EMF Health-effects Research

Influence of 400, 900, and 1900 MHz electromagnetic fields on Lemna minor growth and peroxidase activity.

Tkalec M, Malaric K, Pevalek-Kozlina B.

Bioelectromagnetics. 26(3):185-193, 2005

Increased use of radio and microwave frequencies requires investigations of their effects on living organisms. Duckweed (Lemna minor L.) has been commonly used as a model plant for environmental monitoring.

In the present study, duckweed growth and peroxidase activity was evaluated after exposure in a Gigahertz Transversal Electromagnetic (GTEM) cell to electric fields of frequencies 400, 900, and 1900 MHz.

The growth of plants exposed for 2 h to the 23 V/m electric field of 900 MHz significantly decreased in comparison with the control, while an electric field of the same strength but at 400 MHz did not have such effect. A modulated field at 900 MHz strongly inhibited the growth, while at 400 MHz modulation did not influence the growth significantly. At both frequencies a longer exposure mostly decreased the growth and the highest electric field (390 V/m) strongly inhibited the growth. Exposure of plants to lower field strength (10 V/m) for 14 h caused significant decrease at 400 and 1900 MHz while 900 MHz did not influence the growth.

Peroxidase activity in exposed plants varied, depending on the exposure characteristics. Observed changes were mostly small, except in plants exposed for 2 h to 41 V/m at 900 MHz where a significant increase (41%) was found.

Our results suggest that investigated electromagnetic fields (EMFs) might influence plant growth and, to some extent, peroxidase activity. However, the effects of EMFs strongly depended on the characteristics of the field exposure.

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