Purpose: To detect the genotoxic effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) -magnetic fields (MF) on oxidative DNA base modifications [8-hydroxyguanine (8-OH-Gua), 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-formamidopyrimidine (FapyGua) and 4,6-diamino-5-formamidopyrimidine (FapyAde)] in rat leucocytes, measured following exposure to ELF-MF. Materials and methods: After exposure to ELF-MF (50Hz, 100 and 500 mu T, for 2 hours/day during 10 months), DNA was extracted, and measurement of DNA lesions was achieved by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Results: Levels of FapyAde, FapyGua and 8OHdG in DNA were increased by both 100 mu T and 500 mu T ELF-MF as compared to a cage-control and a sham group; however, statistical significance was observed only in the group exposed to 100 mu T. Conclusion: This is the first study to report that ELF-MF exposure generates oxidatively induced DNA base modifications which are mutagenic in mammalian cells, such as FapyGua, FapyAde and 8-OH-Gua, invivo. This may explain previous studies showing DNA damage and genomic instability. These findings support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to 50-Hz MF may be potentially genotoxic. However, the intensity of ELF-MF has an important influence on the extent of DNA damage.