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Medical/biological Study (experimental study)

Indication of cocarcinogenic potential of chronic UMTS-modulated radiofrequency exposure in an ethylnitrosourea mouse model. med./biol.

By: Tillmann T, Ernst H, Streckert J, Zhou Y, Taugner F, Hansen V, Dasenbrock C
Published in: Int J Radiat Biol 2010; 86 (7): 529 - 541 (PubMed | Journal website)

Aim of study (according to author)
To study the tumour susceptibility in mice exposed to a UMTS signal for up to 24 months commencing with embryo-fetal exposure.
Background/further details:
Animals were exposed to UMTS electromagnetic fields with different intensities (4.8 and 48 W/mē) and the low-dose group (4.8 W/mē) was additionally subjected to prenatal ethylnitrosourea treatment (40 mg ENU/kg body weight).
In total, five treatment groups were used: Two exposure groups, sham exposure group, cage control group and positive control group (ENU treatment only). Exposure and sham exposure of the maternal mice started on day 6 post conception, while the maternal ENU treatment was carried out on day 14 post conception. Each treatment group consisted originally of up to 20 maternal mice and their litters. After the first week of lifetime, litter standardisation was performed and afterwards three female offspring per cage and their mothers were maintained up to the weaning time point. After weaning, maternal mice were removed from the cages and the study was conducted using the three remaining female offspring (thus about 60 mice per group).
Different pre-studies were also performed (e.g. concerning thermoregulation or ENU mortality of a different mouse strain).


General category: mobile communication system, UMTS

Field characteristicsParameters
1966 MHz
exposure duration: continuous for 20 hr/day, 7 days/week for up to 24 months
power flux density: 4.8 W/m² average over time (deck with low exposure)
power flux density: 48 W/m² average over time (deck with high exposure)
SAR: 0.62 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (3 pups (3 g, together with the dam))
SAR: 1.19 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (3 old females (55 g))
SAR: 3.84 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (1 mature female (30 g))
SAR: 4.48 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (1 mature female (30 g, together with 3 pups))
SAR: 5.76 W/kg average over mass (whole body) (3 young females (12.5 g))

FIELD View further expo parameters

Exposed system:
animal (species/strain): mouse/B6C3F1
whole body exposure

Endpoint/Measurement parameters/Methodology

investigated material: tissue slices (in vitro), isolated organ (in vitro)
investigation on living organism
investigated organ systems: immune system, muscular/skeletal system, respiratory system, brain/CNS, spleen, kidneys, liver, lung, lymph nodes, brain

time of investigation: during and after exposure

Main outcome of study (according to author)
The high-level UMTS exposure (48 W/mē), the sham exposure, and the cage control groups showed comparable tumour incidences in the organs. In contrast, the ENU-treated and UMTS-co-exposed (at 4.8 W/mē) animals displayed an enhanced lung tumour rate and an increased incidence of lung carcinomas as compared to the controls treated with ENU only. Furthermore, tumour multiplicity of the lung carcinomas was increased and the number of metastasising lung tumours was doubled in the ENU/UMTS co-exposure group as compared to the ENU control group.
The authors conclude that this pilot study indicates a cocarcinogenic effect of lifelong UMTS exposure (4.8 W/mē) in female B6C3F1 offspring subjected to pretreatment with ethylnitrosourea.

(Study character: medical/biological study, experimental study, pilot/exploratory/preliminary study, blind study)

Study funded by

This study was replicated by iRelated articles i
Glossary: animals, biological, blind study, brain, cancer, carcinomas, CNS, co-exposed, cocarcinogenic, conception, control group, dose, electromagnetic fields, embryo, endpoint, ENU, exposed, exposure, fetal, health, hematoxylin-eosin stain, histopathological, immune system, incidence, in vitro, kidneys, lesions, light microscopy, liver, lung, lymph nodes, malignancy, maternal, mobile communication, morbidity, morphological, mortality, muscular, necropsy, neoplasms, organism, Organs, pilot study, positive control, potential, power flux density, prenatal, respiratory system, SAR, sentinel animals, serological, sham exposure, signal, skeletal, species, spleen, strain, symptoms, thermoregulation, tissue, tumour, UMTS, whole body exposure
Exposure: mobile communication system, UMTS

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