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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Jul 7, 2020)

ID Number 979
Study Type In Vivo
Model Studies on genetic and reproductive effects of exposure to mobile phone emissions.
Details

Drosphila melanogaster (strain Oregon R) were exposed to 900 MHz (GSM) fields ("voice modulated") by positioning a mobile phone "hooked - up" to the network in direct contact and antenna parallel to a glass tube containing the flies. A low-dose group was achieved by moving the antenna 3mm from the glass tube. Exposures were for 6 minutes per day during the first 2-5 days of adult life. An average power density of 0.618 mW/cm2 and a peak power density of 2.96 mW/cm2 was measured from the phone at some point in the study, although transmit power may have varied over time. The authors report that "voice modulated" 900 MHz GSM exposure resulted in a 50-60% decrease in reproductive capacity in the fruit flies, while "non-voice modulated" GSM exposure resulted in a 15-20% decrease. Both males and females were affected similarly. The authors suggest GSM exposure may affect gonad development in insects. In a related study, Drosophila were again exposed to 900 and 1800 MHz using a mobile phone as a transmitting source. Power densities (depending upon the distance of the antenna feedpoint to the glass jar housing the flies was 0.402 +/- 0.054 mW/cm2 and 0.292 +/- 0.042 mW/cm2 for 900 MHz, and 0.288 +/- 0.038 for 1800 MHz. ELF 50 Hz fields were also measured. The authors report increased cell death and decreased offspring in a dose dependent manner with exposure, as well as increased apoptosis by TUNEL assay during developmental stages of oogenesis. The authors speculated that it may actually be the ELF component of the exposure that contributed to the effects. A subsequent study the authors again exposed newly emerged male and female Drosophila to 900 or 1800 MHz GSM as above with the antenna either in touch with the glass container or 1 cm away. The authors report reduced reproductive capacity (48% decrease with 900 MHz GSM, 31% with 1800 MHz GSM). The authors again proposed that ELF exposures may be the cause of the effects. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Panagopoulos and Margaritis 2008 (IEEE #5104): A number of serious non thermal biological effects, ranging from changes in cellular function like proliferation rate changes or gene expression changes to cell death induction, decrease in the rate of melatonin production and changes in electroencephalogram patterns in humans, population declinations of birds and insects, and small but statistically significant increases of certain types of cancer, are attributed in our days to the radiations emitted by mobile telephony antennas of both handsets and base stations. This chapter reviews briefly the most important experimental, clinical and statistical findings and presents more extensively a series of experiments, concerning cell death induction on a model biological system. Mobile telephony radiation is found to decrease significantly and non thermally insect reproduction by up to 60%, after a few minutes daily exposure for only few days. Both sexes were found to be affected. The effect is due to DNA fragmentation in the gonads caused by both types of digital mobile telephony radiation used in Europe, GSM 900MHz, (Global System for Mobile telecommunications), and DCS 1800MHz, (Digital Cellular System). GSM was found to be even more bioactive than DCS, due to its higher intensity under equal conditions. The decrease in reproductive capacity seems to be non-linearly depended on radiation intensity, exhibiting a peak for intensities higher than 200 ¼W/cm2 and an intensity window around 10¼W/cm2 were it becomes maximum. In terms of the distance from a mobile phone antenna, the intensity of this windowcorresponds under usual conditions to a distance of 20-30 cm. The importance of different parameters of the radiation like intensity, carrier frequency and pulse repetition frequency, in relation to the recorded effects are discussed. Finally, this chapter describes a plausible biophysical and biochemical mechanism which can explain the recorded effects of mobile telephony radiations on living organisms. AUTHOR'S ABSTRACT: Panagopoulos 2012 (IEEE #5153): In the present experiments the effect of GSM radiation on ovarian development of virgin Drosophila melanogaster female insects was studied. Newly emerged adult female flies were collected and divided into separate identical groups. After the a lapse of certain number of hours-different for each group-the insects (exposed and sham-exposed) were dissected and their intact ovaries were collected and photographed under an optical microscope with the same magnification. The size of the ovaries was compared between exposed and sham-exposed virgin female insects, during the time needed for the completion of oogenesis and maturation of the first eggs in the ovarioles. Immediately after the intact ovaries were photographed, they were further dissected into individual ovarioles and treated for TUNEL and acridine-orange assays to determine the degree of DNA damage in the egg chamber cells. The study showed that the ovarian size of the exposed insects is significantly smaller than that of the corresponding sham-exposed insects, due to destruction of egg chambers by the GSM radiation, after DNA damage and consequent cell death induction in the egg chamber cells of the virgin females as shown in previous experiments on inseminated females. The difference in ovarian size between sham-exposed and exposed virgin female flies becomes most evident 39-45 h after eclosion when the first eggs within the ovaries are at the late vitellogenic and post-vitellogenic stages (mid-late oogenesis). More than 45 h after eclosion, the difference in ovarian size decreases, as the first mature eggs of the sham-exposed insects are leaving the ovaries and are laid. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Chavdoula et al. 2010 (IEEE #6080): In the present study we used a 6-min daily exposure of dipteran flies, Drosophila melanogaster, to GSM-900MHz (Global System for Mobile Telecommunications) mobile phone electromagnetic radiation (EMR), to compare the effects between the continuous and four different intermittent exposures of 6min total duration, and also to test whether intermittent exposure provides any cumulative effects on the insect's reproductive capacity as well as on the induction of apoptotic cell death. According to our previous experiments, a 6-min continuous exposure per day for 5 days to GSM-900MHz and DCS-1800MHz (Digital Cellular System) mobile phone radiation, brought about a large decrease in the insect's reproductive capacity, as defined by the number of F(1) pupae. This decrease was found to be non-thermal and correlated with an increased percentage of induced fragmented DNA in the egg chambers' cells at early- and mid-oogenesis. In the present experiments we show that intermittent exposure also decreases the reproductive capacity and alters the actin-cytoskeleton network of the egg chambers, another known aspect of cell death that was not investigated in previous experiments, and that the effect is also due to DNA fragmentation. Intermittent exposures with 10-min intervals between exposure sessions proved to be almost equally effective as continuous exposure of the same total duration, whereas longer intervals between the exposures seemed to allow the organism the time required to recover and partly overcome the above-mentioned effects of the GSM exposure. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Panagopoulos et al. 2010 (IEEE #6081): PURPOSE: To examine the bioactivity of GSM 900 and 1800 (Global System for Mobile Telecommunications) radiations, in relation to the distance from the antenna or to the radiation-field intensities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Drosophila melanogaster adult insects were exposed to the radiation of a GSM 900/1800 mobile phone antenna at different distances ranging from 0 to 100 cm, and the effect on their reproductive capacity and cell death induction in the gonads by the use of TUNEL (Terminal deoxynucleotide transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling) assay, was studied. RESULTS: These radiations/fields decreased the reproductive capacity by cell death induction, at all the different distances tested. The effect diminished with the distance/decreasing intensities. An increased bioactivity 'window' was revealed at distances of 20-30 cm from the mobile phone antenna, (radiation intensity around 10 microW/cm(2)) where the effect became highest, in relation to smaller or longer distances. The effect diminished considerably for distances longer than 40-50 cm and became not evident for distances longer than 1 m or radiation intensities smaller than 1 microW/cm(2). CONCLUSIONS: GSM bioactivity is highest for intensities down to less than 10 microW/cm(2) and still evident until 1 microW/cm(2) exhibiting 'window' effects. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Panagopoulos and Margaritis 2010 (IEEE #6105): PURPOSE: The increased bioactivity 'windows' of GSM 900 and 1800 MHz radiations, (Global System for Mobile telecommunications) revealed recently by us and published in this issue, manifesting themselves as a maximum decrease in the reproductive capacity of the insect Drosophila melanogaster, were examined to discover whether they depend on the intensity of radiation-fields. METHODS: In each experiment, one group of insects were exposed to the GSM 900 or 1800 radiation at 30 or 20 cm distances, respectively, from the antenna of a mobile phone, where the bioactivity 'window' appears for each type of radiation and another group was exposed at 8 or 5 cm, respectively, behind a metal grid, shielding both microwave radiation and the extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields for both types of radiation in a way that radiation and field intensities were roughly equal between the two groups. Then the effect on reproductive capacity was compared between groups for each type of radiation. RESULTS: The decrease in the reproductive capacity did not differ significantly between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The bioactivity window seems to be due to the intensity of radiation-field (10 microW/cm(2), 0.6-0.7 V/m) at 30 or 20 cm from the GSM 900 or 1800 mobile phone antenna, respectively. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Margaritis et al. 2014 (IEEE #6178): The model biological organisms Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila virilis have been utilized to assess effects on apoptotic cell death of follicles during oogenesis and reproductive capacity (fecundity) decline. A total of 280 different experiments were performed using newly emerged flies exposed for short time daily for 3-7 d to various EMF sources including: GSM 900/1800 MHz mobile phone, 1880-1900 MHz DECT wireless base, DECT wireless handset, mobile phone-DECT handset combination, 2.44 GHz wireless network (Wi-Fi), 2.44 GHz blue tooth, 92.8 MHz FM generator, 27.15 MHz baby monitor, 900 MHz CW RF generator and microwave oven's 2.44 GHz RF and magnetic field components. Mobile phone was used as a reference exposure system for evaluating factors considered very important in dosimetry extending our published work with D. melanogaster to the insect D. virilis. Distance from the emitting source, the exposure duration and the repeatability were examined. All EMF sources used created statistically significant effects regarding fecundity and cell death-apoptosis induction, even at very low intensity levels (0.3 V/m blue tooth radiation), well below ICNIRP's guidelines, suggesting that Drosophila oogenesis system is suitable to be used as a biomarker for exploring potential EMF bioactivity. Also, there is no linear cumulative effect when increasing the duration of exposure or using one EMF source after the other (i.e. mobile phone and DECT handset) at the specific conditions used. The role of the average versus the peak E-field values as measured by spectrum analyzers on the final effects is discussed. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Sagioglou et al 2016 (IEEE #6293): Present generations are being repeatedly exposed to different types and doses of non-ionizing radiation (NIR) from wireless technologies (FM radio, TETRA and TV stations, GSM and UMTS phones/base stations, Wi-Fi networks, DECT phones). Although there is controversy on the published data regarding the non-thermal effects of NIR, studies have convincingly demonstrated bioeffects. Their results indicate that modulation, intensity, exposure duration and model system are important factors determining the biological response to irradiation. Attempting to address the dependence of NIR bioeffectiveness on these factors, apoptosis in the model biological system Drosophila melanogaster was studied under different exposure protocols. A signal generator was used operating alternatively under Continuous Wave (CW) or Frequency Modulation (FM) emission modes, at three power output values (10 dB, 0, -10 dB), under four carrier frequencies (100, 395, 682, 900 MHz). Newly emerged flies were exposed either acutely (6 min or 60 min on the 6th day), or repeatedly (6 min or 60 min daily for the first 6 days of their life). All exposure protocols resulted in an increase of apoptotic cell death (ACD) observed in egg chambers, even at very low electric field strengths. FM waves seem to have a stronger effect in ACD than continuous waves. Regarding intensity and temporal exposure pattern, EMF-biological tissue interaction is not linear in response. Intensity threshold for the induction of biological effects depends on frequency, modulation and temporal exposure pattern with unknown so far mechanisms. Given this complexity, translating such experimental data into possible human exposure guidelines is yet arbitrary. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Manta et al. 2016 (IEEE @6627): The daily use by people of wireless communication devices has increased exponentially in the last decade, begetting concerns regarding its potential health hazards. Drosophila melanogaster four days-old adult female flies were exposed for 30 min to radiation emitted by a commercial mobile phone at a SAR of 0.15 W/kg and a SAE of 270 J/kg. ROS levels and apoptotic follicles were assayed in parallel with a genome-wide microarrays analysis. ROS cellular contents were found to increase by 1.6-fold (x), immediately after the end of exposure, in follicles of pre-choriogenic stages (germarium - stage 10), while sporadically generated apoptotic follicles (germarium 2b and stages 7-9) presented with an averaged 2x upregulation in their sub-population mass, 4 h after fly's irradiation with mobile device. Microarray analysis revealed 168 genes being differentially expressed, 2 h post-exposure, in response to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic field-radiation exposure (e1.25x, P < 0.05) and associated with multiple and critical biological processes, such as basic metabolism and cellular subroutines related to stress response and apoptotic death. Exposure of adult flies to mobile-phone radiation for 30 min has an immediate impact on ROS production in animal's ovary, which seems to cause a global, systemic and) non-targeted transcriptional reprogramming of gene expression, 2 h post-exposure, being finally followed by induction of apoptosis 4 h after the end of exposure. Conclusively, this unique type of pulsed radiation, mainly being derived from daily used mobile phones, seems capable of mobilizing critical cytopathic mechanisms, and altering fundamental genetic programs and networks in D. melanogaster. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Stefi, Margaritis et al. 2019 (IEEE #7181): In this study, the effects of low-level, GSM emitted ElectroMagnetic Field (EMF) on Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) and alpha-synuclein (±-syn) in human neuroblastoma cells was investigated. Our data indicated alterations on APP processing and cellular topology, following EMF exposure ( = 10.51 V/m, SAR = 0.23 W/kg, exposure time: 3 times, for 10 min, for 2 days). Furthermore, changes in monomeric ±-syn accumulation and multimerization, as well as induction of oxidative stress and cell death, were documented. The results presented here require further investigation to determine potential links of EMF with the molecular pathogenic mechanisms in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases.

Findings Effects
Status Completed Without Publication
Principal Investigator University of Athens, Greece
Funding Agency Private/Instit.
Country GREECE
References
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  • Panagopoulos, DJ et al. In: Mobile Telephones: Networks, Applications and Performance. A.C. Harper and R.V. Buress (editors), (2008) :107-149
  • Panagopoulos, DJ Cell Biochem Biophys., (2012) 63:121-132
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  • Panagopoulos, DJ et al. Int J Radiat Biol., (2010) 86:345-357
  • Panagopoulos, DJ et al. Int J Radiat Biol., (2010) 86:358-366
  • Margaritis, LH et al. Electromagn Biol Med., (2014) 33:165-189
  • Sagioglou, NE et al. Electromagn Biol Med., (2016) 35:40-53
  • Manta, AK et al. Fly (Austin)., (2017) 11:2:75-95
  • Panagopoulos, DJ Mutation Research-Reviews in Mutation Research. , (2019) 781:53-62
  • Stefi, AL et al. Pathophysiology., (2019) pii: S0928-4680(18)30352-3:-
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  • Comments

    Phone was "hooked up" to network, so dose is unknown. The "non-voice modulated" condition not only had no voice modulation, but certainly had an unknown degree of DTx that reduced the exposure by an unknown amount.

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