Sensitivity of living organisms to pulsed electromagnetic radiation emitted by VDTs
Biological effects on reproduction and development

Laverdure, A.M. (1), M. Chalier, Tritto G., and J. Surbeck

(1) A-Nox Laboratory, Paris, France

Presented at the 10th Congress on Occupational Health Services, ICOH Scientific Committee on Health Services, Research and Evaluation in Occupational Health, Amsterdam, Pays Bas, 13-16 November 2002

Final Programme / Abstract Book


Various living organisms and human workers and children were tested for any biological action resulting from exposure to radiation from Video Display Terminals (VDTs). VDTs were powered by a 50-Hz alternating voltage of 220V. Measured electric and magnetic fields were 13V/M and 50nT, respectively. Living organisms were maintained under their normal breeding conditions and control values were obtained before switching on the VDT. Various effects related to the irradiation time were demonstrated, i.e. a growth delay in algae and Drosophila, a body weight deficiency in rats, abnormal peaks of mortality in Daphnia and Drosophila, teratological effects in chick embryos and developmental and behavioural disturbances in rats. The embryonic and neonatal periods showed a high sensibility to the VDT radiation. Most of these perturbations were accompanied by important reproductive anomalies going along to sterility.

In humans, after 4 hrs. of working in front of a VDT screen, an increase in tiredness and a decrease of the resistance of the immune system resistance were observed. In prepubertal children, 20 mins of exposure were sufficient to induce neuropsychological disturbances. Recently, experiments have been carried out on human testicular biopsies cultivated in vitro and on the urinary Na+/K+ ratio and of the urea concentration. Their results will be discussed.

An experimental apparatus has been developed and tested that aims to prevent harm from VDT radiation. Known commercially as the EMF-Bioshield® system from S.E.I.C., it insures an effective protection against the harmful biological effects of VDT radiation.

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