Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Effects of everyday radiofrequency electromagnetic-field exposure on sleep quality: a cross-sectional study. epidem.

Published in: Radiat Res 2010; 174 (3): 347-356

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Switzerland to investigate the association between exposure to various sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) in the everyday environment and sleep quality.

Further details

Exposure of each study participant was evaluated by a perdiction model (Frei et al. 2009). Self-reported cordless phone use and mobile phone use as well as mobile phone operator data for the previous six months were also included in the analyses. The different exposure measures were all classified in three categories: participants with exposure less than the median (50th percentile) served as reference group, 10 % of the most exposed participants (> 90th percentile), and the group in between the last two (50th up to 90th percentile).
Additionally, sensivity analysis and nonresponder analysis were performed.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (odds ratio (OR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 far-field exposure in everyday life: < 0.18 V/m (< 50th percentile)
Group 2 far-field exposure in everyday life: 0.18 - 0.21 V/m (50th - 90th percentile)
Group 3 far-field exposure in everyday life: > 0.21 V/m (> 90th percentile)
Reference group 4 far-field exposure during night: < 0.02 V/m (< 50th percentile)
Group 5 far-field exposure during night: 0.02 - 0.09 V/m (50th - 90th percentile)
Group 6 far-field exposure during night: > 0.09 V/m (> 90th percentile)
Reference group 7 far-field exposure through fixed-site transmitters: < 0.04 V/m (< 50th percentile)
Group 8 far-field exposure through fixed-site transmitters: 0.04 - 0.12 V/m (50th - 90th percentile)
Group 9 far-field exposure through fixed-site transmitters: > 0.12 V/m (> 90th percentile)
Reference group 10 close-to-body exposure by self-reported mobile phone use: < 50th percentile
Group 11 close-to-body exposure by self-reported mobile phone use: 50th - 90th percentile
Group 12 close-to-body exposure by self-reported mobile phone use: > 90th percentile
Reference group 13 close-to-body exposure by mobile phone use (operator data): < 50th percentile
Group 14 close-to-body exposure by mobile phone use (operator data): 50th - 90th percentile
Group 15 close-to-body exposure by mobile phone use (operator data): > 90th percentile
Reference group 16 close-to-body exposure by self-reported cordless phone use: < 50th percentile
Group 17 close-to-body exposure by self-reported cordless phone use: 50th - 90th percentile
Group 18 close-to-body exposure by self-reported cordless phone use: > 90th percentile

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 4,000
Eligible 3,763
Participants 1,375
Participation rate 37 %
Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

78 % of the study participants believed that there are people who develop adverse health effects due to radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure, 18.2 % assigned their own adverse health effects as being due to exposure and 8.1 % reported themselves as electrosensitive.
The prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness was 29.5 %. Problematic sleeping disturbances were reported by 9.8 % of the participants. No statistically significant associations between excessive daytime sleepiness as well as sleeping disturbances and various exposure surrogates were observed.
The authors concluded that the results did not indicate an impairment of subjective sleep quality due to various exposure sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) in the everyday environment.

Study funded by

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