Exposure to Mobile Phone Electromagnetic Fields and Subjective Symptoms: A Double-Blind Study

Psychosom Med. 2008 Apr;70(3):345-8. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31816521f1. Epub 2008 Mar 31.

Abstract

Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine whether acute exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (REFs) emitted by mobile phone may affect subjective symptoms.

Methods: Three large groups of volunteers (total 496) were exposed to REFs emitted by mobile phones in one session and sham signals in a different session. REF and sham exposure sessions were counterbalanced and double blinded. Participants were exposed to either Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) or unmodulated signals, and the mobile phone was positioned either on the left or on the right side of the head. Before and after REF and sham exposure participants completed a questionnaire to rate five symptoms. Any changes in the severity of the symptoms after REF exposure were compared with changes after sham exposure.

Results: For one group of participants (N = 160), it was found that dizziness was affected by GSM exposure, but this was not consistently found with the other two groups of participants. No other significant effects were found.

Conclusions: We did not find consistent evidence suggesting that exposure to mobile phone REFs affect subjective symptoms. Even though we acknowledge that more research is needed, we believe that our results give an important contribution to the research on mobile phone use and subjective symptoms.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cell Phone*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires