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.