EMF Health-effects Research

Developmental toxicity interactions of salicylic acid and radiofrequency radiation or 2-methoxyethanol in rats.

Nelson BK, Snyder DL, Shaw PB

Reprod Toxicol 13(2):137-145, 1999

Radiofrequency (RF) radiation is used in a variety of workplaces where workers are concurrently exposed to chemicals. Combined exposure to RF radiation (10 MHz) and the industrial solvent, 2-methoxyethanol (2ME), produces enhanced teratogenicity in rats. The purpose of the present research was to determine if the synergistic effects noted for RF radiation and 2ME are generalizable to other chemicals. Since salicylic acid (SA) is widely used as an analgesic and is teratogenic in animals, SA was selected to address generalizability.

Based on the literature and our pilot studies, 0, 250, or 350 mg/kg SA were administered by gavage on gestation Day 9 or 13 to rats. Concurrently rats given SA on Day 9 were exposed to RF radiation sufficient to maintain colonic temperature at 41 degrees C for 60 min (or sham). Those given SA on Day 13 were also given 0 or 100 mg/kg 2ME (gavage). Dams were sacrificed on gestation Day 20, and the fetuses were examined for external malformations. The data provide no evidence of synergistic interactions between RF radiation and salicylic acid (resorptions and malformations). Limited evidence of antagonism was observed between 2ME and salicylic acid (fetal weights).

This investigation highlights the importance of additional research on interactions in developmental toxicology, and emphasizes the need to consider combined exposure effects when developing both physical agent and chemical agent exposure guidelines and intervention strategies.

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