Objectives: To determine the effects of 1800 MHz GSM-like Radiofrequency (RFR) on the cochlear functions of pregnant adult rabbits by Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs).
Methods: Eighteen 13-month-old pregnant and eighteen 13-month-old non-pregnant New Zealand White rabbits were studied. They were randomly divided into four groups. Nine pregnant rabbits (Group 2) and nine non-pregnant rabbits (Group 4) were exposed to 1800 MHz GSM-like RFR 15 min daily for 7 days. Nine pregnant (Group 1) and nine non-pregnant rabbits (Group 3) were not exposed to GSM like RFR. Cochlear functions were assessed by DPOAEs at 1.0-8.0 kHz.
Results: In all pregnant groups except 2.0 kHz, DPOAE amplitudes were not different in Group 2 and Group1. In Group 4, DPOAE amplitudes at 1.0-4.0 kHz (-1.68 dB SPL at 1.0 kHz, 3.05 dB SPL at 1.5 kHz, 2.96 dB SPL at 2.0 kHz, 1.30 dB SPL at 3.0 kHz and 12.22 dB SPL at 4.0 kHz) were lower than Group 3 (8.67 dB SPL at 1.0 kHz, 17.67 dB SPL at 1.5 kHz, 26.10 dB SPL at 2.0 kHz, 18.10 dB SPL at 3.0 kHz and 35.13 dB SPL at 4.0 kHz) (P < 0.0125). In the pregnant group, harmful effects of GSM-like RFR were less than in the non-pregnant group.
Conclusion: GSM-like RFR caused decreases in DPOAE amplitudes mainly in non-pregnant adult rabbits. Prolonged exposure may affect the DPOAE amplitude. Recommendations are given to prevent the potential hazardous effects of RF in humans.