Most recently Updated 4/15/04

Click here to view: A possible association between fetal/neonatal exposure to radiofrequency electomagnetic radiation and the increased incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

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The Associated Bioelectromagnetics Technologists provide this forum, which is comprised of independent scientific researchers and other individuals dedicated to disseminating the findings of published research. Each takes an active role in performing investigative research and/or reporting the biological effects of man-made electromagnetic fields with respect to humans and the environment.

Through this site we present, in terms suitable for the general public, the information provided in the extensive scientific literature base that is relevant to the issue of radiofrequency radiation and other electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure hazards. Statements made herein are based on published scientific reports that, generally, have been ignored by the media and unpublicized by the telecommunication and power industries.

Let us commence at a time near the beginning of scientific understanding regarding radiofrequency radiation exposure to humans. It was also a time when the newly emerging telecommunication industry could have taken steps to ward off the present sharp and justified implications that have recently been leveled against it. The implications, supported by the published evidence, clearly indicate what the industry and our government knew, when they knew it, and what could have been done to prevent the current crisis of confidence.

During 1955 biophysics researchers under contract with the U.S. Navy reported that in order to prevent deep-tissue burning, radiofrequency radiation exposures should not take place when an exposed individual is wearing or carrying any metal objects such as hair pins, metal implants, buckles, coins, or metal-framed eye glasses, "[a]s any of these objects may concentrate the field and cause burning."

When considering tissue burning the researchers pointed out that radiation can be absorbed deeply and is actually greater in tissue such as muscle or the brain compared to the poorer absorption in the bone and fatty layers near a body surface. They also noted that radiofrequency energy exposure of arterially blocked tissue can result in serious tissue damage and cautioned against exposure of ischemic individuals, those suffering from any such arterial blockages, to radiofrequency radiation.

Even in normal, non-ischemic individuals, the body must compensate for the absorption of radiofrequency radiation through an increase in blood flow to carry away excess energy. However, for a given exposure, the compensation mechanism does not take effect immediately, but occurs over a period of minutes. These researchers reported that maximum increased blood flow, that is maximum compensation, took place only near the end of an exposure. Prior to that time the body was not fully coping, in the thermal sense, with the absorbed radiation. But in any event, they were considering compensation only in the thermal equilibrium context and emphatically indicated that microwave or radiofrequency radiation exposure should be avoided during pregnancy.

Extending that early research to our present circumstances causes us to consider, in particular, the portable cell phone and other radiofrequency radiating devices such as the wireless local area network. In that pre-cell-phone era those researchers were not focused on the effects from portable devices, but their work is a wonderful indication of what the scientific community had determined long before the personal communication revolution became reality.

As long ago as 1967, Biological effects researchers determined, through experiment with living tissue, that exposure to radiofrequency radiation, such as that emitted by cellular telephones or portable phones, causes chromosome damage in the cells of that tissue. The researchers also reported finding fragmented nuclei and fragmented chromosomes among the cells that had been exposed to radiofrequency radiation. It is important to note that the radiation exposures were performed at a radiation level that rules out any effects due to overt heating, and was at a level identical to that which cell phone users experience. Further, it is generally accepted that chromosome and nucleus damage can be the initiator in a process of mutagenic transformation, cancer. Other researchers have repeatedly confirmed the initial reports.

During 1977 another U.S. Navy-funded researcher reported that his experiments of exposing primates to radiofrequency radiation resulted in "gross morphological damage in the brains" of the test subjects. For example, this researcher reported that Rhesus monkeys exposed to 10 mw/cm2, for 2 - 3 weeks, exhibited considerable brain tissue damage. Analysis of the brain tissue after the animals were "sacrificed" indicated cloudy endoplasm, uncharacteristic phagocytosis and evidence of change to the blood-brain barrier. Observation of heavily damaged cells, those having experienced severe morphological change, indicated that the damage was not repairable. Soon thereafter, this researcher’s funding was cancelled, the remaining laboratory animals were killed, and he was out of work.

Berman, et al, have reported in Health Physics (Dec. 1978, Pp. 791 - 801) the results of exposing mouse fetuses to radiofrequency radiation (2.45 GHz). Radiation exposure took place daily for 100 minutes during the gestation period. The work was performed at the Environmental Protection Agency Health Effects Research Laboratory from September 1974 through December 1976. After inducing the birth of the fetuses of each litter, the researchers examined the RF radiation exposed neo-natal mice to determine the presence of any gross external morphologic alterations. The experiments were performed at a number of different power levels, resulting in a correspondingly different RF radiation absorption level for each exposed group ranging from 0.2 mw/g to 2.2 mw/g. In total there were 318 RF radiation exposed litters and 336 unexposed control litters. Each litter was comprised of about ten mice. 12 control litters exhibited defects while there were 27 exposed litters with morphologic defects. (3.6% control 8.5% exposed) The experimental end-point was to determine if RF radiation could be causal with respect to fetal malformation. As such, long-term data, such as cancer incidence, was not provided.

The researchers concluded from the data that fetal exposure to RF radiation resulted in a significant increase in the number of litters that contained malformed (morphologically damaged) fetuses. In particular, they noted that cranioschisis (brain hernia, or exposed brain) was observed at all exposure levels, the lowest being about 0.2 mw/g, which is a lower level than the radiation absorption in humans from many presently available portable cell phones. Cranioschisis was not found in any of the control litters. The researchers also reported a significantly lower birth weight among the litters exposed to the highest radiation level - about 2.2 mw/g. The stunting effect was determined to be permanent.

Kaplan, et al, have reported in Radio Science, Sept. - Oct. 1982, Pp. 135 - 144 the effects of exposing squirrel monkey fetuses and neo-natal squirrel monkeys to various levels of radiofrequency (RF) radiation of 2.45 GHz for 3 hours per day and five days per week. The authors selected the squirrel monkey "because of its similarities to man in prenatal and postnatal environment". This work was performed during 1977 at SRI International, formerly the Stanford Research Institute, under a funding grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The results were submitted for publication during 1978, accepted for publication during 1980, and subsequently published during 1982. Calorimetric assessment was used to determine the average radiation absorption rate (SAR). For the experiment the researchers selected 0.0 mw/g (control), 0.034 mw/g, 0.34 mw/g, and 3.4 mw/g as the RF exposure levels. Only the last of these, 3.4 mw/g falls beyond the present RF radiation exposure maximum limit. Pregnant dams and, of course, their respective fetuses were exposed to the RF radiation five days per week, commencing with the second trimester of gestation. This was in spite of prior knowledge that morphologic defects were previously indicated to be more prevalent when RF radiation exposure of a fetus is commenced during organogenesis - the first trimester. In addition to the fetal exposure about one-half of the squirrel monkeys continued to be exposed for 6 months post-natally.

Three of the thirty-three pregnant mothers in the exposed group died a few days after birth of the fetuses and without any prior indication. Previously, over a five-year period of experiments, no such unexplained spontaneous deaths occurred. There were no deaths of mothers from the control group. The mothers that died were exposed to 0.34 mw/g or 3.4 mw/g Nine of the exposed neo-natal squirrel monkeys died during the first few months after birth. Two such deaths were for animals exposed only pre-natally and were from the lowest exposure group, 0.034 mw/g. A third death occurred to a pre-natally exposed animal at four days after birth. Six of the animals that were exposed post-natally also died. Two were from the 0.34 mw/g exposure group and four were from the 3.4 mw/g exposure group. None of the eight control mothers or their offspring died.

Since the purpose of the experiment was to note visually apparent morphological damage, no efforts were made to perform post-mortem microscopic examination to ascertain any part that neoplasia or micro-focal tissue mass might have had in the infant deaths. A series of maze experiments were conducted during the sixth through eighth week of age for all surviving infants of each group. The authors noted a significant cognitive retardation among the animals exposed to all RF radiation levels. The test parameter was to determine the percent of exposed animals that could traverse the maze, and thereby reach the mother, in 30 seconds or less. The unexposed (control) infants achieved an 80% success level during week 6 and 100% success at ages 7 and 8 weeks. Each of the exposed groups performed less well. The group exposed to 3.4 mw/g pre-natally and post-natally completed the task only 40% of the time. The group exposed to the same energy density only pre-natally completed the task 0% of the time during the sixth and seventh weeks. During the eighth week they completed the maze 50% of the time.

CHICAGO, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The cell phone headset has become popular as a way to reduce the cognitive impairment and cancer risk associated with radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure. However, the possibility of embryonic and fetal damage is now increasing as the radiating cell phone units are being moved elsewhere on or near the body. In many cases the devices are relocated immediately adjacent to the area where an embryo or fetus is carried. Researchers have emphatically reported that an embryo/fetus should not be exposed to radiofrequency radiation, such as that emitted by the portable cell phone or portable telephone. One particular reason to avoid RF radiation exposure during pregnancy is that an embryo/fetus may not be fully protected by amniotic fluid for extended periods of time due to the natural movement of the mother or the embryo/fetus within the womb. Secondly, the pelvic structure promotes deep RF radiation penetration and that radiation can be absorbed within the developing embryo/fetus.

Published research results continue to reinforce the general understanding that human exposure to RF radiation can cause damaging genetic effects. These effects include chromosome damage, DNA damage, cancer, memory loss, and cognitive impairment. One area not yet adequately investigated by researchers may determine the significance of any link between the increasing rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder or, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and damage to an embryo or fetus caused by increasing levels of RF radiation exposure. During this time of increased Autism/PDD incidence, no other environmental substance has become so globally widespread as has human-generated RF radiation.

During the last several years, industry-funded researchers have repeatedly reported a link between RF radiation exposure and genetic damage. After making their results known many of those researchers have found that their research programs were prematurely terminated. This also happened to researchers a generation ago when RF radiation biological effects were first made known.

Be aware that research findings, both industry-sponsored and independently conducted, continue to yield additional data that show the same results. Human exposure to RF radiation, electromagnetic fields, at levels typically encountered by using a portable cellular telephone or living in close proximity to a cell tower may be hazardous to your health, or to your unborn child's health.

During 1982, Motorola researchers reported that the electric field close to the head of a human operating a portable radio was so high that the only way to comply with radiation exposure standards was to reduce the radiation to such a low level that the device would be useless as a communication tool. But, it seems that it was easier to change the radiation standard than it was to change the design of the cell phones even as they were still being developed. With the guidance of Motorola engineers, and with no scientific basis, the exposure standard was changed to make the cell phone wholly and entirely exempt from any provisions of any existing radiation exposure safety standard. And with that unfounded exemption the die was cast for unfettered marketing and development of a complete product line that has been repeatedly shown to create damage in those exposed to the products’ radiations.

In 1983 University of Washington researchers, funded by the U.S. Air Force, reported that exposure of laboratory animals to low-level radiofrequency radiation resulted in a nearly four-fold, (400%) increase in malignant cancers among the exposed animals. This was a long-term study, spanning more than two years of daily RF radiation exposures and evaluations. Again, the exposure level was lower than that which is typically experienced by operating present generation cell phones.

Periodically throughout the test period some animals were "sacrificed" and examined. For the final analysis there remained 12 exposed and 11 control animals from the 100 exposed and 100 controls that formed the population at the outset.

Although the researchers recorded a four-fold increase in malignancies it can be proposed that the cancer incidence would have been even higher if the lab animals had been allowed to live out their full lives rather than being "sacrificed" during the two years of the experiment.

The long-term exposure study was designed specifically to learn the effects of RF radiation exposure to children. The frequency and exposure levels were determined with that in mind. However, the significant result of increased malignant tumor incidence has never been reported publicly with that relationship.

These are but a select few examples, taken from hundreds of published reports, of what the telecommunication industry has known since the earliest time of the development and sale of the portable cell phone to the unsuspecting public.

Swicord and Sagripanti, Int. J. Radiation Biology, 1986, vol. 50, no.1, Pp. 47 ‚ 50, observed a strong resonant absorption when plasmid DNA was exposed to radiofrequency radiation at 2550 MHz. The researchers state that, " we have investigated physiochemical changes. This work reports an observed power-dependent and temperature-dependent irreversible effect on DNA molecules including single- and double-strand breaks as shown by an accompanying increase in the linear (uncoiled) forms of the molecule."

"Connection with experimental and epidemiological studies suggesting carcinogenic, mutagenic and chromosome-damaging effects cannot be discounted."

The absorbed energy levels were reportedly from 2.0 to 8.5 mw per gram. The resonant absorption frequency is near the frequency range used for the present PCS devices, 1700 ‚ 1900 MHz.

At the time of publication the researchers were employed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration¼s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

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The correlation between the frequency of micronuclei and specific chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes exposed to microwave radiation in vitro. Garaj-Vrhovac V, Fucic A, Horvat D Mutat Res 281(3):181-186, 1992.
Samples of human blood cells were exposed to continuous microwave radiation, frequency 7.7 GHz, power density 0.5, 10 and 30 mW/cm2 for 10, 30 and 60 min. A correlation between specific chromosomal aberrations and the incidence of micronuclei after in vitro exposure was observed.

In all experimental conditions, the frequency of all types of chromosomal aberrations was significantly higher than in the control samples. In the irradiated samples the presence of dicentric and ring chromosomes was established. The incidence of micronuclei was also higher in the exposed samples. The results of the structural chromosome aberration test and of the micronucleus test were comparatively analyzed.

The values obtained showed a positive correlation between micronuclei and specific chromosomal aberrations (acentric fragments and dicentric chromosomes). The results of the study indicate that microwave radiation causes changes in the genome of somatic human cells and that the applied tests are equally sensitive for the detection of the genotoxicity of microwaves.

Sarkar, et al, performing research at the Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India reported (Mutation Research 1994, vol. 320, pp. 141 - 147) that they have observed DNA rearrangement (damage) of brain and testes cells taken from laboratory animals following exposure to low-level (1 mw/cm2) microwave radiation. The authors acknowledge that, "according to studies of Sagripanti and Swicord (1986), microwave radiation may cause both single and double strand breaks in the DNA molecule and this damage can be correlated to mutagenic and cancerogenic changes (Sargentini and Smith 1985)."

"The present study definitely shows low power effects", induced by microwave radiation exposure, whereas control specimens did not exhibit any similar DNA damage. The damage (rearrangement) observed by the authors is, clearly, indicative of a significant post-exposure effect consistent with unrepairable DNA strand breaks associated with large segments of the DNA macromolecule.

Chuang, H. R
. performed a series of numerical experiments to determine the radiation absorption effects due to operating a radio transceiver at cellular telephone frequencies (840 MHz) in close proximity to a human head or abdomen. The results, reported in the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 42, no.4, April 1994, indicate that the amount of radiation absorbed into the human body is directly related to the separation between the body and radiating transmitter. For a 5 cm (2-inch) separation 29 % of the radiation is absorbed into the body. At a head-to-transmitter separation of 1.0 cm (about 0.4 inches) 71 % of the transmitter¼s radiation is being deposited into the human.

Similarly, for a separation of 0.6 cm between the transmitter and the abdomen 85 % of the radiation is absorbed into the human body. The findings are consistent with the research results reported by others at about the same time. (See, for example, Andersen, 1993, or Toftgard, 1993)

For a transmitting device operating at the maximum power level (0.6 watts) for analog portable cell phones in the U.S., a peak radiation absorption of 3.5 milliwatts per gram (3.5mw/g) is noted - far in excess of any past or present "safe" exposure limits. The authors state that: "the head absorbs more than 80 % of the power . . . due to the stronger EM coupling of the closer distance which enhances the penetrating power into the head. In a certain situation (such as this case), a 'focusing' effect may occur."

A brief, but important, digression from our more general consideration of exposures to RF radiation focuses on a particular hazard to police patrol officers.

Davis RL, Mostofi FK, Cluster of testicular cancer in police officers exposed to hand-held radar. Am J Ind Med 24(2):231-233, 1993. Within a cohort of 340 police officers, six incident cases of testicular cancer occurred between 1979 and 1991 (O/E 6.9; p < 0.001, Poisson distribution). Occupational use of hand-held radar was the only shared risk factor among all six officers, and all routinely held the radar gun directly in close proximity to their testicles. Health effects of occupational radar use have not been widely studied, and further research into a possible association with testicular cancer is warranted.

During 1995, Lai & Singh published, Bioelectromagnetics, vol.16, no. 3, Pp. 207, 210, the results of radiofrequency radiation exposure experiments performed with laboratory animals, the purpose of which was to ascertain any observable effects to the DNA comprising the brain cells of the exposed specimens.

The researchers assessed the levels of DNA single-strand breaks in the brain cells of laboratory rats exposed to low-intensity radiofrequency radiation. Immediately after 2 hours of exposure to pulsed microwaves, no significant effect was observed. However, a dose rate-dependent increase in DNA single-strand breaks was found in brain cells of rats at 4 hours post-exposure. Furthermore, in rats exposed for 2 hours to continuous-wave 2450 MHz microwaves, increases in brain cell DNA single-strand breaks were observed immediately as well as at 4 hours post-exposure.

Shortly thereafter these same researchers, Lai & Singh, reported ( Int J Radiat Biol 69(4):513-521, 1996) that similar radiofrequency radiation exposures produced DNA double-strand breaks. "An increase in both types of DNA strand breaks was observed after exposure to either the pulsed or continuous-wave radiation, No significant difference was observed between the effects of the two forms of radiation. We speculate that these effects could result from a direct effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy on DNA molecules and/or impairment of DNA-damage repair mechanisms in brain cells. Our data further support the results of earlier in vitro and in vivo studies showing effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on DNA."

Bortkiewicz A, Zmyslony M, Gadzicka E, Szymczak W, Evaluation of selected parameters of circulatory system function in various occupational groups exposed to high frequency electromagnetic fields. II. Electrocardiographic changes. Med Pr 47(3):241-252, 1996. "The effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the circulatory and nervous systems has been the subject of great interest for many years, since electric impulses generated in these systems by outer ("external") electric and magnetic fields can theoretically disturb their functions. The only data on chronic effects of weak EMFs on the human body come from the studies carried out in the Soviet Union between the fifties and the seventies. In view of the growing number of persons exposed to EMF, there is an urgent need for verifying those data by means of modern diagnostic methods. That is the reason why the study of the EMF effect on the circulatory system has been initiated. It covered 71 workers at four AM broadcast stations, 40 workers at ten radio link stations and 42 workers at three radioservices. Workers' exposure to EMF was evaluated (see part I). Subjective and objective medical examinations were performed in all workers in order to assess their state of health, then resting electrocardiogram, Holter measurements, and high intensity ECG were taken, and variation in cardiac rhythm was analyzed by a long-term recording of blood pressure. The results of the analysis of the questionnaire survey as well as the Holter and resting ECG examinations are presented. The study indicates that exposure to EMF in parameters found in AM broadcast stations increases risk for electrographic disturbances (detected by means of resting ECG and a 24-hour Holter recording) by six times "(a six-fold increase)" in comparison with that in radio link station workers not exposed to medium wave EMF. In radio-service workers this risk was twice as high as that in link station workers. It seems that in AM broadcast station workers, resting ECG should be complemented by a 24-hour Holter measurements, particularly, if workers complain of circulatory system disturbances."

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Balode, Z, Assessment of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation by the micronucleus test in bovine peripheral erythrocytes. Sci Total Environ 180(1):81-85, 1996.
Previous bioindicative studies in the Skrunda Radio Location Station area have focused on the somatic influence of electromagnetic radiation on plants, but it is also important to study genetic effects. We have chosen cows as test animals for cytogenetical evaluation because they live in the same general exposure area as humans, are confined to specific locations and are chronically exposed to radiation. Blood samples were obtained from female Latvian Brown cows from a farm close to and in front of the Skrunda Radar and from cows in a control area. A simplified alternative to the Schiff method of DNA staining for identification of micronuclei in peripheral erythrocytes was applied. Microscopically, micronuclei in peripheral blood erythrocytes were round in shape and exhibited a strong red colour. They are easily detectable as the only coloured bodies in the uncoloured erythrocytes. From each individual animal 2000 erythrocytes were examined at a magnification of x 1000 for the presence of micronuclei. The counting of micronuclei in peripheral erythrocytes, 0.6 per 1000 in the exposed group and 0.1 per 1000 in the control, demonstrates a statistically significant six-fold increase (P < 0.01) found in the frequency of micronuclei between the control and exposed groups.

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Magras, IN, Xenos, TD, RF radiation-induced changes in the prenatal development of mice. Bioelectromagnetics 18(6):455-461, 1997.
The possible effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation on prenatal development has been investigated in mice. This study consisted of RF level measurements and in vivo experiments at several places around an "antenna park." At these locations RF power densities between 168 nW/cm2 and 1053 nW/cm2 were measured. Twelve pairs of mice, divided in two groups, were placed in locations of different power densities and were repeatedly mated five times. One hundred eighteen newborns were collected. They were measured, weighed, and examined macro- and microscopically. A progressive decrease in the number of newborns per dam was observed, which ended in irreversible infertility.

During 1998 Phillips, et al, published the results of a series of laboratory experiment performed as part of a research program funded by Motorola. In that report (Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, vol. 45, 1998, Pp. 103 ‚ 110), the researchers have reported that exposure of cells to very low-level radiofrequency radiation, at the cell phone frequency of 836 MHz, consistently resulted in an observable variation of DNA damage.

The experiments were performed at two power levels and using two types of radiofrequency signals commonly employed for cell phones. At the lower power level of exposure the subsequent evaluation determined that the net result was a reduced level of DNA damage. At the higher power level increased DNA damage was identified for one of the signal types while reduced DNA damage was identified for the second signal type. In every instance, for each exposure and for each type of signal, the result demonstrated a measurable effect of either increased or decreased DNA damage, which the researchers attribute to the radiofrequency radiation.

From the study results the researchers do not conclude if the changes in measured DNA damage are due to concurrent increased damage with inhibited repair or unchanged damage with enhanced repair (RF energy induced repair).

The researchers do state that, " our data indicate that exposure to RF signals under athermal conditions altered the amount of DNA single-strand breaks."

More recently, throughout the 1990s and into this 21st century we have witnessed a consistently growing body of research data, coming from all points worldwide, which reports DNA damage, chromosome aberrations, micronucleus formation, memory loss, altered cell proliferation rates, nervous system disorders, EEG changes, and increased cancers, each caused by exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RF) such as that emitted by the cell phone or its companion base tower.

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Velizarov, S, Raskmark, P, Kwee, S, The effects of radiofrequency fields on cell proliferation are non-thermal. Bioelectrochem Bioenerg 48(1):177-180, 1999.
The number of reports on the effects induced by radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields and microwave (MW) radiation in various cellular systems is still increasing. Until now no satisfactory mechanism has been proposed to explain the biological effects of these fields. One of the current theories is that heat generation by RF/MW is the cause, in spite of the fact that a great number of studies under isothermal conditions have reported significant cellular changes after exposure to RF/MW. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate which effect MW radiation from these fields in combination with a significant change of temperature could have on cell proliferation. The experiments were performed on the same cell line, and with the same exposure system as in a previous work [S. Kwee, P. Raskmark, Changes in cell proliferation due to environmental non-ionizing radiation: 2. Microwave radiation, Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg., 44 (1998), pp. 251-255]. The field was generated by signal simulation of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) of 960 MHz. Cell cultures, growing in microtiter plates, were exposed in a specially constructed chamber, a Transverse Electromagnetic (TEM) cell. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) value for each cell well was calculated for this exposure system. However, in this study the cells were exposed to the field at a higher or lower temperature than the temperature in the field-free incubator i.e., the temperature in the TEM cell was either 39 or 35 +/- 0.1 degrees C. The corresponding sham experiments were performed under exactly the same experimental conditions. The results showed that there was a significant change in cell proliferation in the exposed cells in comparison to the non-exposed (control) cells at both temperatures. On the other hand, no significant change in proliferation rate was found in the sham-exposed cells at both temperatures. This shows that biological effects due to RF/MW cannot be attributed only to a change of temperature. Since the RF/MW induced changes were of the same order of magnitude at both temperatures and also comparable to our previous results under isothermal conditions at 37 degrees C, cellular stress caused by electromagnetic fields could initiate the changes in cell cycle reaction rates. It is widely accepted that certain classes of heat-shock proteins are involved in such stress reactions.

We also observe that during 1998 industry engineers finally confirmed the obvious and reported their own test results, which confirmed that the newer, smaller portable cell phones with short, stubby antennas expose humans to much higher electromagnetic fields than the prior generation phones. The higher field intensity causes increased RF radiation absorption and tends to degrade phone performance.

These research facts, which the industry claims to still be seeking, are known and have been known since long before the first cell phones were ever introduced; since before the first cellular base station was ever erected, and before the first WLAN was ever placed in your child’s classroom.

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Zotti-Martelli L, Peccatori M, Scarpato R, Migliore L, Induction of micronuclei in human lymphocytes exposed in vitro to microwave radiation. Mutat Res 472(1-2):51-58, 2000.
The increasing applications of electromagnetic field radiating devices are of great concern with regard to public health. Several in vitro studies have been conducted to detect effects of microwave (Radiofrequency) radiation exposure on genetic material the results of which vary with study protocol. The micronucleus (MN) assay which has proved to be a useful tool for the detection of radiation exposure-induced cytogenetic damage was used in the present study to investigate the genotoxic effect of microwaves in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro exposed to electromagnetic fields with different frequencies (2.45 and 7.7GHz) and power density (10, 20 and 30mW/cm(2) for three times (15, 30 and 60min). The results show that for both radiation frequencies there was an induction of micronuclei as compared to the control cultures at a power density of 30mW/cm(2) and after an exposure of 30 and 60min. This study indicates that microwaves are able to cause cytogenetic damage in human lymphocytes mainly for both the high power density and longer exposure time.

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Ye J, Yao K, Lu D, Wu R, Jiang H. Low power density microwave radiation induced early changes in rabbit lens epithelial cells. Chin Med J (Engl) 114(12):1290-1294, 2001.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether low power density microwave radiation can induce irreversible changes in rabbit lens epithelial cells and the mechanisms of the changes. METHODS: One eye of each rabbit was exposed to 5 mW/cm2 or 10 mW/cm2 power density microwaves for 3 hours, while the contralateral eye served as a control. Annexin V-propidium iodide (PI) two-color flow cytometry (FCM) was used to detect the early changes in rabbit lens epithelial cells after radiation. RESULTS: Many of the rabbit lens epithelial cells were in the initial phase of apoptosis (cell death) in the 5 mW/cm2 microwave radiation group. A large number of cells became secondary necrotic cells, and severe damage could be found in the group exposed to 10 mW/cm2 microwave radiation. CONCLUSION: Low power densities of microwave radiation (5 mW/cm2 and 10 mW/cm2) can induce irreversible damage to rabbit lens epithelial cells. This may be a demonstration of the, (so-called), non-thermal effect of microwave radiation.

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Hardell L, Hansson Mild K, Pahlson A, Hallquist A, Ionizing radiation, cellular telephones and the risk of brain tumours. Europ J Cancer Prevent 10:523-529, 2001.
A case-control study on brain tumours included 233 patients aged 20-80 years and alive at the study time. They had histopathologically verified brain tumour and lived in the Upsala-Orebro region (1994-1996) or in Stockholm region (1995-1996). Two matched controls to each case were selected from the Swedish Population Register. Two hundred and nine cases (90%) and 425 controls (91%) answered the questionnaire. Results are presented for the whole study group, as given here, and for malignant and benign tumours separately.
Use of a cellular telephone increased the risk of tumours in the temporal, temporo-parietal and occipital areas of the brain.

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Hardell L, Mild KH, Carlsberg M. Case-control study on the use of cellular and cordless phones and the risk for malignant brain tumours. Int. J. Radiat. Biol. 78:931-936, 2002.
Purpose: To investigate the use of cellular and cordless phones and the risk for malignant brain tumours.

Materials and Methods: A case-control study was performed with 649 patients aged 20-80 years of both sexes each with malignant brain tumour diagnosed from 1 January 1997 to 30 June 2000. All patients were alive during the time of the study and had histopathology verified brain tumours. One matched control to each case was selected from the Swedish Population Register.

Results: Exposure was assessed by a questionnaire answered by 588 (91%) cases and 581 (90%) controls.

For ipsilateral (same side) radiofrequency exposure, analog mobile phones gave an odds ratio = 1.85 ( increased incidence = 85 % ) for all malignant brain tumours. For astrocytoma the increased incidence was nearly double at 95 % with an odds ratio = 1.95. For all malignant brain tumors, digital mobile phones yielded an increased incidence of 59 % or an odds ratio = 1.59, and cordless phones yielded an increased incidence of 46 % or an odds ratio = 1.46 in the analysis of ipsilateral exposure.

Conclusion: The use of a cellular phone yielded a significantly increased incidence of malignant brain tumours occurring on the same side of the head where the phone was held.

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Genotoxicity of radiofrequency signals. I Investigation of DNA damage and micronuclei induction in cultured human blood cells. Tice RR , Hook GG , Donner M , McRee DI, Guy AW Bioelectromagnetics 23:113-126, 2002.
As part of a comprehensive investigation of the potential genotoxicity of radiofrequency (RF) signals emitted by cellular telephones, in vitro studies evaluated the induction of DNA and chromosomal damage in human blood leukocytes and lymphocytes, respectively.

The signals were voice modulated 837 MHz produced by an analog signal generator or by a time division multiple access (TDMA) cellular telephone, 837 MHz generated by a code division multiple access 1909.8 MHz generated by a global system of mobile communication (GSM)-type personal communication systems (PCS) cellular telephone.

DNA damage (strand breaks/alkali labile sites) was assessed in leukocytes using the alkaline (pH>13) single cell gel electrophoresis (SCG) assay. Chromosomal damage was evaluated in lymphocytes mitogenically stimulated to divide postexposure using the cytochalasin B-binucleate cell micronucleus assay. Cells were exposed at 37±1 degree C, for 3 or 24 h at average specific absorption rates (SARs) of 1.0-10.0 W/kg. Exposure for either 3 or 24 h did not induce a significant increase in DNA damage in leukocytes, nor did exposure for 3 h induce a significant increase in micronucleated cells among lymphocytes.

However, Exposure to each of the four RF signal technologies for 24 h at an average SAR of 5.0 or 10.0 W/kg resulted in a significant and reproducible increase in the frequency of micronucleated lymphocytes. The magnitude of the response (approximately four-fold increase) was independent of the technology, the presence or absence of voice modulation, and the frequency (837 vs. 1909.8 MHz).

This research demonstrates that, under extended exposure conditions, RF signals at an average SAR of at least 5.0 W/kg are capable of inducing chromosomal damage in human lymphocytes.

Croft R, Chandler J, Burgess A, Barry R, Williams J, Clarke A. Acute mobile phone operation affects neural function in humans. Clin Neurophysiol 113(10):1623, 2002. Mobile phones are used extensively and yet little is known about the effects they may have on human physiology. There have been conflicting reports regarding the relation between mobile phone use and the electroencephalogram (EEG). The present study suggests that this conflict may be due to methodological differences such as exposure durations, and tests whether exposure to an active mobile phone affects EEG as a function of time.

Twenty-four subjects participated in a single-blind fully counterbalanced cross-over study, where both resting EEG and phase-locked neural responses to auditory stimuli were measured while a Mobile phone was either operating or turned off. Mobile phone exposure altered resting EEG, decreasing 1-4Hz activity (right hemisphere sites), and increasing 8-12Hz activity as a function of exposure duration (midline posterior sites). Mobile phone exposure also altered early phase-locked neural responses, attenuating the normal response decrement over time in the 4-8Hz band, decreasing the response in the 1230Hz band globally and as a function of time, and increasing midline frontal and lateral posterior responses in the 30-45Hz band. Active mobile phones affect neural function in humans and do so as a function of exposure duration. The temporal nature of this effect may contribute to the lack of consistent results reported in the literature.

d'Ambrosio G, Massa R, Scarfi MR, Zeni O, Cytogenetic damage in human lymphocytes following GMSK phase modulated microwave exposure. Bioelectromagnetics 23:7-13, 2002.
The present study investigated, using in vitro experiments on human lymphocytes, whether exposure to a microwave frequency used for mobile communication, either unmodulated or in presence of phase only modulation, can cause modification of cell proliferation kinetics and/or genotoxic effects, by evaluating the cytokinesis block proliferation index and the micronucleus frequency. In the GSM 1800 mobile communication systems the field is both phase (Gaussian minimum shift keying, GMSK) and amplitude (time domain multiple access, TDMA) modulated. The present study investigated only the effects of phase modulation, and no amplitude modulation was applied. Human peripheral blood cultures were exposed to 1.748 GHz, either continuous wave (CW) or phase only modulated wave (GMSK), for 15 min. The maximum specific absorption rate ( 5 W/kg) was higher than that occurring in the head of mobile phone users; however, no changes were found in cell proliferation kinetics after exposure to either CW or GMSK fields. As far as genotoxicity is concerned, the micronucleus frequency result was not affected by CW exposure; however, a statistically significant micronucleus effect was found following exposure to phase modulated field. These results would suggest a genotoxic power of the phase modulation per se.

de Pomerai DI, Dawe A, Djerbib L, Allan, Brunt G, Daniells C. Growth and maturation of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans following exposure to weak microwave fields. Enzyme Microbial Tech 30:73-79, 2002. Prolonged exposure to weak microwave fields (750¯1000 MHz, 0.5 W) at 25°C induces a heat-shock response in transgenic C. elegans strains carrying hsp16 reporter genes [1]. A comparable response to heat alone requires a substantially higher temperature of 28°C, suggesting that microwave heating of the system as a whole might provide a sufficient explanation, although this can be ruled out by indirect arguments. Here the authors investigated two further biological consequences of prolonged microwave exposure at 25°C in synchronized cultures of wild-type worm larvae, namely alterations in (i) growth rate (GR) and (ii) the proportion of worms later maturing into egg-bearing adults (MP). Both of these parameters are significantly increased following microwave exposure (GR by 8¯11%, and MP by 28¯40%), whereas both are significantly decreased (GR by 10% and MP almost abolished) after mild heat treatment at 28°C for the same period. It follows that the biological consequences of microwave exposure are opposite to, and therefore incompatible with, those attributable to mild heating. This evidence does not in itself necessitate a non-thermal mechanism, (although the non-thermal mechanism is indicated); but it does eliminate explanations that invoke the bulk heating of tissues by microwaves. This latter, "bulk heating", however, remains the sole basis for current regulations governing microwave exposure.

Di Carlo A, White N, Guo F, Garrett P, Litovitz T. Chronic electromagnetic field exposure decreases HSP70 levels and lowers cytoprotection. J. Cell. Biochem. 84: 447-454, 2002. Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures have been shown to induce heat shock proteins (HSPs), which help to maintain the conformation of cellular proteins during periods of stress. The authors have previously reported that short-term exposure of chick embryos to either 60 Hz (extremely low frequency: ELF), or radio-frequency (RF: 915 MHz) EMFs induce protection against hypoxia. Experiments presented in the current report are based on a study in which long-term (4 days), continuous exposure to ELF-EMFs decreased protection against ultraviolet radiation. Based on this result, it was hypothesized that de-protection against hypoxia should also occur following long-term, continuous, or daily, repeated exposures to EMFs. To test this hypothesis, chick embryos were exposed to ELF-EMFs (8 T) continuously for 4 days, or to ELF or RF (3.5 mW incident power)- EMFs repeated daily (20, 30, or 60 min once or twice daily for 4 days). In this study several of the exposure protocols yielded embryos that had statistically significant increased hypoxic stress (continuous and 30 or 60 min ELF twice daily; or 30 or 60 min once daily RF). This is consistent with our finding that following 4 days of ELF-EMF exposure, HSP70 levels decline by 27% as compared to controls. In addition, the superposition of ELF electromagnetic noise, previously shown to minimize ELF-EMF induced hypoxia protection, inhibited hypoxia de-protection caused by long term, continuous ELF or daily, repeated RF exposures. This EMF-induced decrease in HSP70 levels and resulting decline in cytoprotection suggests a mechanism by which daily exposure (such as might be experienced by mobile phone users) could enhance the probability of cancer and other diseases.

Zhang MB, He JL, Jin LF, Lu DQ. Study of low-intensity 2450-MHz microwave exposure enhancing the genotoxic effects of mitomycin C using micronucleus test and comet assay in vitro. Biomed Environ Sci 15(4):283-290, 2002. The authors performed a series of experiments using human lymphocytes to determine the interaction between 2450-MHz microwaves (MW) radiation and mitomycin C (MMC).

The synergistic genotoxic effects of low-intensity 2450-MHz microwave and MMC on human lymphocytes were studied using single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay (comet assay) and cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus (CBMN) test in vitro. The whole blood cells from a male donor and a female donor were either only exposed to 2450-MHz microwaves at 5.0 mW/cm2 for 2 h or only exposed to MMC (0.0125 microgram/mL, 0.025 microgram/mL and 0.1 microgram/mL) for 24 h; and the samples were exposed to MMC for 24 h after exposure to MW for 2 h. RESULTS: In the comet assay, the comet lengths (29.1 microns and 25.9 microns) of MW were not significantly longer than those (26.3 microns and 24.1 microns) of controls (P > 0.05). The comet lengths (57.4 microns, 68.9 microns, 91.4 microns, 150.6 microns, 71.7 microns, 100.1 microns, 145.1 microns) of 4 MMC groups were significantly longer than those of controls (P < 0.01). The comet lengths (59.1 microns, 92.3 microns, 124.5 microns, 182.7 microns and 57.4 microns, 85.5 microns, 137.5 microns, 178.3 microns) of 4 MW plus MMC groups were significantly longer than those of controls too (P < 0.01). The comet lengths of MW plus MMC groups were significantly longer than those of the corresponding MMC doses (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01) when the doses of MMC were > or = 0.025 microgram/mL. The MMC plus MW groups exhibited comet tail lengths, on average of, 28% longer than did the MMC-only groups. In the CBMN, the micronucleated cell (MNC) rates of MW were 5@1000 and 6@1000, which illustrated a small 25 - 50% increase compared with those (4@1000 and 4@1000) of controls (P > 0.05). The MNC rates of 4 MMC groups were 8@1000, 9@1000, 14@1000, 23@1000 and 8@1000, 8@1000, 16@1000, 30 @1000,respectively. When the doses of MMC were > or = 0.05 microgram/mL, MNC rates of MMC were higher than those of controls (P < 0.05). MNC rates of 4 MW plus MMC groups were 12@1000, 13@1000, 20@1000, 32@1000 and 8@1000, 9@1000, 23@1000, 40@1000. When the doses of MMC were > or = 0.05 microgram/mL, MNC rates of MW plus MMC groups were much higher than those of controls (P < 0.01). Micronucleated cell rates of 4 groups exposed to MW plus MMC were 25 ­ 50% higher than those of the corresponding MMC-only doses.

Clearly, we observe in this report that exposure of human cells to microwave radiation either in concert with, or independent of Mitomycin C, produces increased, perhaps synergistic, cellular DNA damage.

But what of the cell phone tower? Compared to the portable cell phone, most people might think that a cell phone tower would pose a lesser risk of harmful radiation exposure. But such is not necessarily true. In fact, there is no known safe level of radiofrequency radiation exposure. Prior to the 1940s the only radiofrequency radiation that existed was the ultra-low level from sunlight. Today we are exposed daily to RF radiation levels millions of times higher than our natural environment provides and to which our bodies are not adapted. Cell phone towers radiate at power levels many thousands of times greater than do the portables. So, distance alone does not necessarily provide protection when making any comparisons.

Most recently, individual school districts have fallen under the spell of this "wireless revolution" to incorporate wireless local area networks (WLAN) into the classroom. Through some vague but ill-conceived desire to be a part of this revolution, school administrators and educators have forgotten that their primary obligation is to educate but not expose their wards, your children, to the unnecessary hazard or harm that may arise from locating RF radiation emitting WLANs in the classroom or atop school buildings.

Unlike some other carcinogens RF radiation can cause tissue damage with a single exposure, and with each additional exposure the risk of permanent genetic damage increases. Although the body is efficient at repairing some types of RF radiation induced damage it is generally unable to repair certain other damage, such as DNA double-strand breaks, known to result from cell phone type RF radiation exposures.

We might expect that our generously funded government agencies, such as the EPA or FDA, would assume a leadership position at the forefront of this issue. But, the best they have been able to provide to date is a recommendation for others to continue the research. This is in spite of a 1990 EPA study that reviewed the scientific literature and found radiofrequency radiation to be a probable carcinogen. Oddly, that study was never officially published or released to the U. S. Public whose millions of dollars funded its creation. In effect our government agencies have taken a hands-off approach to this issue that affects the entire nation, encompasses all socio-economic groups and favors commercial interests over the concerns and well being of its citizenry.

Nearly twenty years ago Robert Galvin, at that time the CEO of Motorola, Inc., lectured on the critical need to gain control of and access to information. Galvin, a so-called 20th century visionary, was referring to what he envisioned from the corporate boardroom as an oncoming information revolution, which would be brought about by universal availability of the personal computer, portable cell phone and the internet that evolved to become the world-wide web. Galvin understood very early that the evolution of the economy from industry to service to the "information age" was at hand. At the time of Galvin’s insightful comments Motorola, AT&T, and other companies were engaged in a high-stakes competition to bring the first portable cell phone to the marketplace. That effort became reality when Motorola introduced the DynaTAC® portable cell phone in 1983.

Were it not for the lack of competition created by the divestiture and breakup of AT&T, Motorola would never have realized an early market dominance that has since been significantly eroded by present day competitors, such as Nokia and Ericsson. But market dominance was never an early consideration in portable cell phone development. The industry researchers and corporate managers projected a very small demand for the portable cell phone, mostly because they cost so much - about $3,000.00 each. It was the automobile-mounted cell phone that was supposed to be the dominant feature of the technology. Early on the prognosticators projected sales of the portables at about 50,000 units per year. Today the worldwide sales rate is closer to one million per day.

But, even while the development of mobile and portable cell phone products was progressing at a frantic pace, initially at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, no concerted effort was made by the manufacturers to lay a solid foundation of research experiments and findings to fully investigate the widely reported hazards to humans due to use of the radiofrequency radiating products.

It may well be that earlier published research reports, which already raised the warning flag of biological hazard due to RF radiation exposure, made the companies inclined to avoid additional research that would only make matters worse by increasing the unfavorable knowledge base and raising additional concerns.

Such investigations have been left to the independent researchers and they have provided results not favorable to continued use of the portable products. From the earliest, independent researchers have recommended that these devices should be limited to use for only a few seconds or a fraction of a minute. But such recommendations generally are not made public.

Clearly, this is an industry that understands the need for exercising control of and access to information.

While we understand that no one wants to be told what to do, we also feel that people have the right to know and make their own informed decisions based on all of the available information. We propose to assist those of you who have an interest in learning more regarding the scientifically reported details of potential hazard that have been available to the select few for so long.

This site is regularly updated and archived, as inquiries warrant, with additional and more comprehensive information regarding human exposure to any human-generated electromagnetic fields (EMFs) including power line extra low frequency (ELF) fields, RF or microwave fields and radiation.

For additional information please click here or email Quentin Bolino:

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The Associated Bioelectromagnetics Technologists is a non-funded, non-revenue generating consumer advocacy association.

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