Single-strand DNA breaks in human hair root cells exposed to mobile phone radiation

Int J Radiat Biol. 2012 May;88(5):420-4. doi: 10.3109/09553002.2012.666005. Epub 2012 Mar 13.


Purpose: To analyze the short-term effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure on genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of human hair root cells.

Subjects and methods: Hair samples were collected from eight healthy human subjects immediately before and after using a 900-MHz GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phone for 15 and 30 min. Single-strand DNA breaks of hair root cells from the samples were determined using the 'comet assay'.

Results: The data showed that talking on a mobile phone for 15 or 30 min significantly increased (p < 0.05) single-strand DNA breaks in cells of hair roots close to the phone. Comparing the 15-min and 30-min data using the paired t-test also showed that significantly more damages resulted after 30 min than after 15 min of phone use.

Conclusions: A short-term exposure (15 and 30 min) to RFR (900-MHz) from a mobile phone caused a significant increase in DNA single-strand breaks in human hair root cells located around the ear which is used for the phone calls.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Breaks, Single-Stranded / radiation effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hair / cytology*
  • Hair / metabolism
  • Hair / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged