Mobile phone base stations and well-being--A meta-analysis

Sci Total Environ. 2016 Feb 15;544:24-30. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.009. Epub 2015 Dec 3.


It is unclear whether electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phone base stations affect well-being in adults. The existing studies on this topic are highly inconsistent. In the current paper we attempt to clarify this question by carrying out a meta-analysis which is based on the results of 17 studies. Double-blind studies found no effects on human well-being. By contrast, field or unblinded studies clearly showed that there were indeed effects. This provides evidence that at least some effects are based on a nocebo effect. Whether there is an influence of electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phone base stations thus depends on a person's knowledge about the presence of the presumed cause. Taken together, the results of the meta-analysis show that the effects of mobile phone base stations seem to be rather unlikely. However, nocebo effects occur.

Keywords: Electromagnetic fields; Human health; Mobile phone base station; Well-being.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Radio Waves