54 Experimental Oncology 32, 54–60, 2010 (June)
Apparently, any technical device was not introduced
in everyday human life so fast and so close as mobile
phone. Starting from first commercial mobile phone
network in Japan in 1979 the number of active users
of mobile telephony increased to over 3 billion all over
the world. In developed countries the number of mo-
bile phone users today is close to saturation. The initial
age of youngest users of mobile phone is estimated
as 3 years old . The distinguishing feature of the
mobile telephony technology is immediate vicinity of
source of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) — handset
to the human brain. These specificities lead to public
concern about the safety of this technology for human
health. From scientific point of view the main problem of
a mobile telephony technology can be formulated as the
lack of research on biological effects of low-intensive
EMR, especially long-term studies, on the moment
of active implementation of technology. It suffice to
say that safety limits for mobile telephony are based
only on thermal effects of EMR . At the same time
a principally new data about non-thermal biological ef-
fects of non-ionizing EMR have been revealed during
the last years. These data are not taken into account by
mobile phones manufacturers and most authorities for
today. That is why some scientists call the situation with
intensive implementation of mobile phone technology
the biggest biophysical experiment in human history.
In 1996 World Health Organization started the wide-
ranging epidemiological research on the risk of develop-
ment of some cancer types in mobile phone users. The
research was carried out in term of Interphone project
and was substantially supported by industry. The project
included national researches in 13 countries, and was
finished in 2005, but until now the final report was not
published . At the same time project data published in
some countries and data of the epidemiological studies
of independent research groups have indicated statisti-
cally significant increase in the risk of development of
brain tumors in chronic users of mobile phone.
It is clear that safety problem of mobile telephony
technology must be a special concern of industry and
authorities. This problem must be also the special
concern of profile experts and researchers. In this
review the main attention is drawn to published data
on potential risk of cancer development, and the aim
of the review is to discuss the recent publications on
the topic and pay attention to the “harmful” effects
of EMR. In most cases we used peer-reviewed journal
publications. For more comprehensive insight into the
problem of biological effects of RF EMF we can recom-
mend some other reviews (see, for example [3–9]).
MAIN PHYSICAL CONCEPTS OF MOBILE
Mobile telephony technology utilizes electromagnetic
waves of radio frequency (RF) for connection between
base station and mobile phone (handset). The frequencies
of electromagnetic waves (frequency of electromagnetic
field oscillations) used in most modern mobile phones are
RISKS OF CARCINOGENESIS FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC
RADIATION OF MOBILE TELEPHONY DEVICES
I. Yakymenko1, 2, *, E. Sidorik2
1Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University, Soborna square 8/1, Bila Tserkva 09117, Ukraine
2R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of NAS of Ukraine,
Vasylkivska str. 45, Kiev 03022, Ukraine
Intensive implementation of mobile telephony technology in everyday human life during last two decades has given a possibility for epide-
miological estimation of long-term effects of chronic exposure of human organism to low-intensive microwave (MW) radiation. Latest
epidemiological data reveal a significant increase in risk of development of some types of tumors in chronic (over 10 years) users of mobile
phone. It was detected a signif icant increase in incidence of brain tumors (glioma, acoustic neuroma, meningioma), parotid gland tumor,
seminoma in long-term users of mobile phone, especially in cases of ipsilateral use (case-control odds ratios from 1.3 up to 6.1). Two
epidemiological studies have indicated a significant increase of cancer incidence in people living close to the mobile telephony base station
as compared with the population from distant area. These data raise a question of adequacy of modern safety limits of electromagnetic
radiation (EMR) exposure for humans. For today the limits were based solely on the conception of thermal mechanism of biological effects
of RF/MW radiation. Meantime the latest experimental data indicate the significant metabolic changes in living cell under the low-intensive
(non-thermal) EMR exposure. Among reproducible biological effects of low-intensive MWs are reactive oxygen species overproduction,
heat shock proteins expression, DNA damages, apoptosis. The lack of generally accepted mechanism of biological effects of low-intensive
non-ionizing radiation doesn’t permit to disregard the obvious epidemiological and experimental data of its biological activity. Practical
steps must be done for reasonable limitation of excessive EMR exposure, along with the implementation of new safety limits of mobile
telephony devices radiation, and new technological decisions, which would take out the source of radiation from human brain.
