Electromagnetic fields affect health and it’s necessary to reduce exposure, say EMF experts Professor Frank Barnes and Eugene Freeman Jr.
‘… [B]iological systems can detect and respond to exposures to EM [electromagnetic] fields at power levels that are well below the current safety guidelines for cellular communications devices,’ they wrote in a paper published late last year. ‘Furthermore, data indicate that long-term exposures to low levels of RF [radiofrequency] power can lead to effects that are cumulative and generally not seen for short-term exposures.’
Some of these effects, they said, are therapeutic. Other are not.
In their paper, Barnes and Freeman referred to studies showing harmful effects such as:
- damage to male fertility from mobile phone radiation
- cancer in animals
- changes to reactive oxygen species
- and symptoms such as sleep loss, concentration problem, fatigue and memory loss.
‘The recent research suggests that the effects of low-level EM fields on living organisms are non-trivial and potentially harmful. Given these revelations; regulators, providers, and users are under pressure to reach agreement on the most reasonable approach to minimize potentially harmful effects,’ they said.
‘Forcing a solution that eliminates all wireless communications is not a reasonable approach,’ they wrote. ‘Allowing the telecommunications industry and users to ignore the potential harm indicated by some of the experiments showing the effects of weak field exposures is equally unsatisfactory given the data that are currently available.’
Barnes and Freeman suggested a number of strategies that could be implemented, such as:
- designing transmitters to reduce power – but that would affect performance and be costly, the said
- reducing the amount of radiation absorbed by a user’s body, which can be ‘accomplished by increasing the distance between the transmitting antenna and the user’s body and head.
- redesigning transmitters to emit frequencies that are less biologically harmful
- limiting the length of a person’s exposure by turning phones OFF after a certain interval
- ‘minimizing the number of times a cell phone provides location and ranging data to the cell system when it not in use or moving’
- and education and information to change people’s patterns of use.
‘With such a large number of users, it is incumbent on system designers, operators, managers, and regulators to invest the time and energy to understand the risks of long-term exposure to low-level EM fields to determine potential hazard.’
Barnes’s is an authoritative voice in the field of electromagnetics. He was Vice President of IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics engineers] for publication, Chairman of the Electron Device Society, President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society and U.S. Chair of Commission K-International Union of Radio Sciences.
Barnes Frank and Freeman Jr Eugene R, Some thoughts on the possible health effects of electric and magnetic fields and exposure guidelines, Frontiers in Public Health, Vol 10, 2022, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2022.99475
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September 23, 2023