of 64

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Published on June 2016 | Categories: Types, School Work | Downloads: 15 | Comments: 0
106 views

mobile phone

Comments

Content

Strahlenschutzkommission
Geschäftsstelle der
Strahlenschutzkommission
Postfach 12 06 29
D-53048 Bonn
http://www.ssk.de

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use
– An Overview –
Statement by the German Commission on Radiological Protection

Adopted at the 250th meeting of the Commission on Radiological Protection on
29/30 September 2011

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

2

Table of contents
Introduction ...................................................................................................... 3
1

DMF projects completed since 2008 ....................................................... 3
1.1

Thematic area: Biology ................................................................................. 4

1.1.1
1.1.2
1.1.3
1.1.4
1.1.5
1.1.6

Introduction ........................................................................................... 4
Electrosensitivity ................................................................................... 4
Sleep quality.......................................................................................... 5
Blood-brain barrier ................................................................................ 5
Cognitive functions ................................................................................ 6
Long-term exposure of laboratory animals: metabolism, reproductive
behaviour, immune response and stress response ............................... 6
1.1.7
Genotoxicity and gene regulation .......................................................... 7
1.1.8
Age-dependent effects of high-frequency fields .................................... 8
1.2 Thematic area: Epidemiology ........................................................................ 9
1.2.1
Mobile communications ......................................................................... 9
1.2.2
Radio and television transmitters ........................................................ 11
1.3 Thematic area: Dosimetry ........................................................................... 11

2

Concluding assessment......................................................................... 14
2.1

Does mobile phone radiation have a potential cancer-initiating or
cancer-promoting effect? ............................................................................ 15

2.2

Does mobile phone radiation affect the blood-brain barrier? ....................... 23

2.3

Are there effects on neurophysiological and cognitive processes
or on sleep? ................................................................................................ 23

2.3.1
Sensory organs ................................................................................... 24
2.3.2
EEG .................................................................................................... 24
2.3.3
Cognitive functions .............................................................................. 25
2.4 Is there such a thing as electrosensitivity, and can mobile phone
fields cause non-specific health symptoms? ............................................... 27
2.5

Does chronic exposure affect the blood and the immune system? ............. 29

2.6

Does chronic exposure affect reproduction and development? .................. 29

2.7

What levels of exposure are caused by wireless technologies?.................. 29

2.8

Are children subjected to increased health risks? ....................................... 32

2.9

How are the risks of electromagnetic fields perceived, and how can risk
communication be improved? ..................................................................... 35

3

Conclusions and outlook ....................................................................... 36

4

References ............................................................................................... 40

Table of acronyms and abbreviations ......................................................... 48
List of DMF research projects (as at 18 July 2011) .................................... 51
List of DMF publications ............................................................................... 54

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

3

Introduction
The German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme (DMF) was carried out from
2002 to 2008 in response to public concern about possible health effects of high-frequency
electromagnetic fields below existing limit values and in the context of increasing mobile
phone usage. The programme comprised a total of 54 research projects in biology,
epidemiology, dosimetry and risk communication. Its total budget was approximately 17
million euros, provided in equal parts by the mobile phone network operators and the German
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
(Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, BMU). The German
Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) administered the
funds, gave technical support, selected research topics and managed the research programme.
In the early phases of the programme the SSK identified unresolved scientific issues,
recommended research themes and took an active part in preparatory discussions.
At the Final Conference of the German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme,
held in June 2008, the SSK presented an evaluation of the 36 final reports that were available
by April 2008 from the 54 DMF research projects (SSK 2008). Subsequently the BMU asked
the SSK to evaluate the 18 research projects in biology, epidemiology and dosimetry that had
not yet been completed. The present statement, which is based on this evaluation and builds
on the findings reported in the SSK statement of 2008, summarizes and reviews the current
state of knowledge on the biological effects of mobile phone use. It includes findings from
other national and international research programmes and from publications that have
appeared since then.
The evaluation of the 18 research projects that have now been completed is based on the final
reports. It assesses them in terms of the research topics selected, the scientific quality of the
work performed and the knowledge gained relating to health risks of mobile phone use. In
addition, it looks at scientific issues that remain unresolved or that may have emerged in the
meantime owing to developments in international research.

1 DMF projects completed since 2008
This section summarizes the 18 research projects that were still incomplete when the SSK
prepared its report in June 2008 (SSK 2008). The final reports were analysed and evaluated
by at least two independent experts from the SSK and its committees. External experts were
also consulted. The projects were reviewed only by persons who were not directly or
indirectly involved in them.
The following statement is based on the SSK’s assessment of the final reports and draws on
appraisals submitted by independent experts.

4

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

1.1 Thematic area: Biology
1.1.1 Introduction
Nine projects concerned with topics in biology were completed in 2008 and later. They can be
grouped under the following headings:


Electrosensitivity (B13)



Sleep quality (B20)



Blood-brain barrier (B9, B10, B15)



Cognitive abilities (B9)



Long-term exposure of laboratory animals: metabolism, reproductive behaviour, immune
response and stress response (B8, B9)



Gene expression and genotoxicity (B15, B16, B21)



Age-dependent effects of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (B17)

1.1.2 Electrosensitivity
Project B13, which covered a wide range of issues, investigated the occurrence of
accompanying factors and diseases among individuals who described themselves as
“electrosensitive”. The factors included allergies and increased sensitivity to heavy metals and
chemicals.1 The investigators worked with self-help groups to recruit subjects. Psychological
as well as physiological-clinical parameters were assessed. The investigation was carried out
as a case-control study (130 “electrosensitive” persons, 101 controls).
The investigation did not confirm the hypothesis of a difference between self-described
electrosensitive individuals and control subjects in terms of immunological parameters,
molecular genetic parameters of liver function or internal levels of heavy metals. The
objective parameters measured showed no differences in health between the two groups in the
study. Subjectively experienced health symptoms were reported more frequently in the
medical histories of the “cases” than in those of the controls.
The study had some weaknesses that must be noted. The control group was relatively small,
and the criteria for inclusion and exclusion were inadequately defined for both
electrosensitive subjects and controls (changes in assignment to groups). Moreover, the
methods applied had only limited suitability for confirming or ruling out the existence of the
symptoms under study.

1

Research project B13: Investigation of electrosensitive persons with regard to accompanying factors or
diseases, such as allergies and increased exposure or sensitivity to heavy metals and chemicals

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

5

1.1.3 Sleep quality
Disruption of sleep is one of the most frequent complaints attributed to electromagnetic fields
from mobile communications, although objective evidence has not yet been found.
Laboratory studies are often difficult to interpret owing to the negative impact on sleep
behaviour caused by an unfamiliar environment. Project B202 was a double-blind study of
possible effects of mobile phone fields in a familiar domestic environment. Ten locations
were selected in rural areas of Germany where mobile communication did not yet exist and
background exposure to high-frequency fields was low. Mobile transmitters provided by
mobile phone operators were used for exposure. Sleep quality was compared between five
nights with exposure and five nights without exposure. Neither the subjects nor the
researchers knew whether or not there was any exposure. A total of 376 subjects, age 18 to
81, took part; sleep quality was determined using established subjective and objective
methods. An overview of all the recorded parameters showed that the study revealed no
objectifiable effects on sleep quality. However, sleep quality was affected even when the
transmitters were not in operation. The authors attribute this to concern about health effects.

1.1.4 Blood-brain barrier
Based on animal experiments, a number of publications have put forward the hypothesis that
mobile phone fields affect the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. If this were true, it
could have significant health consequences. For this reason the German Mobile
Telecommunication Research Programme devoted considerable attention to this question. It
supported three projects, using differing experimental approaches. Project B9, which involved
extensive studies of long-term effects in laboratory rodents3, investigated transport processes
in the blood-brain barrier using radioactively tagged molecules. It also examined counts of
CA1 neurons, which make up an especially critical brain structure. Besides being extremely
sensitive to toxic substances, CA1 neurons react to stress, making them suitable as indicators
of possible field effects. Three generations of rats were continuously exposed over a period of
several months to GSM and UMTS fields (SAR 0.4 W/kg). In no case significant changes in
the integrity of the blood-brain barrier were detected. Nor did the CA1 neuron counts differ
from those in the control group.
In several previous studies the presence of “dark” (damaged) neurons in the brain was
interpreted as a sign of damage to the blood-brain barrier. Project D154 was devoted to this
question. A total of 1,120 rats were exposed to both GSM and UMTS fields. Although “dark”
neurons were found in some cases, their occurrence followed a random pattern and no
correlation could be found with the strength or duration of exposure. The authors therefore

2

3

4

Research project B20: Investigation of sleep quality in persons living near a mobile base station –
Experimental study on the evaluation of possible psychological and physiological effects under residential
conditions
Research project B9: In vivo experiments on exposure to high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. A. Long-term study. Sub-project: Permeability of the blood-brain barrier and CA1
neuron counts.
Research project B15: Influence of mobile telecommunication fields on the permeability of the blood-brain
barrier in laboratory rodents (in vivo)

6

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

concluded from their experiments that no influence on the blood-brain barrier could be
demonstrated.
The above two in vivo studies were augmented by an in vitro study, B105. Cultures of brain
epithelial cells were exposed to either GSM 1800 or UMTS fields, with SARs between
0.4 W/kg and 8 W/kg. Microarrays were used to measure gene expression. In a few cases,
where there were differences to the sham-exposed controls, quantitative real-time polymerase
chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used for verification. As expected for statistical reasons in
studies of large numbers of genes, changes in gene regulation were found in some cases.
However, no systematic correlation with the duration or strength of exposure was found. The
results thus contain no evidence of pathophysiological changes.

1.1.5 Cognitive functions
Project B9, which used long-term experiments with rats and standardized tests of cognitive
function, studied whether mobile phone fields can cause cognitive impairment.6 Learning and
memory were tested using standardized methods for test animals (Skinner boxes) after longterm exposure at an SAR of 0.4 W/kg. In no cases were differences found between exposed
and sham-exposed groups. Although these results are not necessarily transferable to humans,
they at least fail to support the hypothesis that mobile phone fields can affect cognitive
functions.

1.1.6 Long-term exposure of laboratory animals: metabolism,
reproductive behaviour, immune response and stress response
A previous long-term study of laboratory rodents, B37, indicated possible effects of mobile
phone fields on overall metabolism. Project B88 examined this hypothesis in a systematic
manner and found no confirmation, at least for the SAR values tested in the previous project.
Significant, but weak effects on skin temperature and metabolism were found only at an SAR
of 4 W/kg, but this was expected as it was near the threshold of thermoregulatory response.
Other multi-generation studies were also performed.9 As changes in reproductive behaviour
can be confounders in studies of this type, progeny numbers, miscarriages and stillbirths were
recorded over the entire period of the study. No relevant differences were found.
There was also a study of the immune system.10 It used two groups of rats, age 20 weeks and
52 weeks. Reactions to various antigens were tested and antibody titres were measured at
5

6

7

8

9

Research project B10: In vitro experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. C. Blood-brain barrier
Research project B9: In vivo experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. A. Long-term study. Sub-project: Studies of learning and memory in rats as measured
by operant behaviour
Research project B3: Influence of low and high frequency electromagnetic fields on spontaneous leukaemia
in AKR/J mice
Research project B8: Influence of electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications on the metabolic
rate in rodents
Research project B9: In vivo experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. A. Long-term study

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

7

different times during long-term exposure (GSM 900 MHz, UMTS 1966 MHz, SAR 0.4
W/kg). A statistically significant difference between exposed and non-exposed groups was
found in only one of the twelve experiments. The authors interpreted this exception as a
chance finding, especially as it did not occur in two other similar groups (“Given that only
one significant result was found, we must conclude it to be incidental.”).
In the same main project10 the question was explored whether prolonged exposure to mobile
phone radiation can give rise to stress reactions. For this purpose the animals were injected
with an additional stress-promoting substance (ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone). The
researchers then measured the concentration of cortisol, a glucocorticosteroid hormone
produced by the adrenal gland in response to ACTH and an indicator of stress. Only one of
the six test groups showed a significant response to field exposure. The authors interpreted
this result as incidental.
In the judgement of the authors, long-term exposure over many generations at an SAR of 0.4
W/kg does not give rise to pathological effects in rats. Although the findings cannot be
transferred directly to humans, they lend no support to the hypothesis that such effects could
occur in humans.

1.1.7 Genotoxicity and gene regulation
The question whether high-frequency electromagnetic fields can have genotoxic effects
remains controversial. Although negative findings predominate in the literature, no final
consensus has been reached. The DMF contributed to this research by carrying out an
interlaboratory comparison.11 The following parameters were studied in human lymphocytes
stimulated by phytohaemagglutinin (PHA): structural chromosome aberrations, micronuclei,
sister chromatid exchange (SCE) and DNA damage (strand breaks and alkali-labile damage)
detectable by means of the alkaline comet assay. Blood samples were taken from 10 young
subjects (age 16-20) and 10 older subjects (age 50-65), all of them healthy. The samples were
exposed to intermittent (5 min. on, 10 min. off) GSM 1800 MHz radiation for 28 hours at
SARs of 0, 0.2, 2 and 10 W/kg. The radiation was controlled by a random number generator,
ensuring that the study was fully blind. The specimens from all groups were exposed and
prepared in one laboratory and then distributed to three other laboratories for evaluation.
Positive controls (gamma rays in doses up to 6 Gy) were created for all test parameters as a
means of verifying the procedures. Mitomycin C (0-0.1 µg/ml) was used to induce SCEs,
which are caused only in small numbers by ionizing radiation. The test protocol was designed
to identify incidental results caused by differing evaluations. With such an approach
prevention of errors in the exposure and preparation of samples is of critical importance, as
any such error would lead to incorrect results in all participating laboratories. In this project,
which was organized as an interlaboratory comparison, there were no independent
replications.
10

11

Research project B9: In vivo experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. A. Long-term study. Sub-project: Studies of potential effects on the immune system and
stress
Research project B16: Possible genotoxic effects of GSM signals on isolated human blood

8

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Significant differences among the laboratory findings appeared already in the comparison of
positive controls. These differences were also found in the quantitative values of the main
study. Only one laboratory detected a significant effect of mobile phone radiation, and only
for dicentric chromosomes at the highest SAR (10 W/kg). The other laboratories did not
replicate this finding.
The results obtained in this project agree with those in the majority of published studies,
supporting the conclusion that there is very little evidence of genotoxic effects. This
conclusion is weakened, however, by the variability of the experimental data in the study, a
consequence of the methodology.
A number of authors have claimed effects on gene expression and regard this as an indicator
of genotoxicity. Today genetic analysis procedures such as microarray assays permit gene
regulation to be studied for the entire genome. Because this involves a very large number of
parameters, there is a high probability of incidental statistically significant results (“false
positives”). Independent verification by means of other methods is therefore essential. For this
purpose the additional performing of real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) has
become standard. In the broad-ranging project B2112 both methods were used to study gene
expression in human lymphocytes after field exposures with SARs of 0.2, 2 and 5 W/kg. In
cases where increased gene activity was noted, Western blotting was used to determine
whether a functional protein was formed in large quantities.
In a small number of cases, changes in gene regulation were found and verified by RT-PCR.
However, they occurred only at SARs of 2 and 5 W/kg. The genes classified as “regulated”
frequently encoded heat shock proteins (HSPs), and an increase in the Western blot was found
only in genes of this type. These facts suggest that thermal effects cannot be excluded. The
results do not permit the conclusion that mobile phone fields cause relevant changes in gene
expression.

1.1.8 Age-dependent effects of high-frequency fields
Project B17 included both theoretical and experimental investigations of possible differences
between children and adults in the absorption of mobile phone radiation by the head.13 SARs
were calculated, and in some cases experimentally verified using models, for exposures of
various head regions with GSM 900 and GSM 1800 mobile phones. The calculations were
based on new, refined numerical-anatomical head models of children (ages 3, 6 and 11) and
adults. Age-dependent data on dielectric tissue characteristics were also used.
The local SAR averaged over 10 g, as measured in accordance with DIN EN 62209-1,
showed no correlation with age-dependent dielectric tissue characteristics. Nor did differences
in head geometry between children and adults have a systematic relation to local SAR values.
That is, neither the calculations nor the experiments showed a correlation between head size
12
13

Research project B21: Influence of GSM signals on isolated human blood. B. Differential gene expression
Research project B17: Investigation of age dependent effects of high frequency electromagnetic fields based
on relevant biophysical and biological parameters

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

9

and local SAR. Measurements of test subjects found no characteristic differences in the
thickness of the pinnae between children aged 6 to 8 and adults that could have an effect on
SARs.
Age-related differences in SAR distribution were found for exposures of certain tissues and
brain regions. For the hypothalamus, pineal gland and hippocampus, all located deep in the
brain, as well as the eye, the averaged SAR can be higher in children than in adults,
depending on age, frequency range and position of the mobile phone. In other regions and for
other combinations of parameters, the SAR was found to be lower in children than in adults.
Children generally showed higher tissue-specific SARs than adults in the skull bone marrow
and the eye. In the authors’ view, the difference is due in the first case to the strong age
dependence of tissue characteristics and in the second to the smaller distance between mobile
phone and eye. Depending on the telephone’s distribution of high-frequency currents, nearsurface regions of the brain can likewise have different exposure levels due to their different
positions relative to the ear in children and adults. The results of temperature simulations and
measurements provide no evidence that tissue warming through absorption of high-frequency
radiation is higher in children than in adults.

1.2 Thematic area: Epidemiology
Since publication of the SSK report (SSK 2008), five additional epidemiological research
projects have been completed.

1.2.1 Mobile communications
A cross-sectional study, E814, was carried out to study possible adverse health effects of fields
from mobile phone base stations. It was divided into three parts:


Pilot study and feasibility test,



Basic study: representative country-wide survey of 51,444 persons (response rate: 58.4%)
on health problems, coupled with exposure data from geocoding and



In-depth study 15 of selected subgroups (4,150 persons, response rate: 85.0%) using
questionnaires and exposure measurements (1,500 persons) for risk analysis.

The study found no relationship between exposure from base stations and the health
complaints reported by residents. Persons who attributed their non-specific health problems to
base stations reported more symptoms. Positive features of the study included the large
number of cases in each of the parts, a high willingness to participate, a non-responder
analysis in the basic survey, geocoding, measurements in the in-depth study to estimate
exposures in sleeping areas and the wide variety of study methods selected at the outset.

14

15

Research project E8: Cross-sectional study to record and evaluate possible adverse health effects due to
electromagnetic fields from cell phone base stations (Quebeb)
Research project E6: Addendum to the cross-sectional study on acute health effects caused by fields of
mobile phone base stations

10

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Another cross-sectional study, E916, looked at the relation between well-being and individual
exposure to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones as recorded by personal dosimeters. It
included 3,022 children and adolescents. A total of 6,386 subjects were asked to participate,
and a response rate of 52% was achieved in the measurements and detailed interviews. The
study found no relation between RF-EMF exposure and chronic or acute complaints such as
headache, irritability, nervousness, dizziness, fear, sleeping problems and fatigue. Although
there were isolated significant reports (in two of a total of 36 tests) of acute complaints in the
evening (increased irritability in adolescents and concentration problems in children), no
consistent pattern could be discerned. The question remains open whether the reported health
complaints were caused by the exposure or whether they were a consequence of increased
mobile phone use. The authors of the study additionally determined that the results would not
have been significant after a Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. For this reason the
results were rated as incidental.
Project E10 17 used measurement data collected from personal dosimeters to validate the
exposure surrogate model developed in a previous DMF project18. The exposure surrogate
model comprised technical data from mobile phone base stations (radio system, installation
height, geo-coordinates, safety distances) and information supplied by participants and
interviewers on local conditions such as land-use class, storey height, building density and
vegetation. Based on actual input parameters and a detailed sensitivity analysis of influences
by individual parameters, the study showed that the exposure model did not make sufficiently
good predictions at the individual level. A particular problem was the poor precision of geocoordinates for base stations and residences. The model is therefore suitable only for initial
classifications of exposure, and then only if the input data are sufficiently accurate.
Project E719 was concerned with retrospective estimation of RF exposure in INTERPHONE
study subjects. The objective was to determine individual cumulative absorbed energy from
mobile phone use at the anatomical location of the tumour for the cohort in the
INTERPHONE study (Wake et al. 2009, Cardis et al. 2008). Owing to the large number of
necessary calculations taking into account all used mobile phone technologies and phone
types it was impossible to determine the individual SAR distribution for all subjects. Mobile
phones were therefore first grouped in classes with similar SAR distribution profiles
(clustering). The only clustering that was found to be robust was based on a division
according to frequency band (800-900 MHz / 1500 MHz / 1800-1900 MHz). The normalized
generic spatial SAR distribution was determined for each class by means of calculations with
a large number of phones. This relative distribution was then linked with individual data on
duration of use, taking factors into account like power control, DTX, land-use class and use of
headsets. The influence of the user’s hand was not considered, however. For each subject the

16
17
18

19

Research project E9: Acute health effects by mobile telecommunication among children
Research project E10: Validation of the exposure surrogate of the cross-sectional study on base stations
Research project D7: Determination of the exposure of groups of people that will be investigated within the
scope of the project “Cross-sectional study for ascertainment and assessment of possible adverse effects by
the fields of mobile phone base stations”
Research project E7: Estimation of RF-exposure in INTERPHONE Study subjects

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

11

individual SAR distribution was weighted with the median SAR of all phones in the relevant
class rather than that of the particular phone used.
In view of the need for simplification to deal with the many types of phones, this is a
reasonable and practical procedure. Retrospective studies always involve uncertainties in
regard to individual factors. Nevertheless, it must be noted that some of the factors mentioned
in the report were inadequately explained and arbitrarily defined. There was no estimate of the
overall uncertainty for cumulative exposure. Consequently one cannot be sure to what degree
the values calculated in this way are reliable and whether they can be put to further use in the
INTERPHONE study.

1.2.2 Radio and television transmitters
The relation between incidence of childhood leukaemia and exposure to radio and television
transmitters was investigated in an epidemiological case-control study.20 The study was based
on the records of 1,959 children age 14 and younger in the German Childhood Cancer
Registry who contracted primary leukaemia between 1984 and 2003 and lived at some time in
the vicinity of 16 long-wave and medium-wave radio stations or 8 VHF TV stations in West
Germany. Controls, matched at a ratio of 1:3, were chosen from the population randomly by
age, sex, broadcast region and time of notification. The analysis of the data found no
statistically significant relationship between the risk of contracting leukaemia and exposure to
electromagnetic fields from radio and television transmitters. The same finding held when
AM and VHF/TV transmitters were considered separately.
The study is commendable for the epidemiological methods it used in selecting cases and
controls. Another particular strength was the way in which it determined individual
exposures. This was done by estimating the average exposure for residential addresses of the
subjects in the year before diagnosis and doing the same for the matched controls. The
estimates were based on a field strength modelling method that had originally been developed
to check the quality of broadcast services. This required historical data on the operating states
of the broadcasting stations. The estimation methods that were derived were validated by
means of comparisons with current and historical measurement data.
For the subsequent statistical analysis, exposure levels were divided into classes based on the
available data. Persons with exposure levels below the 90th percentile were regarded in the
analysis as non-exposed or low exposed. The authors justified this cut-off choice by referring
to the skewed distribution of the exposure data.

1.3 Thematic area: Dosimetry
At the time of the SSK report on the DMF in 2008 (SSK 2008), four projects in this thematic
area had not yet been completed. They dealt with the following topics:

20

Research project E5: Epidemiological study on childhood cancer and proximity to radio and television
transmitters

12

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use



Exposure in complex exposure scenarios (D12)



Dielectric properties of tissues at the cellular level (D13)



Influence of antenna and housing topologies on SAR (D14)



Exposure by ultra wideband technologies (D15)

The aim of research project D1221 was to develop a practical method of calculating SAR
values in complex exposure scenarios involving several different RF sources. The sources
considered were far from the body (mobile phone base stations and radio stations), near the
body (WLAN routers and DECT base units) and in contact with the body (mobile phones and
DECT phones). This issue is especially important in view of the rising number of highfrequency sources located at various distances from users (for example, short-range signal
transmission in residences as a replacement for cable connections, development of the
TETRA and LTE base station network). Current recommendations on restrictions give only
limited attention to superposition of radiation from these sources.
The researchers chose a modular approach to the problem. In Module A they created a
catalogue with several hundred calculated distributions of power absorbed by the body. The
catalogue distinguished between sources in contact with the body, sources near the body and
sources far from the body. In Module B, depending on how the user defined the real scenario,
each source under consideration was assigned an absorption distribution in the catalogue of
Module A. Transmission paths were analysed using well-established propagation models and
channel models, permitting the data to be weighted appropriately according to source,
personal environment and source environment. Finally, in Module C the weighted power
absorption distributions determined in Module B were summed for the whole body and
locally for 10 g of tissue. The values were given in relation to the mass in question, allowing
determination of whole-body SARs and maximum local SARs. These were compared with
existing limit values. The data in the catalogue can be used by non-experts to determine
emission levels from definitions of real scenarios, thus providing a simple alternative to
previous field theoretical analyses of tissue absorption, which only experts were able to apply.
The structure also permits new technologies, device usage scenarios and body models to be
included in the catalogue at a later time, in this way keeping the procedure up to date.
The calculation model represents a compromise between accuracy and practical applicability.
When applied to typical scenarios it confirms that sources far from the body, in contrast to
those near the body, generally have a negligible effect on total exposure. Exposure limits are
not exceeded through the accumulation of emissions from different sources. However, to
resolve this issue definitively it will be necessary to investigate a much larger number of
scenarios, especially those involving exposure to multiple nearby sources.

21

Research project D12: Development of a practicable computational procedure for the determination of the
actual exposure in complex exposure scenarios with several different RF-sources

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

13

Research project D1322 studied whether the dielectric properties observed in tissues at the
macroscopic level also hold without restriction at the cellular and subcellular levels. This
question is important in view of the debate on possible non-thermal effects in cells such as
resonances and non-linear processes. Dielectric measurements in the 100 MHz to 40 GHz
frequency range were carried out using the coaxial probe method for water, electrolyte
solutions, model membranes, blood, erythrocyte suspensions and cell suspensions at 20°C to
60°C. They were augmented by permeability measurements of model membranes, melanoma
cells, fibroblasts and keratinocytes using the patch-clamp technique and by theoretical
models.
With one exception, the dielectric measurements confirmed the dielectric behaviour of
electrolyte solutions and cell suspensions described in the literature. The exception occurred
in measurements of whole blood and erythrocytes. Here a weak additional relaxation was
observed at approx. 3 GHz, contributing to about 20% on conductivity. The reason for this
relaxation remained unclear, and the authors did not discuss the relevance of this observation
to the averaging procedure of SAR at the macroscopic level as prescribed in current standards
and recommendations.
In none of the biological systems analysed were the authors able to demonstrate non-linear
effects from externally applied fields, a condition for demodulation. In patch-clamp
measurements of three different human cell systems, performed up to SARs of 15 W/kg, no
reproducible gating effects on ion channel currents were found within the range of
measurement accuracy. Thus no effects on membrane permeability were demonstrated. No
signs were found of resonance phenomena in cell membranes, which would have pointed to
absorption processes in the cells.
Consequently, these investigations – with the exception of the one showing a weak additional
relaxation at 3 GHz in blood and erythrocyte suspensions – confirm the current state of
knowledge. It is unlikely, however, that the methods used would have been able to detect
potential and as yet unknown microscopic interactions between electromagnetic fields and
tissue.
Project D1423 investigated ways to lower the SARs in users of mobile telecommunication
devices by optimizing the design of the antenna and housing while not impairing
communication performance. The researchers applied finite difference time domain (FDTD)
calculations using a notebook with a plug-in card and Bluetooth adapter, a DECT base unit
and a WLAN router. For adults the Visible Human, a high-resolution phantom, was used as a
model. The adult model was scaled down for adolescents. In addition, a model of a sitting
person was generated by bending the knee, hip and elbow joints. A total of 46 different

22

23

Research project D13: Investigation of the question, if macroscopic dielectric properties of tissues have
unlimited validity at both cellular and subcellular levels
Research project D14: Study on the influence of antenna topologies and topologies of entire devices of
wireless communication terminals operated near the body on the resulting SAR values

14

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

configurations were observed, providing a realistic picture of user’s posture and the positions
of mobile devices in home and work environments.
The investigations showed that the mobile devices studied reached only a small percentage of
the exposure limit. In many cases the percentage was higher for local SAR than for wholebody SAR. The highest values generally occurred in the limbs (for sitting models in the
hands). In the most unfavourable scenario examined (notebook on the user’s lap) the wholebody SAR at maximum output power went up to approx. 11% of the exposure limit in
adolescents, and the local SAR was as high as approx. 37% of the limit in adults. By
optimizing mobile devices, in particular by changing the position of the antennas, it would be
possible to reduce SARs by a considerable amount without impairing transmission quality
(for example, moving the PCMCIA interface to the back of the notebook display would bring
a reduction of up to 80%). These results could be useful for exposure situations involving
multiple sources, especially in view of future developments in wireless communications.
An additional project, D15 24 , studied various ways of measuring exposure from ultra
wideband (UWB) technologies. It used both physical measurements and numerical methods.
For measurements in the far field of a UWB source, spectrum analysers are preferable to
oscilloscopes because they are more sensitive. At present, SAR measurements are impractical
owing to a lack of suitable tissue simulating liquids and probes. Measurements performed at a
distance of 15 cm from four different UWB devices showed time-averaged exposures of up to
0.32 mW/m². The peaks did not exceed 2.4 mW/m². Applications involving body contact
were studied primarily with numerical calculations. These yielded maximum SAR10g values
of 0.013 W/kg under worst-case conditions (100% exploitation of the transmission spectrum
permitted in Europe). These values would be 1-2 orders of magnitude lower under real
conditions (lower spectral efficiency). The maximum specific absorptions (SA10g) expected in
Europe are typically below 10-8 J/kg, representing only a small fraction of the applicable
exposure limits, as is the case with all other values. Thus UWB is of only minor importance in
comparison with other EMF sources in the home (WLAN, DECT). Although this technology
has only recently been introduced in Europe and measurements were available for only four
devices, the study provided a reliable assessment of exposure from UWB devices thanks to
the approach used.

2 Concluding assessment
In 2008, the SSK issued an initial evaluation of the DMF based on the findings available at
that time. A number of questions had to be left open. The present review continues this
assessment, augmenting it with findings from the projects completed since then.
All in all, the reports demonstrate that the projects were largely of high scientific quality.

24 Research project D15: Determination of exposure due to ultra-wideband technologies

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

15

The Commission on Radiological Protection originally recommended that the German Mobile
Telecommunication Research Programme address the following questions:


Does mobile phone radiation have a potential cancer-initiating or cancer-promoting
effect?



Does mobile phone radiation affect the blood-brain barrier?



Are there effects on neurophysiological and cognitive processes or on sleep?



Is there such a thing as electrosensitivity, and can mobile phone fields cause non-specific
health symptoms?



Does chronic exposure affect the blood and the immune system?



Does chronic exposure affect reproduction and development?



What levels of exposure are caused by wireless technologies?



Are children subjected to increased health risks?



How are the risks of electromagnetic fields perceived, and how can risk communication
be improved?

The present review examines these questions, taking the findings of the German Mobile
Telecommunication Research Programme and recently published international literature into
account.

2.1 Does mobile phone radiation have a potential cancer-initiating
or cancer-promoting effect?
The potential long-term effects of mobile phone use, especially as related to the initiation and
promotion of cancer, are of major importance for radiation protection. A large number of
epidemiological studies have addressed possible associations between EMF exposure and
cancer. In general they have not been able to come to clear conclusions about the potential
long-term effects of mobile phone use. This applies in particular to slow-growing tumours and
cancers with long latency periods, because the technology has not been in use for very long.
The analysis is complicated by methodological difficulties in determining exposure levels
(insufficient accuracy, inadequate consideration of background exposure, distortion caused by
inaccurate memory (“recall bias”), distortion arising from the choice of subjects). Additional
problems include identification of individual confounders, selection of a suitable control
group in case-control studies and definition of different exposure classes based on relative
distributions of exposure data for the purpose of further epidemiological analyses.
A number of epidemiological projects in the DMF focused on determining whether highfrequency electromagnetic fields are able to initiate or promote cancer.
One carefully executed case-control study, involving 1,959 patients age 14 and younger,
investigated possible relationships between childhood leukaemia and exposure to

16

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

electromagnetic fields from radio and television transmitters. It found no evidence of an
additional leukaemia risk from these sources. During roughly the same period, a case-control
study was carried out in South Korea. It investigated 1,928 children with leukaemia and 956
children with brain tumours, all below the age of 15, along with an equal number of hospital
controls. A corrected analysis (Ha et al. 2008) of the originally published data (Ha et al. 2007)
found no indications of an increased overall leukaemia risk. The analysis of different
exposure levels yielded two different results for the parameter “peak exposure” in the highest
exposure quartile: an increased risk of lymphatic leukaemias and a protective effect for
myeloid leukaemias. The authors did not discuss these findings in detail. A subsequent pooled
evaluation of the data from Germany and South Korea showed no relationship between highfrequency electromagnetic fields and childhood leukaemia (Schüz and Ahlbom 2008).
Outside of the DMF, studies of cancer risk in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations have
exhibited certain weaknesses. Two ecological studies, performed in Germany and Israel,
found that cancer incidence rates rose with increasing proximity to the base stations studied
(Eger et al. 2004, Wolf and Wolf 2004). Here it must be criticized that the findings were
based on small numbers of cases and that distance, an inadequate surrogate, was used as a
measure of exposure. A case-control study encompassing all registered cases of cancer in
children aged 0-4 in Great Britain in 1999-2001 found no relationship between the risk of
cancer in early childhood and estimated levels of maternal exposure to base stations during
pregnancy (Elliott et al. 2010). The study used three surrogate measures of exposure (distance
from the place of residence to the nearest base station, total power output of base stations
within 700 m of the address, and modelled power density derived from distance, base station
characteristics and geographical circumstances) but did not take other radio-frequency sources
into account. One weakness is that it did not measure actual exposure, and the first two
surrogates cannot be regarded as suitable.
In view of the fact that mainly the head is exposed during mobile phone use, many studies
concentrate on tumours in this part of the body. Initial indications of a possibly increased risk
of uveal melanoma (Stang et al. 2001) were followed up by a much more extensive study that
was co-financed by the DMF (Stang et al. 2009). No effects of mobile phone use were found
so that the previous results could not be confirmed.
The largest international study of mobile phone use and cancer to date is the INTERPHONE
study, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and
comprising 16 investigations from 13 countries. Besides evaluating data on tumour types and
locations, it recorded duration of mobile phone use (up to more than 10 years) and cumulative
information on the number and duration of calls. The data on mobile phone use were collected
by means of interviews. Most of the results have been published, and they were analysed by
Ahlbom et al. (2009). The results for the endpoints meningioma and glioma have now been
published (INTERPHONE 2010).
Reduced odds ratios, for the most part statistically significant, were found for both glioma and
meningioma, usually regardless of call time. The only statistically significant increase was

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

17

found for glioma, and only for the highest cumulative call time (> 1,640 hours). This lone
finding was not supported by the other data, however. No significant increases in odds ratios
were found to be associated with increases in cumulative numbers of calls or years of use (in
fact, the odds ratios here were always lower than those of the control group). In view of the
implausibility of protective effects from mobile phone use, the authors suspected systematic
biases in the collection of data. Among the possibilities discussed in detail were biases arising
through interviewing of relatives (proxies) in cases where the patients themselves were no
longer able to answer questions or had already died. In addition, there were implausible
values of reported use (for example, more than 12 hours per day, a figure given only by
persons diagnosed with tumours or by their proxies), errors in recollection (recall bias) and
differences in the degree of participation by healthy controls and patients (participation bias).
Finally, for both meningioma and glioma the data showed odds ratios that were often
significantly lower for the side of the head opposite to where the phone was used, another
implausible finding that could be explained by recall bias. Overall, the results of the
INTERPHONE study did not point to any link between mobile phone use and the incidence
of brain tumours (glioma and meningioma).
Methodological uncertainties in recording exposure were also evident in the two dosimetric
studies relevant to epidemiology that were supported by the DMF. The retrospective
estimation of exposure in the INTERPHONE study and the validation of the exposure
surrogate used in cross-sectional studies of non-specific health symptoms both showed that
the methods can and must be improved.
The report of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM 2010), which covered studies up
to 2010, concluded that a short-term risk of of mobile phone use on brain tumours can be
excluded with a high degree of certainty. The study noted that if the use of mobile phones
were a long-term risk, incidence data would have indicated increasing rates by now, unless
the risk is very small. Two reports, SCENIHR (2009) and SSM (2010), called attention to the
lack of long-term studies on the risk of brain tumours, especially among children. The WHO
likewise sees a need for prospective cohort studies on children’s health including cancer
(WHO 2010, van Deventer et al. 2011). It proposed determining the incidence of brain
tumours from data in cancer registries and investigating possible relationships with ecological
exposure data, in this way avoiding the difficulties encountered in previous studies with
monitoring individual exposure plus the problem of low willingness to participate. This
approach, however, has the drawback that it permits chance misclassifications of exposure,
leading to underestimation of potential effects (Brunekreef 2008, Röösli 2007). It would not
throw sufficient light on health problems related to mobile phone exposure because the effects
discovered would be only minor.
A multinational (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland) case-control study of 352
children and adolescents (age 7–19) with brain tumours and 646 controls matched by age, sex
and region (CEFALO) found no association between mobile phone use and risk of brain
tumours (Aydin et al. 2011). The authors concluded from their findings, which showed no
exposure-response relationship in terms of the amount of mobile phone use or the tumour

18

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

location, that there was no causal connection. In 2010, collection of data began for an
additional international case-control study on the relationship between the incidence of brain
tumours and the use of communication devices, including mobile phones, by young people
age 10 to 24 (MOBI-KIDS). The study is expected to take five years. A total of 2,000 patients
with brain tumours from 13 countries, including Germany, will be recruited along with a
control group of equal size.
In addition to these large-scale case-control studies of brain tumours in young people, a
prospective cohort study is currently under way to investigate incidence rates and mortality
rates for various diseases (cancer, benign tumours, neurological diseases and cerebrovascular
diseases) as well as changes in the frequency of unspecific symptoms such as headaches and
sleep quality (Schüz et al. 2011). The study, which plans to follow a cohort of approx.
250,000 mobile phone users age 18 and older for more than 25 years, is being carried out in
Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (COSMOS). Germany
is not participating because of problems brought to light by a DMF-supported feasibility
study. It was shown that although an investigation with such a design would be possible in
principle, the low willingness to participate would require contacting an unrealistically high
number of mobile phone users in order to ensure sufficient participation.
Another feasibility study supported by the DMF25 addressed the question whether persons
with occupational exposure to high-frequency fields have an increased risk of illness. It
concluded that it would not be possible to develop a suitable design for an epidemiological
study of this kind and gave a number of reasons, including cohort size, mixture of exposure
from different sources and measurement of exposure.
To sum up, the vast majority of epidemiological studies have found no evidence of a
relationship between mobile phone use and cancer. Methodologically, it remains difficult to
study long-term mobile phone use and the resultant induction of cancer with a long latency
period. This problem has been exacerbated by significant changes in technologies and
exposure conditions in recent years.
There has been considerable interest in understanding the basic mechanisms of EMF exposure
in order to better assess the long-term effects of mobile telephony. If it were possible to
demonstrate a genotoxic effect or an effect on gene regulation and to interpret it by a plausible
mechanism such as that known for ionizing radiation, this would point to carcinogenic effects
from mobile phone fields. This is the reason why so many groups of investigators have
addressed the issue in the past. The SSK did so at a very early date and concluded in a
detailed statement that the existing literature did not contain sufficient evidence of genotoxic
effects or effects on gene regulation below the applicable exposure limits (SSK 2007a). In the
meantime a number of new publications on this topic have appeared. In a detailed survey
article Verschaeve et al. (2010) reported that unrecorded temperature increases can give rise
to so-called athermal effects in some cases. They concluded that recent studies had failed to
25

