Acute Effect of Electromagnetic Waves Emitted from Mobile Phone on Visual Evoked Potential in Adult Male : A Preliminary Study

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2016 Jan-Mar;60(1):102-7.


Electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted from mobile phone (MP) may cause variety of ocular effects, e.g., cataract, corneal edema and lacrimation of eyes. Currently very little information is available on acute effects of EMW emitted from MP on human visual system. So, study was planned to see the effects of EMW emitted from MP on visual evoked potential (VEP). This study was conducted in 9 healthy male subjects in the age group of 20 40 years with history of exposure to MP for around 1 hour/day for the last 3-9 years. After explaining the whole procedure to the subject, written consent was taken. Recording was done on RMS EMG EP MK-2 machine, using 10/20 system of electrode placement. The electrodes were placed at Cz (active electrode), O1-O2 (reference electrodes) and Fz (ground electrode). In dark room, subject was made to sit 1 meter away from screen of TV (275/350 mm size). The black and white checks of 16/16 mm size (subtending an angle of 32 minutes of an arc) were generated on the monitor by an electronic pattern generator. The contrast between black and white checks was 67%. The checks were made to reverse at a rate of 1 Hz and 100 responses were recorded. The subject was instructed to fix on small dot at its center with one eye; and the other eye was closed with hand. Waves of VEP were recorded before and after exposure to MP kept near to right ear (as right ear was found to be dominant ear, used by subjects to hear the MP, so right eye was near to MP and had more exposure compare to left eye) for 10 min. Statistical analysis was done by student ‘t’ test. After exposure to MP in left eye, there was significant increase (P<0.001) in latency of P100 wave without affecting the latency of other waves. Although amplitude of P100– N 75 waves was reduced but not statistically significant. But in right eye, after exposure to MP, latency of N75 (P<0.001), P100 (P<0.05) and N145 (P<0.001) waves were increased without any alteration in amplitude of P100 – P75 waves. Effect on right eye was slightly different. This study suggests that EMW emitted from MP may affect the VEP.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Young Adult