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Environ Toxicol. 2008 Jun;23(3):319-27. doi: 10.1002/tox.20347.

In vitro assessment of clastogenicity of mobile-phone radiation (835 MHz) using the alkaline comet assay and chromosomal aberration test.

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The Korea Institute of Toxicology, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, P.O. Box 123, Yusong, Daejeon 305-600, Korea.


Recently we demonstrated that 835-MHz radiofrequency radiation electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) neither affected the reverse mutation frequency nor accelerated DNA degradation in vitro. Here, two kinds of cytogenetic endpoints were further investigated on mammalian cells exposed to 835-MHz RF-EMF (the most widely used communication frequency band in Korean CDMA mobile phone networks) alone and in combination with model clastogens: in vitro alkaline comet assay and in vitro chromosome aberration (CA) test. No direct cytogenetic effect of 835-MHz RF-EMF was found in the in vitro CA test. The combined exposure of the cells to RF-EMF in the presence of ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS) revealed a weak and insignificant cytogenetic effect when compared to cells exposed to EMS alone in CA test. Also, the comet assay results to evaluate the ability of RF-EMF alone to damage DNA were nearly negative, although showing a small increase in tail moment. However, the applied RF-EMF had potentiation effect in comet assay when administered in combination with model clastogens (cyclophosphamide or 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide). Thus, our results imply that we cannot confidently exclude any possibility of an increased risk of genetic damage, with important implications for the possible health effects of exposure to 835-MHz electromagnetic fields.

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