Analgetic effects of non-thermal GSM-1900 radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in the land snail Helix pomatia

Department of Neurosurgery, The Rausing Laboratory, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
International Journal of Radiation Biology (Impact Factor: 1.69). 11/2011; 88(3):245-52. DOI: 10.3109/09553002.2012.644257
Source: PubMed


To investigate whether mobile phone radiation might affect snail nociception, employing radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) which, to our knowledge, have hitherto not been studied in a snail model. Exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields has however been shown to significantly affect nociceptive responses.
In the present study, we exposed 29 land snails of the strain Helix pomatia to global system for mobile communications (GSM) EMF at 1900 MHz at the non-thermal level 48 mW/kg for 1 hour each and 29 snails were sham controls. The experiments took place during the onset of summer, with all snails being well out of hibernation. Before and after GSM or sham exposure, the snails were subjected to thermal pain by being placed on a hot plate. The reaction time for retraction from the hot plate was measured by two blinded observers.
Comparing the reaction pattern of each snail before and after exposure, the GSM-exposed snails were less sensitive to thermal pain as compared to the sham controls, indicating that RF exposure induces a significant analgesia (Mann-Whitney p < 0.001).
This study might support earlier findings, describing beneficial effects of EMF exposure upon nociception.

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    • "Findings from these studies do not consistently suggest an increased level of adverse subjective symptoms relating to mobile phone-induced EMF exposure. As for the potential beneficial effects of GSM EMF exposure, a recent animal study found profound hypoalgesia in land snails (Helix pomatia) [Nittby et al., 2012]. After a 1900 MHz GSM exposure for 1 h, the snails were subjected to thermal pain stimulus (hot plate). "
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