EMF Research Studies

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

Many studies show a connection between exposure to radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and adverse health effects; many do not, preventing across-the-board conclusions about health risks associated with use of wireless technologies such as cellular and cordless phones, WiFi or baby monitors. Below is a(n incomplete) list of studies which demonstrate a nexus between EMF and adverse health effects and/or the development of thermal or non-thermal effects which may lead to health problems.


  • Blackman C. Cell phone radiation: Evidence from ELF and RF studies supporting more inclusive risk identification and assessment. Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):205-16. [Abstract]
  • Hallberg ?, Johansson O. Long-term sickness and mobile phone use. J Aust Coll Nutr & Env Med. 2004;23:11-12.
  • Johansson O. Electrohypersensitivity: State-of-the-art of a functional impairment.Electromag Biol Med. 25: 245-258, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Khurana VG, Hardell L, et al. Epidemiological evidence for a health risk from mobile phone base stations. Int J Occup Health. 2010, July-Sept. 16(3):263-7. [Abstract]
  • Santini R. [Cellular telephones and their relay stations: a health risk? (article in French)] Presse Med 1999; 28: 1884-1886. [Abstract]
  • Santini R, Seigne M, et al. [Danger of cellular telephones and their relay stations (article in French)]. Pathol Biol(Paris) 2000; 48: 525-528. [Abstract]
  • Santini R, Santini P, et al. [Investigation on the health of people living near mobile telephone relay stations: I/Incidence according to distance and sex (article in French)]. Pathol Biol(Paris) 2002; 50: 369-373. [Abstract]

Cancer – Studies Linking Exposure to RF Energy to Development of Tumors:

Genotoxcity – Studies Linking Exposure to RF Emissions and Effects on DNA:

  • Aitken RJ, Bennetts LE, et al. Impact of radio frequencyelectromagnetic radiation on DNA integrity in the male germline. Inter J Androl 28:171-179, 2005. [Abstract]
  • Balode, Z. Assessment of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation by the micronucleus test in bovine peripheral erythrocytes. Sci Total Environ 180(1):81-85, 1996. [Abstract]
  • Belyaev IYa, Alipov YD, et al. Resonance effect of microwaves on the genome conformational state of E. coli cells. Z Naturforsch [C] 47(7-8):621-827, 1992. [Abstract]
  • Belyaev IY, Shcheglov VS, et al. Resonance effect of millimeter waves in the power range from 10(-19) to 3 x 10(-3) W/cm2 on Escherichia coli cells at different concentrations. Bioelectromagnetics 17(4):312-321, 1996. [Abstract]
  • Belyaev IY, Hillert L, et al. 915 MHz microwaves and 50 Hz magnetic field affect chromatin conformation and 53BP1 foci in human lymphocytes from hypersensitive and healthy persons. Bioelectromagnetics. 26(3):173-184, 2005. [Abstract]
  • Belyaev IY, Koch CB, et al. Exposure of rat brain to 915 MHz GSM microwaves induces changes in gene expression but not double stranded DNA breaks or effects on chromatin conformation. Bioelectromagnetics. 27:295-306, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Busljeta I, Trosic I, Milkovic-Kraus S. Erythropoietic changes in rats after 2.45 GJz nonthermal irradiation. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 207(6):549-554, 2004. [Abstract]
  • d’Ambrosio G, Massa R, et al. Cytogenetic damage in human lymphocytes following GMSK phase modulated microwave exposure. Bioelectromagnetics 23:7-13, 2002. [Abstract]
  • Diem E, Schwarz C, et al. Non-thermal DNA breakage bymobile-phone radiation (1800MHz) in human fibroblasts and in transformed GFSH-R17 rat granulosa cells in vitro. Mutat Res. 583:178-183, 2005. [Abstract]
  • Ferreira AR, Knakievicz T, et al. Ultra high frequencyelectromagnetic field irradiation during pregnancy leads to an increase in erythrocytes micronuclei incidence in rat offspring. Life Sci. 80:43-50, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Fucic A, Garaj-Vrhovac V, et al.X-rays, microwaves and vinyl chloride monomer: their clastogenic and aneugenic activity, using the micronucleus assay on human lymphocytes. Mutat Res 282(4):265-271, 1992. [Abstract]
  • Gadhia PK, Shah T, et al. A Preliminary Study to Assess Possible Chromosomal Damage Among Users of Digital Mobile Phones. Electromag Biol Med 22:149-159, 2003. [Abstract]
  • Gandhi GA. Genetic damage in mobile phone users: some preliminary findings. Ind J Hum Genet 11(2): 99-104, 2005. [Abstract]
  • Gandhi G, Singh P. Cytogenetic damage in mobile phone users: preliminary data. Int J Hum Genet 5(4):259-265, 2005.
  • Garaj-Vrhovac V, Fucic A, Horvat D. The correlation between the frequency of micronuclei and specific chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes exposed to microwave radiation in vitro. Mutat Res 281(3):181-186, 1992. [Abstract]
  • Garaj-Vrhovac V, Horvat D, Koren Z. The effect of microwave radiation on the cellgenome. Mutat Res 243(2):87-93, 1990. [Abstract]
  • Garaj-Vrhovac V, Horvat D, Koren Z. The relationship between colony-forming ability, chromosome aberrations and incidence of micronuclei in V79 Chinese hamster cells exposed to microwave radiation. Mutat Res 263(3):143-149, 1991. [Abstract]
  • Garaj-Vrhovac V. Micronucleus assay and lymphocyte mitotic activity in risk assessment of occupational exposure to microwave radiation. Chemosphere 39(13):2301-2312, 1999. [Abstract]
  • Garaj-Vrhovac V, Horvat D, Koren Z. The effect of microwave radiation on the cell genome. Mutat Res 243(2):87-93, 1990.  [Abstract]
  • Haider T, Knasmueller S, et al. Clastogenic effects of radiofrequency radiations on chromosomes of Tradescantia. Mutat Res 324(1-2):65-68, 1994. [Abstract]
  • Lai H, Singh NP. Acute low-intensity microwave exposure increases DNA single-strandbreaks in rat brain cells. Bioelectromagnetics 16(3):207-210, 1995. [Abstract]
  • Lai H, Singh NP. Single- and double-strand DNA breaks in rat brain cells after acute exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation. Int J Radiat Biol 69(4):513-521, 1996. [Abstract]
  • Lai, H, Singh NP. Melatonin and a spin-trap compound block radiofrequencyelectromagnetic radiation-induced DNA strand breaks in rat brain cells. Bioelectromagnetics 18(6):446-454, 1997a. [Abstract]
  • Lai H, Singh NP. Interaction of microwaves and a temporally incoherent magnetic field on single and double DNA strand breaks in rat brain cells. Electromag Biol Med 24:23-29, 2005. [Abstract]
  • Lai H, Carino MA, Singh NP. Naltrexone blocks RFR-induced DNA double strand breaks in rat brain cells. Wireless Networks 3:471-476, 1997. [Abstract]
  • Lixia S, Yao K, et al. Effects of 1.8GHz radiofrequency field on DNA damage andexpression of heat shock protein 70 in human lens epithelial cells. Mutat Res. 602:135-42, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Markova E, Hillert L, et al. Microwaves from GSMMobile Telephones Affect 53BP1 and gamma-H2AX Foci in Human Lymphocytes fromHypersensitive and Healthy Persons. Environ Health Perspect. 113(9):1172-1177, 2005.
  • Mashevich M, Folkman D, et al. Exposure of human peripheral blood lymphocytes to electromagnetic fields associated with cellular phones leads to chromosomal instability. Bioelectromagnetics 24:82-90, 2003. [Abstract]
  • Narasimhan V, Huh WK. Altered restriction patterns of microwave irradiated lambdaphage DNA. Biochem Int 25(2):363-370, 1991. [Abstract]
  • Nikolova T, Czyz J, et al. Electromagnetic fields affect transcript levels of apoptosis-related genes in embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells. ASEB J. 19(12):1686-1688, 2005.
  • Ono T, Saito Y, et al. Absence of mutagenic effects of 2.45 GHz radiofrequency exposure in spleen, liver, brain, and testis of lacZ-transgenic mouse exposed in utero. Tohoku J Exp Med. 202(2):93-103, 2004.
  • Paulraj R, Behari J. Single strand DNA breaks in rat brain cells exposed to microwave radiation. Mutat Res. 596:76-80, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Pacini S, Ruggiero M, et al. Exposure to global system for mobile communication (GSM) cellular phone radiofrequency alters gene expression, proliferation, and morphology of human skin fibroblasts. Oncol Res 2002;13: 19-24. [Abstract]
  • Sarimov R, Malmgren LOG, et al. Nonthermal GSM microwaves affect chromatin conformation in human lymphocytes similar to heat shock.IEEE Trans Plasma Sci 32:1600-1608, 2004. [Abstract]
  • Sarkar S, Ali S, Behari J. Effect of low power microwave on the mouse genome: a direct DNA analysis. Mutat Res 320(1-2):141-147, 1994. [Abstract]
  • Semin IuA, Shvartsburg LK, Dubovik BV. [Changes in the secondary structure of DNA under the influence of external low-intensity electromagnetic field (article in Russian)] Radiats BiolRadioecol 35(1):36-41, 1995. [Abstract]
  • Sykes PJ, McCallum BD, et al. Effect of Exposure to 900 MHz Radiofrequency Radiation on Intrachromosomal Recombination in pKZ1 Mice. Radiat Res 156(5):495-502, 2001. [Abstract]
  • Sun LX, Yao K, He JL, Lu DQ, Wang KJ, Li HW. [Effect of acute exposure tomicrowave from mobile phone on DNA damage and repair of cultured human lensepithelial cells in vitro.] Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi. 24(8):465-467, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Tice RR, Hook GG, et al. Genotoxicity of radiofrequency signals. I. Investigation of DNA damage and micronuclei induction in cultured human blood cells. Bioelectromagnetics 23:113-126, 2002. [Abstract]
  • Trosic I. Multinucleated giant cell appearance after whole body microwave irradiation of rats. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 204(2-3):133-138, 2001. [Abstract]
  • Trosic I, Busljeta I, et al. Micronucleus induction after whole-body microwave irradiation of rats. Mutat Res 521(1-2):73-79, 2002. [Abstract]
  • Trosic I, Busljeta I, Modlic B. Investigation of the genotoxic effect of microwave irradiation in rat bone marrow cells: in vivo exposure. Mutagenesis. 19(5):361-364, 2004.
  • Trosic I, Busljeta I. Erythropoietic dynamic equilibrium in rats maintained after microwave irradiation. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 57(3):247-251, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Zhang DY, Xu ZP, Chiang H, Lu DQ, Zeng QL. [Effects of GSM 1800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on DNA damage in Chinese hamster lung cells.] Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 40(3):149-152, 2006. [Abstract]
  • Zhang MB, He JL, et al. Study of low-intensity 2450-MHz microwave exposure enhancing the genotoxic effects of mitomycin C using micronucleus test andcomet assay in vitro. Biomed Environ Sci 15(4):283-290, 2002. [Abstract]
  • Zotti-Martelli L, Peccatori M, et al.Induction of micronuclei in humanlymphocytes exposed in vitro to microwave radiation. Mutat Res 472(1-2):51-58, 2000. [Abstract]
  • Zotti-Martelli L, Peccatori M, et al. Individual responsiveness to induction of micronuclei in human lymphocytes after exposure in vitro to 1800-MHz microwave radiation. Mutat Res. 582(1-2):42-52, 2005. [Abstract]

Cellular Stress Response – Studies Linking Exposure to RF Emissions to Production of Stress Proteins:

  • Blank M. Goodman R. Electromagnetic Fields Stress Living Cells. Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):71-8. [Abstract]
  • Daniells C, Duce I, et al. Transgenic nematodes as biomonitors of microwave-induced stress. Mutat Res1998; 399: 55-64. [Abstract]
  • Leszczynski D, Joenvaara S, et al. Non-thermal activation of thehsp27/ p38MAPK stress pathway by mobile phone radiation in human endothelial cells:Molecular mechanism for cancer-and blood-brain barrier-related effects.
    Differentiation70: 120-129, 2002. [Abstract]
  • Shallom JM, DiCarlo AL, et al. Microwave exposureinduces hsp70 and confers protection against hypoxia in chick embryos. J Cell Biochem86:490-496, 2002. [Abstract]

Cardiovascular Effects – Studies Linking Exposure to RF Emissions to Heart Disturbances

Brain Effects – General:

  • Volkow ND, Tomasi D, et al. Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism. JAMA. 2011;305(8):808-813. [Abstract]

Brain Effects – Studies Linking Blood Brain Barrier and Nerve Effects to Exposure to RF Emissions:

  • Leszczynski D, Joenvaara S, et al. Non-thermal activation of the hsp27/p38MAPK stress pathway by mobile phone radiation in human endothelial cells: Molecular mechanism for cancer- and blood-brain barrier-related effects. Differentiation2002; 70: 120-129. [Abstract]
  • Salford LG, Brun A, et al. Permeability of the bloodbrain barrier induced by 915 MHz electromagnetic radiation, continuous wave and modulated at 8, 16, 50, and 200 Hz. Microsc Res Tech1994; 27: 535-542. [Abstract]
  • Salford LG, Brun AE, et al.Nerve cell damage in mammalian brain after exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 June; 111(7): 881–883.

Immune Response – Studies Linking Exposure to RF Emissions and Immune Reactions:

  • Electrical Hypersensitivity – Human Studies in the UK. Conference Presentation WHO International Workshop on Electrical Hypersensitivity, October 25-26, 2004, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Gangi S, Johansson O. A theoretical model based upon mast cells and histamine to explain the recently proclaimed sensitivity to electric and/or magnetic fields in humans. Med Hypotheses2000; 54: 663-671. [Abstract]
  • Johansson O. “Electrohypersensitivity: Observations in the human skin of a physical impairment,” Symposium on “Electrical Sensitivity in Human Beings”. Royal Society of Medicine, London, U.K., September 11, 2004. [Extended abstract]
  • Kimata H. Enhancement of allergic skin wheal responses by microwave radiation from mobile phones in patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2002; 129: 348-350. [Abstract]
Most Popular