Clinical Facts of EMF/RF/Non-ionizing Radiation to Your Health

Effects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: 833 Studies

Government and industry-linked scientists often claim that the research on the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is inconsistent, and that more research is needed before precautionary warnings are issued or regulatory guidelines are strengthened.

Although most of the research on cell phones has focused on radio frequency radiation (RFR), these wireless devices also produce extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMF). The International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization classified ELF EMF “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) a decade earlier than RFR.

Dr. Henry Lai, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, has compiled summaries of several areas of the research on the biologic and health effects of exposure to RFR and ELF EMF. His sets of abstracts which cover the period from 1990 to 2017 constitute a comprehensive collection of this research.

Dr. Lai finds that the preponderance of the research has found that exposure to RFR or ELF EMF produces oxidative stress or free radicals, and damages DNA. Moreover the preponderance of RFR studies that examined neurological outcomes has found significant effects.

The evidence for DNA damage has been found more consistently in animal and human (in vivo) studies than in studies of cell samples (in vitro).

The abstracts can be downloaded from the BioInitiative web site by clicking on the links below.

Top Line Results

Radiofrequency radiation:

  • 90% (n=180) of 200 oxidative stress (or free radical) studies report significant effects.
  • 64% (n=49) of 76 DNA comet assay studies report significant effects.

o   54% (n=25) of 46 in vitro studies report significant effects.

o   80% (n=24) of 30 in vivo studies report significant effects.

  • 72% (n=235) of 325 neurological studies report significant effects.

Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields:

  • 87% (n=162) of 186 oxidative stress (or free radical) studies report significant effects.
  • 74% (n=34) of 46 DNA comet assay studies report significant effects.

o   68% (n=21) of 31 in vitro studies report significant effects.

o   87% (n=13) of 15 in vivo studies report significant effects.

Radiofrequency Radiation (3,000 Hz – 300 GHz):


RFR Research Summary (1990-2017)

RFR Oxidative Effects (Free Radical) Studies (2017)

RFR DNA Comet Assay Studies (2017)

RFR Neurological Effects Studies (2017)

Graphic of Percent “Effect vs No Effect” Neurological Studies (2017)

Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (3 Hz – 3,000 Hz):

ELF-EMF Oxidative Effects (Free Radical) Studies (2017)

ELF-EMF DNA Comet Assay Studies (2017)

RFR & ELF

Graphic of Percent “Effect vs. No Effect” Oxidative Effect and Comet Assay Studies

Note: The comet assay is a sensitive genotoxicity test for the detection of DNA damage and repair. This standard technique is used for evaluation of DNA damage and repair, biomonitoring, and genotoxicity testing.