De-Kun Li, MD, PhD; Hong Chen, MPH; Roxana Odouli, MSPH
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Published online August 1, 2011. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.135
Objective To determine whether maternal exposure to high levels of magnetic fields (MFs) during pregnancy is associated with the risk of asthma in offspring.
Design A prospective cohort study. Setting Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Participants Pregnant Kaiser Permanente Northern California members in the San Francisco area.
Main Outcome Measures Asthma was clinically diagnosed among 626 children who were followed up for as long as 13 years. All participants carried a meter to measure their MF levels during pregnancy.
Results After adjustment for potential confounders, a statistically significant linear dose-response relationship was observed between increasing maternal median daily MF exposure level in pregnancy and an increased risk of asthma in offspring: every 1-mG increase of maternal MF level during pregnancy was associated with a 15% increased rate of asthma in offspring (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.27). Using the categorical MF level, the results showed a similar dose-response relationship: compared with the children whose mothers had a low MF level (median 24-hour MF level, 0.3 mG) during pregnancy, children whose mothers had a high MF level (>2.0 mG) had more than a 3.5-fold increased rate of asthma (aHR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.68-7.35), while children whose mothers had a medium MF level (>0.3-2.0 mG) had a 74% increased rate of asthma (aHR, 1.74; 95% CI, 0.93-3.25). A statistically significant synergistic interaction was observed between the MF effect and a maternal history of asthma and birth order (firstborn).
Conclusion: Our findings provide new epidemiological evidence that high maternal MF levels in pregnancy may increase the risk of asthma in offspring.
Phillips, J.L.; Singh, N.P.; Lai, H.;
Pathophysiology 16 (2009) 79-88
A major concern of the adverse effects of exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) is cancer induction. Since the majority of cancers are initiated by damage to a cell’s genome, studies have been carried out to investigate the effects of electromagnetic fields on DNA and chromosomal structure. Additionally, DNA damage can lead to changes in cellular functions and cell death. Single cell gel electrophoresis, also known as the ‘comet assay’, has been widely used in EMF research to determine DNA damage, reflected as single-strand breaks, double-strand breaks, and crosslinks. Studies have also been carried out to investigate chromosomal conformational changes and micronucleus formation in cells after exposure to EMF. This review describes the comet assay and its utility to qualitatively and quantitatively assess DNA damage, reviews studies that have investigated DNA strand breaks and other changes in DNA structure, and then discusses important lessons learned from our work in this area.
Electromagn Biol Med. 2008;27(2):103-26.
Nittby H, Grafström G, Eberhardt JL, Malmgren L, Brun A, Persson BR, Salford LG. Department of Neurosurgery, The Rausing Laboratory, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. Henrietta.Nittby@med.lu.se
During the last century, mankind has introduced electricity and during the very last decades, the microwaves of the modern communication society have spread a totally new entity–the radiofrequency fields–around the world. How does this affect biology on Earth? The mammalian brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, which prevents harmful substances from reaching the brain tissue. There is evidence that exposure to electromagnetic fields at non thermal levels disrupts this barrier. In this review, the scientific findings in this field are presented. The result is a complex picture, where some studies show effects on the blood-brain barrier, whereas others do not. Possible mechanisms for the interactions between electromagnetic fields and the living organisms are discussed. Demonstrated effects on the blood-brain barrier, as well as a series of other effects upon biology, have caused societal anxiety. Continued research is needed to come to an understanding of how these possible effects can be neutralized, or at least reduced. Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that proven effects on biology also should have positive potentials, e.g., for medical use.
Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism
Nora D. Volkow, MD; Dardo Tomasi, PhD;Gene-Jack Wang, MD; Paul Vaska, PhD;Joanna S. Fowler, PhD; Frank Telang, MD;Dave Alexoff, BSE; Jean Logan, PhD;Christopher Wong, MS
Author Affiliations: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Volkow); National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda (Drs Volkow, Tomasi, and Telang and Mr Wong); and Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York (Drs Wang, Vaska, Fowler, and Logan and Mr Alexoff).
Context The dramatic increase in use of cellular telephones has generated concern about possible negative effects of radiofrequency signals delivered to the brain. However, whether acute cell phone exposure affects the human brain is unclear.
Objective To evaluate if acute cell phone exposure affects brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity.
Design, Setting, and Participants Randomized crossover study conducted between January 1 and December 31, 2009, at a single US laboratory among 47 healthy participants recruited from the community. Cell phones were placed on the left and right ears and positron emission tomography with (18F)fluorodeoxyglucose injection was used to measure brain glucose metabolism twice, once with the right cell phone activated (sound muted) for 50 minutes (“on” condition) and once with both cell phones deactivated (“off” condition). Statistical parametric mapping was used to compare metabolism between on and off conditions using paired t tests, and Pearson linear correlations were used to verify the association of metabolism and estimated amplitude of radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic waves emitted by the cell phone. Clusters with at least 1000 voxels (volume >8 cm3) and P < .05 (corrected for multiple comparisons) were considered significant.
Main Outcome Measure Brain glucose metabolism computed as absolute metabolism (μmol/100 g per minute) and as normalized metabolism (region/whole brain).
Results Whole-brain metabolism did not differ between on and off conditions. In contrast, metabolism in the region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher for on than off conditions (35.7 vs 33.3 μmol/100 g per minute; mean difference, 2.4 [95% confidence interval, 0.67-4.2]; P = .004). The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for absolute metabolism (R = 0.95,P < .001) and normalized metabolism (R = 0.89;P < .001).
Conclusions In healthy participants and compared with no exposure, 50-minute cell phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. This finding is of unknown clinical significance.
Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years.
Hardell L, Carlberg M, Söderqvist F, Mild KH, Morgan LL.
Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden. email@example.com
AIM: To evaluate brain tumour risk among long-term users of cellular telephones. METHODS: Two cohort studies and 16 case-control studies on this topic were identified. Data were scrutinised for use of mobile phone for > or =10 years and ipsilateral exposure if presented. RESULTS: The cohort study was of limited value due to methodological shortcomings in the study. Of the 16 case-control studies, 11 gave results for > or =10 years’ use or latency period. Most of these results were based on low numbers. An association with acoustic neuroma was found in four studies in the group with at least 10 years’ use of a mobile phone. No risk was found in one study, but the tumour size was significantly larger among users. Six studies gave results for malignant brain tumours in that latency group. All gave increased odd ratios (OR), especially for ipsilateral exposure. In a meta-analysis, ipsilateral cell phone use for acoustic neuroma was OR = 2.4 (95% CI 1.1 to 5.3) and OR = 2.0, (1.2 to 3.4) for glioma using a tumour latency period of > or =10 years. CONCLUSIONS: Results from present studies on use of mobile phones for > or =10 years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure.
Epidemiological evidence for an association between use of wireless phones and tumor diseases.
Hardell L, Carlberg M, Hansson Mild K.
Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden.
During recent years there has been increasing public concern on potential cancer risks from microwave emissions from wireless phones. We evaluated the scientific evidence for long-term mobile phone use and the association with certain tumors in case-control studies, mostly from the Hardell group in Sweden and the Interphone study group. Regarding brain tumors the meta-analysis yielded for glioma odds ratio (OR)=1.0, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.9-1.1. OR increased to 1.3, 95% CI=1.1-1.6 with 10 year latency period, with highest risk for ipsilateral exposure (same side as the tumor localisation), OR=1.9, 95% CI=1.4-2.4, lower for contralateral exposure (opposite side) OR=1.2, 95% CI=0.9-1.7. Regarding acoustic neuroma OR=1.0, 95% CI=0.8-1.1 was calculated increasing to OR=1.3, 95% CI=0.97-1.9 with 10 year latency period. For ipsilateral exposure OR=1.6, 95% CI=1.1-2.4, and for contralateral exposure OR=1.2, 95% CI=0.8-1.9 were found. Regarding meningioma no consistent pattern of an increased risk was found. Concerning age, highest risk was found in the age group <20 years at time of first use of wireless phones in the studies from the Hardell group. For salivary gland tumors, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer no consistent pattern of an association with use of wireless phones was found. One study on uveal melanoma yielded for probable/certain mobile phone use OR=4.2, 95% CI=1.2-14.5. One study on intratemporal facial nerve tumor was not possible to evaluate due to methodological shortcomings. In summary our review yielded a consistent pattern of an increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma after >10 year mobile phone use. We conclude that current standard for exposure to microwaves during mobile phone use is not safe for long-term exposure and needs to be revised.
|Meta-analysis of long-term mobile phone use and the association with brain tumours|
|Authors: Lennart Hardell, Michael Carlberg, Fredrik Söderqvist, Kjell Hansson Mild|
|Abstract:We evaluated long-term use of mobile phones and the risk for brain tumours in case-control studies published so far on this issue. We identified ten studies on glioma and meta-analysis yielded OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.8-1.1. Latency period of ≥10-years gave OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.8-1.9 based on six studies, for ipsilateral use (same side as tumour) OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.2-3.4 (four studies), but contralateral use did not increase the risk significantly, OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.6-2.0. Meta-analysis of nine studies on acoustic neuroma gave OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.7-1.1 increasing to OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 0.6-2.8 using ≥10-years latency period (four studies). Ipsilateral use gave OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.1-5.3 and contra-lateral OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.7-2.2 in the ≥10-years latency period group (three studies). Seven studies gave results for meningioma yielding overall OR = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.7-0.99. Using ≥10-years latency period OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 0.9-1.8 was calculated (four studies) increasing to OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 0.99-3.1 for ipsilateral use and OR = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.3-3.1 for contralateral use (two studies). We conclude that this meta-analysis gave a consistent pattern of an association between mobile phone use and ipsilateral glioma and acoustic neuroma using ≥10-years latency period.|
Increased blood–brain barrier permeability in mammalian brain 7 days after exposure to the radiation from a GSM-900 mobile phone
Henrietta Nittbya, , , Arne Brunb, Jacob Eberhardtc, Lars Malmgrend, Bertil R.R. Perssonc and Leif G. Salforda
Microwaves were for the first time produced by humans in 1886 when radio waves were broadcasted and received. Until then microwaves had only existed as a part of the cosmic background radiation since the birth of universe. By the following utilization of microwaves in telegraph communication, radars, television and above all, in the modern mobile phone technology, mankind is today exposed to microwaves at a level up to 1020 times the original background radiation since the birth of universe.
Our group has earlier shown that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones alters the permeability of the blood–brain barrier (BBB), resulting in albumin extravasation immediately and 14 days after 2 h of exposure.
In the background section of this report, we present a thorough review of the literature on the demonstrated effects (or lack of effects) of microwave exposure upon the BBB.
Furthermore, we have continued our own studies by investigating the effects of GSM mobile phone radiation upon the blood–brain barrier permeability of rats 7 days after one occasion of 2 h of exposure. Forty-eight rats were exposed in TEM-cells for 2 h at non-thermal specific absorption rates (SARs) of 0 mW/kg, 0.12 mW/kg, 1.2 mW/kg, 12 mW/kg and 120 mW/kg. Albumin extravasation over the BBB, neuronal albumin uptake and neuronal damage were assessed.
Albumin extravasation was enhanced in the mobile phone exposed rats as compared to sham controls after this 7-day recovery period (Fisher’s exact probability test, p = 0.04 and Kruskal–Wallis, p = 0.012), at the SAR-value of 12 mW/kg (Mann–Whitney, p = 0.007) and with a trend of increased albumin extravasation also at the SAR-values of 0.12 mW/kg and 120 mW/kg. There was a low, but significant correlation between the exposure level (SAR-value) and occurrence of focal albumin extravasation (rs = 0.33;p = 0.04).
The present findings are in agreement with our earlier studies where we have seen increased BBB permeability immediately and 14 days after exposure. We here discuss the present findings as well as the previous results of altered BBB permeability from our and other laboratories.
Electromagn Biol Med. 2008;27(3):215-29.
Blood-brain barrier permeability and nerve cell damage in rat brain 14 and 28 days after exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones.
Eberhardt JL, Persson BR, Brun AE, Salford LG, Malmgren LO.
Department of Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden. Jacob.Eberhardt@med.lu.se
We investigated the effects of global system for mobile communication (GSM) microwave exposure on the permeability of the blood-brain barrier and signs of neuronal damage in rats using a real GSM programmable mobile phone in the 900 MHz band. Ninety-six non-anaesthetized rats were either exposed to microwaves or sham exposed in TEM-cells for 2 h at specific absorption rates of average whole-body Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) of 0.12, 1.2, 12, or 120 mW/kg. The rats were sacrificed after a recovery time of either 14 or 28 d, following exposure and the extravazation of albumin, its uptake into neurons, and occurrence of damaged neurons was assessed. Albumin extravazation and also its uptake into neurons was seen to be enhanced after 14 d (Kruskal Wallis test: p = 0.02 and 0.002, respectively), but not after a 28 d recovery period. The occurrence of dark neurons in the rat brains, on the other hand, was enhanced later, after 28 d (p = 0.02). Furthermore, in the 28-d brain samples, neuronal albumin uptake was significantly correlated to occurrence of damaged neurons (Spearman r = 0.41; p < 0.01).
Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) from GSM (0.9/1.8GHz) mobile phones induces oxidative stress and reduces sperm motility in rats.
Mailankot M, Kunnath AP, Jayalekshmi H, Koduru B, Valsalan R.
Department of Biochemistry, Melaka Manipal, Medical College, Manipal, India.
INTRODUCTION: Mobile phones have become indispensable in the daily lives of men and women around the globe. As cell phone use has become more widespread, concerns have mounted regarding the potentially harmful effects of RF-EMR from these devices. OBJECTIVE: The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of RF-EMR from mobile phones on free radical metabolism and sperm quality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Male albino Wistar rats (10-12 weeks old) were exposed to RF-EMR from an active GSM (0.9/1.8 GHz) mobile phone for 1 hour continuously per day for 28 days. Controls were exposed to a mobile phone without a battery for the same period. The phone was kept in a cage with a wooden bottom in order to address concerns that the effects of exposure to the phone could be due to heat emitted by the phone rather than to RF-EMR alone. Animals were sacrificed 24 hours after the last exposure and tissues of interest were harvested. RESULTS: One hour of exposure to the phone did not significantly change facial temperature in either group of rats. No significant difference was observed in total sperm count between controls and RF-EMR exposed groups. However, rats exposed to RF-EMR exhibited a significantly reduced percentage of motile sperm. Moreover, RF-EMR exposure resulted in a significant increase in lipid peroxidation and low GSH content in the testis and epididymis. CONCLUSION: Given the results of the present study, we speculate that RF-EMR from mobile phones negatively affects semen quality and may impair male fertility.
Prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioral problems in children.
Divan HA, Kheifets L, Obel C, Olsen J.
Department of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772, USA.
BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization has emphasized the need for research into the possible effects of radiofrequency fields in children. We examined the association between prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phones and behavioral problems in young children. METHODS: Mothers were recruited to the Danish National Birth Cohort early in pregnancy. When the children of those pregnancies reached 7 years of age in 2005 and 2006, mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the current health and behavioral status of children, as well as past exposure to cell phone use. Mothers evaluated the child’s behavior problems using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. RESULTS: Mothers of 13,159 children completed the follow-up questionnaire reporting their use of cell phones during pregnancy as well as current cell phone use by the child. Greater odds ratios for behavioral problems were observed for children who had possible prenatal or postnatal exposure to cell phone use. After adjustment for potential confounders, the odds ratio for a higher overall behavioral problems score was 1.80 (95% confidence interval = 1.45-2.23) in children with both prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phones. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to cell phones prenatally-and, to a lesser degree, postnatally-was associated with behavioral difficulties such as emotional and hyperactivity problems around the age of school entry. These associations may be noncausal and may be due to unmeasured confounding. If real, they would be of public health concern given the widespread use of this technology.
Cell Towers/ includes RF Smart Meters/ Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi technology – an uncontrolled global experiment on the health of mankind
Marko Markov, Yuri G. Grigoriev. Wi-Fi technology – an uncontrolled global experiment on the health of mankind. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. 32(2):200-208. June, 2013.
Research International,Williamsville, NY, USA, and Russian National Committee of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, Moscow, Russia
The 21st century is marked with exponentially increasing development of technologies that provide wireless communications. To the pollution of the atmosphere with radio and TV signals, not only satellite communications but also any varieties of the Wi-Fi networks are added.
By 2010 in the USA, 285 million mobile phone subscribers have been registered (for a little bit more than 300 million inhabitants). The estimate for the world is more than 5 billion mobile phone users at approximately 7 billion people living on this planet.
Approximately 2 years ago, the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the electromagnetic fields used in mobile communication as a possible carcinogen. This paper discusses the potential health hazard and lack of scientific assessment and regulatory actions in protection of life on the planet.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, VOL 16, NO 3 (2010)
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE FOR A HEALTH RISK FROM MOBILE PHONE BASE STATIONS
Vini G. Khurana, Lennart Hardell, Joris Everaert, Alicja Bortkiewicz, Michael Carlberg, Mikko Ahonen
Human populations are increasingly exposed to microwave/radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless communication technology, including mobile phones and their base stations. By searching PubMed, we identified a total of 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for putative health effects of mobile phone base stations. Seven of these studies explored the association between base station proximity and neurobehavioral effects and three investigated cancer. We found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances < 500 meters from base stations. None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations. We believe that comprehensive epidemiological studies of long term mobile phone base station exposure are urgently required to more definitively understand its health impact. Key words: base stations; electromagnetic field (EMF); epidemiology; health effects; mobile phone; radiofrequency (RF); electromagnetic radiation.
Biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell tower base stations and other antenna arrays
B. Blake Levitt and Henry Lai
Abstract: The siting of cellular phone base stations and other cellular infrastructure such as roof-mounted antenna arrays, especially in residential neighborhoods, is a contentious subject in land-use regulation. Local resistance from nearby residents and landowners is often based on fears of adverse health effects despite reassurances from telecommunications service providers that international exposure standards will be followed. Both anecdotal reports and some epidemiology studies have found headaches, skin rashes, sleep disturbances, depression, decreased libido, increased rates of suicide, concentration problems, dizziness, memory changes, increased risk of cancer, tremors, and other neurophysiological effects in populations near base stations. The objective of this paper is to review the existing studies of people living or working near cellular infrastructure and other pertinent studies that could apply to long-term, low-level radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposures. While specific epidemiological research in this area is sparse and contradictory, and such exposures are difficult to quantify given the increasing background levels of RFR from myriad personal consumer products, some research does exist to warrant caution in infrastructure siting. Further epidemiology research that takes total ambient RFR exposures into consideration is warranted. Symptoms reported today may be classic microwave sickness, first described in 1978. Nonionizing electromagnetic fields are among the fastest growing forms of environmental pollution. Some extrapolations can be made from research other than epidemiology regarding biological effects from exposures at levels far below current exposure guidelines.
Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife.
Direccion General del Medio Natural, Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Castilla y Leon, C/Rigoberto Cortejoso, 14, 47014 Valladolid, Spain.
A review on the impact of radiofrequency radiation from wireless telecommunications on wildlife is presented. Electromagnetic radiation is a form of environmental pollution which may hurt wildlife. Phone masts located in their living areas are irradiating continuously some species that could suffer long-term effects, like reduction of their natural defenses, deterioration of their health, problems in reproduction and reduction of their useful territory through habitat deterioration. Electromagnetic radiation can exert an aversive behavioral response in rats, bats and birds such as sparrows. Therefore microwave and radiofrequency pollution constitutes a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants living near phone masts. To measure these effects urgent specific studies are necessary. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19264463
The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone Transmission Mast on the Incidence of Cancer
Horst Eger, Klaus Uwe Hagen, Birgitt Lucas, Peter Vogel, Helmut Voit
Published in Umwelt·Medizin·Gesellschaft 17,4 2004, as:
‘Einfluss der räumlichen Nähe von Mobilfunksendeanlagen auf die Krebsinzidenz’
Following the call by Wolfram König, President of the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Federal Agency for radiation protection), to all doctors of medicine to collaborate actively in the assessment of the risk posed by cellular radiation, the aim of our study was to examine whether people living close to cellular transmitter antennas were exposed to a heightened risk of taking ill with malignant tumors.
The basis of the data used for the survey were PC files of the case histories of patients between the years 1994 and 2004. While adhering to data protection, the personal data of almost 1,000 patients were evaluated for this study, which was completed without any external financial support. It is intended to continue the project in the form of a register. The result of the study shows that the proportion of newly developing cancer cases was significantly higher among those patients who had lived during the past ten years at a distance of up to 400 metres from the cellular transmitter site, which has been in operation since 1993, compared to those patients living further away, and that the patients fell ill on average 8 years earlier.
In the years 1999-2004, ie after five years’operation of the transmitting installation, the relative risk of getting cancer had trebled for the residents of the area in the proximity of the installation compared to the inhabitants of Naila outside the area.
Subjective symptoms, sleeping problems, and cognitive performance in subjects living near mobile phone base stations.
Hutter HP, Moshammer H, Wallner P, Kundi M.
Institute of Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: The erection of mobile telephone base stations in inhabited areas has raised concerns about possible health effects caused by emitted microwaves. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study of randomly selected inhabitants living in urban and rural areas for more than one year near to 10 selected base stations, 365 subjects were investigated. Several cognitive tests were performed, and wellbeing and sleep quality were assessed. Field strength of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF) was measured in the bedrooms of 336 households. RESULTS: Total HF-EMF and exposure related to mobile telecommunication were far below recommended levels (max. 4.1 mW/m2). Distance from antennae was 24-600 m in the rural area and 20-250 m in the urban area. Average power density was slightly higher in the rural area (0.05 mW/m2) than in the urban area (0.02 mW/m2). Despite the influence of confounding variables, including fear of adverse effects from exposure to HF-EMF from the base station, there was a significant relation of some symptoms to measured power density; this was highest for headaches. Perceptual speed increased, while accuracy decreased insignificantly with increasing exposure levels. There was no significant effect on sleep quality. CONCLUSION: Despite very low exposure to HF-EMF, effects on wellbeing and performance cannot be ruled out, as shown by recently obtained experimental results; however, mechanisms of action at these low levels are unknown. http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/63/5/307
Neurobehavioral effects among inhabitants around mobile phone base stations
G. Abdel-Rassoul, a, , O. Abou El-Fateha, M. Abou Salema, A. Michaela, F. Farahata, M. El-Batanounya and E. Salema
aCommunity, Environmental and Occupational Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufiya University, Shebin El-Kom, Egypt
Received 20 October 2005; accepted 18 July 2006. Available online 1 August 2006.
There is a general concern on the possible hazardous health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiations (RFR) emitted from mobile phone base station antennas on the human nervous system.
To identify the possible neurobehavioral deficits among inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on (85) inhabitants living nearby the first mobile phone station antenna in Menoufiya governorate, Egypt, 37 are living in a building under the station antenna while 48 opposite the station. A control group (80) participants were matched with the exposed for age, sex, occupation and educational level. All participants completed a structured questionnaire containing: personal, educational and medical histories; general and neurological examinations; neurobehavioral test battery (NBTB) [involving tests for visuomotor speed, problem solving, attention and memory]; in addition to Eysenck personality questionnaire (EPQ).
The prevalence of neuropsychiatric complaints as headache (23.5%), memory changes (28.2%), dizziness (18.8%), tremors (9.4%), depressive symptoms (21.7%), and sleep disturbance (23.5%) were significantly higher among exposed inhabitants than controls: (10%), (5%), (5%), (0%), (8.8%) and (10%), respectively (P < 0.05). The NBTB indicated that the exposed inhabitants exhibited a significantly lower performance than controls in one of the tests of attention and short-term auditory memory [Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT)]. Also, the inhabitants opposite the station exhibited a lower performance in the problem solving test (block design) than those under the station. All inhabitants exhibited a better performance in the two tests of visuomotor speed (Digit symbol and Trailmaking B) and one test of attention (Trailmaking A) than controls. The last available measures of RFR emitted from the first mobile phone base station antennas in Menoufiya governorate were less than the allowable standard level.
Conclusions and recommendations
Inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations are at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems and some changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions either by facilitation or inhibition. So, revision of standard guidelines for public exposure to RER from mobile phone base station antennas and using of NBTB for regular assessment and early detection of biological effects among inhabitants around the stations are recommended.
Mobile phone base stations-Effects on wellbeing and health.
Kundi M, Hutter HP.
Institute of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, A-1095 Vienna, Austria.
Studying effects of mobile phone base station signals on health have been discouraged by authoritative bodies like WHO International EMF Project and COST 281. WHO recommended studies around base stations in 2003 but again stated in 2006 that studies on cancer in relation to base station exposure are of low priority. As a result only few investigations of effects of base station exposure on health and wellbeing exist. Cross-sectional investigations of subjective health as a function of distance or measured field strength, despite differences in methods and robustness of study design, found indications for an effect of exposure that is likely independent of concerns and attributions. Experimental studies applying short-term exposure to base station signals gave various results, but there is weak evidence that UMTS and to a lesser degree GSM signals reduce wellbeing in persons that report to be sensitive to such exposures. Two ecological studies of cancer in the vicinity of base stations report both a strong increase of incidence within a radius of 350 and 400m respectively. Due to the limitations inherent in this design no firm conclusions can be drawn, but the results underline the urgent need for a comprehensive investigation of this issue. Animal and in vitro studies are inconclusive to date. An increased incidence of DMBA induced mammary tumors in rats at a SAR of 1.4W/kg in one experiment could not be replicated in a second trial. Indications of oxidative stress after low-level in vivo exposure of rats could not be supported by in vitro studies of human fibroblasts and glioblastoma cells. From available evidence it is impossible to delineate a threshold below which no effect occurs, however, given the fact that studies reporting low exposure were invariably negative it is suggested that power densities around 0.5-1mW/m(2) must be exceeded in order to observe an effect. The meager data base must be extended in the coming years. The difficulties of investigating long-term effects of base station exposure have been exaggerated, considering that base station and handset exposure have almost nothing in common both needs to be studied independently. It cannot be accepted that studying base stations is postponed until there is firm evidence for mobile phones. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19261451
Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children
Om P. Gandhi, L. Lloyd Morgan, Alvaro Augusto de Salles, Yueh-Ying Han, Ronald B. Herberman, Devra Lee Davis
The existing cell phone certification process uses a plastic model of the head called the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM), representing the top 10% of U.S. military recruits in 1989 and greatly underestimating the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for typical mobile phone users, especially children. A superior computer simulation certification process has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) but is not employed to certify cell phones. In the United States, the FCC determines maximum allowed exposures. Many countries, especially European Union members, use the “guidelines” of International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a non governmental agency. Radiofrequency (RF) exposure to a head smaller than SAM will absorb a relatively higher SAR. Also, SAM uses a fluid having the average electrical properties of the head that cannot indicate differential absorption of specific brain tissue, nor absorption in children or smaller adults. The SAR for a 10-year old is up to 153% higher than the SAR for the SAM model. When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults. Therefore, a new certification process is needed that incorporates different modes of use, head sizes, and tissue properties. Anatomically based models should be employed in revising safety standards for these ubiquitous modern devices and standards should be set by accountable, independent groups.
Biological effects from electromagnetic field exposure and public exposure standards.
Hardell L, Sage C.
Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden. email@example.com
During recent years there has been increasing public concern on potential health risks from power-frequency fields (extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields; ELF) and from radiofrequency/microwave radiation emissions (RF) from wireless communications. Non-thermal (low-intensity) biological effects have not been considered for regulation of microwave exposure, although numerous scientific reports indicate such effects. The BioInitiative Report is based on an international research and public policy initiative to give an overview of what is known of biological effects that occur at low-intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) exposure. Health endpoints reported to be associated with ELF and/or RF include childhood leukaemia, brain tumours, genotoxic effects, neurological effects and neurodegenerative diseases, immune system deregulation, allergic and inflammatory responses, breast cancer, miscarriage and some cardiovascular effects. The BioInitiative Report concluded that a reasonable suspicion of risk exists based on clear evidence of bioeffects at environmentally relevant levels, which, with prolonged exposures may reasonably be presumed to result in health impacts. Regarding ELF a new lower public safety limit for habitable space adjacent to all new or upgraded power lines and for all other new constructions should be applied. A new lower limit should also be used for existing habitable space for children and/or women who are pregnant. A precautionary limit should be adopted for outdoor, cumulative RF exposure and for cumulative indoor RF fields with considerably lower limits than existing guidelines, see the BioInitiative Report. The current guidelines for the US and European microwave exposure from mobile phones, for the brain are 1.6 W/Kg and 2 W/Kg, respectively. Since use of mobile phones is associated with an increased risk for brain tumour after 10 years, a new biologically based guideline is warranted. Other health impacts associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields not summarized here may be found in the BioInitiative Report at www.bioinitiative.org. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18242044
Setting prudent public health policy for electromagnetic field exposures.
Carpenter DO, Sage C.
Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) permeate our environment, coming both from such natural sources as the sun and from manmade sources like electricity, communication technologies and medical devices. Although life on earth would not be possible without sunlight, increasing evidence indicates that exposures to the magnetic fields associated with electricity and to communication frequencies associated with radio, television, WiFi technology, and mobile cellular phones pose significant hazards to human health. The evidence is strongest for leukemia from electricity-frequency fields and for brain tumors from communication-frequency fields, yet evidence is emerging for an association with other diseases as well, including neurodegenerative diseases. Some uncertainty remains as to the mechanism(s) responsible for these biological effects, and as to which components of the fields are of greatest importance. Nevertheless, regardless of whether the associations are causal, the strengths of the associations are sufficiently strong that in the opinion of the authors, taking action to reduce exposures is imperative, especially for the fetus and children. Inaction is not compatible with the Precautionary Principle, as enunciated by the Rio Declaration. Because of ubiquitous exposure, the rapidly expanding development of new EMF technologies and the long latency for the development of such serious diseases as brain cancers, the failure to take immediate action risks epidemics of potentially fatal diseases in the future.
