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www.mast-victims.org forum / General discussion / Military say its safe to use MWs
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# Posted: 3 Dec 2017 17:03

Less Lethal Weapons

Ian Greaves FRCP, FCEM, FIMC, RCS(Ed), DTM&H, DMCC, DipMedEd, RAMC, Paul Hunt MBBS, DipIMC(RCSEd), MCEM, MRCSEd, DMCC, RAMC, in Responding to Terrorism, 2010
Brief description

Directed electromagnetic radiation weapons were developed by the US military in the 1990s as active denial systems (ADS) designed to cause incapacitating pain for use as a crowd control measure during a public disorder incident. These systems are colloquially known as 'pain rays' and may also be known as high-energy radio-frequency (HERF) cannons. The devices that are currently available are vehicle-mounted, although research is ongoing into portable devices.
Mode of action

A focused beam of high-frequency microwave electromagnetic radiation is directed towards the subject, causing water molecules in the superficial epidermis to become excited, resulting in rapid heating up to around 55°C and an intense sensation of extreme heat by stimulation of nerve fibre endings. The devices are not designed to cause burns, as the microwave radiation penetrates no deeper than 0.5 mm. The range of these devices is believed to be up to half a kilometre. The microwaves can penetrate thick clothing. Walls and other solid objects will impede the radiation, as will any conductive material.

The onset of pain is immediate. The painful sensation is intended to cease as soon as the exposure stops, often occurring when the victim takes cover. The effect is said to be akin to that of standing in the blast heat wave of a very hot oven.
Potential injuries

The devices are reportedly safe and very few serious injuries have been documented. Burns may theoretically occur if there is long-term exposure to the radiation. Significant eye injuries are also a potential complication.

However, most reported injuries have not required medical intervention.

No complications are known, although significant radiation exposure to eyes is potentially associated with permanent ocular injury.

No specific investigations are recommended. Particular attention should be paid to eye examination with careful assessment of visual acuity to exclude ocular injury.

No specific treatment is required. Minor burns should be treated conventionally.

No long-term effects are known. Patients should be safe for discharge with routine advice, for example for minor burns, as required.

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