Radiofrequencies in Cars: A public health threat
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a docket make a rule which will require V2V Communication in all new vehicles. V2V Communication utilizes a transmitter in each vehicle to continuously signal oncoming vehicles as to your position, speed and direction of travel. It is supposed to be a safety feature. Please see this notice in the Federal Register for more information. So far the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has moved forward with complete disregard to the very real public health hazard that continuous exposure to yet another source of radiofrequency (microwave) radiation will cause.
File a comment with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in opposition to requiring V2V technology in all new vehicles (Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0126). Comments are due by April 12, 2017. Submit comment at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NHTSA_FRDOC_0001-1752. Cars have both "dirty" electricity and transmitters. Both can cause functional impairment and, therefore, increase the risk of accidents. Please read the Background section below for an explanation of why radiofrequency (RF) exposure in cars from both "dirty" electricity and transmitters, including radiation-emitting assistive driving technology (e.g. V2V, etc.), is a bad idea.
1. Use a meter to measure radiofrequency radiation emitted by wireless technology to check your car for transmitters.
2. Remove fuses for transmitters installed in your car in consultation with your car's manual. Alternatively, your can have the dealer remove or disconnect the transmitters.
3. Use a portable battery operated transistor radio to check for electrically polluting technologies (e.g. stereos, video systems, GPS systems, windshield wiper motors, air re-circulators, unfiltered and unshielded spark plugs in gas engines, ignition switches, alternators, fuel pumps, and a variety of other DC motors which may contribute RF that is conducted around the car on wires and returned on the frame.) Please use great care - do not touch radio antenna to electrical or moving parts or injury can result - or have a professional check for the polluting devices. Radiofrequency pollution often radiates from the polluting device and wires, leading to recognized RF interference problems and unrecognized RF health problems. Older radios which have not been "hardened" to prevent interference from RF "noise" work best for this step. It can be a challenge to track down the culprits. Start in the AM range, preferably inside an RF-blocking space like a steel shed, and move through the AM dial. Then, try FM. Pulling non-essential fuses carefully while listening for changes in the RF "noise" on the radio while the car key is in the accessories position can be helpful in tracking down the source. If you do this for too long, there is the potential for draining the battery. (Be sure not to run the car in a closed space since carbon monoxide poisoning can result.)
4. Remove fuses for non-essential electrically polluting devices like the inverter which provides 60 Hz electricity to AC outlets.
5. Filter the alternator using capacitive filters. Careful selection of capacitors is important. According to what I have read, capacitors must be motor-run or rated for continuous usage and preferably rated for 4 times the voltage of the system they will be installed in so that they can withstand the large transients (RF) they will be filtering. We have used Panasonic Dry Film 20microFarad 180VAC capacitors (JS181206-AA) connected from the hot to the ground on the alternator for years. On vehicles where the alternator output leads are difficult to access, we have installed the filters from the positive to neutral on the battery. The suggestion for this approach was provided in the 1996 edition of Radio Frequency Interference: How to find and fix it published by the American Radio Relay League (ISBN 0-87259-375-4). We have since added some smaller capacitors, as discussed in Radio Frequency Interference: How to find and fix it.
6. Carefully use ferrites, capacitive filters, and shielding to minimize RF exposure from essential components of the car that are "Incidental" and "Unintentional" Radiators. You may need a professional to do this. See these links for directions for filtering DC motors like the ones used in windshield wipers and fan blowers: https://www.pololu.com/docs/0J15/9 point number nine "Dealing with Motor Noise" and http://www.kerrywong.com/2012/01/26/a-short-guide-on-motor-electrical-noise-reduction/ and http://robotics.stackexchange.com/questions/267/why-are-capacitors-added-to-motors-in-parallel-what-is-their-purpose and http://www.recentscientific.com/sites/default/files/2485.pdf
7. After care has been taken to minimize RF emissions from inside the vehicle, it may be helpful to install shielding on the vehicle's windows to block RF radiation out. This can be done using SD100 from Signals Defense or some other RF-blocking window film. Do NOT shield your windows if wireless will be used in the car.
Radiofrequency Pollution in Cars
Cars have always contained RF generating elements. FCC regulates what are called "Incidental" and "Unintentional" Radiators, as well as "Unlicensed Intentional" Radiators, Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) Radiators, and Licensed Radiators. The regulations governing "Incidental" and "Unintentional" radiators are not related to protecting human health at all. They are solely designed to prevent RF interference with other devices. These regulations have encouraged "hardening" of electronics receiving the RF interference almost as much as reducing "Incidental" and "Unintentional" RF emissions.
We now know that the human body is extremely sensitive to that same interference. Since the human body cannot be "hardened" to prevent "noise" (a source of radiofrequency (RF) exposure) from affecting it, regulations need to be tightened substantially to make technology safe. Currently, polluting technology is causing serious health problems. Cars are one area that is becoming particularly problematic.
For safety reasons, regulations governing "Intentional", "Unintentional", and "Incidental" radiators in cars need much tighter regulatory control.
Brief General Information about Hazards of Radiofrequency Radiation
There is increasing consensus within the research community that existing RF limits are not protective. Two hundred twenty scientists from 42 countries with over 2,000 peer-reviewed journal articles to their collective credit in the field of biological impacts from RF/EMF appealed to the U.N. and the WHO for greater precautions with regard to exposures from wireless technologies (http://www.emfscientist.org). Many other nations are taking precautionary action (http://ehtrust.org/policy/international-policy-actions-on-wireless/), the U.S. ought to be as well.
Even professional organizations are beginning to grudgingly acknowledge the inadequacy of the limits for protecting the public health of the population. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) states:
After the NTP results were released, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) posted an article with comments from Kenneth Foster of the IEEE committee that reviews RF radiation exposure limits:
Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette (http://microondes.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/robert_c_kane_cellular_telephone_russian_roulette.pdf), written by Robert C. Kane, a former Motorola engineer, discusses the fact that numerous studies show that significant biological effects occur at such low levels that useful wireless technology is by definition unsafe wireless technology. He further discusses the problem of microscopic, but biologically harmful hot spots which occur at levels far below those normally considered to cause thermal harm.
Radiofrequency Pollution a Serious Safety Issue in Cars
Cardiac arrhythmias can be caused by wireless technology. Recent replicated double blind studies show that a cordless phone base station operating at WiFi frequencies can cause cardiac arrhythmias in susceptible individuals (Havas et al 2010)(Havas and Marrongelle 2013)(Havas 2013). This short video discusses the cardiac effect that wireless can have-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EI9fZX4iww. View this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv1E9IXUd6M/a> to see further discussion. You can read the studies at http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Havas-HRV-Ramazzini.pdf and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23675629#.
A recent study in rabbits found that not only did WiFi change heart function parameters, but it dramatically changed the cardiac effects of both dopamine and epinephrine (Saili et al 2015). A mouse cardiac study showed that mice exposed to RF radiation from a cellphone had significantly lower vitamin D levels, low calcium, low antioxidant capacity, low cardiac tissue MDA and elevated renin levels compared to controls. They also had enlarged left ventricles and ECG abnormalities (Fatma 2011). Both these cardiac effects are pre-disposing factors toward cardiac arrest. Obviously, these serious cardiac effects caused by RF radiation exposures from consumer devices should preclude them from cars.
Cardiac arrest is undesirable at any time but when a person is operating a large potentially lethal object like an automobile or truck, it is particularly so.
Cars and trucks should not have wireless technology in them and they should have shielded compartments for the storage of consumer wireless technology during transport. Furthermore, other sources of RF exposure in cars should be minimized through good engineering by automobile manufacturers.
The very serious consequences of cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac arrest while operating a vehicle should impel the FCC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to tighten RF limits on all classes of RF emitters in vehicles.
Cognitive and Neurological Impairment
Many more people are adversely affected by RF radiation than realize it. Radiation from wireless devices may exacerbate the effects of a distraction such as conversation and impair reflexes and slow brain processing even at the lower levels phones emit when not connected. This may occur in part due to RF lowering dopamine levels (Buchner and Eger 2011) or thyroid levels (Eskander 2012), as well as the other effects mentioned above.
