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Electromagnetic Fields 2015 Update

5. Conclusions on mobile phones and radio frequency fields

    Few studies have looked at effects on children
    Few studies have looked at effects on children

    Extensive research has been conducted in recent years on how RF fields, including those generated by mobile phones, might affect health. Carcinogenicity and a variety of possible effects have been studied, both inside the laboratory and among human populations.

    Conclusions of the Opinion are based on thorough examination of all pertinent and very numerous epidemiological and experimental studies from three independent lines of evidence (studies on humans, animals, and cell cultures).

    Overall, the epidemiological studies on mobile phone RF EMF exposure do not show an increased risk of brain tumours. Furthermore, they do not indicate an increased risk for other cancers of the head and neck region.

    A considerable number of well-performed in vivo studies using a wide variety of animal models have been mostly negative in outcome.

    A large number of in vitro studies pertaining to genotoxic as well as non-genotoxic end-points have been published since the last Opinion was adopted. In most of the studies, no effects of exposure at non-thermal levels were reported.

    The theory that RF exposure may affect brain activity, as supported by evidence from previous EEG studies conducted during sleep and wakeful periods, was also supported by some recent studies although the small physiological changes remains unclear and mechanistic explanation is still lacking. Overall, there is a lack of evidence that RF EMF affects cognitive functions in humans.

    Symptoms that are attributed by some people to RF EMF exposure can sometimes be strong enough to cause serious impairments to a person’s quality of life. However, research conducted since the previous SCENIHR Opinion adds weight to the conclusion that RF EMF exposure is not causally linked to these symptoms.

    Relevant studies show no adverse effects on reproduction and development from RF fields at non-thermal exposure levels.

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