7

The article, no longer linked at Science Daily, by is summarized:

A metabolic imbalance caused by radiation from your wireless devices could be the link to a number of health risks, such as various neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, a recent study suggests.

It has journal reference Igor Yakymenko, Olexandr Tsybulin, Evgeniy Sidorik, Diane Henshel, Olga Kyrylenko, Sergiy Kyrylenko. Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.3109/15368378.2015.1043557

The summary page further states:

This imbalance, also known as oxidative stress, is defined by co-author Dr. Igor Yakymenko as, "an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defence."

Yakymenko explains the oxidative stress due to RFR exposure could explain not only cancer, but also other minor disorders such as headache, fatigue, and skin irritation, which could develop after long-term RFR exposure.

"These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health," Yakymenko said.

The article explains that ROS are often produced in cells due to aggressive environments, and can also be provoked by "ordinary wireless radiation."

Up-to-date research demonstrates possible carcinogenic effects of radiofrequency (RFR)/microwave radiation. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RFR as a possible carcinogen for humans. But clear molecular mechanisms of such effects of RFR were a bottleneck in acceptance of a reality of risk.

The article demonstrates that the hazardous effects of RFR could be realized through the "classical mechanisms" of oxidative impairments in living cells.

I am skeptical because of the many studies, including related questions that conclude that no such link exists, and because mobile phone radiation is non-ionizing. This leads me to believe there must be either groundbreaking new information, or fundamental defects, in this paper.

If there are flaws in the paper, what are they?

  • 3
    Here is an article which paints a pretty damning picture of the editorial standards of that journal: pepijnvanerp.nl/2013/02/… – Ernest Friedman-Hill Jul 27 '15 at 0:22
  • The link at the top doesn't seem to be the correct one... – nico Jul 27 '15 at 17:34
  • 2
    The very claim is patently absurd on the face of it, to anyone who has any understanding of EM radiation. Ionizing radiation--the stuff that can cause severe damage to tissue and DNA--is on the opposite side of the spectrum from wireless RF. Unless you literally have flesh made of metal, it's not going to affect you in any non-trivial way. – Mason Wheeler Jul 30 '15 at 17:35
  • 2
    @MasonWheeler So it's only a health hazard if you happen to be a T-1000? – GordonM Jul 31 '15 at 10:19
17

Problem 1:

"Table 1. Publications which reported positive findings on oxidative stress caused by RFR exposure of cellsin vitro."

Problem 2:

"Table 2. Publications which reported positive findings on oxidative stress caused by RFR exposure of animals and plants."

Problem 3:

"Table 3. Publications which reported positive findings on oxidative stress caused byRFR exposure of humans."

It boils down to this old problem of multiple hypothesis testing, which was covered in this XKCD comic: Scientists! Assemble!

This was not a systematic review. They mention nowhere how they picked papers to include. It looks like they just picked everything which supported their position.

Even if there is no effect if you do 20 trials where your cutoff is p<0.05 odds are that one will show an effect. If you only mention the trials where an effect was found it's easy to make it look like green jellybeans cause cancer.

Dig through 2000 trials where your cutoff is p>0.05 and about 100 will show an effect. (give or take and that's assuming that all the papers cited are perfectly done and on the level, unfortunately some are from the same "journal")

Only mention those in your review and you can make it look like all the evidence is showing an effect.

Also I'm not sure it counts as being published in a real peer reviewed journal.

They have some reasonable articles but also... from the same issue:

Illuminating water and life: Emilio Del Giudice

The quantum electrodynamics theory of water put forward by Del Giudice and colleagues provides a useful foundation for a new science of water for life. The interaction of light with liquid water generates quantum coherent domains in which the water molecules oscillate between the ground state and an excited state close to the ionizing potential of water. This produces a plasma of almost free electrons favoring redox reactions, the basis of energy metabolism in living organisms. Coherent domains stabilized by surfaces, such as membranes and macromolecules, provide the excited interfacial water that enables photosynthesis to take place, on which most of life on Earth depends. Excited water is the source of superconducting protons for rapid intercommunication within the body. Coherent domains can also trap electromagnetic frequencies from the environment to orchestrate and activate specific biochemical reactions through resonance, a mechanism for the most precise regulation of gene function.

Water’s quantum structures and life

This article discusses several clues pointing to the spontaneous quantum origin of the recently discovered dissipative structures induced in liquid water by low-energy physical perturbations. These structures show an astonishing permanence, so much that large ponderal quantities of supramolecular aggregates of water – at ambient pressure and temperature – subsist even in the solid phase, strongly suggesting the possibility that these structures are the matrix itself of life.

The trail from quantum electro dynamics to informative medicine

Diseases caused by defects of energy level and loss of coherence in living cells

Biophysical approach to low back pain: a pilot report

From another issue:

Evidence that dirty electricity is causing the worldwide epidemics of obesity and diabetes

There were also some more reasonable sounding papers but the "journal" would appear to publish pretty much whatever.

It's not in good company.

  • A couple of minor corrections - 20 trials with p<0.05 will likely produce at least one positive assuming that there is no effect. (and similar for the 2000 case). – Glen O Aug 1 '15 at 14:35
  • @GlenO updated. – Murphy Aug 3 '15 at 9:52
  • I took this seriously until this sentence got me: Water’s quantum structures and life ... subsist even in the solid phase, strongly suggesting the possibility that these structures are the matrix itself of life. – 0x90 Apr 28 at 18:35

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