Cell phones and electronic appliances and devices are inseparable from most people in modern society and the electromagnetic field (EMF) from the devices is a potential health threat. Although the direct health effect of a cell phone and its radiofrequency (RF) EMF to human is still elusive, the effect to unicellular organisms is rather apparent. Human microbiota, including skin microbiota, has been linked to a very significant role in the health of a host human body. It is important to understand the response of human skin microbiota to the RF-EMF from cell phones and personal electronic devices, since this may be one of the potential mechanisms of a human health threat brought about by the disruption of the intimate and balanced host-microbiota relationship. Here, we investigated the response of both laboratory culture strains and isolates of skin bacteria under static magnetic field (SMF) and RF-EMF. The growth patterns of laboratory cultures of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus epidermidis under SMF were variable per different species. The bacterial isolates of skin microbiota from 4 subjects with different cell phone usage history also showed inconsistent growth responses. These findings led us to hypothesize that cell phone level RF-EMF disrupts human skin microbiota. Thus, the results from the current study lay ground for more comprehensive research on the effect of RF-EMF on human health through the human-microbiota relationship.
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Crabtree, D.P.E., Herrera, B.J. & Kang, S. The response of human bacteria to static magnetic field and radiofrequency electromagnetic field. J Microbiol. 55, 809–815 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12275-017-7208-7
- skin microbiota
- bacterial growth
- cell phone