Investigation of Co-genotoxic Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields In Vivo
We investigated the possible combined genotoxic effects of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (900 MHz, amplitude modulated at 217 Hz, mobile phone signal) with the drinking water mutagen and carcinogen 3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone (MX). Female rats were exposed to RF fields for a period of 2 years for 2 h per day, 5 days per week at average whole-body specific absorption rates of 0.3 or 0.9 W/kg. MX was given in the drinking water at a concentration of 19 microg/ml. Blood samples were taken at 3, 6 and 24 months of exposure and brain and liver samples were taken at the end of the study (24 months). DNA damage was assessed in all samples using the alkaline comet assay, and micronuclei were determined in erythrocytes. We did not find significant genotoxic activity of MX in blood and liver cells. However, MX induced DNA damage in rat brain. Co-exposures to MX and RF radiation did not significantly increase the response of blood, liver and brain cells compared to MX exposure only. In conclusion, this 2-year animal study involving long-term exposures to RF radiation and MX did not provide any evidence for enhanced genotoxicity in rats exposed to RF radiation.