Hazards of EMFs and RF Microwave Radiation

For 25 years, starting in 1953, the Russians used Microwave RF Radiation (RFR) to covertly attack the U. S. embassy staff in Moscow, Russia. The ongoing irradiation campaign affected about 1,800 employees and 3,000 dependents housed at the embassy during this period. The Russians targeted the U.S. embassy with RFR weapons from 2400 to 4100 MegaHertz (MHz), frequencies with wavelengths around 3 to 5 inches that are very similar to the wavelengths and power levels saturating us today where we live, work, go to school, commute and play. The very same adverse health outcomes inflicted on U. S. embassy personnel (cancer, miscarriages, cataracts, immune system damages and more) are being caused today by the use of and exposure to ubiquitous Wireless mobile devices and infrastructure.

Dr. Andrew A. Marino: RF/EMF and Microwave Radiation Hazards

Dr. Andrew A. Marino: Controlling EMFs

60 Minutes with Mike Wallace (April 1977) — High Tension, Part 1

60 Minutes with Mike Wallace (April 1977) — High Tension, Part 2

Electromagnetic Field Acronyms:

  • EMF = Electromagnetic Fields come in two flavors:
    1. ELF/EMF = Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields
      (from 3 to 3,000 oscillations per second, e.g. 50 Hz or 60 Hz AC electricity)
    2. RF/EMF = Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
      (from 300 million to 300 billion oscillations per second, e.g. 600 MHz to 6,000 MHz wireless data transmissions)

Radiation Acronyms:

  • RFR = Radiofrequency Radiation
  • RF/MW radiation = Radiofrequency Microwave radiation


In the early 1960s, Robert O. Becker, an orthopaedic surgeon working at the Veterans Hospital and Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York developed the insight that we are electrical beings governed by electrical laws, and he published an important series of papers dealing with the role of natural electrical signals in the cybernetic system in the body that mediates growth and healing of nerves, muscles, and bones.

He also saw that natural and man-made electromagnetic energy could interact with the electrical regulatory system, and thereby profoundly alter the body. In 1968 he was the first scientist to give an evidence-based warning of the serious public-health consequences that could arise from the uncontrolled use of our living space as a conduit for electromagnetic energy. He pointed out that electropollution induced currents in the body comparable in strength to those that mediated the body’s natural growth and regulatory systems.

Despite Dr. Becker’s warnings, man-made electromagnetic energy became progressively more prevalent in the general and workplace environments as a consequence of the development of the national electrical grid, increased use of radar, radio and television, and the proliferation of wireless consumer devices including computers, cell phones, Wi-Fi, so-called smart meters, and military weapons and communications systems. The tremendous expansion of society’s use of electromagnetic energy occurred in the absence of serious inquiry into their impact on the health of the population.

I want the general public to know that science isn’t run the way they read about it in the newspapers and magazines. I want lay people to understand that they cannot automatically accept scientists’ pronouncements at face value, for too often they’re self-serving and misleading. I want our citizens, nonscientists as well as investigators, to work to change the way research is administered. The way it’s currently funded and evaluated, we’re learning more and more about less and less, and science is becoming our enemy instead of our friend.
— Dr. Robert O. Becker, from the Prologue in his book:
The Body Electric: Electromagnetism And The Foundation Of Life

Dr. Andrew A. Marino spent the fist 17 years of his career working in Becker’s laboratory until it was shut down in the early 1980’s. Marino then started his own laboratory at Louisiana State University, and for the next three decades did experiments that followed a road which branched off of the main highway that Dr. Becker had charted.

Going Somewhere: Truth about a Life in Science by Dr. Andrew A. Marino

Going Somewhere is a dynamic autobiographical narrative about Andrew Marino’s career in science. The book explores an exceptionally wide range of science-related matters: the relation between electrical energy and life; the influence of corporate and military power on science; the role of self-interest on the part of federal and state agencies that deal with human health, especially the NIH and the FDA; the importance of cross-examining scientific experts in legal hearings; the erroneous view of nature that results when the perspective of physics is extended into biology; the pivotal role of deterministic chaos theory in at least some cognitive processes.

These matters arise in the long course of the author’s scientific and legal activities involving the complex debate over the health risks of man-made, electromagnetic fields. The story provides a portal into how science actually works, which you will see differs dramatically from the romantic notion of an objective search for truth. You will understand that science is a human enterprise, all too human, inescapably enmeshed in uncertainty. This realization will likely affect whom you choose to believe, and with what degree of confidence.

From Marino, Andrew. Going Somewhere: Truth About a Life in Science (pp. 96-97). Cassandra Publishing.

“Has anyone from the government talked to you about side-effects of EMFs?” he asked.

At first the question seemed odd, like asking me my wife’s maiden name. Then some things that Dr. Becker had done over the years flooded my mind and almost crystallized into a pattern. Once in a while a stranger would come to our lab and spend an hour with Dr. Becker in his office. On those days his demeanor was particularly somber, and he always closed his office door, something he otherwise rarely did.

“Who is he?” I once asked. “You don’t need to know,” he said. But another time he told me, “He works for the agency.” I thought I knew what that meant, and a little while later I found out I was right. Dr. Becker usually asked our secretary to make his phone calls, and he would come on the line after the other party had answered. On rare occasions, however, he dialed himself.

One day I looked in the phone book and saw that the Central Intelligence Agency had a listed telephone number, and that it was the same one which was pinned to the bulletin board in his office.

“No,” I said again to the reporter, “why would you ask that?”

He didn’t answer my question but said, “Have you ever heard of a man named Cecil Jacobson, at the George Washington Medical School?”

“No, who is he?”

“He’s a researcher who studied the effects of EMFs on chromosomes.”

“In rats?” I asked.

“No, in people.”

The reporter told me a story about the Russians using EMFs for “brainwashing,” and part of which he said that he had heard from Senate staffers during recent Senate Commerce Committee hearings dealing with health risks from microwave-oven EMFs.

The gist of what he said was that the Russians had begun irradiating the American Embassy in Moscow with EMFs about ten years earlier, and that the Central Intelligence Agency had advised the State Department to look into the health records of the Embassy employees and determine whether there was any increase in health problems after the irradiation had begun. A doctor named Herbert Pollack had examined the records and concluded that there was no microwave-related health problem, but the State Department wasn’t satisfied so it hired Jacobson to look at blood slides from the employees to see if he could find any abnormal chromosomes.

“Did he?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “but State canceled his contract and clamped a lid on the whole affair. Nobody’s talking.”

“What about Jacobson?” I asked.

“He won’t talk to me. But before he lost the contract for the research on the blood he told some of the people he worked with at George Washington University that he had found genetic defects on the slides he was analyzing.”

“But how could the government keep the affair secret when so many employees are involved? Surely one of them will talk,” I said.

“They don’t know anything about it. They were told they had to give a blood sample because a virus that caused Montezuma’s revenge was going around. They thought the purpose of the blood test was to see if they were infected.”

Anderson’s article mentioned a secret research program, called “Pandora,” dealing with the effects of EMFs on the brain, but the investigators doing the work wouldn’t talk to the reporter.

“Who are the investigators?” I asked.

“One is Ross Adey, who works at the Veterans Administration in California. Do you know him?”

“No,” I said. “Another one is Don Justesen who works at the Veterans Administration in Missouri.”

“I don’t know him either,” I said. “What kind of work did they do?”

“It’s classified so they won’t give me any details,” he said.

Marino, Andrew. Going Somewhere: Truth About a Life in Science (pp. 161-163). Cassandra Publishing.

Military physicians continued to tell sailors who were bathed continuously in microwaves from the hundreds of shipboard antennas and soldiers who operated weapons and communications systems that they were not harming themselves so long as they did not feel heat in their eyeballs. At the same time, however, the Defense Department funded additional studies by Zaret on occupationally exposed servicemen to try to resolve the issue of whether cataracts could develop in the absence of microwave-induced heat; in this study he performed all of the necessary examinations.

As Zaret carried out this research, private patients including veterans and active-duty servicemen continued to seek him out. Over the next several years he found cataracts in many men who had been occupationally exposed to EMFs but had never looked through a peephole, and could not recall having felt heat in their eyeballs. Some of the men had worked with radar, radio antennas, or microwave ovens, others with walkie-talkies or cathode-ray tubes. In all these cases, young, healthy servicemen had suffered damage to the tissue in the front of the eye behind the lens caused by something that was unseen and unfelt, and could only have been microwaves at intensities too low to cause heat.

Zaret finally decided that it was medically necessary to change the level of microwave EMFs that the Defense Department regarded as safe for servicemen, because that level had been predicated on a thermal-effects-only mechanism of action of microwaves, which he was now certain was wrong. He was told, however, that the proof needed was a direct showing in animals that cataracts could be caused by exposures to nonthermal levels of microwaves. The Defense Department asked Zaret to perform the study, and he agreed.

The Navy owned a small uninhabited island in Pearl Harbor, and it gave him an exclusive five-year lease to use the island for his experiments. He acquired hundreds of old-and new-world monkeys and began his work. Meanwhile, the use of microwaves in weapons and communications systems, industrial devices, and home appliances continued to expand, unrestrained by the possibility of side-effects, ocular or otherwise.

One day, four well-dressed men from the Central Intelligence Agency came to visit Zaret. As they sat around his dining room table eating a dinner his wife had prepared, the man who would soon become Zaret’s case officer told him that the country needed his help. He gave Zaret translations of Soviet scientific articles purporting to show that low levels of microwaves could affect the brain, and asked: “Is it possible that microwaves could be used to create something like a Manchurian Candidate?”

Zaret told him it wasn’t obvious how it could be done, but that the possibility couldn’t be completely ignored. Thereafter Zaret performed EMF research on rats for the Central Intelligence Agency, mirroring work done by Czechoslovakian scientists, and he observed effects on the nervous system that were similar to those that they had reported. These paired experiments allowed the language in which Soviet scientists described the strength of the microwave EMFs used in their studies to be translated into the different scientific nomenclature used in the United States, like a microwave Rosetta Stone.

Soon after that, Zaret’s case officer brought him to the Pentagon where he met a man named Samuel Koslov, who Zaret later learned was the chief advisor to the President on matters involving EMF hazards. Koslov told Zaret something that was known to only a handful of people in the U.S. government.

The Soviets were irradiating the American embassy in Moscow with low-level microwave EMFs that were beamed from antennas concealed in buildings on the opposite side of the boulevard from the embassy building (just as I had been told by Jack Anderson’s assistant, in New York in 1973). The CIA had analyzed the microwaves and determined their precise characteristics which, to the surprise of U.S. government officials, matched those in published Soviet experiments involving behavioral effects in rats. This had suggested to Koslov that the microwaves could be altering the biochemistry inside the brains of embassy personnel, thereby causing them to make erratic decisions.

He gave Zaret the money necessary to replicate some of the Soviet research, and sent him to international meetings to mingle with Soviet scientists and gather information that might help solve the problem of the purpose of the Moscow EMF beam. He was trained by the CIA to recognize his counterparts working for Soviet intelligence, and to avoid their stratagems for compromising Americans. He learned only a few details about the research of the other scientists who also labored in the black for Koslov. What Zaret did learn only added to his concerns that EMFs could affect the nervous system, and perhaps cause other diseases besides cataracts.

Meanwhile the civilian and military embassy staff and their families continued to work and live in the embassy building in complete ignorance that they were being bombarded by a microwave beam. After the ambassador and several others who worked at the embassy developed cancer, Koslov began a secret study in which the blood of the embassy employees and their families was examined for evidence of cancer. The study was directed by a State Department physician named Herbert Pollack, who told the people that the blood tests were “routine.”

Zaret had a great ache in his heart. What kind of an employer subjects his workers to danger without providing any warning? What kind of a general fails to take what steps he can to protect the safety of his men? And what kind of doctor conducts secret research on his patients?

Nevertheless, Zaret continued to examine the eyes of civilian microwave workers and servicemen whose duties put them in harm’s way. He also continued to study the eyes of the monkeys on Laulaunni Island; he exposed them to EMFs and then looked for the roughening and thickening of the tissue in the front of the eye behind the lens that preceded formation of EMF-induced cataracts, which was what the Defense Department had demanded as evidence of the hazards of microwaves. As he worked, true to the duty that he felt he owed the government, he said nothing publicly concerning what he knew or suspected about microwaves.

By a process that he never explained to Zaret, Koslov ultimately came to the conclusion that the Moscow microwave beam was not an effective mind-control weapon. He ordered Zaret and the others to discontinue their research and, far worse for science, he destroyed all the data and records that had been produced by each of the investigators who had performed the secret studies. Because of this, Zaret’s work, and that of Ross Adey at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Loma Linda, Don Justesen at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Kansas City, and many others, was lost. Years later Koslov told Congress, in effect, that he had destroyed the material because he didn’t have any room to store it.

Finally, a time came when the forces inside Zaret resolved themselves, and he saw his duty in a different light. At a scientific meeting, he described the early signs that occur in the tissue behind the lens of the eye of someone who is repeatedly exposed to microwaves. At another meeting he detailed several dozen cases in which the degenerative process in the eye had not been interrupted by withdrawal from the hazardous environment, leading to the formation of a cataract. At still another meeting he told his audience that the microwave cataract was a preventable environmental disease. In a publication, he said explicitly that the Defense Department standard for microwave exposure was not clinically credible.

Dr. Neil Cherry reported in 2000:

The Soviets irradiated the U.S. Embassy in Moscow between 1953 and 1978 . . . the dominant [resulting] cancers [for Embassy personnel] were brain tumor and leukemia and reproductive organ cancer. This study confirms that extremely low-level chronic microwave exposure is associated which very significant increases in illness and mortality in organs across the whole body, consistent with widespread cellular chromosome damage. Significantly elevated chromosome aberrations were measured, as well as significant alterations in white and red blood cell counts, Jacobson (1969), which would also be the expected result from reduced melatonin . . .

It is stated by both Hill (1965) and Goldsmith (1992) that elevated Odds and Risk Ratios are also relevant to the public health protection basis in epidemiology. Professor Goldsmith was closely associated with the staff affected by the chronic [RFR] exposure of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and obtained information through the Official Information Act. This included the blood test results and minutes of meetings which record the fact that the State Department case officer, Dr. Herbert Pollack, changed the conclusions of the final report compared with the draft report, to state that no effects could be associated with the [RFR] exposure, Goldsmith (1997). The data and Dr. Goldsmith show that this is not true . . .

A highly remarkable result is the dose-response relationship for a range of sicknesses. Despite the small numbers, the lack of long latency period and dilutionary factors, the Lilienfeld data shows significant increases in:

  • Cardiac problems
  • Neurological and psychological symptoms
  • Altered blood cell counts
  • Increased chromosome aberrations, and
  • Elevated cancer in children and adults
  • Sickness increasing in a dose-response manner with years of residence.
  • As with Robinette et al. (1980), the data presented in the Lilienfeld contract report is contrary to that stated in the report’s (altered) conclusions. These symptoms are associated with chronic exposure to very low-intensity pulsed microwaves . . .

The fact that the State Department case officer, Dr Herbert Pollack, altered the conclusions, attests to the significance of this study, the results of which would be embarrassing to the U.S. Government, both in terms of compensation and in terms of the validity of the U.S. exposure standard.”

Dr. Andrew A. Marino is a Man of Enormous Integrity

He was attacked for telling the truth, successfully defended himself and achieved real change in the 1980’s NY Power lines Project detailed at the end of the following quote from his book:

Marino, Andrew. Going Somewhere: Truth About a Life in Science (p. 121-126). Cassandra Publishing.

I had always thought that the proposed design for the [New York State] power lines wouldn’t be approved by the commission if it believed that doing so would jeopardize people’s health. The commissioners were decent men and women—too political for my tastes, but nevertheless decent. Now that we had met the test and shown the power line EMFs would be a problem, it seemed reasonable that the commission would widen the right-of-way or order the power lines be built underground . . .

The head of the commission was an avuncular figure named Alfred Kahn. He had been the fertile ground in which Dr. Robert Becker’s letter had taken root . . . . But one day the righteous Kahn was replaced by an opportunistic man named Edward Berlin, and soon thereafter construction of the [north-south] power line started. At a news conference Governor Carey said, “We need the jobs, we need the power,” and Berlin dutifully authorized immediate construction of the north-south power line. He said that if the commission ultimately decided the power line caused health risks, it would be dismantled.

I asked Meadows why Governor Carey had approved the power line in spite of the testimony that came out in the hearing. Meadows said, “Carey doesn’t know what to believe. Kahn suspected there was a problem, that’s why you were given a forum in the first place. Most people at the commission had expected you to collapse, and when you didn’t, that presented a huge problem.”


“Because Carey had already signed contracts with the Canadians to transmit their power to New York City, and the state had bought all the equipment and supplies necessary to build the line. Berlin is telling Carey that there is really no problem with EMFs. Carey doesn’t trust Berlin, and he wants to do the right thing, but there are economic realities.”

. . . Judge Matias had written that my experiments had not been conducted carefully enough for the results to be believable. He said I had a clear lack of expertise in doing experiments, and that I had presented no evidence showing that power lines could be harmful. There was a long section entitled “Dr. Marino’s Credibility,” in which he expressed resentment that hearings were held in Syracuse to accommodate me while I had time for other things, like giving interviews to the press. He accused me of stubbornly refusing to change my experiments to follow the advice of the experts who worked for the power companies. He said that my testimony was emotional and unfair, that I lacked candor in reporting all important facts and data, and that I lied. He said that someone who would do all these things could not possibly be believed, and that consequently he didn’t believe anything I said. He concluded there was no health problem with power line EMFs, and no need for an independent research program.

. . . Meadows told me, “Matias thought that cutting your balls off would please Carey and Wallace. Matias is far worse than you know.”

“How could he not believe any of my testimony but yet believe Schwan and Miller?”

Meadows sighed a sigh of exasperation, as one might do talking with a young child. “You’re not looking at this situation the way he does. He doesn’t see it as the pursuit of scientific truth, but rather as a matter of the practical interests of everyday life.”

“What interests?” I asked.

“Pleasing your boss. Getting a job. When Matias retires from the commission he expects help from Wallace in getting a teaching job at the law school.”

“Did he know about Frank Wallace’s scheme to call me a perjurer?”

“Sure,” he replied. “So did Berlin. They both had to agree not to investigate the charge. Otherwise the plan wouldn’t have worked. The press release accusing you of perjury was written before Wallace invented the specifics of your crime.”

. . . I sent a freedom-of-information request to the commission, asking for any correspondence between Asher Sheppard and Judge Matias . . . I received memos, letters, a contract, and even Sheppard’s travel vouchers. I learned that Matias had secretly initiated a contract with Sheppard to write an analysis of my testimony, and then had incorporated the report verbatim into his decision. When the commissioners learned that Matias had hired a ghost-writer they were shocked . . .

While I waited for the commission to issue the final decision, I decided to seek revenge against the silver-haired Frank Wallace for what he had done to me, so I sued him for defamation. At one point during the subsequent complex legal proceedings, different aspects of the case were in all three levels of the court of general jurisdiction in New York, as well as in the Court of Claims, where I also had to go because Wallace represented a state agency. The amount of money I eventually won provided some satisfaction, but not nearly so much as knowing that I had the power to fight back.

While all this had been happening, I was called by a producer for 60 Minutes named Richard Clark, who proposed that I be interviewed by Mike Wallace.

“Dr. Marino, how’d you get into all this controversy over low-frequency radiation and what it might do to us?”

“Because of some experiments we did involving mice and rats exposed to EMFs that are similar to those associated with power lines,” I replied.

“What do you believe could be the effect of, let’s say, the 765-kilovolt power line across New York state to the animals and the human beings that are going to be underneath it?”

“The evidence we have is laboratory experiments, of which now there are 60 or so, in which investigators have exposed various animal systems—primates, monkeys, rats, mice, all the way down to amoeba—to EMF strengths close to that of a powerline. And just a whole variety of effects have been observed. Stunted growth, body chemistry alterations, blood chemistry alterations, cardiovascular system alterations, the whole gamut of possible biological effects.”

“You know what you’re saying is pretty scary to a lot of people because we are all exposed to powerlines.”

“I appreciate that,” I replied. “What you’re saying is that we live in an atmosphere of electric smog and we do not know the effect of all of it upon the human animal.”

“That is the bottom line.”

“And what you’re suggesting is that the power companies want to experiment with us.”

“They’re doing it. It happens every day.”

“And you seem to be saying that the power companies and government either do not know, do not understand, or do not care.”

“I am saying that the power companies are well aware of the problem, and the first line of defense has been to deny it.”

When the interview ended, Wallace leaned over to me and said, “This is going to shake people up.” As the crew retrieved the cords and cables that they had snaked throughout the laboratory, one of the sound technicians told me he thought I was “going somewhere.”

The opportunistic Edward Berlin departed the commission and went to work for a power company. It took Governor Carey and the remaining commissioners more than six months to clean up the mess that Matias had created and to accommodate the conflicting interests that had emerged in the hearing. The commission’s final decision manifested the wisdom of Solomon but, unlike Solomon, it actually divided the baby. First, the commission reversed Matias’s ad hominem analysis of me and said that my testimony suffered from only one ultimate infirmity: “It deals in possibilities and probabilities, not certitudes.” Then, to no one’s surprise, the commission officially approved the already-built north-south line. What followed, however, was a progressive series of bigger surprises:

  1. First, the commission ordered that the right-of-way be widened so that the EMFs at its edges were no greater than those of existing powerlines.
  2. Then the commission disapproved the east-west powerline, and it was never built.
  3. Finally, the commission ordered that the power companies in New York should be taxed to pay for new scientific studies that would resolve with certitude the question regarding whether powerlines were health hazards.

Note: In 1979, Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper reported that children living near high-current electrical wiring had a higher than expected rate of leukemia. At the time, the association was seen as a curiosity and was largely discounted and ignored. That all changed in 1988, when a study sponsored by the New York State Department of Health supported their hypothesis. Later work confirmed the link and extended it to measured power-frequency magnetic fields. “Nancy was a real pioneer,” said David Carpenter, the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, NY. In the 1980’s, Carpenter ran the health department’s New York Power Line Project. Wertheimer and Leeper’s final vindication came in 2001 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified power-frequency magnetic fields as a possible human carcinogen on the basis of a large body of epidemiological evidence, all stemming from Wertheimer and Leeper’s 1979 landmark paper.