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EMR Literature Survey - November 2015

FEATURE ARTICLE:  
Effects of mobile phone exposure (GSM 900 and WCDMA/UMTS) on polysomnography based sleep quality: An intra- and inter-individual perspective

By: Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H, Bolz T, Peter A, Hansen ML, Eggert T, Sauter C
Published in: Environ Res 2015; 145 : 50–60

SUMMARY

This human provocation study looked into the effects of radiofrequency (RF) exposure on sleep quality. Thirty young male participants were subjected to three nights of each exposure condition: sham, GSM (900 megahertz, MHz), and WCDMA/UMTS (2 gigahertz, GHz). The exposure was for the whole night (8 hours), with the specific absorption rate (SAR) set to reach but not exceed 2 watts per kilogram (W/kg) which is the limit for general public exposure in the Australian RF Standard. In 90% of the subjects, one or more sleep parameters were significantly different during GSM or WCDMA/UMTS exposure when compared to the sham exposure. However there was no consistent pattern in sleep parameter changes among the subjects. The authors found that in about 30% of the subjects there was a prolonged period of one of the sleep stages (rapid eye movement sleep) during the RF exposure, although this result does not indicate a sleep disturbance.

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Commentary by ARPANSA

Studies investigating the effects of RF exposure on sleep quality have so far given inconsistent results. This study by Danker-Hopfe et al. also reviewed the main findings of many other studies done in this area, where the majority of the studies did not find any effects. Findings of some studies were conflicting with each other – two studies reported reduced sleep latency but one study reported prolonged sleep latency. A previous study by Danker-Hopfe et al. in 2010 did not find any effects on sleep quality (reported in June 2010’s literature report).


Tinnitus and cell phones: the role of electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation

By: Medeiros LN et al
Published in:Braz J Otorhinolaryngol 2015: in press

SUMMARY

This is a systematic review that investigated the association between tinnitus and exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), particularly in people who claim to have electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). A total of 45 relevant studies were evaluated. Some studies reported significantly higher prevalence of tinnitus in EHS participants. One major study suggested that tinnitus is associated with intensive use of mobile phone for a prolonged period (4 years or more). However the rest of the major studies evaluated did not report any effects or any direct association between EMF exposure and tinnitus.

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No Effects of Acute Exposure to Wi-Fi Electromagnetic Fields on Spontaneous EEG Activity and Psychomotor Vigilance in Healthy Human Volunteers

By: Zentai N et al
Published in: Radiat Res 2015; 184 (6): 568 - 577

SUMMARY

This is a human provocation study that investigated whether RF exposure influences brain activity and ability to sustain attention. A total of 56 students participated in the study involving electroencephalographic recording and psychomotor testing whilst being exposed to Wi-Fi or sham. The exposure was at a frequency of 2.4 gigahertz (GHz), and a maximum peak SAR of around 15 mW/kg at the head region. This exposure level is around 0.75% of the general public exposure limit in the Australian RF Standard. The authors found that no effects on brain activity and attention were observed as a result of RF exposure.

PUBMED LINK


Nocebo responses to high-voltage power lines: Evidence from a prospective field study

By: Porsius JT et al
Published in: Sci Total Environ 2015; 543 (Pt A): 432 - 438

SUMMARY

This is a cross-sectional study that investigated whether nocebo responses are responsible for the increases in health complaints surrounding the construction of high voltage power lines (HVPL). Questionnaires were distributed to residents in close proximity of HVPL (up to 500 metres away) and to residents living further away (500-2000 metres away). A total of 1254 responses were received in 4 stages: when the construction was carried out, construction completed but not yet operational, 2 months after operation, and 7 months after operation. The authors found that putting HVPL into operation can lead to subjective symptoms through stronger negative beliefs about the health risks, which is explainable by nocebo effects.

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Association of Exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Radiation (RF-EMFR) Generated by Mobile Phone Base Stations with Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

By: Meo SA et al
Published in: Int J Environ Res Public Health 2015; 12 (11): 14519 - 14528

SUMMARY

This cross-sectional study investigated the association between RF radiation and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Two schools with a total of 159 students were included in the study. Both schools were about 200 metres from the mobile phone base stations (operating at a frequency of 925 MHz) and students were exposed for 6 hours daily, 5 days a week. The RF exposure was measured in one school to be 9.601 nW/cm² (around 0.002% of the public exposure limit), which was roughly 5 times higher than the level at the other school. Although the authors reported that the students at the school with higher RF exposure had a significantly higher incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the parameter used to measure the disease was not very different between the two schools.

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