Background: The health effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and the adequacy of the safety standards are a subject of debate. One source of human data is case reports regarding peripheral neurological effects of RFR, mainly noxious sensations or dysaesthesiae.
Aim: To investigate health effects, neurophysiological mechanisms and safety levels for RFR.
Methods: We conducted a literature search for case reports and case series associated with mobile phone technology as well as other RFR sources using specific search terms on PubMed.
Results: We identified 11 original articles detailing case reports or case series and matching the search criteria. Five of the identified papers were written by at least one of the authors (B.H. or R.W.).
Conclusions: Cases have arisen after exposure to much of the radiofrequency range. In some cases, symptoms are transitory but lasting in others. After very high exposures, nerves may be grossly injured. After lower exposures, which may result in dysaesthesia, ordinary nerve conduction studies find no abnormality but current perception threshold studies have found abnormalities. Only a small proportion of similarly exposed people develop symptoms. The role of modulations needs clarification. Some of these observations are not consistent with the prevailing hypothesis that all health effects of RFR arise from thermal mechanisms.