Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Alex W. Thomas

Second Advisor

Dr. Frank S. Prato

Third Advisor

Dr. James P. McNamee


Introduction: Due to electricity production, transmission and commercial and residential uses, humans are exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF- EMF). Based on results from human epidemiological reports, animal in vivo and cell in vitro studies on the chronic exposure to ELF-EMF, adverse health effects of ELF-EMF remain controversial. Objective and Methods: The aim of this pilot project was to examine and compare DNA damage and clastogenic effects detected by the alkaline comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay, respectively, in peripheral human blood lymphocytes collected from healthy adult volunteers before and after (whole-body) exposure to a 200 pT, 60 Hz ELF-EMF. Results: There was no significant difference between pre- and post-exposure samples (p>0.05). Moreover, magnetic field- exposed volunteers were not significantly different from sham-exposed subjects (p>0.05). Conclusion: This study found no evidence that an acute, whole-body exposure to the magnetic field could cause DNA damage in human lymphocytes.



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