Scarfí, M. R., Sannino, A., Perrotta, A., Sarti, M., Mesirca, P. and Bersani, F. Evaluation of Genotoxic Effects in Human Fibroblasts after Intermittent Exposure to 50 Hz Electromagnetic Fields: A Confirmatory Study. Radiat. Res. 164, 270–276 (2005).

The aim of this investigation was to confirm the main results reported in recent studies on the induction of genotoxic effects in human fibroblasts exposed to 50 Hz intermittent (5 min field on/10 min field off) sinusoidal electromagnetic fields. For this purpose, the induction of DNA single-strand breaks was evaluated by applying the alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE)/comet assay. To extend the study and validate the results, in the same experimental conditions, the potential genotoxicity was also tested by exposing the cells to a 50 Hz powerline signal (50 Hz frequency plus its harmonics). The cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay was applied after 24 h intermittent exposure to both sinusoidal and powerline signals to obtain information on cell cycle kinetics. The experiments were carried out on human diploid fibroblasts (ES-1). For each experimental run, exposed and sham-exposed samples were set up; positive controls were also provided by treating cells with hydrogen peroxide or mitomycin C for the comet or micronucleus assay, respectively. No statistically significant difference was detected in exposed compared to sham-exposed samples in any of the experimental conditions tested (P > 0.05). In contrast, the positive controls showed a statistically significant increase in DNA damage in all cases, as expected. Accordingly, our findings do not confirm the results reported previously for either comet induction or an increase in micronucleus frequency.

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