Mechanisms for Health Effects of RF and ELF EMF: Dr. Frank Barnes, University of Colorado

it's a pleasure to be on and I hope to be able to tell you a little bit about what I think we know and what we need to learn with respect to the effects of magnetic fields and the Megane electric fields so what attempt to do is bribed some theory and some experiments that provide a basis for the mechanism from going from the physics through the chemistry to the biology it can lead to health effects some understanding of how weak magnetic and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields can change the concentrations of radicals reactive oxygen nitrogen and these in turn can cause health effects secondly earned third I should say more importantly in many respects is they're not we've have modeled the feedback and repair processes to help explain why we see both positive and negative results and other times he know changes and things like cancer growth rates and I think it's important that you be able to describe why you don't see things as well as why you do and then I'll finish by adding some speculations on the possible implications the long term low-level exposure star at fields so background on this is has been a debate for a very long time on the possible health effects of low levels of RF fields and that goes back if there's anything that more than 50 years and the question is based on it does it create a temperature rise more than one degree second piece of background is the philosophical approach in the United States has been to set standards so that they let the technology develop useful applications by studying the standards below the lowest level proven to be dangerous and the word proven is important there plus some safety factor and it's different for say designing bridges and it is for RF for it is first given drug and then if we were to require the technology to be safe against all those things we haven't thought of we simply wouldn't introduce so that's part of a background in terms of looking at this program problem from an overall perspective alright so here's a limited very limited summary of some of the standards first the standards at low frequencies are set on a basis of an electric field that's large enough to fire a nerve cell and the number in the I Triple E standards is approximately five kilovolts per meter for frequencies left is less than 368 Hertz for our F exposures the limits that are said on the basis of heating and typically that's specified in terms of Pacific sorption rate or SAR of 1 watt per kilogram over one gram at 900 megahertz and there are arguments about whether things should be over 1 gram or over 10 grams and what the numbers should be but this is roughly one of the more conservative parts of the current standards and then since you can always measure that because it changes as you age you change your position etcetera the far field exposures are set in one milliwatts per centimeter squared for six minutes in the range from 30 megahertz to 300 megahertz and they've got functions of frequency info for that other other levels but that's a simplified version of the current standards now the current standards do not address the possibility of the biological or their possible health effects from long term low level exposures to electric and magnetic fields and this is for good reason it's difficult one of which includes a difficulty in getting reproducible results a lack of mechanisms from going from the physics through the chemistry to the biological changes that lead to health effects now this is part of things is changing now but these standards were basically set back in 1995 and this was pretty well where things were at that stage of the game all right now the reason I got involved in looking at some of these issues has to do with some following experiments first of all in my lab we showed that we could change the growth rate of fibrosarcoma cells HT 1080 cells and Pantry otic cells now with magnetic by canceling out the Earth's magnetic field and going to fields that are less than 18 micro Tesla secondly showed a decrease if I look at the steady on National Toxicology sketti of 1999 and I'm interested you wound up seeing small decreases in the cancer incidence mice and rats for exposures that they were looking at and they properly concluded that was not evidence for again increasing the average cancer rate and then we've seen also and and you know ultimate paper an increase in the growth rate of cancer cells with RF frequencies of 50 percent increasing and also changes in the hydrogen peroxide council a Chicago concentrations and we'll talk more about that as we go along now additional experiments that are in part of the background for me is changes in measured free radical concentrations and looking at the Interphone study where you had both some increases and decreases depending on the reported exposure levels and we'll talk about that more but on the average wound up with conclusions after many years of argument as to what to put in their report that on the average they did not have data been led to changing standards all right now the hypotheses output forward is that we can change concentration of free radicals meaning o H – o H might I mean o – – o H – in hydrogen peroxide and calcium which are not radicals with magnetic fields these molecules are both molecules that can be used in signaling biological systems do things we want them to do but they can also do damage to lipids proteins and DNA and third there are feedback and repair processes so we do not see damage most of the time so that's a hypothesis that I'm working from now I need to define what I mean by a free radical free radical means that I have an unpaired electron spin that makes these atoms very very active and they can recombine rapidly with other other protons other molecules rather because nature likes to wind up with these things evenly paired up on that now the magnetic field couples to a magnetic moment of the electrons and can change both the energy in the angular momentum and conservation of the angular momentum leads to one of the major reasons why we think changes in radical recombination rates I'll take one brief minute and talked a little bit about the effect of static magnetic fields and this is for a deuterium molecule which is very much simpler than any other things and what you see on the graph on the left is that as I increase the magnetic field the spacing between the energy levels and this molecule change as I increase the field it means that I can shift any resonances by changing the static magnetic field and when these lines to cross like couple energies together or when I wind up applying as in the green lines here a frequency which is corresponds to the distance between those two energy levels I can couple one what the particles in one energy level two the particles in the next energy level and the diagram on the right shows that we have to take into account the nuclear spins as well but I won't go into that because we don't have that kind of time all right now what this leads to when I look at radical pairs if you look at the left I have a series of energy levels to deal with nitric oxide and on the right I've postulated some energy levels when these two energy levels line up especially where the red line F equals three halves corresponds to the M equals minus 1/2 in the J 3 halves level I get rapid recombination if I shift as I have in the slide in B 1 so that these two energy levels do not dine out then I wind up with a barrier for recombination and that in turn leads to if I have split a molecule in part with say optical energy or thermal energy or chemical energy to an increased probability that I have an additional radical pair so you can think of this a bit as you've got two electrons that are coupled slightly differently to thee in each of the two fragments of this radical pair to their nuclei and a circulating at different rates and when they lined up parallel they're not allowed to recombine by the folly exclusion principle when they're lined up oppositely they recombine rapidly we won't go into that farther all right but that just some theoretical background as to why we can see changes in concentration of radicals when we change the static magnetic field or if we couple those energy levels in one of the two radical parts of the radical pair we can also change the recombination rate so what's been observed is in an exposure at seven megahertz at 10 micro Tesla right root-mean-square for three days in a decent magnetic field of 45 micro Tesla leads to a change at forty five percent decrease in no.2 – and a 50 percent increase in hydrogen peroxide also seen in these same experiments was an enhancement of the cellular perforation up to say forty percent in two days and 45 percent in three days so we have a way when we're changing magnetic fields for changing exposure to an RF field of changing the growth rate of these cancer cells okay now hydrogen peroxide is a one we've looked at and it's a normal part of the metabolic process it's both a signaling molecule and it can be destructive and as well and it's a bit like your grandmother told you in low levels it's a good thing or not a good thing in this case stimulates a the growth rate of cancer cells but at a high level it kills them so but reactive oxygen and hydrogen peroxide are a normal part of the cells metabolic processes and we see as many as 20,000 radical pairs per cell per day created now we do we use that at some normal part of what's going on and for example when you exercise you increase the amount of radicals in the red company and reactive oxygen species and you can increase this concentration by 10 to 15 times but then it relaxes back to the baseline however the problems occur if you wind up keeping that elevated levels for a long period of time and then you reset the baseline and this is when this is associated with things like aging cancer and Alzheimer's all right next question is why don't we see effects most of the time the feedback and repair presses are part of a normal way living none of us be alive today if we didn't have them when you cut your finger you don't bleed to death alright when we generate excess reactive oxygen it also generated triggers the generation of additional antioxidants but there's a time delay for the generation of these antioxidants and the reduction of the hydrogen peroxide so I've got a feedback loop with a time delay all right there are many kinds of biological amplifiers so we're talking about using the magnetic or electric fields as a signaling mechanism and the metabolic energy supplies the energy to drive the amplifier for more than 3000 signaling proteins and biological systems in more than 15 seconds most of these biological amplifiers are contained negative feedback to stabilize assistance however because of the time delay if we pride a periodic signal the system and the system has gained it depends on the timing of the of the signal with respect to the natural you say oscillation frequency or gain of the system so an increase in hydrogen peroxide leads to an increase in the antioxidant which leads to a decrease in the reduction now I can get either amplification or attenuation with this and think of this in terms of pushing a sweating if you push the swing at the peak you wind up accelerating it if you push it at the bottom you wind up stopping we have the same thing going on with respect to timing in any of the oscillating systems inside the biological system and what we've been looking at particularly has to do with hydrogen peroxide okay now here's some experiments of one of my former students Cindy Bingham back in 1996 and what she showed is she changed her amplitude at 60 Hertz she could increase the growth rate of Mestas I told my cells up by a factor of three to four but she changed the amplitude by a small amount and she wound up cutting the growth rate by over 50% now at the time Cindy did his work we had not one clue as to what was going on but if you take some of the things that people do and you take the average of that you can say on the average she didn't see anything and I my favorite cartoon with respect to that is this guy with a black ice on his head standing in the bucket ah-ha order on the average she's at the right temperature so it doesn't tell us what we want to know necessarily all right observed exchanges night in peroxide and growth rates HD 1080 cells fibrosarcoma cells again quoting the work on that is the exposure 10 micro Tesla 5 to 10 and 10 megahertz at right angles showed an esthetic magnetic field of 45 micro Tesla for 8 hours increased hydrogen peroxide production by 55% the reduction of cell count by 30% on day 2 these changes are time dependent so you have to worry about exactly how you do the experiments if you're going to get reproducible or results and you've got to control the static magnetic fields which many biologists don't realize is a variable and you have to control all the biological variables as well so it's time dependent and this is important factor all right let's switch topics for a moment and say well what people are worried about base station exposures and this is an experiment out of India which shows people living at 80 meters from a base dimension on the average exposed to higher levels of radio frequencies than those living 300 meters away and on data analysis on the exposed group and this is a small sample so you've got to be careful about it shows that the is an increase in the monocore nucular and for the people living within 80 meters compared to those living 300 meters and the analysis because they were able to draw blood on them shows a significant intrusion and attrition in Gladys home I can't pronounce things right catalase and the super oxide diamond his RS OD and arise in and lipid pre oxidation so you're getting changes then in the background of antioxidant concentrations so since I'm running out of time very briefly standards currently are set on the basis of short-term and heating for RF low levels of magnetic field can lead both increases and decreases in the concentration of radicals the effects of are a function of frequency the angle between the EC and EC which we haven't talked to them amplitudes and pulse repetition rates and the biological effects of these things are expected to be a function of time depend on other stresses this is Tony I just want to give you a heads up that we're close to time out here and changeover when you're ready said he showed no overall elevation we're out of time okay anyway you do get some implications out of this and we'll we'll cut off and we'll pick that up later if we have time


  1. Thanks for sharing

  2. Many of the police officers I met that use the radar guns have developed cancer and some have already died from that cancer 🙁

  3. 75 views!!! Nobody knows…

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