By | February 1, 2013

While looking for evidence of biological damage by non-ionizing radiation I found the following from the Proceedings of the 1st International Technology, Education and Environment Conference (c) African Society for Scientific Research (ASSR) held September, 2011.

Uju Isidore U1, Okwu P.I 2 and Ifeagwu N3 …

Many people have a hard time fathoming that something that they cannot see, touch, smell, taste or hear can harm them so much. However, we are constantly immersed in a sea of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and it can affect life markedly. The rapid growth rate of mobile phones, phone masts and wireless communication systems, alongside various reports of possible adverse effects on living things, has caused increased concern around the world over the potential effect of electromagnetic pollution on health and the environment. “There have been many instances of harmful effects of electromagnetic fields from such seemingly innocuous devices as mobile phones, computers, power lines and domestic wiring. They include an increased risk of cancer, loss of fertility & unpleasant physiological symptoms…..” At present the technology is being increasingly used with almost no effective precautionary advice to the public and urgent guidance is needed in order to alert the public and especially our children about the inherent dangers of over exposure to electromagnetic radiation. EMR need to be identified measured and remediated to significantly reduce its sources in our environment.

Although Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF’s emitted from appliances and power lines) and Extremely High Frequencies (ultraviolet and gamma rays) are known to be carcinogenic, the
scientific community is extremely hesitant to attach any kind of danger to the in-between frequencies where cell phones operate.

Electrical waves pass straight through our bodies and an electric current is generated within. This is how an aerial works – waves come in and electricity is generated. The electricity generated in our bodies, like all electric currents, goes to ground (if able) and, like all electric currents, takes the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance is through our bodies. To travel through our bodies the waves use the 10% of our pathways that carry 90% of our traffic, rather like freeways in peak hour. This 90% of our traffic consists of:
• Hormones which help regulate the functions of the body
• Antibodies which help fight disease
• Neurotransmitters which carry messages around the body
Thus 90% of our bodily functions can be severely affected by these harmful electrical currents. Although cell phone radiation is of low intensity, it is the oscillatory similarity between this pulsed microwave radiation and certain electrochemical activities within the body that raises serious concerns, according to the study Physics and biology of mobile telephony, published in The Lancet.

The body is essentially a very sensitive electromagnetic instrument, controlled by highly complex and orderly oscillatory electrical processes. Each one of these electro-biological processes vibrate at a specific frequency—some of which happen to be close to those used in modern GSM cell phone technology. [Says who? Based on what evidence? – Xeno]

The pulsating, low-intensity microwaves from mobile phones can exert subtle, non-thermal influences on the human biology simply because microwaves are waves. As such, they have properties other than just intensity (which is the only part regulated by safety guidelines). Therefore, much in the same way as a radio can receive interference, your biological processes can be interfered with by the oscillatory aspect of the incoming radiation. Highly organized electrical processes at the cellular level are especially vulnerable to interference from cell phone radiation, because their frequency happens to fall within the microwave
range. [You keep saying that… why? – Xeno]

Many of these biological activities are influenced by metabolism, meaning that the effect of the radiation will be different from one person to another. The effect could also depend on the type of cell phone used, as different cell phones emit radiation at different frequencies. …

Ultra-low intensity microwaves can affect processes as fundamental as cell division, and the TDMA frequencies of 8-34 Hz, and the DTX pulse frequency at 2 Hz, correspond to the frequencies of alpha and delta brain waves. {15} Therefore, the body has a two-fold sensitivity to cellular phone signals: The microwave radiation itself, plus the lower frequency oscillations of the TDMA and DTX signals.

[note: Brain waves aren’t a feature of the brain itself, they are the sum measured at the scalp of all the activity we can’t directly measure. Where is the evidence that brain waves are changed by EMF? – Xeno]

In addition to that, there’s also the packet rate of newer 3G phones, which is 250 Hz. One good example of how someone may be vulnerable to the non-thermal electromagnetic influence is the ability of a flashing light (at about 15 Hz) to induce seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. It’s not the energy absorption itself that causes the seizure. Rather it’s because the brain recognizes the information being transmitted via the pulsating light, since it is delivered at a frequency the brain uses. In fact, the cells in human body are loaded with receptors that specifically respond to these signals. So when you are exposed to these information carrying radio waves, the receptors are stimulated. Once that happens the delicate microtubular connections between the cells become impaired.. Once they start to fail, the cells “lock up” and retain far more heavy metals and free radicals, which can wreak havoc in the body. [ What is the evidence for this claim? -Xeno]

In 2004, a Swedish physicist named Bo Sernelius, stumbled across a surprising finding that suggests non-thermal mobile phone radiation can cause a massive increase in the forces that living cells exert on each other. He discovered that electromagnetic forces might act on cells by affecting the attractive forces between them, without thermal heating.

