Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Genotoxic effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) in cultured mammalian cells are not independently reproducible. med./bio.

Published in: Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 2007; 626 (1-2): 42-47

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The aim of the study was to independently confirm the results of the REFLEX project (details for REFLEX project see Final Report), i.e. to study genotoxic effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.

Background/further details

Exposure conditions were used (1800 MHz, SAR 2 W/kg, continuous wave, intermittent exposure, 5 min field on/10 min field off) that led to the strongest effects in the previous investigations (publication 11910). The same cells and the same equipment as in the previous study were also used.
For a positive control, a parallel cell culture was exposed to 2 Gy gamma rays (at 4 Gy/min).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1,800 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: intermittent, 5 min on/10 min off, for 1, 4, 18, and 24 h
Exposure 2: 1,800 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: intermittent, 5 min on/10 min off, for 4 and 22 h
Exposure 3: 1,800 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 24 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,800 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Exposure duration intermittent, 5 min on/10 min off, for 1, 4, 18, and 24 h
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber The exposure system has previously been described in detail [Diem et al., 2005]. Two waveguide-based exposure chambers for RF and sham exposure were placed inside a commercial incubator maintained at 37 °C, 5% CO2, and 95% humidity. A computer randomly determined which of the two waveguides was excited.
Setup Cells were seeded into 35-mm Petri dishes 24 h prior to RF-EMF exposure.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info The air temperature difference between the chambers measured at the air-outlet did not exceed 0.1 °C. As a positive control, a parallel culture was exposed to 2 Gy 137Cs gamma-rays at 4 Gy/min.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg mean - - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,800 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Exposure duration intermittent, 5 min on/10 min off, for 4 and 22 h
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info As a positive control, a parallel culture was exposed to 2 Gy 137Cs gamma-rays at 4 Gy/min.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 1 W/kg mean - - -
SAR 2 W/kg mean - - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,800 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Exposure duration continuous for 24 h
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Additional info

GSM basic modulation

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info In some experiments, also continuous exposure with GSM basic modulation was performed at 1 or 2 W/kg for 24 h (data not shown) [Diem et al., 2005].
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 1 W/kg mean - - -
SAR 2 W/kg mean - - -

Reference articles

  • Diem E et al. (2005): Non-thermal DNA breakage by mobile-phone radiation (1800 MHz) in human fibroblasts and in transformed GFSH-R17 rat granulosa cells in vitro.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

For both tests (comet assay and micronucleus assay) and both cell lines clearly negative results were obtained in independently repeated experiments. The authors were not able to confirm some of the genotoxic effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields reported by the REFLEX project. The reasons for the difference between the data reported by the REFLEX project and this present experiments remain unclear.

Study character:

Study funded by

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