Free Range Themes:
This site provides documentation around the issue of ‘electronic smog’ – the growth in digital communications devices emitting high-frequency radio waves, such as 5G, wifi and mobile phones – and its impacts upon human health and the environment.
Technical Reports and Studies
This page lists significant or relevant ‘expert’ research studies published in major science journals, or by national/international health agencies. The reports are posted in reverse chronological order.
Please note: Where a link is in blue that indicates the files is kept on this web site; if the link is in red then it is located on another, different site somewhere else. If you cannot get the file from other sites that’s not our ‘technical problem’, but if the link continues not to work please let us know so we can post a copy here.
Bandara & Carpenter, The Lancet Planetary Health, vol.2 no.12 pp.e512-e514, December 2018
As the Planetary Health Alliance moves forward after a productive second annual meeting, a discussion on the rapid global proliferation of artificial electromagnetic fields would now be apt. The most notable is the blanket of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, largely microwave radiation generated for wireless communication and surveillance technologies, as mounting scientific evidence suggests that prolonged exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation has serious biological and health effects.
Martin L.Pall, Environmental Research, vol.164 pp.405-416, July 2018
Repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload. Each of these effects are also caused by exposures to other microwave frequency EMFs, with each such effect being documented in from 10 to 16 reviews. Therefore, each of these seven EMF effects are established effects of Wi-Fi and of other microwave frequency EMFs.
Philips et al., Journal of Environmental and Public Health, vol.2018 no.7910754, 24th June 2018
The rise is of importance for clinical resources and brain tumour aetiology. The rise cannot be fully accounted for by promotion of lower–grade tumours, random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques as it affects specific areas of the brain and only one type of brain tumour. Despite the large variation in case numbers by age, the percentage rise is similar across the age groups, which suggests widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible. This article reports incidence data trends and does not provide additional evidence for the role of any particular risk factor.
Falcioni et al., Environmental Research, vol.165 pp.496-503, August 2018
Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission
This is the largest long-term study ever performed in rats on the health effects of RFR, including 2448 animals. In this article, we reported the final results regarding brain and heart tumors. The RI findings on far field exposure to RFR are consistent with and reinforce the results of the NTP study on near field exposure, as both reported an increase in the incidence of tumors of the brain and heart in RFR-exposed Sprague-Dawley rats. These tumors are of the same histotype of those observed in some epidemiological studies on cell phone users. These experimental studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the re-evaluation of IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans.
Pall, Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, vol.75B pp.43-51, September 2016
Non-thermal microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Calcium channel blockers block EMF effects and several types of additional evidence confirm this mechanism. Low intensity microwave EMFs have been proposed to produce neuropsychiatric effects, sometimes called microwave syndrome, and the focus of this review is whether these are indeed well documented and consistent with the known mechanism(s) of action of such EMFs. In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects.
Balmori, Science of the Total Environment, vol.543 no.A pp.662-669, February 2016
Radio transmitters and associated devices may induce negative effects that can bias the results of ongoing research. The main documented effects of radio transmitters on animals include reduced survival, decreased productivity, changes in behaviour and movement patterns and a biased sex ratio. This paper identifies gaps in the knowledge that should be investigated in-depth. The possibility that the radiofrequency radiation from radiotracking devices is responsible for the findings should be considered. Considering this factor may allow researchers to best understand the long-term effects found.
Nascimento Medeiros et al., Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, vol.82 no.1 pp.97-104, January 2016
Tinnitus is a multifactorial condition and its prevalence has increased on the past decades. Some tinnitus patients report that the abusive use of mobiles, especially when repeated in the same ear, might worsen ipsilateral tinnitus. We selected 165 articles that were considered clinically relevant in at least one of the subjects. There may be a common pathophysiology between this electrosensitivity and tinnitus. There are already reasonable evidences to suggest caution for using mobile phones to prevent auditory damage and the onset or worsening of tinnitus.
Huss et al., PLoS ONE, vol.10 no.10 e0139869, 28th October 2015
We evaluated if exposure to RF-EMF was associated with reported quality of sleep in 2,361 children, aged 7 years. This study was embedded in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) birth cohort study. When children were about five years old, school and residential exposure to RF-EMF from base stations was assessed with a geospatial model (NISMap) and from indoor sources (cordless phone/WiFi) using parental self-reports. Given the different results across the evaluated RF-EMF exposure sources and the observed association between mobile phone use and the negative control sleep scale, our study does not support the hypothesis that it is the exposure to RF-EMF that is detrimental to sleep quality in 7-year old children, but potentially other factors that are related to mobile phone usage.
Dasdag et al., International Journal of Radiation Biology, vol.91 no.7 pp.555-561, July 2015
MicroRNAs (miRNA) play a paramount role in growth, diff erentiation, proliferation and cell death by suppressing one or more target genes. However, their interaction with radiofrequencies is still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of radiofrequency radiation emitted from a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) system on some of the miRNA in brain tissue. The results revealed that long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radiation can alter expression of some of the miRNAs such as miR-106b-5p and miR-107. Long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz RF may lead to adverse effects such as neurodegenerative diseases originated from the alteration of some miRNA expression and more studies should be devoted to the eff ects of RF radiation on miRNA expression levels.
Lerchl et al., Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol.459 no.4 pp.585-590, 17th April 2015
The vast majority of in vitro and in vivo studies did not find cancerogenic effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF), i.e. emitted by mobile phones and base stations. Previously published results from a pilot study with carcinogen-treated mice, however, suggested tumor-promoting effects of RF-EMF. We hypothesize that these tumor-promoting effects may be caused by metabolic changes due to exposure. Since many of the tumor-promoting effects in our study were seen at low to moderate exposure levels (0.04 and 0.4 W/kg SAR), thus well below exposure limits for the users of mobile phones, further studies are warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms.
Tang et al., Brain Research, vol.1601 pp.92-101, 19th March 2015
With the rapid increase in the number of mobile phone users, the potential adverse effects of the electromagnetic field radiation emitted by a mobile phone has become a serious concern. This study demonstrated, for the first time, the blood-brain barrier and cognitive changes in rats exposed to 900 MHz electromagnetic field (EMF) and aims to elucidate the potential molecular pathway underlying these changes. In addition, damaged BBB permeability, which resulted in albumin and HO-1 extravasation were observed in the hippocampus and cortex. Thus, for the first time, we found that EMF exposure for 28 days induced the expression of mkp-1, resulting in ERK dephosphorylation. Taken together, these results demonstrated that exposure to 900 MHz EMF radiation for 28 days can significantly impair spatial memory and damage BBB permeability in rat by activating the mkp-1/ERK pathway.
Morgan et al., Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, vol.2 no.4 pp.197-204, December 2014
Computer simulation using MRI scans of children is the only possible way to determine the microwave radiation (MWR) absorbed in specific tissues in children. Children absorb more MWR than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. MWR from wireless devices has been declared a possible human carcinogen. All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to MWR. The exposure limit for laptop computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body. Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children's use of wireless devices.
Adams et al., Environment International, vol.70 pp.106-112, 10th June 2014
Mobile phones are owned by most of the adult population worldwide. Radio-frequency electromagnetic radia- tion (RF-EMR) from these devices could potentially affect sperm development and function. Around 14% of couples in high- and middle-income countries have difficulty conceiving, and there are unexplained declines in semen quality reported in several countries. We conclude that pooled results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality. Further study is required to determine the full clinical implications for both sub-fertile men and the general population.
Redmayne et al., Environmental Health, vol.12 no.90, October 2013
We sought to ascertain associations between New Zealand early-adolescents' subjective well-being and self-reported use of, or exposure to, wireless telephone and internet technology. Texting and extended use of wireless phones was related to having a painful 'texting' thumb). Using a wired cellphone headset was associated with tinnitus, while wireless headsets were associated with headache, feeling down/depressed, and waking in the night. To safeguard young people's well-being, we suggest limiting their use of cellphones and cordless phones to less than 15 minutes daily, and employing a speaker-phone device for longer daily use. We recommend parental measures are taken to prevent young people being woken by their cellphones.
Lustenberger et al., Brain Stimulation, vol.6 no.5 pp.805-811, September 2013
Sleep-dependent performance improvements seem to be closely related to sleep spindles and sleep slow-wave activity. Pulse-modulated radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are capable to modulate these electroencephalographic (EEG) characteristics of sleep. After pulsed RF EMF we found increased SWA during exposure to pulse-modulated RF EMF compared to sham exposure toward the end of the sleep period. Spindle activity was not affected. The changes in the time course of SWA during the exposure night may reflect an interaction of RF EMF with the renormalization of cortical excitability during sleep, with a negative impact on sleep-dependent performance improvement.
Sivani et al., Biology and Medicine, vol.4 no.4 pp.202-216, 6th January 2013
This paper summarizes the effect of radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) from cell towers and wireless devices on the biosphere. Based on current available literature, it is justified to conclude that RF-EMF radiation exposure can change neurotransmitter functions, blood-brain barrier, morphology, electrophysiology, cellular metabolism, calcium efflux, and gene and protein expression in certain types of cells even at lower intensities. The biological consequences of such changes remain unclear.
Carpenter, Reviews in Environmental Health, vol.28 no.4 pp.159-172, 2013
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) include everything from cosmic rays through visible light to the electric and magnetic fields associated with electricity. While the high frequency fields have sufficient energy to cause cancer, the question of whether there are human health hazards associated with communication radiofrequency (RF) EMFs and those associated with use of electricity remains controversial. The issue is more important than ever given the rapid increase in the use of cell phones and other wireless devices. The relative impact of various sources of exposure, the great range of standards for EMF exposure, and the costs of doing nothing are also discussed.
Pilla, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol.426 no.3 pp.330-333, 28th September 2012
This study shows that a non-thermal pulse-modulated RF signal (PRF), configured to modulate calmodulin (CaM) activation via acceleration of Ca2+ binding kinetics, produced an immediate nearly 3-fold increase in nitric oxide (NO) from dopaminergic MN9D cultures. NO was measured electrochemically in real-time using a NO selective membrane electrode, which showed the PRF effect occurred within The results provide mechanistic support for the many reported bioeffects of EMF in which NO plays a role. Thus, in a typical clinical application for acute post operative pain, or chronic pain from, e.g., osteoarthritis, EMF therapy could be employed to modulate the dynamics of NO via Ca/CaM-dependent constitutive nitric oxide synthase (cNOS) in the target tissue.
Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency, April 2012
Exposure of the general public to low level RF fields from mobile phones, wireless networking, TV and radio broadcasting, and other communications technologies is now almost universal and continuous. Current exposure guidelines are based on the thermal effects of RF fields. The evidence suggests that RF field exposure below guideline levels does not cause acute symptoms in humans, and that people, including those who report being sensitive to RF fields, cannot detect the presence of RF fields. Similarly, well-conducted studies do not suggest that exposure to RF fields gives rise to acute cognitive effects. In summary, although a substantial amount of research has been conducted in this area, there is no convincing evidence that RF field exposure below guideline levels causes health effects in adults or children.
McCarty, International Journal of Neuroscience, vol.121 pp.670-676, December 2011
Objective: We sought direct evidence that acute exposure to environmental-strength electromagnetic fields (EMFs) could induce somatic reactions (EMF hypersensitivity). In a double-blinded EMF provocation procedure specifically designed to minimize unintentional sensory cues, the subject developed temporal pain, headache, muscle twitching, and skipped heartbeats within 100s after initiation of EMF exposure. The symptoms were caused primarily by field transitions (off-on, on-off) rather than the presence of the field, as assessed by comparing the frequency and severity of the effects of pulsed and continuous fields in relation to sham exposure. Conclusion: EMF hypersensitivity can occur as a bona fide environmentally inducible neurological syndrome.
WHO/IARC, 3rd October 2011
Mobile phone use has increased dramatically in many countries since its introduction in the early-to-mid 1980s. The expanding use of this technology has been accompanied by concerns about health and safety. As a result, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) coordinated a feasibility study in 1998 and 1999, which concluded that an international study of the relationship between mobile phone use and brain tumour risk would be feasible and informative.
European Environment Agency, October 2011
Mobile phones and other digital devices are now a big part of modern life – but are they dangerous? There were an estimated 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2010, so if mobile phone use is linked to head cancers, the implications are immense. We look at the scientific uncertainty in this area, and what this means for policy.
WHO/IARC, 31st May 2011
The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer 1, associated with wireless phone use. Over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.
IARC Monographs, vol.102, WHO/IARC, May 2011
The topic of this Monograph is the evaluation of the carcinogenicity of radiation in the radio-frequency (RF) range (30 kHz to 300 GHz) of the electromagnetic spectrum. This type of radiation is emitted by devices used in wireless telecommunication, including mobile phones, and by many other sources in occupational and general environmental settings. The general public, manufacturers, regulatory authorities and public health agencies are seeking evidence on the safety of mobile-phone use. Consequently, there has been intense interest in the development and outcome of this IARC Monograph. This interest reflects the high prevalence of exposure (which increasingly extends to children), the vast scope of the telecommunications industry, the findings of some epidemiological studies that suggest an increased risk of cancer, and a high level of media coverage of the topic of mobile phones and cancer.
Khurana et al., International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol.16 no.3 pp.263-267, July 2010
Human populations are increasingly exposed to microwave/radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless communication technology, including mobile phones and their base stations. By searching PubMed, we identified a total of 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for putative health effects of mobile phone base stations. We believe that comprehensive epidemiological studies of longterm mobile phone base station exposure are urgently required to more definitively understand its health impact.
