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EMF Studies

16 January 2017

Where’s Your Phone? A Survey of Where Women Aged 15-40 Carry Their Smartphone and Related Risk Perception: A Survey and Pilot Study


"More than three quarters of participants had carried their phone in a skirt or trouser pocket, which places the phone adjacent to the skin of the lower abdomen or buttock sitting over or near the colon and near reproductive organs, and a quarter of them had carried it tucked into clothing against the breast. Overall, there was not a perception of risk from exposure to RF-EMFs generally..."

Where’s Your Phone? A Survey of Where Women Aged 15-40 Carry Their Smartphone and Related Risk Perception: A Survey and Pilot Study 
Mary Redmayne, plos.org, Published: January 6, 2017

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167996

Full text available.

Abstract and Conclusions below:

Abstract

Smartphones are now owned by most young adults in many countries. Installed applications regularly update while the phone is in standby. If it is kept near the body, this can lead to considerably higher exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation than occurred without internet access. Very little is known about current smartphone carrying habits of young women. This survey used an online questionnaire to ask about smartphone location under several circumstances to inform the power calculation for a women’s health study. They were also asked about risk perceptions. Data was analysed using Pearson chi square. Three age categories were made: 15–20, 21–30, 31–40. Smartphones were generally kept on standby (96% by day, 83% at night). Of all participants, in the last week the most common locations of the phone when not in use or during passive use was off-body (86%), in the hand (58%), a skirt/trouser pocket (57%), or against the breast (15%). Pocket and near-the-breast storage were significant by age (χ215.04, p = 0.001 and χ210.96, p = 0.04, respectively), both positively influenced by the youngest group. The same influence lay in the association between holding the phone (χ211.082, p = 0.004) and pocket-storage (χ219.971, p<0.001) during passive use. For calls, 36.5% solely used the phone against the head. More than half kept the phone 20–50 cms from their head at night (53%), while 13% kept it closer than 20 cms. Many (36%) thought RF-EMR exposure was related to health problems while 16% did not. There was no relationship between thinking RF-EMR exposure causes health problems in general and carrying the phone against the upper or lower body (p = 0.69 and p = 0.212, respectively). However, calls with the phone against the head were positively related to perception of health risk (χ2 6.695, p = 0.035). Our findings can be used in the power calculation for a case-control study.

Conclusions

The information collected in this study can be used in the power calculation for the number of people needed for a case-control study. Several such studies may be called for as so many people carry smartphones against the body where they continue to transmit. More than three quarters of participants had carried their phone in a skirt or trouser pocket, which places the phone adjacent to the skin of the lower abdomen or buttock sitting over or near the colon and near reproductive organs, and a quarter of them had carried it tucked into clothing against the breast. Overall, there was not a perception of risk from exposure to RF-EMFs generally, although when specific types of illness and/or specific on-body storage locations were analysed, it was apparent there was a significant concern about carrying and using a smartphone against the body/head (although this behaviour was common). There was also a significant relationship between digestion and the immune system, and carrying the phone in a lower pocket. The sensitivity analysis indicated concern about keeping the phone in a pocket and several typical electrohypersensitivity symptoms.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0167996

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