Proliferation of wireless radiation emissions accelerates new ‘Silent Spring’

Proliferation of wireless radiation emissions accelerates new ‘Silent Spring’

On Earth Day, the Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARDS) warns it is essential the public recognizes what experts have long known: wireless radiation harms insects, birds, and trees.

This is not a new finding, but no global action has yet taken place.  The 2010 Report on Possible Impacts of Communication Towers on Wildlife Including Birds and Bees, commissioned by the India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, reviewed the literature on health and environmental impacts of wireless radiation.  As shown in their Figure 2 (below), the vast majority of over 900 peer-reviewed studies show wireless radiation causes negative biological effects on humans, other animals, plants, wildlife, bees, and birds.

Wireless technologies are promoted as green and harmless but are neither.  In addition to detrimental biological effects, they contribute substantially to global carbon dioxide emissions and accelerated climate change.

According to Energy Consumption in Wired and Wireless Access Networks, “Wireless technologies will continue to consume at least 10 times more power than wired technologies when providing comparable access rates and traffic volumes.

There is also strong scientific support for a moratorium on the implementation of 5th generation wireless or 5G which, like other wireless technologies, has never been safety-tested and will likely have a disproportionately negative effect on insect pollinators.

The current regulatory structure is focused solely on preventing thermally-based damage to wireless users.  Environmental harm is occurring without any regulatory response to prevent it.  Wireless exposure limits were never set to prevent harm to the environment.  That is proving to be a mistake.  Trees, crucial to global carbon dioxide balance and necessary for oxygen production, are being damaged and killed, as are pollinators and other wildlife.

As wireless technology proliferates, it creates damagingly high ambient levels of microwave radiation – electrosmog. Serious environmental damage is rapidly occurring including hereditary DNA damage and possible species extinctions.

Unlike chemical pollution spills, no physical contamination remains if wireless use is halted.  An immediate reduction in wireless exposure means an immediate reduction in harm and will bear immediate fruit.

Commercial ventures, such as SpaceX and OneWeb bringing internet connectivity to the world via wireless radiation emissions from sky-based platforms, may accelerate environmental damage so quickly it becomes impossible for our regulatory agencies to act fast enough to prevent widespread environmental and economic devastation.  In addition to increasing ambient microwave radiation, the vast number of rocket launches necessary to support an infrastructure of over 20,000 internet satellites will result in atmospheric ozone degradation caused by rocket exhaust – exacerbating ongoing ozone losses.

GUARDS was formed in 2014 to prevent irreversible atmospheric and biological damage from massive deployments of altitude-based radiation-emitting intrusive technologies.

Available at www.stopglobalwifi.org/documents/EarthDayApril2018Final.pdf

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Smart meters pose dangers

Smart meters pose dangers

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

COMMENTS

National Toxicology Program cell phone studies (rat study and mouse study)- PART TWO

NTP analysis – Part II: design flaws and conclusions

 

As I have shown in Part I of my analysis, the National Toxicology Program cell phone studies (rat study and mouse study) produced large numbers of tumors in both species. The mice had fewer tumors than the rats. However, within each species, the numbers of both benign and malignant tumors were enormous and essentially the same for every level of exposure, including “unexposed.”

In Part II, I point out some serious design flaws in these studies and reach some conclusions about the meaning of the results that are much different than the conclusions reached by others.

1.  Exposure levels were poorly controlled.

For the rat study, the SAR levels were stated to be 0, 1.5, 3, and 6 W/kg.
For the mouse study, the SAR levels were stated to be 0, 2.5, 5, and 10 W/kg.

Those were the target SAR levels. The actual SAR levels were all over the place. The “medium” exposure animals were often exposed to more radiation than the “high” exposure animals. Even the “low” exposure animals were sometimes exposed to more radiation than the “high” exposure animals. For example, these were the minimum and maximum exposure levels recorded during the two years for mice exposed to GSM radiation:
Minimum             Maximum

“high”               3.290 W/kg          23.576 W/kg

“medium”       2.105 W/kg         11.918 W/kg

“low”                 0.472 W/kg           4.060 W/kg

 

Instead of 10 W/kg, the “high” exposure mice were sometimes exposed to 23 W/kg. Instead of 5 W/kg, the “medium” exposure mice were sometimes exposed to almost 12 W/kg.

The range of exposures for the rats was even more scattered. These were the minimum and maximum levels recorded for male rats exposed to GSM radiation:

 

Minimum             Maximum

 

“high”                  0.734 W/kg          25.815 W/kg

“medium”          0.391 W/kg          10.692 W/kg

“low”                    0.292 W/kg            5.732 W/kg

Instead of 6 W/kg, the “high” exposure rats were sometimes exposed to 25 W/kg. Instead of 3 W/kg, the “medium” exposure rats were sometimes exposed to 10 W/kg. The “low” exposure rats were sometimes exposed to almost 6 W/kg, which was the target level for the “high” exposure rats. This variation of exposure with time was a direct result of the constantly moving stirrers (see below), which rotated at a speed of between 1 and 50 revolutions per second, so that the exposure level at any point in the chamber could change dramatically up to 50 times per second.

The purpose of the stirrers was to make sure that the radiation levels were uniform in space. This, however, was not achieved either. The cages at the at the top of the chamber were exposed to three to four times as much radiation as the cages at the bottom of the chamber. In an attempt to equalize the exposures, the researchers continually rotated the cages.

Despite the significant spatial variations and the enormous temporal variations, the NTP reports claim that the exposure levels were within the target range almost 100% of the time. How could that be? The answer is hidden in the definition of “target.” For example, the rat study defined the “high” target level of 6 W/kg to be met as long as the actual level was anywhere from 3.79 W/kg to 9.51 W/kg. The “medium” target was met if the actual level was anywhere from 1.89 to 4.75 W/kg. The “low” target was met if the actual level was anywhere from 0.95 to 2.38 W/kg.

In other words, the exposure levels were poorly controlled and there was no clear difference between “low,” “medium,” and “high.”

2.  The “unexposed” chambers were not unexposed.

Although the chambers were described as “fully shielded,” the shielding was stainless steel, which is not best, and the degree of shielding was either not measured or not reported.

In addition to the unknown degree of shielding, the different exposure chambers, as I noted in Part I, were not isolated from one another. There were multiple conductive pathways from the “exposed” chambers into the “unexposed” chambers: wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, exhaust ducts, coaxial cables, plumbing (an automated watering system supplied water to each cage via stainless steel tubes) and “other interconnections.” The microwave transmitters were connected to the common wiring. Radiation was conducted over multiple paths into the all the chambers, resulting in both cell phone radiation and “dirty electricity” everywhere, including the “unexposed” chambers. In these reverberation chambers, the frequencies were amplified tremendously.

Although RF radiation between 40 MHz and 6 GHz was monitored every 20 seconds, lower frequencies were not monitored. Wired connections were filtered for microwave frequencies, but the degree of attenuation is not stated. Other conductive pathways were not filtered, and lower frequencies were not filtered.

The sources of radiation into the “unexposed” chambers were multiple:

(a) Cell phone radiation: 900 MHz and 1900 MHz.
 Cell phone radiation levels were monitored in every chamber every 20 seconds However, the electric field sensors that were used (ER3DV6 E-field probes) were only capable of measuring down to 2 V/m, so the reported “0.0” values in all the “unexposed” chambers only means the radiation levels were less than 2 V/m. That is the same as 1 μW/cm2, and is a high level of exposure.

(b)
 Switch-mode power supplies. Each of the 18 RF antennas (one in each exposure chamber) was powered by a switch-mode power supply that converted the AC wall current to DC. Switch-mode power supplies are a notorious source of dirty electricity.

(c) Variable frequency drives. 
Each of the 21 chambers, including the 3 “unexposed” chambers, contained two motor-controlled “stirrers” with adjustable speed control. Variable frequency drives are another notorious source of dirty electricity.

(d) Wireless microphones. 
It is hard to believe, but the NTP reports state that the microphones, located in the air exhaust ducts, that monitored noise levels in each chamber, had a “design based on WL-93 microphone; Shure Brothers, Inc., Evanston, IL.” The WL-93 model is a wireless microphone.

(e) Modulation frequencies from the cell phone transmitters. 
Since the transmitters were powered by DC current, the cell phone modulation frequencies would have traveled through the building’s wiring and along the multiple other connections into the “unexposed” chambers.

(f) Modulation frequencies from the stirrers. 
The antenna in each of the 18 exposure rooms was directed toward one of the two “stirrers.” The stirrers were metallic, reflective contraptions that rotated at a variable speed between 1 and 50 rpm. Their purpose was to “mix” the radiation in the chamber so as to produce a uniform power level. First of all this did not work (see above: actual radiation levels in individual chambers varied spatially up to 4-fold and temporally up to 35-fold). Secondly, this modulated the radiation at additional frequencies of 1 to 50 Hz, which further confounded the results in the “exposed” chambers and leaked via multiple paths into the “unexposed” chambers.

3.  The hematology and blood chemistry results were averaged and outlying values were eliminated.

At 14 weeks into the studies, blood from some of the animals was drawn and analyzed, and then the results were all averaged together. The researchers virtually admitted that the results were abnormal. Hematology and clinical chemistry, they wrote, “have typically skewed distributions.” Further, they wrote, “implausible values were eliminated from the analysis.” One way to hide abnormal data is by throwing out the most extreme values and then averaging the rest.

As of today, the NIH has not released the individual hematology and clinical chemistry results for any animals.

4.  The animals were fed irradiated food and had irradiated bedding.

The safety of irradiated food has long been controversial. Reported effects of irradiated food include premature death, genetic damage, reproductive problems, residual radioactivity, immune system dysfunction, internal bleeding, organ damage, tumors, blood disorders, nutritional deficiencies and stunted growth. (Public Citizen, “Questioning Food Irradiation: A History of Research into the Safety of Irradiated Foods,” Washington, DC, April 2003). This was another completely unnecessary confounding factor that confused the interpretation of the results.

5.  Conflicts of interest: The test facility was designed, maintained and monitored by the telecommunications industry.

The IT’IS Foundation designed, built, maintained, measured, and monitored the chambers and the exposure system throughout the studies. It installed all system hardware and software. The IT’IS Foundation is funded in large part by telecommunications companies, including the CTIA, the GSM Association, AT&T, Deutsche Telecom, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Motorola, Mitsubishi, Ericsson, Vodafone, DoCoMo, Intel, TCT Mobile (Alcatel and Blackberry), Sunrise Communications, Panasonic, SONY, Safran (French aerospace and defense company), Phonak Communications, LG Electronics, Cisco Systems, the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses, and the Foundation on Mobile Communications (Switzerland). The full lists of sponsors and partners are here: https://www.itis.ethz.ch/who-we-are/funding/and https://www.itis.ethz.ch/who-we-are/partners/.

The technical aspects of the exposure system are not in the open literature and are not available from the NIH. They were published in IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 49, No. 4, August 2017, pp. 1041-1052, and I had to purchase the article in order to read it. The title is “A Radio Frequency Radiation Exposure System for Rodents Based on Reverberation Chambers.” Of the 11 authors, 4 work for the IT’IS Foundation, 1 used to work for the IT’IS Foundation, one works for Siemens Mobility, one has worked for Motorola, and one has worked for the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme of the U.K.

Conclusions

These were poorly designed, poorly controlled studies conducted by scientists with blatant conflicts of interest.

There were no unexposed groups of animals. There were large numbers of tumors at every exposure level: 1 μW/cm2, 5 mW/cm2, 10 mW/cm2, and 20 mW/cm2 (rats); 1 μW/cm2, 4 mW/cm2, 8 mW/cm2, and 16 mW/cm2 (mice).

In the Chou et al. (1992) study the malignant tumor incidence in unirradiated male rats was 5%, and in irradiated rats was 18%. In the NTP study it was 36%.

In the Chou et al. study there were 76 tumors among 100 unirradiated male rats, and 116 tumors among 100 irradiated male rats. In the NTP study there were 228 tumors per 100 male rats.

Chou et al. found that RF radiation at an SAR of 0.4 W/kg causes cancer. The NTP study found that RF radiation, both at much higher and much lower SARs, causes cancer.

Despite this being a poorly designed study it is evidence that RF radiation, at all exposure levels, causes cancer. Not just a tiny number of schwannomas of the heart, but large numbers of all types of cancer. There is no basis on which to conclude that the schwannomas were caused by RF radiation but the other tumors were not. The most significant difference between the NTP (2018) study and the Chou et al. (1992) study is the multitude of other sources, types, and frequencies of radiation that the NTP animals were exposed to. There were no stirrers, reverberation chambers, switch-mode power supplies, variable frequency drives, wireless microphones, cell phone modulation frequencies, irradiated food, or irradiated bedding in the 1992 study, just a single pulsed 2,450 MHz signal. It caused less cancer because it exposed the animals to less radiation. By less radiation I don’t mean less power.

It is not the power level that does the harm. It is the degree of coherence, type and depth of modulation, wavelength, number of frequencies, number of signals, bandwidth, shape of the waves, pulse height, pulse width, rise and fall time, and other properties of the radiation. The unimportance of power levels for effects other than heat has been shown many times. In Salford’s studies[1] the lowest power levels caused the most leakage in the blood-brain barrier. Blackman,[2] Bawin,[3]Dutta,[4] Schwartz,[5]and Kunjilwar,[6] all in different laboratories, found that calcium efflux from neural and cardiac cells occurred at specific frequencies and exposure levels and did not increase with power. In Dutta’s study a 3,000-fold decrease in power caused a 4-fold increase in calcium efflux. Sadchikova[7],[8] and her Soviet colleagues found that workers exposed to the lowest power levels suffered more often from radio wave sickness. Belyaev[9] found that genetic effects occurred at specific frequencies and the magnitude of the effect did not change with power level over 16 orders of magnitude.

My conclusion from the NTP studies is that RF radiation causes a lot of both malignant and benign tumors at every exposure level. The assumption that there is a dose response, i.e. higher power levels cause more cancer, is proven wrong.

The assumption that wireless technology can be made safe by reducing the power is proven wrong.

Arthur Firstenberg
April 20, 2018


[1] Persson, B. R. R., Salford, L. G., Brun, A. (1997). Blood-brain barrier permeability in rats exposed to electromagnetic fields used in wireless communications. Wireless Networks 3:455-461.

[2] Blackman, C. F. et al. (1980). Induction of calcium-ion efflux from brain tissue by radiofrequency radiation. Bioelectromagnetics 1:35-43.

[3] Bawin, S. M., Kaczmarek, L. K. and Adey, W. R. (1970). Effects of modulated VHF fields on the central nervous system. Annals of th New York Academy of Sciences 247:74-80.

[4] Dutta. S. et al. (1986). Microwave radiation-induced calcium ion flux from human neuroblastoma cells: dependence on depth of amplitude modulation and exposure time. In Biological Effects of Electropollution, S. Dutta and R. Millis, eds. Information Ventures, Phila., pp. 63-69.

[5] Schwartz, J.-L. et al. (1990). Exposure of frog hearts to CW or amplitude-modulated VHF fields: selective efflux of calcium ions at 16 Hz. Bioelectromagnetics 11: 349-358.

[6] Kunjilwar, K. K. and Behari, J. (1993). Effect of amplitude-modulated RF radiation on cholinergic system of developing rats. Brain Research 601:321-324.

[7] Sadchikova, M. N. (1960). State of the nervous system under the influence of UHF. In Biological Action of Ultrahigh Frequencies, A. A. Letavet and Z. V. Gordon, eds., Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, pp. 25-29.

[8] Sadchikova, M. N. (1973). Clinical manifestations of reactions to microwave irradiation in various occupational groups. In Biologic Effects and Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation: Proceedings of an International Symposium, Warsaw, 15-18 Oct., 1973, P. Czerski et al., eds., Polish Medical Publishers, Warsaw, pp. 261-267.

[9] Belyaev, I. Y. et al. (1996). Resonance effect of millimeter waves in the power range from 10-19 to 3 x 10-3 W/cm2 on Escherichia coli cells at different concentrations. Bioelectromagnetics 17: 312-321.

Please circulate the press release widely in social media and to the press.

From: GUARDS <info@stopglobalwifi.org>
Date: April 19, 2018 3:46:49 PM CDT
Subject: Proliferation of Wireless Radiation Emissions Accelerates New Silent Spring
Please circulate the press release widely in social media and to the press.
Thank you,
GUARDS
Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space
 
 
Date:        April 19, 2018
Contacts: Ed Friedman, Bowdoinham, ME, USA 207-666-3372
Marcey Kliparchuk, Edmonton, AB, Canada 780-760-0872
Proliferation of Wireless Radiation Emissions Accelerates New Silent Spring

On Earth Day, the Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARDS) warns it is essential the public recognizes what experts have long known: wireless radiation harms insects, birds, and trees.

This is not a new finding, but no global action has yet taken place.  The 2010 Report on Possible Impacts of Communication Towers on Wildlife Including Birds and Bees, commissioned by India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, reviewed the literature on health and environmental impacts of wireless radiation.  As shown in their Figure 2 (below), the vast majority of over 900 peer-reviewed studies show wireless radiation causes negative biological effects on humans, other animals, plants, wildlife, bees, and birds.

 

Wireless technologies are promoted as green and harmless but are neither.  In addition to detrimental biological effects, they contribute substantially to global carbon dioxide emissions and accelerated climate change.

According to Energy Consumption in Wired and Wireless Access Networks, “Wireless technologies will continue to consume at least 10 times more power than wired technologies when providing comparable access rates and traffic volumes.

There is also strong scientific support for a moratorium on the implementation of 5th generation wireless or 5G which, like other wireless technologies, has never been safety-tested and will likely have a disproportionately negative effect on insect pollinators.

The current regulatory structure is focused solely on preventing thermally-based damage to wireless users.  Environmental harm is occurring without any regulatory response to prevent it.  Wireless exposure limits were never set to prevent harm to the environment.  That is proving to be a mistake.  Trees, crucial to global carbon dioxide balance and necessary for oxygen production, are being damaged and killed, as are pollinators and other wildlife.

As wireless technology proliferates, it creates damagingly high ambient levels of microwave radiation – electrosmog. Serious environmental damage is rapidly occurring including hereditary DNA damage and possible species extinctions.

Unlike chemical pollution, no physical contamination remains in the environment if wireless use is halted.  An immediate reduction in wireless exposure means an immediate reduction in harm and will bear immediate fruit.

Commercial ventures, such as SpaceX and OneWeb bringing internet connectivity to the world via wireless radiation emissions from sky-based platforms, may accelerate environmental damage so quickly it becomes impossible for our regulatory agencies to act fast enough to prevent widespread environmental and economic devastation.  In addition to increasing ambient microwave radiation, the vast number of rocket launches necessary to support an infrastructure of over 20,000 internet satellites will result in atmospheric ozone degradation caused by rocket exhaust – exacerbating ongoing ozone losses.

GUARDS was formed in 2014 to prevent irreversible atmospheric and biological damage from massive deployments of altitude-based radiation-emitting intrusive technologies.

Available at www.stopglobalwifi.org/documents/EarthDayApril2018Final.pdf

Protecting our health and the environment by using a hardwired computer in a low RF environment.  For more information, see www.electricalpollution.com

5G and wireless safety at the AOCRP-5 in Melbourne, Australia

    • 21 APR 18

    5G and wireless safety at the AOCRP-5 in Melbourne, Australia

    From Dariusz Leszczynski:

    The 5th Asian and Oceanic IRPA Regional Congress on Radiation Protection will take place on May 20 – 23, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Substantial part of the program will be devoted to the deployment and safety of the 5G networks and to the safety of the wireless communication in general.

    I will be there presenting and my report from the conference will be published in June 2018.

    The full program of the conference (as of April 18, 2018) is available here: http://www.aocrp-5.org/program/

    The 5G and wireless safety presentations are listed below. Australia is very active in moving towards the 5G deployment and that’s why it is interesting to be down-under and listen and learn.

    The program related to the 5G and wireless at the AOCRP-5 consists of a refresher course, number of platform presentations and is finalized with a panel discussion…SNIP

    Read the full posting here

    *********************************************************************************

    Leave a reply →

https://www.emfacts.com/2018/04/5g-and-wireless-safety-at-the-aocrp-5-in-melbourne-australia/

Smart meter error leaves man with nearly $1,000 MLGW bill

Smart meter error leaves man with nearly $1,000 MLGW bill

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) –The MLGW website says smart meters are “99 percent reliable” and much more accurate than traditional analog meters.

Try telling that to a Memphis family who just got a letter from MLGW telling them their smart meter’s been broken for years, the utility had no idea there was a problem, and now the family owes $1,000.

“I had hoped it was a mistake at first,” said Midtown resident Randall Sloan.  “It was a bill for $968 because our meter broke in 2015.”

Sloan said he was stunned when he opened MLGW’s letter on Wednesday afternoon, notifying him he’d been underbilled for more than two years.

An MLGW spokesperson says Sloan’s smart meter for gas transmitted the wrong information to the utility.  Even though he’d paid his bill in full each month, he was being charged the wrong amount.

“It took them 26 months to figure it out,” said Sloan, “and now they want me to pay the difference they somehow figured out accurately for that entire amount of time.”

MLGW says Sloan’s smart meter mishap is extremely rare.  A spokesperson going as far as saying it’s the first time they utility’s had something like this happen.

The MLGW website touts smart meter technology: “What makes these meters smart is the ability to communicate with the utility.”  That clearly didn’t happen in Sloan’s case.

“I have the biggest utility bill I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “Personally, I’d like to not be on the hook for the entire two years.  That seems like an incredible amount of liability for them to hold me accountable for. And ultimately I’d like to see them check these meters way more often.”

Sixty percent of MLGW meters are now smart meters.  MLGW expects to be done with smart meter installation in 2020.  Randall Sloan was pro smart meters when the conversion was announced, but now, he says he’ll never trust his bill again.  Smart meters, in his experience, are anything but.

“I’m going to pay the bill,” he said reluctantly, “and I’m going to keep paying.  I’m going to keep being an MLGW customer because I have no choice whatsoever.”

The utility installed a new smart meter on Sloan’s house in February.  He’s been offered a payment plan for the outstanding balance, but even with that option, there won’t be a summer vacation for his family.  And, he says, he’ll look at every bill a lot more closely in the future.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/38000259/smart-meter-error-leaves-man-with-nearly-1000-mlgw-bill

Public Regulation Commission rejects a smart meter installation program by PNM

Ruidoso News

Public Regulation Commission rejects a smart meter installation program by PNM

Smart meter pilot program requested from PNM by the time of the next energy efficiency filing in 2020

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously rejected the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure , called smart meters, citing rate increases, an excessive opt-out fee and layoffs as deal breakers.

“After several hearings, I felt the program was clearly not in the best interest of the public,” Commission Chairman Sandy Jones, who represents District 5, said. “I held public meetings in Silver City and Deming and many of my constituents agreed.”

Following three separate hearings held over the course of almost two and a half years, the commissioners concurred that the proposed AMI program did not fairly balance the interests of investors and ratepayers or promote the public interest.

Acording to a release from the PRC, the commissioners determined the AMI program failed to take advantage of possible energy efficiency measures, identify sufficient operational benefits, or provide meaningful opt-out opportunities. Especially significant was a concern that the lifetime costs to ratepayers would exceed savings in contrast with the benefits shareholders would reap.

 The commissioners agreed with the hearing examiner’s recommended decision that the AMI program is not cost effective and would carry a $121 million price tag, forcing a rate increase of at least $5.9 million in the first year following the meters’ deployment.

Other elements of the project were controversial, including the $42.72 per month customer opt-out fee for not using the AMI meter and the resulting layoffs of 125 PNM employees who currently perform meter reading and related tasks.

“This technology has great potential but it needs to be maximized not minimized,” Commissioner Cynthia B. Hall from District 1 said.

PNM’s application also was opposed by all the New Mexico Attorney General, New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers, Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy Western Resource Advocates, City of Albuquerque, New Mexicans for Utility Safety, Citizens for Fair Rates and the Environment and the commission’s utility division Staff.

The commissioners requested PNM submit a pilot program proposal at the next energy efficiency program filing in 2020.

“There are several aspects of the AMI program that need to be addressed, therefore a pilot program is critical in this matter,” Commissioner Lynda Lovejoy, District 4, said. “Our priority is the consumers and we must ensure they are protected.”

https://www.ruidosonews.com/story/news/local/community/2018/04/18/public-regulation-commission-rejects-smart-meter-installation-program-pnm/528478002/

 

Canada sending home families of diplomats in Cuba after cases of ‘new type’ of brain injury

Canada sending home families of diplomats in Cuba after cases of ‘new type’ of brain injury

Havana named ‘unaccompanied’ diplomatic posting because of symptoms suffered by staff, spouses and children

The Canadian embassy in Havana. Canada has told its diplomatic staff there that they will no longer be able to have dependents with them during postings in the country. (Franklin Reyes/Associated Press)

Canada is designating Cuba an “unaccompanied post” — meaning diplomats’ families will not be allowed to live with them in the country during a posting — because of new information about mysterious symptoms suffered by Canadian and U.S. diplomats and their families.

 

Canadian diplomatic staff in Havana were informed of the decision Monday morning. The federal government has made arrangements to bring family members home in the coming weeks.

Ten Canadians in Cuba have experienced symptoms — including headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating — according to government officials who briefed reporters in Ottawa Monday.

‘A new type of … brain injury’

A new report by a Canadian medical specialist raises the possibility that some of the Canadians have experienced a “new type of possible acquired brain injury.” A senior government official said that this injury is new to science.

“The cause remains unknown but could be human-made,” said a media release from Global Affairs.

Dr. Douglas Smith, director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, has evaluated 24 affected Americans and found their symptoms similar to those of a traumatic brain injury.

This is something that looks like persistent concussion symptoms — in individuals that have no history of head impact,” he said in an interview. “And yet they look almost exactly like the patients we would see in an concussion clinic.​

‘Cognitive dysfunction’

​”The biggest complaint of all was cognitive dysfunction,” he said, explaining that people he examined were slower to process information, struggled with memory, and found it difficult to find the right words when writing or speaking.

Officials said that some of those who seemed to recover have since seen the symptoms reassert themselves.

The RCMP is investigating the illness reports.

Some of the affected Canadians are minors; officials did not say how many, citing privacy considerations. Canadian diplomatic staff and their families don’t live together in any kind of housing compound, which closes off one possible avenue of investigation.

There is still no clear explanation for the illnesses. The government says theories about sonic attacks and forms of illness with psychological origins have been ruled out. An environmental assessment conducted April 4 found no suspected causes.

The most likely explanation appears to be medical, said a senior government official. The government said it has seen no indication that Canadian tourists in Cuba are at risk.

Staff members at the embassy will be given the option of postings elsewhere.

Painful, high-pitched noises

The decision to pull family members from the Canadian Embassy comes after months of reports of mysterious illnesses afflicting foreigners in Cuba.

As of this month, the American Embassy in Havana has just 10 diplomatic staff left after the United States pulled out the rest of its people following what it described ominously as “sonic attacks” on staff members.

Affected U.S. Embassy employees reported hearing painful, high-pitched noises in very specific areas of their homes.

Canada already maintains multiple unaccompanied diplomatic posts around the world, including those in Kabul and Tripoli.

Why you could be next target of the smart meter hard sell: We hand dossier of complaints to the energy watchdog

This is Money

Why you could be next target of the smart meter hard sell: We hand dossier of complaints to the energy watchdog

  • Readers being misled into thinking they are obliged to ditch old analogue meters
  • Suppliers continue to claim it is a ‘legal requirement’ to have a smart meter fitted
  • Around four in ten of the complaints in the dossier were about E.ON. 

Money Mail has handed the energy watchdog a dossier of damning complaints about the bullying tactics suppliers are using to get homeowners to install smart meters.

Our file contains dozens of letters and emails from readers who have been hounded and misled into thinking they are obliged to ditch their old gas and electric analogue meters.

Your evidence shows suppliers are continuing to tell customers that it is a ‘legal requirement’ to have a smart meter fitted — even though, by law, homeowners have the right to decline the new technology, which records your electricity usage minute-by-minute and submits readings to your supplier throughout the day.

We have received dozens of dozens of letters and emails from readers who have been hounded and misled into thinking they are obliged to ditch their old gas and electric analogue meters

We have received dozens of dozens of letters and emails from readers who have been hounded and misled into thinking they are obliged to ditch their old gas and electric analogue meters

 

Around four in ten of the complaints in the dossier were about E.ON. The firm promised in October to stop claiming smart meters were compulsory, but letters sent to customers as recently as March 31 say: ‘It’s time for your smart meter to be replaced. It’s a legal requirement and we want to keep you safe.’

EDF (one in seven complaints) and First Utility (one in ten) were other frequent offenders, with the seven worst culprits completed by SSE, British Gas, ScottishPower and Npower in that order.

The file also contains evidence of new tactics to push the meters.

For example, Utility Warehouse told customers their meters had reached their ‘use-by’ date and ‘may stop working safely or could cut off the energy supply’ so must be replaced by a smart meter.

Our Stop The Smart Meter Bullying campaign, launched last week, is calling on energy regulator Ofgem to set strict marketing rules to stamp out these moves.

In response, an Ofgem spokesman says: ‘We thank Money Mail for providing us with further insight into people’s experiences with smart meters. We are monitoring the roll out and are in contact with suppliers.’

In another development over the past week, we can reveal that suppliers may start bombarding customers who have already said no to updating their meters.

This is because the Government is issuing contradictory statements about whether suppliers are obliged to offer or actually install smart meters over the next few years.

Energy Minister Claire Perry says the Government is ‘committed to ensuring that all domestic and small business consumers are offered the chance to upgrade by the end of 2020’.

But the official Supplier Licence document, which gives gas and electric companies the right to operate in the UK, states: ‘The license must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a Smart Metering System is installed on or before December 31, 2020 at each designated premises of which it is the relevant electricity/gas supplier.’

Suppliers are continuing to tell customers that it is a 'legal requirement' to have a smart meter fitted — even though, by law, homeowners have the right to decline the new technology

Suppliers are continuing to tell customers that it is a ‘legal requirement’ to have a smart meter fitted — even though, by law, homeowners have the right to decline the new technology

Even Smart Energy GB, the group set up to promote the smart meter roll out, has confusing statements on its website. Under the heading ‘About the roll out’, it states the Government ‘wants energy suppliers to install smart meters in every home in England, Wales and Scotland’ with ‘the goal of every home having a smart meter by 2020’.