Key Words: tumor, radiofrequency radiation, microwaves, mobile phone, risk assessment, non-thermal effects.
Received: April 15, 2010.
*Correspondence: Fax: +38456351288
Abbreviations used: AM — amplitude modulation; EMR — electro-
magnetic radiation; HSP — heat shock proteins; MDA — malondial-
dehyde; NO — nitric oxide; OR — odds ratio; ROS — reactive oxygen
species; RF — radio frequency; SAR — specific absorption rate;
SIR — standardized incidence ratio; SOD — superoxide dismutase.
Exp Oncol 2010
32, 2, 54–60 REVIEWS
Experimental Oncology 32, 54–60, 2010 (June) 55
850–1900 MHz. These waves actually belong to extreme
part of radiofrequency which calls microwaves (MWs). The
useful (voice) information is carried by small modulation
of electromagnetic wave frequency. This range of electro-
magnetic waves is a non-ionizing radiation because it has
not enough energy for ionizing molecules.
Thus, both base station and mobile phone irradiates
EMR. The levels of radiation are different from base station
and handset, and for handset it depends significantly on
the state of the system. The radiation power of base sta-
tion antenna is about 60 W, and the intensity of radiation
depends on the geometry of irradiated beam. The pick
power of mobile phone handset radiation is up to 2 W.
But the intensity of radiation (power density) near a user
head is much more from handset than from base station
due to the big difference in distance from the sources
of radiation. For example, the power density in the main
beam of base station at the distance of 150–200 m from
antenna is about tenths of a μW/cm2 . At the same
time the power density in immediate vicinity to handset
can be tens μW/cm2. The biggest level of irradiation mobile
phone produces during the connection process (calling),
smaller (lower) — during the talk, and minimal (close to
zero) in a stand by position. Modern international safety
limits for the level of power density of non-ionizing EMR
are set approximately up to 100 μW/cm2 .
The level of EMR energy absorbed by human body
is estimated by index of specific absorption rate (SAR),
which indicates the EMR energy absorbed per mass unit
of tissue. The safety limit for this index is 1.6 W/kg for
USA and 2 W/kg for most other countries. This index is
mandatory technical passport index for each model of
mobile phone for today. SAR is estimated and calculated
on the models of human head and body. It is important
that real SAR value depends on the structure of tissue
and, for example, can be much more for child head than
for adult . Least-emitting models of mobile phone
give SAR just a few tenths of W/kg.
AND OCCUPATIONAL STUDIES)
One of the first publications about the possible link
between anthropogenic non-ionizing EMR and cancer risk
was published by Wertheimer and Leeper in 1979 . The
authors have indicated the association of children cancer
with “excess of electrical wiring configuration” in Colorado,
USA in 1976–1977. Children lived close to high-current
configuration had twice more cases of leukemia and
1.6 times more cases of lymphoma as compared with the
control population. Later the same authors have found less
but still significant association between high-current en-
vironment and cancer in adults . It was proposed that
low frequency magnetic fields from high-current wiring
could be the risk factor of cancer development.
The military data indicate the influence of radiofre-
quency and microwaves radiation on the development
of cancer. So, among Polish soldiers of 20–29 years old
exposed to microwave and radar during 1970–1979 the
cancer incidence rates were 5.5 times higher then in
non-exposed soldiers . Greatest excess of cancer
cases were in blood-forming organs and lymphatic
tissues (ratio = 6.7). Examination of 40,000 US naval
personnel served during the Korean War (1950–1954)
has indicated almost two times more cases of cancer
in the high-exposed personnel compared with the low-
exposed one .
In Honolulu (1978–1981) in broadcasting towers’
locations (100–150 feet from the towers) the standar-
dized incidence ratio (SIR) for total cancer cases was
indicated 1.88 compared with 1.07 in the locations with-
out towers . For leukemia SIR was 2.08 and 0.59 for
the locations with and without broadcasting towers .
