Multiple assessment methods of prenatal exposure to radio frequency radiation from telecommunication in the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) study

Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016 Nov 18;29(6):959-972. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00803. Epub 2016 Nov 3.


Objectives: To evaluate prenatal exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) from telecommunication using a mobile phone questionnaire, operator data logs of mobile phone use and a personal exposure meter (PEM).

Material and methods: The study included 1228 mother-infants pairs from the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) study - a multicenter prospective cohort study ongoing since 2006, in which participants were enrolled at ≤ 20 weeks of pregnancy, with a follow-up of a child birth and growth to assess the association between prenatal environmental exposure and children's health. The questionnaire included the average calling frequency per day and the average calling time per day. An EME Spy 100 PEM was used to measure RFR among 269 pregnant women from November 2007 to August 2010. The operators' log data were obtained from 21 participants. The Spearman's correlation test was performed to evaluate correlation coefficient and 95% confidence intervals between the mobile phone use information from the questionnaire, operators' log data, and data recorded by the PEM.

Results: The operators' log data and information from the self-reported questionnaire showed significantly high correlations in the average calling frequency per day (ρ = 0.6, p = 0.004) and average calling time per day (ρ = 0.5, p = 0.02). The correlation between information on the mobile phone use in the self-reported questionnaire and exposure index recorded by the PEM was poor. But correlation between the information of the operators' log data and exposure index for transmission of mobile communication was significantly high: correlation coefficient (p-value) was 0.44 (0.07) for calling frequency per day, and it was 0.49 (0.04) for calling time per day.

Conclusions: The questionnaire information on the mobile phone use showed moderate to high quality. Using multiple methods for exposure assessment might be better than using only one method. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2016;29(6):959-972.

Keywords: MOCEH; mobile phone; personal exposure meter; prenatal exposure; radio frequency radiation; validation.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Self Report