The INTERPHONE Study Group, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol.39 no.3 pp.675-694, June 2010
The rapid increase in mobile telephone use has generated concern about possible health risks related to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from this technology. An interview-based case-control study with 2708 glioma and 2409 meningioma cases and matched controls was conducted in 13 countries using a common protocol. Overall, no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones. There were suggestions of an increased risk of glioma at the highest exposure levels, but biases and error prevent a causal interpretation. The possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation.
WHO/IARC, 17th May 2010
The Interphone Study Group today published their results in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The paper presents the results of analyses of brain tumour (glioma and meningioma) risk in relation to mobile phone use in all Interphone study centres combined. This interview-based case-control study, which included 2708 glioma and 2409 meningioma cases and matched controls was conducted in 13 countries using a common protocol. Analyses of brain tumours in relation to mobile phone use have been reported from a number of cohort and case-control studies, including several of the national components of Interphone. No studies, however, have included as many exposed cases, particularly long-term and heavy users of mobile phones, as this study.
Morgan, Radiation Research Trust, 25th August 2009
Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern has been prepared to enable balanced reporting on this important subject. It provides information on scientific findings from studies on the risk of brain tumors from cellphone use. It includes studies independent of industry funding as well as telecommunications industry funded studies. Further, it includes background information on the soon to be published Telecom-funded Interphone study. In particular, the report's purpose is to inform journalists and government officials of the independent scientific findings that raise red flags, and also to address the design flaws in the Interphone study protocol that results in an underestimation of the risk of brain tumors from cellphone use. This report is fully referenced to enable further investigations and for detailed fact checking.
Sage & Carpenter, Pathophysiology, vol.16 no.2/3 pp.233-246, August 2009
Global exposures to emerging wireless technologies from applications including mobile phones, cordless phones, DECT phones, WI-FI, WLAN, WiMAX, wireless internet, baby monitors, and others may present serious public health consequences. Evidence supporting a public health risk is documented in the BioInitiative Report. New, biologically based public exposure standards for chronic exposure to low-intensity exposures are warranted. Regardless of whether or not the associations are causal, the strengths of the associations are sufficiently strong that in the opinion of the authors, taking action to reduce exposures is imperative, especially for the fetus and children. Such action is fully compatible with the precautionary principle, as enunciated by the Rio Declaration, the European Constitution Principle on Health (Section 3.1) and the European Union Treaties Article 174.
Abdel-Rassoul et al., NeuroToxicology, vol.28 no.2 pp.434-440, March 2007
There is a general concern on the possible hazardous health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiations (RFR) emitted from mobile phone base station antennas on the human nervous system. Inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations are at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems and some changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions either by facilitation or inhibition. So, revision of standard guidelines for public exposure to RER from mobile phone base station antennas and using of NBTB for regular assessment and early detection of biological effects among inhabitants around the stations are recommended.
Schoemaker et al., British Journal of Cancer, vol.93 pp.842848, 30th August 2005
There is public concern that use of mobile phones could increase the risk of brain tumours. If such an effect exists, acoustic neuroma would be of particular concern because of the proximity of the acoustic nerve to the handset. There was no association of risk with duration of use, lifetime cumulative hours of use or number of calls, for phone use overall or for analogue or digital phones separately. Risk of a tumour on the same side of the head as reported phone use was raised for use for 10 years or longer. The study suggests that there is no substantial risk of acoustic neuroma in the first decade after starting mobile phone use. However, an increase in risk after longer term use or after a longer lag period could not be ruled out.
Lönn et al., Epidemiology, vol.15 no.6 pp.653-659, November 2004
Radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones is concentrated to the tissue closest to the handset, which includes the auditory nerve. If this type of exposure increases tumor risk, acoustic neuroma would be a potential concern. In this population-based case-control study we identified all cases age 20 to 69 years diagnosed with acoustic neuroma during 1999 to 2002 in certain parts of Sweden. Our findings do not indicate an increased risk of acoustic neuroma related to short-term mobile phone use after a short latency period. However, our data suggest an increased risk of acoustic neuroma associated with mobile phone use of at least 10 years' duration.
Ahlbom & Feychting, British Medical Bulletin, vol.68 no.1 pp.157-165, December 2003
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are ubiquitous in modern society. It is well known that exposure to strong fields can result in acute effects, such as burns; the mechanisms behind such effects are well established. There is, however, also a concern that long-term exposure to weak fields might have health effects due to an as-yet unknown mechanism. There is still considerably fewer data available and for the time being there is only very weak support for the existence of health effects. However, extensive research activities are ongoing and much more data will be available in the near future. This situation of scientific uncertainty and considerable public concern creates dilemmas for decision makers.