Genotoxic potential of 1.6 GHz wireless communication signal: In vivo two-year bioassay

Vijayalaxmi, Lyle B. Sasser, James E. Morris, Bary W. Wilson, Larry E. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Timed-pregnant Fischer 344 rats (from nineteenth day of gestation) and their nursing offspring (until weaning) were exposed to a far-field 1.6 GHz Iridium wireless communication signal for 2 h/day, 7 days/week. Far-field whole-body exposures were conducted with a field intensity of 0.43 mW/cm2 and whole-body average specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.036 to 0.077 W/kg (0.10 to 0.22 W/kg in the brain). This was followed by chronic, head-only exposures of male and female offspring to a near-field 1.6 GHz signal for 2 h/day, 5 days/week, over 2 years. Near-field exposures were conducted at an SAR of 0.16 or 1.6 W/kg in the brain. Concurrent sham-exposed and cage control rats were also included in the study. At the end of 2 years, all rats were necropsied. Bone marrow smears were examined for the extent of genotoxicity, assessed from the presence of micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes. The results indicated that the incidence of micronuclei/2000 polychromatic erythrocytes were not significantly different between 1.6 GHz-exposed, sham-exposed and cage control rats. The group mean frequencies were 5.6 ± 1.8 (130 rats exposed to 1.6 GHz at 0.16 W/kg SAR), 5.4 ± 1.5 (135 rats exposed to 1.6 GHz at 1.6 W/kg SAR), 5.6 ± 1.7 (119 sham-exposed rats), and 5.8 ± 1.8 (100 cage control rats). In contrast, positive control rats treated with mitomycin C exhibited significantly elevated incidence of micronuclei/2000 polychromatic erythrocytes in bone marrow cells; the mean frequency was 38.2 ± 7.0 (five rats). Thus there was no evidence for excess genotoxicity in rats that were chronically exposed to 1.6 GHz compared to sham-exposed and cage controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-564
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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