A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

REFLEX Report Highlights RF-Induced DNA Breaks

December 21, 2004

The final report of the REFLEX project is now available on the Web site of the Verum Foundation. The report summarizes the work of 12 research groups in seven European countries. The total cost of the project, which investigated the effects low-levels of RF radiation on cellular systems, was approximately $3 million.

Experimental data generated in a number of the labs showed that RF radiation could increase the number of DNA breaks in exposed cells, as well as activate a stress response —the production of heat shock proteins. Many of these effects have been reported at scientific conferences over the last few years (see, for example, MWN, J/A01, p.8; N/D01, p.1; and M/A03 p.7).

Franz Adlkofer of the Verum Foundation, who managed the project, has long maintained that genotoxic effects of RF radiation can no longer be denied and warrant more intense investigation. “The now available scientific evidence of such critical events demonstrates the need for intensifying research,” he said on releasing the final report.

Adlkofer stressed that, “Precautionary measures seem to be warranted.”

Studies on power-frequency EMFs were also carried out under the REFLEX project. They supported previous work showing that 50/60 Hz fields could, like RF radiation, increase the frequency of DNA breaks (see MWN, S/O02).

The report has generated quite a bit of press attention in Europe, with reports on the Reuters news wire, BBC News and Nature.com.