To investigate effects on rat testes of radiofrequency radiation emitted from indoor Wi-Fi Internet access devices using 802.11.g wireless standards.
Ten Wistar albino male rats were divided into experimental and control groups, with five rats per group. Standard wireless gateways communicating at 2.437 GHz were used as radiofrequency wave sources. The experimental group was exposed to radiofrequency energy for 24 h a day for 20 weeks. The rats were sacrificed at the end of the study. Intracardiac blood was sampled for serum 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels. Testes were removed and examined histologically and immunohistochemically. Testis tissues were analyzed for malondialdehyde levels and prooxidant–antioxidant enzyme activities.
We observed significant increases in serum 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine levels and 8-hydroxyguanosine staining in the testes of the experimental group indicating DNA damage due to exposure (p < 0.05). We also found decreased levels of catalase and glutathione peroxidase activity in the experimental group, which may have been due to radiofrequency effects on enzyme activity (p < 0.05).
These findings raise questions about the safety of radiofrequency exposure from Wi-Fi Internet access devices for growing organisms of reproductive age, with a potential effect on both fertility and the integrity of germ cells.