Association between estimated whole-brain radiofrequency electromagnetic fields dose and cognitive function in preadolescents and adolescents.
Cabré-Riera A, van Wel L, Liorni I, Thielens A, Birks LE, Pierotti L, Joseph W, González-Safont L, Ibarluzea J, Ferrero A, Huss A, Wiart J, Santa-Marina L, Torrent M, Vrijkotte T, Capstick M, Vermeulen R, Vrijheid M, Cardis E, Röösli M, Guxens M
Published in: Int J Hyg Environ Health 2021; 231: 113659
questionnaire: use of mobile phone and DECT phone for calling (named 'phone calls', mobile phone use for internet browsing, e-mailing, and text messaging, tablet use and laptop use while wirelessly connected to internet (named 'screen activity')
calculation: overall whole-brainRF-EMFdoses (mJ/kg/day) including phone calls, screen activities and far-field sources and source-specific RF-EMFdoses (phone calls, screen activities, and far-field) were calculated based on Liorni et al., 2020 and van Wel et al., 2020 (in press)
children of 2 birth cohort studies, the Dutch Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) Study and the Spanish INfancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) Project
Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Spain (Valencia, Sabadell, Gipuzkoa, and Menorca)
Estimated overall whole-brainRF-EMFdose 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-brainRF-EMFdoses 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-brainRF-EMFdoses was related to any other cognitive function outcome in children or adolescents. The authors conclude that higher brainexposure 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
FIS (Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias, Health Research Fund) (Instituto de Salud Carlos III., Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo) (Carlos III Health Institute, Ministry of Health and Consumption), Spain
Generalitat Valenciana, Spain
Juan de la Cierva programme, Ministerio de Economià y Competitividad (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness), Spain
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO; Nederlandse organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek); The Netherlands
Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l'Alimentation, de l'Environnement et du Travail (ANSES; French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety), France
Generalitat Catalunya, Spain
Department of Health, Basque Government, Spain
Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa, Spain
European Project GERONIMO (Generalised EMF Research using Novel Methods) funded under FP7-ENVIRONMENT
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