Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Evaluation of the co-genotoxic effects of 1800 MHz GSM radiofrequency exposure and a chemical mutagen in cultured human cells med./bio.

Published in: CR physique 2010; 11 (9-10): 613-621

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effect of a 1800 MHz radiofrequency GSM signal combined with a known chemical mutagen (4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide: 4NQO) on human cells.

Background/further details

No heating of the cell cultures was detected during exposure. Additional experiments were performed at 37, 39, 41 or 43°C (2 h, with 4NQO).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1,800 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h

General information

cells were treated in four groups: i) sham exposure ii) EMF exposure iii) 1.8 µM 4NQO (4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide) + sham exposure iv) 1.8 µM 4NQO + EMF exposure

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,800 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h
Modulation type pulsed
Duty cycle 12.5 %
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 1 m
Chamber three identical exposure chambers used - two for simultaneous exposures and one for sham exposure
Setup cells placed in Petri dishes inside thermoregulated Plexiglas incubators which were slowly rotated and positioned each inside an anechoic chamber; temperature inside the incubator 37°C; layer of small glass balls with a diameter of 1.5 mm placed inside the Petri dishes for efficient heat conduction; rectangular horn antenna positioned above the incubator;
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg - - - -
SAR 4 W/kg - - - -
SAR 8 W/kg - - - -
SAR 16 W/kg - - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The exposure of cells to electromagnetic fields with SARs of 2 to 16 W/kg did not increase the DNA damage induced by 4NQO, whereas the number of DNA strand breaks increased with a temperature rise of at least 4 °C. In conclusion, no co-genotoxic effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure was found at levels of exposure that did not induce heating.

Study character:

Study funded by

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