Why manmade electromagnetic fields are the most damaging, according to Dimitris Panagopoulos
It’s one of many fallacious arguments often used by those ignorant of the bioeffects of artificial electromagnetic fields (EMFs) – and those who don’t want the public to discover them.
They claim manmade EMFs (also called Electromagnetic Radiation or EMR) are harmless because they are not powerful enough to cause DNA breaks as does ionizing radiation such as from radon gas, x-rays orgamma radiation. Even the World Health Organization states that the only proven health effects of manmade non-ionizing radiation is heating from acute exposure of high levels of radiofrequencies (RF) or nerve and muscle stimulation and central nervous system cell excitability by domestic EMFs (50/60 Hz also called extremely low frequency - ELF) radiation.
However, thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that chronic and /or acute exposure to powerline and wireless communication EMFs can be damaging because this artificial radiation has two unique and detrimental properties not found in nature, explained Greek biophysicist Dr. Dimitris J. Panagopoulos PhD during a European Parliament workshop on electrohypersensitivity, held in Brussels last April 13. They are polarized and coherent, he said, and thus “can produce constructive interference and amplify their intensities at certain locations, and also force all charged particles (e.g. mobile ions) in living cells/tissue to oscillate in parallel and in phase with them. Polarization and coherence is the reason why EMR ~ 0.1 mW/cm2 from a mobile phone is damaging, while solar EMR ~ 10 mW/cm2 (100 times stronger) is vital.”
Highly influential publications
Panagopoulos recently edited and coauthored the book Electromagnetic Fields of Wireless Communications: Biological and Health Effects (CRC Press/Routledge, 2023, 544 pages – read chapter abstracts and excerpt on 5G radiation here). Written by leading experts on EMF bioeffects, this book is aimed at senior undergraduate/graduate students in physics, biology, medicine, bioelectromagnetics, electromagnetic biology, non-ionizing radiation biophysics, telecommunications, electromagnetism, bioengineering, and dosimetry.
Conducted at the University of Athens Medical School’s Choremeion Research Laboratory, Panagopoulos’ experiments were among the first that showed damaging effects of manmade EMFs on DNA and reproduction. He is the principal or sole author of more than 40 peer-reviewed and highly influential scientific publications, which are referenced more than 2 000 times in other scientific publications. In 2007 and 2008, he was among the Top 10 cited authors in the Mutation Research journals, quite a feat for a scientist in such a marginal field as EMFs bioeffects. “His theory on the biophysical mechanism of action of EMFs on cells is considered the most valid amongst all proposed theories and is cited by nearly 700 scientific publications”, writes CRC Press, a global publisher in science, engineering and medicine books.
His research is partially responsible for the California Public Health Department’s 2017 cell phone guidance which recommends ways of reducing exposure to mobile phone radiation. It stated:
‘’Although the science is still evolving, some laboratory experiments and human health studies have suggested the possibility that long-term, high use of cell phones may be linked to certain types of cancer and other health effects, including:
· brain cancer and tumors of the acoustic nerve (needed for hearing and maintaining balance) and salivary glands
· lower sperm counts and inactive or less mobile sperm
· headaches and effects on learning and memory, hearing, behavior, and sleep.”
Indeed, manmade ELFs were classified as ‘’possibly carcinogenic” by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): RFs because epidemiological studies show an increase in brain cancer among people who use cell phones against their head for an average 17 minutes per day for 10 years, and ELFs because a dozen studies show children overexposed to powerline/domestic EMFs have a higher incidence in leukemia.
Dr Panagopoulos kindly shared his April 13 presentation which can be downloaded here and explained by email:
‘’Polarized is an EMF signal that oscillates on a single plane. All manmade EMFs are totally polarized and coherent (oscillate in phase). Natural EMFs (e.g. light, Schumann resonances, cosmic microwaves, etc.) are not polarized nor coherent, meaning the individual waves oscillate on every possible plane and with random phase), and only in specific occasions they are partially or locally polarized (like the terrestrial and cell membrane fields). As shown for the first time in our 2015 paper [Polarization: A Key Difference between Manmade and Natural EMFs in regard to Biological Activity, Nature, Scientific Reports, 5, 1491, cosignedwith Drs Olle Johansson and George Carlo], only polarized and/or coherent waves produce biological effects other than heating. This simple fact regarding the polarization/coherence of ALL manmade EMFs and the unique role of this property had escaped the attention of all scientists before, but it was something I had realized since my early PhD time. That is why this paper was attacked by certain people who work for the other side…. The role of polarization/coherence is one of the most important findings in the whole EMF-bioeffects literature. The importance of this paper has already been accepted by the scientific community (despite the deep corruption and conflict of interests) as shown by the already 120 references by other scientific publications.’’ (For details concerning the conflict of interests, read FCC: Captured Agency, by Harvard University’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, and WHO, Radiofrequency and Health - a Hard Nut to Crack, by the famous Swedish oncologist and epidemiologist Lennart Hardell, whose 355 papers published since 1977 were cited 16 935 times.)
Since 20-30% intensity variations of natural terrestrial EMFs and cell membrane electric fields induce cellular/health effects, Panagopoulos postulates that the same variations in manmade EMFs can have similar effects. This is problematic, he says, because “Wireless Communication (WC) EMFs are highly variable with unexpected changes exceeding by more than 100% their normal average intensities”.
He says the non-thermal effects of radiofrequency (RF) EMFs (from mobile telephony, Wi-Fi, cordless digital phones, etc.) are due to the fact that their carrier frequencies are combined with extremely-low and ultra-low frequencies (0-3 000 Hz) in the form of pulsing, modulation and random variability. He again explained by email:
“Pulsation and modulation are often confused even in scientific papers but they are not the same. Pulsation is when the carrier (usually RF) signal is included within pulses which usually repeat at ELF rates, and between successive pulses there is no signal. Thus, a pulsed signal is not a “continuous-wave” because it is interrupted among successive pulses. Older analogue signals were continuous-wave signals. Modern digital WC signals are pulsed. The carrier (RF) signal in order to carry and transmit information has to be modulated whether it is continuous-wave or pulsed. The modulation signal (usually ELF or VLF) carries the information. When the modulation/information signal is loaded on the carrier then we have a carrier that is modulated and carries the information to be transmitted. There are three main types of modulation (amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, phase modulation) depending on which parameter of the carrier is modified (modulated) by the information signal (intensity-frequency-phase). The result of e.g. amplitude modulation is a carrier wave which’s amplitude (intensity) is not constant as before, but varies according to the intensity variations of the information signal. In modern WC signals we have the carrier (RF/microwave) which is emitted within pulses, and within each pulse it is modulated. Apart from the pulses that contain the modulated carrier signal there are additional synchronization and reference pulses in the final signal also at ELF rates. Thus, we have a combination of RF and ELF EMFs and it is a major flaw to name these EMFs simply “RF” or “microwaves”. Different tasks and/or different users communicate simultaneously with the same base antenna by use of slightly different pulses (which is called multiplexing).”
Dimitris Panagopoulos’s theory on the biophysical mechanism of action of EMFs on cells, explains CRC Press, “has explained the sensing of upcoming earthquakes by animals and the sensing of upcoming thunderstorms by sensitive individuals through the action of the natural EMFs associated with these phenomena. The same theory has recently explained the induction of oxidative stress in cells by EMF-exposure”.
Another important observation is that laboratory simulated cell phone exposure, as suggested by health authorities, only finds effects in 50% of cases notably because it is invariable while real-life cell phone exposure varies unpredictably each moment in intensity, frequency, phase, wave-form etc. “Among studies with real-life exposures, he notes, more than 95% find effects.’’
Genetic damage from manmade EMFs, which Panagopoulos showed occurs similarly in animal and humancells, is apparently due to oxidative stress (OS), according to studies signed in 2016 and 2022 by Yakymenko and Tsybulin. As Panagopoulos explained to European legislators during the April 13 workshop on electrohypersensitivity (EHS), since 2000, several studies have shown that: ‘’Polarized/coherent and oscillating/varying EMFs cause irregular opening and closing of voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) in cell membranes. The induced VGIC dysfunction alters the normal ion concentrations within the cell. This disrupts the cell’s electrochemical balance and homeostasis, and the redox status of the cell. This causes (over)production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and creates OS within the cell. Initial ROS are the superoxide anion free radical (O2•−), and the nitric oxide free radical (NO•) (Panagopoulos et al 2021). EHS is also connected with chronic OS and tissue inflammation (De Luca et al 2014; Irigaray et al 2018; Belpomme and Irigaray 2022).”
His theory states that EMF bioeffects not only increase with higher intensities, but that lower frequencies are more bioactive, thus that the ELF pulsations multiply the bioactivity of RF/Microwave fields. Another important point neglected by most EMF/health studies is that: “The electric and not the magnetic part of anEMF is the most bioactive factor, in contrast to what is considered by health agencies and most experts.”
His presentation concluded with the following recommendations:
“ • Avoid any unnecessary exposure to manmade EMFs.
• Avoid living close to any antennas or high-voltage power lines
• Mobile Phones:
1) Make use of the loudspeaker or air-tube headsets and keep the handset ≥ 40-50 cm [~16-20 inches] from the body;
2) Minimize number and duration of calls;
3) Do not carry the device in your hands or on your body while it is On. Set it to airplane mode;
4) Keep it at the greatest possible distance (several meters) at home/work;
5) Turn it off during sleep;
• Use wire connections for domestic phones and Internet;
• Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from cars and devices (mobile phones, printers, etc.);
• Educate parents and pregnant women not to expose embryos and kids (possible correlation with autism and autoimmune diseases need to be carefully investigated);
• Avoid permanent and complete shielding as this may cause internal desynchronization (Wever 1979; Panagopoulos and Chroussos 2019);
• Urgent Need for drastic Reconsideration of current Exposure Limits especially for ELF, RF/microwaves and activation of the Precautionary Principle and ALARA” [As Low are Reasonably Achievable, recommended in the Council of Europe’s Resolution 1815, The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effects on the environment].
Dr Panagopoulos completed his PhD on the bioeffects of EMFs in 2001, and two post-doctoral studies on the biological effects of microwaves (2004), and on cell death induction by WC EMFs (2006). He argues that photons are strictly wave-packets, not particles of light, and that manmade electromagnetic radiation does not consist of photons but of continuous "classical" polarized waves, in contrast to what has been postulated by quantum physicists in the past 100 years.
His recent book covers diverse topics related to physics, biology, pathology, epidemiology, and plausible biophysical and biochemical mechanisms of WC EMFs emitted by antennas and devices. Discussions on the possible consequences of fifth generation (5G) mobile telephony EMFs based on available data and correlation between anthropogenic EMF exposures and various pathological conditions such as infertility, cancer, electrohypersensitivity, organic and viral diseases, and effects on animals, plants, trees, and environment are included. It further illustrates individual and public health protection and the setting of biologically- and epidemiologically-based exposure limits.