Increased incidence in childhood leukemia was also
detected near the low-frequency radio tower (23.4 KHz)
in Hawaii (1979–1990) . The odds ratio (OR) for
people lived within 2.6 miles of the radio towers before
diagnosis was 2.0 as compared with unexposed resi-
dences of Hawaii. South Korean study (1993–1999) of
leukemia and brain cancer patients under 15 years age
has revealed the OR = 2.15 for all types of leukemia
among children resided within 2 km of the nearest am-
plitude modulation (AM) radio transmitter as compared
with those resided more than 20 km from it . Brain
cancer and infantile cancer were not associated with
AM radiofrequency radiation in this research.
Analysis of occupational studies which was done by
Savitz and Calle  revealed that the highest risk ratio
for any occupational group for acute myelogenous leu-
kemia was in telegraph, radio and radar operators (2.6).
It’s significant that among the members of American
Physical Therapy Association (females), who used mic-
rowave or radiofrequency diathermy for treatment of
patients, the percent of miscarriages occurring before
the seventh week of gestation was 47.7% in comparison
with 14.5% in non-exposed control women .
THE USAGE OF MOBILE PHONES
AND TUMOR RISK ASSOCIATION
During the last few years data about the associa-
tion of long-term usage of mobile phone with tumor
risk have been published. The most researches were
focused on possible association of mobile phone us-
age and brain tumors development, because brains
are mostly exposed to irradiation by mobile phone. In
series of epidemiological studies by Swedish oncolo-
gists (Dr. L. Hardell group) a significant increase of some
types of brain tumors risk in long-term (10 years or
more) users of mobile and cordless phones has been
detected [20–26]. As to the short-term users of mobile
phone, similar effects were absent or less expressive
. It must be indicated that Sweden was one of the
first countries, where commercial mobile networks
were implemented. Analogue mobile phones were
used in Sweden since 1981 and digital system (GSM;
Global System for Mobile Communication) were intro-
duced in 1991 . The risk of meningioma increased
among Swedish users of mobile and cordless phones
with term of usage over 10 years. Case-control OR
for analogue mobile phones was 1.6, 95%, for digital
56 Experimental Oncology 32, 54–60, 2010 (June)
mobile phones 1.8, 95%, for cordless phone 1.8, 95%.
For acoustic neuroma the risk of development increased
with increasing period of usage of mobile phone, and it
was the highest for users of analogue phone with term
of usage over 15 years, OR = 3.5, 95% .
In recent publication by L. Hardell et al.  the au-
thors analyzed the majority of published case-control
studies on possible association of the usage of mobile
phones with tumor risk for long-term users. For acous-
tic neuroma the analysis of 9 case-control studies has
revealed the increasing risk for over 10 year users of
mobile phone (OR = 1.3, 95%) and further increase
of risk in cases of ipsilateral exposure (OR = 1.6,
95%). Similar results were revealed for glioma. The
risk of glioma significantly increased for 10 year users
(OR = 1.3, 95%) and especially for ipsilateral usageof
mobile phone (OR = 1.9, 95%). It was indicated the
highest risk of malignant brain tumors OR = 2.7, 95%
for users of mobile phone with first use less 20 years
age. It correlates with previous published data of
L. Hardell group about highest OR = 5.9, 95% of brain
tumour in 20–29 years age ipsilateral users of ana-
logue mobile phone among different age groups .
Parotid gland is another potential target for mobile
phone handset radiation. Israel team study in term of
Interphone research indicated an association between
the mobile phone use and parotid gland tumor .
The study included 402 benign and 58 malignant
cases of parotid gland tumor diagnosed in Israel at
age over 18 years in 2001–2003. The OR in the highest
category of cumulative number of calls for ipsilateral
use was 1.58, 95%. It is important that previous study
performed in Finland detected the OR = 5.0, 95% for
salivary gland cancers among Finland digital mobile
phone subscribers compared with control population
(used mobile phone just for 1–2 year) .
As was shown by L. Hardell group, for non-
Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) of T cell, cutaneous and
leukemia types, the ORs for analogue phone users
were found to be 3.4, 95%; for digital phone users —
6.1, 95%; for cordless phone users — 5.5, 95%
. American researchers found that for NHL the
OR for ≥ 8 years users of mobile phone was 1.6, 95%,
and the risk was increasing with number of years .
Regarding the uveal melanoma, the analysis of
118 cases of this pathology and 475 controls in Germany
has indicated the OR = 4.2, 95% for people probably/
certainly exposed to mobile phone . The OR = 1.8,
95% was shown for seminoma for men keeping the mo-
bile phone during stand by in one trousers pocket, and
OR = 1.0, 95% — in different pockets . The results
were based on 542 cases study of seminoma performed
MOBILE PHONE BASE STATIONS
AND TUMOR RISK
Starting from early 1990s tens of thousands of mo-
bile phone base stations have been mounted over the
world. So fast and extensive implementation of new
technology base stations naturally had induced public
concerns. But the World Health Organization Interna-
tional EMF Project had a priority to study effects of mo-
bile phone and discouraged the base stations effects
studies (except 2003–2006, when WHO recommended
studies of base station possible effects) . That is why
only a few publications on the topic could be found, and
two are about the association with cancer risk [34, 35].
The comparison of cancer cases among population
living up to 400 m near mobile phone base station and
further then 400 m from base station was carried out
in Germany (1994–2004) . The increase of cancer
cases among people from area close to base station
over the control population was 1.26 times during the
first five year period (1994–1998), and 2.11 times dur-
ing the second five year period (1999–2004). For the
second period of analysis the increase of cancer cases
among people living near base station was statistically
significant both compared to the population from fur-
ther area and to the expected background incidence.
Even more expressive results were obtained in Israel,
Netanya . People living in the area near (up to 350 m)
to mobile phone base station (850 MHz, 1500 watt of full
power) during 1 year of station operation (n = 622) and
matched individuals from other area (n = 1222) partici-
pated in this study. There were 4.15 times more cases of
cancer in base station close area than in the control area.
Relative cancer rate for females from close to base sta-
tion area was 10.5, relative rate was 0.6 for control area
as compared with the whole town of Netanya female
population (relative rate equals 1). Cancer incidence of
women in close to base station area was significantly
higher (p < 0.0001) compared with the control area and
the whole city area. Authors emphasized the enormously
short latency period (only 1 year) for such dramatic in-
crease of cancer incidence in the area .
ANIMAL MODEL STUDY
Just a few studies have been designed to estimate
an association of non-ionizing EMR exposure and
cancer development on animal models. In one study
mice with high incidence of spontaneous breast can-
cer and mice treated with 3,4-benzopyrene (BP) were
irradiated by 2,450 MHz microwaves in an anechoic
chamber at 5 or 15 mW/cm2 (2 h daily, 6 sessions per
week, 3 months) . Irradiation with MWs at either
5 or 15 mW/cm2 resulted in acceleration of the develop-
ment of BP-induced skin cancer (285 days in control,
230 days for 5 mW/cm2 and 160 days for 15 mW/cm2).
Microwaves-exposed mice with high incidence of spon-
taneous breast cancer had breast tumors earlier than
control (332 days in control, 261 days for 5 mW/cm2 and
219 days for 15 mW/cm2). Authors had indicated that
the acceleration of cancer development and lowering
of natural antineoplastic resistence was similar in mice
exposed to MWs at 5 mW/cm2 or to chronic stress
caused by confinement, but differed significantly from
the results obtained on animals exposed at 15 mW/cm2,
where local thermal effects were possible.
The most cited study was performed by Repacholi,
et al.  on transgenic mice moderately predisposed
Experimental Oncology 32, 54–60, 2010 (June) 57
to develop lymphoma spontaneously. One group
of mice (101 females) was exposed during two 30-min
periods per day for up to 18 months in plane-wave
electromagnetic fields of 900 MHz with pulse repeti-
tion frequency of 217 Hz and a pulse width of 0.6 ms,
incident power densities were 2.6–13 W/m2 and average
SAR 0.13–1.4 W/kg. Another group of mice (100 fe-
males) was an unexposed control. Lymphoma risk was
significantly higher in the exposed mice than in the
control (OR = 2.4, 95%). And follicular lymphoma was
the major contributor to the increased tumor incidence.
POSSIBLE PATHWAYS OF BIOLOGICAL
ACTIVITY OF LOW-INTENSIVE EMR
One of the strong evidences that living cells perceive
low-intensive EMR as a stress factor is a heat shock
proteins (HSP) overexpression under the exposure.
So, effective experiment with low-intensive microwaves
irradiation of transgenic nematode Caenorhabditis
elegans carrying reporter-gene constructs regulated by
homologous HSP16 heat-shock promoters has revealed
non-thermal-induced overexpression of HSPs .
Nematodes were exposed overnight to continuous-wave
radiation (750 MHz, calculated SAR = 0.001 W/kg). Ex-
pression of HSP16 reporter rose steeply through 24.5 to
25.5 °C (p < 0.001) in exposed nematodes. Meantime in
non-exposed control nematodes heat-induced reporter
expression increased sharply only above 27 °C. There
was a disparity of 3 °C between exposed and control
induction profiles and authors of research rejected
thermal explanation for this disparity.
RF radiation from GSM digital system (1800 MHz,
SAR = 1.5–2 W/kg, exposure duration 22 or 72 h) in-
duced a significant upregulation of mRNA levels of the
HSP70 in p53-deficient pluripotent embr yonic stem cells
differentiating in vitro, paralleled by a low and transient
increase of c-jun, c-myc, and p21 levels in p53-deficient
cells, but not in wild-type cells . One-hour non-
thermal exposure of human endothelial cells changed the
phosphorylation status of numerous proteins. One of the
affected proteins was identified as HSP27 . Authors
underlined that changes in protein phosphorylation is an
early sign of cell response to a stress factor.
Series of studies of researchers from Columbia
University, USA on HSP70 gene expression induced by
low frequency EMR was performed [43–49]. Specific
DNA sequence in gene HSP70 promoter sensitive
to EMR was identified. The EMR sensitive region on the
HSP70 promoter was not sensitive to increased tem-
perature. The EMR domain contained three nCTCTn
myc-binding sites at −230, −166 and −160 positions
relatively to the transcription initiation site and up-
stream of the binding sites for the heat shock (nGAAn)
and serum responsive elements. The sensitivity of
the DNA sequences nCTCTn to EMF exposures has
been demonstrated by transfecting these sequences
into CAT and Luciferase reporter genes. Authors have
indicated that the HSP70 promoter contains different
DNA regions that are specifically sensitive to different
stressors, thermal and non-thermal .
Some studies suggest the possibility of DNA dam-
age under the RF EMR exposure. So, it was reported
the increase in DNA double-strand breaks and mi-
cronucleation in lymphocytes obtained from mobile
phone users . The number of single and double-
strand breaks of DNA in brain cells of rat exposed to
2.450 MHz RF radiation (SAR = 0.6–1.2 W/kg of whole
body) for 2 h was shown to be increased . The same
the exposure of mice to 2,450 MHz radiation (power
density 1 mW/cm2, 2 h per day over 120–200 days) has
led to breakage of DNA in testis and brain . The
exposure of human fibroblasts or rat granulose cells
to mobile phone radiation (1800 MHz, SAR = 1.2 or
2 W/kg, 4, 16 or 24 h) has induced single- and double-
strand breaks of DNA after 16 h of exposure .
Molt-4 human lymphoblastoid cells exposed to TDMA
(Time Division Multiple Access) and iDEN (Integrated
Digital Enhanced Network) mobile phone radiation
(2.4–26 μW/g, 2–21 h) had opposite effect on DNA
breakage depending on the type of signal, intensity
and duration of the exposure .
A few studies were devoted to the RF EMR expo-
sure effects on apoptosis. So, yeast cells of wild-type
and cdc-48-mutant were exposed to 900 or 872 MHz
radiation (SAR = 0.4 or 3.0 W/kg) with or without ex-
posure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) . It was found
that amplitude modulated RF exposure significantly
enhanced UV induced apoptosis in cdc-48-mutated
cells, but not in cells exposed to unmodulated radia-
tion. The exposure of human epidermoid cancer KB
cells to non-thermal RF EMR (1950 MHz) induced
time-dependent apoptosis (45% after 3 h) . The
exposure induced a differential activation of stress-
dependent pathways with an increase of JNK-1 activity
and expression of HSP70 and HSP27 and decrease of
p38 kinase activity and HSP90 expression.
In other study primary cultures of neurons and as-
trocytes were exposed to GSM mobile phone radiation
(1900 MHz) for 2 h in “on” and “stand-by” mode .
Up-regulation of caspase-2, caspase-6 and Asc
(apoptosis associated speck-like protein) gene ex-
pression occurred in both “on” and “stand-by” modes
in neurons, but only in “on” mode in astrocytes.
Free radical processes could mediate many noxious
effects in living cell. It’s important that series of studies
demonstrated the change of the level of reactive oxy-
gen species (ROS) and antioxidant enzymes’ activity
in cells after the EMR exposure. So, rat exposed to
900 MHz radiation (SAR = 0.016 W/kg for whole body,
applied 30 min/day, for 10 days using an experimental
exposure device) had significantly increased level of
malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) in renal
tissue while superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and
glutathione peroxidase activities significantly decreased
. In myocardial tissue of exposed rats the increased
levels of MDA and NO were detected too, while SOD,
CAT and GSH-Px activities were reduced . Caffeic
acid phenethyl ester treatment of rats reversed these
effects. In other research rabbits were exposed to
900 MHz GSM mobile phone irradiation (0.02 mW/cm2,
58 Experimental Oncology 32, 54–60, 2010 (June)
30 min/day, 7 days) . Serum SOD activity increased,
and serum NO level significantly decreased (more then
twice) in exposed animals.
A significant increase in the MDA and carbonyl
group concentration in Wistar rat brain tissue was
registered during exposure of animals to a mobile test
phone (SAR = 0.043–0.135 W/kg) during 20, 40 and
60 days. Decreased activity of catalase and increased
activity of xanthine oxidase (XO) remained after 40 and
60 days of exposure to mobile phones. Melatonin
treatment significantly prevented the increase in the
MDA content and XO activity in the brain tissue after
40 days of exposure .
It was found that treatment of rats immediately
before and after irradiation exposure (2450-MHz,
power density 2 mW/cm2, average whole body
SAR = 1.2 W/kg, 2 h) with either melatonin or the
spin-trap compound N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone
(PBN) blocks an increase in DNA single- and double-
strand breaks in brain cells . Since both melatonin
and PBN are efficient free radical scavengers, authors
hypothesized that free radicals are involved in expo-
sure-induced DNA damage in the brain cells of rats.
Only one-hour exposure of men semen samples by
standard mobile phone has led to significant decrease of
semen mobility and viability, increase in ROS level and de-
crease in ROS-TAC (total antioxidant capacity) score .
50 Hz magnetic fields induced free radical forma-
tion in mouse bone marrow-derived promonocytes and
macrophages . It was demonstrated that mainly
superoxide anion radicals were produced after 50 Hz
magnetic field exposure, and the NADH-oxidase path-
way to produce superoxide anion radical was activated,
but not the NADPH pathway. Treatment with Trolox or
iron chelator blocked the effects of exposure of rats to
a 60 Hz magnetic field (0.01 mT, 24 h) caused a signifi-
cant increase in DNA breaks . Authors suggested
that magnetic field initiates an iron-mediated process
(Fenton reaction) that increases free radical formation
in brain cells, leading to DNA damages.
Well-composed experimentally determined mecha-
nism of radiofrequency radiation effect on living cell
was proposed by Israel researchers . They used
the signaling inhibitors in irradiated to 875 MHz,
0.07 mW/cm2 electromagnetic waves Rat1 and HeLa
cells. It was found that the first step in EMR interaction
with cell structures is mediated in the plasma membrane
by NADH-oxidase, which rapidly (during the minutes)
generates ROS. ROS directly stimulate matrix metal-
loproteinases and allow them to cleave and release
heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (EGF). This
secreted factor activates the EGF receptor, which ac-
tivates the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)
cascade and thereby induces transcription and other
cellular processes. Authors underlined that intensity of
radiation applied in the study was well below the aver-
age intensity of a regular mobile phone (approximately
0.45 mW/cm2 in Israel), and no changes in temperature
were detected in the medium during irradiation.
