Epidemiological and experimental approaches for risk assessment of low intensity radiofrequency radiation on the public health effects

Sidorik E.1, Yakimenko I.2, Burlaka A.P.1, Tsybulin O.2, Lukin S.1, Kolesnik Y.3

E. Sidorik1, I. Yakimenko2, A. Burlaka1, O. Tsybulin2, S. Lukin1, Y. Kolesnik3

1R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

2Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University, Bila Tserkva, Ukraine

3Bila Tserkva Regional Oncology Center, Bila Tserkva, Ukraine

yakymenko@btsau.net.ua

Introduction: Global development of wireless technologies, including cellular telephony and Wi-Fi, leads to a tremendous growth of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) level in human environment. Today some studies revealed both epidemiological and experimental evidence on potential carcinogenicity of long-term exposure to the low intensity RF-EMR from the modern wireless devices. Aim: To demonstrate the effectiveness of epidemiological approach (a public survey) as well as the model biological experiments in RF-EMR risk assessment. Materials and Methods: 1) We interviewed students of Kyiv region on a specificity of cellular phones use and self-assessment of their health, including a headache, an earache, and a physical discomfort manifestation. 2) We used a model of Japanese quail embryos in ovo for the assessment of metabolic changes in living cells under the low intensity RF-EMR exposure. Results: The survey of Ukrainian students (17–21 years old) revealed that about a half of them used cellular phones for talking more than 1 h per day, and about 25% of them — more than 2 h per day. And 42% of students surveyed had a headache and/or an earache during the long-term cellular-phone conversations. A strong correlation between headache prevalence and the duration of everyday cell-phone conversations was revealed. We could not exclude at least partial effect of RF-EMR from the cellular phones in the phenomena revealed. On the other hand, the exposure of quail embryos in ovo to extremely low intensity RF-EMR of GSM 900 MHz standard during at least 158 h led to significantly increased levels of superoxide and nitrogen oxide, TBA-reactive substances and 8-oxo-dG in embryo cells. This was accompanied by a depression of antioxidant enzymes activity in the cells. Previously the distinctive mutagenic effects of this regimen of RF-EMR exposure on the quail embryos were demonstrated by alkaline comet assay. Conclusions: Both epidemiological and experimental approaches used in this study were effective in the risk assessment of the low intensity RF-EMR. Our findings indicate the necessity of at least wide implementation of the precautionary principle as for uncontrolled exposure of the public to RF-EMR from the modern wireless devices.

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