"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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.