Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz

Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 2;8(1):3924. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22271-3.


Insects are continually exposed to Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at different frequencies. The range of frequencies used for wireless telecommunication systems will increase in the near future from below 6 GHz (2 G, 3 G, 4 G, and WiFi) to frequencies up to 120 GHz (5 G). This paper is the first to report the absorbed RF electromagnetic power in four different types of insects as a function of frequency from 2 GHz to 120 GHz. A set of insect models was obtained using novel Micro-CT (computer tomography) imaging. These models were used for the first time in finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic simulations. All insects showed a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency. All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3-370%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Insecta / classification
  • Insecta / physiology
  • Insecta / radiation effects*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*