Friday, December 05, 2014

Second West African EMF conference to tackle exposure myths

Second West African EMF conference to tackle exposure myths

by on Dec 5, 2014No comments

Posted under: BusinessBusiness & Finance

The second edition of the West African Conference on Electromagnetic Field Exposure and Health, EMF, will for the first time address the issue of myths and reality of the possible effect of EMF to human. The annual conference, which is hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, which will be held in Lagos, has as its theme: EMF in a Highly Connected Society: understanding the myths and realities”.

According to a statement from the NCC, this second conference will provide a platform for policy makers, regulators, legislators, operators, mobile equipment manufacturers, consumer groups and other stakeholders to raise the level of understanding about potential adverse health effects, if any, of mobile communication aimed at establishing a harmonised EMF policy in the West African sub-region.

The NCC said that the theme is in line with the political effort to adopt WHO Model Legislation and ICNIRP exposure limits in Nigeria saying, “It is expected that this will function as a role model for other sub-regions”.

The Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson will deliver the keynote address at the conference, while ministers from other concerned jurisdictions such as the Science and Technology; Health; and Environment will also participate at the event.

Influence of High-frequency Electromagnetic Radiation at Non-thermal Intensities on the Human Body (A review of work by Russian and Ukrainian researchers)

Influence of High-frequency Electromagnetic Radiation at Non-thermal Intensities on the Human Body (A review of work by Russian and Ukrainian researchers)

Papers sent by 
Igor Belyaev, Dr.Sc.
Head, Laboratory of Radiobiology
Cancer Research Institute
Slovak Academy of Science
Vlárska 7, 833 91 Bratislava
Slovak Republic


The following means of action of HF EMR at non-thermal intensities on biological systems are possible:

1) Frequencies of 109 to 1012 Hz are similar to the frequencies of oscillation of protein molecules, DNA and RNA; of membranes and other parts of cells; and of conformational transitions in enzymes, which creates the possibility
of resonant absorption of HF EMR.

2) The organism as a whole may have its own resonant frequencies: from living cells to human beings [Sit’ko and Yanenko].

3) EHF fields, modulated at low frequencies close to the rhythms of the brain, heart and internal organs, have a strengthening action. Modulation at infra-frequencies in the range of 5-16 Hz exerts a strongly negative effect on humans and animals.

4) Absorption of EMF in biologically active points is many times more effective than in other parts of the skin, and this energy influences the internal organs and the body as a whole through the system of Chinese meridians.

5) At the moment of cellular division, genetic information becomes “open,” chromosomes become immobile and far more susceptible to the influence of HF EMR. An external resonance field may induce expression of genes connected with cancer and change the program of cellular development.

6) Manifestation of the effects of EMF depends on conditions of health and age: healthy adults have minimal sensitivity; embryos, children, elderly persons, and those with hidden psychological or physical disorders experience significant effects, all the way to lethal outcomes.

7) Combination with other deleterious factors: ionizing radiation, toxic substances, geomagnetic anomalies and stress significantly increase the effects of HF EMR.

8) Accumulated discord in the work of cells during chronic and quasiperiodic irradiation leads to confused biorhythms, scattered attention, indistinct phases of sleep and arousal; the body is not in a condition to make a recovery.

9) The effects of HF EMR occur through the hormonal system and immune system with amplification and accumulation of effects; and through catalysts of cellular respiration and biosynthesis. These reactions are non-specific, and it is often difficult to connect them with the fact of irradiation by EMF at non-thermal intensities.

10) Occurrence of a narcotic-type dependency (by stimulating production of endorphins) is possible under regular irradiation with HF EMR. Much research in the field of biological effects of EMF makes it possible to define the most sensitive systems in the human body: nervous, immune, endocrine and reproductive. These systems of the body are critical. The reactions of these systems must without fail be considered in evaluating the risks of EMF exposure to a population.

On the level of a nerve cell, of structural formations for transmission of nerve impulses (synapses), and on the level of isolated nerve structures, significant deviations occur during exposure to EMF of low intensities. Higher nervous activities, including memory, change in people having contact with EMF. These persons may have a tendency to
develop stress reactions. Certain structures of the brain have heightened sensitivity to EMF. Changes in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier may lead to unexpected, unfavorable effects. Especially high sensitivity to EMF is displayed in the embryonic nervous system.

André Fauteux

Epidemiology: ICNIRP hijacked WHO EMF Project

Epidemiology: ICNIRP hijacked WHO EMF Project

…this post is open for comments…
Epidemiological evidence is considered as the most important evidence when evaluating possibility of health effects induced by radiation emitted by wireless communication devices (RF-EMF). I disagree with this notion because of the intrinsic limitations of epidemiological method. It is too crude method to give reliable answers. I am not alone in this opinion. Notably, Michael Repacholi, former Head of the WHO EMF Project has similar opinion and he said in his Guest Blog on BRHP: “my concern is that there is an over-reliance on epidemiology studies.”
The problem with the, so far, executed epidemiological studies in RF-EMF area is the inadequate radiation dosimetry.
In some studies, like the case-control studies (Interphone, Hardell and CERENAT) the dosimetry is based on what person remembers. It is very crude information. However, in defense of the planners of case-control studies, it is necessary to mention that when the Interphone was being planned, and I participated in these discussions as then Head of Radiation Biology Laboratory of STUK, scientists asked network operators to provide information on the use of cell phones by study subjects. Operators refused, calling the information “trade secret”. So, the scientists had to rely on peoples’ memory…
Situation of dosimetry data in cohort studies is even worse. Scientists attempted to avoid reliance on users’ memory but, instead of improving exposure data, they made it worse. The dosimetry evidence in cohort studies, Danish Cohort and Million Women Study, is absolutely inadequate to use it as proof of no risk of cancer from the use of cell phones.
However, the ICNIRP scientists just do so. They quote Danish Cohort and Million Women Study as the evidence of no cancer risk. At the same time they simply dismiss the evidence provided by the case control studies.
In the past, I wrote critically about the Danish Cohort and the UK’s Million Women Study.
In the case of the critical evaluation of the Million Women Study, I did not rely on my own opinion but I also asked opinions of several prominent epidemiologists. Full texts of these opinions were published in the above mentioned blog on The Washington Times Communities site. Here, are just a few very brief quotes from these opinions:
Michael Kundi of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria,:
“…I regret to say that the authors have not put much thought into the issue of mobile phone use and brain tumors…”
Bruce Armstrong of the Sydney University, Australia,:
“…While this study adds to the evidence on the relationship between mobile phone use and intracranial tumours, it does not add sufficiently, in my opinion, to shift in either direction the IARC’s conclusion that there is limited evidence in humans for carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation.”
Joel Moskowitz of the University of California at Berkeley:
With regard to investigating the association between cell phone use and subsequent tumor risk (which was not the primary purpose of the “million women” study), this study had several major shortcomings which would undermine its ability to find this association…
Mark Elwood, of the University of Auckland in New:
“…So, another of many studies showing no risk from using cellphones, but like all other studies, it can’t prove that there’s no risk… And the study doesn’t cover men, younger people, or risks beyond about 10 years. So the debate will continue.”
Elisabeth Cardis, of CREAL-Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Spain and formerly Principal Investigator of the Interphone Project:
“…It would be nice to see results by some form of amount of use, but obviously the information collected is very limited – ever use, daily use and number of years – but perhaps looking at categories of daily use in different periods of time since start … but the numbers would get very small.”
From the above comments of prominent epidemiologists the general conclusion can be drawn that despite the size of The Million Women cohort, the numbers of tumors are small and the information about the cell phone use is nonexistent. Therefore, it is not possible to draw any scientifically reliable conclusions based on the results of The Million Women Study. It should be so but…
ICNIRP thinks differently.
The most recent example of “ICNIRP thinking” was presentation of Maria Feychting at the ICNIRP meeting in Wollongong, Australia. In abstract of the presentation Maria stated:
“…Most notably, a new high quality prospective study from the UK…”.
To be sure that we think about the same study, I asked Maria whether she meant the Million Women Study – yes, she confirmed… Maria’s abstract in full is here:
Feychting Wollongong Abstract

The Surprising Power of an Electric Eel’s Shock

The Surprising Power of an Electric Eel’s Shock

Carl Zimmer, New York Times, Dec. 4, 2014

New research has found that electric eels can deploy  shocks with remarkable sophistication. Credit Kenneth C. Catania 

For thousands of years, fishermen knew that certain fish could deliver a painful shock, even though they had no idea how it happened. Only in the late 1700s did naturalists contemplate a bizarre possibility: These fish might release jolts of electricity — the same mysterious substance as in lightning.

