Medical/biological study (observational study)

Bioassay for assessing cell stress in the vicinity of radio-frequency irradiating antennas.

Published in: J Environ Monit 2011; 13 (7): 1890-1896

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study stress conditions in duckweed plants, possibly resulting from exposure to radiofrequency irradiation, generated by radio transmitter antennas in a residential area.
Background/further details: Etiolated plants were grown in continuous darkness for five months and 1 g fresh weight of duckweed cultures was used for experiments. Each experiment was repeated six to eight times.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.287 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 24 h
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 1.287 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 24 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 150 m
Setup plants kept in continuous darkness; measurements made inside a residential home
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 7.8 V/m - measured - ±0.2 V/m five antennas measured 2005
electric field strength 1.8 V/m - measured - ±0.3 V/m one antenna measured 2006-2007
electric field strength 3.3 V/m - measured - ±0.2 V/m one antenna measured 2009
Exposed system:
  • plant
  • duckweed (Landoltia punctata (G.Meyer) Les & Crawford)

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The exposure of duckweed to radiofrequency electromagnetic field generated by amplitude modulated broadcast antennas, resulted in alanine accumulation in the plant cells (a universal stress signal). The magnitude of the effect correlated to the level of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure. In the presence of vitamin C, alanine accumulation is completely suppressed, suggesting the involvement of free radicals in the process. A unique biological connection has thus been made between the radiofrequency exposure and cellular stress, in the vicinity of radiofrequency transmitting antennas. This simple test, which lasts only 24 h, could serve as a useful bioassay for the quick detection of biological cell stress caused in the vicinity of radiofrequency transmitting antennas.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Israel Science Foundation (ISF)

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