Effects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: Thirty years of research

May 6, 2024

The preponderance of peer-reviewed research published from 1990 through January 2024 has found significant adverse effects from exposure to radio frequency radiation and extremely low frequency and static electromagnetic fields. 

Dr. Henry Lai, Professor Emeritus at the University of WashingtonEditor Emeritus of the journal, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, and an emeritus member of the International Commission on the Biological Effects of EMF, has compiled summaries of the research on the biological effects of exposure to radio frequency (RFR) and extremely low frequency (ELF) and static electromagnetic fields (EMF). His set of abstracts which covers the period from 1990 to January 2024 constitutes a comprehensive collection of the peer-reviewed research.

Dr. Lai reports that the preponderance of research has found that exposure to RFR or ELF EMF produces oxidative effects or free radicals, and damages DNA. Moreover the preponderance of studies that examined genetic, neurological and reproductive outcomes has found significant effects: 79% of more than 1,500 studies of RFR, and 87% of more than 900 studies of ELF and static fields reported significant effects.

The collection contains about 2,500 studies. The abstracts for these studies can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization classified radio frequency radiation “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B). The IARC had planned to review RFR again by 2024 because most peer-reviewed studies published in the past decade found significant evidence that RFR causes genotoxicity; however this review has been postponed. IARC is likely re-classify RFR to either “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A) or “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) if IARC convenes EMF experts who have no conflicts of interest.

Cell phones and other wireless devices also produce static and extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields. ELF was classified by the IARC as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) a decade before RFR received this classification.



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