• 09 SEP 14
    • 0

    US Air Force RF review in 1988 acknowledges non-thermal biological effects

    From Joel Moskowitz

    Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards: A Review

    Scott M. Bolen. Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards: A Review. Rome Laboratory. Air Force Material Command. Griffiss Air Force Base, NY. June, 1988.


    The study of human exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation has been the subject of widespread investigation and analysis. It is known that electromagnetic radiation has a biological effect on human tissue. An attempt has been made by researchers to quantify the effects of radiation on the human body and to set guidelines for safe exposure levels. A review of the pertinent findings is presented along with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recommended safety standard (C95.1-1982) and the United States Air Force permissible exposure limit for RF/MW radiation (AFOSH Standard 161-9, 12 February 1987). An overview of research that was conducted in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is also included in this report.


    In selecting a measure for the dose of RF/MW radiation, it was recognized that the SAR does not encompass all of the important factors necessary to determine safe exposure levels. The modulation frequency and peak power of the incident EM field should also be considered. Some of the investigators warned that extra care should be taken by persons that are subjected to pulsed EM fields or by fields that are modulated near the whole-body resonance frequency [9] (p. 17)

    Soviet Union & Eastern European Standards

    The RF/MW radiation exposure standards prescribed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are more conservative than standards adopted by countries in the West [31, [8], [11]. In the Soviet Union, permissible exposure levels for whole-body irradiation are specified for various time intervals. RF/MW radiation exposures may not exceed 0.01 mW/cm2 for 3 hours/day, 0.1 mW/cm2 for 2 hours/day, and 1.0 mW/cm2 for 15-20 minutes provided that safety goggles be worn [3]. Czechoslovakia has recommended a maximum exposure level of 0.025 mW/cm2 for an average working day [8].

    Investigators in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have placed a great emphasis on the non-thermal effects of biological exposure to RF/MW radiation. They contend that electromagnetic interactions with the bio-electrical and biochemical functions of the body constitute a more serious health risk than effects from thermal heating. Nonthermal disruptions have been observed to occur at power density levels that are much lower than are necessary to induce thermal effects. Soviet researchers have attributed alterations in the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system to the non-thermal effect of low level RF/MW radiation exposure [3], [8].

    The U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare [3] reports that the differing standards put forth by the East and West may be attributed to philosophical differences in basic research. Soviet investigators were intent on examining the effect of RF/MW radiation on the conditioned reflex response of living organisms whereas their counterparts in the West do not view this effect as an appropriate endpoint to research [3]. Recently, however, researchers in the West have sought to account for non-thermal effects in modern permissible RF/MW radiation exposure standards [9].


    Exposure to RF/MW radiation is known to have a biological effect on living organisms. Research conducted over the past 30 years has provided a basis for understanding the effect of irradiation of biological materials. Experimental evidence has shown that exposure to low intensity radiation can have a profound effect on biological processes. The nonthermal effects of RF/MW radiation exposure are becoming important measures of biological interaction with EM fields. Modem RF/MW radiation protection guides have sought to account for the effects of low level radiation exposure. Adherence to the ANSI Standard [9] should provide protection against harmful thermal effects and help to minimize the interaction of EM fields with the biological processes of the human body [9]. It is essentially the absorption of RF/MW energy that causes stress and trauma to biological systems. The greatest amount of energy will be absorbed when the incident radiation is emitted at the resonance frequency of biological material [9], [22]. In this regard, RF/MW radiation emitted at non-resonant frequencies should be absorbed to the greatest extent when the radiating mode is a pulsed signal. The generation of such signals creates transient responses that will match the resonant frequencies of biological materials.

    Non-resonant pulsed RF/MW radiation may be more harmful to living organisms than CW [continuous wave] radiation emitted at non-resonant frequencies


    Joel’s comment: The above review demonstrates that the U.S. Air Force understood the risks of exposure to non-thermal levels of microwave radiation in 1988. Yet in 1996, the FCC adopted regulatory standards created by industry and the military that failed to protect the public from these non-thermal risks. Eighteen years later the same inadequate standards persist. These standards not only fail to protect users from non-thermal exposure to microwave radiation, they do not protect users from the greater risks observed in this 1988 US Air Force review of the science from exposure to the pulsed signals later utilized by cell phone and Wi-Fi technologies.

    Meanwhile In the past few decades, almost every society on the planet has become dependent upon microwave radiation for communication. It’s no wonder that the experts who studied the effects of microwave radiation for decades and witnessed the gross negligence and malfeasance exhibited by governments to address the health and safety risks of microwave technologies, are pessimistic that we will ever control this environmental toxin.

    Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
    Director, Center for Family and Community Health
    School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
    Center: http://cfch.berkeley.edu

    Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

    Website: http://www.saferemr.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaferEMR
    News Releases: http://pressroom.prlog.org/jmm716/
    Twitter: @berkeleyprc

    Leave a reply →