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EMF Studies

19 March 2017

Thirteen New Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health (13 March 2017)

Thirteen new papers on electromagnetic fields and biology or health, courtesy of Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director, Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, 13 March 2017

Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors - A meta-analysis

Bortkiewicz A, Gadzicka E, Szymczak W. Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors - A meta-analysis. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2017 Feb 21;30(1):27-43. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00802. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Abstract

Results of epidemiological studies on the association between use of mobile phone and brain cancer are ambiguous, as well as the results of 5 meta-analysis studies published to date. Since the last meta-analysis (2009), new case-control studies have been published, which theoretically could affect the conclusions on this relationship. Therefore, we decided to perform a new meta-analysis. We conducted a systematic review of multiple electronic data bases for relevant publications. The inclusion criteria were: original papers, case-control studies, published till the end of March 2014, measures of association (point estimates as odds ratio and confidence interval of the effect measured), data on individual exposure. Twenty four studies (26 846 cases, 50 013 controls) were included into the meta-analysis. A significantly higher risk of an intracranial tumor (all types) was noted for the period of mobile phone use over 10 years (odds ratio (OR) = 1.324, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.028-1.704), and for the ipsilateral location (OR = 1.249, 95% CI: 1.022-1.526). The results support the hypothesis that long-term use of mobile phone increases risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure. Further studies are needed to confirm this relationship.

Conclusions



Our results support the hypothesis that long-term (over 10 years) use of mobile phones increases the risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure. The same conclusions are valid for the work by Davis et al. (2013) [45], who reviewed papers on the association between the use of wireless (mobile and cordless) phones and intracranial tumors. Those authors stress that the risk of tumors in people who have used the phone for periods longer than 10 years is significantly elevated. In people who had started using the phone on a regular basis before they were 20 years old, the risk of ipsilateral glioma was found to be fourfold higher. Hardell et al. (2013) [46] stress the significance of the “lifetime exposure dose.” For an exposure of ≥ 1640 h, the risk of ipsilateral acoustic neuroma is 2.55 (95% CI: 1.5–4.4).

These results are in concordance with the conclusion of the expert panel for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that cell phones are possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B) [47]. More research is needed to confirm that electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are carcinogenic to humans.

Open Access Paper: http://bit.ly/2m8Amwt

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Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes

Prasad M, Kathuria P, Nair P, Kumar A, Prasad K. Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes. Neurol Sci. 2017 Feb 17. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2850-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiations that are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Evidence for increased risk for brain tumours accumulated in parallel by epidemiologic investigations remains controversial. This paper aims to investigate whether methodological quality of studies and source of funding can explain the variation in results. PubMed and Cochrane CENTRAL searches were conducted from 1966 to December 2016, which was supplemented with relevant articles identified in the references. Twenty-two case control studies were included for systematic review. Meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies showed practically no increase in risk of brain tumour [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92-1.14)]. However, for mobile phone use of 10 years or longer (or >1640 h), the overall result of the meta-analysis showed a significant 1.33 times increase in risk. The summary estimate of government funded as well as phone industry funded studies showed 1.07 times increase in odds which was not significant, while mixed funded studies did not show any increase in risk of brain tumour. Metaregression analysis indicated that the association was significantly associated with methodological study quality (p < 0.019, 95% CI 0.009-0.09). Relationship between source of funding and log OR for each study was not statistically significant (p < 0.32, 95% CI 0.036-0.010). We found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (≥10 years). Studies with higher quality showed a trend towards high risk of brain tumour, while lower quality showed a trend towards lower risk/protection.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28213724

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Non-ionizing radiation (NIR): Evaluating safety
Martin Blank. Non-ionizing radiation (NIR): Evaluating safety. Environmental Pollution. 222:153. March 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.12.063.

No Abstract.

Excerpt

... the divisions of the EM spectrum were created by engineers and physicists who set frequency boundaries that did not take biological factors into account. It is clear that stress protein synthesis is stimulated across the ranges of the spectrum. If the public is to be protected, safety standards should be based on measurable properties that relate to protective biological mechanisms, rather than the less sensitive thermal criterion.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749116328159

