Follow the series “EMF: The Invisible Hazard” here.
In this series, we will explore the invisible yet omnipresent electromagnetic fields from common home electronics to 5G and their potential impact on health.
Many people know ultraviolet rays and X-rays can cause cancer.
These are high-frequency, ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Ionizing EMFs are considered carcinogenic, while nonionizing EMFs, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth signals, and fields from electronic devices, are generally not. This perception has prevailed in the public mindset for decades.
However, there’s limited awareness that certain nonionizing EMFs are also classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as class 2B carcinogens—a category indicating potential human carcinogenicity.
Dr. David Carpenter, an environmental health professor at the University of Albany who received his medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School, noted that radiofrequency, a type of nonionizing radiation used in telecommunications, might eventually fall under class 2A classification, denoting a probable human carcinogen.
Oxidation, DNA Changes, and Cancer
Cancer is usually caused by mutation or changes to DNA. Factors like viral infections, radiation, and environmental toxins can alter DNA sequences.
Ionizing EMFs directly damage DNA. Ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays remove electrons from DNA, causing mutations. Accumulated mutations lead to cell malignancy.
Nonionizing radiation doesn’t have enough energy to damage DNA directly. Yet various studies have linked exposure to nonionizing EMFs with DNA breakage. Cells from EMF-exposed animals and phone users have shown genetic damage.
Cancer can also be induced through stress alone. Examples of this include asbestos and arsenic, which cause cancer in the absence of DNA damage.
For this reason, Dr. Carpenter suggests EMFs may be carcinogenic just by inducing “reactive oxygen species” that stress the cell environment through oxidation. Oxidation generated by EMFs have been shown to break DNA in human sperm and fibroblast cells, indicating potentially carcinogenic risks.
Professor Emeritus Martin Pall, specializing in biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, explained that EMFs are complicated in that stronger EMFs don’t necessarily mean more DNA damage. Instead, only specific frequencies and intensities cause an effect.
This has been shown in a recent University of Colorado study, finding that at a 4.2 MHz frequency, human fibroblast and fibrosarcoma mitochondria increased in mass, inducing cell stress. This effect was absent at higher and lower frequencies….