Effect of radiofrequency exposure on body temperature: Real-time monitoring in normal rats

J Therm Biol. 2022 Dec:110:103350. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2022.103350. Epub 2022 Oct 18.


Radiofrequency radiation (RFR) can generate heat in living organisms. In this study, we monitored the body temperature of healthy animals during RFR exposure in real time using an implantable iButton data logger. A reverberation chamber system for small animals was used for this radiofrequency (RF) exposure in vivo study. Healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups: with versus without iButton implantation (n = 20 per group). Each group was further divided into a sham-exposed and RF-exposed group (n = 10 per subgroup). Rats were exposed to a 1,760-MHz long-term evolution (LTE) signal in the reverberation chamber system at a whole-body average specific absorption rate of 0 W/kg (sham-exposed) or 4 W/kg (RF-exposed) for 6 h. The body temperature of iButton-implanted rats was recorded using an intraperitoneally implanted iButton every minute over 6 h of RF exposure, whereas that of non-implanted rats was measured directly using a rectal thermometer immediately before and after the 6-h RF exposure period. The temperature values measured by the two types of thermometers were significantly positively correlated (r = 0.63, P < 0.01, linear regression), and changes in body temperatures recorded in iButton-implanted and non-implanted rats measured using two thermometers after 6 h of RF exposure were maintained within <1°C (P = 0.87, general linear model, followed by univariate model). Similar results were obtained for rectal thermometer measurements (P = 0.12, paired t-test). These results suggest that RF exposure at a whole-body average specific absorption rate of 4 W/kg does not induce significant changes in body temperature in healthy rats over a 6-h RF exposure period.

Keywords: Body temperature; Radiofrequency radiation; Rat; Thermometers.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley