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Home>Research-old>Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena ('Effects') and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation

Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena ('Effects') and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation

Abstract: More than 2000 references on the biological responses to radio frequency and microwave radiation, published up to June 1971, are included in the bibliography. Particular attention has been paid to the effects on man of non-ionizing radiation at these frequencies. The citations are arranged alphabetically by author, and contain as much information as possible so as to assure effective retrieval of the original documents. An outline of the effects which have been attributed to radio frequency and microwave radiation is also part of the report.

Tags: Biological Effects, Non-Ionizing Radiation, Radar Hazards, Radio Frequency Radiation, Microwave Radiation, Health Hazards, Bibliography, Electromagnetic Radiation Injury

Naval Medical Research Institute


Research Report

Report No. 2 Revised

Zorach R. Glaser, Ph.D. LT, MSC, USNR

Naval Medical Research Institute
National Naval Medical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20014, U.S.A.
4 October 1971

Second Printing, with Revisions,
Corrections, and Additions: 20 April 1972
(Supersedes AD No. 734391)

The comments upon and criticisms of the literature made in this report, and the recommendations and inferences suggested, are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Navy Department or of the Naval Service.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1, Outline of Reported Biological Phenomena ('Effects') and Some Clinical Hanifestations Attributed to Microvave and Radio-Frequency Radiation 
Chapter 2, Bibliography, Alphabetical Listing
Unsigned Reports and Articles
Addenda, Alphabetical by Author
Addenda, Unsigned Reports and Articles
First Suppleeuntary Listing (5 October 1971)
Appendix A, Accession Numbers and Sources
Second Supplementary Listing (21 November 1971)
Third Supplementary Listing (17 April 1972)


It is the hope of the author that this bibliography will provide guidance to the diffuse and conflicting literature on the biological responses to electromagnetic radiation at radio- and microwave-frequencies, with particular reference to the effects of concern to man. Such guidance is needed in the formulation and appraisal of criteria and limits of human exposure to "non-ionizing" radiation, and in the planning and conduct of future research.

The original plans were to categorize and key the literature citations to the "outline of biological and clinical effects" (Chapter 1). This proved to be a much more difficult and time-consuming task than anticipated, and was actually completed only for about 400 papers. Thus, the letter-number combinations given in square brackets for some of the "A" through "C" citations refer to the outline. [NV] indicates the citation was "not verified".

The standard format used throughout the bibliography is: author, (date), journal, volume, (issue): page, "title". The authors are alphabetized, and in chronological order. Multiple authors are also alphabetically ordered according to the second, third, etc., author. Inclusive pagination is given where possible, as is the original language of the citation. Report accession and translation numbers (some of which are cited in Appendix A), and alternate sources are listed when known. The title of books is underlined. When the title of the report was not available (or not given), a short (one line) description of the paper is listed whenever possible. Reports in which the name of the author was not given are listed chronologically using the format, "title", reference, source,
(date). In many cases the citation was obtained from secondary (and tertiary) sources. For this reason it was impossible to put every citation into a consistent format.

In a few cases, papers have been cited which were presented at symposia or meetings devoted to the present topic, even when the report
title suggests that it does not pertain directly to the topic. This has been done to show the wide range of items considered relevant (at least at the time of the meeting, and by the organizing chairman) in past years. An example is "electroanesthesia".

A few citations of marginal and/or peripheral relationship have also been included so that the reader may judge the applicability to his individual research needs. Examples are reports dealing with the biological effects of static and alternating magnetic fields, experimental techniques using radio frequency and microwave radiation (e.g., electron spin resonance, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy), and microwave exposure limits, regulations, and standards. 

References for a few limited-distribution government reports are available upon request.

The author welcomes information which will correct errors and omissions (both of which no doubt exist). Copies of new papers would be
greatly appreciated, and would encourage updating and revising the bibliography periodically.


The assistance and support received during the preparation of this bibliography have been considerable, and I am happy to acknowledge my indebtedness and gratitude. Drs. John Keesey and Dennis Heffner, former and present Heads of the Biophysics Division, and Dr. Seymour Friess, Director of the Environmental Biosciences Department of the Naval Medical Research Institute, permitted me the opportunity to work on the bibliography, and offered frequent encouragement.

Acknowledgment is also due to many friends and associates for their helpful suggestions, comments, and loans and/or gifts of reports or other material, which have been invaluable in the course of the work. Mr. Glenn Heimer of the Naval Ship Engineering Center contributed an extensive collection of government reports and documents, many of which had not previously been cited in the open literature.

Special help in tracing and in the acquisition of relevant papers has been received from the librarians and staff members of the NMRI library: Mrs. Thelma Robinson, Mrs. Ernestine Gendlemen, Mrs. Eleanor Capps, and Miss Deborah Grove. Their diligence and resourcefulness in tracing and obtaining copies of a large number of papers and reports, often in spite of incomplete and/or inaccurate citations given in other sources, enabled me to include many relevant items in the bibliography.

Mr. Christopher Dodge of the Scientific and Technical Center, Department of the Navy, provided much of the Soviet Bloc literature, linguistic and other technical assistance, and in addition offered valuable comments and encouragement throughout the preparation of this report. Especially noteworthy were the corrections and improvements suggested by Chris following his reading of the entire manuscript.

Helpful also in locating some of the Soviet literature was Mr. E. S. Serebrennikov, of the Science and Technology Division, The Library of Congress. Credit is due Mrs. Anna Woke (of this Institute) for translating many of the German papers; to Dr. Emilio Weiss, who translated from the Italian, and to Mrs. Edith Pugh who typed many "first drafts"; also to Mrs. Rhoda Glaser for her help in many aspects of the work.

Mrs. Fannie Epstein deserves special mention for her outstanding editorial assistance, and especially for the heroic typing, organization, and checking of the entire report.

The outline of Reported Biological Phenomena ('Effects') and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency  Radiation, is patterned after that given by R. Murray, .et al., in an article entitled, "How safe are microwaves", which appeared in Non-Ionizing Radiation 1(1):7-8 (1969). Some of the "effects" were listed in the report by S. F. Cleary and W. T. Ham, Jr., entitled, "Considerations in the evaluation of the biological effects on exposure to microwave radiation", (Background document, Part 1, 1969, for the Task Force on Research Planving in Environmental Health, Subtask Force on Physical Factors in the Environment). The discussion and suggestions offered by Byron McLees, Edward Finch, Lewis Gersbman, and Christopher Dodge relating to the Outline are also gratefully acknowledged.

Preparation of the bibliography was supported by the Bureau of Medicine And Surgery, Department of the Navy, under work unit MF12.524. 015-0004B.

Peported Biological Phenomena ("Effects") and Some Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radioo-Frequency Padiation (See Note)

