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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

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?