"A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver" shows delays in reaction times that may relate to the RF emissions from the phone (Strayer et al 2006). Unfortunately, driving studies have not been designed to examine whether it is the RF emissions of the phones that are causing the problem. In "Examining the Impact of Cell Phone Conversations on Driving Using Meta-Analytic Techniques," the authors state "There was a similar pattern of results for passenger and remote (cell phone) conversations."(Horrey and Wickens 2006) However, it is not clear whether both driver and passenger had their cellphones on and emitting at the time of the conversation, which would obviously be a confounder. Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile, a recent report on distracted driving also provides data additional technology in cars may not be safe (Strayer et al 2013). Unfortunately, the potential effect of the RF exposure itself whether from transmitters, electronics, or the vehicle electrical system was not factored into the experimental design. An article with the great title "A Problem of the Brain, Not the Hands: Group Urges Phone Ban for Drivers" probably has it right - although perhaps not for the right reason. Radiation from cellphones does indeed interfere with brain function, thus it may matter little whether the driver is conversing on a phone they hold, hands-free, or, indeed, with a passenger, as long as phones are on in the car or the area is high in wireless radiation. Ambient microwave radiation levels have gotten quite high in many metropolitan areas.
Public Health Implications of Radiofrequency Pollution in Cars
Independent reviews such as "Criticism of the Health Assessment in the ICNIRP Guidelines for Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation (100 kHz - 300GHz)", first completed on behalf of Ministry of Health/ Ministry for the Environment of New Zealand, and the BioInitiative Report, written by highly qualified independent scientists (www.bioinitiative.org), conclude that there are biological effects at levels well below existing safety limits. Both reviews find existing RF limits to be completely inadequate.
In light of the very serious threat that RF poses to public health, limiting exposure to RF in vehicles from all sources makes sense.
There are numerous studies linking proximity to cell towers/base station antennas with adverse health outcomes (http://www.bioinitiative.org). V2V communication would cause vehicles, highways, and roads to be similarly dangerous.
Availability of Low RF Cars Required by 2008 American's with Disabilities Act Amendments and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
The proliferation of wireless technology is increasing the number of people with radiofrequency sickness and also restricting the daily activities of people with radiofrequency sickness. Past rules changes by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have made it more difficult for people with radiofrequency sickness to get vehicles that do not cause functional impairment for them - one example of an access-limiting requirement is the requirement for wireless tire pressure gauges. While the radiation levels emitted are below the FCC guidelines, that is irrelevant in terms of biological symptoms and safety, as previously discussed. A rules change that results in minimizing RF levels in vehicles would benefit everyone, improving public health, but it would particularly benefit the growing segment of the population experiencing RF sickness.
The FCC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would violate Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the intent of the 2008 ADA Amendments if they proceed with V2V communication, thereby further isolating and disabling people with radiofrequency sickness. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the intent of the 2008 ADA Amendments they should act to make personal vehicles safe for persons with radiofrequency sickness. Private vehicles are often the only way people with radiofrequency sickness can travel due to the rampant proliferation of wireless technology.
Requiring that vehicles be engineered to minimize EMF/RF would be consistent with the EUROPAEM [European Academy for Environmental Medicine] EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses states, "The primary method of treatment should mainly focus on the prevention or reduction of EMF exposure, that is, reducing or eliminating all sources of high EMF exposure at home and at the workplace." The Guideline provides strong support for initiating regulations to minimize EMF/RF in vehicles since the authors emphasize the importance of making changes necessary to include those already injured by RF/EMF in society and reiterate and support the statement by Hedendahl, Carlberg, and Hardell that "It is time to consider ELF EMF and RF EMF as environmental pollutants that need to be controlled." (Belyaev 2016)
The functional impairment that occurs with RF radiation exposure varies depending on the particular frequencies involved, their amplitude, and the duration of exposure and the size, height, and build of the exposed person. Headache, brain-fog, short-term memory loss, scattered thinking, irritability, nerve pain, muscle weakness, heart palpitations, and appetite loss are common. Longer stays in polluted environments intensify and worsen the symptoms. (Mahra et al 1971)
Halting development of V2V technology and requiring minimization of the RF in cars would benefit public health , the environment, and the inclusiveness of society, providing persons with radiofrequency sickness a safe method of travel and allowing them to fully exercise their civil rights.
