Personal exposure to mobile phone frequencies and well-being in adults: a cross-sectional study based on dosimetry

Bioelectromagnetics. 2008 Sep;29(6):463-70. doi: 10.1002/bem.20414.


The use of mobile phone telecommunication has increased in recent years. In parallel, there is growing concern about possible adverse health effects of cellular phone networks. We used personal dosimetry to investigate the association between exposure to mobile phone frequencies and well-being in adults. A random population-based sample of 329 adults living in four different Bavarian towns was assembled for the study. Using a dosimeter (ESM-140 Maschek Electronics), we obtained an exposure profile over 24 h for three mobile phone frequency ranges (measurement interval 1 s, limit of determination 0.05 V/m). Exposure levels over waking hours were totalled and expressed as mean percentage of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference level. Each participant reported acute symptoms in a day-long diary. Data on five groups of chronic symptoms and potential confounders were assessed during an interview. The overall exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields was markedly below the ICNIRP reference level. We did not find any statistically significant association between the exposure and chronic symptoms or between the exposure and acute symptoms. Larger studies using mobile phone dosimetry are warranted to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Burden
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Monitoring / statistics & numerical data*