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Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010;31(4):457-73.

Effect of chronic exposure to a GSM-like signal (mobile phone) on survival of female Sprague-Dawley rats: modulatory effects by month of birth and possibly stage of the solar cycle.

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1
Center for Research in Medical and Natural Sciences (MNF), University of Tübingen, D-72074 Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

During 1997-2008 two long-term (I and II) and two life-long (III and IV) experiments were performed analyzing the effect of chronic exposure to a low-intensity GSM-like signal (900 MHz pulsed with 217 Hz, 100 µW/cm² average power flux density, 38-80 mW/kg mean specific absorption rate for whole body) on health and survival of unrestrained female Sprague-Dawley rats kept under identical conditions. Radiofrequency (RF)-exposure was started at 52-70 days of age and continued for 24 (I), 17 (II) and up to 36 and 37 months, respectively (III/IV). In the first two experiments (1997-2000) 12 exposed and 12 sham-exposed animals each were observed until they were maximally 770 or 580 days old. In experiment I no adverse health effects of chronic RF-exposure were detectable, neither by macroscopic nor detailed microscopic pathological examinations. Also in experiment II no apparent macroscopic pathological changes due to treatment were apparent. Median survival time could not be estimated since in none of the groups more than 50% of the animals had died. In the course of two complete survival experiments (2002-2005; 2005-2008) 30 RF- and 30 sham-exposed animals each were followed up until their natural end or when they became moribund and had to be euthanized. A synoptical data analysis was performed. Survival data of all four groups could be fitted well by the Weibull distribution. According to this analysis median survival was significantly shortened under RF-exposure in both experiments by 9.06% (95% CI 2.7 to 15.0%) (p=0.0064); i.e by 72 days in experiment III and 77 days in experiment IV as compared to the corresponding sham-treated animals (III: 799 days; IV: 852 days). Both groups of animals of experiment III showed reduced median survival times by 6.25% (95% CI -0.3 to 12.4%) (p=0.0604) compared to the corresponding groups of experiment IV (53 days: sham-exposed animals, 48 days: RF-exposed animals) which may be due to the fact that animals of experiment III were born in October and animals of experiment IV in May indicating that the month of birth affects life span. From the results of the last two experiments it has to be concluded that chronic exposure to a low-intensity GSM-like signal may exert negative health effects and shorten survival if treatment is applied sufficiently long and the observational period covers the full life span of the animals concerned. The current data show that survival of rats kept under controlled laboratory conditions varies within certain limits depending on the month of birth. In view of our previous observations regarding an inhibitory or no effect of RF-exposure on DMBA-induced mammary cancer during the 1997-2000 period, an additional modulatory influence on a year-to-year basis should be considered which might be related to changing solar activity during the the 11-years' sunspot cycle. These potentially complex influences of the natural environment modulating the effects of anthropogenic RF-signals on health and survival require a systematic continuation of such experiments throughout solar cycle 24 which started in 2009.

PMID:
20802457
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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