EMF Health-effects Research

Clastogenic effects of radiofrequency radiations on chromosomes of Tradescantia.

Haider T, Knasmueller S, Kundi M, Haider M,

Mutat Res 324(1-2):65-68, 1994

The clastogenicity of electromagnetic fields (EMF) has so far been studied only under laboratory conditions. We used the Tradescantia-micronucleus (Trad-MCN) bioassay in an in situ experiment to find out whether short-wave electromagnetic fields used for broadcasting (10-21 MHz) may show genotoxic effects.

Plant cuttings bearing young flower buds were exposed (30 h) on both sides of a slewable curtain antenna (300/500 kW, 40-170 V/m) and 15 m (90 V/m) and 30 m (70 V/m) distant from a vertical cage antenna (100 kW) as well as at the neighbors living near the broadcasting station (200 m, 1-3 V/m).

The exposure at both sides of the slewable curtain antenna was performed simultaneously within cages, one of the Faraday type shielding the field and one non-shielding mesh cage. Laboratory controls were maintained for comparison. Higher MCN frequencies than in laboratory controls were found for all exposure sites in the immediate vicinity of the antennae, where the exposure standards of the electric field strength of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) were exceeded.

The results at all exposure sites except one were statistically significant. Since the parallel exposure in a non-shielding and a shielding cage also revealed significant differences in MCN frequencies (the latter showing no significant differences from laboratory controls), the clastogenic effects are clearly attributable to the short-wave radiation from the antennae.

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