Medical Hypotheses (2004) 62, 195-197
A Possible Association Between Fetal/neonatal Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Increased Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Robert C. Kane, Ph.D.
© 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Prior to the twentieth century the only sources of radiofrequency (RF) radiation were the hyper-low levels of RF energy originating from our sun and the even lower levels of extra-solar RF noise. It is in this environment of low-level RF radiation that life on earth developed and exists to this day.
During the 1940s, primarily as a result of research and development performed as a part of the war effort, industry and the military establishment were successful in bringing the state of RF energy generation to maturity. From that time onward we have witnessed a broad range of commercial RF energy product applications including, most notably, broadcast FM radio, radar, television, public-service mobile communication transceivers, residential microwave ovens, and the portable cellular telephone.
Initially, the contribution of each radiating device was imperceptible when weighed against the background of incoming solar radiation. However, over the span of decades the number of terrestrial RF radiation sources, now counted in the billions, has increased to the degree that, presently, the base radiation level is many thousands of times higher than from solar RF energy impinging on the earth.
Notwithstanding the proliferation of RF radiation sources during the early decades of the "radiofrequency age", the 1940s through the 1970s, humans were seldom exposed to RF radiation at levels that might cause concern. Since the late 1970s a number of commercial products have become ubiquitous, which provide human exposures to levels of RF radiation that are significantly higher than either of the previous or present background levels. Research reports indicate that RF exposure levels, typically encountered from some commercial products, may induce alterations of biological processes or damage to the genome 1 13.
Concurrently the incidence of autism diagnoses demonstrates a pronounced, approximately linear, order of magnitude increase occurring during the last twenty years 14. For several decades prior to 1980 autism incidence remained essentially invariant; reportedly at about one diagnosed case per 2000 children. Byrd has reported a present autism incidence of about one per 700 children.
RF radiation sources have become commonplace in the personal human environment from approximately 1980 to the present. Operation of an RF radiation source such as a two-way radio, portable telephone, or a cell phone exposes the operator to levels of RF radiation shown to be biologically active. Operation of an RF radiation source also exposes others, in the near proximity, to similarly biologically active levels of electromagnetic field intensities 15. Passive operation, such as from an RF emitting baby monitor, is a widespread postnatal exposure.
Some of the known effects of exposure to RF radiation include cognitive impairment 16, memory deficit 17, EEG modifications 18, DNA damage 3 - 12, chromosome aberrations 6, micronucleus formation 7, 22, fetal malformation 1, 2, increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier 19, 23, altered cellular calcium efflux 20 and altered cell proliferation 21.
RF radiation emissions from residential microwave ovens are, typically, on the order of 1 milli-watt per cm2. RF radiation exposures from cell phones range from about 0.1 to 10.0 milli-watt per cm2. Portable two-way radios provide similar exposure levels. The scientific literature confirms that RF radiation exposures, at levels more than 1,000 times lower than described immediately preceding, or on the order of 1.0 micro-watt per cm2, induce significant changes in biological processes or molecular repair mechanisms 12.
During gestation the possibility of unobservable embryonic and fetal damage is increased as mothers-to-be utilize and are exposed to the emissions from RF radiation devices. Researchers have emphatically reported that an embryo or fetus should not be exposed to radiofrequency radiation such as that emitted by the portable cell phone or portable telephone. One particular reason to avoid RF radiation exposure during pregnancy is that an embryo or fetus may not be fully protected by amniotic fluid for extended periods of time due to the natural movement of the embryo or fetus within the womb. Secondly, the pelvic structure promotes deep RF radiation penetration and that radiation can be absorbed within the developing embryo or fetus.
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20 Paul Raj R, Behari J, and Rao AR, Effect of amplitude modulated RF radiation on calcium ion efflux and ODC activity in chronically exposed rat brain, Indian J Biochem Biophys, 36(5), pp. 337-340, 1999.
