UMTS communication devices are becoming common in everyday use. This could raise public concern about their possible detrimental effects on human health. The aim of this study, in the framework of the EMF nEAR Project, was to evaluate possible influence of UMTS electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure on cochlear outer hair cells' (OHCs) functionality in laboratory animals. Fortyeight male Sprague-Dawley rats were locally exposed (right ear) or sham-exposed to a controlled UMTSEMF, frequency of 1946 MHz, atSAR level of 10 W/kg, 2 h a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks.A group of 12 rats treated with kanamycin (KM) was also included as positive control. Rats were tested by recording Distortion Product Otaoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs), a non-invasive test capable of assessing the status of the OHCs in the inner ear. DPOAEs were performed before, during (one or three times a week) and after (1-week) exposure to the EMF. The analysis of the data shows that no statistically significant differences were found between the audiological signals recorded from the different experimental groups. The ototoxic effect of KM has been confirmed. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging