Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study, review/survey)

Biological and Health Effects of Mobile Telephone Radiations. med./bio.

Published in: Int J Med Biol Front 2009; 15 (1-2): 33-76
Journal partially peer-reviewed/unclear

Aim of study (acc. to author)

This article consists of a review of biological, clinical and epidemiological data and an experimental study. In the following only the experimental study is presented.
To study the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic irradiation at 900 MHz (emitted by GSM mobile phones) and at 1800 MHz (emitted by DCS mobile phones) on reproductive capacity of the insect Drosophila melanogaster and the dependency of the effect of different electromagnetic field parameters (e.g. intensity, carrier frequency, distance from antenna).

Background/further details

There were six sets of experiments: 1) GSM 900 MHz exposure in non-speaking mode (non-modulated), 2) mobile phone exposure in speaking mode (modulated emission, GSM), 3) investigation of effects of the mobile phone GSM signal on the reproductive capacity of each sex separately, 4) comparison of bioactivity between GSM 900 MHz and DCS 1800 MHz, 5) exposure of insects at different distances (0-100 cm), both types of exposure, 6) effects on DNA fragmentation (cell death) in the ovarian cells. In each experiment different exposed and sham exposed groups were used.
Each group consisted of ten female and ten male newly emerged flies kept in separate vials for the first 48 h. After the 48 h, when both males and females of each group were sexually mature, they were put together (10 pairs) in another glass vial and they were allowed to mate and lay eggs for the next 72 h.
For cell death investigation ovarioles were investigated (background information about ovarioles, see Panagopoulos 2007b).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
investigation of non-modulated GSM exposure on the reproductive capacity
Exposure 2: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
investigation of GSM exposure on the reproductive capacity
Exposure 3: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6 min/day on 2 days
investigation of each sex separately
Exposure 4: 900–1,800 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
comparison of GSM 900 and DCS 1800 exposure
Exposure 5: 900–1,800 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
experiment with different distances (i.e. intensities)
Exposure 6: 900–1,800 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6 min/day on 6 days
cell death experiment
  • SAR: 0.89 W/kg maximum (manufacturer's data for the head)
  • power: 2 W (for GSM)
  • power: 1 W (for DCS)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
Additional info investigation of non-modulated GSM exposure on the reproductive capacity
Additional info GSM phone in non-speaking (DTX) mode
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 4.6315 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

additional frequencies: 8.34 Hz, 2 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup flies kept in 10 cm high glass vials with a diameter of 2.5 cm, closed with a cotton plug; during exposure plug pushed down in the vial to about 1 cm from the ground; mobile phone placed outside the vial in contact to it
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W - - - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
Additional info investigation of GSM exposure on the reproductive capacity
Additional info GSM phone in speaking mode
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 4.6315 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

additional frequencies: 8.34 Hz, 2 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W - - - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 6 min/day on 2 days
Additional info investigation of each sex separately
Additional info GSM phone in speaking mode flies were treated in four groups: i) male and female flies exposed ii) only female flies exposed iii) only male flies exposed iv) male and female flies sham exposed
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 4.6315 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

additional frequencies: 8.34 Hz, 2 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W - - - -

Exposure 4

Main characteristics
Frequency 900–1,800 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
Additional info comparison of GSM 900 and DCS 1800 exposure
Additional info flies were treated in four groups: i) GSM 900 exposure with the phone's antenna in contact to the vial ii) GSM 900 exposure with the phone's antenna at 1 cm distance to the vial iii) DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna in contact to the vial iv) sham exposure
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 4.631 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

additional frequencies: 8.34 Hz, 2 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 22.3 V/m average over time measured - +/- 2.2 V/m ELF component for group i)
magnetic flux density 0.05 µT average over time measured - +/- 0.008 µT ELF component for group i)
power density 0.407 mW/cm² - measured - +/- 0.061 mW/cm² for group i)
electric field strength 13.9 V/m average over time measured - +/- 1.6 V/m for group ii)
magnetic flux density 0.04 µT average over time measured - +/- 0.007 µT for group ii)
power density 0.286 mW/cm² - measured - +/- 0.05 mW/cm² for group ii)
electric field strength 14.2 V/m average over time measured - +/- 1.7 V/m for group iii)
magnetic flux density 0.038 µT average over time measured - +/- 0.007 µT for group iii)
power density 0.283 mW/cm² - measured - +/- 0.043 mW/cm² for group iii)
SAR 0.89 W/kg maximum - - manufacturer's data for the head
power 2 W - - - for GSM
power 1 W - - - for DCS

Exposure 5

Main characteristics
Frequency 900–1,800 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 6 min/day on 5 days
Additional info experiment with different distances (i.e. intensities)
Additional info flies were treated in 13 groups: i) GSM 900 or DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna in contact to the vial ii) GSM 900 or DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna at 1 cm distance to the vial iii) GSM 900 or DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna at 10 cm distance to the vial iv)GSM 900 or DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna at 20 cm distance to the vial . . . xii) GSM 900 or DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna at 100 cm distance to the vial xiii) sham exposure
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 4.631 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

additional frequencies: 8.34 Hz, 2 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 0.89 W/kg maximum - - manufacturer's data for the head
power 2 W - - - for GSM
power 1 W - - - for DCS
power density 0.38 mW/cm² maximum measured - +/- 0.058 mW/cm² for GSM at 0 cm distance
power density 0.0004 mW/cm² minimum measured - +/- 0.0001 mW/cm² for GSM at 100 cm distance
electric field strength 19 V/m maximum measured - +/- 2.5 V/m for GSM at 0 cm distance
electric field strength 0.1 V/m minimum measured - +/- 0.02 V/m for GSM at 50 cm distance
magnetic flux density 0.09 µT maximum measured - +/- 0.015 µT for GSM at 0 cm distance
magnetic flux density 0.005 µT minimum measured - +/- 0.001 µT for GSM at 40 cm distance
power density 0.25 mW/cm² maximum measured - +/- 0.048 mW/cm² for DCS at 0 cm distance
power density 0.0002 mW/cm² minimum measured - +/- 0.0001 mW/cm² for DCS at 100 cm distance
electric field strength 13 V/m maximum measured - +/- 2.1 V/m for DCS at 0 cm distance
electric field strength 0.1 V/m minimum measured - +/- 0.04 V/m for DCS at 40 cm distance
magnetic flux density 0.06 µT maximum measured - +/- 0.008 µT for DCS at 0 cm distance
magnetic flux density 0.006 µT minimum measured - +/- 0.001 µT for DCS at 30 cm distance

Exposure 6

Main characteristics
Frequency 900–1,800 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 6 min/day on 6 days
Additional info cell death experiment
Additional info flies were treated in five groups: i) GSM 900 exposure with the phone's antenna in contact to the vial ii) GSM 900 exposure with the phone's antenna at 1 cm distance to the vial iii) DCS 1800 exposure with the phone's antenna in contact to the vial iv) sham exposure v) control
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 4.631 ms
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

additional frequencies: 8.34 Hz, 2 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 0.89 W/kg maximum - - manufacturer's data for the head
power 2 W - - - for GSM
power 1 W - - - for DCS

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A few minutes of daily mobile phone exposure for only a few days significantly decreased the insect reproduction by up to 60% (experiment 2 with the modulated field). Both sexes were found to be affected, but females were more affected than the males. The effect was due to DNA fragmentation in the gonads caused by both types of digital mobile phone radiation (GSM 900 MHz and DCS 1800 MHz).
GSM exposure was more bioactive than DCS exposure, due to its higher intensity under equal conditions. The decrease in reproductive capacity seemed to be non-linearly depended on irradiation intensity, exhibiting a peak for intensities higher than 200 µW/cm² and a window effect around µ10W/cm². This intensity "window" appeared at a distance of 20-30 cm from the mobile phone antenna.

Study character:

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