Military Role in Safe Use of Microwaves

  • Lawrence T. Odland


The military services of the United States have been, and continue to be, the major users of microwave energy in this country. By the very nature of the necessity that these systems be operational, safe use is mandatory if the missions of the services are to be completed. To this end the military medical departments have assumed the leadership role in studying the biological effects of microwaves, and in setting and evaluating the adequacy of occupational exposure standards. To date, no member of the military service has been shown unequivocally to have been injured because of occupational exposures. Cataracts are the most dramatic effect of microwave injury, but current standards and safety precautions, in the military services, are entirely adequate for protection against this injury. All services are supporting continuing programs of research and clinical studies to insure that the past record of safety continues, and that many of the unknown aspects of the program are properly and thoroughly investigated. A plea is made for the development of a personnel dosimetry and permanent program for recording exposure doses on a permanent basis.


Microwave Radiation Occupational Exposure Military Service Microwave Energy Safety Precaution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Guerlac, H. E.: “OSRD Long History,” Vol V., Division 14, “Radar.” OTS, US Dept of Commerce.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    British Patent 13, 170, issued to Hülsmeyer, Sep 22, 1904, entitled “Hertzian-wave Projecting and Deceiving Apparatus Adapted to Indicate or Give Warning of the Presence of a Metallic Body, Such as a Ship or a Train, in the Line of Projection of Such Waves.”.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Marconi, S.G.: Radio Telegraphy. Proc. IRE, Vol 10-1922.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Skolnik, M,: Introduction to Radar Systems. McGraw-Hill. New York (1962).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    US Patent 1, 981, 884: “Object Locating System,” issued to W.A. Blair. Aug 20, 1937.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thompson, W. D., and Bourgeois, A. E.: Effects of Microwave Exposure or Behavior and Related Phenomena. ARL-TR-65-20. USAF Systems Command, Holloman AFB NMex.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Daily, L.: A Clinical Study of Results of Exposure of Laboratory Personnel to Radar and High-Frequency Radio. US Naval Med Bull 41:1052 (1943).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lidman, B. L. and Cohn, C.: Effect of Radar Emanations on the Hematopoietic System. Air Surg Bulletin 11:448 (1945).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Microwave Radiation Hazards. Urgent Action Tech Order 31-1-18. Rome AF Depot, Griffiss AFB NY (1 Nov 54).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pattishall, E. G.,: Ed, Proceedings of Tri-Service Conf on Biol Hazards of Microwave Radiation, 15–16 Jul 57. Air Res & Development Command, Hq Griffiss AFB NY. ASTIA Document No. AD 115-603.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Michaelson, S. M., et al: Biological Effects of Microwave Exposure. Griffiss AFB NY. Rome Air Develop. Ctr, ASTIA Document No. AD 824-242 (1967).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Industrial Hazards, RADC Reg No. 160-1, 31 May 57. Hq Rome Air Development Ctr, Griffiss AFB NY.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Microwave Radiation Hazards. Urgent Action Tech Order 31-1-511, Rome AF Depot, Griffiss AFB NY, 17 Jun 57.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    TB MED 270/AFM 161-7: Control of Hazards to Health from Microwave Radiation, Depts of Army and Air Force (Dec 1965).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    US Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, Edgewood Arsenal MD 20104. Chief, Bu of Med & Surgery (Code 74), Wash DC, EMC/ Measurements Div, 1839 Electronics Instal Gp, Keesler AFB MS 39534.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zaret, M., et al: A Study of Lenticular Imperfections in the Eyes of a Sample of Microwave Workers and a Control Population. RADC TDR 63-125. New York Univ NY (1963) (ASTIA 413-294).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cleary, S, F., and Pasternack, B. S.: Lenticular Changes in Microwave Workers — A Statistical Study. Arch Environ Health 12 (1966).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barron, C.I., and Baraff, A.A.: Medical Considerations of Exposure to Microwaves (Radar). JAMA 168 (1958).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Appleton, B., and McCrossan, G. C.: Microwave Lens Effects in Humans. Ophthalmology Svc, Walter Reed General Hospital, Wash DC.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    DHEW Pub (FDA) 74-8022: Progress in Radiation — 1973 Protection. USDHEW PHS/FDA, BRH, Rockville MD 20852.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Michaelson, S. M.: Personal communication.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Carpenter, R. L., and Von Ummersen, C. A.: The Action of Microwave Radiation on the Eye. J. Microwave Power, Vol 3 (1968).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Michaelson, S. M.: Human Exposure to Nonionizing Radiant Energy — Potential Hazards and Safety Standards. Proc of IEEE, Vol 60 (Apr 72).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Blair, A.A.: The Constancy of Repair Rate and of Irreparability During Protracted Exposure to Ionizing Radiation. Ann NY Acad Sci, Vol 114 (1964).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Michaelson, S. M.: Relevancy of Experimental Studies of Microwave-Induced Cataracts in Man. Univ of Rochester Rpt 3490-103, Rochester NY.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Odland, L. T.: Radio-frequency Energy — A Hazard to Workers? Inter Jr Indus Med & Surg, Vol 42 (1973).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Biometrics Division, Dir of Plans and Hosp, Office of The Surgeon General, Hq USAF, Wash DC (Feb 70).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Brodin, M. E.: Northwestern Univ, Dept of EE, personal communication (May 72).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Pazderova, J.: Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation of the Order of Centimeter and Meter Waves on Human Health. Pracovni Lekarstui 20:10, 1968. Translated by Alice Marosi, M.S., Lovelace Foundation, by Med Ed & Res, Albuquerque NMex.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Report of Working Group EURO 4701. Health Effects of Ionizing Radiation. The Hague 15–17, Nov 71. Reg Ofc for Europe WHO, Copenhagen (1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence T. Odland
    • 1
  1. 1.USAF Radiological Health Laboratory (AFLC)Wright-Patterson Air Force BaseUSA

Personalised recommendations