EFFECTS OF EMF ON CELLULAR SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION
Sianette Kwee, Dept. of Medical Biochemistry,
University of Aarhus, Denmark
Unfortunately the misconception still persists that
all effects of EMF are thermal. Even though we have started to talk about
non-thermal effects of EMF, they are being discussed in terms traditionally
applied to heat effects. The human body is filled with ions, charged biomolecules
and water in nerve endings, cell nuclei, muscles etc. They can be influenced
by an electric field or magnetic field, because of their irregular charge
distribution. Therefore electromagnetic fields can physically move, reorient,
or even alter molecules or ions or their distribution in the body. They
can affect the rate of chemical reactions, transport across membranes,
signal transduction. Moreover, if charge accelaration occurs, maybe as
a result of very fast radar pulses, the tissue itself may reradiate or
scatter this energy inside the human body, thus complicating and intensifying
the radiation effects. It has been reported that ultrashort electromagnetic
pulses may cause mechanical damage to tissues through the socalled precursor
radiation, which describes the secondary bursts of radiation that occur
within living tissue, when it is hit by e.g. radar pulses.
The present safety standards are based on average,
whole-body radiation exposures to laboratory animals. However, a lot of
tissue damage has been done long before a laboratory animal shows behaviour
changes or dies from thermal effects.
At present we have enough experimental evidence to
question the validity of standards based only on thermal effects. In particular
fundamental research on cell tissue cultures has presented the strongest
evidence. During the past years many studies, including our own, have
shown significant changes in various cellular processes caused by rates
of adsorption at very low level of EMF irradiated tissue.
In our investigations we found that MW-EMF exposure
of cells down to SAR 0.0002 - 0.002 W/kg caused changes in the cell cycle,
which could explain the resulting changes in cell proliferation. Moreover
we could show that EMF exposure triggers a change in signal transduction
in the cell nucleus.
'DANGER' to preganant women
Electric appliances linked to miscarriages
MUMS-TO-BE were warned last night that using ordinary household appliances
can cause miscarriages.
Regular exposure to strong electromagnetic fields (EMF)
from objects such as microwave ovens is twice as likely to lead to the
loss of an unborn baby, according to new U.S. research. And the risk becomes
six times greater for a woman given the same level of EMF exposure when
she is less than ten weeks' pregnant.
Last night British health experts promised to study
the ground-breaking findings by respected scientist Dr De-Kun Li and his
research team. He said: "Pregnant women should keep away from microwaves,
hairdryers and public transport operated by electricity." "These
are items which give out very big doses of electromagnetic fields."
The majority of women who miscarried in the study did
so after being exposed to EMFs of just 1.6 MTs (mikroTeslas) and over
on a daily basis. Britain's current maximum safety limit is 1,600 MTs
Dr Li's research is to be published in November in
the medical journal Epidemiology. more... (link already outdated!)
June 2001, Sunday Mirror
Informant: Robert Riedlinger
of EMP/Microwave weapons
Some weeks ago I posed the question (not on this list)
on the claimed safety of electromagnetic pulsed weapons to several US
scientists. The following reply covers the issue well. Especially note
the statement from "An Assessment of Nonlethal Weapons and Technology
In the old Australian Standards Australia TE-7 committee
meetings (now defunct RF standard setting group), industry repeatedly
refered to non-thermal effects as purely "hypothetical". We
still hear that mantra from industry quarters but do they really have
a choice for to admit otherwise opens a Pandora's Box for them. However
it seems that the US military not only has opened that box but is rapidly
developing weapons based on these "hypothetical" effects.
The Iraki civilians and hapless military personel dragged
into uniform make very convenient guinea pigs!
Don Maisch (excerpt)
Let me say at the outset that I have never been involved
in electromagnetic weapons development, but there is considerable unclassified
literature from US military labs, and some of their research work has
been presented regularly at open meetings of national research societies
like the Bioelectromagnetics Society, though never in the context of weapons
development - that is left to the listener's imagination and intuition.
The history of development of EM weapons goes back
40 years to the time of atomic weapons testing. It was noted that atomic
explosions are associated with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) sufficiently
powerful to destroy transistor junctions in equipment within kilometers
of the explosion. For that reason, for many years US B-52 bombers lumbered
around the skies with electronic equipment largely constructed with vacuum
tubes (excuse me, "valves"!). The story is that a B-52 had as
many as 2500 vacuum tubes aboard!
The US and the Russians quickly recognized the potential
application of EMP as a weapon. In the state of chronic anxiety characteristic
of the US, there were even proposals from industry groups that all US
manufactured communications equipment should have "hardened"
front-ends to protect it from EMP. The US military recognized the potential
for high powered pulsed microwave beams to wreck the front-ends of equipment
in reconnaisance satellites, and press reports told of military programs
to revise design and construction of this equipment at a cost exceeding
But we move on to an era of focusing high powered pulsed
microwaves into narrow beams of very intense energy. Historically, the
first EMP generators were little more than a capacitor discharge in a
spark gap in a cavity resonator that radiated equally in all directions.
The unclassified pictures of the capacitors show them as big as bath tubs.
The spectral energy distribution in such a system is typically broad and
at frequencies below the microwave range. So the unclassified literature
shows some ingenious techniques to shift the major spectral component
well into the microwave region. One such scheme used a corrugated surface
for the cavity resonator to produce a pulse with major energy at S-band
Now it became feasible to use high gain parabolic antennas
to transmit the pulse. Unclassified papers in this early era considered
pulse power densities of 100s Megawatts/square meter. Thus began the era
of "directed energy weapons" and the US program went underground
and I have seen very little in the way of openly published technical details
in the last 10 years - and I don't intend to go fishing.
However, the US Air Force and Boeing have carried out
extensive tests of EMP generators hung on booms under helicopters, with
the aim of destroying electronic equipment. A civilian Boeing employe
contracted leukemia after repeated exposures to the EMPs and successfully
sued Boeing. An Air Force major helicopter pilot conducting similar tests
in Montana is reported to have died of leukemia. At Los Alamos National
Laboratory in New Mexico, a large bomber was set up and similarly exposed
until tests were suspended because of these apparent emergent personnel
The US National Academy of Sciences is publishing a
report for the Naval Science Board on nonlethal weapons. The full pre-publication
draft of the report has been posted on the Web. The section dealing with
microwave weaponry on P39 is at:
The title of the Report is "An Assessment of Nonlethal
Weapons and Technology 2002".
On Page 39, there is the following statement:
"The heating action of RF signals is well understood
and can be the basis for several additional directed-energy weapons. Leap-ahead
non-lethal weapons technologies will probably be based on more subtle
human/RF interactions wich the signal information within the RF exposure
causes an effect other than simply heating: for example, stun, seizure,
startle and decreased spontaneous activity. Recent developments in the
technology are leading to ultrawideband, very high peak power, and ultrashort
signal capabilities, suggesting that the phase space to be explored for
subtle, yet potentially effective non-lethal biophysical susceptibilities
is vast. Advances will require a dedicated effort to identify useful susceptibilities."
Finally, there is a quite unrelated development of
high powered millimeter wave generators to act as anti-personnel deterrents.
This scheme has been developed jointly by the US Marines the Air Force.
It uses a 100 kW 95 GHz generator with a parabolic antenna mounted on
a Humvee (large SUV) and can be used for crowd control. It induces intense
skin heating at distances up to 1 km. When first announced publicly last
year, the military were lyrical about its harmlessness and were about
to offer to test civilian volunteers in public displays. They claimed
that the 95 GHz signal only penetrated a few millimeters into the skin.
I stepped in and told United Press that it was lunatic to claim safety
when skin capillaries contain 60 per cent of circulating white blood cells
that are the essence of our immune system and very susceptible to microwave
insults. The whole dog-and-pony show went very quiet. There have been
no public demonstrations.
And so, should these exposures be regarded as safe,
even if single, infrequent and noncurrent? I don't think so. We come back
to those essential public health tenets, at least for civilian populations,
of the precautionary principle and of prudent avoidance. The Romans said
it perfectly - Res ipsi loquitur, the matter speaks for itself.