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21/10/2013 - RF exposure damages natural wildlife

Drosophila oogenesis as a bio-marker responding to EMF sources


Lukas Margaritis and colleagues have produced a superb new research paper showing significant negative effects of a range of everyday RF devices on fruit-fly fertility.

In my opinion, this large (25 page) paper is one of the best examples of a good scientific paper into EMF/RF effects on life processes that I have ever seen. It is well set-out and, most unusually for biological investigative papers, it gives excellent, high-quality, detailed measurements of the signal strengths, frequencies and waveforms of the RF signals to which the fruit flies were exposed.

They used a GSM (2G) handset, a DECT cordless phone base-unit and also a DECT handset, WiFi, a low-power Bluetooth adapter, 2.4 GHz WiFi and a number of other devices.

They write "All EMF sources used created statistically significant effects regarding fecundity and cell death-apoptosis induction, even at very low intensity levels (0.3 V/m bluetooth radiation), well below ICNIRP's guidelines, suggesting that Drosophila oogenesis system is suitable to be used as a biomarker for exploring potential EMF bioactivity."


'Fecundity' is a measure of the degree of fertility (fruit flies lay multiple eggs); 'Oogenesis' involves the creation and development of the various stages of the immature ovum (egg cell).

The histogram, which is an extract of their larger Figure 22, shows the percentage reduction in fecundity against some of the common devices that they tested.

They used two varieties of fruit fly; Drosophila melanogaster and the larger Drosophila virilis. The results are similar for the two species of fly. All these results are statistically significant at 95% confidence level (p < 0.05)or better.

What is really alarming is the substantial negative effects that such low levels of pulsing RF exposure have on the fertility levels of the flies. Much of the reduction in fecundity was due to cell death - i.e. the RF exposure was (directly or indirectly) causing the developing egg cells to die.

Many, if not most, homes now have both DECT cordless phones and WiFi inside the house. We are putting, with Governmental support and approval, WiFi and wireless laptops and (worse still) wireless tablets in our schools - including primary schools and nurseries.

If there is a long-term effect on the health and well being of our children, then this study provides further evidence that it will be a negative effect.

They write "More than 240 replicates were performed to accommodate each experimental setup with at least six different experiments. In almost all the experiments, the exposure of the newly emerged flies to each EMF source was short (6, 12, 30, 60 min) and lasted for 3 to 7 days depending on the protocol." (protocol details are given in the paper).

Note that this is a low level RF exposure for short time periods. Interestingly, for the mobile phone exposure, the results regarding cell death show that a longer duration of an exposure (e.g. 6 minutes per day vs. 12 minutes per day) greatly increases the adverse effect, whereas the same dose repeated for 3 to 7 days do not seem to worsen the impact.

This is very worrying as human exposures to pulsing microwave radiation from mobile phone base-stations, DECT and WiFi are usually now fairly continuous.


To find these large and important adverse effects, they exposed the flies for short periods a few days after hatching and up to puberty (the start of egg laying). If we crudely map that on to human life spans, that would be similar to few years old up to about 12 years of age. That is the age period when we are now grossly exposing our children to WiFi, cordless and mobile phone radiation.

Increasing numbers of parents do not want this - but their wishes are being over-ridden by schools and Government pressure to have WiFi throughout primary and secondary schools. Good internet access and computer skills can be taught without any RF wireless systems.

RF energy has been classed as a 2B "possible human carcinogen" and yet RF exposure is being forced on our children - even against our wishes. This a serious human rights issue. If long-term harm is being done, then the people who are now responsible for that will be out of office. The insurance industry does not provide insurance cover against harm to health from RF/microwave exposure - not that money would help restore our childrens' health and fertility.

The researchers found effects as a result of all forms of RF exposure. The difference in bio-effects between pulsed and continuous wave (CW) signals may explain why Bluetooth exposure with an average value of just 0.3 V/m has roughly the same effect on cell death (6.1%) as the 20 V/m of the 900 MHz CW signal generator (6.9%) or the 13 V/m FM signal (6.5%), but the mobile phone exposure with the 22 V/m brings a cell death value of up to 10-14% (see Table 1 in the paper). The researchers suggest that Drosophila oogenesis can be used to explore possible biological effects of all types of RF radiation at any intensity level and any modulation.

Ref: Margaritis LH, Mantal AK, Kokkaliaris KD, Schiza D, Alimisis K, Barkas G, Georgiou E, Giannakopoulou O, Kollia K, Kontogianni G, Kourouzidou A, Myari A, Roumelioti F, Skouroliakou A, Sykioti V, Drosophila oogenesis as a bio-marker responding to EMF sources. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, July 2013.

Another recent paper, this time regarding EMF/RF affecting the movement and behaviour of ants

Ants as bio-indicators of EMF/RF effects from some wireless apparatus

Marie-Claire Cammaerts and Olle Johansson have recently published a paper looking at the movement of ants and how this is affected by a DECT cordless phone, a GSM mobile phone, a smart-phone, WiFi and a wired computer (with and without WiFi active).

They write: "One very elegant feature of using ants as experimental animals is - as for other animal species, plants and bacteria - that they do not lend themselves to psychological models, such as mass media driven psychoses (Witthoft and Rubin, 2013). If they react to artificial electromagnetic fields, it is not because they have listened to radio broadcasts, watched the TV news or read columns in tabloids. No, then they do react to the actual adverse environmental exposure".

During exposure, ants fail to respond normally to their trail pheromone, their alarm signal and their area marking. They also stop collecting food. When exposed to EMF/RF it seems that ants can no longer be conditioned, and previously conditioned ants very quickly lose their learning.

These are similar to problems being reported about many children nowadays.

It appears that the linear and angular speed of ants are immediately altered by the presence of EMF/RF fields. Assessment of these two locomotion characteristics constitutes a quick, easy and efficient means for revealing the existence of EMR and for evaluating their effect on living organisms.

All radiating sources tested in this study on the ants demonstrated clear and statistically significant effects. It was already known that a mobile phone in standby mode affects living organisms. Without its battery the phone did not have any effect, nor did the wired computer with the WiFi fully turned off. The ants demonstrated that a modern smartphone and, even more so, a DECT cordless phone do affect living organisms. Furthermore, the electromagnetic waves generated by a WiFi router impact the ants and that effect increases during the course of the exposure time. People working in rooms provided with WiFi and DECT should note this result. Based on these results, the authors advise users to deactivate the WiFi function of their PC/laptop.

Ref:Cammaerts MC and Johansson O, Ants can be used as bio-indicators to reveal biological effects of electromagnetic waves from some wireless apparatus. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, August 2013.

Last edited 12.25 5th November 2013 - additional info re ants & wired computer