Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect of 50 Hz, 0.2 mT magnetic fields on RBC properties and heart functions of albino rats. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2003; 24 (8): 535-545

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of rats to a 50 Hz magnetic field on the ECG and red blood cells should be investigated.

Background/further details

Rats were divided into 4 groups (n=6 each): 1) exposure to the magnetic field for 15 days, 2) exposure to the magnetic field for 30 days, 3) exposure to the magnetic field for 30 days and subsequent keeping without exposure for further 45 days, 4) sham exposure (remark EMF-Portal: the sham exposure duration is not stated).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 15 days
Exposure 2: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 30 days

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration continuous for 15 days
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber plastic cages (about 2000 cm2 surface area)
Setup a homogenous magnetic field was generated by four solenoids made of 270 turns of electrically insulated 2.2 mm copper wire each, wound around a copper cylindrical chamber of 55 cm external diameter; plastic cages were placed in the center of solenoids; water was pumped in a copper jacket separating the wire winding and the chamber in order to keep the temperature of the chamber constant during the exposure period (thermometer-controlled); current passing in the solenoids was about 2 A; an earthed copper mesh was used to cover both ends of the cage
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info the sham exposure group was kept in a similar cage and in an identical chamber, which was well grounded
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 200 µT effective value measured - ± 10 µT

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration continuous for 30 days
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 200 µT effective value measured - ± 10 µT

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Groups 2 and 3 showed significant changes in the ECG compared to the sham exposure group.
A decreased cell membrane elasticity and permeability of red blood cells were observed in groups 1-3 compared to the sham exposure group. The cell morphological investigation confirmed changes in the membranes of groups 2 and 3. The dielectric properties of hemoglobin were different in groups 1-3 in comparison to the sham exposure group, indicating structural changes of hemoglobin in the exposed cells.
The authors conclude that exposure of rats to a 50 Hz magnetic field might impair the cell membrane of red blood cells with possibly detrimental consequences for the cardiovascular system.

Study character:

Study funded by

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