Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted from base stations of DECT cordless phones and the risk of glioma and meningioma (Interphone Study Group, Germany)

Radiat Res. 2006 Jul;166(1 Pt 1):116-9. doi: 10.1667/RR3581.1.


The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that exposure to continuous low-level radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) increases the risk of glioma and meningioma. Participants in a population-based case-control study in Germany on the risk of brain tumors in relation to cellular phone use were 747 incident brain tumor cases between the ages of 30 and 69 years and 1494 matched controls. The exposure measure of this analysis was the location of a base station of a DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) cordless phone close to the bed, which was used as a proxy for continuous low-level exposure to RF EMFs during the night. Estimated odds ratios were 0.82 (95% confidence interval: 0.29-2.33) for glioma and 0.83 (0.29-2.36) for meningioma. There was also no increasing risk observed with duration of exposure to DECT cordless phone base stations. Although the study was limited due to the small number of exposed subjects, it is still a first indication that residential low-level exposure to RF EMFs may not pose a higher risk of brain tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Glioma / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Meningioma / epidemiology*
  • Microwaves
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors