Effect of ambient levels of power-line-frequency electric fields on a developing vertebrate.
Fertilized eggs of Gallus domesticus were exposed continuously during their 21-day incubation period to either 50- or 60-Hz sinusoidal electric fields at an average intensity of 10 Vrms/m. The exposure apparatus was housed in an environmental room maintained at 37 degrees C and 55-60% relative humidity (RH). Within 1.5 days after hatching, the chickens were removed from the apparatus and tested. The test consisted of examining the effect of 50- or 60-Hz electromagnetic fields at 15.9 Vrms/m and 73 nTrms (in a local geomagnetic field of 38 microT, 85 degrees N) on efflux of calcium ions from the chicken brain. For eggs exposed to 60-Hz electric fields during incubation, the chicken brains demonstrated a significant response to 50-Hz fields but not to 60-Hz fields, in agreement with the results from commercially incubated eggs [Blackman et al., 1985a]. In contrast, the brains from chicks exposed during incubation to 50-Hz fields were not affected by either 50- or 60-Hz fields. These results demonstrate that exposure of a developing organism to ambient power-line-frequency electric fields at levels typically found inside buildings can alter the response of brain tissue to field-induced calcium-ion efflux. The physiological significance of this finding has yet to be established.
Blackman, CF; House, DE; Benane, SG; Joines, WT; Spiegel, RJ
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