by Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
School of Public Health Health
University of California, Berkeley
September 23, 2013
pre- and post-LTE exposure
New peer-reviewed research
finds that 30 minutes' exposure
LTE cellphone radiation
affects brain activity on both
sides of the brain.
The first study on the short-term
effects of Long Term Evolution (LTE),
the fourth generation cell phone technology, has been published
online in the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Neurophysiology.
In a controlled experiment, researchers exposed the right ear of 18
participants to LTE cellphone radiation for 30 minutes.
The source of the radiation was 1
centimeter from the ear, and the absorbed amount of radiation in the
brain was well within international (ICNIRP) cell phone legal
limits. The researchers employed a double-blind, crossover,
randomized and counter-balanced design to eliminate any possible
The resting state brain activity of each participant was measured by
functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
at two times - after exposure to LTE microwave radiation, and after
a sham exposure.
The results demonstrated that LTE exposure affected brain neural
activity not only in the closer brain region but also in the remote
region, including the left hemisphere of the brain. The study helps
explain the underlying neural mechanism for the remote effects of
microwave radiation in the brain.
In 2011, Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute
on Drug Abuse, published a similar study in the Journal of the
American Medical Association that received worldwide news coverage.
Dr. Volkow reported that a 50 minute
exposure to CDMA, a second generation cell phone technology,
increased brain activity in the region of the brain closest to the
cell phone. (2)
The current study establishes that short-term exposure to LTE
microwave radiation affects the users' brain activity.
Although LTE is too new for the
long-term health consequences to have been studied, we have
considerable evidence that long-term cell phone use is associated
with various health risks including increased risk of head and neck
cancers, sperm damage, and reproductive health consequences for
offspring (i.e., ADHD).
Cell phone users, especially pregnant women and children, should
limit their cell phone use. Moreover, cell phone users should not
keep their phones near their head, breasts or reproductive organs
when using the phone or whenever the phone is turned on unless it is
in airplane mode.
For more information about the health effects of cell phone
radiation see my
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Web site.
(1) Bin Lv, Zhiye Chen, Tongning Wu,
Qing Shao, Duo Yan, Lin Ma, Ke Lu, Yi Xie -
The Alteration of Spontaneous Low
Frequency Oscillations Caused by Acute Electromagnetic Fields
Exposure - Clinical
Neurophysiology. Published online 4 September 2013.
Objective The motivation of this study is to evaluate the
possible alteration of regional resting state brain activity
induced by the acute radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF)
exposure (30 min) of Long Term Evolution (LTE) signal.
Methods We designed a controllable near-field LTE RF-EMF
exposure environment. Eighteen subjects participated in a
double-blind, crossover, randomized and counterbalanced
experiment including two sessions (real and sham exposure).
The radiation source was close to
the right ear. Then the resting state fMRI signals of human
brain were collected before and after the exposure in both
sessions. We measured the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation
(ALFF) and fractional ALFF (fALFF) to characterize the
spontaneous brain activity.
Results We found the decreased ALFF value around in left
superior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right
superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus and right
paracentral lobule after the real exposure. And the decreased
fALFF value was also detected in right medial frontal gyrus and
right paracentral lobule.
The study provided the evidences
that 30 min LTE RF-EMF exposure modulated the spontaneous low
frequency fluctuations in some brain regions.
Significance With resting state fMRI, we found the alteration of
spontaneous low frequency fluctuations induced by the acute LTE
(2) Volkow ND, Tomasi D, Wang GJ,
Vaska P, Fowler JS, Telang F, Alexoff D, Logan J, Wong C. -
Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency
Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism - JAMA.
2011 Feb 23;305(8):808-13. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.186.
CONTEXT: The dramatic increase
in use of cellular telephones has generated concern about
possible negative effects of radiofrequency signals
delivered to the brain. However, whether acute cell phone
exposure affects the human brain is unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if acute
cell phone exposure affects brain glucose metabolism, a
marker of brain activity.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND
PARTICIPANTS: Randomized crossover study conducted between
January 1 and December 31, 2009, at a single US laboratory
among 47 healthy participants recruited from the community.
Cell phones were placed on the left and right ears and
positron emission tomography with ((18)F) fluorodeoxyglucose
injection was used to measure brain glucose metabolism
twice, once with the right cell phone activated (sound
muted) for 50 minutes ("on" condition) and once with both
cell phones deactivated ("off" condition). Statistical
parametric mapping was used to compare metabolism between on
and off conditions using paired t tests, and Pearson linear
correlations were used to verify the association of
metabolism and estimated amplitude of
radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic waves emitted by
the cell phone. Clusters with at least 1000 voxels (volume
>8 cm(3)) and P < .05 (corrected for multiple comparisons)
were considered significant.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Brain
glucose metabolism computed as absolute metabolism (μmol/100
g per minute) and as normalized metabolism (region/whole
RESULTS: Whole-brain metabolism
did not differ between on and off conditions. In contrast,
metabolism in the region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal
cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher for on
than off conditions (35.7 vs 33.3 μmol/100 g per minute;
mean difference, 2.4 [95% confidence interval, 0.67-4.2]; P
= .004). The increases were significantly correlated with
the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for
absolute metabolism (R = 0.95, P < .001) and normalized
metabolism (R = 0.89; P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: In healthy
participants and compared with no exposure, 50-minute cell
phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose
metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. This
finding is of unknown clinical significance.