Maternal Exposure to Magnetic Fields During Pregnancy in Relation to the Risk of Asthma in Offspring

The conclusions of the Li et al paper support an association between a mother’s magnetic field (MF) exposure during pregnancy and asthma in children born to those mothers. Here are some of the conclusions of the study.

“Our findings provide new epidemiological evidence that high maternal MF levels in pregnancy may increase the risk of asthma in offspring.” Children born to mothers who had a median daily MF exposure during pregnancy between 0.3 milligauss (mG) and 2 mG had a 74% increased risk of asthma.  Children born to mothers who had a median daily EMF exposure during pregnancy over a 2 mG EMF had a 3.5-fold increased risk (a 350% increased risk) of asthma.

This study shows a statistically significant increased risk for asthma.  Every 1 mG increase of maternal EMF level was associated with a 15% increased risk of asthma in the child. 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04- 1.27).  A dose-response is shown for increasing maternal MF during pregnancy and asthma in the off-spring.


This study is one more that underscores the importance of limiting exposures to elevated magnetic field (EMF) during pregnancy.   There are so many studies that now document EMF exposures (using the all-inclusive EMF to cover both ELF-EMF and RF) to be potentially neurotoxic and genotoxic, we should actively be limiting indiscriminate and persistent exposure of families and their children to avoidable EMF.

Li et al previously published a study linking miscarriage to intermittent ELF-EMF exposures of 16 mG.  A few years ago, Divan et al reported that maternal use of a cell phone during pregnancy was associated with increased risk of behavioral and learning problems in children of these mothers by the time the child was in primary school. Whether it is the ELF-EMF component, or the RF component of cell phone exposures isn’t known (it may be one or both). Whether it is a function of the exposure level on the fetus in-utero, or something about the mothers’ immune status as affected by the cell phone emissions is not known either. Johansson has published extensively on EMF/RF effects on the immune system.

Sage and Johansson published a paper in Bioelectromagnetics showing that cell phones and PDAs can produce excessively high ELF-EMF exposures when worn in the ON mode (on a belt, in a pocket, close to the body). These exposures were on the order of tens to hundreds of milligauss.  Since the study did not discriminate between magnetic field exposure (EMF) and the possible presence of ‘dirty electricity’, (which Sam Milham and Magda Havas have reported to be associated with asthma in children), dirty electricity’ may be an important but unmeasured factor here. Future studies really need to address the ‘dirty electricity’ component of EMF.

Both ELF-EMF and RF are now classified as possible human carcinogens by the WHO IARC.

People need better information on EMF and health risks, so they can make educated choices about limiting exposures, if they wish to.  People also need better informed decision-makers when it comes to new technologies that emit ELF and RF on a persistent and repetitive basis, so entire communities are not exposed to involuntary EMF exposures in daily life. There is more than sufficient evidence now to actively review where such exposures come from, what the alternatives are, and commonsense ways to improve the living environment (homes, schools, offices, healthcare facilities, etc) by making more informed choices.

Cindy Sage

[Cindy Sage, MA is the Science and Public Policy Advisor for the EMF Safety Network, Co-Editor Bioinitiative Report]

Medical Implants and Wireless Hazards

Widespread wireless installations including Smart Meters are creating safety risks for 20-25 million people, who have medical implants such as pacemakers, infusion pumps, metal rods and hearing aids.  In some cases these interference risks are life threatening. Dr. Gary Olhoeft, professor of Geophysics in Colorado, has a medical implant, a deep brain stimulator for Parkinson’s disease.  Olhoeft shares his research and knowledge about wireless interference with implants.

In part two Dr. Ohloeft describes a situation where as he passed through a retail store security system his stimulator was turned off.  He shares, “I had to turn myself back on. I have about four seconds to do that before I start shaking so bad I can’t do it.”

Special thanks to EMR Policy for these important videos.  EMR Policy writes, “Translating the complex science and drawing upon personal experience of such interference with his own implant, Olhoeft’s information poses important policy questions on protecting the disabled from interference. ”

Wireless devices-potential cancer risk says World Health Organization

[mashshare] Cell phones, cell towers, wi-fi, smart meters, DECT phones, cordless phones, baby monitors and other wireless devices all emit non ionizing radio frequencies, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has just classified as a potential carcinogen. This is big news from the WHO and governments and decision makers can no longer hide behind the “no RF health effects” industry mantra.

