Experimental study of potential adverse effects on the auditory system of rabbits exposed to short-term GSM-1800 radiation

Int J Radiat Biol. 2021;97(3):421-430. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2021.1859152. Epub 2020 Dec 17.


Purpose: The effects of the electromagnetic (EM) radiation emitted by a mobile phone on the central auditory system of rabbits are investigated in this paper. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurements were performed before and after short-term exposure to EM radiation.

Materials and methods: Excitation was provided by a GSM-1800 emitter placed in contact with the (randomly selected) ear of the anesthetized rabbit/subject. The latency of waves I, II, III, IV, V and the interpeak latencies I-III, I-V, III-V were recorded, for both ears, before (baseline recordings) and after 1, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes of exposure to the EM radiation. The repeated measures one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the post hoc Tukey test for pairwise comparisons was performed in order to decide about the significance of the results.

Results: The statistical tests indicated that, as regards the ear ipsilateral to the radiating module, the mean latencies of waves I, II, III, IV, V, I-III, I-IV after 60 min exposure, the mean latencies of waves I, III, IV, V, I-III, I-IV after 45 min exposure and the mean latencies of waves I, III, IV, V, I-IV after 30 min exposure, were significantly prolonged compared to the corresponding baseline values. Statistically significant differences were also found for certain peak and interpeak latencies for 60 min exposure as compared with the corresponding results for 1 min and 15 min exposure. No statistically significant delay was observed for the latencies before and after the exposure, for the ear contralateral to the radiation source.

Conclusions: Although we found that more than 30 min exposure to GSM-1800 radiation resulted in prolongation of certain ABR components of rabbits, further investigation may be needed into the potential adverse effects on the auditory pathways.

Keywords: Auditory brainstem response (ABR); GSM-1800; auditory system; electromagnetic radiation exposure; mobile phones; rodent.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / radiation effects*
  • Rabbits
  • Reaction Time / radiation effects