Wireless technology is an environmental stressor requiring new understanding and approaches in health care

Front Public Health. 2022 Dec 20:10:986315. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.986315. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

Electromagnetic signals from everyday wireless technologies are an ever-present environmental stressor, affecting biological systems. In this article, we substantiate this statement based on the weight of evidence from papers collated within the ORSAA database (ODEB), focusing on the biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields and radiation. More specifically, the experiments investigating exposures from real-world devices and the epidemiology studies examining the effects of living near mobile phone base stations were extracted from ODEB and the number of papers showing effects was compared with the number showing no effects. The results showed that two-thirds of the experimental and epidemiological papers found significant biological effects. The breadth of biological and health categories where effects have been found was subsequently explored, revealing hundreds of papers showing fundamental biological processes that are impacted, such as protein damage, biochemical changes and oxidative stress. This understanding is targeted toward health professionals and policy makers who have not been exposed to this issue during training. To inform this readership, some of the major biological effect categories and plausible mechanisms of action from the reviewed literature are described. Also presented are a set of best practice guidelines for treating patients affected by electromagnetic exposures and for using technology safely in health care settings. In conclusion, there is an extensive evidence base revealing that significant stress to human biological systems is being imposed by exposure to everyday wireless communication devices and supporting infrastructure. This evidence is compelling enough to warrant an update in medical education and practice.

Keywords: electromagnetic hypersensitivity; environmental health; environmental illness; environmental toxins; wireless technology in health care.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Wireless Technology*