Thirty-minutes' exposure to smartphone call triggers neutrophil activation in vitro
Lippi G, Danese E, Brocco G, Benati M, Salvagno GL, Montagnana M, Franchini M. Thirty-minutes' exposure to smartphone call triggers neutrophil activation in vitro. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2016 Feb 12. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2015-1242. [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND: Despite accumulating evidence about the negative health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones, no information is available on the potential impact of radiofrequency (RF) waves on polymorphonuclear leukocytes biology.
METHODS: Two sequential whole blood tubes were collected from 16 ostensibly healthy volunteers. After placing the former tube of each subject in a plastic rack, 1 cm from a commercial smartphone (carrier frequency, 900 MHz), a call was placed on the smartphone and a communication lasting 30 min was manually activated. The latter blood tube of each volunteer was placed in another plastic rack, for an identical period of time, avoiding close contact with sources of RF waves. A complete blood count was then assessed in all whole blood samples, using Advia 2120.
RESULTS: The 30-min exposure of blood to RF waves did not induce significant variations of total and differential leukocyte counts. A significant decrease was however observed for many neutrophils parameters, with median percentage variation of -3.9% for the lobularity index (LI), -29.8% for the myeloperoxidase index (MPXI), -0.6% for the neutrophil cluster mean x (NEUTx) and -0.7% for the neutrophil cluster mean y (NEUTy), respectively. The percentage of blood samples with reduced values after exposure to RF waves was 81% for LI, 88% for NEUTx and 100% for both MPXI and NEUTy.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study show that exposure to smartphone RF waves triggers activation of neutrophils in vitro, as mirrored by the significant variations observed in many activation parameters in Advia 2120.