Associate professor Olle Johansson: Cars, humans, laws, artificial electromagnetic fields … but what about the future?

publicerad 9 augusti 2021
- Olle Johansson
Olle Johansson, KI - Foto: NASMS, A. McDowell
Olle Johansson, KI - Foto: NASMS, A. McDowell
Olle Johansson, KI – Foto: NASMS, A. McDowell

Just imagine if the outdoor temperature would increase 100,000,000 times, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 times, or much more…then you, your house and car, as well as the entire planet would melt. Crazy, right?! 

By Olle Johansson, associate professor, retired from The Karolinska Institute Medical University, Stockholm, Sweden.

But these are the exact figures the man-made, modern, low-frequency as well as high-frequency electromagnetic fields have been allowed to increase in the last 100 years. Since they are invisible, you can not see them, but scientists have revealed their negative impacts on molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and entire lifeforms including humans, animals, plants, and bacteria. Crazy, right?!

Among the many effects seen in various scientific, published studies, one can mention cellular DNA damage (which may lead to the initiation of cancer as well as mutations that carry down generations), disruptions and alterations of cellular functions like increases in intracellular stimulatory pathways and calcium handling, disruption of tissue structures like the blood-brain barrier (which may allow toxins to enter the brain), nerve cell death, behavioural, learning, and memory impacts, sleep quality disruption, EEG alterations, impact on the vessel and immune functions, and loss of fertility. It should be noted that we are not the only species in jeopardy, practically all animals, plants, and bacteria may be at stake.

For the latter, Taheri et al (2017) have demonstrated that the exposure to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone radiation and 2.4 GHz radiofrequency radiation emitted from common Wi-Fi routers made Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli resistant to different antibiotics. To say this finding is ”scary” is a classical English understatement.

Scientists have, some of them, left their ivory towers and joined forces with highly dedicated and concerned citizens, often in the shape of parents, teachers, medical doctors, blog:ers, podcast:ers, filmmakers, campaigners, and activists. More and more consumers/citizens are waking up, demanding answers, cards on the table, and action, instead of well-meaning – but completely empty – words from civil servants and politicians [cf. Johansson O, Ferm R, ” “Yes, Prime Minister” Stefan Löfven, but no! This is not good enough!”, 3/5, 2020].

One group, which many persons hope will assist our society to get it right, are the legal representatives, of all categories. And they certainly are making themselves heard!

On July 11, 2021, a Nissan LEAF electromagnetic radiation lawsuit has been filed by a Georgia man who sued the automaker “for permanently damaging his health and for destroying his family and career, not to exceed $10 million.” The Nissan LEAF was voted “The Electric Car of the Year” in Sweden, and has attracted a lot of consumer interest. It is one of the most modern and advance electric cars of today, and is seen as the future of cars. It is 100% electrically powered with greater range and new “Intelligent Mobility” technology, and with an innovative “e-Pedal”. 

The 2015 Nissan LEAF customer who filed the lawsuit alleges the car caused him serious health problems from prolonged driving while sitting on a giant battery that allegedly emits large amounts of low-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.

The plaintiff claims the LEAF radiation is “way above” safe levels of 2 mG (milliGauss; =0.2 µT (microTesla)) or less. It should be noted that these levels have never been proven “safe”, but going from 2 mG to 4 mG doubles the relative risk of childhood leukemia, and was the basis for the World Health Organization (WHO) to cancer-classify (Class 2B) power-frequent magnetic fields of the very same type in 2001.

According to the radiation lawsuit, the 2015 Nissan LEAF EMF measurements are as follows:

  • Driver’s floor — up to 9.2 mG, Top of the seat — up to 5.3 mG.
  • Passenger floor — up to 13.1 mG, Top of the seat — up to 4.9 mG.
  • Back row floor — up to 31.3 mG, Top of the seat — up to 4.5 mG.
  • Back row/top of the elevated floor panel at the center of the vehicle — up to 12.6 mG.


Against this lawsuit it is fair to ask some simple questions: What are the electromagnetic field health risks with electric cars? Do the drivers and passengers know about these risks, and – if not – how are they informed by the retailer? What do manufacturers of electric cars do to reduce the risks and inform their buyers? How are our parliaments and governments handling these risks, and their future health impacts?

I have been told that in Japan, car buyers may ask for a switch-option enabling them to turn off the WiFi inside the car. As we all understand, the Japanese people are very health-conscious and highly intelligent, so I suppose they soon will solve other health-related puzzles. To me, the easiest solution to the issues we discuss all over the world, would be a gigantic switch turning off the colossal radiation exposure we call “the modern world”, until we can prove them … if ever … safe.

”Sick because of electromagnetic fields”

The Court of Appeal of Florence, Italy, after a lawsuit by The Italian General Confederation of Labour, now in 2021 recognizes the occupational disease of three former Enel [Ente nazionale per l’energia elettrica (National Electricity Board)] employees. But, unfortunately, they are all already deceased. 

