EMF Health-effects Research

Evaluation of genotoxic effects in human leukocytes after in vitro exposure to 1950 MHz UMTS radiofrequency field.

Zeni O, Schiavoni A, Perrotta A, Forigo D, Deplano M, Scarfi MR

Bioelectromagnetics. Nov 20; 2007

[Epub ahead of print]

In the present study the third generation wireless technology of the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) signal was investigated for the induction of genotoxic effects in human leukocytes.

Peripheral blood from six healthy donors was used and, for each donor, intermittent exposures (6 min RF on, 2 h RF off) at the frequency of 1950 MHz were conducted at a specific absorption rate of 2.2 W/kg. The exposures were performed in a transverse electro magnetic (TEM) cell hosted in an incubator under strictly controlled conditions of temperature and dosimetry.

Following long duration intermittent RF exposures (from 24 to 68 h) in different stages of the cell cycle, micronucleus formation was evaluated by applying the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay, which also provides information on cell division kinetics. Primary DNA damage (strand breaks/alkali labile sites) was also investigated following 24 h of intermittent RF exposures, by applying the alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCG)/comet assay.

Positive controls were included by treating cell cultures with Mitomycin-C and methylmethanesulfonate for micronucleus and comet assays, respectively.

The results obtained indicate that intermittent exposures of human lymphocytes in different stages of cell cycle do not induce either an increase in micronucleated cells, or change in cell cycle kinetics; moreover, 24 h intermittent exposures also fail to affect DNA structure of human leukocytes soon after the exposures, likely indicating that repairable DNA damage was not induced.

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