Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Systematic review on the health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations

Martin Röösli, Patrizia Frei, Evelyn Mohler & Kerstin Hug

Volume 88, Number 12, December 2010, 887-896F

Table 4. Studies on mobile phone base station (MPBS) radiation, self-reported sleep measures and polysomnographic recordings: results of a systematic review of studies conducted before March 2009

Reference Study design Study population Exposure source Exposure level of the exposed group(s) Outcome measure Results
Randomized human laboratory studies
Hinrichs 200541 Crossover 13 healthy volunteers GSM 1800 30 V/m at subject’s head Polysomnography No significant effects on classical sleep parameters
Furubayashi 200920 Crossover 11 female EHS and 43 female controls W-CDMA (2 140 MHz) 10 V/m at subject’s head POMS questionnaire21 Effect of condition:
Fatigue (P = 0.41)
Epidemiological studies
Hutter 200624 Cross-sectional 365 randomly selected participants living in the vicinity of MPBSs GSM 900 > 0.43 V/m PSQI26 Sleep quality: P = 0.24
Sleep disturbances: P = 0.34
Global sleep score: P = 0.28
Abdel-Rassoul 200727 Cross-sectional 165 adults living/working near or far away from an MPBS Not specified Not reported Questionnaire Sleep disturbances:
OR = 2.8 (95% CI: 1.1 to 7.4)
Danker-Hopfe 200829 Field intervention 397 adults from 10 German towns GSM 900/
GSM 1 800 base station
0.1 V/m Sleep diary and polysomnography Sleep efficiency: P = 0.84
Time spent in bed: P = 0.29
Total sleep time: P = 0.39
Sleep latency: P = 0.83
Wake after sleep onset: P = 0.88
Restfulness: P = 0.59
Leitgeb 200830 Cross-sectional 43 EHS volunteers from Germany and Austria All sources Unshielded condition: about 0.5% of ICNIRP limit Written questionnaire on subjective sleep quality Non-significant improvement of sleep score with increasing GSM-EMF at baseline (P > 0.05)
Field intervention Shielding of RF-EMF during 3 nights Shielding Polysomnography No statistically significant effects on sleep parameters
Thomas 200831 Cross-sectional 329 randomly selected adults Alla 0.21–0.58% of ICNIRP limit Freiburg symptom score32 Sleeping disorders:
OR = 1.1 (95% CI: 0.5 to 2.1)
Fatigue: OR = 0.7 (95% CI: 0.3 to 1.8)
Longitudinal (within one day) 0.19–0.56% (morning)
0.22–0.71% (afternoon) of ICNIRP limit
Fatigue (item of Von Zerssen symptom list)25 Morning: OR = 0.5 (95% CI: 0.2 to 1.1)
Afternoon: OR = 0.5 (95% CI: 0.3 to 1.0)
Berg-Beckhoff 200935 Cross-sectional 1326 randomly selected adults Base station (sum of GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS) > 0.1 V/m PSQI26 Score difference: −0.15 (95% CI: −0.69 to 0.38)
Kühnlein 200939 Cross-sectional 1433 randomly selected children Alla > 90th percentile (value not reported) Items on Health
Behaviour in School-aged Children questionnaire40
Sleeping problems:
OR = 1.0 (95% CI: 0.6 to 1.5)
Fatigue: OR = 0.8 (95% CI: 0.6 to 1.3)

CI, confidence interval; EHS, electromagnetic hypersensitivity; GSM, Global System for Mobile Communications; ICNIRP, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection; MHz, megahertz; OR, odds ratio; POMS, Profile of Mood States; PSQI, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; RF-EMF, radiofrequency electromagnetic field; UMTS, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; V/m, volts per metre; W-CDMA, Wideband Code Division Multiple Access.

a Sum of GSM 900, GSM 1800, UMTS (up- and downlink), Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) and wireless local area networks (WLAN).

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