Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of UMTS cellular phones on human hearing: results of the European project EMFnEAR med./bio.

Published in: Radiat Res 2009; 172 (2): 244-251

Aim of study (acc. to author)

In this study, the pooled analysis of the data obtained in the course of the European "EMFnEAR project" on the possible effects of exposure to UMTS-modulated electromagnetic fields on the auditory system of humans is described.

Background/further details

EMFnEAR project: "Exposure at UMTS Electromagnetic Fields: Study on Potential Adverse Effects on Hearing".
A total of 134 participants (73 women and 61 men) were tested across different European laboratories. Not all participants were given all audiological tests.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1,947 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 20 min

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,947 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 20 min
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup earphone held in a non-metallic positioning system
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 39.8 V/m - measured - at the bottom of the rod antenna
SAR 69 mW/kg maximum measured - in the cochlea region

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data did not show any consistent pattern of effects on the auditory system after a 20-min UMTS exposure at the maximum output of the cell phone with 69 mW/kg SAR in the cochlea region.
It is concluded that UMTS short-term exposure at the maximum output does not cause measurable immediate effects on the human auditory system.

Study character:

Study funded by

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