Non-thermal biological effects of microwaves


It is important to avoid some of the terminology that confuses! The only "thermal radiation" is infra-red, or radiated heat. It's why you feel the warmth across a room from a radiant fire. You can get warm from the circulating warmed air as well, but you know when you get close you feel the direct heat.

Radio-frequency, including microwave frequency, electromagnetic radiation is not this. When people talk about the "thermal effects" they refer to microwave energy being absorbed by matter and causing molecular vibration by energy transfer. This is regarded as causing a kind of molecular friction that generates heat (thermal) energy. Heating parts of the body up is bad news and known to cause damage. Of course for that to happen there has to be sufficient microwave energy! That's where ICNIRP comes in. Inside a microwave oven there is a great deal of energy, well above ICNIRP!, and it bounces around millions of times until its energy is lost in exciting molecules (especially of water) and thereby generating heat. The microwaves themselves are not hot, they just make the food hot.

Melatonin reduction is a biological effect that takes place at EMR levels well below the heating threshold. Therefore it cannot be a "thermal (or heating) effect".

So why is it? It could be just that microwaves or radiowaves "illuminate" the pineal gland that produces melatonin, by passing through the skull. We know that melatonin production is governed by daylight, for example.

An intriguing possibility

However, it is not all that simple. One intriguing factor that connects almost everything we say about these non-thermal biological effects, is the role of nitric oxide (NO) in various parts of the body. It is involved, for example, in melatonin production, not least perhaps in that it regulates REM sleep. It also affects the way serotonin works. It affects blood platelets, reacts with haemoglobin, is part of the way calcium CA2+ ions work, affects the blood brain barrier, is implicated in mast cells (perhaps histamine reactions: another aspect of EHS is itchy skin, rashes etc.), affects memory, inflammation, and ultimately "programmed cell death" (apoptosis) that kills damaged or aged cells etc. It plays a role in motor neurone disease, even asthma. It is also a free radical itself, and potentially carcinogenic, so if it "runs away" at the same time that melatonin is suppressed, for example, you lose out both ways. The point of saying this is that NO is held in a very fine balance, and if that balance is disturbed lots of things can go wrong.

And we know that EMR affects levels of NO generation (the body makes it) in rats:

and mice:

NO affects blood flow (it is a vasodilator) and blood pressure. It increases stress oxidation by extending the life of free radicals. It could therefore help explain the ageing issue in the latest Egyptian (Cairo) study from use of mobile phones. It could explain why blood flow to the optic nerve is decreased by using a mobile phone, and why there is increased NO in exhaled breath from using phones. Glaucoma involves NO, viagra works by increasing NO production, and Viagra has just been associated with blindness.

It could also explain why the symptoms of EHS (electrical hypersensitivity), MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) are so similar.

There are lots of "possibles" where NO is involved in chain reactions, and it would explain so much. But all those chain reactions themselves are complex so the answer won't be tomorrow. It is easy to try and finger a prime suspect, and natural to want to. NO might be just that culprit, or it might just be an intriguing suspect. But whatever, NO does appear to be disrupted by EMR, and that is very dodgy for lots of reasons.

What response?

Now remember that we find this technology really useful because of WHAT it does, not because of HOW it does it. The answer is actually not in the emission levels at all, but most probably in the microwave frequencies and the amplitude modulation. You could knock the emission levels down so low that we need to have masts every 100 metres or less (can you imagine?) and still find biological problems in the resulting chronic exposure to electrosmog. Hence I still argue that ICNIRP is a red herring. Emissions are already typically (not always) hundreds or thousands of times below ICNIRP. How low should ICNIRP go? To the point at which phones won't work, as in Salzburg?



From Mrs. G. Lyden, 172 Common Rd. Kensworth, Dunstable, Beds. LU6 2PH. Tel 01582 873460

Amendments to email sent yesterday see *

Dear Sir,

So Professer Lawrie Challis is initiating yet another highly expensive test to 'find out' if electromagnetic radiofrequency emissions (EMR) from mobile 'phones and masts can harm our health, when it has already been proved that they do!

When residents in Schwarzenberg, Switzerland demanded scientific tests to find out if the transmitter which had been making them ill for many years with the same type of emissions, those tests proved beyond doubt that when the mast was switched on the hormone melatonin was inhibited in both the humans and the many cows that lived in the area.

Dr. Neil Cherry tells us in his document 'EMR *Reduces Melatonin in Humans and Animals' that human residents urine and the saliva of 3 herds of cows was tested many times when the transitter was on (when melatonin night time levels were too low) and when it was turned off randomly ( when melatonin levels were normal).

Melatonin (which fosters restful sleep) takes over from serotonin (which keeps us awake during the day). Without melatonin we either cannot sleep or have very disturbed sleep. This is the explanation for the main symptom of chronic insomnia found in the presence of EMR.

Lack of sleep has an adverse effect on the immune system.

Melatonin also triggers Tcells to kill off any cells which have mutated during the day. Without it these mutated cells (caused by the many things to which we are exposed including the natural Schumann Resonances) may proliferate and cause benign tumours or cancer. This is not the only evidence as the Russians found these effects in the 1950s amongst workers in the industry, but the West ignored their warnings. The problem is that these non-thermal EMR emissions are pulsed and at a frequency close which affects people badly.

We do not want to lose this valuable, useful technology, but it is imperative that people who are ill when near masts should be listened to and that tests are done in the areas where the effects are felt and NOT merely in the laboratory. It is impossible to replicate the situations where houses are at differing angles to masts; bedrooms are sometimes right in line with antennae; readings can vary considerably from one area in a house to another meaning that one child or adult in a house can be exposed to more of the emissions than parent or spouse.

It is very wrong that rapidly increasing numbers of people are left to suffer for years (4 years in my village where some residents 14 metres from an Orange mast have suffered insomnia; headaches, nausea and vertigo, earache and tinnitus and frequent nosebleeds the whole time - one man cannot sleep in any of his bedrooms, but sleeps on the floor at the back of his lounge! Two people have developed raised white bloodcell count (a symptom found amongst many staff in the American Embassy in Moscow in the 60s and 70s where the Ambassador died of 'a Leukaemia like' illness after the Russians bombarded his office with radar.)

Professer Challis, Dr. Jill Meara at NRPB; the Dept. of Health etc. have all seen Dr. Cherry's evidence and heard of the suffering of increasing numbers of people. 3G and Tetra are causing even more serious symptoms which override even the protective material put up at great expense by those who can afford the astronomical price. To surround a bed *(which cuts off emissions completely and enables sleep) and curtain one room costs £400!

All we ask is that emissions are made safe, because the present 'safe levels' are nothing of the sort.

Yours sincerely, Gill Lyden


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Juni 2005

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