Genetic, carcinogenic and teratogenic effects of radiofrequency fields

Mutat Res. 1998 Apr;410(2):141-65. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5742(97)00037-9.


This paper reviews the literature data on the genetic toxicology of radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Whereas in the past most studies were devoted to microwave ovens and radar equipment, it is now mobile telecommunication that attracts most attention. Therefore we focus on mobile telephone frequencies where possible. According to a great majority of the papers, radiofrequency fields, and mobile telephone frequencies in particular, are not genotoxic: they do not induce genetic effects in vitro and in vivo, at least under non-thermal exposure conditions, and do not seem to be teratogenic or to induce cancer. Yet, some investigations gave rather alarming results that should be confirmed and completed by further experiments. Among them the investigation of synergistic effects and of possible mechanisms of action should be emphasised.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology*
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / genetics
  • Abnormalities, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Abnormalities, Radiation-Induced / genetics
  • Animals
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / etiology*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Humans
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / genetics
  • Radiation
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*