Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation

    Back to: What Causes ES?

Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation

Mainstream scientific literature has long established that Non-Ionizing Radiation can affect humans and wildlife both positively and negatively at non-thermal levels. Some of the many mechanisms are now well known, including cryptochromes, radical pairs, voltage-gated channels, magnetite etc. 

Nevertheless, some commentators remain unaware of the established scientific evidence and claim incorrectly that Non-Ionizing Radiation cannot have any adverse effect on humans or wildlife except heating because it lacks the energy to cause ionization like Ionizing Radiation. This hypothesis is invalid on many counts. Some are as follows.

Non-thermal and Thermal effects

  • It has been known since 1930 that non-thermal effects are the primary effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation. Heating is one of its secondary effects.
  • Therefore, in 1935 the USSR adopted non-thermal safety guidelines. Many countries have followed the USSR since then, but the USA and a few countries in Europe and elsewhere follow the FCC and ICNIRP. The FCC and ICNIRP still cling to Schwan's mistaken hypothesis of 1953 that the only adverse effect of RFR is heating.
  • Since 2008 the majority of scientists in the west have followed scientists in the east in accepting non-thermal effects. These are fundamental to numerous therapeutic procedures common in hospitals and also to much electronic warfare which now depends on generating the specific non-thermal electrosensitivity symptoms known since 1932.
  • Since 2002 the ICNIRP in its Principles has accepted that Non-Ionizing Radiation can harm some people who need non-thermal guidelines, and not its thermal guidelines. 

Most Cancer is Not Caused by Ionizing Radiation

  • Very few cancers are caused directly by Ionizing Radiation, perhaps about 1%. Most, up to 99%, are caused by other factors, including viruses, toxic chemicals and toxic Non-Ionizing Radiation. 

Bystander Effect

  • It is well established that the stochastic incidence of direct hits by Ionizing Radiation is not the only or main cause of the 1% of cancers caused by just direct Ionizing Radiation. Many result from the bystander effect, whereby nearby cells show chromosomal instability. This is also true of Non-Ionizing Radiation and effects, where magnetic fields can have a bystander effect. 

Genomic Instability

  • Radiation damage is not always apparent at first in the immediate cell. Often it is not until after many cell divisions that DNA damage becomes evident, a process known as genomic instability. This can be caused by Ionizing Radiation, chemicals and Non-Ionizing Radiation when associated with magnetic fields. 

DNA Damage

  • It has been known since 1984 that Non-Ionizing Radiation, including short-term changes in the earth's magnetic field, can cause DNA damage, often considered a precursor to cancer initiation. Other studies have suggested that DNA damage is magnified through the inhibition of DNA repair mechanisms. In addition, it has been shown the DNA can act as a fractal antenna.
  • One proposal is that DNA damage could provide a means of determining International Safety Guidelines for exposure to Non-Ionizing Radiation. This would be much more accurate than the invalidated thermal hypothesis still used by the FCC and ICNIRP based on Schwan's mistake of 1953.


Quantum Energy and Single or Multiple Photons 

  • The argument that a single photon lacks the energy of Ionizing Radiation does not apply to Non-Ionizing Radiation where several photons acting coherently can cause ionization. All laser applications depend on Non-Ionizing Radiation in the form of coherently polarized light. This involves numerous photons having a coherent effect simultaneously which can result in ionization.

Photon Biofield and Communication

  • Photons are released by cells for intercellular communication to change bodily functions as a result of numerous exogenous and endogenous stimulation. The causes include heat shock, oxidative stress and ROS, all of which can be caused by exogenous EMFs. Phosphenes are caused by photon emission which can be caused by oxidative stress. Mitochondrial respiration can also cause photon emission.

Radical Pair Mechanism

  • In the radical pair mechanism low-level magnetic fields can alter the spin state of pairs of free radicals from singlet to triplet state. This occurs at energy levels ten million times below thermal levels. This radical pair mechanism can explain effects on human cryptochromes from magnetic fields, helping to explain why magnetoreception has been identified in humans.

Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mechanism

  • Biological interactions include electromagnetic resonances between interacting biomolecules at specific electromagnetic frequencies within the infra-red, visible and ultra-violet frequency ranges, where each interaction can be identified by the certain frequency critical for resonant activation of specific biological activities of proteins and DNA. 

Vibrational Energy and the Biofield

  • There are two forms of vibrational energy at non-ionizing levels.
    1. Endogenous. When atoms experience translation, rotation or vibration movement, they produce electromagnetic radiation evident from acoustic and vibrational spectroscopy. Similarly, when particles in cells vibrate, they emit electromagnetic radiation which forms an electromagnetic field around the organism or human body. Similarly, when psychological and emotional energies progress through the body as electrical impulses along biological or neural and energy or meridian pathways, these transmissions also cause electromagnetic fields to radiate outside the body. Nerves and nerve synapses carry electrical impulses as large as 100 millivolts (mV) for neuron firings, and as large as 3 volts for motor impulses to move the muscles. These electrical impulses radiate large amounts of electromagnetic energy.
    2. Exogenous. When non-ionizing radiation enters the body it also causes atoms to vibrate, with similar effects. 
    These effects occur particularly at 62-68 MHz, the biofield frequency, and 2-8 Hz, the alpha frequency of the brain, and at higher resonances.
    ​Thus measurement of the external biofield aura can reveal mental processes and decisions as soon as or earlier than electrical impulses become detectable within the brain.

Sensitivity to Geomagnetic Disturbances

  • Human and all other life is sensitive to, and depends on, environmental or geomagnetic non-thermal Non-Ionizing Radiation.  The sensitivity of plants to geomagnetic disturbance caused by solar activity has been known since 1801 and of humans since the 1860s. Since the levels of geomagnetic disturbance which produce proven biological effects are comparatively low compared with man-made EM fields and radiation, towards 1-10 nanoTesla, at 3-12 V/m and from 1 Hz, it is obvious that man-made electric and magnetic fields can easily cause bioeffects at similarly low levels or lower, especially given effects of polarization, frequency, amplitude and pulsed modulation. 

Endogenous Non-Ionizing Radiation

  • Humans, like all living organisms, rely on endogenous Non-Ionizing Radiation, especially in cellular communications by DC and AC electric currents and by photonic emissions and reception. Wounds, pathological states such as disease and cancer, and death produce photonic emissions which are increasingly used to assess the pathophysiological state of the body and also, in the case of humans, of its psychological state.  

Many hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show how these mechanisms work. It is entirely invalid to suggest that Non-Ionizing Radiation cannot affect human health adversely at non-thermal levels, because this scientific evidence over hundreds of years has proved consistently and convincing that it can.

Leading authorities now accept that Non-Ionizing Radiation at non-thermal levels can and does cause cancer:

  • The WHO's IARC classifies both ELF and RFR at non-thermal levels of non-ionzing radiation as 2B human carcinogens.
  • The US FDA's NTP study found 'clear evidence' that RFR from cellphones at non-thermal levels of non-ionzing radiation causes cancer.

          See: Mechanisms and Pathways

Some examples of invalid claims on Ionizing Radiation and Non-Ionizing Radiation: 

  • American Cancer Society:
    "RF waves don’t have enough energy to damage DNA directly. Because of this, it’s not clear how RF radiation might be able to cause cancer."
    American Cancer Society:
    "Non-ionizing radiation has enough energy to move atoms around or make them vibrate, but not enough to directly damage DNA. ELF radiation has even lower energy than other types of non-ionizing radiation like radiofrequency radiation, visible light, and infrared."
    "Non-ionising radiation is found at the long wavelength end of the spectrum and may have enough energy to excite molecules and atoms causing then to vibrate faster. This is very obvious in a microwave oven where the radiation causes water molecules to vibrate faster creating heat."
    "It is the assessment of ARPANSA and other national and international health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), that there is no established scientific evidence that the use of mobile phones causes any health effects. However the possibility of harm cannot be completely ruled out. Although subtle biological effects caused by RF EME emitted from mobile phones have been reported in some scientific studies, there is no established evidence that these effects lead to adverse health outcomes."
  • CCOHC, Health Canada:
    "Non-ionizing radiation is not able to break the chemical bonds in your body."
  • CDC:
    "Put simply, non-ionizing radiation differs from ionizing radiation in the way it acts on materials like air, water, and living tissue. Unlike x-rays and other forms of ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation does not have enough energy to remove electrons from atoms and molecules. Non-ionizing radiation can heat substances. For example, the microwave radiation inside a microwave oven heats water and food rapidly."
  • FCC:
    "currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses."
  • Full Fact:
    "These radio waves are non-ionising, meaning they don’t damage the DNA inside cells, as X-rays, gamma rays and UV rays are able to do."
    Full Fact:
    "Radio waves are a small part of a wider electromagnetic spectrum of waves, which all emit energy called electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves are found at the low-frequency end of the spectrum and—alongside microwaves, visible light and heat—only produce non-ionising radiation. This means that these waves cannot damage the DNA inside cells, which is how waves with higher frequencies (such as x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet light) are thought to cause cancer.
    ... the level of radiation from 5G is far below levels of electromagnetic radiation thought to cause damage to cells in the human body."

