Biological and Cellular Mechanisms

Scientific Literature

Update 7/10/21

A rapidly increasing number of research studies show biologic effects from microwave radio frequency radiation including cardiac, cell membrane, DNA and RNA damage, immune system, melatonin, nervous system effects, oxidation/anti-oxidation, stress protein synthesis without heating of tissues.  How can this be explained if non-thermal exposures of  non-ionizing radiation cannot heat tissue or move electrons from molecules as radiation from X-rays and nuclear systems do?  Microwave electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by water. It can thus penetrate our bodies and affect cell structures. Mechanisms proposed are effects on cell signaling such as with voltage gated calcium channels (cell membrane), creation of reactive oxygen species as well as acoustic wave formation that can affect water molecules.

2001 Review of the Literature by Creasy and Goldberg

Creasey and Goldberg (2001) reviewed the literature on biologic effects of electromagnetic fields in EMF Health Report- Creasey and Goldberg 2001-Review EMF Bioeffect Mechanisms. They discuss 3 major older theories and a new theory by Dr. Panagopoulos:  1) Resonance of molecules with altered charges, causing  effects on calcium or potassium gated cell membrane channels 2) Biological magnetite effects 3) Magnetically sensitive reactions, and  4) that of Dr. Dimitris Panagopoulos from the University of Athens, who discusses membrane transport of oscillating ions through electrical- not magnetic- effects. Newer research below supports these mechanisms and adds more complexity to these interactions on living systems. Newer research now solidifies mechanisms of harm.

Physicists vs Biologists: Physicists State RF Energy is Not High Enough to Cause Damage, But Now Both Physicists and Biologists Explain Effects via Dielectric Permittivity, Radical Pairs and Oxidation

As stated above, it has long been believed that non-ionizing (RF) radiation could not be harmful to living organisms as RF radiation did not break chemical bonds or have enough energy to remove an electron from (ionize) an atom or molecule. It was felt radio frequency radiation damaged tissue only through a heating or burning mechanism. We are now learning that microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices acts as an environmental stressor with direct oxidative toxic effects on cellular processes that are not related to heat or to ionization. The effect of radiofrequency EMR is indirect, inducing biochemical changes in cellular structures and their membranes.

Many physicists argue vehemently that there could not be a biologically toxic effect from electromagnetic radiation, however, toxicity has been demonstrated in many research investigations and is similar to effects from other chemical exposures. Their own publications now explain the effects of dielectric permittivity and radical pair mechanisms.

Hinrikus (2018), a physicist and Associate Editor at the International Journal of Radiation Biology (IJRB)  explains, “The cumulative impact of coherent MW field in a medium has been convincingly confirmed by the measurable dielectric permittivity of the medium. The described mechanism of MW field-induced effect confirms that the nature of the effect differs from the thermal effect and that the exposure by MW radiation can create the specific consequences in biology and materials not characteristic for conventional heating.”

Nielson (2019) states, “Weak radiofrequency (RF) magnetic fields in the MHz-range was shown to influence the concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in living cells [1–4]. Remarkably, the energy that could possibly be deposited by such radiation is orders of magnitude smaller than the energy of molecular thermal motion. A plausible explanation to the observed effect relies on the interaction of RF magnetic fields with transient radicals within the cells, affecting the ROS formation rates through the radical pair mechanism [5–9].”

Henshaw (2020), a former nuclear physicist and former Associate Editor of the International Journal of Radiation Biology (IJRB), Denis Henshaw has criticized the assertions made by some physicists in his 2020 update on quantum energy and RFR. He States,  “This ancient assertion has been put more explicitly: radio waves used by cell phones lack the quantum energy to eject electrons from atoms or molecules and therefore cannot cause cancer.” He argues this assertion is a fallacy, and he explains the DNA damage is an indirect effect similar to chemicals and asbestos.  The carcinogenicity effect is termed “The Bystander Effect.” He goes on to explain that the Radical Pair Mechanism “is the process by which low intensity magnetic fields can alter the spin state of pairs of free radicals”, making them more available to cause biologic damage. Henshaw Update 12-April-2020 Non-ionising radiation quantum energy fallacy V2 Henshaw Update 12-April-2020 Non-ionising radiation quantum energy fallacy V2

Oxidative Stress as a confirmed Mechanism

A growing body of animal and cell research  confirms that wireless radiation causes oxidative stress, even at low non-thermal levels of radiation.  These low levels can cause inflammation, a slow decline in physiologic processes (like aging) and damage to critical molecules such as DNA, lipids and proteins. For those who have become electrosensitive, a more immediate reaction can occur with headaches, nausea, dizziness, inability to concentrate and insomnia.

Yakymenko (2016) looked at 100 currently available peer-reviewed studies on oxidative effects of low-intensity microwave radio frequencies. He found that  93 of the 100 studies confirmed that these wireless radio frequencies induced oxidative effects in biological systems.

Dr. Lai, in the BioInitiative Report,  has added even more studies on free radical formation and oxidation from EMR. Of 263 studies 235 (or 89%) showed bio effects and 28 (or 11%) did not show effects.

Studies have also highlighted the protective effects of vitamin C, E, melatonin and other antioxidants with exposure to radio frequencies. This is a complex system but the ultimate biologic result which can occur with acute exposure to higher levels or chronic exposure to lower levels of non-ionizing radiofrequencies is cumulative tissue damage. Genetic, age and health vulnerabilities influence the repair abilities of cells and thus enhance biologic harm.

Mechanism: Polarization and Oscillating Electric Fields on Plasma Membranes and Voltage Gated Channels- Panagopoulos

Dr. Panagopoulos  has written extensively on the subject of mechanisms of biologic disturbance by EMF’s.  He states that oscillating electric fields create external oscillating forces which cause a forced vibration of  free ions that exist on both sides of all plasma membranes and that can cause  membrane disturbance with a false signal for the voltage gated channels to open or close. In this way the electrochemical balance of the plasma membrane and cell ore disorder and thus dysfunctional.

In a review article he discusses the scientific basis for biologic activity of polarized manmade EMF’s and explains why they are more harmful than non-polarized natural EMF’s. He notes, “Polarized EMFs/EMR can have increased biological activity, due to: 1) Ability to produce constructive interference effects and amplify their intensities at many locations. 2) Ability to force all charged/polar molecules and especially free ions within and around all living cells to oscillate on parallel planes and in phase with the applied polarized field. Such ionic forced- oscillations exert additive electrostatic forces on the sensors of cell membrane electro-sensitive ion channels, resulting in their irregular gating and consequent disruption of the cell’s electrochemical balance. These features render man-made EMFs/EMR more bioactive than natural non-ionizing EMFs/EMR.”

In a comprehensive review article Dr. Panagopoulos  discusses the electric nature of our natural environment and all living organisms. Our cell membranes, electric currents in nerve cells, intracellular ionic oscillations and our circadian rhythms are all affected by natural electric fields which are non-polarized and can be disrupted by manmade electromagnetic radiation in electric fields, magnetic fields and non-ionizing Radiofrequency radiation.

Dr. Panagopoulos also explains how animals sense earthquakes up to 500Km away in his article On the biophysical mechanism of sensing upcoming earthquakes by animals. (2020)

Review Articles Biologic Mechanisms

Biological and Cellular Mechanisms Tab Pages below:

In addition, compendiums of research are available, such as in the Bioinitiative Report with a long list of  reviewed studies as well as Military compendiums Military and Government Reports. 

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