Yet lower down it states: ‘The Government requires energy suppliers to offer smart meters to all homes and small businesses across Great Britain by 2020, but whether you accept them is completely up to you.’

Insiders at Big Six energy firms told Money Mail that unless the Government clarifies the rules, they will act as if they need to install a smart meter in every home by the end of 2020, as they will face fines of up to 10 per cent of their global sales — which could mean £7 billion — if they fail to hit the targets.

Firms also said that nobody in the Government or energy watchdog has made it clear to them what the words ‘all reasonable steps’ and ‘offered’ mean in practice.

A source at one firm said: ‘We need clearer guidance on what is and isn’t acceptable — if a customer says no, is that good enough to tick them off our list?’

Money Mail’s campaign calls on the Government to relax the rules around the 2020 deadline for installing smart meters in homes.

We have asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to clarify what it expects from suppliers. Industry insiders say that if the Government made it clear firms need to only ‘offer’ a new meter to customers — and that they can stop hassling people who refuse — suppliers would put less pressure on households.

Around four in ten of the complaints in the dossier were about E.ON despite the firm promising in October to stop claiming a smart meter was compulsory

Around four in ten of the complaints in the dossier were about E.ON despite the firm promising in October to stop claiming a smart meter was compulsory

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says suppliers have to contact customers more than once to make sure they know smart meters are on offer to them. She adds suppliers have been told not to mislead customers by claiming smart meters are compulsory.

Over the past week, Money Mail has discovered that new analogue meters may soon be unavailable to customers because manufacturers are beginning to stop making them.

The smart meter roll out was not designed to eliminate analogue meters from the market, but energy provider ScottishPower says that is happening anyway.

An E.ON spokesman says: ‘By the end of this month, we’ll have updated all of our correspondence to make it clear that customers can contact us if they don’t want to have a smart meter installed.’

A Utility Warehouse spokesman says: ‘Our members still have a choice whether to accept or decline a smart meter.’

Energy UK says: ‘We are working with suppliers to develop a set of good-practice principles for communications on the smart meter roll out.’

Robert Cheesewright, director of policy and communications at Smart Energy GB, says: ‘The Government’s goal is that every household has a smart meter installed by the end of 2020. There’s no obligation for anyone to have one as we make clear on our website.’

d.hyde@dailymail.co.uk

Additional reporting: Matthew Brown

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-5626839/Why-target-smart-meter-hard-sell.html#ixzz5D2gIcCCS
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Scientific Reports

Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz

Received:
Accepted:
Published online:

Abstract

Insects are continually exposed to Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at different frequencies. The range of frequencies used for wireless telecommunication systems will increase in the near future from below 6 GHz (2 G, 3 G, 4 G, and WiFi) to frequencies up to 120 GHz (5 G). This paper is the first to report the absorbed RF electromagnetic power in four different types of insects as a function of frequency from 2 GHz to 120 GHz. A set of insect models was obtained using novel Micro-CT (computer tomography) imaging. These models were used for the first time in finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic simulations. All insects showed a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency. All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%.

Introduction

Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) enable wireless communication between billions of users worldwide. Presently, this mainly occurs at RF frequencies located between 100 MHz and 6 GHz1. Wireless telecommunication base stations are the dominant sources of outdoor RF-EMFs1. Humans and animals alike are exposed to these fields, which are partially absorbed by their bodies, e.g. reported for insects in2. The absorbed dose depends on the frequency3,4, and can be strongly enhanced when a full-body or partial-body resonance occurs3. This RF absorption has already been studied for particular insects at different individual frequencies: 27 MHz5,6, 900–915 MHz6,7,8, and 2450 MHz9.

This absorption may cause dielectric heating10. Heating affects insect behavior, physiology, and morphology11. Reviews of studies that investigate RF heating of insects are presented in12,13,14. Other authors focus on environmental RF exposure of insects15,16 or expose insects to RF radiation in order to investigate potential biological effects17,18. Studies on non-thermal effects of exposure to RF-EMF exist:19 presents a review of potential mechanisms for non-thermal effects and a review of non-thermal effects of EMF exposure wildlife is presented in20. Most existing studies focus on RF frequencies below 6 GHz. The same frequencies at which the current generations of telecommunication operate1. However, due to an increased demand in bandwidth, the general expectation is that the next generation of telecommunication frequencies will operate at so-called millimeter-wavelengths: 30–300 GHz21,22. Therefore, future wavelengths of the electromagnetic fields used for the wireless telecommunication systems will decrease and become comparable to the body size of insects and therefore, the absorption of RF-EMFs in insects is expected to increase. Absorption of RF energy was demonstrated in insects between 10–50 GHz23, but no comparison was demonstrated with the RF absorption at frequencies below 10 GHz. The radar cross section of insects has been determined above 10 GHz, but this quantity includes both scattering and absorption24. It is currently unknown how the total absorbed RF power in insects depends on the frequency to which they are exposed.

Most of the previously cited studies depend on measurements using RF equipment such as antennas, waveguides, and dielectric probes to determine the absorption of RF-EMFs in insects. An alternative approach would be to use numerical simulations. This approach was previously used to determine the absorption of RF-EMFs in humans and requires numerical models or phantoms25,26,27,28.

Techniques for creating heterogeneous, three-dimensional insect models with micrometer resolution have previously been demonstrated in29.

However, up to now, insect phantoms have not been used in electromagnetic simulations.

The aims of this study were to, for the first time, numerically evaluate RF-EMF absorption in real models of insects and to determine a potential difference in RF absorption in insects due to current and future telecommunication networks. To this aim, we studied the absorbed RF power in four different insect models obtained using micro-CT imaging as a function of frequency in a broad band, 2 GHz up to 120 GHz, that covers both the existing and the foreseen future wireless telecommunication bands. Voxelling precision in the order of 5–20 μm is obtained, required for accurate electromagnetic simulations.

Methods

The Insects

Australian Stingless Bee (Tetragonula carbonaria)

This bee (Tetragonula carbonaria) is native to Australia. The scanned insect was approximately 4.5 mm long, 3.0 mm wide, and has a mass of 2.5 mg.

Western Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

This bee (Apis mellifera) originated in Europe. It is the most common honeybee. The studied specimen was approximately 11.0 mm long, 5.0 mm wide, and has a mass of 900 mg.

Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria)

The studied locust (Schistocerca gregaria) was approximately 55.0 mm long, 18.0 mm wide, and has an approximate mass of 3.5 g.

Beetle (Geotrupes stercorarius)

The studied beetle is a dor beetle (Geotrupes stercorarius). The beetle was found and scanned (see below) at Aberdeen University in Scotland. The beetle’s length was 8.01 mm and its width is 4.5 mm. The insect’s mass was not measured at the time of scanning. The average mass of a dor beetle is 220 mg30.


Scanning Methods

Australian Stingless Bee

MicroCT scans were performed with a Skyscan 1172 high-resolution MicroCT system (Bruker MicroCT, Kontich, Belgium). This system has a sealed, microfocus x-ray tube with a 5 μm focal spot size. The x-rays were produced by exposing the anode to 40 kV at 100 μA. Prior to scanning, the sample containing the insect was placed on the pedestal between the x-ray source and the CCD detector. After positioning the sample, 600 2D x-ray images over 180° were captured by exposing the sample and then rotating it to the next exposure position with a slice-to-slice rotation distance of 2 μm, and a total acquisition time of approximately 60 min: each 2D image represents one slice. The scanner software then converted each slice to axial orientation and created 998 bitmap images (16 bit grey scale) which were stored for 2D viewing and 3D reconstruction as a 983 Mb dataset. The resulting isotropic voxel size was 5 μm.

