Safety of Wireless Technologies: The Scientific View

Written by Rich Lear

October 29, 2019

Wireless technologies have proliferated since 1990.   Until now, the impact of wireless technologies on society has been thought to be largely positive. Wireless technologies offer convenience and empower mobility while delivering wire-free access and instantaneous communications. Nearly 300 million Americans own at least one wireless device and more than one billion wireless devices are now in use. 

We have come to believe that microwave radiation from wireless technologies is safe. Yes, almost all wireless devices like cell phones, tablets, computers and game consoles use microwaves just like a microwave ovenSo, what does the science actually say?   

The 2012 BioInitiative Report, a 1,540-page study co-authored by a group of twenty-nine international scientists, cites more than 3,000 scientific studies that associate low-level exposures from wireless technologies and other sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with dozens of diseases and biological effects in humans.    

  • Autism 
  • Brain Cancer 
  • Breast Cancer 
  • Leukemia 
  • Oxidative  Damage 
  • Blood Brain Barrier  
  • Biochemical Imbalances 
  • DNA Damage 

In May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified microwave and radiofrequency radiation from wireless technologies as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B).  

• Microwave and radiofrequency radiation can cause all Cancers.

In June of 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was preparing to recommend the unthinkable: classify electromagnetic radiation (EMR) as a Class B-1 probable carcinogen. After a decade of research, leading scientists at the EPA had concluded that EMR probably causes cancer. By November of that year, White House science advisor, Allan Bromley, convinced the EPA to withdraw the 393 page report. Within days the conclusion to the report had been deleted and the U.S. government initiated the process of disassembling the EPA’s regional radiation labs. It would be another two decades before the cancer connection would finally be recognized.

• Electromagnetic radiation probably causes all Cancers

As far back as 1981, there was a growing concern about possible health effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation from radiofrequency transmitters and telecommunication systems. The World Health Organization called a meeting to discuss global health impacts of radio waves and microwaves. The Geneva meeting, attended by 14 nations, surveyed over hundreds of scientific studies, with most showing biological effects from low-level exposures to microwaves and other EMFs. Bio-effects reported included alteration of neurons, decreases in serotonin, neurotransmitter imbalances, behavioral effects, convulsions, tremors, damage to the retina, cell death, chromosome aberrations, and DNA damage. It was at this meeting where the term “electro-pollution” was first coined.  

In 1971, the U.S. Navy reviewed of the science on wireless. Lt. Zorach Glaser, PhD documented the global science in the meta-study, “Reported Biological Phenomena (Effects) and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation.” Glaser found more than 2,300 studies that link microwave signals and other EMR with biological impacts. The paper cites 132 different biological effects, symptoms, and diseases linked with wireless technologies.

As the above examples illustrate, the science connecting wireless signals and other forms of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with biological effects and disease has existed for decades and is extensive. In fact, there are now more than 5,000 studies that link EMR with at least 132 biological impacts and more than 50 diseases.

Humans Are Electrical Creatures

Low levels of electrical energy can affect our health because humans are electrical creatures and our biological welfare depends critically on a delicate balance of electrical activity. Our brains and hearts utilize electrical impulses to function. Doctors use EKGs to measure the electrical activity of the heart and EEGs to gauge the electrical health of the brain. Trillions of cells exchange electrical messages, which coordinate and orchestrate our body chemistry.

The key components of these biological communications, which include ions, neurons and neurotransmitters, all depend crucially on low-level electrical energy. Even the cells in humans are electrical, operating at around 25 millivolts. Nobel Prize-nominee Dr. Robert Becker, known for his work and research in electrophysiology and electromedicine, details the electrical nature of our bodies in his landmark book, The Body Electric.

So, given the electrical nature of our bodies, what happens to the integrity of the “body electric” as the levels of electrical energy swell all around us? In particular, when will the most vulnerable to EMR—disproportionally women, children, and the elderly—pass the tipping point?

This question may already be answered by a phenomenon that has quietly unfolded over the past two decades: overall health in the U.S. has substantially declined and there has been a dramatic, yet unrecognized rise in chronic disease.

Statistics culled from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and PubMed are staggering. By 2015 in the U.S. population of 322 million, the number of instances of 36 fast-growing chronic diseases and medical conditions had mushroomed to nearly 700 million. That’s an average of 2.1 diseases and chronic conditions per American!

Many of these diseases and conditions were relatively unknown until the 1990s. Now they have become household names–autism, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, fibromyalgia, COPD, hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), erectile dysfunction (ED), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), bipolar disorder, to name a few. Other more familiar diseases and conditions, including diabetes, asthma, depression, anxiety and leukemia, have also sky-rocketed.

