Directed Energy: Medical Effects of Radio Frequency Exposure (Microwave & Millimeter Wave) - A Literature Review
Special rept. Jan 2011-Mar 2012
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB OH
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This literature review provides a relatively compact summary of research efforts on diagnosing, managing, and treating injuries caused by radio frequency RF radiation exposure. We examined standards, reference documents, and peer-reviewed research that have been published from 2000 to present. The majority of these documents and articles were primarily focused on describing cellular effects and dose-response relationships very few articles address the medical implications of RF exposure. Furthermore, most of these articles appear in specialized journals, which are not commonly found in medical libraries, or in technical reports with very limited distribution. As a result, there is a wide disparity in what is known about directed energy in the laboratory and what is known by clinicians. The intent of this paper is to help transition the body of knowledge from the laboratories to the clinicians. To that end, the adverse biological effects resulting from RF exposure are due to temperature elevation. The increase in temperature can be severe enough to cause localized burning of tissue or elevation of body temperature to dangerous levels. The major difference between RF-induced injuries and ordinary burns is the location of the damage. A unique characteristic of RF energy is its ability to penetrate deeper into the body and heat internal structures, such as muscles and organs, without elevating skin temperature. Investigating the therapeutic potential of pharmacologic agents and exploring new management and treatment options for RF-induced burn injuries are recommended.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation