On January 13, 2016, was published in the journal PLoS ONE an article “Anthropogenic Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Elicit Neuropathic Pain in an Amputation Model” by Bryan Black, Rafael Granja-Vazquez, Benjamin R. Johnston, Erick Jones, and Mario Romero-Ortega.
Claims made by the authors made some headlines in the news media. Unfortunately, the article is not worthy any attention and should be immediately retraced and returned to the authors for additional experiments. It is simply a case of bad science.
The major problem with the article is the radiation dosimetry and temperature measurement of the skin.
The authors claim that exposing rats to level of RF-EMF mimicking levels emitted by cell towers, the temperature of the skin of the animals increased by 2.1oC (!!!). This would mean, for humans, rise of skin temperature from the normal 36.6oC to some 38.7oC. This should be occurring, according to the study, in response to cell tower radiation – meaning just walking through the city would make human skin to be in fever. As we know this does not happen. Simple logical thinking should bring the authors to the one and the only conclusion that something is badly wrong with their study.
There must be some technical error(s) in execution of the experiments and some of these might be:
- Radiation dosimetry is incorrect and animals are exposed to higher RF-EMF dose
- Temperature measurement is incorrect and shows too high skin temperature
- Handling of animals was incorrect and led to increased skin temperature
There are many other inconsistencies and insufficiencies in the description of the experiments. However, the “temperature & dosimetry” problem alone is enough to completely invalidate the study and demand the immediate retraction.
Also, it is puzzling, how such badly messed up study was accepted by peer-reviewers and by the editors of the PLoS ONE?