Biological effects

col-sm-10 col-sm-offset-1

Initial health problems

  • Sleep disruption
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Palpitations of the Heart
  • Concentration
  • Visual Disorders
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular Problems
  • Fatigue
  • Buzzing in the Head
  • Altered Reflexes

Severe health problems

  • Neurodegenerative Disorders
    –Alzheimer, Parkinson's
  • Immune System Degradation
  • Tinnitus and Ear Damage
  • Irreversible Infertility
  • Effect on Skin
  • DNA Damage
  • Increase in Cancer Risk

Bio Initiative Report

Genotoxicity (DNA Damage from RF and ELF)

  • Toxicity to the genome can lead to a change in cellular functions, cancer, and cell death. One can conclude that under certain conditions of exposure RF is genotoxic. Data available are mainly applicable only to cell phone radiation exposure. One study reports that RF at levels equivalent to the vicinity of base stations and RF- transmission towers is genotoxic and could cause DNA damage (Phillips et al., 1998).
  • RF may be considered genotoxic (cause DNA damage). Of 28 total studies on radiofrequency radiation (RF) and DNA damage, 14 studies reported effects (50%) and 14 reported no significant effect (50%). Of 29 total studies on radiofrequency radiation and micronucleation, 16 studies reported effects (55%) and 13 reported no significant effect (45%). Of 21 total studies on chromosome and genome damage from radiofrequency radiation, 13 studies (62%) reported effects and 8 studies (38%) reported no significant effects.
  • During cell phone use, a relatively constant mass of tissue in the brain is exposed to radiation at relatively high intensity (peak SAR of 4 - 8 W/kg). Several studies have reported DNA damage at lower than 4 W/kg.
  • Since critical genetic mutations in one single cell are sufficient to lead to cancer and there are millions of cells in a gram of tissue, it is inconceivable that the base of the IEEE SAR standard was changed from averaged over 1 gram of tissue to 10 grams.
  • Frequency, intensity, exposure duration, and the number of exposure episodes can affect the response, and these factors can interact with each other to produce different consequences. In order to understand the biological consequence of exposure, one must understand whether the effect is cumulative, whether compensatory responses result and when homeostasis will break down. The choice of cell type or organism studied can also influence the outcome.
  • Extremely-low frequency (ELF) has also been shown to be genotoxic and cause DNA damage. Of 41 relevant studies of genotoxicity and ELF exposure, 27 studies (66%) report DNA damage and 14 studies (44%) report no significant effect.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Stress Response

  • Scientific research on stress proteins has shown that the public is not being protected from potential damage that can be caused by exposure to EMF, both power frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF).
  • Cells react to an EMF as potentially harmful by producing stress proteins (heat shock proteins or hsp).
  • Direct interaction of ELF and RF with DNA has been documented and both activate the synthesis of stress proteins.
  • The biochemical pathway that is activated is the same pathway in both ELF and RF and it is non-thermal.
  • Many biological systems are affected by EMFs (meaning both ELF and RF trigger stress proteins).
  • Many frequencies are active. Field strength and exposure duration thresholds are very low.
  • Molecular mechanisms at very low energies are plausible links to disease (e.g., effect on electron transfer rates linked to oxidative damage, DNA activation linked to abnormal biosynthesis and mutation). Cells react to an EMF as potentially harmful.
  • Many lines of research now point to changes in DNA electron transfer as a plausible mechanism of action as a result of non-thermal ELF and RF.
  • The same biological reaction (production of stress proteins) to an EMF can be activated in more than one division of the EM spectrum.
  • Direct interaction of ELF and RF with DNA has been documented and both activate the synthesis of stress proteins.
  • Thresholds triggering stress on biological systems occur at environment levels on the order of 0.5 to 1.0 µT for ELF.
  • DNA damage (e.g., strand breaks), a cause of cancer, occurs at levels of ELF and RF that are below the safety limits. Also, there is no protection against cumulative effects stimulated by different parts of the EM spectrum.
  • The scientific basis for EMF safety limits is flawed when the same biological mechanisms are activated in ELF and RF ranges at vastly different levels of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). Activation of DNA to synthesize stress proteins (the stress response) is stimulated in the ELF at a non-thermal SAR level that is over a billion times lower than the same process activated by RF at the thermal level.
  • There is a need for a biological standard to replace the thermal standard and to also protect against cumulative effects across the EM spectrum.
  • Based on studies of stress proteins, the specific absorption rate (SAR) is not the appropriate measure of biological threshold or dose, and should not be used as a basis for a safety standard since it regulates against thermal effects only.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

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

Brain Tumors and Acoustic Neuromas

  • Studies on brain tumors and use of mobile phones for > 10 years gave a consistent pattern of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma.
  • Cell phone use > 10 years give a consistent pattern of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma, most pronounced for high-grade glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure.

Brain Tumors and RF - Epidemiology

  • Only a few studies of long-term exposure to low levels of RF fields and brain tumors exist, all of which have methodological shortcomings including lack of quantitative exposure assessment. Given the crude exposure categories and the likelihood of a bias towards the null hypothesis of no association, the body of evidence is consistent with a moderately elevated risk.
  • Occupational studies indicate that long-term exposure at workplaces may be associated with an elevated brain tumor risk.
  • Although the population attributable risk is low (likely below 4%), still more than 1,000 cases per year in the US can be attributed to RF exposure at workplaces alone. Due to the lack of conclusive studies of environmental RF exposure and brain tumors the potential of these exposures to increase the risk cannot be estimated.
  • Overall, the evidence suggests that long-term exposure to levels generally below current guideline levels still carry the risk of increasing the incidence of brain tumors.
  • Epidemiological studies as reviewed in the IEEE C95.1 revision (2006) are deficient to the extent that the entire analysis is professionally unsupportable. IEEEs dismissal of epidemiological studies that link RF exposure to cancer endpoints should be disregarded, as well as any IEEE conclusions drawn from this flawed analysis of epidemiological studies.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Brain Tumors and Acoustic Neuromas

  • Mobile phone use increases the risk of acoustic neuroma for persons using a mobile phone 10 years or longer by 30% (when used on both sides of head) to 240% (habitually used on one side of head). This information relies on a meta-analysis of several major studies. For acoustic neuroma studies by Lönn et al., (2004), Christensen et al., (2004) Schoemaker et al., (2005) and Hardell et al., (2006a) all giving results for at least 10 years latency period or more. Overall OR = 1.3, 95 % CI = 0.6-2.8 was obtained increasing to OR = 2.4, 95 % CI = 1.1-5.3 for ipsilateral mobile phone use (Lönn et al., 2004, Schoemaker et al., 2005, Hardell et al., 2006).
  • There is observational support for the association between acoustic neuroma and the use of mobile phones since some studies report that the tumor is often located in an anatomical area with high exposure during calls with cellular or cordless phones (Hardell et al., 2003).
  • Mobile phone use increases the risk of brain tumors (glioma) for persons using a mobile phone 10 years or longer by 20% (when used on both sides of head) to 200% (habitually used on one side of head). This information relies on a meta-analysis of several major studies. For glioma OR = 1.2, [95 % CI = 0.8-1.9] was calculated (Lönn et al., 2005, Christensen et al., 2005, Hepworth et al., 2006, Schüz et al., 2006, Hardell et al., 2006b, Lahkola et al., 2007). Ipsilateral use yielded OR = 2.0, [95 % CI = 1.2- 3.4 ](Lönn et al., 2005, Hepworth et al., 2006, Hardell et al., 2006b, Lahkola et al., 2007).
  • Cordless phone use is also associated with an increased risk for acoustic neuromas and brain tumors (both low-and high-grade gliomas (Hardell et al., 2006 a,b).
  • The increased risk of acoustic neuroma from use of a cordless phone for ten years or more was reported to be 310% higher risk (when the cordless phone habitually used on the same-side of the head) in Hardell et al., 2006a.
  • The increased risk of high-grade glioma from use of a cordless phone for ten years or more was reported to be 220% higher risk (when cordless used on both sides of head) to 470% higher risk (when cordless used habitually on same side of head) in Hardell et al., 2006b.
  • The increased risk of low-grade glioma from use of a cordless phone for ten years or more was reported to be 60% higher risk (when cordless used on both sides of head) to 320% higher risk (when cordless used habitually on same side of head) in Hardell et al., 2006b.
  • The current standard for exposure to microwaves during mobile phone use and for cordless phone use is not safe considering studies reporting long-term brain tumor risk.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Leukemia

  • The balance of evidence suggests that childhood leukemia is associated with exposure to power frequency EMFs either during early life or pregnancy.
  • Considering only average ELF (MF flux densities) the population attributable risk is low to moderate. However there is a possibility that other exposure metrics are much more strongly related to childhood leukemia and may account for a substantial proportion of cases. The population attributable fraction ranges between 1-4% (Kheifets et al., 2007); 2-4% (Greenland & Kheifets 2006); and 3.3% (Greenland, 2001) assuming only exposures above 3 to 4 mG (0.3 – 0.4 µT) are relevant. However, if it is not average ELF (average MF flux density) that is the metric causally related to childhood leukemia the attributable fraction can be much higher. Up to 80% of childhood leukemia may be caused by exposure to ELF.
  • Considering only average ELF (MF flux densities) the population attributable risk is low to moderate. However there is a possibility that other exposure metrics are much more strongly related to childhood leukemia and may account for a substantial proportion of cases. The population attributable fraction ranges between 1-4% (Kheifets et al., 2007); 2-4% (Greenland & Kheifets 2006); and 3.3% (Greenland, 2001) assuming only exposures above 3 to 4 mG (0.3 – 0.4 µT) are relevant. However, if it is not average ELF (average MF flux density) that is the metric causally related to childhood leukemia the attributable fraction can be much higher. Up to 80% of childhood leukemia may be caused by exposure to ELF.
  • IEEE guideline levels are designed to protect from short-term immediate effects, long-term effects, such as cancer are evoked by levels several orders of magnitudes below current guideline levels.
  • Measures should be implemented to guarantee that exposure due to transmission and distribution lines is below an average of about 1 mG (0.1 µT) and precautionary measures are warranted that can reduce all aspects of exposure.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Melatonin, Alzheimers Disease and Breast Cancer

  • There is strong epidemiologic evidence that long-term exposure to ELF magnetic field (MF) is a risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
  • There is now evidence that 1) high levels of peripheral amyloid beta are a risk factor for AD and 2) medium to high MF exposure can increase peripheral amyloid beta. High brain levels of amyloid beta are also a risk factor for AD and medium to high MF exposure to brain cells likely also increases these cells’ production of amyloid beta.
  • There is considerable in vitro and animal evidence that melatonin protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore it is certainly possible that low levels of melatonin production are associated with an increase in the risk of AD.
  • There are insufficient studies to formulate an opinion as to whether radiofrequency MF exposure is a risk factor for AD.
  • Some studies on EMF show reduced melatonin levels, There is sufficient evidence from in vitro and animal studies, from human biomarker studies, from occupational and light-at-night studies, and a single longitudinal study with appropriate collection of urine samples to conclude that high MF exposure may be a risk factor for breast cancer.
  • There is rather strong evidence from case-control studies that longterm, high occupational exposure (> 10 mG or 1.0 µT)) to ELF magnetic fields is a risk factor for breast cancer.
  • Seamstresses are, in fact, one of the most highly MF exposed occupations, with exposure levels generally above 10 mG (1.0 µT) over a significant proportion of the workday. They have also been consistently found to be at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and (female) breast cancer. This occupation deserves attention in future studies.
  • There are no studies of RF magnetic fields on breast cancer that do not exclude ELF magnetic field, so that predictions of RF magnetic field alone on breast cancer cannot be assessed at this time.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Melatonin – Cell and Animal Studies

  • An association between power-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) and breast cancer is strongly supported in the scientific literature by a constellation of relevant scientific papers providing mutually-reinforcing evidence from cell and animal studies.
  • ELF at environmental levels negatively affects the oncostatic effects of both melatonin and tamoxifen on human breast cancer cells at common environmental levels of ELF exposure at 6 to 12 mG (0.6 to 1.2 µT). Epidemiological studies over the last two decades have reported increased risk of male and female breast cancer with exposures to residential and occupational levels of ELF. Animal studies have reported increased mammary tumor size and incidence in association with ELF exposure.
  • ELF limits for public exposure should be revised to reflect increased risk of breast cancer at environmental levels possibly as low as 2 mG or 3 mG (o.2 to 0.3 µT); certainly as low as 4 mG (0.4 µT).

