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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Oct 14, 2021)

ID Number 1872
Study Type Epidemiology
Model Mobile phone use in Swedish volunteers and levels of serum proteins.

Volunteers (n = 314) living in Örebro, Sweden were randomly recruited and evaluated for mobile and cordless phone by mailed questionnaire. Serum samples were delivered by the volunteers to Örebro University hospital and frozen until subsequent immunoassay analysis of S100B protein (a marker for blood brain barrier integrity). S100B levels were higher in women (p = 0.03) as well as in blood samples left at the hospital in the morning as opposed to in the afternoon (p = 0.04). The authors report no correlation between S100B levels and short term (same day as giving blood) or long term (cumulative) mobile or cordless phone use. There was also no correlation with 5+ yrs (OR=0.8 95% CI 0.3-2.0) or 10+ yrs (OR=0.7, 95% CI 0.2-2.0) of mobile phone use or when analogue, GSM, or UMTS phones were considered separately. There was a statistically significant correlation with long term (up to 4 yrs) UMTS use in men (p = 0.01; n = 31). The S100B level was also consistently elevated in a subsequent samples from individuals that initially showed elevated (but non-significant) S100B levels (sample 1 vs. 2 p = 0.03) and was significantly reduced in a third sample after they were told to discontinue mobile phone use (1 vs. 3 p = 0.004). In a related study, volunteers (n = 313) in Örebro, Sweden were evaluated for mobile phone use and serum transthyretin (TTR - an indicator of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier integrity). Overall, men had higher serum TTR levels than women, as did participants over 47yrs, hypertensive, overweight, and smokers. The authors report a significant correlation between increased TTR levels and time since first analog use (p = 0.01), use of mobile phones and DECT combined (p = 0.03), and cumulative hours of mobile phone use (p = 0.04). The correlations were higher when men were analyzed separately. In a controled laboratory study, volunteers (n = 41) were exposed to 890 MHz (GSM) from a mobile phone mounted 8.5 cm from the ear for 30 minutes with an estimated SAR of 1 W/kg averaged over 1 gram tissue. The authors report no significant change in S100B protien in blood samples, but a significant increase in albumin levels was observed at 60 minutes following RF exposure. A subsequent study suggested reports of protective effects of 918 MHz exposure on transgenic Alzheimer's mice may be due to increased TTR levels (TTR acts to sequester amyloid-beta protein). AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Hardell et al. 2010 (IEEE #6772): The lipocalin type of prostaglandin D synthase or ß-trace protein is synthesized in the choroid plexus, leptomeninges and oligodendrocytes of the central nervous system and is secreted into the cerebrospinal fluid. ß-trace protein is the key enzyme in the synthesis of prostaglandin D2, an endogenous sleep-promoting neurohormone in the brain. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the radio frequency (RF) range have in some studies been associated with disturbed sleep. We studied the concentration of ß-trace protein in blood in relation to emissions from wireless phones. This study included 62 persons aged 18-30 years. The concentration of ß-trace protein decreased with increasing number of years of use of a wireless phone yielding a negative ß coefficient = -0.32, 95% confidence interval -0.60 to -0.04. Also cumulative use in hours gave a negative ß coefficient, although not statistically significant. Of the 62 persons, 40 participated in an experimental study with 30 min exposure to an 890-MHz GSM signal. No statistically significant change of ß-trace protein was found. In a similar study of the remaining 22 participants with no exposure, ß-trace protein increased significantly over time, probably due to a relaxed situation. EMF emissions may down-regulate the synthesis of ß-trace protein. This mechanism might be involved in sleep disturbances reported in persons exposed to RF fields. The results must be interpreted with caution since use of mobile and cordless phones were self-reported. Awareness of exposure condition in the experimental study may have influenced ßtrace protein concentrations.

Findings Effects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Regional Hospital, Orebro, Sweden -
Funding Agency NSCOR, Sweden, Cancer-och Allergifon-den, Sweden, Orebro Cancer Fund, Sweden, Nyckelfonden, Sweden
Country SWEDEN
  • Soderqvist, F et al. J Alzheimers Dis., (2010) 20:599-606
  • Soderqvist, F et al. Toxicol Lett, (2009) 189:63-66
  • Soderqvist, F et al. Environ Health., (2009) 8:19-(12 pages)
  • Soderqvist, F et al. Sci Total Environ., (2009) 407:798-805
  • Hardell, L et al. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE., (2010) 26:301-306
  • Comments

    Since UMTS phones almost always operate on GSM networks as well, this complicates interpretation of the findings. Also, since the half life of the S100B protein is short (on the order of ~30 minutes), the authors also suggest acute elevations might have been too temporary to be detected.