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EMF Studies

04 January 2017

Subjective Symptoms Related to GSM Radiation from Mobile Phone Base Stations

"Recommendations:  We subscribe to the guidelines observed by other authors in following the principle of prevention while the non-thermal effects are not considered in any official standard. This includes exposure minimisation within the limits of technical feasibility to guarantee a significant reduction in long-term radiation exposure to cellular phone towers in residential areas. Epidemiological and clinical studies should continue to observe possible health changes in the population. Finally, clear information about the correct use of newer electronic devices should be implemented."

Subjective symptoms related to GSM radiation from mobile phone base stations: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open, 4 January 2017
Downloaded from http://bmjopen.bmj.com/ on January 4, 2017 - Published by group.bmj.com

Claudio Gómez-Perretta,1 Enrique A Navarro,2 Jaume Segura,3 Manuel Portolés1

Full text available.

ABSTRACT 



Objectives: We performed a re-analysis of the data from Navarro et al (2003) in which health symptoms related to microwave exposure from mobile phone base stations (BSs) were explored, including data obtained in a retrospective inquiry about fear of exposure from BSs.

Design:  Cross-sectional study.

Setting: La Ñora (Murcia), Spain.

Participants: Participants with known illness in 2003 were subsequently disregarded: 88 participants instead of 101 (in 2003) were analysed. Since weather circumstances can influence exposure, we restricted data to measurements made under similar weather conditions.

Outcomes and methods: A statistical method indifferent to the assumption of normality was employed: namely, binary logistic regression for modelling a binary response (eg, suffering fatigue (1) or not (0)), and so exposure was introduced as a predictor variable. This analysis was carried out on a regular basis and bootstrapping (95% percentile method) was used to provide more accurate CIs.

Results: The symptoms most related to exposure were lack of appetite (OR=1.58, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.03); lack of concentration (OR=1.54, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.89); irritability (OR=1.51, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.85); and trouble sleeping (OR=1.49, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.84). Changes in –2 log likelihood showed similar results. Concerns about the BSs were strongly related with trouble sleeping (OR =3.12, 95% CI 1.10 to 8.86). The exposure variable remained statistically significant in the multivariate analysis. The bootstrapped values were similar to asymptotic CIs.

Conclusions: This study confirms our preliminary results. We observed that the incidence of most of the symptoms was related to exposure levels— independently of the demographic variables and some possible risk factors. Concerns about adverse effects from exposure, despite being strongly related with sleep disturbances, do not influence the direct association between exposure and sleep.

Extracts:

CONCLUSIONS 

This new study partially confirms our preliminary results about microwave sickness resulting from exposure to emissions from GSM mobile phone BSs. Fatigue, irritability, lack of appetite, sleep troubles, depression and lack of concentration were especially related with GSM exposure. These results were independent of the main sociodemographic variables, other EMF exposures and anxiety about being irradiated. Nevertheless, we confirm that apprehension about modern technology could predict some symptoms, especially those related with sleep problems. Our results agree with those who claimed that by distorting perceptions of risk, disproportionate precaution might paradoxically lead to illness that would not otherwise occur. 39 However, health changes related with GSM exposure seem to occur in a manner unrelated with those fears. Finally, exposure was very low during the period and also very low in comparison with Spanish recommendations40 and international guidelines.41

Recommendations 

We subscribe to the guidelines observed by other authors42 in following the principle of prevention while the non-thermal effects are not considered in any official standard. This includes exposure minimisation within the limits of technical feasibility to guarantee a significant reduction in long-term radiation exposure to cellular phone towers in residential areas. Epidemiological and clinical studies should continue to observe possible health changes in the population. Finally, clear information about the correct use of newer electronic devices should be implemented.

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/12/e003836.full.pdf+html?sid=c1e3d698-6f34-412d-b377-65360d98141b

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