Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Toxicologic study of electromagnetic radiation emitted by television and video display screens and cellular telephones on chickens and mice. med./bio.

Published in: Indoor Built Environ 2001; 10: 291-298

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of chicken embryos to electromagnetic fields from a TV, computer screen or a 900 MHz mobile phone on embryonic mortality, immunologic and hormonal blood parameters should be investigated. Additionally, the effects of exposure of mice to a 900 MHz mobile phone on hormonal blood parameters and cancer should be investigated.

Background/further details

Chicken Embryos (fertilized eggs) were divided into the following groups: 1) TV exposure until 47 days after hatching (n=30), 2) computer screen exposure (n=30) until 47 days after hatching, 3) TV exposure until hatching (n=60), 4) computer screen exposure until hatching (n=60), 5) mobile phone exposure until hatching (n=60; 3 repetitions), 6) mobile phone exposure with shielding gauze against radiofrequency fields until hatching (n=60; 2 repetitions). For each group, a separate corresponding sham exposure group with the same amount of embryos, respectively, was used.
Mice were exposed to the mobile phone from an age of 5 weeks up to 20 weeks. At the age of 17 weeks, Lewis tumor cells were injected. The mice were divided into the following groups (n=15 each): 7) sham exposure without tumor injection as control group, 8) sham exposure and tumor injection, 9) mobile phone exposure and tumor injection, 10) mobile phone exposure with shielding gauze and tumor injection, 11) mobile phone exposure and tumor injection and additional examinations before tumor injection.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 15 weeks
mobile phone without shielding gauze
Exposure 2: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 15 weeks
mobile phone with shielding gauze
Exposure 3:
  • unspecified
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 47 days
TV
Exposure 4:
  • unspecified
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 47 days
computer screen

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for up to 15 weeks
Additional info mobile phone without shielding gauze
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber non-metal cages for mice
Setup the phone sent an automatic call every minute; for eggs: mobile phone was placed in the center of the plate supporting the eggs at a height of 10 cm and 5 cm from the surface of the eggs with its front side facing them; for mice: phone was placed 4 cm below their cage; room temperature for mice was 22°C
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 18 V/m maximum measured - -
magnetic flux density 0.03 µT maximum measured - converted from 90 dBpT
power 2 W maximum - - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for up to 15 weeks
Additional info mobile phone with shielding gauze
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber non-metal cages for mice
Setup addition to setup E1: an earthed copper gauze of 0.47 m x 0.57 m and mesh diameter of 350 pm was interposed between eggs or the mice and the mobile phone; grid did not touch the animals but was placed 1 cm from the eggs or the mice
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 6 V/m maximum measured - -
magnetic flux density 0.03 µT maximum measured - converted from 90 dBpT
power 2 W maximum - - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency
  • unspecified
Type
Exposure duration continuous for up to 47 days
Additional info TV
Additional info whole spectrum of electromagnetic waves including radio frequencies, infrared frequencies, microwaves and X-rays but mostly visible light, very low frequency and extremely low frequency radiation
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup Thompson, D 55 cm, 55MxP83, 75 W; eggs or the young chickens were located between 50 and 80 cm from the screen; TV was turned on but covered with a black screen to cut off the light
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 135 nT minimum measured - in extremely low frequency range
magnetic flux density 270 nT maximum measured - in extremely low frequency range

Exposure 4

Main characteristics
Frequency
  • unspecified
Type
Exposure duration continuous for up to 47 days
Additional info computer screen
Additional info whole spectrum of electromagnetic waves including radio frequencies, infrared frequencies, microwaves and X-rays but mostly visible light, very low frequency and extremely low frequency radiation
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup Goupil G5 286 10; eggs or the young chickens were located between 50 and 80 cm from the screen, facing the side of the apparatus; screen was turned on but covered with a black screen to cut off the light
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 140 nT minimum measured - in extremely low frequency range
magnetic flux density 660 nT maximum measured - in extremely low frequency range

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Mortality was significantly increased in chicken embryos exposed to a TV or computer screen and it was considerably increased (remark EMF-Portal: probably also significant but not clearly stated) in embryos exposed to the mobile phone with and without gauze compared to the sham exposure groups.
The melatonin level and amount of IgG-type antibodies were significantly increased in chicken embryos exposed to a TV or computer screen compared to the sham exposure groups.
Cancer was not significantly altered in mice with induced tumors exposed to the mobile phone with or without the gauze compared to sham exposed mice with induced tumors. The levels of corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone were significantly reduced in all mice exposed to the mobile phone with or without the gauze compared to sham-exposed mice independently of the presence of tumors.
The authors conclude that exposure of chicken embryos to electromagnetic fields from a TV, computer screen or a 900 MHz mobile phone could increase chicken embryonic mortality and change immunological and hormonal parameters in the blood of chicken and mice.

Study character:

Study funded by

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