The Court of Appeal of Florence has recognized a great victory to the Inca-Cgil of the province of Lucca and to the workers. In a judgment that has so far been unique in its kind, the existence of an occupational disease that has never been recognized before has been established. The assisted, victims of this disease, thus obtain the right to receive compensation proportionate to the degree of impairment, equal to 85% of the arrears in addition to the right to a survivor’s pension granted to the spouse.

Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) is The Italian General Confederation of Labour, and Istituto Nazionale Confederale di Assistenza (Inca), The National Confederal Assistance Institute, was born on February 11, 1945, in connection to the first CGIL congress. Its mission is to defend the rights of male and female workers and all Italian citizens, including those living abroad, and to help reform social legislation in order to create a system of protection based on the principles of equality and freedom.

”The story – explains the CGIL of Lucca – begins in 2011 when one of our assistants, at the time 62 years old, turned to the Inca CGIL Patronage of Marlia to obtain assistance in recognizing what he considered a disease caused by his previous work. It was micromolecular multiple myeloma, according to him derived from exposure to waves and electromagnetic fields generated by high voltage pylons.

In fact, the man had worked for Enel from 1974 to 2005; over the years he had been involved in the installation and maintenance of telephone equipment and infrastructures, power plants, teleoperation, and remote control machines, transmission equipment, and coupling devices with conveyed waves, VHF radio transmission equipment, UHF radio bridges, and SHF radio bridges.

The conveyed wave (OCV) apparatuses had been mainly installed in high-voltage power lines, in situations of the presence of a strong electromagnetic field.

Commissioning, testing, and maintenance, of the radio bridges had taken place mainly at repeaters, where numerous VHF, UHF, and SHF transceivers were installed, which locally cause a strong electromagnetic pollution”.

The former Enel worker had therefore requested, through the help of the then head of the Inca office in Marlia, Patrizia Bertoncini, and the medical examiner, Dr. Silvia Baldi, the recognition of the aforementioned occupational disease, but saw it rejected. He was thus forced to resort to judicial action, promoted with the patronage of the lawyer Carla Genovali before the court of Lucca. Here his cause was combined with that of the widows of two colleagues who, like him, had worked for most of their lives for Enel, and who in the meantime had died of similar illnesses.

”Inail (the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work), however, continued to challenge the claims of the offended parties and, despite two expert reports (one environmental and the other scientific) favorable to the arguments of the three workers, the Court rejected the application based on a third negative expert opinion (another medical examiner).

The case was then brought before the Court of Appeal of Florence, after all three cases were closely followed by Dr. Baldi”.

The Court of Appeal of Florence, in front of the documentation filed and above all in the light of the expert reports, both environmental and scientific, previously ignored, has given for granted the existence of the causal link. A new technical consultant was then commissioned to assess the extent of the damage reported by the three workers, who recognized the existence of the occupational diseases reported. The Court of First Instance, therefore, ordered Inail to pay the compensation due.

”It was the first jurisprudential recognition – concludes the CGIL – inherent in blood diseases caused by exposure to electromagnetic waves.

The only bitterness that remains to the operators of the Patronato Inca Cgil, to the medical examiner Silvia Baldi and to the lawyer Carla Genovali, is due to the impossibility of sharing the satisfaction for this result with their historical assistant.

Unfortunately, in fact, shortly before the delivery of the sentence, the promoter of the case died due to the occupational disease reported”.

[cf. ”Sick because of electromagnetic fields” – Chronicle – ].

…but what about the future?

The big players, like the WHO, the radiation protection authorities, the telecom manufacturers, the telecom operators, the insurance and the reinsurance industry are not naive, and they have, therefore – legally – all ’abandoned ship’, some more than 20 years ago, leaving the consumers and their parliaments and governments completely behind on a ship that floats helplessly around.

The big player’s decisions are far more telling than any test tube, mice, or rat experiments I can show you, and it is therefore very high time to call these big players back. They sold us this ”safe” ship, with all their gadgets using these “safe” exposure levels that killed the three Italian workers, and now the big players need to prove that the levels actually are safe. For these big players the future was already visible more than 20 years ago, and they reacted accordingly protecting their own assets, but not ours.

All around the world dramatic reductions in pollinating insect populations are noted, for instance in Germany where more than 75% of them are just gone. I am particularly concerned about this because I already have a number of papers in my files dealing with this angle; I have even recently written a short commentary based on them: Johansson O, ”To bee, or not to bee, that is the five “G” question”, 28/5, 2019.

I also know that other areas around the world have reported similar huge bee colony collapses, and my strong efforts now are to seek ways to conserve, protect and enhance our pollinators, wherever they reside, and thus conserve, protect and enhance ourselves. If we do not engage, then we certainly may head towards a moment in history where future generations – if any – will ask us ”Why didn’t you react and act?”

Existing wireless technologies are increasingly charged because of the major risks they pose to health and the environment. As a result, I support our concerned citizens in their demand for taking all necessary measures to halt the deployment of further systems, and to reduce the overall exposure levels.

I suggest you also act before it is too late.

By Olle Johansson

Olle Johansson, former head of The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and former adjunct professor of The Royal Institute of Technology, also Stockholm, Sweden.

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