This paper investigates the genotoxic effects of 2.45 GHz microwave (MW) radiation exposure at low specific absorption rates (SAR). 200 Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to SAR values between 0.48 and 4.30 W.kg-1 and the DNA of different tissues extracted, precipitated and quantified. Induced deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damages were assessed using the methods of DNA Direct Amplification of Length Polymorphisms (DALP) and the Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis (SCGE). Densitometric gel analysis demonstrated distinctly altered band patterns within the range of 40 and 120 bp in exposed samples and in the tail DNA of the same animals before exposure compared with control. Results were re-affirmed with SCGE (comet assay) for the same cells. Different tissues had different sensitivities to exposures with the brains having the highest. DNA damages were sex-independent. There was statistically significant difference in the Olive moment and % DNA in the tail of the exposed tissues compared with control (p < 0.05). Observed effects were attributed to magnetic field interactions and production of reactive oxygen species. We conclude that low SAR 2.45 GHz MW radiation exposures can induce DNA single strand breaks and the direct genome analysis of DNA of various tissues demonstrated potential for genotoxicity.
Key words: Microwave radiation, single strand break, genotoxicity.
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