Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Mutagenic and morphologic impacts of 1.8 GHz radiofrequency radiation on human peripheral blood lymphocytes (hPBLs) and possible protective role of pre-treatment with Ginkgo biloba (EGb 761) med./bio.

Published in: Sci Total Environ 2011; 410: 59-64

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of human peripheral blood lymphocytes to a 1.8 GHz electromagnetic field with or without co-exposure with a Ginkgo biloba extract on the mutation rate, cell viability and cell morphology should be investigated.

Background/further details

Cells were divided into 3 groups: 1) sham exposure, 2) exposure to the electromagnetic field, 3) exposure and addition of 100 µg/ml Ginkgo biloba extract "EGb 761" prior to the exposure.
All experiments were performed as triplicates.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.8 GHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 6, 8, 12 and 48 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1.8 GHz
Exposure duration continuous for 6, 8, 12 and 48 h
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 0.576 ms
Duty cycle 12.5 %
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 10 cm
Chamber 2 ml round bottom test tubes containing 0.5 lymphocytes solution
Setup rectangular horn antenna was placed vertically above the exposure tubes and radiating downwards; temperature inside the chamber was kept at 37°C by circulating water through a waterbed placed underneath the exposure tubes
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info no temperature difference was observed between sham exposed and exposed cells
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 0.21 W/kg mean measured and calculated - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

At all points in time, the mutation rate was significantly higher in group 2 (only exposure) compared to the sham exposure group. At the same time, the mutation rate was significantly lower in group 3 (exposure + EGb 761) compared to group 2.
The cell viability was significantly reduced in group 2 compared to the sham exposure group at all points in time and it was significantly increased in group 3 after 8 hours and 24 hours of exposure compared to group 2.
Morphological abnormalities were spotted in group 2 at each point in time, with a tendency towards more pronounced and severe effects with growing exposure duration (remark EMF-Portal: no examination of other groups and no comparison; result unclear). The effects ranged from variations in the cell size after 6 hours of exposure to distinct organelle and membrane destruction after 48 hours of exposure.
The authors conclude that exposure of human peripheral blood lymphocytes to a 1.8 GHz electromagnetic field might increase the mutation rate, decrease cell viability and alter cell morphology, and that EGb 761 could reduce these effects.

Study character:

Study funded by

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