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EMF Studies

11 August 2017

Dr. Martin Pall's Letter to California Legislators Regarding the Risks Involved in the 4G/5G Cellular Base Stations and Antennas Envisioned in SB.649

"Legislators would best pause to understand the gravity of the biological effects, and the ramifications for physical and mental health, as well as consequences from continual damage to human DNA, and learn the facts from scientists who are independent of the wireless industry, not from the industry lobbyists who have a gigantic conflict of interest."

Dr. Martin Pall's letter to California legislators regarding the risks involved in the 4G/5G Cellular Base Stations and antennas envisioned in SB.649.

Martin Pall, PhD
August 7, 2017

Dear California Legislators,

I am Dr. Martin Pall, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University. I am a published and widely cited scientist on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields and speak internationally on this topic. I am particularly expert in how wireless radiation impacts the electrical systems in our bodies. I have published 7 studies showing there exists exquisite sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the voltage sensor in each cell, such that the force impacting our cells at the voltage sensor has massive impact on the biology on the cells of our bodies [1-7]. These papers are discussed in over 360,000 web sites which can be easily found by Googling (Martin Pall electromagnetic). I received my PhD at Caltech, one of the top scientific institutions in the world.

 EMFs act by activating channels in the membrane that surrounds each of our cells, called voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). The EMFs put forces on the voltage sensor that controls the VGCCs of about 7.2 million times greater than the forces on other charged groups in our cells [4,6,7]. This is why weak EMFs have such large biological effects on the cells of our bodies! EMFs works this way not only on human and diverse animal cells [1-7] but also in plant cells [7] so that this is a universal or near universal mechanism of action.

Thousands of published studies show biological and health effects from electromagnetic fields. We now know the mechanism that can explain these effects. The mechanism is a function of the electromagnetics of each cell—not solely about heating effects from the radiation (on which present FCC guidelines are based). 

This new understanding [1-7] means we can debunk the claims of the wireless industry that there cannot be a mechanism for effects produced by these weak EMFs. The 20 years plus of industry propaganda claims are false. Rather the thousands of studies showing diverse health impacts of these EMFs can be explained. We now have a mechanism, one that is supported by both the biology and the physics, both of which are pointing in exactly the same direction. I am sending as a separate document a list of 134 reviews, each of which provides from 12 to over a thousand individual citations showing health impacts of low intensity EMFs, EMFs that the telecommunications industry claims cannot have such effects. These 134 reviews and thousands of primary scientific papers they cite show that the industry propaganda has no scientific support whatsoever. 

The consensus among independent scientists on this is further confirmed by the 2015 (and later) appeal made to the United Nations and member states, stating that the current EMF safety guidelines are inadequate because they do not take into consideration nonthermal effects. This was signed by 225 scientists from 41 countries, each of whom had 2 published peer reviewed studies on EMF health effects – a total of 2,000 papers published in this area by the signers, a substantial fraction of the total publications in this area.

According to industry, the forces electromagnetic fields place on electricallycharged groups in the cell are too weak to produce biological effects. However, the unique structural properties of the voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) protein can, it turns out, explain why the force on a cell’s voltage sensor from low-intensity EMFs are millions of times stronger than are the forces on singly-charged groups elsewhere in the cell. 

It would be a disaster for the health of Californians to be exposed to the antennas envisioned in SB.649. The State of California would be making a grave mistake to proceed with supporting the commercial interests of the wireless industry with this legislation. Legislators would best pause to understand the gravity of the biological effects, and the ramifications for physical and mental health, as well as consequences from continual damage to human DNA, and learn the facts from scientists who are independent of the wireless industry, not from the industry lobbyists who have a gigantic conflict of interest. 

VGCC activation in cells produced by low intensity EMFs can explain long-reported findings that electromagnetic fields and a wide range of biological changes and health effects. The first 6 of these (see below) were well documented 46 years ago in the U.S. Office of Naval Medical Research report, published in 1971 [8]. The others that follow have been extensively documented subsequently in the peer-reviewed scientific literature:

1) Various neurological/neuropsychiatric effects, including changes in brain structure and function, changes in various types of psychological responses and changes in behavior.
2) At least eight different endocrine (hormonal) effects.
3) Cardiac effects influencing the electrical control of the heart, including changes in ECGs, producing arrhythmias, changes that can be life threatening.
4) Chromosome breaks and other changes in chromosome structure.
5) Histological changes in the testes.
6) Cell death (what is now called apoptosis, a process important in neurodegenerative diseases).
7) Lowered male fertility including lowered sperm quality and function and also lowered female fertility (less studied).
8) Oxidative stress.
9) Changes in calcium fluxes and calcium signaling.
10) Cellular DNA damage including single strand breaks and double strand breaks in cellular DNA and also 8-OHdG in cellular DNA.
11) Cancer which is likely to involve these DNA changes but also increased rates of tumor promotion-like events.
12) Therapeutic effects including stimulation of bone growth.
13) Cataract formation (previously thought to be thermal, now known not to be).
14) Breakdown of the blood-brain barrier.
15) Melatonin depletion and sleep disruption. 3

They may be low intensity but with regard to the VGCCs, electromagnetic fields can have a tremendously powerful impact on the cells of our bodies. Furthermore, published studies showing that calcium channel blocker drugs block or greatly lower biological effects from electromagnetic fields confirm there is a VGCC activation mechanism that is causing various effects. Higher frequency electromagnetic fields from 5G technologies on the horizon pose even greater biological concern than those to which we are exposed today. We should be moving, instead, to wired technologies at every opportunity, based on what we know in science today, not expanding and supporting the proliferation of wireless.

I want to make several additional points very clear:

1. The Physics and the Biology are both pointing in the same direction. Both show that EMFs act primarily via activating the VGCCs in the cells of our bodies.
2. DNA damage known to be produced by these EMFs occur in human sperm and may also occur in human eggs, leading to large increases in mutation in any children born. It is thought that an increase in mutation frequency of 2.5 to 3-fold will lead to extinction because of accumulation of large numbers of damaging mutations. We may already be over this level, and if so, simply continuing our current exposures will lead to eventual extinction. Further increases in exposures will be more rapidly self-destructive.
3. Pulsed EMFs are, in most cases, more biologically active and therefore more dangerous than are non-pulsed (continuous wave) EMFs. All cordless communication devices communicate via pulsations, because it is the pulsations that carry the information communicated. All the industry claims of safety are based on a theory (only thermal effects) that was known to be wrong back in 1971 [8] – and that was before many thousands of additional studies were published providing massive confirmation that industry claims are false.
4. The industry is trying to move to much higher frequencies because these much higher frequencies allow much higher pulsations and therefore much higher transmission of information. However, these higher pulsation rates make these ultra-high devices vastly more dangerous. This is part of the reasons why it is so important to vote down SB.649.
5. None of our wireless communication devices are ever tested biologically for safety – not cell phone towers, not cell phones, not Wi-Fi, not cordless phones, not smart meters and certainly not 5G phones, or radar units in cars – before they are put out to irradiate an unsuspecting public.
6. The telecommunications industry has corrupted the agencies that are supposed to be regulating them. The best example of this is that the FCC which regulates EMFs in the U.S. is a “captured agency”, captured by the industry it is supposed to regulate, according to an 8 chapter document published by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University [9]. Is it any wonder, therefore, that the industry keeps touting that their devices are within the safety guidelines set by the FCC? 4

I urge you to do the right thing on behalf of the health of Californians and future generations. Please let me know if I can provide further information. (503) 232-3883.

Martin Pall, PhD (Caltech, 1968)
Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences
Washington State University


1. Pall ML. 2013 Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects. J Cell Mol Med 17:958-965.
2. Pall ML. 2014 Electromagnetic field activation of voltage-gated calcium channels: role in therapeutic effects. Electromagn Biol Med. 2014 Apr 8.
3. Pall ML. 2015 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. Rev Environ Health 30:99-116.
4. Pall ML. 2015 Elektromagnetische Felder wirken über die Aktivierung spannungsabhängiger Calciumkanäle, um günstige oder ungünstige Wirkungen zu erzeugen. Umwelt-MedizinGesellshaft 28: 22-31.
5. Pall ML. 2015 How to approach the challenge of minimizing non-thermal health effects of microwave radiation from electrical devices. International Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering & Management (IJIREM) ISSN: 2350-0557, Volume-2, Issue -5, September 2015; 71-76.
6. Pall ML. 2016 Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression. J Chem Neuroanat 75(Pt B):43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Aug 21.
7. Pall ML. 2016 Electromagnetic fields act similarly in plants as in animals: Probable activation of calcium channels via their voltage sensor. Curr Chem Biol 10: 74-82.
8. Naval Medical Research Institute Research Report, June 1971. Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (“Effects”) and Clinical Manifestations, Revised, ZR Glaser.
9. Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates, by Norm Alster. Published by Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. An e-book under the Creative Commons 4.0 License: https:/creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0


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