Stockholm Researcher: RF Has More Than a Thermal Impact on the Skin

The Web site has become one of my favorite sites for science news. A recent news item, Radiation Review: Some People May be 'Allergic' to Cell Phones, Computers by Lisa Zyga caught my attention. Dr. Olle Johansson, associate professor ad head of the Experimental Dermatology Unit in the Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm says radio frequency energy has more than the documented thermal impact on humans. This calls into question the current methods of determining safe exposure to RF fields.

Dr. Johansson's page on the Karolinska Institute Web site describes work going back to the 1970's when he coined the phrase "screen dermatitis" to describe cutaneous damaged when office workers began to be placed in front of computer monitors. "Survey studies show that somewhere between 230,000-290,000 Swedish men and women—out of a population of 9,000,000—report a variety of symptoms when being in contact with electromagnetic field sources. To this, one should also add all the current issues regarding the bigger picture: the health effects of electromagnetic fields on the general population."

The abstract for his paper Electrohypersensitivity: state-of-the-art of a functional impairment, asserts. "In summary, it is evident from our preliminary data that various alterations are present in the electrohypersensitive person' skin. In view of recent epidemiological studies, pointing to a correlation between long-term exposure from power-frequent magnetic fields or microwaves and cancer, our data ought to be taken seriously and further analyzed."

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.