EMF Health-effects Research

Thermal and metabolic responsiveness of Japanese quail embryos following periodic exposure to 2,450 MHz microwaves.

Spiers DE, Baummer SC,

Bioelectromagnetics 12(4):225-239, 1991

Two studies were performed to determine if repeated exposure of the avian egg to microwaves can alter metabolism, temperature, and growth rate of embryos. Another aim was to supplement conventional heating with microwave heating and provide an optimal temperature for growth. Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) eggs were exposed from day 1 through 15 of incubation (8 h/day) to sham or microwave (2,450 MHz) irradiation. Microwave exposures were at two power densities, 5 or 20 mW/cm2, and at three ambient temperatures (Tas), 30.0, 33.1, or 35.4 degrees C. Specific absorption rates for unincubated and 15-day-old incubated eggs were, respectively, 0.76 and 0.66 W kg-1 mW-1 cm-2 (i.e., 3.8 and 3.3 W/kg at 5 mW/cm2 and 15.2 and 13.2 W/kg at 20 mW/cm2).

Eggs were concurrently sham exposed at each of five Tas, ranging from 27.9 to 37.5 degrees C. Tests were conducted during the 16th day of incubation (i.e., 1 day post-treatment), in the absence of microwaves, to determine metabolic rate of embryos and internal and external egg temperatures at different Tas.

Repeated exposures to microwaves at 5 and 20 mW/cm2 at the same Ta (30 degrees C) increased wet-embryo mass on the 16th day by an average, respectively, of 9% and 61% when compared with predicted masses for embryos exposed at the same Ta in the absence of microwave radiation.

There was no reliable indication, from post-treatment tests and comparisons with control embryos of similar mass, that repeated exposure to microwave radiation resulted in abnormal physiological development.

Microwave radiation can be used to increase egg temperature and embryonic growth rate at Tas below normal incubation level without altering basic metabolic and thermal characteristics of the developing bird.

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