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

ID Number 1830
Study Type Social Sciences
Model Mobile phone use and risk perception in Denmark.

Residents in Denmark (n = 1004) surveyed using a computer assisted telephone interview for risk perception related to several topics including RF from mobile phones. Respondents recieved either short technical information, detailed text, or precautionary information. The authors report most individuals not concerned about RF health effects, but those that were are "quite worried". The authors also report significant mobile phone use while driving. In general, higher income, education level, and being a woman correlated with a greater degree of worry. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Nielsen et al. 2010 (IEEE #5633): Risk scenarios characterized by exposures to new technologies with unknown health effects, together with limited appreciation of benefits pose a challenge to risk communication. The present report illustrates this situation through a study of the perceived risk from mobile phones and mobile masts in residential areas. Good information should objectively convey the current state of knowledge. The research question is then how to inform lay people so that they trust and understand the information. We used an Internet-based survey with 1687 Danish participants randomized to three types of information about radiation from mobile phones and masts. The objective was to study whether different types of information were rated as equally useful, informative, comprehensible, and trustworthy. Moreover, an important issue was whether information would influence risk perception and intended behavior. The conclusion is that lay people rate information about risks associated with a new and largely unknown technology more useful and trustworthy when provided with brief statements about how to handle the risk, rather than more lengthy technical information about why the technology may or may not entail health hazards. Further, the results demonstrate that information may increase concern among a large proportion of the population, and that discrepancies exist between expressed concern and intended behavior.

Findings Not Applicable to Bioeffects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Univ Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Funding Agency Nat'l Res Prog, Denmark
  • Kristiansen, IS et al. Bioelectromagnetics, (2009) 30:393-4001
  • Nielsen , JB et al. Bioelectromagnetics., (2010) 31:504-512
  • Comments

    respondents were representative of the Danish population with respect to gender but age was skewed and overrepresented participants under 44 yrs old. Also, since the interview only asked about how frequently respondents thought about about exposure, this may not be reflective of actual concern