Biomarkers in volunteers exposed to mobile phone radiation

Toxicol Lett. 2015 Jun 1;235(2):140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2015.03.016. Epub 2015 Mar 31.


For some time it has been investigated whether low-intensity non-thermal microwave radiation from mobile phones adversely affects the mammalian blood-brain barrier (BBB). All such studies except one have been either in vitro or experimental animal studies. The one carried out on humans showed a statistically significant increase in serum transthyretin (TTR) 60 min after finishing of a 30-min microwave exposure session. The aim of the present study was to follow up on the finding of the previous one using a better study design. Using biomarkers analyzed in blood serum before and after the exposure this single blinded randomized counterbalanced study, including 24 healthy subjects aged 18-30 years that all underwent three exposure conditions (SAR(10G)=2 W/kg, SAR(10G)=0.2 W/kg, sham), tested whether microwaves from an 890-MHz phone-like signal give acute effects on the integrity of brain-shielding barriers. Over time, statistically significant variations were found for two of the three biomarkers (TTR; β-trace protein); however, no such difference was found between the different exposure conditions nor was there any interaction between exposure condition and time of blood sampling. In conclusion this study failed to show any acute clinically or statistically significant effect of short term microwave exposure on the serum levels of S100β, TTR and β-trace protein with a follow up limited to two hours. The study was hampered by the fact that all study persons were regular wireless phone users and thus not naïve as to microwave exposure.

Keywords: Blood–brain barrier; Cordless phones; Non-ionizing radiation; Radiofrequency fields; S100β, β-trace protein; Sleep; Tandomized trial; Transthyretin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / blood*
  • Lipocalins / blood*
  • Male
  • Microwaves* / adverse effects
  • Prealbumin / metabolism*
  • Risk Assessment
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit / blood*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Lipocalins
  • Prealbumin
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100B protein, human
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • prostaglandin R2 D-isomerase