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‘The Physiological and Environmental Effects of Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’
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6 August 01
 
 
 

‘The Physiological and Environmental Effects of

Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’

Private Treaty No. EP/IV/A/STOA/2000/07/03
 
 
 
 
 

G.J. Hyland
 
 

University of Warwick, International Institute of
Biophysics,

Department of Physics, Kapellner Straße, ehem. Raketenstation,

COVENTRY, CV4 7AL, D-41472 NEUSS-HOLZHEIM,

England. Germany.
 
 
 
 
 
 

February 2001

‘The Physiological and Environmental Effects of

Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’
 
 
 
 
 
 

Contents
 
 
 
 

Part A OPTIONS

1. Policy options for the European Parliament

2. Policy options for the European Commission

3. Technological options at the operational level
 
 
 
 
 
 

Part B ARGUMENTS and EVIDENCE

1. Introduction: Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Bio--incompatibility

2. Why GSM Signals are Bio-active

3 . Indications of Non-thermal influences of Microwave Radiation, including
 

GSM

3.1 In vitro and in vivo evidence

3.2 Difficulties in replication

3.3 Relevance of experiments to conditions realised in actual mobile phone usage


4. Indications of Non-thermal Adverse Health Impacts of Exposure to GSM and similar microwave radiation

5 . From Non-thermal Effects to Adverse Health Effects

6 . The Increased Vulnerability of Pre-adolescent Children

7. But Not Everyone is Adversely Affected

8. The Inadequacy of Existing Safety Guidelines

9 . Some recommendations to enhance electromagnetic biocompatibility
 

9.1 Policy options for the European Parliament

9.2 Policy options for the European Commission

9.3 Technological options at the operational level


 

10. Conclusions
 
 

References

Abstract
 
 
 
 

This Study focuses upon an aspect of how living organisms, and humans, in particular, can be adversely affected by highly coherent electromagnetic fields of technological origin, in a way that is not entertained or addressed by existing Safety Guidelines – namely, through the possibility of non-thermal, frequency-specific influences of an informational nature. Supporting evidence is presented, and attention drawn to a disturbing consistency between some of these influences and the nature of certain adverse health effects found amongst some exposed people. On the basis of a detailed analysis of the present situation, a number of recommendations are made to promote a higher degree of electromagnetic biocompatibility between these fields and the alive human organism than currently obtains.
 
 
 
 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 
 

A major contemporary threat to the health of Society is man-made ‘electrosmog’. This non-ionising electromagnetic pollution of technological origin is particularly insidious, in that it escapes detection by the senses – a circumstance that, in general, tends to promote a rather cavalier attitude, particularly with respect to the necessity of ensuring an adequate degree of personal protection. Yet the nature of the pollution is such that there is literally ‘nowhere to hide’. Furthermore, given the relatively short time for which we have been exposed to it, we have no evolutionary immunity either against any adverse effects it might directly have on our alive organism or, indirectly, against its possible interference with certain electromagnetic processes of natural origin, which appear to be essential for homeostasis, such as, for example, the Schumann resonance – a weak electromagnetic field that oscillates resonantly in the cavity between the earth’s surface and the ionosphere at frequencies close to those of human brain rhythms, isolation from which has been found to be deleterious to human health. What distinguishes technologically produced electromagnetic fields from (the majority of) those of natural origin is their much higher degree of coherence. This means that their frequencies are particularly well-defined, a feature that facilitates the discernment of such fields by living organisms, including ourselves. This greatly increases their biological potency, and ‘opens the door’ to the possibility of frequency-specific, non-thermal influences of various kinds, against which existing Safety Guidelines – such as those issued by the International Commission for Non-ionising Radiation Protection ( ICNIRP) - afford no protection. For these Guidelines are based solely on consideration of the ability of radio frequency (RF) and microwave radiation to heat tissue, and of extremely low frequency (ELF ) magnetic fields to induce circulating electric currents in the interior of the body, both of which are known to be deleterious to health, if excessive. Since the severity of these effects increases with the strength (intensity) of the fields in question, it is this that the Guidelines restrict, in order to minimise associated adverse health effects, the frequency of the fields being taken into account only in so far as it affects (through ‘size’ resonance effects) the ability of the organism to absorb energy from the irradiating field and heat up accordingly. The Guidelines thus afford no protection against adverse health effects provoked primarily and specifically through influences that the frequency of the fields might have on the human organism.

A necessary condition for such an influence is the existence in the organism of the biological counterpart of an electrical tuned circuit – i.e. an endogenous oscillatory electrical activity. For then the organism can respond - in a way akin to a radio - if the frequency of the external field (either of the carrier wave, or of lower frequency amplitude modulations/pulsings) matches, or is close to that of its tuned circuit, entailing, respectively, the possibility of either a resonant amplification of the associated endogenous biological activity – perhaps to an undesirably high level – or, deleterious interference with it. The possibility of such frequency-specific, non-thermal influences, unlike those addressed by existing Safety Guidelines, clearly requires, however, that the organism be alive, since only then does it support the endogenous electrical activities upon which its ability to detect external electromagnetic fields depends. Such influences can thus be considered to arise from a transfer of information (in a generalised sense) from the field to the alive organism, whereby the organism is able, through this kind of ‘oscillatory similitude’, to recognise – and in turn respond to – a feature of the external field other than its intensity. Equally important is that the external electromagnetic fields be sufficiently coherent to be discernible by the body against the level of its own incoherent thermal emission at physiological temperatures. Whilst this is usually the case, it should be noted that since the radiation is not perfectly coherent, the occurrence of non-thermal effects is still contingent upon a certain minimum intensity threshold, the magnitude of which is, however, well below that at which any discernible heating occurs.

A good example of such an ‘informational’, frequency-specific, non-thermal electromagnetic influence on the alive human organism is the ability of a light flashing at a certain regular rate to trigger seizures in people suffering from photosensitive epilepsy. The provocation of the seizure is primarily due, not to the brightness (intensity) of the light, but rather to the rate at which the light flashes – which, if close to the frequency of the particular electrical brain activity that is involved in epileptic seizures, can trigger their occurrence - i.e. the phenomenon is primarily a frequency-specific effect of information transfer from the light to the brain, the brain being able to ‘recognise’ the light through the rate at which it flashes. Existing intensity-based Safety Guidelines (relating to the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum) afford no protection against such a (non-thermal) effect – unless, of course, they insisted on an intensity so low that the light was not visible!

Some oscillatory endogenous electrical activities of the alive human body are quite familiar - such as those of the heart and brain, which are monitored by an electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram, respectively; also equally familiar is the circadian rhythm. Others, however - such as the coherent electrical excitations at the cellular level, whose frequencies typically lie in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and those, characterised by ELFs, pertaining to crucially important biochemical activities, involving, for example, the transport of calcium ions across cell membranes - are perhaps somewhat less well-known.

Accordingly, until the neglected frequency/information dimension of non-visible electromagnetic fields – such as (propagating) microwaves and other (non-propagating) electric and magnetic fields of technological origin, such as those from overhead power lines, for example - is recognised in its own right, these fields will continue to constitute a major potential threat to the living world in general, and to ourselves in particular. Since electromagnetic fields are so indispensable to the technology that Society is, understandably, reluctant to abandon, it is essential that a more comprehensive level of protection be developed, if this technology is to be used with a greater degree of safety than obtains at present. For, as has been explained, we are currently left vulnerable to any adverse health effects that might be provoked by non-thermal influences of the frequency dimension, which escape regulation by the existing intensity-based Safety Guidelines. Since, however, unlike intensity, the frequency aspect of the problem cannot be addressed by interventions pertaining to the aggressing field (without interfering with its frequency characteristics and informational content, the integrity of which must, of course, be maintained in communication technologies, such as GSM telephony), it becomes necessary to consider strategies that target the person being irradiated – rather than the irradiating field itself - and devise ways whereby a higher degree of immunity than currently obtains can be realised. Such strategies are currently under development, and a number of related protection devices are already available commercially, although often their efficacy has not always been adequately demonstrated biologically. (There is an obvious parallel here with the pharmacological strategy of attempting to protect against bacterial infection, for example, by taking vitamin C, to fortify the immune system, rather than by wearing a protective mask to simply reduce the intensity of the bacterial field to which a person is exposed.)

