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Epidemiologic Evidence Relevant to Radar (Microwave) Effects

John R. Goldsmith
Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 105, Supplement 6: Radiation and Human Health (Dec., 1997), pp. 1579-1587
DOI: 10.2307/3433674
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3433674
Page Count: 9
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Epidemiologic Evidence Relevant to Radar (Microwave) Effects
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Abstract

Public and occupational exposures to microwave (RF) radiation are of two main types. The first type of exposures are those connected with military and industrial uses and, to some extent, broadcast exposures. It is this type that most of the data cited in this study draw upon. The second type, cellular telephones and their associated broadcast requirements, have raised concerns about current exposures because of their increasingly widespread use. Four types of effects were originally reported in multiple studies: increased spontaneous abortion, shifts in red and white blood cell counts, increased somatic mutation rates in lymphocytes, and increased childhood, testicular, and other cancers. In addition, there is evidence of generalized increased disability rates from a variety of causes in one study and symptoms of sensitivity reactions and lenticular opacity in at least one other. These findings suggest that RF exposures are potentially carcinogenic and have other health effects. Therefore, prudent avoidance of unneeded exposures is recommended as a precautionary measure. Epidemiologic studies of occupational groups such as military users and air traffic controllers should have high priority because their exposures can be reasonably well characterized and the effects reported are suitable for epidemiologic monitoring. Additional community studies are needed.

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