Medical/biological study (experimental study)

No effects of GSM-modulated 900 MHz electromagnetic fields on survival rate and spontaneous development of lymphoma in female AKR/J mice.

Published in: BMC Cancer 2004; 4: 77

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study whether 900 MHz electromagnetic field exposure influences lymphoma development in a mouse strain that is genetically predisposed to this disease: The AKR/J mice genome carries a virus, which leads within one year to spontaneous development of thymic lymphoblastic lymphoma.



    • 900 MHz
    • mobile communications
    • GSM
Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for about 40 weeks
  • power: 35 W average over time
  • SAR: 0.4 W/kg mean (whole body)
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
  • guided field
Exposure duration continuous for about 40 weeks
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info Synthetic GSM modulation pulse pattern and frequency spectrum simulating a typical GSM scenario, combining the emissions from a base station (downlink) with those from a mobile phone in DTX operation mode (uplink), thus including 2 Hz, 8 Hz, 217 Hz, and 1733 Hz frequency components.
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber Both waveguides (exposure and sham-exposure) of 4 m diameter and 17 cm vertical plate distance were placed within the same room and carried up to 24 cages measuring 425 mm Π265 mm Π160 mm (L ΠW ΠH) each of them housing 6-7 mice. The cage area was covered with trapezoidal lids (3 cages per opening) with wire mesh. At the outer boundaries of the units, absorbers were installed.
Setup A modulated signal generator and an amplifier were connected to the cone antenna of one unit (and also the presence of the field was monitored continuously) via a "black box" so that it could not be seen which group of animals was exposed (blind design).
Additional info Because the plate distance of the radial waveguide had to be chosen larger than half the wavelength due to the regulated height of the cages, special modifications of the fundamental geometry had to be performed to obtain only the fundamental TEM-mode and avoid the propagation of the unwanted higher order modes.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 35 W average over time - - -
SAR 0.4 W/kg mean calculated whole body -
Measurement and calculation details
Varying SARs in the mice moving freely inside their cages were analysed by numerical computations of the EMF distribution inside the radial waveguide for five different configurations of the animals, which were assumed to be uniformly distributed in time. It was considered sufficient to use simple homogeneous models (ellipsoids, 6 cm x 3 cm, appr. 32 g) filled with muscle tissue for the mice. The standard deviation of the whole body SAR turned out to be ± 40%. The assessment of maximum localized SAR was performed by use of an anatomical mice model which was placed into the group of ellipsoids.
Reference articles
Exposed system:
  • animal
  • mouse/AKR/J
  • whole body

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Electromagnetic field exposure had a significant effect on body weight gain, with higher values in exposed than in sham-exposed mice. Survival rate and lymphoma incidence did not differ between exposed and sham-exposed mice. These results do not support the hypothesis that exposure to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields is a significant risk factor for developing lymphoma in a genetically predisposed species.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS; Federal Office for Radiation Protection), Salzgitter, Germany

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