Despite the massive amount of evidence to the contrary, the U.S. media and federal government agencies doggedly cling to the notion that wireless technologies are harmless (i.e., safe). Regulators persistently claim that the science showing biological effects is “inconclusive,” even though no public figure or federal agency will actually say, “microwave radiation from wireless is safe.” Why? Well, one reason is that federal agencies like the FCC and FDA reject science that considers non-thermal biological effects of EMR. This means no study showing biological effects from wireless is to be considered if the wireless signal fails to heat tissue.

The thermal effect limitation opens a convenient loophole. It allows regulators to ignore 5,000 studies showing biological effects from permissible levels of wireless and other EMR. It also allows regulators to enforce a model for public exposure standards that was developed in the 1950s.

Biological Mechanisms

Another reason critics have been reluctant to acknowledge the massive amount of evidence linking EMR and disease is that they point to a lack of consensus for a biological mechanism connecting EMR and disease. Yet, recent science suggests there are may be multiple biological pathways connecting EMR with disease and biological impacts. Here are three possible mechanisms which may act independently, or possibly as a system:

Voltage-gated Calcium Ion (VGCI) Theory

In 2013, Dr. Martin Pall, Ph.D., identifies just one possible biological mechanism. Pall’s “Electromagnetic Fields Act Via Activation of Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels to Produce Beneficial or Adverse Effects” (2013) outlines the process by which a bio-electrical mechanism enables wireless signals to activate systemic biological chaos and unleash disease. He describes voltage-gates within ion channels that act like switches, regulating the flow of ion messengers. Pall cites 23 studies that link EMR with voltage-gates switching on and off unpredictably. This ad-hoc activity of the voltage gates leads to the disruption of calcium ion (Ca++) cellular outflows and inflows. EMR-triggered changes in calcium ion levels then lead to increased levels of the anion nitric oxide (NO) and the increased production of the dangerous and prolific, oxidative agent, peroxynitrite (ONOO¯).

Peroxynitrite has been implicated in more than 60 chronic diseases by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) paper “Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite in Health and Disease.” The NIH paper details the massive destructive capabilities of peroxynitrite, including at least 97 biochemical disruptions. In a recent interview, lead author of the paper, Dr. Pal Pacher, Ph.D., agreed that peroxynitrite is likely the “smoking gun” for chronic disease. Pacher has authored 260 peer-reviewed publications and is listed among the top 50 most-cited researchers in the world in pharmacology and toxicology.

The connection between wireless technologies and peroxynitrite is pivotal. When peroxynitrite levels rise in the body, biological systems are thrown into chaos. A recent article details the association of peroxynitrite with 36 fast-growing diseases, all of which have more than doubled since 1990.

In the paper, seven common biological markers of disease are identified: oxidative stress (OX), nitrative stress (NOX), mitochondrial dysfunction (MD), autonomic dysfunction (AD), epithelial/ endothelial dysfunction (ED) and chronic systemic inflammation (CI). The final biological marker, a molecule called peroxynitrite, is both associated with all 36 diseases and each of the six biological markers. Whether peroxynitrite is the prime mover through initial causation, or simply an accelerator of the six biomarkers, its link to EMR and in particular, wireless, is undeniable. The “Root Cause in Dramatic Rise of Chronic Disease,” calls the coincidence of these 7 biofactors, P-Factor.

Below is a graphic mapping the relationship of the six biofactors to peroxynitrite.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic Inflammation (CI) is a condition which can be created by a chronically triggered immune system. In the case of chronic exposures from EMR, scientists have shown how EMR can cause inflammatory cytokines and histamines to be released. What follows is a chronic state of inflammation. Over time this chronic state can triggers an oxidative response, which in turn, creates more inflammation.(12)

This inflammatory response is spelled out in the BioInitiative Report (1) by Dr. Olle Johansson, PhD of the Karolinska Institute (home of the Nobel Prize). In his article, Dr. Johansson shows how electrical fields trick the innate immune system into thinking the body is being attacked by a foreign invader like a virus or bacteria. Johansson shows how the immune system triggers a release of inflammatory substances as a response to the “perceived” attack. As exposures to electromagnetic radiation (EMR), particularly wireless radiation, is continuous, chronic exposures from microwaves, produce a chronic inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation eventually exhausts the adrenal glands, leading to fatigue, cognitive impacts, fuzzy thinking, irritability, anxiety and memory loss. More important, chronic inflammation is linked to almost all germless, chronic diseases.

Oxidative Stress

It turns out that the natural environmental stress response entails the release of an oxidative burst at the cellular level. Studies show that EMR creates both damaging free-radicals (Oxidative Stress) (OX) and Nitrative Stress (NOX). In his survey of 140 studies investigating the EMR association between oxidative or nitrative stress with EMR, Dr. Henry Lai discovered a powerful link between the two. His paper shows that 123 out of 140 studies link cell phones, Wi-Fi and other EMR with increased oxidative stress (OX) and nitrative stress (NOX).

