces in detecting ELF environmental fields. Two broad groups of exposure techniques have been utilized. In the ELF spectrum, 60 Hz environmental fields were imposed on monkeys during behavioral task performance. Field intensities from 50 to 1000 V/m were tested in different experiments. The monkeys were exposed to a horizontal electric field. In tissue and cell culture preparations, ELF electric fields were generated by passing current between electrodes in the solutions bathing the tissue. Tissue and cell preparations were also tested with low frequency, pulsed magnetic fields by placing the biological preparation inside Helmholtz coils. For ELF dosimetry measurements in tissue preparations, electric gradients were measured directly in relation to specific axes of tissue and cell preparations. Exposures to ELF modulated 450 MHz microwave fields were conducted in two different systems, one uses a large anechoic horn chamber, the other utilizes a Crawford cell, a double-tapered coaxial system.Environmental field levels and tissue components of these fields were studied collaboratively using implantable tissue probes developed by BRH. Concurrent environmental field levels were based on measurements with other BRH probes and a NARDA microwave probe system. (ERB)
Article
Results of millimeter wave (MMW) radiation action on refractive index of 2–10% water solutions of human blood plasma are presented. Investigations were carried out by holographic interferometry. Incident power density of MMW radiation applied was about 10 mW/cm2. Under MMW irradiation, a refractive index of a 2% solution of human blood plasma was detected to increase by 2.52 × 10″. The field effect leading to refractive index changes was opposite to the temperature effect. The MMW effect was manifested immediately after the start of irradiation, with the maximum reached after 6–7 min exposure. The initial refractive index was restored 10 min after the generator was switched off. In this paper the phenomena are explained from the point of view of collective states whose changes take place under MMW field action in aqueous solutions of biomolecules.
Conference Paper
Misunderstandings concerning stray current and equipotential planes are prevalent in North America. Clarification of and differences between equipotentials found in high voltage cable and in concrete encased reinforcing bar installations in concrete pads and swimming pools are explained. Misunderstanding and false interpretation of the IEEE Standard 80, ldquoGuide for Safety in AC Substation Groundingrdquo has led to flawed conclusions and the false concept of equipotential planes, which are shown to be erroneous and are debunked by tests performed in the field. Also discussed are the dangers associated with bare concentric neutral high voltage cable, the use of can and has contributed to the proliferation of stray current which has resulted in death.
Article
Operators of early weather-surveillance radars often observed echoes on their displays that did not behave like weather pattern, including expanding ring-like shapes they called angels. These echoes were caused by high-flying insects, migrating birds, and large colonies of bats emerging from roosts to feed. Modern weather-surveillance radar stations in the United States (NEXt-generation RADar or NEXRAD) provide detailed images that clearly show evening bat emergences from large colonies. These images can be used to investigate the flight behavior of groups of bats and population trends in large colonies of Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) in south-central Texas which are clearly imaged by local NEXRAD radar stations. In this study, we used radar reflectivity data from the New Braunfels, Texas NEXRAD station to examine relative colony size, direction of movement, speed of dispersion, and altitude gradients of bats from these colonies following evening emergence. Base reflectivity clear-air-mode Level-II images were geo-referenced and compiled in a GIS along with locations of colonies and features on the landscape. Temporal sequences of images were filtered for the activity of bats, and from this, the relative size of bat colonies, and the speed and heading of bat emergences were calculated. Our results indicate cyclical changes in colony size from year to year and that initial headings taken by bats during emergence flights are highly directional. We found that NEXRAD data can be an effective tool for monitoring the nightly behavior and seasonal changes in these large colonies. Understanding the distribution of a large regional bat population on a landscape scale has important implications for agricultural pest management and conservation efforts.
Article
MICROWAVE radiation produces both thermal and non-thermal effects in biological systems1,2. The thermal effect is manifested as a rise in temperature of the irradiated system and is accompanied by physiological responses depending on the intensity and duration of the field. Non-thermal effects are manifested as changes in cellular metabolism caused by both resonance absorption and induced EMFs and, when neural structures are involved, are often accompanied by a specific behavioural response. An important difference between thermal and non-thermal effects is in the matter of time scale. Chickens exposed to a "slightly thermal" microwave field (20-50 mW/cm2) respond with an escape or avoidance reaction within a few seconds of the onset of radiation3.