RF-EMF can trigger oxidative stress and interfere with cellular processes

Increasing incidence of burnout due to magnetic and electromagnetic fields
Ulrich Warnke and Peter Hensinger, 2013

Translation: By Katharina Gustavs and authorized by the author and publisher.
Original publication:
WARNKE U; HENSINGER P (2013): Steigende „Burn-out“-Inzidenz durch technisch erzeugte magne_scheund elektromagne_sche Felder des Mobil- und Kommunika_onsfunks; umwelt-medizin-gesellscha6, 26(1): 31-38.


The crucial role of oxidative stress is generally known and scientifically acknowledged:

“Cell processes require redox homeostasis, which must be maintained by a multitude of antioxidant enzymes… When the organism’s homeostasis balance is tipped in favor of oxidative processes, we speak of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated, among others, with the aging of cells. Furthermore, a severe accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with a simultaneous decrease in the level of the body’s own antioxidant glutathione is considered a known cause of acute and chronic degenerative diseases such as stroke, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease” (HELMHOLTZ ZENTRUM 2008). The Robert Koch Institute confirmed these relationships (RKI 2008).

In persons with burnout syndrome, changes can be observed in the following cell functions, among others (BAUR 2012, BIEGER 2012, MÜLLER 2012, VON BAEHR 2012):

• Oxidative cell stress (ROS), chronic inflammation, and nitric oxide formation result in an increased formation of peroxynitrite;

• Lower levels of the body’s own antioxidants, especially superoxide dismutase (SOD2);

• Decrease in ATP production and diminished energy supply through mitochondria;

• Disruption of the neuroendocrine stress axis, slowing down of the catabolism of catecholamines, and modulating effects on the neuroendocrine immune system.

Beside mental stress, environmental stressors, including EMF (electromagnetic fields, see Fig. 2), are discussed as triggers. Both mental stress as well as environmental stressors lead to cell stress (= oxidative stress); the interactions provide a model to explain the increasing incidence of burnout.

Parallels between biological stress symptoms and adverse biological effects of RF radiation

Why do we need to worry that these phenomena of general loss of performance also may have a causal relationship, among others, with the ubiquitous cell phone and wireless networks? The “digitalization of our world” means that, since ca. 1998, our cells have been exposed to a continually increasing level of nonionizing radiation to which they have not adapted. There is a relationship between triggers of stress due to living conditions and RF radiation. Research results regarding the effects of nonionizing radiation on cells show similar effect mechanisms as the burnout research in environmental medicine (see Fig. 3). Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) interfere with cell processes:

  • RF-EMFs produce excessive cell-damaging free radicals and strongly reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, which in turn can damage the DNA (see below).
  • The body’s own defense in the form of endogenous radical scavengers (antioxidants) is weakened by RFEMFs (see below).
  • The repair of DNA damage is impaired (BELYAEV et al. 2005).
  • RF-EMFs interfere with the center of our metabolism, the mitochondria, and thus interfere with our energy production: ATP production is inhibited (SANDERS et al. 1980, 1984, 1985).
  • The decrease in ATP production debilitates the entire system.
  • The exposure to RF radiation triggers a downward spiral of disease. RF-EMFs accelerate toxic cascades.

 “The clinical picture of AEDS or acquired energy dyssymbiosis syndrome … describes a deficiency in cell energy with a simultaneous deterioration of the cell milieu. This leads to mitochondriopathy. Energy production is blocked; the power plants of the cell are transformed into efficient sources of free radicals.” (WARNKE 2007)

The full paper is here:

For Birds, Bees and Mankind: Destroying Nature by Electrosmog, by Ulrich Warnke





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