IEEE ICES Database
ElectroMagnetic Field Literature
Search Engine
IEEE ICES website

EMF Study
(Database last updated on Jun 24, 2020)

ID Number 464
Study Type In Vivo
Model 2450 MHz (CW) exposure of rabbits and analysis of eye pathology

New Zealand rabbits were exposed to 2450 MHz (CW) microwaves at levels sufficient to form cataracts due to thermal effects. In an early study it was found a peak SAR of 0.92 W/kg per mW/cm2 occurred between the lens of the eye and the retina, and threshold studies indicated an SAR of 138 W/kg peak was necessary behind the lens for 100 minutes for cataract induction. In other studies, exposure of 4 rabbits (and 4 controls) for 23 hr/day for 180 days at an SAR of 1.5 W/kg (whole body average) and up to 17 W/kg peak at the head did not result in cataracts or changes in body mass, urinary output, rectal temperature, hematocrit, hemoglobin, white blood cell count with differential, platelet count, or basic blood coagulation. (In a companion study using samples from the same 8 rabbits, marginal changes were reported on other biological parameters [see McRee et al., J. Microwave Power 15: 37-44, 1980].)

Findings Effects (only at thermal levels)
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Univ. Washington, Seattle WA, USA
Funding Agency Private/Instit.
  • Kramar, P et al. Bioelectromagnetics, (1987) 8:397-406
  • Guy, AW et al. J. Microwave Power, (1980) 15:37-44
  • Kramar, P et al. J Microw Power, (1978) 13:239-249
  • Guy, AW et al. IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., (1975) 23:492-498
  • Emery , AF et al. J. Heat Transfer, Transactions of ASME, (1975) February:123-128
  • Kramar, PO et al. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., (1975) 247:155-163
  • Kramar, PO et al. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. C.C. Johnson and M.L. Shore (eds.) , (1976) 1:49-60
  • Comments

    These studies demonstrated that the effect of non-RF conventional heating was identical to that required by RF heating for cataract formation. The finding by Kramar & Guy of an SAR threshold of 41.5 degree C required for cataract formation suggests that the maximal 0.15 degree C temperature rise to the head due to cell phone emissions, even if the antenna is aimed directly across from the eye, would be too small to cause damage.