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Effect of prolonged low power microwave radiation on peripheral leukocyte counts in rabbits

, : Effect of prolonged low power microwave radiation on peripheral leukocyte counts in rabbits. Indian Journal of Medical Research 75(MARCH): 453-459

Studies were carried out on 13 conscious rabbits (1.2-1.8 kg), of which 8 rabbits were exposed to microwave radiation (continuous wave, CW) at 5 mw/cm2, 2.1 GHz, 3 h/day, 6 days/wk for 3 mo. in a polystyrene cage, using Alitech microwave power signal source as microwave energy source. The other 5 rabbits (control group) were submitted to sham exposures for 3 mo. Blood samples collected at various time intervals (pre-irradiation, at 1, 2 and 3 mo. and post-irradiation at 1 wk and 2 wk thereafter) in both the groups, were analyzed for total and differential leukocyte counts. An increase of 50% in the TLC value at 3 mo. of microwave irradiation suggests a gradual low degree effect of microwaves on the leukocytes. A 3-fold increase in the large lymphocytes may be due to stimulation of of lymphocyte production. The decline (15.4%) in the small lymphocytes is probably due to migration of these inactive forms away from the periphery. The observed neutropenia (2.4%) probably accounts for the redistribution of these cells among the various body pools. All the observed changes were, however, reversible. As the thermal effects are ruled out in these experiments, a specific cumulative effect of microwaves is suggested at low power levels.

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