Scientific evidence contradicts findings and assumptions of Canadian Safety Panel 6

Scientific evidence contradicts findings and assumptions of Canadian Safety Panel 6: microwaves act through voltage-gated calcium channel activation to induce biological impacts at non-thermal levels, supporting a paradigm shift for microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic field action

Abstract: This review considers a paradigm shift on
microwave electromagnetic field (EMF) action from
only thermal effects to action via voltage-gated calcium
channel (VGCC) activation. Microwave/lower frequency
EMFs were shown in two dozen studies to act via VGCC
activation because all effects studied were blocked by
calcium channel blockers. This mode of action was fur-
ther supported by hundreds of studies showing micro-
wave changes in calcium fluxes and intracellular calcium
[Ca2+]i signaling. The biophysical properties of VGCCs/
similar channels make them particularly sensitive to
low intensity, non-thermal EMF exposures. Non-thermal
studies have shown that in most cases pulsed fields are
more active than are non-pulsed fields and that expo-
sures within certain intensity windows have much large
biological effects than do either lower or higher inten-
sity exposures; these are both consistent with a VGCC
role but inconsistent with only a heating/thermal role.
Downstream effects of VGCC activation include calcium
signaling, elevated nitric oxide (NO), NO signaling, per-
oxynitrite, free radical formation, and oxidative stress.
Downstream effects explain repeatedly reported bio-
logical responses to non-thermal exposures: oxidative
stress; single and double strand breaks in cellular DNA;
cancer; male and female infertility; lowered melatonin/
sleep disruption; cardiac changes including tachycardia,
arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death; diverse neuropsy-
chiatric effects including depression; and therapeutic
effects. Non-VGCC non-thermal mechanisms may occur,
but none have been shown to have effects in mammals.
Biologically relevant safety standards can be developed
through studies of cell lines/cell cultures with high levels
of different VGCCs, measuring their responses to different
EMF exposures. The 2014 Canadian Report by a panel of
experts only recognizes thermal effects regarding safety
standards for non-ionizing radiation exposures. Its posi-
tion is therefore contradicted by each of the observations
above. The Report is assessed here in several ways includ-
ing through Karl Popper’s assessment of strength of evi-
dence. Popper argues that the strongest type of evidence
is evidence that falsifies a theory; second strongest is a
test of “risky prediction”; the weakest confirms a predic-
tion that the theory could be correct but in no way rules
out alternative theories. All of the evidence supporting
the Report’s conclusion that only thermal effects need
be considered are of the weakest type, confirming pre-
diction but not ruling out alternatives. In contrast, there
are thousands of studies apparently falsifying their posi-
tion. The Report argues that there are no biophysically
viable mechanisms for non-thermal effects (shown to be
false, see above). It claims that there are many “incon-
sistencies” in the literature causing them to throw out
large numbers of studies; however, the one area where
it apparently documents this claim, that of genotoxic-
ity, shows no inconsistencies; rather it shows that vari-
ous cell types, fields and end points produce different
responses, as should be expected. The Report claims
that cataract formation is produced by thermal effects
but ignores studies falsifying this claim and also studies
showing [Ca2+]i and VGCC roles. It is time for a paradigm
shift away from only thermal effects toward VGCC activa-
tion and consequent downstream
*Corresponding author: Martin L. Pall, Washington State University,
638 NE 41st Ave., Portland, OR 97232-3312, USA,

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