An overview of the biological effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields combined with ionizing radiation

Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2022 Aug;172:50-59. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2022.04.008. Epub 2022 May 2.


By growing the electrical power networks and electronic devices, electromagnetic fields (EMF) have become an inseparable part of the modern world. Considering the inevitable exposure to a various range of EMFs, especially at extremely low frequencies (ELF-EMF), investigating the biological effects of ELF-EMFs on biological systems became a global issue. The possible adverse consequences of these exposures were studied, along with their potential therapeutic capabilities. Also, their biological impacts in combination with other chemical and physical agents, specifically ionizing radiation (IR), as a co-carcinogen or as adjuvant therapy in combination with radiotherapy were explored. Here, we review the results of several in-vitro and in-vivo studies and discuss some proposed possible mechanisms of ELF-EMFs' actions in combination with IR. The results of these experiments could be fruitful to develop more precise safety standards for environmental ELF-EMFs exposures. Furthermore, it could evaluate the therapeutic capacities of ELF-EMFs alone or as an improver of radiotherapy.

Keywords: Combined exposure; Combined treatment; Electromagnetic field; Extremely low frequency; Ionizing radiation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electromagnetic Fields* / adverse effects
  • Radiation, Ionizing*