Not a single US agency nor international authority has ever acted to review research on effects to wildlife and set exposure limits to ensure protections for birds, bees, trees and wildlife.
The US Department of Interior wrote a letter in 2014 detailing several published studies showing impacts of wireless radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to birds stated that, “There is a growing level of anecdotal evidence linking effects of non-thermal, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from communication towers on nesting and roosting wild birds and other wildlife…. “and “However, the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today. “
“The Federal Communications Commission also completely failed even to acknowledge, let alone respond to, comments concerning the impact of RF radiation on the environment.”
A landmark research review by U.S experts of over 1,200 studies on the effects of non ionizing radiation to wildlife entitled “Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna” published in Reviews on Environmental Health found adverse effects at even very low intensities including impacts to orientation and migration, reproduction, mating, nest, den building and survivorship. (Levitt et al., 2021a, Levitt et al., 2021b, Levitt et al., 2021c).
“A review of the ecological effects of RF-EMF” published in Environment International reviewed found RF had a significant effect on birds, insects, other vertebrates, other organisms, and plants in 70% of the studies reviewed with development and reproduction in birds and insects the most strongly affected. (Cucurachi 2013).
The research review “Electromagnetic radiation as an emerging driver factor for the decline of insects” published in Science of the Total Environment found “sufficient evidence” of effects including impacts to flight, foraging and feeding, short-term memory and mortality. (Balmori 2021)
“Current evidence indicates that exposure at levels that are found in the environment (in urban areas and near base stations) may particularly alter the receptor organs to orient in the magnetic field of the earth. These results could have important implications for migratory birds and insects, especially in urban areas, but could also apply to birds and insects in natural and protected areas where there are powerful base station emitters of radio frequencies. Therefore, more research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation in nature is needed to investigate this emerging threat.” –Alforso Balmori in Anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as an emerging threat to wildlife orientation, published in Science of the Total Environment
A 2022 Oregon State University study investigated the long-term behavioral effects to zebrafish from short term exposures to 5G midband 3.5 GHz. The researchers concluded “subtle but significant abnormal responses in RFR-exposed fish across the different assays evaluated that suggest potential long-term behavioral effects. Overall, our study suggests the impacts of RFRs on the developing brain, behavior, and the metabolome should be further explored.” Dasgupta et al 2022
A field monitoring study spanning 9 years involving over 100 trees (Waldmann-Selsam 2016) found trees sustained more damage on the side of the tree facing the antenna.
The Tree Observation Guide: Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, the Environment and Democracy by Helmut Breunig with photos and RF measurements by Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam, Alfonso Balmori and others has examples of trees over the years impacted by cell antennas.
A study on Aspen trees near Lyons, Colorado entitled “Adverse Influence of Radio Frequency Background on Trembling Aspen Seedlings” published in the International Journal of Forestry found adverse effects on growth rate and fall anthocyanin production, concluding that “results of this preliminary experiment indicate that the RF background may be adversely affecting leaf and shoot growth and inhibiting fall production of anthocyanins associated with leaf senescence in Trembling Aspen seedlings.”
An analysis of 45 peer-reviewed scientific publications (1996–2016) on changes in plants due to the non-thermal RF-EMF effects from mobile phone radiation entitled “Weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phone radiation on plants” concludes, “Our analysis demonstrates that the data from a substantial amount of the studies on RF-EMFs from mobile phones show physiological and/or morphological effects (89.9%, p < 0.001). Additionally, our analysis of the results from these reported studies demonstrates that the maize, roselle, pea, fenugreek, duckweeds, tomato, onions and mungbean plants seem to be very sensitive to RF-EMFs. Our findings also suggest that plants seem to be more responsive to certain frequencies….”
Environmental Health Trust is working to advance protections for wildlife in regards to electromagnetic radiation.
A Selection of Scientific Citations on Wildlife
- Lázaro, A. Chroni, T. Tscheulin, J. Devalez, C. Matsoukas, & T. Petanidou. (2016). Electromagnetic radiation of mobile telecommunication antennas affects the abundance and composition of wild pollinators. Journal of Insect Conservation, 20(2), 315–324. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-016-9868-8
Adelaja, O. J., Ande, A. T., Abdulraheem, G. D., Oluwakorode, I. A., Oladipo, O. A., & Oluwajobi, A. O. (2021). Distribution, diversity and abundance of some insects around a telecommunication mast in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. Bulletin of the National Research Centre, 45(1), 222.
Balmori, A. (2015). Anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as an emerging threat to wildlife orientation. Science of The Total Environment, 518–519, 58–60.
Balmori A. (2014). Electrosmog and species conservation. Science of The Total Environment, 496:314-316
Balmori A. (2022). Corneal opacity in Northern Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita) equipped with radio transmitters. Electromagnetic Biol Med.174-176.
Balmori A. (2021) Electromagnetic radiation as an emerging driver factor for the decline of insects. Science of the Total Environment. 767: 144913
Breunig, Helmut. “Tree Damage Caused By Mobile Phone Base Stations An Observation Guide.” (2017).
Borre, E. D., Joseph, W., Aminzadeh, R., Müller, P., Boone, M. N., Josipovic, I., Hashemizadeh, S., Kuster, N., Kühn, S., & Thielens, A. (2021). Radio-frequency exposure of the yellow fever mosquito (A. aegypti) from 2 to 240 GHz. PLOS Computational Biology, 17(10), e1009460.
Cucurachi, S., Tamis, W. L. M., Vijver, M. G., Peijnenburg, W. J. G. M., Bolte, J. F. B., & de Snoo, G. R. (2013). A review of the ecological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). Environment International, 51, 116–140.
Favre, D. (2011). Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping. Apidologie, 42(3), 270–279.
Fedele, G., Edwards, M. D., Bhutani, S., Hares, J. M., Murbach, M., Green, E. W., Dissel, S., Hastings, M. H., Rosato, E., & Kyriacou, C. P. (2014). Genetic analysis of circadian responses to low frequency electromagnetic fields in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genetics, 10(12), e1004804.
Fernie, K. J., & Reynolds, S. J. (2005). The effects of electromagnetic fields from power lines on avian reproductive biology and physiology: A review. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part B, Critical Reviews, 8(2), 127–140.
Halgamuge, M. N. (2017). Review: Weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phone radiation on plants. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 36(2), 213–235.
Haggerty, K. (2010). Adverse Influence of Radio Frequency Background on Trembling Aspen Seedlings: Preliminary Observations. International Journal of Forestry Research, 2010, 836278.
Hutchison, Z. L., Gill, A. B., Sigray, P., He, H., & King, J. W. (2020). Anthropogenic electromagnetic fields (EMF) influence the behaviour of bottom-dwelling marine species. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 4219.
Kaur, S., Vian, A., Chandel, S., Singh, D. H., Batish, D., & Kohli, R. (2021). Sensitivity of plants to high frequency electromagnetic radiation: Cellular mechanisms and morphological changes. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology, 20.
Lee, K.-S., Choi, J.-S., Hong, S.-Y., Son, T.-H., & Yu, K. (2008). Mobile phone electromagnetic radiation activates MAPK signaling and regulates viability in Drosophila. Bioelectromagnetics, 29(5), 371–379.
Levitt, B. B., Lai, H. C., & Manville, A. M. (2021). Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 3. Exposure standards, public policy, laws, and future directions. Reviews on Environmental Health.
Levitt, B. B., Lai, H. C., & Manville, A. M. (2022a). Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, part 1. Rising ambient EMF levels in the environment. Reviews on Environmental Health, 37(1), 81–122.
Levitt, B. B., Lai, H. C., & Manville, A. M. (2022b). Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 2 impacts: How species interact with natural and man-made EMF. Reviews on Environmental Health, 37(3), 327–406.
Li, S.-S., Zhang, Z.-Y., Yang, C.-J., Lian, H.-Y., & Cai, P. (2013). Gene expression and reproductive abilities of male Drosophila melanogaster subjected to ELF-EMF exposure. Mutation Research. Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 758(1–2), 95–103.
Lupi, D., Palamara Mesiano, M., Adani, A., Benocci, R., Giacchini, R., Parenti, P., Zambon, G., Lavazza, A., Boniotti, M. B., Bassi, S., Colombo, M., & Tremolada, P. (2021a). Combined Effects of Pesticides and Electromagnetic-Fields on Honeybees: Multi-Stress Exposure. Insects, 12(8), 716.
Lupi, D., Palamara Mesiano, M., Adani, A., Benocci, R., Giacchini, R., Parenti, P., Zambon, G., Lavazza, A., Boniotti, M. B., Bassi, S., Colombo, M., & Tremolada, P. (2021b). Combined Effects of Pesticides and Electromagnetic-Fields on Honeybees: Multi-Stress Exposure. Insects, 12(8), 716.
Manta, A. K., Papadopoulou, D., Polyzos, A. P., Fragopoulou, A. F., Skouroliakou, A. S., Thanos, D., Stravopodis, D. J., & Margaritis, L. H. (2017). Mobile-phone radiation-induced perturbation of gene-expression profiling, redox equilibrium and sporadic-apoptosis control in the ovary of Drosophila melanogaster. Fly, 11(2), 75–95.
Migdał, P., Berbeć, E., Bieńkowski, P., Plotnik, M., Murawska, A., & Latarowski, K. (2022a). Exposure to Magnetic Fields Changes the Behavioral Pattern in Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) under Laboratory Conditions. Animals: An Open Access Journal from MDPI, 12(7), 855.
Migdał, P., Berbeć, E., Bieńkowski, P., Plotnik, M., Murawska, A., & Latarowski, K. (2022b). Exposure to Magnetic Fields Changes the Behavioral Pattern in Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) under Laboratory Conditions. Animals: An Open Access Journal from MDPI, 12(7), 855.
Santhosh Kumar, S. (2018). Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in Honey BeesCaused by EMF Radiation. Bioinformation, 14(9), 421–424. https://doi.org/10.6026/97320630014521
Thielens, A., Bell, D., Mortimore, D. B., Greco, M. K., Martens, L., & Joseph, W. (2018). Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 3924. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22271-3
Thielens A, Greco MK, Verloock L, Martens L, Joseph W. Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure of Western Honey Bees. Scientific Reports. 2020 Jan 16;10(1):461.
Waldmann-Selsam, C., Balmori-de la Puente, A., Breunig, H., & Balmori, A. (2016). Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations. Science of The Total Environment, 572, 554–569.
Wang, Y., Jiang, Z., Zhang, L., Zhang, Z., Liao, Y., & Cai, P. (2022a). 3.5-GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation promotes the development of Drosophila melanogaster. Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex: 1987), 294, 118646.
Wang, Y., Jiang, Z., Zhang, L., Zhang, Z., Liao, Y., & Cai, P. (2022b). 3.5-GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation promotes the development of Drosophila melanogaster. Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex: 1987), 294, 118646.
Wang, Y., Zhang, H., Zhang, Z., Sun, B., Tang, C., Zhang, L., Jiang, Z., Ding, B., Liao, Y., & Cai, P. (2021). Simulated mobile communication frequencies (3.5 GHz) emitted by a signal generator affects the sleep of Drosophila melanogaster. Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex: 1987), 283, 117087.
Wiltschko, R., Thalau, P., Gehring, D., Nießner, C., Ritz, T., & Wiltschko, W. (2015). Magnetoreception in birds: The effect of radio-frequency fields. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 12(103), 20141103.