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EMF Studies

01 December 2017

Sixteen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (28 November 2017)

Sixteen 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, 28 November 2017

ICRP and ICNIRP Meeting on the International Systems of Radiation Protection
EMF-Portal, Nov 20, 2017

From November 8-10, 2017, the two international organizations responsible for developing the systems of radiation protection worldwide, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) exchanged information and views on the scientific basis, ethical basis, and basic principles of protection. The objectives of this meeting in Munich, Germany, were to increase mutual understanding of the approaches to protection, to reach a common understanding of the state of the systems of protection and to explore possibilities for continued collaboration. Both organizations have reached an agreement in principle to strengthen communication and collaboration between them and with other organizations with similar interests.

There are many commonalities between the systems of protection used for ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. There are also differences, most stemming from different biological effects. Ionizing radiation can cause stochastic and deterministic effects, while most effects due to exposure from non-ionizing radiation appear to be deterministic. However, stochastic effects have been demonstrated due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, which bridges the ionizing and non-ionizing parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. For ionizing radiation there is a greater emphasis on optimization of protection even at low levels of exposure, whereas for non-ionizing radiation there is a greater emphasis on keeping exposures below thresholds for observed effects.

You can download the official statement on the meeting from the ICNIRP homepage:

My note: The statement above seems to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding about the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation. It is no wonder that ICNIRP's radiofrequency guidelines are inadequate to protect human health.


NTP Study Update: 

Two-year oncogenicity evaluations of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice
McCormick D. Two-year oncogenicity evaluations of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice. Toxicology Letters. 280 (Suppl. 1): S31. Oct 20, 2017.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.07.07

Epidemiology data concerning possible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency fields (RF) are conflicting. For this reason, well-designed and controlled studies in predictive laboratory animal models provide the best prospective opportunity to identify effects of RF exposure that may translate into human health hazards. The U.S. National Toxicology Program supported a program in our laboratory to identify and characterize effects of acute, subchronic, and chronic exposure to non-thermal levels of RF in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice.

Five-day pilot studies were performed to identify the maximum Specific Absorption Ratios (SARs) to which juvenile, adult, and pregnant rodents can be exposed without increasing body temperature by >1.0 °C. Subsequent subchronic (ten-week) toxicity studies failed to identify any toxicologically significant effects of non-thermal RF on survival, body weight, clinical signs, hematology, or gross or microscopic pathology.

Two-year studies were performed to determine if exposure to non-thermal levels of RF increases the incidence of neoplasia in any site. Male rats exposed to RF demonstrated significantly increased incidences of glioma (brain) and schwannoma (heart); these increases were not seen in female rats or in either sex of mice.

Gliomas and schwannomas have been identified in some epidemiology studies as possible RF-induced neoplasms. Considering (a) the conflicting results of RF epidemiology studies and (b) the lack of generally accepted biophysical or molecular mechanisms through which RF could induce or promote neoplasia, data from animal bioassays will play a central role in “weight-of-the-evidence” assessments of the possible health effects of RF exposure.

Also see: National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer


Assessment of long-term spatio-temporal radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure

Aerts S, Wiart J, Martens L, Joseph W. Assessment of long-term spatio-temporal radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure. Environ Res. 2017 Nov 13;161:136-143. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.11.003.


As both the environment and telecommunications networks are inherently dynamic, our exposure to environmental radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) at an arbitrary location is not at all constant in time. In this study, more than a year's worth of measurement data collected in a fixed low-cost exposimeter network distributed over an urban environment was analysed and used to build, for the first time, a full spatio-temporal surrogate model of outdoor exposure to downlink Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) signals. Though no global trend was discovered over the measuring period, the difference in measured exposure between two instances could reach up to 42dB (a factor 12,000 in power density). Furthermore, it was found that, taking into account the hour and day of the measurement, the accuracy of the surrogate model in the area under study was improved by up to 50% compared to models that neglect the daily temporal variability of the RF signals. However, further study is required to assess the extent to which the results obtained in the considered environment can be extrapolated to other geographic locations.



