The ICNIRP main Commission is comprised of 14 members. Up to 5 vacancies may be filled at the upcoming election meeting, which will take place at the ICNIRP Annual General Meeting, 18-20 November 2019, Munich, Germany. Nominations of candidates to the election should focus on an appropriate scientific expertise related to the mission of ICNIRP in NIR protection - in particular with an expertise in biology, epidemiology or medicine favourably in the area of UV and EMF/LF. Additionally attention to the independence of the nominees from vested interests and to gender balance should motivate your nomination. All nominees' DOI will be subject to a screening prior to be added to the pool of candidates.
All IRPA National Societies, the IRPA Executive Council and National Public Bodies in charge of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection are invited to nominate scientific experts to participate in the Commission membership election.
Whilst humans evolved in the earth's Electro-Magnetic-Field (EMF) and sun-light, both being essential to life but too much sun and we burn. What happens if background EMF rise to critical levels, coinciding with increasing environmental pollutants? Two of the authors can look back over 50 clinical years and appreciate the profound changes in human morbidity across a range of disparate conditions - autoimmune diseases, asthma, earlier cancer incidence and reduced male sperm counts. In particular have been increased autism, dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and neurological diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Early Onset Dementia, Multiple System Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. What might have caused these changes-whilst genetic factors are taken as given, multiple environmental pollutants are associated with neurological disease although the mechanisms are unclear. The pace of increased neurological deaths far exceeds any Gompertzian explanation - that because people are living longer they are more likely to develop more age-related problems such as neurological disease. Using WHO global mortality categories of Neurological Disease Deaths (NDD) and Alzheimer's and Dementia deaths (Alz), updated June 2018, together they constitute Total Neurological Mortality (TNM), to calculate mortality rates per million for people aged 55-74 and for the over-75's in twenty-one Western countries. Recent increases in American people aged over-75's rose 49% from 1989 to 2015 but US neurological deaths increased five-fold. In 1989 based on Age-Standardised-Deaths-Rates America USA was 17th at 324 pm but rising to 539 pm became second highest. Different environmental/occupational factors have been found to be associated with neuro-degenerative diseases, including background EMF. We briefly explore how levels of EMF interact upon the human body, which can be described as a natural antennae and provide new evidence that builds upon earlier research to propose the following hypothesis. Based upon recent and new evidence we hypothesise that a major contribution for the relative sudden upsurge in neurological morbidity in the Western world (1989-2015), is because of increased background EMF that has become the tipping point-impacting upon any genetic predisposition, increasing multiple-interactive pollutants, such as rises in petro-chemicals, hormone disrupting chemicals, industrial, agricultural and domestic chemicals. The unprecedented neurological death rates, all within just twenty-five years, demand a re-examination of long-term EMF safety related to the increasing background EMF on human health. We do not wish to 'stop the modern world', only make it safer.
The aim of this review was to investigate the effects of possible harmful waves from either cell phone use or being within the range of the cell phone from 450 to 3800 MHz on the thyroid cells and hormones. Eight electronic datasets were systematically searched using MeSH terms, including "cell phone," "mobile phone," "GSM," "radio frequency," "smartphone," "triiodothyronine," "thyroxin," "thyroid-stimulating hormone," "T3," "T4," "TSH," and "morphological" and all possible combinations, to identify relevant studies published up to Dec 2018. We also manually searched the reference lists of potentially selected studies to identify further relevant publications. About 161 relevant studies were initially found. After screening titles and abstracts, 139 studies were excluded, and finally 22 studies (comprising 7182 cases) were included in the qualitative synthesis. Of the 22 included studies, 11 studies reported changes in T3 and T4 levels (six reported a decrease in T3 levels and one reported increase in it); moreover, five found decreased T4 levels and two studies an increased level. In other 10 studies, TSH alteration was reported. Of these, two studies reported a decrease in TSH level and one reported an increase in the hormone levels, while in the remaining studies non-significant changes were reported. Finally, seven studies examined histological changes in the thyroid gland follicles and showed that the volume of these cells was reduced. Based on the evidence discussed above, the reduction in diameter of thyroid follicles is potentially linked with cell phone radiation. Exposure may negatively influence the iodine uptake in the thyroid gland or increases temperature effect on the thyroid gland. However, further research are needed in order to show that the level of TSH and thyroid hormone suppression by microwave.
Wallace J, Selmaoui B. Effect of mobile phone radiofrequency signal on the alpha rhythm of human waking EEG: A review. Environmental Research. Published online May 12, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.
In response to the exponential increase in mobile phone use and the resulting increase in exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF), there have been several studies to investigate via electroencephalography (EEG) whether RF-EMF exposure affects brain activity. Data in the literature have shown that exposure to radiofrequency signals modifies the waking EEG with the main effect on the alpha band frequency (8–13 Hz). However, some studies have reported an increase in alpha band power, while others have shown a decrease, and other studies showed no effect on EEG power. Given that changes in the alpha amplitude are associated with attention and some cognitive aspects of human behavior, researchers deemed necessary to look whether alpha rhythm was modulated under RF-EMF exposure. The present review aims at comparing and discussing the main findings obtained so far regarding RF-EMF effects on alpha rhythm of human waking spontaneous EEG, focusing on differences in protocols between studies, which might explain the observed discrepancies and inconclusive results.
Overview of 30 total selected studies which investigated the effect of the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on human waking spontaneous EEG … 47% of studies found a significant modification exclusively of the alpha band, the 30% found a significant modification of the alpha band and other frequency bands (delta, theta, beta and gamma), the 3% (only one study) found an effect on the gamma and beta band, without any effect on the alpha rhythm, the 20% reported no significant effect on the EEG.
… MP-RF [mobile phone - radio frequency] can affect normal brain physiology and that the most consistent effect observed is in the alpha frequency. This effect is also observed after RF-EMF exposure. Some studies on adolescents (two studies included 2G system and one study included 3G system) did not indicate a higher sensitivity of this age group compared to adults. Conversely, four studies with epileptic patients showed an effect on their brain's electrophysiology related to 2G exposure. Previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicated that acute MP exposures did not have any cognitive or psychomotor effects (Valentini et al., 2011), with a negligible impact on attention and working memory (Barth et al., 2007).
Mobile phones: A trade-off between speech intelligibility and exposure to noise levels and to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields
Thielens A, Bockstael A, Declerck S, Aminzadeh R, Aerts S, Botteldooren D, Martens L, Wout J.Mobile phones: A trade-off between speech intelligibility and exposure to noise levels and to radio-frequency electromagnetic field. Environmental Research. Published online May 8, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.
• Three use cases are compared: smartphone use at the ear, in speaker mode, and with a headset.
• We demonstrate that exposure to RF-EMF and sound pressure is highest when a phone held at the ear during calls.
• Speech intelligibility is more favourable when the phone is held at the ear in different background noise conditions.
• We demonstrate that reductions in exposure might come at a cost of speech intelligibility during wireless phone calls.
When making phone calls, cellphone and smartphone users are exposed to radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and sound pressure simultaneously. Speech intelligibility during mobile phone calls is related to the sound pressure level of speech relative to potential background sounds and also to the RF-EMF exposure, since the signal quality is correlated with the RF-EMF strength. Additionally, speech intelligibility, sound pressure level, and exposure to RF-EMFs are dependent on how the call is made (on speaker, held at the ear, or with headsets). The relationship between speech intelligibility, sound exposure, and exposure to RF-EMFs is determined in this study. To this aim, the transmitted RF-EMF power was recorded during phone calls made by 53 subjects in three different, controlled exposure scenarios: calling with the phone at the ear, calling in speaker-mode, and calling with a headset. This emitted power is directly proportional to the exposure to RF EMFs and is translated into specific absorption rate using numerical simulations. Simultaneously, sound pressure levels have been recorded and speech intelligibility has been assessed during each phone call. The results show that exposure to RF-EMFs, quantified as the specific absorption in the head, will be reduced when speaker-mode or a headset is used, in comparison to calling next to the ear. Additionally, personal exposure to sound pressure is also found to be highest in the condition where the phone is held next to the ear. On the other hand, speech perception is found to be the best when calling with a phone next to the ear in comparison to the other studied conditions, when background noise is present.
Demir YP, Sumer MM. Effects of smartphone overuse on headache, sleep and quality of life in migraine patients. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2019 Apr;24(2):115-121. doi: 10.17712/nsj.2019.2.20180037.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of smartphone overuse on headache, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and quality of life in migraine patients.
METHODS: This study is a single-center, cross sectional comparative study. This study was conducted between July and September 2017 in the Neurology Clinic of a private hospital. Migraine disability assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire was used to evaluate the disability status, and Mobile Phone Problematic Use Scale (MPPUS) was used to evaluate smartphone use frequency. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), 24-h Migraine Quality of Life Questionnaire (24-h MQoLQ), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were used to evaluate the pain intensity, quality of life, sleep quality and daytime sleepiness, respectively.
RESULTS: The study included a total of 123 patients. There was a significant difference between the groups in terms of pain intensity, frequency and duration as well as VAS, PSQI, 24-h MQoLQ and ESS (p less than 0.05) scores. There was a negative correlation between MPPUS and PSQI (r=-0.367, p less than 0.05); a strong positive correlation between MPPUS and ESS (r=0.675, p less than 0.05) and a negative correlation between MPPUS and 24-h MQoLQ (r=-0.508, p less than 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Smartphone use has been observed to increase headache duration and frequency in migraine patients. Its overuse in migraine patients is related to poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness; furthermore, as the smartphone use increases, sleep quality decreases, daytime sleepiness increases and quality of life decreases.
Tanghid B. Rashid TB, Song HH. Analysis of biological effects of cell phone radiation on human body using specific absorption rate and thermoregulatory response. Microwave and Optical Technology Letters. 61(6):1482-1490. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/mop.
Health and science have reached a point of intersection which has never existed before. With the recent rapid increase in the use of cellular phones and long periods of usage of these devices near the human body, public concern regarding potential health hazards due to absorption of electromagnetic energy has been growing. To address these issues, this research evaluates the average Specific Absorption Rate in different human tissues by varying source to antenna distance and radiated power using the ANSYS 3D human body model. The Pennes bioheat transfer equation was solved analytically to calculate the longtime exposure effect and temperature rise. The results show that regardless of the frequency, if the antenna radiated power is low (less than 125 mW), temperature increase within the human tissues is low; however if the antenna operates at high radiated power (1 W), temperature tends to increase eight and a half times.
Trends in the incidence of primary brain, central nervous system and intracranial tumors in Israel, 1990-2015
Keinan-Boker L, Friedman E, Silverman BG. Trends in the incidence of primary brain, central nervous system and intracranial tumors in Israel, 1990-2015. Cancer Epidemiol. 2018 Oct;56:6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2018.07.003.
BACKGROUND: The association between cellphone technology and brain, central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumors is unclear. Analysis of trends in incidence of such tumors for periods during which cellphone use increased dramatically may add relevant information. Herein we describe secular trends in the incidence of primary tumors of the brain and CNS from 1990 to 2015 in Israel, a period during which cellphone technology became extremely prevalent in Israel.
METHODS: All cases of primary brain, CNS and intracranial tumors (excluding lymphomas) diagnosed in Israel from 1990 to 2015 were identified in the Israel National Cancer Registry database and categorized by behavior (malignant; benign/uncertain behavior) and histologic type. Annual age-standardized incidence rates by sex and population group (Jews; Arabs) were computed, and the annual percent changes and 95% confidence intervals per category were calculated using Joinpoint software.
RESULTS: Over 26 years (1990-2015) no significant changes in the incidence of malignant brain, CNS and intracranial tumors were observed, except for an increase in malignant glioma incidence in Jewish women up to 2008 and Arab men up to 2001, which levelled off in both subgroups thereafter. The incidence of benign/uncertain behavior brain, CNS and intracranial tumors increased in most population groups up to the mid-2000s, a trend mostly driven by changes in the incidence of meningioma, but either significantly decreased (Jews) or stabilized (Arabs) thereafter.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are not consistent with a discernable effect of cellphone use patterns in Israel on incidence trends of brain, CNS and intracranial tumors.
- It is time to stop believing ICNIRP spin. Tissue heating is not the only biological effect of radiofrequency radiation. The thermal-only exposure limit is not safe.
- Like tobacco smoke, low intensity radiofrequency radiation has multiple harmful effects on human health. Unlike secondhand smoke, secondhand radiation is fast becoming inescapable. The present situation is thus worse than Big Tobacco redux.
- Elected politicians should stop accepting biased reports from individuals with blatant conflicts of interest and start taking seriously the health and safety of their constituents; or at least of their own children and grandchildren.
- The unchecked expansion of Big Wireless permitted by ICNIRP’s thermal-only guidelines is actively harmful to all biological inhabitants of planet Earth. Further expansion to 5G technology will inevitably involve yet more radiation exposure. The fact that this exposure will not breach the ludicrously high ICNIRP-based standard is no defense at all.
Spatial and temporal variability of Rf-Emf exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium
Velghe M, Wout J, Debouvere S , Aminzadeh R, Martens L, Thielens A. Characterisation of spatial and temporal variability of Rf-Emf exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium. Environmental Research. Published online May 22, 2019.https://doi.org/10.1016/
• Comparison of population exposure to RF-EMF in 5 densely populated cities with similar characteristics within Flanders, Belgium.
• The first findings that indicate the effects of regulations on exposure levels.
• Repeatability and representativeness of the used method are shown, which is important for future research.
• Application of this method outside of office hours renders new insights in daily behaviour of exposure.
• On-body calibration of the measurement device allowed us to, in contrast to most other similar studies, quantify the on-body measurement uncertainty.
Personal exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMFs) was studied using personal measurements in five different microenvironments in each of five cities (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Hasselt) in Flanders, Belgium. These measurements were carried out by two researchers using on-body calibrated personal exposimeters. In three out of the five studied cities (Brussels, Ghent and Bruges), temporal aspects of personal exposure to RF-EMFs were studied as well. Measurements during and outside of rush hours (7:00–9:15 and 16:30–19:00) were compared. Likewise, measurements were executed during night time and compared to the ones measured during working hours. Representativeness and repeatability of the measurement method was studied as well.
Based on the results evaluated in this paper, we find that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually and reaches the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes during the EM exposure of wireless eyewear device. The temperature increments in different ocular tissues are from 1°C to 1.7°C. We, therefore, believe EM exposure from wireless eyewear device may pose a threat on the health of the eyes, especially for the lens which suffer from the maximal temperature increments. Meanwhile, the results also show that the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes exposure time to that of the complete thermal steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Hence, wireless eyewear device users should shorten the usage time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, we evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments in the ocular tissues. We find that the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR. Therefore, we believe the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues. This paper could provide valuable data for the establishment of related safety standards and future researches in the biological effect of microwave and human eyes. However, limited by the experimental condition, the experiment is not included. Therefore, conclusions presented in this paper are just indicative but not definitive.
Romanenko S, Harvey AR, Hool L, Fan S, Wallace VP. Millimeter Wave Radiation Activates Leech Nociceptors via TRPV1-Like Receptor Sensitization. Biophys J. 2019 Apr 25. pii: S0006-3495(19)30340-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2019.04.021.
There is evidence that millimeter waves (MMWs) can have an impact on cellular function, including neurons. Earlier in vitro studies have shown that exposure levels well below the recommended safe limit of 1 mW/cm2 cause changes in the action potential (AP) firing rate, resting potential, and AP pulse shape of sensory neurons in leech preparations as well as alter neuronal properties in rat cortical brain slices; these effects differ from changes induced by direct heating. In this article, we compare the responses of thermosensitive primary nociceptors of the medicinal leech under thermal heating and MMW irradiation (80-170 mW/cm2 at 60 GHz). The results show that MMW exposure causes an almost twofold decrease in the threshold for activation of the AP compared with thermal heating (3.9 ± 0.4 vs. 8.3 ± 0.4 mV, respectively). Our analysis suggests that MMWs-mediated threshold alterations are not caused by the enhancement of voltage-gated sodium and potassium conductance. We propose that the reduction in AP threshold can be attributed to the sensitization of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1-like receptor in the leech nociceptor. In silico modeling supported our experimental findings. Our results provide evidence that MMW exposure stimulates specific receptor responses that differ from direct thermal heating, fostering the need for additional studies.
Can Low-Level RF Exposure Affect Cognitive Behaviour in Lab Animals? Literature Review of Spatial Learning and Place Memory
This review considers whether exposure to low-level radiofrequency (RF) fields, mostly associated with mobile phone technology, can influence cognitive behaviour of laboratory animals. Studies were nominated for inclusion using an a priori defined protocol with preselected criteria, and studies were excluded from analysis if they did not include sufficient details about the exposure, dosimetry or experimental protocol, or if they lacked a sham-exposed group. Overall, 62 studies were identified that have investigated the effects of RF fields on spatial memory and place learning and have been published since 1993. Of these, 17 studies were excluded, 20 studies reported no significant field-related effects, 21 studies reported significant impairments or deficits, and four studies reported beneficial consequences. The data do not suggest whether these outcomes are related to specific differences in exposure or testing conditions, or simply represent chance. However, some studies have suggested possible molecular mechanisms for the observed effects, but none of these has been substantiated through independent replication. Further behavioural studies could prove useful to resolve this situation, and it is suggested that these studies should use a consistent animal model with standardized exposure and testing protocols, and with detailed dosimetry provided by heterogeneous, anatomically-realistic animal models.
Protective role of spermine against male reproductive aberrations induced by EMF exposure in the rat
Shahin NN, El-Nabarawy NA, Gouda AS, Megarbane B. The protective role of spermine against male reproductive aberrations induced by exposure to electromagnetic field - An experimental investigation in the rat. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 370:117-130. May, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2019.03.009
The exponentially increasing use of electromagnetic field (EMF)-emitting devices imposes substantial health burden on modern societies with particular concerns of male infertility. Limited studies have addressed the modulation of this risk by protective agents. We investigated the hazardous effects of rat exposure to EMF (900 MHz, 2 h/day for 8 weeks) on male fertility and evaluated the possible protective effect of the polyamine, spermine, against EMF-induced alterations. Exposure to EMF significantly decreased sperm count, viability and motility, and increased sperm deformities. EMF-exposed rats exhibited significant reductions in serum inhibin B and testosterone along with elevated activin A, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and estradiol concentrations. Testicular steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), c-kit mRNA expression and testicular activities of the key androgenic enzymes 3 beta- and 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases were significantly attenuated following exposure to EMF. Exposure led to testicular lipid peroxidation, decreased catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities and triggered nuclear factor-kappa B p65, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2 and caspase-3 overexpression. EMF-exposed rats showed testicular DNA damage as indicated by elevated comet parameters. Spermine administration (2.5 mg/Kg/day intraperitoneally for 8 weeks) prevented EMF-induced alterations in the sperm and hormone profiles, StAR and c-kit expression and androgenic enzyme activities. Spermine hampered EMF-induced oxidative, inflammatory, apoptotic and DNA perturbations. Histological and histomorphometric an