A. Heating of Organs* (Applications: Diathermy, Electrosurgery, Electrocoagulation, Electrodessication, Electrotomy)
1. Whole Body (temnerature regulation defect), Hyperpyrexia
2. Skin
3. Bone and Bone Marrow
4. (a) Lens of Eye (cataractous lesions - due to the avascular nature of the lens vhich prevents adequate heat dissipation)
  (b) Corneal damage also possible at extremely high frequencies.
5. Genitalia (tubular degeneration of testicles)
6. Brain
7. Sinuses
8. Metal Inplants (burns near hip pins, erc.)
The effects are generally reversible except for 4a.
B. Changes in Physiologic Function
1. Striated Muscle Contraction
2. Alteration of Diameter of Blood Vessels (increased vascular elasticity), Dilation
3. Changes in the Oxidative Processes in Tissues and Organs
4. Liver Enlargement
5. Altered Sensitivity to Drug Stimuli
6. Decreased Spermatogenesis (decreased fertility, to sterility)
7. Altered Sex Ratio of Births (more girls!)
8. Altered Menstrual Activity
9. Altered Fetal Development
10. Decreased Lactation in nursing Mothers
1l. Reduction in Diuresis (Ua+ excretion, via urine output)
12. Altered Renal function (decreased filtration of tubules)
13. Changes in Conditioned Reflexes
14. Decreased Electrical Resistance of Skin
15. Changes in the Structure of Skin Receptors of tie (a) Digestive, and (b) Blood-Carrying Systems
16. Altered Blood Flow Rate
17. Alterations In the Biocurrents (EEG?) of the Cerebral Cortex (in animals)
18. Changes In the Rate of Clearance of Tagged Ions from Tissue
19. Reversible Structural Changes In the Cerebral Cortex and the Diencephalon
20. Electrocardiographic (EKG) Changes
21. Alterations In Sensitivity to Light, Sound, and Olfactory Stimuli
22. Functional (a) and Pathological (b) Changes in the Eyes: (a) decrease in size of blind spot, altered color recognition, changes in intraocular pressure, lacrimation, trembling of eyelids, (b) lens opacity and coagulation, altered tissue respiration, and altered reduction-oxidation processes
23. Myocardial Necrosis
24. Hemorrhage in Lungs, Liver, Gut, and Brain At Fatal Levels of Radiation
25. Generalized Degeneration of all Body Tissue At Fatal Levels of Radiation
26. Loss of Anatomical Parts
27. Death
28. Dehydration
29. Altered Rate of Calcification of Certain Tissue
C. Central Nervous System Effects
1. Headaches
2. Inomnia
3. Restlessness (Awake and During Sleep)
4. Electroencephalographic (EEG) Changes
5. Cranial Nerve Disorders
6. Pyramidal Tract Lesions
7. Conditioned Reflex Disorders
8. Vagomimetic Action of the Heart; Sympaticomimetic Action
9. Seizures, Convulsions
D. Autonomic Nervous System Effects
1. Neuro-vegetative Disorders (e.g., alteration of heart rhythm)
2. Fatigue
3. Structural Alterations in the Synapses of the Vagus Nerve
4. Stimulation of Parasympathetic Nervous System (Bradycardia), and Inhbition of the Sympathetic Nervous System
E. Peripheral Nervous System Effects
Effects on Locomotor Nerves
F. Psychological Disorders ("Human Behavioral Studies") - the so-called "Psychophysiologic (and Psychosomatic) Responses"
1. Neurasthenia- (general "bad" feeling)
2. Depression
3. Impotence
4. Anxiety
5. Lack of Concentration
6. Hypochondria
7. Dizziness
8. Hallucinations
9. Sleepiness
10. Insomnia
11. Increased Irritabiiity
12. Decreased Appetite
13. Loss of Memory
14. Scalp Sensations
15. Increased Fatigability
16. Chest Pain
17. Tremor of the Hands
G. Behavioral Changes (Aninal Studies)
Reflexive, Operant, Avoidance, and Discrimination Behaviors
H. Blood Disorders
(V = in vivo)
(v = in vitro)
Changes in:
1. Blood and Bone Marrow
2. Phagocytic (polymorphs) and Bactericidal Functions of ?
3. Hemolysis Rate (increase), (a shortened lifespan of cells)
4. Sedimentaion Rate (increase), (due to changes in ? levels or amount of fibrinogen (?))
5. Number of Lrythrocytes (decreased), also number of Lymph? test?
6. Blood Glucose Concentration (increase)
7. Blood Histamine Content
8. Cholesterol and Lipids
9. Gamma (also alpha and beta) Globulin, and Total Protein Concentration
10. Number of Eosinophils
11. Albumin/Globulin ratio (decrease)
12. Hemopoiesis (rate of formation of blood corpuscles)
13. Leukopenia (increase in number of white cells), and Leukocytosis
14. Reticulocytosis
I. Vascular Disorders
1. Thrombosis
2. Hypertension
J. Enzyme and Other Biochemical Changes
Changes in activity of:
1. Cholinesterase (V,v)
2. Phosphatase (v)
3. Transaminase (v)
4. Amylase (v)
5. Carboxydismutase
6. Protein Denaturation
7. Toxin, Fungus, and Virus Inactivation (at high radiation dose levels), Bacteriostatic Effect
8. Tissue Cultures Killed
9. Alteration In Rate of Cell Division
10. Increased Concentration of RNA in Lymphocytes, and Decreased Concentration in Brain, Liver, and Spleen
11. Changes in Pyruvic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Creatinine Excretions
12. Change in Concentration of Glycogen in Liver (Hlyperglycemia)
13. Alteration in Concentration of 17- Ketosterolds in Urine
K. Metabolic Disorders
1. Glycosuria (sugar in urine; related with blood sugar?)
2. Increase in Urinary Phenol (derivatives? DOPA?)
3. Alteration of rate of Metabolic Enzymatic Processes
4. Altered Carbohydrate Metabolism
L. Gastro-Intestinal Disorders
1. Anorexia (loss of appetite)
2. Epigastric Pain
3. Constipation
4. Altered Secretion of Stomach "Digestive Juices"
M. Endocrine Gland Changes
1. Altered Pituitary Function
2. Hyperthyroidism
3. Thyroid Enlargement
4. Increased Uptake of Radioactive Iodine by Thyroid Gland
5. Altered Adrenal Cortex Activity
6. Decreased Corticosteroids in Blood
7. Decreased Glucocorticoidal Activity
8. Hypogonadism (usually decreased testosterone production)
N. Histological Changes
1. Changes in Tubular Epithelium of Testicles
2. Gross Changes
O. Genetic and Chromoscrtal Changes
1. Chromosome Aberrations (e.g., linear shortening, pseudochiasm, diploid structures, amitotic division, bridging, "sticky" chromosomes, irregularities in chromosomal envelope)
2. Mutations
3. Mongolism
4. Somatic Alterations (changes in cell not involving nucleus or chromosomes, cellular transformation)
5. Neoplastic Diseases (e.g., tumors)
P. Pearl Chain Effect (Intracellular orientation of subcellular particles, and orientation of cellular and other (non-biologlc) particles)
Also, orientation of animals, birds, and fish in electromagnetic fields
Q. Miscellaneous Effects
1. Sparking between dental fillings
2. Peculiar metallic taste in mouth
3. Changes in Optical Activity of Colloidal Solutions
4. Treatment for Syphilis, Poliomyelitis, Skin Diseases
5. Loss of Hair
6. Brittleness of Hair
7. Sensations of Buzzing Vibrations, Pulsations, and Tickling About the Head and Ears
8. Copious Perspiration, Salivation, and Protrusion of Tonpue
9. Changes in the Operation of Implanted Cardiac Pacemakers
10. Changes in Circadian Rhythms

* It is also reported that low levels of irradiation produce a cooling effect - "hypercompensation".

Note: These effects are listed without comment or endorsement since the literature abounds with conflicting reports. In some cases the basis for reporting an "effect" was a single or a non-statistical observation which may have been drawn from a poorly conceived (and poorly executed) experiment.

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