Assessment of Risk of Carrier Waves in the Assisted Reproductive Laboratory


Assisted reproductive technology (ART) laboratories represent the marriage of the most basic of biological activities with the most cutting edge technologies. While this association has worked well, the mixture of biology and technology can create risks to normal embryo development. Recently a significant amount of literature has explored the risks of manmade, electrically induced magnetic fields and carrier waves on reproduction, which some studies have suggested will lower functional gamete numbers in the males and potentially induce genetic issues in embryos. However, little is known about these phenomena within the ART laboratory, a laboratory filled with electronic equipment. The object of the present study was to explore the potential exposure of gametes and early stage embryos to two of the most prevalent fields and waves utilized in manmade technologies seen in the general environment, electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radio frequency waves (RF), and determine the effect varying levels of these energetic forces had on gamete function and embryo development. Results indicated that while extremely high concentrations of EMF (approximately 50-100X of laboratory background) caused negative outcomes in both gametes and embryos, levels consistent will the majority of lab equipment did not appear to impact growth, or function. Further, even extremely high RF appeared to have no impact cellular function. Results suggest few issues with EMF or RF on gamete and embryo function at normal laboratory levels for the relatively short exposure times seen in the ART laboratory.

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Prien, S. , Smith, J. , Barron, C. , Martin, J. , Farooqi, N. , Loveless, A. , Gheem, A. and Penrose, L. (2015) Assessment of Risk of Carrier Waves in the Assisted Reproductive Laboratory. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 535-541. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2015.510077.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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