Electromagnetic radiation starts doing damage from the first exposure. For a long while there may be no noticeable symptoms, but that does not mean that nothing is happening. As the exposure continues, damage could be accumulating.
1. Drs. Czerska, Casamento, Ning, and Davis (working for the Food and Drug Administration in 1997) using "a waveform identical to that used in digital cellular phones" at a power level within our current standards (SAR of 1.6 W/Kg, the maximum spatial peak exposure level recommended for the general population in the ANSI C95.1-1991 standard) found increases in cellular proliferation in human glioblastoma cells. This shows that "acceptable" levels of radiation can cause human cancer cells to multiply faster. The authors note that "because of reported associations between cellular phone exposure and the occurrence of a brain tumor, glioblastoma, a human glioblastoma cell line was used" in their research.
E.M. Czerska, J. Casamento, J. T. Ning, and C. Davis, "Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation on Cell Proliferation," [Abstract presented on February 7, 1997 at the workshop 'Physical Characteristics and Possible Biological Effects of Microwaves Applied in Wireless Communication, Rockville, MD] E. M. Czerska, J. Casamento Centers for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA; H. T. Ning, Indian Health Service, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA; C. Davis, Electrical Engineering Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
2. Dr. Michael Repacholi (in 1997, currently the director of the International Electromagnetic Fields Project at the World Health Organization) took one hundred transgenic mice and exposed some to radiation for two 30 minute periods a day for up to 18 months. He found that the exposed mice developed lymphomas (a type of cancer) at twice the rate of the unexposed mice. While telecommunications industry spokespersons criticized the experiment for using mice with a mutation which predisposed them to cancer (transgenic) the researchers pointed out that "some individuals inherit mutations in other genes...that predispose them to develop cancer, and these individuals may comprise a subpopulation at special risk from agents that would pose an otherwise insignificant risk of cancer."
Dr. Repacholi stated "I believe this is the first animal study showing a true non-thermal effect." He repeated the experiment in 1998 using 50 Hz fields instead of the 900 MHz pulsed radiation (the type used by cellular phones) used in the original experiment and found no cancer risk. He stated that this new data had implications for his original cellular phone study: "the control groups for both our RF and 50 Hz field studies showed no statistical differences, which lessens the possibility that the RF/MW radiation study result was a chance event or due to errors in methodology."
It is extremely important to note that Dr. Michael Repacholi was Chairman of the ICNIRP at the time its Statement on Health Issues Related to the Use of Hand-Held Radiotelephones and Base Transmitters was developed in 1996.
M. Repacholi et al., "Lymphomas in Eµ-Pim1 Transgenic Mice Exposed to Pulsed 900 MHz Electromagnetic Fields," Radiation Research, 147, pp.631-640, May 1997
3. Dr. Ross Adey (Veterans Administration Hospital at Loma Linda University in 1996) found what appeared to be a protective effect in rats exposed to the type of radiation used in digital cellular phones. The rats were exposed to an SAR of 0.58-0.75 W/Kg 836 MHz pulsed radiation of the TDMA type two hours a day, four days a week for 23 months, with the signals turned on and off every 7.5 minutes, so total exposure was 4 hours a week. Interestingly this effect was not present when a non-digital, analog signal was used. Rats exposed developed cancer less often. This study shows that low power fields of the digital cellular frequency can influence cancer development. Whether they would protect or promote in our children is a question for further study.
Ross Adey of the Veterans Administration Hospital at Loma Linda University, CA presented the results of pulsed (digital cellular) radiation on June 13, 1996 at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society in Victoria, Canada. He presented the findings of the analog cellular phone radiation effect at the June 1997 2nd World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine in Bologna, Italy. Reviews can be found in Microwave News issues July/August, 1996 and March/April 1997.
In recognition of his more than three decades of "fundamental contributions to the emerging science of the biological effects of electromagnetic fields," the authors of the November 2004 Report of the European Union's REFLEX Project (Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards From Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods) chose to include Dr. Adey's personal views on Electromagnetic Field Exposure research as the Foreword to that report. To view the entire report, see: http://www.itis.ethz.ch/downloads/REFLEX_Final%20Report_171104.pdf
The following is taken from Dr. Adey's Foreword found on pages 1-3 of the REFLEX Report: The Future of Fundamental Research in a Society Seeking Categoric Answers to Health Risks of New Technologies
In summary, we have become superstitious users of an ever-growing range of technologies, but we are now unable to escape the web that they have woven around us.
Media reporters in general are no better informed. Lacking either responsibility or accountability, they have created feeding frenzies from the tiniest snippets of information gleaned from scientific meetings or from their own inaccurate interpretation of published research. In consequence, the public has turned with pleading voices to government legislatures and bureaucracies for guidance . . . We face the problem brought on by the blind leading the blind. Because of public pressure for rapid answers to very complex biological and physical issues, short-term research programs have been funded to answer specific questions about certain health risks.
In many countries, and particularly in the USA, the effects of such harassing and troublesome tactics on independent, careful fundamental research have been near tragic. Beguiled by health hazard research as the only source of funding, accomplished basic scientists have diverted from a completely new frontier in physical regulation of biological mechanisms at the atomic level. Not only have governments permitted corporate interests in the communications industry to fund this research, they have even permitted them to determine the research questions to be addressed and to select the institutions performing the research.
4. Dr. A. W. Guy reported an extensive investigation on rats chronically exposed from 2 up to 27 months of age to low-level pulsed microwaves at SARs up to 0.4 W/Kg. The exposed group was found to have a significantly higher incidence of primary cancers.
A. W. Guy, C. K. Chou, L. Kunz, L, Crowley, and J. Krupp, "Effects of Long-Term Low-Level Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure on Rats." Volume 9. Summary. Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, USF-SAM-TR-85-11; 1985
5. Drs. Henry Lai and N. P. Singh of the University of Washington in Seattle have reported both single- and double-strand DNA breaks in the brains of rats exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation at an SAR of 1.2 W/Kg. DNA is the carrier of the genetic information in all living cells. Cumulated DNA strand breaks in brain cells can lead to cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.
H. Lai and N. P. Singh, "Single- and Double-Strand DNA Breaks in Rat Brain Cells After Acute Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation," International Journal of Radiation Biology, Vol 69, No. 4, 513-521, 1996
6. Dr. Stanislaw Szmigielski has studied many thousands of Polish soldiers. He has found that those exposed to radiofrequency and microwave radiation in the workplace had more than double the cancer rate of the unexposed servicemen analyzing data from 1971-1985. He has presented further data suggesting a dose-response relationship with soldiers exposed to 100-200 W/cm2 suffering 1.69 times as many cancers as the unexposed, and those exposed to 600-1000 W/cm2 suffering 4.63 times as many cancers. The level considered safe for the public according to FCC regulations is 1000 W/cm2. Occupational exposure up to 5000 W/cm2 is allowed.
S. Szmigielski, "Cancer Morbidity in Subjects Occupationally Exposed to High Frequency (Radiofrequency and Microwave) Electromagnetic Radiation," The Science of the Total Environment 180:9-17, 1996
7. Dr. Bruce Hocking found an association between increased childhood leukemia incidence and mortality in the proximity of television towers. The power density ranged from 0.2-8.0 W/cm2 nearer and 0.02 W/cm2 farther from the towers.
B. Hocking, I. R. Gordon, H. L. Grain, and G. E. Hatfield, "Cancer Incidence and Mortality and Proximity to TV Towers," Medical Journal of Australia 165: 601-605; 1996
8. Drs. Mann and Röschke investigated the influence of pulsed high-frequency RF/MW radiation of digital mobile radio telephones on sleep in healthy humans. They found a hypnotic effect with shortening of sleep onset latency and a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) suppressive effect with reduction of duration and percentage of REM sleep. "REM sleep plays a special physiological role for information processing in the brain, especially concerning consolidation of new experiences. Thus the effects observed possibly could be associated with alterations of memory and learning functions."
K. Mann and J. Röschke, "Effects of Pulsed High-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Human Sleep," Neuropsychobiology 33:41-47, 1996
9. Dr. Allen Frey has been researching RF/MW radiation for over 3 decades. Here is the abstract on a paper concerning headaches and cellular phone radiation. "There have been numerous recent reports of headaches occurring in association with the use of hand-held cellular telephones. Are these reported headaches real? Are they due to emissions from telephones? There is reason to believe that the answer is "yes" to both questions. There are several lines of evidence to support this conclusion. First, headaches as a consequence of exposure to low intensity microwaves were reported in the literature 30 years ago. These were observed during the course of microwave hearing research before there were cellular telephones. Second, the blood-brain barrier appears to be involved in headaches, and low intensity microwave energy exposure affects the barrier. Third, the dopamine-opiate systems of the brain appear to be involved in headaches, and low intensity electromagnetic energy exposure affects those systems. In all three lines of research, the microwave energy used was approximately the same--in frequencies, modulations, and incident energies--as those emitted by present day cellular telephones, Could the current reports of headaches be the canary in the coal mine, warning of biologically significant effects?"
A. H. Frey, "Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are they Real and What Are the Implications?" Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 106, Number 3, pp.101-103, March 1998
10. Henry Lai's review of the literature concerning neurological effects of RF/MW radiation: Existing data indicate that RF/MW radiation of relatively low intensity can affect the nervous system. Changes in blood-brain barrier, morphology, electrophysiology, neurotransmitter functions, cellular metabolism, and calcium efflux, and genetic effects have been reported in the brain of animals after exposure to RF. These changes can lead to functional changes in the nervous system. Behavioral changes in animals after exposure to RR have been reported.
Even a temporary change in neural functions after RF/MW radiation exposure could lead to adverse consequences. For example, a transient loss of memory function or concentration could result in an accident when a person is driving. Loss of short term working memory has indeed been observed in rats after acute exposure to RF/MW radiation.
Research has also shown that the effects of RF/MW radiation on the nervous system can cumulate with repeated exposure. The important question is, after repeated exposure, will the nervous system adapt to the perturbation and when will homeostasis break down? Related to this is that various lines of evidence suggest that responses of the central nervous system to RF/MW radiation could be a stress response. Stress effects are well known to cumulate over time and involve first adaptation and then an eventual break down of homeostatic processes.
H. Lai, "Neurological Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation Relating to Wireless Communication Technology," Paper presentation at the IBC-UK Conference: "Mobile Phones-Is There a Health Risk?" September 16-17, 1997, Brussels, Belgium
11. Blood-Brain-Barrier: The blood-brain-barrier (BBB) is primarily a continuous layer of cells lining the blood vessels of the brain. It is critical for regulation of the brain's activity. Lai notes that "Even though most studies indicate that changes in the BBB occurs only after exposure to RF/MW radiation of high intensities with significant increase in tissue temperature, several studies have reported increases in permeability after exposure to RF/MW radiation of relatively low intensities...Pulsed RF seems to be more potent than continuous wave RF." Pulsed RF/MW is the type used in digital cellular systems. Effects on the BBB were noted at the 0.2 W/cm2 level, and even at SAR of 0.016-5 W/kg. These effects could lead to local changes in brain function.
H. Lai, Ibid
12. Cellular Morphology: RF/MW radiation induced morphological changes of the central nervous system cells and tissues have been shown to occur under relatively high intensity or prolonged exposure to the RF/MW radiation. However, there are several studies which show that repeated exposure at relatively low power intensities caused morphological changes in the central nervous system. Again here pulsed (as in digital phone use) RF/MW radiation produced more pronounced effects. Certain drugs given to nonhuman primates sensitized them, for instance allowing eye damage to occur at very low power intensities. Dr Lai notes "Changes in morphology, especially cell death, could have an important implication on health. Injury-induced cell proliferation has been hypothesized as a cause of cancer." Some of these experiments were in the range of SAR 0.53 W/kg or even 0.26 W/kg.
H. Lai, Ibid
13. Neural Electrophysiology: Changes in neuronal electrophysiology, evoked potentials, and EEG have been reported. Some effects were observed at low intensities and after repeated exposure, suggesting cumulative effect. Energy density levels were as low as 50 W/cm2.
H. Lai, Ibid
14. Neurotransmitters: Neurotransmitters are molecules which transmit information from one nerve cell to another. Early studies have reported changes in various neurotransmitters (catecholamines, serotonin, and acetylcholine) in the brain of animals only after exposure to high intensities of RF/MW radiation. However, there are more recent studies that show changes in neurotransmitter functions after exposure to low intensities of RF radiation. For example, effects were seen at 50 µW/cm2 in one experiment. U.S. and Canadian RF/MW radiation safety policies allow exposures of 1000 µW/cm2 at that frequency.
RF/MW radiation activates endogenous opioids in the brain. Endogenous opioids are neurotransmitters with morphine-like properties and are involved in many important physiological and behavioral functions, such as pain perception and motivation. The response to RF/MW radiation depends on the area of the brain studied and on the duration of exposure. Exposure to RF/MW radiation has been shown to affect the behavioral actions of benzodiazepines (these are drugs such as Valium).
H. Lai, Ibid
15. Metabolic Changes in Neural Tissue: Several studies investigated the effects of RF/MW radiation exposure on energy metabolism in the rat brain. Surprisingly, changes were reported after exposure to relatively low intensity RF/MW radiation for a short duration of time (minutes). The effects depended on the frequency and modulation characteristics of the RF/MW radiation and did not seem to be related to temperature changes in the tissue.
Calcium ions play important roles in the functions of the nervous system, such as the release of neurotransmitters and the actions of some neurotransmitter receptors. Thus changes in calcium ion concentration could lead to alterations in neural functions. This is an area of considerable controversy because some researchers have also reported no significant effects of RF/MW radiation exposure on calcium efflux. However, when positive effects were observed, they occurred after exposure to RF/MW radiation of relatively low intensities and were dependent on the modulation and intensity of the RF/MW radiation studied (window effects). Some studies had SARs as low as 0.05-0.005 W/Kg.
H. Lai, Ibid
16. Cytogenetic effects have been reported in various types of cells after exposure to RF/MW radiation. Recently, several studies have reported cytogenetic changes in brain cells by RF/MW radiation , and these results could have important implication for the health effects of RF/MW radiation . Genetic damage to glial cells can result in carcinogenesis. However, since neurons do not undergo mitosis, a more likely consequence of neuronal genetic damage is changes in functions and cell death, which could either lead to or accelerate the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Power densities of 1 mW/cm2 were employed, a level considered safe for the public by the FCC.
RF/MW radiation -induced increases in single and double strand DNA breaks in rats can be blocked by treating the rats with melatonin or the spin-trap compound N-t-butyl--phenylnitrone. Since both compounds are potent free radical scavengers, these data suggest that free radicals may play a role in the genetic effect of RF. If free radicals are involved in the RF-induced DNA strand breaks in brain cells, results from this study could have an important implication on the health effects of RF exposure. Involvement of free radicals in human diseases, such as cancer and atherosclerosis, has been suggested. Free radicals also play an important role in the aging process, which has been ascribed to be a consequence of accumulated oxidative damage to body tissues, and involvement of free radicals in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Huntington, and Parkinson, has also been suggested. One can also speculate that some individuals may be more susceptible to the effects of RF/MW radiation exposure.
H. Lai, Ibid
17. Dr. A. A. Kolodynski and V. V. Kolodynska of the Institute of Biology, Latvian Academy of Sciences, presented the results of experiments on school children living in the area of the Skrunda Radio Location Station in Latvia. Motor function, memory, and attention significantly differed between the exposed and control groups. The children living in front of the station had less developed memory and attention and their reaction time was slower.
A. A. Kolodynski, V. V. Kolodynska, "Motor and Psychological Functions of School Children Living in the Area of the Skrunda Radio Location Station in Latvia," The Science of the Total Environment 180:87-93, 1996
18. Dr. H. Lai and colleagues in 1993 exposed rats to 45 minutes of pulsed high frequency RF/MW radiation at low intensity and found that the rats showed retarded learning, indicating a deficit in spatial "working memory" function.
H Lai, A. Horita, and A. W. Guy, "Microwave Irradiation Affects Radial-Arm Maze Performance in the Rat," Bioelectromagnetics 15:95-104, 1994
NOTE: Dr. Lai's January 2005 compilation of published RF/MW radiation studies demonstrating biological effects of exposure to low-intensity RF/MW radiation is included as a Reference section at the end of this report.
19. Dr. Stefan Braune reported a 5-10 mm Hg resting blood pressure rise during exposure to RF/MW radiation of the sort used by cellular phones in Europe. The Lancet, the British medical journal where the report appeared, stated that "Such an increase could have adverse effects on people with high blood pressure."
S. Braune, "Resting Blood Pressure Increase During Exposure to a Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field," The Lancet 351, pp. 1,857-1,858, 1998
20. Dr. Kues and colleagues (of Johns Hopkins University and the Food and Drug Administration) found that placing timolol and pilocarpine into the eyes of monkeys and then exposing them to low power density pulsed RF/MW radiation caused a significant reduction in the power-density threshold for causing damage to the cells covering the eye and the iris. In fact the power was reduced by a factor of 10, so that it entered the "acceptable, safe" level of the FCC, 1 mW/cm2! Timolol and pilocarpine are commonly used by people suffering from glaucoma. This is a very important study, as it points to the fact that laboratory experiments under "ideal" conditions are rarely what one finds in real life. The "safe" level of RF/MW radiation exposure for healthy people is likely to be very different than for those of us who suffer from illness, take medications, or are perhaps simply younger or older than those in the experiments.
H. A. Kues, J. C. Monahan, S. A. D'Anna, D. S. McLeod, G. A. Lutty, and S. Koslov, "Increased Sensitivity of the Non-Human Primate Eye to Microwave Radiation Following Ophthalmic Drug Pretreatment," Bioelectromagnetics 13:379-393, 1992
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