Magnetic-field-induced DNA strand breaks in brain cells of the rat.
Lai H, Singh NP.
Bioelectromagnetics Research Laboratory, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-7962, USA. email@example.com
In previous research, we found that rats acutely (2 hr) exposed to a 60-Hz sinusoidal magnetic field at intensities of 0.1-0.5 millitesla (mT) showed increases in DNA single- and double-strand breaks in their brain cells. Further research showed that these effects could be blocked by pretreating the rats with the free radical scavengers melatonin and N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone, suggesting the involvement of free radicals. In the present study, effects of magnetic field exposure on brain cell DNA in the rat were further investigated. Exposure to a 60-Hz magnetic field at 0.01 mT for 24 hr caused a significant increase in DNA single- and double-strand breaks. Prolonging the exposure to 48 hr caused a larger increase. This indicates that the effect is cumulative. In addition, treatment with Trolox (a vitamin E analog) or 7-nitroindazole (a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) blocked magnetic-field-induced DNA strand breaks. These data further support a role of free radicals on the effects of magnetic fields. Treatment with the iron chelator deferiprone also blocked the effects of magnetic fields on brain cell DNA, suggesting the involvement of iron. Acute magnetic field exposure increased apoptosis and necrosis of brain cells in the rat. We hypothesize that exposure to a 60-Hz magnetic field initiates an iron-mediated process (e.g., the Fenton reaction) that increases free radical formation in brain cells, leading to DNA strand breaks and cell death. This hypothesis could have an important implication for the possible health effects associated with exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields in the public and occupational environments.
Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):157-77. Epub 2009 Apr 23.
Disturbance of the immune system by electromagnetic fields-A potentially underlying cause for cellular damage and tissue repair reduction which could lead to disease and impairment.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
A number of papers dealing with the effects of modern, man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the immune system are summarized in the present review. EMFs disturb immune function through stimulation of various allergic and inflammatory responses, as well as effects on tissue repair processes. Such disturbances increase the risks for various diseases, including cancer. These and the EMF effects on other biological processes (e.g. DNA damage, neurological effects, etc.) are now widely reported to occur at exposure levels significantly below most current national and international safety limits. Obviously, biologically based exposure standards are needed to prevent disruption of normal body processes and potential adverse health effects of chronic exposure. Based on this review, as well as the reviews in the recent Bioinitiative Report [http://www.bioinitiative.org/] [C.F. Blackman, M. Blank, M. Kundi, C. Sage, D.O. Carpenter, Z. Davanipour, D. Gee, L. Hardell, O. Johansson, H. Lai, K.H. Mild, A. Sage, E.L. Sobel, Z. Xu, G. Chen, The Bioinitiative Report-A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), 2007)], it must be concluded that the existing public safety limits are inadequate to protect public health, and that new public safety limits, as well as limits on further deployment of untested technologies, are warranted.
Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):71-8. Epub 2009 Mar 5.
Electromagnetic fields stress living cells.
Blank M, Goodman R.
Department of Physiology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
Electromagnetic fields (EMF), in both ELF (extremely low frequency) and radio frequency (RF) ranges, activate the cellular stress response, a protective mechanism that induces the expression of stress response genes, e.g., HSP70, and increased levels of stress proteins, e.g., hsp70. The 20 different stress protein families are evolutionarily conserved and act as ‘chaperones’ in the cell when they ‘help’ repair and refold damaged proteins and transport them across cell membranes. Induction of the stress response involves activation of DNA, and despite the large difference in energy between ELF and RF, the same cellular pathways respond in both frequency ranges. Specific DNA sequences on the promoter of the HSP70 stress gene are responsive to EMF, and studies with model biochemical systems suggest that EMF could interact directly with electrons in DNA. While low energy EMF interacts with DNA to induce the stress response, increasing EMF energy in the RF range can lead to breaks in DNA strands. It is clear that in order to protect living cells, EMF safety limits must be changed from the current thermal standard, based on energy, to one based on biological responses that occur long before the threshold for thermal changes.
Electrohypersensitivity: state-of-the-art of a functional impairment.
Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Stockholm, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, a new category of persons, claiming to suffer from exposure to electromagnetic fields, has been described in the literature. In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is an officially fully recognized functional impairment (i.e., it is not regarded as a disease). Survey studies show that somewhere between 230,000-290,000 Swedish men and women report a variety of symptoms when being in contact with electromagnetic field (EMF) sources. The aim of our studies has been to investigate possible alterations, in the cellular and neuronal systems of these person’ skin. As controls, age- and sex-matched persons, without any subjective or clinical symptoms or dermatological history, served. Immunohistochemistry using antisera to the previously characterized marker substances of interest has been utilized. In summary, it is evident from our preliminary data that various alterations are present in the electrohypersensitive person’ skin. In view of recent epidemiological studies, pointing to a correlation between long-term exposure from power-frequent magnetic fields or microwaves and cancer, our data ought to be taken seriously and further analyzed.
ELECTROMAGNETIC HYPERSENSITIVITY: EVIDENCE FOR A NOVEL NEUROLOGICAL SYNDROME
David E. McCarty, M.D., Simona Carrubba, Ph.D., Andrew L. Chesson, Jr., M.D., Clifton Frilot, II, Ph.D., Eduardo Gonzalez-Toledo, M.D., Andrew A. Marino, Ph.D.
Objective: We sought direct evidence that acute exposure to environmental-strength electromagnetic fields could induce somatic reactions (EMF hypersensitivity). Methods: The subject, a female physician self-diagnosed with EMF hypersensitivity, was exposed to an average (over the head) 60-Hz electric field of 300 V/m (comparable to typical environmental-strength EMFs) during controlled provocation and behavioral studies.
Results: In a double-blinded EMF provocation procedure specifically designed to minimize unintentional sensory cues, the subject developed temporal pain, headache, muscle-twitching, and skipped heartbeats within 100 s after initiation of EMF exposure (P < 0.05). The symptoms were caused primarily by field transitions (off-on, on-off) rather than the presence of the field, as assessed by comparing the frequency and severity of the effects of pulsed and continuous fields in relation to sham exposure. The subject had no conscious perception of the field as judged by her inability to report its presence more often than in the sham control. Discussion: The subject demonstrated statistically reliable somatic reactions in response to exposure to subliminal EMFs under conditions that reasonably excluded a causative role for psychological processes.
Conclusion: EMF hypersensitivity can occur as a bona fide environmentally-inducible neurological syndrome.
Stephen J. Genuisa,a Christopher T. Lipp,b
a University of Alberta, Canada, b Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Canada
Received 9 September 2011; revised 1 November 2011; Accepted 1 November 2011. Available online 5 December 2011.
As the prevalence of wireless telecommunication escalates throughout the world, health professionals are faced with the challenge of patients who report symptoms they claim are connected with exposure to some frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Some scientists and clinicians acknowledge the phenomenon of hypersensitivity to EMR resulting from common exposures such as wireless systems and electrical devices in the home or workplace; others suggest that electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is psychosomatic or fictitious. Various organizations including the World Health Organization as well as some nation states are carefully exploring this clinical phenomenon in order to better explain the rising prevalence of non-specific, multi-system, often debilitating symptoms associated with non-ionizing EMR exposure. As well as an assortment of physiological complaints, patients diagnosed with EHS also report profound social and personal challenges, impairing their ability to function normally in society. This paper offers a review of the sparse literature on this perplexing condition and a discussion of the controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the EHS diagnosis. Recommendations are provided to assist health professionals in caring for individuals complaining of EHS.
► Many people report symptoms when near devices emanating electromagnetic fields(EMF). ► Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) research has generated conflicting outcomes. ► Recent evidence suggests pathophysiological change in some individuals with EHS. ► EHS patients consistently report profound social and personal challenges. ► Clinicians need to be apprised of the EHS condition and potential interventions.
Electromagnetic hypersensitive Finns: Symptoms, perceived sources and treatments, a questionnaire study. Hagström M, Auranen J, Ekman R.
Source: Turku University of Applied Sciences/Telecommunication and e-Business/Radio and EMC Laboratory, Joukahaisenkatu 3C, 20520 Turku, Finland. Electronic address: Marjukka.Hagstrom@turkuamk.fi.
Abstract The aim was to analyze the subjective experiences of Finns who describe themselves as suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), their symptoms, self-perceived sources of the health complaints and the effectiveness of medical and complementary alternative therapies. A total of 395 questionnaires were mailed to self-diagnosed EHS persons. Of the participants 345 belonged to a Finnish self-help group and 50 came from outside of the group. The return rate of the study was 52.1% (206) and 80.9% of the respondents were women. Before the onset of EHS the most common health complaints were different types of allergies (35.1%, 68). During the acute phase of EHS the most common symptoms were nervous system related: “stress” (60.3%, 117), “sleeping disorders” (59.3%, 115) and “fatigue” (57.2%, 111). The sources that were most often reported to have triggered EHS were: “personal computers” (50.8%, 94) and “mobile phones” (47.0%, 87). The same devices were also claimed to cause the most symptoms during the acute phase. After the acute phase of EHS had passed, the respondents still claimed to react to these same digital and wireless devices while their reactions to basic electrical appliances were reduced. According to 76% of 157 respondents the reduction or avoidance of electromagnetic fields (EMF) helped in their full or partial recovery. The best treatments for EHS were given as: “dietary change” (69.4%), “nutritional supplements” (67.8%) and “increased physical exercise” (61.6%). The official treatment recommendations of psychotherapy (2.6%) and medication (-4.2%) were not significantly helpful. According to the present results the official treatment protocols should take better account the EHS person’s own experiences. The avoidance of electromagnetic radiation and fields effectively removed or lessened the symptoms in EHS persons.
California EMF Program Executive Summary