Scientific research into the potential biological, health and environmental effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation dates back at least as far as the development of radar during World War II. Much of the initial research in the United States was conducted by the U.S. military and remains classified. Since the 1940s, thousands of scientific studies have been undertaken worldwide into the subject. Based on the consensus that has emerged thus far from this research, national and international RF radiation protective standards are presently based almost exclusively on so-called ‘thermal’ effects of RF radiation, i.e., effects caused by power levels high enough to heat living issue, as in a microwave oven. The debate at present among scientists is the nature and extent of so-called ‘non-thermal’ effects of RF radiation, i.e., effects caused by low-intensity exposures to RF radiation used by cellular phone networks, WiFi, Bluetooth, and other similar technologies. As the evidence cited below indicates, these non-thermal biological effects do take place; the question is whether and how they will translate into adverse health and environmental effects today and in the years to come.
Health and environmental effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation.
- U.S. Supreme Court (pdf)
This amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Healthy Schools Network, Inc. provides citations (beginning on page 5) of relevant scientific studies dealing with biological and health effects of radiofrequency radiation. A few representative examples of specific studies are provided below.
- Verum Foundation REFLEX Report (pdf)
Summarizes the findings of 12 research groups in 7 European countries, including genotoxic effects of radiofrequency radiation-induced DNA breakage.
- Survey Study of People Living in the Vicinity of Cellular Phone Base Stations (pdf)
Santini et al., Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 41-49, 2003.
- Subjective Symptoms, Sleeping Problems, and Cognitive Performance in Subjects Living Near Mobile Base Stations (pdf)
Hutter et al., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2006; 63; 307-313
- Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain after Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones,
Salford, et al., Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 111, No. 7, June 2003
- Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use: Systematic Review of Experimental Studies,
Huss, et al., Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 115, No. 1, January 2007
- Biological Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation from Wireless Transmission Towers (pdf)
Dr. Henry Lai, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- International Conference on Cell Tower Siting (Salzburg, Austria. June 7-8, 2000. pdf )
Proceedings of an international conference of leading scientists and experts from the fields of technical science, bioscience, medicine, and public health discussing public policy in response to proliferation of cellular base stations and towers.
- Probable health effects associated with mobile base stations (Dr. Neil Cherry, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand. June 8th, 2000.)
- Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 - the Federal Obstacle
While this Act severely constrains the powers of local municipalities in restricting the siting of wireless antennas, many Federal Appeals Court decisions have interpreted this law in favor of local control.
- Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999 (pdf)
An act of the U.S. Congress with an appropriately Orwellian title, this law limits the liability of wireless carriers and shifts it to property owners with antennas and towers on their property.
- MetroPCS v. City and County of San Francisco
This landmark case, arising from a SNAFU-assisted appeal of a proposed base station antenna facility at Geary Blvd. & 17th Avenue in San Francisco’s Richmond District, was a major victory for the City and County of San Francisco and its residents, affirming the City’s authority to deny antenna permits and spelling out the criteria governing this authority for any local government under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Cellular Wireless Antennas: Federal Appeals Court Case Law - Citations and Excerpts
- Town Can Reject Cell Phone Towers (Lawyers Weekly USA, December 13, 1999)