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Mutat Res. 2007 Jan 10;626(1-2):42-7. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Genotoxic effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) in cultured mammalian cells are not independently reproducible.

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Universit├Ąt Ulm, Abteilung Humangenetik, D-89070 Ulm, Germany.


Conflicting results have been published regarding the induction of genotoxic effects by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). Using the comet assay, the micronucleus test and the chromosome aberration test with human fibroblasts (ES1 cells), the EU-funded "REFLEX" project (Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards From Low Energy Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods) reported clearly positive effects for various exposure conditions. Because of the ongoing discussion on the biological significance of the effects observed, it was the aim of the present study to independently repeat the results using the same cells, the same equipment and the same exposure conditions. We therefore exposed ES1 cells to RF-EMF (1800 MHz; SAR 2 W/kg, continuous wave with intermittent exposure) for different time periods and then performed the alkaline (pH>13) comet assay and the micronucleus test (MNT). For both tests, clearly negative results were obtained in independently repeated experiments. We also performed these experiments with V79 cells, a sensitive Chinese hamster cell line that is frequently used in genotoxicity testing, and also did not measure any genotoxic effect in the comet assay and the MNT. Appropriate measures of quality control were considered to exclude variations in the test performance, failure of the RF-EMF exposure or an evaluation bias. The reasons for the difference between the results reported by the REFLEX project and our experiments remain unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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