Long–Term Exposures

When public health agencies assess the safety of chemicals and other agents they rely heavily on the evidence of long-term animal studies. These use standardised groups of animals and expose them to the substance of interest under controlled conditions for extended periods, which for rodents is up to two-years for their full life-span.

The GSMA supported a program of animal studies to assess whether exposure to radio signals at a range of power levels could cause or increase cancer in animals. The projects also received funding from the European Commission (known as PERFORM-A projects), national authorities in Austria and Switzerland, the MMF and Elettra2000. The University of Helsinki coordinated the programme and provided a firewall between the sponsors and the researchers.

The exposure systems were developed by IT’IS (Switzerland) and the Aristotle University of Thessalonika (Greece). They provided for a range of well-controlled exposure levels to test for possible dose-response effects.

Overall the long-term bioassay studies found no consistent evidence that exposure had any adverse health effect or any influence on the incidence, severity or time of appearance of tumours.

The studies using chemically induced tumours and genetically modified mice also failed to confirm earlier studies of mammary tumours in rats (Anane et al, 2003) and lymphoma in mice (Repacholi et al, 1997).

Associated Publications

Animal carcinogenicity studies on radiofrequency fields related to mobile phones and base stations, Dasenbrock, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 207(2-S1):342-346, 1 September 2005.

Response, thermal regulatory threshold and thermal breakdown threshold of restrained RF-exposed mice at 905 MHz, Ebert et al, Physics in Medicine and Biology, 50(21):5203-5215, 7 November 2005.

Study on potential effects of “902-MHz GSM-type wireless communication signals” on DMBA-induced mammary tumours in Sprague-Dawley rats, Hruby et al, Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 649(1-2):34-44 8 January 2008.

Methodology of detailed dosimetry and treatment of uncertainty and variations for in vivo studies, Kuster et al, Bioelectromagnetics, 27(5):378-39, July 2006.

Carcinogenicity Study of 217 Hz Pulsed 900 MHz Electromagnetic Fields in Pim1 Transgenic Mice, Oberto et al, Radiation Research, 168(3):316–326, September 2007.

GSM and DCS Wireless Communication Signals: Combined Chronic Toxicity/Carcinogenicity Study in the Wistar Rat, Smith et al, Radiation Research, 168(4):480-492, October 2007.

Carcinogenicity study of GSM and DCS wireless communication signals in B6C3F1 mice, Tillman et al, Bioelectromagnetics, 28(3): 173-187, March 2007.

Effects of 900 MHz GSM Wireless Communication Signals on DMBA-Induced Mammary Tumors in Rats, Yu et al, Radiation Research, 165(2):174–180, February 2006.

Absence of genotoxic potential of 902 MHz (GSM) and 1747 MHz (DCS) wireless communication signals: In vivo two-year bioassay in B6C3F1 mice, Ziemann et al., International Journal of Radiation Biology, 85(5):454-464, May 2009.


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