- Lennart Hardell
- Michael Carlberg
- Lena K. Hedendahl
- Published online on: March 16, 2018 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.8285
Copyright: © Hardell et al.
Exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation was classified in 2011 as a possible human carcinogen, Group 2B, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organisation. Evidence of the risk of cancer risk has since strengthened. Exposure is changing due to the rapid development of technology resulting in increased ambient radiation. RF radiation of sufficient intensity heats tissues, but the energy is insufficient to cause ionization, hence it is called non‑ionizing radiation. These non‑thermal exposure levels have resulted in biological effects in humans, animals and cells, including an increased cancer risk. In the present study, the levels of RF radiation were measured in an apartment close to two groups of mobile phone base stations on the roof. A total of 74,531 measurements were made corresponding to ~83 h of recording. The total mean RF radiation level was 3,811 µW/m2 (range 15.2‑112,318 µW/m2) for the measurement of the whole apartment, including balconies. Particularly high levels were measured on three balconies and 3 of 4 bedrooms. The total mean RF radiation level decreased by 98% when the measured down‑links from the base stations for 2, 3 and 4 G were disregarded. The results are discussed in relation to the detrimental health effects of non‑thermal RF radiation. Due to the current high RF radiation, the apartment is not suitable for long‑term living, particularly for children who may be more sensitive than adults. For a definitive conclusion regarding the effect of RF radiation from nearby base stations, one option would be to turn them off and repeat the measurements. However, the simplest and safest solution would be to turn them off and dismantle them.
In the present study, for the whole apartment including the balconies, the measurements of RF radiation had a total mean of 3,811 μW/m2 and a total median of 1,313 μW/m2. For rooms inside the apartment, the tower bedroom had the highest mean (5,954 μW/m2) and median (4,504 μW/m2). Also the girl’s bedroom with mean 2,531 μW/m2 and median 2,271 μW/m2 and the boy’s bedroom with a mean of 1,471 μW/m2 and median 1,122 μW/m2 were high values. Time spent in a bedroom is usually many hours per night, which means long term exposure when relatively high levels of RF radiation are still present.
RF radiation exposure at or below these levels indicated above have influenced several physiological parameters in the body of mammals in laboratory studies. Effects on oxidative cell stress and DNA damage in cells, opening of the blood‑brain barrier, up or down regulated proteins and microRNA in the brain, and testicular dysfunction, have been found. For people living near mobile phone base stations, effects have been seen on neurotransmitters, peripheral blood lymphocytes with DNA damage, lower antioxidant levels, decreased salivary secretion, adverse neuro‑behavioral symptoms, and an increased incidence of cancer. People residing near mobile phone base stations have more often complained of sleep disturbances, headaches,
dizziness, irritability, concentration difficulties and hypertension. Exposures to RF radiation were all below the reference levels in the ICNIRP guidelines. The effects were caused by non‑thermal RF radiation exposure and will now be briefly discussed. See ol_15_5_7871_PDF