AThermal effects of EMR - Dr Helen Irvine

The published peer-reviewed literature base describes a wide range of biological effects in animal models and human cells in vitro at low, so-called non-thermal, levels of intensity.

Various biological effects have been reported at SAR below 0.08 W/kg or power densities (depending on the frequency) of 2-10 W/m2.

These include effects on:

  • Cell proliferation
  • Calcium ion efflux and cell membrane transport
  • Blood brain permeability
  • Sleep patterns
  • Behaviour
  • Level of hormone: Melatonin
  • Level on an Enzyme: Ornithine Decarboxylase
Specific studies showing biological effects

Albumin leakage through the blood brain barrier in rats at SARs ranging from 0.016 to 5 W/kg (Salford et al 1994) and other changes in this barrier at an SAR of just 0.0004 W/kg (Salford et al 1997).

Changes in the behaviour of rats (avoidance reflex) at a SAR of .0027 W/kg and a drop of testosterone at 0.027 W/kg (Navakatikian and Tomashevskaya 1994).

Changes in white blood cells function, prolonged reaction time, lower short-term memory scores were identified at power densities of 0-4 uW/cm2 in school students (Chiang et al 1989).

Detection of heat-shock proteins at an SAR range of 0.000021 - 0.0021 W/kg

(Kwee and Rasmark 1998).

A decrease in reproductive functions in mice at intensities of 160-1053 uW/cm2 (Magras and Xenos 1997).

Decreased eating and drinking behaviour in rats at an SAR of 0.0317 W/kg (Ray and Behari 1990).

A change in calcium ion efflux enhancement from human and other nerve cells at an SAR of 0.05 - .005 W/kg (Dutta, Ghosh and Blackman 1989).

DNA damage in human white cells at an SAR range of 0.0024 - 0.024 W/kg (Phillips et al 1998).

  • [It is] too early to answer the question on ill health in humans using epidemiological techniques.
  • [It is] not surprising therefore that these have not shown any effects.
  • Lack of such evidence does not equate with evidence of no effect.
  • No one knows what are the long-term effects of this technology and whether they are cumulative.

“Ordinary citizens differ from rats chiefly in that the latter are used in short-term experiments and the former in longer-term ones,” she said.*

* Dr Helen Irvine, presentation to the National Society of UK for Clean Air and Environment, Feb, 2000

(NB The Australian standard allows people to be exposed to 0.4 W/kg from mobile phone antennas.)

EMRAA News Dec 2000, Vol 5 No 4