Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Postnatal development and behavior effects of in-utero exposure of rats to radiofrequency waves emitted from conventional WiFi devices. med./bio.

Published in: Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2017; 52: 239-247

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine the effects of prenatal exposure of rats to a WiFi signal on development and behavior in rat offspring.

Background/further details

Pregnant dams were divided in an exposure and sham exposure group (n=5 respectively). The exposed dams gave birth to 37 pups and the sham exposed to 63 pups. Pups were killed after 28 or 43 days for brain examinations.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 2.45 GHz
Exposure duration: 2 hours/day during gestation

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 2.45 GHz
Exposure duration 2 hours/day during gestation
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • commercial WiFi modem
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 25 cm
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.

No parameters are specified for this exposure.

Reference articles

  • Othman H et al. (2017): Effects of prenatal exposure to WIFI signal (2.45GHz) on postnatal development and behavior in rat: Influence of maternal restraint.
  • Saili L et al. (2015): Effects of acute exposure to WIFI signals (2.45GHz) on heart variability and blood pressure in Albinos rabbit.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Rooting reflex was significantly reduced but consisted longer in prenatal exposed rat pups when compared to sham exposed pups. Additionally, the development of the righting reflex and the negative geotaxis reflex were significantly delayed in exposed pups compared to sham exposed pups. The rotarod performance test and the suspension test showed that motor ability was significantly worse in exposed pups compared to sham exposed ones. Exposed pups opened their eyes one day earlier then sham exposed ones.
Oxidative stress parameters were significantly different in rats killed and examined after 28 days: The lipid peroxidation and level of hydrogen peroxide were significantly increased in exposed rats compared to sham exposed ones while the enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were significantly decreased. However, in 43 day old exposed rats, only the level of hydrogen peroxide was increased when compared to 43 day old sham exposed rats.
The enzyme activity of acetylcholinesterase was significantly increased in 28 and 43 day old exposed rats when compared to sham exposed rats of the same age while the enzyme activity of butrylcholinesterase was significantly decreased in 43 day old exposed rats.
The authors conclude that prenatal exposure of rats to a WiFi signal could impair neurodevelopment of rat pups and induce biochemical alterations in the brain of young rats but has no behavioral effects.

Study character:

Study funded by

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