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Anticancer Res. 2009 Aug;29(8):2885-92.

Cytogenetic effects of 18.0 and 16.5 GHz microwave radiation on human lymphocytes in vitro.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Section of Medical Genetics, Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway.



There are few cell studies on the direct genotoxic effects of microwave radiation. In this study, cytogenetic effects of microwave radiation alone or in combination with mitomycin C (MMC) were investigated.


Lymphocytes from two smoking and four non-smoking donors were exposed for 53 hours in vitro to 1.0 W/m(2) continuous-wave radiation at 18.0 GHz or 10 W/m(2) pulsed-wave at 16.5 GHz, alone or in combination with MMC. DNA synthesis and repair were inhibited in vitro in some cultures.


No synergistic effect was observed in cells exposed to combinations of microwave radiation and in vitro exposure to MMC, or to cells pre-exposed in vivo to tobacco smoke. For the 16.5 GHz pulsed exposure, a non-significant trend consisting of an increase in aberration frequencies with microwave radiation was shown for the DNA synthesis and repair inhibited cultures both with and without MMC.


Neither 18.0 GHz continuous-wave nor 16.5 GHz pulsed-wave exposure to human lymphocytes in vitro induced statistically significant increases in chromosomal aberration frequencies. 16.5 GHz pulsed-wave exposure requires further documentation before a true negative conclusion can be drawn.

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