Effects of Telecommunication Mast Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) on Exposed Rats (Rattus norvegicus)
Background: The safety of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from modern telecommunication devices is controversial as some studies reported negative effects, while others reported no effects. Thus, more studies are necessary to clear the controversy, so as to design appropriate precautionary and palliative measures if found toxic.
Objective: This study was conducted to determine the effects of telecommunication mast EMR on selected health indices of rats (Rattus norvegicus).
Materials and Methods: Twenty-four (24) rats were divided into two groups of 12 rats each. Group 1 was made the control, while group 2 was exposed to 18000 MHz EMR at 50 m from a telecommunication mast. The weight, body temperature, reproductive activities, and reactions of the rats were observed for 60 days. Thereafter, the rats were sacrificed and their blood parameters, liver function, and histology were examined.
Results: The exposed rats were less active, weighed and reproduced less, had lower offspring survival rates and insignificantly (P > 0.05) elevated body temperature. The white blood cells (WBC) of the exposed rats were significantly increased (P < 0.05), while the packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cells (RBC), and lymphocytes were reduced. The aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and total protein (TP) of the exposed rats were significantly increased, while the albumin (ALB) was significantly reduced. The ovary, lung, and kidney tissues of the exposed rats showed no abnormalities, but necrosis of the hepatocytes and fat were observed in their livers and the skins, respectively.
Conclusion and Recommendation: It is concluded that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from modern telecommunication devices harmed the health of exposed rats. It is inferred from the results that EMR has negative effects on the health of mammals. Hence, it is advisable not to site telecommunication masts close to dwelling places.