1997  Home
FEB - The Swedish Association for the ElectroSensitive



By Gerrit Teule 1997.


The basics of life, ranging from the most elementary bacteria to the complex cell structures in animals in in ourselves, are nowadays the subject of a broad research. Disturbing elements, from poissons to electromagnetic radiation, threaten these fundamental life systems. In this article I'll try to explain a possible theory, told in terms of a layman, about the influence of the 'cocktail' of carnicogene chemical substances and electro magnetic fields (EMF) with all its frequencies. EMF plays in this cocktail a fundamental and tragic role. 

In science there have to be two things: a theory and observa- tions, and these two have to fit together precisely, to get what we call 'scientific knowledge'. Observations without a theory tend to be discarded or put in the drawer. It is the theory that sharpens the eye for better obervations; without a good theory we tend to be blind. On the other hand a theory without observations will die very soon. 

The kernel of the EMF problem is, that it lacks such a solid and recognized theory about what is actually happening down there is a human or other cell, and exactly how EMF from outside could influence that. This story tries to establish such a theory, with the purpose to sharpen our eyes and minds. It has not been proven yet, although elements of it are well known and recognized these days. It might even be possible, that the ultimate 100% proof will never be available, because of its sheer complexity. In that case the influence of EMF will remain a matter of statistical observations and probabi- lity. The reason for that could be, that within the living cell 'chaotic' (in the sence of the Chaos theory) processes take place with non-linear characteristics. 

The living cell 

Any influence of EMF on a living being starts at the cellular level. Therefore I start with some information about the impressive complexity involved. A single living human cell performs over 50.000 different biochemical reactions. It carries in the DNA molecule billions bits of data (survival know how). This DNA molecule contains around a 100.000 genes, of which 5000 are actively producing around 5000 different proteins. Such a cell, only visible under a strong microscope, beats the complexity of a modern Personal Computer by far. The numerous biochemical reactions support and maintain our basic life system and they keep us as a human being alive and healthy. Recent research leads us to the theory, that in every living cell there is a extremely complex process of subtile electromagnetic vibrations going on every thousands of a second, when creating all those biochemical molecules and proteins. It is an extraordinary electromagnetic device indeed. It is this miraculous cell, that composes our organs, our nerve system, our brains and our body. The immune system and the enormous 'survival know how' in these single little cells compose our own human immune system and together these cells are supposed to keep us alive and healthy. 

Dance of the electrons 

In living nature, everything vibrates, the smaller, the faster. The frequencies of the vibrations in a living cell depend on the size of the components. There are physical vibrations and electrical. It's obvious that the cell as a whole vibrates with lower frequencies than individual molecules or atoms. To get an idea about these physical frequencies, one can look at a cell division, where a DNA molecule, an extremely long string of coded material, divides itself into two exact copies. A DNA molecule is folded into a tiny ball, but when divides itself, it has to unfold and unroll itself, at speeds from 10.000 to 20.000 revolutions per minute (i.e. 200 to 300 Hz). The 50.000 different biochemical reactions and the creation of 5000 different proteins is a continuous bio-electro- chemical game with electrical vibrations all over the place. Every single biochemical reaction is an electronic process in itself. These reactions are a matter of reduction and oxidati- on processes. Reduction removes electrons and oxidation adds them. That is what chemistry basicly is. The electrical fre- quencies of these processes will vary strongly with the sizes of the molecules. So, life within a single cell is really a 'dance of electrons', using an enormous range of electromagne- tic frequencies. This dance is the basis of life itself. 

Cancerous chemicals 

During the last 100 years an overwhelming number of new chemi- cals has been produced. Nowadays our laboratories produce around 500.000 new chemical substances per year, of which a 1000 are able to cause cancer. All these carnicogene substan- ces enter our environment en at every hour of every day spores of these substances enter our bodies. We all carry these poisons with us, from the first day of out existance to the last. It is a well recognized theory in the cancer research, that these carnicogene spores cause cancerous cells in our body all the time. The immune system is capable of handling these cells and in an ever continuing kamikaze fight the defence cells eliminate these cancer cells. Lowering the defence shield however (a malfunction of the immune system), gives cancerous cells the chance they need to survive. After that it may take years to develop a life threatening cancer. Research showes that the originating center of such a cancer (the initial group of cancer cells) is attacked and sometimes even eliminated by the defence cells, so it remains a continous battle, even when a cancer has developed. It is likely and understandable that fast growing cells (like blood- cells or cells of young children, even those not yet born) are top candidates for cancerous activity. On the other hand childeren have the strongest defence system. 

Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF) 

In the last 150 years we started using electricity on a real broad scale. Nowadays every inhabitant of a so called 'civilised country' is bathing every our of the day and night in a continuous flood of electromagnetic fields with a broad range of frequencies. We never had that before in the relatively short human history. It started early in this century with the lower frequencies of 50 or 60 Hz, but in the last few decades, the frequencies are rising fast, due to modern digital technology and microminiaturization. From an evolution standpoint, such an enormous explosion in EMF cannot be handled by normal evolutionary growth. 

Influences of EMF on living cells 

Several reports suggest that EMF causes problems in a living body, but that statement is by far too simple. One problem can be the 'magnetron effect', that heats up the living tissue, up to a level of 'fever' or even higher. This 'body heating' problem requires a strong EMF, close to the body, comparable to a microwave oven of a hand held cellular telephone. This is the area where some protection is offered by law. Problems in this area can be red or even burned skin and a lot of other sensations. Electrically sensitive people will feel this. 

Another, more subtle problem is the resound mechanism. A range of EMF frequencies may resound with equal bio-electrical frequencies within living cells and they will disturb the electrochemical processes. Since the life within a cell seems to be a continuous 'dance of electrons', one can imagine that another 'music' form outside spoils this delicate process. If we see these subtle intracellular vibrations as a full concert of a symphony orchestra within a cell, than we can see EMF from outside as a humpa brass band, that enters the concert hall during the concert, unasked, with lots of noise. It's more subtle than that. This resound can be an influence on a range of bio-frequencies, depending on the physical size of the process. Processes that include a cell as a whole, work with lower frequencies and the formation of a small protein at the edge of a cell works with a much higher frequency. Probably there will be EMF frequencies, that do not cause any resound. But since we don't know these 'free' frequencies, we should assume that EMF is unsafe at any frequency. 

The 'heating problem' works with rather strong EMF fields. However, the 'resound' influence can work with extremely weak EMF fields, since it requires only the right frequency that resounds with the intracellular electrochemical processes. The human body is an extremely good antenna. Even the higher harmonics of these frequencies can have the same influence. The effect of this resound is similar to 'breaking a wine glass with a violin'. When a frequency approaches the own frequency of a process or substance, the destroying or disturbing effect may occur, resulting is a failure while forming some biochemical or protein. Than we have a problem. 

This suggests, that EMF basicly influences the intracellular immune system, because it interferes with the basic electro-chemical processes within the cells, that form and maintain the immune system. Decreasing the level and effectiveness of the immune system by EMF is also one of the reported findings of research. 

The cocktail theory 

A defective immune systems gives cancerous cells the opportunity to survive the 'battle between cells' and to escape. After some time, this can be the beginning of a deadly cancer. The 'cocktail theory' says in short, that the real danger for all life, not only human life but also for animals or plants, is caused by the cooperation of EMF and the numerous poisons, cancerous or not, of which we carry spores in our body. It is absolutely wrong to see EMF as one other poisonous chemical. EMF plays a catalistic role in this process, bringing the poisons and cancer cells to life, so to speak. 

So, EMF together with carnicogene materials form the dangerous cocktail, that has a stronger effect than the effects of the individual components counted together. The results can vary from a generally and harmless 'not feeling well' to a deadly cancer, with all variations in between. That proces needs time, years even, to develop from one single cancer cell to a complete life threatening cancer. Since we don't know the very facts about the subtle electomagnetic fields and frequencies within cells and their precise function, we can only guess why this takes so much time. It has to do with the enormous redun- dancy of the 'living know how' within every cell, and its extremely strong immune system, especially with young children. 

Observations The whole EMF discussion is lacking a broadly recognised theory, although there are lots of thoughts, as mentioned in this article, of the direction in which such a theory should go. Due to the lack of this theory in the past we actually didn't know what to look for and how. That explains the amount of observations, all with different goals, different methods, different statistics, not comparable to each other etc. According the the cocktail theory observations with low and strong EMF frequencies should give completely other results than observations with high and weak EMF frequencies. That means, that sensitivity to EMF has many different facets. EMF Strategy We have here a problem of a real cosmic scale, although the theory goes back to the cellular or even atomic level level. It's seems a matter of resonance and whoever talks about resonances of oscillating systems, talks about chaos and non-linearity. The scientific procedures to test the new chemical substances and chaotic processes, where EMF plays such an peculiar role, will take years of concentrated research and to protect civilians by new laws will take another decade or more. So, science can not give the civilians the necessary protection against its own developments. 

On the other hand all these problems are not coming over us like a rain shower. We create this dangerous cocktail oursel- ves! So, to get practical results, our strategy for the EMS front should be threefold, and this should be done in every particular country: 

  1. Develop a scientific theory for the function of subtle EMF within a living cell and for the cocktail of EMF and (cancerous) poisons as a whole. This should be clearly scientific, not philosophical, to be acceptable to the scientific community. This theory should explain the disturbances, coming from EMF from outside the body. In the text above I gave some thoughts and outlines on this theory. 
  2. At the same time use publicity anywhere to criticize the lack of coordinated observations, and in fact, the lack of scientific cooperation on this subject. Scientist cannot hide themselves behind their 'scientific procedures'. They have a responsability to execute.
  3. Fight in your immediate neighbourhood the erection of cell towers, unshielded power lines and any EMF source, and of course the cocktail as a whole, in public, press and whatever. The benefits of the doubt should go to the public, not to the industry. Whoever has other ideas or contributions to this paper, please give them to me. I'll try to make it into a kind of 'mani- fest'. For the title of this paper I thank Ralph Nader. 
Donkerbroek, 21 january 1997 

Gerrit Teule, 

The author is living in the Netherlands. He's kind of a scientific journalist, and nowadays, more or less to his own surprise, an activist against the installation of four cell towers in his neighbourhood, a battle that he has lost unfortunately. The Netherlands is a peculiar place to do this. There is almost no discussion going on, regarding this subject. Everybody seems to accept the placement of these towers without any fight.