Study: Mobile phones affect DNA in isolated cells

Radio frequency radiation from mobile phones can damage DNA in laboratory conditions, European researchers said in a recent study.

The study, called REFLEX, which stands for Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards from Low Energy Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods, was a four-year, Euro 3 million-plus (US$4 million) research project majority-funded by the European Union. Results of the research project, which ended in May, were published on the Internet earlier this month.

"We have proven that electromagnetic fields -- in high and low frequencies -- damage cells in individual cell systems," said Franz Adlkofer, executive director of the Munich-based Verum Foundation for Behavior and Environment, which coordinated the REFLEX research project. "But these results can't be readily transferred to human beings. Isolated cell systems are something entirely different from complete organisms."

If, however, similar findings are ever achieved in living organisms such as rats or mice, "then we have a big problem," Adlkofer said Tuesday in an interview.

More people own mobile phones today than they do fixed-line phones, with the gap growing larger every year.

After being exposed to electromagnetic fields similar to those produced by mobile phones, the isolated cells showed a significant rise in single and double-strand DNA breaks, according to a summary of the final report. The cells were not always able to repair themselves.

DNA carries genetic information about an organism. It is organized on chromosomes located in the nucleus of a cell.

For their study, researchers used radiation levels between a SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) of 0.3 and 2 W/kg (watts per kilogram), according to the report. Most mobile phones emit radio signals at SAR levels of between 0.5 and 1 W/kg.

SAR is used to measure the rate of radio energy absorbed by body tissue. The SAR limit recommended by the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection is 2 W/kg, according to the group's Web site.

Adlkofer called for further research, in particular into the impact of electromagnetic fields on mice and rats.

Several brain-cancer suits have been filed against U.S. mobile phone companies, but judges have dismissed most of them for lack of scientific evidence.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?