General news

Announcements and non-science news

Published on: Mar 09, 2010

The Bioelectromagnetics Society recently implemented a "Best Paper" award for the journal.  While not directly connected with that award, several recently published authors have submitted summaries of their work for publication in the newsletter (see also newsletter number 207, 208, 210, and 211).  We publish these summaries in the order received, as space is available.  By providing additional focus on the reported research, it is our hope that communication within the Society is enhanced across disciplines and interest areas.

We invite all authors of recently published full research articles in the Bioelectromagnetics Journal to provide a short summary of the background and context of the research documented in their articles.  For copyright reasons, these summaries are different from the abstracts and other text published in the journal.  Send summaries for publication in this newsletter to

Second call for papers: 6th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields

Organizers of the  6th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields recently published the full list of the committee members for this meeting at:
Other important dates related to this meeting are:

Story types: 

The Bioelectromagnetics Society recently implemented a "Best Paper" award for the journal.  While not directly connected with that award, several recently published authors have submitted summaries of their work for publication in the newsletter (see also newsletter number 207, 208, and 210).  We publish these summaries in the order received as space is available.  By providing additional focus on the reported research, it is our hope that communication within the Society is enhanced across disciplines and interest areas.

We invite all authors of recently published full research articles in the Bioelectromagnetics Journal to provide a short summary of the background and context of the research documented in their articles.  For copyright reasons, these summaries are different from the abstracts and other text published in the journal.  Send summaries for publication in this newsletter to

Gordon Research Conference on Bioelectrochemistry

Date:  11-16 July 2010

Location:  University of New England, Biddeford, Maine (USA)


2010 U.R.S.I. Commission B International Symposium on Electromagnetic Theory

Date:  16-19 August 2010
Location:  Berlin, Germany

6th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields

Date: 10-14 October, 2010

Location:  Kefaluka Hotel, Akyariar, Bodrum, Turkey

MobiHealth 2010, International ICST Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare
Date:  18-20 October 2010
Location:  Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Note:  BEMS Journal editor, Jim Lin, is part of the steering committee for this meeting.

5th Course: “Medical Applications of Electromagnetic Fields”

Date:  22-23 November 2010

Location:  Erice (Sicily), Italy

Contact:  Ferdinando Bersani



10th EBEA International Congress (biannual meeting of the European Bioelectromagnetic Association)

Date:  21 - 24 February 2011

Location:  Faculty of Engineering, University of Rome "La Sapienza"

Important dates:  Abstract submission deadline is 1 November 2010, acceptance notification will be 15 December 2010

Contacts:  Carmela Marino, EBEA President; Micaela Liberti, EBEA2011 Chair



14th International Congress of Radiation Research (14th ICRR 2011)

Date:  August 28 - September 1, 2011

Location:  Warsaw, Poland

Contact:  Prof. Marek K. Janiak, MD, PhD, Chair, Organizing Committee via Ewa Nowosielska


International Workshop on Electroporation-based Technology and Treatments


Date:  13-19 November 2011

Location:  Ljubljana, Slovenia


2011:  Halifax, Nova Scotia

2012:  Brisbane, Australia

2013:  Joint meeting with EBEA (Location TBD)


Please send new items for the calendar to


This conference was held as part of the process of wording the revised version of EU Directive 2004/40/EC on occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), originally intended to be implemented in the member states by the 30th of April 2008, now postponed until 30th of April 2012.  The postponement was mainly due to 1) strong opposition from the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) users and 2) the European Parliament and the Council were made aware of new scientific studies on the impact on health of exposure to electromagnetic fields that were made public after the directive was adopted. These studies shed another light on some difficult issues regarding how to deal with the exposure in specific situations such as those experienced by workers near a MRI-scanner.

The conference was organized by the Swedish EU Presidency in association with the European Commission and was arranged by the Swedish Work Environment Authority (SWEA) and Umeå University.  The goal was to open a discussion with stakeholders well in advance of the decision to be taken by the Parliament and by the Council.  The specific program for the meeting was discussed and set up by the scientific organising committee for the meeting:

  • Kjell Hansson Mild, UmU, chair
  • Georges Herbillon, EC
  • Roland Gauthy, ETUI-REHS
  • Janez Marinko, SWEA
  • Birgitta Melin, SWEA
  • Jimmy Estenberg, SSM
  • Alastair McKinlay, HPA
  • Eric van Rongen, NL
  • Paolo Vecchia, IT

Representatives of the Member States, branch organisations and the stakeholders were invited to attend the conference.  The 126 registered participants came from 20 different countries including EU member states, Australia, Japan, Norway and the USA. The meeting had 11 sessions with a total of 36 presentations by speakers representing academia, industry, social partners, governmental and other regulatory agencies.  It included sections on:

  • Setting the context
  • Update on reported health effects and problems
  • International and national perspective and guidelines
  • EMF in medical activities
  • EMF in industrial activities. How to work safely with EMF?
  • Recent non binding initiatives and good practices
  • Measuring occupational exposure and comparing to limit values
  • Accreditation and training
  • Groups with special needs

Key speakers and persons considered amongst the most experienced experts from all over the world were invited to contribute. Ample time was given in each session for discussion.


Five areas of concern, with respect to the Directive, were identified during the meeting:

1.  Exposure Limit Values and Action Values
The recommendations from IEEE/ICES and ICNIRP differ in the low- and intermediate frequency range. The reasons for this difference are not obvious.  The two organizations were asked to identify and explain the reason for the differences and, if possible, draft a common recommendation.

2.  Assessment, Measurement and Calculation
Assessment of EMF by numerical methods is complicated and in the general cases not an option for the employer. Many technical questions are still open.

3.  Guidance for Risk Assessment
There is need for advice to employers on risk assessment, especially concerning ”workers at risk”, medical implants, information and training.

4.  Difficulties for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Calculation and measurement of exposure as well as training of workers might be expensive for SMEs.

5.  Medical surveillance
There is a need for guidance on the performance of health surveillance and on treatment of overexposure. The medical doctors present at the meeting have also made specific comments to this point; see further the conclusions and the Doctor´s statement on the website of the meeting.

These are further discussed in the Conclusions from the meeting, posted on the web site of the SWEA,

A full report from the rapporteur, Dr Paolo Rossi, Italy, and all of the abstracts and pdf-files of the presentations can also be found on the website, from which they may be downloaded.

International Conference on Electromagnetic Fields, Health and Environment

Date:  Nov 17−19, 2009

Location:  São Paolo, Brazil

Notes:  Participants at this global forum discussed ELF and RF EMF in relation 
to health and the environment. The agenda covered a wide range of topics, including experimental and  epidemiologic research, exposure assessment, exposure guidelines, health risk communication, and  environmental safety and policy.

Conference website:


BEMS Winter Board Meeting

Date:  6 February 2010

Location:  San Antonio, Texas


Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS)

Date:  22-26 March, 2010

Location:  Xi'an, CHINA

Notes:  This conference provides an international forum for reporting progress and recent advances in the modern development of electromagnetic theory and its new and exciting applications starting 1989. Spectra ranges from statics to RF, microwave, photonics, and beyond. Topics include radiation, propagation, diffraction, scattering, guidance, resonance, power, energy and force issues, and all other modern developments.  BEMS member C. K. Chou is organizing the session on RF Safety Issues (see article in May/June 2009 issue of BEMS Newsletter (#208)).
Key dates
•    7 December, 2009 --- Preliminary Program will be available online
•    7 January, 2010 --- Advance Program will be available
•    7 February, 2010 --- Final Program will be available

Conference website:


2010 Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (APEMC)

Date:  12-16 April 2010

Location:  Beijing, China
Notes:  a special seection on Biomedical EMC is planned on April 13-14, 2010.  Key topic areas:
•    RF Dosimetry
•    Biological Effects and Medical Applications
•    EMC in Medical Equipment
The aim is to provide a platform to discuss these common EMC concerns of biomedical work and to promote the progress of this research area.  Registration fee for all participants is US$450, and no financial aid is available for invitees.  All participants are required to register.

Conference website:


Society for Thermal Medicine

Date:  23-26 April 2010

Location:  Clearwater Beach, FL (USA)

Conference website:


European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology (ESHO) 26th Annual Meeting

Date:  20-22 May 2010

Location:  Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Conference website:


32nd Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society

Date:  13-18 June 2010

Location:  Seoul KyoYuk MunHwa HoeKwan (Also known as: SEOUL EDUCATION CULTURAL CENTER), South Korea

Conference co-chairs:  Dariusz Leszczynski (Technical Program) and Nam Kim (Local Organizing Committee)


Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS) 2010

Date:  5-8 July 2010

Location:  Cambridge, MA (USA)

Notes:  Founded by Professor Jin Au Kong in 1989, PIERS provides an international forum for reporting progress and recent advances in the modern development of electromagnetic theory and its applications.

Important Dates


  • 20 December, 2009 --- Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 20 February, 2010 --- Full-length Paper Submission Deadline
  • 20 February, 2010--- Pre-registration Deadline
  • 20 March, 2010 --- Preliminary Program will be available online
  • 20 April, 2010 --- Advance Program will be available
  • 20 May, 2010 --- Final Program will be available


Suggested Topics:

  1. Electromagnetic theory
  2. Computational electromagnetics, hybrid methods
  3. Spectra, time, and frequency domain techniques
  4. Fast iteration, large scale and parallel computation
  5. Transmission lines and waveguide discontinuities
  6. Resonators, Filters, interconnects, packaging, MMIC
  7. Antenna theory and radiation
  8. Microstrip and printed antennas, phase array antennas
  9. RF and wireless communication, multipath
  10. Mobile antennas, conformal and smart skin antennas
  11. Power electronics, superconducting devices
  12. Systems and components, electromagnetic compatibility
  13. Nano scale electromagnetics, MEMS
  14. Magnetic levitation, transportation and collision avoidance
  15. Precision airport landing systems, GPS
  16. Radar sounding of atmosphere, ionospheric propagation
  17. Microwave remote sensing and polarimetry, SAR
  18. Subsurface imaging and detection technology, GPR
  19. Active and passive remote sensing systems
  20. Electromagnetic signal processing, wavelets, neural network
  21. Rough surface scattering and volume scattering
  22. Remote sensing of the earth, ocean, and atmosphere
  23. Scattering, diffraction, and inverse scattering
  24. Microwave and millimeter wave circuits and devices, CAD
  25. Optics and photonics, gyrotrons, THz technology
  26. Quantum well devices, microwave photonic systems, PBG
  27. Medical electromagnetics, biological effects, MRI
  28. Fiber optics, optical sensors, quantum computing
  29. Biological media, composite and random media
  30. Plasmas, nonlinear media, fractal, chiral media, LHM
  31. Constitutive relations and bianisotropic media
  32. Moving media, relativity, field quantization, and others


2010 U.R.S.I. Commission B International Symposium on Electromagnetic Theory

Date:  16-19 August 2010

Location:  Berlin, German

Conference website:

The deadline for transposition of EU directive 2004/40/EC on occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) intended to be implemented in the member states by 30th of April 2008 has been postponed until 30th of April 2012 due to the fact that new scientific studies on the impact on health of exposure to electromagnetic fields have been made public after the directive was adopted and been brought to the attention of the European Parliament and the Council. These studies may shed another light on some difficult issues regarding how to deal with the exposure in some specific situations, like for instance workers near a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. 


A meeting on this topic was held in Umea, Sweden from 6-8 October 2009.  Final reports from this meeting are still in development and may be viewed, when completed, at

Editor’s note: The Bioelectromagnetics Society recently implemented a “Best Paper” award (see related call for nominations in this issue of the newsletter). While not directly connected with that award, several recently published authors have submitted summaries of their work for publication here (and in issues 207 and 208 of this newsletter).  We publish them in the order received as space is available. In providing additional focus on the reported research, it is our hope that communication within the society is enhanced, providing a stronger basis for assessing and selecting the best paper(s) published each year.

We invite all authors of recently published full research articles in the Bioelectromagnetics journal (Volume 30, Numbers 1 - 8, 2009) to provide a short summary of the background and context of the research documented in their articles so that Society members can from different disciples can better understand the reported work. For copyright reasons, these summaries are different from the abstracts published in the journal.  Send summaries for publication in this newsletter to

Effect of Weak Combined Static and Extremely Low-frequency Alternating Magnetic Fields on the Tumor Growth in Mice Bearing the Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma 

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 5, pages 343-351 (2009)

Vadim V. Novikov, Gleb V. Novikov, and Evgeny E. Fesenko

Institute of Cell Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow region, 142290 Russia

Summary by Vadim V. Novikov

This work is the result of the accidentally detected experimental fact of the strong beneficial effect of weak combined magnetic fields (MF) on the organism of mice with the intraperitoneally inoculated Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC).

Our earlier experiments have been conducted in a relatively simple physicochemical system consisting of a solution of amino acids and electrodes from inert material to which low voltage was applied (tens of mV), and very weak collinear direct and alternating magnetic fields (DC corresponds to the geomagnetic range; AC corresponds to the range of natural fluctuations of the geomagnetic field of tens and hundreds of nT) [Novikov, Zhadin, 1994; Zhadin et al., 1998]. We found that the solution responds to the weak field by a jump-like enhancement of the ionic current. Interestingly, the effect was maximal at the cyclotronic frequencies of amino acids and depended on the amplitude of AC in a nonlinear manner.

We chose to examine the effect of these fields on different biological processes (regeneration of planarians, tumor growth, and others) which were shown by a number of authors to be sensitive to weak MF (Liboff; Blackman; Lednev; Akoev, and others).  Even the first experiments showed that the whole-body exposure to weak MF at particular regimes (determined in special experiments) produces a pronounced antitumor effect [Novikov et al., 1996].

The present work was devoted to the detailed study of this effect. The study was performed on a rather great experimental material (about 1500 mice); the dependence of the effect on the amplitude of the alternating component of MF at different frequencies was examined in detail. To avoid the possibility of artifacts and provide the validity of measurements, experiments were carried out using the method of double-blind control and adequate methods of statistical processing of the results.

As a result, the parameters of the ultralow-frequency (1, 4.4, 16.5 Hz or the sum of these frequencies) extremely weak (300, 100, 150—300 nT, according to frequencies) alternating component of combined magnetic fields (MFs) have been found at which the exposure to MFs induces a marked antitumor activity, specifically, the inhibition or suppression of the growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) in mice. It was shown that the exposure of mice with EAC to the alternating MF (sum of frequencies 1 Hz, 300 nT; 4.4 Hz, 100 nT; 16.5 Hz, 150 nT in combination with a collinear static magnetic field of 42 μT) causes structural changes in some organs (liver, adrenal glands), which are due probably to the total degradation of the tumor tissue. In mice with transplanted EAC, the tumor tissue after the exposure to weak MFs was practically absent, as distinct from control animals in which the invasion of the tumor into the adipose tissue surrounding the kidneys, mesenteriс lymph nodes, and spermatic appendages was observed. In animals without tumors, no pathological deviations from the norm in the structure of organs and tissues occurred after exposure to weak MF, indicating that this factor per se is not toxic for the organism.

The importance of this study for Bioelectromagnetics is that it revealed a very great potential of investigations along this line, in particular, the pronounced inhibiting action on tumor growth. The inhibition of tumor growth is related to the activation of the system of natural resistance (macrophages, the tumor necrosis factor) and probably the endocrine system (adrenal glands). We believe that the most probable primary damaging agents that mediate the effect of MF on the tumor tissue are reactive oxygen species.


  • Novikov VV, Zhadin MN. 1994. Combined action of weak static and alternating low-frequency magnetic fields on ionic current in aqueous amino acid solutions. Biophysics 39:41-45.
  • Novikov VV, Novikova NI, Kachan АК. 1996. Cooperative effects by the action of weak magnetic fields on the tumor growth in vivo. Biofizika 41: 934-938.
  • Zhadin MN, Novikov VV, Barnes FS, Pergola NF. 1998. Combined action of static and alternating magnetic fields on ionic current in aqueous glutamic acid solution. Bioelectromagnetics 19:41-45.



Effects of 60 Hz 14 µT magnetic field

on the apoptosis of testicular germ cell in mice

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 1, pages 66-72 (2009).

Yoon-Won Kim (and colleagues)

Institute of Medical Science and Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea

Summary by Yoon-Won Kim

Sixty Hz electromagnetic fields (EMF) are generated from human-made sources such as domestic electric devices, electric transport system, etc. The 60 Hz EMF is not a natural electromagnetic wave and it may affect human health, therefore, it has triggered an increasing interest among researchers as well as the general population. We have been studying the impact of 60Hz EMF on human health for the last 10 years.

We showed a biological effect of 60 Hz extremely low frequency (ELF) elelctromagnetic field (EMF) in a mice multi-generation study [Kim et al., 2001]. Mice were continuously exposed to 60 Hz of 5 kV/m, 30 kV/m, 0.5 mT and 1.5 mT from the first to the third generation. Interestingly, the testicular weight was decreased in the group of 1st and 2nd generation mice exposed to 60 Hz MF of 0.5 mT or 1.5 mT for 46 weeks.

It is speculated that the 60 Hz MF may affect the most actively growing and differentiating tissue, for example testicular germ cell tissue. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of exposure to 60 Hz MF of 0.1 mT or 0.5 mT on the testis of mice for 8 week [Lee et al., 2004]. In that report, the 60 Hz MF exposure did not significantly affect the body weight or the testicular weight, but significantly decreased the testicular biopsy score and increased the testicular germ cell apoptosis.

In the present study, we further extended our previous findings by showing that the apoptotic death of testicular germ cells induced by continuous exposure to 14 μT for 16 weeks. We chose 14 μT MF exposures in this experiment because the maximum EMF under Korean power lines is about 14 μT in non-restricted areas. Also, exposure to 200 μT was used as a positive control in the experiments.

The safety guideline of International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a set for the momentary exposure. Therefore, we are now doing animal studies to find the reasonable safety guideline by using various parameters like dose- and time-dependent effect of exposure to 60 Hz MF based the histology and function of testis.



Effects of Strong Static Magnetic Fields Used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

on Insulin-Secreting Cells

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 1, pages 1-8 (2009).

Junji Miyakoshi and Tomonori Sakurai

Department of Radiological Life Sciences, Division of Medical Life Sciences

Graduate School of Health Sciences, Hirosaki University

66-1 Hon-cho, Hirosaki, 036-8564  JAPAN

 Summary by Junji Miyakoshi

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines are non-invasive diagnostic units with no requirement for exposure to ionizing radiation that are widely used in clinical fields worldwide. The strength of the static magnetic field used in MRI has gradually increased, with 6 T instruments coming into clinical use in the United States. However, few studies have been conducted on the biological effects of static magnetic fields with strengths higher than 1 T. Therefore, there is no evidence to support the biological safety of the high magnetic field strengths in modern MRI machines, and this may pose a serious risk of exposure to strong static magnetic fields in common future applications. 

In this paper, we assess the biological effects on insulin-secreting cells of strong static magnetic fields of the sort used in MRI machines, in an effort to address this problem. The development and progression of diabetes mellitus is also associated with loss of insulin-secreting cells, and therefore our assessment of the effects of strong static magnetic fields on these cells may produce significant results regarding the development of diabetes mellitus, for which the morbidity rate has grown steadily worldwide.

Insulin-secreting cells were exposed to strong static magnetic fields (density; 3 to 10T, field gradient; 0 to 41.7 T/m) for 30 min to 1 h to assess the effects on insulin production during exposure, and on the insulin gene expression level, response to glucose stimulus, insulin content, intracellular mitochondrial activity, and cell count immediately after exposure. Insulin production increased during 1-hour exposure to a strong magnetic field (gradient 41.7 T/m) and insulin gene expression was upregulated immediately after exposure. An increase in the response to glucose stimulus occurred after 30-minute exposures to static magnetic fields of 3 to 10 T. The intracellular mitochondrial activity, cell count, and insulin content did not vary after exposure.

These findings demonstrate that MRI machines using strong static magnetic fields have few effects on insulin-secreting cells. Furthermore, the findings of our study, which was conducted as part of a cellular assessment of the effects of strong static magnetic fields, suggest that treatment of diabetes mellitus patients by exposure to strong static magnetic fields may be feasible.


Prolonged weakening of the geomagnetic field (GMF)

affects the immune system of rats 

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 1, pages 21-28 (2009).

