Electromagnetic Fields Erring on the side of Caution by Dr Chris Barnes Bangor Scientific and Educational Consultants



A very brief review of sources of common Electromagnetic fields is presented. Considerations and mechanisms for fields to be classed as Geno-toxic are reviewed. The existence of conflicting information and results is highlighted. Reasons for such conflict are suggested.  New proposals for Epidemiologists are made based on more through understandings of electromagnetic radiation.    Lifestyle in the Amish Community is considered to reinforce the point that we should all err on the side of caution in the use of electromagnetic systems and fields.



The past few decades have seen an explosion in the use of electromagnetic technologies.   We have also seen in explosion in ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s   and numerous common types of Cancer.  Surely it is only pertinent to ask if there could be a connection. 

Mobile phone and WIFI signals pervade all our physical space.  TV and radio stations transmit 24/7 without a break.  Power systems radiate more harmonics and inter-harmonics than ever before.  Even the insides of our cars are moderately strong sources of magnetic fields as all their electrical systems are ECU and PWM controlled.    


MRI body scanners expose some of us to magnetic fields powerful enough to break the covalent bonds between biogenic magnetite and organic pathways in our brains. 


Artists light up fluorescent tubes by planting them in fields under super-grid power lines 


But why be alarmed.   Any good PR man in your Power Company or mobile phone shop will tell you “A quantum of Electro-magnetic radiation doesn’t pack enough punch to break a strand of DNA like an X-RAY or something similar” 


Of course they would be right but maybe they should add just one more key word.  Here is the same sentence revisited “ A quantum of Electromagnetic radiation doesn’t pack enough punch to directly break a strand of DNA......”  


An alternative is to ask what if DNA expression of a cell is changed?  Is that or can that not have mutagenic effect?

Various mechanisms have been put forward for this including stimulation of heat shock proteins and interference with ion channel gating.  Work on cellular and animal models  by independent scientists generally seems to provide associative results whereas work funded by power companies, mobile phone company’ s and large public information bodies seems to come up with negative results. The reader is asked to draw their own conclusions here given the wealth generation of the industries concerned.        


Of those more certain conclusions, electromagnetic fields   and RF radiation have been associated with Leukaemia (Ha et al 2007),Glioma (Kan et al 2007) and Non-hodgkins Lymphoma (Linet 2006).    


Neuro-physiological effects have also been noted as being real but small but not understood.


The present author believes it is sad that that so much misguided information is available concerning the safety or otherwise of EM fields to flaws in current thinking in both biology and electromagnetism.  


Only an interdisciplinary approach will properly solve these problems. Molecular biologists need to embrace quantum physics and vice versa.   Perhaps if Frolich were still alive the issue would be solved once and for all be now.   The author believes the work of retired magnetics expert Professor Cyril Smith also sheds incredible light on the problems at hand and so too Joseph Kirschvink for his pioneering work on magnetite in insect, avian and human tissue.   


Epidemiology Flawed current thinking

Another approach to testing if electromagnetic fields might be harmful to humans has been by the use of epidemiological studies.  It seems to the present author that by    far and above the largest flaw in current thinking is that most epidemiologists cannot or will not or do not accept anything other than an inverse square law model for the attenuation of radio frequency radiation around a transmitting site.  But then why shouldn’t they?  It is conveniently pedalled by those who won’t to perpetuate the technology and by most Physics and Engineering books.


Main beam and SSL

The truth of the matter is rather different.  All transmitting antennas have a radiation pattern which comprises a main beam and SSL (Secondary Side Lobes).  For this reason alone a geometric influence in the epidemiology ought to be presumed and hence Bayesian statistics should be employed.           

Similarly know refraction, diffraction and muti-path effects of r.f. fields could also be built into the Bayesian algorithm.  

The late Neil Cherry is believed to be one of the only scientists working this field besides Smith and the present author who appreciated this issue.


Quantum mechanics and a full understanding of Electro-dynamics.

Cherry’s results show number trends in disease fluctuating with geometric patterns with distance from transmitting antennas as expected by SSL theory but yet  with these numbers exceeding expectations at the larger distances in terms of  weakening measured field strength.  The author believes this can only be fully explained in terms of the electromagnetic   Aaronhov Bohm effect.  Since Clark Maxwell himself founded his electromagnetic equations many have striven for a more complete explanation.  One such explanation has recently been derived which in addition to the normal TEM wave proposes the existence of both an LES wave and magnetic vector potential.  The present author has discussed their significance elsewhere (GB 1113174.5 A method and apparatus for more accurate prediction of locations in the vicinity of transmitting antennas or base stations wherein occupants or other life forms face maximum deleterious bio-effect), but basically one would expect highly spatial and geometric effects of the type observed by Cherry.   The equations needed to predict positions of maximum wave-matter are actually quite trivial and would be ideal for feeding into a Bayesian analysis algorithm wherein the whole quantum hypothesis could be rigorously   tested.              


The Amish Community and Cancer 

The Amish Community of North America has been shown to have up to 40% less cancers than the surrounding population in the non-Amish community.  Whereas reduced sexual promiscuity (ref) and less or no tobacco use accounts for specific cancers (refs) the authors of a major publication (ref) nevertheless reach the conclusion that other lifestyle choices are relevant and may ‘require further in-depth epidemiological studies.’


For the present author the obvious question raised is how much of the reduction in cancers is due to the Amish not using electricity or electrical appliances of any kind? 

http://cdn2.holytaco.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/AmishGuysOnScooters.jpgAmish Transport ( modern) http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01298/amish_1298544c.jpgOriginal



Of course one cannot rule out the fact that without the convenience of electrical appliances the Amish will throughout their lifetimes engage in a considerable amount more physical activity than the rest of society and a link has been shown between physical activity and a     lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer (Byers et al 2008) and to give a lower risk of prostate cancer (Whittemore et al (1995) and a 14% lower risk of breast cancer Tiernan et al (2003).

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSfu8UYCE3TUBA6RUmwQNbsddDHpjkElPxL57UgRCHIVvZJHT1g6AAmish agriculturehttp://romancebandits.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/burning_oil_lamp-300x300.jpgAmish house lighting

It would seem that even when exercise and smoking and sexual health factors are taken into account the Amish might possibly still have significantly lower cancer rates than the rest of society. Electromagnetic radiation or rather the lack of it may be the link?  Although radio TV and data communications are not used directly by the Amish it would seem by their very proliferation that some Amish homes will now lie directly within propagation paths. In  that case it  would seem there exists an ideal opportunity for the application of Bayesian statistics which take the same into account in any forthcoming and more advanced epidemiological; studies.   


The author and doubtless eventually the World will watch with baited breath.



The other wishes to thank his wife and son for interesting discussions on this topic and also Emeritus Professor Cyril Smith.