Studies show biological effects of both ELF-EMF and RF-EMF on in vitro cellular systems.
Twelve institutes in seven countries have found genotoxic effects and modified expressions on numerous genes and proteins after Radio frequency and extremely low frequency EMF exposure at low levels, below current international safety guidance, to living cells in-vitro. These results confirm the likelihood of long-term genetic damage in the blood and brains of users of mobile phones and other sources of electromagnetic fields. The idea behind the REFLEX study was to attempt replicate damage already reported to see if the effects were real and whether, or not, more money should be spent of research into the possible adverse health effects of EMF exposure. They concluded that in-vitro damage is real and that it is important to carry out much more research, especially monitoring the long-term health of people.
The REFLEX project (QLK4-CT-1999-01574 / REFLEX / Final Report) has made a substantial contribution to the database on biological effects of both ELF-EMF and RF-EMF on in vitro cellular systems. The study was designed to investigate whether or not EMF exposure below the energy density reflected by the present safety levels generates in vitro critical cellular events. Gene mutations, deregulated cell proliferation and suppressed or exaggerated programmed cell death (apoptosis) that are caused by or result in an altered gene and protein expression profile are such critical events, the convergence of which is required for the development of chronic diseases. Genotoxic effects and a modified expression of numerous genes and proteins after EMF exposure could be demonstrated with great certainty, while effects on cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis were much less conclusive. Since all these observations were made in in vitro studies, the results obtained neither preclude nor confirm a health risk due to EMF exposure, but they speak in favour of such a possibility. Because of their fundamental character the findings will be presented to WHO, IARC and ICNIRP. It will be up to these organisations to make use of them for risk evaluation, in combination with findings from animal and epidemiological studies.