3.3.8. Conclusions about RF fields
The question receiving most attention is whether RF field
exposure is involved in carcinogenesis. The previous opinion
stated that, based on
mobile phone use for less than ten years is not associated with
cancer incidence. Regarding
longer use, it was deemed difficult to make an estimate since
few persons had used mobile phones for more than ten
Since then, a few additional
have been published. Unfortunately they do not significantly
extend the exposure period. These studies do not change this
New improved studies on the association between RF fields from
broadcast transmitters and childhood
cancer provide evidence
against such an association.
Animal studies show that RF fields similar to those from
mobile phones, alone or in combination with known
carcinogenic factors, are
not carcinogenic in laboratory rodents. Certain studies have
also employed higher exposure levels (up to 4 W/kg), still with
no apparent effects on tumor development.
Furthermore, the in vitro studies regarding
genotoxicity fail to
provide evidence for an involvement of RF field exposure in
It is concluded from three independent lines of evidence
and in vitro studies) that exposure to RF fields is unlikely to
lead to an increase in
cancer in humans. However,
as the widespread duration of exposure of humans to RF fields
from mobile phones is shorter than the induction time of some
cancers, further studies
are required to identify whether considerably longer-term (well
beyond ten years) human exposure to such phones might pose some
several studies were performed on subjects reporting subjective
symptoms. In the previous opinion, it was concluded that
scientific studies had failed to provide support for a
relationship between RF exposure and self- reported symptoms.
Although an association between RF exposure and single symptoms
was indicated in some new studies, taken together, there is a
lack of consistency in the findings. Therefore, the conclusion
that scientific studies have failed to provide support for an
effect of RF fields on self-reported symptoms still holds.
Scientific studies have indicated that a nocebo effect (an
adverse non-specific effect that is caused by expectation or
belief that something is harmful) may play a role in symptom
formation. As in the previous opinion, there is no evidence
supporting that individuals, including those attributing
symptoms to RF exposure, are able to detect RF fields. There is
some evidence that RF fields can influence EEG patterns and
sleep in humans. However, the health relevance is uncertain and
mechanistic explanation is lacking. Further investigation of
these effects is needed. Other studies on functions/aspects of
the nervous system, such as
cognitive functions, sensory functions, structural stability,
and cellular responses show no or no consistent effects.
Recent studies have not shown effects from RF fields on human
or animal reproduction and development. No new data have been
reported that indicate any other effects on human health.
From the risk assessment
perspective it is important to recognise that information on
possible effects caused by RF fields in children is limited.
Furthermore, there is a lack of information on diseases other
than those discussed in this report.