by Joseph Mercola
like cellphones, causes massive
mitochondrial dysfunction due to damage done by free
peroxynitrite that also cause single and
double stranded breaks in your DNA
radicals triggered by low-frequency microwave exposure from
cellphones and Wi-Fi networks have been linked to chronic
diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, depression,
autism, Alzheimer's and infertility
signaling produced by EMF exposures also has important roles
in producing pathophysiological effects of EMFs including
each of the effects listed above
may help reduce the harmful effects of EMFs include
optimizing your magnesium level, certain
foods, exercise, calorie restriction and strategies that
boost nitric oxide signaling (which acts, in turn, by
I've often noted that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are a
pernicious, hidden health risk.
But exactly how does this
kind of microwave radiation damage your health?
Ph.D., has identified and published research describing the likely
molecular mechanisms of how EMFs from cellphones and wireless
technologies damage plants, animals and humans.1,2,3,4
Pall has a bachelor's in physics from Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. in
biochemistry and genetics from Caltech, and is uniquely qualified
for this type of research.
For the past 18 years, he's been scouring
the medical literature, integrating and drawing parallels between
work done by others to answer this pressing question.
"There is a huge
amount of information out here that nobody has the time to
integrate, digest and make connections [between]. That's what
I've been doing...
I was interested in
EMFs before I could understand how they worked. Then I stumbled
onto two papers that told me,
'Well, this looks like the way
...and then I dug out more and more papers …
What the [initial two] studies showed was that you could block
or greatly lower the effects [of EMF] by using calcium channel
That was the key observation...
Now [I have found] 26 [papers]... They all show that EMFs work
by activating what are called voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs).
These are channels in the outer membrane of the cell, the plasma
membrane that surrounds all our cells.
activated, they open up and allow calcium to flow into the cell.
It's the excess calcium in the cell which is responsible for
most if not all of the [biological effects]."
When you expose cells to EMFs, there's increased
You also get increases in
calcium signaling, which is important as well, in terms of
explaining the damage EMFs cause. For the past 25 years, the
industry has claimed that non-ionizing radiation is harmless and
that the only radiation worth worrying about is ionizing radiation.
unequivocally proves that this assumption is false.
"It's been very
clear, going back all the way to 1971 and even before that, that
this wasn't true. But we didn't know what the mechanism was.
Now, we do. I think
it's very important, because the industry's been trying to
hoodwink everybody for decades. Now we know how it works.
One of the other
things that's very important about this is that there is a wide
variety of different health impacts that have been reported.
we can explain how [these problems arise]."
Damage Your Health
VGCCs are exposed to EMFs, they open up, allowing
abnormally large volumes of calcium ions into the cells - about 1
million ions per second per channel.
Each VGCC has a voltage
sensor, a structure that detects electrical changes across the
plasma membrane and opens the channel.
EMFs work through the
voltage sensor to activate the channel and radically increase
intracellular levels into dangerous ranges.
"Because of the
structure of the voltage sensor and its location in the plasma
membrane, one can predict from basic physics that it's
extraordinarily sensitive to the electrical forces from EMFs,"
On average, these forces
are approximately 7.2 million times stronger on the voltage sensor
than they are on singly charged electrical groups in the aqueous
(watery) part of the cell.
What this means is that
current safety standards are off by a factor of about 7 million.
That's how these very weak EMFs, which industry claims can't
possibly cause you any harm, are actually taking you out
prematurely. They work by activating VGCCs.
This turns out to be
absolutely critical, because when there's excess calcium in the
cell, a number of things happen. Not only do you get excess calcium
signaling, you also get increased nitric oxide (NO).
While NO has many
beneficial health effects, massively excessive NO reacts with
Superoxide levels also
rise in response to increased intercellular calcium. Together, they
form peroxynitrite, which is an extremely potent oxidant stressor.
While not a free radical,
peroxynitrites break down to form reactive free radicals, both
reactive nitrogen species and reactive oxygen species (ROS)
including hydroxyl free radicals.
"You get both,
because you get hydroxyl radicals and carbonate radicals and NO2
radicals," Pall explains.
All three do damage.
According to Pall, most
of the damage is likely done by excessive free radicals, but some
damage is caused directly by the peroxynitrites. The end result is
rather massive harm, as excessive oxidative stress and nitrosative
stress are involved in nearly all chronic disease.
Much of the pathophysiology also has to do with the excessive calcium signaling,
independently of peroxynitrite.
NO Signaling Pathway
Versus Peroxynitrite Pathway
It's important to realize that not all oxidative stress is harmful.
There's a certain
baseline of free radicals that's biologically useful and necessary.
NO, for example, is a free radical, yet it has many very beneficial
The problem is excessive
oxidative stress. Interestingly, Pall notes that the NO signaling
pathway and the peroxynitrite pathways inhibit each other, which I
never previously knew.
This provides support for
the new nitric oxide dump exercise to decrease damage from EMFs.
Why You Cannot Depend
on Industry Claims
Many are unaware that the
telecommunications industry is perhaps
more well-funded than the
pharmaceutical industry, and just as
Their lobbyists are very
effective in disseminating and protecting the industry's version of
Needless to say, the industry will also actively
discredit research that demonstrates harm and/or defund research
projects that start to reveal problems.
In fact, the current head of the Federal Communications Commission
was formerly the chief lobbyist for the telecommunications industry
- one of the worst cases of the disgusting revolving door between
industry and government and the fox guarding the hen house that I
have seen in sometime.
"I know how they've
attacked various people," Pall says.
"In the U.S... the
funding for the EMF research [by the Environmental Protection
Agency] was cut off starting in 1986... The U.S. Office of Naval
Research had been funding a fair amount of research in this area
[in the '70s].
They [also]... stopped funding new grants in
1986... And then the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a few
years later followed the same path...
[I]t's actually shocking to say there are only two countries in
the world that are doing a lot of research in this, well beyond
their normal scope... Turkey and Iran... they're doing quite a
bit of good research in both of those countries on EMFs...
What I've been doing
is I've been doing it on my own. I've been contributing my time
to it and my efforts and, at least to a small extent, some money
to it. But it doesn't cost that much, so I can do it.
So, we have the fact that the money was cut off. One strongly
suspects the industry had a role on that.
The industry, with
the 1996 Telecommunications Act, gave the regulation to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has done nothing
in terms of protecting the public.
In addition, they prevented the public from protecting their
health with regard to their exposures from the cellphone towers.
We cannot sue to prevent
cellphone towers from being put near
our workplace or homes. Basically, what the Congress did was to
say our health makes no difference...
So, we're in
extremely deep trouble," Pall says.
Neuropsychiatric Effects of EMF Exposure
And this brings us to the crux of the problem, namely the physical
locations where VGCCs are the densest, and the subsequent diseases
you can expect from chronic excessive exposure to EMFs.
The highest density of
VGCCs are found in your nervous system and, indeed, studies dating
back to the 1950s and '60s show the nervous system is the organ that
is most sensitive to EMFs.
Some of these studies show massive changes in the structure of
neurons, including cell death and synaptic dysfunction. When the
VGCCs are activated in the brain they release neurotransmitters and
Hence, consequences of
chronic EMF exposure to the brain include the following, which Pall
details in a 2016 paper: 5
In animals exposed to
EMFs, there are massive, cumulative effects in the brain.
studies also show that elevated VGCC activity in certain parts of
the brain produces a variety of neuropsychiatric effects.
"I reviewed a [large
number] of studies on various kinds of EMF exposures, each of
them showing neuropsychiatric effects. What you find is that
these effects have been repeated many times in these
It's the same thing
that everybody's complaining about,
All the things
everybody's complaining about.
We know all those things are caused by EMF exposures. There's no
doubt about that. Because we know their effects on the brain, we
know that the VGCCs' excessive activity can produce various
Here we've got all of these epidemiological data that confirms
this is happening in humans who live near cellphone towers, who
exposed to Wi-Fi, who were exposed to broadcasting
radiation, who use cellphones, tablets and so on.
important. I think we should care about this."
Your heart is also very sensitive to EMFs, particularly the
pacemaker cells of your heart, as they have the highest density of
As a consequence of this,
we find that EMFs tend to trigger the following conditions.
have any of these conditions (or any of the ones discussed above and
below), you need to know that EMF exposure is a major contributing
factor and take immediate and aggressive steps to remediate your
arrhythmias (associated with sudden cardiac death)
fibrillation / atrial flutter
contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs),
also known as heart palpitations
heartbeat) and brachycardia (slow heartbeat)
A third area with densely populated VGCCs is the reproductive
system, particularly the male testes.
A consequence here is
impaired or reduced fertility. There is evidence showing EMFs can
cause both male and female infertility, but male infertility has
been more studied.
Pall describes a classic
reproduction experiment published 19 years ago by Ioannis Magras
and Thomas Xenos in Greece:
"They took young
pairs of mice, one male and female. They put them in a little
cage on the ground outside in an antenna park...
levels at the ground were well within our current safety
guidelines... They put them in two different locations, one with
a higher level of exposure and one with a lower level of
What they found was that at the higher-level exposure, each pair
produced one litter that was approximately normal sized, then a
second litter that was clearly down in numbers and then complete
infertility - not a single mouse born...
At lower level exposure, it was basically the same story, except
it took twice as long. They produced four litters with
decreasing numbers, and then complete infertility.
We have now, in
humans in many countries around the world, decreased male sperm
count - down by over 50 percent in Western countries, and about
half of that amount in other countries around the world. 6,7
The senior author in that paper is saying, 'If this keeps going,
we're going to become extinct,' just from the drop in male sperm
We know that that
occurs in humans - in people who carry their cellphones in their
front pockets, men who use their laptops with the Wi-Fi on
sitting on their lap. We know that occurs.
But of course,
industry denies everything."
Indeed, studies have
linked low-level electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure from
cellphones to an 8 percent reduction in sperm motility and a 9
percent reduction in sperm viability.8,9
Wi-Fi equipped laptop
computers have also been linked to decreased sperm motility and an
increase in sperm DNA fragmentation after just four hours of use.10
on cancer have also been blocked by the industry in a number
of ways, including preventing researchers from obtaining real-world
data on cellphone usage.
Obviously, people who use
their cellphones the most are at greatest risk. While not at the top
of the list of concerns associated with EMF exposure, cancer is yet
another potential consequence of mitochondrial damage.
Women who carry their cellphones in their bra, for example, risk
cancer in the upper inner quadrant of the breast, which is very
atypical and not the usual upper outer quadrant.
Brain cancer is another possibility from extended cellphone use if
you keep the phone to your ear.
That said, emphasizing
the cancer risk is likely counterproductive, as most people use
cellphones and those who develop brain cancer are few and far in
between. The problem is brain cancer has a latency period of a
decade or more.
anxiety and Alzheimer's, on the other hand, are extremely prevalent
these days, and we now have a mechanism that explains how EMF
contributes to all of them.
So, even though two U.S. senators likely got brain cancer from cell
phones (Ted Kennedy and John McCain), it's important to understand
that cellphone dangers are not just about brain cancer.
It's all these other
problems as well, including infertility.
"In my judgment,
cancer is down around No.4 or No. 5 on the list of my concerns.
It's not that cancer is not important. It's very important.
We're just looking
right now at the early stages because of long latencies," Pall
What Is More
Dangerous, Cellphones or X-Rays?
If you are like most, the answer is obvious: X-rays.
That is because you have
been convinced by the deceptive lies of the telecommunications
industry that have lobbied the government to reinforce this
The reality is that there
is compelling evidence showing cellphones are more dangerous than
X-rays - by several orders of magnitude.
Some of the best evidence comes from a German study (headed by
professor Franz Adlkofer), in which the effects of ionizing
radiation equivalent to 1,600 chest X-rays were compared to 24 hours
on a cellphone.
Surprisingly, they found
both produced roughly equivalent amounts of DNA breaks in in-vitro
assays. According to Pall, this actually vastly underestimates the
effects of cellphones, because they used a continuous wave EMF, not
There's extensive evidence showing pulsed EMFs are far more damaging
than continuous wave EMFs. That's important for a number of reasons,
including the fact that all wireless communication devices
communicate by pulsations.
In another paper, the
group showed that when you use pulsations designed to be similar to
the pulsation from a real cellphone, damage occurred at far lower
"This raises the
'How can this possibly happen?'
I think the answer
comes from the kind of diagram I've published, which is how EMFs
produce free radicals," Pall says.
radiation and the microwave frequency EMFs produce DNA damage
through free radicals. They're similar in that way. Where you
get the free radicals is through the peroxynitriate pathway.
It turns out that when you go from EMFs to the free radicals on
that pathway, there are three steps that involve high levels of
One of them is when
you open up the channels, you get about a million calcium ions
flowing in per second. The second is that you get increases in
NO and superoxide.
Those, in effect, will be the calcium acting catalytically,
because once it's in the cell, as long as it's elevated, you
keep getting more and more [NO and superoxide]. And then those
two react with each other to form peroxynitrite.
The reaction rates
are the product of the two concentrations. So you have three
levels of amplification.
If you have three
levels of amplification, you get a hell of a response to a very
Radiation and DNA Breaks
The industry says there's not enough energy in microwave radiation
to cause direct damage to covalent bonds in DNA.
This is true. There
isn't. It's the biological amplification resulting in excessive
oxidative stress that causes the damage.
Interestingly, even most
of the damage caused by ionizing radiation is actually due to
secondary free radical formation that breaks DNA. It's not directly
from the energy within the radiation.
"That was published
by Arthur Compton. He got the Nobel Prize for it in 1927.
The way in which
ionizing radiation works, it basically gets molecules and atoms
and knocks electrons out, and then you get pairs of free
radicals generated. That's called
There is amplification from ionizing radiation, but it's only at
One energetic photon
can produce a chain of free radicals. You've got three levels of
amplification with the microwave frequency EMFs. The amount of
damage you get based on those studies is truly extraordinary.
Of course, Adlkofer
and [Pilger] Rudinger were severely attacked by the industry."
Strategies to Limit Your Exposure
Naturally, to reduce your risk of harm, you need to reduce your
exposure to EMFs.
Cellphone towers should
be a major concern if you work or go to school within 300 meters
(about 1,000 feet) of one. Even just driving around can expose you
to substantial cellphone tower radiation.
cellphone is a major source of exposure, as are,
Ideally, address each
source and determine how you can best limit their use.
A simple remedy is to turn off your Wi-Fi each night. That's just
unnecessary exposure. Not carrying your cellphone on your body, and
not using your laptop directly on your lap are other simple
You can get cellphone pouches that are shielded on one side, so
putting that side toward your body gives you some protection.
Use your cellphone with a
headset or on speaker phone. Work toward hardwiring your devices so
you don't have to be in a Wi-Fi field and don't get unnecessary
radiation from cordless mice, keyboards and printers.
It is also possible to
put up shielding in your house or apartment to lower exposures.
Once you know the mechanism of harm, you have a better idea of how
to remediate the problem. In this case, since we now know the
effects of EMFs are reduced by calcium-channel blockers, a natural
solution would be to make sure you're getting enough magnesium.
Most people are deficient
in magnesium, which will worsen the impact of EMFs.
As noted by Pall:
"It is clear that
when you're deficient in magnesium, you get excessive activity
of the VGCCs.
You also get
excessive calcium influx through the N-methyl-D-aspartate
receptor, caused by magnesium deficiency, which is also
problematic, so it's important to allay that deficiency.
Now, I always tell people I'm a Ph.D. and not an M.D. None of
these [suggestions] should be viewed as medical advice.
But I think one
approach to dealing with these things is to raise the level of
nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which I
published [a paper 11] on."
Activate Nrf2 to Reduce EMF Impact
I am in the process of writing a very comprehensive paper on Nrf2,
which is a vitally important biological hormetic that upregulates
superoxide dismutase, catalase and all the other beneficial
the body from xenobiotics, carbon-containing toxicants and
transcription of over 500 genes in the human genome, most of
which have cytoprotective functions. This includes the three
genes that encode enzymes required for synthesis of reduced
glutathione, which is one of the most important antioxidants
produced in your body
One simple way to activate Nrf2 is to consume Nrf2-boosting food
compounds, such as,
foods high in
from allum vegetables
from the cabbage group
restriction (such as intermittent fasting) and activating the NO
signaling pathway (one way of doing that is the NO dump exercise)
will also raise Nrf2.
In his paper, Pall notes:
detoxification roles of Nrf2 mean that raising Nrf2 activity is
likely to be of particular importance to the hundreds of
millions of people around the globe who are regularly exposed to
toxic chemicals that cause diseases characterized by oxidative
stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, diseases
which include most of the chronic diseases of 21st century
"One of the things I argued in that paper is that the two most
helpful diets known - the traditional
Mediterranean diet and the
Okinawan diet - are both high in nutrients that
raise Nrf2," Pall adds.
I personally believe EMF exposure may be one of the most significant
factors for the observed decrease in male sperm count, and the
increased prevalence of anxiety, depression, autism and Alzheimer's.
It is also highly likely
a contributing factor to cancer.
While not widely publicized, in May 2011, the cancer research arm of
the World Health Organization, the International Agency
for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified radiofrequency EMF - such as
the radiation from cellphones - a class 2B carcinogen, meaning it is
possibly carcinogenic to humans.12
Pall has made a significant contribution to public welfare with his
discovery of how EMFs cause biological harm, and it would be wise to
take notice. I personally believe he deserves a Nobel Prize for his
contribution to the science.
Again, the damage is not done through heat or ionizing radiation;
it's done by activating your VGCCs, thereby triggering a
chain-reaction that produces excessive amounts of ROS,
peroxynitrites and hydroxyl free radicals - the most destructive
free radicals known to man, as well as through excessive calcium
Hydroxyl free radicals decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their
membranes and proteins.
Too much calcium in the
mitochondria can also impact their function. The end result is
mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most
Since your brain, the
pacemaker in your heart and male testes have the highest densities
of VGCCs, these areas are the most prone to damage when exposed to
What this research tells us is that excessive microwave exposure can
be a direct contributor to conditions such as,
depression, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility.13
So, if you care about
your heart, brain and reproductive health, avoid carrying your
cellphone in your pocket or on your hip, avoid using portable
computers and tablets on your lap, and take measures to limit or
eliminate as many unnecessary EMF sources as you can, in your home
and at work...