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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 61b * [Part 2 of 2 parts]
     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"

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Editor: Mike Coyle 

Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler

Research: Darrell Bross

[Continued from part 1] Effects Due to Absorbed Energy

   The other major category of potential health effects is
associated with energy absorbed by the body when exposed to
RFR. Generally, energy absorption is related to frequency. When
frequency is such that the incident wavelength is much smaller
than the size of the exposed subject, there is poor penetration
and energy is deposited largely on the surface of the subject
(Cahill and Elder 1984; Polk and Postow 1986). For humans, that
corresponds to frequencies greater than about 5,000 MHz. When the
incident wavelength and the subject are the same order of
magnitude, resonance occurs and maximum energy is absorbed. The
resonant frequency varies depending on thc size of the human
body and ranges from about 35 MHz for a grounded adult 5 feet 9
inches tall to about 200 MHz for an ungrounded infant. When the
wavelength is much greater than the subject's size, the
absorptive coupling is inefficient and little energy is absorbed.
This occurs in humans at frequencies lower than about 1 MHz, and
includes the GWEN LF frequency (150 to 175 kHz) with wavelengths
about 1,000 times greater than the size of humans. RFR from the
GWEN UHF antennae (/25 to 400 Mhz) falls in a range just above
resonant frequencies (see section
   The accepted measure of RF absorption is the SAR, which is
the mass-normalized rate of energy absorption in watts per
kilogram (W/kg). The SAR depends on the dielectric composition
and shape of the subject, its orientation with respect to the RF
field, and the complexity of the radiation, as well as on the
size of the subject relative to the wavelength. The SAR can be
estimated by combining the frequency and power density of the RF
field with the size and dielectric property of the subject
exposed to the field (Cahill and Elder 1984). Such calculations
can be performed for humans exposed to the RFR from GWEN. For an
average man, the _Radio_Frequency_Radiation_Dosimetry_Handbook_
(Durney et al. 1978) indicates that the maximum average SAR at
the GWEN LF band would be approximately 0.0000006 W/kg per
1 mW/cm2, occurring when the long axis of the body was parallel
to the E-field polarization. When the body was perpendicular to
the E-field, the average SAR would decrease by a factor of
approximately 30.
   The maximum value of the E-field from the GWEN LF transmitter
outside the 4-foot fence would be 50 V/m (see section
This is equivalent to approximately 0.66 mw/cm2 (assuming a
plane wave). Therefore, the maximum average SAR in a human
standing in an E-field of intensity 50 V/m would be
approximately 0.0000004 W/kg, assuming continuous RF emission.
Since GWEN broadcasts LF transmissions with a 28-percent duty
cycle, the maximum average SAR at the 4-foot fence would be
approximately 0.0000001  W/kg.
   The maximum average SAR associated with GWEN UHF exposure can
be calculated in a similar fashion. At the frequency band used
for GWEN UHF transmissions, the maximum average SAR would be
0.1 W/kg per 1 mW/cm2 (Durney et al. 1978). Since the maximum
exposure to GWEN UHF would be 0.001 mW/cm2 for a 40 percent duty
cycle (see section, the maximum average SAR at a GWEN
station due to UHF exposure would be 0.0001 W/kg.
   A number of so-called "nonthermal" effects have been described
in the scientific literature in connection with RFR exposure of
laboratory animals and animal tissue at levels equal to or less
than 0.4 W/kg (EPA 1986). These effects, involving the cellular,
hematologic, reproductive, nervous systems, and others, are
summarized in a review by Cahill and Elder (1984). The
significance of these effects for public health is not clear,
partly because the mechanisms responsible for them are not known.
Some results are from single studies and have not yet been
verified by duplication (EPA 1986). In some cases, there are
conflicting results as to whether a given effect even occurs. At
this time, it is not yet clear whether low-level nonthermal
effects have an impact on human health. Consequently, the EPA
(1986) concludes that the data are insufficient to assess the
adversity and human health implications of effects observed for
whole-body average SAR below 1 W/kg. However, in light of the SAR
values for humans exposed to RFR from GWEN (less than 0.0000001
W/kg for LF and 0.0001 W/kg for UHF), nonthermal effects are
extremely unlikely.
   A degree of uncertainty exists in extrapolating findings on
animals to humans because of differences in species, exposure
frequencies, and internal distribution of absorbed energy
(Heynick and Polson 1983; Heynick 1986). There is very little
information on RF effects in humans and limited data on
responses of animals at frequencies above 10 GHz and below 10
MHz. However, the use of SAR as an index of exposure has allowed
excellent extrapolation of effects across frequencies, and it is
reasonable to assume that would also be applicable for GWEN
   The health effects related to exposure to RFR have been the
subject of continuing research for about 30 years, and an
estimated 8,000 papers on RFR bioeffects have been published.
Over the past decade great advances have been made in
correlating the observation of effects (or lack thereof) with
the SAR. Although SAR is associated with energy deposition, and
frequently only with thermalization of the RFR energy in tissue,
it also defines the fields existing within the tissues, and is a
useful measure when discussing both thermal and nonthermal
   Research papers cover a wide range of general topics in the
biological sciences. These include epidemiologic studies of
humans; the possibility of RFR exposure causing cancer or birth
defects, effects on the eye, the nervous system, behavior,
hormone-secreting systems in mammals, and the immune system;
and general biochemical and physiological effects (Heynick and
Polson 1986; Heynick 1986; Polk and Postow 1986). The interested
reader is referred to these publications for more specific
details of representative papers under each biological topic.
The following discussions summarize those reviews.
   The discussion of effects due to absorbed energy is in
reference to RFR in general. Most of the studies were at UHF and,
therefore, would be applicable to GWEN UHF exposure. The SAR for
GWEN exposure would be several orders of magnitude below the SARs
associated with any reported effects. Therefore, it would be
very unlikely that these effects would result from GWEN UHF
exposure. Although none of the studies were conducted at LF,
assessment of GWEN LF exposure can be made by comparing the GWEN
SAR with the SARs reported in the studies. Since GWEN LF exposure
would be many orders of magnitude below SARs associated with
reported effects, the possibility that there would be any
effects would be very remote.
   _Epidemiologic_Studies_. Although there are relatively few
epidemiologic studies, those that have been performed have
included several hundreds of thousands of individuals. None of
the studies offers clear evidence of detrimental effects
associated with exposure of the general population to RFR.
However, findings of studies performed in the Soviet Union
suggest that occupational exposure to UHF RFR at average power
densities of less than 1 mw/cm2 does result in various
symptoms (which they lump together as "microwave syndrome")
but this is generally not recognized in western medical
practice. The SARs associated with GWEN LF exposure, at
frequencies 1,000 to 10,000 times lower than UHF, would be many
orders of magnitude lower. Thus, even if one accepted the
Soviet findings for UHF frequencies, the likelihood of such
effects at GWEN frequencies and power intensities is remote.
Collectively, the results of the epidemiologic studies do not
provide evidence of the likelihood of any hazard to the general
population from exposure to RFR from GWEN. Exposure to GWEN UHF
would be at power densities of 0.001 mW/cm2 or less (see section which would be two to three orders of magnitude below
the power densities of the observations in the Soviet studies.
   _Cancer_. One frequently expressed concern about RFR is that
it may cause mutations or cancer. Several studies regarding the
possible mutagenic effects of RFR have been done on bacteria,
yeast, and fruit flies. These studies failed to demonstrate
mutagenic effects that could be attributed to RFR exposure.
Other studies using mice and rats also have failed to provide
evidence of mutagenic effects. Studies on the general health or
the occurrence of cancer in exposed animals have generally
yielded negative results. Extrapolation of these animal studies
to humans indicates that the SAR associated with human exposure
to GWEN RFR is most unlikely to cause mutagenic effects or to
cause cancer.
   _Birth_Defects_. Birth defects (technically, teratogenesis)
and developmental abnormalities after birth are always of public
concern, especially because, in a few cases, specific (non-RFR)
agents have been shown to cause such effects. Birth defects and
developmental abnormalities also occur naturally at a low rate in
most animal species. Teratogenuc studies associated with RFR have
used a variety of animal models. The results indicate that a
threshold of heat induction or  temperature increase must be
exceeded before teratogenic effects are produced. For the SARs
associated with human exposure to GWEN RFR, there would be no
detectable heating, so birth defects would be extremely unlikely.
   _Cataracts_. It has been asserted in newspapers and other
popular media that microwaves potentially cause cataracts.
Scientific studies have indicated that microwaves can cause
cataracts in experimental animals, but only if incident
continuous-wave power densities are high, approximately 150
mw/cm2 or greater. Under such conditions of frequency and power
density, local SARs in the eye can be so great that significant
temperature rises occur. Such effects also appear to have a
threshold; if a critical temperature is not exceeded within the
eye for a certain duration, no cataracts are formed. Recent
studies also indicate effects on corneal endothelium in the eyes
of monkeys exposed to microwaves, but there is no evidence that
such effects could occur at SARs associated with exposure to
   _Nervous_System_Effects_. Several types of studies have been
conducted regarding the effects of RFR on the nervous system of
animals. U.S. scientists consider most effects of RFR on the
nervous system to be indirect results of other physiological
interactions, with the possible exception of alterations of
calcium-ion binding in brain tissue. This phenomenon occurs with
amplitude-modulated waveforms for a wide range of carrier
frequencies from extremely low frequency to UHF. However, there
is no evidence that it occurs at power densities below 0.1
mw/cm2, and even if it did, there is no indication that it is in
any way associated with adverse health effects. Other observed
nervous-system effects have included: alteration of the
permeability of the blood-brain barrier, but consistent data
exist only for local SARs that are sufficient to cause heating;
alterations in and damage to some regions of the brains of
hamsters and rats (but not of squirrel monkeys), but, again,
resulting from thermal processes; and alterations of
electroencephalograms (electrical activity of the brain) in
animals, but only when in-dwelling  electrodes were used. The
last effect is the only one that could perhaps apply to the GWEN
system. With modern advances in medical technology, it is
becoming more common (though still rare in terms of absolute
numbers) for patients with certain neurological problems to have
metal electrodes implanted in their brains. Such persons could
be affected by fields within the immediate vicinity of the GWEN
transmitters. However, there are no known reports of anyone
having been affected by RFR as a result of any surgical
implantation to correct neurological problems. All other effects
on the nervous system are unlikely to occur at the SARs
associated with human exposure to GWEN RFR.
   _Behavioral_Effects_. Many experimental studies have been
conducted on the effects of RFR on animal behavior. The results
of such studies are considered particularly important in the
Soviet Union, where they are often held to be evidence of direct
effects of RFR on the central nervous system (CNS). U.S.
scientists do not always agree that behavioral effects
necessarily imply direct effects on the CNS. However, as
behavioral effects are very sensitive indicators of biological
function, they receive appropriate attention in both eastern
European and western countries. Representative behavioral
studies (Heynick and Polson 1986; Heynick 1986) include studies
of effects on reflex activity, RFR perception, effects of RFR on
learning and on performance of trained tasks, interactive
effects of RFR and drugs on behavior, and behavioral
thermoregulation. Studies have been conducted on mice, rats,
rabbits, squirrel monkeys, rhesus monkeys, and humans.
   Soviet claims of effects at low-power densities (equal to or
less than 0.5 mw/cm2) for long-term exposures have not been
duplicated in similar studies by U.S. researchers. The validity
of the Soviet claims is difficult to assess because of lack of
detail in the reports of the experiments. It is very likely that
behavioral effects could have been seen if in-dwelling
electrodes were used for the animals involved in the Soviet
studies, but it is unknown whether they were.
   RFR is capable of producing alterations in a wide variety of
behaviors of various animals. Except for pulsed RFR, average
power densities required to modify behavior are almost all at
levels of approximately 5 mw/cm2 and above, with corresponding
SARs of approximately 1 W/kg and above. Perception of pulsed
RFR (i.e., microwave hearing) is a peak-power phenomenon, not an
average-power one, and can thereby modify behavior.
   It is difficult to relate most of the behavioral studies in
animals to humans. All behavioral studies are directly relevant
to the nature of the species being studied, and the conclusions
of a given study do not readily transfer to other species.
Because the SARs needed to cause reported effects are so high,
these studies provide no evidence that exposure to RFR at the
levels that would be emitted outside the fence at GWEN RNs
would likely have adverse effects on human behavior.
   _Endocrine_System_Effects_. Exposure of animals to RFR has
produced somewhat inconsistent effects on the hormone-secreting
(endocrine) system of mammals. In general, the effects appear to
be related to either the heat load associated with the RFR or the
stress induced in the animals by the RFR or, possibly, other
experimental circumstances. Some effects also appear to be
related to alteration of the circadian rhythm by RFR. There do
not appear to be any effects clearly demonstrated to be
associated with nonthermogenic stimulation of the endocrine
system or the associated parts of the CNS.
   Because the reported effects of RFR on the endocrine systems
of animals are largely ascribable to increased thermal burdens
and stresses engendered by the experimental situation, there is
no evidence that such effects would occur in humans exposed to
the RFR from the GWEN transmitter outside the fence because of
the extremely low SARs involved.
   _Immune_System_Effects_. The accumulation of reports to date
indicates that RFR has definite effects on the immune system of
mammals. Most of the reported effects were detected after
exposure at SARs about 4 W/kg and higher; a few have been
detected following exposure at SARs as low as 0.2 W/kg. In some
cases, the effects that were observed at higher power densities
were not found at lower power densities, indicating the
possibility of a threshold power density. In most studies, the
mechanisms for the effects seen were not investigated, and the
various reports are somewhat inconsistent. The situation is
complicated by the complexity of the immune system and the
variety of test procedures used.
   The existing evidence indicates that some of the
immune-system effects are probably related to the effect of RFR
on the endocrine system resulting from adaptation to stress.
The mechanisms and significance of such effects are not yet
understood, and individual findings have not been independently
verified. There is currently no evidence that relates RFR
effects on animals' immune systems to effects on the immune
system of humans chronically exposed to the levels of RFR that
would be experienced outside thc fenced area of a GWEN RN. In
addition, because of the extremely small SARs involved, there is
no evidence to suggest that such effects would be hazardous to
human health.
   _Biochemical_and_Physiological_Effects_. The literature on
biochemical and physiological effects associated with RFR is
extensive. Many of the reported effects are associated with
other events (e.g., changes in hormonal levels or stress
adaptation), and some do not have clear medical significance.
   The thermal basis for most of the reported physiological and
biochemical effects of exposure of intact animals to RFR is
evident. The investigations with nonhuman primates are most
significant with respect to possible hazards of human exposure
to RFR because the anatomies and physiological characteristics
of primates are closest to those of humans. The results with
rhesus monkeys showed that exposure to RFR at frequencies in the
range of 3 to 30 MHz at average-power densities of about 100
mw/cm2 were well within the thermoregulatory capabilities of
this species. Also noteworthy were the negative findings of
blood-chemistry assays performed on rhesus monkeys one to two
years after exposures to such high-power densities. The
thermoregulatory system of squirrel monkeys were also observed
to effectively compensate for RFR exposure.
   The investigations involving exposure of intact, smaller
species of mammals to RFR have yielded both positive and
negative results. Some of the positive findings are also clearly
due to the additional thermal burden posed by the RFR. Other
results, showing decreased food intake and lower blood glucose
levels in rats, indicate the existence of a SAR threshold of
about 1 W/kg or higher for such effects.
   One physiological concern is whether exposure of humans to
RFR can affect their heart function. In early work on this
subject with excised turtle, frog, and rat hearts, various
investigators reported RFR-induced decreases and/or increases
in heart rate, depending on average power densities. Decreases
in heart rate were reported for the lower range of power
densities used. The lowest SAR at which heart rate decreases were
observed in the isolated turtle heart was 1.5 W/kg. Some recent
work showed no RFR-induced changes in beat rate or contractile
force in isolated atria of rat hearts exposed to 2.45 GHz RFR at
2 or 10 W/kg.
   SAR-dependent changes in heart-beat rate in intact animals
were also reported. The results indicate the existence of a
threshold between 4.5 and 6.5 W/kg, many orders of magnitude
higher than could occur outside the fence of a GWEN RN.
   Thus, in general, it is very improbable that physiological or
biochemical effects would occur from exposure to RFR from GWEN
transmitters at the levels that would be experienced outside the
fenced area of an RN.
   _Conclusion_. Most U.S. experiments with animals that yielded
recognizable and repeatable effects of exposure to RFR were
performed at whole-body average SARs of more than about 1 watt
per kilogram (W/kg). Such effects are thermal, in the sense that
the RFR energy is absorbed by the organism as widely distributed
heat that increases the whole-body temperature, or as internally
localized heat that is biologically significant even when
natural heat-exchange and thermoregulatory mechanisms are
functioning. The existence of threshold incident average power
densities has been experimentally demonstrated for some effects
and postulated for others. Exposure to RFR at average power
densities exceeding the threshold for a specific effect for a
few minutes to a few hours (depending on the value) can cause
irreversible tissue alterations. The heat produced by
indefinitely long or chronic exposures at power densities well
below the threshold is not accumulated because its rate of
production is readily compensated for by either heat-exchange
processes, thermoregulation, or both. Most investigations
involving chronic exposures of mammals yielded either no
effects or reversible, noncumulative behavioral or physiological
effects for average power densities exceeding whole-body SARs
of 1 W/kg. In the few cases in which irreversible adverse
effects of exposure were found, these effects were absent for
whole-body SARs below 1 W/kg. Whole-body SARs resulting from
exposure to RFR at a GWEN RN would be below 0.0000001 W/kg
outside of the 4-foot circular fence.

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