Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Outdoor and indoor sources of residential radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, personal cell phone and cordless phone use, and cognitive function in 5-6 years old children. epidem.

Published in: Environ Res 2016; 150: 364-74

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A study was conducted in the Netherlands to investigate the association between exposure to environmental radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from outdoor or indoor sources and the use of mobile or cordless phones and cognitive function in children.

Further details

Children's cognitive function was measured as speed of information processing, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility and visuomotor coordination by using 4 tasks from the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks program.
Further studies in the same study population were published on sleep problems (Huss et al., 2015) and on behavior problems (Guxens et al., 2013).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 residential exposure to mobile phone base station: low (< 50th percentile)
Group 2 residential exposure to mobile phone base station: medium (50 - 90th percentiles)
Group 3 residential exposure to mobile phone base station: high (> 90th percentile)
Reference group 4 indoor sources: no Wi-Fi or cordless phone base station
Group 5 indoor sources: either W-iFi or cordless phone base station
Group 6 indoor sources: Wi-Fi and cordless phone base station
Reference group 7 mobile phone use at the age of 5-6 years: no
Group 8 mobile phone use at the age of 5-6 years: < 1 call per week
Group 9 mobile phone use at the age of 5-6 years: 1 - 2 calls per week
Group 10 mobile phone use at the age of 5-6 years: 3 or more calls per week
Reference group 11 cordless phone use at the age of 5-6 years: no
Group 12 cordless phone use at the age of 5-6 years: < 1 call per week
Group 13 cordless phone use at the age of 5-6 years: 1 - 2 calls per week
Group 14 cordless phone use at the age of 5-6 years: 3 or more calls per week

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 8,266
Evaluable 2,354
Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Residential exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields of indoor sources (Wi-Fi and cordless phone base station) was associated with an improved speed of information processing. Children exposed to higher levels of residential radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations and with cordless phone base station and Wi-Fi at home showed an improved inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility compared to those children exposed to lower levels of electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations and those children without cordless phone base stations and Wi-Fi at home, respectively. Higher residential exposure from mobile phone base stations was associated with a reduced visuomotor coordination whereas an improved visuomotor coordination was observed with cordless phone base stations and Wi-Fi at home and higher personal mobile phone use of the children.
The authors concluded that inconsistent associations between exposure to environmental radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from outdoor or indoor sources and the use of mobile or cordless phones and cognitive function in children aged 5-6 years were found.

Study funded by

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