Investigating short-term exposure to electromagnetic fields on reproductive capacity of invertebrates in the field situation

M. G. Vijver, J. F. B. Bolte, T. R. Evans, W. L. M. Tamis, Wjgm Peijnenburg, C. J. M. Musters, G. R. de Snoo

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Organisms are exposed to electromagnetic fields from the introduction of wireless networks that send information all over the world. In this study we examined the impact of exposure to the fields from mobile phone base stations (GSM 900 MHz) on the reproductive capacity of small, virgin, invertebrates. A field experiment was performed exposing four different invertebrate species at different distances from a radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) transmitter for a 48-h period. The control groups were isolated from EMF exposure by use of Faraday cages. The response variables as measured in the laboratory were fecundity and number of offspring. Results showed that distance was not an adequate proxy to explain dose-response regressions. No significant impact of the exposure matrices, measures of central tendency and temporal variability of EMF, on reproductive endpoints was found. Finding no impact on reproductive capacity does not fully exclude the existence of EMF impact, since mechanistically models hypothesizing non-thermal-induced biological effects from RF exposure are still to be developed. The exposure to RF EMF is ubiquitous and is still increasing rapidly over large areas. We plea for more attention toward the possible impacts of EMF on biodiversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalElectromagnetic Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambient field exposure electromagnetic field invertebrates reproduction mobile phone radiation drosophila-melanogaster variability Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics Biophysics

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