BEMS Paper on Microwaves and Carcinogenicity

* Lundquist BEMS poster paper on microwaves & carcinogenicity (20/7/02)

Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens' Initiative Omega)


I presented a poster paper at the 2002 BEMS meeting in Quebec City, Canada, last month which critically reviewed the two lifetime controlled laboratory studies of specific-pathogen-free rodents exposed to
microwave radiation.

The most recent of these was the Repacholi study of SPF mice exposed to simulated cellularphone radiation at or near 900 MHz (it was published in Radiation Research in May, 1997). Pulsed radiation was employed.  A linear antenna was used and the mice were placed around its periphery at a distance just greater than the distance calculated as the boundary between the near and far field using the customary equation employed by electrical engineers.  (This is described as a "far field" exposure by the authors of the report, but I take issue with this in my critical review; I do NOT think this was a true far field exposure.)

The Repacholi study found that the microwave exposure of the mice DID result in an increase in the cancer rate in these mice, which where genetically predisposed to develop lymphoma.  So microwave radiation was carcinogenic to these mice in this experiment.

The earlier study was done in the 1980s on SPF rats; it was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine.  These rats were exposed to pulsed 2450 MHz circularly polarized radiation inside a

In both experiments, the rodents were subjected to whole-body irradiation.

The rat study produced 5 primary malignancies in the control group, vs. 18 in the exposed group: more than a tripling of relative risk for such malignancies.  Though the experimental protocol required that this
finding give rise to the conclusion that there was a real difference between the exposed and control groups, which would imply that microwave radiation was responsible for the increased cancer risk, neither the contractor's report nor any of the published papers drew this conclusion.  Instead, a number of arguments why these results should be disregarded were presented, and this experiment has been regarded as leaving the question of carcinogencity unsettled.

This spring, while reading the published paper (Chou et al. Bioelectromagnetics, 1992), I happened to check the statistical evaluation of the data on pheochromocytoma (a benign tumor of the adrenal gland) that was reported as being evaluated by Fisher's exact test, but could not duplicate the value of the test statistic reported in the scientific paper, except by doubling the value I had obtained. I immediately wrote to the author to present my calculations and explain my inability to confirm what had been published.

The difference in the published value and my value reversed the conclusion drawn regarding these data. In the paper, no statistically significant difference was found, hence it was concluded that microwave radiation had no effect. Using my value, though, a statistically significant result WAS found, so I conclude that the microwave exposure had a tumorogenic effect.

I was motivated to utilize the new BEMS mechanism for late abstract submission, and prepared and submitted an abstract for a poster paper to be presented at the BEMS meeting in June, 2002. I looked at the issue of bias in the evaluation of experimental data, and also took a critical look at other aspects of both experiments.

My conclusion is that both these experiments actually demonstrate that microwave radiation is capable of being carcinogenic to living tissue, under conditions of chronic irradiation at comparatively low radiation intensity.

I didn't make it to the BEMS meeting on time, however.  I drove from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, to Quebec City, Canada; and I was delayed 18 hours when trying to enter Canada because Canadian Customs refused to permit my car to enter.  (They refused to inspect it.)  I had to repack it twice; then, with great reluctance, on my third attempt to enter Canada, Customs consented to do an inspection, which enabled my car to be allowed in.  This delay caused me to miss the first two days of the BEMS meeting. I arrived Tuesday evening and posted my paper on Wednesday.

Because mine was a late submission, my abstract doesn't appear in the BEMS Abstract Book for this meeting.

It will take me some time to prepare a manuscript for publication. Anyone wanting a copy of my poster paper in the meantime can send me a name and mailing address. (Also, a modest donation of a few dollars would not be amiss, to help cover postage and photocopying costs.)

Marjorie Lundquist, Ph.D., C.I.H.
Bioelectromagnetic Hygienist
P. O. Box 11831
Milwaukee, WI  53211-0831  USA

Message from Roy Beavers

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