Controversial cytogenetic observations in mammalian somatic cells exposed to radiofrequency radiation

Radiat Res. 2004 Nov;162(5):481-96. doi: 10.1667/rr3252.


During the years 1990-2003 a large number of investigations were conducted using rodents, cultured rodent and human cells, and freshly collected human blood lymphocytes to determine the genotoxic potential of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. The results of most of these studies (58%) did not indicate increased damage to the genetic material (assessed from DNA strand breaks, incidence of chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei and sister chromatid exchanges) in cells exposed to RF radiation compared to sham-exposed and/or unexposed cells. Some investigations (23%) reported an increase in such damage in cells exposed to RF radiation. The observations from other studies (19%) were inconclusive. This paper reviews the investigations published in scientific journals during 1990-2003 and attempts to identify probable reason(s) for the conflicting results. Recommendations are made for future research to address some of the controversial observations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured / radiation effects*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosomes / radiation effects
  • Cytogenetics
  • DNA / radiation effects
  • DNA Damage
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / radiation effects
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • DNA