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A prospective cohort study of adolescents' memory performance and individual brain dose of microwave radiation from wireless communication

Foerster, Milena and Thielens, Arno and Joseph, Wout and Eeftens, Marloes and Röösli, Martin. (2018) A prospective cohort study of adolescents' memory performance and individual brain dose of microwave radiation from wireless communication. Environmental Health Perspectives, 126 (7). 077007.

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Abstract

The potential impact of microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by wireless communication devices on neurocognitive functions of adolescents is controversial. In a previous analysis, we found changes in figural memory scores associated with a higher cumulative RF-EMF brain dose in adolescents.; We aimed to follow-up our previous results using a new study population, dose estimation, and approach to controlling for confounding from media usage itself.; RF-EMF brain dose for each participant was modeled. Multivariable linear regression models were fitted on verbal and figural memory score changes over 1 y and on estimated cumulative brain dose and RF-EMF related and unrelated media usage (; n; =669-676). Because of the hemispheric lateralization of memory, we conducted a laterality analysis for phone call ear preference. To control for the confounding of media use behaviors, a stratified analysis for different media usage groups was also conducted.; We found decreased figural memory scores in association with an interquartile range (IQR) increase in estimated cumulative RF-EMF brain dose scores: -0.22 (95% CI: -0.47, 0.03; IQR: 953 mJ/kg per day) in the whole sample, -0.39 (95% CI: -0.67, -0.10; IQR: 953 mJ/kg per day) in right-side users (; n; =532), and -0.26 (95% CI: -0.42, -0.10; IQR: 341 mJ/kg per day) when recorded network operator data were used for RF-EMF dose estimation (; n; =274). Media usage unrelated to RF-EMF did not show significant associations or consistent patterns, with the exception of consistent (nonsignificant) positive associations between data traffic duration and verbal memory.; Our findings for a cohort of Swiss adolescents require confirmation in other populations but suggest a potential adverse effect of RF-EMF brain dose on cognitive functions that involve brain regions mostly exposed during mobile phone use. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2427.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Environmental Exposures and Health > Physical Hazards and Health (Röösli)
UniBasel Contributors:Foerster, Milena and Eeftens, Marloes and Röösli, Martin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
ISSN:0091-6765
e-ISSN:1552-9924
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:05 Sep 2018 09:23
Deposited On:05 Sep 2018 09:23

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