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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effects of short-term radiation emitted by WCDMA mobile phones on teenagers and adults

Soo Beom Choi12, Min Kyung Kwon12, Jai Won Chung13, Jee Soo Park4, KilSoo Chung5 and Deok Won Kim13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Engineering, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2 Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3 Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

5 Department of Electrical System, Dong Yang Mirae University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:438  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-438

Published: 10 May 2014

Abstract

Background

With the rapid increasing use of third generation (3 G) mobile phones, social concerns have arisen concerning the possible health effects of radio frequency-electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) emitted by wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) mobile phones in humans. The number of people, who complain of various symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and fatigue, has also increased. Recently, the importance of researches on teenagers has been on the rise. However, very few provocation studies have examined the health effects of WCDMA mobile phone radiation on teenagers.

Methods

In this double-blind study, two volunteer groups of 26 adults and 26 teenagers were simultaneously investigated by measuring physiological changes in heart rate, respiration rate, and heart rate variability for autonomic nervous system (ANS), eight subjective symptoms, and perception of RF-EMFs during sham and real exposure sessions to verify its effects on adults and teenagers. Experiments were conducted using a dummy phone containing a WCDMA module (average power, 250 mW at 1950 MHz; specific absorption rate, 1.57 W/kg) within a headset placed on the head for 32 min.

Results

Short-term WCDMA RF-EMFs generated no significant changes in ANS, subjective symptoms or the percentages of those who believed they were being exposed in either group.

Conclusions

Considering the analyzed physiological data, the subjective symptoms surveyed, and the percentages of those who believed they were being exposed, 32 min of RF radiation emitted by WCDMA mobile phones demonstrated no effects in either adult or teenager subjects.

Keywords:
Physiological changes; Subjective symptoms; RF-EMFs perception; Provocation; ANS; Smart phones; Teenagers