Comparison of measuring instruments for radiofrequency radiation from mobile telephones in epidemiological studies: implications for exposure assessment

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2008 Mar;18(2):134-41. doi: 10.1038/sj.jes.7500555. Epub 2007 Feb 28.


The debate on mobile telephone safety continues. Most epidemiological studies investigating health effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by mobile phone handsets have been criticised for poor exposure assessment. Most of these studies relied on the historical reconstruction of participants' phone use by questionnaires. Such exposure assessment methods are prone to recall bias resulting in misclassification that may lead to conflicting conclusions. Although there have been some studies using software-modified phones (SMP) for exposure assessment in the literature, until now there is no published work on the use of hardware modified phones (HMPs) or RF dosimeters for studies of mobile phones and health outcomes. We reviewed existing literature on mobile phone epidemiology with particular attention to exposure assessment methods used. Owing to the inherent limitations of these assessment methods, we suggest that the use of HMPs may show promise for more accurate exposure assessment of RF radiation from mobile phones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone* / statistics & numerical data
  • Epidemiologic Research Design*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Monitoring / instrumentation
  • Radiation Monitoring / methods*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects
  • Radiometry / instrumentation
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Software