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  1. health hazards

Effects on Immune Function

  • Both human and animal studies report large immunological changes with exposure to environmental levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Some of these exposure levels are equivalent to those of e.g. wireless technologies in daily life.
  • Measurable physiological changes (mast cells increases, for example) that are bedrock indicators of allergic response and inflammatory conditions are stimulated by EMF exposures.
  • Chronic exposure to such factors that increase allergic and inflammatory responses on a continuing basis may be harmful to health.
  • It is possible that chronic provocation by exposure to EMF can lead to immune dysfunction, chronic allergic responses, inflammatory responses and ill health if they occur on a continuing basis over time. This is an important area for future research.
  • Specific findings from studies on exposures to various types of modern equipment and/or EMFs report over-reaction of the immune system; morphological alterations of immune cells; profound increases in mast cells in the upper skin layers, increased degranulation of mast cells and larger size of mast cells in electrohypersensitive individuals; presence of biological markers for inflammation that are sensitive to EMF exposure at non-thermal levels; changes in lymphocyte viability; decreased count of NK cells; decreased count of T lymphocytes; negative effects on pregnancy (uteroplacental circulatory disturbances and placental dysfunction with possible risks to pregnancy); suppressed or impaired immune function; and inflammatory responses which can ultimately result in cellular, tissue and organ damage.
  • Electrical hypersensitivity is reported by individuals in the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany. Denmark and many other countries of the world. Estimates range from 3% to perhaps 10% of populations, and appears to be a growing condition of ill-health leading to lost work and productivity.
  • The WHO and IEEE literature surveys do not include all of the relevant papers cited here, leading to the conclusion that evidence has been ignored in the current WHO ELF Health Criteria Monograph; and the proposed new IEEE C95.1 RF public exposure limits (April 2006).
  • The current international public safety limits for EMFs do not appear to be sufficiently protective of public health at all, based on the studies of immune function. New, biologically-based public standards are warranted that take into account low-intensity effects on immune function and health that are reported in the scientific literature.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Neurology and Behavioral Effects

  • Effects on neurophysiological and cognitive functions are quite well established.
  • Studies on EEG and brain evoked-potentials in humans exposed to cellular phone radiation predominantly showed positive effects (i.e., positive means the exposure has the ability to change brainwave activity even at exposure levels where no effect would be expected, based on traditional understanding and safety limits).
  • There is little doubt that electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones and cell phone use affect electrical activity in the brain.
  • The behavioral consequences of these neuroelectrophysiological changes are not always predictable and research on electrophysiology also indicates that effects are dependent on the mental load of the subjects during exposure, e.g., on the complexity of the task that a subject is carrying out.
  • Most of the studies carried out so far are short-term exposure experiments, whereas cell phone use causes long-term repeated exposure of the brain.
  • In most of the behavioral experiments, effects were observed after the termination of RF exposure. In some experiments, tests were made days after exposure. This suggests a persistent change in the nervous system after exposure to RF.
  • In many instances, neurological and behavioral effects were observed at a SAR less than 4 W/kg. This directly contradicts the basic assumption of the IEEE guideline criterion.
  • Caution should be taken in concluding that a neurological effect resulted solely from the action of RF on the central nervous system because it is well known that the functions of the central nervous system can be affected by activity in the peripheral nervous system.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions