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Edition No. 4 February 1996
Cytogenic Studies of the Effects of Mobile Telephone Radio Waves

Dr. rer. nat. Susanne Diener, Professor Dr. rer. nat. Paul Eberle, Institute of Human Biology, Human Genetics and Cytogenetics Department, Technical University of Braunschweig

This research project was designed to determined whether high-frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those that are generated during the use of mobile telephone technology, have a carcinogenic effects. Therefore, we examined whether mutations occurred in genes and chromosomes and whether there were any changes in cell growth.

Blood taken from healthy nonsmoker male donors ranging in age from 20 to 33 was used as the object of the study. Lymphocytes were taken from this blood and exposed at temperatures of 37°C to high-frequency fields of 450 MHz, 900 MHz and 1.8 GHz, which are typical in current mobile telephone service (in the German C, D, and E networks, for example). Exposure time ranged from 39 to 70 hours.

TEM or GTEM cells were used to examine the samples; these cells operate according to the principle of an “expanded coaxial line”. They were provided by the Institute for Communications Technology of the Technical University of Braunschweig (see the report entitled “Experimental setup for studying electromagnetic alternating fields”). To exclude interference from outside, the cell cultures used as controls were placed in a space that was specially shielded against magnetic alternating fields.

The test parameters used are given in the following list:

Chromosome aberration rate -CA: This parameter is a measure of interference in the doublestrand system, in which two pairs of chromatids are linked together in a intertining helix.

Sister chromatid exchange - SCE: The sister chromatid exchange sequence records damage to the molecular structure of the gene (DNA)

Hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase - HGPRT: The mutation frequency of the hypoxanthine quanine phosphoriosyltransferase site is a measure of the frequency with which harmful modifications occur in the genderrelated X-chromosomes.Micronucleus rate - MN: The micronucleus frequency is related to the distribution of the chromosomes and provides a measure of how many of the chromosome are damaged.

Cell proliferation - PI: With the cell proliferation index, one can record the cell divisionrate, which is closely related to malignant tumors. Modifications in the proliferation rate can be caused by many factors, such as problems with the internal cell system with which DNA damage is repaired, or problems in the immune system. These problems have various serious effects on the cells, in that mutated cells may no longer be effectively eliminated, or immunological diseases may occur more frequently.

Standard methods were used in examining the preparation.

There were no indications whatsoever that the processes recorded in the test parameter were effected by the high-frequency electromagnetic fields.

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