1Section of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.
Published in Blood Transfusion (“www.bloodtransfusion.it”), May 2016
mobile phone, radiofrequency, platelets, PFA-100
BACKGROUND: Significant concerns are now regularly raised about the safety of excessive mobile phone use. This study was aimed to assess the acute effects of radiofrequency waves emitted by a commercial smartphone on platelet function.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two sequential citrated blood samples were collected from 16 healthy volunteers recruited from laboratory staff. The first sample was placed in a plastic rack, 1 cm distant from a commercial smartphone receiving a 30-min call and emitting 900 MHz radiofrequency waves. The second sample was placed in another plastic rack, isolated from radiofrequency wave sources, for the same period. The platelet count and the mean platelet volume were then assessed in all blood samples, whereas platelet function was evaluated using the platelet function analyser-100 (PFA-100).
RESULTS: A 30-min exposure of citrated blood to smartphone radiofrequency waves induced significant prolongation of collagen-epinephrine aggregation (median increase, 10%) and a considerable increase of mean platelet volume (median increase, 5%), whereas collagen-adenosine diphosphate aggregation and platelet count remained unchanged.
DISCUSSION: This study demonstrates that smartphone radiofrequency waves induce significant perturbation of platelet structure and function, thus providing further support to concerns regarding excessive use of mobile phones. Caution should also be taken with regards to blood products containing platelets, which should be kept far away from mobile phones and smartphones throughout the production pipeline and storage period.