Scientific and hygienic issues in biological research on microwaves: Toward rapprochement between East and West


  • Don R. Justesen


Many issues and controversies separate the experimental radiobiologist and the hygienist from the goal of attaining a concordant view of biological effects of exposure to microwaves and other radio-frequency electromagnetic (RFEM) fields. Although the strongest notes of discord are struck by East-West differences (e.g., recommended limits with respect to exposure of human populations to RFEM fields are generally orders of magnitude more stringent in the USSR than in the U.S.), there are discordant notes as well within national boundaries. To the end of achieving a better scientific grasp of problems and solutions the author discusses selected issues under the headings of semantics, tactics, logistics, and strategy. Among the topics discussed are problems of communication, physical measurements in relation to laboratory and regulatory practice, pitfalls of interdisciplinary research, and research needed to achieve ecologically valid data.