That possibility led an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta in 1800 to build an artificial electric fish. He observed that electric stingrays had dense stacks of muscles, and he wondered if they allowed the animals to store electric charges. To mimic the muscles, he built a stack of metal disks, alternating between copper and zinc.
Volta found that his model could store a huge amount of electricity, which he could unleash as shocks and sparks. Today, much of society runs on updated versions of Volta’s artificial electric fish. We call them batteries.

Now a new study suggests that electric fish have anticipated other kinds of technology. The research, by Kenneth C. Catania, a biologist at Vanderbilt University, reveals a remarkable sophistication in the way electric eels deploy their shocks.

Dr. Catania, who published the study on Thursday in the journal Science, found that the eels use short shocks like a remote control on their victims, flushing their prey out of hiding. And then they can deliver longer shocks that paralyze their prey at a distance, in precisely the same way that a Taser stops a person cold.

“It shows how finely adapted eels are to attack prey,” said Harold H. Zakon, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved in the study. He considered Dr. Catania’s findings especially impressive since scientists have studied electric eels for more than 200 years.

“He sees things that just go unnoticed,” said Dr. Zakon.

Scientists have long known that when electric eels attack their prey, they unleash a volley of electric pulses — as many as 400 a second. But it has been a struggle to tease apart the fine details of how the eels strike.

“They can basically attack something and swallow it fast enough that you can’t even really see what happened,” Dr. Catania said.

Last year, he decided to take a closer look by filming electric eels in a tank, using a high-speed video camera that captures 1,000 frames per second.

“I was imagining a fish sort of jerking around and maybe dying and being eaten,” he said. But the movies revealed something else entirely.

When an eel delivered its electric pulses, its victim stopped swimming and became perfectly still within four-hundredths of a second. “They’re stuck in whatever position they were in,” Dr. Catania said. “They just stay that way.”

An electric eel explores its world with a series of low-voltage charges, but turns to a high-voltage charge to capture its prey.

Video by Kenneth C. Catania on Publish Date December 4, 2014.

As the fish floated, statue-like, the eel could then easily scoop it up. In some cases, the shock wore off before the eel could reach its prey, and the fish swam off unharmed.

“It’s extraordinary to me,” Dr. Catania said. “How do you stop all voluntary movement in three milliseconds?”

So he set up a new experiment to find out. He removed the brain from a fish and placed its body in a recess in the eel tank. To record the activity of its muscles, he attached it to a force-measuring device. Then he sealed the recess with a barrier that blocked the eels, but not their electric pulses.

Next he put an eel in the tank and fed it live earthworms. The eel zapped the worms, and the electric pulses also reached the brainless fish hidden nearby.

Every pulse, Dr. Catania found, caused all of the fish’s trunk muscles to contract. As the pulses came faster, the contractions fused together, and the muscles simply locked up, freezing the fish.

Because the fish was brainless, Dr. Catania knew that the shocks must be affecting some other part of its body. He ran the experiment again on fish from which he removed both the brain and the spinal cord. The eels could make these fish freeze, too.

It was possible that the electric pulses caused contractions in the muscles themselves. To test that possibility, Dr. Catania injected the fish with the drug curare, which stops muscles from generating their own contractions. Dr. Catania found that these drugged fish still froze when electric eels blasted them.

These experiments leave only one possibility, Dr. Catania said: Electric eels manipulate the nerves that run from a fish’s spinal cord to its muscles. They set off precise spikes of voltage that travel down the nerves, causing the muscles to contract all at once. The pulses are spaced at just the right frequency to cause the fish to quickly become immobilized.

The fish behave as if they were hit with a Taser, a device that fires darts through which it can send pulses of current. When Dr. Catania looked closer at studies on Tasers, he was stunned by the similarity.

