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J Pineal Res. 2008 Apr;44(3):267-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2007.00522.x.

Effects of mobile phone electromagnetic fields at nonthermal SAR values on melatonin and body weight of Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

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  • 1School of Engineering and Science, Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, and Institute of Reproductive Medicine, University of Münster, Münster, Germany. a.lerchl@jacobs-university.de

Abstract

In three experiments, adult male Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) were exposed 24 hr/day for 60 days to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) at 383, 900, and 1800 MHz, modulated according to the TETRA (383 MHz) and GSM standards (900 and 1800 MHz), respectively. A radial waveguide system ensured a well defined and uniform exposure at whole-body averaged specific absorption rates of 80 mW/kg, which is equal to the upper limit of whole-body exposure of the general population in Germany and other countries. For each experiment, using two identical waveguides, hamsters were exposed (n = 120) and sham-exposed (n = 120) in a blind fashion. In all experiments, pineal and serum melatonin levels as well as the weights of testes, brain, kidneys, and liver were not affected. At 383 MHz, exposure resulted in a significant transient increase in body weight up to 4%, while at 900 MHz this body weight increase was more pronounced (up to 6%) and not transient. At 1800 MHz, no effect on body weight was seen. The results corroborate earlier findings which have shown no effects of RF-EMF on melatonin levels in vivo and in vitro. The data are in accordance with the hypothesis that absorbed RF energy may result in metabolic changes which eventually cause body weight increases in exposed animals. The data support the notion that metabolic effects of RF-EMFs need to be investigated in more detail in future studies.

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