Electromagnetic pollution

A new paper in the Lancet assesses the impact of Planetary Electromagnetic Pollution.

“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. However, public exposure regulations in most countries continue to be based on the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which were established in the 1990s on the belief that only acute thermal effects are hazardous. Prevention of tissue heating by radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is now proven to be ineffective in preventing biochemical and physiological interference. For example, acute non-thermal exposure has been shown to alter human brain metabolism by NIH scientists, electrical activity in the brain, and systemic immune responses. Chronic exposure has been associated with increased oxidative stress and DNA damage and cancer risk. Laboratory studies, including large rodent studies by the US National Toxicology Program and Ramazzini Institute of Italy, confirm these biological and health effects in vivo. As we address the threats to human health from the changing environmental conditions due to human activity, the increasing exposure to artificial electromagnetic radiation needs to be included in this discussion.”

“Due to the exponential increase in the use of wireless personal communication devices (eg, mobile or cordless phones and WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled devices) and the infrastructure facilitating them, levels of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation around the 1 GHz frequency band, which is mostly used for modern wireless communications, have increased from extremely low natural levels by about 10^18 (see Figure).”

Electromagnetic_Pollution

Electromagnetic_Pollution

The paper concludes:

“At a time when environmental health scientists tackle serious global issues such as climate change and chemical toxicants in public health, there is an urgent need to address so-called electrosmog. A genuine evidence-based approach to the risk assessment and regulation of anthropogenic electromagnetic fields will help the health of us all, as well as that of our planetary home. Some government health authorities have recently taken steps to reduce public exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation by regulating use of wireless devices by children and recommending preferential use of wired communication devices in general, but this ought to be a coordinated international effort.”