Research project E1: Feasibility study for a cohort study: the cohort study should investigate highly exposed
(occupational) groups to estimate the risk associated with high frequency electromagnetic fields

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

19

provide a consistent picture. According to the authors, the evidence for genotoxic effects from
mobile phone fields is weak. An interlaboratory study carried out as part of the DMF
investigated various experimental indicators of possible genotoxic effects in stimulated
human lymphocytes. Although there were considerable differences between the results
obtained by the participating laboratories, the vast majority of experiments found no
genotoxic effects.
In principle, changes in gene regulation could play a role in cancer promotion. For this reason
it is important to determine whether fields generated by mobile communication systems have
such an effect. Here, too, an extensive body of literature is available, but no definitive
conclusions are yet possible. Studies of gene regulation require even greater precision with
regard to exposure and dosimetry than those concerned with direct alteration of genetic
information, because small thermal effects can have significant consequences. This applies in
particular to heat shock proteins. It has even been asserted that their activation is a clear sign
of thermal effects (Gaestel 2010).
In recent years studies of gene expression have been applying modern methods in genomics,
which are considered by many researchers to be very useful in the detection of non-thermal
effects. The experiments have focused in particular on genome-wide screening of gene
activity with the aid of microarrays, a procedure that generates large volumes of data. For
statistical reasons there is a risk of producing false-positive findings, making it necessary to
validate the results using independent methods such as RT-PCR and Western blotting. In a
comprehensive overview Vanderstraeten and Verschaeve (2008) concluded that the studies
conducted up to that time did not carry a clear message, especially in view of the lack of
convincing theoretical arguments and experimental evidence for an influence on gene activity
by mobile communication fields. The extensive and carefully executed DMF project26 on this
issue confirmed these reservations; no significant changes in gene activity were found at low
SARs. This was in basic agreement with the findings obtained in the previous reporting
period related to effects on the blood-brain barrier.27 Here too, no significant effects on gene
regulation were observed.
There is a general lack of systematic studies investigating cytotoxic and genotoxic effects at
the cellular level for a wide range of parameters. Most of them examine only few parameters
as the comet assay and the micronucleus test.. None have found evidence of mutagenicity as a
result of exposures near the recommended limits. Mutagenicity, however, is a necessary
condition for cancer induction as most carcinogenic agents also have a mutagenic effect.
Among other deficits, researchers have neglected to use established methods with bacterial
test systems, observe colony formation and record changes in the cell cycle. Although
individual studies have been devoted to these questions, such as mutations (Hamnerius et al.
1985, Chang et al. 2005, Koyama et al. 2007), a general conclusion does not emerge since the
authors work with different exposure scenarios. The available data do not form a coherent
26
27

Research project B21: Influence of GSM signals on isolated human blood B. Differential gene expression
Research project B10: In vitro experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. C. Blood-brain barrier

20

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

picture. Nevertheless, the majority of the published results lend no support to the hypothesis
that mobile communication fields below the exposure limits have genotoxic effects.
The animal studies carried out in the DMF likewise found no evidence of cancer-initiating or
cancer-promoting effects. These recent results are in agreement with previously completed or
published DMF projects and with the findings presented in reviews of the international
literature (surveys by Sommer et al. 2010 and Tillmann et al. 2010). The results corroborate
the general view that high-frequency electromagnetic fields are unlikely to have damaging
effects. Of particular importance is the fact that the worst-case scenarios, including those
involving prolonged exposure over several generations near the limit levels, showed no
effects on fertility, mortality or development of progeny, and no relation to other endpoints.
Although animal studies have the general limitation of not being directly transferable to
humans, these negative findings, in particular those showing an absence of reproducible
carcinogenic effects, agree with the results of in vitro studies and thus yield a consistent
picture.
In summary, the projects conducted in the DMF have shown no evidence of cancer-initiating
or cancer-promoting effects. Thus they are in agreement with most published studies and have
provided important additional information.
The SSK weighed the overall evidence for a potential association between mobile phone
exposure and carcinogenicity by assessing the diverse scientific approaches (physical
interaction mechanisms, biological interaction mechanisms, dose effect, in vitro studies, in
vivo studies and epidemiological studies) (SSK 2011). It found the evidence from physical
interaction mechanisms to be insufficient (E0), and for biological interaction mechanisms the
data were unreliable to make a classification (D1). The evidence from dose effect
relationships was insufficient (E0), and the data in in vitro studies were inconsistent (D2). For
both in vivo studies and epidemiological studies there was insufficient evidence (E0). Taken
together, the studies thus give insufficient evidence for a carcinogenicity of mobile phone
exposure (Table 1).
Table 1: Overall assessment of evidence related of the evidence of microwaves (MW)
(SSK 2011)
MW

Physical
interaction
mechanisms

Biological
interaction
mechanisms

Dose
effect

In vitro
studies

In vivo
studies

Epidemiological
studies

Total
evidence

Evidence

E0

D1

E0

D2

E0

E0

E0

E0: Lack or insufficient evidence for the existence or non-existance of causality: This applies if only a limited number of
studies is available, but they predominantly report a lack of a statistically significant association between exposure and
carcinogenicity. The studies may be of limited size with an insufficient number of different endpoints but must have been
performed with sufficient methodical quality. Furthermore, the results must have been reproduced, at least in part, by
independent groups. Bias and confounding should be low. It must be possible to explain the results in terms of established
theoretical knowledge.

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

21

D1: Unreliable data: This applies if available studies are of insufficient size and were performed with insufficient methodical
quality, with an insufficient number of different endpoints. Bias and confounding are probable.
D2: Inconsistent data: This applies if studies report conflicting or inconsistent results relating to an association between
exposure and carcinogenicity. These studies have not been reproduced by independent groups, and bias and confounding
cannot be excluded.

This assessment by the SSK differs from that of the International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO). In its session of May 2011
the IARC classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) as “possibly
carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B). A summary report by the IARC (Baan et al. 2011)
found “limited evidence” of carcinogenicity from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields,
basing its conclusion on positive associations between both glioma and acoustic neuroma and
radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and cordless phones. It also
found “limited evidence” of carcinogenicity in the results of animal experiments.
In its assessment of glioma and acoustic neuroma the the results of the INTERPHONE study
(INTERPHONE 2010, Cardis et al. 2011), a report by a Swedish group (Hardell et al. 2011)
and a report by a Japanese group (Sato et al. 2011) were relevant for IARC.
Two articles (Cardis et al. 2011, Larjavaara et al. 2011) reported on subgroups from the
INTERPHONE study sample. Cardis et al. (2011) found a suggested higher risk of glioma
and, to a lesser degree, of meningioma in long-term users of phones, depending on the amount
of high-frequency energy absorbed at the tumour location. Energy absorption was estimated
with the help of a model. An uncertainty analysis was lacking, however, providing no way to
judge the reliability of the estimates and their suitability for evaluations in the INTERPHONE
study (see also section 1.2.1). Larjavaara et al. (2011) reported from their analyses that glioma
did not preferentially occur in those brain regions which, based on the distance between the
centre of the glioma and the source of exposure (typical reported mobile phone position), had
the highest expected field strength. However, Larjavaara et al. (2011) were only cited in the
IARC press release of 31 May 2011 and not in the related Lancet article (Baan et al. 2011). In
contrast, Cardis et al. (2011), who found an association, were cited in the Lancet article (Baan
et al. 2011). The article additionally cited Sato et al. (2011), who reported ipsilateral acoustic
neuroma associated with calls longer than 20 minutes. The authors cast doubt on these results,
however (“This increased risk should be interpreted with caution …”). The INTERPHONE
publication on acoustic neuroma (INTERPHONE 2011) likewise is very sceptical about the
association reported for the group with the highest exposure (“This increase could be due to
chance, reporting bias or a causal effect”). In the report summarizing the INTERPHONE
project (INTERPHONE 2010) the authors, some of whom had participated in the abovementioned studies, saw no increased risk of glioma or meningioma from mobile phone use.
The members of the IARC group do not quote this conclusion in the Lancet article (Baan et
al. 2011).
Re-examining the pooled results of their previous studies in Sweden, Hardell et al. (2011)
found indications of a relationship between the latency period until occurrence of brain
tumours and cumulative exposure to mobile phone radiation. One shortcoming of the studies

22

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

by this working group is that exposure was determined by means of questionnaires sent by
post, which were filled in by the subjects or family members. Methodologically, this is a great
disadvantage in comparison to studies that use trained interviewers. In addition, the criteria
for excluding subjects and forming case groups were problematic (Ahlbom et al. 2009).
Finally, there is a contradiction between the very strong effects observed by Hardell et al. and
the fact that brain tumour incidence rates have not increased in recent decades (Swerdlow et
al. 2011).
In concluding that animal experiments showed an association between cancer and exposure to
mobile phone radiation, the IARC relied on positive results from only three studies
(Repacholi et al. 1997, Szmigielski et al. 1982, Hruby et al. 2008), as compared to a large
number of negative results from other studies (it evaluated a total of more than 40). In the
opinion of the SSK, the three studies had a number of weaknesses. The findings reported in
the study by Repacholi et al. (1997) could not be verified by Utteridge et al. 2002 and Oberto
et al. 2007 (see also SSK 2007a). The second study that was cited (Szmigielski et al. 1982,
submitted in 1980) investigated the effects of 2450 MHz EMFs on tumour incidence
(spontaneous mammary gland tumours and chemically induced skin cancer) in mice. Here the
authors reported mean whole-body SARs of 2–8 W/kg, which thus were partly in the thermal
range. The study, which was conducted more than 30 years ago, determined SARs using
dosimetry that today can no longer be considered accurate. The third study (Hruby et al.
2008) was likewise unsuitable for demonstrating a relationship between EMF exposure and
DMBA-induced cancer in rats, as the authors themselves admitted. There was no recognizable
dose-effect relationship in the tumour rates, and the highest rates were found in the unexposed
cage controls, leading the authors to call the results “rather incidental”.
Having examined the studies cited by the IARC, the SSK therefore reiterates its conclusion
(SSK 2007a) that the data do not point to a relationship between mobile phone exposure and
the initiation or promotion of cancer.
At present there is no immediate need for additional research in epidemiology, as the results
of ongoing studies (COSMOS, MOBI-KIDS) are still being awaited. What is needed is a
comprehensive study of possible genotoxic effects employing as many of the available tests
as possible (Albertini et al. 2000, Brendler-Schwaab et al. 2004). Here it is important to
ensure high standards of quality assurance and quality control. The multi-centre studies
carried out in the past did not always do so because they were limited to small numbers of
experimental endpoints (PERFORM-B [Stronati et al. 2006], REFLEX [EU 2004]). This
applies to the projects supported by the DMF28,29 as well.
The SSK recommends that future EMF research rely more on hypothesis-driven studies.
Hypotheses about effects should be investigated in connection with basic research, taking
established knowledge of radiation biology into account.

28
29

Research project B16: Possible genotoxic effects of GSM signals on isolated human blood
Research project B21: Influence of GSM signals on isolated human blood B. Differential gene expression

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

23

2.2 Does mobile phone radiation affect the blood-brain barrier?
Three DMF projects, based on different experimental approaches, were devoted to studying
the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). All of them came to the conclusion that the
blood-brain barrier is not affected by mobile phone fields in the range of currently existing
exposure limits. This applied to functional parameters like permeability and to the expression
of relevant genes. The studies, which adhered to high scientific standards throughout, thus did
not confirm previously published findings related to effects on the BBB.
Only one study in the recent literature observed an effect on the blood-brain barrier
(Eberhardt et al. 2008). The strongest effects were found with the lowest SARs rather than
with the highest ones. This contradicted the findings reported previously by the same
laboratory.
In a detailed discussion of this topic, the authors of a report by the Swedish Radiation Safety
Authority (SSM 2009) similarly concluded that the changes in the blood-brain barrier
observed by one working group had not been confirmed by other groups, thus raising doubts
about the validity of the earlier findings. EFHRAN (2010) reached the same conclusion, as
did two other reviews (Stam 2010, Perrin et al. 2010). In this connection it must be remarked
that the permeability of the blood-brain barrier can be affected by rises in temperature as
small as 1 °C (Stam 2010), making it necessary to perform experiments in a very careful
manner.
The projects in the DMF did not find any effects on the BBB, even though they used new
methodological approaches. Thus the DMF was able to make an important contribution to this
debate. All in all, there does not exist sufficient evidence that exposure to mobile phone fields
below the exposure limits can affect the blood-brain barrier. Further research on this topic is
therefore not required.

2.3 Are there effects on neurophysiological and cognitive
processes or on sleep?
Studies of possible effects by electromagnetic fields from mobile communications on the
central nervous system (CNS) must distinguish between effects on the brain when it is
relatively at rest and those when it is active according to cognitive demands. In the former
case a further distinction can be made between a state in which exogenous factors are largely
absent (sleep) and one in which the brain is awake but relaxed. In addition, one must
distinguish between studies based on physiological parameters such as sleep EEG and those
based on subjective assessments of sleep quality (see 2.4). The latter assessments can deviate
to varying degrees from measurements of sleep quality. They are discussed together with
other subjective parameters related to non-specific health symptoms.

24

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

2.3.1 Sensory organs
Three studies on the function of sensory organs were completed in the previous reporting
period (SSK 2008). Two projects were concerned with the auditory system 30,31 and one with
the visual system32. The studies, which applied a variety of methods, largely ruled out effects
by mobile phone fields on vision and hearing; in particular, there was no evidence that EMF
exposure could cause tinnitus.

2.3.2 EEG
2.3.2.1 Sleep EEG
Studies of effects on brain activity during sleep have yielded inconsistent results. Three
projects in the DMF33,34,35 came to the conclusion that mobile communication fields do not
impair sleep. In particular, they failed to confirm the increase in EEG power at spindle
frequencies during NREM sleep that was repeatedly observed (but at different times of the
night) by a Swiss group led by Achermann (see Regel et al. 2007 and other studies). The
discrepancies in the results obtained by these studies, all of which used correct
methodologies, can possibly be explained by different exposure scenarios. The study
conducted in the DMF exposed subjects throughout the night, whereas the Swiss group, with
few exceptions, exposed its subjects 30 minutes before the onset of sleep. Another difference
was the size of the exposed brain region; in the Swiss studies the region was much larger.
The studies primarily used signals and SARs typical of mobile phones. They also used SARs
typical of base stations, which are similar to those that occur with mobile phones.
Whereas studies of high methodological quality have consistently failed to observe effects of
electromagnetic fields from mobile phones on sleep architecture, a Swedish study of persons
who attributed their complaints to mobile communication observed a significant reduction in
deep sleep time and an associated increase of deep sleep latency following exposure (Lowden
et al. 2011). In addition, the study recorded a significant increase in stage 2 of NREM sleep.
Since there was no increase in sleep latency, no wakeafter sleep onset, and no increase in the
percentage of light sleep, these results cannot necessarily be interpreted as signs of sleep
disturbance.

30

31

32

33

34

35

Research project B11: Possible influence of high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile communication
systems on the induction and course of phantom auditory experience (tinnitus)
Research project B18: Influence of high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications on
sensory organs. A. The auditory system
Research project B12: Influence of high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications on
sensory organs. B. The visual system
Research project B19: Studies of the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile
phones on volunteers
Research project B5: Investigation of sleep quality of electrohypersensitive persons living near base stations
under residential conditions
Research project B20: Investigation of sleep quality in persons living near a mobile base station –
Experimental study on the evaluation of possible psychological and physiological effects under residential
conditions

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

25

At present it is not possible to make a final statement about effects on sleep EEG. Hence there
is a need for continued research. This was also the conclusion reached by the Swedish
Radiation Safety Authority (SSM 2010). The first step could be to encourage increased
cooperation, including comparative parallel studies, among the groups working on this topic.
In addition, there should be studies covering persons of all ages, from childhood to old age, in
order to identify possible age-dependent effects.

2.3.2.2 Relaxed waking (resting) EEG
The literature has described effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields on EEG power not
only for sleep but also for waking EEG. Here the alpha frequency band (the basic rhythm of
the resting EEG in approx. 85% of the population) seems to be involved. Many older studies
must be criticized for methodological reasons (one reason being a simple-blind exposure
design), and recent studies are to some extent contradictory. In the study supported by the
DMF36 a time-of-day effect was more pronounced than an exposure effect. A study by Croft
et al. (2010) investigated age dependence of the exposure effect on EEGs in the alpha band
for GSM and UMTS. Whereas no changes were observed for UTMS exposure and the DMF
study also showed no effects, the Australian study (Croft et al. 2010) observed an effect on
the alpha power in the resting EEGs of 19- to 40-year-olds. It found no such effects among
adolescents (age 13-15) and older persons (age 55-70), however.
A study by Vecchio et al. (2010) also found an age-dependent EMF effect on alpha activity in
waking EEGs. Here older persons (age 47-84) were shown to have a statistically significantly
higher interhemispheric coherence of the frontal and temporal alpha rhythm than younger
persons (age 20-37). This might point to an increase in age-related synchronization of the
dominant EEG rhythm under exposure.
For resting EEGs in the waking state, as in the case of sleep EEGs, there is a need for more
research. This applies especially to possible age-dependent effects. Such studies must take
care to follow strict experimental protocols (Regel and Achermann 2011).

2.3.3 Cognitive functions
Studies of the influence of electromagnetic fields on cognitive functions can be divided into
those which evaluate behaviour parameters (reaction times and/or false or missing reactions to
stimuli) and those which observe stimulus-coupled EEG changes.
The DMF-supported study, which included statistical time-of-day monitoring, observed no
significant effects of GSM or UMTS exposure on event-related and slow EEG potentials
(contingent negative variation [CNV], readiness potential [RP], slow potential in a visual
monitoring task [VMT] and auditory evoked potential [AEP]). There have been relatively few
studies in this area, and the results do not yield a consistent picture. A study by Tommaso et
al. (2009) observed a decreased amplitude of the CNV, diffusely distributed over the scalp, in
36

Research project B19: Studies of the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile
phones on volunteers

26

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

a total of 10 persons (age 20-31) during exposure. The authors interpreted their results as the
consequence of reduced arousal and expectation of warning stimuli, explainable in terms of
effects by both the GSM signal and the ELF magnetic field produced by the battery and
internal circuits.
Studies of auditory evoked potentials in children (Kwon et al. 2010a) and young adults
(Kwon et al. 2009, Kwon et al. 2010b) found no effects by electromagnetic fields from mobile
phones. Double-blind procedures were not used, however, at least in the study of children.
The DMF study B19 37 investigated EEG changes, reaction times and error frequencies in
subjects who were given cognitive tasks. The results revealed no effect by electromagnetic
fields from mobile communications (GSM and UMTS) on cognitive functions, but they did
show the necessity of taking the time of day into account in such studies (see also Sauter et al.
2011). Two survey articles, published in 2009 (van Rongen et al. 2009) and 2010 (Valentini et
al. 2010), and a meta-analysis (Barth et al. 2011) likewise concluded that electromagnetic
fields from mobile communications do not affect cognitive functions. This was shown to
apply to both children and adults (van Rongen et al. 2009).
Very carefully performed rat experiments using long-term exposure (0.4 W/kg, GSM 900
MHz, UMTS 1966 MHz)38 showed no impairment of memory and learning. Although this
finding cannot be simply transferred to humans, it suggests that such effects are unlikely. As
important as these results are, one cannot say that final answers to these questions have been
given.
One study with long-term exposure (918 MHz, 0.25 W/kg SAR, 2 hours per day) of
transgenic Alzheimer model mice found a significant improvement in memory and cognitive
performance in comparison to a non-exposed control group (Arendash et al. 2010). It will be
necessary, however, to replicate these results using an improved design and larger groups.
A study of Wistar rats exposed to UMTS signals (0, 2 and 10 W/kg SAR) for a period of 120
minutes showed no differences at an exposure rate of 2 W/kg from the sham-exposed group in
hippocampal derived synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD),
indicators of memory storage and memory consolidation. In contrast, at an exposure rate of 10
W/kg significant reductions of LTP and LTD were observed (Prochnow et al. 2011). The
authors conclude that UMTS exposure at a rate of 2 W/kg is not harmful to markers for
memory storage and memory consolidation. At higher exposures, however, effects occur that
can be distinguished from the stress-derived background.
The WHO has called for further animal experiments on the effects of RF exposure on ageing
and neurodegenerative diseases. In epidemiology it sees a need for case-control studies of
37

38

Research project B19: Studies of the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile
phones on volunteers
Research project B9: In vivo experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication. A. Long-term study. Sub-project: Studies of learning and memory performance as
measured by operant behaviour

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

27

patients with neurological or neurodegenerative diseases and for provocation studies of
children in different age groups (WHO 2010, van Deventer et al. 2011). The SSK supports
these recommendations and additionally recommends provocation studies on possible effects
of electromagnetic fields on brain function in ageing patients (including sleep EEG and
resting EEG). Such studies would add to our understanding of structural and functional
changes that are known to occur in the brain with increasing age and can ultimately result in
neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Studies into the possible cognitive effects of EMF exposure must use reliable dosimetry and
apply well-designed exposure protocols. In addition, they must pay attention to numerous
other factors that can affect the test results. These include exposure design (crossover vs.
parallel group design, exposure before or during testing, avoidance of carryover effects),
selection of test subjects (age, sex, inclusion and exclusion criteria), consumption of
caffeinated beverages and alcohol, motivation, test sequence and duration, and time of day. In
a study of 30 young men, Sauter et al. (2011) showed that after correcting for multiple testing
the time of day was the only factor that affected the results of cognitive tests; exposure had no
effect.

2.4 Is there such a thing as electrosensitivity, and can mobile
phone fields cause non-specific health symptoms?
The DMF supported two epidemiological studies on the possible relationship between sleep
disorders, headaches, general physical complaints and physical/mental quality of life on the
one hand and exposure to electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations on the
other. The first study, which included more than 30,000 persons and used a surrogate measure
of exposure based on geo-coordinates, found no connection between EMF exposure and
adverse health effects or non-specific health symptoms. An in-depth study of 1,326 persons,
which measured EMF exposure in bedrooms, likewise found no such connection.
Observations of children yielded the same results. A DMF study 39 of acute health effects
caused by mobile communications, which included measurements of individual exposure over
24 hours, found no consistent relationship. In contrast, studies of adults showed that persons
who attribute their non-specific health symptoms to mobile phone base stations more often
tend to report health problems. This can be interpreted as a nocebo effect similar to that
observed in another DMF project 40.
Negative expectations can influence the results of studies on the effects of EMF exposure on
non-specific health symptoms. This has been observed not only in epidemiological studies,
but also in provocation studies of persons with self-reported “electrosensitivity” (also called
idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields, IEI-EMF) (WHO
2005). In their review of 46 blind or double-blind provocation studies comprising a total of
1,175 persons with IEI-EMF, Rubin et al. (2010) found no convincing evidence that
39
40

Research project E9: Acute health effects by mobile telecommunication among children
Research project B20: Investigation of sleep quality in persons living near a mobile base station –
Experimental study on the evaluation of possible psychological and physiological effects under residential
conditions

28

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

electromagnetic fields can cause the symptoms reported by these persons. In many cases there
were indications that nocebo effects sufficed to explain the acute symptoms reported by such
persons.
In this connection one must ask about the factors underlying “electrosensitivity” or
“electromagnetic hypersensitivity” (EHS), in which people feel exposed to severe health
hazards. In its Fact Sheet the WHO states the following: “EHS is characterized by a variety of
non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly
real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever its cause, EHS can be a disabling
problem for the affected individual. EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no
scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical
diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem.” (WHO 2005).
The DMF established four projects to investigate this phenomenon. Three of them, completed
in 2008, found no solid evidence of “electrosensitivity”41,42,43. These projects did not always
have precisely defined selection criteria, however, a fact which made comparisons among
them difficult. Project B 1344 was designed to look into the additional question of a possible
connection between EHS and psychosomatic factors. Again, unfortunately, the groups of
subjects were not clearly defined, thus limiting the value of the results. The study did not
confirm the hypothesis of a difference between “electrosensitive” persons and controls in
regard to the parameters studied. The conclusion remains valid that there is no objective
evidence for the phenomenon of “electrosensitivity”.
This conclusion is in agreement with statements by a number of international bodies
(SCENIHR 2009, EFHRAN 2010, SSM 2009).
Thus, although the target groups were defined and recruited in different ways, one must
conclude in agreement with the international literature that “electrosensitivity”, understood as
a direct effect of EMF exposure, most likely does not exist. Further research on this topic
should therefore be carried out beyond the sphere of EMF research.
In epidemiological studies of cancer and other health endpoints it is essential to measure
exposure as exactly as possible while, at the same time, taking as many influencing factors as
possible into account (including expectations in particular). Data are best collected using a
prospective study design. Prospective studies must start with a large cohort, however, making
them personnel-intensive and costly. They also require a high degree of compliance from
participants. A feasibility study has shown that cohort studies of this kind cannot be carried
out in Germany owing to low willingness to participate.
41

42

43
44

Research project B14: Investigation of the phenomenon of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” using an
epidemiological study on “electrosensitive” patients including the determination of clinical parameters
Research project B5: Investigation of sleep quality of electrohypersensitive persons living near base stations
under residential conditions
Research project R3: Supplementary information about electromagnetic hypersensitive persons
Research project B13: Investigation of electrosensitive persons with regard to accompanying factors or
diseases, such as allergies and increased exposure or sensitivity to heavy metals and chemicals

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

29

2.5 Does chronic exposure affect the blood and the immune
system?
A number of older studies, especially from Russia, postulated that fields from mobile phones
could have negative effects on the immune system (see Poulletier de Gannes et al. 2009).
Recent experiments using modern experimental approaches have not been able to confirm
these suppositions. Long-term studies with laboratory rodents carried out in the DMF found
no cases of such effects. Thus it is permissible to conclude in agreement with studies by other
authors that mobile phone fields have no effect on the immune system.
The many investigations of effects on various blood parameters (e.g. reticulocytes, “moneyroll effect”), allegedly found in comparisons before and after the construction of mobile
phone base stations, have been described by the Robert Koch Institute as “speculative and not
based on a validated diagnostic approach” (RKI 2006).

2.6 Does chronic exposure affect reproduction and development?
The results of a multi-generation study of laboratory rodents (SSK 2008) were already
summarized in the 2008 statement by the SSK (SSK 2008). 45 The study, which observed
reproductive processes and development in four successive generations of animals exposed
throughout the experiment to high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, found no evidence of
adverse effects. These findings have now been confirmed by a further DMF study.
Comparable studies are lacking in the recent literature. Certain aspects of reproduction in
laboratory animals exposed to fields, namely effects on sperm cells, were studied by Dasdag
et al. (2008) and Yan et al. (2007). Whereas Dasdag et al. observed no effects, Yan et al.
reported an increased sperm cell death rate at SARs of 1 W/kg. Both studies, however, had
inadequate exposure setups and deficiencies in dosimetry. Hence no definitive conclusions
can be drawn from them.
According to the findings of DMF studies, it is highly improbable that exposure to mobile
phones below the exposure limits can have adverse effects on reproduction and development.
The SSK sees at present no need for further research in this area.

2.7 What levels of exposure are caused by wireless technologies?
In the context of the DMF, researchers developed and validated methods for measuring and
calculating maximum and average levels of public exposure. They examined stationary
transmission facilities (GSM and UMTS base stations, analogue and digital radio and
television transmitters, WLAN access points and DECT base units) as well as mobile devices
(GSM and UMTS mobile phones, WLAN and DECT handsets, UWB devices). Uniform
measurement procedures are especially important in view of the need to compare different
measurement series.

45

Research project B22: Long-term study on the effects of UMTS signals on laboratory rodents

30

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

The peak ambient exposure from stationary transmission facilities in areas accessible to the
public was found to be only a few percent of the power density exposure limit. Often the
levels were in the range of 0.1% or less of the limit. For mobile phone base stations and for
radio and television transmitters, both analogue and digital, the distance from the transmitter
was found to be unsuitable as a predictor of the actual exposure situation. Of much greater
importance was the position of the measurement point in relation to the main beam and the
question whether it was in the line of sight of the transmission facility.
In their study of numerical predictions of individual exposure, the researchers found that
accuracy depended to a large extent on the quality and level of detail of the input parameters
as well as the propagation model chosen. They developed a practicable computational
procedure for determining SAR values in complex exposure scenarios, thus laying the
groundwork for evaluating exposure to multiple sources at different distances from the user.
They showed that simplified numerical methods of predicting ambient exposure in
epidemiological studies were useful at best for making a basic division into exposed and nonexposed groups, even when the model included the position of the measurement point in
relation to the main beam and the question of a line-of-sight connection. Moreover, even for
this it was necessary to have input data of sufficient quality. Portable dosimeters, which make
it possible to record individual exposure profiles, now offer a new way to measure exposure
to high-frequency radiation. Their accuracy (including sensitivity, frequency selectivity and
correction for shadowing by the bearer) must be improved, however. Reliable measurement
methods for large-scale exposure studies exist only rudimentary at present. They must be
refined and validated.
A project for determining ambient exposure before and after the change from analogue TV to
DVB-T showed that the change to digital transmission technology did not always lead to
reduced exposure and in some circumstances even increased it. Important factors to consider
here are changes in installed transmit power and in network configuration.
For base stations, several numerical studies conducted outside of the DMF have shown that in
worst-case conditions basic restrictions (whole-body-averaged SARs) can be exceeded in
children and small persons shorter than 1.5 m in the case of whole-body exposures at the
reference levels. These effects were observed at frequencies of about 100 MHz and in the
range of 1-4 GHz (Dimbylow and Bolch 2007, Conil et al. 2008, Kuehn et al. 2009, Christ et
al. 2011). A study using anatomically correct numerical models of children and taking agedependent tissue parameters into account (Christ et al. 2011) found that basic restrictions were
exceeded by 30% at 100 MHz and by more than 50% between 1.5 and 4 GHz. These results
showed that the assumed relationship between basic restrictions and reference levels in these
frequency ranges is inconsistent.
For wireless devices, dosimetric studies have shown that when used close to the body they
cause much higher exposures than do stationary transmission facilities. Reference levels can
be exceeded for some mobile phones and babyphones used near the body, but here too the
exposures are below the basic restrictions. It must be emphasized, however, that the SSK does

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

31

not consider it acceptable that the emission of a single source is permitted to use up the
exposure limit to its full extent (SSK 2007b).
Power control in mobile phones can generally reduce exposures below the SAR values
measured according to the relevant standards. The power level depends on the network
structure and network operator, and can be restricted by the operator. By optimizing handsets,
in particular by changing the antenna position, SARs can be considerably reduced without
impairing transmission quality. Studies in partially shielded rooms such as cars and trains
have shown that mobile phones can produce SARs in nearby non-users that are as much as 10
times those of outdoors. Even with this additional exposure, however, the total level remains
very low. These findings refute studies which, based on simplified theoretical considerations,
have reported exposures exceeding the limits in partially shielded rooms. Increases in SAR
can occur only if a mobile phone is used near reflecting metal structures, in which case the
exposure can be up to 50% higher than otherwise.
Estimates of exposure in epidemiological studies of mobile phone use have large
uncertainties, especially when made retrospectively. One project in the INTERPHONE study
developed a model that permitted individual estimates of cumulative absorbed energy at the
tumour location. Owing to the many uncertain factors, however, it is hard to say how reliable
these calculations are. The problem of retrospective estimation of exposure remains open.
With the introduction of new wireless technologies it will be necessary to monitor changes in
ambient exposure and usage scenarios. This will permit information on technology and
exposure to be included in risk assessments at an early date. The assessments will have to
include simultaneous exposure to several sources, because no single source should reach the
exposure limit (SSK 2007b). One important challenge will be to adapt measurement
technologies and methods to the ever-higher frequencies (e.g. terahertz technologies) and
broader bands (e.g. UWB technology and LTE-Advanced) that future wireless services will
use.
For exposure levels in the far fields of transmission facilities there is no consensus on which
quantity (spatial average or peak) should be used for determining compliance with guidelines.
The point raster method, which measures reference levels on a grid representing the exposed
person with subsequent averaging of exposure, is preferred in many current emission
measurement standards. However, under certain circumstances (multi-path propagation) this
method can underestimate the actual exposure situation in the far field of a transmission
facility (Kuehn et al. 2009). For this reason the sweeping method is recommended for
determining the local peak.
The SSK calls attention to the finding in dosimetric studies of children and persons shorter
than 1.5 m that there is an inconsistency in the assumed relationship between basic
restrictions and reference levels at frequencies of about 100 MHz and from 1-4 GHz. One can
therefore no longer assume that compliance with reference levels will also ensure compliance
with basic restrictions.

32

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Recent investigations (Li et al. 2010) have shown that a phone user’s hand may increase the
SAR in the head over the SAR where no hand is present. Further studies are necessary here,
because the standardized SAR measurement at the head specified by DIN EN 62209-1
currently does not take the hand into account.

2.8 Are children subjected to increased health risks?
Children differ from adults in the fact that they will potentially spend a greater portion of their
lives using mobile phones or other means of mobile communication. In addition, it is thought
that they are more vulnerable because their nervous system is still developing, their brain
tissue is more conductive and they have greater specific absorption rates. One basic problem
in assessing possible health risks in children is that the term “child” is used in different ways.
Depending on the study in question, a child can be anyone up to the age of 18, although
morphological and physiological differences between the first years of life and the end of
puberty do not justify lumping them together.
The SSK published a statement on mobile communications and children as early as 2006
(SSK 2006). It summarized the results as follows:
1. The scientific studies published to date show that head absorption rates are higher in
children than in adults but that the differences rapidly decrease after the first years of
life. The differences between 5-year-olds and adults are already smaller than
interpersonal variations. Studies of younger children are not yet available.
2. The few studies of children age 5 and older show no reliable evidence of increased
sensitivity among children and adolescents.
3. The current epidemiological literature contains no reliable data showing adverse
health effects from long-lasting exposure to fields from mobile communications. There
are no special studies of children.
4. There are no scientific studies to date on the possible effects of fields from mobile
communications on the physical or mental development of children and adolescents.
No evidence has been found of effects on cognitive functions in children or adults.
Several projects supported by the DMF have investigated these issues. One case-control
study 46 looked for possible relationships between childhood leukaemia and exposure to
electromagnetic fields from radio and television transmitters. This study, as well as a pooled
analysis with a South Korean study carried out at nearly the same time, found no evidence of
an additional leukaemia risk in children from these sources. The South Korean study
investigated both leukaemia and brain tumours in children below the age of 15. For neither of
these endpoints did it find a statistical connection with exposure to electromagnetic fields
46

Research project E5: Epidemiological study on childhood cancer and proximity to radio and television
transmitters

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

33

from radio and television transmitters (Ha et al. 2007). A case-control study encompassing all
registered cases of cancer in children aged 0-4 in Great Britain in 1999-2001 found no
relationship between the risk of cancer in early childhood and estimated levels of maternal
exposure to base stations during pregnancy (Elliott et al. 2010) (see also section 2.1). None of
the studies of children and adolescents carried out to date have found a relationship between
mobile communication fields and a risk of cancer.
Links between health problems or non-specific health symptoms and the use of mobile
communications were reported in several epidemiological studies of young people (Punamäki
et al. 2007, Söderquist et al. 2008, Koivusilta et al. 2005), but they used questionable methods
(self-reported exposure data). A DMF-supported project 47 therefore investigated potential
acute health effects from mobile communications (mobile phones, base stations, WLAN) in
children and adolescents. This epidemiological cross-sectional study was the first to use
personal dosimeters for recording individual daily exposures over 24 hours. The design of the
dosimeter did not permit measurements during night rest, however. Thus the
representativeness of the results was limited. In general, the exposure to fields from mobile
communications was low. There were no consistent indications of links between exposure
(current morning or afternoon exposure or total exposure during waking hours as an average
percent of the limit value) and self-reported health and behaviour parameters (current,
noon/evening, chronic). With its improved methodology, this investigation significantly
weakened the evidence of a relationship between health effects in children and adolescents
and exposure to fields from mobile communications.
Thomas et al. (2010) performed a supplementary evaluation of the questionnaire data on
individual weaknesses and strengths from this DMF study. They found that for the
adolescents (but not the children) with the highest EMF exposures (top quartile) there was a
link between the total questionnaire score and exposure. This relationship was particularly
visible in the adolescents’ answers to questions about behavioural problems. For children the
link to EMF exposure was significant only for this special group of questions and was no
longer significant in the total score. However, it remains unclear whether the higher exposure
was the cause of the reported behavioural problems or whether the problems led to increased
mobile phone use. This was only a first study on possible links between exposure to
electromagnetic fields and mental health, and it brought some surprising findings to light
using data that were not easily reproducible. Thus further confirmatory studies are necessary.
These should be designed to facilitate verification. In addition, they should be based on
sample size considerations and permit individual dosimetry.
A simple-blind study of auditory evoked potentials in children (Kwon et al. 2010a) found no
effects by electromagnetic fields from mobile phones.
A number of studies are currently being carried out on potentially increased health risks for
children. An international case-control study of 352 children and adolescents (age 7–19) with
brain tumours and 642 controls (CEFALO) found no evidence of an association between
47

Research project E9: Acute health effects by mobile telecommunication among children

34

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

mobile phone use and incidence of brain tumours (Aydin et al. 2011). Regular users of mobile
phones showed no increased risk of brain tumours compared to non-regular users (OR = 1.36;
95% CI: 0.92 – 2.02). In addition, there was no evidence of a greater risk of brain tumours in
the regions with the highest exposure levels. In 2010, collection of data began for an
additional international case-control study on the relationship between the incidence of brain
tumours and the use of communication devices, including mobile phones, by young people
age 10 to 24 (MOBI-KIDS 2011). A total of 2,000 patients with brain tumours from 13
countries, including Germany, will be studied along with a control group of equal size.
A multi-generation study of mice found no effects on fertility, development and several
behavioural parameters in juvenile animals from different exposures (0, 0.08, 0.4 and
1.3 W/kg whole-body SAR, 24 h/day, UMTS) (Sommer et al. 2010).
One important question from a dosimetric point of view is whether children are more strongly
affected by high-frequency fields from mobile communications than adults. Base stations as
well as mobile phones must be included in the discussion.
For base stations, several numerical studies conducted outside of the DMF have shown that in
worst-case conditions basic restrictions (whole-body-averaged SARs) can be exceeded in
children and small persons shorter than 1.5 m in the case of whole-body exposures at the
reference levels. These effects were observed at frequencies of about 100 MHz and in the
range of 1-4 GHz (Dimbylow and Bolch 2007, Conil et al. 2008, Kuehn et al. 2009, Christ et
al. 2011). A study using anatomically correct numerical models of children and taking agedependent tissue parameters into account (Christ et al. 2011) found that basic restrictions were
exceeded by 30% at 100 MHz and by more than 50% between 1.5 and 4 GHz. These results
showed that the assumed relationship between basic restrictions and reference levels in these
frequency ranges is inconsistent.
For mobile phones many numerical SAR studies of exposure have been published in recent
years, some of them controversial. They investigated possible differences in energy
absorption as a function of head size, anatomy, thickness of the pinnae and dielectric
properties of head tissue. Whereas some studies reported a significant increase in peak SAR
averaged over 10 g of tissue in children’s heads, others were not able to reproduce these
results. Earlier studies had based their head models of children on linearly scaled down
models of adults. In contrast, current studies use refined models based on MR images. The
DMF study B1748 also took account of possible differences in the thickness of pinnae and in
head tissue parameters in its investigations of absorption rates. No characteristic differences
between adults and 6- to 8-year-old children in the thickness of the pinnae were found that
could affect SARs. Data for younger children are not available. With the exception of bone
marrow, no systematic influence of the tissue parameters age dependency on the local
exposure was found. In measurements of peak 10 g SARs no characteristic differences were
found between the child models studied (ages 3, 6 and 11) and the adult model, taking
48

Research project B17: Investigation of age dependent effects of high frequency electromagnetic fields based
on relevant biophysical and biological parameters

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

35

individual differences between different adult models (factor 2) into account. In regard to
local SAR distribution (i.e., without 10 g averaging) differences were found between children
and adults. In children exposure in some tissues and organs (such as the eye) was higher
owing to the shorter distance from the mobile phone. In contrast, other areas of the head had
lower exposure in children than in adults. These results must be taken into account when
interpreting epidemiological and experimental studies of children.
The laboratory studies of humans and animals carried out to date do not support the
hypothesis of a postulated higher sensitivity in children and adolescents, nor do
epidemiological studies. The SSK calls attention to the finding in dosimetric studies of
children that there is an inconsistency in the assumed relationship between basic restrictions
and reference levels at frequencies of about 100 MHz and from 1-4 GHz. One can therefore
no longer assume that compliance with reference levels will also ensure compliance with
basic restrictions. Dosimetric studies of head exposure in children to mobile phones have
shown quantitative differences from adults in SAR distribution. The relevance of these results
to health remains to be studied.
The WHO has given high priority to studies of children and adolescents, including children in
the early and juvenile development phases. This applies to epidemiological studies
(prospective cohort studies), studies of humans (provocation studies) and studies of animals
(WHO 2010, van Deventer et al. 2011). These recommendations have already given rise to a
number of multinational and national studies. The SSK therefore sees no need at present for
additional research, especially since the available findings have not confirmed the originally
expressed fears (Kheifets et al. 2005) of increased sensitivity in children.

2.9 How are the risks of electromagnetic fields perceived, and how
can risk communication be improved?
Studies on risk perception have shown that anxiety and fear with regard to mobile
telecommunications are not linked to the extent of network expansion activities, and
apparently they are only loosely linked to the extent and content of media reporting on mobile
telecommunications. Public concern about base stations clearly exceeds concern about mobile
phones. Mobile communications have not created the same degree of concern as other risks
(e.g. air pollution or UV radiation). These facts, which were ascertained in the surveys carried
out from 2003 to 2006, remain basically unchanged. A 2006 Eurobarometer survey
additionally showed that concern about mobile communications is significantly lower in
Germany than the EU average (Eurobarometer 2007). This was confirmed by the
Eurobarometer survey in 2010 (Eurobarometer 2010). In fact, the survey showed that concern
in Germany decreased by 6 percentage points from the level in 2006 (the average decline in
the EU was 2 percentage points). Although these results indicate a fairly stable level of
mobile phone risk perception in Germany, little is known about how individual perceptions of
mobile phone risk may vary over time. The World Health Organization called attention to this
in its most recent research agenda for radiofrequency fields (WHO 2010, van Deventer et al.

36

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

2011) and therefore recommended studies of changing patterns in risk perception over time
and the factors affecting them.
The DMF’s contribution to knowledge about effective forms of risk communication is rather
small compared to its contributions on risk perception. This applies to information on the
effects of electromagnetic fields and to information on precautions and uncertainty. It also
applies in part to conflict management. There is very little robust knowledge in this field. The
WHO research agenda accordingly calls for the development of new tools for communicating
information on the health effects of electromagnetic fields and for empirical evaluation of
their effectiveness (WHO 2010, van Deventer et al. 2011). Risk communication tools such as
the EMF Portal (EMF Portal), the Internet-based decision support system49 and the Mobile
Telecommunication Research Programme itself are key elements of risk communication. But
as useful as these elements may seem, their specific value must be verified through rigorous
evaluation.

3 Conclusions and outlook
The German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme has significantly improved the
scientific basis for health risk assessment of exposure to electromagnetic fields from mobile
telecommunications. In doing so it has also contributed to better risk communication.
The findings of the DMF have not confirmed the health risks that were initially feared to
exist. Nor have these findings led to any indications of previously unanticipated health
impacts. In agreement with other international bodies (ICNIRP 2009, WHO 2011) we can
state that the protection concepts underlying the present safety limits are still sound.
In regard to radiation protection, however, the research projects did not provide conclusive
answers to all of the questions pertaining to biological and medical effects of electromagnetic
fields from mobile telecommunications. Thus, even if the initial indications of potential health
effects were not confirmed, further research remains necessary. Moreover, in view of the
dynamic development of new wireless technologies, the exploitation of new frequencies and
the use of new forms of transmission, it will be necessary to perform further research, monitor
ambient levels and evaluate EMF exposures.
The answers to the questions originally posed by the German Mobile Telecommunication
Research Programme can be summarized as follows, taking the current international state of
knowledge into account.


49

Cancer: The studies carried out in the DMF have found no evidence that electromagnetic
fields can initiate or promote cancer. Thus they are in agreement with most published
studies and have provided important additional information. Taken together, they do not

Research project R6: Innovative procedures for setting disputes with respect to the siting of mobile phone
transmitters

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

37

give sufficient evidence that mobile phone exposure can cause cancer (SSK 2011). With
this assessment the SSK differs from the International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC), which in its session of May 2011 classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields
(RF-EMF) as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) (Baan et al. 2011). At
present there is no immediate need for additional research in epidemiology, as the results
of ongoing studies (COSMOS, MOBI-KIDS) are still being awaited. What is needed is a
comprehensive study of possible genotoxic effects employing as many of the available
tests as possible (Albertini et al. 2000, Brendler-Schwaab et al. 2004). Here it is important
to ensure high standards of quality assurance and quality control. The multi-centre studies
carried out in the past did not always do so because they were limited to small numbers of
experimental endpoints (PERFORM-B [Stronati et al. 2006], REFLEX [EU 2004]). This
applies to the projects supported by the DMF 50,51 as well. The SSK recommends that
future EMF research rely more on studies designed to test hypotheses. Hypotheses about
effects should be investigated in connection with basic research, taking established
knowledge of radiation biology into account.


Blood-brain barrier (BBB): The projects supported by the DMF did not find any effects
on the BBB, even though they used new methodological approaches. In summary, there is
not sufficient evidence that exposure to mobile phone fields below the exposure limits can
affect the blood-brain barrier. Further research on this topic is therefore not required.



Neurophysiological and cognitive processes, sleep: Using a variety of methods, the
studies largely ruled out effects by mobile phone fields on visual and auditory acuity; in
particular, they found no evidence that EMF exposure could cause tinnitus. Effects on
sleep behaviour were found neither in epidemiological studies nor in field studies.
Laboratory studies of effects on brain activity during sleep yielded inconsistent results. At
present it is not possible to make a final statement about effects on sleep EEG and resting
EEG in the waking state. What is needed is a multi-centre study in which working groups
from different laboratories use a common experimental approach to investigate a single
issue. Such a study should include not only children, adolescents and young adults, but
also older persons who might be more vulnerable to high-frequency electromagnetic fields
owing to age-related morphological and functional changes in the brain. The results would
also have a bearing on studies of possible effects by electromagnetic fields on pathological
age-related changes in the brain (neurodegenerative diseases), a high-priority area of
research for the WHO (2010, Deventer et al. 2011).



Electrosensitivity and non-specific health symptoms: In agreement with the international
literature it can be concluded that “electrosensitivity”, understood as a direct effect of
EMF exposure, most likely does not exist. Further research on this topic should therefore
be carried out beyond the sphere of EMF research.

50
51

Research project B16: Possible genotoxic effects of GSM signals on isolated human blood
Research project B21: Influence of GSM signals on isolated human blood. B. Differential gene expression

38

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use



Blood and immune system: The results of the DMF permit the conclusion, in agreement
with studies by other authors, that mobile phone fields have no effect on the immune
system. Effects on various blood parameters (e.g. reticulocytes, “money-roll effect”),
allegedly found in comparisons before and after the construction of mobile phone base
stations, are speculative and not based on a validated diagnostic approach.



Reproduction and development: According to the findings of DMF studies, it is highly
improbable that exposure to mobile phones below the exposure limits can have adverse
effects on reproduction and development. The SSK sees no need at present for further
research in this area.



Exposure caused by wireless technologies: The ambient exposure from stationary
transmission facilities in areas accessible to the public was generally found to be about
0.1% of the power density limit or less, with peaks of a few percent. Handsets held close
to the body or in contact with it were shown to produce much higher exposures,
sometimes amounting to a large percentage of the basic restriction. There is a need for
research to develop reliable methods for measuring exposure in epidemiological studies;
in studies of stationary transmission facilities distance is not a reliable means of estimating
exposure. Changes in ambient exposure and usage scenarios must be monitored when new
wireless technologies are introduced. The SSK calls attention to the finding in dosimetric
studies of children and persons shorter than 1.5 m that there is an inconsistency in the
assumed relationship between basic restrictions and reference levels at frequencies of
about 100 MHz and from 1-4 GHz. One can therefore no longer assume that compliance
with reference levels will also ensure compliance with basic restrictions.



Mobile phones and children: Epidemiological studies have significantly reduced the
evidence of a link between health effects in children and adolescents and exposure to
fields from mobile communications. Multi-generation studies of animals were unable to
show effects from exposure to mobile phones. The studies carried out to date give no
support to the hypothesis of a postulated higher sensitivity in children and adolescents.
The SSK calls attention to the finding in dosimetric studies of children that there is an
inconsistency in the assumed relationship between basic restrictions and reference levels
at frequencies of about 100 MHz and from 1-4 GHz. One can therefore no longer assume
that compliance with reference levels will also ensure compliance with basic restrictions.
Calculations of head exposure in children to mobile phones have shown quantitative
differences from adults in SAR distribution. The relevance of these results to health
remains to be studied. At present, the SSK sees no need for research beyond the
investigations of children and adolescents that have been initiated in response to the WHO
recommendations (WHO 2010).



Risk perception and risk communication: The frequency of anxiety and fears with regard
to mobile telecommunications is not linked to the extent of network expansion activities,
and it is only loosely linked to the extent and content of media reporting. Public concern
about mobile phone base stations clearly exceeds that about mobile phones. Mobile

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

39

telecommunications are not a first-order concern, however. Knowledge about effective
forms of risk communication is currently rather scanty. New tools for this purpose must be
developed and empirically evaluated for effectiveness.

40

4

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

References

Ahlbom et al.
2009

Ahlbom A, Feychting M, Green A, Kheifets L, Savitz D A, Swerdlow A J,
ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection):
Standing Committee on Epidemiology: Epidemiologic Evidence on Mobile
Phones and Tumor Risk: A Review. Epidemiology: 2009, 20 (5):639-652
Albertini et al. Albertini R J, Anderson D, Douglas G R, Hagmar L, Hemminki K, Merlo F,
2000
Natarajan A T, Norppa H, Shuker D E, Tice R, Waters M D, Aitio A: IPCS
guidelines for the monitoring of genotoxic effects of carcinogens in humans.
International Programme on Chemical Safety. Mutat Res. 2000, 463(2):111-172
Arendash et al. Arendash G W, Sanchez-Ramos J, Mori T, Mamcarz M, Lin X, Runfeldt M, Wang
2010
L, Zhang G, Sava V, Tan J, Cao C: Electromagnetic field treatment protects
against and reverses cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease mice. J
Alzheimers Dis. 2010, 19(1):191-210
Aydin et al.
Aydin D, Feychting M, Schüz J, Tynes T, Andersen T V, Schmidt L S, Poulsen A
2011
H, Johansen C, Prochazka M, Lannering B, Klæboe L, Eggen T, Jenni D, Grotzer
M, Von der Weid N, Kuehni C E, Röösli M: Mobile Phone Use and Brain Tumors
in Children and Adolescents: A Multicenter Case-Control Study. J Natl Cancer
Inst. 2011 Jul 27 [Epub ahead of print]
Baan et al.
Baan R, Grosse Y, Lauby-Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Bouvard V, Benbrahim2011
Tallaa L, Ghua N, Islami F, Galichet L, Straif K: Carcinogenicity of
radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The Lancet Oncology 2011, 12(7):624-626
Barth et al.
Barth A, Ponocny I, Gnambs T, Winker R: No effects of short-term exposure to
2011
mobile phone electromagnetic fields on human cognitive performance: a metaanalysis. Bioelectromagnetics 2011, doi:10.1002/bem.20697[Epub ahead of print]
BrendlerBrendler-Schwaab S, Czich A, Epe B, Gocke E, Kaina B, Müller L, Pollet D,
Schwaab et al. Utesch D: Photochemical genotoxicity: principles and test methods. Report of a
2004
GUM task force. Mutat Res. 2004, 566 (1):65-91
Brunekreef
Brunekreef B: Environmental epidemiology and risk assessment. Toxicology
2008
Letters 2008, 180 (2):118–122
Cardis et al.
Cardis E, Deltour I, Mann S, Moissonnier M, Taki M, Varsier N, Wake K, Wiart
2008
J: Distribution of RF energy emitted by mobile phones in anatomical structures of
the brain. Phys Med Biol 2008, 53 (11):2771-2783
Cardis et al.
Cardis E, Armstrong B K, Bowman J D, Giles G G, Hours M, Krewski D,
2011
McBride M, Parent M E, Sadetzki S, Woodward A, Brown J, Chetrit A, Figuerola
J, Hoffmann C, Jarus-Hakak A, Montestruq L, Nadon L, Richardson L, Villegas
R, Vrijheid M: Risk of brain tumours in relation to estimated RF dose from mobile
phones: results from five Interphone countries. Occup Environ Med 2011, 68
(9):631-640
CEFALO
CEFALO: An international case-control study on brain tumours in children and
adolescents. http://www.kinderkrebsregister.ch/index.php?id=2010, accessed 20
April 2011

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Chang et al.
2005

Christ et al.
2011

Conil et al.
2008
Croft et al.
2010

Dasdag et al.
2008

41

Chang S K, Choi J S, Gil H W, Yang J O, Lee E Y, Jeon Y S, Lee Z W, Lee M,
Hong M Y, Ho Son T, Hong SY: Genotoxicity evaluation of electromagnetic
fields generated by 835-MHz mobile phone frequency band. Eur J Cancer Prev.
2005, 175-179.
Christ A, Schmid G., Zefferer M, Uberbacher R, Lichtsteiner M, Neufeld E, Cecil
SKuster N: Numerische Bestimmung der Spezifischen Absorptionsrate bei
Ganzkörperexposition von Kindern. Studie im Auftrag des Bundesamts für
Strahlenschutz. Available at
http://www.emfforschungsprogramm.de/akt_emf_forschung.html/dosi_HF_003.html, accessed 19
January 2011.
Conil E, Hadjem A, Lacroux F, Wong M F, Wiart J: Variability analysis of SAR
from 20 MHz to 2.4 GHz for different adult and child models using finitedifference time-domain. Phys Med Biol 2008, 53 (6):1511-1525
Croft R J, Leung S, McKenzie R J, Loughran S P, Iskra S, Hamblin D L, Cooper
N R: Effects of 2G and 3G mobile phones on human alpha rhythms: Resting EEG
in adolescents, young adults, and the elderly. Bioelectromagnetics. 2010,
31(6):434-444
Dasdag S, Akdag M Z, Ulukaya E, Uzunlar A K, Yegin D: Mobile phone exposure
does not induce apoptosis on spermatogenesis in rats. Arch Med Res 2008, 39
(1):40-44

Dimbylow and Dimbylow P, Bolch W: Whole-body-averaged SAR from 50 MHz to 4 GHz in the
Bolch 2007
University of Florida child voxel phantoms. Phys Med Biol 2007, 52 (22):66396649
DIN EN
Sicherheit von Personen in hochfrequenten Feldern von handgehaltenen und am
62209-1
Körper getragenen schnurlosen Kommunikationsgeräten - Körpermodelle,
Messgeräte und Verfahren. Teil 1: Verfahren zur Bestimmung der spezifischen
Absorptionsrate (SAR) von handgehaltenen Geräten, die in enger Nachbarschaft
zum Ohr benutzt werden (Frequenzbereich von 300 MHz bis 3 GHz). Ausgabe
2007-03.
Eberhardt et al. Eberhardt J L, Persson B R, Brun A E, Salford L G, Malmgren L O: Blood-brain
2008
barrier permeability and nerve cell damage in rat brain 14 and 28 days after
exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones. Electromagn Biol Med 2008;
27 (3):215-229
EFHRAN 2010 Sienkiewicz Z, Schüz J, Poulsen A H, Cardis E: Risk analysis of human exposure
to electromagnetic fields. Deliverable Report D2 of EHFRAN project, draft 2010
Eger et al.
Eger H, Hagen K U, Lucas B, Vogel P, Voit H: Einfluss der räumlichen Nähe von
2004
Mobilfunksendeanlagen auf die Krebsinzidenz. Umwelt - Medizin - Gesellschaft
2004, 17 (4): 326 – 332
Elliott et al.
Elliott P, Toledano M B, Bennett J, Beale L, de Hoogh K, Best N, Briggs D J:
2010
Mobile phone base stations and early childhood cancers: case-control study. BMJ
2010 340: c3077 doi:10.1136/bmj.c3077
EMF-Portal
www.emf-portal.de, accessed 16 June 2011

42

EU 2004

Eurobarometer
2007
Eurobarometer
2010
Gaestel 2010

Ha et al. 2007

Ha et al. 2008

Hamnerius et
al. 1985
Hardell et al.
2011
Hruby et al.
2008
ICNIRP 2009

INTERPHONE
2010
INTERPHONE
2011
Kheifets et al.
2005

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

EU: Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards from Low Energy
Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods, Final Report
2004
Eurobarometer: Electromagnetic Fields (Special Eurobarometer No. 272a),
accessed 17 Feb. 2008
http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_272a_en.pdf
Eurobarometer: Elektromagnetische Felder (EUROBAROMETER Spezial 347),
accessed 4 April 2011
http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_347_de.pdf
Gaestel M: Biological monitoring of non-thermal effects of mobile phone
radiation: recent approaches and challenges. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2010,
85(3):489-500
Ha M, Im H, Kim H J, Kim B C, Gimm Y M, Pack J K: Radio-frequency radiation
exposure from AM radio transmitters and childhood leukemia and brain cancer.
Am J Epidemiol 2007 166 (3):270-279
Ha M, Im H, Kim B C, Gimm Y M, Pack J K: Reply to a letter by Schüz J, Philipp
J, Merzenich H, Schmiedel S and Brüggemeyer H: Re “Radio-frequency radiation
exposure from AM radio transmitters and childhood leukemia and brain cancer”
(Letter). Am J Epidmiol. 2008 167 (7):883-884. – Am J Epidemiol 2008 167
()7:884-885
Hamnerius Y, Rasmuson A, Rasmuson B: Biological effects of high-frequency
electromagnetic fields on Salmonella typhimurium and Drosophila melanogaster.
Bioelectromagnetics. 1985, 405-414
Hardell L, Carlberg M, Hansson Mild K: Pooled analysis of case-control studies
on malignant brain tumours and the use of mobile and cordless phones including
living and deceased subjects. Int J Oncol 2011, 38 (5):1465-1474
Hruby R, Neubauer G, Kuster N, Frauscher M: Study on potential effects of 902MHz GSM-type wireless communication signals on DMBA-induced mammary
tumours in Sprague-Dawley rats. Mutat Res 2008, 649 (1-2):34-44
Exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields, biological effects and health
consequences (100 kHz-300 GHz) - Review of the Scientific Evidence and Health
Consequences. Munich: International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Protection; 2009
The INTERPHONE Study Group: Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile
telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case–control study.
International Journal of Epidemiology 2010;1–20 doi:10.1093/ije/dyq079
The INTERPHONE Study Group: Acoustic neuroma risk in relation to mobile
telephone use: Results of the INTERPHONE international case–control study.
Cancer Epidemiology (in press, 2011) doi:10.1016/j.canep.2011.05.012
Kheifets L, Repacholi M, Saunders R, van Deventer E: The sensitivity of children
to electromagnetic fields. Pediatrics. 2005, 116(2):e303-313

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Koivusilta et
al. 2005

Kuehn et al.
2009
Kwon et al.
2009

Kwon et al.
2010a
Kwon et al.
2010b
Koyama et al.
2007
Larjavaara et
al. 2011

Li et al. 2010

Lowden et al.
2011
MOBI-KIDS
Oberto et al.
2007
Perrin et al.
2010

43

Koivusilta L, Lintonen T, Rimpelä A: Intensity of mobile phone use and health
compromising behaviours - how is information and communication technology
connected to health-related lifestyle in adolescence? Journal of Adolescence 2005,
28 (1):35-47
Kuehn S, Jennings W, Christ A, Kuster, N: Assessment of induced radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in various anatomical human body models. Phys
Med Biol 2009, 54 (4):875-890
Kwon M S, Kujala T, Huotilainen M, Shestakova A, Näätänen R, Hämäläinen H:
Preattentive auditory information processing under exposure to the 902 MHz GSM
mobile phone electromagnetic field: a mismatch negativity (MMN) study.
Bioelectromagnetics. 2009, 30(3):241-248
Kwon, M S, Huotilainen M, Shestakova A, Kujala T, Näätänen R, Hämäläinen H:
No effects of mobile phone use on cortical auditory change-detection in children:
an ERP study. Bioelectromagnetics. 2010, 31(3):191-199
Kwon M S, Jääskeläinen S K, Toivo T, Hämäläinen H: No effects of mobile phone
electromagnetic field on auditory brainstem response. Bioelectromagnetics. 2010,
31(1):48-55
Koyama S, Takashima Y, Sakurai T, Suzuki Y, Taki M, Miyakoshi J: Effects of
2.45 GHz electromagnetic fields with a wide range of SARs on bacterial and
HPRTgene mutations. J Radiat Res (Tokyo), 2007, 69-75
Larjavaara S, Schüz J, Swerdlow A, Feychting M, Johansen C, Lagorio S, Tynes
T, Klaeboe L, Reidar Tonjer S, Blettner M, Berg-Beckhoff G, Schlehofer B,
Schoemaker M, Britton J, Mäntylä R, Lönn S, Ahlbom A, Flodmark O, Lilja A,
Martini S, Rastelli E, Vidiri A, Kähärä V, Raitanen J, Heinävaara S, Auvinen A:
Location of gliomas in relation to mobile telephone use : A case-case and casespecular analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2011, 174 (1):2-11
Li C-H, Douglas M, Ofli E, Derat B, Chavannes N, Kuster N: Analysis of the hand
effect on head SAR with generic and CAD phone models using FDTD. 2010 IEEE
Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium (APSURSI)
Lowden A, Akerstedt T, Ingre M, Wiholm C, Hillert L, Kuster N, Nilsson J P,
Arnetz B: Sleep after mobile phone exposure in subjects with mobile phonerelated symptoms. Bioelectromagnetics. 2011, 32(1):4-14
MOBI-KIDS: Study on Communication Technology, Environment and brain
Tumours in Young people, http://www.mbkds.com/, accessed 20 April 2011
Oberto G, Rolfo K, Yu P, Carbonatto M, Peano S, Kuster N, Ebert S, Tofani S:
Carcinogenicity study of 217 Hz pulsed 900 MHz electromagnetic fields in Pim1
transgenic mice. Radiat Res 2007, 168 (3):316-326
Perrin A, Cretallaz C, Collin A, Amourette C, Yardin C: Effects of radiofrequency
field on the blood-brain barrier: A systematic review from 2005 to 2009. C.R.
Physique 2010, 11 (9-10):602-612

44

Poulletier de
Gannes et al.
2009
Prochnow et al.
2011

Punamäki et al.
2007

Regel et al.
2007
Regel and
Achermann
2011
Repacholi et al.
1997
RKI 2006

Röösli 2007

Rubin et al.
2010

Rüdiger 2009
Sato et al. 2011
Sauter et al.
2011

SCENIHR
2009

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Poulletier de Gannes F, Taxile M, Duleu S, Hurtier A, Haro E, Geffard M, Ruffié
G, Billaudel B, Lévêque P, Dufour P, Lagroye I, Veyret B: A confirmation study
of Russian and Ukrainian data on effects of 2450 MHz microwave exposure on
immunological processes and teratology in rats. Radiat Res; 2009, 172 (5):617-624
Prochnow N, Gebing T, Ladage K, Krause-Finkeldey D, El Ouardi A, Bitz A,
Streckert J, Hansen V, Dermietzel R: Electromagnetic Field Effect or Simply
Stress? Effects of UMTS Exposure on Hippocampal Longterm Plasticity in the
Context of Procedure Related Hormone Release. PLoS One. 2011 May
5;6(5):e19437
Punamäki R, Wallenius M, Nygard C, Saarni L, Rimpelä A: Use of information
and communication technology (ICT) and perceived health in adolescence: The
role of sleeping habits and waking-time tiredness. Journal of Adolescence 2007,
30 (4):569-585
Regel S J, Tinguely G, Schuderer J, Adam M, Kuster N, Landolt H P, Achermann
P: Pulsed radio-frequency electromagnetic fields: dose-dependent effects on sleep,
the sleep EEG and cognitive performance. J Sleep Res. 2007, 16(3):253-258
Regel S J, Achermann P: Cognitive performance measures in bioelectromagnetic
research – critical evaluation and recommendations. Environ Health. 2011,
10(1):10
Repacholi M H, Basten A, Gebski V, Noonan D, Finnie J, Harris A W:
Lymphomas in E mu-Pim1 transgenic mice exposed to pulsed 900 MHz
electromagnetic fields. Radiat Res 1997, 147 (5):631-640
Empfehlung des Robert-Koch-Instituts. Parameter des roten Blutbildes bei
Exposition durch Mobilfunkanlagen. Bundesgesundheitsbl Gesundheitsforsch
Gesundheitsschutz 2006 49: 833-835
Röösli, M: Errors in epidemiological exposure assessment: Implications for study
results. in: 17th International Zurich Symposium on Electromagnetic
Compatibility 2007, Munich, September 24-28, 2007
Rubin G J, Nieto-Hernandez R, Wessely S: Idiopathic environmental intolerance
attributed to electromagnetic fields (formerly ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’):
An updated systematic review of provocation studies. Bioelectromagnetics. 2010,
31(1):1-11
Rüdiger H W: Genotoxic effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.
Pathophysiology. 2009, 16 (2-3):89-102
Sato Y, Akiba S, Kubo O, Yamaguchi N: A case-control study of mobile phone
use and acoustic neuroma risk in Japan. Bioelectromagnetics 2011 32 (2):85-93
Sauter C, Dorn H, Bahr A, Hansen M L, Peter A, Bajbouj M, Danker-Hopfe H:
Effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by GSM 900 and WCDMA
mobile phones on cognitive function in young male subjects. Bioelectromagnetics.
2011, 32(3):179-190
Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks: Health
Effects of Exposure to EMF.
http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_022.pdf,
accessed 12 April 2011

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Schüz and
Ahlbom 2008
Schüz et al.
2011

Söderquist et
al. 2008
Sommer et al.
2010
SSK 2006
SSK 2007a

SSK 2007b

SSK 2008

SSK 2011

SSM 2009

SSM 2010

Stam 2010
Stang et al.
2001

45

Schüz J und Ahlbom A: Exposure to electromagnetic fields and the risk of
childhood leukaemia: a review. Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2008, 132 (2): 202-211
Schüz J, Elliott P, Auvinen A, Kromhout H, Poulsen A H, Johansen C, Olsen J H,
Hillert L, Feychting M, Fremling K, Toledano M, Heinävaara S, Slottje P,
Vermeulen R, Ahlbom A: An international prospective cohort study of mobile
phone users and health (Cosmos): design considerations and enrolment. Cancer
Epidemiol. 2011, 35(1):37-43
Söderquist F, Carlberg M, Hardell L: Use of wireless telephones and self-reported
health symptoms: a population-based study among Swedish adolescents aged 1519 years. Environmental Health 2008, 7:18.
Sommer A M, Grote K, Reinhardt T, Streckert J, Hansen V, Lerchl A: Effects of
radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (UMTS) on reproduction and development
of mice: a multi-generation study. Radiat Res 2009 171 (1): 89-95
Strahlenschutzkommission: Mobilfunk und Kinder. Verabschiedet in der 213.
Sitzung der SSK am 05./06.12.2006
Strahlenschutzkommission: Wirkung hochfrequenter Felder auf das Genom:
Genotoxizität und Genregulation. Verabschiedet in der 213. Sitzung der SSK am
05./06.12.2006. Published in BAnz No. 135a, 24.07.2007. Veröffentlichungen der
Strahlenschutzkommission Heft 62, H. Hoffmann GmbH – Fachverlag, Berlin
2009
Strahlenschutzkommission: Grundsätze bei der Ableitung von Emissionsstandards
bei gleichzeitig betriebenen Feldquellen. Verabschiedet in der 214. Sitzung der
SSK am 23.02.2007. Published in BAnz No. 127, 12.07.2007
Strahlenschutzkommission: Deutsches Mobilfunk-Forschungsprogramm.
Verabschiedet in der 223. Sitzung der SSK am 13.05.2008. Published in BAnz No.
179, 19.11.2008
Strahlenschutzkommission: Vergleichende Bewertung der Evidenz von
Krebsrisiken durch elektromagnetische Felder und Strahlungen. Verabschiedet in
der 248. Sitzung der Strahlenschutzkommission am 14./15. April 2011
Strâl säkerhets myndigheten (SSM): Research 2009: 36 Recent Research on EMF
and Health Risk. Sixth annual report from SSM:s Independent Expert Group on
Electromagnetic Fields, 2009
http://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/Global/Publikationer/Rapport/Stralskydd
/2009/SSM-Rapport-2009-36.pdf, accessed 14 April 2011
Strâl säkerhets myndigheten (SSM): Research 2010: 44 Recent Research on EMF
and Health Risk. Seventh annual report from SSM:s Independent Expert Group on
Electromagnetic Fields, 2010
http://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/Global/Publikationer/Rapport/Stralskydd
/2010/SSM-Rapport-2010-44.pdf, accessed 14 April 2011
Stam R: Electromagnetic fields and the blood-brain barrier. Brain Res Rev. 2010,
65(1):80-97
Stang A, Anastassiou G, Ahrens W, Bromen K, Bornfeld N, Jöckel K H: The
possible role of radiofrequency radiation in the development of uveal melanoma.
Epidemiology. 2001, 12(1):7-12

46

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Stang et al.
2009

Stang A, Schmidt-Pokrzywniak A, Lash T L, Lommatzsch P K, Taubert G,
Bornfeld N, Jöckel K H: Mobile phone use and risk of uveal melanoma: results of
the risk factors for uveal melanoma case-control study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009,
101 (2):120-123
Stronati et al.
Stronati L, Testa A, Moquet J, Edwards A, Cordelli E, Villani P, Marino C,
2006
Fresegna A M, Appolloni M, Lloyd D: 935 MHz cellular phone radiation. An in
vitro study of genotoxicity in human lymphocytes. Int J Radiat Biol. 2006, 82
(5)339-346
Swerdlow et al. Swerdlow A J, Feychting M, Green A C, Kheifets L, Savitz D A: Mobile Phones,
2011
Brain Tumours and the Interphone Study: Where Are We Now?
doi:10.1289/ehp.1103693, online 1 July 2011
Szmigielski et Szmigielski S, Szudzinski A, Pietraszek A, Bielec M, Janiak M, Wrembel J K:
al. 1982
Accelerated development of spontaneous and benzopyrene-induced skin cancer in
mice exposed to 2450-MHz microwave radiation. Bioelectromagnetics 1982, 3
(2):179-191
Thomas et al. Thomas S, Heinrich S, von Kries R and Radon K,: Exposure to radio-frequency
2010
electromagnetic fields and behavioural problems in Bavarian children and
adolescents. Eur J Epidemiol 2010, 25 (2):135-141
Tillmann et al. Tillmann T, Ernst H, Streckert J, Zhou Y, Taugner F, Hansen V, Dasenbrock C:
2010
Indication of cocarcinogenic potential of chronic UMTS-modulated
radiofrequency exposure in an ethylnitrosourea mouse model. Int J Radiat Biol
2010 86 (7):529-541
Tommaso et al. de Tommaso M, Rossi P, Falsaperla R, Francesco Vde V, Santoro R, Federici A:
2009
Mobile phones exposure induces changes of contingent negative variation in
humans. Neurosci Lett. 2009, 464(2):79-83
Utteridge et al. Utteridge T D, Gebski V, Finnie J W, Vernon-Roberts B, Kuchel T R: Longterm
2002
exposure of E-mu-Pim1 transgenic mice to 898.4 MHz microwaves does not
increase lymphoma incidence. Radiat Res 2002, 158 (3):357-364
Valentini et al. Valentini E, Ferrara M, Presaghi F, De Gennaro L, Curcio G: Systematic review
2010
and meta-analysis of psychomotor effects of mobile phone electromagnetic fields.
Occup Environ Med. 2010, 67(10):708-716
van Deventer van Deventer E, van Rongen E. Saunders R: WHO research agenda for
et al. 2011
radiofrequency fields. Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Mar 14.
doi: 10.1002/bem.20660. [Epub ahead of print]
van Rongen et van Rongen E, Croft R, Juutilainen J, Lagroye I, Miyakoshi J, Saunders R, de Seze
al. 2009
R, Tenforde T, Verschaeve L, Veyret B, Xu Z: Effects of radiofrequency
electromagnetic fields on the human nervous system. J Toxicol Environ Health B
Crit Rev. 2009, 12(8):572-597

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Vanderstraeten
and
Verschaeve
2008
Vecchio et al.
2010

47

Vanderstraeten J, Verschaeve L: Gene and protein expression following exposure
to radiofrequency fields from mobile phones. Environ Health Perspect. 2008,
116(9):1131-5, Review. Erratum in: Environ Health Perspect. 2008, 116(10):
A421, PubMed PMID: 18795152; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2535611.
Vecchio F, Babiloni C, Ferreri F, Buffo P, Cibelli G, Curcio G, van Dijkman S,
Melgari J M, Giambattistelli F, Rossini P M: Mobile phone emission modulates
inter-hemispheric functional coupling of EEG alpha rhythms in elderly compared
to young subjects. Clin Neurophysiol. 2010, 121(2):163-71
Verschaeve et Verschaeve L, Juutilainen J, Lagroye I, Miyakoshi J, Saunders R, de Seze R,
al. 2010
Tenforde T, van Rongen E, Veyret B, Xu Z: In vitro and in vivo genotoxicity of
radiofrequency fields. Mutat Res. 2010, 705(3):252-68
WHO 2010
WHO research agenda for radiofrequency fields
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241599948_eng.pdf, accessed 19
April 2011
WHO 2005
Fact sheet 296: Electromagnetic fields and public health: Electromagnetic
Hypersensitivity. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs296/en/index.html,
accessed 18 Jan. 2011
WHO 2011
Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones, Fact sheet N°193, June
2011
Wake et al.
Wake K, Varsier N, Watanabe S, Taki M, Wiart J, Mann S, Deltour I, Cardis E:
2009
The estimation of 3D SAR distributions in the human head from mobile phone
compliance testing data for epidemiologic studies. Phys Med Biol 2009, 54
(19):5695-5706.
Wolf and Wolf Wolf R, Wolf S: Increased incidence of cancer near a cell-phone transmitter
2004
station. International Journal of Cancer Prevention 2004, 1:123-128
Yan et al. 2007 Yan J G, Agresti M, Bruce T, Yan Y H, Granlund A, Matloub H S: Effects of
cellular phone emissions on sperm motility in rats. Fertil Steril 2007, 88 (4):957964

48

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Table of acronyms and abbreviations
AM

Amplitude modulation

BBB

Blood-brain barrier

BfS

German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für
Strahlenschutz)

BMU

German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature
Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt,
Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit)

CEFALO

An international case-control study on brain tumours in children
and adolescents

CNS

Central nervous system

CNV

Contingent negative variation

COSMOS study

International cohort study on mobile phone use and health

DECT

Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications

DMF

German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme
(Deutsches Mobilfunk-Forschungsprogramm)

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

DTX

Discontinuous Transmission

DVB-T

Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial

EEG

Electroencephalogram

EFHRAN

European Health Risk Assessment Network on Electromagnetic
Fields Exposure

EHS

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity

ELF

Extremely low frequency

EMF

Electromagnetic field

FDTD

Finite-difference time-domain

GSM

Global System for Mobile Communications

HF

High-frequency

HSP

Heat shock proteins

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Hz

Hertz (unit of frequency)

ICNIRP

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

IEI-EMF

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic
fields

INTERPHONE
study

International case-control studies of the brain tumour risk
associated with mobile phone use

LTD

Long-term depression

LTE

Long-term evolution

LTP

Long-term potentiation

MOBI-KIDS

Study on communication technology, environment and brain
tumours in young people

NREM2

Non rapid eye movement sleep, stage 2

PCMCIA

Personal Computer Memory Card International Association

PERFORM-B

In-vitro and in-vivo Replication Studies Related to Mobile
Telephones and Base Stations

PHA

Phytohaemagglutinin

REFLEX

Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards From Low
Energy Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro
Methods

RF

Radio frequency

RP

Readiness potential

RT-PCR

Real-time polymerase chain reaction

SAR

Specific absorption rate

SCE

Sister chromatid exchange

SCENIHR

Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health
Risks

SSK

German Commission on Radiological Protection (Deutsche
Strahlenschutzkommission)

SSM

Strål Säkerhets Myndigheten (Swedish Radiation Safety Authority)

TETRA

Terrestrial Trunked Radio

49

50

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

UMTS

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

UWB

Ultra-Wideband

VMT

Visual Monitoring Task

W

Watt (unit of electric power)

WHO

World Health Organization

WLAN

Wireless Local Area Network

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

51

List of DMF research projects (as at 18 July 2011)
B1

B2
B3
B4

B5
B6

B7

B8
B9

B10

B11
B12

B13

B14

B15
B16
B17
B18

B19

BIOLOGY
Investigation of mechanisms of action in cells exposed to the high frequency
electromagnetic fields of mobile telephone technology.
B. Pineal gland
Feasibility study on age dependent effects of RF electromagnetic fields on the basis of
relevant biophysical and biological parameters
Influence of low and high- frequency electromagnetic fields on spontaneous leukaemia
in AKR/J mice
In-vivo experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication.
B. Carcinogenesis
Investigation of sleep quality of electrohypersensitive persons living near base stations
under residential conditions
Investigation of mechanisms of action in cells exposed to the high frequency
electromagnetic fields of mobile telephone technology.
A. Demodulation / communication
Investigation of mechanisms of action in cells exposed to the high frequency
electromagnetic fields of mobile telephone technology.
C. Functions
Influence of electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications on the metabolic rate
in rodents
In vivo experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication.
A. Long-term study
In vitro experiments on exposure to the high frequency fields of mobile
telecommunication.
C. Blood-brain barrier
Possible influence of high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile communication
systems on the induction and course of phantom auditory experience (tinnitus)
Influence of high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications on
sensory organs.
B. The visual system
Investigation of electrosensitive persons with regard to accompanying factors or
diseases, such as allergies and increased exposure or sensitivity to heavy metals and
chemicals
Investigation of the phenomenon of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” using an
epidemiological study on “electrosensitive” patients including the determination of
clinical parameters
Influence of mobile telecommunication fields on the permeability of the blood-brain
barrier in laboratory rodents (in vivo)
Possible genotoxic effects of GSM signals on isolated human blood
Investigation of age dependent effects of high frequency electromagnetic fields based
on relevant biophysical and biological parameters (main study)
Influence of high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications on
sensory organs.
A. The auditory system
Studies of the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile phones
on volunteers

52

B20

B21
B22
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6

D7

D8
D9
D10
D11
D12
D13
D14
D15
E1

E2
E3
E4
E5
E6

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

BIOLOGY
Investigation of sleep quality in persons living near a mobile base station –
Experimental study on the evaluation of possible psychological and physiological
effects under residential conditions
Influence of GSM signals on isolated human blood.
B. Differential gene expression
Long-term study on the effects of UMTS signals on laboratory rodents
DOSIMETRY
Investigation of SAR distribution in laboratory animals exposed to electromagnetic
fields
Determination of the real field distribution of high frequency electromagnetic fields
near wireless LAN installations (WLAN) in inner cities
Determination of the real field distribution from high frequency electromagnetic fields
near UMTS transmitters
Determination of exposure distribution from high frequency fields in the human body
with regard to small structures and relevant thermo-physiological parameters
Exposure from transmitters worn near the trunk of the body
Development of measurement and calculation methods for the determination of the
public exposure due to electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of mobile phone base
stations
Determination of the exposure of groups of people that will be investigated within the
scope of the project “Cross-sectional study for ascertainment and assessment of
possible adverse effects by the fields of mobile phone base stations”
Determination of human exposure caused by indoor wireless communication
technologies applied in homes and offices
Determination of the specific absorption rate (SAR values) occurring during day-to-day
mobile phone use
Determination of exposure to the population living near digital radio and television
transmitters
Determination of the real exposure from using mobile phones in partly shielded rooms
as compared to exposure under optimal conditions outdoors
Development of a practicable computational procedure for the determination of the
actual exposure in complex exposure scenarios with several different RF-sources
Investigation of the question, if macroscopic dielectric properties of tissues have
unlimited validity at both cellular and subcellular levels
Study on the influence of antenna topologies and topologies of entire devices of
wireless communication terminals operated near the body on the resulting SAR values
Determination of exposure due to ultra-wideband technologies
EPIDEMIOLOGY
Feasibility study for a cohort study: the cohort study should investigate highly exposed
(occupational) groups to estimate the risk associated with high frequency
electromagnetic fields
Addendum to a case control study on uveal melanoma and radio frequency radiation
(RIFA Study)
Prospective cohort study on mobile phone users
Extension of an international epidemiological study on the association between highfrequency electromagnetic fields and the risk of brain cancer (INTERPHONE)
Epidemiological study on childhood cancer and proximity to radio and television
transmitters
Addendum to the cross-sectional study on acute health effects caused by fields of

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

53

BIOLOGY
mobile phone base stations
E7
Estimation of RF-exposure in INTERPHONE Study subjects
E8
Cross-sectional study to record and evaluate possible adverse health effects due to
electromagnetic fields from cell-phone base stations
E9
Acute health effects by mobile telecommunication among children
E10 Validation of the exposure surrogate of the cross-sectional study on base stations
RISK COMMUNICATION
R1 Knowledge-based database of literature describing the effects of electromagnetic fields
on the organism and implants
R2 Analysis of target groups for differentiated information
R3 Supplementary information about electromagnetic hypersensitive persons
R4 Examination of the knowledge and effects of information activities in the field of
mobile telecommunications and determination of further approaches to improve
information of different population groups
R5 Identifying the general public’s fears and anxieties with regard to the possible risks of
high frequency electromagnetic fields of mobile telecommunications (annual survey)
R6 Innovative procedures for setting disputes with respect to the siting of mobile phone
transmitters
R7 Support of the co-operation between the mobile telecommunication actors by the Local
Agenda 21

54

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

List of DMF publications
(Bfs, as at May 2011)
1. Peer-reviewed journals
Project

Article

B1

Biology
Sukhotina I, Streckert J R, Bitz A K, Hansen V W, Lerchl A: 1800 MHz

B3

B3

B3
B4

B5
B6

B6

B6

B6

B6
B6

B6

B6

B6

B6

electromagnetic field effects on melatonin release from isolated pineal glands, J. Pineal
Res. 2006, 40:86-91
Sommer A M, Lerchl A: The risk of lymphoma in AKR/J mice does not rise with
chronic exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields (1 µT and 100 µT), Radiation Research
2004, 162:194-200
Sommer A M, Streckert J, Bitz A K, Hansen V, Lerchl A: No effects of GSMmodulated 900 MHz electromagnetic fields on survival rate and spontaneous
development of lymphoma in female AKR/J mice, BMC Cancer 2004, 4:77
Sommer A M, Lerchl A: 50 Hz magnetic fields of 1mT do not promote lymphoma
development in AKR/J mice, Radiation Research 2006, 165:343-349
Sommer A M, Bitz A K, Streckert J, Hansen V W, Lerchl A: Lymphoma Development
in Mice Chronically Exposed to UMTS-Modulated Radiofrequency Electromagnetic
Fields, Radiat. Res. 2007, 168:72-80
Leitgeb N, Schröttner J, Cech R, Kerbl R: EMF-protection sleep study near mobile
phone base stations. Somnologie 2008, 12:234-243
Simeonova M, Gimsa J: Dielectric anisotropy, volume potential anomalies and the
persistent Maxwellian equivalent body. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 2005, 17(50):78177831
Gimsa U, Schreiber U, Habel B, Flehr J, van Rienen U, Gimsa J.: Matching geometry
and stimulation parameters of electrodes for deep brain stimulation experiments-numerical considerations. J Neurosci Methods. 2006, 150(2):212-227
van Rienen U, Flehr U, Schreiber U, Schultze U, Gimsa U, Baumann W, Weiss D G,
Gimsa J, Benecke R, Pau H-W.: Electro-Quasistatic Simulations in Bio-Systems
Engineering and Medical Engineering. Advances in Radio Science. 2005, 3:39–49
Gimsa J, Habel B, Schreiber U, van Rienen U; Strauss U, Gimsa U. (2005). Choosing
electrodes for deep brain stimulation experiments – electrochemical considerations. J.
Neurosci. Meth. 142:251-265
Maswiwat K, Holtappels M, Gimsa J: On the field distribution in electrorotation
chambers - Influence of electrode shape. Electrochimica Acta 2006, 51:5215-5220
Köster P, Sakowski J, Baumann W, Glock H-W, Gimsa J: A new expo-sure system for
the in vitro detection of GHz field effects on neuronal networks. Bioelectrochemistry.
2007, 70(1):104-114
Sudsiri J, Wachner D, Gimsa J: On the temperature dependence of the dielectric
membrane properties of human red blood cells. Bioelectrochemistry. 2007, 70(1):134140
Simeonova M, Gimsa J: The influence of the molecular structure of lipid membranes on
the electric field distribution and energy absorption. Bioelectromagnetics. 2006,
27(8):652-666
Gimsa U, Schreiber U, Habel B, Flehr J, van Rienen U, Gimsa J: Matching geometry
and stimulation parameters of electrodes for deep brain stimulation experiments –
Numerical considerations. J. Neurosci. Meth. 2006, 150:212-227
Gimsa U, Iglic A, Fiedler S, Zwanzig M, Kralj-Iglic V, Jonas L, Gimsa J: Actin is not
required for nanotubular protrusions of primary astrocytes grown on metal nano-lawn.
Mol. Mem. Biol. 2007, 24:243-255

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Project
B6

B6

B6

B7

B7

B7

B7

B14

B14

B14

B14

B14

B14

B14

B18

55

Article
Maswiwat K, Holtappels M, Gimsa J: Optimizing the electrode shape for electrorotation
chambers. Journal of Applied Membrane Science and Technology Science Asia 2007,
33:61-67
Maswiwat K, Wachner D, Warnke R, Gimsa J: Simplified equations for the
transmembrane potential induced in ellipsoidal cells of rotational symmetry. J. Phys. D:
Appl. Phys. 2007, 40:914-923
Sudsiri J, Wachner D, Simeonova M, Donath J, Gimsa J: Effect of temperature on the
electrorotation behavior of human red blood cells. Jurnal Teknologi (Malaysia) 2006,
44(F):1-12.
Simkó M, Hartwig C, Lantow M, Lubke M, Mattsson M O, Rahman Q, Rollwitz J: Hsp
70 expression and free radical release after exposure to non-thermal radio-frequency
electromagnetic fields and ultrafine particles in human Mono Mac 6 cells, Toxicology
Letters 2006, 161:73-82
Lantow M, Schuderer J, Hartwig C, Simko M: Free Radical Release and HSP 70
Expression in two human immune-relevant cell lines after exposure to 1800 MHz
radiofrequency radiation, Radiation Research 2006, 165: 88-94
Lantow M, Lupke M, Frahm J, Mattson M O, Kuster N, Simko M: ROS release and
Hsp70 expression after exposure to 1.800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in
primary human monocytes and lymphocytes, Radiat. Environ Biophys, 2006, 45(1):5562
Lantow M, Viergutz T, Weiss D G, Simko M: Comparative Study of Cell Cycle
Kinetics and Induction of Apoptosis or Necrosis after Exposure of Human Mono Mac 6
Cells to Radiofrequency Radiation, Radiation Research 2006, 166: 539-543

Frick U, Kharraz A, Hauser S, Wiegand R, Rehm J, Kovatsits U, Eichhammer P:
Comparison perception of singular transcranial magnetic stimuli by subjectively
electrosensitive subjects and general population controls, Bioelectromagnetics 2005,
26:287-298
Frick U, Mayer M, Hauser S, Binder H, Rosner R, Eichhammer P: Entwicklung eines
deutschsprachigen Messinstrumentes für "Elektrosmog-Beschwerden", Umweltmedizin
in Forschung und Praxis 2006, 11:103-113.
Landgrebe M, Hauser S, Langguth B, Frick U, Hajak G, Eichhammer P: Altered
cortical excitability in subjectively electrosensitive patients: Results of a pilot study. J
Psychosom Res 2007, 62:283-288.

Landgrebe M, Hauser S, Langguth B, Frick U, Hajak G, Eichhammer P:
Transkranielle Magnetstimulation zur biologischen Charakterisierung somatoformer
Störungen am Beispiel der subjektiven Elektrosensibilität. Nervenheilkunde 2006,
25:653-656
Hauser S, Frick U, Eichhammer P, Rehm J: Cognitive factors influencing symptom
report on complaints allegedly related to electromagnetic fields: research strategies and
results. In: C. del Pozo, D.Papameleti, P. Wiedemann, & P.Ravazzani (Eds.) Risk
Perception and Risk Communication in EMF: Tools, Experiences and Strategies.
Proceedings JRC/EIS-EMF Workshop, Ispra 13th July 2004. (pp. 66-75). Brussels:
European Commission Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for
Consumer Health and Protection, 2006
Landgrebe M, Frick U, Hauser S, Langguth B, Rosner R, Hajak G, Eichhammer P:
Cognitive and neurobiological alterations in subjectively electrosensitive patients: a
case-control study. Psychol Medicine 2008, 38:1781-1791
Landgrebe M, Barta W, Rosengarth K, Frick U, Hauser S, Langguth B, Rutschman R,
Greenlee M W, Hajak G, Eichhammer P: Neuronal correlates of symptom formation in
functional somatic syndromes: a fMRI Study. NeuroImage 2008, 41:1336-44.
El Ouardi A, Streckert J, Bitz A, Münkner S, Engel J, Hansen V: New fin-line devices
for radiofrequency exposure of small biological samples in vitro allowing whole-cell
patch clamp recordings. Bioelectromagnetics 2011, 32:102-112

56

Project
B19

B19

B19

B20

B22

B22

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Article
Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H: Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields at Mobile
Phone Frequencies on Sleep: Current State of Knowledge from Laboratory Studies.
Somnologie 2005, 9:192–198
Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H, Bahr A, Anderer P, Sauter C: Effects of electromagnetic
fields emitted by mobile phones (GSM 900 and WCDMA/UMTS) on the
macrostructure of sleep. J. Sleep Res. 2011, 20:73-81
Sauter C, Dorn H, Bahr A, Hansen M-L, Peter A, Bajbouj M, Danker-Hopfe H: Effects
of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by GSM 900 and WCDMA mobile
phones on cognitive function in young male subjects. Bioelectromagnetics 2011,
32:179-190
Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H, Bornkessel Ch, Sauter C: Do mobile phone base stations
affect sleep of residents? Results from an experimental double-blind sham-controlled
field study. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2010, 22:613-618
Sommer A M, Grote K, Reinhardt T, Streckert J, Hansen V, Lerchl A: Effects of
Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (UMTS) on Reproduction and Development of
Mice: A Multi-generation Study. Radiation Research 2009, 171:89-95
Dahmen N, Ghezel-Ahmadi D, Engel A: Blood laboratory findings in patients suffering
from self-perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). Bioelectromagnetics 2009,
30:299-306

Dosimetry
B3
B4
22
B9

B9
B12

B12
B12

B19
B19,
B11
D2

D4

D4

D4

Reinhardt T, Bitz A, El Ouardi A, Streckert J, Sommer A, Lerchl A, Hansen V:
Exposure set-ups for in vivo experiments using radial waveguides, Radiation Protection
Dosimetry 2007, 124:21-26
Tejero S, Schelkshorn S, Detlefsen J: Concept for the controlled plane wave exposure
for animal experiments using a parabolic reflector, Advances in Radio Science 2005,
3:233-238
Schelkshorn S, Tejero S, Detlefsen J: Exposure setup for animal experiments using a
parabolic reflector, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2007, 124:27-30
Ahlers M T, Bolz T, Bahr A, Ammermüller J: Temperature-controlled exposure
systems for investigating possible changes of retinal ganglion cell activity in response to
high-frequency electromagnetic fields. Radiat Environ Biophys 2009, 48:227-35
Mann S: Rapporteur´s report, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2007, 124:2-5
The editors German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme International
Workshop on Final Results of Dosimetry Projects, Radiation Protection Dosimetry
2007, 124:1
Bahr A, Dorn H, Bolz T: Dosimetric Assessment of an Exposure System for Simulating
GSM and WCDMA Mobile Phone Usage, Bioelectromagnetics 2006, 27:320-327
Bahr A, Adami C, Bolz T, Rennings A, Dorn H, Rüttiger ´L: Exposure setups for
laboratory animals and volunteer studies using body-mounted antennas, Radiation
Protection Dosimetry 2007, 124:31-44
Schmid G, Preiner P, Lager D, Überbacher R, Georg R: Exposure of the general public
due to wireless LAN applications in public places, Radiation Protection Dosimetry
2007, 124:48-52
Schmid G, Überbacher R, Samaras T, Jappel A, Baumgartner W-D, Tschabitscher M,
Mazal P R: High-resolution numerical model of the middle and inner ear for a detailed
analysis of radio frequency absorption. Phys. Med. Biol. 2007, 52:1771–1781
Schmid G, Überbacher R, Samaras T: Radio frequency-induced temperature elevations
in the human head considering small anatomical structures, Radiation Protection
Dosimetry 2007, 124:15-20.
Schmid G, Uberbacher R, Samaras T, Tschabitscher M, Mazal P R: The dielectric
properties of human pineal gland tissue and RF absorption due to wireless
communication devices in the frequency range 400-1850 MHz, Phys Med Biol. 2007,
52:5457-68.

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Project
D5

D5

D5

D5

D6
D3
D7

D7

D8

D9
D10

D13
E9

57

Article
Christ A, Klingenböck A, Samaras T, Goiceanu C, Kuster N: The Dependence of
Electromagnetic Far-Field Absorption on Body Tissue Composition in the Frequency
Range From 300 MHz to 6 GHz. IEEE Transactions on microwave theory and
techniques 2006, 54:2188-2195
Christ A, Samaras T, Klingenböck A, Kuster N: Characterization of the electromagnetic
near-field absorption in layered biological tissue in the frequency range from 30 MHz to
6000 MHz, Phys. Med. Biol. 2006, 51:4951-4965.
Samaras T, Christ A, Klingenböck A, Kuster N: Worst-case temperature rise in a onedimensional tissue model exposed to radiofrequency radiation”, IEEE Transactions on
Biomedical Engineering 2007, 54:492-496
Christ A, Samaras T, Neufeld E, Klingenböck A, Kuster N: SAR Distribution in human
beings when using body-worn RF transmitters, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2007,
124:6-14
Bornkessel C, Schubert M, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Determination of the general public
exposure around GSM and UMTS base stations, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2007,
124:40-47
Neitzke H P, Osterhoff J, Peklo K, Voigt H: Determination of exposure due to mobile
phone base stations in an epidemiological study, Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2007, 124:3539
Breckenkamp J, Neitzke H P, Bornkessel C, Berg-Beckhoff G: Applicability of an
Exposure Model for the Determination of Emissions from Mobile Phone Base Stations,
Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2008, 131:474–481
Schmid G, Lager D, Preiner P, Überbacher R, Cecil S: Exposure caused by wireless
technologies used for short-range indoor communication in homes and offices,
Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2007, 124:58-62
Baumann J, Landstorfer F M, Geisbusch L, Georg R: Evaluation of radiation exposure
by UMTS mobile phones. Electronics Letters 2006, 42:225-226
Schubert M, Bornkessel C, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Exposure of the general public to
digital broadcast transmitters compared to analogue ones, Radiation Protection
Dosimetry 2007, 124:53-57
Gulich R, Köhler M, Lunkenheimer P, Loidl A: Dielectric spectroscopy on aqueous
electrolytic solutions. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2008, 48:107-114

Radon K, Spegel H, Meyer N, Klein J, Brix J, Wiedenhofer A, Eder H, Praml G,
Schulze A, Ehrenstein V, von Kries R, Nowak D: Personal Dosimetry of Exposure
to Mobile Telephone Base Stations? An Epidemiologic Feasibility Study Comparing the
Maschek Dosimeter Prototype and the Antennessa DSP-090 System,
Bioelectromagnetics 2006, 27:77-81

Epidemiology
E1
E1

E1

E2
E2

Berg G, Breckenkamp J, Blettner M.: Gesundheitliche Auswirkungen hochfrequenter
Strahlenexposition, Dt. Ärzteblatt 2003, 42:A 2738
Breckenkamp J, Berg G, Blettner M: Biological effects on human health due to
radiofrequency/microwave exposure: a synopsis of cohort studies. Radiat Environ
Biophys. 2003, 42(3):141-154
Breckenkamp J, Berg-Beckhoff G, Münster E, Schüz J, Schlehofer B, Wahrendorf J,
Blettner M: Feasibility of a cohort study on health risks caused by occupational
exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Environ Health. 2009, 29(8):23
Schmidt-Pokrzywniak A, Jöckel K H, Bornfeld N, Stang A: Case-control study on uveal
melanoma (RIFA): Rational and design, BMC Ophthalmology 2004, 4:1-9
Stang A, Schmidt-Pokrzywniak A, Lehnert M, Parkin D M, Ferlay J, Bornfeld N, Marr
A, Jöckel K H: Population-based incidence estimates of uveal melanoma in Germany:
Supplementing cancer registry data by case-control data. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2006,
15:165-170

58

Project
E2

E4

E4

E4

E4

E4

E5

E5

E5

E5

E8

E8

E9

E9

E9

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Article
Stang A, Schmidt-Pokrzywniak A, Lash TL, Lommatzsch PK, Taubert G, Bornfeld N,
Jöckel KH: Mobile phone use and risk of uveal melanoma: results of the risk factors for
uveal melanoma case-control study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009, 101(2):120-123
Schüz J, Böhler E, Berg G, Schlehofer B, Hettinger I, Schlaefer K, Wahrendorf J,
Kunna-Grass K, Blettner M: Cellular Phones, Cordless Phones, and the Risks of Glioma
and Meningioma (Interphone Study Group, Germany), Am. J. Epidemiol. 2006, 63:512520
Schüz J, Böhler E, Schlehofer B, Berg G, Schlaefer K, Hettinger I, Kunna-Grass K,
Wahrendorf J, Blettner M: Radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted of DECT
cordless phones and risk of glioma and meningioma (Interphone study group,
Germany), Radiat. Res. 2006, 166:116-119
Berg G, Spallek J, Schlehofer B, Böhler E, Schlaefer K, Hettinger I, Kunna-Grass K,
Wahrendorf J, Blettner M: Occupational exposure to radio frequency/microwave
radiation and the risk of brain tumors: Interphone Study Group, Germany. Am. J.
Epidemiol 2006, 164:538-548.
Breckenkamp J, Berg G, Blettner M: Biological effects on human health due to
radiofrequency/microwave exposure: a synopsis of cohort studies. Radiat Environ
Biophys 2003, 42:141-154
Samkange-Zeeb F, Schlehofer B, Schüz J, Schlaefer K, Berg-Beckhoff G, Wahrendorf
J, Blettner M: Occupation and risk of glioma, meningioma and acoustic neuroma:
results from a German case-control study (interphone study group, Germany). Cancer
Epidemiol. 2010, 34(1):55-61
Merzenich H, Schmiedel S, Bennack S, Brüggemeyer H, Phillipp J, Spix C, Blettner M,
Schüz J: Leukämie bei Kindern in der Umgebung von Sendestationen des Rundfunks –
Anforderungen an das Studiendesign. Umweltmed Forsch Prax 2007, 12:213-223
Heinrich S, Thomas S, Heumann C, von Kries R, Radon K: Association between
exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields assessed by dosimetry and acute
symptoms in children and adolescents: a population based cross-sectional study,
Environ Health 2010, 9:75
Schmiedel S, Brüggemeyer H, Philipp J, Wendler J, Merzenich H, Schüz J: An
evaluation of exposure metrics in an epidemiologic study on radio and television
broadcast transmitters and the risk of childhood leukemia. Bioelectromagnetics. 2009,
30(2):81-91
Merzenich H, Schmiedel S, Bennack S, Brüggemeyer H, Philipp J, Blettner M, Schüz J:
Childhood leukemia in relation to radio frequency electromagnetic fields in the vicinity
of TV and radio broadcast transmitters. Am J Epidemiol. 2008, 168(10):1169-1178
Berg-Beckhoff G, Blettner M, Kowall B, Breckenkamp J, Schlehofer B, Schmiedel S,
Bornkessel C, Reis U, Potthoff P, Schüz J: Mobile phone base stations and adverse
health effects: phase 2 of a cross-sectional study with measured radio frequency
electromagnetic fields. Occup Environ Med. 2009, 66(2):124-130
Blettner M, Schlehofer B, Breckenkamp J, Kowall B, Schmiedel S, Reis U, Potthoff P,
Schüz J, Berg-Beckhoff G: Mobile phone base stations and adverse health effects: phase
1 of a population-based, cross-sectional study in Germany. Occup Environ Med. 2009,
66(2):118-123
Heinrich S, Thomas S, Heumann C, von Kries R, Radon K: The impact of exposure to
radio frequency electromagnetic fields on chronic well-being in young people – a crosssectional study based on personal dosimetry. Environ Int 2011, 37:26-30
Heinrich S, Thomas S, Heumann C, von Kries R, Radon K: Association between
exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields assessing dosimetry and acute
symptoms in children and adolescents: a population based cross-sectional study.
Environ Health 2010, 9:75
Thomas S, Heinrich S, von Kries R, Radon K: Exposure to radio-frequency
electromagnetic fields and behavioural problems in Bavarian children and adolescents.
Eur J Epidemiol 2010, 25:135-141

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Project
E9

E9

E10

E10

59

Article
Thomas S, Kühnlein A, Heinrich S, Praml G, von Kries R, Radon K: Exposure to
mobile telecommunication networks assessed using personal dosimetry and well-being
in children and adolescents: the German MobilEe-study. BioMed Central 2008,
doi:10.1186/1476-069X-7-54
Kühnlein A, Heumann C, Thomas S, Heinrich S, Radon K: Personal exposure to mobile
communication networks and well-being in children – a statistical analysis based on
functional approach. Bioelectromagnetics 2009, 30:261-269
Bornkessel C, Blettner M, Breckenkamp J, Berg-Beckhoff G: Quality control for
exposure assessment in epidemiological studies. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2010,
140(3):287-293
Breckenkamp J, Neitzke HP, Bornkessel C, Berg-Beckhoff G: Applicability of an
exposure model for the determination of emissions from mobile phone base stations.
Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2008, 131(4):474-481

60

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

2. Conference presentations
Project

Article

Biology
B2

B3

B3

B3

B5

B6

B6

B6

B7

B7

B9

B9

B10

B10

Schmid G, Pipal L, Widhalm K, Tschabitscher M: Feasibility and reasonable endpoints
of investigations regarding a possibly higher RF-exposure risk for children, 27 Annual
Meeting of the BEMS, 2005, Dublin, Ireland, Abstract Book p 543
Sommer A M, A. Bitz J, Streckert V, Hansen V, Lerchl A: No effect from 900
MHz electromagnetic fields on the spontaneous development of lymphoma in female
AKR/J Mice, 26 Annual Meeting of the BEMS, 2004, Washington DC, USA, Abstract
Book p 258
Lerchl A, Sommer A M: Consistent outcome of exposure of pre-leukaemic AKR/J mice
to magnetic (50 Hz, 1, 100 and 1000 µTesla) and electromagnetic fields (900 MHz,
1966 MHz, 0.4 W/kg SAR), 8th Congress of the European Bioelectromagnetics
Association, 2007, Bordeaux, Abstract S-7-5
Sommer A M, Lerchl A, Bitz A, Streckert J, Hansen V: UMTS-modulated
electromagnetic fields do not influence the development of lymphoma in female AKR/J
mice, 27 Annual Meeting of the BEMS, 2005, Dublin, Ireland, Abstract Book p 177
Leitgeb N: Subjective sleep impairment in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations,
8th International Congress of the European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA),
2007, Bordeaux
Haberland L, Simeonova M, Alsbach W, Brandt S, Dubois W: Analysis of literature
(abstracts) on biological effects of EMF in the frequency range 2 – 3 GHz, 26 Annual
Meeting of the BEMS, 2004, Washington DC, USA, Abstract Book p 28
Sudsiri J, Wachner D, Gimsa J: Effect of temperature on the electrorotation behavior of
human red blood cells: Implication for a transition in ion transport around 15°C, Annual
Meeting of the BEMS, 2005, Dublin, Abstract Book
Köster P, Scheinemann A, Baumann W, Glock H-W: A new exposure system for the in
vitro detection of GHz field effects on neuronal networks, Joint Meeting
Bioelectrochemistry, 2005, Coimbra
Lantow M, Simkó M: 1800 MHz RF-EMF do not induce free radical production in
different immune relevant cells, 26 Annual Meeting of the BEMS, 2004, Washington
DC, USA, Abstract Book p 226
Lantow M, Hartwig C, Maercker C, Simko M: Free radical production, Hsp70
expression and protein profiling after 1800 MHz RF exposure in different immune
relevant cells, 27 Annual Meeting of the BEMS, 2005, Dublin, Ireland, Abstract Book
p 126
Bornhausen M, Stangassinger M, Erhard M, Stohrer M, Detlefsen J, Schelkdhorn S,
Eberle J, Petrowicz O: Research project on the detection and analysis of alleged
cognitive, biochemical and immunological consequences of chronic exposure of three
generations of rats to electromagnetic GSM- and UMTS-fields of mobile
communication, International Congress of the European Bioelectromagnetics
Association (EBEA), 2003, Budapest, Hungaria, p 62
Bornhausen M, Okorn S, Stangassinger M, Erhard M, Stohrer M, Detlefsen J,
Schelkshorn S, Eberle J and Petrowicz O: Are there any health consequences of chronic
exposure to GSM- or UMTS-fields? Research Project on eventual cognitive,
immunological and blood-brain-barrier effects in three generations of rats, 26 Annual
Meeting of the BEMS, 2004, Washington DC, USA, Abstract Book p 260
Franke H, Streckert J, Bitz A, Hansen V, Young P: Differential gene expression at the
RF-EMF exposed BBB in vitro, 28th BEMS Annual Meeting, 2006, Cancun, Mexico,
303-304
Bitz A, Reinhardt T, El Ouardi A, Streckert J, Franke H, Zimmer J, Hansen V:
Exposure of cell monolayers and hippocampal slice cultures inside radial waveguides,
28th BEMS Annual Meeting, 2006, Cancun, Mexico, 273-274

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Project
B12

B12

B14

B14

B15

B18

B19
B19

B19

B19

B20

61

Article
Ahlers M T, Tillmans F, Deister F, Bolz T, Bahr A, Ammermüller J: Effects of GSM
900 electromagnetic field exposure on retinal ganglion cell responses, Meeting of the
German Neuroscience Society, 2007, Göttingen
Ahlers M T, Tillmans F, Bolz T, Bahr A, Friedl T, Ammermüller J: Effects of
electromagnetic field exposure on retinal ganglion cell responses, European Retina
Meeting 2007, Frankfurt, Germany
Landgrebe M, Hauser S, Langguth B, Barta W, Rosengarth K, Greenlee M, Frick U,
Hajak G, Eichhammer P: Dysfunctional cognitive strategies in subjectively
electrosensitive patients – a fMRI study, 4th International Workshop on Biological
Effects of EMFs, 2006, Crete, Greece.
Frick U, Landgrebe M, Hauser S, Hajak G, Eichhammer P: Perceptive and motor
response thresholds during single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation of
subjectively electrosensitive subjects as compared to controls – a replication study, 4th
International Workshop on Biological Effects of EMFs, 2006, Crete, Greece.
Billaudel B, Taxile M, Mayeur L, Ladeveze E, Laclau M, Haro E, Leveque P, Ruffie G,
Poulletie de Gannes F, Lagroye I, Veyret B: Effects of a 4-week chronic head only
exposure to GSM 1800 or UMTS signals on the brain of Wistar-HAN Rats, 8th
Congress of the European Bioelectromagnetics Association, 2007, Bordeaux, Abstracts
127, p 43
Münkner S, El Ouardi A, Streckert J, Hansen J, Engel J:(2007) Ionic currents through
Ca2+ channels in mature mouse Inner Hair Cells under mobil phone field exposure,
Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, 2007, Göttingen
Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H: Dop GSM and/or UMTS electromagnetic fields have an
effect on sleep? Abstracts 18th Cong. Europ. Sleep Soc, J. Sleep Res. 2006, 15 pp 1-253
Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H, Anderer P Do high frequency electromagnetic fields of the
GSM and the UMTS standard for mobile communication affect sleep structure and/or
sleep spindles? World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies,
2007, Cairns
Danker-Hopfe H, Bahr A, Dorn H: Do high frequency electromagnetic fields of the
GSM and/or the UMTS standard for mobile communication affect sleep? BEMS, 2007,
Kanazawa, Japan
Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H: Laboratory study: Studies of the effects of exposure to
electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile phones on volunteers, FGF Workshop:
Sleep Disorders, EEG-Changes, Altered Cognitive Functions – Is There a Connection
With the Exposure to Mobile Communication RF Fields? 2007, Stuttgart
Dorn H, Danker-Hopfe H: Field Study: Investigation of sleep quality in persons living
near a mobile base station – Experimental study on the evaluation of possible
psychological and physiological effects under residential conditions FGF Workshop:
Sleep Disorders, EEG-Changes, Altered Cognitive Functions – Is There a Connection
With the Exposure to Mobile Communication RF Fields?, 2007, Stuttgart

Dosimetry
B3

B9

B9

B19

Bitz A K, Streckert J, Sommer A M, Lerchl A, Hansen V W: 2 GHz- exposure of nonrestrained AKR/J mice in a slightly over-moded radial waveguide, 26 Annual Meeting
of the BEMS, 2004, Washington DC, USA, Abstract Book p 139
Tejero S, Schelkshorn S, Detlefsen J: Compact Setup for an Homogeneous Plan-Wave
Exposure for In-Vivo Experiments, GeMiC German Microwave Conference, 2006,
Karlsruhe, Germany
Tejero S, Schelkskorn S, Detlefsen J, Okorn S, Bornhausen M, Petrowicz O: Setup for
the controlled plane wave exposure at GSM and UMTS bands for in vivo experiments
using a parabolic reflector, 27 Annual Meeting of the BEMS, 2005, Dublin, Ireland,
Abstract Book p 483
Bahr A, Dorn H, Bolz T: Exposure system for stimulating GSM and WCDMA mobile
phone usage, 27 Annual Meeting of the BEMS, 2005, Dublin, Ireland, Abstract Book
p 90

62

Project
D1

D1

D1

D1

D4

D6

D6
D3
D6
D3
D6
D3
D7

D7

D8

D10
D10

D10

D10

D10

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Article
Berdiñas Torres V, Fröhlich J, Klingenböck A, Nikoloski N, Kuster N: Relevant
exposure parameters for the comparison of animal studies, International Congress of the
European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA), 2003, Budapest, Hungaria, p. 69.
Fröhlich J, Berdiñas Torres V, Ladbury J M, Wilson P F, Kuster N: In vivo exposure
systems for use in studies with large numbers of rodents at cellular telephone
frequencies, 25th Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, 2003, Maui,
Hawaii, p. 147
Fröhlich J, Chavannes N, Kuster N: Ratio of spatial peak and whole body SAR
dependent on frequency and polarization in animals and humans, XXVII General
Assembly of URSI, 2002, Maastricht, Netherlands
Fröhlich J, Chavannes N, Nikoloski N, Kuster N: Rigorous analysis of EM absorption
in high resolution anatomical models using FDTD, AP-S International Symposium and
USNC/URSI National Radio Science Meeting, 2002, San Antonio, Texas, USA, p. 50.
Uberbacher R, Schmid G, Tschabitscher M: New high resolution numerical model of
inner ear organs for RF-dosimetry - preliminary results in the 900 MHz - 10 GHz range,
BEMS, 2006, Cancun, Mexico
Bornkessel C, Schubert M: Mess- und Berechnungsverfahren zur Ermittlung der
Exposition durch Mobilfunk-Basisstationen, EMV Internationale Fachmesse und
Kongress für Elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit, 2006, Düsseldorf, Germany
Bornkessel C, Schubert M, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Bestimmung der Exposition der
Bevölkerung in der Umgebung von GSM und UMTS Basisstationen, Adv. Radio Sci.,
2007, 5:163–168
Bornkessel C, Schubert M, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Systematic Analysis of General
Public EMF Exposure Around GSM and UMTS Base Stations, BEMS 29th Annual
Meeting, 2007, Kanazawa (Japan)
Bornkessel C, Schubert M, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Measurement and Calculation of
General Public Electromagnetic Exposure Around GSM and UMTS Cellular Base
Stations, INICA Int. ITG-Conference on Antennas, 2007, München
Neitzke H-P, Osterhoff J, Peklo K, Voigt H: Ermittlung der Hochfrequenz-Expositionen
durch Mobilfunk-Basisstationen in epidemiologischen Studien, 36. Jahrestagung des
Fachverbandes für Strahlenschutz, 2004, Köln,
Voigt H, Neitzke H-P, Osterhoff J, Peklo K: Hochfrequenz-Expositionen in Wohnungen
in der Umgebung von Mobilfunk-Basisstationen, 36. Jahrestagung des Fachverbandes
für Strahlenschutz, 2004, Köln
Schmid G, Lager D, Preiner P: Exposure assessment in the electromagnetic fields of
indoor-used modern wireless communication devices, 27 Annual Meeting of the BEMS,
2005, Dublin, Ireland, Abstract Book p 478
Bornkessel C, Wuschek M: Exposure Measurements of Modern Digital Broadband
Radio Services, GeMiC German Microwave Conference, 2006, Karlsruhe, Germany
Wuschek M, Bornkessel C, Schubert M: Hochfrequente Immissionen durch digitale
Tonrundfunk- und Fernsehsender (DAB, DVB-T), EMV Internationale Fachmesse und
Kongress für Elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit, 2006, Düsseldorf, Germany
Schubert M, Bornkessel C, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Vergleich der Exposition der
Bevölkerung durch digitale und analoge Rundfunksender, Adv. Radio Sci.,2007, 5:163–
168
Wuschek M, Bornkessel C: Exposure of General Public to Digital Broadcast
Transmitters (DVB-T, DAB), COST 281 Workshop on Emerging EMF Technologies,
Potential Sensitive Groups and Health, 2006, Graz
Schubert M, Bornkessel C, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Electromagnetic Exposure of the
General Public to DVB-T and DAB Transmitters Compared to Analogue TV and FM
Radio, INICA 2007 Int. ITG-Conference on Antennas, 2007, München

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

Project
D11

63

Article
Schmid G, Cecil S, Ueberbacher R, Georg R: Numerical investigation of field
elevations due to mobile phone usage in transportation means compared to free space
conditions, The Bioelectromagnetics Society 29th Annual Meeting, 2007, Kanazawa,
Japan

Epidemiology
B20

E1

E2

E4

R1

R1

R1

R1

Danker-Hopfe H, Sauter C, Bornkessel C, Dorn H: Investigation of Sleep Quality in
Persons Living Close to a Mobile Phone Base Station - Results From an Experimental
Study, BEMS 30th Annual Meeting, 2008, San Diego (USA)
Berg G, Böhler E, Schlehofer B, Blettner M: Ergebnisse einer Machbarkeitsstudie für
eine Berufskohorte, die durch hochfrequente elektromagnetische Felder exponiert ist,
50. Jahrestagung der GMDS, 12. Jahrestagung der DAE, 2005, Freiburg
Schmidt–Pokrzywniak A, Jöckel K H, Bornfeld N, Marr A, Stang A.: NonresponseAnalyse der RIFA Fall-Kontroll Studie, 50. Jahrestagung der GMDS, 12. Jahrestagung
der DAE, 2005, Freiburg
Berg G, Schüz J, Schlehofer B, Böhler E, Schläfer K, Hettinger I, Kunna-Grass K,
Wahrendorf J, Blettner M: Einflussfaktoren für die Responserate in Fall-Kontroll
Studien – ein Vergleich über Zeitreihen und Studienzentren, Erfahrungen aus der
INTERPHONE Studie, 50. Jahrestagung der GMDS, 12. Jahrestagung der DAE, 2005,
Freiburg
Wienert R, Klubertz F, Driessen S, Dechent D, Silny J: EMF-Portal offers up-to-date
information on published scientific studies, 28th Annual Meeting Bioelectromagnetic
Society, 2006, Abstract Book p134–135
Driessen S, Meyer M, Wienert R, Silny J: Representation of the literature on the effects
of electromagnetic fields, 27th Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society,
2005, Dublin, Ireland
Wienert R, Driessen S, Meyer M, Klubertz F, Silny J: EMF-Portal: Benefit for
information retrieval on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields, 27th Annual
Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, 2005, Dublin, Ireland
Wienert R, Dechent D, Klubertz F, Silny J: Internet portal and Information System on
the biological effects of electro-magnetic fields “EMF-portal”, Proceedings 25th Annual
Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetic Society, 2003, Maui, Hawaii, p 403

64

Biological Effects of Mobile Phone Use

3. Other
Project

Article

Biology
B6
B6

B6

B6

R1

R1

Gimsa J: Klassifizierung möglicher Wirkungsmechanismen von EMF – ein Beitrag zu
molekularen Hochfrequenz-Antennen, FGF Newsletter 2003, 4:50–52
Gimsa U, Scheunemann A, Wachner D, Sakowski J, Köster P, Gimsa J: Effekte
hochfrequenter elektromagnetischer Felder auf zellulärer Ebene - eine Literaturstudie,
Shaker Verlag. Aachen, 2006, ISBN-10:3-8322-5251-7
Gimsa U, Kralj-Iglic V, Iglic A, Fiedler S, Zwanzig M, Jonas L, Gimsa J: Basic cellcell and cell-surface interactions in liposome and cellular systems, in: A. Leitmannova
Liu (ed.): Advances in planar lipid bilayers and liposomes, Elsevier, 2006, 5: 229-251
Fischer R: Entwicklung und Test von Hochfrequenz-Expositionseinrichtungen im
GHz-Bereich, Diplomarbeit am Institut für Allgemeine Elektrotechnik und am
Lehrstuhl für Biophysik an der Universität Rostock, 2006
Wienert R, Driessen S: Internet-Informationssystem über die Wirkungen
elektromagnetischer Felder (EMF-Portal), Newsletter, FGF-Forschungsgemeinschaft
Funk e.V. (Hrsg.) 13. Jahrgang, Heft 2/2005: 4-13
Wienert R, Driessen S, Silny J: EMF-Portal – Internet Informationssystem.
Posterpräsentation Bremer Forum für WissenschaftsJournalismus, Messe Centrum
Bremen, 2005

Dosimetry
D6
D10
D3
D6
D3

Bornkessel C, Wuschek M: Fachgerechte Messung hochfrequenter
elektromagnetischer Immissionen von Funksendeanlagen des Rundfunks und
Mobilfunks, EMF-Monitor, 2006 12: 1-6
Bornkessel C, Schubert M, Wuschek M, Schmidt P: Elektromagnetische Exposition
der Bevölkerung in der Umgebung von GSM- und UMTS-Basisstationen, HF-Report,
2007, 21 no. 1

Sponsor Documents

Hide

Forgot your password?

Or register your new account on INBA.INFO

Hide

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in

Close