Carcinogenicity study of 217 Hz pulsed 900 MHz electromagnetic fields in Pim1 transgenic mice

Radiat Res. 2007 Sep;168(3):316-26. doi: 10.1667/rr0425.1.


In an 18-month carcinogenicity study, Pim1 transgenic mice were exposed to pulsed 900 MHz (pulse width: 0.577 ms; pulse repetition rate: 217 Hz) radiofrequency (RF) radiation at a whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.5, 1.4 or 4.0 W/kg [uncertainty (k = 2): 2.6 dB; lifetime variation (k = 1): 1.2 dB]. A total of 500 mice, 50 per sex per group, were exposed, sham-exposed or used as cage controls. The experiment was an extension of a previously published study in female Pim1 transgenic mice conducted by Repacholi et al. (Radiat. Res. 147, 631-640, 1997) that reported a significant increase in lymphomas after exposure to the same 900 MHz RF signal. Animals were exposed for 1 h/day, 7 days/week in plastic tubes similar to those used in inhalation studies to obtain well-defined uniform exposure. The study was conducted blind. The highest exposure level (4 W/kg) used in this study resulted in organ-averaged SARs that are above the peak spatial SAR limits allowed by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection) standard for environmental exposures. The whole-body average was about three times greater than the highest average SAR reported in the earlier study by Repacholi et al. The results of this study do not suggest any effect of 217 Hz-pulsed RF-radiation exposure (pulse width: 0.577 ms) on the incidence of tumors at any site, and thus the findings of Repacholi et al. were not confirmed. Overall, the study shows no effect of RF radiation under the conditions used on the incidence of any neoplastic or non-neoplastic lesion, and thus the study does not provide evidence that RF radiation possesses carcinogenic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Phone
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microwaves*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1 / metabolism*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate


  • Pim1 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-pim-1