Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Assessment of intermittent UMTS electromagnetic field effects on blood circulation in the human auditory region using a near-infrared system med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2012; 33 (1): 40-54

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the potential effects of intermittent UMTS electromagnetic fields on blood circulation in the human head (auditory region) on two different timescales: short-term (effects occurring within 80 s) and medium-term (effects occurring within 80 s to 30 min).

Background/further details

16 healthy male subjects participated. Each subject encountered four different conditions on four different days at the same time of day: (i) SAR of 1.8 W/kg, (ii) SAR of 0.18 W/kg, (iii) sham exposure, and (iv) motor activation measurement (20 s finger tapping instead of exposure).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.9 GHz
Exposure duration: 16 cycles: 20 s exposure (ON), 60 s recoveries (OFF)
  • SAR: 0 W/kg peak value (10 g) (sham)
  • SAR: 0.18 W/kg peak value (10 g) (low dose)
  • SAR: 1.8 W/kg peak value (10 g) (high dose)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1.9 GHz
Exposure duration 16 cycles: 20 s exposure (ON), 60 s recoveries (OFF)
Modulation type cf. additional info
Additional info


Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup test person wore ear plugs; antenna fixed near to subject's ear
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 0 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 10 g sham
SAR 0.18 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 10 g low dose
SAR 1.8 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 10 g high dose

Reference articles

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)

During exposure to 0.18 W/kg, a significant short-term increase (within 80 s) in oxy-heamoglobin and total haemoglobin was found, which was small (approximately 17%) compared to a functional brain activation (condition iv). A significant decrease in the medium-term response of deoxy-haemoglobin at 0.18 and 1.8 W/kg exposures was detected, which was in the range of physiological fluctuations. The medium-term heart rate was significantly higher at 1.8 W/kg than for sham exposure. The other parameters showed no significant effects.
The data suggest that intermittent exposure to UMTS electromagnetic field has small short- and medium-term effects on cerebral blood circulation and heart rate.

Study character:

Study funded by

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