Exposure of Primates for One Year to Electric and Magnetic Fields Associated with ELF Communications Systems.
Interim rept. Oct 75-Dec 76,
NAVAL AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB PENSACOLA FL
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The U.S. Navy has proposed a submarine communications system that operates at extremely low frequencies. In order to more thoroughly evaluate the biological and ecological effects which could not be adequately predicted on the basis of available data in the literature, the Navy initiated an in-depth laboratory analysis. Experimental animals were exposed for long periods to electric and magnetic fields similar to or greater than those that would be experienced by man living near the antenna. Thirty experimental rhesus monkeys were matched with thirty controls and exposed for one year. Although not considered abnormal, the most significant finding was the difference in rate of weight gain between exposed and control males. The exposed males gained weight at a slightly faster rate than the control males and at the end of one year were approximately 11 heavier than the controls. The difference in weight was not accompanied by an increase in bone length measurements. The linear body measurement showing the most agreement with the growth rate difference was chest circumference. In the exposed females serum triglycerides and respiratory quotient were slightly lower than in the female controls. There is no indication that these findings have any adverse clinical significance and both groups of animals appear quite healthy. Author