Adam Roman1 and Barbara Tombarkiewicz 2

1Department of Brain Biochemistry, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland

2Laboratory of Animal Hygiene, Department of Poultry and Fur Animal Breeding and Animal Hygiene, Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology, Agricultural University in Krakow, Krakow, Poland

Summary by Adam Roman

The biological effects of geomagnetic field (GMF) disturbances are not a well-known phenomenon, but they have recently been attracting more and more attention, which is reflected in numerous publications. These issues seem interesting because of their cognitive and practical importance. “Bioelectromagnetics” appears to be the most suitable journal to present the results of investigations into the above-mentioned subject-matter.

In the era of rapidly proceeding industrialization and the spectacular development of technology, the GMF is often disturbed by various metal constructions or interior design elements such as, e.g., steel elements found in almost every building and means of transport. Such problems are also encountered in livestock, especially in animals kept on industrial and semi–industrial animal farms, which are bred and raised in metal cages.

At our university (The University of Agriculture in Cracow), studies into the influence of geomagnetic field disturbances on animals were initiated by Prof. Tomasz M. Janowski in the nineteen eighties. Professor T. M. Janowski was the scientific supervisor of the Ph.D. thesis of B. Tombarkiewicz, M.Sc., who studied the effect of natural disturbances of the GMF (geopathogenic zones) on cows.

The impulse to undertake that research arose from the fact that in some stalls of the cowshed, certain health problems (including death) of unexplained pathogenesis had occurred for many years. It was found that cows kept in those stalls showed changes in the blood picture (an increased number of leucocytes, a decreased number of lymphocytes) and alterations in the concentration of some elements in hair [Tombarkiewicz, 1996].

The measurement carried out in those stalls using the Geo-Magnetometer BPM 2010 (Bio-Physik Mersmann GmbH), showed disturbance of the GMF, which measured 10 µT/m on the Mersmann scale [Mersmann, 1983] and was considered to be very high. Another investigations revealed that sows chose places free from the geomagnetic field in pens (caused, among others, by metal troughs and bars separating resting and manure areas) [Tombarkiewicz et al., 1998]. The latter findings made us carry on our research into the influence of anthropogenic disturbances of the GMF on animals.

Our paper, recently published in Bioelectromagnetics [Roman & Tombarkiewicz, 2009], proposed that long-term shielding of the GMF may affect some immunity parameters in rats. We observed a delay in physiological thymus involution, an increased number of peritoneal macrophages and a diminished ability of macrophages to release nitric oxide and to synthesize the superoxide anion. Those effects were differentially expressed in males and females. We proposed that the observed changes in the immune system occurred as a consequence of the protective effect of GMF shielding on the circadian rhythm-dependent level of melatonin.

In the past years we undertook multidisciplinary studies on three generations of laboratory rats of the Wistar strain, kept under conditions of long-term GMF shielding. The aim of our investigation was to search for an effect of the hypomagnetic conditions on biological parameters, including the whole organism, selected organs, various kinds of cells and their metabolic and biochemical parameters, as well as for an impact on reproduction indices, body weight gains and the mental condition of animals. Furthermore, we also tried to find out  how strong such an effect was.

A paper by Tombarkiewicz, published in Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology [Tombarkiewicz, 2008], showed that long-term GMF deprivation caused a reduction in the iron, copper, chromium and manganese content of hair in rats from experimental groups compared to control animals kept under undisturbed GMF conditions.

Changes in the sodium and potassium content of hair, hematological disturbances, alterations in stress hormone concentration in the blood, behavior disorders and an increased body weight were observed in rats kept under hypogeomagnetic conditions (unpublished results). Those changes were often sex-dependent. Histological analyses revealed a hyaline degeneration of kidneys in rats kept under weakened GMF conditions (unpublished results). In the available literature there are reports on anatomical and functional disturbances in amphibians [Asashima et al., 1991] and mammals [Kopanev et al., 1979; Zhang et al., 2007], caused by a shielded GMF.

Our studies give further support to these reports. Moreover, in all generations (F1, F2, F3) of the experimental group offspring, a certain number of blind rats were born. In a group of rats kept under hypomagnetic conditions, the number of blind rats of the F1 generation amounted to 4% of the total number of the animals born, while in F3 generation rats that percentage was as high as 8.2%. Recent genetic investigations carried out by Prof. J. Styrna of the Department of Genetics and Evolutionism of the Institute of Zoology, the Jagiellonian University, were aimed at explaining the mechanism of blindness. It is noteworthy that no case of blindness or any change in kidneys was found in any generation of control rats (kept under normal GMF conditions).

The majority of the studies discussed above are still in the stage of being prepared for publication.


  • Asashima M., Shimada K., Pfeiffer C.J.: Magnetic shielding induces early developmental abnormalities in the newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster. Bioelectromagnetics  1991, 12: 215-224.
  • Kopanev V.I., Efimenko G.D., Shakula A.V.: Biological effect of a hypogeomagnetic environment on an organism. Biol. Bull. Acad. Sci. USSR 1979, 6: 289-298.
  • Mersmann L.: (1983) Geopathologie. II Teil. Erkrankungen auf bestimmten  Standorten und die Messung dieser biologisch wirksamen Standortfaktoren  Raum und Zeit, H. 8, 111-113.
  • Roman A., Tombarkiewicz B.:  Prolonged Weakening of the Geomagnetic Field (GMF) Affects the Immune System of Rats, Bioelectromagnetics 2009, 30:21-28.
  • Tombarkiewicz B., Niedziółka J., Pawlak K., Migdał W., Klocek Cz.: Effect of geomagnetic field disturbed by structural components on pig behavior. Symp. Nauk. pt: „Nauka w Polskiej Zootechnice XXI wieku. Lublin, 1998, 169-170.
  • Tombarkiewicz B.: Geomagnetometric studies in the cow house. Acta Agr. et Silv. Ser. Zoot. 1996 Vol.XXXIV,  39-63.
  • Tombarkiewicz B.: Effect of long-term geomagnetic field deprivation on the concentration of some elements in the hair of laboratory rats. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 2008 Vol. 26, 1, 75-79.
  • Zhang X., Li J.F., Wu Q.J., Li B., Jiang J.C.: Effects of hypomagnetic field on noradrenergic activities in the brainstem of golden hamster. Bioelectromagnetics  2007, 28: 155-158.


Exposure to a MRI-type high-strength static magnetic field stimulates megakaryocytic/erythroid hematopoiesis in CD34+ cells from human placental and umbilical cord blood

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 4, pages 280-285 (2009).

Satoru Monzen1, Kenji Takahashi1, Tsutomu Toki2, Etsuro Ito2, Tomonori Sakurai1, Junji Miyakoshi1 and Ikuo Kashiwakura1*

1 Department of Radiological Life Sciences, Division of Medical Life Sciences, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Hirosaki, Japan.

2 Department of Pediatrics, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan.

Summary by Ikuo Kashiwakura

Man-made static magnetic fields (SMF) are used in research and in medical applications, such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which provides three-dimensional images of the brain and other soft tissues. Scanned patients and machine operators can therefore be exposed to very high-strength SMF. The biological response after exposure to a high-strength SMF has recently been widely discussed from the perspective of possible health benefits as well as regarding potential adverse effect. Guidelines for patient exposure to MRI are given by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and International Electrotechnical Commission, the National Radiological Protection Board and International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection [Rockville, 1982; IEC 60601-2-33, 2002; Kanal E, 2002; International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, 2004].

Despite these guidelines and the study of various biological effects induced by a high-strength SMF [Miyakoshi, 2005], there are still important safety issues regarding exposure to high-strength SMF. The hematopoietic system is sensitive to extracellular oxidative stresses, such as radiation or chemotherapy [Hamimovitz-Friedman, 1998; Wright et al., 1998; Nagayama et al., 2002; Schmidt-Ullrich et al., 2000; Kashiwakura et al., 2007]. However, very few studies have so far described the effects of SMF on the proliferation and differentiation of human hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells, in comparison to other cellular investigations.

In order to clarify the biological response of human hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells after exposure to a high-strength SMF, CD34+ cells prepared from human CB were exposed under conditions of 10-T SMF without any cytokine stimulation in vitro. The exposed CD34+ cells to SMF for 16 hrs resulted in a significant increase in the total megakaryocytic and erythroid progenitor cells-derived colony formation in comparison to the sham control.

By the analysis of genes expression, early hematopoiesis-related genes, such as c-KIT, GATA2, RUNX1 and TEL, and cell cycle-related genes, such as CDC25B and ERN1, were found to be significantly higher in the cells exposed to SMF in comparison to the sham control.

These results suggest that the 10-T SMF exposure may change gene expressions and result in the specific enhancement of megakaryocytic/erythroid progenitor (MEP) differentiation from pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells and/or the proliferation of bipotent MEP.


  • Hamimovitz-Friedman A. 1998. Radiation-induced signal transduction and stress response. Radiat Res. 150: S102-S108.
  • IEC 60601-2-33. 2002. Particular Requirements for the Safety of Magnetic Resonance Equipment for Medical Diagnosis. International Electrical Comission, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, 2004. Medical MR procedures, protection of patient, volunteer and staff. Health Physics. 2004; 87: 197-216.
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  • Wright EG. 1998. Radiation-induced genomic instability in haemopoietic cells. Int J Radiat Biol. 74: 681-687.


Evaluation of Current Densities and Total Contact Currents in Occupational Exposure at 400 kV Substations and Power Lines

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 3, pages 231-240 (2009).

Leena H. Korpinen1,2 Jarmo A. Elovaara3 and Harri A. Kuisti3

1Environmental Health,Tampere University of Technology,Tampere, Finland

2Faculty of Medicine, University of Tampere,Tampere, Finland

3Fingrid Oyj, Helsinki, Finland

Summary by Leena H. Korpinen

We decided to do the research because the European Union published the new directive proposal 2004/ 40/EC and in earlier studies at TUT, we had measured electric fields in eight 400 kV substations (owned by Fingrid Oyj) which exceeded the action value (10 kV/m) of the directive 2004/40/EC. The action value was exceeded locally and the highest value was 12.4 kV/m. According to the directive proposal, when the action value is exceeded, it has to be assessed whether the exposure limit value (10 mA/m2) is also exceeded.

Before this study, some research groups had published different computational models which they used to calculate electric currents induced in human body from electric fields. In addition, there had been publications of measurement results reached using a mannequin simulating the human body (physical model).

Our idea was to use a new measurement system to be able to measure the currents in the head and body of a worker who is actually working in the field, i.e. moving and taking different positions. Then we calculated the average current density in the neck because the highest current density in the central nervous system is usually induced in the neck. With the help of conductivities, the current densities in different tissues can also be calculated.

The goal of the study was to investigate occupational exposure at 400 kV substations and power lines. Using the new measurement system we determined the current density in the neck in different kinds of work situations. In addition, we measured the total contact current which also has an action value in the directive.

In our measurements, some workers voluntarily simulated their normal work tasks (151 measured cases) using the new measurement system in 400 kV substations, in 400…110 kV towers and the cutting of vegetation under 400 kV power lines. The highest calculated average current density in the neck was 6.4 mA/m2 and the highest total contact current was 458.4 μA. These values do not exceed the limit or action values (10 mA/m2 and 1 mA) of the new EU-directive proposal 2004/40/EC.

Our paper discusses currents induced in human body by electric fields under power lines and at 400 kV substations. This question is part of bioelectromagnetical research. Our paper can provide new ideas and knowledge to other research groups in the same area. For example, other groups can compare their calculated results to our measurements and take the ideas further.


A Newly Designed and Constructed 20 kHz Magnetic Field Exposure Facility for invivo Study

Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 30, Number 1, pages 36-44 (2009).

Tsukasa Shigemitsu

Japan EMF Information Center

Summary by Tsukasa Shigemitsu

To introduce recent research trend of biological effects of intermediate frequency (IF) magnetic field in Japan, first, I would like to give you the brief review of background of these researches:

For more than 30 years, research has been conducted on biological and health effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic field. After the evaluation of these researches, World Health Organization (WHO) released the Environmental Health Criteria for Extremely Low Frequency Fields in 2007 (WHO, 2007).  Currently research is actively being conducted on biological and health effects of high frequency (RF) electromagnetic field. The WHO is planning to conduct a risk assessment for RF electromagnetic field and develop Environmental Health Criteria for this field in a few years.

In recent years, various devices including household induction heating (IH) cookers, RFID tag readers and electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags for theft prevention have been using IF for their operating frequencies. Thus, interest in the biological effects and health risk assessment for IF magnetic field from tens of kHz to about 100 kHz is growing.

For example, household IH cookers have gained popularity in Japan. IH cookers generate magnetic field at frequencies around 20 kHz. As IH cookers become popular, concerns have been raised regarding the relationship between IF magnetic field and human health. It becomes necessary to clarify biological effects of IF magnetic field from the standpoints of safety and consumer peace of mind. Compared to the research on ELF and RF electromagnetic fields, very few studies have addressed the biological effects of IF magnetic field.

There is a global consensus that there is insufficient basic research information on biological effect and health risk assessment of IF magnetic fields (Shigemitsu et al., 2007). The WHO Environmental Health Criteria (EHC 238) noted the need for assessment of the health risk of IF magnetic field. Especially since sufficient research for health risk assessment had not been conducted, the need for exposure assessment, epidemiological and human laboratory experiments as well as animal and cellular experiments was identified.

In Japan, there is a long history of research on biological effects of ELF and RF electromagnetic fields and these works have been recognized by BEMS members for its outstanding results (Otaka, 2001). Based on these traditional situations, and in order to ensure safety to IF magnetic field exposure, pioneering research on the biological effects of IF magnetic field has been started in Japan. Although several universities have taken lead from about 5 years ago in this field, the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) has started to conduct experimental research project with animals and cells, starting with the design and development of world leading IF magnetic field generating equipment and has succeeded in the development of animal exposure facilities (Shigemitsu et al., 2009).  The environmental conditions are controlled and a specific pathogen-free (SPF) environment is achieved to meet the request of animal exposure experiments. Animals can be reared and a continuous exposure to 20 kHz magnetic field can be maintained in this facility.

The facility has been already used for experiments with pregnant rats that have shown that there were no effects on fetal rat organogenesis. In parallel to animal exposure experiments, cellular exposure experiments have been initiated (Nakasono et al., 2008). CRIEPI’s IF magnetic field research project leader, Dr. Negishi said to me, CRIEPI has been using the new animal facility to investigate toxicological and reproductive effects by in vivo studies, and effects on genes and chromosomes by in vitro studies to accumulate replicable data and compile scientific knowledge for health risk assessment. He said CRIEPI might conduct the carcinogenicity experiment in future research.

In vitro study of IF magnetic fields have been initiated by Prof Miyakoshi of Hirosaki University. In these cellular experiments, microorganisms and cells were used to investigate the mutagenic effects of IF magnetic field. Some of these results have been published in BEMS (Miyakoshi et al., 2007). The  in vitro exposure systems for IF magnetic fields have also developed by Panasonic and Tokyo Utility Power Company (Fujita et al., 2007).

In addition to above, a new research project called “Health risk evaluations of IF magnetic field in house environment” has just started in 2009. Prof Ohkubo of Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Director of the JEIC, is the principle investigator. The project has a 4 year plan for animal and cellular experiments. Consideration of plans for epidemiological research has been also planned, if the results of the project need further evaluation of IF magnetic exposure effects on human. Research funding of this new research project is being provided by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor. Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, National Institute of Public Health, Railway Technological Research Institute, Meiji Pharmaceutical University are participating in this new research project.

Japanese researchers have initiated research addressing the biological effects of IF magnetic field and published already various results in BEMS. Japanese initiative research projects investigating the biological effect of IF magnetic fields are accumulating fundamental data and these data are expected to make substantial contributions to IF magnetic field effect research and health risk assessment. New experimental results of ongoing research project were presented in BioEM2009, June, Davos (Ikehata, 2009).


  • World Health Organization: Extremely Low Frequency Fields (EHC 238). 2007
  • Shigemitsu T, Yamazaki K, Nakasono S and Kakikawa M: A review of studies of the biological effects of electromagnetic fields in the intermediate frequency range. IEEJ Trans 2007; 2:405-412.
  • Otaka Y: An introduction to bioeffects studies of ELF and RF EMF in Japan. Bioelectromagnetics Newsletter 2001; 158:9-10. 
  • Shigemitsu T, Negishi T, Yamazaki K, Kawahara Y, Haga A, Kobayashi K and Muramatsu K: A newly designed and constructed 20 kHz magnetic field exposure facility for in vivo study. Bioelectromagnetics 2009; 30:36-44.
  • Nakasono S, Ikehata M, Dateki M, Yoshie S, Shigemitsu T and Negishi T: Intermediate frequency magnetic fields do not have mutagenic, co-mutagenic or gene conversion potentials in microbial genotoxicity tests. Mutation Research 2008; 649:187-200.
  • Miyakoshi J, Horiuchi E, Nakahara T and Sakurai T: Magnetic fields generated by an induction heating (IH) cook top do not cause genotoxicity in vitro. Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28:529-537.
  • Fujita A, Hirota I, Kawahara Y and Omori H: Development and evaluation of intermediate frequency magnetic field exposure system for studies of in vitro biological effects. Bioelectromagnetics 2007; 28: 538-545.
  • Ikehata M, Nakasono S, Suzuki Y, Yoshie S, Wake K, Taki M and Hayakawa T: Evaluation of micronucleus formation in in vitro by exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic field.,  P-166, BioEM2009, June 2009, Davos.

Risk Assessment and Terminology in NIR
ICNIRP/WHO International Workshop
23-24 November 2009, Salzburg, Austria

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) held an International Workshop "Evaluation and Communication of Scientific Evidence and Uncertainty - Towards a Consistent Terminology in Non-Ionizing Radiation" on 23-24 November 2009 at the Old Library at the University of Salzburg, Hofstallgasse 2-4, Austria. The Workshop is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).


National and international health related agencies use different systematic approaches for evaluating scientific evidence on which to base health policy. These processes provide a structure that formalizes quantitative and qualitative assessments of the risk to health and prescribe specific language to communicate the strength of evidence. Applying quantitative evidence review to the effects of non-ionizing radiation on human health is under discussion. Another challenge is to provide an accurate translation of scientific information and terminology for the media, policy-makers and the general public.

The workshop will allow a discussion of quantitative and qualitative classification of risk and of levels of uncertainty and variability based on the scientific evidence at hand. Examples from different national and international bodies and disciplines will be presented. Expected outcomes are the development of both a simple classification approach and a narrative evaluation that can describe the strength of evidence and the relevance of different types of studies (epidemiological, animal and human laboratory).

In the special session organized by the research network on the Implications of Biomedicine for the Assessment of Human Health Risks (IMBA) the focus will be on emerging genomic technologies, i.e. the use of micro-arrays in cancer risk assessment. The interpretation of these arrays amplify the already existing risk characterization and communication problems.



  • To develop a shared vision among agencies on the approach to evaluating scientific evidence for health risks from NIR exposure;
  • To decide on a consistent terminology in NIR;
  • To discuss ways of describing the scientific terminology in lay-person's terms to ensure the best, accurate, evidence based information for the public.


For further information, see

Nominations are now open for the Best Paper in the Bioelectromagnetics Journal Award for the year 2009. 

Any member of the research community may submit nominations for the award by providing a detailed nomination statement setting forth clear reasons for the nomination in a letter to the Editor-in-Chief before December 15th of the year (2009) of publication. The letter must have the endorsements from two current members of the Editorial Board.

The Eligibility Criteria for the Award are as follows:


  1. High scientific quality;
  2. Significance and novelty (opening new avenues or methods of research);
  3. Interest across the membership of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS);
  4. Papers reporting original research including a systematically performed meta-analysis reporting new results or conclusions. Review papers, brief communications, comments letters, and editorials are excluded;
  5. A member of the Editorial Board of the Bioelectromagnetics journal or Board of Directors of the Bioelectromagnetics Society shall be excused from the participation of selection process, if he or she is from the same institution or listed as coauthor of a nominated paper;
  6. The selection process will have maximum transparency with clear documentation of each step.


The Final Decision will be made by the BEMS Board of Directors.

Send nominations to:

James Lin, Ph.D., Professor

Editor-in-Chief, Bioelectromagnetics

University of Illinois at Chicago (M/C 154)

851 South Morgan Street, Suite 1020SEO

Chicago, Illinois 60607-7053 USA