Although there are numerous laboratory studies that have employed RF frequencies similar to those used in mobile phones, relatively few employed RF exposure conditions characteristic of typical human exposures to mobile phones or the base stations Many examined physiological and thermoregulatory responses, behaviour, ocular changes, and adverse reproductive outcomes, following acute exposure to high levels of RF/MW fields.

In vitro studies use human or mammalian cell culture experiments to evaluate specific cellular and tissue level interactions between factors under a very controlled environment. Some factors can be easily and precisely varied (e.g., changing the exposure duration, the temperature, or the intensity) as a means of determining dose-response relationships, effect threshold levels, and other factors essential to understanding quantitative interaction mechanisms (Cleary, 1996). The disadvantage of in vitro testing is that the cells are isolated from the complex systems of the body. In vitro studies provide understanding of the potential physiological alterations at the basic cellular level due to radiation and other effects, and are necessary in the assessment of the human health effects of chronic or long-term EMF exposure.

In vivo (animal) studies are used to evaluate the biological effects of potentially hazardous agents and provide the opportunity to conduct experiments under highly controlled conditions that are not logistically or ethically possible with human subjects. Extrapolation of evidence of toxicity across species may be limited, but the demonstration of toxicity in one species increases the plausibility of a similar effect in another species (Siematycki, 1993). Animal studies, however, are not able to address many human exposure factors that are sociologically or geographically based, such as personal use of a mobile phone in different situations. Some laboratory experiments may appear to suggest an adverse effect of RF exposure, but the result can be due to the design of the experiment rather than the RF exposure itself. For instance, Stang and colleagues (2001) showed that immobilization of animals can induce a significant stress response that could be mistakenly interpreted as being due to RF radiation.

Several sections are included:


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