Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of modulated microwave radiation at cellular telephone frequency (1.95 GHz) on X-ray-induced chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes in vitro med./bio.

Published in: Radiat Res 2008; 169 (5): 575-583

Aim of study (acc. to author)

This in vitro study was conducted to study the influence of 1.95 GHz UMTS modulated radio frequency exposure on X ray induced chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes.

Background/further details

The lymphocytes were obtained from four healthy male donors aged between 23 and 30 years.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.95 GHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 24 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1.95 GHz
  • guided field
Exposure duration continuous for 24 h
Modulation type cf. additional info
Additional info

UMTS signal meeting the WCDMA standard, according to the 3GPP 3.5 2001-03 specifications (five power-controlled user data channels and one control channel)

Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • waveguide
  • WR 430, rectangular, 109.2 mm x 54.6 mm
Chamber The standardized exposure device has been described in [Sannino et al., 2006 and Calabrese et al., 2006]. Two identical waveguides, one for RF and one for sham exposure, were housed in a commercial incubator at 37°C with 95% air and 5% CO2.
Setup A total of eight 35-mm Petri dishes were inoculated with lymphocytes from each donor. Four dishes, each filled with 3 ml of cell suspension, were held by a plastic stand in each waveguide. The distance between the samples allowed simultaneous exposure at two different SARs. The induced electric field was essentially parallel to the sample surface.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info The feeding end was a coaxial waveguide adapter, the other end terminated with a fixed short circuit. The center of the samples was at a distance of 0.5 λ from the short circuit in order to achieve the best trade-off between efficiency and SAR uniformity.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg mean determined by power loss - -
SAR 0.5 W/kg mean determined by power loss - -

Reference articles

  • Sannino A et al. (2006): Evaluation of Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects in Human Peripheral Blood Leukocytes Following Exposure to 1950-MHz Modulated Signal
  • Calabrese M et al. (2006): A high-efficiency waveguide applicator for in vitro exposure of mammalian cells at 1.95 GHz

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The UMTS exposure did not cause differences in the fraction of X-ray-induced aberrant cells. However, a small but statistically significant increase in the frequency of X-ray-induced chromosome exchanges per cell, especially at the specific absorption rate of 2 W/kg was observed.
In conclusion, although the 1.95 GHz UMTS modulated radiofrequency field does not exacerbate the yield of aberrant cells caused by ionizing radiation, the overall burden of X-ray-induced chromosomal damage per cell in first-mitosis lymphocytes may be enhanced at 2.0 W/kg SAR.

Study character:

Study funded by

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