There is a pretty well established medical fact, that temperature within human bodies vary up to 1C during 24 hours. The problem with this statement, is that the mean measurements are taken in rectum, ears, mouth or under armpit. Nobody actually knows what is the temperature change on the cellular level and how the changes affect cell’s performance.

This assumption, is a bit dangerous, as it has led to a general understanding, if your body temperature at cellular level does not change by 1C, the temperature change is harmless. Also is the leading factor in debunking electromagnetic exposure biological impact.

This fact, merged with the fact, some scientists disbelieve, that our cells can actually respond to emf signals, are the major factors, why human-made non-ionising radiation is generally assumed ‘safe’ (or was, as WHO does classify it as a potential carcinogen and advises to look for low-cost ways of reducing radiation).

Today, I wanted to take a look at study made in 2006. This study is attempting to prove:

  • There are no biological effects from emf radiation other than thermal
  • Thermal effects are separate to EMF
  • Any negative effects can only be linked to thermal effects

The conclusion is, there are no specific biological effects (and this is what probably would be printed in a newspaper, ‘EMF is not harmful’). There are only some thermal effects, indistinguishable from biological. The interesting fact is, that when you read the study, one can get some strong concerns about this thinking.

We have studied the effects of RF (750 MHz or 1 GHz and 0.5 W; SAR range 15-40 mW kg-1) on stress-inducible transgenic strains of the model nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and found evidence suggesting non-thermal RF induction of heat-shock reporters at 25C (3, 4), as well as effects on growth and egg production (5).


However, these phenotype shifts are no longer seen when microwave treatment is applied at 21 °C in a modified exposure apparatus that minimises the temperature difference between sham and exposed conditions. Like other biological effects attributed to microwaves in the C. elegans system, phenotype shifts in its mutants appear to be an artefact caused by very slight heating.

To clarify a few statements first. SAR or Specific absorption rate is a theoretical model used for developing i.e. mobile phone emf safety. It is officially used around the world in every country. By using a human dummy (water, salt, potentially bits of gelatin). This dummy is then exposed to mobile radiation and change in temperature is measured. Changes of temperature below 1C are deemed safe. The simple summary would be – if you are a block of water mixed with salt and gelatin, changes of temperature below 1C will not hurt you.

The SAR limits for EU and US vary between 1.6W/kg (Watt by kilogram) to 2.0W/kg. First thing that struck me in our study, was why then the study performed on values 1000 lower? 15 – 40 mW/kg is something like 0.015 – 0.040 W/kg. To note, iPhone can generate SAR, that will be close to maximum (2.0W/kg).

Reading the study further. The abstract reads about thermal effects found in neural cells. The scientists decide to reproduce the issue in E. coli bacteria. Maybe there is some logic in it, but if their goal was to reproduce earlier findings, why use different types of cells? And then the next subject was human worm. I would agree to use them in a new study, looking for new factors, but definitely not, to confirm findings of another study.

Coming to findings, the results are quite shocking. For the human worm, there is a shift to develop into a male form (degenerate mutant) over female, if the worms are exposed to EMF.

The prevalence of these mutant males increases dramatically to >78% in the case of eggs exposed to RF during the first 24 h of development at 21C (since functional TRA-2protein is required during late embryogenesis).

And now a fantastic blabber is added to the study. That Radio Frequency, RF radiation can be compared to simple heating. As control studies show similar effects from just heating, there is no issue with RF. Even though statistically, a new issue is discovered between only-temperature control and RF group.

At the intermediate temperature of 21C, some 48% of worms are mutant (i.e. carry
no eggs), a proportion which increases to 65% following RF irradiation of developing larvae.

Every single step of testing the human worm larvae shows some additional factor related to EMF, but it is continuously set aside, due to a too small of a correlation (small being changes in larvae biology ranging 3-17%). Now a good way to try to say – I don’t know what it is, but safer to say, it is safe and ok.

The other part of the study was testing, whether there are any effects related to cellular membrane permeability related to EMF exposure. Here a different approach was taken. The E. coli cells were suspect to radiation for 45- 90 mins (worms took 24h) and checked for biological changes.

The overall observation is that EMF exposure may change the local temperature by 0.2C. With this change there are some effects on the bacteria cells, but they are nothing extraordinary, as thermal effect would do the same. Again there are a few wrongs with this thinking.

showing that a temperature rise of only 0.2C is sufficient to induce comparable expression of the same heat-shock reporter construct.

First is comparable, but not the same, second is that RF changes the local temperature and with it cell biology. Hold on, but we were told up to 1C is safe? Also the cells were exposed for 45-90mins. 0.015W/kg SAR exposure nowadays is a standard. We are exposed  to this level of radiation almost 24/7. Don’t think we are being exposed to the same thermal effect for this long.

These are the common dangers of the studies, that try to prove there is no effect. There are distinguishable, biological effects coming from EMF cellular studies on a petri dish. What if all of your cells, bacteria and parasites are exposed 24/7 as a whole organism. We can’t really check it. Do you still think EMF should be called safe?

It is worth to read scientifical studies in detail and to start asking questions.

One thought on “Temperature

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