Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation a hazard to biology: have we been measuring the right frequencies and power levels?  By Dr Chris Barnes Bangor Scientific and Educational Consultants. Bangor, Wales, UK   6th February 2017, released without full reference list.   E-mail


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Strong evidence is presented that some frequencies are more effective at provoking biological effect than others.  We should seek to understand this more thoroughly.  It is far more than just a dielectric absorption phenomenon.    Furthermore, results of a hundred or so studies at frequencies covering 900 MHz -2.5 GHz suggest that biological effect is more likely at significantly lower field strengths than those traditionally associated with mobile devices and mobile telephony handsets.  In magnetic terms, pico-tesla     sensitivities are envisaged based on quantum coherent interaction, already shown for brain cells and brain waves and likely to be the case for other types of cells as well.    Such interaction can be understood in terms the electromagnetic Aharonov-Bohm effect.



Concern over safety of the  use of mobile phones and mobile technology in general has led to a large number of publications in the scientific literature many with apparently very conflicting conclusions.   This has led to difficulty for those charged with safety legislation.    


Modern mobile phones operate on 3G, 1800 MHz  or 4G ( 800 or 2600 MHz) but van also link via          WIFI  centre frequency 2450 MHz   


Because technology has moved so quickly, most of the literature has focused on earlier 2G 900 MHz gsm ( 217 Hz pulsed TDMA modulation).    There are far fewer research articles on 3G, none on 4G and only a handful on WIFI frequencies and modulation.    There are hardly any research articles which document the effects of other radio frequencies we are exposed to such as Medium and Long wave (200KHz-1.6 MHz), VHF FM (88-108 MHz), DAB 224 MHz, DVB 530-780 MHz, 4G ( 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz).   


The largest radio-frequency field strength from a mobile phone or standard household WIFI router is of the order of 6 V/m.   Such a field strength has been described as athermal with regard to biology.   Yet there is also reference in the literature to it producing thermal effects (ref).   


An analysis of  44 experimental papers regarding  900         MHz emissions suggests that lower powers or lower SAR are actually associated with more positive biological effects than higher. 28/44 results produce effects,   See TABLE 1 below:




Biological effects are seen at SARS’ as low as .12mW/Kg at 900 MHz, this is equivalent to a magnetic field     density of only 2.4pT.    Strangely the lowest SAR at which no SAR is reported for the ‘inconclusive’  experiments is 73 mW/kg, some 600 times greater field strength (1.4 nanotesla).     


Similar effects are seen at 1800 MHz  an analysis  of 37 papers thrown on a search ‘for 1800 MHz biological effect’ are shown in Table 2 below.     24/37 PAPERS show effect.






Once again the average experiment producing a measurable biological effect does say at a lower SAR than the ones reported to produce no effect.   The lowest SAR observed to give effect is 13mW/kg  and the lowest SAR to give a negative result is 40 mW/kg. (about 250 Picotesla compared with about 800 Picotesla).  


As we move to higher frequencies, Table 3,  2100 MHz and 2450 MHz there are even fewer available experiential results on the same search criterion.   Only 6 results are evident at 2100 MHz in an abstracts search and SAR’s are not disclosed.  However, 5/6 of the said results produce some kind of (deleterious)    biological effect, suggestive of the fact that 2100 MHz, although not well researched is far more biologically potent than 900   or 1800MHz.


There are some 20 results  at 2400 and 2450 MHz,  11 of which produce biological effect and 9 do not.   Generally the power levels referred to at 2450 MHz seem excessive and bio-effects in the range 14-500nT are observed but one reference suggests that 12nT produces a thermal result at  a SAR of  920mw/kg.    On this  basis we ought, perhaps, to be wary of  similar  studies claiming ‘athermal’ or non-thermal bio-effect.        


It begins then to be evident, that perhaps true athermal biological effect of RF radiation happens at much lower power levels, SAR or equivalent magnetic field density than we would have imagined.   



Although we have been exposed to other RF frequencies such as VHF FM radio and UHF TV for several decades more than mobile telephony, reports of biological experiments at those frequencies are particularly rare.    I have included these in Table 3.   Equivalent magnetic  sensitivities of between 25-30 pico-tesla are observed at 50 and 147 MHz which is comparable with some of the most sensitive observations at 900 MHz.   





Table 3

The majority of the above experiments were probably designed with field strengths associated with mobile phone handsets in mind.     What they actually prove is that more interaction occurs        at far weaker field strengths, more akin to those experienced  from mobile phone masts at several hundred metres distant and TV and radio emitters at considerable    distance.  Indeed the experiments suggest that possibly pico-tesla  sensitivity may implicate quantum processes as recently such sensitivity has been established for brain wave/ Schumann resonance   coherence/synchronicity (refs).


The experiments also show that not all frequencies are created equally when it comes to bio effect, see Figure 1. 

Figure 1


It has not been possible to produce a realistic mathematical model for the observations in figure 1.   This also opens up the possibly of power and frequency windowing effects discussed below.


Existing evidence for power and frequency windowing effects.



Schwartz et al (1990) demonstrated power windowing and modulation frequency windowing when they   exposed isolated frog hearts  for 30-min periods in a Crawford cell to a 240-MHz electromagnetic field, either continuous-wave or sinusoidal modulated at 0.5 or 16 Hz. Radiolabelled with calcium (45Ca), the hearts were observed for movement of Ca2+ at calculated SARs of 0.15, 0.24, 0.30, 0.36, 1.50, or 3.00 mW/kg. Neither CW radiation nor radiation at 0.5 Hz, which was close to the beating frequency of the frog's heart, affected movement of calcium ions. However, when the VHF field was modulated at 16 Hz, a field-intensity-dependent change in the efflux of calcium ions was observed. Relative to control values, ionic effluxes increased by about 18% at 0.3 mW/kg (P <.01) and by 21% at 0.15 mW/kg (P <.05), but movement of ions did not change significantly at other rates of energy deposition.


Their  data indicate that the intact myocardium of the frog, akin to brain tissue of neonatal chicken, exhibits movement of calcium ions in response to a weak VHF field that is modulated at 16 Hz.



Panagopoulos (2010)   examined the bioactivity of GSM 900 and 1800 (Global System for Mobile Telecommunications) radiations, in relation to the distance from the antenna or to the radiation-field intensities. Drosophila melanogaster adult insects were exposed to the radiation of a GSM 900/1800 mobile phone antenna at different distances ranging from 0 to 100 cm, and the effect on their reproductive capacity and cell death induction in the gonads by the use of TUNEL (Terminal deoxynucleotide transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling) assay, was studied. These radiations/fields decreased the reproductive capacity by cell death induction, at all the different distances tested. The effect diminished with the distance/decreasing intensities. An increased bioactivity 'window' was revealed at distances of 20-30 cm from the mobile phone antenna, (radiation intensity around 10 microW/cm(2)) where the effect became highest, in relation to smaller or longer distances. The effect diminished considerably for distances longer than 40-50 cm and became not evident for distances longer than 1 m or radiation intensities smaller than 1 microW/cm(2). GSM bioactivity is highest for intensities down to less than 10 microW/cm(2) and still evident until 1 microW/cm(2) exhibiting 'window' effect. 



The field strengths associated with Panagopoulos’ experiment are much more akin to those experienced by residents in houses or individuals in work or simply walking in the street when not using their mobile phones.    In other words background RF field strengths in some locations could well be bioactive. 


Behari (2012)  gives quite an extensive review of frequency windowing and other bio-effects,

Hamiti et al (2016)   shows that in most urban and city locations around the world, tThe main contributors to electromagnetic exposure levels are  GSM 900-MHz,  GSM 1800-MHz  and 3G base stations.   Nevertheless these exposures are often many times below the ICNIRP  SAFTEY limit.   We notice immediately, however, that the potential human bio-sensitivity to magnetic field  could at appropriate frequencies  be over a million times  that of the below limit!

Basic restriction:

20 mV/m in the head

400 mV/m in the whole body

Magnetic fields

Electric fields

ICNIRP reference level: 200 µT

field actually required: 606 µT 

ICNIRP reference level: 5 kV/m

field actually required: 9.9 kV/m



As I said earlier  for this to be the case there  are more than likely quantum phenomena at play.  



It is possible to predict the order of magnitude of the power quantum effects as follows.  The earth’s static B field is of the order of 50 microtesla.      Schumann resonance field strengths are of the order a few picotesla.    Persinger (2014)  has emphasised the importance of this for the human brain.  While Persinger (2015) finds direct evidence of Schuman resonance coherence with measured Spectral Power Densities (SPD) within the Quantitative Electroencephalographic (QEEGs).        Profiles of 41 men and women displayed repeated transient coherence with the first three modes (7 - 8 Hz, 13 - 14 Hz, and 19 - 20 Hz) of the Schumann Resonance in real time. The duration of the coherence was about 300 ms about twice per min. Topographical map clusters indicated that the domain of maximum coherence was within the right caudal hemisphere near the Parahippocampal gyrus. These clusters, associated with shifts of about 2 μV, became stable about 35 to 45 ms after the onset of the synchronizing event. During the first 10 to 20 ms, the isoelectric lines shifted from clockwise to counter-clockwise rotation. The results are consistent with the congruence of the frequency, magnetic field intensity, voltage gradient, and phase shifts that are shared by the human brain and the earth    ionospheric spherical wave guide, and is also in agreement with my theories of sleep ( refs).    


The average RF field strength in a number of premises I have visited with cancer cases was .11v/m, see  

Data Handling and Manipulation

The average field outside cancer/stroke houses   and its standard deviation was calculated.

The average field outside houses with no illness and its standard deviation was calculated.

The average field at random locations was calculated and its standard deviation recorded. The results are shown table 1.

Specific field values were also recorded and averaged   and tabulated against type of cancer and/or stroke and shown below


Field v/m





No illness



Random locations






In houses without cancer the average field strength was .019 V/m.    The equivalent magnetic field strengths are 370 and 63 picotesla respectively.   Taking the dozen or so strongest  frequencies on the power spectrum as contributing this yields an average of some 30 picotesla per frequency in cancer houses  about 5 picotesla per frequency at the locations without cancer.   Assuming each Schumaan resonance provides about 1 pictotesla and the first 5 are active in the human  body, this also yields about 5 picotesla.  


Thus it would seem, possibly this is about the threshold that needs overwhelming to produce biological effect.  In line with quantum processes it is interesting to see that the field strengths associated with cancer are whole number multiples, in this case 6 of this magnetic field strength.       The field some 20 cm away from an average WIFI laptop is of the order of .22 V/m, or 125 picotesla.  This is an integer multiple of the calculated ‘bio-active’ field above and several sensitive individuals including the present author have notice skin tingeing and eye burning when using laptops at this range.      Further research is now needed to further quantify the power model.  It may be possible to make use of some existing on-line data.  I will explore these avenues.    Generally, epidemiology results around TV transmitter masts and the like are not useful as they all emit different frequencies and frequency windowing effects will destroy correlations.


Many studies have stressed the importance of modulation frequency.   It may be that unmodulated carriers of appropriate frequency are also bioactive via a quantum mechanism.      I will discuss this at a later date.     Since for modulation we can read ‘information’ in a biological system  the spatio-temporal characteristics of the impinging wave will be critical, all biological reactions proceed in  4D space-time.       


Modulation appears most strongly in magnetic vector potential.   I have developed and tested  quantum theory   in relation to this elsewhere with regard to cancer and the Hum.  Basically I would expect to see maximum biological effect not according to  radial decay distances from RF sources in the far field but at geometrically predictable distances rather as in standing wave phenomena or antenna lobe-ground interactions  but    not  quite the same because E/H  suffer refraction and hence travel at sub-luminal speed but the magnetic vector potential, not interacting in the same sense with matter and only capable of detection by specific toroidal and caduceus/helicoid geometry and/or AC Josephson effect now proven for a Bose Einstein Condensate  ( present, for example, in living cells and their components see appendix )  remains at luminal speed, essentially a   kind of a manifestation of the electromagnetic Aharonov –Bohm effect.  For instance, the electromagnetic radiation (E- and B-fields) from a transmitter will experience refractive index and propagate at the velocity of light in air, but the magnetic vector potential-A (A-field), following the Aharonov-Bohm effect, does not interact with matter (instead it alters the phase of the electron wave-function) and so propagates at the vacuum velocity of light. At 5 km distance from a 100 MHz VHF FM transmitter, there will thus be a transit time difference of 5 ns between the A and B fields, based on standard values for the dielectric constant and refractive index of air.  At 100MHz, this distance or time delay represents a 180º or pi/2 phase difference, see Appendix 2.        


Conclusions and Further work


In conclusion, strong evidence has been presented that some frequencies are more effective at provoking biological effect than others.  We should seek to understand this more thoroughly.  It is far more than just a dielectric absorption phenomenon.    Furthermore, results of a hundred or so studies at frequencies covering 900 MHz -2.5 GHz suggest that biological effect is more likely at significantly lower field strengths than those traditionally associated with mobile devices and mobile telephony handsets.  In magnetic terms, pico-tesla     sensitivities are envisaged based on quantum coherent interaction, already shown for brain cells and brain waves and likely to be the case for other types of cells as well.   


I will shortly publish a new theory which links bio-soliton   and ion parametric resonance to account for observed bio-effects.    


Large data sets need to be acquired to test the link between subtle field RF frequency/amplitude and cancer once and for all and if proven new communication frequencies and modulation systems will follow to alleviate the problem.  



I wish to acknowledge my wife Gwyneth for stimulating discussions in this area.




Examples of toroidal and caduceus ( helicoid) like structures found in biology – receiving antennas of  electro-scalar waves.   


   Re-precipitated fibrils from collagen solutions assemble into aggregates often showing a remarkable twisted structure. Twist is observed at two different levels of organization. Microfibrils are gathered into twisted bundles which condense into cross-striated fibrils. These fibrils themselves aggregate and show a mutual twist whose orientation is left-handed as is the twist observed within each microfibril bundle. Several models of these architectures are presented. Planar twist, cylindrical twist and toroidal twist are described and their relation to the structure of certain liquid crystals is considered, see Bou;igand et al (1985).


 Ion channels  too can display toroidal geometry.  Analytical solutions of Poisson's equations satisfying the Dirichlet boundary conditions for a toroidal dielectric boundary are presented. The electric potential computed anywhere in the toroidal conduit by the analytical method agrees with the value derived from an iterative numerical method.  Kuyucak (1998) show that three different channel geometries, namely, bicone, catenary, and toroid, give similar potential profiles as an ion traverses along their central axis. They then examine the effects of dipoles in the toroidal channel wall on the potential profile of ions passing through the channel. The presence of dipoles eliminates the barrier for one polarity of ion, while raising the barrier for ions of the opposite polarity. They also examine how a uniform electric field from an external source is affected by the protein boundary and a mobile charge. The channel distorts the field, reducing it in the vestibules, and enhancing it in the constricted segment. The presence of an ion in one vestibule effectively excludes ions of the same polarity from that vestibule, but has little effect in the other vestibule. Finally, they discuss how the solutions we provide here may be utilized to simulate a system containing a channel and many interacting ions.


Toroidal cell membranes are occasionally observed, e.g., in specialized structures of plant cells like the prolamellar body,  see ‘From sphere to torus: a topological view of the metazoan body plan’ ( Jockusch and Dress 2003). 


DNA double helix. 


Appendix 2

 In seeking potential novel and new mechanisms to explain subtle energy bio-interactions, Smith( 2001 and 2004) and others ( Pitkanen 2006) have recently discussed water memory effects not only with regard to homeopathy but with regard to radio –frequency imprinting as well.A simple experiment involving a toroid and solenoid connected in series shows that when the magnetic A –potential and magnetic field vector- B  are in opposite directions (180º or p/2 phase difference) the frequency of the current is imprinted into water placed nearby. When the A-potential and B field are parallel (zero phase difference) the frequency imprint is erased. Smith (2001) sees carcinogenesis associated with electromagnetic fields (and potentials) as a subtle bio-effect related to the Aharonov-Bohm effect first described in 1959. More recently it has been shown by van Vlaenderen (2001) that for electromagnetism the generalised Maxwell equations also contain scalar field terms which predict the existence of so called LES (longitudinal electro-scalar) waves in the vacuum which have an associated power flow term.  Evans (2004) has stressed the possible importance of the Electromagnetic Aharonov-Bohm effect in radar and signalling technologies and is convinced that the effect is responsible for certain effects of radio frequency radiation on animal and human physiology.  Additionally, if Batteaus’ (1968) hypothesis on nerve function proves correct, then the  A –potential with its ability to perturb electron wave function at a distance may be able to directly influence nerve and brain tissue.   Photons are neutral particles that do not interact directly with a magnetic field. However, recent theoretical work1, 2 has shown that an effective magnetic field for photons can exist if the phase of light changes with its direction of propagation ( for light read radio refraction). This direction-dependent phase indicates the presence of an effective magnetic field, as shown experimentally for electrons in the Aharonov–Bohm experiment. Lawerence et al (2014) replicate this experiment using photons. To create this effective magnetic field they constructed  an on-chip silicon-based Ramsey-type interferometer3, 4, 5, 6, 7. This interferometer has been traditionally used to probe the phase of atomic states and here we apply it to probe the phase of photonic states. They  experimentally observe an effective magnetic flux between 0 and 2π corresponding to a non-reciprocal 2π phase shift with an interferometer length of 8.35 mm and an interference-fringe extinction ratio of 2.4 dB. The non-reciprocal phase is comparable to those of common monolithically integrated magneto-optical materials.



Scalar field radio emission as distinct from transverse wave was first predicted by Nikola Tesla.  Some recent experiment shows positive results that are in qualitative agreement with the presented predictions of scalar field effects, but further quantitative tests are required in order to verify or falsify the presented theory. The importance of Nikola Tesla's pioneering research, with respect to the predicted effects, cannot be overstated, see van Vlaenderen (2003).  Experimental   Scalar radio signals have been sent which penetrate a Faraday screen using caduceus coils and toroid, see also Froning, works by considering theory of Marengo (2002).


Not only do biological systems and their structures from DNA to whole cells and sub-cellular structures have suitable scalar wave antennas, they also have Bose -Einstein condensates, see Frolich.   An ideal scalar (information) receiver is an AC Josephson junction.  It has recently been shown that a Bose Einstein condensate behaves as such.    



A finishing comment.

In a sense this is why I will propose in my next paper that it is ‘Frequency’   which is all important and not how the frequency is imparted.  In other words, an ultrasonic frequency can have the same ‘potency’ as the same radio frequency provided wavelength can be supported and coherence time is adequate.