Reduced growth of soybean seedlings after exposure to weak microwave radiation from GSM 900 mobile phone and base station

Bioelectromagnetics. 2015 Feb;36(2):87-95. doi: 10.1002/BEM.21890. Epub 2015 Jan 21.


The aim of this work was to study possible effects of environmental radiation pollution on plants. The association between cellular telephone (short duration, higher amplitude) and base station (long duration, very low amplitude) radiation exposure and the growth rate of soybean (Glycine max) seedlings was investigated. Soybean seedlings, pre-grown for 4 days, were exposed in a gigahertz transverse electromagnetic cell for 2 h to global system for mobile communication (GSM) mobile phone pulsed radiation or continuous wave (CW) radiation at 900 MHz with amplitudes of 5.7 and 41 V m(-1) , and outgrowth was studied one week after exposure. The exposure to higher amplitude (41 V m(-1)) GSM radiation resulted in diminished outgrowth of the epicotyl. The exposure to lower amplitude (5.7 V m(-1)) GSM radiation did not influence outgrowth of epicotyl, hypocotyls, or roots. The exposure to higher amplitude CW radiation resulted in reduced outgrowth of the roots whereas lower CW exposure resulted in a reduced outgrowth of the hypocotyl. Soybean seedlings were also exposed for 5 days to an extremely low level of radiation (GSM 900 MHz, 0.56 V m(-1)) and outgrowth was studied 2 days later. Growth of epicotyl and hypocotyl was found to be reduced, whereas the outgrowth of roots was stimulated. Our findings indicate that the observed effects were significantly dependent on field strength as well as amplitude modulation of the applied field.

Keywords: base station; mobile phones; radiofrequency electromagnetic fields; soybean seedling growth.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Glycine max / growth & development*
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Seedlings / growth & development*