“It is the exact mechanism of a Taser,” Dr. Catania said.

As he was working out the effects of these bursts, he stumbled across an equally impressive way in which electric eels stalk their prey.

Back in the 1970s, scientists noticed that electric eels exploring murky river bottoms sometimes release two quick pulses in a row — called a doublet — in less than a hundredth of a second. But it was unclear why.

When Dr. Catania put electric eels in a tank with brainless fish, some would swim up to the barrier and deliver a doublet. “And then they’d go crazy trying to break through the barrier — I mean literally trying to chew through the barrier,” he said. “It was clear they gave off the doublet and they knew something was behind there.”

Dr. Catania discovered that doublets cause fish to contract all their muscles in a huge twitch. Using a biological form of remote control, electric eels can force their victims to flail, producing waves that the eels can detect with motion-sensitive hairs in their skin.
Combined, these two strategies make electric eels effective hunters, Dr. Catania said. They search river bottoms for potential prey. They can sense the odors of fish and even detect electric signals from their prey’s muscles.

Their victims try to hide from the eels by holding as still as possible. If an eel suspects a fish is nearby, it will unleash a doublet, forcing the fish to flail and reveal its hiding place.
As the fish tries to escape, the eel delivers a full blast, freezing the fish in place and making it an easy catch.

Electric eels are just one of six lineages of fish that separately evolved the ability to produce blasts of electricity. In every case, a set of muscles turned into a special electric organ. In a study published in Science in June, Dr. Zakon and his colleagues showed that many of the same genes changed in all six lineages to produce this transformation. Evolutionary biologists refer to this parallel change as convergent evolution.

Dr. Zakon suspects that at least some other electric fish have also evolved the same remote control and Taser maneuvers that Dr. Catania has now discovered in electric eels. In the 1970s, some scientists proposed that other species might use electric pulses to startle their prey. But no one has tested those ideas.

“So this is potentially a much wider, broader example of convergent evolution,” Dr. Zakon said.

The new research also raises some big questions. How is it, for example, that electric eels can manipulate the nerves of other fish without making themselves flail or freeze? “Nobody knows how this is happening,” Dr. Catania said.

That mystery only deepens his fascination with electric fish. “It’s the pure beauty of seeing an animal that has evolved to this degree of almost having superpowers,” he said. “If there were no electric fish and I told you this could happen, you’d probably say I was crazy.”

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

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

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Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The WHO consultation on "Radio Frequency fields: Environmental Health Criteria Monograph"

The WHO consultation on "Radio Frequency fields:  Environmental Health Criteria  Monograph"

 is open until 15 December

The  draft chapters are available at  .

Analysis of rat testicular proteome following 30-day exposure to 900 MHz electromagnetic field radiation

Analysis of rat testicular proteome following 30-day exposure to 900 MHz electromagnetic field radiation

Sepehrimanesh M, Kazemipour N, Saeb M, Nazifi S. Analysis of rat testicular proteome following 30-day exposure to 900 MHz electromagnetic field radiation. Electrophoresis. 2014 Dec;35(23):3331-8. doi: 10.1002/elps.201400273. Epub 2014 Oct 18.


The use of electromagnetic field (EMF) generating apparatuses such as cell phones is increasing, and has caused an interest in the investigations of its effects on human health.

We analyzed proteome in preparations from the whole testis in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats that were exposed to 900 MHz EMF radiation for 1, 2, or 4 h/day for 30 consecutive days, simulating a range of possible human cell phone use. Subjects were sacrificed immediately after the end of the experiment and testes fractions were solubilized and separated via high-resolution 2D electrophoresis, and gel patterns were scanned, digitized, and processed.

Thirteen proteins, which were found only in sham or in exposure groups, were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS. Among them, heat shock proteins, superoxide dismutase, peroxiredoxin-1, and other proteins related to misfolding of proteins and/or stress were identified.

These results demonstrate significant effects of radio frequency modulated EMFs exposure on proteome, particularly in protein species in the rodent testis, and suggest that a 30-day exposure to EMF radiation induces nonthermal stress in testicular tissue. The functional implication of the identified proteins was discussed.

Rats were allocated randomly into four equal independent groups, five of which were sham-exposed (without RF-EMF), 15 of which—according to time of exposure to RF-EMF (1, 2, and 4 h)— were divided into three subgroups (short, moderate, and long-time exposure), five per group. During RF-EMF exposure, each five freely moving rats were kept in a pure (i.e. lacking any metal fittings) transparent polycarbonate cage of 42 cm × 26.5 cm × 15 cm, which was near the antenna. Exposure at 900 MHz with the average power density of 86 mW/cm2 (22.8–146.8 mW/cm2) and an average whole body specific absorption rate of 0.19–1.22 W/kg was applied to freely moving animals for 30 consecutive days. These specific absorption rate values are only rough estimates and cannot be stressed exactly. For further details about exposure conditions, see [3] and [9].

In conclusion, in this study we demonstrated differential proteome pattern in rat testes in response to 900 MHz exposure by using 2DE/SNS/MS. Coupling of 2DE with SNS is more popular than other electrophoretic methods such as 2D difference gel electrophoresis due to its simplicity, high sensitivity, and no need of expensive and complicated hardware. Most identified proteins were related to the oxidative stress, HSPs, cytoskeleton, and metabolism. We proposed mechanisms of reproductive side effects of RF-EMF radiation in rat as a model for human studies. High-throughput performance techniques are needed to identify other proteins. On the other hand, we identified some altered protein profiles that were altered in response to RF-EMF and were important in the cytoskeleton and oxidative stress. This work is a preliminary study and further and complementary studies may be necessary for confirmation of these results using other methods such as Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and/or real-time PCR.


Impact of 900 MHz electromagnetic field exposure on main male reproductive hormone levels: a Rattus norvegicus model

Sepehrimanesh M, Saeb M, Nazifi S, Kazemipour N, Jelodar G, Saeb S. Impact of 900 MHz electromagnetic field exposure on main male reproductive hormone levels: a Rattus norvegicus model.  Int J Biometeorol. 2014 Sep;58(7):1657-63. doi: 10.1007/s00484-013-0771-7. Epub 2013 Dec 20.


This work analyzes the effects of radiofrequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure on the reproductive system of male rats, assessed by measuring circulating levels of FSH, LH, inhibin B, activin B, prolactin, and testosterone.

Twenty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (180 ± 10 g) were exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMF in four equal separated groups. The duration of exposure was 1, 2, and 4 h/day over a period of 30 days and sham-exposed animals were kept under the same environmental conditions as the exposed group except with no RF-EMF exposure. Before the exposure, at 15 and 30 days of exposure, determination of the above-mentioned hormone levels was performed using ELISA.

At the end of the experiment, FSH and LH values of the long time exposure (LTE) group were significantly higher than the sham-exposed group (p < 0.05). Serum activin B and prolactin in the LTE group showed significant increase and inhibin B showed significant decrease than sham and short time exposed (STE) groups after 30 days RF-EMF exposure (p < 0.05). Also, a significant decrease in serum testosterone levels in the LTE group was found compared to short and moderate time exposed (MTE) groups after 30 days RF-EMF exposure (p < 0.05).

Results suggest that reproductive hormone levels are disturbed as a result of RF-EMF exposure and it may possibly affect reproductive functions. However, testosterone and inhibin B concentrations as a fertility marker and spermatogenesis were decreased significantly.

In conclusion, we have described the presence of hormonal changes in the rat sera after exposure to RF-EMF radiation. The fact that many men carry their cell phones in a trouser pocket or clipped to their belts at the waist is important. This technology exposes the testes to cell phone radiation. Based on our in vitro results, we can speculate that using of continuous wave similar to basic GSM at 900 MHz may cause deterioration of reproductive function through hormonal changes. Although the physiological significance of these changes remains to be clarified, it seems plausible that EMF radiation may have important effects in almost all aspects of hormonal regulation in the male reproductive system. Nevertheless, evaluating the effects of a GSM-modulated signal on reproductive hormone changes require further complementary studies.


