Background: Electromagnetic fields (EMF) created by mobile phones during communication have harmful effects on different organs.
Objectives: To explore the effects of exposure to EMF of mobile phones for different durations on hematological parameters and serum hepcidin in male albino rats.
Methods: Three groups of eight rats: Sham group: rats were exposed to a mobile phone while it was switched off, Experimental group I: rats were exposed to microwave radiation from a mobile phone at 9 am for 30 min. Experimental group II: rats were exposed to microwave radiations from a mobile phone at 9 am for an hour. In all groups, the exposure was conducted daily for a total period of 5 months, followed by estimation of serum hepcidin, total leukocyte count (TLC), interleukin 6 (IL6), serum iron, serum ferritin, plasma hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit value (Hct), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC), total iron binding capacity (TIBC) and 1.25 dihydroxycholecalciferol levels.
Results: In Experimental group II, there was a significant increase in serum hepcidin, TLC, IL6 and serum ferritin; however, serum iron, TIBC, UIBC, 1.25 dihydroxycholecalciferol, plasma Hb, Hct, MCV and MCH were significantly lower in comparison to sham-exposed group. In Experimental group I, there was a significant increase in serum hepcidin, IL6 and TLC, along with non-significant changes in the remaining studied parameters in comparison to the sham-exposed group.
Conclusion: Chronic exposure to EMF from mobile phones increases hepcidin level with subsequent impairment of iron parameters, in addition to negatively affecting both UIBC and TIBC.