OBJECTIVES: It is quite likely that non-visible electromagnetic fields (EMF) may affect melatonin production. Some studies confirmed this hypothesis and showed that extremely low EMF altered pineal function in animals and humans. Thus, it is reasonable to suppose that EMF emitted by cellular phones may also influence secretion of melatonin. The present study sought to evaluate possible effect of the exposure to EMF emitted by cellular phone on 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS) excretion, which reflects melatonin levels in blood.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The examined group consisted of 9 healthy males aged 19-29 years. The experiment was performed under controlled conditions (the light intensity-50 lx till midnight and 0 lx during night). Each person was examined twice: on a day without exposure (control day, C-day) and on a day with continuous exposure (60 min. exposure from cellular phone, frequency 900 MHz, pulsed with 217 Hz, pulse with 576 micros, SAR 1.23 W/kg, E-day). From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. they used a cellular phone. The subjects did not know which day was E-day, and which was C-day. From 8 p.m. till midnight the subjects listened to music and than they slept till 7 a.m. next day. Urine samples were collected at 7 p.m., at midnight, and at 7 a.m. in the same way in C-day as in E-day. Sample were frozen for later ELISA analysis of 6-OHMS. The 6-OHMS ELISA kit from Immuno-Biological Laboratories (Hamburg) was used for measurement of 6-OHMS. The data were analysed using Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test for each subject and for the whole group. We compared 6-OHMS level on the E-day and on the C-day separately for 3 time-points - 7 p.m., midnight, 7 a.m.
RESULTS: Mean 6-OHMS level in both experiments did not differ significantly for any of the respective time points. Circadian variations of 6-OHMS level were detected in all subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of our investigation has demonstrated that EMF emitted by cellular phones has no distinct influence on the melatonin level.