Among very primary physical mechanisms of non-
ionizing EMR interaction with biological systems the
mobile charge interaction model of M. Blank should be
noted. Model is based on the magnetic field interaction
with moving charges (Lorentz force). If charge flow is
associated with biological function in living cell, the
function may be altered . Magnetic field-induced
changes in enzyme activities of Na, K-ATPase and
cytochrome oxidase, proportional to charge flow, was
demonstrated . Moreover the effect of accele ration
of the Belousov-Zhabotinski reaction by low frequency
electromagnetic fields was demonstrated Blank and Soo
. Authors affirmed that the effect apparently was
due to electromagnetic field interaction with electrons
transferred during the reaction.
Another biophysical model for the action of oscillating
electromagnetic fields on cell is based on mechanism
of forced-vibration of all the free ions on the surface
of a cell’s plasma membrane, caused by an external
oscillating field . Representative data was published
recently  where low-strength magnetic fields (0.1 mT,
0.2 ms) triggers onset and offset evoked potentials, indi-
cating that the detection process was a form of sensory
transduction. Authors  hypothesized that the evoked
potentials were initiated by a force exerted by the induced
electric field on an ion channel in the plasma membrane.
Recent studies in the field of electromagnetic biology
have given sufficient grounds for more strict experts’
estimation of possible association of cancer develop-
ment and radiation of mobile telephony devices. First of
all the results of epidemiological studies indicated sig-
nificant increase of tumor development risk in long-term
(over 10 years) users of mobile phone [4, 20–22, 24, 27,
30, 33]. It’s significant that first expressive epidemiologi-
cal data were revealed in Sweden, country with one of the
longest history of mobile telephony. It is significant too that
essential increase of risks was detected for brain tumors
and salivary gland tumour. It means that direct association
of tumor development and the location of EMR exposure
exists. Two studies from developed countries (Germany
and Israel) indicated a significant increase of cancer cases
in population living near mobile base stations [36, 37].
Just a one year operation of powerful (1500 W) base sta-
tion in Israel has led to dramatic increase of cancer cases
among people living in base station area. Such significant
increase of cancer incidence in mobile phone base station
area correlates with previous data on significant increase
of leukemia rate in habitants of broadcasting tower areas
in Honolulu  and Hawaii .
These data arouse the concern about adequacy
of safety limits for mobile telephony, which are now
solely based on the conception of thermal mechanism
of biological activity of RF radiation. Bulk of recent
publications demonstrated the significant metabolic
changes in living cells under the low-intensive EMR.
The strong conception of mechanism of non-thermal
biological effects of RF (MW) radiation remains to be
developed. Preliminary studies indicate that typical
Experimental Oncology 32, 54–60, 2010 (June) 59
metabolic pathways at list partially are involved in me-
diating the effect of EMR on living systems. It includes
NADH-oxidase activation [64, 66] and overproduction
of free radicals in cell [58, 59, 64, 66], subsequent
activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase cas-
cade  or free radical damage of DNA . Some
pathways may lead to apoptosis of exposed cells [56,
57]. On other hand some high-specific mechanisms
of low-intensive EMR interaction with cell structures
were revealed, such as the existence of EMR sensitive
region on the HSP70 gene promoter . The very
first step of non-ionizing EMR interaction with living
cell must include its physical interaction with electrical
charges (electrons, ions). A few biophysical models
were proposed for explanation of transformation of
this interaction to biological response [67, 69, 70].
There is great insufficiency in animal studies of the
potential carcinogenic effect of low-intensive EMR. From
epidemiological studies it is clear that possible terms for
effective experiments may last up to 10 years. Animal
models should be used to shorten the period of studies
and give insights to the role of EMR in tumor development.
Most discussions of potential hazards of EMR
of mobile telephony devices have ended with the
recom mendation of the further study and the necessity
of precautionary principle implementation. Of course,
we insistently support both of these recommendations.
But we see that the bulk of published data for today
allows researchers to recommend significantly more
strict limitations for excessive and often needless using
of mobile telephony devices, especially for children.
Autho rities must recommended to restrict the level
of MWs radiation from mobile telephony devices through
the implementation of more strict safety limits, new
technological decisions (moving off the source of radia-
tion from human brain), and constant awareness activity.
We thank for partial financial support of Fulbright Schol-
ar Program, USA (grant to I. Yakymenko, No. 68431821).
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