Radiation from mobile phones could have contributed to the dramatic decline in insect populations seen in much of Europe in recent years, a German study showed on Thursday, reports AFP.
On top of pesticides and habitat loss, increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation is “probably having a negative impact on the insect world”, according to the study presented in Stuttgart, which is yet to be peer reviewed.The analysis of 190 scientific studies was carried out by Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) together with two NGOs, one from Germany and one from Luxembourg. Of the 83 studies deemed scientifically relevant, 72 showed that radiation had a negative effect on bees, wasps and flies.
These effects ranged from a reduced ability to navigate due to the disturbance of magnetic fields to damage to genetic material and larvae.
Mobile phone and Wi-Fi radiation in particular opens the calcium channels in certain cells, meaning they absorb more calcium ions.
This can trigger a biochemical chain reaction in insects, the study said, disrupting circadian rhythms and the immune system.
“The study shows that we must keep our eyes open in all directions when analysing the causes of the dramatic insect decline,” said Johannes Enssle, head of NABU in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.