Prevalence of various environmental intolerances in a Swedish and Finnish general population

Karvala K, Sainio M, Palmquist E, Nyback MH, Nordin S. Prevalence of various environmental intolerances in a Swedish and Finnish general population. Environ Res. 2017 Nov 18;161:220-228. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.11.014.


OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of various environmental intolerances (EIs), using several criteria in a Swedish and a Finnish general population. Ill-health attributed to low-level environmental exposures is a commonly encountered challenge in occupational and environmental medicine.

METHODS: In population-based questionnaire surveys, the Västerbotten Environmental Health Study (Sweden) and the Österbotten Environmental Health Study (Finland), EI was inquired by one-item questions on symptom attribution to chemicals, certain buildings, or electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and difficulties tolerating sounds. The respondents were asked whether they react with central nervous system (CNS) symptoms or have a physician-diagnosed EI attributed to the corresponding exposures. Prevalence rates were determined for different age and sex groups and the Swedish and Finnish samples in general.

RESULTS: In the Swedish sample (n = 3406), 12.2% had self-reported intolerance to chemicals, 4.8% to certain buildings, 2.7% to EMFs, and 9.2% to sounds. The prevalence rates for the Finnish sample (n = 1535) were 15.2%, 7.2%, 1.6%, and 5.4%, respectively, differing statistically significantly from the Swedish. EI to chemicals and certain buildings was more prevalent in Finland, while EI to EMFs and sounds more prevalent in Sweden. The prevalence rates for EI with CNS-symptoms were lower and physician-diagnosed EIs considerably lower than self-reported EIs. Women reported EI more often than men and the young (18-39 years) to a lesser degree than middle-aged and elderly.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings reflect the heterogeneous nature of EI. The differences in EI prevalence between the countries might reflect disparities concerning which exposures people perceive harmful and focus their attention to.



Assessment of exposure to RF EMF from smart meters in GB; part II) numerical assessment of SAR within human body
Qureshi MRA, Alfadhl Y, Chen X, Peyman A, Maslanyj M, Mann S. Assessment of exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields from smart utility meters in GB; part II) numerical assessment of induced SAR within the human body. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Nov 16.


Human body exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic waves emitted from smart meters was assessed using various exposure configurations. Specific energy absorption rate distributions were determined using three anatomically realistic human models. Each model was assigned with age- and frequency-dependent dielectric properties representing a collection of age groups. Generalized exposure conditions involving standing and sleeping postures were assessed for a home area network operating at 868 and 2,450 MHz. The smart meter antenna was fed with 1 W power input which is an overestimation of what real devices typically emit (15 mW max limit). The highest observed whole body specific energy absorption rate value was 1.87 mW kg-1, within the child model at a distance of 15 cm from a 2,450 MHz device. The higher values were attributed to differences in dimension and dielectric properties within the model. Specific absorption rate (SAR) values were also estimated based on power density levels derived from electric field strength measurements made at various distances from smart meter devices. All the calculated SAR values were found to be very small in comparison to International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection limits for public exposure.


Also see: Health Experts Caution About Smart Meters


Acute effects of the electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phones on attention in emergency physiciansAltuntas G, Sadoglu D, Ardic S, Yilmaz H, Imamoglu M, Turedi S.Acute effects of the electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phones on attention in emergency physicians. Am J Emerg Med. 2017 Nov 13. pii: S0735-6757(17)30940-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2017.11.031.


STUDY OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of the electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted by mobile phones on attention in emergency physicians.

METHODS: This single-center, prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical study was performed among emergency physicians in a tertiary hospital. Thirty emergency physicians were enrolled in the study. Initial d2 test was applied in the evaluation of attention and concentration of all the physicians, who were randomly assigned into one of two groups. The control group members hold mobile phones in 'off' mode to their left ears for 15min. The members of the intervention group hold mobile phones in 'on' mode to their left ears for 15min, thus exposing them to 900-1800MHz EMW. The d2 test was re-applied to both groups after this procedure. Differences in attention and concentration levels between the groups were compared.

