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Study: Electromagnetic Fields a ‘Credible Threat’ to Wildlife

Written by Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.

A new report found that electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines, Wi-Fi, broadcast and cell towers pose a “credible” threat to wildlife, and that 5G (fifth generation cellular technology) could cause greater harm.

The analysis of 97 peer-reviewed studies by the EKLIPSE project concluded that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and to plant health.

The report concluded that:

  • EMR represents a potential risk to the orientation or movement of invertebrates and may affect insect behavior and reproduction;
  • bird orientation can be disrupted by weak magnetic fields in the radiofrequency range, and the same may be true for other vertebrates including mammals; and
  • EMR exposure may affect plant metabolism due to production of reactive oxygen species often resulting in reduced plant growth.
  • Moreover, there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife.”

The review was conducted by a multidisciplinary, expert steering group composed of four biologists/ecologists who specialized in different taxonomic groups, and two physicists who study electromagnetic fields. This technical report represents the first step in an analysis of currently available knowledge and future research needs.

The reviewers pointed out the need for more high quality research. They rated the quality of 82 studies–56 had good to excellent biologic or ecologic quality, and 39 had good to excellent technical quality.

EKLIPSE (Establishing a European Knowledge and Learning Mechanism to Improve the Policy-Science-Society Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) is funded by the European Union to answer requests from policy makers and other societal actors on biodiversity-related issues.

For more information about the EKLIPSE conference held January 22-25, 2018, including slides and video, see: http://www.eklipse-mechanism.eu/emr_conference.

References

Malkemper EP, Tscheulin T, VanBergen AJ, Vian A, Balian E, Goudeseune L (2018). The impacts of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on wildlife (flora and fauna). Current knowledge overview: a background document to the web conference. A report of the EKLIPSE project. http://bit.ly/Eklipseoverview

Goudeseune L, Balian E, Ventocilla J (2018). The impacts of artificial Electromagnetic Radiation on wildlife (flora and fauna). Report of the web conference. A report of the EKLIPSE project. http://bit.ly/EKLIPSEconfreport

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    tom0mason

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    What a good report, eh?
    May, might, could, pose a potential (undefined) risk — oh yea ;-(

    We don’t know if electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines, Wi-Fi, broadcast and cell towers pose a threat to wildlife, so send more money!

    Windfarms do pose a real risk to wildlife, and what is done?

  • Avatar

    Mark Littlejohn

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    “..is funded by the European Union…” The author should have started with that statement and saved us all the time wasted reading this drivel.

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