Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of co-exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields and benzene or benzene metabolites determined in vitro by the alkaline comet assay. med./bio.

Published in: Toxicol Lett 2005; 157 (2): 119-128

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study in vitro the possible genotoxic and/or co-genotoxic activity of 50 Hz magnetic fields by using the comet assay.

Background/further details

Sets of experiments were performed to evaluate the possible interaction between 50 Hz magnetic fields and the known leukemogen benzene. Three benzene hydroxylated metabolites were also evaluated: 1,2-benzenediol (catechol), 1,4-benzenediol (hydroquinone), and 1,2,4-benzenetriol.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h

General information

Experiment comprised of following groups: Jürkat cells 1) exposed to MF, 2) sham exposed, 3) neither exposed nor sham exposed, 4) exposed to MF and xenobiotics, 5) sham exposed and exposed to xenobiotics, 6) not exposed to MF but exposed to xenobiotics.

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • a pair of parallel coils arranged in a Helmholtz configuration
Chamber CO2 incubator, with the Helmholtz coil system placed in it, maintained at 37°C
Setup the magnetic field was oriented in the plane of the cell culture plates
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1 mT peak value measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Cells co-exposed to 1mT magnetic fields, benzene and catechol did not show any genotoxic activity. However, co-exposure of cells to 1mT magnetic fields and hydroquinone led to the appearance of a clear genotoxic effect. Moreover, co-exposure of cells to 1mT magnetic fields and 1,2,4-benzenetriol led to a marked increase in the genotoxicity of the ultimate metabolite of benzene.
The possibility that 50 Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields might interfere with the genotoxic activity of xenobiotics has important implications, since humans are likely to be exposed to a variety of genotoxic agents concomitantly with exposure to this type of physical agent.
Remark: The authors speak about Jürkat cells. It is supposed that they mean Jurkat cells.

Study character:

Study funded by

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