Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Stuart Kramer, PhD


It is a well-known fact that high frequency, or radio frequency, radiation can be directly harmful to biological tissue. The radiation frequencies to which humans are most exposed, however, are the extremely low frequencies, or ELFs. To date there has been no definitive measure for predicting the ability of low frequency electromagnetic radiation to cause adverse biological effects. Two specific measures, average magnetic field and kinetic index, have been used in studies to determine if they are useful predictors of adverse effects, specifically leukemia. Unfortunately, both have shown only marginal results. This thesis analyzed and improved the kinetic index measure (Thomas, et al., 1994) by utilizing laboratory biological data to increase the validity of the parameters of an existing model. Then, using this 'improved' model, raw magnetic field exposure data from a previous study was analyzed and compared with the measurement method used in that study (average magnetic field). The results of the model modification showed that accurate modeling of the existing laboratory data could only be accomplished by including and additional parameter to the existing Litovitz multistage model. The results of the model application, however, were not particularly conclusive. The case-control study used for the model application was less than ideal, requiring that more rigorous epidemiological studies be conducted in order to accurately test the improved model.

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