It is thus essential that the domain of competence of existing Safety Guidelines be broadened by requiring that the familiar consideration of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC ) between electromagnetic radiation and electronic instrumentation be extended to include the alive human organism, as an electromagnetic instrument itself, par excellence. The implementation of this ambitious programme of realising electromagnetic biocompatibility is an important task for the 21st century, and one that is shirked only at our peril.

Currently, there is much public concern over the possibility of adverse health effects provoked by both long and short-term exposure to electrosmog, particularly the contribution from overhead power lines and from GSM telephony. Quite justifiably, the public remains sceptical of attempts by governments and industry to reassure them that all is well, particularly given the unethical way in which they often operate symbiotically so as to promote their own vested interests, usually under the brokerage of the very statutory regulatory bodies whose function it supposedly is to ensure that the security of the public is not compromised by electromagnetic exposure! Given the recent experience with official duplicity over BSE/CJD – with the initial assurances of no risk and subsequent revelations of cover-ups - the public is now understandably wary of safety assurances from ‘official’ governmental scientific sources in respect of electromagnetic pollution; this is particularly so when the voice of those with a view contrary to that of the prevailing officially perceived wisdom is at worst silenced, or, at best, studiously ignored. The situation is further exacerbated by reports relating to research supported financially by the Mobile Phone Industry of its attempts to ‘persuade’ those who discover findings that might prove to be potentially damaging to market development to actually alter their results to make them more ‘market friendly’. Also no doubt driven by market considerations is the attempt (in which the World Health Organisation is playing a leading role) to establish a global ‘harmonisation’ of exposure standards, by attempting to persuade countries that currently operate more stringent limits – such as Russia and China - to relax them in favour of the higher levels tolerated in the West; it can be no coincidence that in Russia, where the frequency-specific sensitivity of living organisms to ultra-low intensity microwave radiation was first discovered over 30 years ago, that the exposure guidelines are approximately 100 times more stringent that those of ICNIRP!

Furthermore, there is a regrettable tendency to attribute market–friendly (negative) results a greater significance, publicity and profile than positive ones indicative of the possibility of adverse health impacts. An example of this is provided by the recent publication of the results of an epidemiological study in the USA, in which the statistically significant finding of an elevated risk amongst users of mobile phones of the incidence of a rare kind of tumour (epithelial neuroma) in the periphery of the brain – precisely where there is maximum penetration of radiation from the mobile phone (the laterality of which also correlated with phone usage) - was glossed over in the text of the paper, and completely escaped the attention of the media, who focused instead exclusively on the negative finding that there was no overall increase in the incidence of brain tumours amongst mobile phone users.

The mainstream scientific approach to assessing the noxiousness of human exposure to electromagnetic fields is principally guided by an essentially linear perception, which might well be adequate to deal with thermal effects, but is one that is quite inappropriate to any realistic consideration of the non-thermal, frequency-specific vulnerability of the alive human organism to the rather coherent electromagnetic fields of technological origin. For since, unlike thermal effects, the possibility of such non-thermal influences is contingent on the aliveness of the organism, their very occurrence as well as any implications for health necessarily both depend on the state of the organism when it is exposed, which, of course, varies not only between different individuals, but can also do so for the same individual, depending on his/her condition at the time of exposure – i.e. such influences are, technically speaking, inherently non -linear in nature. As such, they often appear bizarre from a linear standpoint - a feature that, together with difficulties sometimes experienced in attempts to independently replicate them, tends to bias their dismissal as experimental artefacts. Attempts to address a problem that is inherently non-linear from such a linear perspective only exacerbates things: outdated knowledge is worse than ignorance - at least the ignorant know what they do not know!

In the case of the mobile phone issue, not only has there been a reluctance on the part of official bodies to grasp this non-linear ‘nettle’, but there has also been a lamentable failure to inform themselves of, or pay adequate attention to, relevant and valuable indications of the potential noxiousness for humans and animals of exposure to pulsed microwave fields of sub-thermal intensity that have been long available - in particular, from experience with other kinds of installations (not least military ones) that utilise microwave radiation having certain features in common with that now used in GSM telephony. Thus it is not so much the case that, in the haste to make this new and valuable technology available to the public, the research necessary to establish its safety has been bypassed or compromised, but rather - and more reprehensibly – that already available indications that the technology is potentially less than safe have been (and continue to be) studiously ignored, not only by the mobile phone industry, but also by national and international regulatory bodies. A good example of this is afforded by the conduct of the UK National Radiological Protection Board, which was ‘unable’ to provide the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) - for whom they were acting as the Secretariat - with certain highly relevant published papers, on the grounds that they could not ‘find’ them, despite having been provided with the full references by at least two individuals who gave evidence to the IEGMP, and curiously having had no difficulty in providing less significant papers from the same issue of the journal!

The genuine concerns of the public are thus not unfounded, and the irony of the present situation with respect to mobile phones and their base-stations is that the current Safety Guidelines afford a greater level of protection to electronic instrumentation than they do to the alive human being! Indeed, given the perceived lack of consensus amongst experts – concerning both the significance and credibility to be attached to published research into biological effects of the kind of radiation now used in GSM telephony, and whether such effects can actually provoke adverse health reactions in certain susceptible people (despite the existence of many consistent, anecdotal positive reports of such) - it is probably true to say that if same the level of concern and debate surrounded a new drug or foodstuff they would never be licensed!

Of particular concern to the public – and that which understandably generates the most outrage – is the involuntary subjection of certain groups of the population 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to the emissions of GSM base-stations, when they are insensitively sited near to homes, schools and hospitals. For the environment of these people is effectively permanently polluted - a pollution from which there is literally ‘nowhere to hide’. This totally unacceptable state of affairs raises serious ethical questions, and arguably contravenes the Nuremberg Code, in that it is these people who will eventually reveal the degree to which chronic exposure to such fields is noxious – information that is not currently  available: in other words, they are effectively involuntary subjects in a mass experiment.

This Study offers a perspective on the potential implications for human health of exposure to the pulsed microwave radiation currently used in GSM telephony, which differs somewhat from that currently espoused by mainstream science, but one that affords a much more holistic insight into the essential elements of the problem. Of particular importance is the emphasis given to (i) the fact that electromagnetic fields are not alien to the alive organism, but play a crucial role in controlling and maintaining its orderly functioning – i.e. that an alive organism is an electromagnetic instrument of great and exquisite sensitivity – (ii ) the subjectiveness of human vulnerability, which necessarily follows from the inherently non-linear nature of the problem, which is here recognised ab initio, and ( iii) the presence of ELF features both in the microwave pulsing of the signals from the antennae of mobile phones/base-stations and in the (much more penetrating) magnetic field associated with the surges of electric current from the battery of the handset that are necessary to realise the pulsed microwave emission. Indeed, it is here suggested that it is precisely through the presence of these ELF features that the emissions of a GSM phone and other related communication technologies, such as TETRA, can influence brain function - notably, its electromagnetic activity (brain-waves), its electrochemistry (including that of the neuroendocrine system, particularly with respect to melatonin levels) and the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, as well as altering cellular calcium ion concentrations. It is possible that this latter effect is only one particular facet of a more general disruptive influence that ELF fields can have on the integrity of essential ion-protein links (as suggested by recent Russian work) - an influence that could well be relevant also to consideration of bio-negative influences of exposure to other kinds of electromagnetic fields, such the low frequency magnetic fields associated with power lines and the mains appliances that they supply, which have been the subject of controversy for a much longer time.

The Study is structured as follows. Attention is first drawn to the irrationality of the currently prevailing situation that effectively affords – through electromagnetic compatibility regulations (EMC ) - electronic instrumentation a higher level of protection against GSM radiation, for example, than do existing Safety Guidelines governing human exposure, which protect only against adverse health effects attributable to excessive heating, and not against those that might be provoked in some people by the radiation’s non-thermal , frequency-specific interference with endogenous lectromagnetic activities essential for homeostasis. To appreciate this more fully, it is explained why GSM signals are bio-active, and numerous examples given of frequency-specific, non-thermal biological influences that the kind of radiation currently used in GSM telephony can exert on a variety of living organisms, including humans.

Difficulties sometimes experienced in independent attempts to replicate these effects - which are frequently used to discredit positive results, and to dismiss them as artefacts of the particular experimental protocols used - are addressed, and possible reasons for discrepant results identified. The relevance to humans of findings obtained using animals, such as rats - which are often subject to exposure conditions quite different from those realised during human use of a mobile phone – is discussed, and, in the case of human studies, the importance of exposing the subjects to the emissions of a real mobile phone, rather than a ‘surrogate’, as is often done, stressed. Attention is then focused on the reality of adverse health impacts of both human and animal exposure to GSM and similar radiation, including that from military sources.

Although the occurrence of non-thermal influences per se does not, of course, necessarily entail adverse consequences for human health, the existence of disturbing consistencies between some of the published non-thermal effects of GSM radiation and the nature of certain reported adverse health effects, is cause for concern - particularly the recent report of an increased incidence amongst mobile phone users of a rare kind of brain tumour (notwithstanding the relatively short exposure time in comparison with typical latency periods), which is consistent with the genotoxicity of the radiation. Reasons why children must be considered potentially more at risk are identified, and what is possibly the most fundamentally significant point - namely that not everyone is necessarily adversely affected - addressed, as also are the implications of this on the validity of the familiar claim that there are no established adverse health effects of exposure to GSM radiation, provided its intensity conforms to the limits set by existing Safety Guidelines, which, it is argued, neglect the most discriminating feature of all – namely, the aliveness of the person exposed.

The Study concludes with a number of recommendations – which are detailed in the STOA OPTIONS BRIEF - for promoting an enhanced level of electromagnetic biocompatibility in the meanwhile, whilst the results of research currently in progress, and that planned for the near future - particularly longer term epidemiological studies - are awaited.
 

STOA OPTIONS BRIEF
 
 

‘The Physiological and Environmental Effects of

Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’
 
 

1. Policy options for the European Parliament
 

  • That the non-emergency use of mobile phones by children – andparticularly pre-adolescents – be strongly discouraged, on account of their increased vulnerability to any potential adverse health effects.
  • a ) The efficacy of devices such as shields and ear-pieces be proven on the basis of biological tests , and not marketed solely on the reduction in SAR value (as determined by the use of a ‘phantom’ head) that their use might achieve.

    b) It be made clear to the consumer that such devices afford no protection against the low frequency pulsed magnetic field from the battery of the phone.

    a ) The efficacy of such devices be established by biological testing.

    b ) Such devices not be rejected (as has occurred in certain consumer surveys that have been published) solely on the grounds that their use does not achieve any reduction in SAR, as measured using a ‘phantom’ head; for this is not what they are designed to do. Accordingly, the SAR is here a fundamentally inappropriate metric against which to assess their efficacy. [ It should, however, be appreciated that in the case of real human exposure – as opposed to that involving a ‘phantom’ head – such devices could conceivably achieve a reduction in SAR if they somehow increase the efficiency of the body’s thermoregulatory mechanism; in this way, anecdotal reports of a diminution in heating sensation when a phone is equipped with one particular such device might be rationalised.]


    2. Policy options for the European Commission
     

  • Future research sponsored by the EC, should incorporate the following recommendations:
  • a) That the living systems under investigation be exposed to the emissions of an actual mobile phone, as opposed to those of a ‘surrogate’, since the emissions from the former can be expected to have a quite different biological impact, in consequence of certain pulse frequency differences.

    b ) That in assessing the significance to humans of results obtained using animals, particular attention be given to differences in exposure conditions, such as whether exposure is size-resonant or non-resonant, whether it is to the near or far field of the antenna, and whether whole-body or more localised exposure occurs.

    c ) That systematic investigation be made into the influence of different kinds of pulsing (of real phones) on the human EEG, and ideally on the MEG, and of whether any observed changes in power spectra are correlated with changes in the level of deterministic chaos.

    d) That use be made of novel, non-invasive technologies, such as biophoton emission, to investigate the influence of mobile phone radiation on living systems.

    e ) That in assessing the noxiousness of mobile phone radiation more attention be paid to lessons that have been learnt from exposure to other kinds of related radio frequency fields, such as those from the Skrunda, military and police radars.

    f) That, in the light of reports of cattle being quite seriously adversely affected at farms where there is a base-station, a veterinary monitoring service be established to collect and analyse such reports, and raise awareness amongst farmers of this potential hazard to their livestock.

    a ) The efficacy of such devices be established by biological testing.

    b ) Such devices not be rejected (as has occurred in certain consumer surveys that have been published) solely on the grounds that their use does not achieve any reduction in SAR, as measured using a ‘phantom’ head; for this is not what they are designed to do. Accordingly, the SAR is here a fundamentally inappropriate metric against which to assess their efficacy.

    [It should, however, be appreciated that in the case of real human exposure – as opposed to that involving a ‘phantom’ head – such devices could conceivably achieve a reduction in SAR if they somehow increase the efficiency of the body’s thermoregulatory mechanism; in this way, anecdotal reports of a diminution in heating sensation when a phone is equipped with one particular such device might be rationalised.]


    2. Policy options for the European Commission
     

  • Future research sponsored by the EC, should incorporate the following recommendations:
  • [Until this is achieved, the necessity of extending existing thermally based safety guidelines, by incorporating therein the dimension of electromagnetic biocompatibility, is unlikely to be accepted, and the public will remain vulnerable to any adverse health effects provoked by non-thermal electromagnetic influences on the alive human organism.]


    3. Technological options at the operational level

    Whilst the question of precisely how adverse health effects can be provoked by non-thermal influences of the pulsed microwave radiation currently employed in GSM telecommunication, as well as those from ELF fields associated with other technologies, is far from resolved, the circumstantial evidence consistent with such influences suggests at least two ways in which biocompatibility with this technology could be enhanced by interventions involving the fields alone:
     

  • In the case of exposure to GSM radiation, reduce intensities to the level below which no adverse effects have been empirically found in exposed populations, bearing in mind that there are indications of non-thermal thresholds for biological effects of the order of a microwatt/cm2. Power densities a few tenths of this value are common at distances of 150-200m from a typical 15m high Base-station mast and within the range of the more localised side-lobes in the immediate vicinity of a mast - adverse effects being reported at both locations. Incorporating a further safety factor of 10 indicates that, at locations where there is any long-term exposure, power densities should not exceed 10 nanoW/cm2.

  •  

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    [To appeal to the (alleged) absence of health problems associated with the higher power density electromagnetic fields emitted by radio/TV transmitters in an attempt to justify the retention of the present level of emission from GSM Base-stations is untenable, on at least two accounts: ( i) the nature of the emissions are quite different, with respect to carrier frequencies, modes of transmission (pulsed/analogue), and beam morphology, (ii) there are health problems connected with some such transmitters, contrary to what is often claimed!]

    Table I

    Epileptic activity in rat brain slices in conjunction with certain drugs16

    Resonant enhancement of cell division in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae17,

    Resonant effect on the genome conformation of Escherichia coli cells18

    Synchronisation of cell division in the yeast Saccharomyces carlsbergensis19 and in E. coli 20

    ‘Switch-on’ of certain epigenetic processes, such as l -phage21, 22 and colicin synthesis23

    Alteration in the activity of the enzyme orthinine decarboxylase (ODC)24-26

    Reduced efficiency of lymphocyte cytoxicity27, 28

    Increased permeability of the erythrocyte membrane29, 30

    Effects on brain electrochemistry (calcium efflux)5-7

    Increase of chromosome aberrations and micronuclei in human blood lymphocytes31

    Synergistic effects with cancer promoting drugs such as phorbol ester32

    In vivo evidence of non-thermal influences, mainly under exposure to actual GSM phone radiation, comes predominantly from animal studies, some of which are summarised in Table II:
    Table II

    Epileptiform activity in rats, in conjunction with certain drugs33

    Depression of chicken immune systems (melatonin, corticosterone and IgG levels)13, 14

    Increase in chick embryo mortality13, 14

    Increased permeability of the blood-brain in rats34, 35

    Effects on brain dopamine/ opiate electrochemistry 36

    Increases in DNA single and double strand breaks in rat brain37, 38

    Promotion of lymphomas in transgenic mice39

    Synergistic effects with certain psychoactive drugs40

    Stressful effects in healthy and tumour bearing mice41

    Neurogenetic effects and micronuclei formation in peritoneal macrophages in mice41

    Human in vivo studies, under GSM or similar conditions, include:

    1) Effects on the human EEG, specifically, a delayed increase in spectral power density particularly in the alpha band42, which has been corroborated43 in the awake EEG of adults exposed to GSM radiation. Influences on the asleep EEG have been reported, including a shortening of rapid eye movement ( REM) sleep44 (with possible adverse effects on learning) during which the power density in the alpha band again increases, and effects on non-REM sleep 45 . Exposure to mobile phone radiation also causes a significant decrease in the preparatory slow potentials in certain regions of the brain 46, 47, and affects memory tasks48-50 .

    2) Observation of an increase in resting blood pressure during exposure51.

    3) Observation of an increase in the concentration of nitric oxide in exhaled air correlated with mobile phone use, indicative of an elevated level of stress and inflammation52.

    4) The established efficacy of Microwave Resonance Therapy53, 54 – i.e. the possibility of re-storing homeostasis in a wide variety of human pathological conditions by ultra-weak microwave irradiation at specific frequencies under carefully controlled clinical conditions - otherwise known as ‘quantum medicine’, in view of the fact that such low intensities are used that individual quanta are involved. The existence of such positive effects of microwave irradiation makes it difficult to argue that such radiation can not have the opposite effect – i.e. a bio-negative one – when applied indiscriminately, and at higher intensities – in much the same way that the therapeutically beneficial effect of pharmaceutical drugs does not preclude the possibility of allergic drug reactions or, indeed, drug abuse.
     
     

    Although, apart from in the latter case, the power density of the radiation used in these experiments is typically that found at the head when using a mobile phone, and thus much higher than that found in publicly accessible areas in the vicinity of a base-station, the information content of the radiation emitted by the latter is the same; accordingly, these results are not irrelevant to the consideration of potential adverse health effects associated with chronic exposure to base-station radiation.
     

    3.2 Difficulties in replication

    It should be noted that difficulties sometimes experienced in attempts to independently replicate certain frequency-specific non-thermal effects are actually to be expected . For in consequence of the highly non-linear, non-equilibrium nature of living systems, even the slightest differences in the physiological state of the biosystems used, and in the conditions obtaining in a particular experiment can, in consequence of deterministic chaos, assume singular importance55.

    Quite apart from this problem, however, discrepant results can often be traced to certain differences in experimental protocols that only become apparent upon close scrutiny. Examples of this can be found in the attempt56 to replicate the resonant influence of centimetre microwaves of sub-thermal intensity on cell division in the yeast S. cerevisiae found by Grundler et al.17, and the attempt by Malyapa et al.57 to replicate the increase in DNA breakage under low intensity microwave irradiation found by Lai and Singh37, 38.

    In the case of the yeast experiments, several features can be identified that could well account for the differing results, such as differences in the phase of the cell cycle at which exposure occurred, the use of synchronised cells in one experiment but not in the other, and differences in the imaging systems used (real-time vs. non-time lapse) to monitor cell division.

    In the case of the DNA experiments, whilst both groups used microwave radiation of the same frequency, they irradiated different systems (live rats vs. a cell line), and used very different assays to assess the DNA damage; in addition, the replication attempt did not separate the (positively charged) bound protein from the (negatively charged) DNA strands, thus obtaining much less migration in the electrophoresis field, which was also applied for a much shorter time than in the original experiment; both these features militate against the formation of the ‘comet’ tails used to assess the degree of fragmentation.
     
     

    3.3 Relevance of experiments to conditions realised in actual mobile phone usage

    Quite apart from possible differences in the physiological states of the animals used in the original an replication experiments, it should not be overlooked that differences in irradiation conditions can also contribute to difficulties in achieving replication; in addition, they can also be a confounding factor in assessing the relevance of positive animal results to humans (as also, incidentally, can differences in the ratio of the duration of irradiation to the lifetime of the species in question.) Thus, for example, whereas, for humans, whole-body exposure is realised arise only in the case of a base-station, where ‘far-field’ conditions obtain, this is not necessarily so for animals, which, depending on their size, can be whole-body exposed to the near-field of a 900MHz phone antenna (or its experimental surrogate), the characteristics of which are quite different. In the case of humans, by contrast, use of a phone primarily results only in a rather localised exposure to the near-field of the antenna. A further factor to be remembered is that in many experiments, subjects are not exposed to the actual emission of an real GSM mobile phone, but rather to that of a ‘surrogate’ microwave generator whose the output can differ in certain crucial ways. For example, it may not even be pulsed, and even if it does so at the GSM frame repetition rate (217Hz), it most probably will not contain the (bioactive) multi-frame frequency of 8.34Hz, and certainly not the 2Hz that characterises the DTX mode.
     
     
     
     

    B-4. Indications of Non-thermal Adverse Health Impacts of Exposure to GSM and

    similar microwave radiation

    The popular belief that adverse health effects can be induced only by the heating effect of GSM radiation is a fallacy:

    1 . There is rather consistent empirical, anecdotal evidence from many countries that the health of some people is adversely affected in various ways when they are exposed to this kind of radiation, despite its intensity being well below existing safety limits based on consideration of the SAR. It should be stressed that the anecdotal nature of many of the reported health problems – such as headache, sleep disruption, impairment of short term memory, nose bleeds and, more seriously, an increase in the frequency of seizures in some children already suffering from epilepsy - does not constitute grounds for dismissing them out of hand, as is so often advocated. For given the paucity, to date, of systematic epidemiological studies pertaining to this relatively recently introduced technology, such reports are an indispensable source of information – a point acknowledged in last year’s Report58 of the UK Commons’ Select Committee, dealing with the question of mobile phones and health.

    2. More disturbingly, not withstanding the absence of any overall increase in the incidence of brain tumours amongst users of mobile phones (mainly analogue ones, it should be emphasised), a statistically significant increase (by a factor of between 2 and 3) in the incidence of a rather rare kind of tumour (epithelial neuroma) in the periphery of the brain - where the radiation has the greatest access - the laterality of which correlates with mobile phone use, has been found59 in an epidemiological study in the USA, as part of the WTR Programme60.
     
     

    3. There is documented evidence 61, 62 that long-term (involuntary) exposure to microwave radiation of intensities intermediate between that realised near an active phone and that found in the vicinity of a base-station (but at somewhat different carrier frequencies than used in GSM ) does causes serious illness, such as leukaemia and lymphoma, in certain exposed people. This is the conclusion reached by a relatively recent reanalysis of the Lilienfeld report on the Moscow US Embassy irradiation during the ‘cold’ war, based on information that only became fully available following the Freedom of Information Act, which reveals that the original verdict of no serious health effects was, in fact, a sanitised version of Lilienfeld’s findings, in which his statements of concern had been deliberately removed by the State Department.
     
     

    4. A US Defence Intelligence Agency document 63 dated March 1976, reviewing Soviet work on biological effects of non-thermal exposure to microwave and radiofrequency radiation makes interesting, but disturbing, reading. For not only have many of the effects there reported now been found in the case of exposure to GSM telephony radiation, but the following extract (which, incidentally, was eventually also removed) reveals a less known ‘dark side’ of the issue that is consistent with the Moscow Embassy affair, and one that presaged – as it turned out - the subsequent deployment of this kind of radiation in psychotonics and other forms of non-lethal microwave weaponry:

    ‘The potential for the development of a number of antipersonnel applications is suggested by the research published in the USSR, East Europe and the West. Sounds and possibly even words which appear to be originating intracranially can be induced by signal modulation at very low average power densities. Combinations of frequencies and other signal characteristics to produce other neurological effects may be feasible in several years. The possibility of inducing metabolic disorders also suggested. Animal experiments reported in the open literature have demonstrated the use of low level microwave signals to produce death by heart seizure or by neurological pathologies resulting from breaching of the blood-brain barrier’.
     
     

    5 . An invaluable indicator of the potential noxiousness of the pulsed microwave fields emitted by base-stations is the increasing number of reports - some published, some as yet anecdotal - of adverse effects on the health and well-being of various animal species, specifically cattle, dogs, birds and bees. In the case of the affected cattle reported in one particular study64, the cattle (which were found to line up, all facing away from the mast) displayed a variety of problems, including severely reduced milk yields, emaciation, spontaneous abortions, and still births. Especially relevant are the following facts: (i) the condition of the cattle was found to improve dramatically when they were removed to pastures well away from the mast, only to deteriorate again once they were brought back, (ii) the adverse effects appeared only after GSM microwave antennae had been erected on a tower that had formerly been used to transmit only (analogue) TV and radio signals, associated with which there had, in this case, been no evident health problems. It should be noted that this is not an isolated occurrence, similar problems with cattle being reported from elsewhere65. In the case of domestic canine pets, there are a number of anecdotal reports of their immune systems being adversely affected, again in a reversible way. Finally, there are reports of declines in bird and bee populations following the commissioning of new base-station masts.

    It should be noted that the occurrence of adverse effects in animals is particularly significant, in that it indicates that the effects are real, and not psychosomatical, as is often claimed, in the case of humans exposure, by those who maintain that base-station radiation is harmless. Furthermore, given that animals are often more highly electrosensitive than are humans, the serious nature of the health problems they have manifested over such a relatively short period of time could well portend a correspondingly serious noxiousness in the case of long-term exposure of humans, and constitute a valuable early-warning system, similar to the ‘canary down the mine’!
     
     

    6. It is of interest, and probably highly significant, to note that some of the same symptoms have been reported in epidemiological studies (involving animals and plant life, in addition to humans), connected, not with mobile phone base-stations, but with other kinds of installations operating at somewhat lower frequencies - specifically, a Short-wave radio transmitter66, and a radar 67, the latter being at 154-162MHz, with a pulse repetition frequency of 24.4Hz - at locations where the intensity of the emitted radiation is comparable to that typically found at 150m from a base-station. Additional effects include:

    i) Depressed nocturnal melatonin levels in cattle66.

    ii) Less developed memory and attention span (as well as decreased endurance of their neuromuscular apparatus) of children68 living within a 20km radius of the radar, subject to a maximum exposure of 0.039m W/cm2.

    iii) A six-fold increase in chromosome damage in cows69 exposed to a likely maximum intensity of 0.1m W/cm2.

    (The cited field intensities are estimated from information on the electric field intensity as a function of distance from the radar installation, given in Ref. 70.)

    In each case, the unexposed population to the rear of the beams constituted the control group.
     
     

    7. At somewhat higher intensities, but still well below the exposure limits permitted by the ICNIRP Guidelines, is a 2-fold increase in the incidence of cancer amongst Polish military personnel, which has been revealed by a long term, on-going study71.

    With respect to the apparent absence to date of such serious, life-threatening adverse effects in the case of human exposure to GSM base-station radiation, it should be noted that this is no guarantee of immunity against long-term (or chronic) exposure. For exposure to this kind of radiation is still in its ‘early days’ in comparison to the much longer (10-15 years) latency period of the kinds of cancers that might be initiated or promoted in certain people.
     
     

    Partly responsible for the reluctance to accept the reality of the underlying non-thermal effects is not only their often counter-intuitive nature - as exemplified, for instance, by the fact that they often become more marked as the strength of the irradiating field decreases - but also the difficulties sometimes experienced in attempts to replicate them, as already mentioned in Section 3.2. On the other hand, the equal reluctance to accept that they can provoke adverse health reactions in some people can be attributed - at least in part - to a general lack of appreciation that electromagnetic fields are not alien to an alive organism, but actually play a rather fundamental and integral role in its organisation and control, from the cellular level upwards72-74 - i.e. that an alive organism is itself an electromagnetic instrument of great and exquisite sensitivity, and, as such, is just as vulnerable to being deleteriously interfered with (non-thermally) by external electromagnetic fields as is an activated piece of electronic equipment, (although in the latter case the influence of a given field is always the same , unlike the situation with an alive organism.)
     
     
     
     

    B-5. From Non-thermal Effects to Adverse Health Effects

    The hypersensitivity of the alive human organism to ultraweak microwave radiation is reflected in the ways in which this kind of radiation has been found to affect a wide variety of brain functions, as already noted in Section B-3.1 - such as electrical activity (EEG)42-50, electrochemistry5-7, 24-26, 36 , and the permeability of the blood/brain barrier 34, 35 - and to degrade the immune system13, 14, 27, 28. Although these effects do not necessarily entail adverse health consequences, there is an undeniable consistency75 between some of these non-thermal influences and the nature of many of the health problems reported, such as headache, sleep disruption, impairment of short term memory, and, more seriously, significant increases in the frequency of seizures in some epileptic children when exposed to base-station radiation, and of brain tumours amongst users of mobile phones; it must, however, be admitted that precisely how these influences actually provoke adverse health reactions is at present unclear. Thus, the reports of:

    a) Headache are consistent with the fact that microwaves are known to non-thermally affect the dopamine–opiate system of the brain36 and to increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier34-35, since both of these have been medically connected with headache77-82.

    b ) Sleep disruption are consistent with the effect of GSM radiation on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep44 and on melatonin levels13, 14 - the latter being found also epidemiologically, in the case of RF exposure66.

    c) Memory impairment is consistent with the finding that microwave radiation targets the hippocampus16.

    d) Since there is no reason to suppose that the seizure inducing ability of a flashing visible light does not extend 83 to (invisible) microwave radiation (which can access the brain directly through the skull) flashing at a similarly low frequency, together with the fact that exposure to this kind of radiation is known to induce epileptic activity in certain animals33, reports84 of increased seizure activity in some children that already suffer from epilepsy are perhaps not surprising.

    e ) The statistically significant increase in the incidence of amongst users of mobile phones in the incidence of epithelial neuroma is consistent both with the genotoxicity of low intensity microwave radiation, as indicated by the increased number37-38 of DNA strand breaks85, the formation of chromosome aberrations and micronuclei in human blood31 (the latter being corroborated in the case of GSM radiation by the WTR Programme60 ), and with the promotional effect of GSM radiation in the case of transgenic mice that had been genetically engineered to have a predisposition to develop cancer39.

