Study type: Medical/biological study (observational study)

A Possible Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation from Mobile Phone Base Stations on the Number of Breeding House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). med./bio.

Published in: Electromagn Biol Med 2007; 26 (1): 63-72

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effect of long-term exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic field irradiation from mobile phone (GSM) base stations on the number of house sparrows during the breeding season.

Background/further details

The number of house sparrow males and the strength of electromagnetic irradiation from base stations at 150 locations that were distributed over six residential areas in the region of Gent - Sint-Niklaas (province of East Flanders, Belgium) were determined.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 925–960 MHz
Exposure duration: during the breeding period
Exposure 2: 1,805–1,880 MHz
Exposure duration: during the breeding period

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 925–960 MHz
Type
Exposure duration during the breeding period
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup about 90% of the locations were at a distance of 100 - 600 m from a base station
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 0.153 V/m mean calculated - at location 1
electric field strength 0.084 V/m mean calculated - at location 2
electric field strength 0.245 V/m mean calculated - at location 3
electric field strength 0.13 V/m mean calculated - at location 4
electric field strength 0.109 V/m mean calculated - at location 5
electric field strength 0.043 V/m mean calculated - at location 6

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,805–1,880 MHz
Type
Exposure duration during the breeding period
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 0.075 V/m mean calculated - at location 1
electric field strength 0.083 V/m mean calculated - at location 2
electric field strength 0.017 V/m mean calculated - at location 3
electric field strength 0.056 V/m mean calculated - at location 4
electric field strength 0.04 V/m mean calculated - at location 5
electric field strength 0.08 V/m mean calculated - at location 6

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data indicate that spatial variation among sampling locations in the number of house sparrow males was negatively related to the electric field strength emitted by GSM base stations. This relation was highly similar among the six study areas.
The results indicate that long-term exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic irradiation from GSM base stations may have significant effects on populations of wild birds. Nevertheless, the data should be considered as preliminary results because sampling locations were each visited only once, such that counts of the number of house sparrow males and measurements of electric field strength are subjected to some variation and estimation error.

Study character:

Study funded by

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