Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

In utero and early-life exposure of rats to a Wi-Fi signal: Screening of immune markers in sera and gestational outcome. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2012; 33 (5): 410-420

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To test the hypothesis that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields may impact the production of neoantigens in developing organisms, the authors investigated sera of young rats exposed from the gestational period until sexual maturity.

Background/further details

The period of exposure (from the 6th gestational day to 5 weeks postnatal) covered development of the immune system mainly occurring in utero and its maturation postnatal.
Pregnant rats were exposed at different specific absorption rates (each exposure condition 10-12 rats). Dams were exposed from days 6 to 21 of gestation and together with three newborns (two males, one female) per litter from birth until weaning (postnatal day 21). Then, dams were removed and the three pups were exposed from day 21 until postanatal day 35. On day 35 after birth, all pups were sacrificed and sera collected. One male per litter was used to obtain serum samples (sham exposure group: n=10; 0.08 W/kg group: n=10; 0.4 W/kg group: n=12; 4 W/kg group: n=9 and cage control: n=11).
Positive controls were performed by using an arthritis rat model using Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37RA in male Wistar rats (n=3).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 2.45 GHz
Exposure duration: continuous 2h/day, 5 days/week from day 6 to 21 of gestation (pregnant dam) and from day 1 to 35 (pups) postnatal
  • SAR: 4 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (11 dams)
  • SAR: 0.4 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (12 dams)
  • SAR: 0.08 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (10 dams)
  • SAR: 0 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (10 dams)
  • SAR: 9 W/kg maximum (whole body) (+/- 3 W/kg; max. SAR of pups)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 2.45 GHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous 2h/day, 5 days/week from day 6 to 21 of gestation (pregnant dam) and from day 1 to 35 (pups) postnatal
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber cubic reverberation chamber (150 cm x 150 cm x 150 cm) with six antennas, respectively one in the middle of each side of the cube
Setup the six antennas were activated at random; three stirrers used for mode mixing to obtain symmetrical and uniform exposure; WiFi-signal was amplified by a 70 W power amplifier to reach the different SAR values
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info four animal cages with the exposure groups were placed in a 40 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm volume at the centre of the chamber
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 4 W/kg average over mass measured and calculated whole body 11 dams
SAR 0.4 W/kg average over mass measured and calculated whole body 12 dams
SAR 0.08 W/kg average over mass measured and calculated whole body 10 dams
SAR 0 W/kg average over mass measured and calculated whole body 10 dams
SAR 9 W/kg maximum calculated whole body +/- 3 W/kg; max. SAR of pups

Reference articles

  • Wu T et al. (2010): Whole-body new-born and young rats' exposure assessment in a reverberating chamber operating at 2.4 GHz.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Under these experimental conditions, whole-body in utero and extended postnatal exposure of rats to a WiFi signal at SAR levels up to 4 W/kg for the dams and transiently up to 9 W/kg for the pups had no detectable effects on the production of immunoglobulins directed against the selected antigens related to several pathological processes or on the gestational outcome (i.e. number of pups per litter, body weights of pups).

Study character:

Study funded by

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