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Mobile phone types and SAR characteristics of the human brain
Lee AK, Hong SE, Kwon JH, Choi HD, Cardis E. Mobile phone types and SAR characteristics of the human brain.Phys Med Biol. 2017 Mar 7;62(7):2741-2761. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa5c2d. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Mobile phones differ in terms of their operating frequency, outer shape, and form and location of the antennae, all of which affect the spatial distributions of their electromagnetic field and the level of electromagnetic absorption in the human head or brain. For this paper, the specific absorption rate (SAR) was calculated for four anatomical head models at different ages using 11 numerical phone models of different shapes and antenna configurations. The 11 models represent phone types accounting for around 86% of the approximately 1400 commercial phone models released into the Korean market since 2002. Seven of the phone models selected have an internal dual-band antenna, and the remaining four possess an external antenna. Each model was intended to generate an average absorption level equivalent to that of the same type of commercial phone model operating at the maximum available output power. The 1 g peak spatial SAR and ipsilateral and contralateral brain-averaged SARs were reported for all 11 phone models. The effects of the phone type, phone position, operating frequency, and age of head models on the brain SAR were comprehensively determined.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28267685

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On the averaging area for incident power density for human exposure limits at frequencies over 6 GHz

Hashimoto Y, Hirata A, Morimoto R, Aonuma S, Laakso I, Jokela K, Foster K. On the averaging area for incident power density for human exposure limits at frequencies over 6 GHz. Phys Med Biol. 2017 Feb 8. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa5f21.

Abstract

Incident power density is used as the dosimetric quantity to specify the restrictions on human exposure to electromagnetic fields at frequencies above 3 or 10 GHz in order to prevent excessive temperature elevation at the body surface. However, international standards and guidelines have different definitions for the size of the area over which the power density should be averaged. This study reports computational evaluation of the relationship between the size of the area over which incident power density is averaged and the local peak temperature elevation in a multi-layer model simulating a human body. Three wave sources are considered in the frequency range from 3 to 300 GHz: an ideal beam, a half-wave dipole antenna, and an antenna array. One-dimensional analysis shows that averaging area of 20 mm × 20 mm is a good measure to correlate with the local peak temperature elevation when the field distribution is nearly uniform in that area. The averaging area is different from recommendations in the current international standards/guidelines, and not dependent on the frequency. For a non-uniform field distribution, such as a beam with small diameter, the incident power density should be compensated by multiplying a factor that can be derived from the ratio of the effective beam area to the averaging area. The findings in the present study suggest that the relationship obtained using the one-dimensional approximation is applicable for deriving the relationship between the incident power density and the local temperature elevation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28176675

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A Technical Approach to the Evaluation of Radiofrequency Radiation Emissions from Mobile Telephony Base Stations

Buckus R, Strukčinskienė B, Raistenskis J, Stukas R, Šidlauskienė A, Čerkauskienė R, Isopescu DN, Stabryla J, Cretescu I. A Technical Approach to the Evaluation of Radiofrequency Radiation Emissions from Mobile Telephony Base Stations. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Mar 1;14(3). pii: E244. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14030244.

Abstract

During the last two decades, the number of macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas emitting radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in residential areas has increased significantly, and therefore much more attention is being paid to RF EMR and its effects on human health. Scientific field measurements of public exposure to RF EMR (specifically to radio frequency radiation) from macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas and RF electromagnetic field (EMF) intensity parameters in the environment are discussed in this article. The research methodology is applied according to the requirements of safety norms and Lithuanian Standards in English (LST EN). The article presents and analyses RF EMFs generated by mobile telephony base station antennas in areas accessible to the general public. Measurements of the RF electric field strength and RF EMF power density were conducted in the near- and far-fields of the mobile telephony base station antenna. Broadband and frequency-selective measurements were performed outside (on the roof and on the ground) and in a residential area. The tests performed on the roof in front of the mobile telephony base station antennas in the near-field revealed the presence of a dynamic energy interaction within the antenna electric field, which changes rapidly with distance. The RF EMF power density values on the ground at distances of 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 m from the base station are very low and are scattered within intervals of 0.002 to 0.05 μW/cm². The results were compared with international exposure guidelines (ICNIRP).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257069

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Effect of Base Transceiver Station waves on some immunological and hematological factors in exposed persons
Taheri M, Roshanaei G, Ghaffari J, Rahimnejad S, Khosroshahi BN, Aliabadi M, Eftekharian MM. The effect of Base Transceiver Station waves on some immunological and hematological factors in exposed persons. Hum Antibodies. 2017;25(1-2):31-37. doi: 10.3233/HAB-160303.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Since the number of mobile subscribers has significantly increased in recent years, the installation and deployment of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) antennas sending and receiving signals has become common and inevitable in different regions.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we have tried to evaluate the effect of the waves on some immunological and hematological parameters in exposed individuals. In this study, the exposed and non-exposed individuals were used as the test and control groups, respectively.

METHODS: The test group was healthy people who resided in the vicinity of the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) antenna and received the maximum of radiation. The control group was selected from the healthy individuals that were matched with the exposed group by age. They resided in a distance of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) antenna and received the minimum of radiation. After stating complete explanations and obtaining the consent, the venous blood samples were taken from them. Then, CBC and the level of cytokines including IL-4, IL-10 and interferon γ were performed on the samples and the results were analyzed by SPSS software.

