Purpose: In view of current interest in the biological effects of amplitude-modulated microwaves arising from the rapid development of mobile communications, the effects of low-level microwaves on cancer development were investigated using a rat sarcoma model.
Materials and methods: Two-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated by injection of benzo(a)pyrene and irradiated with GSM (Global System for Mobile)-modulated 900-MHz microwaves in an anechoic chamber at 55 or 200 microW cm(-2) (75 and 270 mW kg(-1) average whole-body SAR, 2h daily for 2 weeks). Rats were exposed from day 20, 40 or 75 after carcinogen injection. Additional groups of rats were sham-exposed in a second anechoic chamber. Anti-phosphatidylinositol autoantibody levels were evaluated in sera to monitor malignant transformation.
Results: Microwave exposure had no effect on the development of tumours. No acceleration or delays in tumour onset were observed. Animal survival was not modified and serum autoantibody levels were similar in exposed and sham-exposed groups.
Conclusion: Low-level GSM microwave exposure of rat bearing benzo(a)pyrene-induced tumours had no effect on auto-antibody levels, tumour appearance and survival. The low exposure levels used here correspond to exposure limits for whole-body exposure of humans.