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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

No effects of GSM-modulated 900 MHz electromagnetic fields on survival rate and spontaneous development of lymphoma in female AKR/J mice

Angela M Sommer1, Joachim Streckert2, Andreas K Bitz2, Volkert W Hansen2 and Alexander Lerchl1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Engineering and Science, International University Bremen, Research II, Campus Ring 6, D-28759 Bremen, Germany

2 Chair of Electromagnetic Theory, University of Wuppertal, D-42097 Wuppertal, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2004, 4:77  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-4-77

Published: 11 November 2004

Abstract

Background

Several reports indicated that non-thermal electromagnetic radiation such as from mobile phones and base stations may promote cancer. Therefore, it was investigated experimentally, whether 900 MHz electromagnetic field exposure influences lymphoma development in a mouse strain that is genetically predisposed to this disease. The AKR/J mice genome carries the AK-virus, which leads within one year to spontaneous development of thymic lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Methods

320 unrestrained female mice were sham-exposed or exposed (each n = 160 animals) to GSM like 900 MHz electromagnetic fields for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, at an average whole body specific absorption rate (SAR) value of 0.4 W/kg. Animals were visually checked daily and were weighed and palpated weekly. Starting with an age of 6 months, blood samples were taken monthly from the tail. Animals with signs of disease or with an age of about 46 weeks were sacrificed and a gross necropsy was performed.

Results

Electromagnetic field exposure had a significant effect on body weight gain, with higher values in exposed than in sham-exposed animals. However, survival rate and lymphoma incidence did not differ between exposed and sham-exposed mice.

Conclusion

These data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields is a significant risk factor for developing lymphoma in a genetically predisposed species, even at a relatively high exposure level.