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Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):89-102. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2008.11.004. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Genotoxic effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.

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Division of Occupational Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, Berggasse 4/33, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


101 publications are exploited which have studied genotoxicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) in vivo and in vitro. Of these 49 report a genotoxic effect and 42 do not. In addition, 8 studies failed to detect an influence on the genetic material, but showed that RF-EMF enhanced the genotoxic action of other chemical or physical agents. The controversial results may in part be explained by the different cellular systems. Moreover, inconsistencies may depend from the variety of analytical methods being used, which differ considerably with respect to sensitivity and specificity. Taking altogether there is ample evidence that RF-EMF can alter the genetic material of exposed cells in vivo and in vitro and in more than one way. This genotoxic action may be mediated by microthermal effects in cellular structures, formation of free radicals, or an interaction with DNA-repair mechanisms.

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