Abstract The recent steep increase in the number of users of cellular phones is resulting in marked increase of exposure of humans to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Children are of particular concern. Our goal was to evaluate potential adverse effects of long-term whole-body exposure to EMFs simulating those from base stations for cellular phone communication. Pregnant rats were given low, high or no exposure. At the high level, the average specific absorption rate (SAR)for the dams was 0.066-0.093 W/kg. The SAR for the fetuses and the F(1) progeny was 0.068-0.146 W/kg. At the low level, the SARs were about 43% of these. The 2.14 GHz signals were applied for 20 h per day during the gestation and lactation periods. No abnormal findings were observed in either the dams or the F(1) generation exposed to the EMF or in the F(2) offspring. Parameters evaluated included growth, gestational condition and organ weights for dams and survival rates, development, growth, physical and functional development, hormonal status, memory function and reproductive ability of the F(1) offspring (at 10 weeks of age) along with embryotoxicity and teratogenicity in the F(2) rats. Thus, under our experimental conditions, whole-body exposure to 2.14 GHz for 20 h per day during gestation and lactation did not cause any adverse effects on pregnancy or the development of rats.