  • GSMA:
    "To date no health risks have been established from exposure to the low-level radio signals used for mobile communications.  These findings are supported by expert groups, public health agencies and the World Health Organisation (WHO)."
    "NIR [Non-Ionizing Radiation] has less energy than ionizing radiation and cannot remove electrons from atoms, i.e. NIR can not ionize (except for part of the UV band)."
    "RF EMF fields have the ability to penetrate into the body (the higher the frequency, the lower the depth of penetration), with the effect of this being a temperature rise in body tissue." 
    "Acute and long-term effects of RF EMF exposure from the use of mobile phones have been studied extensively without showing any conclusive evidence of adverse health effects."
    BUT, inconsistent with the claim of public safety:
    ICNIRP Principles:
    "It should be noted, however, that the exposure guidelines are not meant to be protective for people with certain clinically substantiated diseases or conditions that may make them more susceptible to harm from non-ionizing radiation"

    "it is not always easy to draw a clear distinction between biological and adverse health effects, and indeed this can vary depending on individual susceptibility to specific situations. An example is sensory effects from nonionizing radiation exposures under certain circumstances, such as  ... Such perceptions may sometimes lead to discomfort and annoyance. ICNIRP does not consider discomfort and annoyance to be adverse health effects by themselves, but, in some cases, annoyance may lead to adverse health effects by compromising well-being. The exposure circumstances under which discomfort and annoyance occur vary between individuals."
  • Scientific American:
    "RFR is undoubtedly nonionizing, being thousands of times less energetic than even visible light. To put it in context, the weakest visible light is more than 17,000 times more energetic than the highest-energy 5G photon possible. Were they consistent, anti-5G activists should be orders of magnitude more concerned about light bulbs than cellular phones. The fact that they aren’t is indicative of a gross misunderstanding. The reality is that for RFR, there is no known plausible biophysical mechanism of action for harm, nor does the combined weight of epidemiological data support this conjecture." (Grimes DR, October 28 2019)
    Scientific American:
    "FCC and similar limits are designed to avoid established hazards of RF energy that result from excessive heating of tissue." (Foster KR, September 16 2019)​
    Scientific American:
    "These limits [FCC, adopted in the late 1990s] are based upon a behavioral change in rats exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect us from short-term heating risks due to RFR exposure. Yet, since the FCC adopted these limits based largely on research from the 1980s, the preponderance of peer-reviewed research, more than 500 studies, have found harmful biologic or health effects from exposure to RFR at intensities too low to cause significant heating. ... 
    ​The FCC’s RFR exposure limits regulate the intensity of exposure, taking into account the frequency of the carrier waves, but ignore the signaling properties of the RFR. Along with the patterning and duration of exposures, certain characteristics of the signal (e.g., pulsing, polarization) increase the biologic and health impacts of the exposure. New exposure limits are needed which account for these differential effects. Moreover, these limits should be based on a biological effect, not a change in a laboratory rat’s behavior."
      (Moskowitz JM, October 17 2019)
    Microwave News: "Open Season on 5G Critics: First NY Times, Now Scientific American" (December 6 2019, February 19 2020)

  • UK Government:
    "Radio waves belong to the category of non-ionising radiation (NIR). This is the term given to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum where there’s insufficient quantum energy to cause ionisations in living matter."
    UK Government:
    "dialectric heating ... is the dominant, and perhaps the only, mechanism needing serious consideration over the RF spectral range. ... Mild, localised hyperthermia is the most likely mechanism for any biological response."
  • World Health Organization [current information, 193]:
    "Radiofrequency waves are electromagnetic fields, and unlike ionizing radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays, can neither break chemical bonds nor cause ionization in the human body."

    "To date [2014], no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use."
    "To date [2014], research does not suggest any consistent evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to radiofrequency fields at levels below those that cause tissue heating."