Study type: Review (medical/biological study)

Behavioral teratologic studies using microwave radiation: is there an increased risk from exposure to cellular phones and microwave ovens? review

Published in: Reprod Toxicol 1997; 11 (4): 601-611

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The aim of this article is to summarize previous studies.
To study if there are adverse effects due to chronic nonthermal prenatal microwave exposure in rats at term and/or alterations in neonatal and adult offspring psychophysiologic development and growth. The observations concerning exposure to 915, 2450, and 6000 MHz, frequencies used in cellular phones and microwave ovens, are discussed in the present review (for detailed data see publication 9683, publication 2819, publication 2818, publication 2816, publication 2852, and publication 2853).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 6 GHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure for 6 h/day, averaging a total of 6000 to 7000 min
Exposure 2: 2.45 GHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure for 6 h/day, averaging a total of 6000 to 7000 min
Exposure 3: 915 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure for 6 h/day, averaging a total of 6000 to 7000 min

General information

Please refer to reference articles for details.

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 6 GHz
Type
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure for 6 h/day, averaging a total of 6000 to 7000 min
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Setup Rats were exposed throughout pregnancy for 21 days.
Additional info Two baseline control groups were used in this study: home cage environment for 21 days and isolation cage (anechoic chamber) for 21 days. Average exposure times for the two baseline control, concurrent control, and exposed groups were equivalent.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 35 mW/cm² unspecified - - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 2.45 GHz
Type
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure for 6 h/day, averaging a total of 6000 to 7000 min
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 20 mW/cm² unspecified - - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 915 MHz
Type
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure for 6 h/day, averaging a total of 6000 to 7000 min
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 10 mW/cm² unspecified - - -

Reference articles

  • Jensh RP (1984): Studies of the teratogenic potential of exposure of rats to 6000 MHz microwave radiation. I. Morphologic analysis at term.
  • Jensh RP et al. (1983): An evaluation of the teratogenic potential of protracted exposure of pregnant rats to 2450-MHz microwave radiation: I. Morphologic analysis at term.
  • Jensh RP et al. (1982): Teratologic studies of prenatal exposure of rats to 915 MHz microwave radiation.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Rats exposed to 915 MHz did not exhibit any consistent significant alterations in any of the above parameters.
Exposure to 2450 MHz resulted only in a significantly increased adult offspring activity level compared to non-exposed offspring.
Animals exposed to 6000 MHz exhibited an initial slight, but significant, retardation in term weight, while mothers had a significantly reduced monocyte count.
No alterations in any of the other term parameters were found. A few postnatal parameters were affected in animals exposed to 6000 MHz. Weekly weights were lower in the irradiated offspring, but they recovered by the fifth week. Eye opening was delayed, and there were alterations in the water T-maze and open field performance levels. Several body/organ weight ratios differed from those of the control offspring.
These findings indicate that exposure to 6000 MHz at this power density level may result in subtle long-term neurophysiologic changes. However, the microwave frequencies tested, which included frequencies used in cellular phones and microwave ovens, do not induce a consistent, significant increase in reproductive risk.

Study character:

Exposure