Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Microwaves from GSM mobile telephones affect 53BP1 and gamma-H2AX foci in human lymphocytes from hypersensitive and healthy persons med./bio.

Published in: Environ Health Perspect 2005; 113 (9): 1172-1177

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of microwaves of Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) at different carrier frequencies on human lymphocytes from healthy persons and from persons reporting hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields.

Background/further details

Heat treatment in water bath (at 41°C and 43°C) was used as a positive control for stress response.
Several proteins, such as the tumor suppressor p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) and the phosphorylated histone H2AX (gamma-H2AX), have been shown to produce discrete intranuclear foci, which are believed to colocolize with DNA double-strand breaks providing a scaffold structure for DNA double-strand breaks repair.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 905–915 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 905–915 MHz
  • guided field
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 577 µs
Additional info

Neither voice modulation nor DTX mode was applied.

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber Cells were exposed in 14 ml round-bottom tubes (2.5 ml cell suspension per tube) which were placed in a humidified CO2 incubator maintained at 37°C.
Setup The output of the mobile phone (see reference article) was connected via coaxial cable to a TEM cell. The power was monitored online using a power meter.
Additional info In each experiment, the cells from the same blood samples were exposed in the same TEM cell in sequence and in random order to microwaves at 905 MHz and 915 MHz and sham-exposed with microwaves off. Heat treatment in a water bath, at 41°C and 43°C, was used as a positive control for stress responses. As a positive control for genotoxic effect, the cells were irradiated with 137Cs γ-rays, at 3 Gy, with a dose rate of 10.6 Gy/min.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W cf. remarks measured - pulse power
SAR 37 mW/kg mean measured and calculated - 15-122 mW/kg

Reference articles

  • Belyaev IY et al. (2005): 915 MHz microwaves and 50 Hz magnetic field affect chromatin conformation and 53BP1 foci in human lymphocytes from hypersensitive and healthy persons

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Microwaves from GSM mobile phones affect chromatin conformation and 53BP1/gamma-H2AX foci similar to heat shock. These effects indicate stress responses and/or DNA damage. The effects of microwaves from mobile phones on human lymphocytes are dependent on carrier frequency. On average, the same response was found in lymphocytes from hypersensitive and healthy subjects.

Study character:

Study funded by

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