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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Evaluation of the cytogenotoxic damage in immature and mature rats exposed to 900 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.

Published in: Int J Radiat Biol 2013; 89 (11): 985-992

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine whether exposure to electromagnetic fields has a genotoxic and cytotoxic effect on bone marrow cells in immature (2 weeks old) and mature (10 weeks old) rats.
Background/further details: The following groups of rats were examined (n=8 per group): 1.) immature rats, killed directly after sham exposure period, 2.) immature rats, killed directly after exposure period, 3.) immature rats, killed 15 days after exposure period, 4.) mature rats, killed directly after sham exposure period, 5.) mature rats, killed directly after exposure period and 6.) mature rats, killed 15 days after exposure period.
Four rats were used for the micronucleus test and four rats for the chromosomal analysis and mitotic index.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h/day for 45 days
General information
Rats were divided into six groups with eight animals each: i) immature control group ii) immature rats exposed to EMF iii) immature rats granted a recovery period of 15 days after exposure termination iv) mature control group v) mature rats exposed to EMF vi) mature rats granted a recovery period of 15 days after exposure termination
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h/day for 45 days
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • GSM simulator
Chamber rats were exposed in a pie cage restrainer for 12 rats made of plexiglas with several air holes; galvanized plate (1mm thick) was placed at the bottom for grounding of the static field
Setup antenna heights were approximately 15 cm; antenna was located in the middle of the pie cage restrainer and fixed as closely as possible to the whole body of the rat (about 6 cm from the head)
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W - - - applied output power
SAR 0.76 W/kg mean calculated whole body 0.38-0.78 W/kg (for immature rats)
SAR 0.37 W/kg mean calculated whole body 0.31-0.52 W/kg (for mature rats)
electric field strength 28.1 V/m mean measured - ± 4.8 V/m (for immature rats)
electric field strength 20 V/m mean measured - ± 3.2 V/m (for mature rats)
Measurement and calculation details
background levels of other RF sources in the laboratory were measured with a spectrum analyzer/satellite receiver and an electrical field meter, stability of the frequency system was checked every week by using a spectrum analyzer
Reference articles
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed significant increases in chromosome aberrations and micronucleus frequency, while the mitotic index and the ratio of polychromatic erythrocytes was significantly decreased in bone marrow cells of all exposure groups compared with the control group. Additionally, the cytotoxic and genotoxic damage was more remarkable in immature rats than in mature rats. The 15 days of recovery period was insufficient to compensate the genotoxic damage in immature rats after exposure.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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