Study type: Epidemiological study

Association between estimated whole-brain radiofrequency electromagnetic fields dose and cognitive function in preadolescents and adolescents. epidem.

Published in: Int J Hyg Environ Health 2021; 231: 113659

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Netherlands and Spain to investigate the association between estimated whole-brain radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) dose and cognitive function in children and adolescents.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Assessment

Population

Study size

Type Value
Participants 3,213
Other:

1,664 Dutch children, 1,228 Spanish children and 261 Spanish adolescents

Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Estimated overall whole-brain RF-EMF dose was 90.1 mJ/kg/day (interquartile range (IQR) 42.7; 164.0) in the Dutch and Spanish children and 105.1 mJ/kg/day (IQR 51.0; 295.7) in the Spanish adolescents.
Higher overall estimated whole-brain RF-EMF doses from all RF-EMF sources together and from phone calls were associated with lower non-verbal intelligence score in the Dutch and Spanish preadolescents (− 0.10 points, CI -0.19; − 0.02 per 100 mJ/kg/day increase in each exposure). However, none of the whole-brain RF-EMF doses was related to any other cognitive function outcome in children or adolescents.
The authors conclude that higher brain exposure to RF-EMF might be related to lower non-verbal intelligence but not to other cognitive function outcomes.

Limitations (acc. to author)

Given the cross-sectional nature of the study, the small effect sizes, and the unknown biological mechanisms, the authors cannot discard that the results are due to chance finding or reverse causality.

Study funded by

Related articles