January 2021, BERENIS newsletter: possible correlation between oxidative stress and exposure to magnetic and electromagnetic fields and their putative effects on health

BERENIS – The Swiss expert group on electromagnetic fields and non-ionising radiation. Newsletter – Special Issue January 2021

This special issue of the BERENIS newsletter contains an up-to-date assessment of a possible correlation between oxidative stress and exposure to magnetic and electromagnetic fields and their putative effects on health. For this purpose, relevant animal and cell studies published between 2010 and 2020 were identified and summarized. An extended report presenting these recent studies in more detail will be published soon by the FOEN1. This special issue contains a short version of the report.

Conclusions, the complete newsletter is available from:


(Emphasis added by EMFSA):

In summary, the majority of the animal and more than half of the cell studies provided evidence of increased oxidative stress caused by RF-EMF or ELF-MF. This notion is based on observations in a large number of cell types, applying different exposure times and dosages (SAR or field strengths), also in the range of the regulatory limits. Certainly, some studies are burdened with methodological and weaknesses or are not very comprehensive in terms of exposure time, dose, number and quantitative analysis of the biomarkers used, to name a few. Taking these methodological weaknesses into account, nonetheless, a tendency becomes apparent, namely that EMF exposure, even in the low dose range, can lead to changes in oxidative balance. Organisms and cells are generally able to react to oxidative stress, and many studies showed adaptation to EMF exposure after a recovery phase. Pre-existing conditions, such as immune deficiencies or diseases (diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases), compromise the body’s defence mechanisms, including antioxidative protection, and it is therefore possible that individuals with these conditions experience more severe health effects. In addition, the studies show that very young and elderly individuals can react less efficiently to oxidative stress induced by EMF, which of course also applies to other stressors that cause oxidative stress. More extensive studies under standardised conditions are necessary, to better understand and confirm these phenomena and observations.



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