A note on EMF research
According to the WHO, radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer1, associated with wireless phone use.*
A major report released from The National Toxicology Program (NTP) under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in USA on the largest ever animal study on cell phone RF radiation and cancer (14). An increased incidence of glioma in the brain and malignant schwannoma in the heart was found in rats. While certain countries do set an upper limit for electromagnetic fields, including electromagnetic radiation (see comparison) it is important to note that this limit is derived from experiments based on heating effects on 'Sam', a physiological profile based on the 90th percentile of military recruits--this was far from a child, a woman, or even an average man", rather than from real life contexts.
Many studies are revealing multiple mechanisms of action for RF radiation carcinogenesis such as on DNA repair, oxidative stress, down regulation of mRNA and DNA damage with single strand breaks. ** Studies are also establishing clear evidence on neurological effects on all ages.
Selected published research and papers:
RF Radiation Studies
Much of the research can be found at the Bioiniative Report, compiled by international scientsts.
My own list focuses on notable research on biological effects found on childen and women, and brain function, showing that exposure to RF radiation from cell-phones and cell-towers really can be harmful to your health.
Published by the the US government's National Toxicology Program (NTP) after 10 years of research. A toxicology study on rats exposed long term to various doses of cell phone radiation and their health was followed over the long period of time. The exposure intensities in the brain of rats were similar to human exposures from cell phones held next to the head. The study observed “clear evidence” of heart tumours in rats, and of the development of Schwannomas (statistically significant) and gliomas (statistically non-significant) in the exposed animals.
The “Interphone study” looked at over 5000 cases of Glioma and Meningioma to determine what level of cell-phone use was observed. Ultimately they found that those with the highest exposure to RF radiation from cell-phones did have an increased chance of developing brain tumors during their lifetimes. This extensive study was part of the reason that the World Health Organisation classified RF radiation as a “possible carcinogen” in 2011, shortly after the study was published.
Studies of the blood-brain barrier: Preliminary findings and discussion (1975 to present). Dr. Alan Frey first determined that the blood brain barrier (BBB) could be opened with microwave radiation in 1975. This finding has been repeated at least 7 other times by other scientists.
Dr. Leif Salford, a neurosurgeon at Lund University Hospital and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, is a leading researcher on EMR and its effects on the brain. Since 1988, their results clearly show that microwave radiation opens the Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB), making the brain more susceptible to any infection and toxins that may be circulating in the blood. They found:
Long term exposure of rats to a cell phone caused memory impairment.
A single six-hour exposure at extremely low power levels caused genetic damage.
Blood-brain barrier leakage occurs after only two minutes of exposure. Just 2h of low exposure caused 2% loss in the brain in rats. This is at levels MUCH LOWER than a cell phone.
Even exposure to a low-frequency magnetic field (also emitted by cell phones btw) caused disturbances of calcium transport in cells.
In this presentation, Dr Salford goes into detail on wireless technology and its effect on the brain, in the world we live in today and its ‘alien’ non-native EMFs is 1018 (that’s quintillion) more than before 1940.
His work is noted in the paper Public Health Implications of Wireless Technologies (2008). It was "the weakest exposure level [which] showed the greatest effect in opening up the BBB [blood brain barrier]." [Cindy Sage and Dr. David Carpenter].
A study from China confirms earlier research from Sweden (led by Dr Leif Salford) that found that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from mobile phones for 4 weeks causes leakage of the blood-brain barrier and impairs cognition. The blood-brain barrier is a crucial structure that prevents many neurotoxins from passing from our blood into our brains. Leaks in this barrier are definitely a problem. Reduced spatial memory function, also found in the study with rats. The study was published in well recognised and established journal – Brain Research (March 2015 issue).
LINK: Abstract and figures of this study are freely available on website of the Brain Research. For pdf copies of the article, you may contact Gang Zhu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To assess the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by mobile phones (MP) on the 1 – 20 Hz event-related brain oscillatory EEG (electroencephalogram) responses in children performing an auditory memory task (encoding and recognition). During memory encoding, the active MP modulated the event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) responses in the approximately 4 – 8 Hz EEG frequencies. During recognition, the active MP transformed these brain oscillatory responses in the approximately 4 – 8 Hz and approximately 15 Hz frequencies. The current findings suggest that EMF emitted by mobile phones has effects on brain oscillatory responses during cognitive processing in children.
Updated July 2019.