RESULTS: In the test group, the whole number of white blood cells, the level of hematocrit, percent of monocytes, eosinophils and basophils were significantly lower than the control group. The number of red blood cells, their average volume and the mean concentration of hemoglobin were notably higher than the controls. There was not observed a significant difference between the two groups in hemoglobin, its mean concentration, platelet count, percent of lymphocytes and neutrophils as well as serum levels of cytokines IL-4, IL-10 and interferon γ .

CONCLUSIONS: It seems that radiation of mobile phone antennas influenced the blood and immune systems, but further study should be done to exactly determine the targets.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27911288

Also see: http://bit.ly/1cXH1B4

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A study on the effect of prolonged mobile phone use on pure tone audiometry thresholds of medical students of Sikkim

Das S, Chakraborty S, Mahanta B. A study on the effect of prolonged mobile phone use on pure tone audiometry thresholds of medical students of Sikkim. J Postgrad Med. 2017 Mar 3. doi: 10.4103/0022-3859.201419. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Mobile phones have become indispensable for daily activities, and people are exposed to them from an early age. There is, however, concern about the harmful effect of the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the mobile phones.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to study the effect of mobile phone on average pure tone audiometry (PTA) threshold of the person and to study the changes in the pure tone threshold at high frequencies such as 2 kHz, 4 kHz, and 8 kHz among the students with prolonged exposure to mobile phones.

METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the medical students who have been using mobile phones for the past 5 years. The effect of mobile phones on the PTA threshold in the exposed ear and the nonexposed ear was assessed.

RESULTS: The study shows that there is a significant difference in average air conduction (AC) and bone conduction (BC) hearing threshold among the exposed and the nonexposed ears (P < 0.05). A significant rise of both AC and BC threshold at individual frequencies between the exposed and the nonexposed ear is also noted in this study.

CONCLUSION: The study conducted shows changes in the hearing threshold of the exposed ear when compared with the nonexposed ear. There are however lot of unanswered questions which provide an interesting avenue for further research. Till concrete evidence is available the only feasible way to control its exposure is to limit the duration of usage of mobile phones.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28272071

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RF EMR from cell phone causes defective testicular function in male Wistar rats

Oyewopo AO, Olaniyi SK, Oyewopo CI, Jimoh AT. Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from cell phone causes defective testicular function in male Wistar rats. Andrologia. 2017 Mar 6. doi: 10.1111/and.12772. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Cell phones have become an integral part of everyday life. As cell phone usage has become more widespread, concerns have increased regarding the harmful effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from these devices. The current study was undertaken to investigate the effects of the emitted radiation by cell phones on testicular histomorphometry and biochemical analyses. Adult male Wistar rats weighing 180-200 g were randomly allotted to control, group A (switched off mode exposure), group B (1-hr exposure), group C (2-hr exposure) and group D (3-hr exposure). The animals were exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation of cell phone for a period of 28 days. Histomorphometry, biochemical and histological investigations were carried out. The histomorphometric parameters showed no significant change (p < .05) in the levels of germinal epithelial diameter in all the experimental groups compared with the control group. There was no significant change (p < .05) in cross-sectional diameter of all the experimental groups compared with the control group. Group D rats showed a significant decrease (p ˂ .05) in lumen diameter compared with group B rats. There was an uneven distribution of germinal epithelial cells in groups B, C and D. However, there was degeneration of the epithelia cells in group D when compared to the control and group B rats. Sera levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), which are markers of reactive oxygen species, significantly increased (MDA) and decreased (SOD), respectively, in all the experimental groups compared with the control group. Also sera levels of gonadotropic hormones (FSH, LH and testosterone) significantly decreased (p < .05) in groups C and D compared with the control group. The study demonstrates that chronic exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation of cell phone leads to defective testicular function that is associated with increased oxidative stress and decreased gonadotropic hormonal profile.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28261838

Also see: http://www.saferemr.com/2015/09/effect-of-mobile-phones-on-sperm.html

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Activation of autophagy at cerebral cortex and apoptosis at brainstem are differential responses to 835 MHz RF-EMF exposure

Kim JH, Yu DH, Kim HR. Activation of autophagy at cerebral cortex and apoptosis at brainstem are differential responses to 835 MHz RF-EMF exposure. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;21(2):179-188. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2017.21.2.179. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Abstract

