The aim of this study was to examine thermal and local blood flow responses in the head area of the preadolescent boys during exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields produced by a GSM mobile phone. The design was a double-blinded sham-controlled study of 26 boys, aged 14-15 years. The SAR distribution was calculated and modelled in detail. The duration of the sham periods and exposures with GSM 900 phone was 15 min each, and the tests were carried out in a climatic chamber in controlled thermoneutral conditions. The ear canal temperatures were registered from both ear canals, and the skin temperatures at several sites of the head, trunk and extremities. The local cerebral blood flow was monitored by a near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and the autonomic nervous system function by recordings of ECG and continuous blood pressure. During the short-term RF exposure, local cerebral blood flow did not change, the ear canal temperature did not increase significantly and autonomic nervous system was not interfered. The strengths of this study were the age of the population, multifactorial physiological monitoring and strictly controlled thermal environment. The limitations of the study were large inter-individual variation in the physiological responses, and short duration of the exposure. Longer provocation protocols, however, might cause in children distress related confounding physiological responses.
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