Fourteen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (12 December 2017)
Fourteen new papers on electromagnetic fields and biology or health, courtesy of Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director, Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, 12 December 2017
Measurements of Radiofrequency Radiation with a Body-Borne Exposimeter in Swedish Schools with Wi-Fi
Lena K. Hedendahl, Michael Carlberg, Tarmo Koppel, Lennart Hardell. Measurements of Radiofrequency Radiation with a Body-Borne Exposimeter in Swedish Schools with Wi-Fi. Front. Public Health, 20 November 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00279
Introduction: Wireless access to the Internet is now commonly used in schools. Many schools give each student their own laptop and utilize the laptops and wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) connection for educational purposes. Most children also bring their own mobile phones to school. Since children are obliged by law to attend school, a safe environment is important. Lately, it has been discussed if radiofrequency (RF) radiation can have long-term adverse effects on children’s health.
Method: This study conducted exposimetric measurements in schools to assess RF emissions in the classroom by measuring the teachers’ RF exposure in order to approximate the children’s exposure. Teachers in grades 7–12 carried a body-borne exposimeter, EME-Spy 200, in school during 1–4 days of work. The exposimeter can measure 20 different frequency bands from 87 to 5,850 MHz.
Results: Eighteen teachers from seven schools participated. The mean exposure to RF radiation ranged from 1.1 to 66.1 µW/m2. The highest mean level, 396.6 µW/m2, occurred during 5 min of a lesson when the teacher let the students stream and watch YouTube videos. Maximum peaks went up to 82,857 µW/m2 from mobile phone uplink.
Discussion: Our measurements are in line with recent exposure studies in schools in other countries. The exposure levels varied between the different Wi-Fi systems, and if the students were allowed to use their own smartphones on the school’s Wi-Fi network or if they were connected to GSM/3G/4G base stations outside the school. An access point over the teacher’s head gave higher exposure compared with a school with a wired Internet connection for the teacher in the classroom. All values were far below International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection’s reference values, but most mean levels measured were above the precautionary target level of 3–6 µW/m2 as proposed by the Bioinitiative Report. The length of time wireless devices are used is an essential determinant in overall exposure. Measures to minimize children’s exposure to RF radiation in school would include preferring wired connections, allowing laptops, tablets and mobile phones only in flight mode and deactivating Wi-Fi access points, when not used for learning purposes.
1. The ICNIRP guidelines are based on short-term heating (thermal) effects, and are therefore not relevant to decide on the appropriateness of long-term exposure.
2. The environmental exposure to RF radiation in some schools is higher than reported levels for non-thermal biological effects. In order to reduce children’s exposure to RF radiation, schools should prefer wired network connections, allow laptop, tablets, and mobile phone usage only in flight mode and deactivate Wi-Fi access points when internet is not needed for learning purposes.
Open source paper: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00279/full
Exposure to extremely low frequency EMF during lessons in secondary schools
Silangam W, Yoosook W, Kongtip P, Kongtawelert A, Theppeang K. Exposure to extremely low frequency EMF during lessons in secondary schools. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2017 Dec 5:1-5.
Schools are a significant location where children are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which may cause adverse health effects. This cross-sectional study aimed to examine exposure levels to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) with a range of 5 Hz-32 kHz, and ELF-electric fields (ELF-EFs) with a range of 5 Hz-2 kHz in secondary schools in Bangkok, Thailand. This study was conducted in 60 classrooms from three schools during class hours. Spot measurements were taken with a Narda EFA 300 field analyzer to evaluate exposure levels. This study showed that ELF-EMF exposure levels are lower than ICNIRP guidelines, while 21.67% of classrooms had a magnetic field strength above 0.2 μT, and the main sources of ELF-EMFs were electrical equipment and electrical wiring. Future studies should measure ELF-EMF levels in other areas and evaluate the effects of long term exposure to ELF-EMFs on children's health.
In this study, exposure levels of ELF-MFs and ELF-EFs in classrooms during lessons at all three schools were lower than ICNIRP guideline recommendations. The dominant measured frequency was 50 Hz, and the main sources of ELF-EMFs were electrical equipment and electrical wiring. Future research should focus on the effect of ELF-EMF exposure during school time on children's health, should measure the ELF-EMF intensity in other areas of the school (e.g. library, canteen and walkways) to determine the level of ELF-EMFs both inside and outside the classroom. Moreover, to characterize the exposure of the children to ELF-EMF, measurements should be carried out in the children's bedrooms, where they sleep.
Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of antioxidant enzyme system in human population exposed to mobile tower radiation
Gulati S, Yadav A, Kumar N, Priya K, Aggarwal NK, Gupta R. Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of antioxidant enzyme system in human population exposed to radiation from mobile towers.Mol Cell Biochem. 2017 Aug 17.
In the present era, cellular phones have changed the life style of human beings completely and have become an essential part of their lives. The number of cell phones and cell towers are increasing in spite of their disadvantages. These cell towers transmit radiation continuously without any interruption, so people living within 100s of meters from the tower receive 10,000 to 10,000,000 times stronger signal than required for mobile communication. In the present study, we have examined superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme activity, catalase (CAT) enzyme activity, lipid peroxidation assay, and effect of functional polymorphism of SOD and CAT antioxidant genes against mobile tower-induced oxidative stress in human population. From our results, we have found a significantly lower mean value of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) enzyme activity, catalase (CAT) enzyme activity, and a high value of lipid peroxidation assay in exposed as compared to control subjects. Polymorphisms in antioxidant MnSOD and CAT genes significantly contributed to its phenotype. In the current study, a significant association of genetic polymorphism of antioxidant genes with genetic damage has been observed in human population exposed to radiations emitted from mobile towers.
EMF Exposure Changes Due to the Digital Television Switchover in Thessaloniki, Greece
Gkonis F, Boursianis A, Samaras T. Electromagnetic Field Exposure Changes Due to the Digital Television Switchover in Thessaloniki, Greece. Health Phys. 2017 Nov;113(5):382-386.
In the present work, the changes in the exposure to electromagnetic fields due to television signals incurred by the digital switchover in Thessaloniki, Greece, are investigated. It is shown that the measured electric fields comply with ICNIRP guidelines but are higher than those in the reported literature for other countries. However, this may be attributed to the selection of measurement points. Moreover, it is shown that the median value of the power density dropped from 60 μW m during analog broadcasting to 13.3 μW m for digital television. This finding indicates that the digital switchover has resulted in reduced exposure for the population to radiofrequency fields in the UHF range.
RAPD Profiling, DNA Fragmentation, and Histomorphometric Examination in Brains of Wistar Rats Exposed to Indoor 2.5 Ghz Wi-Fi Devices Radiation
Ibitayo AO, Afolabi OB, Akinyemi AJ, Ojiezeh TI, Adekoya KO, Ojewunmi OO. RAPD Profiling, DNA Fragmentation, and Histomorphometric Examination in Brains of Wistar Rats Exposed to Indoor 2.5 Ghz Wi-Fi Devices Radiation. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:8653286.
The advent of Wi-Fi connected high technology devices in executing day-to-day activities is fast evolving especially in developing countries of the world and hence the need to assess its safety among others. The present study was conducted to investigate the injurious effect of radiofrequency emissions from installed Wi-Fi devices in brains of young male rats. Animals were divided into four equal groups; group 1 served as control while groups 2, 3, and 4 were exposed to 2.5 Ghz at intervals of 30, 45, and 60 consecutive days with free access to food and water ad libitum. Alterations in harvested brain tissues were confirmed by histopathological analyses which showed vascular congestion and DNA damage in the brain was assayed using agarose gel electrophoresis. Histomorphometry analyses of their brain tissues showed perivascular congestion and tissue damage as well.
In this study, the effect of Wi-Fi radiation exposure as a threat to brain health was studied using genomic analysis and histopathological study which showed the high risk of its genotoxicity especially in prolonged exposure spectrum through the findings from this study. The genomic analysis confirmed DNA damage due to Wi-Fi radiation toxicity and DNA damage effect which was seen through the RAPD profiles of animals from the exposed groups. The histopathological analyses also confirmed significant deleterious alterations in the brain tissues of Wi-Fi-exposed animals. Hence, the need to exhibit caution in handling smart devices that are used from day to day is fast becoming a threat to human health and wellness.
Open Access Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5585657/
Histopathological, immunohistochemical, and stereological analysis of the effect of Gingko biloba (Egb761) on the hippocampus of rats exposed to long-term cellphone radiation
Gevrek F. Histopathological, immunohistochemical, and stereological analysis of the effect of Gingko biloba (Egb761) on the hippocampus of rats exposed to long-term cellphone radiation. Histol Histopathol. 2017 Nov 9:11943.
Cellular phones are major sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that can penetrate the human body and pose serious health hazards. The increasingly widespread use of mobile communication systems has raised concerns about the effects of cellphone radiofrequency (RF) on the hippocampus because of its close proximity to radiation during cellphone use. The effects of cellphone EMR exposure on the hippocampus of rats and the possible counteractive effects of ginkgo biloba (Egb761) were aimed to investigate. Rats were divided into three groups: Control, EMR, and EMR+Egb761. The EMR and EMR+Egb761 groups were exposed to cellphone EMR for one month. Egb761 was also administered to the EMR+Egb761 group. Specifically, we evaluated the effect of RF exposure on rat hippocampi at harmful EMR levels (0.96 W/kg specific absorption rate [SAR]) for one month and also investigated the possible impact of ginkgo biloba (Egb761) using stereological, TUNEL-staining, and immunohistochemical methods. An increase in apoptotic proteins (Bax, Acas-3) and a decrease in anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2) immunoreactivity along with a decrease in the total granule and pyramidal cell count were noted in the EMR group. A decrease in Bax and Acas-3 and an increase in Bcl-2 immunoreactivity were observed in rats treated with Egb761 in addition to a decrease in TUNEL-stained apoptotic cells and a higher total viable cell number. In conclusion, chronic cellphone EMR exposure may affect hippocampal cell viability, and Egb761 may be used to mitigate some of the deleterious effects.
Changes in numbers and size of synaptic vesicles of cortical neurons induced by exposure to 835 MHz RF EMF
Kim JH, Kim HJ, Yu DH, Kweon HS, Huh YH, Kim HR. Changes in numbers and size of synaptic vesicles of cortical neurons induced by exposure to 835 MHz radiofrequency-electromagnetic field. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 18;12(10):e0186416.
We studied the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) exposure on neuronal functions of mice. Particularly, we focused on RF-EMF effects on synaptic vesicles (SVs), which store neurotransmitters at axon terminals or synaptic boutons. C57 BL/6 mice were exposed to 835 MHz RF-EMF (4.0 W/kg SAR, for 5 h daily) and alterations in SVs at presynaptic terminals in the cerebral cortex were determined. Ultrastructure of randomly selected cortical neurons was observed using typical electron microscopy and bio-high voltage electron microscopy (Bio-HVEM) methods, which enable the estimation of the numbers and size of SVs. The density of the SVs (number /10 μm2 or 40 μm3) was significantly decreased in the presynaptic boutons of cortical neurons after RF-EMF exposure. Furthermore, qPCR and immunoblotting analyses revealed that the expression of synapsins I/II (Syns I/II) genes and proteins were significantly decreased in the cortical neurons of RF-EMF exposed mice. The present study suggested that alteration of SVs and Syn levels may result in alterations of neurotransmitters in the cerebral cortex following RF-EMF exposure.
The effects of GSM cellphone radiation on rabbit's retina
Mohammad R. Talebnejad, Ali Sadeghi-Sarvestani, M. Hossein Nowroozzadeh, Seyed Mohammad J. Mortazavi, Mohammad R. Khalili. The effects of microwave radiation on rabbit's retina. Journal of Current Ophthalmology, Available online 9 October 2017.
Purpose Mobile cell phones are used extensively these days, and their microwave (MW) radiation has been shown to affect the eye. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of MW radiation on rabbit retina.
Methods This experimental study (concluded in 2015) was conducted on 40 adult white New Zealand rabbits. A Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cell phone simulator was used for MW irradiation. The rabbits were randomized into five groups (8 in each) and treated as follows: Group 1: no irradiation (sham); Group 2: irradiation at 10 cm for 1 day; Group 3: irradiation at 30 cm for 1 day; Group 4: irradiation at 10 cm for 3 days; and Group 5: irradiation at 30 cm for 3 days. Scotopic and photopic electroretinography (ERG) responses were obtained at baseline and 7 days after the last exposure. Then all the rabbits were euthanized, and their eyes were enucleated and sent for pathology examination. Kruskal–Wallis and Chi-Square tests were used to evaluate intergroup differences in ERG parameters and histological findings, respectively.
Results ERG responses obtained 7 days after irradiation did not show any statistically significant difference between the groups (P > 0.1, for all tested parameters). There were statistically non-significant trends toward greater changes in the MW irradiated eyes. In pathological examination, retina was normal with no sign of degeneration or infiltration. Ciliary body congestion was observed in greater fraction of those who received higher MW doses. (P = 0.005).
Conclusions Histopathologically, cell phone simulated MW irradiation had no significant detrimental effect on the retina. However, ciliary body congestion was observed in greater fraction of those who received higher MW doses. Although there was no significant difference between post-treatment mean ERG values, there were statistically non-significant trends toward greater changes in the MW irradiated eyes.
Extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation enhances neutrophil response to particulate agonists
Vlasova II, Mikhalchik EV, Gusev AA, Balabushevich NG, Gusev SA, Kazarinov KD. Extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation enhances neutrophil response to particulate agonists. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Nov 30. doi: 10.1002/bem.22103.
The growing use of extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation (EHF EMR) in information and communication technology and in biomedical applications has raised concerns regarding the potential biological impact of millimeter waves (MMWs). Here, we elucidated the effects of MMW radiation on neutrophil activation induced by opsonized zymosan or E. coli in whole blood ex vivo. After agonist addition to blood, two samples were prepared. A control sample was incubated at ambient conditions without any treatment, and a test sample was exposed to EHF EMR (32.9-39.6 GHz, 100 W/m2 ). We used methods that allowed us to assess the functional status of neutrophils immediately after exposure: oxidant production levels were measured by luminol-dependent chemiluminescence, and morphofunctional changes to neutrophils were observed in blood smears. Results revealed that the response of neutrophils to both agonists was intensified if blood was exposed to MMW radiation for 15 min. Neutrophils were intact in both the control and irradiated samples if no agonist was added to blood before incubation. Similarly, exposing suspensions of isolated neutrophils in plasma to MMW radiation.
Spatial memory recovery in Alzheimer's rat model by electromagnetic field exposure
Akbarnejad Z, Esmaeilpour K, Shabani M, Asadi-Shekaari M, Saeedi-Goraghani M, Ahmadi M. Spatial memory recovery in Alzheimer's rat model by electromagnetic field exposure. Int J Neurosci. 2017 Nov 29:1-14. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1411353.
INTRODUCTION: Although studies have shown a potential association between extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) exposure and Alzheimer's disease (AD), few studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of weak magnetic fields on brain functions such as cognitive functions in animal models. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of ELF-EMF exposure (50 Hz, 10 mT) on spatial learning and memory changes in AD rats.
METHODS: Amyloid-β (Aβ) 1-42 (5 µl/ bilateral, single-dose) was injected into lateral ventricle to establish an AD rat model. The rats were divided into six groups: Group I (control); Group II (surgical sham); Group III (AD) Alzheimer's rat model; Group IV (MF) rats exposed to ELF-MF for 14 consecutive days; Group V (Aβ injection+M) rats exposed to magnetic field for 14 consecutive days from day 0-14 days after the Aβ peptide injection; Group VI (AD+M) rats exposed to magnetic field for 14 consecutive days after 2 weeks of Aβ peptide injection from 14th to 28th day. Morris water maze investigation were implemented and performed 24 h after termination of ELF-MF, respectively.
RESULTS: AD rats showed a significant impairment in learning and memory compared to control rats. The results showed that ELF-MF improved the learning and memory impairments in Aβ injection+M and AD+M groups.
CONCLUSION: Our results showed that application of ELF-MF not only has improving effect on different cognitive disorder signs of AD animals, but also disrupts the processes of AD rat model formation.
Generation and propagation of yeast prion are elevated under ELF and 2.0 GHz RF EMF
Lian HY, Lin KW, Yang C, Cai P. Generation and propagation of yeast prion [URE3] are elevated under electromagnetic field. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2017 Dec 6. doi: 10.1007/s12192-017-0867-9.
In this study, we studied the effect of 2.0 GHz radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) and 50 Hz extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) exposure on prion generation and propagation using two budding yeast strains, NT64C and SB34, as model organisms. Under exposure to RF-EMF or ELF-EMF, the de novo generation and propagation of yeast prions [URE3] were elevated in both strains. The elevation increased over time, and the effects of ELF-EMF occurred in a dose-dependent manner. The transcription and expression levels of the molecular chaperones Hsp104, Hsp70-Ssa1/2, and Hsp40-Ydj1 were not statistically significantly changed after exposure. Furthermore, the levels of ROS, as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), were significantly elevated after short-term, but not long-term exposure. This work demonstrated for the first time that EMF exposure could elevate the de novo generation and propagation of yeast prions and supports the hypothesis that ROS may play a role in the effects of EMF on protein misfolding. The effects of EMF on protein folding and ROS levels may mediate the broad effects of EMF on cell function.
Biophysical control of the growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens using ELF EMF at resonance frequency
Fadel MA, El-Gebaly RH, Mohamed SA, Abdelbacki AMM. Biophysical control of the growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens using extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves at resonance frequency. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Dec 9;494(1-2):365-371.
Isolated Agrobacterium tumefaciens was exposed to different extremely low frequencies of square amplitude modulated waves (QAMW) from two generators to determine the resonance frequency that causes growth inhibition. The carrier was 10 MHz sine wave with amplitude ±10 Vpp which was modulated by a second wave generator with a modulation depth of ± 2Vpp and constant field strength of 200 V/m at 28 °C. The exposure of A. tumefaciens to 1.0 Hz QAMW for 90 min inhibited the bacterial growth by 49.2%. In addition, the tested antibiotics became more effective against A. tumefaciens after the exposure. Furthermore, results of DNA, dielectric relaxation and TEM showed highly significant molecular and morphological changes due to the exposure to 1.0 Hz QAMW for 90 min. An in-vivo study has been carried out on healthy tomato plants to test the pathogenicity of A. tumefaciens before and after the exposure to QAMW at the inhibiting frequency. Symptoms of crown gall and all pathological symptoms were more aggressive in tomato plants treated with non-exposed bacteria, comparing with those treated with exposed bacteria. We concluded that, the exposure of A. tumefaciens to 1.0 Hz QAMW for 90 min modified its cellular activity and DNA structure, which inhibited the growth and affected the microbe pathogenicity.
Behavioral testing of mice exposed to intermediate frequency magnetic fields indicates mild memory impairment
Kumari K, Koivisto H, Viluksela M, Paldanius KMA, Marttinen M, Hiltunen M, Naarala J, Tanila H, Juutilainen J. Behavioral testing of mice exposed to intermediate frequency magnetic fields indicates mild memory impairment. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 4;12(12):e0188880.
Human exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields (MF) is increasing due to applications like electronic article surveillance systems and induction heating cooking hobs. However, limited data is available on their possible health effects. The present study assessed behavioral and histopathological consequences of exposing mice to 7.5 kHz MF at 12 or 120 μT for 5 weeks. No effects were observed on body weight, spontaneous activity, motor coordination, level of anxiety or aggression. In the Morris swim task, mice in the 120 μT group showed less steep learning curve than the other groups, but did not differ from controls in their search bias in the probe test. The passive avoidance task indicated a clear impairment of memory over 48 h in the 120 μT group. No effects on astroglial activation or neurogenesis were observed in the hippocampus. The mRNA expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor did not change but expression of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA was significantly increased in the 120 μT group. These findings suggest that 7.5 kHz MF exposure may lead to mild learning and memory impairment, possibly through an inflammatory reaction in the hippocampus.
Scientometric study of the effects of exposure to non-ionizing EMF on fertility: Understanding reasons of partial failure
Bernabò N, Ciccarelli R, Greco L, Ordinelli A, Mattioli M, Barboni B. Scientometric study of the effects of exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on fertility: A contribution to understanding the reasons of partial failure. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 6;12(12):e0187890.
The exposure to Non-Ionizing-Electromagnetic Fields (NI-EMFs) is often indicated as a cofactor responsible for the fertility reduction, which has been described in recent years. Despite the great interest in this topic and the research effort in exploring it, to date, there are no reliable data. Therefore, we carried out a scientometric analysis of the scientific literature published in peer reviewed Journals concerning this topic to better understand the reasons of this partial failure. To this aim, we identified and analysed 104 papers, published in last 26 years in peer-reviewed Journals, present in ISI Web of Knowledge Core Collection. Then, we analysed the impact of the Journals in which the papers were published as well as that of the single papers, the paper citation dynamics, the keywords citation busts, the geographical localization of citations and the co-authorship dynamics of the Authors. As a result, we found that different animal models (rodent, rabbit, guinea pig, and swine) and different experimental approaches (epidemiological vs. experimental studies) have the same impact, highlighting the lack of universally adopted standard in research activity. The analysis of the temporal trend in keywords and the high differences in citations between the different countries (also in those belonging to the same geographical and socio-economical area) pointed out the difficulties in approaching this branch of study. Lastly, it was evident that the Authors did not behave as a connected community, but as unconnected clusters of very small size. In conclusion, based on the results of our analysis, we think that important efforts must be undertaken to adopt more standardized models and to improve the research quality and the information exchange within the scientific community, with the aim of improving the reliability and usefulness of the results of research regarding the effect of NI-EMFs on fertility.
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Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety