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Effect of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation on Body Temperature in Rodents: Pilot Studies of the National Toxicology Program's Reverberation Chamber Exposure System

Michael E. Wyde, Thomas L. Horn, Myles H. Capstick, John M. Ladbury, Galen Koepke, Perry F. Wilson, Grace E. Kissling, Matthew D. Stout, Niels Kuster, Ronald L. Melnick, James Gauger, John R. Bucher, and David L. McCormick.
Bioelectromagnetics (2018) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bem.22116 PMID: 29537695


Publication


Abstract

Radiofrequency radiation (RFR) causes heating, which can lead to detrimental biological effects. To characterize the effects of RFR exposure on body temperature in relation to animal size and pregnancy, a series of short-term toxicity studies was conducted in a unique RFR exposure system. Young and old B6C3F1 mice and young, old, and pregnant Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) RFR (rats = 900 MHz, mice = 1,900 MHz) at specific absorption rates (SARs) up to 12 W/kg for approximately 9 h a day for 5 days. In general, fewer and less severe increases in body temperature were observed in young than in older rats. SAR-dependent increases in subcutaneous body temperatures were observed at exposures ≥6 W/kg in both modulations. Exposures of  ≥10 W/kg GSM or CDMA RFR induced excessive increases in body temperature, leading to mortality. There was also a significant increase in the number of resorptions in pregnant rats at 12 W/kg GSM RFR. In mice, only sporadic increases in body temperature were observed regardless of sex or age when exposed to GSM or CDMA RFR up to 12 W/kg. These results identified SARs at which measurable RFR-mediated thermal effects occur, and were used in the selection of exposures for subsequent toxicology and carcinogenicity studies.

Figures


Figure 1. Average body temperatures of young male and female rats.

Average body temperatures of young male and female rats after 5 days of exposure up to 12 W/kg GSM or CDMA RFR. One female rat exposed to 8 W/kg gave high and variable temperature readings, resulting in a broad standard deviation. This animal was excluded from the statistical analysis.
Studies were conducted in three cohorts, differentiated by symbols as follows: • Control, 4, 6, 8 W/kg; ○ Control, 10, 12 W/kg; bem22116-gra-0001 Control, 12 W/kg. *P < 0.05.

Figure 2. Average body temperatures of aged male and female rats.

Average body temperatures of aged male and female rats after 5 days of exposure up to 12 W/kg GSM or CDMA RFR.
Studies were conducted in two cohorts, differentiated by symbols as follows: • Control, 4, 6, 8 W/kg; ○ Control, 10, 12 W/kg. *P < 0.05. † Due to animal death, only 2 or 3 time points were collected. ‡ Exposures were discontinued after day 1 due to excessive body temperature increases.

Figure 3. Average body temperatures of pregnant female rats.

Average body temperatures of pregnant female rats after 5 days of exposure up to 12 W/kg GSM or CDMA RFR.
Studies were conducted in two cohorts, differentiated by symbols as follows: • Control, 4, 6, 8 W/kg; ○ Control, 10, 12 W/kg. *P < 0.05.

Figure 4. Average body temperatures of young male and female mice.

Average body temperatures of young male and female mice after 5 days of exposure up to 12 W/kg GSM or CDMA RFR.
Studies were conducted in two cohorts, differentiated by symbols as follows: • Control, 4, 6, 8 W/kg; ○ Control, 10, 12 W/kg. *P < 0.05.

Figure 5. Average body temperatures of aged male and female mice.

Average body temperatures of aged male and female mice after 5 days of exposure up to 12 W/kg GSM or CDMA RFR.
Studies were conducted in two cohorts, differentiated by symbols as follows: • Control, 4, 6, 8 W/kg; ○ Control, 10, 12 W/kg. *P < 0.05.

Tables


Table 1. Average Body Weight (g) at Study Start.

Supplemental Materials


CDMA Study Tables - Rats

CDMA Study Tables - Mice

GSM Study Tables - Rats

GSM Study Tables - Mice

Supplemental Data

Table S1. Body temperature after cessation of GSM cell phone RFR exposure in young Sprague Dawley rats.
Table S2. Body temperature after cessation of CDMA cell phone RFR exposure in young Sprague Dawley rats.
Table S3. Body temperature after cessation of GSM cell phone RFR exposure in aged Sprague Dawley rats.
Table S4. Body temperature after cessation of CDMA cell pohne RFR exposure in aged Sprague Dawley rats.
Table S5. Body temperature after cessation of GSM cell phone RFR exposure in pregnant female Sprague Dawley rats.
Table S6. Body temperature after cessation of GSM cell phone RFR exposure in pregnant female Sprague Dawley rats.
Table S7. Body temperature after exposure to GSM cell phone RFR in young B6C3F1 mice.
Table S8. Body temperature after exposure to CDMA cell phone RFR in young B6C3F1 mice.
Table S9. Body temperature after exposure to GSM cell phone RFR in aged B6C3F1 mice.
Table S10. Body temperature after exposure to CDMA cell phone RFR in aged B6C3F1 mice.
Table S11. Body temperature following resting period in Sprague Dawley rats exposed to GSM cell phone RFR (Days 2 and 4).
Table S12. Body temperature following resting period in Sprague Dawley rats exposed to CDMA cell phone RFR (Days 2 and 4).
Table S13. Body temperature following resting period in B6C3F1 mice exposed to GSM cell phone RFR (Days 2 and 4).
Table S14. Body temperature following resting period in B6C3F1 mice exposed to CDMA cell phone RFR (Days 2 and 4).