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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Cell phone electromagnetic field radiations affect rhizogenesis through impairment of biochemical processes.

Published in: Environ Monit Assess 2012; 184 (4): 1813-1821

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of 900 MHz cell phone exposure on root formation in mung bean hypocotyls (stem of a germinating seedling, found below the seed leaves and above the root), a model system for rhizogenesis in plants.
Background/further details: 16 glass vials (each containing five hypocotyls) were used for each exposure condition (including control). Each experiment (exposure condition) was repeated for three times. After the exposure, the hypocotyls were transferred into a growth chamber for seven days. For each enzymatic/biochemical analysis, there were five replicated tissue samples.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 0.5, 1, 2 h
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 0.5, 1, 2 h
Additional info cell phones in talk and listen mode
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info additional frequency: 8.34 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 6 cm
Chamber with 2 mm thick aluminum sheets shielded 47.5 cm x 27 cm x 17.5 cm chamber
Setup two cell phones placed along the chamber's walls; 12 glass vials containing the hypocotyls positioned between them (according to the figure in the article); constant temperature of 25 +/- 1°C inside the chamber
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 5.7 V/m spatial average - - in the chamber
power density 8.549 µW/cm² spatial average measured - -
Exposed system:
  • plant
  • mung bean (Vigna radiata)/Wilczek, hypocotyls

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The number of roots per hypocotyl and the average root length decreased significantly in response to cell phone exposure. The inhibitory effect increased with the period of exposure time. Additionally, the length of emerged roots was lesser in exposed hypocotyls.
The cell phone exposure enhanced the enzyme activities of proteases, polyphenol oxidases, and peroxidases in mung bean hypocotyls in comparison with the control. Furthermore, the electromagnetic field exposure enhanced the malondialdehyde level, the hydrogen peroxide, and proline content, indicating a reactive oxygen species-mediated oxidative damage in the hypocotyls. This was confirmed by the upregulation in the enzyme activities of all antioxidant enzymes suggesting their possible role in providing protection against mobile phone exposure-induced oxidative damage.
The authors concluded that cell phone exposure affect (inhibit) the process of rhizogenesis through biochemical alterations that manifest as oxidative damage resulting in root impairment.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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