Why size matters

Why size matters

Why is it that some people react differently to wireless radiation than others?

Why is it that some animal and bird species are more affected than others?

The answer has to do with their size – and the size of the wavelength of the signals they’re exposed to.

Professor Om Gandhi is an electrical engineer who should know. He is Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah and one of the pioneers of research on this issue. (You can see some of his publications on this topic below.)

Professor Gandhi says that humans, animals, birds and insects all absorb wireless (radiofrequency) radiation and that they absorb more radiation at some frequencies than others.

We see the relationship between size and frequency in everyday life. If you’ve seen a musician play a stringed instrument, you’ll know that the length of the string determines the sound (or frequency) it produces. If you take a look at your rooftop TV antenna, you’ll see it has small antennas of various lengths – to pick up broadcasts in different frequencies.

People are antennas of different lengths, too.

Gandhi says that it’s possible to calculate how much radiation they absorb or, put another way, what frequencies will cause them to absorb most radiation.

This can be done using the following formula:

F|res = [ 12/Length of the body L in centimeters ] in GHz

In simple terms, the maximum absorption will occur at the frequency that is 12 divided by the length of the body (in cms).

So that means that an insect with a body length of half a centimetre, like a bee, would absorb most radiation at a frequency of 24 GHz which is an important frequency used for 5G technologies.

An insect with a slightly longer body would absorb most radiation at lower 5G frequencies and one with a shorter body would absorb most at higher 5G frequencies.

This helps explain why 5G signals have had such a devastating effect on wildlife, for example on the Greek island of Samos, as reported in our recent blog. It also explains why a decline in bee populations has been observed worldwide and why 5G technologies pose such a threat to agricultural industries that rely on these pollinators.

When it comes to humans and animals, Gandhi says, ‘The max. absorption occurs when the wavelength is approximately twice the size of the human or the animal. That means, for a man with an average height of 175cm, maximum absorption would occur at a frequency of 68 MHz. For a woman with an average height of 150cm, maximum absorption would be approximately 80 MHz.’ Gandhi confirmed these calculations with experiments he conducted as well.

For insects and smaller animals such as birds, maximum radiation will be absorbed at the higher frequencies of 20-25 GHz.

It’s not just body length that is important either. There is also the length of other critical organs – such as the heart or the brain.

Gandhi conducted research on how the brain absorbs radiation, too. In a much-quoted study published in 1996, he and his team calculated the amount of mobile phone radiation absorbed by the head of an adult male, a ten-year-old child and a five-year-old child. He observed that the ten-year-old absorbed much more radiation than the adult, but the five-year-old absorbed much more again. ‘…children, women, and people with smaller heads with thinner pinnae [ears] will absorb more RF energy as compared to adult males with larger heads and thicker pinnae,’ he wrote. This is because the phone is closer to their brains. In fact, Gandhi found that each millimetre closer to a radiating mobile phone the brain is, it will absorb 10 to 15% more radiation.

And what about the growing foetus? It’s no stretch of the imagination to consider that it could be more vulnerable to radiation at some stages of growth than others.

Gandhi’s research has implications for all animal life – and that includes humans. Until we better understand the effects of this exposure, we should think twice about what technologies we use.

Prof Gandhi’s significant publications on this issue include the following:

O.P.Gandhi, " Conditions of Strongest Electromagnetic Power Deposition in Man and Animals, " IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. MTT-23, pp.1021-1029, 1975.

O.P. Gandhi, E.L. Hunt and J. A. D'Andrea, " EM Power Deposition in Man and Animals with and without Ground and Reflector Effects," Radio Science vol. 12 no.6 ( S) pp.39-48, 1977

O. P. Gandhi, M.J. Hagmann,and J.A. D'Andrea, " Part-Body and -Multi-Body Effects on Absorption of RF EM Energy by Animals and Models of Man, " Radio Science vol. 14 no.6 ( S), pp. 15-22, 1979

O. P. Gandhi and E.L. Hunt, " Corner Reflector- Type Applicators for Multilateral Exposure of Animals in Bioeffect Experiments, " Proceedings of IEEE, vol.68, pp.160-162, 1980

Gandhi, Om & Lazzi, G. & Furse, Cynthia. (1996). “Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Mobile Telephones at 835 and 1900 MHz”, Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on. 44. 1884 - 1897. 10.1109/22.539947.

O.P.Gandhi, " Microwave Emissions from cell phones exceed Safety Limits in Europe and the U.S. when touching the body" IEEE Access vol.7 , 2019

O.P. Gandhi, L.L. Morgan, A.A.deSalles, Y.Y. Han,R.B. Herberman and D.L.Davis, " Exposure Limits: The Underestimation of Absorbed Cell Phone Radiation, especially in children" Electromagnetics in Biology and Medicine, vol. 31(1), pp. 34-51, 2012

O.P. Gandhi, " Yes, the Children are more exposed to RF Energy from Mobile Telephones than Adults"', IEEE Access July 10, 2015

EMR Australia would like to thank Dr Gandhi for his correspondence and assistance with this blog.

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