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Epidemiological study (observational study)

Survey study of people living in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations.

Published in: Electromagn Biol Med 2003; 22 (1): 41-49

Aim of study (acc. to author)

Health symptoms of people living in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations were investigated.

Further details

Subjects living in a distance of more than 300 m to base stations were defined as unexposed.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:
  • incidence
(percentage)

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Reference group 1 estimated distance from base station: > 300 m
Group 2 estimated distance from base station: < 10 m
Group 3 estimated distance from base station: 10 - 50 m
Group 4 estimated distance from base station: 50 - 100 m
Group 5 estimated distance from base station: 100 - 200 m
Group 6 estimated distance from base station: 200 - 300 m
Group 7 length of time living close to base station: < 1 year
Group 8 length of time living close to base station: 1 - 2 years
Group 9 length of time living close to base station: 2 - 5 years
Group 10 length of time living close to base station: > 5 year
Group 11 location in relation to antennas: facing
Group 12 location in relation to antennas: beside
Group 13 location in relation to antennas: behind
Group 14 location in relation to antennas: beneath

Population

  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Characteristics: subjects wishing to participate in the study which was announced by press, radio and web sites
  • Observation period: not given
  • Study location: France

Study size

Total 570
Participants 530
Statistical analysis method:
  • Chi-square test

Conclusion (acc. to author)

20.7 % of the subjects lived more than 300 m away from base station.
The complaints nausea, loss of appetite, and visual disturbances were experienced only in the immediate vicinity of cellular phone base stations (up to 10 m). Irritability, depressive tendencies and lowering of libido were experienced up to 100 m whereas headaches, sleep disturbances and feeling of discomfort were noticed in the distance up to 200 m to base stations. Only the complaint of fatigue was experienced in vicinity of 200 to 300 m to base stations. The occurence of complaints was for seven of the reported symptoms and for the distance up to 300 m significantly higher for women compared to men. No difference in the frequency of complaints was observed according to length of time living in the vicinity of base stations.

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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