Differentiation between Biological Effects and Health Hazards: Scaling from Animals

  • Michael H. Repacholi
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 49)


Since its beginning the earth has been bombarded by both ionizing and non-ionizing radiations from terrestrial and extraterrestrial origin. Life as we know it today has evolved with this natural background radiation. Living organisms utilize various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum for day to day existence, especially the infrared, visible and ultraviolet components. Little is known of the use that living organisms make of the natural radiofrequency and microwave environment. With the recent increases in the power density levels from artificial sources to the general ambient microwave and radiofrequency radiation environment, there is a need to know whether changing this background to a significant degree will produce unacceptable changes to life. Unfortunately such a question may never fully be answered because as living organisms evolve, changes in the environment from factors other than radiofrequency and microwave radiation (e.g. chemicals) are likely to have a much greater impact. Evidence from the scientific literature would indicate that if changes occur from these non-ionizing radiations, they are likely to be very subtle in nature. Thus from the viewpoint of a health agency one has to place a greater priority with potential adverse health effects that are likely to occur within a few generations.


Specific Absorption Rate Radio Frequency Field Radio Frequency Energy Average Power Density Thermoregulatory Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. Repacholi
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiation Protection BureauHealth and Welfare CanadaOttawaCanada

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