Comparing DNA damage induced by mobile telephony and other types of man-made electromagnetic fields

Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2019 Jul-Sep:781:53-62. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2019.03.003. Epub 2019 Mar 11.


The number of studies showing adverse effects on living organisms induced by different types of man-made Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) has increased tremendously. Hundreds of peer reviewed published studies show a variety of effects, the most important being DNA damage which is linked to cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, reproductive declines etc. Those studies that are far more effective in showing effects employ real-life Mobile Telephony (MT) exposures emitted by commercially available mobile phones. The present review - of results published by my group from 2006 until 2016 - compares DNA fragmentation induced by six different EMFs on the same biological system - the oogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster - under identical conditions and procedures. Such a direct comparison between different EMFs - especially those employed in daily life - on the same biological endpoint, is very useful for drawing conclusions on their bioactivity, and novel. It shows that real MT EMFs are far more damaging than 50 Hz alternating magnetic field (MF) - similar or much stronger to those of power lines - or a pulsed electric field (PEF) found before to increase fertility. The MT EMFs were significantly more bioactive even for much shorter exposure durations than the other EMFs. Moreover, they were more damaging than previously tested cytotoxic agents like certain chemicals, starvation, dehydration. Individual parameters of the real MT EMFs like intensity, frequency, exposure duration, polarization, pulsing, modulation, are discussed in terms of their role in bioactivity. The crucial parameter for the intense bioactivity seems to be the extreme variability of the polarized MT signals, mainly due to the large unpredictable intensity changes.

Keywords: DNA damage; Drosophila melanogaster; ELF; Electromagnetic fields; Microwaves; RF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Phone
  • DNA Damage / physiology*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Humans