Analysis of the Genotoxic Effects of Mobile Phone Radiation using Buccal Micronucleus Assay: A Comparative Evaluation
Banerjee S, Singh NN, Sreedhar G, Mukherjee S.Analysis of the Genotoxic Effects of Mobile Phone Radiation using Buccal Micronucleus Assay: A Comparative Evaluation. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Mar;10(3):ZC82-5. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/17592.7505. Epub 2016 Mar 1.
INTRODUCTION: Micronucleus (MN) is considered to be a reliable marker for genotoxic damage and it determines the presence and the extent of the chromosomal damage. The MN is formed due to DNA damage or chromosomal disarrangements. The MN has a close association with cancer incidences. In the new era, mobile phones are constantly gaining popularity specifically in the young generation, but this device uses radiofrequency radiation that may have a possible carcinogenic effect. The available reports related to the carcinogenic effect of mobile radiation on oral mucosa are contradictory.
AIM: To explore the effects of mobile phone radiation on the MN frequency in oral mucosal cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The subjects were divided into two major groups: low mobile phone users and high mobile phone users. Subjects who used their mobile phone since less than five years and less than three hours a week comprised of the first group and those who used their mobile since more than five years and more than 10 hours a week comprised of the second group. Net surfing and text messaging was not considered in this study. Exfoliated buccal mucosal cells were collected from both the groups and the cells were stained with DNA-specific stain acridine orange. Thousand exfoliated buccal mucosal cells were screened and the cells which were positive for micronuclei were counted. The micronucleus frequency was represented as mean±SD, and unpaired Student t-test was used for intergroup comparisons.
RESULTS: The number of micronucleated cells/ 1000 exfoliated buccal mucosal cells was found to be significantly increased in high mobile phone users group than the low mobile phone users group. The use of mobile phone with the associated complaint of warmth around the ear showed a maximum increase in the number of micronucleated cells /1000 exfoliated buccal mucosal cells.
CONCLUSION: Mobile phone radiation even in the permissible range when used for longer duration causes significant genotoxicity. The genotoxicity can be avoided to some extent by the regular use of headphones.