Toxicity to the genome can lead to a change in cellular functions, cancer, and cell death. One can conclude that under certain conditions of exposure RF is genotoxic. Data available are mainly applicable only to cell phone radiation exposure. One study reports that RF at levels equivalent to the vicinity of base stations and RF- transmission towers is genotoxic and could cause DNA damage (Phillips et al., 1998).
RF may be considered genotoxic (cause DNA damage). Of 28 total studies on radiofrequency radiation (RF) and DNA damage, 14 studies reported effects (50%) and 14 reported no significant effect (50%). Of 29 total studies on radiofrequency radiation and micronucleation, 16 studies reported effects (55%) and 13 reported no significant effect (45%). Of 21 total studies on chromosome and genome damage from radiofrequency radiation, 13 studies (62%) reported effects and 8 studies (38%) reported no significant effects.
During cell phone use, a relatively constant mass of tissue in the brain is exposed to radiation at relatively high intensity (peak SAR of 4 – 8 W/kg). Several studies have reported DNA damage at lower than 4 W/kg.
Since critical genetic mutations in one single cell are sufficient to lead to cancer and there are millions of cells in a gram of tissue, it is inconceivable that the base of the IEEE SAR standard was changed from averaged over 1 gram of tissue to 10 grams.
Frequency, intensity, exposure duration, and the number of exposure episodes can affect the response, and these factors can interact with each other to produce different consequences. In order to understand the biological consequence of exposure, one must understand whether the effect is cumulative, whether compensatory responses result and when homeostasis will break down. The choice of cell type or organism studied can also influence the outcome.
Extremely-low frequency (ELF) has also been shown to be genotoxic and cause DNA damage. Of 41 relevant studies of genotoxicity and ELF exposure, 27 studies (66%) report DNA damage and 14 studies (44%) report no significant effect.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions