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To study a large sample of volunteers (168) apparently sensitive to radiofrequency exposure using a series of cognitive tasks.
Recent studies (e.g. publication 3601 and publication 10688) have indicated that acute exposure to low level radiofrequency electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones affects human cognition. However, the relatively small samples used (in addition to methodological problems) make the findings of these studies difficult to interpret.
A mobile phone was fixed on a "cage/cap" that was mounted on the head so that the microphone was close to the mouth and the antenna was touching or very close to the head, above and slightly behind the ear. The mobile phone could emit GSM modulated and CW unmodulated signals as well as a sham signal (in that case the power was diverted to an internal load of the phone). The SAR in the no-exposure condition was less than 0.002 W/kg.
All participants were exposed to both ON and OFF (sham) conditions in double blind counterbalanced order in two different sessions, 1 week apart. In the ON condition, 84 participants were exposed to GSM signals and 84 to CW signals. For each group, the mobile phone was on the left side of the head for half the subjects and on the right for the other half, irrespective of the handedness of participants.
No significant effects of radiofrequency irradiation on performance for either GSMor continuous wave (CW) were revealed, independent of whether the phone was positioned on the left or on the right side.