No Increased Sensitivity in Brain Activity of Adolescents Exposed to Mobile Phone-Like Emissions

Sarah P. Loughran, Dominik Benz, Marc Schmid, Manuel Murbach, Niels Kuster, and Peter Achermann, Clinical Neurophysiology, Volume 124, Issue 7, pp. 1303-1308, July 2013, online February 20, 2013

This study examines the potential sensitivity of adolescents to mobile-phone-like radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) exposures as recommended by the 2010 World Health Organization Research Agenda for Radiofrequency Fields. In a double-blind, randomized study of crossover design, 22 adolescents aged 11–13years (12 males) underwent three experimental sessions (30 min each) in which they were exposed to mobile-phone-like RF EMF signals at intensities of 0 (sham), 0.35, and 1.4 W/kg. During exposure, cognitive tasks were performed and waking EEG was recorded at three time-points – 0, 30, and 60 min – post-exposure. Unlike in previous studies conducted on adults, no clearly significant effects of RF EMF exposure on waking EEG or cognitive performance were found.

The scientific and technical impact of this study can be summarized as:

  • The investigation of potential sensitivity of adolescents to mobile phone-like exposures revealed no significant effect of exposure on waking EEG or cognitive performance.
  • Adolescents do not appear to be more sensitive than adults to effects of mobile phone RF EMF emissions on brain physiology.
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