Radio Frequencies

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What are the radiofrequencies? What is the electromagnetic spectrum?

The radiofrequencies: a daily matter.

During our day, from a coffee in the morning to when we lie down to rest in the evening, we take for granted many small things that, if analyzed a little more deeply, would leave us amazed by their importance. Radio frequencies are no less: we are literally immersed into a sea of radio frequencies, also called waves or electromagnetic radiation.

The entire telecommunications field is based on the use of electromagnetic radiation to continuously transmit information between smartphones, computers, smart-Tvs or other devices: the news of the newspaper that we read on our phone come in thanks to radio frequencies, for example. But since the field of telecommunications, having been developed by man, is artificial, then we might ask ourselves if radio frequencies are not just an invention of man. That is an erroneous idea: the same sunlight, which allows us to see around us, is a radio frequency; then, what is an electromagnetic wave? Let’s deepen it together.

What is an electromagnetic wave?

EM waves are described by physics as a combination of variable electric and magnetic fields that propagate in space with the characteristics of wave motion (Figure 1). The magnetic field is orthogonal to the electric field and, when the EM wave is far from its source, the two fields are in phase: the peak of the magnetic field corresponds to the peak of the electric field.

Radio Frequencies 1

Figure 1. Wave pattern of an electromagnetic wave (EM).

 

The main wave characteristics are:

  • The FREQUENCY (f). It is the measure of the temporal repetitiveness (periodicity) of the wave, or of how many times the maximum (or minimum) peaks of the wave are repeated in a second: that is, the number of oscillations that the wave makes in a second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz): 1 Hz is equivalent to 1 cycle per second. The frequency is related to the time by the relation: f = 1/t; it is therefore the inverse of the time.
  • The WAVELENGHT (λ). It is the distance between two consecutive maximum (or minimum) waves, usually indicated by the Greek letter λ (lambda) and measured in meters.
  • The PROPAGATION VELOCITY (v). It is the measure of how fast a wave propagates in space. In the vacuum it is equivalent to the speed of light (c): 300,000 km/s.

 

 

Ionising and non-ionising radiations: differences?

Non-ionizing radiation (NIR) DOES NOT carry enough energy to cause the ionization of atoms or molecules: until now the studies conducted on NIR have EXCLUDED a direct causal effect on CARCINOGENESIS. NIRs include visible light, infrared radiation, radio frequency (RF) and microwave (MO), extremely low frequency (ELF) fields, and static electric and magnetic fields (Figure 2). NIRs have been shown to produce other biological effects, for example by heating tissues, affecting chemical reactions or inducing ionic currents in tissues and cells.

Ionizing radiation (IR) carries enough energy to cause the removal of electrons from atoms or molecules to break intramolecular or intermolecular bonds: then induce the formation of ions and/or free radicals (an ion is an atom with a defined electric charge), and are able to break up macromolecules when absorbed in high dosages (e.g. damage DNA). IR’s have a very high frequency, higher than 3000 Ghz (X-rays and gamma rays). Free radicals are atoms or molecules that present a free electron on the surface: they are extremely reactive in vivo because the unpaired electron will try in every way to form a stable chemical bond, regardless of the damage it may cause. When the damage accumulates, because the mechanisms of repair and prevention of cell damage are no longer sufficient (e.g. enzymes such as catalase and peroxidase, or antioxidants such as glutathione), the cell dies or necrotizes.

However, not all evil comes to harm: ionizing radiation is used daily in medical practice and not only! Many of us have done an X-ray, a CT scan or even a “simple” tanning lamp: all these technologies exploit ionizing radiation in quantities that are not harmful to humans. In some selected cases, IRs are also used to heal and treat cancer.

It is essential to remember that the FocusMed® technology uses NON Ionizing Radiation (NIR) in the short wave spectrum: 2, 4, 8 Mhz.

 

But, are non ionizing radiation harmful to health?

Radio Frequencies 3

Figure 3. IARC carcinogen classification.

The studies on radiofrequencies that have affected the public most were those aimed at assessing the relationship between NIR and carcinogenesis: here we give a brief overview of the main international sources, which are reported below.

The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) is a body pertaining to the WHO that has the objective to study the causes and the mechanisms underlying the development of cancer. It defined EM waves as “a possible human carcinogen”: category 2B agent (Figure 3).

The studies available to date and mainly evaluated by the IARC refer to:

  • Occupational exposure to radar and microwave.
  • Environmental exposures associated with the transmission of radio, television and wireless communication signals.
  • Personal exposure associated with the use of mobile phones.

The scientific evidence analysed was considered INADEQUATE to define a relationship between cancer and EM radiation with regard to occupational and environmental exposure at EM frequencies.

The only potentially harmful field, which justifies the classification 2B of EM waves, concerns the use of mobile phones, and in the specific development of gliomi and acoustic neuromas, especially with the use of old cell phone technologies (eg. technology ETACTS employing significantly higher powers).

It is important to underline that the main field of investigation of this committee concerned the CHRONIC or MULTIANNUAL EXPOSURE to electromagnetic radiation: exposure for short periods of time, or acute, to EM radiation was not reported.

The relationship between an organism and EM waves is complex and difficult to study. However, it can be said that different EM waves have a different effect on the human body. In this case, the most investigated EM waves are those linked to mobile phones: these frequencies are not used in the technology developed by the company Focusmed.

Focusmed technology uses mainly high frequencies (2-4-8 Mhz) which are NOT related to any carcinogenic effect. In addition, the high frequencies at 8 Mhz have been used against cancer and have proven effective in increasing the life expectancy of patients and alleviating the suffering of patients.

 

References

Cifra, M., Fields, J. Z. & Farhadi, A. Electromagnetic cellular interactions. Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol. 105, 223–246 (2011).

Guidelines on limiting exposure to non-ionizing radiation: a reference book based on the guidelines on limiting exposure to non-ionizing radiation and statements on special applications. (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, 1999).

O’Clock, G. D. Electrotherapeutic devices: principles, design, and applications. (Artech House, 2007).

ICNIRP STATEMENT ON THE “GUIDELINES FOR LIMITING EXPOSURE TO TIME-VARYING ELECTRIC, MAGNETIC, AND ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (UP TO 300 GHz)”: Health Phys. 97, 257–258 (2009).

The INTERPHONE Study Group. Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case–control study. Int. J. Epidemiol. 39, 675–694 (2010).

IARC classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. 6 (2011).

Establishing a dialogue on risks from electromagnetic fields. (World Health Organization : United Nations Children’s Fund, 2002).

Masiero, S. et al. Short-wave diathermy in the clinical management of musculoskeletal disorders: a pilot observational study. Int. J. Biometeorol. (2019) doi:10.1007/s00484-019-01806-x.

Streffer, C. Aspects of Metabolic Change After Hyperthermia. in Application of Hyperthermia in the Treatment of Cancer (eds. Issels, R. D. & Wilmanns, W.) vol. 107 7–16 (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1988).

Takahashi, K. et al. The effects of radiofrequency hyperthermia on pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a preliminary report. Journal of Orthopaedic Science 16, 376–381 (2011).

Lee, C. K. & Levitt, S. H. 0 Hyperthermia Original Contribution. 13.

Shoji, H. et al. A novel strategy of radiofrequency hyperthermia (neothermia) in combination with preoperative chemoradiotherapy for the treatment of advanced rectal cancer: a pilot study. Cancer Med 4, 834–843 (2015).

Izukura, R. et al. Cardiac and respiratory effects of deep regional hyperthermia using an 8 MHz radiofrequency-capacitive device on patients with cancer. International Journal of Hyperthermia 33, 428–434 (2017).

Fujimoto, S. et al. Clinical pilot studies on pre-operative hyperthermic tumour ablation for advanced breast carcinoma using an 8 MHz radiofrequency heating device. International Journal of Hyperthermia 19, 13–22 (2003).

Nagata, Y. et al. Clinical results of radiofrequency hyperthermia for malignant liver tumors. International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics 38, 359–365 (1997).

Ohguri, T. et al. Deep regional hyperthermia for the whole thoracic region using 8 MHz radiofrequency-capacitive heating device: Relationship between the radiofrequency-output power and the intra-oesophageal temperature and predictive factors for a good heating in 59 patients. International Journal of Hyperthermia 27, 20–26 (2011).

Franckena, M. et al. Long-Term Improvement in Treatment Outcome After Radiotherapy and Hyperthermia in Locoregionally Advanced Cervix Cancer: An Update of the Dutch Deep Hyperthermia Trial. International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics 70, 1176–1182 (2008).

Abe, M. et al. Multi‐institutional studies on hyperthermia using an 8‐MHz radiofrequency capacitive heating device (thermotron RF‐8) in combination with radiation for cancer therapy. 58, 7 (1986).

Ohguri, >T. et al. Radiotherapy with 8 MHz radiofrequency-capacitive regional hyperthermia for pain relief of unresectable and recurrent colorectal cancer. International Journal of Hyperthermia 22, 1–14 (2006).

Ohguri, T. et al. Radiotherapy With 8-MHz Radiofrequency-Capacitive Regional Hyperthermia for Stage III Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer: The Radiofrequency-Output Power Correlates With the Intraesophageal Temperature and Clinical Outcomes. International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics 73, 128–135 (2009).

 

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