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

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

Exposure to electromagnetic fields in households—Trends from 2006 to 2012

Exposure to electromagnetic fields in households—Trends from 2006 to 2012

Tomitsch J, Dechant E. Exposure to electromagnetic fields in households—Trends from 2006 to 2012. Bioelectromagnetics. 2014 Nov 24. doi: 10.1002/bem.21887. [Epub ahead of print]

AbstractThis article is a follow-up study of extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields (ELF-EFs, ELF-MFs) and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) using data collected in 2012 following earlier data sets from 2006 and 2009. 

Measurements were conducted in 219 bedrooms in Lower Austria. Out of these rooms 113 measurements were done in the same households in 2006, 2009 and 2012, and 106 were conducted in neighbouring buildings added in 2009 and newly recruited buildings in mainly urban areas in 2012. 

In revisited places the median of the ELF-EFs decreased from 23.20 V/m in 2006 to 13.90 V/m in 2012. The median of all-night measurements of ELF-MFs at 50 Hz decreased from 13.50 to 11.37 nT. The median of total RF-EMFs increased from 28.13 to 52.16 µW/m2 . Highest increases were found for universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS) and wireless local area networks (WLAN). The analysis of all households showed higher total RF-EMFs in urban (median = 117.73 µW/m2 ) than in rural (median = 34.52 µW/m2 ) areas. Long-term evolution (LTE) in the 2600 MHz frequency range was detected at 17 locations with a maximum of 38.20 µW/m2 . 

Indoor RF-EMF sources resulted in decreased exposure in the frequency range of digital enhanced cordless telecommunications telephones (DECT) and increased exposure.

ExcerptsBoth the equipment and the protocol for measurements were the same as applied in 2006 [Tomitsch et al., 2010] and 2009 [Tomitsch and Dechant, 2012]. Spot measurements were conducted during daytime. Additionally, ELF-MFs were recorded during night. 

Measurements were done at bedside as this is the location at which people spend the largest proportion of their lifetime and since it is considered a place for recreation. Data were collected from April 2012 to November 2012.

Extremely low-frequency electric fields (ELF-EFs) were assessed at nine positions on the bed ...

Short-term ELF-MFs were measured at 50–2000 Hz (electric power supply) at nine positions on the bed by using a three-dimensional field probe (Mlog 3D, Merkel, Maintal, Germany) ...RF-EMFs were measured using the swivel method by spectrum analyser (MT8220A, Anritsu, Morgan Hill, CA) and two biconical antennas (SBA 9113 and BBVU9135 + UBAA9114, Schwarzbeck, Schönau, Germany) to cover the whole frequency range listed in Table 2 ...

ConclusionELF-EFs and ELF-MFs of power supply decreased from 2006 to 2009 and 2012 due to measures to reduce EMFs. In 70 out of 219 cases, indoor devices were responsible for at least 50% of the RF-EMFs. This shows that EMFs can be reduced by applying simple actions by household residents, which should be done in respect to the precautionary principle. Mobile phone downlink signals increased over the observed period. The highest increase occurred in UMTS but also in GSM900. LTE in the 2600 MHz range is not widely spread in Lower Austria yet and presents lower power flux densities than the other mobile phone technologies.--Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., DirectorCenter for Family and Community HealthSchool of Public HealthUniversity of California, BerkeleyElectromagnetic Radiation SafetyWebsite:              http://www.saferemr.comFacebook:   Releases:                 @berkeleyprc

Everyday exposure to power frequency magnetic fields and associations with non-specific physical symptoms

Everyday exposure to power frequency magnetic fields and associations with non-specific physical symptoms

Bolte JF, Baliatsas C, Eikelboom T, van Kamp I. Everyday exposure to power frequency magnetic fields and associations with non-specific physical symptoms. Environ Pollut. 2014 Oct 25;196C:224-229. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.10.011. [Epub ahead of print].


The aim of this study was to investigate the association between exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF), or power frequency fields, and non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS).

In a cross-sectional study, personal exposure to ELF MF was measured for 99 adults selected in and around Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2009-2010. They were scored on 16 NSPS. As a cut-off point for the individual 24-h time weighted average exposure the 80-percentile (0.09 μT) was chosen.

