Effect Of Microwave Radiation On The Retina Of Mice Embryos

Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together through the space. Microwaves are a subset of radiowaves which have frequencies between 3 kHz- 300GHz. It constitutes part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Mobile telephony has developed rapidly over the past ten years. It is now a part of the basic equipment of modern life and over 1.3 billion phones are in use worldwide. The first mobile phone system was analog and used frequencies from 450 and up to 900 MHz. Now the digital system, is operated at somewhat higher frequencies (1800-1900 MHz) and it uses different modulating. Over the last few years, concerns about health effects caused by exposure to the microwaves emitted by mobile telephones and base stations have increased as becoming a major societal issue in some countries, or at least among part of the population.

Berman et al. (1981) found no significant differences in the number of alive, dead or total fetuses and in the incidences of external, visceral, or skeletal anomalies between control and experimental fetuses maternally exposed to microwave at power density 28 mW/cm2 for 100 minutes daily from the 6th day to the 15th day of pregnancy. Nawrot et al. (1981) noted a reduction in fetal weight in CD-1 mice exposed to 30mW/cm2of electromagnetic waves during days 1-6 of gestation. Exposure of pregnant mice to a power density of 30mW/cm2from the 6th day to the 15th day of gestation resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of malformed fetuses, predominantly with cleft palate. Lary et al. (1982) stated that high-intensity 27.12 MHz radiofrequency (RF) caused a significant incidence of fetal malformations throughout the post implantation period (days7 through 15). It also caused a low but significant incidence of pre-implantation malformations. Fetal weight and crown-rump length were reduced in all post-implantation exposure groups but were not affected by pre-implantation exposure. The incidence of dead or resorbed fetuses was significantly increased in rats irradiated on days 7 or 9ofpregnancy.Marcickiewiczetal. (1986)statedthatthepregnantSwissmiceirradiationof 2 hours daily on days 1-8 of gestation with non-thermal intensity (1 or 10 mW/cm2) at 2450 MHz microwave did not lead to resorption or detectable malformations; however, the body massof19-day-fetuseswassignificantlylowerthanthatofthe control.Ontheotherhand,the microwave hyperthermia (40 mW/cm2) at the same conditions led to an increased number of resorptions (about 25%) compared to control (2%). O’Conner (1999) stated that the most remarkable observation at intrauterine exposure to radiofrequency (RF) at high exposure was a decrease in fetal mass.

Bornhausen and Cheingraber (2000) found that there was no effect on offspring behavior performance of Wister rats maternally exposed continuously during pregnancy to a low-level electromagnetic field (900 MHz) that approximated the highest legal exposure of normal population to the radiation of base antennas of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) digital cell-phone. Lahijani and Ghafoori (2000) exposed freshly fertilized chicken eggs to 50Hz during the first 24hours of post laying incubation. All EMF-exposed groups showed an increase in the percentage of developmental anomalies compared to the control. Also, the investigation showed significant differences in the measurements of body weight, length of crown to rump, heart and liver. Grigor’ev (2003) exposed the chicken embryos to electromagnetic field (EMF) from global system for mobile (GSM) during the embryonic development (21 days). The author found that the embryo mortality rate in the incubation period increased to 75% (versus 16% in the control group).

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(Author: Fawzy I. Amer, Hamza A. El Shabaka, Iman Zakaria, Hend A. Mohammed

Published by Macrothink Institute)