The Problem of Electrosmog Pollution: Is it Advisable to Review the
Emanuele Calabrò1,2,* 1Department of Mathematical and Informatics Sciences, Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences of Messina University, Viale Ferdinando Stagno D’ Alcontres, Messina,Italy
2Industrial Technical Institute “Verona Trento-Marconi”, Messina, Italya
Received date: 11 Aug 2017; Accepted date: 28 Sep 2017; Published date: 4
*Corresponding author: Emanuele Calabrò, Department of Mathematical and
Informatics Sciences, Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences of Messina University,
Viale Ferdinando Stagno D’ Alcontres, Messina, Italy, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The development of modern technology is based on the use of various
energy forms whose the most widely used is surely electricity. Low
frequency electric power is produced in power stations at frequencies
of 50 or 60 Hz, which is transmitted to urban centers by high voltage
transmission lines. Nevertheless, these transmission lines are often
located too near to buildings where humans live or work, so that they are
continuously exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic field
(ELF-EMF) generated by the same transmission system.
Static magnetic fields (SMFs) are instead produced by direct current
(DC) transport systems such as trams and electric trains, magnetic
resonance imaging, industrial processes such as aluminum production
or even in commonly used devices such as audio speaker components.
Furthermore, strong magnetic fields of around 1 T are required in
magnetically levitated trains, and flux density of up to 1.33 mT inside
passenger cabins has been measured in magnetic levitation systems .
Finally, in the last thirty years, the advent of radio stations and wireless
home devices (the prototype of which is mobile phone) has considerably
increased, generating high frequency electromagnetic fields (HF-EMFs),
in the radiofrequency (RF) and microwave (MW) regions.
ELF-EMFs and HF-EMFs represent non-ionizing radiations,
which give rise to the so-called “electrosmog” (i.e. electromagnetic
wave pollution), whose harmfulness to human health has so far been
contrasting. In fact, there is a great scientific production regarding the
harmful effects of exposure to EMFs.
Regarding the ELF-EMF, three publications are mainly to be
mentioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), which highlighted
the potential health effects of low-frequency and magneto static fields
[2-3]. In particular, the International Agency for Research on Cancer 
concluded in its study that ELF-EMF can be carcinogenic to humans. In
this regard, the correlation between lymphocytic leukemia infantile and
proximity to high voltage transmission lines  is also to be remembered.
The amount of these results has induced the International Commission
on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) to publish international
guidelines to identify field strength limits not to be exceeded. In
particular, ICNIRP recommends exposure limit to ELF-EMF of 1 mT 
and exposure limit to SMFof400 mT  for occupational exposure and for
general public exposure, respectively.
Furthermore, the achievement of wireless technology has induced
livings to be continuously exposed to HF-EMFs. In this regard, a
correlation between increased cancer risk and exposure to RFs and MWs
was evidenced . In particular, an assessment published in 2007 by the
European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly
Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) regarding mobile phone radiation
effects on human health highlighted that despite no significant health
effect having been demonstrated, more studies concerning health effects
on children are needed . Several studies have shown that exposure
to RF-MWs produces a neuronal response and oxidative damage to
brain tissue [10,11] and may alter the DNA structure [12,13]. It has also
been shown that exposure to RF-MWs result in a significant increase in
reactive oxygen species and heat-shock proteins (HSP), characteristics of
cellular anomalies . These and other similar results induced ICNIRP
to publish guidelines also for exposure to HF-EMF . In particular, the
reference level of power density for general public exposure to HF-EMF
in the range from 400 to 2000 MHz can be obtained by the expression P
= f / 200 (W/m2) . Considering the frequencies of 900 and 1800 MHz
generally used by GSM system for mobile phones, we obtain the exposure
limits of 4.5 W/m2 and 9 W/m2, respectively
However, in recent literature, significant effects were observed in simple
organic systems, using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy
techniques, even below the EMFs limits recommended by ICNIRP.
FTIR spectroscopy can provide accurate information on the secondary
structure of proteins in H2O-based structure or in deuterated form, in
cells or in organic tissues, as largely demonstrated up to now [16-18].
In particular, significant transitions from proteins α-helix component
to β-sheet features and a shift to lower frequencies of the Amide I vibration
occurred in neuronal-like cells after 10 h exposure to a SMF around 2 mT
. These findings can be responsible for aggregation mechanisms. In
addition, orientation towards an applied SMF at 200 mT was observed in
Hemoglobin in aqueous solution after 3-6 h exposure [20,21].
Transitions from α-helix component to β-sheet features were also
observed in Hemoglobin, in Bovine serum albumin and in neuronal-like
cells after 3 h exposure to ELF-EMF around 1 mT [22-24], confirming that
unfolding and aggregation occurs at EMFs intensities below the limits
recommended by ICNIRP for exposure to SMF and ELF-EMF [6,7].
Finally, exposure to HF-EMF induced proteins unfolding and
aggregation together with alignment towards the applied field, at the
intensity around 1 W/m2 that is, below thelimits recommended by
ICNIRP for exposure to HF-EMF . In particular, this resultwas
observed in typical proteins in aqueous solution, exposed for 3-6 h to
mobile phone MWs at 900 or 1800 MHz [25-31].
The amount of these recent results leads us to hypothesize the possibility
that EMFs can be a cofactor for some diseases. Indeed, the phenomenon of
protein aggregation can be the precursor of various neurological disorders
and diseases such as Alzheirmer, Parkinson and Huntington, because it was
shown that protein aggregation in the fibrillar form (named ‘amyloid’) can be
associated with signs of neurodegeneration [32-37]. In addition, aggregated
can be found in some forms of anemia [38-41] and in cancer diseases,
particularly in childhood cancer, whose cause is still unknown .
In view of these facts, we would think about the opportunity to review
the ICNIRP Guidelines.
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