The Sensitivity of Portions of the Human Central Nervous System to ''Safe'' Levels of Microwave Radiation

by R. M. Lebovitz

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An examination of the possible biological effects of low-level microwave radiation on the human organism. The direct effects of microwave radiation (i.e., those not brought about indirectly by heat) are explored briefly, and no mechanism is revealed by which exposure of 10 mW or less per sq cm of exposed body surface can produce significant changes. Neither photon energies nor heat effects from low-level radiation are sufficient to produce significant stress, and the hypothesis of microthermal gradients is also rejected. A novel hypothesis is proposed: that the human inner ear may be responsive to low-level microwave radiation via indirect, caloric stimulation. A simplified mathematical model of induced temperature gradients in the vestibular apparatus is constructed to examine this possibility. Further experiments that should be undertaken to determine the validity of the model predictions are suggested.

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