If you are interested in our other articles on this subject you will find them indexed here: Electromagnetic Radiation Index
To download Dr Neil Cherry's reports and to read more about and his work, please visit his
website for more information.
To answer readers' questions, here is a third article
based on a further interview with Dr Neil Cherry.
If you have not already—please read
Part I first.
Answers to readers' queries
So much interest has been created by the two earlier articles and there
have been so many emails and entries in Backchat that I have interviewed
Neil again and we hope that in this article and the references given for
further research you will find answers to your questions.
One reader from Hong Kong inquired about equipment for measuring the
A source of good quality equipment is Wandel and Goltermann,
email: email@example.com or
take a look at their World Wide Web site:
In depth information
Several readers want more detailed information which is contained in
reviews which Neil has written. Readers may email for these and they can
be sent for the cost of copying and airmail which usually works out to
approximately $25.00 U.S. That covers the range of biophysics,
biochemistry, animal experiments, and epidemiology and links them
Neil's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The effects of living near cell sites
Local council approval
One Australian reader, Lucy Williams, commented that it appeared that
Telstra needed no approval by the Council. Since July 1 1997 new
regulations have come into force in Australia which can involve the local
council, so Lucy should contact the local council about the current
Dangers of living near a digital phone pole
Two readers, Lucy from Australia and Chris from NE U.S. , have asked about
the dangers involved in this situation. The danger depends on how close
you are to the pole. If you are within 200 metres of a typical mobile
phone tower it may be associated with an increased low risk of a range of
cancers and miscarriage, and a higher risk of sleep disturbance and chronic
fatigue which may lead to learning difficulties.
The risk increases the closer you are to the tower. Neil uses the term
'risk' as not everybody is likely to be affected, but some people may well
Use of mobile phones
One reader had a job which involved a lot of use of a mobile phone. The
aim should be to use them hands free which keeps the antenna away from the
head. This means plugging an extension into the mobile phone and using an
earpiece and a microphone. This means that the unit can be kept a metre or
so away from the user. Many digital mobile phones have a plug-in point for
these extensions. Car phones also have hands-free options.
Another alternative is the use of a pager instead of a phone.
In any case it is important to minimise the use of a mobile phone, and so
minimise the possibility of becoming a health statistic in the next ten to
twenty years with the risk of a brain tumour, for example. Eight studies
associate brain tumour risk with EMR exposure.
Cordless phones have a lot lower power than mobile phones, because their
range is 200 metres maximum, while the range of mobile phones is several
Effect on brain function
There is a lot of evidence that brain function is altered with pulsed
microwave and radio signals from mobile phones, including altered E.E.G.
and sleep patterns, and altered circadian function which indicates a change
in melatonin. Breakage in DNA in rats' brains has been linked to free
radical damage which can be eliminated by melatonin.
Recent studies of mobile phone users have found a very significant increase
in the incidence of headaches, nausea, vertigo, numbness of the skin or
tingling of the skin, confusion and temporary memory loss.
Readers may recall that in an earlier article Neil mentioned that he had
been tested for EEG change from using a mobile phone and had not been
affected. He still does not risk using a mobile phone, however.
Neil recommends two interesting papers on the question of brain function.
'Effects of Pulsed High-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Human Sleep'
Mann and Roschke in 'Neuropsychobiology' 1996 Vol 33 pp 41-47.
'Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields influence EEG of man'
von Klitzing in 'Physica Medica' April - June 1995 Vol 11 pp 77-80
This is a study looking at seventeen subjects in forty five experiments,
and 70% of subjects had an altered EEG function.
Experiments in the seventies and eighties
Animal experiments carried out in the seventies and eighties on cats,
rabbits and other animals have shown similar sorts of patterns. The two
articles listed above were based on work done in the nineties.
Looking at the pattern of material shows that it forms a cohesive set of
effects which also starts to address the concern expressed by Gordon Arnold
- the need to watch very closely initial early studies because there could
be problems with experiments and the way they have been carried out.
Neil agrees with this comment. Individual experiments and papers must be
looked at very carefully. The advice Neil has received and gives is,
"Don't take them simply on face value, but read them carefully and look at
the set of papers about an issue. See if there is an evolution of
understanding and a reinforcement of a pattern which makes scientific
An example is an early experiment in Hawaii which found a cluster of
childhood leukaemia near some radio transmission towers. This was followed
up by a study of several areas in Hawaii and increased cancer, particularly
childhood leukaemia, was found in the tracts that had radio transmission
facilities compared with those that didn't.
In Wichita, Kansas, there was an airfield on one side of the town and an
airport on the other, both with air traffic control radar. Researchers from
the university took tests in this town built on rolling hills, to test
whether the electromagnetic radiation from radars might increase cancer.
They compared those who lived in valleys, and on eastern and western slopes
of the hills exposed to one radar each, and on ridges exposed to both
radars. The incidence of total cancer increased on that gradient, with the
lowest incidence in the valleys, an increased incidence on the slopes and
the highest incidence on the ridges.
Australian cell site studies
When testing for the safety of cell sites in Australia researchers used the
TV towers in North Sydney. This test, the Hocking Study, conducted and
funded by Telstra, showed that people living close to the towers had more
leukaemia than those living further away.
Tests on the impact of high powered TV/FM towers in the UK
When looking at the very high powered towers in the UK researchers found
that people living immediately below the towers had less leukaemia than
those a short distance from them. The rate dropped off as the distance from
the tower increased further. This closely relates to the ground level
exposure, forming a strong dose-response relationship.
Each test on its own might not be significant. However, from these tests a
pattern emerges, growing stronger with each set of new statistical
evidence, giving a strong conclusion that exposure to EMR in populations
living near transmission facilities increases the incidence of cancer,
Which part of the body does EMR get absorbed in most? It is a whole-body
absorption. Which organs involve the whole body? - the skeleton, the bone
marrow, the circulatory system, the blood, which are the organs in which
leukaemia is formed. It involves lymphoid systems and other key glands.
Lymphoma experiment in Adelaide
Another experiment, conducted at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and funded by
Telstra, involved mice which were genetically engineered through a gene
tending to increase lymphomas in the immune system. In one group 22%
developed lymphomas. In another group which were exposed to a cell phone
signal for one hour per day the rate of lymphomas increased to 43%.
Telstra was probably not expecting the experiments which it funded to
produce results which confirmed the increased incidence of cancer in those
exposed to mobile phone electromagnetic radiation.
In 1959 scientists knew that a radio frequency was a great controllable
mutagen and the way to break chromosomes was to use RF radiation.
Early papers looked at thermal effects
There is now a block of solid evidence supporting the view that there are
health risks for those exposed to EMR. Up until the late 1980s there
were about six thousand papers produced looking at the thermal effects from
EMR. Very few papers looked at chronic low levels of radio frequency
Absence of thermal effects stressed by those with vested interests
Those who benefit from the establishment of cell phone and television
towers in residential areas emphasise the results of the research on the
thermal effects and seek to downgrade the more recent studies which have
investigated the risks of cancer by viewing them separately.
In a recent televised interview a Telstra PR manager said that there had
been about six thousand papers and none of them showed that mobile phones
pose any risk.
Studies in the nineties look at residential exposure
Now a growing and quite large body of published research is showing that
there are health effects from residential exposures. For instance in terms
of power lines two recent studies have been published from projects in New
Zealand. They looked at people in Auckland living under high voltage power
transmission lines. One looked at health effects and found five out of
eight health variables investigated had linear dose response relationships
with exposure. These variables included asthma, type 2 diabetes, chronic
illnesses, and immune-related illness.
Link with psychological problems
A companion study of the same group looking at psychological effects found
significant linear dose response relationships between exposure and some
psychological and mental health variables, significantly depression. The
significance of the dose response relationship is that it is generally
regarded as a desirable criterion for the demonstration of causation. The
demonstration of a cause/effect relationship is strengthened significantly
if there is a known biological mechanism and there are reinforcing animal
Thus depression and melatonin could be related, and the calcium-ion efflux
is a biological mechanism related to immune system problems. Animals
exposed to electromagnetic fields have reduced melatonin, and have shown
immune system problems and increases in cancer.
'Neurophysiologic Effects of Radio Frequency and Microwave Radiation'
W. Ross Adey M.D. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine
Vol. 55 No 11 pp 1079-1093, 1979
'Response of Brain Receptor Systems to Microwave Energy Exposure'
Kolomytkin et al
- a chapter from the book 'On the Nature of Electromagnetic Field
Interactions with Biological Systems'
ed. Allan Frey, pub 1994, R. G. Landes Company
(This article shows the effects on brain chemistry of rats exposed to 915
MHz down to less than 10 microwatts per sq cm.)
Health risks for welders
One correspondent asked about the effect on a man's health of being a
welder and especially working at times with a machine with a very strong
magnetic field beside his head. He finds that this work in particular
produces stomach and chest pains. Dr Cherry says that several studies show
that welders exposed to intense EMR and fumes have increased risk of colon
cancer, melanoma, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons Disease and
The intensity factor
Some patients with MS and PD experience significant relief from Pico Tesla
signals administered by a neurologist as neurophysiological treatment. If
exposed to a signal a million times higher than this, then a person is
exposed to an increased risk of Alzheimers, cancer, brain tumours and
The significance of this is that if you take some drugs in the appropriate
dosage they can be beneficial in balancing body chemistry, but if you were
to take a dose a thousand to a million times higher it would be fatal.
The same principles apply to EMR, but because it is invisible,
tasteless, and odourless it is ignored.
NZ Expert Discusses EMR Issues
by Neil Cherry,
or the NZine Hot Topic on
Schools, Cellphone Towers and Children's Health
and the response from
Shirley Primary School
In addition, if you are looking for comprehensive technical research
on the potential effects of radiofrequency and microwave radiation,
then you may want to consider downloading
Dr Neil Cherry's Reports.