Purpose: To evaluate putative effects on tumour susceptibility in mice exposed to a UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system) test signal for up to 24 months, commencing with embryo-fetal exposure.
Material and methods: Animals were exposed to UMTS fields with intensities of 0, 4.8, and 48 W/m(2), the low-dose group (4.8 W/m(2)) was subjected to additional prenatal ethylnitrosourea treatment (40 mg ENU/kg body weight).
Results: The high-level UMTS exposure (48 W/m(2)), the sham exposure, and the cage control groups showed comparable tumour incidences in the protocol organs. In contrast, the ENU-treated group UMTS-exposed at 4.8 W/m(2) displayed an enhanced lung tumour rate and an increased incidence of lung carcinomas as compared to the controls treated with ENU only. Furthermore, tumour multiplicity of the lung carcinomas was increased and the number of metastasising lung tumours was doubled in the ENU/UMTS group as compared to the ENU control group.
Conclusion: This pilot study indicates a cocarcinogenic effect of lifelong UMTS exposure (4.8 W/m(2)) in female B6C3F1 descendants subjected to pretreatment with ethylnitrosourea.