* Non-thermal effects of EMF on cellular signal transduction - Microwave 'DANGER' to preganant women - "Safety" of EMP/Microwave weapons (20/2/03)


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.

Informant: Elektrosmognews

Microwave '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

"Safety" 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 2002".

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 $100 million.

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 (2 GHz).

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 hazards.

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.

(Name suppressed)


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