The Effects of 884 MHz GSM Wireless Communication Signals on
Self-reported Symptom and Sleep (EEG)- An Experimental Provocation
/Bengt B. Arnetz, Torbjorn Akerstedt, Lena Hillert, Arne Lowden, Niels
Kuster, and Clairy Wiholm/
[PDF Full Text (275 KB)
In the current study we assessed possible effects of prolonged (3 hours)
exposure to 884 MHz GSM wireless communication signals on self-reported
symptoms, cognitive function, and electroencephalographically (EEG)
recorded sleep. The study group consisted of 36 women and 35 men.
Twenty-two women and sixteen men reported symptoms they specifically
related to mobile phone use (SG). The rest of the participants reported
no mobile phone-related symptoms (NG).
Potential participants volunteering for the study were evaluated by
physicians, including some biochemical assessments, to rule out medical
conditions that could interfere with study variables of interest. Once
selected, participants spent three different sessions in the laboratory.
The habituation session was followed by two subsequent sessions. In
these subsequent sessions, subjects were either exposed to sham exposure
(sham) or 884 MHz GSM wireless communication signals for 3 hours (an
average of 1.4 W/kg including periods of DTX and Non-DTX. Exposure
directed to the left hemisphere). Data was collected before, during and
following the exposure/sham sessions. Data collected included
self-reported symptoms, including headache, cognitive function, mood,
and electroencephalographic recordings.
During actual exposure, as compared to sham exposure, sleep initiated
one hour after exposure was affected. There was a prolonged latency to
reach the first cycle of deep sleep (stage 3). The amount of stage 4
sleep was also decreased in exposed subjects. NG subjects reported more
headaches during exposures vs. sham exposure. Neither group (SG and NG)
was able to detect the true exposure status more frequently than by
The study indicates that during laboratory exposure to 884 MHz wireless
signals, components of sleep, believed to be important for recovery from
daily wear and tear, are adversely affected. Moreover, participants that
otherwise have no self-reported symptoms related to mobile phone use,
appear to have more headaches during actual radiofrequency exposure as
compared to sham exposure. However, subjects were not able to detect the
true exposure status more often than would have been expected by
statistical chance alone.
Additional self-reported findings, biochemical, performance and
electrophysiological data are currently being analyzed. Possible health
implications from the findings will also be further explored.
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