RESULTS: Difference between initial and final d2 test in total performance (TN-E, p=0.319), in total number of figures marked (TN, p=0.177), in test performance percentile (PR, p=0.619) and in attention fluctuation (FR, p=0.083) were similar between the groups. However, difference in the number of figures missed (E1 selective attention, p=0.025), difference between numbers of incorrectly marked figures (E2, p=0,018) and difference in focus levels (E, p=0.016) were significantly in favor of the intervention group.

CONCLUSION: According to our study findings, the EMW emitted by mobile phones has no deleterious effect on the attention and concentration levels of emergency physicians, and even has a positive impact on selective attention levels.



Effects of 1.8 GHz Radiofrequency Fields on the Emotional Behavior and Spatial Memory of Adolescent Mice

Zhang JP, Zhang KY, Guo L, Chen QL, Gao P, Wang T, Li J, Guo GZ, Ding GR. Effects of 1.8 GHz Radiofrequency Fields on the Emotional Behavior and Spatial Memory of Adolescent Mice. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Nov 5;14(11). pii: E1344. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14111344.


The increasing use of mobile phones by teenagers has raised concern about the cognitive effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields. In this study, we investigated the effects of 4-week exposure to a 1.8 GHz RF field on the emotional behavior and spatial memory of adolescent male mice. Anxiety-like behavior was evaluated by open field test (OFT) and elevated plus maze (EPM) test, while depression-like behavior was evaluated by sucrose preference test (SPT), tail suspension test (TST) and forced swim test (FST). The spatial learning and memory ability were evaluated by Morris water maze (MWM) experiments. The levels of amino acid neurotransmitters were determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The histology of the brain was examined by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining. It was found that the depression-like behavior, spatial memory ability and histology of the brain did not change obviously after RF exposure. However, the anxiety-like behavior increased in mice, while, the levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and aspartic acid (Asp) in cortex and hippocampus significantly decreased after RF exposure. These data suggested that RF exposure under these conditions do not affect the depression-like behavior, spatial memory and brain histology in adolescent male mice, but it may however increase the level of anxiety, and GABA and Asp were probably involved in this effect.

Note: The 1.8 GHz frequency field was not modulated like cellphone radiation.


Mice were exposed to 1.8 GHz frequency field for 28 days, 6 h/day (9:00 AM to 3:00 PM). During exposure, the animals had access to food and water. The SAR of whole body and brain were approximately 2.7 W/kg and 2.2 W/kg at a distance of 1 m from the antenna. Since the incidence and polarization of free movement mice kept changing during exposure, the deviation between the average SAR value and the maximum and the minimum of SAR was about 8%. The power density in this study was 530 μW/cm2 ...

It was found that exposure to 2.70 W/kg RF field did not obviously affect the surface body temperature of mice (Figure 1), which suggested that no gross thermal effects were involved. Additionally, the air temperature of the exposure cage with a temperature hygrometer was measured and the results showed that air temperature difference did not exceed 0.1 °C during 6 h exposure.

Effects of RF Exposure on Anxiety-Like Behaviors

The anxiety-like behaviors of mice were evaluated by OFT and EPM after RF exposure. OFT results showed that there were no significant differences in accumulative total distance traveled between the sham group and RF group (Figure 2a). However, the accumulative distance in the center area and the time spent in the central area decreased significantly in the RF group, compared with the sham group (Figure 2b,c), which indicated that 4-week RF exposure could increase the animals’ anxiety-like behavior.
In addition, EPM results showed that there were no significant differences in the number of total entries into the arms between the sham group and RF group, which indicated that the locomotor activity in the mice did not change after RF exposure (Figure 3a). However, the percentage of the total time spent in the open arms and the percentage of the entries into the open arms decreased significantly in the RF group, compared with the sham group (Figure 3b,c). These results were consistent with that of OFT.

It was reported that GABA in mice brain, plays a key role in the modulation of anxiety response [40,41,42,43], and in this study, we found that the level of GABA in mice brain decreased significantly after RF exposure. Considering the OFT and EPM results, we speculated that the GABA probably was involved in RF induce anxiety in mice. Additionally, it was found that the level of Asp in mice brain significantly changed after RF exposure. Regarding the relationship between the behavior and Asp remains unclear.

In the present study, brain SAR 2.2 W/kg was selected based on the 2.0 W/kg limit by the International Commission on Nonionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) [44,45]. It was found that after 6 h RF field exposure, the temperature of mice surface body did not change obviously compared with sham group, which suggested that no gross thermal effects were involved in RF-induced anxiety behavior in mice.


4-week exposure to 1.8 GHz RF field had no significant effect on depression-like behavior, spatial learning and memory ability or the histology of brain in adolescent male mice. However, it may increase the level of anxiety, and amino acid neurotransmitters such as GABA might be involved.

Open Access Paper: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/11/1344


Exposure to 835 MHz RF EMF induces autophagy in hippocampus but not in brain stem of mice
Kim JH, Yu DH, Kim HJ, Huh YH, Cho SW, Lee JK, Kim HG, Kim HR. Exposure to 835 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field induces autophagy in hippocampus but not in brain stem of mice. Toxicol Ind Health. 2017 Jan 1:748233717740066. doi: 10.1177/0748233717740066.


The exploding popularity of mobile phones and their close proximity to the brain when in use has raised public concern regarding possible adverse effects from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on the central nervous system. Numerous studies have suggested that RF-EMF emitted by mobile phones can influence neuronal functions in the brain. Currently, there is still very limited information on what biological mechanisms influence neuronal cells of the brain. In the present study, we explored whether autophagy is triggered in the hippocampus or brain stem after RF-EMF exposure. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 835 MHz RF-EMF with specific absorption rates (SAR) of 4.0 W/kg for 12 weeks; afterward, the hippocampus and brain stem of mice were dissected and analyzed. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis demonstrated that several autophagic genes, which play key roles in autophagy regulation, were significantly upregulated only in the hippocampus and not in the brain stem. Expression levels of LC3B-II protein and p62, crucial autophagic regulatory proteins, were significantly changed only in the hippocampus. In parallel, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed an increase in the number of autophagosomes and autolysosomes in the hippocampal neurons of RF-EMF-exposed mice. The present study revealed that autophagy was induced in the hippocampus, not in the brain stem, in 835 MHz RF-EMF with an SAR of 4.0 W/kg for 12 weeks. These results could suggest that among the various adaptation processes to the RF-EMF exposure environment, autophagic degradation is one possible mechanism in specific brain regions.



Rats exposed to 2.45 GHz of non-ionizing radiation exhibit behavioral changes with increased brain expression of apoptotic caspase 3

Varghese R, Majumdar A, Kumar G, Shukla A. Rats exposed to 2.45GHz of non-ionizing radiation exhibit behavioral changes with increased brain expression of apoptotic caspase 3. Pathophysiology. 2017 Nov 14. pii: S0928-4680(17)30052-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2017.11.001.


• The exposure to non-ionizing radiation of 2.45 GHz caused detrimental changes in rat brain leading to learning and memory decline and expression of anxiety behavior.
• The exposure to radiation induced oxidative stress and fall in brain antioxidants.
• The exposure triggered the gene expression of caspase 3.


In recent years there has been a tremendous increase in use of Wi-Fi devices along with mobile phones, globally. Wi-Fi devices make use of 2.4 GHz frequency. The present study evaluated the impact of 2.45 GHz radiation exposure for 4h/day for 45 days on behavioral and oxidative stress parameters in female Sprague Dawley rats. Behavioral tests of anxiety, learning and memory were started from day 38. Oxidative stress parameters were estimated in brain homogenates after sacrificing the rats on day 45. In morris water maze, elevated plus maze and light dark box test, the 2.45 GHz radiation exposed rats elicited memory decline and anxiety behavior. Exposure decreased activities of super oxide dismutase, catalase and reduced glutathione levels whereas increased levels of brain lipid peroxidation was encountered in the radiation exposed rats, showing compromised anti-oxidant defense. Expression of caspase 3 gene in brain samples were quantified which unraveled notable increase in the apoptotic marker caspase 3 in 2.45 GHz radiation exposed group as compared to sham exposed group. No significant changes were observed in histopathological examinations and brain levels of TNF-α. Analysis of dendritic arborization of neurons showcased reduction in number of dendritic branching and intersections which corresponds to alteration in dendritic structure of neurons, affecting neuronal signaling. The study clearly indicates that exposure of rats to microwave radiation of 2.45GHz leads to detrimental changes in brain leading to lowering of learning and memory and expression of anxiety behavior in rats along with fall in brain antioxidant enzyme systems.



Effects of exposure to EMF from 915 MHz RFID system on circulating blood cells in the healthy adult rat

Kim HS, Park JS, Jin YB, Do Choi H, Kwon JH, Pack JK, Kim N, Ahn YH. Effects of exposure to electromagnetic field from 915 MHz radiofrequency identification system on circulating blood cells in the healthy adult rat. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Nov 24. doi: 10.1002/bem.22093.


We investigated whether exposure to the 915 MHz radiofrequency identification (RFID) signal affected circulating blood cells in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to RFID at a whole-body specific absorption rate of 2 W/kg for 8 h per day, 5 days per week, for 2 weeks. Complete blood counts were performed after RFID exposure, and the CD4+ /CD8+ ratio was determined by flow cytometry. The number of red blood cells (RBCs) and the values of hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBC indices were increased in the RFID-exposed group compared with those in the cage-control and sham-exposed groups (P < 0.05). However, the RBCs and platelet numbers were within normal physiologic response ranges. The number of white blood cells, including lymphocytes, was decreased in RFID-exposed rats. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the sham-exposed and RFID-exposed groups in terms of T-cell counts or CD4+ /CD8+.



A period of 2 weeks in rats corresponds to 1.5 years in human if calculated based on a human life expectancy of 80 years.

2 W/kg is about five times the occupational exposure limit 0.4 W/kg of ICNIRP/IEEE guidelines at the distance of 12 cm from RFID antenna.

As RF-EMF exposure can affect body temperature, we measured rectal temperature before and after RFID exposure; no statistically significant changes in temperature were found in our exposure system 

... although circulating blood cell counts were significantly affected by exposure to 915 MHz RFID at a whole-body SAR of 2 W/kg for 2 weeks, these changes do not necessarily indicate that RFID exposure is harmful, as values remained within normal physiological response ranges.


Exposure to a specific time-varying electromagnetic field inhibits cell proliferation via cAMP and ERK signaling in cancer cells

Buckner CA, Buckner AL, Koren SA, Persinger MA, Lafrenie RM. Exposure to a specific time-varying electromagnetic field inhibits cell proliferation via cAMP and ERK signaling in cancer cells. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Nov 10. doi: 10.1002/bem.22096.


Exposure to specific electromagnetic field (EMF) patterns can affect a variety of biological systems. We have shown that exposure to Thomas-EMF, a low-intensity, frequency-modulated (25-6 Hz) EMF pattern, inhibited growth and altered cell signaling in malignant cells. Exposure to Thomas-EMF for 1 h/day inhibited the growth of malignant cells including B16-BL6 mouse melanoma cells, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, BT-20, and MCF-7 human breast cancer and HeLa cervical cancer cells but did not affect non-malignant cells. The Thomas-EMF-dependent changes in cell proliferation were mediated by adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways. Exposure of malignant cells to Thomas-EMF transiently changed the level of cellular cAMP and promoted ERK phosphorylation. Pharmacologic inhibitors (SQ22536) and activators (forskolin) of cAMP production both blocked the ability of Thomas-EMF to inhibit cell proliferation, and an inhibitor of the MAP kinase pathway (PD98059) was able to partially block Thomas-EMF-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation. Genetic modulation of protein kinase A (PKA) in B16-BL6 cells also altered the effect of Thomas-EMF on cell proliferation. Cells transfected with the constitutively active form of PKA (PKA-CA), which interfered with ERK phosphorylation, also interfered with the Thomas-EMF effect on cell proliferation. The non-malignant cells did not show any EMF-dependent changes in cAMP levels, ERK phosphorylation, or cell growth. These data indicate that exposure to the specific Thomas-EMF pattern can inhibit the growth of malignant cells in a manner dependent on contributions from the cAMP and MAP kinase pathways.


Oxidative stress response in SH-SY5Y cells exposed to short-term 1800 MHz radiofrequency radiation

Marjanovic Cermak AM, Pavicic I, Trosic I. Oxidative stress response in SH-SY5Y cells exposed to short-term 1800 MHz radiofrequency radiation. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2017 Nov 17:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2017.1383124.


The exact mechanism that could explain the effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure at non-thermal level is still unknown. Increasing evidence suggests a possible involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and development of oxidative stress. To test the proposed hypothesis, human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) were exposed to 1800 MHz short-term RF exposure for 10, 30 and 60 minutes. Electric field strength within Gigahertz Transverse Electromagnetic cell (GTEM) was 30 V m-1 and specific absorption rate (SAR) was calculated to be 1.6 W kg-1. Cellular viability was measured by MTT assay and level of ROS was determined by fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate. Concentrations of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls were used to assess lipid and protein oxidative damage and antioxidant activity was evaluated by measuring concentrations of total glutathione (GSH). After radiation exposure, viability of irradiated cells remained within normal physiological values. Significantly higher ROS level was observed for every radiation exposure time. After 60 min of exposure, the applied radiation caused significant lipid and protein damage. The highest GSH concentration was detected after 10 minute-exposure. The results of our study showed enhanced susceptibility of SH-SY5Y cells for development of oxidative stress even after short-term RF exposure.



Effects of GSM and UMTS mobile telephony signals on neuron degeneration and blood-brain barrier permeation in the rat brain

Poulletier de Gannes F, Masuda H, Billaudel B, Poque-Haro E, Hurtier A, Lévêque P, Ruffié G, Taxile M, Veyret B, Lagroye I. Effects of GSM and UMTS mobile telephony signals on neuron degeneration and blood-brain barrier permeation in the rat brain. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 14;7(1):15496. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15690-1.


Blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeation and neuron degeneration were assessed in the rat brain following exposure to mobile communication radiofrequency (RF) signals (GSM-1800 and UMTS-1950). Two protocols were used: (i) single 2 h exposure, with rats sacrificed immediately, and 1 h, 1, 7, or 50 days later, and (ii) repeated exposures (2 h/day, 5 days/week, for 4 weeks) with the effects assessed immediately and 50 days after the end of exposure. The rats' heads were exposed at brain-averaged specific absorption rates (BASAR) of 0.026, 0.26, 2.6, and 13 W/kg. No adverse impact in terms of BBB leakage or neuron degeneration was observed after single exposures or immediately after the end of repeated exposure, with the exception of a transient BBB leakage (UMTS, 0.26 W/kg). Fifty days after repeated exposure, the occurrence of degenerating neurons was unchanged on average. However, a significant increased albumin leakage was detected with both RF signals at 13 W/kg. In this work, the strongest, delayed effect was induced by GSM-1800 at 13 W/kg. Considering that 13 W/kg BASAR in the rat head is equivalent to 4 times as much in the human head, deleterious effects may occur following repeated human brain exposure above 50 W/kg.


In the present work, BBB permeability in the whole rat brain increased significantly 50 days after repeated exposures: 3-fold for GSM and 2.4-fold for UMTS at 13 W/kg. A similar significant effect was seen in the whole brain with GSM-1800 at 0.26 W/kg. However, while the mean number of spots was quite similar at different BASAR levels, their distribution among the animals varied. For example, 20% of the 0.026 W/kg rats had between 4 and 5.5 spots, versus 45% of the 13 W/kg rats (data not shown). Thus, the effect was much stronger and consistent at 13 W/kg than at 0.026 W/kg or 0.26 W/kg. It is also noteworthy that the highest albumin levels were comparable to the highest background levels in cage-control rats (Fig. 3).

Open Access Paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15690-1


Exposure to 2100 MHz electromagnetic field radiations induces reactive oxygen species generation in Allium cepa roots
Shikha Chandel, Shalinder Kaur, Harminder Pal Singh, Daizy Rani Batish, Ravinder Kumar Kohli. Exposure to 2100 MHz electromagnetic field radiations induces reactive oxygen species generation in Allium cepa roots. Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, 5(4):225-229. Dec 2017,


During the last few decades there has been an enormous increase in the usage of cell phones as these are one of the most convenient gadgets and provide excellent mode of communication without evoking any hindrance to movement. However, these are significantly adding to the electromagnetic field radiations (EMF-r) in the environment and thus, are required to be analysed for their impacts on living beings. The present study investigated the role of cell phone EMF-r in inciting oxidative damage in onion (Allium cepa) roots at a frequency of 2100 MHz. Onion roots were exposed to continuous wave homogenous EMF-r for 1, 2 and 4 h for single day and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in terms of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide anion (O2−) content and changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes- superoxide dismutases (SOD) and catalases (CAT) were measured. The results showed that EMF-r exposure enhanced the content of MDA, H2O2 and O2−. Also, there was an upregulation in the activity of antioxidant enzymes− SOD and CAT− in onion roots. The study concluded that 2100 MHz cell phone EMF-r incite oxidative damage in onion roots by altering the oxidative metabolism.

Open Access Paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213879X17300809


Retrospective estimation of ELF & MF exposure in in vitro studies reveal considerable potential for uncertainty
Portelli LA, Falldorf K, Thuróczy G, Cuppen J. Retrospective estimation of the electric and magnetic field exposure conditions in in vitro experimental reports reveal considerable potential for uncertainty. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Nov 24. doi: 10.1002/bem.22099.


Experiments on cell cultures exposed to extremely low frequency (ELF, 3-300 Hz) magnetic fields are often subject to multiple sources of uncertainty associated with specific electric and magnetic field exposure conditions. Here we systemically quantify these uncertainties based on exposure conditions described in a group of bioelectromagnetic experimental reports for a representative sampling of the existing literature. The resulting uncertainties, stemming from insufficient, ambiguous, or erroneous description, design, implementation, or validation of the experimental methods and systems, were often substantial enough to potentially make any successful reproduction of the original experimental conditions difficult or impossible. Without making any assumption about the true biological relevance of ELF electric and magnetic fields, these findings suggest another contributing factor which may add to the overall variability and irreproducibility traditionally associated with experimental results of in vitro exposures to low-level ELF magnetic fields.



In bioelectromagnetics experiments, the general aim of exposures is to increase the likelihood of evoking discernible low-level ELF magnetic field effects, even if they are small. It follows that all biologically relevant experimental conditions must be reasonably reproducible in order for any such effects to be consistently observed and mature into established scientific facts. This work shows that the potential electric and magnetic field exposure uncertainties associated with a considerable portion of the in vitro low-level ELF magnetic field experiments reported are substantial. For these cases, the uncertainties may exceed levels that would allow for satisfactory reproduction of such exposures in subsequent experimental attempts, and raise doubts about the quality of the reported data to reasonably assess the significance of the biological effects of such exposures, should they exist. Although the definitive importance of this study is contingent on the concrete biological relevance of low-level ELF electric and magnetic fields, these findings suggest another factor which may contribute to the overall variability and irreproducibility traditionally associated with experimental results in this area.

Therefore, it is imperative that the dedicated bioelectromagnetics researcher puts sufficient care into minimizing any potential sort of experimental exposure conditions uncertainty by designing, validating, executing, and reporting the experimental systems and methods carefully and completely from a replication perspective specifically. It is clear that individual experiments and protocols cannot be standardized as they differ in an endpoint-to-endpoint basis; nevertheless, it is the direct responsibility of the researcher to build the necessary framework that fits his specific experimental systems and procedures in a way that they may be replicated within reasonable bounds. For this, the resources presented in this manuscript and those provided by several other researchers in the community for more than 40 years can be useful [Bassett et al., 1974; Bassen et al., 1992; Valberg, 1995; Kuster and Schönborn, 2000; Vijayalaxmi, 2016; Markov, 2017]. Additionally, this endeavor may require the consideration of factors typically excluded from the standard dosimetric scope without proper justification other than for being difficult to characterize. For instance, in acknowledging the hard reality that cellular systems respond to diverse aspects of their immediate environment, the bioelectromagnetics community may embrace the need for complete uncertainty budgets based on computation and experimental validation of the electric and magnetic fields at the cellular level. This may result in the consideration of microdosimetric analysis as an additional (and perhaps indispensable) approach to reduce uncertainty within reasonable levels, depending on the specific experimental conditions at play.


Cellular Response to ELF-MF and Heat: Evidence for a Common Involvement of Heat Shock Proteins?

Zeni O, Simkó M, Rosaria Scarfi M, Mattsson MO.Cellular Response to ELF-MF and Heat: Evidence for a Common Involvement of Heat Shock Proteins? Public Health, 18 October 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00280

It has been shown that magnetic fields in the extremely low frequency range (ELF-MF) can act as a stressor in various in vivo or in vitrosystems, at flux density levels below those inducing excitation of nerve and muscle cells, which are setting the limits used by most generally accepted exposure guidelines, such as the ones published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. In response to a variety of physiological and environmental factors, including heat, cells activate an ancient signaling pathway leading to the transient expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs), which exhibit sophisticated protection mechanisms. A number of studies suggest that also ELF-MF exposure can activate the cellular stress response and cause increased HSPs expression, both on the mRNA and the protein levels. In this review, we provide some of the presently available data on cellular responses, especially regarding HSP expression, due to single and combined exposure to ELF-MF and heat, with the aim to compare the induced effects and to detect possible common modes of action. Some evidence suggest that MF and heat can act as costressors inducing a kind of thermotolerance in cell cultures and in organisms. The MF exposure might produce a potentiated or synergistic biological response such as an increase in HSPs expression, in combination with a well-defined stress, and in turn exert beneficial effects during certain circumstances.

Open Access Paper: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00280/full

Effects of EMF emissions from undersea electric cables on coral reef fish
Kilfoyle AK, Jermain RF, Dhanak MR, Huston JP, Spieler RE. Effects of EMF emissions from undersea electric cables on coral reef fish. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Nov 9. doi: 10.1002/bem.22092.


The objective of this study was to determine if electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from undersea power cables impacted local marine life, with an emphasis on coral reef fish. The work was done at the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility of Naval Surface Warfare Center in Broward County, Florida, which has a range of active undersea detection and data transmission cables. EMF emissions from a selected cable were created during non-destructive visual fish surveys on SCUBA. During surveys, the transmission of either alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), or none (OFF) was randomly initiated by the facility at a specified time. Visual surveys were conducted using standardized transect and point-count methods to acquire reef fish abundances and species richness prior to and immediately after a change in transmission frequency. The divers were also tasked to note the reaction of the reef fish to the immediate change in EMF during a power transition. In general, analysis of the data did not find statistical differences among power states and any variables. However, this may be a Type II error as there are strong indications of a potential difference of a higher abundance of reef fish at the sites when the power was off, and further study is warranted.



In conclusion, much of the literature dealing with EMF effects on marine vertebrates can be summed up as contradictory or inconclusive. This study is in some measures likewise. There are some caveats to consider. We did not see adequate numbers of some species, especially elasmobranchs, known to reside in or transit the area. Thus, some local species might be impacted but our results would not clearly show it. Also, we cannot discount the possibility that the time intervals between power states utilized here (approximately 30 min) to assess changes in reef fish populations was too short to capture slow changes that may be occurring as a result of altering the power state, and the low sample sizes and high count variability may be obscuring some statistical analyses. These caveats notwithstanding, we did not find that the EMF provided at the SFOMF had dramatic impact on the fish assemblage we examined. Nonetheless, although no behavioral effects were noted, the distribution data do provide evidence that the EMF may be eliciting some short-term impact on fish leading to their avoidance of both the AC- and DC-generated EMF. We are reluctant to say this impact is benign. Subtle changes in place preference may result from EMF-induced changes in orientation, anxiety, temperature, etc. The potential long-term effect of such impact, if any, on the distributions of fish populations and community structure is not known, and further research is needed. Additional studies involving larger sample sizes, longer time intervals with the power remaining constant for each particular current type (OFF vs. AC vs. DC), different power strengths, and sites are required. Because the potential sensitivity of most non-elasmobranch fish to EMFs appears low, combining such field studies in conjunction with laboratory behavioral studies would likely produce more conclusive results.


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Website: http://www.saferemr.com
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Twitter: @berkeleyprc

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