Yamashita H, Hata K, Yamaguchi H, Tsurita G, Wake K, Watanabe S, Taki M, Ueno S, Nagawa H. Short-term exposure to a 1439-MHz TDMA signal exerts no estrogenic effect in rats. Bioelectromagnetics. Jul 6, 2010. Ahead of print.
The effects of short and long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiofrequencies (EMFs) on reproductive organs through the every day use of electronic devices needs to be thoroughly investigated. Estrogens are important female sex hormones and essential to the reproductive process. High levels of estrogen have also been shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Estrogen is mainly produced by the ovaries, but other organs such as the liver, breasts, and adrenal gland also produce small amounts.
The objective of the study was to determine the effects of acute EMF exposure on female hormonal activity. Estrogen levels and increases in uterine weight were investigated after EMF exposure in rats (with ovaries removed).
Four groups of 16 female rats (with ovaries removed) were used in this study. One group was exposed to 1,439 MHz EMF for 4 hours a day for 3 consecutive days. The second group of female rats underwent the same procedure as the first group but without any exposure to radiation. A third group of rats were left in their cages and a fourth group were given an injection of an estrogen-like hormone to mimic increase estrogen activity for the three consecutive days. At the end of the three days, the rats were sacrificed and blood estrogen levels and the weight of uterine wet mass were determined.
The EMF exposed group had no significant changes in blood estrogen levels or uterine wet mass when compared to the groups of rats not exposed to radiation or the group of rats left in their cages. The only group that had increased blood levels of estrogen and uterine wet mass were the rats that had received artificial hormone injections. The authors concluded that short-term high frequency EMF had no significant stimulatory effect on the female hormone levels of estrogen.
Interpretation and Limitations
The authors believe that long-term studies need to be done before negative effects of EMF on hormonal stimulation can be ruled out.
This study does not support the hypothesis that short-term exposure to 1,439 MHz EMF stimulates the hormone activity of estrogen in female rats.