Early-Life Exposure to Pulsed LTE Radiofrequency Fields Causes Persistent Changes in Activity and Behavior in C57BL/6 J Mice

Kerry Broom*, Richard Findlay, Darren S. Addison, Cristian Goiceanu, Zenon Sienkiewicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite much research, gaps remain in knowledge about the potential health effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) fields. This study investigated the effects of early-life exposure to pulsed long term evolution (LTE) 1,846 MHz downlink signals on innate mouse behavior. Animals were exposed for 30 min/day, 5 days/week at a whole-body average specific energy absorption rate (SAR) of 0.5 or 1 W/kg from late pregnancy (gestation day 13.5) to weaning (postnatal day 21). A behavioral tracking system measured locomotor, drinking, and feeding behavior in the home cage from 12 to 28 weeks of age. The exposure caused significant effects on both appetitive behaviors and activity of offspring that depended on the SAR. Compared with sham-exposed controls, exposure at 0.5 W/kg significantly decreased drinking frequency (P ≤ 0.000) and significantly decreased distance moved (P ≤ 0.001). In contrast, exposure at 1 W/kg significantly increased drinking frequency (P ≤ 0.001) and significantly increased moving duration (P ≤ 0.005). In the absence of other plausible explanations, it is concluded that repeated exposure to low-level RF fields in early life may have a persistent and long-term effect on adult behavior. Bioelectromagnetics. 2019;40:498–511.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-511
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Myron Maslanyj for the use of the GTEM facilities, Jutta Jarvinen and Jackie Haines for technical support, and Dr. Elizabeth Ainsbury for statistical advice. Some of the results of this study were presented at BIOEM2016, Ghent, Belgium, June 2016. This report is independent research commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care Policy Research Programme (Early Life Exposure to RadioFrequency Fields [ELERaFF], 091/0211). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Bioelectromagnetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • activity
  • brain
  • electromagnetic fields
  • locomotion
  • rodent


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