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CDC Study Expected to Announce 1 in 100 Autism Rate—A Startling 50% Jump in Just Two Years. Evidence Points to an Environmental Trigger.
December 16, 2009
Atlanta, GA – Researchers report that autism has risen to an epidemic rate of 1 in 100 children in a study to be released on Friday by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network office of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), This rate represents a 50% increase between the two birth cohort years of 1994 and 1996 and mirrors a recent study released by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which found a rate of 1 in 91 children, 1 in 58 boys.
In 2007, the ADDM released a similar study conducted in 2002 examining children born in 1994 that found the autism rate to be 1 in 150. In the study to be released Friday, the CDC looked at children born in 1996 (8 years old in 2004) and determined that there was a substantial increase of 50% between those two birth years.
This study and other recently published research clearly indicate that autism cannot solely be caused by genetic differences because it is impossible for genetic diseases to increase at such astronomical rates. It also cannot be explained by better diagnosing, changes in diagnostic criteria or migration patterns. It is clearly triggered by the environment. It's well past time that CDC and NIH treat the autism epidemic with the national emergency status it deserves and act with crisis level response.
Though alarming, researchers MUST acknowledge the obvious trend and its connection to the environment to help children. This conclusion is supported by an NIH funded study released earlier this year by the UC Davis M.I.N.D, Institute which "found that the seven- to eight-fold increase in the number children born in California with autism since 1990 cannot be explained by either changes in how the condition is diagnosed or counted — and the trend shows no sign of abating." The study's lead investigator, Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto , a professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology and an internationally respected autism researcher, added, "It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California."
The two ADDM reports from 1994 and 1996 birth years provide autism researchers a significant investigative clue by narrowing the years needed to investigate what changed in the environment to trigger such an increase in autism in such a short time frame.
The skyrocketing increase in autism in the 1990's and 2000's came at a time when mercury emissions have been increasing worldwide, the content of mercury in infant vaccines more than tripled, and the number of vaccines given to children went from 18 shots to 36 shots today. Now, it is determined that autism increased at an incredible 50% between 1994 and 1996 at the same time that the uptake rate of the Hepatitis B vaccine among infants accelerated immensely. This vaccine series added 62.5 more micrograms of mercury to babies, putting them over the the dose considered safe by the EPA for an average weight infant.
The Hepatitis B vaccine at birth has also received sharp criticism from advocates after a recent study by Laura Hewitson, University of Pittsburgh, which found that infant macaques given the Hep B birth dose, adjusted for macaque weight, showed statistically significant developmental delays.
SafeMinds calls on the CDC and the National Institutes of Health Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to close vaccine safety research gaps identified by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) in an independent and transparent manner. We ask that the government appropriate money immediately to compare ALL health outcomes among fully vaccinated children with those of unvaccinated children. Incredibly, such a study has never been done for any single vaccine nor the entire vaccine schedule collectively and has now been officially identified as a vaccine safety gap by NIH's own scientific advisory committee, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC).
They stated that the
Additionally, SafeMinds calls on the IACC and National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to initiate research using existing data from the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to facilitate the establishment of reference ranges for mercury and other developmental toxicants, especially for vulnerable subgroups like women of child-bearing age and young children. Such a study could look for associations between higher body burdens of toxicants and a range of childhood health outcomes could help to assess levels of exposure that are unsafe, and could help set research priorities for toxicants which have the greatest potential to diminish human health. This information would facilitate the type of cause and treatment oriented research that is so desperately needed.
SafeMinds is a charitable non-profit and leader in funding and advancing the science regarding mercury exposure as it relates to autism. Our expertise extends beyond mercury-related exposures to broader vaccine safety issues, as many of our Board Members hold government agency committee positions such as the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, various CDC Vaccine Committees, the Department of Defense Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Program and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee's Vaccine Safety Working Group.
Submitted by - Una St.Clair-Moniz
Citizens for Safe Technology