Naval Medical Research Institute

Reported Biological Phenomena (“Effects”) and some Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation

A. Heating of Organs* (Applications: Diathermy, Electrosurgery, Electro-coagulation, Electrodesiccation, Electrotomy)

  • Whole Body (temperature regulation defects), Hyperpyrexia
  • Skin
  • Bone and Bone Marrow
  • (a) Lens of Eye (cataractous lesions – due to the avascular nature of the lens which prevents adequate heat dissipation.
  • (b) Corneal damage also possible at extremely high frequencies.
  • Genitalia (tubular degeneration of testicles)
  • Brain
  • Sinuses
  • Metal Implants (burns near hip pins, etc.)
  • The effects are generally reversible except for 4a.

B. Changes in Physiologic Function

  • Striated Muscle Contraction
  • Alteration of Diameter of Blood Vessels (increased vascular elasticity), Dilation
  • Changes in the Oxidative Processes in Tissues and Organs.
  • Liver Enlargement
  • Altered Sensitivity to Drug Stimuli
  • Decreased Spermatogenesis (decreased fertility, to sterilize)
  • Altered Sex Ratio of Birth’s (more girls!)
  • Altered Menstrual Activity
  • Altered Fetal Development
  • Decreased Lactation in Nursing Mothers
  • Reduction in Enuresis (Ua+ excreation, via urine output)
  • Altered Renal Function (decreased filtration in tubules)
  • Changes in Conditioned Reflexes
  • Decreased Electrical Resistance of Skin
  • Changes in the Structure of Skin Receptors
  • Altered Blood Flow Rate
  • Alteration in the Biocurrents of the Cerebral Cortex (in animals)
  • Changes in the Rate of Clearance of Tagged Ions from Tissue
  • Reversible Structural Changes in the Cerebral Cortex and the Diencephalon
  • Electrocardiographic (EKG) Changes
  • Alterations in Sensitivity to Light, Sound, and Olfactory Stimuli
  • Functional (a) and Pathological (b) Changes in the Eyes: (a) decrease in size of blind spot, altered color recognition, changes in intraocular pressure, lacrimation, trembling of eyelids; (b) lens opacity and coagulation, altered tissue respiration, and altered reduction- oxidation processes.
  • Myocardial Necrosis
  • Hemorrhage is Lungs, Liver, Gut, and Brain - *At Fetal Levels of Radiation
  • Generalized Degeneration of all Body Tissue - *At Fetal Levels of Radiation
  • Loss of Anatomical Parts
  • Death
  • Dehydration
  • Altered Rate of Calcification of Certain Tissues

C. Central Nervous System Effects

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness (Awake and During Sleep)
  • Electroencephalographic (EEG) Changes
  • Cranial Nerve Disorders
  • Pyramidal Tract Lesions
  • Conditioned Reflex Disorders
  • Vagomimetic Action of the Heart; Sympathomimetic Action
  • Seizures, Convulsions

D. Autonomic Nervous System Effects

  • Neuro-vegetative Disorders (e.g., alteration of heart rhythm)
  • Fatigue
  • Structural Alterations in the Synapses of the Vague Nerve
  • Stimulation of Parasympathetic Nervous System (Bradycardia), and Inhibition of the Sympathetic Nervous System

E. Peripheral Nervous System Effects Effects on Locomotor Nerves

F. Psychological Disorders (“Human Behavioral Studies”) – the so-called “Psychophysiologic (and Psychosomatic) Responses”

  • Neurasthenia – (general “bad” feeling)
  • Depression
  • Impotence
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Hypochondria
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucination
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Increased Irritability
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Loss of Memory
  • Scalp Sensations
  • Increased Fatigability
  • Chest Pain
  • Tremor of the Hands

G. Behavioral Changes (Animal Studies) Reflexive, Operant, Avoidance, and Discrimination Behaviors

H. Blood Disorders

(V= in vivo)

(v = in vitro)

Changes in:

  • Blood and Bone Marrow
  • Phagocytic (polymorphs) and Bactericidal Functions of Blood
  • Hemolysis Rate (increase), (a shortened lifespan of cell)
  • Sedimentation Rate (increase), (due to change in sedimentation levels or amount of fibrinogen (?))
  • Number of Erythrocytes (decrease)
  • Blood Glucose Concentration (increase)
  • Blood Histamine Content
  • Cholesterol and Lipids
  • Gamma (Alpha and beta) Globulin , and Total Protein Concentration
  • Number of Eosinophils
  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio (decrease)
  • Hemopoiesis (rate of formation of blood corpuscles)
  • Leukopenia (increase in number of white cells), and Leukocytosis
  • Reticulocytosis

I. Vascular Disorders

  • Thrombosis
  • Hypertension

J. Enzyme and Other Biochemical Changes Changes in activity of:

  • Cholinesterase (V, v)
  • Phosphatase (v)
  • Transaminase (v)
  • Amylase (v)
  • Carboxydismutase
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Toxin, Fungus, and Virus Inactivation (at high radiation dose levels), Bacteriostatic Effect
  • Tissue Cultures Killed
  • Alteration in Rate of Cell Division
  • Increased Concentration of RNA in Lymphocytes, and Decreased Concentration in Brian, Liver, and Spleen
  • Changes in Pyruvic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Creatinine Excretions
  • Change in Concentration of Glycogen in Liver (Hyperglycemia)
  • Alteration in Concentration of 17- Ketosteriods in Urine

K. Metabolic Disorders

  • Glycosuria (Sugar in urine; related with blood sugar)
  • Increase in Urinary Phenol (derivatives? DOPA?)
  • Alteration of Rate of Metabolic Enzymatic Processes
  • Altered Carbohydrate Metabolism

L. Gastro- Intestinal Disorders

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Epigastric Pain
  • Constipation
  • Altered Secretion of Stomach “Digestive Juices”

M. Endocrine Gland Changes

  • Altered Pituitary Function
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Thyroid Enlargement
  • Increased Uptake of Radioactive Iodine by Thyroid Gland
  • Altered Adrenal Cortex Activity
  • Decreased Corticosteroids in Blood
  • Decreased Glucocorticoidal Activity
  • Hypogonadism (usually decreased testosterone production)

N. Histological Changes

  • Changes in Tubular Epithelium of testicles
  • Cross Changes

O. Genetic and Chromosomal Changes

  • Chromosome Aberrations (e.g., linear shortening, pseudochiasm, diploid structures, amitotic division, bridging, “sticky” chromosomes, irregularities in chromosomal envelop)
  • Mutations
  • Mongolism
  • Somatic Alterations (changes in cell not involving nucleus or chromosomes, cellular transformation)
  • Neoplastic Diseases (e.g., tumors)

P. Pearl Chain Effect (Intracellular orientation of subcellular particles, and orientation of cellular and other (non- biologic) particles) Also, orientation of animals, birds, and fish in electromagnetic fields

Q. Miscellaneous Effects

  • Sparking between dental fillings
  • Peculiar metallic taste in mouth
  • Changes in Optical Activity of Colloidal Solutions
  • Treatment for Syphilis, Poliomyelitis, Skin Disease
  • Loss of Hair
  • Brittleness of Hair
  • Sensations of Buzzing Vibrations, Pulsations, and Tickling About the Head and Ears
  • Copious Perspiration, Salivation, and Protrusion of Tongue
  • Changes in the Operation of Implanted Cardiac Pacemakers
  • Changes in Circadian Rhythms

Appendix A - Videos on Radiation

More reports and videos have been uploaded at Blog: http://neha-wilcom.blogspot.com and Twitter: https://twitter.com/wilcom_neha

DOT Report-Dec-2010

Biological effects of microwave radiation

When a human body is exposed to the electromagnetic radiation, it absorbs radiation, because human body consists of 70% liquid. It is similar to that of cooking in the microwave oven where the water in the food content is heated first. Micr owave absorption effect is much more significant by the body parts which contain more fl uid (water, blood, etc.), like the brain which consists of about 90% water. Effect is more pronoun ced where the movement of the fluid is less, for example, eyes, brain, joints, heart, abdomen, e tc. Also, human height is much greater than the wavelength of the cell tower transmitting frequenci es, so there will be multiple resonances in the body, which creates localized heating inside the bo dy. This results in boils, drying up of the fluids around eyes, brain, joints, heart, abdomen, etc. There are several health hazards associated with ce ll phones and cell towers. Some of these are described in the following sub-sections.

The Blood Brain Barrier

The brain is protected by tight junctions between a djacent cells of capillary walls by the blood- brain barrier (BBB), which selectively lets nutrien ts pass through from the blood to the brain, but keeps toxic substances out. Experiments conducted o n young laboratory rats found that RF from mobile phones can significantly open the BBB in ani mals and cause leakage of albumin from blood vessels in inappropriate locations (neurons a nd glial cells surrounding the capillaries) in the brain. This is shown in Fig. 4 as dark dots in the exposed brain on the right side. Control animals, in contrast, showed either no albumin leak age or occasional isolated spots, as seen on the left side. The presence of albumin in brain tis sue is a sign that blood vessels have been damaged and that the brain has lost some of its pro tection. 14 In another research, a single two-hour exposure to a cell phone just once during its lifetime, permanently damaged the blood-brain barrier and, on autopsy 50 days later, was found to have damaged or destroyed up to 2 percent of an animal’s brain cells, including cells in areas of the brain concerned with learning, memory and movement. It is known that this barrier is damaged in Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. So there is a risk that disruption of this protection barrier may damage the brain.

Risk to Children and Pregnant Women

Children are more vulnerable to cell phone radiatio n as they:

  • Absorb more energy than adults from the same phone owing to their smaller head and brain size, thinner cranial bones and skin, thinner, more elastic ears, lower blood cell volume, as well as greater conductivity of nerve cells and the energy penetrates more deeply. Tumors in the mid brain are more deadly than in the temporal lobe,
  • Children’s cells reproduce more quickly than adults which makes cancers more deadly,
  • There immune system is not as well developed as adu lts hence are less effective against fighting cancer growth,
  • Children have longer life time exposure.

Absorption of electromagnetic radiation from a cell phone (Frequency - GSM 900 MHz) is shown in Fig. 5 by an adult, 10 year old and a 5 ye ar old child. When radiation hits the head, it penetrates the skull. The yellow area at the bottom is the location of the cell phone by the ear. The radiation penetrates the skull of an adult (25% ), 10 year old (50%) and a 5 year old (75%). The younger the child, the deeper is the penetratio n due to the fact that their skulls are thinner and still developing. For these reasons it is criti cal that children under the age of 16 use cell phones only for short essential calls as they have much bigger danger of getting a brain tumor. Brain tumors have now taken over leukemia as the bi ggest cause of death amongst children. Due to these reasons countries like Belgium, France, Fi nland, Germany, Russia and Israel have publicly discouraged use of cell phones by children . An Independent research in Sweden last year concluded there was an astonishing 420 percent increased chance of getting brain cancer for cell phone users who were teenagers or younger when they first started using their phones. A pregnant woman and the fetus both are vulnerable because of the fact that these RF radiations continuously react with the developing embryo and i ncreasing cells. Microwave radiation can damage the placental barrier; the membrane which pr events the passage of some materials between the maternal and fetal blood, protecting th e fetus, implying that pregnant woman should avoid cell phone or use during emergency. In a recent finding, an association was found betwe en a mother’s cell phone use during pregnancy and greater likelihood for spontaneous abortion, congenital malformations and behavioral problems in their children. It is believ ed that the eggs, which form the embryo, are affected and the damage will become apparent after the child reaches puberty . The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radi ation Protection says that use of the phones by both pregnant women and children should b e "limited". It concludes that children who talk on the handsets are likely to suffer from "dis ruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, incre ased irritability" in the short term, and that long-term hazards include "depressive syndrome" and "degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain".

Irreversible infertility

Recent studies confirm that cell phone radiation ca n drastically affect male fertility. In 2006, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine reported that use of cell phones by men is associated with decrease in semen quality, sperm co unt, motility, viability and normal morphology and is related to the duration of cell p hone use . Studies have found 30% sperm decrease in intensive mobile phone users, in additi on to damage of sperms. The average sperm count was found to be at 59 million sperm per milli liter of seminal fluid compared to 83 million for men not continually exposed to mobile phone rad iation. Similarly, the study found that motility - the power of the sperm to swim - was aff ected by mobile phone transmissions. Men who made lengthy calls had fewer rapidly motile spe rm, 36.3 per cent compared with 51.3 per cent for men who made no calls. It was found that not only does using a phone affec t a man's sperm quality, but simply having it switched ON in a pocket was enough to do damage as mobile phones periodically but briefly transmit information to cell towers to establish co ntact. Radiation from cell phone can also produce DNA breaks in sperm cells that can mutate a nd cause cancer. Damage to sperm DNA increases the risk further and can pass on the gene tic changes to subsequent generations. Animal studies indicate that EMR may have a wide ra nge of damaging effects on the testicular function and male germ. It has been reported that m ice on exposure to cell phone signals from an antenna park become less reproductive. After five g enerations of exposure, the mice were not able to produce offspring, showing that the effect of Radio frequency radiation can pass from one generation to another. Due to these reasons it is advisable to never wear or use any wireless device near reproductive organs. Men planning to father children are advised to make sure that they stop using wireless devices well in advance of fertilization to reduce the chance of procreation with damaged sperm.

Calcium ion release from cell membranes

Calcium ion release from cell membranes Studies have shown that weak electromagnetic fields remove calcium ions bound to the membranes of living cells, making them more likely to tear, develop temporary pores and leak . Leakage of calcium ions into the cytosol (the fluid found inside cells) acts as a metabolic stimulant, which accelerates growth and healing, bu t it also promotes the growth of tumors. Leakage of calcium ions into brain cells generates spurious action potentials (nerve impulses) accounting for pain and other neurological symptoms in electro-sensitive individuals. It also degrades the signal to noise ratio of the brain mak ing it less likely to respond adequately to weak stimuli.

DNA damage

Cellular telephone frequencies can lead to damaged DNA. Studies show that microwave exposure at levels below the current FCC exposure s tandard, produces single and double strand breaks in DNA. EMR causes membrane leakage due to l oss of calcium ions. Leaks in the membranes of lysosomes (small bodies in living cell s packed with digestive enzymes) release DNAase (an enzyme that destroys DNA), which explain s the fragmentation of DNA seen in cells exposed to mobile phone signals. Microwave radiation can also interfere with the natural processes involved in DN A replication and repair, by subtly altering molecular conformati on (architecture). Another possibility of DNA damage is via free radical formation inside cells. Free radicals kill cells by damaging macromolecules, such as DNA, protein and membrane a nd are shown to be carcinogenic. Several reports have indicated that electromagnetic fields (EMF) enhance free radical activity in cells as shown in Figure 6. The Fenton reaction is a catalyt ic process of iron to convert hydrogen peroxides, a product of oxidative respiration in th e mitochondria, into hydroxyl free radical, which is a very potent and toxic free radical. Thus EMF affects the DNA via an indirect secondary process. Damage to DNA is a central mechanism for developing tumors and cancer. When the rate of damage to DNA exceeds the rate at which DNA can be repaired, there is the possibility of retaining mutations and initiating cancer. DNA dama ge in brain cells can affect neurological functions and also possibly lead to neurodegenerati ve diseases.

Interference with other gadgets including Pace Make rs

Cell phone radiation interferes with navigational e quipment; therefore its use is banned in airborne flights. Electromagnetic interference (EMI ) from mobile phones can cause malfunctioning of life-line electronic gadgets in t he hospitals thereby potentially endangering patients. It is also advisable to restrict mobile p hone use in clinical areas like operating theatres and intensive care units. Finally, hospital construction needs to take into a ccount EMR from different areas within the hospital, as well as external sources, to limit int erference with medical equipment. For example, allowing mobile phone use in a hospital corridor ad jacent to a ward with sensitive medical equipment susceptible to EMR could be problematic. RF exposure from mobile phones and cellular phone b ase antennas can also affect patients carrying Pace Maker, Implantable Cardiovascular Def ibrillators (ICDs) and Impulse Generators. The signals generated by mobile phones cause electr omagnetic interference with the device and interfere with its proper functioning. The signals produced by cell phone operating functions like, turning on, ringing, conversation and turning off, contain components of low frequencies that can interfere with the implanted pacemakers ca using them to become arrhythmical which in adverse conditions can put the patient to death. Due to these reasons government agencies have advis ed not to place mobile phones directly over pacemakers (such as in the chest pocket) and have i ssued recommendations to health care providers and patients with pacemakers. Also, the c ellular phone should be used with the right ear if the pacemaker is implanted in the left side of the chest. As a safety measure, it is advisable to maintain a safe distance of about 50 cm between portable mobile phones from the patient.

Effects on Stress Proteins (Heat Shock Proteins)

Non-thermal effects of Radio frequency radiation ac cumulate over time and the risks are more pronounced after several years of exposure. The eff ects are not observed in the initial years of exposure as the body has certain defense mechanisms and the pressure is on the stress proteins of the body, namely the heat shock proteins (HSPs). Th e highly conserved HSPs accumulate in cells exposed to heat and a variety of other stress ful stimuli like heavy metal poisoning and oxygen deprivation. HSPs, which function mainly as molecular chaperones, allow cells to adapt to gradual changes in their environment and to surv ive in otherwise lethal conditions. It has been observed that GSM mobile phone exposure can activate the cellular stress response in both human and animal cells and cause the cells to produce stress proteins (heat shock proteins), in particular HSP27 and HSP70. This means that the body recognizes these electromagnetic radiations as a potential harm. Hence RF exposures add to the list of environmental stressors that cause a physiological stress response. This further demonstrates that ELF and RF exposures can be harmful, and it happens at levels far below the existing public safety standards. HSPs are known to inhibit natural programmed cell d eath (apoptosis), whereby cells that should have ‘committed suicide’ continue to live. Recent s tudies show that HSP27 and HSP70 inhibit apoptosis in cancer cells. Taken together, these va rious effects are, in turn, consistent with the 2 to 3 fold increase in the incidence of a rare form of cancers. If the stress goes on for too long, there is a reduced response, and the cells are less protected against the damage. This is why prolonged or chronic exposures may be quite harmful , even at very low intensities.

Effect on Skin

Radiation from cell towers and mobile phones affect s human skin. People who talk often on cell phones have a higher concentration of the transtyretin protein than those who do not. Transtyretin is formed in the liver; it helps transport vitamin A in the body and plays an important role in nervous diseases such as Alzheime rs. The symptoms of Morgellons disease include those of electromagnetic hypersensi tivity (EHS); may be based on how body uses electric currents to repair wounds to the skin. People who suffer from this condition report a range of skin symptoms including crawling, biting and stinging sensations; granules, threads or black speck-like m aterials on or beneath the skin and/or lesions (e.g., rashes or sores). EMFs degrade the immune sy stem and stimulate various allergic and inflammatory responses. The high radiation from cel l towers can result in an increase in mast cells, which explains the clinical symptoms of itch , pain, edema and erythema.

Tinnitus and Ear Damage

Tinnitus, popularly known as “Ringxiety”- is the psychological disease of hearin g phantom sound and sensation of cell phone ring and it has b een reported among millions of cell phone users in the world. People with severe tinnitus may have trouble hearing, working or even sleeping. The radiation emitted by mobile phones ma y damage the delicate workings of the inner ear , and long-term and intensive mobile phone use for mo re than four years and for longer periods than 30 minutes in a day are at a higher ri sk of developing hearing loss, which cannot be reversed. This auditory perception has been shown to occur wh en a person’s head is illuminated with microwave energy. The microwave pulse upon absorpti on in the head, launches a thermo-elastic wave of acoustic pressure that travels by bone cond uction to the inner ear. There it activates the cochlear receptors via the same process involved fo r normal hearing, which explains the “clicks” heard by people exposed to microwave radiation. Today, more and more young people between 18 and 25 years of age are suffering from hearing loss, which doctors say is due to excessive use of mobile phones and other gadgets. Good hearing depends on the health of some 16,000 hair c ells present in each inner ear. But increasingly, doctors have been treating people who se hair cells have been damaged by the high radiation emitted from cell phones. Hearing problem s occur because these cells do not regenerate. Anyone who spends two to three hours on the cell phone every day runs the risk of partial deafness over three to five years. Most of the marketing and tele-consulting professionals are in their 20s, and their jobs demand long conver sations on cell phones. The problem starts with a pain in the ear that gradually develops into tinnitus or a ringing sensation which finally leads to hearing loss.

Effect on Eye/ Uveal Melanoma

Frequent use of mobile phones can also damage the v isual system in many ways and cause uveal melanoma i.e. tumor of the eye. Tumors involve the choroid (98%), iris (1%) and unk nown parts of the uveal tract (1%). Computational modeling and experiments with several laboratory animals show that microwave radiation similar to mo bile phone frequencies (900, 1800 MHz and 2450 MHz) can induce chromosomal breaks in the corn eal epithelial cells and increase the intraocular temperature of the eye with prolonged e xposure. Increase in temperature close to the eye lens (as l ow as 3 o C) can result in lens opacities and increase the risk of developing cataracts in humans , a condition characterized by clouding in the natural lens of the eye and lens opacities. When Bo vine eye lenses were exposed to microwave radiation, it caused macroscopic damage and affecte d the optical function of the lens. The damage increased as the irradiation continued and r eached a maximum level after a number of days. When the exposure stopped the optical damage began to heal gradually. A similar maximum level was observed when the irradiation int ensity was reduced to one-half the original, except that it took twice the time. A lens of good optical quality is able to focus the laser beam from the various locations (green lines in the left frame of Fig. 7. When the lens is damaged due to exposure to microwave radiation, its ability to focus the laser beam at the various locations is altered, as clearly revealed in the right frame. Th e blue line connects the points of the back vertex distance for each ray passing through the le ns. The pink line shows the relative intensity of each beam, that is, the transmitted intensity no rmalized to the incident one. Prolonged exposure to microwave radiation similar t o that used by cellular phones can lead to both macroscopic and microscopic damage to the lens and part of this damage seems to accumulate over time and does not heal.

Cell phone emission weaken bones

Researchers have measured bone density at the upper rims of the pelvis (iliac wings) in men who were mobile users and carried their phones on their belts. The iliac wings are widely used source of bone for bone grafting, so any reduction in bone density may be of special importance to reconstructive surgery. The results showed reductio n in iliac wing bone density on the side where men carried their phones. In general, it is b etter to keep mobile phones as far as possible from our body during our daily lives.

Salivary gland tumor

Increased risk of salivary gland cancer among resid ents in Israel from 1970 to 2006 has been reported, which is believed to be linked to the use of mobile phones. Among salivary gland cancer cases, researchers found a worrying rise in the number of cases of malignant growth in parotid glands - the salivary gland located under t he ear, near the location where cell phones are held during conversations. Users below the age of 2 0 were found to be more susceptible. Another epidemiology study found that people who he ld a mobile handset against one side of their head for several hours a day have 50% more ri sk for tumor formation in the parotid gland - the largest salivary gland after 5-10 years.

Melatonin Reduction

Melatonin, a vital natural neuro-hormone is a power ful antioxidant, antidepressant and immune system enhancer that regulates our circadian rhythm . Every night as we go to sleep, our melatonin levels rise. Melatonin goes through our b lood and clears our cells up, that is to say, scavenges free radicals in the cell to protect the DNA and reduce the possibility of cells becoming carcinogenic. The daily sleep/wake cycle, blood pressure and heart rate cycle, metabolic rate and thermal regulation, hormone prod uction and immune system activity all have a daily cycle regulated by melatonin directly or in directly through the autonomic system. Various studies show that exposure to EMR reduce me latonin levels in animals and humans. Daily cellular telephone use of >25 minutes over ye ars may lead to reduced melatonin production. Studies with animals show a reduction i n melatonin levels following radiofrequency radiation exposure from cell phones and cell sites. Turning off the transmitters resulted in a significant increased melatonin levels within few d ays. When availability of melatonin is impaired, a whole range of disorders including sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, depression, cardiac, reproductive and neurological diseases and mortality can occur. Reduced melatonin is also asso ciated with increased DNA damage and increased risk of cancer, arthritis, seasonally aff ective disorder (SAD), schizophrenia, increased eye stress, renal impairment, Alzheimer’s and Parki nson’s disease, miscarriage, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and increased risk of childh ood leukemia.

Sleep Disorders

Electromagnetic fields have been shown to affect th e brain physiology. Use of mobile phones disturbs Stage 4 sleep, the stage important for ful l recuperation of brain and body. Use of the handsets before bed, delays and reduces sleep, and causes headaches, confusion and depression. The findings are especially alarming for children a nd teenagers as they use cell phones at night and also keep the phone next to their head; which m ay lead to mood and personality changes, depression, lack of concentration and poor academic performance. The relationship of sleep disturbance with exposure to a cell phone/ tower radiation is shown in Fig. 8. It can be seen that percentage increase in sleep disturbance is proportional to the exposure dose. Even at 1nW/cm 2 = 0.001 μ W/cm 2 = 10 μ W/m 2 , disturbance in the sleep is of the order of 35%. When the transmitter was turned off, the sympt oms resumed gradually

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Exposure to electromagnetic fields has shown to be in connection with Alzheimer’s disease, motor neuron disease and Parkinson’s disease. All t hese diseases are involved with the death of specific neurons and are classified as neurodegener ative diseases. People living near mobile phone base stations are a lso at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems as headache, memory loss, nausea, dizzines s, tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, altered reflexes, muscle and joint paint, leg/foot pain, depression, and sleep disturbance. More severe reactions include seizures, paralysis, psychosis and stroke.

Increase in Cancer risk

Heavy use of mobile phones can cause cancer. Use of mobile phones for >10 years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for brain canc er - glioma (cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system) and acoustic neuroma ( a benign tumor in the brain on a nerve 22 related to hearing). The risk is highest for ipsila teral (on the same side of the head where the instrument is held) exposure. Children and teenager s, before the age of 20 are five times more likely to get brain cancer, as their brain is not f ully developed and radiation penetration is much deeper. It is possible that today's young people ma y suffer an "epidemic" of the disease in later life. Besides increase in brain tumour and acoustic neuro ma, there is an increased risk of several other types of cancers following prolonged exposure to mo bile phone/ tower radiation, such as, salivary gland tumors, uveal melanoma, lymphoma, fa cial nerve tumors, skin, blood, testicular and breast cancer. Interphone study has also found a ‘significantly increased risk’ of some brain tumors for heavy users of mobile phones (> 20 minut es per day) for a period of 10 years or more. It is suggested that children should be discouraged from using mobile phones and restrict use to emergency while adults should “keep calls short”.

Adverse effect on birds, animals and environment

Electromagnetic radiation from Cell phone and cell tower affects the birds, animals, plant and environment. One would never see a bee, sparrow, pi geon, or any bird flying and staying near the cell tower? The reason is that surface area of a bird is relatively larger than their weight in comparison to human body, so they absorb more radia tion (power = power density x area). Since fluid content is small due to less weight, it gets heated up very fast and also the magnetic field disturbs their navigational skills. These effects a re given in the following sub-sections.

Effect on Honey Bees

It has been quoted that Albert Einstein had said, ‘ ‘If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to li ve.” In the US, an abrupt disappearance of bees was observed several years back and was associ ated with the rising electromagnetic pollution. This is known as Colony Collapse Disorde r (CCD) where bees cannot find their way back to the hive as a result of consistent electrom agnetic back ground noise that seems to disrupt intercellular communication within individual bees. CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Scotla nd, Wales and north-west England. In England, the bee population fell by 54 percent betw een 1985 and 2005 compared to an average of 20 per cent across Europe. Recently, a sharp decline has also been noticed in commercial bee population in Kerala posing a serious threat to honey bees, hitting apiculture (t he cultivation of bees on a commercial scale for the production of honey). The State has the highest density of mobile towers. Similar cases have been observed in Bihar, Punjab, Nepal and other par ts of India and have been attributed to increasing electro pollution in the environment. When honey bee colonies were exposed with radiatio n, the honeycomb weight and area were reduced and returning time of honey bees increased compared to similar non-exposed colonies. Several other studies show that the high-frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile phones alter the resonant stimulus of living organisms and can c ause modifications in certain areas of their brain. Changes in the brain structure of bees can b e a cause of alterations of the returning capabilities of bees. It's not just the honey that will be lost if popula tions plummet further. Bees are estimated to pollinate 90 commercial crops worldwide. The curren t dying/vanishing of honey bees can have serious consequences for human health. Scientists w arn that the steady decline in bees and other pollinators could trigger crises bigger and more im mediate than global warming. Honey bees brain anatomy as well as the learning re gions of the bee brain are well known and comparable to those of vertebrates and are well sui ted as a bio-indicator. We are fortunate that the warning bells have been sounded and it is for u s to timely plan strategies to save not only the bees but human life and environment from the ill ef fects of such EMR.

Effect on Birds

When birds are exposed to weak electromagnetic fiel ds, they disorient and begin to fly in all directions, which explain migratory birds undermini ng navigational abilities. A large number of birds like pigeons, sparrows, swans are getting los t due to interference from the new "unseen enemy", i.e. mobile phone masts. Several million bi rds of 230 species die each year from collisions with telecommunications masts in the Uni ted States during migration. Accidents happen mainly in the night, in fog, or bad weather, when birds might be using the earth's magnetic field for navigation, and could be serious ly disoriented by the microwave radiation from telecommunication masts. During recent decades there has been a marked decli ne of the house sparrow population. London has witnessed a steep fall in its sparrow populatio n; a 75 per cent fall since 1994. There have been dramatic declines, almost to the point of exti nction in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Ghent, Brussels, Dublin, Belgium, etc. Studies show that the disappearance of the sparrow and the introduction of phone mast GSM towers correlate closely in terms of time. In Spain, to monitor the breeding success of the wh ite stork population, 60 nests were selected and visited from May to June of 2003. Thirty nests were located within 200 m of mobile masts and other 30 were located at a distance of more tha n 300 m from any transmitter. 40% of the nests close to the antennae were without young, as opposed to 3.3% among those at a larger distance. Behavioural changes were also observed am ong birds close to the phone antennae. Young birds died from unknown causes and bird coupl es frequently fought while constructing their nests. Some nests were never completed and th e storks remained passively in front of the antennae. Microwaves from phone masts also interfere with rep roductive success of birds. In an experiment, 75% of chicken embryos that were expose d to a GSM mobile phone during incubation died compared to 16%, who were not expos ed to any radiation. Birds having nest near towers were found to leave their nests within one w eek. The eggs laid in nests near towers failed to hatch. A general disappearance of birds like Kestrel, Whit e Stork, Rock Dove, pigeons, Magpie has been observed near base stations for mobile telecom munication. Locomotive problems, breeding problems, and tendency to stay long in lower parts of the trees and on the ground have been observed. In some tracked nests (blackbird), the e ggs never hatched and also many dead specimens were found near phone masts areas. A house sparrow is associated with human habitation . Being very sensitive to changes in the environment, it is one of the most preferred indica tor species of urban ecosystems. A stable house sparrow population indicates a healthy ecosys tem for human beings in terms of air and water quality, vegetation and other parameters of h abitat quality. Whereas, a declining population of the bird provides a warning that the urban ecosystem is experiencing some environmental changes unsuitable for human health i n the immediate future.

Effect on mammals and amphibians

The study in Germany showed that cows grazing near cell towers are more likely to experience still births, spontaneous abortions, birth deformit ies, behavioral problems and general declines in overall health. Moving cattle herds away from such towers has reportedly led to immediate health improvements. Exposing dairy cows to magneti c fields can also result in reduction in milk yield, changed milk composition and fertility probl ems. Recently, a significant increase of micronuclei in erythrocyte in the blood of cattle g razing on a farm near a transmitting facility was discovered. This is an indication of a genotoxi c effect of the exposure, which means the change will pass on to their subsequent generations . Similarly, impaired immune system in sheep, reprodu ctive and developmental problems in dogs and cats, anxiety and alarm in rabbits, frequent de ath of domestic animals such as, hamsters, and guinea pigs living near base stations of mobile tel ecommunication towers has been observed. Electromagnetic pollution is a possible cause for d eformations and decline of some amphibian populations too. Morphological abnormalities, aller gies, changes in blood counts, increase in the heart rate, arrhythmia and increased mortality has been found in amphibians like Newts and frog tadpoles. Bat activity is significantly reduced in habitats exposed to electromagnetic field. During a study, in a free-tailed bat colony, the nu mber of bats decreased when several phone masts were placed 80m from the colony

Effect on Plants

Apart from bees, birds and animals, electromagnetic radiation emanating from cell towers can also affect vegetables, crops and plants in its vic inity. Studies show definitive clues that cell phone EMF can choke seeds, inhibit germination and root growth, thereby affecting the overall growth of agricultural crops and plants. A reductio n in wheat and corn yield in the fields near high EMF lines has also been reported. Progressive deterioration of trees near phone masts has also been observed. Trees located inside the main lobe (beam), look sad and feeble, have dri ed tops, show slow growth and high susceptibility to illnesses and plagues. Also, elec tromagnetic radiations generate heat. Due to this, the microorganisms present in the soil near i t would be killed. This in turn harms those organisms which feed on them and disturbs the ecolo gical cycle.

Possible Solutions to reduce the ill effects of cell tower radiation

There are several health hazards due to radiation f rom the cell towers to the human, birds, animals and environment. In India, we have adopted very relaxed radiation norms of 4.7 W/m 2 for GSM900, whereas serious health effects have bee n noted at as low as 0.0001 W/m 2 = 100 μW/m 2 . One of the first steps to be taken is to tighten the radiation norms and yet it should be practical enough to be cost effective without causi ng too much inconvenience to the users. It is recommended that maximum cumulative power density a llowed should be reduced with immediate effect to 0.1 W/m², which should then be subsequently reduced to 0.01 W/m² within a year, so that network planning can be carried out i n a phased manner. It must be noted that a few countries have even adopted 0.001 W/m² or lower, so our proposed recommendation is higher than these countries to keep it cost effective. All the operators must be strictly instructed that power density inside residential or office building s, schools, hospitals, and at common frequently visited places should be within these guidelines. P eople must be informed about the harmful radiation effects and corrective measures taken by Govt. of India. Also, people must be informed that for some time, they may have network problem ( especially people living far away from the cell tower) due to reduction in the transmitted pow er but it is for their overall health benefit. Solution is to have more numbers of cell towers wit h lesser transmitted power. When power transmitted is reduced, it will not require power h ungry power amplifiers having lower efficiency. Heating effect will also be reduced, so lesser cooling or no cooling will be required; all of these will reduce the power requirement, whi ch can also be met by solar panel. Thus, high power diesel generators will also be not required; it will reduce the carbon emission and we can earn from carbon credits. In addition, repeaters or signal enhancers or boost ers may have to be installed where signal is weak. Care must be taken that maximum power transmi tted by these must not exceed 0.1W because of their close proximity to the users. Self certification by the operators must be immedia tely abolished; measurements must be done by third party, which is independent and trustworth y. Also, radiation measurements must be monitored continuously, so that operators should no t increase the transmitted power during the peak period. Very strict penalties must be imposed on those operators, who violate these norms as it causes serious health hazards to innocent peo ple. The reduction in the transmitted power for the abov e solutions will definitely increase the installation and maintenance cost, because of this reason, operators all over the world are claiming that there are no radiation health hazards . Increase in the cost of deployment of network can be met by increasing per minute charges from Rs . 0.30 to 0.35, extra carbon credits earned, etc. Also, Govt. may consider reducing the tax or l icense fee in the overall interest of saving the lives of people, birds, animals, plants, and enviro nment, thereby saving mother earth.