Regulatory Action Needed to Minimize RF Exposure in Vehicles
Regulatory Recommendations to Minimize RF Exposure in Vehicles:
Background on Need For Regulatory Action
Electrical engineering and biological sciences are largely separate disciplines. Biologists, molecular biologists, and doctors have been largely unaware of the high frequency pollution of electrical systems (AC and DC). The assumption, until recently, by biologists was that AC and DC systems were "clean". This is not so and has not been so for many many years. This has been well known by electrical engineers, but they have been taught that from a biological standpoint it is insignificant, after all the pollution, even in extreme cases, usually does not amount to much more than a couple of volts and in many cases is measured in millivolts. However, the assumption of safety is proving not to be true (Milham and Morgan 2008)(Havas and Olstad 2008)(Havas 2008)(Havas 2006)(Ozen 2007)(Vignati and Giuliani 1997). This shows the importance of establishing vehicle standards that reflect the biological reality, especially since any biological impairment caused by poor engineering could cost lives. If proper standards are established, and the above mentioned references offer a good basis for establishing initial standards, safe un-polluted cars can be engineered. This would benefit everyone in the long run and decrease the isolation of people with radiofrequency sickness.
Mechanisms by which Radiofrequency Radiation has significant biological effects at very low levels. There is extensive documentation in the literature of alterations of Ca2+ homeostasis.(Cherry 2000) This is likely to be responsible at least in part for the profound effects that radiofrequency radiation has on the heart and neurological function. Ca2+ regulates gap junction opening. Gap junctions are key in many intercellular communications. "Microwave electromagnetic fields act by activating voltage-gated calcium channels: why the current international safety standards do not predict biological hazard" has concrete suggestions for how to quickly enact a first revision of the FCC RF safety limits to protect against many of the biological effects of exposure to RF (Pall 2014). RF can have serious psychological effects, including anxiety, irritability, and depression. Links are also made to psychosis and other psychological disorders (Pall 2015). With all the problems with road rage etc., the last thing this country needs is for drivers or passengers to be exposed to any more RF in their vehicle than absolutely necessary. There is plenty of evidence to justify a meaningful initial revision of FCC vehicle safety codes to minimize RF exposure from all sources within vehicles while further study is done to determine the shape of future revisions.
Exposure to radiofrequency radiation also interferes with the action of enzymes, signaling pathways, and makes the immune system simultaneously hyperactive and less effective.(Cherry 2000)(Johansson 2009) Immune impairment results in part from the disruptive effect of radiofrequency radiation on calcium ion homeostasis. In addition to radiofrequency radiation-induced immune impairment increasing risk of various types of infection, it is likely to increase the risk of getting cancer from the DNA breakages radiofrequency radiation is well-documented to induce. 19 Now also substantiated by the NTP results. While radiofrequency radiation is non-ionizing, the metabolic changes it can cause result in oxidative damage to DNA and subsequent breakage. Direct interactions between radiofrequency radiation and DNA can have similar results, as well as causing changes in gene transcription, through changes in electron flows induced by the radiation.19
Neurological function can be seriously impaired by radiofrequency radiation. Cholinesterase enzyme activity is impaired by exposure to radiofrequency radiation in a manner similar to impairment caused by organophosphate pesticides, often rendering a person with radiofrequency sickness particularly sensitive to small amounts of chemicals (Grant). Radiofrequency radiation can lower the pain threshold, slow reaction times, cause fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory problems and even memory loss (Mahra et al 1971)(Johansson 2009)(Blank and Goodman 1999)(Johnson Liakouris 1998). These may be caused by disruption of Ca2+, disruption of various enzyme pathways, induction of the stress response and associated effects, increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier, or various other effects of over-exposure to radiofrequency radiation (Mahra et al 1971)(Cherry 2000)(Grant).
Radiofrequency radiation significantly decreases melatonin levels, causing poor quality sleep, and also decreases the ability of existing melatonin to fight cancer (Cherry 2000).