Immunotoxicity of radiofrequency radiation

Environ Pollut. 2022 Sep 15:309:119793. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119793. Epub 2022 Jul 18.


Growing evidence recommends that radiofrequency radiations might be a new type of environmental pollutant. The consequences of RFR on the human immune system have gained considerable interest in recent years, not only to examine probable negative effects on health but also to understand if RFR can modulate the immune response positively. Although several studies have been published on the immune effects of RFR but no satisfactory agreement has been reached. Hence this review aims to evaluate the RFR modulating impacts on particular immune cells contributing to various innate or adaptive immune responses. In view of existing pieces of evidence, we have suggested an intracellular signaling cascade responsible for RFR action. The bio-effects of RFR on immune cell morphology, viability, proliferation, genome integrity, and immune functions such as ROS, cytokine secretion, phagocytosis, apoptosis, etc. are discussed. The majority of existing evidence point toward the possible shifts in the activity, number, and/or function of immunocompetent cells, but the outcome of several studies is still contradictory and needs further studies to reach a conclusion. Also, the direct association of experimental studies to human risks might not be helpful as exposure parameters vary in real life. On the basis of recent available literature, we suggest that special experiments should be designed to test each particular signal utilized in communication technologies to rule out the hypothesis that longer exposure to RFR emitting devices would affect the immunity by inducing genotoxic effects in human immune cells.

Keywords: Adaptive immunity; Autoimmune response; Immune cells; Immune system; Immunomodulatory responses; In-vitro; In-vivo; Innate immunity; Lymphocytes; Mechanism; Non-ionizing radiation; Radiofrequency radiation; Reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Radio Waves* / adverse effects