With the explosive increase in exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by mobile phones, public concerns have grown over the last few decades with regard to the potential effects of EMF exposure on the nervous system in the brain. Many researchers have suggested that RF-EMFs can effect diverse neuronal alterations in the brain, thereby affecting neuronal functions as well as behavior. Previously, we showed that long-term exposure to 835 MHz RF-EMF induces autophagy in the mice brain. In this study, we explore whether short-term exposure to RF-EMF leads to the autophagy pathway in the cerebral cortex and brainstem at 835 MHz with a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 4.0 W/kg for 4 weeks. Increased levels of autophagy genes and proteins such as LC3B-II and Beclin1 were demonstrated and the accumulation of autophagosomes and autolysosomes was observed in cortical neurons whereas apoptosis pathways were up-regulated in the brainstem but not in the cortex following 4 weeks of RF exposure. Taken together, the present study indicates that monthly exposure to RF-EMF induces autophagy in the cerebral cortex and suggests that autophagic degradation in cortical neurons against a stress of 835 MHz RF during 4 weeks could correspond to adaptation to the RF stress environment. However, activation of apoptosis rather than autophagy in the brainstem is suggesting the differential responses to the RF-EMF stresses in the brain system.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28280411

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RF radiation induced genotoxic and carcinogenic effects on chickpea root tip cells

Sadaf Tabasum Qureshi, Sajjad Ahmed Memon, Abdul Rasool Abassi, Mahboob Ali Sial, Farooque Ali Bughio. Radiofrequency radiations induced genotoxic and carcinogenic effects on chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) root tip cells. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. Published online Feb 11, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.02.011

Abstract

Present study was under taken to predict the possible DNA damages (genotoxicity) and carcinogenicity caused by radiofrequency radiations (RF) to living tissue. Dry seeds of chickpea were treated with GSM cell phone (900 MHz) and laptop (3.31 GHz) as RF source for 24 and 48 h. Untreated seeds were used as (0 h) negative control and Gamma rays (250 Gray) as positive control. Plant chromosomal aberration assay was used as genotoxicity marker. All the treatment of RF inhibits seed germination percentage. 48 h laptop treatment has the most negative effect as compared to untreated control. A decrease was observed in mitotic index (M.I) and increase in abnormality index (A.I) with the increase in exposure duration and frequency in (Hz). Cell membrane damages were also observed only in 48 h exposure of cell phone and laptop (RF). Maximum nuclear membrane damages and ghost cells were again recorded in 48 h exposure of cell phone and laptop. The radiofrequency radiations (900 MHz and 3.31 GHz) are only genotoxic as they induce micronuclei, bi-nuclei, multi-nuclei and scattered nuclei but could be carcinogenic as 48 h incubation of RF induced fragmentation and ghost cells. Therefore cell phones and laptop should not be used unnecessarily to avoid possible genotoxic and carcinogenic effects.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319562X16000589

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ELF-MF exposure affects the robustness of epigenetic programming during granulopoiesis

Manser M, Sater MR, Schmid CD, Noreen F, Murbach M, Kuster N, Schuermann D, Schär P. ELF-MF exposure affects the robustness of epigenetic programming during granulopoiesis. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 7;7:43345. doi: 10.1038/srep43345.

Abstract

Extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) have been classified as "possibly carcinogenic" to humans on the grounds of an epidemiological association of ELF-MF exposure with an increased risk of childhood leukaemia. Yet, underlying mechanisms have remained obscure. Genome instability seems an unlikely reason as the energy transmitted by ELF-MF is too low to damage DNA and induce cancer-promoting mutations. ELF-MF, however, may perturb the epigenetic code of genomes, which is well-known to be sensitive to environmental conditions and generally deranged in cancers, including leukaemia. We examined the potential of ELF-MF to influence key epigenetic modifications in leukaemic Jurkat cells and in human CD34+ haematopoietic stem cells undergoing in vitro differentiation into the neutrophilic lineage. During granulopoiesis, sensitive genome-wide profiling of multiple replicate experiments did not reveal any statistically significant, ELF-MF-dependent alterations in the patterns of active (H3K4me2) and repressive (H3K27me3) histone marks nor in DNA methylation. However, ELF-MF exposure showed consistent effects on the reproducibility of these histone and DNA modification profiles (replicate variability), which appear to be of a stochastic nature but show preferences for the genomic context. The data indicate that ELF-MF exposure stabilizes active chromatin, particularly during the transition from a repressive to an active state during cell differentiation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28266526

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Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards
Diego-Rasilla FJ, Pérez-Mellado V, Pérez-Cembranos A. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards. Naturwissenschaften. 2017 Apr;104(3-4):13. doi: 10.1007/s00114-017-1439-7. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Abstract

Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards (Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28251303

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Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Website: http://www.saferemr.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaferEMR
Twitter: @berkeleyprc

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