Is Non-Ionizing Radiation Harmful To Health?


Non-ionizing radiation may react with biological tissues through a variety of mechanisms.  As far as we know today, non-ionizing radiation is unable to directly affect genetic material (DNA) because its energy level is not high enough to destroy the bonds between atoms and molecules of body cells.


Nevertheless, non-ionizing radiation may affect biological tissues through other mechanisms. Throughout the world numerous and diverse studies are being conducted to discover whether non-ionizing radiation can affect animal and human health and cause damage.  These studies investigate the entire non-ionizing radiation spectrum, from the frequency used for electric grids (Extremely Low Frequency – ELF) through to the microwave range of frequencies (Very High Frequency).


The existence of a possible association between exposure to non-ionizing radiation (such as that emitted by mobile phones, domestic wireless phones, wireless communication networks, cellular base stations/antennas, electric grids, etc.) and the risk of developing diseases has been investigated for many years.


Most of the studies on radio frequencies have focused on the risk of developing cancer in its various forms, in particular brain tumors and tumors of the acoustic nerve or salivary glands.  Additional health outcomes studied were the effects on: fertility (e.g. quality and morphology of sperm cells), the brain (e.g. cognitive function, attention deficit disorders in children, brain development in babies), the heart and cardiovascular system (blood pressure, heart rate), the acoustic nerve, the saliva (secretion, composition, flow), blood lipid profile, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. multiple sclerosis), headaches, and hypersensitivity to non-ionizing radiation.


Research on extremely low frequencies (ELF), specifically in the frequency of electric grids, also focused on the development of cancer, in particular leukemia in children, outcomes of pregnancy (miscarriages, birth weight), child behavior, cognitive function, hormones, neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's disease), and heart diseases.


It is known that exposure to high-power non-ionizing radiation at certain frequencies causes heating of tissues, and that induced voltage gradients and currents may cause electrocution. Aside from these known effects, the question of whether exposure to non-ionizing radiation is harmful to health is still controversial among scientists, and there are no unequivocal answers.