To evaluate whether long-term exposure to GSM mobile phones might give rise to changes in cognitive functions, the authors exposed male and female rats to GSM mobile phone electromagnetic fields for 2 h once a week for a total of 55 weeks.
Out of a total of 56 rats, 32 rats were exposed (two groups at different SAR values), 16 animals were sham exposed and 8 animals were cage controls.
Behavioural tests were performed during a period from 3 to 7 weeks after the last exposure or sham exposure.
|Exposure duration||2 h/week for 55 weeks|
The exposed rats (both groups) showed a significant impairment in episodic-like memory when compared to that of sham exposed animals. Exposed rats had impaired memory for objects and their temporal order of presentation compared to sham exposed rats. The observed impairment following exposure cannot be attributed to acute stress, because tests were performed during a period of 3-7 weeks after the last exposure.
In the open field test no difference was found.
The data suggest significantly reduced memory functions in rats after GSM microwave exposure.