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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Feb 18, 2020)

ID Number 1769
Study Type Epidemiology
Model Mobile phone use in India and evaluation of auditory effects

Mobile phone (GSM) users (n = 112) of were evaluated for pure tome audoimetry (250-12,000 Hz), speech discrimination, speech reception threshold, impedence audiometry, distortion product otoacoustic emission, auditory brain response, and middle latency response. The authors report a statistically significant decrease in high frequency hearing when in the left but not the right ear of users above age 30 (OR = 2.37; 95% CI 0.99-5.69), with a dose response in the right but not the left ear. There was also a decrease in middle latency response and abnormal distortion product otoacoustic emission in the predominant ear for mobile phone use in long term users. The authors suggest long-term use may lead to cochlear and inner ear damage.

Findings Effects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Postgrad Inst Med Ed Res, Chandigarh, India -
Funding Agency Private/Instit.
Country INDIA
  • Panda , NK et al. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, (2010) 39:5-11
  • Comments

    There is no accurate evaluation of exposure in the user groups (no account of DTx, dynamic power control, validation of recall error) - just time of exposure that can be strongly influenced by recall bias. The literature review in the intro section is selective (not balanced), with 3 papers from Turkey, one from Thailand, and two newly published papers out of a total of 18 in the database. The papers cited report mixed results, although the larger majority of papers in the literature database measuring these same parameters are more consistent in reporting no effects of RF exposure from mobile phones on similar parameters. The authors seem to assume the right side is the dominant side for mobile phone use, although there is no information to report how they arrived at this conclusion (other studies in the literature do show right is often dominant, but certainly not always. Regarding the statistically significant HF loss in the left ear, there is no report of whether this was ipsilateral or not with the reported usage of each individual. The reported values for right and left ear of users (19.6 and 19.4 dB, respectively) vs. controls (22.5 and 24.76 dB, respectively) might suggest both ears were equally affected, or alternatively consistent variability in the assay between the two groups. Regarding the data on HF loss data in Table 2, the SD values would question the ability to achieve significance with simple statistical analysis. The data in Table 4 suggest a dose response in the other (right) ear, but again the SD values are huge. For MLR analysis in Table 3, the control group has "0" making accurate statistical analysis challenging. Most importantly, a comprehensive review of the literature (many reports addressing the same or similar parameters) does not support the author's observations or conclusions. It is assumed that the authors are suggesting the RF component of the phone is the causative agent, although the abstract does suggest ear warming might be involved (and this could be heat generated from the PA and battery, not just RF).