Authors
Hietanen M, Hamalainen A-M, Husman T (2002)

The authors tested the hypothesis that there are hypersensitive persons who perceive symptoms when exposed to RF fields from cellular phones. They studied 20 individuals (13 women and 7 men) who described themselves as hypersensitive in this way.

Three different types of cellular phones were used as exposure sources: an analogue NMT (900 MHz, power output 1W), and two digital GSM phones (900 and 1800 MHz). The GSM signal was pulsed at a frequency of 217 Hz and a pulse width of 577 µs. The peak power for the GSM 900 phones was 2W, and for the 1800 phones 1W. The tests were carried out in a remote rural area to minimize the risk of influence from other EMFs. The phone was hidden inside a fabric bag and placed 1-5 cm from the subject's ear. An identical "dummy" phone was positioned on the other side of the subject's head. The subjects were also given a sham exposure, which was always the first or second test in the 4 tests done (one sham and three types of phone signals). The exposure was for 30 minutes for each test, with a break of 60 minutes between tests.

Nineteen of the twenty subjects reported symptoms during the tests. Most symptoms were in the head region and were described as sensations of pain or warmth. However, the number of reported symptoms was higher during sham exposure than during real exposure conditions. Systolic blood pressure and heart rate were significantly higher during sham exposure. This may have been because these measures were higher during the first test period and gradually fell in later tests, and the sham exposure was done either first or second of the four tests. None of the subjects could distinguish real RF exposure from sham.

The authors concluded that adverse symptoms or sensations, though unquestionably perceived by the test subjects, were not produced by cellular phones.



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