Vijayalaxmi, Sasser L, Morris JE, Wilson BW, et al. (2003)

Pregnant Fischer 344 rats (from the 19th day of gestation) and their nursing offspring (until weaning at about 35 days) were exposed to a far-field 1.6 GHz Iridium wireless communication signal for 2 hours per day, 7 days per week. The whole-body average SAR was 0.036 to 0.077 W/kg. After this, the offspring were exposed to a near-field, head-only exposure from a 1.6 GHz signal for 2 hours/day, 5days/week, for 2 years. The near-field exposures were at an SAR of 0.16 or 1.6 W/kg. Sham-exposed and cage control animals were also studied. At the end of 2 years, all surviving rats were killed and autopsied. Of 180 rats in each group, 130 in the 0.16 W/kg survived, compared with 135 in the 1.6 W/kg group and 119 in the sham exposure group. In the cage controls, 100 out of 160 survived. Bone marrow smears were examined for the extent of genotoxicity, assessed from the presence of micronuclei in polychromatic erythrocytes. The smears were coded so that the examiner did not know their origin.

The incidence of micronuclei per 2,000 polychromatic erythrocytes was not significantly different between the 0.16 W/kg SAR, 1.6 W/kg SAR, or sham-exposed groups.

The authors state that this is the first large-scale investigation in rats examining a potential genotoxic effect of chronic, low-level exposure to 1.6 GHz RF radiation.

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