NEW DELHI: While debate continues over the impact of mobile phone radiation on health, a study on cockroaches has found that continuous exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cellphones can result in widespread effects on the brain, neurons, developing cells and enzyme systems.
The study by researchers from the Department of Zoology, University College, Thiruvananthapuram, showed that radiation from mobile phones can elevate levels of neurotransmitters in cockroaches that are also present in humans. The study was published in scientific journal Current Science.
“The present study clearly explained the physiological and biochemical basis of the adverse effects of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) and is a warning for judicious use of mobile phones,” the study concluded.
Exposure of adult male cockroaches to electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones has resulted in sharp changes in the enzymes systems of fat body and haematological profile.
During the study, about 15 healthy male cockroaches were put in two separate plastic containers of equal size.
The test box containing cockroaches was exposed to radiation for one, three and six hours by a full call (approximately one minute) per five minutes to the mobile phone that was kept inside the box.
“There was sharp decline in the protein content of fat body and content of acetylcholine in the central nervous system showed a sharp increase. Organisms were found to be inert and lethargic after the third hour of EMR treatment,” said the study.Cell phone usage is a major public health concern because of potential risk of chronic exposure to low level of radio frequency and microwave radiation.
“Just a few calls at duration was sufficient for cockroaches to undergo drastic changes in the metabolism of protein, characterised by depletion of fat body protein, accompanied by a sharp increase of total free amino acids,” the study said. A similar result was observed in another study on red flour beetle exposed to low intensity microwave.