EMF Health Review
WHO and governmental opinions on EMF
The general opinion of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governmental organisations on the health implications of mobile phones and exposure to electromagnetic fields is that 'no adverse effects have been identified that the use of mobile phones are a health hazard'. Below we list a number of short extracts from the Irish Government website www.environ.ie.
Irish Governmental OpinionAre there any harmful health effects from living near base stations or using mobile phones?
"From all the evidence accumulated so far, no adverse short or long term health effects have been shown to occur from exposure to the signals produced by mobile phones and base station transmitters."
Is it safe for children to use mobile phones and should phone masts be located near places where children gather?
"There is no established scientific basis or evidence of adverse health effects affecting children or adults as a result of their exposure to mobile phone base stations. This applies irrespective of the location of the phone mast."
Is electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields?
"No studies have established that exposure to electromagnetic fields leads to the subjective symptoms reported by EHS individuals."
A Review on the influence of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation on the Neurobiological Body.
Below is a review of the scientific date on the adverse effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation and is especially of interest to those suffering from Electro Hyper Sensitivity (EHS).
Public Concern over EMF ExposureThere is a growing awareness among the general population that we are witnessing a rise in the incidences of a broad range of immune deficiency illnesses in recent years. Questions are being asked - could such developments be associated with the expansion and utilisation of electrically powered appliances coupled with massive growth in wireless communication systems experienced in the last 10-20 years?
There are a growing number of people who have been diagnosed as being electrosensitive; that is sensitive to exposure to EMF. Some epidemiological studies indicate that up to 3% of the population would be so effected while others are suggesting a figure closer to 9% when more detailed analysis and criteria are taken into account. This article reviews some the scientific data in this area of medical research.
International Research concerning Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)You are invited to read below a brief review from some of the worlds leading researchers on the adverse effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation fields, your comments are welcome.
Dr. Ulrich Warnke, Saarland UniversityInternationally renowned bio-scientist Dr. Ulrich Warnke from Saarland University, has commented, "The unprecedented exposure levels and intensities of magnetic, electric, and electromagnetic fields from numerous wireless technologies interfere with the natural information system and functioning of humans, animals, and plants. The consequences of this development cannot be ignored anymore. Bees and other insects vanish; birds avoid certain places and become disorientated at others. Humans suffer from functional impairments and diseases, and insofar as the latter are hereditary, they will be passed on to the next generation as pre-existing defects".
This is a clear warning that exposure of EMR can have complex implications to earths ecosystems, including the human ecosystem.
Dr. Olle Johansson, Karolinska Institute, StockholmDr. Olle Johansson, of the Dept. of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, commenting on whether human biology is compatible with the ever increasing levels of electromagnetic fields, states we are not designed for such EMF exposure loads, we are not immune. We are gambling with our future. The existing safety standards are based only on the immediate heating of cells and tissues. They do not take into consideration on long-term effects or non-thermal effects that occur before heating can take place.
Nobel-prize nominee Dr Robert BeckerIn 2000, Nobel-prize nominee Dr Robert Becker stated, "I have no doubt in my mind that at the present time the greatest polluting element in the earth's environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields."
Dr Neil Cherry, New Zealand physicist
- Increase cholesterol levels, leading to risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease
- Increased blood pressure, risk of developing blood clots and strokes
- Reduction in immune defences
- Sleep disturbances
Prof. Russel Reiter, University of TexasProf. Russel Reiter examined multiple observations of melatonin reduction in EMR exposed populations and noted considerable increases in the incidences of infections and viruses, diabetes, cancer, reproductive, neurological and cardiac disease, all indicative of an impaired immune system.
Dr Henry Lai, University of WashingtonDr Henry Lai cited neurological effects of Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) reported in the literature including changes in blood-brain-barrier, morphology, electrophysiology, neurotransmitter functions, cellular metabolism, calcium efflux, and behavioural responses to drugs that affect the nervous system.
His research further indicates that the introduction of melatonin and certain other potent free radical scavengers can block RFR-induced single and double strand DNA breaks in rat brain cells, suggesting that free radicals may play a significant role in the genetic effect of RFR. Lai finds it difficult to deny the evidence that "RFR at low intensity can affect the nervous system".
Prof. Denis Henshaw of Bristol UniversityProf. Denis Henshaw of Bristol University, suggested that the adverse health effects of power frequency electric and magnetic fields could be occurring on a far wider scale than previously appreciated, in particular, he was referring to the substantial body of evidence that links exposure to EMR/EMF with depression and suicide.
Dr Gerard Hyland, University of WarwickDr Gerard Hyland finds disturbing the low frequencies that characterise certain aspects of the GSM/TETRA pulsing transmissions, as they are close to human mood and behaviour frequencies and referred to as 'bioactive frequencies'. They are associated with depression, docility and rage depending on the format of modulation. Exposure to such radiation from an external source, will most likely cause serious interference with bioprocesses and functions that might otherwise afford a natural protection against adverse health effects, e.g. a reduction in melatonin output from the pineal gland.
Prof. Michael N. Bates, University of CaliforniaProf. Michael N. Bates, Dept of Biomedical Science and Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, states there is strong suggestive evidence that exposure to Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation can cause cancer and, while not yet conclusive, it is difficult to dismiss such evidence by chance or bias, especially in relation to brain cancers among electrical power workers.
