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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Sep 1, 2019)

ID Number 1676
Study Type Social Sciences
Model Assessment of public concern over mobile phone RF, correlation with UK DoH precautionary information
Details

Residents of the UK (n = 1730) responding to a survey in 2004 by the UK Office of National Statistics (65% response rate) contained 19 questions pertaining to mobile phones. The study focused on a UK Dept of Health informational leaflet (circulated in 2000) offering precautionary advice on how to reduce personal exposure to mobile phone RF exposure, including shorter calls, limited use by children, and purchasing phones with low peak SAR values. The authors report that in those individuals that read leaflet information (15% of respondents), more concern was generated than in comparable individuals that had not read the leaflet. In a related study on other modern technologies (not necessarily mobile phones), the authors report public involvement in goverment decisions regarding risk management (from 3272 respondents, e.g., genetic cloning, genetic therapy) may not necessarily increase trust with government decisions. The report did, however, find that those individuals more familiar with issues are more likely to support more public involvement in government decisions. In a subsequent study, the authors enlisted additional participants (n = 173) and gathered questionairre data on understanding and concern regarding mobile phones, health effects, and precautionary measures (per UK DOH distributed literature). The authors report that precautionary language was seen as government uncertainly with regard to possible health effects and not necessarily as a useful tool to manage legitimate health issues. Individuals that already percieved mobile phones as a health risk demonstrated greater support for precautionary measures. However precautionary measures themselves seemed to create concern in individuals with no prior concern. .

Findings Not Applicable to Bioeffects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Univ Surrey, UK
Funding Agency DOH, UK, MMF, MTHR (NRPB), UK, GSM Association
Country UNITED KINGDOM
References
  • Barnett, J et al. J Risk Res, (2008) 11:525-540
  • Barnett, J et al. Risk Anal, (2007) 27:921-933
  • Barnett, J et al. Health Policy, (2007) 82:240-250
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