    B-6. The Increased Vulnerability of Pre-adolescent Children

    Pre-adolescent children can be expected to be (potentially) more at risk than are adults - as recognised in the recently published Report86 of the UK Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones - for the following reasons:

    i. Absorption of microwaves of the frequency used in mobile telephony is greatest87 in an object about the size of a child’s head – the so-called ‘head resonance’ – whilst, in consequence of the thinner skull of a child, the penetration of the radiation into the brain is greater than in an adult.

    ii. The still developing nervous system and associated brain-wave activity in a child (and particularly one that is epileptic) are more vulnerable to aggression by the pulses of microwaves used in GSM than is the case with a mature adult. This is because the multi-frame repetition frequency of 8.34Hz and the 2Hz pulsing that characterises the signal from a phone equipped with discontinuous transmission (DTX), lie in the range of the alpha and delta brain wave activities, respectively. The fact that these two particular electrical activities are constantly changing in a child until the age of about 12 years – when the delta-waves disappear and the alpha rhythm is finally stabilised – means that they must both be anticipated to be particularly vulnerable to interference from the GSM pulsing.

    iii. The increased mitotic activity in the cells of developing children makes them more susceptible to genetic damage.

    iv. A child’s immune system, whose efficiency is, in any case, degraded by radiation of the kind used in mobile telephony, is generally less robust than is that of an adult, so that the child less able to ‘cope’ with any adverse health effect provoked by (chronic) exposure to such radiation.
     
     
     
     

    B-7. But Not Everyone is Adversely Affected

    Because both the occurrence of the initial provoking non-thermal effect as well as the severity of any associated adverse health effect depend on aliveness, they necessarily depend on the physiological state of the organism when it is exposed to the radiation - i.e. non-thermal effects are non-linear effects. Accordingly, it is quite possible that exposure to a low intensity field can entail a seemingly disproportionately large (non-linear) response (or none at all), and vice versa (consistent with which is the familiar occurrence of ‘windows’ of response), quite unlike the situation with the predictable (linear) thermal effects.

    Since the physiological state of different people cannot, however, be anticipated to be the same – depending as it does on factors such as the stability of an individual’s brain rhythms against interference or entrainment by the radiation, their already prevailing level of stress, and the robustness of their immune system – it follows that identical exposure to exactly the same radiation can entail quite different (non-thermal) responses in different people (or even in the same person, depending on his/her condition at the time of exposure 88), quite unlike the case of active electronic instruments. This is, of course, consistent both with the fact that not every exposed person is adversely affected (as is also the case with smoking*, for example,
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    * In the case of smoking, it is often claimed that the odds ratio is here much higher than it is in the case of electromagnetic exposure; but this is necessarily so, because the former compares heavy smokers with non-smokers, of whom there is effectively no electromagnetic counterpart, everyone being unavoidably at least lightly exposed.

    where not all smokers get lung cancer!) and with the difficulties encountered in some laboratory attempts to replicate non-thermal effects, particularly under in vivo conditions. For depending on a person’s genetic predisposition, and the fact that stress is cumulative, it is quite possible that exposure to an electromagnetic field simply supplies the final contribution that raises a particular person’s level of stress above some critical value, thereby ‘triggering’ the manifestation of some pathology that is already in a well advanced state, but which, in the absence of any exposure, would have remained latent. On the other hand, as already mentioned in Section B-3.2, difficulties sometimes experienced in attempts to independently replicate certain frequency-specific non-thermal effects are actually to be expected, in consequence of the highly non-linear, non-equilibrium nature of living systems, whereby even the slightest differences in the physiological state of the biosystems used and in conditions obtaining in a particular experiment can, in consequence of deterministic chaos, assume singular importance.

    Accordingly, the oft-repeated statement that ......‘There are no established adverse health effects of exposure to GSM radiation (of sub-thermal intensity)’....... is actually quite true, but, in view of the above, this is necessarily so, thus making the statement essentially vacuous. The more relevant consideration is whether there is an established risk to human health. It must be concluded that such a risk does indeed exist, but - in view of the above considerations- the actual number and identity of those at risk are necessarily unknown, a priori , although, for the reasons identified, children and highly stressed people - particularly those with already compromised immune systems (as well as those on certain prescribed psychoactive drugs) - must be considered more vulnerable.

    For the Mobile Phone Industry, regulatory bodies and government to deny this risk is not only untenable, but also, more significantly, lays them open to the charge that they attempted to ‘shield the public from uncertainty.’89. There is nothing to be lost - and a lot to be gained - by frankly admitting the existence of this risk, albeit possibly only to a minority of the public, and, in accordance with the recommendations of the Stewart Report86, taking the necessary steps to minimise it, such as those specified in Part A
     
     
     
     

    B-8. The Inadequacy of Existing Safety Guidelines

    Existing Safety Guidelines, based solely on consideration of the SAR, afford no protection against the frequency -specific90 effects that have been the subject of this Study, since they limit only the intensity of the microwave radiation sufficiently to ensure that tissue heating by absorption of energy from the microwaves is not in excess of what can be coped with by the body’s thermoregulatory mechanism, so that temperature homeostasis is not compromised. Furthermore, it must be appreciated that the aliveness of the organism here enters only in so far as it dictates the magnitude of the temperature rise above which adverse health effects set in, the heating itself occurring irrespective of whether the organism is alive or dead.
     
     

    In justifying the exclusion of any non-thermal input into the formulation of their Safety Guidelines, ICNIRP conclude2:

    …...‘ Overall, the literature on athermal effects of amplitude modulated electromagnetic fields is so complex, the validity of the reported effects so poorly established, and the relevance of the effects to human health is so uncertain, that it is impossible to use this body of information as a basis for setting limits on human exposure to these fields.’

    It is to be stressed that this is not equivalent to denying the existence of non-thermal influences of this kind of radiation, or their potential to provoke adverse health reactions - as is often maintained by the Mobile Phone Industry – but simply that in ICNIRP’s view (because for the reasons stated) such effects cannot be used as a basis for setting exposure limits. Let us consider each point in turn. As an example of the complexity of athermal (i.e. non-thermal) effects, the following statement appears in the paragraph preceding the one from which the above quotation is taken:

    …..‘Interpretation of several observed biological effects (of this kind of radiation) is complicated by the apparent existence of ‘windows’ of response in both power and frequency domains. There are no accepted models that adequately explain this phenomenon, which challenges the traditional concept of a monotonic relationship between the field intensity and the severity of the resulting biological effects.’

    An absence of such a monotonic (‘dose-response’) relationship is, however, actually to be expected, since one is dealing with living organisms whose very aliveness means that they are far from thermal equilibrium, and hence well beyond the regime where such a monotonic relationship can be expected to hold. Being held far from thermal equilibrium, their response to an external electromagnetic field, for example, necessarily depends on the state of the organism at the time when it is exposed - i.e. one is dealing with what are known as non-linear systems, for which exposure to a weak microwave field does not necessarily entail a correspondingly weak response, or vice versa, and for which the ‘window’ phenomena referred to are actually to be expected9, 10! (In this connection, it should be remembered that the concept of a dose-response relationship is one inherited from toxicology, and as such, is in general, inappropriate in the present context. For electromagnetic fields are not alien to the alive organism, but play a fundamental and integral role in its organisation and control, as already noted.)

    This dependence of non-thermal influences on the state of the alive organism must, in general, be expected to undermine the reproducibility of their detection, thus accounting for the reported effects being (in some cases) ‘ poorly established ’. Accordingly, such difficulties should, more positively, be considered as a biological fact of life – indeed as a ‘hallmark’ of aliveness! It should be noted that the ‘poorly established’ claim is not universally accepted, as evidenced both by the Vienna Resolution3 of 1998, signed by 16 researchers of international standing, and by a recent analysis 91 of the ICNIRP document, which claims that it contains….‘ a consistent pattern of bias, major mistakes and deliberate misrepresentations’.

    The least contentious part of the quotation is, of course, the question of the relevance of non-thermal effects (assuming their existence is accepted) to human health - it being, of course, essential to appreciate that the occurrence per se of non-thermal effects does not mean that they necessarily entail adverse health consequences, as already stressed.

    In order that the radiation can exert non -thermal influences, it is essential that the organism be alive, for only then are the various oscillatory endogenous electrical activities excited, via which the radiation can access the system: the Dead have no ECG or EEG with which an external electromagnetic field can interfere! Thus, just as a radio or another piece of electronic instrumentation has to be switched on (or energised) before it can respond to or be interfered with by an extraneous incoming signal, so the organism has itself to be energised (i.e. be alive) if it is to be non-thermally sensitive to radiation. Existing Safety Guidelines thus neglect the most discriminating feature of all, namely, the aliveness of the irradiated organism; they address only ‘one side of the coin’ - the thermal side - leaving the exposed person vulnerable to the possibility of adverse health effects provoked by the neglected non-thermal side. The same indictment, of course, applies to any protection device that acts simply to reduce - either by screening or by an employing an ear-piece, for example - the intensity of the microwave radiation emitted by a mobile phone into the head of the user; for the user is still left vulnerable to any adverse health effects that might be provoked by the neglected frequency dimension.

    Clearly, non-thermal influences are connected more with the transfer of information from the irradiating field to the alive organism, through the latter’s ability to ‘recognise’ certain frequency characteristics of the radiation 92, than with its ability to absorb energy from the field. In order, however, for the organism to be able to discern such weak radiation against the level of its own thermal emission at physiological temperatures, the radiation must have a certain minimum intensity. In the case of microwave radiation, this minimum intensity is, however, far below (of the order of 10-15 Watts/cm 2) even that at which non-thermal effects manifest themselves, in consequence of the radiation’s rather well-defined carrier frequency (or relatively high degree of coherence). It should be noted that the magnitude of this minimum power density is close to those that characterise the human thresholds of EEG response93, and also of sight and hearing. Given that the typical power densities in the main beam near ground level some hundreds of metres from a typical base-station, and also in the often neglected ‘side-lobes’, are many orders of magnitude higher than these threshold values, it is clear that the ability of the alive human organism to discern base-station radiation is not at all contingent on a sensitivity that is in any way superior to those that it already possesses (quite undisputedly) in the case of other exogenous fields of physiological relevance.
     
     
     
     

    B-9. Some recommendations to enhance electromagnetic bio-compatibility

    9.1. Policy options for the European Parliament

    * That the non-emergency use of mobile phones by children – and particularly per-adolescents – be strongly discouraged, on account of their increased vulnerability to any potential adverse health effects.

    * That the Mobile Phone Industry be required to refrain from promoting the use of mobile phones amongst children by the use of advertising tactics exploiting peer pressure and other strategies to which the young are particularly susceptible, such as the (now discontinued) use of DISNEY characters fascias on the phones.

    * That the Mobile Phone Industry be required to make it clear to the consumer that the value of the specific absorption rate (SAR) - which in some countries is shortly to be declared on the handset - refers only to the degree to which the microwave emissions from the antenna can heat biological tissue, and is in no way relevant to non-thermal effects that the emissions from a mobile phone may have on the user.

    * Concerning commercially available personal protection devices claiming to protect the user of a mobile phone against the microwave emissions from the antenna, it be required that:

    a ) The efficacy of devices such as shields and ear-pieces be proven on the basis of biological tests , and not marketed solely on the reduction in SAR value (as determined by the use of a ‘phantom’ head) that their use might achieve.

    b) It be made clear to the consumer that such devices afford no protection against the low frequency pulsed magnetic field from the battery of the phone.

    * Concerning commercially available personal protection devices claiming work by boosting the immunity of the user against any adverse impacts of exposure (including those from the battery magnetic field), it be required that:

    a ) The efficacy of such devices be established by biological testing.

    b ) Such devices not be rejected (as has occurred in certain consumer surveys that have been published) solely on the grounds that their use does not achieve any reduction in SAR, as measured using a ‘phantom’ head; for this is not what they are designed to do. Accordingly, the SAR is here a fundamentally inappropriate metric against which to assess their efficacy.

    [It should, however, be appreciated that in the case of real human exposure – as opposed to that involving a ‘phantom’ head – such devices could conceivably achieve a reduction in SAR if they somehow increase the efficiency of the body’s thermoregulatory mechanism; in this way, anecdotal reports of a diminution in heating sensation when a phone is equipped with one particular such device might be rationalised.]
     
     

    9.2 Policy options for the European Commission

    * Future research sponsored by the EC, should incorporate the following recommendations:

    a) That the living systems under investigation be exposed to the emissions of an actual mobile phone, as opposed to those of a ‘surrogate’, since the emissions from the former can be expected to have a quite different biological impact, in consequence of certain pulse frequency differences.

    b ) That in assessing the significance to humans of results obtained using animals, particular attention be given to differences in exposure conditions, such as whether exposure is size-resonant or non-resonant, whether it is to the near or far field of the antenna, and whether whole-body or of more localised exposure occurs.

    c ) That systematic investigation be made of the influence of different kinds of pulsing (of real phones) on the human EEG, and ideally on the MEG, and of whether any observed changes in power spectra are correlated with changes in the level of deterministic chaos.

    d) That use be made of novel, non-invasive technologies, such as biophoton emission, to investigate the influence of mobile phone radiation on living systems.

    e ) That in assessing the noxiousness of mobile phone radiation more attention be paid to lessons that have been learnt from exposure to other kinds of related radio frequency fields, such as those from the Skrunda, military and police radars.

    f) That, in the light of reports of cattle being quite seriously adversely affected at farms where there is a base-station, a veterinary monitoring service be established to collect and analyse such reports, and raise awareness amongst farmers of this potential hazard to their livestock.

    * Attempts should be made – perhaps under the aegis of national regulatory bodies - to increase awareness of the fundamentally electromagnetic nature of the alive organism, and of its associated hypersensitivity to coherent, ultraweak electromagnetic signals of technological origin.

    [Until this is achieved, the necessity of extending existing thermally based safety guidelines, by incorporating therein the dimension of electromagnetic biocompatibility, is unlikely to be accepted, and the public will remain vulnerable to any adverse health effects provoked by non-thermal electromagnetic influences on the alive human organism.]

    9.3 Technological options at the operational level

    Whilst the question of precisely how adverse health effects can be provoked by non-thermal influences of the pulsed microwave radiation currently employed in GSM telecommunication, as well as those from ELF fields associated with other technologies, is far from resolved, the circumstantial evidence consistent with such influences suggests at least two ways in which biocompatibility with this technology could be enhanced by interventions involving the fields alone:

    * In the case of exposure to GSM radiation, reduce intensities to the level below which no adverse effects have been empirically found in exposed populations, bearing in mind that there are indications of non-thermal thresholds for biological effects of the order of microwatt/cm2. Power densities a few tenths of this value are common at distances of 150-200m from a typical 15m high Base-station mast and within the range of the more localised side-lobes in the immediate vicinity of a mast - adverse effects being reported at both locations. Incorporating a further safety factor of 10 indicates that, at locations where there is any long-term exposure, power densities should not exceed 10 nanoW/cm2.

    [To appeal to the (alleged) absence of health problems associated with the higher power density electromagnetic fields associated with radio/TV transmissions in an attempt to justify the retention of the present level of emission from GSM Base-stations is untenable on at least two accounts: ( i) the nature of the emissions are quite different, with respect to carrier frequencies, modes of transmission (pulsed/analogue), and beam morphology, ( ii) there are 94-96 health problems connected with some such transmitters, contrary to what is often claimed!]

    * Ensure that there is no ELF frequencies – either of amplitude modulations (including pulsing, as the extreme case) of RF fields, or of other electric /magnetic fields - in the range of human electrical brain-wave activity, or windows of calcium efflux.

    [In the case of exposure to GSM radiation, this will be achieved, to a certain extent, with the advent of the Third Generation of mobile phones ( UMTS) that utilise CDMA in place of TDMA. For although any sensitivity to the microwave carrier will remain, the pulsing used in CDMA is irregular; accordingly, CDMA radiation cannot enjoy the same ‘oscillatory similitude’ with the human brain-wave activity and electrochemical processes as does TDMA. In consequence, however, of the somewhat higher carrier frequency used, which is closer to where water strongly absorbs microwaves, thermal effects could here become more of a problem, particularly in view of the somewhat higher powers at which they operate! The introduction of TETRA , similarly gives rise to an increased level of (non-thermal) concern, for the reasons already stated in Section B-1.]
     
     
     
     

    B-10. Conclusions

    Absorption of microwave radiation causes heating of biological tissue, which if excessive is deleterious to health; this is undisputed, and forms the basis of current Safety Guidelines, both national and international. In the case of exposure to the microwave radiation used in GSM, these Guidelines are generally not violated. Indeed, in the case of the emissions from base-stations, it has been repeatedly confirmed by field measurements that the emissions are far below - by many orders of magnitude - the limits set by the Guidelines. What is currently disputed, however, is whether, in the case of the alive human organism, this radiation can exert other, more subtle, kinds of non-thermal influences, which might also entail adverse health consequences. The root of the continuing public concern is that if this is, in fact, the case, then the existing guidelines afford an inadequate level of protection, in that they leave an exposed person vulnerable to these non-thermal hazards.

    As has been explained, the heating ability of microwave radiation depends primarily on its intensity, and it is essentially only this that the Guidelines restrict. Non-thermal effects, on the other hand, depend primarily on the existence of an ‘oscillatory similitude’ between the frequencies of the radiation and those of certain endogenous biological electrical activities that the organism supports when alive, which effectively opens it to informational aspects of the radiation; it is this dimension of the problem that is not addressed by existing Safety Guidelines.

    Whilst the existence of non-thermal influences is readily accepted in the case of active electronic instrumentation exposed to GSM radiation, the same does not currently prevail in the case of the alive human organism, which is generally considered immune to any effect other than heating, despite the fact that, in the case of mobile phone use, the brain (the most sensitive organ of the body) is, for the first time in its evolutionary history, being exposed at short range to a source of both pulsed microwaves (from near-field of the antenna) and more highly penetrating ELF magnetic fields (from the battery). This conviction continues to persist - particularly in Regulatory Circles - despite the fact that the possibility of non-thermal influences on living systems of the kind of radiation used in mobile telephony is a rather general prediction of modern, non-linear biophysics, and one that is supported by 30 years of evidence, both of non-thermal effects per se , and of associated adverse health reactions, in particular – not only from exposure to GSM radiation, but also to that from other kinds of installations that emit microwave and RF radiation of an intensity at locations of human and animal exposure that is comparable to that realised several hundreds of metres from a base-station.

    Two principal reasons for this state of affairs have been identified: 1) the negative outcome of some attempts to independently replicate certain non-thermal effects, even in vitro, the acceptance of which is not helped by their often counterintuitive nature (but only from a linear perspective), and 2) uncertainty as to whether such effects (assuming they are real) necessarily entail adverse health reactions. Both these problems have been addressed, and attention drawn ( i ) to the fact that difficulties in corroboration are actually to be expected as a hall-mark of the ‘alive’, and thus should, more positively, be accepted as a ‘biological fact of life’, and ( ii) to the existence of a certain empirical consistency between the contentious non-thermal effects and the types of adverse health effects (mainly neurological) reported by some people when exposed to GSM radiation, as well as that (the indication of an increased incidence of brain cancer amongst mobile phone users) found epidemiological – a consistency that further enhances the credibility of the non–thermal effects, and one that will hopefully motivate further research (from the necessary non-linear standpoint, of course) towards establishing their causal connections with presenting pathologies.

    In conclusion, and in accord with philosophy espoused by the World Health Organisation, it can hardly be disputed that to enjoy an acceptable quality of life requires more than simply an absence of terminal disease. In this respect, even adverse health effects of a non-life threatening kind that might be provoked by exposure to GSM radiation must be considered unacceptable, in that they undoubtedly have a debilitating effect that undoubtedly undermines the general well-being of those affected, and which in the case of certain pre-adolescent children could well undermine their scholastic and neurological development.
     
     
     
     

    …………………………………..
     
     

    References
     
     

    1. Intensity is expressed either as an electric (magnetic) field strength in V/m (Tesla), or as a power density, in units of Watts/cm 2, according as whether near or far field conditions obtain - the former being relevant to use of a mobile phone handset use, and the latter to public exposure in the vicinity of a Base-station. Cited values are usually average ones, which in the case of the GSM duty cycle are 1/8 of the peak values.

    2. Anon. Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields (up to 300GHz). Health Physics, 1998; 74(4): 494-522.

    3. See the ‘Vienna Resolution’ of 1998: www.irf.univie.ac.at/emf, and the Salzburg Resolution of 2000: www.land-sbg.gv.at/celltower

    4. Harding G.F.A. & Jeavons P.M. ‘Photosensitive Epilepsy’, MacKeith Press, London, 1994.

    5. Bawin S.M et al. Effects of modulated VHF fields on the central nervous system. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 1975; 247: 74-81.

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    83. Visible light and microwave radiation are simply different realisations of electromagnetic radiation, distinguished by their frequency and degree of coherence, and by the much greater penetrability of microwave radiation into tissue and bone.

    84. Personal communication to the Author, 1998.

    85. Although the energy of a GSM microwave quantum is insufficient to break molecular bonds (i.e. the radiation is non-ionising), it is possible that it (i ) initiates subtle conformational changes, resulting in certain undesirable biochemical consequences, ( ii) interferes with the natural process of DNA repair, resulting in a higher degree of fragmentation than would otherwise obtain.

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    88. A similar non-uniqueness, it should be noted, also characterises the biological consequences of microwave heating, where, for example, a temperature rise of 1oC can be either lethal or life-saving depending on the condition of the person at the time. Thus whilst there is a uniquely predictable physical consequence of exposure to microwave radiation of a sufficient intensity – namely an increase in body temperature - the biological consequence of a given temperature rise cannot be uniquely predicted, since this depends on the physiological condition of the exposed, which varies from person to person. To cover a reasonable range of conditions, a certain safety margin is incorporated into the permitted microwave exposure intensity; indeed, it is a lack of consensus as to what the magnitude of this margin should actually be that is partly responsible for the variation in the exposure intensities recommended by different regulatory bodies.

    It is to be stressed, however, that the heating itself always occurs, irrespective of the physiological condition of the person (even whether alive or dead!), quite unlike the situation with non-thermal effects. It is, of course, this fact that underlies the possibility of using ‘phantom’ heads to determine SAR values; it should, however, be realised that the reliability of the values so obtained is contingent on the extent to which the dielectric properties of the synthetic brain fluids used actually approximate to those in the alive human brain. On the basis of what little information is available, the differences could prove to be significant.

    89. New Scientist, Editorial, 4th November, 2000.

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    92. A good example of such ‘information’ transfer is the ability of a light flashing at a certain rate (between 15 to 20Hz) to induce seizures in photosensitive epileptics. It is not so much a question of the amount of energy deposited by the light (which depends on its intensity) that provokes the seizure, but rather the fact that the flash frequency is ‘recognised’ by the brain because it is close to one characterising a particular brain activity - in this case, that associated with seizures.

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    96. Goldsmith, J.R. Epidemiological evidence of radiofrequency radiation (microwave) effects on health in military, broadcasting, and occupational studies. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health 1995; 1: 47-57.
     
     


     

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