Prof. Richard Lathe formerly University of Strasbourg / Edinburgh UniversityProf. Richard Lathe considers that there may be a casual relationship between exposure to electromagnetic (microwave) radiation in the prenatal/postnatal period that might predispose to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
Neurological Diseases and Electromagnetic RadiationThe research clearly suggests that there is a triad of elements in the manifestation of certain neurological diseases:
- Environmental Issues - Air borne Chemical Pollutants - Electromagnetic Radiation
- Melatonin Levels
- Oxidative Stress (OS)
Prof. Simon Baron-Cohan, University of CambridgeProf. Simon Baron-Cohan published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, that one in 64 children had Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), equivalent to 1.5% of the population. While genetics clearly plays a role in ASD, the controversial issue of childhood vaccines continues to be a contentious issue. The potential influence of a polluted atmosphere contributing to the annual increase (10% in UK & up to 17% in USA according to Autism Society of America) in ASD remains to be resolved.
Dr Siro Passi, IDI Research Institute (Rome)Dr Siro Passi found that Oxidative Stress (OS) occurs in the blood of immune deficient patients (AIDS) which could be counteracted by a pool of antioxidants plus an appropriate diet, which he considers a promising way of inhibiting the progression of disease.
Mahadik, Evans and LaiMahadik, Evans and Lai found that OS exists at or before the onset of psychosis. They consider the use of dietary antioxidant supplements before or at the commencement of psychosis could reduce neuronal OS injury and dramatically improve the outcome of the illness.
Paula Moreira et alPaula Moreira et al, considers that OS should be the target of future therapeutic strategies, particularly when account is taken of the devastating effect that OS plays in Alzheimer Disease(AD) pathogenesis. They found overwhelming clinical evidence that antioxidants slow the symptoms of both dementia and AD. They argue that due to their low toxicity, low cost and their ability to target the earliest sources of OS in AD, antioxidant therapies are particularly attractive.
Elizabeth Sajdel-Sulkowska et alElizabeth Sajdel-Sulkowska et al, found there is growing evidence supporting the role of OS in the pathology of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Attention Deficiency (AD), and Autism. Based on the cumulative evidence gathered, they recommend the need for more extensive studies of OS and its relationship to environmental factors and the role of antioxidants in autism.
Sources of Electromagnetic RadiationThere is an abundance of EMR in the contemporary environment. Exemplar sources of this radiation are:
Electrical transmission and service lines
Global wireless communication sources
- Satellite Transmissions
- TV & Radio
Local Communication networks
- Mobile Phones
- Remote monitoring and control systems
- Electrical wiring in homes and offices
- Wireless security monitoring systems
- Wireless computer networks in home and office
- New generation electronic games
Exposure To EMRElectromagnetic radiation disrupts nocturnal production of melatonin (the bodies main defence hormone), that is produced in the pineal gland. Reduced function of the pineal gland, results in impaired function of pituitary gland, the control centre for the endocrine system. The endocrine glands secrete hormones from the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland and the adrenal glands. The pituitary gland through the endocrine system, controls the uptake and distribution of calcium, which, next to sodium, is the most important electrolyte in the body (supporting electro conductivity and cellular communications). Imbalance in pituitary function results in calcium imbalance and is immediately reflected at a cellular level. A human cell is in effect a mini power generator, with a number of gate channels or access routes to allow for the uptake of nutrients and the expulsion of waste, calcium being a main constituent in the process. The central processing unit of the cell is the mitochondria. Here oxygen and nutrients are converted into a chemical energy called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This process is called aerobic respiration and is the reason animals breathe oxygen. EMR effectively blocks communication channels across cell membranes. This blockage inhibits mitochondria function and leads to OS. The result is inflammation of the cell and premature cell death. Associated with mitochondria malfunction and cell death is an increase in free radical activity. Uninhibited free radical activity leads to further OS and early cell death. Antioxidants are the scavengers of free radicals.
EMR negatively affects melatonin, the body's most powerful antioxidant. Melatonin is a scavenger of free radicals, and has been shown to be highly protective of oxidative damage, as proven from extensive research. Melatonin has been shown to protect against damage from carcinogens, including ionising radiation at a cellular level. A reduction in melatonin and hence antioxidant levels results in OS which is associated with health disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases; Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, Alzheimers, Parkinson's disease, and Atherosclerosis and Cancer.
Children are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of exposure to EMR than adults. Studies indicate a sharp rise in childhood nervous disorders, and a subsequent increase in the use of deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs for children, this could be influenced by the advent of computerized games and cell phones exposing them to much higher levels of EMF. Therefore the sharp rising curve of childhood nervous system disorders, such as hyperactivity, asthma, autism and other learning and behavioural disorders is not surprising. While individuals suffering from such illnesses are not directly classified as suffering from electro hyper sensitivity, it is clear from the above scientific literature review that electromagnetic radiation has most likely contributed to the onset of such illnesses as set out above.
Detailed Bibliography is available on this article.
This article is the work of Ciarán Graham, a post graduate from Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosphy, Dublin, please respect the copyright of the author and do not copy or distribute without full and clear permission.
(c) 16/11/2014. Ciaran Graham, Wicklow, Ireland.