Comment on “Mobile phone radiofrequency exposure has no effect on DNA double strand breaks (DSB) in human lymphocytes”
Letter to the Editor

Comment on “Mobile phone radiofrequency exposure has no effect on DNA double strand breaks (DSB) in human lymphocytes”

S. M. Javad Mortazavi

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Correspondence to: S. M. Javad Mortazavi. Professor of Medical Physics, Visiting Scientist, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA. Email:

Submitted Aug 19, 2017. Accepted for publication Aug 22, 2017.

doi: 10.21037/atm.2017.08.39

I have read with interest the article by Danese et al. entitled “Mobile phone radiofrequency exposure has no effect on DNA double strand breaks (DSB) in human lymphocytes” that is published in the Annals of Translational Medicine (1). Danese et al. in their article have tried to investigate the potential genotoxic effect of mobile phone radiofrequency exposure on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. They reported that exposure of human lymphocytes to mobile phone radiation did not significantly affect DNA integrity. Despite its challenging topic, this paper has major shortcomings. Over the past decade, my colleagues and I have studied the health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) emitted by mobile phones (2-12). The first major shortcoming of this paper comes from this point that the authors have not measured the key factors such as the specific absorption rate (SAR) (13-16) in their blood samples. They even have not provided any information about the SAR level of the mobile phone used in their study or the power density (17,18) at the distance they placed the samples. Interestingly, they have discussed the characteristics of the battery and the dimensions of the mobile phone, while very important factors such as the distance between mobile phone antenna and the samples are entirely forgotten. Moreover, it’s not clear whether the samples were located in the near field of the cell phone antenna or far field.

Moreover, the authors have not explained the characteristics of the talk mode (whether white noise or a constant level of sound signal was used or the mobile phone was in talk mode without sending or receiving any sound signal). It should be noted that the level of RF-EMF varies in these conditions. Therefore, as very important factors such as the magnitude of the absorption of RF-EMF energy are not known, this study cannot be reproduced by other researchers. Altogether, methodological shortcomings of this study have possibly affected the validity of its findings.




Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Danese E, Lippi G, Buonocore R, et al. Mobile phone radiofrequency exposure has no effect on DNA double strand breaks (DSB) in human lymphocytes. Ann Transl Med 2017;5:272. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  2. Mortazavi SM, Mostafavi-Pour Z, Daneshmand M, et al. Adaptive Response Induced by Pre-Exposure to 915 MHz Radiofrequency: A Possible Role for Antioxidant Enzyme Activity. J Biomed Phys Eng 2017;7:137-42. [PubMed]
  3. Zarei S, Mortazavi SM, Mehdizadeh AR, et al. A Challenging Issue in the Etiology of Speech Problems: The Effect of Maternal Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields on Speech Problems in the Offspring. J Biomed Phys Eng 2015;5:151-4. [PubMed]
  4. Mokarram P, Sheikhi M, Mortazavi SM, et al. Effect of Exposure to 900 MHz GSM Mobile Phone Radiofrequency Radiation on Estrogen Receptor Methylation Status in Colon Cells of Male Sprague Dawley Rats. J Biomed Phys Eng 2017;7:79-86. [PubMed]
  5. Eghlidospour M, Ghanbari A, Mortazavi SM, et al. Effects of radiofrequency exposure emitted from a GSM mobile phone on proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of neural stem cells. Anat Cell Biol 2017;50:115-23. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  6. Taheri M, Mortazavi SM, Moradi M, et al. Evaluation of the Effect of Radiofrequency Radiation Emitted From Wi-Fi Router and Mobile Phone Simulator on the Antibacterial Susceptibility of Pathogenic Bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli. Dose Response 2017;15:1559325816688527. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  7. Mortazavi SM, Owji SM, Shojaei-Fard MB, et al. GSM 900 MHz Microwave Radiation-Induced Alterations of Insulin Level and Histopathological Changes of Liver and Pancreas in Rat. J Biomed Phys Eng 2016;6:235-42. [PubMed]
  8. Mortazavi SM, Rouintan MS, Taeb S, et al. Human short-term exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones decreases computer-assisted visual reaction time. Acta Neurol Belg 2012;112:171-5. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  9. Mortazavi SA, Tavakkoli-Golpayegani A, Haghani M, et al. Looking at the other side of the coin: the search for possible biopositive cognitive effects of the exposure to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone radiofrequency radiation. J Environ Health Sci Eng 2014;12:75. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  10. Mortazavi SM, Motamedifar M, Namdari G, et al. Non-linear adaptive phenomena which decrease the risk of infection after pre-exposure to radiofrequency radiation. Dose Response 2013;12:233-45. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  11. Mortazavi SM, Mahbudi A, Atefi M, et al. An old issue and a new look: electromagnetic hypersensitivity caused by radiations emitted by GSM mobile phones. Technol Health Care 2011;19:435-43. [PubMed]
  12. Mortazavi SM, Ahmadi J, Shariati M. Prevalence of subjective poor health symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields among university students. Bioelectromagnetics. 2007;28:326-30. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  13. Lameth J, Gervais A, Colin C, et al. Acute Neuroinflammation Promotes Cell Responses to 1800 MHz GSM Electromagnetic Fields in the Rat Cerebral Cortex. Neurotox Res 2017. [Epub ahead of print]. [Crossref]
  14. Zhang KY, Xu H, Du L, et al. Enhancement of X-ray Induced Apoptosis by Mobile Phone-Like Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields in Mouse Spermatocyte-Derived Cells. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017.14. [PubMed]
  15. Kim JH, Yu DH, Huh YH, et al. Long-term exposure to 835 MHz RF-EMF induces hyperactivity, autophagy and demyelination in the cortical neurons of mice. Sci Rep 2017;7:41129. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  16. Lee AK, Hong SE, Kwon JH, et al. Mobile phone types and SAR characteristics of the human brain. Phys Med Biol 2017;62:2741-61. [Crossref] [PubMed]
  17. Calabro E, Magazu S. The alpha-helix alignment of proteins in water solution toward a high-frequency electromagnetic field: A FTIR spectroscopy study. Electromagn Biol Med 2017;36:279-88. [PubMed]
  18. Zothansiama Zosangzuali M. Impact of radiofrequency radiation on DNA damage and antioxidants in peripheral blood lymphocytes of humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. Electromagn Biol Med 2017;36:295-305. [PubMed]
Cite this article as: Mortazavi SM. Comment on “Mobile phone radiofrequency exposure has no effect on DNA double strand breaks (DSB) in human lymphocytes”. Ann Transl Med 2017;5(21):441. doi: 10.21037/atm.2017.08.39