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EMR Literature Survey - January 2017

FEATURE ARTICLE:  
Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields From Wi-Fi in Australian Schools

By: Karipidis K, Henderson S, Wijayasinghe D, Tjong L, Tinker R
Published in: Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2017

SUMMARY

This measurement study assessed the radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields exposure level due to Wi-Fi in Australian schools. A total of 23 schools across two Australian states (NSW and VIC) were measured. Exposure levels from other RF sources such as mobile phone base stations, radio and TV broadcast were also measured, to give a comparison to the Wi-Fi exposure level. Overall, the exposure levels from all RF sources measured were much lower than the public exposure limits in the Australian RF Standard. The typical and peak RF levels from Wi-Fi in the classrooms were of the order of 0.0001% and 0.01% of the Standard, respectively. Both in the classroom and in the school yard, the Wi-Fi exposure level is lower than that from broadcast radio. The authors concluded that the typical RF exposure level due to Wi-Fi in schools is very low and comparable to or lower than other environmental RF sources.

PUBMED LINK

Commentary by ARPANSA

ARPANSA has recently published this paper which is publicly available from Oxford Academic Journals. See ARPANSA's media release regarding the study and our webpage which contains more detailed information regarding the study.


Symptoms and the use of wireless communication devices: a prospective cohort study in Swiss adolescents

By: Schoeni A, Roser K, Röösli M
Published in: Environ Res 2017; 154: 275-283

SUMMARY

This cohort study investigated the association between use of wireless devices and health symptom reports in adolescents. A total of 439 students aged 12-17 years participated at the start of the study and a year later 425 students participated at a follow-up investigation, where they were asked about health symptoms and wireless device use via questionnaires. Mobile phone use data was obtained from the operator for 234 participants. The authors also estimated the RF exposure that participants were exposed to, via calculations. For many of the health symptoms assessed in the study, the associations with measures related to usage of wireless devices were stronger compared to measures related to the RF exposure. Whilst this study found that an increase in self-reported symptoms was. associated with use of wireless devices, the authors concluded that it is the use of mobile devices causing the symptoms rather than the RF exposure.

PUBMED LINK

Commentary by ARPANSA

This study by Schoeni et al. made a comparison between subjective data (self-reported information on mobile phone use) and objective data (mobile operator’s information). It was found that the self-reported information on mobile phone call duration was reported at seven times higher than that recorded by the operator. This suggests a recall bias with the self-reported information.

The reports by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (PDF 5 mb) (SCENIHR) and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) (PDF 1.5 mb) which were both produced in 2015 have maintained the conclusion that RF exposure is not causally linked to any health symptoms usually reported by individuals with electromagnetic hypersensitivity.


Effects of Simulated Mobile Phone Electromagnetic Radiation on Fertilization and Embryo Development

By: Chen H et al.
Published in: Fetal Pediatr Pathol 2016

SUMMARY

This animal study looked into the effect of RF on embryo development. Female mice were stimulated to ovulate and divided into groups of: (i) control; (ii) low RF (no exposure level mentioned); (ii) mid RF (570 microwatts per centimetre-squared, µW/cm²); (iii) high RF (1400 µW/cm²). Exposure to RF was applied at a frequency of 935 megahertz (MHz) and was either at 2 hours per day (h/d) or 4 h/d, for 3 days. After the exposure, the egg cells were harvested for in vitro fertilisation. There were significant differences in the rate of fertilisation and subsequent rate of development, between the control group and mid-RF or high-RF groups. The authors suggested that RF exposure negatively affected fertilisation and embryo development.

PUBMED LINK


Effect of Low Level Subchronic Microwave Radiation on Rat Brain

By: Deshmukh PS et al.
Published in: Biomed Environ Sci 2016; 29 (12): 858-867

SUMMARY

This is an animal study investigating the effect of microwave radiation on brain function. A total of 24 rats were divided into four groups where one group was sham-exposed and three groups were exposed to RF at frequencies of 900, 1800, and 2450 megahertz (MHz), respectively. The exposure was done at specific absorption rates (SAR) ranging from 0.00058 to 0.00067 watts per kilogram (W/kg) which is around 0.8% of the public exposure limit in the Australian RF Standard. There was a decline in the cognitive function and an increase in both the heat shock protein level and DNA damage, when comparing the exposed group to the sham-exposed group. The authors concluded that low level RF exposure may have an adverse effect on the brain.

PUBMED LINK


Long-term exposure to 835 MHz RF-EMF induces hyperactivity, autophagy and demyelination in the cortical neurons of mice

By: Kim JH et al.
Published in: Sci Rep 2017; 7: 41129

SUMMARY

This is an animal study investigating the effects of RF exposure on the brain. A group of mice were exposed to RF at a frequency of 835 MHz and a SAR of 4 W/kg (twice the public exposure limit in the Australian RF Standard), for 5 h/d, for 12 weeks. The authors assessed any changes on the properties of nerve cells in the mice brains. It was found that RF exposure resulted in damage to the insulating sheath of the nerve fibres (myelin) and that the mice displayed hyperactivity-like behaviour. The authors suggested that prolonged very high RF exposure can lead to neurological disorders.

PUBMED LINK


ANSES's OPINION and REPORT on the assessment of population exposure to electromagnetic field emissions by "smart meters"

By: ANSES - French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

SUMMARY

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has recently assessed the health effects of EMF emitted by smart meters. The extremely low frequency (ELF) EMF exposure from the smart meters is comparable to other common electrical appliances such as television sets, whereas the RF exposure is well below that of a mobile phone. ANSES concluded that it is unlikely that exposure to EMF emitted by smart meters is associated with any adverse health effects in either the short term or the long term.

LINK TO WEBPAGE
(Webpage is in English, but the official document is in French)

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