Cindy Sage, co-editor of the Bioinitiative Report writes, ” The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer has just issued it’s decision that non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation is classified as a 2B (Possible) Carcinogen. This is the same category as DDT, lead, and engine exhaust. This mirrors the 2001 IARC finding that extremely low frequency (ELF-EMF) that classified as a 2B (Possible) Carcinogen. This pertained to power frequency (power line and appliance) non-ionizing radiation. These two findings confirm that non-ionizing radiation should be considered as a possible risk factor for cancers; and that new, biologically-based public safety standards are urgently needed. ”

Dr. Louis Slesin has been reporting on this issue for decades. See Microwave News, for further commentary.


Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐

“The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer1, associated with wireless phone use.

Over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.
From May 24–31 2011, a Working Group of 31 scientists from 14 countries has been meeting at IARC in Lyon, France, to assess the potential carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. These assessments will be published as Volume 102 of the IARC Monographs, which will be the fifth volume in this series to focus on physical agents, after Volume 55 (Solar Radiation), Volume 75 and Volume 78 on ionizing radiation (X‐rays, gamma‐rays, neutrons, radio‐nuclides), and Volume 80 on non‐ionizing radiation (extremely low‐frequency electromagnetic fields).
The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed the possibility that these exposures might induce long‐term health effects, in particular an increased risk for cancer. This has relevance for public health, particularly for users of mobile phones, as the number of users is large and growing, particularly among young adults and children.
The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed and evaluated the available literature on the following exposure categories involving radiofrequency electromagnetic fields:
␣ occupational exposures to radar and to microwaves; ␣ environmental exposures associated with transmission of signals for radio, television and wireless telecommunication; and ␣ personal exposures associated with the use of wireless telephones.
International experts shared the complex task of tackling the exposure data, the studies of cancer in humans, the studies of cancer in experimental animals, and the mechanistic and other relevant data.

1 237 913 new cases of brain cancers (all types combined) occurred around the world in 2008 (gliomas represent 2/3 of these). Source: Globocan 2008

The evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited2 among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate3 to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. The evidence from the occupational and environmental exposures mentioned above was similarly judged inadequate. The Working Group did not quantitate the risk; however, one study of past cell phone use (up to the year 2004), showed a 40% increased risk for gliomas in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period).

Dr Jonathan Samet (University of Southern California, USA), overall Chairman of the Working Group, indicated that “the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk.”
“Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings,” said IARC Director Christopher Wild, “it is important that additional research be conducted into the long‐ term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands‐free devices or texting. ”
The Working Group considered hundreds of scientific articles; the complete list will be published in the Monograph. It is noteworthy to mention that several recent in‐press scientific articles4 resulting from the Interphone study were made available to the working group shortly before it was due to convene, reflecting their acceptance for publication at that time, and were included in the evaluation.
A concise report summarizing the main conclusions of the IARC Working Group and the evaluations of the carcinogenic hazard from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (including the use of mobile telephones) will be published in The Lancet Oncology in its July 1 issue, and in a few days online.

2 ‘Limited evidence of carcinogenicity’: A positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer for which a causal interpretation is considered by the Working Group to be credible, but chance, bias or confounding could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence.
3 ‘Inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity’: The available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of a causal association between exposure and cancer, or no data on cancer in humans are available.
4 a. ‘Acoustic neuroma risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case‐ control study’ (the Interphone Study Group, in Cancer Epidemiology, in press) b. ‘Estimation of RF energy absorbed in the brain from mobile phones in the Interphone study’ (Cardis et al., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press)
c. ‘Risk of brain tumours in relation to estimated RF dose from mobile phones – results from five Interphone countries’ (Cardis et al., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press) ”


Airport Backscatter Scanners-Public Health at Risk

University of California at San Francisco faculty members write to John Holdren who is the Assistant to President for Science and Technology with their urgent concern about the public health threat of backscatter scanners, which are a new part of a airport passenger screening process.

Faculty members who signed the letter include doctors in biochemistry and biophysics, cancer and xray, and imaging experts. They call for a review of the scanners based on the lack of an independent safety review, and health risks to children, pregnant women, elders, and people with compromised  immune systems. They write, “This is an urgent situation as these X-ray scanners are rapidly being implemented as a primary screening step for all air travel passengers. Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.”

Cell Phone Radiation Disturbs Honey Bees

[mashshare] Honey beeDaniel Favre examines the connection between cell phone radiation and honey bees in “Mobile Phone Induced Honey Bee Worker Piping“.  Colony Collapse Disorder has been linked to a variety of potential causes, including pesticide poisoning, and varroa mites. With the onslaught of environmental radiation from cell phone, cell tower and Smart Meters networks it is important this study be widely read and disseminated. The study abstract states,

“The worldwide maintenance of the honeybee has major ecological, economic, and political implications. In the present study, electromagnetic waves originating from mobile phones were tested for potential effects on honeybee behavior. Mobile phone handsets were placed in the close vicinity of honeybees.

The sound made by the bees was recorded and analyzed. The audiograms and spectrograms revealed that active mobile phone handsets have a dramatic impact on the behavior of the bees, namely by inducing the worker piping signal. In natural conditions, worker piping either announces the swarming process of the bee colony or is a signal of a disturbed bee colony. ”

Other publications on radiation and bees include:

Bees, Birds and Mankind, Destroying nature by electrosmog by Ulrich Warnke

The Birds, the Bees and Electromagnetic Pollution, by Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, May 2009

Smart Meters Pose Cancer/Health Risks- Medical expert warns

Dr. Carpenter states, We have evidence…that exposure to radiofrequency radiation…increases the risk of cancer, increases damage to the nervous system, causes electrosensitivity, has adverse reproductive effects and a variety of other effects on different organ systems.  There is no justification for the statement that Smart Meters have no adverse health effects. “

Dr. Carpenter further advises, “An informed person should demand that they be allowed to keep their analog meter”

(For those of you already Smart Metered,  demand to have the analog meter restored, call your your utility and your state public utility commission)

BIG THANKS to Dr. Carpenter and to Maine’s Smart Meter Safety Coalition  who “recently caught up with Dr. David Carpenter, a Harvard Medical School-trained physician who headed up the New York State Dept. of Public Health for 18 years before becoming Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Albany, where he currently directs the Institute for Health and the Environment” (

The California Department of Public Health on RF Health Impacts

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST)Health Impacts of Radio Frequency From Smart Meters final report was released on March 31, 2011. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) comments challenged the CCST, stating, “CDPH suggests further review of the literature on non-thermal effects, which is complicated and controversial, but does not support a claim of no non-thermal health effects from radio frequency electromagnetic fields.”

CDPH also provided the following links to documents regarding the controversy over Smart Meter (radio frequency radiation-RF) safety:

In addition to the following three studies, CDPH sent the following 3 study references to the CCST:

Electromagnetic Fields and DNA Damage: Phillips, J.L.; Singh, N.P.; Lai, H.;

Pathophysiology 16(2009) 79-88

Electromagnetic Fields and the Induction of DNA Strand Breaks: Ruiz-

Gomez, M.J.; Martinez-Morillo, M.; Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine

28:201-214, 2009

Radiofrequency and Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Effects

on the Blood-Brain Barrier: Nittby, H.; Grafstrom, G.; Eberhardt, J.L.;

Malmgren, L.; Brun, A.; Persson, B.R.R.; Salford, L.; Electromagnetic

Biology and Medicine 27:103-126, 2008

Other Comments to CCST Smart Meter Study

UCSC Nuclear Policy Expert on Smart Meters

Daniel Hirsch, Professor of Nuclear Policy at University of California at Santa Cruz talks to Josh Hart of Stop Smart Meters! He explains that the whole body cumulative radiation exposure from Smart Meters is 100X more than cell phone exposure. He also states that the Smart Meter deployment “is a large experiment on a very large population”. More: