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Medical/biological study (observational study)

Assessment of cytogenetic damage and oxidative stress in personnel occupationally exposed to the pulsed microwave radiation of marine radar equipment.

Published in: Int J Hyg Environ Health 2011; 214 (1): 59-65

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the cytogenetic damage and oxidative stress induced in workers occupationally exposed to pulsed microwave while working in the vicinity of marine radar equipment.
Background/further details: The study population consisted of exposed workers (29 blood donors: one female and 28 male; average age 41.07 ±1.36 years, 37.9% of them are smokers) and the group of corresponding control subjects (one female and 28 male; average age 38.76 ±1.28 years, 50% of them are smokers).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 3 GHz
Exposure duration: (two times 4 h at the workplace + 16 h in the resting areas)/day for 7 days then 7 days off - for up to 16 years (average 10 ±0.76 years)
  • power: 50 kW peak value
  • power: 30 W average over time
Exposure 2: 5.5 GHz
Exposure duration: (two times 4 h at the workplace + 16 h in the resting areas)/day for 7 days then 7 days off - for up to 16 years (average 10 ±0.76 years)
  • power: 60 kW peak value
  • power: 828 W average over time
Exposure 3: 9.4 GHz
Exposure duration: (two times 4 h at the workplace + 16 h in the resting areas)/day for 7 days then 7 days off - for up to 16 years (average 10 ±0.76 years)
  • power: 50 kW peak value
  • power: 30 W average over time
General information
Measurements were made at eight different locations.
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 3 GHz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration (two times 4 h at the workplace + 16 h in the resting areas)/day for 7 days then 7 days off - for up to 16 years (average 10 ±0.76 years)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 50 kW peak value measured - -
power 30 W average over time measured - -
Additional parameter details

workplace: peak value of power flux density: 0.295 W/² - 37 W/m² time averaged value of power flux density: 0.983 µW/m² - 190 µW/m² peak value of SAR: 0.679 mW/kg - 85 mW/kg time averaged value of SAR: 0.002 µW/kg - 0.4 µW/kg resting and sleeping quarters peak value of power flux density: 0.139 W/m² - 1090 W/m² time averaged value of power flux density: 10.7 µW/m² - 3630 µW/m² peak value of SAR: 0.32 mW/kg - 2510 mW/kg time averaged value of SAR: 0.001 µW/kg - 8.35 µW/kg
Exposure 2
Main characteristics
Frequency 5.5 GHz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration (two times 4 h at the workplace + 16 h in the resting areas)/day for 7 days then 7 days off - for up to 16 years (average 10 ±0.76 years)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 60 kW peak value measured - -
power 828 W average over time measured - -
Exposure 3
Main characteristics
Frequency 9.4 GHz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration (two times 4 h at the workplace + 16 h in the resting areas)/day for 7 days then 7 days off - for up to 16 years (average 10 ±0.76 years)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 50 kW peak value measured - -
power 30 W average over time measured - -
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Differences in comet assay and micronucleus test parameters were statistically significant between the two examined groups, suggesting that cytogenetic alterations occurred after microwave exposure.
The glutathione concentration in the exposed group was significantly lower than in controls whereas the concentration of malondialdehyde was significantly higher, indicating oxidative stress.
The data suggest that pulsed microwaves from working environment can be the cause of genetic and cell alterations and that oxidative stress can be one of the possible mechanisms of DNA and cell damage.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Republic of Croatia

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