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 5. Studies on mobile phone base station radiation and symptom scores obtained from quality-of-life questionnaires: 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 trials
Regel 200617 Crossover 33 EHS and 84 non-EHS adults UMTS 1 and 10 V/m Change of current disposition during exposure (CDdiff); current disposition after exposure (CDpost); adapted quality-of-life questionnaire (TNO) No exposure–outcome association in EHS or non-EHS persons
CDdiff: P = 0.95/P = 0.95
CDpost: P = 0.96/ P = 0.89
TNO: P = 0.65/P = 0.92
Eltiti 200718 Crossover 44 EHS and 115 non-EHS adults GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2 V/m 6 items on a visual analogue scale GSM versus sham in EHS/non-EHSa:
Total number of symptoms: P = 0.49/P = 0.96
Symptom score: P = 0.81/P = 0.49
UMTS versus sham in EHS/non-EHSa:
Total number of symptoms: P = 0.10/P = 0.41
Symptom score: P = 0.12/P = 0.87
Epidemiological studies
Heinrich 200728 Field intervention 95 employees of an office building UMTS 0.1 V/m Questionnaire During exposure: non-significant increase of symptom score (P = 0.08)
Cumulative exposure not associated with symptom score (P = 0.42)
Blettner 20091 Cross-sectional 26 039 German residents of a panel survey Geo-coded distance to the closest mobile phone base station Next base station < 500 m versus > 500 m Frick symptom score38 Score difference: 0.34 (95% CI: 0.32 to 0.37)
Berg-Beckhoff 200935 Cross-sectional 1326 randomly selected adults Base station (sum of GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS) > 0.1 V/m Von Zerssen symptom list,25 SF-3637 Score differences: Von Zerssen: 0.55 (95% CI: −1.05 to 2.15)
SF-36, physical: −0.14 (95% CI: −1.80 to 1.51)
SF-36, mental: 0.37 (95% CI: −0.93 to 1.68)

CI, confidence interval; EHS, electromagnetic hypersensitivity; GSM, Global System for Mobile Communications; SF-36, Short Form (36) Health Survey; TNO, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research; UMTS, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; V/m, volts per metre.

a P-values calculated from F- and t-values. Relevant P-value for significance after Bonferroni correction: P <  0.003.

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