EMR and P-Factor

It should also be noted that as cited in Appendix A, ten of the most often-cited biological impacts from EMR are also directly linked with the effects from peroxynitrite. All ten are also biologically-linked with the other six biofactors. The linkages are mainly through inflammation and free radical production (oxidative stress). However there is increasingly evidence that the coincidence of the following: 1) EMR, 2) peroxynitrite and the 3) six biofactors are connected with the 36 fastest-growing diseases in the US.

There has been a sudden explosion of disease in the US. Some call it a health crisis. While there have been over 400 million cases of at least one of 36 fast-growing diseases since 1990, the number of wireless devices has grown by more than 6085%. In a single generation 36 diseases have doubled, 20 have tripled, and 16 quadrupled. The annual economic cost to the US: $2.7 trillion. The two trends are eerily correlated. But what does the science say about causation?

According to merging science, the chain of causation linking microwave radiation and EMI to chronic disease and aging outcomes may look something like this:

In the graphic above, the triangle represents a potential external trigger for P-Factor like microwave radiation (MW) or dirty electricity. The body’s natural stress response to an environmental stressor like EMR triggers one, or all of the following:

  • Peroxynitrite (ONOO) – through the activation of dramatic changes in calcium ion levels caused by calcium ion voltage gates being triggered by EMR. (11)
  • Chronic Inflammation (CI), which is chronically triggered by immune system activation by EMR, which in turn, causes cytokines and histamines to be released. This level of inflammation also triggers a oxidative response, which in turn, creates more inflammation. (12)
  • Oxidative Stress (OX): the natural environmental stress response entails the release of an oxidative burst at the cellular level. Studies show EMR creates both damaging free-radicals (OX) and
  • Nitrative Stress (NOX). Henry Lai surveyed 140 studies associating oxidative or nitrative stress with EMR. 123 out of 140 studies link cell phones, Wi-Fi and other EMR with increased oxidative stress (OX) and nitrative stress (NOX).
  • Autonomic Dysfunction (AD): EMR triggers the autonomic nervous system (9): It creates autonomic dysfunction (AD). 111 studies show microwave/ radio frequency radiation trigger false signals within central nervous system (CNS), which can then speed up heart rate (heart palpitations), disturb sleep, affect sex drive and disrupt cellular signaling (communications).

Dramatic Change in our Electrical Environment:

Our electrical environment has changed dramatically since 1990. Wireless devices have grown by more than 6085%. Recent articles predict there will be 20 billion Internet connected devices (IOT) world-wide by 2020.

Passing the Tipping Point?

Statistics on chronic disease suggest millions of people may have already passed the tipping point of safety from exposure to wireless and other electromagnetic radiation. Evidence of increasing levels of electrical energy in the environment helps complete the picture of the dramatic rise in chronic disease. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) described background levels of electrical energy around the world as “many orders of magnitude times higher” than the natural environment. Now, in typical U.S. cities, people using wireless technology are exposed to EMR levels 40-100 times higher than the levels described by WHO just over a decade ago.

Despite warnings from more than 7,000 scientists linking EMR to harmful biological effects and disease, the general public in the US has not been sufficiently informed. Somehow the science has not made its way through the tight nets of so many federal agencies. Despite being entrusted by the Environmental Protection ACT with the responsibility for protecting us from harm, the FCC and FDA have failed to communicate the link between our electrical environment and our health.


The mechanism and path of causation has been eloquently laid out in the science. Peer-reviewed science asserts that the connection between wireless and calcium ion channel disruption has been established (Pall). The link between high intracellular calcium levels and peroxynitrite is widely accepted. Pacher’s NIH paper suggests peroxynitrite is a smoking gun for more than 60 chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are currently plaguing more than 170 million Americans without a widely recognized cause and no cure in sight.

Taken together, the research findings from NIH, the U.S. Navy, Martin Pall, and scores of concerned scientists outline the following chain of causation:

Wireless Signal >>triggers voltage-gated calcium ion channels >> peroxynitrite >>Disease

There is a huge elephant in the room. It is time to begin the honest dialogue on the potential hazards of wireless. We can continue to deny the science but we cannot avoid the consequences of such denial. The Environmental Protection Act admonishes federal agencies to protect the American people by monitoring their actions, which could potentially cause harm. Instead these agencies, by denying non-thermal biological effects from microwave radiation, have shielded us from the conversation about wireless technologies and our health.

In the US, we’re facing a tipping point. Disease is dramatically on the rise, symptoms from wireless technologies like headaches, sleep issues, mood swings, joint pain, brain fog, memory issues and poor learning are plaguing our lives. Four new categories of disease have exploded. Autoimmune, inflammatory, metabolic and neurological diseases have become endemic. Millions are suffering. Our nation has been slow to make the connection between our decline in health and our electrical environment. Meanwhile, the weight of the science is, indeed, conclusive. Only one question remains:


“Will we have the courage to listen and embrace our moral fiber to act?”


(1) Carpenter DO, Sage C, Behari J, Xu, Lai H, Blank M, Johansson O, Grigoriev Y, Salford L, Nittby H, Hardell L, Mild KH, Carlberg, Kundi M, Davanipour Z, Sobel L, Blackman CF, Belyaev I, Heroux, Ying Li, Liboff AR, Rajamani P, Bellieni CV, Pinto I, Herbert M, Oberfeld G, Gee D, Carlberg M, Fragopoulou A, Nittby H, Persson BR. Thomsen A. Gee D

“BioInitiative 2012, A Rationale for Biologically-based Exposure Standards for Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Radiation”;

(2) Glaser, ZR

“Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (Effects) and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and    Radio-Frequency Radiation”; Naval Medical Research Institute, October 1971;                  

(3) Pacher P1, Beckman JS, Liaudet L.

Nitric oxide and peroxynitrite in health and disease. Physiol Rev. 2007 Jan; 87(1):315-424.

(4) Pall, Martin L

“Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects.” J Cell Mol Med. 2013 Aug; 17(8): 958–965.

(5) 3rd International EMF Seminar in China: Electromagnetic Fields and Biological Effects Guilin, China October 13-17, 2003 Sponsored by Ministry of Health, China; World Health Organization International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

(6) Environmental Health Criteria 16 (1981): Radiofrequency and Microwaves
WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, ISBN 92-4-154076-1
Published under the joint sponsorship of UNEP, WHO and IRPA

(7) Lai, Henry, Research Professor at University of Washington

Studies on oxidative stress effect of radiofrequency radiation

(8) Lear, Richard A. “Root Cause in the Dramatic Rise of Chronic Disease.” ResearchGate 2016/18

(9) Bergman, W

Effect of Microwaves on the Central Nervous System


Biological Impacts shared between EMR and Peroxynitrite:

EMR/ Peroxynitrite triggers production of stress proteins.

EMR/ Peroxynitrite interferes with cell signaling.

EMR/ Peroxynitrite damages DNA

EMR/ Peroxynitrite trigger Immune System to produce Inflammation.

EMR/ Peroxynitrite raises stress hormone Cortisol

EMR/ Peroxynitrite create Oxidative Stress (OX) (Free radicals)

EMR/ Peroxynitrite trigger calcium ion imbalances (highly toxic for body)

EMR/ Peroxynitrite increase permeability of blood brain barrier (BBB)

EMR/ Peroxynitrite damage sperm and reduces Testosterone.

EMR/ Peroxynitrite elevate blood sugar levels.


Following is a sampling of biological impacts from wireless signals, which are identified across 2308 studies, compiled by the US NAVY in a survey of the global science: “Reported Biological Phenomena (Effects) and Clinical Manifestations attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation:”

Central Nervous System Effects (9)



Cranial nerve disorders

Vagomimetic action of the Heart; sympatico-mimetic action

Autonomic Nervous System Effects (4)

Alteration of the heart rhythm


Structural alteration of the synapses of the vagus nerve

Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (Bradycardia

Genetic and Chromosomal Changes (5)

Chromosome aberrations



Tumors (cancer)

Cellular changes (somatic alterations)

Psychological Disorders (17)




Lack of concentration




Increased irritability

Memory loss

Chest pain

Vascular Disorders (2)


Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Blood Disorders (14)

Blood and bone marrow

Blood glucose concentration (increase)

Blood Histamine content (inflammatory marker)

Cholesterol and lipids

Albumin/ globulin ration (decrease)

Enzyme and other biochemical changes (13)

Alteration in cell division

Change in concentration of Glycogen in Liver

Tissue cultures killed

Metabolic Disorders (4)

Gastro-intestinal disorders (4)



Epigastric pain

Altered secretion of stomach (digestive juices

Endocrine Gland Changes (8)

Altered pituitary function


Thyroid enlargement

Altered adrenal cortex activity

Decreased corticosteroids in blood

Hypogonadism (decreased testosterone production) – low T

Changes in physiological Function (29)

Decreased fertility

Altered sex ratio of births (more females)

Altered blood flow

Altered menstrual activity

Structural changes in cerebral cortex

Myocardial necrosis


Alteration of diameter of blood vessels

Liver enlargement

Alteration in sensitivity to light, sound and olfactory stimuli

Altered rate of calcification (osteoporosis)

Miscellaneous Effects (10)

Metallic taste in mouth

Loss of hair

Sensations of buzzing, vibrations, pulsations, tickling about head and ears

Copious perspiration, salivation

Changes in circadian rhythms


A global comparison of Cell Tower Exposure Standard:

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