As only one man scored "moderately high" on the somatisation scale against nine women, we decided to proceed analyses only with the 48 women.

The crude odds ratio (OR) for women was 8.50 (CI 95%: 1.73-46.75), suggesting that for women environmental exposure to ELF MF is associated with an increased score on NSPS.

As this is an exploratory cross-sectional study in a relatively small sample, no conclusions regarding causality can be drawn.


• Electric devices generate exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields.
• The median 24-hours' time weighted average (TWA) exposure is 0.05 μT.
• The 80-percentile TWA exposure is 0.09 μT for both, men and women.
• Women score higher than men on non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS).
• Exposure of women above the 80-percentile is associated with increased NSPS score.
ELF EMF 24-h profiles were measured with an exposimeter of type Emdex Lite (Enertech consultants, Campbell, California, USA, that had to be worn in a pouch attached to the belt on the left hip. During sleep the exposimeter had to be put next to the bed within 50 cm from the head and not next to electric devices, such as alarmclocks. The Emdex Lite measures the magnetic flux density in a frequency range from 40 to 1000 Hz. The sampling frequency was set at every fourth second for three orthogonal axes. The lower detection limit is 0.005 μT, the upper detection limit is 70 μT. 

4.5. Precautionary implications for society

As the association is at the exposure level that occurs during everyday activities GP's and policymakers could reconsider whether to advise preventive control measures to reduce exposure. Because exposure drops dramatically with increased distance, preventive measures should focus on sources near the body. For instance, people could easily move sources further than 50 cm from their body, especially bedside appliances with relatively high exposure such as an electric alarm clock, DECT phone with docking station, cell phone with loader, or any other charger.
5. Conclusions
The outcomes of this study suggest that for women a time weighted average exposure to ELF MF above the 80 percentile of 0.09 μT is associated with (potentially) clinically relevant levels of NSPS. As this was an exploratory cross-sectional study in a small sample (48 women), no conclusions regarding causality can be drawn. We therefore recommend to replicate this study with considerably larger numbers of women and men, and preferably with a longitudinal design.

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

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

Infant wireless technology? The NY Times vs. the Melbourne Herald Sun's coverage

Infant wireless technology? The NY Times vs. the Melbourne Herald Sun's coverage

While the New York Times appears to encourage parents to adopt wireless technology to monitor their babies, a Melbourne newspaper discusses whether wireless technology should be banned for infants as well as in schools and child care settings.

The Connected Baby

Molly Wood and Rebekah Fergusson, New York Times video (3 minutes),  Dec. 3, 2014
Welcome to the age of the digitally connected baby. New devices and wearables like the MonBaby and the Mimo allow you to track baby’s breathing, temperature and heart rate all from your phone.


Baby monitor health warning: Devices may emit harmful radiation

Chad Van Estrop, Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), Dec 4, 2014

Brisbane-based author and researcher Donna Fisher called for a ban on the baby monitors. 
THEY’VE been a saviour for many parents, but there are concerns wireless baby monitors could be dangerous.

Brisbane-based author and researcher Donna Fisher called for a ban on the baby monitors, worried the radiation they emit could be harmful to children. Ms Fisher drew on a World Health Organisation ruling that radiation emitted from the monitors was “possibly carcinogenic”.

Ms Fisher also said the radiation from the devices had the potential to cause reproductive problems, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders and other health problems.

But the director of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research, Rodney Croft, said the WHO classification was ambiguous due to conflicting research.

Professor Croft said the dangers of wireless monitors were “extremely small” with the devices emitting radiation at similar levels to mobile phones and 100 times less than a level considered dangerous.

“Given it is quite a low level of exposure people are getting, it tends to give us a fair bit of confidence that it is unlikely that there will be a problem.”

Professor Croft said the call to ban the devices was a knee-jerk reaction.

Ms Fisher, a lecturer on the effects of electricity and light on the human body, has this week released a book calling for wireless baby monitors and wi-fi in schools and childcare centres to be banned.

“Australians are unwittingly exposing their children to EMFs, without the realisation or understanding of the long term impact this can have on future development,” Ms Fisher said.

WiFi in Schools: What do Experts Have to Say?


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

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc