Young people, the aged and those with cancer are the most likely to be at risk from radiofrequency (RF) radiation, according to a recent paper in ‘Reviews on Environmental Health.’

In their review of the scientific literature, Dr Mary Redmayne and Professor Olle Johansson, found that exposure affected a number of biological processes differently according to age. These may result in different effects on health and well-being.

‘We took a new approach with this paper. We were particularly interested in comparing results of research that considered more than one age group. Because there are many natural changes over a lifetime, we reported on these first so as to put the research into life-stage context. Then we reported what the research had shown, and then on the implications for differently aged people. We followed this procedure for each topic examined, such as cognitive function,’ Dr Redmayne told EMR and Health.

The research showed that RF radiation affects brain wave patterns and the coherence of brain wave patterns in both hemispheres. The interhemispheric coherence of brain waves in young people exposed to RF was similar to that of young people with ADHD. They also observed that some brain wave patterns reported from exposure to phone radiation were similar to those in people with one kind of epilepsy.

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The authors found that RF exposure increased oxidative damage—responsible for aging and disease—and reduced levels of the hormone melatonin, which plays a vital role in counteracting this damage. Redmayne and Johansson report that because foetuses, babies and the elderly have low levels of melatonin, they may be particularly at risk from exposure. In teenagers, melatonin levels may be affected, not just by RF radiation, but also by exposure to the blue light of wireless devices at night time.

RF radiation affects different types of stem cells, responsible for replacing cells in regenerating organs, the authors said. It can inhibit the repair of DNA in stem cells and damaged stem cells can contribute to cancer and malformations in the foetus. This has serious ramifications for pregnant women’s use of wireless devices.

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RF radiation was shown to reduce levels of the protein CD95 which plays a role in cell death. Because malignant cells can benefit from the loss of CD95, the authors suggest that people with cancer should take steps to reduce their exposure to wireless radiation.

‘Education of those preparing for parenthood, parents, and of their children needs to be prioritized, with the minimum steps being, (a) advice to minimize exposure of the foetus and growing children of all ages to RF-EMR, and (b) how to do this,’ the authors said.

Redmayne, M and Johansson, O, ‘Radiofrequency exposure in young and old: different sensitivities in light of age-relevant natural differences’, Rev Environ Health, 2015 Dec 1;30(4):323-35

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About The Author – Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.

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