Western Honeybee

A bench-top MicroCT scanner (Quantum GX MicroCT Imaging System, PerkinElmer, Hopkinton, MA, USA) at the Western Sydney University National Imaging Facility (Sydney, Australia) was used to scan the bee. The following parameters were used: 50 kVp, 80 μA, high resolution 2048 × 2048 pixels image matrix, with 20 μm isotropic voxel size. Scanning time was 3.0 s for each of the 180 projections with 3.0 s rotation in between each projection. The total scan time was approximately 18 min per whole bee. The Quantum GX, bench-top MicroCT scanner’s software was used to reconstruct the 180 projection images and then to convert them into a 2D rendered image stack of 512, 16 bit bitmap images. Bee volume data were then acquired by loading the image stack into BeeView volume rendering software (DISECT Systems Ltd, Suffolk, UK).

Desert Locust

The locust was suspended vertically in a 30-mm acrylic tube that was mounted tightly on the micro-CT’s inclination stage. This stage was used to ensure that the rotation axis was at 90° to the x-ray source. Exposure factors were: 50 kVp and 198 μA. The data were isotropic 16 bit 2000 × 2000 pixels with 1048 rows. Pixel size was 10.469 μm. Skyscan NRecon software version 1.5.1.4 (Bruker, Kontich, Belgium) was used to reconstruct the projection data31. Having obtained the projection data in the form of an image stack of 2-D TIFF files the data was viewed as a 3-D model using Disect software, DISECT Systems29.

Beetle

The beetle was scanned at Aberdeen University on a Skyscan 1072 Micro-CT scanner (Bruker, Kontich, Belgium) using 50 kV and 197 μA, at 10.46 μm pixels isotropically. The images were then converted to axial slices using Skyscan’s NRECON software (version 1.4). The produced axial image stack was further processed and analyzed using the Tomomask software (www.tomomask.com) before viewing in disect.


Development of 3D models

3D models of the insects were created using the software TomoMask (www.tomomask.com). The image stack for each insect was firstly imported into the software together with details of the pixel and slice spacing. Regions to be converted into a 3D model are defined in TomoMask by drawing a mask of the wanted regions on each slice. This can be done automatically using the Luminance mask function which creates a mask based on the grey level of the pixels. The threshold values for the mask are set to include all of the insect tissue but will exclude air cavities and very fine structures, such as wings. The 3D model (generated by a marching cubes algorithm32) is exported as an STL (STereo Lithography)33 format file. STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of colour or texture. Typically some smoothing of the models is required and this is realized using the Taubin λ/μ smoothing scheme34 implemented in MeshLab35. The Taubin method is good at removing noise whilst preserving shapes and features. Dimensions of the models and mesh integrity are finally checked (and corrected if necessary) using Netfabb (Autodesk, San Rafael, CA, USA).


Dielectric Properties

The propagation of EMFs inside and around the obtained 3D insect phantoms will depend on their dielectric properties: the relative permittivity (ε r ) and conductivity (σ). In this study, we have executed and relied on a literature review of previous measurements of dielectric properties of insects, predominantly using the coaxial-line probe method36. There exist alternative methods. A toroidal resonator was used to determine the dielectric properties of two insects at 2370 MHz37. Dielectric properties of Rice Weevils (Sitophilus oryzae) are obtained using the coaxial probe method for frequencies from 5 × 104–2 × 1010 Hz2. The same technique was used on three other insects: the Red Flour Beetle (Tribolium castaneum), the Sawtooth Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis), and the Lesser Grain Borer (Rhyzopertha dominica), from 0.2–20 GHz36. The same method was also used to measure dielectric properties of four insects: the Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella), the Indian Mealmoth (Plodia interpunctella), the Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens), and the Navel Orange Worm (Amyelois transitella) from 27–1800 MHz6. Coaxial measurements on a Colorado Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) were performed from 0.1–26.5 GHz and used to derive a fit to the measurement data38.

We have pooled the data series, real and imaginary part of ε r as a function of frequency, obtained by6,36,38 and interpolated them from 2–120 GHz in steps of 0.1 GHz. We have then averaged over all available data at every frequency steps considered in the simulations.


Numerical Simulations

The Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) technique implemented in the commercial simulation software Sim4life (ZMT, Zurich, Switzerland) is used to evaluate absorption of RF-EMFs inside the insects as a function of frequency. This technique is commonly used to determine absorption of RF-EMF in heterogeneous human body models3. The FDTD method requires one to discretize the simulation domain using a three-dimensional grid. The simulation domain is divided in a number of cubes (discretized) with spatial extends that are defined by the spatial grid steps in the simulation domain. RF-EMFs can be incident from any direction. Therefore, we have chosen to work with 12 incident plane waves with a root-mean-squared electric field strength of 1 V/m, illustrated in Fig. 1, along 6 directions defined by Cartesian axes, with two orthogonal polarizations of the incident RF-EMFs along each axis.

Figure 1
Figure 1

Illustration of the RF-EMF exposure set up. The insect (Beetle shown here in pink) is exposed to twelve RF plane waves incident from six directions along the positive and negative directions of the Cartesian axes shown on the bottom left with two orthogonal polarizations for each direction. The twelve wave vectors k¯i/jk¯i/j are indicated in blue (dashed arrows), while the polarization of the incident electric fields E¯¯¯iE¯i are indicated in red. i and j indicate the configuration number, from 1 to 12.

The exposure was modeled using single frequency sinusoidal (harmonic) continuous plane waves. We did not take into account a potential modulation of the waves, which might be present in real telecommunication signals. This same technique has previously been used to evaluate the frequency dependence of RF absorption in the human body3. Simulations were executed for sinusoidal plane waves at 7 harmonic (single) frequencies: 2, 3, 6, 12, 24, 60, and 120 GHz. This resulted in a dataset of 4 (insects) ×7 (frequencies) ×12 (plane waves: 6 angles of incidence ×2 polarizations) = 336 simulations.

The Australian Stingless Bee, the Western Honey Bee, and the Beetle were discretized with steps of 0.05 mm in each direction, while the larger Locust was discretized with steps of 0.2 mm in each direction at frequencies below 60 GHz and a step of 0.1 mm at 60 GHz and 120 GHz. These spatial steps provided a balance between simulation time (which depends on the number of grid steps and the relative grid step size in comparison to the wavelength) and spatial resolution of the insects’ features. A stable FDTD simulation yields reproducible results that converge over time. The quantities determined using the FDTD algorithm should converge to a constant value as the simulation progresses in time. After a certain simulation time, these values will remain constant, this is referred to as a steady state. A grid step smaller than one tenth of the smallest wavelength in the simulation domain is necessary for a stable FDTD simulation39. This is a requirement of the FDTD algorithm39 and remains valid in all our simulations. The smallest wavelength in tissue (λ/εr−−√)(λ/εr) is 1.1 mm at 120 GHz. At this frequency we used grid steps of 0.05 mm (0.045×λ/εr−−√)(≤0.045×λ/εr) for all insects, except for the locust where we used 0.1 mm (0.09×λ/εr−−√)(≤0.09×λ/εr).

We ensured that the grid steps were small enough to prevent disconnections in the models. All insects were considered as consisting of homogeneous tissue with frequency-dependent dielectric parameters obtained as an average of the values we found in literature (previous section). This is an approximation, since real insects have heterogeneous tissue properties. Each simulation was executed until a steady state was reached. The number of periods necessary to reach a steady state solution depended on the studied insect and frequency and was between 20–80. This was controlled by temporal monitoring of the electric field strength along a line in the simulation domain until it reached a steady state. Additionally, the chosen number of simulation periods allowed for propagation of at least 3 times the length of the insects’ diagonal (see Table 1).

Table 1 Dimensions of the studied insect models along the different axes shown in Fig. 1.

After every simulation, the absorbed RF-EMF power (P abs ) in the insect was extracted. The P abs is calculated as the product of the conductivity and the squared electric field strength integrated over the volume of the insect. The whole-body averaged specific absorption rate can be obtained by dividing P abs by the insects’ mass (assuming a homogeneous mass density). Absorbed RF-EMF power is generally used as a proxy for dielectric tissue heating10. We have not executed full thermal simulations due to uncertainties on the specific heat capacities of the insects and heat dissipation mechanisms.

Results

3D Models

Figure 2 shows the used 3D models obtained using micro-CT scanning of four insects.

Figure 2
Figure 2

Frontal, side, and Top view of the four studied insects. (a) Australian Stingless Bee, (b) Western Honeybee, (c) Beetle, and (d) Locust.

Dielectric Properties

Figure 3 shows the imaginary and real parts of ε r obtained by averaging those values that were available in6,36,38. The real part is positive and decreases with frequency, while the imaginary part is negative (lossy media) and shows a minimum between 10–20 GHz. These are in line with the Debye dielectric curves proposed in38. Figure 3 adds further perspective by showing the corresponding conductivity in (S/m) and the RF penetration depth.

Figure 3
Figure 3

From top to bottom: Real part of the used dielectric permittivity, Imaginary part of the used dielectric permittivity, and conductivity with RF-EMF penetration depth as an inset. Markers show measurements obtained from literature. The black line with circular markers shows the average over the available data series at those frequencies.

Numerical Simulations

Figure 4 illustrates the frequency dependence of the absorption of RF-EMFs in the Western Honeybee in terms of the ratio of the electric field strength inside the insect to the maximum electric field in the simulation domain. At the currently used frequencies for telecommunication (<6 GHz), the wavelength is relatively large compared to the insects and the waves do not penetrate into the insects, which results in lower Pabs values. At 12–24 GHz, the fields penetrate more and more into the insect as the wavelength becomes comparable to the insects’ size and the conductivity increases as well. At the highest studied frequencies, the fields penetrate less deep into the insect, but their amplitude is higher, resulting in a similar or slightly lower P abs .

Figure 4
Figure 4

Normalized Electric field strength (dB) in a mid-transverse cross section of the Western Honey Bee as a function of frequency for a single plane wave incident from below with polarization orthogonal to the shown plane (No. 5 in Fig. 1). Normalization was executed for each simulation separately, i.e. E max can be different in each subfigure.

Figure 5 shows the P abs linearly averaged over all twelve plane waves as a function of frequency for all studied insects. The absorbed power increases with increasing frequency from 2–6 GHz for all insects under exposure at a constant incident power density or incident electric field strength of 1 V/m. The absorbed power in the Locust, the largest studied insect, decreases slightly at the studied frequencies >6 GHz, but remains higher than at 2 and 3 GHz. The Western Honeybee shows an increase up to 12 GHz, followed by a slight decrease up to 120 GHz (Pabs remains more than 10× higher than <6 GHz). The smaller Australian Stingless Bee shows an increase of P abs with frequency up to 60 GHz and a slight decrease at 120 GHz. The Pabs in the Beetle increases until 24 GHz and slightly decreases at higher frequencies.

Figure 5
Figure 5

P abs for an incident field strength of 1 V/m as a function of frequency for all studied insects. The markers indicate the average over all twelve plane waves at each of the simulated frequencies, while the whiskers indicate the minimal and maximal Pabs values obtained during the simulations.

Table 1 lists the dimensions of the different studied insects, compared to the wavelength λ-range in which the maximal Pabs will be located. The Pabs is simulated for discrete frequency steps. Therefore, the λ maxthat corresponds to the maximum P abs is located in between the wavelength steps right below and above the wavelength step that corresponds to the maximum simulated P abs , see Fig. 4. The main diagonal of the insects’ bounding box is within the range in which the wavelength of maximal absorption λ max is located for three out of the four studied insects. This indicates that the absorption is (partly) determined by the size of the insects.

Numerical simulations are never the same as reality and there are always uncertainties associated with any EM simulation technique. We report the following sources of uncertainty: model variations and variation on dielectric properties.

The insect models are scanned with a resolution of 20 μm, 10.5 μm, 10.5 μm, and 5 μm, for the Honey Bee, the Locust, the Beetle, and the Australian Stingless Bee, respectively. These are 40%, 5–10%, 21%, and 10% of the spatial grid step used in the simulations of the Honey Bee (0.05 mm), the Locust (0.1–0.2 mm), the Beetle (0.05 mm), and the Australian Stingless Bee (0.05 mm), respectively. This indicates that the grid step is dominant in determining the spatial extends of the used models and not the resolution of the scanning method. In order to investigate the effect of the chosen grid step on the obtained P absvalues, we have executed the simulation with configuration 9 (Fig. 1) at 120 GHz with a maximal grid step that is half of the grid step used in our simulations using all four studied insects. We assume the largest effect of grid step size at the highest frequency. A 50% reduction in grid step (more accurate modelling) resulted in deviations of 1.1%, 2.5%, 0.32%, and 0.24%, for the Honey Bee, the Locust, the Beetle, and the Australian Stingless Bee, respectively. These deviations are small in comparison to the variations as a function of frequency, see Fig. 5, and the uncertainty caused by the dielectric parameters, see the next paragraph.

Deviations on ε r will influence P abs : the real part of ε r will (partly) determine the magnitude of the internal electric fields, while P abs scales linearly with conductivity. The maximal relative deviations on the real and imaginary part of ε r are (−13, +36)% and (−40, +36)%, respectively, which occur between 2–3 GHz. We have executed a simulation using configuration 1 at 2 GHz for the Beetle phantom, shown in Fig. 1, using five different sets of dielectric properties accounting for the deviations mentioned above: [Re(ε r ), Im(ε r )], [1.36 × Re(ε r ), 1.36 × Im(ε r )], [1.36 × Re(ε r ), 0.6 × Im(ε r )], [0.87 × Re(ε r ), 1.36 × Im(ε r )], and [0.87 × Re(ε r ), 0.6 × Im(ε r )], in order to determine the effect of the uncertainty of dielectric properties on P abs . We found maximal relative deviations of [−57, +59]% relative to the value obtained using [Re(ε r ), Im(ε r )]. These deviations are small in comparison to the variations as a function of frequency, see Fig. 5.

Previous studies have indicated that large differences in dielectric properties might exist between adult insects and larvae40. Worst-case deviations of [Re(ε r )/7, Im(ε r )/5] at 5 GHz and [Re(ε r )/6, Im(ε r )/8] at 15 GHz were observed in40. We have executed simulations of configuration 1 using the beetle (shown in Fig. 1) at 6 GHz and 12 GHzwhere we have applied these reduced dielectric parameters. We found an increase in P abs of 4% at 6 GHz and a decrease of 66% in P abs at 12 GHz. Figure 5 shows that these variations are smaller than the variations we observed for varying angles of incidence at a fixed frequency.

Discussion

In this study, we have evaluated the absorption of RF-EMFs in insects as a function of frequency. To this aim, we obtained novel insect models using micro-CT imaging, which were used in FDTD simulations. In these simulations they were exposed to plane waves incident from six directions and two polarizations.

The frequency of the incident harmonic plane waves was varied from 2–120 GHz and resulted in P abs as a function of frequency.

Previous studies have shown that Micro-CT imaging can be successfully used as a non-invasive technique to accurately scan insects and develop 3D models with micrometer resolution29,41. Models with micrometer resolution are necessary to obtain accurate results in FDTD simulations at 120 GHz (λ = 2.5 mm), since a discretization of λ/10 in the simulation domain is recommended to obtain stable results39. It has been demonstrated for human body models that real anatomical models generally result in more accurate and realistic results than approximate models3,25,28. Therefore, we also expect our real insect models to lead to more accurate results regarding absorbed RF power than, for example, cylindrical phantoms with different diameters and heights, which were used in previous studies of RF exposure of insects42.

The dielectric properties that were assigned to the studied insects were obtained from an interpolation of data found in literature. Ideally, the simulations should be executed with dielectric properties measured in the actual insects that were used to create the models. Figure 3 does show that most insects show a similar frequency behavior, which we have averaged by using an interpolation over values listed in literature.

Our numerical simulations show that the absorption of RF-EMFs in the insect models is frequency dependent. The P abs is smallest at the lowest studied frequencies 2 GHz and 3 GHz, for all insects. P abs shows a peak, which depends on the size and/or mass of the insects. The three smaller insects show their maximum at a frequency higher than 6 GHz: 60 GHz, 24 GHz, and 12 GHz for the Australian Stingless Bee, the Beetle, and the Honey Bee, respectively. The Locust shows a maximum at 6 GHz. We attribute this frequency behavior to two effects: first, the efficiency of RF-EMFs coupling into the models is maximal at frequencies comparable to the length of the insects, as Table 1illustrates. Second, the interpolation of the imaginary part of the dielectric constant shows a minimum at 12 GHz, which means that RF-EMFs can cause the highest local SAR at these frequencies, see Fig. 3.

The difference between the maximal and minimal Pabs found at one frequency for different angles of incidence is smaller at the frequencies >6 GHz, than at the frequencies <6 GHz, in particular for the three smaller insects. This indicates that the angle of incidence is less important at these frequencies. This suggests that there is little difference in efficiency when depositing RF power in the studied insects with a single plane wave compared to depositing the same power using uncorrelated sources or reflections coming from all directions. In this study, we have only used single plane-wave simulations to determine Pabs . The averaging over P abs does not include interference effects, which might result in lower (destructive interference) or higher (constructive interference) bounds on the P abs values shown in Fig. 5.

A similar frequency behavior (increase, peak, decrease, and dependency on body size) is observed in human body models3,4. However, at frequencies which are roughly a factor 100–1000 times lower, because the human body is approximately the same order of magnitude larger than that of the studied insects. For example, the heterogeneous adult human body model Duke shows an increase in Pabs from 10 MHz–80 MHz, a peak between 80 MHz–90 MHz, followed by a decrease in Pabs (and a second peak at higher frequencies)3. The smaller child phantom Thelonius shows an increase in Pabs from 10 MHz–100 MHz, a peak between 100 MHz–200 MHz, followed by a decrease in P abs 3.

In order to quantify the effect of a shift to higher telecommunication frequencies on P abs , one can use the data presented in Fig. 5. If we assume an incident E rms  = 1 V/m which is uniformly distributed over 2, 3, and 6 GHz, we find average P abs values of 0.71 nW, 2.6 nW, 5.7 nW, and 990 nW, for the Australian Stingless Bee, the Beetle, the Honey Bee, and the Locust, respectively. If we assume that 10% of this incident field would be evenly distributed over the frequencies above 6 GHz, the P absincreases to 2.6 nW, 7.7 nW, 14 nW, and 1.0 μW, for the Australian Stingless Bee, the Beetle, the Honey Bee, and the Locust, respectively. These are increases of 370%, 290%, 240%, and 3%, respectively. Note that this is a conservative estimation of the increase in P abs , since we assume a constant incident field and a uniform distribution of the currently used frequencies <6 GHz. Nowadays, most of the incident power density used for telecommunication is located at frequencies ≤2 GHz1, where all insects show a minimal P abs . In an isolated approximation (no convection or conduction) and under the assumption of unchanging mass and specific heat capacitance, the rate of temperature increase scales linearly with increasing P abs . As an example, for the Australian Stingless Bee (mass = 2.5 mg) a P abs of 3 × 10–8 W is estimated for an incident field strength of 1 V/m at 60 GHz. Under the assumption that the insect has a specific heat capacity equal to that of water (4179 J/K kg43), this RF-EMF exposure would result in a temperature increase of 3 × 10–6 K/s, in an isolated approximation.

Strengths and Limitations

Our paper has several clear strengths and contributions to the state of the art in literature. To our knowledge, this is the only paper in which real insects are used to create models for numerical simulations. Moreover, this is the first paper that investigates the exposure of electric fields with RF frequencies associated with 5 G wireless communication and that shows that the absorbed power in insects is expected to increase in unchanged environmental conditions with respect to the one of current wireless communication systems (3 G and 4 G). A disadvantage of our study is the use of homogeneous models in the simulations, whereas real insects will have heterogeneous tissue parameters. Variations on dielectric parameters can exist on a scale that is smaller than the spatial resolution that any scanning method can currently obtain44. The FDTD method requires a division of the simulation domain in a number of voxels, which each have to be assigned homogeneous dielectric properties39. Any numerical simulation will be an approximation of reality. To our knowledge, the FDTD method, although faced with uncertainties3,39,44 is the best simulation method currently available to estimate the quantities studied in this manuscript. This paper is limited to electromagnetic dosimetry, which is focused on determining absorbed powers values. These can be used as an input in thermal modelling of the insects. However, a full thermal analysis was outside the scope of this paper. Finally, we have included variations in angles and polarizations of incident waves. However, we have only looked at a limited number of plane waves, whereas real exposure is composed of plane waves from any direction.

Future Research

In our future research, we would like to model more insects to get a better understanding of the frequency dependence of the absorbed RF-EMF power as a function of insect size. We would also like to develop heterogeneous insect models with tissue-specific dielectric parameters. Finally, our goal is to determine the effect of absorption of RF-EMFs on the core temperature of insects as a function of frequency. To this aim, we want to use infrared temperature measurements of insects exposed to high electromagnetic fields as function of frequency.

Conclusions

We investigated the absorbed radio-frequency electromagnetic power in four different real insects as a function of frequency from 2–120 GHz. Micro-CT imaging was used to obtain realistic models of real insects. These models were assigned dielectric parameters obtained from literature and used in finite-difference time-domain simulations. All insects show a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency with a peak frequency that depends on their size and dielectric properties. The insects show a maximum in absorbed radio frequency power at wavelengths that are comparable to their body size. They show a general increase in absorbed radio-frequency power above 6 GHz (until the frequencies where the wavelengths are comparable to their body size), which indicates that if the used power densities do not decrease, but shift (partly) to higher frequencies, the absorption in the studied insects will increase as well. A shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%. This could lead to changes in insect behaviour, physiology, and morphology over time due to an increase in body temperatures, from dielectric heating. The studied insects that are smaller than 1 cm show a peak in absorption at frequencies (above 6 GHz), which are currently not often used for telecommunication, but are planned to be used in the next generation of wireless telecommunication systems. At frequencies above the peak frequency (smaller wavelengths) the absorbed power decreases slightly.

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Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 665501 with the research Foundation Flanders (FWO). A.T. is an FWO [PEGASUS]2 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow. The Eva Crane Trust (Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number: 1175343) has partly funded the insect data collection, which was used for this study by M.K.G.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Information Technology, Ghent University – imec, Ghent, B-9052, Belgium

    • Arno Thielens
    • , Luc Martens
    •  & Wout Joseph
  2. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Berkeley, CA, 94704, USA

    • Arno Thielens
  3. Department of Science and Technology, Faculty of Health and Science, University of Suffolk, Ipswitch, IP30AQ, United Kingdom

    • Duncan Bell
  4. Newbourne Solutions Ltd, Newbourne, Woodbridge, IP12 4NR, United Kingdom

    • David B. Mortimore
  5. Charles Sturt University, Medical Imaging, SDHS, Faculty of Science, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia

    • Mark K. Greco

Contributions

A.T. conducted the numerical simulations, analyzed the results, and drafted the manuscript, M.K.G., D.B., and, D.B.M. conducted the imaging and post processing of the imaging. W.J. and L.M. contributed to analyzing the methodology and results. All authors reviewed the manuscript and provided input to the different sections.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Arno Thielens.

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