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Medical/biological study (observational study)

[Response to ACTH of cows under exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields].

ACTH-Stimulationstest bei Kühen unter dem Einfluss hochfrequenter elektromagnetischer Felder.

Published in: Tierarztl Prax Ausg G Grosstiere Nutztiere 2002; 30: 144-147

Aim of study (acc. to author)

Cows salivary cortisol levels were measured on 17 dairy farms in Bavaria under exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields of mobile phone networks.
Background/further details: Data are intended to give an impression of the stress situation of the animals (via cortisol secretion). The investigation differentiated between low-exposure and high-exposure farms. Five cows per farm were treated intravenously with adrenocorticotropic hormone. By means of saliva samples a cortisol profile over four hours was then determined.
Under chronic stress situation the adrenal cortex activity is increased. Therefore, the organism response to a exogenous stressor (stimulated via ACTH administration) by an increase of the peripheral cortisol level.

Endpoint

Exposure

    • mobile communications
    • GSM
Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz–1.8 GHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz–1.8 GHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Additional info 17 Bavarian dairy farms were investigated. The cows were divided into 4 groups: Group A and B served as exposure groups and C and D as control groups. Group A was under the highest exposure conditions whereas group D was under the lowest.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 160 mV/m maximum measured - -
Additional parameter details
The highest exposure levels measured in the stables were 140-160 mV/m.
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
  • isolated bio./chem. substance
  • saliva
  • investigation on living organism
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Highly exposed cows had a higher and more sustained cortisol level than animals with exposure of a lower level. Therefore it is concluded that cows with prolonged exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are chronically stressed. This could lead to a higher susceptibility to diseases.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Landesentwicklung und Umweltfragen, Germany

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