A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Leif Salford: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

May 15, 2009

There are many reasons not to use a cell phone in an elevator. The most obvious would be as a courtesy to other passengers. Another is that a phone has to work harder in a shielded space. It's forced to operate at higher power levels for the signal to get out and reach the nearest tower and that leads to more ambient radiation in the elevator.

What most cell phone users would never consider is that a fellow passenger absorbs some of the radiation that would otherwise bounce back off the walls. It turns out, according to some new calculations from Japan, that a lone user can get a maximum exposure of about 1.6 W/Kg, 80% of the ICNIRP standard (2 W/Kg). But be advised that exposures could exceed the current U.S. FCC standard by a wide margin, under worst-case conditions. (This is a rare —no, unique— example of an American EMF standard being stricter than those in other countries.) The FCC limit is averaged over only 1g of tissue and, as Jim Lin, a member of ICNIRP, has often pointed out, increasing the averaging volume from 1 g to 10 g could triple the allowable radiation exposure (see MWN, N/D00, p.3). These new findings appear in the May issue of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques.

June 2, 2006

We've been tempted to think that some junior X-men have jumped off the big screen onto the streets of New York City. Well, not really, it just seems like that with so many people linking Bluetooth headsets to their cell phones.

January 26, 2004

The U.S. military continues to investigate what might happen if you were zapped by one of its microwave weapons. Active denial technology, as the military calls it, uses 94 GHz millimeter waves (MMW) to induce pain by heating the skin. The Marine Corps says it’s like touching “an ordinary light bulb that has been left on for a while” —in fact, it’s just a “harmless energy beam,” according to the marines. Not everyone agrees.

January 20, 2004

Environmental Health Perspectives is now an open access journal. This means that all research articles in EHP, which is published by the NIEHS, are feely accessible on the Internet.

Among the more than 10,000 research reports now available is the startling paper by the Lund University group in Sweden showing that very weak GSM mobile phone radiation can cause leakage through the blood-brain barrier, leading to neurological damage. The  Lund paper appeared in EHP’s June 2003 issue and was posted on the Web last January (see MWN, J/F03). The studies on the blood-brain barrier by Lund’s Drs. Leif Salford and Bertil Persson prompted a workshop held in Germany in November. Microwave News was there and we will be posting a report on the meeting soon.

Subscribe to Leif Salford: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )