Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Short-term exposure to mobile phone base station signals does not affect cognitive functioning or physiological measures in individuals who report sensitivity to electromagnetic fields and controls. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2009; 30 (7): 556-563

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate whether short-term exposure to GSM and UMTS base station signals affects attention, memory and physiological components in 44 electrosensitive and 44 control participants.

Background/further details

The participants performed four testing sessions (at least one week apart from each other): a) baseline measurement before exposure, b) exposure to GSM, c) exposure to UMTS and d) sham exposure.
Cognitive functioning was measured using a digit symbol substitution test (given a table displaying the correspondence between pairs of digits [from 1 to 9] and symbols, subjects have to fill in blank squares with the symbol that is paired with the digit displayed above the square; subjects have to fill in as many squares as possible in 90 sec), a digit span test and mental arithmetic tasks (5 sec to complete addition and subtraction equations; 187 trials).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900–1,800 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 50 min
Exposure 2: 2,020 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 50 min

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900–1,800 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 50 min
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 10 mW/m² - calibration - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 2,020 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 50 min
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 10 mW/m² - calibration - -

Reference articles

  • Eltiti S et al. (2007): Does short-term exposure to mobile phone base station signals increase symptoms in individuals who report sensitivity to electromagnetic fields? A double-blind randomized provocation study.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Both groups did not differ significantly in their cognitive performance on the baseline measurements. Cognitive functioning was not affected by short-term exposure to either GSM or UMTS signals in control participants and electrosensitive participants.
Electrosensitive participants had a significantly higher level of skin conductance than control participants while performing the cognitive tasks (independent of exposure condition). Blood volume pulse and heart rate did not differ between the two groups nor were they affected by the type of exposure. .

Study character:

Study funded by

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