Water molecules have poles of positive and negative electrical charge that create attractive forces between cells, known as van der Waals forces. Van der Waals forces are much weaker than chemical bonds. And, whereas chemical bonds need high frequency ionizing radiation in order to break, van der Waals forces are disrupted by much smaller thermal fluctuations. These intermolecular forces may be weak, but without them, life as we know it would be impossible. Sernelius found that the water molecules inside cells will try to align their positive and negative poles with the alternating field produced by cell phone radiation. The result? They all end up pointing in the same direction, and this strengthens the van der Waals forces. In the fields of 850 MHz (around the frequency used by mobile phones), the van der Waals forces leap—from a billionth-billionth of a Newton, to micro Newton strength—a massive jump of around 11 orders of magnitude. Although it’s still only theoretical, this may be the missing link when trying to explain tissue damage from non-ionizing, non-thermal radiation. Stronger attractive forces between cells can also make them clump together, and cause blood vessels to contract. All in all, I believe the evidence is clear that EMF’s can indeed harm your health, and that you would be best served to do whatever you can to limit your exposure to as many sources as possible. …
[Wait, is the evidence clear, or theoretical? – Xeno]


Mobile phones may have become ubiquitous in rural areas and popular among farmers. But electromagnetic radiation emanating from them may be stunting the growth of agricultural crops and plants, preliminary research has revealed. Studies carried out at Panjab University, Chandigarh, suggest that electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from cell phones could choke seeds, affect germination and early growth. This is said to be the first such study on the impact of EMF radiation on seeds. Though different groups of scientists have been studying the effect of mobile radiation on human beings, there has been no conclusive outcome yet. But Panjab University scientists have found definite clues on the ill-effects of electromagnetic radiation on crops and plants.

The results were surprising – they indicated that the radiation emitted from the cell phones inhibited germination and early growth of the pulse. The germination of the seeds exposed to two and four hours of cell phone radiation reduced by 18 and 30 per cent respectively, compared to seeds that were not exposed to any radiation. …

There is an article on the NIH site that shows partial validation and replication of studies of EMF effects on plant growth:

Effects of 60 Hz electromagnetic fields on early growth in three plant species and a replication of previous results.

Davies MS., Journal Bioelectromagnetics. 1996;17(2):154-61.

Ecology Centre, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, U.K.

In an attempt to replicate the findings of Smith et al., seeds of Raphanus sativus L. (radish), Sinapsis alba L. (mustard), and Hordeum vulgare L. (barley) were grown for between 9 and 21 days in continuous electromagnetic fields (EMFs) at “ion-cyclotron resonance” conditions for stimulation of Ca(2+) (B(H) = 78.3 mu T, B(HAC) = 40 mu T peak-peak at 60 Hz, B(V) = 0). On harvesting, radish showed results similar to those of Smith et al. Dry stem weight and plant height were both significantly greater (Mann-Whitney tests, Ps < 0.05) in EMF-exposed plants than in control plants in each EMF experiment. Wet root weight was significantly greater in EMF-exposed plants in two out of three experiments, as were dry leaf weight, dry whole weight, and stem diameter. Dry root weight, wet leaf weight, and wet whole weight were significantly greater in EMF-exposed plants in one of three experiments. All significant differences indicated an increase in weight or size in the EMF-exposed plants. In each of the sham experiments, no differences between exposed and control plants were evident. Mustard plants failed to respond to the EMFs in any of the plant parameters measured. In one experiment, barley similarly failed to respond; but in another showed significantly greater wet root weight and significantly smaller stem diameter and dry seed weight at the end of the experiment in exposed plants compared to control plants. Although these results give no clue about the underlying bioelectromagnetic mechanism, they demonstrate that, at least for one EMF-sensitive biosystem, results can be independently replicated in another laboratory. Such replication is crucial in establishing the validity of bioelectromagnetic science.

Here’s another claim from by Dr. Bill Deagle, MD dated 8/30/2011.

… Smart Meters thus have two primary areas of contention. First, they are a bold invasion of privacy and purport to have authority to gather data and modify behavior and consumption patterns of unwitting power consumers and market data to third parties and government and policing agencies. Second, they are a Class 2b Carcinogen even by WHO standards, and the mountain of toxic data is mounting that Smart Meters are thousands of times more toxic than even cell phones, causing cancer, insomnia, and numerous medical problems. The biological basis is energy transferred to cell membranes and molecules that open calcium and other ion channels and disrupt the non-covalent Van der Waals hydrogen bonds that hold the fragile double helix of DNA intact and cause 4D enzyme active site disruption with disturbed enzyme KMax and nutrient-enzyme interactions and cellular communications.

Utilizing an advanced ElectroSmog Electropollution Detector from Germany HF 35C 800 MHz – 2500 MHz, the Smart Meter from SDG&E placed on my home without notice Nov 2010 was tested last week. Sempra Utilities SDG&E’s Smart Meter produced a burst of ELF microwave radiation 1000s more powerful than a cell phone call at greater than 2000 uW/meter squared power levels every 5 to 15 seconds throughout the day and night.

via Rense

While checking sources I found that Dr. Deagle’s license was revoked in 2007, a few years before the Rense article. Confirmed on Colorado license lookup. It looks like he was a doctor for about 13 years. That does not mean the information he is giving above is incorrect, but it should be considered. Similarly, the Isidore, et. al paper cites articles on Dr. Mercola’s alternative health site repeatedly. In fact, much of the paper seems lifted directly from this Mercola article dated August 26, 2008.

Either the cell phone/utility industries are wrong, or the alternative health people are wrong. I’m still looking for reliable information on biological effects, but I’m leaning toward opting out of my Smart Meter just on the basis of the precautionary principle. Since opting out will cost me an additional $195 this year, however, I need a bit more convincing.

Where is the evidence that, as Dr. Deagle says, energy transferred to cell membranes and molecules open calcium and other ion channels and disrupt the non-covalent Van der Waals hydrogen bonds that hold the fragile double helix of DNA intact and cause 4D enzyme active site disruption with disturbed enzyme KMax and nutrient-enzyme interactions and cellular communications?

The following review by Henry Lai with over 100 references is convincing.

Neurological Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic
Radiation Relating to Wireless Communication Technology

… Existing data indicate that RFR of relatively low intensity (SAR < 2 W/kg) can affect the nervous system. Changes in blood-brain-barrier, morphology, electrophysiology, neurotransmitter functions, cellular metabolism, and calcium efflux, and genetic effects have been reported in the brain of animals after exposure to RFR. These changes can lead to functional changes in the nervous system. Behavioral changes in animals after exposure to RFR have been reported …
Even a temporary change in neural functions after RFR exposure could, depending on the situation, lead to adverse consequences. For example, a transient loss of memory function or concentration could result in an accidence when a person is driving. Loss of short term working memory has indeed been observed in rats after acute exposure to RFR [108].
However, great caution should be taken in applying the existing research results to evaluate the possible effect of exposure to RFR during cellular telephone use. It is apparent that not enough research data is available to conclude whether exposure to RFR during the normal use of cellular telephones could lead to any hazardous health effect.
Data available suggest a complex reaction of the nervous system to RFR. The response is not likely to be linear with respect to the intensity of the radiation. Other parameters of RFR exposure, such as frequency, duration, waveform, frequency- and amplitude-modulation, etc, are also important determinants of biological responses and affect the shape of the dose(intensity)-response relationship. Some of the studies described above also suggested frequency and power window effects, i.e., effect is only observed at a certain range of frequency and intensity and not at higher or lower ranges; and dependency on the duration of individual exposure episodes. In order to understand the possible health effects of exposure to RFR from cellular telephones, one needs first to understand the effects of these different parameters and how they interact with each other.
Research has also shown that the effects of RFR on the nervous system can cumulate with repeated exposure. The important question is, after repeated exposure, will the nervous system adapt to the perturbation and when will homeostasis break down? Related to this is that various lines of evidence suggest that responses of the central nervous system to RFR could be a stress response [109]. Stress effects are well known to cumulate over time and involve first adaptation and then an eventual break down of homeostatic processes.
In conclusion, research is needed to investigate the effects of different RFR exposure parameters. Particularly, studies using RFR of frequencies and waveforms similar to those emitted from cellular telephones and intermittent exposure schedule resembling the normal pattern of phone use are needed.

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Please send correspondence to:

Henry Lai
Department of Bioengineering, Box 357962
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7962

A look at the abstract for reference #73, published in Radio Science, Volume 14, Issue 6S, pages 93–98, January 1979 is enough evidence for me of potentially serious non thermal effects of radio frequency radiation:

Induction of calcium-ion efflux from brain tissue by radio-frequency radiation: Effects of modulation frequency and field strength

… Bawin and her coworkers have reported changes in binding of calcium after exposure of avian brain tissue to nonionizing electromagnetic radiation. Because calcium is intimately involved in the electrical activity of the brain, their results reveal a heretofore unrecognized potential for nonionizing radio-frequency radiation to affect biological function. We have verified and extended their findings. The forebrains of newly hatched chickens, separated at the midline to provide treatment-control pairs, were labeled in vitro with radioactive calcium. Samples of tissue were exposed for 20 minutes in a Crawford irradiation chamber to 147-MHz radiation, which was amplitude modulated sinusoidally at selected frequencies between 3 and 30 Hz. Power densities of incident radiation ranged between 0.5 and 2 mW cm−2. Compared with nonirradiated samples, a statistically significant increase in efflux of calcium ions (P < 0.01) was observed in irradiated samples at a modulation frequency of 16 Hz and at a power density of 0.75 mW cm−2. Our data confirm the existence of the frequency “window” reported by Bawin et al., as well as a narrow power-density “window” within which efflux of calcium ions is enhanced.

Result, while I’m not 100% convinced this applies to humans with iPhones and Smart Meters, I decided to be a rebel and possibly avoid some negative health effects. I might even prevent the layoff of some PG&E meter reader. 😉

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Next step: get rid of WiFi and install hardwired Ethernet in my home. I can always switch back later if I miss the radiation.

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